Thursday, January 28, 2021

New Poison: Class Q

Class Q poison is a light gray powder that must be ingested to take effect. The onset time is 1d4 x 30 minutes. When the onset time elapses, the victim of class Q poison must succeed at a saving throw vs poison. If the save is successful, the victim feels nauseous, pain in their stomach, and may vomit. The victim will suffer 2d4 damage, but should fully recover. A failed save indicates that the victim will suffer from severe stomach pain, vomiting blood, and vertigo. The victim will suffer 2d4 x 10 points of damage. If left untreated, the victim must make another saving throw vs poison after another 1d4 x 30 minutes. If this second save is successful, the victim will still feel terrible for 1d4 days, but can expect to make a full recovery. If this second save fails, the victim will die.
Class Q poison is useful for poisoning food or drink and then making an escape. The victim will not know they are poisoned for sometime later, which will allow the poisoner to get far away and to avoid suspicion.
The ingredients for class Q poison are somewhat difficult to find, but are  most available in the rocky badlands. Long term physical contact with class Q poison will cause redness and swelling to the skin, but will not cause the loss of any hit points.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Athasian Mutations Part One

In the original core boxed set, page thirteen under the Humam heading, the text mentions that humans have been twisted by magic. In the rules book, it mentions that this twisting changes human's appearance, but has no additional effect. While this does allow for a variety of strangeness, I thought it might be interesting to explore these mutations further.
I recently introduced a tribe of humans with burnt orange skin. This skin is a harmless mutation due to the magical contamination of the drinking water. So, if a human lives off of this source of water for an extended period of time, their skin will eventually become orange.
I thought it might be helpful to create a chart of random visual mutations that humans, or a human group, may possess. These mutations do not provide any game rule changes, they only change a character's appearance and make them more unique. Encountering a group of humans with green robes and blue keffiyehs is interesting, but it might make your players think twice if they all also have pale violet eyes.
DM's should feel free to roll 1d100 to determine random aspects of a human, or human group. Fell free to roll as many times as you wish and alter any mutations as you see fit. In addition, player character's may manifest a mutation if damaged in an area of twisted magic.
Please note that white and black indicate ranges of color beyond the spectrum of normal human skin tones.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

The Hurrums Who Wished for a King. A Dark Sun Fable.

After being free for so long, the hurrums of the scrub plains grew tired of governing themselves. They had too much freedom, they complained, and it had spoiled them. They didn't have enough food, because no one wanted to work. They would just lounge around all day and hum about how bored they were. They wanted a government who could organize them and make the lazy among them work. So, they cried out to *Badna to send them a king.
Badna knew that the hurrums were foolish creatures, so Badna sent them a large block of obsidian. The block fell from the sky and the hurrums thought it was a fearful thing and hid themselves. However, they soon discovered that their king was peaceable and tame. The younger hurrums would climb and glide from their king and the older hurrums would hold meetings atop it.
They hurrum became even more spoiled and lazy. They would not get food to feed each other, or defend themselves from the easiest of predators. All the hurrums did was complain about their lackluster king. Badna saw this and decided to show the hurrums mercy.
Badna knew the hurrums could not care for themselves, so Badna instead sent them a Z'tal for their king. The Z'tal was cruel and occasionally devoured one of the hurrum, but the z'tal was a much better king. He organized the hurrums into a proper civilization and forced them all to work, which provided food for everyone. The hurrums were much happier with this new king and thanked Badna, for they knew they could not rule themselves.

*The deity in question differs based upon the city-state where the fable is being told. For example, Badna is used in Raam, the Oba in Gulg, Tectuktitlay in Draj, etc.
This fable is promoted by the sorcerer monarchs of every city-state.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Session Fifty-Three: Vermin in the Light

Note: For those unfamiliar with Dark Sun, psionics are called the Will for wild talents and the Way for trained psionicists.

Vashti, Julius, Shade, and Kiara finished packing up their camp and began walking through the scrub plain. As the evening grew close, they could see the rocky badlands close by. Shade and Vashti stopped them and whispered to the rest of the group that a group of bandits were waiting to attack them on some of the cliffs above the ground.
They moved a bit closer, with their weapons drawn. As the got close enough, Julius used the way and made the rocks beneath the bandits explode. The bandits tumbled to the rock strewn ground. As the bandits started to rise, the group could see that they were people with the features of rats.
The rat folk rushed toward the group, with bone tipped spears, bone machetes, bone longswords, or bone battle axes. One of the rat folk stayed back and started chittering loudly, like a battle cry. The attacking rat folk swarmed Shade, Vashti, and Julius.
Two giant rats and three rat swarms came rushing from the rocks in the canyon. Julius used the way to explode the ground and kill most of the normal rats. The rat folk were very confident, at first, but the battle quickly turned against them.
The group killed the giant rats, normal rats, and most of the rat folk. Two of the rat folk dropped their weapons, dropped to all fours and fled deeper into the canyon. The group found a couple of nets among the rubble of the rockslide, that Julius caused. The group decided that the rat folk may have wanted to capture them alive and keep them as slaves.
Thinking they might have slaves in their settlement, they decided to track the rat folk back to wherever they called home. Shade agreed to track the rat folk. Suddenly, the lord of arms started screaming at Shade and telling him that he was extremely offended that Shade doesn't care about the purpose of the lord of arms existence, but will go help some slaves at the drop of a bit. Shade brushed off the lord of arms complaints, which made the lord of arms even more angry.
Meanwhile, Jessel had returned to the elemental plane of earth and was sent with Riv back into the ethereal plane. Their goal was to find a misty curtain to the Gray, find Kwala, and bring him back to the plane of earth. Jessel wanted to find Kalino and Alaxander too, but the forces of earth did not care too much about them.
Riv and Jessel found a misty curtain, after a few hours, and they both felt that it lead to the Gray. Jessel passed through the curtain and found himself in the Gray. He closed his eyes and began feeling for life energy. Upon feeling a pin prick of life, he flew toward it. The feeling grew stronger and, after a couple of hours, he saw Kwala, Alaxander, and Kalino floating in the Gray mists.
Alaxander and Kalino were thrilled to have been found, as they were having difficulty navigating the plan of the dead. Jessel explained to them how to feel for the energy they are seeking for and Alaxander thought he could feel Riv calling out to them. Jessel and Kalino felt nothing and Kwala was still unconscious, so they followed Alaxander's lead.
A few hours of floating through the Gray and Alaxander could feel Riv near them. He reached into the gray mists and pushed them aside, revealing the ethereal plane. They passed through and saw Riv waiting for them. Riv greeted them warmly and took Kwala into his arms. Riv began leading them back to the plane of earth.
Upon arriving in the plane of earth, Kwala awoke. He was weak, but was able to use his magic to help Jessel, Kalino, and Alaxander breath. Kwala and Riv used their magic to shape the earth around them and walk through the plane of earth.
A few hours later, they arrived back near the front and they reported to the dao Gaul. Gaul thanked Jessel, Alaxander, and Kalino. He asked them what was their wish. Jessel didn't know what to wish for, so Gaul gave him a smooth, flat, black stone. He said that when they knew what they wanted to wish for, to speak it to the stone. Jessel thanked him and he lead Alaxander and Kalino back into the hall.
Jessel then asked Riv if he could get them food, water, and a place to rest. Riv agreed and lead them to small room, where there was bland tasting bread and water with a lot of minerals. Riv then retrieved some cushions for the group to rest among.
Riv gave Jessel a bag or rich soil. Alaxander asked Riv for a gem that he could store mental strength inside. Riv pried a ruby from his sword's crossguard and gave it to Alaxander. Alaxander thanked him profusely. Jessel, Alaxander, and Kalino then took a nap.

Back on Athas, Shade lead the group through the canyons and heard the sounds of civilization nearby. Hs left thd group and proceeded, sneakily, toward the noise. From the shadows, he spotted a group of large buildings constructed from bone, stone, and mud. Moving among the buildings were a couple dozen rat folk. He watched for a few minutes and could see the rat folk abusing some dark-orange skinned humans.
Shade sneaked back to the group and reported what he saw. After a brief discussion, the group decided to attack the settlement and free the slaves. Vashti used the way to get a bird's eye view of the settlement.
The settlement consisted of three small buildings and three large buildings. She saw, at least, three dozen rat folk and two dozen of the orange skinned humans. The humans were obviously enslaved. The group of buildings were built at the base of a thirty-foot cliff. She told the group what she had seen.
On the plane of earth, Jessel, Alaxander, and Kalino were woken by Riv. He told them that now was the best time for them to depart. They rose and followed him. Kwala was in the hall, still recovering from his ordeal. As they passed, he reached out and grabbed Alaxander's arm.
He looked pained, but finally and obviously reluctantly said, "Thank you for rescuing me. It is humiliating to be recused by mortals, but I suppose that can't be helped."
Alaxander asked if there's anything else they can do for him. Kwala answered, "Kill every silt cleric you find."
Alaxander and Jessel agreed to do so.
Riv lead Jessel, Alaxander, and Kalino down the maze-like passage. He stopped and pointed to a solid looking stone wall. Riv thanked them and indicated the wall. Jessel walked into the wall and passed through it. Although they were surprised, Alaxander and Kalino quickly followed him.
They emerged into a dark canyon and could see Vashti, Julius, Kiara, and Shade. There was much rejoicing.
Shade explained the situation and described the rat folk. Alaxander explained that they're called tari and commonly lived in the sewer systems of Balic. The group began making plans to attack they village. Alaxander thought he and Julius could use the way to block the settlement entrances and rain death on the village from above. The plan sounded good, but was ultimately abandoned because slave lives would be lost.
Shade and Alaxander decided to scout the village again and see if there's a way to let the slaves escape, before their attack. Shade lead Alaxander slowly through the canyon. Alaxander tried to use the way to decrease the sound of his footfalls, but caused a loud popping sound instead. The two companions ran to another part of canyon and hid again.
Two of the tari came running to investigate the sound. Shade sneaked up behind one of the tari and ran him through, with his obsidian broadsword. Alaxander used the way to silence the second tari's screams. Shade then slashed the second tari and got attacked in return. The tari missed and Alaxander used the way to mentally punch the tari to death.
Approaching the village once more, Shade and Alaxander decided to use the way to teleport to the top of the cliff and spy on the village below them. Upon teleporting, the tari guards on top of the cliff were surprised to see the two men appear. Shade and Alaxander were likewise surprised to see the tari guards.
Shade and Alaxander engaged the tari. One of the tari attacked Shade, but the other fled down the trail. The tari started screaming as he ran. Alaxander tried to use the way to teleport in front of the fleeing tari, but miss teleported and appeared thirty feet above the ground and thirty feet away from the cliff. With nothing underfoot, he plummeted toward the ground. Alaxander used the way to phase himself and sink into the rocky ground below. Shade killed the tari he was battling with, dropped his sword and then took out his bow. He fired at the fleeing tari, the arrow striking his thigh.
The village was alive with activity, armed tari moved toward where Alaxander fell. Using the way, Alaxander rose from the ground with with arms outstretched, he laughed madly and frightened some of the tari.
Alaxander saw two figures push through the crowd to see what was causing the commotion. One of the figures was a large, muscular tari wearing a tattered purple and gold silk robe. The other was a dark-skinned bald human that Alaxander recognized. It was Mohamed, the slaver he had killed. They locked eyes and Alaxander could see the hatred Mohamed had for him.

Join us in two weeks for another exciting episode of Adventures Under the Dark Sun.
2nd edition AD&D Dark Sun Cast of Player Characters
Julius: Human male psychokinetic. 22 years old. Played by Dave. Speaks Balican, Tyrian, and Giant. Alaxander: Human male psychokinetic. 18 years old. Played by Ben. Speaks Balican, Tyrian, and Elf. Vashti: Human female clairsentient/water cleric. 20 years old. Played by my wife. Speaks Nibnese, Gith, Tyrian, and Balican.
Shade: Half-Elf male ranger/thief, 18 years old. Played by Chad. Speaks Balican, Elf and Tyrian. Kalino: Human male fighter/preserver. 20 years old. Party NPC. Speaks Rammin, Tyrian, and Balican. Special Guest Star: Jessel: Half-Giant male earth cleric. 30 years old. Played by Nate. Speaks Giant and Tyrian.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

The Dwarf, the Man, and the Coin Purse. A Dark Sun Fable.

A dwarf and a human were walking along the road near the dancing gates of Nibenay. The dwarf became excited and picked up a large purse from the side of the road.
"Look how lucky I am!" The dwarf exclaimed. "This purse is full to bursting and must be full of ceramic pieces. Maybe even a silver or two."
His human companion looked at him irritably. "Don't you mean look how lucky we are?"
The dwarf pressed the purse closely to himself. "No. There is no we. I found it and it belongs to me!"
Suddenly, a shout was heard from within the gates and fingers were pointed at the pair of travelers. Cries of "thief!" could be heard and some guards and a templar were moving quickly toward the dwarf and his companion.
The dwarf looked around in a panic. "What are we going to do? They think we stole this purse!"
The human stepped away from the dwarf and replied, "No, there is no we. You found the purse and it belongs to you."
In a panic, the dwarf tried to run, but was quickly caught by the guards and templar. Unburdened by the full coin purse, his human companion was able to flee easily away from the city.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Frilled Flame Lizard - New Athasian Monster

Frilled Flame Lizard
Climate/Terrain: Anywhere Hot
Frequency: Very Rare
Organization: Solitary or Pair
Activity Cycle: Day
Diet: Carnivore
Intelligence: Animal (1)
Treasure: None
Alignment: Neutral
No. Appearing: 1-2
Armor Class: 7
Movement: 12
Hit Dice: 2
Thac0: 19
No. of Attacks: 1
Damage/Attacks: 2-5
Special Attack: Breath Weapon
Special Defense: Fire Immunity
Magic Resistance: Nil
Size: S (2' long)
Morale: Steady (11-12)
XP Value: 120