OPERATION UNFATHOMABLE

Monday, November 7, 2016

THE HOME STRETCH

The Operation Unfathomable Kickstarter campaign winds down this week, with a mere three days remaining.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT

We've added several intriguing stretch goals into the mix, most notably for readers of this blog a special art-free preview edition of The Dungeon Dozen 2, a collection of all the tables published here since the release of the first book (just under 200 tables).

Drawing by me, cover design by Trey Causey

I SAID CHECK IT OUT!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Incomprehensible Activities of Beetle Ghosts


Yet another table excerpted from OPERATION UNFATHOMABLE
KICKSTARTER LIVE  <-----click!
Note: as you no doubt realize, I'm duty bound to beat this drum for awhile.

d12
1. Ghost couples sway back and forth in ritual slow dance accompanied by ethereal power ballads
2. Spectral tour guide blathers on endlessly, indicating areas of interest indistinguishable from run-of-the-mill Underworld features, phantasmal tour group oohs and ahs
3. Funeral procession departs from area bearing countless tiny coffins of indeterminate provenance, disappears into the distance
4. Ghost crowd sits around poking and staring at claw-held slate rectangles
5. Raucous beetle ghost banquet in full effect, table, chairs, victuals invisible to onlookers
6. Beetle cowboys astride incorporeal saddle-sailed dimetrodons coax pack of naked cavemen ghosts down the passage
7. Beetle warriors struggle mightily against invisible giant monster, look embarrassed if interrupted then disappear
8. Ghost crowd watches reenactment of execution using decapitation scissors, a clear precursor to modern Nul cult practices
9. Beetle politician gives some kind of rousing stump speech, met with light applause, seeming disinterest by crowd
10. Beetle ghosts remain silent and invisible until party draws near then suddenly appear claws raised, screeching out ferociously, take in reactions for a moment, then emit peals of terrible insect laughter
11. Beetle ghosts in lab coats dissect (intangible) human shape on slab, drop bits into jars, seem to be having jolly good time
12. Amid a sudden cacophony of screaming invisible fans, ghost beetle-driven horseless chariots race by, vying for position until one chariot careens into the wall, crashing spectacularly, crowd hushes, but then the driver steps from the wreckage claw upraised in defiance, crowd again goes wild, and scene

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

OPERATION UNFATHOMABLE




Click the link above to check out the Kickstarter for my adventure book.
Check it out and then pledge with the reckless abandon I've come to expect from readers of this blog.

GO!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Launch delay

We were all set to launch the Kickstarter for Operation Unfathomable today, but, to the consternation of myself and my allies at the Hydra Cooperative, we hit a technical snag that can only be resolved on the KS end. Once we clear this hurdle, its go time. Sorry for this unexpected delay, people. Stay tuned for updates as they become available.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

We Search the Heap of Detritus


Here's another table excerpted from Operation Unfathomable (game details removed due to the stringent system-free policies of this blog), the adventure book by me.
The Kickstarter to make this book as beautiful and functional as it should be launches tomorrow!

Underworld detritus
The segmented giant and local agencies maintain main thoroughfares, piling up heaps of fallen stone, mineral accretions, and other garbage along the sides of corridors (as indicated on the map). In a pinch, Underworld travelers sometimes bury themselves in this loose debris to avoid unwanted encounters. If adventurers risk a turn searching, they stand a 2 in 6 chance of finding something.

We Search the Heap of Detritus
d12
1. Giant-size engagement ring with polychrome gem, dropped recently by Uurx the Impervious, who will promptly repossess it if given half a chance
2. Dessicated slugman wearing fancy business harness with silver embroidery, coin purse empty nearby, swallowed valuables before lethal mugging, 1d6 gems in gullet
3. Junk-covered tunnel leads to fledgling giant pillbug colony, 2d4 pillbugs rush to defend territory
4. Skeleton of dead hero, bronze armlet of protection vs. Chaos godlings, looks like he died after being struck by hundreds of tiny harpoons
5. 1d6 starving micropuddings make immediate assault upon rations, use acidic excretions to breach backpacks, wine skins
6. Fist-sized crumb of Hard Rations of the Gods (a single bite sates human-types for a week, two bites: save or die, more bites: just die)
7. Dead fire bomb beetle, 1d6 delicate fluid-filled cysts for harvest (burst into flame upon exposure to air), abdomen also filled with hungry pillbugs chowing down frantically, haven't chewed open a fire bomb just yet...
8. Chunks of petrified adventurer from pre-modern era, shattered, reanimates if painstakingly reassembled but resents it bitterly, expresses outrage in forgotten tongue
9. Depleted Chaosometer under large stone, recharges to full capacity upon 60 minutes exposure to standard ambient Chaos, detects horrors, godlings, chaos anomalies
10. Keys to safety deposit box at the Slugman bank in Black Ooze River Town
11. Crumpled map of the Beetletown apartment complex on some kind of flexible plastic material, hand-scrawled, an ancient relic of the Beetle Age
12. Rival party of adventurers hiding from you

Saturday, October 8, 2016

MY CHARACTER DIED!

Shaggath-Ka, the Worm Sultan, claims yet another victim
Image from Operation Unfathomable
MY CHARACTER DIED!
That’s okay! It was probably hilarious and maybe it wasn’t even your fault. It’s really dangerous around here. Fortunately, you took the time to prepare a spare.
But the rest of the party is still deep within the Underworld.

How Does My New PC Show Up?
d12
1. Swallowed by a colossal trans-planar worm back at home, proved to be indigestible, deposited in the Underworld, smells terrible
2. Formerly held under mind control by Chaos godling, now broken free and slowly recovering original personality (but must save or fall back under godling's influence, if encountered) 
3. Employee of sorcerer from Ft. Enterprise exploring a cave for spell components (add two caps of azure fungi to inventory), fell down a fissure and woke up lost in the Underworld  
4. Member of rival party who entered the Underworld just hours before, comrades destroyed almost immediately after arrival by cloud of poisonous gas, you: safely off relieving self in alcove 
5. Sudden storm while staggering home from the tavern again, knocked on head by wind-swept debris, picked up by eldritch tornado and dropped into the Underworld following a spectacular and uselessly prophetic dream sequence 
6. Doomed fling with vampire ended abruptly at the outset of what was supposed to a romantic holiday in the Underworld, now free of spell and disgusted with self 
7. Got really drunk fell asleep in the street, woke up tied in a sack on the back of a lizard-driven cart trundling down The Devil’s Highway, managed to tumble off, slither behind stalagmite but still hogtied
8. The wizard said he was teleporting me to the Big City, boy did he screw up, plus I picked up a mark of Chaos for my troubles
9. Set sail for unknown shores, ship smashed by kraken, sucked down a whirlpool, emerged from nearest Underworld well, pool, river, swamp, sea, etc.
10. Answered ad for dungeon gig, patron turns out to be serial killer with a thing for adventurers, killed horribly, but instead of ascent to heaven, anomalous reincarnation in the Underworld
11. Confined to bed with fever from lethal plague, witch appears in room at midnight with curative potion, works but also transports you to the Underworld
12. Poisoned by a giant spider while on a picnic, dragged to cave lair for consumption, cave breached from below by spider-eating mutant mole, titans clash blocking exit, only way to safety: down the hole and here you are (equipment limited to picnic gear)

Excepted from Operation Unfathomable, my adventure book coming soon from the Hydra Cooperative. A Kickstarter for this book launches Monday October 10. Watch for more information here. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Damn Good Reasons to Descend into the Mythic Underworld



d12
1. Intercept communique encoded with plans and instructions from Underdwarf Mechanics Guild agents to Subdwarf Makers Guild master for application to surface wizard's personal Manhattan Project
2. Following a widespread outbreak of identical nightmares, your church, shaman, mentor, parents, sense of moral outrage compel you to find, destroy freshly spawned Chaos godling while still in its infancy
3. Locate theoretically trainable dungeon behemoth on Underworld plain, tranquilize and return, lizard-driven wagon (collapsible), gallon of soporific, hypodermic ballista ammo provided
4. Foil insane plan of evil sorcerer to cast creeping cloud of fecundity upon isolated Underworld humanoid population, time is of the essence
5. Infiltrate cult of Underworld godling, endure weird, gnarly (temporary) lifestyle as cloistered chaos monk, when trust gained use magical device to reproduce text of forbidden scriptures, GTFO
6. Visit three Underworld potentates (separated by miles of danger-filled passageways), present enchanted trinkets as gifts to establish reputation of patron wizard among the subteranean upper crust, must attend many snooty dinner parties, weird bachannals, scary rituals
7.  Search for Underworld lair, kidnap sorcerer who reportedly cracked the code on key aspect of immortality magic, return to venerable, super-rich patron for forced collaboration/enhanced interogation
8. Sent by a sainted cleric to retrieve a holy relic slated for public desecration by an Underworld cult
9. The rich wizard needs you to collect seven drops of night-dew from the petals of the colossal black orchid in the center of the reeking Underjungle
10. Enter Underworld ocean via enchanted submarine longboat, confirm or deny the existence of the intelligent blind porpoise city, offer allegiance of the surface world Sea Kings
11. Use incomplete map to locate chamber filled with giant eggs and destroy every last one of them, somehow learn to live with the knowledge of what was inside them
12. Masquerade as Underworld humanoids, attend annual Pan-Underworld swap meet in gigantic colluseum-shaped cavern, purchase seemingly valueless trinket for extremely wealthy collector

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sometimes Its Boring in the Dungeon

d12
1. Entire level once an ancient library haunted by undead entities consumed by a lust for research, 96% of collection devoted to genealogical records of the slugmen
2. Diabolical system of teleportation glyphs sends hapless party from 10' corridor to 10' corridor in continuous loop, 1 in 6 chance per glyph of return to the surface so they can return to headquarters in disgust
3. Since the party's last ill-fated visit dungeon gentrified by lawful monsters, former deathtraps and torture chambers converted into boutique shops and cafes (of evil)
4. The level subject to refurbishment by unionized humanoid work crews, mandatory break times enforced, no fighting allowed, dungeon traffic rerouted to little-used thoroughfares devoid of monsters, treasure
5. Level empty except for scads of semi-precious stones scattered everywhere, requires hours of tedious labor to gather but adds up to a decent sum, process gives PCs a chance to share their backstories in full detail
6. Incredibly long monster queue for compulsory annual audience with the Dungeon Overlord winds throughout entirety of level, monster patience still holds, but it could get less boring in a hurry
7. Dungeon loaded with tiny humanoids devoid of any tactical sense and scarcely a hit point between them, they just keep coming in wave after stupid wave
8. After depopulating the level in an indescribable bloodbath, the succubus just wants to play chess. Really, that's it.
9. Monster ballet choreographed by vampire aesthete with large bribery budget performed in deep level amphitheater, thunderous footfalls, musical accompaniment of evil audible from dungeon entrance, rooms empty
10.  In an unprecedented executive order, Dungeon Overlord issued valueless paper currency, all precious metals, gems, etc., impounded in impregnable super-bunker, economic collapse imminent, chests and coffers offer only stacks of poorly printed notes, guards no longer give a shit
11. Supremely powerful, typically hateful eldritch deity is the only occupant of the level, gives chase, moves incredibly slowly, bellows out resounding recap of its own eons-long backstory
12. All levels but the first completely cleared by rival party via advantageous secret entrance, already drunk back at the Ol' Adventurers' Saloon, chomping cigars and telling satirical anecdotes at the PCs expense

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Come Up and Look at my Etchings



HYPE ALERT


FOR SALE: actual physical drawings, many of which appear in The Dungeon Dozen tome and various other publications. Wealthy collectors of esoterica and outsider art speculators take note!

This one is already sold!


MY OBJECTIVES
1. Shrink the heaps of drawings sitting idly around the home laboratory and spilling over into disputed territories
2. Replace said heaps with sacks of cash

HOW YOU CAN HELP
1. Follow the link over there on the left to my Etsy store
2. Convert your unwanted cash into ORIGINAL WEIRD DUNGEON ART
3. Receive art in the mail, you frame, you stash, you foist upon loved ones as unwanted gifts, you do whatever it is one does with drawings. I stack them up in heaps, which is no good to anybody.

Gone too!

ALSO
Enjoy a 10% discount when you enter the coupon code
NERDBONUS at checkout.

This is only an experiment, so ACT NOW before I come to my senses and pull the plug on this thing.



Friday, February 26, 2016

THERE AREN'T ANY DWARFS EITHER

Dour, taciturn, tired
 
Random stand-ins for Thorin and Company for those insufferable hipster campaign worlds that just have to be different

d12
1. Petite, dainty, jolly, exceptionally skilled little female warriors able to leap around as if on wires, insatiable lust for thrills, males of the species useless drones who never leave home on distant isle, unflappable sunny disposition grants immunity to fear, confusion, contempt for ostentatious displays of wealth, compelled by biology to return to isle for procreation when level limit reached
2. Chimp-sized apes with long luxurious beards, servitor species created for skilled manual labor by extinct masters (construction, blacksmithy, cooking, childcare), bonus to strength, sub-normal wisdom, suggestible, must make saving throw to resist direct orders from trusted companions
3. Short, bald, slight humanoids with huge, impeccable mustachios, masters of fashion, haberdashery, footwear design, disguise, minor illusion, able to create improvised stylish equipment to tackle unique challenges (bungee cord suspenders, parachute hats, suction-cup shoes, etc.)
4. Highly intellectual spell-casting potted plants w/anthropomorphic Venus flytrap-like mouths, each come with own nano-cephalic hominoid personal valet/bodyguard
5. Wee human forklifts with huge hands and arms, originally created by Underworld sorcerer for sale to freight/shipping companies, able to crush goblin (or appropriate replacement) skulls in their bare hands, vocabulary consists of 3d6+2 randomly selected nouns and verbs
6. Humanoid hedgehogs: exceptionally dexterous little hands, form defensive ball of spines when threatened and roll like hell, predatory monsters always choose other victims first, so damn cute humans must overcome strong aversion to attack them even when they're acting like complete bastards
7. Small, buff people with great big eyes, prominent ears, permanently flared nostrils, plus variety of other weird sensory apparatus protruding from oversize heads, 1d3 extra senses (as detect magic, clairvoyance, clairaudience, ESP,  etc.)
8. Diminutive blue-skinned speed freaks: constantly in search of ingredients to brew their cherished vitality juice (lethal to humans, reeks like a hot sewer, served in elaborate ritual six times daily), super-human movement rate, will die if they fall asleep
9. Adorable skunk people: release various defensive chemical sprays (as sleep, charm person, corrosive acid, standard offensive stench, etc.), learn to mimic familiar odors as they gain experience
10. Puny yet impressive warriors who never take off their helmets, affixed at top secret coming-of-age ritual never witnessed by humans, helmet design indicates clan/personal monster totem, complete badasses totally lacking concept of humor, despise frivolity of any kind, liable to leap into action when fellow adventurers argue over course of action
11. Hairless humanoid rodents, necrotic bacterial load in saliva, able to squeeze into any space smaller than their heads (and they're pretty narrow), always flee from snakes of any size, secretly eat humans
12. Four foot tall Cthulhus

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Dungeon Extinction Events

d12
1. Puny humanoids on level one, driven by obsessive trap-mania of master thief-assassin clan boss, built so many deadly traps all the other denizens are dead, many of their own killed daily just getting from here to there
2. Normally fecund medium size humanoids on level two rendered permanently sterile by exposure to gas released capriciously by sorcerer from level four, population facing oblivion with characteristic savagery
3. Giant snakes lay about in messy heaps, victims of newly arrived giant rats w/toxic, mutated body chemistry, garden variety giant rats already wiped out, reeking snake carcasses attracting, subsequently poisoning other dungeon vermin/scavengers
4. Everything that breathes (especially the sorcerer) on level four dead after experimental fireball fusillade spell ate up all the oxygen
5. Once-teeming skeletons on the tomb level, already dead, come unglued due to highly transmissible undead virus attacking their eldritch connective tissues, picked up from visiting cosmopolitan lich, bones lie about in random heaps, some still animate, impotent but for the ability to provoke heebie jeebies,
6. All entrances to level five sealed by custom hold portal spells, monsters make war of frustration upon one another, trolls doing well at the moment, chaos cultists still have ace up their sleeve
7. Level six recently visited by That Other Adventuring Party via teleportation, carnage everywhere, treasure no where, vulgar graffiti viciously lampoons PCs
8. Level seven subject to catastrophic flooding event precipitated by meandering cthonic worm discovering underground lake, black pudding population enjoying the change of pace, everything else floating face down
9. Sudden rise in lava levels in the fire caverns accompanied by release of lethal volcanic gas brought an end to production at the dwarf foundry, their giant iron guardians waist deep in cooling lava, magic swords sticking out of the flow here and there
10. Extra-planar entity, duties to its irresponsible summoner fulfilled, steadily clear-cuts the fungus forest in feeding frenzy, seems insatiable, entire mini-ecosystem in tailspin
11.Dwarf insurgents detonated experimental explosive device on mine level, eldritch fallout results in neutron bomb-like effect, everything dead, treasures intact, as are the vampires in their secret crypt, no one should go in there for like fifty years
12. The dragon had a paranoid melt-down after recent treasure inventory showed significant stock shrinkage, roams about issuing accusations followed almost immediately by fiery breath, claw-claw-bite, only the really stupid monsters left but they're next

Sunday, February 21, 2016

THERE ARE NO ORCS IN THIS WORLD

Services no longer required


Random replacements for campaign worlds with less than average Tolkien influence but still need something to fill that handy "destroy on sight with impunity" niche.

d12
1. The Encrusted: a fungus whose life cycle favors war-torn nations, battlefields strewn with bodies, releases spore clouds on entire communities, subtle at first, affects minds of potentates with delusions of conquest, shroom-covered commoners become single minded implements of war
2. The Beheaded: re-animated by malice, lust for revenge against execution-happy Lawful dynasties lording it over humanity for epochs, controlled with specific spell set by cabal of wizards who feel strongly they should be in charge of everything
3. Green Bastards: bark-covered, extremely thorny war pawns of the Earth God dedicated to extermination of human nuisance, nurseries hidden in vast, aggressively expanding forest known as The Green Hell
4. Antihumans: products of draconian selective breeding program for war-like traits, eradication of pity, mercy, followed by ruthless training on Skinnerian Isle by brainiac master caste with long-term world domination scheme, contingency plan includes remote activated poison implants in case they get out of control
5. Mesomorphs: demon-brewed clones of Arnold Schwarzenegger train for ten years in the Dungeon of Free Weights before murder genes activated by potion injection, unleashed in bands to become agents of mayhem in the world
6.  The Extruded: formed of space age polymers in very rough human shape and given semblance of life in factory of Chaos at the bottom of megadungeon, hard to kill
7. Virus men: one day you catch cold, the next you're a fanatic in army of destruction incapable of seeing the irony in wiping out its own host, otherwise retain full intellectual capabilities
8. Anthropomorphic army wasps: seize humans, sting with soporific venom, lay eggs on living hosts incarcerated in paper dungeon nests, will one day succeed in human domestication but until then it is war
9. Underworlders: dwellers of the world below, like humans covered with black spiny hair, spider-like faces, tunnel up from below for raiding, cherish human-crafted goods, foodstuffs, issue frequent calls for the surrender of humanity, issue tracts detailing scientific proof that humans designed by creator as service caste
10. Menace from Another Sphere: Space helmets conceal Portuguese Man-o-war-like gasbag heads, robes obscure hundreds of black tendrils that paralyze, poison, and sting like hell
11. Crashlanders: descendants of marooned soldiery from space, rayguns ran out of juice generations ago, foment conflict as unconscious biological imperative, w/out guiding hand of evil space emperor lack direction other than make babies, make war
12. Homo Superior: brighter, tougher, just plain better than us = they must be destroyed

Monday, February 15, 2016

THERE ARE NO ELVES IN THIS WORLD

Image unrelated to post, but totally a teaser for my upcoming Underworld adventure book OPERATION UNFATHOMABLE to be published this year by the Hydra Cooperative

Emergency elf replacements for that special snowflake campaign schema.

d12
1. Amphibious humanoids with huge, complex frilly gills fanning around absorbing oxygen from air, uncanny marksmen w/water-bladder propelled harpoon guns, more variations on the trident than pole arms in medieval Europe, Namor-like contempt for all things terrestrial
2. Transplanar refugees: originally from kinder, gentler universe destroyed by evil from without, brilliant, beautiful people with perfect hair who prefer to be nude but for utility harness, dedicated to science, learning, sorcery
3. Spawn of the demigods: divine blood diluted down to bare minimum over generations of miscegeny, set apart from mundane humanity by unmistakable hubris, minor league super-human abilities counterbalanced by fatal flaws
4. Noble Sasquatches, cousins to humanity, equally intelligent yet totally lacking in angst, ennui, ambition and evil impulses, relaxed and completely at home on the planet, kind, generous, yet utterly badass when so moved, druid-like spell abilities
5. Gold-eaters: immortal race cursed with gold-based metabolism, grow more potent in battle/the mystic arts as they consume ever greater quantities of wealth, some adventurers kill on sight
6. Homo Superior: tall, slender, extended fore brains w/protruding shark-like third eye, psychic, practitioners of esoteric kung-fu, evolved in hidden enclaves away from feared/pitied standard issue humans
7. Better-than-human androids from the future marooned on primitive campaign world after time travel-induced-cosmic paradox wounded the fabric of the universe, rendering time exclusively one-way henceforth
8. Slender anthropoidal dinosaurs with heads like pachycephalosaurus, geniuses of math-magic, never leave home without slide rule, abacus, and sword
9. Near-immortal androgynous humanoids created by dead god prior to assassination: all identical but of such radiant, staggering beauty humans can be easily charmed into bamboozlement by their presence, good thing they wear heavily armored war-burkas
10. Tall, imposing robed figures with impala heads, flaming eyes, practitioners of obscure magics but more than capable with signature glowing shamshirs, never condescend to actually speak to humans, communicate via nods, looks, posture and/or lengthy written correspondence, pursue their own inscrutable aims that at times run parallel to those of parties of dungeoneers
11. Shadow people: sub-species of humanity cursed to always appear in bad lighting, live in secret among the humans in bunkers beneath secret alleys, palace basements, must master one art form before permitted to pursue martial and eldritch training, compelled by their very DNA commemorate battles/exploits with representative sculpture, origami, painting, epic poem, etc.
12. Earthbound ghosts from pre-human ancestor species that can do magic when incorporeal, make war when materialized, must commit to one form daily

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Undisclosed Side Effects of the Haste Spell

d12
1. Instant haste addiction: can't stop thinking about how awesome it was, inclined to beg, borrow, steal, make nuisance of self, just to taste that sweet speedy sensation again
2. Following spell duration, subjected to sudden uncontrollable twitches, tics, and a debilitating stutter for 1d12 turns, -2 to everything, spell casting impossible
3. Mild heart attack: character sweats profusely, feels disturbing chest pressure, able to convince self its only indigestion, back in action after 1d6 turns, save vs. fatal infarction if ever again hasted
4. Mini-stroke: character must lie down for 1d6 turns, certain its just a passing spell, but then believes self to be alright, save vs. lethal brain hemorrhage if ever again hasted
5. Life-threatening nose bleed: slow to clot, supernaturally profuse, must be firmly compressed with hand for 1d6 turns or risk bleeding to death
6. Effects of concussion from speed-jostled brains, future degenerative neurological condition assured
7. Post-haste mental effects similar to coming out of anesthesia, delirium, hysterical laughter, sudden weeping, suggestibility for 1d6 turns of role playing excitement
8. Continues to talk at double speed/pitch for the duration of game session
9. Slow spell effect for a period equal to that of the hasting
10. One full round of supremely violent vomiting instantly upon inception of spell duration
11. If you thought the sweat of fear smelled bad, brace yourself for that singular haste stank, predatory monsters can smell it a mile off
12. Drop stone dead on your birthday in 1d12 years time