Thursday, June 30, 2016


This depiction of the "Apostle to the Dogheads" is... wrong

Dogheads were men once, and perhaps they still are.  In some barely remembered time before the creation of the Realm of Man, perhaps even before even the Empire, there was a shinning kingdom of men far from the Middle Sea.  Some say it lay south of the Desert Lands, but others say it was somewhere in the jungles of the Land of a Thousand Idols and some say it was in both and neither.  Wherever it was or wherever it wasn't it was ruled by a wise king.*

In some tomes it is claimed that it was this king who first heard the Law, but such a belief is the rankest of heresies.  More conservative theologians who still believe the City existed before the Empire merely state that he could sense the great thrumming but not hear it as the Lady Could.  This has kept them unburned... so far.  In any case, he built the City.  The City was the jewel of the world before the Realm came into being, and it is said to have sparkled for a thousand years - supposedly the unnatural length of the wise king's life.

It's people became decadent and, as people without the light of the Law are wont to do, began to worship strange beings they believed to be gods.  The wise king warned them of their folly, but they did not listen.  Some say the high priests of the nameless god of the dogheads ate the king alive, though some say he still lives.  At the very least, they bit him, and for this they gained the heads of canines - whether as a curse from the God of Law or as a divine boon from their nameless idol none can say.

The City fell into ruin without its king and its (now dog-headed) people were set to a life of wandering.  Somehow, in the time of the First Emperor and the Lady, they came to the Steppe which lies east of the Dark Country.  They burned the human settlements that lay on the Steppe's edge and devoured the people there in the name of their nameless god.  Then they came over the Nameless Mountains.**  The legions beat them back but did not follow them into the Steppe, and they have lived their ever since.

They are a plague on the Dark Country.  They come in great raiding parties down the rivers and through the passes and burn and eat the men they come across.  By the reckoning of the pagans and even most Realmish settlers in that benighted land, they are actually not beast-men.  They seem, in their way, to have a language, a culture, and even two sexes.  Aside from their cannibalism(?) they act not unlike the raiding pagans of old.

There are three known types.

Lesser Dogheads (N) AC 15 HD 2 Attacks Weapon Special None Move 12" The average doghead.  Rarely seen outside of the steppe.  Use spears, shields, and small compound bows to defend their tents.

Greater Dogheads (N) AC 16 HD 4+1 Attacks Weapon (+1d6 damage if melee) Special None Move 24" Taller than a man by half.  Scamper on too many legs in an unsettling fashion.  Fond of compound bows and scimitars.

Doghead Chieftans (N) AC 16 HD 5+4 Attacks Weapon (+1d6 if melee) Special See below Move 24"/24" (Fly)  As Greater Doghead but with two heads (often one male and one female) and two crowns.  Can fly, become invisible, and breathe fire (8d6 damage, save for half) at will.  They may charm person or monster and create a sphere of darkness once per day.  Some may be able to turn into human form but are loathe to do so.  They will retain their second head but will hide it with a cloak.

*Some blasphemous sources record his name as Prestor Ultron, but only in Zenopolis.  All such records have been burned on the orders of High Pontiff Burgos the Sullen shortly before his passing.

**Some hold that the Nameless Mountains are named after the Dogheads nameless god.  This assertion is ludicrous.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

More News from the Dark Country

After the most recent G+ session of Nightwick, Antion or whatever had his character participate in a new system I've developed to eat the PCs money and to also give them stuff.  This is part of the result.

Breaking News
While fishing near his hut in the Fog-Bound Forest, Kozel is approached by a woodsman. He is a young man with a bright face and a nervous smile. He identifies himself as Jurgl and says that "travelers" in the village related to him that when Arnawald the Black Eagle successful sacked Blackleg in a second siege his men found a Temple to "Saint Santa Claus."

Knowing the go-- err... saint was responsible for his defeat at the first siege, he sent his men into the temple to seize the ido-- er... relics inside. They burned the idol after hacking it with axes.

Now the place lies in ruins and is said to be haunted by foul creatures from the Fog-Bound Forest. Perhaps, though, Kozel may find his answers about the "saint" within...

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Savages of Time

Savages of Time
AC 14
HD 3
Attacks Crude Weapons
Special Cosmic Entropy
Move 9
HDE 6/400

The Savages of Time are heralds of cosmic entropy found in only the oldest ruins on dying and dead worlds.  Their presence seems to erode these ruins such that by the end they are nothing more than foundations.  From Earth the nearest example of their handy work may be seen on Mars, though - due in part to the zigguratic-structure of time, some of the ruins of that planet remain untouched.

They appear as morlock-like creatures - stouter than a man and with imbecilic features.  They are not so much albinistic as colorless.  They have neither art nor legends nor songs.  Their material culture, such as it is, consists only of crude tools for practical purposes.  Even these are prone to break in the hands of non-savages.

Wounds dealt by a savage contain the chill of cosmic entropy.  As such, they may not be healed by non-magical means.  Weapons which strike them must make a saving throw or rust beyond usefulness.  Those made of precious metals do not rust but instead tarnish, reducing their value by half with each failed save.  After four such failed saves the atoms of the weapon scatter harmlessly in a process that is only understood by those who meditate on the impermanence of all things.

Even magic fails in their presence.  Magical weapons used against them must make a similar save (the weapons attack bonus acting as a bonus to the roll) or lose an effect with each strike.  Should all its magic be drained in this manner, the weapon may then be destroyed as described above.  Spells cast on the Savages of Time may never be memorized again and the spell slots used are no longer available to the caster.

Some scholars have speculated about the nature of their spontaneous generation and seeming lack of secondary sexual characteristics.  A mad few have postulated that the savages of time are emanations of a 5th dimensional being best, but still dimly, understood as a god or titan of entropy.  Should such a being exist its presence would only be detectable by use of dispel magic.  Even this would only reveal the parts of the  creature which intersect with the dimensions perceivable by man. In any event such a creature would appear as a shifting mass of colorless bubbles constantly ebbing and flowing, presumably about 30' in diameter.  It would possess the following statistics: AC 15 HD 16 Attacks Beam of Entropy (3d6 damage), Special Cosmic Entropy Move 3/120 (Fly).  Slaying the creature would remove the Savages of Time from existence and may even restore the ruins around them.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

News from the Dark Country

Pictured: The murder of one of Arn's wife's handmaidens by a group of rebels.

News from the Dark Country
Word has reached Nightwick that the villages around Blackleg are once again inrevolt. Arn, Arnawald's son and de facto Lord of Blackleg, is more competent than his predecessor and seems to be managing the situation much better.

However, the reports say the rebellion is more organized this time, relying on raids and terror rather than mass attacks. There are dark whispers of coins left in the eyes of rendered skulls and daggers thrust into dead men's hearts. Perhaps it is the work of the infamous Brotherhood.

The members of the lodge who pay attention to such things have informed Kozel that the Deer-men have once again retreated into the forest. Signs in the soil around the Abbey make it seem as though their numbers are greatly diminished since their last exodus.

The army of Sir Ulrich of Lichtenstein has failed to return from its great campaign in the Witchwood. No survivors have scrambled out in the two years since he left. Those who have gone looking for them, either to help them find their way out or to loot their corpses, report no signs of the Lost Army. The only thing out of the ordinary is some extra activity at the Witchfort.

From now on whenever I generate news for the G+ and home groups I'm going to post it on here too.  It might not make much sense to y'all but whatever.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Here, Have a Map

When I was running the Wilderlands a while back I decided an easy way to get interesting maps would be to convert maps from the Doom, Doom 2, and Final Doom so that they could be easily represented on twiddla.  Since I was copying them from various wikis I wasn't necessarily sure where the entrances and secret doors were 100% of the time.

Anyway, since I can't do anything else with them I decided to start posting them on her after I work them up in gridmapper.

Note to my players: it is highly likely that I will still use these maps at some point in the foreseeable future, so you might not want to look too hard at them.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Do You Want to Die in a Hole?!

Do You Want to Die in a Hole?!
Nightwick Abbey has lain in ruins for almost two centuries.  Built by power hungry knights and mad wizards, it now is home to only ghosts and goblins. Peasants refuse to work in the shadow of the ruined church, and at night eerie lights issue forth from its depths.  Many have tried to wrestle gold from the crypts which lie beneath, but few have returned.  Are you brave enough to seek your fortune in a demon-haunted dungeon?

A ConstantCon game using the Swords and Wizardry White Box

Play is from 8:30 - Midnight CT every Monday. 

This is not a FLAILSNAILS game.  You'll need a new guy for my precious-setting-shithole-hellscape.

Email me at evanDOTvanDOTelkinsATgmailDOTcom if you're interested.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Hail, Horrors!: Knights of Hell

At the bottom of space there is a Dragon.  Its mouth gapes wide, fangs bared, gouts of flame spiraling up into the void.  It is written that the river Acheron, which once brought life to the people of the Desert Lands in the eons before the founding of the Empire, flows through the World and down the throat of the Dragon, pooling in the first of its thousandfold terrible stomachs.  It is in that boiling morass of mud and hate and fear and fire that the souls of the damned first enter the Pit.

This is the realm of the Fishers of Souls. Horrid and hideous, blind and lame, they are the lowly smiths of Hell’s great armies.  They wade through the searing muck to find larvae - the debased form that the souls assume upon first entering the nether-realms.  These they grasp with great hooks of bone and sorrow and drag to the strange “forges” of Hell - vats and other devices too alien to man for our kind to understand their use.  It is in these that demons are made, and thereby those who sought to gain the favor of the Lords of the World are set to suffer with them in chains in the belly of the Dragon.

Most of these souls a changed into lesser fiends - such as imps or familiars - or gather together into a host of fiends with the power to possess mortals.  There are certain souls, however, of special wickedness that they are elevated into the Pit's great hierarchy.*  The forges change them in ways which reflect their diabolic masters.  

These are the Knights of Hell.  Four types are described below.

All Knights of Hell have the following statistics: HD 4 AC 16 ST 14 Move 12 (24 if able to fly).

All Knights of Hell may only be wounded by silver or magic weapons since they are not of this plane.  Holy water is also sovereign against them.  

Should a single Knight of Hell possess a man that man will not become a cadaverite in the normal fashion.  Instead his body will warp to take on the aspects of the demon that possesses him. Eventually he will become a physical manifestation of the demon with double the normal Hit Dice.  However, this physical body also means that he can be wounded by normal weapons.

All Knights of Hell reform in the Pit if defeated on the material plane unless special lawful weapon are used.

If forced into a magic circle, all Knights of Hell will teach one second level spell (roll or pick based on the most appropriate for the nature of the demon).

Knights of Armadeus appear as great carrion birds of enormous size - nearly the size of a draft horse, or as a great shaggy beast of diabolic aspect.  In either form they have the power of flight.

They may dispel invisibility at will.  Once per day they can create 10' of darkness and locate any object relating to an arcane or secret matter within 4 hexes of their current location

If forced into a magic circle, their form will change to that of a spectral warrior with black skin, black teeth, and black eyes.  In this form they may locate objects, and speak the true names of lesser fiends for the creator of the circle.

Knights of the Horned One appear in the form of satyrs, rams, bucks, and he-goats.  Sometimes these have the heads of animals, other times the heads of men.  They are always horned.  In none of these forms may they fly.

Knights of the Horned One may cast a powerful charm against persons (-2 to save) or monsters (no modifier) at will.  Once per day they may hold person, teleport from one spot shaded by a tree to any other within the confines of a hexmap (Judges Guild or ACKS regional sized), and may locate any object pertaining to a carnal affair within 4 hexes of their current location.

If forced into a magic circle, they will change into an angelic form of the animal they most resemble - or, in the case of a satyr, a strangely diminished angel.  In this form they will charm an object of the magician's lust, carry him to a shaded grove, or locate an object associated with his heart's desire.

Knights of the Horned One often engage in carnal acts with witches and warlocks.  The result of these acts will be stillborn until the sixth time, when it will grow into a devil-man.

Knights of Ozgin appear in a riot of forms, even for demons.  Most are vaguely mannish, though only in the broadest sense.  Their faces and limbs are twisted or multiplied in strange ways such that any semblance to humanity is difficult to tell.  They clothe what parts of their body can be clothed in raucous colors that are sickening to the eyes.  In no form may they fly.

Knights of Ozgin may become invisible or make one individual invisible at will.  Once per day the knight may create a phantasmal force. render a victim maddened (-2 saving throw or perceive friends as diabolic foes that must be slain), or locate any object related to deadly madness within 4 hexes of its current location.

If forced into a magic circle, a Knight of Ozgin will become a billowing rainbow of colored smoke.  In this form it will always lie to the caster, but usefully the statements are always the precise opposite of what is true.  They will madden the magician's foes at times which would most likely lead to siblicide.

Knights of Moloch appear as bulls or minotaurs belching fire and smoke.  In either form they are priapic.  Only in the forms of bulls may they fly.

Once per day they may create a fireball, teleport from one furnace to another within a hexmap, protect another individual from normal missiles, and locate an object related to the murderous arts -both clandestine and martial - within a 4 hex radius.  They may belch forth flickering lights at will and their touch burns like fire (advantage on damage dice).

If forced into a magic a magic circle, their penis will vanish and their smoke and fire will die away.  Blood will poor from their orifices in a most disturbing manner.  In this form they may instruct in the use of weapons, reveal the names of murderers, will carry the caster from furnace to furnace (caster is not immune to damage from this effect), and will locate objects as described above.

Notes: the semi-assumed max-level for Nightwick characters is 10.  Since it is so reliant on medieval and horror movie imagery, I decided it was useful to begin the ranks of demons at much fewer hit dice than Vrocks.  Example barons, marquises, dukes, princes, presidents, and great kings of Hell will be discussed in due time.

*It must be remembered that the Pit's supposed hierarchy is an imposition by man on pure chaos.  In fact, some dangerously heterodox scholars claim the demons described above are so "regular" only because they must conform to man's perception.