Friday, May 8, 2015

Trail and Pass Names

I'm not just working on rules for roleplaying, I'm also doing brainstorming exercises. Here's one I did earlier this week:

The Cherokee called the Cumberland Gap, the Warrior's Path. Brainstorm some fantasy trail names:

Warrior's Way
Flatwoods Trail
Silver Creek Way
Dragon Pass
Grisly Passage
Broke Foot Road
Cut Throat Crossing
Tall Pine Pass
Weaver's Loop
River Route
River Road
Pilgrim's Pass
Amber Pass
Scenic Route
Hero's Pass
Old Ford
Golden Pass
Silk Road
Bent Road
Hog's Head Crossing
Troll Pass
Skull Pass
Antler Route
Horse Ford
Sleepy Trail
Owl Way
Horn Pass
Stone Pass

Friday, May 1, 2015

Flaymes - Creature Feature

I took inspiration for this from the Plague Zombie found in Adventurer Magazine #2, an 80s gaming magazine.


AC 2
HD 3* (S)
Move 90' (30')
*Attacks 1 or Special
Damage 1d10 + Special
No. Appearing 2d4 (4d6)
Save as F3
Morale 10
Treasure Type Nil
Alignment Neutral
XP 50

Monster Type: Planar Monster, Enchanted (Common)

Flaymes are lesser elementals from the elemental plane of fire. They look like 3' dancing flames, but can change their shape to 3' tall, red-skinned, hairless humanoids. They can cast five magic missiles (fire bolt) per day, one at a time. They take double damage from water, normal damage from Fire and Air, and minimal damage from earth.

Terrain: Elemental Planes

This post contains OGC

In accordance with OGL:

Content in Courier Font is Open Gaming Content

© 2015 Phillip Riley

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Soulstones - Malformed Magic Item

Another magic item based on one found in the Compleat Spell Caster. I have made it more like the Mirror of Life Trapping.


Soulstones are generally found in the tombs of spell casters, dragon hordes, and in the hands of powerful NPCs. They appear to resemble any type of high quality gem. The gem is inscribed with very fine engraving. The power imparted by this gem depends on the being who is trapped. The holder of a stone decides which of the being’s abilities he will acquire. Once a power is chosen, the holder cannot switch. Soulstones tend to leak the memories, thoughts, and fears of the entrapped being. This leads the holder to having recurring dreams, nightmares, visions and attacks of paranoia. Breaking the stone will release the being who may do a favor for the one releasing him.

This post contains OGC

In accordance with OGL:

Content in Courier Font is Open Gaming Content

© 2015 Phillip Riley

Plague Zombie - Creature Feature

So I'm working on monsters too. Here's the first, the Plague Zombie. I took inspiration for this from the Plague Zombie found in Adventurer Magazine #1, an 80s gaming magazine.

I'm not sure about XP. At first, I started out with the XP of a similar HD disease carrying monster...The Wererat, then I added for their ability (effects of third level spell, so 10%+20%+30%=60%), and came up with 80. Upon further though I realized it worked more like mummies (only with a save). So I thought, "this is about half as good as a mummy". I took the mummy XP, cut it in half, subtracted some for lower dice, and came up with 240. What do you think?

Plague Zombie

AC 5
HD 3* (M)
Move 120' (40')
Attacks 1 claw
Damage 1d8+1 + Disease
No. Appearing 2d4 (4d6)
Save as F3
Morale 12
Treasure Type Nil
Alignment Chaotic
XP 50

Monster Type: Undead, Enchanted (Common)

Plagues zombies are mindless human or demihuman undead. They resemble normal zombies except they do not move slowly. Most are the empty, diseased corpses of animated by evil magic-users and clerics. They are most often used as guards and soldiers. Anyone hit by a plague zombie must make a saving throw vs. poison. If failed, the victim will begin to feel weak after one day and will be unable to perform any strenuous active, such as combat. After a week, the victim will be completely bedridden, and feel nauseous and disorientated. After this, they must make a save vs. poison daily with a -1 cumulative penalty, if failed they die. If the body is not destroyed or cured of the disease, it will become a plague zombie in 1d6 days.

Terrain: Ruins

This post contains OGC

In accordance with OGL:

Content in Courier Font is Open Gaming Content

© 2015 Phillip Riley

Friday, April 24, 2015

Back to Blogging

I had some family issues the last couple of weeks and had some dental work done. I'm back to blogging as of today.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Spectacle of Lights - Festivals, Spectacles & Holidays

The first in the series of Festivals, Spectacles & Holidays, here is the outline. Be sure to change the bold text to match details of your own campaign world.

Spectacle of Lights

Description: The Spectacle of Lights is held to celebrate triumph of good over evil. A legendary king, his brothers and their armies won a mighty battle and imprisoned a demon. Though they won the battle most everyone lost their lives in the process. Annually the ghosts of the fallen dead rise from the battlefield and march to the ancient ruins of the castle. It is a common belief that it is the power of the ancestors that keep the demon imprisoned.

In most villages the spectacle has become a 3 events during two days: Beseeching the Dead, Spectacle of Lights and Triumph of Light.

During Beseeching the Dead all fires are extinguished and businesses are are closed. Everyone except guards and soldiers are released from their normal duties. Today is a holy day of fasting and prayer. Each person will make offerings, either at a family altar or at the temple of the dead, praying that their ancestors keep the demon imprisoned.

At sundown, the Spectacle of Lights begins. Everyone covers their face in ash, lights tapers or lamps and proceeds to the main road through town, chanting ancient hymns in honor of the dead. Depending on the distance to the site of the ancient battle, the dead will march through town sometime between sundown and midnight. After the dead have made their way through town, people will disperse to their homes.

At sun rise on the following day, Triumph of Light begins. Today there will be public feasts, entertainment, an open air market and much more. Everything from plays to jugglers to musicians can be seen at the feasts. Some people exchange gifts at this time and in some lands, this is celebrated as the first day of the new year.

Game Effects
During day one:

  1. All turning and rebuke checks against undead take a -4 penalty (or it may, in fact, be impossible to turn or control them on this day).
  2. Saving throws against spells of the Necromancy school (divine and/or arcane) take a -2 penalty.

During day two:

  1. To hit rolls against evil beings have a +1 bonus (this effect stacks with any other such effects).
  2. Priests of the God of the Death cast all spells at +1 caster level (this effect stacks with any other such effects).


  • The priests of this order have been perpetrating this lie through the centuries in order to fill the church's coffers. Find a way to expose the truth.
  • Legend says the ancient king will one day return from the land of the dead to defeat the demon and his people will forever rest in peace. Some years ago it was noticed that the king no longer leads the procession to the castle.

It is through the supplication of the citizens that the demon has remained imprisoned. Spells and rituals are also required.


  • The characters are ignorant of the holiday. They come to town the night of the spectacle just as the ghosts come into town. If they attack the ghosts, they run the risk of disrupting the rituals which keep the demon imprisoned.
  • A terrible drought has struck the land. The time of the spectacle is at hand and the priests need certain materials to complete the rituals. A quest or a caravan escort is in order.
  • The priest of this order have all have vanished, been murdered or died mysteriously. You must travel to another temple of the same god and get them back in time to perform the rituals. Next solve the mystery of the priests.

Notes: Inspiration for this holiday came from Hindu festival of Diwãli, Day of the Dead holiday from A Dozen Festivals and Holidays and Legend of Earthsea.

This post contains OGC

In accordance with OGL:

Content in Courier Font is Open Gaming Content

A Dozen Festivals and Holidays copyright © 2004 Michael Hammes. Published by Ronin Arts

© 2015 Phillip Riley

Festivals, Spectacles & Holidays

Here is a list of holidays and festivals to add a little realism to your campaign world. The parts of this text that are both bold and italicized should be customized to your campaign setting.

For your convenience, here is a quick and easy cut and paste template for festivals:

Festival Name: The name of the festival or Holiday.

Description: A one or two sentence description of what the holiday is about.

Events: The manner in which the holiday is observed.

Game Effects: The effects, if any, the holiday has upon the greater campaign world. While effects such as those caused by hunger will always occur, the other more magical effects are entirely optional for the GM; the holiday can be purely symbolic, or it can have profound effects upon the campaign world as the GM sees fit.

Variations: Suggestions on other forms that the general holiday can take. In some cases there might be variations on a variation. These will be indented.

Hooks: List any adventure hooks that you might be able to come up with.

Notes: If the festival if it has a real world origin list it here or possible maybe just a few words on what inspired this particular festival.

This post contains OGC

In accordance with OGL:

Content in Courier Font is Open Gaming Content

A Dozen Festivals and Holidays copyright © 2004 Michael Hammes. Published by Ronin Arts

© 2015 Phillip Riley

Friday, March 27, 2015

Mentioned on Another Blog!

The Ruins of Murkhill made a post about my blog returning. Thanks for the announcement.

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Runic Bracelet - Malformed Magic Item

I was going through The Compleat Spell Caster by Bard Games back in the early 80s. One of the magic items caught my eye. It goes a little something like this:

Runic Bracelet

This item appears to be a simple silver bracelet with runes engraved on it. A runic bracelet can be made to bestow up to 50% magic resistance to it's wearer, though its "anti-magic" properties have a tendency to cause the wearer's own spells and/or magic items to malfunction. There is a 1% chance of failure per 5% of magic resistance to cause the wearer's own spells and magic items to fail.

It's an interesting idea, but I thought there were a few other possible ways to do the same thing. I always enjoy brainstorming over old ideas:

1) Spell/Magic item failure could be same as the magic resistance it provides.

2) Wearer saves as a dwarf of the same level, some percentage of spell/magic item failure 10%-20%?

3) Wearer doubles Wisdom save modifier, some percentage of spell/magic item failure 25%?

It could have the same properties as the Anti-Magic Shell, but it doesn't fit within the spirit of the original item. I like this quirky little trinket.

This post contains OGC

In accordance with OGL:

Content in Courier Font is Open Gaming Content

© 2015 Phillip Riley

Saturday, March 21, 2015

I'm back!

After almost a decade away from roleplaying, I'm starting to get back to it. Boy have things changed!

In past times I've ran a few websites. You may have known me as Lord Eadric, The Wandering Bard, or just Phillip Riley. I've ran a variety of websites and a blog at one time. If you've ever run across the Oriental Adventures Project, that was me. I still get emails about my online name generators. All links will be at the bottom of this post.

So I've spent the last couple of months or so looking around at roleplaying blogs. I'm excited about the way the OSR community has popped up. I've got kids now and I've been getting them into gaming, and we're going to start roleplaying soon. It's good to see all the work people have done with retro roleplaying.

My old blog:
The Wandering Bard's Tavern
The Oriental Adventures Project
My Name Generators