Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A&A Playtest: Comet Dungeon 1.0

Comet Dungeon 

Behind the Scenes

Now that both teams have completed the Comet Dungeon I can talk about the design of it.  As you may have noticed there is a lot of scribbled information on what originally started out as a turbine diagram with some op-amps thrown in.  The dungeon began with the final room and then moving back and filling out the rest for what would fit the theme.

The Massive Hexagon.

An old wizard had chained and bound an archdemon in this dungeon using a combination of magic and artifice.  The binding left him immune to harm and unable to physically harm anyone else.  Unfortunately for him like any good demon he worked a loophole into the binding that prevented anyone else from leaving the dungeon so long as ye olde archdemon was trapped there.  As a result all the living inhabitants were trapped there and the Wizards constant struggling with the confines of the spell eventually caused a combusting scroll that was his demise.

Before the Comet Impact this dungeon was hidden away and completely undisturbed before it tore four holes into the dungeon.  In addition to the three entrances to the dungeon (trapped front door, gelatinous cube chute, and lab entrance) there would be four more entrances to deposit them in the middle of the dungeon thanks to the comet shards.  The caveat of course is that the comet left plenty of space goop behind that loves to bind itself to metal.  Thankfully, each Team had someone who selected Piece of Ancient Tech: Hoverboard as a Relic so they could scout out these entrances.

Drop zone number one was in the Chimera room where undead servants, dipped in silver to prolong their wear and tear tended to the cages.  Some of them however were hit by space goo and act kinda crazy. The second drop zone is an actual triangular shard of the comet, each side is covered in a lesser spell [Dyne's Runaway Force, Mime's Imprisonment, and Telepathy (PSI)]; it is blocking a T intersection.  The shard is razor sharp and and rope spelunking down carries a 2/6 chance of slicing the rope and stranding them on one side of the T intersection.  Not only that but the goo-less path to the hole crosses over the hidden pit that drops straight into a Gelatinous Cube chamber.   The next hole is into a room with a single visible exit and a bunch of space goo that has completely covered a hammersmith automaton.

The biggest comet entrance was in the Demon's chamber, thirty feet of goo was around the massive hole so only the most ambitious would go storming in there.  The melting comet destroyed half of the bindings on the Demon giving him some autonomy, but still leaving him 50% invulnerable.  The Demon will telepathically call any that make it North of the blocked T intersection or who approach his room from the west.  Likewise, the comet site left a large black pyramid covered in potent Chronomancy spells near the demon.  Inside the pyramid is a dying alien who beseeches any who listen to enter the pyramid so they can enter into an agreement where he uses their body as a vessel (Introduction to the Avatar System).  Only those that have witnessed the non-euclidean geometry from the comet touchdown, from the dead wizards journal, or simply experiencing portal madness are susceptible to the aliens call.

The guildmaster Youjiro the Silent waits patiently in the Wizards false bedchamber ignoring the petulant demon and keeping an eye on the pyramid.  Also an Avatar, but his spirit comes from an ancestral magic sword rather than a space invader, he will attempt to slay any who emerge from the pyramid.  The stage is set, in the next post I'll tackle how the rest of the dungeon came to be.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A&A School of Spells: Lifa

A&A School of Magic: Lifa

The fundamental quintessence, Lifa, is what flows through all living things on this planet.  The blessed and holy among us are a conduit for it.  They can give life, offer redemption, and protect this worlds inhabitants from those who lost their lives and those that feast on the Lifa of others.

Grave of the Fireflies

Monday, April 7, 2014

Avatar's & Annihilation Playtest: The Forest of Plenty 1.1

To get to the Comet Site the party must traverse the Forest of Plenty.
Nicknamed on account of the bountiful wild game, brightly plumed birds, rare mushrooms and truffles.
The truffles of course attracted POrks (Pig Orks) which the local farmers are happy to be rid of.
Should be a cake walk.
S. Wift's boss, Reginald MacReynard gives him another special delivery.  A few gallons of honey directly to the UpBears known to wander those woods.
Tells him to sign up with one of the new explorer's guilds and watch out for the four existing leaders.
Conveniently the The OtherWorldly (TOW) Company ordered takeout prior to leaving at dawn.  
Stanley joins their group.  
The party sets off, close on the heels of Youjiro the Silent and Loose Legs ConBa and well ahead of Archibald the Luxurious and Anaheim the Industrious.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Avatars & Annihilation Playtest: Party Composition

First let's take a look at the party that's assembled.  I was surprised by how many Adventurer's the party picked up, the number of people that chose the Talent Attribute and all the love for Skytown.  Sadly no one was attracted to the Origin of Water, we'll see if that changes after a few inopportune poisonous deaths.   You can read up on Origin, Home Turf, and Etiquette over here.  The Fighter Archetype (and proficiencies to boot) are described in detail over here.  Gear and Relic descriptions can be found over here.  My notes don't cover all their choices so I'll be filling those in as time goes on.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Avatars & Annihilation Playtest: Forest of Plenty Adventure Setup

For me, one of the biggest attractions to the OSR was the wealth and reliance of random tables.  In my mind, part of the fun in running a game is figuring out how the absurd things you roll up fit into the adventure thus far.  As I eagerly await my hardcover of the Dungeon Dozen's release I constructed a few quick and dirty tables of my own as the party goes on their wayward expedition Chasing the Comet.
Between writing this draft this morning and publishing this joyfully arrived

Now for the meat of things.  Wilderness Encounters in Abjool's Forest, nicknamed the Forest of Plenty by the locals. The forest was full of wild game, brightly plumed birds, rare mushrooms and truffles. The truffles however, have caused a few bands of POrks (slang for pig orcs) to move in and some local farmers would be more than happy if they got rid of them.


While journeying through the presumably cakewalk forest each day the GM rolls two six sided dice and chooses one to determine results.  The party has seven days worth of supplies.  Each day the party stays in the forest add +1 to the roll, if they receive assistance from the SnobGoblins add another +1 and if any of the StarTouched (Probably Insane) party members ascend on high and glimpse the Stars (and the residual comet tail) add another +1.  The adventure hits the next focal point whenever any die reaches a 9+.

Origin: Etiquette & Profession

Where you grew up and the life you’ve led determines the types of circles you are comfortable in. People of each elemental origin typically have different customs and a member of the aristocracy from the land of fire may behave quite a bit differently from one from the water capital. Curiously, despite their distance people that share the same elemental origin also tend to share the same cultural quirks. We call this [Etiquette].

[Etiquette] is useful when interacting with people of that etiquette whether you are trying to curry favor or even trying to impersonate a member of that social standing. It also determines your starting [Contact], a person of similar etiquette and culture whom you trust that can supply you with favors or information. Everyone has an etiquette tied to their home turf, which will be divided by element and relative social standing. Different cities have different socioeconomic backgrounds; some have a large strata while others may be more homogeneous. Our social abstraction comes in nine broad categories listed below.