Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Murkim in Wermspittle

Their ancestors were known and shunned by the Pallid. The Tsalalians no longer speak their names, the glyph they once used to describe these people has been obliterated, purged from their collective vocabulary. They will tell you that they are older than the Ghouls, that they were here before the founding of Latterkamp. Perhaps it is true, maybe they are lying; all anyone knows is that the Murkim have been in Wermspittle as long as there has been white vapors prowling the lowest of the Understreets, gray ashes that fall like snow in late Spring and black rains in early Summer. It is uncertain if the Murkim are responsible for these things, or associated with them for obscure reasons, or if they are actually to blame for them in some way.

Murkim trade in shadows, simulacra and reflections, among other liminal things that they capture, bind and sell like animals or artworks to be devoured or digested, admired or invested according to the whims and fancies of those who would deal with them. They barter for figments and fragments, shards of old lore, scraps of ancient knowledge, the remnants of times long gone and places long forgotten. They love secrets and whispers, and have been known to buy lies and forgeries as easily and eagerly as authentic relics or legitimate objects. They are alleged to covet oneirical curiosities, feral dream-things and free ranging phantasms. Occasionally they have run afoul of the Fantomists and others of their ilk, but the Murkim are consummate masters of working in mutable alloys, fixed mercury as well as dozens of forms of gold and lead, some of which are extremely hurtful to the undead or unbodied.




Friday, April 24, 2015

Arkash-Tal


Six Minor Boneless Nuisances from Wermspittle


Not every shuddering mound of loathsomeness and filth is necessarily a chthonic spawn or a the oily remains of some one's Vile Transformation. There are a host of minor amorphous creatures and feral blobs at loose in the environs of Wermspittle and as any Jelly Hunter or Blob-Wrangler can tell you, while some are fierce, dangerous things best left to the professionals, the more common types of Jellies tend to be little more than nuisances...if you know how to handle them...


  1. Blobulent. Festering, boneless blobs of flesh that bulge from between floorboards and sag down from holes in ceilings in search of easy prey, these flabby things extrude many mouths filled with soft, fleshy teeth that might fool a green beginner or someone unprepared for them, but the distinctive sucking noise they make gives them away to a seasoned wrangler...

    Blobulent [Minor Blob; AL N, MV 60' (20'), AC 48 [11], HD 1+, #AT 1, DG 1d4, SV F1, ML 6, Special: Immune to Sleep spells, but have no Save against Charm. The inner-flesh is dark bruise-purple and highly flammable, but can be used to distill a peculiar, noxious-smelling liquor rumored to make the imbiber able to operate for more than 72 hours without sleep. Blobulent hides can be worked into some very flexible, pliable armor and is worth a fair bit, if it is completely intact--once it has been punctured the stuff is no good to anyone.]

  2. Jiggler / Aspicarian. Translucent, wet blobs of jelly that slowly dribble down walls, windows and stairs. If you listen, you might hear them gibber softly to themselves ...

    Jiggler [Common Lesser Jelly; AL N, MV 30' (10'), AC 8[11], HD 1+, #AT 1, DG 1d6 (acid), SV F1, ML 8 (automatically flees from open flame), Special: Hide in Shadows 67%, but cannot move without making sloshing noises. All organic matter touched by this thing turns sickly yellow-green, but otherwise seems no worse for wear.]

  3. Gellid / Meat-Heap. Crude amalgamations of random chunks of rancid flesh held together by a thick, viscous mucillage-like substance. Cast off and rejected, these things slither about looking for dead things to incorporate into themselves...

    Gellid / Meat Heap [Common Composite Abdead Blob; AL N, MV 60' (20'), AC 9[10], HD 2+, #AT 1, DG 1d4+2, SV F2, ML 12 (fearless), Special: Can be Turned as a 4HD Undead. Each pound of dead flesh they absorb gives them an additional hit point, but the process takes 2d6 Turns (They are slow eaters and cannot assimilate bones, teeth or chitin). These things often wander mindlessly into a cellar and freeze solid over the winter only to thaw out again next spring. Street Urchins and others will often try to keep track of these things in order to harvest them right before they fully thaw out...but no one will say what they actually do with them, but it might have something to do with White Powder and necromantic alchemy... ]

  4. Offalinger. Piles of offal, blobs of fat, bits of tallow, marrow, and fractured bone-shards, all mingled and immersed within a thick, milky fluid that reeks of spoiled perfume and tainted vinegar...

    Offalinger [Common Composite Blob; AL N, MV 60' (20'), AC 9[10], HD 2+, #AT 2, DG 1d4, 1d4, SV F1, ML 12 (fearless), Special: These unsightly, unfriendly things lob gobs of curdled lard and rancid offal at anyone who disturbs them. They have a range of 10' (plus 1d4' per HD), and they are altogether too clever about using their fatty-residue to spread fires and to make surfaces slippery.]

  5. Ceiling Skimmer. Foragers know to look up every now and then. Those that survive. There are things that skitter and skim along the ceilings of old houses and other places. Nasty things that are just spoiling for a chance to lash out at the unwary...

    Ceiling Skimmer [Minor Amorphic Horror; AL N, MV 90' (30'), AC 7[12], HD 2, #AT 1, DG 1d4+1, SV F1, ML 12 (fearless), Special: Lurk overhead and wait for opportunity to attack with surprise (+4 to hit, plus double damage, as per a Thief's Backstab (see LL p. 12). If their big surprise attack fails to render the victim unconscious or dead, the Skimmer will flee and attempt to find another vantage point from which to hide and await another opportunity to ambush some unsuspecting forager or whatever.]

  6. Fleshpot. Sometimes that suspicious bulge behind a tapestry, or beneath an old rug is not something you want to disturb...

    Fleshpot [Common Lesser Jelly; AL N, MV 45' (15'), AC 9[10], HD 3+, #AT 1, DG 2d4, SV F2, ML 12 (fearless), Special: Touch temporarily liquifies flesh on a successful hit. If the creature is killed, anyone suffering the effects of its touch will find their flesh returning to normal consistency within 3d6 minutes...however, it will retain whatever shape it took on while liquified. A healer or surgeon can mold the flesh back into place with a skill check, otherwise repairing the damage might require surgery or spells. If captured live, these things can fetch a pretty price at the Medical School and from the more reputable healers...as well as among the less scrupulous Grafters or the Comprachicos, if one is foolish enough to attempt to deal with them...]


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Bujilli: Episode 127

Previously...
Bujilli and Leeja have gone through a mirror into a strange in-between realm and now they must decide which way to go...

The mirror behind them went black with a soft hiss. An empty rectangular stain in the dark. A smoldering red light seeped into place around the edges of the thing. Hedrard's ward to prevent anything on this side from barging through into Idvard's Keep after they left this spot. Or maybe it was to stop them from changing their minds?

The ground beneath them was soft, pliable, more like cold lard with a thin skin over it than soil or rock. It was cold and resembled a greasy type of near-liquid moonstone or milky quartz. Strange shapes rose and fell all around them, like debris floating on a dozen overlapping unseen seas, all riding waves or tides moving with different rhythms. A thin haze of slowly condensing vapor hung over the stuff, right at the verge of becoming honest fog but not quite. It was saturating his boots, his trousers, his hair.

It wasn't quiet, not exactly. There was a dull throb of some sort vibrating through the 'ground,' and a gently ululating susurrus that shifted position at random intervals and seemed to be circling them at a distance. Or not. The sounds echoed on top of themselves in a peculiar way that made it difficult to tell how far away anything might be, or in what direction.

Bujilli breathed deep in the gathering gloom then reached out his hand. The dimness played games with depth perception, but he grew up crawling through damp and dismal spaces deep beneath the sun-touched mountains of his mother's folk; he wasn't afraid of the dark. He also wasn't going to take unnecessary chances, so he cast Gloomlight and set the glyph to float ahead of him just within reach of his hand-axe. Just in case.

"A dreary place." Leeja smiled. She was quite familiar with dreary places, having grown up in Aman Utal, an underground realm where things walked as men or talked like women but were by no means human.

"Murky. Definitely murky. But we've both seen worse. It appears that we have our choice of direction to go..."

"Hmmm. It feels odd, doesn't it; being able to choose our way and not being chased along or hunting after something?"

"It's a good feeling." He looked out past the bulgy knoll they were on. Some sort of dense object loomed out of the dismalness ahead of them. It tapered toward the top, like an obelisk, but leaned to the side as though mired in too soft soil to support its weight. It moved up and down only slightly and seemed a fairly reliable landmark. Off to the right the Gloomlight shimmered as it played off of a series of swirling eddies in the fog. A Dogfish-like shape lunged up from the murk only to dissipate before it fell back into the murk. The disturbance revealed a copse of trees, dark and dripping with moisture. There might be some sort of a forest over in that direction...but what would they have to cross to get there he wondered.

Behind them, past the red-edged space where the mirror no longer was accessible, the fog grew darker, damper and seemed to billow upwards from a series of irregularly shaped lumps and bumps that reminded Bujilli of weed-clumps in a marsh. He was already wet enough and didn't relish slogging through some brackish swamp with no clear idea of where they were heading.

Off to the left things seemed to be drier, the air was cleaner and fewer random shapes protruded from the fog-draped ground. He thought he saw a series of dunes or smallish hillocks, maybe mounds, but then they wavered and sank only to rise again in a regular rhythm, like waves.

All around them slippery things slithered and skittered and slunk about the place, going about their business. Most seemed to ignore the two intruders.

"I don't like the looks of things over that way," Leeja pointed toward the forest and what lie in-between to their right; "And that thing, that obelisk-thing in front of us feels wrong somehow. I'm not sure what it is about it, but i definitely don't like it."

"Behind us seems to be a swamp of some sort. It just gets darker and wetter and less appealing the farther back it goes, at least as best as I can see in this murk. I'd just as soon avoid wading about in a cold, dark slough with no clear destination or any idea if there is anything worth the trouble over that way."

"That leaves those dunes or waves or whatever they are..."

"Yeah. Some of them seem fairly large, so maybe we can ride them or at least get a more elevated viewpoint from atop one of them. It's worth taking a look."

That's when Bujilli looked up into the darkness overhead.

"Scheiss."

Something extremely large wallowed, rolled them sloughed huffing and wheezing away from them both towards the swampy region behind them. In the brief glimpse he had it appeared to be some sort of gristly blob that combined the bulk of a whale with the snout of a pig and the skin of a zucchini.

"It's leaving. whatever it is." Leeja had her short sword out.

"Look up."



Meanwhile...
Old Man Putney cackled as he set the clamps into place. The Kommandant wanted answers at any cost, so he meant to extract everything he could from the Nosferatu. For all he knew, this lot might be the last ones of their kind he'd get to destroy. That made him wistful and nostalgic, which was a big mistake. These things and their betters had cost him a great deal. He flipped the switch on the galvanic apparatus before asking his first question. It worked just as he'd been told. He tried it again. Again. again. Finally the creature began to volunteer all manner of secrets and information in between its sobs, curses and recriminations...



Islands. A host of islands swam overhead like the bottoms of massive ships. Some trailed roots and vines, others were desolate hulks of broken stone and decaying pillars. A few shone with nebulous aurora-like glimmerings and at least two if not three were wreathed in the lambent glow of ponderous censers or tall trellis-like braziers; like the one drifting past them almost directly overhead.

"What are they?"

"The fog, the 'ground' reminds me of ectoplasm at the threshold of manifestation. It is something like ectoplasm or oneiroplasm, some sort of mirrorplasm or whatever you want to call it. I think that this place not only connects with a host of other places, but it has gotten polluted a little each time as bits and pieces flowed into it across the threshold of whatever mirror or other aperture opened into it. Every time someone came here, they brought along something of their previous environment. Over time this has grown, developed into its own ecology. I suspect that is has grown taken on some sort of resonance with certain oneiric realms or regions of dream..."

"It's so dark overhead...like an abyss."

"Exactly. I think that we'd best get moving before we are spotted by someone on one of those drifting landmasses...or something lurking farther up there in the higher darkness." Bujilli directed the Gloomlight glyph to proceed ahead of them in order to reveal any lurking predators, ambushers or hazards as they made their way towards the dune-wave-things.

Bujilli accessed his Counsel. It detected life of myriad and various types and sorts all about them, but nothing immediately threatening. Their surroundings defied analysis; whatever made-up this place, it was something unknown to the databases of the ancient civilization that had created the Counsel as a gift to all their machines recognized as human as their legacy. It knew a great deal and had many wonderful abilities, but in this place it was as much an observer as its host.

A chorus of grotesquely leering masks fluttered up from the forest making a grievously mordant racket as they screeched and muttered their way off into the distance.

Bujilli glanced at the dark mass looming overhead as he followed the glyph through the murk. It seemed to be keeping on its course as though oblivious to their presence down below.

Three war penguins lurched out of the swampy area by the red-limned mirror-shape. One succumbed to its wounds and fell bleeding before the others who set to devouring their fellow. The largest one, a great bull of a bird let loose with a disturbing warble of a bellow before pushing the other survivor away so it could gobble up the guts spilling out of the still-warm carcass.

Leeja nudged him and they broke into a trot. Neither of them were keen on a confrontation with those dirty birds.

A swarm of jewel-eyes snails slid away through the murk at close to eye-level to quickly disappear into the distance.

A small red icon blinked in Bujilli's field of vision. a warning from his Counsel. He slowed down as they reached the crest of the nearest dune-wave-thing only to have it rear upwards with a great gronking moan of protest...


What should they do next? Which way should they go?

You Decide!


Synchronocitor Status: Fully Recharged.


Roll for Initiative!
Someone please roll 1d6 for 1) Bujilli, 2) Leeja, 3) That gronking dune-thing.

Attack, Flee, or Try to Learn More?
They've reached the dune-wave-things and this one appears to be some sort of organism. should they attack it? Cast a spell? Get off of the thing's back? Try to learn more?

Counsel: This entity appears to be some sort of colony-organism that is feeding on a second sort of organism that forms a crust of wrinkled nodules along this region. It does not appear to be in reaction to being walked upon but is instead responding to some sort of signal, perhaps a call of some sort.

Roll for Possible Observation.
Please roll 1d6 and let me know the result. If you get a 1, there is a bonus Random Encounter brought about by the ruckus raised by the gronking-thing. If you get a 6, then someone or something up above has noticed them.

Optional Spot Mirror Roll. (1d30)
We'll also need another d30 roll to determine if Bujilli or Leeja spot another mirror in the distance. A result of 10 means maybe/it isn't clear, a result of 20 means that there seems to be a mirror in a random direction, but it looks closed/shuttered; and a result of 30 means that they spot a mirror in the distance that might be open and accessible...or at least whatever they are seeing appears that way from a distance. A result of 1 means something else mirror-related happens--I'm working on a special table just for that sort of thing and will post it in time for use for the next episode if we need it.

Which Way To Go? What Should They Do Next?
Taking advantage of the sudden elevation Counsel has spotted something in the distance. I will be posting a table either tomorrow or Monday that you can roll on to determine what has been seen or that has seen them...

What do you think Bujilli & Leeja ought to do next?

You Decide!

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Northport: A Review of Clatterdelve and the Ymid Gets a Make-Over

Denis over at the Northport blog found our blog through Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day and he has really taken to our first installment of the Clatterdelve megadungeon-in-progress, as well as the Ymids, one of the strange creatures lurking in that particular adventure. In fact, he has converted the Ymids over to GURPS at his blog complete with his own interpretation that includes a bonus Hobyah. Good stuff. go click over and take a look for yourself at THIS link, or just click on the Ymid over on the left there.

While you're at the Northport blog, be sure to check out the post about The People of the Pit and some of the other excellent things that Denis has been doing over there. It's good stuff.

You can still download a free copy of our first installment for Clatterdelve via This Link to our Free Stuff folder at Box. that pdf prsents one of the six known 'false entrances' to Clatterdelve...all of which actually do lead into the megadungeon itself, just not directly or easily. A follow-up to this pdf is in the works and will be available after we get the Swords & Wizardry Mini-Bestiary fully formatted and uploaded.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Moundling (Lesser)

Lesser Moundling
Hit Dice: 2
Armor Class: 6 [13]
Attacks: 2 Pseudopods (1d4+1)
Saving Throw: 16
Special: Clinging Crud
Move: n/a
Alignment: Chaos
Challenge Level/XP: 2/30

Mindless, blind and disgusting, these subterranean nuisances resemble gelatinous gut-piles with a few smoothly-eroded bone fragments poking out of their pseudopods. They sense vibrations and heat, and are rumored to possess a highly developed sense of smell, which is doubtful, given their predilection for infesting places rife with rot and decay.

Anyone coming within 20' of a Moundling must make a Save or find that their boots, sandals or other footwear is coated with a nasty-smelling clinging crud that seeps into them and begins to fester, swell and develop disconcerting bulges over the course of the next hour or so. Those bulges will rupture to release 1d4 larval Moundlings that resemble squiggly little slugs with only 1 hit point apiece. The larvae will quickly wriggle off into the surrounding darkness to find a suitable spot to take root and begin the process all over again.



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Friday, April 17, 2015

Gargaim

Gargaim
Hit Dice: 4
Armor Class: 6 [13]
Attacks: 2 Claws (1d2), 1 Bite (1d6), or Weapon(1d6)
Saving Throw: 12
Special: Immune to silver weapons, half damage from magic weapons.
Move:9
Alignment: Chaos
Challenge Level/XP: 3/60

Fetid and grotesque scavengers who lurk in sewers and dumps and constantly mutter and grumble to themselves in a singularly uncouth language, Gargaim are as ungrateful as they are unwelcome within the communities they feed upon. Narrow-minded and easily distracted, they can be temporarily placated in most instances by tossing them a few copper coins or bits of colored glass. Of course once you pass on your way to better things, the Gargaim go out of their way to stir up any other creatures in the immediate vicinity in order to set them after you...




Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day 2015 is hosted by Gamers & Grognards.
There is a roll call of all the blogs, other sites and special offers participating in this event at this link.


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