40 Questions about the Wyvern Coast

Since I’m running a game on Google+ now, I thought I’d chime in with answers to these 40 questions that are floating about, along with a couple spell illustrations from Jon Kaufman (commission him – do it now).

FIRST 20

Web

1. Ability scores generation method? 3d6, arrange as you like

2. How are death and dying handled? Dead at 0 hp

3. What about raising the dead? Yes, but you have to find someone high enough level to do it, and they’ll want something in return

4. How are replacement PCs handled? Brought into the game as soon as possible, or one could make one of their retainers their new PC

5. Initiative: individual, group, or something else? Individual, though sometimes group makes more sense if there are too many combatants to allow individual initiative function smoothly

6. Are there critical hits and fumbles? Yeah … kinda … just wrote the rule into the playtest doc … haven’t used it yet; oh – no fumbles though

7. Do I get any benefits for wearing a helmet? Yes, and they are assumed to go with the suits of armor

8. Can I hurt my friends if I fire into melee or do something similarly silly? Yes

9. Will we need to run from some encounters, or will we be able to kill everything? You will need to run from some encounters

10. Level-draining monsters: yes or no? Yes

11. Are there going to be cases where a failed save results in PC death? Yes

12. How strictly are encumbrance & resources tracked? Very closely – logistics is part of the game

13. What’s required when my PC gains a level? Training? Do I get new spells automatically? Can it happen in the middle of an adventure, or do I have to wait for down time? You level up at the end of a session, but spells have to be studied for – they don’t magically pop into your head; other forms of training are assumed to be “on the job”

14. What do I get experience for? Killing monsters, taking stuff, being clever

15. How are traps located? Searching (tell me how) and then maybe rolling dice

16. Are retainers encouraged and how does morale work? Yes; they have a secret morale score and it is rolled on in stressful situations

17. How do I identify magic items? Detect magic, identify, etc, or finding somebody to cast those spells for you, or through experimentation

18. Can I buy magic items? Oh, come on: how about just potions? Some alchemists can prepare a limited number of potions, otherwise no

19. Can I create magic items? When and how? Yes; when depends on what, as does how

20. What about splitting the party? Sure

SECOND 20

Enervation

1. What is the deal with my cleric’s religion? Phoenician deities, such as Kothar-wa-Khasis (god of artisans), Lotan (sea god), Baal-Zebul (evil), Astarte & Adonis (love, fertility), Melkarth (heroes) and Shedu (good); that being said, any deity from mythology is acceptable, any deity from fiction or your own little fevered mind might be acceptable

2. Where can we go to buy standard equipment? Jumda the Trader can supply most goods an adventurer needs

3. Where can we go to get platemail custom fitted for this monster I just befriended? Jamab the Armorer

4. Who is the mightiest wizard in the land? In Ophir, it is Jamala, court wizard of Zargo. Along the Wyvern Coast, probably Gilram of the Mists or Onort

5. Who is the greatest warrior in the land? In Ophir, both Balrah and Alod the Mad claim that they are the mightiest; either would pale in comparison to Holda the Iron Maiden (a dwarf), Sheleik the Berserker, Xaathan or Nemanta of the Black Capos; as for who is truly the greatest – challenge them and find out

6. Who is the richest person in the land? Prince Zargo of Ophir (as far as he knows), but Ephne the Oceanid is probably wealthier

7. Where can we go to get some magical healing? The Temple of Shedu, Astarte/Adonis or Kothar-wa-Khasis is your best bet in Ophir; Zelie, a druid of Zephyrus who dwells off the coast, would be another option

8. Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions: poison, disease, curse, level drain, lycanthropy, polymorph, alignment change, death, undeath? See above; you might also try Nokin the Healer or Lathiq the Barber for non-magical cures

9. Is there a magic guild my MU belongs to or that I can join in order to get more spells? No; you’ll have to worm your way into magic-user society if you want to trade spells

10. Where can I find an alchemist, sage or other expert NPC? Lathba is a well-regarded sage in Ophir, and there is Nabe’ the alchemist

11. Where can I hire mercenaries? Put the word out and let people know where you’re conducting interviews – there are no “mercenary shops”, but the Bloody Bones tavern is a hang-out for many warriors (and the local guard – so be careful)

12. Is there any place on the map where swords are illegal, magic is outlawed or any other notable hassles from Johnny Law? Not in Ophir, though speaking above a whisper at night in the streets is considered taboo and people will regard you as untrustworthy

13. Which way to the nearest tavern? I would suggest one of the two drinking rooms at the Inn of 1000 Delights, but you could also visit the Bloody Bones tavern, Aigo’s Gambling House, Balbee’s Place (a brothel), Ubata’s Bordello or Mulla’s Place

14. What monsters are terrorizing the countryside sufficiently that if I kill them I will become famous? Closest thing would be the corsairs who terrorize the coast; wyverns are always a problem on the Wyvern Coast, of course, and the ophidians beneath the earth are probably planning something nasty for mankind – no one particular baddie – many to choose from

15. Are there any wars brewing I could go fight? Not on the Wyvern Coast. The men of Guelph are locked in never-ending battle (well, they take the winter months off) with the hobgoblins of the Klarkash Mts., the barons up north are always getting into spats, as are the rajs down south; the nomads of the steppe will probably sweep through the Motherlands again soon

16. How about gladiatorial arenas complete with hard-won glory and fabulous cash prizes? Yes – pit fighting at Mulla’s

17. Are there any secret societies with sinister agendas I could join and/or fight? Wouldn’t you like to know … maybe you will

18. What is there to eat around here? Eel stew, lamb kabobs, rice kissed with saffron, braised almonds, pale ales, spiced wines, nut breads …

19. Any legendary lost treasures I could be looking for? Absolutely

20. Where is the nearest dragon or other monster with Type H treasure? The Prince’s palace, or the tower of Kinyoth the Great Hag, or even Ephne’s palace beneath the waves

A few other things …

If you need a patron, try Hogo, Lady Nata, Riyad the Salt Merchant, Ubaha the Slaver, Balyad, Muta, Karma the Gentlewoman or Ubata the Caravan Master

Hoamir is a trader in jewels and gems

Alulla is a moneychanger, and as trustworthy as any of her profession

The Mercantyl Guild might offer a place to store your valuables

Interested?

There may be a couple spots open in a 6th level party now exploring an ancient galley they just found in a dry, dusty cave a few miles from the coast. Just shoot me an email (address is next to my picture above) if you’re interested in my play-by-post Google+ game, or if you’d like an opportunity to bring your FLAILSNAILs character into Nod for a visit.

Tournament Time for Sir Basil of Lyonesse!

Mike Davison has started a FlailSnails Jousting Tournament on Google+ that my brand new knight, Sir Basil of Lyonesse, has entered. The jousting started today and, glory be to God, Sir Basil managed to squeek out a win, despite having his helm knocked off and being unmounted.

Best of all, it’s giving me a FlailSnails character (I have a winsome wench named Lucretia who is eligible as well) I can use in future in other games.

I don’t know if outsiders can get a ringside seat to the “FlailSnails Jousting Field” or not, but if you can, do so. There’s chicanery afoot, some side bets happening, and I must say I’m having a ridiculously good time with it. Google+ might not be the best social media concept in history, but it’s doing wonders for the OSR.

Fight On!

Update: Sir Basil goes down in the second round. Alas and alack!

Into the Land of Nod

And so it has begun!

Last weekend, I officially started two things – my Blood and Treasure playtest and a foray into the hex crawls I’ve written for the Land of Nod using Google +. The games are play-by-post – maybe someday I’ll have enough time to run some ConstantCon games with Google hangouts, but for now pbp will have to do.

Eleven brave souls have stepped forward to brave Nod, and I’ve split them into two teams, which I’ve nicknamed Team Blood and Team Treasure.

Team Blood was placed at 3rd level. It currently consists of a lawful gnome cleric of Hercules, a human paladin, an elf fighter, a halfling duelist, a dwarf ranger and his guard dog and a human fighter. Their foray into Nod has begun in the wicked city of Ophir, where they’ve already had the opportunity to save a boy and his frog from an escaped carnivorous ape. Team Blood is now gathering at the Bloody Bones Tavern to talk things over.

Meanwhile, Team Treasure was placed at 6th level and consists of an elf duelist, elf ranger, dwarf barbarian, half-elf sorcerer and human cleric of Atlas. This group was lured to Ophir to collect a possible inheritance from an archmage they all had known in the past, but found themselves conked on the head for their trouble. Waking up, they witnessed their attackers fleeing the scene due to some confusion (apparently a carnivorous ape that was in their possession escaped into the city streets), taking with them a single belonging of one of the PC’s. They’re now hot on the trail of the two thieves.

If anyone else would like to adventure in the Land of Nod, look for me on Google + (John Stater) and let me know. I can’t promise to get you in on the action immediately, but once there are enough adventurers lined up, I can start a new group (Team Ampersand?) and set you loose on the sandbox.

Image of a human bard by Jon Kaufman from the forthcoming Blood and Treasure RPG.

Blood and Treasure Playtest + Google+ = NOD CAMPAIGN

A couple posts ago I mentioned the idea of doing a Google + campaign set in Nod using all those hex crawls I’ve written. I’ve also been thinking about the eventual need for Blood and Treasure playtesting. So … it took me this long to realize I could be doing both at the same time. If enough people are interested, I’d love to stage the hex crawling with multiple parties at different skill levels. So – let the call go out far and wide that the recruitment has officially begun. If you would like to be involved, you need to meet the following requirements:

1) Be on Google +

2) Email me (my address is next to my picture in the column to the right) or leave a comment here stating you would like to play. If you leave a comment and I can’t find your email address or find you on Google +, you’re officially out of luck.

Character generation will be as follows …

1) You contact me letting me know you want to play. I’ll send you a streamlined version of the character creation chapter – all the basics on races, classes, buying equipment, etc. You will have the following races and classes open to you:

Races: Human, dwarf, elf, gnome, halfling, half-elf, half-orc

Classes: Assassin, Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Duelist, Fighter, Magic-User, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Sorcerer, Thief.

As the game proceeds and characters are killed, I’ll open up some of the monster races to play – aasimar, centaurs, tieflings … that sort of thing … so they can be tested as well.

2) I hook up with you on Google + and send you a randomly generated set of ability scores using the 3d6 method. You can arrange them as you like and let me know the class and race you want to play, what equipment you want, etc. I’ll review and make sure everything is correct.

Once we have a crop of characters, I’ll organize them into parties (or party, depending on how many people are interested). I’ll also randomly assign people a number of XP and thus a level – this allows me the opportunity to test different levels and the overall deadliness of the system.

Once the parties are organized, I will start them out in a city-state with two or three random rumors and then you’re free to do whatever you want. The game will be a picaresque – no major earth shattering quest and storytime, just a bunch of ne’er-do-wells roaming about the countryside getting into trouble and trying to make a name for themselves.

Play will be “play-by-post”  like the Mystery Men! game I’m currently running, so you don’t need to set aside a particular time to play. I wish I could do some face-to-face video chat stuff, but my schedule makes that difficult.

If you’re interested, let me know!

Image from Thomas Haller Buchanon’s blog The Pictorial Arts. Check it, Nodsters.

Potential Google + Gaming

This post is really just for me to organize my thoughts and put them in pixels before I completely forget them. If any of these ideas grab your imagination, let me know.

For the Money, For the Glory, and For the Fun
The Duke of Raleigh has a challenge for any crew of mutants who want to earn a big payoff – travel west into the Rockies and bring him back a load of the most valuable beverage in post-apocalyptic America … Coors! This would be a Mutant Truckers game, in which (if enough people were interested) two or more crews would complete to make the journey to Colorado and back for a load of Coors.

Assault on Eagle’s Nest
This would be an Action X game (yeah, I’d probably have to finish those rules first) in which a crack team of heroes assaults Eagle’s Nest (Hitler’s command complex). The characters would all be based on literary, comic and movie characters who would have been active during World War II. No super heroes, just guys and dolls who can hold their own in a fight. Indiana Jones, Boston Blackie, Mademoiselle Marie, D.A. Grant Gardner, Sgt. Rock, Maj. Reisman, Pvt. Kelly, a young James Bond, etc.

Silver Age Madness
A Mystery Men! game in which silver age characters deal with all the challenges of the comic books of that period (nosy mates, turning into a gorilla, being split in two, etc.) while trying to keep the world from ending by a mysterious assault from something beyond their reckoning.

Crawling Through Nod
This would be a hex crawl through Nod using Blood and Treasure. A band of diverse heroes (all the races and classes I’ve published in Nod would be open game) doing what they want, going where they want in true sandbox style. There could be a few epic quests hidden in the sandbox for folks who like that sort of thing. No limits to this one – everything would be open from Hell to the Firmament.

The Catacombs of Old Mars
Using Space Princess rules, a band of heroes delve into the ancient catacombs of Mars in search of a mad scientist, who is attempting to unlock the Shiva-Force, a formula that could end the universe as we know it.

Fortuna’s Wheel
This would be a megadungeon delve using Pars Fortuna rules, as characters win their way into the Great Spire at the center of the world, atop of which there stands (reputedly) the Wheel of Fortuna, with which one can gain their hearts’ desire. All you have to do to get it is make your way through a mile high spire of stone that supports hidden kingdoms and every monster you could imagine.

The Streets of Shore City
Another Mystery Men! campaign, this one pitting low-powered heroes against the criminal elements lurking in the alleys of Shore City. Gangbusting, random patrols and maybe a chance to show up the “super heroes” when things really hit the fan.

News of the World [Mystery Men! Dark Renaissance]

The players in my Google + Mystery Men! game continue to hunt down clues from Seattle to Washington DC. But as they do so, world tensions are rising …

News of the World

March 17, 1962

TENSIONS RISE!

New York City – Tension continues to rise on news of a break-in attempt at the Old Senate Office Building and angry exchanges at the United Nations. After a day of attacks on military targets in the United States by American super villains, Soviet Ambassador Zorin issued an angry reprieve to those who have blamed communist agents for these attacks, declaring such accusations are based purely on “falsified information” from the FBI. In fact, Zorin went on to say, he believed these attacks were mere ruses to cover up American involvement in similar attacks on infrastructure within the Soviet Union, including the destruction of a dam and the sabotage of the Voskhod spacecraft in development in the USSR. American ambassadors countered that the United States government has made no such accusations of Soviet involvement and that accusations of American sabotage in the USSR are completely baseless. Nonetheless, each nation remains at a high state of alert.

Washington DC – After a successful robbery of the home of Senator Henry Haskel (D-Ala.) that netted the thief top secret papers, an unsuccessful attempt, possibly by the same burglar, was made last night on the senator’s office at the Old Senate Office Building. At approximately 3:00 A.M.an unknown assailant, apparently “cloaked in darkness” according to eyewitnesses, wrenched open the locked window of Sen. Haskel’s office with “super-human” strength. The presence of the Bronze Statesman on guard in the office and heavy security by military personnel chased away the villain. This comes as tensions between the United States and Soviet Union are at an all-time high.

Chicago – After fighting the “Great Train Robbers” in the morning, popular heroes Firefly and Green Mask joined forces again to foil an attempted armored car robbery near 13th St and Wabash by known criminal Doctor Magno. Magno stood little chance against the combined efforts of Firefly and the Green Mask, and is now in police custody awaiting trial and transportation to Iron Island in Shore City, OH. Two associates of Doctor Magno escaped the scene in a 1958 Packard sedan after showering the two heroes with machine gun fire.

New York City – Negotiations between the Port Authority and the New York City Council continue over the site of the planned World Trade Center.Current plans would require the demolition of the Hudson Terminal building of the H&M Railroad and the demolition of famed Radio Row.

Washington DC – The U.S. Space Administration announced today that space agent Scott C will replace Deke S of the famed Rocketeers on their planned Mars expedition. Deke S had to withdraw from the program due to a heart condition discovered during a routine medical exam. Team leader Rocky X was unavailable for comment.

Mexidor – In the run-up to the long awaited elections in the Central American nation of Mexidor between the ruling, pro-American Democracy Party and the pro-Soviet Workers’ Dignity Party, there have been many stories of campaign shenanigans, dirty tricks and even violence. But now people in the hill country are spinning yarns about purple zombies seen wandering the hills and attacking livestock. Mexidor’s authorities have found no evidence that these spooks are real, and blame the sightings on a campaign of fear by the WDP. Dr. Albert Hale of New York University was unavailable for comment.

New York City – A 200 year tradition for New York City continues today with the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Residents are warned that streets around the parade route, which extends from 5th Avenue and 44th Street to 86th Street, will be blocked and traffic congestion should be significant.

Prelude to War! [Mystery Men! Dark Renaissance]

The Mystery Men! Dark Renaissance campaign I’m running on Google+ is a week old and going well. The game is currently taking place in four localities, which I’ve turned into circles on Google+. There is also a Dark Renaissance circle for communications with all the players. Today I posted the first “News of the World” – a way for players to get inklings of what is happening in the campaign world, especially in the other cities. I’m going to post those news updates here as well so people can get an idea of what’s happening in the camapaign.

News of the World
Evening Edition
March 16, 1962

PRELUDE TO WAR

Washington DC – J. Edgar Hoover has given top priority to solving a series of super villain attacks at United States military installations which his spokesmen said could be a “prelude to war.” The military remains on high alert, in the aftermath of attacks at the naval yards in San Diego and Seattle, air bases in Las Vegas, NV, San Bernardino, CA,Lincoln, NB and central Oklaholma, and Fort Bliss in Texas. Only one of the criminals, known by the moniker “Super Size”, was apprehended by naval personnel in an attackon the USS Courser at Seattle’s Bremerton Naval Base.

Tensions were further raised when it was reported that Sen. Henry Haskel (D-Alabama), head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, was assaulted in his own home by a masked, super-powered assailant whose identity is being kept confidential by the FBI. Together with the attacks on military bases, this assault has put the United States on high alert. President Kennedy is expected to speak to the nation tonight about these events and the way forward for the United States.

L to R: Pinball King, Sunburst and Shatter

Chicago – Union Station in Chicago has experienced a “Great Train Robbery”, in which three super powered criminals, identified by authorities as “Sunburst”, “Shatter” and “Pinball King”, did their predecessors one better by actually stealing the train. Shatter was apprehended at the scene with the help of the heroes known as “Firefly” and “Green Mask”. Firefly sustained injuries in the brawl but was released by police doctors after regaining consciousness and showing no signs of permanent injury.

New York – Mass panic at the Emigrant Savings Bank located on Broadway, as rats swarmed the bank, sending patrons fleeing into the streets. Injuries among patrons and employees were minor. Police say the rats were a diversion, as crooks entered the bank’s subterranean vaults and made off with an as yet unknown amount of loot. The FBI does not believe this attack on the bank is connected with the attacks on several military targets in the United States by super-powered criminals.

Geneva – Talks between France and Algeria continued in Geneva today, with spokesmen saying the two sides were “very close” to a substantial agreement to end the Algerian War. Nationalist elements in France claim they will recognize no such agreement and that the “war will continue until their cause is won.”

Manila – U.S. Military Intelligence is investigating the disappearance of Flying Tiger Line Flight 739 over the Western Pacific, enroute from Saigon to Manila. The Lockheed Super Constellation went down with 11crew and 96 military passengers. Sabotage is suspected.

As always, heroes illustrated with the help of Fabrica Herois.