Sunday, June 30, 2024

OSR Review & Commentary On Oh My Lost Darklords By Kabuki Kaiser For Old School Essentials & B/X D&D style OSR Game Systems

 "This is the 1980s, not Hellfire Club, but close enough. C. plays Sadric, his avenger modelled after Elric, the one who wields Blackrazor since we went under a certain white-crested mountain and Y. plays his unstoppable Duellist. I am going with Kurtys Flameblade, my Fighter/Assassin, long before That Time He Was Reincarnated as an Ogre Mage.

A Collection of Thirteen Infamous Classes

for Amoral, Chaotic, and Evil Player Characters"

What is Oh My Lost Darklords? According to the deep introduction into the book; "This manual is a collection of longgone infamous character classes meant for chaotic campaigns where the player characters feature as anti-heroes and even villains rather than guardians. Out of the thirteen classes presented here, a grand total of five allow for neutral characters, and none of them for Lawful ones bar rare exceptions allowed at the referee’s discretion"  And it plugs into the classic versions of B/X versions of the world's most popular fantasy game.  Oh My Lost Darklords  highlights the evil optional PC's. 'Oh My Lost Darklords' plugs right into the original OSE rpg & OSE Advanced  rpg system. 
We get new player characters such as the Avenger, Cultist,Bandit,Bounty Hunter, Dark Mage, Death Knight, Demonist, Witch, Houri, Jester, Red Wizard,  Duelist, & Dark Creeper!  And   Oh My Lost Darklords  is well laid out, solid artwork throughout and brings the hotness for B/X. 
B/X gets the perfect upgrade in the form of  'Oh My Lost Darklords' & hits on several levels. We get variations on the familar PC's and hits the optional villain NPC classes button.  Veteran readers of old Dragon magazine issues will recognize these PC classes but they've been updated for OSE essentially. 
These classes also give the players options for a wide range of PC options at the table top levels.   Oh My Lost Darklords works as a fantastic supplement for OSE. It breaks down these classes & is a solid ulitity piece for B/X! 

Saturday, June 29, 2024

OSR Campaign Commentary - Night Owl Workshop's Gunslinger rpg.

 "Saddle up, partner, and prepare to embark on an unbridled journey through a science-fantasy adventure, inspired by the yarns of classic western lore and the pulp fiction sagas of the early 20th-century. Gunslinger, the thrilling roleplaying game, is here to send you on a white-knuckle escapade, galloping through the untamed frontiers of the Arizona territory in the era of the Wild West."

One of my all time favorite OSR games to come out that doesn't get nearly enough press Night Owl Workshop's Gunslinger rpg. The game was originally put out with a major kickstarter and 20.00 dollar rpg pdf on Drivethrurpg. Well Gunslinger has had a major update with lots of B/W artwork and it's been well worth the wait! 
Night Owl Workshop's Gunslinger rpg is a complete game unto itself and it's perfect for weird Wild West OSR action. This includes adventure construction, campaign encounters, major battles, and more. And because it's wholly compatible with other Night Owl Workshop games & other  OSR games this makes a campaign easy to construct. Just add in players. 
Clocking in at 128 pages long Gunslinger is as much tool kit as role playing game complete with campaign city and Old West campaign world. The supernatural and weird science aspect is baked in heavily while the new artwork is solidly done! 
PC's in Gunslinger are going to have a ton to do! There's adventure aplenty in the Old West and add to that the layers of weird science and it's match made in Hellstone!

Gunslinger certainly seems to be worth the ticket price for the ride. And it's really well done and full on Old Wild West action with an unhealthy dash of Weird Science & Supernatural weirdness about the OSR rpg. 

Everything In World War Two & Your Mother - The Free Marvel Super Heroes rpg Netbook Adventure 'In The Shadows of Evil' Compiled, Written and Designed by Christopher P. Tyne

 Ages ago back in 2020 we dealt with a World War II campaign using Marvel Super Heroes rpg on this blog here. Our heroes were in New York City doing a warbond tour for the war effort & ran directly into Baron Blood!  He was on a mission to assassinate a German scientist who had defected to the Allies! 

Baron Blood by John Byrne used without permission. 

The Baron was also  leading a group of Nazi vampires on a sabotage mission! We handled the situation with our first game in a long while! Fortunately we had the help of Batman & Robin to mop up the vampires!  This series of adventures served as prelude to the 
Marvel Super Heroes rpg Netbook Adventure  'In The Shadows of Evil' Compiled, Written and Designed by Christopher P. Tyne. 

We had to report into the Invaders and Captain America about Blood and co. The whole mission had a very WWII prelude mission feel about it. As the Invaders were in town under the warbonds telethon feel. Meeting us was Adam's PC's Doctor Henry Jones 

Doctor Jones was there to escort us to the Middle East & a meeting with another group of capes. And then another clandestine meeting with a general about some artifacts. Jones had the details but wasn't saying a word because this mission was way above our paygrade. Note that this isn't the first time I've run  'In The Shadows of Evil' Compiled, Written and Designed by Christopher P. Tyne. But playing the adventure is a whole other ball game. 
This is a really dangerous adventure! 

Friday, June 28, 2024

OSR Campaign Commentary - Clark Ashton Smith's Hyperborea, The Weird of Avoosl Wuthoqquan, The (1932), & The Hyperborea rpg

 "Give, give, O magnanimous and liberal lord of the poor," cried the beggar.

Avoosl Wuthoqquan, the richest and most avaricious money-lender in all Commoriom, and, by that token, in the whole of Hyperborea, was startled from his train of reverie by the sharp, eerie, cicada-like voice. He eyed the supplicant with acidulous disfavor. His meditations, as he walked homeward that evening, had been splendidly replete with the shining of costly metals, with coins and ingots and gold-work and argentry, and the flaming or sparkling of many-tinted gems in rills, rivers and cascades, all flowing toward the coffers of Avoosl Wuthoqquan. Now the vision had flown; and this untimely and obstreporous voice was imploring for alms.

"I have nothing for you." His tones were like the grating of a shut clasp.

"Only two pazoors, O generous one, and I will prophesy."

  • Weird of Avoosl Wuthoqquan, The (1932) By Clark Aston Smith 

  •  Today on the blog I wanted to revisit Clark Aston Smith's Hyperborean cycle. Which we covered back in May 27,23 on this blog. And one of Clark's best tales Weird of Avoosl Wuthoqquan, The (1932) & how it could relate to the Hyperborea rpg. The implication in the tale is that the doomed money lender is very much a part of the cycle of destruction of Hyperborea that the rest of the tale's cycle covers. We get a guided tour of the hot volcanic & humid jungles of Hyperborea. And the implication is that fool's doom is sealed outside of the borders of Commorium. 
    Hyperborea is the seat of far older species then humans and this of course is the realm of the Great Old One Tsathoggua. Because this is exactly the sort of entity that Avoosl Wuthoqquanruns into and meets his doom with. 
    And it begs the question, did the Hyperboreans who settled within the borders of Hyperborea during the 
    Miocene times on purpose? Simply take over a rich & fertile  area that had been the home of elder entities that was now at the end of it's cycle? Or did the gods plan Hyperborea as a part of a grander cosmic cycle?And where does this leave adventurers if the Hyperboreans fled thier old world of Hyperborea?
    Is the gateway of Sarnath actually a gate back to the frozen waste lands of Hyperborea now guarded by demons of  the Great Old One Tsathoggua & far worse entities? The frozen wastes could hold incredible riches that are claimed by the frozen monsters and horrors that hold them. 
    And this is the realm of the White Worm and it's pethora of horrors. These places could hold occult secrets and spells from the heyday of Hyperborea. This is a place rife with adventure possibilities. 

  • The Hyperborean wastland corrisponds to the ancient map of Hyperborea. Where ancient cities's ruins lay waiting for fools to venture in. 
    And then there's the fact that the gods or demons will seek back thier former offerings as our Avoosl Wuthoqquanruns found out. 
    The lure of adventure however along with the riches could prove far to much of a temptation. 
    And there there is the possibility of time travel with the spice of magic where the adventurers travel back in time to the heyday of Hyperborea. This could also prove diasterous as the doom of Hyperborea will not be denied. So thier own doom may come sooner then later. So the 
     Weird of Avoosl Wuthoqquan, The (1932) could act as a primer in the doom of those adventurers who seek the shores of Hyperborea. 

Thursday, June 27, 2024

OSR Commentary On TWO BRAND NEW FIRST EDITION modules Maximum Mayhem Dungeons #10: Fantastic Quest of the Whimsical One and Maximum Mayhem Dungeons #11: Lost Tomb of the Mummy Lich

 Congratulations on my buddy Mark Taormino for snagging  legendary AD&D artist Erol Otus for his latest kickstarter TWO BRAND NEW FIRST EDITION modules Maximum Mayhem Dungeons #10: Fantastic Quest of the Whimsical One and Maximum Mayhem Dungeons #11: Lost Tomb of the Mummy Lich! 
Maximum Mayhem Dungeons #10: Fantastic Quest of the Whimsical One is for PC's levels 3-6 which means that it's going to be both challenging and deadly; "
Deep inside a hidden mountain exists a peaceful, magical world of underground caverns filled with colorful oozing slimes, living plants, and a vast array of enchanted creatures. This subterranean paradise was recently corrupted by a mysterious evil creature named Discordia, who appeared from a crack in the depths of the realm, turning the land and its inhabitants into horrible abominations. One lone survivor, an eccentric outcast wyrm named Huffenpuff, managed to escape to the upper level. In a chance encounter with your stalwart group, he explained that his world needs your help. You must retrieve three powerful artifacts; and, if successful, he will gain the courage and power needed to aid you in the final battle against the wicked one. Together, you and this unlikely hero will restore peace and save his mysterious land by undertaking the Fantastic Quest of the Whimsical One!"

It sounds like t
he first edition Fantastic Quest of the Whimsical One module would be perfect for a fairy tail style Castles & Crusades or AD&D first edition campaign with a Fey bent to it. The whimsy and horror of it oozes from the pours of the module. Personally I'd place this module deep within the confines of a Castles & Crusades Greyhawk. It has the feel of an adventure that James Ward or Gary Gygax would do. 
Yes Virgina there is a log floom  ride in MMD#10 a
rt by Jacob Blackmon

The second module Maximum Mayhem Dungeons #11: Lost Tomb of the Mummy Lich has my interest. This module has a bit of everything of the classic Dark Wizard modules and that's deep adventure plot, diobolical tricks & traps, and deadly dungeons. All of this is reflected in the  Lost Tomb of the Mummy Lich's adventure plot; "A recent earthquake has unearthed the hidden tomb of the long-forgotten Pharaoh Ankhen-Hotep. Deep inside the ruins, a dark cult has taken over the site, worshipping the mummy. With his new followers, the lich has awakened from sleep and is now raising an undead army to march on the living, seeking to use his evil magic to dominate the region. A fearless band of heroes is needed to infiltrate the dungeon, navigate the deadly traps and monsters, thwart the cult's wicked plans, and destroy the undead Pharaoh before his dark reign begins anew. Fortune and glory await the brave souls who can survive and escape from the Lost Tomb of the Mummy Lich!"

 The  Lost Tomb of the Mummy Lich's adventure has a bit of everything for the DM on the move. You've got an uncovered dungeon, an underground cult, powerful monsters, and a baked in NPC vile villain. MM#11 is perfect adventure to add into the world of the Hyperborea rpg. Take  the  Lost Tomb of the Mummy Lich & add it into the Dimond Desert. The Diamond Desert is perfect as a blank slate for the DM to add in the Tomb of the Lich King as both history and kingdom. Add in the cult and things get very 'Sword of Conan' like very quickly. 
The Lich king had a giant kingdom in the ancient history of Hyperborea. This means that the Tomb of the Lich King can act as a touch stone for both this dungeon and other massive mega dungeon locations. At the center of it is the lich king himself who could act as a massive NPC villain just waiting to burst into the lives the PC's! 
You can support  
Mark Taormino's Kickstarter right here. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Clone Hunting and Android Genocide - With Zozer Games Hostile & Zaibatsu rpg's

 Zaibatsu Rpg is one of my go to urban 2d6 games to cover city encounters & night missions. This game covers urban sprawl quite nicely. And I've been working on a crack clone & replicant hunting group of NPC's called the Devil's Forsaken. A veteran gang turned clone & bounty hunters who may or may not be what they seem. 

Who gives a crap right?! Well, I do after reading through the HOSTILE Situation Report 012 - The Mine. Which is exactly the sort of an outworld mission that such clone hunters were designed for; "The wealthy owner of Thalon corporation is desperate to find his missing daughter, Miri. He calls you in for help; a Thalon rep on the mining colony of Telluride thinks he spotted a clone worker that closely resembles Miri. What's going on? Get out there incognito - and find out...

But there are forces on Telluride who will stop at nothing to prevent the investigators finding out the truth. Be careful who you trust. "

I'm going to introduce these guys in Tokyo as android and clone hunters using the Zaibatsu rules & weaponry.  The Devil's Forsaken are going to be antagonists and a major pain in my player's PC's behinds. There were hints going back to a mission that the players completed with Zozer Games Earth book. 
Earth has a problem with the fact that Hostile relies on android & clone workers to act as special biological combat & super soldiers. And it depends on the craziness of the hunters to go after the biggest game. 
Seldom talked about is the type of biological arms race that would result as soon as bioroid and clones came into being. 
We get the barest hint of this in the original Bladerunner film. The Nexus Six replicants are only the latest batch of combat androids. 
We know that the Bladerunners are those who hunt down such androids. What of the independant contractors and mercenaries. And this is where I loop around to Zaibatsu because only ex gansters and gangers are going to be crazy enough to go after the money that corporate is paying to go after androids, clones, and replicants. 
Here's a thought though. What if the corporations are forstering the type of an atmosphere where clone bounty hunting is legal. Why? To product test thier latest combat androids and replicants.
Of course in the world of Hostile and Zaibatsu this is all merely street & corporate conspiracy theory even though there are those in the know who have proved it!  

Monday, June 24, 2024

Ecology Of The Bloody Arduin's Kill Kitten For Your Old School Campaigns

 "Sire, Master Lane is here from the university's Monsters & Curiosities department again" 
" Your excellence we need to speak about the recent incursion of the invasive species known as the Kill Kittens" 
"Are you serious?!"
"These creatures are legend and myth!" 
"No sire the Kill Kittens are not a legend or a myth but a deadly reality"

Portrait of a gang of kill kittens sizing up it's prey. 

Kill Kittens are some of the most dark & dangerous species of mimic animals that has made it's way from Arduin's dimensional shores. The kill kittens are an ancient form of biological weapons system that has reproduced thousands of times over. The originators of this species of vicious mimic animal are lost to history. 
The kill kitten has two very advanced tactics in it's arsenal of tricks & traps behaviors. The animal is a dedicated pack hunter who prays on human sized prey with advanced nerotoxin cocktails as a part of the glands that surround it's fangs & claws. Secondly, the 'kill kittens' are fantastic mimics who imitate normal cats and kittens hijinks and behaviors. 
These monsters are incredibly cunning and resourceful hunters with common packs of five to sixteen easily taking down a full grown human male in less then 2 minutes. The neurotoxin cocktail is designed to cause insanity and beserk rages as the prey experiences extreme pain as the poison ravages thier nervous system. The prey is driven into a beserk rage for 1d4 days making the prey vulnerable to further attack. 
("Kill Kittens" art by Greg Espinoza used without permission. 

The rumor is that kill kittens were designed by the Elves during the Human/Elven wars thousands of years ago. These creatures bare the hallmarks of occult and magical tampering on a biological level. The Elven nations  deny any such wrong doing but there are the hallmarks of Elven biological chimeral weaponization techiques. These characteristics include the incredibly cute mimic behavior that marks these incredibly dangerous pack hunters. 
Other hallmarks includes the line of sight teleportation that these monsters use to pounce on thier prey seemingly from nowhere. This magically fueled hunting trick is especially good for taking nice juicy hobbits a favorite of the little monsters. These monsters have been found as far away as Barsoom however. 

The nature of kill kittens is completely artificial with thier poison glands in thier mouth and claws able to pump neotoxins deeply into prey after taking it down. This ensures the death of the prey. The kill kittens also have a highly advanced cunning minds akin to lions or tigers. Packs of kill kittens use advanced scouts as decoys which often mimic acting hurt or injured behaviors to attract kind hearted fools who become prey for the entire pack. The kill can feed a pack for almost a month making thier murderous behavior hard to detect. 
The claws of a kill kitten are almost iron hard made of a hollow chiten that regrows over time with use as they shed the outer sheath. The muscle structure of a kill kitten is more akin to a lion or dire cat species. They have bite force ten times that of a lion relative to thier size. 
The kill kitten is sentient but not intelligent in the usual sense. Thier minds are cruel and centered on hunting, torture, reproduction, and expansion of the species. These creatures are unnatural hunters with minds twisted to evil and cruelty. Again there is the fact that many consider that these tendencies are because of an artificial biological weapon origin. 
The kill kitten has come to be regarded as a monster of legend but this has allowed the monsters to expand dimensional beyond the shores of Arduin. And over the last  two hundred years thier numbers have increased to become a menace of horror & violence. 

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Wolf in The Fold - Wretched Darkness Session Report With 'The Pundit Files Invisible College: the 1930's Campaign'.

 My crew & I have travelled back in time to the Thirties after investigating  the Acolytes of Pain cult who were opening doors into the past using an occult ritual!  You can read about that last session of Wretched weirdness here. This week's session picks right up with the last off. 
The PC's are now in the desert foot hills of Cailifornia being given new covers and lives by two very young members of the Invisible College. The year is 1934 and things are about to get very interesting for a small town in California. 

The PC's are down two comrades and have been spent part of the morning digging graves and planning thier next move. The graves are for two of thier own who were hit by stray gun fire last session after the occult ritual went off. 
Thier next move is a small rural cemetary outside of the Hollywood stunt  ranch where thier staying. The cemetary houses the remians of one of thier own. Arthur Rowen was a World War I soldier who was killed during the closing days of World War I by the Germans. Arthur is also a werewolf which means that he's one of the damned whose soul will never know rest. 6 shovels and two pick axes later we're heading to the small out of the way Great Rest cemetary. 
We find the crypt just as we left it in 1914. 

We slowly dig the hard packed red clay from the secret door and then put the key in. The tomb is just as we left it. With the sarcophagus's lid wrapped in silver chains and a very sturdy lock. The next key goes in the chain as well as lock tumble to the floor and the sarcophagus's heavy stone lid cast aside. Within rests the body of Arthur wrapped in a pile of wolf's bane. 
We quickly get ready with a set of manicles as the moon hits Arthur returning him to life! The beast is loose but we quickly subdue it with the silvered manicles. It's going to take days for the lunacy to work itself from Arthur's mind. We quickly get the beast to the truck & replace everything back the way it was. 
And we catch sight of a group of wispy ghosts like figures following Arthur back to the truck. The ghosts of Arthur's past victims have arisen to follow him from the Grey Limbo of the Beyond! We drive quickly back to the L-O Ranch and our shaman prepares to go into battle with these ghosts. They have no intention of letting Arthur roam the Earth to add to thier count. 
We are in desparate need of supernatural muscle however and our shaman Paulo goes to meet with them on the Astral. And this is where things get weird as the usual protections don't work and the entire party is drawn into the dream like astral world of World War I Europe. We experience Arthur's life from his victim's perspective. And we meet the ghosts of his victims on thier home turf. His victims are mostly German soldiers however and the party quickly gets the upper hand because it's soon going to be war again. 
The ghosts are put too rest with the asurance that Arthur will be put back into the grave as soon as the mission of war is over with. And there's the lingering smell of blood in the air. Arthur is a gibbering mess as the ghosts get in one last moment of torture within the poor fool's mind. 

Saturday, June 22, 2024

OSR Commentary & Ascendant Rpg Session Report Five - Capital City Casefiles #2: Served Cold By Karl Gustav- Evolution's Edge

 "So this session picks right up with the PC's meeting the Everyman in the center of Bluddville's meat packing  district in a small park. ' The Everyman' taunted the player's PC's with some raher unsavory details of thier last meeting. And included some information including the fact that his drug operations have been affected by the inclusion of poisoned product to some of his users. And over the last several months he has been unable to track down the source. 'The Everyman' 's alliance with  the group's old villain Poker Face is fragile as he suspects his mentor's interference with his profits to both the vile mob and the villain himself'. Why is unknown. "  'The Everyman's suggestion was to investigate a warehouse down in the 'Bowels' the lowest neighborhood within Bluddville' 

The party went to grab 'The Everyman' but merely got an innocent person who had no idea how he got to the park from his house?! After a questioning of the poor slob the party decided to check out this warehouse.  After a drive through several ever worsinging neighborhood. The PC's came to a brand new & very out of place warehouse. The warehouse was guarded by several guys in white power armor & very high tech weaponry.  The heroes are thrown because they were expecting a gang of mob henchmen & drug dealers. Behind the warehouse a single strange hovercraft approaches & proceeds to land. The PC's sneak behind the warehouse to see a strange group of differently clad men take off a floating coffin deep into the warehouse.  The PC's decided that decresion is the better part of valor and sneak in back of the warehouse making rolls to avoid security cameras, security alarms, and more.  The warehouse is wired for sound!  Inside the huge warehouse the PC's spot a strange massive figure in red armor - The High Evolutionary! 

Too say that the player's are not happy to see this development is an understatement. In DM Paul's campaign the High Evolutionary is shadowy figure of a crackpot cult whose been sewing the seeds of humanity's 'glorious destiny at the head of godhood and evolution's end'.  This is where we ended! Note that DM Paul is using the High Evolutionary profle from Write Ups. org.  & his origin ties into our Ascendant Marvel/DC comics campaign. 

Thursday, June 20, 2024

OSR Review & Commentary On Cepheus Engine Journal issue #16 For All 2d6 Cepheus Engine Rpg Powered Games

 According to the Cepheus Engine Journal Website Cepheus Engine Journal issue #16 contains the following; " We have a good assortment of mainly sci-fi articles in this issue, so let’s dig in.

Once again Jo Jaquinta has given us a few articles, which we are always thankful for. First up is an article looking at micro gravatics and how to use it in your game. He also has an article on a criminal organisation called the Silver Panthers and how you can work with them, and instalment ten of The Raider’s Lament.

From the pen of Ricardo Emilio we get an article on how space ships work in his universe, an article on some tech called Solid Air Generator and the Atomic joiner for use in your games.

Steve Attwood from Alegis Downport has given us an interesting take on how to use science fiction themes in conjunction with Independence Games Rider. A wonderful example of just how flexible Cepheus Engine compatible products really are.

Finally, from our own Brett, is a couple of articles, part two of my Into The Night fiction created from a game I ran a few years back, and an article on an aggressive creature called Scale-back Dragons, perfect for slotting into your Cepheus or Hostile game. Just hope you don’t run into a pack of them!" 

Cepheus Engine Journal issue #16 has come up on the racks this week! Cepheus Engine Journal is one of the most unsung supplement for the CE Rpg. And this isssue covers the gamit for our favorite 2d6 Science Fiction rpg! The From the Editors is a peek into this issue's contents and then it's a jump straight into the deep end. Ricardo Emilio gives a great article called 'How Space Ships Work' & it gets straight into the nitty gritty of star ships within his own campaigns. It's some solid reading actually. And Ricardo Emilio also gives us 'The Solid Air Generator' which can act as a sort of force field for your valuables and much more. 
 Jo Jaquinta gives us 'The Raider's Lament part 10'  & we get more indepth on the world & themes setting of 'Raider's' this chapter. 
Steve Attwood from Alegis Downport gives us 'Science Fiction In Rider' which is a really solid article on using Independence Games Rider with your favorite 2d6 Science Fiction rpg. And one of the break out articles in Cepheus Engine Journal issue #16
Jo Jaquinta's 'Microgravitics' has some applications and really cool technologies thrown in. Again really good article to throw into a 2d6 campaign on the fly. And  Jo Jaquinta also gives us the 'Silver Panthers' criminal organization that would fit at home right into an Indepedence Games Earth sector or Clement sector game. We get everything from origins to current practices of the 'Silver Panthers' so the organization can be used whole cloth within your campaigns. 
Ricardo Emilio gives us the 'Atomic Joiner' a nifty little device that can be used as a tech level fifteen device or artifact in your campaigns. 
Brett Cruger gives a rather nasty little alien creature in the form of the Scale Back Dragons. And 'Into The Night' by Brett also a strange part two of the story started in issue 15 of the CE Journal. 

The Cepheus Engine Journal  acts as a free CE Rpg supplement & it's perfect to add to an existing campaign. 2d6 rpg games work on several levels. 2d6 works as an adventure rpg, works well as a fantasy rpg & fits the rpg path very well. And CE Journal can act as a touch stone or campaign fulcrum because it  provides a professionally done  free supplement. And this issue is no exception. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Sky Pirates & Bandits of Mars! - Warriors of the Red Planet & Hyperborea rpg - Session Report

 My party of adventurers has been in the deep Martian desert for far too long. We've wandered along the ancient caravan routes of Old Helium for a very long time. It was time to return to civilization and re-equip our PC's. 

We had a standing invitation to visit one of Helium's Red Martian merchant princes whose lives we saved some months ago! And we were taking him up on his offer! After charting a flyer our party took to the sky to save time!

And it was wasn't long before adventure found us! In the skys above ancient Mars we found ourselves being followed by Martian sky pirates! That's right it was the ancient sky pirates and raiders of Mars the Black pirates! Just incase your not aware the First Born as they are known are absolutely ruthless and immoral outlaws. Our small mid range flyer was equipped with two heavy duty Martian rifles and our own wizards plus our mind wizard. 
The First Born are an outlaw nation praying on whomever crosses thier part of the red skies and they work for whomever can pay them! 
Our party waited until one of thier ships got close and then our wizard fire balled the first scout ship with a scroll we'd saved just for such an occasion! Next our thief managed to do an expert tumble onto thier deck with a natural twenty. 
He was equipped with a particularly nasty natural spirit that we used as a Matov cocktail on thier Martian decking. We had our pilot do a roll to retrieve our thief Bardoc The Nimble with a carefully timed jump and telekinetic catch by our mind master. 
The First Born called up two mid range flyers crewed by a craven lot of bandits and outlaws. We began to sense a pattern here and wondered if this was the First Born NPC thief and his pirate crew we'd ran into some months ago! We didn't recall his name but took out the other ship as the cocktail exploded. 
We opened up with our guns as the ship drew closer and closer. And this was because we'd radioed to Helium's air navy! We were delaying the pirates with games until we'd crossed into Helium's airspace. And then it was all Hell broke loose as we dived below the clouds and the Navy patrol closed in! 
Part of our party ended up on Zothique but the bulk of our mercenaries are still on Mars. We've got our Zothique game coming up later this we. You can read about our last Zothique session here. 

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Nice Doing Business With You - Cities Without Number, Stars Without Number, & Trey Causey's Strange Stars Rpg - Mirrors By Joseph Mohr - Session Report

 Our Cybersneaks started diving below the surface of the  the Circeans witches's terraforming delivery from last week's session. And when we went into the main delivery warehouse to check out the terraforming equipment for final delivery we were attacked by Hellhounds pirates! The witch's coven had paid for the terraforming equipment but there were two rider cargoes that had been added onto the terraforming equipment. That equipment's weight had been noted by our party's  Cybersneaks. And that equipment was more high end cloning equipment which is tied into last month's  the foreclose on Guiron which we stopped! 

We used a nanite grenade to disrupt the Hellhound's forms  temporarily and then sheathed them in an absolute zero field. This we knew from dealing with these two NPC's before wouldn't stop them. But it would buy us sometime to deal with thier employers the Slavers. We had an artifact saved just for this occasion and once again dealt with thier fixer & representive. Our party already knew that we had to make it worth thier wild. All of this stems from Joseph Mohr's Mirrors adventure available here

 Our party knows that the Slavers fear a law suit by Guiron people against the Slaver's Constorium for the use of an 'entropy weapon' ages ago. The cloning tanks, the planet terraforming equipment bought by the witches who were acting as blind for the Guiron people. And other anomilies that our party uncoverd pointed it out. Major Bartholomew Rodriguez and the Interstellar Police have deep seated interest in the entropy weapon  because this weapon system  could still be in system.
And that's when we started looking in system and found it on the third moon of Guiron! The Slavers had a small craft overseeing it. Our party contacted them and asked for the Hellhounds pirate's contract againt our party to be terminated the whole affair to be covered up. They agreed and we got proof of termination. We in turn took all of our findings and turned them over to Major Bartholomew Rodriguez and the Interstellar Police! 
Now it's onto the next job! 

Friday, June 14, 2024

Ecology Of The Bloody Arduin's Ibathene For Your Old School Campaigns

 "Sire, Master Lane is here from the university's Monsters & Curiosities department. " 
"Doctor Lane can you tell us what is eating our dragons and ruining my 20,000 acre game preserve?"
"The Ibathene, Sire!" 
"But that's only a legend, a myth?!" 
"No sire the Ibathene is our kingdom's reality!" 

There are monsters that even monsters of myth  and horrors of legend are afraid of. The Ibathene is one such creature that feeds on the the largest of prey dragons, wyverns, and even manticore. These creatures ran from 60 feet all the way up to ancient specimens that clock in at 120 feet.  These monsters are both hunters and ambush predators with a taste for any type of flesh that crosses it's sharp tooth maw. 
Many adventurers will go lifetimes without ever seeing the brilliant bright green scalelike armored carpace of the monster. Or having thier souls stared into by the single huge red alien eye on the 8 foot long stalk. Mere words can not describe how terrifying the  Ibathene is. 

Master Lane waited for the audtorium to die down as the murmers of fear from brave men & fainting of the ladies. The 60 foot creature had been captured near Redford Commons. The ancient artifact 'Calming Field' generators held and the giant batteries augmented the fields. 
" Ladies & gentlemen, I present to you the  Ibathene or dragon killer are found throughout the prime material planes & is now infecting our lands. "How do 'dragon killers find thier way to our shores?" They follow the dragons of course!"
"These horrors follow the planar migration routes of  dragonkind and the paths of great magicial enchantment." 
"Young  Ibathene are drawn to places of great magic along the planar routes with the wyverns that act as scavengers with  Ibathene acting as the dragon's predators"
"Young  Ibathene appear to be juvinale wyverns until thier first shedding and then the eyes are drawn together as the eye stalk comes into place" 
"Deer, elk, horses, small herds of sheep, & the occasional human family provide the  Ibathene with the much needed protein that it needs to grow" 
'The body of a  Ibathene is like a tuning fork alive with the senses that allow the horror to hunt'. 'It can sense vibrations up to one hundred and twenty feet away & hear a dragon's heartbeat close to a mile and a half away in total darkness'. 
" The main weapon is it's tongue which has a series of serrated edges like peusdo teeth on it capable of sherreding flesh from bone in moments. The tongue's real power is the fact that it a constrition weapon of incredible power" "When not in use the tongue is wrapped around the lower brain of the beast' " And once the beast has it's prey it is drawn into those powerful jaws capable of cutting through bone easily" 
" Ibathene armored skin is capable of taking on hydra acid and dragon's fire easily with minimum damage. Because the beast's pain receptors and nerves are not in it's primary brain! That's right because of it's bulk the beast has a secondary brain that helps process and move the horror! And this also includes a tail capable of smashing through an old growth tree!"
"The monster is primarily an ambush predator concealing itself in the undergrowth of the land. And then using it's  tongue and bulk to draw in prey. This is not it's only hunting option as the  Ibathene also sometimes actively hunts prey down attacking with a combination of tongue, tail,  and sheer bulk." 
'The powerful stomach acids of  the  Ibathene are capable of disolving steel easily and are worth two to three thousand gold pieces to the right alchemist. Almost every part of the monster is useful for some form of enchant. The fact that the  Ibathene are so dangerous has made them exceptionally plentiful in some regions!" 

" Ibathene have a primary diet of thunder lizards and the like with giant wyvern, hydras, and dragons being only occasionally seen making the deep wilderness of our lands it's natural habitat" 
" The 
Ibathene has been speculated to have originally been native to the planet Barsoom with the waning of magic having been the primary motivator for planar migrations" 
" The beast found it's dragonic prey niche about 6 million years ago which is relatively young in dragon's terms. This marks the beast as one of the main enemies of dragon kind. And hence the standing bounty of 10,000 gold reward for any confirmed kill from the council of dragons" 
Ibathene are essentially roving monsterous locusts with these horrors going on destructive rampages eating everything within a 50 mile radius then moving on. 'These times of destruction"  bring out every monster hunter from even far away lands. Special shaped explosive alchemist's bombs fed to the  Ibathene are often the solution to killing these horrors. Disposal of the corpse requires the alchemist's guild's help. This can be quite expensive and costly" 
" And this ladies and gentlemen brings us to our own 'time of destruction' with the 
Ibathene massing for a massive feed and then mating frenzy.  These beasts lay 1d6 eggs which can sit for hundreds of years only to hatch unexpectedly with 6 of the young horrors consuming each other with only the strongest remaining" 
" Inconclusion the 
Ibathene is an exceptionally dangerous alien horror that should be hunted and killed wherever found!" 

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Chickens In The Dark - A Zaibatsu/Hostile Mini Campaign On Colony World - Tau Ceti

 The Mendoza cartel's operations along the Chinese game trails on  Tau Ceti got a big bang from the September group's demotition work. The September Group then mopped up any remaining forces. We began pushing deeper into thier operations. The Mendoza's Cartel has set up with the Chinese black market forces and these run deep on Tau Ceti. 

This follows on the heels of our mission from May 19th's Hostile game session. Here we're playing different PC's with a revenge operation on our plate. The biggest problem was the fact that DM Paul had inserted a sniper with a spotter in the jungle surrounding the Chinese black market forces. Since we were connected with the American forces on Tau Ceti this was an off the books operation. Eventually we got the sniper & spotter. And then blew the entire camp and base off the map. 
 We then went on a shopping trip to the black market in American side  & bought new weaponry from the Dirty Wars Supplement

  We commuicated with our Japanese contacts as we dined on Devil Cow steaks and fries on the American side planning our next move. We knew that there were supply lines along the Chines controlled corridor and while we had shut down Chinese black market operations for a time. We need them crippled & we contacted our TLA embedded agents. Things we grim on the TLA's side as we had pinched off arms to the resistence and the Chines were not happy with the situation. 
We needed more intel on the Mendoza Cartels ties to the American and Chinese corporations. We sent in two of our assassins to gather intel in the Chinese capital. More to come! 

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Review & Commentary On Manavores -- A Shadowdark Supplement By James Mishler, & Jodi Moran-Mishler For The Shadowdark rpg & adapting It to Castles & Crusades rpg


By James Mishler and Jodi Moran-Mishler"

"Manavores provides 16 new and strange monsters for use with the Shadowdark RPG and other Old School RPGs."

"All the creatures herein are manavores, which eat or absorb magical energy and convert it to other sorts of magical or non-magical effects."

"All originate in areas of high concentration of magical power, and so can readily be found in just about any dungeon or area of high native magical or extra-planar power."

"Charm Cat – these felines possess the power to charm creatures into service.
Dweomer Dog – these dogs absorb magic and provide it for their master’s use.
Enchantment Eater – these chimerical creatures consume and destroy magic.
Glamour Bug – these insects use their glamour to drain spellcasters of life.
Heka Hound – these dogs are used to hunt spellcasters and magic monsters.
Hexrat – these rats are carriers of baleful magic in the form of curses.
Hypno-Ooze – these oozes absorb magic and exude hypnotic patterns.
Incantarnate – these living spells seek out spellcasters to feast on their magic.
Mana Mite Swarm – these swarms drain magic from items and spellcasters.
Mana Moth – these giant moths eat magic and excrete it in magical dust.
Necrotoad – these giant toads swallow the living and spit out undead.
Phantasmic Presence – these strange entities are only quasi-real.
Pishogue Pig – these swine absorb curses and harmful spells for their master.
Spell Slug/Snail – these giant gastropods eat magic and expel it in pure form.
Witching Wolf – these beasts provide allies with power and protection.
Wizard Worm – these tiny annelids provide magic power at a cost"

So there have only been a few times that I've played the Shadowdark rpg. However the overlap with Troll Lords Castles & Crusades is pretty obvious in the similarities of the rpg systems. So there's a certain amount of cross compitibility within these OSR rpg systems. Manavores -- A Shadowdark Supplement By James Mishler, & Jodi Moran-Mishler  is the perfect way to take the magical bite of our favorite OSR glass cannons the wizard or magic user. These monsters are not your average monsters and horrors that are hunting and eating magic. Instead these are creatures that have evolved in a highly magick charged enviroment. This is a fact brought home in the introduction; " The materials presented in this booklet are an optional, providing additional monsters as challenges to and perhaps allies of player characters. All the creatures herein are manavores, which eat or absorb magical energy and convert it to other sorts of magical or non-magical effects. All originate in areas of high concentration of magical power, and so can readily be found in just about any dungeon or area of high native magical or extra-planar power."  
Manavores is a well laid out and solid book that presents a really nice font, layout and basic graphic presentation that is easy on the eyes. 
  This makes   Manavores -- A Shadowdark Supplement  perfect for 
Castles & Crusades Codex Celtarum 2nd Printing
. Because of the magick rich enviroment that C&C campaigns present. And this is especially true of the Castles & Crusades Reforged books that will be coming out after  the current Kickstarter. 

The Manavores presented in the book are both wild and having been captive bred making them incredibly dangerous to PC wizards. Some of these Manavores could be used as pets or companions but keep them far away from party wizards. 
Within  Aihrde the manavores would certainly fit in nicely as there are already some monsters that would certainly fit the manavore moniker. I could also see using the manavores within Greyhawk. 
Is the manavores supplement worth getting?! In a word yes there's a good range of magick eating creatures and monsters within to leave even the most cynical wizard shaking. 

Friday, June 7, 2024

Recovery of The Silver State - HOSTILE Situation Report 007 - The Ark - Game Session Report

 "You've detected an Ark ... a ship of sleeping thousands on their way to establish a new human colony. But it is dead, silent and locked in an orbit around a lifeless moon. You are ordered to investigate ... are the sleepers still alive? "

"OR, play as some of the crew, woken by the ship's mainframe, and shocked to find the sleeper ship in some remote orbit, with chaos in the corridors ... " 

The September Group is near the LX 504 system & has to respond to thier employer's orders to 
 to investigate a depowered star ship. The ship could be the colony starship Silver State. The September Group has too locate survivors of the Silver State  for a financial bonus. The ship, after some investigation (without power or transponder) could be the Silver State, which went missing a couple of months ago en route to establish a new colony on LX606 in Extraction Zone 9 (EZ9 0606).
This is all based on  HOSTILE Situation Report 007 -The Ark  & this isn't the first time I've run this adventure. The players have no idea that thier PC's have come across this situation! 
The player's PC's entered the Silver State cautiously & carefully made thier way through airlocks, main decam, etc. Of course I provided some jump scares and then way down in near engineering the PC's came across the remains of a creature they've never seen before. Something on the scale of a human but silicon based around a carbon frame. 
The PC's cybersneak Petrov began checking the Silver State's diagnostics and came across four hypersleep chambers that had been comprimised. This was just before he was attacked by some sort of giant catipillar like creature! He just managed to croak out that he was attacked and the PC's rushed to Petrov's add. The party learnt that there 
 are seven dead on the ship (and nine dead people in their hypersleep chambers). 
The party had a meeting in the computer room & thier engineer was messing in the Engineering section. That's when another 
giant catipillar like creature attacked and then smacked straight into two strange biomechanical like skeleton like monsters. Robert managed to light one of the monsters on fire and ducked out of the section. 

He managed to limp back to medical & got patched up enough. The PC's had patched up thier cybersneak who came across the fact that the Silver State had refueled at a local gas giant.  And the party deduced that there was an invasive lifeform on board from the gas giant. Andd then it was 'bug hunt' time  & this took the rest of the night. Not before one of the PC's was killed by one of the strange biomechanical skeleton like monsters!