Tuesday, June 22, 2021

The Carnictis sordicus (Vile Meat-Weasel) From Peter Jackson's "King Kong" (2005 film) Adapted For Cepheus Engine, Cepheus Atom, & Hostile Rpg Setting

 One of the most reviled prehistoric evolutionary offshoots to come from the inner Earth the Carnictis sordicus (Vile Meat-Weasel) has become the stuff of nightmares. These monster's eggs spread through the post apocalyptic wastelands through offal traders & gung farmers. The Carnictis sordicus (Vile Meat-Weasel) are responsible for clearing at least seven  different urban mutant cities. These  carrion-eating scavengers/predators of the “abyss” thrive in the ruins & dungeons of the post apocalyptical wastelands. 

Carnictis is a large worm with a sphincter-maw at one end. It undulates inside-out and exposes the mouth to its prey, allowing it to eat. There Carnictis colonies that  are also carried by some of the largest Kaiju allowing these horrors to spread across post apocalyptic Florida & other Gulf region areas. The Carnictis thrives in cool dark places such as sewers, swamps, and other cave like structures. 

 Carnictis sordicus (Vile Meat-Weasel) is often seen as a on land guardian animal around Deep One operations. The meat weasel makes a perfect passive animal security option for the Deep Ones who use the worm like evolution off shoot as biological dumping options for corpses or other animal carcasses. 

Carnictis sordicus 
(Vile Meat-Weasel)

# encountered 1d6 
6/13, Move 10m Swim 5 M, Armor 1, Bite (melee 4D damage)  Combat-1, Physical-2, Survival 1, Gigantism Disease, severs limbs on an unmodified attack throw of 12.  1-in-6 chance of PCs contracting disease if engaged in melee.

The Thunder Fighter Space Craft Adapted From Buck Rogers In The 25th Century 1979 For The Stars Without Numbers rpg

 The Earth has only recently recovered from the one two punch of the Holocaust five hundred years ago & the Shattering.  The Shattering has only recently abated & Earth has regained contact with its former colonial empire's holdings. This includes the Draconian Empire which has for the last four hundred years filled the power vacuum left by the Earth. Earth's Interstellar Defense Forces needed a fast, reliable, & cheap galactic fighter in 2490. What it got was the classic Thunder star fighter. This was a craft created in part by the A.I. of Earth's Defense Directorate & an international team of top space craft designers. 

The entire flight & suite of the Thunder star fighters were under a slaved A.I. system that acted as a secondary pilot, navigator, and even co pilot for the craft. This would later prove to be the undoing of the Earth's Defense Directorate during 'The Draconian Incident' of 2491. The Thunder fighter were easy pray for the 'Draconian Fighter Space Craft' masquerading as interstellar space pirates. This led to the Earth fighting a quick guerilla campaign against the Draconians. The Thunder star fighter were key in this campaign over the ten year cold war with the empire. 

The Thunder Fighter Space Craft 

HP: 9 Power: 5/1 free AC: 16 Mass: 2/0 free Armor: 5 Crew: 1/1 Speed: 6 Hull Class: Fighter Crew Skill: +2 NPC CP: 4 Weapons: Reaper Battery (+4/3d4, Clumsy) Defenses: None Fittings: Spike Drive-2 Atmospheric Configuration Cost: 305K base price, 15,250 maintenance, 43,800 yearly crew cost for 1 pilot

OSR Commentary On C2 ""The Ghost Tower of Inverness" (1980), by Allen Hammack With A Bit of Clark Ashton Smith For Your Old School Campaigns Updated


"A shadow from the past, the Ghost Tower of Inverness has loomed ever larger in the mind of the great Seer of Urnst. Now he has convinced the Duke that an expedition should be organized to go to the ancient keep and recover its greatest treasure - the fabled Soul Gem. This module was originally written for the Official ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS Game Tournament at Wintercon VIII, held in Detroit in November of 1979. It is the second in TSR's COMPETITION SERIES - modules that were used in official tournaments. This module contains a challenging setting, a scoring system and characters specially prepared for this adventure. It may thus be used for competition among players (or groups of players) or as a non-scored adventure. Also included within are background information, referee's maps and notes, encounter descriptions for players, and a background scenario linked to the WORLD OF GREYHAWK Fantasy World Setting."

Nineteen Seventy Nine seems to have been  a banner year for modules & one that I love to refer back to is the ultimate in 'fun house dungeons'. Yes I'm talking about the infamous C2 The Ghost Tower of Inverness competition module.  "
"The Ghost Tower of Inverness" (1980), by Allen Hammack, was the second adventure in the competition (C-) series. It was published in 1980." I'm not sure what it is about this module but I've got a very large soft spot for it. 

This module has direct & deep connections to the campaign world of Greyhawk; 

"The backstory to C2 has some fairly important implications for the history and development of Greyhawk, due to the age of Castle Inverness:
Know you that in the elder days before the Invoked Devestation and the Rain of Colorless Fire, when the ancient peaks of the Abbor-Alz still thrust skyward sharp and majestic and the Flan tribesmen were but newcomers to the land, there existed between the Bright Desert and the mouth of the river Selintan a great fortress called Inverness . . .  Know you also that here was said to dwell the great wizard Galap-Dreidel at the height of his power and glory, and that he did lift the Castle Inverness from the very foundation of rock upon which it rested. [citation]" 
This information comes straight from the Greyhawk on line page & it has many connections across the board to  the Flanaess. But that's never stopped me from taking full advantage to draw in the ghost tower deeper into whatever campaign world  I'm currently running.  For me the tower is one which has many different aspects across the planes so there's a Ghost Tower on Mystara . The classic Modules and Adventures in Mystara article by Bouv  from the Vaults of Pandius site has some ideas on the towers placement. 
 For me it comes back to Clark Ashton Smith & Jack Vance's wizards. These are beings whose very works can define reality of their respective worlds. Now most folks would think that I'd reference the excellent  Xiccarph cycle of Clark Ashton Smith. No instead I want to focus on CAS's "The Dark Eidolon. The tale of course  chronicles the life and death of the dread sorcerer Namirrha. Namirrha is the complete opposite of the wizard who constructed the ghost tower. But their are striking similarities. Both of these high level wizards are busy rearing edifices that defy their local time & space continuum's technological level & the mere laws of physics. The Nerd Redfined site has a very good overview & break down of Namirrha.
But this begs the question if there are such towers across the multiverse could they lay in wait for unwary heroes? Surely there are no such weird towers in say classic comic books?! Well actually the DC universe has one of its own that has rooms that look like they were designed by M.C. Escher. I'm speaking of course of DC's own sorcerer supreme Dr. Fate & his tower. 

Artwork used without permission but not as a trade mark or copyright challenge.

The tower of Fate appeared in More Fun Comics #58 (August, 1940) & has served as the focal point for some of the most important events in the DC comic book universe. The Ghost tower has  served in some of the most important PC's deaths over the years. Countless parties have ventured into its depths & yet few have survived its tricks & traps. The fact that its a competition module makes this all of the sweeter. Could it be that the real reason that the ghost tower hasn't been brought to heel like so many other dungeons is the fact that it serves another function? Could C2 tower actually be a playing board between the gods & various high level wizards? We know that the tower itself is from another age. But is this because its halls serve as the battle ground for the amusement of the gods & their opponents. If this is a fun house dungeon then for whom is it fun for? 
The  answer lies within its history & connections to some of the greatest disasters of Greyhawk's history.  Now of course the gods & wizards amuse themselves at the perils of mortals within the tower.

William Blake  Jacob's Ladder

I've seen C2 described as a 'killer dungeon' numerous times but I think that its part of its form & function. The adventure is described for PC's of levels five through seven. Confession time I've used it with much higher level PC 's & its just as lethal.
Is there a malevolent intelligence behind the the tower? Well yes in my campaigns the ghost tower has been run by any number of dimensional travelers who have served the tower. The form & function has been the same. The tower moves from place to place & kills off adventurers according to its ancient function that was created so many thousands of years ago. The magicks of the tower are as potent as the day it was created. I've used the ghost tower with lots of OSR retrclone systems especially Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea, Labyrinth Lord, AD&D first edition & my upcoming Amazing Adventures!/ Demi god campaign.

Because the legends of the ghost tower are so tied in with Greyhawk over the years, I've used this adventure to get PC's to Greyhawk if they've survived. The campaign world is so iconic that its not hard to get players into the Greyhawk mind set. I've also gathered PC's from across a wide range of TSR campaign classic settings such as Mystara, Blackmoor, Greyhawk & points beyond.
This really speaks to the adaptiveness of C2 ""The Ghost Tower of Inverness". There are lots of detractors out in the OSR for this module but still love it. Having this location in an old school or OSR campaign setting is guaranteed to spark interest & perhaps a lot of caution. 

What about using it with Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea rpg?! There are several options & all of them are very dangerous for PC's. The ghost tower isn't simply a Greyhawk  
 phenomenon but instead an inter planar one. Perhaps the tower's maker was an apprentice of  Namirrha. Then there could be a tower on the very edge of Hyperborea  not unlike structure found in the AS&SH adventure 'The Sea Wolf's Daughter' 
If the original  C2 ""The Ghost Tower of Inverness" appeared as an amusement & center of learning for the Hyperboreans before the Green Death. Then it might appear from time to time along the coastlands near 
 Brigand's Bay. This results in the tower fading into legend by the time it next appears again. 

Monday, June 21, 2021

The Draconian Fighter Space Craft Adapted From Buck Rogers In The 25th Century 1979 For The Stars Without Numbers rpg

 The Draconian empire arose from the shattered remains of Earth's former colonies. The Draconian Empire  were one of the most powerful of the post Earth dynasties left after the events of the Shattering. The Draconians  were with mere decades of taking control of the Terran corridor of space. This was accomplished by the flexible Draconian fighters which could fufill any number interstellar battle profiles, The Draconian fighter could fufill the role of pirate raider craft, small harrying attack craft & even battle cruiser defender. 

The Draconian Fighter Space Craft From Buck Rogers In The 25th Century 1979

Draconian Fighter 
HP: 9 Power: 5/1 free AC: 16 Mass: 2/0 free Armor: 5 Crew: 1/1 Speed: 5 Hull Class: Fighter Crew Skill: +2 NPC CP: 4 Weapons: Reaper Battery (+4/3d4, Clumsy) Defenses: None Fittings: Spike Drive-1 Atmospheric Configuration Cost: 305K base price, 15,250 maintenance, 43,800 yearly crew cost for 1 pilot

Retooling N3 'Destiny of Kings' By Stephen Bourne For An OSR Sword & Sorcery Campaign

 "The kingdom of Dunador is in trouble. Since the king, Halfred of Dunthrane, was killed in a hunting accident, the land has hovered on the brink of civil war. Crown Prince Edmund, at 18 only half-trained and quite unprepared to assume the throne, has yet to be crowned. Currently he is on a pilgrimage to the holy shrine of Nevron in the province of Andevar. While the uncrowned king is far from home, anarchy reigns in Dunador"

When it comes to Sword & Sorcery one of the least picked modules would be N3 'Destiny of Kings' By Stephen Bourne. And is one of those modules that takes a certain class of players to deal with the political backbone & intrigue that makes up its inner adventure structure. The module's history goes something like this  
N3: "Destiny of Kings" (1986), by Stephen Bourne, is the third adventure in the novice series for AD&D. 

Last blog entry on N2 'The Forest Oracle' by Carl Smith has the Downs & its pretty easy to back up the kingdom Dunador as the owners of the volcanic farm land kingdom that we talked about last time. The basic plot goes something like this; 
"Hollend, the King's Sage, calls out to the PCs in the hopes that they can untangle the deceitful webs before it is too late"
The Amazon review of Kent David Kelly goes into some of the stumbling blocks of N3; "If you have extremely skilled players, here's the best way to throw their young heroes (levels 1-4) onto the world stage! The king of Dunthrane has died, and with the sole heir far away, the entire kingdom erupts into chaos as age-old, suppressed plots come to the surface. Hollend, the King's Sage, calls out to the PCs in the hopes that they can untangle the deceitful webs before it is too late; but, as soon as they arrive, they're slammed with a political whirlwind of intrigue that they're never forget! An extremely difficult adventure, but all the more rewarding for it" 
What works for using N3 for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea rpg is the almost Arthurian aspects of the module.  N3 'Destiny of Kings' can add the Celtic  weirdness of mythology & legends. 

N3 'Destiny of King' has a series of political intrigue encounters has enough punch to keep things rolling. The whole affair reminds me of a mix of ancient Norse & early medieval English history but seen through the lens of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons first edition. 
But is there something boiling below the surface of N3?! Such as supernatural or Lovecraftian elements controlling the royal linage of the kingdoms of 

This means that for the run of the module the PC's could be manipulated by forces that they are only vaguely aware of. The insanity of the line of kings isn't evident of the module until the middle of the module. There could well be several Hyperborean post Green Death vaults under the kingdom. This one point could be used to expand the fortunes of the kingdom later on after the political events are stabilized. 
N3 'Destiny of Kings' By Stephen Bourne has some real potential to be used as a Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea rpg base of operations once events of the module ends. 

Retooling N2 ' The Forest Oracle' By Carl Smith For An OSR Sword & Sorcery Campaign

 "The land lies under a curse. Fruit drops to the ground, its pulp black and rotten. Leaves curl and wither on the branches. Animals flee the parched vale, or starve. Long ago, the Downs prospered under the care of Druids. But the priests of nature have retreated deep into the woods and rarely show themselves. One old man claims that the Druids have the power to save the valley, if only someone could find their Oracle to seek help. Will you reach the Forest Oracle of the Druids in time? And if you do, can they really lift the curse? Or does the answer lie elsewhere? Only the most daring and cunning adventurers will save the Downs. For character levels 2-4."

If you've been paying attention then over the last couple of days I've gotten to play in a friend's AS&SH game. And last night I reposted my module commentary on N1 Against The Reptile Cult by Douglas Niles. So last night we thought we'd take a look at N2 The Forest Oracle By Carl Smith. Umm, many folks consider N2 one of the worst AD&D modules ever. Could it be retooled for AS&SH?! 

So time & again I've seen review after review on 
N2 ' The Forest Oracle' By Carl Smith as one of the worst AD&D modules to come out according to the Drivethrurpg review by Sean B; "

"Poorly written adventure from the grand old days. Ran my group through it for a lark, but there were definitely things that needed to be re-tooled in order to make some actual sense.

Seems like it was written by a 13 year old, with no attention to consistency or logic."

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Module N2 ' The Forest Oracle' By Carl Sargent came out in '84  has vastly different connotations for an Swords & Sorcery OSR retroclone such as Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea rpg?! Why?! Because AS&SH's Hyperborea  setting is unlike anything in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.  But this module is actually very workable for AS&SH! Let's hit the historical high notes according to the N2 Wiki entry; 
"N2 Forest Oracle was written by Carl Smith, with a cover by Keith Parkinson and interior illustrations by Jeff Easley, and was published by TSR in 1984 as a 32-page booklet with an outer folder."
The basic N2 plot is perfectly suited for AS&SH; "In this scenario, the player characters try to lift the curse which has brought death and drought to the land known as the Downs.[1] As they travel to a Great Druid to ask for his help, they travel across the mountains and through the forest where they encounter brigands, goblins, bugbears, gypsies, and a yeti" 
The Downs situated in Hyperborea might be analogous to a volcanic temperate zone of Iceland.This marks the area as extremely valuable farmland  to the royalty of Hyperborea. Originally the Downs may have been a bread basket area belonging to the native Hyperboreans. The Green Death easily took the Hyperboreans out leaving behind the Downs. There could well be several hidden Hyperborean vaults. That's another avenue to explore later on. The Downs here are the key possibly to this module according to the wiki entry;"
The Downs, a lush valley on the edge of the Greate Olde Woode, are dying. Livestock and crops simply rot and drop to the parched ground. The druids who have protected the area have retreated into the thick forest, and the party must find them to undo the evil that's happening in the Downs." The secondary key to N2 The Forrest Oracle is the druids which are a key class in AS&SH's inhostilable Hyperborea.. 

Druids are the farmer's best friend on this far future Lovecraftian world of the dying sun. They can predict crops seasons, village fertility, signs of nature, native wildlife,etc. So the druids of the Downs are key to survival in this region. And what about that 
  Greate Olde Woode?! Given that it sounds like the American California Red Wood forrests to our group. The Downs as a region on the edge of an ancient or possibly still active volcanic area makes sense. The Downs are pulsing with elemental energies. And this in turn attracts the Yeti to the mountain passes & they could possibly be related to Voomis of the area as rival tribal enemies. 

But what about the bugbears & the goblins?! These are by far the easiest adventure elements to adapt. The Downs are a rich bread basket farmland area & the bugbears are displaced dimensional travelers. New world same old need to survive & conquest. The goblins are easily simply lesser chaotic shock troops attached to the bug bears. 
And as for the 'problematic' Gypies?! Simply make them one of the numerous Hyperborean human races. Or keep them as is & make them also time displaced travelers with some actual real world historical background. A noble Rom people who have adapted to the world of the bloated red sun. 
One of the campaign elements that AS&SH's Hyperborea actually needs is a setting area with a generic European / Old World European feel to it. A place that seems like an AD&D campaign setting but look a bit closer & its very alien. The Downs might provide that very Sword & Sorcery adventure campaign element to it. There could even be more too it then this. We'll get into that coming up! 

Expanding on the Downs

DMed correctly & N2 could be used as the basis for an entire Sword & Sorcery campaign especially one featuring a faux Norse overlay to it. The downs are a valuable land commodity. And they feature as a part of  the jewel of an AS&SH campaign. 
N2 could be an actual follow up to the events of N1 Against The Reptile Cult. The reptile cult's actions have shaken the Downs & its surroundings. The local royals have become a bit too complacent. So N2 follows it up with the bug bear forces seeing an opportunity & the PC's encounter is merely a scouting party for a bug bear army. 
The druids are definitely an opportunity for the DM to exploit in several very unconventional ways. They could be far more integrated into the Downs society with them taking apprentices on at a very young age. The PC's esorting some charges to them and then things going very wrong. 

Commentary On N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile God For Advanced Dungeons & Dragons First Edition

I was talking with my systems guy about Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea & C1's blog entry yesterday. He was a bit put out because we're playing a lower level tier campaign at the moment involving Venger Satanis's Islands of Purple Haunted Putrescence.
He was saying its not like there is a low level adventure that can really exploit the Hyperborean countryside? Well, actually there is but its not in the AS&SH line instead this is a classic AD&D adventure.
Terror by night! The village of Orlane is dying. Once a small and thriving community, Orlane has become a maze of locked doors and frightened faces. Strangers are shunned, trade has withered. Rumors flourish, growing wilder with each retelling. Terrified peasants flee their homes, abandoning their farms with no explanation. Others simply disappear. . .

No one seems to know the cause of the decay -- why are there no clues? Who skulks through the twisted shadows of the night? Who or what is behind the doom that has overtaken the village? It will take a brave and skillful band of adventurers to solve the dark riddle of Orlane!Heroes are not born their made in the pulpy fires of classic modules & this one has some really interesting twists & turns. First of all lets say that the events of N1 Against the Reptile Cult are not going to take place on the lizard coast but a bit further inland near Brigand's Bay. The once thriving village of Orlane has an almost but not quite feeling about it akin to Innesmouth via Lovecraft with far more Robert Howard then HP Lovecraft. In the past I've gone with that sort of a feel when running this classic  & that's exactly how I'd run this classic now. Once again you've got the inhuman population exploiting the humans and that always works for motivating players.

A  user-friendly version of the Mainland Hyperborea map, usable by players and referees alike. You can download it now at the AS&SH  Resources Page.

Your going to need a fairly large group of players to run N1 with for AS&SH unless you as the dungeon master are willing to pare down some of the encounters, adventure elements, & other twists & turns that Douglas Niles deals out. I think it would be a shame to do so because there are so many good bits. There's also the potential for expansion for the reptile cult which I've done with N1 Against The Reptile cult when I inserted this classic adventure into Dark Albion.

Played right & this adventure can really wring out a large group of players as well as their PC's. The cult & its machinations can really run deeply through Hyperborea as a whole because of the troglodytes .
Yes these Basic D&D monsters are everywhere in D&D & yet no one seems to think that they could be far more useful as Lovecraftian horrors. I've used these guys time & again as the remains of Serpent men slaves. In fact the lizard men on the whole are actually the forth tier down on the rung of inhuman slaves to the former serpent men kings on  my version of Hyperborea. There are several key things to keep in mind here. One the adventure has be run with all of the adventure locations intact, two things turn very ugly very quickly when several key event's triggers are pulled and three this is in place a very lethal module especially in the latter half of Against the Reptile God. The town of Orlane and the adventure that surrounds it are really the stars of the adventure and because of its carefully written background its very much tied into Greyhawk's campaign setting. The DM is going to need to gut that connection or exploit it as I did with a star gate that runs over to Greyhawk. But my version of Greyhawk is a sword & sorcery driven land not that drivel that passed off as the the western Flanaess of today.

Make no mistake that the second the players find out the extent of the cult's infiltration of Orlane. Then its going to be an all or nothing situation. Dungeon masters need to be familiar with  the village and the cult's dungeon caves when all Hell breaks loose. In fact Doug Cowie reviewed the module in Imagine magazine noted that,"he was pleased with the fact that "the unknown adversaries do not tamely wait for the players to come and get them", but rather take the initiative if the players take too long in their investigation" And that's one of the key points when running N1 to take the PC's in hand & run the forces of the Reptile Cult as a thinking enemy. Don't dumb down these potential party enemies at all. Over the years I've run the cult as the inheritors of the Serpent Men's magical might & Lovecraftian tech on Hyperborea. The true serpent men see them as degenerate traitors.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, classic modules are classic for a reason and in this case its the whole package that works on many levels. Against the Cult of The Reptile God is a prime example of an old school module that delivers on many levels.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Campaign Session Report 2 - Ghost Ship of the Desert Dunes - Bandits attack!


So we're diving back into DM Steve's Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea campaign today. I'm playing Ragnar Blodshod Runengraver whose just jointed up with a band of cut throats travelling along the diamond desert. I'm dropping into the middle of the AS&SH's 'Ghost Ship of the Desert Dunes'. The merchant caravan that my PC has now found himself in the middle of has been traveling for several weeks. Meantime my PC was stalked out for the giant ants and saved by the gang of cut throats. 

The same tribe of desert bandits that stalked my PC is getting ready to attack the caravan! And my PC knows this vital information. In exchange for healing magick by the caravan's wizard. I'm able to bargain with my information. Some supplies & weapons then my PC is part of the adventure. That night the bandit move in & things get ugly really fast! What was nice was being able to be on the other side of the screen for a change. More next week! 

'I Was An Eloi Dope Fiend' - Mutant Future Rpg Session Report -1

 DM Steve had me once again had me  on the otherside of the screen as a player  in  a suprise Mutant Future rpg session. Tonight in a surpise twist once again my PC Rogar The Unconquerable a mutant barbarian found himself a prisoner locked in a power damping cell.Rpgar was a  part of an automated truck  prison convoy. He & many others were on their way to a Hyper Eloi mutant  processing facility within the confines of a post apocalyptic Colarado. 

Are PC's were to have our bodies rendered down & our mutant abilities turned into several selective drugs. That didn't happen as a crew of Mutant Underground PC's attacked the automated convoy including a small fleet of six guard self driven A.I. cars. Any number of prisoners were free including myself but due a power inhibiting collar automatically injected drugs into  my PC to keep him in drug induced coma. I finally succeeded in my saving throws to shake off the effects of the drugs. 

We managed to get out & thank our benefactors. But not before a group of autmated guards popped out from the inrards of the A.I. truck. Chaos ensued as mutant on robot violence ensued. Our party were equpping as we were fighting! But the real menace was yet to come. 'Creeping Pete  - A half man half plant beast from Reno' awoke straight out of his cryo tube. And he was cranky to say the least! 

'Creeping Pete The Menace From Reno' 
Mutant/Undead/ Plant Hybrid Thing 

No. Enc.:1d3 (1d3)
Movement:60’ (20’)
Armor Class:0
Hit Dice:8-11
Hoard Class:VIII, IX, XIV
Special: Damage immunities, enfold and suffocate victims.
Undead Immunities 

There were eight players in last night's game & so we had no wish to tangle with Pete at all. And our two wizards played back up with ice spells while our cleric held Pete at bay. Equipped we had to next deal with two of the guard A.I. cars. Using a combination of spells & just playing dodging we finally got away from the things. This is just as Pete broke out from the icy prison & several other mutant menaces were waking up! We started covering out tracks from here zipping into the wilderness on foot. We covered about four miles or so until we came across our mounts. We saw the Hyper Eloi hover craft coming & lit outta of there! 
All in all fun evening most of which was spent on our part running away. 

Friday, June 18, 2021

The Foetodon ("cruel stinking tooth") From Peter Jackson's "King Kong" (2005 film) Adapted For Cepheus Engine, Cepheus Atom, & Hostile Rpg Setting

 The Foetodon ("cruel stinking tooth") is a large, bulky, lizard/crocodilian-like notosuchian from the jungles of Skull Island & the Inner Earth. These jungle predators have migrated into the post apocalyptic Earth's wastelands. Is this by design or function? The question remains open for scientists & others. The Foetodon feeds on the remains of humans, dinosaurs, & even Kaiju. They are extremely resistant to toxins, mutagenetic's and even some low level radiations. But they are an extremely dangerous scavenger & omnivorous species of evolved lizard/crocodilian-like notosuchian. 

Foetodon will usually scrape out a hollow near a game trail or will burrow into mounds of litter, lying quietly for a prey item to appear. And then when the prey comes near powerful jaws take man, beast, or other. the Animal is extremely well versed in taking prey or to scavenge. They are highly adaptable being able to swim, burrow, & even jump to a certain extent. All of this is done in the search of prey. 

The Foetodon is often encountered around the biological labs of Mi Go or around Mi Go mining sites where they are used to dispose of biological accident, corpses, & other alien biological debris. The Mi Go use a wide variety of control tactics up too low level stun devices or control cybernetics on the Foetodon species. 

The Foetodon 
#Encountered 1d6 

7/15, Move 10m  Swim 20M, Armor 2, Bite (melee 4D damage). Combat2, Physical-3, Survival-2. Gigantism, Disease, severs limbs on an unmodified attack throw of 12.  1-in-6 chance of PCs contracting disease if engaged in melee.

The Vastatosaurus rex ("ravager lizard king") From Peter Jackson's "King Kong" (2005 film) Adapted For Cepheus Engine, Cepheus Atom, & Hostile Rpg Setting


The Vastatosaurus rex ("ravager lizard king")  or V Rex has migrated from the confines of the former Skull Island & Inner Earth environs. These V Rex is a mid tier predator capable of ripping apart just about anything short of some of the smaller  Kaiju. The V Rex has moved into the wasteland jungles of the post apocalyptical  Earth. The mutant species of wasteland cause very little mutation in the V-Rex species. Many scientist believe that the V-Rex is such a hardy species that their genetic make up offers little for the mutational vectors of the post apocalyptic Earth. 

With a powerful bite, clawed legs, & a fluid gait the Vastatosaurus rex ("ravager lizard king") represents a real threat in the savage wastelands of the ravaged Earth. Because of these extensively predator's range they have been captured & used on a variety of worlds where the Mi Go run operations. The uncontrolled savagery of the V Rex offers a perfect killing & guarding machine for the Mi Go. Chemical cues, psionics, & flat out mind control allow the Mi Go to run the V Rex where & when they want them in a number alien jungle worlds. The mind of the V Rex is a violent and savage place enabling the dinosaur to shake off many psionic control abilities. This only emboldened the Mi Go to go more extreme methods including sonic fields & even cybernetic implant control devices. 
 Vastatosaurus rex ("ravager lizard king"
#appearing 1d6 indicating a pack of V Rex 
24/50, Move 10m , Armor 7, Bite (melee 5D damage) and 2 claws (melee 2D each),Combat-3, Physical-2, Survival-1

On The Track of The Werewolf! - My PC Had His Throat Ripped Out On My Birthday! - Castles & Crusades Greyhawk Play Session Report


During last night's Castles & Crusades 's Greyhawk  birthday game we were sent into investigate the killings being done by a pack of werewolves. What came next is a study in horror & depravity. Just outside the Village of Hommlet something had been killing villagers. That something was supernatural & in DM Steve's game it went down that my barbarian warrior Crogar was drafted into the game. 
Villagers had been found with their throats ripped out & wolf tracks changing into man's had been found. 

The party consisted of an Elven tracker 4th level (ranger), a wizard 5th, A Dwarven fighter 5th level, and an Amazon warrior 5th level  played by Gwen Steve's sister. Crogar was armed with a battle ax we were using Adventurer,Conqueror, King rpg  Lairs & Encounters  for the werewolf den. Or so we thought!?! 

The Elven Tracker & my PC tracked the were wolves to their lair only there were seven heavily armed men on horseback there?! And that's when we heard the twig snap behind us. We reached for our dice for imitative & failed! The damn dice were against us! Our last sight was a man putting on a strange furred cloak & both of our PC's being throated by a wolf! As we bled out the barbarian tribe's bandit chief explained that he & his men were using the former werewolf den as base as they worked the area for a set of bosses the lidless eye. If they killed some of the farmer's surrounding Hommlet then they would be rewarded with becoming real werewolves.The bandit chief was using a wolf cloak from Mishler Games 'A Myriad of Magic Items'   Gurgle & fade to black! Will our party find our bodies?! What does all of this mean. But a more important personal question becomes the following?! 

Is Crogar & the Elven tracker valuable enough for the adventuring party to resurrect?! The party will definitely have the Elf resurrected because of relations with his tribe. But my barbarian?! 

Thursday, June 17, 2021

'The Tentacles From Planet X' From 'The Mist' 2007 Adapted For Cepheus Engine, Cepheus Atom, & Hostile Rpg Setting

 'The tentacles from planet X' come from 'The Between Place' also known as the Mist. Within this plane is a very alien macro ecology filled with alien Lovecraftian life forms.  'The tentacles from planet X' are such a life form able to tear off chunks of flesh from their prey easily. But these life forms are actually complex omnivores able to digest anything that comes into the hundreds of mouths that line their tentacles. These things are aggressive & highly dangerous  predators within their own right. 

Each tentacle weights hundreds of pounds & is equipped with hundreds of alien sensors, taste buds, and other sense organs. They taste their surroundings as they move able to taste even color. The tentacles are aggressive in the extreme equipped with hundreds of miniature fang covered mouths & sharp teeth like spikes. Flesh is no match for the inner fang lined maw that tips each tentacle. What the tentacles belong to remains a mystery. 

'The tentacles from planet X' main bodies are shrouded within a blanket of fog like cloying alien mist. The tentacles come a huge variety of sizes & so each one is capable of piercing flesh, cloth, and other obstacles in their never ending search for food. 
The alien main body surrounded in a strange fog like mist that protects the main creature. The tentacles will dissolve into a stinking cloud like liquid if cut from the main body. 
'The tentacles from planet X' are often found within the towers of wizards or black warlocks who employ them as ever hungry guardians for occult secrets. But the 'The tentacles from planet X' are also found anyplace where dimensional breaches or worm holes have occurred.  'The Between Place' dimension takes advantage of such breeches to fill in & expand its own planar domains. 

'The tentacles from planet X' take full advantage of such expansions to increase the area for their own species to expand its ever feasting reach! The monsters have been found increasingly upon a wide variety of planets, planes Prime, & other dimensional locations. 

'The Tentacles from planet X'
21/44, Move 6m (swim or slither), Armor 4, Beak (melee 3D damage) and 8x arms (melee 2D damage each). Combat-3, Physical-3, Survival-1. Gigantism, 
Evaporate - The Tentacle if damaged or severed from the main trunk of tentacles will dissolve into a foul smelling liquid in 1d6 seconds. There are some occult theories which state that resulting left over alien sludge can be collected to be used in a 'summon horror ritual' used to call the tentacles 

The Grey Widowers From 'The Mist' 2007 Adapted For Cepheus Engine, Cepheus Atom, & Hostile Rpg Setting

 Existing in the mist like dimension between planes which occasionally contact's the plane Prime. The Grey Widowers are a highly aggressive species of  non Terra archind the size of a small dog. The larger man sized Grey Widower are expert hunters  capable of tackling a creature twice their size. The real horror of the Grey Widowers comes from their ability to lay thousands of eggs within a target & being capable of hatching within 1d6 days. 

Grey Widowers small 
9/18, Move 10m, Armor 4, 2 Claws (melee 1D damage each) or 1 sting (melee; target must throw Physical 6+ or die from poison within 1 turn). Corrsive web (ranged 2d dice damage)  Combat-2, Physical-2, Survival-1. Gigantism

Grey Widowers colonies are some of the most dangerous of the Mist plane's inhabitants. These colonies are a part of the macro agressive ecology of the plane. They provide a key niche predator within the ecology of the plane. They also work  taking out any mid tier animals while providing the species with an expanding basis for procreation, expansion, & colonization. The Grey Widowers have been found on other planes Prime as well. This includes several where they have taken over entirely. 
The Grey Wildowers are fast, aggressive, & horrific. In point of fact the most dangerous predator to a Grey Widower colony is another colony. 
The larger Widower Guardians & queens aggressively cull any smaller animals they come across. This includes any tasty straty humans. 
The larger Widow Guardians are often the source for several hiver widowers. These are smaller Grey Widowers that ride the larger of the species as they hunt to scout new colony sites. 

Widow Guardians are huge man sized or larger predators capable of taking on prey many times their size.
Grey Widow Guardian  
9/18, Move 10m, Armor 6, 2 Claws (melee 1D damage each) or 1 sting (melee; target must throw Physical 6+ or die from poison within 1 turn). Corrsive web (ranged 2d dice damage)  Combat-3, Physical-2, Survival-2. Gigantism, Eggs (eggs hatch within 1 day & the young eat their way out of the host) 

The Grey Widow Queens are a highly adaptive version of the Grey Widows that can often be found scouting for colony sites across the planes. They can create a massive colony of Grey Widowers all on their own. These are large armored behemoths with 1d6 Grey Widowers residing within their chitinous armor. These will attack on their own. 

9/18, Move 10m, Armor 7, 2 Claws (melee 1D damage each) or 1 sting (melee; target must throw Physical 6+ or die from poison within 1 turn). Corrsive web (ranged 2d dice damage)  Combat-3, Physical-3, Survival-2. Gigantism, Eggs (eggs hatch within 1 day & the young eat their way out of the host) 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

OSR Review & Commentary For 'A Myriad of Magic Items' By James Mishler, & Jodi Moran-Mishler

 "A Myriad of Magic Items is a collection of new and unusual magic items designed for use with Labyrinth Lord, but readily useable with any Old School RPG.

A Myriad of Magic Items contains a total of 80 new magic items."

The latest book to come our way has been James Mishler Games A Myriad of Magic Items the latest in a string of very solidly done quality OSR supplements. A Myriad of Magic Items is by the husband & wife team of James Mishler, & Jodi Moran-Mishler for the Labyrinth Lord retroclone.

The OSR twist up is the fact that in 'A Myriad of Magic Items'  each magic item is for a specific D&D style class. This is that we've seen in other old school game supplements before & goes all of the way back to David A. Hargrave's Arduin rpg supplements for original Dungeons & Dragons. Here the Mishler's take A Myriad of Magic Items to its logical conclusion. Each magic item hooks into the character class & its done very well. This idea is also done in many of Castles & Crusades rpg supplements especially  Troll Lord Games Castles & Crusades Mystical Companions for C&C. Where the occult familiar matches the capacity of its master's class's hand & specialty. 

'A Myriad of Magic Items'  takes this idea to its logical conclusion with the lost & elusive treasures lost to their original owners. Now these items wait in treasure chests & other monster haunted ruins across your campaign world. Take  for example the Shifter's cloak a Barbarian themed item ;"SHIFTER’S CLOAK: A shifter’s cloak is an enchanted cloak that enables a barbarian, berserker, or ranger, along with all their equipment, to transform into animal form. While in the animal form the wearer retains their intelligence and personality and possesses their normal Hit Dice and Hit Points, but have the animals’ Armor Class, attacks as a Monster of their Hit Dice (if better than their normal attacks), and attacks using the animal’s natural attack forms. The wearer can change back and forth as often as desired, remaining in the animal form as long as desired. 1 in 6 of these items allows the wearer to speak while in animal form. The types of animals vary widely, depending on the type of animals valued by a barbarian culture, and might include bears, boars, crows, eagles, falcons, foxes, horses, hyenas, lions, otters, panthers, salmon, seals, sharks, snakes, swans, tigers, wolverines, and/or wolves, among others (though a cloak only allows shifting into one type). 1 in 12 of these items is cursed, such that the third time transforming into the animal form, the wearer remains stuck in that form, losing their own personality as per a polymorph other spell, until the application of a remove curse spell. Anyone other than a barbarian, berserker, or ranger who dons a shifter’s cloak is cursed as above." 
The Shifter's Cloak offers all kinds of possible adventures hooks for the enterprising DM especially for one whose got a Sword & Sorcery themed campaign setting in play. This is a sample of the quality that the Mishler's continue to bring to the table.  A Myriad of Magic Items brings this & many other treasures to the table in thirty two pages of OSR goodness. They cover many of the major classes in Labyrinth Lord including: 
Barbarians (and Berserkers)
Many of these treasures found in  'A Myriad of Magic Items'  could be in point fact be used as the central adventure focus & added as a campaign goal. This would work as the treasure being a familial focus for an old school campaign for royalty or as the deciding force behind a crown or adventure goal. Is 
 'A Myriad of Magic Items'  worth the download?! Oh most certainly given the following the flexibility of the treasures presented, the originality of the Mishler's vision, & their application within old school & OSR games. 

You can grab  'A Myriad of Magic Items'  Right Here. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Rock Critters For Cepheus Atom & Those Old School 2d6 Science Fantasy Role Playing Campaigns

 Rock Critters are a scavenger like Kaiju have been seen at the outer edges of the solar system & near the ruins of some of the god forsaken ancient outpost worlds  of the Anunnaki. They have also been found in Inner Earth. These scavengers always appear where there have been the mining works of the Anunnaki. Rock Critters are fast moving, deadly scavengers just as likely to eat a human as the debris left behind by slave races of  the Anunnaki. They have  deadly bile like acid that can eat through most manmade materials easily. 
These deadly little bastard Kaiju rely on camouflage, stealth, & their unnatural biological shells that are made from naturally secreted resign, internally created metal, & the Kauju's weird biological make up. The speculation is that they were biologically created by the Anunnaki to serve the job of organic ore separators.. These fast moving scavengers feed on anything they can stuff into their ore like bladed mouth parts. Rock Critters never appear alone & always work in swarm colonies of 2d6 monsters. These colonies have become a hassle on the post apocalyptic Earth as these monsters have migrated with the coming of the Anunnaki. Big Ass Reptiles are often found in areas with large infestations of Rock Critters where the feeding is good. 

Rock Critters are often found now scavenging off the mine workings of the Mi Go. The alien fungi often exterminate the Rock Critters with extreme prejudice as the monsters have been know to swarm some Mi Go asteroid outposts

Rock Critter
# appearing 2d6
5/10, Move 15m, Armor 6, Claw (melee 2d damage) Bite (melee 3D damage). Combat2. Gigantism. Armor, Acid,