Dolmenwood Tales #11 Exploration of the Hole in the Oak

We are back with our write-ups of the Dolmenwood campaign we have been playing with OSE in these weeks. Unfortunately, was busy and I could not post the summaries of DoronTheElf. I hope to catch up with new posts these days!

PCs:

  • Mallomahr, the Dolmenwood Elf
  • Baldrick, the Friar
  • Vardast Blackwall, the Paladin [My character]
  • Crinkledink, the Woodgrue
  • Sóncræft, the Ministrel

Henchmen Hired:

  • Theune the ‘Tome Keeper’, 1st-level magic-user. Graduate of the Royal Institute of Physicks and Sorcerers in Castle Brackenwold. Loyal to Mallomahr.
  • Breyir the ‘Headlopper’, 1st-level fighter. Trained in Prigwort. Loyal to Crinkledink. Personality: prankster.
  • Griya the ‘Braggart to Burn’, heavy footman. Personality: braggart.
  • Mannog the ‘Grim’, light footman. Personality: kill-joy.

DoronTheElf’s suggested soundtrack for the reading

You met a goatman carrying soaked rags with deep red spots/stains. The goatman invited you to his place to eat pancakes and have a chat.

In the floor of one of the rooms/corridors, you found runes within a circle and hidden under a crimson-red rag.

You fought and killed a 5′ long spider, which smashed Crinkledink’s shield to pieces. In the stomach of the spider there was a small glass jar containing a tiny dead monstrosity/creature.

You found a statue of a hunter (bow in hand, sword at belt) with two hounds. In the same room, there were two hung mirrors (on north and south walls). The hunter had a hunting horn engraved with a stag’s head with ivy woven into the antlers. Soencraft identified it as the symbol of the White League: a league of hunters and rangers who are historical foes of goatmen and the reptile cults and lizardmen that once plagued the lands.

You moved towards an archway (8′ high). The archway had skull carvings (arches carved in the form of stacked skulls). You found a skeleton lying in the archway in a pool of dried blood. You inspected the skeleton and found that it had a slashing wound in its right side. The skeleton also had a badly damaged chain-mail, sword, backpack with a musty rope and rotten rations, belt pouch containing 25gp, brass skull necklace (15gp).

Baldrick found an old leather boot (left foot).

You moved south past the blade trap in the corridor, and you found a natural cavern which hosted a roost of bats.

You decided to move north again and open a door that you found. The room had piles of white sand (mounded 4-6′ deep, covering the floor). A 6′ high pile of sand was concealing a brick closet (3′ feet). The closet had many glass jars, neatly stacked. The jars had teeth (human, animal, monstrous), insect husks, shredded hair. You also found a note on a scrap of parchment, inside one of the jars: “For the collection of Hazrad the Unholy”. Two black skeletons were standing guard by a door in the north. One of them was used as a temporary shelter/nest by a couple of frogs which started hopping south… The door in the north was a sliding metal door. You could hear faint sounds of battle behind the door.

You opened the door and you saw… a figmentary giant lizard man (hunch-backed and rabid) locked in combat with a figmentary human warrior. Both were wounded and bleeding. Even when you were close by, the sounds of battle were faint. The warrior was killed and the lizard-man turned against you. Baldrick blinded the lizard-man: a beam of light seemed to be coming from within his hat! You slaughtered the lizard-man and both the warrior and the lizard-man disappeared from sight, while Mallomahr’s arrow which had previously hit the lizard-man remained in the room. The room was dusty and full of cobwebs, hanging like veils. Two black skeletons were also guarding the door in the south. A smell of broth/soup was coming from the east.

You encountered a blue-robed human skulking around and muttering about being late… He was looking for his jars! You exchanged some of the jars for information. He told you the following:
The horned ogre owns a treasure whose value he doesn’t understand. He told you that the ogre is a heavy snorer, you can find his room behind one of the doors in the large room with the crumbling statues.
Fruits of the underworld are often magical, but can twist the mind of the weak-willed.
If you find the black jungle, make sure you bring a shovel.

You went back to the large room and devised a plan for tackling the ogre. The door to the ogre’s room was locked. Crinkledink left a dose of triple-sod in front of the door. You started knocking the door and finally the door opened. A repulsive stench of diseased flesh was coming from the room. The ogre had diseased flesh (weeping pustules) and bulging eyes (one larger than the other). A chain of keys was hanging around his neck. Theune started her incantations and released her magic upon the ogre (sleep spell) but the magic fizzled and died… Mallomahr tried to use his runic magic but it didn’t work either… Finally, Crinkledink started playing a “melody” in his instrument while dancing terribly and hooting like an insane barn animal being skinned alive…

Kobolds!

The ogre was affected by Crinkledink’s mad revelry and then drugged by triple-sod. This is the information that you managed to get from the ogre: his name is Borg and he hates dwarves and troglodytes. He said that other creatures call him “the mutagenic ogre”.

You searched the ogre’s room. A repulsive stench of diseased flesh was coming from within the room. You saw a filthy bed (sheepskins, sackcloth), a wooden table and chairs, dirty plates and dishes stacked everywhere, and a cooking fire place. The ogre told you that there are remnants of dwarf stew in the iron pot. The room also had four cages, each with a trapped humanoid (indefinite species), 4′ tall. When approached, the caged creatures screamed. At the east end of the room there was an alcove: there were piles of boots (ogre sized), heaps of cloaks (ragged and stinking), and 6 leathery pouches (made by dried humanoid organs) jointly containing 724gp. You also found a human skull, carved with runes.

As you were searching the room, you were surprised by a reptilian humanoid with long legs, short tails, and spiky combs on its heads and arms. Baldrick suddenly saw two claws coming from the dark and trying to hit him and a mouth trying to bite him! A nauseating stench was coming from the creature.

[Rules: When it’s not clear which character is where, I choose the target of an attack randomly. So, in the case of the troglodyte attack, I assigned the number 1 to Breyir, number 2 to Vardast, and number 3 to Baldrick. These 3 characters were in the big room in the time of the attack. I rolled a d6. 1 and 4 Breyir is attacked by the troglodyte, 2 and 5 Vardast, 3 and 6 Baldrick. I rolled a 6, so the troglodyte attacked Baldrick.]

Baldrick was badly hit and decided to cast his “protection from evil” scroll. However, Vardast swiftly brought the creature down.

Back in the ogre’s room, Soencraft put the skull in a sack. The skull though started speaking in a spooky whisper: “Huugal-Barathk is awakened”!

Meanwhile, you put the ogre in front of one of the two mirrors. Suddenly you heard the sounds of barking and a hunting horn echo from somewhere distant while the ogre seemed excited by what he was watching in the mirror…

You also moved the ogre towards the carpet and the runes carved in the floor underneath the carpet. As the ogre stepped in the carpet he disappeared from sight.

You moved out of the underground. A thick fog was covering everything. A sudden gust of wind cleared some of the fog and you managed to find a decent campsite: a beautiful glade permeated by an indefinite sense of well-being.

2nd of Haggryme (The Fading of Winter), day 18 at Dolmenwood

The next morning Soencraft and Mallomahr interrogated the skull. The skull (Huugal-Barathk) said that it wants to be reunited with its body which is in some underground grottoes further west from the giant oak tree. Huugal-Barathk said that his disembodied consciousness is now trapped in this skull because of professional disagreements with a necromancer named Dronik… The skull said that the necromancer uses one small area of the caves/grottoes for his nefarious research but he does not dwell within. The necromancer can sometimes be spotted in the woods, clad in black clothes and carting barrows of bones into the caves… The skull also said that undead servants of the necromancer protect his research lab.

Experience points:

Spider: 25XP
Treasure: 25gp (belt pouch) + 15gp (necklace) –> 40gp
Total: 65XP
220.57XP for everyone
99.78XP for retainers

724XP from the 724 gold pieces (which I assume that you will manage to bring back to Lankshorn).
650XP for outsmarting the Ogre (at least temporarily :slight_smile: ).
25XP from the killed troglodyte.

Exploration, clever use of the environment, etc.: 20XP per player (present in the game)

Treasure:
Each one of you has gained 120 gp 6sp.
The retainers’ half share is 60gp 3sp.
That leaves 4sp for the common pool


Dolmenwood Tales #10. Travelling to the Oak Tree

I know that I am behindhand with posting the write-ups of the session of two weeks ago. But I have been busy and better late than never. As usual, I say thanks to DoronTheElf for his patience and effort in writing these summaries for the group and my blog. This time I have not so much to add, so there won’t be the commentary of the session at the bottom of the post.

PCs:

  • Mallomahr, the Dolmenwood Elf
  • Baldrick, the Friar
  • Vardast Blackwall, the Paladin [My character]
  • Crinkledink, the Woodgrue
  • Sóncræft, the Ministrel

Henchmen Hired:

  • Theune the ‘Tome Keeper’, 1st-level magic user. Graduate of the the Royal Institute of Physicks and Sorcerers in Castle Brackenwold. Loyal to Mallomahr.
  • Breyir the ‘Headlopper’, 1st-level fighter. Trained in Prigwort. Loyal to Crinkledink. Personality: prankster.
  • Griya the ‘Braggart to Burn’, heavy footman. Personality: braggart.
  • Mannog the ‘Grim’, light footman. Personality: kill-joy.
Straight from DoronTheElf’s playlist

28th of Lymevald, day 16 at Dolmenwood

As you were fighting with the animated bramble and the Drunes, Mallomahr saw a tall figure, dressed in colourful clothes, coming from the back of the room. As one of the brambles was falling down motionless and burnt, the figure shouted ‘everyone stop’ and the rest of the Drunes lowered their weapons.



The Drune Master explained that his people mistook Mallomahr for a frost elf, and he asked explanations for your intrusion. He also asked about the Tomb of Sir Chyde and whether you discovered any other portals to the Fey realm apart from the fountain at the lower level. The Drune Master finally asked whether you can recover a chalice from an underground realm below a giant oak tree. The Drunes have located the position of the tree but they cannot spare any men right now; they are involved in a bloody feud with the Goat Lords. The Drune Master said that he doesn’t know much about what you might encounter there; he has only heard rumours that the dwarves who live down there worship an idol of solid emerald. He also mentioned that you should replace the chalice with a stone that he will give you, noting that there is no risk involved for you. Finally, he said that his people will escort you there, showing all the landmarks on the way, and that you can stay at night in the Drune outpost if you wish (with the condition that you will be blindfolded as you will be taken to your rooms).

You decided to spend the night camping in the forest but you couldn’t find a camping site so you headed back to the cave. You spent the evening listening to the merry songs of Soencraft (“Money For Thieving (& the Traps for Free)” by the Dire Wolves, “Welcome to the Dungeon”, “Put a Hex on You”) and Crinkledink… Baldrick asked for Crinkledink’s song “The Laughing Pigs”!

At night Vardast heard during his watch an animal screech followed by the sound of an animal screaming.

1st of Haggryme (The Fading of Winter), day 17 at Dolmenwood

The next day you found around the cave feathers and what appeared to be pieces of an animal carcass. Two Drunes (Celleddach and Gwentmarg) joined you for the travel further west into the woods. Soencraft played with his lute the famous travelling song “Eye of the Were-Tiger”. Theune lit her cherry-wood pipe and introduced Baldrick to smoking too… Theune explained that the pipeweed she is using is not very common and that it helped her in her arcane studies. This pipeweed is called “speckled wyrm”: a blend of greyish, rough-cut leaf with strands of silver. The smoke is woody and is speckled with glittering, silver motes. The taste is hoppy and brings about a state of intent concentration.

In your lunch stop, Crinkledink mixed a dose of the psychedelic compound called “triple-sod” with some wine in order to drug the two Drunes…
Triple-sod’s primary effect: beautiful geometric visuals. Side effect: sentiment reversed, that which is normally beloved perceived as hateful, and vice versa.
[rules: unless otherwise noted in a compound’s description, the effects will kick in one turn after consumption and last for 1d4 hours].
The Drunes started wandering aimlessly around the trees as you questioned them. Baldrick asked them what gods do they worship and they mentioned that they regard knowledge as sacred and key to their tenets is the hoarding of knowledge. You also asked how someone can become a Drune. They replied that they were raised as kids among the Drunes and that you must be borne by a Drune to become a Drune. They also noted that the Drunes are involved in a fight with the Goat Lords due to Malbleat’s recent encroachment into Drune territory. They also mentioned that the Drunes don’t like the Frost Elves and they are always concerned about the return of the Cold Prince from his exile into Dolmenwood.

After an hour, the effects of triple-sod waned. The Drunes were not happy that they were drugged… But they finally brought you to a wide and clear forest glade, with an ancient, gnarled oak tree in the centre. Among the roots of the oak, there was a hole, 3′ across. You found many prints and tracks around the hole: boot-prints and hoof-prints.

As Griya and Mannog were holding the rope, Vardast slowly descended into the underground…

Experience points:

20XP per character for exploration, clever use of equipment (use of caltrops, triple-sod, etc.)

Dolmenwood Tales #9. The Drune Outpost

Drunes, also known as ‘The Watchers of the Wood’ (from Wormskin zine)

Here the new write-up of DoronTheElf. A new player has joined our Roll20 campaign!

PCs:

  • Mallomahr, the Dolmenwood Elf
  • Baldrick, the Friar
  • Vardast Blackwall, the Paladin [My character]
  • Crinkledink, the Woodgrue
  • Sóncræft, the Ministrel

Henchmen Hired:

  • Theune the ‘Tome Keeper’, 1st-level magic user. Graduate of the the Royal Institute of Physicks and Sorcerers in Castle Brackenwold. Loyal to Mallomahr.
  • Breyir the ‘Headlopper’, 1st-level fighter. Trained in Prigwort. Loyal to Crinkledink. Personality: prankster.
  • Griya the ‘Braggart to Burn’, heavy footman. Personality: braggart.
  • Mannog the ‘Grim’, light footman. Personality: kill-joy.

The soundtrack recommended by DoronTheElf

28th of Lymevald, day 16 at Dolmenwood

You did some more shopping in the morning and then you headed back to the Owl Cave. Sóncræft the Minstrel joined your party.

As you were travelling towards the Owl Cave Crinkledink fell into a stream, after which he was feeling freezing cold.

You arrived at the entrance of the Owl Cave as the sun was setting. You explored the cave again and you found humanoid tracks as well as signs that someone moved across the pit. You also found signs that someone searched the room of the creature with the petrifying gaze. Finally, you went back to the room with the statue. Sóncræft recognised that it probably depicts St ‘Holyhock’, the patron saint of jubilant merrymaking. Sóncræft carefully marked the area with some chalk.

You moved the staff of the statue (which worked as a lever) in the main room and the door to the passage opened. A few steps down there was another door and a lever.

The door opened to an intersection of two paths. You took the path to the north. You found an old stone shrine and two old stone idols (dragon-like). In another room you found a burlap sack in the shape of a person hanging from the ceiling; hundreds of caterpillars, locusts, and cockroaches were dripping from the sack. You continued north where you started feeling a current of air and hearing the sound of rustling leaves. You found a door as well; Crinkledink heard sounds of humans speaking to each other. In the meantime Mallomahr moved further north when suddenly he saw this thicket of thorny wood and curling bramble, animated into humanoid form. A wicked green fire flickered in its vaguely formed eye sockets. The animated bramble moved to attack Mallomahr and Sóncræft and it failed while the Elf managed to hit the bramble with an arrow and Sóncræft lit a flask of oil to stop the brambles. Meanwhile the door opened and a woman appeared, wearing the black woolen cloak typical of the Drune and carrying a staff wreathed in green flames. Vardast lifted the head of the creature with the petrifying gaze bringing it in line with the woman’s eyes and head but to no effect… The female Drune started mumbling incantations casting a spell which paralysed Crinkledink. Meanwhile, Baldrick was trying to move at the front. In the second round, Breyir grasped the paralysed Crinkledink and tossed him aside, next to Theune and Baldrick. Mallomahr moved in front of the female Drune who suddenly laid down her staff, moved back, and called Mallomahr inside the room. You heard the other Drunes shouting ‘intruders’ and ‘spies of the Cold Prince’ and one of them brought down his staff to Mallomahr’s shield breaking it down (‘shields shall be splintered’ rule). Vardast moved close to Sóncræft to support him; the Minstrel lit a second flask and the animated bramble which tried to push forward caught fire and fell down motionless…

Experience points:
20XP per character for exploration, clever use of the environment, etc.
5XP for the animated bramble killed.
25XP in total per character.
12.5XP for the retainers.


Commentary

I think this has been the fair of bad tactical decisions, but let’s proceed in order.

The overall delving it was not too bad: we have double checked the Owl’s Cavern: we have discovered thanks to Sóncræft novel information about the same statue of the Saint Vardast is obsessed with. The mess has happened later. We have delved below, we have grabbed the idols for some cash, avoided the carcass sorrounded by insects, and we have decided to go towards north. After we crossed the stone corridor, we have ecnountered some animated plants that attacked us. We tried to hold the entrance, but the drunes have surprisedf us froma s ecret passage: we were between the anvil and the hammer. Sóncræft has played it well: while he was retreating he created a wall of fire with the oil flask to slow down the animated plants. But the Drunes have casted Hold Person and paralysed Crinckledink. Mallomahr has counter-attacked but he risked to die to let Breyir to grab Crincledink and step back. Vardast has tried to use the medusa head on range to petrify the Drunes, but he discovered in the worst moment that the head has no magical powers after the Medusa was dead— contrary to the folk belief. So, I wasted one turn! I proposed to retreat back to the stairs and face them there, but we did not have the time: the drunes cut in half our column.

In the end, we have survived the TPK thanks to luck: the female drune has failed her check and she has been charmed by Mallomahr. If the dice had rolled otherwise, we would have been all dead…

Dolmenwood Tales #8 Back to Lankshorn

Here the 8th part of our write-up of the Dolmenwood campaign that DoronTheElf has written. Not so much going on, but we have discovered a couple of interesting things.

PCs:

  • Mallomahr, the Dolmenwood Elf
  • Baldrick, the Friar
  • Vardast Blackwall, the Paladin [My character]
  • Crinkledink, the Woodgrue

Henchmen Hired:

  • Theune the ‘Tome Keeper’, 1st-level magic user. Graduate of the the Royal Institute of Physicks and Sorcerers in Castle Brackenwold. Loyal to Mallomahr.
  • Breyir the ‘Headlopper’, 1st-level fighter. Trained in Prigwort. Loyal to Crinkledink. Personality: prankster.
  • Griya the ‘Braggart to Burn’, heavy footman. Personality: braggart.
  • Mannog the ‘Grim’, light footman. Personality: kill-joy.

26th of Lymevald, day 14 at Dolmenwood

After clearing the cave, you camped outside.

You opened the second scroll that you found in the lair of the creature with the petrifying gaze. The scroll had on top the following symbol: a crescent moon descending upon a chalice. The scroll had these notes written:


The High Coven thanks you for your help. We have identified an entrance to the Mythic Underworld [there is a drawing here showing a giant oak tree with a hole]. A holy chalice with the power to reverse death is guarded by a silent evil. If we find the chalice, we can use it to seal our pact with the Drune’.

The High Priestess

27th of Lymevald, day 15 at Dolmenwood

The next day you traveled back to Lankshorn. When you reached the pine glade with the dark stone plinth and a pair of guardian monoliths you saw a merchant with his guard looking around. They explained that they are coming from the south, carrying pipeweed. There was fog the previous day and they got lost in the woods. At night, a hooded figure-carrying a staff with writhing green flames-paralysed the merchant’s guard and abducted the merchant’s son (a boy in his early 20s). The merchant was hoping that you could show him the way to Lankshorn.

When you arrived at Lankshorn, it seemed deserted: there was no one in the streets or in the market square. You knocked the door: Margerie took you inside complaining that since you came there is trouble in the town. She explained that all the villagers are hiding at their houses: they are scared of the two goat soldiers who have just arrived at Lankshorn. She told you that the goat soldiers were asking about you and Lord Barrathwaite expects you to visit his house to explain yourselves.

At Lord’s Barrathwaite’s house you found sitting around the table the Lord, the vicar of Lankshorn Father Dobey, and two goat folk: one goat man and one goat woman, they were both very tall, with black fur, wearing armour, and heavily armed. They asked you whether you know anything about the two goat-men who were found slaughtered at the Tomb of Sir Chyde that you raided a couple of days ago. Indeed you told them that on top of the corpses you found a stone, with a carved owl in flight. The goat-woman exclaimed: ‘It is them then, the Drune’! Father Dobey explained that the Drune is the real name of the hooded men and women whom the villagers call the ‘Watchers of the Wood’; the villagers are scared to utter their real name.

The goat-woman asked whether you found anything of interest in the tomb. She explained that Lord Malbleat demands that any book, especially of arcane or esoteric nature, is brought to him.

You mentioned the incident with the hooded person/creature who abducted the merchant’s son. The goat-woman said that probably this was the work of the Drune. She also mentioned that Lord Malbleat suspects that there is a Drune outpost in the area around the Owl Cave; if you find more information about this, you will increase your chances of being liked by Lord Malbleat.

You asked whether you can visit Lord Malbleat any time soon and the goat-man replied that they will talk with their Lord and let you know.

You also asked about the scroll that you found in the cave, which mentioned a ‘High Coven’ and a ‘High Priestess’. The goat-woman said that this message has probably come from a local witch coven which may work together with the Drune.

You went then to Orthax the clerk who was also looking for you. He said that he will you charge you a fee for keeping your magic mirror and the weapons you found in the tomb safe. He was planning initially to use your mirror to make some money in one of the local fairs… In return, you wouldn’t pay a fee for one month. He backtracked though saying that you can negotiate an agreement/contract in the next couple of days. You exchanged the gems you found in the Owl Cave for a fee. You also charged Orthax to send a messenger to ‘The Consulting Wizard’ of Prigwort, mentioning that Merridwyn the Vivimancer needs help and that you are interested in hiring her for a job.

You visited Sydewich in the ‘Man of Gold’ apothecary. You bought his last stock of his philtres: ‘Orgon’s scintillating philtre’ and ‘amber nectar’. You also bought his alchemical tonic, brewed in-house. He told you that this clear, fizzing liquid may rouse the unconscious or make someone more likely to resist paralysis. He will also identify for you the white powder you found in the cave. Crinkledink also bought fungi/mushrooms: 1) The ‘red deceiver’, tall, cherry red, odour of oranges and cloves. Mild poison, causes painful light-sensitivity. 2) ‘Goat giblets’, which is like a blob of slime, cream yellow colour, goat odour. Nourishing and psychoactive. Mild side effects.

You also shopped for adventuring equipment. Friar Baldrick headed to the butcher where he bought a big, air-dried leg of pork (Lankshorn prosciutto??)

You headed back to the inn where you had a hearty meal of breaded trout with apple sauce and ale.


Commentary

It did not happen anything in particular, but we have unveiled news and rumors about Dolmenwood. The lore around the Drune and the coven of withces is extremely interesting. I would like to recover as Vardast the chalice in the dungeon. (I guess it is the Hole in the Oak module by Gavin Norman?) Perhaps, it could be useful for the Church of the One Tru God, betting that Father Baldrick could be interested by such quest.

The meeting at Lord Braithwait’s mansion has been hilarious for me: as Vardast, I pretended to be dumb, thinking that they would have accused us; in the end, they accused instead the Drunes, so nothing to worry about. In general, I do not have sympathy for such sort of folk and their arrogance. However, I will cooperate for the time being with such goatmen since I have no sympathy for the Drunes as well.

What I liked of the session is that with the loot from our visit to the Owl’s Cave has opened up new possibilities: selling the items and the gems helped us to arrange better expeditions and plans; e.g. building a custom cart with the help of the local carpenter or buying new potions from the apothcary. It open ups new options in the game world, and this is what I love about old-school gaming: having new options to grow up as charcter besides mere levelling up with XP of the character sheet. Next time we will have more tools to cope with uncertainty.

“Vecchio Carnevale Bloghereccio”: Generatore Casuale per Divinità e Culti Innominabili – Random Generator for Unspeakable Gods and Cults

This post will be both in Italian and English

Art by Drew Merger of Corey Press

Introduzione al “Vecchio Carnevale Bloghereccio”

Questo mese mi unirò al Vecchio Carnevale Bloghereccio, un’iniziativa che la comunità OSR italiana organizza: ogni mese: c’è un tema, ed ognuno scrive e posta sul proprio blog del materiale old-school relativo a tale tema mensile. Per esempio, l’argomento di questo Marzo sarà la religione.

Ho deciso di tradurre il contenuto anche in inglese cosicché la comunità internazionale dell’OSR possa vedere cosa la scena italiana sta producendo. Un sacco di gente sta producendo tantissimo materiale vecchia scuola fantastico, ed è giusto condividere a coloro che non parlano italiano.

La mia idea connessa al tema della religione è “divinità dimenticate che strisciano nell’oscurità di boschi e montagne”. Due mie grandi ispirazioni — a parte la sword & sorcery classica — sono H.P. Lovecraft e Berserk di Kentaro Miura: entrambi condividono l’idea di divinità o semi-dei innominabili — ad esempio, gli “apostoli” — in agguato nelle profondità delle selve, mentre corti di umanoidi mostruosi e cultisti folli li servono e venerano. Qualche volta l’arbitro di gioco deve vivacizzare le cose e buttare qualcosa del genere nel bel mezzo della campagna. Mi piacerebbe fornire cinque tabelle per determinare (a) origine, (b) aspetto fisico, (c) il luogo in cui si nascondono, (d) quale corte di creature la venerano ed (e) i riti di venerazione principali. Non fornirò dettagli specifici bensì categorie che possono accendere l’immaginazione dell’arbitro di gioco.

Genera al volo la tua orribile divinità dimenticata che risiede in boschi maledetti, paludi, valli e montagne rocciose!

L’Origine

Tirare 1d10Origine del dio innominabile
1Alieno La divinità è una creatura che proviene dalle stelle o da un lontano mondo di esseri corrotti.
2Infernale La divinità proviene dalle profondità dell’Inferno.
3Interdimensionale La divinità proviene da una dimensione non-euclidea che si sovrappone a quella degli abitanti del mondo di gioco.
4Essere Fatato Corrotto La divinità era una creatura fatata corrotta dalla potenza del caos.
5Membro Esiliato di un Pantheon La divinità era un tempo membro di un pantheon. Gli altri dei lo hanno bandito dal loro concilio a causa di crimini atroci.
6Nato dal corpo di un dio defunto La divinità è nata da una parte del corpo di un dio morto, come ad esempio un arto, la testa od un organo interno.
7Un Patto La divinità era un tempo un mortale che sottoscrisse un patto con un’altra divinità innominabile per diventare un servitore delle tenebre.
8Rito Magico Fallito La divinità è il risultato di un esperimento occulto fallito che ha dato forma individuale alle orrorifiche forze cosmiche che l’incantesimo cercava di controllare.
9Tra la vita e la morte La divinità è un’entità sorta fra la vita e la morte per un imperscrutabile scherzo del destino.
10Sentimenti Negativi dei Mortali La divinità è nata dalle emozioni intense di un gruppo di mortali che ha provato rabbia, dolore, depressione e altre sensazioni così negative da plasmare la realtà.

Aspetto Fisico

Tirare 1d8Aspetto della divinità Innominabile
1Abominio È solo un’accozzaglia di arti a caso, interiora e parti di animali fusi insieme con un significato che nessuna mente mortale potrebbe afferrare.
2Insettoide La divinità condivide i tratti di insetti come ragni, mantidi, scarebei, ecc.
3Antropomorfico La divinità ricorda un essere umano, ma c’è qualcosa di profondamente inquietante, come ad esempio l’odore del suo corpo, la proporzione degli arti e così via.
4Bestiale La divinità ricorda una bestia selvaggia mutata (es. lupo, orso, iena).
5Volante La divinità ha l’aspetto di una creatura volante simile ad un volatile.
6Fantasma La consistenza della divinità quando si muove è ectoplasmatica, non ha una forma né definita né chiara.
7Vegetale La divinità assomiglia ad una pianta, un fiore, un albero o qualche altra versione distorta della flora.
8È… disgustoso Tirare due volte su questa tabella ed unire i risultati (es. Un 4 ed un 3 su due tiri significa che la divinità è sia antropomorfa che con tratti bestiali). Se viene tirato un 8 una seconda volta, tirare finché non si avrà un risultato differente tra 1-7.

Luogo in cui la Divinità Dimora

Tirare 1d8La tana della divinità innominabile
1Caverna
2In fondo ad un crepaccio o burrone.
3Nelle profondità di una fonte d’acqua (es. lago, stagno, fiume).
4Al di sotto di un pinnacolo roccioso sacro o un dolmen di pietra.
5Dentro una rovina o sotterraneo dimenticato da tempo.
6Tempio segreto costruito e mantenuto attivamente dai cultisti.
7Dentro un albero gigante.
8Nexus di potere arcano nelle terre selvagge.

Chi sono gli adoratori?

Tirare 1d8Chi sono gli adoratori di questa divinità?
1Umanoidi mostruosi (es. uomini lucertola, goblin, gnoll).
2Tribù di barbari\selvaggi.
3Popolani superstiziosi ed ignoranti.
4Creature Fatate (es. folletti, spiritelli d’acqua, fauni).
5Creature non-morte (es. ghoul).
6Persone deformi o storpie rigettate dalla società.
7Maghi.
8Gruppo d’elite locale (es. nobili di qualche tipo, ufficiali, casta di sacerdoti).

Qual è il rito centrale del culto della divinità?

Tirare 1d8Rito centrale del culto della divinità
1Sessuale o orgiastico.
2Dare vita ad una prole mostruosa.
3Sacrifici umani o animali.
4Danzare con le creature delle tenebre.
5Lanciare un incantesimo.
6Cannibalismo.
7Mangiare o bere secrezioni del corpo della divinità.
8Suicidio di massa.

Introduction about the “Vecchio Carnevale Bloghereccio”

I will join this month the “Vecchio Carnevale Bloghereccio” (“The Old Bloggy Carnival”), an initiative that the OSR Italian community organises every month: there is a theme, and everyone writes and post on their blog DIY old-school material related to such monthly theme. For instance, the theme of March will be religion.

I have decided to translate it as well in English so that the international OSR community can see what the Italian scene is producing for the hobby. A lot of folks are making tons of aweome old-school stuff, and it is worth sharing to non-Italian speakers as well.

My idea connected to the theme of religion is “forgotten gods who lurk in the darkness of woods and mountains”. Two great ispirations of mine — besides the classic sword & sorcery — are H.P. Lovecraft and Kentaro Miura’s Berserk: both share the idea of unspeakable gods or semi-gods — like the “apostles” — lurking the depths of the wilderness, while courts of monstrous humanoids and mad cultist worship and serve them. Sometimes, the referee needs to spice up thing and throw something like that in their campaign. I would like to supply five tables to determine (a) the origin, (b) the appearance, (c) the place in which they hide, (d) what court of intelligent creatures worship them, and (e) what are the key rites. I won’t give specific details but rather categories that could ignite the imagination of the referee.

Generate on the fly your horrible forgotten god living in cursed woods, swamps, valleys or rocky mountains !

The Origin

Roll 1d10Origin of the Unspeakable God
1Alien The god is a creature comes from the stars or a long distance world of corrupted beings.
2Hell The god comes from the depths of hell.
3Interdimensional The god comes from a non-euclidean dimension overlapping ours that the folk of the campaign world cannot perceive.
4Corrupted Fey The god was a fey creature who has been corrupted by the power of chaos.
5Exiled Member of a Pantheon The god was once a member of a pantheon. The other gods have banned it from their council due to atrocious crimes
6Born from the Body of a Dead God The god was born from a part of the body of a dead god, like a limb, the head or an internal organ.
7A Pact The god was once a mortal who has signed a pact with another unspeakable god to become a servant of the darkness.
8Failed Magical Rite The god is a cast-off resulted from an arcane experiment which has given a individual shape to the horrorific cosmic forces that the enchantment should have governed.
9Between Life and Death The god is an entity rised between life and death for an unfathomable joke of the destiny.
10Strong Feelings of Mortals The god was born from the intense feelings of a group of mortal experiencing anger, pain, depression, and other similar negative emotions at the point that they shaped the reality.

The Appearance

Roll 1d8Appearance of the Unspeakable God
1Abomination It is is just a mash up of random limbs, guts, and parts of animals merged together with a sense that any mortal mind cannot grasp.
2Insectoid The god shares traits with insects like spiders, mantises, scarabs, etc.
3Anthropomorfic The god resembles a human being, but there is something deeping disqueiting about, like the smell of their body, the proportion of the limbs, and so on.
4Feral The god’s appearance resembles a mutated savage beast (e.g. wolf, bear, hyena)
5Flying The god has the guise of a flying creature like a bird, and it can fly in the air.
6Ghost The consistency of the god when walks it is ectoplasmatic, it does not have a clear defined shape.
7Plant The god looks like a plant, flower, tree or other distorted version of flora.
8It is… Disgusting Roll twice on this table and mix the results (e.g. A 4 and a 3 on two rolls. It means that the god is anthropomorfic and it has traits of a feral beast). If you roll 8 twice, roll until you will have a different result between 1-7.

The Place in Which the God Dwells

Roll 1d8The Lair of the Unspeakable God
1Cavern.
2At the bottom of a rift or ravine.
3In the depths of a water source (e.g. lake, pond, river).
4Beneath a sacred rocky pinnacle or stone dolmen.
5Inside a long forgotten ruin or dungeon.
6Secret temple built and actively maintained by cultists.
7Inside a gargatuan tree.
8Nexus of arcane power in the wilderness.

Who Are The Worshippers?

Roll 1d8Who are the worshippers of such god?
1Monstrous Humanoids (e.g. lizardmen, goblins, gnolls)
2Tribe of Barbarians\Savages
3Uneducated Superstitious Peasants
4Fairy Creatures (e.g. pixies, nixies, fauns)
5Undead Creatures (e.g. ghouls)
6Deformed or Crippled People Rejected from the Society
7Magic-Users
8Local Elite Group (e.g nobles of some sort, officers, caste of priests)

What Are The Key Rites of the God’s Cult?

Roll 1d8Key Rite of the God’s Cult
1Sexual or Orgiastic
2Giving Birth to Monstrous Spawn
3Animal or Human Sacrifice
4Dancing with Creatures from the Darkness
5Casting a Spell
6Cannibalism
7Eating or Drinking a Secretion of the God’s Body
8Mass Suicide