Wednesday, February 29, 2012

the Gruesome Man of Wander Marsh

Bleedthrough (mid-level)
Found in: Wander Marsh, north of IRIDESCENT GROTTOES

The Gruesome Man is a hungry spirit.  He appears as a gaunt figure with drawn flesh, so dry and tight it has become thick with sores and flakes off in scales.  Fangs line his puckered mouth.

The Gruesome Man is usually found atop his coffin, stirring his ever-simmering stewpot and whimpering for new additions to it.  The coffin and stewpot move around, and are always found in a different marsh-clearing.  He is likely to attack anyone interloping in his territory - bodies make fine additions to the stew.  He can smell blood to a distance of one-hundred feet and will attack those attempting to sneak by him. However, quick-thinking adventurers who attempt to parley may be able to buy him off with the offer of a horse, several weeks' rations, or an unfortunate hireling.

The Gruesome Man is found around the marsh north of the Iridescent Grottoes and south of the Lake of Misery, where legends say he died.  The monster-folk of the Grottoes know him well and avoid him at all costs.  His presence guards one of the entrances to the Grottoes - the stream that pours in from the marshes to the Water Chamber.

SHERIFF DRONLAN THREE-SWORDS of Pilgrim's Passing has offered a bounty of 30 Gold Wheels for the head of the Gruesome Man.

AC: 16
HP: 21
Attack: claws +3 x2
Damage: 1d8+3 damage each
If both claw attacks hit, the Gruesome Man has made a successful grab and will attempt to rip a piece of flesh off for his stew-pot.  Next round, unless forced to retreat, he will attempt an opposed strength check at +6.  If he succeeds, the target loses 3d8+3 HP and one limb or equivalent-sized chunk of flesh.  the Gruesome Man will retreat with his prize to the stew-pot and will not pursue enemies unless attacked.

The Gruesome Man will only die if his coffin is destroyed by burning or hacking to pieces.  It has 12 HP and no AC.  He always knows when his coffin is being attacked, and will return to it to kill those attempting to destroy it.

If the Gruesome Man is reduced to 0 hit points without his coffin having been destroyed, he will fall down "dead" but will reform and come back to life in 1d6 hours.  If his head or any portion of his anatomy has been removed from the main trunk, this portion will also come alive, and the remainder of his body will come searching for it.

Monday, February 27, 2012


1. The Entrance Cavern - Chert, dim light from outside
1d4 Frog-Dogs lurk here, in randomly determined (1d6) side-passages (1.1 - 1.6).  There will always be 1d4 Frog-Dogs present, no matter how many are killed.  They will attack anyone passing through, unless bribed with food. 
Undigestable remnants of meals remain in the side-passages.  Each side-passage is so low it can only be entered by crawling, and pitch-dark.  Treasures are as follows:
1.1 - 4 stone arrowheads, 6 silver Moons
1.2 - Nothing
1.3 - A large, heavy silver cross of the type symbolic of the Church of Io.  This is a holy symbol to those who worship that God.  Crosses such as these are sometimes awarded to those who perform generous deeds for the Church, or as gifts to young people on their way to service in the Church.  Worth 50 Lunars.
1.4 - Broken sword with aluminum hilt.  Worth 10 Lunars.
1.5 - A knobbled Carnivorous Goat drinking horn.  The initials K.L. are neatly stamped into the steel endplate.  1 Gold Sun.
1.6 - 4 pretty quartz pebbles and 4 silver Lunars.

2. The Mushroom Chambers
Limestone, mud floor, dimly lit by Rope Vines.
The floor descends down a muddy slope about 3 yards to this chamber with a 30-foot-high ceiling.
This cavern contains a mystical fungus garden, dimly lit by subterranean glowing vines hanging from the ceiling.
If searched, each turn spent reveals 2d6 potentially useful or dangerous mushrooms or creatures, whose location should be randomly determined.
1. Purple moss.  Passing within 20 feet causes Endurance roll.  Failure means falling asleep for 3d6 hours.  Eating causes permanent coma.
2. Brown moss.  Passing within 20 feet causes Endurance roll at -3.  Failure means sneezing loudly (roll for Wandering Monsters) and uncontrollably for 1d4 turns.  
3. Crumbs of Darkness.  Eating forces Endurance roll - failure indicates 1d6 damage, success indicates gaining 1d4 temporary Spell Points.
4. Great Throne.  About 20 feet high, with purple fuzz on top.  This fuzz is very nutritious.  Each mushroom yields about one pound if climbed, and each pound can substitute a days' rations and is worth 1 Lunar.
5. Cave-Angler.  Save vs POW at +1 or become entranced by the pretty glow.  Once entranced, the angler will attempt to bite you at +3, dealing 1d4 damage if successful, and then scurrying off into the shadows whether it succeeds or not.
6. Rope Vine.  If cut off from the root mass, this vine can easily be utilized as 50 ft. of strong rope.  It also glows faintly in the dark.  Alchemists can render this vine into Blue blade venom; Piku will pay 5 Lunars for it. Poisonous if eaten.
7. Tower Cap.  Giants of the fungus forest; scrape the ceiling at 30 feet.  Can be made into logs if cut. The bottom of the cap bears a ring of edible brown fuzz.  1 mushroom has a days' worth of rations, but it spoils quickly if collected.
8. Plump Helmet.  Tasty and harmless mushroom.
9. 1d6 edible rock snails; harmless
10. swarm of 1d12 flying bio-luminescent shrimp.  Attracted to light; they will swarm thickly around torches and lanterns.  Not a problem when there's only one, but for every additional one there's a 5% chance they'll put the torch out.  Delicious when boiled
11. Pack of 2d12 Giant Cave Fleas scurry across your feet.  Make a reflex save or suffer 1 damage from opportunistic bites.
12. Elf Tears; small, softly glowing mushroom. heal 1d10+1 HP if eaten.

3. The White Hallway
Chert, pitch black.  Climbs 15 feet from 2. Mushroom Chamber
Empty.  Sound of falling water quite audible from Area 4.

4. Water Chamber
Limestone with striations of chert and microcline.  Pitch black.
A huge chamber whose bottom is filled with water.  The entrance from Area 3 projects over a 2-yard-wide ledge, 3 yards above the surface of the water.  Those travelling without light will surely fall in.
The ledge is connected to another via a few Tower Cap logs laid across.  It requires a Skill check at +3 to cross without slipping and falling into the water. 
Two Slithes wait in the water below.  Clearly visible to those with Witchsight, but nearly invisible to anyone else without strong light.  They will quickly attack anyone who falls into the water.
The water is only a few feet deep; tall characters can make a Skill check to simply stand up to avoid drowning.
The other ledge is two yards across and six long, and leads to Area 4a.  
The origin of the splashing sound can be found in the opposite wall; it is a small waterfall which flows in from some distance outside.  Those swimming up this waterfall will travel perhaps a quarter-mile underground before reaching an entrance for the water in the middle of Wander Marsh.

NOTE uh this is a work in progress so check back from time to time i guess and it'll be updated

Saturday, February 25, 2012


1. KOS - the Ur-Project
"Goal": Projection of Tarot readings and Jungian archetypes garbled through a filter of a youth spent on Zelda II: Link's Adventures.  2 ongoing groups (1 internet, 1 irl), massive backload of locations, monsters, characters, scenarios, logs, and ephemera to be posted to this location
Progress: what you see on this blog so far

2. DungeonQuest - RuneQuest / D&D Hack
Goal: To do for RuneQuest what Small But Vicious Dog did for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay.
Progress: I wrote the intro paragraph.

3. KOS - The Great Palace at Par-Kos, aka Lyongast Castle
Goal: to stock this for use as the great ruined palace for Kos, a la Demon's Souls by way of Undermountain.  Courtesy of the awesome guy at Built By Gods Long Forgotten.
Progress: Staring at the map and thinking

4. MISCELLANEA - non-strictly-rpg-related projects
  • Tough Guy Tributes
  • Black Metal Cookbook
  • Drink recipes
  • Dungeons & Deadlifts: How D&D Models Real-World Athletic Performance (an essay from a firefighter)

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Monster-Folk, Intelligent
Carnivore (Saprovore)
Found: Swamps
ALLIGATOR-MEN (and their cousins, CROCODILE-MEN) are destructive, swamp-dwelling Monster-Folk.  They worship obscure and alien deities.  CROC-MEN and GATOR-MEN are bitter enemies, and will launch frequent punitive raids to destroy one another's eggs and slaughter birthing females.  The only substantive difference between the two sub-species is that GATOR-MEN prefer freshwater, whereas CROC-MEN prefer salt.
AC: 12
HP: 12
Attacks: Bite +2
1d8+3 damage
When in swampy environs, a GATOR-MAN or CROC-MAN may lie perfectly still and simulate the appearance of a log, giving himself +5 to Stealth.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


 JHARSTAN IRON-AXE, IRON-SHIRT is one of two MERCENARIES who are sole keepers and residents of the MERCENARY'S GUILD in PILGRIM'S PASSING.  JHARSTAN is a bear-like man who is perpetually clad in a thick chainmail hauberk.  He also always has a large, double-bitted iron ax leaning against his chair, resting across his lap, or laying next to him in bed.  His fondest pursuits are good fellowship, frothy beer, and exaggerated story-telling. JHARSTAN has spent many a hard night on the campaign trail. He knows that the minutes it takes to don a suit of armor when the last-shift alarm is raised can mean the difference between life and death.  They call him IRON-SHIRT for a reason - he never, ever takes his hauberk off.
JHARSTAN can train Members of the Mercenary's Guild in the use of Heavy Axes and Throwing Axes up to +2 attack, +3 damage.  Each bonus will cost 4 weeks of bruising, arm-aching training and 1000 Lunars.  
JHARSTAN can train Members to sleep in their War-Harness or Heavy Harness without it affecting their night's rest.  This technique costs 2 weeks of hard camping on rough ground and 800 Lunars.
JHARSTAN allows Member's use of the GUILD'S training equipment (giant round stones, sand-filled bags, weighted logs, etc) to increase strength and endurance.  Violence Power and Endurance can be raised in this manner, at a cost of 8 weeks and 2000 Lunars per point (as JHARSTAN and NAHVAROK watch over and provide invaluable advice). PC attributes cannot be raised through this method above JHARSTAN'S attributes, which are 16 in both Violence and Endurance.
JHARSTAN knows the Spell COUNTER-MAGIC, which will counter 1 Spell-Point worth of Spell cast by an enemy per spell point expended by the user.  JHARSTAN only has 2 Spell Points and so can only teach PCs to use up to 2 Spell-Points.  He will teach this spell at a cost of 4 weeks and 1000 Lunars. 

When DRONLAN THREE-SWORDS became SHERIFF 35 years ago, JHARSTAN attempted to challenge him for the title.  DRONLAN did not kill JHARSTAN, but instead crippled his back so that he can now move about only with great effort.  JHARSTAN takes great pains to conceal this weakness.  Of course, all this is mostly water under the bridge now - mostly.

NAHVAROK ONE-HAND is the other Mercenary resident at the MERCENARY'S GUILD.  He is JHARSTAN IRON-AXE, IRON-SHIRT's best friend and compatriot.  Together, they spend much of their time swigging beer and swapping old stories.  NAHVAROK always wears a tattered, battle-worn red cape.  His right sleeve hangs empty over a missing fore-arm.  Unlike JHARSTAN, who is boisterous and sanguine, NAHVAROK tends to be taciturn and short-spoken, mumbling through his own words like he doesn't want to hear them.  Drink tends to loosen his tongue, and he then proves amiable and full of fond tales of manful nobility.
NAHVAROK can train Members of the Mercenary's Guild at Swords up to +3 attack and +1 damage, at a cost of 4 weeks of punishing sword-play and 1000 Lunars per bonus point. 
He can also train Spears up to +1 attack and +1 damage, at the same rate.
NAHVAROK can train Members to coordinate their small-unit tactics.  Once this training is complete, PCs will be able to communicate through battle-signs and secret battle-language, allowing them to plot tactics without the enemy's knowledge.  The cost is 8 weeks of field training and 400 lunars per person.  A new member to the party will have to also go through this training or else learn on their own time in order to benefit from this coordination.
NAHVAROK knows the Spell IGNITE, which sets fire to flammable objects with a touch (even in unfavorable circumstances such as high wind or rain).  This Spell costs 1 Spell Point for those with below 15 MAG, and 0 points for those above 15.   Training takes 3 weeks and costs 500 Lunars.

NAHVAROK was once a Red Knight of Kos.  This is the type of secret that everybody knows.  The cape he wears is his old Knight's cape, retained from some lingering sense of pride.  He lost his weapon arm from the elbow down in combat, and decided to retire to the Mercenary's Guild rather than re-learn how to fight the Endless Crusade with the wrong hand.

JHARSTAN worships the Iron Lord with average fervor, and makes abeyance to Kos, the Blood Bull, and Io.
NAHVAROK worships Kos with average fervor, and makes passing abeyance to the Iron Lord and Io.

The Mercenary's Guild is always on the lookout for new members.  To join, the candidate must be:
- Of sound physique, and possessing a measure of skill at arms
- Willing to swear the Mercenary's Oath
- Willing to pay 60 Lunars initial membership, and 10 Lunars per month thereafter

The Mercenary's Oath is thus:
1. Never steal from another Brother Mercenary
2. Never accept a contract that will force you to fight another Brother Mercenary
3. Never share secrets of the Guild with Non-Brothers
4. Tithe 10% of money taken from any Mercenary Contract to the Brotherhood-Guild
5. Fulfill any Mercenary Contract you accept to the best of your ability
6. Share all gossip you learn with all other Brother-Mercenaries

In return, potential members will be given Provisional Member status, able to vote in matters pertaining to their local region.  After one year, if their conduct is good, they shall be granted Full Brother-Member status, and can vote on decisions at any Mercenary Guild anywhere in Kos.  JHARSTAN and NAHVAROK have heard that there's another Guild in AMBLE EDGE, but don't know if any others still exist anywhere.
All members will be provided free room at any Mercenary Guild, as well as free beer or ale.  All other provender (ie, food) is the member's own responsibility.  Items stored in the Mercenary's Guild are not the responsibility of other Guild-Brothers.
Only Members can receive training from Guild-Brothers.

The initiation ritual consists of initiates stripping to their undergarments and being covered in ritual blue warrior-paint.  A senior Brother will then let some blood from each initiate's arm into a bowl, and then from his own arm and that of any other Brothers present.  This blood will be swirled around in the bowl so that it commingles, then offered symbolically to the statues of the Iron Lord, the Blood Bull, Io and Kos.  Then it will be dumped into a cask of beer, at which point a drinking contest begins amongst all participants.

Each round, every contestant tries to roll under their Endurance score.  Each subsequent round, their effective Endurance is reduced by 1.  Failure means rolling on the following chart.  Only the last man or men standing do not have to roll on the chart.

Drinking Contest Mishaps

1) Make a fool of yourself in public.  35% chance to gain reputation in Pilgrim's Passing as a drunken lout.
2) Involved in random brawl. Roll Violence Power check or start next day d3 hit points short.
3) Minor misunderstanding with local authorities.  50% chance that a minor infraction against the town chart levies a fine of 2d6 x 25 Lunar. 50% chance (or inability to pay fine) indicates d6 days in the LOCK-UP.
4) Romantic entanglement.  1-2 unattached farm girl, 3-4 married farmwife, 5-6 Idiot Girl
5) Gambling losses - 1d100 Lunars
6) Gain local reputation as the life of a party.  JHARSTAN and NAHVAROK are more friendly.
7) Insult local person of rank 1-2 RYNT, 3-4 DRONLAN, 5-6 URIEL
8) You couldn’t really see the rash in the candlelight. Roll Endurance check to avoid venereal disease.
9) New tattoo. 1-3 it’s actually pretty cool 4 it’s lame 5 it could have been badass, but something is goofed up or misspelled 6 it says something insulting, crude or stupid in an unknown language.
10) Beaten and robbed. Lose all your personal effects and reduced to half hit points.
11) Gambling binge. Lose all your gold, gems, jewelry.  10% chance to lose any magic item
12) Hangover from hell. First day of adventuring is at -2 to-hit and saves. Casters must roll MAG check with each spell to avoid mishap.
13) Target of lewd advances turns out to be a witch. Save versus polymorph or you’re literally a swine.
14) One of us! One of us! You’re not sure how it happened, but you’ve been initiated into some sort of secret society or weird cult. Did you really make out with an emu of was that just the drugs? 1-3 Blood Bull, 4-6 Io
15) Invest all your spare cash (50% chance all gems and jewelry, too) in some smooth-tongued merchant’s scheme. 1-4 it’s bogus 5 it’s bogus and Johnny Law thinks you’re in on it 6 actual money making opportunity returns d% profits in 3d4 months.
16) Wake up stark naked in a random local temple. 1-3 the clerics are majorly pissed off 4-6 they smile and thank you for stopping by.
17) Major misunderstanding with local authorities. Imprisoned until fines and bribes totaling d6 x 1,000gp paid. All weapons, armor, and magic items confiscated.
18) Despite your best efforts, you fall head over heels for your latest dalliance. 75% chance your beloved is already married.
19) When in a drunken stupor you asked your god(s) to get you out of some stupid mess. Turns out they heard you! Now as repayment for saving your sorry ass, you’re under the effects of a quest spell.
20) The roof! The roof! The roof is on fire! Accidentally start a conflagration. Roll d6 twice. 1-2 burn down your favorite inn 3-4 some other den of ill repute is reduced to ash 5-6 a big chunk of town goes up in smoke. 1-2 no one knows it was you 3-4 your fellow carousers know you did it 5 someone else knows, perhaps a blackmailer 6 everybody knows.

The above table was created by Jeff Rients, and found at (modified slightly by me)
I highly recommend his blog to any and all

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Animal, Unintelligent
Found: Everywhere - primarily Caves, Forests
Common Name: LOWDER
Academic Name: BATHO-NOMOUS
Large, vibrantly blue pill-bug-like creature, the size of a toddler (~2 feet long, ~35-40 pounds).  Moves mindlessly in search of small prey and forage.  LOWDERS pack a powerful magic attack that wallops enemies using concentrated sound projected from their thorax.  The sound is deafening and the vibrations sufficiently powerful to cause blunt trauma.  LOWDERS are not aggressive towards humans or other large creatures, but will attack if threatened.  Their carapaces and innards glow brightly in darkness.
AC: 10
HP: 5
Attack: Wallop +0
1d6+1 (Attacks the legs of a normal-sized standing human; optionally: struck creatures may stumble, fall or damage knees/shins/ankle. Generates loud noise.  30% chance of causing deafness)
Deafness duration, 1d6:
1-2. 1d4 turns
3-4. 1d4 minutes
5-6. 1d4 hours
Bio-Luminescence: brightness of a candle.
+8 climb.  Can cling to ceilings and walls.

No. Appearing:
1d6 small swarm
10d3 colony

Thursday, February 9, 2012



People from Kos tend to have dark hair and light eyes.  This trait is most typified in the people of Northern Kos, who tend to be tall, pale-skinned and have very dark hair.  People from Eastern Kos tend to be shorter and darker-skinned, often with brown hair, sometimes with orange hair.  People from Western Kos often have brown hair.  People from Southern Kos tend to be slender, darker-skinned and dark-haired.  The people of South-Eastern Kos are accounted most beautiful, and the people of South-Western Kos are known to create music of incomparable emotion and artistry.  Of course, these are all generalizations, and people of any size and complexion may be found anywhere.
This is the default assumption for Player Characters.
People from Kos cannot survive for long in the Mountain Country.  Something poisons them and causes them to die.
Sometimes, Men of Kos will travel to the Mountain Country when they feel their time has come to die.  They are accorded great honor.

The Mountain-Tribes dwell in the Mountain Country, East of Kos.  They were mostly unaffected by the Cataclysm.  They are hunter-gatherers, noted for their climbing ability.  They trade with the People of Kos (whom they call the River People), and sometimes descend from the East to adventure.  People of the Mountain-Tribes tend to most resemble humans from our world.  They can be any skin coloration, but many have dusty-brown hair and eyes.   Many are tall, but some are also short.  The only main characterization is that they tend to be physically fit - very few Mountain-Folk are fat.

Barbarians, or Par-axians, come from Barbarian Par-Axe.  The people of Par-Axe are nomadic herdsmen. Their appearance varies based on which nomadic tribe they come from.  The default assumption is the Dog Tribe, who tend to be of average size, with a medium complexion, bronze hair and an unfortunate predilection towards insanity.
Barbarians worship different Gods than Kossites and may have strange customs.  They tend to have natural  affinity with animals.  Impala People are very short, have very dark skin and very little hair.  Llama People are tall, have medium complexions, dark hair and large noses.  Bison People have dark complexions and very dark or blonde hair.  The Sable People have black hair and tend to be tall, with ruddy or pale skin.  These are just some examples.

About the People of the Holy Countries, nothing is known.  It is said they swathe themselves entirely in shining gems, fabulous silk and pearls of the richest luster, so that it is impossible to see their features.  Other fables are even stranger.  The TRADER JON MITH might know more.

When I ran this segment...

When I ran this segment (KOHLE, the GRAY MAN of the WEST), there were three PCs:
RODERICK, a pathfinder and outdoorsman human from Kos's distant past.  Skilled with spear and sword.
RICKERT, a rodent-man and peddler.  His pockets were numerous and his skill with the spear passable.
SALDER the OX, a huge, strong and very stupid human from Pilgrim's Passing.  He preferred a giant club.

Here's what happened:
Rickert easily crept up on the inattentive Alligator-Man sentry and slaughtered him.  The group crept around the outside of the House, and Roderick climbed up onto the roof.  Using tufts of long grass handed up to him by Rickert, and with the help of some alchemical torches purchased from PIKU in town, he lit a fire atop the roof, and then leapt down.  The trio attempted to hold the exterior door closed in an attempt to burn everybody inside alive.  Screeching and howling gave hints to the pandemonium taking place within amongst the Mauristatia.
Unfortunately, fire burns upwards, so the trade house was mostly only filled with smoke.  KOHLE and the remaining Alligator-Man attempted to force the door open.  When that failed (due to the combined strength of the PCs), they took out their weapons and hacked it down in only a couple of turns.
The trio of PCs formed a semi-circle around the door, and managed to get the drop on the smoke-blinded bandit-gang in the initiative roll.  The Alligator-Man quickly went down to a spear-thrust from Roderick and a skull-crushing blow from Salder's club; Rickert tried to jab KOHLE but his spear slid right off the man's strange skin.
As the maddened Mauristatia attempted to break down the interior door trapping them in the smoke-filled Trade House, KOHLE lashed out with Tulwar and slashed Salder across the chest, doing some damage but failing to put him to sleep.  The trio and the bandit traded blows - Roderick and Rickert gored him with their spears, and KOHLE continued to attack Salder but was unable to connect.  Salder's swings were likewise parried as the two giants went toe-to-toe.
The next round saw KOHLE go down to two well-aimed spear-thrusts by Roderick and Rickert, just as the Mauristatia succeeded in breaking down the interior door and swarmed out into the entrance hallway.
Rickert and Roderick formed a shield-wall in the doorway and set their spears to receive a charge, while Salder stepped back to light some more alchemical torches, hoping the beasts would be afraid of fire.
Rickert sliced open the humped back of one creature with a spear-thrust.  Roderick skewered another beast through the neck, but his weapon became lodged in the creature and this provided a third Mauristat the opportunity to seize the man's arm and bite into it like a leg of turkey.  Meanwhile, Salder, slow and clumsy even under the best of circumstances, failed to get the torches lit.
Roderick bashed the creature gnawing at his arm with his shield, dealing good damage and forcing it to let go in a spew of broken teeth and blood.  Salder finally managed to light the three torches, and Rickert dropped his spear and was handed one.  Roderick left his spear embedded in the thrashing corpse of the Mauristat and drew his sword, his arm bleeding badly but still functional.  Salder hurled the last torch at the horde of the Mauristatia, hoping to scare them, but it had little effect.
The trio elected to execute a fighting retreat - Rickert brandishing his torch, Salder wielding a torch in one hand and club in the other, and Roderick bringing up the rear.  They headed for the River Kos, assuming that the holy waters would prove an effective barrier to the Mauristatia.  With the entrance clear, the Mauristatia quickly flooded out into the countryside - only a few following the wounded heroes, including the several that had been wounded by the party members.  The one that Roderick had smashed in the face charged the group, blood streaming from its nostrils and cracked fangs, but Roderick hacked it to the ground with several savage sword-strokes.

Now began a running battle through the wheat-fields outlying the River Kos, as the party struggled over rough terrain to reach the water, and an unknown number of Mauristatia trailed them.  The party lit several backfires with their torches in an attempt to scare the Mauristatia off; nonetheless, it proved only partly effective and Roderick was scratched and bitten when shrieking lion-rat-ape-wolf monsters lunged out of the wheat and roiling smoke at him.  A few minutes later, another Mauristatia leapt onto Riderick's back, and severely wounded him by a bite to the neck.  Salder attacked it, hoping not to hit his friend in the tumult.  He scored a critical hit, and sent the monster flying through the air, broken and lifeless, before landing with a thud somewhere out of sight.
Finally, after a tortuous 20 or 30 minutes of hit-and-run combat and grueling  physical exertion, the party emerged on the banks of Kos and waded into the water up to their necks.  This measure proved effective - the Mauristatia seemed unwilling to venture into the river, and after some desultory screeching and hurling of stones, they disappeared into the wheat.
The party could hear the beasts howling up and down the countryside, sometimes nearer and sometimes farther.  They began to get cold, and with Rickert in seriously poor condition, decided to make a run for the Old Trade House, where they could fortify their position and care for their wounds.  They took off into the wheat fields, and (luckily) encountered no Mauristatia, although they heard their howls and shrieks all around.  They quickly looted the bodies of KOHLE and his Alligator-Henchman, discovering the key to the iron chest, and taking the sword Tulwar.
They discovered that the roof had caved in during their absence, and quickly set about barricading the structure with pieces of wreckage.  Roderick dragged KOHLE's corpse inside  for reasons that would later become apparent.
They elected to hole up in ROOM 4 and barricade the door.  Using some still-flaming remnants of the ceiling, they heated a knife and cauterized their wounds to prevent infection - all except Rickert, who was teetering on death's door and was deemed too weak to withstand cauterization without the possibility of going into shock.  They dressed their injuries in the cleanest cloth they had, then Roderick left the room to enact his plan.
Fearing a trap in the iron chest, he tied the key into KOHLE's rapidly stiffening hand, then used the corpse's arm to open the lock.  The trap sprang and pricked the hand of its' deceased designer, doing nothing.  Roderick collected the loot and retreated to ROOM 4, where the team licked their wounds until morning.

Salder found that he had learned something about using clubs, and Rickert and Roderick also learned how to use spears a little better.  In addition, Roderick gained ability with swords.  Salder also learned to keep a cooler head under pressure, and so gained +1 to Fieldcraft.
Amazingly, none of them suffered from the hallucinogenic effects of Mauristatia saliva!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


KOHLE is the leader of a small group of monster-folk bandits who inhabit the OLD TRADE HOUSE, which is about one day's travel North of PILGRIM'S PASSING.  He is a giant human or human-like creature with strange powers, and it is rumored he comes from the Holy Countries.  He is feared for his tremendous strength and ability to control a horde of MAURISTATIA.
KOHLE is roughly nine feet tall, and massively muscular.  His skin is a steely-gray color.  He is not easily wounded, and even when cut, he bleeds only a tiny amount of pearl-colored fluid.
Though his exact nature remains a mystery, it is known that he has some method of controlling MAURISTATIA, and uses them to raid caravans.  When a merchant-train passes along the GREAT NORTH ROAD outside his TRADE-HOUSE, he unleashes the Mauristatia to create mayhem and panic.  In the wake of carnage, he and his small band of elite monsterfolk raiders purloin valuables and slaughter any resistance.  Through this method, he has struck fear into the hearts of traders and is slowly but surely isolating PILGRIM'S PASSING from trade.  Fortunately for the inhabitants of the Passing, he seems content to merely waylay passer-by, and has not launched any attacks on the town (perhaps believing the rewards to be beneath his regard).  Nonetheless, his stranglehold over the GREAT ROAD has lead SHERIFF DRONLAN-THREE SWORDS to place a bounty of 35 Gold Wheels on the gray man's giant head.

one square = 5 ft.

The Trade-House is a solid, square building built from gray brick and covered in plaster.  It has weathered the years well, except for some crumbling in the exterior walls.  The ceiling is flat and made of wooden boards.
1. This entry hall is the first bastion of defense.  The exterior doors face out on the NORTH ROAD.  They are of solid, oak construction, reinforced with cross-bucks and iron rivets and attached by old, rusty hinges.  Because they open outwards, they are very difficult to force inwards and are easily barred from the inside.
2. This room is where KOHLE and his two ALLIGATOR-MAN cohorts reside.  The doors are of solid oak construction.  The one that leads to ROOM 3 is normally kept barred and barricaded, to prevent entry from the MAURISTATIA into this room.  The two Alligator-Men are brothers, and prefer to sleep on a nest-like pile of straw, broken wood, branches and old cloth in a corner of the room.  KOHLE sleeps on a massive cot, piled with a mixture of silks and furs, all pilfered from passing caravans.  Near his cot is an iron chest, filled with the ill-gotten gains of the bandit gang.  The chest is locked, and KOHLE wears the key around his neck.  Opening the chest without pressing down on the lid at the same time will cause a needle tipped with poison to spring out from above the lock, pricking the hand of the victim and forcing them to Save vs Poison or else be dealt crippling agony in the form of 1d10+1d6 damage.  Inside are 600 Silver Moons, and an okenite goblet worth 200 Moons, .  KOHLE and the Alligator-Brothers will normally be found here, unless out gathering food, raiding caravans, or attending to other miscellaneous business.
They are swathed in ragged cloaks and a mixture of hides, leather, chain and layers of cloth.  They wield a cleaver-like weapon with a long haft for two-handed use.
AC 14
HP 11, 14
Attacks: Cleaver +2
1d8+3 damage, +10% chance of infection from dirty blade

3. This large room is where KOHLE keeps the Mauristatia confined when they are not hunting and he has no use for them.  The doors open inwards, and are barred by KOHLE and his Alligator-Man cronies when the Mauristatia are inside.  They are of similar construction to the main entry doors, and very difficult to force. There is an uberous quantity of Mauristatia waste in the room (dung, gnawed bones, loose fur) but nothing of value.  Unless KOHLE has released them, the pack of Mauristatia will be found here.  There are 12 of them, and they will be frantically eager to escape and eat anything in their path under most circumstances.
AC 10
HP 12
Attacks: Bite +2
Damage: 1d6+1, 10% chance of causing hallucinations, +10% chance of infection

4. This room is where KOHLE stores more bulky items that he and the Alligator-Men have little use for.  They can only access this room when Mauristatia are out hunting.
The door is of similar construction to the ones in ROOM 3.
150 pounds of dried Carnivorous Goat meat.  KOHLE and his Alligator-Men have been subsisting off this for some time.  The gnawed-on nature of these jerkies render them worth about 20 Lunars for the whole load.
80 pounds of hides - mostly Fanged Impala and Great Llamas, but one Leopard skin worth 10 Gold Wheels by itself.  The remainder is worth 90 Lunars.
2 large rugs from Southwest Kos or possibly the Holy Countries, worth 10 Wheels each.  Each weighs about 50 pounds.
40 pounds of iron ore, worth 80 Lunars
A 40-pound basket mostly filled with catlinite finished goods - cups, bowls, jugs, etc.  Worth perhaps 50 - 60 lunars.  Most valuable are several limestone idols of the major gods, tucked in protective cloth wrappings, worth about 10 lunars each or more.

He wields a massive, shining sword.  He clads himself in leather armor along with a strange turban bearing a blue beryl gem in the center.
AC: 16
HP: 21
Attacks: Tulwar +3
1d8+4, 10% of causing victim to faint for 1d8 turns

TULWAR is a magic sword, with a white blade of tirulium that is feared for its ability to make enemies faint.  KOHLE believes he is invincible so long as he holds it.
KOHLE'S other most prized possession is his TURBAN of MAURISTATIA CONTROL.  The wearer of this magical turban can force up to 12 Mauristatia to obey orders, at the cost of one Spell Point per command.  Commands must be fairly simple - "come here calmly"; "attack those men"; etc.  A character with no Spell Points will be unable to use this item.  KOHLE uses it twice per day - when the sun sets, he orders the Mauristatia to "be calm and go outside to hunt", then unbars the doors and allows them to file mindlessly past.  At daybreak, he uses it again to order them to "be calm and come back inside the Trade House", then waits until they have all filed into ROOM 3 and bars the doors.  The rest of the time, he meditates and rests to regain his Spell Points.  When a caravan or travelers come by, he orders the Mauristatia to attack them and unbars the doors.  When the attack is over, he orders them back inside.
KOHLE has 4 Spell Points, but knows no spells.
Were the Mauristatia ever to break free from their confinement, they would happily attack KOHLE and his Alligator-Men, given the opportunity.

KOHLE is over-confident and feels he has nothing to fear from attackers.  He usually posts one of the Alligator-Men somewhere along the road, to watch for caravans.  The Alligator-Men are not particularly attentive and have +0 to Notice.
If KOHLE is alerted to the presence of a small group, he will not immediately bother to use the Magic Turban but will instead charge into combat, followed by the Alligator-Men.  Only if things turn against him will he release the Mauristatia, using them as cannon-fodder.  If he is killed and the Turban does not find a new owner, the Mauristatia will roam freely over the countryside and will probably have little interest in continuing any ongoing battle unless sufficiently enraged.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Bleed-Through from Between-Worlds (low level)
Common Name: SLITHE
Academic Name: PHLOGISTON
SLITHES are a substance or creature from the Gap Between that has assumed a semi-corporeal existence in the material world.  They are believed to be a very basic manifestation of that realm, or perhaps part of the realm itself.  Like all Bleed-Throughs, they are antithetical to all physical matter; in the case of SLITHES, they "eat" it away by touch.  In the material realm, their state seems to act something like a liquid, which will move downhill unless otherwise arrested.  Thus, they are often found in pits or water sources.  They are drawn to organic creatures, and will move towards them.  They eat away all materials, but more solid, dense material seems to take longer to dissolve.  They can lie on stone, for example, for years without significantly damaging it.  Water also seems mostly insoluble with their nature.  Substances dissolved by a SLITHE will break down in fractal patterns as the component molecules cease to exist.  A creature wounded by a SLITHE will not suffer burning or abrasion; the portion that touched the SLITHE will simply cease to exist, revealing a perfect cross-section of veins, muscle-fiber, fatty tissues, bone, etc.  They are nearly invisible on land, and appear only as a blurry, mostly transparent smear of dark gelatin.  In water, they are visible by the water that they displace.  They can also be detected by the smell of ozone that accompanies them.  They are plainly visible as faintly glowing, amorphic plasmic shapes to those with Witchsight.  They cannot be harmed by physical means - any weapon used to attack them will pass right through and be eaten away.  Only magic can harm them, or abjuration by a cleric.  They're totally amorphous, but occupy a volume roughly equal to 2 or 3 gallons of water.

HP: 5
AC: None (Magic Missiles and such will automatically hit)

Creatures being attacked by a SLITHE must make a Skill save to avoid touching it.  The first time it touches the creature, it will dissolve whatever armor they wear.  The second time and each time thereafter, it will deal 4d4 damage.

No. Appearing: Solitary, or 1d3
Every once in a while, a huge congregation of 10d12 will be found oozing across the landscape (very rare)


Animal, Semi-Sapient
Found In: Forest, Wasteland, Mountains, Caves, Swamp
Academic Name: BUBO

FROG-DOGS are voracious predators.  They have a tendency to swallow whole and think later.  Despite this, some of them are actually alarmingly intelligent, and capable of setting up ambushes and coordinating group attacks.  It is unknown if they have any societal structure or culture to speak of.  They have extremely strong jaws.  They mostly subsist on lizards, giant insects, and small mammals, but will readily go after larger prey.
FROG-DOGS do not mate as normal animals do.  They are born from eggs lain by FROG-DOG QUEENS, which are enormous and corpulent.  Not all FROG-DOG colonies have a queen, but all large ones will.  FROG-DOGS will fight to the death to protect their queen, whereas otherwise they are inclined to withdraw when severely wounded.
FROG-DOGS who have been "spayed" by having their spear-tongues and fangs removed are sometimes kept as pets.
They're the size of a very fat and oddly shaped large dog (~3 - 4 feet long, ~60-75 pounds, with some large specimens growing up to 6 feet and well over 100 pounds)
HP: 11
AC: 13
Attack: Spear-Tongue +1(10 foot range) or Bite +2
Spear-Tongue 1d6+1, Bite 1d10+2

BUBOES have an 8-foot tongue coiled within their cavernous mouths, which is tipped with a barbed piece of cartilage.  They can extend this to attack foes, and if it hits, they can pull the foe towards their mouth, Scorpion-"Get-Over-Here"-style.  The target must make a Violence Power check at -3 or be dragged 5 feet closer to the FROG-DOG each turn.  The tongue can be severed to break the character free; it has an AC of 15 and 1 HP.  If the tongue is severed, obviously that toad can make no more attacks with it.
BUBOES are naturally camouflaged and receive +4 to hide when lurking amongst rocks or in underbrush.
BUBOES have sticky-padded "hands".  +8 climb, can cling to ceilings and walls with ease.

No. Appearing:
Small colony - 1d4
Medium colony - 1d8, 15% chance of QUEEN
Large colony - 2d10 + QUEEN

How to Heal in Kos

Each wound has a base 25% chance of becoming infected.  If left untreated, this chance increases by 5% each day for 3 days, or until healed.  Wounds taken in filthy conditions or inflicted by unsanitary weapons may have much higher rates of infection.
Wounds heal at a rate of 1 hit point a day.

Dutch Courage: A quick swig of liquor will recover 1d4 hit points.  These hit points will disappear after 1 hour.  This only works once per wound.

Cauterize: Heating a metal object and applying it to a wound will cause 1d4 hit points of damage, but will prevent the wound from becoming infected.

Sew: Sewing wounds allows them to heal at a rate of +1 hit points per day.  A character must have 12+ Skill to sew wounds, as well as a needle and thread.  A character must have 14+ Skill to sew his own wounds.

Bandage: Bandaging wounds with clean bandages allows them to heal at +1 hit points per day.  Dirty bandages provide the same effect, but increase the chance of infection by 10%.

Good conditions: Recuperating in luxury increases the rate of healing by +1 hit points per day.  This means clean, warm blankets, eating hot and copious meals three times a day, and enjoying maximum bed rest.

Washing the wound: Washing the wound decreases the chance of infection by 5%.  Washing it in alcohol, holy water or another sterile substance decreases the chance of infection by 10%.

Leeches: The application of leeches or other blood-suckers can repair damage from infection or poison, at a rate of +1 points healed per day.

Some herbs may allow the wound to heal much faster.  Only a seasoned woodsman, botanist or physician knows what herbs these are or where to find them.

When a wound becomes infected, it no longer heals.  Each day, the subject must roll under his fortitude, or the infection grows worse.
Level 1: Deals 1 damage.
Level 2: 1 damage, fevers; -1 to all stats
Level 3: Limb must be amputated.  If it is in a critical location (ie torso, neck, head), the wound continues to do damage at a rate of 1 damage and -1 to all stats until either it heals or kills the character.
If the character successfully rolls under his Fortitude 3 times, he has fought off the infection and suffers no further effects.  Any debilitation from the infection will heal at the normal rate.  Changing the bandages or re-dressing the wounds allows the character to re-roll his daily Fortitude test if it is a failure.


Monsterfolk, Semi-Sapient
Omnivore (prefer flesh)
Found In: Caves
Common Name: WENDIGO
Academic Name: Unknown
WENDIGOS are generally shy and retiring creatures, but fond of human flesh.  They look like brown Wampas.  They are not very intelligent, and will usually concentrate attacks on one opponent.  They hate the sunlight, and only lair in dark caves, which they leave at night to hunt.  They will attack anyone entering their den, but will not pursue outside of it.  Their normal diet consists of nocturnal animals and cave-animals, but they are capable of surviving off tubers and fungus.  They are afraid of fire and magic.  Foolish adventurers may mistake a WENDIGO lair for a bear-den, but Wendigo lairs have a particular musk.  They are the size of a grizzly bear or Big Foot. (~7.5 feet tall, ~400 pounds)
HP: 21
AC: 13
Attacks: +3
1d8+4 damage
Hugely strong: +5 to strength checks of any kind

No. Appearing: Solitary
Occasionally, a powerful overlord will capture several for use as labor or defense.