Monday, April 23, 2018

Weird Revisited: From The Mound

This post first appeared almost eight years ago to the day. The original version ended with a blank #9, but commentors filled in more, included here:

You never know what might be found in those ancient mounds doitting the Strange New World and perhaps other worlds, as well. Here are a few suggestions:
  1. Eight giant (8-9 ft. tall) human-like skeletons in breast-plates and ornaments of a copper-like (but harder) metal. Armor is +1 but half the usual weight.  
  2. 2d10 eggs that will hatch dungeon chickens if incubated.
  3. A phantasmagoria magic lantern obviously of more recent manufacture than the mound itself.
  4. Three partially buried skulls inscribed with mystical designs, which upon closer inspection are actually necrophidii.
  5. The mummified corpses of 1d8 children of both sexes who were killed by ritual strangulation. They will rise as undead mummies on the first night of the new moon after excavation. 
  6. A sarcophagi contain a person in strange, futuristic outfit. If the round, reflective glass helmet is removed it will reveal the apparently dead (but remarkably undecayed) body of one of the PCs at an advanced age.
  7. A glass pyramid containing a Mantid Warrior-Nun, who is alert and active, but unable to escape.
  8. A beautiful woman in ancient garb, who appears to be asleep. Approaching close enough to touch the woman (even if not actually doing so) will allow her to take possession of a victim’s body as per the magic jar spell. If successful, the victim’s soul enters a large gem in her regalia.
  9. A copy of a murder ballad tattooed into the skin of its victim preserved in a whiskey jar. (Tim Shorts)
  10. An ancient spacecraft. A 20% chance of a given system being operational, with the first checked being the entry mechanism. Think of the data banks... (Porky)
  11. A tomb decorated with a finely detailed model of the surrounding area at it was at the time of the original internment. The art style might be native, OOPS Oriental ("How did a diamyo of the Demon Isles end up here?"), mysterious Ancient, etc.If the investigators can work out what they are looking at (the gross landforms are the same, but the rivers have shifted course slightly and some of the distances are just plain wrong according to modern survey maps) it acts as a Treasure Map to 1d6 previously unknown ancient native sites.The models have resale value as antiquaries, but there is a non-trivial chance that removing 1 or more destroys the Treasure Map effect. (Chris Hogan)
  12. One really, really big egg. (NetherWerks)

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Classic Marvel Negastar

               RM   (30)
               RM  (30)
S                 GD  (10)
E                 IN   (40)
R                 EX (20)
I                   EX   (20)
P                  IN   (40)

Health: 80
Karma: 80
Resources: GD (10)

Nega-Cosmic Power Manipulation: Negastar is imbued with the extradimensional energy of the dark entities of the Negacosm. He can form simple shapes such as spheres, cubes, columns, and rings or simple tools like pincers.  He can effect up to 2 areas at a time and increase the density of the Nega-Cosmic force to Monstrous Material Strength. He can create a force shield of Monstrous Rank or the power as a weapon to fire a damaging beam up to 2 areas. If Negastar falls unconscious, his constructs will dissipate.
Life Support: Nega-Cosmic energy sustains him giving him breathable air and protection from the elements of Monstrous rank. His effect remains even if he is unconscious.
Flight: Negastar can utilize the energy to fly at Remarkable speed in atmosphere and Class 3000 speed in the vacuum of space.

See Friday's post for more background.

Friday, April 20, 2018


Jim "Flashback Blog" Shelley and I are working on a comic (and possibly a related rpg project) with artist Chris Malgrain. Here's a DC Who's Who style entry for Negastar, the first of the character designs completed. The text is semi-accurate, semi-placeholder, and as such is subject to alteration.

There will be game stats at some point for this guy, but not today!

Here's the character in color:

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Terror And the Ice-Gripped Sandbox

The AMC drama The Terror is based on the novel by Dan Simmons which in turn is a fictionalization of the lost expedition of Sir John Franklin. The events in the show and the novel have light supernatural element, but most it's a tale of the typical things that would befall ships stuck in the arctic ice for years.

I've been thinking the ice pack could replace the Sargasso Sea in the film The Lost Continent. It could hold the descendants of people marooned their years ago. Their could be a frozen graveyard of ship with weird micro-societies and weird monsters.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Wednesday Comics: X-men Grand Design Treasury Edition

I've mentioned X-Men: Grand Design by Ed Piskor before. It's a retelling and synthesis of the history of the X-Men into a single narrative. If you haven't picked up either of the issues in the first chapter in another format, let me suggest you get the Treasury Edition that recently came out. It's an attractive packing (see above) and oversized (over 9 in. wide and over 13 inches tall) size that compliments Piskor's dense page layout.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Submarine Shenanigans

Our 5e Land of Azurth game continued last night, with the party trying to find Kully's father, Cory Keenstep, and figure out how to get him out from under the Sea King, who was holding Keenstep until he won back all the money he had lost. After some exploring of the Sea King's nautiloid manse, they discover Cory is keeping the Sea King's ex-wife, Cecaelia, company in the upstairs sitting room.

It turns out the Cecaelia is a self-absorbed, former (or at least so she claims) starlet. She's keeping Cory busy fetching her drinks, thereby frustrating her ex in two ways: by keeping sea ladies from getting up to him, and by keeping Cory from gambling with him

Cory, an old swindler, is unhelpful in collaborating with the party to make his escape. He wants them to kill (or at least suitably wound) the Sea King so they can get out with the money. This does not strike his son or any of the rest of them as a good plan. Instead, they go to talk to the Sea King, sulking in his penthouse.

The Sea King is willing to let them take Cory--if the royal treasury's gambling debt to him is cancelled and the party smuggles up some young ladies from the party past Cecaelia. The party agrees, but rather than forfeit the funds, they hatch another scheme: they'll sell Cecaelia on headlining a touring stage show in the Land of Under Sea and take her off the Sea King's hands. He'll presumably be grateful enough to let them keep the money.

A natural 20 Persuades the ex-Sea Queen of this plan. The Sea King is incredulous that anyone would want to take the high maintenance Cecaelia with them, but he agrees, tentatively. Cory suggests this is a bad plan and they should just make a break for it.

In this, the party soon begins to realize, he may be right. Logistics of supplying Cecaelia the staff she needs and taking her with them prove daunting, and the Sea King is stingy with extra funds. Ultimately, they decide to stick Cory with her and deal with all this later--only to to find he's slunk off to the submarine and left them holding the bag!

The party takes off too, and makes it to the submarine where they resume there voyage, but they don't get far. The Sea King, grown to giant size, grabs the submarine and flings it through the water a great distance. When they finally right themselves and are able to take bearings. Cog announces that they are lost!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Underground Comics is Almost Here

First mentioned six months ago, Underground Comics #1 is now nearing completion! It will be 36-pages and 6 black and white features of dungeon-related stuff. Jeff Call debuts that delvers best friend, "Dungeon Dog." James V. West uncovers a lost poem of Barrowstain Goodly, Great of the Brownie poets in "The Ballad of the Doomed Delvers." Karl Stjernberg gives us a glimpse of the dungeoneer "Before and After."

A veritable treasure trove, right? But we're not done. There's also OSR art luminaries like Jason Sholtis, Luka Rejec, and the legendary Stefan Poag!

Look for it in POD and digital in June.