Sunday, December 25, 2016

Friday, November 25, 2016

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Free Map Friday - June 18

Another gridmapper map. If you like these maps, remember to check out my geomorphs, and watch this space for new dungeon map products.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Free Map Friday - June 10

Another gridmapper map. If you like these maps, remember to check out my geomorphs, and watch this space for new dungeon map products.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Free Map Friday, A Saturday Night Special

Another gridmapper map. This one is a lot bigger than the previous maps, although the total number of rooms is fewer. Also, rooms 5j to 5n are the area below the elevated platform in the middle of 5 (5a-5i).

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Free Map Friday — Today!

Another gridmapper map. Because of the results of this poll from last month, I'll be posting more self-contained dungeons here, but I still have a few 'mega geomorphs' to go through first.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Random Deep One Traits

Here's some random Deep One traits.
  1. Misshapen crab-claw instead of a hand.
  2. Huge wound removed most of face, leaving only one eye and a drooling hole for a mouth.
  3. Writhing catfish-like whiskers or cilia trailing from a fringe around the face.
  4. Mottled patches of apparently human skin, including part of the face, but stretched and deformed by the transformation.
  5. Thick globs of algae webbing like spiderwebs across protrusions and dripping from the face.
  6. Barnacles adhering to the body like buboes.
  7. Misshapen teeth like a deep-sea fish, much too large for the face, with sores and wounds where they're injured the mouth.
  8. Keratinous or chitinous plates jutting out at odd angles from the body.
  9. Vestigial limb jutting out of an irregular protrusion from the shoulders or hips.
  10. Mouldy wound where a limb has been ripped off.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Free Map Friday, Someday

Another gridmapper map. This one's a little different: the 'z's in front of doors indicate that that door is a magic doorway to a randomly-selected one of the eight 32[x] rooms in the north-west. I intended that those rooms don't 'really' lie in that area, but rather coexist 5th-dimensionally with rooms 32a and 32b, but it could also be regular 3-dimensionally there as well (giving PCs with access to tunnelling tools an alternate route through).

Monday, April 18, 2016

Free Friday Map For Your Dreary Monday Morning

Another gridmapper map. I really need to figure out this scheduled post thing.

This map has the distinction of being one I've actually used, for a section of under-city.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Free Map Friday (On a Friday This Time)

Here's another gridmapper map. I got rid of the grey because it was hard to read on this particular map.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Free Map Friday Tuesday

I made a thing in gridmapper instead of getting out of bed. Please someone use this so I didn't just waste half an hour.

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight

A campaign frame for Trail of Cthulhu based on material from Shadows of Yog-Sothoth

The 1920s are the tail end of the “golden age of fraternalism,” when almost two out of the every five people in the United States belong to a fraternal society of some kind. Into this stew of Masonic and Odd Fellow's lodges, knightly orders, immigrants' benevolent societies, spiritualist circles and fractured churches of interwar Boston comes the Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight, a rapidly-growing fraternal society with an esoteric scrim. The Order is gathering a reputation as a place where wealthy nonconformists can discuss philosophy, politics and important matters in a congenial, secluded atmosphere.

The Order meets in a late Victorian mansion on the suburban fringe of Boston. The interior has been converted into lounges, libraries and ceremonial spaces for the Hermetic Order. They meet weekly for a ceremony and dinner; the lodge also hosts talks and readings on occult subjects or formal discussions of esoteric topics.

The Order has a few hundred members; though, like many urban Masonic lodges, attendance outside of mandatory events is a small fraction of that number. Members join the Order for two reasons. Wealthy eccentrics or idiosyncratic thinkers look for like-minded (or at least similarly iconoclastic) fellows to do business with, while the true occultists join for the network of like-minded seekers after cosmic secrets. Order members begin as a Neophyte (who is instructed in the disciplines of Science, and wears a black robe in ceremonies) and progress through the degrees of Initiate (Philosophy, grey robes) and Master (Magic, white robes). Attaining each degree comes after study and participation in Order activities, and invitation to take a higher degree is a measure of the personal interest taken in the member by the leaders of the Order.

The Investigators, as they have progressed through the degrees of the Hermetic Order, have heard hints that there is a secret, inner Order within or beyond the lodge (much like the Second Order of the Golden Dawn stands above the Golden Dawn itself). It is not clear if this inner circle is interested in mundane or magical power—or what powers it already possesses. What is clearly hinted at is that membership in this inner circle depends on one's willingness to help the wealthy members line their pockets, and help the would-be sorcerers line their library shelves. The Order is hungry for secrets; as would-be initiates, the Investigators must feed it.

Missions the Investigators may be assigned (or take upon themselves):
• Research hauntings or other manifestations of supernatural phenomena, both academically and 'in the field.'
• Locate and secure grimoires or other magical texts.
• Infiltrate other secret societies or cults and report back on their beliefs and activities.
• Cleanup and assistance for other Order members.

The campaign is centered in Boston, where the Order's mother lodge meets. It's in the meeting hall that Investigators hatch their plots.

Initial investigations have Boston and New England (including Lovecraft Country) as their stomping ground, but the Order has daughter lodges in New York and other major cities of the U.S. that can provide (or request) mutual aid from mother lodge members. Wealthy Order members may also bankroll excursions to Europe or South America.

The style of the campaign is occult conspiracy. Though Purist in the ultimately petty strivings of Order interests, the potential for dark deeds done at night and daemonaical manifestations is surely Pulp imagery. The game is also apocalyptic, in both senses of the word: unveiling the powers of the world in motion, and facing the destruction those powers wreak when they arrive.

The forces of the mythos are veiled behind human rituals and mythology. Their powers underlie the reality of magic and occultism that Order members explore. Distinguishing what is human misperception and what is actually at work is one of the tasks in front of the Investigators. When any powers or entities appear, it is likely at the behest of spells, talismans or other pseudo-traditional paraphernalia, leading to more confusion as to exactly what is encountered or how to deal with it, what is real and what is chicanery. The mythos qua mythos may not be the foremost threat.

Investigators are all members of the Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight. Members of the Order have to have Credit Rating 4, or be an Alienist, Antiquarian, Artist, Author, Parapsychologist, Occultist or Charlatan. (See Rules Additions.) Order members with Credit Rating scores less than 4 may choose a wealthier Order member as their patron at character creation. If this is not another player character, briefly describe (in a sentence or two) the NPC patron and what their focus is in regards to the Order's activities. This patron may provide a temporary Credit Rating boost of 1 or 2 points whenever pursuing their patron's goals (or convincingly present themselves as doing so).

Rules Additions
Players may select the Occultist occupation from Bookhounds of London, and the Charlatan occupation from Stunning Eldritch Tales.

The game incorporates the Magic general ability rules from Rough Magicks. Characters may not purchase Magic points at character generation, but accrue Potential points during play. (Looking out for Places of Power is also on the Order's order of business.)

Investigators may, however, take psychic abilities from Night's Black Agents (pp. 196-7) or Fear Itself (pp. 22-8) at character creation. The Keeper is encouraged to abide by Fear Itself p. 23 and restrict psychic abilities to one Investigator per party.

If the Keeper wants a more magic-drenched game, they can also include the magic systems from Ken Writes About Stuff: alchemy (GUMSHOE Zoom: Alchemy), goëtic magic (GUMSHOE Zoom: Goëtia), heka (Tomb-Hounds of Egypt), and heptarchic magic (The School of Night). Voodoo (from GUMSHOE Zoom: Voodoo 1 & 2) may or may not fit, depending on whether the Keeper envisions the Order as Western-occult chauvinists.

Recurring NPCs
The leader of the Hermetic Order is John Scott, who holds the title of Noble Philosopher. A mysterious younger man, who appeared in Boston shortly before the inauguration of the Order, he sufferes from some sort of wasting disease that leaves him pale and rough-skinned. He is rarely seen by Order members outside of ritual events and official Lodge business.

Ephraim Weaver is the owner of Weaver Imports, a growing import firm with connections to Canada, Europe, and South America. Despite his business sense he's a hot-headed man who often gets raises the ire of other prominent Bostonians. The common assumption in the Order is that it's Weaver who keeps the Order's cellars well-stocked with spirits.

Dr. Edward Call, a wheelchair-bound Boston ex-physician, joined the Order after his infirmity prevented him from continuing in his practice. He expresses hopes that his Spiritualist interests may be somehow reconciled with contemporary science.

“A Jazz Age Foucault's Pendulum,” or “The Devil Rides Out, only you work for Charles Gray.”

Friday, January 22, 2016

Star Trek: The Endless Frontier - Part Three

Compared to parts one and two, these ideas are a little off the beaten track.

In the Praetor's Name
Where: The edge of the Romulan Star Empire and beyond
When: 2364 and after

The D'deridex-class warbird is a city in space; fifteen hundred officers, soldiers and scientists dedicated to serving the Star Empire. As the Romulans' self-imposed isolation ends, you are stationed on the Imperial Romulan Warbird Haarux, on a deep-space mission of strategic expansion of Romulan influence.

Where: The Andromeda galaxy
When: 2400s

Recent strides forward in understanding the transwarp technology used by the Borg has opened up a new frontier for the Federation to consider: the Andromeda galaxy. Aside from the Kelvan incident on Stardate [look it up] and scattered xenoarchaeological finds, little is known about the Milky Way's nearest galactic neighbour. The Perseus Project is a huge Federation undertaking that aims to establish a transwarp beachhead in the Andromeda galaxy, chart it, make contact with starfaring cultures there.

Under the Raptor's Wings
Where: Vulcan, Romulus, and the spaces between
When: From the ancient past to

A generational campaign following a single family line from the wars of archaic Vulcan, the rise of Surak and the exodus into space, the interstellar feuds of the proto-Romulan clans, the settlement of Romulus, the conquest of Remus, the establishment of the Star Empire, and the wars with the Klingons, Federation and the Dominion.

Where: San Fransisco Treaty Zone, North America
When: 2070, seven years after First Contact, seventeen years after the nominal end of World War III.

Millions dead, billions dying, nations laid waste, land, sea and air turned to poison and ash. It is the end of the world. But, among this devastation, strangers from the sky have come to walk among us.

San Fransisco is a city divided. You are security agents of the Eastern Coalition Control Zone, who grapple with police of the Provisional Cascadian Assembly to confront the threat of Neo-Greenist violence, depredations of survivalist 'liberty squads' from the Rocky Mountains, and the insane dreams of transhumanist cults.

Friday, January 15, 2016

An Unexpected Landmark

We were a couple of hundred yards from the hill when Long suddenly said to him: ‘I say you’ve left your coat there. That won’t do. See?’ And I certainly did see it — the long dark overcoat lying where the tunnel had been. Paxton had not stopped, however: he only shook his head, and held up the coat on his arm. And when we joined him, he said, without any excitement, but as if nothing mattered any more: ‘That wasn’t my coat.’ And, indeed, when we looked back again, that dark thing was not to be seen.

Free Hexmap Templates

Hey, with the #hexplore stuff going on I figured I should clean up and post some hexmap templates I've had sitting around for a while: H...