23 May 2020

Post-apocalytic Adventure Quickstart

Pick your favourite OSR hack and roll for stats, then roll for starting gear:

d20 Weapons
  1. Knuckleduster (1d6 unarmed dmg, concealable)
  2. Combat knife (1d6 dmg, throwable)
  3. Chain (1d6 dmg, at max damage foe Saves vs trip or disarm)
  4. Machete (1d6 dmg, at max damage foe Saves vs bleeding)
  5. Barbed wire bat (1d6 dmg, step up damage die if two-handed)
  6. Crowbar (1d6 dmg, advantage on breaking things)
  7. Fire axe (1d6 dmg) and scrap metal shield (+1 Def)
  8. Knife spear (1d8 dmg, two-handed, extended reach)
  9. Sledgehammer (1d10 dmg, two-handed, at max damage foe Saves vs knockdown)
  10. Bow (1d6 dmg, range 100 m, two-handed, silent) and a quiver of arrows
  11. Twin revolvers (1d6 dmg, 6 shots, range 100 m, noisy, 2 attacks/round)
  12. Semi-automatic pistol (1d8 dmg, 10 shots, range 100 m, noisy)
  13. Hunting rifle (1d10 dmg, 5 shots, range 300 m, two-handed, noisy)
  14. Sniper rifle (1d12 dmg, 1 shot, range 500 m, two-handed, noisy)
  15. Shotgun (3d4 dmg, 2 shots, range 30 m cone, two-handed, noisy)
  16. Flamethrower (2d6 fire dmg and foe Saves vs catching aflame, range 30 m cone, two-handed)
  17. Overloaded laser pistol (1d8+2 radiant dmg, 6 charges, range 200 m, explodes on critical miss)
  18. Stun baton (1d4 dmg and foe Saves vs stun)
  19. Vibrokatana (1d10 dmg, step up damage die if powered)
  20. Chainsaw (2d6 dmg, two-handed, noisy, foe Saves vs dismemberment at 10+ dmg)

If you rolled a ranged weapon, you also start with a (roll d4, all deal 1d4 dmg):
  1. Big wrench
  2. Kitchen knife
  3. Lead pipe
  4. Sharpened screwdriver

If your ranged weapon has a number of shots listed, you need to take a turn to reload it once you use the shots up.
d20 Armours
  1. Full body tattoos (Def 10): What do they depict? Why are you so proud of them to wear no armour?
  2. Tattered formal wear (Def 10): It used to be really expensive. Who were you, once?
  3. Wrapped in rags (Def 10): Each rag seems to come from a different clothes, different place. What have you seen on your travels?
  4. Leather jacket (Def 11): It's black, spiked and has a skull on the back.
  5. Padded jacket (Def 12): Bright, colourful and in a surprisingly good condition.
  6. Hide armour (Def 12): You tracked it, killed it, flayed it, tanned it and sewn it.
  7. Patchwork armour (Def 12): Pieces of metal, plastic and leather mish-mashed to guard your limbs.
  8. Flak jacket (Def 12): Inherited from your great-grandfather, yet it still serves you well.
  9. Hardshell parka (Def 12): Warm and stab-proof!
  10. Sports gear (Def 12): You know, real men don't need body armour to play football...
  11. Camo suit (Def 12): Camouflage jumpsuit made of pre-Turn reinforced cloth.
  12. Fireproof bodyglove (Def 13): You won't burn, but should still be careful about smoke inhalation.
  13. Arachnofiber shirt (Def 13): Thin, light and skintight, it makes for an ideal concealed armour.
  14. E-tex dress (Def 13): The celebrities of yore used to wear something like this. It still plays old ads.
  15. Tire tread armour (Def 14): Old truck tires are surprisingly durable.
  16. Chitin breastplate (Def 14): Some mutated insect carapace repurposed as armour.
  17. Ballistic vest (Def 14): Faded inscription on the back reads P( _'CE.
  18. Mesh armour (Def 15): Modern equivalent to a chain mail. Made of a fine mesh of plasteel wires sewn into nanofibre coat.
  19. Liquid armour (Def 15): Trendy jacket filled with antikinetic smartgel that becomes harder than steel on impact.
  20. Full metal jacket (Def 16): Enhanced exoskeleton scavenged from a dead soldier. When powered, grants advantage on athletic checks.

Choose one of the benefits below:
  1. Cybernetic
  2. Gadget
  3. Mutation
  4. Psionic
  5. Vehicle
  6. Small but vicious dog (HD 1, 1d6 bite)

And also start with enough water and rations for two days.
Finally, what's happening that requires your immediate attention?
  1. The daughter of your village's leader had been betrothed to a powerful water baron, and thanks to his help everyone is happy and thriving. The daughter will soon be departing for the nuptials and you have been chosen to escort her as a honour guard. Just as you're leaving the village, the daughter's supposedly former lover attempts to get to her, but is stopped and dragged away. He vows to rescue her before the wedding.
  2. You have learned about an armed convoy of a nomadic tribe that will go past your village in a few days. They might have ammo, slaves, cisterns with fresh water, or even medical supplies. You know of a bottleneck on the road that they must pass.
  3. The local water baron announced a high bounty on the head of a woman who insinuated herself into his bedroom and then made off with his technological artifact of stupendous science. Was she working alone? Did someone send her? Will you keep the artifact for yourself if you find her?
  4. As every autumn, the emissary of the Flaming Telepath has come to your village to claim some of the produce and youths. Your people are forced to hold a feast for her tonight, and in the morning, she will choose who will be dragged away to slavery.

18 April 2020

My Hero

A stronger wind picked up outside of the tower, and even with the shutters closed, some draught got through to the already chilly chamber. The maiden, stripped naked and chained to an altar of ancient, runed stone, shivered.

"Oh," the warlock said, snapping back to reality. "Sorry about that... Gilda, was it?" He went over to the vaulted windows and drew the heavy curtains closed. "The nights are getting a bit cold, right?"

Gilda watched him with wide, frightened eyes. She had stopped crying and pleading hours ago.

"I'd give you a blanket or a nice cup of hot tisane, but unfortunately, there are traditions to be upheld and expectations to be met. Magic is just so slow and needlessly complicated. I mean, virgin blood, new moon, bones of three sinful priests? It can be a real bother."

She didn't smile back.

"But don't worry, I won't be taking up your time for much longer. We can more or less begin."

He took a pouch from the table overflowing with open books and boxes of ingredients, then went around the altar, leaving behind a circular line of bone ash while whispering in a language that seemed to contain way too few vowels. As he closed the circle, the outside noises were muffled, as if some oppressive silence has crept into the shadows of the room.

Gilda swallowed a silent sob and half-heartedly tried her bonds once more. They held as tight as ever.

The warlock returned to the table and rummaged for a while, until he found a long, wavy dagger and a bowel made from a human skull. He renewed his chanting, slowly picking up both the pace and volume. The flickering of candles made the shadows on the walls dance, and they all added their own silent theme to the chant.

As the warlock stepped over the circle of ash, a distant thunder rolled. Gilda was sweating and breathing hard, nearly drowning on air. The warlock was shouting now, the dagger raised high above his head. Gilda cried out as he looked down at her, his eyes as black and endless as the night, and-

-the door flew off their hinges, crashing on the floor.

"Stop at once, minion of Evil!" said the newcomer, his voice mighty and pleasant to the ears. Clad in shiny imperial steel, his sword drawn and pointed menacingly at the warlock, he stroke a magnificent pose. He took off his helmet, golden hair spilling out, and revealed his noble, clear-cut face. His brow was furrowed and his sky-blue eyes held a promise of safety and justice.

The warlock put down the bowl with a loud clack. "Do you know how impolite this is? My alarm spells triggered at least ten minutes ago! Were you just waiting in the hallway to-"

"Silence!" The knight advanced towards the altar. "Abolish your fears, my fair dame, for I am here! I am glad I was able to arrive in the nick of time for your rescue from the filthy clutches of this wretch of a man!"

"Milord," Gilda cried out, "beware of his wizardry! He might-"

The knight laughed out loud. "Worry not, my delicate flower. He is toothless and defenceless. His magics may be dark and terrible, but the rituals take time and he has none left in this world. Tonight, warlock, you shall perish by the blade of-"

With a flick of the warlock's wrist, the prince disappeared. A strong scent of brimstone flooded the room.

"Unless you waltz into a mage's tower, where he had years to prepare traps, dumbass," the warlock frowned, then glanced at Gilda. "Pardon my language."

"Anyway, I hope you won't hold this interruption against me. I'm trying to be a professional here, but sometimes the Fates just conspire against you and you have to make do with whatever hand you are dealt, right?"

"Now, if I could have a request," he raised his dagger again, "would you mind screaming for a bit? It'll help rebuild the ambiance."

5 April 2020

It's Not the End of the World (Just Yet)

The Sun was already setting by the time the couple reached the highest peak of the Hammer Island. They looked over the lush forested hills, over their beachside bungalow and the turquoise sea down below, towards the evening horizon. Huxley took out a bottle of champagne and a pair of cups from his backpack, while Lola sat down on the warm rocks, eyes fixated on the sky.

"Here it comes," she whispered, her voice nearly breaking.

A shooting star emerged, careening from east to west, all bright and beautiful. For a few seconds, the whole world was silent.

Huxley sat down next to Lola as she blinked away tears and handed her one of the cups.

"Hey, look at it like that," he said in a strained voice, "we had the best honeymoon we could ever ask for. If we knew sooner, nothing would change except our honeymoon would be, well..."

She was sobbing now, softly.

"And we saw a star falling, so we should make a wish," he tried to smile, then kissed her on the tear-streaked cheek. "I wish to spend the rest of my life with you."

"You're fucking stupid," she started to laugh through the sobs. "I love you so much."

"I love you too."

They clinked their cups and slowly sipped the sparkling wine, watching as the horizon grew bright and ever brighter, even drowning out the Sun.

The shock wave got them a few seconds before the firestorm.

26 March 2020

Far Over the Misty Mountains Cold

Do you need to name a place your players happened upon? A new location for your mapping efforts? An inspiration for a sword & sandals adventure?

To get the brain juices flowing, here are some pictures that were chilling in my folders for a quite a bit of time: