Wednesday, September 30, 2020

1d10 Random Mystical & Dangerous Damned Underworld Encounters Table For Your Old School Swords & Sorcery campaigns

There are some qualities—some incorporate things,

That have a double life, which thus is made
A type of that twin entity which springs
From matter and light, evinced in solid and shade.
There is a two-fold Silence—sea and shore—
Body and soul. One dwells in lonely places,
Newly with grass o'ergrown; some solemn graces,
Some human memories and tearful lore,
Render him terrorless: his name's "No More."
He is the corporate Silence: dread him not!
No power hath he of evil in himself;
But should some urgent fate (untimely lot!)
Bring thee to meet his shadow (nameless elf,
That haunteth the lone regions where hath trod
No foot of man,) commend thyself to God!"
Silence Edgar Allen Poe 

Between the time when the cock crows & the seconds tick there are gateways of the dead that wash against this reality of ours. The damned come inbetween these slices & cracks in the world & the underworld. The damned crossover to torment & feed on the living. Those things that should not be & are not dead come to call. Adventurers run across the damned & pay with these encounters with their very souls & existence. 

Purgatory by Venezuelan painter Cristóbal Rojas (1890)

The damned cross over during the time when the clock chimes to the hour of the dead & in dungeons dread. Down among the dead men isn't an understatement. These things that creep into our reality as trespassers among the living hunger for the flesh, souls, & existence of those who haunt the dark in search of treasures dire & deep. 

1d10 Random Mystical &
Dangerous Damned  Underworld
 Encounters Table 
  1. Three sheet phantoms tied to the shroud of a shambling king who stumbles over the chains of his own existence. They will attack any living they encounter during their hunting time on Earth. They have collected three hundred gold coins that decorate the chains of their master. These phantoms will feast on the souls of any living they can kill passing the energies on to their 'master' bound in the chains of misery. 
  2. A bloody & bloated wraith dressed in the tatters of his former existence. The body bloody with th tortures done by demons most foul. He has over his body the written names of thirty three demons of the Abyss who have used him for writing & torture practice. He has a valuable ring of jet worth 100 gold pieces on. But he gapes at anyone as he hungers for the flesh & souls of the living. 
  3. A trio of grinning shadows that are woven together in darkness. The trio hungers for the flesh & existence of the livng. They have and are tied to a golden bell. The bell is worth 200 gold pieces & rings each time a living person wanders near them. 
  4. This is the resting place of a harpy with the face of prominent politician or king. The harpy makes very snide comments or sings beautifully to lure fools closer. She will attack at the drop of a hat at the mention of her beautiful wings. This sends her in foul mood. She hungers to be a real woman but it not like to happen. Her violent urges make her target the living and thier flesh. 
  5. A strange little dwarf like man is actually the living embody of hate that has been mentioned in the darker passages of the Necronomicon. The dwarf is actually a dark fey that hungers for the souls of young foolish adventurers. He counts as a wandering & evil minor devil thing. 
  6. A strange shape shifting hog is actually the devil incarnate. Actually he's the damn soul of a glutton that lusts for the food that the living. This nameless thing counts as a devil swine for its agenda, magick & dangerous attitude.
  7. A strange almagam of living tissue & flesh rolls as it goes about its business.Anyone getting in this thing's way will be consumed. There are several pieces of gold within it. The things has its own agenda & treasure worth 500 gold pieces stashed near by. 
  8. The damned don't rest & this monster of undead & hash smoke has targeted the player's PC's. The this thing has made many advances towards the living and wants to eat the faces off anyone it can. 
  9. The left over evil of a thousand souls congelled into a proto plasmic goo that seeks to eat anyone it can. It hates & wants to feed off othe living. It constantly changes shape  reveling in the thing's nervous enegy.. 
  10. There are thirteen skeletons glowing with the fires of the undead that seek to consume the living. These things work as a unit that wishes to take down anyone it can! They have a trunk hidden near an oak tree containing 300 gold coins 

The Cut of a Certain Blade -Cha'alt & Breaking The House Campaign Plus OD&D's Eldritch Wizardry Session Report Now With More Cha'alt


Talking about original Dungeons & Dragons with some friends in the off hours last night & that brings up one of the divine hazards that's been running around in the background of my  Godbound/Cha'alt campaign set in Las Vegas. There was a series of murders of Godbound PC's in our early games. Now a player from another game has approached me about doing something with one of his older Godbounds. The Sword of Kas has been weaving a path of destruction going back to October 9, 2019. The sword recently possessed a soldier around one of the battle fields of the gods. Kas has been very careful & malevolent cutting a path of destruction through the back alleys & deserts of Los Vegas. But going back to OD&D 's Eldritch Wizardry  its always been evil as the Abyss;
"The Sword of Kas - Another item connected with the legend of the lich Vecna is the Sword of Kas, his onetime bodyguard. This sword is said to have a thin, grey blade of some metallic substance. Its powers are only dimly hinted at by legend, but Kas was said to be the mightiest swordsman of his age. The Sword has +3 bonus, +5 vs. undead, demons and godlings, and an Intelligence of 18 and ego of 18. It also has one extraordinary power that is normally available to swords. It is evil, and if possible, it will control any fighter who picks it up and turn him evil. Additionally, it has One power from TABLE I, two from TABLE II, and one from TABLE IV and one from TABLE V. This sword will, of course, attempt to dominate its owner."

Now its gone & done something truely evil. Last weekend I got together with my Los Vegas group of players. The  Godbound paladin 's player Rick wanted to get in on the tracking down the Sword of Kos & its host. In fact this was his all consuming reason for being in Vegas. The rest of the party warned him against going after the sword by himself. 
It didn't take him long to track down the sword's host & it all went South with a series of bad rolls & a very bad misplaced '1'. The Sword drown his character in a park fountain amid the ruins of the war of the gods that took place in Vegas. So why is this evil? Rick's PC along with his party was summoned from The Wilderlands of High Fantasy world setting. The PC's were heroes who came to this Earth to help oppose the Cha'alt invasion after the wave of dark magick took out every last piece of technology. The Earth was plunged into a nineteeth century level of technology. Dungeons & Dragons fantasy races walk the Earth & the godbound are supposed to be helping those around them. Instead they've been fighting & warring among themselves. 
Now Hel has claimed the body soul of the paladin because he had drowned. The sword mocked the rest of the party & vanished from sight leaving the party without a paladin.The US army moved in with Cha'alt mecha & friendy Godbound wizards to drive back the goddess of the unquiet dead. 

"Hermod before Hela" (1909) by John Charles Dollman.

And what about the paladin's god of justice from the Wilderlands?! Well he's got his own hands full in another campaign. So he's hired a possible PC. A half Elven nara'd do godbound who might possibly slip between the cracks of reality to free the soul of the paladin from Hel's grip. Terrence has had dealings with gods before & this isn't his first go around with the forces of Cha'alt. But things have changed up recently. 
Eighteen months have passed & there's lots of new players on the Earth scene from Cha'alt. The alien Mega-corporation, Elysium has increasingly grown desparate as the collapsing ecological system of Cha'alt has invaded Earth in this campaign. Venger has taken it upon himself to pull in more & more Crimson Dragon Slayer Rpg resources into Cha'alt. 

Robert's character Terrence has been tracking the raw supplies & intel on the alien Mega-corporation, Elysium. He's been doing a one man guriella war against the mega corp in hopes of stalling some of the fallout to the Earth. Things have not been good. But now he's gotten wind of Kos being on the move again but can even he stand up to the black blade of Kos? 

Welcome to Vegas baby! Enjoy your stay! 

Vegas Sign artwork by Anasofiapaixao

Random OSR Thoughts & Commentary On The Monster Manual II By Gary Gygax


"the most complete alphabetical listing and description of the latest AD&D™ game creatures" A must for the serious AD&D™ game player. This manual contains all the new members, from Abishai to Zygom, including new creatures like the Deadly PuddingDevas, and Valley Elves. And you'll also have the advantage of the extended lists of lycanthropesgiants, and other beasts."

There are times when something drops outt of the memory bin & hits you square between the eyes. In this case its Gary Gygax's Monster Manual II. The reason is the inclusion of many of the iconic monsters & classic Gygax descriptions. But what draws one back to the classics?! 
The wiki entry on the Monster Manual II has some clues; "Monster Manual II was a 160-page hardcover book published in 1983, credited solely to Gary Gygax, which featured cover art by Jeff Easley.[1] The book was a supplement describing over 250 monsters, most with illustrations. Many of the monsters were drawn from scenario modules,[1] in particular from S4: Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth.[citation needed] The book included random encounter tables for dungeon and wilderness settings built from the Monster ManualFiend Folio, and Monster Manual II,[1] and a dozen new devils that had been first published in the pages of Dragon magazine." 

Its the inclusion of the classic Dragon magazine monsters that does it for me along with S4: Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth. Why?! Because of the very iconic nature of the Tourament module. The Monster Manual II enables the DM to continue the action of the module by expanding the wilderness of danger & horror beyond the dungeon itself. There tons of hooks that can be included into the mix with the weirdness of the Monster Manual II. 

But what's actually in the Monster Manual II?! The following creatures are listed according to the Forgotten Realms Monster Manual II wiki entry; "Abishai • Aboleth • Afanc • Agathion • Alu-demon • Ankisaurus • Annis • Ant lion • Arcanadaemon • Ascomoid • Aspis • Astral deva • Atomie • Aurumvorax • Azer • Babau • Baku • Banderlog • Barghest • Barkburr • Bar-lgura • Basidirond • Basilisk, greater • Bat • Bat, fire • Bear, northern • Bee, giant • Behemoth • Behir • Bloodthorn • Boalisk • Bodak • Boggart • Boggle • Boobrie • Bookworm • Bowler • Brown pudding • Buckawn • Bumblebee • Cambion • Camptosaurus • Cat • Catfish, giant • Cave cricket • Cave fisher • Cave moray • Chaggrin • Charonadaemon • Chasme • Cheetah • Choke creeper • Cloaker • Cloud dragon • Compsognathus • Constrictor snake • Cooshee • Crane, giant • Crysmal • Crystal ooze • Cyclopskin • Dacentrurus • Dao • Death, crimson • Death watch beetle • Decaton • Deinonychus • Demilich • Derghodaemon • Derro • Diakk • Dilophosaurus • Dimetrodon • Dracolisk • Dragonfly, giant • Dragon horse • Dragonnel • Drelb • Dretch • Drider • Duergar • Dun pudding • Duodrone • Dustdigger • Eagle • Eblis • Eel, electric • Elfin cat • Euparkeria • Executioner's hood • Faerie dragon • Falcon • Farastu • Firbolg • Firefriend • Fly, giant • Fomorian giant • Foo dog • Foo lion • Forester's bane • Formian • Foxwoman • Froghemoth • Galeb duhr • Giant black squirrel • Giant pedipalp • Giant raven • Giant vulture • Gibbering mouther • Gloomwing • Goat • Gorgimera • Greenhag • Grig • Grim • Grippli • Grugach • Hangman tree • Harginn • Haunt • Hexton • Hollyphant • Hordling • Huge centipede • Huge pedipalp • Huge raven • Huge scorpion • Hybsil • Hydrodaemon • Ice para-elemental • Ildriss • Jann • Jelly, mustard • Kampfult • Kech • Kelubar • Kentrosaurus • Korred • Kraken • Lammasu, greater • Lamprey, land • Large pedipalp • Large scorpion • Lightning quasi-elemental • Luck eater • Magman • Magma para-elemental • Mammechisaurus • Mandragora • Mantis, giant • Mantrap • Margoyle • Marid • Massopondylus • Mastiff, shadow • Megalo-centipede • Mihstu • Miner • Minimal • Mist dragon • Mobat • Mold, russet • Monadic deva • Mongrelman • Monodrone • Moon dog • Movanic deva • Muckdweller • Mud-man • Myconid • Nabassu • Narwhale • Nereid • Nonaton • Nothosaurus • Nupperibo • Obliviax • Octon • Ogre, aquatic • Oinodaemon • Oliphant • Ooze para-elemental • Ophidian • Opinicus • Ornitholestes • Otter • Owl • Pech • Pentadrone • Phantom • Phoenix • Phororhacos • Phycomid • Piscodaemon • Planetar • Podokesaurus • Poisonous snake • Pseudo-undead • Pterosaur, giant • Pyrolisk • Quadrone • Quarton • Quickling • Quickwood • Quinton • Ram • Rat • Raven • Retch plant • Rock reptile • Rutterkin • Sandling • Scum creeper • Seawolf (greater) • Seawolf (lesser) • Secundus • Selkie • Septon • Shade • Shadow dragon • Shator • Shedu, greater • Sirine • Skeleton, animal • Skunk • Slicer beetle • Slime creature • Slime, olive • Smoke para-elemental • Solar • Solifugid • Spectator • Spider, giant marine • Spined devil • Spriggan • Squealer • Squirrel • Squirrel, carnivorous flying • Stegocentipede • Stench kow • Stone guardian • Storoper • Struthiomimus • Sundew, giant • Swan • Swanmay • Swordfish • Taer • Tanystropheus • Tarrasque • Tasloi • Tenebrous worm • Tennodontosaurus • Termite, giant harvester • Tertian • Thessalhydra • Thri-kreen • Thunderbeast • Thunderherder • Time elemental • Transposer • Tridrone • Tri-flower frond • Troll, marine • Tunnel worm • Twilight bloom • Ultrodaemon • Urchin, land • Ustilagor • Vagabond • Valley elf • Vapor rat • Vargouille • Varrdig • Vegepygmy • Verbeeg • Verme • Vilstrak • Vulchling • Vulture • Weasel • Webbird • Wemic • Wereshark • White pudding • Willow, black • Wolf-in-sheep's-clothing • Wolfwere • Xag-ya • Xeg-yi • Xaren • Yagnodaemon • Yeth hound • Yochlol • Yuan ti • Zombie, juju • Zombie, monster • Zorbo • Zygom"

This gives an over arching overview of the direction that Advanced Dungeons & Dragons would take in the coming years. The ideas, thoughts, & weirdness of the Monster Manual II is a credit to Gygax's vision. He was ousted from TSR later after the Monster Manual II came out but we get a clear vision of his tone & masterful use of the Monster Manual II. The Amazon reviewer C.Jackson notes in the MMII review; 
"There are a good number of critters within, however, that you might only be tempted to use if you were attempting a very authentic early 80s AD&D experience, or if you are heavily invested in the complexities of early D&D demonology. As with the Fiend Folio (and the Basic Creature Catalog) there are a decent number of "gotcha!" monsters with unusual or surprising qualities that would likely only be entertaining once."
And while this is true it should be noted that the monster ecology found within the MMII is used & referenced extensively not only in Greyhawk but also the Forgotten Realms. The Fiend Folio would also have this same distinctision in early Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. 
My own love for the Monster Manual II is over shadowed by my love for the Fiend Folio. The relation ship between the two books is tenious at best & 
adversarial at worst but that's a blog entry for another time. 

1d20 Random Effects of The Blessings of the Meditrinalia & The Time Of Jupiter Table For Your Old School Sword & Sorcery Games


The time Of The Meditrinalia is celebrated with the power of &  honor of the new vintage, which was offered as libations to the gods for the first time each year.The festival may have been so called from medendo, because the Romans then began to drink new wine, which they mixed with old and which served them instead of physic. This feastival was strongly connected with Jupiter. And it also connected with the goddess Meditrina. She is the Roman goddess of health, longevity and wine, with an etymological meaning of "healer" suggested by some. In certain occult circles she is strongly associated with the goddess Isis. 

Healing rites & rituals performed during the time Of The Meditrinalia have added benefits to those under the menstruation's of the priestesses.  They are blessed by Jupiter & may receive the added effects of the mixed wines. These wines are often consumed by those who are under going the affects of a cure light or heavy wounds spells to gain the added benefits & blessings of both Meditrina & Jupiter. 

1d20 Random Effects of The Blessings of the Meditrinalia
& The Time Of Jupiter  Table

  1. The supplicant receives the wine & through it gains +2 to their constitution for the rest of the year. 
  2. By the wine several battle scars heal & restore 1d4 points of Charisma or the supplicant gains it. 
  3. The recipitant receives 1d3 addition languages dripped into their mind by Jupiter himself. 
  4. Several minor Roman animal sacred to Jupiter begin to appear to the supplicant. 
  5. Several eagles fly over head to warn the adventurer during crucial times for 1d6 months. 
  6. The recipient is blessed by several large cats that will follow the victim around to guide them to clues & stashes of knowledge. 
  7. A grand insight happens to the PC & they begin to think very carefully about their lives & they gain a +1 to begin to invest upon any actions to do with establishing their own house hold. 
  8. The PC receives a bottle of extremely good wine worth 2000 gold pieces. 
  9. There is a special offering of 120  gold pieces for the PC. A gift from Jupiter about his favor. 
  10. The PC is given a healing potion to use as they see fit. 
  11. An effigy of the supplicant is given to them & for 1d8 months everything will happen to doll instead of themselves. 
  12. There is a sacred pig to Jupiter that is given to the PC for sacrifice. If the deed is performed the PC gains +2 to any rolls. 
  13. A small knife is given to the PC that is used for blood sacrifices, they gain +2 to do any rolls for 1d4 hours. 
  14. The supplicant gains +3 to their hit points should they need to  heal extra 
  15. A guardian spirit of Jupiter watches over the supplicant for 1d6 days. 
  16. 1d6 motley fools appear to harass the enemies of the PC providing the enemies appear 
  17. Any poison within the PC is neutralized & they gain their hit points back. 
  18. The PC finds 100 gold pieces in their pockets & this is the perfect time to get in on the latest from Jupiter's charities! 
  19. A lighting strike on a near by body of water turns the water into a healing potion mix for anyone who drinks from it. 
  20. The PC gains on his or her saving throws a +3 involving sorcery or witchcraft.