Monday Pointers 2013-02-25

D4: Roll When You Advance
Zak has been creating alternate versions of the core classes (plus his own Alice) that don’t get new abilities on schedule but roll for them. So far he’s got fighters, rangers, thieves, wizards, barbarians, and the aforementioned Alice (or Fool). I like them all but the Wizard is my favorite. He is using LotFP as his baseline but they should adapt easily to most TSR D&D type games. The Alice especially seems like she’d fit under the Red Sun (and would work in White Box easily enough).

D6: We don’t play D&D&#0153
The last line of this post is the most important thing about RPGs (and probably does more to explain why Palladium has rubbed so many people the wrong way than 10,000 words at the purple site).

D8: Peril of the Fat Princess
Lately I’ve been reading Ginger Gone Gaming. She recently ran her first game which adopted Peril of the Fat Princess to Lamentations of the Flame Princess. The adventure is just the right kind of silly side trip that your game needs sometimes so give it a look. Also, props to a first time GM adopting a 4e adventure to LotFP.


This page is part of the Swords of the Red Sun Monsters Project.

The Cult of the Machine God excelled in creating mechanical monsters it used as servants, guardians, and on occasion assassins. I’ve already detailed the most common guardian, the Clockwork Skeletons. Below we discuss the Clockwork Servant, which is as common as the Clockwork Skeleton but less dangerous and the rarely seen Clockwork Hunter, the Cult’s assassins.

Clockwork Servants
Armor Class:8[11]*
Hit Dice:1+1
Number of Attacks: See below
Damage: See below
Dexterity:3d6(avg 10)
Movement: 40
Number Appearing: 3d6 , rarely found in wilderness
Save as: Fighter 1
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: None

The Clockwork Servant were utility items created by the Cult of the Machine God. They were roughly humanoid shaped although their limbs looked like jointed pipe segments than organics. Their bodies were a flattened metal cylinder with a dome emitting light for a head. While the legs ended in feet the arms ended in sockets for various attachments. The clockwork servants performed a variety of tasks including cleaning, cooking, and basic maintenance of cult holdings. They were also imbued with a basic self-defense and guarding mechanism. They had a variety of attachments for various jobs and these attachments affect their damage from attacks and the nature of the attacks.

For a random encounter generally I roll a d4 for each d6 and the d4 determines the d6’s type.

Servant Types

  1. Carpenter Servant: This servant did basic carpentry. It has hammer and saw attachments. If it is attacking a character pinned against an object or even standing against something it will attack with hammer and nails for d6 damage. Each damage point is a single nail. Once it has driven in 8+ nails the character must save versus turned to stone or be held for a number of rounds equal to the nails in it. The servant will pick a new target if the character is held. Characters who are free-standing are as lumber to cut and attacked with the saw for d8 damage.
  2. Cleaning Servant: A janitor servant it has a broom/mop attachment and a bucket attachment. It can attack with both each round, each for d6 damage. Every round roll a d6 before attacking. On 1-2 the servant instead dips the mop/broom in the bucket then attacks with the mop/broom only. If it hit the target is doused with cleaning solution. Cleaning solution is a mild contact poison which does 1hp of damage each turn until the character rolls an even number (use any convenient die).
  3. Gardening Servant: A garden servant has pruning shears and bug spray attachments. It can attack with the gardening sheers for d6 damage in melee. If not in melee it will use the bug spray as a ranged weapon. The bug spray is 5′ wide by 20′ long cone and is a neurotoxin. It does 2d4 damage with a poison saving throw for half damage.
  4. Cooking Hunter: The cooking servant will defend itself with its selection of cooking knives and its cleaver. It has four chef’s knives and a meat cleaver. In melee it will attack with the cleaver (treat as a hand axe). Outside of melee it will throw the knives (treat as dangers) and throw the cleaver last. If it is out of weapons from throwing it will try to retrieve them. If forced into melee its paring knife does 1d2 damage.

Because of the variety of options servants bring to the table a combat with many servants of multiple types often is more time-consuming that you expect.

Clockwork Hunters
Armor Class:4[15]*
Hit Dice:4+4
Number of Attacks: 1
Damage: d8 or weapon
Dexterity:3d6(avg 10)
Movement: 40
Number Appearing: 1d3
Save as: Fighter 5
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: None

The Clockwork Hunter is an advanced Clockwork Skeleton clothed in artificial flesh. They also have an actual, if primitive, artificial brain. They are capable of open-ended tasks, asking questions (“What’s wrong with your eyes?”) , and even giving commands (“Your clothes… give them to me, now.”). The voice is stilted and at best people will think they are a moron. They have of 17 strength and do receive your system’s strength bonus to damage and to hit (if any).

Whenever a Clockwork Hunter has taken half damage it is a tattered form on the Clockwork Skeleton frame. Characters seeing it this way have to save versus paralyzation or be frozen in horror for d3 rounds. If attacked they will snap out of the daze.

Clockwork Hunters encountered randomly are on a given mission on 1-2 on a d6. Check reaction for hunters on a mission. If it is positive they will engage the characters in an attempt to gain information about their mission. If negative they will attempt to move on and will only engage in combat if attacked. If not directly in combat they will again try to continue with their mission.

General rules for all clockworks
Clockworks have a weird vulnerability to electricity that appears to confuse them, often causing them to run away in a random fashion or cease working. If a Clockwork is the target of an electrically based attack it and all skeletons within 20′ of it react as if they were undead of equivalent hit dice being faced by a cleric. Roll to turn undead at the level of the person wielding electricity. If turned they move about randomly without attacking until they make a successful save. The round after they save they return to normal action. If destroyed they are not physically destroyed but merely freeze in place and cease functioning (if using BFRPG or similar games that interpret D as damaged instead of destroyed apply damage as per those rules).

* For BFRPG add 1 to the AC, for LotFP use the conversion guidelines from DM book

As per the licensing page the material in this box is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License or the Open Gaming License. Choose the license which best suits your purposes but I prefer the Creative Commons.

Monday Pointers, Flogging Molly Edition, February 11, 2013

D4: One I Forgot
Two weeks back when I did things I should have know about already I forgot Heroes & Other Worlds. A modern clone/descendant of The Fantasy Trip I don’t have it yet but it’s on my list.

D6: Really Old School Art
Save Vs. Dragon did a series of posts on turn of the 20th century fantasy artists last week. They are well worth checking out.

D8: Speaking of the Fantasy Trip
This is a handy little comparison of TFT with games based on it.

D10: One Page Write-up Holmes Style
If you read the Holmes sample dungeon it has about a page setting up Portown (the dungeon’s location). As an alternative to creating your own Homlet it’s a fun idea and Blue Boxer Rebellion gives us his campaign’s version.

D12: Fight Over
Fight On! is coming to an end. That is sad news.

Red Sun Day: Magical Weapons and Armor Alignment and Attunement

Under the Red Sun the imbuing of weapons and armor is a task for clerics instead of magic-users. The clerics draw the animating spirit of the item from the spiritual realm. One consequence of this is all magical weapons and armor have alignment. They work perfectly well for wielders of the same alignment at low levels of power but may or may not for those of other alignments. More powerful items are not only keyed to alignments but the deity or spiritual force that imbued them and will only work for adherents or those closely aligned to the powers in question.

Determining weapon alignment

If a magic weapon or armor is part of in a treasure hoard roll a D20 to determine its alignment (under the Red Sun the five alignment system reigns):

Roll Alignment
1-8 Lawful Good
9-13 Lawful Evil
14-16 Neutral
17-19 Chaotic Good
20 Chaotic Evil

Why are lawful items more common with lawful good the most common? Permanent powers are more aligned with a lawful world view based on structure and consistency. They are less in tune with the ability to recreate oneself associated with chaotic behaviors and do not inherently aid in maintaining balance between order and freedom or good and evil. Evil powers, even hierarchical ones, believe in a strong ruling the weak ethic and are much more cautious about empowering those weaker than themselves or their agents.

Attuning Minor Weapons and Armor

Minor weapons and armor are those with a bonus of +2 or less or special abilities no greater than spells wielded by a magic-user or cleric of 3rd level or less (both in level and frequency). At the beginning of each combat or before each usage of a non-combat power a character whose alignment does not match that of the item must roll a d3 and obtain a result greater than the number of steps of difference between his alignment and the items. If he does the item works for the combat or the power works. If not it is a normal item for this combat. If the failure was on a power attempt that usage is lost but has no effect. After a number of consecutive function roles equal to the character’s level + 1 the item attunes to that character and will always work for him. Any failed role resets the process. Going up a level during a series of successful roles does not reset the process but does increase the number of consecutive successes by one.

As per the licensing page the material in this box is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License or the Open Gaming License. Choose the license which best suits your purposes but I prefer the Creative Commons.

Swords of the Red Sun Monster Project

Rooting around so for something else I came across an old post by Jeff Rients listing the 65 monsters from Holmes D&D and it got me thinking.

One thing generally recommended for making a campaign your own is to replace the stock monsters, spell, and magic items with your own.

I’ve already got one, Clockwork Skeletons, on the blog for Swords of the Red Sun. Maybe we should go for the mystic 65.

Holmes Monster Swords of the Red Sun replacment
Bandits Cultists
Dragon, Bronze Hur Dragon
Giants Kaiju (prior discussion, Wikipedia)
Spider, Large Clockwork Servants
Spider, Huge Clockwork Skeletons
Spider, Giant Clockwork Men