Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Vampire PCs of Kalak-Nur for B/X Etc

Because always write down the crazy ideas you have when you shoulda been asleep an hour ago.  I just had this idea and wanted to see what people think. It's my intention to give fellow DMs something to use when a PC gets turned, so I want this to be useful for you.

I don't use all the B/X stuff (prime requisites) but I put it all in case you do.

Prime Requisite: Charisma

Exp Progression, Saves, Weapons/Armor: as Elf

Spell and Attack Progression: as Cleric (where 1st spell is gained at level 2; if race/class are separate, spells are as per class)

HP: 1 per level and see below

This breed of vampire only gains lasting sustenance from willing victims. At the beginning of each session, the other members of the party must decide how much HP to give to the Vampire PC, which is exchanged on a 1 for 1 basis. This is best done in private in-game, as it represents the Vampire drinking the blood of its companions. These HP contribute to the Vampire's max HP for that session, and are lost at the end of it (they can be carried over if the action is "paused" and other PCs are not able to rest).
With dedication and prolonged effort, Vampire PCs can gain NPC Thralls to drink from if the DM allows, as detailed below.

Current HP
Forms Available
Hideous humanoid beast, or literal walking skeleton; cannot pass for human
Pale, drawn, can pass for very sick person
Handsome, charming youth with a savage allure
Wolf or giant mantis
Contested CHA vs target’s WIS to appear as someone they trust
Large Bat or hawk
Rat or insect Swarm
This is cumulative, so a Vampire PC with 13 HP could change into a wolf, giant mantis, charming youth, sickly person, or skeleton. A PC with 28 or more HP could turn into anything listed on the chart.

Uses Of Blood
Blood of the Willing: increases session-long max HP
Blood of the Unwilling: increases HP or AC for one encounter or turn
Either: makes more physical forms available as per chart above; can be "burned" to increase any Specialist Skill for one roll.

Gaining a Thrall

The Vampire must be passable as human to attempt this.
If an NPC is encountered more than once, starting on the second encounter, the Vampire PC may make a CHA check each time. For each success in a row, the NPC will allow that many HP to be drained from them. If you have the type of game for it, the interaction and seduction should be roleplayed to the extent that makes sense for you and your group. 
If a thrall finds out about any other thrall, they will attempt to kill the other thrall or commit suicide. Thralls believe they are the Vampire's only special one.
Roll a percentage check each time a Thrall is drank from; if the number of total HP gained from that thrall or less is rolled, the Thrall is permanently in love with the Vampire PC and will allow them to drink with no further rolls.

Blood of the Unwilling
A Vampire PC may drink from the unwilling if the victim is grappled for two rounds in a row and a seperate to-hit roll for the bite is made. After a successful bite, no further rolls are required to drink. The Vampire gains 1d4 temporary HP per round this way. These HP are lost in the usual manner (IE wounds), when the current encounter is over (if it involves other NPCs), or when one turn passes. If in doubt, they expire after 20 minutes of real time. These can boost AC instead of HP; see below.

The Vampire loses all HP gained from drinking blood (both session-long HP gained from the willing, and temp HP from the unwilling) in direct sunlight. This leaves them with HP equal to their level minus any lost to combat. This will leave them with limited appearance options until higher levels; see the chart above.
As permanent HP are lost first when wounded, this could reduce a PC to 0 HP.

Specialist/Thief Skills
Using the LotFP Skill system the Vampire PC gains 2 points to distribute among the following skills at first level, and 1 point every level gained. If you're using B/X or AD&D, the Vampire has 32% points to distribute at first level, and 16% to distribute for each level gained after that.
(If race and class are separate in the current game, Skills are as per the Vampire's Class)
Sleight of Hand
Sneak Attack

Regardless of alignment, these Vampires can be turned as a creature of their level by any creature able to turn undead. Those who have spent significant time with the Vampire as a companion may choose to exclude the Vampire when turning.

To enter any private residence, the Vampire must be invited by a person who lives there (and has done so for more than one week, unless the residence is new). Otherwise, blood will erupt from their pores and the Vampire will lose 1d4 HP per round.

Spells/Healing (EDIT to add this)
I left this vague for each DM to figure out, but here's what I'd do:
-Cleric spells are always the reverse (thus, no healing spells)
-Healing magic acts upon the Vampire as the reverse (as it would any undead in my game)

Be awesome and do not take a long time choosing what to do, Vampire. 

What do you think? Comment here or on the G+ Post.

(EDIT: THREE TWEAKS I thought of:
1. casting any spell reduces HP by 1
2. any of the Vampire's HP can be sacrificed to increase AC 1 for 1 up to 4 total per day
3. burning HP to increase an Ability Score for one roll)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Doom Cave of the Crystal-Headed Contest

This probably flies in the face of all acceptable human behavior, but here goes -

I backed Doom Cave of the Crystal-Headed Children, Lamentations of the Flame Princess's contribution to Free RPG Day 2014, on IndieGoGo months ago. I will eventually receive a copy from that.
Then, on Free RPG Day, everything else looked so pat and boring to my malicious eye, that I chose it as my one free item. This cements my status as a horrible, lazy, corrupt, and impatient person. I have violated all concept of a social contract, and should be flayed alive.
I'm running DCotCHC via G+ Hangout this Thursday night. The game is currently full (8 players / 11 potential characters).

After that, my plan is to give it to someone who didn't get a chance to grab it for Free RPG Day.

I'd prefer it if this wasn't someone who just chose to grab other things, but that it go to someone who had no local participating store, or whose local stores were too lame to have this adventure out for the taking. Did you get screwed on FreeRPGDay? This is for you.

Thusly, I am going to have a horrible, horribly vague contest to give the appearance of meritocracy to my whimsical choice as to who gets it.

Requirements: a written thing in viewable or hearable format that is more than a trap (or monster), but does not have to be a full adventure. That is, it should contain at least one trap or monster, plus other stuff. Maps! I sure do like maps with interesting things on them.
It can be all pictures, or all text, or an audio file, but hopefully will contain at least two of those things. Don't be afraid to detail mechanics of how the thing you're describing works.

Submissions will be accepted at metalvsskin at geemale dot calm from Tuesday, June 24th - Tuesday, July 8th. Submissions can be files attached to the email or links to content hosted on a website. All submissions must have been created for this contest, or previously abandoned projects that you finished for this contest.

My physical copy of The Doom Cave of the Crystal-Headed Children, in good condition, mailed to the winner, free.
The winner and second place will also receive a free PDF of an adventure I'm working on when I finish it. This will probably be done in September or October. This adventure is in no way affiliated with LotFP or Doom Cave or anything like that. I will probably charge money for it when I finish it, except to the top two of this contest, who will get it for free.
First, Second, and Third place will receive random unpainted miniatures from me, mailed to them for free. Most of these are adventurers, but there might be a monster in there.

Starting with the winner and until I get tired of drawing, you'll also receive drawings from me. I might just scan them or whatever if I'm not already mailing you something.

So, at least four people will get prizes.

I should clarify that if you enter this contest and don't put it on your blog I will probably put your entry on my blog.

There, now I am done trampling all over everything that is good and just.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Kalak-Nur Magic Items

Some items from G Plus posts I haven't put here yet, or have updated.

Leeching Orb - When the effect of a spell or magic item is used on the holder of this orb, the effect happens as normal, but the caster or item then makes a saving throw. If failed, further charges of the item or spells from the caster's brain are absorbed by the Leeching Orb until a save is passed or 5 charges are absorbed. This process will continue even if the holder of the orb throws it from their person. When 5 charges are absorbed, the Leeching Orb discharges as a Chain Lightning directed away from the orb as if cast by a 5th level Magic User. The orb is then destroyed. 

Blaster - 1d6+1 damage,1d6+1 shots left before needing recharge when found; otherwise as hand crossbow with no reload and fastest weapon speed.

Laser Sword - ignores non-tech/magic armor; 2d4 damage; -4 to hit; fumble on 1-4 causing damage to wielder; reduce penalties as follows - roll d4 at each use, on a 1 penalties are reduced by 1

Segmented Chain Whipsword - -2 to hit, 1d6+2 damage; on an 19+ to hit can ensnare opponent's weapon instead of damage and disarm on opposed STR roll; on 20 crit can ensnare opponent's limb; if maintains hold 1 round (opposed STR) can sever; 5% chance of breaking checked at the end of each combat used.

True Seeing goggles ( but charges are expended per creature/thing seen

electro-arrows - d6 normal dmg, d6 electricity dmg, save vs or be paralyzed d6 rounds on a hit

 "torture daggers": -1 to hit, 1d3 damage, victim must Save VS Paralysis or writhe in agony, getting -3 to next action.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Kalak-Nur Digest

The Grand Bazaar of Targenmoor ended as usual for most; waking in strange beds, sleeping off the afterpains of revelry for most of a week, discovering strange new tattoos, lovers, debts, or items that one is unable to remember acquiring.
Famat-The-Veiled blessed many trades!

The Fox Festival of Cortuth approaches fast, and those who wish to participate as Foxes are advised to begin traveling within the week to arrive at Cortuth in time for The Donning of Gloves. Those who wish to participate as The Blissful may tarry a bit longer, but not too much. Bring appropriate clothing!
(questions may be directed to your local Guild of Talent.)

The city of Vance has established a fishing and farming outpost to the NorthWest (in hex 1604). Recent skirmishes between cults on the path from city to outpost has made it dangerous to transport goods and citizens back and forth, however. The Church of Gorgathon's efforts to help a sister nature church dedicated to the dryad Dyna have been opposed by local cults "The Eater of Secrets" and "The Devouring Ignorance".

It is said that through Dyna's influence, some skeletons in The Westlands have "awoken" with intelligence, and prefer the society of the living to their own kind. What this means, only Fate will tell.

Those who run in mystical or underground circles have heard: the Palaces of Interstice have reappeared after 500 years, on schedule as predicted by various oracles. Rumor has it that the Insect-people arrived first, and claimed most of the Masks. (You may remember the unexplained mass exodus of insect-peoples from major cities a few months ago). The Black Veil arrived thereafter. The Insect-people may have already conquered the Alabaster Halls and part of the Great Ruby Chambers, but the Black Veil fares better in the Passages of Onyx and Crystal. (Hex 3205)
It is said many ancient treasures lie in the Palaces of Interstice, and many bizarre distortions of reality. One skilled in the arts might be able to transmute one enchanted item into another, for instance. Entering the Palaces changes one, or changes the rest of the world around one, forever. It is unclear if there is a difference. What is known is this: if you lose your Mask, you are lost forever. Some have trapped their enemies that way.

The mutant army of Amayawjkqd neow3j0100101010 has descended from the North to surround the structure formerly known as Mocata's Stronghold, now the center of the Magic-User's Guild led by Archmage Valentine McGee. What those insane, unfortunate mutants want is unknown. We hope the Archmage can protect his 526 charges, poor orphans from Tartary, from the ravages of war.

It was overheard during the Grand Bazaar that a Slow-Trans Diffraction Drive is at a stable point in the Westlands, and if one were to fight one's way there through the zombies infesting that land, one might be able to take advantage of that Drive's Quantum Reality pods in various ways. (Hex 1422)

I'll probably see comments on the Google Plus Post sooner than comments here.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Dragoon - class for DnD type games

+Reynaldo MadriƱan asked +Pearce Shea what class he'd like to see, and he answered Dragoon, which happens to fit nicely into Kyrlan, the setting for my new home game...

HP, Saves: as Cleric
EXP Advancement: as Fighter
WEAPONS: +1 per level to attack with lances and spears (and other polearms at the DM's discretion). +1 every two levels to attack with any other weapon. As they are highly trained with well-made weapons of war, they have a -2 penalty to attack with weapons that were not made by a decent smith at a forge (IE improvised weapons).
ARMOR: Dragoons commonly wear a hybridized lightweight armor that combines plate and leather. It has AC equivalent to Chain Mail, and they cannot use their Jump ability in anything heavier than Chain.

ABILITIES: Jump - make a mighty leap above the fray, landing on a specific opponent the next round. Useable once per day per level. The Dragoon leaves melee on his or her turn, then reenters on his or her next turn on top of an enemy. While they are in the air, they are immune to melee attacks from the ground and have +2 bonus to AC vs ranged attacks and those from airborne creatures.
The Dragoon is considered to be 20 ft above for purposes of area of effect spells, as limited by the size of the room.
The Dragoon must choose which enemy they will land upon before jumping, and choose whether they automatically hit that enemy for normal damage or make a normal attack roll doing maximum damage if successful. Should the enemy move while the Dragoon is in the air, they may make this attack on any enemy adjacent to their landing area.
Enemies cannot discern which opponent the Dragoon is leaping toward until they land (at the DM's discretion - especially experienced or smart foes should be able to roll to figure it out).

Path of Breath or Path of Companionship
At level 4, a Dragoon must seek a master Dragoon to teach them the beginnings of a Path (otherwise, they cannot progress beyond 4th level). The two known Paths are:

Path of Breath - The Dragoon gains the ability to breath fire once per day for every level gained above 3rd (so level-3 times per day). This fire harms or heals at the Dragoon's will for 1d8+level damage. The fire cures diseases starting at level 6, removes curses at level 7, and dispels magic once per day at level 8.

Path of Companionship - Through ritual starvation and constant accompaniment, the Dragoon develops a psychic bond with a baby Firedrake. This diminutive relative of the Dragon begins the size of a housecat, with accompanying statistics and the following additions:
-Flight - as per the Firedrake entry in the Monster Manual, or 18"
-Breath - a 6' by 10' cone doing 1d8 damage, growing by 6' every level of the Dragoon beyond 4th. This is the Firedrake's combustible blood. When the Dragoon is level 6, the damage doubles to 2d8.
-Combustible Blood -see Firedrake entry in the Monster Manual
-Bite -does 1d4 initially, double to 2d4 when the Dragoon is level 6
-The DM should feel free to use the Firedrake MM entry once the PC is level 10, and perhaps allow the companion to grow to rideable size.
-The Dragoon and Firedrake can communicate through chirrups and gestures, developing a psychic bond by level 6. Every level of companionship allows them to communicate one more word and 20 more feet apart.

Once a path is chosen, the other is lost to that Dragoon for life. The only exception is if some magical effect erases the intervening time (the Dragoon is reduced to 4th level or below and re-attains 4th level.) In this case, a master of the other Path may be sought out to enable further advancement.

More paths for Dragoons are rumored, but are unknown to this chronicler.

Dragoons are a fading tradition in the Shining Empire of Kyrlan. Once upon a time, they numbered in the tens of thousands, and many little boys and girls competed to enter their training. Since the discovery of the mineral kjarn, it's burning in magitek steam engines, and the Empire's move toward that technology, numbers of new Dragoon recruits have fallen. Some fear this proud tradition may fade from the empire entirely. There are even rumors of Dragoons who, unhappy with the way the Empire is heading, have joined resistance groups in the border towns.
As long as the kjarn mineral is mined and shipped to factories for fuel processing, however, the Shining Empire will march on.