If you’d like to play some games with Adam, schedules are as follows:
Classic Dungeons & Dragons (5e) – Saturday at 10:00 AM, 8 hours, Student Center: Sammy’s:4
Many heroes have traveled into the hills above Verbonbc in search of the rumored lost treasure of Rufulo and Zanzabar. But a new terror inhabited the black craig a month ago – a dragon and evil cultists devoted to it. Now two of the village’s children have been kidnapped, slated to be sacrificed in just eight hours! Dare you adventurers venture thither to rescue the children?
Traveller: First Run – Sunday 10 AM, 4 hours, Herring Hall:224:1
Try your hand at one of the original science-fiction role-playing games: Traveller. No previous experience required. In a far-flung future where anything is possible, the players will first create their own characters, earning skills, contacts, and enemies as they journey through the depths of space. Then, events that no one could have predicted will hurl the characters into crisis that could threaten their very lives!
Vampyre Women of Venus Open Play – Friday at 6:00 PM, 4 hours, at Forum C FORC-363
An adventure board game set on a pulp sci-fi planet Venus where the players’ rocket ship has crash landed. New players may try their luck every hour with this quick game. Rotating rounds of play should be the norm. Three different ways to win—solo or co-operative. Stop by at the top of any hour to play.
Classic Dungeons & Dragons (5e) – Saturday at 1:00 PM, 8 hours 1777, Westgate A WGA-394
Many heroes have traveled into the hills above Verbonbc in search of the rumored lost treasure of Rufulo and Zanzabar. But lately, a new threat has inhabited the bleak peak: A night-soaring dragon and its reptilian worshipers. Now the cultists have kidnapped some of the village children to be sacrificed to the dragon at midnight! Dare ye adventurers venture thither?
Posted in announcement, convention and tagged GaryCon, news: convention, OwlCon by Adam A. Thompson with no comments yet.
For the 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons players out there, here’s a magic item from our unpublished adventure For Love of Evil. Dan and I wrote this adventure to run at GenCon in 2009 – it’s a scenario where the 30th level Player Characters are trying to release the ultimate god of evil to unmake the universe.
Lvl 28 +5 2,125,000 gp
Armor: hide, chain, scale, plate
Enhancement: AC, Dexterity & Strength
Property: The player does not keep track of their own hit points while wearing the armor, instead the DM does. In addition, whenever the player wishes to use a healing surge, they must make a saving throw. Success indicates that they can, failure indicates that they instead attack the nearest enemy (via charge etc.) In addition, while bloodied, the wearer of this armor gains +2 to speed and +2 to athletics checks.
Cursed: Removing the armor from a living creature requires a Remove Affliction ritual with a penalty to the Heal check equal to the armor’s level.
Posted in 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons, Fantasy, Magic Item and tagged #Berserk by Adam A. Thompson with no comments yet.
Robert Pearce‘s new Traveller suppliment Starship Geomorphs is a huge new resource for science-fiction gamers, filled with beautiful illustrations, hundreds of starship deckplan geomorphs, and most importantly, really good suggestions for using these modular maps in your home game. Designed to be used to quickly generate starship and spaceport maps, these geomorphs also provide inspiration when designing deck plans for new ships.
Representing three years of painstaking work, this beautiful 185 page book is a great resource for any science-fiction role-player, and he’s made it available as a free download! I recommend it highly to any sci-fi gamemaster, or anyone who wants to design starship interiors.
Included in the free guide are instructions for printing these maps out to use in your home game for both 15mm and 25mm scale miniatures.
This wonderful resource also includes maps for areas one doesn’t usually see in deckplans, like recreation areas, many different common areas, shopping areas, arboretums, viewing galleries, and even agricultural spaces. I will definitely be using these to build out starports and megaships in my Traveller game.
Posted in Editorial, Review, Science-Fiction, Traveller by Adam A. Thompson with no comments yet.
Captain Liv is a rough-around-the-edges, lusty human woman with the hard-nosed independent attitude common to the free traders of the Skein Reach. She flies the Sable Tiger, a custom GM 210 that can cover three parsecs in a jump.
Canny, she knows when to hold ’em and when to fold, when to run, and when to fight. First Mate “Seargent Mac” is a humorless retired Imperial Space Marine, who lost a leg in a crusade against the lizard people of Marzox 6b and now mostly gets around with the help of a grav belt. Jack is friendly and sociable, knows the basics of all of the Sable Tiger’s systems, and fills in wherever needed. They are often on the lookout for good crew, whether it is stewards to attend to their passengers, gunners to operate the turrets, engineers, sensor operators, or even some new lover picked up in starport, whisked off to the stars.
Cpn. Liv was born Lavinia Thunxzon on Johnston’s World, and got her start flying with her father on his free trader the Tortise, running the planet’s agricultural goods to Aroura Station. After seven years the Tortise was shot down and plundered in the Archeron system. Her father was killed, she was badly injured, and the remains of the Tortise were scrapped by the pirate flotilla.
Pressed into service, Liv proved herself a capable crewmember who was good with a blade if need be. The next eleven years were spent in incredible adventures in space, living outside the law, warring with other gangs and pirates, gaining friends and killing enemies, until she gained the trust and friendship of Grgrz, the massive, ruthless reptilian pirate admiral leading the underground resistance to the Empire’s Crusade on Marzox. She was given Captaincy of the Sable Tiger to run supplies past the Imperial blockades, and was there at Marzox 6b when the Imperial Bombardment Fleet arrived and the Crusade was ushered to a bloody victory on a scorched planet. The resistance in tatters, Cpn. Liv fled in the Sable Tiger rimward, back to the Skein Reach.
Since then the Sable Tiger has been on the run in the Skein Reach, laying low, running the old agricultural cargo run from Jhonston’s World to Aroura Station, and doing jobs in other remote destinations in the Reach.
Merchant (Free Trader) rank 1
Rogue (Pirate) rank 1
Human Female, age 34
DEX 11 (+1)
EDU 5 (-1)
SOC 3 (-1)
Gun Combat (Energy) 1
Gunner (Turret) 1
Melee (Blade) 2
Pilot (Spacecraft) 2
Tactics (Military) 1
Vacc Suit 2
Saber (3D damage)
Laser Carbine (4D damage)
Hostile Environment Vacc Suit (+12 Protection)
Sable Tiger (customized GM-210)
Built on a powerful Galactic Monopoly modular chassis, this sleek ship is packed to the gills with speed. Wrapped in a custom superdense armored hull, the Sable Tiger has the maneuverability and toughness to blast past blockades, returning fire along the way.
Hull 200 ton (Standard, Partially Streamlined – 80 Hull Points)
Armor 4 (Bonded Superdense – 6.4 tons)
Jump 2 parsecs (10 tons)
Thrust 6G (12 tons)
Power 210 (TL 12 – 14 tons – Basic Systems 40, M Drive 120, Jump Drive 40, Sensors 2, Weapons 12)
Fuel 70.6 tons (uses 20 tons per parsec jumped)
Fuel Processor (1 ton – processes 20 tons / day)
Bridge (3 tons)
Sensors – Military Grade (2 tons – power 4) – Radar, Lidar, Jammers
Armaments – 2 x double turrets (2 tons) with:
– beam laser (power 4), sandcaster
– pulse laser (power 4), pulse laser (power 4)
Staterooms 6 (24 tons)
Common Area (5 tons)
Cargo Capacity – 50 tons
Cpn Liv and the Sable Tiger in your Game
Cpn. Liv and the Sable Tiger could be friends, enemies, contacts, allies, or anything else to the players in your Traveller game. Perhaps the Sable Tiger needs crew for some desperate and audacious job? Or they’ve been hired to follow the players and collect a bounty? Or they swoop in to help in response to the player’s distress call? Or they’re rivals, after the same thing as the players?
About Cpn. Liv
I whipped up these characters when the Travellers in my Monday game got rescued from Archeron 4, where they had become stranded. On the spot I came up with Cpn. Liv of the Sabre Tiger, Sgt. Mac, and Jack, her crew. The above stats were generated with the new version of Traveller (Mongoose v2).
Original stats from my campaign notes:
Captain Liv – Lavinia Thunson, captain of the Sabre Tiger (fast trader), St 8, Dx 9, En 6, In 8, Ed 6, So 3.
Sabre Tiger crew – Mac (ex imperial trooper), Jack (the friendly one), Zack (mechanic), Hailey (Mechanic), and Cookie (steward)
Posted in Character, Science-Fiction, Starship, Traveller by Adam A. Thompson with no comments yet.
Upon the black sand shores of far north-eastern Findor, a few miles up the road from an isolated fishing village, there is a three-story monastery of basalt stones. Beside it is a shrine to no named god, built beneath the shelter of the upturned prow of a wrecked sailing ship. The monks there will tell visitors that the monastery was founded by a sailor who washed ashore after a great storm, and who took shelter and a vow of silence beneath the wreckage of the ship. He built gardens and started building the monastery tower, and others joined him there in a peaceful life of contemplation of the dark ocean and the cold wind.
Now the monastery is well established, with a well, two fishing boats, an apiary and meadery, numerous chickens, and flocks of sheep and goats. Three monks oversee things, Brother Trausti, a mute human who teaches unarmed combat* and stonework, Brother Fardinb, a friendly half-elf who oversees the work of the younger monks on the monastery’s farms, and Sister Gretta, a studious hill gnome who oversees the library that takes up the top floor of the monastery tower.
Unknown to all of the residents the monastery has a magical connection to the astral plane. The sailor who founded the monastery had a vision of the Sea of Stars when he was dying of drowning, and meditated on it until he discovered how to travel there in his mind. His frequent psychic travels formed a weak connection between the training room that makes up the first floor of the monastery and the astral plane, and as a result planar travel and communication with the outer realms is slightly easier in the first floor of the monastery.
Through his meditation, and his time carving the stone of the training room, Trausti has begun to receive visions from the deep astral, as have the rest of the monks in the monastery. These visions, like those received by others scattered around the world, relate to the impending apocalypse of the Summer Frost, and are the result of White Eye’s secret spell to locate the pieces of the long lost Ring of Runes. With it in his grasp and reforged, White Eye intends to use its world-altering power to encase the world in eternal ice.
*Because one player wanted to play a monk in my Monday D&D game, I came up with this place on the fly during Session Zero. It turned out to be a great place to tie the plot threads into since we decided the warlock PC would also come from the same place. Good brainstorming in Session Zero really bore some great fruit, in terms of plot.
Posted in Location, Lore / Worldbuilding by Adam A. Thompson with no comments yet.
A notorious figure in the eastern Pirate Kingdoms, Barkle is a greedy, heartless wizard. He is known to recruit minions who rob the good, honest villagers and travelers on the lonely road between Vistola and the Monastery of the Deep.
medium human male, chaotic evil
Wizard (Urchin) Level 7
Speed 30 ft.
STR 9 (-1)
DEX 14 (+2)
INT 18 (+4)
WIS 16 (+3)
CHA 16 (+3)
Saving Throws Intelligence, Wisdom
Skills Arcana, Insight, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, Disguise Kit, Thieve’s Tools
Languages common, draconic, goblin
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)
Spellcasting. Bargle is a 7th level spellcaster. His spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 15, +7 to hit with spell attacks). Bargle has the following wizard spells prepared:
Cantrips (at will):
1st level (4 slots): shield, magic missile, charm person, sleep
2st level (3 slots): invisibility, misty step, ray of enfeeblement
3st level (3 slots): fireball, counter spell, fly
4th level (1 slots): wall of fire
Dagger. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) piercing damage.
Posted in 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons, Character by Adam A. Thompson with no comments yet.
I came up with this dungeon when my players wandered into hex C2-20 in the classic Dungeons & Dragons adventure Descent Into the Depths of the Earth, a great old adventure which encourages DMs to fill inthe blank encounter areas with dungeons of one’s own design.
One of the players was playing a Warlock with the Far Ones pact, and I wanted to introduce a re-occurring Mind Flayer antagonist who would be a contact for the Warlock for their pact. The result was a nasty little dungeon filled with traps and horrors. When the Mind Flayer within contacted the warlock telepathically to offer magical secrets the Player Characters followed them right in.
The evil architects of this stronghold forced their slaves to build it as a spiraling trap, with a raised, hidden central area from which they could use their psychic powers on hapless intruders. As their prey make their way through the outer areas, encountering the mind-controlled slaves who dwell there, the Mind Flayers will lurk, peering through hidden peep-holes to use mind blasts and charm powers on their victims. If discovered, the Mind Flayers will retreat up 20 foot vertical shafts to the central passages and behind further secret doors.
Posted in 1st edition D&D, 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons, Adventure, Fantasy, Location, Lore / Worldbuilding, rules agnostic, Trap and tagged Descent into the Depths of the Earth by Adam A. Thompson with no comments yet.
Greetings true believers! I’m excited to announce that I’ll be speaking on a panel at #RTX this year, at 3:30 Saturday August 4th in the Hilton Grand Ballroom!
Come ask me all of the questions about writing #ClassOf198x !
Come see Brett and the boys (presumably)!
Hell, Geoff might even show up? I honestly have no idea!
Posted in announcement, convention, Uncategorized by Adam A. Thompson with 2 comments.
In case you missed it, the second season of our actual-play Dungeons & Dragons show Class of 198X is available here!
See the comedians of Cow Chop play teenagers from the 1980’s and bumble their way through time and space in this incredible adventure, fighting adversaries (and each other) every step of the way.
If you’d like to play the adventure from season one of the show, it’s right here!
Posted in 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons, announcement, D20 Modern, Fantasy, Science-Fiction and tagged Class of 198X by Adam A. Thompson with no comments yet.
Having crossed the length and breadth of the Skein Reach
nurtured a nascent Droid Uprising
faced off against, and robbed
the Imperium, and the Ragranok Krew
made enemies innumerable
and killed many
and in the process saved many from death and from fates worse than death
the motley crew of the starship CALAMITY
navigate ever coreward
following the impulses of a strange cyber-brain
and a pieced-together map from a lost star empire
past dead star after dead star
attended by tiny chunks of rock
(each gathering sufficient hydrogen from the bright strands of bright, colorful nebulae to allow refueling)
nestled in the glare of a deadly pulsar
a blank globe
of deepest darkness.
Posted in Lore / Worldbuilding, Science-Fiction, Traveller, Uncategorized and tagged ale break, Skein Reach, worldbuilding by Adam A. Thompson with no comments yet.