Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Planet Algol NPC Generation Preview PDF Generation Preview.pdf

The above PDF includes some tables and procedures from the Planet Algol booklet for generating NPCs.

You can consult the Algol Encyclopedia sidebar to the right for races, classes and so forth (aside from mutants...).

The appearance & traits material is currently far too shallow for display, and the NPC equipment generator is hampered by my inchoate technological and magic item resources.

The names lists are is desperate need of a ruthless go-over (and I should come up with another 200 or so).

This doesn't include all of the specific bits like "don't roll class for cactoids," "don't roll gender for Nire Witches" and the like, it's just a rough skeleton & guts document intended as a resource for NPC generation for oldschool D&D-style games.

I hope I can be forgiven the gender determination percentages, I went with 20% both for purposes of of genre emulation and as an artifact of the unfortunate social attitudes of the majority of Algol's an evil, dying world.

The NPC ability score arrays included are for the three classic classes. I started bolding ability scores of 8 or less and 13 or higher as way to quickly get a grasp of what that particular NPC is all about, ability-wise. The bolding is incomplete, I knock off a chunk here and there.

Hopefully portions of this document can be of use for some of your campaigns, and please let me know what you think of it!

EDIT: Regarding Lawful/Chaotic Alignment, use the following:

d6 Civilized/Lawful Regions
1-2 Lawful
3-5 Neutral
6 Chaotic

d6 Borderlands *
1-2 Lawful
3-4 Neutral
5-6 Chaotic
* Usually being an area surrounding civilized regions, settlements and strongholds for a few to several hexes dependent upon the size and strength of the settlement.

d6 Wilderness/Chaotic Regions
1 Lawful
2-4 Neutral
5-6 Chaotic

Monday, March 29, 2010

Musing on Magic & Technological Items

Traditionally in D&D & derived rpgs magic items and technological items are interchangeable. In a fantasy game what may be called a wand of fireballs, whereas in a sci-fi game an item with the same effect could be called an incendiary micro-grenade launcher (aside from the class requirements for many magic items in standard D&D).

In Empire of the Petal Throne the line is further blurred, with magical and technological items being treated interchangeably.

While working on the treasure & item material for the Planet Algol material, what really struck me is that many classic D&D magic items such as healing potions, flying carpets, wands of lightning and the like not only can easily be presented a technological items, but when their functionality and "reliability" are concerned they come across as virtual technological items. A magic-users suite of magic items could easily be some sort of advanced technician's supply of advanced equipment.

When one considers how magic items are treated in much of the "source fiction," they are generally more mysterious than D&D magic items. Enigmatic, possibly dangerous artifacts of lost-lost eldritch forces. Generally not the "utility items" that most D&D magic items are, but instead "Artifacts" similar to those of the Artifacts of classic D&D.

The conclusion I've come to while considering such matters is that in the Planet Algol setting as I present it, technological items generally should be the "generic, utility" items such as contragravity harnesses and medical nano-injectors whereas magical items generally should be "Artifact-ish." Powerful, mysterious items of legend such a the orichalcum encrusted skull of an ancient sorcerer infused with his knowledge or the ritual implements of an extradimensional sage.

My goal is to present an array of standard technological items as well as both a selection of example "weird, classic sword & sorcery" magic items and the tables for generating such items.

Now I would like to include some allowances for minor charms and amulets created by contemporary sorcerers, but I would like to avoid magic items being something that are created by nowadays sources, instead being the remnants of lost civilizations or from distant spheres and dimensions.

One motif in many science fantasy settings, such as China Mievilles Bas-Lag milieu (which is a big influence on Planet Algol), is techno-magical items. Although I enjoy the way such items are presented in the Bas-Lag novels, in my interpretation of the Planet Algol setting I would like to avoid such magitechnology, as I would like to keep magic items weird and mysterious, and also with access to technological items such magitech is somewhat redundant.

Monday Mutant Future "Artwork"

While looking through one of my tattered RPG-notebooks I found this depiction of a moment from my old Gamma World/Where The Wild Things Are crossover game. That guy's companions are really after him to start wearing pants...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Three Crucial Root Dungeon Design Texts & Saturday Night Specials

The Underworld & Wilderness Adventure, Dungeon & Dragons vol. 3
- "The Underworld," pgs. 3-8

Empire of the Petal Throne: The World of Tekumel
- "Developing An Underworld," pgs. 98-102

Europa fanzine, Issue 6-8/1975
- "How to Set Up Your D&D Campaign" by G. Gygax, pgs. 18-22

also recommended:

The Best of Dragon Magazine vol. 1
- Assorted articles

Of special note is the section in Empire of the Petal Throne relating to "Saturday Night Specials," pg. 100:
"Here too, the role of the "Saturday Night Special" cannot be overemphasized. Aside from the deliberately or randomly determined "normal" contents of Underworld areas, it is interesting to develop large complexes inhabited by special beings. These should have special histories, and players should hear legends of their existence on the surface. Their abilities and treasures should be individually devised, since these add interest and spice to the game..."
Not only is this rock-solid advice for classic megadungeon construction, but I particularly an enamored by the usage of technical dungeon design term of "Saturday Night Special."

Friday Night's Exquisite Corpse-Dungeon

As previously discussed, Friday night was spent having some drinks at Lester/B Portly's with Lester & Cameron. There was much discussion of dungeon design and the idea of doing an "Exquisite Corpse" dungeon map came up.

The above map was the product of such an exercise, the top section being Cameron's first ever dungeon map! We also did some round robin dungeon stocking, and we had a lot of fun. One of the goals was to show Cameron some dungeon design methods (we also hooked him up with some crucial dungeon design texts), hopefully he'll be DMing a dungeon soon and we're looking forward to some more boozy Friday night rpg collaboration efforts...such as finishing "Breeon's Exquisite Pit."

Still stoked on Punk...

Some Conventional Military Forces and Technologies of Algol Men

Arquebus - A shoulder-fired laser weapon with a heavy wooden stock. The lasing mechanisms are repurposed by specially trained Technocrats from Ancient technology. The ammunition for Arquebuses, known as Sabots, consist of canisters containing compartments of various highly reactive chemicals. These weapons are chemical lasers, using the energy from chemical reactions for lasing, and get one shot out of a single sabot. Arquebuses and similar energy weapons are uncommon, expensive weapons, usually the property of aristocrats. When common troops are equipped with such weapons, they are usually issued by a quartermaster immediately before battle and than locked up afterwards.

Armiger - An fighting man of the aristocratic castes, armigers are defined by their possession of a suit of advanced battle armor, usually of Ancient origin. This armor is usually a hereditary heirloom, although they are sometimes granted along with title by nobility. Such armor that is taken from defeated armigers is often ransomed back it's armiger's house for substantial sums. This armor is usually very elaborate, full-body articulated plate, often decorated in a baroque fashion. Armigers are usually armed with firelances and Ancient or phasic swords, and usually fight mounted on heavily armored destriers such as heavy war lizards. As well as serving as officers, units of armigers are often used as shock troops to break enemy formations and artillery as well as heavy foot in the vanguard when breaching fortification. Mercenary, non-aristocratic armiger-equivalents are called Free-lances.

Babooneers - The handler of a small packs of large, trained, semi-intelligent baboons armed with clubs or light maces.

Dart Pistol - A spring-loaded pistol that holds three flechette-like darts in a revolving cylinder. A long lever mechanism mounted on the top of the barrel is used to open the dart chambers and reset the springs.

Firelance - A combination weapon consisting of a long shaft with a spear like head as well as a plasma emitter barrel, the trigger for which is usually part of a pistol-grip like assembly. Firelances are usually made by Technocrats from repurposed Ancient technology, although there are surviving Ancient firelances as well. Ancient firelances are powered by radiation crystals whereas contemporary versions use chemical sabots similar to those used by arquebeses.

Fusil - A lighter, 'carbine' equivalent of the arquebus.

Jezail - A laser weapon similar to an arquebus, but with an unusually long barrel and a highly curved stock. It is usually fired with the aid of a forked rod used to steady the barrel, but cavalry sometimes fire them while mounted with the stock tucked under the arm and held against the body. Jezails are especially prized by some nomad peoples.

Zorselars - Light skirmishers that ride Zorses (without saddle, stirrups or bridle) but dismount to melee. They are usually clad in quilted or mail coats and fight with scimitars and spears.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Stoked on Punk, Stoked on Life, Stoked on Friday, Stoked on Dungeons

"that's right, if you’re a badass, whiskey is a fucking healing potion."

Tonight's plan involves some hanging out and drinking at Lester B. Portly's pad, with one of the players in Sean/Dudebird's and I campaigns, Cameron.

So I got it in my head this morning that we should make a dungeon while getting drunk! As Cameron has expressed interest in running a game in the past (but unfortunately he spends a lot of time on the road for his job, which has belayed such wishes), Lester and I may be teaching him how to make a dungeon!

I've got some extra rulebooks gathering dust for Cameron as well, hopefully all goes well and he'll soon be dungeonmastering!
Bonfires burning bright
Pumpkin faces in the night
I remember halloween

Dead cats hanging from poles
Little dead are out in droves
I remember halloween

Brown leafed vertigo
Where skeletal life is known
I remember halloween

This day anything goes
Burning bodies hanging from poles
I remember halloween

Halloween, halloween, halloween, halloween

Candy apples and razor blades
Little dead are soon in graves
I remember halloween

This day anything goes
Burning bodies hanging from poles
I remember

Halloween, halloween, halloween, halloween
Halloween, halloween, halloween, halloween

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Encounter Critical/Mutant Future/D&D "Artwork"

These are some doodles I did over a year ago during the wait for a D&D session to start. I was also thinking about post-apoc & science fantasy, the line of thinking that eventually led to Planet Algol. Wes/Fat Cotton stole my Psychic Bear! I dig how happy missile dog looks, I think he'd be a good sidekick.

Doctor Scale Mail always packs heat and wears his armor vest and rubber boots while working in his lab just in case. Dual-wielding a shotgun and spiked bat does no good against Viper Plaskin slitting your throat. Too bad rat-man didn't smell his cigarette before the attack.

Robotcop PUNCHING THE FUCK OUT of a Martian Tripod?

The text says "Gargantuan Shrimp" in my pathetic scrawl. That saucer-clam looks smug!

Pete: "The guy on roller-skates (actually rocket-skates) looks like a dad!"

There's more than one way to fry a chicken...

One of my (former?)players was not happy when attacked by sand-sharks, "This is stupid!"

Oh no...not the baby!

He looks determined..but inept.

I would not fuck with these two without good reason!

During my 4E Weird Western D&D game, I made a point of describing Dwarves as looking like muppets and walking like Alf...

That's one happy looking giant snake! During the first AD&D Planet Algol game I used this picture to illustrate the fate of a vs. poison is a real mother at 1st level...

EDIT: The below video fits the theme and is awesome, dig those elbow nail-spikes!

Celebrating Frog Week - Glen Danzigbatrachia

"This just reminded me about the halloween session we played a couple years back where the only music was Misfits & Danzig. Good times."
- Sean/Dudebrid
In honor of American Barbarica's Frog Week I present the following NPC for your campaigns...
(actually I was just grasping for an excuse to post more Danzig videos...)

Glen Danzigbatrachia
(oldschool version)
13th level Neutral Evil Frog/Cambion Magic-User (with unarmed attack abilities of a 13th level Monk)
Hit Points: 76
STR: 18/99, INT: 16.66, WIS: 16.66, DEX 16.66, CON: 18, CHA: 25
Magic Items:
Black sleeveless "Robin Hood" shirt that protects as +3 plate.
Badass gloves loaded with evil lead powder, allows Glen to make unarmed attacks as if his fists are +3 weapons
Inverted cross/horned frog skull amulet that allows Glen to control all female Devils and Demons on his current plane of existence, and also allows him to "cavort" with them without any risk of level drain or disease.

Glen Danzigbatrachia (contemporary version)
1st level Evil Frog (believes he is a Frog/Tiefling) Infernal Pact Warlock
Hit Points: 33 or some other ridiculous number
STR: jiggling, INT: questionable, WIS: does not know when to give up, DEX: falls off stages easily, CON: glass jaw, balding, CHA: pathetic, hair plugs
Daily Power: Jump ship to industrial/goth sound
Encounter Power: Lose voice and get audience to cover for it
At Will Powers: Jiggle, Breath Heavily, Tolerate Nu-Metal
Magic Items:
Shirt made out of pantyhose or black rubber, grants -3 on reaction rolls from fans of classic Danzig material.
Drum machine, ensures all musical output sucks.

NOTE: Although Danzig doesn't have much to do with D&D (aside from Metal!) the older material perfectly straddles the line between "Awesome" and "Ridiculous," in the same vein of Encounter Critical and the like as evidenced by the below videos:

(Years ago I went through an "Obsessed With Danzig" phase where I tried to use Danzig lyrics in everyday conversation as much as possible, for example when a friend asked "How was your date last night?" I'd reply "Pretty good, I slept under Her Black Wings if you know what I mean...")

(Back in my "Single Young Man On The Prowl" days I would listen to this song before a date to GET PUMPED! I'm going to stop now with these pathetic anecdotes...)

Every Danzig Video features "Evil Hoochie Mamas!" From the comments: "Wow, a black demon chick!"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Steve Zieser Subject of Successful Cloning Program...

...and by that I mean that I get a creepy deja vu when looking at this recent example of Fat Cotton's Artwork, I would have sworn it was a piece by Steve Zieser!

American Barbarica is a pretty Awesome-Stupid blog, and as a fan of Character Portraits-Regardless of Artistic Merit, I am thinking that we all can use more Cellphone Pictures of Character Sheet Portraits.

Although I'm all about "Weridsciencefantasyplanet" right now, there's a couple of blogs that have been doing Yee Olde Traditionyl Phantasie Lande style stuff with an approach I find fresh and exciting. I love the Scurrilous Dung Ages vibe of what I've been seeing of Middenmurk, which achieves the miracle of Making Me Like Halflings. I also adore Ancient Vaults and Eldritch Secrets, which always makes me think of old disney movies on acid! And as a former victim of the "Making the Perfect Fantasy Earth Campaign Setting" obession/madness, it's great seeing that the Tao of D&D is doing exactly that with proper obsessiveness.

Also, I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who already misses Chgowiz's big shiny head. There was a lot of practical oldschool D&D advice/theory on his blog which will be sorely missed...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Correction, Fat Cotton Fantasy Artiste and a Memorial Tribute

Yesterday I wrote a post about a "Stupid" moment in my game. I should have used the term "Absurd," as in "Coen Brothers-esque Sublime Absurdity." I certainly don't want any of my players operating under the misapprehension that I consider them or our game stupid in any derogatory sense. Often I use the term Stupid to refer to RPG matters in the Jeff Rients-ien fashion:
Stupid games do not take themselves seriously. PCs can die horrible deaths and other grim stuff, but that horrible death might involve being eaten by a horde of zombie chickens. Big dice charts, such as wandering monsters or random mutations, are often associated with this style of game. Most comedy games fall into this category, as do all the good versions of Gamma World. The new editions of Paranoia and WFRP look pretty Stupid to me as well.
Some of my favorite rpg moments have to be when events devolve into beautiful absurdity, and I would never want to discourage players from attempting crazy plans. I heartily approve of improvised sound effects! (and now we know why a cape is worth being on the equipment buying lists!)

As well, I would be remiss to not mention that talented surreal Planet Algol-related illustrator Wesley Fat Cotton now has his own blog to display his artwork.. Although it is slim on the content, it is also new, and hopefully some of you folks in need of an artist for your creative madness will find his style suitable for your project, especially as I know that he is eager to work with some of you crazy internet rpg types!


03/22/2010 - NEVAR FORGET!
The drama is over (Drama Explanation Here!), folks are actually communicating instead of flaming each other, but The Old Guy RPG Blog is Gone! I'm not going to speculate or comment on why Chgowiz withdrew from the community, but I really dug his blog (the solo games with his wife always gave me the warm fuzzies "What A Great Loving Couple!") and I'm sad to see it go. I am also sad that The Tomb of Hulkasarag/The Land of Two Rivers ancient Mesopotamia oldschool D&D project is apparently dead as a would have been a perfect companion to Ancient Kingdoms: Mesopotamia. There would have been no "Black Ziggurat Madness" without Chgowiz either!

Good luck and best wishes to will be missed.

Monday, March 22, 2010

One Of The Stupider Moments of Yesterday's Game

The Party bickers a while before settling on raiding a nearby tower with the intent of slaying it's masters and taking ownership of the fortification.

The party had previously raided the tower, slew the guardian beast, trashed the living quarters, and stole 7,000 gp and five bottles of expensive Earth Whiskey. By now the tower masters had hired some guards from their nearby allies

While the party observes the tower at dawn they see a group of soldiers from the nearby allies of the tower-masters visiting the tower at dawn to perform a changeover of the garrison of hired guards.

During the night they invisibly snuck up close to the tower and sent the thief to scout it out.

I make a roll on my Random NPC Trait table, to determine the "personality" of one of the guards, and come up with the result of "Does not travel during the night due to fear of Nightgaunts."

Improvising with these factors I tell the thief that he hears someone saying "I wish they didn't make us travel to the tower before sunrise, we could get taken by Nightgaunts"

Another Voice: "Don't be ridiculous, that's never going to happen. Do you know anyone who has seen Nightgaunts?"

"We don't know anyone who has seen a Nightgaunt because they come for you in the dark, and besides once you see them it's already too late!"

"You're a fucking idiot, do you know that! Shut up and listen for intruders."

The thief returns to the party and they discuss how they could manipulate the guard's fear of Nightgaunts to their advantage.

At this point my mind starts racing as I imagine the players coming up with some madcap scheme involving improvised nightgaunt costumes, illusions, sound effects, tickling and I get really excited and maybe even pee myself a bit.

The entire party attempts to invisibly sneak up on the tower.

One of the guards: "We can hear your armor intruders! Go away, there's lots of us and we're well armed!"

One of the players to me "I take out my waterskin and shake it..."

Me: " shake your waterskin?"

The player "It's the only thing I have that I could flap to make the sound of a Nightgaunt's wings. I wish I had a cape..."

Me: "Your waterskin..slooshes."

The Guard to another guard: "I hear them drinking water!" to the party "Yeah, well we've got water too! Fresh, purified water that's way better than your water!"

Sunday, March 21, 2010

OSR Drama and Killing Your Players WIth Insect Warfare and Bathory

There's not many communities where death metal fans, pastors, academics, law enforcement personnel, bong enthusiasts, punk rockers, parents, lawyers, and the like are all having a mutually respectful dialogue while communicating with and learning from each other. There's no reason to start driving divisions into this community.

I have been musing recently about how things have been too good in the OSR community; things have been running too smoothly; folks have been getting along; the community has been growing. Of course some clusterfuck has to come rolling down; getting people agitated; picking sides; pointing fingers.

It makes me sad. One of the things I really appreciate about this OSR blog community is that I get to exchange thoughts and opinions with the sort of folks I would ordinarily never have a dialogue with.

This community is The Baby. This current drama is the bathwater.

Anyways, it's Sunday, I'm DMing, and I'm jamming some ripping tunes in order to get pumped for the arterial spray and shredded brain matter...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday Saw-Bearifying

Courtesy of Robin Ruddock, Jeff Rients and Dilvashti the Carrion Sculptor is the "Saw-Bear," former guardian beast of the Tower of the Twin Sky Masters.

As an aside, it is very gratifying to see that Lester/B. Portly, the "Erol Otus" of the trio of core Planet Algol artists, has been doing some work with other fellows of the OSR. I encourage anyone with a need for quality fantasy art to contact Lester/B. Portly, "Sutherland"/Robin Ruddock or "Trampier"/Fat Cotton, and commission their considerable talents for your project.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Unintentional Typo May Be An Improvement Over Original Concept

While working on the NPC generation section of the Planet Algol booklet the following error in an entry on the NPC trait table jumped out at me:
18- Is obsessive in checking campsites, bedding, books and the like for poisonous vermin.
In oldschool D&D land that actually makes sense, nevermind the comedy potential *Hireling knocks book found in dungeon out of sorcerer's hands* "You fool, check it for poisonous vermin first!"

Also: Lester, he of the awesome Planet Algol artwork & Carcosa box sets, collaborated with some of the contributors for the current issue of FIGHT ON!, and issue #8 includes two pieces of his work. Here is a teaser he just sent me:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dilvashti the Carrion Sculptor

Dilvashti the Carrion Sculptor
A centuries-old Angallan Sorcerer, Dilvashti looks like a handsome young Angallan Man and dresses in simple brown or dark red robes. He is charming and personable, and is also a master of reworking creatures, both with mechanical components and the limbs, organs and sundry other body parts of other living things. He does a brisk trade in gladiators; concubines to suit the most twisted desires; guardian and war beasts; and any other variation of repurposed creature there is a demand for. Rumors speak of him having contacts across the continent in all strata of society as well as distant spheres worlds such as The Changers of The Metal Earth, Vog-Mur The Necromancer Of Athanor, and possibly others? Dilvashti has a workshop and laboratory complex located in the subterranean regions of Pit, guarded both by his own creations and the community itself, which depends upon him to provide specialized mining labourers.

Exquisite Corspses - Why Isn't Anyone Talking About This? and Giant Arms

No, I'm not talking about an artistic arrangement of mangled dead adventurers, but instead the Awesome Looking New Project Coming Soon From Stefan Poag, "Exquisite Corpses"

1) It looks to be the next incarnation of the Esoteric Creature Generator, which is pretty cool as multiple random monster generators are far more random than a single random monster generator.

2) The artwork is geared towards 'adults.' No, we're not talking about porno here, just some tasteful T & A and eyeball boners, like the stuff you see everyday in the right sort of underground comics. As an adult, I applaud this strike against kindergartenization/conservative chickenshithood. As someone with a juvenile sense of humor and a dirty mind, hot snake women with boobs and crabmen with eyeball boners never fail to put a smile on my face!

3) The Esoteric Creature Generator is pretty ace, but sometimes the results are pretty inchoate, it's looking like Exquisite Corpses may produce "quicker, simpler" results, and it's nice having multiple options for your random monster creation!

I am very, very stoked by the preview artwork and am looking forward to Exquisite Corpses

Also: How Did I Miss This?!?!

My Boxed Set Has Arrived!

Oh sorry, not the Swords & Wizardry boxed set (although I do want one of those!), but one of Lester/B Portly's Authorized Limited Edition Carcosa Box Sets (#4 out of 10)! It's missing Fungoid Graden of the Bone Sorcerer and Obregon's Dishonor on account of me not owning copies of either (I'll buy them soon).

All of this awesomeness is in addition to printed digest sized copies of Encounter Critical and Savage Swords of Athanor courtesy of the same madman...I can't wait until he does a proper Encounter Critical boxed set!

Lester always had great ideas and advice for the Planet Algol gaming & publishing endeavors, I couldn't imagine gaming without him after only a few months of him at the table, and hopefully someday he'll help me produce something really special...*

* (sorry, I feel douchey being all coy about a great idea, but nobody we know of has done this and it's so obvious once you think of it...)

Apologies for the crap photos, I couldn't find the "good" digital camera and I'm in too impatient today to muck about taking good photos and photoshopping them.

Aside from the "object fetishism" of this boxed set, it's actually quite practical. I can throw my copy of Savage Swords of Athanor, digest-sized Swords & Wizardry Monster booklet, and one of my playtest-draft copies of Planet Algol 1 into the box, and I have a complete tiny package of gaming goodness (One of the Carcosa booklets is the "Men & Magic" section of the Swords & Wizardry rules) that I can take anywhere, perfect for vacations, long car rides, lunch breaks, whatever.

I am now an eminently portable dungeonmaster!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Stellar Luminous Tablet

Said to have belonged to a powerful sorcerer from beyond our galaxy, this rectangular tablet is composed of a slab of shining crystalline white mineral that is always cold. It bears two columns of angular sigils, one column beneath a crescent-glyph and the other beneath a circle-glyph. This tablet has often been sought by alien beings trapped on Planet Algol seeking a means to return home.

Level 8
Gatewalking (from Ancient Kingdoms: Mesopotamia)
Lunar Attraction (from Eldritch Weirdness)

NPC Generation Table Test Results & Planet Algol NPC Alignment Generation Tables

Prung Vorka, Neutral 2nd-level Sage, Shuzakh Man (hairless with skin like a fire newt, black eyes)
Terrible facial scars, one eye, will never betray or abandon an ally.

Kathudi, Chaotic neutral 9th-level Thief, Dhazzi Man (bronze skin and eyes, metallic green hair)
Always has bare arms, is convinced that supernatural forces meddle in his affairs.

Hazarash, Chaotic neutral 6th-level Sorcerer, Kherulhi Man (blue skin, hairless, black eyes)
Wears simple undyed robes, laughs at very inappropriate moments.

Yurud, Neutral 6th-level Sorceress(!), Haasht Woman (jade finely scaled skin, lavender hair, iridescent copper eyes)
Is short and slim and often mistaken for a child, is convinced that she will die soon.

Drekken, Neutral evil 1st-level Assassin, Mhoght Man (purple fine scales, black bushy hair and beard)
Wears a bronze circlet, knows the location of a hidden treasure.

Although I'm biased, I'm digging these results. When I read Drekken's entry an entire plot jumps into my mind! Young, beginning Assassin, finds treasure map, recruits party to aid him, but plans to reward them with murder! (but will likely be way over his head, which is exactly the sort of black comedy I enjoy...)

Kathudi seems suitably "roguish" and both Hazarsh and Yurud fit the bill as eccentric sword & sorcery spellslingers.

Thinking about Drekken and his map brings to mind the treasure map rules in the 1st edition DMG. As I already have several hidden treasures secreted about the Planet Algol sandbox, perhaps I should have allowances for finding specific treasure maps on the Special/Magic/Technological Item treasure table I'm also working on for the Planet Algol booklet. "A holographic crystal shows three red men burying a chest beneath a distinctive rock formation in the Lands of Purple Grass..."

Thinking about how to handle ability scores, three options come to mind. As I'm aiming for this to be "scalable" NPC generation, with different levels of detail dependent on what is desired, this is pretty much a perfect number.

Option A - Ignore Them. They're NPCs, 90% in oldschool D&D they don't even have any mechanical effect, easy enough.

Option B - Standard 3d6 roll, with simple rearrangement allowance dependent on class such as "if a Fighter's strength is their lowest stat and also below 9 switch it with something better"

Option C - Tables of 100 pre-rolled sets of ability scores. One for Fighting-Men, one for Sorcerers, and so forth. Seems like a bit much at first blush, but the more I think about it the more it actually makes sense. This is exactly the kind of resource I want available when I'm DMing.

Here's the tables I'm using for NPC alignments.

d6 Law-Neutral-Chaos
1-2 Lawful
3-4 Neutral
5-6 Chaotic

d10 Good-Neutral-Evil
1 Good *
2-6 Neutral
7-10 Evil

* Originally a result of 1-2 gave a result of Good, but Planet Algol is a wicked, decadent, grasping world...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Earthmen Through Time And Space, Another Black Ziggurat and 200 Algol NPC Names

Another stellar illustration by Lester/B. Portly, depicting some Earth Men adventurers.

Another manifestation of the Black Ziggurat, Zikkurath Nacaal of the Weirdlands of Quantique. I have to say I have been consistently pleasantly amazed by the varied evocative creations, all of which have stirred my imagination!

As well, here is the rough draft of the Planet Algol NPC Names Tables with 200 names.

d% Names A

01 Accoli

02 Adar

03 Agadhur

04 Aigutt

05 Akhar

06 Anhar

07 Arashan

08 Azor

09 Barzul

10 Belziel

11 Berelzeg

12 Bhairgar

13 Bodrept

14 Bretar

15 Brivshtalki

16 Ceptid

17 Ceigu

18 Chered

19 Chothron

20 Chlun

21 Corzen

22 Cregal

23 Cuthel

24 Dalvintor

25 Dhormilhon

26 Dhomon

27 Dogen

28 Drekken

29 Duruk

30 Dzur

31 Elkond

32 Erech

33 Ereshtal

34 Ereveshti

35 Erlebpt

36 Erlen

37 Estash

38 Ezenzanzir

39 Fakharr

40 Fastyd

41 Fazilaztizar

42 Fengid

43 Ferlix

44 Filyk

45 Frotang

46 Frung

47 Garash

48 Gazid

49 Gerid

50 Gilganghar

51 Gilscomar

52 Goryx

53 Gotrug

54 Grothath

55 Harack

56 Hazarash

57 Helziar

58 Heptar

59 Hmid

60 Hobab

61 Hostinalda

62 Hymvigar

63 Ibkhan

64 Ikhvindhar

65 Ikang

66 Illyx

67 Inconju

68 Ingik

69 Iug

70 Ivort

71 Izbaraz

72 Jashar

73 Jashish

74 Jervandy

75 Jeryk

76 Jherent

77 Jhoghovahr

78 Jleb

79 Jozub

80 Kalmor

81 Kangu

82 Kathudi

83 Kothron

84 Krazid

85 Kreshk

86 Krishk

87 Kristoresh

88 Kurrash

89 Kvek

90 Lared

91 Lhomak

92 Lhoxid

93 Lobhar

94 Lomthar

95 Mnelg

96 Mozug

97 Mrok

98 Murruk

99 Mykorg

100 Mynodar

% Names B

01 Myzin

02 Namthar

03 Nazzid

04 Nizyk

05 Nlub

06 Noxor

07 Nrulluk

08 Nupt

09 Olog

10 Olopt

11 Oolbaz

12 Oraz

13 Orek

14 Orupt

15 Oxichultid

16 Ozmul

17 Pazl

18 Pixid

19 Porid

20 Poropt

21 Pothron

22 Prangl

23 Prezud

24 Prung

25 Quezarch

26 Quezed

27 Quilx

28 Quixid

29 Qulung

30 Quomoth

31 Quomung

32 Quox

33 Rashathan

34 Relmixian

35 Rexid

36 Rhagud

37 Rodan

38 Rothmhor

39 Rozuth

40 Rugr

41 Shangotar

42 Silik

43 Skozid

44 Slex

45 Slindar

46 Sond

47 Stromar

48 Strolp

49 Terex

50 Thanzun

51 Tleck

52 Tomakh

53 Torpt

54 Trokar

55 Turthen

56 Turug

57 Undziel

58 Ulthro

59 Ulzabhar

60 Umed

61 Ung

62 Uptar

63 Urrik

64 Uzash

65 Vand

66 Vexid

67 Vokud

68 Vorash

69 Vorka

70 Vrastl

71 Vrodar

72 Vroomish

73 Vulk

74 Wegred

75 Wezed

76 Wrast

77 Wohan

78 Wolkang

79 Woxithar

80 Wulyst

81 Wurxyd

82 Xarnagan

83 Xazyk

84 Xolchan

85 Xulmog

86 Xereyk

87 Yared

88 Yemyr

89 Yesh

90 Yetysh

91 Yillig

92 Yotrebdt

93 Yurud

94 Zakiel

95 Zarred

96 Zekariel

97 Zerash

98 Zokk

99 Zond

100 Zulish