Thursday, April 26, 2018

Who Killed the....?

Welcome to a very special edition of our ongoing series of Random Murder Mystery Outline Generators! This time, we're breaking a bit with the format, and the first step is to roll a random murder victim!

1-2. The Antifa Goon.
3-4. The Lion of Islam.
5-6. The White Supremecist.

1. In the park.
2-3. In his home.
4-5. In his parents' basement.
6. Outside the Masonic Temple.

1. Choked on a ballgag.
2. Stabbed.
3. Poisoned.
4. Shot.
5. Improvised Explosive Device.
6. Impaled on a giant dildo.

1. Hatred.
2. Disgust.
3. Revenge
4. It was an accident.
5-6. Does anyone really need a reason with an asshole like this?

1. His Lover. (Roll 1d6 for sex. 1-2. Female, 3-6. Male.)
2. His Child Bride.
3. No one. The dumb bastard killed himself by accident.
4. His Mother, who could no longer live with the shame of what she'd brought into this world.
5. Chuck Norris.
6. The Jews. Because it's ALWAYS the Jews.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Who Killed the Airline Pilot?

He flew jets through the friendly skies, but on the ground someone was decidedly unfriendly toward him... because they killed him.

Welcome to another Random Murder Mystery for your RPG campaigns. This one can even be easily converted to a sci-fi setting--just make the airline pilot a spaceship pilot. Roll 1d12 against the tables below to generate the outline for a murder mystery for the player characters to solve!

1. In the plane's cockpit.
2. In the first class restroom.
3. In an overhead bin in coach.
4. In the plane's rear storage compartment.
5. On a luggage carousel.
6. In the 1st Class departure lounge.
7. In the airport parking garage.
8. In a suite at the Airport Hilton.
9. In the alley behind a strip club.
10. In the ally behind a gay bar and sushi restaurant.
11. Outside the home of his ex-wife. (Roll 1d12 to see which one. 1-3. Ex-Wife #1, 4-6, Ex-Wife #2, 7-8 Ex-Wife #3, 9-12 Ex-Wife #4.)
12. Roll Two More Times. His body was found at the first location indicated, but he was actually murdered at the second. If the same result is rolled twice, the location where the body was found and the place he was murdered are the same. Ignore additional results of 12.

1. Electrocuted.
2. Strangled.
3. Drug Overdose.
4. Frozen to Death.
5. Stabbed Once.
6. Stabbed 1d12+2 times.
7. Shot Once.
8. Shot 1d6+1 times.
9. Asphyxiated.
10. Poisoned.
11. Drowned. (Roll 1d12 to see what kind of water he drowned in. 1-4. Chlorinated pool water, 5-8. Soapy bath water, 9-12. Fresh water fish tank.)
12. Roll Two More Times. His death resulted from a combination of methods. If the same number is rolled twice, there was only one reason for his death. Ignore additional results of 12.

1. The Ex-Wife. (Roll 1d12 to see which one. 1-3. Ex-Wife #1, 4-6, Ex-Wife #2, 7-8 Ex-Wife #3, 9-12 Ex-Wife #4.)
2. The Co-Pilot.
3. The Flight Attendant.
4. The Air Marshall.
5. The Frequent Flier.
6. The Congressman's Wife.
7. The Aircraft Mechanic.
8. The Rabbi.
9. The Safety Inspector.
10. The Luggage Handler.
11. The Has-Been Pop Star (1-6. Male, 7-12 Female).
12. His Current Wife.

1. He spurned the murderer's romantic advances.
2. He discovered the killer's criminal past and was going to reveal it.
3. He discovered the killer was blackmailing one of the other suspects and started blackmailing both of them. (Roll 1d12 on "Who Killed Him" to see who was being blackmailed.)
4. He discovered the killer was being bribed and threatened to expose him or her (1-6); blackmailed him or her for a large portion of the money (7-12).
5. He discovered the killer's criminal past and was blackmailing him or her, and the killer finally had enough of his demands.
6. He discovered the killer was key to the effort to hid the existence of UFOs.
7. He discovered the killer was involved with an ongoing criminal enterprise. Roll 1d12 to determine what it is: 1-2. Smuggling Drugs, 3-4. Human Trafficking. 5-6. International Industrial Espionage. 7-8. Murder for Hire. 9-10. Kidnapping Ring. 11-12. Art Theft and/or Forgery.
9. Roll again on the "Who Killed Him" table. The pilot was having affairs with both people indicated. They found out and they teamed up to kill him and then to provide each other with alibis.
10. He broke off the affair with the killer, because he was also having an affair with one of the other suspects. (Roll 1d12 on "Who Killed Him" to determine who this other person was. If the result is the same as the killer, there was no other affair, just the pilot wanting to get away from an insane partner.)
11. Revenge for his well-compensated role in a cover-up of a mechanical issue that led to the crashes of several planes.
12. Roll two more times on "Why Was He Killed". Both reasons apply. Ignore additional results of 12. If you roll the same number twice, only one reason applies, but the killer was VERY strongly motivated by it.

And here's a theme song for this mystery: "Five Miles Out" by Mike Oldfield. Enjoy!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Remains of Atlantis: Teleportation Circles

This article became necessary because of a couple elements I felt obligated to include in Part Two of the Codex of Doom post series. Enjoy, as I continue to work on Part Two!

The Atlanteans were a civilization that fused magic and technology into a well-balanced whole. Science, engineering, and spellcraft were intellectual and practical disciplines that cross-polinated each other, and the Atlanteans spread their imperial colonies across the galaxy and even onto other planes of existence.
   While spaceships were used to move the vast amounts of people an equipment between worlds, magic teleportation circles were often used to move around on individual planets. Nobles, high-ranking military and government officials, and skilled sorcerers preferred this modie of travel because of its safety and swiftness.
   Up to 12 living beings and any items they are wearing or carrying may be transported via a teleportation circle at one time. Once all travelers are within the circle, the command word is spoken, and they are all teleported to their destination with a flash of magical energy.

There were two kinds of teleportation circles in wide use during the Golden Age of Atlantis, which included the centuries they maintained colonies on Earth: Permanant and Temporary Circles.
   Regardless of what kind of teleportation circle being used at the point of departure, Atlantean teleportation circles always took travelers to a preset destination. There, a permanent ritual circle designed to recieve arriving teleporters was carved into the floor of an otherwise barren room that typically only had one obvious exit. The destination circles, were often warded by secondary enchantments (25% chance), such as forcefields that required a password or passkey to deactivate. Back before the destruction of Atlantis's colonies on Earth, there would be guards present in these rooms who could vett those arriving and release any wards. Now, if someone were to end up in one of these warded circle, they may well die trapped within it before discovered.
   Permanent Circles: Permanent teleportation circles are carved into the floors of caves, at the center of stone circles, or in chambers deep within Atlantean pyramids or underground fortfications. They are usually ten feet in diameter and at the center of a space that is at least twice the size of the circle. While most are obvious to all but the most unobservant, some may blend into the patterns of tiled floors with elaborate patterns.
   Only specially trained magical artisans in ancient Atlantis knew how to make these circles, and they used highly specialized tools and components to create them. It usually took thirty hours (spread over three days) to create a permanent circle, with a main artisan and his or her apprentice working steadily.
   Permanent circles are works of art. While their designs contain certain basic symbols and patterns needed to focus and channel, as well as the command word to activate the magic, each circle is adorned with lines of poetry, artful patterns, symbols representing various magical traditions, and whatever else  the creator of the circle might find beautiful, moving, and worth preserving and sharing with others. No two permanent circles are alike.
   Indviduals with knowledge of Atlantean magic systems or culture may take a full round action to examine the circle and make a Spellcraft skill check (DC12) to determine the phrase that activates the circle--which is usually the circle's destination. ("Posideon's Citadel", "Imperial Guard Head Quarters", "Beachhead", "Gardens of Olympus", "Immortal's Rest" and so on.)
   Permanent circles are always created at locations where ley lines intersect. There is no chance of failure unless the destination circle has been damaged or is at least partially buried. In such instances, the teleport circle doesn't function.
   Temporary Circles: Temporary teleportation circles may be created by any character who has the ability to cast 5th-level spells and has at least 7 ranks in Spellcraft. The creator must also have a stick of red or green chalk and a stick of charchoal that have been enchanted by an Atlantean Master of Conjuration.
   The creator of a temporary circle must either have a diagram to work from, or have memorized the diagram at some point in the past. (A character working from memory must make a Spellcraft skill check of DC17 to successfully). It takes 10 minutes minus the character's Dexterity bonus to draw the circle correctly. Just before it is completed, all characters who are to be transported must be within the circle, as well as the creator. Once the circle is complete--with the outer circumference being the last part to be finalized. The teleportation circle is then consumed in a flash of magical energy, and all within it are transported to the destination determined by the circle's design, leaving no trace behind except a faint aura of conjuration magic.
   Designs for temporary circles are always bare-bones and feature none of the artistry of the permament circles; they are strictly utilitarian. They usually take travelers to the same locations as the permanent circles--with the destinations built into the design and automatically triggered once the circle is completed--but they may also be tailored to pre-arranged locations where a temporary arrival circle has been made. For this to work, an arrival circle must be created.
   Creating a temporary arrival for a teleportation circle requires either a diagram of a destination circle, two hours of time, and a successul Spellcraft skill check of DC20; or extensive knowledge of Atlantean magic systems with an emphasis on Conjuration, five hours of time, and a succssful Spellcraft skill check of DC25. Like the temporary teleportation circles, the arrival circles are also one-and-done ritual circles--they are consumed by the magic that brings travelers to them.
   Circles going to temporary destinations have the same chance of going awry as regular teleport spells. A check is made seperately for each person being teleported, and they are based off how familiar the creator of the teleportation circle is with the location of the temporary destination circle.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Who Killed the Pothead?

Everywhere he went, the unmistakable smell of ganja wafted through the air. Everyone he met was greeted with a friendly (if extremely mellow), "Hey, dude!". No one could imagine life-long pothead Laurel Yannay having an enemy in the world... and yet, someone has murdered him!

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!)

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. In  his pot-plot, in his parents' backyard shed.
9. In his mom's basement.
10. On the steps of city hall.
11. In the alley by the mosque.
12. 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 1d12)
1. Crushed to death.
2. Strangled.
3. Poisoned.
4. Suffocated with hundreds of jelly beans.
5. Stabbed 1d12.
6. Shot 1d6 times.
7. Beaten to death.
8. Skull crushed with a blunt object.
9. Broken neck.
10. Electrocuted.
11. Thoat slit.
12. 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 1d12)
1. His dealer.
2. His mother.
3. His lover. (Roll 1d8. 1-6 female, 7-12 male.)
4. His ex-lover. (Roll 1d12. 1-6. female, 7-12 male.)
5. The stripper. (Roll 1d12. 1-6 female, 7-12 male.)
6. The professional assassin.
7. The anti-legalization activist.
8. The pro-legalization activist.
9. The congress woman.
10.The congress woman's husband.
11. The DEA agent.
12. 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 SECRET table to determine the motivation as to why they worked together to kill the pothead. Ignore and reroll additional results of 8.

WHY WAS HE KILLED? (Roll 1d12)
1. Hatred.
2. Jealousy.
3. Greed.
4. Revenge
5. Dispute over who had eaten all the Doritos chips.
6. Crazed fanaticism. (Roll 1d12. 1-6 pro-pot legalization, 7-12 anti-pot legalization.)
7. Because his parents were sick of him living in their basement and growing pot in their tool shed.
8. As a sacrifice to a demon-possessed bong.
9. It was a mistake. The killer thought he was someone else. That person will be murdered in 1d4 days if the heroes don't solve the case. (Roll on the WHO KILLED HIM table to determine who the next victim will be. Ignore and re-roll if you roll the killer again.)
10. One of the player characters is the true victim. Killing the pothead was just a way for the killer to draw that person to a killing ground of his or her choosing.
11. The killer is a maniac who believes the pothead was possessed by an evil spirit. He now believes the spirit is in one of the other people on the WHO KILLED HIM table. He will kill another victim every three days until the party stops him. Roll on the "Who Killed Him" table after each death to determine the new victim. If a victim, or the killer, ever repeats, the next target is one of the player characters.
12. To stop him from revealing the dark secret. (Roll on the WHAT IS THE DARK SECRET table?)

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 is a Russian spy.
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 symbiote.
9. He had discovered a mixture of pot and 'shrooms that provided a non-addictive super high, and the killer wanted the rcipie to profit on by himself.
10. As 9, except the mixture of pot and 'shrooms is one that's been known to the Society of the Green Hand for thousands of years, and it allows for spirit travel to their secret meeting place. He had to silenced.
11. He was a police informant and the murderer thought he had dirt on him. (1-6 he did, 7-12 he did not.)
12. Roll two more times on this table. Both secrets apply. If you roll the same secret twice, roll again on the WHO KILLED HIM table. The indicated character also knew the secret and will be murdered in two days if the killer isn't unmasked. 

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 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.

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 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)
Roll 1d12 against the tables below to randomly generate a murder mystery adventure outline for your campaign.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.)

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!

To randomly generate the outline of a mystery adventure, roll 1d12 against the each of the following tables.

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.

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.

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.

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!

Roll 1d8 against each of the following tables to randomly generate the bones of a muder mystery!

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.

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..

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.

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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