Friday, June 30, 2017

The Elephant Tower of Hindrah

Hindrah the Magnificient, Hindrah the Everlasting, many were the titles of the ancient Valley of Hindrah, now all but lost to living memory. Once a prosperous city state, ruling over a mount-locked valley, ancient Hindrah was once a great military and economic force. The armies of Hindrah fielded thousands of elephants trained for war, fueled by the precious silver and opal mines of the city state. For hundreds of years, the rulers of the Opal Throne, governed unquestioned and undefeated in the Mountains of Hindara, until one day.. it simply ceased to exist.  Expeditions, sent by neighboring kingdoms, could find no trace of their cousins. The valley entrance, the magnificent bridge, everything, had simply vanished overnight. Adventurers, seeking after fabled riches, either returned empty handed, or not at all.

That was centuries ago...

The fabled Elephant Tower, rumored to stand guard over the bridge leading to the Valley of Hindrah.
The Valley of Hindrah, and the magnificent Opal Throne, are for you, the enterprising Game Master, to create. To get you started is the Elephant Tower, a quick little setup that should get players interested in exploring the legendary ruins of this mysterious vanished kingdom.

Cartography by Dyson Logos

Monday, June 26, 2017

Optional Rules: Non-Player Fortunetellers

Over the years I have seen a few write-ups done for "fortuneteller" NPCs. This is my take, and yes it is based on the d20 magic 8-ball model.

First, the DM assigns an accuracy rating for the NPC. For this example I am using a d8 as my basis, which translates into 12.5% accuracy for each level of accuracy assigned to the fortuneteller.

Madam Dubrova has an accuracy of 3 in 8 (37.5%) for each question being answered correctly.

The following is a simple d20 table of typical answers to yes/no questions. 10 are positive, 5 are non-committal, and 5 are negative. The reasoning for this is simple.. people prefer positive answers to their questions and a fortuneteller is above all a business woman.

Right Click and Save, to download table.

As a rule of thumb, a fortuneteller can expect to command a price of 50 coins per level of accuracy assigned to them. I say coins because it is up to the DM whether to charge copper, silver, or gold. Fortunetellers are a shrewd lot and charge each customer according to their ability to pay. This also gives players a reason to go out scrambling for money to pay the fortuneteller for her services.

For our example, Madam Dubrova can be expected to charge 150 gold coins for answering each question.. as players will often have access to gold.

To make things even more interesting, Madam Dubrova isn't just a psychic, she deals in real information. Using a network of informants, from her cat Familiar, to clients who owe her debts (and happen to work for important people), she has a wealth of insider knowledge at her command. She will often drop these tidbits into her sessions to boost the "accuracy" of her predictions, and gain the confidence of her "customers".

A few levels of spellcaster (usually cleric or druid) can also help round out a fortunetelling NPC.

The image for Madame Dubrova is derived from the Public Domain
"A Study, No. 1 / Rudolph Eickemeyer / 1901"

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Redcap's Review of The Cozy Hearth Inn

Redcap was being his usual irascible self of late, and the editorial staff had to go on a proverbial snipe hunt to find the little murderous bastard. We had to drag him, kicking and cursing, from his hidey-hole and sober him up before he finally coughed up [literally.. ewww] a copy of his latest review. Dealing with these independent Dark Fey freelance writers can be such a pain in the arse.

Now this product weighs in light at 7 pages, 4 pages of actual content, plus covers, credits, standard OGL. Printed out as double sided pages, it comes in at 4 pages, including one blank page (good for writing notes, etc), but it packs a solid value into those pages. The artwork, by Maciej Zagórski, is incredible as always. The three maps detailing the various floors of the inn are precisely detailed. And the NPC's are interesting enough to draw players' attention and help make the setting of the inn a comfortable place to hang their hats for awhile.

This product isn't meant to be an adventure in itself, though it does offer a short side quest into the basement for low level adventurers. It's meant to be a reoccurring location, suitable for use in just about any campaign setting. Though it has a few statistics written for D20, the information can be translated easily into any desired game system the Game Master desires.

As a free offering, this little package carries itself very well. The Forge Studios didn't put this out as an edited preview, but as a professionally produced stand alone product. If it's an indication of their other products, then they can count on our future business. 

Click here for a copy of, The Cozy Hearth Inn, from DriveThruRPG

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Redcap's Review of The Broken Coin Inn

Today, Redcap dug into his bag of scrolls, books, and PDFs*, to bring us a review of, The Broken Coin Inn, from The Forge Studios. After our staff wizards checked the manuscript for the usual hidden Explosive Runes, and other spiteful tricks that Redcap is infamous for, we translated it into English for you, our readers.

This PDF weighs in at just 10 pages, 6 pages of actual content, plus covers, credits, and standard OGL. The layout allows for conveniently printing of all 10 pages, or simply printing out the 6 pages of meat and potatoes portion (3 pages of double sided print), for inclusion in your DM's adventure binder. It is available for free download from the excellent folks over at DriveThruRPG.

The setting of, The Broken Coin Inn, gives a complete layout and description of the inn itself, though the hidden Thieves' Guild beneath will require a little workup by the DM. Not everything is included in exhaustive detail, so as to allow the DM to include their own personalized touches, treasures, and secrets. It can be used as is with minimal work on the DM's part to drop it into their campaign, but contains enough interesting details that it can be expanded to provide a few evening's worth of adventures.. including a possible plot against the local potentate!

Only one major NPC, Enddom the Pouch, is given a stat block to go with his background, including his magical sword, Amrolth (Dragonfinger). Two more NPCs, Enddom's daughter, Bethel, and a local trainer of men at arms, Valon Maenyth, have short backstories provided, but stats are left up to the DM.

Although the product is plagued by a small number of grammatical errors, nothing stands out that can't be easily ignored. Overall the product is useful and has been included in our own personal campaign materials. Except for the one stat block, written in D20 format, this product is rules agnostic and can be converted into any preferred game system of your choosing.

* Hey, what can we say, he's hip to modern conveniences.. for a murderous, spiteful, Fey.