One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.” -Hunter S. Thompson


Monday, May 22, 2017

Hommlet: Gods and Monsters

In the Temple of Elemental Evil Gygax wrote “If [the heroes] need more seasoning before continuing to the greater challenges, you may – and should – design and develop other adventures in the area”. 

This post is part of a series  of posts about my Ultimate Greyhawk campaign. Much like how comics and movies will reboot a franchise with a new take on an old concept, this is my personal re-imagining of the Greyhawk Campaign Setting beginning with the venerable town of Hommlet. 

The following location is numbered based on how it appears on the map of the village of Hommlet found in T1-4: The Temple of Elemental Evil. You can see the rest of the entries in the Ultimate Greyhawk sidebar of the blog.

20. Church of St. Cuthbert

This edifice was built by the Viscount in honor of services rendered by Archcleric of Veluna during war with the Temple. It was created as both a chance to expand the influence of Saint Cuthbert, but to also provide a holy bastion against the forces of Evil in the area, most especially the return of the Temple.

Canon Terjon - One badass mofo
Canoness Y’dey: Once the the leader of this church, the Canoness has gone into hiding. She had deduced that many foul things were a foot and that her life was in danger. In danger from what, she was not sure, but she decided that the only one she could trust was herself and that a larger conspiracy was afoot. To that end she has hidden in the place that few would even think to look for her, in the villainess town of Nulb. In Nulb she has been gathering intelligence and planning her next move. Her paranoia is such that she waits and hopes for the day she can risk revealing what she knows to those who can take a stand against the forces of evil Elemental and otherwise that are plotting in the Viscounty.

Calmert: This young cleric is zealous in his duty to collect contributions to the church. He is impulsive and naïve hoping to convert all in the village and those he meets to the faith. His pushiness and naivety cause him to have few friends in town. His youthfulness and impulsivity nature cause him to seek out adventuring parties and join them for a chance to prove his worth to his deity.  

Canon Terjon: The current leader of the church is gruff and distant. He took over running the church shortly after Y’dey mysteriously disappeared. Thus far he has no clue as to what happened to her and divinations and prayers in this regard have proven fruitless thus far. Terjon has sent word to his superiors in Verbobonc but thus far they have provided little insight or help. Terjon believes that there are great events at foot and that it is just a matter of time until something gives.

Adventure Seed: The Shrine of the Nameless God

What is going on below the Church? In addition to the Cemetery and catacombs there is an ancient structure that predates the building of the church. Grave robbers working for a local necromancer found the shrine while looting the crypts and now something has awoken from its from its ancient slumber? What nameless horror, best left alone now stalks the musty halls of the dead?

Adventure Seed: Holy War


Someone has been fomenting a war between the Old Faith and Saint Cuthbert. Scuffles have been breaking out between the two factions on a regular basis and its only a matter of time until it comes to actual violence and someone gets hurt or worse killed. While the easy assumption is that it’s the Temple behind this the truth is that this is all being orchestrated by the cult of Wastri. When the time is right the cult will unleash its plan to convert the town members to the Hopping Prophet and bring about a race of new and superior beings to Oerth.  

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Bundle of Holding: Heavy Gear Rpg


Bundle of Holding has a bunch of second and third edition pdf's of the Heavy Gear RPG on sale until April 24 2017. This is a great opportunity to get into this rich sci-fi setting that is way more than just about mecha combat.

Living in Montreal gave me the opportunity to meet and play a HG demo with one of the designers at a con back in the day. It was a blast and I ended up spending a fortune on buying books and models. It saddens me a little that Dream Pod 9 pretty much focuses on the tactical miniatures combat side of the game these days.

The Silcore system is based on the Silhouette system that exclusively uses d6s. The rules are skill based, there are no classes and it is easily breakable if you have a spike in your group. If you're looking for a system that is simple and can scale well between tactical vehicle combat and roleplaying all tied into one then this is you're system. Silcore came out during the d20 boom and tried be be a generic system that you could use for whatever genre you could conceive. It made a few adjustments to the rules but otherwise theres not a whole lot of differences between first edition heavy gear to this version.

The Heavy Gear universe is deep and well thought out. There is room to run virtually any kind of game you want. Each geopolitical region of Terra Nova (the main world in the setting) is rife with potential for adventure and intrigue.

This is one of those RPGs that I've longed to run a full campaign for but never had for various reasons. I did run a cyberpunk bank heist style adventure with the Slicore rules once and that was pretty rad. Our old group played in the adventure that was in the back of the first edition rule book that I recall was pretty fun. But yeah, beyond a short lived tactical campaign we didn't do too much with all this RPG goodness. Such a shame.

Learn from my mistakes! Go out and get yourself some Heavy Gear right now while the price is right!


Friday, April 7, 2017

Hommlet: The Revenge of the Raid-Mother

In the Temple of Elemental Evil Gygax wrote “If [the heroes] need more seasoning before continuing to the greater challenges, you may – and should – design and develop other adventures in the area”. 

This post is part of a series  of posts about my Ultimate Greyhawk campaign. Much like how comics and movies will reboot a franchise with a new take on an old concept, this is my personal re-imagining of the Greyhawk Campaign Setting beginning with the venerable town of Hommlet. 

The following location is numbered based on how it appears on the map of the village of Hommlet found in T1-4: The Temple of Elemental Evil. You can see the rest of the entries in the Ultimate Greyhawk sidebar of the blog.


Black Jay, former hero of Hommlet

19. Black Jay's Cottage
Black Jay was once a great warrior. He is haunted by the death of his family who was slaughtered while he was away fighting in the war against the Temple. Today he’s a taciturn sheep herder that wants nothing to do with anyone, let alone adventurers.  This grizzled and unfriendly ranger has powerful Elven friends in the Ironwood north of Hommlet.
Black Jay has three shepherd dogs that help him tend his flock and guard his property from interlopers. Hidden in a trunk in his room is are his boots and cloak of elvenkind, gifts given to him from the Ironwood Elves during his adventuring days.


Adventure Seed: Black Jay, You’re Our Only Hope…

A contingent of Elves from the Ironwood have come to Hommlet seeking Black Jay’s aid. Black Jay, feeling that he past his prime and hearing of the hero’s great deeds in the village attempts to convince them to join him on the mission…

Adventure Seed: Grave Robbers

The graves of Black Jay’s family have been disturbed, their remains missing. Black Jay is distraught and enraged. The heroes find him in the Welcome Wench drunk and belligerent. Depending on how they handle the situation they may find themselves aiding in recovering his families remains from who or whatever would desecrate them.

Uldag, The Raidmother

Adventure Seed: Revenge of the Orcs


During his adventuring days Black Jay mercilessly hunted down and destroyed a tribe of orcs that had been raiding in the area. During his attack on their lair, Black Jay took pity on Uldag, a deformed female orc child, convinced that without her tribe, she would die soon anyway. But Uldag lived and she never forgot that night. Uldag dedicated her life to gain enough power to have her revenge on the warrior that destroyed her tribe and show the world that even an orc with a deformity is a thing to be feared. Today Uldag is known as “The Raid-Mother” and leads a small tribe of orcs and goblins known as the Twistedfoot Tribe. Uldag’s scouts have finally tracked down the location of her nemesis. Black Jay and the town of Hommlet may soon need some help.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Ultimate Greyhawk & Tales from the Yawning Portal

Let me tell you about a place called Greyhawk.
I haven’t had a chance to do more than a fast scan of WotC’s new hardcover, Tales from the Yawning Portal. I have to say I was super happy to have a bunch of adventures from across D&D’s history converted 5e. Especially The Sunless Citadel, which was the first D&D adventure I ever ran and Against the Giants, a classic I’ve been dying to run for a long long time.

The 5e version of Against the Giants is set for 11th level characters and fits perfectly into the Ultimate Greyhawk campaign I hope to run one day. I also think that it might be useful as a guide to convert older D&D modules to 5e. The thing I’ve noticed is that treasure and magic in old modules tend to be on the high side. This may be because that’s how xp was gained back in the day, but it’s an easy thing to fix.


Traditionally, the Steading of the Hill Giant Chief is placed in the Jotens between Sterich and Geoff. I feel however that for a campaign that features the Temple of Elemental Evil, it would be better served placed in the Kron Hills. I feel that there is much more incentive for the players to get involved if the giant raids begin happening in the area they have spent so much time in. At an appropriate time, I would have a mixed contingent of giants and their allies attack Homlet and then have the players decide how and if they will track the raiders back to the Steading.



Fee Fi Foe Fum, I smell the blood of  adventurers!
Finally, this would lead the players into the Underdark and all the way to the Vault of the Drow. One of the story elements I really liked from D&D 4e was that it was Lolth’s Webs that had chained and imprisoned Tharizdun. In order for the Chained God to be free, Lolth’s webs needed to be weakend and destroyed. Thus, in my mind at any rate it makes much more sense of why the drow are involved in all this and how you can make allies from enemies.