Thursday, January 31, 2019

Silver Swords Issue #1 Kickstarter is live!

I haven't said anything of it in the time I've been working on it but I may as well say something now. The first issue of my new RPG/OSR fanzine is currently being funded on Kickstarter. Feel free to take a look!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Illrigger - A Lawful Evil Knightly Class for 5e. Alpha build 3

Note: with Google Plus notifications going away tomorrow, I highly recommend you subscribe with the widget on the right to get email notifications 

Following the great advice I received on my last alpha build of the Illrigger class variant, here's the third alpha build of the class. As always, I read and appreciate all comments about my work, please feel free to share your thoughts on this piece!

"Valshea" by Keith Parkinson, cover art of the "Dragon" issue 106,
which Illrigger comes from
The lawful evil Illrigger creates for his god a framework of evil on which to operate and subdue key proponents of good. He has crisply efficient assassination skills and maintains a functioning network of followers to precipitate his crimes upon the world. Should the Iillrigger ever commit a chaotic or carelessly disruptive act, his church will excommunicate him and he will become forevermore a normal fighter. Illriggers prefer armor and weapons of darkened metal. Plate mail and morning stars predominate. Illriggers wear great helmets bearing the symbols and war standards of their gods. Insignias of rank, each a subsymbol of the Illrigger's personal sigil, accompany every follower. Illriggers can use any magic item unless it has an intrinsic good alignment. An Illrigger with sufficient funds can build a stronghold at any time. The Illrigger follows no strictures other than the rigid rules necessary to maintain his church. Nearly all known Illriggers are devil worshippers.

The special abilities of an Illrigger are:
1. A continual emanation of a protection from Evil and Good spell.
2. Immunity to all forms of disease.
3. The ability to attack using the Rogue's table for Sneak attack after surprising an opponent.

Nefarious Touch: 
Your dark embrace can wound your foes. You have a pool of Evil power that replenishes when you take a long rest. You can utilize this pool of power to cause d6 Necrotic damage to your foes. You have a number of d6’s equal to your Illrigger level.

As an action, you can make a melee touch attack against a creature and draw power from the pool to inflict damage to that creature, up to the maximum amount remaining in your pool. On a successful attack, the creature being targeted can attempt a Wisdom Saving Throw with a DC of 10 + your Proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier to resist your dark emanations receive half damage.

Alternatively, you can expend a 1d6 from your pool to curse the target with one disease or one curse.The target must fail a constitution saving throw to become diseased or cursed. Only one disease or cursed may be placed on a target at a time.

Precise blow:
Illrigger's have been trained by their order to know exactly how and where to strike an unsuspecting target to make and make it count.

At 1st level, once per turn, Illrigger's may an additional 1d6 to their damage rolls when attacking with advantage against a surprised foe.

Spellcasting:
By 2nd level, you have learned to draw on divine magic through meditation and prayer to cast spells as a Cleric does.

The Illrigger table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells. To cast one of your Illrigger spells of 1st level or higher, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.
Art by Nate Furman

You prepare the list of Illrigger spells that are available for you to cast, choosing from the Paladin spell list. When you do so, choose a number of spells equal to your Intelligence modifier + half your Illrigger level, rounded down (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

For example, if you are a 5th-level Illrigger, you have four 1st-level and two 2nd-level spell slots. With an Intelligence of 14, your list of prepared spells can include four spells of 1st or 2nd level, in any combination. If you prepare the 1st-level spell cure wounds, you can cast it using a 1st-level or a 2nd- level slot. Casting the spell doesn’t remove it from your list of prepared spells.

You can change your list of prepared spells when you finish a long rest. Preparing a new list of Paladin spells requires time spent in prayer and meditation: at least 1 minute per spell level for each spell on your list.

Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for your Illrigger spells, since their power derives from the strength of your convictions. You use your Intelligence whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Intelligence modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a paladin spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.

Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier

Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier


Pillar of Sin:
Upon reaching the third level, an Illrigger is fully accepted as a knight of their dark Order and is officially known as a Pillar of Sin, the first step in a path that will end with them being a fully fledged Illrigger, a leader of their Order, by the end of it. They also receive an income which allows them to live a Modest lifestyle.

Fighting Style:
At 3rd level, the Illrigger may adopt any style of fighting as their specialty. You can’t take a Fighting Style option more than once, even if you later get to choose again.

Disease Immunity: 
At 3rd level, Illriggers gain immunity to all forms of disease.

Ability Score Improvement:
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Extra Attack:
Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Griefbringer:
Upon reaching the sixth level, an Illrigger is promoted within their order to the rank of Griefbringer. With the new rank comes the ability to call on a Pillar of Sin from within their order to assist them with a mission. In addition to this new privilege, a Griefbringer's income is increased, allowing them to live a Comfortable lifestyle.

Aura of Protection:
Starting at 6th level, whenever you or a friendly creature within 10 feet of you must make a saving throw, the creature gains a bonus to the saving throw equal to your Intelligence modifier (with a minimum bonus of +1). You must be conscious to grant this bonus.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Evilforger:
Upon reaching the ninth level, an Illrigger is promoted within their order to the rank of Evilforger. With the new rank comes the ability to call on a Pillar of Sin or a Griefbringer from within their order to assist them with a mission. In addition to this improved privilege, a Griefbringer's income is increased, allowing them to live a Wealthy lifestyle.


Protection from Good:
At 9th level, Illriggers permanently gain the effects of Protection from Evil and Good.
Aura of Courage:
Starting at 10th level, you and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you can’t be frightened while you are conscious.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Illrigger:
From 12th level onwards, an Illrigger is known to the world as an "Illrigger". With the new rank comes the ability to call on a Pillar of Sin, Griefbringer, or Evilforger from within their order to assist them with a mission. All Illriggers are made a member of the ruling council of their order. In addition to these privileges, an Illrigger's income is increased, allowing them to live an Aristocratic lifestyle.

Also, reaching their "Name level" gives Illriggers the opportunity to embark on a quest to receive a Stronghold of Evil. If they choose to complete this quest, they will gain a Stronghold(Castle, Temple, etc.) and a number of rolls on the Followers chart equal to half their level. This feature requires DM approval and is not required to play the Illrigger.
Art by Windfall Designs

Cleansing Touch:
Beginning at 14th level, you can use your action to end one spell on yourself or on one willing creature that you touch.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier (a minimum of once). You regain expended uses when you finish a long rest.



Table 1: Illrigger Followers:

Dice roll Type of follower

01-08    1d10 1st level Rogues
09-14    1d8 1st-2nd level Rogues
15-19    1d6 1st-4th level Rogues
20-23    1d4 2nd-5th level Rogues
24-26    2 3rd-6th level Rogues
27-28    1 4th-7th level Rogue
29-31    1d4 1st-2nd level Barbarians
32         1 3rd-6th level Barbarian
33-35    1d6 1st level Wizards
36-37    1d4 1st-2nd level Wizards
38         2 2nd-5th level Wizards
39-40    2 1st-2nd level Sorcerers
41         1 2nd-4th level Sorcerer
42-46    1d6 1st-4th level Clerics
47-49    1d4 2nd-5th level Clerics
50-51    2 4th-7th level Clerics
52         1 5th-8th level Cleric
53         2 1st-4th level Bards
54-61    4d10 Men-at-Arms
62-67    1d10 1st level Fighters
68-72    1d8 1st-4th level Fighters
73-76    1d6 2nd-5th level Fighters
77-79    1d4 3rd-6th level Fighters
80-81    2 4th-7th level Fighters
82         1 8th level Fighter
83-84    1 Hellcat or Hell Hound
85         6d4 Kobolds plus females and young
86        1 Bheur Hag
87        20d10 Duergar plus females and young
88        20d10 Orcs plus females and young
89        30d10 Goblins plus females and young
90        10d10 Hobgoblins plus females and young
91        1 Blue Dragon
92        1 Ghost
93        1 Spectre
94        1 Wight
95        1 Wraith
96        2 Manticore
97        1d8 Fire Giants plus females and young
98        1d4 NPCs of any lawful evil class or subclass
99        1 Pit Fiend
100      DM's choice

I hope you can get some fun out of this class variant. Feel free to leave any feedback, advice, or criticisms as a comment here. I'm glad to learn and happy to respond to your comments.


Sunday, January 6, 2019

Illrigger - A Lawful Evil Paladin variant for D&D 5e. Alpha build 2




Art by Luigi Castellani
The lawful evil Illrigger creates for his god a framework of evil on which to operate and subdue key proponents of good. He has crisply efficient assassination skills and maintains a functioning network of followers to precipitate his crimes upon the world. Should the Iillrigger ever commit a chaotic or carelessly disruptive act, his church will excommunicate him and he will become forevermore a normal fighter. Illriggers prefer armor and weapons of darkened metal. Plate mail and morning stars predominate. Illriggers wear great helmets bearing the symbols and war standards of their gods. Insignias of rank, each a subsymbol of the Illrigger's personal sigil, accompany every follower. Illriggers can use any magic item unless it has an intrinsic good alignment. An Illrigger with sufficient funds can build a stronghold at any time. The Illrigger follows no strictures other than the rigid rules necessary to maintain his church. Nearly all known Illriggers are devil worshippers.

The special abilities of an Illrigger are:
1. A continual emanation of a protection from Evil and Good spell.
2. Immunity to all forms of disease.
3. The ability to attack using the Rogue's table for Sneak attack after surprising an opponent.

Nefarious Touch: 
Your dark embrace can wound your foes. You have a pool of Evil power that replenishes when you take a long rest. With that pool, you can deal an amount of damage equal to your Illrigger level × 5.

As an action, you can touch a creature and draw power from the pool to inflict damage to that creature, up to the maximum amount remaining in your pool.

Alternatively, you can expend 5 hit points from your pool to curse the target with one disease or one poison. You can cause multiple diseases and poisons with a single use of Nefarious Touch, expending points separately for each one.

Protection from Good:
At 1st level, Illriggers permanently gain the effects of Protection from Evil and Good.

Sneak attack:
At 1st level, Illriggers gain limited use of the Rogue's Sneak Attack damage table. Illriggers may only deal Sneak Attack damage when they have Advantage against a Surprised enemy.

Spellcasting: 
Art by Nate Furman
By 2nd level, you have learned to draw on divine magic through meditation and prayer to cast spells as a Cleric does.

The Illrigger table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells. To cast one of your Illrigger spells of 1st level or higher, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.

You prepare the list of Illrigger spells that are available for you to cast, choosing from the Paladin spell list. When you do so, choose a number of spells equal to your Intelligence modifier + half your Illrigger level, rounded down (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

For example, if you are a 5th-level Illrigger, you have four 1st-level and two 2nd-level spell slots. With an Intelligence of 14, your list of prepared spells can include four spells of 1st or 2nd level, in any combination. If you prepare the 1st-level spell cure wounds, you can cast it using a 1st-level or a 2nd- level slot. Casting the spell doesn’t remove it from your list of prepared spells.

You can change your list of prepared spells when you finish a long rest. Preparing a new list of Paladin spells requires time spent in prayer and meditation: at least 1 minute per spell level for each spell on your list.

Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for your Illrigger spells, since their power derives from the strength of your convictions. You use your Intelligence whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Intelligence modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a paladin spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.

Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier

Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier


Pillar of Sin:
Upon reaching the third level, an Illrigger is fully accepted as a knight of their dark Order and is officially known as a Pillar of Sin, the first step in a path that will end with them being a fully fledged Illrigger, a leader of their Order, by the end of it. They also receive an income which allows them to live a Modest lifestyle.

Fighting Style:
At 3rd level, the Illrigger may adopt any style of fighting as their specialty. You can’t take a Fighting Style option more than once, even if you later get to choose again.

Disease Immunity: 
At 3rd level, Illriggers gain immunity to all forms of disease.

Ability Score Improvement:
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Extra Attack:
Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Griefbringer:
Upon reaching the sixth level, an Illrigger is promoted within their order to the rank of Griefbringer. With the new rank comes the ability to call on a Pillar of Sin from within their order to assist them with a mission. In addition to this new privilege, a Griefbringer's income is increased, allowing them to live a Comfortable lifestyle.

Aura of Protection:
Starting at 6th level, whenever you or a friendly creature within 10 feet of you must make a saving throw, the creature gains a bonus to the saving throw equal to your Intelligence modifier (with a minimum bonus of +1). You must be conscious to grant this bonus.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Extra Feat:
At 7th and 11th levels, Illriggers can take a new Combat feat of their choosing.

At 15th and 20th levels, Illriggers can take any feat of their choosing.

Evilforger:
Upon reaching the ninth level, an Illrigger is promoted within their order to the rank of Evilforger. With the new rank comes the ability to call on a Pillar of Sin or a Griefbringer from within their order to assist them with a mission. In addition to this improved privilege, a Griefbringer's income is increased, allowing them to live a Wealthy lifestyle.

Aura of Courage:
Starting at 10th level, you and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you can’t be frightened while you are conscious.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Illrigger:
From 12th level onwards, an Illrigger is known to the world as an "Illrigger". With the new rank comes the ability to call on a Pillar of Sin, Griefbringer, or Evilforger from within their order to assist them with a mission. All Illriggers are made a member of the ruling council of their order. In addition to these privileges, an Illrigger's income is increased, allowing them to live an Aristocratic lifestyle.

Also, reaching their "Name level" gives Illriggers the opportunity to embark on a quest to receive a Stronghold of Evil. If they choose to complete this quest, they will gain a free Stronghold(Castle, Temple, etc.) and a number of rolls on the Followers chart equal to half their level.

Art by Windfall Designs
Cleansing Touch:
Beginning at 14th level, you can use your action to end one spell on yourself or on one willing creature that you touch.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier (a minimum of once). You regain expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Table 1: Illrigger Followers:

Dice roll Type of follower

01-08    1d10 1st level Rogues
09-14    1d8 1st-2nd level Rogues
15-19    1d6 1st-4th level Rogues
20-23    1d4 2nd-5th level Rogues
24-26    2 3rd-6th level Rogues
27-28    1 4th-7th level Rogue
29-31    1d4 1st-2nd level Barbarians
32         1 3rd-6th level Barbarian
33-35    1d6 1st level Wizards
36-37    1d4 1st-2nd level Wizards
38         2 2nd-5th level Wizards
39-40    2 1st-2nd level Sorcerers
41         1 2nd-4th level Sorcerer
42-46    1d6 1st-4th level Clerics
47-49    1d4 2nd-5th level Clerics
50-51    2 4th-7th level Clerics
52         1 5th-8th level Cleric
53         2 1st-4th level Bards
54-61    4d10 Men-at-Arms
62-67    1d10 1st level Fighters
68-72    1d8 1st-4th level Fighters
73-76    1d6 2nd-5th level Fighters
77-79    1d4 3rd-6th level Fighters
80-81    2 4th-7th level Fighters
82         1 8th level Fighter
83-84    1 Hellcat or Hell Hound
85         6d4 Kobolds plus females and young
86        1 Bheur Hag
87        20d10 Duergar plus females and young
88        20d10 Orcs plus females and young
89        30d10 Goblins plus females and young
90        10d10 Hobgoblins plus females and young
91        1 Blue Dragon
92        1 Ghost
93        1 Spectre
94        1 Wight
95        1 Wraith
96        2 Manticore
97        1d8 Fire Giants plus females and young
98        1d4 NPCs of any lawful evil class or subclass
99        1 Pit Fiend
100      DM's choice

I hope you can get some fun out of this class variant. Feel free to leave any feedback, advice, or criticisms as a comment here. I'm glad to learn and happy to respond to your comments.

Three 1d20 Magic item charts




Ever needed to know in a hurry what the players find the in the Bugbear's Cave? Or the Lich's Castle? Or at the Bazaar in an unknown land? Here's something that may help you out!
Art by Windfall Designs

Well, it seems people enjoyed and, hopefully, got some use out of my last random generation table post, so here's another. 1d20 Magic item table for low level, mid level, and high level players characters.

Low level:
1: Ring of Protection +1
2: Dagger +1
3: Cloak of Protection +1
4: Magical treasure map
5: Leather +1
6: Boots of Haste
7: Level 2 Spell Scroll
8: Ring
9: Circlet of Intelligence +1
10: Lesser Healing Potion
11: Plate +1
12: Pike +1
13: Ring of Healing(1 charge)
14: Shortsword of Flames
15: Arrows/Bolts +1
16: Lance +1
17: Potion of Hill Giant Strength
18: Ring of
19: Chain +1
20: Ring of Magic Missile(1 missile)

Art by David Lewis Johnson
Mid level:
1: Arrows/Bolts +2
2: Chain +2
3: Healing Potion
4: Dagger of Poison
5: Helm of Mind-Shielding
6: Circlet of Intelligence +2
7: Ring of Healing(2 charges)
8: Lance +2
9: Ring of Protection +2
10: Boots of Silent Movement
11: Leather +2
12: Dagger of Life-Stealing
13: Potion of Fire Giant Strength
14: Dagger +2
15: Plate +2
16: Shield of Resistance
17: Shield +1
18: Level 4 Spell Scroll
19: Longsword +2
20: Ring of Magic Missile(2 missiles)

Art by David Lewis Johnson
High level:
1: Hat of Disguise
2: Rapier of Snake Bite +1
3: Circlet of Intelligence +3
4: Pike +3
5: Level 6 Spell Scroll
6: Lance of Armor-Piercing +2
7: Plate Armor of Mind-Shielding +2
8: Shield +2
9: Ring of Comprehend Languages
10: Dagger +3
11: Dagger of Poison +1
12: Potion of Storm Giant Strength
13: Ring of Healing(3 charges)
14: Greater Healing Potion
15: Gleaming Longsword +2
16: Arrows/Bolts +3
17: Longsword +3
18: Ring of Magic Missile(3 missiles)
19: Ring of Protection +3
20: Deck of Many Things

Art by David Lewis Johnson
As always, it is my hope that you can gain something from these tables. If you have any questions or comments about this article please let me know!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Wolfen woes - a mini adventure

The village of Woodbrook has been beset in recent weeks by a pack of wolves that seems to harass the villagers whenever they try to hunt or build. No one is quite sure why these creatures have beset the town, but they're willing to pay someone who can solve the problem...

Art by Windfall Design

The people of Woodbrook can inform the players that before these attacks started there were wolves in the woods, but they were never this aggressive, and they never attacked so close to the village before. One particularly fearful villager, an aged hunter, seems to believe the wolves are getting closer and closer to attacking the town each day.

The Mayor, or Elder if that's more your style, of Woodbrook, Abilar, will hire willing adventurers to head into the woods and discover what is causing this disturbance in the local fauna, offering them 10 gold for every pelt they can bring back, and 100 gold when the wolves stop harassing the town once and for all.

Finding the wolves is not the hard part, as they are led by an intelligent Winter Wolf named Snow Runner who is willing to speak to adventurers who will listen to his sad tale. As such, he has ordered that the Wolves on the outskirts of town will lead the adventurers back to him.

Snow Runner's tale is a sad one, his earliest memories are as a pet to a kind old wizard who lived in a tall tower on the farthest edge of the Northern Realms. Snow Runner, and his sister White Wind, lived comfortably with this old wizard, they were well fed, they ran free across the open plains of the Tundra, and they were slowly taught to speak by the Wizard. With no one else to keep him company, he would often spend his time speaking with his pets, and Snow Runner, while not being a genius by human definition, is very intelligent for a Wolf.

But all would not remain so happy. After some time, one of the petty barbarian kings of the north came to the tower and demanded the help of the Wizard in expanding his domain. The wizard kindly refused, and the king left in a rage. Snow Runner thought that would be the end of it, but one day as he was running free with his sister, he saw a large force of men approaching the tower. This was the army of the barbarian king, who had returned to demand the wizard's assistance or exact his punishment on him. The Wizard knew this was his end, but he loosed his pets and bade them run, they would stand no chance against the army arrayed before them.

As Snow Runner and White Wind ran far and ran fast, the wizard locked himself in mortal combat with the king. In the end, no one got what the wanted, the wizard and the king were killed in the process. But that's not important.

Art by Windfall Designs
The two wolves were lost and alone, and had to fend for themselves. The Tundra is no easy place to survive, even for creatures made to live there. They headed south, and found lush green forests where they began to live, and hunt in, and run free through. But this wouldn't last either. As one day a band of hunters would come into the forest and track White Wind to their den where she lay sleeping as her brother was out hunting. They killed the sleeping creature and took her pelt to sell for a few coins. Snow Runner returned as they skinned his sister alive, and took his vengeance upon the hunters. 

All but one of the hunters was killed that day. The final one escaping in the chaos with the pelt of White Wind and running for his life. Eventually, that hunter would settle in Woodbrook and put up his bow, taking instead to drinking in the tavern and, as of recently, warning of wolves attacking the village itself.

If the player will listen to his whole tale, Snow Runner will offer them the valuables his pack has acquired in return for them drawing the old hunter out of town so that he may have his revenge. 

Art by David Lewis Johnson
The pack has been taking many treasures as they've been harassing the townsfolk. Their horde accounts to 300 gold pieces, 400 gp worth of gems and jewelry, a suit of rusted plate mail(which will cost 0.75x the price of new plate to clean up and adjust to the wearer's body.), and +1 shield. The last two items came from the body of a knight the Wolves found dead in the woods. He seemed to have been dead for some time when they found him.

As always, I hope you can get some use out of this in your own game and feel free to leave a comment telling me your thoughts on it!

The Story of Vaelgar Umbaraton, Lord of the Borderlands

This will be a campaign diary for my solo game being played using the Scarlet Heroes ruleset. These posts are made with no intention beside entertainment. If you have any input as to what Vaelgar should try to do next, leave a comment below and tell me about it! But now, enjoy.

Born to the Noble Umbaraton family over two decades ago, Vaelgar was always meant to rule. His family had been the lords of their lands for over a century, and he can trace his lineage back to the kings of yore. But when his ancestral lands were assimilated into the Kingdom of Azonia and his family was made into servants of the new lord of the land, things seemed dire for our hero. But he was never one to lay down and die. He packed his belongings, grabbed what meager wealth he could get his hands on, and took off in the night to become an adventurer.

Art by David Lewis Johnson

Vaelgar has no worries about his family, whilst no longer lords, their posts at court provided them a livable income, and so they weren’t hurting. He wanted lands of his own, but he knew he had to make a name for himself first, he also knew that he couldn’t carve out his own barony from Azonian lands, else his family would be put in danger. And so he rode hard, and rode far. He travelled for weeks until he reached the “Borderlands” land that had been untamed for centuries. Empires of old had conquered and once tried to settle these territories, meeting with varying success. While the land holds valuable minerals and the soil is good for planting, the whole region is rife with Chaos, and only the brave, or foolish, attempt to lord over these lands.

The people of the Borderlands live in near constant fear. Fear of starvation, invasion, desecration, or damnation. Chaos has a tight grip on the land, and while people can eke our a living, they continue to live in constant fear. Most settlements are isolated and independent, bearing no allegiance to anyone not of their own town. There are some lordships which try to impose law and order in their domains, but these are few and far between. While there are many chaotic lords who simply extort the people of their realm for money, slaves, and sacrifices.
Art by Joyce Maureira


Vaelgar found himself wandering into the village of Hardbreak, which bore no allegiance to any lord. The village was of a decent size, sporting a population just shy of 500, and made its living on farming. More than a few washed up adventurers made their lives. Here as guards for the town or mercenaries when the farmers needed some goblins run off or some highwaymen made to disappear. But there was one job no mercenary would take. Years ago, out on the edge of town villager Bob had discovered there was a small cavern under his house which contained some goblins. A passing adventurer had made himself some good money clearing out that cavern, closing up the exit, and making off with the goblin’s ill-gotten gains.

Art by Windfall Design


But then Bob had no idea what to do with the place, he had used some of it for storage, but it was too damp to store most things without them rotting as a result. So he had thought about living down there, with all that room. But again the dampness made that hard for him. He didn’t know what to do with until, one day, a fellow came along asking to buy the cave from him. Bob could keep the cottage atop the entrance, the man only wanted the cave. The money was good, so Bob happily agreed. Once in a while, a few servants of the man in the cave would come up through Bob’s house, but supplies, and go back down. This all quickly became normal.

All was well, until recently, when instead of a servant, it was a zombie who came crawling out of the cellar door into the house of Bob and his sleeping wife and daughter. Needless to say, things didn’t end well for Bob or his wife. But his daughter, Marie, made it out alive. The next day, a few mercenaries made their way into Bob’s house to find out what had happened. They were never heard from again. The house was boarded up and a guard was stationed to patrol that area at all times. It had been two years since that incident, young Marie began working at the local Tavern, and began saving her money. Every adventurer who passed into town she tried to hire to find out what happened to that house. Those who took the job never came back from the endeavor, and so people began to warn adventurers to stay away from Marie and the job she offered.

But Vaelgar never was one for following orders, and so he took the job, and made his way to the house. Within the front door was a gruesome sight, dried blood plastered the walls and a few bones were strewn across the cottage. As he made his way into the cellar, he saw all around him the remnants of the other adventurers who had entered the cottage and cave. When he finally made it into the dungeon, he found a dungeon much larger than the small cave that had been described to him. And he found it teeming with undead. Zombies and skeletons alike. He waded his way through dozens of the undead, discovering the laboratory of a mad wizard as he went. When finally he reached the chamber of the wizard himself, he discovered a man driven mad by the passage of time. The wizard was immediately hostile, and refused to be reasoned with. After a terrible duel, Vaelgar defeated him and looted his secret treasure room, making off with a haul worth almost a thousand gold pieces.

Art by David Lewis Johnson


Vaelgar returned to Marie and told her what he discovered. She was disappointed that it provided so few answers, but was glad to know that the man who killed her parents was gone. She offered him his reward, but he bade she keep it, and build herself a new life with it. With that, Vaelgar has started on the way to making his name in the world. With some much money on hand, he wanted to do something good with it, but wasn’t sure what. That is, until he heard word of the ancient fortress a week’s travel from Hardbreak, inhabited by petty bandits, ripe for the taking by some enterprising soul...



Thanks for reading! This adventure was built entirely by solo play between me, myself, and I. I used a module which I plan to soon publish as part of a larger adventure arc and rulership system. If you have questions about the story, feel free to ask!

Art by Luigi Castellani

Friday, January 4, 2019

1d20 Ruler events chart

Welcome, this post is part rambling and part random tables. I hope you can gain something good from this out of this. If you have comments, questions, or criticisms, please leave a comment below.

Now, some explanation. I've been running Scarlet Heroes, which I highly recommend playing, a lot recently as it only requires me to wrangle one player into sitting down for a session, which can still be quite a challenge. In the meantime of these sessions, I've been playing solo sessions as Vaelgar, the 3rd level Fighter and lord of the Western Marches.

While the rulebook comes with mechanics for solo play and even recommends looking to the Mythic Game Master Emulator for more detailed rules there is an issue, I don't like them. Reading these rules and even trying to play with them hasn't worked for me. I've yet to find a system for solo playing RPGs that I've liked yet. So as a standby I've been playing through simple dungeons that I've written, treating everything with a simple, self-assigned, check to see what happens.

But that's not the reason you came here, let me get to the point. After his second adventure Vaelgar conquered a fortress and became a Lord in an untamed land. In order to play this out, I created a random table for what would happen in the new barony every month. Hopefully you can get a use out of it, so here you go, let me know if it proves useful to you.

Art by David Lewis Johnson


Troubled lordship:
1-2: Necromancer/Vampire
3-8: Hostile Foreigners
9-17: Bandits/Monsters
18-19: Peaceful: 3d6x50gp in taxes/1xp
20: Double taxes/Retainer/2xp

A troubled lordship can represent a land beset by civil war, political infighting, natural disaster, or simply a lordship carved out of the untamed wilderness.

Ordered lordship:
1: Necromancer/Vampire
2-6: Hostile Foreigners
6-12: Bandits/monsters
13-18: Peaceful: 3d6x50gp in taxes/1xp
19-20: Double taxes/Retainer/2xp

An Ordered Lordship represents a territory that is stable, lives peacefully and without too much fear of invasion or civil war.

Well controlled lordship:
1: Necromancer/Vampire
2-3: Hostile Foreigners
4-6: Bandits/monsters
7-18: Peaceful: 3d6x50gp in taxes/1xp
19-20: Double taxes/Retainer/2xp

A Well Controlled Lordship represents a region that lives without fear of terrible things happening to them on a daily basis. 

Explaining the tables:
When you roll lands on a negative event with slashes, the game master should then flip a coin to see what happens, whether it's bandits or monsters, or a Necromancer or Vampire.
When your roll lands on a positive event with slashes, it is the player's choice as to what they receive.
If a player chooses to receive xp, give them xp equal to half of the experience required to move from level 1 to level 2. Double that amount for the xp on a 20.
If a player chooses to receive double taxes, simply roll 3d6x50 and multiply that number by two.
If a player chooses to receive a retainer, then the GM should roll up a new character one level below the level of the player.

Art byJoyce Maureira

As previously stated, let me know your thoughts on these tables!

The Mind Flayer’s Lair - A Simple Dungeon Module

The Mind Flayer's Lair - A Simple Dungeon Module


Welcome to the newest instalment of the "Simple Dungeon Module" series! As with the other two entries, this small encounter is made to be placed in any world made for adventuring and roleplaying! No specific rule system is expected to be used with this module, and you should feel free to manipulate the encounter any way you can imagine to make it more fun for you and your players.

As always, please feel free to comment and let me know what you think of the module!


This underground lair is inhabited by an Illithid lord and his small army of servants.

Area 1: This entryway shows signs of use despite the dungeon entrance being obscured and hard to detect. There is a passageway to the right and a DC 15 Perception secret door to the left. 

Area 2: Behind the secret doors which lead to this passage is a stockroom filled with barrels and boxes containing miscellaneous items weighing 150 lbs worth 500gp and two chests, one of which contains a Helm of Protection from Evil and a +1 Shortsword. The other chest contains silver, gold, and platinum coins worth 4,000gp. Discovering the other secret after finishing in this room requires no check.

Area 3: This room contains 1 Bandit sentry watching out for people sneaking through the dungeon.

Area 4: In this room is contained two Bandit guards protecting the doorway to the rest of the dungeon.

Area 5: This trap releases poison gas which does 2d6 damage to everybody in this square and adjacent squares. Discovering this trap requires a DC 15 Perception check. If not discovered this trap requires a DC 15 Dexterity Saving Throw.

Area 6: This trap releases poison gas which does 2d6 damage to everybody in this square and adjacent squares. Discovering this trap requires a DC 15 Perception check. If not discovered this trap requires a DC 15 Dexterity Saving Throw.

Area 7: This room is the sleeping chamber of the three Lieutenants of the Mind Flayer, all of whom are considered 3rd level fighters. One of these bandits will be in this room at a time. The chests in this room will each contain 1d100+50 gp worth of gold and treasure.

Area 8: This is the sleeping area of the lesser ranked Bandits serving the Mind flayer. 3 of whom will be in this room at any given time. The crates and barrels in this room will each contain 1d20+20 gp worth of gold and treasure.

Area 9: This trap releases poison gas which does 2d6 damage to everybody in this square and adjacent squares. Discovering this trap requires a DC 15 Perception check. If not discovered this trap requires a DC 15 Dexterity Saving Throw.

Area 10: This trap releases poison gas which does 2d6 damage to everybody in this square and adjacent squares. Discovering this trap requires a DC 15 Perception check. If not discovered this trap requires a DC 15 Dexterity Saving Throw.

Area 11: This large chamber is clean and mostly empty, with a few tables covered in notes and lab materials. If collected, the items in this area will be worth 2d20+40 gp and weight 30 lbs. The notes will betray that the Mind Flayer is attempting to become a Necromancer, as well, and raise an army of the dead as it is easier to control the dead than to mind control living servants, as he has done with the Bandits in this dungeon. This Chamber will contain 3 Bandits and 1 Bandit Lieutenant.

Area 12: This alcove contains the throne of the Mind Flayer and a chest of his loot. The area is occupied by the Mind Flayer and 1 Lieutenant. The chest contains gems and jewelry worth 3,000 gp, a +1 Shield, and books covering necromancy and all sorts of magic worth 1,000 gp, and 50 pp.