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Thri-kreen

Spes Magna Mark's page

1,283 posts. Alias of Mark Chance 476.


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Nineteen new monsters. One hidden monster. One recipe for monster stew. Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods pillages the public domain to provide eager Referees with bizarre beasts to befuddle and beleaguer their players. Beware the knee-less hugag, the spike-finned snoligoster, the drunken cactus cat, and seventeen other monsters.


An excerpt from my S&W adaptation of William T. Cox's Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods. That's right. It's the seldom dreaded wapaloosie!


I’ve started a new project based on William T. Cox’s whimsically delightful Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods, originally published in 1910. Here’s an excerpt:

The gumberoo (Megalogaster repercussus) lives in foggy regions, especially near wooded ocean coasts in northern climes. Fortunately, gumberoos seem to be rare, but this might because this beast prefers “to remain in hiding most of the time in the base of enormous, burned-out cedar trees, from where it sallies forth occasionally on frightful marauding expeditions.” A gumberoo is always hungry and attempts to devour anything that appears to be food. “A whole horse may be eaten at one sitting, distending the gumberoo out of all proportions, but failing to appease its hunger or cause it the slightest discomfort.” A gumberoo resembles a coal-black, almost hairless bear. Its skin is “smooth, tough, and shiny and bears not even a wrinkle.” In fact, a gumberoo’s hide has amazing elastic properties. “Its elastic hide hurls back with equal ease the charging elk and the wrathy hornet.” Fire, however, proves to be a particular effective weapon against a gumberoo, but care must be taken, for these beasts tend to explode when burned.

HD 4+1; AC 2 (17); Atks 2 claws (1d4), 1 bite (1d6+1); SV 13; Special elastic hide, fire vulnerability; MV 9; AL C; CL/XP 5/240

Elastic Hide: Any attack from a physical source, such as a sword or an arrow or a claw, may bounce off the gumberoo’s elastic hide without inflicting any damage. A gumberoo is permitted a saving throw against these attacks. Success means it takes no damage. If the gumberoo’s saving throw die roll equals 18-20, the attack rebounds to inflict normal damage to the attacker.

Fire Vulnerability: Any time a gumberoo is attacked with fire from any source, it must make a saving throw. Failure means the gumberoo explodes, inflicting 4d6 points of damage to creatures in a 10-foot radius. On the plus side, the gumberoo dies.


"Can my fighter sneak up on the goblin?"

"Can my magic-user convince the captain of the guard to let us into the dungeon?"

"Can my cleric jump over that wall?"

Answer these questions and more with Optional Skill Resolution Rules (link leads to DriveThruRPG). Simple, flexible, and narrative, OSR2 gives players tools to customize their characters. Make up a fighter who's knowledgeable about ancient civilizations, a druid who's a skilled lady's man, a thief who's light on her feet, and much more.


Ean Illiam's Cavern Stores for Dungeon World is now available for purchase here at Paizo as well. Huzzah!


Ean Illiam's Cavern Stores for Dungeon World is now available for purchase. Huzzah!


Aquatic Depths & Denizens is available for purchase. Woo hoo! I've accomplished something!


Aquatic Depths & Denizens is available for purchase. Woo hoo! I've accomplished something!


Find what you're looking for in Ean Illiam's Cavern Stores. Fully compatible with Dungeon World, this campaign location includes these excellent features:

* Cartography by Matt Jackson that includes blank spaces
* Not-too-complete descriptions of the cavern stores
* Two adventure fronts
* Stats and descriptions for the people, creatures, and animals found in the stores
* Pictures of the major and minor NPCs
* Lots of helpful sidebars, including questions to ask and blanks to fill in, as well as new magic items and tables for randomly generating NPC names, types, instincts, and knacks

Ean Illiam's Cavern Stores is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I decided to start hosting Dinner & Gaming nights again, doing so once a month. I like to game. I like to cook. (I even considered going to a culinary arts school until I figured out I have anosmia.) So, I fixed taco salad, got a couple bottles of sangria, and broke out the Swords & Wizardry, In Search of the Unknown, and a couple copies of my WIP Optional Skill Resolution Rules.

With only two players in attendance, I was flexible with class and race combinations. Alex made up Brother Zaphod, an Elf Cleric/Magic-User who had been raised by weasels in the woods. I imagine them to have been giant weasels. Christopher made up Weeble Kneecracker, a Halfling Fighter/Thief who is also a skilled chef and a pariah from polite Halfling society. This stalwart pair of rookie heroes hired two men-at-arms and a torchbearer: Maximilio, Baldrick, and Leofrick.

The party traveled north into the hilly woodlands between the frontier village and the realm of the hated barbarians. After some traveling and searching, they found the entrance to Quasqueton. Weeble picked the lock on the door, and the group moved into the hallway beyond. They were startled by magical mouths that pronounced a grim warning.

Weeble crept forward, searching for traps. He determined there were none, but his intense concentration led to him being surprised by a pair of ghouls. Weeble was clawed and paralyzed.

The hirelings and Brother Zaphod battled the ghouls, killing them. Brother Zaphod suffered a moderate injury in the process.

Skill checks using my OSR2 system were made to convince the hirelings to work for free in exchange for spiritual betterment, to open the locked door, to search for traps, and to determine the weaknesses of ghouls. Based on this brief session of actual gaming, I think the system works pretty well, although I did leave out one detail regarding the characters' starting skills, which I'll have to amend next time we play S&W.


As I’ve blogged about a couple of times, Matt Jackson, career enlisted man and gamer and mapper extraordinaire, has been raising funds for the Wounded Warrior Project. His efforts under the title Maps for Heroes reflect both the best of both military tradition and of our disparate, often cantankerous community of gamers.

I served eight years in the U.S. Army. But for the grace of God, I could’ve ended up a wounded warrior, especially if I’d decided to make the military a career, which was a serious consideration until I decided on taking my honorable discharge and getting into teaching. However much I do to help others, I can always do more.

So, here’s some more. From now until the time Matt reaches his $1000 goal, 100% of the sales from these four OSR PDFs goes to Maps for Heroes: The Quid Novi? Collection, That’s a Goblin!?, Rantz’s Fair Multitude, and Rewarding Roleplaying. At this link is a PDF with more information about these titles as well as links to discounts for each of them. The codes never expire. Use them. Share them with your friends.

Huah!


Aquatic Depths & Denizens is ready for playtest release!

This OSR PDF focuses on adventuring underwater. It includes rules for swimming, drowning, fighting and spellcasting under the waves, five player character aquatic races, an assortment of aquatic spells, and a plethora of marine monsters. Download your copy and playtest today.

Of course, helpful folks who playtest the PDF and/or provide feedback receive credit in the final PDF. They also receive a free copy of the final PDF, providing I have an e-mail address. To further sweeten the incentives, playtesters/feedbackers may also select any single PDF from my on-line catalog to receive for free (again providing I have an e-mail address). My email address is mark at spesmagna dot com.

My on-line catalog.


Optional Skill Resolution Rules presents a flexible system for resolving skill checks usable with Swords & Wizardry (and likely compatible with other OSR games). With OSR2, the Referee and players define a character's skills based on race, background, and class. No skill lists restrain those choices. Do you want your Magic-User to be a ladies' man? There's a skill for that. Do you want your Paladin to have studied Forbidden Cults? There's a skill for that. Download the playtest version of these rules today and see if they work for your game.

Of course, helpful folks who playtest the PDF and/or provide feedback receive credit in the final PDF. They also receive a free copy of the final PDF, providing I have an e-mail address. To further sweeten the incentives, playtesters/feedbackers may also select any single PDF from my on-line catalog to receive for free (again providing I have an e-mail address). My email address is mark at spesmagna dot com.

My on-line catalog.


I've started to receive feedback on Astounding Archetypes: Bloodhand Gang. Excellent!

Of course, helpful folks who playtest the PDF and/or provide feedback receive credit in the final PDF. They also receive a free copy of the final PDF, providing I have an e-mail address. To further sweeten the incentives, playtesters/feedbackers may also select any single PDF from my on-line catalog to receive for free (again providing I have an e-mail address).

My on-line catalog.


You're the second person today that told me they saw "Bloodhound Gang". When typing the doc, I kept writing "Bloodhang Gang", which doesn't make much sense but at least it rhymes. :)


Here's the playtest version of Astounding Archetypes: Bloodhand Gang. Presented in the PDF are five archetypes: dragon warrior, jotunkin, telekinetic monk, warp thief, and yo-yo magus (my personal favorite). I originally featured these archetypes on my website. I've tweaked all five a bit here and there, trying to clear up unclear rules, streamline class features, et cetera. I've also put together one villain for each archetype.

I eagerly hope for your feedback, which can be sent to mark at spesmagna dot com. Huzzah!


I'm trying to start a Marvel Heroic Roleplaying campaign set at the beginning of the American Revolution with the heroes being members the Sons of Liberty, a super-group put together by Benjamin Franklin. To help players get ideas for heroes (and to help me get a better grasp of the game system), I statted up several sample heroes (and wrote some guidelines as well). Enjoy!

Guidelines for Making a Hero / The Fife / Liberty & Justice / Liberty Belle / The Patriot / The Puritan


Spes Magna Games hasn't done much lately, and little of what's been done has related to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Well, that's changing a bit pretty soon-ish. I’m going to try and finish Astounding Archetypes: Bloodhand Gang. This PDF will be a return to Pathfinder material for Spes Magna Games. It features five new archetypes, one each for barbarian, fighter, magus, monk, and rogue, plus five villainous NPCs, one for each archetype.

Unfortunately, my goal of getting Astounding Archetypes done by this coming Monday, 3 December, ain't gonna happen. Not enough time left, and I've got other things that must take priority, such as the jazz cafe luncheon my wife and I are going to Sunday afternoon.

Still, work has progressed, and I figured it wouldn't hurt to put a preview out for folks to take a gander at. So, permit me to introduce Catarina Rocha, member of the Bloodhand Gang.

In other news, it's been a while since I as productive with Spes Magna Games as I have been this Thanksgiving. So far this week, I’ve managed to get:

1. Metro Gnomes on-line for sale.
2. The Quid Novi? Collection on-line for sale.
3. Rantz’s Fair Multitude on-line for sale.
4. The Amphitheater of the Continuum on-line for free download.

Huzzah!


More Old School gaming goodness from Spes Magna. :)


Thirty pages of Old School gaming material found in Rantz's Fair Multitude, including new magic items, monsters, spells, and other goodies to reward and challenge your players.

Huzzah!


Stars Without Number. It's easy to learn, it's free, and it's well-written.


Metro Gnomes is a short, beer-and-pretzels scenario for the free RPG Geodesic Gnomes. Get your copy today before the universe runs out of electrons.


Metro Gnomes is a short, beer-and-pretzels scenario for the free RPG Geodesic Gnomes.


Since posting this announcement here and a few other places, sales are increasing. That's excellent news for Rick and his family. :)


There're about 98 pages all together between the 10 PDFs. The shortest PDF is about 6 pages long; the longest about 19.


When I started Spes Magna Games back in 2009, I also started Quid Novi?, a twice-monthly e-mail newsletter of gaming goodness that eventually became a monthly PDF of gaming goodness which has now fallen by the wayside. The Quid Novi? Collection includes the 10 individual PDFs as originally published.

About 80% of the content in The Quid Novi? Collection is for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. You get two short adventures, and curses, diseases, magic items, haunts, monsters, giant lilypads, spells, and a Psionics domain for clerics. The other 20% of the collection was written for Old School gaming, and includes two short adventures as well as curses, magic items, prismatic mists, monsters, deadly mushrooms, and spells.

Caveat emptor: If you were a Quid Novi? subscriber, you've got no reason to buy this collection. You already received all of these PDFs for free. The zipped file for sale includes 10 separate, bookmarked PDFs.

In other news, for my day job, I teach 5th grade at Aristoi Classical Academy, a small classical liberal arts charter public school in Katy, Texas. Being a charter school in Texas, we do not receive the full funding from the state that a traditional public school receives. (For example, we receive no monies for facilities.) Consequently, my salary at Aristoi is thousands of dollars a year lower than it would be in a traditional public school. Now, mind you, I'm not complaining; I'm simply informing by way of a preface.

One of my fellow teachers, who has fewer years experience than I, has hit a difficult patch. Rick and his wife have three daughters, ranging from elementary school to high school. They live in a rough neighborhood. His house has been burgled more than once. One of his daughters has been a victim of violence. Rick needs to get his family out of that neighborhood, but moving, as I'm sure you all know, requires money.

I want to help my friend and co-worker, and I figured that Spes Magna Games might be a good way to do this. For the entire month of November until the end of 2013, 100% of my Spes Magna sales will be donated to Rick to help him get his family to a safer neighborhood.


Woo hoo! :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thanks, Endzeitgeist! :) You da man!


Ariakon: Most of the information is geared for the GM. Swords & Wizardry, for which the PDF is written, doesn't have specific rules for goblin PCs in its core. There's a early preview at this link.


And it's live. :)


The expanded PDF has been uploaded. It should go live soon. :)


I've started re-editing, clarifying, and expanding Rewarding Roleplaying. In addition to the original Action Point system, I'm adding alternative rules for giving players more narrative control, for exploding dice, and other goodies.

I'm shooting to have the expanded PDF available the first week of August. Of course, if you've previously purchased Rewarding Roleplaying, you should receive the updated file automatically.


The Realm of the Lonely Heart, an incomplete AD&D adventure I wrote in 1983, inspired by the Beatles.


Everything I have at DriveThruRPG is on sale for Christmas in July.

:)


Now available at Paizo.com:

That's a Goblin!?

Catch your players off guard with That's a Goblin!?. This Old School supplement presents 23 goblin mutations, 15 fey goblin abilities, 3 goblin subspecies, and 6 goblin tactical specialties. Mix and match to create scores of different goblins!

That's a Goblin!? also includes Tributary of Terror, a mini-adventure taking place within Reyr's Well, a detailed fantasy hamlet suitable for just about any campaign world.

Check out this 5-star review at DriveThruRPG!


Now at Paizo.com: The Accordian Files Playtest Packet

The Accordian Files pits the forces of accord, the player characters, against the forces of discord, controlled by the Discord Master. In the zipped file, you'll find all you need to playtest this new, rules-lite RPG.

* The Player's Book tells you everything you need to know to make and run a character.
* The Discord Master's Book offers helpful advice and insight for presenting the forces of chaos in your game.
* The Ghost in the Washing Machine presents an introductory adventure that pits the heroes against a sinister business owner.

Join the good fight today!


Now at Paizo.com:

Ars Natatoris

Dive into adventure with Ars Natatoris! This brief product presents swimming and drowning rules compatible with a wide range of old-school games.


Now available at Paizo.com:

That's a Goblin!?

Catch your players off guard with That's a Goblin!?. This Old School supplement presents 23 goblin mutations, 15 fey goblin abilities, 3 goblin subspecies, and 6 goblin tactical specialties. Mix and match to create scores of different goblins!

That's a Goblin!? also includes Tributary of Terror, a mini-adventure taking place within Reyr's Well, a detailed fantasy hamlet suitable for just about any campaign world.


Curious about The Accordian Files? Ask me questions, please.


Curious about Ars Natatoris? Ask me questions, please. Also, check out this 4-star review at DriveThruRPG.


Curious about That's a Goblin!?. Ask me questions. You can also check out this 5-star review at DriveThruRPG. :)


Paizo.com notified me that the updated file is ready for download. :)


Paizo.com notified me that the updated file is ready for download. :)


Dodeca Weather has been updated to include Dodeca Weather Metric. If you've already purchased this PDF via DriveThruRPG or Paizo.com, I'm pretty sure you should get an e-mail about the update automatically. :)


Dodeca Weather has been updated to include Dodeca Weather Metric. If you've already purchased this PDF via DriveThruRPG or Paizo.com, I'm pretty sure you should get an e-mail about the update automatically. :)


Says Megan R., DriveThruRPG Featured Review:

Are your players bored with goblins?

Spice up your opposition from mere cannon fodder with such delights as a table of random goblin traits (maybe the next one they face has a beer gut or remarkably huge ears... maybe there's a battle singer in that horde, singing off-key and quite ribald songs...

Maybe you want to sling in a specialist unit, a burn squad perhaps - arson specialists - or the (thankfully unique) Gurk Wound-Licker: a goblin renowned for beating a bugbear almost to death, dragging him back to the campsite and then entertaining everyone by proceeding to lick the poor creature until it expired!

These and more can be used to spice up any goblin encounter, but if you are in need of a ready-made one, then there's Tributary of Terror, a mini-adventure for characters of 1st-2nd level. It involves a small but prosperous hamlet, but there's more to it than meets the eye. This isn't just a goblin-bashing festival either, it's a fine living community with plenty going on that has the potential to spawn further adventures as well as the one presented here.

Well worth a look!

Huzzah!


Are your players unimpressed by goblins? Do they yawn and roll their eyes when these common monsters show up in your game? Then catch your players off guard with That's a Goblin!?. This Old School supplement presents 23 goblin mutations, 15 fey goblin abilities, 3 goblin subspecies, and 6 goblin tactical specialties. Mix and match to create scores of different goblins!

That's a Goblin!? also includes Tributary of Terror, a mini-adventure taking place within Reyr's Well, a detailed fantasy hamlet suitable for just about any campaign world.


Consider these genres: fantasy, science fiction, western, horror, and high school melodrama. What are the iconic villains for each genre?

Fantasy: black knight
Sci-Fi: HAL
Western: land baron
Horror: serial killer
High School: killjoy teacher


Dive into adventure with Ars Natatoris! This brief and free product presents swimming and drowning rules compatible with a wide range of OSR games.

Says Megan R., Featured Reviewer, "Despite disclaimers about going for playability rather than realism, this has captured most of the niceties of aquatic exploits quite well, and unless you have a troop of Navy SEALs for a party should cover at least casual waterborne activities as an addendum to your chosen ruleset."


The Accordian Files Playtest Packet has had about 100 downloads at DriveThruRPG last time I checked. Any second now, gobs of playtest e-mails will start pouring in. Maybe. :)

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