Thieves are trained in the art of stealing and sneaking. They have superior ability to open locks, find and remove traps, and other esoteric skills. Due to these abilities, a thief is often found among a group of adventurers. As their name indicates, however, they do steal – sometimes from fellow party members! Notable thieves from literature include Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit
, Cugel the Clever from the Dying Earth
, and the Gray Mouser from Nehwon
: Dexterity. +5% Experience for Dexterity 13-15, +10% for Dexterity 16-18.
Minimum Ability Scores
: Strength 6, Dexterity 9, Constitution 6, Intelligence 6, and Charisma 6.
Racial Level Limits
: Dwarves 12th, Elves 12th, Gnomes 12th, Halflings 14th, Half-Elves 12th, Half-Orcs 12th, and Humans U.
: Thieves use six-sided dice (d6) to determine hit points. Thieves gain one hit die per level up to and including 9th level. Two hit points are gained per level after 9th, with Constitution modifiers no longer applicable
: Thieves may wear any armor, but if they wear armor other than padded or leather, they suffer severe penalties to the use of their thieving abilities. They may use a shield, but cannot climb walls at all when using one.
: A thief is proficient in the use of the blowgun, club, hand crossbow, light crossbow, dagger, dart, garrote, rapier, sap, sling, shortbow, broad sword, long sword, and short sword.
Thieves have the following range of skills, which improve as the thief gains levels. See the Thief Skills Table. Note that usually the Judge will make rolls for these abilities, because a thief is not always aware when he has failed! Note that there is always at least a 1% chance of failure, even if the final percentage is above 100%.
: A thief has the ability to backstab with any weapon with which he is proficient. He must catch an opponent unaware of his presence, using move silently and hide in shadows alternately as needful. To backstab with a missile weapon he must be within half of the short range of the weapon (rounded down). The successful sneak thief receives an attack bonus of +4 to hit and deals maximum damage as per a single weapon die plus a roll of the weapon damage die, plus his normal bonuses or penalties. For example, with a dagger, he would deal 4 points of damage plus a roll of 1d4, plus any of his normal bonuses or penalties. This damage modifier increases to double maximum plus roll at 5th level, triple maximum plus roll at 9th level, and quadruple maximum plus roll at 13th level.
If the thief successfully gained surprise on the opponent, he may choose to hold his attack to talk or negotiate with the target while “having the draw” on him. If the target seeks to run, jump, attack, or otherwise avoid the attack, the two must roll individual initiative. If the thief wins, he still gets his backstab attack; otherwise, the opponent has initiative and the backstab opportunity is lost.
If the thief is dual-wielding melee weapons both attacks get the bonus to hit and the damage multiplier. In the case of a high-level multi-class fighter/thief with extra attacks, only the first attack in the round gets the bonus to hit and the damage multiplier.
: Thieves are adept at scaling sheer surfaces, including walls or steep cliffs. Base climbing rate is half normal walking speed. This movement is halved if the wall is very smooth, doubled if the wall is very rough with many ledges and projections. Movement is halved if the wall is even slightly slippery, quartered if slippery. A thief’s base climb walls ability is halved if he is lightly encumbered, quartered if he is moderately or heavily encumbered; then it is halved if the surface is slightly slippery or quartered if it is slippery. Always round down after each multiplier is applied, and only after all multipliers are applied are modifiers for wearing non-standard armors applied.
A climb walls check must be made every round of movement, whether horizontal or vertical. If the thief falls, he falls from his previous height plus d% of the distance he was attempting to climb. If using ropes and pitons the thief must make a saving throw versus Death for the first piton, at -2 if lightly encumbered, -4 if moderately encumbered, and -8 if heavily encumbered. Each piton must make a saving throw if the previous one failed; if all pitons fail, the thief falls. It takes 1d6+4 rounds to pound in a piton; each piton used necessitates its own wandering monsters check.
Find and Remove Traps
: Note that these are separate skills, for a thief must find a trap before he can remove it! Time for each function is as per opening locks, below. Unlike opening locks, the thief can only try to find and remove a trap once!
: Thieves can attempt to listen for noises, in a cave or hallway, and at a door or other locations but the thief and his companions must be quiet and in a quiet environment. The thief cannot wear a helmet or other headgear when he attempts to hear noise; note that padded and leather armors come with a coif or padded hat for protection of the head!
Hide in Shadows
: A thief always thinks he is successful in this skill, and will not know otherwise until others react to his presence. He must remain motionless when hiding, and cannot dive into shadows while being observed! And of course, it must be mentioned that there must be shadows or darkness to hide in for this skill to have any chance to work.
: When successful, others will not hear the movements of a thief. However, the thief always thinks he is successful in this skill, and will not know otherwise unless others react to his presence. Movement rate is half normal walking speed – one cannot jog or run and move silently! Flooring quality and covering can halve or even quarter the move silently ability chance. A thief’s move silently ability is halved if he is moderately or heavily encumbered.
: A thief is skilled in picking locks, but needs lock picks to do so. Picking a lock requires 1d10 rounds, perhaps more depending on the complexity of the lock. A thief may retry an open locks check if he fails, but each time he tries again his base chance to pick the lock is halved (rounded down) after modification based on complexity, and the time required is doubled for each time retried.
: This skill is the bread and butter of non-adventuring thieves, for it is a quick source of income… but not without peril. The thief suffers a penalty of 5% for each level the intended victim is above 3rd level. A roll that is 20% or more above the final skill percentage means the intended target notices the thieving attempt. The Judge then determines the intended victim’s reaction…
: A thief can attempt to read languages, ciphers, and codes, provided the language is one that he has reasonably had the potential to encounter at some time prior. This ability does not include magical writings. If the roll does not succeed, the thief may not try to read that particular piece of writing until he reaches a higher level of experience.
Use Magic Items
: A thief can attempt to read and cast spells from magic-user scrolls and use magic items normally restricted for use to other classes. His chance of accuracy is based on his Intelligence score, as per a magic-user’s chance to learn a new spell. He suffers a penalty of 10% to this roll for every level he has less than the required level to cast the spell (or equivalent). A failed roll means the spell or item does not function as expected, and can potentially create a horrible effect at the Judge’s discretion (almost certainly if the roll is within the upper 10% of potential failure rate).
Rangers are fighting-men who are adept at woodcraft, tracking, scouting, infiltration, and spying. There are three informal orders of rangers, each depending on the view of the members toward civilization and society as a whole.
adhere to a set of ethics and morals on the side of Lawful and Good, believing that their skills and talents are to be used for the protection of the Civilization of Men in opposition to the savage barbarism of the Wilds. They range far and wide across the Wilds, protecting hamlets and lone travelers, rooting out goblins and other monstrous creatures, and pushing the worst that the Wilds has to offer back to foster the growth and well-being of Civilization. True Rangers are Lawful Good, Lawful Neutral, Neutral Good, or rarely Chaotic Good. They revere gods of Law and Good and cooperate with clergy of such temples. Half-Elves and Humans may be true Rangers.
believe in the maintenance of a Balance between Civilization and Nature. They do not view the Chaos of the Wilds as a redoubt of the enemy; nor do they value the Law of Civilization as a necessary good. They seek a stable, steady, sustainable growth of Civilization, Nature, and the Wilds, believing that the Civilization of sentient beings is inseparable from Nature and that to seek the growth of one at the cost of another is unnatural. Woodsmen are Lawful Neutral, Neutral Good, True Neutral, Neutral Evil, or Chaotic Neutral. They revere Neutral gods of Nature, and as such are allies of druids and bards. Elves, Half-Elves, Half-Orcs, Humans, and Orcs may be Woodsmen.
are the polar opposites of True Rangers. They are the Chaos of the Wilds incarnate. They seek to tear down Civilization, raze it such that stone does not stand upon stone, and let the fields of village and hamlet run riot with bracken and weeds. They believe that Might makes Right, that Chaos is the natural state of existence, and that the Strong should be free to do as they please. Marauders are Chaotic Evil, Chaotic Neutral, Neutral Evil, or rarely Lawful Evil. They often revere gods of Chaos and Evil, and work with the clergy of such temples when they have common cause. Half-Orcs, Humans, and Orcs may be Marauders.
: Strength, Intelligence, and Wisdom. +5% Experience for Strength, Intelligence, and Wisdom 13-15, +10% for Strength, Intelligence, and Wisdom 16-18.
Minimum Ability Scores
: Strength 12, Dexterity 6, Constitution 15, Intelligence 12, Wisdom 12, and Charisma 6.
Racial Level Limits
: Elves 6th, Half-Elves 8th, Half-Orcs 8th, Humans U, and Orcs 6th.
: Ranger use eight-sided dice (d8) to determine hit points. Rangers begin play at 1st level with two hit dice, and gain one hit die per level up to and including 9th level. Two hit points are gained per level after 9th, with Constitution modifiers no longer applicable.
: Rangers may wear any armor, but certain wilderness skills of the ranger are unusable or suffer penalties if the ranger wears armor other than padded, leather, studded leather, scale mail, chain mail, helmet (though not great helm), and shield.
: Any (save for foreign and esoteric weapons).
Guardian of Law/Defender of Balance/Reiver of Chaos
: This ability provides the ranger with a bonus to damage versus a specific range of beings, dependent upon the ranger’s alliance. The bonus is equal to +1 to damage per two levels of the ranger rounded up, thus +1 at 1st and 2nd level, +2 at 3rd and 4th level, +6 at 11th and 12th level, etc.. True Rangers are Guardians of Law, and gain a bonus against the monstrous humanoid and giant races of the Wilds. This includes kobolds, goblins, orcs (and half-orcs), hobgoblins, gnolls, bugbears, ogres, and giants. Marauders are Reivers of Chaos, and gain a bonus against dwarves, elves (and half-elves), gnomes, halflings, and humans. Defenders of Balance gain the bonus against any creatures in the above lists if they are upsetting the Balance in the Woodsman’s native territory. A Woodsman would not gain the bonus against a goblin that was merely passing through his forest, but he would gain the bonus against a goblin that was raiding the hamlets in his forest.
: The ranger must choose a “favored enemy” at 2nd level. The ranger has studied this one specific race, extensively, and thus gains even further bonuses against beings of that type. This must be a specific race or species, such as goblin, owlbear, human, or hill giant; culture such as French, Brazilian, or Mongol; or society, such as League of Assassins, Rangers of the North, or Brotherhood of Chaos. The ranger has a bonus of +1 bonus to damage against his favored enemy for every even level and +1 bonus to hit at every 4th level. Thus, +1 damage at 2nd, +1 to hit and +2 damage at 4th, +1 to hit and +3 damage at 6th, +2 to hit and +4 damage at 8th, and so on. The ranger’s ability to identify and follow the tracks of his favored enemy increases by 5% per bonus point to damage; thus +10% at 4th, +30% at 12th, and so forth. The bonuses of this ability stack with those of Guardian of Law, Defender of Balance, or Reiver of Chaos, if applicable.
Wilderness Survival Skills
: All rangers have the ability to move silently in the wilderness, hear noise in the wilderness, and hide in the wilderness. These function as the similar abilities for thieves of the same level, but only fully in outdoor wilderness locales with appropriate cover. Indoors, in a dungeon, the ranger halves any use of these abilities (rounded down). A ranger who is alone or only with a group consisting of barbarians, elves, halflings, and rangers is surprised only on a 1 in 6 chance, surprising foes on a 3 in 6 chance.
A ranger can always scrounge up food in the wilderness for himself. By using a tracking roll he can spend 1d6 hours in the wilds hunting and gathering food for others. On a successful roll he finds enough food to feed a number of companions equal to his level plus 1d6. On a roll of 00 he has a random encounter.
: Rangers are able to track creatures in the wilderness and in underground environments. The base chance to track is based on the exact environment and nature of the tracks. Add 5% per ranger level to the final tracking chance.
Obvious Tracks refers to the final tracking chance being 70% or greater; Occasional Tracks refers to the final tracking chance being 30% or greater; Faint Tracks refers to the final tracking chance being anything less than 30%. Good lighting refers to full daylight or magical light; poor lighting refers to dawn, dusk, overcast daylight, lantern, or torchlight. Tracking is not usually possible in total darkness. Speed refers to the slower speed ranks of a tracking ranger. Normal speed ranks are as follows: 150’ (50’), 120’ (40’), 90’ (30’), 60’ (20’), 30’ (10’), 15’ (5’), 3’ (1’), Cannot Track. Thus a ranger who normally moves 120’ (40’) following faint tracks through good lighting would move three ranks slower at merely 30’ (10’).
While the final tracking chance can fall to 0% or less, making tracking impossible, the chance of tracking can never be greater than 99%, even if the final total is 100% or greater. A tracking check must be made each time the tracks pass over new ground/cover/floor, or through or into any of the above modifiers. Thus, a ranger would first have to make a roll to find the tracks of an orc from an ambush site in heavy forest/soft dirt ground (base 90%); these he can follow to a rocky shelf with light cover (base 50%) where he’d have to make another check to pick up and follow the tracks to the entrance of the orc warren. Once at the entry to the orc warren, to follow that specific orc, he’d have to make a check against a stone floor covered with detritus over which three other orcs have crossed (base 50% - 15%); when the orc passes through a door he’d have to make another check to notice (50% - 15% - 10%) or lose the trail…
A ranger can try to hide his own tracks. The chance of successfully doing so is 50%, +/-5% per level difference between the the level of the ranger and level of the ranger or barbarian following him. If the roll is successful, subtract the number rolled from the chances of the ranger or barbarian to track the one who has successfully hidden his trail.
: The chance a ranger can successfully identify the kind of tracks is equal to the chance of following the tracks. Identifying common creatures is at the normal chance, as is identifying the direction of the tracks. Identifying uncommon creatures, identifying the numbers of creatures leaving tracks, and the rate of speed of the creatures leaving tracks each suffer a -10% penalty. Identifying rare creatures suffers a -20% penalty. Identifying very rare creatures suffers a -30% penalty. Identifying creatures not native to the local environment (the LoneForest
, the Red Hills, etc.) suffers a -10% penalty. Identifying creatures foreign to the local region suffers a -20% penalty. Identifying size and weight of a medium-sized humanoid suffers a -10% penalty. Identifying size and weight of a small-sized humanoid suffers a -20% penalty. Identifying whether a mount carries one or two, or more esoteric questions suffers a penalty of -10% to -30%, depending on the nature of the question.
Focus Skills and Abilities
: A ranger must choose two of the following skills or abilities at 1st level. The chosen skills and/or abilities cannot be changed once the character has been made.
: A ranger can learn to cast a limited number of magic-user spells. Spells are not memorized as such, and the ranger does not maintain a spell book; they are learned once and never change, and are more along the lines of spell-like abilities than true spells. The ranger still must make, maintain, and use a wand, rod, or staff as his arcane focus, though he does not have the ability to cast mage darts. If he wears armor he suffers the standard magic-user Spell Failure chance based on the armor type when using his spells. A ranger has a number of Spell Points equal to his Casting Level; he does not gain a bonus due to high Intelligence. He regains Spell Points in the same manner as a magic-user, and can use Power Stones and similar items. At 9th level the ranger can use magic items normally limited to magic-users, including scrolls.
: The ranger can have animal, demi-human, human, humanoid, and/or monstrous companions. The companions cannot have more total hit dice than the level of the ranger; each special ability that provides the animal an XP Bonus counts as one hit die. Creature with bonus hit points to hit dice count merely as the hit dice, not the next hit dice up. Demi-humans, humans, and humanoids with levels count as double their level for hit dice considerations. The ranger and his animal and/or monstrous companions can understand each other on a basic level, but any actions requested of the animal companion are limited to the extent of its intelligence. Companions are friends, not fodder, and any obviously suicidal request will be met with derision and possible attack! The loss of a companion, unless dismissed from service in good faith and on friendly terms, means that the hit die value of that companion cannot be regained in new companions until the ranger gains a new level. Companions do not count against maximum henchmen.
: A ranger can learn to cast a limited number of divine spells. True Rangers learn the Good versions of clerical spells, Marauders learn the Evil versions of clerical spells, and Woodsmen learn druidic spells. Spells are not memorized as such, and the ranger does not maintain a prayer book or fetishes; they are learned once and never change, and are more along the lines of spell-like abilities than true spells. He must use a personal holy/unholy symbol when casting divine spells. Any great sin or other transgression causes a ranger to lose access to his divine spells until he completes an appropriate quest to atone for his misdeeds. A ranger has a number of Spell Points equal to his Casting Level; he does not gain a bonus due to high Wisdom. He regains Spell Points in the same manner as a cleric or druid, and can use Power Stones and similar items. At 9th level the ranger can use magic items normally limited to clerics (or druids, in the case of Woodsmen), including scrolls.
: A ranger can tend to his own wounds as well as those of others. An immediate application of first aid within one turn of a battle heals 1d3 hit points; this requires 1d10+10 rounds. Continued ministration of the wounded increases the victim’s daily healing by 1 point or by his Constitution bonus, whichever is greater, and even if the victim is active. A ranger can tend to the ongoing daily care of only one victim per level per day, but can perform first aid for any number of people, even multiple times on the same person each day (though only once per set of wounds from a single battle). Each use of first aid and each person under his daily care requires the use of wild herbs for the creation of ointments, salves and poultices. A successful tracking check and 1d6 hours of gathering will allow the barbarian to gather 1d6+level applications of herbs. The ranger can attempt to neutralize any natural poison (snake or scorpion venom, plant toxins, and such, but not artificial poisons). The ranger must spend at least 1d6+4 rounds ministering to the victim (sucking out the poison and applying herbs). At the end of this time, if undisturbed, the ranger may make a saving throw against Poison; if successful, he has leeched out the poison, and it no longer affects the victim, though any damage already done is not undone.
: The ranger can climb cliffs and scale mountains as a thief of the same level can climb walls. The ranger can use this ability on non-natural sheer surfaces, but his ability is halved before all other considerations (rounded down). The ranger must abide by the armor restrictions of the thief class when using this ability, or suffer the appropriate penalties.
: A ranger can learn to find, remove, and make wilderness traps, such as pits, snares, and deadfalls. A ranger with this ability can find and remove and make traps as a thief of the same level.
: The ranger’s base movement is 150’ (50’), provided he is wearing padded, leather, studded leather, scale mail, chain mail, helmet (though not great helm), and/or shield armor and not otherwise moderately or heavily encumbered. If he is otherwise armored or moderately or heavily encumbered, he moves at normal speeds with no bonuses. Wanderers can jog (double normal movement) for three days straight without rest, alternating every three days of jogging with one day of walking at normal pace.
: The ranger must choose one of three paths: the archer (shortbow and longbow), or the axeman, or the swordsman (long sword). Weapon Masters suffer a non-proficiency penalty of -2 to hit with all weapons other than long swords, bows, axes, and daggers.
Archer: May loose two arrows per round at 1st level; three arrows per round at 5th level; four arrows per round at 9th level; five arrows per round at 13th level; and six arrows per round at 17th level. The ranger’s Dexterity bonus does not apply when loosing multiple arrows in a round.
Axeman: With battle axe: +1 to hit and to damage at 1st level; +1/+2 at 4th level; +2/+2 at 7th level; +2/+3 at 10th level; and +3/+3 at 13th level. At 8th level he may make 3 attacks every 2 rounds with the axe; at 15th level he may make 2 attacks every round. He suffers no penalties when dual-wielding a hand axe in each hand (but Strength bonuses do not apply to hit or to damage).
: +1 to hit and to damage at 1st level; +1/+2 at 4th level; +2/+2 at 7th level; +2/+3 at 10th level; and +3/+3 at 13th level. At 8th level he may make 3 attacks every 2 rounds with the sword; at 15th level he may make 2 attacks every round. He suffers no penalties when dual-wielding his long sword in one hand and a dagger (including main-gauche) or hand axe in the other (but Strength bonuses do not apply to hit or to damage).
: Rangers, even Marauders, do not keep more than they and their mount (if any) can carry. They may maintain reasonable caches of food and miscellaneous supplies, but do not bury treasure or wealth. Any extraneous treasure or wealth is donated to a temple or other worthy cause (never another PC), abandoned, or destroyed. Should the ranger choose to simply take less treasure than his share so that other party members can benefit, he also gains less experience points and the other PCs do not gain any additional XP from the additional treasure.
Fellowship: Most rangers belong to a society of rangers; the idea that rangers cannot congregate or act together is a misunderstanding of the way rangers work. In the case of True Rangers and Woodsmen, the number of rangers is always far too small to cover far too large an area, and so the rangers are usually spread thin. Should a major battle or event require greater numbers, the rangers can be gathered together into a small, albeit powerful force. Marauders, on the other hand, simply don’t like each other’s company, viewing other Marauders as friendly competition at best, more commonly as dangerous rivals. Only in the case of events that threaten their common goals do three or more Marauders ever gather…
True Rangers, dedicated to the gods of Law and Good, are unable to use the reverse versions of these spells. Unless the Ranger gains the personal, direct confidence of his deity, the spells in this list are the only ones that he can learn. More potent spells are reserved for the deity’s more dedicated clergy.
The spells in the list below are the only ones that clergy of allied temples are willing to teach Marauders, and even then, learning additional spells always comes at a cost, whether in treasure or through quests for the temple. Some temples might be willing to teach the more esoteric spells, but at an even greater price.
These are the spells the druids are willing to teach their Woodsmen allies. Other spells are reserved for the initiates of deeper mysteries. A Woodsman who does a great deed or performs a mighty quest might qualify for learning more potent spells, but then druids are even more secretive than clerics.
2. Detect Snares and Pits
5. Invisibility to Animals
Arcane adepts do not have the full training required to be able to wrap their minds around the more esoteric spells. While they can cast such spells they find upon scrolls, and use such spells in wands, rods, and staves, they can never learn them.
4. Summon Monster III
I'm a fan of John Stater's Mother Goose & Goblins
material. I've been working on further development of the "Fairy Tale" RPG setting idea, and have developed yet another alternative alignment system, as I feel the Trump Alignment system for MG&G
was a bit too restrictively Wonderlandish for my tastes... mine owes a bit more to Oz, I think. I've considered using this in my Labyrinth Lord
games where the standard alignment system just doesn't seem to fit.
Anyway, here's where things stand so far...
The disposition system in Mother Goose & Goblins follows the traditions established in fairy tales, rather than the swords & sorcery style Law/Chaos and Good/Evil alignment system. The basic disposition axis is a Good versus Evil system, primarily based on how people treat each other rather than how one is aligned with the cosmos or with some sort of ethics and mortals. The “Mostly Good” alignments are Nice, Sweet, Just, and Saintly, while the “Mostly Evil” alignments are Naughty, Mean, Cruel, and Wicked. Descriptions below start at the nicest of the nice and descend to the naughtiest of the naughty…
: One who is Saintly goes out of their way to be nice to everyone… even the most Wicked of people! Saintly type are never, ever naughty, mean, or cruel, and would faint at the thought of ever doing anything wicked! Saintly types can be humble or not; most are, though there are those who are indeed quite Saintly who are distinctly less than humble about it! Very, very few are of the disposition to be Saintly, which is why Saints are few and far between! Example
: Ned Flanders
: One who is Just is nice to all who are deserving of it, but seek not to be naughty, mean, or cruel, even to those who are such, and never, ever are wicked. Others who are Nice and Sweet and Just, and especially Saintly, are deserving of being treated just so, and moreso, whenever possible. Those who are Naughty, Mean, and Cruel, well, if they might be convinced to be nice later, then one who is Just will try to be nice to them. But if they continue to be naughty, mean, and cruel, then, they will get their just deserts, and nothing more. Okay, maybe a naughty trick on the most wicked of the Wicked to let them get a taste of their own medicine, but nothing mean or cruel! Example
: Lisa Simpson
: One who is Sweet is usually nice, but can sometimes be naughty. Those who are Sweet always seek to have the best and bravest disposition, even in the face of wicked and cruel adversity. But sometimes, those who are Wicked and Cruel, well, there’s nothing wrong with being naughty or even mean back at them! One who is Sweet would never, ever be mean or cruel or wicked to someone who was not themselves such! But now and again, a naughty trick can be played on one who is less than Sweet themselves, so long as one is nice to them afterwards.Example
: Marge Simpson
: One who is Nice generally seeks to be nice to others, but is not afraid to be naughty when need be… as long as one makes amends later, if the target of the naughtiness was not truly deserving. Nice people can sometimes be mean, to be sure, and on great occasion even cruel, but never do so without just cause and absolute need! On balance, one who is Nice is more often nice than naughty, but sometimes only just. Example
: Waylon Smithers
: One who is Naughty is usually naughty, but is not afraid to be nice, too, when it will get him something… especially when it will get him something. Many naughty types are simply too selfish and egotistic to be nice, rather than actively mean or cruel… though Saintly types just stick in their craw! Naughty folks on balance prefer to be naughty rather than nice, but sometimes only just. Example
: Bart Simpson
: One who is mean is usually naughty, but sometimes can be truly nice. Being nice is not alien to their way of thinking, they just don’t believe it is worthwhile to be nice, as being mean and naughty, and sometimes cruel, is simply the best way to get through life. But if being nice will get you what you want, easier, then being nice works, too. Those who are mean often target the Saintly and Just, believing them to be just plain too nice for their own good! Example
: Homer Simpson
: One who is Cruel enjoys being naughty and mean and sometimes, even wicked, though truly wicked activities make even the Cruel blanch at the thought. Being Cruel does not mean one cannot be nice now and again; it’s just very rare, and against their type… except, of course, when they are setting up a cruel or mean trick. Then they can seemingly be nice, or even sweet, when need be. Many Cruel types, however, do not have the patience for building a web of lies, believing that one should not worry about some great and magnificently cruel act tomorrow when one can be just plain mean and naughty now! Example
: Nelson Muntz
Wicked: One who is Wicked goes out of their way to cause pain, mayhem, suffering, and degradation to others, usually because they enjoy doing so, but often simply for no reason at all! Wicked folk can often seem to be Nice, Sweet, or even Just, but usually that is just a naughty trick, a front for their true wickedness. No action is too cruel, no statement too mean, no petty trick too naughty, to not be considered an enjoyable way to spend one’s time when one is Wicked. Wicked folk will go far out of their way to do naughty things, even if, often, it seems to make no sense or otherwise messes with their plans… simply because they love being wicked, cruel, mean, and naughty! Example: Charles Montgomery Burns
The adventurer class is an alternative to most other human classes (it is suggested that only the fighter and thief be used otherwise, and if using other races, use only racial classes for those races). It enables players to play a character that can do a little bit of everything. This class is inspired by the adventuring, sneaky, sword-wielding dilettante rogue spell casters of Smith’s Hyperborea
and Vance’s Dying Earth
. Examples include Turjan of Miir, Cugel the Clever, and Rhialto the Marvellous.
Minimum Ability Scores
Racial Level Limits
: Human Unlimited.
: Adventurers use eight-sided dice (d8) to determine hit points. Adventurers gain one hit die per level up to and including 9th level. Two hit points are gained per level after 9th, with Constitution modifiers no longer applicable
: Any, however, armor use can cause issues when using magic spells or thieving abilities.
: Choose any four
: An adventurer begins play at 1st level with the following abilities:
: An adventurer begins at 1st level with a base saving throw of 16 in all five categories. At 1st level he divides 10 points among the five to lower the scores; he may spend no more than 5 points on any one saving throw in this fashion. Every level thereafter the adventurer lowers two saving throw scores by 1 point each. Once a saving throw reaches 7, it can only be improved 1 point by applying both points for that level to that saving throw. No saving throw may be improved to better than 3. Example: Artano the Erudite begins play at 1st level by hedging his bets and divides the 10 points equally by placing 2 points in each saving throw, for saving throw scores of 14 across the board. At 2nd level he decides to put 1 point in Breath Attacks and 1 point in Wands, lowering those scores to 13. At 3rd level he lowers his saves in Poison or Death and Petrify or Paralyze. Then at 4th he lowers Spells or Spell-like Devices and Wands again.
: An adventurer can cast spells. Spells are cast at a level equal to the adventurer’s level.
If an adventurer has a low Intelligence score, he has a base chance of spell failure with each spell based on the “Spell Failure” chance listed under Wisdom modifiers.
If the adventurer casts a spell while wearing armor, there is a chance of spell failure. The chance is equal to any base spell failure chance plus 10% per point of defense the armor provides (not including magical bonuses) plus 5% per level of the spell, less 5% per adventurer level, less 5% per point of Intelligence bonus. If the failed roll is in the lower 10% of the chance to fail (rounded up), Something Bad happens.
: Ffaunce the Fair (6th level Adventurer, Intelligence 17, wearing chain mail [AC 5, 4 points of armor]) tries to cast Melf's Third Invocation of the Incandescent Orb
) at a pack of voormis. His chance of failure is 40% (armor) +15% (3rd level spell) -30% (adventurer level) -10% (Intelligence) = 15% chance of failure, with a 2% chance of Something Bad happening.
Spells named as rituals require both hands be free, and additionally the caster suffers double the normal spell failure chance if he is wearing armor. Spells named as spells and formulae require that both hands be free to cast the spell. Spells named as cantrips and charms require at least one hand free; the other may hold a weapon, shield, or other item. Spells named as eyebites and invocations do not require any somatic components, do not require a free hand, and, if the caster makes a saving throw versus Spells, can successfully be cast out of initiative order (though counts as that round’s act). Note that Arturzax’s Invocation of the Roundabout Plummet
is of such efficacy that it can always be cast instantly without need to make a saving throw.
The adventurer begins play at 1st level with four spell books, each containing one spell: Murgen’s Primary Arcane Filter Spell
(read magic) in one and random spells in the other three. To determine the spells known, roll a d6 and a d20 on the 1st level spell table. On the d6, on a 1 or 2 add nothing to the d20, on a 3 or 4 add 20, and on a 5 or 6 add 40. If you re-roll a spell it means you were stiffed by your master and were taught one less spell.
Note that spell books are quite large and very bulky. Each book contains only one spell, and thus spell books are virtually impossible to carry with on an adventure unless the adventurer carts them in a wagon or carries them in a bag of holding or similar magical item.
The adventurer can only learn spells that are of a spell level equal to half his level rounded up. An adventurer must have a minimum Intelligence of 18 to learn 9th level spells, a minimum Intelligence of 17 to learn 8th level spells, and a minimum Intelligence of 16 to learn 7th level spells.
While Murgen’s Primary
is not needed to determine an unknown spell contained within a spell book, its use is required in order to read and attempt to learn the new spell (the spell is required to interpret the arcane ciphers, runes, sigils, and diagrams included in the spell). The adventurer must spend the usual time and gold to learn the spell, roll a Learn Spell check based on his Intelligence score, and if he learns it, he can thereafter memorize it. He can only learn spells by acquiring other spell books or by researching and recreating a spell (i.e., the bonus spell gained by choice at each level).
Scrolls and scroll-like devices cannot be used to learn spells.
If an adventurer fails to learn a spell, he may attempt to learn that spell from another spell book after he has gained a level. Note that the Intelligence-based minimum and maximum spells known is not applicable to adventurers.
The adventurer must memorize spells in order to cast them, just as in the normal rules. The adventurer can memorize a total number of spell levels at any one time equal to his level plus his Intelligence bonus. He cannot memorize the same spell twice. He must have the spell book of the spell to be memorized present in order to memorize the spell. Spell memorization is automatic and requires merely one minute per spell level if the adventurer had at least eight hours of sleep since the last time he memorized spells (singly or as a group of spells memorized immediately after sleep). Otherwise, memorization requires 10 minutes per spell level and the chance to successfully memorize a spell is equal to the adventurer’s chance to learn a spell less 5% per spell level; if the failed roll is in the upper 10% of the chance to fail, Something Bad happens.
As each spell of a type is always the exact same regardless of who owns the spell book containing the spell, an adventurer can memorize a spell he knows from spell books other than his own. Thus, if Artano the Erudite already knows Melf’s Magic Missile Charm
he can memorize it normally from another adventurer’s spell book without additional chance of failure.
An adventurer can attempt to cast a known but not memorized spell directly from a spell book. This requires one full round per level of the spell. The chance to successfully cast the spell is equal to the adventurer’s chance to learn a spell, plus 5% per level, less 10% per spell level; if the failed roll is in the upper 10% of the chance to fail, Something Bad happens.
An adventurer can also attempt to cast any spell from a spell book, even one he does not know, providing he is able to apply Murgen’s Primary
to read it. The chance to successfully cast the spell is merely 5% per level, less 5% per spell level; if the failed roll is in the upper 10% of the chance to fail, Something Bad happens. And yes, negative percentages increase the critical failure chance accordingly! Note that the Judge should not inform the adventurer the level of the spell before he attempts to cast it!
Adventurers can make one-shot magic items that function as scrolls, though anyone is able to use these items. One-shot items cost 100 gp and one week time per level of the spell, and can usually be sold for two to five times the cost (if a buyer can be found). When the item is used, the wielder checks against a chance equal to the maker’s chance to learn a spell; if the roll fails, the item fails, and if the failed roll is in the upper 10% of the chance to fail, Something Bad happens.
: Adventurers possess all the basic thieving abilities at 1st level, and may advance in them as part of their adventure path. No thieving ability may ever be at a higher rank in ability than the level of the adventurer. The backstab ability advances as follows: max plus roll at 1st rank, double maximum plus roll at 5th rank, triple maximum plus roll at 9th rank, and quadruple maximum plus roll at 13th rank.
An adventurer may wear armor while attempting thieving abilities, but suffers the usual penalties for doing so.
: At each rank of weapon mastery gained after the 1st rank the adventurer gets 1 hit point permanently. When fighting with the mastered weapon, the adventurer fights as though he were a fighter of the level of his weapon mastery rank or as a thief of his level, whichever is better. At 1st rank of weapon mastery the adventurer gets a +1 bonus to hit and a +1 bonus to damage with that weapon. At 3rd rank of weapon mastery the bonus improves to +1/+2, at 5th to +2/+2, at 7th to +2/+3, at 9th to +3/+3, at 11th to +3/+4, at 13th to +4/+4, at 15th to +4/+5, and at 17th to +5/+5. At 6th rank they may make 3 attacks every 2 rounds with their specialized weapon; at 10th rank they may make 2 attacks every round; at 14th rank they may make 5 attacks every 2 rounds; and at 18th rank they may make 3 attacks every round. Second and third attacks come at the end of the round, after both sides have moved and attacked.
: An adventurer chooses his own path for advancement in his fighting, thieving, and magic skills, though at times his previous adventures may choose his path for him. Every level gained the adventurer may choose one of the following:
Advance weapon mastery in one existing weapon mastery by one rank and advance four thieves abilities each one rank; or
Advance weapon mastery in one existing weapon mastery by one rank and learn one new spell of his choice of any level he can cast (provided he can find and hire a teacher); or
Gain 1st rank weapon mastery in a proficient weapon (provided he can find and hire a teacher) and advance four thieves abilities each one rank; or
Gain 1st rank weapon mastery in a proficient weapon (provided he can find a teacher) and learn one new spell his choice of any level he can cast (provided he can find and hire a teacher); or
Advance in all eight thieves abilities each one rank and gain proficiency in one weapon; or
Automatically learn two new spells of his choice of any level he can cast (provided he can find and hire a teacher) and gain proficiency in one weapon; or
Learn one new spell of his choice of any level he can cast (provided he can find and hire a teacher), advance any two thieves abilities each one rank, and gain proficiency in one weapon; or
Gain proficiency in two weapons and advance any three thieves abilities each one rank; or
Provided he can find and hire a teacher, gain the ranger’s tracking ability at a base of half that of normal; or
Advance his ranger tracking ability base percentages each by 5 points (up to the normal Ranger class level), and gain proficiency in one weapon; or
Provided he can join a temple hierarchy (usually requiring training, bribes, and certain spell casting knowledge, if not also adherence to dogma), he can gain the cleric’s turn and/or control creature ability at 1st rank. The ability applies to any one of the creatures or creature types that are considered abominable or congenial to the deific entity (note the broader the group, the more powerful the temple, and thus more difficult and expensive it is to join). Many temples have both an abominable foe (turn) and congenial ally (control); or
Advance his clerical turn or control ability one rank and learn one new spell of his choice of any level he can cast (from among those taught by his temple); or
Provided he is a member of an appropriate temple, has attained the 5th rank in his control ability, gain the ability to assume a normal animal shape appropriate to the congenial type of the temple once per day; or
Gain one additional use per day of his ability to assume normal animal shape; or
Provided he has gained three uses per day of his assume normal animal shape, he may gain the ability to assume a giant version of the appropriate animal shape once per day; or
Provided he can find and hire a teacher, learn the fighter’s Sword & Board technique; or
Provided he can find and hire a teacher, learn the assassin’s Disguise ability; or
Provided he can find and hire a teacher, learn the assassin’s Poison Use ability; or
Provided he has already gained the Disguise and Poison Use ability and can find and hire a teacher, gain the 1st rank in the assassin’s Assassination ability; or
Provided he has already gained the assassin’s Assassination ability, advance one rank in that ability.
1st Level Adventurer Spells
1. Ahlissa's Invocation of Beguiling Amity (1st level Magic-user spell, Charm Person)
2. Ahlissa's Invocation of Dissident Beauty (1st level Magic-user spell, Allure)
3. Al'Akbar's First Apotropaistic Invocation (1st level Magic-user spell, Protection from Evil)
4. Allanon's Cantrip of Covert Perambulation (1st level Druid spell, Pass without Trace)
5. Allanon's Charm of Bindings Verdural (1st level Druid spell, Entangle)
6. Allanon's Charm of Zoomorphic Elucidation (1st level Druid spell, Speak with Animals)
7. Allanon's Invocation of Adenoidal Vellication (1st level Druid spell, Divine Weather)
8. Andoq’s Invocation of Plastic Solitude (1st level Cleric spell, Sanctuary)
9. Arturzax’s Invocation of the Roundabout Plummet (1st level Magic-user spell, Feather Fall)
10. Atsum’s Ritual of Cool Manumission (1st level Cleric spell, Resist Cold)
11. Bakke’s Charm of Small Static (1st level Magic-user spell, Shocking Grasp)
12. Balul’s Invocation of the Discoid Curiosity (1st level Magic-user spell, Shield)
13. Barchier’s Cantrip of Irrepressible Luminosity (1st level Magic-user spell, Dancing Lights)
14. Bigby's Jarring Hand Charm (1st level Magic-user spell, Jarring Hand)
15. Biriga's Bestial Binding Ritual (1st level Druid spell, Animal Companion)
16. Calling Forth and Binding of the Arcane Disjunction Ritual (1st level Magic-user spell, Summon Familiar)
17. Calling Forth of the Silvertine Mists Ritual (1st level Illusionist spell, Wall of Vapor)
18. Chisirion's Charm of Amaranthine Caliginosity (1st level Illusionist spell, Darkness Globe)
19. Chisirion's Invocation of the Scintillated Refulgence (1st level Magic-user spell, Light)
20. Cuthbert's Obdurate Enhancement Formula (1st level Druid spell, Shillelagh)
21. Dostaan's Formula of Aqueous Fabrication (1st level Cleric spell, Create Water)
22. Eddives’s Hungry Essence Eyebite (1st level Cleric spell, Putrefy Food and Drink)
23. Felojun's First Hypnotic Spell (1st level Illusionist spell, Hypnotism)
24. Ferdi’s Invocation of the Bleak Masquerade (1st level Illusionist spell, Refraction)
25. Genneriel’s Invocation of Proportionate Opposition (1st level Magic-user spell, Hold Portal)
26. Harrizang’s Invocation of Parabolic Escape (1st level Magic-user spell, Jump)
27. Immanent Manipulandum of Imix Charm (1st level Magic-user spell, Manipulate Fire)
28. Keoghtum's First Ritual of Revivifying Melioration (1st level Cleric spell, Cure Light Wounds)
29. Llothol's Invocation of Arachnidic Escalation (1st level Magic-user spell, Spider Climb)
30. Lo-Pan's Charm of the Seventh Scarlet Hell (1st level Magic-user spell, Burning Hands)
31. Melf's Magic Missile Charm (1st level Magic-user spell, Magic Missile)
32. Mikelchan’s Unobtrusive Attendant Ritual (1st level Magic-user spell, Unseen Servant)
33. Murgen's Arcane Impressarium Ritual (1st level Magic-user spell, Identify)
34. Murgen's Occultic Penetration Eyebite (1st level Magic-user spell, Detect Magic)
xx. Murgen's Primary Arcane Filter Spell (1st level Magic-user spell, Read Magic)
35. Naroth's Cantrip of the Chromatic Wave (1st level Illusionist spell, Color Spray)
36. Nodrog's Charm of Victual Lustration (1st level Cleric spell, Purify Food and Drink)
37. Nolzur's Efficient Erasure Formula (1st level Magic-user spell, Erase)
38. Nolzur's Invocation of Phantasmal Discernment (1st level Illusionist spell, Detect Illusion)
39. Nolzur's Puissant Ritual of Enscription (1st level Magic-user spell, Scribe)
40. Nystul's Spell of Arcane Aura Enticement (1st level Magic-user spell, Magic Aura)
41. Oberon's Fey Aura Eyebite (1st level Druid spell, Faerie Fire)
42. Oberon's Fey Invocation of Spriggan Aggrandizement (1st level Magic-user spell, Enlarge)
43. Oquilda's Aqueous Annihilation Eyebite (1st level Cleric spell, Destroy Water)
44. Palgora's Facile Reconstruction Ritual (1st level Magic-user spell, Mending)
45. Phargon's Phantasmal Force Charm (1st level Illusionist spell, Phantasmal Force)
46. Phora’s Charm of Somnolent Usurpation (1st level Magic-user spell, Sleep)
47. Quaal's Charm of Pupillary Refraction (1st level Druid spell, Invisibility to Animals)
48. Quaal's Charm of Propitious Revelation (1st level Druid spell, Detect Snares and Pits)
49. Rao's Invocation of Recreant Amelioration (1st level Cleric spell, Remove Fear)
50. Rao's Invocation of Malominious Ascertainment (1st level Cleric spell, Detect Evil)
51. Riggby's Invocation for the Denouncement of the Veil (1st level Illusionist spell, Detect Invisibility)
52. Sargath's Charm of Otic Punctuation (1st level Illusionist spell, Auditory Illusion)
53. Shimrod's Excellent Linguistic Concordance Formula (1st level Magic-user spell, Read Languages)
54. Shimrod's Magical Missive Charm (1st level Magic-user spell, Message)
55. Shimrod's Occulted Utterance Invocation (1st level Magic-user spell, Ventriloquism)
56. Siandor's Invocation of Authority Nonpareil (1st level Cleric spell, Command)
57. Tasha's Desultory Disguise Eyebite (1st level Illusionist spell, Doppelganger)
58. Tasha's Ineluctable Charm of Auric Discernment (1st level Druid spell, Locate Creature)
59. Tenser's Floating Disc Formula (1st level Magic-user spell, Floating Disc)
60. Zulquor's Invocation of Etheric Cerebral Cocatenation (1st level Magic-user spell, Comprehend Languages)
Magnificent Miscellaneum Vol. 1
By James Mishler and Jodi Moran-Mishler
Every issue of this ongoing series of supplements contains a magical mix of wondrous wizardry, potent priestcraft, monstrous menaces, mystical magic items, and more. With a touch of humor and classic gaming goodness, the Magnificent Miscellaneum is a collection of various materials for your Castles & Crusades, Amazing Adventures, Harvesters, Tainted Lands, Star Siege
, and Fields of Battle
games, for both players and game masters. We may have sold 12,000 copies of the Castles & Crusades Players Handbook
and released five separate printings, but it doesn’t mean we all can’t use more! The Crusade goes on!
This first issue includes three new spells for Castles & Crusades
, a crazy and weird monster in classic B-Movie style from the Cold Depths of Space, five new monsters in the quick and easy format used in the Castles & Crusades White Box Set
, and a mysterious NPC for Amazing Adventures
At $1.25 it’s a great bang for your buck! Buy your copy of Magnificent Miscellaneum
early; buy them often. And let us know in our forums at www.trolllord.com
what you want to see more of in the Magnificent Miscellaneum
.About James Mishler
You may know him from work on the Wilderlands of High Adventure at Adventure Games Publishing. You might recall his work as an Editor at Scrye Magazine
and Gaming Report.com. Perhaps you ran into him when he managed Chimera Hobbies in Appleton, Wisconsin. Or maybe you were one of the lucky few to have died in his Castles & Crusades
demos at Gen Con. But he's back, he's rolling dice, and he's writing magnificent bits of miscellaneous goodness from his keyboard straight into your heart. And this time he's fortified by the love and creativity of his amazing wife, Jodi Moran-Mishler!
Well... I'm back.
FAQQ: What systems will your products use?
A number of things brought us to this moment. First, I've finally gotten the itch to write again. My previous experience with Adventure Games Publishing and the associated events rather burned me on all that. But time heals most wounds, and for some time now, I've been itching to write, as those who have followed my personal blog are aware.
Second, right now I have plenty of time on my hands. Too much time, and too little money, as I have been unable to find a job for more than four months. So, damn the torpedoes, once more unto the breach, and all that! I'm turning my itch to write into something that can hopefully bring in a little cash. I have no illusions as to the size of the market; but right now any money is better than no money at all.
And so I have started James Mishler Games for both personal and mercenary reasons. It is what it is, and it will be what it will be.
What it is, essentially, is a publishing label, more or less, for a line of PDF products. What it is not, is that it is not a print product company. One lesson I learned with the AGP debacle is that print publishing, at least at the size of AGP or JMG, is a sure fire way to lose your shirt. The margins are so fine, even at essentially what was print-on-demand, that one single mistake turns a profitable product into a major loss. So I have no plans to ever turn JMG into a regular print company. In the list of things to be considered down the line, that one will be revisited in two years time, if we are still around then.
For now, we will have PDFs available on DriveThruRPG and RPGNow. If sales warrant, we'll look into expanding into other PDF venues. Right now, our PDFs are all being made with very simple, very cheap software. In order to be able to offer POD options on DTRPG/RPGNow, Lulu, and other such venues, we have to use the full Adobe Photoshop system, which costs $600, and is not remotely within our range at this point. Maybe down the road. If and only if sales seem to warrant, we will eventually acquire that package and start making our larger products available in POD through DTRPG/RPGNow, Lulu, and such. That is not something to be considered, however, for at least six months.
We have no plans to ever use Kickstarter or Indigogo. My prior experience with the subscriptions I offered through AGP has shown me that there is no way I should ever handle anyone's money without first having provided them with a product. Thus, all our products will be cash on the barrelhead; you get your PDF, we get your money. The only way this will ever be revisited is if we get all of our bills paid off and have a product, fully written, fully illustrated, and ready to be sent to the printer with the mere press of a button. And even then, I am unlikely to do so, merely because of the horrible emotions the mere thought of the subscription debacle brings to mind...
So for the forseeable future, we are PDF only. What, exactly, do we plan to offer?
First and foremost, to begin with we will offer fantasy products statted for both Castles & Crusades and Labyrinth Lord. Yes, dual-statted products! We have licenses from both Troll Lord Games and Goblinoid Games to publish our products in both formats in a single product. The amount of space required to dual-stat the books is minimal; we will not publish one version in C&C and another in LL, all books will be dual-statted. We figure that between the two systems, pretty much all major Old School systems and their varients are well covered, and can readily be adapted to their use.
Our major offering is a magazine, the Hercynian Grimoire, to be published every week or every other week, as time and sales permit. The Hercynian Grimoire includes articles dealing with Men & Magic, Monsters & Treasures, the Underworld & Wilderness, and Gods & Demi-Gods. Each issue will contain 20 to 40 pages of content in addition to the various licenses and other needful pages and be priced accordingly.
We plan numerous smaller offerings of two to 10 pages, each dealing with a single subject or offering a single table or chart of interesting and useful items. These might take the form of a simple essay, a d6, d66, d100, or even d666 chart, or other form for a self-contained generic item.
We have our own campaign setting, the Olden Lands, to be detailed in the Chronicles of Mhoriedh series of products. The Olden Lands is a world of High and Low Fantasy, Swords & Sorcery and Historical Adventure, inspired primarily by the works of Lord Dunsany, Robert E. Howard, JRR Tolkien, Poul Anderson, Jack Vance, Lin Carter, Michael Moorcock, David Eddings, Robert Adams, David Gemmell, George RR Martin, Dave Arneson, Gary Gygax, Bob Bledsaw, and Tom Moldvay. It is in this milieu that we will present all our fantasy products, most especially our series of adventures and gazetteers.
I should also note that I use "we" not merely as a corporate construct, but in truth and fact, for in this endeavor I am joined by my lovely wife and talented writing partner, Jodi Moran-Mishler. She is not, sad to say, a gamer, but she has played from time to time, and her interest in myths, legends, monsters, and magic go back to her early childhood. She is not merely my writing partner, she is my muse. I am sometimes relieved that she is not a gamer, as her ability to conjure up creatures and situations deadly and evil is diabolical. Her knowledge and creativity will come into good use in future developments.
That's the long of it.
The short of it is that we will be releasing some cool PDF products for Castles & Crusades and Labyrinth Lord, some large, some small. We are keeping things simple for now. We figure if we keep it simple, it will be that much easier for us to enjoy writing and, hopefully, for you to enjoy reading and using our materials.
If you need to contact us, we can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
A: All our products will be dual-statted for Castles & Crusades
and Labyrinth Lord
.Q: Will you offer print or POD products?
A: We will not offer products for print sold direct. Eventually we might offer POD products through DTRPG/RPGNow
. We will revisit this policy in June 2013 and as needed every six months thereafter, and the decision will be based on sales and whether or not we can afford the Adobe Photoshop
program.Q: Hey, where's the art?
A: We are boostrapping this operation, sans boots and straps. We plan to acquire art through various clip-art formats (notably the publishers resources offered on DTRPG/RPGNow
) to add some art to our products, as sales warrant. If you are an artist and have a portfolio of fantasy clip-art (i.e., royalty-free, reuseable, non-exclusive, etc.), please feel free to e-mail us at email@example.com
so we can add your portfolio to our list of possibilities. If and only if sales get to the point where we can afford it, then will we be able to use spec art; this will generally be limited to covers for major products at first.Q: What's up with all the old AGP subscriptions?
A: At this time we cannot start refunding those subscriptions, nor can we offer JMG
credit for AGP
subscribers. One of the reasons I've started this endeavor is I am currently unemployed; any money earned from JMG
will either go to pay for food, shelter, or gasoline, or to improve the resources we have for JMG
to improve our ability to provide more products (i.e., to acquire Hexographer/Dungeonographer
, fantasy clip-art, Adobe Photoshop
, etc.) in order to be able to make even more money. And after that, there are other bills that take precedence, for various reasons, most importantly legal reasons (hospitals, banks, and doctors are often well lawyered-up). So sadly, reimbursement of the AGP
subscribers is low on the list of those who get money next.Q: Who are you guys?
A: James Mishler
has worked in the adventure games industry for almost 20 years. He's worked in sales, marketing, writing, editing, design, development, purchasing, packaging, and shipping in the publishing, distribution, and retail tiers of the industry. He's worked for Wizards of the Coast, Chessex, West End Games, Alliance Distribution, Kenzer & Company, ACD Distribution, Scrye Magazine, Comics & Games Retailer Magazine
, and WizKids
and had products or contributed to products published by Kenzer & Company, Sword & Sorcery Studios, Necromancer Games, Judges Guild, Adventure Games Publishing,
and Troll Lord Games
. He's played role-playing games for more than 30 years, most of the time as a Judge.
Jodi Moran-Mishler is the lovely and talented wife, writing parter, and muse of James Mishler. She has been interested in myths and legends, monsters and and magic her entire life, and her desire to be either a paleontologist or a cryptozoologist goes back to her early childhood. Though she is not a gamer, she has an incredible imagination and is a master world-builder.
Magnificent Miscellaneum Vol. II
By James Mishler & Jodi Moran-Mishler
Published by Troll Lord Games
Troll Lord Games
has released the second volume of the Magnificent Miscellaneum
, filled with material designed for use with Castles & Crusades!
This volume includes:
10 WHITE BOX MENACES
Gloedfoers: Infernal sheep who dance on their enemies heads and unleash a terrible form of hellfire!
Majamadhu: Spawn of medusa these tiny creatures pack a fearsome punch in their quest to avenge the death of their dam!
Muhafitaz: Lovely crystalline constructs that bring a shimmering doom to those who would steal their treasures!
Mwizikili: That which you cannot see, cannot hear, cannot smell, cannot taste, and cannot feel cannot actually kill you, but it can make you wish you were dead!
Najanma: Perhaps the most horrid undead creatures ever created! Use at your own risk!
Pankhaliya: A strange ally for heroes and adventurers, or a deadly enemy for hunters and villains...
Songdutha: These friends of druids will rock your world if you do not respect their authority!
Thitwee: Surely, this creature’s name shall become an insult applied to fellow gamers at tables everywhere!
Thûtuszlak: The next time your friend tells you his character was killed by a slug, don’t laugh; it might have been one of these...
Varasuma: If you don’t have a sense of humor, pray you do not encounter these mirthful fairies!
Four spells powerful and unusual:
Bonumcanis: Summon a hound from heaven to act as your guardian!
Choreamortis: Use the dead to your best advantage!
Luxbeata: Call upon the shining light of the heavens to punish evil and purify the good!
Malumcaligo: Conjure a terrible black fog to protect you from your enemies!
Introducing Eyebites, spells that can be cast with but a single glance, word, or motion, outside of normal initiative!
Calegrandt’s Celeritous Sidestep: Avoid fate!
Foudrecout’s Somnuscent Interjection: Enchant your opponents with a magical sleep!
Malendrian’s Malefic Stuttering: Ruin your opponent’s ability to cast spells!
Velophandre’s Toxic Revelator: Call upon all poisons to reveal themselves to you!
MYSTIC MAGIC ITEMS AND AMAZING ARTIFACTS
Claw of the Lich: Gain great power over the undead!
Eye of the Gorgon: Ruin your enemies by turning them to stone!
Ear of the Fish: Speak with fish!
Jar of Light: Let no darkness overtake you!
* Published by Troll Lord Games *
* PDF $1.25 *
* By James Mishler and Jodi Moran-Mishler *
Follow us on the James Mishler Games
blog, and you might win free games! That's right, FREE games! Once our blog following tops 10 followers, every time we release a new PDF product we will give away one PDF FREE to one random follower! If our blog reaches 50 followers, we will give away two copies. If we reach 100 followers, we will give away three copies. No purchase necessary. A follower can win only one PDF product per month. The winner will be chosen from the entire pool of followers from Blogspot and Google+. Be sure to have your contact information available on your profile! Go to http://jamesmishlergames.blogspot.com
to sign up as a follower; you must have a Google+ account or some other account that can sign up as a follower through Google Friend Connect.
As we never had a chance to give away a FREE copy of Hercynian Grimoire #1, we are going to do so now. All you need to do to get a chance to win is become a follower of the James Mishler Games blog and post on the contest thread!
We are looking for posts with suggestions and ideas from our fans for future projects. If you are already a follower of our blog, all you need to do is post in this thread! The winner will be picked at random from all those who are followers and
who post. If this contest pushes us over 50 followers, we will give away TWO copies. If it pushes us over 100 followers, we will give away THREE copies!
If you win and have already bought a copy of Hercynian Grimoire
#1, we will give you a free copy of your choice from any of the other three products we already have available that you do not have, or a future product or equal or lesser value if you already have all of our products.
The contest ends Monday at 12 noon, Central time. Barring another Snowpocalypse or other unforseen circumstance, we will announce the winner or winners at that time.
I'll be moving to the Virginia Beach/Norfolk area at the end of the week (provided we don't have more snowpocalypse-level storms). I'll be looking for a new group out thataway...
I've been playing RPGs since 1981, when I started with Moldvay/Cook. I've been the GM 19 out of 20 games since then.
I'm an old-school kind of guy, and though I can play and have played just about ANY game, I prefer to play the following games:
Castles & Crusades
Gamma World 4th Edition (i.e., the one like 2E AD&D, not the 4E D&D version which is actually 7th Edition)
Mutants & Mazes (LL/MF mash-up)
Basic Roleplaying (Chaosium stuff)
Cortex System (Margaret Weis games)
For my Fantasy RPG campaigns, I prefer to run in the following settings:
We should arrive sometime this weekend, weather permitting. My first order of business once we are settled in is to find a job, but I definitely need to get some gaming in, too... so e-mail me if you are in the area and have room at your table!
So check out Greg's blog and drop him a note if you want your work to go into the book, or if you want to add a new petty god to the roster.
Well, we are getting settled in here in Virginia Beach. No luck thus far with finding a job, but at least I have my first interview coming up next week. One interview in three weeks is much better than one interview in six months by any count! And ideally, I'll get a chance to play some Labyrinth Lord tomorrow, God willing and the creek don't rise!
What with settling in and looking around and job hunting, I really haven't had the energy to work on anything for the Olden Lands. That requires craftsmanship... if I'm selling it, I want it to be my best stuff, not just something I slapped together. But the creative urge is strong, and so I've been screwing around with Hexographer, 'cause I love drawing maps.
I decided to put together the map of my version of Vanth, the world fromEncounter Critical, which I intend to use with a Labyrinth Critical campaign, someday. I ran a Labyrinth Critical one-shot some time ago, and hope to build a campaign out of the setting. So anyway, here's the continental map for Vanth. Based on the official map (designed with true scientific-realism) the scale would be 12.5 miles per hex, or thereabouts, but I'm using it at 30 miles per hex.
I'm on the last few edits of my campaign area sub-map, which focuses on the Steel Warlords and the lands to the south, which after some work I'm now calling the Scraplands. That map should be up in the next few days, along with some details on what's there...
Click to embiggen
P.S. I now see that Google shrank the map a bit, such that many of the names are illegible. If anyone is interested in a full-size map, just send me an e-mail.
As promised, here's the 5-mile hex map of the realm of the Steel Warlords and the Scraplands, plus a bit of the Mutant Jungles, the Ape Sultanate, and surrounding areas.
More information will be supplied soon...
Click to embiggen
Again, e-mail me if you want a better, larger version of the file...
Here's what I've put together so far on the Scraplands...
The Scraplands are a region of scrub-covered hills, bleak mountains, radioactive ruins, and harsh wastelands south of the realm of the Steel Warlords. They are the home of the Numerikahns, an alien human race who settled here almost three centuries ago. They arrived in waves of colony ships of the vast, slow generation type, and brought with them an entire ecosystem and new way of life. They found Vanth already occupied by native life (and no few species of alien life as well), but were able to find a region relatively devoid of effective competition on the eastern shores of the Southern (or Salty) Sea.
The Numerikahn colonists were Neo-Catholic Objectivists exiled from or fleeing from one of the older Earthican colonies. They may have been from Gamma Terra, Gamma Delta, or even Earthica IV itself; after generations on the ships, their history was somewhat garbled and propagandized. They found a primitive robodroid society in the region, which they promptly conquered and enslaved (according to their creed, artificial life forms have no souls and thus no rights). Several decades later colony ships of Planetary Apes arrived in the region; the apes were promptly arrested as illegal immigrants and sentenced to life imprisonment. As their children had no way to gain legitimate citizenship, they too were arrested and sentenced upon birth. The apes formed a mid-level slave caste between the robodroids and the humans.
The colonists built a loosely-unified confederation of independent city-states that ruled the lands today known as the Scraplands, the Steel Warlords, the Mutant Jungles, the Forbidden Wastes, the Ape Sultanate, and the Amazon and Wooky Freeholds. Each city ruled a large rural “province” filled with villas, plantations, oil fields, and mines worked by apes and robodroids; here and there were small private homesteads of the more independent-minded (and often isolationist) settlers.
Around 150 years ago the robodroids and apes rebelled in what became known as the Great War of Apes and Robodroids. After more than a decade of war, including the extensive use of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and the hiring of amazon and wooky mercenaries on the part of the apes and robodroids, the cyborgs won. Most humans retreated to “redoubts” built deep beneath the radioactive, poisoned earth. The more isolationist groups remained on the surface or retreated to the mountains; these are the ancestors of the mutants and the Nuzark mountain-folk of the HiddenCaves
The cyborgs, today known as the Steel Warlords, founded their own realm in the remaining fertile valley; robodroids were second-class citizens, but as they were able to lord their freedom over the enslaved humans, they remained docile. Over the intervening century and a half they have cleansed and transformed their great valley into a lush paradise where humans labor in the fields and factories under the watchful eye of their robodroid taskmasters, while cyborg lords luxuriate in decadence in their palaces, cities, and towns. Prior to the return of the humans from the redoubts, they used to mine the minerals of the Scraplands; today they let the Scraplanders do all the work, then simply take what they want in “retributive raids” when they need it.
The planetary apes built their own realm in the jungles to the north under the leadership of the Zensunni Orangutan prophet, Zaiush ibn Zaiush; they, too, enslaved the local humans, while other humans survived in wild bands. Both groups of humans are primitive due to biological agents found in the jungles; the slave class humans are less primitive as the apes feed them fruits that counteract some of the biological agents. The wild, savage bands are of stone-age level and cannot speak, but if taken out of the jungle, they rapidly regain their intelligence, as the agents halting their development are plant-based. The apes rejected most advanced technology on principle, as it was what was used to keep them oppressed, so today their tech level is low, only around that of the late 19th century on Earth, though they have more advanced rifles, pistols, and some other weaponry. The orangutans dominate the faith as imams (teacher/priests) and through the office of the Caliph, the gorillas rule through the military under the rulership of the Sultan, and the chimpanzees serve in pretty much all other capacities.
50 years ago the worst of the poisons and lightest radiation finally faded from the southern lands, and humans once again returned to the surface. Most settlement of the land came from the three major redoubts, FortAxler
, and FortMatheson
. The humans of the Hidden Cave Redoubts of the Nuzarks are considered more primitive, country-bumpkin cousins to the settlers descended from these three redoubts. When they returned to the surface, they discovered that tribes of mutants, descended from humans who remained on the surface, lived in the wastelands above. These, and the various robodroid settlers of the Scraplands, were all shoved onto small reservations within the first decade of settlement; muties and bots can be found elsewhere in small numbers, especially in forts and villes that enslave them, but only on the reservations are they generally free from the depredations and insults of the Numerikahns.
Technology in the Scraplands is highly variable. The inner-workings and heart of the redoubts are all generally very highly advanced, self-contained, and self-repairing (and completely off-limits save to the scientists), but the bulk of the tech used by the humans is techno-modern rather than techno-advanced. That found among the Upworlders or Settlers, which is what the settlers of the Scraplands are known to the residents below, is even more primitive; while the soldiers in the redoubts wield laser rifles, wear plastisteel armor suits, and ride ground effect vehicles, the Scraplanders usually have shotguns, bolt-action rifles, and revolvers (the Nuzark Hill-Folk have muskets), wear fedoras and dusters, and ride gas-powered motorcycles, dune-buggies, or live horses. No one trusts robodroids or any sort of thinking machines or “brain bots,” which severely limits further advancement and coordination. The most advanced robodroids usually found in use among the Scraplanders are steeds and smell-hounds of limited intellect.
Most of the new Scraplander settlements are divided into two basic forms: forts and villes. Both are little bigger than a standard village (400 to 800 souls); the Upland portions of the three big redoubts are the only town-sized settlements in the Scraplands (800 to 2,000 in the Upland
portion). Forts are generally older, and are completely walled and even sometimes domed. Villes are open, like the towns of the Wild West of Old Terra. Both are usually associated with an oil field or a mine. The reason the Numerikahns settled this region of Vanth was its extreme richness in common and rare minerals and oil. The mines listed are just those of the more unusual and costly sort; coal, iron, and the common minerals abound, and can be found just about anywhere in the region.
Due to their relatively low technological abilities and the difficulties of travel in the Scraplands, the settlers built a rail system for mass transit of goods and peoples between the three major settlements. Earlier attempts to build the old road system met with disaster, as the Steel Warlords view any such developments as a threat, and the roads and their builders were summarily destroyed. Similarly, any attempt to use flying vehicles on a regular, mass scale was met with fierce resistance and ultimately failed. The Steel Warlords apparently do not view the railroad with the same attitude, as they have left it, and the Conductors, to their own devices (except when they raid certain shipments of minerals and resources they desire). They only bother motorcyclists, buggy riders, and horsemen who come too close to their border.
During the Great War of Apes and Robodroids (or G.W.A.R. as it is known) gravitic bombs decimated the more populated, western region of Numerikah, causing innumerable earthquakes and much fracturing of the earth. Thus, the Scraplands are quite hilly, with many fractured hills and broken ridges. Buggies with tall wheels and motorcycles are the only real way to travel, other than on the train or by horse or other steed. The countless arroyos, gullies, gulches, valleys, dales, and dingles across the landscape make it almost impossible to travel in a straight line. Even the rail system is much more haphazard than it appears on the map; often travelling eight to 10 miles in any five as the crow flies (not to mention the continual up and down amidst the hills and dales). Thus, the fastest one can travel even with gas and coal-powered vehicles is at best around 25 miles per hour, though a straightaway on an old blacktop road or wide flatland might tempt a driver to open it up to 60 or more…
The land is also covered in the ruins of the Numerikahn civilization. The radioactive ruins of El’Ai, Dah’Laz, Oma’Hah, and Dee’Mon are thickest, as many of the bombs used there were neutron bombs that left much of the cities intact… and to this day haunted by heavy radiation. But ruins of small cities, towns, villages, and isolated settlements can be found anywhere in the Scraplands. The similar ruins in the great valley ruled by the Steel Warlords were long ago cleared away and recycled. But one can hardly spit in the Scraplands without hitting an old ruin or relic from the G.W.A.R. or earlier.
Even older ruins are found in the sandy wastes to the south; they consist of tall ziggurats and old ruined cities replete with domes, ramps, and oil pits. These ruins were thought to have been the remnants of the old Robodroid Civilization that predated the arrival of the Numerikahns. By the time the Numerikahns arrived, the robodroids were living a primitive, savage life, divided into semi-nomadic barbarian tribes that followed the brewvelo (a form of bovine that produced alcohol rather than milk). As a way to gain control over the robodroids, the Numerikahns slaughtered and all but exterminated the brewvelo, forcing the robodroids to labor as slaves to get the alcohol they needed to thrive. No brewvelo are known to roam in the Scraplands, but they are said by legend to still be found in the lands beyond the Forbidden Wastes or perhaps in the plains south of the Lanthanide Wastes.
The jungles of the Ape Sultanate are troublesome for human-kind, as the plants there let off a biological agent that reduces the intellect of any human (including amazons, vulkins, remulans, or klengons though not including wookys, elves, dwarfs, or hoblings) within hours of first encountering it. If the victim consumes the proper fruits and vegetables that were designed to counter the effect, he can regain some or all of his intellect. If the victim leaves the jungle, too, the effect fades, though it can take days or weeks to regain full intellectual abilities (and depending on how long they were affected, the effects could be partially or wholly permanent).
Alien: [Various, including alien races from Starships & Spacemen]
Human: Terran Time Traveler
Mutoid [Mutant Race from Mutant Future]
Planetary Ape: Chimpanzee
Space Fleet Officer: Military Branch
Space Fleet Officer: Science Branch
Space Fleet Officer: Technical Branch
: Strength 9+, Constitution 12+, Charisma 16-
R&C Racial Base XP
Dwarfs are stout, short, bearded demi-humans who average a height of approximately 4 feet and weigh about 150 pounds. Their skin, hair, and eye color ranges in all varieties of the Human norm, and they may exhibit physical characteristics of varying human ethnic types. Dwarfs spend much of their time underground, in their mines, singing and mining gems, metals, and minerals. They usually live above ground, often in a cottage or barracks with their brothers and cousins. The Dwarfs of Fantasia have the duty of mining the special diamonds found in that realm in order to provide magic dust for the Faeries.
All dwarfs are male; there are no female Dwarfs. Dwarfs reproduce in one of two ways. Most Dwarfs are hatched from eggs. These eggs are found in rich veins of minerals, metals, and gems; thus, Dwarfs mine not merely for the joy of gathering the metals, but also to find their children! All Dwarf eggs are found in clutches of 2d6 eggs; all Dwarfs from the same clutch are considered to be brothers. All Dwarfs hatched from eggs from the same mine shaft are cousins. Dwarfs can also reproduce, after a fashion, by adopting a human child and raising it on Dwarf food; the child so raised grows up to become a Dwarf. Usually, only outcast Dwarfs raise such children, but it is not unknown for kindly Dwarfs to adopt a lost child or orphan.
: Dwarfs have the ability to see in the dark up to 60 feet.
: Dwarfs are a hardy race, and gain the following bonuses to saving throws:
+2 save versus Breath Attacks
+4 save versus Petrify or Paralyze
+4 save versus Spells or Spell-Like Devices
: Due to their short height, Dwarfs cannot use two-handed swords or longbows.
Stonecraft: From their experience underground, Dwarfs have a 30% chance of detecting traps, false walls, hidden construction, or noticing if passages are sloped. Dwarfs must be actively searching for these abilities to function.
DWARF FOREMAN RACIAL CLASS
Racial Class Base XP
Strong Saving Throws
: 2, 4
: A Dwarf Foreman is born, not made; his name naturally reflects his leadership status, and as such, together with his earth-born allure, he has the ability to charm Dwarf once per day per level. This ability operates as per the charm person spell cast at the Dwarf Foreman’s level, though it only works on Dwarfs. At 9th level he gains the ability to mass charm Dwarfs, as per the mass charm spell, once per day, and gains an additional use per day for every two levels above 9th (twice at 11th, three times at 13th, and so forth).
: In addition to a random Secondary Skill, a Dwarf Foreman may choose one of the following Secondary Skills as his Primary Profession. The Dwarf Foreman’s skill in his Primary Profession begins at 50% and increases 5% per level after 1st level. Choose one: Armorer, Blacksmith, Engineer, Jeweler, Miner, Prospector, Stonemason, Tinker, or Tunnel Runner. If he is multi-classed as a Warlock, he can instead choose from Alchemist, Dirge Singer, Lorekeeper, or Runecaster.
: A Dwarf Foreman gains a bonus to hit and to damage with a club as per the weapon specialization of the Fighter class. The bonuses apply to both light and heavy picks. He does not gain the ability to choose other weapons for specialization at higher levels, and may only improve his ability with the pick.
: From their experience underground, a Dwarf Foreman has a 50% chance of detecting traps, false walls, hidden construction, or noticing if passages are sloped. This ability can also be used to identify raw minerals, metals, and gems, and evaluate them. This chance improves by 5% every level after 1st level. A Dwarf Foreman must be actively searching for these abilities to function.
Thane: At 9th level a Dwarf Foreman is eligible to found his own Dwarf mine and settlement and settled down as Thane (Lord) of that settlement. If it is in lands already inhabited by Dwarfs, he must get the permission of other Dwarf Thanes in the area before he digs his mine and builds his settlement. As long as he has been a successful Foreman and is well-liked by the other Dwarfs of the community, he will be able to attract 5d8 Dwarfs to his banner who will be the founding core of his settlement.
: Dexterity 9+, [Charisma 12+ (female only)]
R&C Racial Base XP
Moth-Men are a race from an altogether different dimension. Even they do not know their ultimate origin, as their race has travelled the worlds, planes, and dimensions since time immemorial. They arrived in Vanth through the use of their Portal Power. They are found in small clan-based settlements (5d4 males, 5d4 females, and a number of children equal to both) in out-of-the-way places, usually in deep forests, jungles, mountains, or wastes, often near ruins, centered on a location where the boundaries in time and space are weak.
Male Moth-Men are regarded by other races as appearing quite hideous, being 6’ to 7’ tall humanoids (though appearing shorter due to their hunched posture) with scrawny, boney builds; hairless, cadaverous, bald skull-like heads with large bulbous eyes that glow like headlights; clawed three-fingered hands and feet; dark grayish powdery skin; and dull grayish-white tattered moth wings.
Female Moth-Men are, on the other hand, quite beautiful by human and elven standards, being 5’ to 6’ tall humanoids with slender but buxom build; possessing beautiful human heads with fair skin and luxurious hair; lovely almond-shaped eyes with glowing red irises; cute feathery antennae; clawed three-fingered hands and feet; and beautiful, colorful, glittering moth wings.
Male Moth-Men fear and loathe other, more handsome races of men, as they fear that their females will prefer them. However, they have little to fear as female Moth-Men find their own males most attractive, and believe “handsome” men of other races are quite ugly. If anything, male Moth-Men only have to fear from ugly men of other races, as they may more resemble male Moth-Men than their own race.
Most Moth-Men are distrustful of other races, as they are usually hunted as an aberrant or mutant species on many of the worlds, planes, and dimensions they have lived; ergo, their continual nomadic way of life. Thus, they tend to live in out-of-the-way places by preference as much as by necessity. Some clans trade or even deal more regularly with other races, but these are few and far between, and usually only found where many different races congregate and thus they are not considered unusual. If attacked, Moth-Men prefer to flee, either elsewhere on their world or to another.
Moth-Men subsist off of nectar, leafy vegetation, and small animals, preferring small insects, lizards, and mammals. They are usually fairly primitive in technology, requiring few tools as their claws are lethal weapons. They prefer to lair in tree-huts, tall ruined buildings, or in caves high on mountain peaks. The only product that they tend to make is silk; they raise silk-worms and the like, and weave fine silks, which are usually reserved for their females to wear. They trade silks for fine jewelry, which again, the females like to wear.
Female Moth-Men lay silky eggs in their lairs, which after six months hatch, opening to reveal a wingless Moth-Man child. The child rarely leaves their home lair for their first six years. At about six years, the child forms a cocoon, and after another six months emerges in a winged form. Moth-Men achieve full adult size and social adulthood at age 12.
: A Moth-Man can make two claw attacks per round, in a combination of hands or feet, each dealing 1d4 points of damage. These attacks may be made “on the fly,” in the midst of the Moth-Man’s full flying movement, though if the Moth-Man misses an attack by less than 4 he must stop and engage the target in melee.
: A Moth-Man can detect any rifts or weakness in the time-space continuum. If it merely passes by one, at a distance depending on the strength of the rift, the LM should make a d6 roll for the character. If the roll is less than or equal to 1 plus the Wisdom bonus of the Moth-Man, the Moth-Man detects it. He can always spend time actively searching for a rift or weakness, in which case discovery is automatic, but this requires one minute of searching for a 10’ by 10’ area.
: A Moth-Man can fly at double its normal ground movement rate.
: A Moth-Man’s large, glowing red eyes are quite hypnotic to most races. If the Moth-Man has surprise, those within 30’ who look directly at the Moth-Man must make a saving throw versus Spells or become stunned and unable to move for 1d6 rounds. Those who fail the save with a Natural 1 are stunned for 1d6 minutes. The only race immune to this effect is the Klengon race; if they fail their save they become enraged and must attack the Moth-Man with a bonus of +2 to hit for 1d6 rounds.
: A Moth-Man has 60’ Infravision.
: A Moth-Man can open an inactive rift in time and space; however, this requires much time and concentration. Every hour a Moth-Man concentrates on opening the portal it rolls a d6; if the roll is less than or equal to 1 plus the Intelligence bonus of the Moth-Man, the portal opens. Every hour it tries to open a portal, successful or not, the Moth-Man suffers 1d6 points of damage. Once the portal is open, it remains open as long as the Moth-Man concentrates, plus 1d6 rounds thereafter.
Radioactive Eyes: A Moth-Man can loose a pulse of radiation from its glowing red eyes, This burst is instant, the radiation very short lived and such that remains being noted on a Geiger counter but not of any real consequence. However, any being within 10’ of the Moth-Man, within a 90’ arc from its eyes, suffers a Radiation attack; roll the Radiation Class randomly for each attack (d6): 1-3 Class 1, 4+5 Class 2, 6 Class 3. The Moth-Man can perform this attack once per day, plus one time per day per point of Constitution bonus. Moth-Men are immune to their own personal radiation, if it is somehow reflected back on them, but have no immunity to other forms of radiation.
MOTH-MAN PROPHET RACIAL CLASS
Racial Class Base XP
Strong Saving Throws
: 5, 6
Moth-Men Prophets are the natural-born leaders of the Moth-Men clans. It is they who lead their clans to new worlds, planes, and dimensions, seeking a new home. Both males and females may be Prophets. Other than in time of migrations, Prophets only lead their clans in major, long-term decisions; more martial Moth-Men are usually elected as war chiefs, and more earthly chiefs are elected for day-to-day issues, though both usually defer to their Prophet should he or she choose to intervene. Clan Prophets also train the new, young Prophets who are destined to lead new clans to new lands.
: A Moth-Man Prophet may use the augury spell three times per day, plus once per day per level above 1st.
: If a victim is stunned by the Moth-Man Prophet’s Hypnotic Eyes, the Moth-Man Prophet may attempt to charm the victim, as per the charm person spell. It may do so no more than once per day, plus once per day per level above 1st.
Contact Other Plane
: A 5th level Moth-Man Prophet, if near a rift or weakness in the time-space continuum, may contact other plane as per the spell. Use of this ability more than once a week is dangerous; each use after the first in a 7-day period adds 5% to the Moth-Man Prophet’s chance of going insane.
: At 9th level and thereafter, a young Moth-Man Prophet has the ability to lead an exodus of his people, gathering followers from his home clan and other nearby clans to travel to and settle in a new world, plane, or dimension. The Prophet attracts 1d4 Moth-Men, equally divided among males and females, to his new clan per point of Charisma. Once the clan is settled in its new land, as long as the clan thrives, a new Prophet shall be born to the clan every few years, to continue the process of migration and colonization anew.
: A Moth-Man Prophet is covered in a fine, glittering dust or powder. It can release this powder by shaking, distributing it in a cloud in a 5’ radius around itself. Those caught in the cloud must make a saving throw versus Poison or become confused, as per the spell, for 1d6 rounds plus one round per level of the Moth-Man Prophet. The Moth-Man Prophet can release this dust once per day, plus one time per day per point of Charisma bonus.
Improved Open Portal
: A Moth-Man Prophet can open any local inactive rift or weakness in the time-space continuum after one round of concentration and making a successful saving throw versus Spells. If the attempt fails, he may attempt to do so every round. Once the portal is open, it remains open as long as the Moth-Man Prophet wills it to remain open.
Improved Radioactive Eyes
: A Moth-Man Prophet’s radioactive eye attack has a range of 20’ and deals Class 1d6 Radiation damage.
Terrifying Shriek: A Moth-Man Prophet can let loose with a terrifying shriek. All non-Moth-Men within 60’ must make a saving throw versus Spells or be affected as though by a cause fear spell. The Moth-Man Prophet may perform this shriek once per day, plus once per day every three levels (twice at 3rd, three times at 6th, etc.)
Zak over at Playing D&D With Porn Stars has some good, simple advice for running a Sandbox/Hexcrawl game... click here to check it out.
I'm running an A to Z of the Olden Lands on the James Mishler Games blog. Click here if you are interested!
Judges Guild has released the original Guide to the City State of the Invincible Overlord in PDF on DriveThruRPG and RPGNow!
No, not the Necromancer version, which is already there. No, not the revised version, which is already there.
This is the ORIGINAL 56-page booklet that started it all. And not only that, it is apparently a scan of Bob Bledsaw's PERSONAL copy! At only $3.50, it's a steal!
Here's what the entry says:
From our glorious first year, 1976, this is the original Guide to the CityState. All 54 pages have here been scanned from Bob Bledsaw's own in-house copy (some cleaning of minor coffee-stains was required) but she is good as gold! Out of print for over 30 years, this was the foundation of what later became a benchmark of fantasy role-playing, and our best-seller, CityState of the Invincible Overlord! Enjoy this piece of gaming history, with artwork by Bob Bledsaw (the Makistikator himself).