Thursday, April 4, 2019

How to do Cradoon hex encounters feat. Kel Strak Kel

Pick an NPC to frame the main encounter around. Then grab all the dice except a d20 and throw them.

The d4, d6, and d8 belong to the NPC, and determine what they’re up to.
The d10 and d12 belong to the terrain. If the time of day is in doubt, you can use the one on the d12 entry.

Here’s a couple to get started with.

What're you lookin atKel Strak Kel

It’s all the same to the orc called Kel Strak Kel. Sektorbrav, Corespenio, Porlili, even Cradoon. She’s been there and it’s all the same. This she’ll insist to any of the sloggers her contract’s winged her with, once she’s pulled enough rum out of her flask.
A sixleg Kano-kako charging you down, she’ll tell you, puffing blue smoke into your face, has jack shit on a line of Corespenian cavalrymen.  Hell, when I was at Billefuer and they broke through the pike line…

And so on.

HD 3, HP 14
AC as chain, with the biggest shield your system’s got. Big enough to grant her partial cover.
  • Arbalest +4, 1d8+2 damage
  • Stiletto +2, 1d6 damage

Kel Strak Kel has:

  • An arbalest, old but varnished, polished, and impeccably kept. Its prod and windlass are newer than the rest. Kel spent her last paycheck on it.
  • A stiletto, flaking gold leaf along the crossguard. She stole this from a lieutenant she once had.
  • A brigandine, studded with little copper death’s heads (she made these herself while bored out of her skull at the siege of Therrostrace)
  • A long-stem pipe she won off a Porlili furrier in a card game.
  • 11 ounces of cheap Corespenian tobacco.
  • 3 ounces of rare Porlili tobacco, laced with stuperoot. Save or you’re unconscious for 2d6 hours after the first puff.
  • A dray horse she’s named Bigshits.
  • Wendla, an ensorcelled pavise. Stamped with the chipped sigil of Ketterlin the Comely, witch-queen of Sektorbrav. Strak Kel extracted an enchantment from a Corespenian magician at boltpoint. Bury Wendla in a shallow hole overnight (a foot’ll do) and tomorrow morning when you dig it up its face will have changed to perfectly mirror the land in which it slept. See Kel marching with Wendla strapped to her back, and you’d think a chunk of the peat up and took a walk—if you see her at all.

    It also whispers hateful deprecations to her as she sleeps, in remembrance of its enchanter and the Sektorbravish quarrel that took him through the neck. Kel finds the white noise a comfort, and has a 50% chance of waking up after a few minutes without the sound.

Encountering Kel Strak Kel

d4 activity

  1. Setting up her bivouac and burying Wendla, in the company of…
  2. Laying with her pavise on her back, arbalest trained on…
  3. Engaged in a tense contract negotiation with…
  4. In transit, singing an old Bravish marching song called The Road Opens Her Legs To You with…

d6 company

  1. A skittish hessabird she’s nicknamed Pinchi.
  2. Four armed and armored caravan guards on outrider patrol.
  3. Carno ti Rammador, a mercenary halberdier who intends to kill and loot her.
  4. Her current boss, a squat, leathery caravanner by the name of Emuliri.
  5. About a dozen squabbling pilgrims and their harried guide.
  6. A straw archery dummy, face painted to look like her current boss, a squat, leathery caravanner by the name of Emuliri.

d8 disposition

  1. In full fuck-you-I’m-surviving mode, finger on the trigger.
  2. Furious about being underpaid and ready to take it out on someone.
  3. In a low-down mood, her rum having run out.
  4. Stoic and contemplative, remembering fouled fields and dead friends.
  5. Smoking her pipe, feeling content.
  6. Buzzed and confident.
  7. Drunk and cheerful.
  8. Putting together a little concern, scouting for talent.

Silt and shale curling and swooping like you’re trekking across the exposed brain of some banded godhead. The Hellestrathe Badlands hiss and sigh under heavy boots, burping little carbon clouds as they slowly digest the tiny dead fossiliferous things crushed beneath the sediment.

The ancient volcano (Gryle, it’s called) that killed these things was (is) evil, and it trapped their ghosts here, too. They are its minions. Most of them are microscopic, and impossible to see during the day, but at night the will-o-wisp ostracodes and trilobytes and bryozoa filter through the air, faint and guttering like a starfield on the Earth.

Don’t eat the grass here, and don’t smoke it either, no matter how good the tingling feels. Not without a companion or a good tether to tie you down at night. Or you’ll rise and sleepwalk in the train of the dancing lights as they obey their orogenic idiot-god, and lead you into one of Gryle’s calderas. Gryle sleeps for now and eats for ever.

d10 Hellestrathe Badlands features

  1. Braided river, green with minerals, flowing languid, shin-deep. Step in it and it yanks you suddenly downstream.
  2. Muddy shoreline, the skeleton of a two-sail junk boat washed ashore. A leathery mummy in ancient Corespenian Waterpriest robes lays atop.
  3. A caldera of Gryle, hungry and bubbling with dioxide. 50% chance a well-outfitted corpse floats below the surface.
  4. The ghost of a reef, curling from the shale. Looks like a transparent Chihuly sculpture, sways without wind.
  5. The remnants of a naturalist’s camp, hastily abandoned. Tethers on iron spikes, blown-over tents, some valuable equipment.
  6. The geometric ruins of a neolithic Volcano Cult’s sacrifice site. A dried pit in the center, ancient bones, the mouth of a deep fissure
  7. A caravan road, winding through the wrinkled lowlands, oxidized and pooling at the carved-out edges
  8. A high, striated hill, one partially-excavated face threaded with laminated Gypsum
  9. A copse of scrubby trees surround a hardscrabble Trellak trading post
  10. A dam made of milky filament and felled saplings blocks a dry riverbed (this marks a Kano-Kako’s lair) 

d12 Hellestrathe weather and time of day (if needed)

  1. Morning. Harsh, bright, and baking.
  2. Morning. Wind cutting you to the bone. Dust and fingernail-size leaves swirl.
  3. Morning. Rain. Rock dust churns to mud, gets everywhere, colors you gray. 
  4. Morning. Overcast, unseasonably cold.
  5. Afternoon. Sun throws down heat haze and blinding mineral reflections.
  6. Afternoon. Wind carries the smell of sulfur and brackish water.
  7. Afternoon. A fine and clear day.
  8. Afternoon. Beetlestorm. It’s raining beetles.
  9. Evening. The primordial ghosts are especially active tonight. They land sensationless on your skin.
  10. Evening. Cold as hell. You can see your breath.
  11. Evening. The air is oversaturated. Your clothes stick to you.
  12. Evening. The little ghosts are forming strange, tectonic geometries ten feet in the air. Tides and swarms, mingling and splashing.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019


So this is the default setting for most of what you'll see on this blog of mine:


One thing you’ll agree, when you see what Cradoon has done to its people, is that it’s geography’s fault. It’s too central, too dry, too peregrine. Maybe it’s because we came from the ocean, and we change, the further we drag ourselves away. Maybe it was a mistake.

Here where it’s calcified, and the only current is the air, and the air carries awful things, like beetles. Did you know that? It has begun to rain beetles in Cradoon. What sort of person is meant to live here? What design did who follow that made this place?

Right: Cradoon. I still have to introduce you.

A hessabird, one of the few things in Cradoon that won't try to eat you
Cradoon: Its Dimensions

North is the balmy Necklace and the demonloving Corespenians, West is the Suzerain of Sektorbrav and his pale host. East is the Ferroslug Hegemony. Cradoon is where things go South.

It was with alarm that the Sektorbravish topographist Jux Remebuch noted (upon completing his survey) that the steppeland of Cradoon was exactly 3,333,333 ploughgates in area, to the inch, “as if it had been designated,” he said, “very carefully designated and designed;”

whereupon the Surveyances Concern accused him of incomplete and shoddy cartography owing to a fear of the Cradoonish midlats;

to which Remebuch retorted that he had indeed made the trek all along the border, starting and finishing in Hektus on the Sektorbrav-Cradoon border, setting out with full team and kit and returning stumbling, penniless, and alone;

and in response the Surveyances Concern put forth and ratified the petition to declare Jux Remebuch entirely insane, citing at once the harrowing pressures of his journey and the unobserved precondition that led him to believe that it was in any way a good idea. Remebuch is in a madman’s creche, and Cradoon’s official size is Very Big.

Cradoon is where I run my hexcrawls and my dungeons. It's populated with a bunch of ambitious fools and slavering beasts. So the usual. I'll be posting more about the place in the near future.
Have this chunk of unlabeled hexmap from around the place in the meantime.

The Body King

Micah on the OSR Discord server wanted some race-as-class parasites. So OK here's mine. I was inspired by 3 things I've been digging lately:

  • The Thing
  • That new Venom movie where Tom Hardy eats chicken from the trash 
  • The concept of royalty.

There are a bunch of other better entries that I need to post once I find their links. Blogging, folks? It's hard.
This is you. Hi

You are the Body King.
Yours is the unseen kingdom, and the men-at-arms who raise your banner are both cavalier and carriage. This is the class you play if you want to be an infection the rest of the party shares.

You get +2 HP per Body King Template (but only when you’re inside someone--see below).

Body King
A The Viscid Demesne, Noblesse Oblige, Blade of the King
B Tumorous Accolade
C Contagious Mandate
D Superdermal Magnificence

Knowingly or not, your party members are your knights. It takes a standard action to burrow inside a knight; it takes half your move to burst out of one, out of the mouth or a stab wound or any other egress that may present itself (but do try to keep your regality). If you’re expelled from a knight by any means against your will, you’re stunned for the following round, and can only twitch and twist on the ground.

Outside of them, you’re about a foot long and have a thrashing tail that can do 1 damage if it hits. You can’t benefit from any Strength ability bonus and you have 1 HP and unarmored AC. You die after a day of exposure.

When you’re inside one of your knights, they have access to any template levels you have outside of your Body King template, and if any of your ability scores are higher than theirs, they can use yours instead.

You have a telepathic connection with the knight you occupy. You can speak through their mouth or you can expose yourself physically partway out of their body and speak with your own.

You have a defense of 16, and can only be attacked on a turn you’re using a Body King ability. If your enemy misses you they still might hit your knight. Whenever your knight is struck by an enemy, you can choose to take the hit instead. If you or your knight drop to 0 hit points, you are immediately expelled.

You can attack from inside your knight, weaponizing their morphology into ropy pseudopods, acidic expulsions, ballistic teeth, or whatever other suitably Body Horror thing you can think of. You do 1d6+str damage with a maximum range equal to a shortbow’s.

You can now grant Accolades unto your knights in the form of gross body mods. You must be inside a knight to give them an Accolade, but they persist for their listed duration whether you’re there or not. You know a number of Accolades equal to how many Body King templates you have and can use them each once per day. It’s a standard action to grant an Accolade.

You are now capable of infesting individuals who aren’t your knights. This connection is turbulent and tenuous; if conscious and unrestrained your host is allowed a save on first infection to resist your entry. If they succeed you’re immediately expelled.
You can only last an hour inside a non-knight host before you are expelled. If you leave your host for this or any reason, they must save or die.

Your knights are forever shaped by their service. Choose two Accolades you know to unlock their Magnificences. You may now grant these to any host you enter. They are permanent alterations and remain after you depart. The process takes one minute and is very painful.
If you die, all granted Magnificences immediately cease to function and are painfully shed over the course of a week.

Chitinous Cuirass: Your knight’s sternum stretches and reknits itself. They gain 2 AC for an hour.
      MAGNIFICENCE: As above but permanent, and they also gain a +2 to their Save.

By My Hand: Your knight gains a natural melee attack dealing 1d8+Str damage for an hour.
     MAGNIFICENCE: As above but permanent, and they also gain a natural ranged attack dealing 1d6+Str.

Bugle-Call Nodule: A nodule grows on your knight’s neck. They can pop it to flood their body with adrenaline and reroll initiative. Lasts an hour or until use.
     MAGNIFICENCE: Your knight can reroll initiative once per fight and has +2 to their next attack in any encounter they do.

Inculcated Assassin: You may make an attack through your knight even if you’re not inside them. This still takes your action. Lasts until rest or use.
     MAGNIFICENCE: You may make an attack through your knight at any time, as long as they’re within a mile of you.

Of Royal Blood: You infest an artery of your knight and produce within it a dose of powerful neurotoxin, suitable for ingestion or the coating of a weapon. The administering of it forces a save or the user suffers disadvantage on all mental checks and saves for an hour. The dose itself holds its potency for one minute—if it’s not used before then it’s lost.
     MAGNIFICENCE: This Magnificence can only be used with CONTAGIOUS MANDATE, and never on a knight. You flood your host with neurotoxin; they immediately become a mindless servant under your control. They are given no save at the hour’s end, and just straight-up die.

Court of Whispers: Your knight’s cochlea unfurls and becomes a tiny mouth. They lose hearing in one ear, but you no longer must be inside them to communicate. Lasts until rest.
     MAGNIFICENCE: As above, but they keep the hearing and it’s permanent. They may also grant a temporary, hourlong version of Court of Whispers to anyone else with a touch.

Symbiont Warhorse: You move your full speed inside your knight, dragging them with you. You can use this movement to leap alarmingly high/far or climb walls/ceilings. Used instantly.
     MAGNIFICENCE: Your knight gains a permanent speed boost of +5 and can climb walls at half speed.

Hey gang

Hi! I’m Dukerino! You might recognize me as the guy with the Double King avatar on Discord.
My real name is Alex. But there are a lot of Alexes in this hobby, haven’t you noticed, and there’s not a lot of Dukerinos. There’s a Skerples and if a guy named Skerples can be an elder statesman of the OSR, a guy named Dukerino can make an ill-advised blog, post on it four times, then abandon it to the dustiest bowels of the internet.

This is spooky bone business, a place where I’m going to post stuff that I make for my tabletop RPGs. You know. The games with the paper and the pencils and the dice. Also called “bones”. Now you’re seeing what I did with the title.

Pretty cool, right? Pretty clever. I’ll give you a few minutes to put me in your blogroll.

Ok. So these are the games I like the best, in no particular order:
·        B/X D&D
·        The Black Hack
·        Godbound
·        Shadow of the Demon Lord
·        Zweihander
·        Stars Without Number

Which does make it kind of weird that my first post is going to be a GLOG class, since I’ve never actually played it. But Micah wanted parasite race-as-classes, and I figured fuck it.
I’ll get an avatar and a background and all that squared away sometime soon.

How to do Cradoon hex encounters feat. Kel Strak Kel

Pick an NPC to frame the main encounter around. Then grab all the dice except a d20 and throw them. The d4, d6, and d8 belong to the NPC, ...