Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Temple of Thul-Gaal

So, last week I had a dream. No, seriously, it was a real dream of GMing an RPG. The rules were a bit fast and light, and there weren't any dice rolls... more of an interactive cinematic sort of thing. But that's beside the point. I have, in the course of the last week or so, come up with the beginnings of a one-shot. Or some-shot. A short campaign.

When I first started writing it all down, I was pretty excited - this would fit into the current campaign, and be a lot of fun. For me. Because I would kill everyone. I realized that maybe, just maybe... that wouldn't be fun for everyone else. So, I took a step back, and decided that I would tweak a few things so it would become a one-shot, where people wouldn't care if their characters get absolutely slaughtered.

Now, I still have some tweaks left, and a few puzzles to work through, which is perfect, because you guys have some work to do, too. You need to make up some characters.

Your character must follow these guidelines:

  • Roll up character stats
    • Roll 3d6, five times, to make a column of stats; repeat to make 5 total columns
    • Choose a column; you may use the chosen stat column in any order
    • You may trade 2 points from a non-primary stat to add 1 to a primary stat
  • Choose a character - any character class from the original list
  • Your character starts with:
    • 620,000 XP
    • 815,000 gp
  • You may trade gold for:
    • Normal equipment, mounts, etc.
    • Any magical item, at its base price
    • A chance for random magical items
      • Trade 1,000gp for a 15% chance of two magic items of a random type.
      • Trade 3,000gp for a 25% chance for a weapon or armor, a 25% chance for a potion, and a 10% chance for a miscellaneous magic item.
      • Trade 10,000gp for a 50% chance for four randomly determined magic items, one random potion, and one random scroll.
      • Trade 30,000gp for 1d4 random potions, 1d4 random scrolls, and a 50% chance for six randomly determined magic items.
      • Trade 100,000gp for 2d4 random potions, 2d4 random scrolls, and a 75% chance for each of the following: 1d3 swords, 1d3 armor, 1d3 miscellaneous weapons, 1d3 wands/staffs/rods, 1d3 rings, and 1d3 miscellaneous magic items.
      • Note: You may trade a (random) scroll or potion for two (random) recipes.
      • If you have the core rulebook, you can roll up your own magical items; however, I have a spreadsheet that does it instantly, so if you want to trade for magic items, let me know and I can do it automatically. If you want to trade scrolls/potions for recipes, tell me before hand, so I can roll recipes instead.
    • As many henchmen as you'd like
      • Roll up each henchman as a character
      • Trade 1 gp for 1 XP (a henchman with 100,000 XP costs 100,000 gp)
      • While henchmen can have henchmen, you cannot exceed the number of henchman your character is allowed in total (4, plus Charisma bonus, plus any proficiency bonus)
    • Creating magical items, new spells, ritual spells, constructs, etc.
      • To create a magical item (etc.), you must:
        • Purchase a library
        • Spend the money for the item/scroll/potion
        • Make any rolls required for research, etc.
        • Note: failed rolls still use money!
  • Mages and other studious casters begin with 50% of their spell list generated randomly, and the rest chosen.
    • Researched spells (see above) count as a chosen spell
    • If you want to replace a randomly chosen spell, it costs 1,000 gp per spell level to replace; you may choose any spell you have as a scroll or recipe.
    • If you do not have the spell as a scroll, it costs an additional 500 gp per spell level to buy the spell. Only spells in the spell list may be purchased; spells not on the spell list must be researched (see above).
  • Wishes will be neutered for this one-shot. They are allowed to be cast as any spell, or the reverse of any spell, instantly; they also allow a character to be resurrected, returned from another dimension, or cured of an affliction (insanity, possessed hand, etc.), but they cannot be used as an open-ended "true wish".

Whew! What a list! If you have any questions, let me know. I'll wait to run the one-shot until everyone has a character rolled up, spells and all. Also, if you want to roll up any number of backup characters, that would be awesome. I'll have some upper-level characters created, probably, so nobody is left out, but if you want to make your own backups, go for it.

Long ago, in a land far away, an ancient temple was built in the wastelands...

The temple belonged to an ancient race, the Thrassians, cruel, dark creatures, with scaly skin and terrible claws, with great leathery wings and horrible sharp teeth. These Thrassians ruled the land with iron fists, but like all terrible rulers, they were vanquished, and their ways were lost to history.

These days, the Thrassians of old are but legends; stories told by old soldiers to frighten the new recruits, and told by parents to get their children to bed or to eat their vegetables.

Nonetheless, the stories (at least most of them) are true. And, deep in the Desert of the Dead, our heroes gather to face the greatest threat these ancient monsters ever built: the Temple of Thul-Gaal. Undead - and worse - prowl its dark hallways, and magical traps pervert the very earth on which the temple stands. The tower is hidden behind a ridge of mountains; inside is an ancient volcanic desert, devoid of life. During the day, wind blows through the desert and shifts the sands, obscuring the path to the temple, but never burying the temple itself; that site juts out of the landscape like the hellish claw of an enormous demon...

Few have returned from the voyage; the dizzying heat, the blinding dust, and the unforgiving rocks have claimed countless lives. Only those who turn back from the temple's gates have survived, and even those have faced staggering casualties. No one who has entered the temple has returned to tell the tale.

Even so... stories persist of a treasure in the temple, unimaginable wealth. For ages, adventurers lost their lives in pursuit of that treasure; soldiers, mages, clerics, and thieves left and never returned. And yet, they must; as the adventurers stop coming, the undead grow restless. Like a cat sharpening its claws, if there are no adventurers to lay them to rest, the undead creep forth, raiding villages and destroying lives and livelihoods. It has come to the point that those nearest the temple feel they must step in and destroy the temple, or die in the attempt...