Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Lone Wolf AD&D Part 6 Encounter E-1 - The Bear
As the characters make their way through heavy woods they are safe from the Kraan flying overhead and even offered some relief from the noisy Giak foot patrols but the wood itself has many perils. A 3+3HD Black Bear lunges from the mouth of a hidden cave scattering bracken and debris as it emerges. If the characters are surprised the Bear takes 1 swipe at a random character before they can react (the Bear normally gets 3 attacks claw/claw/bite for 1-3/1-3/1-6 damage but if both claw attack hits then it gets an additional 2-8damage as a bear-hug).
The Bear can only move 20 feet from the cave entrance and if attacked with ranged weapons or spells will retreat into the cave. The Bear has been charmed by evil Druids to protect the cave entrance (a large silver collar worth 10gp is around its neck. The possession or sale of this collar may be noted by this evil sect and the player character marked for revenge)
1. The Cave Mouth - Overgrown but a careful examination will note that the opening has been widened by tools. The floor slopes downward about 15 feet before reaching area 2.
2. This circular room appear natural only at first glance. The ceiling is no more than 8feet high and festooned with lichen as are the walls. If the lichen is scrapped away the marks of tools can clearly be detected. The secret door to the North is very crudely constructed but it is stoutly made and locked. There is a keyhole at its center about 4 feet up from the floor,
The floor of the room is layered in debris and the cracked bones of many men and animals. There is a small pool of water at the East wall about a foot deep and 5 feet wide. At the edge in the water is a copper chest and within the chest a silver key that unlocks the secret door.
Monday, August 28, 2017
Encounter D: The Ant Colony
To the west of the Kai Monastery are low hills. In the aftermath of the destruction of the monastery the Kraan have been sent over the forests of the East, North and South to attack villages, freeholds towns and settlements as the forces of the Draklords move toward the cities. Some Giak forces were sent on foot to patrol the Western Hills.
The Kai Lords were great friends of nature and both wild animals and monstrous creatures were often allies. The Giant Ants of the Western Hills have longed maintained an amicable truce with the Kai Lords and have always despised Giaks.
Several large colonies of Giant Ants nest in the Western Hills but the nearest is of moderate size with several hundred workers and around 100 warriors. The Queen, Belszimon, is willing to give shelter to the characters and any servants of the Kai, but is unwilling to do more than send escorts to the other nests.
Beneath the chambers of the colony is a great river that can take the characters to the other nests on the western border as well as further underground encounters.
Sunday, August 27, 2017
Encounter C: Kraan and Giaks
When the heavy cover of the forest breaks Kraan can be seen patrolling the skies. Small Kraan spawn of 1HD fly in groups of 3d4. The spawn only have a bite attack of 1-2dmg but their numbers can prove dangerous and they can make it through the heavy woods that stop the larger Kraan.
If the characters are spotted in lighter woods a swarm of spawn will attack. A second swarm will spot the combat after 1d4+3 combat rounds and pursue the characters even into cover. The next time the characters break from cover they will be attacked by two Giak archers sitting on the back of hovering 4HD Kraan, The archers are 1HD Giaks.
Following this attack a patrol of 8Giaks will be set down nearby (1 Giak will be a 3HD leader in chainmil carrying a falchion, the other 7 1HD in red dyed leather armor with shortswords)
Saturday, August 26, 2017
Encounter B: Kraan Above
As the characters make there way through the woods they are overflown by a large Kraan. The beast circles several times before flying off. After a half hour the Kraan flies overhead again and if the characters have not kept to heavy woods it comes crashing down and makes a bite attack against random character. The Kraan gets a -3 to the attack and is 3HD (16HP) Bite 1d4dmg. The Kraan will immediately fly off.
About an hour later the players will come to a clearing with a large rock outcrop on one side with a pool of water beneath it. A body is collapsed near the pool wearing chain mail and the tabard of the Kai. (One of the slain guardsmen from the monastery). The chainmail bears +1 AC enchantment and weighs no more than leather armor. The characters are aware of the 'enchanted' armor of the Kai Guards.
If anyone approaches the pool the Kraan launches itself from where it is hidden atop the rocks and attack.
Thursday, August 24, 2017
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
The area around the Kai Monastery is not developed and only a few small steadings which house servants of the Kai are nearby. To the west are the mountains, tall and foreboding. To the North is the port-city of Toran, to the East the city of Tyso and to the South the capital Holmgard. The main road to the East runs North-South from Toran to the capital but the road is many miles East and the wild forest is between with the tracks, trails and monastery road thick with Giak, Doomwolves or worse and the sky overflown by Kraan.
Here are some possible encounters in the forest surrounding the monastery.
1). The wounded Ankheg
The forest is a dangerous place even for the minions of the Darklords.
A patrol of 12 Giak flushed a pair of young Ankheg while they hunted from their burrow. The players hear the sound of conflict as they make there way through the woods. A rustling of branches alerts them to 2 Giak 1HD archers (shortbows, 15 arrows each, in red dyed leather armor AC7) the Giaks are automatically surprised for a turn as they were fleeing the battle with the Ankhep.
The will turn and run back the way the came if given the chance. About 30 yards distance there is a small clearing in the forest where the leader of the Giak's (3HD in chainmail, AC5 HP down to 6, wielding a longsword) and 3 1HD Giaks (red leather armor, AC7, 2 with spears, 1 with short sword, HP 2, 5, 6) battle an Ankheg 4HD HP down to 12 with no stomach acid spit left.
The body of a second, smaller Ankheg is in the clearing as well as 4 Giak warriors. The bodies of 2 Giak archers partially dissolved in acid are near the edge of the clearing.
The 3HD Giak commanders sword is loot from a destroyed steading some miles distance.
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
The Kraan are one of the first monsters encountered in the Lone Wolf series.
They are described as leather-winged flying creatures and in game terms as having a combat skill of 16 and an endurance of 25. A very powerful foe right out of the gate.
One of the main problems with a conversion between the AD&D system and the LW gamebooks is the skill-based system and relative uniformity of the monster strengths as compared with the level experience system and incremental increase in strength and power of both characters and monsters in the AD&D system.
The Kraan are perfect example. If they are to be encountered as monsters to be fought directly from the very first then they must be represented as creatures of relatively low HD. For a game beginning with 1st level PCs then it is my belief a Kraan of no more than 2HD should be encountered. A party of 4 1st level PCs will be challenged to defeat a 2HD Kraan with 2 attacks bite 1d4/ claw 1d6 AC7 but completely overwhelmed by a more powerful, larger version that can act as a mount for enemy NPCs.
For my game conversion I'm using Kraan of varying ages. The youngest encountered are Spawn. They are 1HD flying creature with a single slashing attack of 1-2HP damage. They run to about 50lbs and are AC8. They are normally encountered in groups of 1d6+1
2-3HD Kraan are Young and are double the size of the Spawn. They are still too small to act as mounts and more solitary. 1d4 are the normal number encountered.
Young Adult Kraan are 4-5HD, AC5 with 3 attacks Bite 1d6 and Claw/Claw 1d8/1d8 and are more than twice the size of Kraan Young. These creatures are much larger than humans and are trained to be mounts, but are still not used as mounts for the Darklords but smaller Humans and Giaks will be found riding them.
Monday, August 21, 2017
The adventure begins with 4 first level characters, students from the Kai Monastery, sent to bring fresh supplies and take their turn at watch. The tower is about ten miles distant from the Monastery toward the South-East.
The tower is on a hill about 80ft above the surrounding forest. The woodlands are thick and wild with only hunting and animal trails nearby and the wagon road that leads back to the monastery. There is a roadway some distance away that follows the valley floor and heads from Toran to the North to Holmgaard to the South with a branch leading toward the Kai Monastery but it is hidden by the tall trees of the forest.
What can be seen from the roof, which is 60feet high, are the towers of the Kai Monastery, some open fields to the west where crops are grown, cattle raised and small farms scattered about, and the tops of trees for the most part to the North, East and South. The tower is used as a fire watch for the most part and sometimes a waystation for hunters and rangers, especially during the winter.
1. The interior of the tower has a large hearth against one wall and a smaller iron stove more frequently used against another. There are wide benches used for beds or storage against the walls and two long tables with benches in the center of the room. A trapdoor leads to a root cellar and small opening near the hearth is a well that goes down a spring beneath the hill.
The stairs lead to the top floor where the watchers sleep and keep emergency supplies and signaling equipment. A short set of stairs leads to the roof which slightly curved so that water will roll down into gutters along the side and collect in rain barrels below. From this rooftop that the Player Character see a dark cloud envelope the Kai Monastery.
2. The stables are large enough to hold a dozen horses and contain a small forge and anvil.
If they make their way to the monastery they find the swirling black cloud to be impenetrable.
If the players decide to stay they will have the following encounters.
A). As the sun sets they will hear the creaking of a wagon and shortly thereafter see it approach up the wagon-road. It is a two-horse wagon half-loaded with fresh cut and gathered wood. One of the horses is slightly injured and there is blood on the bed and bench. (Back-tracking the wagon along the road toward the monastery they will find a narrow side-road where woodcutters had been at work. At the end of the track is the scene of a fight with nothing to be found except a two-man saw and a blood-covered woodsman's axe).
B). Around midnight the sound of wings will be heard over the watchtower and the moon will be obscured for several minutes by a massive flight of Kraan heading east.
C). An hour before dawn a patrol of Giaks (12 1HD and 1 3HD brute) dressed in red-dyed leather armor, 8 carrying shields, spears and short-swords, while 4 carry shortbows, short-swords and quivers with 30 arrows each, The leader carrys a falchion and shield and wears a shirt of mail painted red.
D) About noon a Kraan carrying two Giaks will fly over the watchtower. Within an hour a force of 50 Giak will cut-off the north road with more Giaks and Kraan showin up by the hour till a Hellghast arrives to lead the assault.
Sunday, August 20, 2017
Giaks are the most common foes in the Lone Wolf setting. They are bred in spawning pits by the Dark Lords. There are several breeds of the original Giaks but they are much smaller and weaker than the later breed of Mountain Giak.
For game purposes the lesser breeds of Giaks are monsters and use the monster combat tables based on HD while the Mountain Giaks are an NPC character race and use the fighter combat table for the experience level they have achieved.
Mountain Giaks are larger, stronger and much more disciplined than their smaller kin. They are militaristic and have an organized society based on a command hierarchy with ranked positions of authority. All Giak's are short and squat, while Mountain Giaks are larger than lesser Giaks they are all grey-skinned and yellow fanged.
When any Mountain Giak is mixed with lesser Giaks they are immediately in command no matter what level of experience they are at even a lowly 1st level Mountain Giak 'cadet'.
Each level of experience is a named rank among the Mountain Giak's
0 = Recruit
2 = Private
3 = Lesser Corporal
4 = Corporal
5 = Lesser Sergeant
6 = Under Sergeant
7 = Sergeant
8 = Over Sergeant
9 = Lesser Captain
10 = Captain
11 = Over Captain
12= Lesser General
Mountain Giak's organize themselves into regiments although there is no particular number within these regiments and there are commonly between 500 and 5,000 within each. The larger regiments tend to have higher level Generals but sometime attrition or large combat losses cam leave a group with high level leaders but fewer members. New recruits from breeding pits tend to go to the largest regiments first so it can be difficult for a particularly mangled regiment to get back to large numbers once they have taken heavy losses.
Mountain Giak's use the 1e PHB Fighter abilities and do not possess characters of the ranger or paladon sub-classes.
Lesser Giaks are 1HD Monsters with a natural AC of 8 but otherwise have the AC of the armor they are wearing. They have the normal attacks per round with the weapon they are equipped with or a 1d6 bite attack. Their movement rate is 9" and their intelligence is Low-Average.
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Friday, August 18, 2017
Z'lee and Ketch come from a small tribe of lizardmen who share a community with the people of Saltmarsh, a prosperous port-town that has benifited enormously from this alliance. The pair had barely grown their first legs when adventurers raided their caves and only the actions of a druidess in the party saved the tribe and the town of Saltmarsh from disaster. The tribe, called 'Yellow-bellies' by humans not of the community, has grown very large and Z'lee and Ketch led an expedition in search of a possible colony site. The pair have been half-raised by humans and adventurers in particular and both possess the skills of low-level rangers rather than just those of lizardmen their age.
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Madame Sartenna runs a very expensive and exclusive brothel in the Nobles Quarter of the City of Greyhawk. unbenowest to the outside world she is aa powerful necromancer and her six ladies of the night are apprentices. Not all who enter the doors of her establishment leave. In the sewers beneath her mansion are a growing number of undead. While she calls herself Rima Sartenna now her real name is Aggleroot Wortstinger.
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
In southern Celene at the northern end of the Suss Forest the opening skirmish between a patrol of elves and a small band of the Zversh, blue lizardmen as they are driven from their forest-whom by an encroaching evil.
Monday, August 14, 2017
Sunday, August 13, 2017
Somewhere between Elredd and Highport a ship is said to have run aground and from its holds has come some terrible melding of pig and orc. Rumored to be the inhabitants of some Eastern volcanic island they are now carving out a domain in the Flanaess. Large and strong as ogres, immune to normal steel, and more intelligent than orcs, these Pig Beasts only number is the dozens, for now, but who can tell how quickly they will breed or if more will apear along the coast of the Woolly Bay.
Friday, August 11, 2017
This is a hard to find Indy rpg from 1983. In the set you get a sealed pack of 3 rulebooks, yellow, green and orange/red, a Player's Pamphlet, GM's Pamphlet and 2 single sheetss of errata. Also included are ten gamescience dice.
Thursday, August 10, 2017
The Friendly Halfling Collection Agency (City of Greyhawk Chapter) is based out of a semi-derelict mansion in the city's Old Quarter. It is hard to know if there are really any halflings involved in the business (which is thriving, thank you very much) as the real owners never seem to be about. the agency doesn't loan anything itself but works for those that are owed and lack the means to force restitution themselves from their debtors.
Most people only get to know the primary collection squad. Due to the voltile naature of their work the collection squad sees a rapid turnover in membership.
Stig with his favorite two-handed spiked mace is the squad leader,
Dobin is to the left of Stig. To the right of Stig is Horn-helm or Pug as his friends call him. Redbeard Oli is next, then Starface the victim of a massive tattoo miscommunication (his real name is Gavin)
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
The Green Knight prowls the roads from the City of Greyhawk to Verbobonc. He bears some enchantment that appears to make him immune to magic. Lightning, fire, magic missiles, webs and more seem to wash over him and his mount without effect. The knight will challenge any who appear to be of knightly character to single combat. Fights are to first blood. Anyone able to strik him first will receive a ring that confers +2 protection and +1 saves against magic. In the future the knight will come to the aid of such a character who has won the ring and still bears it. If the character who won the ring ever tries to sell it, give it away or is defeted in combat the ring will disppear.
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
One of the things I love about Games Workshop and White Dwarf are the pictures of the incredible models. I could never paint anything like these though I love painting models.
This is Z'vnd'sh, a Pit Fiend and minor Pit Lord. In my game he is a fairly big boss. He holds court somewhere in a side cavern near the Vault of the Drow and works in league with a cabal of drow sorcerors.