Psychic Tiger Fodder on Level 1 of the Dungeon

Psychic Tiger Fodder on Level 1 of the Dungeon

This is an Into the Oddish game (chargen houserules here) using DNGN as the adventure. Jeb the Cutpurse, Gus, Richter, Taki and Tabouli are now the adventuring party – Psychic Tiger Fodder (t-shirts available, all artist’s proceeds go to the World Wildlife Fund).

Into the
MEGA
Dungeon

with special guests
PSYCHIC TGER FODDER

Two new players joined the game and so the room they were trying to get into last game had Gus (Augustus Tiberius Primus) and Richter, both wizard’s apprentices with no spells to speak of. We wrote off not remembering their existence to Psychic Tiger psionic damage.

Psychic Tiger Fodder logo with a blue tiger with red eyes and a blue and red lightning bolts and red and blue fire as a subject divider.

There was a ghost in the room and Tabouli sought to put the soul to rest. I asked for a Will roll as he used the prayer of the Dragon-God he knew and with a success, he sent the soul to the Dragon God’s soul hoard, taking it from the Star God. Tabouli suddenly felt the very real feeling that he was playing in a game far above his paygrade.

A flame in one of the lamps in the room gave Tabouli a warning, “They are coming.” They used one of their domesticated mimics to brick over the door and so the Star God worshippers who were looking for the heretics did not find the party. I narrated a goofy conversation as they continued past where they had been sure there was a door but now there was none.

Psychic Tiger Fodder logo with a blue tiger with red eyes and a blue and red lightning bolts and red and blue fire as a subject divider.

One of the moments of the game was when they looted a dead body and I mentioned it seemed to have a surgical scar on its chest. Jeb the Footpad decided the corpse must have a gem heart. To the disgust of his comrades, he cut open the body and found, not a gem heart but an expensive silver heart.

Richter: Are you okay with this, Conrad?

Conrad (the concussed Thief, the only survivor from the original adventuring party): One day I will call that young man Guildmaster and I’ll be proud to do so.

Tabouli tried to take some of the warm ice from the room but breaking it released a gas that did vicious damage to his lungs. Richter tried one of his grandma’s remedies and it worked (successful Will Save) to cure the Strength Damage that the gas had done to him.

Psychic Tiger Fodder logo with a blue tiger with red eyes and a blue and red lightning bolts and red and blue fire as a subject divider.

Gus stared at the tapestries of ancient starship battles and nebulas and comets that several ghosts told Tabouli (he can see and talk to the dead) would likely drive their brain past reckoning. Gus passed his save and so I rolled and he got the spell, Clone, rattling around in his brain like a living, powerful thing. Gus’ player was looking for ways to use it creatively. Can’t wait to see what they do.

We don’t have spell descriptions but I defined the spell. “If you cast it on yourself you will create a perfect replica of yourself that will slumber unless disturbed. If you die and it stays sleeping, you will awaken in the clone. If the clone is awakened, it will try to kill you and take your place.”

Psychic Tiger Fodder logo with a blue tiger with red eyes and a blue and red lightning bolts and red and blue fire as a subject divider.

Jeb checked the disgusting bug pool but found nothing, passing a save to keep from being really ill.

We hit 10 o’clock, our end-time, and are within a room or two from getting out of the dungeon. The characters who have been playing the whole time are Experts (2 level advancements). I told them that they realize that they have surpassed the adventurers they came in with.

Psychic Tiger Fodder logo with a blue tiger with red eyes and a blue and red lightning bolts and red and blue fire as a subject divider.

Richter’s player mentioned that the rooms didn’t make much sense. It wasn’t a fortress or a prison. I gave my take on this dungeon, that it had made sense 10,000 years ago when it was first dropped into the earth but now it was a funhouse chaotic mess.

Psychic Tiger Fodder logo with a blue tiger with red eyes and a blue and red lightning bolts and red and blue fire as a subject divider.
In our Into the Megadungeon campaign world the adventuring group known as Psychic Tiger Fodder might get out of the dungeon in a game or so, what is the town like where you return to after adventuring?

50% An ancient ruined city built by whoknowswho that only recently has begun to be repopulated...

50% An ancient city ruled by a sorcerer-king, ancient and wicked

0% An imperial fort on the edge of mapped "civilization"

0% A village at the crossroads of civilization

Based on the above poll from our gaming posse’s FB group the closest bit of civilization is an ancient city, ruled built by none who are remembered, only recently repopulated, ruled by a sorcerer-king. The whole thing is ancient and wicked. I dig it.

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Reddit GM Advice: Daydreaming, Failing Forward and Failure, & Module as Menu

Reddit GM Advice: Daydreaming, Failing Forward and Failure, & Module as Menu

TEXT: REDDIT GM ADVICE THREAD

PIC: Reddit logo in front of Dice Envy's beautiful rainbow dice set.

I made a list of 3 GM advice subreddits called RefAdvice.

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Campaign Ideas: Hunting the Teratic Tome’s 10 Venerable Dragons

Campaign Ideas: Hunting the Teratic Tome’s 10 Venerable Dragons

The Pitch: You have a pile of scrolls, copied from the Teratic Tome by an unknown monk, with the rare pages that detail the powers, habits, and preferred habitats of the evil Venerable Dragons. Information in hand, you will hunt these monsters and the vile cults that serve them across the worlds.

I’d photocopy pages 25 to 42 of the Teratic Tome, hand it to the players and ask them to start making a plan.

The Venerable Dragons are ten in number. Ancient and vitriolic, they regard themselves as a weary decadarchy who bear the burden of governing the lesser beings. These ten dragons cannot be subdued, nor will they show mercy to their opponents. Found in long-forgotten places, sleeping under thick layers of dust or mud, these horrid creatures cause nothing but misery when awakened.

Teratic Tome by Rafael Chandler

What I’d say to the table: Make characters who are driven to hunt these ten dragons to the ends of the known worlds and beyond. There is no right way to do this. This is going to be a campaign on hard mode, no secret betrayers, please. As long as the scrolls of the Teratic tome are safeguarded a TPK will mean we just make the new characters that end up with the scrolls.

Some questions to inspire ideas:

Why do you hunt these dragons?

Did one of them take something from you or destroy someone or something you hold dear?

Are you a hunter who wants to pursue the ultimate prize?

Is there something of great power that you could make from their bones or flesh?

I’d like the group to have a way to travel. Maybe that is the main choice as we begin the game, is how do you chase these draconic monsters?

Your crew has…

…a Well of Worlds, beneath a tower on the tallest mountain. The world below was decimated when these ten dragons decided its end was nigh. Some say the monk who copied the scrolls you hold dear was born here and this world’s apocalypse was the price it paid.

…a skyship, originally made to hunt Forest Whales that fly above the Ocean Forest’s treetops, it was refitted to traverse the portals that lead from world to world (Inspired by the Serpent Gates books 1 and 2 by A.K. Larkwood).

…a Worlds Map, made by the Nomad Seers who walked across all of creation, drawing the most beautiful and detailed map of the worlds and the spheres’ movements across time (inspired by the Wanderers of Ashann from A Naturalist’s Guide to Talislanta).

What game could we run this in?

Old School Essentials, Cairn, Errant, Troika, Ironsworn, Spell and Blade (in playtest), the Whitehack, World of Dungeons and Worlds Without Number all come to mind as possibilities.

Might have to write up a follow-up blog post with a quick Into the Odd hack (as I’ve been doing lately).

Here’s how I would run this as straight-up Into the Odd. In the marginalia of the scrolls the monk writes a screed about how the Bastion’s leaders and elders refused to listen to his warnings, that the Underground isn’t ruins from a previous city but a complicated machine meant to hide Bastion and this world from the Venerable Dragon’s sight. But it is now broken beyond repair and the dragons will surely attack when they next wake. Decades ago the monk headed out into the Deep Country, hoping they might be lucky and perish before the attack occurs. “My hope is that these scrolls end up in the hands of someone with more bravery than I can muster.” I’d stat up each of the 10 dragons as a 16 HP Dragon.

If you use the idea I’d LOVE to hear about how it goes.

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Reddit GM Advice: Balanced Encounters, Kraken vs. Green Dragon, & DMing Style

Reddit GM Advice: Balanced Encounters, Kraken vs. Green Dragon, & DMing Style

TEXT: REDDIT GM ADVICE THREAD

PIC: Reddit logo in front of Dice Envy's beautiful rainbow dice set.

I made a list of 3 GM advice subreddits called RefAdvice.

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Campaign Ideas: The Diamond Throne

Campaign Ideas: The Diamond Throne

The Pitch: Today is your Leaveseeking Ceremony, where you will venture into the outside world for as long as you need and decide if there is something out there that rhymes with your truename. Or did your ancestors have the right of it, that the wonder in the world is eclipsed by its cruelty, better to find safety with your own people in this isolated mountain village.

You aren’t born evil because you were born of a certain race. You don’t, as a member of another race, have some manifest destiny to conquer and rule. And while there are certainly heroes and villains worthy of those titles, they are heroes or villains because of the choices they make.

The Diamond Throne by Monte Cook

I remember liking the Arcana Evolved hardcover and its weird fantasy Diamond Throne setting. When we started discussing it in an indie RPG slack I frequent, I realized I had put the books from the shelves to my desk, thinking that I might use them for a Tuesday Campaign Ideas post. I’ve got one other Campaign Ideas post about done and another outlined. I’m hoping to start a tradition. Anyway, back to Arcana Evolved…

The classes are just so cool: Akashic, Champion, Greenbond, Mage Blade, Magister, Oathsworn, Runethane, Totem Warrior (rename!), Unfettered, Warmain and Witch.

No priests, you see. Where were the gods when the Dramojh’s cruelty was raging?

Part of my is tempted to just grab the magic book and bestiary and play it in its original 3.5 ruleset. But with those rules, isn’t it silly to go with the human village rummspringa idea above? Isn’t part of the fun of 3.5 to choose race and class (ugh, RACE)?

Hence the human-centered starting point above, starting with a ceremony, a cornerstone of the setting. Delve into the weird with human eyes at first. As the characters enter into ceremonies with other folk and heritages across the setting, those folk become potential character types. Maybe you set your human villager aside while they train and pick up a verrick or litorian or giant. Perhaps you start playing one of these options because your human goes back to the village to settle down, having had enough of this world.

I like this set-up because the characters will learn about the setting with the players, no homework necessary. Of course I’m thinking about hacking at Into the Odd. Levels 1-3 and then you choose your class, gaining 4 HP per level, topping off at 12 HP, maximum for a person – dragons are 16 HP, of course. The training for the classes is vague in my mind, as is the magic system, but I bet we could do a Whitehack-like magic thing for the fluid and flexible magic from the later Grimoire supplements.

The first part of the Leaveseeking Ceremony is being able to walk through the village, going wherever you want and asking the elders about their Leaveseeking. What were their ambitions? What were their regrets? We’d flesh out the characters’ families and the world in one go, right at the first session and give the players enough information to make a decision about where they wanted to go.

Do you want to go up the mountain and see the Dramojh Fortress with your own eyes? Do you want to see the cruelty your ancestors survived that led them to founding this village and this ceremony?

Or do you want to venture out and find that lost cousin who graduated as a Magister and now serves a Giant Steward in the capital city? Your grandma has that sword above the fireplace and no one will talk about it but today is your Leaveseeking; she’ll talk about it today and tell you everything about her time leading an element of the Nightwalkers.

Or is it something farther and stranger? Is it the Floating Forest or the Harrowdeep or the God-King of the verrick that calls to you?

There is a big, strange world out there with lots of history and secrets. Let’s go.

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Loving the Love Letters

Loving the Love Letters

I don’t see folks mention Love Letters enough out there in the online wasteland. They are such a sweet piece of RPG-tech. Maybe it is because they are stuck in the Advanced Fuckery section of Apocalypse World.

Here are the letters I wrote up for our game later this afternoon:

Pic: Low earth orbit pic with green borealis light glowing

Text: LOVE LETTERS

Dear Lup,
You've done violence all over the L.E.O. Are there any consequences waiting for you in Luna City? Roll +Aggro:
On 10+ Your violence benefited those in power.
On 7-9, Someone is pissed but they are in a compromised position; they still might take their shot if the opportunity presents itself.
On a miss, hoo-boy, someone is pissed and they are in a position of power.
.
Love,
The M.C.

I considered digging in to the fact that Lup stepped directly INTO the Psychic Maelstom during their time on Olde Earth but I’m going to be patient and let that Weird marinate a bit.

LOVE LETTERS

Dear Bastet,
You solved the jetpack pirate problem with jingle and no violence. How'd that feel?

It felt pretty good: Cool, take +1Forward when you try to solve a problem by using your words but take +1Damage if you get into a tussle because your guilt is going to put you in the line of fire.

Felt weak and dumb: Cool, take +1Forward when you do violence but take -1 when you try to Read a Sitch because all you see is RED.
.Love,
The M.C.

Low Earth Orbit

PIC: Earth from orbit with green borealis light glowing

Bastet made a decision that was not only interesting but a bit out of character. The surly operator who in the first session fired a weapon from her spaceship into a tea room on a satellite paid some jetpack pirates to stand down and hired them as muscle while she’s in Luna City.

So good.

Moves don’t need die rolls; I forget that sometimes.

We’re playing this game later this afternoon, 1pm EST. Join us in the chat if you’d like. Link under the image below.

Apocalypse World: Burned Over
Low Earth Orbit Index
https://githyankidiaspora.com/apocalypse-world-burned-over-l-e-o-index/

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Psychic Tiger Fodder Returns!

Psychic Tiger Fodder Returns!

This is an Into the Oddish game (chargen houserules here) using DNGN as the adventure. Jeb the footpad, Taki and Tabouli are now the adventuring party – Psychic Tiger Fodder (t-shirts available, all artist’s proceeds go to the World Wildlife Fund).

Into the
MEGA
Dungeon

with special guests
PSYCHIC TGER FODDER

The same trio could make it for our Thursday night game (a huge, for zoom, group that is usually made up of 6 + me). We continued with Psychic Tiger Fodder, hirelings stuck in the depths of a (mega)dungeon after the adventuring party that hired them were mauled by a psychic tiger. Jeb the Footpad, Taki and Tabouli along with Roddy the Shieldbearer and Gill the Wizard’s Apprentice. This time I remembered that Jeb has a domesticated mimic, a pet that he keeps as an extra enticing coin pouch on his belt. LINK: Previous session’s write up.

They went up a level this game and immediately levelled up without having to slow down the game (add d6 to hit points and roll d20 for each stat, +1 if you roll over). Easy-peasy. T asked if he’d eventually get Cleric powers from leveling, as his character was an Acolyte. I reckon we’ll get to level 3 (where Into the Odd tops out) and then figure out houserules for specialized training and the powers that might come with them.

Psychic Tiger Fodder logo with a blue tiger with red eyes and a blue and red lightning bolts and red and blue fire as a subject divider.

They mugged the bandits on level 5 but let them keep their daggers and half their gold. All things considered (they had hit Taki with their Wand of Paralyzation and demanded everyone’s treasure be turned over before the tide of the encounter turned on them), that was pretty reasonable. When the bandits went down a level (the Psychic Tiger Fodder are trying to go UP and outta here) they heard blood-curdling screams from the stairwell down and ignored it – moving on.

Psychic Tiger Fodder logo with a blue tiger with red eyes and a blue and red lightning bolts and red and blue fire as a subject divider.

They found a pile of detached thumbs with gold rings on them in a pile of bloody rags. The thumbs were fed to the domesticated mimic. Wait. WAIT! What is the pet mimic’s name? I must know. When they read off their list of treasures the gold rings are recited as, “The gold and wand we took from the bandits. And the gold rings we got off of those thumbs – probably cursed.”

NOTE: Sven is the pet mimic’s name. I messaged J, who plays Jeb the Footpad.

Psychic Tiger Fodder logo with a blue tiger with red eyes and a blue and red lightning bolts and red and blue fire as a subject divider.

Jeb’s elf-dagger got nabbed by a metal statue’s magnetic pull, sticking to the statue’s body. When Jeb tried to get the dagger back, the statue animated and knocked him unconscious and when he tried again, under cover of Roddy the Shieldbearer’s shield, it broke Roddy’s ribs. Reluctantly, Jeb left the dagger there. There was no talk at all of taking the statue on to get the dagger back. Would it have gone differently if more STRENGTH checks had been failed and more weapons were stuck to the statue? We will never know.

Psychic Tiger Fodder logo with a blue tiger with red eyes and a blue and red lightning bolts and red and blue fire as a subject divider.

Tabouli can see and talk to ghosts and so the dead gnome with a will-o-the-wisp eating its eye talked to him but didn’t take an immediately liking to him (failed WILL save). But when Tabouli asked if there was anything they could bring to the gnome ghost, Klambikurt (thank you, Fantasy Name Generator – Gnome Names), took a bit of a liking to him and told them that they weren’t 10 levels down but 3 levels down. Now they know how far they have to go.

Psychic Tiger Fodder logo with a blue tiger with red eyes and a blue and red lightning bolts and red and blue fire as a subject divider.

We ended with Psychic Tiger Fodder bloodied but still standing after Jeb took a while to pick a lock with an arrow and skeletons with sharpened fingers but no thumbs wandered in and were dispatched. We know, from Tabouli talking to a half-elf ghost that there is some kind of art in the room to the north that drove him mad. We’ll start, there, in Room 3F, next time.

Psychic Tiger Fodder logo with a blue tiger with red eyes and a blue and red lightning bolts and red and blue fire as a subject divider.

There is a kind of whimsy to it. It isn’t goofy but the situations and the things they run across bring a humor to it all, despite the fact that they are taking the premise seriously. I am going to have to think a bit about world building and what they are going to find if/when they get out of this dungeon.

Playing a game system that is dead simple with a dungeon zine that is SO EASY to read is a real pleasure. I’m really enjoying running this thing.

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Into the UVG: Caravans

Into the UVG: Caravans

IMAGE: Broken down rusted truck in a purple landscape with a blue hand buried in the sand.

TEXT: UVG/CARAVANS

This is the second blog post looking at Luka Rejec's psychadelic metal fantasy setting, UVG and the Black City, and using Chris McDowall's fantasy RPG, Into the Odd, as a foundation system to play in the setting. If any of this sounds interesting, please go grab the inspirational books above.
https://www.exaltedfuneral.com/products/the-ultra-violet-grasslands-and-the-black-city

After the blog post where I jotted down some thoughts with outlands coming to the Ultraviolet Grasslands, I thought futzing around with the Caravan Sheet from UVG with Into the Odd‘s War rules on page 40 would be easy but, like lots of game design, it wasn’t. I’ve got a working sheet and vague ideas about using tags like they are used in Apocalypse World. Meaning that, rather than keeping track of food and water, I’d use scarcity as fodder for failed rolls:

You navigate the prismatic maze but the truck is making a rattling sound the tech priest you hired says you’ll need to address at the next stop, if not before…

Or the tags will provide situation when folks are making decisions:

The shortcut will work but there is very little for the steeds to forage, so you’ll need to clear some sack space for extra food and if shit goes wrong in the emerald gorges, feeding them could be a problem.

Maybe the Caravan Leader’s WILL is the Caravan’s WILL. Their DEX is decided by their slowest pack animal and their STRENGTH by the levels of fighting folk willing to throw down to defend the caravan.

I’m not sure that this is something I’ll get to the table with the Thursday night group anytime soon but it is a fun idea to have in hand. We can figure out any holes in this these ideas.

My attempt to make the UVG Caravan Sheet my own.

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Reddit GM Advice: Sun-Killers, Skillshare with Strahd, & the B-Game

Reddit GM Advice: Sun-Killers, Skillshare with Strahd, & the B-Game

TEXT: REDDIT GM ADVICE THREAD

PIC: Reddit logo in front of Dice Envy's beautiful rainbow dice set.

I made a list of 3 GM advice subreddits called RefAdvice.

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