Montag, 23. März 2015

Chthonotron part 3: Catacombs of the Hypogea

Starting with a blank slate
With the ongoing build-out of the Hypogean Map, I touch more and more subsystem and go into more detail. As these random generators are light on game world details, this blog post is also an attempt to make sense of the results I rolled and my hastily scribbled maps ...

In the first part of this series, I did build the overall map of the Hypogea. In the second part, I touched on building a map key; but some of the maps results need even more detail; i.e. for shrines you need to determine the subtype (chthonic or deific), and for catacombs, you can roll multiple levels with many rooms. This post is about that:

Sonntag, 22. März 2015

Chthonic Codex: Chthonotron chthontu... continued

In the previous post I described how the Chthonotron allows a referre to build a map to populate in a way that creates a hypogean setting. But I did not go into the details of the setting, nor did I show the completed map. This post covers these things.

Samstag, 14. März 2015

Chthonic Codex: Chthonotron in action (or: how to build your own pointcrawl map)

Step 1: Some dice, pens and an empty piece of paper
Volume III of the Chthonic Codex series, Mysteries and Mystagogues sports a number of tools to build and run your own campaign. In this blog post I'm going to use the CHTHONOTRON to build my own map about my (part of the) Hypogea under the Valley of Fire. The map in the boxed set was created with the same rules. +Paolo Greco did post his own example of using the CHTHONOTRON on his blog as well.

We start with a blank piece of paper, and then toss a handful of dice as anchors for the caves to go through. Those are marked with a couple deft strokes of a pen ...

Donnerstag, 12. März 2015

Chthonic Codex: Spellcasting Minutiae

While the magic system in Chthonic Codex is much along the lines of classic D&D retroclones (i.e. it's not a radical rebuilding such as Wonder & Wickedness), it still has a couple nice additions to typical Vancian Magic that aren't often covered. Three things in particular are the rules for Spell Research, Dispensation, and the Eos Elegy, and I want to talk about them in this post.

Dienstag, 10. März 2015

Chthonic Codex: Mysteriously Missing Monstrosities

Chthonic Codex is not complete. Some of this is on purpose, because the actual game world is different as you roll laws of reality, build your own Hypogea using the CHTHONOTRON, and come up with your own secret mysteries using the not-named-that-unfortunately MYSTATRON.
Photo by Matt Reinbold (Flickr)
[CC BY 2.0 (],
via Wikimedia Commons

Other things seem like innocent omissions. For example, while they're listed in different places, there are no stats for Giant Centipedes.

But, I rolled them up for my Hypogean map, and they did come up in a session I ran where they were determined to be young enough to be hexed into submission by a Chimerist.

And if one thing is creepy, it's a handful of Baby Giant Centipedes munching on stuff and going meep? anytime the controlling Chimerist does something un-motherly.

So, here goes:

Montag, 9. März 2015

Chthonic Codex Prep & Play report

On G+, Natalie asked how much time people spend preparing their weekly sessions. I'm currently only running games irregularily, but what I run is based on my campaign that saw regular fortnightly sessions for more than two years, so I think it applies somewhat. For this session in particular I opened up a third front that already was hinted at in my previous session: The Hypogea of the Valley of Fire being in contact with the Sylvan Realm. 

So, let's see what the breakdown was ...

Sonntag, 8. März 2015

Santicore 2014 Apocrypha

So, Santicore 2014 is almost ready — at least, the five chapters of it (i.e. only the skin is missing).
Alas, I cannot find my submission in the works even though I did send it in in due time. Well, here goes. The wish I was assigned was:

A handful of clever tricks to place in dungeons when the party goes down that hallway or staircase I forgot to plan out.  I can always use more tricks.

Sonntag, 1. März 2015

Chthonic Codex review, revisited

Or, why I have this thing in three different versions

Back in December, I wrote a half-assed review of Paolo Greco's Chthonic Codex, as well as Adventure Fantasy Game, which is the companion game system (but not needed to enjoy and peruse Chthonic Codex).
At the time, I was reviewing the books from the PDFs alone, so the review was focussed on content. The one sentence summary of my review is superficially whimsical, but tightly designed setting with a distinct european feel, and I stand by that.
The other thing that I did not touch on at that time, is the fact that the books themselves are setting artifacts in their own right: