August 26, 2014

LL Custom Class: Orionixie

by Fairyjar18
Orionixies all appear to be slender and lithesome green skinned women.  They are amphibious, equally at home on land as they are in lakes and streams.  Their fingers and toes are partially webbed, and they can breathe underwater using the four gill slits on each side of their neck.  Orionixie skin color ranges from the yellowish greens of chartreuse and lime to the blueish greens of turquoise and teal.  Their hair is typically dark black, but some prefer to use potions and dyes to make their hair more colorful.  Orionixie consorts have come to set the standard of sophistication within the cities.  In recent years it has become fashionable for them to make use of many dyes, cosmetics, and tattoos to create dramatic and eye-catching effects, but many still prefer the classic natural look.

All appearances to the contrary, Orionixies are not actually female.  Technically they are neither male nor female, but a mutable third sex.  They are able to control the shape and movement of their sexual organs allowing for a surprising range of intimate interactions.  Orionixies are found intriguing by males and females of many species.  While Orionixies are all of the same sex and very similar physically, they do have two separate genders which they can distinguish easily by smell.  Orionixies can only become pregnant by Orionixies of the opposite gender, but either gender can carry the child.  Pregnancies are somewhat rare though because Orionixies seem to fall in love with members of other species as often as with each other.  It's complicated.

Orionixies occasionally gain random innate magical talents that manifest over time.  These are at-will abilities with no fancy hand gestures or chanting involved.  Although some Orionixies can develop the ability to decipher and read magical runes, they do not seem to be able to cast spells or use magical scrolls.  However, they do have an aptitude for using magical wands and staves.
by Araniel

Requirements: Str 8 or less
Prime Requisite: CHA and INT
Hit Dice: d6
Max Level: 10th
Hit Progression: as Cleric/Thief
Saving Throws: as Elf
Weapons: Any
Armor: Padded, Leather, Studded Leather, and Shield

Special Abilities
Water Breathing
+1 Skill Point each level
Sneak (2 in 6)
Swimming (2 in 6)
Subterfuge (2 in 6)
Random once per day innate magical ability each level

At first level and each level thereafter roll for a random first level Magic-User AND Cleric spell.  In my game we're rolling a d12 and a d8.  The player chooses which one of those options will become the Orionixie's once per day magical ability.  If one of the options rolled is already possessed then the Orionixie can choose to gain an extra use per day for any one of her existing abilities rather than gaining a new one.

1st level Magic-User spells-------------- 1st level Cleric spells
1. Charm Person ------------------------- 1. Cure Light Wounds
2. Detect Magic -------------------------- 2. Detect Evil
3. Floating Disk -------------------------- 3. Detect Magic
4. Hold Portal ---------------------------- 4. Light
5. Light ------------------------------------ 5. Protection from Evil
6. Magic Missle -------------------------- 6. Purify Food and Drink
7. Protection from Evil ----------------- 7. Remove Fear
8. Read Languages ----------------------- 8. Resist Cold
9. Read Magic
10. Shield
11. Sleep
12. Ventriloquism

by Luka Basyrov

It is said that the first Orionixies were created by Enki, the cleverest and most sympathetic of the Anunnaki.  According to legend, Enki's wife Ninhursag was spending all of her time creating and refining the other slave races.  Ninhursag became known as "The Great Mother" due to this important work, but Enki missed her company and grew lonely.  He sought to spend more time with her by helping with her designs, but she became annoyed and irritated by his interference.  She bid him to leave and design his own project rather than tamper with her delicate experiments.  Hurt and dejected, Enki decided to heed her advice.  He worked to create a lovely companion for himself, one who might spark Ninhursag's jealousy.  He eventually created several alluring women with quick wits, tender hearts, and impressive "natural talents".

Enki touted his creations as a great success, and the other Anunnaki were envious of his harem.  Before long he was creating Orionixie playmates for others.  His ploy worked.  Ninhursag was at once jealous and impressed.  Soon the two of them were spending all of their time collaborating together to create a new species, the human race.

Enki's testing methods did not match Ninhursag's level of care and stringency.  Eventually the Orionixies were revealed to pose certain unintended difficulties.  Some of the Orionixies seemed to possess unpredictable magical talents, each individual having a different set of abilities.  This distressed some of the Anunnaki who did not want their playthings to have access to such power.  Especially feared was a charm that clouded the mind and made their Anunnaki masters suggestible and compliant for a time.  In addition, although Enki had made sure that these green skinned women would not become pregnant by any other species he was surprised to discover that they could somehow reproduce by having relations with each other.  This disappointed many of the Anunnaki who did not want the complication of children within their harems.  Steps were taken to limit these pregnancies.  Orionixes who did not obey the new edicts were threatened with exile from the harems.  Exile would mean leaving behind their friends, family, and the life of luxury that was all that any of them had ever known.  It was a powerful deterrent, but the heart wants what the heart wants.  Eventually certain Orionixies were cast out of the Anunnaki harems and forced to make a home for themselves within the cities or to take their chances in the wilds.

Over time their population has not grown much, there are only a few hundred living in each of the cities.  Today a large percentage of Orionixies can be found living and working in exclusive brothels and bathhouses throughout the cities.  As consorts their allure and mystique ensures them a good income, but some individuals prefer to try other professions.  Few employers would turn down the opportunity to hire an Orionixie, simply having one on staff would draw customers and boost the employer's reputation.

by Samshank

These are the numbers I plugged into my customized class thingamabob to make an XP table.

100 Base
70   Hit Dice: d6
70   Hit Progression: Cleric/Thief (+1hp after L9)
15   Max Level: 10th
35   Elf saves
20   Armor: Padded, Leather, Studded Leather and Shield
90   Weapons: any
40   Magic: no divine scrolls, no arcane scrolls

Special Abilities
25  Water Breathing (neck gills, and webbed fingers and toes)
0    +1 Skill Point each level (if using LotFP skills)
20  Sneak (2 in 6) {or MS + HS as a Thief of the same level}
0    Swimming (2 in 6) {free with Water Breathing}
10  Subterfuge (2 in 6)
25  Random once per day magical ability gained each level, equivalent to first level spell

480 - TOTAL

Standard Base Experience X Orionixie Class 480%
0 -----------Level 1 ----------- 0
400 --------Level 2 -------  1920
800 --------Level 3 -------  3840
1600 ------ Level 4 ------   7680
3200 ------ Level 5 -----   15360
6400 ------ Level 6 -----   30720
12800 -----Level 7 -----   61440
24000 -----Level 8 ----- 115200
48000 -----Level 9 ----- 230400
_________Level 10+_________
1hp/Level = +100,000 each
Level 10 @ 330,400 XP

August 17, 2014

Ancients & Aliens: Session 4 - The Babbling Blade

Like most sessions, we begin inside Watchkeeper Hall.  The group is gathered beneath the giant cocoon of Ony the Mutant and listening as the young magi Lithsharric tells them what he has learned about the magical silver sword recovered last session.  Ony had asked Lithsharric to look into the nature of the sword as a final favor for Saruk; whose life was lost in the very room where the sword was found.  Ony also told him that the sword might be cursed and warned him not to touch it directly.

Lithsharric sits with the group and explains that not all of the runes on the sword are magical.  Some of the writing is in an ancient language, possibly Elvish, which he can not decipher.  Lithsharric says that his master might know how to read the language, but he suspects that his master might "keep the item for further study" and never return it.  The older magi compensate adventurers with gold, but they tend to keep any magical item that is brought to them.  Lithsharric has kept the sword hidden in his room for the past two weeks while studying it.

Some of the magical runes are simply beyond his current understanding, but he was able to learn a few things.  This silver sword has multiple magical abilities.  The sword can detect invisibility, and evil, and some kind of necromatic something or other.  It has some kind of restoration magic that isn't exactly healing.  Also, "these runes over here are some kind of anti-necromancy something.  Oh, and there is this very elaborate line of magical runes that swirls from the pommel around the hilt and all the way down the blade.  I don't have any idea what those do, but they sure look impressive."  Finally, Lithsharric tells them that he has an identify spell which should reveal all of the sword's magical powers, but this spell requires that he touch the sword, except Ony had insisted that he not touch the blade because it might be cursed, but Lithsharric doesn't really think the sword is cursed because it has so many enchantments and besides who would put restorative magic on a cursed blade, so I was thinking that....

At this point Sura the Orionixie just reaches out and grabs the sword.   She is one of the newest watchkeepers, and was assigned to the group in order to fill the vacancy left by Saruk's untimely passing (it's the dice, I swear).  Her sword arm begins moving around on it own and holds the sword up near her face.  "Me'atma thainos inth Shivurill" says the sword.  "Hoshin civithil doezen shrive?" after a few moments with no response her moves out toward other people nearby as the sword says "Commastay?" and "Nithliven?".

Everyone just looks around at each other in confused silence for a while.  The sword sighs and mumbles "Sozha impuur".

by 14-bis
Sura suddenly goes into a trance and starts to see images in her head.  It's like a memory that she doesn't recognize.  She sees an oval hallway, a strange door, and then a room with a large stone sarcophagus inside.  After this vision the sword begins tugging her toward the exit of Watchkeeper Hall.  Based on Sura's descriptions of the petrified wooden walls the others think that the sword must be leading them back to the roots of Xylarthen's tower.  Everyone decides to gear up and follow Sura, who can't seem to break free from the sword's grip.  Even Lithsharric volunteers to follow along (played by Glenn since his mutant hasn't emerged from the cocoon yet).

The sword eases up and stops pulling at Sura once she starts walking down the road, but she still can't let go of it.  They spend the whole day traveling along the old dwarf road and make camp at the usual spot where a trail through the forest meets the road.  During the night Jakob the Ratling is watching over the camp from up in a tree.  He hears movement and sees rustling as if multiple creatures are slowly approaching his sleeping friends below, so he calls out an alarm to wake them up.  As he shouts Jacob can see the creatures break cover and rush forward toward the camp.  The party is just getting to their feet and pulling weapons as the first two orcs leap out from the bushes.  Jakob takes aim with his sling and calls out to the others "I see eight of them!"  Lithsharric decides eight is more than enough orcs to justify a sleep spell, so he casts just as some of the other orcs are coming into the light of the campfire.  All of the orcs succumb to the magical slumber and the party decides to light torches and poke through the bushes to find and dispatch them all.

The next morning Lithsharric explains that he has no more magic to aid them with.  He has cast his only spell and he'll have to return to town in order to memorize another.  Like most magi, he does not own a Tablet of Fate (spellbook/Anunnaki iPad) and has to use the communal one that is kept under guard back in Niru.

The group decides to head back to town, not wanting to risk the entering the dungeon without a sleep spell at the ready.  They pack up their things and start walking, but after a few steps the sword swings itself around until the blade points skyward in front of Sura's face and says "Hoshah ibbil vor, asa kleftinduur?"  She says "we'll come back later" and continues walking toward town.  The sword says "Velthix mohn" and swings around behind her pointing down the side trail.  She struggles against the sword, but cannot pull it any further down the road or pry her fingers away from the hilt.  No one wants to leave Sura behind, so they all decide to follow and see where the sword is leading them.  As Sura starts moving toward the trail the sword says "Shonda" and she regains control of her arm.  Lithsharric wonders aloud if the sword might be speaking old elvish.

After a few hours they reach the lake.  They leave the trail and skirt around the southeast edge of lake, then head for the northernmost hill on the other side.  Soon they are at the remains of Xylarthen's tower.  They haul open the heavy round trap door, and see a hand print of died blood on the underside of the lid.  They decide to be extra careful, so Jakob the Ratling goes down first to sneak around and have a look while the others wait up top.  Jokob climbs down the ten foot ladder.  The small landing is lit by the shaft of light coming from the top of the ladder, there are blood stains on the floor and walls here, and dried blood on the rungs of the ladder.  He can also see a dead orc at the top of the stairway going down to the hallway ten feet below.  That's when Saruk shambles into view.  Saruk died on the last expedition, and the party was forced to leave his body behind.  Zombie Saruk staggers up the stairway, much of his flesh is gone now revealing the bones beneath.  A couple of giant maggots seem embedded within and feeding on him as he walks.  Jakob gets the hell out of there and hurries back up the ladder.  Everyone backs away from the ladder and waits while Sir William begins a rumbling growl.  They watch warily as Saruk emerges up and out of the dungeon.  Saruk climbs to his feet and then slowly turns in a circle as if looking for something.  No one is quite sure if he recognizes them before he shambles off westward.  They watch silently as he begins his long walk to Kutha and the entrance to the Underworld.

The sword tugs Sura toward the dungeon entrance.

Everyone goes down the ladder this time.  The trip down to the first landing is somewhat complicated by Rina the Halflingon's new war dog, Sir William.  Rina opted to buy the most expensive dog in town, and he is well behaved as she ties ropes around his legs and body into a makeshift harness.  However, when he is lifted up into the air he goes totally berserk.  Sir William tries to bite Rina once, paws at the air frantically, and starts making these panicked piercing yelps as he is being lowered down the hole.  Everyone gets out of the way and gives the dog some space.  Sir William calms down a bit once his paws hit the landing, but he still whines and paces around for a while.  Rina climbs down and gives him a jerky treat, unties the ropes, and gets her dog under control.

Everyone follows Sura now, as the sword tugs her along through the dungeon.  They defeat a giant python that tries to constrict multiple members of the party at the same time, swing through the room with the giant weasel nest that they cleared out last time, and then enter the room that Sura saw in her vision with the giant sarcophagus.  The sword says "Felthan RELCH issin bessle weir", and Sura regains control of her sword arm.

The sarcophagus is over ten feet long and six feet wide, a big iron chain is wrapped around it and held in place with a heavy rusty lock.  Everyone searches the room for clues, and Jakob finds a hidden compartment with a key.  They unlock and then remove the chains.  A few of the party members work together to remove the heavy stone lid.

The lid flies open and swings aside as a ogre wight sits up and grabs for the party members with horrible long claws.  The sword yells "Shadamor̃gh!" and swings Sura into melee.  The fight goes on for a while.  Shields are splintered.  Rina is hit by the wight's icy tough and feels some of her life force drain away as it leaves a bloody welt on her skin.  Soon after this the ogre wight is destroyed and crumbles down into a pile of dust.
by Vshen
After the battle the sword leads Sura over to Rina and says "Shonda nicht issil halthen, bonna Mazzlien" and then it begins to glow bright white.  They sword says "Mazzlien mortho?" and as they puzzle over the meaning, the sword juts forward and stabs at Rina.  It cuts her, but not badly.  It hurts a bit, but at the same time Rina can feel her strength return as the bloody welt turns into a bruise.

After this they pull out the bag and wrappings that they had kept the sword in previously.  Sura tries to talk the sword into going back into the bag.  It takes some time, but eventually the sword says "konda duvlien" and Sura fingers open dropping the sword inside.

After that they all went back to town.  Lithsharric tried to study the sword some more, but got possessed by it.  The sword marched him around town with his eyes shut and his head lolling about.  It eventually found Rina while she was shopping.  The sword babbled some things at her and then Lithsarric set down at her feet.  He fell to the ground and then immediately woke up thinking that the sword had teleported him to the market.  Rina took the sword, and they've been happy together so far.

The party took another trip into the dungeon after that.  I don't remember much of that except that they found a bunch of orc zombies and the sword started glowing white and actually turned some of the them.  Then the zombies died... again.  Oh, and they found a bunch of treasure under a piles of wight dust.

I'm tired now.  The End.

August 12, 2014

LL Custom Class: Primitive

Whoops.  I hit the submit button before this was finished.  Oh well, I guess I'll do a quick patch and call it done.

Requirements: Intelligence of 8 or less
Prime Requisite: STR and DEX
Hit Dice: d8
Max Level: 12th
Hit Progression: as Fighter
Saves: as Dwarf/Halfling
Weapons: Any
Armor: Leather, Studded, or Hide.  No shield

Special Abilities
Sneak (2 in 6)
Hear Noise (2 in 6)
Hunting/Tracking (2 in 6)
Savagery:  The ferocity of their melee attacks makes any object a formidable weapon.  Sticks and stones may indeed break bones. (Primitives use d8 for melee weapon damage, or d10 if 2-Handed)

*Dual-Wielding House Rule* - When holding a weapon in each hand, roll the attack roll as normal.  If successful roll a damage die for each weapon, but only the weapon with the higher roll struck successfully.  If the damage rolls are tied, then the target takes damage from both weapons. The primitives in my game will be taking advantage of this house rule, so I thought I should go ahead and mention it.

Primitives are individuals who grew up in the wild, far removed from civilized society.  This class is a bit of a catch-all and can include Neanderthals, wild elves, feral halflings, humans raised by wolves, Prehistoric Batman...

or generic cavemen types...

Anyhow, here is the XP chart I'd use for any of those...

100 Base
120 Hit Dice: d8
70   Hit Table: Fighter (+2hp after L9)

0     Bonus +1hp after L9
25   Max Level: 12th
55   Dwarf/Halfling Saves
15   Armor: Leather, Studded, or Hide.  No shield
70   Weapons: No bows (long, short, or cross). No flexible weapons

30   Magic: no wands, no spell scrolls
0     +1 Skill Point each level
20  Sneak (2 in 6) {or HS + MS as a Thief of the same level}
10   Hear Noise (2 in 6) {or as a Thief of the same level}
10   Hunting/Tracking (2 in 6) {or use Find/Remove Traps percentages as a Thief of the same level)
30   Savagery (use d8 for melee weapon damage, or d10 if 2-Handed)
555 - TOTAL

Standard Base Experience X Primitive Class 555%
0 --------- Level 1 -----------0
400 ------ Level 2 ------- 2220
800 ------ Level 3 ------- 4440
1600 ----- Level 4 ------- 8880
3200 ----- Level 5 ------ 17760
6400 ----- Level 6 ------ 35520
12800 ---- Level 7 ------ 71040
24000 ---- Level 8 ----- 133200
48000 ---- Level 9 ----- 266400
_________Level 10+_________
3hp/Level = + 130,00 each
+130,000 - Level 10 --- 396400
+130,000 - Level 11 --- 526400
+130,000 - Level 12 --- 656400

August 10, 2014

LL Custom Class: Halflingon

Halflingons are one of the many slave races created millennia ago by the Anunnaki's genetic experiments in splicing the DNA of various alien species with the native races found on this newly conquered planet.  Now halflingons are known throughout the lands for their aggression and brutality.  Although they are typically only a little over three feet tall they are freakishly strong for their size, easily as strong as a full sized human.  Halflingons are easy to identify due to their short stature, skull ridges, hairy feet, and goatee/fu manchu facial hair.
By Malloriel

Requirements: Wisdom 8 or less
Prime Requisite: STR and CON
Hit Dice: d8
Max Level: 12th
Hit Progression: as Fighter
Saving Throws: as Dwarf/Halfling
Weapons: No 2-Handed Melee or Longbow
Armor: Any

Special Abilities
Sneak (3 in 6)
+1 Initiative
+1 Melee Attack Rolls
-2 AC bonus when attacked by large creatures
Redundant Organ Systems

Halflingons are rash and impulsive, easy to anger, and difficult to kill.  Even piercing their lung, heart, or brain is no guarantee of death thanks to their redundant organ systems.  People talk about the gladiator matches they've seen.  Everyone has heard stories about halflingons fighting each other, or wild beasts, or trolls.  Most people think twice before messing with a halflingon.

Initially regarded as a failed experiment, the Anunnaki felt that the halflingons were too aggressive and uncontrollable to serve any useful purpose.  For many centuries the halflingons were bred only to fight in the gladiator pits of the cities for the amusement of the populous and their Anunnaki masters.  They were kept apart from the general population, locked away in the gladiator schools.  Although some few won the admiration of the crowds and became famous, as a whole the halflingons were always socially marginalized and segregated.  Throughout this time they were uneducated, illiterate, and trained only for combat in the pits.

Eventually small numbers of halflingons were brought into the military to help root out the remaining pockets of dwarven and elven resistance.  They were sent to scout within the cramped dwarven tunnels and used as shock troops to soften up the ranks of enemy humanoids.  Through this military service they gained respect from their fellow soldiers, and as veterans they gained citizenship rights for themselves and their offspring.  The Anunnaki were wary of letting the halflingons roam free within their cities.  They worried that the halflingon penchant for violence would increase crime and be a bad influence on the other slave races.  The city guards were always told to keep a close eye on them.  Halflingons were often restricted to live only in certain areas of a city, and sometimes had curfews imposed upon them.

The Anunnaki have been gone now for fifty years.  The magi still pray to the Anunnaki and rule in their name from the ziggurat temples, but many of the old policies and programs have become neglected.  The halflingons are enjoying a new found sense of freedom and equality within most of the cities.  Now they can seek education at the ziggurats along with the other citizens, and enforcement of the other restrictions is no longer a priority.

Most halflingons live in tight-knit communities.  The elders have a very "us vs. them" view of the world.  Halflingons tend to be very private people.  They don't talk much about their family or their past, but these are often their primary concerns.  It can take them quite a while to warm up to outsiders.  It is unwise to walk into a halflingon home uninvited, only the most immediate family members are allowed within.  Being invited inside is a great honor, and accepting means that you are now a member of the family.

100 Base
120 Hit Dice: d8
70   Hit Progression: Fighter (+2hp after L9)
0 Bonus +1hp after L9
25   Max Level: 12th
55   Dwarf/Halfling saves
60   Armor: Any
55   Weapons: no 2-handed weapons or longbows
30   Magic: no wands, no divine scrolls, no arcane scrolls

Special Abilities
40   Sneak (3 in 6) {or HS + MS as a Thief who is 4 levels higher}
5     +1 Initiative
10 +1 Melee Attack Rolls
15   AC -2 when attacked by large creatures
15 Redundant Organ Systems (half damage from critical hits, and any critical with "instant death" is now survivable)

590 - TOTAL

Standard Base Experience X Halflingon Class 600%
0 -----------Level 1 ------------- 0
400 --------Level 2 -------  2400
800 --------Level 3 -------  4800
1600 ------ Level 4 ------   9600
3200 ------ Level 5 -----   19200
6400 ------ Level 6 -----   38400
12800 -----Level 7 -----   76800
24000 -----Level 8 ----- 144000
48000 -----Level 9 ----- 288000
_______Level 10+__________
3hp/Level = +130,000 each
----------- Level 10 ----- 418000
----------- Level 11 ----- 548000
----------- Level 12 ----- 678000

July 29, 2014

Ancients & Aliens: Session 3 - Under Xylarthen's Tower

I should really try to do these session reports right after the game.  Once I wait a few weeks my memory gets a bit hazy.  This is my best recollection of the events.

*Spoiler Alert*  Mugato will show up near the end and kill someone.

After charming and questioning their prisoner Kelvar the Dwarf; the magi of Niru learn that the Chaotic Caves are not a staging area for invading the town of Niru, but rather a staging area for adventuring within some nearby dungeons.

Apparently, the elves know that the red dragon who dwelt within the dungeon depths is now dead, and there is a whole dragon horde just sitting down there waiting to be claimed.  The elves have been bribing various humanoid leaders to join them at the caves and have been using these minions as NPC adventuring parties and delving into the nearby dungeon.  In exchange for humanoid cannon fodder henchmen, the elves give a share of the recovered gold and magical items to the humanoid leaders and their tribes who now dwell within the Chaotic Caves.

So, having learned all of this the magi now want the PC's to go into the dungeon and grab the dragon horde before the elves and their allies can get their hands on it.  It didn't take a lot of convincing.  Once you mention "horde of a dead dragon" PC's seem fairly eager to go investigate.  And so, off they went.
Step 1

They walked along the old dwarf road and soon they were passing by Swamp Tower.  They had cleared out the harpy and giant toads in a previous session and in the following weeks the tower had become an outpost watch tower for the town of Niru, with a new ladder inside, a rebuilt platform up top, and few Elfulan guards 30 feet up watching over the road and the swamp.  Saruk the Elfulan (John) gave them the standard Elfulan greeting, which we all suddenly learned was a Romulan fist over the heart quickly followed by a Nazi type outstretched open hand.... Perfect!

Step 2
Shortly after this someone noticed a large humanoid shape running through the swamp toward the tower.  The Elfulans up at the top of the tower yelled "Troll!" and started hauling up their ladder.  The PC's rushed forward and engaged the troll before it could start climbing up the side of the tower.  The two Elfulans above did their best to rain arrows down upon the troll.  Jakob the Ratling used his sling, Saruk used his bow, and Ony the Mutant used his special Jedite fighting style to hurl energy balls ("Hadoken!")  at the troll.  Only our newest player was foolhardy enough to engage a troll in melee.  Laynie had never played in any tabletop RPG before tonight, and only minutes before this encounter had rolled up Rina the 1st level Halflingon who was wielding a battleaxe and shield.  I love having new players at the table, but I was a little worried that this first random encounter might get her character killed right out of the gate.  Luckily everyone except the troll survived, and there was much rejoicing.

The party marched along the road for the rest of the day and made camp near the side trail that they hoped led to the lake that the dwarf had mentioned.  The PC's made a campfire and kept watches that night.  Good thing too, Rina the Halflingon got the drop on some elves who were trying to sneak up on the camp.  Most of the elves were killed by the party but one vanished into the trees that night.

The next day they followed the trail, found the lake, and searched the nearby hills until they found the dungeon entrance.  At the crest of one of the hills is a gigantic petrified tree stump.  The gargantuan stump is smooth and level in the middle but with jagged bits sticking up around the outside edge.  The hollow petrified tree was once a tower, home of the ancient elf wizard Xylarthen who lived thousands of years ago.  He was said to have betrayed his own people and aided the Anunnaki when they first arrived on the planet.  There are many versions of that story, and no one really knows the truth anymore.  The tower is completely shattered now, most say that the Anunnaki destroyed Xylarthen and his tower once he was no longer of use to them, but the dungeons below still remain. In the middle of the vast petrified stump is a petrified wooden hatch with handles that opens up to reveal a petrified wooden ladder leading down into the petrified wooden depths below.  The dungeon rooms and hallways all seem to be open cavities within the petrified roots of the once great tree.

The PC's ventured down into the depths Under Xylarthen's Tower (I'll change it up a bit and hope that my players don't read too many spoilers).  The hallways within are a kind of seamless oval made of petrified wood, mostly brown with streaks and splotches of red and purple all throughout.  The doors and hinges are of the same material, and seem to be stuck shut for some individuals but open easily for others (d6 roll to open doors).  The doors all shut on their own after a time, sometimes while the PCs are still in the room.

The first room they entered had a big furry ogre with tusks who demanded a password.  He died.  They saw some stairs going down, but chose a different hallway instead.  They walked past a side room that smelled like a communal bathroom and eventually entered a large empty room with a door on the western wall.  The door led to a room where some giant weasels were building a nest.  The weasels were killed and their nest looted.

On a hunch, Jakob the Ratling went back to the empty room and found a secret door in the northeast corner that opened unto a narrow tube with a ladder leading deep into the depths below.  Saruk went down the ladder to investigate with his infravision.  After 80 feet the narrow tube opened into the ceiling of a room.  Saruk heard a lot of grunting and saw furry shapes moving around below.  He hurried back up to tell the others.

They seemed hesitant, but Rina convinced them to investigate. They all climbed into the narrow tube one by one, and Saruk led the way down the ladder.  The light from the torches tipped off the creatures below.  A furry white ape with a big horn on the top of it's head looked up the tube and started whooping loudly as it began to grab onto the ladder.  Saruk let go of the ladder and dropped down the shaft, he hit the Mugato full in the face with his feet.  The creature was stunned and Saruk fell on top of the beast in the room below.  The five other Mugato in the room jumped back, but then move to surround Saruk.  Knowing that seconds matter, Saruk tries to cast his sleep spell while still lying on the stunned ape.  John used his d30 roll, but it isn't quite good enough.  Three of the apes pass out and fall to the ground.  The other two Mugato are standing over Saruk now, and quickly pummel him to death.
Look out dude!

At this point Rina is down the ladder and engages the two ape men with her battleaxe and shield while Jakob and Ony scramble down the ladder as quickly as they can.  The battle is fierce.  Rina is trading blows with the two ape men while her friends alternate between helping her and killing the white apes on the ground before they can rouse from their slumber.  Rina's shield is splintered by a blow that would have crushed her ribs.  She scores a critical hit and cleaves into the neck of one of the beasts.  I can't remember now if this is the second or third time this session that Rina was covered in a spray of blood.  Soon the party is victorious, and victory is sweet.  Saruk is avenged.

They find the ape larder which was full of dead elves and dwarves, their equipment, and scattered and torn sacks with thousands of silver and gold coins.  Oh and there was also some weird sword made of silver with a bunch of magical looking runes all over the blade.  I innocently asked who was picking up the sword, and that set off some group-wide paranoia.  After that everyone refused to touch the thing.  They decided that the magi back in town should take a look at it, so Ony carefully bundled up the sword with sacks and rope as if it were a viper waiting to strike.

 They all started discussing the logistics of taking the loot and Saruk's body back to town.  They wanted to give him a proper burial so that he wouldn't come back as a zombie (as all the created races "naturally" do).  They used some dwarf ropes to tie Saruk's body to Rina.  She climbed up the ladder while Saruk's limp form dangled beneath her.  Jakob followed up afterward and watched over the body while she went back down to help haul up more of the loot.

Ony and Rina grabbed all the gold, but left most of the silver behind and started up the ladder.  That's when Jakob heard a droning/buzzing sound approaching.  The ratling left his torch near Saruk's body and scurried over to the secret door.  He got on the ladder just as 6 Giant Carnivorous Flies entered the room.  Jakob pulled the door closed.  The three of them start discussing their options while holding on to the ladder.  No one wants to go back down and explore any more of the level below, so Jakob cracks open the door and takes a peek.  The flies are feasting on poor Saruk.  Everyone carefully skirts around the edge of the room while the occupied flies take no notice.  The group quickly exits the dungeon and heads back to town.  And that's how Saruk saved the party one last time even though he was dead.  It's too bad that they had to leave his body behind.

So, the three adventurers make it back to the town of Niru with the loot.  Ony the Mutant gave that magic sword to the young magi Lithsharric to see if he can decipher the runes on it's blade.  Then Ony apparently got out of his bed in the middle of the night, climbed up the wall, and encased himself in a giant cocoon up near the ceiling of Watchkeeper Hall.  Maybe it's a mutant thing?  The cocoon is freaking out some of the other watchkeepers.  Most everyone is sleeping with a weapon under their pillow, and they take turns watching the cocoon throughout the day and night.  Even if they do not particularly like him the other watchkeepers seem to at least respect Ony's accomplishments, so everyone is hoping that Ony emerges mentally intact.  However, just to be safe... if an Ony-monster emerges there are some extra flasks of oil and firewater in the four corners of Watchkeeper Hall now.

July 27, 2014

LL Custom Class: Ratling

Ratlings are small (about halfling size) sentient rat men who are invasive and can be found in almost any environment.  They often live on the outskirts of some other community; in the sewers under the human cities, in the forests of the elves, and in the dwarven tunnels deep in the bedrock.  Ratlings are scavengers and opportunists.  They live off of the scraps left behind by others, but can fend for themselves if they must.

by Mablox

Requirements: Str 5 or less
Prime Requisite: DEX and CON
Hit Dice: d6
Max Level: 9th
Hit Progression: as Fighter
Saving Throws: as Dwarf/Halfling
Weapons: No 2-Handed Melee or Longbow
Armor: Padded, Leather, Studded Leather, and Shield
Special Abilities
+1 Skill Point each level
Sneak (3 in 6)
Detect Smell (3 in 6)
Climb Walls (5 in 6)
-2 AC bonus when attacked by large creatures
+1 initiative
Speaks to rats
Iron Stomach (can eat rotten and spoiled foods, immunity to puking and nausea)

Pragmatic and adaptable, most ratlings prefer to let others handle any direct combat though they do enjoy looting and nibbling the remains of the fallen.  They are not picky about alliances and will join up with whomever seems best able to protect and feed them.  They are not well regarded by other races, but when tolerated they can prove useful as scouts and spies.  Perhaps the mutants are their closest allies.  In the sewers under the cities, ratlings and mutants can be found living together as equals.

Ratlings can be solitary or live in small family groups, but most prefer to live in large packs for protection.  A large pack of ratlings is called a "mischief".  The politics within each mischief will vary, but most are led by a single ratling who is either respected or feared by the others.

Ratlings rarely go to war, but there is an ancient tradition that ratlings follow when multiple mischiefs must work together and combine their forces.  The leaders of each mischief must choose to give up their individual identity and become equal co-leaders of the new ratling horde.  They do this by ritually having their tails all broken and then knotted together permanently; they all give up their old names and become "Rat King".

by Meghan Stratman

100 Base
70   Hit Dice: d6
70   Hit Progression: Fighter (+2hp after L9)
10   Max Level: 9th
55   Dwarf/Halfling saves
20   Armor: Padded, Leather, Studded Leather and Shield
55   Weapons: no 2-handed weapons or longbows
30   Magic: no wands, no divine scrolls, no arcane scrolls

Special Abilities
0 +1 Skill Point each level (if using the LotFP skill system) {or use these Thief Skills instead}
40   Sneak (3 in 6) {or HS + MS as a Thief who is 4 levels higher}
15   Detect Smell (3 in 6) {or same chance as Hear Noise for a Thief who is 2 levels higher}
10   Climb (5 in 6) {or Climb Walls as a Thief of the same level}
15   AC -2 when attacked by large creatures
5     +1 initiative
2.5 Speak to Rats (Rats aren't guaranteed to be helpful, but may accept bribes)
2.5 Iron Stomach (Can eat rotten and spoiled foods, puking immunity)

by Beth Stone
500 - TOTAL

Standard Base Experience X Ratling Class 500%
0 -----------Level 1 ------------- 0
400 --------Level 2 -------  2000
800 --------Level 3 -------  4000
1600 ------ Level 4 ------   8000
3200 ------ Level 5 -----   16000
6400 ------ Level 6 -----   32000
12800 -----Level 7 -----   64000
24000 -----Level 8 ----- 120000
48000 -----Level 9 ----- 240000

July 1, 2014

Ancients & Aliens - Session 2: The Chaotic Caves of Chaos

Once more our intrepid adventurers return to .... oh wait, no.  Almost everyone else had to skip this session for various reasons.  Real life happens sometimes.  Oh well, no worries.  Solo mission!

Once more our lone intrepid adventurer... oh right, your character died last time.  Sorry dude.

A new intrepid adventurer steps forth to battle the minions of Chaos!

Saruk the Elfulan arrives in Niru looking for both fame and fortune.  The magi in Niru are very happy to see an elfulan willing to join their other hired sword-hands.  The magi are keenly aware of the lack of discipline within Watchkeeper Hall, and they hope that this new elfulan might help to motivate and focus the other mercenaries.  Saruk soon agrees to lead a group of adventurers and investigate some caves where trouble is brewing.

Recently, scouts have confirmed the location of a group of caves that seem to be a staging ground for orcs, goblins, and other deviants who threaten the safety of Niru.  The magi have called for volunteers to investigate the caves, reduce the number of adversaries if they can, and then report back.  Well, that was a week ago and no one has stepped forward yet.

So now that they have Saruk willing to lead a group, the magi decide to set up a lottery.  A bag of stones is passed around Watchkeeper Hall and whoever draws one of the four black stones wins the honor of going out to help search the caves.  The silence is deafening as the bag is passed around the hall.  There is a bit of a commotion as a warrior named Thangdun willingly trades his non-black stone for a black one.  His friend (Sneaky Nikezheb) had drawn one of the black stones and Thangdun is a man who watches out for his friends.  Zsheel the Halflingon and Lairizhaag the Braggart are the other two "lucky winners".

Surprisingly, one of the apprentice magi steps up and volunteers to join the group [Wis 4].  Lithsharric wants to use a charm spell to interrogate one of the cave dwellers and learn more about their numbers and intentions (Int 14).  The young magi's master pulls Saruk aside and instructs him to "Do your best to keep my pupil safe".  Saruk glances over at the young magi [Str:5, Dex:6, Con:8] and answers "I'll try".

The party is led to the area of the caves by a scout, who then says "Good luck" and promptly leaves.  Saruk is a cautious elfulan and chooses to spend a few days watching the various cave entrances while the sun is up, then hiding his group at night while the orcs are more active.  The area around the caves looks like this...

Each square = 20 feet

They approach the largest cave first.  In front of the wide opening is a marble platform ringed by steps.  On the platform are five broken pillars.  Stones and rubble that were once the ceiling of this structure have been tossed into a pile at the base of the eastern hillside.

Saruk sneaks onto the platform and hides behind the remains of the northeastern pillar.  It's early morning and the hill puts this area in enough shadow that Saruk can peer inside and look down the tunnel with his infravision.  The hallway beyond the entrance is 40 feet wide with a pair of columns every 20 feet.  At the very edge of his infravision he can see humanoid shapes, motionless, very thin, no heat... maybe statues?  He doesn't care for it.  Saruk sneaks back to his group and instructs everyone to move on to the next cave to the west.

With most of the group quietly waiting in the south end of a long strip of forest, Saruk and Nikezheb sneak north along the treeline to the cave that they saw some elves and a dwarf enter a few days ago.  Saruk is just about to break cover and head for the entrance when a dwarf strolls out of the cave and starts heading straight toward them.  There is a tense moment as the dwarf walks closer, but our heroes keep their cool and remain motionless.  Once the dwarf arrives at the forest he opens his pants and starts to pee on a tree.

Saruk comes up behind the dwarf and puts a sword to his neck.  The dwarf is ordered to be silent.  Saruk leads him into the woods toward the group, but he lets the dwarf close his pants first which I thought was a classy move.  His party is silently impressed when Saruk returns with a prisoner.  They've all heard stories, but most of them have never even seen a dwarf before.

Lithsharric makes with the charm spell and starts asking the dwarf a bunch of questions.  The dwarf is named Kelvar.  He says that the big cave is an old dwarven tomb, that he and the elves are here to fight the orcs, and that there are "about six" elves in the cave.  The dwarf keeps asking questions of his own about where the party is from and suggesting that "we should all work together to fight the orcs" and "let me introduce you to the elves".  Saruk grows suspicious, the dwarf's answers are too dodgy and vague.  He and Lithsharric quietly agree that the spell may have failed.  After a time the party can hear some elves in the distance calling out for Kelvar.  Saruk agrees to let Kelvar introduce them, but advises Lithsharric to stay hidden in the woods.  The rest of the party follows Kelvar warily.

Kelvar leads them out of the woods and into the tall grass, they meet four elves about 40 feet south of the cave entrance.  There is a strange sort of exchange where Kelvar does most of the talking.  The party is invited inside the cave to meet the leader, but Saruk refuses and demands to meet their leader out here in the open.  Kelvar goes inside to fetch the leader, and leaves the party and the four elves to some of the most awkwardly uncomfortable small talk of all time.

Minutes pass while everyone watches to see who will come out of the cave entrance.  After a while the party hears a snapping branch and sees movement in the western trees.  "Not nice." says Saruk, and the battle begins.   The four elves in front of them dish out some damage, but they are quickly overwhelmed.  Six more elves come out the trees and ready their bows.  Lairizhaag the Braggart charges the archers alone while the others try to finish off the four elves in melee and Saruk drinks an entire flask of liquid courage to dull the pain.  Lithsharric comes running out of the trees chased by a laughing Kelvar the dwarf who has axe in hand and murder in his eyes. the Braggart somehow dodges through the volley of arrows unharmed and is about to strike back when Saruk casts his sleep spell.  [John decided to use his once-per-session-d30 at this point.  He puts to sleep 28HD of enemies]  The six elf archers fall asleep.  Kelvar the dwarf falls asleep.  Five elves still hidden in the forest fall asleep.  The forest goes silent and a couple of birds fall from the sky.  Everyone in the party slowly turns and looks at Saruk.

Throats are cut, elvish bows are looted, and Kelvar the dwarf is tied up and pulled along struggling all the way back to town.

The whole town is impressed, and Saruk gets a small bonus of gold coins from the magi who take the dwarf for questioning.  At the human supremacist tavern, The Weary Ass, Lairizhaag the Braggart actually manages to get a table and a pint of beer for Zsheel the Halflingon.  Then Saruk, Thangdun, and Nikezheb go off to try and sell some elvish bows to a shopkeeper.

Saruk doesn't like the look of Crazy Gorgathon, so he decides to go visit Sweeney's General Store instead.  Sweeney's store is currently being run by Sweeney's daughter Deandre.  She doesn't know much about elf bows or armaments in general and only offers 20 gold for each bow.  Saruk asks why she is offering so little, and she explains that she needs to make some fast gold to pay the ransom for her father.

It turns out that Sweeney went traveling over a week ago with some armed guards, he's gone out to trade with elves in the past, but this time he didn't come back.  Then, a few days ago, one of Sweeney's guards returned to Niru saying that some orcs captured them all and are now demanding 500 gold coins to release Sweeney.  The orcs sent the guard back to Niru along with one of Sweeney's fingers to show that they were serious.  Well, Deandre doesn't have 500 gold, and she's only willing to buy items if it's at a low enough price that she can turn around and sell them to make a quick profit, and the orcs only gave her a week to drop off the sack of coins, and that was three days ago, and for the love of the gods, please!, can you do something?!, help my father!

So, Saruk and company go and sell the elvish bows to Gorgathon.  Obviously.

Crazy Gorgathon
Saruk did agree to help Deandre's father though, so after business he goes and talks to this released prisoner fellow and figures out that Sweeney is being held in one of the caves the party was just investigating  After questioning the man further about what he saw, Saruk even has a pretty good idea of which exact cave Sweeney is being held captive in.

So the next day Saruk takes his band of misfits back out into the wilds, fills a couple of orc guards full of arrows before they know what happened, storms into a cave complex full of orcs, kills about 7 more orcs and a beastman covered in orange fur, sets fire to a wolf pen, ties up the orc jailor/torturer, and rescues the 9-fingered merchant from his cell.  The party hustles out of the cave and rush out of the area.  Saruk brings Sweeney safely back to town having never lost any member of his party in either adventure. 

Saruk is now a household name within the walls of Niru.

Deandre is very grateful to have her father home, but after a week or so it is obvious that Sweeney is a changed man.  He won't talk about what happened in the caves, but Deandre fears that he may never snap out of it.  He acts manic at times.  He says that he is living on borrowed time and intends to live life to the fullest.  He hangs out at his store mostly, but Deandre is doing all the work now.  He'll sneak off on his own sometimes and damage property around town or take unwatched items like food and tools.  The whole town knows his story, and thus far people just shoo him away rather than report him to the guards.  He isn't violent, and usually just leaves if confronted.

Yes, I've cast Danny DeVito to play Sweeney.  Yes, the orcs had stripped and shaved him for some reason.