Saturday, July 30, 2011

Xhuul Mutation Tables, Powers and Defects Completed into One PDF!

I combined the mutation powers and defects tables as well as the rules descriptions for each into a single PDF document. This replaces the one I previously put up the link to.

The new link can be found to the right under Xhuul Resources.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Captain America

I saw Captain America: The First Avenger this weekend. I really enjoyed the movie. As most people who have watched the other movies such as Iron Man and Thor, you need to stay through the end of the movie credits for a teaser scene. This one shows clips from next year's Avengers movie in May 2012. Looking forward to it.

As a former comic-book reader, I was never a reader of the Captain America comics. I was more into team-oriented comics, such as Avengers, Fantastic Four and X-Men. I stopped reading comics in the mid 1990's, as I grew fed up with how different writers would ressurect a dead hero or villian for the Nth time (Magneto anyone?), just for the sake of a story and screwing up the continuity of the Marvel Universe. I know, it's a comic book, but jeez man, don't undo something another writer did, it really undermines their story.

Nowadays, when I have ventured into a comic-book store or a gaming store with a comic section, I really am just baffled as to what is currently going on (Cyclops and Emma Frost are knocking boots? What happened to Jean Grey?).

I hope that the Avengers movie has Captain America leading the group. I recall that in the 1970's, Iron Man was the leader of the Avengers (because Stark Industries funded the team with it's equipment and mansion I presume.) But I can't see that happening in the new movie, Tony Stark is too much of a loose cannon. I remember that Iron Man did give up his leadership position in the Avengers when he went through his drinking problem, and Cap became leader. Of course, he's really got to get up to speed on modern day technology and society, which I'm sure will be touched on in the movie in some manner.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Mutations Details Document and New Character Sheets

These have been added as links on the right-hand side of the blog, under Xhuul Resources.

The powers of course haven't had a real play-test yet, so when I get around to that, changes may occur. It will be interesting to see how it handles in actual play with other classes.

The only classes I'm using in C&C are The Fighter, Rogue, Sorceror (Wizard), and Mutant. As usual, Fighters get hosed when you compare all the stuff the other classes can do. I'm thinking about adding some more abilities that Fighters can do to even things out, but that will go on my "to-do list".

Friday, July 22, 2011

Arise and Mutate!

I have finally completed the mutation lists for Mutant PCs for Xhuul. Enjoy!

Physical Mutations Table
d100% Physical Mutation

========================
01-02   360 Vision
03-04   Acid Secretion
05-06   Acid Spray
07-09   Adrenaline Control
10-12   Ambidextrous
13-14   Bodily Control
15-16   Body Weaponry
17-18   Carapace
19-21   Catfall
22-23   Chameleon Powers
24-26   Darkvision
27-29   Deepvision
   30    Disease Immunity
   31    Dual Brain
32-34   Duskvision
35-36   Electrical Generation
37-38   Energy Absorption
39-40   Energy Metamorphosis
41-42   Fire Resistant Skin
  43    Gas Generation
  44    Gills
45-46   Energy Blast
47-48   Healing Touch
  49    Heat Generation
50-52   Heightened Balance
53-55   Heightened Physical Attributes
56-57   Heightened Precision
58-59   Heightened Sense
  60    Horns/Antlers
  61    Kinetic Absorption
62-63   Mane/Bristles
  64    Morphic Body
  65    Multiple Body Parts
66-67   New Body Parts
68-69   Photosynthetic Skin
  70    Physical Refection
  71    Poison Glands
72-73   Poison Resistance
  74    Quills/Spines
75-76   Rada/Sonar Sense
77-78   Regeneration
79-80   Skeletal Enhancement
81-82   Shorter
  83    Sonic Blast
  84    Sound Imitation
85-86   Speed Increase
87-88   Taller
89-90   Twilightvision
  91    Web Generation
  92    Wings
93-00   Roll on Physical Defects Table



Mental Mutations Table
d100% Mental Mutation

===== ===============
01-03   Absorption
04-06   Beguiling
07-10   Clairaudience
11-14   Clairvoyance
15-17   Confusion
18-21   Directional Sense
22-24   Empathy
25-26   Enfeeblement
27-29   Fear Generation
  30    Force Field Generation
31-34   Genius Capability
35-38   Heightened Brain Talent
39-40   Heightened Intelligence
  41    Illusion Generation
42-43   Intuition
  44    Levitation
  45    Light Manipulation
  46    Magnetic Control
47-50   Mental Blast
51-52   Mental Control
53-54   Mental Control of Body
  55   Mental Paralysis
56-59   Mental Shield
  60    Molecular Disruption
  61    Molecular Sense
  62    Plant Control
63-65   Precognition
  66    Psychic Blade
67-68   Psychometry
69-71   Pyro/Cryrokinesis
  72    Reflection
  73    Repelling Force
  74    Repulsion Field
  75    Stunning Force
76-77   Symbiotic Attachment
78-81   Telekinesis
82-84   Telekinetic Arm
85-86   Telekinetic Burst
  87    Telekinetic Flight
88-89   Telepathy
  90    Teleport Object
  91    Teleportation
  92    Thought Imitation
  93    Will Force
94-00   Roll on Mental Defects Table


I have the details of each power written up in a document. I still need to work on the Defects. I have the list of defects, I just need to write up the details on them.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Plethora of Stuff

1) The war against the fleas seems to have subsided. I don't want declare victory as yet, because from what I have read, I may see signs of more fleas from 2-6 weeks from now, as eggs could hatch etc.,. I don't want to pull a "Dubya" by hanging the "Mission Accomplished" sign too early. Needless to say, my dog is doing much better and the redness of his skin is going away and he isn't scratching himself to death like he was.

2) I've decided to abandon the Xhuul Character sheets I had previously made. I wanted so much to keep the tentacle-themed border but it ate up too much real estate on the sheet and by the same token minimized the space to keep track of character data. I'm currently tweaking a character sheet I found here in Photoshop Elements. Once I have the final version, I will post it to the blog.

3) I've made a slight change to the Mutant Character class for the Xhuul setting. I made a few mutant characters and wasn't happy with the results. There was a possibility of creating a character that didn't start with any mutations. That made as much sense as having a sorceror with no spells. So I am going with a new method that combines classic Gamma World with my current rules.

Characters roll 1d4 twice, once for the number of Physical mutations and a second time for Mental mutations. That assigns the starting base number of mutations. When generating attributes, each "1" rolled on the 3d6 means a defect and any "6" rolled means a beneficial mutation. At player's discretion, defects can be cancelled out from any "6's" they roll. This change improves the chances that the character gets a decent number of mutations and doesn't create a hopless character.

The other change was that I increased the hit dice of mutant characters to 1d8 instead of 1d6. They still fight and gain experience using the Cleric Table as per standard Castles & Crusade rules.

4) I purchased the PDF of a classic Judge's Guild module, "Under the Storm Giant's Castle". I remember playing in this module way back around 1980. As a new player to AD&D back then, I thought it was interesting and evocative. As a more seasoned DM and player, I still think it's one of the more original "dungeon" settings. I'm thinking about adapting this for play in C&C. I won't be using the silly "balloon men" as I think Mephits would be a better replacement monster.

5) Oh and the AD&D Monster Manual (the one with the classic cover done by David C. Sutherland III) I purchased from Ebay arrived. It's in very good condition and with shipping, cost me less than $20.00.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Fleas!

My dog has fleas. While I was on staycation last week, I had given my dog his monthly dose of Frontline Plus. I admit that I had lapsed giving him this dose for several months, and that has come to kick him and me in the nards for that laxness. Apparently this year is a bad flea season, and despite me applying that dose of Frontline, it did absolutely no good. My dog has been scratching like crazy and this seemed more that just his usual scratching when he goes through his fur shedding. So I examined his fur and found a flea. Now mind you, this is several days after applying his medicine. So I gave him a bath with some anti-flea shampoo.

This past week has seen the usual scratchings and yep, found more fleas. I managed to pluck a few off him and drown them in water. His belly was red from scratching and I gave him some Benadryl to alleviate the allergy he was having from the flea bites. My sister recommended an oral pill called Comfortis as this really helped to kill the fleas on her dog. Since my dog had his annual health exam coming up, I decided to get some from the Vet. The veterinarian told me mostly likely, with the level of infestation she was seeing that the environment (i.e. my house) had fleas in it. After I got home from the vet, I went right out and got some powder that you apply on the carpets and brush in with a broom so that it penetrates deep into the fibers. Wait a few hours and vaccuum.

Well, he seems to be doing better now. He still scratches from time to time, but I will have to monitor that, otherwise it will be another trip to the Vet for a cortozone shot.

If reading this didn't make you feel itchy or want to scratch, I commend you, as writing this post made me do it several times.

GIANT FLEA

NO. ENCOUNTERED: 5-20
SIZE: Small
HD: 2 (D8)
MOVE: 60 ft., 180' ft (leap)
AC: 20
ATTACKS: 1 Bite (1d8)
SPECIAL: Blood Drain, Immune to Blunt Weapons,
Vulnerability to Water and Drowning, Agile
SAVES: P
INT: Animal
ALIGNMENT: Neutral
TYPE: Vermin
TREASURE: None
XP: 25 + 2/hp

Giant Fleas are the size of small dogs. They are fast on land and can leap far distances. If they are dowsed with large quantities of water, their speed is reduced to 10' and they cannot leap. If they are submerged in a large volume of water, they will drown instantly and die.

Giant Fleas has a tough outer chitin which is hard to damage, hence they are immune to blunt-force weapons and crushing attacks.

When a Giant Flea attacks, it will be with a tube-like mouth part that penetrates the target's flesh doing 1d8 damage. After this initial attack, the giant flea will drain blood of 1d6 hp per round. Once it has consumed enough blood equal to it's own hit points, it will release and leap away.

Giant fleas are very agile and get a +3 to any saves for DEX and are +10 against any grab attacks.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Black Marshes of Thalanaq

In the distant past, during the time of the Great Cataclysm, a large area of land collapsed, sending most civilized areas crashing into ruins. The Plax and Shoon Rivers poured down over the ensuing escarpment, flooding a depression which became the Black Marshes and Lake Hlan.

A sorceror of notorious power known as Thalanaq arrived in the area and erected a stone tower on the eastern shore of Lake Hlan. His foul expirements and magicks turned the viscuous mud and waters of the marsh black, accompanied by the foul odor of brimstone. He also unleashed foul beasts and malformed creations to roam the stinking marshes to keep away intruders.

In time, Thalanaq's demon patron, Ysidruul instructed Thalanaq to build a city and attract others to worship it. Thalanaq began the task without question. He went forth and gathered many men and women who were barely surviving in the surrounding lands. He told them he could provide food and protection in exchange for their labor to build the city and to pay homage to Ysidruul. And so over many decades, the city of Thalan was built around the site where his tower stood. A temple to Ysidruul was built and Thalanaq's tower was expanded and became what is known as the High Tower of the Watchers in modern times. The stone of the tower is carved with the motifs of many eyes, many of which move and follow passersby. Thalanaq took on apprentices at Ysidruul's urgings to teach them sorcery. Benath the city, a network of sewage tunnels were built with outflows feeding into Lake Hlan.

Little did anyone know that Ysidruul was in fact an Aboleth who had managed to dominate Thalanaq and had him build the city so as to expand it's own base of power. With more people gathered in one place, Ysidruul was guaranteed a constant food source and slaves to it's will. All would have been weel except that one of Thalanaq's apprentices was exceptionally more strong-willed and discovered the threat. He managed to break some of the other Watcher's from Ysidruul's influence, but this alerted Ysidruul and he sent Thalanaq to deal with the upstarts. A great sorcerous battle took place and many apprentices were killed, but Thalanaq was finally brought low and slain. The temple to Ysidruul was torn down. The remaining Watchers discovered a spell that drove the Aboleth from the city and into Lake Hlan. That was over 100 years ago and the modern-day Watchers now keep a vigilant watch over the lake, performing rites to keep Ysidruul from returning.

Thalan today is in decline and a corrupt place, seeking it's hedonistic pleasures, aloof of the plight of the lower-class. The city is governed by the Mallisartu family, once a powerful merchant family that rose itself up to noble status. Wealth that is now squandered away on pleasures of the mind and flesh, sequestered away in their palatial homes. The city is mostly lawless and the city guards cater to the many factions within the city. Anything can be bought or sold for the right price. Thalan is a city focused on pleasure. Whether that is brought about through drugs, alchohol, love-slaves, or the gladitorial combats in the local arena. However very few can afford such luxuries and there is a large lower class that are exploited by the few in power.

Outside the walls of Thalan, the marshes and surrounding lands are a dangerous place. However, to the desperate few brave enough to seek their fortunes, there are old ruins to explore for riches. Many of the rich in Thalan would pay greatly for the exotic hallucinagetic plants found only in the steamy Jungles of Kesh or the Fungal March. Also exotic creatures are sought after to be captured for the arena games in Thalan as well.

Here is the link to a PDF file for the One-Page Wilderness Template detailing a map, hex keys and wilderness encounter tables: Black Marshes of Thalanaq

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July

Looks like many in my neighborhood were celebrating early last night popping off fireworks. My poor dog doesn't like the noise of fireworks and looks to me for reassurance that everything is OK.

I spent part of yesterday tinkering with my rebooted Xhuul sandbox hex map which I have placed on one of ChicagoWiz's One Page Wilderness Key Templates. I'm still writing up the Wilderness Encounter tables for the various terrain and using various sources to compile my monster list. Such sources include Kellri's Old School Encounters Reference netbook, pouring through my 3.5 edition Monster Manuals, Fiend Folio and the Monsters of Faerun. I'm using the 3.5 edition books to find appropriate creatures for the different terrain types and to determine the number of monsters encountered. Any statblock information will come from another of Kellri's fine resources, the Old School Monster Stat Block Reference netbook. Since I am using Castles & Crusades, I will of course be using the Ascending Armor class which won't be too hard to figure out.

I browsed through eBay yesterday and scored a decent copy of the 1st Edition AD&D Monster Manual for under $20.00 with shipping! I just love some of that old classic artwork for the monsters. I think the art for Demogorgon was more sinister than any of the modern artistic incarnations I have seen. Of course that Succubus picture is to die for!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Vacation!!

I'll be on vacation for a week. I'm not going anywhere, just relaxing around the house. These days, I'm not really up to the hussle and bustle of travel that much. It will be nice to have time off work.

And I always think of this song this time of year: