Monday, February 27, 2012

Monk of the Metal Earth [class]

I'm likely reinventing the wheel here, but whatever, this is one of the characters that will go the Metal Earth Game (the first full draft of which is actually nearing completion). the inspiration from this comes from a forum post I read somewhere the other day about how one could use magic user spells to replicate a thief. Well, for a variety of reasons, I thought that was a bad idea, however, the core concept behind it struck me as really neato. At the same time I was thinking of how to implement Magic in my upcoming campaign. I've been all over the road with this in the last few incarnations of the game and I'm trying to find a permanent solution. This class, the Sorcerer class and the Witch class,  both of which I'll post later this week, may fix this problem and also fill the void left by the removal of the Cleric from the setting and the rules.

The spells listed are mostly from B/X (my new infatuation) and S&W WB. I'm going to make up about 20 more and awesome all the names to make them more monkish.

Anyway, here it is:
The Monk

Monks are highly trained and disciplined members of the pseudo-religious order The Marked. As a Monk completes stages of his training, he is marked with magical brands known as sigils. With proper mediation of an hour or more a day, the Monk can charge these sigils with energy drawn from his own life force. A charged sigil may be activated later by a series of body movements, known as a form. Each sigil has its own spell-like effect.

Racial restrictions: living beings only (i.e, no constructs or undead).
HD: 1d8
Combat: as Fighter
Saving Throw: As Cleric.
Monks with a 13 or greater wisdom receive a 5% bonus to, those with a 16+ DEX receive a 10% bonus to XP.

AC= 9- ½ level round down descending + Dexterity bonus; 10 + ½  level round down +Dexterity bonus ascending.

At first level a Monk can attack unarmed for 1d6 lethal damage.

At 4th level the Monk’s unarmed attacks can hit creatures vulnerable to silver and magic only.
At 5th level the Monk may use melee weapons.
At 6th level the monk may use missile weapons.
At 7th level the Monk gains the ability to use his spells on others.

First level Monk spells

Heal Minor Wounds
Protection from Chaos
Detect Magic
Purify food/drink
Resist Heat/Cold

Second level Monk Spells
Continual Light
Detect Invisible
Find Traps
Speak With Animals

Third level Monk Spells
Dark Vision
Protection From Normal Missiles
Protection from Chaos 10’ radius
Rope (like web, but with a rope)
Water Breathing

Fourth level Monk Spells
Heal Major Wound
Neutralize Poison
Plant Growth
Polymorph Self
Speak With Plants

Fifth Level Monk Spells
Astral Projection

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

[Icons] Strike Force Five (Island X part 2).


The Tomb: Located deep in the Australian outback, the Tomb is a facility established by Central Control (The Earth World Government- formed in the 1970's) for the disposal and storage of all of the world's nuclear weapons. The Tomb is thought at present (2004) to hold roughly 25 thousand warheads, representing an estimated  2 million megatons or more of explosive force.

SPIDER:  A high tech global terrorist organization, active since the late 1940's, SPIDER's  ultimate goal is nothing short of world conquest, but the organization is not above engaging in  extortion for money.

A SPIDER operative.

STRIKE FORCE FIVE: SPIDER'S elite super villain assault team.  Currently engaged in an operation on Island X.  Iron Mask, the leader of  both SPIDER and SF5, intends to ransom the world for one trillion dollars. If the money is not forthcoming, he will use the islands meat telportation system to transport Mutantor to the Tomb. According to his calculations, the the immense radiation will stimulate the prespawn, which gestate in boils on Mutantor's back, forcing them into a period of accelerated growth. This will result in the sudden appearance of a score or more fully mature creatures identical to Mutantor. 


 Iron Mask

Ivan Von Freer was once a mild mannered schoolteacher in the tiny European Kingdom of Assuria. After the death of his family at the hands of the Nazi invaders, however, Von Freer tapped into the forbidden science and sorcery once practiced by his notoriously evil grandfather, and became Iron Mask.  As Iron Mask, Von Freer worked enchantments and experiments on himself, turning back the clock, making himself young and imbuing his body with incredible power. First, he drove the Nazi's from Assuria and then the he kept the Soviets and Americans out. Ever since, he has ruled the tiny nation with an iron fist. Furthermore, using his diplomatic immunity as a shield, he has plagued the world as super villain terrorists for well over half a century.

Active since the dawn of the Cold War, Iron Mask is the Supreme Leader of SPIDER, a high-tech global terrorist organization. SPIDER SUPREME! The super villain team Strike force Five is Spider's elite unit. Iron Mask is in command of S5 as well and has a complex web of relationships with its members. He is romantically involved with Mind Warp and locked in a continual battle for dominance with Maximus; Surge, the notorious and wanted cybernetic assassin is Iron Mask's daughter; furthermore he directly responsible for the creation of the being known as 170.

Real Name: Ivan Von Feer

Prowess 9
Coordination 8
Strength 8
Intellect 6
Awareness 6
Willpower 7
Stamina 15

Determination: 0

Science Master (Physics)
Leadership Master
Occult Master
Invulnerability 6
Wizardry 5
Mind Control 5
Paralysis 6


Honorable to a point
Always thinking
Terrible to behold
Stops at nothing

Surrounded by fools
Must have it all
It's all about me


Prowess 5
Coordination 6
Strength 5
Intellect 3
Awareness 2
Willpower 2

Stamina 7

Determination *

Binding 6
Stretching 8
Invulnerability 5


Silent watcher
Logic dictates
Good right hand
Sudden movement

That's some crazy shit
What does it want?


176, the product of Iron Masks attempt to create a perfect being, is a sentient polymer. It is a strange and unknowable being; however, it seems to be completely loyal to Iron Mask. 170 is prone to sudden unpredictable actions, It can speak, but seldom does.


Real Name:  Jennifer Treemont


Prowess 5
Coordination 6
Strength 3
Intellect 4
Awareness 4
Willpower 5

Stamina 8

Determination *

Mental Blast 7
Invulnerability 3

Pilot Expert
Mental Resistance


Doesn't really love him anyway.
Kicks 'em while they're down
I love me
They're out to get me


Jennifer Treemont was born in 1984, during the aftermath of the Second Monster War  (MWII). Her mental powers are thought to be a result of exposure to monster related radiation. She had been involved in small time super crime for her entire adult life. Joining up with Spider and Strike Force five is her first step into the exciting world of arch villainy. She is supposedly Iron Mask’s girl, but spends much of her time teasing Maximus and leading him on. 


Real Name: Maximus, High Master of the Zero Zone

Prowess 7
Coordination 7
Strength 9
Intellect 4
Awareness 4
Willpower 4

Stamina 13

Military Master
Acrobatics Master

Invulnerability 4
Fast Attack 5


Lord of Pain

Hey ladies!
Better than you
The strongest one there is.
No time for this!
Fair weather fearless
Speaks of self in 3rd person

Maximus was once the High Master of the Zero Zone, a savage anti-reality dimension. Deposed and exiled by his own people he desires nothing so much as to regain his lost throne. He originally came to our world thinking that after subjugation the Earth would make an ideal place from which to launch his campaign of re-conquest against the  forces of the Zero Zone, but that hasn’t really worked out for him. Currently, he has deigned to lower himself to work with Iron Mask in return for the shamefully meager wage of passage back to his own universe.



Prowess 8
Coordination 6
Strength 5
Intellect 5
Awareness 5
Willpower 5

Stamina 10

Determination *

Investigation Master 
Martial Arts Master

Blast 5
Leaping 4
Invisibility 4

Daddy's girl
The bionic girl

Look at that whore!
Get away from my father!
I’d do anything to get that bitch!


Iron Mask’s mysterious daughter, the bionically augmented Surge is the most sought after and highest paid assassin in the world. She does nit like or trust Mindwarp and is actively looking for a way to destroy her standing within SPIDER.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

[Icons] Island X Primer

As I've mentioned before, Earth Zero is my Icons campaign setting. It diverges from our earth during  WW2 when the supers first start showing up (for the second time, the first time was 35kya but nobody remembers that). My campaign is set in 1950, but this adventure takes place in 2004. I really dig the idea of having my payers go into what is the 'future' and have it be totally wrong in comparison to our world.

Island X is an attempt to mix two things that i think we're really made for each other Japanese style Kaiju (giant monsters) and American style supers.

Anyway this is very much a work in progress, I have many of the hexes detailed, but I haven't typed them up yet. I also have a couple more maps I need to ink before I can scan and post them (e.g. X Force X's volcano base).
This was supposed to be a filler adventure, but we're out to session four with it and no end in sight.
Here is what I have typed up so far- I'm like only half a step in front of the players now.

Island X Primer:

The South Pacific, 2004 AD.

During the late 20st century, giant monsters of unknown origin ravaged the Earth. The world devolved into a state of chaos as the remaining nation states struggled for decades to beat the giant creatures back.

Status Quo:
The year is now 2004 and the monsters have long since been defeated. Island X is used as a combination containment area and preserve for the last of these creatures. X Force X, a Japanese paramilitary organization administers the island and keeps a watch on the monsters. Due to the force field which surrounds the landmass, radios do not work on or around the island. Furthermore the island can only be reached by submarine. As a result, traffic between the mainland and Island X is very limited.

Situation: A super villain strike force has gotten past the force field and attacked the X Force X troops in as an attempt to take control of the island and the monsters. The attack is in its second day when the characters arrive.

Several groups vie for control over the island and its inhabitants.

X Force X- is a Japanese paramilitary organization dedicated to keeping the monsters on the island. They are armed with lots of high tech stuff. They mostly fight with mechs. Their headquarters is located in the extinct volcano Mt. Muti, in the center of the island. Currently they are at war with the Spider super-villain strike force led by Iron Mask.

[note- None of the PCs know Japanese and all of them fought in WW2.]

Spider Super Villain Strike Force: A group of super villains brought to the island by Iron Mask. Iron Mask has technology that will control the monsters and hopes to use them to conquer the world.

Beast Men: There is a population of a about 500 beast men. They are the stewards of the Time Caves.

Giant Monsters: there are a number of giant monsters on the island.

The Facts of Life:
Radios: they don’t work on the island and there are none to be found, except amongst the super villains- but theirs don’t work either.

Getting off: As long as the pylons are functional, the only way on and off the Island is by submarine.

The Pylons: four giant nuclear powered force field generators situated equidistant from one another off the cost of the island. The pylons are easily visible on a clear day and at night there lights can be seen from the beaches and the highlands.

Some key features of the island:
(This stuff has all been placed in specific hexes, which will be seen when I post the hex by hex break down).

Supply caches: small depositories for XFX equipment scattered about the island. Usually have food, camping and medical supplies. Made to be hidden from monsters, but pretty easily noticed on a awareness 3 check.

XFX outposts. The one on the north coast is completely empty and there is an alarm going off. Reinforced observation/staging areas scattered around the island. At the current time all of them are empty. All writing and labeling is in Japanese and there are absolutely no radios. Lots of large bins stuffed with burned parers all of which are in Japanese.

Meat stations: feeding drop offs for the giant monsters. Twoce a day five tons of synthetic meat are teleported to these locations.

Dinosaurs: Because sometimes giant radioactive monsters like snack.

Flying Saucer: A flying disk with a pulsing crystal power plant. The power plant can be used to destroy Morgetor.

Mech’s Grave Yard: a scatter of five XFX mechs all destroyed.

Mini cemeteries: 1-6 graves shallow graves in random places. Some are very old some are from the last few days. Many of the recent ones from energy weapon fire. All are marked with an XFX helmet.

Wrecked Submarine: On the southwest coast, near where the road turns into the bush, there is a wrecked submarine of futuristic design.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Megadungeon Monday: Halls of the Hidden Prince LVL 2; areas 9-15

Well its Monday here for two more minutes anyway.
Map is on the left.

9.  The Room of Skulls.
Illumination: None
Smell: None

This room is lined with shelves. Hundreds of skulls, from every manner of folk, crowd the shelves. Set in the face of the eastern wall, a plaque written in the script of the Minotaurs reads “Enemies of the House”

If the characters touch or otherwise disturb any of the skulls they will attract the attention of the malevolent spirits that haunt the room.

Spectral Horde
Ac 2 [17] HD 4; Attack: Telekinesis 1d6; Move 6;  Special Can attack 1d6 times a round; XP 300

A spectral horde is a conglomeration of petty ghosts who come together to combine their otherwise insignificant power. The horde cannot only be hit with magical/radiation based weapons. The horde cannot leave its source area (in this case it can not leave the Room of skulls.

10. The Orchard

Illumination: Very dim dull red glow emanating from the trees, limited visibility (see below).
Smell: Like Rotten Bacon. ST or gag for 1d4 rounds (-2 to all die rolls for duration).

This area is a natural cavern. The river runs through it, and the noise of water is loud but not overwhelming.  Bats flutter everywhere, their wings set aglow by the dull red light.

North of the river: Twelve meat trees depend from the vaulted, stalactite-covered ceiling. 
Each meat tree exists as a distended spindle of moist, pulsing ligature and flesh; clusters of faintly luminous, man-sized, scarlet, translucent, bulbous and blister-like sacs of glistening, squirming membrane are spaced unevenly along its length. Sacs that have been recently filled betray vague outlines of the bodies of animals and humanoids, writhing away their final agonizing moments as they are digested by the tree, and thus turned into food for the grublings The meat sacs provide both the room’s illumination and odor.

At any given time, 2-12 grublings will be feeding from the sacs, each thrusting its large, hairy proboscis into one of the writhing nodes and drawing forth a gory slurry of liquefied flesh and bone in a rapturous feeding trance. Feeding grublings will always be surprised if attacked and can also be stealthily avoided - see below.

If he has not appeared already, a 1-2 on a D6 indicates that two grublings are stuffing what looks to be the body of a dead Shae sorcerer into one of the sacks as the characters enter the room. This is Pheen Vox* who may or may not be alive at the referee’s discretion. His facial tattoos make him instantly recognizable.

The Bridge is thoroughly coated in sticky brown mucus, but it is open and uncluttered by meat trees.
The river running beneath the bridge has a depth of about 4 feet. The water has an oily sheen and stinks of garbage. Streams of mucus, fragments of insect chitin and offal pollute the stream. 

South of the river: Ten meat trees.1d8 grublings feedings. Three pairs of drones are stationed on this side of the river. Squad A stands before the door to room 13, and Squad b stands at the mouth of the passage leading down to room 11.   Squad C is stationed by the between the door to area 33 and the river’s point of entry in to the cavern. The squads are unable to see one another but will sound the alarm and come to one another’s aid during the second round of combat.

The Skeleton in the Lake: A giant skeleton (15’) lies supine in the lake, resting on its elbows, with its skull, thorax and right knee above the surface. A stylized star-like ruin is burned in to the middle of the forehead, and in the center of the ruin there is what appears to be a very large keyhole.

Grublings: AC 6[13]; HD 1+1; Attack Proboscis 1d6; Move 10; XP 15.

These creatures represent the larval stage of the roachmen. They are stupid and hungry.
Drone:  AC 4 [15]; HD 3; Attack Sword 1d6; Move 12; XP 40
Drones are roachmen at a more advanced, aware stage of their development. Drones will fight to defend the nest at all costs.

11. Lair of the Duchess:
Illumination: Bioluminescence 
Smell: Acrid, chemical

This large cavern is the lair of the Insectress’ chief lieutenant and queen of the roachmen, the Duchess: a bloated, egg-producing arthropod monstrosity. The cavern floor is covered with a crusty landscape of dried secretions, from which the acrid chemical smell noted above emanates. Half eaten carcasses of people and animals protrude from the crusted slimy nightmare-scape. The Duchess lolls atop a raised dais at the west end of the room, the disarticulated remains of her most recent lovers scattered carelessly about her.  

The Duchess: AC 2 [17]; HD 6; Attack: Tentacles, Fangs 1d6; Move 18; Special:  See below    XP 500 l
This huge beetle-like arthropod is covered with a bulbous and ruin marked carapace. A glowing orange-red tentacle sprouts from the top of the Duchess’ head. During combat the Duchess may attack with both its fangs and one tentacle each round. Any character hit by a tentacle attack must roll a d6 and add in either their strength or dexterity bonus. If the roll with bonuses equals a 6 or more the character manages to avoid being immobilized and takes no damage, but they are still caught within the grasp of the tentacle. If the character remains conscious through the next round they make attack or make another roll to try to get free (1d6 + Strength or Dexterity bonus. A roll of 6 or greater results in the character escaping from the Duchess’ grasp.  Once a day the tentacle can cause petrifaction (negated by a successful ST).

Treasure: Two large amphorae are leaned against the far western wall of the cavern (on the far side of the river from the entrance). These can only be seen easily from the west side of the river, they remain invisible from the other side unless a superior light source is in use.
Amphora 1 contents: 1500 sp; 1 neutron knife ( Standard rules:1d12 damage, functions as a magical weapon; Metal Earth House Rules: wounds on a successful hit, unless target makes a successful ST, in which case 1d6 damage).
Amphora 2 contents: 2500 GP and assorted gems equaling roughly 4000 GP in value.

12: The Robot Shrine
Illumination: Faint and flickering orange light from a dying wall-mounted glowstrip.
Smell: Rust and oil.

Shelves laden with all manner of mechanical hardware line the walls of this room. There is a break between the shelf rows along the southern wall of the room; here, hidden behind a veil of burlap, sits the rusted out body of an old mining robot upon a throne made from twisted metal wreckage. Candles have been placed around the figure, and ruins drawn on the floor at its feet. An altar made of discarded machine parts stands before the throne, at the center of the ruin marked space.

13. Roachmen Ready Room
Illumination: None
Smell: Shit
This room is meant to serve as a buffer between the egg chamber and the dungeon beyond the area controlled by the Duchess. 4 Drones wait here they are asleep and hanging upside down. The floor is a trash heap of bones and insect casings.

Drone:  AC 4 [15]; HD 3; Attack Sword 1d6; Move 12; XP 40

14. Holding Pen
Illumination: None.
Smell: Shit and Blood.

This heavy iron-bound door is locked with two chains. 8 slaves wait within. Two shae; a sasquatch; three minotaur and two lizardmen. They will all make promises of how much they can pay if they are helped out. 1d4 of them are beyond help and cannot be moved, although given constant care and successful STs they might recover in 1d6 weeks. All of the prisoners  are adventurers and the group may make a good pool from which to draw henchmen and/or new PCs.

15. Nursery:
Illumination: Green glow emanating from egg bioluminescence
Smell: Ammonia

Any signs of this room's original purpose have long since been obliterated. Each about the size of  a grown man’s head, hundreds of green glowing, gently pulsating translucent eggs cover every available surface of the room. The eggs are grouped together in clusters. Three Matrons move amongst the eggs, tending to them and will respond to any threat with immediate and violent action.

Matron: AC 4 [15]; HD 4; Attack Claws; Move 12; XP 120 

*Pheen Vox is an 3rd level Shae Sorcerer who entered the Halls of the Hidden Prince in search of treasure. His family has offered to pay 10k GP for his safe return 0r 5k for his corpse. I will flesh out this hook when I revise the dungeon.