Thursday, September 21, 2017

images I am inflicting on my students in ~10 minutes

Today we're talking about different methods of annotation.

Also, free dungeon maybe?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Vyzor custom screen exterior

I don't think I ever showed these babies off.  These inserts were made prior to Szazsraz burning down the Rosy Chambers or the quest for the Hidden Dojo.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Meet the Octopeople

This post goes out to Frank Mitchell.

awesome art by Dennis Loubet

BX Octopeople
Ac: 7 or better
HD: 2*
Mv: 90'(30')
Attacks: up to 3
Dmg: by weapon(s)+3
No.App: 2d6 (2d6)
Save: F2
ML: 8
Al: Chaotic

These strange cephaloids left the sea eons ago, perhaps as part of the same ancient conflict that forced the kuo-toa underground.  Nowadays their numbers have waned, but they still try to make war on the primitive vertebrates of the surface world.

The advanced musculature of the octopeople race grants all members of it an 18 Str.  Owing to their fast reflexes, a group composed enitrely of octopeople receives +1 on group initiative rolls.

Octopeople fight with 3 primary and one off limb, giving them up to three attacks per round. If an octoperson wields a two-handed weapon or uses a shield, reduce the total number of attacks accordingly.

1 in 6 octopeople will possess the class abilities of a magic-use, thief, cleric, etc. of level 2-7.  Some octopeople warriors wear chain or plate into battle.  No other known race can wear their armor.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

random advancement chart: Pandimensional Vagabond

Walkers among worlds gain stranger powers during their uncanny peregrinations.  To qualify to roll below, the character must have participated in adventures in at least three different dimensions/planes/campaign worlds, including their homeworld.  This random advancement chart may be used as a one-off substitution for a single normal advancement roll.  To use it again, you must adventure in a previously unvisited world, level up afterwards, and sacrifice a roll on another chart.

Note that several items on this chart assume that your crazy dimension-hopping PC has some undocumented, noncanonical adventures between your known exploits.

Pandimensional Vagabond

01-03  You gain an extra d8 hit die but you must reroll it every time you visit a new campaign world/plane/dimension.
04-05  You gain +3 saves versus any sort of energy attack that isn't one of the four Greek elements (i.e. fire/heat, air/wind, water/cold, or earth).  Reroll if you get this result again.
06  You've gotten really good at first aid.  If immediately after combat you bind wounds, you can heal d4 damage to a number of people equal to your level.
07-09  You know what surprised you the most about travelling between universes?  A whole lot of Creation really stinks.  No, literally.  You are now +4 saves versus reek attacks like stinking cloud, ghast farts, troglodyte B.O., etc.
10-11  You've been in barroom brawls in all the trashiest universes.  You may make 2 unarmed strikes per round for d3 damage each.  If you roll a 19+ your foes must save versus paralyzation or be knocked out cold.
12  Seeing how big the universe is tends to make a lot of human conflicts seem petty.  You gain +1 Wisdom and your alignment shifts one step closer to true neutrality.  You do not lose any class abilities due to this change.  If you are already true neutral, you gain +2 Wis.
13-15  Smug know-it-all: Once per session after another PC has blown some non-combat roll of some sort you may attempt to do the exact same thing, but with a +2 to the roll.  You may do this with things anyone can do, like listening at doors, but you may also attempt specialty skill you don't even have, like disarming traps.
16-17  You know the basics of piloting/operating some kind of high tech vehicle.  You can bank this knowledge until you need it, then announce with a grin "Sure, I know how to fly a T-16 Skyhopper!" or whatever.
19-20  You don't survive the cosmos by paying retail.  Once per session you may make a purchase at 75% of list price.
21-23  You've knocked back so many Pangalactic Gargle Blasters in filthy dives across the multiverse that you are now +2 to save versus any ingested poison.  Rerolls of this increase the bonus by an additional +2.
24-25  Once per session when you have to make a die roll where only sheer dumb luck is involved (i.e. no modifiers for skill or items or anything else), you may take the better of two rolls.
26  You can see the cracks in the structures of individual universes, allowing you to dimension door once per session.
27-28  Before someone near you does something that will rip a hole in the fabric of reality, you get a Wisdom check to recognize what a Very Bad Idea it is.  Reroll if you get this result again.
29-31  You gain a random mutation.
32-33  You seen and done so much, it's getting harder and harder to surprise you.  Any time you are surprised for one or more actions, you may make a Wisdom check to avoid one segment of surprise.  Reroll if you get this result again.
34  Weird pet: go through some monster book and find a critter (not a person) of hit dice equal to half you level.  It cannot be an ordinary earth animal.  One such creature is now your special buddy.
35-36  You've bummed around with so many wizards and elfs and whatnot that you've picked up an extra bit of magic.  You gain a random MU spell of d6 level as a once per session power, but you have to make an Int roll to cast it successfully.  If you roll a 20 it goes hilariously awry.
37-39  Neanderthals and other cave primitives just immediately realize that you're cool.  +2 reaction rolls from the paleolithic set.  If you roll this again, gain a cave person as a henchweenie.  Reroll the third and subsequent occurrences of this item.
40-41  You learn a new language for a monster species not normally considered to be a sentient speaking race, like Green Slimish or Skeletonese.  You may parlay with members of this species as if they were regular people.
42  There's a certain hill on the southern continent of the Dreamworld where you once got a really good panoramic view of the entirety of Creation.  It was pretty rad.  Since most confusion effects are based on overriding the brain's ability to filter out the complexities of the cosmos, you are now immune to confusion attacks.  Reroll if you get this result again.
43-44  You gain a loyal first level henchweirdo.  They cannot belong to a race or class in any D&D core rulebook.
45-47  You spend a LOT of time talking yourself out of trouble.  +1 Cha.
48-49  Choose a standard class.  It cannot be your own.  You may now use any magic item allowed to that class.
Jenny Everywhere
by Diana Nock
50  You make a lot of strange friends bumming around the cosmos.  You may declare that a hostile or indifferent nonhuman but intelligent monster is, in fact, an old drinking buddy.  Roll (or reroll) reactions at +2 on the dice.  This works once.
51-52  You understand the basics of operating machinery and electronics well beyond the ken of most people from backwater medieval fantasy universes.  There's always at least a 1 in 6 chance you really screw up, though.  Reroll if you get this result again.
53-55  You're really good at jury-rigging repairs with whatever is handy.  Once per session you can fix a broken or malfunctioning device with an Intelligence check, but the DM can require the sacrifice of any d6 items you and your friends happen to have on them.  Reroll if you get this result again.
56-57  Any time you are swallowed whole by a monster they must save versus poison or puke you up.  Reroll if you get this result again.
58  Dogs just like you.  +1 reactions from any canine encountered.
59-60  You pick up some training in another class.  Pick any other random advancement chart (including the ones for other races), you may now use that chart for one advancement roll per level.
61-63  Smooth talker from out of town: +1 reaction rolls to seduce people who have never left their home universe.
64-65  Any time you would take half damage from a successful save, you can take no damage instead BUT you must sacrifice either an item in your hand or something you are wearing.  Reroll if you get this result again.
66  You can sometimes see into extra dimensions.  Once per session you can see invisible, ethereal, astral, etc. stuff for up to 1 turn.  Rerolls add 1 turn to the duration.  Reroll if you get this result again.
67-68  You gain +1 on finding secret doors.  +2 if rolling on a d20.
69-71 Once per session you may pull a useful item out of your pocket/backpack/whatever.  This item is roughly as useful as anything on the standard miscellaneous equipment list, but it can't be any of those objects.  Like if you need rope, you can't select that but you could have a folding ladder in your backpack.
72-73  Once per session if the DM is using a die roll to see who among the party is attacked or affected by something bad, you can simply opt out of the determination.  It's as if you weren't there.
74  You can immediately recognize a wand of wonder or any other magic item with a similar random chart of dumb effects for what it is, just by looking at it.  If you roll this again, you may use such items and make an Int roll to control what happens (i.e. you get to look at the table and pick an effect).  If you roll a 20 then d6 effects happen to you and you alone.  Reroll the third and subsequent rolls on this chart.
75-76  If come across a magic portal that is dangerous in any way (like maybe it zaps for damage when you use it), you get an Int check to recognize that fact before you use it.  Reroll if you get this result again.
77-79  You've picked up a little Venusian Aikido somewhere along the way.  Roll on the Red Dragon Fighting Society chart.
80-81  Demons and other extraplanar entities can see from your aura that you are a walker among worlds and not some local yokel.  You have +1 reaction rolls when parlaying with such beings.  Rerolls increase the modifier.
82  Whenever you find yourself suddenly dropped into a hostile environment (under water, in a volcano, on the moon, in the heart of a black hole, etc.) you may make a save versus magic to act normally, sustaining no environmental penalties or damage, for d6 turns.  You may do this exactly once.
83-84  The next time you are subject to a curse effect it somehow skips you and is inflicted on another random party member.  This works just once.
85-86  Wanderers such a hobos, nomads, the Galactica refugee fleet, etc., recognize you as one of their own.  They will hide you from the police, smuggle you and your friends across the border, etc, but you may end up having to marry someone to get their help.
87-89  If you have any missing or mangled body parts, you gain a cybernetic replacement at some chopshop down the street from Callahan's Crosstime Saloon.  If you are not missing an eye or a hand or whatever, roll d10 on this chart to find your new mechanical enhancements:
  1. Xray Eye - Clairvoyance 1/session
  2. Lazor Eyes - Shoot beam attacks up to 120' for 2d6 damage, 10 shots then recharges over 24 hours
  3. Flame Arm - Integral flamethrower 3d6 save for half, cone 30' long, 20' wide, once per session
  4. Robo Arms - +2 Str
  5. Murder Hand - One of your hands is now a vicious melee weapon of some sort, doing d8 damage.  Choose randomly which hand it is.  If it's your sword arm, you're +2 to hit.  If it's your off arm you get a second attack per round at -2.
  6. Robo Legs - +20' per round running speed
  7. Dermal Plating - +1 AC
  8. Filter Lungs - +4 saves versus poison gas
  9. CyberLiver - +2 saves versus ingested poisons
  10. ComputoBrain - +2 Int, -2 Cha, +2 saves versus charms
Reroll if the same enhancement comes up a second time.

90-91  You are +2 to-hit with your favorite weapon.  If you lose that specific weapon, it will take you a whole session with no bonus to adjust to a new one.  You cannot simply replace the weapon with a better one, the old one must be lost or destroyed.  If this is rolled again, you gain +2 damage as well.  A third roll grants you an extra attack each round with the specific weapon.  Reroll subsequent rolls of this item.
92  If you are ever teleported stealthily, like in a labyrinth to mess up mapping, you instantly know you've been ported.
93-94  You gain +1 to a random stat.
95-97  If you are a spellcaster, you gain a new spell slot one level higher than you should.  If you are not a caster, you gain random 1st level spell from your choice of the cleric or MU charts s a daily power.
98-99  Your body and equipment now vibrate at a strange frequency.  Any attacks by you count as silver or cold iron.  If you roll this again, they count as +1 magic.  Reroll subsequent rolls of this item.
100  The next time you die you leave a pile of empty clothes, like Ben Kenobi.  You reappear elsewhere in the cosmos, bereft of equipment but alive.  This works only once.  You may never return to the world where you died without immediately dropping dead. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

not available anywhere

My good buddy Pat has been working on his screenprinting skills and made this cool shirt for me!  Facefist Hatemachine is one of the giants you can encounter in the pages of Broodmother Skyfortress.  It is also name of my metal band (which does not exist).  The illo is by Ian Maclean, who did super work on the book.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Vaults of Vyzor, session 17


Barnabus Sleet, muscle wizard (Maxim Golubchik)
Dale Bidwell, fighter/valet (NPC)
Emma Bright-Eyes, likely lass (NPC)
Yohey the Carpenter, LotFP specialist (Anthony Fournier)
Brutal Pete, dwarf (Aleksandr Revzin)
Adam o' the Dungheap, mercenary (NPC)
Diagast Ratnight, cleric (Jay Murphy)

One day before the most recent expedition to the Vaults a known Muscle Wizard, Library Founder, and possible Wizard War Provoker by the name of Barnabus Sleet throws a massive block party where he sacrifices and then barbecues dozens of goats.  Pretty much all the ne'er-do-wells in the vicinity of Castle Vyzor attend.  Maybe goat's not on everyone's personal list of top 10 barbecue meats, but, hey, a free meal is a free meal.

BBQ enthusiast Ed McBride, pictured above, used to play
a lot of D&D.  He sold his custom dragon BBQ rig for 65 large.

Turns out the sacrifice part of the goat-b-q was used to cast the infamous Lamentations of the Flame Princess spell Summon.  This allowed Sleet to call up a random demon. Ramanan Sivaranjan's excellent online LotFP demon generator was consulted, as was my own goetic demon name generator.  And out of the fire appeared a pile of vaguely anthropomorphic seaweed with the trait "reflective genitalia."  That's LotFP for you, I guess.  A further die roll determined that the genitalia in question were male, and the creature was dubbed Gachos Disco-Wang.

A pair of local clerics protested the summoning.
The next day the now eight strong party entered the Citrine Vaults.  The first real stop was the orc's armory.  No guards happened to be about, so they just helped themselves to some free weapons and armor.

They found the orcish temple (previous looted at least twice!) under construction, a gang of goblin working stiffs building a cage-type reliquary in the west end of the chamber.  The party posed as unholy building inspectors (having a demon along helped this out tremendously).  Yohey the Carpenter inspected the reliquary, hoping to install a secret catch to open it later when it is presumably full of valuable artifacts.  Turns out the goblins were already working on that themselves!

In the rec room they found a bunch of orcs shooting pool and one old orc tending bar.  Gachos the demon ordered drinks and acted like he belonged there and the orcs believed it.  Once again the party bypassed an unnecessary fight.

Following that near adventure, the party visited the pantry via a pair of secret doors.  Turns out the poisoning attempted last session had only killed the boss orc's food taster and now a rigorous system of food inspection has been instigated.  Well, rigorous for orcs any way.  They make a gnome taste all incoming supplies.

Speaking of gnomes, they found a pair of badly beaten gnome women working the orcish kitchens.  They refused to escape with the party, as they feared repercussions against their families.  It turns out that the gnomes of Verdant II recently lost a pitched battle to the orcs and now the badguys are in charge of the areas of the dungeon previously held by the gnomes.  All the gnomes are dead or enslaved.  Barnabus swore to set this matter aright in a future expedition.

The Hexahedron of Erno.  Mostly harmless. 
Taking the stairs down to Citrine II, the party surprised and slaughtered the morloi prison guards, again cosplaying as Jokers and Harleys for reasons that remain unexplained.  The morloi were easy to sneak up on, as they were all fascinated by this strange object one of them had in her possession.

After killer the jailers of the morloi prison, the party freed another prisoner.  He was there last session and the previous party never checked his cell.  The prisoner was a dwarf named Thombur.  He was being tortured by the morloi by having the world's slowest Bag of Devouring placed on his head.  That's why he's called Thombur No-face now.  Dude is a little unhinged.

Emma Bright-Eyes tore a strip of cloth
from her dress to bandage the poor bastard.
The party proceeded down to the third level of the Citrine Vault.  There they captured an old morloi Bishop of Chaos, who they hoped to use as a hostage to get through the temple.  That didn't go to plan, as the high priestess never like him that much.  In the ensuing fight a bunch of morloi cultist were slain.  The high priestess almost got away, but a timely hold person from Diagast spelled her doom.  Barnabus ended up grappling with a morloi mutant with tentacles where his arms should be.  Brutal Pete took the worst hit of the night, a critical hit to the groin with a mace, sending him to the floor in agony.  But he and his wedding tackle survived.  Thombur also went down at one point, but he was revived later.  The old bishop slunk away during the fight.

After looting the bejesus out of the temple of the morloi, the party arrived at their goal: the Red Dragon Fighting Society dojo.  A sneaky suggestion spell from Barnabus allowed the party to negotiate a discount for their membership fee in the society and a bunch of people learned kung-fu, even some of the NPCs.  Emma Bright-eyes, that lovable young lass, advanced to first level in the Muscle Wizard class AND learned some kick-ass martial arts moves!

The party returned to the surface and several people got sloppy drunk while carousing.  While thus intoxicated Barnabus returned to the house of the Ink Witches and professed his love for Gretcha the Half-Orc.  His heart was broken when she revealed that she was in a committed relationship with her two wives, the other witches.

The next day a hung-over-as-hell Barnabus remembers his deal with the Sorcerer of the Blue Mask (details here) and rushes over to the Azure Tower to receive his geas to slay King Elexus.

Thus ends Phase I of the Vaults of Vyzor campaign.  Phase II is Total War Against the Unseelie Court, as Barnabus, Rose Royce, Szazsraz the Lizard Wizard, and Laurantha the Unbeautiful finds themselves the inadvertent lieutenants of the Sorcerer of the Blue Mask.  Most sessions will focus on one of the four leading a party into the Azure Vaults to destroy that jerk the Elf King.


Bufo the Wizard (Makali’i F), Beefo the Gerblin Drinking Buddy (NPC), Willy Whats-His-Name (0-level Loser), Poor Brother Rupert (cleric hireling), unnamed serving boy (0-level hireling), Gwalin Rustbritches (dwarf hireling), Jarrod the Magic-User (Ian Reilly), Jonesy (0-level NPC), Little Liam Linkboy (0-level NPC), Limpy the Naileteer (Jeff Call), Engsal the Enchanter (Alex Joneth), Elfbraham Lincoln (Jeff Call)., Littlens (0-level NPC), Biggens (0-level NPC), Stimpy (0-level NPC), Ren (0-level NPC)


Barnabus Sleet (Maxim Golubchik), Laurantha the Unbeautiful (Cullen), Big Gnome (Luke Rejec), Szazsraz the Wizard Lizard (Chris Wilson), Rose Royce (Kiel Chenier), Sneakerly Trull (Zak S.), Ilse Raagenkampf (Perttu Vedenoja), Persimion Finch (Galen Fogarty), Magic Meryl (Nick Kuntz), Merrill Meadows (Michael Julius), Chef (Richie Cyngler)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

a Vaults of Vyzor interlude

This post will only make sense if you read this G+ post first.

Throne Room by DeviantArtist znodden
Barnabus Sleet, Rose Royce, Szazsraz the Lizard Wizard, and Laurantha the Unbeautiful have been summoned to the Azure Tower.  They are hurried into the throne room of the Sorcerer of the Blue Mask.  This chamber is too large to be properly inside the tower, but that sort of trickery is perhaps less surprising than the mere fact that you find yourself in the awful presence of the Sorcerer himself.  He does not seem to be happy.

Sorcerer: Fools!  Your precious little library threatens to upset the delicate balance of power!  Already, the doddering dullards of the Invisible College of Thaumaturgy have threatened sanctions!  Envoys from the Magisters of the Tholite Quintessence arrive shortly, undoubtedly to do the same.  If those two factions align...

A crow alights on a windowsill, cawing to all that will listen.  Only then do you notice the two moons in the night sky outside.  You recognize neither of them.

The Sorcerer's jester, a half-orc with teeth of brass and a face as ugly as a Friday quitting time traffic jam, retrieves a small slip of paper tied to the crow's leg.  He hands it to his master, who glances at it and sighs.

Sorcerer:  And here it is.  The inevitable offer of aid and friendship from the Crimson King of Chaos.  If the Invisible College and the Tholite Quintessence join forces against me, I'll have little choice but to throw in my lot with that cosmic abomination.  But the worst of it is that you vagabonds and miscreants have endangered decades of planning and years of work.  I can't continue to contain the threat of the Unseelie King if half the wizards in the multiverse think I'm trying to undermine their precious spell monopolies!  And you!  (He gestures at the Lizard Wizard.)  Don't you think you've done enough damage already?  If you all weren't such bumblers, I'd suspect you were agents of my enemies!

A moment of silence falls upon the hall.

Sorcerer: Well, what have you to say for yourselves?!?

Maxim, Kiel, Chris, Cullen, please feel free to reply in character on the G+ thread.  To note that you are speaking in character, please flag it as though it was the script of a play, as I have done above for the Sorcerer's lines.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Vyzor side view, updated

The crane was custom-built on the spot to help clear the bigger chunks of rubble from the ruins of the Rosy Chambers.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Special Report follow-up

In response to yesterday's post, Gameblog reader Gieljan de Vries asks "I'll be running an intro-to-D&D game soon for a group of warhammer gamers. Do you have any more tips on how to introduce the game?"

Some of the people sitting down to play on Friday night were a bit hesitant at first, but as part of my introduction I said something like this:

"Dungeons & Dragons is a little different from many other games where you sit around a table in that the action happens in two different places.  The first place is right here where real people are talking to each other, eating pizza, trying to entertain each other, and having a good time in the process.  The other is in a shared imaginative space full of dragons and wizards.  In order to begin playing you don't need to know a bunch of fiddly rules (that's mostly my job), instead, you need to imagine yourself as your character and determine how they would respond to their situation.  

Anything you can plausibly imagine your character doing, they can do or at least attempt.  The rules and dice only come into play when what you want to do is difficult or dangerous or opposed by someone.  So as the Dungeon Master, I set the agenda by proposing a scenario for play.  You describe what you want your character to do within that scenario.  I describe back what happens.  Everything else--the rules, the dice, the character sheets--is frosting on the cake."

I could see the lightbulbs going on around the room.  

Keep in mind that this speech is a promise that I would go as lightly on the rules as possible and that I would shoulder the burden of managing those rules.  She Kills Monsters specifies that everyone is playing a 2nd edition AD&D game, but I wasn't sure of my ability to unflinchingly fulfill that promise with any game other than what passes for BX at my table.  So that's what we played.  

Additionally, I could've ran any of a bazillion adventures, but I went with the dungeon I've been using for 16 sessions in order to ensure the breeziest play experience possible.  I would draw a room on the whiteboard and say, "Now I have to check my notes to see what is in there."  But it would only take a glance to refresh my memory then we could get back into the game.  I guess what I'm saying is that you want your end of the operation to be as smooth as possible, because you're going to spend a lot of mental energy helping the new players understand the game.

Another thing you need to think about is what materials you give to the players.  For some games and some editions, it may be worth the time to create your own truncated character sheet.  In Saturday night's game no one needed to know their to-hits, saves, or even their armor class (I asked about their armor and Dex score only after rolling to hit and seeing that I needed to know because the roll was mid-range).  I handed each player a ziplock baggie with 3d6, a d20, and one other die (which one varied by bag).  I carefully explained what "roll 3d6" meant and that a d20 was the roundest one with triangular faces and the only die with numbers 13-20 on it.  You could also use this handout.  I didn't have time to print it, though.  My printer was giving me hassle and I barely showed up with charsheets.

Finally, I would recommend not using minis or figures the first time you play with new people.  Yes, the spectacle of minis is fun.  Yes, the tactical display is helpful.  But the concept of that shared imaginative space mentioned above is too unfamiliar and too dang crucial to good roleplaying.  I generally recommend against anything that can distract from that concept.  This goes double for situations like the one Gieljan is in, where his new players are Warhammer fans.  They need to see how different D&D is from Warhammer and a definitive way to demonstrate that fact is to play with a big blank space where the terrain and figures should be.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Vaults of Vyzor special report

So a couple months back I was working my gig at the unit on campus tasked with professional development for faculty, i.e. we try to help our instructors be better teachers.  I mostly work with fellow grad students, mentoring them through their first few semesters as a college teacher.  It's work I find super rewarding.  Anyway, I was sitting at my desk when I get a message that I was wanted in the conference room right now.

I can't immediately think of a reason I'm in trouble, but that's where my head goes as I hustle down the hall.  When I get there, my boss is in the room.  Everyone in the building who has her rank is also in the room.  The head of the unit is also sitting there, as is a woman I don't know.  Oh, crap, please don't be from HR, I think to myself.  Big sigh of relief as she's introduced as the Director of the School of Theatre and Dance.  I realize I'm not in trouble as such, but now I don't know what the heck is going on.

Turns out the Director of Theatre and Dance stopped by looking for help developing learning activities and instructor workshops around a play called She Kills Monsters.  It's about a woman who tries to get to know her deceased sister by playing through her D&D campaign.  Apparently my coworkers had a little laugh and someone said, "We have just the guy for you."

All this is a preamble to explain how I ended up running the Vaults of Vyzor on Friday night for 11 theatre majors and their director/instructor.  Prior to rehearsals beginning, the director wanted the cast to actually play some D&D.

We started with chargen.  I could've made a buncha pregens, but I felt that some sort of Genuine D&D Experience™ requires rolling 3d6 in a row and figuring out what kind of weirdo you are.  The end results was a party with thieves, magic-users, elves, a couple of halflings, and a single fighter.  No one selected a cleric or a dwarf.

I told people that if they were Strong they should consider playing a Fighter, if they had a high Intelligence then Magic-User was a good option, etc.  Two people had trouble selecting a character.  One had a character with a near-Hopeless set of stats and couldn't figure out what to play.  I threw her charsheet onto the doc camera and projected it onto the big screen.  (Playing in a classroom with an AV set-up can be a lot of fun.)

"I know this is the opposite of what I told you to do, but when you get a set of terrible rolls like this, you need a different approach to selecting your class.  Try picking the thing you are worst at and play someone who is comically inept at their job.  It can be a lot of fun.  This will work especially well in this case, as the 13 Charisma will help in smooth-talking your way out of trouble."

The other person just had a case of Decision Paralysis.  I said "when in doubt, play a fighter."  She chose to play a thief.  That's teaching college in a nutshell.

At this point one bright young lad tried to throw me a curveball: "Can my elf be blind and have a really good sense of smell?"  Everyone laughed.  I said "sure!"  I basically treated it as mechanically similar to infravision combined with elvish listen at doors and find secret doors abilities, but with some advantages and disadvantages that developed in play.

We talked a bit about How to Name Your First Character.  I suggested this method: think of a character from a movie, play, TV show, novel, etc. that you could totally rip off.  Name them in a way that suggests what you are doing so without outright stating it.  My example was a James Kirk-esque Fighter could be Tiberius the Bold.  [Protip: this idea works even better if you choose a class that doesn't seem to match up with the original character, like making an MU, thief, or cleric Tiberius.]
FYI one time in The Animated Series Captain Kirk
fought a wizardry duel against Satan himself.
No foolin'.
Next I explained alignment as follows:  Lawfuls are the good guys.  Neutrals need the money.  Chaotics are troublemakers.

Equipment:  We started by having the thieves, clerics, and elves/MU's write down Thieves Tools, Holy Symbol, and Spellbook.  Then we talk about picking a weapon or two.  Then we discussed armor.  I gave all the armored types their choice of Leather/Chain/Plate, describing them as a trade-off between mobility and protection.  Most people chose chainmail as the comprise option.  Then I gave everyone a card from the Deck O' Stuff.  Most people got stupid stuff like a jar of pickles or a half dozen cigars.  One young lady was visibly disappointed were draw of leather armor +1.  And you know what?  I think she is right.  Is it just me, or is plain vanilla plus equipment boring as heck to everyone except grognerds who like talking about force multipliers?  I should ditch such stuff entirely from my games.

That was all we did about equipment before the adventure began.  We were 25 minutes in and the adventure hadn't actually begun yet, so I punted on miscellaneous gear by assuming that everyone had a
Illo by Tony Foti
backpack and inside that backpack was an indeterminate selection of dungeoneering equipment set by the Wisdom score of the newbie PC:

Wis 3-5  You brought 1 useful thing.
Wis 6-8  You brought 2 useful things.
Wis 9-12 You brought 3 useful things.
Wis 13-15 You brought 4 useful things.
Wis 16-18 You brought 5 useful things.

Each time a situation presented itself where some miscellaneous equipment might be useful I would pitch it as something like this:  "The humans and halflings can't see down here without a light source.  You can spend one of your useful things to have a bundle of six torches and another to own a tinder box, a.k.a. a medieval cigarette lighter."  Hammer and iron spikes also appeared this way.  As did 50' of rope.  Someone asked if they had any spare money (they were thinking about bribing some orcs) and I ruled that 2d6 gp could be a useful thing as well.

But past 3d6 in a row, pick a class, pick an alignment, roll for a spell, pick weapons & armor, I didn't explain any other mechanics until they came up in play.  For example, we didn't roll hit points until an orc put the hurting on the lone fighter in the party.  Only then did they discover how fragile they are.

The first big decision the party had to make was how to start the adventure.  I pitched them the four entrances to the Vaults, including how the Azure Towers was the cool kids table and that they'd have to clear rubble and search for the entrance under the ruins of the Rosy Chambers.  Then I went to get some of the pizza that the stage manager had ordered.

I knew it would take this many newbies a while to come to a consensus.  They discussed an array of options, including skipping the proposed adventure and staging a jailbreak for the imprisoned monks of the Verdant Scriptorium.  Then someone else said they should bust out the monks and make then take point in the dungeon.  Beautiful.  After I finished my slice of pepperoni I pointed out that we've been hanging out for 50 minutes and no actual adventure has happened yet.

A Murder Memory
will stab your soul.
What followed was two and a quarter hours of high octane dungeon nonsense.  The Bargain Wolves were petted and befriended!  The killer bees were avoided.  That one crossbow trap nearly killed the fighter.  Wandering green slime was avoided.  And the Murder Memories, these shadowy figures that routed at least one previous party, were destroyed!  Lots and lots of orcs were fought, with multiple groups routed due to pisspoor morale rolls on my end.  And somehow, they made it all the way down the third level of the Verdant Vault, previously unexplored by any other group.

Attrition chewed through a lot of party members.  Poison gas killed one PC.  Orcs killed several others.  Two party members were driven insane.  But the greatest PC-killer was inter-party squabbling.  The chaotic PCs were taking the "troublemaker" explanation seriously and the group came to blows twice.  Once it was over a bejeweled dagger, the first treasure found by the group.  The second time the cause was whether to abandon the first insane PC.

I had a rockin' good time and the players all left laughing and thanking me, so it seemed to go well.  The stage manager took some production notes for the play (like giving Chuck the DM a screen).  One other thing: I had forgotten how useful and fun it was to play D&D in a room with a whiteboard.  I could put summaries of tricky rules on the board (like the useful things chart) and map as well.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Vaults of Vyzor, session 16


Dundermachen, dwarf (Jeff Call)
Chipping Ongar of Toot Hill, halfling Alice (Peter C)
Ilse Raagenkampf, LotFP specialist (Perttu Vedenoja)
Chuckles the Crypt Cockerel (pet)
Dale the Valet, loyal manservant (NPC)
Laurantha the Unbeautiful, haughty elf (Cullen)
Diagast Ratnight, Cleric of Matnall (Jay Murphy)

The party entered the dungeons via the Citrine Hall.  They discovered that the first room of level 1 has been turned into a trash dump by the orcs.  After carefully picking their way across garbage, they proceeded north to the orc temple.  Their they murdered a couple orc fanatics and stole a wooden idol of Orcagorgon.  They then moved to the orc rec room and used a sleep spell on some orcish bodybuilders.  Too bad.  I really wanted to batter some PC with an orc wielding a medicine ball.

Before taking the secret stairs down to the second level, the party took a quick side jaunt to the orc pantry.  They had acquired five vials of some toxin from the Poison Miser, an NPC I've been meaning to write up here.  According to the old man, one drop in a meal will kill a man, one vial in the soup will eliminate a whole family.  They put all five vials in various perishables in the pantry, but there's no info yet as to how well this dastardly attempted orcicide worked.

The party discovered a prison area on the second level of the Citrine Vault, where they eventually freed an NPC adventurer named Hughbert the Bold.  He was part of the NPC party that Dundermachen once belonged to, before a wandering black pudding split the party.  Hugh is elated to see his good ol' buddy Dundermachen, but the dwarf remembers Hugh as a giant douchebag, so the reception is a little cool.  I'm adding Hugh to the hireling chart (original version here).

But before they could release d-bag Hugh, the party had to fight the jailors: morloi berserkers.  An orc once told a PC that a morloi is to a xvart as a hobgoblin is to a goblin.  They're man-sized, blue-skinned, and real fuckers.  For no obvious reason, morloi berserkers all cosplay as the Joker or Harley Quinn.  

Ilsa made some smart use of caltrops to slow the charge of the berserkers.  Gygast attempted a hold person on one of them, but I rolled an 18 to save.  Chuckles the Rooster was probably the MVP of the fight, pecking out a Harley's eyes.  I rolled crap to-hit's for the baddies in this encounter.  The biggest danger to the party was Dundermachen fumbling and axing Ilsa.

Hugh may be a dick, but he was able to direct the party to a nearby stairs down to the third level of the Citrine Vault.  There the party murdered a couple of non-Joker/non-Harley morloi acolytes who were minding their own business, praying to the Mother of Chaos.  The sounds of the murder were overheard by a nearby morloi monk sporting the colors of the Red Dragon Fighting Society, who attacked the party by leaping among them and getting all chop socky.  The party gasps as he strikes Dale the Valet to the ground.  Dale is on loan from Barnabus Sleet, Muscle Wizard.  But it turns out Dale was only knocked out.

The party overcomes the blue kung fu guy and, in exchange for his life, he agrees to take them to the
House of Scorpions, the local Red Dragon dojo.  They have to fight a band of five morloi clerics, one of whom has a sweet Snake Staff, but the party uses the Lightning Ring also on loan from Barnabus to take them out.

This is where the party gets really lucky.  They have to pass through the main chamber of the morloi temple to get to the House of Scorpions.  But my die roll for the activity level indicates that no one is home at the moment.  So with just a minute or two left in the session, several PCs drop a thousand gold pieces each for their introductory kung fu lesson and Red Dragon Fighting Society patch.  And then Laurantha gets sloppy drunk carousing and tells everybody about the whole dang adventure, showing everyone she meets her sweet karate club patch.


Bufo the Wizard (Makali’i F), Beefo the Gerblin Drinking Buddy (NPC), Willy Whats-His-Name (0-level Loser), Poor Brother Rupert (cleric hireling), unnamed serving boy (0-level hireling), Gwalin Rustbritches (dwarf hireling), Jarrod the Magic-User (Ian Reilly), Jonesy (0-level NPC), Little Liam Linkboy (0-level NPC), Limpy the Naileteer (Jeff Call), Engsal the Enchanter (Alex Joneth), Elfbraham Lincoln (Jeff Call)., Littlens (0-level NPC), Biggens (0-level NPC), Stimpy (0-level NPC), Ren (0-level NPC)


Big Gnome (Luke Rejec), Szazsraz the Wizard Lizard (Chris Wilson), Rose Royce (Kiel Chenier), Sneakerly Trull (Zak S.), Ilse Raagenkampf (Perttu Vedenoja), Persimion Finch (Galen Fogarty), Magic Meryl (Nick Kuntz), Merrill Meadows (Michael Julius), Chef (Richie Cyngler)

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Holy crap! Check this out!

Barnabus Sleet is taking applications for a special Vaults of Vyzor expedition a week from Friday.  Chekc out his amazing poster below for further details.  Pity I had to chop it into 3 images to get blogger to show it properyy.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Vaults of Vyzor session 15


  • Harold the Adequate, fighter (Adam Thornton)
  • Moar Lût, prehistoric pack ape (NPC)
  • Barnabus Sleet, muscle wizard (Maxime Golubchik)
  • Dale the Valet (NPC)
  • Szazsraz the Lizard Wizard (Chris Wilson)
  • Lunch, doggie (NPC, not actually sure if he was along or not. My notes and memory are unclear.)
  • Sneakerly Trull, half-orc thief (Zak S.)
  • Mozarella, doggie (NPC)
This week the party opted to explore the Rosy Vaults, urged on by Barnabus Sleet's desire to locate the Hidden Dojo of Archduke Jackal, reputed to be located on the 3rd level.  They never quite made it to the 3rd level, but they did spend much of their time on the second level, in a region heretofore untouched by known adventurers.

The first room of Rosy II features a river and a defensive wall pierced with arrow slits that are normally manned by orcish archers.  This group got lucky when they arrived, as the orc garrison was busy arguing over the fate of two goblin prisoners.  Rope nonsense got much of the party across before the orcs got hep to the intruders and only Barnabus was shot up a bit.  He managed to sleep a bunch of the orcs and the party murdered the rest (and eventually the sleeping ones).  Except for the greybeard orc captain.  He escaped out a secret door, but Mozarella tracked him halfway through the level.  They caught the tired old orc (he just doesn't have the endurance he used to, you know?) and tied him up.

Old Orc Warrior by GetsugaDante
Interrogation led them to discover that there's a treasury on the level and whenever the orc captain needs to purchase supplies he takes a voucher to the treasurer to draw funds.  The voucher has to be
countersigned by a sorcerer named Tau the Pitiless.  The captain had a letter from this Tau person, so Sneakerly forged a voucher indicating that all the gold was being withdrawn for an audit.  Did I mention that the treasurer is a bigass ice troll?  Furthermore, the treasury is surrounded by these orange forefields that hold back an array of even more horrible monsters.  All the troll has to do is pull a level and hell is unleashed on unauthorized visitors.
Show me your papers!

On the other hand, I like a heavy dose of shenanigans in my game, so I'm likely to give an barely plausible scheme at least a 1 in 6 chance of working.  The die came up a "1" and the party carried out of the dungeon two big honking chests, one full of silver and copper and the other full of gold.

Then the carousing happened.  (And tattoos as well.)  People were scoring xp and getting inked left and right.  Szazsraz mayor may not have been making out with a gibber mouther.  What is known is that somehow the Rosy Chambers of Castle Vyzor burnt down and it is all somehow Szazsraz's fault.

Pucker up, baby!
Consequently, no one may use the entrance to the first level of the Rosy Vault until the rubble is cleared.  Furthermore, Szazsraz is persona non grata with the Sorcerer of the Blue Mask.  He is barred from using the Azure Tower entrance to the vaults, as is any party of which he is a member.

All in all, a great session.


Bufo the Wizard (Makali’i F), Beefo the Gerblin Drinking Buddy (NPC), Willy Whats-His-Name (0-level Loser), Poor Brother Rupert (cleric hireling), unnamed serving boy (0-level hireling), Gwalin Rustbritches (dwarf hireling), Jarrod the Magic-User (Ian Reilly), Jonesy (0-level NPC), Little Liam Linkboy (0-level NPC), Limpy the Naileteer (Jeff Call), Engsal the Enchanter (Alex Joneth), Elfbraham Lincoln (Jeff Call)., Littlens (0-level NPC), Biggens (0-level NPC), Stimpy (0-level NPC), Ren (0-level NPC)


Big Gnome (Luke Rejec), Szazsraz the Wizard Lizard (Chris Wilson), Rose Royce (Kiel Chenier), Sneakerly Trull (Zak S.), Ilse Raagenkampf (Perttu Vedenoja), Persimion Finch (Galen Fogarty), Magic Meryl (Nick Kuntz), Merrill Meadows (Michael Julius), Chef (Richie Cyngler)

the good news is that the fire is mostly out

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Ink Witches

[I feel like I should note up front that I know nothing about how tattoos work in the real world.]

The Ink Witches live in a ramshackle house not far beyond the curtain wall that separates Castle Vyzor from the village.  Some people say they're sisters from a weird family, some say they're simply business partners, a few claim they're in a polyamorous relationship.  But you know how gossipy adventurers get.  One known fact is that adventurers from far and wide come to the Ink Witches for tattoos.  A normal tattoo that can be completed in a single session will set you back d6 x 50gp.  But each Ink Sisters can also weave a bit of magic into their creations.

found on Pinterest
Gwenno is a half-elf, though she usually wears her hair to cover her pointy ears.  Her tattoos tend to look like they came out of the metal or punk scenes of the late seventies.  Her specialty is the creation of tattoos that hold spells.  A standard BX spell costs 1,000gp per spell level.  That over and above the normal cost per session and it generally takes one session per spell level.  Each PC can hold up to 6 magic tattoo 'slots,' with each spell level taking up a slot.  (Filling the sixth slot means basically all your skin is tattooed.  You had to shave your head and pubes to get that last slot.)

After the tattoo is complete, the spell becomes available as a daily power, but each time it is used there is a 1 in 6 chance the ink fades.  If that happens, there's a 50% chance it can be touched up at d% times the original cost.  Otherwise the spell is gone and cannot be repaired or replaced with another spell.  Nonstandard spells can be inked as well, but you must provide a copy that is destroyed in the process.  Furthermore, there's a 1 in 6 chance the spell just won't work properly each time it is activated.

The first time you get a tattoo from Gwenno, she demands a small bit of whatever clothing you are wearing, which she sews into her patchwork frock.

Rockabilly Witch by tumblr
user .
By all accounts Mary is a human.  Her tattoos are aesthetically in line with the artwork of Coop.  Her specialty is the Tattoo of the Useful Item.  These tattoos usually depict a flirtatious rockabilly devilgirl holding some sort of object.  The owner of the tattoo can peel the tattoo object off their skin and it turns into the real deal thing.  It can then be used for up to 1 hour (6 turns) and returned to the owner's skin.  If the time elapses or the object is used up/destroyed, the power is lost and the devil girl goes from winking wantonly to scowling and flipping the bird.  The following objects cost 500gp to ink and take up 1 tattoo slot (of the 6):
  • dagger
  • lantern (filled and lit)
  • full length silver mirror
  • 10' pole
  • 50' rope
  • empty large sack
These objects cost 1,500gp per tattoo, take up 2 tattoo slots, and require 2 sessions at the normal rate:
  • bag of 100gp
  • silver coffer (small chest) worth 500gp
  • iron dungeon door
  • gem of 100gp value
  • wooden ladder, 24' long
  • mule with saddle bags
  • 10' pit
  • potion of healing
  • rowboat 12' long
  • scroll with a random 1st level spell (for your class, if you're a spellcaster)
  • 2-headed wardog
  • window (2' x 4')
  • small bonfire
  • cask (contains 1-3 water, 4-5 wine, 6 brandy)
  • 6 caltrops
  • iron crowbar
  • silver dagger
  • mallet and 3 stakes
  • haunch of meat (unknown animal)
  • oak tree (30' tall)
  • miner's pick
  • rooster
  • shovel
  • wasp's nest w/~200 wasps
On a successful reaction roll Mary will design a custom tattoo for some other item.  This will cost 3,000gp, takes up 3 slots, requires 3 sessions, and the customer must supply the object in question.  The reaction roll is +1 if you have an interesting recipe to share, as Mary is always looking for new things to make in the kitchen.

Lost or damaged Useful Objects may be replaced at half the original cost, but there's a 1 in 6 chance that the touch-up work involved ruins the magic of the tattoo.

Lady Orc by Jaasif
The half-orc Gretcha is the youngest of the three and the other two call her the baby of the bunch, but she's also 6'3" and looks like she could bench press a Mack truck.  Her best tattoos are abstract, some featuring non-Euclidean geometry that seems to highlight extradimensional body parts that you didn't even know you had.  She's much more pleasant than her Resting Orcface would suggest, and chats merrily away with customers as she works.  Gretcha will discuss nearly any topic, possessing a wide-reaching knowledge of the world and its affairs that seems odd for someone so young.  One thing she will not discuss is her magical tattoos.  You pay d6 x 500gp, it takes d6 sessions and slots, and you take your chances on a random chart that you don't get to see.  Think of it as a Tattoo of Wonder.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Random Advancement Gnome-As-Class

The Gnome

To play a gnome you need to have both Int and Con of at least 9.  You use d6 for hit dice and use the halfling chart for XP.  Like halflings, you are limited to 8th level (suck it up, that's how BX rolls).  Your initial saves are as an Elf 1.  You can wear any armor and there's a 50% chance that magic armor sized for halflings or dwarves will fit you.  Weapons allowed: hand axe, shortbow, light crossbow, dagger, shortsword, club, sling, spear, warhammer.  You speak gnomish and common initially, can listen at doors on a 2 in 6, and have 60' infravision.  If you can get your sorry gnomish butt past first level then each time you level up you may roll d6 more hit points and make two throws on this chart:

01  Roll on the Elf chart instead.  If you get the "gain a spell slot" result, treat it as 26-40 below.
02-18  You get more fighty, +1 to-hits.
19-23  You gain +1 to all saves.
24  You gain d4 more hit points.
25  Gain a language, roll d6: 1) dwarf, 2) elvish, 3) goblin, 4) hafling, 5) orc, 6) svirfneblin.  If you end up here again and roll the same language you are now so eloquent in that tongue that all reaction rolls are +1 when using it with native speakers.  Reroll subsequent rolls of the same language.  Reroll if you collect all six twice.
26-40 You gain a random 1st illusionist spell as a daily power.  On subsequent rolls you get a second level spell, then a third, etc.  (For a source of illusionist spells, I like the 1st edition Player's Handbook & Unearthed Arcana or Best of Dragon vol. 1)  Reroll this result if you actually gain one spell of each level through 7th.
41-50 The first time you roll this you gain all the skills of a first level thief.  Ever subsequent roll advances your thievery by one level.  Note that you can only sneak and climb while wearing no armor, leather, studded leather, or ring mail.
51-52 You get additional training with a traditional gnomish weapon.  Roll d8 for weapon type.
  1. warhammer - If you roll maximum damage against a foe with platemail, a shield, or a chitinous shell, you then also reduce their AC by d3 points as you bust up their armor.
  2. crossbow - Your crit range improves by one.
  3. shortsword - Your ability to parry grants you +2 ac versus melee opponents of man size or smaller
  4. spear - +1 to hit and damage
  5. shortbow - You may fire two arrows per round of combat.
  6. club - Thanks to secret Gnome Fu you can hurt creatures normally only struck by magic weapons.
  7. sling - You do triple damage against ogres, trolls, giants, and titans.
  8. gnome hooked hammer - You can make one bludgeon attack for d6 and one piercing attack for d4 each round or a single trip attack at +2 to-hit.  (One of these babies costs 20gp new, by the way)
If you roll this result again, you can collect additional weapons training, but reroll the d8 if you get the same result a second time.  Reroll this result after you have all 8.

53-55 You've got the tinker gnome thing going.  You adventure with half a backpack full of gears and springs and steampunk nonsense and a bunch of tools on your belt.  Once per session you can build a contraption of some sorts to solve a problem (open a door or chest, set up a diversion for an ambush, or darn near anything that a smallish machine might be able to accomplish).  It will generally do its job but there is a 1 in 6 chance that it goes horribly awry.  Reroll if you get this result again.
56 You can't kid a kidder, as my uncle Jim used to say.  Once per session you can attempt to disbelieve an illusion so hard that it is completely dispelled, no roll required.   However, if you try to disbelieve something that is real, you must save versus paralyzation or be stunned d3 rounds.
57-58 +1 Intelligence.  If you already have max Int, gain +1 Wis instead.  If you have max Wis as well, then you get nothing.  Do not reroll.
59-60 Stone Lore. Underground you can detect slanting passages, traps, shifting walls, and new construction 2 in 6.  Subsequent rolls of this item increases it to 3 in 6, then 4 in 6, finally 5 in 6.  Reroll after that.
61 Goblin Loathing.  You are +2 to hit against goblins and +1 versus other goblinoid creatures (hobgoblins and bugbears, for instance).  If you roll this again you also gain +2/+1 damage.  Reroll the third and subsequent rolls of this item.
62 That big nose ain't just for show.  You're only surprised 1 in 6 thanks to your advanced sense of smell.  Does not help against noncorporeal undead, ethereal or astral monsters, and other immaterial foes.  If you roll this a second time, you can now smell those jerks as well.  Reroll after that.
63-66 Giant Fighter.  Against any anthropomorphic foe of at least gnoll or bugbear size you are +4 AC.  If you roll this again you gain the ability to knock such foes prone anytime you get the maximum result on your damage dice.  Reroll this result after that.
67 Once per session you can get out your gemcutting tools (cost 100gp, takes up half a backpack) and re-cut a gem to attempt to improve it's value.  Roll a d12.  If you get a 1-2 you succeed.  If you get a 12 you shatter the gem.  3-11 no effect.  Upon a successful roll a gem of 10gp value or less becomes worth 50gp.  A gem of up to 50gp value becomes worth 100gp.  Up to 100gp become 500gp.  Up to 500gp becomes 1,000gp.  Up to 1,000gp becomes 5,000gp.  You cannot attempt to improve a gem worth more than 1,000gp.  If you roll this a second time your success rate improve to 1-3 on d12.  If you roll a third time you now roll a d20, 1-5 improves but you only shatter the gem on a 20.  This is all about resale value, you do not get more XP for the improved gem.
68-70 You gain the knowledge of d6 arcane cantrips of your choice (I recommend using either the 1st edition Unearthed Arcana or Uncle Gary's original cantrips articles in Dragon #59 and #60.)  You can cast 3 cantrips per day, no memorization required.  On subsequent rolls of this item you gain d6 more cantrips to choose from, but do not get more uses per day.
71-73 You can speak to normal, giant sized, and enchanted burrowing mammals (such as badgers and rabbits).  If you roll this a second time you gain the ability to speak to any mammal.  Reroll this result after that.
74 Your infravision increases to 90'.  Reroll if this result comes up again.
75-77 Kobold Hate.  +1 to-hit, +1 damage, and one additional melee attack when fighting kobolds.  Also, you get double XP for kobolds slain (but not captured or routed).  Each subsequent roll of this grants you +1 to-hit, damage, and another attack, but the XP multiplier increases to triple, then quadruple, etc.
78 If you don't already, you start wearing one of those pointy red hats (10gp new).  Here's why (roll
  1. Once per session, when you need a piece of standard dungeoneering equipment you don't have, you just happen to have one under your hat.  Even something that doesn't fit, like a 10' pole.
  2. Once per session you can pull a random 1st level wandering monster out of your hat.  They will obey you for d6 turns, even doing wildly suicidal things if you so command them.  Upon death or the d6 turns elapsing they disappear in a poof of smoke.
  3. Once per session you can take off the hat and use it to negate an incoming spell attack.  The target must be you personally, an adjacent ally, or you must be standing in the area of effect.  The hat ingests the spell effect then lets out a small burp.  Touch spells are unaffected.
  4. Once per session you can fill the hat with 100 coins (no more, no less) of the same type, hold it closed, and give it a good shake.  When you pour them out, d100 of the coins will have transformed into the next most valuable currency (copper become silver, silver become gold, gold becomes platinum, platinum becomes 10gp gems).  If you take 1 turn on the second or lower level of a dungeon to do this, the transformation will affect the XP earned from the session.  However, there is a 1 in 6 chance that the hat eats the coins instead.
  5. Once per session if you face a creature with a gaze attack, the hat suddenly grows two sizes and falls over your eyes.  You do not need to save to avoid the gaze, but you are blind and can't remove the hat until the encounter is over, at which time it returns to normal size.
  6. Once per session you can avoid some sort of instadeath situation by sacrificing the hat.  You avoid the dragons breath but the hat is incinerated, the assassins poisoned crossbow bolt nails the hat to the wall, etc.
Each time you roll this item you may collect a new hat effect, but you may not duplicate the d6 results.  Reroll this item if you somehow collect all six and end up here again.

79 Hench-illusion.  You gain a henchman of random type (Seriously, go wild.  Work with your DM to bust out something really ridiculous.) who is completely loyal.  However, if they are ever subject to a dispel magic, dispel illusion, or are successfully disbelieved by a foe they evaporate instantaneously, for they never actually existed.
80-82 You gain +2 saves versus any magical effect.  On subsequent roll this becomes +4, +6, etc.
83 Peacemaker.  According to legend it was the gnomes who first got the dwarves and elves to sit down and hash out their differences.  Assuming you have a means of communication with both parties, you may hash out a fair and honorable peace between any two warring parties, from squabbling spouses up to feuding intergalactic civilizations.  Except kobolds, because fuck those guys.  If you can get both parties in a room together, this process takes d6 hours.  Otherwise, the limits of local communications technologies become a factor.  The peace will hold for d100 years.  You may do this only once.
84-86 You get a pet.  Roll d4.
  1. Badger.  Ac 4, Move 60' (swim 30'), HD 1+2, claw/claw/bite d2/d2/d3
  2. Giant badger.  Same as above but man-sized.  HD 3, d3/d3/d6
  3. Wolverine.  Ac 5, Move 120', HD 3, d4/d4/d4+1, +4 to-hit due to surliness, if anyone attacks its rear they get a skunk-like musk attack, save or be blinded d8 hours, even if saved they are 50% Str and Dex for 2d4 turns
  4. Vorpal Bunny.  Ac 0, Mv leap 120', HD 3, damage d6, crits on 18+
If you roll this a second time and your prior pet(s) is still alive, then you get another of the same.  Otherwise reroll if this result comes up again.
87-88 You're a bit of a tinker gnome back home in your workshop.  You've devised some sort of fairly reliable device that you carry with you on adventures.  Work with your DM to figure out what it is and how it works.  Whatever other details you arrive at, every time you use it there is a flat 1 in 6 chance of catastrophic failure.
89-90 Gain a 1st level Illusionist spell of your choice as a daily power.  On subsequent rolls you get a second level spell, then a third, etc.  (For a source of illusionist spells, I like the 1st edition Player's Handbook & Unearthed Arcana or Best of Dragon vol. 1)  Reroll if you actually gain one spell of each level through 7th.
90-91 If you attempt to put on, use, or otherwise activate a cursed item, you get a save versus Magic to avoid the curse, as you get a tingling sensation just before you fall for it.
92-93 In any situation where the floor, wall, or ceiling of an underground location is unsafe, you have a 4 in 6 chance of detecting the problem in time to give you an action to save yourself and any other gnomes in the party.  If you roll a 1 you can warn non-gnomes in time as well.  Reroll if this result comes up again.
94-95 Amateur Alchemist.  You start each new adventure with a homemade potion of random type.  However, when they are used (not tested) there is a 1 in 6 chance the recipe isn't quite right.  Roll on the Potion Miscibility Table (1s edition DMG page 199) to see what happens, rolling another random potion if necessarily to adjudicate the miscibility results.  If you roll this result again you start with an additional random potion.
96 You have built a good ol' fashioned Gnomish Battle Harness.  It's like that thing Ripley fights the Alien queen with, but all steampunky.  While using it you are effectively human-sized, wearing platemail, have an 18 Str, and 5x current level additional hit points.  You also halve your dexterity while wearing/using it.  You can pop out of it in one round, but it takes a whole turn to strap yourself back in.  The extra hitpoints cannot be healed, but you can repair d6 points with a day of work and at a cost of d100gp in materials.
97-98 If you find a magic item that is a gem or has a gem set in it and the provenance of the item is unknown, you may declare it to be/contain one of the Lost Gnomish Gems of Power.  The item is now usable by any gnome (Unless it's like a two-handed sword of something.  Don't be a clod about this.) and it has additional powers only usable by gnomes.  Roll d4 spells of level d6, generated from any spell list handy.  If the spell is 3rd level or lower, it is a 3x a day power.  Higher level spells become daily powers.  (You can and should ask the DM if any encountered magic item has a gem set in it.  If the DM doesn't know, they should give a flat 1 in 6 chance of it being so, except for potions and scrolls and other wildly inappropriate items to bejewel.  Again, don't be a clod.)  You may do this only once.
99  +1 Constitution.  If you already have max Con, gain +1 Dex as well.  If you already have max Dex too then you get nothing.
00  Roll on the Dwarf chart instead.