Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Updated Layout For Gorgon Trail TROIKA! Backgrounds

Found myself fiddling around a little bit with the Layout for the Gorgon Trail TROIKA! Backgrounds.

The document itself has been updated with a few more Backgrounds. Hoping to finish this up soon. To view the living document, use either the above link, or this link to the previous post.

Here's a quick preview of the latest layout styling:

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

TROIKA! Backgrounds for Gorgon Trail

Psst...I’ve started whipping up 36 Gorgon Trail Backgrounds for TROIKA!

This is a living document, that I’ll be adding to as I get some free time, so check back for updates!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Return Of The Mountain Hexes I

I decided to take a bit of a breather from the foliage of the Forests for some fresh Mountain Air. Alpine terrains are always interesting to me and were even the first terrain I tried tackling with this project, so it’s wonderful to return to these stony slopes.

Here's a brief breakdown of the contents of this draft:

  • Help for Hikers: An ancient stone walkway
  • A Mountain Lake, devoid of life
  • A Scenic Way-Shrine
  • Some distinctive, finger-like Formations
  • Rabidly foaming Rapids

I’ll have to brainstorm on some supporting generators for Mountains (akin to all the material I’ve whipped up for Trees/Plants/Herbs), maybe a Mountain Range/Prominent Peak name generator would be useful. As always I welcome any ideas for these in addition to feedback!

These Mountain Hexes as part of my ongoing Wilderness Hexes project (browse the hexes tag on this blog for more).

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Tex-Crawl/Gorgon Trail Backgrounds & Vocations

One of the first things I like to do these days when I’m contemplating Settings is to start with player facing materials.

For the Tex-Crawl project, Gorgon Trail (a Mystara-sytle Gazetteer for fantasy Texas) I went ahead and created an updated “Backgrounds & Vocations” list that tries to do some of the heavy lifting to communicate setting during Character Generation:

Ideally, as with the previous Backgrounds, these should create more questions than they answer and telegraph more of the entire world more quickly than a huge setting dump. It is also interesting to see which Backgrounds/Vocations are broadly applicable despite the setting, and how a simple tweak can completely change the tone.

The actual Gazetteer is going on 36 pages so far, and the sections on some of the really intriguing things (like how Clerics are handled, Rune-Branding, Barbed-Wire Wizards, and Hooch Magic) have been completed in their draft forms. It’s all very tongue and cheek, and the authorial voice/heavy use of idiomatic expressions is having the strange side-effect of my latent accent creep out in conversation :). I’m having to resist the urge to just go full on TROIKA! with these Backgrounds instead of something broadly compatible with B/X.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

These Dwarfs Are... (d100 Table)

I’ve managed to somehow saddle myself with yet another project that I’ve been spending some spare time on. This one’s taking shape as a Mystara-style Gazetteer for a Fantasy Texas (tentatively calling it the Gorgon Trail Tex-Crawl). It’s fairly tongue-in-cheek, but it’s proving to be a fun distraction.

But I’m still hoping not to neglect this blog, so here’s another quick d100 Activities Table to liven up encounters (random, wandering, or otherwise) with Dwarfs this time. It could serve as a companion for the one I previously put together for Wood Elfs.

Feel free to browse the d100 label for similar tables I’ve posted in the past, and as always I love hearing about how they work out at your table.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

d100 Table - One Hundred Unconventional Potions

When it comes to Magical Potions (or any magical items really), I’m particularly fond of effects that are less “duplicate an existing spell or class ability” and more “can this lead to potentially interesting or creative use later in play.” It tends to turn the more expendable gimcrack into something just a little more magical, a tad mysterious, and slightly special. It can also lead to some sensational surprises down the road when a player realizes they have “just the right tool for the job”, or better yet: something that should work with a little strategic modification to “the plan”. So, with that said, here’s a new random table of One Hundred Unconventional Potions to sprinkle throughout your heaping hoards, devilishly determine the perils of potion miscibility, salve the sting of adverse alchemical errors, or any other use that might strike your fancy. Some are strange, some are probably too powerful, and as with anything here you may need to season to the tastes of your table or your particular flavor of fantasy.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

d100 Table - Three Hundred Smells & Scents by Type (for Yoon-Suin or anywhere really)

Foraging through a few orphan folders, I found another d100 table that has been languishing at the end of some content on my Yoon-Suin Resources page and decided to whip it into a single-page for more convenient use. Although I believe it was originally designed to assist with navigating city-blocks in Yoon-Suin, I frankly feel that this could be helpful for a variety of situations that need a little nose, even if does err a little on the exotic.

We often default to stressing sight and sound impressions when describing things, but a gentle reminder to remember how things and situations smell never hurts. It’s worth considering adding a trigger for this to an Overloaded Encounter Die/Wandering Monster Check, and I’d love to see more adventure authors use a little 👃 icon and a concise olfactory fact occasionally in their room descriptions. Odors can be a wonderful shorthand for the evocation of all kinds of memories and can easily trigger unexpected routes of play. They can also serve as a method of navigation for when the last torch sputters out: This is the room that smelled like eggs? OK, I think there’s a door to the left that leads to the one that smelt more like burning books. Or if you’d like, they can be used in conjunction with some other generators, like my Herb & Plant Generator or even to apply a bouquet to potions (I try to keep taste/smell/appearance consistent for identification purposes).

My hope is that even just having some potential smell inspiration ready at hand could help spur an occasional reminder to add a soupçon more sensory substance when describing a scene.

Hope this ends up passing the sniff test! If you feel that something a little more “traditionally vanilla” fantasy would be more useful, just let me know!