Wednesday 29 February 2012

Adventure Time!

This coming Sunday there will be rather hastily organised online 'convention' for ConstantCon and Flailsnails games. I will be running 'Dinner with the Ito', a Tekumel game using the Advanced EPT rules I have been struggling with for weeks. I warn you the doc is long, but most of that is spell descriptions.

They are not finished, I doubt they ever will be, but there is enough done to run a one off game or two and once this convention is out of the way I will work on a conversion doc to enable Flailsnails D&D characters to come and get sozzled and/or killed in Jakalla.

In the next day or two I will be posting a character sheet and some pregen characters for the game on Sunday.

'Dinner with the Ito' will run from 19.00 to 21.00 GMT on Sunday 4th March. Anyone who wants to have a go, contact me at

Friday 24 February 2012

Party Time in Jakalla

The following table is cribbed from similar efforts by Jeff Rients and Zak Smith.  It forms part of a document which rips off, in the most respectful possible way, Orgies Inc by Jon Pickens and was also inspired by the Downtime chapter of Bushido by Bob Charette and Paul Hume, which you will find at Jakallan Nights.

It references an as yet unfinished Empire of the Petal Throne meets Lamentations of the Flame Princess hack in case the piffle about stat bonuses, Noble Actions and Influence rolls are confusing. I will be using this for a few Jakalla Flailsnails games at least, and if it works, maybe a campaign...

Adventuring is tough, people get killed in nasty ways and then twitching bits of them are sucked up like soup by shambling monstrosities like Hra in front of your very eyes. Every now and again you need to unwind with a few beers, or maybe some spirits, or even a nice strong Tsuhoridu that makes absinthe look like rainwater, or a few 'powders' and a trip to the House of the Pleasant Hour is more your style.

You must spend Social Status +1d12 x 20kt on a good night out and gain the equivalent in XP.

If the d12 roll is higher than the character's level roll on the table below.

If you can't afford what you rolled, you spend everything you have and gain only half XP and get to roll on the carousing table below.

Smaller and less decadent cities and mere villages will have lesser quality entertainment. Roll 1d10 for duller cites like Penom and Jaikalor, 1d8 for backwaters like Chene Ho and 1d6 for small towns.

1 Can't hold your beer. Make a fool of yourself, lose 1 status and gain no XP

2 Get into a fight. Roll 1d10 + Str bonus + combat bonus. If you get 10+ you flatten the opposition and get 50XP, 7-9 You take a few lumps, lose 1d3 Comeliness for a week, 5-6 Get sued for Shamtla, your opponent has status 1d10 per level, if you lose fine is 5kt per social status of person you assaulted; if you can't afford to pay, you have a week to cough up or the law will take an interest. 1-4 you lose, you start the next adventure 1d3 HP down.

3 Insult some people. Their status is 1d10 times your level. Subtract your status from this number and roll that many d6 for the size of the fine. If you have more status than them they end up owing you.

4 Romantic entanglements. Roll 1d10 + Comeliness bonus on subtable below.

5 Play a bit of Kevuk. Roll a Gambling skill roll if you have it; win make back half your carousing money, full XP, lose lose all your carousing money for no XP gain.

6 Your drunken excesses are approved of by Dlamelish! Next time you go carousing you get a re-roll on this table if you don't like the result.

7 Acquire a dodgy tattoo at a market stall: 1-3 innocuous but badly drawn. 4 - misused Livyani kenemuz, you are now enemies with a random Livyani Shadow God sect, 5-6 - Swear word in Yan Koryani or Nlussa, 6 - peculiar sigil used by the Temple of Hrihayal to denote a 'swinger', 7 - different peculiar sigil used by Temple of Hrihayal to denote chronic infection with STD, 8-9 - 'Mum' inside a heart with a dagger through it, 10 - favourite Martolan team shield 11 - ominous looking black character, 90% chance some rubbish inspired by the Lament to the Wheel of Black, 10% a real symbol from the Sunuz alphabet and the tattooist can no longer be found, 12 - Re roll, but dirty needles have caused the tattoo to harbour a fungal infection akin to ergot; expect your limbs to rot off and to die writhing amid hallucinations of hell.

8 You couldn’t really see the rash in the candlelight. Roll Constitution check to avoid venereal disease.

9 Got into an arm wrestling match with an Nluss; He or she had 12+1d8 STR, each roll STR + 1d4 to see who wins. If you win gain 10XP per level and roll vs 1d6+Com bonus. 6+ N'luss respects you, +1 to influence roll, 1-, Nluss has been embarrassed and vows bloody revenge. If you lose you have -1 to hit and -1 damage for your next adventure.

10 Got into a cussing match with a Pygmy Folk. Enemy has Foul Mouth rating of 10+1d8. Beat this with your Comeliness bonus + 1d10 + 1d6 per Etiquette skill to win. Gain 20XP per level if you win and automatically gain the Pygmy Folk as an enemy. If you lose, -1 status for being stupid enough to get into the slanging match in the first place.

11 Got into a drinking contest with roll 1d10: 1-3 Some ordinary drunks, Con 3d6, 4 Some people from the Chiteng temple, 2d6+6 Con and will definitely start a brawl if they lose. 5 Soldiers from a random legion 2d6+6 Con, 6 Some Nluss or Ghatoni, 1d10+8 Con, 7 Some people from the Hrihayal Temple, 2d6+6 Con will definitely try to seduce you if they win, 8 Some Pygmy Folk Con 12+1d6, will try and rob you if they win. Roll 1d10 + Con for each side.

12 Reckless gambling. Lose all gold gems and jewels, save vs Intelligence for each magic item or lose that as well. Roll vs Intelligence again or end up in debt for 1d100kt per level. Pay up within a week or face the consequences. Gambling skill adds +4 to save per level. Blessed by Niyunen, an aspect of Hrihayal, gain 1 luck point.

13 Target of lewd advances turns out to be a follower of (d6) 1-3 Chiteng 4-6 Hrihayal, +1 if yourself a follower of Dlamelish or Hrihayal. -1 if yourself a follower of Vimuhla or Chiteng. Chitengi like S+M, roll 1d6+ Com bonus. 2+ Beaten senseless, lose 1d3 HP and -1 to Str or Dex bonus for next adventure, gain 10XP per level if a follower. 1- kept captive for sacrifice to the demon Jneksha'a, the Scythe of Flame, will need ransom or rescue. Hrihayalites like all sorts of kinky things, roll 1d6 + Com bonus. 7+ kept as a sex toy on temple grounds, will need rescue, +25XP per level if a follower. 2-6 a peculiar and exhausting night, lose 1d3 HP and -1 to either Int or Con bonus for next adventure, 1- kept as a sacrifice to the demon Ru'utlanesh, the Hairy Legged Mouth, will need rescue or ransom.

14 One of Us! You are initiated into some kind of freaky sub cult, roll on the Gods table from the character creation doc for which god it is allied with. If 'Choice' comes up the deity is Livyani, a demon or one of the Pariah Gods. You have scars in unusual places and vague memories of certain passwords, though you may have been Mind- barred. Roll Int or less on 2d20 to recall the details.

15 You have bought 1d6 packets of powders of various colours. 50% chance they are genuine.

16 Shanghaied by a Pakalan pirate crew; 30% want you as a deckhand, 50% want you as a sacrifice to She who Strides the Ocean, 10% want you for purposes well known in the nautical trades, 10% will sell you as a galley slave/snack food to the Shen.

17 Major misunderstanding with the law. You will be impaled within a week unless you can win a status contest with an accuser of status 20+1d20. Lots of bribes and the hire of a smart and expensive lawyer may prove necessary.

18 You are in love with someone beyond your social class, 75% married with 1d6 spouses already.

19 Some lousy rotten bastard (yes, it was probably the Temple of Sarku) has put you under a high level Domination spell. Save vs magic of you find yourself on a mission.

20 Accidentally start a conflagration. Roll d6 twice. 1-2 burn down your favourite inn 3-4 some other den of ill repute is reduced to ash 5-6 a big chunk of town goes up in smoke. 1-2 no one knows it was you 3- 4 your fellow carousers know you did it 5 someone else knows, perhaps a blackmailer 6 everybody knows. +1 Noble Action and 100XP per level if a follower of Vimuhla or Chiteng, +1 status if it becomes public knowledge.

21 Imbibe a really stonking glass of hallucinogenic Tsuhoridu. Roll your Psychic Ability or less on 1d20. If you succeed temporarily gain +1 to saves vs magic OR 1d6 pedhetl points. If you fail you have -1 on your Int bonus for the next adventure and lose 1d6 pedhetl points.

22 That hengka was off! Drink a humungous amount of beer, hungover for next adventure, with loss of 1d3 Con, -1 on all initiative rolls and spell casting rolls. On the plus side you gain 1d3 + Comeliness bonus luck points from the blessing of Dlamelish.

23 You gamble and win a scroll of Whisperings in the Velvet Dark, cryptic but accurate predictions from a particularly odd sect of the Temple of Ksarul.

24 You have your fortune told by a Scarabomancer. On your next adventure you have a particular form of death to avoid (-4 on saves or to AC vs attacks by it), but if something else kills you, you have a 25% chance of miraculously avoiding it. Forms of possible death may be a given type of monster (Hra, undead), a weapon, a kind of person, a trap or spell, anything the evil DM wishes to unleash.

25 Ambushed by the Order of the Absolute Light of Justice, a bunch of tract waving busybodies from the Temple of Hnalla, who seriously waste good drinking time and disperse some mighty fine parties. Halve your spend on carousing and half your XP.

26 Feast! A high status clan has a feast at their clanhouse, with the hoi polloi like you lot given food and drink free from stalls in the street outside, or in a pavilion in the yard (for middle clan members). Chance to use your etiquette skill to make a useful contact.

27 Festival! One of the Temples holds a huge procession cum booze up in the streets of Jakalla, roll randomly for which one. Make a donation of 20kt a level out of your carousing money and roll on the Sacrifices table.

28 Wake up in an alley stinking of Kuruku piss. The Kuruku have run off with all your remaining money and jewellery and the pungent aroma gives -2 to any stealth rolls and -1 to any chance of surprising an enemy.

29 You have drunk, smoked or snorted something you are now addicted to. Treatment may be possible, but unless you get regular doses of whatever it is you have -1 on all rolls.

30 More romantic entanglements. Roll on table below.

Romantic entanglements, 1d10+Comeliness bonus.
-3 You have been acquired by a high status follower of Dlamelish as part of a menagerie of exotic lovers for the next 1d6 months. You get +1 status and will get an allowance for carousing and clothing and may be able to wangle a few extra benefits. You may also end up being sacrificed or expected to take part in some of the riskier of the 32 Unspeakable Acts.
-2 A huge ignorant barbarian oaf loves you very much, or possibly wants to marry you to gain citizenship papers. Roll on Nakome table for nationality.
-1 An old lecher of a local shopkeeper has taken a shine to you. You might get a discount.
0 Desperate house-spouse with problem husband(s)/wife (wives) and/or 2d3 problem children.
1 You are now married to a person of lower social status than you, and with 1d6 less comeliness than you.
2 Wake up in bed with an undead. +1 noble action if a follower of Sarku or Durritlamish
3 You are not really sure who you took up with, but they have a jealous boy/girlfriend/spouse who is now pursuing you with 1d6 thugs in tow.
4 Person of lower social status, relatives after you to marry
5 Person of same social status, relatives may be for/against.
6 Pretty girl called Pa'iya with expensive tastes. Save vs spells or spend all your spare cash on carousing, gaining half usual XP. Will keep seeking you out whenever you are flush.
7 Acolyte of a Temple, roll randomly, Other indicates an odd sect or foreign deity.
8 Member of a military unit.
9 Member of the Clan of the Emerald Circlet.
10 Person of higher social status, relatives discourage match.
11 A random NPC you have already encountered as a contact.
12 You are married to a person of higher social status than you.
13+ You have been acquired by a high status follower of Dlamelish as part of a menagerie of exotic lovers for the next 1d6 months. You get + 1 status and will get an allowance for carousing and clothing and may be able to wangle a few extra benefits. You may also end up being sacrificed or expected to take part in some of the riskier of the 32 Unspeakable Acts. 

Sunday 12 February 2012

Esoteric Arts

Michael Moscrip, the Grumpy Old Troll,  mentioned Tarot card reading in D&D in a Google+ post a few days ago. It just so happened that I have written an article about this very thing for Fight On! #6. Here is the original version (it was cut slightly for the magazine).

You can, according to some occult writers, make perfectly valid Tarot card sets based on almost anything. King Arthur, cheesy soft-porn Vampires, cute liddle kitty-cats, all kinds of bad taste baloney has been employed, all you really need is a basic knowledge of the Qabbalah, the flexibility of mind to fit stories and images to the 22 paths of the Tree of Life and the lack of moral compass to market such tosh to the gullible.

I had a go at this myself many years ago in an effort to persuade a hippyish girlfriend to come back down to planet Earth by showing that any piffle could be turned into tarot, and created the bare bones of a 60's Pop Culture Tarot; the arrest of Mick Jagger on drugs charges was number 20, Judgement, Ken Kesey's infamous bus was The Chariot, The World was The Trip - I lost the notes many years ago (probably used them as rolling papers), but you get the idea.

In the article I mention a Carcosan Tarot, which Jeremy Duncan, the Dandy in the Underworld, said he'd like to illustrate. What other Tarot decks might be fun to inflict on unsuspecting gamers? Could they be turned into game aids you could sell?