Saturday, February 4, 2023

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 2, Room 4

The hallway turns to the left and continues on.  The first door encountered (Room 4) is on the left-hand side.  Like all the doors, this one is locked.


Inside this room is a Schreckengeist.  While old, this ghost is of an adventurer that died after the fall of the Vampire Queen. He became trapped in this room and died.  

AC 3 [17], HD 3 (13hp), Att 1, scream of fear, THAC0 20 [0], MV 60’ (20’), SV D13 W13 P14 B15 S17, ML 10, AL Chaotic, XP 175, NA 1 (1d4), TT see below.

The Schreckengeist will be calmly floating over the skeletal remains of his body. He will seem sad at first, but once the characters enter the room, he will scream.

The Schreckengeist is incorporeal and can not be struck by normal weapons, only silvered ones.  Likewise, it can not attack with physical attacks, although in its rage, it will try to.  Its only attack is a scream of fear.  Characters of 3rd level or below must Save vs. Petrification or flee in terror as per the Fear spell.  Normal Humans and creatures below 1 level/HD get no save; characters above 4th level/HD are immune.

Any characters that fail their save will try to run back the way they came to the stairs to this level.

The Schreckengeist can be turned, but the spirit will reform after the next sunset.  The only way to give it rest is to return it's body (bones) to it's home or to burn them.  If the body is burned award everyone that participates 10 xp. If the bone are taken to be returned home given all that participate 15 xp. There will be a gold medallion around his neck bones that will at least mention the city he is from (the characters should at least be familiar with it). The medallion itself is worth 50 gp.

He has treasure in gems and coins worth 150 gp. There are several empty potion bottles near the body; his desperate attempt at getting some water. The weapons are old but functional.

Friday, February 3, 2023

Kickstart Your Weekend: Monsters and More!

More Kickstarters this week, and it is a good batch.

Dark Wizard Games: Fantasy Folder #1 - Dungeon Demon

Dark Wizard Games: Fantasy Folder #1 - Dungeon Demon

A new one from Dark Wizard Games and Mark Taormino.  Mark always runs a great Kickstarter and this one looks no different. 

This time he gives us some folders that remind me of the old St Regis folders.  This would be great for nearly any purpose for your games, and I hope these are the first of many more. Yeah, a cheap folder from Mead is cheaper but nowhere near as cool.

Monster Rangers RPG

Monster Rangers RPG

This one looks fun. From the Kickstarter:

Occult Pulp Adventure set in 1913!

Join the cause (CAWS) as a Monster Ranger who takes on Monsterologists who exploit monsters for their majik in a veiled world of weird; Obscuria.

'La Notte Eterna': Horror-Gothic Setting for 5E

'La Notte Eterna': Horror-Gothic Setting for 5E

This is a dark fantasy setting for 5e with new sub-classes and monsters and it looks rather cool.

There is a LOT here too. Three books, minis, DM's Screen, PDFs. Just a lot of stuff to be honest and it looks great.  There is even a quickstart to get a feel for the game. 

The setting is right up my alley too. Something I was doing with my own "Come Endless Darkness" campaign.  THIS could be a world where the heroes failed and darkness took over. It is worth me getting it just for that!

Lots of great stuff out there in this one. More than I can post now, but check it out. My enthusiasm for 5e might be at an all time low, but this looks like a ton of fun.

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 2, Room 3

This room is opposite side of the hall from Room 2.  The door is the same difficulty to unlock.

Room 3
Free Art Assets - Grey Gnome Games - Jason Glover

Like the other room this one has old weapons.  However, these weapons are trapped. 

Removing any weapon from the rack will cause 1d6+2 poison darts to fly out. The poison is now weak; instead now only causes 1d4 hp of damage instead of death.

The trap can be disabled with a successful Find/Remove Traps roll.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 2, Room 2

The hallway here is 10' wide and extends forward.  To your right is a locked door.

The door lock is old and difficult. There is -5% to any thief trying to unlock. If they are successful on the first try they can ignore this penalty from here on out.  Failure the first time will require 3 more successes to avoid this.

Free Art Assets - Grey Gnome Games - Jason Glover

This room used to be an armory for the guards of this level. The lock has kept others out. The weapons are old and rusted. They are still usable but are at a -1 to hit and -1 to damage. Any roll of a 1 on a to hit (critical fumble) the weapon will be rendered unusable. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

BlackStar: It's Been A Long Time...

Recently my wife and I have rewatched Star Trek: Enterprise. We have been and are huge Trek fans, but we didn't watch it much when it first came out because, at the time, we had small children, and I had just started a new career track after leaving academia.  So free time was not something we had a lot of.

Much to our delight, we discovered it was not only good Trek, but it was great Trek.  I had not considered making it a part of my "BlackStar Universe" until recently. And by that, I mean last week.

The Protector and another NX class ship

We had some returns from Christmas still lingering, so with a gift card in hand I picked up another model.  Yeah my arthritis is going to make this a little more difficult (thankfully this is a "kids" model) I am still going to have some fun!

I am going to opt for the refit design, something we didn't get to see on TV.  I just have to figure out if the ship is supposed to be white or stay gunmetal gray.

My oldest has been running a Trek game in addition to his D&D games and he has been setting it in my BlackStar Universe.  So my motivation for this is also pretty high.

The scale on the box says this is 1/1000th scale and my Protector is 1/1400 scale, but holding them up side by side they look about right.

Two NX ships

The Protector is over 650 meters (if I remember right) and the NX-01 is 225 meters. 

Of course this won't be the NX-01 Enterprise. This is a later Starship that came out of space dock with the refit in place. So it could be longer. 

Following the history of the Space Shuttle the first NX Warp 5 ships were Enterprise (NX-01), Columbia (NX-02), Challenger (NX-03), Discovery (NX-04), Atlantis (NX-05), and Endeavour (NX-06).  We later see the USS Franklin (NX-326) with similar weapons and defenses. 

The NX-01 was launched in 2153, NX-02 in 2154.  The Franklin was actually an earlier ship, launched between 2141 and 2151, and was capable of Warp 4.  

This gives me some room to play around.  

I had originally thought to set Star Trek: Mercy as a Post-Enterprise (2151) and Pre-TOS (2265) era game. But instead, Mercy ended up in the equally fertile time period between the last of the TOS movies and the start of TNG.  I do like it better at that time since it gives me a little more flexibility.

This new NX ship can then be set anytime after 2161, likely after the foundation of the United Federation of Planets.  I might even work in some ideas with UESPA. Given the events in Star Trek: Enterprise I will likely say this is a Warp 6 or Warp 7 ship. But in truth, I know nothing about this little ship yet! It could even become my Ghost Ship at some point.

One thing I do know, it gives me an excuse to use Fleet Admiral Lucille Ball, Commander of Starfleet Operations.

How Lucille Ball Helped Star Trek Become a Cultural Icon

Will my new NX ship be connected to Mercy? Will it be connected to the Protector?  I like the Protector connection, but the big deal with the Protector is that it is it's Warp-13 engines that bring the Cthulhu horrors into our universe. Mercy is largely a peacetime mission.

Here is my working timeline with select items from the cannon:

2123: The SS Mariposa (NAR-7678) leaves Earth (DY 500 class)
2139: NAR-7539 SS Inspiration leaves Earth (DY 500 class)
2151-2161: Enterprise
2156-2160: Federation-Romulan War
2161-xxxx: My New Ship
2164: USS Franklin reported lost
2167: The USS Archon and USS Essex both reported lost (unrelated)
2168: USS Horizon lost

2247-2250: First Klingon War
2256-2258: Discovery
2256-2257: Second Klingon War
2259-2264: Strange New Worlds
2265-2295: Star Trek: TOS & Movies
2295-xxx: Star Trek: Mercy, USS Mercy NCC-3001

2351-xxxx: Star Trek: BlackStar, USS Protector NX-3120
2352: Protector is sent to the Inverness system
2363-2378: Star Trek: TNG, DS9, Voy
2380-xxxx: Star Trek: Lower Decks
2384: USS Protostar (NX-76884) lost
2399-2401: Star Trek: Picard

I can't help but notice that there is a large number of ships lost in the 2160s. The Archon, Essex, and Horizon were all Daedalus class ships. Franklin was a Freedom class.  What was going on then?  So my refit is part of the NX-Class. But let's nod to the FASA Star Trek RPG and The Wrath of Khan, and say they were renamed the Enterprise class. Certainly, the refit could be an Enterprise-class, though a solid argument could be made to call it the Archer-class.

Personally, I like the idea of the refits as the Archer-class. I can see Jonathan Archer NOT wanting it but Starfleet Comand saying it would be to honor him and his father. I can see the Andorians being more forthcoming; if you want our weapons systems, you will name the class after a member of the Andorian Imperial Guard. The Vulcans would see it as the logical choice.  I can also see Archer conceding if one of the ships is named "The Beagle" after the ship that Darwin made famous, but mostly because of his favorite dog bread.  I could call it the NX-31 or even the NCC 831; for 1831 the year Darwin set out on the HMS Beagle.  I'll need to see what numbers I have in decals.

Maybe that is my ship! The NX-31/NCC 831 USS Beagle.  An exploratory vessel launched at the end of the Romulan War to return to Starfleet's first mission. To explore strange new worlds. 

I can do far worse, to be honest.

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 2, Room 1

Welcome to Level 2!

In the original citadel, this level was used as their prison and dungeon. After it was abandoned for several years, the Vampire Queen moved in.  She kept it as a prison, but a temporary one, favoring the lower levels for her truly depraved dungeons.


There is an eldritch glow that seems to affix to the walls for one second and then move on.  The whole effect is harmless but very eerie.

Doors to rooms on this level are all locked shut and will slam shut behind the players unless they are held or propped open.  Each time a thief can open a door, it is worth 5 xp. If the door is forced open (they all open to the outside), it is worth 1 xp.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 1, Room 31

At the end of this hallway to the left is a flight of stairs that go down, there is a flight of stairs across from these also going down from the hallway with rooms #18 to #24.  These stairs meet at a landing and then turn left (or right if taken from room #24) to another flight of stairs going down to the second level.

On the landing are the statues of two demonic-looking creatures.

Free Art Assets - Grey Gnome Games - Jason Glover

These statues are not statues, but Gargoyles. These creatures have 2* HD (10, 12 hp) and attack via a claw/claw/bite (1d4/1d4/1d6+1). They can only be hit by magic or magic weapons.  If any characters allowed their weapons to touch the lights in Room 25 and they are still glowing they will count as magical "+0" weapons.

The gargoyles will not follow the characters back up the stairs to level 1; they are only here to prevent them from going down to level 2, or once they are on level 2, prevent them from going up to the landing.


The characters have survived Level 1!