Sunday, June 25, 2023

Solo Gaming; Adventures of Grizzly Devil Squad Part 2

 This post continues the adventures of the Rebel Tunnel Fighters.  Part One is available here

Our Squad, The Grizzly Devils, had made it to the outskirts of their territory (a day's journey, in and of itself). Being especially careful and watchful, they made their way to the newly discovered tunnels. Hector, ever sure of his abilities, took point and following the directions the scouts had provided to Simon Luther, after a few hours trek, they found the newly discovered tunnels and cautiously entered. 


The Caverns of the Pustulent Slime Shrooms

After a day's journey down this newly discovered dark tunnel, they started to see an eerie blue glow emanating from somewhere further down the tunnel.  Soon they noticed a disgusting, yellow, almost pus like slime dripping from the ceiling. Hector noted it even had a foul odor like pus.  

The tunnel continued on for hours. as the glow seemed to be ever ahead. Meanwhile the slime thickened and increased starting to drip and ooze more on the floors and ceiling, this made travel take even longer. Several times Hector would scout an area ahead only to have to double back and retrace his route.  Hours into this disgusting mess, the group realized the slime had managed to permeate their rations and much of their water supply.  They'd have to forage for food and drinking water to have enough and stopping to rest here was impossible. Eventually the tunnels opened into large chamber with massive mushrooms towering from the muck. All dripping that same foul pus-like slime.  They had to make camp here, everyone was exhausted. No one got any rest and what water they had left that wasn't contaminated wasn't going to last long. 

Continuing on their journey through the Slime Fungi caves was difficult and challenging.  Hector on point, took the worst of it, trying to find a safe route through the slimy caves, backtracking and trying again, others offered to take point, but Hector took it as a point of pride to be Point man on this expedition. The slime caves took a toll on everyone, but impacted Hector the most. Hector used up all his water and food rations and the rest of the squad all had to go deeply into their resources to get through this challenge. Once through this foul system of tunnels and caves, everyone was extremely low on rations and almost out of clean drinking water. 

The source of the blue glow seems to be up ahead...

Hector could make out some type of ruined structures ahead, the bluish glow was still emanating from…somewhere up ahead, and yet was all around the chamber at the same time…what was he seeing...?  Ancient stone carvings? Were those Sarcophagi? Then movement from a side passage...

What is that thing?!!

While our squad had no name for it, the official name of the beast would become Eldritch Mind Warper! Only partially existing in a physical form, the monster emanated powerful waves of negative psychic energy and it was aggressive, very aggressive!  The squad had prepped for a fight with Bone Ape Tunnel Fighters! Not Psychic Warp Beasts! No one in the squad was trained in the methods to defend against such a monster!                                                                                                                                                                                    

     Hector was killed immediately, already weakened from the difficult route through the Slime Fungi Caves, The Eldritch Mind Warper ripped Hector’s mind to shreds, killing him instantly.  The entire squad was mentally attacked all at once by powerful waves of psychic force. Simon Luther went down next, and Mungo came close to death’s door! Only by expending what reserves they had left did they manage to survive. They threw everything they had at the beast engaging in a running fight with it in the large cavern. Even with that they only just barely managed to defeat the creature. At the end of the fight, Hector and Simon Luther were dead. Mungo severely injured and the remaining squad members were all injured, weak and dangerously low on resources. 

R.I.P. Hector and Simon Luther

     They paused to bury their two fallen comrades; it was too far back to attempt to carry the bodies all that way. Doc Eldred said a few words, and what could pass as a prayer.  Kadin said Amen in a quiet voice, while Mungo and Shalonna stood in grim silence.

     The fight with the Mind Warper had diverted the squad from their previous trail, less skilled individuals would have become hopelessly lost and died out there. Fortunately, Shalonna’s skills as a Way Finder allowed the squad to find their way and make it back to safety.  Their home territory had never looked so good. Tired, and dehydrated, they trudged onward. 

     On the edge of the rebel controlled tunnels they encountered a rebel patrol, Gilbert and Brone along with a trusty AT3. Gilbert told the squad they looked like hell, while sharing his water and rations. Brone said they'd heard scouts report of Bone Ape sightings in the Western Tunnels but the patrol hadn't seen anything.  The patrol escorted the exhausted team back to the Rebel Vault. They said little during the journey. 

                         AT3 (All Terrain Tunnel Tractor)

     The mission had been challenging and difficult in unexpected ways.  They had lost two members of the squad. But in fighting the Eldritch Mind Warper, Mungo and Shalonna had learned ways to enhance their mental defenses, which would hopefully help them be better equipped for psychic attacks in the future.  And as Simon Luther (R.I.P.) had suspected the Caves of the Slime Fungi did in fact provide a route around the Bone Ape territories, but risking an encounter with another Mind Warper, might not be worth the risk. That would be for the chain of command to decide. Along with whether or not the risk of investigating those strange glowing "coffins"  was worth it.

     Under the care of Doc Eldred and Kadin, everyone healed up.  A somber service was held for their two fallen comrades, and they pondered their next mission. Healed up back at Hecate's Pub, they said a toast to Hector and Simon Luther. 

Factum Solo Gaming! Adventures of Grizzly Devil Squad Part 1

     Reading The Lizard Man Diaries post about Post Factum Solo play inspired me to do some gaming today.  We are under a severe heat advisory, so this gives me an excuse to stay indoors today.  All the images were generated with online AI art tools, I'm no artist, so this allows for some visuals. I've used some tables from Knave, and the Lizard Man Diaries blog to fill in gaps as needed. I'm sort of building the setting/campaign as I go based on random generators, and bits of inspiration here and there. At this point the characters are part of a group of Rebel Freedom fighters, their base is an ancient Vault they have uncovered deep underground. Lots of tunnels, caves, and abandoned ruins exist. The surface world is unsafe/uninhabitable? and most of the tunnels and caves are unexplored. The Rebels are hanging on by the skin of their teeth, and are in desperate need of new equipment, tech, allies and resources.  Unless something changes, their cause is lost and the corrupt Galactic Federation forces will prevail.  Perhaps something of crucial value can be found within the ancient tunnels and ruins that dot this underground realm? Oh and just to make things more challenging, the Rebels are not the only sentients down here. A group of militant apes (the Rebels call them Bone Apes), control many of the tunnels and caves, and are extremely aggressive and territorial. All attempts at peaceful negotiation with them have failed up to this point.  

     If I ever get a chance to run Wretched Space for a group, I'm thinking the stuff worked up here could work nicely with that setting. So many games, so little time.  Anyways let's get started, shall we? 

     The Rebel Tunnel Fighters, were relaxing in Hecate’s Pub, having some much-needed downtime.  This group, known as The Grizzly Devils (Grizzly Devil Squad), consists of Hector (battle trained point man), Simon Luther (wise and skillful), Mungo (probably the best fighter in the squad), Doc Eldred (older, but highly skilled in medicine), Kadin (skilled combat medic, and forager usually works as Doc’s nurse), and the mysterious Shalonna (battle trained, and skilled with way finding).


                                             Simon Luther


                                              Doc Eldred



Simon Luther, mentioned rebel scouts had recently found a strange tunnel that opened into a group of larger tunnels and natural caverns, potentially providing access to the Unexplored Regions.  If this area could be further explored, it might lead to the discovery of some useful resources, as well as a route around their main rivals for control of the Tunnels the fearsome Bone Apes. The mission would be dangerous, but the rewards could be significant.  Hector, always up for a challenge, said he would take point on such a mission and the rest of the squad agreed it was worth doing.  

They geared up in Storeroom Tango and prepared to head out. They equipped themselves for combat and exploration. While no Bone Apes had been spotted by the scouts near the entrance to these newly discovered tunnels, there was always a strong possibility of getting into a firefight with the highly territorial and aggressive beasts. 

They departed the section of the ancient vault the rebels were using as their main base, the ever-Vigilant Goron was on watch duty and wished them luck, they could tell by the look in his eyes that he wished he was going with them. He discreetly gave Kadin a bonus ration to take with her "just in case". 

One of the few working All Terrain Tunnel Tractors (AT3's for short), escorted them to the edge of Rebel Territory. From here on they would be on their own...

To be continued.....

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Sword & Planet OSR

 Gamer Greetings,

 Been a bit since I posted.  Been busy with work although we have still been playing our D&D Campaign. 

In a recent chat with an online friend, I came to an interesting realization. While being a longtime fan of the Sword & Planet Genre. I have never run a Sword & Planet campaign. I loved reading Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsoom books as a kid.  The Michael Whelan covers from back then just really resonated with me. Just look at some of these! 

And the fact that Barsoom has massive four-armed White Apes was just icing on the cake! 

I did some looking around and found there are some great OSR resources for Sword & Planet gaming, I knew about some, but others were a fun surprise.  I picked up some, pictured below. 

Look at that pile of Coolness!  The Marvel TPB is a comic I picked up in the discount bin at the local comic shop, more inspiration fodder for a campaign!  There are a couple of WotRP adventures out as well, that I need to pick up.  Now to find the time to run some Sword & Planet fun!  Oh, and this got me reminiscing about the old Planet Algol blog. I'd love to run something like Planet Algol.  Not sure when I will get a chance to run something like this, but I think it would be nice to do for a bit of change of pace.  Fighting Orcs and other monsters is fun, but I think some adventures in the Sword & Planet genre would be a blast!