Sunday, August 20, 2017

Insano-Libs Random Cleric Advancement

So here's an attempt to do random cleric advancement that tries to account for the vagaries of worshiping a variety of weirdo gods.  It's a step above the first random chart I made for clerics, and hopefully less time-consuming than writing a chart for each faith..  All first level clerics are the same as normal (hit dice, weapons, armor, saves, no spell, turn undead).  For each spell slot you would normally gain via leveling up, roll on the chart below.

Basically, you define each god using 20 parameters:
[1st level cleric spell] - You know how 3e clerics can burn spells to power healing? This is like that only you can choose a different spell that's more appropriate. You can ignore the "1st level" or "cleric" designations if you want to, but don't over do it.
[location] - A place where your god has slightly more power/your cleric has slightly stronger faith.
[Lesser Miracle] - Some miscellaneous power, roughly equal to a 1st or 2nd level cleric or MU spell. If it's weak, designate it 3x a day (or at-will if it is really puny), otherwise list it as a daily power.
[Greater Miracle] - These can be as powerful as you want, but if they are really potent set them at once per session or just one use period.
[weapon] - The weapon used by clerics of this faith. If you have no idea, just select mace.
[enemy] - a group, race, or species loathed by the faith
[basic lore] - something many clerics of this faith know. Like many clerics of the god of blacksmiths know how to make stuff out of iron.
[secret lore] - a more advanced knowledge, or something actually secret, maybe even something campaign world important
[ritual activity] - something that clerics can do that would take maybe a single dungeon turn that would look pointless or dumb to non-believers but imbues the cleric with a little extra holy power
[object] - something material that is holy to the faith but not an actual holy symbol (like the chalice used at a Mass)
[ally] - a group that has good relations with the clerics of the god
[class] - a non-cleric class somehow relevant to the god. If you're using the DDG, check what class besides cleric the god has the most levels in. That's probably what you want.
[servitor] - whatever fulfills the role of angels for this god
[color or symbol] - a thing that a cleric could see that would fill them with renewed zeal
[clothing] - some sort of holy garb
[animal] - literally what sort of pet the god could send to a cleric
[element] - the force, energy, or element by which the god can smite enemies
[food] - something the cleric can hand out to allies, like communion wafers or witch's brew
[taboo] - something the cleric can do to cheese off the god
[time] - a part of the day, week, month, or year sacred to your god

Two things to keep in mind when setting this stuff up for your gods: It would be easy to overdo this stuff. Try to keep in mind the relative power level of your deity, especially when setting the two Miracles. Also, try not to be too consistent when developing this profile. Religions often look like nonsense to the outsider. A little inconsistency actually makes a faith more plausible.

I made a Google Form for this process, which dumps the results into a spreadsheet. I already put a handful of gods there to serve as examples of what I have in mind. Please consider using these docs so everyone can have access to a collection of ready-made cleric options. And if anyone knows how to do a mail merge in GDocs, let me know so we can output individual charts for each god.

(BTW, the Great Cosmic Flailsnail is a newly declared god. Zak almost stumbled across Its existence back in 2011, but he didn't realize that the titanic polyhedron he was describing was the shell of a multiversal snail-entity.)

Anyway, here's the chart:

Insano-Libs Specialty Cleric Advancement

Start with a normal undead-turning, no-spell-at-first-level cleric.  All acolytes of all faiths operate exactly the same under this scheme (except for those badguy clerics who can Cause Light Wounds and Recruit Undead).  Advance hit points, to-hits, saves, and turn undead normally.  For each new spell slot you would normally gain, roll on the following chart instead.
01-05  You gain +1 to hit instead.
06-15  You gain +1 on all saves instead.
16-62  You gain a spell slot as normal.
63-64  Your ability to Turn Undead increases by one level.
65-67  You gain the ability to convert one memorized spell per day into [1st level cleric spell].   If you don’t have any spell slots yet then you gain that spell as a daily power.  If you roll this again, you can convert as many spells as you want into [1st level cleric spell] (or you gain 3 per day usages, if you still have no spell slots).  Reroll this result after that.
68  When standing at [location] you feel the power of your god flow through you.  Make a Wis check every time you cast a spell there.  If you succeed, you do not lose the memorized spell.  If you roll a “1” you channel too much divine energy and take 1d6 damage for each level of the spell.  Reroll if you get this result again.
69-71  You gain the ability to [Lesser Miracle].  Roll again if you get this result a second time.
72  You gain the ability to [Greater Miracle].  Roll again if you get this result a second time.
73-74  You get better at wielding a [weapon].  If you are not proficient with this weapon already, you gain proficiency with it.  Otherwise, you gain +1 to hit and +1 damage with that weapon each time you roll this result.
75-77 You can turn [enemy] once per day, using the nearest equivalent hit dice undead on the Turn chart.  If you get this result again, your ability to turn that kind of creature goes up to 3x per day.  On a third roll, you can make as many attempts to turn [enemy] as your level (min 3).  Reroll this result after that.  Note that this ability is always standard Turning Away, even if you are one of those badguy clerics who normally Recruit Undead.
78  Fanatical Followers: Any henchmen or hirelings you obtain who do not already have a strongly documented faith gain +2 morale from your contagious religious fervor.  Reroll if you get this result again.
79-80  You gain the knowledge of [basic lore].  The DM may require an Int roll to take advantage of this.  On a second roll of this result, you gain the knowledge of [secret lore].  Reroll if this comes up a third time.
81  No more than once per session (sometimes it may not be practical) you can perform [ritual activity] and immediately refill your empty spell slots.  Reroll if you get this result again.
82  When holding aloft a [object] dedicated to your god (which you can achieve with a simple bless spell), all attempts at turning are at +1 on the turn and number/hitdice turned rolls.  If you roll this a second time, the hallowed object also functions in your hands as a bludgeon against [enemy], magically +2 to-hit and doing 2d6 damage, but there is a 50% chance at the end of the combat that the object falls to pieces.  Roll again on the third or subsequent occurrence of this result.  
83  Declare a Crusade: Pick a single species of monster or other type of foe that really cheeses you off. You cannot select [ally], [class], or [servitor], though you can declare a crusade against a group that a minority of these might belong to.  All your party members are +1 to hit and damage against your declared foe so long as you are standing with them.  If you choose [enemy], the bonus becomes +2.  This works up to and including massive army scales.  You do not get the bonus.  If you get this again you must declare a new crusade against someone else.  The old bonus no longer applies.
84  The mere sight the mark of your god fills you with hope.  Once per session when you happen across [color or symbol] in the course of play (i.e. you can’t stage it), you can either regain a single used spell slot or heal yourself of 2d6 damage.
85  When wearing [clothing] you are +2 on all saving throws.  A second roll makes you +4 and a third +6.  Reroll after that.
86  You gain a pet [animal].  On a second roll of this result, you gain the ability to communicate with any [animal] as well as any monster similar to it.  On a third such roll you may attempt to charm any [animal] or any monster similar to it once per day.  Reroll after that.
87  Once per day you can channel the power of your god into a burst of pure [element].  It does 2d6 damage to one target, no to-hit roll needed, at a range of up to 60’.  For each memorized spell you burn, you can add 1d6 damage or add another target adjacent to the first.  Only those diametrically and cosmically opposed to your god are allowed a save for half damage.   Among mortals, only enemy cleric and (anti)paladin types normally qualify for a save.
88  Pilgrimage: The thing you seek, the MacGuffin or whatever, is located in the tomb of a saint nor more than 4 play sessions away.   You must have a fair shot at it--like any other treasure, but there's no guarantee you will get it. If you don't get it by the fourth session you can keep trying or let it go and roll again on this table. However if you choose to roll again and then you do get the thing somehow anyway, you lose whatever gimmick you rolled. The DM must think up some clever reason why.
89 Holy Consumables.  You may begin each adventure with [food] imbued with the power of any first level cleric spell of your choice.  Whoever ingests it can use the power of the spell.  You have as many portions as your current level.  If you roll this again you may select a second level spell instead, etc.
90  You get +2 saves versus [element].  A second roll of this grants you the ability to take no damage when a successful save results in half.  A third roll make save-for-half situations into save-for-none/take half damage if the save fails.  Reroll fourth or subsequent occurrences of this result.
91  If you personally witness someone violating your faith’s taboo of [taboo], you are +2 to-hit them in melee and they are -2 to save against any spells you throw at them.  However, if you witness party members or other allies doing the same thing then your cure spells will no longer work on them.    Reroll if you get this result again.
92  Future Saint: The site of your death becomes holy to your faith.  No [enemy] may enter there and fellow adherents who rest here regain spells in half the usual time.  Oddly, this still applies if you are resurrected or raised (don't tell the pilgrims).  Reroll if you get this result again.
93 You gain a spell slot as usual AND a bonus slot of the level below it.  If you were rolling for a first level slot, you gain two first level slots.
94  Timing is everything.  When it is [time], your spells take effect as if you were 2 levels higher or you get +2 on dice (such as Cure Light Wounds).
95-96  You gain an acolyte (1st level cleric) as a free henchweenie.
97  You gain a spell slot one level higher than you were rolling for!  However, if you ever violate your faith’s taboo of [taboo], you lose that spell slot forever.
98 The next time you find a magic [weapon] or [object] of unspecified provenance you can declare it a minor relic of your faith.  Any cleric or adherent of your faith can use it, despite class or other restrictions.  Furthermore, roll once on a random potions chart.  In the hands of a cleric of your faith, it has that potion ability as a daily power.  Work out with your DM how bad potions like poison or delusion work to the benefit of the user.
99 Roll on the chart for the [class] class.  If that chart does not yet exist, roll on something similar (e.g. use the Thief chart if directed to a non-existent Assassin chart) OR roll on the Miscellaneous chart.
100  When you are really in the soup you can call on a [servitor] to help you.  It will perform one service on your behalf, subject to DM interpretation, or join in a single combat.  You can call on the creature but once.  Reroll if you get this result again and have not summoned the servitor.  (I.e. you can't bank more than one divine bail-out.)

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Vaults of Vyzor, session 13


Rose the Trash Elf Burglar (Kiel Chenier)
Pokey the Giant Porcupine (pet)
Bufo the Wizard (Makali'i F)
Magic Meryl (Nick Kuntz)
Arthur the Dungeon Terrier (pet)
Ilse Raagenkampf, LotFP specialist (Perttu Vedenoja)
Chuckles the Crypt Cockerel (pet)

After consulting Perttu Vedenoja's wonderful infographic, the party opted to take a stab at the relatively un-explored vaults below the Rosy Chambers.  The Chambers serve as the private pleasure dome of the Sorcerer of the Blue Mask and many debaucheries were witnessed en route to the dungeon below, including something involving the recreational use of Evard's black tentacles and someone they were convinced is Santa Claus on holiday from the North Pole.

Rose's bit of mapping
This party absolutely wrecked the goblin guards in the first room, as well as the goblins and their bugbear boss in the adjacent barracks.  They actually make friends with Beefo and Bafu, the last two survivors of the group.  The party finds out from them that the goblins in the Vaults are on the verge of extinction, as they were slaughtered and the survivors enslaved when the Orcs of the Red Hand took over several upper levels.  Beefo was later slain in a surprise attack by a pair of wandering silver shag monsters.

In a northern room the party found a corridor that seems to connect the Rosy and Citrine Vaults.  They also found evidence of green slime on the level, in the form of dehydrated trace slime, like it dried out and died for want of some fool to drop down on.  Poor green slime.

Later the party met a friendly mysterious monk wearing a patch indicating his membership in the Red Dragon Fighting Society.  He shared both his rations and many clues about the dungeon:
  • nearby, a manticore guards the stairs down
  • the boss of this level is the Duke of Ghouls and he has a bunch of gold
  • the third level of the Citrine Vaults is home to a Secret Dojo of the Red Dragon Society
How truthful any of this stuff may be has yet to be determined, though Chuckles the Chicken did suggest that some sort of big solitary monster is located where the monk said the manticore is.

Turns out this monk is an evil S.O.B. and his wine was poisoned.  Bufo the Wizard blew his save and succumbed to the poison well after the party ended its delve.

Magic Meryl's map.
I don't have my map in front of me, but I think something doesn't look quite right south of that oblique corridor.

Ongoing Roll of the Dead

Bufo the Wizard (Makali’i F)
Beefo the Gerblin Drinking Buddy (NPC)
Willy Whats-His-Name (0-level Loser)
Poor Brother Rupert (cleric hireling)
unnamed serving boy (0-level hireling)
Gwalin Rustbritches (dwarf hireling)
Jarrod the Magic-User (Ian Reilly)
Jonesy (0-level NPC)
Little Liam Linkboy (0-level NPC)
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)

Bafo the Friendly Gerblin inherited
all of Bufo the Wizard's stuff

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.