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