Thursday, July 12, 2018

Sheridan the Exile


      “Not all of the criminals out here want to kill you. Some just want your skin.”

Sheridan isn’t a bad man, he’s just a bit lazy. He wandered extensively in his younger days, hoping to strike it rich without actually having to strain himself. Eventually, Sheridan ended up getting arrested for vagrancy. He was branded with a “V” on his right forearm, then exiled. Expelled into the wild with other condemned men, Sheridan learned to either work or die.

     Sheridan managed to befriend a dozen or so non-violent criminals. They banded together for mutual support and now spend their time maintaining the defenses of the camp in which they live. He dreams of returning home, but he knows it’s futile. The walls that surround his homeland are 40 feet high and the guards who patrol them shoot anything that approaches.

     The wild lands where Sheridan lives are home to fierce animals and dangerous sub-humans. If that weren’t bad enough, more violent criminals often raid the camp where Sheridan and the more passive exiles live. Many of the dangerous convicts have serious mental illnesses and life in the wild has caused them to grow increasingly unstable. Sheridan worries that it’s only a matter of time before the camp is overrun. He hopes and prays that his luck will turn and that relief will come. Until then, there are trenches to dig, fires to tend and food to be gathered.

Using Sheridan In Play
     There are some who believe that exile is a rather harsh sentence. This is especially true given the fact that the prisoners often turn upon on another and that many of the exiles are not equipped to deal with living in a brutal environment. The people who argue for reforms in the law are correct to wonder why a petty crime, like vagrancy, is punished with a potential death sentence.

     Characters might be hired to smuggle supplies, medicine and letters from relatives to the exiled prisoners. The party would have to be very careful, since being caught could very well result in the characters being exiled as well. In the wild, the party would have to defend themselves from attacks by the more violent exiles, as well as fend off wild animals.

     Conversely, characters might be hired by city officials to survey the criminal camps, determine the prisoners’ relative health and organization and then report on their findings. It’s possible the exiles have organized themselves into a rag tag army and plan on attacking the society that treated them so cruelly. It’d be up to the party to pacify the exiles.

Sheridan (-5 points)
SM 0 (5’ 8” tall, 155 lbs.);
ST 11 [10], DX 10, IQ 11 [20], HT 11 [10];
HP 11, Will 9 [-10], Per 11, FP 11;
Basic Lift 24, Damage: Thr 1d-1/Sw 1d+1;
Basic Speed 5.25, Basic Move 5;
Dodge 8, Parry (see attacks), Block -
DR 0.

Advantages and Perks 
Less Sleep 1 [2].

Disadvantages and Quirks 
Social Stigma (criminal record) [-5], Status -2 [-10], Wealth (dead broke) [-25].

     Camouflage-12 [2], Gardening-12 [2], Melee Weapon (broadsword)-9 [1].

Light Club-9, 1d+2 sw/cr or 1d thr/cr, reach 1, parry 7.

Tattered clothing, waterskin, club. 

     Sheridan and a band of exiled convicts living on the fringes of civilization were inspired by Patrick Carman’s Dark Hills Divide.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018


Treant, Rare, no. 64 of 72, Giants of Legend

“Side? I am on nobody's side, because nobody is on my side, little orc.” 

Treants are sentient trees that act as jealous defenders of the forest. Treants adopt a section of a woodland as their own, then devote their lives to nurturing the vegetation within. A treant will allow passage through its woods, so long as the visitors do not start fires, or lay axe to wood. Those who do so are attacked, or at the very least, threatened. Treants care little for the affairs of men, but find their destructiveness disconcerting. Treants are natural allies with elves and other woodland races. Under no circumstance will a treant venture outside its forest.

     Treants are solitary creatures. Enchanted forests will have no more than one treant for every 10 square miles of woodland. Once every five years, all of the treants within a forest will meet to share news and renew friendships. These meetings tend to last a few weeks and are exclusive. Treants will not tolerate visitors during this time. Treants are asexual and reproduce only once during their lifetime. This process involves the production of a special seed that is planted in rich soil, then carefully tended. This usually occurs near the end of a treant’s life. The young treant, often called a “sprout,” is cared for by its parent for at least 10 years.

      A treant’s leaves are deep green in the spring and summer. During the fall and winter the leaves change to yellow, orange or red, but they rarely fall out. A treant’s legs fit together when closed to look like the trunk of a tree. A motionless treant is nearly indistinguishable from a tree. A treant is about 30 feet tall, with a trunk nearly 3’ in diameter. It weighs about 4,500 pounds. Due to its wide stance and sweeping branches, a treant occupies a space 3 hexes in diameter.

     Treants have a reach of 3 hexes and receive a +4 bonus to grapple man-sized (SM 0) creatures. Their favored tactic is to either slam foes with their branches or trample them. Evil wizards prize the trunks of treants, which they use to craft wands and staves of fell power.

Treant (395 points)
SM +4 (30’ tall, 4,500 lbs.);
ST 35 (size, -40%) [150], DX 10, IQ 10, HT 14 [40];
HP 35, Will 15 [25], Per 15 [25], FP 14;
Basic Lift 245, Damage: Thr 4d-1/Sw 6d+1;
Basic Speed 6, Basic Move 6; Dodge 9, Parry (see attacks), Block -;
DR 1.

 Advantages and Perks
Damage Resistance 1 [5], Doesn’t Breathe (oxygen and CO2 absorption) [15], Doesn’t Sleep [20], Extended Lifespan 2 [4], Immunity (metabolic hazards) [30], Injury Tolerance (homogenous) [40], Plant Empathy [5], Speak with Plants [15], Temperature Tolerance 3 (7º-104º) [3]. 

Disadvantages and Quirks
Dependency (sunlight, very common, daily) [-15], Dependency (water soluble nutrients found in soil, very common, weekly) [-10], Disturbing Voice (-2 to reaction rolls) [-10], Fragile (combustible) [-5], Sense of Duty (forest inhabitants) [-10].

Brawling-14 [12], Camoflague-15 [2], Farming-13 [12], Gardening-12 [12], Herb Lore-11 [12], Naturalist-13 [16], Observation-15 [2], Tracking-15 [2]. 

Punch-14, 4d+3 cr, reach 3, parry-10.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Wasteland of Gath: Ambush! (Rowan); Labyrinth Lord

After stocking up on grenades at Turtleneck Joe's (see The Tolling of the Great Black Bell no. 31), Rowan (played by +Stuart Robertson), Kerg and Bedlowe headed down the old highway in the Miller Family's all terrain vehicle. With "Fantastic Voyage" bumping through the stereo, they soon came across a roadblock.

     A burned out car blocked the highway. Behind an old washing machine adjacent to the car was a drooling, lumpy mutant. It demanded the vehicle stop and Rowan obliged. Not able to keep their cool, two additional mutants soon revealed themselves. One was hiding in the car's trunk, while another lurked inside a barrel near the washing machine. 

     The cursed trio approached the party's vehicle and demanded food. Without skipping a beat, Rowan stealthily popped the pin on a grenade, dropped it into a bag of Cheetos and handed it to the mutants. He stepped on the accelerator and zoomed off. The mutants were gleeful for about three seconds before they were engulfed in shrapnel and cheetle.

     Bedlowe hit replay on "Fantastic Voyage" and the trio continued their trek through the wasteland of Gath. 

XP for Rowan: 30 for mutants

Treasure: Coolio CD

Rowan's Melee Stats 
No. of Attacks: 5 
Hits: 5 
Hit Percentage: 100%
Damage Inflicted: 2, 5, 4, 8, 2, 5, 4, 4, 7 (41) (Flaming oil results in damage in excess of hits)
Average Damage per Hit:8.2
Kills: 9 
Average Kills per Hit: 1.8  (Kills per hit higher than 1 due to use of flaming oil and grenades)
Initiative Rolls: 7 
Result(s): 4, 3, 4, 3, 4, 2, 5 
Average Initiative Roll: 3.6
Damage Sustained: 0
Spells Cast: 1
Spells: Sleep

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Wasteland of Gath: The Tin Shack (Brother Adelmo); White Box

Today Brother Adelmo's player (+Gothridge Manor) and I enjoyed our third session in the Wasteland of Gath. He had a diplomatic, easy-going approach to the mutant freaks in the shack. The result was that no one died /and/ Adelmo convinced Pa Goren to let him take Dandelion on down the road. Next stop: The Meeting House where the angelic Poppy will let Adelmo decide his fate in the Wasteland.

XPs: 1,000 for the Ring of Protection +1 and 30 xp for placating the mutants = 1,030 xp

Brother Adelmo's Melee Stats 
No. of Attacks: 6 
Hits: 4 
Hit Percentage: 67%
Damage Inflicted: 6, 5, 1, 4 (16) 
Average Damage per Hit: 4 
Kills: 4 
Average Kills per Hit: 1
Initiative Rolls: 7 
Result(s): 5, 4, 0, 2, 4, 0, 4 (19) 
Average Initiative Roll: 2.7 
Turn Attempts: 1
Successful Turn Attempts: 1
Turn Attempt Success Rate: 100%
Damage Sustained: 0
Bind Wounds Opportunities: 1
Hit Points Restored: 4
Average Hit Points Restored: 4

Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Wasteland of Gath: The Pit (Fenra); Labyrinth Lord

Fenra the temporarily displaced (played by +Andrew Byers), left the bus with Kerg the Dwarf in tow. After a time, Kerg had to relieve himself and rushed forward to a massive pothole in the road to do so. Something he saw within alarmed him and he loudly exclaimed, "Jesus Christ!"

     There came a terrible moaning from the pit and out of it emerged three nightmare creatures. Despite the tar on their bodies, their pinkish-gray skin could be seen. They were about 3-4' tall with long, spindly limbs. Their fingers ended in sharp claws where the bone grew through the skin. They had dropping facial features, long floppy ears and a small mouth full of pointed teeth. Fenra vaguely recalled that the monsters were somehow related to witches, but the exact detail eluded her for the moment.

     Several rounds of melee ensued. It began with Kerg - his pants still at his ankles - grievously wounding one of the beasts with his crossbow as it emerged from the pit. The remaining two drew near and a fierce fight ensued. After several furious blows, both fleshlings were cut down.  

     As the melee drew to a close, Fenra and Kerg saw an awful little mutant run down the road. It had been hiding in a bush, watching the battle. It dropped a bucket as it fled. Kerg looked to Fenra for direction and she ordered him to fire. Kerg shot and wounded the wretch, but it continued running. Fenra then drew her short bow and fired. The arrow hit the mutant in the back and blew straight through him. The mutant dropped face first into the gravel.

     Afterward, Fenra investigated the pit and found it to contain quite a bit of tar. Within the tar were the skeletal remains of various humans and humanoids. She also found a bucket containing severed hands and feet that the mutant had dropped. Was that freak feeding the monsters? Also found was a skull of unusual properties. This one was about 60% bone and 40% smooth aquamarine. The slain mutant was searched and all that was found were three sling stones, a sling and a folded up page from an old pornographic magazine. Fenra tore up the page in disgust as Kerg sadly watched the pieces blow away in the wind.

XP for Fenra : 15 from fleshlings + 5 from the mutant + 175 from treasure = 195 xp

Treasure: Aquamarine encrusted skull worth 175 gp

Fenra's Melee Stats 
No. of Attacks: 7
Hits: 5
Hit Percentage: 71%
Damage Inflicted: 7, 9, 5, 3, 5 (29)
Average Damage per Hit: 5.8
Kills: 5
Average Kills per Hit: 5
Initiative Rolls: 5
Results: 2, 6, 7, 5, 2 (22)
Average Initiative Roll: 4.4

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Wasteland of Gath: The Tin Shack (Righteous Rude); Labyrinth Lord

After scouting the tin shack and getting an idea of who was within, Righteous Rude (played by +Brutorz Bill) stepped forward to issue a challenge. He called upon the twisted, mutant cannibals within to present themselves for judgement. He did so under the shadow of a nearby billboard featuring a waifish, ethereal looking young woman. Beneath her photo text read, "Everything's Going To Be Okay in 15 miles." That may be true, but everything was NOT going to be okay for the freaks in the shack.

The mutants approach!
     It didn't take long for something to happen. Emerging from the hut was a frightening mutant. From the chest of a large man grew a small, baby-like creature, as if two twins were fused in the womb, but only one grew to adulthood. In this case, the baby contained the intellect, while the man it was conjoined with was a puppet. The baby-man howled and gibbered, "Why did you scare my boy!? Get on down the road before something bad happens to you!"

     Righteous Rude ignored the wasteland mutants gibbering and presented the charges against the man. As this occurred, a young female mutant with a tragic cleft lip emerged from the doorway. In her hands was a pristine doll who bore the likeness of the young woman on the billboard. When the girl spoke to the doll, "Pwease pwotect me Pawppy," she was covered momentarily in a lavender glow. Later, she would be rescued by the pair when it was revealed she had been kidnapped by the mutants. While her cleft clip might cause her to look like a mutant, she is not.
The Poppy Doll

     In short order the large mutant rushed out. Kerg unleashed a crossbow bolt that tore into the man-baby. The warped combo doubled over as Righteous Rude hurled a rock from his sling. The rock finished the job by exploding the infantile head that controlled the large man. As David slew the giant of Gath in the Old Testament, so did Rude vanquish a mutant patriarch of the Wasteland.

    Lem the cannibal, who had been feeding the fleshlings, lost his mind after he watched his father die. He rushed out and began beating Kerg without mercy. Kerg went into his turtle pose as he often does. As Lem punched at Kerg, Righteous Rude stepped up from behind and laid him low with a mighty blow from his warhammer.

     Inside the shack mama was found on a bed, her under-developed appendages flapping wildly. She fussed, fumed and spat. Again, Righteous Rude condemned her for her crimes against humanity and the down came the hammer of judgement!

     The house was a disgusting mess with a toilet overflowing with the kind of foul waste one might expect from mutants who ate other mutants. Still, there was one fascinating development. Near the house a hatch in the ground was unearthed. It was assumed that the hatch would open to a tunnel to some underground complex.

     Before descending into the shaft, Rude and Kerg met an interesting pair who were rolling by in a wagon The first fellow was wearing a blue turtleneck and dirty coveralls. He introduced himself as "Turtleneck Joe." The wagon itself was large, packed with trade goods and was being pulled by a massive, six-legged, shaggy load-beast. Also present was a well armed and armored warrior named Bedlowe. After introductions were made, Turtleneck Joe revealed that he was going to convert the bus from a previous encounter into a trading post. Rude liked the idea and decided to travel with the pair for a bit to recover.

 XP for Rowan: 15 for ma and baby-man mutants + 1,000 from ring = 1,015 xp

Treasure: Ring of Protection +1 (a gift from Kerg)

Brother Rude's Melee Stats 
No. of Attacks: 6
Hits: 6
Hit Percentage: 100%
Damage Inflicted: 2, 6, 3, 4, 4, 1
Average Damage per Hit: 3.33
Kills: 5
Average Kills per Hit: .83
Initiative Rolls: 5
Result(s): 3, 6, 5. 6. 5
Average Initiative Roll: 5
Turn Attempts: 1
Successful Turn Attempts: 1
Turn Attempt Success Rate: 100%
Spells Cast: 1(Cure Light Wounds)
Damage Sustained: 4

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Wasteland of Gath: The Bunker (Rowan); Labyrinth Lord

Play began with the intrepid Rowan, Bedlowe and Kerg peering down a shaft leading into the earth. (This was the fourth time +Stuart Robertson and I have explored the Wasteland of Gath.) Fifteen feet below, the crumpled body of a dead wasteland mutant could be seen. After descending the shaft they could see that it had been slain by a quarrel to the chest. Of note was the fact that a large quartz crystal was growing out of its skull. Perhaps all the wasteland mutants had skulls with ingots of gold or encrusted with crystal?
The Miller family attacks!

     A thorough exploration of the underground complex was undertaken with many curious objects found. The trio discovered a tracked all terrain vehicle, preserved rations, clothing and all manner of survival gear. It was quite the cache! The group was careful to pack up things like cans of Mt. Dew (Rowan insisted the Mt. Dew would be good for Dandelion's teeth), beef jerky, freeze-dried apricots and spare clothing. Kerg even found a massive crossbow in a closet.

     Things took a dramatic turn when the explorers entered the bunker's bed-chamber. Within were the skeletal remains of a family, who lie their bunks. A photo of the family when they were alive and happy identified them as The Millers. Bedlowe remarked that the mom was kind of hot. Kerg scolded him for such a crass observation.

     A note on a bed read, "It's too terrifying out there to hope for a better tomorrow. Forgive me." Next to the note were four empty syringes. As Rowan finished reading the note, a skeletal hand grabbed his and the family rose in their beds. Startled, the group retreated into the hallway.

     Rowan dropped a flask of oil in the hallway, which deterred the skeletons from advancing. While the skeletons pondered moving through the flame and smoke, Rowan threw daggers and Kerg unloaded with his crossbow. One skeleton was felled by such blows.The remaining three skeletons rushed forward, but erupted into flame and smoke as they crossed the fiery pool.

     With the skeletons slain, a thorough examination of the room was completed. In a closet the party found new sets of clothes. Rowan claimed for himself a pair of workboots, jeans and rugged shirt. Kerg found a beanie he liked as well as clothing for Dandelion (the mutant adopted by Turtleneck Joe).  Bedlowe stuffed a few pair of Mrs. Miller's panties in his pocket. Rowan also found and kept Mrs. Miller's romance novel as well as a prayer book to Dagon.

     As the group exited the bunker, they noticed that the sky overhead was black. Rowan investigated and saw a terrifying sight. Far down the road near the pothole where the fleshlings were slain he could see an RV, like a Winnebago. Rather than resting upon wheels on the ground, the vehicle was perched atop a massive pair of mechanical legs like some kind of wasteland Baba Yaga hut. The hut let forth a roar from a powerful air horn combined with a scream of pure fury and rage. Was the occupant enraged at the death of the fleshlings? Was this an ambulatory home for a witch?

     The group hid below until the danger passed (Kerg had passed out from fear), then returned to Turtleneck Joes to trade. Before departing, Rowan removed Ma and Pa Goren's heads, hoping they contained gold.

XP for Rowan: 13 for skeletons + 50 quartz crystal + 100 from trade goods = 163 xp

Treasure: Quartz crystal worth 50 gp

Rowan's Melee Stats 
No. of Attacks: 4
Hits: 4
Hit Percentage: 100%
Damage Inflicted: 2, 5, 4, 8, 2, 5, 4, 4 (34) (Flaming oil results in damage in excess of hits)
Average Damage per Hit:4.25
Kills: 6
Average Kills per Hit: 1.5  (Kills per hit higher than 1 due to use of flaming oil)
Initiative Rolls: 7
Result(s): 4, 3, 4, 3, 4, 2, 5
Average Initiative Roll: 3.6
Damage Sustained: 0
Spells Cast: 1
Spells: Sleep

Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Wasteland of Gath: The Bus (Fenra); Labyrinth Lord

Fenra Jotunsdottir entered the cave with the simple intention of sleeping while a storm raged outside. When she exited the following morning, she was in the desert wasteland of Gath. People had come to the wrecked land by various means, but to date no one had entered in this manner. For our session +Andrew Byers and I employed Labyrinth Lords from Goblinoid Games. To add a bit of spice to the mix Andrew empl0yed the Chainmail Chick character class by James West.

     Soon after setting out upon the road, Fenra encountered a dwarf named Kerg sitting at the wheel of a burned out car, banging his head against the steering wheel. Kerg was surprised to see Fenra and could not believe she was real.

     And so gorgeous.

     The two conversed and Kerg bared his soul, telling Fenra that he hoped to find either death or redemption on the road through Gath. Fenra listened quietly and chose not to press Kerg about the brands upon both cheeks.

     After a time, the pair came upon a ruined metal hulk once used as a conveyance by an older, reckless society. "You maniacs! You blew it all up!" They approached with caution as they could hear a rattling of chains coming from the front of the vehicle. They were correct to show caution because two skeletons emerged from the front of the bus, where the engine might once have been. When alive, their names were Donnie Rowe and Ricky Dubose. They were clad in orange jumpsuits and swung their chains and shackles like flails.

     Melee erupted and poor Kerg was quite ineffective. His attacks missed and he was relegated to being flogged by a chain from an enraged skeleton. Fenra to the contrary was a she-demon on the battlefield. In short order the skeletons were obliterated. Kerg clapped his hands wildly and shed tears of joy. He miracled himself out of the squalor of his previous life and this was his grand reward.

     A search of the bus followed and within were ten more skeletons, still shackled to their seats. They writhed and jerked, but could not get free. The front of the bus was also searched and two skeletal guards were found. They were not animated. Each was wearing a gold ring that Fenra and Kerg split.

     They searched the area and found a skull with 2 gold ingots embedded within. (In modern day Mozambique, bald men have been ritually killed because witch doctors believe their heads contain gold. Weird.)

     With the encounter over, the two companions continued down the road.

XP for Fenra: 10 from slain skeletons + 60 from treasure + 70 xp

Treasure: 1 gold ring worth 20 gp, gold-encrusted skull worth 40 gp

Fenra's Melee Stats 
No. of Attacks: 3
Hits: 2 
Hit Percentage: 66%
Damage Inflicted: 7, 9
Average Damage per Hit: 8
Kills: 2
Average Kills per Hit: 1
Initiative Rolls: 3
Results: 2, 6, 7 (15)
Average Initiative Roll: 5
Turn Attempts: 1
Damage Sustained: 0