Oct 16, 2014

Hirelings in Necrocarcerus



This is straight from the Necrocarcerus House Rules Document 1.1 (to be finished much more promptly than 1.0 was). I chipped a bunch of it from Courtney Campbell, though I believe Heads Will Be Splattered is a unique and original adaptation of Shields Will be Splintered by me.

Hirelings

Hirelings are distinct from servants and specialists, who will assist PCs with tasks for a fee, but will not join them in peril. They are unable to accomplish anything requiring more than cursory attention or effort without the direct supervision of a PC.

Roll
Type
1
Murderous Cretin
2
Jaded Thrillkiller
3
Death Cultist
4
Misguided Friend
5
Duped Novice
6
Inhumanoid Bravo
7
Rambunctious Drunk
8
Free-Spirited Golemic
9
Unreliable Gadabout
10
Impulsive Familiar
11
Self-absorbed Penitent
12
Unwholesome Mystic

Hirelings in Combat

Hirelings do not attack or defend on their own, and enemies will not normally target them. Instead, hirelings add +1 per hireling to a PC’s attacks and AC as they assist in distracting, confounding, and otherwise bedeviling opponents.

Heads Will Be Splattered
Hirelings may be sacrificed like shields and hats to absorb hits targeting a PC. A hireling who absorbs a hit is killed. A hireling receives no benefit from a shield or hat of their own.
Compensating Hirelings
A typical compensation for hirelings is ½ share of the treasure accumulated on the adventure. Some hirelings may demand other, even more unpleasant, rewards for their assistance

Hirelings will expect PCs to provide them with any specialised gear or mounts, and to cover any fees they incur.

Recruiting Hirelings

Hirelings cannot be recruited through normal channels as they, like the PCs, do not participate in the labour market. They must be found while adventuring and persuaded to join the party.

Oct 13, 2014

Necrocarcerus: The Rules

The Necrocarcerus House Rules Document is complete!

Download the rules from this link. It's a 651 KB PDF file.

The Necrocarcerus map is available from this link. (1.77 MB JPEG)

With these house rules and a copy of Swords and Wizardry Complete you should be able to create and play a character in Necrocarcerus. Necrocarcerus is a Flailsnails game though, with dead or living Flailsnails PCs welcome to adventure within.

I appreciate any and all feedback on it that people want to give. Anyone who wants to play in the Necrocarcerus game, which will be running biweekly on Saturdays at 9am EST starting this Saturday, is welcome to find me on G+ and let me know so they can be invited.

Oct 11, 2014

A Miscellany of Rules for Necrocarcerus

Some rules from the Necrocarcerus House Rules document, and a table governing available phone plans in Necrocarcerus. The first rule is on lighting:

"Light sources with a radius shine good lighting in a circle out to their distance, and shine dim lighting out to twice that distance. Cones shine in a 45-degree arc with good lighting out to their distance and shine to twice that distance with dim lighting. Beams shine on one object that they are pointed directly at with good lighting. They may be pointed at another object with an action. Someone with a beam pointed at their eyes counts as blinded."



Type
Cost
Wt.
Light
Time
Bullseye Lantern
50
H
20m cone
4 hrs.
Glow Button
250
L
40m beam
Infinite
Rushlight
1
L
2m radius
1d4 turns
Safety Lantern
50
H
10m radius
4 hrs.
Waterproof Torch
5
-
10m radius
6 turns
Underwater Flare
5
L
2m radius
1 turn

The next two are on readied items and encumbrance:

"Ready items may be drawn and used in a round without expending an action. Stowed items require a round to dig them out for use. An item is readied or stowed depending on what container the PC has it in. Armour or items that a character is wearing (i.e. hats), and items they are holding in their hands always count as readied."

"PCs can carry a number of heavy items (H) equal to their Strength score freely. 1000 obols, 10 light items (L) or 5 medium items (-) can be bundled up into 1 heavy item. PCs carrying up to 2x their Strength score are encumbered and cannot run or use their hands. (NP) items cannot be carried."

Containers
Cost
Capacity
Items
Backpack
10
8H
Stowed
Bandoleer
5
4L
Ready
Chest / Coffer
75
60H
Stowed
Frame Pack
50
12H
Stowed
Purse
1
1-
Stowed
Quiver
10
6L
Ready
Sack
1
3H
Stowed
Scabbard
1
1H or 1-
Ready
Scroll Case
10
2L
Ready
Utility Belt
15
4L + 1-
Ready
Webbing Belt
25
8L + 2-
Ready

And on phone plans:
Plan
Cost / Mo.
Abilities
Basic
50
Phone Calls; Texts; Clock
Premium
100
+ 2m beam Light; Camera; Calendar
Super
150
+ Video; Conference Call Hosting

All costs are in obols.

Oct 5, 2014

Adventures in Necrocarcerus

Courtney Campbell is taking a short break from Numenhalla, which means I will be taking over the time slot (Saturday mornings 9am EST on Google Plus) to run Necrocarcerus.

In the Necrocarcerus campaign, after all other book-keeping is done, play begins with the PCs selecting one of four possible motivations for this week's adventures, depending on the style of play and adventure type they want. Once the motivation is selected, I select / roll up the adventure they will be going on as a result.

PCs may be deluded by the Confabulations of Lunatics, going on site-based adventures.

PCs may be restless, reckless, and On the Lam, going on hexcrawls, pointcrawls and overland adventures.

PCs may fall prey to the Whims of Maniacs, receiving task-based quests to accomplish for patrons.

PCs may make Poor Life Decisions, pursuing their own agendas and finding themselves in hot water.

As a sample of what these mean, I will list one rejected result from the list for each:

Confabulations: " A strike by rail workers leaves the PCs at Ottavo Station in the Far Lands. They hear of the fearsome Pyramid of the Adamantine Rat a day's journey away on foot. A guy handing out maps to tourists tells them of the ancient cult that built the Pyramid, and their fabulous alchemical wealth"

On the Lam: 'After being permanently banned from the Last Teahouse in the Far Lands for excessive revelry, the PCs find themselves on the edge of town. The rail line stretches off far to the west, while a sign saying "Forbidden" points down a muddy path through some ruins."

Whims of Maniacs: "The PCs are hired by the Underlord Santobar Nkruma to steal the cursed head of Occlan from the Museum of Impossibilities."

Poor Life Decisions: "The PCs wake up hungover and covered in blood in the royal suite of an inn, clutching a map and the severed head of Devil Mike, which is muttering something in an unknown tongue. Guards pound on the door."

Sep 24, 2014

The Inhumanoids of Necrocarcerus

The inhumanoids are the sentient creations of the rogue vorticist surgeons, one of the first forms of hylic "life" they learn to mold on the way to the clonal hylic bodies amongst which a master vorticist surgeon eventually distributes their consciousness.

Most inhumanoids follow a roughly human-like design, though they tend to be more resilient and stronger.They grow to adult size within a day or so of emerging from the vats. New inhumanoids are fed a slurry of nepenthe and pseudo-brain to instill them with necessary skills and the rudiments of a personality. This creates a tremendous demand amongst vorticists for illegal supplies of nepenthe and sacrificial victims.

The hordes of inhumanoids that periodically plague Necrocarcerus almost always originate in a vorticist surgeon losing interest in them, often even leaving fully operational spawning vats behind. These abandoned inhumanoids are often distraught and heavily armed.

Inhumanoids use orc, goblin, kobold, bugbear, hobgoblin or ogre stats, depending on their type.





















Aug 27, 2014

Places to Go, Things to Kill: Ocean Null

Ocean Null is the ocean of Necrocarcerus. It does not exist in any particular location, but may be reached by losing sight of land while on an open body of water, whether from fog, darkness, or other means. It may be exited by following one of its currents until the correct shore is reached. It is a vast, stormwracked body of water mainly of use to smugglers, warlords and desperate merchants, though over the aeon of its existence it has accumulated many things that may be of interest to adventurers.

Places to Go

Vigilant Pantagruel

A town built in the empty eye-socket of a vast and ancient skeleton that rises out of the depths. Only the head is visible, though the feet are said to rest at the bottom of a oceanic chasm five kilometres below. The inhabitants mine the skull's teeth for massive slabs of bone harder than steel, and trade it to necromancers for use in undead juggernauts. It is overseen by the Parliament of Pirates, self-proclaimed lords of Ocean Null. Vigilant Pantagruel is a free port where all are welcome, no matter their crimes.

The Lashing Eyes

The Lashing Eyes are a pair of lighthouses that oversee the Great Malestrom, the largest permanent whirlpool in Ocean Null. They sit on small islands on either side of the maelstrom, and the lights are green flames endlessly spurting from the mouths of massive statues of gargoyles on iron pillars. The islands are populated by a handful of refugees who survived the Great Maelstrom and are led by the legendary killer Tzalka Mur, and the crabmen they have enslaved, who dredge untold riches from the shipwrecks laying at the bottom of the whirlpool.

Coal Slag Island

An AUC-run prison atop a giant coal seam jutting out of Ocean Null. Inmates dig the coal and refuel AUC steamers traversing Ocean Null. A red Guardian, Allumex-8, oversees their punishment, and uses fire elementals for guards. Because of its out-of-the-way location, Coal Slag Island is a popular place to hold onto high-value prisoners who are likely to escape or be freed by their allies. The entire island is blanketed with choking soot and toxic coal slag, with the narrow tip of Coal Slag Bastion poking out of the smoke. The prisoners here have a tendency to go mad and become coal wights, who are let to roam around outside the fortified mining areas to discourage escape.

Things to Kill

The Kraken Shipyard

The fever-dream of the mad dream-smith Gotomba Ryoat, the kraken shipyard is a massive golemic kraken that sails around building ships. Unfortunately, to do so it disassembles whatever ships and other objects it finds sailing loose in the ocean for their the raw materials it needs. Those sailors who do not resist are allowed to board the kraken, where they serve as labourers assisting the host of smaller golems who do work too fine for the massive manipulators. The kraken shipyard is a master at its task, and can build a ship out of almost anything in under a day. Gotomba Ryoat is long dead. His body can be seen behind the impenetrable glass of the bridge window, slumped dead over the control panel. The codes to access the bridge were lost upon his death, and now no one can prevent the kraken shipyard from destroying whatever it comes across to build more ships.

The Red Sea Bankers

The Red Sea Bank is a group of vampire pirate-captains, and one of the more aggressive pirate fleets operating across Ocean Null. Most of their crews are thralls, zombies and sea-ghouls, though they will also hypnotise the crews of ships they have captured. The Bank maintains a treasure house in Vigilant Pantagruel, but they maintain a low key presence in almost every major port in Ocean Null. Their leader, Bloodbeard, rides a skeletal chariot drawn by two nightmares that launches from the deck of his flagship, the Furious Hunger.

The Sea Devils of G'Dur

G'Dur was the Guardians' attempt to build a small city in Ocean Null as a fortified outpost for AUC. The experiment failed when the volcanic island G'Dur was on exploded. The city crumbled into the newly-formed lagoon in the centre of the island, and the few inhabitants that didn't die in the cataclysm fled, never to return. Since its abandonment, a tribe of sahaugin have taken over and appropriated the technology and infrastructure of lost G'Dur for their own uses. The tribe now numbers in the thousands, and their army is well equipped with cannons and harpoon guns. G'Dur's site was chosen so that the currents of several major exits from Ocean Null flow near to it, which the sea devils have used to their benefit by attacking ships for materials hard to obtain on G'Dur.

Aug 23, 2014

Fighters Get Better Initiative

I have come around over time to the system of initiative Courtney Campbell uses in Numenhalla as simple and effective. Briefly, the system is that each side (PCs and monsters) rolls a d6, with the higher roll going first. Even ties are resolved in favour of the player acting first, odd ties result in the monsters going first. I used to be more of a proponent of individual initiative, and still use it in some games, but for Swords and Wizardry, and other old school D&D versions I play, I tend towards using this method.

I have a proposed alterations to this system which I will be experimenting with in the next Necrocarcerus campaign:

If a fighter is the highest level character in the party (or all characters are of equivalent level), then the group may roll a d8 for initiative.

The idea is that the fighter is tactically acute in a way other characters aren't, and helps coordinate not just their own actions, but the actions of others, allowing them an operational edge. You can continue to roll surprise on a d6.