In December 2017 Miska Fredman released a map on his blog he named The Dwarven Rivergate. A rivergate is basically a small fortress (or large tower) in the middle of large bridge. Manned by a few men-at-arms, it is a good way to keep undesirables out (or to at least hinder their traveling), to raise a toll or to guard a segment of a wide river. But what about an abadoned rivergate? In Miska´s example, it became the encampment of a band of orks and goblins that raid the surroundings. I want to provide you with six further ideas for encounters at a rivergate [OSR-fantasy-style]
A long time ago I wrote a post about Dyson´s Dodecahedron, the pretty maps he provides there (for personal use, and some even for commercial use as well) and about his tutorials. Today, I finally made use of it. Month ago I bought myself two felt-tip markers and a pad with blank papers. And never used them, because I am lazy and I feared that it would be time-consuming to draw a map instead of using my computer to “draw” something. Well, today I proofed myself wrong (see picture).
My first map is for sure not a beauty, but it is functional, it looks unique and it wasn´t really time-consuming to draw it. In fact, I was surprised how quickly I was able to create it. No ruler was involved, I just had put a sheet of paper with squares under the white paper I drew upon (to have some “reference”).
So, what is this? This a hidden underground summoning chamber that I use(d) in a FATE(tm) game I am currently running (where the players are 15th century English witch-finders in an alternate history of my own design). The entrance to it was hidden in the altar in a chapel of a very old noble estate: treads led down a bricked shaft and into a tunnel that ended in front of a derelict wooden door with iron work. In a little niche to the left of it a next to burned down candle rested in a tin holder.
Disclaimer for my players: KEEP OUT!
Do you want strange, supernatural encounters that you can confront your players with when they travel through a forest? Something that is a tad more scary or spooky than an ambush of a pack of wolves or a raging owlbear? Beware of the Spirits of the Woods, my latest pay-what-you-want-title, provides you with six such encounters. None of them should be used as a random encounter, as they are in no case something that may happen each and every day to a group of travelers. They are something special, that perhaps happens once every couple of month (or even less often), or something that happens in a certain, cursed or hexed part of the woods.
All creatures encountered are supernatural (pixies, sprites and spirits) and chaotic, magical beings. Clerical spells like Protection from Evil will affect them. And as nobody reads my blog for my advertisement, I will give you two examples below.
This product is an independent production by Gregorius21778 and is not affiliated with Lamentations of the Flame Princess. Lamentations of the Flame Princess is a registered trademark owned by James Edward Raggi IV.
Do you like play aides? I do. Board and card games gain a lot from them, and a RPG session may run much more smoothly with the right aide in the hand of GM and player. The right aide is the tricky part here: it must help with the organization of things, be easy to store on an already crowded table, its content should be accessible with a quick look -and- it should be pleasing to the eye. Something that looks neat puts the mind at ease, and a mind at ease will stay in play.
I tried my hand at aides before with my Dark Heresy Mook Sheets, and now switched from GM aides to player aides. The following links will lead you to an OSR Fantasy Provision Tracker and a SciFi Ammo Tracker. The idea came to me after keeping track of a group´s torch in a dungeon, I guess my players will have a much easier time doing so themselves with those sheets. And with the added artwork of the Knotty-Works and Jeshields, they might even give them a little more attention than they usually tend to give to their hastily scribbled notes.
Please leave some feedback if you put them to use, and feel free to drop me a line if you would like to see more of those.
It has been a while since I have released my last title, but I just changed THAT by publishing Examples of the Dark Arts Vol.03. As its predecessors, that I have now all bundled up, it was written to be compatible with Lamentations of the Flame Princess, and this times it is all about the Summon spell. But before you begin to yawn about my sales pitch, just click below to have a look at a freely available specimen that is not part of the preview at drivethrurpg.com.
Well, that was a busy week for little me. Thereby, I will get back to posting stuff on my blog by taking baby steps, and the first on is a 50% discount link (valid till end of May) to my new release, Looks & Loots of Orcish Marauders.
[Second part of the report of my second session about the three men who went to Dunnsmouth ]
The home of Pearce Dunlop rested on one of the few remaining patches of solid earth and the characters soon had to pull their swamp boat like a sledge once more, but this time they were not treading on muddy ground but on grassland. A soft glow shone in the thickening mist ahead of them. They already had heard from Johan van Kaus that the Dunlops were “wealthy, and always have been”, but as the mist parted they were surprised to see a small manor, with a few stone steps leading to a raised door flanked by pillars reminiscent of old roman architecture. The door itself was made of an exotic, dark wood non of the characters knew. There once must have been an engraving , a heraldic emblem perhaps, but it had faded so much that it was impossible to tell if that beast walking on its hind legs was a bear, a lion, an eagle or something else entirely. After they announced themselves with a bronze knocker that had long turned green with patina they waited patiently under the dim lantern above (that burned with fish oil) till a burly lad in lackey´s uniform to small for his size came to the door . Even if they would not have already known that the head of the Dunlop family was served by two of the Samson´s, they would have known Abraham´s heritage by his ugly pig-face alone. The sturdy servant was wary of the armed group, but as they were accompanied by Herod they were asked in and led into a small parlor. Fire was lit for them and they were asked to make themselves comfortable on the worn but still comfy leather furniture while they would be announced to Pearce Dunlop. They had to wait quite a while but were served ginger tea and pastries (they later were rather tasteless and hard) by Abraham and his wife Agnes (a woman with hips like a horse), the house maid. Pearce Dunlop turned out to be a man of old age who was unable to move without the aid of a walking stick, and had thin skin and next to no hair left. While his mind seemed a bit clouded, his eyes were still amazingly sharp and as the three stated their business, he was able to read the wanted posters they had brought along (and casually showed his disregard for woman by simply ignoring the fourth bandit of the Brownfox Brigands solely because she was).
The three quickly found out that Pearce Dunlop was either willful or weak-minded, as he ignored most of what the characters had explained as well as their question but instead offered to hire them to “put and end to the three murderous gallows birds” and to ensure the safety of the manor. Herod Duncaster tried to explain the situation to Pearce again, but the aged patriach rebutted Herod´s interference so sharply that he left the manor in anger. The three shared a look among each other, and after Jasper had ensured that “protecting the manor” did not meant that they had to stay there all the time, they excepted this task as well (after all, it was the same job they had came for and if Pearce Dunlop insisted on paying them as well, why should they decline?). The readiness with which they, strangers, where hired without second thought made them wonder, and so they decided to check the surrounding (and were joined by Herod who had been waiting for them outside). As they checked the bushes, hedges and trees near the manor Jasper noted that somebody must have sneaked around the house a few days ago. They even noted that one of the trees had been climbed with the help of climbing spurs, and Herod assured that as far as he knew, nobody in Dunnsmouth would own such “..and what for..? We do not venture into the mountains”. But they knew that the brigands they were after came over the mountains, and were not unlikely to own such. Pearce Dunlop or his servants must have noted -something-, so they thought, and that was why they were hired so eagerly. No further trails had been found that could have been followed, but at least they knew that their quarry had been around here in the last few days. Perhaps Dunc Samson would be able to tell them a bit more…