The Four Humorous Goblins

[Artwork source]

The Four Humorous Goblins is either a troupe of four goblins or the whole of the four strains, whatever fits your game.

The Four Humorous Goblins – The Four Strains

Sanguine Goblin aka Hemogoblin

AC 12, HD 4, 18 hp, STR Mod +1, MOV 90′ (30′), ML 9, SAVE as fighter 4, #ATT 1 tentacle or 1 projectile or fusion

A bloody mass of tissue, vaguely humanoid in shape, as though someone had inverted a small person inside out.

Tentacle (mêlée, 1d6). One per round, the hemogoblin can produce a metre-long tentacle that executes a swift whip attack for 1d6 damage.

Projectile (ranged, 1d6). One per round, it can squirt acidic blood up to a distance of 10m, 20m with a -2 penalty, or 30m with a -4 penalty, for 1d6 damage.

Shape shifter. Once per day, it can take the form of a short human for one hour.

Fusion (grapple). Each round, the goblin and the victim roll 1d6 and add their strength modifier; the highest wins. The first to win two rounds wins. If the defender wins, the grapple ends. If the goblin wins, it enters the victim’s body through the nose, mouth and any opening it can.

Once the hemogoblin is inside the host, it will remain dormant for some time, and at the most inopportune moment, its presence will prevent the host from having full control of its body.

Mechanically, this translates into penalties to their action or salvation rolls.

And when the referee sees fit, perhaps a few weeks later, the hemoboglin will hatch: the host body will throw hundreds of tiny goblin larvae in the form of blood clots. mucus and bile, through the mouth, eyes, nose, etc., suffering a massive 6d6 damage. There’s a 5% chance one larvae survives and grows into one of the four types.

Choleric Goblin aka Sallow Man

AC 13, HD 4, 20 hp, STR Mod +3, MOV 120′ (40′), ML 11, SAVE as fighter 4, #ATT 1 or 2 punch or 1 infection

A bubbling mass of sallow muscular tissue, vaguely humanoid, as though someone had melted a person in 50 kilos of mucus.

Infection (mêlée, 1d6). With an attack roll, the goblin can touch a victim to cause severe vomiting and 1d6 damage.

In addition, the victim must save vs. Poison or will get an infection that will cause 1d6 of cumulative damage day by day (next day 1d6, next day 2d6, etc.); if the victim makes a new Saving Throw, no vomiting will occur that day and the next day it will restart with 1d6 of damage.

Punch (mêlée, 1d6). The goblin can produce one or two humanoid arms to punch.

Accelerated nervous system. It can make two punch attacks every third round (round 1: two attacks, round 2: one attack, etc.)

Shape shifter. Once per day, it can take the form of a short human for one hour.

Low sensibility. Physical attacks cause -1 damage to the goblin.

Cholera. Its extreme violence grants him a +3 bonus to all STR based rolls, including attacks (but no damage).

Melancholy Goblin

AC 12, HD 4, 16 hp, STR Mod -1, DEX mod +1, MOV 90′ (30′), ML 7, SAVE as specialist 4, #ATT 1 needle or 1 whale song

A fuliginous shape, a thing difficult to focus on, as though it was a humanoid made of shadow-tissue.

Whale song (auto, 1d4 INT). As an automatic action, and up to 3 times per day, it emits a sound that resembles the song of a hunchback whale. It spikes your dreams with (m/s)adness, causing you a loss of 1d4 INT. After a long night rest, all INT is recovered, but save vs. Magic or your Alignment changes to Chaotic.

If your intelligence reaches zero, save vs. Death or you will become a babbling and drooling vegetable. Make a new character.

Needle (ranged, 1d4). Each round, this goblin can create a sharp needle that shoots like a light crossbow (ranges of 50′, 150′ and 400′).

Self awareness. Its high insight makes all its DEX based rolls get a +1 bonus. And it cannot be surprised.

Shape shifter. Once per day, it can take the form of a short human for one hour.

Slow nervous system. Its attacks and all STR based rolls are done at -1.

High sensibility. Weapons used against it, deal damage as though they were one bigger die size (d4 weapons cause d6 damage and so on).

Phlegmatic Goblin

AC 12, HD 4, 18 hp, INT +3, MOV 90′ (30′), ML 9, SAVE as magic-user 4, #ATT 1 weapon or 1 spell

Looks like a regular goblinoid, pale green skin, eyes of a sickly yellow, smart.

Weapon (mêlée or ranged). It can wield minor, small and medium mêlée weapons, short bow or light crossbow or pistol, without bonus or penalties other than its +4 granted by its HD.

Caster. It can cast 2 1st leverl and 2 2nd level spells. Randomly determine which spells it has prepared for that day, as a magic-user.

Spells known. 1st level: Charm Person, Magic Missile, Sleep; 2nd level: Phantasmal Force, Stinking Cloud, Wall of Fog

Phantasmal force. Vicious dog. AC 12, HD 2, 9 hp, STR +1, MOV 180′ (60′), ML 12, SAVE as fighter 2, #ATT 1 bite

Equanimous. In reaction roll, results between 3 and 11 are “indifferent”, while 2 and 12 are “unfriendly” and “talkative”. No extremes here.

Story Hook

PCs have been hired to lead a humorous goblin-infected person to where a healer can have a cure. You have to get there before the hemogoblin hatches. The healer is actually a barber surgeon, and the surgery can be just as bad: save vs. Death, if you fail:

  • you survive but are left with only 1 hp
  • lose one hit die worth of maximum hp (roll a die your class size)
  • lose one point of either STR, CON or INT (your choice)

The Four Humorous Goblins – The Troupe

Main NPCs

Mr. Blood. Sanguine Goblin and main comedian; Mr. Night’s assitant.
Mr. Xanthous. Choleric Goblin and MC’s bodyguard.
Mr. Night. Comedian and kidnapper.
MC (Master of Ceremonies). Phlegmatic Goblin. Leader and maker of fog (wall of fog).

What’s happening

A new circus/comedy company is in town, its members are four short men, therefore they are known as The Four Humorous Goblins.

Children started disappearing the same night the company arrived, one child every night.

The Four Humorous Goblins are secretly real humorous goblins in disguise (the phlegmatic goblin wears an actual disguise, the other three, their shape-shifting power).

Freaks, outcasts and criminal work for them, as members of the circus.

The troupe kidnaps children (adults are hard to drag to their place). The children are used to produce more goblins by infecting them with sanguine goblin cells. One they have between 6 and 10 children, they leave town and return home, where the children are infected.

They already have five children, no-one suspects of the troupe. Five more nights, and they leave, or before if they realize the PCs are investigating them.

What the PCs know

  • Children have been disappearing for some nights
  • Find them and you will be well rewarded
  • Find them and the major will drop the charges against you
  • The son of a former lover has disappeared
  • Might or might not be your child

Clues | Roll or choose one everytime PCs interact with NPCs

  1. A circus is in town, it arrived some days ago
  2. One per night, for five nights now, children have disappeared
  3. Strange people have been seen roaming the streets after midnight
  4. The Four Humorous Goblins are a comedy company that travels around the land and now it’s here
  5. The major’s son was the first to disappear, he was only 6
  6. There’s been unusual fob these alst nights
  7. All the children were abducted while they were been accompanied by their parents; all say there was fog and couln’t see who kidnapped them
  8. Everyone thinks I’m crazy, and, yeah, maybe I am, but I know what I saw: it was a monster, but it wast not a monster first, it was a man, and then it was a monsters
  9. I found the remains of a camp, not far away, between the town and the forest
  10. Madam Letti’s heard giggles and wet steps in the fog when her child was taken

It is expected that the players can figure it out by themselves, but if they don’t, once they collect three clues, send some clowns, tricksters, acrobats, bearded women, strong men and other freaks against them. This means the troupe has realised the PCs are after them, and send their henchfreaks to stop them. This should be the most obvious clue: “Oh my dog it’s the circus!”

Random circus henchfreak generator

1d8 for freak type, ability modifier

1: clown (cha +2)
2: trickster (int +2)
3: acrobat (dex +3)
4: bearded woman (any +1)
5: strong man (str +2)
6: juggler (dex +2)
7: sword eater (con +2)
8: beast master with trained baboon (wis +2)

1d6 for armor class

1-4: 12
5-6: 14

1d6 for hit dice

1: 1
2-4: 2
5: 3
6: 4

1d6 for damage (customize weapon accordingly)

1: 1d4
2-5: 1d6
5: 1d8

Trained baboon

AC 12, HD 2, 9 hp, DEX +1, MOV 120′ (40′), ML 10, SAVE as fighter 2, #ATT 1 bite or 2 claws

Lazy and relentless. The beast master will command the babon to attack a specific PC, the baboon will obey in a 3-in-6 chance, otherwise it won’t act that round. Once it acts, he will continue attacking until death.

Bite. When a bite attack is successful, it can attack the same target at a -2 difficulty (or +2 to attack) the next round; if successful, the same bonus applies again.

Armor class is based on Lamentations of the Flame Princess. Here’s how you convert AC between systems.

Sparrow’s Heart, a Mörk Borg misadventure (III)

[Go to Part I | Go to Part II]

third and final part: the dungeon, the black tower, the sparrow’s tower. enjoy it with good music

REMEMBER THIS Rooms 21-23 are underground, the building looks like an inverted T from THE outside, but it’s actually shaped like the satanic cross of the antigod. Lines connecting rooms are normal (black) and secret (red) doors, ladders, corridors and stairs.

Click Full size

1 Entrance

  • Pieces of a statue, put together is a random PC and reveals Secret Hatch to 6.

2 Waiting Room

  • 16 pixie skeletons sleep inside a dead man’s chest. If the body is disturbed, the swarm attacks with very small swords and sharp teeth. HP 6 Morale 12 No armor Bites & swords d6 Quick attack & defence DR14.
  • Corpse plundering: A vial filled with a pastel pink liquid, labeled “vampyre”. Drink +d6 hp Throw d6 damage Drop summons a Bloat Vampire.
  • Bloat Vampyre: 1d3 1 it helps you 2 it flees 3 it attacks you. A human-sized floating pastel pink mass of foam and lashing lamprey-like tendrils. HP 6 Morale 8 Soft matter -d2 Bite d4 Lash d6 Regeneration bite attacks regenerate 1 hp.

3 Parlor

  • A canal of molten brass (d10 damage) separates two rows of benches. Roll d4.
    1. 2d4 Forever Mourners just chilling out. HP 4 Morale 8 No armor Ritual dagger d4.
    2. Kuts the Albino aka Pink Eyes. Average stats Goblin. Sleeps on a bench.
    3. The Thing That Should Not Bee. Giant greenish black bee, stumbling upon walls. HP 10 Morale 12 Thick Hide -d2 Sting d8 + Poison Toughness DR14 or d6 damage + blind for one hour, two doses per day.
    4. Roll twice until you get two results between i and iii. Both are encountered and they d3 1 fight each other 2 cooperate 3 ignore each other.

4 Meditation Chamber

  • d4 Forever Mourners chanting from a hymnal, headbanging and giving the Sign of the Horns. HP 4 Morale 8 No armor Ritual dagger d4. Loot regular corpse plundering.
  • Faustyr the Doom, three-armed Forever Mourner Priest, plays a tambourine. HP 6 Morale 10 Scaled skin and gold crown -d2 Dreihänder d12 Powers d2 random unclean scrolls, 1 random sacred scroll, and unclean scroll The Law of the Plague. Loot crown worth 150 silver.

5 Interrogation Room

  • Sister Missy chained to an interrogation chair. She can be a replacement character if needed or an NPC with these stats: HP 1 Morale 6 No armor No weapon Powers 1 random unclean scroll tattooed on her left arm.

6 Attic

  • A number of hanging ropes equal to the number of PCs prepared for their victims. Oh, God! It would be so easy!
  • A dirty sock tied in a knot. Full of fingers, but are they human?

7 Study

  • Crystal spider statue surrounded by boiling blood trench. Jump Agility DR10 or fall and Toughness DR12 or d10 damage. Break the spider and find a gold bell the size of a marble, worth 10 silver.
  • Ring the bell 1-in-12 chance of summoning Cleet the Clown. HP 4 Morale 9 Yesterday gowns -d2 Sword d4 Special ghost-clown will obey your commands for d3 rounds, when he disappears, the bell disappears as well.

8 Room of Traps

  • All deactivated or previously triggered except the pit trap.
  • Pit Trap: Presence DR14 to find or Agility Dr12 to avoid d6 damage. Impaled ninja holding antigleam dagger d4 damage, all light sources in the area are extinguished; the dagger emits black light, you can see the silhouette of your enemies while making you invisible to them. Presence DR12 or blind in one eye. Next time, Presence DR10 or blind.

9 Shower Room

  • A pool of water is on the ceiling. Roll d4 to see what happens here:
    1. The third person in line falls into the pool. Leave the pool normally, then Agility DR14 or fall to the floor for d6 damage.
    2. Agility DR12 or the hardcore sludge falls upon you for d6 damage. HP 6 Morale 12 No armor Acidic spit d4 Special extra d4 damage every round until a Toughness DR14 is passed. Black metal core worth 500 silver.
    3. The pool drips. It’s not water, it’s acid. Toughness DR16 or d4 damage.
    4. A large tentacle tries to catch the last in line. Agility DR14 or be taken, suffering d6 damage each round.

10 Pantry

  • Rotten and maggot-invaded food.
  • A wheel of cheese, very stinky. Eating a portion a day heals all HP. Eat a second portion and be poisoned Toughness DR 14 or d8 damage. 8 portions total.

11 Interrogation room

  • A blood-drenched skeleton sitting in the interrogation chair. Roll reaction. Average stats. Has a rusty key.
  • 10 exotic feathers worth 50 silver, 2 love potions worth 50 silver each, a bottle of wine worth 20 silver.
  • Caged goblin called Reuben. The skeleton has the key. Average stats. White trousers. “Let poor Reuben go and he will tell you a secret of gold and jewels”. Can you trust him? Flip a coin.

12 Camera Obscura

  • Walls covered with vision-inducing glyphs that glow in the dark. Presence DR14 or vomit copiously for d2 damage. If successful, you can make a Yes/No question.

13 Defiled Shrine

  • Lone warrior called Blod on top of a pile of dead evil orx (horned, pig nosed, dog headed brutes). Can be a replacement character if needed or an NPC with these stats: HP 6 Morale 10 Leather -d2 Flail d8.

14 Library

  • Stacks of ruined mouldering books on iron spikes, 1-in-6 chance to find d3 scrolls (50/50 chance unclean or sacred each).
  • A portrait in the wall, its eyes follow you.

15 Bedroom

  • One bed. 1-in-6 the room is empty.
  • Otherwise, Lovelie A woman with the darkest skin taking a short rest here; white hair, side shave, big badass axe. Can be a replacement character or an NPC with these stats: HP 4 Morale 10 Chainmail -d4 Greataxe d8 Dagger d4.
  • Secret doors open with a lever in room 18.

16 The Terror

  • Child-sized guillotine. Blade is blunt. It hides the unclean scroll Vacuum.

17 The Ossuary

  • Dozens of child-sized skulls. Presence DR14 reveals each has more than one hundred teeth.
  • Presence DR12 (DR14 if the players are timid about defiling children bones) to find a Crown of Thorns: When wearing the crown, the wearer suffers d6 damage but gains the False God Walk ability, which allows him to walk on water for Presence + d10 rounds.
  • One skull talks: “Hey, mate. Would you mind taking me out with you? It’s boring to be here with all these dead, they never talk to me.” “Allow me to join your troupe, make a friend a favour, will you?” “No, I don’t have a name. I’m a skull!” No name HP 2 Morale 6 No armor No weapon Special tells inappropriate jokes and drinks a lot.

18 Strange Machine

  • A system of pulleys and gears is visible through the cracks in the walls.
  • There is a lever in the neutral position. It can be moved to the right, left or up. Each position opens a secret door to the indicated room number: Right 16, Left 17, Up 17.

19 Repair Workshop

  • Albino Rat Swarm HP 8 Morale 11 No armor Bites d8 + Black Poison Quick attack & defence DR14.
  • Secret door opens with a lever in room 18.

20 Theater of Misery

  • Missing Prince Bernardus sleeps on a pedestal. Impossible to wake. He feeds on demonblight. “Saving” or killing him means d100% of the male inhabitants of Murk Burg, including him, transform into demons. (See Misandria). HP 1 Morale 6 No armor No weapons.

21 Septic Tank

  • Goblet, black liquid, 2 snickering goblins probing the abyss. HP 2 Morale 7 No armor Dagger d4.
  • Loot: One goblin has a fire-fly lantern: fire-flies inside a glass jar. Light as candle. Eat the fire-flies and can make a dragon breath attack once for d12 damage.

22 Trophy Storeroom

  • 10 statues, total d6 eyes of ruby (100 silver each).
  • When all rubies are removed, a ladder to room 23 is revealed.
  • 2-in-6 the statue being looted is trapped. Presence DR14 to avoid the trap. What trap? Roll d4 to find out:
    1. The most terrifying black spider you have ever seen. And felt its fangs inside tearing your skin apart and injecting its venom. d6 damage + red poison.
    2. Acid burst burns your face away. d8 damage and disfigurement.
    3. Toxin gas. Toughness DR16 or lose a permanent Strength point.
    4. Your finger gets stuck. Cut the finger and suffer d6 damage or use grease or a similar substance… if someone can find it.

23 Sparrow’s Heart

  • Almost the entirety of the room is occupied by a giant beating heart. The heart is connected to the apocalyptic underworld, where strange beings dwell.
  • There’s a 2-in-6 chance that the heart beats and fires a monster out of one of its ventricles. Which monster?
    1. Undead Doll
    2. Misanthropic Spectrum (afterimage ghost) semi-transparent but solid human HP 9 Morale 12 No armor Sword d6 + curse Curse if it kills you, you become a misantropic spectre yourself one round later.
    3. Grotesque
    4. Voodoo Babe an adult-sized baby HP 11 Morale 10 No armor Rattle d8 Voodoo animate a fresh corpse as a zombie.
  • If the Sparrow Heart is destroyed, the tower will collapse, killing Prince Bernardus. HP 4 Morale none No armor No weapons.
  • Black Blood pierce & drink blood, pass a Presence DR14 test for an effect (d4):
    1. For you zero hp works like 1 hp, and -1 hp works like zero, permanently.
    2. When you die, you can choose to return to life, naked, with a femur as weapon and only 1 hp. If you die again before you “level up”, you return as a skeleton, controlled by the referee.
    3. Gain d2 maximum hit points.
    4. Your four ability scores are mixed up, at the referee’s discretion (but don’t expect mercy).

Part I | Part II

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Sparrow’s Heart, a Mörk Borg misadventure (II)

[go to Part I | go to Part III]

in part i, described murk burg, an ashen fog-plagued town, and some of its inhabitants; in part ii, i present a curse with a random blight demon generator, and three new scrolls

Powers

Curse: Demonblight Anyone infected by it can spread the disease by simply cursing you. Within 6 days, you must kill, or convince the one who cursed you to take the curse back, to get rid of it. Otherwise, you transform into a demon (controlled by the referee):

i) d4 for your new shape

1. Black humanoid goat
2. Human-sized cobra
3. Human-sized moth
4. Faceless human

ii) d4 for your hp

1. d6 hp
2. d8 hp
3. d10 hp
4. d12 hp

iii) d6 for your morale

1. 2
2. 4
3. 6
4. 8
5. 10
6. 12

iiii) d4 for your armor/damage reduction

1. None
2. -d2
3. -d4
4. -d6

v) d4 for your main damage die

1. d4
2. d6
3. d8
4. d10

vi) d6 for your main damage source

1. Claws & fangs
2. Energy blast
3. Tentacles or tendrils
4. Fire or acid breath
5. Trample or horns
6. Sheer willpower

Unclean scroll: Narcissus Metamorphosis Next d4 Reaction rolls are +2 but Presence DR 14 or fall deeply in love with yourself (in a mirror or lake, throw into your reflection’s arms, suffer damage or drown, according to your referee’s mercy).

Unclean scroll: The Law of the Plague And he that toucheth the flesh of the unclean Becomes unclean And he that be spat on by him, unclean Becomes unclean Causes infection. Every morning make a Toughness DR18, when passed, the infection stops.

Unclean scroll: Vacuum A micro black hole opens in front of your target. Your target rolls Presence DR12 ± your Presence or floats away into space. Take a minute to think about that. Floating. Away. Into. Space.

Part I | Part III

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Sparrow’s Heart, a Mörk Borg misadventure (I)

[go to Part II | go to Part III]

Writes: Vagabundork
City map: Watabou’s Medieval City Generator
Inspiration sounds: Christian Death’s American Inquisition, Emperor’s IX Equilibrium, Opera IX’s The Call of the Wood
Disclaimer: There is no god.

“In my sweet revenge I made a pact with the devil”.
(Christian Death, “Stop Bleeding On Me”)

Purple prose fragments: stuff your players don’t immediately know, maybe never.

Why are you in Murk Burg?

Choose one or roll one or multiple results, whatever works for your players.

  1. You were being chased by a troll, lost your way and somehow got here.
  2. A man working for Anthelia told you the Countess will pay good silver to anyone who brings her the blood of Sparrow’s Heart, that can be found somewhere in Murk Burg.
  3. A Bishop of Galgenbeck offered you amnesty in exchange for killing Prince Bernardus.
  4. In your childhood dreams you used to see a flying snake devouring a bald eagle. Your tribal shaman told you to “find the black tower”, but she never explained the relation between the two. There’s no relation, she was nuts.
  5. You were heading somewhere else, on the way someone gave you wrong directions.
  6. You’ve heard rumors about a new god who has rebelled against HE. Could this deity be the key to avoiding the end? According to that beggar, the cult resides in a black tower, South of Sarkash. This is a dead end.
  7. A sinister tower? In the middle of a ghost town? Must be some treasure there.
  8. Surprise! You have a daughter, Turquoise, and she is very sick. The loathsome rat people sell almost any remedy; get it and you’re free from any responsibility towards the child, “but, please save her”. Rat people usually live in shanty towns, among humans. And here we are. She’ll die in 5 days without the medicine.

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Murk Burg

This gloomy burg to the south of Sarkash was built around the Sparrow Tower, which in the past served the same function as a castle, “that was long before the ashen fog descended upon us”. Known as Murk Burg because of the ashen fog that eternally covers its streets, it’s divided into three areas: burg, parish and shanty town. At the center rises the Sparrow Tower.

Prince Bernardus was the rightful heir to duchy, but when his younger brother tried to assassinate him, he decided that politics was not a good reason to die for, and he exiled himself, followed by his loyal entourage. That was twenty years ago. Today no one remembers where he was a prince from (a duchy linked to Galgenbeck), nor do they remember if the ashen fog was already here when they arrived or if it came later.

They tried to live a simple life, but when it was clear the end was nigh, many joined one apocalyptic cult or another. One of these, the cult of Icon E, whose members are called Forever Mourners, established in the parish, but also hold reunions and black masses in the black tower.

Old Burg

Here lives Prince Bernardus, and his wife, the witch Misandria. Wooden houses, simple and old but sturdy. Most windows and curtains are closed, streets are empty but you can feel, rather than see, people or something always slipping out of the corner of your eye.

The old bourgeoisie Present these NPCs to your players as you need, or randomly roll d6.

  1. Misandria became full of hatred against men when her mother was crucified on the oak tree in her hometown, accused of witchcraft by them. She shows her despise of males and her support to women. The woman was innocent, the real witch was her daughter. She cursed all the men in the village with what they feared most: demonblight, an infection that turns them into demons.
  2. Lydia, beggar. In a good reaction roll she tells you a secret: “Don’t trust Misandria. She says someone abducted the princeling… yeah, the prince, her husband… but I believe she killed him herself”.
  3. A dead child, probably the son of a nobleman. Has a gold locket, but it’s empty (worth 1 silver, it’s fake gold).
  4. Torvald, corpse-paint teenage. Wants to join the cult of Icon E, only one more task to be accepted: murder a man.
  5. A human skull. Cast Whispers Pass the Gates and it won’t answer three questions, but will give one piece of advice: “Whatever you do, do not release the prince”, and immediately shatters to dust.
  6. Anastasia, a noblewoman. She hires you to find and kill a goblin who transmitted her the curse. She saw him enter the black tower. It wears white trousers.

Old Parish

Here are the ruins of the church of the false religion of the past. What little is known about this religion is that the faithful captured their god and nailed him to a post and put a crown of thorns on him, keeping him captive, suffering and bleeding, unable to die.

The church remained standing long after the extinction of the cult, but some years ago it was destroyed by the Forever Mourners, who set it on fire, as a way to symbolize the occupation of the parish and the dominion of the new god, Icon E.

Old parishioners Mattyas Manic street heretic, claiming the end of the world is a scam, no one takes him seriously. He will ask for a coin. Give him a coin and he will give you a die carved from a tooth. Roll the tooth-die once in the morning (and roll a real d6) and in a 1, you can re-roll one and any die before going to sleep, but in a 6, you won’t be able to recover hp until you roll 5 or less. HP 1 Morale 6 No armor Wooden plank d4-1. Ermengarde the Holy Whore She has been planning to kill Faustyr, “It’s disgusting. His smell is impregnated in me and I can’t get rid of it”. HP 2 Morale 7 No armor Kitchen knife d4.

The Kennel

Shanty town, cardboard houses, now dilapidated. Some people still live here, usually temporarily.

Upon entering the area, there’s a 1-in-6 chance d2+2 Scums are encountered and they want your possessions, no matter if they have to kill you to get them. Loot: One of them hides the Book of Illuminazi, also known as The Tar Black Book. It contains 1d4 random scrolls, either unclean or sacred or both.

If the slum is explored, the PCs will eventually find Yaal, a crazy homeless that proclaims the angels talk of the greater healer, but ignore him, it’s the drugs talking. HP 1 Morale 4 No armor Femur d4. In a good reaction roll, he will offer to sell you a special parchment (only 200 silver). It’s the unclean scroll Narcissus Metamorphosis.

They will also meet Ziggurd Rat, an anarchist rat person/healer (sells Remedy for 100 silver). HP 4 Morale 9 Buff coat -2 Rolling pin d4-1 Bite d4+Black poison.

Sparrow Tower aka Black Tower

In the center of the dreary village rises the black tower.

A black granite tower, in the shape of an inverted T. No one knows who built it or for what purpose. It’s known as Sparrow Tower because of the sorcerer who occupied it decades ago, or as Black Tower for obvious reasons.
Currently used by the sect of followers of Icon E, known as the Forever Mourners.

Part II | Part III

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The Hidden Shrine of Setebos | An expedition for Into the Odd

The Hidden Shrine of Setebos, in the making for seven months (that’s me, slow as a snail, how can you continually make adventures for your weekly games, people?) is finally here, for your amusement. It was born as a little experiment, after having read this article, but it grew bigger than a few rooms, into the weird thing it is now.

It’s a 2-level dungeon with a third, extra level that works as a denouement. It’s crazy, weird, bizarre, terrifying, decadent, lowbrow and highbrow, but never middlebrow! Huysmans would approve!

Who, or what, is Setebos? And imaginary god? Who knows, who cares!? It’s there and there are solver and gold to be looted, secrets to be acquired, and strange artifacts to be trafficked.

–> Download for Free <–

If you really think I should get some gold pieces, you can pay what you want through itch.io. But, really, I made this because I like to make things for the community.

Nanty narking!

Short reviews | In the Light of a Ghost Star; Black Sun Deathcrawl; Ford’s Faeries; Campfire Tale

Here’s some short reviews.

In the Light of a Ghost Star

A set of minimalistic rules that is a true wonder. The rules fit on one page, and the rest of the booklet is an introductory adventure, some illustrations, and tools for players and referees. Among the best that science fiction has to offer. Get it!

Black Sun Deathcrawl

It is not hyperbole to say that there is nothing like it. It is not a hyperbole but almost, because recently there have been some things inspired by Black Sun Deathcrawl, or at least that remind us (In the Light of a Ghost Star, Mothership or Null Singularity). Anyway, this masterpiece of cosmic horror and nihilism made clear the need to create games with a different, more serious and dark approach. Based on Dungeon Crawl Classics, BSDC takes us to a world where life on the planet’s surface has become impossible and we can only seek refuge in the depths … existentialist dungeon crawling, if you want. Get it!

Ford’s Faeries

This bestiary inspired by the illustrations of Henry Justice Ford is a little jewel. Fairies and monsters for your OSR campaign (I already saw myself using some of these pages in Dolmenwood.) It’s free, too. Get it!

Campfire Tale

An adventure for Labyrinth Lord and The Black Hack. It is brief, more than adventure, an encounter, ideal for the next camping of the players. It is not very deep or brings anything original, but it is fun and will get you out of trouble when you have nothing ready for your next session. Get it!

Review | An Analysis Into the Nature of Man & the Satanic Power He Contains, by James Raggi for Lamentations of the Flame Princess

Premise

An Analysis Into the Nature of Man & the Satanic Power He Contains (edit: 30 minutes after I made this entry, DTRPG decided to ban the book and it’s no longer available from that seller; but you can still buy other products) is one of four products launched by Lamentations of the Flame Princess for the GenCon 2019, and of the four is the most notorious due to its controversies around its supposed content, but not its real content, which few know except for some photos and decontextualized comments.

Originally titled Zak Has Nothing To Do With This Book, the title describes the module’s premise (the story, if you like), but it is also a meta-commentary on the controversies in which its author, James Raggi, has been involved. At the end of the review I will talk more about this.

A group of parishioners finds a forbidden book, everyone immediately recognizes the book as “evil”, and the village priest determines that the owner of the book should be executed. Everyone agrees and determines that the owner is the jester, Zak Canterbury. Everyone knows that the accusation is false, they don’t feel good about it, but any protest could cause suspicion to fall on them. This fear is exacerbated because all eight involved are victims of a curse and have a magical tattoo, but nobody knows that others also have their own curses and tattoos, so they will do their best to keep both characteristics secret. If this means sacrificing Zak, so be it.

This is where the adventure begins, the PCs soon discover the situation and what they do depends entirely on the players. There is nothing to indicate that the best course of action is to defend the accused, nor to join his accusers; they may well ignore the matter and let it be resolved without their intervention. They could also take advantage of the situation, as is typical of the old-school style, and stealing the book passes its personal use.

The good

Each of the 8 characters is described in some detail (and each has its own full-page portrait). What James Raggi presents to us is not an adventure in the traditional sense, it is not a script, it is not a story, but a situation; the referee must improvise every moment based on the actions of the players.
To achieve this, each NPC has enough information to understand their motivations and can be interpreted appropriately.

The curse that weighs on each one, and the powers granted by their tattoos, help this task, in addition to causing the situation to become “weird”, a characteristic usually associated with LotFP products.

At the end of the book, two quick reference tables are found to always keep in mind the motivations of each character, as well as a quick description of his curse and his tattoo. These tables should be printed to always have them visible.

Also included is a single page chronology with the relevant events before and after the discovery of the forbidden book, until the arrival of the characters.

In the description of the forbidden book it is revealed to us that it is a spellbook that contains several common spells, a new spell (bloody, grotesque, dangerous), and a virus spell.

This spell is a novelty; it is an undetectable spell that is prepared automatically when a Magic-User prepares a spell from this book, or by transcribing any of them to his own book and preparing it from there. The virus spell does not count towards the daily spell limit nor does it increase the study time, it is automatically prepared and, when the MU casts the first of its highest level spells prepared that day, instead of the expected effect, it is the the virus that occurs.

Another good thing: One character is called Blackie Ritchmore.

The Bad

Due to the type of situation raised, it is impossible (or almost) to include a guide on how to run this adventure. This is not a defect in itself, as an experienced referee should be able to handle it without too much trouble, but a referee with little experience will be in trouble trying to understand what is expected of him.

The adventure lacks introduction, it would have been a good idea to add a comment about the expectations of the game.

The book tells us that, whatever the intervention of the adventurers, if Zak survives, he will feel grateful to them. This does not make much sense but it can be ignored, unless the referee wants to continue the adventure. In this case, ten ideas are given: Zak has ten jewels that he is willing to offer them, but each one was hidden in a different place. We are given a brief summary of where they were hidden and the difficulties to recover them. However, each of the ten options would be very difficult to pursue if Zak does not get rid of his curse, but that is not the problem, the problem is that most of these adventure hooks are uninspired, and it feels like they were drafted with haste.

This haste is present in several parts of the book, it is clear that James Raggi did not have enough time to present all his ideas.

Nor are we given any explanation about the curses and tattoos, or the forbidden book. This information is not essential to run the adventure, but it could have been useful to understand it better and have some idea to improvise. Of course, a lot of backstory is something that these modules should reject, but a line or two for each thing would have been a good addition: “The virus spell uses the book as a vehicle to search for a new carrier.” About the tattoos and curses I can’t think of any justification.

Conclusion

An Analysis Into the Nature of Man & the Satanic Power He Contains is a good product for those who like the adventures and supplements produced by LotFP, but this is more difficult to use than others, however I do not see how it could be facilitated, because the expectation the game is total improvisation.

If you don’t like LotFP products, this one won’t change your mind.

If the adventure seems interesting to you, but the typical elements of Raggian Grotesquerie are not to your liking, it can be easy to change them, as these are mainly limited to the new spells.

The Ugly

Surely all the readers of this blog know the situation of Zak Smith and the accusations of sexual abuse against him (accusations, on the other hand, credible). Among those indirectly affected by these events is James Raggi. Raggi, in his public statement, said he had made the decision not to publish new books by Zak, not to reprint the three books he wrote for LotFP, and to cancel the projects that were underway, in which Zak was involved.

Soon, and without any foundation, some people began to claim that it was a lie, that Zak Smith would continue writing and publishing with James Raggi under pseudonyms.

This, of course, is offensive. There is no indication that this was the case, but that did not stop the detractors of James Raggi and LotFP to continue perpetuating that rumor and giving it as an absolute and unquestionable truth.

Raggi, as always, defended himself against his attackers using satire, so he published a book called Zak Has Nothing To Do With This Book, which refers to the real situation he was going through: accusations of continuing to collaborate with Zak (Smith), and also to the content of the book: Zak (Canterbury) has nothing to do with the forbidden book.

It was very easy to get fast and wrong conclusions. Of course it was!

At first (and I include myself here), many assumed that it was the way James Raggi told us that, in his opinion, Zak Smith should not be considered guilty until a court of law determined that he did was. Some people made him the target of his attacks, again (in this I don’t include myself: if James thinks Zak is innocent and I think he is guilty, neither his opinion nor mine are important because we are not part of the jury that will determine his guilt or his legal situation; I may disagree with James’s opinion, but that does not mean that he deserves the attacks and disqualifications that he has been a victim.)

However, after reading the text (and James’s detractors should read it too) it is clear that the book is no defense of Zak, it is a satire about the false accusations of continuing to collaborate with Zak in secret, and nothing more than that.

Zak Smith has nothing to do with Zak Has Nothing To Do With This Book, also known as An Analysis Into the Nature of Man & the Satanic Power He Contains. The book is not about Zak Smith, it’s about James and his attackers. The jester is not Zak, it’s probably not James either. And this must be said clearly.

In my personal opinion, all those people who attack James Raggi and demanded DTRPG to remove this book, especially those who continue to play D&D 5e, are hypocrites. Wizards of the Coast erased Zak Smith’s name from the credits of his product so that no one realizes that they collaborated with a sexual abuser and possibly a rapist, which is a cowardly move and only concerned with the prestige and profits of the company. James Raggi did not erase the name of Zak, what he did was to completely remove Zak’s products from his catalogue, which implies a great economic loss for him, but the fact of having written a satirical book called Zak Has Nothing To Do With This Book was enough for his detractors to return to the attack. One would think that the real crime is not sexual abuse but to use the name of a sexual abuser.

My conclusion is that these people don’t care about Mandy or the accusations; they see in the whole situation an opportunity to destroy James Raggi and his company. This goes beyond simple animosity for a style of play that is not the one that these people like, more it seems a strategy to eliminate the strongest competitor, before which their products pale in quality of production and content.

An Analysis Into the Nature of Man & the Satanic Power He Contains

Building a dungeon | James Maliszewski’s guidelines and something else

I followed James Maliszewski’s guidelines when I made Slime Bugs for my Mutants & Mazes campaign. I have failed to follow some of his insightful suggestions ever since, but on creating that adventure I learned a good deal of stuff that I have used ever since.

These are James’s guidelines, I steal them from Grognardia and put them here for quick reference. [I’ll add a few comments between square brackets.]

  1. Environmental hazards — slippery floors, rooms that flood, narrow ledges over steep drops, rooms that are excessively hot or cold, rooms or corridors filled with poison (or otherwise magical) gasses, etc.
  2. Combat encounters should generally be with baseline (or near-baseline) monsters with difficulty enhanced by the circumstances of the encounter (i.e. monsters have set up ambushes, monsters forcing the PCs to fight in unfavorable surroundings, teams of similar (or dissimilar) monster-types working together, etc.) rather than through templates or class-leveling.
  3. At least one encounter that if played as a straight combat will totally overmatch the party, but which can be avoided or circumvented by some clever means.
  4. At least one puzzle, trick, or obstacle that requires the players to figure it out, rather than being solvable by a die-roll. [If they can’t solve the puzzle the adventure should not stop, there whatever is beyond the puzzle should not be essential to complete the dungeon; alternatively, allow a roll but only after they have tried and failed. Also, add clues scattered through the dungeon, including one in the same room the puzzle is.]
  5. At least one item, location, or creature that causes some kind of significant permanent effect (permanently raise/lower stats or hp, permanently change race, gender, or alignment, permanently grant or take away magic items, etc.) determined by a random roll on a table — with possibilities for both good and bad effects, depending on the roll. [Maybe something like this?]
  6. At least one item of treasure that is cursed or has other detrimental side-effects on the owner/possessor.
  7. Some sort of “false climax” where inattentive players will think they’ve won the adventure and either let their guard down or go home, while clever players will realize this couldn’t have really been the climax. [Also, there can be a well hidden chance to end the dungeon earlier, even from the beginning. I used it here and my group discovered how to do it but refused to. It has to do with a sacrifice and an eye.]
  8. At least one disorienting effect, teleporter, mirror trap, [swiveling] floor, or maze like monster, up is down too.
  9. An area where resources are an issue. Wet torches or wind blowing them out. Oxygen low or having to hold your breath to swim [through] a tunnel.
  10. An area that has items of value, but they are too large to transport, or cause someone to have his hands full at an ambush.
  11. A creature that appears to be something it is not. Some examples: Lurker above, mimic, [cloaker], wolf in sheep’s clothing, doppelganger, gas spore (perhaps my favorite), etc.
  12. One encounter (no more, no less) that makes absolutely no logical sense, that the DM completely leaves up to the players’ imagination to explain. [Always a favourite of mine, specially ultra-futuristic science or weird, outer technology.]

One doesn’t have to include all 12 in every dungeon, but consider that each element adds to the final result, and in big dungeons, the more the better (otherwise it can end up repetitive or boring soon.)

Some of these elements can be combined, like a creature that appears to be something it is not and a trick/obstacle for the players to think through it. In the case of Slime Bugs, these two elements inspired me to create the infamous “petrified cube”, or the gasslime trick/trap I included on The Goddess of the Crypt.

Some additions I want to include in (all?) my future dungeons and adventures:

  1. Lots of things to interact with. You know, levers, buttons, ray guns that cause random effects.
  2. Replacement adventurers. Prisoners or lost adventurers than can join in in case a PC dies. I made this supplement for Into the Odd.
  3. Things (traps, tricks, monsters, spells, npcs) that break the rules. You know, monsters that hits automatically, peasants than cast spells without following magic-user or cleric rules, anything.
  4. Things than don’t do a thing but look intriguing and make PCs waste time, triggering random encounters.
  5. Rooms outside time and space or, at least, outside the main dungeon.

The Underworld Heart

I made an adventure for my Lamentations of the Flame Princess campaign, that I wanted to share with you all, so I translated and put it as a beautiful ugly PDF for you to enjoy.

Get if here, it won’t cost you anything. Only your soul. Here’s the map.

The Underworld Heart is not exactly a LotFP adventure, I made it for my Mutants & Mazes campaign, but then I decided to run it for my LotFP group, and it worked strangely good. This version was converted for your convenience, dear Lamenters.

Magick Is Free

Here you can find and download what I have written.

Adventures

Tools, supplements

  • Here’s some New Weird Magic Spells following the rules in both Vaginas are Magic! and Eldritch Cock.
  • The Magic Laboratory, house rules for creating magic-user labs and research new spells and other magic-related activities.
  • Here’s A Tome of Weird Artifacts, a collection of black metal bands and magick masks and weapons fot your OSR games. It’s free but you can tip me if you want, but please don’t feel you have to. I’m not here for the money, I’m here for blood and souls.
  • ZWEIHÄNDER Grim & Perilous Guideline to Character Creation, both a blog entry and a PDF for your convenience.
  • Random Enemies Table. If you need some bandits, city guards, werewolves or squid cultists for your players to kill and rob, this table will help you assigning their main stats and some quirks.
  • Referee Table. This table will allow you to track many elements of the game, specially in a dungeon crawl. Every 3 turns, make a random encounters check; mark a circle each turn; 6 turns make an hour; 8 hours make a watch; lanterns light for 24 turns, candles for 12 and torches for 6. All that is in the table and more.
  • Running (and basically understanding) Silent Titans is not easy task! Here’s how you run the mini-game “Mouse Box”.
  • Another Fool For Your Adventures! A supplement for Into the Odd. This book is a collection of Replacement Adventurers, for those times when a Player Characters dies and you need a quick replacement but don’t have the time to think about a concept.
  • This is how Sneak Attacks works in LotFP.
  • Simple grappling rules. Grappling is a nightmare, but these rules turn the nightmare in a fun tavern brawl. Enjoy throwing peasants against tables and holding a city guard while your friends kick his ass.
  • Bushcraft in the dungeon. Some tables to find food in a dungeon, the effects it has to eat them and the effects food deprivations has on the characters. It includes “The store of the underworlds”, and a spider from Mars.

Fiction

Bestiary

Playlists