Rough Draft of Plush Friends Adventure

This is what I have so far for my non-infringing adventure with living plush animal friends.  I’m making this adventure for Blood of Pangea, which is a low magic, sword & sorcery genre RPG.  Characters are defined by their narrative, and their one stat is “Might” which pretty much translates to Hit Points and Luck, which is spent to avoid injuries or boost die rolls.

Plush Friends

A rough draft of an adventure for Blood of Pangea

The Place:

The 41 Hectare Forest

Plot:

There was to be a celebration of Biron’s birthday, and the party is attacked by Rat Warriors. The Mad Hatter and Biron are captured. Zuff’s tail is stolen. Alice survives only wounded, and is trying to stitch up the wounded friends while Delbert solicits help from the Heroes.

The prisoners were carried off into the Unhappy Forest some three days prior, to the Swamp of Stink. Biron is being held prisoner, forced to animate large dolls shaped like Goblins and Ogres. The Mad Hatter is held prisoner with other tailors and seamstresses and forced to make dolls.

The leader of the Rat Warriors is a Elf Sorcerer with ambition to conquer the 41 Hectare Forest and all the surrounding lands. He intends to curse Zuff’s tail to turn him evil, hoping the evil will create turmoil among all the animals that live in the 41 Hectare Forest.

Cast of Characters

Biron K Frist, Esq. Son of Lord Frist, an English Duke and renown entomologist. He shares his fathers enthusiasm for insects but not for politics, and fled through the Looking Glass to this world, taking only his plush friends. Little did he know that in this world, his imagination can animate dolls. 3 Might. Non-combatant.

Alice, who once fell down a hole to Wonderland, and walked through the Looking Glass to the same universe, decided she too would remain, and met the charming young Biron through the Hatter. 3 Might.

The Mad Hatter. An insane hat maker and friend of Alice. 3 Might

Zuff, the sad yellow dog who lost his tail, 2 might
Lars, the hyper, silly monkey, 3 might

Winkle, the hedgehog scholar, 2 might

Plumpy, the fat pig who loves mushrooms, 2 might

Delbert, the card playing bat, 2 might, can fly, echo-locate

If slain, a bereaved Biron can reanimate a plush friend.

Giant Spiders: 2 might, on a hit save or suffer paralysis / Queen Spider 3 might

Rat Warriors: 1 or 2 Might, fights with spears, nets and crude bows

Rat Leader: 3 Might, armor and shield, will spend Might to score a hit

Swamp Zombies: 1 or 2 Might, On a hit save or get pulled under the water

Goblin Doll: 1 or 2 Might, spear

Ogre Doll: 6 Might, +1 to hit/+1 damage, club, thrown rock, Move 30

Elf Sorcerer: 6 Might, high magic spells that can deal direct damage

Scene 1: The Hatter’s House

In a large forest clearing by the road is the hatter’s house. There are two burned picnic tables, smashed plates, bowls, pots. Food debris strewn about, now covered with visiting flies. The house itself was only lightly scorched with fire, and is otherwise intact.

Plumpy the pig sits in the sunlight, nibbling on a mushroom. The rest are milling about, with crude stitches to their wounds. All living characters are forlorn.

To the south is the 41 Hectare Forest. To the east are the Cheerful Hills. To the north is the Unhappy Forest.

Upon questioning the characters the PCs can learn:

The rats took Biron and the Mad Hatter.

Delbert thinks they were heading for the Stinky Swamp, because there’s a dilapidated fortress on the island there. It’s about a day’s journey.

Alice set off with Winkle after them this morning, not willing to wait for help.

The animals aren’t built for fighting. However, if any are persuaded to come with the PCs, they’ll arm themselves with simple weapons like sticks or a pocket full of rocks (which do a maximum of one damage).

Assuming the party agrees to the mission, proceed to scene 2.

Scene 2: The Unhappy Forest

This forest has an unnatural darkness. The trees all seem to frown. The sunlight is blocked by a dark haze. The air is stale. Shadowy shapes seem to peer at the party from a distance, and then fade away. And there’s a plague of biting mosquitoes. If Delbert is present, he will fly about and eat the mosquitoes.

The trail bends downward into a little valley. There are assorted mushrooms growing here. Plumpy will eagerly go for the mushrooms. This is a trap. Observant characters may notice large bundles hanging from the trees before the Spiders attack. Otherwise Spiders descend on silk from all around them and get the first move. There is one spider per party member, plus the queen. If half of the spiders are slain, the spiders will retreat.

If the PCs cut down the bundles, they will find Alice, drugged and asleep. Winkle, merely bound up and gagged but unharmed by the poison. Some of his fluff spilled out from puncture wounds. There are three other bodies, now just desiccated and corpses and clothes. One is a rat warrior. Searching the bodies will reveal:

-A potion that will heal 1d3+1 might

-A big red balloon and a string, if inflated, this balloon will float as though filled with Helium and can lift one person.

– 20 silver coins

– two random chess pieces that, when invoked, will turn into a human sized version of the real thing. Roll 1d6 for each

1)A pawn will serve as a basic laborer, carries basic camping gear, 1 might

2)A knight will ride on a steed and thump enemies with a great club, 1 might, +1 damage, armor

3)A bishop will cast away the zombies in the Stinky Swamp, 1 might

4)The Rook has a heavy crossbow, +1 to attack and damage. 1 might

5)The queen will nag and belittle the enemy, who must save or be demoralized for a round, 1 might

6)The king will give encouragement, eats sandwiches: +1 to ally attack rolls and ability tests, 1 might

If there are two of any piece, they will be from rival colors and loathe to get along. The chess pieces will interact with each other but will obey the one who invoked them. When slain they return to regular chess piece form, and cannot be summoned for a week.

Scene 3: The Stinky Swamp

A stagnant lake floating with slime, algae, dead logs. The air reeks of decayed vegetation. Some insects buzz about, and there’s even the occasional frog croak. A dilapidated fortress is on the island. The crumbling wall circles the perimeter of the island. A bridge stretches to the west from the island to the mainland. There’s three rowboats docked on the east side. The party can clearly see a tower jutting above the walls. At night there are torches lit around the perimeter, and candle light can be seen in the tower.

The shoreline offers decent cover in the bracken and thorny vegetation. If the PCs make excessive noise, they may attract the attention of the rat warriors on patrol.

Upon arriving at the swamp, the PCs will notice a brigade of what looks like goblins and ogres marches west across the bridge. These are animated dolls, serving the Elf sorcerer.

The party must figure out how to get to the island. From the south shore to the island, the water is only about 12 feet deep. If they swim across, they will be assaulted by Swamp Zombies that grab at them from beneath the water. The party may circle about to use the bridge, or create a boat, or any other solution. There are rat patrols around the perimeter of the island.

Scene 4: The Fortress

The Tower

Floor 1: A hallway leading to stairs up. In the room is Biron, shackled to a wooden chair. There are candles all about, a spinning kaleidescope lit by candles. Biron is drugged here and in his hallucinated state animates the goblin and ogre dolls. There’s usually one guard. There is a trap door. When not animating, Biron is held in a dank cell below the trap door.

Floor 2: Library and alchemy. There’s an alchemy bench and a pantry of supplies for it. On the bookshelf are assorted tomes of lore, including two books of sorcery.

The Loot

Potion of Shrinking: Become as small as a mouse for 1 hour.

Cake of Growing: Become as large as an Ogre for 1 hour.

Potion of Animation: For ten minutes, the drinker can cause any doll to become alive, reflecting his or her feelings about the doll. Love makes a doll friendly, fear makes it hostile, and so on.

Smoke Marbles: Six marbles that when struck against a hard surface explode into a billowing cloud of smoke.

Tome of Fire: The sorcerer who uses the magic within can manipulate fire: Intensify, stretch, diminish. For example: cause a candle to burn extra quickly, shoot flames from a torch, explode a lit lantern, etc. The user cannot summon fire, but can manipulate existing fire.

Tome of Biting: This book is a trap! When opened, this book will clamp down on the readers hand with sharp teeth, dealing one point of damaging and rendering the hand useless until freed. If carefully pried open, the victim can free his hand without further harm.

Floor 3: The Elf’s Chamber. A nicely furnished chamber with a bed, desk and armoire. The Elf has Zuff’s tail here on the desk, along with assorted candles and ritual paraphernalia. There is a potion of animation on the desk and a book with a ritual to transfuse Biron’s blood into the caster to gain his power to animate dolls.

There is a bright red carpet spread out by the door. At the Elf’s command, it will pull out from beneath whoever is standing on it.

The Elf can command fire, and will hurl lit candles at the PCs and explode them. He can call a large stuffed raven that will come to his window, allowing him to escape. If reduced to half his Might, the elf will try to escape. If this is a one-shot adventure, he will forget Zuff’s tail. Else he will grab it and try to escape, as a plot hook for later adventures.

An ogre doll is here as bodyguard to the Elf.

The Shed – A large double-doored shed with a padlock. The newly animated goblins and ogres are stored here. The are obedient to the Elf or his Rat Warriors, but otherwise have personalities akin to real goblins and ogres.

The Barn – The Rats make their home here in nests of straw. Anyone searching the nests must save or catch biting fleas that put them at -1 until the fleas are removed. They can swim in the swamp, jump through a smoky fire, sorcery, or any other creative solution. In each of the nine nests are 1d6 silver coins, some bones, bits of bread or cheese, and other refuse of rat creatures. The weapons rack on the wall has three spears and a shield.

The Sewing Shop – Eight seamstresses and tailors are shackled here, forced to sew goblin and ogre dolls. There are great bails of thread, burlap, buttons and polished glass for eyes. The Mad Hatter is here. The slaves are allowed only four to six hours to sleep. There’s a 4 in 6 chance of at least one guard. The slaves have been beaten and poorly fed, and lack the collective will to rebel.

The Blacksmith – A human smith is held here, forced to make weapons and tools. His daughter is one of the seamstresses, and dares not misbehave lest she be slain. If she is freed, he will break his own chain and help the PCs. There are assorted tools and weapons here. Spear, dagger, ax, steel crossbow with 6 bolts, assorted nails, hooks, iron pot, horse shoes.

The Latrine – A house over a pit. It stinks.

This adventure needs more puzzles or traps. I like combat scenes, but there needs to be ways to win without a straight-up fight. Perhaps the heroes can lead the swamp zombies into the town and let the rats fight it out, and they can rescue Biron without risking their own lives.

 

 

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Goblins for P&P Final Draft

GOBLINS_PNP_FINAL

Click the link above to download the pdf file.

I’m very exciting to have finished my first licensed work for my favorite fantasy role playing game.  Goblins are chaotic, pathetic little filthy creatures.  They’re easy to slay by violence, but they possess a resilience and creativity born of generations upon generations of hard living.

The goblins have their own background/secondary skill table apart from that of humans reflecting their unique circumstances.  From the common fungus farmer to the alchemist or balloonist, there’s a variety of very basic customizations to help facilitate a fun role playing experience.

There’s exploding mushrooms.  There’s pet worms.  There’s new magic spells.

I suggest you give it a try.

Goblin Supplement V6

PNP_Goblin6

Click the link to download.

The Goblin v6 Notes

I revised the RAIN spell and the Cave Spider.

The RAIN spell was way overpowered. Looking at the assorted spells in the Complete P&P, their range and magnitude are small. World changing magics, while they may exist, are not standard repertoire for spell casters spending one point per spell. Therefore, I changed it so the caster can summon a rain cloud that lasts one turn per level and follows the caster. I removed the text about intensifying the storm. It’s easy enough to make rulings on multiple overlapping rain clouds.

I imagine this might have various obvious uses such as blocking the sun, watering crops or suppressing fires. Being the only successful farmer in a drought-stricken land may well attract unwanted attention.

When creating spells for P&P, I suggest using the power of the spells in the original game as a guideline. This is not like D&D where a high level magician or cleric acquires terribly powerful spells that: create massive quantities of food or drink, raise and shape massive quantities of stone or steel, strike moderately powerful foes dead with one hit, and so on. Such magical effects might be possible if it suits the fiction, but I imagine it would require involved rituals with multiple participating magicians. Furthermore I think bending the rules of existence to that extent might attract supernatural attention with potentially serious consequences.

I revised the Cave Spider to statistically resemble the standard Giant Spider, but noting it was specially bred. It’s faster on flat ground than your typical giant spider, but do note that there is no penalty to saving against its poisonous bite. The selective breeding increased the speed and decreased the poison.

I’m coming to appreciate the importance of study, reflection and revision when creating game content. I’m grateful I have a quiet mindless job that lets me work these things out. I was halfway through my shift when the thought hit me “The rain spell sucks! And so does the cave spider. Fix them!”

Goblin Class for P&P version 5

PNP_Goblin5

Version 5 pdf link above.  Revision notes below.

 

Goblin race-as-class Suppliment version 5 Notes

I finally figured out something with the goblin supplement that was bothering me about the gas filled mushrooms.

First of all was the name bladder-fart. It’s a cute name, something some goblins might call a mushroom, but for me not quite right. What would humans call it? Maybe they have no name for it, but find it among the wreckage of destroyed goblin settlements or crashed balloons.

Second, there was the cost of the bladder-fart versus the utility. One used to give three hours of fly time. It’s not much math, but it’s a lot to ask of the player. If the PCs rent or buy a balloon, they should have very simple choices to make. They shouldn’t have to calculate exactly how many hours of gas they need. A rough estimate should be enough, with the possibility of buying extra gas in case they want additional flight time or a nice bomb to drop on their enemies. Or a nice bomb dropped by NPC goblins on human settlements.

Third, I was unsure about the explosive power of the goblin bombs. How much was enough damage, did it cost enough? Did it cost too little?

I solved all the above when I realized the gas filled mushroom could serve as both bomb and fuel source. When I thought of an analogy to a modern gas bottle, my problem was solved. Why not have a some what tallish mushroom that holds a lot of gas? Why not fit it to a nozzle for balloon use, or fit a fuse for bomb use? And being a big, tall bottle of gas, it could fly a balloon for an easily calculable period of time—say 12 hours (I might make it 24), and give a nice wide area explosion when dropped from above? With this I can increase the cost of the gas bottle, increase it’s area of effective explosion, and decrease the math required in purchasing it.

Doing so, I let the focus of goblin balloons be the fiction of ballooning, rather than the complicated logistics. This will allow for interesting decisions to be made: do I save the extra bottles of gas for flight time, or do I drop them on my enemies?

Not to mention the tempting target of a boom-shroom for a sharp-eyed archer with a flaming arrow!

I think I may have now revised the gas mushroom to be what I want them to be: a useful plot device to facilitate interesting adventures. Be careful carrying your torches in a cave full of these shrooms, so that you don’t accidentally set them on fire! Be careful setting a fuse and dropping them, or you’ll blow yourself up!

I can imagine the diminutive goblins, two or three working together, loading these things into their balloons or onto their crude catapults. It makes for good fiction, which is the point of gaming in my opinion.

It occurred to me that a typical adventuring party will be at least four PCs. Perhaps the basket should be enlarged to carry four human sized or six goblin sized characters. Or maybe part of the fun is figuring you need two balloons, and have to raise the funds get them.

Let me know what you think.

Lastly, I revised the level increments for goblin combat abilities and HEAL spell potency to “every third level” in case you wish to run characters higher than the standard ten levels.

Abraham Gray

Goblin Class v 4.0 for P&P

I keep revising it and adjusting, I really need to stop.

PNP_Goblin4

Click the link above to download.

 

Changes: Updated treasure entry for NPC goblins.  Changed Shaman to three starting spells (heal + 2 chosen).  Otherwise nothing else changed.  I need to playtest the shaman to see how it feels.

If you prefer one version or part of one version over another please tell me.

I’d better stop before I ruin it like George Lucas ruined Star Wars with his re-edits.

P&P Creature – Crystite

CRYSTITE

In ancient caverns and forgotten tunneled halls lurk the creatures made of living crystal. Their dark days are spent patiently looking for victims to propagate their species. Upon slaying a creature, a crystite will deposit an crystaline egg in a bodily orifice. This egg slowly crystallizes the dead body until a new crystite is formed resembling the original host. Crystites therefore have been known to resemble humans, dwarfs, orcs, kobolds, ogres, or even dogs.

Crystites are of low intelligence and speak no known language. They are not social but gregarious around others of their own kind. They cannot heal injuries, and can be demoralized and forced to flee if faced with superior opposition.

Crystites have as many hit dice as the creature they copy. Their stony nature gives them +1 armor per level versus bladed weapons. Being made of stone, their movement speed is ten feet slower than whatever creature they resemble. When destroyed, Crystites shatter mostly to dust, but will leave 1d6 x 10 / level worth of salvageable gemstones.

NAME      ATTACKS LEVEL   MOVE     SIDE    NUMBER     TREASURE

Crystite    1       *    *(-10′)   N       1-6        II (gems)

ACID ARROWS

It was out of sheer luck and desperation that a dwarfish chemist discovered a particular weakness of Crystites: A special acid that breaks down their crystal lattice. Fitted with special hollow arrow heads filled with the acid, these arrows deal an additional 1d6 damage to Crystites, and 1d3 damage to other creatures.

Acid arrows are sometimes found in abandoned underground laboratories. An alchemist who knows the formula can create arrow heads at a cost of 5gp per arrow.

New Spell Ideas for Pits & Perils

New Spells

Here are some spell ideas, none of them playtested by me. PEST is just a generic retheming of CROW, created by Damn Elf Press. Some of my ideas are frivolous, and some are more serious. If you can think of a better four letter word for them, by all means please do share them. And if you think that any of these effects can be achieved by just retheming existing Pits & Perils spells, please tell me! I dislike redundancy. It’s a minimalist system, so let’s be minimal.

As usual with my writings, this list of spells is public domain. Enjoy them.

Bolt Spells

The Fear Fire Foes! supplement details some variants to the standard Bolt spell, including Fire, Force, Ice and Lightning. Using the same base damage, we can create other bolt spells.

Necrotic Bolt – A bolt of putrescence causes the target to break out in sores, boils, and rotting flesh. This will also rot leather armor, food, waterskins, backpacks, ropes, planks on a wooden bridge, or anything else organic.

Holy bolt – A beam of divine light that will inflict double damage to an undead or demonic target. This spell only harms undead or demons. This spell is often found embedded into wands created by magicians in cooperation with high level clerics.

Acid Bolt – A bolt of acid burns the flesh of the target and damages metal armor, weapons, or any other metal object.

Other Spells

PEST

Summon a swarm of pests that peck, sting or poison anyone near the caster.   The pests can be a flock of birds, bees, ants, wasps, frogs, or any conceivable plague of nuisance creatures suitable to the game setting. The effects are identical to CROW created by Damn Elf Press. Click the link to see his spell.  Particular effects can be created for a given pest type.  For example, the frogs may be covered with a poison that does not cause damage but causes hallucinations to those who touch them.  A swarm of locusts might a racket so loud it attracts other foes in the dungeon, and so on.

FART

Summon a stinking cloud of noxious vapor within 60′ feet of the caster, having a radius of 20′ from the target point. Any breathing creature within the cloud must save or be disabled by coughing, choking and heaving, resulting in being at -2 to all actions while in the cloud. The spell duration is 1d6 + 1 per three levels of the caster.

HURL

Cause one man sized object within 30′ to be flung forcefully at any target within javelin range. The attack roll and damage are +1 per three levels of the caster. Even if the attack misses, the flung victim takes 1d3 damage and is at -1 for one round.

SAND

Range 60′. Cause a 20’x20′ sandy or dirt floor to become a pit of quicksand for 1d6 rounds. Extend the duration by +1 rounds per three levels of the caster. Anyone partially sunk into the quicksand will be trapped in the ground when the quicksand fades away.

FALL

Cause a target within 60′ to save or trip and fall whenever it tries to move. This spell lasts 1d6 rounds, with +1 round per three levels of the caster.

BUFF

Cause all persons within 30′ of the caster to gain +1 to all actions for 1d6 turns. Extend the duration by +1 per three levels of the caster.

LUST

Range 30′. Cause the target save or become sexually enamored with another target within the caster’s line of sight. This lasts 1 turn, or until the target’s advances are violently rebuffed.

VILE

Range 30′. Cause one gallon of drink or up to six regular meals to become poisonous for one turn. Anyone consuming must save or take one hit, and be at -3 due to gut pain and vomiting for 1d6 rounds.

DUMB

Range 60′. Target loses all powers of speech, including screaming and yelling, for 1d6 rounds. Extend the duration by +1 per three levels of the caster.

RACE

Range 30′. The target can run at 3 times normal movement for one turn.

HONE

Range 30′ radius. Edged weapons deal +1 damage for 1d6 rounds. Extend the duration by +1 per three levels of the caster.

BASH

Range 30′ radius. Blunt weapons deal +1 damage for 1d6 turns. Extend the duration by +1 per three levels of the caster.

HATE

Range 30′. Cause target save or become enraged at another target within the caster’s line of sight for one turn. The spell is broken if the first target is violently struck.

Six Magicians for Pits & Perils

This is the final installment of my series of creating basic characters for Pits & Perils.

Creating Magicians is a little different because what shapes them is not just their favored stat or background, but also the initial choice of magic spells. You could be a battle mage, a discoverer of secrets, a maker of illusions, or a necromancer. So the following six magicians are not to suggest that there are only six kinds, but rather six among many. As your magician advances, he will discover new spells, artifacts, and secrets that shape his development.

The initial spell choice may reflect either an interest or a practical consideration of the magician. The subsequent spell choices may also reflect either consideration. As such, magicians may well be the most varied characters as far as mechanical effects are considered.

That being said, mechanical effects are sometimes less important than how the character is played. Magicians only wield daggers and staves, but that does not mean they are wimpy. Perhaps they cannot take a lot of punishment, but that does not mean they cannot dish it out. A Strong Magician, for example, may be a beefy knife fighter  (previous link to off-site fictional podcast about a knife fight) preferring his weapon to offensive magic. A dexterous Magician may also be a skilled knife fighter, but preferring quick slashes and pokes to heavy strikes. A Wise Magician may well observe his foes’ patterns, and striking in the weak point of the enemy routine. Same mechanics, different flavor. Hopefully a good referee and good player takes this into account when narrating combat scenes. Perhaps this interpretation is more suited to Blood Of Pangea, but I would not rule out a thematic knife fighter who uses his magic to befuddle, debuff, and confuse his adversaries.

All spells taken from the Complete Pits & Perils.

I use 40 gp for money like the other characters I made.


Strong Magician

Background: Farmer

Spells: Mend, Obey, Cure

Gear: pack, bedroll, rations(7), staff, dagger, cloak, lamp, oil, sack, rope, 23gp

Adelaide served as wizard to a village of farmers. Her surprisingly great strength helped in restraining difficult animals, but also she could cure their diseases and fix the farmers broken equipment.


Dexterous Magician

Background: Bowyer

Spells: Ruse, Keen, Bolt

Gear: pack, bedroll, rations(7), Short Bow, arrows(20), dagger, dagger, cloak, torch(6), sack, 26gp

A bowyer by trade, Biff offsets his lack of facility with weapons with his magical powers. Even if he misses, his spellcraft gives the illusion of accuracy.

Note: I cannot imagine a bowyer not being able to fire the weapon of his creation. So this magician is allowed to fire a bow. Otherwise the same as an ordinary magician.


Intelligent Magician

Background: Fisherman

Spells: Fear, Form, Ally

Gear: pack, bedroll, rations(7), staff, cloak, dagger, lantern, oil(2), sack, sextant, rope, 7gp

Charlie uses his magic for practical purposes, often driving fish into the waiting nets of his fellow fishermen.


Wise Magician

Background: Carpenter

Spells: Lift, Find, Hole

Gear: pack, bedroll, rations(7), dagger, mallet, cloak, lantern, oil(2), sack, mirror, stakes(6), rope 6gp

Dana built cranes and assisted researchers in digging up ancient sites.


Sturdy Magician

Background: Gambler

Spells: Link, Ring, Obey

Gear: pack, bedroll, rations(7), dagger, dagger, cloak, latern, oil, sack, mirror, mule, feed(7), playing cards, 5gp

Gina cheated at cards and was good at it. When she wasn’t, her sorcery was sufficient to drive off any displeased persons.


Charismatic Magician

Background: Performer

Spells: Urge, Vine, Wink

Gear: pack, bedroll, rations(7), staff, dagger, cloak, lantern, oil, sack, shackles, rope, 18 gp

Harry earned his daily bread with parlor tricks and escape acts.

Rhino Men Version 2 For Pits & Perils

Rhino Men v2

The Rhino men are a hybrid creation of the High Elves, blending human and rhino traits. Originally created to be a servile soldier class, the human free will and conscience combined with rhinoceros stubbornness made them unreliable soldiers, often disobeying unjust orders and instead killing their elvish commanders. Rhino Men joined the coalition of humans, dwarfs and sea elves in the Great Rebellion that eventually destroyed the Empire.

Adult rhino men are very tall and broad, ranging six to seven feet tall, and easily 250 to 400 pounds. Rhinomen live in tribal villages, and their homes are spartan in furnishing. They have a very martial culture, their main professions being mercenaries and caravan guards. Some take to the wilds alone or with wanderers of other species to protect the trail-ways and back-ways from being overrun with monsters.

Rhino culture values honor and heroism, and their bards create extravagant operas and orchestral hymns that are performed at seasonal festivals. Despite having only three fingers, they are adept musicians, playing bagpipes, flutes and drums. Their great voices range from soprano to deep bass, with many of their marching hymns having multiple overlapping harmonies. The rhinomen, while learning the literacies of other races, have no written language of their own. They dispense knowledge through song, rhyme, and poetry. Rhinos are well regarded in human settlements.

Rhino Men are vegetarian and do not eat flesh.

Rhino Men have Strength plus whatever else they roll. The tough rhino hide gives all Rhino Men +1 armor. Due to their great size, strength, and sharp rhino horns, if Rhino Men charge 20′ or more, they add +1 damage to any hit. Rhinos have an acute sense of smell, but like their rhinoceros relatives they have poor eyesight. Ranged attacks beyond 60′ feet are at -1.

Rhino men gain combat maneuvers at level 3, and every third level thereafter.

As their combat prowess increases, so too does their ability to withstand combat damage. Rhino men gain +1 armor at level 3, and every third level thereafter.

Rhino men wield all weapons and wear all armor.

Rhino Men speak the common trade lingo of men, their own tongue, and can speak with wild rhinoceros.

Level HP XP TITLE

1 10 0 Warrior

2 12 200

3 14 400 Charger

4 16 800

5 18 1,600 Slayer

6 20 3,200

7 22 6,400 Hero

8 24 12,000

9 26 24,000 Chief

10 28 50,000


Designer Notes:

My Rhino Men are public domain. Enjoy them.

I revised the mechanics to simplify the class. What I envisioned for Rhinomen was a strong warrior that charged into melee and did a lot of damage, and could keep on fighting for a long time. I considered giving them +1 damage across the board (and may try that at a later date), but I wanted to emphasize the charge and fearlessness. So the charge, the improvement in armor, plus combat maneuvers,  may well be enough mechanical advantage.

In my imagination I see a wedge of rhino men charging on foot with pikes like mounted cavalry, smashing into their enemies, and then enduring the resulting melee without taking any serious injury. I can see a shield wall of Rhinomen hurling javelins and then charging into the opposing shield wall.

I asked myself, why give them extra armor, and not more hit points? I’m thinking because they could still be slain by poison, magic, or other evil things that bypass armor.

I cannot imagine Rhino Men giving each other titles besides “honored brother/sister”.

What do you think?

Cat Men Version 2

Cat Men v. 2

A creation of the ancient high elves, cat men resulted from mixing humans with felis domesticus. The resulting hybrid had the intelligence of humans and the will of feral cats, and proved useless as servants to the high elves. Left to their own devices, the cat men retreated to isolated forest communities usually ruled by a chief who proved himself in combat. They have very little need to trade with the world of men, but occasionally travel and interact with them. Rare cat men are known to take up adventuring with parties of humans. They care not for monetary wealth, but do value gems and jewelry as decorative trophies.

They’re dexterous warriors, leaping from trees and the shadows to ambush their prey and foes alike. They are excellent infiltrators, charging past enemy formations to attack them from behind. They speak their own tongue and a variant of the common human tongue. They are naked and not ashamed, but will wear simple tunics or trousers to fit in among other humanoids.

While they prefer their claws in combat, cat men are known especially for hunting with knives, bola, javelins, and thrown nets.

Mechanics

-Cat men have Dexterity plus whatever else they roll.

-If an unarmed cat man forgoes his combat action, he can move at double movement rate.

-On a successful save, cat men can detect invisible enemies within 30 feet, including spirits.

-Cat men have the dodge maneuver at level 1.  Cat men gain combat moves at 3rd level, and every 3rd level thereafter.

-Cat men do not wear armor.  They wield small one handed melee weapons and missile weapons.

HP 7, +2 per level thereafter


Designer notes:

My Cat Men are public domain. Enjoy them.

This is version 2 of the Cat Man. My previous version had too much mechanical fluff compared to the character classes in P&P. I look at the Aaron Gustwiller’s Durulz duck-men and see simple elegant mechanics and the rest taken care of by role play. That seems to be the heart of P&P and I wish to replicate that.

After both reading about and observing feline reactions to paranormal phenomena, I gave the cat men the power to detect invisible enemies.

Since the cat men have dexterity and claw attacks, with the ambidexterity rule they inflict +1 damage on a successful hit, and can divide that between multiple targets in melee range.

With dexterity, the cat man can effectively sneak, and thus I don’t think it needs an extra bonus to ambushes. Ambush attacks would warrant an attack bonus anyway (such as +1 for outflanking) And secondly, I don’t see the need to tread too much upon the niche of the thief.

I’m still torn about the movement rate. I want them to be faster than the typical hero. I’m not sure if the double move is the way to go, or if I should just boost the base movement rate. I must playtest this.

Given their preference for bare handed combat, I figured they would not train with shields. And given their nakedness and speed, they would not wear armor. The weapons choices are vague, but sufficient to keep magic longswords out of their hands and in the hands of the warrior classes.  I’m also torn on giving them combat maneuvers.

I erased the original mechanical comment on hunting for food as hunting is mentioned in the race description.

Observing my own cats when they fight or stalk each other, I imagined the cat men as agile infiltrators, ambushers, scouts and escorts. Being glass cannons, they get in quick, hit hard, and need to otherwise avoid prolonged melee with heavily armored foes. Think of them as a hybrid of the Monk and the Thief.