Monday, May 30, 2022

d10 Draconic Symbioses

In some games, Dragons are powerful setting defining creatures.πŸ•‡ They shape entire regions, soaking with terror every soul within reach. Something as notorious as a kaiju flying lizard that can turn to ash entire cities takes a lot of attention. Followers and remora wanting to live off of that power will sprout, it's just a matter of time.

1. An arctic city is heated by the underground sleeping dragon. In return, the peasantry makes sure slumbering music and aromatic candles keep the fat lizard asleep.

2. Cultists drink this dragon's blood to go berserk. Has to be done through the dragon's eye (only spot without scales). Of course, this dragon loves the flattery of worship.

3. Yaach are hairy bison-like creatures, their pelts reaching the ground mutating its coloration to blend into their environment, making them very hard to spot. Their huge trunks are used to drink and eat (mice, oversized insects). They are mammals, but wish otherwise. Will hatch a dragon's egg for as long as needed, given their protective instincts.

4. The dragon lives in its tower, overseeing and protecting the duchy with a menacing gaze towards external threats. The fierce rule of Law reigns here! Every seventh year Tribute hits, and the dragon takes a maiden as payment for its services.

5. A Red Dragon is flying over a Pickle the size of a galley, impaled on top of the Cathedral's spire. Every so often, the dragon dives into the cucumber and takes a lick, doing so makes it regain d6 HP and go into an elated stupor. (See here)

6. This Black Dragon is at the center of the Ghoul oligarchy. Improvised sage, counselor, confidant. There is mutual respect and understanding, but utter dependency. See, an addict, the Dragon depends on the oligarchs to provide the drug it needs to feign death.

7. Gets teeth pulled to be used as magical daggers, by mousefolk and wererats. Gets trinkets and candy in return, perpetuating this arrangement. This, in turn, evolved into a children's tale.

8. Selling its offspring, the eggs land on a powerful but wealthy wizard. The magician likes them scrambled with salt & cheese. He gives spells and rare books for the dragon's lain eggs in exchange, and as a dragon's hoard is the most important...

9. The Pink Fog and Mist of the Yahaleh Steppes is magical in form and nature. Source of a 1000 gruesome tales, feared by merchants and travelers, it gets avoided if possible. An ancient dragon, however, has taken residence within in the last year. Breathing the fumes for that amount of time makes it (as if by a Geas) incapable of telling the truth. On the flip side, the Pink Fog caused Sapphire Gems to grow on the barren land like tubers, which the wyrm gladly harvests.

10. Actually this dragon is the "little sister" in this relationship. Serving as the furnace of a kingdom of fire giants underground, underneath a mountain complex. Outraged by the working conditions and wage, it is planning an uprising.

πŸ•‡ Some people take offense at only seeing dragons in the mid- to high levels of play. "But it's on the bloody title!". This is a known (perceived) problem since 1974. And of course there are a lot of ways to have them present in the game from level 1 on. I personally have thrown a lot less dragons at my players than I should have, and for that, I repent.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Ulflandia Campaign: B/X House Rules

2. Ulflandia B/X House Rules (this post)
3. Influences, Yoinking and Appendix N
4. Solo Romping
5. Weather, Time, Rumors and Other Minutiae
talking about my houserules people end up like this... wonder why
  • Criticals: no effect on a 20 rolled (this was the players' choice). πŸ•‡πŸ•‡
  • AAC: Ascending Armor Class, that's how we roll.
  • Maneuvers: attacker gives effect of the maneuver, then do a normal attack roll. The defender then chooses either to accept the maneuver, or accept the damage (before damage is rolled). From here.
  • Morale: of course we embrace this "optional" rule.
  • At 0HP, Save vs Death. On a fail, character is dead, otherwise they are unconscious and need to be stabilized immediately. (Only for PCs and Retainers).


  • New characters get one random impedimenta and one minor magical item at start.
  • No prime requisite bonus/malus to XP
  • No Elf PCs πŸ•‡
  • Halfling: their hiding in the wilderness undergrowth or woods ability of 90% assumes a static/stopped case.


  • Overcoming Monsters does not grant any XP. πŸ•‡πŸ•‡



πŸ•‡ Rationale: Ulflandia is peppered with different Elf variations and their factions. It would be a disservice to player discovery to just allow them as an option to play. Sword-mage but pointy-eared does not cut it this time around. This can change as the campaign progresses and players grow into Ulflandia.
πŸ•‡πŸ•‡ These were, in fact, the choice of the players.

The above are fairly minimal. This is intended, as we prefer to change the game as the campaign play progresses. It goes without saying that this post will see edits in the future. Fight On!

Friday, May 6, 2022

Patchland; Gygax75 Week 2


Before you call me out, yes, a week is an undefined stretch of time in my book ;)

This is my stab at completing the Gygax 75 challenge by Ray Otus. Many others have tried and failed. Some even managed to complete it, so there is hope. Anne has collected some worthy entries in a post. Find my other entries in this challenge here:

Week 1: The Concept
Week 2: Surrounding Area (this)
Week 3: The Dungeon
Week 4: Town Features
Week 5: The Larger World


Patch, a campaign World healing from a War that shook its foundation. Ruins upon ruins upon ruins define it. The survivors attempt to rebuild the harsh reality. 

A current feel of slumber and slow prosperity, as the decades of peace brought some solace. Despite the Undead that plague the Night.

Heightened Awakened are revered as Gods of flesh and bone. Their very recent origin, a great puzzle.

2.1 The Hexmap

Asked to produce a hexmap compraising 24x13 hexes, with the following features: one significant settlement, two other settlements, one major terrain feature, one mysterious site to explore, one (main) dungeon entrance.

Decided to go a bit overboard with this one, and populate the map with more. Choosing a 1:6 scale (6-mile hexes) and having a third of Ireland, the above seemed severely lacking in terms on density. Although I understand the rationale of just populating a portion of the map for the players with the bare essentials, and adding to it as play progresses, organically. Even then, I made my choice!

hexkit result (higher res file here)

2122 Naverra (Significant Settlement)
The dreaming jewel of the West: Naverra.

Ruled by a council of merchants. Population: 90'000. Status: Neutral

The portuary city trades frequently by Sea, an advantageous position within Patchland. White stone walls with six turrets, armed with ballistas and cauldrons filled with Blue Flame serve as protection. Surrounded by a twenty feet wide moat.

Twisting spires top the city, staircases encrusted with a pastiche of seashells. Sailors hesitating between two women will find a third. Clandestine emperor-crab fights degenerate into bloody brawls by the bettors in the darkest hours of the night. Eel fishing and molusk snatching produce exquisite stews from the local cuisine.

2205 Lacaralla (Other settlement)
Lacaralla, the Destiny of Patchland

Ruled by a fierce theocracy. Population: 55'000. Status: Lawful

Bare rectangular architecture made of clay bricks. Two neat walls surround the citadel, the outer one peppered with hung bloated bodies, those brought to justice by the Royal Inquisition suspicious of unregulated use of magick.

Despite their ruthlessness, their marvels in the arts of law, numerology and accounting make them formidable traders. If there is a Lacrallan contract behind, the deal will be a bountiful venture for both parties.

Heightened Awakened King God Nefastos rules here. His life before being brought back from the dead a lost mystery. Sorry slob that is marched around the citizens on his palanquin every fifth day. Gets swayed to one decision or another by the myriad of religious factions, no more than a pawn.

1009 Telonian Citadel (Other settlement)
Bastion of the Dead Empire.

Ruled by a parliament. Population: 20'000. Status: Lawful

Hidden and protected underneath the mountain range. Telonians, focused on self-preservation and discretion, their shameful past a hefty burden. Decided to settle in an undeground lake, its bridges accosting everywhere, in pillars, suspended, on barges. Rowing boats are the mode of transportation.

Despite the fassade of lawful rightness, officials are bribed and goods smuggled like everywhere else (especially Telonian apparatuses and wonders).

1911 Mountain / Mysterious site to explore
Wyverns migrate and nest on a seasonal basis atop this mountain range. They come in numbers, and with increasing hunger. Major problem for anyone in the greater surrounding area.

1804 Hand Tower / Mysterious site to explore
A gigantic hand of granite, saluting the skies.

Entrance to a coal mine gone wrong, a ruination of dust, smoke and fire. Now a colony of gigantic ants roam the place, together with other vermin and the ghosts of the perished miners.
There are rumors of a reservoir of coal power still intact, deep underground, as well as ores and gemstones.

0712 Abandoned Mage Tower (Mysterious site to explore)
Built by the famed Ralagazzam before the War of the Sages, this impressive dusk cylinder is culminated by an observatory. You won't find any door or window in the edifice upon approach.

Despite the many traps, portals, experimentations and laboratories, Ralagazzam is nowhere to be found. His whereabouts are but a mystery: swallowed whole by one of his experimental creatures? Snapped into the stars by a foully calibrated portal?

1410 Dungeon entrance
Nightmare Keep

A ruined keep, surrounded by a wide circle of dolmens. Inside the ruins only hollow silence awaits. There are 297 skeletons that animate at night, former inhabitants of this place, going on with their lives in death. Ignore anyone unless their activities are disturbed.

Entrance to the dungeon proper is magically revealed by looking through a mirror to the shadows of the dolmens at midday.

In the dungeon proper: vermin, undead, and Creatures that the Worst Nightmares those trapped souls on the surface (the skeletons) have to offer.

1102 Undead Fortress (Dungeon entrance)
Serpent Skull

The skull of a giant titanic serpent, with alien runes and glyphs carved on its rugged surface. Herein lies an imprisoned powerful lich, Sorcerer of the Saurids from past millenia, and its retinue of undead cohorts.

2.2 Random Encounter Table

Assume that all roads are poorly maintained, for traveling movement rate purposes. The Undead plague at Night has made commerce and traveling a dangerous proposition. Settlements turned reclusive, wary of strangers and foreigners, self-contained and (mostly) self-sufficient.

At day...

2. Awakened Saint, 5:6 of having an entourage of 2d6 pilgrims (Acolytes)
3. d3 Kraa
4. d4 Inquisitors with d20 Practicals
5. d20 Alchemists or merchants (1:6 chance of transporting Blue Flame in bulk), with 2d6 hired mercenaries
6. d20 Pilgrims (as Acolytes)
7. Pack of 3d10 herd animals
8. 3d6 Pack of Wolves
9. 4d6 Telonians
10. d4 Manticores
11. d2 Virbokos
12. Wyvern

At night...

2. Vampire
3. Necromancer with 2d6 Zombies and 1:3 chance of Bone Golem
4. 2d10 Saurid Phallanx
5. d6 Rhagodessa
6. 2d3 Shadow Crooks
7. 4d6 Zombies
8. 3d10 Bandits, carrying Blue Flame torches
9. d4 Crab Spiders
10. 2d4 Flying Serpent Statues (as Gargoyles)
11. d12 Saurid Nobles (as Mummy) riding rotten Pegasi
12. Bone Dragon