Saturday, 8 May 2021

Worthy of Conversion

Because I was asked recently about non-DCC adventures I thought were worthy of conversion to Dungeon Crawl Classics, I thought I would post about it. I have already posted about personal conversions of The Albuquerque Starport from Gamma World, Anomalous Subsurface Environment (including Moktars and Insect Men classes for DCC, Barrowmaze, Stonehell, and Skull Mountain. I have mentioned conversions of classic TSR modules like Eye of the Serpent and Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh. I think that anything can be converted to Dungeon Crawl Classics, and the early TSR modules are prime candidates.

I also think that scenarios written for games like MERP or Stormbringer make excellent choices, because almost by definition they are going to drip Appendix N goodness. Bree with the serial numbers filed off makes a good setting for Nebin Pendlebrook's Perilous Pantry

But let's make this a sale's pitch. Here are 4 current products that I would love to convert to Dungeon Crawl Classics. Feel free to contact the publishers and point them to this blog post! Also, consider getting these adventures and doing your own conversions if they do not!

In no particular order:

The Temple of the Blood Moth

Authors Jacob Butcher and Skerples deliver a wonderful and nasty little adventure in zine format. The original adventure is system-neutral, but refers to creatures that are not included in DCC's core rules. Enough information is provided that an experienced judge can easily fill in the gaps/

The adventure revolves around the titular temple, and includes both elements of magic and super-science, which should be enough to warm the heart of any DCC judge. And blood moths. And an attempt to genetically engineer angels.

A full DCC conversion would be longer than the original, because there is plenty of material herein to base a new patron on. Since the adventure also deals with mutations - more akin to corruption that Mutant Crawl Classics mutations - the judge could certainly gain some new tools to play with!

The publisher is Abrasax Press.

You can get it here!

Castle Xyntillan

Written by Gabor Lux and published by the First Hungarian d20 Society, Castle Xyntillan is an extensive love letter to Tegel Manor and old-school gaming. Oh, and to Clark Ashton Smith's Averoigne stories. This is a large manor, with dungeons beneath, and it is not going to be explored in a single evening. Like the "campaign dungeon" of yore, this is a location that many sessions of play will revolve around. PCs are likely to plan expeditions, go off to do other things, and then come back. Their actions will, of course, affect the setting and how the castle's inhabitants view/treat them.

In addition to fun encounters and some unique inhabitants, a full DCC conversion would include the Malévol family itself as a that could survive, perhaps, until the very last member of the family is both dead and laid to rest! It would be even better to start with a funnel that reveals one or more PCs to be distant relatives of the Malé them a reason to "reclaim" the castle from its current occupants, and resulting in some interesting role-playing opportunities both in the castle itself and in nearby Tours-en-Savoy.

The original was written for Swords & Wizardry. There is a lot of material, so until you are ready to run a game converting on the fly, you may wish to take copious notes before play begins. The PCs have a lot of leeway to explore the area, so you will want to make sure you have a fairly comprehensive idea of how you will do the conversion before introducing the setting.

You can get it here!

Misty Isles of the Eld

Written by Chris Kutalik and Robert Parker for Hydra Cooperative, this adventure uses the Labyrinth Lord rules, and is linked to the Slumbering Ursine Dunes, Fever-Dreaming Marlinko, etc. - all products which rock as they are and would rock even harder using Dungeon Crawl Classics as an engine!

This particular adventure has a warped and wonderful take on elves. Well, on the Eld. It delivers pure Appendix N-style goodness, and the adventure includes even trying to get to the titular islands. The action on the isles is a point-crawl where the actions taken by the PCs can affect later encounters.

Did I mention that there are extra-planar elements as well?

If you are doing a home conversion, consider the possibilities for new spells and patrons that the Misty Isles provides as you read through it. Consider how the existing DCC rules could be used to enhance any attempt to voyage to the isles. Decide whether or not you want the Eld to be represented by elves, or if you want an entirely new race-class to describe them. It is possible to do a low-effort conversion if you want, but this would really be cool with a full conversion. Especially if it included the material from the related titles.

You can get it here!

Winter's Daughter

Written by Gavin Norman, Frederick Münch, and Nicholas Montegriffo for Necrotic Gnome, this adventure already has a conversion to 5th Edition D&D by the talented Thilo Graf. It is written for BECMI, and hooks into the Dolmenwood setting.

Everything written for Dolmenwood should be converted to Dungeon Crawl Classics. Everything. And you should be able to get a big shiny hardcover printed on demand. New monsters, races, classes, patrons, the whole nine yards. There is not a single word written for this milieu that would not be awesome in a DCC game.

In this particular case, you have a dungeon to explore, another plane, strange fungi to consume, and a potential patron waiting to be written up. There is also an exploration of the fey that is really sort of awesome - Dolmenwood has, perhaps, the most flavorful version of that realm currently out there.

You can get it here!


If you are a DCC RPG judge looking for some cool stuff, I hope this points you in the right direction. If you publish one of these products, and are interested in talking about doing a conversion, drop me a line!

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Poorly-Drawn Sea-Horse

Yes, the creature's left arm came out pretty poorly, but this was only a doodle after all! 

The poorly-drawn sea-horse is a hippocephalic proto-humanoid creature inhabiting the epipelagic to mesopelagic zones of the world's seas. Although intelligent, and generally good-willed, they are not tool-users. Both their environment and a lack of fine manipulative appendages has limited them in this regard.

Poorly-drawn sea-horses are sometimes seen cavorting around ships in the same way that dolphins and porpoises do. This is a good omen, and all aboard the ship gain an effective +1 bonus to their Luck for the duration of the voyage.

These poorly-drawn creatures speak the language of horses. They understand the speech of whales, and sometimes (1 in 7 chance) the languages of sailors passing through their seas. They know many secrets of the currents and tides, and of the shallower parts of the ocean. They know where islands might be found, and they know where ships lay wrecked, if those wrecks are not too deep.

Fully 1 in 7 poorly-drawn sea-horse is an accomplished magician, and knows 1d5 of the following spells (determined randomly):

1. Animal summoning

2. Breathe life

3. Detect magic

4. Dispel magic

5. Forget

6. Invisibility

7. Lightning bolt

8. Water breathing

Poorly-drawn sea-horse magicians cast spells with a +1d8 bonus.

Poorly-drawn sea-horse: Init +1; Atk ram +2 melee (1d5) or bite +0 melee (1d6); AC 12; HD 2d8; MV 10' or swim 60’; Act 1d20; SP amphibious, lucky omen; SV Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +1; AL N.

Poorly-drawn sea-horse magician: Init +3; Atk ram +3 melee (1d5) or bite +1 melee (1d6) or spell; AC 14; HD 4d8; MV 10' or swim 60’; Act 2d20; SP amphibious, lucky omen, spellcasting; SV Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +5; AL N.

Sunday, 25 April 2021

Album Posts & Comic Posts

Last updated 25 April 2021

Posts Based on Albums/Album Covers

The Death Dealer


Canadian Content


The Fatal Feast - Mutant Crawl Classics!


Tales From the Thousand Lakes

No Safety in Dancing

The Death Cart

Happy Helloween!

Helloween Night

The Time of the Oath

Helloween: Straight Out of Hell

Helloween: Better Than Raw

Riot: Narita

Testimony of the Ancients

Journey to the Sandsea

Crimson Renegade

Home at Last

Mystery of Illusion

(At this count, 20 posts)

Posts Based on Comic Panels

The Giant Hand

Then a Huge Croco-Tiger Charges Up....

The Flaming Head Again!!

Aieeeeee! The teeth!

Good Heavens! It's Raining Tiny Dead Monsters!

You Look Perfectly Normal to Us!

Yes -- It's Bitner, Your Dead Partner

How the West was...Weird!


Giant Walking Eye...Relays What It Sees

Rex Finds the Beast's Wind-Pipe

Mammoth Mummy Emerges From Its Museum

Monster Moth Picks its Victims from Open Fields

Titan Electric Eel Steaks Out of Ocean Depths

(At this count, 14 posts)

Titan Electric Eel Streaks Out of Ocean Depths

Titan Electric Eel: Init +5; Atk slam +14 melee (2d30) or bite +12 melee (5d8 and swallow whole) or twin lightning bolts +16 ranged (4d24 plus melt and burn)AC 26; HD 20d20+40; MV 40’ or swim 100'; Act 3d20; SP immune to electricity, hull point damage, swallow whole, melt, burn, death throes; SV Fort +20, Ref +12, Will +14; AL C.

The titan electric eel is a horrible and, thankfully, extremely rare monster that haunts warm seas in the worlds of Dungeon Crawl Classics and Terra A.D. If using a naval combat system using hull points (or their equivalent), the titan electric eel does damage to ships (and similar) using hull points.

Should the creature strike a human-sized opponent with its bite attack, it automatically swallows them whole. This does 5d8 damage to the swallowed creature on the eel's initiative each round, but the interior of the creature is so vast that the swallowed victim's attacks are not otherwise impeded. This damage is wholly from digestive acids, so creatures immune to such attacks may pass through the titan electric eel uninjured in a matter of 4d6 days if they cannot cut themselves out sooner.

The twin lightning bolts that streak from the titan electric eel do massive damage, and cause metal to melt and flammable materials to burn. Living beings struck by these attacks must succeed in a DC 10 Reflex save to avoid catching fire. If they are wearing metal armor or have metal weapons, a DC 15 Reflex save is required to avoid having these melt into uselessness. A character wearing metal armor when it melts takes 1d12 damage for each point of AC bonus the armor provides. Chainmail, for instance, would cause 5d12 damage.

Finally, if a titan electric eel is actually slain, its death throes cause it to thrash about, creating enormous waves that have a chance of capsizing even the largest of ocean-going vessels. Every vessel in the area takes 2d20 hull points of damage, potentially being capsized or destroyed. If not using a hull point system, there is a 75% chance for the largest of vessels being destroyed, and the odds become worse from there, until a dinghy or canoe-like vessel has a 99% chance of destruction.

There is a good chance that even a high-level party will face a TPK if they face one of these malevolent creatures. Even if they somehow slay the titan electric eel, being wrecked at sea is almost certainly a death sentence. Perhaps there is an island or a coast nearby which they can reach....  After a while, there will certainly be sharks.

Thanks to James Mishler for providing the image. The Monster Museum was a common entry in the Gold Key comics of the past. They had a "Gold Key Kids Club," and part of it was a "Draw Your Own Monster" entry, which was only for the subscriber copies. They were also used multiple times in multiple titles, but this image (along with the Giant Walking Eye, the Mammoth Mummy, and the Monster Moth) appeared in The Lone Ranger #9 and probably other Gold Key issues.

If you use this creature in your game - or, really, any of the ones posted here - please drop me a line and let me know how it went! If you have any other interesting images that you would like stats supplied for - including work of your own! - please send them along. I will try to get to most of them, in any event!

Alternative Attack

With thanks to Aaron Talley, there are titan electric eels whose lightning bolts are also "lightening" bolts (see the spelling on the image). These reduce the weight of objects and creatures struck by 10 lbs. per point of damage done, possibly resulting in a negative weight. This effect lasts for 1d4 rounds. An object or creature with a negative weight "falls" 30' upwards each round. Once the effect wears off, normal gravity asserts itself and normal falling damage applies.

Saturday, 24 April 2021

Seeking These Titles

As you probably know, I also write the DCC Trove of Treasures

In a (probably vain) attempt to be complete, I need to obtain a few items. I would prefer to gain them physically, but pdf copies will work. If you know where I can obtain any of these, please pass it on!

Demon Cult Classics

Dismal Cubicle Crawl Obtained!

Escape From Catastrophe Island

Flammable Hospital

Hobbs & Friends Zine

Pamphlet Crawl Classics #1: The Black Wastes Obtained

Punjar 50,000

Monster Moth Picks its Victims from Open Fields

Monster Moth: Init +0; Atk snatch +7 melee (no damage) or bite +4 melee (2d8)AC 16; HD 4d16+8; MV 10’ or fly 60'; Act 1d20; SP snatch, drop; SV Fort +4, Ref +8, Will +4; AL C.

The monster moth is rare creature suitable for both DCC and MCC campaign milieus. It prefers open areas, such as fields and plains, where it is able to detect prey. Although not particularly stealthy, the monster moth can fly faster than most humanoids can run, which again makes open fields a suitable hunting ground for the creatures.

A monster moth attacks first with a snatch attack, which allows it to grab a creature and bear it aloft when it is next able to move. The victim can use an Action Die to attempt a DC 15 Strength or Agility check to break free, but once aloft normal falling damage applies. The monster moth then bears its victim to some remote location to devour it privately. If the victim fails a Luck check, the monster moth begins its feast by dropping the victim 1d6 x 10', with appropriate falling damage, both to take the fight out of the creature and to tenderize its prey.

The monster moth itself is an unholy amalgam of an enormous humanoid and a colossal moth, and it is both intelligent and malign. It might have been created by a mad scientist of the Ancients, mutation, a wizard's presumptuous experiments, or even a rain of tiny dead monsters.

Thanks to James Mishler, I learned that the Monster Museum was a common entry in the Gold Key comics of the past. They had a "Gold Key Kids Club," and part of it was a "Draw Your Own Monster" entry, which was only for the subscriber copies. They were also used multiple times in multiple titles, but this image (along with the Giant Walking Eye and the Mammoth Mummy) appeared in The Lone Ranger #9 and probably other Gold Key issues.

Discerning readers will note that I gave the monster moth only 4 HD, but made them d16s, with a +8 bonus. This gives the creature a range of hit points between 12 and 72, with an average of 40 hp. That works for the creature in the illustration, to my mind at least, without allowing it the massive critical effects that higher Hit Dice would grant. This is intentional, as a snatch attack could still result in a critical hit, and I didn't want that attack to result in a PC death. There are still some nasty critical effects that could occur, but nothing out of line with how I envisioned the creature. This blog post has more information on my rationale for creature design.

If you use this creature in your game - or, really, any of the ones posted here - please drop me a line and let me know how it went!

Friday, 23 April 2021

Mammoth Mummy Emerges From Its Museum

Thanks to James Mishler, I learned that the Monster Museum was a common entry in the Gold Key comics of the past. They had a "Gold Key Kids Club," and part of it was a "Draw Your Own Monster" entry, which was only for the subscriber copies. They were also used multiple times in multiple titles, but this image (along with the Giant Walking Eye) appeared in The Lone Ranger #9 and probably others.

So, that's all kind of exciting. Thank you, James, for tracking this down!

Here we have a Mammoth Mummy. Let's assume that this mummy is roughly the size of a hill giant and stat it up from there!

Mammoth Mummy : Init -1; Atk fist +8 melee
(1d8+8) or choke +8 melee (1d6/2d6/3d6/etc.) or hurled object +6 ranged (1d8+6, range 100’);
AC 14; HD 14d12+14; hp 99; MV 30’; Act 1d24; SP un-dead, infravision, crit on 20-24, damage reduction 7, vulnerable to fire; SV Fort +12, Ref +5, Will +16; AL C.

Most mummies are ponderous and slow, but the Mammoth Mummy is not. It stands at 12’ tall and weights 700 lbs., its shriveled flesh being lighter than that of a living creature of its size. Unlike normal mummies, the Mammoth Mummy does not carry the dreaded mummy rot. 

Indeed, left on its own, it will merely haunt the city streets at night, returning to its museum home during the day.

(In a DCC game, this will be a private museum, but in an MCC game, it may be a museum of the Ancients, and the city the Mammoth Mummy haunts may be no more than a ruin.)

The other special abilities are very much like those of standard mummies, save they are written on a larger scale! The Mammoth Mummy has been known to stop at taverns during its nightly haunts, and although it has no money, it is peaceful enough if served. It's name is Ptahhotep, and it knows many things about the world as it once was (in ancient or Ancient times, depending upon the game). 

The Mammoth Mummy can be used as a quest giver, a source of information that the PCs can use to Quest For It, a curiosity, an opponent, or even a rescuer coming out of the dark night and the fog. Visited in the museum, Ptahhotep is unmoving unless threatened or attacked.

Thursday, 22 April 2021

Rex Finds the Beast's Wind-Pipe

The Beast: Init +3; Atk bite +5 melee (1d6+2); AC 12; HD 2d6; MV 30’; Act 1d20; SP +5 stealth, swallow small creature whole; SV Fort +1, Ref +1, Will +1; AL N.

The so-called Beast is just a goofy-looking critter with a single tooth that is no longer than a short sword. It is intelligent, and not particularly malevolent. It is, instead, good at sneaking around settled areas looking for livestock to feed on. 

If it succeeds in an attack roll by more than 4 points, the Beast can make an opposed Strength check (vs. +2) to swallow a creature no larger than a halfling whole. Swallowed creatures have a -2d penalty to any rolls, and can only use small weapons already to hand or spells. Swallowed creatures take 1d6 damage each round. If the Beast is damaged while a creature is swallowed, the swallowed creature normally takes half damage.

Rex the Strangler: Init +1; Atk by weapon +4 melee (by weapon+2) or grasp +4 melee (choke); AC 11; HD 3d12+6; hp 25; MV 30’; Act 1d20; SP choke; SV Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +2; AL L.

Rex the Strangler will certainly use weapons, but his grasp attack is feared throughout the land. When Rex succeeds with a grasp attack, he grips his opponent's windpipe and begins to choke it to death. Each round of choking (including the first) requires a Fort save. When the first Fort save fails, the opponent is unconscious. When the third Fort save fails, the opponent dies. The initial DC is 10, but the save DC increases by +4 for every additional round Rex the Strangler maintains his grip.

Escaping Rex's mighty grip requires either an opposed Strength check (vs. +4) of a Mighty Deed result of 5+. Rex is not that strong overall, but his wrists and iron-muscled fingers are superhumanly powerful.

Luckily, Rex the Strangler practices his art only upon those creatures that he views - correctly or not - as real threats to his community!

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Giant Walking Eye...Relays What It Sees

Giant Walking Eye: Init +0; Atk bite +3 melee (2d6); AC 15; HD 4d12; MV 40’; Act 1d20; SP relay to body; SV Fort +4, Ref -2, Will +8; AL C.

The Giant Walking Eye roams the world of Terra A.D. (or DCC), as a gigantic red thing a good 8' tall. It relays all that it sees to the rest of its body, which hides in a nearby cave. It can transmit up to 5 miles, but usually stays much closer to the rest of it.

If the Giant Walking Eye sees something that interests it, it can summon the rest of its body. If it is attacked, its body is either automatically summoned or warned, depending upon the nature of the attacker. If the attacker is weak enough to do the Giant Walking Eye no lasting harm, it is often simply consumed.

Body of the Giant Walking Eye: Init -5; Atk grasp +8 melee (2d12 plus grab) or swat +9 melee (3d12) or kick +10 melee (4d12); AC 25; HD 10d20; MV 80’; Act 2d24; SP crit as giant on 20-24; SV Fort +14, Ref -8, Will +8; AL C.

If the eye itself is an 8' tall thing, imagine the size of the creature it belongs to. Even when you take into account that the actual "eye" portion is only about 4' in diameter, and that it is a great goggly-eyed thing, the monster itself is easily over 80' tall....and that eye is really large in proportion to its body! In fact, those stats are extremely generous to the PCs who might encounter this thing. It could easily be much, much worse.

Also, it has two eyes, and the other one is probably around here somewhere.

Also, there is probably also a giant wandering nose....with a disgusting special attack!

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Virtual Gary con Recap

Ethereal Gary Con XIII ran from March 25th to 28th, and - not surprisingly - it was a virtual event. The advantage of virtual events is that, in addition to people in North America, I got to play with individuals in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Serbia. The disadvantage is that I am not just rolling out of bed at the Timber Ridge Lodge to jump into games. I am using an area that I share with my family, and that means trying to balance home and play in a way that I don't have to worry about at a physical convention.

Of course, that is all just a long-winded way of saying that I miss physical conventions.

On Thursday, I got to play Stephen Newton's Shadow Under Devil's Reef hosted by Judge Julian Bernick of Spellburn fame. I have run games for Julian twice before, but this was the first time that I got to play an adventure he was running. With enormous luck, I left the adventure virtually unscathed!

Also on Thursday, I played Slowly the sloth in Dan Steeby's The Big Bop Back to Brooklyn, using the Bronx Beasts rules, and that was a load of fun. I can't really talk about the adventure, as it isn't out yet, but I can say that the rules and action really did catch the feel of an 80s Saturday Morning cartoon. The rules for various beasts trying to be the dominant member of the pack came into play several times, and they were definitely fun to use.

On Friday, I played in Michael Curtis' To Free the King of Elfland, a sequel to the most excellent The Queen of Elfland's Son. Again, as this adventure is unpublished (and still in the playtest stage), there is little I can say. One experience along the way was both charming and fantastic. Although Michael Curtis' vision of Elfland has many points of contact with Lord Dunsany's, it is even more a thing that bears his own stamp.

(If I had been at the Con physically, I would have tried to get 3+ games in from Thursday to Saturday, so you can see how being at a virtual Con is more limiting, for me at least, than being at a physical Con. I am really, really hoping to see people in meatspace next year!)

On Saturday, I switched hats from player to judge, and ran The Fence's Fortuitous Folly (DCC Lankhmar) for Martin Saunders, Paul Gyugyi, Adrian Hermann, and Mihailo Tešić. As became a theme for the convention, the players finished with time to space, so we also did a little carousing and a second expedition.

Later that day, I ran The Dread God Al-Khazadar for Eric Rollins, Adrian Hermann, Scott McKinley, and Geoff Knox. I used these special characters, so the party consisted of Prospero, Conan, Princess Ariel, and Bilbo Baggins. To start the game, I had to get the previous tenants of WA_1 to decamp, and it was not at all easy. This was the first time something like that had occurred at a virtual convention for me, and as it was repeated on Sunday, I think I will stick to my own Discord for virtual gaming hereafter. Of course, when I ran games at AlbaCon, either they had more courteous attendees or they monitored their servers better, because the same problems did not occur.

On Sunday, I ran Apotheosis in Green and Gold, an 8th level playtest, for Chris Zank, Randall Harris, Adrian Hermann, and Jason Menard. Again I had to remove the current inhabitants of the Discord room, but, unlike the first case, the previous inhabitants were polite about it. Because this was a playtest, I won't say much about it, but fun was had,

Overall, I enjoyed the convention, but I really miss physical cons. Whether your beverage of choice is a Spotted Cow, black coffee, Mountain Dew, or just water, it is nice to share that directly while the dice roll. It is also nice to have the Con be a thing unto itself, rather than feeling like you are interrupting the weekend for your family.

Thank you to all the awesome folks who played in my games, and those who ran the games I played in, or put up with me as a player in those games! DCC folks really are the best folks.

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Chess Enthusiast?

If you are a chess enthusiast, my niece has started making chessboards with pieces. Her site is Amber Resin.

If you are interested in chess, or just feel like checking it out, I encourage you to do so!

Monday, 15 March 2021

Spawn of Cyclops Con & Etc.

Spawn of Cyclops Con
was the last weekend in February, so I am a bit late in posting this. However, since I was set to record Episode 109 of Spellburn the Friday after, and it discussed the convention, I decided to wait until after the podcast episode dropped. In the meantime, I discovered this nice podcast, in which a few nice words are said about my blog post about creating magic items!

I only ran one adventure this convention, Journey to the Crypts of Orderly Death, a level 3 adventure originally written for a patron at Storm Crow Manor in Toronto, and which I am currently playtesting.

On Saturday, I ran an 8:00 am game for Steve Barnett, Jason Menard, David Persinger, William Walters, and Bryce Katzman. Journey opens with a "Michael Curtis Special" - an encounter in which a character may easily die. In fact, that is exactly what occurred. 

This was the first time I had run the adventure in over a year (damn you, Covid-19!), but the group was fantastic, I soon hit my stride, and some of what followed included little bits of improv that I used in every session that weekend, and which will surely make it into the final product! I am hesitant to say too much about the adventure before it is published, but I think the players enjoyed drinks at the Fallen Angel if nothing else!

The second group, playing at 6:00 pm managed to win the "Michael Curtis" opener without any losses at all! In fact, they managed to do so well, that it was a shame that a more powerful version of flaming hands than expected took out a character near the end. Still, the players did very well, and they surprised me in the end with a well-cast holy sanctuary! This group consisted of David Dubois, Mike Dawson, Matthew Shayefar, Joe Colistro, and Jack Derricourt.

The final group on Sunday included Pete Doroshenko, Jon Wilson, Hector Cruz, Aaron Kreader, and Julian Bernick. The game started at 1:00 pm. The entire opening encounter was bypassed by a well-cast holy sanctuary, which received some mention on the Spellburn episode. I wouldn't nerf a critical if the monsters rolled one, and I won't nerf good rolls from the players either. 

Since there was a preview version of The Inn in the Forest given away as Virtual Con Swag, I didn't create anything additional for this convention. The Vecnoid, however, does appear in Scientific Barbarian #2, and I have an article in Scientific Barbarian #3, which is currently kickstarting!

Overall, I am enjoying the plethora of virtual conventions this year, but I take up the kitchen table when I run games, so I limit how much time I actually get to spend playing. I miss rolling out of bed at a hotel, showering, and then rushing forth to roll dice in person!

Thursday, 4 March 2021

Down to the Final 8 Hours

The Inn in the Forest is down to its final 8 hours. The outpouring has been phenomenal, and I cannot thank you enough!

Saturday, 27 February 2021


It seems to be normal enough booze, but do you drink what McBones, the Skeletal Bartender, is offering you?

Roll 1d7, modified by Luck!

1 or Less: Rot Gut literally rots your gut. Take 1d3 damage immediately, plus 1d3 damage each turn that you fail a DC 15 Fort save. Once you have saved once, the danger has passed.

2: Crypt Tequila forces a DC 15 Fort save. Failure means you drop like a stone, helpless and apparently dead for 1d6 hours. Your comrades probably loot your body.

3: Ghost Rum is tasty stuff! Succeed in a DC 15 Will save or take another drink - and roll 1d7 + Luck modifier again!

4: Manna Gin! Good for a +1d10 bonus on your next spell check, if you make it during the next 1d3 hours. After that, the buzz fades. Yes, multiple drinks can stack (if you are lucky enough). Yes, any class can make a spell check, so this might even help a warrior. Yes, McBones sometimes tends bar in dungeons!

5: Bone Brandy puts a stiffener in your skeleton. Your bones cannot be broken (for example, as the result of a fall or a critical hit) for the next 1d5 days.

6: Burial Bourbon heals 1d5 damage. Better, no matter how badly you are injured over the next 24 hours, you always survive (recover the body checks are always successful without a roll...of either type; if no one rolls the body, you awaken groggy with 1 hp after 1 hour). Even if swallowed whole, you are not slain, but receive a "free pass"!

7 or Better: Super-Whisky not only brings on a warm feeling in your gut, but heals 2d12 damage and all diseases! 50% chance of it being a double-malt that also neutralizes poisons!

McBones, Skeletal Bartender: Init +0; Atk claw +0 ranged (1d4); AC 9; HD 4d6; hp 13; MV 30’; Act 1d20; SP death throes; SV Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +6; AL N.

Death Throes: It is uncertain that McBones can be truly slain. Yes, if he reaches 0 hp, his bones are shattered, but as soon as that happens the house goes dry. Even water skins within 500' are mysteriously emptied. At the same time, somewhere else, a skeleton calling itself McBones opens the bar somewhere in the multiverse. Is it the same McBones? A successor? No one knows. McBones doesn't care to discuss the matter, and he never holds a grudge.

How the West was...Weird!

Agamas Ringo, the Saturn Kid (alien gunslinger): Init +3; Atk claw +2 melee (1d4) or ray gun +4 ranged (1d12); AC 15; HD 3d10+6; hp 30; MV 30’; Act 1d20; SV Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +2; AL POD +3. Crit Die d8; Fumble Die d12.

Be glad the frame only shows Ringo's hand. The Kid is about as pretty as a skunk with the mange dressed up like a saloon girl, and smells near as good to boot!

That Ray Run gets 100 shots before it runs out of juice, and the judge should roll 1d100 to determine how many shots are left when the Saturn Kid is encountered.

Yes -- It's Bitner, Your Dead Partner

Brain-Bat: Init +4; Atk claw +0 melee or bite +2 melee (1d3) or psychic blast +3 ranged (1d6); AC 10; HD 1d7+1; MV fly 40’; Act 1d20; SP control corpse, psychic death throes; SV Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +15; AL C.

A Brain-Bat can slip onto a corpse and wear it like a zombie. Treat the corspe as a Zombie (DCC core rulebook, page 431), except that it attacks with a claw (1d4) or a weapon (by weapon type).

When a Brain-Bat is slain, its wail of psychic distress affects all living creatures within 100'. These must succeed in a DC 15 Will save or take 1d3 points of temporary damage to both Intelligence and Personality. On a natural "1", one of these points is permanent (player may choose which).

Brain-Bats are extremely intelligent. They can use corpses to speak when riding on one, and use both the living and the dead to further their schemes. 

You Look Perfectly Normal to Us!

Lobsterfication: A victim of this foul magical disease has their body slowly turn into that of a crustacean over the course of several days.

When a character first encounters a vector, they must succeed in a DC 15 Fort save to avoid infection. While victims of lobsterficiation carry the disease, other vectors might include curses, magical creatures, or even tainted food and drink (such as water consumed after a rain of tiny dead monsters).

If a character is infected, each day after the first they must roll a DC 15 Fort save. Failure indicates a bodily change, which occurs in the order below:

1. Body grows shell-like carapace. +4 to AC, armor cannot be worn.

2. Left hand becomes pincer-like claw. 1d8 damage. Can transmit lobsterfication.

3. Body becomes hunched. Permanent loss of 1d4 Agility and 10' of speed.

4. Right hand becomes pincer-like claw. 1d8 damage. Most spellcasting is now impossible. Can transmit lobsterfication.

5. Body grows extra pair of legs and victim can no longer stand upright. Head is unchanged. Lobsterfication is complete. 

The process of lobsterfication can be halted with a Lay on Hands check sufficient to do 3 HD or more of healing, but more powerful magic is needed to undo effects that have already taken place.

Average Lobsterman: Init -1; Atk claw +0 melee (1d8 + lobsterfication); AC 13; HD 1d4; MV 20’; Act 1d20; SP lobsetrfication (Fort DC 15 avoids); SV Fort +0, Ref -1, Will +0; AL N.

Friday, 26 February 2021

Good Heavens! It's Raining Tiny Dead Monsters!

It doesn't often happen, but every once in a while - maybe only once in a million years - there is a tiny dead monster in ever raindrop. These are larger-than-normal raindrops - each being a good 2 feet long - but the number of dead monsters dropping from the sky is beyond count.

Anyone caught in such a rain must succeed in a DC 10 Fort save each round or take 1d3 damage from the pummelling of tiny, water-shrouded corpses. The rain lasts 1d6 turns, so anyone not able to find shelter will surely perish. 

But the worst is yet to come!

Tiny dead monsters seep into the water supply over a 1d30 mile radius. Anyone (and anything) consuming water in this area over the next 1d7 days begins to change....

Roll 1d20, modified by Luck:

0 or Less:  The body shrivels, permanently losing 1d8 points of Strength, Agility, and Stamina.

1: The brain swells painfully, but unfortunately not helpfully. Take a permanent loss of 1d3 Intelligence and Personality.

2-3: Pull out your Mutant Crawl Classics book and roll up a Defect.

4-5: Pull out your Dungeon Crawl Classics book and roll up a Greater Corruption.

6-8: Pull out your Dungeon Crawl Classics book and roll up a Major Corruption.

9-12: Pull out your Dungeon Crawl Classics book and roll up a Minor Corruption.

13-16: You are miraculously unscathed!

17-18: Gain 1d3 points to a random attribute.

19: Pull out your Mutant Crawl Classics book and roll up a Physical Mutation.

20: Pull out your Mutant Crawl Classics book and roll up a Mental Mutation.

21: Pull out your Mutant Crawl Classics book and roll up a Physical Mutation.

22: Pull out your Mutant Crawl Classics book and roll up a Mega Mutation (equal chance of it being Physical or Mental).

23 or More: A paragon! All of your attributes are raised to 18, you gain a permanent 1d12 hit points, and you gain a permanent +2 bonus to all saves!

Minor creatures (insects, birds, etc.) undergo only minor cosmetic changes unless the judge rules otherwise. This is a great opportunity to introduce new (and sometimes tragic) monsters to a previously-explored area! Or bring some DCC monsters into MCC! Or MCC monsters into DCC! Go wild!

When creatures who have been changed by consuming the tiny dead monsters die, their bodies evaporate after one hour, eventually forming together into clouds that allow the next rain of tiny monsters to fall, millenia hence!

Aieeeeee! The Teeth!

Swarm of Teeth: Init +5; Atk swarming bite +0 melee (1d5); AC 14; HD 4d8; MV fly 30’; Act special; SP swarm (attacks all in a 20' x 20' area with 1d20, half damage from non-area attacks); SV Fort +0, Ref +5, Will +0; AL C.

The Flaming Head Again!!

Flaming Head: Init +2; Atk ray of flame +3 ranged (1d6 + fire); AC 18; HD 1d6; MV fly 60’; Act 1d20; SP flame (Ref DC 10 or catch fire, 1d6/round until save succeeds), immune to fire, mundane weapons that strike it are destroyed; SV Fort -2, Ref +8, Will +5; AL C.

Who can say what the flaming head wants? All that we know for sure is that Robert keeps missing it...perhaps Robert's head goes wandering at night?

Thursday, 25 February 2021

Then a Huge Croco-Tiger Charges Up....

Huge Croco-Tiger: Init +4; Atk claw +2 melee (1d4+3) or bite +5 melee (1d8+3); AC 15; HD 5d8+10; MV 40’ or swim 50'; Act 2d20; SP can use an Action Die to charge up to 80' (+4 bonus to bite attack and damage, -4 penalty to AC until next action); SV Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +1; AL N.

Monday, 22 February 2021

Gary Con Events I'm Hosting


Characters for Spawn of Cyclops Con will go out this Wednesday. In other news, here are the events I am running for Virtual Gary Con. I have the Thursday and Friday off as well, so with luck I will also get to play in some games!

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

The Inn in the Forest!

From the mind of Daniel J. Bishop comes a dangerous adventure that pits players against monsters, nature, and even time itself.

You spy a semi-ruined inn on the road ahead, promising shelter from the dark woods that close in around you. But the inn is not deserted. Haunted by phantoms of the past, creatures of the present, and a malignant entity with dark designs for the future, you slip between all three timelines. As these timelines merge and horrors from the past slip into the present, you find yourself confronted by a dark and wild future that you may not be able to avoid. Worse, a future you may have helped to create!

The Kickstarter has now officially launched!

What is The Inn in the Forest?

The Inn in the Forest is a DCC RPG long-format, time-traveling, horror adventure by Daniel J. Bishop heavily influenced by the darker side of the Brothers Grimm, the moody ghost tales of M.R. James and William Hope Hodgson, and the horror stories of Robert E. Howard.

Providing multiple nights of eerie entertainment as a stand-alone adventure or as a persistent part of a larger campaign, The Inn in the Forest is perfect for any medieval or modern DCC or OSR setting, including Weird Frontiers, Shudder Mountains, Crawlthulu, OSRIC, and Labyrinth Lord.

As a player, you take the part of an unwitting traveler seeking shelter for the night. Whether drawn this direction to search for the lost magic of Zauberer the Hexmaster or following up on rumors of the innkeeper’s dark practices, what you encounter is so much worse. Sometimes making it to dawn means success, other times it may just mean trading your companions’ souls to gain the power the Waldgeist grants!

As a Judge, you will be running a unique adventure, where time is not static. Phantom shifts allow you to tell the story of the inn during its heyday as well its current state. As the PCs interact with the haunting of the inn’s past, the very real threats of its present seek to destroy them. Rules on phantom shifts, as well as new monsters, items, artifacts, and rituals, are included to bring new dimensions of gameplay to your ttrpg.

Saturday, 13 February 2021

Mystery of Ilusion

The next album cover on my queue is Chastain's Mystery of Illusion. And, yes, that last link will take you to the full album. 

Although released in 1985, that cover looks like something from the 1970s Heavy Metal Magazine. Nude woman. Evil looking dude on an evil looking horse. Hazy background like something from a Ralph Bakshi film. You would have, at most, three statblocks of material here, and the woman looks more like victim than active entity.

Luckily, when I stat out these album covers, I also like to take the lyrics into account if I can. 

Herein, we have the tale of a sorceress queen, who seeks to kill the king and take his place. She sees a soldier of fortune, the black knight, as the tool she needs to accomplish this end, and sets him against the king.

In return, the queen becomes his consort. The knight, believing that she will be loyal to him, allows her to cloak him in illusion, freeing him to become the tyrant through which she acts. In the end, though, the soldier of fortune escapes, leaving the queen desolate in the ruins of her kingdom.

Or, at least, that is how I read it. And, given that reading, this album cover will not be a snapshot of just the image, but a progression from one state to another. Yes, that means that the characters will level up and change over the course of the album, and it means that judges looking to get the most use from this material will have to use it over the course of campaign years. 

I am not sure how you feel about that, but it pleases me!

Thursday, 11 February 2021

Home at Last

This album cover clearly references The Odyssey - but a version of The Odyssey that has gone severely wrong. As a result, the image would fit pretty well into a Pax Lexque campaign, which is how I am going to frame this. It should be fairly easy for a judge to modify the history to fit their own campaign!

Hellena in Pax Lexque is an elven nation, so our un-dead argonauts will come from Thracia. According the the Pax Lexque Campaign Guide

"Thracia and Macedonia had been at each others’ throats for centuries before they were absorbed by the Roman Empire. After that, they were perpetually Rome’s problem children, frequently needing to be brought to heel. It was no surprise that they both tried to get the upper hand by the use of magic in the wake of the War of Fire. As the years marched on, both kingdoms pushed the envelope with magical research, actively trying to outpace each other in the magical arms race. From time to time, the tension would break out into cross­border skirmishes, which they would try to resolve before Rome would yank the leash. The tension was reaching a boiling point when the Wars of Darkness began."

History and Legend

Long before the War of Fire, Odysseus fought in the siege of Troy, a city now ruined and lost to the sands of time (unless the judge arranges for it to be found - this might be a good opportunity to rework B4: The Lost City or its OAR version). After over a decade of strife, Odysseus and his crew sailed homeward, toward the city of Enez.

Odysseus had many adventures on his journey home, after offending the sea-goddess Procella by dallying with her daughter, the cyclops-nymph Circulla, before blinding her and escaping. In the defense of Odysseus, it is said that Circulla caused men to take the form of animals, and in that form she devoured them.

Judges wishing to expand on these adventures should consider riffing off of Homer's original work, combining and reworking the material to match the aesthetic of whatever campaign milieu they are using. The final adventure of Odysseus and his crew, in life, is known - sailing between the many-armed sea monster Charybdis and six-headed Scylla, the red-painted war galley entered a portal to the domain of Mordines, god of death, where it was said to sail forever on blood-dark seas.

So much for history and legend. Centuries passed, and scholars began to doubt the very existence of Odysseus, of Troy, or even of the elven Gilmar, who had chronicled Odysseus' adventures until thrown from the vessel on that final, fateful voyage. 

But these things actually did happen. Death itself kept Odysseus and his crew hostage, and the perils they faced in death were greater even than those they had overcome in life. Odysseus was famed for his prowess, his cleverness, and his eloquence. Although it took centuries to do, he was able to outwit Mordines himself, deliver to that dread god something that bought back access to the sunlit realms, and sailed again upon the Pisconian Sea for Enez.

Odysseus, Un-dead Lord of Enez: Init +5; Atk claw +5 melee (1d3+3) or short sword +7 melee (1d6+3) or long bow +5 ranged (1d6+3); AC 15; HD 10d12; hp 66; MV 30’; Act 2d20; SP un-dead, half damage from piercing and slashing weapons, immune to cold, regenerate 3/round until slain, d7 Deed Die; SV Fort +5, Ref +3, Will +7; AL L.

Mighty Odysseus knows nothing of Rome when he first reaches Enez, and contests the mastery of others now as he did in life. He has become no less clever for being un-dead, and continues to use his wits to outmaneuver his foes. The coalition he seeks to build in Thracia upon his return may be directed at Macedonia initially, but it will not take long for Odysseus to deem Rome the greater threat. Eventually, Rome will have to send the Hand of the Law to deal with him.

Odysseus regenerates 3 hit points each round, so long as he has even one hit point remaining. He can perform Mighty Deeds with a d7 Deed Die, but this does not add to either his attack rolls or damage. Odysseus has a long bow that can only be strung or drawn by creatures with a 18 or better Strength, but it increases damage by +3.

Skeleton Crew: Init +2; Atk claw +2 melee (1d3+1) or short sword +3 melee (1d6+1) or spear +3 melee (1d8+1); AC 13; HD 2d12; MV 30’; Act 1d20; SP un-dead, half damage from piercing and slashing weapons, immune to cold, regenerate 1/round until slain, absolute loyalty; SV Fort +2, Ref +1, Will +5; AL L.

Other skeletons may be "brittle bones held together by eldritch energies", but the skeletal crew that follows Odysseus are more hardy. By the end of his voyage, 72 of these creatures passed from the dark seas in the land of Mordines. None of them began the voyage with him, but where picked from among the shades on islands beyond the knowledge of the living. None can be turned from Odysseus; all owe him absolute loyalty.

Gilmar's Ghost: Init +2; Atk incorporeal touch +2 melee (1d4 XP); AC 10; HD 2d12; hp 9; MV fly 40’; Act 1d20; SP un-dead traits, immune to non-magical weapons, bless weapon; SV Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +6; AL C.

There have been those who have claimed to see the ghost of an ancient elf haunting the shores of Thracia near to Enez. These stories go back for centuries. Indeed, such a spirit does exist, all that remains of the elf Gilmar, who chronicled the adventures of Odysseus in life and now seeks to prevent his return and ascendency in death. As such, Gilmar can only be put to rest by the destruction of Odysseus. The ghost may thus be a boon to those who would act as agents of Rome, or a bane to others who might wish to see Thracia rise.

The ghost can fade into the ether at will, and will usually avoid combat. Its touch, however, bypasses all armor, and permanently drains living victims of 1d4 experience points. In the case of non-classed NPCs, the judge should assume that the target has 4 XP per Hit Die, and when XP reaches 0, the target dies.

For those characters who seek the downfall of Odysseus, Gilmar's ghost may bless their weapon, a condition that lasts for seven days and seven nights. A weapon blessed by Gilmar causes damage that Odysseus and his crew cannot regenerate. As they cannot heal naturally, this damage is permanent unless magically removed.

You can listen to/watch the music video for Home at Last here.

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

The Giant Hand

The Giant Hand: Init +0; Atk flick +3 melee (1d6 plus toss) or grab +2 melee (1d8+2 plus constrict); AC 12; HD 4d8+8; MV 30’; Act 1d20; SP toss, constrict; SV Fort +6, Ref +2, Will +0; AL C.

The Giant Hand can flick an opponent, and unless the opponent succeeds in a Reflex save (DC equal to attack roll), they are tossed 5' away from the Hand per point of damage taken. Falling damage applies to tossed opponents on the basis of 1d6 per full 10' tossed (Reflex save for half, DC 10 + 5' increment tossed). The Hand cannot toss creatures larger than an ogre.

It can also attempt to grab an opponent. A grabbed opponent takes automatic damage each round, until it escapes with a DC 20 Strength check. If the Hand has an opponent in its grasp, it can make no other attacks and can only move 5' per round (using its little finger) on a 1 in 3 chance.

Monday, 8 February 2021

Crimson Renegade

In honor of Weird Frontiers, I have selected Redwest's Crimson Renegade as the next album cover to give the "Raven Crowking DCC" treatment to.

In this case, we have the titular gunman, those goggles, and that machine pistol to stat out. Also, why has the sky turned completely red? I am sure we can come up with some sort of half-baked but fun answer!

The Crimson Renegade

A legend along the Weird Frontiers of the West, the Crimson Renegade is said to be a fallen angel, a demon from the dark side of Paradise, walking the world in mortal form. Some say that the Crimson Renegade, sickened by the horrors of the Seven Days of Night, tried to leave the Path of the Damned and walk the Path of the Righteous. 

How successful that change of paths has been depends greatly upon who you ask. Violence follows the Crimson Renegade wherever he goes. Behind his angelic features is a soul drenched in whiskey, gambling, the pleasures of the flesh, and a river of spilled blood. If your hombres meet him, prepare for Hell itself to join in the dance.

The Crimson Renegade: Init +7; Atk bowie knife +4 melee (1d6) or machine pistol +6 ranged (1d8); AC 19; HD 5d10+10; hp 55; MV 30’; Act 1d20; SP immune to fear/madness, healing, dead speak, side-step, death throes; SV Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +4; AL POD +2. Crit Die d12; Fumble Die d8.

The Crimson Renegade is immune to all fear and madness effects, and never needs to make a Grit Check. 

He can heal others with a touch, but only by taking their wounds upon himself. Each round he can heal 1d8 damage to a single living creature, but then takes that damage (and identical wounds) upon himself. He can cure poisons, diseases, broken bones, and paralysis by remaining in contact for a longer period, but likewise takes those conditions on himself by doing so.

The Crimson Renegade can speak to the dead as can a Calavera.

He can also side-step in a manner similar to that of a Sin Eater but at much higher cost. Instead of Personality damage, attempting to enter the spirit world causes the Crimson Renegade to weep blood. The Crimson Renegade makes his attempt with a +8 bonus to his d20, but takes damage equal to the total of the roll, whether it succeeds or not.

When the Crimson Renegade dies, his death throes depend upon what he was doing at the time. Either a shaft of light pierces the clouds, giving him a look of peace as he fades away, or the earth swallows him to the sounds of malicious laughter and cries of pain coming up from below. The judge should decide depending upon circumstances, or just determine randomly. What do you believe in more, Redemption or Punishment?

McTinker's Goggles

Let's say you catch the Crimson Renegade in a talkative mood, and you ask him where he got those fancy spectacles from. He might just tell you about a Bedlamite called McTinker. Or he might tell you some other tall tale because, truth be told, McTinker sounds like a lie, doesn't it?

Either way, the wearer of the Goggles can stare at the sun unblinking, or count the spots on a bluebottle's arse across a smoky saloon. By which I mean to say, nothing stays hidden from the wearer  of these Goggles and trying to hide will do you little good. If you're lucky, they might even stick around when the Renegade dies, instead of being caught up in his death throes.

The Machine Pistol

This beauty isn't even magical, just a thing stuck in this world way before its time. The machine pistol takes .36 ammo with a 20 shot load and a 6 shot rate of fire. It does 1d8 damage with a range of 15/50/80. There is a -1d penalty to concealment, and the weapon is beyond price. Although you can't fan the hammer with this weapon, for some reason the Crimson Renegade likes to pretend that you can. I mean, look at him in that picture; that ain't no single-action weapon!

The machine pistol takes 5 full rounds to reload. If damaged, a Bedlamite might be able to repair it. Hell, a Bedlamite might even be able to reproduce it, or something near enough, but the judge should set the cost and complexity DC high.

The Red Sky

There's an old rhyme that says

Red sky at night, sailors delight
Red sky in morning, sailors take warning

A little less well known is the third line

Red sky at noon, Death coming soon

When the sky looks like it is awash with blood, even under the noonday sun, that is a sure sign that something unnatural is walking the earth. The judge can feel free to introduce any adventure they want, and maybe this is the time for something especially wicked.

Saddle up.

You can listen to the full album here.

Sunday, 7 February 2021

Journey to the Sandsea

In remote places, as well as in the dark bowels of great cities, the Lungsmen ply their trade in illicit substances, including the Covenant Weed whose powerful fumes transcend space and time. Those who partake overmuch of the Covenant Weed find themselves in the deep sandscape of the Sandsea - an alternate plane where twin moons share the sky with unending sunlight. The desert stretches on forever, cut by oases and fertile river-washed plains whose waters come from some unknown birthplace and to some unknown end.

Crossing the Sandsea forever are the Creedsmen of the Covenant, carrying tightly-bound bundles of the Covenant Weed across the desert sands, making forever for the Holy City where they will find smoke-induced rest.

Lungsmen: Init +4; Atk breath drug powder or smoke (special); AC 14; HD 2d6; MV 40’ or climb 20'; Act 1d20; SP drugs, immunity to drugs, death throes; SV Fort +4, Ref +4, Will +4; AL N.

This stuff isn't going to sell itself. 

The Lungsmen may look human - if a bit thin and unkempt - but they are not. They creep into our worlds from the Sandsea, bringing with them the Covenant Weed and other drugs. If the judge has access to Narcosa, she may wish to convert some of the illicit substances described therein, and allow the Lungmen to travel to and from that plane as well.

The Lungmen spread the Covenant Weed as part of their religion. Although they demand payment for their wares, this is only because they have learned that humans (and their ilk) are less suspicious of those pleasures which are dearly bought.

If forced into combat, a Lungsman can throw or breath drug powders or smokes in an attempt to confound its enemies. When a Lungsman uses this ability, roll 1d7 and consult the following table:

1:    The Lungsman tosses a handful of black powder at a single target within 10'. Target must succeed in a DC 15 Fort save or lapse into pleasant unconsciousness for 1d3 turns.

2:    The Lunsman breathes out a pale green smoke in a 15' radius centered on the Lungsman. All within the cloud must succeed in a DC 10 Will save or be numbed and unable to act for the next 1d3 rounds.

3:    The Lungsman throws a pale yellow powder in the air, affecting up to three adjacent targets within 10'. Targets experience indescribably ecstasy for the next 1d6 minutes, and make all rolls at a -3d shift on the dice chain during this time. There is no save.

4:    The Lungsman blows a line of thick grey smoke at a single target within 30'. Target must succeed on a DC 15 Will save or take a -1d shift on the dice chain for all rolls until they have spent at least three rounds eating.

5:    The Lungsman tosses an amber-and-orange colored power onto a target within 5'. Target must succeed in a DC 20 Fort save or be effectively blinded by hallucinations of strobing psychedelic colors lasting 1d30 minutes.

6:     The Lungsman breaths a cone of mauve-hued smoke 15' long with a 10' base. All caught within it must make a DC 10 Will save or be so overcome with peaceful goodwill that they cannot make an effective attack for the next 1d5 minutes.

7:    The Lungsman throws an emerald powder at one target within 10'. Target must succeed in a DC 15 Fort save or take 1d5 points of Strength, Agility, and Stamina damage. This damage is recovered at 1 point per minute, and cannot reduce a character to 0 in any ability score.

A Lungsman itself is effectively immune to all drugs. If slain, there is a strong odor of potent smoke as the creature passes out of existence, disappearing entirely. Roll 1d7 on the table above; all targets within 30' are affected.

Note that Lungsmen do not harm or molest those who fall to their drug-induced stupors. They are not violent as a rule.

Covenant Weed

The Lungsmen usually charge 5 gp per dose of this substance, although it is possible to acquire cheaper doses cut with impurities that may remove its potency or even endanger the user. Covenant Weed is smoked, requiring about 5 minutes to fully partake of a dose. It has the following properties:

  • Each dose can be used to add +5 to a single spell check made within the next turn.
  • Each dose adds 2 temporary hit points to the partaker; all damage comes from these hit points first, which fade after 1d3 x 10 minutes if not used.
  • Each dose cause 1d3 temporary Agility damage, which recovers at the rate of 1 point per turn.
  • Each dose requires a DC 5 Fort save to avoid the permanent loss of 1 hp.
  • Each dose requires a DC 10 Will save to avoid a permanent -2 penalty to spell checks.
  • Each dose gives a cumulative 2% chance of falling into a dream in which the character's spirit is transported to the Sandsea.

The Sandsea

There is endless sand everywhere. The sun is hot. Characters not equipped for the desert take 1d3 damage from exposure each hour. Wandering or standing still, it takes a full hour before a Creedsman caravan finds the character.

The judge may rule that other creatures - giant scorpions, serpents, or giant sandworms - might pose threats when characters are not travelling with the Creedsmen.

Creedsmen: Init +2; Atk hookah pipe +0 melee (1d4); AC 12; HD 1d8; MV 30’; Act 1d20; SP immune to drugs and the Sandsea, death throes; SV Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +2; AL N.

The Creedsmen are humanoids whose features are never seen. Their creaky rasping voices suggest that they are some form of insectkind or arachnids, but if slain they simply fade away, with only their robes and their hookahs remaining. They spend their time marching toward the Holy City, refreshing their hookahs, repacking their beasts, and preaching the pleasures of the Covenant Weed and the glories of the Holy City.

Each hour spent in the company of the Creedsmen caravan grants a wizard or elf a +1 bonus when attempting to learn a new spell within the next 30 days.

Beasts of the Caravan: Init +0; Atk butt +4 melee (1d4+2) or kick +0 melee (1d5+2); AC 12; HD 3d8; MV 40’; Act 1d20; SP immune to the Sandsea; SV Fort +5, Ref +1, Will +1; AL N.

There may be some strange circumstance that brings these beasts into the deserts of the mundane world, or where creatures from the Sandsea attack a caravan - but such circumstances would be unusual indeed. It should be noted that these creatures have human intelligence and speech, and wax poetic of their service to the Creedsmen and the Green Herbsmen (who- or whatever they might be). They too dream of the Holy City, where, according to the Beasts, night will finally fall and they can rest.

Ending the Dream

Time continues, hour after hour, in the Sandsea, and little changes. Each hour, the damage from the Sandsea continues unabated. The Creedsmen of the Covenant do not tire, nor do their beasts, but every three hours the damage taken by PCs travelling with them (unless they have protection from bowing sand, heat, and dehydration) increases the damage per hour by another die. PCs traveling with the caravan for more than 6 hours must make a Fort save (DC 10 +2 per additional hour) to keep up. Those left adrift on the sands may become prey for other creatures, at the judge's discretion.  Usually, the drugged travelers only awaken when their hit points reach 0, or they would otherwise die within the Sandsea. The judge may also allow the trip to end when it becomes boring for the participants invovled.

The judge may also allow the PCs to meet other strange creatures from other worlds travelling with a caravan before the PCs awake, although these events should not occur on more than a 1 in 7 chance. The Sandsea is vast, the caravans many, and the visitors at any given moment are few.

Visitors to the Sandsea slumber in a drug-induced haze within their own worlds. During this time, their bodies are untenanted and vulnerable. The dream lasts a little longer than an hour in the mundane world, no matter how long the dreamer's spirit spent in the Sandsea.

When a traveler to the Sandsea awakens, they have the benefits of having slept a full night - including restoration of lost spells, healing, and Luck (if applicable). Clerics find their disapproval ratings reset. Any damage taken within the Sandsea 

However, not all voyagers survive the experience. The dreamer must succeed in a Will save (DC 2, increased by a cumulative +2 for each subsequent trip to the Sandsea). Failure means that the slumberer never arises. Their body dies and, if the Lungsmen are to be believed, their souls complete the journey to the Holy City where they may rest in smoke-shrouded temples.