Thursday, March 15, 2018

5 cave systems

this is just a few cave systems I made and put on gplus already.

how this works: the clipart or whatever represents the shape of the cave, the width of the lines connecting them is the relative tunnel width. usually directions are up is up, down is down, left is left right is right. dashed lines are "crawls". for some maps line width is not representative of tunnel width, they're just indicating tunnels. also blue means waterfall or underwater

scroll down to see mega huge images

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

frostbitten & mutilated: a review

frostbitten and mutilated review:

a. it's exactly what it says it is; a complete and concise and useful guide to running black metal amazons
b. the front matter bit about meditating on the heart of the devoured lands is good
c. the amazon stats are kinda meh for me but maybe the only thing that wakes me up is apocalyptic power stuff
d. the characterization of animals as brutal and intelligent is good and the snippet of dialogue explaining that you can just suddenly kill the players with wolves is good
e. the two included dungeons are kinda meh, the first has a couple good bits, like the necrobutcher at the bottom of the snake library and the weakend cage at the end with 300,000 gp in it. I'm not a fan of the second dungeon's concept (multiple moral choices ending in an unkillable witch turning you into animals). that being said they're both pretty simple, and I appreciate the dim fortress as an arrangement of all the worst threats in the game
f. its funny I know zak is super critical of apoc-world-style white cutouts on black background and I'm pretty sure frostbitten and mutilated is an intentional rebuke of that style, by doing it better, but I was paging through and thinking, is this better? that being said I've just had the pdf so I'm reserving judgement. in any case the layout, and by extension the concise, efficient writing, is faaar superior to something like blades in the dark, and wayy cooler than apoc world's layout,  osr better at this
g. frostbitten and mutilated describes a straightforward and brutal landscape; it seems eminently more easy to run than A Red & Pleasant Land or Veins of the Earth, it's a snow-covered wilderness like norway. the base environment is something quite familiar. the particular brutality the book prescribes seems easier to focus on with such a familiar base.

I'm excited to run Frostbitten & Mutilated, when I get the chance, for these reasons:

-its particular brutality in the context of black metal amazons. dis is exactly that kill-or-be-killed, political, clear threats shit that I 100% love, and the tone is killer.
-it seems easy to run. I trust the layout to have all the stats in the right places, the map easy to consult, etc. etc., and it's all there, a complete squarecrawl, nothing I have to generate. moreover as I said the environment is familiar and easy to describe
-the prose is good and in a style I enjoy reading, a huge deal for me


its probably the best-looking rpg book I own, except maybe the dungeon crawl classics corebook. note that I do not particularly like the dcc prose. I do like zak's prose, see above.

the binding is tight, the paper is just the right kind where you can write on it, but it's tough, like a good quality bible. the foil emboss looks grand, on the spine too, the front/end paper is perfectly readable. the leathersh material of the whole cover is good, not puffy, got a durable feeling. the size is good too- I worry about this alot in lotfp's books, feel like a lot of the art (such as in "veins") is not given enough room to breathe. in general I prefer A4 like the old 3.0 player's guide but frostbitten's a5 feels good in the hand and I think the art is spacey and abstract enough to fit at that size, the layout helps.

like, I didn't like Vornheim, crazy tho the layout was, bc the "roll dice on me" frontcover backcovers were too small, imo, for rolling dice. also the book was kinda short. f&b's better.

talking about the art, it is really the case that some portraiture in here is not good, for me, it's sorta blotchier "a red & pleasant land" photo-reference stuff sometimes- the "witch sisters three" image fer example. like, compare to zak's objects, check out the visual search the body table, the sketchy little objects look awesome. that being said there are at least several amazon portraits which look great, like Jer Amon on pg 20.

to get more into it: sometime's zaks portraits, drawn from photo references as far as I know, look too much like the reference such that it jars me from the painting. pg 23's rindr is a good example, the eyes look fine, but then the lips come in- they look too 3d, you get the sorta photographic reflections off the lips, it sorta offsets the entire image so that I can tell it is painted from a photographic reference with extra stuff (the eyes) drawn on it.

 it may not even just be that, look at the decapitated head on page 19-- it's the face of a zak friend with a sorta fierce expression with a little bit of gore drawn on the bottom. not very convincing as a "cut off head" which I dunno would have a more scrunched up face or be slumped or look more like a head-object than a collaged piece of a photograph.

that being said; the scrappiness of the art, portraits included, the way they're laid out, the general whole vision along with the really standout pieces like the necrobutcher makes the art tops.

Friday, March 9, 2018

d100 veins cave system or dungeon ideas

  1. bricked up tomb of beastily overgrown bones, scattered occultum. anyone exposed save vs. become guardian of the tomb
  2. pocket dimension leads to inedible cornfield
  3. ...the “tales of the scarecrow” cornfield
  4. alligators just about to finally learn how to use the evolution machine from The Super Mario Bros movie
  5. portal leads to clouds above surface, derro controlled (via skerples)
  6. vault of cloned people all secretly derro in people-mechs
  7. cavern has d40 corpses hanging from nooses, awakened by direct light, they strangle and die and fall and become broken-bone ghouls
  8. doors teleport to distant but mutually visible segments of one open cavern, cavern has a giant and fast pariah
  9. tomb of sorcerer king has been broken into pieces across a cave system
  10. seemingly modern apartment complex with lots of small tubes which long-legged pale frog garrote-wielding people pull themselves through
  11. apparent dungeon is, indeed, a deactivated divine beast a la breath of the wild, a mole which will only dig down
  12. river styx makes you forget, or was it the lethe? roped together chameleon women ships, everthing is dead, there’s usually about one ghost of a giant snake per ship. also halfway through goblin pirates board maybe
  13. descending library where each floor has books of only one word + evil librarians
  14. limbs of inanimate stone octopus visible everwhere, big treasure is in mouth
  15. dungeon is being carved by automatans
  16. cryo-chambers let you try and wait out threats
  17. chase leads to archean parlor
  18. visible and vulnerable structural supports everywhere
  19. dungeon is just very long, and empty. entrances into and out of are well-maintained airlocks. distances between places of interest are d20 miles of walk.
  20. individual rooms scattered on the floor of a river bed
  21. river flowing through structure has transformed part of it while leaving other parts intact. travellers pass through as you explore.
  22. vicious cat colony
  23. the dead here rise and all push on a tomb door to keep it shut. there are already some doing this.
  24. thread leads to minotaur
  25. dead and picked-over mailman w/ mail
  26. … is actually fungus, this is how it spreads it’s spores. if you pick up mail, save vs. poison or you want to deliver the mail, if you eat the mailman save twice
  27. behind brick wall is an ocean.
  28. miniature voivodja made of fungus people imitating vampires
  29. dungeon gets steadily more minature the further you get in
  30. anything thrown or dropped explodes (from: aqua teen hunger force)
  31. one room/cave is packed to the gills with alive bats and they all fly out when you open the door (or approach the cave entrance), it takes hours for them to fly out
  32. amber hive empty except mantis shrimp, floor has sticky spots
  33. gordion knot. if cut dead fetus plops out. impossible to untangle.
  34. cave walls clearly fabric. if cut, larger cave is revealed. this was a fake cave.
  35. minecart does a loop-de-loop (better as an interstice -ed)
  36. the crawls here are actually filthy air ducts in a building. they sound hollow as you clomp-crawl through
  37. nitroglycern creek.
  38. anicent boat jamup.
  39. slip-n-slide rivertubes + nets
  40. moat below drawbridge has a trapdoor. if you manage to pull it open, the moat drains into a dungeon.
  41. breakdown of sharp sea-urchin shells
  42. pressure plate on stairs activates magnetic plate, grabbing metal, especially armor, and activates rolling boulder which zooms up the stairs.
  43. time-damaged dungeon, when triggered, repairs to full glory.
  44. sulphur gases barely contained behind easily breakable thing, when released you have to hide for a while while they disperse and burn and corrode the area and all its inhabitants. or don’t hide
  45. gas leak elemental
  46. marbles (dried ooliths) on floor + spiked wall
  47. curse lizards try really hard to be your pet, says next bad thing to happen to you, it’s usually right and the thing happens pretty quickly. curses you if you eat it, duh
  48. sand pouring into foyer, plugging holes just makes more. fills in 30 rounds
  49. apparent portal to surface but roll d4:
    1. all people only able to repeat one word, first word spoken by pc after entering portal
    2. random fires become more and more common until everything begins to combust after 1 week
    3. pcs start growing exponentially faster relative to surroundings, is noticiable after 2 days
    4. as 3, but shrinking
      … after a week of this, at your option, there is large cracking sound and green light and then they’re back underground, next to the portal, now broken.
  50. ash from torches lazily collects into ash elementals which regularly have to be squashed
  51. paper ripped here explodes like firecrackers, there’s curse paper covering stuff.
  52. dungeon room breaks off and slides down in rockslide.
  53. a window shows that the whole structure is surrounded by void.
  54. room is apparently full of ticking time-bombs.
  55. “the dungeon which makes your face slough off if you stay too long.” face starts feeling heavy and it gets worse
  56. notes to a dead lover are taped to various points
  57. ward-eyes on sticks. can be eaten, but then they see inside you
  58. thomas tank engine faces in dungeon walls, offer to swallow you, there is treasure + problems in their gullet, compete for your attention, nearby engraving says only one lies, too much competing information
  59. goblin snatches big reward at last second and takes off on rockboard, there are other rockboards here. run as: a series of dex checks with riskier opportunities to catch up or do cool tricks
  60. periodical really hot falling ash.
  61. lava flow above ceiling door, warm to touch (from raggi’s “weird new world”)
  62. invulnerable stalking automotan pursues but will run out of energy and take time to reboot.
  63. jellyfish
  64. large pile of trash is fungus designed to consume rag-and-bone ppl.
  65. visibly different pariahs all have metal jaws teeth, then you meet the dungeon dentist.
  66. pariahs have maces which replace ears, eyes, mouths, and noses with each other
  67. surfaces unexpectedly beyond-freezing cold, skin sticks.
  68. loud cat is good at fleeing and attracts pariah attention; they’re pursuing it, too (it’s worth 2,000 sp)
  69. the walls can be tickled, cave laughs hard
  70. floor liquidates after stepped on and drains down cave system.
  71. sound of crows everywhere. eventually revealed to be waterfall on scratching oolites. ambush by oku happens now
  72. there’s an ooze full of popping trapped air bubbles like instagram slime vids
  73. “gates” of strong metal bars opened/closed by bending
  74. Fallingwater with scissorfish.
  75. dungeon/cave system terminates with new iteration of itself, fresh pariahs etc. 
  76. grass, and then vines, it’s an underground jungle!  panther attack! monkeys steal your stuff! probably a gold mine, w/r/t calories. but watch out for the idol… if you need an excuse, why it’s underground, it’s all pale, although very humid.
  77. dungeon is directly connected to a city through this door; you didn’t know, and everyone on the other side just never used that door
  78. something outta Stonehell but 45° slope
  79. cardboard box maze
  80. superdense maze of sprung rusty blade traps. tetanus
  81. crystal elementals jump off wall at you and shatter on contact
  82. the pariah here only attacks if you try to leave its cave
  83. wall is peeling banknotes, cave in danger of collapse into pile of money
  84. head-sized hole. if you stick an appendage in, something bites it off
  85. dividing walls of mercury which melt and drain when you walk away but recollect and solidify when you approach (from some unreal tournament modder I read about a decade ago)
  86. mercury river, bad fumes
  87. all pariahs are chained with collars, all treasures chained too, certain parts of the environment and architecture are chained
  88. magnetic cave, gets worse than you’d think
  89. pit with digestive lube + lube elementals
  90. rocks sling out of darkness; your air movement springs natural stick bombs
  91. any sound at all magnifies to literally deafening. this takes a second so you can plug your ears unless you’re busy. 
  92. cave is full of whatever object the shape of the cave is
  93. personal conversation audible in a foreign language. if translated:  it’s a numbers station (or hints -ed)
  94. a tide
  95. invisible wire everywhere
  96. airlocks + bleached skeletons
  97. utility tunnels with live wires
  98. deep mud full of sharp crystals
  99. gravity elemental
  100. lots of unexpected perfectly clear glass walls

Monday, March 5, 2018

a goblin market


goblin names
nice goblin with ribbons and daisies - stinky
goblin always pissing amd cumming in own mouth-- wwharrbblara
goblin with underbite - sticky
goblin with heart outside chest - cheapy
goblin with two heads lega arms - jeff and daisy
the goblin juggler - swords
loud deaf goblin- goblin
Goblin who will trade for goblets gobben
Stinky Goblin name Pete
sword dealer heathcliffe
No Goblin will recognize any description of another Goblin than by their name

hawker goblin yells hawk hawk and throws hawks at people

hawker goblin throws hawks at you every time you ask for a general description of the market, deals 1dmg

a statue that looks like a human with goblin features inappropriately carved in it, with a coin slot in its chest

if you put a coin in it, it judders to life, and starts mimicking your actions

then you see the a goblin eating the skin of the princess 

if you try to get to it, the statue blocks your way, exactly mimicking your movements

if you try to yell at the goblin, it’ll look at you, and laugh

if you fight the statue it turns out the mirror breaks, it turns out you were facing a mirror

the statue was behind you, facing the mirror

other goblins demand you pay for the mirror you broke

the goblin with theskin was also standing behind you, and it wasn’t skin, it was a a gooey terrible goblin pizza

auction/macguffin is actually outside door the pcs came in

its at a tree nearby

there is a daisy chain of trading that never ends, each goblin willing to trade for something another goblin has, like in zelda, this continues for as long as you can make it

goblins all want yr servitude so theyll try to keep you here
start offering deals if you begin to leave
“deals” “deals” “deals” “halfrate” halfrate” “my price cheaper!” “no, mine!” getting in fights physically with each other over who’s price cheaper eventually ends in a murder and sobbing
(-1 goblin)

fighting goblins: goblins are cowards and run away
if you should kill a goblin: all the other goblins will gather round and try to pretend good riddance
another goblin is generated

if you attempt to impose order over the goblins, they will make you their goblin king
they will bring out disgusting clothes for you to wear and a heavy, valueless crown
they will misinterpert the things you will say
they will attempt to coup you with a bunch of goblin knives
there will be goblin advisors who will tell you about goblin problems

theres a.pile of leather and stinky pete stays there and has the tail caught in a meat grinder of an obviously tortured beast. the tramplelephant
if they free the beast it runs around and destroys all the stalls and all the goblins flee, leaving the stuff
d6 goblins are killed (or all of them -ed)

shit- exclusively sells feces. display: the ultra mega turd
trinkets that give you magical powers (all useless)
  • lets you see things that are glowing in the dark
  • lets you eat food that is poisonous (the food is still poisonous)
  • lets you flip a bird over, sometimes
  • curse lizard tells you when something bad is about to happen, always happens and its fairly quick
  • etc
swords -  heathcliffe exclusively runs this stall
heathcliffe is a demure goblin who speaks professionally and wears not very dirty clothes
he uses the language of like infomercials to sell swords
skin-- lewd drawings of big boobed ladies. the goblins chuckle and don’t understand.
they will draw the ladies, and will draw princess sun (just circles, dots, and vees) and demand payment, the parchment itself already has semen on maybe and has other drawings scratched out, they’ll try to sell you old drawings first and then scrtch it out and redraw it
statuary of goblins and of the trampelephant and the taming of the trampelephant and lording over it
goblin babies for sale
goblin library which is just an angry goblin which is like books? books? where are these books? lemme me at em lemme at em and flies into a rage
goblin juggler will injure/kll themself and everyone’s shocked and is like who killed swords?

terrible prices:
-one floogfaff. no good description
,-one of the goblins trades in land, or wants land, and all the other goblins decide they want land too
-claim to trade exlusively in babies- “one human baby!!!”
-”give us yr money!!!”
-”all of your money”-- that’s the price. if there’s less smoney on them they will accept that
- goblets, no clear way to get these
-”everything has a price!!” “eeehhheee!”
-heathcliffe is relatively serious and has things retail for pretty expensive and unfair prices, or is willing to put you on a monthly payment plan, has you sign forms, is relatively serious compared to others
quotes numbers doesn’t say ‘silver pennies or anything like that”
retails between 400-500, the bladeslayer retails much higher for that…
-a secret (puts out gross ear to hear it). “ugh, no!! not that! eee!!!” if you shout the secret yr ok
if you keep whispering she’s like “why are you doing that??”
-a kiss! noo!! kiss each other!! ahahahah!! wait kiss me!! yeah yeah!! kiss the wall!! you all have to kiss each other’s butt!!! if you actually kiss you can argue with her and confuse her

a nebulous zone that’s neither outside nor inside. there seem to be tunnels

“hmm! i think i know something about that, but i wont give iy away for free!!”

cant tell if its inside or outside

slide down a steep root path to get here from door

ultomately allbthe stuff was not good, and the trampelephant destroys all the valuable stuff

trampelephant caught by its tail being sllloowly tunred into leather

other “customer” is actually two goblins wearing a trenchcoat
gets in argument with stall vendor
will interrupt argument about unfair prices
will pretend to pay like an obvious magic trick