Thursday, 18 May 2023

Xoth: Zoya, 'Beloved of the Ten Thousand Eyed'

'The Ten Thousand Eyed weaves a web for all of us.  But are you a spider, or a fly?'
Zoya, Beloved of the Ten Thousand Eyed (Jelly) 
Adult Lamuran Animist Mage (Decadent) 
STR 8 (4) AGL 17 (7) (+d6) CON 13 INT 14 (6) WIL 15 CHA 12 (5)
HP 13 WP 15
Gear: Obsidian Knife (ATT 14, D8+D6, D8+2D6 Sneak attack), Wand, Torch, Flint & Tinder, 1 silver piece, 3 food rations
Skills: Animism (12), Beast Lore (12), Bushcraft (12), Healing (12), Hunting & Fishing (14), Staves (8),
Awareness (12), Evade (14), Knives (14), Deception (10)*
, Sneaking (14)** 
Tricks: Light, Sense Magic, Hairstyle Spells: Ensnaring Strands, Lightning Flash, Treat Wounds.

Cultural Traits - Decadent

Insidious: Gain a Boon on Deception and Stealth skill checks, and an additional +1d6 to sneak attack damage when making a sneak attack.

Jaded: Gain a Boon on CON rolls to resist poison.

Corrupt: Suffer a Bane on Will checks to resist influence, including seduction and fear.

 Values (replaces Motivation/Weakness)

At the end of each session the GM may award Experience Checks for stereotypical acts such as:
Spending money on alcohol and drugs (at least 50gp)
Avoiding labor, and keeping servants and slaves to do your work
Inventing new and novel ways of entertainment to escape the boredom of mundane existence
Overcoming enemies by the use of trickery and lies
Using cults as a tool for personal power
Entering pacts with demons and other alien beings for personal benefits.

Background: It is never wise to anger the Spider Priests of Lamu... less wise still to stay after provoking their wrath. Even for those once high among their ranks. And so Zoya came west and south, into the desert lands of Khazistan.


Light: You create a bright light that shines from a focus of

your choice. It illuminates a 10-meter radius area around

your focus and lasts for one shift of time. The light goes out

if you reach zero HP.

Sense Magic: You can sense whether the place you are in,

or an item you are holding, is affected by magic – and if so,

what kind of magic.

Hairstyle: You change the color, length, and style of your

hair as you see fit. In some situations this can give you a

boon to BLUFFING and PERSUASION rolls.


✦ Rank: 1

✦ Prerequisite: Animism

✦ Requirement: Gesture, ingredient (caster's hair)

✦ Casting Time: Action

✦ Range: 5 meters

✦ Duration: Shift, or until she moves more than 5 meters from the target.

The victim is ensnared by strands of the caster's own hair, extended to enormous length and become like spiderwebs, and is unable to move. Breaking free requires an EVADE roll – with a boon at power level 1, normally at power level 2, and with a bane at power level 3. Each attempt counts as an action in combat. Only one attempt is allowed per round, but others can help. The spell does not work on monsters.


✦ Rank: 1

✦ Prerequisite: Animism

✦ Requirement: Gesture

✦ Casting Time: Action

✦ Range: 30 meters

✦ Duration: Instant

You call down a flash of lightning from the sky. If the spell is

cast successfully, the target takes 2D6 damage. The lightning

flash continues to another random target within 2 meters of

the target, inflicting 2D4 damage. Each power level beyond

the first increases the number of dice rolled for damage by

one (e.g., 3D6 and 3D4 respectively at power level 2). Metal

armor has no effect but the spell can be dodged or parried

as a ranged attack, and if this is successfully done, no further

target is hit. Indoors, the WP cost to cast the spell is doubled.


✦ Rank: 1

✦ Prerequisite: Animism

✦ Requirement: Word

✦ Casting Time: Action

✦ Range: Touch

✦ Duration: Instant

You heal another living creature for 2D6 HP. For each power

level beyond the first, the spell heals an additional D6 HP.

Decadent Lamuran

The men of Lamu are regarded as a degenerate and evil people by other nations, a belief that mainly springs from ignorance, but is strengthened by the fact that some Lamurans have unnaturally keen eyesight in the dark, and that they worship many weird and loathsome gods in the isolation of their remote hill kingdom.
Appearance: Gaunt of build and pale-skinned, with long flowing hair, although the priests are often shaven-headed. Decadent Lamurans dress in flowing robes and wear distinctive tall caps, often wound around with turbans, while the more wholesome Civilized men prefer simpler clothing and sturdy armor.
Religion: The cult of Yot-Kamoth is best-known, but a multitude of other deities is worshipped.
Culture: The Lamurans, corrupted by their worship of sinister Yot-Kamoth, are mostly Decadent, but retain both a significant Civilized stratum in and around their cities and of Degenerates in the more remote parts of their realm.
Language: Lamuran, plus Susrahnite as a bonus language.

Yot-Kamoth, the Great Goddess, the Ten Thousand Eyed

Saturday, 13 May 2023

Dragonbane Session 5

 Session 5 (13/5/23) 11/4 Orla Makander Bastonn & Markus recruit three new adventurers at the Inn - Tym, Halveld & Lothar. 12/4 Party head north, reaching the Temple of the Purple Flame mid afternoon, after Orla recruits a bear on the way. Sinister Briars wrap the Temple. One novice adventurer is immediately lost to a pit trap; intelligent skeletons in the pit ask the party to close the Portal to the demon realm. Orla kills a Giant Spider battling Sathmog cultists, the 4 survivors are friendly and lead them down to the Undercroft, but a terrible mutant  Manticore slays the cultists before falling. Two twisted demonic cultists guard the Portal to Sathmog's Realm and welcome the party. Orla Makander Bastonn & Markus enter the Portal. In the alien city, Makander Bastonn & Markus find the last piece of the emperor's statuette & return, but Orla is lost for six hours before finding her way back. 13/5 Bastonn's loud whispers are overheard by the demon cultists, who attack and are destroyed. With great difficulty the party breach a rusted iron door, freeing the intelligent skeletons. The party rest up - before dawn they hear a frenzied mooing and see a cow flying over the treetops, ridden by a demon!  Returning to the surface, in the sunlit temple gardens the party find Hafarmal, an elderly Elf Wizard from the West, whose eyes have turned completely black. He is reluctant, valuing the effect of the Chaos energy on the garden plants, but when shown his reflection and his black eyes (formerly green) he is convinced to use his magics to close the demon portal, laying the animated skeletons to rest. That night the party return safely to Outskirt.

14/5 Next morning the party head up the hill to the Temple, using the four pieces of the dragon statuette to open the Crypt of Um-Durman. After some scorching from a lightning trap they solve a puzzle and are able to claim the Sword. But on exiting the Temple they are accosted by the Mallard Quasimund, a horde of demon cultists, and Anabella the barmaid, commanding a swarm of Vampiric Bats. A terrible battle rages on the temple steps, with many falling on both sides. Makander charges into the thick of the enemy. The bat swarm is destroyed, and many cultists fall, but both novice adventurers are slain. Anabella, revealing herself as a high priestss of Sathmog, stabs Markus with a poisoned dagger. At the last, brave Makander too is overwhelmed by numbers and falls. 
Quasimund, Anabella and their six remaining cultists press in upon Bastonn and Markus, both badly wounded, while Orla shoots from above. Things look very grim...

Tuesday, 2 May 2023

Campaigns & PC Groups


I'm planning to move away from 5e D&D over the coming months and years, focusing mostly on the new Dragonbane system, which I really love. Partly inspired by Wizards of the Coast no longer being a company I want to support. Mostly inspired by Dragonbane being a really awesome game.

A classic fantasy campaign released with the Dragonbane core rules. Can the PCs prevent the return of Demon Lord Sathmog and his Prophet, the immortal Azrahel Koth? Or will his cult prevail?
1. TYMMA THE LOUD (Kimberly) Dwarf female Musician-Knight
2. MARKUS THE LANDSKNECHT(Max) Human male Fighter
3. ORLA MOONSILVER (Jelena) Elf female Hunter
4. BASTONN BLOODJAW (Philippe) Wolfkin male Fighter

A brutal swords and sorcery campaign in the dark and savage world of Xoth. Pick up your sword, Barbarian, and fight!
1. Severos the Executioner (Tony) Civilised male Nabastissean Fighter
2. Lothar of the Hill People (Muiz) Savage male Tharagian Knight
3. Mei Hua (Kimberly), Decadent female Taikangian Thief

4. Ilyria Stormheart (Jelly), Decadent female Lamuran Animist Mage

5. Moggojin (SHARK), Nomad male Sheng Fighter


While I am reducing the number of 5e games I run, it's still a game I'm likely to be GMing for a good long time to come. For D&D style power fantasy, it remains simply the best.

1. Wilderlands - Ghinarian Hills

Highest PC Level: 15, PC Start Level: 7

I've been GMing the swords & sorcery/sword & planet Wilderlands setting since 2006, initially as a Play By E-Mail (PBEM), then from 2009 as Play By Post (PBP) using Labyrinth Lord (Classic D&D) and OSRIC (AD&D); but the current 5e D&D incarnation dates from early 2015, a follow on from a short 20 session 4e D&D campaign played in 2013. 5e D&D and Wilderlands is, oddly, a match made in Heaven! Of the current (May 2023) players, Chris was right there at the start with his now-Ascended PC Hakeem, while my son Bill joined in 2016, once he was old enough to type. :) The game is now played at 1:1 time, 2023 AD = 4453 BCCC.

1. Bill - Talaktakan, male Dragonborn/Yuan-Ti Fighter (Eldritch Knight) 15
2. Craig - Lazlo, male Nerathi Human Fighter (Battlemaster) 11
3. Matt - John Stonehell, level 8 male Human Barbarian (Totem) 5/Rogue (Swashbuckler) 3

This Mythic Fantasy epic quest campaign is set in Thylea, a world out of time, resembling Greek myth. Will the Gods or the Titans prevail?
PC Level: 8 
1. Meroë (Μερόη) - Judith. Human female Demigod Monk - Way of the Shield. 
2. Seranfar - Bill. Human male Gifted One Draconic Fire Sorcerer. 
3. Leander - Kermit. Human male Vanished One/Dragonlord Battlemaster Fighter. 
4. Artemis - Jelly. Centaur female Dragonslayer Herculean Barbarian. 
Elpis - Claire. Satyr female Haunted One Warlock. 
Aster - Jack. Aurae (Star) Nymph male Lost One Twilight Cleric. 

3. Faerun Adventures

Highest PC Level: 11, PC Start Level: 5

This campaign in the '1987 Grey Box' Forgotten Realms started online on Dragonsfoot using 1e AD&D in August 2018, following on from DM Roxy's brief August 2017 1e Faerun Adventures game. In 2020 it transitioned to 5e D&D, on Roll20 then later IRL too. In-world, in August 2018 the game started on 14/3/1359 in Sudrav Town, and is now played at 1:1 time - in May 2023 IRL it is M5 1362 DR in-world. PC Norrin Son of Thorin has been there since the very start of Roxy's game!


The Barrowmazers level 9-11

This group, based at the Wizardspoons Festhall in Helix, are exploring Greg Gillespie's Barrowmaze at my house fortnightly on Sundays, with much mirth and mayhem. Lock up your mothers!

1. Sir Macready 'Mac' Ramvira (Matt) male Drow (ex-Half Elf) Level 11 Vengeance Paladin 8/Fighter 3
2. Sir Liam (Kermit) male Halfling Arcane Trickster Rogue 11
3. Sir Droghall (Bill) male 'Kroxigor' Totem Barbarian 11
4. Sir Glendor (Rich) Human male Vengeance Paladin 10
5. Sir Spartigus (Gus) male Human Champion Fighter 9

The Faerun 7 (or 8) (level 7-8) finis May 2023
This lovable group (anything involving Kimberly Pauley is lovable) :D cleared and claimed the ruins of Fort Skulnar for their own, establishing a thriving Manor in the Duchy of Carmathan. They've adventured in the Feywild, even meeting the Queen of the Shadow Fey - and feeding her grumpfl.

1. Eamon of the Yellow Rose (Bill) male Human Monk-8 (Kensai) 
2. Greeba of Soravia (Jelena) female Half-Orc Barbarian-8 (Berserker) 
3. Gorlock the Warlock (Tony) male Half-Elf Warlock-8 (Celestial)
4. Nathia Truthfist (Kimberly) female Goliath Fighter-8 (Champion) 
5. Wisteria of Skullspire (Jelly) female Moon Elf Cleric-7 (Grave) 
6. Joell Elderberry (Max) male Aasimar Paladin-7 (Conquest) 
7. Blurb Birchbark (Phil) male Firbolg Druid-7 (Circle of the Shepherd)
& occasionally Ted (Matt) male Half-Orc Rogue-7 (Assassin)

Norrin's Band (level 5/7-11) finis May 2023

This group, based at D'Ashe Festhall in Norrin's Barony, love the in-depth roleplay as they strive to establish an oasis of civilisation in the savage borderlands of western Damara.

1. Moxy (Claire), female Tiefling Bard-11 (Swords)
2. Lord Norrin (Geoff) Human male Fighter-9 (Champion)
3. Queale (Keelia) Half-Elf female Ranger-9 (Horizon Walker)
4. Goltho 'Bearchaser' (Tim), Goliath male Fighter-7 (Arcane Archer)
5. Kevan Blackguard (Jack) Half-Elf male Bard-7 (Lore)
or Tod Bindwood (Jack) Forest Gnome male Ranger-5 (Hunter) 
6. Leocadie "Caddie" Shrannostellen (Judith) Rock Gnome female Wizard-5 (Invocation)