Thursday, October 29, 2015

The City of a thousand bath houses

There is a labyrinthine city build around a thousand bath houses and a magical source of water.

Roll on those tables to generate the bath houses and to link them together.

TABLE 1: Bath house foundations
  1. Natural flooded caves. 
  2. Ancient constructions, vestiges of a older city. 
  3. Newly converted building (roll on table 1a).
  4. New construction build by a avant-garde architect.
TABLE 1a: converted building
  1. Temple or noble house (forgotten religion or noble house) 
  2. Bridge or tower or fortifications (defended against forgotten dangers) 
  3. Theater or arena (decorated with forgotten plays or champions) 
  4. Market or guild house (forgotten trade or craft)  
TABLE 2: administration
  1. Private (often noble) 
  2. Cooperative (run by citizens) 
  3. City official ( can be the city guard) 
  4. Guild (choose a trade or craft) 
  5. Temple (lawful, neutral or chaotic) 
  6. Mysterious (supernatural) 

TABLE 3: staff
  1. Youth / old people
  2. Blinds / mutes / disabled 
  3. Males / Females
  4. Single / Betrothed 
  5. Free artisans / Slaves 
  6. Nude / Wear special clothes 
  7. Well trained to protect the bath house
  8. Roll twice on this table or roll on table 3a
TABLE 3a: special staff
  1. Blessed
  2. Cursed
  3. Charmed
  4. Possessed 
  5. Invisible / never seen 
  6. Non humans
  7. Animated statues 
  8. A single creature  

TABLE 4: one of the bath grant a magical boon... (until next bathing, falling in water & rain count as a bathing) 
  1. blessing (as level d6 cleric or a special blessing linked to a divinity) 
  2. remove curses & cure diseases (permanent effect)
  3. heal wounds & damaged attributes (permanent effect)
  4. boost one attribute by one bonus step (randomly determined) 
  5. boost hit points by one hit die 
  6. boost one type of saving throw by 4 points 
  7. boost armor class by 1 point 
  8. grant useful visions near water 
  9. cast a spell on someone or something (determine one random spell of level d4 or d6)  
  10. Roll two time on this table but also roll on table 4b
TABLE 4a: if you... 
  1. bath during the rising or setting of the sun or moon or a star 
  2. mix blood in the bath (at least a total of d6 dmg) 
  3. chant a secret a difficult chant 
  4. bath with poisonous jellyfishes 
  5. bath with a special magical fish or water bird 
  6. use a special and rare perfume 
  7. have sex in the bath
  8. drink moon milk that affect your personality 
  9. consume a dangerous drug 
  10. roll twice on this table 
TABLE 4b: but you... (until next magical bathing) 
  1. are cursed (as level d6 cleric or a special curse linked to a divinity) 
  2. risk drowning or poisoning 
  3. loose a bonus step in one attribute
  4. loose one hit die (minimum 1 hp) 
  5. get a penalty of 3 in one type of saving throw
  6. get a penalty of 1 AC point 
  7. get nightmarish visions near water  
  8. attract a type of supernatural creatures 
  9. Switch gender
  10. Gain a obvious physical marking or non human trait 

TABLE 5: the bath house is linked by labyrinthine passages to a... 
  1. bath house build on natural caves foundations
  2. bath house build on ancient constructions
  3. bath house build in a newly converted building 
  4. bath house of avant-garde architecture 
  5. noble or private house  
  6. guild house or market 
  7. place of entertainement
  8. place of knowledge
  9. sacred or public place
  10. natural cave or forgotten ancient city vestiges
  11. architectural cistern or water conduit or source  
  12. To d3+1 places (roll d10 on this table to determine their natures)
TABLE 5a: random encounters while travelling between two linked places
d12 (going to bath or looking for something or someone) 
  1. strangers or adventurers 
  2. city guards 
  3. guild members 
  4. nobles 
  5. priest(ess) or religious devots 
  6. kids or very old person 
  7. shady people or criminals 
  8. outcasts
  9. bath house staff 
  10. members of a non human race 
  11. someone needing help (roll a d10 on this table)
  12. creatures or monster that haunt the dark (or work at a bath house) 

TABLE 6: special details or events
  1. one bath is polluted or corrupted and need to be cleansed or blessed 
  2. one bath is being redecorated by a strange artist 
  3. one bath is dedicated to a special event or ceremony 
  4. one of the baths is forbidden to some type of people 
  5. someone was murdered in one bath 
  6. a miracle happened in one bath
  7. one of the staff of the bath house know one of the PC
  8. one of the people bathing know one of the PC 
  9. one of the bath house staff is missing (or sick)
  10. someone seem strangely out of place or forgot something odd or strange. 
  11. the bath granting boons is hidden behind a secret or locked door
  12. the bath granting boons is protected by a secret trap
  13. guards (or a single creature) are protecting the bath granting boons
  14. the bath house administration is changing for a new one 
  15. the bath house also offer exotic products or services 
  16. the staff change at night (roll on table 3)
  17. strange or occult paintings or ceramics in some of the rooms 
  18. a map or a message have been carved in one the rooms 
  19. exotic decorations with special effects (lights, illusions, perfumes) 
  20. A supernatural creature haunt this place 

Monday, October 12, 2015

A gang of bandits for Gangs & Bullshit!

I drew this randomly generated gang of bandits for the Gangs & Bullshit work in progress project.

(Drawing random characters is quite fun)

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Fighter-Mage and Cataboon companion


a companion character class for B/X and similar D&Dalikes
text by Benjamin Baugh

The world is full of strange creatures, but few stranger than humanity and their comrade peoples of Dwarfish, Elvish, and Halflish extraction.  These peoples all seem as one to you, and from your perspective, the differences they claim to one another are far less significant than the differences between each individual.  They’re such a varied lot of fascinating strangers!  Among your own kind, minds are shared easily, thoughts sliding from one head to another, identities drifting, personalities changed with the fashion of the season.  Who are you?  It’s hard to say, or at least it was until you met your companion, and joined with them.  

You are sometimes called a cat-baboon, a treecat, or a ghost howler.  The human peoples tell stories about your kind, and some think you are spirits, others demons.  But you’re just another kind of thinking animal, only perhaps a bit better at the thinking.  Fascinatingly individual though they are, human people exchange their thoughts imperfectly, and only through the crudest methods - modulated sounds, gestures, and arcane marks made on surfaces.  It sounds bizarre, but rather than trade thoughts directly, a human will take the thoughts out of their mind, turn them into specially coded symbols, mark those symbols on an object, and then leave the object for another human to find, interpret, and - possibly, if the magic was made with skill - take the thoughts into their own head.  It really is terribly terribly inefficient.  

But who are you to judge strangeness?  Are you not yourself one of the oddities of your own people?  Fascinated with the mind-islands of humanity, so fascinated that you’d journey there and live almost alone with them, sharing thoughts almost exclusively with one other being, and not one of your own kind at that.  Rare among the tribe-minds of the skirted plain, you seek out the relative privacy of a human companion, and follow them on their endlessly amusing adventures.  

In appearance, you understand that you resemble something between a panther and a baboon, a long-limbed body, able to slink, climb, and pounce with ease.  Strong and quick, keen of sense.  You have clever paws, but they are not hands.  But what need you of hands, when your companion is so well endowed with manual manipulatory apparatus?  When your speed fails, you can fight with fang and claw, but most often resort to the howl that your kind is famous for - the crooning rolling scream that crawls down the ear canal into the spine, and claws at nerve and wit.  Many threats can be induced to simply run run away.  

The prime requisite for a cataboon is Charisma.  A Cataboon with a Charisma of 13 or greater gets a 10% bonus on earned experience and grants their companion a 5% bonus on earned experience.  

RESTRICTIONS.  Cataboons use 6-sided dice (d6) to determine hit points.  They may advance to a level equal to that of their companion.  Cataboons can not speak humanoid languages, and must rely on their companion to speak for them. They make saving throws and attack as their companion does.  They may not use any weapons and armor, and have poor manual dexterity making most tasks involving tools difficult.  Cataboons can never have ordinary retainers or followers.  Cataboons use the same XP progression table as their companion.  

SPECIAL ABILITIES.   Each cataboon character must be bonded to another player character, with whom it may freely share thoughts and feelings over shouting distances, and each may sense the location of the other over any distance.  Cataboons do not speak, but they do understand the intent of spoken language and so are able to translate any spoken language they can hear for their companion by listening to the thoughts of the speaker.  

Cataboons can make 2 claw attacks for d3 damage each, and if both hit may make a raking attack for d4 additional damage, or they may bite for a d6 damage.  

They have strong senses, and have infravision of 60 feet, and are only surprised on 1 in 6.  

Cataboons can hunt and forage easily, locating enough food for d6 individuals with a turn of hunting in areas with wildlife.  Foraging in more barren regions may require more time.  

Their skin and fur is quite tough, granting them -2 to AC.

Cataboons are quick, and have a movement rating of 40, and can Climb effortlessly at a speed of 10.  

When threatened, once per encounter, a cataboon can unleash a terrible howl that induces terror in most living things.  Enemies and a party’s retainers both must make Morale checks on hearing it.  The howl is so loud, however, that it can he heard for miles - alerting anyone in hearing distance.          

Cataboons gain a further special ability based on the class of their companion.  

  • Clerics have Serene cataboons.  They are immune to all forms of fear, and their howl works on the undead which grants their cleric companion a +2 bonus on their turning.  Serene cataboons may also use their life to heal their companion, freely giving them hit points if they are injured, at the expense of the cataboon’s own life.  
  • Fighters have Fierce cataboons.  They gain a further -2 to AC and their attacks do +2 damage, and when fighting beside their companion, choosing round to round to grant them -1 to their AC or +1 to hit with coordinated action.  
  • Magic Users have Curious cataboons.  They can smell magic, recognizing the presence of magic and magical things freely, and can identify specific things about the magic on 3 in 6.  They help their companion learn magic, and allow an additional spell to be learned each level, though no additional spells may be cast in a day.  
  • Thieves have Sneaky cataboons.  They can move silently, and hide in shadows as their companion does, and climb at their normal ground movement rate.  They can make their terrifying howl into a hiss, which has the same effect without alerting everyone in hearing distance.  When one provides a distraction, the other may immediately try and hide - even if in combat.  
  • Dwarfs have Burrowing cataboons.  They lose the ability to perform a rake attack, but their claws each do d6 damage and are long and sharp, and able to easily excavate tunnels at the rate of 1 foot of earth per round, 1 foot of rubble or soft stone per turn, and 1 foot of harder materials (though not iron or most metals) per hour.  The howl of a burrowing cataboon grants their companion +1 to hit for the duration of an encounter.  
  • Elves have Fabulous cataboons.  These fine creatures are elegant and quick, gaining +10 to speed, and imposing a -1 penalty to the Morale checks of enemies afflicted by their especially ululating howl.  Fabulous cataboons aid in finding hidden passages and secrets, granting a +2 bonus on this, and allow their elvish companion to locate hidden magic, like inactive portals, magical gates, and quiescent magic traps.  
  • Halfings have Stout cataboons.  They’re stocky and well-fed, gaining +1 per hit die when hit points are rolled.  They may hide as well as their companion in natural and other surroundings, and their companion can ride upon their back if unencumbered, taking advantage of the cataboon’s greater speed.  

If a cataboon’s companion should die, the cataboon absorbs the essence of their thoughts, their soul perhaps, and keeps this within themselves, still alive and aware.  An opportunity may present itself to re-home this essence, or the companion may decide to slip away into whatever comes next, freeing their cataboon to find another companion.  If a new companion is found, and is of a different class than the first, then this changes the Cataboon’s special ability, saves, and attack bonuses and the cataboon won’t advance in level until their companion has caught up, so they can advance in step.