Paid for in Blood, Treasure Tables Mini-Supplement for Trophy Gold

I’m looking for ways to take geekery and turn it into something that is contributing to charities I believe in. This is the first of those efforts, a mini-supplement for Trophy Gold over on itch.io.

All profits will go towards First Responders First and the Tompkins County Advocacy Center.

https://itch.io/embed/611985

Paid for in Blood FRONT COVERPaid for in Blood Treasure Tables ExamplePaid for in Blood BACK COVER

 

And the link again at the bottom…

RAZORNET Tutorial

I’ve been toying with Canva.com a bunch while in isolation and always loved John Harper’s creation, RAZORNET for Stars Without Number games – a site where far-future freelancers on the edge of legality can find work.

After seeing the crime gig app in this season of Westworld I decided to make a RAZORNET thing as a fun exercise.

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RazorNet (1).png

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Thanks to John Harper who let me play with his toy, RAZORNET.

Travel in Trophy Gold Redux and Pretty

We played our third session of Trophy Gold last night and it is really fun. I thought I’d hate the tokens handed out in Hunt rolls but I’m enjoying the heck out of them. If a player doesn’t like that kind of meta-mechanic they can just use it as Gold but it is a fantastic way to get things moving when someone explores the environment in any meaningful way.

From, “I peak in the tomb to I look behind the tapestry to see if there’s a secret door” to “I look in the tomb to see if there’s any treasure,” I’ve seen Hunt rolls make both of those endeavors more interesting than they otherwise would’ve been.

Looking back on my earlier blog post on travel I can see places where my wording was awkward, especially after playing a few sessions and seeing these mechanics hit the table. Below is a poster I made with the travel rules, which are still slightly tweaked Hunt rolls but I think I have tightened up the wording. I wrote the previous blog post almost 24 days ago, which in 2020 time is about 73 years.

I changed safety from beasts to some protection from beasts because monsters don’t care about your damned walls. Still, some protection is better than none and every advantage you can muster when you are picking up steel against a beast is important.

More house-rules will no doubt emerge. When winter cloaks the land in ice and death and treasure-hunters bundle up in their chapter houses, does one take a dark die when one travels?

inverted-dice-6  Add a dark-colored die if you are willing to risk your mind or body in order to get to where you are going. You must include this die whenever you travel during winter’s reign of ice and death, when days are short, the ground is frozen and the veil between our world and the Quietlands is so perilously thin that some folk slip through the Bone Gate while sleeping in their own warm beds.


Travel Poster


I’ve been futzing with the layout tools in Canva.com and making book covers for campaigns I’m playing in. I am really not good at graphic design and layout but learning a new thing is fun. I’ll start taking lessons on Lynda.com for Affinity Publisher soon.


General Research Division, The New York Public Library. “Van (Arménie).” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1867 – 1870. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e2-7060-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Daydreaming Notes on Roguelikes and Dark Souls-likes

Thinking about these kinds of games, their roots and what could be taken from them and tossed onto the table.

Things that interest me about Roguelikes

  • final death
  • fast chargen
  • procedural generated setting
  • gear/scarcity
  • levels and improvement
  • challenging? learning through play?
  • No linear path, no path at all

 


Things that interest me about Souls-likes

I could be wrong about any of these. I really only know these games through their trailers and online discussion but find them fascinating.

  • dark setting
  • old maps recontextualized
  • big antagonists
  • setting has strong, iconic vibe, building on a theme
  • armor and swords (dress-up?)
  • winding path that doubles back
  • cursed character with an odd relationship to life and death


I’m thinking out loud here and tossing out notes in public. If you have any thoughts on tabletop RPG’s and these games please let me know.

Downtime, Side-Jobs and Long Term Projects in Trophy Gold

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I’m thinking that Burden comes due when a 4-part clock is filled in.

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A delve into an Incursion is 3 parts and downtime (training, research, personal projects) are 1. So generally, an Incursion and a Downtime means a payment comes up.

A poor roll under certain circumstances might mean the players lose some time. This can be a tick on the clock.

Side-Thought I Set Aside

I was thinking that maybe players could spend 3 Hunt Tokens to erase a tick on the clock but I think the math on that doesn’t work. Spending Tokens that are worth 3 Coin if you cash them to hold that bill off is a good deal. So, for now, there is no way to stop that clock.


Quick Side Job Generator, roll 3d6

Inspired by Planarch Condex: Dark Heart of the Dreamer

If the clock above strikes and a treasure-hunter is short on Coin, they could take a side-job. Side-jobs are quick, bloody work dealing with kinstrife, assassination, bodyguarding and other shield-breaking wolf-work that no one else can or will do.

These jobs are 1 Coin.

I was going to have these jobs pay more but then the game would quickly be about freelancers in the city doing side-jobs (see also, every Planescape game ever) but if that is where the table wants to go, it’d be easy to turn a job into an Incursion.

The Gig

  1. Kill someone who is well guarded
  2. Kill
  3. Kill
  4. Bodyguard for someone dangerous people despise
  5. Steal something locked up and treasured
  6. Train mercenaries (explain what skill you have that is of use to sellswords)

The Money

  1. Local nobles
  2. Nobles
  3. Merchants
  4. Merchants
  5. Holy folk
  6. Wizards

A bit of color

  1. An ancient Kaldhurite artifact
  2. A pocket dimension
  3. Devils
  4. One of the Sisters
  5. Someone from their past
  6. That weird shit from the media you just ingested

Job still available?

  1. No, it got done.
  2. No, it was a total disaster and the faction offering the job is in deep shit.
  3. No, no one took the gig, so the faction went in-house for talent.
  4. Yes, it is available because the intrepid freelancers who tried it failed because it was way more complicated/difficult than it first seemed.
  5. Yes, it is still up for grabs.
  6. Yes, no one is touching it…what is going on?

I’d be tempted to roll up or choose 3 or so jobs. The tables are meant to be inspirational, meaning, don’t roll if you’ve got ideas or the fiction demands a certain job is out there.


Caravan Guard

It is a traditional side-gig for adventurers, delvers and treasure-hunters.

I’d have merchant houses have deals with the folks who hold debt over treasure hunters. So, for as long as you are a caravan guard your Burden freezes. The debt-holders agree that in this wolf-age of broken shields, caravan guards are necessary to keep bandits at bay. The guards get their food paid for and can travel without their Burden piling up.

If a guard has more than 6 Burden, their debt-holders might not be patient forever. Though this could be a good way to return a treasure-hunter if they don’t have enough Coin to pay off their Burden.


Long Term Projects

Straight outta Doskvol, inspired by Blades in the Dark. Tell the table what you want to do, everyone discusses it and helps set a clock (or a series of clocks) and it is a modified Hunt roll.

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Take a light color die when you explain to the GM what you want to build, create or learn more about in the world and how you plan to make it happen.

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Take a light color die if you have a skill or piece of equipment that will help.

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Take a dark die if you are willing to risk mind and/or body to get this done.

1 You tick 1 on the clock but have attracted unwanted attention that will cause trouble later (maybe an option to drawn no attention but lose a tick?)

2-3  You tick 1 on the clock.

4-6  Tick 2 on the clock.


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Breaking the Rules

I love in DCCRPG how players can ask to break the rules. When they do so, the GM explains the quest/adventure they’ll have to go on to attempt to do so.

For example if you wanted to make your Charisma score higher, you could break into the God of Beauty’s house and steal from the pool he drinks from every night before going to sleep. It is dangerous and maybe even unlikely but it is possible to get past the Beauty God’s guards, wards and traps to drink from the Beauty Pool gifted to Him from the Sun and Moon in hope that it doesn’t destroy your mortal frame and actually makes you more desirable.

What happens when the players look at their Burden score and say, “How do we stop this shit?” prepared to burn the world down to make it happen?

That’ll be an interesting game.


 

Dice Icons are from Game Icons.net

British Library. Histoire de France. Deuxième édition. British Library Flickr Collection. https://flic.kr/p/hSdx8e

British Library. Streifzüge in den Urwäldern von Mexico und Central-Amerika … Mit 76 Abbildungen, etc. British Library Flickr Collection. https://flic.kr/p/ibB9Ah

The Lich Wars

The Liches

Why are they fighting? What are their goals? Can their goals be understood by our soft living brains?


Vecna: traditional lich, concentrating on undeath and secrets known for having an artifact hand and eye

  1. Wizard Cultists missing an eye and/or hand
  2. Floating undead eyes
  3. Swarm of crawling undead hands
  4. Corrupt priests who know your secrets
  5. The Hand and/or The Eye, adorned like reliquaries watched over by the lich-spawn apprentices
  6. Death Knight Praetorian Guard

Acerak: demilich turned stranger and stranger through traversing the far realms while his bejeweled skull mouldered in a horrific tomb

  1. Traps
  2. Illusions within illusions
  3. False treasures behind a secret door hiding the True secret door
  4. Alien tentacle beasts from the Far Realms
  5. Undead beasts with magical gems embedded in flesh and bone
  6. Castle-sized floating gem-fortress shaped like a skull (subtle!)

The Lich Queen: immortal leader of the Githyanki state, sending armies bolstered by red dragon winged cavalry into all the worlds from her capital city built on the body of a dead god in the Astral Plane

  1. Warriors with Silver Swords
  2. Warlock Courtiers with Silver and Obsidian Teeth
  3. Red Dragon Air Cavalry
  4. Gate-Fort under construction
  5. Crystal Psionic Battery in a recently requisitioned mule drawn cart
  6. Githyanki Rangers hunting Illithid

Minor Players

  1. All undead adventuring party (Vampire fighter, ghoul thief, revenant wizard, Spawn of Kyuss Priest) led by Kaz
  2. Local Vampire Lord(s) here to treat with Kaz
  3. Local monks enthralled by Githzarai unorthodox ideas on chaos and free will
  4. Githzarai fighting tournament
  5. Black winged angels watching from a distance
  6. Paladins in black armor helping refugees, offering prayers over the dead

Kaz: vampire rival of Vecna’s, leading a small platoon of ghouls, revenants and vampires

Githzerai Monks: ancient rivals of the Githyanki, monks who find solace in the chaos of their monasteries floating in the chaos of Limbo

Raven Queen: goddess of death and winter, often sends her black winged paladins to planes where these forces are warring to make sure the state of death isn’t damaged too terribly


Roll 6d6 (choose which 6 or go for it and roll all 8)

Arcane forces, unleashed in a battle have damaged:

  1. Time
  2. Weather Patterns
  3. Death
  4. Gravity
  5. Memory
  6. Dreams

For now, the upper hand is held by:

  1. Vecna
  2. Acerak
  3. The Lich Queen
  4. A ducal army
  5. Ragtag adventurers
  6. Stalemate

The last battle was a:

  1. Bloody slaughter
  2. Long brutal siege
  3. Feint within a feint
  4. Series of otherworldly storms
  5. Landing action as one of the armies made its way through a gate
  6. Vicious attack in order to gain control of a vital piece of geography

The Ghoul’s Hungry Throne  is:

  1. Pledging their teeth and axes to Vecna
  2. Rallying to Acerak
  3. Treating with the Lich Queen
  4. Entertaining offers from all armies
  5. Using the chaos to grab more territory
  6. Fortifying its position and declaring neutrality

The three armies are sending scouts and preparing to attack in order gain control of a:

  1. Castle
  2. Bridge
  3. Gate
  4. City
  5. Dungeon
  6. Unknown, what the fuck are these undead wizards trying to gain here?

 

Surrendering to Fate in Trophy Gold chargen

When you are done making a character in Trophy you are looking upon a creature at the start of a journey. That journey might lead to the Quietlands, it might lead them to changing into a beast for other adventurers to hunt and kill or it might lead to them changing the world with blood and gold.

Their path will be paved with cunning, gold and fate. May the more merciful Sisters guide you.

If you surrender to the fates and let the Sisters, both merciful and cruel, put your background, skills and gear into place you are allowed to take a Gift from the Sisters.

To be more clear, if you entirely roll your character without choosing anything. That said, maybe this rule is changed. Maybe if you roll your character you can choose from the Fates table but if you choose your character you must roll on the Fates table.

Let me know how it works for your table, please.

There are questions; they need not be answered now. Daydream about them. The answers might come to you in the midst of grand adventures or a grand shower or just a very pleasant hike.

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Choose your gift (or roll 2d6, one at a time, reading them in order if you can’t decide):

Strange Pets

Who (or what odd chance of fate) brought you back such an amazing pet from strange, faraway lands?

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Dragonel, fully grown, size of a hawk said to be what the snake people used instead of hawks

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Mimic, domesticated

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Underpanther cub, adorable right now with its little claws and tentacles

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Spider the size of a barn-cat.

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Wyvern hatchling, size of a puppy, just got done eating its own shell and hungry for more – will get big enough to ride some day

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Rooster, fighting, grateful to you after it was saved from a brutal life in the pits


Wizardless Familiars

Why did they choose you when their wizards passed?

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Bat, dramatic

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Cat, sarcastic but affectionate

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Dog, loyal

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Owl, vicious

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Raven, cunning

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Toad, pragmatic


Weapons

Did you find the weapon or was it willed to you be an adventurous elder?

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Sword from the Mage Wars, can knock spells out of the air.

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Dragonfang dagger, if you touch it to gold it heats up without burning wielder.

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Merfolk Trident, relic from when the undersea’s kingdoms laid siege to land-folk; if you put it in a puddle of water it will point towards the nearest ocean.

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The People’s Bow, offers an extra dark die when aiming arrows at those who say they rule over others.

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The End of Knights, a mystical six-shooter from another world with 2d6 bullets.

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The Sun-Killer, a knife made of a dense material none can identify, extinguishes all light within sight when it is taken out of its sheath.


Bound

Did you bind it or has it been bound to your family for generations?

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Devil Tutor, the GM will tell you the 3 skills the Devil tutor can best offer advice on and teach. Once it has taught all of the skills once it is dismissed back to the Hells

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Fire Sprite, a tiny adorable piece of fire that will follow your command. If it starts a fire that goes out of control it will leap into the fire and become an angry Fire Elemental, free from the binding

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Earth Plop, a tiny piece of animate earth that will follow your command. If it begins an avalanche it will embody the avalanche as an angry Earth Elemental, free from the binding

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Water Spritz, a tiny animate piece of water that will follow your commands. If it finds its way to the ocean it is free; it will remember you

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Air Gust, a tiny animate bit of wind that will follow your commands. If it is asked to change the weather, it will take control of that weather as an air elemental and be free of the binding

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Simalcrum, a tiny version of you that communicates in a series of squeaks and grunts


Spells from the Arch-Mage’s Tome

Did you know the Arch-Mage or one of their students?

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Wish, every time you cast it your Ruin goes up by 1. This Ruin increase is special in that it can never be taken away

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Storm the Bone Gates, for when your comrade is dead and you want to venture into the Quietlands to retrieve them

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Dragon’s Breath, allows the caster to breath dragon-fire – any Ruin accrued while this spell is cast can be paid off in gold, 2 gold for 1 Ruin

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Summoner’s Trinity, the Calling, Summoning and Binding that allows any adept who has a True Name in hand to call a Power to them

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Shall Not Pass, stops anyone in front of the wizard from getting past them for as long as they live, only dispelled when the wizard either falls or turns and runs

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Speak to Tome, allows caster and all who hold their robe or staff to talk to a book as if it was a person; personality of tomes are said to come from both the text and the author


Holy Icons

How did you get the attention of one of the Sisters?

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The Five-Headed Matron, made from the holy gems of her five consorts

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The Endless Serpent, ouroboros of ancient serpent-folk make, metals not known to the modern smith

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The Arch-Mage, made of bits of the Arch-Mage’s own scrolls

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The Winter Queen, made of crow’s feathers, owl pellets and snow that never melts

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The Spring Queen, made of corn husks, wildflowers and honeycomb

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The All-Mother, made of spider-silk, volcanic glass and glowing fungus


 

 

Dice Icons are from Game Icons.net