Sunday, June 14, 2020

GYGAX 75 CHALLENGE: WEEK 2

Continued from here. 

Download the Gygax Challenge here.

Week 2:

So far I'm really enjoying the challenge. Making a setting from scratch really forces me to think outside the box to make things interesting. The world took on a more "prehistoric" feel after I added Ice Age American megafauna to the random encounter table for the Sancana Steppe. I also decided to add enormous deadly tar pits to the map. Since all my players and myself are from LA we all know the stench of tar from the La Brea Tar Pits, a cool touch to to describe the landscape with.

THE TASKS:

1. Get a sheet of hex paper. Draw the following on it, one item per hex (or more if indicated). Name anything worthy of a name.

The tasks also asks you to name multiple settlements and landmarks. I named the bigger city-state Evangelos and the smaller one Cappadocia. There's a small town between named Mun. The forest north of the Zane river is the Blackmagne Forest, south of the river is the Sancana Steppe. I was heavily inspired by the map in the challenge zine so I stole it's style.

CENTRAL LIMURIA 1 Hex=6 miles.

After drawing the map I put it in a plastic sleeve which lets me draw the dungeons and stuff over with a wet-erase marker. This has the dungeon entrance that the task ask you to do. Oh and the "mysterious site" is Devil's Rend, a deep canyon located south of Evangelos. A horrible devil is rumored to reside there.

2.  Extra Credit: Write a Random Encounter Table
The random encounter table was really fun to make and helped the setting take on a prehistoric flavor. Also I managed to write in my hatred of elves by killing them off in an extinction event. Their bones still walk the land though. Also no horses, moa are this world's horses, Final Fantasy chocobo style.

CONCLUSION
I'm getting a little worried about Week 3 since I've never done a "traditional dungeon" but it should be interesting. Also might update this post with random encounter tables for the Blackmagne Forest and the old main road between the cities. All in all a very cool challenge, thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 7, 2020

GYGAX 75 CHALLENGE: WEEK 1

Over on the blog Verbum Ex Nihilo, author  is doing the Gygax 75 Challenge (found here). In short the challenge asks you to make a small campaign setting and everything you would need to get a campaign going in 5 weeks. Including a stocked 3-level dungeon, which is hella old school.
I've been wanting to run a "vanilla" fantasy campaign anyway and thought this challenge would be the perfect opportunity to get one rolling.

Note: I assume you downloaded and read the challenge going forward.

WEEK 1: THE CONCEPT

1." Get/Create a notebook:"

Got a really cool leather notebook for my birthday last year, now's the perfect time to use it. 

2. "Develop Your Pitch: Write down 3-7 (no more!) well-crafted bullet points that will “sell” the world to your players."

I'm calling this campaign RE; LAMENT (heh) and will be using the LotFP Rules & Magic for the base rules. I thought about using Necrotic Gnome's Old School Essentials for a more "classic" d&d game but I remembered b/x only gives Magic-Users 1 spell at Level 1. Clerics don't get spells until lvl. 2 and it's possible to have 1HP fighters. Hilarious but also kinda lame. LotFP fits my tastes better anyway.

Onto the pitches!
  • Forces of Chaos lie beyond these walls, stay inside and alive! Or, venture beyond them to a world filled with dungeons, monsters, and treasure!
  • The City-State of Evangelos is the main "hub", anything outside the City is frontier land with towns and villages dotting the map. A points of light campaign with dungeons galore!
  • Humans only, demi-humans were hunted to extinction by the other worldly Dread Emperor.
  • Setting is low-magic, but the city is filled with strange modern-esque structures like skyscrapers and sprawling apartments in the "slums".
  • Heavy anime/manga vibe.


3."Sources of Inspiration: List them as an annotated bibliography – citing the name, author, etc. and a sentence or two explaining what each source brings to, or supports within the setting"
  • JAPANESE D&D RULES ENCYCLOPEDIA ART
    The art is so sweet for this and if I could draw this would be the style this campaign would be drawn in. Just my head canon for the campaign aesthetic. 
  • The Legend of Zelda, Majora's Mask.
    This game shaped my lifelong love of weird kinda horror(?) stuff. The surreal tone is something I would love to emulate with some of the frontier towns.
  • Berserk(manga) by Kentaro Miura
    The monsters are unique and top-notch, and show how to do monsters right. Also the writing is amazing. I want this campaign's monsters to emulate the ones in Berserk.
  • KonoSuba: God's Blessing On This Beautiful World! by Natsume Akatsuki 
    See, I'm not a complete edge-lord (I am however guilty of being a huge weeb). Konosuba is pure comedy and I would love to use classic fantasy tropes as a source of comic relief in this campaign. Also making the BBE an isekai'd character. lol
  • Adventure Time
    I love everything about Adventure Time and have good memories of watching new episodes with my son. Hopefully I can pull on some of the players heartstrings just like the show yanked on mine.
  • City State Of The Invincible Overlord by Judges Guild
    While it's a little more "high fantasy" than I like, I love how it feels like a real breathing city. Hopefully I can get my city state to be a quarter as good as it.
  • Dorohedoro by Q Hayashida More inspiration for the City State. I want my slums district to be similar to The Hole in Dorohedoro. Also the satanic imagery in the manga is just awesome. 

I'll be posting these each week on Sunday until the challenge is complete. Stay tuned next week for Week 2!

Saturday, May 2, 2020

TERPSICHORA MASK

TERPSICHORA MASK

A white domino mask with elaborate gold and black inlays carved around the eyes. Black laces made of silk hang from the mask’s eyes like tears. It changes from pale white to blood red once activated. Said to be possessed by the spirit of a dancer murdered by an obsessive fan.

What's It Do?
When the command word (TERPSICHORA!) is spoken the mask removes the wearer's subconscious strength limiters allowing them to fight at peak performance at the cost of damage to their body. The wearer's STR & DEX score becomes 18 (+3) and they fight as a Fighter twice their level for the duration of the ability. However the human body has limiters to protect itself, each round the ability is used the wearer's muscles become shredded & their bones riddled with hairline fractures causing 1d2 points of temporarily CON damage. The wearer may end the ability early before combat ends by asserting their will and passing a save vs magic. A failure means the wearer will fight until combat ends regardless of any CON damage received.

Updated the Body Over Mind Spells here btw.

Additionally if the wearer's HP or CON is reduced to 0 or less the user’s body (corpse) rises and eloquently fights unarmed as a Fighter twice their level with their STR & DEX becoming 20 (+5). The body fights (anyone, including allies) for 1d4 plus level rounds or until the body takes damage equal to 8 plus level.

Influence:

My favorite video game of all time is The Legend Of Zelda: Majora's Mask. One of the things the game tasks you to do is collect an assortment of weird masks scattered throughout the world map. All the masks are unique and have different properties and abilities. Now I tend to throw in weird magical masks in my games as an homage to Majora's Mask. This particular mask's ability is from the anime/manga Hunter x Hunter and was used by the sinister royal guard Pitou.
Anime and manga are a gold mine for RPGS btw.

Like this magic item? Let me know in the comments and definitely let me know if you throw it in your games.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Body Over Mind, Limiter Release


I wrote these homebrew spells for LotFP based on the stories of people using superhuman strength in times of duress.

Body Over Mind I
Magic-User Level 1
Range: Touch
Duration: 1 Round per level
This spell removes a person’s subconscious strength limiters allowing them to temporarily fight at peak performance at a cost of damage to their body. The target of this spell’s STR & DEX score becomes 18 (+3) and they fight as a Fighter twice their level for the duration of the ability. However the human body has limiters to protect itself, each round the ability is used the wearer's muscles become shredded & their bones riddled with hairline fractures causing 1d2 points of temporarily CON damage.

Body Over Mind II
Magic-User Level 2
Range: Touch
Duration: 1 Round per level
This spell removes a person’s subconscious strength limiters allowing them to temporarily fight at peak performance at a cost of damage to their body. The target of this spell’s STR & DEX score becomes 19 (+4) and they fight as a Fighter twice their level for the duration of the ability. However the human body has limiters to protect itself, each round the ability is used the wearer's muscles become shredded & their bones riddled with hairline fractures causing 1d2 points of temporarily CON damage.

Body Over Mind III
Magic-User Level 3
Range: Touch
Duration: 1 Round per level
This spell removes a person’s subconscious strength limiters allowing them to temporarily fight at peak performance at a cost of damage to their body. The target of this spell’s STR & DEX score becomes 20 (+5) and they fight as a Fighter twice their level for the duration of the ability. However the human body has limiters to protect itself, each round the ability is used the wearer's muscles become shredded & their bones riddled with hairline fractures causing 1d2 points of temporarily CON damage.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

LotFP Equipment Kits


Happy Easter/Bunny Day!

I made some Equipment Kits for my players since they're lazy as shit when it comes to buying equipment...

Check'em out here.


Probably some mistakes but it should be usable.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

eXPerience


The following are some alternative ways I want to try out in my home LotFP game. I already use Session Attendance & Carousing but I want to try the others.

SESSION ATTENDANCE

+500xp
Let’s face it life gets in the way of gaming. If you take the time to come hang out with me I’m gonna give your character a bonus. Simple as that.


MAUSOLEUM FOR THE DAMNED

+100xp per previous dead character (capped at 2nd level)
For each character you’ve had die this campaign your next character gains +100xp for each, up to 2nd level. Better keep track! Idea from Bernie the Flumph.


FUNERAL RITES

+1xp per 1sp spent (see description)
Characters are going to die but all that precious XP needn't go to waste. As long as you have the deceased character’s body (or piece of it) or a memento (the family sword for example) you may hold a funeral for them once you are back at civilization.
Each silver piece spent on the funeral allows you to buy back the deceased character’s XP at 1:1 ratio. The XP can only be bought back during the first funeral, no double dipping. Idea from TenFootPolemic.


NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE

+50xp x level for each time your HP dropped below 0 or you almost died (Ref discretion). Almost dying changes a person, in this case for the better.


STAY WEIRD

+100xp for surviving an encounter with the Weird or Supernatural (Ref discretion).
This one is heavily dependent on your game. If you’re playing a typical elf or a gonzo themed game then this probably won’t be relevant.. However if you’re playing LotFP using the default 17th century Earth then seeing a monster and living is a big deal. This represents that.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Transylvanian Encounters



HAPPY NEW YEAR ANYONE READING THIS.

I've been neglecting the blog but unfortunately life has once again gotten in the way of gaming. The day job and side job (I freelance for LotFP now btw) have been keeping me very busy as well as the normal stuff at home. My gaming group's holiday hiatus ended and one of my players wants to run 5e for a bit before we go back to me running the ol love LotFP. BUT ANYWAYS I wrote a random encounter table for my future continuation of Transylvania Nights (my discord LotFP campaign). I wrote this because I was heavily inspired by Bernie the Flumph's Bleak European Encounters found here and wanted my own for Transylvania.

Check out the link below and let me know what you think:

Transylvanian Encounters

Sunday, December 15, 2019

I Eat The Elf (A Holiday Table)

*gags*
North Pole Elf
AC 13(+1 DEX), Move 120′, HD 1, HP 1, Pinch Cheeks 1d4, Morale 10.
Special:
Elf Tricks; A North Pole Elf can use their dirty elf magic(psionics) to perform various minor parlor tricks.

After crash landing in the North Pole over 200 years ago, the REDACTED were on the verge of death when Santa Claus found them and brought them back to the Claus Estate to recuperate. The REDACTED were forever grateful and vowed to repay Santa by working in his toy factory. They now call themselves the Elfs as their native name is unpronounceable without 2 tongues and a squeedlyspooch. There are currently 33 "elfs" at the Claus Estate.

So, I hate elves. I just don't think their cool or interesting or anything. They suck. And so with my hatred of Elves/Elfs, I present what happens when you consume a North Pole Elf! Happy Holidays!

I EAT THE ELF
As you swallow/snort/smoke/inject/etc the elf you feel a warmth flow throughout your body and...
  1. You explode into a fine red mist that blows away in the wind. Yes, you just died. Fuck elfs am I right?
  2. The Elf's DNA sequences itself onto your pathetic human strands. You slowly and painfully become a elf (with the above stats) over the course of 1d6+1 days. You retain the memories of your human life.
  3. Your brain grows to twice its size. Your skull and neck muscles also grow to house the weight. Your INT becomes 18 or 20 if it was already 18. 
  4. You gain a random psionic power, pull out that Dark Sun book. 
  5. All your teeth fall out and are replaced by hair like bristles like a baleen whale.
  6. You glow in the dark at night, with all the penalties/bonuses that come with that.
  7. Your left hand painfully becomes a weird skin claw thing. You do gain a 1d4 pinch attack, that's kinda cool?
  8. You become immune to all human diseases thanks to the elf's super immune system. The downside is you have to orally expel all the bile build up randomly every 1d4 days. The vomiting takes a turn. 
  9. You no longer age thanks to the elf's ability to repair decayed DNA. However after 100 years you explode into a fine red mist. Why? Because fuck elfs that's why. 
  10. You gain a squeedlyspooch, idk what it does but you have it. 

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Magic Missile


Magic Missile, usually the first offensive spell a budding Magic-User adds to their grimoire. There’s a reason for this. Unlike glamors and charms, casting a spell with the intent to cause harm takes an unwell mindset and costs a sliver of humanity.

The Missile's Form

Every Magic Missile is a combination of past traumas, personal biases and environmental stimuli.

Roll a d20 to determine what your missile looks like.
Your chanting ceases and you point your finger at your foe. A glowing light coalesces before taking the form of…

  1. Your mother’s severed head, freshly cut and sobbing.
  2. A black serpentine creature with a thousand insectoid legs that crawls across air.
  3. A single jaundiced eye that frantically looks at its surroundings.
  4. A thorned rose stem, sans bud.
  5. A human rib riddled with teeth marks.
  6. A snarling and barking black dog head with glowing red eyes.
  7. A cancerous hunk of flesh with hair and teeth jutting out.
  8. A still beating heart that pours out coagulated blood with each slow pump.
  9. An arrow carved from charred wood with a rusted iron head.
  10. An unnaturally black hole that pulsates in time with your breath.
  11. A circular saw fashioned from fish bones.
  12. Iron nails twisted together to form a cross.
  13. A chain of intertwined wedding rings with a fishing hook at the end.
  14. A knife fashioned out of pages torn from the bible.
  15. A ball of murky brackish water with a shadowed fish swimming inside.
  16. A large iron key with eight fluttering moth wings.
  17. An infant sized horsefly with a curled human finger at the end of each of its legs.
  18. An amniotic sack with a lamb fetus twitching and squirming inside.
  19. An egg made of obsidian with cracks filled with liquid amber.
  20. A phallic stone object with a needle at the tip.


Don't’ like the edge? Try these hyper animesque missiles instead. (I’m a huge weeb lol)
  1. A clock face with the hands slowly ticking towards midnight.
  2. A spiral of cherry blossom petals.
  3. A heart made of entwined tree twigs.
  4. The spirit of your childhood animal.
  5. A spear shaped icicle.
  6. A javelin made of white hot fire.
  7. A mocking Jack O’ Lantern.
  8. A ball of sparkling glitter.
  9. A fist made of stone.
  10. A cat claw made of gold.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

The Thing Under The Bed (Halloween Monster)


The Thing Under The Bed 
Armor 14, Move 120′, HD 3, HP 15, Psychic Attack 1d8, Morale 10. Special: Dragged Under
Save vs Paralyzation or be dragged under the bed. See Description.

*This monster only pops up on your random encounter tables during October.

Next time one of your characters(lowest CHA or the player who's the most cautious) tries to cuddle up in bed (favorite inn, property, etc) alone they will get an overwhelming feeling that something is under the bed. If the character gets out of bed, nothing stops them. If they check under the bed, nothings there. If they leave the room nothing happens and the encounters ends. BUT if they ignore that strange feeling and try to go to sleep then The Thing Under The Bed will pay a visit. 
The Thing will wait until the character is fast asleep to strike (Save vs. Paralyzation at -2) and try to drag the character under the bed with supernatural strength. If the character failed their save they are dragged under the bed. If they succeed they manage to fend off the attacker and may roll initiative.

Under the Bed

Characters who are successfully dragged under the bed are pitched into a cold desert-like plane of existence shrouded in total darkness. This realm is the Thing's digestive system and if feeds on fear and misery. The character is stuck here for 1d6+1 days. If the character survives the starvation and dehydration checks then they are spit out from under the bed unharmed save for being exhausted, starving and dehydrated X turns later where X is the number of days spent under the bed.

The Thing Under The Bed takes the form of whatever the character's player's worst nightmare is. That means doing some homework on your players.If the Thing fails it's morale check it will attempt to flee under the bed. If successful it disappears never to be seen again, or will it?
Happy Spooktober!

Blog Update:
Still working on that zine. Turns out decent writing is hella time consuming. lol

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Wake Me When September Ends


Alright I'm going to be taking this month to finally finish writing my LotFP fanzine. So no new articles this month except for Recaps or if I really gotta get something out of my head.

As for the zine I'm gonna be using only Google docs to write it. Them I'm gonna go old school and print, copy and paste that shit together for the layout. lol I may or may not have a print version. I'll probably have one my players do the art for me. But yeah that's whats happening this month.
Finally I'm gonna get this thing done.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Dust to Dust (Threads of Fate, Session X)


We started pretty much where we left off last time, the player's had killed the Werewolf of nameless village 13 and a mob had formed. The party  explained the situation and asked the local medicine woman for help with their mauled companion Hubble.

BTW we hit Session 10, here's to 10 more!

The Cast:

Aki Ashina, Fighter 3:
A young woman hailing from the far eastern lands of Japan. Wears a eyepatch, speaks broken english and is looking for something or someone...

Phantom Howard Specialist 1:
A Frenchmen. Speaks Japanese for some reason.

Cillian McCleary, Specialist 2:
Irishman in a hostile land.

Richard Islands, Fighter 1:
Ex-soldier, now poor mercenary. Looking for work.

Linehart Helsbert, Magic-User 1:
Landlocked pirate looking for treasure and secrets. Only kind of violent now.

Axel Hubble. Fighter 3:
A man who mourns his dead sister, also goes on adventures now I guess.


The Medicine Woman...

The mob begins to disperse and a few take the Innkeeper's wife(the werewolf) to bury her. The Innkeeper is inconsolable. Islands asks for medical help for his mauled comrade Hubble from the dispersing crowd but only one person stays, a middle-aged woman, modestly clothed with greying hair. She introduces herself as Abigail the local medicine woman and tells them to bring Hubble to her house a bit outside the hamlet. Linehart Helsbert an old party member somehow catches up to the group, some questions are raised but not many. (Ref Notes: Had an old player rejoin the campaign.) Meanwhile McCleary finally wakes having slept all day and shuffles his way to town after hearing some commotion. He finds the hamlet empty but see's some candle light coming from a bit further into the woods, he goes to investigate. The rest of the party gathers around the badly wounded Hubble as the medicine woman tends and sutures his wounds. She tells the party he may not make it through the night when door to the hut is violently kicked open with McCleary standing in the doorway. Some words are exchanged between the party then Abigail asks Aki for a lock of her hair for some medicine and she agrees. After the medicine woman kicks everyone out and the party sleeps outside the hut not willing to leave Hubble to his fate alone. That night Hubble dreams of chasing a young maiden through woods, stark naked. When he finally catches up to her he rips into her stomach and pulls her innards out. Then he wakes up. The party thanks Abigail for her help and the party hits the road.

On the Road Again...

They continue their journey east towards the infamous Transylvania, 11 days of travel remain....
The first day passes without incident and the party stops to camp off the road. A fire is set and the they begin their meal...

The Transformation...

Hubble notices his Iron Rations taste a bit off...then the clouds part in the sky and the Full Moon emerges. Islands who sits across from Hubble sees the man stare longingly towards the moon. Then Hubble starts sweating profusely and feels hot, really hot. He starts disrobing complaining of the heat, then when he's fully nude he crouches down to all fours and the party can hear bones creak and crack as Hubble's transforms into the beast.

The Death of Phantom Howard...

A fight breaks out as I have Hubble attack his party members randomly. Aki is first and takes a double claw and bite attack but lives, barely. The party attacks Wolf-Hubble and deals minor damage, Helsbert begins casting his prepared Sleep spell. Islands pulls the magic sword from it's scabbard. The Frenchmen Howard is mauled down to 0 HP, Helbert casts his Sleep Spell and causes Wolf-Hubble to fall into a deep slumber for two turns. McCleary takes a vial of blood from the beast, I roll to see if he wakes up and the party has a shitfit. Lucky Hubble stays asleep. Islands, McCleary and Herbert decide to ditch Aki, Howard who are most certainly cursed, and the man-wolf Hubble. They quickly pack their wagon and ride off into the night. Aki runs into the woods and hides behind a large boulder. It starts to pour and Hubble wakes up to find the unconscious Howard lying nearby. He saunters over, sniffs the nearly dead man and rips into his throat and tears his stomach open sending steaming innards onto the rapidly soaking grass. Aki sees this and runs further into the woods with Hubble following shortly after. A game of cat and mouse lasts the entire night but Aki barely manages to keep out of the wolf's maw. When dawn comes Hubble wakes completely nude and walks towards the road. Eventually he see's Aki shambling up further and catches up her. The two find the camp from the previous night and gather their belongings. They continue back to the nameless hamlet thinking maybe the medicine woman can help them. They also see Howard's mutilated remains but don't take the time to bury him.

Split the Party, Team Corn

Meanwhile the others traveled through the night, terrified, on horse drawn wagon and managed to stumble upon another small village. Islands prays to the dice gods that someone speaks english and finds one such man after asking around the hamlet. The man introduces himself as Dirk Dirkington. Islands asks him if there's a library. Dirk just laughs and tells them instead of his current plight. (Ref Note: Do I smell a quest?) Dirk says that every friday night the devil come to his cornfield and cuts down his corn. Despite Dirk's proclamation of "Devil, you get out ma corn!" the devil continues unperturbed. Islands, McCleary and Helberts say they will take care of the devil if Dirk takes them to the local church and translate for them. Dirk agrees. Islands speaks to Father Varnell and ask if he knows anything about Werewolves. He doesn't. They go back and stay at Dirk's place until Friday.

Split the Party, Team Teen Wolf

Aki and Hubble walk tired and defeated back to the nameless village of the attack. Luckily for them a kind vegetable salesman on horse drawn cart pulls over to give them a ride to the hamlet of which he's riding to. The party thanks the man and when they arrive back at the village they immediately head over to the Abigails hut but find no one at home. They ask around and find out the woman spends her day foraging in the woods. It takes a couple hours but eventually they find the woman. Aki pleads for her to help them but the woman says she can do nothing but mend their wounds. They spend the night at the local inn who's now run by younger woman after the widowed innkeeper disappeared. In the morning they ride back with the vegetable salesman to the next village.

The Devil in the Corn

Aki & Hubble thanks the vegetable salesman and the pair meets up with the rest of the party. Some trepidation is had about having two werewolves in the party but the next full moon isn't for another month. The party meets at Dirk's friday night and they make their way to the cornfield to hunt the devil. The party arrives, light their torches and split up into the corn. After an hour and close calls the party emerges with the culprit. A man wearing a red devil mask. The party brings the masked man to Dirk and they unmask him and surprise it's a man from a neighboring hamlet. When questioned the man explains he just wanted to help cull the field. Dirk gives the ok and the party kicks the crap out of the "devil".

...and that's where we ended for the night. Thanks for reading and let me know what you think!

The Road Less Traveled (Threads of Fate, Session IX recap)


Session IX in my on-going online LotFP campaign. Start here with Session I. After witnessing Francesa Delamore become a saint by Heaven's will, the party receives their next assignment from The Night: travel to Amsterdam and meet the Magnificent Joop Van Ooms!

Sidenote*
With google hangouts going away soon. I decided to try Discord again and it went pretty well! Guess my internet was just shit the last time.

The Cast:


Aki Ashina (Fighter 3)

Richard Islands (Fighter 2)

Axel Hubble (Fighter 2)

Cillian McCleary (Specialist 1)

Phantom Howard (Specialist 1)


R&R, Rest & Rewards...

After Aki & Hubble fled the scene of the crime they met up with McCleary and Richards and unfortunately chose NOT to stay in the flea infested, plague ridden town of Pavia, after some sarcastic remarks from me(yes, I'm a nice guy). They instead chose to camp outside for three days & nights while Mr. Hubble recovered from his fight with the holy dead. Before that however they met with a scribe who appeared on behalf of their employer The Night to document their heavenly encounter. When finished, the scribe packed up his freshly minted report and was on his way, before he left earshot he said that their reward will arrive tonight after nightfall.

While camping in the wilderness they receive a mysterious package from their employer with no courier in sight, it just appeared when they weren't looking. The black ribboned, red-box held a letter and strange silver coin inside. The letter read: 

"Fine work gentlemen, witnessing Heaven's meddling is a rare encounter indeed. Your reward is one of  Judas' 30 pieces of silver. A rare item indeed, when given to a person it allows thou to make one suggestion that MUST be obeyed as long as it causes no harm to them. Now travel to the great city of Amsterdam & meet the man named Joop Van Ooms."
Sincerely, The Night

The Road less Traveled...

After resting up the party begins their long trek north across worn torn europe. They were lucky the first time traveling south to Milan but will their luck hold out again?! (Ref Notes: As I gidley get my wartime random encounters list out, the party begins talking about monster hunting. Oh no...)

"Yeah, we can totally hunt monster after we survived those zombies!" 
"Lets go to Transylvania!"
"The Night didn't give a timeframe to get to Amsterdam..."

And just like that the party turns right at a fork in the road and travels east towards Transylvania. According to some wack math and a quick google map check, I rule it'll take 24 days to get there from Venice, their first major stop to stock up before the journey. So after a barrage of random encounter checks(nothing much to my dismay) the party arrives in Venice, the city of love.

Venice, the City of Love and random encounters...

Source

Tired of rations they stop at one of the many restaurants(one near a canal) and eat some world famous cheese and wine. While eating they befriend a new party member named Phantom Howard, unfortunately for the party he only speaks French & Japanese(lol that Language check), so, a hilarious game of telephone unravels between Aki, Howard and the rest of the party.  A small poor boy approaches Phantom Howard and asks him for a single silver coin. "Just one for my sick sister mister" the boy says teary eyed. Howard, a big softie pulls a coin and hands it over. The boy thanks the man profusely and is on his way but not before a whisper is barely heard by the party. "Sucker..."

(Ref Notes: McCleary leveled up last Session and rolled on my specialist level up table, he got I SEE DEAD PEOPLE. lol of course he did.) While eating, McCleary sees a tall pale man dressed in all black and a long hat. The man seems a bit surprised Islands is watching him go by and tips his hat at him then disappears into the busy street.

(Ref Notes: I had recently watched Fantastic Dimension's Rogues to Riches campaign and loved how one of the random encounters from the Magnificent Joop Van Ooms played out so I used it here.)

They continue their meal and just as they finish and are preparing to leave a sailor approaches the party with sweat beading down his face. He asks them if they are interested in buying a rare treasure from the far lands of Egypt. Phantom Howard translates the French sailor's words. The party is intrigued and goes to the man's ship on the docks. They hesitantly go down(with Aki the HP sponge first of course) to the full cargo hold and the sailor weaves between stacked crates, lantern in hand, to the middle of the room. He sets down the lantern on a nearby crate and pulls a crowbar from beside a enormous custom crate, then using the tool, unseals the top. The party gathers and looks inside. "Just looks like a coffin me." someone remarks. "It is, a rare one with treasure inside." The sailor plants his feet and slowly pushes the stone lid aside revealing a feminine mummified corpse holding a golden rod in each hand and wearing a gold mask. "It's all yours, for 500 silver..." The party asks for a moment and discuss this amongst themselves. Unfortunately they don't have enough and wouldn't have a way to transport it so they decline. The sailor kicks them off the ship and curses them for wasting his time.

On the road again...

Alright so traveling long distances is kinda boring, kinda dangerous. I didn't just want to handwave it like I did when they went to Pavia so I just rolled a random encounter check once each day with a 2-in-6 chance of something happening.

The first 5 days pass with nothing happening, Richards messes with the puzzle box he stole from Francesca's husband's grave and eventually passes a INT check which lets him learn a single premutation towards solving it. On the sixth day one of their wheels break on their carriage so they send two up the road to a small village to try and find a new wheel or someone to fix it. After failing their language checks to learn Hungarian they return with someone who can, who happens to be Hubble. After some roleplay they pay a blacksmith to fix the wheel, costing them 30sp.

On the 11th day out their 24 day journey, a sudden torrential downpour bombardes the party and not wanting to get stuck on the road they backtrack to a small Inn a mile back. (Ref Notes: This would have been the perfect chance to run A Stranger Storm out of the Referee Book but one of my players has played it already and I don't think I could trick him again. lol)

Bad Moon Rising

They arrive at the Black Goose and are greeted to an empty tavern with a single man with some years on him cleaning the bar, he greets them in hungarian, ushers them in and starts a fire. They engage in small talk with Hubble translating and learn that the man lost his wife to a terrible accident two years prior. Eventually the party lets loose they're looking for monsters and the innkeep now named Garrett tells them that he used to be an adventurer like them and that the local town indeed has a monster problem. Intrigued they listen to the tale of a beast that comes to the town and kills one person this time of year, under a full moon. Wouldn't ya know it, tomorrow is a full moon!

The party pack in for the night and plan to talk to the townsfolk tomorrow.
McCleary hears a rapping on his bedroom door...he doesn't answer it and his player disappears from the game for the rest of the session. (Ref Notes: Later I learned he had to attend to some sudden personal matters but I thought the timing was hilarious.)

The next day the party heads to the town talk to some townsfolk. McCleary spends the entire day in his room. The town is a small dreary place, very Sleepy Hollow. Hubble is able to piece together from the very hesitant to talk townsfolk that the Innkeeper's wife didn't die in an accident, she died to the beast! The plot thickens. They also learn where she died and mark it on their map. Richards & Howard go the kill site and Hubble and Aki goes back to the Black Goose.
The newly minted self-proclaimed "investigators" integrate Garrette and he spills the beans saying that his wife IS the beast and was cursed to change into a beast like the one that hurt her. Hubble notices that between the sobs he constantly stares at a wall towards the back of the inn.
Meanwhile Richards and Howard find the "kill" site, a cleared field with an unusual amount of belladonna growing there. It's almost nightfall when it starts to rain. They start heading back and feel eyes watching them from the woods, they quicken their pace. When they get a few minutes from town they hear a blood curdling scream. They sprint to town and see all the buildings and houses are closed except for one. A two story house has it's first floor door broken inwards with such force it hangs off its hinges. They pull their weapons and make their way upstairs. A hysterical woman is on her knees sobbing uncontrollably in a child's room with hands outstretched towards a broken window, she just repeats "it took my baby!" The adventures return to ground level outside and see a quickly dissipating blood trail in the rain leading into the woods from the window. Hubble and Aki who had heard the scream all the way from the Black Goose run back to town and are greeted to the grisly spectacle. Instead of running headlong into danger the party decides to backtrack to the inn and interrogate Garrett some more.

Eventually Garret relents and tells them that he found a magic sword during his adventuring days and used it to save his life when he and his wife were attacked in the field outside town two years ago. He managed to slay the beast but his wife was bitten and then changed into the same beast the next night killing a local. He hid the blade swearing he could never harm his wife. After some convincing from the party he says that if they can put down his wife he will gift them the sword. The party agrees and they break the wall and find a secret compartment hiding a blade wrapped in cloth, when inspected it seems like just an average old sword. (Ref Notes: The players are long time LotFP players and are skeptical of any magic items I give them, as they should be)
Skeptical but not having any other plan AND wanting to be "monster hunters" the party returns to town. When they arrive Richards & Hubble begin arguing over who should wield the blade in battle. While bickering they heard another quick scream, then silence. A huge black furry figure jumps from the same shattered second floor window dragging the now limp mother behind it and quickly disappears into the woods. They give chase.

Eventually the catch up to the beast and they can hear the sickening sound of flesh pulled from bone. 30ft up ahead they can see the huge black wolf-like creature tearing into the woman's torso pulling steaming innards out with each tug that then fall lazily in the mud. The wolfthing turns and sees the party, it rises to its hind legs then howls at the moon. Initiative is rolled.


Round 1:

  • Richards slashes at the beast, dealing a mere flesh wound that immediately starts to sizzle and heal.
  • The Monster swipes at Richards with both its claws and tries to bite but misses all three attacks!
  • Hubble draws the magic sword and slashes at the beast and  The creatures takes notice of the sword.
  • Aki gracefully closes the distance and deals major damage with her katana, severing the creature's claw!
  • Howard fires into melee barely missing Hubble who can feel the round wiz past his face.


Round 2:

  • The wolfthing tears into Hubble with its claw and bite attack dealing major damage, Hubble drops the blade.
  • Richards runs over picks up the blade and manages to decapitate the monster!

A mob can be heard forming in the distance. The party catches their breath and looks over at the monster but sees only the decapitated body of an gray haired, naked woman. Richards picks the head up and tosses it further into the woods? The first of the mob arrives at the battlefield.


"Oh my God." he says.

And that's where we ended it for the night. Thanks for reading!

Read Session X here!