Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Puella Potions and Miscellany; A premier adventuring shoppe

Jova City is not exactly a the most happening economic center in all the world; in fact, due to the suspiciously high death rate and unfortunately well-advised curfew its next to impossible for any normal business to get a healthy returning customer base. This is more then likely the reason that most of the well established business in Jova are either very old indeed, or entirely unique in their service or clientele.
No one could quite understand the original Shopkeeper

Reccette came to Barovania with a group of adventurers a little over a year ago. While most would blanch at the thought of such a young girl making a dangerous trip with a group of strangers, the people of Jova city are used to all manner of oddness and paid her very little mind. A few raised eyebrows when she proceeded to purchase a small rundown shop on the outskirts of the city, and a few more did so when she finished sprucing up the place. Their curiosity lead to the young entrepreneur getting her first customers; Puella Potions and Miscellany was open for business

The plucky girl quickly demonstrated her proficiency in crafting the sort of potions and salves that any serious adventurer might need, many of which were completely foreign to Barovania proper. Various travelers from all about flocked to Puella Potions and Reccette was quickly one of the most successful business owners in all of Jova City. After all, these people are always managing to get themselves hurt or turned to stone or something.

Currently, Puella Potions and Miscellany offers all the standard equipment on the Barovania item list, as well as a rotating stock of potions. Reccette is always looking for new products to add to her inventory, and often will trade potions or other items for strange and exotic humors and materials. She may even provide shelter for unfortunate adventurers who find themselves locked out of the buildings in Jova City at night time, provided they are able to compensate for board in some way at a later date.

Adventure Hooks

  • Reccette will pay or trade for various materials that Adventurers return to her, examples include but are not limited to; Various monster parts, Odd looking stone or metal, Mysterious Flora and Dubious Liquids
  • There is a rumor that the tiny shop-keeper may want to oust the local church as a fraud to become the only available healer in all of Jova. She insists that this is slander, though she is a rather vocal advocate for the truth.
  • OK, one addendum to that last one - she's a vocal advocate for the truth in others. No one knows where such a seemingly young girl got the money to purchase her own shop, or how she convinced a group of hardened adventurers to travel with her to Barovania.
  • Come to think of it, no one has ever seen where exactly she brews potions or makes her wares... 

Current Shop Inventory

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Barovania, Session 2 (7/15/12)

Adventurers from lands far and wide came to Barovania, adding color to the land's vibrant but admittedly limited palate.

Squid returned, eager to continue his attempt at invasion. (Once again portrayed by Kasper.)

Evin the Witch-hunter fell into a drug induced stupor in New Feierland and awoke in Barovania. This was a distressing ordeal for him. (His friends call him Clay, I'mma gonna call him Clay.)

Birji, a hardy desert elf. Mysterious. Also hooded. (This was Fred)

Von, a former Paratroopa in the Glorious Koopa army, along with his chain-chomp flail. (After Fred, we have Ed)

And Babs, an elf from some far off, advanced place where you can be a Mage/Thief. Which, coincidentally, he was. (My old gaming comrade Michael made and played him in the same session!)

This strange crew was all business, heading straight to Tser falls after hearing from Squid that there was actually a dungeon hidden behind its pure, cascading waters. Spirits were high, as our heroes assumed that this also meant there was copious amounts of treasures to be had. Evin bravely took his place in the back, encouraging the others along with an infectious fervor.

Things that burn hot also burn quickly however, and by the first room the party had split up mentally and spiritually, if not physically. Their first act was to inspect a strange idol that had corpses that were bent in various states of reverence around it. Various poking about and chatter created a significant amount of noise, and some of the keener members of the group caught the sound of something coming. Indeed, the loud, labored shuffling heralded the arrival of a hulking amphibious beast of some kind. Being as the group lacked a motivation or a means for parley, combat ensued.

While the party got mashed around a bit and a bit of friendly fire via a sling, they eventually came out victorious. The final blow was dealt by Von's chain chomp, leaving the monster bereft of a head. This upset Squid, who had planned on using the monster as a host but he suffered in silence as the party moved on. The Toad man's filthy living quarters were discovered and looted; Babs taking special interest and subsequently befriending a group of large and strangely intelligent fleas.

Growing impatient with bug talk, and once again goaded on by Evin, the group tromped onward, exploring an adjacent hallway - but not so hastily as to get caught by a gelatinous creature on the ceiling. The party dodged its icy grip, and though it claimed one of their torches, squid moved forward and well...

...Its best left unsaid, but the creature and squid were now more or less one being. The rest of the party recovered from the experience a once again pressed forward, more then likely in an attempt to forget what they had witnessed.

Why doesn't anyone ever go down the tiny hallway!?
Upon the discovery of a small, thin walkway that would require single-file crouching, the party unanimously agreed to ignore it completely. (sigh)

A final - nearly fatal altercation occurred when the party stumbled upon a lounging robed Toad-Man inside a strange chamber resembling a shrine of some kind. Once again parley was briefly attempted and completely failed, the Toad Magician called forth his strange, frost-men guards and blundering sort of melee ensued. Both Briji and Von were nearly killed, and Von's all important blue shell was lifted from his person by Evin, who subsequently absconded with it.

Eventually, the robed Toad Man was taken down causing his Frost-Men to melt away. Briji and Von were both saved by Babs' new flea friends, but not with out side effects. (Nothing brings me more joy then telling players to write in something horrible on their Character sheets)

On the way back to civilization, tiny men in strange blue hats attempted to rob the group. This failed utterly, and all were killed saved one, whom squid decided to make into a retainer, due to the fact that Kasper liked the stupid voice I did for him.

Which means anytime Squid is in a session along with you, you're just going to have to deal with it.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Oathsworn King (Unique Monster)

This one is a gift for Ian over at MONSTROUS TELEVISION, hope its suitable.


Long ago, there was a lovely kingdom that was mostly like any other prosperous nation that was made unique by its proud and glorious king. Both there names have been forgotten over time, but their final legend is still told in mocking tones by ghouls and mad men.

The king was brave and on top of that a gambler, often allowing for visitors and locals a like to approach him during celebrations with a bet and a wager of their choosing. This had always been in good fun; the king may lose a bit of face or have to hand over what remained of his dinner, but all enjoyed the kings frivolities and none were worse for it.

Regents do not walk between raindrops, and the king was not without his share of tragedies. His loving wife died giving birth to a still-born child; leaving him alone and with little mind for the games he would often indulge in prior. On the day of his families funeral, he was approached by chuckling man dressed in a long, black cloak. He asked the king if he'd like to make a wager.

The royal guard was quick to react, drawing their swords in unison, but the king ordered them to hold back when the figure presented a small doll that bore no passing resemblance to king's wife. He offered a simple wager; if the king could best him in mental fortitude then he would return to him his beloved and little child. If the king were to lose, then all the souls in his kingdom would be forfeited to the stranger. Before any others could speak, the lonesome monarch accepted the contest with the thoughts that as long as he held onto the love of his family and his wife, no foul thing could best him.

He was wrong.

The kingdom is bare now. The buildings are abandoned, food left to rot, animals wander untended. Even the king is gone, for while he did remain their for a time, he swore he'd enter the very depths of hell and win back every last soul that he handed over. He wonders the Bleaklands to this day. Time and battle have flayed away his skin, and the sheer depravity of the place has robbed him of his sanity, but he still quests. While everyone can tell you his mission, none recall his name.

The Oathsworn King
Frequency: Unique
Alignment: Lawful
HD: 12
AC: 0/19
Attacks: As a 12th Level Fighter
Saves: As a 12th Level Fighter
Damage: 1D10 +2/1D10 + 2 ( Great Axe, counts as magical for purposes of damaging certain creatures)

Special Abilities

In search of those lost: The King is constantly searching for those he forsaken to the pit by his own foolishness. There is a 50% that he will mistake any intelligent humanoid he comes across as one of his lost people, and he will stop at nothing to keep them safe. This includes slaying "monsters" that are threatening them which may include their own allies. One who the king recognizes as one of his flock could theoretically vouch for their friends, but that does not mean the king will agree with them; he is their ruler after all and peasantry is easily lead astray.

Anger that lingers: The king can recognize demons instantly, and will attack them without mercy. He may roll twice when doing so, and keep the higher of his two rolled dice. If a player character is carrying anything acquired from hell, there is a 25% chance he will mistake them for demons and get the advantages of this ability against them.

You can rest when you are done: As long as his people remain in hell (This is unlikely to change) the Oathsworn King will wander in search of them. If he is ever reduced to zero hit points, his body and equipment will crumble to dust. He will then reform in twenty four hours to resume his search.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Shattered Star: The madness of Regulus (Home Game)

So, here's the thing - our world? Its actually just one side of this giant mass floating around in Wylde-space, a dodecahedron shaped, otherwise unnamed planetoid. Each face of this non-sphere is populated by one or many landmasses, an ocean or two, and generally something to light the place up. They all have their own rules and everything due to the fact they all exist within their own atmosphere. Even the levels of magic vary from side - we'll call them realms for simplicity - to side, as each particular atmosphere has differently levels of Wylde permeability. The labyrinth, that ubiquitous home to all manner of devil, bogeyman and abomination is actually a series of tunnels that connect our realms to other realms. If you have brass ones and a purpose, you could walk to other worlds if you really wanted to.We live in the realm of the "Shattered Star" and unbeknownst to most here, are neighboring a realm suspiciously called "Everdawn". It wasn't always that way though, long before our home was just one of the Sister-Realms and we shared a single source of order-giving light, a Sun-Machine that would traverse both realms in a constant cycle. There was much to that time that was lost, but one man and one deed is remembered and never to be forgotten.

In that distant aeon, the Sister-Realms were ruled, guarded and loved by the People. We refer to them as such because they were better then us; stronger, fairer, smarter and more alive. The least of the People was worth a hundred men in deeds alone and the greatest of them were the Knights Stellar, whose heroism single handily maintained a peace that lasted countless generations.Greater still was Regulus, who was the finest knight that history had ever known.

Regulus seemed to be successful in all endeavors, no foe could best him, no trial was too great, and no heart too cold to resist him for long. His greatest deed was shattering Doubt - a great black sword that had caused the downfall of his father and the curse of his family line. It was in this victory that the seeds for Regulus' destiny were sown, for with its ebon blade broken, Doubt's poisonous song was released and left to plague the ears of its destroyer.

"As I am broken, all things will be. As I am undone, all things must follow."

That one phrase was too much for the great knight to bear. For in that instant, he realized that all things were finite, that all that he had fought to defend and dared to love would be gone one day. With a cry he went mad, and rushed onto some desperate odyssey to the south. Pursuit proved to be fruitless, as even in his insanity he was more then a match for any of his peers. All knights sent to subdue or reason with him returned back empty handed. Some did not return at all.

Why did he ride towards that strange, barbaric land? He sought one being, The Wonder-Smith; he who had created the Sun-Machine and its lunar sister, he who had crafted any number of artifacts great and small, he who dwell in a tower of ivory and gossamer, away from the rest of the world. And why, you may ask again, did Regulus quest so feverishly to find this person?

Its simple really. The Wonder-Smith was the only being in all history to trick Death itself.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Barovania Session 1, 7/8/12

On this day, a newly formed band of adventurers ventured forth from Jova City,

Corkin, a bard from afar, armed with sharp wit, sword and silver tongue. A con man, ne'er-do-well or dashing rogue depending on whose doing the telling,
(Played by this guy)

Dallas, a pleasure android from a distant star, who was mistakenly para-dropped on Barovania and handed a mission intended for a war-droid,
(As portrayed by Miss Metal versus Skin herself)

 Rhyder Wolfsbane, another adventurer from elsewhere, a warrior of  one mind and spirit, wielder of treasures both strange and powerful,
(He Be John)

And...squid, a creature whose odd nature and mind controlling abilities suggest the distant land of Bluetroid, even if such things remain unconfirmed.
(Also no blog as far as I know, but he's Kasper)

OK, actually with this crew, I think I can drop the goofy fantasy novel tone. We ain't fooling anyone at this point.

So I've found that generally, FLAILSNAILS groups fall in two categories - people raid dungeons like pros and people who get into lots of trouble via random encounters and fleecing NPCs. It took me about three minutes to realize this group was most definitely the latter. After the briefest of deliberations on where exactly to go, Corkin decides that Tser Falls is the best call - they can bother the Vistani along the way, and every one knows there is always cool stuff behind a waterfall. I should note that Squid can control people by attaching to their head, and that he began the adventure with all the other characters believing he was a a local corn farmer wearing a very funny looking hat.

The Vistani descend upon our "heroes" as soon as they enter the encampment, thinking that they are easy targets with deep pockets. They make sure to inform the players about the fortune teller who will predict their futures for a nominal fee. I get all excited and pull out my copy of "Vornheim" only to have Corkin reverse everything by offering to tell her fortune instead. He has a high charisma and blah blah astrology credentials so I figure that she humors him at least. He then proceeds to rock at both role-playing this situation AND rolling a charisma check. The fortune teller is deeply concerned with the mental state of her estranged sister and not on her possessions at the moment. While she rushes them out the door to prepare for an impromptu visit to her sibling, Corkin pockets what he can of her stuff.

Not done with with robbing gypsy-analogs (or slight irony) these fellows later manage to freak the hell out of a black market weapons dealer and lifting some of his stuff. Altercations with a Vistani tough leads to Squid discarding his Corn-farmer host for a fatter, stronger specimen. Satisfied with their haul, the group finally sets out once more towards the Tser falls. In my hubris, I decide that I should roll too see if there are any random encounters on the way there. It was in the spirit of the game, after all. I roll, look at my scrabbly little table and see that they are about to have a peachy little brush with royalty.

HA, I am so clever because Peach is her name and can also be an adjective. Anyway, on the road they pass by a carriage being pulled by a strange, sphere shaped creature on a chain. The thing has beady eyes and a nasty set of teeth, so Rhyder decides he wants to stare it down. He proceeds to posture and growl at it, which stalls the the movement of the carriage as it responds in kind. Squid uses his host to bully a small, mushroom hat wearing retainer and takes aforementioned hat. Dallas, the wisest amongst them, backs away from the situation. Corkin takes a more proactive approach, beginning a touching serenade to a princess he has not seen just yet, as well as offering her a small item lifted off the Corn Farmer from before. Peach exits her ride to greet the men, for on top of being slightly vain and curious, she is a secret bad-ass and isn't really afraid of anything.

Fortunately for the group, not only is Corkin's impromptu Shakespeare is enough to ignore her aggravated beast of burden and now hatless retainer, its enough for them to receive a small gift from her in reciprocation for the sly Bard's tribute. Of course, the sneaky little get uses this as a chance to lift some more treasure off the princess, and manages to do so again. These are with the crappy percentile thief skills a la AD&D, even!

The goons finally make it to the damn waterfall, find the "secret entrance" and note that said waterfall seems to have clean and pristine water that comes from nowhere. Even more curious, they enter the cave behind Tser Falls and poke around a bit finding a few strange crystals, and some conspicuous rubble. Oh right, they also screw around with an enormous and disturbingly deep pool of mud. They decide to roll a big rock into the mud, in an attempt to test stuff out.

 Holy Smokes! In a revelation that probably surprised nobody, the pool of mud turned out to be a  MUDMAN! A desperate fight ensures, and Corkin runs away since he's pretty much a wuss and his player actually had to get going. With further establishment of the Bard's less then stellar character out of the way, the rest of the party digs for an epic battle.

Which didn't actually occur. Our heroes managed to make use of the scenery and defeated the mudman pretty soundly, though it did cost the life of Squid's strong/fat host and one of his more powerful mutations. After the little flying alien's freeze-beam temper tantrum, the party clears away the rubble to enter a very strange room.

Corpses bent in various positions of reverence. A pristine statue of an amphibious humanoid. Some other odd and noteworthy stuff. But hey, it was time to wrap up so we did. Maybe next week will be more serious. Maybe it won't.

I'll be happy either way.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What is Barovania!? A miserable pile of secrets!

A map of Barovania as drafted by a gifted cartographer from Jova city, with notes by a far less gifted wordsmith.

All the places on the map are potential adventuring sites, so take notes and such.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Queens of battle, Monarchs of murder

Whew! So after about a billion drafts, I finally have come up with a decidedly simple write up for this troublesome class. I'm happy with it, but I'd like to see what other people think, obviously.

Three notes;
- This is exactly the sort of class that benefits from something like DCC's "Mighty Deeds" rule, or Flying Swordsman's stunt die. If someone uses one of these in my home game, I'd be sure to utilize such a mechanic, though I'm not sure how receptive online people are to my rampant house-ruling online yet.
- The original write-up had rules for special mounts and vehicles, but I figure such things are better to be earned in game, anyway. I really ought to do an entry on special mounts and vehicles...
- While this class is sort of corny, I think there is room to play it entirely straight if one is so willing. Of course, if you want to be goofy as hell with it, that's awesome to. I'm guessing things will probably fall in between those two, most of the time.

Battle Princess

 In the battle of order versus chaos, mortal champions are often chosen by the powers that be to wage war in their stead. White knights on grand chargers strike out at foul warriors adorned in blood soaked armor, and thousands of soldiers die on both sides at the whim of distant and seemingly uncaring masters. It is a conflict that is everlasting and even necessary, but it does not change the bitter fact that individual humanity is often lost in the midst of this struggle.

 Rare is the person who rises as a champion, unblessed by the either the cold arbiters of law or the fickle hand of chaos. But when such a person does rise, humans tend to flock to them or their banner and many will follow them to hell and back. The Battle Princess is such a warrior - she does not fight for any cause, save to preserve the hopes and dreams of the mortal heart.

 A battle princess can be from any land or creed. All that is needed is a courage driven sword arm, a heart filled with hope and a desire to protect what one holds dear.

Attack: As a Fighter
Saves: As a Fighter
Hit Dice: As a Fighter
Weapons: Signature Only, See below
Armor: All

Level            EXP
1                  0
2                  2,300
3                  4,600
4                  9,200
5                  18,400
6                  36,800
7                  73,600
8                  147,200
9                  294,400
10                588,800
11+              +120,000
A Battle Princess telling a Duke of Chaos where to shove it. He honestly should be more concerned,

Class Abilities

A blade forged from the heart: At character creation, the Battle Princess's player must choose her signature weapon. This must be chosen from the normal weapon list, but there are no restrictions beyond that. She may magically generate and maintain a single artisan version of this weapon each round. She may create one of these even if she has already done so in the previous round, but the older weapon vanishes. She may move and/or attack on the same round she creates a melee weapon. A missile weapon takes an entire round to generate, but 1d6 pieces of ammunition are made alongside it.

At 2nd level, a Battle Princess can maintain two of these weapons at once. At 3rd level, these weapons count as magical for the purpose of hitting and damaging certain creatures. At 4th level they are considered +1 to hit and damage gain a further cumulative +1 bonus every fourth level afterwards.

This power allows for very unorthodox methodology - abandoning weapons in fallen foes for allies to utilize, hurling swords at enemies that leap out of reach, and sometimes using weapons for tasks they wouldn't normally be suitable for, such prying open doors or making hand holds for a steep climb.

"Don't worry guys."
Have the courage of freshly picked flowers: As long as she is fighting alongside a good friend or defending someone weaker then herself, a Battle Princess is immune to effects that would cause her to panic or run. At fourth level, this ability grants a +2 bonus to saving throws for such effects to anyone who can see the Battle Princess and truly believes in her.

Protect those closest to your heart: Any friends that are fighting within 10 ft of a Battle Princess receive a +1 bonus to hit OR their AC. This is chosen by the Battle Princess at the beginning of each combat round, and applies to all those within the abilities range. The bonus increases to +2 at level 4.

Murder Princess

 People can, and often will fail you. Your staunchest allies will fall, your friends will abandon you in your time of need, and even your beloved may run to the arms of another. While many feel that you can only trust yourself, the Murder Princess embodies this line of philosophy. While they will not foolishly turn away useful help, it would be foolish to expect trust or openness from from such a warrior.

 The Murder Princess powers come from a deep seated resentment of the rest of humanity. Some were once Battle Princess' who suffered a betrayal they could not forgive, while others have always been at least a little misanthropic. They need not even be overtly malicious; but very few are altruistic in the slightest.

Two things must dwell in your heart to be a Murder Princess; a willingness to kill for what you desire, and an unwillingness to look to others for help.
The Murder Princess is identical to a Battle Princess except she does not receive "Have the courage of freshly picked flowers" or "Protect those closest to your heart". Instead, the Murder Princess gains the following abilities:

Be the Pretty Hate Machine: Whenever the Murder Princess is fighting alone (basically, with no allies within 10 ft of her) wanton hatred takes hold and she may roll twice for damage, always taking the higher of the two rolls, and she attains a critical hit on a roll of 19 or better. If an ally does indeed begin fighting alongside her, distrust and paranoia force her to be meticulous. This grants her a +1 to hit and to her Armor class.

Never suffer the audacity of the inferior: If the Murder Princess is subject to an ability that causes fear, panic or any other sort of unwanted emotion, roll a saving throw normally. If the saving throw is failed, the Princess is filled with rage and must attack the originator of the effect, gaining a +2 to hit but suffering a -4 to her AC while lost in anger. She will not stop in till the offending party is completely destroyed, though she may continue to attempt saving throws each round to regain her senses.