Saturday, February 11, 2017

Castle of the Bloated One - Scarab's Heart: Level 10

January 31, 1977 Original Concept

After I laid everything out on common brown table paper (with a hand drawn grid), it suddenly dawned on me the direction this level would take, and more importantly what role it would play in my growing campaign. Like my original Isolde-Delta map, this level went through so many changes I had to continually redraw on new paper. Thus, Level 10 was the first level I originally laid out, but didn't really have a fully fleshed out idea of what, or rather who would live there till about six months later.

I envisioned a burrow of sorts with beetles, lots of beetles and two rather large set pieces around a central theme. Scarab's Heart finishes off The Castle of the Bloated One's Main dungeon complex.

Edit: The original I uploaded had a hidden burrows and shadow layer on the Sun Temple. 


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Castle of the Bloated One - Ruins of Ja'ron Fer'oc: Level 9

December 29, 1977 Original Concept

"You want to know what happened to the Legion?", the old bard leaned forward and whispered. The children moved closer to the fire, transfixed by his words. "Very well... the fields were covered with human, elf and dwarf. The Legion's finest warriors battling The Wite; a horrible mass of orc, hobgoblin, gobber and undead. From my vantage point smoke rose into the air, billowing upwards from the mass of bodies burning everywhere. but ..." the bard faltered, choking back a sob ... "but... through my gossamer eyes ... they weren't moving, silent screams unanswered, frozen in place mid-strike. The Legion had fought their last battle".

Five of the children started crying, reaching blindly for comfort from each other, when the oldest boy glanced up, anger and tears reflected on his face, "I don't believe it!". The old man nodded "aye, ti's true ... for the fields were covered in glittering ice".

Level 9 was based on that passage from my notes. A larger level featuring snow, ice, fissures and crevices, along with a wilderness look and feel. Presented below is the Ruins of Ja'ron Fer'oc: Level 9.


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Castle of the Bloated One - Ophidian Level 8

December 26, 1977 Original Concept

A chance viewing of a silly 1973 horor movie titled "Sssssss" led me to purchase a couple golden books on amphibians and reptiles. Over the next few weeks I slowly worked on a monster who could bite a humanoid and subsequently they would transform into a snake-like creature. Like the vampire, infected humans would be under their master's control. I called them Sssnapes (highly original *rolls eyes*), and added them to my trove of beasties. Six years later the Ophidian would appear in Monster Manual II and I instantly thought, that should have been mine!. C'est la vie...

Thus, Ophidian Level 8 is presented:


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Castle of the Bloated One - Organ Donor Level 7

December 19, 1977 Original Concept

Luray Caverns, August 10, 1977.
My family had traveled down to Falls Church Virginia to see my Aunt Marie & Uncle Andy - the same uncle who first introduced me to Miniature wargaming, stamps and coins. After spending a couple days at the Smithsonian, my Uncle took us to Luray Caverns and there I was introduced to a wonder. The cavern is impressive, all the moreso when you account for the ghost stalactite that one can see from 7 or so different places during the tour, and just how cool (literally and figurately) the place is. The bombshell for me however is the stalacpipe organ in the main cavern, operated by a custom console that produces the tapping of ancient stalactites of varying sizes with solenoid-actuated rubber mallets in order to produce tones.

As we listened to this amazing instrument, my mind instantly started working on the next level of The Castle of the Bloated One. We purchased one of the original 33 albums (vinyl, ah how I pine for thee) and I used it, along with the images I'd taken on the trip to lay out Organ Donor.


Saturday, October 1, 2016

1E Character Background

I've posted a copy of the 1E Character Background to the Downloads Archive. I use page 1, and associated tables on page 2, if needed. The rest of the document can be used for more info, perhaps during down time or if more detail is sought/needed.


Blowfish Sign update

I've considered doing a major overhaul to the blog layout wise, but after talking to quite a few people, the majority agreed that the elements fit the theme for a tavern well. That said, this blog does represent my 1E game, my passion for my campaign and it's history.

So two changes have been made; the sign hanging out in the elements now has a weathered grey plank for it's background, with a sign post and chains w/bracket. The second sign has also been weathered, hangs on the wall by the entrance, and greets the patron as they enter.

Overall, I'm pleased with the finished design.


Monday, September 26, 2016

Gem Tables 2.0

I've been revisiting past works, and I've not included a link to my set of gem tables to flesh out 1E campaigns. I realized the previous version, 1.5, needed some TLC, so I've updated the entire document with a cleaner presentation and streamlined the layout. I've included a short synapsis as well.

  • You want a quick gem name to throw out for that pickpocket attempt? – use the Quick Gem Table on page 6.
  • You need a gem and want to choose it from a categorized list? – use the Advanced Gem Table starting on page 7.
  • You want to choose a stone from a large combined list? – use the Complete Gem Tables starting on page 10.
  • Need a color or color combination for a stone? – use the Gem Color Chart on page 14.
  • Tired of round or square shaped stones? – use the Gem Shape Chart on page 15
Lastly, I wanted to show how all 3 sets of tables could be used, so a longer example has been included.

“You’ve just defeated the Orcs and their chieftain. While searching the bodies, the thief finds a glove that jingles when inspected”. “I look inside” says the thief. “Regis tips the contents into his hand and you see…”

You’ve either pre-rolled the treasure, roll it on the fly, or make it up on the spot. However you do it is fine because you’re the DM. In this example we will roll for three separate stones using all the tables.
  1. Quick Table (page 6) Roll of 59 results in an Opaque Quartz.
  2. Advanced Table (page 7) Roll of 3D8 nets 14, which is Olivine, the subsequent roll of 4 gives a Green Peridot.
  3. Complete Table (page 11) Roll of 11, and on sub-table 11, roll of 15 results in a Black Verdan Gold. 
Roll for value using the charts reproduced on page 3 and 4 and you’re done. So let us conclude this example:
“You find 25 coppers, 4 silvers and 3 gems” the DM replies. “Cool, we'll stash them for later and check back in town”, the Cleric says, thinking the gems might be used for a tithing to his church.

Later, at the local magic shop (substitute a Gem Store complete with Gemologist and/or Lapidary if you'd like), the party has the gems appraised. “Ah, these are interesting stones my friends... (checks and tests) ...the first is a Opaque Quartz, the second a Green Peridot, and the third is Black Gold”. “Whew-hew” cries the fighter, “Gold! We’re rich, drinks are on me!”

“Not so fast my friend, this is a Verdan Gold nugget. It's very delicate and certainly not as valuable as true gold because of its small size, but the color and ...” “How much is it worth?” the Thief interrupts, a glint in his eyes. “Well, fair market value – and maybe you'll find a better deal in Elise - but I'd say 130 Gold”. The jeweler continues “all together, these gems are worth 185 gp”.

Included is a link to download version 2.0 of the Gem Tables document below, and it will be available in the the downloads archive: