News on the march! Here are a handful of things of interest while yours truly wrestles with the Deadline Gods (none of which has to have anything to do with gaming, sadly, except for delaying various projects in the making).
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Tuirgin has been kind enough to adapt The Nocturnal Table to Chartopia. After EOTB’s excellent Fantasy Grounds integration, this is a web-based implementation of the supplement. You can just click on the link, and roll up stuff for those nighttime adventures. It is all free, at your fingertips, and offers you most of the supplement's content.
For instance… adventurers Yakko Sarxs, Zeep Ulbem, and Mark the Marrakian learn from clandestine sources that an important meeting will take place “by the benches at the peacock mosaic… wear a rose”, and they swear to get there before the intended target!
- They head out to the market – it is daytime, and they meet 2 Drunks (LVL 1), offering them some work. Declining the offer, they start looking for a suitable rose seller.
- They encounter a “Jovial yogi selling opium, as a last-ditch gambit” (the GM gives him 1:6 to know of a rose seller, but comes up empty), followed by a “Paranoid, perverted lord selling advice, to corner the market, who miscalculates the price”. This is apparently someone who knows the market, but seeing that the characters are in need, gouges them for a hefty sum. In any event, the rose is acquired!
- The peacock mosaics are in the Thieves’ Quarter. On the way there, the GM rolls for another daytime encounter: 14 Sailors/Pirates (Fighter 2), confronting the party by trying to stop them. Not eager to blow their chance, the characters grudgingly bribe the sea scum… but note them for further retaliation. By the time the altercation is over, night falls…
- In the Thieves’ Quarter, the GM first rolls for local colour: the characters note “Stone arms (4) propped against brick wall.” Odd! An encounter from the Nocturnal Table proper follows… “(384) Wererats (2d4 (5)), carrying diseased rags in enormous bundles, and scattering them everywhere.” Hooded, hunched men and women are donating colourful rags to the local lepers and beggars – a spectacle the characters choose to avoid (the consequences will manifest in a few days anyhow…)
- Arriving near the peacock mosaics, the GM rolls again for local colour to set the scene, and a simple nighttime encounter to see what kind of passersby are to be found nearby. A “sleeping dog cradles carved bone-hilt dagger (15 gp)” near the benches, and a “Mercenary (Fighter 8)” tries to seduce one of the characters with a ballad, attempting to lure them into a nearby dive… but noticing the rose worn by Zeep Ulbem, he gestures to them to come closer, and inquires whether they have come for the Brotherhood contract. Zeep Ulbem nods curtly.
- The man leads the company to a nearby storefront, and knocks twice in rapid succession. A panel is slid open, and they are welcomed into a dimly lit store, stocked with… “miniature drums” and “ritual mummies”. The shopkeeper, who introduces himself as Invenor, reaches into his robes while the adventurers wait nervously for the next step.
This is the kind of improvised stuff you could cook up with these tables on a step-by-step basis, or you could spice up a premade adventure as well. It is all free (although you can also purchase the supplement in print and PDF), and it is all courtesy of Mr. Tuirgin. Much appreciated!
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Yours truly has been interviewed on video, and a very special place it was! Having spread beyond the Black Lodge, The Red Room is a new Youtube channel from Portugal (but broadcasting in English), featuring reviews, commentary, and interviews with various villains of the tabletop RPG scene. This conversation has followed the successful crowdfunding campaign for the Spanish edition of Helvéczia (€6700 out of €5500!), and it mainly focused on this game – its aims, sources of inspiration (including the original picaresque novels of the 17th century), historical context (and the liberties it takes with history), bestiary, why the Old Swiss Confederation is an ideal adventure setting, and how far you can take the game in various odd directions. This has been a blast – thank you for having me on! Are the owls what they seem?
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Echoes Fom Fomalhaut #09 in PDF!
The newest Echoes issue is up on DriveThruRPG, and features 60 pages of stuff, including a new setting to the northwest of the Isle of Erillion, an adventure set there, and a B/X dungeon for first-level characters… lots of first-level characters, as it turns out! Bring lots of character sheets, and a good number of followers.
The next issue will be #10, a nice number indeed. I expected it to come out this time of the year, but, again, real life has had me chained to Winword, Excel, and other unholy things for the last few months, and that has thrown a spanner between the gears. Realistically, late April or early May looks possible. I am also translating a handful of Helvéczia adventures for the Spanish edition, and once I have them in English, it makes sense to publish them as well. And of course, other projects are on the table as well: a forest adventure I am particularly fond of, as well as a guest contribution centred around an old well… The Well of Frogs!
It was a great interview, and I think you are already becoming famous around here!ReplyDelete
Got a light?ReplyDelete
also, FYI, a needed optimization of the Fantasy Grounds(FG) TNT is in the works. It was done prior to OSRIC for FG, is now unnecessarily large since much of the data was duplicative of OSRIC data, and since it was my first project is missing some best practices I've since learned.ReplyDelete
End result will be a more nimble FG TNT supplement without any change in functionality. Will touch base when it's ready to go!
I have to admit... your work on the Nocturnal Tables module got me to check FG out again. And I felt like I hit the motherload when I saw you had gotten all those OSRIC modules made. I know that had to be a massive amount of work! Seriously, thank you for the work you've done.Delete
You're welcome - glad to do it. there's more stuff in the pipeline, but not close enough to announce yet.Delete
I look forward to it. I'm just getting started with OSRIC, and have yet to run it. I got my start with the newer OSR games a couple years ago but have decided this is the year I tackle 1e via OSRIC and the 1e DMG. Thanks in large part to the materials found in the Echoes zine.Delete
The city siege adventure that you mentioned in the interview got me really intrigued. When will we get more info on that one?ReplyDelete
Here is the blurb:Delete
„Woe betide you, oh you accursed ones! For the Gods have become angry at the people of Thisium, and turned away their faces! Ninety days hence, the city and all its inhabitants shall be destroyed, and its fate shall be no different than that of Wiorak, now lost beneath the waves. Listen now, and learn that four dooms await
Thisium, and even one shall be sufficient for its utter ruin! One shall come from the deep forests, and one prepares in the high mountains. The third doom shall arrive from the seas, and the fourth observes you from deep beneath the city. Oh, reprobate sinners, the very Gods have decided so! Acquiesce to thy fate, and repent!”
Every year, the appearance of the Wise Owl was a cause for celebration in the coastal merchant city of Thisium. This year, the the omniscient oracle of the Sacred Glade said nothing about the honey prices or the wine harvest, but pronounced a fourfold doom heralding complete destruction. The prophecy was soon confirmed to be real: those who sought to escape, or confronted the Gods were struck down by lightning, torn apart by wild beasts, or met other horrid but ironic fates. Only a group of complete outsiders could have a shot at averting Thisium’s ultimate destiny... but Thisium had much fewer sworn enemies than true friends. The days passed, and by the time the adventurers arrived, the city had no more than forty-five days of its appointed time left...
The Four Dooms of Thisium is a B/X sandbox module about a sinful, vaguely post-Roman coastal merchant city, abandoned and doomed to certain destruction by the fury of the gods. It will be up to the characters to prevent the four dooms coming towards the city, on a ticking time limit. (Or it can simply be used as a mini-setting). It involves dungeon-crawling, wilderness expeditions, Harryhausen-style seafaring, and some city intrigue, mostly in the 1-6 levels range (but a party could reach 8-9 by the time it is over).
The style is kind of a fallen, bucolic Mediterranean/early Renaissance setting dotted with ruins, pastoral landscapes, capricious deities and so forth. Essentially, capriccio-inspired RPG: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capriccio_(art)
We are still playtesting it. We finished the original campaign, but then another group wanted to try the game, and it turned into a rerun which has allowed a lot of further testing and refinement. This is getting close to the finale (they are on Day 79, and the clock is ticking), and after that, it needs further polish and production. Since this will be Hungarian first (as it was written), the English edition will have to be a 2023 publication.Delete
Oh, shit, the prophecy from Volokarnos comes true!Delete
"but Thisium had much fewer sworn enemies than true friends." I think you meant the opposite?
And right you are! That's a fairly griveous mistake.Delete
Although, considering the sheer number of dead player characters and henchmen that have fallen in the two campaigns, it may not be that bad after all?
Wow, this is awesome, can't wait! Thanks for the info.Delete
Can't wait to get my hands on The Four Dooms of Thisium. Too bad it's being pushed back to '23 but I'm sure the extra refinement will be worth it.Delete
I haven't read through to whole thing, but I get the niggling feeling that EFF9 might have everything a beginner DM needs to start a campaign. A dungeon, a home town, a huge setting, and a small detailed subset of same setting. (The dungeon and the town location needs a bit of adjusting, but that's no problem.)ReplyDelete
The module (the first and so far only B/X adventure in Echoes) and the nearby town/micro-setting would make for a neat campaign starter inspired by the Adriatic, and were originally written with that purpose for a local B/X system.Delete
The larger setting, the Twelve Kingdoms, is quite different, though, being a northern island realm. However, the issue *also* includes the starter module for this campaign (this is the titular "Beyond the Gates of Sorrow"), if you would like to launch one!
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
Hi Gabor, great stuff! The interview was indeed very good. Care to share some details about that forest Adventure?
I don't know if you are familiar with the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, but if you are, it is basically a loving homage to Scorpion Swamp, but in a forest. In short, it is a pointcrawl adventure with several smaller, and to larger points of interest. The adventure is a semi-official sequel to In the Shadow of the City-God, set in the same post-Roman collapse setting - so expect strange archaeological sites, bucolic landscapes, and weird deities. For a sneak peek, take a look at this post and check out the second image: https://beyondfomalhaut.blogspot.com/2019/04/blog-shallow-and-deep-wilderness.htmlDelete
I am very familiar with Fighting Fantasy; one of my earliest memories as a child was the creepy yellow eyes of the blue-skinned serpent witch on the cover of "The Seven Serpents", the book which followed the excellent "Kharé". I think my older sisters borrowed it from the library and never returned it, so it just set on the kitchen table for months. I couldn't read yet, I was maybe four or younger. It would take 4 more years until I was invited to my first AD&D session. Although I ended up playing through many of the FF "Sorcery!" books, Scorpion Swamp was never translated to Hebrew so it wasn't available at the local library.Delete
Anyway, I loved reading your article(s) on wilderness travel as a distinctive game state, which I also am working on formalizing to a satisfying and flexible "gameplay loop" on various scales (zoom-in / zoom-out, like the procedure of deciding where the party explores next in a megadungeon + marching order + random encounters, is different to the procedure of a single room where we focus on the endless cycle of description > action > resolution)
Yes! Helveczia adventures! I can't wait!ReplyDelete