Monday, April 25, 2022

Axian Library Preview: A new d20 Table of Magical Mishaps

  Here's a d20 table with twenty new Magical Mishaps for your OSR game of choice, wether is Old-School Essentials, Labyrinth Lord, Sword & Wizardry, or any other clone of OE, B/X, or BECMI Dungeons and Dragons.

This is the second preview from the new, alternate Magical Mishaps table that will be included Axian Library. The first preview can be found here.



The full table will include 100 results, to complement the original table from Wondrous Weavings Warped and Weird, totaling 200 different effects!

They are, in turn, a functional part of the whole alternate arcane magic system detailed in Wondrous Weavings Warped and Weird, which empowers the the players of magic users to break the rules of magic, if they are willing to take some risk....

These mishaps have effects that are not "Spell range is reduced by 10%". Who needs these? I don't. I want  actual consequences and the possibility to create fun, interesting, challenging situations that push the game and the story on.

Hope you'll like them!


d20 Magical Mishaps

Roll a d20. If the listed effect affects the target, and the intended spell didn't target a creature, the effect is applied to the caster.

  1. A decorated stone fountain appears next to the target, with brilliant water spouting. A character drinking from the fountain rerolls their ability scores. The fountain has a 2-in-6 chance of disappearing after use.
  2. The spell creates a magic mouth on the nearest wall. It can identify magic item properties by tasting them, but wants to be fed fresh fruit for its services.
  3. An earthquake shakes the ground in a 1d6 mile radius. Unstable buildings and structures (including dungeon sections) have a 3-in-6 chance of collapsing; mechanical room traps hidden in walls, floors etc. have a 3-in-6 chance of getting damaged and stop working.
  4. A black disk covers the sun for 2d6 days. For the duration, chaotic monsters gain +1 attack rolls and saves.
  5. A tombstone appears next to the caster and to each of their allies, with their names on it. They suffer -2 to all their saves while in sight of their tombstone.
  6. The caster vomits a stream of 1d4 x 5,000 copper pieces, equivalent to a breath attack (a cone, 30’ long, 1’ wide at the mouth, 30’ wide at the far end). All caught in the area suffer 1d8 damage (save versus breath for half). The caster may target the breath in the direction they prefer.
  7. All creatures capable of speech within 10’ of the target reveal their best kept secret.
  8. The spell summons a tyrannosaurus rex 2d6’ from the target. Roll for random reaction.
  9. A 1’ long, spiraling horn grows on the target’s forehead. It has a continual light spell on it, which the target can switch on and off.
  10. The spell creates 1d4+1 killer bees telepathically linked to the caster and obeying their mental commands.
  11. The caster’s eyes become mirrors. They are now immune to all gaze effects and abilities.
  12. Stone statues appear next to every creature within 50’ of the target, duplicating their aspect.
  13. The spell summons 2d6+20 goats 1d6’ from the target (herd animal, small; 1 HD). Roll 1d4 every round. 1: flee immediately. 2-4: stampede in a random direction (roll 1d12 and read it like a clock).
  14. All metal weapons and shields within 50’ of the caster are pulled into a magic vortex, forming an anthropomorphic iron living statue which obeys the caster’s orders. After 2d4 rounds, or if killed, the statue crumbles in a pile of all the weapons that made it (intact).
  15. The caster’s INT and STR scores are swapped for 1d6 days.
  16. The caster and all creatures within 100’ float 3’ up into the air for 1d6 turns as per the levitate spell, except they can’t mentally direct vertical movement.
  17. All creatures of comparable size within 100’ of the target become illusory copies of the target.
  18. All footwear within 10’ of the target are magically glued to the ground for 24 hours.
  19. All the caster’s prepared spells leave their mind and transfer their energy into the nearest non-magic sword, turning it into a sentient sword. The sword’s INT is equal to 6 + the number of spells drained from the caster’s mind (up to 12).
  20. All non-magic melee weapons within 100’ of the target become succulent roasted gigots, with the same size of the original item.


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Saturday, April 23, 2022

About Artifacts, Deceptions and Dilemmas

 Artifacts, Deceptions and Dilemmas is a book by Courtney C. Campbell, of Hack & Slash blog fame.

In short: this book collects guidelines and ideas for old-school games DMs to both create and adjudicate fairly a variety of "unusual circumstances, hazards, benefits, and puzzles, and creating interesting encounters". It is designed to create better dungeons, and to become better at running them at the table.

Is this for you? You may check some portions of the content at Campbell's blog.



The print-on-demand version, which I've grabbed a couple months ago, is a 162 page, A5 b&w book. It is available both as soft- and hardcover, and I've picked the latter as I strongly prefer a solid book. It is one of the few OSR titles that are currently part of the global Best of Print sale on drivethru (and for some strange reason the hardcover costs less than the softcover version).

Esthetically, AD&D (see what he did there?) is a spartan book with a super-simple, one-column layout.

It sports an amazing wrap-around cover art by Karl Stjemberg (aka skullfungus), and a LOT of functional art by Campbell in the Rooms section of the book (more on that later), plus a bunch of illustrations by James Shields.

Skullfungus' incredible wrap-around cover


What game is this for? Despite the acronym, AD&D is a book for DMs/GMs/Referees running any old-school or OSR-adjacent game. Game rules and statistics are barely present, if at all, as the focus of the book is on dungeon design and adjudication. I think it can be of interest to GMs of any edition of Dungeons & Dragons or other fantasy games, if they feel traps-as-hp-tax and perception checks are boring.

So...

Let's break down the content. We have four main sections: Rooms, Agency, Traps, Tricks.

The first section has a set of tables to randomly determine the specific nature of a room. Each of the results of such tables is described in the following pages, where you find more than 100 room types in alphabetical order, from Amphitheater to Zoo. Each room is described in objective terms, with its necessary, functional features, plus a list of possible additional elements, objects that can reasonably be found in that type of room, plus an illustration for each. This section is definitely useful if you like your dungeon rooms to make sense! See the images below for some nice examples.


The second section, Agency, describes the mechanical or magical functioning of a variety of triggers such as pressure plates, switches, latches, levers, and so on. More important, and the reason why the title of the section is Agency, this section describes how to run them in game: what to describe, how to give clues, how to give a reason to players to investigate and interact with them.

The third section, Traps, describes what's at the other end of the trigger, detailing more than 30 literal traps and environmental hazards, from arrow trap to vents & sprays. For each, examples are given to make them unique, and turn them from a boring hp-tax into an interesting encounter.

Where the Rooms and Traps sections deal with physical elements of a dungeon, the last section of the book, Tricks, tackles situations. It describes 17 categories of them, form bait to weirdness, each with examples, plus a two-page guide on how to design them for your games.

AD&D together with its companion book OD&D, and the Italian version of Old-School Essentials 



All in all

Like the immensely popular The Dungeon Alphabet, this is a great book if you want more creative fuel when designing your dungeon. What's more: it gives a lot solid advice on how to design environments and situations that create challenging gameplay in the OSR sense: challenging player skill to investigate and interact with the environment in a meaningful way.

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Into OSR? Check my other OSR posts, reviews and games!

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Dragons for My Current Game: Xagoranth of the South

 A few weeks ago I posted my adaptation notes (part 1 and part 2) to run Tomb of the Serpent Kings with Old-School Essentials.

The first post included a simple hex map I made so as to have a minimal "backdrop world" with the starting town of Fortana.

Of course one thing leads to another so I quickly added the modules I hoped to run after the Tomb: Brandonsford, renamed as Brandonia, and a village for Ominous Crypt of the Blood Moss.

And after that I added two dragons on the map... because why not? The implied setting in BX dungeons & dragons and Old-School Essentials is clearly has lots of them. And people in Fortana probably know about the two closest dragons.

So now? Time to roll their details with the tables in Deadly Dragons Dire & Daunting, the set of tables included in the Axian Library book to create unique dragons with their environment and context.

The first dragon I detailed in this post.


I've also added The Seers Sanctum, putting it on a not-so-pleasant islet in the middle of a lake.


Here's what I got for the dragon in the swamps south of Fortana:

Xagoranth

Black Dragon, Old, Male


Armour Class     2 [17]

Hit Dice                 8** (36hp)

Attacks [2 × claw (1d4 + 1), 1 × bite (2d10), sharp horns (2d10)] or breath

THAC0                 13 [+6]

Movement             90’ (30’) / 240’ (80’) flying

Saving Throws D8 W9 P10 B10 S12 (8)

Morale                 8

Alignment Chaotic

XP                    1,750

Breath weapon: 60’ long line of acid.

Secret weakness: Music scares, irritates or disgusts the dragon, who must make a Morale check if confronted with it.

Language and spells: Intelligent (INT 10). Speaks Draconic, Common, and 1 more language. Spells: 3 × 1st level.

Spells: 

  • Level 1: Floating Disc, Charm Person, Read Languages

Sleeping: 20%. 


Motivations and Desires: Survival, greed, pride, paranoia (Halved chance of sleeping; -1 to THAC0 due to tiredness; both included above). Current desire: Wants another dragon dead. Of course, why not Korgathix?

Treasure

  • total value 120,000gp
  • 60,000gp
  • 30,000pp
  • Sword +1
  • Sword +1, +2 vs spell users
  • Plate mail + 1
  • Shield + 2
  • Potion of Healing
  • Potion of Delusion (seems a Potion of Giant Strength)
  • Spell scroll (esp, web, wall of ice, floating disc, feeblemind)
  • Spell scroll (speak with animals, continual light (continual darkness), cure disease (cause disease), sticks to snakes, purify food and water)
Origin of the treasure: It is the accumulation of tributes of enslaved or defeated humanoid tribes. Obviously the dragon stole better part of Frindil's family treasure (see below).

Allies, Enemies, Adventure


Allies:  1 Cyclops, Oggamar
Ok this guy probably lives with the dragon.
Their treasure:
  • 4,000ep
  • 5,000gp

Allies:  30 Brigands, with their leader Fargan (level 2 fighter with plate mail, sword, lance).
Their camp is in the same hex as the dragon's lair. Fair weather friends.
Their treasure:
  • 6,000cp
  • 1,000sp
  • 10,000gp

Enemies: 21 Dwarves, with their leader Frindil
They live in a mine in the hills north of the swamp. They moved to their current home about two years ago, and were attacked by the dragon who took a lot of their heirloom and slay half of their group. Of course they hate him and would gladly join an expedition to kill him (or at least recover their enchanted swords and armor).
I'll also consider these to be the cousins of the three dwarves in the Brandonsford scenario, because connections are good.
Their treasure:
  • 40,000gp
  • gem (50gp)
  • 7 × gems (100gp)
  • gem (500gp)
Frindil, level 3 dwarf leader:
Armour Class 2 [17] (plate mail + shield)
Hit Points 14
Attacks 1 × hand axe (1d6)
THAC0 19 [0]
Movement Rate 60' (20')
Saves D8 W9 P10 B13 S12
Alignment Lawful
STR 9 INT 7 WIS 10
DEX 9 CON 9 CHA 10

Adventure Hooks:
  • The dragon’s enemies are willing to pay 4,000gp to have it baited out of its lair for one hour. I swear I rolled this one. It's perfect with Frindil's dwarves!
  • Xagoranth wants Korgathix dead.
    • He may trade information about his lair, allies and enemies in order to save his life.
    • Xagorath may send his brigand allies to hire dragon-slayers.
  • A local noble is looking for “trusted helpers” to join his dragon slaying expedition, but actually wants them to defeat the dragon for him, while he waits outside the lair and subsequently takes all the glory and fame for himself.

Lair: A ruined temple in the swamp.

I'll set this as serpent-themed, to continue the theme of the Tomb of the Serpent Kings. Ah, I might as well add a map to the temple among the treasures of the tomb, with a secret passage by-passing the magic ward (see below). 

  • The temple is on an islet in the middle of a mire about 4' deep.
  • Entrance is magically warded and requires the magic word "Saranta", only known to the dragon and the silly cyclops Oggamar.



Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Dragons for My Current Game: Korgathix of the North

A few weeks ago I posted my adaptation notes (part 1 and part 2) to run Tomb of the Serpent Kings with Old-School Essentials.

My players have started delving the tomb despite one player was missing (and that means he'll roll on Mysteriously Missing & Merrily Met!). The've explored most of the false tomb and upper tomb, with a lot of luck and careful exploration, but not so much treasure so far... 

So, the first of those two posts included a simple hex map I made so as to have a minimal "backdrop world" with the starting town of Fortana.

Of course one thing leads to another so I quickly added the modules I hope to run after the Tomb: Brandonsford, renamed as Brandonia, and a village for Ominous Crypt of the Blood Moss.

And after that I added two dragons on the map... because why not? The implied setting in BX dungeons & dragons and Old-School Essentials clearly has lots of them. And people in Fortana probably know about the two closest dragons.

So now? Time to roll their details with the tables in Deadly Dragons Dire & Daunting, the set of tables included in the Axian Library book to create unique dragons with their environment and context.

Here's what I got for the dragon in the mountains north of Fortana, and something you may find useful as a "dragon situation" for your games

Korgathix "Hellmouth", "The Swallower of Giants"

Red Dragon, Adult, Male


Armour Class     –1 [20]

Hit Dice                 10** (45hp)

Attacks [2 × claw (1d8), 1 × bite (4d8)] or breath

THAC0                 11 [+8]

Movement             90’ (30’) / 240’ (80’) flying

Saving Throws D6 W7 P8 B8 S10 (10)

Morale                 10

Alignment Chaotic

XP             2,300

Breath weapon: 90’ long cone of fire. Strong Breath: Can use his breath attack up to four times per day.

Secret weakness: Sleeps a lot. +20% chance of sleeping (included below).

Language and spells: Intelligent (INT 12). Speaks Draconic, Common, and Dwarvish. Spells: 3 × 1st level, 3 × 2nd level, 3 × 3rd level.

Spells: 

  • Level 1: Hold Portal, Magic Missile, Floating Disc
  • Level 2: Invisibility, Mirror Image, Web
  • Level 3: Protection from Evil 10’ Radius (MU), Dispel Magic, Fire Ball

Sleeping: 30%.

Large Maw: The dragon’s maw is larger than usual. and capable of swallowing a human-sized victim. An attack roll of 19 or 20 with its bite attack indicates a victim is swallowed. Inside the dragon’s belly: suffer damage equal to its bite per round (until the dragon dies); may attack with sharp weapons at –4 to hit; body digested in 6 turns after death. If the dragon uses its breath attack, the swallowed victim is expelled.

Motivations and Desires: Survival, greed, pride, spleen. Current desire: craves fame.

Treasure

  • A giant-sized golden crown with a hundred diamonds, worth 20,000gp
  • A giant-sized golden necklace worth 5,000gp, usually worn by the dragon
  • 10,000gp
  • 1,000pp
  • 1 potion of healing
Origin of the treasure: It was a giant king’s treasure. 

Allies, Enemies, Adventure


Allies: 20 Troglodytes
They live in a cave complex below the entrance of the dragon's lair, and act as guards, but are not allowed to enter his lair.
Their treasure:
  • 5,000sp
  • 3,000ep
  • Sword +1 (+3 vs Enchanted Creatures)
  • Spell scroll (hold person, cure disease (cause disease), detect evil, speak with animals, resist cold)
  • Wand of Negation

Enemies: 3 Treants
These are the few treants that survived the dragon's fire, and of course they hate him. They live in a small ancient wood south of the dragon's lair.
Their treasure as rolled with the online generator:
  • 4,000sp
  • 4,000ep
  • 2 × gems (100gp)
But I don't like it. Why would treants have coins? So I change it with a single jewel of equivalent value:
  • A large (3') silver and gold tray with small emeralds, a gift from the elves of Elvenil, worth 2,600gp.
Adventure Hooks:
  • According to rumors the dragon has become decrepit, or is currently weak, or diseased. A few aspiring dragonslayers, especially of the opposite alignment, have already attempted to find the dragon’s lair. The rumors may of course be false, or even created by the dragon to lure fools.
  • Korgathix is currently obsessed with fame, so he will always
    • let at least one enemy escape
    • accept surrender
    • fall for flattery regarding his well-known might, riches, etc

Lair: A natural cave that is hard to reach without flying, or good climbing tools (4d6 falling damage). Whenever Korgathix sleeps or leaves the lair, he
  • "locks" his treasure inside an alcove closed with a large stone slab and the Hold Portal spell cast on it.
  • seals the entrance with the Web spell (which he can easily remove with his flames).

....

So here's the updated map, expanded with a few more details as I slowly build the region. I've added "rumors" of more monsters around, and an elven community west of Fortana, just so we know where elf PCs come from.



Saturday, April 9, 2022

Tomb of the Serpent Kings: My Adaptation Notes for OSE - Part 2

Tomb of the Serpent Kings by Skerples, with art by Scrap Princess, is an awesome dungeon adventure which you should immediately grab if you haven't already.

It's a very good dungeon per se, and is also famous for being a "learning" module both for players and GMs who want to familiarize with the OSR style of play.

It is available as a free pdf, but I've grabbed the A4 Print-on-Demand version and I'm very happy with it. I'm preparing to run it for a group of total newbies, and see how good it is at its intended job!





And since I'm going to use Old-School Essentials, I've prepared a few adaptation notes, so why not share them?


I've posted the first part of my notes for Old-School Essentials in a previous post.

Also, check this cool, free isometric map of the tomb, by Andrew Duvall!

Here are the notes for the Lower Tomb.

Tomb of the Serpent Kings - Lower Tomb

Notes for Old-School Essentials

Treasure: All values should be multiplied x10!

Wandering Monsters table:

Fungus goblins are just OSE goblins (but sticky!)

Large spider: it says it's fist-sized, so it's not really any of the giant spiders listed in OSE.

Large Spider 

Armour Class   7 [12]

Hit Dice           1/2 (2hp)

Attacks            1 × bite (1d3, +1d4 poison if failed save)

THAC0            19 [+0]

Movement 120’ (40’)

Saving Throws    D12 W13 P14 B15 S16

Morale         8

Alignment Neutral

XP                 5

Room 22: Not an adaptation note but I believe, based on the textual description, that the map is wrong about the position of the door, as it seems to me that the door is to be interpreted as "Recessed 5' into the wall" from the side of the chasm, not from the room 23 side. Anyway, since the stone hammer doesn't crush the victim against a solid object, I believe the trap should be save vs death (+2) or 1d6 damage, plus another save vs death or fall into the chasm (instant death).

Room 24: The infamous skeleton jelly: as per skeleton in Old-School Essentials, except immune to all damage, and only inflicts 1d4 damage. I've decided it can be turned by clerics even though it is against the idea of the encounter, because I don't feel like being a jelly makes it more powerful than the gods, and when in doubt I always choose in favor of the players.

Room 25: Save vs death or d6 from falling, and again for the spikes at the bottom.

Room 26: Easy to pick: double % for thieves to pick the lock. Also, rusted, so I guess it can be kicked open like a stuck door.

Room 30: For characters inside the pit, instead of COS damage I'll have a simple save vs paralysis to avoid becoming unconscious (and falling into the flames for 2d6 damage).

Room 32: Baltoplat the succubus!

I've mixed the statistics of a harpy from OSE with those of succubi from AD&D 1st edition. I suppose a succubus should have more special abilities, but I think this is enough for this specific encounter.

Baltoplat the Succubus

Armour Class   2 [17]

Hit Dice           6* (27hp)

Attacks            2 × claws (1d3)

THAC0            14 [+5]

Movement 60’ (20’) / 150’ (50’) flying

Saving Throws    D10 W11 P12 B13 S14

Morale         10 (but will flee combat)

Alignment Chaotic

XP                 500

Immunity: fire (normal & magic) and non magic weapons.

Energy drain: A kiss from Baltoplat drains one level (save vs death to avoid), like wights and similar.

Spells: Charme, minor illusion.

Room 33: The gas trap is save vs death or d6 damage.

Room 34: I guess the eggs can be sold to sages etc for 1d6 x 10gp each. Not very useful for warmblooded creatures after all, but still a curiosity item. Or, they may become more useful for expeditions into very cold environments if the heating effect is increased to become equivalent to that of a decent-sized bonfire (but without the flame).

Room 35: Save vs death for the blade traps.

Room 38: See basilisk in OSE. Definitely going to use the 2-round petrification routine as suggested in the module (instead of the OSE save-or-die RAW petrification rules), as it makes for a more engaging and less brutal encounter.

Room 42: Xiximanter the lich! Liches can be found in the OSE Advanced Fantasy monster book, but I want to make him a bit different (and sligthly less powerful). Spells: I've used the  online OSE random tools to determine the spells he has prepared, but also figured a shorter list for those who use Wondrous Weavings Warped & Weird (this second list is handpicked).

Xiximanter the lich

Armour Class   1 [18]

Hit Dice           10**** (45hp)

Attacks            1 × claw (1d8 + paralysis)

THAC0            11 [+8]

Movement 60’ (20’)

Saving Throws    D6 W7 P8 B8 S10

Morale         12

Alignment Chaotic

XP                 3700

Undead: Make no noise, until they attack. Immune to effects that affect living creatures (e.g. poison). Immune to mind-affecting or mind-reading spells (e.g. charm, hold, sleep).

Immunity: Non-magic weapons, electricity, cold, all spells that cause metamorphosis, madness, death.

Fear Aura: Xiximanter may decide to "turn on/off" his fear aura. Those who see it must save vs spell or flee for 2d6 turns. Characters level 4 or higher are immune. 

Paralyzing claw: Save vs. paralysis or paralyzed for 6 turns.

Spells: 

Level 1: Floating Disc, Hold Portal, Sleep, Floating Disc

Level 2: Locate Object, Detect Invisible, Wizard Lock, Mirror Image

Level 3: Lightning Bolt, Protection from Evil 10’ Radius, Invisibility 10’ Radius, Protection from Evil 10’ Radius

Level 4: Remove Curse (Curse), Wall of Ice, Polymorph Others, Hallucinatory Terrain

Level 5: Animate Dead, Hold Monster, Animate Dead

Level 6: Reincarnation, Part Water, Part Water 

Alternate Spells (if using Wondrous Weavings Warped & Weird): Flesh to stone, anti-magic shell, death spell, disintegrate, teleport, hold monster, wizard eye, lightning bolt, invisibility, fly, magic missile, sleep, web, mirror image

Room 45: Random potions! Here's what I got from the online OSE random tools, plus the ones listed in the module.

I've decided to ignore the "spell mutation" potion listed in TotSK, because I cannot figure out what it is and this is a rich hoard of magic anyway. I made the list into a d20 table just in case the players pick a random bottle.

d20        color                potion type

1            white                diminution

2          grey                   flying

3          grey                       flying

4            black                control undead

        transparent        levitation

6         transparent        levitation

7            orange                heroism

8            orange                heroism

9            red                    control animal

10          brown                giant strength

11           green                speed

12        yellow                fire resistance

13        yellow                fire resistance

14        white                diminution

15      purple                healing

16      purple                healing

17      purple                healing

18        pink                    poison

19        gold                    longevity

20        gold                    longevity

Room 46: The cursed throne. I'll have it be worth 8,000gp. Players must either solve a puzzle or cheat (or kill!) Xiximanter, AND decide to quit the expedition to take it away, and go back to town at a movement rate of probably 6 miles/day, meaning more chances for random encounters. This deserves to be a big, memorable jackpot.

The curse: save vs spell, or "desire lordship and conquest", as stated in the module. How to translate this into game terms? I'm frankly considering just going with a (possibly false) hallucination/vision of the future as a ruler, and let the player fall for it or not. Something like

"you see yourself sitting on this very throne, but you're visibly older, with wrinkles and grey hair, and you're dressed in rich, lordly clothes and have a jeweled crown on your head. A young valet bows at your feet and says the tributes from the eastern provinces of the kingdom have arrived and include an enchanted ring as a gift from your vassals."

Room 48: Save vs poison or flee with disgust.

Room 50: Love this room.

Dredging the soil requires 1/turn per 3x3' square per person, with a roll on this table to see what comes up. Each result can only come up once, and I consider only 6 squares to be the goblins' garden, so this all means digging it all up requires 1 hour if only 1 person is doing it, or less if more characters work at it.

1 A finger and a fork

2 A rusted dagger

3 1d20 gold pieces

4 A ruby worth 300gp

5 A chicken bones

6 The crown!

The crown: If worn, save vs spell etc. The crown is the other "jackpot treasure" in the module, and players need to figure the soil in the room might hide something precious. I'll make it worth 5,000gp.


Appendix 1: Where is Xiximanter's spell book?

I guess Xixi would keep it in either room 44 or 45, perhaps inside a secret compartment in the wall, hidden as a beautiful fresco of snake men empowered by lightning.

Appendix 2: Where is Xiximanter's phylactery??

That's a very good question, one that expert players may have. Truth is, OSE liches haven't got it!
So it's up to you if you want to add one or not. I would hide it in a secret compartment inside one the pits in his rooms.

Appendix 3: What if... Xiximanter is a divine caster??

It would be a cool alternate version! Here's a selection of memorized spells from cleric's lists, if you want Xixi to be a divine type lich.

Level 1: Protection from Evil, Light (Darkness), Purify Food and Water, Detect Magic, Purify Food and Water

Level 2: Hold Person, Know Alignment, Resist Fire, Speak with Animals, Silence 15’ Radius

Level 3: Locate Object, Cure Disease (Cause Disease), Cure Disease (Cause Disease), Cure Disease (Cause Disease), Remove Curse (Curse)

Level 4: Speak with Plants, Sticks to Snakes, Neutralize Poison, Speak with Plants

Level 5: Raise Dead (Finger of Death), Commune, Commune, Quest (Remove Quest)


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Thursday, April 7, 2022

Tomb of the Serpent Kings: My Adaptation Notes for OSE - Part 1

 Tomb of the Serpent Kings by Skerples, with art by Scrap Princess, is an awesome dungeon adventure which you should immediately grab if you haven't already.

It's a very good dungeon per se, and is also famous for being a "learning" module both for players and GMs who want to familiarize with the OSR style of play.

It is available as a free pdf, but I've grabbed the A4 Print-on-Demand version and I'm very happy with it. I'm preparing to run it for a group of total newbies, and see how good it is at its intended job!

And since I'm going to use Old-School Essentials, I've prepared a few adaptation notes, so why not share them?

Here's also my very quick map (made with the awesome Worldographer) to have a bit of a backdrop "world" to just start playing.

The tomb is the dolmen icon just southeast of the starting town of Fortana, and the Brandonia town in the woods northwest is a renaming for Brandonsford, which I hope to play next!



So, here are the notes for the False Tomb and Upper Tomb sections.

The lower tomb will be covered in the next post! is available here!

Tomb of the Serpent Kings - False Tomb & Upper Tomb

notes for Old-School Essentials

Treasure: All values should be multiplied x10!

Rooms 2 to 4: The poison gas. Save vs poison or 1d6 damage.

Room 5: Trap: save vs death or 2d6 damage.

Room 6: Skeletons as per monster entry in OSE.

Room 11: Mummy Claws.

Armour Class   7 [12]

Hit Dice           1* (4hp)

Attacks            1 × strangle (1d6)

THAC0            19 [0]

Movement 30’ (10’)

Saving Throws    D12 W13 P14 B15 S16 (1)

Morale         12

Alignment Chaotic

XP                 13

Undead: Make no noise, until they attack. Immune to effects that affect living creatures (e.g. poison). Immune to mind-affecting or mind-reading spells (e.g. charm, hold, sleep).

Disease: Anyone hit contracts a horrible rotting disease. Magical healing is ineffective; natural healing is ten times slower. The disease can only be removed by magic.

Room 13: Sparamuntar, the snake-man Skeleton

Armour Class    7 [12]

Hit Dice            3 (13hp)

Attacks            1 × battle axe (1d8, Slow, Two-handed)

THAC0            17 [+2]

Movement 60’ (20’)

Saving Throws    D12 W13 P14 B15 S16 (1)

Morale         12

Alignment Chaotic

XP             35

Undead: Make no noise, until they attack. Immune to effects that affect living creatures (e.g. poison). Immune to mind-affecting or mind-reading spells (e.g. charm, hold, sleep).


Room 14: Franbinzar as a minor black pudding:

Armour Class    6 [13]

Hit Dice            5 (22hp)

Attacks            1 × touch (2d8)

THAC0            15 [+4]

Movement 60’ (20’)

Saving Throws    D10 W11 P12 B13 S14 (5)

Morale         12

Alignment Neutral

XP                 300

Immunity: Only harmed by fire-based attacks.

Division: Non-fire attacks (including spells) cause the pudding to divide. Each hit creates a 1HD pudding that does 1d6 damage.

Erode wood and metal: Can dissolve wood or metal in one turn.

Cling: Can move across walls and ceilings.

Seep: Can squeeze through small holes and cracks.

Room 15:  Not relative to the rules... In order to make it easier for the players, I'll describe one of the scrolls as the drawing of the succubus, with her name written below.

Room 18: Stairs trap. 1d8 damage, save vs death halves.

Room 19: Stone Cobra Guardian. This is supposed to be very strong, so I had originally decided to give 1d8+3 melee damage, but after some feedback on Reddit I've decided 2d6 is more in line with similar instances in BX.

Armour Class    3 [16]

Hit Dice            4+1 (19hp)

Attacks            1 × dented sword (2d6)

THAC0            15 [+4]

Movement 60’ (20’)

Saving Throws     D10 W11 P12 B13 S14 (4)

Morale          12

Alignment Neutral

XP                 125

Shield draw: d6 damage, save vs death negates.

Leap and slam: d4 damage, save vs death negates.  

Room 20: Running or leaping along the chasm: save vs death (+5) to avoid falling into the chasm (death).

Room 21: Dungeon barnacles. Save vs paralysis or be paralyzed for 1d4 hours. Paralyzed victims are devoured in 1d4 hours if left in place.

The second half of the Serpent Kings dungeon is HERE!

Into OSR? Check my other OSR posts and reviews!

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