Saturday, November 10, 2018

Creating a Catacomb Hoard

In a recent session the party came upon an ancient burial. Each of the eighty bodies had a weapon, wore armor, shield and each one had a coffer under their head. For sadistic reasons I decided I'd roll each of the corpses separately to determine and exact loot. I should add I am using the B/X Essentials ruleset.

One of the things I needed to determine was the condition of each piece of equipment. I had recently bought Table Fables by Madeline Hale, she had a straight 1d6 table to determine condition. But since these items were hundreds of years old, I wanted the results to skew towards broken or damaged. Here's what I came up with.

2d6     Condition
  2       New
3-4     Used
5-6     Poor (-1)
7-8     Damaged (-2)
9-12   Broken

The condition changes the protection of the armor and damage of the weapons. In my game the poor quality items can be repaired for 10% of the original cost, and damaged items can be repaired for 20% of the original cost. Broken items could be sold for scrap. (i.e. A poor quality suit of chain mail protects at +3AC, not +4, but could be repaired for

Then I created tables for armor type and weapons. For the shield, I created a table to determine the material. 

2d6     Armor
  2       Padded Cloth (+1 AC)
3-6      Leather (+2 AC)
7-8      Studded Leather (+3 AC)
9-10    Chain Mail (+4 AC)
 11      Scale Male (+5 AC)
 12      Plate Mail (+6 AC)

2d6     Weapons
 2-3     Two-handed sword
 4-5     Battle Axe
 6-8     Long Sword
 9-10   Spear
11-12  Bow

2d6     Shield Material
 2-3     Bronze
 4-6     Iron
7-11    Wood
  12     Steel

This system worked well. I considered any 'new' condition result as that item was magical or made of hard silver, a material in my campaign. Hard silver takes on enchantments.

Then to decide what was in the coffers I used treasure type C from the 1st edition Monster Manual. I use a silver standard, if electrum was rolled I replaced it with hard silver pieces. The Northmen used this as a special currency. For game terms, 1hsp equals 5sp. If enough hard silver is collected they can be made into a weapon, armor, or whatever item the players want. I also changed the amounts of coins from the 1000s to 10s.

Copper: 20% chance to find, 1d12.
Silver: 30% chance to find, 1d6.
Electrum (turned into hard silver): 10% chance to find, 1d4.
Gems: 25% chance to find, 1d6.
Jewelry: 20% chance to find, 1d3.
Maps of Magic Items: 10% chance to find, any 2.

With the jewelry and gems, I used the condition table to determine the value. If broken, the metal was scrap or the broken gems could be used as a spell component. On a damaged result the value was in 10s, poor in the 100s, used in  the 1000s, and the result was new, I considered the gem or jewelry magical.

If corpse came up empty, I created mundane items. Some worth something, most were token items. A poor Northmen gets a pint of ale and drinking horn at the minimum. For the mundane items opened different books picked out an item here and there then added them to mix.

It took a lot of time to create this list, but it worked well. The players will need the resources for the next leg of the campaign. They are 2nd and 3rd level characters attempting to establish their  a temple, a mage tower, and a trading post in a very hostile region.

The links are affiliate links. I like both products a lot. If you do go for B/X Essentials I suggest the print option, then you get the PDFs for free. Well worth it.

And if you like Table Fables, there is a second book, conveniently named Table Fables II, that focuses on World Building. Also worth grabbing.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Anatomy of Adventure Writing, Part 2: Room Description

I did a second part to my series, Anatomy of Adventure Writing where I break down an adventure into parts. This one focuses on room description. I come at this from my perspective and how I prefer and how I think good adventures are written. And if you missed part one, Introductions and GM Notes, here is the link.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Game Report: Cleansing of the Temple

This post has nothing to do with MeWe. You are welcome. 

Cast of Characters
Finikas Snotrags: The youngest son of a well-to-do merchant halfling family.

Brimstone: Street mage from Scorn. 

Johann Swartz: An honored hunter dedicated to the Theophant.

The Catch-Up
A few sessions back the group received a land grant. It was located at a Northman temple ruins. There the honored hunter could build a temple to the Theophant, which is normally forbidden. The halfling could establish a trade post and expand his family's influence father north. And the mage could construct a tower and start his own group of mages. But the Komor Forest will not give in easily. 

A halfling, porter, and a sleeping torchbearer wait in a bar
Brimstone decided to check the tavern and hire another fighter. When he went down the stairs there was only a well-equipped halfling, a large man sitting at the table with him, and a lanky man sleeping against the wall with a satchel of torches around his neck. 

The halfling, Bost Waddle, was one of those notorious halflings that liked to wander too much. A wandering waddle if you will. Between Brimstone and Finikas, they struck a deal with him. While not interested with adventure with them, he was interested in building a home on their land. And to help convince them, gave them a 100sp on the spot. 

Brimstone hired Quim (yes I know what the urban dictionary says it is, or anyone else who has watch Rob Roy, but damn it I rolled on a random table and that was the name I rolled. Plus, I thought it was funny). Quim convinced Brimstone he was good, a 3rd generation torchbearer. I'm using the torchbearer class from The Manor #8. He has a lot of specialty torches. 

Hamlet of Hounds Head
Wal-Mart has Move Into the Neighborhood
The players started in Hounds Head. They planned to head north to claim their territory and check out their land. Before leaving they decided to go to the general store and grab rations. There were none. In fact, most of the store had been bought out. The shop owner said the Adventures Guild came in and bought everything.

He could pre-order rations for them. He expected another bunch arriving next week. They bought a few weeks worth. And of course some oil flasks were on the order sheet. he shop owner discussed deal with the group. The Adventures Guild has on more than one occasion put smaller businesses out. The group agreed to work with the shop owner.

The Adventurer's Guild
To the south of Hounds Head is a massive construction site. The land was being stripped, leveled, and construction supplies everywhere. A man directed the workers. He used various slurs and created unflattering nicknames to everyone he spoke to. Then the party tried to speak with him. That did not go so. He offered to hire them, once it was known they were just 'lookie lous' he dismissed them and pushed Finikas away by his face.

The party also noticed all the gear that was in the store was now worn by the folk working here. Some of those they knew, before were dressed in make-shift armor and weapons, now wore more suitable attire for combat. The beast was growing.

Into the Forest
They set off to find their site deciding that the development of their own land would be the best defense. Along the way the passed a marsh that buzzed with stirges. They avoided it.

Then they came upon the temple ruins.

Elk Temple Map from Kingmaker Part 1
There the party discovered a gigantic bear guard what remained of the temple. During the battle the bear tore apart one of the henchmen before being downed by a rain of bolts and cuts. When the bear died it slowly transformed into a man. A northman. He wore a necklace known to be sacred. They buried him on site.

They noticed the pool cleared and after some experimentation, fed the fallen henchmen the water. He awoke with a start. His eyes wide, unsure what happened. He kept complaining of feeling different.

They continued to explore the ruins and to the west they found a series of catacombs. Half full. Estimate of 80 Northmen were laid out here. All with a weapon, armor, a shield with their name etched upon it, and a small box beneath their head.

Johann announced the area is ready to be sanctified, the creatures of evil would assault the temple to keep this from happening. This will take 24 hours and the ceremony must not be disrupted.

End of Session.

Things for Next Session

  • The next session will be the ceremony and the defense of the temple and Johann. For this I will devise a random table of attacks, mixed with a few set encounters.
  • Generate the weapons, armor, and what is within the boxes for 80 soldiers.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

What Are Words Worth?

I started a publisher podcast series on my Anchor channel. I released the first episode, "What Are Words Worth?"

These episodes are targeted at individuals like myself who are small-time publishers not back by the companies. I want to share my experience with the process and I am hoping others join in the conversation to share their experiences.

There are a lot of ways to go about publishing your own products, but I thought it would be interesting, and helpful, to those thinking about starting or who have just dipped their toe into the publishing pool.

If you are interested just click the link, "What Are Words Worth?" and you'll be magically transported there.

Friday, August 31, 2018

My Experience with PWYW

I was off from my job today and had sometime to get a few things done and sit down and do a podcast at my desk. Instead of my usual place, in my car, driving to lunch or home.

I share my experience with the Pay What You Want option at RPGNow. The pros and cons. It's been a while since I put anything up there, I have a few things in the hopper to get on there soon.

If you have a chance, give the podcast a listen. I do scary voices in the beginning and end. And I guess you can do reviews of it over at Apple Store, I have none! And it's not the Apple Store my wife reminded me, it's iTunes. 

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Thurber Village

I reworked Thurber Village for my Patreon. I added a few things and cleaned up the text. I do like how it turned out. I've been fiddling with layout options and what information I provide. The goal is to make it as easy to run as possible.

With Thurber Village you'll get the map you see above. Random Encounters table. What I really love about this table is it provides life and movement to the village. It also helped me create the Recent Happenings section by rolling twice on the table and combining the two rolls. I found it to be very effective.

I provide general information, a little bit about the lord of the area and detail six key people within Thurber. But players are always going to different parts of the village talking to people not detailed so I added a list of names a GM can use to use to provide names and a space to write in their connection to the village.

I also added a Random Merchant table. The previously mentioned Random Happenings. And to spice up the surrounding area, some Local Folklore tidbits. The last thing included are brief description of the keyed building in the Village of Thurber.

His any of the links and you'll be transported to my Patreon. The PDF is free for anyone to download. But, if you'd like to get a physical copy, something cool in the mail, then consider the pledge levels on the right hand-side.

I hope you find Thurber Village useful and fun.


Monday, August 6, 2018

Bandit Tables: Get More Out of Your Bandit Encounters

The party travels through the winding game trail. Up ahead a loud whistle cracks through the air. Immediately, angry shouts from above, to the left, and to the right follow. Arrows strike party members. Bandits erupt from the underbrush and attacks. 

How many times have parties encountered and fought these low level ruffians? They are like an optional starter kit for 1st level adventures.

But you know what? I love bandits. 

They don't have to be generic, nameless, mud smeared criminals living in the trees. If you wish to make them a little more interesting I've come up with a few quick tables to flesh out your bandits. 

d6 Leadership Strength 
1 none: the group has no leadership, they are have a -2 to morale rolls. Their group will only have minimal members.
2 - 3 weak: broken into fractions, the current leader has a tenuous hold on the leadership. One or two bandits divide the group. A -1 to Morale rolls. 
4 - 5 moderate: the bandits obey the current leadership There is no morale adjustments. 
6 - strong: a respected and/or feared leader. Bandits will not disobey orders and less likely to give up information. They are have a +1 to morale rolls. 

Now that we have the strength of leadership determined, we can move onto what type of leadership. It doesn't have to be a bigger version of themselves. There are numerous reasons why a bandit group exists. 

d10 Leadership Type (if no leadership then skip this table)
1 - 3 bigger/smarter bandit: a bandit has proven to be the biggest or the smartest, and has taken control. 
4 absent: the leader works through a proxy in the group. The absent leader makes an appearance when needed, but relies on his proxy's ability to lead. Leadership  Strength rolls are at -1.
5 co-leaders: a pair of powerful and respected individuals run the group. 
6 secret: a puppet master props up the leader of the bandits by providing information, supplies, and bribes. A secret leader is using the bandits to further an agenda.
7 religious: led by a leader who believes their purpose it to serve a god. It gives the bandits purpose and a justification for their actions. Religious leaders gain a +1 to Leadership Strength rolls.
8 monstrous: a creature has gained control of the bandits through threat or intelligence. The monster has to have some intelligence, a reason why it has taken control of the bandits.
9 military: conscripted under the leadership of an actual and self-styled military leader. Military leaders gain a +2 on Leadership Strength rolls.
10 family: this group of bandits is a family and thus run by one of the family. They gain +2 to leadership rolls. 

Each bandit group has a reason to exist. You could go with the outlaws joining together to make a living. But some groups have purposes beyond plying a trade. 

1d4 Purpose
1 survival: these bandits were thrown out, chased away, running from the law are out to survive. If given the chance, they may return to civilization to reestablish their lives. No need to roll on the Wealth table. 
2 money: they are looking to get paid. Money is power. Money is freedom. Money is what they want.
3 killers: these bandits enjoy the kill. Gold and jewels is secondary.
4 justified: bandits with a purpose, they feel justified in the actions no matter how horrible. 

With these three simple tables, a GM can create bandits that rise above the expected. 

Thursday, July 19, 2018

First Adventure with Four Against Darkness

I've been looking at these books for months. A few weeks +Matt Jackson spoke about the game on his anchor podcast, MattRandom, and that was enough for me to click the button on them. However, Matt had already ordered a copy for me. Such a nice Matt. Everyone should have one.

Four Against Darkness, I always want to add the in there, but that would be wrong. So it is a solo adventure rule set. Not one on one. Just you and a fist full of dice. I think just 2d6s for the main ruleset and then it mentions using all the dice in later books. I did grab the first two adventure books, but haven't looked at them yet. I read this book over a couple of time to get the gist.

I'm not going into a ton of details. Just what I am playing and running through. Here is my initial setup paper. Highly recommended you grab a copy. The couple of play-though videos and Matt mentioned it was easier. I'm into easy...don't tell Ivy I said that.

Here's my initial set up. I went with a basic party makeup for my first go titled "Who Said This Was A Good Idea?". Warrior, cleric, wizard, and rogue. I kept their starting equipment without switching it out. That is my marching order also. It is a good idea to write them on this sheet the way they enter a room.

So I roll a 33 on my first room generation. A corridor that splits and has two doors at their ends. Rolled a 4 to determine the contents, empty because it is a corridor.

Roll 65 for the next generation, another corridor. This one snake up and to the left. I rolled a 5 on contents. Special Feature. I rolled a 3 to determine the special feature, armory. If I wanted to I could change my weapons the characters are using. I'll pass on that.

Third room generation is a 51, another corridor. Also empty. I think someone may have been in this part of the dungeon. We must go farther.

DOH! I for got to roll for the entrance, I just made my own. Ah well. I'll do it next time.

53, another corridor. Whoever designed this place was terrified of width. This section is also empty. Running out of room on the map. I could go right or left. Those who know me know that this is not a choice.

36, finally a room! A wonky room. Since I was on the edge of the graph paper I had to alter it to fit. Minions! Talking twinkies attack! Wait no. I need to find the minion table. 2d6 fungi folk. Lvl 3. Shit, and they have poison. Man! Now I can attack first or see how they might act, but if I do that and they are hostile thet get to attack. There are only 4. Fuck'm murder hobo time!

Just noticed I forgot to pick my wizard's spells. Time out.

Okay, got my spells. Sleep. Blessing. And because the wizard has absolutely no confidence in his companions, Escape.

My warrior, Sever, with his grim countenance and sharp blade attacks the fungi folk with a surprising savagery. His hidden hatred of all things mushroom is revealed. He rolled 2+1 (for his level) for a total of 3. Severing one of the fungi folk into equal sized slices awaiting onions.

Bronson the Boisterous bellows, bashing at the bloated body of a blasphemous fungi. Scoring a 2. Not enough to damage any of the fungi folk.

Delila, the lovely wizard with the dark eyes full of contempt pulls back her delicate hands and as they come forward a burst of sand fill the room and falls on the unaware fungi folk. A total roll of 3. Enough to take down a second one. Halving the enemies' number. And expending her only offensive spell.

Finally Cora, the moody rogue that never is seen without hood or dagger. She moves quietly, like a sigh in a storm. She slides behind the fungi folk and slides her dagger into its back. She keeps the blade flat to slide between its ribs. If it has ribs. A roll of 3 finds what would be considered the fungi's heart. The creature manages to let out a surprised glibby noise before it slumped to the cold, hard ground.

With the party finished and 3 out of 4 fungi folk slain the remain one must decide, to fight or to flee. With a roll of 2 the remain fungi flees. Sever lunges after it, but Bronson boasts, "Be still battle boy, for bounty has befallen before us." He points to the treasure left behind, 12gp fall from hidden pouches in the fungi folks' bodies.

With the first battle under their newbie belts, coming away unscathed they look to the door to the north and wonder what possibilities lie beyond. More treasure? Greater enemies?

42, another corridor. Rolled a 12, if this had been a room there would have been a dragon's lair! Now it stands empty and hollow and a mocking whistling wind blows through. Something knows we are here.

16, a room! I rolled a 10, weird monster table! Not sure what that means. I have to find that table. Rolled a 3, Chimera...level 5, 6 life points...3 attacks. Shit. And breathes fire. Everyone just pooped in their pants a little.
Absolutely Hideous!
No time to be sissies. If we are going to die, we will die fighting...or running. Attack!

Sever does not hesitate. He slashed down on one of the creatures heads He needs to roll higher than a 5. A roll of 4 bounces off the chimera's hide. Sever feels the blade turn in his hand, the pommel is coming loose again. What confidence that was gained from the fungi folk battle evaporated as he stares into the eyes of creature made from hate.

Bronson scores a 7. A natural 6 mean I get to roll again. I'm exploding! A 5 for a total of 12. His mace finds bone rocking the chimera to its side. That's two wounds to the chimera. I think I'm doing that right. That means that little bastard has 4 left.

With no useful spells, Delila stays behind the armored meat to stay protected. Afterall that's what warriors are for, to die so she may live.

Cora sees a chance, a slight chance to sever the snake head from the body. She jumps forward her blade slashing upwards hoping to catching the writhing head unawares. A total roll of five is enough to cause the snake head to spit blood and frantically slither away.

With the party done attacking, the chimera stand with half its life points, 3. The chimera breathes fire! Oh fuck fuck fuck fuck. All character must make a save or lose 1 life.

Sever: failed
Bronson: really failed
Delila: shit, failed
Cora: my god, she failed also

So apparently I suck at rolling even when I'm by myself!

Second round.

Sever regrips his sword, feels it steady in his hand and lunges forward, tip aimed for the chest. Hit with a 5! Another life point drains on the floor.

Bronson bows below the beast's belly to batter its bladder. Bang and bounce the mace's blow blunders and the chimera remains unharmed.

Delila steps out from behind her meat shield, he hair singed and the fury in her face is palatable. She swings her staff she ordered from a fancy boutique, she paid extra for the silver inlay seahorse design. Oh she did miss by the way.

Cora slide around the back of the chimera, but the snakehead follows her and hisses. She lashed out, score a 5 and drains another life leaving it staggered with 1 life point remaining.

Chimera has no plans of going anywhere. It breathes fire...again. Crap. Crap. Crap. Here come the saves!

Sever: made it? really. well shit the bed and call the turds ted.
Bronson: fail
Delila: nailed it! save
Cora: failed

Sever sees an opening, rushes forward and shouts a war cry he heard his father say over and over again not knowing his father for a few of the words wrong. With a natural 6, with an additional exploding roll of 3 plus 1 for his level, Sever cuts into the hide of the chimera, finds its heart and pushed his steel deep and it moves no more.

As the party settles, each of them looking like a chimney sweep.

The creature had a bowstaff coiled in its tail. Delila knew it to be magic. She marveled at its design and the warmth it gave off when she touched it. The bow was awarded to Cora. To stand in the rear ranks and support the front line with missile fire. While Cora acted like it was not a weapon she wanted to use, she accepted it, hiding the grin beneath the shadow of her hood. This would bring a lot of money.

So there I will end it. Took me a while to finish the game. I was BSing a lot on-line. There was a lot of back and forth in the book. Partly because I am not familiar to the rules, but also the organization of the rules is a little wonky. Combat rules seem to scattered in the book. But that shouldn't be an issue once I get more adventures under my belt.

Here's the final look at my sheet at the end of the night.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Kickstarter: Chose Your Own Sci-Fi Stock Art!

James Shields has a Kickstarter, Chose Your Own: Sci-Fi Stock Art, that I've never seen done before. A mix and match collection of stock art that can be layered upon one another to create unique pieces of art. That's brilliant.

If you play in sci-fi games you can grab a bunch of cool looking tokens for pennies. If you are publisher, this is a gold mine for commercial products. There are five packages; weapons, ships, portraits, people, and scenes. Each package has 50 pieces of stock art. And it's the most affordable stock art you'll ever buy. Keep reading. I have proof.

Pledge Levels...

$15 is for the tokens. You get to mix and match over 150 assets. So what's that, 10¢ a piece? Really up your game up with these tokens.

$25 gets you two of the stock art packages. Your choice. That's over a 100 pieces of stock art that you can use for your publications. That's 25¢ per piece. Try to find great stock art at that price anywhere.

Oh wait, it gets better. Much better.

$50 you'll get all five packages! Over 250 pieces of stock art.  You want to do that math? You don't have to, I did it. That's 20¢ per piece. Let that sink in. Only 20¢. No way you'll find a better deal than that...that is, unless you pledge at the next level.

$75 you get all the stock art Photoshop files, you can change the colors...Your 250+ pieces has now multiplied exponentially because now you can shade and color the stock art to taste. If you are a creator of sci-fi, for commercial or private use, this is the ultimate pledge level.

$150 level, you receive an original inked illustration from James himself. And you get all the rewards. I'm talking original, James signs it...and the best part, you get to submit the idea. Yeah, now that is cool.

But there is so much more...

Depending on your pledge level you'll receive complimentary copies of sci-fi games and accessory PDFs. I'm not going to name all the PDFs, you know why? Cause there are that many.

At the $15 pledge you receive 4 PDFs written by Peter C. Spawn. Oh don't go anywhere there is more. Also at this level you'll get 3 PDFs from Jacob DC Ross and a ship's blueprint done by Robert Conley. So let that sink in exactly how much you are getting for $15.

At the $25 pledge you get all that stuff above and 5 more PDFs from Jacob DC Ross and three more PDFs from Peter C. Spawn. Remember those numbers I gave you for the stock art at this level. Imagine that number plummeting because of all the free PDFs.

$ I even need to tell you. You should be hitting the pledge button. But in case you need a little more of a nudge, you get PDFs of James M, Spahn's White Star Galaxy Edition and Alan Bahr's For Coin & Blood.

One more thing...

Seriously, if that isn't enough to get you to pledge I don't know why the hell you read this far. Seriously, this is about as good as a Kickstarter gets. It is straight foward, James is a proven artist that has been apart of so many different products I can't name them all, go on RPGNow and search his name. The man is busy and delivers.

If anyone isn't convinced yet...okay shit, you are tough to convince, but this is it. My last attempt to get you to pledge. He's been offering pieces of his stock art, that is already offered on RPGNow, at PWYW so you can sample his art.

Chose Your Own: Sci-Fi Stock Art ---- Click the link.

I'm done.

Go pledge now.
Why are you still here. Go. Here's the link one more time. I'll make it big so you don't miss it.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Maps vs. Theater of the Mind

In the latest addition to the Gothridge Manor: An OSR Podcast, I speak about the pros and cons of using maps vs. theater of the mind from the perspective of a player and a GM.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Podcast: Starting Characters in a Campaign

I just released my latest episode, Starting Characters in a Campaign. I'm planning on starting a B/X Essentials campaign soon. I go over a few of the things I like to do to introduce players and their characters into my campaign world, disseminating information without (hopefully) overwhelming them, but enough information that characters can confidently act within the world.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Podcast: Weather in Game

Weather. How it can become an NPC in your game. How it can take on cultural aspects. And of course, how it can affect combat. Check out my Gothridge Manor podcast.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Building a Village Example

A little while ago I did a podcast about Random Encounters for a Village. I spoke about how I tend to do it. This is one of my methods. I like the twp page spread, easy to reference, if I put them into a binder there is no page flipping. Here is the link to the PDF on Google Drive for Thurber Village. I made the village on a map not made for a village, I just added the black squares as houses and it served the purpose well.

If your interested in listening to the podcast, here is the link.

Creating Village Random Encounters

Monday, April 30, 2018

Requiem for a Hag - My OPDC Entry

Whew, I didn't think I would get it done. It's been a few years since I participated in this contest, but felt it was time to throw my dice into the ring. Requiem of a Hag is a nasty little place. She makes Hell her home. With ways to get to Avernus and Dis, this place is bound to get attention from all the wrong people. Glad I was able to finish it. I kept wanting to add stats! Like I have the room for that. I hope you like it. Enjoy.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Lunch Time Podcast About Disorganization

I like Anchor because when I'm on lunch I can grab my phone flap my lips for a short time and make a quick podcast. However, I lost all my back episodes somehow on the app. It still has a lot of fixes needed. 

Despite all that I talk about a number of things. Which makes sense because it's about disorganization. I gained an achievement this weekend. Had lots of time and failed to get much done. 

Check out my podcast. Call in and participate if you like. I will publish phone calls...if I can figure it out. Please check out the Gothridge Manor Podcast if you have a few minutes.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Small Details: Stairs

Stairs are a simple form of transportation. In dungeons, stairs often mean a transition. In many dungeons  the deeper you go the more terrifying and deadly the adventure. Along with the promise of great treasure. Many heated discussions were held around the gaming table whether to to take the stairs. Was it too soon? How healthy was the party. Resource considerations. A transition of geography and philosophy.

Steps are a common feature in dungeons. While most of the time they are denoted by a series of shortening parallel lines, I like to slip in a detail of two to tell the story of that location. Or throw in a simple trap to keep the party on their toes even when encountering a simple feature.

1. One of the steps is missing. In fact, doesn’t look like one ever existed. Rushing up or down the stairs could cause an injury.

2. The steps in this set of stairs are slanted slightly down, as if running water had worn them down. Because of this the stairs are very smooth.

3. The stairs are covered in a white limestone. Each step has a coat-of-arms engraved into the limestone. The handrail on the right side is polished wood held in place by brass brackets secured to the wall.

4. The stairs are made of brittle wood. The stairs tremble and make loud cracking noises when stepped upon. If the steps collapse, a skeleton is found, a hammer in its hand, nails scattered on the floor around him.

5. The stairs are covered with an oily substance. There bottom step is a false step. Anyone who steps on it the step falls, there is flint attached to the step, there is a 3 in 6 chance that it sparks and ignites the oil on the stairs.

6. The stairs have large handrails running up both sides. The wood is scarred and discolored. From the fourth to the tenth stairs is a black scorch mark. At the bottom are decorative posts, if the right one is twisted the middle section of the stairs (4th to the 10th stair) rise to reveal a hidden area.

7. At the top of the stairs there is a simple illusion of more steps. The lead person falls into a pit. At the bottom of the pit are planks with iron spikes driven through to cause further damage.

8. Lit candles sit on the right side of every step. Wax pools at the base of each candle. They extinguish if someone steps on the step they are on. In one day they relight. If removed, they are normal candles. 

9. A horrific scene, the stairs are made of a mix of bone, flesh and sinew. Sections of the stairs move, and as it does it creates a wet, sliding slime slurping noise.

10. A very narrow set of stairs, a person will need to climb sideways, spirals. Anyone in heavy armor cannot pass through. They’ll need to remove their armor to pass. At the top of the stairs foot stone with “Eleanor” engraved into the stone. If the stone is removed there is a urn filled with ashes. Within the ashes is a simple gold necklace with a ruby pendent. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Small Details: 10 Strange Bottles

This is the first time I've posted using my phone. Hoping it works. Here are 10 strange bottles that might be found while adventuring.

1. A simple a clay bottle that has unseen cracks around the outside. When liquid is poured into it within a day all the contents will have leaked out.

2. Thick glass tinted blue makes up this fat bottomed bottle. The cork is attached by a wire. There is a trace of liquid at the bottom. A left over potion of flying. It'll cause the imbiber to shoot up in the air 10' then fall. GM should determine if damage should be rewarded.

3. A broken bottle lays on the ground. If a magic-user puts his hand near it the bottle will reform. It looks to have been carved from a single piece of crystal. If the mage becomes separated from the bottle, it'll shatter at nightfall.

4. A bottle hovers in mid air. It looks to be made of crude glass with something inside. The bottle isn't magic but it is a trap. The bottle sits on a wood pole with dozens of spikes and rusted blades waiting to render flesh. This pole was turned invisible. Anyone who tries to grab the bottle will be impaled. At that time, the pole appears. The bottle has rain water inside.

5. A wine bottle looks intact. It sits in a small basket. The seal is broken but the cork is in place. The seal is of a local winery. It is half full. Oh, and it's laced with centipede poison.

6. A two tiered bottle. It is tinted green glass. There is a light colored liquid in the top and a dark liquid in the bottom. In the middle is a button. If the button is pushed, the liquids mix and a bright light shines in all directions. It remains cool to the touch. This lasts for one hour then goes dark. The bottle is valuable on it's own.

7. The bottle appears to sweat blood. Red droplets form on the surface, trickle down the sides and pool around the bottom.

8. A crude clay bottle with a moon seal on the front is nestled into a crevice. This bottle comes from the fey. If the gift is excepted, the PC gets a visit from the fey while he sleeps demanding a favor.

9. A bone bottle, yellowed with age. It has an inscription running in a single line at the base.

10. Rare red glass bottle. It's stopper is a cut ruby. An alchemy tool used to create enhanced potions.

Hope you find use for these bottles.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Adventures! Micro and Not So Micro

The other day I decided to do a video. Why not? I got a cool video editing program, but no video to edit. So I made one. And thanks to +Shane Ward I've got some kick ass music.

I'd tell you more, but that's why I made the video.

Friday, March 2, 2018

ML#22 Simon's Wheel

I'm going to pitch something that might be a frightening prospect. Something that might go against your grain as a GM. I'm talking about a place where good things happen.


I know. Right?

Game worlds are built around the bad places. The bad people. The bad things that happened. I get it. Makes for a better game. If everything were cupcakes and cotton candy, who would give two chucks to muck?

Here's my proposal. How about a good place mixed in. A little balancing. A good place that does good things for good people who are doing good. I'll even throw in my reoccurring woman who makes food for folks, gratis. Wonder where I came up with that one.

There are a couple of reasons to include a location like this. First, it's a pallet cleanser. A lot of game worlds are filled with darkness and evil, they need rests, or pauses, within the fighting and misery. A place to tell stories, to reflect, to sturdy oneself for the next leg of the journey. The contrast makes the darkness darker and provides a cost and loss to consider. It makes the fight real.

Well, as real as it gets when rolling dice.

My inspiration for the location is a blatant rip off from an episode of Robin of Sherwood. I make no apologies. I love that show and I steal from it all the damn time.

I hope you can find a place for it in your game. Have fun with it.

Oh, you probably wanted to know what the second reason was for a such a will total mess with the players' minds! Think of it, the GM provides a place to correct wrongs without negative consequences. They'll stay up all night waiting for something bad to happen and provide you mounds of horrible ideas that could happen you hadn't thought of.

Yeah, you're welcome. You can grab a PDF copy of Simon's Wheel at my Patreon page. 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Kickstarters I'm Backing

I go hot and cold with Kickstarters and right now I've back three recently. Low investment ones. Nothing over $20, but some cool items and one has already been delivered. And no I did not back the bike balls. But it is a little funny.

3D Dice Coins, d20 version. So Matt Jackson was asking a group of us what is a good kickstarter to back. I went on the site, searched dice, and these guys popped up. Within a few minutes I was a backer...I was doing it for a joke, but these guys look great. J.M. Ward has done other coin Kickstarters and all look to have been fulfilled. And I can easily say, coin dice are so much better than pencil dice.

This is the second Kickstarter for Off the Beaten Path by +Thom Wilson. He and I share the same passion for short adventures. I was a backer for his fist Kickstarter which featured forests, this one focuses on desert terrain. Last Kickstarter Thom completed it on time, early I think, and I have it within arms reach. Consider grabbing a copy.

The last one, but actually the first of the three I backed is For Coin & Blood. When I backed it the writing was done and I received my PDF soon after I pledged. This one is about anti-heroes in game. A subject I'm all about. There is a PoD version coming out soon and I'll grab a copy of the print version also.

That's it for now. Just thought I'd share my Kickstarter backings of late. I am excited about all of them so check them out and see what you think.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Small Details: 10 Door Details to Distract the Party

Sometimes the small details are what attracts the party's attention. Often distracting them from the adventure you had planned for the evening. The first details are what one might find on dungeon doors, inn doors, maybe even trap doors. These ten details could mean something, or not a damn thing. Only the first one has any details, but they could just be hinges with fancy designs. 

1.  The brass hinges of the door are tarnished so they take on the same coloring as the wood door. On closer inspection they have intricate designs. A magic-user has a chance of identifying the patterns. These hinges work as spell storage. So as a magic-user can enchant the door. In most instances it is a trap, so when the next person opens the door the spell is discharged. These hinges hold one spell at a time. They can be removed, but for them to work all three of them have to placed on the same door. 
2.  There is a small door in the door, that mimics the bigger door perfectly. 
3.  There are small holes at the base of the door, they are stained darker than the rest of the door. There is an oily substance in and around the holes.
4.  Hanging on a small iron ring is a goat's foot. It looks to be fashioned as a door knocker.
5.  The door is painted a bright blue in color except for a small hand print in the center.
6.  Two, rusted iron spikes are stuck between the door and the wall. An obvious attempt to keep the door closes. The door has large cracks in it, exposing the interior of the door, but it did not give as something powerful smashed into it.
7.  Words are carved into the door. It is difficult to decipher. The carving looks fairly new. And at the bottom of the words is the number 4.
8.  The door contains  inset, black iron detailing. It curves around onto itself and then spirals out and around. The detailing is quite good.
9.  There is a spiderweb detailing around the door frame. 
10.  The handle of the door is fashioned out of a keg tap.  

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Adventure Trailer? That's a thing?

If it isn't, it is now. So I bought this film editing program, Filmora, for Whisk. But I have commandeered it lately and have been enjoying creating videos. It is time intensive, this one is only 46 seconds long and it took my about 5 hours to complete. But I enjoyed it.

What is Spoke Top Hill? I've posted a pair of short fiction pieces here on my blog. I write fiction sometimes when I am trying to flesh out an area. I discover a lot about it I wouldn't have known if I had just gone straight into writing it as an adventure setting.

This trailer gives you flashes of what to expect. Hill people, more primitive than the surrounding areas. They've got their own distinct culture and beliefs. And their magic seems to come from some primordial source that puzzles even the master mages in the guild.

Why go to Spoke Top Hill? There are no good reasons to risk the climb. Usually its because someone has no other choice and for whatever reason they believe Spoke Top Hill has the answer. And its never the one they expect.

...if they survive.

I'm lining up a couple playtest groups to develop and put this area through its paces. My patrons will get first shot and then I'll go public with the dates and times.

Hope you enjoyed the video and maybe we'll get to throw some dice together.

Oh, and one warning. When I GM, you know all those 1s I throw as a player, I roll much differently. I have a vast graveyard full of PCs fertilizing the ground with their dead dreams and rotted hopes.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Skulls of Spoke Top Hill, Part 2

This is part 2 of Don't Go Past the Skulls post.

Gavin and his companion, Douglas, climbed the south side of Spoke Top Hill, Janon suggested they go that way. That's the side the Corron use when they make their rare trips into the villages.

"There's no goddamn path." Gavin erupted after searching the hillside for the better half of the morning. "We keep climbing up, but there's no trail and none of their damn skulls."

"All of which suits me fine," Douglas added.

A friend and traveling companion from when both were boys. Douglas wore a lion medallion he'd gotten when he'd joined the holy order of Delaquain. He left after a few months. But it was a longer stay than his time in the Guild of Arcane Lore. Disipline had never been a strength of his. He wore the studded leather of a guard from Eastgate, he'd walked the wall for less than a year, and held a spear he stole from a sleeping mercenary in the Seahawk Tavern.

"I've no idea why you want to risk your neck, our necks, to speak to some savage augur." He frowned when he saw a pile of rocks stacked with purpose. He stepped around it, not wanting to disturb them. "We've got perfectly good liars in Eastgate. Cost you a bit more I imagine, but the result still the same. Ohhh you have a dark future. Ohhh you have a might battle ahead. Ohhh you'll be a great leader one day. Ohhh, you have the most charming traveling companion. Nonsense like that. In Eastgate we could hear the nonsense and then hit the tavern, a real tavern where the air doesn't taste like dirt and shit."

Gavin shook his head searching the ground. His eyes saw the same pile of rocks, but it meant nothing. "I can't go to any of the temples in Eastgate. They'd know and it'd be used against me. The oracle would tell me what I wanted to hear. I can't have that. Not this time." His foot brushed against the pile of rocks and a few fell away.

From the canopy of trees, birds burst into the sky. Both Gavin and Douglas flinched from the sudden noise as dozens of large black birds took flight. They stood motionless, searching the trees. The angry cawing of the birds faded. Douglas held his spear in both hands, Gavin braced his shield and held his sword close to his body. Both men did not speak, but moved so their backs were to one another.

After a few minutes of quiet both men relaxed enough to speak. Gavin said something about birds and how he hated them. Douglas looked around, it was different. He searched the details. The trees were closer, the branches thicker, lower, tangled with vines. The stone pile was now scattered skulls, cracked and broken with a layer of lichen.

"What the..." Douglas saw Gavin standing over the skulls. "Gavin, get the hell out there."

Gavin looked to his friend, saw he pointed at his feet and looked down. He saw the skulls scattered on the forest floor and knelt to look at them closer. "Mountain magic." He picked up one of the skulls, looked it over then tossed it to the ground again.

Douglas flinched when the skull hit the ground and rolled down hill. "Damn Gavin, have some respect. These Corron have primal magic that make the guilds of Eastgate nervous."

"I'll not be frightened by skulls or stories of their magics."

"Your bravery is noted, but it boarders on a fool's sense." Douglas saw Gavin was standing on a worn path that wound through the trees. "You've found a the trail you were looking for. Your clumsy footwork has finally served you. Well done." He pointed toward the opening in the tangled trees. "Shall we?"

Gavin took the lead. He kept his sword close and moved through the trees slowly. The vines and branches brushed across his shoulders and back. The trees crowded together blocking out much of the sunlight. Gavin saw his breath escape from his mouth.

Up ahead he saw movement. "Do you bring the torches?" he asked Douglas without looking back. He kept his eyes locked on the anomaly ahead of them.

Douglas lit the torch and held it over Gavin's head. His hand became tangled in the vines. When he moved his hand away the vines tightened around his wrist, but he kept hold of the torch as he dropped his spear to grab for his dagger.

"If the skull's eyes watch you, you're safe." Gavin repeated to himself as the torchlight bathed the ground in front of them.

Skulls were stacked together in a makeshift barrier. Gavin saw a basket hanging in a tree. We walked past the skulls making sure to keep the eyes upon him. He reached into his pack and retrieved the dead bird Janon had given him and placed it in the basket.

With some effort Douglas cut through the vine that wrapped around his wrist. His face covered in sweat and the panic on his face was obvious. He moved to stand by Gavin, more skulls, basket with a dead bird, he was very far from the comforts and luxury of Eastgate. He shivered from the cold.

"Now what?" Douglas asked. "Dead bird in a basket. Nice touch."

"I don't know. Janon said to put the bird in the basket. I didn't think to ask what to do next." Gavin sheathed his sword and grabbed the torch from Douglas. He tried to see beyond the skulls, but there more trees. The path ended here.

"I'm cold. I'm building a fire and I'm going to use the damn vines." Douglas said and then went about cutting off the hanging vines. Before too long he had a small fire going. It did little fight off the chill. "You never told me what you needed to ask the augur."

"I know." Gavin planted the torch in the ground near the basket to free his hand for his sword. He kept searching for the dark treeline for movement. Damned if he was about to become someone's stew without a fight.

A shock of pain struck his arm. He lost strength in his hand and his sword fell to the forest floor. He struggled against the pain. He threw down his shield to grab his arm just above is elbow.

"What's wrong?" Douglas quickly stood and checked on his friend. He expected to find an arrow sticking out of Gavin's arm. Nothing. It was then he smelled the faint scent of magic. A sickly sour scent of decay. The manipulation of entropy. He brought his spear to bear and sensed someone, something by the basket.

The torch flickered. The flame decreased slowly until it vanished. The campfire had also gone out. Darkness. Gavin on the ground fighting off the pain in his arm. Douglas kneeling next to his friend waiting.

The faintest glow of light came from the forest behind the skulls. It grew bright enough to blend shadows into the dark places. Sitting on the ground behind the skulls was a cowled form. Douglas caught himself, the urge to run was strong.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Coshing, It Is All the Rage

I was reading through an adventure module from the olden days, The Mines of Keridav written by Kerry Lloyd for Phoenix Games back in 1979. I had hair back then. A lot of it.

While I was reading this relic I found a section on coshing.

Nope, wrong cosh. That's Kosh.

Ah no, that may be a cosh, but not correct one.

There we go, that beauty above was used by press gangs for the Royal Navy back in the day. That look vicious.

So coshing is basically bopping someone in the head and knocking them out. A non-lethal way to subdue someone without a lot of noise.

Umm, not the same thing. Close. Just put the metal baton in Spock's hand and have him club the guy over the head. That would be more accurate. But thank you Spock for the demonstration.

In the Mines of Keridav there is a small section about the mechanics of coshing someone. The adventure is written for Runequest I believe so it may reflect that, but the mechanics could be used universally. Instead of quoting from the adventure I scanned the section.

Click it to make it big. I find the mechanic good for back then, but today I am sure GMs would add a opposing contest of skills. Stealth vs. Perception kind of thing. And then the component for knocking someone out has a lot to do with the hear gear worn.

I like the idea of a non-lethal form of combat. In 1970s shows there was always a lot of coshing going on. Whap someone in the back of the head, they would catch them for some reason, probably to reduce the noise, lay them on the ground or stash them out of sight and then continue on.

Here's the problem I have with it, in my game, if the players can do it, so can the NPCs. Can you imagine a 5th level fight standing guard gets knocked out with one blow. The outrage. The cries of injustice. The throw of dice and tantrums. And that's just me. I would need to change it up if I planned to use coshing in my game.

Here's what I would do. The base of success would not be determined by the helmet, but by the character's saving throw. I think this is a mechanic that fits well with the use of a saving throw. I mainly play games were there is single save, but if you play a game with more than one type of save you can just pick the best fit. Then I would give bonuses to the save based on the helmet. Say +1 for a coif, +2 for leather helm, +3 for a metal helm. Keeping it simple. And if the head protection has magical bonus I would add that in also. So wearing a +1 coif would provide +2 to your save vs. coshing.

Let me know what you thing and if you know of any other 'knock out' mechanics in games, please let me know.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Musings from a Man Playing Two Middle Earth Games

Let me lead off by saying I am not a huge Middle Earth fan. I've read the Hobbit a few times and the Lord of the Rings once. Seen the first three movies, but not the hobbit movies. And while not being a fan of Middle Earth I find myself in two very interesting Middle Earth games.

The first one is run by +Rob Conley (he knows his Tolkien). I think we started our game back in May of last year. He's using Adventures in Middle Earth, a 5e system flavored with Tolkien. I think it works. The Fellowship phase is probably the biggest change. 

My experience is that regular game time crawls. You can play a year in real time and only a month has passed in game time. Within that month your character has climbed from 1st to whatever level. Nothing wrong with that. Game time is relative. But with the Fellowship Phase, time in Middle Earth seems to move at a more realistic pace. An adventure doesn't take a few days or a week, it takes a season. In addition, with the affect of the Shadow everywhere, these long breaks are needed. 

Rob has done an excellent job of capturing the feel of Middle Earth. From a guy whose been running City-State of the Invincible Overlord for...shit, nearly 35 or 40 years now, he's switched gears well. I'm not an expert by any means, but it does feel like a different land with different problems.

+Chris C. and myself have been a strange duo, a healer/scholar from Laketown and Ferin a dwarf fighter, I can't remember his homeland. We are not a combat first duo. We can't be. I have very little in the way of combat ability so therefore Ferin takes the brunt of the attacks. The interesting thing is how effective we are. Rob runs it so we can use our brains as much if not more than our brawn. Which I think makes for more interesting situations. 

The second Middle Earth game I started two weeks ago. +Dwayne Gillingham is running this one using his own Crit System, think AGE system with a point buy option. He knows his Tolkien also. I'm still learning the lay of the land. Last night our session stopped in the middle of a fight with a mercenary company of umbar. 

What I need to do so I can put more of an effort to keep the immersion is to get a glossary or something. A lot of terms or names thrown about I don't understand the reference. I need a cheat sheet so I don't have to keep asking who the umbar are and whether they are people we wants to battle or not. 

So coming from someone who found reading Middle Earth just above okay, I'm really enjoying these two games. It's actually making me want to read the books again, or at least learn more about the different people and places in Middle Earth. 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

December's NPC Cards and Micro-Adventures

It's that time again, I've printed my micro-adventures and NPC cards for the month. I've got a few extras lying and like to give them to a few folks who are interested. All you need to do is leave a comment about your favorite magic item and then email me your address so I know where to send these two laminated beauties.

Those of you who might be interested in getting adventures and NPC Cards in the mail please consider joining my Micro-Adventures Patreon so you won't miss anything. Plus, I've been adding a extras along the way. 

Now let's hear about some cool magic items. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Reviving Dead Religions

One of my go-to elements in gaming is dead gods/religions. I find that ground fertile for plot hooks, campaign long story-line and it is gamable as hell. I've had an entire 3-year campaign based around this theme, even though the players weren't aware of it until the end. 

Recently I was reading +Carl Bussler's and +Eric Hoffman's, Prayers for the Forgotten, and dead gods/religions is what it is about. After reading it I drew a map, because that's what I do. An upcoming micro-adventure will feature a relic of a forgotten god and the opportunity for the party to become figureheads of a resurrected religion. 

Sounds cool, but how does someone go about reviving a forgotten religion? That's where the GM get so have fun. There are few things that could be on the list to consider.
  • Research. Who is this forgotten god? Good, evil, or indifferent? What was the reason for the faithful to stop worshiping? The players may want to take the time to find out who it is their dealing with. Either way, they have the attention of a god, that never seems to end well.
  • Artifacts. Symbols of the religion, whether its retrieving artifacts from another time or creating new ones. This is surprisingly important, especially in the next phase of recruitment. Most of the masses have no direct connection with the god, the symbol becomes the representation of their worship.
  • Recruitment. No  religion stands alone. Gods need worshipers. The party will have to represent why anyone should take up another god to worship. Why should a commoner or noble donate their time and resources?
  • Recruitment of acolytes. Same as above, but more intense. These are the people who will disseminate the information. This is where the religion will thrive or wither away. A religion needs dedicated people who live and breathe their god. Only their dedication will cause the religion to spread.
  • Temples. One of the last phases is the construction of temples for the faithful to gather, to ask for help, and to do what is required to serve their god. Temples not only help the faithful, but represents a significance in power among non-believers. Not everyone will bend a knee to this newly awaken god, but have a temple of some stature filled with faithful, the secular powers that be will at least pay their respects. 
Each path will be unique. But I think these four steps are fairly universal to all up and coming religions. A good structure to go by and steps can easily be added or ignored.

So a question to readers, have you ever done this in a campaign? And if so, how did you handle some of the steps I detailed above?

Thursday, January 4, 2018

...and then the forest turned into wolves.

We'd decided to join the notorious Geribald the Kinslayer, leader of a group called the Brotherhood of Outlaws, to kill the Werewolf of Mirkwood. A creature who wiped out an entire community a fortnight ago. With us, we brought our own band of outlaws, men we salvaged from their own reckless natures. Out band of 15 men strong was made up of mercenary soldiers who followed the angry brother of a king, bandits who ambushed farmers on the road and a murderer. Farin, a dwarven warrior with a fatalistic view that he would die by a great wolf, and myself, Enoch, a scholar, healer from Laketown with no fighting skill.

We entered Mirkwood. We'd been here before, Mirkwood proved to be less than hospitable. It proved itself again to be a manifestation of death. As we reached the top of a rolling hill, below a group of wolves waited. They took up position of ambush. After conferring with Ferin, we devised a plan to shape the battlefield in our favor. We harvested logs from the forest, surrounded our position with flaming logs to funnel the wolves into us and set other flaming logs down the hill towards the wolves position.

The battle was a flurry of smoke and fur. Out spear and shield men formed two lines, if one was wounded they would step back and the one in the second row stepped up. Those that were wounded I did my best to heal. Our archers harassed the wolves with flaming arrows and Ferin was the wild card and fought were the need was most.

While the details are blurry in my mind, the wolves proved to be an overpowering opponent. Our blows missed their mark as their claws and teeth found flesh. And then the pack leader attacked. It leapt over the front line and sunk its teeth deep into me. I felt the pressure on the bone of my arm and was surprised it didn't snap. This seemed to rally the men. They forgot about their individual assignments and concentrated their attacks on the pack leader. The blows the missed or glanced away were now finding the soft underbelly. Arrow and spear sipped away at the leader's life. And now the hunters were being hunted and the pack leader ran.

Farin rushed through the battle, avoiding the snapping jaws of the other wolves, to engage the leader. Farin's axe named Wolf Biter, cleaved into spine and the leader released a loud cry and fell lifeless to the ground. The other wolves scrambled, but it was too late. My men were on them, striking with more confidence and the rest easily slain.

We harvest the pelts. We rested and tended to wounds. We nearly lost two of our men, but both survived. 

Farther into the forest we traveled until we found two men, lookouts of Geribald. We parlayed and were escorted into camp where we made our intentions known. He accept our company, but asked for help for one of his men who'd been bitten by a wolf and the wound was infected by Shadow.

I'd seen Seragon or Blood on the Stone, a bright red flower the grew on rocky outcroppings, coming into camp. It would help with the tending to wounds infected with Shadow. In our search to find the plant I met a curious creature. A woman in the forest. She called herself Duskwater, but said she had no need for names. She told me where to find the flower I sought and just as quickly she disappeared back into the forest near Black Tarn, a large pond. And I swear, she may have turned into a silver trout and swam away. I don't find this odd, I've assisted Beorn who can turn himself into a bear. These things no longer surprise me.

I tended to Geribald's man. He will recover in time. After some rest, some planning, we intend to hunt this werewolf and put an end to its savagery.