Monday, November 27, 2017


My new owlbears have arrived, be ready.

The resin buildings I got at the Convention are painted, and on display over at Dr. Skull's Workshop

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Dungeon-O-Matic

When we desire to have an "everybody plays" session, where no one is DMing a planned adventure, we can use the "Dungeon-O-Matic" using the Brown Cardboard Tiles, or any other dungeon tiles for that matter and the following procedure:

The Dungeon-O-Matic




1—Place a Dungeon Tile on the table


2—Place door markers at all open exits from the tile.


3—Have party enter the tile.


4—Roll each hallway or room entered (1d10), after door is opened


                        1-3   Empty

                        4      Treasure

                        5-6   Monster, No Treasure

                        7-9   Monster and Treasure



5—Repeat until dead or leave


TREASURE:  whenever there is a treasure result, pick one player to be “on guard”—watching the hallways while the rest deal with the treasure, that player cannot be involved in the opening of the container.    The “on-guard” player rolls once on the container table (see the Dungeon Stocking Assortment booklet) and DM’s the players’ attempts to open the container.   Each time the players attempt a noisy means to open the container, roll 1d6, with a “6” indicating that a wandering monster (with no treasure) appears.

When the container has been successfully opened, and any traps have been triggered or disarmed, then roll 1d6 with the result as follows:

            1-2    1 treasure card from the deck

            3-4     2 treasure cards from the deck

            5        3 treasure cards from the deck

            6        2+1d4 treasure cards from the deck

Pocket Change and Looted Equipment:  if the enemy were humanoids of some sort (orcs, human, dwarves, ogres etc.) who might use money, even if they otherwise have no treasure indicated, consider them to have 2d6 silver pieces each.    If they are wearing armor and carrying weapons, consider that one half the equipment has survived the battle and can be taken as loot (if you can carry it), although generally, body armor worn by orcs and goblin types has no loot value.

MONSTERS:  use the Dungeon Stocking Assortment (or some other random level-themed monster encounter table).    When a monster is indicated, roll 1d6 as follows:

                        1:   1 roll of monster 1 level lower than dungeon level

                        2:   2 rolls of monster 1 level lower, but reroll if incompatible monsters

                        3-5   1 roll of monster of dungeon’s level

                        6:     1 roll of monster of 1 level higher than dungeon’s level

In all cases, re-roll if monster won’t fit in room or is inappropriate to context

TRAPS: roll 1d10 on the following table:
            1-6:  Roll random trap from Dungeon Stocking Assortment and have it effect the person who opens the door, and those nearby as appropriate
            7-8:  Heavy Portcullis falls down splitting the party in half  DC 20 Strength to open, one attempt per person
            9:  last person in marching order is affected by random trap
            10:  all doors behind the party are sealed shut.   Party can’t exit the dungeon until finds another exit.   Either wait for new tile with stairs marked on it to be drawn randomly, or have the next encounter with a trap be the exit.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Appraising Loot

Dave had mentioned a method of keeping track of secret loot values in a three-ring binder so that loot cards shuffled into the deck could be cross-referenced with a sales value. However, since there isn't any *appraise* skill of its own I'm not quite sure how to have PCs know the true cost of stuff. Since loot is the basis for XP, I thought this could be a very important bit of rules we want to agree on beforehand.

I've come across this post which has a few ideas that we might perhaps use. I specifically like this section:

As far as what skill can be used on this check, or whether a skill can be used at all, I leave it up to my players to suggest a skill that might apply and justify it. This puts the onus on them to decide what they want to use, and it has the additional benefit of sometimes letting them use something that wouldn't have occurred to me.

I like it because it occurs to me that PCs may have creative ways to appraise things that aren't clear. For example, one might use the Persuasion skill to just "make stuff up" about a particular item, essentially doing the exact same thing as a basic appraise roll.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Weak Magic Items

As we decide how to create our magic item deck, take a look at this page dedicated to helping to create weak magic items. Do you guys suppose we might be able to incorporate more of these types of magical weapons and armor rather than just the traditional +1 sword?

Square Crawl

Any DM can claim a square on the board, once done, he marks up the details of the square as he desires and runs the broad outline of any encounters in that square.
Cross Country Movement:  use standard rules for movement, difficult terrain and forced marches from SRD pages 84-85
Terrain Types:
Plains: not difficult terrain for any mode
Forest:  not difficult for foot, but difficult for horses or wagons
Hills:  not difficult for foot or horse, but difficult for wagons
Mountain:  always difficult
Swamp:  always difficult
Desert:  difficult for wagons, or if you don’t have adequate water
Tundra:  difficult from October to April
--we need a way to mark map—colors or symbol—for terrain once discovered
Passing through:  when players enter a square for the first time, they should roll on the region terrain chart and determine what terrain type the square is.    If they are just passing through, they draw a single encounter card for the time they spend traveling.
Exploring a Square:  in order to get a general sense of the layout of the square, the players must spend some time scouting around the square to get the lay of the land.   If they are on foot, they spend 6+1d6 days scouting around the square.   If they are on horseback, they spend 3+1d4 days scouting around the square.   Any pack beasts or wagons must be set up in a fixed camp.  If the party possess a spy glass, reduce time of scouting by 1 day.  They can cut the time into fractions by splitting the party (so if you make 4 groups, you divide total time by 4) there is a minimum of 1 day of scouting in any event.  Each group draws one encounter card per day spent scouting.
Scouting the square reveals the location of all obvious (not hidden somehow) settlements, ruins, and major lairs in the square.
What’s in a Square:
As a baseline:  
1d4+2 settlements
1d4  ruins
1d4 lairs
Perhaps allow each to “Ace” once.
These are “obvious” locations, ones that locals will all know, and which will be easily located by scouting and inspection.

Overland Encounters

Encounter Cards:

Each square the party passes through, or each day a group spends scouting a square, or each night spent encamped outdoors, requires the DM to secretly draw one encounter card from a standard playing card deck, with the results as below.


Card Result:

Joker:  DM’s Choice/Special:  if PC spends inspiration, then PC’s choice

Spades: no encounter

Hearts:  potential helpful encounter

            Ace:  helpful healing hermit

            King:  spirit or fey creature with helpful advice

            Queen:  convenient shelter or unknown dungeon

            Jack: helpful peddler with things to sell

            Number Card:  deer or wild boar to hunt, if desired

Diamonds: encounter with humans or demi-human locals

            Ace:  Noble, Knights or Leaders with soldiers

            Face Card:   Patrol (Knights, Archers and/or Guards or the like as appropriate)

            Odd numbered Card:   thieves, bandits, cultists, perhaps disguised as commoners

            Even numbered card:   commoners doing their business

Clubs:    encounter with hostile monsters

            Ace/Face Card:  serious monster (probably owlbears), coming right for you

            Odd Number Card: Orc or goblinoid raiders

            Even Number Card:  other wilderness monster

Monday, November 13, 2017

Down Time Idea

Solo Adventure or Heist:

A PC who does not participate in a session may take part in a Solo Adventure or Heist.   The player must describe what the character is attempting to do (it should not involve permanent consequences to world, those are for actually on scree adventures).   Then roll on following Table

3d6 Roll                Result
3-5                        0xp, lose carried possessions, imprisoned by enemies
6-8                        0xp, lose 100gp
9-11                      1xp, gain 200gp
12-15                    2xp, 500gp
16-18                    2xp, 1000gp  minor magic item

  • If we used this, then we shouldn't do XP transfer from character to character
  • This is just first draft, if you have adjustments please chime in
  • I do think it should be impossible to get more than 2 xp this way
  • there should definitely be serious risk in this option

Friday, November 10, 2017

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Clean Up Time

I'm fixing to clean up the game room from last week's episode.  I guess there's no reason that I can't just throw away most of the To A Bloody Pulp accessories, i.e., the cards and other paper goods.  I'll keep the notebook and buildings and stuff, but the equipment, stat cards etc can all go. Right?

Update 1. Moving along, throwing things away mercilessly

Update 2:  bad news for Andrew, your houses and bridge are packed and ready to take home.  I can't seem to find the lid to your small tub of chips

Friday, November 3, 2017

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Mapping Krondor

Let's sketch the outline of Krondor next Sunday as well, pointing out the location of Newport, the volcano, and the mouths of a few rivers. If we use a 1 square = 10 mile scale we could easily fit a PA/Iceland sized island on a piece of 1" graph paper.

Once we've got a rough sketch, I'll be able to create a digital version appropriate for displaying in our logs. With any luck, I'll have the Lords of Hack website back up and running by then and we can start to wiki about things we find on the island and the world of the Great Ocean.

Stupid Flanders

Climate of Krondor

The climate of Krondor is temperate, not unlike that of Pennsylvania. Prevailing winds come from the East, and there is heavy precipitation in the South of the island in the Spring and Fall. Snow accumulates fast on the island in colder months, but ocean borne currents melt large deposits within a week. Winters are often bitterly cold and dry, with biting winds - particularly in the highlands to the North where there is less precipitation.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Basic Geography Ideas


Krondor is an island in the Great Ocean, about the same size as Pennsylvania or Iceland.   There is one major human settlement on the island, the trade town of Newport, on the southern coast of the island.   The southern region is sprinkled with independent human and demi-human settlements and petty fiefs founded by exiles, outlaws and colonists over the last century, but the northern 2/3 of the island are controlled by bands of humanoids and monsters.  There is a mighty volcano located near the center of the island.



 The principal town in the southern region of the island of Krondor is called Newport.   It was founded about a hundred years ago by the explorer Sir Edward of Gath.  It serves principally as the center of the Ginster trade and as a landing point for prospective inland settlers.   It’s ruled by the Nedwyn, Viscount of Newport, a descendant of Sir Edward, who also holds the largely empty title of Lord Lieutenant of Krondor.  However, it is arguable as to whether the Viscount or the Factor of the Royal Krondor Company has more real power.  While all the inhabitants of the town claim that it was built within the last century, about one in four buildings is smaller in size that the rest, is inhabited by gnomes, and appears to be quite a bit older than 100 years.



The reason that settlers keep attempting to establish holdings on Krondor, despite the ferocity of the monsters present on the island, is the existence of the Ginster Berry.   A gallon of Ginster berries can be ground down to a pound of Ginster Powder which can be sold on the mainland for 15gp.  Ginster powder is a delightful spice for meat and vegetables and has amazing anti-parasitical properties, which makes it a high demand product.  The Royal Krondor Company has a monopoly on the export of Ginster products of all sort.   They will buy a gallon (about 10 lbs.) of berries for 5gp at Newport, and will also react with extreme violence to any attempt to circumvent their monopoly.

More Thoughts

Here is a grab-bag of other thoughts about campaign set-up



Each character can carry a number of items (“THINGS”) equal to his Strength Score.   If he carries more THINGS than this, he suffers a -1 penalty to all rolls and -5 feet to movement for each additional THING.    A sack of 1000 coins (about 10 pounds) counts as a THING.


In order to encourage the use of multiple characters during the campaign, let us say that if a character is wounded below 1 hit point during a session, then he must sit out the following session and one of the player’s other characters must be used.   This mandatory rest session happens even if the character gets back on his feet and continues to act during the session where he was injured.   It can be put off for a session if there is a legitimate story reason for him to keep going (the quest is in progress and we stopped in the middle of the action etc.).


Sailing Off

We should come up for reasons for people to sail ‘back home”, off map.   It should take a minimum of 1d6+6 days to get home (with the d6 being able to “Ace”), and with perhaps sailing during the Winter being impossible.   Perhaps one would need to do this to recruit farmers or craftsmen for one’s lands,   to trade a magic item for a different one,  or stuff like that.   One would have to spend time in the home country, and then have to sail back of course.  


I’m kind of against using multi-classing.   There seems to be enough options for characters with multiple powers to make it unnecessary for story purposes, it just seems to be twink-tastic to me.