Monday, July 2, 2018

Halflings couple smoking funny herbs under the full moon


Some funny herbs to smoke at midnight by Tore Nielsen
(d10)
1: Gorgon Veridian: Great for jitters as it makes you stiff as a board. Gives very calming slow dreams about being a vein of ore. 
2: Zaffre Leaf: Gives the smoker the ability to see through solid objects. As a side effect everything is tinted blue.
3: Jester’s Bud: Makes things extremely funny. Breaks down all language barriers.
4: Chocolate Cosmos: Makes all foodstuffs creamy and bittersweet to the palate. Makes eating very appealing. 
5: Uncle’s Astral Blend: Smoked with a partner and sends your astral bodies off to the Rainbow Skein, deep in the Elemental Plane.
6: Purple Chameleon: The smoker’s skin becomes a kaleidoscope of color. This can be used for camouflage, if only one can concentrate on that, and not the fractal specks of beauty.
7: Green Serene: The smoker becomes calm. All madness and fear evaporates, and the smoker is immune to all mental anguish for 1D4 hours. Highly addictive.
8: Skystormer’s Delight: The smoker can float like a helium balloon and swim in air. Using physical strength becomes difficult, as there is no real leverage. 
9: Wallflower Blend: People ignore the smoker, unless they do something outrageous or threatening. It is said that the effect does not work on those who truly love the smoker. 
10: Glutton Red: The smoker smells like freshly baked cake and will genuinely be good to eat!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Review: The Corruption of Pelursk by Shel Kahn

The Corruption of Pelursk by Shel Kahn

The Corruption of Pelursk is a hex-crawl adventure created and self published by Shel Kahn. It come as a zine or as a pocket pack where everything is packaged in a pencil case that contain beautiful fabric maps and other gaming aids.



The adventure premise assume that the characters are looking for rare magical crystals, there is a shortage of these crystals and being unable to find any, the adventurers decided to travel to where the crystal are collected to find some on their own.

Their journey will take them to the small town of Black Lake, after meeting some of it inhabitants and learning about why there is a shortage of crystals they will venture into the crystal island where they will play a small hex-crawl that will lead them to a key encounter. Back to the small town they will have to deal with the fallouts of their actions.

The adventure is well written, Shel is very good at setting up the atmosphere. The different steps of the adventure are well presented and easy to follow. Naturally the players won’t probably follow the assumed course of events, but this is not problematic.

I personally prefer a tiny bit less descriptions but I think that the level of description is well balanced between usefulness and atmosphere setup.

The small town of Black Lake is rough while charming, kind of like a earnest frontier town. It relation with the magical crystals create a interesting situation worth exploring. The town gave me a good studio Ghibli or Earthsea vibe, the inhabitants being earnest and positive but also serious folks who have their own baggage to deal with. This make them engaging and the adventure assume that the group will learn to know some of them but there is also a chance that a group would entirely skip the town to sneak on the island on their own. This is not a problem but it would certainly change the feel of the adventure.

The hex-crawl is well presented and very interactive. It is played on a hex map printed on a fabric and use a collection of 12 fabric hexes that can move around on the map, depending on different situations. This add a unexpected aspect to the crawl. There is three sets of encounters: ruins, ghost and island reactions. The backstory of the island is hinted at through the encounters. The whole story is not revealed but enough is hinted to fuel the players curiosity. There is no real combat encounters, the dangerous encounters are mostly traps or dangerous obstacles.

A lot of these encounters deal damage to the characters, some of it can be avoided by making saving throws but the amount of damage that a group will receive is really random and hard to evaluate. For a low level group, especially with characters with 1d4 and 1d6 HP, this can become VERY deadly. Running this adventure as a funnel for 0 level characters would probably lead to a very high body count. But I guess that the players can find clever ways to avoid some of the damages. Playing the adventure in a “new school” mode would certainly be more deadly as the game mechanics would constantly inflict damages to the characters, while running it in “old school” mode would give more occasions for the players to find clever ways to avoid relying on passing saving throws to survive.

The key encounter is interesting (but also probably deadly) and potentially lead to a more interesting situation.

My feel.

I really like how everything in the adventure is socially interconnected. The town situation is subtle and engaging while being optional to the adventure. I like that the spine of the adventure is simple enough to grasp and to remember, after a single read I feel like I could easily run it. The fabric elements add a nice tactile feel that fit with the setting where everything is handcrafted by people.

I am intrigued by how the hex-crawl run at the game table. Because of the multiple sources of damage I think that the GM must be careful to give space for the players to find solutions and clever ways to avoid some of the damage instead of just asking them to make saving throws.

Depending on how much the group interact with the town, I guess that the adventure can be run in one or two sessions.

The only thing missing is maybe a few illustrations in the adventure booklet. Not much, maybe just 2 or 3 to add more flavor. But starting to do illustrations for your own publication is dangerous as you can always do more and you have to set yourself some limits.

How would I run the adventure?

For a one shot I would probably run the adventure with characters born in Black Lake Town. I would make them return to their hometown to have a “homecoming” vibe or I would simply start directly in the town and ask them questions about how their family is dealing with the crystals shortage to directly link them to the town situation.

Running it for out of town of characters, I would mirror the Black Lake Town situation by making their home village slowly dying because their home crystal lost it magic. This way, the fate of their village is linked to the fate of Black Lake Town and the Isle.

For a campaign already running, I would simply make a third party hire the adventurers to get the crystals instead of forcing the group to have a personal need for the crystals. Naturally I would try to give the third party a interesting goal.

I have a weak spot for village and community based campaigns so I would probably run the adventure for villager folks.

Running “The Corruption of Pelursk” with Shel’s other pocket adventure “Keep on the Shinning Isle” is certainly tempting. I imagine a crystal islands campaign having a nice Earthsea vibe.

Monday, June 18, 2018

I made a new zine: The Kobolds' Exhibition!

Bookship18 is still active until midnight and I finished my kobolds zine:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/evlyn-moreau/the-kobolds-art-exhibition/paperback/product-23688076.html

You can get the PDF on LULU or on Gumroad: https://gum.co/koboldexhibition
(If you contributed to the zine, check out first on G+)

I want to try to make a "print at home" PDF to put on Gumroad, but I will try to do it a few days (I need a break from this project). :)

The 32 pages zine present a tribe of kobolds who move from dungeon to dungeon in search of artworks to collect.

Content:
>The art collector, the exhibition,
>the kobolds (their roles and how they collect artworks),
>a d100 artworks random table,
>art forgeries,
>artworks enchantments,
>how to dungeon delve into artwork,
>tables to generate a artwork point-crawl,
>a list of 30 kobolds troubles to solve.



Saturday, June 9, 2018

Daruma

This Daruma doll was a birthday gift from my friend Iris in 2017. I wished to earn my life with my art. Or at least to be able to pay my rent.

I painted the other eye because 1 year later, with my hours being completely cuts at the library I now have to pay my rent with my art. So while I don’t earn enough money to do it, I guess I kind of achieved my goal.


On other news, I finally found the courage to call some clinics and I have a rendez-vous to hopefully start my Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
x

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Rolling on my random tables...

You arrive at the City of a Thousand Baths 

Travelers on the road told you (rolling on the people talking about towns tables):

  • The city folks are relaxed, sensuous and open minded. 
  • The city is a combination of new and very ancient architecture, the oldest building are linked together by underground tunnels. 
  • The Folded Lotus is one of these very ancient bath house, it inner bath decorated in lapis lazuli is a marvelous sight. 


You settle first at the Folded Lotus (rolled on the city of a thousand bath houses post) 
  • The building is a very ancient bath house.
  • The bath house is run by a private administration (a old lady from a forgotten noble bloodline) 
  • The staff wear special gloves and veils decorated with blue lotus flowers. 
  • The lapis lazuli bath boost saving throws by 4 points...
  • ... if you mix blood in the bath (at least a total of d6 dmg) ... 
  • ... but you Gain a obvious non human trait (bio-luminescent spots)  
  • the bath house is linked by labyrinthine passages to ancient city vestiges full of poisonous traps 
  • While venturing in the tunnels you encounter outcasts, human hybrids of a ancient aquatic race. They seem scared and flee. 
  • While resting at the bath house you discover that one of the baths is forbidden to some type of people. 
The ancient city vestiges contains (rolling on Random cultural influences for dungeon building tables)
  • Artworks influenced by... a sworn enemy or competitor: water fountains and statue inspired by the Shadow Water School (forbidden stuff). 
  • Philosophy tablets influenced by... a allied race or nation: tablets from the ancient coastal city of Xephir.  
  • Luxury goods influenced by... a sworn enemy or competitor: perfumes from the kuo-toa (forbidden stuff). 
While resting at the Folded Lotus you learn about the issues of it personnel. 
(Rolling on the troubleshooters sandbox tables)

You learn that the old lady who own the Folded Lotus...
  • actively seek help.
  • her problem is stable.
  • the problem is about a group or creatures.
  • if resolved she will gain access to a useful location.
You learn also that a girl from the staff...
  • don't seek help, but her problem is obvious. 
  • her problem is very unstable
  • her problem is about a special event, project.
  • if not resolved, she will gain a negative reputation.

While helping people in the city you also visit other bath houses.

The Quiet Flame
  • is a ancient building newly converted into a bath house 
  • it foundations belonged to a ancient temple 
  • the bath house is run by a guild
  • the staff is well trained to protect the bath house
  • one of the bath boost one wisdom by one bonus step...
  • ... if you bath during the rising or setting of the sun...
  • ... but you get a penalty of 3 in your saving throws when you are in the dark. 
  • the bath house is linked to a place of knowledge (a old library full of stone tablets) 
  • while travelling in the tunnels you meet shady people, smuggler of knowledges. 
  • while resting at the bath house you notice that someone seem strangely out of place.
This out of place person...
  • actively seek help
  • her problem is stable
  • her problem is about a NPC neutral toward her
  • resolving this situation would grant her a positive psychological trait 

The Jade House
  • is a new construction build by a avant-garde architect.
  • the bath house is run by a mysterious oracle blessed by the gods  
  • the staff are all betrothed to him  
  • one of the bath boost hit points by one hit die...
  • ... if you bath with a magical fish... 
  • ... but you get a penalty of 1 AC point. 
  • the bath house is linked to a private house
  • while travelling in the tunnels you meet members of the bath house staff.
  • while resting at the bath house you notice that one of the people bathing know one of the PC 
The oracle
  • actively seek help
  • his problem is stable
  • the problem is about a creature neutral toward him (a magical fish)
  • if the problem is resolved he will gain a new blessing
The person bathing who know one of the PC
  • is secretive, he hide his problem and want it to remain secret. 
  • his problem is unstable
  • the problem is about a a special project 
  • if the problem is not resolved he will enter in conflict with a faction

The Aquatic Tribes

While exploring the ancient levels of the city, you begin  to know the ancient aquatic folks who live in the underground lakes. (Rolling on the why these orcs are "evil"? table) 
  • 6000 years ago, sad with the lost of a loved one, their leader made a dark pact with a dark deity. But a wise sorcerer was able to break the pact and sealed the dark goddess in one of the underground lakes. 
  • 300 years ago a booming and ruthless economy followed by a crash destroyed their alliance with the upper city. 
  • 100 years ago their territory was colonized by the forbidden Shadow Water School. Many hybrids were born during this time. 
  • 6 years ago new rumors about the tribe started circulating, people fear that they want to awaken their dark goddess. 
  • 1 month ago the Water Engineer Guild claimed ownership over one of their ancient cisterns to exploit it magical waters.  
  • 4 days ago. human refugees from the city started to build a shanty town near one of their underground lake.
  • The aquatic folk do everything as a family unit, children or elders are always present.  
  • They have a good relationship with many of the declining human noble bloodline 
  • They dislike the Oracle of the Jade House.
  • They have a different historical version of a the city foundation. 
One day you discover a baby aquatic hybrid (rolling on the orc baby generator table):
  • You see a giggling little thing with chubby arms, breaking things with a blood soaked doll, she look at you and wince,