Sunday, June 25, 2017

Bog Butter And Fog And Witches

Started a new campaign with a whole new cast, first adventure

CAST

Anachronia Stensdottir, hard-of-hearing soon-to-be merchant seeking adventure.
Mercy Babylon, Gucchi layabout with prices of sex acts tattooed on her chest.
Agnes Hadlow, ambiguously human bog mummy who makes newspapers for swamp hags.
Prunes Holzbuck, tiny cursed person tied to a tortoise.

The premise begins with the party gathered together on a carriage headed to Flan on the Moonsea. To get there, the party had to travel through the Quivering Forest.

Mercy, Agnes, and Ana all split the original bill, while Agnes hid herself on the roof amongst all the luggage for a nap during the journey. During the journey, strange fog began to manifest heavily, knee-deep on the road and thicker beyond the forest's treeline.

There is a wreckage of horses as the coachman flees suddenly, gasping a half-heard name: ‘Alya' and running off before the party can respond. From this impact, Agnes is thrown from her perch among the luggage, and the full party meets each other properly for the first time.

Prunes thinks Agnes smells terrible, Agnes has no idea who anybody else is, Mercy is ticked because the impact interrupted her own nap. As both Prunes and Agnes are druids, the former's turtle is questioned but gives no answers. Agnes pulls the head off of the ruined pile of dead horse wrapped around the tree it ran into. Everyone is surrounded by the thick fog, with dim lights in the distance and a slow, single drumbeat from the same direction.

Ana goes towards the lights—revealed to be an octagonal roadhouse—bangs on the door, asks for adventure from the bald woman who answers.

Agnes is going the club-against-palm thing and freaks out the owner Rum who closes the door in their face. Agnes then poisons the door and feigns danger to get everyone inside. The inn is full of people, Rum the owner, and Milos the drummer. Mercy buys some good brandy, Agnes tries to fill the horse head with more blood, which makes everyone present very uncomfortable. Rum is annoyed by the drumming but Milos—he counters that with how he wants his funeral drumming to be perfect, Rum counters that 'he' isn’t dead yet. Agnes offers to help the boy—her brother—after it’s admitted he’s cursed:
Medicine reveals his pupils are huge, his blood smells sweet, his breathing is slow
Arcana reveals he isn’t cursed
Detect disease and poison reveals he is drugged to fuck

Rum conflates this with the story of Jaegers who hung around and then disappeared, goes to her basement, finds out one of them stole her curative herbs and probably drugged her brother when escaping Party takes on the job of tracking them down—while also looking for their coachman—for preserves, free food, and a ride to Flan.

The part then rushed in to the forest, met and yelled at some squirrels about a nasty boy, got revealed that someone shiny and clattering passed through the forest before them. They fed the squirrels horse meat and promised they would feed the Jaeger to the squirrels when they find him.

Ana found clear marks on the roots that could be seen, and a solid gold button. Prunes was pissed about this, tried to steal it multiple times. The failures of a solid-gold currency were discussed.

Party came to a brook that had an excess of fog coming off of it, almost like a wall, used destroy water to make a pass through the wall and saw that the whole underbrush was rotting—also more buttons where found, by Agnes this time. Prunes pick pocketed one of them.

Came into a clearing with a big dog. Ana has never seen a dog before and was afraid. Dogs are hungry. Dog owners were ghillie suit elves who demanded they drop their weapons since the party are intruders/poachers. Agnes couldn't see them and thought there were only ghosts, Ana couldn't hear them, Prunes could see every pore

There was debate on why they were armed, elves get suspicious and claim the party are intruders, poachers, but Agnes says they're hunting the most dangerous game—MAN—and ask if he was seen before. Promises not to kill animals even though no one's dropping their weapons. Elves say yes and indicate where, then leave.

Party takes left fork through the rotten forest and comes to a sunnier glade. Jenny Greenteeth is there, a pleasant old woman, who mentions how new people are showing up every day.

Everyone introduces themselves. It is revealed that the party is going to kill a drug dealer, get asked if they're murderers—this is met by lots of protestations, then an 'eh not yet' kinda vibe. Mention he's a poisoner, Greenteeth reveals that the twisted person she's using as a walking stick is that poisoner, who tried to kill her with poisoned tea. Party only really cares about the curative, Ana wants the button-filled jacket. Jenny says that she can't just give the party the rare herbs, offers a choice: get rid of the elves who have been tracking them—accusations of racism—or come under her service for a while as emissaries. After making sure she's not trying to enslave them, most party takes the offer and gets witch-mark moles on their faces with the exception of Mercy.

Everyone goes back to Jenny's underlake cave hut, get the curatives, and see Jenny doing a polymorph on the Jaeger. Fifteen seconds of screaming ensue; Agnes says ‘nothing will be okay’ to the Jaeger. He's very fast and very dextrous though, and jumps free, knocks over the cauldron and breaks an Ana-Agnes clothesline. Ana tries to tackle him but fails.

Jenny is very angry about this, swears a lot but admits it's her fault, says a night run is always good for women her age. Everyone goes outside after making sure the moles won't vibrate as a sign. Agnes makes sure the marks will only hurt them if they defy Jenny. Talk about whether or not everyone joined a cult, Agnes specifies it’s a coven.

They go back to the inn with curatives! Offer bog butter to the ghillie elves, who in turn offer it to their dogs and it's good. Everyone gets back to Rum, give her the curatives to great relief and feelings of accomplishment.

Talk about clotheslining and Milos offers an arm wrestling contest because he can't do a funeral dirge anymore, is bored, and sees Ana as a martial type. Another dude named Clardic Fug gets in on the stuff and sets up a little betting tournament between the three.
Mystery box(one button) waged against Milos' drums (heavily overpriced), and Ana loses after doing a last-minute dramatic arm hold.
We discuss the value of a gold economy.
Clardic Fug starts off strong but has no staying power. Button, almonds, and horse head waged against cache of stuff. Ana wins!

Party checks up on Rum, gets told the poultice will take all night to make so she can take them to Flan in the morning. They forgot about their coachman though, but shrug it off. They divvy up Fug's cache, full of nice clothing and antitoxin. There's a bit of argument about that, saying the whole adventure was kinda pointless if he had this all along—Fug explains it wouldn't make Rum's brother any less high, and might fuck him up more.

Agnes decides to make horsehead jerky overnight, and dozes in her sleep. Mercy however is awoken by someone tapping at her shoulder, and whispering into her ear. It's the Jaeger from before, slashed up and panicked, begging Mercy to not tell anyone that he is hiding there because she's the most reasonable one, the one who didn't take a contract with Jenny. For some reason, Jenny isn't allowed to enter the inn without permission.

Mercy agrees on receiving his coat, and gets it. She models it for a bit but finds it uncomfortable, so packs it away along with the gown she received.

Then there is banging at the door, waking everyone up. There is much banging of heads on tables, or falling off things. It's Jenny, asking if anyone had seen a man she's looking for. Mercy tries to ward this off but Agnes thinks she's so wrong she doesn't even know she's wrong. The Jaeger didn't hide his footprints very well, which lead to the cellar doors.

Agnes and Prunes both imitate the Jager tone of voice and deep pitch to get their quarry to poke his head out; it works, and he freaks before getting Charmed by Agnes. There is questioning about his motives, his goals, and in short:
1. He wanted to ensure safety for his unit, because they're not safe in Flan or in the woods, and Jenny is powerful
2. He is the poisoner of the unit, and needed a bargaining chip to ensure he got a fair deal from Jenny
3. The tactician of his unit, Sibil, claimed to see the future and terrible figures in the mist

Agnes has him strip of all his equipment, and sets Jenny upon him. The screams of being polymorphed into a walking stick draw everyone around, and Agnes is smiling so widely and so horribly at everyone. Jenny emerges with her quarry and everyone is horrified. Jenny says that Rum shouldn't dig too deeply under her basement floor, there's bad things there.

The party gathered their things and gets on the Flan with Rum as driver, getting collectively high on the hashish, stunning narcotic, and some kind of amphetamine the Jaeger had on his person. Rum sits by the roadside and gets blackout drunk.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Playing Sweet and Playing Nice

YOU ARE
And will continue to be

Pick your name, pick a skill you are good at, pick a way you are very social
You have three DICE POOLS
COMPETENCE DICE, particular skills you’re good at.
OBLIGATION DICE, the progress that comes from the social contract.
PAIN DICE, your ability to process trauma.

You start with 2 Competence Dice, 2 Obligation Dice, and 2 Pain dice.

1-3 are successful rolls, 4-6 are failed
Normal tasks require 2 successes
Challenges require 3 successes
Risks require 4 successes

WHEN ROLLING A CHALLENGE
Always roll starting with Competence; other players may add Obligation, and the same player may add Pain. Count how many dice of each type succeed.
If Competence is highest, you complete your task.
If Obligation is highest, the player that offered dice may take as many dice as they offered for their next roll.
If Pain is highest, one additional Pain die is added.

ON COMPETENCE
Also a skill that you alone can do very well under stress.
ON OBLIGATION 
Also a way in which you get social capital or navigate socially.
        ON PAIN
                Also a way to deal with trauma. If you get 6 Pain dice total, you are incapacitated.

ADVANCING
Every five successful rolls, choose an advancement:
Increase Competence Dice by 1 (max 4D6)
Increase Obligation Dice by 1 (max 4D6)

Increase Pain threshold by 1 (max 8)

Because I've been playing a lot of Monsterhearts and really like games where social interactions can be more than just a static roll, and being friends self-reinforces everyone's goals.

Monday, April 10, 2017

It's Done - Croixsing In Full

It is, that one piece I'd say I'd finish and finally, here it is for your consumption.

Including twenty-one pages of :
Neighborhood landmarks
A map of the whole city with a closeup of the Serpent's Nest district
Notable faces around town
Rumors and weird phenomena
Motivations, obligations, fancy fashions, and narcotics

All for the price of only US$7.50—or more, if you want to pay.

You can get it HERE

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Everyone Is Dropping Like Flies

"It is the bigotry, paranoia, and ennui-stricken 2000s in America. All at once, your mutual friend Ve contacts you all with a request—to travel to the small mountain town of Bathleigh and investigate the disappearance of her sister "V" with whatever means you have available."

I made a tiny Call of Cthulhu mystery with the absolute minimum playable materials for someone to use. Working on that informational clarity, crispness, and straightforwardness.

Plus, it has original art done by myself.

And it's all for free as a one-page PDF located here!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Words And Where You Live

Just added a new page for three new pieces:
the Croixsing pamphlet,
a Hellcrawl generator and rules for vaguely 5e-inspired things,
and a Countercolonial Heistcrawl-compatible thing.

As well, I've been working on a longer and art-filled version of the Croixsing pamphlet, so anyone who wants to buy that it'll be good stuff.

As well here's an evocative table.

D20 MINOR BOROUGHS

1. Ratcourt
Broad streets are abandoned but maintained by tongueless volunteers while residents scramble through sub-basements.

2. Commune Etymol
Classically-styled buildings forming an artificial hill. No windows but trapdoors everywhere.

3. Botuogap
Swampy gardens and constant partying, collective ownership of all houses, trash piled up.

4. Bathleigh
Sealed off by old clay plague-walls and the bones of unfortunate workers.

5. Tank Lane
Oily, rainy neighborhood will all kinds of chemical tests going on at all hours.

6. Pental et Penital
Borough like a blooming flower in stone, flowing mortar in a tangle of fake petals.

7. Spidermouth
Glass houses and self-confident exhibitionists; windows taking up whole walls.

8. Commune Epistomol
Building facades flowing from rooftops to street level, roads could not be more uneven.

9. West Rosewall
Steep steepled cathedral-homes painted in monochrome shades and puncturing clouds with spires and radio-towers; streets paved with what look like oversized teeth.

10. Sinister Ostis
Choking vines have grown past their trellises into dense, rotting canopies that connect every roof. Excellent winemakers.

11. Waspgall
Impromptu gardens and cultivars appearing in every unused barrel and open hole in the ground, groups of gardeners crossbreed plants to be as dramatic and visible as possible.

12. Fallen Roost
Ramshackle buildings being pulled up by their roots and rearranged to form a massive, complex, growing mathematical figure. Nothing touches the scrimshaw statue at the center.

13. The Hive Ascendent
Exposed sewer or flood-tunnel that has had its ceilings ripped off. Lower floors hold virulent molds and growths and dangers.

14. The Fourthvault
Tall, slender trees giving shade, their stumps home to vast colonies of wasps. Perfectly circular rings of fungal trees, covered in blood-droplets.

15. Redhall
Rocks that have openings like mouths, teeth, and tongues. All dripping like fountains with dew.

16. Silent Burg
Canals of salt-crusted concrete, covered with wooden walkways, filled with stagnant, putrid pinkish slime.

17. Sinnerbones Stretch
Thick vein-like structures buckle and bloat flagstones and erupt around buildings in tangles of capillaries. Slight smell of salt and blood on the air.

18. Lovely
Every single surface is painted in light pink pastel shades. Deep trenches funnel sewage and wastewater into cesspits at every intersection.

19. Saint’s (De)Basement
Huge stalactites adapted into hive-like homes, bridged with long ropes.

20. Wallow District
Empty arches, long halls in granite and quartz. Onion domes on the tallest towers, and rampant nests of carnivorous scavenger birds on those domes.

D20 MORE MINOR BOROUGHS

1. Chalice Quarter
Red brick buildings raised on massive brass legs and feet. Iconography like swarming locusts and flies around every door and window, sometimes buzzing like actual insects.

2. Handprint Run
Oppressive alleys and tottering, leaning buildings shedding clay roof tiles at the slightest breeze. Suspicious bells strung across every doorway and stoop, moving quietly is impossible.

3. Commune Ontol
Buttressed in shit and filth, sneering cat-shaped waterspouts spit rainwater onto unassuming heads.

4. Quarter of Service
Cyclopean or squarish flagstones, with handrails in bronze and plaques of forgotten names embedded at every corner or turn of the street, always in unpronounceable letters.

5. Batterhatches
Ceremonial faces and torsos are carved and lined on pillars, often of people, sometimes of mythical figures. Large feasthalls and prayer-halls designed to accommodate as many people as possible; always in rotation, always different crowds depending on the date.

6. Winegoblet Quarter
Spiderwebs absolutely everywhere. Chattering, intelligent arachnids the size of dogs with variable legs spinning and casting at all hours. Blocky buildings clumped together.

7. The Putrefact Wash
Low domes plated in gold, surrounded by teeming alleys and overcrowded settlements. Moss- covered cobblestone and clay and rotten mortar.

8. Twentypoints
Highest reaches are plaster-smeared rectangular bricks, in shades of violet and lilac, stained by rust and rain. All doors bear locks, all windows bear intricate bars.

9. Frogtown
Most buildings are large, sprawling mansions with at least three floors and multiple inhabitants, accessible from private alcoves, side-entrances, and back doors while their street-facing sides are adorned with tall windows.

10. Greyhall
Every supporting strut carved with names and faces of contemporary nobility, fears, slogans, symbology. Layers and layers of history coincide at once, and are often lost in the tangle.

11. Bristling Hedge
Mucky manufactory, large pipes sending away waste and wagons sending away processed goods and tall clustered smokestacks sending away burnt remains.

12. Old Lingering Quarter
Exposed cliffs that are just melted buildings, mossy steps and new buildings that are taken from the old foundation. Ponds and marsh and grinning gavials.

13. Ward of Sleeping Cats
Smoothed buildings covered with talking stucco, some abandoned to quietude. Ghosts in the basement, lots of third-floor secrets.

14. Retainer’s Last
Single street where everyone wears masks. All the buildings have masks on them too, free for the taking, never running short of supply.

15. New Rosewall
City-spanning major bridge like masonry giants holding up arches. Suspended, inverted borough hanging from beneath the bridge, all ropes and chains, timber and cages, supports and struts,

16. Bad Wish
Belfries constantly ringing bells that make no sound, buildings have no roofs and people bed down next to one another on the sidewalks to hear the ringing in their sleep.

17. Temple To The Self
Land flickering between past and present, as the ghosts demand it or remember it. A pristine settlement and a forgotten waste and an open crater wavering hot and running down near- molten through radioactivity all at once.

18. Fingertips
Long spiraling lane of butchers, everything mobile is made of carefully carved bones, everything decorative is also made of bones.

19. Poe’s Holdings
Towers built with a mysterious compressed dust that supposedly came from space.

20. Tripointe Alleys
Docks and a lighthouse built over another borough, using roofs as foundation points, covered in inexplicable salt-spray and barnacles.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

And Where We Go We Will Go There With Purpose

It's all I'm saying.

I'll tip my hand here, there's not much I am creative about.

But if anyone has any interest, I made a little pamphlet of the setting my campaign is currently running around in. Purely content that my players have or could run into, mostly locations, people, rumors, secrets, other things.

Here it is.

I don't think I should charge for it right now, but if anyone thinks otherwise do say so.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Stay Outside And Fight Two Hundred Birds

Eigth session. A complete mess but an entertaining mess.

People of Interest:
Dom Poe, a strong and cruel brute.
Aria Noir, a tiny thief who wants to take over the world.
Alice Lepidoptera, a runaway princess of some faroff jungle monarchy.
Sariell Akilo, an extremely fashionable recluse.

People Met:
Brady Katz, a friendly ginger bartender.
Father Felux, a blind priest with melancholia.
Sister Miche, an absolutely huge French muscle nun.
Jackson De La Sangue, smug and loud leader of Cobra House.
Jenny Bones, noseless and unlucky leader of Viper House.
Zitia Chrime, tall, long haired woman who is being followed.

Gains:
One wooden lockbox, containing:
A picture of Jenny Bones and the mysterious assailant, her brother, dated five years ago
Pearl earrings and a pearl necklace
Two notes saying "I'm sorry", "It's okay."
Files on Zitia Chrime and Fernando Du Sade
Donation records to the Heterodox Church of St. Felicissumus, mostly from Deep.
Lots of stolen money
Really cool fashion!

Losses:
The patience of many, many birds.

When the party split up again it was just before noon:
Dom went straight to Viper House, passing by the familiar duo of families insulting each other via signage, and attempted to enter the business. However, the door had been replaced with a well-sealed metal one, complete with eye-level slot; this slot opened and demanded Dom explain what he wanted, and subsequently what kind of gift he intended to return to Jenny when he stated his purpose.
Jenny herself came by a short while later, clearly having been weeping, and was hostile to Dom's very presence near her business—even when he passed her prosthetic nose through the slot. She thanked him curtly and told him to never come near her ever again, and called him a fucker as he departed.

Aria and Sariell limped together towards Croixsing's Twenty-Four-Hour Clinic, sat in a waiting room with five other people in various states of disarray. While he was filing his reason for the visit, Sariell asked the nurse on call what happened to one man with a lot of blood coming out of his nose and mouth; the man himself responded that he got in an alley fight the night before, and had gotten his face stomped in twice. Unfortunately, he couldn't remember anything else.
Sariell eventually was treated by a curt, tired doctor and aided by Sal'anglii Chancre herself. He got some painkillers for his trouble, an ice pack for his cracked ribs, and a warning not to overexert himself.

Aria left to go scope out her target: the weird wharfside chapel she suspected one Slow Asp could be found at. Built isolated and away from the rest of the southern bay, at the end of a docks over the water, the chapel had exactly one window and two bolted doors. No-one but Aria had gone near the place, so no-one commented when she failed a climbing attempt and fell hard on her side. Discouraged, Aria then went back to Father Felux's church while making sure she wasn't being followed or watched.

Alice, still hiding up in the attic, decided to make paper cranes to keep herself occupied during her vigil.

The party gathered again. Dom got the idea that he wanted to capture one of the bell tower birds as a pet, which just so happened to coincide with two of said—a rook and a vulture—breaking off from the flock to circle low around both Dom and Alice. Dom took the remaining rope from the improvised high wire and created a lasso, and successfully punched the vulture out in one hit when it swooped at him. He tied up his new 'pet', proud of the capture. The rest of the party was pretty nonplussed about this for a bit, until Aria herself decided she also wanted a pet and attempted to scope out a single crow from the flock.

In quick order, Aria crept through the church—past Father Felux who was muttering to himself—and up the belltower—past Sister Miche who was at her little shrine deep in prayer—and onto the roof. With some improbable acrobatics, she captured her crow in a smooth motion.

In response, every other bird on the roof started screaming as one.

Aria fled back to the safety of Miche's shrine with a mass of hundreds of enraged birds on her trail. The party, who had been keeping an eye on these shenanigans, noted that Aria was probably completely fucked, and that Dom's captive vulture had woken up and was struggling to get free.
The Sister was alarmed to see Aria had snuck past her before, and was even more alarmed to see how the latter had a crow in hand;  accusations were made, bad stalls for time were made, and Aria ran away yet again.

While this had been happening, Dom and Sariel were unsuccessful in calming down or feeding the vulture; it gave them looks of utter, complete loathing and tried to peck their fingers off for their efforts. As a last resort Dom wanted to intimidate it into behaving, then just punched its head so hard its neck snapped when he felt there was nothing left to be done. Collectively, all the swarming birds shuddered as if in pain. Then Aria got back to the attic stakeout, passed off her crow to Alice, and half the party made the decision to fight the swarm off—the other half sealed themselves inside to wait it out.

The enraged, screaming swarm engulfed them. Dom, with his leaded gloves, used his martial artistry to attack multiple birds at once; Aria borrowed Sariell's staff to do the same. It was not a very successful tactic. A bit of a fight went on, with Alice and Sariell actually getting their crow to settle down on the inside, until Aria decided it was hopeless and jumped to the ground. She had intended to use her switchblade as a buffer so her fall would not be fatal, but the blade snapped under her weight and momentum, and she fell hard again. This did not deter any of the swarm, who followed. Then Aria thought throwing coins as a distracting tactic would have been useful, for some reason. It didn't work very well. Don instead feigned a heart attack and played dead, which worked better.

Impatient, annoyed with the birds, and wounded, Aria made the decision that a pet crow was not worth fighting off two hundred more. She snatched it from Alice and set it free.
In response the swarm swirled as one, took off, and migrated east across the city's skyline. Feathers, blood, bird shit, and dust were all that was left of the conflict.

Father Felux emerged, confused, asking if there had been some kind of storm. The priest puttered around the churchy courtyard while the party scattered again, picking up feathers, getting no answers.