Grogzilla is here!!!

Now rampaging on general release, is the thirty-foot tall three-headed monster lizard called Grogzilla. Originally put together to honour Grogmeet 2019 ( a meet up of old school gamers run by the Grogsquad of Grogpod fame) it was enhanced during Kickstarter’s ZineQuest 2 which brought it to a wider audience.

This being a review of a bit of everything that D101 does, both present and upcoming, there’s a fair bit of fantasy in it. The beast of the zine in OpenQuest and C&T stats, five more fiends for Crypts and Things, a preview of what I’m going to be doing for Mythras, a follow up the scenario to the OSR Road to Hell.

Its available as cheap as chips pdf only (£3) and I’ve a limited number of print copies from the print run for the backers (£5).

OpenQuest 3 Current Status

I’ve blogged about where I’m up to with OpenQuest 3 over at the new site for the game openquestrpg.com.

Its a somewhat rambling post, but basically I got stuck on the last draft, went back to OQ2, decided to do a tidied up version of that with bits of the last draft incorporated into it.  The post itself also breaks down chapter by chapter what the changes are from OQ2.

Looking to have it done by end of June, and out to Kickstarter by Aug/Sept to coincide with 1st Anniversary of its release

Under Dark Spires coming soon

It’s Fiendish Friday, so here’s some news on what’s coming on for Crypts and Things very soon…
The long-overdue adventure pack for Crypts and Things, Under Dark Spires,  after a series of writers blocks, and various production failures (both straightforward and arcane) is back on track for being completed.
Under Dark Spires is a collection of five adventures. Blood of the Dragon (C&T’s long out of print adventure), The Dark Path, Terror At Black Oak, Fort Boneguard and The City of the God-Emperor. There’s also setting information for the Dark Spires region that the adventures take place in. Its a low level, 1st – 3rd, sandpit of nasty wriggly things that rises up to the pcs exploring one of the big secrets of the Serpent Kings.
I’m not going to give a firm date, but I’m looking within the next couple of months.
To help fire me up and inspire me, I’ve commissioned Dan Barker who did the art for Tournaments of Madness and Death, to do the art for Under Dark Spires. Dan brings his own take to the Weird Fantasy Swords and Sorcery world of Crypts and Things.
Here’s his take on a Barbarian being taken by surprise by a carnivorous plant in the fetid swamps of Stink River.

Stay tuned for regular updates.

OpenQuest 3 Online Campaign: The Long Way Home

The Brave of Gatan is the Empire’s 5th Legion. Despite its barbarian traditions, it is one of the most loyal and was dispatched to subdue the peoples of the Theocracy of Kus. A savage realm Kus is a joint partnership between the humans and the lizardfolk that live there. Imperial Command misunderstood the nature of this relationship. They saw the humans as oppressed unwilling sacrifices to their lizardfolk overlords and thus easily brought into the Empire. In fact, the reverse was true. The humans of Kus happily and willingly took part in the country’s religious system which empowered the lizardfolk ruling classes, who in turn ensured Kus flourished. Therefore after five years of being under the Imperial yoke as they see it, Kus is in open revolt in what the natives call the “Great Eating”. The Legion has been defeated on the open field and in the streets of the cities and, most of its leaders have been eaten by the Lizard Warriors. You’ve been summoned by the surviving commanders.  They acknowledge the 5ht is doomed, but want you to take the Legions regalia back home, resurrect it and descend upon Kus in a campaign of sacred revenge sanctioned by the Emperor himself! 

This is an episodic campaign, which should run for about ten sessions. The first session will be four hours long, and subsequent sessions will be two hours each. Its a playtest of the new OpenQuest 3 system, where the players will get to see the entire system in action. It is set in the Old Empire setting, that pre-dates the Empire of Gatan setting in OQ2 by a good 500-1000 years. The player’s actions will define the new setting (an updated Empire of Gatan) as they travel around the Empire’s provinces seeking to get home.

The player character’s start as members of 5th Leigon, and will be soldiers of various flavours. As the campaign progresses they will move on from these humble beginnings as the players desire.

I’m looking to get a dedicated pool of players who can meet up online once per week. You don’t have to be at every session, although you’ll get the most fun out of it if you are.

If you are interested please comment below, with the days you are available. Apart from the first session, which will be four hours long, sessions will be two hours and held between 8-10 pm GMT.

Fantastic Online Games with D101 Games

I was going to set up online gaming to playtest various upcoming games from D101 Games, but the Corona Virus and the fact that many gamers are confined to their homes has accelerated this process.

I’m going to run two games weekly, for at least five sessions. Each session will last a comfortable two hours and run during the day 12-14 GMT (I’m in the UK, and for reasons of childcare/spouse care these times are inflexible).

Sky Raiders of the Sky Realms. (Tuesday 12-14 GMT) The zero edition of this D100 based fantasy adventure game of sky island-hopping recently funded. It uses the latest iteration of our D100 rule system, inspired by OpenQuest, but written from the ground up – which I’m casually calling the D101-System.

Lost Lands of Grungamesh using Swords against the Shroud (Thursday 12-14 GMT), which is a Black Hack version of the Crypts and Things. Lost Lands is a Swords and Sorcery game, with the tone set towards the more horrific end of things.

How to Join
I’m looking for four players in each game which.  I’ll be running over Google Hangouts because both are reasonably rules-light systems. I may upgrade to Roll 20 or another virtual tabletop if either game needs it.

In the comments below, let me know which of the games you’d like to play, and make sure you fill in your email address so I can get back to you.

An Example Skyraider

The second of today’s preview posts about Skyraiders of the Floating Realms, this time a starting character from the game.

Note the Zero edition of the game is still on Kickstarter but we are in the last 34 hours at time of writing.

Janic the Songbird                                                                                                          

DEX CON STR CHA INT POW
13 14 11 15 12 11

[Commentary: Characteristics rolled on 3d6, rerolling 1s and 2s, and swooping around two values]

Bonus Damage: 0             Hit Points: 14      Armour Value:1d4 (Leather armour)

[Commentary: Characters with Strength over 15 get a Bonus Damage, Hit Points = CON]

Career: Bard       Age: 29

[Commentary: Career provides 110 of the Additional points below, with an extra 30 coming from a pool so the player can personalise the character. Janic suffers slightly skill-wise for having slightly average characteristics, but this is pretty typical spread for a starting character  ]

Base Calculation Base Additional points Total
Melee (STR+DEX) 24 20 44
Missile (DEX+INT) 25 20 45
Thrown (STR+DEX) 24 24
Unarmed (STR+INT) 23 23
Awareness (CON+INT) 26 26
Magic (POW + INT) 23 23
Deception (DEX+INT) 25 20 45
Healing (INT+CHA) 27 27
Mechanisms (DEX+INT) 25 25
Movement (CON+DEX) 27 27
Lore (INTx2) 24 24
Linguist (INT+CHA) 27 27
Culture (INT+CHA) 27 20 47
Oratory (POW+CHA) 26 10 26
Fast talk (INT+CHA) 27 20 27
Performance (CHA+DEX) 28 30 58
Trade (CHA+INT) 27 27

Equipment: Dagger (1d4 damage), Rapier (1d6 damage), Leather armour (1d4 armour value), A lyre. flamboyant clothes, hooded travelling cloak.

[Commentary: The choice of career dictates this starting loadout, but most adventures start with an opportunity to buy extra equipment]

Spells: Balance, Confuse, Enthral, Bless

[Commentary: The first three spells come from the Bard career while the last spell is a free choice made by the player]

The Voyage of the Flying Circus

The first of two posts today to promote/celebrate the D101’s ZineQuest 2 entry the double zine Grogzilla/Skyraiders of the Floating Realms. This is the short bit of game fiction that starts off Skyraiders with a bang, showcasing the fantastic adventure action of the game and a slight obsession with a certain 70s British comedy show 🙂

Somewhere up in the sky under the New Sun

Bravely the crew of the Flying Circus, brought the skyship around in the sky to avoid the flight of small blue-skinned winged humanoids, known as Zarks, that were bearing down on them.

“They are after the Spam for sure, that Dwarfen tined meat is too delicious for them to resist!” shouted Capt. T’errick Jhoanes in an effort to cheer his terrified crew. He knew that the Zarks being notorious pyromaniacs would fire bursts of flame from their horns at the wooden ship as soon as they were in range, for these s were

Sure enough, the lead Zark fired off a burst of flame and swiftly set the mainsail alight. More explosions of flame hit the bow of the ship where the rest of the navigation gear was situated. “Bugger! Going down, brace yourselves for impact” shouted Capt Jhoanes to his crew, who knew the drill and grabbed on to the nearest thing nailed down to the ship’s deck. With its bow engulfed in flame, The Flying Circus lost its battle with gravity and started to plunge towards a nearby sky island, covered in trees, and no more than ten miles across.

The ship crash-landed on the centre on the wooded sky island. It ploughed through the tree canopy until it came to rest in a glade which seemed to be the start of an ancient paved road. As the crew sounded off, each member stating their condition, either bruised or minor sprains, the Capt jumped off the ship. On a quick look needed a fast repair of the burnt section of the wooden hull. “Right! It looks like everyone’s all right, carpenters start assessing the damage. Rest of you start forming wood gathering parties. No sign of the Zarks, which is good. Hang about what’s that?” He trailed off, his gaze drawn up the paved road into the distance where he saw a magnificent and intact step pyramid a relic from the ancient times before the land broke and floated up into the sky. “Crikey it’s a Vault, perhaps this trip will have a big pay-out after all!” he said rubbing his hands in glee, for such places if undiscovered held the riches from before the land was broken and floated into the sky.

Lost in happy thoughts, he felt a tap on his shoulder. It was his First mate drawing his attention.  “Captain!” the First mate said, pointing in the opposite direction to the pyramid, to the other side of the Glade. There in full black plate, with a helm that completely masked the identity of the wearer, was a warrior armed with sword and shield.  Except Captain Jhoanes knew the identity of the sinister set of black armour.

“You again!” he exclaimed at his old nemesis.

“Yes, I told you it was but a flesh wound” came the echoing voice of the Black Knight.

Next up: An example Skyraiders character. 

Six for Mythras

This morning I’m taking a break from banging on about Skyraiders, to pop back and look at part of Grogzilla.

The Six Travellers is a culture write up for Mythras by the Design Mechanism. It revolves around a group of Travellers, who are searching for lost roads and trade routes. Unlike nomads, they rely upon a network of established  Sanctuaries within city-states with whom they have treaties and established settlements of their own which wax and wane in size depending on the number of wagon trains who are gathered there.

Let’s hear it from one of the members of the culture itself.

The Six Traveller Voice

We are looking. Looking for the Ways, the trade routes that were lost to our ancestors when the world went into the Fall when the Ignorance came out of the shadows.

We are led by our gods who are the Six.

  • Gura the Chief who leads us down the Way of Lions
  • Heresta the Healer who knows the Lavender Way.
  • Julio the Baker, who owns the bountiful Stone the Cow.
  • Iljoy the Magician, Master/Mistress (who can tell) of Mysteries.
  • Gregora the Sword Master who fights with skill and precision against ignorance.
  • Yulpa the Sunchaser who rides faster than the Eastern Wind.

They guide our great covered wagons as they roll across the land, from city to city trading and bringing messengers and passengers as well as goods. You are a rider who has yet to settle down and ride with your family in a wagon. As well as protecting your kin from raiders, you must also investigate reports and rumours of sightings of the Way Stones. These magical stones fell from the heavens after the Fall. Gifts from the gods to help us find the way. Perhaps you will find a Great Way Stone and become one of the heroic Waymasters and Waymistresses, heroes of our people who rule us from the great gatherings of the trains at the yearly camps, and who call us every five years to the great camp at our city of Nexus.

Yulpa the Sunchaser, Mistress of the East Wind

A write up of Yulpa the Sunchaser was an early stretch goal of this campaign that funded. Yulpa is a horse warrior/whisper that most members of the culture are members of purely out of practicality. She’s a good starting point for player characters, hence her inclusion in Grogzilla. The whole Six Traveller culture is loosely formed, so it is easy to drop into an existing game setting. The player characters never need to know its there until they encounter some brightly coloured magically coloured non-player characters who ride around in groups on horses or one of their wagon trains.

So where is this all leading? Well somewhere nasty and unpleasant, probably around Halloween on Kickstarter. Gentlepeople and Wildthings of all ages, may I present…

The Isle of the Dead

In the Kingdom of Tura when monarchs die, they make the final journey to the Isle of the Dead. It is an arduous journey that only royalty may make. The corpse is prepared by the priesthood of Shem and then is taken overland to a secret port, where a boatman takes the body to the Isle and from there it passes through the Door to Eternity into parts unknown.

Only the Brotherhood of Shem knows that something has gone wrong with the delivery of the last King.  Now they must get a group of foreigners together to find out what has happened. Perhaps these chosen ones will get the opportunity to peak through the Door of Eternity and see what is on the other side?

In this adventure, the characters are those foreigners that the Brotherhood gets in, and their outsider status gives them a unique opportunity to learn about the local culture and unravel the mystery. As well as the adventure itself, it will have a full write up the Six Traveller cults, an “What my Wagon Chief told me” Q&A as a quick in-character primer. Overall the Six Travellers are a pre-made set of deities with a culture that is tailor-made as for travelling adventurers.

So the articles in Grogzilla are a way of getting a sneak peek and some immediately gameable content, before the Isle of the Dead kickstarts in Oct/Nov of this year.

If you were wondering what inspired me, it was this rather brooding piece of music by Rachmaninoff which has the painting by Arnold Böcklin which inspired it embedded in the youtube video (see below). This vista had my jaw on the floor thinking “that looks like a good adventure location, I wonder what is going on there?”