BF3 Strongholds of Sorcery

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PapersAndPaychecks
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Re: Strongholds of Sorcery

Post Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:35 pm

67. CHATTERING MASK:

[boxed text]
The door opens to reveal a room 10ft north-south and 20ft east-west. Hanging from the east wall is a large bronze mask, depicting a humanoid face with a tapir's nose. In front of the mask, a circle is inscribed on the floor.
[/boxed text]

The mask is inhabited by a strange spirit from the deep past. It is the ghost of something pre-human, and it has no real language; the magic circle on the floor is what enables communication with it, translating its strange and atavistic thought patterns into something a speaking creature can understand.

This spirit is important because it's the only thing in the whole castle that's both sane and intelligent. If questioned correctly, it can tell the players what has happened around it in a relatively coherent way. However, there are several kinds of query it will not answer:-

1) The spirit comes from a time before there were names. It has no name itself and knows no names. To it, Khaadkh is "Mad-spirit". Pons is "Friendly-man". And so on. It will not understand questions about names.
2) The spirit has endured so long it's lost all concept of time. It gets sequences muddled and when relating stories it will often invert cause and effect. It will not understand questions about time or sequence.
3) It has a very limited concept of number----it can manage "one", "a couple", "a few", "some", and "lots". It will not understand questions about number.
4) It thinks in terms of primal urges: hunger, thirst, sleep, will to live, will to hunt, desire to mate, comradeship/pack-membership and revenge. It has no concept of love, duty, honour or courage. It also doesn't understand belonging----its atavistic mind cannot grasp ideas like ownership, property or money.

Within these limits the spirit will be quite willing to tell the party what it knows and what it has seen. It does not know where Pons is, nor can it reveal any command words or passwords, but clever questioning by the players can still teach them quite a lot.

The spirit is quite happy in the mask and does not wish to be released.

If the mask is destroyed the spirit will have nothing tying it to this plane and will dissipate. This will make the Duke very unhappy if he hears about it.
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Re: Strongholds of Sorcery

Post Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:07 pm

PapersAndPaychecks wrote:Dan Proctor's got his name on the OSRIC credits, and I wrote an adventure for his GORE system. In fact, I find all the principal retro-clone authors easy to get on with.
Kind words indeed.

I forgot to mention, Matt Finch submitted art that appears in the Core Rules.

... and I'll get those two additional rooms swept up soon. Thanks!
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Re: Strongholds of Sorcery

Post Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:28 pm

Bits and pieces...

Regarding the mask, Stuart... I'm not clear on how the circle works. It's on the floor in front of the mask; do you stand in it, or put the mask there, or what? Perhaps I'm just dense.

Neva and Julianne, the Duke's daughters, do not have their insanity detailed as far as I can find. If I've forgotten something, I need a reminder; or we need to think something up otherwise.

Probably could use a few more random encounters (we have just the three).

The statues at 2a and 2b are well described (P&P's work if I remember rightly) but they don't do anything; I could mark them thusly, but if someone thinks of something appropriate, that would be cool.

-- Rooms that need more detail (I can do these, just making a list). Some rooms just need the text reorganized, and the descriptive bits boxed.

6. East Gate Tower
28. Barracks Entrance
30. Barracks
31. Barracks
32. Officer's Quarters
34. Northwest Tower
36. Roland's Tower
39. Game Room
41. East Gate Tower
52. Lord William's Bedroom
56. Ladies' Quarters
57. Ladies' Closet
58. Ladies' Bedroom (needs boxed text, and who is the small dog?)
60. Parlor
61. Bedroom
63. Bedroom (need boxed text and stats for the drunkard, in case his curse is removed)
64. Bedroom (need stats for both NPCs)
65. Servant's Quarters (need stats for spider, and boxed text)
66. Servant's Quarters
70.
72. Teacher's Room
74. Roland's Tower, 4th Level
76. Arcan's Tower, 4th Level
77. Arcan's Tower, 5th Level
80. Stables
82. Stables
89. Laboratory
90. Laboratory
91. Laboratory
93. Laboratory
94. Laboratory
95. Laboratory
97. Laboratory
98. Laboratory (lots of details to fill in here)
99. Roland's Gate
100. Arcan's Gate
102.
103. The Pits
104. Statue Gallery
109. Vault

-- Rooms that have no text at all.

27. Arcan's Tower
33. Sally Port
35.
40. East Tower
43. West Gate Tower
46. Valor True's Quarters
51. Lord William's Closet
54. Honored Guest Quarters, Parlor
55. Honored Guest Quarters, Bedroom
59.
75. Arcan's Tower, 3rd Level
78. Roland's Tower
79. Arcan's Tower
83. Catacombs Entrance
86. Catacombs
92. West Corridor
105.
106.
107.
108.
111.
112.
114.
115.
116.
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Re: Strongholds of Sorcery

Post Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:37 pm

Just uploaded R5 to the first post in the thread. In the process of making the lists in the previous post, I did finish a couple of rooms, and made sure the silver boxes that players might want to contain the jewel are available.
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Re: Strongholds of Sorcery

Post Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:02 am

Oh, sorry. Mask is fixed to the wall. You have to stand in the circle in order to talk to the mask. The point of all that is to stop the players taking the mask with them and chatting to it about each thing or person they find. Even if they do get the mask off the wall (presumably by force), they still have to stand in the circle to talk to it.

We've never decided about Neva and Julianne's madnesses. It'd be more interesting if they were complimentary madnesses; maybe one believes she's a fugitive and the other believes she's an officer of the law, or (preferably) something else along the same lines but less crap?

Rooms 111 to 116 are in the Dollhouse. They don't contain any monsters, but I'd like at least one of them to contain a puzzle of some kind and at least one to contain a plot-relevant thing.

Random encounters should be NPCs rather than monsters, need more of those with interesting madnesses.

I think you've got to do Valor True's quarters, Chris, she's a major NPC from your campaign. You know about her!

We've got a rough concept sketch for #75 that needs turning into a proper encounter:

75. ARCAN'S LIBRARY: What's happened is, wasps got into the library and started making a wasp's nest out of the spellbooks. Now, when you surround wasps in a concentrated magical field of that kind, it affects their development. The recently-hatched wasps aren't just yellow and black, they're all the colours of the rainbow. They have anything up to nine legs and anything up to seven wings. They're at least six inches long, and if one of them stings you, you suffer an amusingly random effect (we need a table).
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Re: Strongholds of Sorcery

Post Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:35 am

PapersAndPaychecks wrote:Oh, sorry. Mask is fixed to the wall. You have to stand in the circle in order to talk to the mask. The point of all that is to stop the players taking the mask with them and chatting to it about each thing or person they find. Even if they do get the mask off the wall (presumably by force), they still have to stand in the circle to talk to it.
Thanks. I'll get that worked in.
PapersAndPaychecks wrote:We've never decided about Neva and Julianne's madnesses. It'd be more interesting if they were complimentary madnesses; maybe one believes she's a fugitive and the other believes she's an officer of the law, or (preferably) something else along the same lines but less crap?
How about this:

Neva thinks she's a bounty hunter, trying to bring in Julianne, a dangerous highwayman, for a bounty. It's a dead-or-alive bounty, but despite that Neva won't really hurt her sister; so if she does manage to catch up to her, she'll fall catatonic for 2d6 rounds, giving her sister time to flee. If asked about it later, she'll make up some elaborate story about how Julianne escaped.

Julianne believes she is a fish. She still talks and acts just like a human, but she is certain she is a fish, and wants everyone to know about it. If she is talking to someone, that will be the only topic of conversation she is interested in discussing. A character who agrees with her that yes, she is a fish, may (25% chance) be able to get her to answer 1d4 questions about the castle or its inhabitants before she returns to the topic. This should only be rolled once per encounter.
PapersAndPaychecks wrote:Rooms 111 to 116 are in the Dollhouse. They don't contain any monsters, but I'd like at least one of them to contain a puzzle of some kind and at least one to contain a plot-relevant thing.
Puzzles, I suck at. Otherwise this sounds good. The furnishings of a dollhouse will be simple fakes, of course, but putting enough detail in the rooms might make the players waste some time searching. Wasted time equals more madness, of course.
PapersAndPaychecks wrote:Random encounters should be NPCs rather than monsters, need more of those with interesting madnesses.
Agreed.
PapersAndPaychecks wrote:I think you've got to do Valor True's quarters, Chris, she's a major NPC from your campaign. You know about her!
Yeah, I know. Hey, the list isn't an assignment for anyone specific, just a way to keep track of the unfinished bits. It's how I write software too.
PapersAndPaychecks wrote:We've got a rough concept sketch for #75 that needs turning into a proper encounter:

75. ARCAN'S LIBRARY: What's happened is, wasps got into the library and started making a wasp's nest out of the spellbooks. Now, when you surround wasps in a concentrated magical field of that kind, it affects their development. The recently-hatched wasps aren't just yellow and black, they're all the colours of the rainbow. They have anything up to nine legs and anything up to seven wings. They're at least six inches long, and if one of them stings you, you suffer an amusingly random effect (we need a table).
I'll slip this into the text of the adventure so I don't forget again.

Again, thanks! It would take me three times as long to get this done without you, and it wouldn't be as good. You have one hell of an imagination.
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Re: Strongholds of Sorcery

Post Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:24 pm

Random encounters... a thought. How about some of those who might be lurking in this thread provide us with NPCs? Either NPCs from their personal campaigns, or even PCs (with the agreement of the player). It's an easy way to get a contributor credit in the module, so no excuse for not participating.
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Re: Strongholds of Sorcery

Post Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:14 am

I might be able to contribute some NPCs:
  • Gregor Merensky, a dwarven adventurer (I played him in a Hungarian B/X clone; he survived multiple delves into Baan-Gidar, a huge necropolis, and helped retrieving the Voice of Stars, a techno-artefact)
  • Lichtenstein, a comical follower of ours in a Dungeon World campaign (the ego of Prince Thadeous from Your Highness meets the looks of Oh from Year One meets the actual capabilities of Donkey from Shrek)
Or I can just write up some off the top of my head. But I need to get familiarised with the module, first.
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Re: Strongholds of Sorcery

Post Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:11 pm

Lillith is a somewhat taciturn fighter of half-orc descent who wears leather armor, carries a hefty-looking scimitar, and has a pet Carrion Crawler named Squeaky, whom she feeds with table scraps from her iron rations. She is uncomfortable around people but has a knack for befriending dungeon monsters.
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Re: Strongholds of Sorcery

Post Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:43 pm

Cinder is an extremely small and lithe elf girl, so small that many think her to be a pixie or other fey born without wings. At 4 feet tall, she is only a head above most halflings. Cinder wears tight fitting clothes of crimson and black and carries a cudgel for defense. As a magic-user, Cinder has a proclivity towards fire spells, and even her traditional spell choices utilize fire, smoke, flashes, bangs, or heat in their superficial visual effect (but no game effect otherwise). For instance, Charm Person manifests with her eyes glowing fiery red with smoke issuing forth from them; Magic Missile appears as small orbs of molten material, dripping small drops of flame along the trajectory.
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