Monday, August 4, 2014

More enemy types for Muppet Inspired D&D-- Now with actual danger.

In my last post I spoke about coming up with ways to fill in holes that crop up when one decides to take enemy types and make them PC races. Well, when I was working on that post, I took a look at an earlier post I'd done about taking Ultraman monsters (some of whom inspired a number of classic D&D monsters) and using them as inspiration for new monsters.

Well inspiration struck again, and two the monsters became the impetus for the next two new enemy types for this campaign setting. When I was fleshing out the basics of goblin culture, I knew that they would have to go out into the wilderness outside of Flopsburg to get essentials like food and wood for fires and building materials. The only places to get wood are The Gibbering Bog and the Gloomy Thickets. The Bog was safer, but the quality of the wood wasn't as good, so the goblins would have to go into the Thickets to get wood.

When I was doing research into the Muppets, I read that when Jim Henson was planning the Dark Crystal, he wanted to do a fantasy story that was scary, and played for keeps. Well, I'd mention previously that one of  the backgrounds I've been working on is the Stick Poker, who pokes things with sticks to ensure the safety of the other goblins who went out to hunt or collect wood.

Well, in the Thickets, it's a very deadly, and somewhat scary place. The goblins started to poke at things when they started to get attack by Stalkers, who could collapse their forms and disguise themselves as piles of leaves. As the Goblins became wise to the tricks of the Stalkers, the Stalkers upped the ante by preparing various snares and pits to capture the unwary in.

Thus Stalkers can take the place of Kobolds with only a little tweaking.
(There is now a racial bonus for Stealth when Stalkers disguise themselves as leaf piles.

Despite the deadliness of the Stalkers, the goblins rose to the challenge, and now actually enjoy the game of cat and mouse between to the two races that can change at a moment's notice. (Plus it gives the bombers someone else to throw bombs at).

On the other hand, when a Gose shows up, it's whn the goblins begin to feel fear.

With its ability to diguise itself as a large bush or a small tree, a Gorse can be more difficult to spot than a Stalker. Also, when it attacks, it can extend its claws, and if both hit, then the victim is entangled. One Gorse is a terrifying opponent, but if two or more show up, even the bravest of goblins know when to turn tail and get out ot the Thickets (preferably with large number of bombs to help cover their trails).

However, if the goblins can fell a Gorse with as few casualties as possible, then the wood of the Gorse can be used for a number of items and as building material. Gorse-bark armor is a highly prized commodity in the goblin communities.

Despite the ever-present dangers of the Thickets, the goblins have not let it dampen their spirits, and their culture continues on without fear of extinction.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Further insight into the world of Muppet-inspired D&D

One of the bigger problems of doing a campaign using what's normally considered to be low-level fodder as the main player race for a D&D game is "Who do you use to to fill in that hole in the enemy selection/ecology/hierarchy?" It becomes even more difficult if you're considering using another low-level enemy type as a possible race for p,layers as well.

Well, I was looking at some Legend of Zelda fanart this evening, and inspiration struck as I looked at a pair of Moblins, who are one of the initial enemies in the original Legend of Zelda game.

So where am I heading with this exactly? Well, one of the big themes in the early Muppet movies is that they're all a bunch of free spirits who manage to get by, even if times are bad, and will go out of their way to help out others who might need a hand or some other experience. The villains, on the other hand, tend to be more established, and have a lot of resources.

So what better enemy for a Muppet-Inspired D&D game than Moblins who are actual sterotypical gangsters, like this fellow over here on the right.
Now things were starting to fall into place. Moblins fall into the following categories;

Hoods (typical D&D Goblin stats) 85%
Wiseguys (D&D Hobgoblins) 14%
Dons, aka Capos, or 'Da Boss (Bugbears)1%

Moblins, always looking for a new opportunity, are frequently visiting Goblin villages and towns looking to recruit or to find suckers for their latest scheme. They typically get blown out of town.

This has not endeared the goblins to the Moblins.

Thus the Moblins, when not trying to recruit or con the goblins, are frequently plotting to destroy the goblins villages, which is somewhat difficult as the goblins are doing an excellent job in that regard.

Most Moblins carry around instrument cases and use them as clubs, (which have little to no effect on the Goblins), but a few (very few) will keep a dagger or a shortsword in the instrument case.

If asked, the average goblin says that Moblins can be great fun in small does, but they tend to get borin very quickly.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Work In Progress Backgrounds for my Muppet D&D game.

I had been planning on saving these until I got them finished (those tables are what's holding them up so far, but since +Jez Gordon declared today to be “Awesome Gamer Day, then I should least toss up a preview for the folks that are interested in this.

First up, and the most completed, the Mad Bomber. Since I'm going for a Muppet Show feel for some aspects of this game, I should mention that goblin bombs are not particularly dangerous, partly due to the goblins immunity to blunt damage. (it knocks out, rather than actually injures). When a goblin bomb goes off, there's a smokey cloud of soot, and most within its radius (around 5 feet) are knocked back or sent flying a short distance.
The inspiration for this background is Crazy Harry from the Muppet Show. This charming fellow would show up, and set off an explosion, and then there'd be some laughter.

Bombers do more than blow things (and goblins) up for humorous purposes, They also contribute to the well-being of Flopsburg by going fishing. A few well-placed bombs, and there's enough fish for a few days. The fish is the nearby Tenebrous Loch have adapted by multiplying on a larger scale than normal, thus preventing a potential loss of food for the goblins.

Up next are the Stick-Pokers, whose (potentially dangerous) job is to poke at things with sticks. (the areas around Flopsburg have a certain deadliness to them that can not be understated).

Many of them start out with long sticks, and those that aren't suddenly gobbled up by any number of unsavory things soon move on to shorter sticks, learning to rely on quick reflexes to avoid danger. Since most of them provide assistance to hunters and woodcutters (the goblins are constantly rebuilding Flopsburg), most soon learn how to field strip an animal, thus gaining the proficiency in the Survival skill.

While that's the general idea of what I have thus far, I'm still considering other Backgrounds for the goblins, including a Storyteller/Performer Background.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The initial hexmap for my Muppet D&D setting.

Here's where it starts to come together.
It's still pretty rough, but most of the areas are there. This version is a DM map, as it shows a few locations that I'm thinking of using as adventure spots. Flopburg is in an area with scrubs and small hills, and the goblins only go there if they get bored and decide to hunt there, as the wood does not work well for building.
Most of their wood comes from the Gibbering Bog, or better yet the Gloomy Thickets (though they rarely go too deeply into the Thickets). Each hex is roughly a human league (as per Jeff Rients, but since most goblins are small, it takes them a little longer to get through them).

Now with added river.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Muppet D&D: first thoughts and an inkling of a setting.

 Recently, an idea came to me, and while still currently raw and unrefined, has something that I can work with and add onto. My working title for this is Muppet D&D.

What Muppet D&D isn't is Muppet characters reenacting the Lord of the Rings or the Dragonlance Saga. What it is, however, is an attempt to craft a setting that takes the feel of the Muppet Show, and adapt it to the D&D milieu. (Your Muppet D&D may be different from mine, however).

South of the Barbed Crags, and the Gloomy Thickets, past the Nebulous Moors and the Gibbering Bog, the Exuberant Runnel flows southward, going past the goblin village of Flopburg
(though calling that fiasco a village is kind of pushing it) towards the dark waters of the Tenebrous Loch.

Flopburg, while a chaotic mess most of the time, somehow thrives regardless of whatever natural rules that may be followed elsewhere. The goblins spend most of their days building or repairing houses (or what passes for them at times), collecting food, tuning instruments, cooking or making things to blow stuff up with.

It is with bombs that the goblin begin to excel. While the method of bomb making is generally known to to the Mad Bombers of Flopburg, they will teach anyone who asks (and in many cases, didn't ask). The bombs tend to have two general purposes in goblin society; fishing and entertainment.

Every night, the goblins of Flopburg gather, and have a wild party, glad to have survived yet another day. These parties are accentuated with music, laughter, feasting, explosions and more laughter.

An interesting feature of goblin explosives is that they really don't injure anyone-- even when one is sent flying and hits something, it laughs, and runs back to the party. It had been discovered that blunt force trauma had little effect on anyone, other than perhaps knocking someone out for awhile. While goblins are curious and inquisitive, they long ago learned to shrug and get back to whatever they were doing, but did note that this effect only carried over to other sapient races, not to animals and many of the monsters (goblin explosives, however, had no ill effect on anything)

It is to this almost idyllic setting that I intend to introduce science fiction energy weapons, because such weapons in the hands of the goblins would be funny, even if they do happen to inflict serious damage.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Inspiration for new monsters in your games.

While it is known that a number of classic and iconic D&D monsters were inspired by a bag of plastic 'dinosaur' toys that were available in the 70s, it isn't known that a number of those toys were Chinese bootlegs of monster toys from the classic Jpanaese Ultraman series of shows.

So it hit me that if Ultraman toys were inspirational in the creation of some great monsters, then why not look at kaiju design from Ultraman (and other sources) for new monster ideas;

This charming fellow is called 'Gabadon', and looks remarkably similar to the classic 'Land Shark' or 'Bullette'.

Now here's a possibility for a non-combatant monster. He looks like a deep thinker, and could possibly a sage of great knowledge.

Obviously an insectoid or crab-man. Those claws look like they could do a d8 of damage easily.

Perhaps a feral relative of the common lizardman, much like the goriila or other great apes are to humanity.

This imposing fellow looks like a winged owlbear/hook horror hybrid.

Instead of a breath weapon, this dragon most likely has an eye-beam attack. A few structural mods, and you could have a suite of eye-beam dragons with different types of eye-beams.

A mad druid's tree-splicing experiment gone horribly wrong? A horror of super-science unleashed upon the world? You decide.

I can see the possibilities for this one. Eye-beams, claw/claw/bear hug, and can be directed by a smaller critter via the handlebars on its head.

Obviously an arboreal ambush predator, lying in wait in piles of leaves for unsespecting victims to wander by.

Using its bright colors to attract prey, this critter then uses its swaying movements to hypnotise its victims before going in for the strike.

This one looks strangely familiar...

And there you have it. Some potential new monsters to liven up your games. A few visual tweaks to any of them, and you have something new to play with.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Now with added features

Apparently the latest rage in the OSR blogosphere is a widget that allows users to print posts to pdf. This was all started by Jeff Rients of Jeff's Gameblog.

I don't know if anyone will use it here, but it was easy enough to install.