Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Random tables inspired by Amon Amarth

Random tables taken verbatim from the lyrics of Amon Amarth.

1. Guardian of Asgard
2. Son of Thunder
3. Walker on the Wind
4. Deceiver of the Gods
5. Father of the Wolf
6. Master of War
7. Protector of Mankind
8. Destroyer of the Universe

1. Heimdall gazes east; a sail has caught his eye
2. A rain of arrows darkens the sun
3. Unknown creatures howling to the sky, blood chilling and ravenous
4. A cold blue light shimmers ahead
5. Racing across the arctic lands, a mounted legion
6. Twilight of both gods and men
7. The weaving Norns sing
8. Night comes crawling, black as sin
9. Muspel's fire is set free
10. The warlord breaks the temple doors
11. An oath, once sealed in blood
12. The serpent rises from the waves
13. A golden bridge shines in the dark
14. Bolts of lightning fill the air
15. The dreadful serpent roars in pain
16. The great world-tree Yggdrasil trembles to its roots
17. A vicious hunt on through the night
18. Two kings bring lethal steel
19. The dead rise from their graves and Surtur spreads his fire
20. The Fimbulwinter has arrived

1. Severed limbs and heads
2. Invisible frozen chains
3. Tattered banners and bloody flags
4. Scattered fires glow
5. A horrid ship of dead men's nails
6. One thousand heads are on display
7. Grotesque creatures of the sky
8. Axes, spears, and swords
9. Heimdall's horn
10. Storm of lethal flames

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lusus Naturae

I am happy to announce that Lusus Naturae, the spiritual successor to the Teratic Tome, is now crowdfunding on Kickstarter.


Lusus Naturae ("freaks of nature") is a hardcover compendium of horrific monsters for old-school role-playing games, and it will feature face-melting artwork by +Gennifer Bone.

I would be most grateful if you could help spread the word.

-- Rafael

#lususnaturae #teamscaphism

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Lara Croft, Dungeon Raider

Lara Croft was born into aristocracy, and was to be married into wealth. But a plane crash stranded her in the Himalayas, and there were no other survivors. Young Lara had to rely on her wits to stay alive. She discovered an ancient monastery, where she recovered an enchanted sword. Naturally, she touched the sword, unleashing powerful magics, and she barely escaped with her life.

After two weeks, Lara finally made her way to civilization, but realized that she wanted to go back. She rejected what was intended for her, and instead chose a different path: exploring dangerous tombs and recovering valuable treasures.

She faces puzzles. Some require calculated action (jumping to a specific location, climbing a certain wall to see what's atop it). To solve other puzzles, she must navigate mazes, time her movements carefully, find and pull levers, and locate keys or other items.

Running through the game level is ill-advised, due to numerous traps: spiked pits; giant boulders that drop from above, crushing Lara's body, walls that slide together, pulverizing anyone caught between them; and projectiles (arrows, blades) flung from holes in walls. Some traps inflict damage, and some are immediately fatal.

Along the way, Lara kills her enemies: men with weapons, wild animals, mummies, dinosaurs, skeletons, giant spiders, demons, gargoyles, wraiths, and dragons. Occasionally, she must use dangerous magics to defeat her foes and seize the gold.

Lara Croft is a murderhobo.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Zine Scene, #1

I recently picked up the first issue of Metal Gods of Ur-Hadad, which is compatible with Dungeon Crawl Classics.

It is most definitely Metal.

We start off with three pieces of setting info: The Metal Gods; Ur-Hadad, The First City; and Assassins of Ur-Hadad. All three are written by Adam Muszkiewicz. These writings tell us of the time before Metal, in the land of Ore: humans warred alongside Dwarven allies against the Elder Races. We learn of "bone ziggurats and calcified gardens." We are told of the nonexistent assassins of Ur-Hadad; the random table for assassin guild creation is pretty wild. Muszkiewicz follows that up with an article about mercenary life, written in-character by Captain Chogrun Versk.

Edgar Johnson contributes Street Kids of Ur-Hadad, an adventure that kicks of with a roll-all-the-dice generator for creating neighborhoods, and another one for the gangs. These tables are governed by rules that turn the entire experience into a mini-game. Since DCC is full of gonzo dice (d16, d24), you may need a die-roller app -- unless you've already got d14s on hand.

[Noteworthy: the majority of proceeds from PDF sales of the zine go to StandUp For Kids, a secular and nonpartisan organization. Pretty damned decent, if you ask me.]

The adventure itself is a funnel (described as a "meat grinder") designed to cut the number of PCs down to a more manageable figure. Judging from the Just Another Day in Ur-Hadad table, I'd say it'll work.

The zine is illustrated by Wayne Snyder, who worked on Jack Shear's Devilmount; the images are all quite kickass and metal. Snyder wraps up this issue with Cave of the Maggot Witch, a one-page dungeon with instructions on how and when to plug it into an existing campaign.

When all is said and done, this is true Metal. You can pick it up here: