Monday 26 December 2011

Map-a-Monday (week 52)

Here it is, the final map of the 2011 Map-a-Monday Project:

...and (as is usual) a simple pdf battlemat version can also be found HERE

Hopefully you've all enjoyed following the project (and maybe even used some of these maps in your games) ...though like all good things (at least I hope it was a good thing) it has to eventually come to and end...

...however, it's not all bad news, as these maps should also be available later today as a dowloadable art-pack for the Map Tool virtual table-top (I'll edit this post to include a link when it goes live).
 ...edit HERE's the link

Also, (as mentioned in a previous post) I've gathered all of the maps together and created a new 'Little Book of Dungeons' booklet that you can purchase from RPGNow/DriveThruRPG for just $1.

...however, the new booklet also includes several additional tiles that are not available via the blog as an added bonus (so as to give those folks who would like to support the project a little something extra for making the purchase).

So, I hope you are all having a good holiday season, and I'll see you all back here in the new year with another (suitably ambitious, and equally crazy) project!

- Kris -

Thursday 22 December 2011

The Age of Shadow Xmas special

As you might have noticed, the blog is one year old today - and what better way to celebrate than with an Xmas sale.

So if you've been thinking of picking up any of the books from the Age of Shadow range, you can grab them all for just $5 over on DriveThruRPG & RPGNow.

Offer ends December 31st!

Note that if you already have the campaign guide, and have your DriveThruRPG/RPGNow account set up to receive publisher e-mails, you should soon be receiving a coupon code for just the map-pack (so that you can get it for half it's original price).

Xmas / anniversary competition round four

Today the blog is one year old, and how fast that year has gone ...and while the regular Crooked Staff Productions website has only seen a few minor updates during that time, there have been numerous free additions via the blog (such as the Map-a-Monday project) - which I hope have been of use to a few folks.

In addition Crooked Staff Publishing has also surfaced this year (and with it several new product lines) ...which leads me nicely to this week's competition - whereby one lucky winner can choose any product from the RPGNow/DriveThruRPG store for free.

And this week's winner is (if you hadn't already guessed) ...Jaerdaph

Monday 19 December 2011

Map-a-Monday (week 51)

Here's the penultimate map of the year:

...and a simple pdf battlemat version can be found HERE

Friday 16 December 2011

Wargame Vault ...winter offensive sale!

A little while back, I received an e-mail from the guys over at Wargame Vault to see if I wanted to include any products in their annual 'winter offensive sale' ...and seeing as how I have the Colony 19 tiles up for sale over there, I agreed to include them.

However, it seems as though absolutely everything (except bundles) in each of the CSP stores (i.e. Wargame Vault, RPGNow & DriveThruRPG) have all had their price mistakenly slashed by 20%

But rather than correct the error, I'm going to let it stand - so if you want to take advantage of the winter offensive sale (and the accompanying mix-up), you have until the 19th :)

Xmas / anniversary competition round three

Apologies for the lateness of this post (I've been rather busy this past week) ...but here's this week's competition entries.

1. Jaerdaph
2. Irsan

And here's the 1d2 roll over on invisible castle: LINK

...with the winner being number 2 yet again ... Irsan!

So just drop me a message bellow to let me know what you would like, and the e-mail address you want the coupon sent to.

Monday 12 December 2011

Map-a-Monday (week 50)

Here's the 50th map of the year:

...and a simple pdf battlemat version can be found HERE

Edit (see comments)

The whole tile is basically one long corridor on three different levels. If you enter from the eastern side you will descend a (20ft long) set of steps to a landing (A). From the landing you can head south down another set of steps, or head SE towards room D.

A simpler diagram:
So the wavy lines are there to show the different levels (if it were drawn without them, the South entry/exit would be almost black ...and not join with any of the other tiles very well).

Thursday 8 December 2011

Xmas / anniversary competition round two

Once again, just three people in this week's draw (as I'm excluding previous winners to spread the free stuff around a little) here's the order:

1. Jaerdaph
2. Axtklinge
3. Irsan

And here's the 1d3 roll over on invisible castle: LINK

...with the winner being number 2 again ... Axtklinge!

So just drop me a message bellow to let me know what you would like, the e-mail address you want the coupon sent to, and I'll take care of the rest.

Note that the original post can be found HERE if you want be included in next week's draw, be sure to add a 'count me in' comment to that particular blog entry.

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Map-a-Monday ...a compilation booklet?

So I've spent most of the last week getting the finial 'map-a-Monday' maps finished off (as I like to be one or two maps ahead of myself), and gathering them all together into a pdf booklet that I'll also release on the final Monday of this year.

I'm thinking if having the booklet available for just $1 - however it will also include several additional maps not featured on the blog including:
4 bonus standard-size maps (16 x 16 squares)
3 bonus double-size maps (32 x 32 squares)
12 bonus half-size maps (8 x 8 squares - mostly stairs up/down)
...for a total of 71 maps.

(note that the maps as they appear on the blog aren't going anywhere, this booklet is just going to be an optional extra, with several extra maps thrown in for good measure :) )

* * * * *

But with the end of the 2011 map-a-Monday project less than three weeks away, I can't help but think about what I should do for 2012 :)

Now, I'm not sure that drawing a new map every single week of the year (again) would be a good idea (that way lies madness), but at the very least I'm thinking of switching to a Map-a-Month project or something similar.

But rather than dungeons (as we probably all have enough of those now), I'm thinking of cave maps in a similar style (i.e. still done in a 'geomorph' style, and designed to work alongside the existing dungeons).

However if anyone has any other ideas, comments, or thoughts on any of the above, feel free to drop me a comment below.

Monday 5 December 2011

Map-a-Monday (week 49)

The end is in sight, only three more to go after this one:

...and a simple pdf battlemat version can be found HERE

Thursday 1 December 2011

East Eyrie Fortress map-pack

It's here at last ...the East Eyrie Fortress map-pack...

The booklet contains over forty maps that depict the general layout of all the major structures within the great elven fortress.

In addition, a brief history has also been included to provide a little background information relevant to the Age of Shadow campaign setting for those games where it is intended to be used as such.

However, the maps themselves have been presented in a semi-modular fashion so that they can be used to represent a wide variety of different buildings within any fantasy/medieval fortification - thus allowing folks to use them in whatever manner (or campaign setting) they see fit.

Xmas / anniversary competition round one

So, there are only three people interested in getting free stuff today? Very well's the order.

1. Jaerdaph
2. Katfish
3. Axtklinge

And here's the 1d3 roll over on invisible castle: LINK

...with the winner being number 2 ...Katfish!

So just drop me a message bellow to let me know what you would like, the e-mail address you want the coupon sent to, and I'll take care of the rest.

Note that the original post can be found HERE if you want be included in next week's draw, be sure to add a 'count me in' comment to that particular blog entry.

Monday 28 November 2011

Age of Shadow Campaign Guide - $1 sale

Since Cyber Monday is all about online sales can pick up the AoS Campaign Guide for just $1 today. Just follow the link below:

Map-a-Monday (week 48)

Here's the last map of November (only four more to go now):

...and (as usual) a simple pdf battlemat can be found HERE

Saturday 26 November 2011

Black Friday/Cyber Monday

For anyone who might not have noticed, I'm having a bit of a Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend sale over at RPGNow etc.

During this time you can pick up all three sets of the Colony 19 range for the price of one (when purchased as a bundle).

That's just $3.99 for them all.

HERE is the link to the bundle page.

Thursday 24 November 2011

East Eyrie map-pack progress report

I'm still hard at work on this, and I'm still aiming for a December release (hopefully early December) - but in the meantime I thought I'd post a quick picture of the overall layout of the fortress as it currently stands:

When finished, the booklet will contain around forty maps (examples of which are shown in THIS post), and a couple of extra pages that'll give a brief history of the fortress itself (for use with the AoS setting) - though this is going to be system neutral 'fluff' (for want of a better word) that can be used or ignored as folks see fit.

So I'm hoping that the book will prove useful to folks who are just interested in getting their hands on a bunch of fortress maps, as well as those interested in the AoS campaign setting.

Anyway, that's it for this little update back to work!

Monday 21 November 2011

Map-a-Monday (week 47)

Here's the map for this week:

...and (as usual) a simple pdf battlemat can be found HERE

Saturday 19 November 2011

Xmas give-away!

It's hard to believe that this blog has been going for almost a year now, and during that time has amassed around 10,000 views.

So, in the weeks leading up to the one year anniversary (and coincidentally, the weeks leading up to Christmas) I'm planning to select a 'follower' at random (probably by making a list and then using a online die roller - such as the one over at invisible castle) and giving that person the choice of any one product from the RPGNow store for free (excluding any bundles).

The first draw will be on December 1st, the second draw will be on the 8th, the third draw will be on the 15th, and the final draw will be on the anniversary itself - the 22nd.

The only catch is that you have to use a registered account (i.e. 'guest' posts are not allowed for obvious reasons), and that you post a simple 'count me in' message in the comments section of this post so that I know that you would like to be included.

Good luck!

Friday 18 November 2011

Age of Shadow Character Sheets

Since printer ink is possibly the most expensive liquid in the known world, I've made THESE available through lulu for folks who don't want the hassle of printing their own.

However, please note that the sheets themselves are exactly the same as those found in the core rulebook - so if you're happy printing your own there is nothing new to see here.

Price-wise I've kept the booklet as inexpensive as possible (as I'm only really offering these for convenience sake - rather than for any real profit), but it does mean that you can now get everything needed to play the game (apart from dice) at the click of a mouse button.

Monday 14 November 2011

Map-a-Monday (week 46)

Here's this Monday's map:

...and (as usual) a simple pdf battlemat can be found HERE

Saturday 12 November 2011

Cafe press store now open!

I've taken a look around the cafe press website - mainly to see if any of the products they produce can be used for gaming purposes, but also to see if I can get a (roughly A3 sized) poster map of the Age of Shadow world printed out and available for purchase (as lulu etc. doesn't seem to be able to do this). So if you check out the sidebar to the right you'll see that I've opened a cafe press store as a little experiment.

Admittedly there's not a lot on offer at the moment, but this will be amended in due time.

Monday 7 November 2011

Map-a-Monday (week 45)

Here's the first map of November:

...and (as usual) a simple pdf battlemat can be found HERE

Tuesday 1 November 2011

November Update

I had been hoping to release my latest map-pack today, but since its only about half finished, it probably won't see the light of day until the beginning of next month (fingers crossed). However it is a rather ambitious project (and one I've been wanting to do for quite some time), and features multi-level maps of all the major building/towers within a large fantasy castle/fortress.

The fortress itself is that of East Eyrie (from the Age Of Shadow setting), but it can of course be used to represent any major fortification in most fantasy settings ...and if you are interested to see my progress thus far, here's a quick look at the pages that are pretty much finished:

As I say, I think I'll be releasing this as just a map-pack to begin with ...with the possibility of a companion booklet to go along with it in the future (that looks at East Eyrie in a little more detail).

* * * * *

I'd also like to thank everyone that took advantage in the Halloween sale - and I hope you all enjoy using the Colony 19 tiles (or at least find a good use for them).

* * * * *

And finally, today sees the release of Purple Mountain I: Temple of the Locust Lord ...the first part of a (Pathfinder compatible) mega-dungeon by Purple Duck Games - and the reason that I'm particularly exited about this project is because I have been asked to provide all of the dungeon maps for the series.

And to accompany this 20 part mega-dungeon CSP will also be offering all of these layouts as separate battlemat scale maps so that the entire dungeon can be represented at a scale of 1 square = 1 inch.

So if that sounds like something you might be interested in, you can get the first level of the pathfinder adventure from Purple Duck Games' DriveThruRPG and RPGNow storefronts, and the Battle-Map version of the dungeon can be found HERE (via RPGNow) or HERE (via DriveThruRPG).

Monday 31 October 2011

Map-a-Monday (week 44)

Here's the last map of the month:

...and (as usual) a simple pdf battlemat can be found HERE

Friday 28 October 2011

Halloween Sale!

I thought it might be a nice idea to reduce the cost of each of the Colony 19 tile-sets to just $1 each during the Halloween weekend (since these, in particular the infestation set, are the closest things I have to horror products).

So if you haven't checked them out already (or would like to expand on what you already own) head over to RPGNow or DriveThruRPG before the end of October 31st to get them at this reduced price.

Mathgar Ruins - Conclusion

With the dungeon level of Mathgar Ruins completed I'm going to call this little project done.

As I said at the beginning, this location wasn't really meant to be anything other than a simple set of notes to accompany a possible encounter area - just to have something available that shows how the rules can be applied to certain situations (which might be of use to people who are new to the system or RPGs in general, or maybe even as an emergency backup location for one of those times when the players go off in an unexpected direction).

Obviously you'll have to come up with your own plot and adventure to go along with the location (should you decide to use it) - and if you do, it would be great to hear how you use Mathgar Ruins in your own game/campaign.

Also feel free to drop me a line and let me know if you'd like to see more of this kind of thing in the future.

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Mathgar Ruins - Part 12


Note that unless otherwise stated, this entire level will be unlit and noticeably colder (and damper) than the rest of the keep.

D1. Workshop. This workshop and smithy once contained a small forge and a wide variety of craftsmen tools. Now though, the room has a much more sinister use, and what rusty tools remain have been turned into cruel instruments of torture (pokers, clamps, and gougers for the most part).

If the beastlings/wildlings are currently holding a prisoner (or two), it is entirely possible that they may be found here if the GM so wishes - no doubt accompanied by one or two of the beastlings from the level above (possibly even the beastling captain) who are in the process of slowly extracting information from their unhappy guest. If this is the case the area will be illuminated by a small brazier of hot coals.

D2. Storage. Once used as a cold stores, this room now serves as the lair (though prison might be a better term) for a half-starved fellgrim brute.

A filthy create of giant-like proportions is slumped against the central pillar of this large chamber - surrounded by piles of broken bones that appear to have been picked clean. The beast itself is covered in matted fur and about its neck is a thick collar of iron - from which trails a sturdy chain.

The creature is secured to the central pillar with around 6m of thick iron chain that gives it just enough room to move around the whole chamber. This is due to the fact that the beastlings have discovered a secret entrance (normal perception test to find) leading into (or out of) the keep from this room - and a hungry fellgrim is seen to be the perfect guardian should anyone attempt to gain access this way. However, there is a 40% chance that the creature will be sleeping at any given time (treat any deception tests to sneak by as easy), and a 5% chance that a beastling is present in the doorway - tossing it a few scraps of food.

Also note that the fellgrim found in this room is one of a particularly low intelligence, and (depending on the type of game that the GM wishes to run) can be portrayed in two very different ways.

The first of these is one where the creature has a childlike understanding of the world about it, and as such can be manipulated by the PCs (or even genuinely helped). If this is the case the GM may allow the players a chance befriend the beast (or confuse it enough to think them friends), and maybe even convince it to turn upon its masters (assuming they can find some way of communicating with it). Most of this can be handled though role-playing out the encounter, though an opposed Influence test may be allowed (perhaps modified by how well the players have role-played) to help things along.

The second (and more likely) option is to simply assume that the creature is no more than a feral brute - who is just as much danger to its allies as it is to anyone else (hence the chains).

The secret entrance in this room provides the PC's with a relatively easy access point to the keep, and so the GM may like to take this into account when designing an adventure to go along with this encounter site (i.e. the PC's should be given ample opportunity to learn about the secret entrance prior to investigating the keep).

D3. Dungeon. Most of the time the stairs leading down into this area will be partially flooded so that the passage below is around 1m underwater. As such the prison cells are never visited by the current occupants, especially since the keys have been lost or destroyed. However, anyone attempting to lock/unlock one of the doors here will be required to make a mechanisms test to do so. Alternately, anyone attempting to force a door open will need to succeed a hard (-50%) athletics test.

a. Cell. Open and unlocked.

b. Cell. Closed and locked.

c. Cell. Closed and locked.

d. Cell. Closed and unlocked.

Monday 24 October 2011

Map-a-Monday (week 43)

Here's this week's map:

...and, as is usual, a simple pdf battlemat can be found HERE

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Mathgar Ruins - Part 11

U4. Armoury.
Rusty hangers and the remnants of old weapon racks line the outer wall of this long room, most of which stand empty. In the far corner is a raised pallet covered in grimy pelts, next to which stands a small table and high backed chair.
The elegant elvish arms and armour that once graced the walls of this room have long since gone, as have the bright banners and delicate wall hangings. Now the chamber is home to the cruel beastling captain and his dire wolf tracker.
Here sits a beastling brute of great stature, with long sinewy arms and an evil face scarred with many old wounds. At his feet lies a huge wolf-like figure, easily as big as the seated figure, chewing on the scraps of meat and bone tossed to it by its master.

When not accompanying his troops on a raid, this is the place that the captain is most likely to be found (though he will of course investigate any disturbance in the room next door, or occasionally make his way up to the top of the keep to check on any prisoners in area T5. There is also a 10% chance that another beastling is present here, perhaps bringing food and drink, making its report, or receiving new orders.

Unlike the rest of the beastlings here, the captain will have a reasonable understanding of the elvish and mannish tongues (50%), and will usually have been given some specific task or mission to perform by its own superior (what that may be is largely dependant on the type of adventure/campaign the GM is running).

On the other hand, the captain's dire wolf serves only its master, and is happy so long as it has food in its belly. However the creature is disliked by most of the other beastlings/wildlings - as it is not unknown for someone who has displeased (or failed) the captain to be stripped and beaten, and then given to the wolf for sport.

As for the room itself, the few weapons that are kept here are of beastling design (1d3 spears, scimitars, and shortbows), and a wooden box is stowed beneath the pallet upon which the captain sleeps (simply looking beneath the pallet will reveal this, otherwise a perception test is required). In the box will be various gaudy treasures and baubles that the captain has taken for his own (treat as 250BV worth of trinkets).

In addition, one of the stone floor slabs conceals a secret storage space that the current occupants have yet to discover. Finding it requires a difficult (-25%) perception test, and inside can still be found a pair of matching elvish shortswords.

Both swords (found in the secret compartment mentioned above) are engraved along the blade with dwarven (non-magic) runes - though the words themselves are in the elvish tongue. As such, anyone who is able to read the dwarven script will be able to reveal (should they so desire) that the inscriptions read Lindathol and Andagad - which in turn can be translated (by someone who speaks elvish) to mean 'battle-song-blade' and 'bright-iron' respectively.

In addition, a successful Culture (elf) or a suitable Lore test will reveal the swords to be typical of those used in the great wars of the north some five hundred years ago. A critical result on this roll (or perhaps further investigation in future adventures) will also reveal that these particular blades were forged for the twin sons of Lord Arenill* (the last lord of Garad Mathgar), though both perished (as did their parents) in Mathgar's fall while still very young.

However, despite their age, the swords appear to be in incredibly good condition (and very nicely made) - as they are made from dwarf-steel (giving them a +10% bonus to the users Close Combat skill when used, and an extra point of non-magical damage).

*Lord Arenill was also the brother of Lady Arenell of Menan Mindas (see p10 of the campaign guide)

Monday 17 October 2011

Map-a-Monday (week 42)

It's Monday again, and you know what that means...

...and, as always, a simple pdf battlemat can be found HERE

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Mathgar Ruins - Part 10


Note that, unless otherwise stated, this entire level will be dimly lit by the occasional low burning torch or candle, causing all vision based perception tests to be made at a -25% penalty (i.e. treat as partial darkness) unless a character has night sight or their own light source.

U1. Hallway. Formerly used for additional storage space, this small hallway acts as an intersection for all the rooms and passages of this level.

  • An easy perception test here (+50%) reveals a strong smell of unwashed bodies, and possibly the harsh sounding voices of any beastlings/wildlings gathered in area U3 (depending on how active/awake they are at the time).
  • The corridor that leads to area U4 ends in doorway devoid of any actual door.

U2. Wine Cellar. Little remains that would identify this room's original purpose as its primary use now is that of a guard post (or very occasionally as a latrine). However, unless the current occupants are on high alert, the room will be unoccupied more often than not.

U3. Training Hall.
The roof of this large six-sided chamber is upheld by four pillars carved into the likeness of slender tree trunks. At its centre two steep steps lead down into a shallow pit-like area filled with the gear and various oddments belonging to its current occupants.
Once used as a basic training arena and (due to its excellent acoustics) also as a hall for the singing of songs and the telling of tales, this large underground room has become the main barracks for the warband that now occupies the keep.

The number (and type) of creatures found here is somewhat variable, and largely left up to the GM's discretion. If, for example, most of the beastlings/wildlings are out on a raid (or have been lured out by some other means) then as little as 1d4 might remain. However, if the majority of the warband are resting here (perhaps during the daylight hours) then as many as 2d4+4 may be present. Also, because of the number of combatants that can found in this room, the GM may decide to use the horde rule should the players foolishly decide to charge in with swords drawn.

  • Anyone examining this room more closely will see that the walls must have been highly decorated once, as bright colours will be visible here and there (though not much will be recognisable due to the filth and the scrawl that covers it). Otherwise the room is largely empty apart from several weeks worth of dried or salted (and largely unidentifiable) flesh, and a barrel of stagnant water.
  • From here a door leads into area U4 - though the locking mechanism no longer works. However a crude latch has been fitted to the reverse of the door - preventing anyone from entering from this direction (though the door may be forced with a normal athletics test, or the latch may be manipulated from this side with a mechanisms test - assuming some kind of narrow tool is available that will fit though the crack between the door and its frame).

Tuesday 11 October 2011

Map-a-Monday (week 41)

This week's map is a little later than usual - due to the fact that I've had no internet for a few days (and one hell of an ordeal trying to get any information out of my provider). Anyway it's just been restored, so here's the latest map:

...and, as always, a simple pdf battlemat can be found HERE

Wednesday 5 October 2011

Mathgar Ruins - Part 9


T7. Master Bedroom.
The ceiling of this room is still largely intact, though the chamber itself stinks. At its centre is a small makeshift table with two stools, and over the windows hang covers of dirty linen or patchwork furs.
This room was once a grand bedchamber for the lord and his lady - though now it is little more than a lookout post. As such, there will always be someone/thing on guard here (whether it be night or day), whose job it is to keep watch over the area leading up to the main entrance (though while the sun is up this is usually reduced to peeking out from behind the makeshift curtains a couple of times every hour - unless any noise arouses the lookout's suspicion). In addition, the guard from area T1 can sometimes be found here (see that particular entry), passing the time with the lookout with various games of chance, eating and drinking, or simply trading insults.

A pair of bone dice can usually be found upon the table, along with a wineskin (most likely empty), a half-eaten loaf, a few strips of dried flesh, and a crude water pitcher. A successful perception test (or simply looking in the right place) will also uncover a small dagger secreted away under the table.

A. Garderobe. Anyone curious about the stench in the room will discover that someone has been using the old garderobe in the corner - even though it has been blocked for some time. In addition, anyone foolish enough to go rummaging around in the garderobe runs the risk of catching the following disease:
Name: Grime Fever
Delay: 24 hours
Potency: 60
Full Effect: 1 HP damage per day plus cramps, nausea, fever, and diarrhea after day 2 (i.e. everytime a character performs any task he/she must pass a Resilience test or be forced to attempt that task at a diffuculty level one higher than normal).

Monday 3 October 2011

Lulu Sale

If you've been thinking about picking up the print versions of the Age of Shadow books you might be interested to know that lulu are offering a 15% sale at the moment (though it ends October 7th).

All you have to do is enter the coupon code: TANGOUK305

...and it'll save you about £2 on the books.

Map-a-Monday (week 40)

Wow ...October already, and with it the first map of the new month:

...a simple pdf battlemat of which can be found HERE

Wednesday 28 September 2011

Mathgar Ruins - Part 8


T5. Servants Quarters/Storage.

This room has seen various uses during its long history, though now it acts as a temporary prison cell/holding area for anyone unfortunate enough to be held captive by the current occupants (largely due to the fact that it has the only lockable door in the whole keep).

This area is likely to be one of the focuses of the adventure itself - with one or two captives being held here, or perhaps some item of importance. However, the exact contents/occupants will largely depend upon the type of adventure that the GM is running, and should be tailored to that adventure/storyline accordingly.

T6. Library.
The remnants of tall bookcases lean clumsily against the walls of this room - some moss covered and dotted with old mould, others home to large birds nests. Overhead, several large holes in the ceiling give a clear view to the clouds/stars* up above, and also serve to illuminate the room with vivid/pale* streaks of sunlight/moonlight*
*delete as applicable

This room was once a great library - containing many books of lore and wisdom. Now though it has become a roost for several darkwings (a large black carrion bird - similar in appearance to oversized crows).

  • During the night there will usually be 1d8+4 darkwings at rest here, whereas there will only be around half that number (i.e. 1d4+2) during the daylight hours.
  • If left alone the birds will ignore anyone in and around the doorway of this chamber - though they will caw loudly at anyone that ventures inside (possibly arousing the suspicion of anyone else in the upper levels of the keep). However, this may be avoided with a successful Deception test or Nature Lore* test.
  • If disturbed (i.e. any PC attempts to 'shoo' them away, or starts rummaging through the shelves) the birds will each make a single attack (cawing as the do so) before fleeing out of the holes in the roof (definitely arousing the suspicion of anyone else in the upper levels of the keep). Once again, this may be avoided with a successful Nature Lore* test.
  • Anyone prepared to rummage through the nests and bookshelves will find a few shiny baubles (worth no more than 25BV), and if they also succeed in a perception test then they will discover a page from an old book that is still in a reasonable condition. This page can then be treated as a single use item which will allow the user to cast the innate spell Protection II.
  • Additionally, anyone who succeeds a difficult (-25%) perception test will find an intact secret compartment in one of the rotting bookshelves that contains a number of old scrolls of elvish lore (written in high-elvish). Anyone who has access to these scrolls gains a +25% bonus to their Culture (elf) skill pertaining to matters of ancient elvish history (though only if they can actually read the scrolls, and have time to study them before making the relevant test).
*assuming the PC has at least 50% in the Nature Lore skill

Monday 26 September 2011

Website Update

I've given the CSP website a bit of an update today, and dragged it (kicking and screaming) into the 21st century ...well almost ;)

I've also added a few images to the 'small scale maps' pages (that I found lying around on my hard drive - from a previous online game I ran), that can be found on the bottom of THIS page and THIS page.

I'm pretty sure everything is working correctly, however, if you spot any broken links etc. drop me a line and I'll do my best to fix it ASAP.

Map-a-Monday (week 39)

Here's the final dungeon map for September:

...and a simple pdf battlemat version can be found HERE

Sunday 25 September 2011

Mathgar Ruins - Part 7


T1. Gallery.

This small room was once home to several portraits and fine tapestries, though now it stands bare except for a simple stool and (usually) a lone beastling guard (who has a 25% chance not actually being here and instead wandering through areas T2 and T7).

The stairs leading up from here are blocked with rubble - though they once led up to the roof (about which a narrow parapet ran).

T2. Antechamber.

Three doors remain intact here - those leading to areas T5, T6, and T7 (though the lock only works on the door to area T5).

The guard that is usually found in area T1 possesses the only key to area T5 - however characters may attempt a normal Mechanisms test to pick the lock, or an Athletics test to force the door open (also note that should anyone try to damage the door, it has 25HP/AP2).

T3. Bedchamber.
The roof of this empty chamber has started to collapse in a few places - the debris from which has added to the general rubble and dirt scattered about the floor.

This is a long abandoned room that the beastlings have a natural dislike for - due to a small amount of residual 'elvish magic' that lingers here (see notes). In addition, anyone searching through the rubble (or alternately anyone who succeeds a perception test) will notice that there was once a decorative pattern upon the floor of this chamber in the shape of a rayed star (thought now it's extremely worn and badly damaged)

- how the pattern may have once looked -

Before its ruin, anyone who whispered the elvish word for starlight (i.e. telgalil) in this chamber would have caused the whole room to be filled with a soft and pleasant light. Now though, the magic has faded greatly, so that only a slight hint of light can be seen around the edges of the floor pattern if the word is spoken.

As such, anyone who studies the pattern and makes a successful innate magic test will be aware of the residual magic here (as will the innate spell Second Sight), though a successful Culture (elf) test will also be required to learn the activation word. If activated, everyone in the room (be they man, dwarf or elf) will also gain +1 temporary hit point (treat as a diminished version of the vigour spell on p42 of the rulebook).

X. Garderobe. The old privy is blocked and useless.

T4. Bedchamber.

As entry T3, except that the pattern of the floor is barely perceptible and so damaged that no magic remains.

Friday 23 September 2011

Mathgar Ruins - Part 6


M3. Guest Quarters.
A rather crude looking table (made up of various pieces of old wood) is pushed up against one wall of this room, and is littered with bits of bone and a few crude knives. The air itself has a noticeable coppery taste to it, and a small blackened cook-pot is suspended over the embers of a meagre fire.

The room itself is only occupied around 25% of the time* - but when it is in use, one or two of the smaller beastlings can be found here (who have been bullied into the role of 'cook').

However, since the 'cooks' are not the best of combatants, they will usually flee and attempt to get help if they encounter intruders within the keep.

If captured or are somehow convinced to talk, they will eagerly sell out the rest of their band (telling the PCs of the rough layout of the keep and where the other beastlings/wildlings are most likely to be found), in exchange for their pitiful lives.

  • Both doors to this room are still relatively intact (though they creak somewhat when opened or closed - i.e. anyone else on this level or in the hall below should be allowed a perception test to hear one being used).
  • The room itself is currently being used as a makeshift kitchen, though it is usually unoccupied (see above), as the only cooking the beastlings go for is a kind of weak stew made up of 'leftovers' from a recent kill (which does not usually amount to much), or things that have started to go bad.
  • Anyone taking the time to examine the fireplace will discover the remnants of a weak (and not very pleasant smelling) stew in the bottom of the cook-pot.
  • Examining the table will reveal that it is stained near black with blood, and that the knives are of various sizes and shapes (treat as daggers). Beneath the table is a large box with an ill-fitting hinged lid and a small open-topped barrel of water. Inside the box is a boars head, two stale loaves, half a dozen wooden bowls, and a couple of small wooden logs (a successful perception test will also reveal a few live maggots).

*GMs should feel free to alter this % as they see fit.

†One of the 'cooks' is currently planning the murder of one of the wildlings (with whom he is at odds) with the aid of this particularly nasty poison:
Name: Gut-rot poison
Type: Ingested
Delay: 1d3 hours
Potency: 90
Full Effect: 1d6 CON damage per day and extreme nausea & stomach cramps (treat all tasks as hard)
Duration: 1d4 days
Note that if this poison is mixed in with a fresh batch of stew (rather than being applied to a single bowl) its effects will be drastically reduced as follows:
Name: Gut-rot poison (diluted)
Type: Ingested
Delay: 1d3 hours
Potency: 60
Full Effect: 1 CON damage per day and nausea (treat all tasks as difficult)
Duration: 1d3 days

Thursday 22 September 2011

Mathgar Ruins - Part 5


M1. Balcony.

The balcony looks out over half of the hall below (towards the fireplace) where great feasts and merrymaking once took place. Now though the wooden handrail is more than a little unsafe - and anyone applying any pressure to the rail will cause it to break. Note that if someone leans on the rail or is forced into it they will be required to make a dodge/athletics* test to avoid losing their balance and falling down into the hall below (which causes 1d6 damage that bypasses all armour).

*as the situation dictates

  • An easy perception test here (+50%) reveals a feint smell - not too dissimilar to that of unwashed bodies and damp fur.
  • The wooden steps leading down to the ground level have been crudely repaired and are rather ramshackle in their appearance. As such, anyone attempting to move quietly up or down these stairs will be required to make a difficult (-25%) deception test in order to do so.
  • If any beastlings are present in area M3 (see the notes associated with that entry), the GM should allow the party to make simple (+25%) perception tests to hear their clamour.

M2. Guest Quarters.
A small fireplace adorns this small chamber, and little else apart from a thick layer of dirt, dust, and the occasional pottery shard.
  • The door to this chamber has long since vanished, and (because of its lack of windows) it is always a little dark (-25% to vision based perception tests).
  • Any character that attempts a perception test in this room (or attempts to find tracks with a Nature Lore test) will notice that there has been some movement in here recently - between the door and fireplace. This is due to one of the wildlings secreting away a delicate silver necklace and matching bracelet (in a small wooded box) on a narrow ledge inside the chimney flue. Normally a perception test would be used to find these items, but any character actively searching inside the fireplace will automatically find them unless he/she fumbles their roll. An Elvish Culture test identifies the jewellery to be of elvish design and worth around 250BV.

Wednesday 21 September 2011

Age of Shadow ...Now on lulu

Here's a quick look at what arrived in the post this week:

The AoS Role-playing Game is an 80 page (black and white, perfect-bound) softcover book available for £5.99 (LULU LINK)

The AoS Campaign Guide is a 28 page (full colour, saddle-stitched) softcover book available for £7.99 (LULU LINK)

...and now back to work on Mathgar ruins.

Monday 19 September 2011

Map-a-Monday (week 38)

Time to take a short break from Mathgar Ruins to bring you this week's dungeon geomorph:

...and always, a simple pdf battlemat version can be found HERE

Sunday 18 September 2011

Mathgar Ruins - Part 4


G1. The Great Hall.
This spacious hall must have once been a sight to behold - with many fine tapestries and ornate carvings upon the walls and pillars. Now though the whole chamber is strewn with dirt and debris, and what little is left of the tapestries hang in tatters.
This room is usually unoccupied apart from two wildlings that are tasked with guarding the door.

Once an elegant hall, this large room is now all but empty - seemingly long since plundered of anything of worth. However, it will soon become apparent to anyone who ventures further into this room that far end of the hall is overlooked by a balcony on the level above (indicated by the dashed line).

A. Main Entrance. The main door to the keep is rather large and has a habit of sticking - requiring a simple (+25%) athletics test to open. In addition, whatever locking mechanism it might have once possesed is long since gone - but the door may still be barred from the inside making it near impossible to force open without the aid of siege equipment.

However, the door is not usually barred (unless the current occupants are expecting trouble), and anyone who knocks upon the door twice and then three times (after a short pause between) will usually have the door opened for them (assuming they are expected).

B. Grand Fireplace. A large fireplace of carven stone dominates the whole of the far wall, though the delicate figures and scenes engraved upon it are all but unrecognisable. Anyone spending any time examining the fireplace will see that it has clearly been marred by cruel hands.

Additionally, anyone who takes the time to examine the fireplace in greater detail should be allowed a perception test to discover a secret compartment that still holds an ornate gem-studded brooch (worth around 1000BV) that also functions as a magic point store (1 point - though it is currently empty).

However, due to the damage that the fireplace has sustained, a successful mechanisms test will be required to open the compartment (alternately, if brute force is used, a difficult (-25%) athletics test may be attempted).