Thursday, 28 March 2013

Monster: The Grogan

A stone-jointed granite monster. Many were made hundreds of years ago, but they are now rare, often found in abandoned tombs and ruined wizard lairs. They were fashionable as magical guards before most sorcerers realised that they were more trouble than they were worth.

The Grogan is quadrupedal, an up-turned metre-wide demi-sphere sitting on four equally spaced metre long legs. Eight triple jointed stone blades lie on the compass points around the top of the flat surface. In the centre of the body is a small pedestal, upon which sits a great stone eye with a black diamond pupil.

The Grogan is constantly in motion, and every movement sounds like nails down a blackboard. It dodges attacks and resists damage. The great and powerful stopped creating them when, inevitably, a Grogan would start attacking the master it was supposed to protect.


Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Flaming Chess

In the last session in the city of Wetham, the party wanted to do some gambling or gaming, and found themselves at The Cup & Beaver - a gambling den where high-born nobles play Flaming Chess. Looking for money and information they agreed to play a game of doubles Flaming Chess with Tyrnus Von Vrogle and Nena Bleeve. At stake: the party's traitorous magic sword and Tyrnus' jewelled chainmail.

"But Nathan," I hear you say, "How does one play Flaming Chess?"

I'm so glad you asked...

Somewhere South: Wetham Days

GMing felt great last night - it had been far too long between games nights. Will have to think about that in the next few months, as there are still times when I'm going to be away. But anyway! On to the AP. I did a oneshot for Patrick a while back that started off in Tales of the Scarecrow and ended up in the city of Wetham. Last night continued the adventure...

Monday, 25 March 2013

Creature: TU-Rats

Two foot high ratlings, humanoid, dressed in simple leather and cloth garments and carrying needle knives (sometimes poisoned) and tiny bows and slings. They are primitive by some measures, but civilised, living (typically) in large nest communities. Teams of TU-Rats have been known to ride pack-horses and other large domesticated animals. Unlike other rats and ratlings they have long outgrown scavenging as a way of life.

Oh, and TU stands for Telepathically United.

The cranium of a TU-Rat is slightly larger than might be expected for a bipedal rat of their overall size. They create an open psychic field to other TU-Rats. They are individuals but share and coordinate via a groupthink as situations require. A TU-Rat is always aware of every other TU-Rat within 50 feet, and can transmit to TU-Rats much further away by a mental relay effect: messages are passed on but are not instantaneous.

TU-Rats trade with other intelligent races sometimes. They are not aggressive generally, but can be territorial. A TU-Rat by itself will not be a great challenge for a party of adventurers if they have to kill it. Problems occur when dealing with large groups of TU-Rats that attack en masse and which can overcome even the most hardy of warriors. The TU-Rat psychic field can have an effect on humans and other races.

Monster: The P'Lacki

A monstrous purple and black demon squid that crawls on land. It comes from somewhere beyond, and cannot be reasoned with in any way, although it has at least average human intelligence.

The P'Lacki wants to challenge the strong, and will instinctively move to attack an opponent with high STR. It has a body three metres long and over two metres high, but seems much bigger as it drags itself along on a combination of fleshy rear paddles and two sets of tree-trunk thick tentacles. Despite its massive form it can move quickly.

The P'Lacki's body is a purple and black segmented armour that conceals vital and sensory organs. It generally does not reveal its terrible demonic maw, which is a weak spot. A dozen rune-shaped eyes ring the 472 teeth at the heart of the fleshy death-hole.

Some say the P'Lacki is a unique creature in the world. Some say it seeks death on this plane to return to the demon realms. All who survive and have run away agree that it is a deeply unsettling creature.

The P'Lacki
AC: Platemail; 9HD, 50HP
Attacks: The P'Lacki has up to four attacks depending on how many are in melee with it. Most attacks will be simple tentacle swipes (+2 to hit, 1+d6 damage, 30% chance to knock down on unsuccessful save versus paralysis). Whoever in the group has the highest STR (currently) will be targeted for a different kind of attack. A thin needle will skewer out from a fore-tentacle and attempt to stab this person in the arm for d2 attacks. Attacks are at +1 to hit and do 1+d3 damage. The victim loses 1 STR point immediately and must make a save versus magical effect to avoid losing one more. On a critical fail the victim loses a third STR point and d2 CON points. Every STR/CON point the P'Lacki takes instantly gives it another hit die - and corresponding hit points - but confers no other attack bonuses.

If a victim is killed or reduced to 2 hit points or less, the P'Lacki will attempt to eat them. The bulb like body will split open in a stream of purple slime revealing the eyes and teeth. If the creature does this it will make one attack at +4 to bite. If successful it will attempt to swallow the victim (takes one round). In either of these (potential) rounds, any successful attacks that are specified against the mouth/eye areas will deal triple damage. Despite having concealed eyes, the P'Lacki suffers no sensory penalties and can see in perfect/magical darkness.

Any STR or CON points lost in combat to the P'Lacki will take d3 weeks per point to recover. The total number of weeks is halved if the P'Lacki is killed, and halved if the person rests - no active adventuring.


Back from holidays, back from workshops in places with no mobile signal, back online after moving house - and back to playing games and writing about them.

It's been too long.

First up, am writing up some monsters that I statted up on holiday last month. First one should go up soon, followed by creatures inspired by the names of some friends...

More to follow.

Thursday, 7 March 2013


I'm moving house. This is the second time in my life I've had to do this. The first was moving in when we got married. Now we've bought somewhere; it's taken over seven months to get it sorted, and now things have just suddenly come together and we have a week to pack the house up and find things which we need for the new place.

I've still had time to do some writing about game-related stuff, but just not had time to get it on here. Hopefully over the weekend I'll have the capacity to share some things. I've been enjoying:
  • making monsters out of my friends - now with a picture!
  • statting up mechs and a knight for noisms forthcoming Pendragons of Mars campaign that we're going to try over G+ - really intrigued by this, especially since an almost throwaway question about mech games suddenly added giant robots to an Arthurian knights game...
  • letting my brain relax from running a campaign - but now thinking that I want to get back to it before the summer comes and I try to run Apocalypse World for my nephew and his friends... I have seriously been bitten by the world-building bug with Somewhere North and now Somewhere South... It's like a permanent itch that needs scratching.
So posts to follow soon anyway, probably stats of monsters first, with horrendous ink sketches for some.