Sunday, October 31, 2021

Pyramid Scheme One Shot Session Report - Halloween Hostile rpg One Shot

 DM Steve's Hostile rpg session tonight went very well except my Ranger PC died rather badly tonight sliding into a vat of acid. We started out out of Pleaties station a rather disputable looking space station orbiting a colony world. Our team consisted of 2 Bert & Ernie Rangers, a Spacer named Roger, a rather attractive rogue named Harley, & two roughnecks named Genie & Doralie. We were contracted to a ship the SS Xi Nang. If we want to revisit the starship at a later time then we've got the option.  For tonight's game we used the  free 1970s 2D6 RETRO RULES for our Cepheus Engine fix for our game. 

 Our party were called in to do a mining survey & stumbled across one of those ubiquitous alien pyramids that have cropped up from time to time in DM Steve's games on an alien planet. We didn't know what were were in for. But the SS Xi Nang dropped us down into the mix with a shuttle trip. The planet was a sorta of low grav Hell scape that looked like it might have been the ass end of Hades. The defining point on the planet was pyramid itself.  My ranger trail blazed in with radio beacons & took soil samples. The planet is rich in rare Earth elements & I went about my business till it came time to check out the pyramid. My ranger Charlie & our rogue Harley went to the pyramid which was huge open air affair. And the second my PC got to the center of the pyramid causeway a huge trap door dropped out from under my PC. A beam  with reverse gravity  dragging him down into the depths right into a vat of acid! 

Concept art was created by Moebius and was scanned from Fantastic Films (Blake Publishing Corp./1979) & used without permission

Harley managed to dodge out of the way just in time! The pyramid was actually a huge power station. This was only the beginning as xenomorphs poured out from the inner workings of the pyramid's lower depths. The other PC's were trying to figure anyway of relaying a message back to  the SS Xi Nang in time. The pyramid was/is quite valuable. Two more PC's died delaying the xenomorphs from reaching the rest of the party who managed to get back to the shuttle & take off! That's right the players turned tale & ran! 

This isn't the first time that we've actually simply turned tale. Everything in the  Hostile rpg is filled to the brim with things, events, etc.  trying to kill you & turning tail  is a viable rpg scheme. And while its not going to nail bonuses for our group the alien pyramid has lots of potential & it will come to bite us in the ass further in the future. Is there anything that could have done to survive?! Survival isn't always the point in a Halloween themed game. Instead it was about having a good time! So mission accomplished on that end! 

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Touches of Chaos & Depravity - Using Adventurer, Conqueror, King Rpg & its Variants For Interstellar OSR Campaigns

Tonight I've been investigating the idea of possibly using 'ACK's & Crafts' written by Matthew Jarmak to help fill out the space sector belonging the ancient Dwarven interstellar empire. These sectors have mostly a late Roman Empire technological level. 

 'ACK's & Crafts'  has the Dwarven Dynamo PC class which uses cybernetic items integrated into their bodies. And this relic technology has some of the legacies of ancient alchemy within it. Dwarven alchemists are in demand within human space because they have a deep understanding of human technology & artifacts from the Human Empire days.  'ACK's & Crafts'  comes up with a whole packet of alchemical items. It also contains the 'ritualist' which is very much a hold over from the ancient days of the corrupted Elves.  And this brings up the adventure within the vast kilo-dungeon as a part of the Secrets of the Nethercity ACK 's supplement. 

Secrets brings up the deadly legacy of the Chaos worshiping Elven empire which comes across as the following PC & NPC classes ,the ancient elven empire to life with the Elven Cultist, Elven Hierophant, Elven Warlord, and Elven Wizard. These are excellent enemy NPC's to add into a remote corner of Capital of the Borderlands (Revised) edition. 

Each time the PCs come across Chaos worshiping Elven remains their always followed by Goblins & variants from Night Owl Worshop's Beasties two. The goblin hybrids are worth the price of admission with 
goblin hybrids such as the  Blorc, Bugbearzerker, Gnomblin, Hoblin, Hoblin (Cruel), Koblin, Zoblin and a whole article on Goblinology or the Ecology of the Goblin.

The Wreck At The Edge Of The Empire - Using Jeremy Reaban's 'Found Folio' 'A Pay What You Want' Monster Folio For OSR Adventure Design

In last night's game the Terran empire seemed to generate the most curiosity among the players especially the way they act as a Swiss bank to the interstellar empire of our former high level paladin. But what are the Terrans fleeing from?! So I went back into our high level paladin's past and grabbed a copy of Jeremy Reaban's 'Found Folio' 'A Pay What You Want' Monster Folio. 

I kept thinking playing last night's game that the Terrans had cloaked reasons & a secret agenda for their flight into our universe. Now during last night's game there were hints that a wreck at the edge of our interstellar empire might hold answers. 
What is known is that the Terran Empire's residents have been victims of the collective of 'the Aboleth confederation'. What does these Lovecraftian horrors know about the Terrans?! They have been feeding on them in our campaigns as a matter of opportunity. 

If dive into Jeremy Reaban's 'Found Folio' 'A Pay What You Want' Monster Folio.  then there are several monsters that can easily be ported over into an interstellar campaign. Gem eyed skeletons, skinstitches, soul silvers, necrocrafts, & many other monsters can easily be used as alien remains & weird left over creatures from alien civilizations. These horrors can easily be ported into ACK's very easily. 

Jeremy Reaban's 'Found Folio' 'A Pay What You Want' Monster Folio is excellent for traditional & non traditional adventures & campaigns. The fact is that dangers unknown are easily to think about within the blackness of space. Undead & horrors are the back bone of encounters & memorable adventures.

Friday, October 29, 2021

The Terran Gambit - ACK's Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu & Colonial Troopers Knight Hawks rpg - Session report

 All is not as it seems with ACK's Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu! I'm speaking of the Terran Empire here who are not at all what they seem to be. Fleets of the Terran empire have ended up around the space of Kanahu & their trapped  there. The party in tonight's game ended up learning that the Terran empire isn't a Human Space Empire remanent. They are from an entirely different space time continuum. Tonight's play session picks up from today's campaign update here. 

During tonight's game the PC's came face to face with a Terran empire psionic & their party aboard a Terran starship. The PC's wanted to bargain with the Terrans for their help against the bug invasion. But things proved awkward as the Terrans  wanted to bargain for their knowledge & the PC's had little to offer. My copy of  Colonial Troopers Knight Hawks by Thomas Denmark  was in full use tonight. 

The Terrans were willing to give the PC's knowledge about the bugs in return for harvesting some power crystals from an alien wreck. All the players had to do was turn over 5 artifacts of the Terran's choice from anything the party finds. 


Mankind has fallen, the planar gates have almost entirely collapsed & several of the must influential humanity based planetary systems have disappeared down the hyperspecial gateways never to be seen again. And there are wrecks out among the stars that hold valuable cargo & the Terrans know it. And their not willing to risk their necks in such circumstances. Not when they have adventurers to do it for them! 
The Dwarven  representative who was visiting the Terrans to secure mineral rights for his people's upcoming season. He  didn't take kindly to the Terrans taking advantage of the party. Horm Blood Ax joined the party & fact checked them about the Terrans. 

A Little Infestation Among Friends - Using Colonial Troopers Night Hawks RPG To Bug Our High Level PC's!

 Recently I've taken over a friend's OSR interstellar campaign while his wife has just had their baby. Congrats to DM Steve & Christine! Another little member of the tribe has come into the world! 

So what happens when a PC gets to be to high of a level in an old school game?! Do they, A. 'kill gods' or B. found a galactic dynasty empire?! If you answered 'B' then your right. And this brings up the question of how do you challenge such a player & his ruler?! The rest of the players form a rag tag band of misfit adventurers who become his court. How does one challenge such a group of players?! Simple you infect em with bugs! The idea here is that the standard D&D style paladin PC reached high levels & went on to find a dynastic interstellar empire. His fellow adventurers became his royal cabinet.  Now  not much has been done with the group of PC's since then. But there were rumbles of what do with em today. And I grabbed my copy of Colonial Troopers Knight Hawks by Thomas Denmark 

I decided to take down the interstellar kingdom in question by infecting it with Knight Hawks rpg style bugs! And yes these are bugs from the conventional Starship Troopers books & film with the serial numbers filed off and that's great. What makes this interstellar kingdom & empire unusual is that its based on the Viking era. And the ice world of Yion is the setting for the first bug pod to show up with a caste of a queen & two warrior bugs. Here's the stats for a warrior bug from Colonial Troopers Knight Hawks; 

'Warrior Bug AC: 1 [19] HD: 8 Atk: bite and 2 claws Dmg: 2d10, and 1d8 each Save: F8 Move: 180’ The warrior bug is a fearsome opponent. Their shells are extremely durable immune to intense heat and cold (taking only half damage from such). They’re so focused on defending the hive that nothing can dissuade or distract them from their mission. They are also incredibly alert gaining +2 to initiative rolls' These guys are pretty damn formidable physically is how focused they are on defending the nescient hive. 
But what's really going to screw with the players is the fact that they're going to have to negotiate for the rest of the Viking fleet from the paladin's brother. While their engaged in conquest the fleet is going to be called back planet side to help deal with some of the fall out from this invasion. Interstellar pirates & galactic barbarianism is the rule & not the exception. And the bug invasion is going to throw the whole affair into chaos! 

There the little matter of the fact that the space Vikings have recently pissed off some of the local remains of the Human Space Empire. So there's going to be a bit of political maneuvering going on coming up between trade & facts. 

And this gets deeply into some of the stuff happening between the Vikings who have been sending out parties of adventurers to find space wrecks & raid them for Human Empire technology. The question is has their prodding awoken something really unholy & dangerous?! I believe that we all know the answer to that! 

Thursday, October 28, 2021

OSR Science Fantasy Domains - OSR rpg Retroclones & the Drums of War

 Going over older campaign notes today & thinking about pulling up older campaign adventure elements. One thing that comes to mind with the supply chain issues hitting Kickstarter & Hasbro. I've been speaking with co DM's about the idea of pulling forward several older campaign elements. And this brings up ACK's Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu & Night Owl Workshop's Warriors of the Red Planet. 

 ACK's Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu & Night Owl Workshop's Warriors of the Red Planet work rather well for conveying the weirdness of OSR Science Fantasy domain play. These OSR systems work well together & handle play quite well. This combination can then tack on supplements like Swords and Super-Science of Xuhlan by Terje Nordin. 

Humanity in this setting is really at a disadvantage as the time of interstellar empire has ended and there are only pockets of mankind. Think of the intergalactic factions in the  Colonial Troopers Rpg but far more spartan in turn of the Human Space Empire. 


Mankind has fallen, the planar gates have almost entirely collapsed & several of the must influential humanity based planetary systems have disappeared down the hyperspecial gateways never to be seen again. This is when planetary systems like Xuhlan have descended into interstellar barbarianism while retaining a galactic influence on the stage of politics. Interstellar pirates & galactic barbarianism is the rule & not the exception. 

OSR Write Up For the Roboskull Mark II For Stars Without Numbers Revised rpg

 From beyond the furthest reaches of the moons of Saturn on a planetlet base comes the Roboskull mark II marking the return of the Red Shadows terrorists! They have languished since the early Eighties out beyond the frozen rings of Saturn! But now the Red Shadows are back marauding colony after colony within the Sol system. 

Roboskull Mark II 

Packaging Art by the Legendary Ian Kennedy

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: 4 Reaper Battery (+4/3d4, Clumsy) on each wing, Eye Mounted  mini plasma beams Plasma Beams (+4/3d6, AP 5), Two chin mounted Laser Turrets (+4/1d4,) Back Skull Mounted Laser (+4 2d4 Clumsy), 5 Mini missiles 2d4 Inside Mouth, Anti Personal Plasma Field +3 2d4 Breath Weapon)  Defenses: None Fittings: Spike Drive-2 Atmospheric Configuration Cost: 305K base price, 30,000 maintenance, 43,800 yearly crew cost for 1 pilot optional navigator 
Cryo Brainwashing Pod System in rear. 

The Robo Skull Mar II is a highly effective surgical strike marauder class ship & acts as a mobile base for the Red Shadow interstellar pirate organization. These units are able to deploy 6 to 8 smaller assassin  skull drones. 

Assassin Skull Drones AC 14, Hit Points 10 - 
 two eye socket mounted laser weapons Laser Pistol 1d6 100/300 
Mouth mounted Plasma Projector 2d8 50/100

Each Robo Skull Mark II is piloted by a 5th level Wolf Trooper Pilot who is psionically linked to the Red Shadows Reaper A.I. back at the Red Shadows head quarters! 

Note that this write up is not meant as a violate of the copyright nor trade mark of Roboskull LLC nor the holders of the Roboskull Mark II trademarks. But this is a homage to the current Roboskull Mark II kickstarter! 

Legacies of Dread - X1 Isle of Dread by David Cook , & Tom Moldvay Campaign Commentary & Update

 When it comes to fall out from one module within my campaigns its got to be X1 Isle of Dread by David Cook , & Tom Moldvay , not only is this a great module for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. But its one of the modules that has the greatest impact by its connections deep into the Sea of Dread. 

Not only do you have deep connotations into a dinosaur filled realm but the opportunities of a lifetime. Because the Isle is on the lip of the Elemental Plane of Water it has a ton of adventure hooks built in. The Vaults of Pandius has Threshold magazine issue # 3 Sea of Dread, This OSR resource contains a ton of materials for bringing the party back to the Isle of Dread. 

The 'Sea of Dread' isn't a normal sea instead its a full on planar sea and this get's into the heart of using X1 for Sword & Sorcery OSR campaigns. The fact that anyone can become a castaway on the Isle of Dread. But why?! Because the isle is an advanced highly advanced science laboratory. Where the Kopru actually an evolutionary off shoot of the Mind Flayers?! They seem to have many of the characteristics?! Possible because the PC's are in the middle of the former Kopru empire itself on the island.  Races such as the as the racoon-like phanaton and the cat-like rakasta give X1 part of its "Lost World/Skull Island laboratory feel'

The Elder Things from H.P. Lovecraft's 'At The Mountains of Madness' made interplanar war on a ton of alien races. But we as humanity don't know the scale of such a war which technically could be on going. The reason that the isle of dread is in the plane of water is because the Elder Things sent it there! The resulting disaster took out the Kopru. Now I've covered this before on this blog in '
Another Mini OSR Campaign Idea Using - X1 Isle of Dread By David Cook & Tom Moldvay & Some Free Old School Appendix N Downloads' 

And its these legacies of dread which lead to planar doors being opened up across the multiverse. And these led to the Rump family of Tegel manor fame discovering this & exploiting it as a part of the slavers organization. This ties into the Scourge of the Slave Lords. How?! Next time we dive into it! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Campaign Session Commentary - Bloody,Bloody Arduin rpg & In Praise of the Deodanths

 We're gonna start temporal adventuring once again & I wanted to take a moment to talk about my running family obsession with the Deodanths from Arduin. 

When it comes to Bloody, Bloody, Arduin there's one race that I've used since I was a kid & that's the Deodanths. The evil, nasty, undead semi Elven race whose origins stretch back into the realms of their dealings with fell powers. Forget Drow, the deodanths make them look like 'rank & file' demi humans at this point in 2021. Now I've covered Bloody,Bloody, Arduin on this blog before. 

One of the best adaptations of the Deodanth race comes from 'The Doberman Defense' blog & yes this is a D20 version of the race but it covers all of the bases. The Deodanths have been a family favorite of ours going back close to forty years now. Mostly because of the fact that so many players insist on using Elves as PC's. So there's a standing dungeon hit squad of Deodanths within my campaigns. 

Far future and in space? No problem the 'death claw' clan has an operative there. The astral?! Yup there's one there as well and they have a running hatred of Githyanki as well. These guys have worked for Mind Flayers or Aboloths as well. Deodanth mercenaries are one of the most heinous & reliable alien races from my campaigns. Its not been a question of if they will show up but when. 
But what makes these guys so fun to use?! The look of utter confusion & anger at the blood claw clan has been so worth it. Especially when the mercenaries began to shadow the player's PC's and take treasures that were theirs. 
Tortured NPC villager? That was the 'Bloody Claw'. The contact poison at the orphanage?! That was the 'Bloody Claw'! 
And the list goes on. 

 Cushous Lightbreaker was a vampusa leader of the Bloody Claw whose behind the scenes throwing 'his' mercenaries at the party from the time shadows of the past.