Skip to main content


Showing posts from April, 2020

Flint and Fang Bazaars

originally posted on 4/3/20

I was super inspired by this post of Phlox‘s that set up a system of generating the available items for purchase in any given town

I tried to stick to five per, and added in the average English letter probability to give me a better idea of how often it might show up.

A – Hunting 8.167%
Weighted Net as Large – 24s
Flint Spear as Large – 12s
Animal Hide – 20s
Flint Knife as Small – 12s
Sack of Bait – 8s
N – Trade Goods 6.749%
Shell of Rose Balm – 25s
Amphora of Mead – 75s
Sachet of Pipeweed (Pass next morale check) – 22s
1/2 lb. Salt – 200s
Shell Beads – 25s
B – Armor 1.492%
Bone Helmet – 25s
Draft Bug Armor (Heavy 4D, 4 Slots) – 200s
Wicker Shield – 25s
Wicker Armor – 100s
Equipment Repair – Base x ¼
O – Weapons 7.507%
Hammer-stone (Repair 1 notch) – 4s
Spear or Club (Small Weapon, +2D) – 12s
Bone Knife – 1 Notch – 3s
Bow (Ranged Weapon: Exact, +2D, 2 Slots) – 16s
1D Arrows or Darts – 8s
C – Oil 2.202%
Clay Pot – 2s
Fire Oil – 10s
5lb Fish Lard – 8s
Pitch Glue – 12s
Waterproofing Pitch – 16s
P – Jewelry 1.929%
Green-grain Necklace – 30s
Butterfly Brooch – 20s
Shell Torc – 15s
Exchange Treasure for Shells/Silver
Cut Gems – ½ Gem Value
D – Wood 4.253%
Flint Axe (+2D) – 12s
Stakes (1D) – 1s
Sled – 20s
Canoe – 50s
Wooden War Club (+4D, 2 Slots, 1AP) – 24s
Q – Holy Items 0.095%
Shell of Holy Water – 10s
Ivory Spirit Animal Amulet – 25s
Mead – 15s
Prayers – 1s a week
Sachet of Rose Incense – 25s
E – General Equipment 12.702%
Hearty Ration – 2s
Healing Salve – 1s
Torch (2 Marks) – 6s
50’ of Rope – 8s
Equipment Repair – Base x ¼
R – Beasts 5.987%
Trained Hound – 25s, promises
Trained Rat – 5s
Venom Snake – 20s
Pack Goat – 20s
Draft Bug – 80s
F – Drugs 2.228%
Mead – 15s
Cob Pipe – 12s
Sachet of Pipeweed (Pass next morale Check) – 22s
Coca Nuts (Roll 2x once)– 55s
Antitoxin – 10s
S – Bone 6.327%
Bone Helmet – 25s
Bone Club – (Small Weapon, +2D) – 12s
Bone Grapple Hook as Small (1 Notch) – 12s
Draft Bug Chitin Shield – 40s
Bone Carving – -1/2 Cost
G – Dungeon Equipment 2.015%
Piece of Chalk – 5s
Bone Prybar (1 Notch) – 8s
Bone Grapple Hook as Small (1 Notch) – 12s
10’ Wooden Pole – 2s
Healing Salve – 3s
T – Travel Equipment 9.356%
Bedroll – 5s
Twig Basket (3 Slots) – 10s
Light Armor (Heavy Fur Cloak) – 40s
Walking Stick – 4s
Hammer-stone (Repair 1 notch) – 4s
H – Contract Work (Building, Crafting, etc.) 6.094%
Fired Armor (Heavy 4D, 4 Slots) – 200s
Musical Instrument – 50s
Equipment Repair – Base x ¼
Ground-stone Equipment – 4x Price (2x Notches)
Paintings – 40s each
U – Fishing 2.758%
5lb Fish Lard – 8s
Bait Hook as Small – 12s
Fishing Rod – 5s
Fish Trap – 12s
Chum Bucket – 15s
I – Hirelings 6.966%
Amphora of Mead – 75s
Friendly Hound – 25s, Promises
Load-Lifter – ½ Share, Tales of Adventure
Light-bearer – ½ Share
Roaster – 1 Share
V – Alchemy 0.978%
Jar of Smoke – 40s
Instant Fire – 30s
Poppy Milk – 55s
Shell of Hallucinogenic Delights – 50s
Random Potion – 60s
J – Ancient Goods 0.153%
Eye Shaders – 180s
Light Stick (3 Marks) – 100s
Chewable Pebbles – 60s (Energy pills/painkillers/rad pills)
Roll of Sticky Leaf – 30s (Tape)
Canned Food – 20s
W – Entertainment 2.560%
Companionship – 24s a night
Performance – 10s a ticket
Skald – Half Share
Musical Instrument – 50s
Pigskin Ball – 4s
K – Shaman Magic 1.292%
Pan Flute – 20s
Sachet of Pipeweed (Pass next morale check) – 22s
Blood Vision – Complimentary?
Shaman – 1 Share, Ingredients
Clay Tablet w/ spell – 100s
X – Ancient Marvels 0.150%
Bronze Cage of Fire (5 Marks) – 300s
Bronze Farlooker – 500s
Rubber Frog Face – 800s
Engineer – 1 Share, 1st dibs
Hand Pointer – 400s
L – Fabrics 4.025%
Salt Soaked Cotton – 20s
Light Armor (Heavy Fur Cloak) – 40s
Tent (3 Slots) – 34s
Flax Blanket – 14s
Animal Hide – 20s
Y – Art Equipment 1.994%
Pigments – 12s
Piece of Chalk – 5s
Clay Pot – 2s
Clay Chunk – 1s
Chisel or Stylus – 1s
M – Mercenaries 2.406%
Slinger – 1 Share, 1 Drink
Snare-Cutter – 1 Share
Skewer-Raider – 1 Share
Flesh-knitter (Healer) – 1 Share
Bone Mage – 2 Shares, Secrets
Z – Old Magic 0.077%
Shaman Orb – 400s
Random Magic Tablet – 100s
Venom Snake – 45s #poison
Random Magic Item – 300s
Censor and Rope – 35s

I haven’t had a chance to run this yet, but I’m hoping to give it a shot this weekend. I’m thinking a small village may have around a four letter word? Probably will allow any words that use the latin alphabet. Not playing with scrabble rules here!

May play around with the contents, get them fitting a little more of the stone and bone flavor I want for the post-post-post apocalyptic world of Mu and the continuing Stone Age.

edit 4/21: I got a shot to run this, the small seaside docks of Lastplank used three letters, I got the word RED, which gave a nice spread for my players I think.

D66+ Stone Age/Flint and Fang Items

originally posted on 2/17/20

I've been building out a table for a Stone Age setting, thousands of years after a variety of apocalypses. Sorta Mutant Crawl Classics style. (More detail on the ring of Disc-Oh and the land of Mu coming eventually). You could probably use these with Troika! or another game with inventory slots. Or ignore them and use them whenever dealing with a Stone Age people.

Roll a d66 for an item (GM or Player picks between the item listed, depends on the game). If you roll doubles, roll on the listed addendum table:

11 – Spirit Icon (Small related buff) (Table A)
12 – Canvas Umbrella or Sachet of Tobacco
13 – Wooden Whistle or Bird Call
14 – Bamboo Bucket or Berry Jam
15 – Cool Loincloth or Fur Tunic
16 – Crab Trap or Dream Catcher
21 – Snowshoes or Bug Repellant
22 – Animal Hide (Table B)
23 – Reed Mat or Reed Basket (2 Slot)
24 – Softwood Stick or Hardwood Twig
25 – Leather Armor or Bone Needle w/ String
26 – Saddle or Rain Cloak
31 – 1d6 Feathers or 1d3 Bones
32 – Glowing Rocks or Booze (Mead or Beer)
33 – Amphora of Oil (Table B) or Tallow (Table C)
34 – Clay Pot (2 Slot) or False Teeth
35 – Pet Bird or Pet Fox-beast
36 – Birch-bark Hat or Wind-blow Leaf
41 – Moose Antler Shield or Dried Herbs
42 – Sled Shield or Large Kite
43 – Crescent Moon Fetish or Scented Candle
44 – Instruments (Table D)
45 – Log Armor or 1d6 Jars o’ Paint
46 – 2d6 Sling-stones or 1d6 Arrowheads
51 – Large Turtle Shell or Beeswax Seal-paste
52 – 1d6 Mushrooms or Fishing Bait
53 – Bone Dice or Playing Pieces
54 – Rose Scented Balm or Colorful Marbles
55 – Weapon (Table E)
56 – Roll of Leather Cord or 1d3 Cork Chunks
61 – Wooden Flippers or Clawed Gloves
62 – Leaf Blanket or Frightening Mask
63 – 1d3 Chunks of Clay or Coracle
64 – Cotton Armor or Wax Crayons
65 – Quartz Ball or Small Pot of Cinnamon
66 – Rare Item (Table F)

A – Spirit Icons
1 – Bone Totem (1: Fire, 2: Moon, 3: Earth)
2 – Wood Animal Fetish (Ruminant or Bird)
3 – Stone Fertility Symbol
4 – Mask (1: Spirit, 2: Human, 3: Animal)
5 – Painted Rock or Painted Wood
6 – Rune Bone (1: Skull, 2: Knee, 3: Pelvis)

B – Animals
1 – Terror Bird or Beaver Beast
2 – Dire Jaguar or Warg
3 – Three-Horned Auroch or Ground Sloth
4 – Elk-Moose or Crocodile
5 – Sabretooth or Cave Bear
6 – Mammoth or Herbosaurus

C – Seeds
1 – Acorns or Pine Nuts
2 – Corn or Chickpea
3 – Sunflower or Pumpkin Seeds
4 – Mustard or Soybean
5 – Fruits (1: Chickpea, 2: Avocado, 3: Olive)
6 – Nuts (1: Walnut, 2: Peanut, 3: Almond)

D – Instruments
1 – Wooden Bell
2 – Log Drum
3 – Bone Horn
4 – Reed Pan Pipe
5 – Wooden Harp
6 – Shell Rattles

E – Weapons
1 – Bone Embedded Club
2 – Obsidian Knife
3 – Poison Blowpipe w/ d3 Dart ammo
4 – Hammerstone Maul
5 – Woven Vine Net
6 – Sabretooth Claw Gauntlets

F – Strange Items
1 – Clay Pot of Fireproof Lotion (2 Uses)
2 – Spider-gut Salve (Heal 3 Wounds)
3 – Chameleon Paste (Disguise Face for an hour)
4 – Feather Stick (Firestart +1, negate wet)
5 – Wheeled Cart
6 – Random Potion


Experience and Diagetic Advancement

edit 4/11: I think that Arnold K.’s solution of Treasure is an excellent marker for when to level up.

Originally posted 1/28/20 

Following this tweet by Jared (@Infinite_Mao on Twitter), I’ve been thinking a lot about about what advancement means in terms of character progression. Read the comments, they’re excellent.

As always you mileage may vary.

In 5e and to some extent the D&D and its retroclones, progression and advancement go hand in hand. Kill some baddies, get some XP, level up, get better at killing baddies, fight some more baddies, get a new toy to beat baddies with, rinse and repeat. However, advancement isn’t something that is unique to RPGs. People get better at what they do over time, gradually learning more and accumulating information.

(Blah, blah, real life doesn’t have experience points, do our games need them?)

Perhaps its as simple as advancement vs. improvement. People improve themselves over time, naturally. People don’t advance in bits and starts or in a linear progression of skill. People lose skills just as they gain them over time, as they improve in one area, they lose in another.

This doesn’t get to the core of the issue, as progression for progression’s sake isn’t interesting in my opinion. I’d rather keep people engaged through a compelling game then a piece of ticker tape that holds no memories of the challenges they’ve overcome.

(Maybe there are better ways to keep your games interesting than watching a number go up. That’s just my opinion)

Alongside this discussion of advancement, someone mentioned progression in the Legend of Zelda as an example of alternate progression. Find an item that enables further exploration and can be used to interact with the world. In the first Zelda game, these items were given with no expectation you needed to be told where to go, or what to do. Heart containers gave small advancements as enemies got more difficult, but most were rewards for exploration and discovery.

Firstly, I think one way to combat this (if you want to try something different) is to lose the concepts of level altogether. If advancements are necessary, keep them small and granular. Improvement of HP or take a feat? Improve a skill or increase a stat?

Removing the idea of the level could help this. You never gain a level, just slowly gain piecemeal additions to your character. Attach the improvements to a random result on a carousing table or a high result on a random loot table or they need to be bought. When someone rolls it maybe only they level up. Maybe everyone levels up.

Second, as an alternative to linear progression I propose the following:

When you level up, level up as normal. Increase your health in 5e, add to your skills in Troika!, upgrade your saving throws, etc.

However, you also roll a d6. On a 4-6 nothing happens. On a 1-3 you lose something. Perhaps a stat. Perhaps a level or your faith or your love. Perhaps you lose a feat or a skill or a bond with another character. Perhaps another saving throw goes down. Perhaps you haven’t practiced Thieves’ Cant in years and have gotten so rusty you don’t remember it.

The next time you improve, you can take what you lost (or some variation thereof), but you’ll always run the risk of losing something else every time you improve.

This isn’t a perfect system. Its not even a very good one, but something I’m going to try out. It at least gives players a chance to try out different areas of play if they’re interested, their characters changing as they go.

D66 Merchant Goods

On the shores of the Saltflint Sea (the far-west islands of my Neolithic/Stone Age setting, the Land of Mu on Disc-Oh), the goods that are exchanged are various and ever-growing and ever-changing. Various tropical goods can be found, as well as more exotic goods from beneath the waves.
To use this table, roll 2 d6s, with one declared as the 10s place and the second as the ones. Then roll the item’s quality. If raiding a ship, consider rolling 1d3 to determine how many slots of inventory an item of cargo takes up (if using a Troika! type system for your player’s ship’s inventory).
A medium sized ship holds around 1d3+1 types of cargo, a large ship 1d6+1, and a small ship only 1 type of cargo. Hopefully this provides enough variation between ships when finding cargo. Merchant Goods can also find their way onto islands as loot that can be claimed at the end of dungeons or islands.
  • 11 – Night-spun Cotton – Dark cotton excellent for night-time sails
  • 12 – Mermish Linens – Luxurious fabrics that water simply slides off of
  • 13 – Tropical Fruit – Some normal fruit, pineapples, coconuts, etc.
  • 14 – Pomegranates – Some strange fruit
  • 15 – Coconut Wax – Good for waterproofing
  • 16 – Wave Nuts – Edible barnacle type growths that grow on the side of rocks
  • 21 – Coralstone – A elemental ore used for crafting weapons
  • 22 – Obsidian – The volcanic glass used to carve the dreaded Black Cutlasses
  • 23 – Stone Cannonballs – Polished stone, shreds on a one in three chance
  • 24 – Flintrock – Used for the crafting of flintlances and their ammunition
  • 25 – Marble – A really pretty type of stone
  • 26 – Uncut Gemstones – The prettiest type of stones
  • 31 – Dreamweed – A weed that grants increased charm or wits when smoked
  • 32 – Herbal Tincture – Can help the body to heal from injury or disease
  • 33 – Galorian Tea – A relaxing brew from the Royal Galorian Stocks
  • 34 – Sootspice – A spice found near volcanoes, it brings fire to any meal
  • 35 – Rendered Salt – Salt from the ocean in salt form. Salt
  • 36 – Wine Peppers – Spicy peppers used for making booze
  • 41 – Guano – Used for producing gunpowder and fertilized
  • 42 – Bottles of Rum – Don’t let them get broken
  • 43 – Gunpowder – Keep it dry
  • 44 – Weapons (Melee) – Sharp edged and blunt
  • 45 – Flintlances – Stone ‘gun’ tubes stuffed with powder and shot
  • 46 – Coconades – Explosive Coconuts used as grenades or cannonballs
  • 51 – Giant Crab Eggs – Edible, but usable to make explosives
  • 52 – Fossil’s Hide – Usable as a clothing material, makes for good trophies
  • 53 – Shark Flesh – An edible foodstuff, can make water-based elixirs
  • 54 – Ooze Ink – Dyeing and writing substance
  • 55 – Monster Innards – Useful in making combat elixirs
  • 56 – Bloodbug Ichor – The red gel can help to stitch together wounds
  • 61 – Clay Bricks – Useful for building and for ovens
  • 62 – Lumber – High quality palm trees used for lumber
  • 63 – Local Animals – Snakes and Parrots, occasionally a parrot-snake
  • 64 – Livestock – Chickens and Pigs
  • 65 – Devil Plants – Dark red plants, mostly ferns, can cook food on their leaves
  • 66 – Fern Poppies – Ferns that bloom beautiful flowers
Each item ranges in quality, which effects the sell-able value. Exotic items, those not found nearby, can sell for double their price, after quality is taken into account. Prices are measured in Coins, take this to mean credits, gold, silver, bullets, whatever currency is relevant.
  • 1 – Dismal: 500 Coins per Cargo spot
  • 2 – Poor: 750 Coins per Cargo spot
  • 3-4 – Fine: 1000 Coins per Cargo spot
  • 5 – Great : 1250 Coins per Cargo spot
  • 6- Exquisite: 1500 Coins per Cargo spot