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You ran from the undead, stumbled into a bright alley. But there is no way out. The dead end could now live up to its name. The shambling groups- hordes- are coming for you. There! The first one rounds the corner and shambles toward you. They have infested the town, maybe even more than that, eating brains and killing anything they found. But this one is strange, different. No flesh hangs on its bones, its garments are not in good condition, or even passable. But the hat on its head was fine once, made of beaver. It wears an clean shirt front and shiny black shoes. Well, once-clean and once-shiny. They have taken on a greenish tint now, to match his bones.
He spots you as you lok for a way out. There isn’t one. Despite a lack of lips, he smiles. With a flourish and a bow he pulls off his hat and waves his hands over it. The moans that you have heard so often now are repeated with comic flair and he reaches into the hat. His bony hand produces a bouquet of wilted flowers which he presents to you, hat in hand.
I present Monsieur Desperiaux, a gentleman among undead.

Number Appearing: 1+
Enviroment: Mines and tunnels
Difficulty Class: I (Equal to an unarmed human peasant)
Attacks: None. Fatigues over time
Hit Dice: 1 (Each one is equal to the damage done by a sword in your chosen game system)

In the mines and caverns of the dwarf kingdoms there is one parasite feared above the rest. The Dwarf Lump is a small insect that gathers a lump of flesh around itself as a disguise. It crawls onto sleeping dwarfs and attaches itself to them in order to feed on blood and skin. Dwarf Lumps secrete a hugely sticky substance that they use to glue themselves and their flehy shells onto their victims, making it almost impossible to get them off.
The victim will keep losing blood and flesh until the Dwarf Lump is cut off or the dwarf dies. At this point the Dwarf Lump lays a clutch of eggs inside the corpse and moves on to try and find another victim. If it does not attach itself to a new dwarf within a few hours then the Dwarf Lump dies.
Meanwhile, the eggs inside the corpse are fertilized over the course of days by the decaying body. When they hatch the young Dwarf Lumps are in a young stage, during which they look like ordinary white maggots. They continue to feed on the rotting dwarf for a period of three to five days and then crawl into a dark corner to enter into their pupal stage. Once this is complete, another few days, the Dwarf Lump is fully grown and ready to find its first victim.
Dwarf academics and healers thought for generations that Dwarf Lumps were a form of plague, maybe spawned by one fo the goblin gods. But modern method of healing have brought a new technique to the tunnels. This procedure, called autopsy, allows for cutting apart dead creatures. Using autopsy dwarfish healers have discovered the little insects inside the lumps of flesh.
Experiments in using fire and acids are being done to see if there is a way to forcibly detatch the Dwarf Lumps without harming the victim. Nothing has worked so far.

A single dwarf in good health can last for weeks or months with a Dwarf Lump. However, the creatures often congregate on their victims, forming clusters of greenish, fleshy lumps over the victim’s body. As many as three hundred Dwarf Lumps have been counted on one poor dwarf. Obviously, the more Dwarf Lumps on a victim that quicker that it dies due to loss of blood.
Dwarf Lumps have not been recorded on any other creatures. Some think that they have a particular taste for dwarfish blood, or that they can’t live outside certain caverns. The first is closer to the truth. A Dwarf Lump could attach itself to any living creature, but attacks dwarfs due to their proximity.

 

I found this wonderful mapping program called HexMapper that allows even an uncultured lout like myself to create a map like the one above. Of course, I’ll allow that it isn’t perfect, but it’s easier than drawing it out by hand and colouring everything in. I hope you can find a use for it, too.
Goodnight, and keep rollin’.

Oops, it looks like I missed last Wednesday. I suppose I could offer an excuse, but as Shakespeare sad, roughly, sometimes the mistakes is made worse by the excusing. So, I’ll move on.

I’d like to take a moment of your time to talk about play by post gaming. It’s where you play an RPG on a forum or similar website. There are pros and cons to it, of course, and I’d like to point some out.

Play by post games are slower than in-person games. You might make a post on Monday and not have anyone else post until Wednesday. They can move faster than that, but sometimes they can slow down to a drag or stop altogether. This can be a bad thing if you want immediate responses, but it can also allow you to think over what you’re going to say before you need to post again. This can be invaluable for the GM if he’s in a bind on where to go next.

Due to the written nature of the posts on the forum, play by post games can often have better descriptions and role playing than otherwise. You can type something out and look at it again before posting it. This can be especially effective for players and GMs who are shy about role playing.

Since there could be new posts every day, whenever you log on you may have interesting things to read. It can be frustrating to have this stretch out over several days, but it can also keep giving you your gaming fix over time.

I was recently forunate enough to find the third edition of the GURPS Basic Set on sale. I paid a whopping two dollars for the book- albeit with a large tear on pages 129-130. Then I started reading it.
I had known beforehand what GURPS was (Generic Universal Role Playing System, and all that). But it was not until I started reading that I realized all the possibilities. Everything could be done with GURPS.
I like movies and video games as much as any other and there always seems to be something that I want to try role-playing. Whether it’s the Halo universe or some sort of Transformers game, I want to try it. The hard part is attempting to find a system buit to accomadate these. I could write one, of course. It might even be playable. But that usually takes more time to write than I want to spend.
When I get an itch to play somethign like a Halo RPG it only lasts for so long. I only want to play a one-shot, anyway. That’s where GURPS comes in. With enough experience with the system- so that I can apply the rules correctly- I can play any sort of genre or setting without having to make up or learn new rules. It could allow me to explore all sorts of new games.

However, I haven’t actually played GURPS yet, so I don’t know if I even like half the rules. It’ll take some playing before I decide whether that’s the only thing I want to use as a system. But I’m looking forward to the research.

Goodnight, and keep rollin’.

Hi, all. I’m back again after a good summer break. I’m ready to restart blogging. I haven’t had lots of time to play, but I did get in a good horror adventure and started a D&D3.5 game that didn’t go anywhere.
Today is not Wednesday, but I’ll post anyway. Regular schedule will return next week with posts on each Wednesday.

Those of you familiar with Dungeons and Dragons- any edition- will know a thing or two about the alignment system.
Personally, I know the most about the nine-way alignments from 3.x, and not very much about the others. I do know that the alignments themselves changed little enough that I can make broad statements without fear. I will do so now.
Out of the nine alignments in D&D, only three really make sense to me: Chaotic Evil, Lawful Evil, and Lawful Good.
I can understand being evil in different ways, and being good. But I find it hard to separate being good from obeying the law. There are reasons, of course. But I can’t really see a character as good if he openly disobeys the law (barring corrupt laws, in which obeying them would be evil).
The whole idea of neutral alignments is valid, but hard to realize. If the whole idea is to keep your character doing things in line with his alignment, then neutrality would be impossible. A good character can do the good things, and an evil character can do the bad things, but rarely can you find any neutral things to do. The character would be stuck with nothing to do (and even then it can be good or evil to not intervene in something).
The character could stay neutral by doing some good things and some evil things- try to balance it all out. But that would mean that he was not being neutral, just balanced.

Chaotic Neutral has no real explanation. Lawful neutral falls into the same pit as simply neutral. You always obey the law, no matter who gets hurt or what consequences there are. But your actions will still be good or bad.
Neutral Evil is supposed to be pure evil, but how is that different from Chaotic Evil or Lawful Evil? Is it MORE Evil than the others? It’s the same way with Neutral Good.

I think it would be better to make it simpler. Have each character either be good or evil. It looks black and white, but there are vast areas of difference between one good character and another.
One may be an upright, righteous knight. Another could just be a comoner who believes that he should help people occasionally and not do bad things.
Evil has a huge variety in method, means, and reasons. It doesn’t have to be only one kind of evil. But it is all evil.
So a system of only two alignments would serve well enough for the mechanical purposes of spell effects, but it wouldn’t get in the way of clearly knowing whether someone is a bad guy or a good guy.

Goodnight, and keep rollin’

Fungal Creeper, Plot Ideas, and Hiatus

Fungal Creeper
Number Appearing: 1-5
Enviroment: Any non-aquatic.
Difficulty Class: I (equal to an unarmed human peasant) to III (equal to a highly trained, well armed human)

The Fungal Creeper, as its name suggests, is a type of fungus. It is a rough mound shape about the size of a large bush. Its exterior is mossy and soft. On the top of its body a fungal creeper has a head-like lump and two discoloured splotches. These are meant to look like a head and eyes to discourage predators. Two formless appendages protrude from the fungal creeper’s body. These are not true limbs, but rather pseudopods.
The fungal creeper moves by pulling its body along the ground with these pseudopods. Fungal creepers slick the underside of their body with water or the bodily fluids of creatures that they kill when in difficult terrain for easier movement.
Fungal creepers feed on dead and decaying matter, but unlike other, more passive fungus, they are aggressive enough to kill animals and humanoids in order to feed. A fungal creeper will attack anything smaller than itself that it can catch. This makes most of these creatures harmless to humans that are much to large to be a likely meal. However, fungal creepers grow for as long as they feed regularly. Thus, if one had a steady supply of food and was not eaten then it could grow as large as a house.
The main predators of fungal creepers are herbivores. Anything that the fungal creeper does not attack can easily approach and begin feeding. Fungal creepers can survive having up to seventy-five percent of their body mass consumed. It will regrow as they feed.
Fungal creepers reproduce through the use of spores. Oddly enough, these spores are placed in vegetation and not the meat that the creepers feed on. They latch onto living plants and begin to leech out nutrients that the roots bring up from the soil. This parasitic life lasts for several weeks as the creeper spore grows like a tumor on the plant. Eventually, the host dies and the spore drops to the ground and begins the search for meat to devour.

Plot Ideas

Mule Willow: A grove of these creatures has appeared overnight near a small town. Children have started to disappear.

Belch Slugs: A local alchemist requires some of the slime that these creatures secrete. He will pay anyone that will retreive some for him.

Befouling Thing: One of these creatures comes into an area and begins feeding. If it is not dealt with quickly it will ruin all the land aorund it and more will spawn.

Drooling Skin: A graveyard in town is being robbed by a drooling skin searching for bones to add to its collection.
Or: A local has gone missing. She has been killed by a drooling skin and only her skin remains in the back alley where it happened.

Fungal Creeper: An infestation of these creatures is sweepign over a recent battlefield. The families of the dead want to bury their kin whole, and wonder where the swarm will move next for feed.

I’m going out-of-state and away-from-the-internet for work this summer. So this is the last post before a six week break. I’ll be back the second week of July with more material and maybe a few more monsters. See you then!

Befouling Thing

Number Apearing: 1-100
Enviroment: Swamps, but can spread anywhere
Difficulty Class: I (equal to an unarmed human peasant)

The befouling thing is a slimy creature. It looks like a slimy toad or frog and measures ten handsbreadths across its fat, flat body. It has four eyes set in a circle around its squat head. The four limbs that it uses for movement are thin and scabby, each with three toes.
Many scenic forests and fine meadows have been turned to swampy ground by befouling things. These disgusting creatures spawn in batches of ten to twenty from mucky puddles and dirty water of all sorts. They feed on anything green and will travel as far as is needed to find it. The slime that coats a befouling thing’s skin seeps into the soil and works torebuild the area into a good habitat for more hatchings.
However, this slime also works against the befouling things by destroying plantlife in the area, forcing the creatures to travel farther and farther in their search for food. A lone befouling thing will not have much impact on one area, but a hrode of them can sweep through any area and leave it a foul-smelling swamp.
The befouling thing, as disgusting as it looks, is actually extremely sweet and tender underneath. Many predators find befouling things a good meal, and not too hard to catch. The flopping hop of the befouling things makes it hard to outrun anything. Their meat is poisonous to humans, but other creatures keep the population under control in most cases.

Drooling Skin

Number Apearing: 1 (On a recent battlefield: 5-10)
Enviroment: Any, usually somewhere underground
Difficulty Class: III (Equal to a well-armed human warrior)

Drooling skins are vile undead creatures created when particularly powerful necromancers animate corpses as skeleton warriors. The bones rise out of the flesh and muscles, and residual energy can give the skin life as well. A drooling skin is supported magically, but it has no real muscles. It hangs in shreds from where the bones were removed and a constant drizzle of drool hangs out of its mouth.
Drooling skins search for blood and bones and muscle to take for their own. They attack anything living that they come across. But these undead cannot reform themselves, and can only pile the bodies in their lairs in the hope that some necromancer will arrive soon to restitch the drooling skins back into full corpses. There is no recorded history of this happening, but there is no reason why it could not.
Fearful of losing their stock, drooling skins will never venture far from their lairs unless a particularly good opportunity arises. A great battle can draw them, or other such carnage. Veteran soldiers often speak of drooling skins in hushed whispers. The undead come to a field of battle and carry off the dead and dying in their ragged, boneless arms.

Randomly generated monster names (courtesy of Seventh Sanctum) made into full creatures.

Mule Willow

Number Apearing: one
Enviroment: Forests and beside streams
Difficulty Class: I (equal to an unarmed human peasant)

Not a plant, but not quite an animal, the mule willow is a strange creature. It is tall and trunk-like with dozens of thin limbs sprouting from its top and arching down to brush the ground. Each one ends in a three-clawed hand the size of a large apple when balled into a fist.
The mule willow has small eyes with barky lids that form a ring around the trunk. A large mouth, filled with hard teeth for grinding, is set about halfway down the body.
The mule willow moves on four feet. Each is thick and set at teh bottom of its trunk. They are arranged irregularly around its base. A mule willow finds a likely spot of ground near a cluster of berry bushes or brambles. The mule willow will hang its limbs out until it feels the flutter of a bird flying by. The three-clawed hands grasp at the bird and drag its struggles into the mule willlow’s maw.
The mule willow will also attempt to feed upon any other creatures that come within reach. Even something as large as a man can be brought down by dozens of grasping hands.

Belch Slug

Number Apearing: 3-5 (1 & 2-4 young)
Enviroment: Underground lakes and streams
Difficulty Class: Adult-II (equal to a militia-quality human), Young-I

The belch slug is a huge, slimy lump of flesh the size of a draft horse. It has a great gaping mouth at one end of its body, and two stalks surmounted by milky eyes rise aboe its mouth.
The belch slug is a subterranean creature that lives in lakes and rivers. It feeds on fish and other meaty creatures. It has no qualms about scavenging dead creatures or eating those still alive.
The belch slug reproduces by vomiting up its young. These then clamber on the parent’s back to ride until food is found. When the parent begins to eat, the young climb down onto the meat and feed. Belch slugs will attacks men that venture too near the shores of their underground waters.
The slime that the belch slugs exude has a minor anesthetic property when applied to skin directly. Soem apothacaries will pay for jars of the slime. However, blech slugs will only exude the slime when alive and well-fed.

When a spell is cast roll 1d6. If a 1 is rolled then roll on the table below (D20) to see what results. Explain as the Warp/Weave/Ley Line/Magical Doohickey malfunctioning/breaking/working improperly out of spite/ etc. Allow for total party kill if need be.

Roll    Result
1-2    Spell misfires; does nothing.
3-4    Spell misfires; backfires on caster*.
5-6    Spell misfires; affects all within range.
7-8    Spell misfires; does nothing and next spell automatically rolls on this table.
9    Spell is draining. Takes twice as many spell slots/magic points/mana/whatever to cast.
10-11    Wild magic; random other spell is cast instead. Acts normally.
12-13    Wild magic; random other spell is cast instead. Backfires on caster*.
14-15    Wild magic; random other spell is cast instead. Affects all within range.
16-17    Wild magic; random other spell is cast instead. Acts normally and next spell cast automatically rolls on this table.
18    Opens gate to the Warp/Abyss/Hell, summons 1d4 Daemons/Demons/Devils.
19    Multiple effects; roll twice on this table, disregard results of 19 ro higher.
20    Multiple effects; roll three times on this table, disregard results of 19 or higher.

*if directed at caster or ally, affects enemy.

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