The idea behind this dungeon is pretty simple. It’s remote, it’s a tower, and it’s got a dungeon.
After several months of absence (and summer-parenting), I think it’s probably time to fall back into the DIYRPGing blogosphere (I hate that word) with a new map and other projects that I’ll be working on in the coming months.
So first, the map:
I imagine the dungeon to be inside a massive rock outcropping in the woods. The rock should probably be carved in some sinister manner, too, skulls, glowering dead white men, etc.
While my previous blog was pretty much focused on maps, though I attempted to incorporate other media but failed, this blog is going to include quite a bit more writing, which might be hit or miss. My big project is a homebrew generation ship setting of Starship Warden from Metamorphosis Alpha type. I’m thinking of doing this in ‘zine form, but we’ll see how that goes. Additionally, there may be a similar project, of the same genre, which I’ll be working on with another mapper/cartographer, but the deal hasn’t been worked out entirely yet.
Anyway, I hope you like the new stuff. I’m not making any promises on how often I’ll post, but I’ll try to make it more than once every four months.
Short post today
A few weeks ago, I discovered Metamorphosis Alpha–the very first science fiction RPG, published by TSR way back in 1976, eight years before I came into existence. In those two weeks, I’ve found myself imagining how far this sort of gonzo, post-apocalyptic sword & planet colony ship setting could go and it seems the answer is that it is limitless. Right now, I’m working pretty determinedly on my own setting for the game, which will (hopefully) use the Mutant Crawl Classics rules whenever they are released.
This map is the first in a series of posts I’ll be of Metamorphosis Alpha maps.The plan is to share material that I’m working for the campaign, such as maps, creatures, gadgets, setting info (since I’m making my own ship: the Mutual of Omaha Starship Vonnegut), etc. The first piece is a small map that could function as either a PC homebase or encounter site.
If other deities just aren’t quite “alpha” enough for your hardened sword-swinging veteran, muscled scallywag, or sulky-eyed barbarian with massive pectorals, then Behold! the ancient temple of Ar’Nuuld the Mightily Thewed, God of Strength, Manly Manliness, and Feats of Athleticism that are not Pansy Dexterous Stuff, complete with plenty of portcullises which to lift and bars therein to bend, deluxe sun-roofed flexing pit, where brocolyte and faithful alike can slather a bit of wizard grease (the spell, not the rendered fat of magic-users, though it comes aplenty) on their honed and minotaur hormone-enhanced flexors and praise Ar’Nuuld among the equally strapping; a chamber housing the Unliftable Stone of Ar’Nuuld itself, which has thrown out many an olympian back and only been budged a quarter of an inch in twelve centuries; and now featuring a members-only sauna! (Please forgive the mess: the leg area of our temple has long ago collapsed into ruin).
Below, I’ve included stats and background info for Ar’Nuuld based upon TSR’s Deities and Demigods (1980) and Richard J. LeBlanc, Jr.’s Petty Gods. Hopefully there is enough included (and not included) to allow you to include Ar’Nuuld in your own campaigns. In the future, I also hope to write a whole adventure centered around this temple and The Mightily Thewed’s worshippers.
Wilson’s Loping Neckbeard
Armor Class: 6 Hit Points: 65
Movement in Spaces: 10
Radiation Resistance: 15 Constitution: 18
Mental Resistance: 3 Strength: 17
Defect: Diminished Senses (Sight), Mental Defenselessness.
Mutations: Heightened Hearing, Heightened Smell, Marsupial, Leaper, Taller, Out-Sized Body Parts (Neck), Quadrupedal.
Appearance: While they retain a superficially human appearance, Wilson’s Loping Neckbeards range between 20 feet long (males) and 16 feet long (females). Their skin colors range the full spectrum of a normal human, as well does their hair color, though they are commonly found shaven if domesticated. In the wild, they are known for the luxurious manes that hang from the bottoms of their supple necks. These manes are prized by some tribes for the decoration of ceremonial garb and can be traded for valuable items.
Loping Neckbeards have squinty, nearly useless eyes, which they make up for with their broad noses and large ears. They are constantly heard huffing and snorting in their herds. They move by long loping strides, hence their name. An unmistakable arrhythmic beat heard across the plains is the sound of a herd of loping neckbeards brought on by their gangly, mutant forms.
Normal Reaction: As a herd “animal,” Loping Neckbeards are fairly easy to startle and once one member of the herd notices an approaching creature, the awareness sweeps through all of them in a matter of seconds. They can usually smell a creature from 100 yards away. Otherwise, they are fairly docile creatures and will graze for hours and frolic unless disturbed. They are highly protective of their young and the younger males, who’ve yet to fully develop their manes will commonly taunt predators and if they can, kill them. The larger male neckbeards are sluggish and will laze in the deepest shadows they can find for hours. Their manes are the most highly prized.
Terrain: Loping Neckbeards can be found in open plains where they are constantly in a state of migration. They have been known to rampage farmlands from time to time, as well. A variety of Neckbeard called the Abominable Cave Neckbeard is rumored to exist but no evidence of this subterranean creature has yet been discovered beyond the tales of travelers coming back from the dark recesses between decks where they find nests filled with empty Universal Food Paste tubes and excrement similar to that of a normal Neckbeard of the plains. It is speculated that these Cave Neckbeards might actually be older males driven from the herd due to the tremendous amount of food they eat.
Attacking: The main form of attack these creatures have is to wallop an enemy with their large fists, though they will commonly flee when threatened by any collective show of force. This attack will deal 3d6 damage if it connects. Loping Neckbeards have also been known to strangle predators with their hands if they’re able to get a grip and even lob stones.
Procreating: Mating is a difficult and complicated process for Wilson’s Loping Neckbeards. The females appear to have a strong aversion to the males that defies any reproductive logic (another odd effect of the Space Radiation Cloud), so the males are driven not by the use of any force, but by engaging in an elaborate courtship ritual wherein the courting male will persistently follow the female and bellow until she finally allows him to mount her, sometimes months later, and after which point the male will collapse into a torpor. Neckbeards gestate for around 9 months and are carried in their mothers’ pouches for 3 more months before they are forced out. Another behavior specific to the males is the tendency to attempt to stay in their mothers’ pouch far longer than they need and once out, they will again and again attempt to climb back inside, even after they have outgrown the pouch.