Friday, April 20, 2018

Who Killed the Pothead?

Use the tables below to generate an outline for a murder mystery for the player characters in your RPG campaign to solve! (Click here to see all the Random Murder Mysteries I've posted!)

WHERE WAS HE FOUND? (Roll 1d8)
1. On his couch.
2. On the beach.
3. In the park.
4. In the church parking lot.
5. Behind the smoke shop.
6. In the marijuana field.
7. In the congresswoman's office.
8. Roll twice on this table. He was killed at the first location, but his body was left at the second. If the same result comes up twice, he was killed where he was found. Ignore additional results of 8.

HOW WAS HE KILLED? (Roll 1d8)
1. Crushed to death.
2. Strangled.
3. Poisoned.
4. Suffocated with hundreds of jelly beans.
5. Stabbed.
6. Shot 1d6 times.
7. Beaten to death.
8. Roll two more times on this table; he died from both methods. If the same result comes up twice, he was killed by a single method, but MAN was the killer thorough. Ignore additional results of 8.


WHO KILLED HIM? (Roll 1d8)
1. His dealer.
2. His mother.
3. His lover. (Roll 1d8. 1-4 female, 5-8 male.)
4. The stripper. (Roll 1d8. 1-4 female, 5-8 male.)
5. The professional assassin.
6. The anti-legalization activist.
7. The congress woman.
8. Roll two more times on this table. The first result is the killer. The second result is a person who helped over up the murder. Roll on the Dark Secrets table to determine the motivation as to why they worked together to kill the pothead. Ignore additional results of 8.

WHY WAS HE KILLED? (Roll 1d8)
1. Hatred.
2. Jealousy.
3. Greed.
4. Dispute over who had eaten all the Doritos chips.
5. Crazed fanaticism. (Roll 1d8. 1-4 pro-pot legalization, 5-8 anti-pot legalization.)
6. Because his parents were sick of him living in their basement and growing pot in their tool shed.
7. As a sacrifice to the spirit of the Evil Bong.
8. To stop him from revealing the killer's dark secret. (Roll on the WHAT IS THE DARK SECRET? table?)

WHAT IS THE DARK SECRET? (Roll 1d8)
1. The pothead and the killer were having a secret love affair that he was going to reveal publicly.
2. The pothead was going to reveal that the killer, who is a famous professional anti-drug crusader, is one of the biggest potheads on the planet.
3. He had discovered a local dealer/store owner was lacing the pot with a highly addictive substance of mysterious origin.
4. He discovered a cult devoted to infusing bongs with evil spirits that would then possess users.
5. He was the illegitimate child of the killer, and he was going to reveal that fact to the world.
6. He was going to publicize the membership list of the secret society, Potheads for Trump.
7. He discovered the truth about the Eleven Herbs and Spices.
8. He had proof that Donald Trump's hair is an alien sybiote.


And here's a song to help you get in the mood for the adventure...

Monday, April 16, 2018

Remains of Atlantis: The Codex of Doom (Part One)

This is the first of a pair of posts that tie into our Atlantis-rooted products, like Secrets of the Witchkind and Love Witch. The posts stand on their own, however.

THE CODEX OF DOOM: LETHAL LORE
The Codex of Doom is an ancient tome originally created by Atleantean sorcerers as an addition to Atlantis's magical arsenal. It was deemed too dangerous by the Triumpharate of Poseidon to be left in mortal hands, yet it was too imbued with too much magic to be destroyed. Instead, it was hidden away in a cavern, in a region on the far northern shores of Greenland that was then covered by a perpetual storm.
   The creators of the Codex and their allies were unhappy with their masterpiece being so consigned to oblivion, and they feared a day would come when their descendants would need the magic contained within it. They hid maps to the Codex's resting place throughout the Atlantis and its far-flung colonies. Several of those maps have survived to modern times, just waiting for those brave enough and power-hungry enough to retrieve the Codex of Doom.
   The maps mark two locations on what appears to be a highly stylized map of the Earth with different coastlines on some continents and a large island in the Atlantic Ocean where none exists today--Atlantis.
   The first location is that of the Cave of the Codex, where the Codex of Doom has been placed. The second is quite literally at the the other end of the world, as it shows a location on the South Pole where something called the Time Cube can be found. Notations on the maps indicate the Time Cube will transport the person holding it to one of six locations, one of which is the Cave of the Codex.

GETTING TO THE CAVE OF THE CODEX
The Codex is in a cave, located at the end of a fjord between Cape Morris Jessup and North Station. It can be reached by rappelling down a steep cliff-face from the landward side, or sailing int the fjord from the ocean side, and taking the last of the trip. But there's the magical storm to deal with.
   Unless there's already bad weather in the area, the area seems safe to approach, but once the characters are within two miles of the cave, a violent ice storm suddenly forms around them. Within moments, the temperature drops to lethal sub-zero levels and the water in the fjord turns to solid ice almost instantaneously, trapping any ships. Even the mightiest of ice breakers will find itself flash-frozen in the fjord. Eventually, the ice will crush any ships so trapped and cause them to sink to the bottom.
   Characters exposed to the storm suffer 1d4+1 points of cold damage per round (Fort save for half, round up) until they find shelter. The only natural shelter in the area is the Cave of the Codex). Magical protection from cold negates the damage.
   Visibility in the storm is reduced to near-Zero. Characters that aren't tethered to each other must roll Survival skill checks (DC19) to not be separated from each other. Survival skill checks (DC15) are also necessary to continue in the right direction to reach the cave. Attempts to climb down the cliff-face to the cave require the appropriate gear as well as Climb skill checks (DC15).


THE CAVE OF THE CODEX
The mouth of the cave is ten feet wide and seven feet high, and it provides shelter from the raging ice storm. It narrows to a natural tunnel that is roughly six feet wide and six feet high. This tunnel winds its way in total darkness,sloping slightly downward until is opens into a round, obviously carved cave that's 13 feet in circumferance with a dome-shaped ceiling that's 13 feet from the floor at its highest point. The floor, walls, and celling are At the center of the cave, a massive, closed tome rests on a reading stand that is fixed to the cave floor--appearing as if it was carved from the rock itself when the cave was formed. The book is the Codex of Doom.
   As soon as the first character enters the cave, they trigger the guardians, who have remained dormant under the snow on the shore outside. These guardians, the frozen and cursed corpses of those who have previously tried and failed to acquire the Codex, come shuffling down the tunnel, intent on adding the party to their number. Use ghoul stats, but all damage inflicted is cold-based, including the paralysis. There are two guardians per party member.

Guardians of the Codex [Ghouls] (OGL Content)















There will be details on the Codex of Doom itself and the Time Cube in "The Codex of Doom (Part Two)", coming soon to this blog! In the meantime, here's the song that inspired this post (and the one to follow.)



Open Game Content: The Guardians of the Codex are Open Game Content and may be reproduced in accordance with the Open Game License. The rest of this post is defined as Product Identity. Copyright 2018 Steve Miller. Special Thanks to Alestorm for the inspiration. (And, yeah, we know where their inspiration for the song came from. I will echo that in the next post, but am also going in a different direction.)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Who Killed the Clown?

They say "Everybody loves a clown." Well, someone didn't love HoHo the Clown, because she's been murdered. Can the player characters unravel the mystery surrounding HoHo's death and catch the killer?


HoHo the Clown in Happier Times
(like the ones before she was murdered)
WHO KILLED THE CLOWN?
Roll 1d12 against the tables below to randomly generate a murder mystery adventure outline for your campaign.

WHERE WAS SHE FOUND?
  1. In a crate of uninflated balloons.
  2. Stuffed into a clown car.
  3. Inside the illusionist's "vanishing lady" trick box.
  4. On the playground.
  5. In the mailroom of a high-rise building of luxery condos.
  6. At home, in her bedroom.
  7. At home, in her shower.
  8. In the sauna at the health club.
  9. In the alley behind a seedy nightclub
 10. In the cemetery.
 11. On the beach.
 12. In the pool at the bank president's home.

HOW WAS SHE KILLED?
  1. Hanged.
  2. Stabbed.
  3. Choked by a balloon animal forced down her throat.
  4. Garrotted.
  5. Suffocated.
  6. Strangled.
  7. Multiple blows to the head.
  8. One blow to the head.
  9. Shot once through the back of the head.
 10. Shot once in the chest.
 11. Shot 1d4+1 times.
 12. Drowned. (Roll an additional 1d12 to see what kind of water she drowned in. 1-3. Chlorinated Water, 4-6. Salt Water. 7-9. Soapy Bathwater, 10-12. Fresh Water.)

WHO KILLED HER? (This is also a list of suspects.)
  1. The Retired Clown.
  2. The Up-and-Coming Clown.
  3. The Illusionist (for whom she had once been an assistant).
  4. Her Male Lover. (Roll an additional 1d12. 1-6 it’s her ex-lover.)
  5. Her Female Lover. (Roll an additional 1d12. 1-6 it’s her ex-lover.)
  6. Her Estranged Relative (Roll an additional 1d12 to determine which relative; she was estranged from her entire family. 1-2. Father, 3-4. Mother, 5-6. Brother, 7-8. Sister, 9-10. Uncle, 11-12. Aunt.)
  7. Her College Drama Instructor.
  8. The Bank President.
  9. The Television Producer.
 10. The Human Trafficker.
 11. The Baptist Minister.
 12. Killjoy the Demon Clown.


WHY WAS SHE KILLED?
  1. So she couldn’t reveal a dark secret to the world. (Roll on WHAT IS THE DARK SECRET table.)
  2. To protect the killer’s dark secret. (Roll on WHAT IS THE DARK SECRET table.)
  3. To protect a secret organization.
  4. Shame.
  5. Jealousy.
  6. Revenge.
  7. Hatred.
  8. Lust.
  9. To stop her plan to open a clown-themed strip club.
 10. As a sacrifice to Killjoy the Demon Clown.
 11. It was an accident. The killer and the clown were engaged in a weird sex game that went horribly wrong. (Roll an additional 1d12 to determine the identity of the killer. 1-3 the Up-and-Coming Clown; 4-6 her Male Lover; 7-9 her Female Lover, 10-12. the Baptist Minister. The person originally indicated as the killer helped move the body--if the location and the method by which HoHo was killed don't line up--or otherwise helped cover up and serve as the killer's alibi. If the person she was having sex with is the same person as indicated here, the killer acted alone.)
 12. Roll again on this table. Both reasons apply for why she was killed. Ignore repeated results.


WHAT IS THE DARK SECRET?
  1. She had discovered that several of her fellow clowns were part of cult dedicated to Killjoy the Demon Clown. Roll on WHO KILLED HER to determine who is the cult's leader. If it’s a different person than the killer, both characters are involved with the cult, but the leader might not know who the murderer is, or even why HoHo was killed.
  2. HoHo was part of a cult that worshipped Killjoy the Demon Clown. She was killled to prevent her from performing the ritual that would make her displace Batty Boop in the Demon Clown Ranks.
  3. A terrorist and kidnapping-for-ransom cell is using party clowns to identify targets, and HoHo discovered this. Roll on WHO KILLED HER to determine who is in charge of this evil enterprise. If it’s a different person than the killer, both characters are involved, but the leader might not know who the murderer is or why HoHo was killed.
  4. She uncovered a plot to drive clowns insane using poisoned greasepaint. Roll on WHO KILLED HER to determine who is in charge of this evil enterprise. If it’s a different person than the killer, both characters are involved in the ring, but the leader might not know who the murderer is.
  5. The Human Trafficker is using circuses to transport victims, and HoHo was killed to stop her from revealing the enterprise. Roll on WHO KILLED HER to determine who is in charge of this evil enterprise. If it’s a different person than the killer, both characters are involved, but the leader might not know who the murderer is or why HoHo was killed.
  6. The Baptist Minister has a homosexual clown fetish, and HoHo was killed to put an end to her blackmailing him. The killer identified on the WHO KILLED HER table committed the murder on behalf of the Baptist Minister--with his full knowledge.
  7. The Bank President raped her as a teenager and she was going to go public. The killer identified on the WHO KILLED HER table committed the murder on behalf of the Bank President--with his full knowledge.
  8. She was going to reveal the Illusionists secrets on a TV special. The killer identified on the WHO KILLED HER table committed the murder on behalf of the Illusionist--with his full knowledge. If the killer is the TV Producer, HoHo was killed because she backed out of revealing the Illusionist's secrets.
 10. She found the long lost wreck of a Spanish galleon while skindiving in the Carribean. The killer murdered her to keep the entire treasure .
11. Her 1-4 Estranged Mother, 5-8 Male Lover, 9-12 College Drama Instructor is a Russian assassin, and his or her secret had to be protected.
 12. Roll twice on this table. The two results are intertwined in one monstrous conspiracy. Ignore repeated results and roll again.


--
This random murder mystery contains completely and totally unauthorized references to Full Moon's demonic clown characters from the Killjoy movie series. My apologies to Full Moon and Charles Band if they take offense. (Click here to read more about the films featuring Killjoy, Batty Boop, and the rest of the demonic clown gang at the Charles Band Collection.)



Monday, April 9, 2018

Now available: 'Tricks of the Mind' for d20 Modern

We've just released our latest supplement for the d20 System--Tricks of the Mind. It lets you add psychic powers (both real and fake) to your games that use feats and talents without needing to layer additional systems onto the game, like psionic points or keeping track of how many spells of which level per level. Click to get a copy, or see previews, at DriveThruRPG or RPGNow.


Cover art from Tricks of the Mind by Jack Kirby.
Since we like to do added value to our promo posts, here's a new starting occupation, for any all-new psychics you want to create! (The rest of this post is presented under the Open Game License. Copyright 2018 Steve Miller.)


STARTING PROFESSION: PSYCHIC
You either have a supernatural gift, or you have a talet for flim-flam. You may have been prepared for life as a professiona psychic from an early age, or it's a life you stumbled into. Either way, you were good at it--good at seeing people's inner needs and helping them through their problems... or maybe just helping seperate them from their money.
   Prerequisite: Age 18+
   Skills: Choose two of the following skills as a permanent class skill. If a skill the character selects is already a class skill, he or she receives a +1 competence bonus on checks using that skill. Bluff, Concentrate, Knowledge (Arcane Lore), Knowledge (Mysticism), Move Silently, Perform (Acting), Search, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Spot.
   Feats*: Select one of the following feats to receive as a bonus feat. The character must meet any prerequisites. Dream Viewer, Empathy, Foresight, Informant Network, Shameless.
   *All feats listed are contained in Tricks of the Mind, but may also have appeared (possibly in a different form) on this blog or in other NUELOW Games releases.



Sunday, April 8, 2018

Who Killed the Gun Rights Activist?

It was the night of the big debate between anti-gun and pro-gun activists... but when showtime arrived, one podium was empty on the stage.
   "They're scared to face us," the debater who was present crowed, "because they know they don't have any real argument to support their extreme positions!"
   But it wasn't fear that had kept him away; it was death. Hours later, he was found murdered. And it's up to the player characters to solve the mystery of Who Killed the Gun Rights Activist!



WHO KILLED THE GUN RIGHTS ACTIVIST?
To randomly generate the outline of a mystery adventure, roll 1d12 against the each of the following tables.

WHERE WAS HE FOUND?
1. In the park, near the sight of a major protest.
2. In the parking lot.
3. In the men’s room.
4. In his office.
5. In his living room.
6. In his bedroom.
7. In a room at a seedy motel.
8. In the VIP lounge in the Blue Oyster Nightclub.
9. Outside a gun store.
10. At a gun range.
11. Outside the headquarters of an anti-gun group.
12. Roll Twice on this table. First result is where the body was found. Second result is where he was actually killed.

HOW WAS HE KILLED?
1. Poisoned.
2. Stabbed 1d12 times.
3. Shot 1d12 times.
4. Shot through the back of the head, execution style.
5. Bashed in the head 1d12 times.
6. Garrotted.
7. Hanged.
8. Electrocuted.
9. Suffocated.
10. Decapitated.
11. Beaten to death.
12. Roll twice on the table. He was killed by a combination of the indicated methods.

WHO KILLED HIM? (This is the list of suspects; the killer is among them.)
1. The Second Amendment Extremist (1-6 In Favor, 7-12 Against).
2. The Lobbyist.
3. The State Senator.
4. The Grieving Parent. (1-6 Dad, 7-12 Mom).
5. His Wife.
6. His Teenaged Daughter.
7. His Teenaged Son.
8. His Mistress (1-6 Current, 7-12 Former).
9. The Angry Protest Leader.
10. The Cult Leader.
11. The Prostitute.
12. Roll twice on the table. The two results worked together to commit the murder, and they serve as each other’s alibis. If you roll a duplicated result, roll again. Instead of working together, the first result is framing the second result for the murder.



WHY WAS HE KILLED?
1. Revenge.
2. Hatred.
3. Crazed Fanaticism (1-6 Pro-Gun Rights, 7-12 Anti-Gun Rights).
4. Jealousy.
5. To cover up a conspiracy to cause more gun violence.
6. Because he was about to switch sides in the gun debate.
7. Because he wouldn’t switch sides in the gun debate.
8. To keep the killer’s dark secret (Roll on the WHAT IS THE DARK SECRET? table.)
9. To keep him from revealing a dark secret (Roll on the WHAT IS THE DARK SECRET? table.)
10. To inflame tensions between Pro- and Anti-Gun Rights factions.
11. To stop him from revealing a dark secret held by a suspect other than the killer, but which the killer felt needed to be protected nonetheless. Roll on the WHO KILLED HIM TABLE?, and then the WHAT IS THE DARK SECRET? Table, to determine who has the secret and what it is.)
12. Roll twice on this table. He was killed for both reasons indicated. If a duplicate result is rolled, roll on the WHAT IS THE DARK SECRET? table. The indicated secret is why he was killed.

WHAT IS THE DARK SECRET?
1. He (or another indicated character) is the leader of a death cult who wants to generate as much gun violence as possible, thus making the Dark Blood God happy.
2. An agent for a foreign nation whose mission it is to disrupt the American democracy needed to have his or her cover preserved.
3. Thousands of faulty guns are about to be intentionally released into the market, and many gun enthusiasts will be hurt or killed and a company will be bankrupted due to internal sabotage.
4. Aliens hide among us, and they are sowing discord and madness, trying to make humanity self-destruct.
5. The State Senator murdered a prostitute ten years ago. (If another character is indicated as knowing this secret and is the murderer, the Gun Rights Activist was killed either to protect a blackmail scheme, or because the murderer and the character with the secret are working together.)
6. The Lobbiest murdered his wife five years ago and made it look like an accidental shooting. (If another character is indicated as knowing this secret and is the murderer, the Gun Rights Activist was killed either to protect a blackmail scheme, or because the murderer and the character with the secret are working together.)
7. The Wife murdered her romantic rival for the Gun Rights Activist when they were in college.
8. The Pro- and Anti-Gun movements are being funded from the same source who hopes to use the tensions to get the State Senator reelected.
9. One of the Gun Rights Activist’s children (1-6 Daughter, 7-12 Son) was actually stillborn but was swapped with another infant at birth. The other mother killed herself in a fit of depression.
10. Devil worshippers are deploying Soul Traps around schools and preparing mass-shootings so they can capture young souls for Satan.
11. The Angry Protest Leader is the Gun Rights Activist illegitimate son (or daughter).
12. The Gun Rights Activist was blackmailing all the suspects except his wife and children, and the murderer killed him to take over his “portfolio.”

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Clone (A d20 System feat for your sci-fi or conspiracy games)

Random ideas? We gots 'em here at NUELOW Games! (And for this one, all the text in this post is presented under the Open Game License. Copyright 2018 Steve Miller.)


Clone [General]
You've been cloned!
   Prerequisite: 4th level or higher
   Benefit: Just before this feat is chosen, make a copy of the character gaining it. This is a clone of the character. How a clone came to be is something that's left up the GM or the player (with GM approval) to figure out; perhaps this feat is offered as an option at the end of an adventure. (Maybe we'll do a random table as a companion to this feat at some point).
   While the clone is superficiously identical to the character, there some differences.
   First, the clone is one level lower than the character, with an XP total that's 1d2x1000 points short of gaining another level.
Second, a random attribute of the clone is different than the original character. Use the following table to determine which attribute by rolling 1d6 and then rolling a second time to see if the indicated attribute is higher or lower than that of the original character.

1.Strength (1-4. 1 attribute point lower; 5-6. 1 attribute point higher)
2. Dexterity (1-3. 1 attribute point lower; 4-6. 1 attribute point higher)
3. Constitition (1-4. 1 attribute point lower; 5-6. 1 attribute point higher)
4. Intelligence (1-3. 1 attribute point lower; 3-6. 1 attribute point higher)
5. Wisdom (1-4. 1 attribute point lower; 5-6. 1 attribute point higher)
6. Charisma (1-3. 1 attribute point lower; 4-6. 1 attribute point higher)

The clone's stats are adjusted as indicated by the die rolls, and any changes to attribute bonuses or skill points must be applied as well.

The clone can be used in a few different ways. Here are a few suggestions.
   * The player can set it aside and keep it in reserve for if or when the main character dies. Then, the clone steps into that character's place and the world may never know what happened. (Again, the GM and player can decide where the clone is kept in the meantime and how it awakens once the original character is dead. The clone enters play at the level it was created at.)
   * The player can alternate between the original character and the clone at will (or when the GM rules it makes sense for the two to swap). Each gains their own XP according to the adventures they take part in, and the clone advances like any other character. What sort of living arrangement the clone has, whether its existence is a known factor, and so on, are details to be worked out by the players and the GM.
   * The clone can be a temporary character used by new players who want to try out the game.
   * Whenever the player can't make a session, the GM runs the clone is his or her place.


Sunday, April 1, 2018

Who Killed the Easter Bunny?

The kick-off for the annual Easter Egg Hunt was delayed when celebrity Easter Bunny J.J. Arrutza didn't show. He was soon discovered dead. But who killed him and why? That's up to the player characters to discover when you put them through the adventure you create from this randomly generated outline!

WHO KILLED THE EASTER BUNNY?
Roll 1d8 against each of the following tables to randomly generate the bones of a muder mystery!

WHERE WAS HE FOUND?
1. In the mulberry bushes.
2. Behind the garage.
3. In the garage.
4. Behind the strip club.
5. In the strip club.
6. At home, in his bedroom.
7. At home, in his bathroom.
8. In a seedy motel room.

HOW WAS HE KILLED?
1. Stabbed.
2. Electrocuted.
3. Multiple blows to the head.
4. Beaten to death.
5. Strangled.
6. Drowned.
7. Suffocated with Peeps.
8. Shot 1d8 times.


WHO KILLED HIM? (This is also a list of suspects.)
1. The Mall Santa.
2. The Playboy Bunny.
3. The Surly Teenager.
4. His Lover. (Roll an additional 1d8. 1-4 it’s his ex-lover.)
5. His Wife
6. The Christian Fanatic.
7. The Animal Rights Activist.
8. The Zoology Professor..

WHY WAS HE KILLED?
1. So he couldn’t reveal a dark secret to the world. (Roll on WHAT IS THE DARK SECRET? table.)
2. For sullying the true meaning of Easter.
3. Jealousy.
4. Revenge.
6. Hatred.
7. As a blood sacrifice to the goddesss Ishtar.
8. Roll again on this table. Both reasons apply for why he was killed. Ignore repeated results.

WHAT IS THE DARK SECRET?
1. Cadbury Eggs are filled with an alien substance designed to make humanity more pliable to mind control by alien invaders.
2. A cabal of Furries is working to prevent the Rapture.
3. A cabal of Mall Santas are planning to perform a massive, coordinated terrorist strike this Christmas.
4. His Wife is possessed by the spirit of the True Easter Bunny, and she will murder and eat three children this Easter.
5. He was working on a tell-all book that would reveal many, MANY dark secrets of Mall Santas, Easter Bunnies, and costumed sports mascots around the world.
6. The 1-2 Playboy Bunny, 3-4 Christian Fanatatic, 5-6 Animal Rights Activist, 7-8 Zoology Professor. is a Russian assassin, and his or her secret had to be protected.
7. Roll again on the WHO KILLED HIM? table. His death was supposed to be fake and the indicated person was to have been framed for his murder, but the killer took advantage of the plan and made the murder real.
8. He was the member of a Satanic cult, and every year, one cursed Easter egg would cause the child who found it to die (months or weeks later, seemingly by accident) and their soul to be devoured by Satan himself.

--
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