18 July 2012

Hornilian Encounters

The 1D100 table below the picture has, yet again, been shamelessly stolen from Jack Mcnamee's terrific blog, and slightly adapted to Second Age Pamaltela by yours truly.

Hornilio is described on the glorantha.com web-site as "a complex concatenation of salt marshes, swamps, bogs, and mud flats, inhabited by goblins and monsters. The land is less often visited than even the wastes of Porlaso across the sea, mainly because the goblins of Hornilio seem to be organised.
Here are only marshland and swamps, so low and level that tides wash far inland and the rivers flood far to the sea. Huge monsters from earlier ages inhabit this place."

Why would any delver want to go there? Who knows! But in case they should, you as the GM are ready to make their life miserable!

Horrible insects, leeches, bog water — a gross, clinging place that you just want to get out of as soon as possible.

–5 to all skill checks without something to get rid of the constant insects.

1-2: Reed eels. 3D6 Sentient reeds with bulbous suckers at head. Wait for animal to wade into them, then latch of from all sides and drain it of blood.

3-4: 2D4 Ooze fish: Massive, heavy fish attach themselves onto feet of wading party, use weight to drag them down to depths/under mud. Can be removed instantly by plunging sharp object into special spot beneath their blowhole.

5-6: Halitoad (large frog-like reptile), belches toxic gas.

7-8: Horrible Insects! Roll 1D4: (1) Insects that make all your intestines come out your orifices, (2) insects that secretly eat your tongue, replace it and then speak for you, (3) insects that make you come out in boils that then burst into more insects, (4) Insects that get in your stomach and make you give birth to their insect child.

9-10: Newtling witch. Can cast leech swarm; skin+organs turn to 3D6 leeches, attack party.

11-12: Swamp octopus. 2D8 tentacles drag delvers into swamp.

13-14: 2D4 leeches cling to party. If not found, leech 2 points of CON per day.

15-16: 1D6 Bloated bog corpses. Explode with gas that causes vomiting and attracts all insects in large range to you.

17-18: Sentient fungoid mastermind, controls all plants that are coated with its slime.

19-20: 1D4 Ticks. Paralyse you as you sleep.

21-22: Amphisbæna. Check wikipedia page for ideas.

23-24: Chaotic Gnome — Intelligent, telepathic, eats gold, lives in small specially-made vial, when released can only tunnel straight down super fast.

25-26: Bog hag (Anaxial's Roster, p222-223), will perform haruspicy.

27-28: Wrecked ship in tree fern. The tree fern is home to an Olarian, which must be defeated if the delvers are to explore the wreck.

29-30: Swarmhaven. A small Olodo village, besieged by insects. No-one's willing to go out to find and kill the insect god.

31-32: More horrible insects! Roll 1D4: (1) Insects that burrow into your brain and control you, (2) insects that cause massive bloated swellings that release toxic gas when popped, (3) insects that tear through the area devouring all food, (4) insects that get under your fingernails and make you lose control of your fingers at bad times.

33-34: Old shack. Newtling shaman keeps flasks in river with spirits; will sell them. Roll 1D6 for spirit contained in flask:
(1)- Amnesia Spirit (INT-based skills are reduced by the spirit's POW)
(2)- Confusion Spirit (Befuddles victim)
(3)- Disease Spirit (Anaxial's Roster, p224-230)
(4)- Fear Spirit (Demoralises victim)
(5)- Greed Spirit (Victim is enamoured of a specific item)
(6)- Idiocy Spirit (INT of victim reduced by ½ the spirit's POW)

35-36: Tameable giant alligator. Resting — sore tooth.

37-38: Hunting band of dinosaur-riding Slarges from Wongarissi. Remember: they hate humans.

39-40: Friendly black slime ghost.

41-42: Glade of massive, dark red mushrooms; when properly prepared, can be used as nerve poison; paralyses victim for 2 hours, give or take 1D8×10 minutes.

43-44: Quicksand bog, fore-runners are trapped. Sink 30cm per round.

45-46: Even more horrible insects! Roll 1D4: (1) insects that give you uncontrollable shakes, (2) insects that get in your body and slowly grow like a strangler fig until the entire inside of your body is nothing but a giant coiled worm, (3) insects that get right up in your junk, (4) unstoppable army ant insects that swarm over and devour anything in their path.

47-48: 2D4 strangling vines.

49-50: Will o' wisp, attracts party into holes, mud or quicksand against their will.

51-52: The Mere of Dead Faces: Lord of the Rings-like corpses all around water, fires on them, attract anyone who looks at them.

53-54: Poisonous river.

55-56: Alligators pretending to be log in middle of river that needs crossing.

57-58: 2D6 Mosquito women. Emaciated women with wings and proboscides.

59-60: Big marshy lake.

61-62: River.

63-64: Bog everywhere. Movement halved. There's a small safe path hidden in the mud.

65-66: Fog.

67-68: Insects intensify; –10 to all skill checks unless delvers can get them off.

69-70: Party of travelling Timinits. Willing to barter with party.

71-72: Party of travelling Uz looking for giant insects. Humans are considered as good insect-bait.

73-74: Still, stagnant pool. Sentient.

75-76: Slorifing wedding/funeral on barge, everyone in white and silent.

77-78: Slorifing party off to pay homage to their Queen. Severed human heads would certainly constitute a nice present to her.

79-80: Grey giant fishing. Low intelligence (INT 2D6), wary of strangers.

81-82: Holy fuck kids it's even more horrible insects! Roll 1D4: (1) Insects that bind you up and fill you full of their young, (2) insects that were inside you the whole time, (3) insects that eat your eyes and other vital organs from inside, (4) insects that know no god or king rise from the earth. The sky turns black. There is nothing but the swarm.

83-84: Hungry Gulper (Gloranthan Bestiary, p22-23).

85-86: Lesser Hydra, 2D6 heads (Gloranthan Bestiary, p24-25; Anaxial's Roster, p179).

87-88: Puffball smoke ghost mushrooms give advice from dead friends.

89-90: Black slime ghosts haunt party. Will arise from their bodies at inconvenient times, making them bleed from eyes. Can be banished temporarily with rum + fire.

91-92: Midget Slashers (Gloranthan Bestiary, p30-31) hiding in ambush until party nears.

93-94: Giant demon toad with fat Orveltor (Gloranthan Bestiary, p34-35) in mouth.

95-96: Gigantic hole in the swamp, all water rushing into it. Leads to Voralan-inhabited underground swamps.

97-98: Drunk Gorakiki Insect Lord.

99: Malevolent Timinit wizard, slowly turns party into plants.

100: Insect god. The party is on its back.

RuneQuest 6 Free Download: Games Master's Pack

The dead tree version of RuneQuest 6 is still on its way, yet the Design Mechanism have already churned out their first free download!

The RQ6 Games Master's Pack is downloadable for free from the web-site. At 76 pages, it's a massive free supplement. Kudos to Loz and Pete for their dedication!

It contains:
  • A nice Hellenistic-themed cover picture
  • A map of the (again) Hellenistic-looking city of Meeros
  • A 17-page introductory scenario set in the city of Meeros
  • A 14-page action-packed swords & sorcery scenario set in a high fantasy milieu
  • All the charts, tables, and sheets from the rule book in one convenient location
  • Condition markers (yes! now isn't this the epitome of old school role-playing??)
  • A 2-page player character sheet

14 July 2012

Issue 15 of Wyrms Footnotes Available

Issue 14 of Wyrms Footnotes was published by the Chaosium in April 1982. Now Moon Design have announced the availability of Issue 15 of Wyrms Footnotes... Why, that is a mere 30-year hiatus between two issues.

Anyway, even if the former Wyrms Footnotes was a RuneQuest magazine and the new incarnation is a HeroQuest magazine, the continuation of the numbering reveals a sense of continuity between the 'old' and the 'new' Glorantha, which warms the heart of the grognard in me.

Here's the announcement by Moon Design:

After a short rest, Moon Design Publications announces that the legendary flagship Gloranthan "magazine" [at this size and general awesomeness, Wyrms Footnotes is better thought of as a regular Glorantha Companion] Wyrms Footnotes is back with Issue 15! Articles and scenarios by Greg Stafford, Sandy Petersen, Jeff Richard and Rick Meints, including:
  • Adventure Time with Sandy Petersen!
  • The Upland Marsh!
  • Sun Dome County (in Sartar, not Prax)!
  • The Far Place!
  • War in Glorantha!
  • Magical Regiments of the Hero Wars!

And much much more! In all, some 88 pages of pure Gloranthan gold!

The prices are announced as follows:
  • Bundle of Paperback and Electronic Download, $20.00
  • Electronic Download, $10.00

13 July 2012

Aldryami Forest Umathelan Encounters

In 950, a noted Jrusteli scholar wrote a book proving that the Elves of Enkloso were extinct. That was, however, wishful thinking on the Malki scholar's part... The Wort-Men were not extinct — they had merely retreated into the deepest recesses of the forests.

Should your party have survived the Dark Forest encounters from yesterday's post, here are further encounters for the deepest, Aldryami-inhabited part of the Umathelan forests. As was the case with  yesterday's post, this table has been stolen from Jack Mcnamee's blog extraordinaire.

1-2: 2D10 tiny glowing fairies slowly circle party in ring, singing. Paralyse on touch, then cut out heart and enter cavity.

3-4: 3D6 Bush Babies (T&T: MR 15; RQ: use Trollkin, SIZ 4, CON 9; Original RPG: AC 10, HD ½). Paralyse on touch, then climb up adventurer to eat. Vulnerable to caring words.

5-6: 2D10 Voralans [Mushroom-men] (T&T: MR 30, DEX 16; RQ: use Voralan, SIZ 6, CON 11; Original RPG: AC 8, HD 1) shoot poison darts from the trees. They will use guerilla warfare, shooting and then vanishing into the trees, laughing. Roll 1D10 for each dart. (1) Trip out, (2) suffer a horrible slow rotting disease that will make you lose a leg, (3) Massive swelling around affected area, (4) Massive rainbow boils swell to burst with hallucinogenic gas, (5) Blood won't clot, even smallest wounds will continue to bleed until death, (6) Sweaty areas sprout with corrupting fungus, (7) Paralysis, one limb at a time, over a period of days, (8) Mind rots away, lose memories and points of INT, (9) Extremities curl and turn black, (10) Extremities - fingers, toes, etc - split off you to become Mushroom-man. All effects will take a day or two.

7-8: Great shambling mossy tree-beast in the mist. Anyone it turns its gaze on begins to sprout flowers, turning into a plant. Make it gross and debilitating — eyes burst and bloom into orchids, legs root into ground, mouth chokes on blossoming fruit.

9-10: Princess Mononoke. Masked girl with poison dagger, two massive white wolves, painted with red markings. Will stealth and stalk the party until their guard is down, then race in and strike.

11-12: 2D6 Butterflies flutter from trees — some brown, some multicoloured with eye markings. Land on people and suck up their life-force, gaining colour. Those with full colour can use it to emit a blinding flash attack.

13-14: Wind chimes hang from trees. Tiny wires strung everywhere will set them ringing when crossed. Shaman above will summon Dagger-storm if he hears the chimes ring; makes knives fall as rain in a mile radius.

15-16: Stream flows over mossy rocks. Moss covers all of ground for miles. Many patches of moss are just thin camouflage stretched over the mouths of the moss-beast.

17-18: Voralan village visible through trees. Voralans have laced the surrounding ground with tiny poison spikes.

19-20: Thin, trailing vines hang from trees like curtains. Will latch onto adventurers with tiny mouths and begin to suck out blood, excreting poison that leaves them slow and lethargic.

21-22: Heavy leaf-litter conceals poisonous snakes.

23-24: Edible mushrooms. Roll 1D5: (1) Hallucinogenic, (2) make you grow to gigantic size temporarily, (3) shrink to tiny size, (4) poison, (5) revelatory dreams, (6) go blind.

25-28: Lumberjack camp — tons of tools for sale.

29-30: A massive white stag. Will help the pure of heart. Kill it, and a massive black horror-ooze will emerge from its corpse.

31-32: Fairy ring of mushrooms, portal to Aldryami grove.

33-34: Hollow tree with tiny family living inside.

35-36: Troll village, friendly.

37-38: Forest floor covered with leaf-litter; uncovering it reveals that you're walking on massive piles of Leprechaun gold, will all vanish three days after being taken.

39-40: Travelling Aldryami party. Will give party food and rest for coin, but disappear at inconvenient time.

41-44: Woods whisper faint phrases.

45-48: Flower fields, with big bee hives hanging from the trees around. Bees buzzing around pollinating.

49-50: Close trees — carts and cars have trouble. Dark even at mid-day.

51-54: Mist and rain. The trees start to shiver, spraying raindrops everywhere.

55-58: Warm day. Snowflakes fall. Some of them are in the shape of pictures, and some of those foretell future events.

59-62: Forest fire.

63-64: Trees part to reveal clearing around lake choked with lilly-pads. Small island in centre.

65-66: Ancient, beautiful ruins. Statue of lovers in centre surrounded by rare roses. Passage underneath leads to hidden underground bathing pool.

67-70: Babbling brook in path, must ford or go around.

71-72: Massive amounts of birds congregate here, all different varieties.

73-74: Olarians having a picnic. Have only a front — hollow rot behind. Can cure or cause diseases.

75-76: Cliff in path. Steep and overgrown.

77-78: Ground takes sudden, steep turn downwards. Slippery with leaf litter and treacherous with tree roots.

79-80: 1D3 Maggot Lamiæ twined around tree — beautiful blind women with giant maggots for legs. Ask the party riddles. Correct answers rewarded with good luck.

81-82: Thin black shadow-men stalk party, feed from their dreams. PC's will lose memories — spells, weapon training, etc — as shadow-men grow fat.

83-84: Chaos-tinged men follow the party stealthily. Devour any corpses they leave behind, gaining the powers of each.

85-86: Glisters follow along with party; bright will-o'-the-wisps that feed off emotions. Change colour depending on emotion PC's display, emotions in their presence are heightened to the point of insane outbursts. Gather to strong emotions.

87-88: Tree with single bulbous purple fruit. Closer inspection reveals that the fruit is skeletal human head. Eating will give you +1 INTelligence, but give you a split personality.

89-90: Wide river. Those who travel down it will see ghostly cities of incredible beauty appear on the shore at night. Men and women with glowing eyes will stop and beckon to the travellers. Anyone who lands on shore will never be seen again, obviously.

91-92: Wedding between a Hollow Bride and a giant wolf, with fairies presiding as priests and revellers. PC's invited to attend.

93-94: Plant labyrinth with 2D4 Timinits in its centre.

95-96: Beautiful glowing part of woods in eternal twilight. Idyllic; full of edible food and water. Party will begin to lose memories and minds the more they stay. Days will secretly pass in hours.

97-98: Maiden sits on lilly throne in pond surrounded by weeping willows. Storks everywhere, spike-things come from her elbows and knees. Takes a liking to PC, offers to take him down into pond with her. If they accept, she will give them a stork afterwards - the stork will die instead of them if they reach 0 HP. They will not remember what happened down there.

99-100: The Wild Hunt charges through and captures the PC's. They will be hunted for the pleasure of the Fairy King.

12 July 2012

Dark Forest Umathelan Encounters

OK, today's post has been directly ripped off the fucking brilliant post on the Rotten Pulp blog...

This is Second Age Umathela, so there aren't any hostile Elves in the forests... which does not mean the forests are safe, though. Here's a nice D100 encounter table for those unwary parties who have adventured into Umathela's Dark Forest.

1-2: 3D6 Bush Babies (T&T: MR 15; RQ: use Trollkin, SIZ 4, CON 9; Original RPG: AC 10, HD ½). Paralyse on touch, then climb up adventurer to eat. Vulnerable to caring words.

3-4: 1D6 crows follow party, gain 1D4 crows per day. Dive-bomb when party is distracted. 5 or more crows can try abducting party member - roll under DEX (T&T: LVL1 DEX SR; RQ: Agility roll; Original RPG: roll under DEX×5%) or be carried off.

5-6: Vangono's horror with cub. Attacks if angered.

7-8: Skin Kin. Skin flaps hanging from branches. 2D6 detach and float after party discreetly; attack by stripping flesh off party members to replace it with themselves. If someone is killed in this manner, the stripped skin becomes another Skin Kin, and the dead man will be puppeteered by the skin kin. Will retreat if party cuts themselves.

9-10: Blood-Oak blocks path. Vine tendrils around it grapple, takes 3 rounds to drop grappled hero into concentric teeth that go through center of tree. If a vine is severed, three more grow in their place (prevent this by cauterising wound). Its wood is super valuable, screams when burned.

11-12: Snicket swarm — 4D6 rat-bird things tear through area, leaving everything exposed at head height stripped bare. Listen check to hear them coming, reflex save to avoid.

13-14: Snake-Armed Ruby Brain Beast. 5 snake arms; each can grapple or claw.  Placing palm on gem in back will instantly kill it.

15-16: Patch in middle of road is covered trapdoor, leads to underground webbed cavern with Trapdoor spider. Spider pops out to grab nearby enemies and bind them in its web below, injecting them with paralysing poison to eat later.

17-18: 1D6 Olodo robbers lay trap in road — front party members will be swept into rope trap, robbers will make demands of remaining members from trees.

19-20: 1D4 Black vines twined in shape of humans, white masks in place of faces. Touch transfers your face to them, stealing your mind. Vulnerable to mirrors. Mask can be transferred back by use of a mirror.

21-22: Find a wolf in a trap. Will struggle at first, but if released and healed will become loyal to party.

23-24: Broken-down cart with carcasses of draught hogs. 1D100 guilders worth of Gems, baby in basket under wreckage — seems to be from wealthy Malki family.

25-26: Tiny Umathing village. Distrustful of strangers, but have food. All old women in town currently out on hill putting old iron knives in the ground. Twin brothers are making a furrow around the village. They're preparing for an undead attack after a Nontrayan cultist died in childbirth.

27-28: Gigantic multi-layered cake in the middle of the forest. Unattended. Delicious.

29-30: Olodo camp. Friendly, lots of music. Will take party onboard in return for odd-jobs.

31-32: Lightning storm. Builds in intensity, starting a fire, until one bolt slams down near the PC's as a solid, bright crystal, surrounded by shrapnel of the same material. In light, the crystal becomes volatile and explosive; in darkness, becomes incredibly heavy.

33-34: Massive, recently-vacated cocoon hanging from tree, warm and protected. Will give all who sleep within it revelatory dreams.

35-36: Lake with bathing Rusalki - water-nymph ghosts. Beautiful, will lead travellers down to underwater village. Breathing is fine as long as you hold their hand.

37-38: Travelling explorer investigating rare animals, will accompany PC's or buy any corpses they have.

39-40: Old shack with saws, tools, etc. Woodsman owner will return soon.

41-42: Razorleaf wood. The leaves here draw blood when they touch. Trees begin shake, shedding more and more leaves.

43-44: Chasm with river at bottom. Rotting ropes show where bridge used to be. Might be just wide enough to jump.

45-46: Daggerslash. Resembles dead piece of wood, attracts party with distressed moaning sounds then latches onto them like beartrap with 40 rows of sharp claws.

47-48: Glade of massive, dark red mushrooms; when properly prepared, can be used as nerve poison, paralyses victim.

49-50: 1D4 Bear traps surrounding tied basket of food, money and goodies.

51-52: Path cuts out, rocky outcrop on one side, thick forest on other.

53-54: Skull butterflies flutter to party, play music. Land of the dead slowly opens up between tree trunks around them.

55-56: Deep fog falls. Party is likely to loose their way.

57-58: Bushfire.

59-60: Tree trunks fallen in way, must go around.

61-62: Smoking crater with shiny glimmer in center.

63-64: Flock of birds fly off at parties approach, screeching wildly. Everything nearby is aware of parties presence

65-66: Idyllic clearing with clear brook going through it.

67-68: Stream, must be forded or bridged.

69-70: Multiple skeletons stuck together into horrible beast - horseclaw, vulture, man and Vangono's horror.

71-72: A wooden puppet skeleton hands from a tree with offerings around it. It's a horrible idol, will offer advice if given food to eat.

73-74: Man entirely covered in tattoos hung from tree; if touched, tattoos will transfer to toucher, move slowly, whisper strange demands.

75-76: Trap in ground covered by leaf-litter. Falling in it leads to a banquet table, with chairs that will bind around PC's. Other guests in increasing stages of being transformed into plants. Log-man offers food and wine.

77-78: Witch trapped in Ice, six hands, holding a silver dagger in each. Seven gold-encrusted rubies frozen around her head. Lots of burnable tinder around.

79-80: Sleeping children in glade.

81-82: Statues cowering away from chasm - an invisible bridge leads over it.

83-84: Ghost Funeral procession.

85-86: PC's meet party of hungry ogres. Will pretend to be friendly travellers, and will try to kill and eat the PC's during the night.

87-88: Baba Yaga's hut. "Fou, fou, fou! I feel the Russian Spirit!" Hut on Chicken legs surrounded by skulls with glowing eyes. Baba yaga makes constant unreasonable demands or devours you, but her servants will help you stop her if you treat them kindly. May give guidance in rare cases.

89-90: Secret Timinit hive.

91-92: Thorn queen on throne, surrounded by dead children, can tell prophecies by pulling out eyes. Has power over all children, vulnerable to objects with five sides. Will ask riddles, attack with children and thorn vines from throne if angered.

93-94: Crystal guardian; as many heads as party members, each head copies one party members attributes and actions.

95-96: Forest is sentient, breathes.

97-100: A quiet, peaceful day. Birds chirp. The party feels at ease.

03 July 2012

RQ6 Stats for HeroQuest Publications

Someone on the Glorantha Yahoo list asked the following:

[We] wished that HeroQuest books, especially campaigns, had RQ stats added. Once RQ6 is out, wouldn't that be cool? I don't know how difficult it would be to achieve this, I'm sure there are many legal problems or other technicalities I'm not aware of, but if this could be done, even as just an appendix, I'm pretty sure it would be good for sales.

To which Loz answered:

We're way ahead of you.

We're intending (that is, Design Mechanism and Moon Design) to release PDF files with appropriate RQ6 stats and notes to accompany HQ books. Books won't be dual statted; that would inflate page count horribly. However RQ players will be able to use HQ books as fully as possible with these PDF stat packs. And, many GMs like their stats separate from the core text anyway, so it makes sense to adopt this approach.

It will take some time to put these together of course; time we don't have right now. But it's All Part of the Plan.

This is just über cool. And, as mentioned by Loz, it would keep the stat blocks [let's admit that stat blocks are a pain in the arse] separate from the juicy text of the HQ books.

02 July 2012

The Look of Second Age Westerners

OK, today's post is straight out of the HeroQuest forums out there at Moon Design's web-site.

The original poster wrote:
I am really enjoying the Look of Glorantha blog Moon Design is doing for the lead up to the Big Glorantha guide.
While waiting for RQ6 I am reading the Abiding Book for MRQ2.
Does a Second Age Westerner look different from a Third Age Westerner?
Is it only a matter of worldview that was changed by the disasters between the Second and Third Age, or did it also set them on a new path of cultural development?

To which Jeff replied:
I fear the Mongoose artistic accuracy was almost always very bad (Dara Happa Stirs is a notable example) and Greg and I really have no idea how they depicted Second Age Westerners. However, this article does give correct information as to the look of the Second Age Jrusteli:


Cool link. I especially like this picture by the immense Ivan Bilibin:
it fits in well with my own view of the Umathelan Malki people.