Demigods, the First Adventurers [New Class]

It would be hard to tell who the first adventurer in literature ever was, but I suppose Gilgamesh might fit the bill. Gilgamesh is the son a human king and the goddess Ninsun, making him a demi-god. In the annals of adventuring, he has good company – Heracles, Achilles, Cuchulainn, Hanuman, Māui, Perseus, Theseus, and many more.

So if demigods can be adventurers in myth and literature, why not in Blood & Treasure?

First things first – we need to define our demigods. If one has some experience in fantasy role playing games, they’ll know that demi-gods are usually depicted as extraordinarily powerful entities. Obviously, characters that powerful would not work well as adventurers, unless one was doing some pretty epic adventuring.

Our demigods are going to be a bit more human (or demi-human), and like other adventurers, are going to become more powerful as they advance in levels. In other words, they’re going to be on par with the other characters – don’t expect them to eclipse the magic-users, thieves and fighters in the party.

REQUIREMENTS
No ability score lower than 10, one ability score higher than 15

ARMOR ALLOWED
Padded, leather, studded leather; bucklers and shields

WEAPONS ALLOWED
Any weapon

SKILLS
Bend Bars, Break Down Doors, Find Secret Doors, Ignore Pain, Jump, Monster Lore

CLASS ABILITIES
At 1st level, a demigod’s player must choose their character’s divine ancestry. Whether a god or goddess, they must choose one of the following domains for their character’s divine parent based on their character’s highest ability score.

  • STR Destruction, Strength, War, Water
  • INT Knowledge, Magic
  • WIS Death, Healing, Sun
  • DEX Air, Fire, Travel
  • CON Animal, Earth, Plant, Protection
  • CHA Love, Luck, Trickery

The demigod gains one power based on his or her parentage, as follows:

  • AIR: Resistance to electricity damage, feather fall at will
  • ANIMAL: Speak with animals at will, charm animal three times per day
  • DEATH: Command undead three times per day
  • DESTRUCTION: Smite opponent once per day (+2 to hit and double damage if you hit)
  • EARTH: Resistance to acid damage, +1 bonus to saving throws while standing on bare earth
  • FIRE: Immune to fire damage
  • HEALING: Laying on of hands ability, per the paladin
  • KNOWLEDGE: Legend lore ability, per the bard
  • LOVE: Charm person once per day, three times per day at 4th level
  • LUCK: Re-roll one saving throw once per day
  • MAGIC: Save vs. magic at +2
  • PLANT: Speak with plants at will, command plants once per day
  • PROTECTION: Barkskin three times per day
  • STRENGTH: Can wield two-handed weapons with one hand
  • SUN: Use light at will, daylight once per day
  • TRAVEL: Haste once per day for one round per level
  • TRICKERY: Trickery as class skill, spell abilities of a gnome
  • WAR: Deals double damage on a charge (if birthed by a war god like Ares) or command double the normal numbers of henchmen (if birthed by a war goddess like Athena)
  • WATER: Resistance to cold damage; cannot sink in water (though can be held under and drowned)

Demigods are supernaturally tough, and gain the Armor Class bonuses as a monk.

Demigods are born to greatness, and are expected to do great things. A 1st level demigod is given an ordained labor by his divine parent. This works as a geas, and requires the demigod to do one of the following by the time he or she reaches 4th level.

  1. Capture a monster* with twice as many Hit Dice (minimum 2 Hit Dice more) as the demigod
  2. Complete a heroic task that would be considered very difficult for the character (the Treasure Keeper has to use his or her best judgment on this one)
  3. Slay a monster* with twice as many Hit Dice (minimum 3 Hit Dice more) as the demigod
  4. Steal a relic (must be worth as many gp as the demigod as XP or be magical)

* Monster in this connotation refers to magical beasts, monstrous humanoids, dragons, prehistoric animals, giants and outsiders

Until the labor is completed, the demigod cannot advance beyond 4th level. A new labor is ordained when the hero reaches 5th level, and must be completed by the time the demigod reaches 8th level. Additional labors must be completed by 12th and 16th level.

  • The first labor completed earns the demigod a one-time use of the restoration spell on him or herself.
  • The second labor completed earns the demigod a one-time use of the raise dead spell on him or herself.
  • The third labor completed earns the demigod a one-time use of the resurrection spell on him or herself.
  • The fourth labor completed earns the demigod the right to ascend into Heaven (or wherever mom or dad are from) when they die.

Demigods are renowned for one of their physical or mental abilities, and this ability grows as their fame grows. A demigod increases his or her highest ability score by one point at 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th and 10th level.

A 3rd level demigod can make pleas for assistance to his divine parent. Demigods can appeal for 0 to 2nd level spells by passing a Charisma task check with a penalty equal to the level of the spell. At 7th level, the demigod can begin appealing for 3rd to 4th level spells. At 11th level, the demigod can begin appealing for 5th to 6th level spells. Each time an appeal is answered, the demigod must pledge 10% of their earned treasure to the cult of their divine parent (a minimum of 50 gp per spell level).

A 5th level demigod gains magic resistance equal to 1% per level, to a maximum of 10%.

A 9th level demigod may establish a hero cult for themselves. The demigod must construct a temple in his own honor and in the honor of his divine parent. The demigod then attracts 1d6 men-at-arms per level, 1d6 first level clerics or druids and a 4th level cleric or druid to serve as his high priest.


DEMIGOD ADVANCEMENT
LVL
XP
HD
ATK
F
R
W
TITLE
1
0
1d12
+0
13
13
13
Scion
2
2,500
2d12
+1
12
12
12
Exemplar
3
5,000
3d12
+2
12
12
12
Champion
4
10,000
4d12
+3
11
11
11
Hero
5
20,000
5d12
+3
11
11
11
Cynosure
6
40,000
6d12
+4
10
10
10
Archon
7
80,000
7d12
+5
10
10
10
Paragon
8
160,000
8d12
+6
9
9
9
Superhero
9
300,000
9d12
+6
9
9
9
Demigod
10
600,000
10d12
+7
8
8
8
Demigod
11
900,000
+3 hp
+8
8
8
8
Demigod
12
1,100,000
+3 hp
+9
7
7
7
Demigod
13
1,400,000
+3 hp
+9
7
7
7
Demigod
14
1,700,000
+3 hp
+10
6
6
6
Demigod
15
2,000,000
+3 hp
+11
6
6
6
Demigod
16
2,300,000
+3 hp
+12
5
5
5
Demigod
17
2,600,000
+3 hp
+12
5
5
5
Demigod
18
2,900,000
+3 hp
+13
4
4
4
Demigod
19
3,200,000
+3 hp
+14
4
4
4
Demigod
20
3,500,000
+3 hp
+15
3
3
3
Demigod

 

NOD 21 Hits the Shelves (Electronically Speaking)

I have a few interesting posts a’brewing, but while I’m scratching those out please indulge me this commercial message …
NOD 21 – Finally On Sale!
NOD 21 rolls into town just in time for Halloween with a dozen new spooky monsters, the Damnable Sea hex crawl, random party events, an easy system for randomized overland travel in games, a way to use combat to resolve non-combat tasks, a quartet of automaton races based on Greek myths, and a review of Jeffries’ After London. 64 pages. $3.99 cheap!
I’ll have the print copy up for sale as soon as I see a copy to make sure all is copacetic.
I’m currently finishing up the NOD Companion for Blood & Treasure – a compilation of classes and races from the pages of NOD, updated to Blood & Treasure rules, plus a few extra bits – an old fashioned psionic system, 0-level play for B&T, a few new heroic tasks, a proficiency system for weapons, skills and even spells (well, spell specialization) and the secret history of NOD!
Okay – back to writing. I’ve got scads of fey coming, a random “why hast thou forsaken me” table, the demi-god class (trust me) and a few other things on the way.

Horses Are Sooooo 1978

Or whenever the paladin was first published. I wanted to be clever with the title, but not to the degree that I was going to do five seconds of research with Google.

Paladins, at 5th level, can undertake a quest to obtain a very intelligent mount. Depending on the edition you play, this mount either hangs out with you all the time and sorta requires you to hire a groom or page or whatever to look out for it when you’re in a dungeon, or it just pops into existence whenever it is convenient. You can probably guess which concept I like better.

But what if … what if there were more options than that super-clever wonder horse? Well, how about these …

(Use as inspiration, or roll randomly with a D12)

1. Mechanical Warhorse – requires a quest to settle a grudge for the Dwarf King, who forged the horse in his own workshop. Just combine an automaton and a heavy warhorse to get the stats. For anti-paladins, the mechanical warhorse is grey and spiky.

2. Putti – I think I did stats for these fellows once (you know, the chubby, winged babies people mistakenly call cherubs or cupids), if not, just make them Lawful (LG) imps. For anti-paladins, just use an imp.

3. Unicorn – but only if the paladin is female. For anti-paladins … not sure.

4. Aasimar Squire – 4 HD, of course. For anti-paladins, a tiefling picaroon.

5. Blink Dog – maybe the quest involves rescuing it from a giant’s kennels. For anti-paladins, a shadow mastiffs.

6. Halo – actually a lantern archon with 4 HD that oftens hangs out around the paladin’s noggin. For anti-paladins, just craft a red-hued evil version of the lantern archon.

7. Relic – the relic is the skull of a cleric which the paladin can communicate with telepathically, and which can cast spells as a 4th level cleric (though not touch spells, obviously).

8. Choir – a choir of four 1 HD lay priests who can chant (as the spell) and inspire (as bards). For anti-paladins, four 1 HD flaggelants with scourges who do the same.

9. Gold Wyrmling – precocious, of course. For anti-paladins, a red wyrmling.

10. Brownie Knight – gained by embarking on a quest for the Fairy Queen, a bit of a curmudgeon. For anti-paladins, a spriggan thug of the Unseelie Court.

11. Elven Sage – an old codger with silver hair who can cast spells as an adept (venerable master). For anti-paladins, a drow alchemist who may or may not be trying to poison their master.

12. Reformed Prostitute – a prostitute who has seen the light and can cast spells as an adept (venerable master; note, the prostitute is not venerable in terms of age, but in terms of the blessings bestowed upon him or her). For anti-paladins, a fallen, alcoholic friar or nun.

Establishing a New Dungeon Order with the Masons! [New Class]

Here’s the deal – Freemasonry, whatever you think of it, has some uber-awesome level titles. And level titles, my friend, mean Old School gaming to me. In short – I had no choice but to create this class. I hope it goes without saying that I mean no disrespect to actual Freemasons out there – this is just me having a bit of fun.

Guilds are common among the artisans of NOD, but none have gained such infamy as Fraternity of Stonemasons. Actually many different fraternities organized in lodges, the migratory nature of masonry has led to the formerly autonomous fraternities becoming an international network of lodges, controlled by a Great Lodge, the location and membership of which is a well-kept secret, even from most of the members. Because of the size of this network, and its being spread across many city-states, empires and faiths, there is a vague sense of hostility towards the Fraternity by many rulers and high priests, who question the loyalty of the members.

For their part, the masons are primarily dedicated to their work, traveling from castle to monument to Great Wall to dungeon, cutting and setting stone. The travels of a mason, though, send them through many strange and dangerous lands, making those masons who travel beyond the borders of their home city or town adventurers in their own right. These adventuring masons, or freemasons, make up the elite of the ancient Fraternity, garnering wealth, influence and knowledge for their lodges.

REQUIREMENTS
 Intelligence 11+, Strength 9+, Dexterity 13+
 Lawful (LG, LN)

ARMOR ALLOWED
 Padded armor, leather armor
 No shields

WEAPONS ALLOWED
 Club, dagger, hammer, handaxe, heavy pick, light crossbow, light mace, light pick, quarterstaff, sap, sling, warhammer

SKILLS
 Bend Bars*, Break Down Doors*, Find Secret Doors**, Notice Unusual Stonework***

* Requires mason’s tools; otherwise counts as a knack

** Masons are skilled when looking for secret doors disguised as stone, but only have a knack for finding other secret doors

*** As the dwarf ability, or see New Tasks in this book

CLASS ABILITIES

All masons are capable of cutting stone, earning a wage of 1 silver piece per day for normal masonry and 1 gp a day for ornamental masonry or overseeing up to 10 lower-level masons. Ornamental masonry requires a Reflex task check; naturally, you treat the mason as though he were “skilled” at this task.

In order to earn these wages, the mason must carry a set of mason’s tools. These tools include a pair of wooden compasses, a piece of chalk or charcoal to make marks, chisels of different sizes, a hammer, plumb, a trowel, iron and wooden dowels. These tools are kept in a large canvas or leather bag or backpack, and weigh 20 pounds.

Finally, 1st level masons learn the secret signs, tokens, grips and words of their fraternity. This counts as a secret language, much like the thieves’ cant, that allows masons to identify one another and communicate without others understanding them. Masons can also learn Earth Elemental as one of their starting languages.

A 3rd level mason (master mason) scores double damage against elemental earth creatures and other creatures made entirely or primarily of rock, stone or earth, not including gargoyles, who are just big fakers.

A 6th level mason (master elect) learns the secret rites of the Fraternity, the Rites of Elemental Earth, handed down from the ancient dwarven founders of the Fraternity. These rites permit the mason to cast a small number of spells using the same rules as a magic-user. The mason must carry a special manual filled with his spells, which are recorded in the secret signs of the Fraternity. Other masons can interpret these signs, but must pass a special Decipher Codes check as though they were skilled in the task.

Masons prepare and cast the same number of spells per day as a ranger.

1st level: Elemental weapon (acid only), magic stone, mason mark*, mending**, pass through element**, shatter, soften earth and stone

2nd level: Explosive runes, meld into stone, shockwave***, spike stones, stone shape, summon small earth elemental

3rd level: Move earth, passwall, stoneskin, summon medium earth elemental, transmute mud to rock, transmute rock to mud, wall of stone

4th level: Earthquake, earthwalk, repel stone****, stone of flesh, summon large earth elemental

* As wizard mark

** Affects earth/stone only

*** Mason must strike the ground with a hammer or pick to cast this spell

**** As repel metal or stone, save it only repels stone

In addition, a 6th level mason (master elect) learns to turn elemental earth creatures as a cleric turns undead. The mason turns earth elementals as a cleric five levels lower than his mason level.

A 9th level mason (knight of the sword) earns the right to establish a lodge of the Fraternity in a town or city-state in which no lodge already exists. A mason who becomes a worshipful master attracts 1d6 normal masons (i.e. 0-level artisans) per level, 1d6 first level masons who wish to train under him and one 5th level mason protégé.

A 9th level mason (knight of the sword) also begins to learn to carve powerful runes, as follows:

Knight of the Sword (9th) | Rune of sleep

Knight of the East and West (10th) | Rune of pain

Knight of the Rosy Cross (11th) | Rune of persuasion

Grand Pontiff (12th) | Rune of fear

Master Ad Vitem (13th) | Rune of stunning

Knight of the Royal Axe (14th) | Rune of weakness

Prince of the Tabernacle (15th) | Rune of insanity

Knight of the Brazen Serpent (16th) | Rune of death

Runes work as the symbol spells, but must be carved in stone and are triggered when first looked upon by an intelligent creature. The mason can carve no more than one such rune per day, and can have no more than five runes (of any type) active at any one time.

Upon achieving 12th level (Grand Pontiff), a mason gains command over a Grand Lodge, which simply encompasses all the lodges within a given region (the definition of region here being determined by the Treasure Keeper in regards to his or her own campaign). If there is already a Grand Pontiff in the region, assume that they achieve 13th level and hand down the duties to the new Grand Pontiff. Grand Pontiffs also gain the ability to planeshift into the Elemental Earth Plane (and return to the Material Plane at a time of their choosing) once per day.

Beyond 17th level (knight of the sun), there can be only one mason at each level. A mason cannot rise beyond 17th level without supplanting a higher level mason. This can be done by waiting for them to die (arranging or causing death is not permitted, though of course one can attempt to get away with it if they are bold and stupid enough to forget all those sweet divination spells that can be used to convict them) or challenging them to a contest of masonry. These contests are usually epic in scope, requiring extraordinarily difficult works of masonry that are either decided by a series of task checks, each more difficult than the last, or by judgment from a council of masons that have achieved a minimum of 12th level.

The Grand Inspector Inquisitor (18th) of masonry may issue commands to fellow masons that are the equivalent of a quest spell. The Grand Inspector Inquisitor is the highest level mason whose identity is known to other masons. He knows the identity of the Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret.

The Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret (19th) is capable, once per day, of communing the powers of elemental earth (per the commune with nature or contact higher power spells). He alone knows the identity of the Sovereign Grand Inspector General.

The Sovereign Grand Inspector General (20th) controls the Great Lodge, which consists of all lodges and grand lodges within a single reality. As the leader of all masons, he or she is capable, once per day, of summoning an earth elemental swarm to do his or her bidding.

Edit: Crap – forgot the class advancement table with all the kickass level titles …

Sunday Showcase: Three Sad Wizards

Since last week’s showcase of new products out there, I got a request to highlight a new adventure module (I’m old – they’ll always be modules to me) called Three Sad Wizards, by Jasper Polane.

Three Sad Wizards is described thusly:

The wizards in the village of Tealief have horrible problems!

• Terrible carnivorous plants make the garden of Bymen the Botanomancer unsafe.

• Giant insects are running free in the underground laboratory of Ermard the Entomomancer.

• Monstrous birds escaped from the tower of Ostal the Ornithomancer.

Only a group of courageous adventurers can help them. Is your party brave enough?

Three Sad Wizards is an introductory module, designed for characters of 1st and 2nd level. Written for use with old school RPGs, this module can be fitted into almost any campaign or played as a stand-alone adventure.

A good intro adventure is always nice, and this one appears to be a bit different than the classic “Caves of Chaos”-style dungeon romp. It includes three mini-dungeons, each one depicting the lair of a strange wizard, a plant mage, a bug mage and a bird mage. There’s some info on the village of Tealief (and a random table of tea blends), a rumors table, a random mail table, a small wilderness map (with a few monster lairs included), new magic items and new magic spells.

All in all, looks like a great way to begin a campaign – plenty of things for players to explore while they get their brand, spanking new characters off the ground.

You can find the module on sale at LULU – CLICK HERE.

Getting Down With the Sickness

I don’t think I’ve ever been 100% satisfied with diseases in role playing games, not even with the rules in Blood & Treasure. This post is an attempt to create a system a bit more granular than most. In this system, diseases are not named, but rather are collections of random symptoms, with the number of symptoms and their severity based on the general severity of the disease.

THE BASICS

When struck with a disease, say from the bite of a rat, a prolonged stay in sewers (or a flophouse) or a biological trap, an adventurer must pass a Fortitude saving throw to avoid suffering any ill effects at all. This might represent a case where the contagion is simply not introduced to the character’s system, or it is introduced and the character’s immune system neutralizes it very quickly.

If this Fortitude save fails, the character is infected. First, we need to know the severity of the disease. The Treasure Keeper can either roll dice to determine severity, or base it on the hit dice of the monster that spread it or the level of the dungeon on which it was acquired.

D% (HD or LEVEL): SEVERITY (SYMPTOMS)
01-75 (0-4 HD): Minor Disease (1d3 minor symptoms)
76-90 (5-9 HD): Medium Disease (1d4 minor symptoms, 1d2-1 major symptoms)
91-100 (10+ HD): Major Disease (1d4 minor symptoms, 1d3 major symptoms)

Symptoms begin appearing within 1d4 days.

The Treasure Keeper should now roll 1d4 minus the sufferer’s Constitution bonus. This is the number of days before the sufferer’s immune system has a chance of defeating the disease. It is possible that the disease can be fought off before any symptoms begin to appear.

Each day, a victim of disease can roll a Fortitude saving throw to attempt to throw off one symptom, usually the most severe, but in any event a symptom of the player’s choice. If the player is successful, that symptom is removed.

If the diseased character is active (i.e. not getting plenty of rest), they suffer a -2 penalty on this save.

All characters that spend time around the diseased character have a percentage chance each day to be exposed to disease. This percentage chance is based on the number of type of symptoms, with a 10% chance per minor symptom and a 5% chance per major symptom. Naturally, the non-diseased character is permitted a Fortitude save to avoid actually contracting the disease.

Note: If you want to give a more supernatural feel to diseases, you can rule that any adventurer who dies from a disease and is not burned or buried in consecrated ground rises as an undead with Hit Dice roughly equal to the number of levels they had in life.

MINOR SYMPTOMS (ROLL 3d6)

3. Exhaustion4. Fever, severe
5. Rash, major
6. Dementia
7. Rash, minor
8. Aches
9. Cough
10. Diarrhea
11. Fatigue
12. Fever, low-grade
13. Sickened
14. Stuffy head/runny nose/sneeze
15. Swollen joints, minor
16. Shooting pains
17. Spasms
18. Swollen joints, major

Aches
The character is possessed of aches in the muscles and joints and suffers a -1 penalty to attacks, Armor Class and Reflex saving throws (including task checks).

Cough
Roll 1d4 for severity; this is the chance on 1d6 per hour that your coughing attracts a wandering monster. After any major exertion (running, fighting, climbing more than 10 feet) you are fatigued until resting 10 minutes.

Dementia
The character is unsteady on his feet. When moving at more than half speed or fighting, he must pass a Reflex save each round to avoid falling prone for 1d4 points of damage. Whenever he is forced to concentrate on spell casting, he must pass a Will save to successfully cast the spell. The character suffers a -1 penalty on all Reflex and Will saves (including task checks).

Diarrhea
Not for the faint of heart. You suffer intestinal distress every 1d6 x 10 minutes and need to find a private place to deal with the problem. If you are not drinking a double ration of water, you suffer 1 point of Constitution damage per day due to dehydration.

Exhaustion
An exhausted character moves at one-quarter normal speed, suffers a -1 penalty to saving throws and task checks and her foes enjoy two tactical advantages against her in combat.

Fatigue
Per the normal rules for this condition in Blood & Treasure.

Fever, Low-grade
The character has a low-grade fever and suffers a -1 penalty to Will saving throws (including task checks). He also requires twice the normal daily ration of water. Failure to hydrate properly results in 1 point of Constitution damage each day.

Fever, Severe
The character has a severe fever and suffers a -3 penalty to Will saving throws (including task checks). He requires twice the normal daily ration of water. Failure to hydrate properly results in 1 point of Constitution damage each day. Finally, the fever causes hallucinations. Each hour, the character must pass a Will save or be struck with the equivalent of the confusion spell for 1d6 x 10 minutes.

Rash, Minor
The character suffers from a minor rash over a small portion of her body and suffers a -1 penalty to attacks, Armor Class and Reflex saving throws (including task checks) due to the discomfort. Each day, the character must pass a Fortitude save to avoid scratching and turning the minor rash into a major rash.

Rash, Major
The character suffers from a major rash over a large portion of her body and suffers a -2 penalty to attacks, Armor Class, Reflex saving throws (including task checks) due to the discomfort and a -2 penalty to Charisma-related task checks due to the physical marring. Each day, the character must pass a Fortitude save to avoid scratching and suffering 1 point of Charisma drain for permanent scarring.

Shooting Pains
The character suffers fierce, shooting pains. She suffers a -2 penalty to attacks, Armor Class and Reflex saving throws (including task checks). Whenever she is forced to concentrate on spell casting, she must pass a Will save to successfully cast the spell. The character suffers a -1 penalty on all Reflex and Will saves (including task checks).

Sickened
Per the normal rules for this condition in Blood & Treasure.

Spasms
The character suffers random severe muscle spasms. This translates as a tactical advantage for his foes in combat, a -1 penalty to Reflex saving throws (including task checks) and a requirement to pass a Reflex save each time he is walking on a precarious surface to avoid falling.

Stuffy Head/Runny Nose/Sneeze
You suffer a 1 in 6 chance per hour that your sniffling and nose blowing attracts a wandering monster. Any exposure to copious amounts of dust, pollen, molds and the like force you to pass a Fortitude saving throw or begin a sneezing fit that last 1d4 minutes, delaying the party and attracting a wandering monster on a roll of 1-2 on 1d6.

Swollen Joints, Minor
Minor swelling in the joints reduces movement by 5, grants the sufferer’s foes a tactical advantage in combat and imposes a -1 penalty to Reflex saves (including task checks).

Swollen Joints, Major
Major swelling in the joints reduces movement by 10, grants the sufferer’s foes a tactical advantage in combat and imposes a -3 penalty to Reflex saves (including task checks).

MAJOR SYMPTOMS (Roll 1d6)

1. Blood poisoning
2. Coma
3. Immune system attacked
4. Internal bleeding
5. Muscle damage
6. Nerve damage

Blood Poisoning
The disease is attacking the character’s blood. Each day the character must pass a Fortitude saving throw or suffer 1d6 points of Constitution damage. At 0 Constitution, the character dies.

Coma
The character falls into a deep, comatose slumber. While in a coma, she heals ability score damage at twice the normal rate and enjoys a +1 bonus to save vs. the other symptoms of her disease. After three days, the comatose character can begin making daily Will saving throws to come out of the coma. If three of these Will saves are failed, the coma becomes a permanent condition and can only be removed with a restoration, miracle or wish spell.

Immune System Attacked
The disease attacks the characters immune system, imposing a -2 penalty to all saves vs. disease (including saves against symptoms of disease).

Internal Bleeding
The character is bleeding internally, suffering 1d6 points of hit point damage and 1d6 points of Constitution damage each day that a Fortitude saving throw is failed. At 0 Constitution, the character dies.

Muscle Damage
Each day the character must pass a Fortitude saving throw or suffer 1d6 points of Strength damage. If the character reaches 0 points of Strength, she is paralyzed and dies in 1d6 hours.

Nerve Damage
Each day the character must pass a Fortitude saving throw or suffer 1d6 points of Dexterity damage. If the character is reduced to 0 Dexterity, he is paralyzed and dies in 1d6 hours.

NEW SPELLS

This disease system suggests a few new spells:

SUPPRESS SYMPTOM
Level: Cleric 1, Druid 1, Ranger 1
Range: Touch
Duration: 24 hours

This spell suppresses a single symptom of a disease for 24 hours.

CURE SYMPTOM
Level: Cleric 2, Druid 2, Ranger 2
Range: Touch
Duration: Instantaneous

This spell completely removes one symptom from a diseased character.

VIRULENCE
Level: Cleric 2, Druid 2
Range: Close
Duration: 24 hours

This spell makes all diseases within close range more virulent for 24 hours. All who suffer from these diseases suffer a -1 penalty on all saving throws against the disease, and the chance of exposure to the disease for others is doubled.

Two New Kickstarters For Your Perusal

I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll mention it again – I get a few requests from people to share their projects and products on Land of Nod. Since I like to throw support to people who like games, I like to acquiesce. Today, we have a couple new Kickstarters you might find interesting.

RIVER-CON 2014

From Erica Lee Warren, I hear of a game convention in South Bend, Indiana (way better than North Bend in my opinion) folks are trying to get off the ground. The convention has a Kickstarter you might want to check out. From Erica:

“River-Con is going to be a one day convention in the heart of Downtown South Bend. We have a great space at the Century Center and they are also giving us a great price. We plan on growing larger every year eventually taking up the whole of the convention center. Any help you can give in this endeavor would be most welcome. Here is our Kickstarter link again.”

Click HERE or above to check it out.

CRITICAL IF GAMEBOOKS

Remember the Choose Your Own Adventures and Endless Quest Books. Well, Dave Morris informs me of Critical IF, a new gamebook imprint from Fabled Lands Publishing.

I remember loving these sorts of books as a kid and a teen, so you might want to give the Kickstarter for them a look-see HERE.

From Pinterest to Your Campaign

Over the course of the daily annoyances that accompany being a research manager in the commercial real estate business I had a moment where I needed to decompress. For me, this involved listening to some classical music on Spotify and entering the following phase into Google: “I want to see something beautiful.”

Among the webpages returned was a board on Pinterest aptly titled “Beautiful Places”. Below, is the panoply of images that greeted me when I clicked on the link …

Now, I’m actually a pretty early adopter on Pinterest – I’m at least as much a visual person as I am a word person (literal person?), so it works well for me as a source of inspiration and a place to post images I might want to look at later. What I hadn’t considered was how much a single board like this could do for you when you need to cook up a quick region for a campaign you’re working on.

Consider the image above. Now, we don’t have to look at it in a geographic way, but we certainly could. Let’s start with the Moroccan town – what an evocative home base for the player characters. Ancient brickwork, colorful arches, narrow streets and alleys. Bright and beautiful, but plenty of room for a network of thieves and assassins to operate. To the east and west we have deserts. The western deserts support camel caravans, linking the town to the beautiful, rocky coast. The eastern deserts hold ancient monuments and temples – places to explore and loot. Further to the east are the jungles and their secrets. To the north there is a great temple in a cave of bats – could be a temple of elemental earth. Maybe those frozen waterfalls are deep underground and reachable through the partially subterranean temple – what wonders are frozen in the ice? Far to the northwest there is dungeon – a sort of pit – that probes deep into the earth. You could enter from the surface, or perhaps by following a slowly thawing river that connects to those deep, frozen waterfalls. Near the earth temple are the rock pools, ruled over by bikini-clad elves (hey, why not?). In the northeastern jungles there is a fabled city with gleaming spires inhabited either by the undead or the fey – the tales are unclear on this point – and near it a great idol of Law (or Neutrality) protected by a brotherhood of monks (or clerics, if you’re super old school).

You could also use this as-is as a sort of “pincrawl”, representing the players as a game piece and letting them move about from pin to pin (maybe a dice roll, influenced by the presence of a ranger, horses, etc.) could determine what challenges they face moving from one pin to the other (monster attack, getting lost, extreme weather conditions, etc.). They’ll have an idea of what each region holds, but there are many things they won’t find out until they get there.

I imagine there are many more boards on Pinterest that could provide equal amounts of inspiration, for games set in almost any time period. Check it out!