Thursday, July 23, 2020

C&S in CSIO - Voyage to Modron Part II: Perils Abound!

     This post details the rest of the Random Encounters the party had during the voyage from the City State to Modron, each encounter is prefaced by the hex on Campaign Map 01 where it occurred.

Hex 3522
     An hour or so later, as the Blesinde navigated through the winding channels, whirlpools and eddies between the Confluence Islands, where the Roglaroon bends north and the Hagrost  enters from the east.     

    At a cry from one of the crew, the party looked over the starboard side and saw a large dragon like creature swooping down on Captain Chiramnesind1 as he steered the caravel through the turns between the hazards at the speed of  trotting horse.  Not having work to do maneuvering the ship, Ysolt and Mordacis loosed arrow and stone as the salt-rimed, horse head monster2, reeking like dunghill, grasped futilely at the ducking helmsman.  Adenin gave a surprisingly bass roar and began hurling imprecations at it.3  The boatswain and four of the crew ran back to the ballista at the stern. 
     With a shriek like grinding glass, the beast performed an Immelmann and sped back towards the ship, higher and forward of the first pass.  Ysolt's arrows passed by the beast.  

     The ballista thrummed and the projectile slammed into the horse like head, followed by two stones from Mordacis' sling striking the beast fairly.  The monster plunged into the estuary a hundred yards to starboard.
     The oily slick where it landed was peppered by rocks and arrows and another ballista bolt to no effect before the creature flapped soddenly off in the direction it had first attacked from, pursued by a final futile arrow and sling stone.4

  Hexes 3521 and 3522
     Running free of the channel, they encountered Maelstrom again, who came close along side and spoke to the captain privately for over an hour before she turned and dove behind the ship as it slowly sailed against the flood tide.
Hex 3520

     The lookout shouted a warning and pointed over the port bow at two canoes angling towards the ship from the Dearthwood shore.   The orcs in the canoes were taking advantage of the flood tide to close with the caravel struggling against it.  With the ballista blocked by the ship itself, they quickly ranged one on each side of the ship and boarders began to climb.  It was all over in a flash, with half the orcs and a third of the crew dead on the deck or floating in the estuary.  The big orc with the red stripe tattooed diagonally across his face pulled the surviving pirates and the canoes back towards the Dearthwood shore.ore Adenin and Mordacis did what they could to heal the casualties as the caravel continued past the mouth of a river flowing out of the Dearthwood. 7

Hex 3517

    "Chiramnesind, Chiramnesind, I will be merciful", the orca declaimed from the water.  The whale was covered in tattoos of eldritch figures in a bilious yellow on it's black forehead,  "When the Dreamer Below wakens, apostates will suffer torment deeper than the Kraken dives!  I would spare my old companion the suffering!"
The captain removed a small stone from a pouch and chanted "Effer citatum turpi creatura, quas eiecite te quos eieci!"
     "That incantation only works on Those from Without,"  replied the cetacean , "not such as I.  The shantak will not be the last hunter.  And now you have revealed your defense, so the others will not be affected!  Your torment shall be great, as will that of your crew."  The last word was burbled as the whale subsided back below the Roglaroon.8
  Chiramnesind turned to the crew and shouted "Let's get to port, you swabs, first round is on me!  That blubber eater is a bigger threat to the sea birds than to us in the goddess' harbor!"  Which raised a cheer from the crew at the immanent prospect of beer vs a more distant prospect of grisly death.
    Adenin approached the captain and questioned him about the curious sigil on the stone.  He was rebuffed "If you know it not, priest, it's best you avoid it and return to your temple.  There are things older than the gods that will eat your soul for dinner."  Adenin returned to the group and sketched out teh curious sign when related the captain's warning.

Hex 3615
As Blesinde made the harbor at Modron, the fin of a great shark circled the ship.  Adenin approached the captain and asked permission to try shooting it with the ballista, explaining he had been raised in Baron Jaquob's household and had been trained on the machine's operation.  "Fine, one shot, the bolts are expensive." was Chiramnesind's grudging permission.    The bolt flew far wide of the fin before it splashed in the water.  The shark followed close along until the mooring lines were passed over at the dock.  Then with a flick of it's tail it swam swiftly to the mouth of the harbor and out of sight.9

Previous Posts in the Series

Monday, July 6, 2020

Chivalry & Sorcery 1e - Shantak

After Call of
Cthulhu illustration
The Shantak is a monster from Call of Cthulhu, based, of course, on the works of H. P. Lovecraft and needs to be converted. 
They were not any birds or bats known elsewhere on earth...for they were larger than elephants and had heads like a horse's. .... The Shantak-bird has scales instead of feathers and those scales are very slippery. The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath
      Here at least I have a an animal in C&S to start the conversion process with, since the Shantak is bigger than an elephant, I'll start with a Woolly Mammoth. The characteristics come from the Saurians book, which includes Ice Age fauna as well as dinosaurs.

Height/ LengthBodyWT.MoveArmor%Hit%DodgeExp
9'/12.5'15010,00060/ 1804+20% 5*WDF MLH(4)
+10% 5*WDF  MLK(2)

     Height and Length - the description says bigger than an elephant, but it flies, rtaher than trimping around on the ground.  The drawing from Call of Cthulhu 1e shows a wyvern-ish shape with a long neck.  I'll leave it at 9' tall, but stretch the body to 18' and assume it has about a 40' wingspan.
     Body  CoC includes stats for elephants as well as Shantaks.  It gives an elephant 31 HP and the Shantak 32 HP, so I'll leave Body at 150.
     Weight - I'm going to thin it down since it's a flier.  Mature Dragons in C&S weigh 250lbs for every foot of length, so 4,500
     Move-  C&S give a mature dragon a movement in the open of 225 yards/2.5 minutes walking (same as a man).  CoC gives a man a movement rate of 8 yards/combat rounds"of a few seconds".  If I assume 11 combat rounds per minute in CoC [It was probably 10, but trying to make the numbers work.] I get 220 yards /2.5 minutes.    So as a Shantak moves at 6 on the ground and  30 flying in CoC, multiplying it out for C&S it has a ground movement of 165 and a flying movement of 825 yards/ 2.5 minutes.  Making it the slowest flyer in the sky.  For combat turns, divide by 3.75 to get feet per turn, triple that for maximum movement speed of 132.  Same calculations for flying speeds.
     Armor - CoC reduces damage by the armor value, C&S changes the chance to hit.  So conversion by analogy here.  An elephant in Call of Cthulhu is is unarmored, a Shantak has an AC of 9, making it bullet proof more often than not.  I'm going to keep it's AC at 9, including the damage reductions from Plate and Chain armor.
     Hit  - the Mammoth has Large Horns (tusks) and Large Hooves (kicks).  Despite being depicted with large bird like talons, the only attack CoC lists for the Shantak is a bite.  I'm going to increase the size to compensate for fewer attacks, and give the the ability to 'toss' a victim.  In CoC an elephant has an average strength of 50, while a Shantak is 34, so I'll decrease the hit bonus by 5% and Weapon Damage Factor by 1.
    Dodge - 45% slower than the next slowest flier, these are large clumsy fliers.  No dodge.
    Experience -  Shantaks are malevolent, evil intelligent beings from the outer planes.  They will fight to cause terror and flee if their robust physical defenses let them down.  So I'll set it equal to a fire breathing wyvern - 3000 xp.
Height/ LengthBodyWT.MoveArmor%Hit%DodgeExp
9'/18'/40' wingspan1504,50044/ 132
220/ 660 Fly
9+15% 4*WDF MGB(2)03000

MGB - Monster Giant Bite
MGB 9Giant Fangs/Teeth25**

** A hit by one of these natural weapons permits an attacker to bash or toss a victim 5-30 feet.  There is a 60% chance that a victim in AC 0-2 will be stunned and a 25% that others will be stunned.  Increase chance of stunning by 5% for each 5' short of possible distance thrown if the victim is bashed into a wall.

From Chivalry & Sorcery Combat Tables page 52

Sunday, July 5, 2020

C&S in CSIO - Voyage to Modron Part I

Trying my hand with Google 
Canvas and a stylus
   Mordacis and Ysolt take a load of exotic woods down to the docks to deliver to Captain Chiramnesind of the caravel Blesinde.  Athelbrus, his master, has arranged passage for  them to take the wood to Modron, then cross the estuary and trade with the elves of Elfburn for lotus flowers.  Mordacis' friend Wulfgar skulks along with them and arranges for his own passage out of town.  He manages to negotiate a standard 5 sp fare from the 7 sp originally requested 1.  Chiramnesind oversees loading the wood into a boat and tells them to meet him at the Sea Nymph  Inn on Water Rat Road at sunset to be rowed out to the ship, the ebb starts sunrise and they'll be underway before then.
     At the Sea Nymph, they are joined by Adenin, bound for a month long stint in a hermit cell outside of Limerick, near Elfburn.  Ysolt recognizes him as a fosterling of Baron Jaquob, her father's lord, and makes the introductions.   Despite his abysmal dexterity, Adenin manages to board the ship without falling in.
     The next morning the conditions are near perfect with a strong breeze from the southeast pushing them along with the tide at an average of almost knots.
     Weighing anchor is unexpectedly difficult as a giant amoeba2 has hitched a ride and is drawn up with it.  As the anchor reaches the cathead, one of the crew3 attempts to knock it off with a boat hook.  The amoeba crawls along the cathead to the ship with the sailor bashing it with a boat hook (Improvised Weapon, Non-fighter.  A boat hook is a short pole with a combination blunt tip and hook.  It is used tby the wielder to fend off (push) and pull objects in the water.). When it reached the side, Ysolt and Adenin joined in with their spears.  After several rounds, Wulfgar stepped in and poached the kill by bashing it with his Heavy Club.4
    As the sun rose, they saw giant beaver attempting to build a dam across the river, later Wulfgar observed an immense fish (giant gar, but he only knows fish by taste) swimming just below the surface.
     Four and a half hours after departure, the ship already far down the Dearthwood Reach, a great sea dragon (Maelstrom, the guardian of the estuary) broke out of the water and roared, "Beware, beware!  I scent evil on the tide!"  Then dove and swam swiftly ahead of the ship.  Captain Chiramnesind ordered pikes and cutlasses to be brought up and placed in racks around the railing.  Ysolt and Adenin put on their armor, Wulfgar rummaged in his bag and brought out a slightly dented Watch helmet, saying "Good thing I picked this up after that last dust up."

Leaving it here, as I have another monster to convert.  The amoeba, beaver, gar and sea dragon were all random encounters; which I do not assume are automatically combat.  The beaver and gar were simply seen and not interacted with.  Maelstrom came up ALOT randomly, she'll feature prominently in Part II.  I'm using ACKS random encounter frequency, which is check once per hex entered and a 50% chance on water.  Since they are making a sustained 8.4 knots (topping out at 14.5 knots) I made a lot of checks for a 12.5 hour voyage.

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Friday, July 3, 2020

Chivalry & Sorcery 1e - Giant Amoeba

The Giant Amoeba is a Warhammer FRP monster and needs to be converted.  I consulted the C&S Sourcebook which has guidelines for conversion and creation of monsters.  It actually calls out giant amoebas as possible but gives no stats.  The conversion guidelines turned out to be not  much more than, start with something similar (which doesn't exist in C&S) and it should follow real word physics.  OK I can deal with that.

The following is for a giant amoeba which would form a two foot (61 cm) diameter sphere.  Spread out it would be about six inches  (15 cm) thick and four feet (122 cm) in diameter radius, obviously it can reshape it's body considerably.

Giant Amoeba
A large single celled organism that scavenges dungeons and waterways.   Some amoeba have an Armor of 1 or 2 from chitin nodules embedded in their bodies, but most are AC 0.

Amoebas only Combat Maneuvers are Close and Retreat.  They will only retreat from fire the size of a torch or greater that has been applied for a minimum of three rounds.

Amoebas take no damage from Missile weapons.  Melee weapons do damage only on a critical hit.  Edged weapons do half damage, and thrusting weapons do one quarter damage in those cases.  No roll on the critical hit table is required, the only critical location is the nucleus. 

Attack Mode and Special Considerations 
Giant amoebas attack prey by encircling them in pseudopods and dissolving them using a process known as phagocytosis.  The creature takes damage every round until freed.

MMP - Monster Medium Pseudopod
MMP 2Pseudopods22

Pseudopods do not score criticals, but all damage from phagocytosis is scored against the Body.  Opponents automatically take damage every melee turn after a successful attack until freed from the encircling pseudopod.  Attempting to free oneself or another character expends one blow and requires rolling under the character strength on a d20. 

Phagocytosis - involves secretion of chemicals that dissolve bonds in proteins, basically digestive acid attack.

Edited to improve table formatting.