Monday, August 14, 2017

even more player-created content for Vaults of Vyzor

Unfortunately, August Aronsson, who played as Belisarius Grouse, has had a schedule change that precludes his participation in future delves into the Vaults.  So he is kindly donating his notes on the first level of the Citrine Vault.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Check this out!

Cool guy Perttu Vedenoja made this awesome Vaults of Vyzor infographic!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Magic Meryl's Map

Courtesy of Nick Kuntz, here's Magic Meryl's map of the Azure Vault.

Vaults of Vyzor, session #12


I love how Meryl's
tights and hat match.
Persimion of the Second Smile, fighter (Galen Fogarty)
Magic Meryl, magic-user (Nick Kuntz)
Arthur, dungeon terrier (NPC doggie)
Poor Brother Rupert, cleric (NPC hireling)
Merrill Meadows, fighter (Michael Julius)
Willy Whats-His-Name, 0-level Loser (NPC hireling)
Chef, chef (Richie Cyngler)

'Tis a sad day at Castle Vyzor for two reasons.  First, neither Poor Brother Rupert nor Willy Whats-His-Name made it out of the Vaults alive.  Second, no one scored any treasure, and no one had the spare cash to carouse.  All anyone knows right now is that the party went in via the Verdant Vault, and the survivors exited via the Azure Tower, covered in blood and gore and apparently psychologically scarred for life.



Willy Whats-His-Name (0-level Loser)
Rose Royce (Kiel Chenier)
Poor Brother Rupert (cleric hireling)
Sneakerly Trull (Zak S.)
unnamed serving boy (0-level hireling)
Ilse Raagenkampf (Perttu Vedenoja)
Gwalin Rustbritches (dwarf hireling)
Persimion Finch (Galen Fogarty)
Jarrod the Magic-User (Ian Reilly)
Magic Meryl (Nick Kuntz)
Jonesy (0-level NPC)
Merrill Meadows (Michael Julius)
Little Liam Linkboy (0-level NPC)
Chef (Richie Cyngler)
Limpy the Naileteer (Jeff Call)

Engsal the Enchanter (Alex Joneth)

Elfbraham Lincoln (Jeff Call)

Littlens (0-level NPC)

Biggens (0-level NPC)

Stimpy (0-level NPC)

Ren (0-level NPC)

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Join the Red Dragon Fighting Society today!

So this is an experiment in extending the random character generation concept to include prestige classes.

Red Dragon Fighting Society training

If you can find one of Archduke Jackal's rogue dojos and have a thousand gold pieces burning a hole in your pocket, then you too can learn the exquisite art of kicking butts and taking names.  After completing the initial training, you get one roll on the table below.  And you get a cool embroidered patch like the one pictured in the ad, suitable for sewing onto your denim jacket or wizard hat.  Displaying the patch gets you +1 reaction rolls from fellow Society members, but -1 reactions from other monks and martial artists, who tend to view the Archduke as a huckster ruining the reputation of the fighting arts by half training a bunch of dangerous amateurs.

After the initial training, you may also use this table any time you level up in lieu of one (just one) of your normal advancement rolls.

01  You get nothing.  Maybe this Kung Fu stuff is bullshit after all.
02-15  You get better at fighting: +1 to hit in melee only.
16-19  You toughen up: +1 on all saves.
20-24  You learn the art of being punched and not flinching: +1d6 hit points.
25-28  You get some basic weapon training.  Roll d6 for the particular weapon.
    1. dagger
    2. hand axe
    3. polearm (choice of polearm if that matters in your game)
    4. spear
    5. staff
    6. club
You get a damage bonus with the weapon rolled equal to your level.  If you don't have basic proficiency with the weapon, then you gain that but only get half your level (round up) as a damage bonus.  Should you roll this again and the d6 turns up with the same weapon, your damage bonus advances to your new level.
29  Anime Leap.  If at the start of combat the distance to your nearest foe is 10 to 30 feet away and the
ceiling is at least 10 foot high, you can leap/charge at your foe.  If you hit, they take triple damage.  If that kills them, any friends of theirs must make an immediate morale check.  Reroll if you get this result again.
30  You get stronger. +1 Strength, up to your racial max or the max in your system.  Reroll if you are already at maxxed out Str.
31-38  Your unarmed attacks become deadlier, following this progression d4, d6, d8, d10, d12 damage.  Reroll after you get to d12.  If you want to be any deadlier than that with your fists, then you should have became a proper Monk.   
39  You get some exotic weapon training and a set of weapons to go with.

    1. Pair of Sais: attack twice per round (no penalty), damage as per daggers, +1 Ac for each sai (i.e. +2 ac when using the pair.) 
    2. Pair of Nunchuks: attack twice per round (no penalty), damage d6 each, but if you roll a natural 1 to-hit you whack yourself
    3. Advanced Quarterstaff Technique: You get d4-1 staff attacks per round, if you roll a zero you spend the round parrying instead, +3AC when that happens 
    4. Katana, motherfucker!  If you wear no armor and use no shield it does d20 damage!  Holy shit!  Under any other circumstances it is just a sword.
    5. Shuriken.  Each one has the range of a thrown dagger and does d3 damage, but you can throw as many in a round as your level plus Dex bonus (min 1).  You get the family pack of 20 throwing stars.
    6. Chainwhip thingy: d6 damage, melee with foes up to 15' away, pull Indiana Jones style whip tricks 
If you roll this result more than once, reroll the d6 until you collect all six skills.  After that, reroll the percentage dice if you get this result again.

40  You become more nimble.  +1 Dexterity, up to your racial max or the max in your system.  Reroll if you are already at maxxed out Dex.
41-44 You are getting good at spotting opportunities for kicks and punches.  Any round you are in melee, roll a d6.  On a 1 you get an extra unarmed strike.  When you roll this again, increase the range for extra attacks.  E.g. someone who has rolled this 3 times has a 3 in 6 chance of getting an extra unarmed strike each round.  Some cheater who has rolled this 7 times always get an extra strike each round and has a 1 in 6 chance of getting another one.
45-46  You know how to roll with the fall.  You take no damage from falls of 10' or less, including getting knocked down in combat, throws from horses, etc.  You take half damage from falls of up to 30' feet.  Additional rolls of this item add 10' to the no damage range and 15' to the half damage range.
47-48 Ghost Punch Style.  Your unarmed attack can affect creatures that are only vulnerable to silver or cold iron.  If you roll this again, you can punch creatures that need +1 or better magic weapons to harm them.  A third roll allows you to pummel monsters needing +3 or better as well as ethereal and otherwise nonmaterial foes.  Reroll this result after the third roll.
49  You become hardier.  +1 Constitution, up to your racial max or the max in your system.  Reroll if you are already at maxxed out Con.
50-51 Dang, you're fast.  +10'/round to your base movement.
52  Your devotion to kung fu brings you closer to the natural world.  You can speak with animals once per day.  You may have one question-and-answer exchange for each level of experience you possess.  Reroll if you get thus result again.
53-54  Under a situation where you can save for half damage and dodging could be the reason why, you instead take one quarter damage when you save.  If you roll this again, a save now indicates no damage.  Rolled a third time and a failed save does only half damage to you.  Reroll if this item comes up a fourth time.
55  The inner machinations of your mind have been transformed into a beautiful lotus jewel, dazzling to others.  Any time someone tries to read your mind or use any psionic funny stuff on you, there is a flat 50% chance it will fail.  Reroll this result if it comes up again.
56-58  Any time you make a successful unarmed attack against a foe with a functional brain and the to hit roll is 19 or better, they are stunned for d6 rounds.  Every time you roll this, the stun range becomes one wider, going to 18+, then 17+, etc.
59-60  You reflexes become catlike.  When the surprise dice indicate the baddies have the drop on you, you get a Wisdom roll to act anyway.  Reroll this result if it comes up again.
61-62  Crouching Tiger, Hidden Parkour.  One a successful Dex check you may run up to 30' straight up a wall and over obstacles and junk.  Reroll this result if it comes up again.
63 Hadoken! You can now summon and shoot blue balls of kung fu energy.  The range is 60' and they do 2d6 damage to one target.  It takes a full round of spellcaster-like concentration to summon one and you have to roll to-hit.  +1d6 damage for each subsequent reroll of this item.
64-65 You so regulated your metabolism that neither haste nor slow spells affect you any more.
66  The next time you score a critical hit  (or natural 20 to-hit if your DM doesn't use crits) you may opt to rip out your opponent's heart and show it to them before they die.  You may do this only once.  Obviously, this will only work on certain kinds of creatures.
67-68  Mr. Miyagi hands.  You may heal yourself or someone else once per day for d6 hit points, though critical strikes and other special effects are not cured.  Subsequent rolls increase the die size of the healing to d8, d10, d12, d20.  Reroll this result after that.
69-79  Ki shout.  Once per session you may begin a combat by shouting "Hi-YAH!" or some other nonsense.  The enemy must make an immediate morale check.  The roll is at -1 if you have just charged them.  Reroll this result if it comes up again.
80  Elegant Step.  When you opt to exit melee no one gets any sort of back attack as you withdraw.  Reroll this result if it comes up again.
81-82  Now you are the sensei.  You may train all your henchmen in any one other thing you have rolled on this chart.  Reroll if you are rolling on this chart for the first time or otherwise have nothing to pass on.
83-85  Trip and throw specialist.  Any time you roll the exact number you needed to hit a foe in melee, they are also thrown to the ground, provided they are no larger than man-sized.    If there is a ledge or vat of acid or something handy, you can make a Dex roll to drop them into it.  Roll this result again and you can throw anything ogre-sized or smaller.  A third roll allows you to throw any foe smaller than the universe.  Reroll after that.
86  Pick an object, any object that is not normally thought of as a weapon and wouldn't normally do a lot of damage.  A quill, for instance.  Or a spoon.  That kind of object now does d8 damage in your hands.  Pick another object if you roll this again.
87-88  Shattering strike.  Once per session you can punch any single, non-magical wooden object to a gazillion splinters.  Great for that one dungeon door no one can open.  Roll again and you can also do that with non-magical metal or stone.  Rolled a third time and you can affect magical objects as well.  Reroll this result after that.
89  Stooge Fu: Once per combat you can do the ol' double eyepoke.  If you hit the foe takes normal unarmed damage and is incapacitated for d4 rounds.  Doesn't work on anything you can't eyepoke, either due to lack of eyes, too many eyes, or too widely spaced eyes.    Reroll this result if it comes up again.
90-92  You may bat away normal non-magical thrown and missile attacks by saving versus petrification.  If you roll a 20 for the save, you snatch the weapon out of the air and throw it back for an immediate counter-attack.  Cool!  One a second roll of this item, you can also bat away stuff like catapult stones and cannonballs.  Reroll this result if it comes up again after that.
93  Kip Up.  Any time you are prone you may make a Dex check to stand up and still act in that round.    Reroll this result if it comes up again.
94  Inner Peace.  By meditating you can rest and recuperate twice as fast as normal.
95-97  You get better at dodging blows.  Your AC is +1 when unarmored.  Each subsequent roll you can opt for another point of AC or expand it to include leather, then chain, then plate.  By multiple rolls you can eventually end up with +5 unarmored, +3 in leather, +2 in chain, or +1 in platemail.  Past that, reroll if this result comes up again.
98  Omae Wa Mou Shindeiru.  After any successful unarmed strike you may declare the foe "already dead."  They then take your choice of the worse (higher) of two d20 rolls in damage or your pick from two throws on your DM's handy crit chart.  You may do this just once.
99  Crane Strike.  Once per combat you can spend a whole round entering the Crane Stance.  Your next unarmed strike is against Ac9 [10], no matter what sort of armor or Dex the foe possesses.  Only Ac bonuses from cover or concealment apply.
100  You grow more wise.  +1 Wisdom, up to your racial max or the max in your system.  Reroll if you are already at maxxed out Wis.  If you ever reach 18 Wisdom using this method of advancement, you realize this whole amateur chop socky scene is a bit rubbish.  You may never use this chart again.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

random advancement half-elves

So this works a little differently than the other random classes, as it does not involve a die new chart.  I'll add this and the half-orc to the master file after a few days of feedback.


To play a half-elf you must roll at least a 9 Charisma.  You must then make... the Choice of Elrond and Elros [insert dramatic musical sting here].

Option 1: a humanish elf

If you have at least an Intelligence of 9, you may opt to play using the Elf class as your basis.  Build a normal first level Elf.  Every time that you level up you will make one random advancement roll for every spell slot you would gain under the standard BX-type rules.  Here's the deal though: the first advancement roll you make for each new level must come from the random chart for any human class of your choice.

If you add a spell slot from the Cleric chart (or any other non-MU spellcaster chart), then you gain spell slots for that class.  By rolling on the cleric chart, you're signalling that your PC has found religion in much the same way that choosing the Anti-Paladin chart would say something important about your character.

If your new level entitles you to more than one spell slot, make all additional advancement rolls past the first one on the Elf charts.

Option 2: an elfish human

Pick any human class as your base.  Your are that class for all intents and purposes, save when you are entitled to a random advancement roll.  Your first roll each new level must come from the Elf advancement chart.  Subsequent rolls use your normal class chart.  If the Elf chart grants you a spell slot and your base class doesn't use spells, follow the progression for the Elf class.  I.e. your first such roll gets you a first level Elf spell.  Your third grants you a second level spell.  The first time that happens, you get whatever sort of starting spellbook your are entitled to under your ruleset and add spells as normal.

Note that Half-elves made under this option do not speak Elvish unless they take it as a bonus language due to Int, are vulnerable to ghoul paralysis, can be slept/charmed, and must follow the armor & spell rules of their base class.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

how to be a half-orc

So this is an attempt to use the Random Advancement system as a method for implementing new races.

The Half-Orc

In order to play a half-orc roll up stats and pick one of the human classes: Warrior (fighter), Wizard (M-U), Thief, or Cleric.  If you have at least a 9 in the Prime Requisite for the class and a Charisma score of 12 or less, you can opt to play a Half-Orc of that class.  You can do the same for Zak's Barbarian class, but you need a Str and Con both of 9 or better.

Every time you are entitled to two or more rolls on the advancement charts, exchange one of those rolls instead for a roll on this chart.  Initially, you won't be much different from a human of your selected class, because you get no starting half-orc abilities.  But you will eventually grow into your half-orciness.

01  You get nothing.  Being a half-orc really sucks sometimes.

02-25  You get better at fighting.  +1 to-hit.

26-47  You get better at not dying.  +1 to all saves.

48-52  You get better at taking a beating.  +1d6 hit points.

53-66  If you belong to a spell casting class then you gain a spell slot as normal.  If not, you gain the ability to tell enemy spellcasters to get bent:  You can shrug off any one incoming magical attack or effect.  If it is an area effect it can still affect others around you.  This ability works just once.

67  Thick skull.  Any time you would be knocked out by a blow to the head, killed by a head critical, etc., you get a saving throw versus Death Ray to avoid it.  Reroll if you get this result again.

68-69  You lose one point of Charisma vis-a-vis humans, demihumans, faeries, angels, and other such good guys, but gain +2 points of Charisma when dealing with monsters and bad guys.  E.g. if you had a 9 Cha and rolled this, your Charisma is now 8/11.  If you drop below 3 Charisma you can no longer find any place in polite society.  If you gain 18 Charisma with respect to monsters, you find yourself propositioned regularly by all sorts of horrible creatures.  Reroll if this result would lower you to zero or raise you above 18.

70-71  Master of ambushes.  Any time you have the advantage of surprise a natural to-hit roll of 20 will outright slay any foe that possesses internal organs/that is subject to critical hits.  If you roll this again your 'ambush range' becomes 19-20, etc.

72  You can declare one magic weapon, shield, suit of armor, or helmet to be made by the Orc Wizard-Smiths of Old, providing the provenance of the item has not already been established.  This item can now be used by orcs and half-orcs of any class and the DM must roll on the Miscellaneous Magic charts to give it additional powers that are only usable by such characters.  You may make such a declaration only once.  Reroll if you get this result again and have not used it yet.

73-74  The next time you fight a bunch of humanoids of bugbear size or less, you can recruit the sole survivor of the encounter .  You know, that one remaining baddie that always causes arguments about whether to kill them or tie them up or whatever?  That dude is now your loyal henchweenie.  Use the figher charts to track XP for them (assuming a 2 hit die gnoll is a 2nd level fighter, for instance), except for kobolds, xvarts, and goblins.  Treat them as 1st level thieves.  You can reuse this as many times as you reroll this result, up to your Cha limit for henchmen.  Reroll this result after that.

75-76  Orcs are fierce.  Orcs are violent.  Orcs are mean.  Orcs are also incredibly lazy.  Any time you have to do a non-combat task more complicated than digging a ditch, make an Intelligence check to find a way to get it done for less effort.  Reduce the time on task or the materials needed by 50%.  Reroll if you get this result again.

77  You have found and mastered a legendary Orcish Double Axe.  You may attack twice per round for
normal battle axe damage each time, but at -2 to-hit for each attack.  If rolled again, you lose the penalty.  Reroll if you get this result a third time.

78-79  Where there's a whip, there's a way.  Any time someone beats you with a whip, you take no damage.  Instead, you become invigorated as if you had an 18 Constitution for purposes of initiating or staying on some arduous task.  Reroll if you get this result again or if you already have an 18 Con.

80  Given an armful of old leather, scrap metal, and bits of wood, you can put together a suit of improvised armor.  You need one turn to make the equivalent of standard leather armor, 6 turns to make the equivalent of chain, and 3 days to make plate.  Any sort of critical hit, a blow by something of giant strength, or a fall of greater than 10' shatters the armor.  Reroll if you get this result again.

81-82  Half-orcs tend to make their way through the world by walking on the corpses of their friends.  You may save your bacon from death, level drain, or any other imminent doom by allowing another PC to take the fall.  This can be used in any situation where cleverness and treachery can be brought to bear.  You can do this only once, but once is enough.

83-85  Your beady little eyes have adjusted to the gloom of dungeons.  You gain 60' infravision.  If you roll this again you gain +1 to any sort of search check (such as finding secret doors, locating traps) when in the twilight world below the surface.  Reroll if you get this result a third time.

85  You're so resourceful and vicious in combat that nearly any object is a deadly weapon in your hands.  It will do d6 damage with no to-hit penalty and can probably be thrown like a hand axe.  Every time you do damage with it there is a 50% chance the item breaks.  It will take you a whole round to retrieve another object.  Reroll if you get this result again.

86-87  Once per session you can consume the flesh of any slain enemy except undead to regain d6 hit points.  This horrid feast takes 1 turn and freaks out most non-orcish NPCs in the party.  Increase die size to d8, d10, d12, and d20 with subsequent rolls.  Reroll if you get this result again after that.

88  You get some wicked sick tattoos and/or ritual scarring.  Humans, demi-humans, and humanoids of bugbear size or smaller are -1 morale when facing you in melee.  Other than orcs.  They might dig the ink, but they aren't scared of it.  Reroll if you get this result again.

89  You know how to talk to monsters.  If you don't know orcish, you gain that language.  Otherwise pick any monster tongue.

90-91  Your hide grows thicker and maybe a little greener, too.  +1 armor class.

92  You gain the ability to fashion a cup out of the skull of an enemy you have slain.  This requires a
sharp tool, 100gp in materials, and 8 hours of chanting.  If you pour a potion into this cup then drink it, the duration of the potion is doubled.  Instantaneous effects like healing are not altered in any way.  If you pour poison into the cup you save at +2.  The skull can be used a number of times equal to the hit dice of the creature.  Half or partial hit dice don't count.  (Only wimps drink from kobold skulls.)  You may only have one such cup at a time and the powers work for no one else save a blood relative.  Reroll if you get this result again.

93-94  You gain +1 Con.  If you already have max Con, add it to Strength instead.  If you already have maxed out on both stats, then up yours.  You get nothing.

95 Everyone knows that dungeon doors hold some sort of animus against surface dwellers.  That's why monsters seem to be able to open them easily but PCs have to roll.  You confuse doors.  +1 to Open Door rolls.  Reroll if this would take you past a 5 in 6 chance to open.

96-97  Your let your wild side out.  Roll on the Barbarian chart.  If you already are a Barbarian, roll twice and take your pick of the two.

98-99  Those fangs aren't just for show.  Once per combat you may surprise a foe with a bonus bite attack.  You get +2 to hit and do d4 damage (plus Str bonus, if any).  Reroll if you get this result again.

100  The taint of chaos grows inside you.  Roll on a handy random mutation chart.