Thursday, January 1, 2015

DIE Alone: On the Way to Crab Keep

I started running my DIE Alone Hero, Thakko through 'The Howling Tower', but after a near fatal encounter with a War Gnork, he was forced to withdraw in defeat. It wasn't so much the difficulty of the encounters as my unfamiliarity with Arduin's monsters that stopped the advance. I haven't been able to fully read through my copy of the The Arduin Grimoire and so I'm still not clear on what T'Cheem Battle Spyders or Skorpoons are, but they sound AWESOME. When I get a chance, Thakko (or some other brave soul) will return soon to the cursed tower.

As for Thakko, after his near fatal battle with the War Gnork (used all his Healing Leeches!), he returned bloodied and tired to the town of Onderdonk. For his efforts, he was nearly laughed out of town. Deciding to cut his losses, Thakko bought a mule and headed south towards the infamous Nether Regions, a vast, and once beautiful land that had been devastated by an ancient and inexplicable war.
There he knew was the town known as Crab Keep, a near-ruined bordertown that had been built a generation past by Lord Pubin Pthirus, a once brave adventurer who had saved a local village from an infestation of giant Macrab. In his delving days, he had amassed a fair amount of treasure and with it, Lord Pthirus built his keep around the village and named it in honour of his victory, even taking the crab as his royal sigil. He then set about trying to tame the surrounding wilds, but soon after an unfortunate encounter with an Umber Slug left him crippled and he was forced to close off his aspiring kingdom.

He has two children, a young son and a spoiled daughter who he hopes to soon marry off. In the meantime, he offers adventurers a chance to explore (and hopefully thin out many of the monsters, horrors and other strangeness) the surrounding Nether Region in the hopes of one day leaving something for his son to rule.

In truth, Crab Keep has little to offer, save safe walls and a warm inn (The Belle End, run by Belle herself), but it is a starting point into a strange and unpredictable region, filled with dangers, creatures and treasures beyond compare!

In real terms, I'm adapting 'Keep on the Borderlands' and adding a whole lotta weirdness,as well as using it as a location for further adventures (Palace of the Silver Princess and Slave Lords for instance). For my encounters tables, I wanted something with more of a Aston Smith/Lovecraft/Howard/Barsoom feel, and rather than re-invent the wheel I did a little digging and came across these beauties

Dark Corners of Role Playing
Sword and Stitchery

Both are most excellent blogs that I read with some regularity. Using their tables as a starting point, along with some old tools of my own that I found on an old drive, I think that it is time that Thakko began to branch out a bit!

-I am still compiling ideas for Monster Powers and how they work, but some Monsters will be classified as Warriors.
-I have introduced my idea of Heroes being 'Skilled'. Rather than muck about with Warriors being harder to hit etc, I have changed it so that Heroes are Skilled in Combat. Thieves are Skilled in thievery and Mages are Skilled in Magic. Skilled simply means that instead of messing about what what they can and cannot do, the dice result they need to succeed shifts slightly.
Easy: Roll 1-4
Medium: Roll 4-6
Hard: Roll 5-6
Impossible: Roll 6

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