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

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Lactose Intolerance in Hommlet

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”. Thus, this entry in my series on Ultimate Greyhawk. 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.

21. Mellor Dairy Farm
Kelvar Mellor and his wife Lilie are dairy farmers. They make milk and cheese which they sell to the Traders (area 13), The Inn of the Welcome Wench (area 7) and passing merchants. The two live with Kelvar’s aged mother Rebekka and seven children (three sons in the militia*) Ingo*, Kiefer*, Klarissa, Lenard*, Lina, Millie and Stefani. The family worships St. Cuthbert.


Adventure Seed: Crying Over Spoiled Milk

Something has cursed the dairy cows. They have been not producing milk as much as they should and often what is produced is spoiled. Do they have a disease or is something more sinister at work here?  Is someone someone poisoning them?    

Adventure Seed: The Burrows Beneath

An infestation of Ankhegs (MM 21) has arrived in the area is wreaking havoc on the livestock of the town. The Mellor family has been hit particularly hard. At first no one knows what’s causing the attacks. Next one of the children is eaten (Lina). When the tunnels are found and the nest at the intersection of the maze of tunnels its determined that the Ankhegs were lured here purposely. Who is it and is this connected to the case of the Spoiled Milk Seed above?


  1. I'm running the TOEE at the moment converted to 3.5 made a lot of changes. I made use of the dairy as well with this encounter. I decided to do some foreshadowing and have one beginning encounter based on an element. Two encounters preceded this a water encounter, which involved a huge bell arriving in town due to be installed at the church, just as it was crossing the ford someone opened the flood gates at the mill nearly tipping the bell the cart and the bell. The PCs had to unentangle this knot. The second was a fire encounter, as they passed the lumber yard a badly maintained chimney started a fire in the yard. The PCs had to battle the fire as it spread exponentially each round to the adjacent squares. This and the last encounter the Air encounter took them nicely to 3rd level and ready to explore the moathouse. Completing the Moathouse and another small dungeon they are 5th level and ready for Nulb.

    The encounter uses a pull of a small girl in distress and a normal farm animal, because normal animals tend to be under used I could not find a bull's stats anywhere so had to construct one. The encounter worked perfectly.

    Earth encounter.
    Girl in distress.
    As the heroes approach the Inn a small girl of five or six, in a singlet with bear feet stands in their way and asks. Are you d’ eroes? Dem ones that saved the bell and put out the really big fires?
    You need to come quick coz I of d’ monsters under my farm. Coz I ‘erd dem, I really did, an it extremely important dat you cum, cuz I ‘erd dem I did, when I pressed my ear to d’ ground. I ‘erd dem digging and speaking some such. But my brothers just laughed at me, and telled me off. So please cum, I is so worried.
    The girl will lead them to the south road and will run ahead leading the characters, they will need to grab her and physically restrain her to stop her excitedly running about.
    She will go to the field where the bull is kept and open the gate, if not stopped. The bull will immediately escape into the lane and spooked by the noises in his paddock. It will charge and overrun the characters.
    See encounter Loose Bull.
    Meanwhile the girl will rush to the centre of the paddock and press her ear to the ground.
    As soon as the characters have dealt with the Bull, the girl will disappear as the ground opens up under her and a goblin appears.
    See encounter Goblins. 6 to 8 goblins.
    The party must fight the goblins that have emerged from the ground, two at first and then two more a round, and then enter the sink hole to rescue the child.
    They may capture some goblins and question them.

    Loose Bull.

    A Bull escapes from a field and charges down the lane toward the PCs. It tramples over one of the characters. It will run about and repeatedly trample the party if spooked. When not enraged it’s attacks are non-lethal.

    If attacked with lethal force, frightened and threatened severely, it will become enraged and see the characters as a threat and attack with lethal force and gore opponents that have attacked it. The Bull is very very valuable, the PCs will get double experience if they can subdue the beast, without wounding it.

  2. Bull
    Large (long) Animal
    Hit Dice. Hit Points 34 (4d8+16)
    Initiative -1
    Speed 30 ft (6 squares).
    Armor Class 11, Touch 8, flat footed 11 (-1 Dex, +3 Natural, -1 size)
    Base Attack/Grapple +3 / +12(+3 +5 Str +4 Size)
    Full Attack: Hoof +7 (1d4+5), Head butt +7 (1d4+5), Gore +7 (if trampling 1d8+5).
    Special Qualities: Improved Bull Rush, Trample,
    Saves: Fort +8, Ref +3, Will +1,
    Abilities: Str 20, Dex 8, Con 19, Int 2, Wis 10, Cha 8
    Skills Listen 6, Spot 5
    Feats: Alertness, Endurance
    Challenge CR 1 XP 800

    Enraged Bull
    Hit Points 34 (4d8+16) + 8 additional
    Armor Class 9, Touch 6, flat footed 9 (-1 Dex, +3 Natural, -1 size, -2 Rage)
    Base Attack/Grapple +3 / +14(+3 +7 Str +4 Size)
    Attack: Hoof +9 (1d4+7), Head butt +9 (1d4+7), Gore +9 (if trampling 1d8+7).
    Saves: Fort +10, Ref +3, Will +3
    Abilities: Str 24, Dex 8, Con 23, Int 2, Wis 10, Cha 8

    Fatigued Bull
    Armor Class 10, Touch 7, flat footed 10 (-2 Dex, +3 Natural, -1 size)
    Base Attack/Grapple +3 / +11(+3 +4 Str +4 Size)
    Attack: Hoof +6 (1d4+4), Head butt +6 (1d4+4), Gore +6 (if trampling 1d8+4).
    Fort +8, Ref +2, Will +1,
    Str 18, Dex 6, Con 19, Int 2, Wis 10, Cha 8
    Cannot Run, Bullrush, Trample or Rage

  3. Improved Bull Rush (Ex) The bull charges the chosen opponent, moving up to twice its movement rate 60 feet (12 squares) but at least 10 feet (2 squares). The charge must be in a straight line no obstructions such as terrain or other opponents, other than prone or helpless opponents. On connecting with the opponent the bull makes a single head butt attack +9 (1d4+7), (+11 1d4+11 raging) but takes a -2 to AC until their next turn. This charge is so swift it does not provoke an attack of opportunity from the defender or from those it threatens as it passes. The opponent makes an opposed strength check the bull gets a +9. If the bull wins the strength check it also pushes back the opponent back 1 square for each point it wins by, to the limit of it movement forward that round. If this movement is halted by some solid barrier, such as a tree or wall, then both the bull and the opponent take an additional 1d4+7 damage.
    Other characters are not a sufficient barrier, they can make a reflex save, if they fail they end up prone and take 1d4+7 damage. A character that succeeds the check is shoved into a square of their choice either side of the path of the charge. If their movement is checked either side by an impassable barrier, such as a wall, they remain standing, but take 1d4+7 (1d4+11 raging). If forced to move into an already occupied square they both must make a reflex save to remain standing. If both succeed, then the occupant is shoved into square of their choice. See above for possible outcomes of this.

    Trample (Ex) As a full-round action, a creature with this special attack can move up to twice its speed and literally run over any opponents at least one size category smaller than itself. The creature merely has to move over the opponents in its path; any creature whose space is completely covered by the trampling creature’s space is subject to the trample attack. If a target’s space is larger than 5 feet, it is only considered trampled if the trampling creature moves over all the squares it occupies. If the trampling creature moves over only some of a target’s space, the target can make an attack of opportunity against the trampling creature at a –4 penalty. A trampling creature that accidentally ends its movement in an illegal space returns to the last legal position it occupied, or the closest legal position, if there’s a legal position that’s closer. A trample attack deals bludgeoning damage 1d4+7. (1d4+11 raging) Trampled opponents can attempt attacks of opportunity, but these take a –4 penalty. If they do not make attacks of opportunity, trampled opponents can attempt Reflex saves to take half damage. The save DC against the bull’s trample attack is 17. A trampling creature can only deal trampling damage to each target once per round, no matter how many times its movement takes it over a target creature.

    Rage (Ex): A bull can fly into a rage if damaged by an edged weapon, if blood is drawn. In a rage, the Bull temporarily gains a +4 bonus to Strength, a +4 bonus to Constitution, and a +2 morale bonus on Will saves, but he takes a –2 penalty to Armor Class. The increase in Constitution increases the Bull's hit points by 2 points per level, but these hit points go away at the end of the rage when his Constitution score drops back to normal. (These extra hit points are not lost first the way temporary hit points are.) The Bulls rage lasts 7 rounds. A Bull may not prematurely end his rage. At the end of the rage, the bull loses the rage modifiers and restrictions and becomes fatigued (–2 penalty to Strength, –2 penalty to Dexterity, can’t charge or run) for the duration of the current encounter. The Bull can rage twice day. Entering a rage takes no time itself, but a bull can do it only during his action, not in response to someone else’s action. 

  4. They were clever enough not to kill the bull, but killed all the goblins. They found a map the Goblins were using to dig the tunnel and worked out it should come out at the Inn, They went there and told the Barman spy about the Goblin's he swore and started acting suspiciously ordered the cook out and went down to the cellar. They followed him and found him trying to break through the end wall.

  5. Hey thanks for reading and sharing your story! It sounds like you and your group are having a blast!

  6. Yes they are really enjoying it. So am I, I'm really enjoying detailing Hommlet for my campaign. The first thing I noticed was there is a lot of new building in the village. That you have an influx of Oeridian settlers bringing in a new religion to what was a Flan settlement. There is in built tensions and rivalries. So I see the village being iron age round houses around the Grove mainly farming animals and root vegetables. Then the road comes through and someone builds an Inn. It all changes 10 years ago, when war comes, Hommlet becomes an outpost against the cult. The temple is built, the church is canny, it brings with it arable farmers, builds a Mill and a Brewery (all north of the river). So the church can give free bread and small beers to pilgrims and worshipers and bringing wealth to the town. If the church can attract enough followers, they can appoint a bishop and Hommlet becomes a bishopric, so the church can claim the land as it's own and raise taxes. However if the Viscount can build a castle and appoint a local lord, then the land becomes crown land. So there are these three factions. Druidical, Church and Crown and naturally tensions run high. So the Cult is trying to set all three factions against each other and weaken their enemy.

  7. I'm thinking Nulb will be very Innsmouth. My big issue with the temple is how do the inhabitants get in and out. There is a secret tunnel, but not really usable. So I'm thinking they use the gates on level 4 to transfer to and from other minor temples. The Moathouse has four locations I have prepared as transit points, the fire pit of the Bugbears, Fire, the Crayfish Pool, water, the Ghouls tombs, Earth, the Green Slime room, Air. Each has the appropriate symbol on the floor and evidence of human sacrifice. Last session the party installed Elmo as Castilan of the Moathouse and have invested in fortifying it to prevent it being taken again by the Cult. Unaware of this ability and once fortified the cult can invade from within. Evil laugh.