Monday, 19 March 2018

Purple Sorcerer Free DCC Tools

Purple Sorcerer Games is owned and operated by Jon Marr. While I don't have any direct credits for the free online tools provided by Purple Sorcerer Games, it is reasonable to assume that Jon Marr is involved with their creation as well as making them available. You can look here for a full list of patrons who backed the creation and update of these tools, by year.

The number and quality of free tools Purple Sorcerer makes available is astounding. As a judge for open gaming events, I make frequent use of the 0-Level Party and Upper Level Character Generators, and so does almost everyone I have ever played a convention game with. It is unusual indeed not to be handed a character sheet created by Purple Sorcerer Games! Likewise, The Sorcerer's Grimoire makes printing out spell sheets for elves, wizards, and clerics a breeze.

As a writer, I have made use of the Demon Generator, the Dragon Generator, and even the Unique Monster Trait Generator. These generators give you the raw material to craft a specific being to fit your adventure's needs, without having to roll dice and look up tables yourself.

The available free tools, at the time of this writing, are:

0-Level Party Generator: Whip up four 0-level characters in a flash. Options allow you to choose Occupation Source from over 30 lists, filter out non-humans, decide how stats and hit points are rolled, create tournament sheets, use one of several Lucky Sign house rules, or simply create a blank sheet to roll your own. If you need to make 200 gongfarmers for your convention games, you can do that as a single file. If you want them to be suitable for your Drongo or Beyond the Silver Scream adventure, you can do that too.

Mutant Crawl Classics 0-Level Party Generator: Similar to the 0-Level Party Generator, this allows you to create 0-level characters for your Mutant Crawl Classics games. There are fewer options for Occupation Source right now, but the Genotype Filters do allow you to specify No Pure Strain Humans, No Plantients, No Manimals, and/or No Mutants. For fun, I clicked all of the filters, and it still gives you characters - they just do not list genotype!

Upper Level Character Generator: This creates characters from levels 1 through 10 for the standard Dungeon Crawl Classics classes. Because it uses the same occupation lists as the O-Level Party Generator, it will allow you to create an opossuman cleric, for instance, although the Class information does not exist at this time to create a character leveled in the opossuman race-class.

The Crawler's Companion: This is discussed here. Recent upgrades are discussed here.

The Sorcerer's Grimoire: Generates spells for your wizard, cleric, or elf, complete with mercurial effects and patron information. This last is not limited merely to the Dungeon Crawl Classics core rulebook, but includes patrons from the first volume of Angels, Daemons, & Beings Between as well as those published in various Purple Sorcerers Games adventures.

Demon Generator: Create up to 20 demons at a time, from Type 1 to Type 6. The generator can also randomly determine Demon Type, so that if you generate more than one at a time, you can get a mixture of Demon Types.

Random example:

Dog Demon (Type 5)
Init +6; Atk Kick +12 melee; AC 24; HD 14d12; MV 50'; Act 3d20; SP Drain ability score +12; Spells (Consult Spirit, , Runic Alphabet, Fey | spell check mod: 14) +12, Spells (Consult Spirit, , Runic Alphabet, Fey | spell check mod: 14) +12Target Save 23, demon traits; SV Fort +14, Ref +12, Will +12, AL C.
Trait: Scaled
Standard Type 5 Demon Features
Communication: Speech, telepathy
Abilities: Infravision, darkness (+20 check)
Immunities: Immune to weapons of less than +4 enchantment or natural attacks from creatures of 9 HD or less; immune to fire, cold, electricity, gas, acid;
Projection: Can teleport at will to any location, as long as not bound or otherwise summoned; can project astrally and ethereally
Crit Threat Range: 16-20

Dragon Generator: From the tiniest pseudo dragon to the greatest godlike dragon, this generator can create up to 20 at a time. Again, you can randomly determine dragon size, so that you have a mixture of various types of dragons.

Random example:

Large bronze dragon
Init +16; Atk claw (x2) +17 melee (1d8); bite +17 melee (1d12); tail slap +17 melee (1d20); AC 26; HD 16d12 (105 hp); MV 60; Act attacks d20, spells ; SP see below; SV Fort +16, Ref +20, Will +16; Al N.
Breath Weapon: Type (Electricity); Save (Ref 26); Damage (As dragon’s hit points or half with save); Shape (1-4 line forks, width 5’, total length 3d6 x 10’)
Level 1 Spells: Ward Portal, Ropework, Charm Person
Level 2 Spells: Invisibility, Scare, Spider Web
Level 3 Spells: Transference, Consult Spirit, Haste
Martial Power 1: Damage reduction. The dragon’s tough hide reduces the damage of all blows against it by 1 point.
Martial Power 2: Fast reflexes. The dragon’s Ref save is increased by an additional +4.
Martial Power 3: Amphibious. The dragon can breathe water and swim effortlessly.
Unique Power 1: Spider climb (at will). The dragon can climb any surface as if it were a spider.
Unique Power 2: Light (at will). The dragon can bring full light of daylight into an area of 30’ radius. Target any spot within 100'.
Unique Power 3: Locate object (1/day). The dragon can locate an object known to itself. It receives an unerring sense of direction toward the object and the approximate distance. The range of this ability is: up to 100 miles on this plane.
Unique Power 4: Wall of fog (1/hour). The dragon can summon a wall of fog at will. The wall is up to 100’ x 20’ x 100’. Within the fog, targets suffer -4 to all attacks and move at half speed.

Mercurial Magic Generator: Add your Luck modifier, and the generator will do the rest. Up to 50 results can be rolled at a time.

Sword Magic Generator: Toggles allow you to choose the spell check result, the caster's alignment, the caster's Intelligence (up to 22!), the caster's level, and how many swords you want. Except for that last toggle, all can be set to generate random results. Up to 20 swords can be created at a time.

Random example:

+1 Dagger (Roll: 51)
Alignment: Lawful
Intelligence: 4
Communication: Simple urges
Bane: Golems (Beacon of hope; allies within 100’ engaged in battle against bane gain +2 bonus to all saving throws and morale checks)
Power: Detect certain creature type within 1d10 x 100’ (e.g., spiders, dragons, goblinoids, men, etc.)

Scroll Generator: Create up to 50 scrolls. You can select for wizard spells, cleric spells, or a random mix of types.

Random example:

Spell Type: Wizard
Scribed on the Scroll:
     Level 1: Force Manipulation
Mechanism: Spell check must be made by reader, at a +2 bonus.
Unique Trait: Signed by creator, in his own name, with the notation that, 'This scroll is the property of the creator. All others who use it shall be subject to a curse.' (Or something similar.)

Unique Monster Trait Generator: Choose un-dead or humanoid (or random) and generate up to 50 unique creatures.

Random example:

Type: Unique Undead
Description: Ashen-skinned and gray-eyed
Trait: Resistant to spells (50% chance of any spell not affecting it)

Useful Charts: Useful Charts for the 0-level DCCRPG Enthusiast is an excellent, free resource that I personally bring to all of my games. You can download it here.

Paper Minature Tips: Purple Sorcerer Games adventures all include printable paper minis. Apparently, A Gathering of the Marked has almost 100 of them. Purple Sorcerer Games has kindly made two videos available to help you get the most from this resource.

You can support Purple Sorcerer Games in offering Free Tools here, by purchasing an adventure, a T-shirt, or a direct donation through PayPal or Dwolla.

Beginning in the early days of the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG beta, Purple Sorcerer Games has created free tools and helpers to make it as easy as possible for new and experienced players to get into the game. We're thrilled that so many DCC players from around the world rely on these tools, and look forward to building new utilities for years to come!

We create a number of free tools and helpers to make your Dungeon Crawl Classics experience as streamlined as possible. Tools include the 0-Level Party and Upper Level Character Generators, and the Ennie-Award winning Crawler's Companion.

Access Them Here!

PM 2: Desolate Dwarven Delve

Purple Mountain Level Two: Desolate Dwarven Delve is a 2nd level adventure written by David Nicholas Ross. Art is by Matt Morrow (cover), Brian Brinlee, and Tamas Baranya. Cartography is by Kristian Richards. DCC conversion is by Daniel J. Bishop. The publisher is Purple Duck Games.

Disclosure: I did the DCC conversion on this product, and am a Patreon on this project.

Purple Mountain was originally written for Pathfinder role-playing game, and is nominally within the Purple Duck Games open setting, Porphyra. Each level was written by a different author (although some authors may have written more than one level), using cartography by Kristian Richards.

Some of this cartography was later used to inspire Dungeon Crawl Classics adventures: for instance, Level 1 shares a map with Through the Cotillion of Hours, and Level 3 shares maps with Stars in the Darkness.

The second level of Purple Mountain is an abandoned dwarven mine, which is now home to gremlins, un-dead dwarves, a troglodyte hermit, and various other creatures, including more than one type of fungi.

As with all adventures in this series, the module can be used as a stand-alone adventure, or as part of the larger Purple Mountain series. The entrance to this level presents its own difficulties, and foolish or unwary players may well lose a character (or two) here.

This level played heavily into Pathfinder sensibilities in its initial incarnation, which required some serious thinking to convert it to Dungeon Crawl Classics. Specifically, reducing the feeling of playing Pathfinder while retaining the essential narrative of the adventure was challenging. On the other hand, most of the monsters are essentially similar to their original counterparts, with Hassur the troglodyte hermit and his ally Pallcap requiring the most change. On the other hand, I did get to work in a connection to Ulibex from Silent Nightfall.

Purple Mountain II: Desolate Dwarven Delve throws your party into a ruined dwarven settlement haunted by the restless dead, insidious fungi, sadistic fey, and more. Devious mechanisms bar the way and the delve's strange, feuding inhabitants loom on all sides while the party search for the valuable secrets of the ruins.

The Purple Mountain series is designed to be a classic mega-dungeon. You know the kind...

Get It Here!

Thursday, 15 February 2018

PM 1: Temple of the Locust Lord

Purple Mountain Level One: Temple of the Locust Lord is a 1st level adventure written by Mark Gedak. Art is by Jacob Blackmon (cover) and Matt Morrow. Cartography is by Kristian Richards. DCC conversion is by Daniel J. Bishop. The publisher is Purple Duck Games.

Disclosure: I did the DCC conversion on this product, and am a Patreon on this project.

Purple Mountain was originally written for the Pathfinder role-playing game, and is nominally within the Purple Duck Games open setting world, Porphyra. Each level was written by a different author (although some authors may have written more than one level), using cartography by Kristian Richards.

Some of this cartography was later used to inspire Dungeon Crawl Classics adventures: for instance, Level 1 shares a map with Through the Cotillion of Hours, and Level 3 shares maps with Stars in the Darkness.

Each level also has a theme, and the theme of Level One is insects, arthropods, and similar squicky things - what are called "vermin" in the original system. It is important in doing a conversion to try to be true to the overall vision of the original author, while ensuring that the aesthetic of Dungeon Crawl Classics shines through. This means, in part, making monsters mysterious, even to those who are old hands at Pathfinder. Luckily, Mark Gedak's original work made this fairly easy to do.

Notes are given for using this product as a stand-alone adventure, or as part of the larger Purple Mountain series. An Appendix describes the Locust Lord as a deity for clerics and provides invoke patron results for wizards and elves.

The first level of Purple Mountain is the current home to a cult of the Locust Lord, a demonic entity dedicated to vermin, chasms, and infestations. Twenty years ago, the wizard Iraksed came to the Purple Mountain to discover secrets of transformation into an immortal invertebrate form. His destructive tendencies and ability to manipulate the manamites present in the first level of Purple Mountain earned him the grace of the Locust Lord and Iraksed began the painful process of shedding his mortal form into his current squirming one.

Recently Iraksed and his manamite followers have grown in power and potential for destruction. The manamites have captured and trained a number of vermin, including a throach. The throach, known to the manamites as the Instrument of the Locust Lord, has the ability to implant hosts with its verminous offspring. These offspring eventually tear themselves free of their host. The manamites love both the birth of throach grubs from within the bodies of other sentient races and the screams of their hosts as the larval throach burst free. To supply the throach with a constant supply of hosts, the manamites occasionally venture out of Purple Mountain to capture travellers or nearby villagers.

Get It Here!

Pulp Weird Encounters #1: The Tomb of the Squonk and the Silent Army

Pulp Weird Encounters #1: The Tomb of the Squonk and the Silent Army was written by Daniel J. Bishop and Charlie Scott, with art by Nik Wolfe (including cover) and Rick Hershey. Cartographer is by Joshua Burnett. The publisher is Mystic Bull Games.

Disclosure: I am one of the authors.

As the name implies, this product was meant to be the first in a series of Pulp Weird Encounters published by Mystic Bull Games. While I cannot say for certain about The Silent Army, I know that Tomb of the Squonk was originally written for In the Prison of the Squid Sorcerer, but didn't fit within the space of the book.

Pulp Weird Encounters #1 contains two adventures: Tomb of the Squonk by Daniel J. Bishop and The Silent Army by Charlie Scott. Interestingly enough, both include alien technology as significant elements.

Tomb of the Squonk (Low to Mid-Level, by Daniel J. Bishop)

A hideous creature asks your help to regain his rightful body.

This adventure is heavily influenced by the World of Tiers series by Philip José Farmer. So much so that there are rules for creating Patricians - a group of human-appearing interdimensional beings that fight in an endless internecine conflict that they term “games.” The point of these games is to humiliate, and eventually to kill, the other Patricians through a “board” that consists of multiple universes, on a playground that includes other times as well as other spaces.

The cover illustration predates the adventure, which was designed to make use of it. If you are familiar with North American lumberjack mythology, you will recognize where the squonk comes from.

The titular Tomb is actually a death-trap designed to slay all who enter. It includes a white-furred temporal serpent that predates a similar occurance in Glipkerio's Gambit (and which is itself a nod both to Philip José Farmer and Fritz Leiber's Nehwon). Despite being a death trap, a clever party can survive with minimal (or no) loss.

The adventure also includes a number of gates, so the prospective judge should have other locations to hand in case the PCs pass through one or more of them. When I first ran the adventure, as a home game playtest, the PCs entered into the world of Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess (converted from Lamentations of the Flame Princess. When I ran this at Gary Con IX, characters ended up first in the Saturn of The Weird Worm-Ways of Saturn and The Vault of Ash, and then in The Giggling Deep.

I strongly recommend that the judge throw the players into the new location in media res, rather than at the normal adventure start. Adventure conversions from almost any system would be appropriate.

The Silent Army (Low-Level, by Charlie Scott)

Help a village defeat an alien menace.

The working title of this adventure was The Cyber-Satyr, and you will find it referenced as such in Tomb of the Squonk. This adventure is really written as a fairly linear side quest, but one that foreshadows an alien invasion. Note that the actual invasion can be generations hence if the judge doesn't want to address it, or next week if she does.

Note that "the entirety of this work is designated as Open Gaming Content" except the Product Identity, which are mostly terms so designated by Goodman Games. This means that, if you wish, you can create and publish an adventure that follows up on either The Silent Army or Tomb of the Squonk. I would buy it. Neither the Patricians nor the alien Tsinchin are Product Identity.

Get It Here!

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Prince Charming, Reanimator

FT0: Prince Charming, Reanimator is a 0-level funnel adventure written by Daniel J. Bishop. Art is by Luigi Catellani, and cartography is by Kristian Richards. The publisher is Purple Duck Games.

Disclosure: I am the author.

This product comes about due to the confluence of several factors.

First, I had planned to do a series of fairy tale-based adventures for the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG, titled Faerie Tales from Unlit Shores. The idea was to combine classic fairy tales with one or more strong Appendix N influences, to create something that accentuated the folkloric (and often dark) fey elements of the original tale and the adventurous energy of Appendix N fiction.

Second, my good friend Raechel Henderson, who was the first person to ever pay me for a piece of writing, had a Kickstarter project that was moving slowly. I asked my readers to help spread the word about Raechel’s project, in return for which I would write a free adventure. Her project, Spellbound and Spindles, was related to fairy tales too, making this a perfect tribute to those who contributed either with dollars or links. Although Spellbound is no more, it pleases me to no end that Raechel Henderson not only achieved her goal, but fulfilled her commitments, releasing seven issues before Spellbound closed its doors. Perhaps, like Sleeping Beauty herself, Spellbound will reawaken at some future date? Our community should all wish for a strong introduction to fantasy specifically made for children.

Finally, Mark Gedak of Purple Duck Games not only agreed to publish the follow up series of fairy tale-based adventures, but also to publish the free adventure professionally.

The result was Prince Charming, Reanimator, with the pdf version being Pay What You Want. Prince Charming, Reanimator, is based off of the observation that Prince Charming's brides were found (in the original fairy tales) at the bottom of a well, in a glass casket, and after being "asleep" for a century. This struck me as being more than a little akin to something a medieval Herbert West, Reanimator might be into. And et voila! Here we are.

The adventure includes Dr. Chapman as a patron, using the abbreviated format from the core rulebook (invoke patron results only). For a more complete write-up, see FT 1: Creeping Beauties of the Wood.

Get It Here, or Get the PWYW Pdf Here!

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Prayers of the Forgotten

Prayers of the Forgotten was written by Carl Bussler and Eric Hoffman. The cover illustration is not credited (or, at least, it is not in my copy, which has a different cover illustration). Cartography is by Carl Bussler and Eric Hoffman. The publisher is Stormlord Publishing.

I previously reviewed this item here (and that is the cover I have!).  My opinion on the product has not changed.

“There is no such thing as a dead god. Only dead followers.” - Sir Baylin the Last

Get It Here!

Thursday, 8 February 2018

The Portsmouth Mermaid

FT 2: The Portsmouth Mermaid is a 2nd level adventure written by Daniel J. Bishop, with art by Matt Morrow (cover) and Luigi Castellani. Cartography is by Kristian Richards. Additional writing by Godric McKellan and Bobby Ree. The publisher is Purple Duck Games.

Disclosure: I am the author.

An invitation to a wedding, and a patron's desire for a mermaid's tears, bring the PCs to Portsmouth, an amalgamated not to H.P. Lovecraft's fictional towns of Kingsport and Innsmouth. In particular, judges would be well advised to read The Festival, Dagon, and The Shadow over Innsmouth if they are interested in direct influences.

The Little Mermaid, by Hans Christian Andersen, is another obvious inspiration. So much so that I am left wondering whether or not Lovecraft had considered this tale when penning Dagon.

There are a great many other fairy tale and nursery rhyme references in the adventure. The Golden River, it may be noted, relates to The King of the Golden River (by John Ruskin), and is also connected to Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror through the "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" encounter in Appendix C: Additional Encounters.

The adventure includes five appendixes.

Appendix A is compiled statblocks for everything referenced in the adventure. There are a lot of elements that can be in play, so this is worth printing out and keeping handy.

Appendix B is New Magic Items. In August of 2014 I ran The Scrimshaw Rod contest on my blog, and decided to split the difference, declaring both contestants (Godric McKellan and Bobby Ree) winners. These items were created by them, and they should have been credited in the text.

Appendix C contains Additional Encounters that can be used to liven up adventuring in Portsmouth, either during this adventure or later in a campaign. They are The Dancing Shoes, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, The Match Girl, I Do Not Like Thee Doctor Fell, The Sky is Falling, The King of the Cats, and Simple Simon's Catch.

Appendix D: The Esoteric Order of Dagon contains a complete patron write-up for Dagon, which can also be found reprinted in  Angels, Daemons, & Beings Between: Extended, Otherworldly Edition. (In fact, there is a Dagon cover.)

Appendix E: Faerie Animal Types for Portsmouth supplies a table for faerie animal characters, using the rules in Creeping Beauties of the Wood, but which are more suitable for the Portsmouth area.

This is the third item in the Faerie Tales from Unlit Shores series. Additional supporting materials can be found in Crawl! fanzine #11 (The Deep Elders) and Three Nights in Portsmouth.

The Portsmouth Mermaid takes place over the twelve days of a Yuletide Celebration in the town of Portsmouth, north of Westlake. The adventure is largely political, with several factions, all of which have a different optimal outcome. The PCs have to figure out what is going on, decide what to do about it, and then live with the consequences.

Get It Here!