Wednesday, December 27, 2017

How is the Vacation in Mexico Going to be Ruined?

Here are adventure seeds for an RPG campaign in a modern setting.

What Ruins the Mexican Vacation?
The player characters are hoping for a nice relaxing vacation in sunny Mexico... but, being that they're player characters, things aren't going to be so relaxing. What harshes their mellow this time? (Roll a d12 against the list below.)

   1. A drug cartel decides to force them into being "mules" and won't take no for an answer.
   2. An old enemy hiding South of the Border recognizes a party member and thinks they're after him or her.
   3. An old enemy who's been hiding South of the Border recognizes the party and approaches them with a request for help against 1-3)slavers posing as 'coyotes', 4-6) a drug cartel that's trying to force him to help them by kidnapping someone he loves, 7-9) the corrupt officials that have been shielding him, but who are now involved in things so horrible he wants no part of it, 10-12)discover what is going on at a secret base in the desert and why the Native Americans living nearby are vanishing.
   4. Space aliens are using the resort the characters are staying at a front for their unholy experiments on humans.
   5. A waiter familiar with the PCs (possibly through an old enemy) approaches them asks them to rescue his sister from a nearby cult compound. The cult is being run by 1-3) rogue CIA operatives conducting mind-control experiments, 4-6) an ancient Olmec vampire, recently awakened and working on restablishing his vampiric powerbase, 7-9) space aliens, who are replacing humans with duplicates in preparation for an invasion, 10-12) a druglord who is testing a new product that has the unfortunate side effect of turning users into werewolves.

   6. Mole People begin their invasion of the surface world at the resort the PCs are saying at (use kobold stats). Naturally, they are led by a sexy human queen (or hunky human king) who takes a fancy to a party member.
   7. Cultists in nearby Mayan ruins are performing a ritual that will summon mighty demons to cleanse Central American of everyone without pure Native American blood.
   8. A friend of the party is abducted and held for ransom by 1-2) a cartel boss, 3-4) an old enemy of the party, 5-6) renegade CIA agents, 7-8) 'coyotes', 9-10) a mad scientist, 11-12) Cultists.
   9. A mad scientist is attempting to create President Trump's border wall with 1-3) strange chemicals in the water supply, 4-6) mind control rays, 7-9) a stolen alien spaceship and its energy shield techology, 10-12) summoning and enslaving the ancient Oltec gods.
   10. Renegade CIA agents want to force the party into taking down 1-3)a terrorist ring, 4-6)a drug cartel, 7-9)corrupt officials coordinating cross-border crime, 10-12)a cult that is infiltrating CIA stations throughout Central and South America.
   11. A local priest approaches the party and asks them to recover a relic that has been stolen from his church by a local drug boss.
   12. Roll two more times, re-rolling duplicate results. Both indicated things ruin the party's vacation.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A NUELOW Christmas: Magical Mistletoe

It's the time of year when the Spirits of Christmas move across the land, randomly bestowing icons of the holidays with supernatural blessings.

Roll 1d6 to determine the nature of the mistletoe hung in the doorway.

1. Not magical, but still pretty (and a pretty good excuse for smooching).
2. Vampires may not cross through the doorway in which the mistletoe hangs, they cannot touch it, and anyone on the other side is immune to their mind-effecting powers.
3-4. Unfaithful lovers feel compelled to confess their betrayal while under the mistletoe (Will save DC24 to resist).
5-6. Faithful lovers gain a +4 bonus to all saving skill checks, saving throws, and attack rolls made when fighting together or defending each other for 24 hours after kissing beneath the mistletoe.

The text in this post is presented under the Open Game License and may be reproduced in accordance with its terms. Copyright Steve 2017. (If you found this material useful and/or entertaining, please support our efforts by buying one of our products at RPGNow or DriveThruRPG.)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

A NUELOW Christmas: Day Seven

Today, all we have is just a Christmas song and video to help you get in the right mood... as well as a reminder that Santa is always watching!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

A NUELOW Christmas: Day Six

Here's a Christmas-flavored adventure idea for a modern setting that contains magic.

Someone is murdering the families of witnesses against Papa Jambo, the reputedly magic-using crimelord who is currently on trial for multiple murders. Despite heavy police protection, the assassins are still managing to infiltrate the homes and murder the families in their sleep; in one case, they even killed one of the officers on the protective detail.

After these shadowy assassins kill a pair of evidence technicians at a crime scene, the player characters are called in to help the investigation. Upon inspecting the crime scenes, they find one thing in common: Each home has an Elf on the Shelf doll in it... and at one point, one of the characters is attacked by one of the toys after it animates. (Use Kobold stats, 1d4 points of damage with a knife or some other sharp household object).

With some investigation, the characters discover that the Elf on the Shelf dolls were all sent to the family from the same downtown address, even if the packages all appeared to come from a variety of hard-to-contact relatives.

Upon visiting the warehouse, the party is attacked by 24 murderous Elf on the Shelf dolls. They attack in groups of 1d6+1 until all are destroyed. Further investigation of the warehouse reveals other addresses to which killer dolls were sent that morning, as well as the following (roll 1d4):

   1. That Papa Jambo's apprentice is animating the dolls and that he has moved to a different location with 48 more... which will be sent to judges and other law enforcement officials if he has the chance.
   2. That one of Papa Jambo's rivals are trying to frame him for the murders--and that rival is an even stronger and more evil sorcerer than Jambo.
   3. Family members or loved ones of the player characters have been targeted to recieve killer Elf on the Shelf dolls... and that they may already be in their homes!
   4. The Papa Jambo on trial is a look-a-like impostor and that the real crimelord is at a secret location, plotting a monstrous revenge that will turn Christmas Eve into a bloodbath!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

A NUELOW Christmas: Day Five
Robert E Howard--A True Christmas Visionary!

Short story writer and poet Robert E. Howard is best known for creating Conan and Solomon Kane and thus laying the foundation for the Sword & Sorcery genre, but his creative vision was of a far greater scope!

In 1927, in a letter to his friend Clyde Tevis, Robert E. Howard created the Elf on the Shelf, something that would go onto becoming a pop culture Christmas sensation some 70 decades after his premature death!

THE WICKED OLD ELF (By Robert E. Howard)
There once was a wicked old elf
Who sat a girl up on a shelf,
In spite of her aunties,
He took down her panties—
But finish this rhyme for yourself.

For more poetry by Robert E. Howard (mostly of the serious variety), check out this collection from NUELOW Games.

Monday, December 4, 2017

A NUELOW Christmas: Day Four

There exists among us people who are touched by the Spirits of Christmas at birth. As children, they seem extra kind and extra cheerful (especially around the Holidays). When they turn 16, the Spirits visit the individual and offer them a chance to become a Santa's Helper.

(d20 System rules, presented under the Open Game License. Copyright 2017 by Steve Miller)
During character creation, the player can declare that his character chose to become a Santa's Helper when the Spirits came to visit. (This can also be rolled random if the GM prefers; the character is a Santa's Helper on a roll of 001 on percentile dice.)
  In addition to all class abilities and bonus feats, a Santa's Helper gains the following abilities for two days out of the year, December 24 and 25. If Santa requires assistance in delivering gifts to good children, or if there's a particular threat that is stopping him from visiting an area that requires the sort  skills and attention that only a player character can bring to bear, the character is asked to spring into action.
  Joy of Fellowship: The character and his closest allies (other PCs for example) gain a +1 bonus to all saving throws, attack rolls, and skill checks.
  Spellcasting: The character may cast a number of spells from the following list a number of times per day equal to his Wisdom + Charisma bonus. He casts the spell by making a gesture (such as twitching his nose or winking, with no other components required): Animal Friendship, Detect Thoughts, Disguise Self, Fabricate, Knock, Nondetection, Passwall, Telekinesis.
   Bonus Feat: The character adds Naughty or Nice to the selection of available bonus feats. The ability gained from this feat is available all year long.

A Santa's Helper is expected to be kind and helpful, and if he is mean or violent toward an undeserving or harmless target, he instantly loses his mystical status.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

A NUELOW Christmas Day 3

The Globe of Snow artifact is given by the Spirit of Christmas as a gift to particularly kind individuals who find themselves missing wintery weather around the time of the holidays.

The Enchanted Snow Globe
This crystal globe is 5 inches in circumference appears to be filled with a milky liquid. When shaken starts to glow softly and a scene of an old-fashioned village with Christmas trees outside every house, or a small snowbound cottage and snow falling appears within it  (random chance for each scene--village on a result of 1-3, cottage on 3-6). When placed upon a flat surface, the globe sits perfectly balanced and does not roll unless pushed. It never rolls further than an edge from which it could fall.
   As a standard action, the person shaking the snow globe can cause snow to fall within a 120-ft radius of his or her location; the snow always falls outside, so if the character is in a spaceship or some other completely enclosed artificial environment, this function of item will not work.
   If the snow globe is thrown on the ground, it explodes and causes a violent, highly localized magical blizzard that 4d6+6 points of cold damage and blinds everyone within a 6-foot radius except the person to whom the globe was given. The blizzard lasts for six rounds. The globe reforms in the person's possession 12 hours later.
   Finally, by concentrating on the scene within the globe for a full round, the person it was gifted to can wish themselves and up to five other individuals into the scene shown within the globe. They find themselves in a comfortable and warm little home where one of the Spirits of Christmas will host them with good cheer. The characters can remain in the home for up to 12 hours, and they may perform any actions they would normally do during rest periods--they can even go outside and play in the snow. During this time, the globe sits invisible, undetectable and undestructable at the location where the characters entered the globe.
   When the globe is gifted, the character has a dream that reveals the items functions to him or her.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

A NUELOW Christmas: What's Going Down at Nakatomi Plaza?

Thirty years ago, Hans Gruber staged a robbery in the Nakatomi building during a Christmas party. It ended badly for Gruber and his gang, but nearly every year since around Christmas time, there's been some sort of disaster or crisis there. This year, the player characters get drawn in! But what will it be this time?! Roll 1d10 to see and get an idea for a modern-day Christmas adventure for the player characters in your game!


   1. Hans Gruber's twin children have taken hostages and are demanding retired NYPD Detective John McClain surrender himself to them, so they can avenge the death of their father. (This is truly their motivation--with no hidden motives.)
   2. As #1, except the twins are trying to gain access to a secret lab on the 47th floor where Nakatomi is developing killer cyborgs. They want to steal them, and they want to test them on McClain on the way out.
   3. The latest upgrade to the Nakatomi U.S.'s central computer has caused it to become sentient. And murderous.
   4. The grandson of John McClain has taken a job with Nakatomi and is working on the 39th floor of the the Nakatomi building... and this has awakened the angry ghost of Hans Gruber. The mysterious deaths and accidents are his doing... and on Christmas Eve there will be a slaughter unless the PC's put him to rest once and for all.
   5. Nakatomi researchers have kidnapped and imprisoned Santa's daughter, Sugar Plum, in a secret lab in the tower; they are hoping to unlock the secret of the Claus Family's immortality as well as the secret surrounding the flying reindeer and sleigh. Santa and the elves have seized hostages and demand the PC's help free Sugar Plum.
   6. Computer hackers have infected the building's computer system with a virus and seized total control of all of its "smart systems." They want $10 million or they'll start killing people.
   7. A meeting between North Korean agents and industrial spies has gone wrong and the North Koreans have taken hostages in order to secure safe passage.
   8. Aliens have chosen Nakatomi Tower as their beachhead for invasion.
   9. Cultists are planning to sacrifice those attending a company Christmas party in a ritual to summon the Great Old Ones. They have been working as part of an interior decor remodel crew to turn the whole building into a giant ritual chamber.
   10. Neo-Nazis are hunting a Federal witness hiding in the building, killing whoever they come across. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

A NUELOW Christmas: Day One

It's December 1. The goal is to do a Christmas-related post every day--some may even be game related--until December 25.  Will we pull it off? Check back every day to find out!

The text in today's post is released under the Open Game License and may be reproduced in accordance with it. Copyright 2017 by Steve Miller.

A powerful person (rich, well-connected, a sorcerer, sorcerer-related, or just with access to magic), or perhaps even Santa himself, has gifted the player character party with a tin of magical Christmas cookies. Each type of cookie has a different effect (described on a piece of parchment in the tin), and it lasts for 8 hours or until another cookie from the tin is eaten. Each type of cookie is separated from the others by a thin sheet of paper.

    Danish Vanilla Wreaths (8 in the tin): +4 bonus to Bluff and Diplomacy skill checks. Ability to understand all Scandinavian languages.
    Gingerbread Santas (8 in the tin): +4 bonus to Move Silently and Hide skill checks. Ability to fall from up to 10 ft. and suffer no damage.
    Russian Tea Cakes (8 in the tin): +4 bonus to Gather Information and Intimidate skill checks. Ability to understand Russian.
    Shortbread Cookie (8 in the tin): +1 to all saving throws.
    Sugar Cookie Jesus (8 in the tin): Heal 1d6+1 hit points with a touch, up to a number of times equal to Wisdom+Charisma bonuses.
    White Christmas Chocolate Chip (8 in the tin): -2 damage from all elemental sources.

Although the cookies are the main attraction, but tin itself is also mildly magical. It keeps any food items placed within it fresh and edible without a need for refrigeration. The food items will still spoil at their normal rate.

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