Showing posts from May, 2010

The Zobo Bird

Another in a series of posts of monsters inspired by Amazing Monsters: Verses to Thrill and Chill a wonderful collection of whimsical monster verses. This is definitely in my Appendix N. I'd like more whimsy in the game, and I'd especially like a more different 'fey'; something more Midsummer Nights Dream or folk tale like than simply invisible pixies with darts. They'll be there too, for sure.

One of my few disappointments in the Yggsburgh hardback was the 'Wychwood' encounters which amounted to little more than wood elves, satyrs and centaurs. All of these creatures could be all too easily interpreted as bags of hit dice with no mystery whatsoever; by the book that's pretty much all they are.
I'll certainly be following Mandragora as he's already done real research into all this.

So, here it is:

The Zobo Bird

Do you think we skip,
Do you think we hop,
Do you think we flip,
Do you think we flop,
Do you think we trip
This fearful measure
And hop and h…

Proposed Caller Rules

I'm going to propose requiring a caller in our campaign. We never had a caller before, and I've never played with one. Even in a sprawling, old school sandbox with umpteen players, there were typically a max of six players in an expedition.

Having a large group of of people that all want to show up and game is one of those "good problems." Usually. From our stable of 12 regular players (all adults) and a few occasionals, we usually get 8 and sometimes ten players. Running an old school system (Castles and Crusades), we still get several combats and a lot of exploration and conversation.

10 is just too much. Even without inter-party conflicts, there are just too many inputs on the DM, the table is too large, etc. We've had a couple of sessions where both co-DMs ran sessions (of 4 and 5) in separate rooms. But we don't always have that luxury, and it makes it hard on the DM that was looking forward to taking their turn at playing.

And last week we had a …

Hex Crawl Location Inspired by History

Off and on I've been reading “A History of the Church in the Middle Ages” by David Logan and keep finding items to blog about. I've finally decided to take notes so that I can post bits when I find time.

The first thing in particular to note is how “the hobby” relates to interest in history. It might never have come about if not for amateur historians and their war games. Later, the bits and pieces of historical reference in rules and setting inspiration from those progenitors would in turn engender historical interest in gamers. I picked this book precisely because I hoped it would bring something to the game but I found it enriching my life in other ways as well.

And bring it this book has. This blog has a limited life span, as I'll be going back to school in the fall and won't likely have time to post. But I hope to share several parts of this book with you folks – from an undead pope, musings on religious controversy in a universe with observable deities, to th…

Not +1 Swords: Spells

A consequence of limiting lower level magical items is that certain lower level monsters that require magical weapons to hit are much more dangerous. Even medium level parties still depend on a selection of +1 weapons – such as a bow – that will be more rare. This would change lycanthropes, certain undead like wights and shadows, low level beings of the lower planes such as quasits, manes demons or imps and oddities such as perytons.

Spell casting adventurers would definitely attend to this problem. 1st edition has the 4th level Magic User spell “Enchant Weapon.” That would be beyond the reach of most mid-level parties that have fewer than typical weapons. But I can't help but think this is an under-powered spell for its level. It provides no bonus to hit, compared to the 2nd level spell Strength which lasts much longer and could certainly add to your melee bonus. Other 4th level spells to compare Enchanted Weapon to include Ice Storm, Wall of Fire and Polymorph Other. T…

The Bogus Boo

The bogus boo is a creature who
comes out at night, and why?
He likes the air, he likes to scare
the nervous passer-by!

He has two wings - pathetic things -
with which he cannot fly.
His tusks are fierce, yet could not pierce
the softest butterfly.

He has two ears , but what he hears
is very faint and small.
And with his claws on his four paws
he cannot scratch at all.

He looks too wise with his owl eyes,
his aspects grim and ghoulish.
But truth to tell, he sees not well
and is distinctly foolish.

The bogus boo - what can he do,
but huffle in the dark?
So don't take fright: he has no bite,
and very little bark!

by James Reeves

Frequency: Rare
No. Appearing: 1, possibly 2 (mated pair)
Armor Class: 8 (1E) 12 (C&C)
Move: 20"
Hit Dice: 2
% in Lair: 50 %
Treasure Type: See below
No. of Attacks: 2
Damage/Attack: 1-2
Special Attacks: Surprise, Fright, Mistaken Identity
Special Defenses: Dark Vision
Magic Resistance: Standard
Intelligence: Low
Saves: P (C&C)
Alignment: Neutral
Size: L (12' long)
Type: Ma…