Monday, May 30, 2011

DM Tool Page

I'm putting this page together primarily for my own use.  I want to have some of my favorite links in one spot for ready reference during games.  It may be of some use to other folks out there.

Random Names  these are particularly suited to my style of game.  YMMV.

-- Personality
-- Crowds
-- Adventurer 1-sentence
-- Detailed description
-- Cussing
-- Villains

Dave's Mapper -- geomorph based awesomeness.
Dizzy Dragon -- uses geomorphs and stocks the dungeon

-- Mystical and Magical Places
-- Vancian Spell Names
-- Random Magical Effect -- Wand of Wonder on STEROIDS!
-- Potions
-- Unique Items
-- Unique Weapons
-- Swords
-- Quest Items

Random Treasure grab a PDF and GO!

Chaotic Shiny -- too much good stuff to mention
-- Cities
-- Traps
Serendipity -- lots more
Seventh Sanctum -- even more!
-- Tavern Names
-- Books -- lots of detailed information to make the book come alive!
All of Chris Pound's stuff here
Age of Fable -- lots of stuff!!
-- Age of Fable Labyrinth Lord Generators

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Twice Twice Stone

Hidden somewhere in the wilderness (or perhaps in a dark corner of a dungeon) is this strange carved stone.  It radiates a strong alteration magic if detected.

Some say that the ancient ones used devices such as this to activate their many mystical concoctions.  Whether that is true, none can tell.  It's use is somewhat limited now.

Any liquid poured onto its topmost basin will trickle down through the lower basins.  The volume of liquid will be quadrupled, but there will be a 10% chance that the efficacy of the potion will be affected in some way.

Pouring liquid into the middle-most basin will cause the volume to simply double.  A 5% chance that the potion will be altered exists.

Pouring the liquid into either of the two lowest basins has no magical effect.

Random Changes to Potions (d6)
  1. the magic of the potion is reversed.
  2. the magic of the potion is canceled.
  3. the magic of the potion is changed into something exceedingly strange (think Wand of Wonder)
  4. the magic of the potion is tweaked in an odd way (potion of flying turns drinker into bird; potion of invulnerability covers drinker with thick iron scales; etc.)
  5. the potion is changed randomly into another type of potion.
  6. the duration of the potion is likewise doubled or quadrupled.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Type I, II and III Demons are TERRIBLE - Part II

Type II-G Demons (Hezrou) - GREATER

Frequency: Common
No. Appearing: 1
Armor Class: -2
Move: 6"//12" (that's swimming)
HD: 9 -- (maximum 72 HPs)
% In Lair: 10%
Treasure Type: C
No. of Attacks: 3
D/ATT: 1-10/1-10/4-16
Special Attacks: See Below
Special Defenses: See Below
Magic Resistance: 55%
Intelligence: Low
Alignment: CE 
Size: L (7' tall)

Hezrou look like a gross toad with arms in place of forelegs. Greater Hezrou look very much like the normal sort, but their skin may be a bit shinier and lustrous than typical. Some Greater Hezrou have skin of unusual colors (purples and bright green) where typical Hezrou are of dull colors. They may be struck by normal weapons. Their Darkness is of the 15' radius variety. These additional abilities may be performed, one at a time, at will: Cause Fear (as the wand), levitate (as 8th level MU), detect invisible objects, telekinese (5000 gpw or 500#), gate in another Type II demon (see below).

Each round, roll 1d6 and consider the following additional attack modes:
On a roll of 1, the hezrou attempts a Tongue Lash. It attacks a single target within 10' for 2-12 points of damage if it hits.

On a roll of 1-4, the hezrou utters a Croak of Doom. All within earshot save or take a   -5 to their next saving throw.

On a roll of 3-6, the hezrou will attempt a Froggy Piledriver. The hezrou rolls to attack up to 3 adjacent melee attackers. Roll to hit each one in turn at +2. Each target hit takes 1d10 damage, moved back 5-20' and the hezrou follows up.

Opening a Gate

When a Hezrou attempts to gate in another of its kind, roll 2d6. If any die comes up a 1 or 2, a single Hezrou of a normal sort will appear. If both dice are 2's, a Greater Hezrou will appear.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Type I, II and III Demons are TERRIBLE

So, this past week, the Heroes of Ravenport discovered that the demons they accidentally loosed in the Bandit Hideout/Temple to Jubilex had tracked them to the city.

They marked their targets with a rather large area of vile gore and ichor surrounding the local inn that the PCs use as their primary residence.

In the morning, this disgusting sight was discovered by the local constabulary and the PCs were summoned to the Lord Mayor's office.

Once there, the Lord Mayor, his advisors and the PC representatives (paladin and elf) visited the Oracle of the Well.

At any rate, the Oracle spilled the beans that the PCs had loosed the demons and the PCs needed to go clean this up or the archmage Kerr would "execute" his plan to deal with the offending citizens.

The PCs managed to finagle a little help from the Wizard's Guild in the form of some +1 magical weapons and two scrolls of Protection from Demons.

Okay. I told you all that so that I could tell you this.

The players were generally pretty nervous about facing these demons. They were worried that the demons would outclass them and that they'd be killed. That was not the case at all. I was hoping that the battle would be epic and that at least one PC or NPC would meet their end in the battle with the demons.


These are 8, 9 and 10 HD monsters and the mostly 4th and 5th level adventurers took them out without much peril to themselves. Ugh.

So, I've decided that the Type I, II, and III demons in the MM are "lesser" varieties of these demons. There are "greater" versions of these three demons (and possibly others) and I will detail them in this post and in others to follow.

Here goes nothing!


These are just some of my notes relating to some of the "overarching" powers/capabilities/restrictions placed upon demons.
  • A thaumaturgic circle will keep out demons of types I-V. Alright. I'll need to figure out who can scribe these things, how long it takes and what is required. That's probably another post... (Note to self - see "Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth" and/or Dragon #56, p.18.)
  • Type I - III demons are hit by non-magical weapons. I actually think this is OK.
  • All demons have these abilities:
  • Infravision. Good.
  • Darkness (r. varies). OK. Kinda lame, but OK.
  • Teleport (without error). Well, I guess these guys don't ever need to walk. Good to know...
  • Gate (specifics vary). Also, OK. I have some ideas about how to make this better though...
In short, I think that demons should probably have MORE spell-like powers. This seems like kind of a small list. I'll probably pull some stuff out of the 1st Ed. DMG Appendix D.
  • Demons are affected by the listed attack forms as noted below:
  • acid - full damage. This is OK.
  • cold - half. Whaaa? This should be FULL
  • electricity - half. Fine.
  • fire - half. Whaaa? How about NONE?
  • gas (poisonous) - half. NONE. Seriously. How does poison affect things that probably don't even have a biology? Do they even breathe? If so, why?
  • iron weapons - full. Fine.
  • magic missile - full. Totally cool with this.
  • poison - full. This has to be NONE. See "gas" above.
  • silver weapon - none (unless affected by non-magical weapons). This is fine.

OK, here's a place where I really biffed the encounter. Half the magic shouldn't have worked at all. Maybe my take on this table is based on my own preconceived notions of what a demon is, but heck, this is my blog, right?

Type I-G Demon (Vrock) - GREATER

Lesser and greater Vrock all pretty much look the same. The greater versions might be a bit taller or their feathers might be shinier, but I don't see them as being immediately recognizable as the "greater" version.

Frequency: Common
No. Appearing: 1
Armor Class: 0
Move: 12"/18"
Hit Dice: 8 -- maximum (64 HPs)
% in Lair: 5%
Treasure Type: B
No. of Attacks: 5
D/ATT: 1-8/1-8/1-10/1-10/2-20 -- these needed to be beefed up.
Special Attacks: See below
Special Defenses: See below
Magic Resistance: 50%
Intelligence: Low
Align: CE -- duh
Size: L - 8-1/2' tall (see picture below... Whaaa?)

Vrock are vulture-like demons. They can be hit by normal weapons. Darkness caused by them is of the 10' radius sort. In addition, they can do one of the following, one at a time, at will: Detect invisible objects, telekinese (4000 gpw = 400#), gate another Type I demon (Opening A Gate below).

Greater Vrock have superior hearing and vision. They cannot be surprised and they can see their prey at great distances.

Each round, roll 1d6 and consider the following additional attack modes:
On a roll of 1, they may expectorate Venomous Spittle. This attack is against a single target within 30'. It hits automatically. The target must save vs. poison or be paralyzed for 2d6 rounds.

On a roll of 1-4, they can attack with a Wing Buffet for 2d6 damage. They make this attack against all opponents in melee combat. Roll to attack each in turn.

On a roll of 3-6, they can attack with a Death Screech for 5d6 damage. This screech affects all targets in a 60' cone in front of the Vrock. Targets who are affected by sonic attacks may save for half damage. Wearing a full helm adds +2 to the save attempt.

Vrock are fond of human flesh, shiny gems and precious metals, but they are too stupid to accept bribes.

Opening A Gate:

When a Vrock attempts to Gate in another of its kind, roll 2d6. If a "1" is rolled on either die, a single "lesser" Vrock is gated in. If "double 1's" is rolled, a single "greater" Vrock appears.

Seriously?  Unless that other guy is a leprechaun, this demon isn't 8-1/2 feet tall...  
Talk about scale creep...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ode to Jeff and Telecanter

Jeff Rients posted a pic of this guy over at his blog.  I saw it and I couldn't resist giving it the Telecanter treatment, so here he is.

Special thanks to both of those fine gentlemen for being such inspirations to us all!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Filling Those Hexes

ChicagoWiz has a great post over at his blog where he references my Wilderness Alphabet and the excellent Kellri's Classic Dungeon Designer Netbook #4.

Furthermore, in the comments, Bob from Back to the Keep references a spreadsheet that he has made that automatically rolls d100 for each hex.

Being unable to resist tinkering, I took ChicagoWiz's table and I merged it with Bob's spreadsheet.  I used a vlookup to make the results of the d100 roll populate in the hex.

Here's a screenshot:

You can download the spreadsheet for OpenOffice here.  I could not get it to work in Excel and I don't know why.  Perhaps later today I'll take another crack at it.  If you know how to fix it, let me know.

Thanks a bunch to ChicagoWiz and to Bob for putting the table and the spreadsheet out there.  I just mashed them together.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Water Bottle Cap Monster Tokens (DIY Miniatures)

My wife is drinking a lot of bottled water.  Setting aside whether this is a good idea (we do recycle all the bottles) I took a hard look at all those plastic caps and I had an idea.  I asked her to save them all for me and I dumped them in a zipper bag.

Well, it turns out that the caps are just about 1" in diameter.  So, I figured I could use them as "do it yourself" tokens.  I have a 1" diameter hole punch and a lot of old Magic cards to sacrifice...

I punched a small hole through the cap with a nail so that I could more easily pop the card out of the cap if I wanted to change the image.  No sense gluing them in or chucking them if an NPC or monster dies...

Here's the final results: pop the pics in and out with ease.  They have enough "heft" that they don't slide around too much on the board.  


Monday, May 2, 2011

Zak's Collapsible Encounter Method - Spreadsheet V2

Once again, Zak had a really cool idea using a line graph.

I created a first version of this spreadsheet.

Then, this morning, I thought, "heck, computers are good at rolling numbers -- why not let them do the whole thing?"

I reformatted the spreadsheet and put in a random d10 and some hlookups.  You fill out the Inputs table however you'd like and the Outputs table randomly fills with the data according to the random rolls.

Control-R recalculates the spreadsheet.

Here's a link if you want to get yourself a copy.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Zak's Untested Collapsible Encounter Method -- AS A SPREADSHEET!

Zak posted this really cool idea over at his blog.  In short, you create four random tables of 2dN values and you build a line chart that has a sliding modifier from -N to N.   The four tables are: Monsters, Traps, Locks and Treasures.  You put the most dangerous things at the highest numbers on the chart.

As the adventurers get deeper into the dungeon, you roll dN and you add the appropriate modifier for the distance from the entrance.

I put in a formula (untested) that randomizes the modifier from -10+(half the depth) to (half the depth).  So, if you were 6 rooms in, it would randomize a modifier from -7 to 3.  I just thought this might be easier than making up a line graph for each dungeon.

I could probably put in cells to tweak the formula....  That'll be V.2.   :)

Anyway, you make up the four charts and you roll a d10 and add the modifier.  You can hit CTRL-R to recalculate the variables.

Here's a screenshot.

Here's a link to the GoogleDoc.  Save a copy and try it out.  Thanks again Zak!