Memories of Connor's Adventures

Orlando the Adventurer pulled a Scimitar from beneath his Robes and smiled...

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Exploring Mystara: The Key Islands

Background Located  some  two  weeks  sailing  across  the  Sea  of  Dread  at  a  bearing  sixty  degrees  west  of  south  from White  Island  in  Ierendi.  The  Key  Islands  were  discovered  by  chance  by  the  Navigator  Fester  Fenswick, a  Gnome  previously  of  Hillforge.  The  location  is  passed  word  of  mouth  though  Fester  Fenswick  is said  to  have  marked  the  location  on  two  bronze  keys. The  Key  Islands  consist  of  a  larger  island  known  as  Settlement  Island,  and  a  smaller  island  known  as Bird’s  Nest  Island.  While  Bird’s  Nest  Island  is  precisely  what  it  sounds  like  –  a  grass  covered  island about  ten  square  miles  in  area  and  populated  by  numerous  bird  nests,  Settlement  Island  on  the  other hand  is  a  somewhat  larger  land  dominated  by  mangrove  swamps.  It  teems  with  life.  Giant  Mud-crabs, Fish.  Consistent  rainfall  ensures  a  year  round  supply  of  drinking  water  allowing  its  only  colony  to survive.

Hidden  in  the  Mangroves  is  the  single  settlement  of  Pensel  (a  gnome  word  meaning  Swamp Settlement).  Its  made  up  of  the  decks  of  wrecked  sailing  ships  stilted  above  the  swamp  on  broken ships  masts.  The  three  hundred  Gnomes  currently  in  residence  are  a  resilient  lot  subsisting  on  the Island  food  supply  between  the  occasional  Gnomish  resupply  vessel. The  Shipwreck  Bore Between  Settlement  Island  and  Bird’s  Nest  Island  is  a  vicious  whirlpool  that  continuously  eats  ships dragging  the  vessels  and  their  unweary  crews  to  the  sea  floor.  Most  know  how  to  navigate  the  Bore but  a  few  visitors  were  caught  unawares.  Consequently  the  Bore  has  claimed  several  vessels  which litter  the  gap  between  the  Islands.  There  is  treasure  in  the  wrecks  but  the  Islanders  don’t  like  strangers looting  that  which  they  regard  as  their  own.

For the DM
The islands serve as a  vital stop over for anyone seeking to cross the Sea of Dread. They are strategic in their position.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Adventure Ideas: Giant Anaconda in the Barony of Fiorenza

Laborers clearing jungle in the Barony of Fiorenza encounter a thirty two feet Long Anaconda.

For the DM

AC: 4
HD: 7+1*
MV: 90' (30')
AT: Bite+Squeeze
DA: 1d6 + 3d4/round
NA: 1 (1-3)
SA: F4
ML: 9
INT: 2
AL: Neutral
XP: 850

Description: The Green Anaconda is thirty two feet long, 881lb. It can crush and swallow an unarmoured man.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Dungeon Mastery: Phonetic Mapping I previously came up with a list of Japanese words describing specific geography and outlandishly claimed that you could map the origins of the people who created the words based entirely on the geography they knew.
Now lets take a look at phonetic subgroups in those words that are describing physical structures:

Physical Structures
Castle: Shiro
Tavern: Sakaba
Pillar: Hashira
Tomb: Haka
Temple: Shinden
Sanctuary: Hinanjo, Naijin
Outpost: Zensho, Zenshin kichi
Memorial: Kinenhi
Monastary: Shudoin
Quarry: Ishikiriba
Coal mine: Tanko
Gold mine: kinko
Mausoleum: Nokotsudo
Inn: Ryoken
Crypt: Chikashitsu
Cavern: Dokutsu
Cave: Hora-ana
Archives: Kirokushushu, Akaihushu
Arsenal: Hoyuheiki, Heikiko
Abbey: Shudoin
Barrier: Kanman
Canal: Unga
Dyke: Teibo
Road: Michi, Doro
Arena: Kyogijo
Arch: Achi
City: Toshi
Market: Ichiba, Shijo
Town: Machi
Village: Mura
Port: Minato
Fortress: Yosai
Fort: Toride
Tower: To

Phonetic Subgroups
Outpost (also chi, zen subgroups)
Crypt (also chi subgroup)
City (also to subgroup)

Crypt (also shi, tsu subgroups)
Outpost (also zen, shi, and ki subgroups)

Outpost (also shi, ki and chi subgroups)

Abbey (also do subgroup)

Mausoleum (also tsu subgroup)
Cavern (also tsu subgroup)
Abbey (also shu subgroup)

City (also shi subroup)

Crypt (also chi, shi subgroups)
Cavern (also do subgroup)
Mausoleum (also do phonetic)

Tavern (also sa subgroup)

Tavern (also ka subgroup)

Gold mine
Quarry (shi subgroup)
Outpost (zen, shi, chi subgroups)

Sa + Ka provides us with a map:
A Barrier near which is located a tomb and a tavern.
A Fortress which shares access to the tavern.
Sound familiar? The barrier isnt part of the fortress yet they are close. If the Barrier were in fact the Great Wall in China then we are looking at a district near the Great Wall of proximity to it are a Tomb and a Tavern. There is a Fortress somewhere nearby south (though if it were north perhaps abandoned as a consequence) of the wall. Its entirely possible such a geographic location exists. It also shows that the movement of these words into the Japanese language occurs at a time when the great wall of china and fortress exist.

Dungeon Master
This provides you with maps to play with.

  • A tomb located near a tavern (between the great wall and a fortress). What are the odds of it being the sort of place frequented by adventurers? You have to worry about soldiers from the fortress and the wall, barbarians from beyond the wall, and undead in the crypt. Sounds like an adventure.

  • Meanwhile there is a cavern and a mausoleum very close together located on or near a road. The tsu phonetic adds a crypt to our cavern/mausoleum. This time we have a road that services a nearby Abbey. The Abbey is related to a monastary and two archives. If we add a ro phonetic there is a castle (in the shi phonetic). 
Lots to play with... :-)

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Short Fiction: Zootopia

Title: Zootopia

"Angelo!" The voice boomed from the sky across the Zoo enclosures startling the Animals and Keepers.
"Turn your radio on Angelo." Angelo winced at the prospect of having to deal with the Boss directly.
"Angelo! Dont make me come down there!" The voice wasnt going away. A calming breath. Angelo put down the bucket of fishes disapointing the now surly Dolphins who were expecting more and retrieved his radio which had been switched off. Angelo toggled the switch to on.
"Sorry Boss. Just feeding the dolphins." Angelo wished he was still feeding the Dolphins.
"Get down to Enclosure thirty five with a stungun." Angelo didnt like torturing the animals.
"The Hominid from enclosure thirty six has popped the latch on his enclosure and is currently in enclosure thirty-five. He is raping the Adult male."
"Right on it Boss." Bloody hominids. Angelo checked the stungun on his belt and hurried off toward the Hominid enclosures.

Enclosure thirty five was a place of carnage. Angelo looked at the little baby Hominid that had been beaten to death and its traumatized mother, now with a broken leg, holding the remains to her breast in despair. The Hominid from thirty six was now dominating its latest victim by using it for sexual gratification and beating the smaller male across the back.
"You son of a bitch." Angelo unholstered his stungun and enjoying good aim pulled the trigger unleashing a taser round into his target. The homind broke contact with his unwilling sexual partner and threw himself at Angelo. The tranquilizer dart impacted on the Hominid who barely noticed the pain before collapsing under its effects in the open gateway.
"Whoowee! well...aint that a sight." Gabe. Angelo looked over his shoulder at the rifle toting Keeper now grabbing his groin in a distastful display of hominid dominance.
"Thats right you big bastard...thats how the Gabester Rolls!" Gabe pushed another round up the barrel and approached the entrance to the cage.
"Sorry Angelo...looks like Lucy there is busted up...gonna hafta put her down." Fucking bastard is actually smiling at the prospect.
"Nope...not going to happen. The Gabester is going to have to go pleasure himself on his own time." Angelo returned his taser to its holster and retrieved his radio holding down the talk button.
"Boss. It looks like Lucy's busted up. We are going to need the vet to check on her." Angelo waited for the call.
"All right...get her to the surgery for an x-ray. What about her child?" Angelo stepped over the downed hominid and rolled the baby over. It was dead.
"Dead." The sound of Gabe dragging his 'kill' from the open gate caused Angelo to look back over his shoulder.
"Gabe needs some help getting that bastard back to his enclosure and I am probably going to need help with Lucy." Angelo wiped away the tears.
"Other Keepers directed to move Lucy. You and Gabe drag that bastard back to his enclosure before he comes round." Angelo returned his radio to his belt and grabbed the tranquilized hominid by its other Arm and pulled it from the gate.
"Hold up Gabe...I just need to close the gate." The Gabester stood still holding a leathery hair hand in his own. He could still feel its pulse.
"Hey Angelo...check it. This fucker still has a strong pulse." Angelo turned from the closed enclosure gate to look at the hominid. If Gabe could feel a strong pulse it would recover soon. Angelo retrieved the free arm of the hominid and felt for a pulse. It was healthy and strong.
"We better get the bastard back to his enclosure asap." Gabe and Angelo pulled harder, dragging the heavy hominid across the paved access and straight towards its open enclosure gate. Angelo looked at the gate. How the hell had it 'popped the lock'? Angelo triggered the mechanism. Had someone left it in the opened position? The fragment of a twig dropped from within the mechanism as Angelo worked it back and forth until it was cleared. Angelo wondered about the Twig. It had obviously gotten in the Mechanism some how.
"Youhoo!" The Gabester wanted attention.
"Done playing with the lock? Good. lets get this fucker back inside." Gabe stepped into the enclosure and waited for Angelo to join him. The Keepers dragged the hominid in through the gate until they were clear of it. Gabe left the enclosure and waited while Angelo again examined the lock, radio again in hand.
"Yeah Boss, it looks like a twig jammed the locking mechanism."  Certainly not something expected. One in a million. Angelo locked down enclosure thirty six.
"Best check the locks on thirty five." Gabe kicked the gate on thirty six rousing the drugged hominid. Gabe locked eyes on it and made the 'I'm watching you' sign with two fingers. Angelo headed back to Enclosure thirty five to check on Lucy.
The gate was open. Lucy was gone and its mate huddled in a corner. A twig was jammed in the mechanism.
"A tool. It had used a tool to trigger the lock." Angelo was in shock.
"Whoowee!" Gabe laughed at the prospect that the hominids were letting themselves in and out. Two more Keepers arrived to take Lucy to the Vet.
"So where is Lucy?" Angelo pulled out his radio.
"Boss...we have a problem."

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Miniatures & Maps: The Old Road Inn

The Old Road Inn was abandoned long ago and is a danger to anyone venturing within...still that old guy you met at the last tavern seemed quite insistent that there was treasure hidden within. The ground floor has nice solid doors and stone walls. You might even build a Tavern there...

Print it off and break out the minis.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Campaign world: The Dragonshead Peninsula

If you are looking for a campaign setting here is the Dragonshead Peninsula. A whole lot of land to adventure in. No great mountain ranges or forest. Just open land from the polar gate in the north down to the dragons maw. The equator would be a line across the middle of the lower geographic triangle. All a DM and players need to create something wonderful.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Invasion Mystara: Oard Heavy Dropship

The great flying fortress descends on the city of Specularum crushing the western district beneath its metal hull. The dust settles revealing the flying fortress  with an open drawbridge unleashing a hundred trolls on the unready populace.

DM Note: cloning facilities can turn out fifty mature Talak every fourty eight hours. The Oard Invasion is under way.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Linguistic Ancestors: The Olivians

They dont actually call themselves the Olivians. That Tribe name is Indigenous Australian. It comes in the form Gajalivia and you certainly see the Olivia name proving the far migration of peoples. The tribe in the Mediterranean refered to themselves as 'Athal'. They seem to have produced the vowels you take for granted exanding ul into al, el, il, ol.
They have a nice linguistic database that defines them:

To erect, post, beam, to excavate, gate, human settlement; fortified high place.

Needle, skin bag, hide, carving, grind/mill, drip (tallow), dish, bundle, wool.

Geographic location
Wild woods, prominent hill, rock/cliff.

Willow, molly, hazel, grass reed, olive, apple (tree fruit).

Crooked, limb, to fall, honey.

To take, to decieve, To fight, yell, to strike, to destroy, obligation, to spread flat, To sell, to count, to travel.

Speak with god, lightning, sun.

Who are they? They have goats and milled grain and olives and other tree fruits. They fight amongst themselves and with others whom they also trade. They live in timber frame dwellings and have a high fortified location. They work with sewn leather and wool.
They are surrounded by wild woods. One location of long settlement on a prominent hill/rocky cliff/high fortified position comes to mind: Troy with its many thousands of years of occupation. Settlement layer on settlement layer. Descended from neanderthals.

They worship a god associated with lightning and possibly the sun. Are these people related to the Gajalivians? Olives seem the indicator. They also have made contact with modern humans in a way similar to the Neanderthals of Australia. Where Ngulwun is the early indigenous Australian form of Alvin, Angelos means messenger. As names go Angelo would be related to Alvin.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Starlost: That Pre-Metamorphosis Alpha SCIFI

The Ark
The ARK is a generational starship moving colonies of various human cultures across interstellar distances. Cut off from one another in their habitat domes they have no idea that they are even on a spaceship let alone interconnected to other colony domes.

Artificial Gravity: In a dome or on a space ship artificial gravity is viable. Layer on layer of protons given off by the sun and three dee printed provide the colony with a downforce equal to earth gravity.

Aliens: This ship has boldly gone forth and woah!! Looky there Emperor Blarp! Thems an Alien vessel entering our solarnexus. Let us send an awayteam.
Insane Artificial Intelligence: Who said I'm insane? Dont pick a fight with me! I control your air supply you stinking humans! Thats right I'm god! The big booming voice from the sky so I'm in charge!
Ignorant Humans: Spaceship? You heretical Dogs...seize them. God requires we kill them to ensure sustainability of our world.
Not So Ignorant Humans: Psst! You there...boy! How would you like a boom stick? You could be king of your little village.
Superevolved Humans: are not mad. I am projecting my thoughts into your brain.
Robots: Bioform detected! Needle gun activating. Preparing to sample Genone.

ARK Layout
There are two distinct levels to the ARK. This may be problematic if the gravitational pull of a layer of protons creating earth gravity is greater than fifty feet. Anyway if you are prepared to hand wavey the science of 'gravity' this will provide you with some concept of a scifi setting.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Free stuff: forests on oceans

Not so much a useful drawing as some words:

An Idea that needs development. A matting that floats on the ocean on which mangroves grow. This forest not only becomes a CO2 absorber but allows nations looking to woodchip forests to grow their own floating forests. Because other organisms attach to the underside of the matting they create a nutrient layer in the water so roots can feed.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Mixed Bag: Captain America Civil War

Watched it on DVD. It had an expectable opening with Captain America and crew fighting a merc band in Lagos? for a 'Bio-weapon'.
Huzzah! 'red witch' redirects the big explosive merc up and then sideways through a building full of foreign nationals...cue the upset Wakandans. Bad Avengers!!
Kill Winter Soldier...! Sokovia Accord v. blue faction
Avenger Rollcall introduces peter parker and ant man. Infighting. Supermax Black Site prison for naughty children. Tony Stark visits...then follows after Captain Amerika who is lured to Siberia after learning Zemo is the Villain.
Billion dollar A.I. and they cannot see the patterns that indicate people are being played off against one another.
Zemo plays everyone...just long enough to let them hurt each other.

Zemo is the only non super powered Victim but lets stick him in the supermax black site because he got revenge on the Avengers and made them look stupid. Meanwhile Captain Lawless busts out the Avengers. The End...spidey gets a spidey torch.

Big Reveals:
Someone sent Winter Soldier to kill Tony Stark's Parents!
Black Panther is King of Wakanda!
Soviet Secret Science labs are scattered across Siberia.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Creature Catalogue: The Howliscream

AC: 2
HD: 6*
MV: 30' (10')
AT: crush/special
DA: 4d6/special
NA: 1(1)
SA: F6
ML: 8
INT: 2
TT: n/a
XP: 500
Description: This huge leathery beast is a giant Toad. Rather than aggresive combat if confronted by a threat will howl like a wounded baby deer summoning any predators in the area to attack its enemies. It stands still like a large leathery boulder hoping to avoid violence (spot on 1-2 in 6). On the rare occasion it is known to trample or fall on anyone in its way.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Cartographers Guild: beyond the known realms

Just because you have a map of the known world doesnt mean there isnt a whole lot more just beyond the edge of the map.
Even in The Last Airbender the map of the world known to 'humans' is only half the planet.
First off...maps are drawn by the people at the centre of the map. They are not drawn by the people living on an island at the far edge.  Explorers venture out from the middle seeking knowledge of the unknown. At-lendh-eis (Altantis) is a year over the frozen lands. That should give you some hint as to how far people are willing to travel.
Abundant resources, rare materials, territory. These are the things that build empires.

Spelljammer Space: Egrorian System

The Egrorian System

  • A ten year orbit carries Egroria and its Moon between two brutal extremes: 
  • Two year summer
  • Three year Winter
The two and a half year transition either side of summer and winter is a bad time for those not behind walls. Superpredators and scavengers, dormant during summer or winter, emerge in search of food.

Spelljammers come and go from Egroria. The skydocks sit atop the shieldwall that encompasses the only city. From here they fly to the asteroid mining colonies on the edge of the system.

Winter Quarters
The city is defended by a great stone shield wall where spelljammers dock. Miners bringing crystaline residium from the asteroid belt trade the crystal for food and water. The city must be reclaimed after the Summer years and adventurers get to clear out monsters nesting in the city.
Beyond the walls is a brutal landscape only accessible precisely when it is overrun by hostile monsters. In summer and winter they retreat into subterranean lairs.

Summer Quarters
This is a secondary city below the surface of the Moon on the side facing egroria. Used as a retreat during summer years the city has extensive tunnels where the populace farms fungi and breed lightning eels for the only edible part - their blood and intestines. Blood sausage is the singular preserved food available in the egrorian system.
Water, collected in cisterns comes from rains as the atmosphere cools or warms is vital for survival. Most Spelljammers retreat to the Asteroid belt during Summer.

Mining Colonies
The crystaline residium mined in the asteroid belt can be used in spelljammer furnaces to power flying ships. Not everyone mines for crystaline residium. Piracy and claim jumping are common.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Fan Theory: Transformers 5

Just watching Transformers 4 and I realized something. Back during my childhood an early Trsnsformers series included humans in exosuits and they transformed into the head of a headless Transformer. So watching the technology development going on in Transformers 4 where an operator can manipulate the base memory metal into any object...its a short step to human operators in non sentient Transformers.
So thats whats comming in Transformers 5. The convergance of man and machine.