- Running Magic item list
Fate's / Desire's Compass - With strong emption, or after spending time attuning to it, and thinking about your desire, or a critical moment of fate, you gain information (distance and direction) to the next point of fate you need to travel to, or where the object of your desire is
Bronze knife, cast and sculpted to look like a flint knapped blade - +1 to hit and damage (is currently at a -1 to hit due to missing the scales for the handle, a master blade smith can add appropriate scales/handle & the -1 will be removed) . Can hit incorporeal targets and do full damage.
If used on corporeal targets, and anything harder than bone is struck, there is a chance the blade is chipped/cracked (if a 1 on attack is rolled, or if the target has metal armor that stops the attack from hitting, there is a chance the blade will be damaged)
Ja -ahava ' tablet - allows any holding it to cast the light cantrip as if they were a mystic. If a mystic with spell casting abilities, all light based spells cast as 1 / 2 MEP - gives the reverse of "darkness" spell to the caster even if it is not on the casters spell list.
Broken clay tablet - has lost its magic, but will give ideas on a couple of spells or combining some spells - mix of Hallow, Lock, & permanency
Running main NPC / enemy list
Captain Ernst Siskovis - Saxon/German military caption/liaison with the German secret police - recent novice hunter
Ms Adelaid Masek - young (16 year old) sister of the slain raider Jarslav Hugo Masek - herself a mentalist and archeologist
Ms Yvetta - fiancée of Mr Masek before his murder - Medical Dr
Dr James Lallard - ??? - experienced lead hunter
Mr Greer Lynn MacAulay - ??? - Lallard's agent
Main Enemies & Opponents
Master James Dodd - English servant of the Red Hand - spell caster and cultist
??? - English - Dodd's associate and thief assassin
??? - Lowlander - Cultist and spell caster - alias Jon de'Vin
It has been decided that the one off will be more than a 1 off, and that we will do a siege version of the old 2d Masque of the Red Death setting
Foundation rules will be Amazing Adventures modified back in time to the 1880/90s and set at a more grim level than the standard by the book.
Right now we have 2 guaranteed players, one that will play as family and real life allows, and 1 that is leaning toward playing, but hasn’t signed in blood that he will (I’ll keep tempting till he does though), and one that will show as an honored guest player whenever works school and his con schedule allows.
That said, if anyone that has not been in the long running Monday night ne’er do Wells and has room on their dance card for Monday nights and wants to play , by all means we have plenty of room!
House rules for character creation
Attributes - roll 4 d, reroll any 1s keep the highest 3. If you have 2 or more attributes at less than 9 re roll then (with only attribute being less than 9). If you still end up with 2 or more at less than 9, increase them to 9 - again with only 1 being less than 9.
Add comeliness/physical beauty . There is no save tied to it, but at times it can replace or modify CHA checks
use method 3 for attribute modifiers from the CKG :
Perception checks – a wisdom check, depending on the situation and what is being observed, different classes will add their level. For example A soldier, gun slinger, gumshoe and raider would add their level to notice that movement in the window before the sniper fires while other classes would just have the roll plus the wis modifier v the prime/non-prime CL. A hooligan, gumshoe and rider would add their lever to notice the thug skulking in the shadow of the alley way tailing the group, where others wouldn’t etc etc etc.
start out at max HP,
When gaining a level, roll for HP normally
If your HD is d4 or d6 and you roll a 1 reroll / if d8 reroll if you got 1 or 2 / if d10 or 12 reroll if you got 1 - 3
I am much more lenient on multi classing than BTB. You can have 2 (I guess 3 if you had a good narrative or it fits the story as the game progresses) classes and advance them at different rate. You can split the exp equally between the classes or if you have a primary class focus most exp on it and then advance the other class at a slower rate by setting fewer exp into the secondary class.
However, when making ability checks you can only use the level of the class associated with the ability. I will have to look at how to make saves fair for multiple classes characters
Also, exp can be set aside to buy off shortcomings, or to buy some limited advantages -will have to fit the character's actions in the game and keep the feel of Grim Gothic setting
AA classes allowed:
Gumshoe – For the setting a Pinkerton but the same thing
Gumshoe – modified as per the companion to be a reporter, and to be a consulting detective, plus there are ideas being kicked around for a ‘witch hunter’ version of the gumshoe
Demon hunter – the class from a special separate PDF not included in the main books
I am on the fence for Acrobat and Duelist
Classes barred – Gadgeteer (maybe down the road there will be an alchemist NPC) & Archer.
Socialite - house rule the Socialite ability of Charm is not as powerful as the spell. The ability will allow the character to sway people toward their desire, help convince people to follow them, even pull those hostile toward them to at least neutrality toward them. But they do not have the ability to semi magically beguile others
Depending on the character background etc, I may give an additional Generic Class ability – so do a good in-depth interesting character background – after character creation, but for the most part, unless it is critical for the character concept, I won’t be starting out swapping class abilities for the Generic Class ability
Some basic skills will be assumed depending on the character background / history. For example any rural or rustic character will know how to saddle and ride a horse, / harness a wagon and drive it (now being good enough at that to ride through the woods at break neck speed chasing an evil cultist that transformed into a wolf and is fleeing into the night, you may need the animal handling or ‘ace’ ability to not be overly relying on luck).
With it being a Grim Gothic setting, some of the Generic class abilities will be barred , at least at the start. For specifics I’ll cover it 1 on 1
Knowledge skills will be used, though modified from 1920s back to 1880s
Anyone starting with a forbidden lore knowledge will also start with a low level insanity – nothing earth shattering, but something to reflect that you have peered into the darkness and seen that there is more there than just things that go bump in the night. Something like shallow end signs and symptoms of PTSD or something like that.
Not all magic is considered ‘forbidden lore’, so anyone starting with an Arcanist does not necessarily start with forbidden lore and an associated insanity. Also though there are definitely dark evil insane occultists driven across the line of sanity by their magic pursuits, not ALL magic will eat away at ones sanity and psyche. So, not all magic practitioners are insane occultists.
There will be holy/religious based mystics/practitioners (unlike the ole 2e Red Death that had any priest/preacher etc classed as a type of rogue). There will be Catholic and Protestant holy men that can and do preform exorcisms and push the dark forces out of their presence, faith healers and can miraculously restore the gravely wounded, caring ‘Mother Teresa’ that can comfort the suffering, and more. Not every preacher will have access to mystical/arcanist powers, but some will. However, other ‘holly men’ will be con artists or corrupted and be evil serving Red Death – some knowingly and some deluded into it.
With it being a Grim Gothic setting, Some of the more flashy magic powers will be barred – companion p.60 as a base line. That list of barred powers may grow and change as the game progresses.
However, as I read the ole 2e Red Death & Raven loft books, I saw multiple spells that I don’t see (at a quick cursory glance) in C&C AA. Anyone playing a spell caster that wants to convert them, by all means do so. (Some of the spells may be converted already & I just missed them, or are under another name)
I will be using Fear horror insanity and corruption check – more modified from 2e than AA – the base is wisdom check/saves for almost all of them (That wisdom prime is going to be oh so vital !) . However, the insanities and corruption will not be a sever as the Red Death/Ravenloft btb, and corruption will not cause the physical mutations in the character going down the dark path to control by The Red Death
Equipment etc – retrograde everything back to 1880
Armor … good luck, with it being Grim Gothic, the AA ‘Pulp’ armor is not allowed. With that, your dex modifier is going to be critical!
*** I'll use the BTD from powers book p 7
However, I will switch the gumshoe and the gadgeteer base bonus - there is no way a tough as nails PI should have lower AC than a techno geek.
Each class will start with their base BTD plus dex bonus, then AC will increase by +1 every 3 levels.
For the BTD, if you don't have the powers book, I'll let you kno the BTD after you make the character.
All that said, AC will still be lower than the normal hero C&C game, so the spells, talismans, charms and the like that will bump your AC at least for periods of time, or against specific types of monsters will still be something you will need
That said, it is Grim Gothic, so combat will be more dangerous than the standard C&C group of heroes wading into a troll’s layer and laying waste without fear of taking much damage.
The setting is Gothic Earth – 1880, with all main earth historic events happening as they did in our history (though there may be a darker sinister hand behind some of the events). The main game will be focused on the US, but there will be times that the characters are in other locations across the world.
With that, your character histories should cover from 1880 back to (however old you are). You don’t have to start with an American background, but if you don’t you may have limited contacts friend etc to reach out to once the game is focused in the US until you establish a good network of friends associates etc.
There are cabals and secret societies as per the 2e Red Death setting, I may ad modify or swap them as we play, but they will be out there for good and ill. With that, if you want to start with a contact in the secre society, it is possible, but use it with a soft hand (you are 1st level, and they are long hidden secret groups that survive because not every Tom Dick & Harry knows about them or has a contact into one). On the other hand, some classes are going to inherently be in at least close proximity to some of them even at 1st level simply because of the class itself. No Demon Hunter will exist outside of the sphere of influence of Van Helsing and his ilk.
A good background will be helpful – you are people stepping into the Grim Gothic Dark contesting against all those things that do more than go bump in the night, and just an average Joe tends to avoid that kind of life, so you need something to show why you are trudging, or being drawn down that dark dangerous path . With that, a background with some god idea seeds and ties for me to use will be beneficial to you in the long run (and maybe right out of the gate). Especially if you pull info from real historic 1880s events people etc (historic and literal, Mister Doyle’s great detective DOES exist in the Grim Gothic along with other literary /gothic persons)
If you have any questions concerns or want to kick around some ideas for your character, IM me.
If you need the AA books let me know & I’ll let you use my PDFs- I can’t email my Red Death book, it is to big and I can’ zip it down small enough to send.
It will be a discord based game, with theater of the mind. No maptools or roll 20 - so break out the old real life dice !
Oh yeah, nat 20 nat 1, I like the AA exploding nat 20 adding extra damage in combat, but that may not fit in non combat, so out of combat, the nat 20 may have results that end up helping you later. Similarly a nat 1 may set into motion things that effect you later.
To be fair I should let you know what I'm using for inspiration
It goes without saying Poe, and all the classic Gothic works - Dracula, Frankenstein, et al, and the short stories that are tied to them including the Penny Dreadful short stories - Varney the Vampyre, Sweeny Todd
Plus Doyle's works and the likes - books and movies especially the old black and white movies
Penny Dreadful - well the first 2 seasons, I'm not a huge fan of season 3
Frankenstein Chronicles - well season 1 I haven't watched season 2 yet
Ripper Street - I've only watched 2 episodes, but I've liked them so far
Now how do you all fit in ... starting out, bumping into the dark things, but then you will start trying to intervene (evil exists when the good fail or refuse to act), and digging out the webs that link the dreadfuls together (while some are random and not linked, but which ones are which)
Rule #1 trumps all
Also, remember this is a Grim Gothic setting so don't focus on the uber powerful fantasy character. Look at it as if you are characters in a Poe influenced story, so as we play & see that some rules (or that my DMing) leans more away from POE and toward classic fantasy, we may have to correct things back on track as we go.
& yes as I worked on the adventure for the 1st night I caught myself leaning to the fantasy hero and forgetting the Grim ... so I will have difficulty with it myself
Fear, horror, madness, corruption house rules - modified from AD&D 2e Ravenloft/Masque of the Red Death
Masque of Red death fear horror power corruption checks Modified from AD&D 2e Ravenloft Campaign rules p 1 - 50
When faced with a new overwhelming challenge that will more than likely lead to grievous injury or death to a character or his friends and family
Make a basic wisdom save – to be modified by specific situations in the encounter (has a helpful spell/item, friend or family member already engaged with the threat, faced a similar threat, have knowledge –in theory – on how to defeat or survive the threat give positive modifiers / seeing the danger and destruction caused by the threat, seeing the threat grievously wound maim or kill – especially a friend or family member – having been defeated by a similar threat, or a threat that is a cause of ones phobia etc give negative modifiers
If failed, the character hesitates (is moved to last in the initiative order) and until the character makes a successful wisdom save, all rolls are at a -2 and the character’s AC is reduced by 2.
If the wisdom save is a critical failure then the character freezes (can take no action) for 1 round. At the next round the character flees until he is out of sight/danger. If the character is unable to flee or is cornered, then the character is at -4 to all rolls and their AC is at -4. Must make a wisdom save (including the -4 modifier) to return to combat, but even then the character is at -2 to all rolls and at -2 to AC
Similar to fear, but the cause of the check must be either a supernatural threat, or the results of the threat are revolting in the extreme and show the abysmal corruption of dark reality, and the inhuman brutality of events – horror checks are not always associated with the extra natural, at time they can be triggered by exceptional but natural events – natural disaster destroys an area, soldiers facing the exceptional destruction of war, individuals confronted with mass death and destruction…
Seeing the bloody murder victim of a single murder would not result in a horror check, but finding the lair of the murders with trophies of his multiple kills arranged around an evil symbol scrawled in blood may. Seeing a shadow cloaked demon suckling off the blood, or possessing and animating the once dead corps of the murder victim would require one
A failed horror check has the same results as a failed fear check at the time of the check, but will also have some lingering effects – various minor mechanical game effects but will effect role playing more significantly
Additionally the character records the failed horror check and tracks it. Once they have more failed horror checks than their wisdom modifier, they have developed a mental insanity – aversion revulsion obsession to the main cause of the failed horror checks, rage toward the cause of the horror failures, etc.
These insanities will be minor, but they can linger or periodically return unless the character receives long term medical / magical healing. Even with significant restorative healing, the fingerprint of the dark insanity will remain and at times may be usable against the character by the dark abysmal servants of the dark.
Are caused by either having cumulative failed fear & horror checks, or by magically bonding with or peering into the minds of a corrupt/insane/abysmal entity – whether supernatural or a totally corrupt person. Also, a critical failure on a player seeking guidance from divinity or more shadowy entities, or being possessed by a spirit etc
Madness checks are again a wisdom save with the CL being the level of the entity triggering the madness
A failed madness check results in some form and level of insanity. The results will be discussed individually between the DM and the player. These insanities will be more significant than those associated with repeated failed horror checks.
Insanities caused by failed madness roll(s) may over time be healed. However, even after the insanity is healed, the character will at times have echoes of the insanity
When an individual commits an act of evil, selfishness, or corruption
A character that willfully lies, even to make an illicit gain, may not have reached the level requiring a corruption check. However, a character that purposely lies in a way that endangers a rival in order to make the same illicit gain may reach the point to require a corruption check. Similarly, a thief that, while in a robbery/ kills his target may or may not be required to make a corruption check – depending on the circumstances. However, a person that sets into motion events that result in the death of a rival for the affections of their love would require a corruption check.
Most magic are not inherently corrupting, but there are some evil abysmal spells that when cast cause a corruption check. Curses, blood magic, and other evil spells are inherently corrupting to the caster. Additionally, spells that are not inherently corruptive, when used to cause excessive suffering or harms will also cause the caster to have a corruption check.
Even evil actions taken for “the greater good’ cause a corruption check. Even if the act, in balance, results in a good – torturing a serial killer to force him to reveal the location of where his last victim is hidden and suffering a slow painful death will still result in the torturer needing to make a corruption check. However, if the torture was kept a minimal as possible and was not done in excess or for pleasure, the accumulated corruption will be minimal in comparison to the corruption check associated with a person torturing innocent captives for pleasure or to simply cause terror to others.
For the corruption check, a % die is rolled with an initial 5 – 10% base chance of corruption depending on the event causing the corruption check on the first check. Every instance after the initial check the % for corruption increases by 1 to 10% (for some of the most abhorrent magics and curses the can be far greater than 10) depending on the action triggering the corruption check, and this continues to accumulate as the character continues to perform dark deeds and evil actions
As long as the corruption check roll is greater than the %, the character – at this time – has avoided to negative corruption consequences of the actions (though the heinous acts are building and making it more likely that the character will succumb to the evil influence in the future. However, If the roll is ever below the corruption % the character gains a level of corruption.
A level of corruption will have various negative consequences – which will be discussed between the DM and Character. However, the corruption will have a negative impact on the character and will in some way reflect the evil act(s) that caused the character to gain the corruption.
When a character gains a level of corruption, the total accumulated of corruption is reduced back to 0%, until the character preforms another act of excessive evil.
A character can have a max of levels of corruption up to 1 + the character’s Cha modifier (if the CHA modifier is low or negative, then the character is allowed up to 2 levels of corruption) . After the maximum numbers of corruption are accumulated, the character is considered utterly corrupted and given to evil. At this point the character becomes an NPC under the control of the DM, and will be an arch nemesis to the other characters.
Before a character exceeds the maximum number of levels of corruption, they may attempt redemption. It is a long difficult arduous task of self-denial, good works and making an honest amends for their evil actions. However, if they are able to complete redemptive acts, the character can remove a level of corruption &/or accumulated % they have gained…
These redemptive acts will require time, effort, contrition and sacrifice to be effective Additionally, they will in some way reflect the evil act(s) and make amends for those actions