Sunday, October 10, 2010

Re: Greyhawk Human Skill Sets

Re: [greytalk] Greyhawk Human Skill Sets
Friday, April 20, 2007 5:53 PM
From: "Tom Roberts" Add sender to Contacts

Might this be of help, from Basiliv back in mid Nov of 05...

Not sure if anybody else is interested in this, but I've finally completed my adjustments to Erik Mona's "Regional Feats of Greyhawk" for the 576 timeline.

Most of the changes made were inspired by Aaron Divinsky's work on this same issue, so a huge thanks to Aaron. I changed several of his ideas, but I used more of them than not. One thing Aaron did that I really liked was to differentiate nations we might naturally lump together, such as the Ulek and Urnst states. I added differences between the wood and wild elves, and between the various Thillonrian Barbarians.

Aaron added (and I kept) several feats from the FR setting books, namely:
- Bullheaded: FR Campaign Setting
- Artist: FR Campaign Setting
- Cosmopolitan: FR Campaign Setting
- Discipline: FR Campaign Setting
- Forester: FR Campaign Setting
- Militia: FR Campaign Setting
- Stormheart: Player's Guide to Faerun
- Swift & Silent: Player's Guide to Faerun
- Thug: FR Campaign Setting

So here's my list. For more info on the original articles, see Dragon
issues 315 & 319.


Almor, Prelacy of
Border Watch, Noble Soul, Well Read, World Weary
Elemental Focus, Horselore, Jinnbond, Tongue of Mouqol
Bandit Kingdoms
Badge of Bondage, Blooded, Jungle Fighter, Orc Blooded, Raider's Spirit, Rapscallion
Blooded, Border Watch, Mercantile Background, Mercenary Background, Tongue of Mouqol
Blackmoorian Rhymes, Expert Dungeoneer, Lays of the Northern Adepts, Wastri's Blessing
Bone March
Blooded, Landless Nobility, Orc Blooded, Raiders Spirit, World Weary
Bright lands
Blooded, Desert Fighter, Lore of the Ur-Flan, Vathrin Stigmata
Companion Guard Style, Ehlonnas Way, Faerie Mysteries Initiate, Well Read
Dwarf, hill
Bullheaded, Dwarflore, Expert Dungeoneer, Mercantile Background, Mercenary Background, Mountain Fighter
Dwarf, mountain
Bullheaded, Deepseer, Dwarflore, Expert Dungeoneer, Mercantile Background, Mountain Fighter
Cosmopolitan, Mercantile Background, Rapscallion, Rhennlore, Well Read
Great Fervor, Mercantile Background, Spirit of the Sea, Well Read
Elf, gray
Companion Guard Style, Elflore, Faerie Mysteries Initiate, Tested, Well Read
Elf, high
Ehlonnas Way, Elflore, Faerie Mysteries Initiate, Tested, Well Read
Elf, valley
Defensive Expert, Elflore, Gnomelore, Mountain Fighter
Elf, wild
Ehlonnas Way, Faerie Mysteries Initiate, Forester, Tested
Elf, wood
Driftwalker, Ehlonnas Way, Faerie Mysteries Initiate, Tested
Badge of Bondage, Horselore, Lays of the Northern Adepts, Lore of the Ur-Flan
Frost Barbarians
Driftwalker, Mountain Fighter, Raiders Spirit, Troll Blooded, Vatuns Touch
Blooded, Border Watch, Exercises of Arnd, Noble Soul, Rustic Charm, Well Read
Blooded, Border Watch, Giantkiller, Mountain Fighter
Gnome, deep
Deepseer, Expert Dungeoneer, Mercantile Background, Noble Soul
Gnome, rock
Gnomelore, Mercantile Background, Rapscallion, Rustic Charm
Gran March
Blooded, Border Watch, Born Follower, Mercantile Background
Great Kingdom
Badge of Bondage, Celestial Scion, Fiendsign, World Weary
Expert Dungeoneer, Fiendsign, Greyhawk Method, Mercantile Background, Rhennlore, Well Read, Zagygs Favor
Elflore, Noble Soul, Rapscallion, Well Traveled
Badge of Bondage, Mercenary Background, Raiders Spirit, Rapscallion
Halfling Lore, Mercantile Background, Noble Soul, Well Traveled
Halfling, stout
Deepseer, Halfling Lore, Mercantile Background, Well Traveled
Halfling, tallfellow
Elflore, Faerie Mysteries Initiate, Halfling Lore, Well Traveled
Border Watch, Ehlonnas Way, Elflore, Faerie Mysteries Initiate, Forester, Mercantile Background
Horned Society
Fiendsign, Great Fervor, Swift & Silent, Thug
Ice Barbarians
Driftwalker, Mountain Fighter, Raiders Spirit, Stormheart, Vatuns Touch
Blooded, Border Watch, Defensive Expert, Militia
Border Watch, Defensive Expert, Dwarflore, Mercantile Background, Mountain Fighter, Well Read
Badge of Bondage, Blooded, Fiendsign, Orc Blooded, Raiders Spirit
Giantkiller, Rustic Charm, Silent Method, Wastri's Blessing, Well Read
Badge of Bondage, Blooded, Border Watch, Mercantile Background, Tongue of Mouqol
Lordship of the Isles
Badge of Bondage, Jungle fighter, Mercantile Background, Spirit of the Sea, Well Read
Medegia, See of
Celestial Scion, Fiendsign, Great Fervor, Well Read
North Province
Badge of Bondage, Celestial Scion, Fiendsign, Orc Blooded
Blooded, Border Watch, Exercises of Arnd, Rustic Charm, Sagacious Method, Well Read
Blooded, Born follower, Exercises of Arnd, Noble Soul
Atlan's Mark, Badge of Bondage, Jungle fighter, Raider's Spirit
Blooded, Mercantile Background, Stormheart, World Weary
Pale, Theocracy of
Born follower, Great Fervor, Noble Soul, Troll Blooded
Bareback Soul, Blooded, Horselore, Mercenary Background, Raider's Spirit
Driftwalker, Fiendsign, Mercenary Background, Mountain fighter
Badge of Bondage, Blooded, Mountain fighter, Orc Blooded, Raider's Spirit, World Weary
Border Watch, Exercises of Arnd, Mountain fighter, Vatun's Touch
Rel Astra
Celestial Scion, Fiendsign, Mercantile Background, Nexus Method, Well Read
Rapscallion, Rhennlore, Second Sight, Well Traveled
Rovers of the Barrens
Bareback Soul, Blooded, Horselore, Raider's Spirit, World Weary
Scarlet Brotherhood
Badge of Bondage, Great Fervor, Jungle fighter, Spirit of the Sea
Sea Barons
Badge of Bondage, Mercantile Background, Rapscallion, Spirit of the Sea
Sea Princes, Hold of the
Badge of Bondage, Blooded, Jungle Fighter, Spirit of the Sea, Wastri's Blessing
Shield lands
Blooded, Border Watch, Defensive Expert, Noble Soul
Snow Barbarians
Driftwalker, Mountain fighter, Raider's Spirit, Stormheart, Vatun's Touch
South Province (Ahlissa)
Badge of Bondage, Celestial Scion, Mercantile Background, Rustic Charm, Well Read, World Weary
Spindrift Isles
Elflore, Faerie Mysteries Initiate, Spirit of the Sea, Well Read
Blooded, Border Watch, Giantkiller, Mountain fighter
Stonefist, Hold of
Driftwalker, Mercenary Background, Mountain fighter, Orc Blooded, Raider's Spirit, Vatun's Touch
Blood of Kord, Heir of Lendore, Pureblooded Suel, Well Read
Border Watch, Defensive Expert, Elflore, Rustic Charm, Wastri's Blessing
Tenh, Duchy of
Blooded, Border Watch, Mercenary Background, World Weary
Tiger Nomads
Badge of Bondage, Bareback Soul, Horselore, Raider's Spirit
Great Fervor, Mercantile Background, Mercenary Background, Mountain Fighter
Ulek, County of
Gnomelore, Halfling Lore, Mercantile Background, Noble Soul
Ulek, Duchy of
Elflore, Mercantile Background, Mountain Fighter, Noble Soul
Ulek, Principality of
Dwarflore, Landless Nobility, Mercantile Background, Mountain Fighter
Bareback Soul, Fiendsign, Mercenary Background, Mountain fighter, Orc Blooded, Raider's Spirit
Urnst, County of
Mercantile Background, Rapscallion, Rustic Charm, Well Read
Urnst, Duchy of
Mercantile Background, Mountain fighter, Rapscallion, Rustic Charm
Valley of the Mage
Defensive Expert, Mountain fighter, Shadowbound, Well Read
Great Fervor, Noble Soul, Rustic Charm, Well Read
Gnomelore, Great Fervor, Elflore, Mercantile Background, Well Read
Wild Coast
Badge of Bondage, Blooded, Rapscallion, Spirit of the Sea
Wolf Nomads
Bareback Soul, Blooded, Horselore, Raider's Spirit
Blooded, Defensive Expert, Militia, Mountain fighter, Noble Soul
Badge of Bondage, Orc Blooded, Spirit of the Sea, Well Read

----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Weber"
To: ; "Vest III, Robert W"
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2007 11:21 AM
Subject: RE: [greytalk] Greyhawk Human Skill Sets

> From: "Vest III, Robert W"
> >A few years back in Dragon, Erik Mona had two articles (IIRC, one was in
> >the Dark Sun issue, & another was in the first Campaign Classics issue,
> >which had Strahd on the cover) featuring Greyhawk-specific feats, many
> >of which had a racial or national focus.
> I have those in PDF (OCR) format on my hard drive for whenever I get a
> chance to run a GH campaign again.

HackMoor XVIII - Conclusion of the Palace of the Vampire Queen

HackMoor XVIII - Conclusion of the Palace of Vampire Queen
Thursday, June 28, 2007 1:11 AM
From: "Tracy Johnson" Add sender to Contacts

Cast of Characters:

Absalon: A Human Enchanter
St. George: A Human Defender of Heironious
Jon: A Human Doobie Friar of Heironeous
Thor: Human Captain
Arioch: A Half-Elven Male Knight of the Shifting Sands
Sreighin Thorn: Pixie Sprite Sigil of Primus (Sidekick of Arioch)
Lace: Drow Fingersmith (Female Albino with Male Pattern Baldness)
Grumpy: Human Altar-Boy of Loviatar
Lucius: High-Elf Bravo
Bill: Veteran (recently deceased, but corrected.)
Crystal Kross - Human Mortician and several Zombies

This report covers several sessions.

Because the Blackmoor area isn't canon Greyhawk I'm more free to make up stuff. The timeline is per the DA1 modules, but I use Arneson's map.

The party that stayed behind from the previous session waited a sufficiently long
time to ensure that whatever was going to happen had completed. Emerging from
their hiding place in Room 16 they found the hallway empty. They take the long
way around to get to the next staircase.

(To fit the time line, this is the time the new Vampire recruited Party members are coming up the stairs. Going the short way opposite the party, they check out
where the party was hiding and find them not. Meanwhile the main party is going
down the stairs and close the soundproof doors behind them.)

Seeing the Hallway unguarded and armed with the Player maps, they set their two
strongest characters at the lead, taking no chances to make a beeline for the
lowest level. They whack the few Orc guards at the bottom of the stairs from
Level 2 to 3. To their credit, the guards were careless for their own safety and
bang the gong alarm, dying at the only stroke.

The Ghouls that populate the immediate vicinity will pop out two rounds later from
a nearby room. They are told of scrambling footsteps coming from beyond
double-doors. Not wanting to deal with threats on this level, they take a left
turn and close the door behind them. Finding themselves in another short hallway,
they duck behind another door, and get spat several times by a Giant Slug.*

* This is OD&D, so it is not unusual the type of random monsters they threw in for
no apparent reason.

Frying the slug with some fire-based solution (I forget if it was a spell or just
oil,) they head through two double doors to a 'V' intersection with a chest there.
Not resisting temptation, they open it only to be a attacked by a Wight. The
lead character fends off a close call attack while another Wight pops out the next
round. The smartest one of the Players gathering the hint, makes a dive for the
chest and closes the lid, thus making the Wights disappear. Whew! They thought
they would have to at least fight the remaining Wights.

Backing out of that corridor, the party skirts the edge of this level and their
Elf thief detects the secret passage to the next level en passant.

This time they were mindful of the Gnoll Guards and use a ruse to trick them so
they can't sound another alarm. Past that, they pause in the room with the
Lammasu statue but decline to investigate and continue on, skipping all doors to
the next staircase. There they encounter 6 main Vampire Guards and finally take
some hits. It took some serious spell casting (and aim) by Absalon with his Magic
Missiles of Skewering.

(Forgetting Vampire combat parameters, I only docked the players one experience
level when hit. When my error was noted to the other players next session, I
decided to let it go rather than backtrack the experience loss.)

It was after this skirmish that Players realized Vampires can only be hit with
Magical Weapons. They reallocated hoarded weapons accordingly.

Taking the obvious route on the map on the last level, they head for the BIG ROOM,
pausing to take in scenery afforded by passing doors. Behind door #6 they run
into a Flesh Golem, so taking a cue from an old movie they set him alight with
some of their oil and leave the area, where cries of "Fire, ... Bad!" fade in the

(In the time line the Vampire Recruited party members on Level 1 get the alarm and
head back to this room. I roll a 20 sider and it tops at 16, I start decrementing
that number of 1 minute rounds it will take to get here.)

Lastly, they make it to the BIG ROOM, crash the door down and defeat the next six
Vampires using hand to hand combat and the last of Absalon's Magic Missiles and
their Wand of Fire from Castle Amber. Their superior armor class let the higher
members of the party avoid hits, but Lucius takes a hit and goes to -1 and dies.

The 20 sider is down to 9.

Worrying about Lucius later, the party goes in to the next room with 4 Vampires
and uses the last of their Scatterblast Fireballs to eliminate them.

The 20 sider is down to 5.

In the next room the party sees a Female Vampire reclining across a gold plated
coffin with a slight smile on her face. The party exhausted, decides to take a
breather and backs out. Wondering what else to do, they discover another secret
door behind them and retreats in there and close the door behind them. SUCCESS!
This is the Dungeon's treasure room. Absalon, using much needed time to
rememorizes lower level spells, has the party block the door and takes a rest
while he studies.

The 20 sider is down to 0 and the Vampire Recruit reinforcements arrive.

Taking stock of the treasure room, they find a pile of money of course, a Ring of
Undead Utilities (the closest thing in Hackmaster to the original Ring of Undead
Control,) a Scarab of Death, Eyes of Charming, and one of their goals, the Pinball
Machine of Wishes (Saonuihun's Speeding Sphere Game from the Book of Wondrous

Meanwhile on the other side of the door, entrapment bars had slid down to keep the
intruders in the Treasure Room (killing one reinforcement Gnoll leaning against
the wall.) This worked out to the advantage of the Main Party. Thor on the other
side of it took several minutes to Break the Bars so he could attack his own party
on the other side.

The Pinball Machine has been recently refurbished as it had been taken by Baylor
Island's Mechanical Dwarfwerks for Maintenance so it ran in tip-top condition
without any of the usual adverse reactions. Waiting for the bars to be broken,
they had plenty of coins in the room so they decided to play. They got as far
Absalon memorizing 3 spells and gaining Two Wishes when they decide to sortie.
The first wish de-webs the Player from the Machine.

As soon as the bars were almost broken through, Grumpy 'warns' the enemy to leave
the room or die. The Thralled party members take the hint and back out. The
party fireballs the next room and crisps most anything left. Next, Grumpy uses
the Ring of Undead Control, takes control of the Ghoul reinforcements and has them
turn about and fight the 'living' reinforcements. Both sides cancel each other
out with low level monsters leaving the Thralls and the remaining true Vampires.

Using the Ring of Undead Utilities again Grumpy takes control of the Vampires and
uses the 2nd Wish to de-Thrall the party members. Thus armed, he storms into the
room with the Lady Vampire. This vampire, seeing which way the wind is blowing
simply says, "Hey, I'm just the decoy! The Real Vampire Queen is in the next room
behind another secret door."

Though the next secret door they find the Vampire Queen. She turns out to be a
wuss and attempts to flee in bat form. A lucky swat knocks her silly to the floor
and she is dispatched without further ado, wooden stakes, decapitation, and
whatever else is required.

Obviously, there will be much Experience Awarded for this event. There is still
stuff in the Palace that needs to be cleaned up. The party has to decide to do
this or let the Dwarves finish the job when they re-occupy the Palace.

-- BT

Tracy Johnson
Justin Thyme Productions
Ye olde free telnet games at:

RE: Sorta Off-Topic: Political Intrigue?

RE: [greytalk] Sorta Off-topic: Political Intrigue?
Wednesday, August 8, 2007 1:25 PM
From: "Karl White" Add sender to Contacts

You may want to look at Atlas Games’ Dynasties and Demagogues sourcebook. It contains a lot of material about creating and running political adventures and campaigns.

In the last campaign I ran, ToEE and beyond that started from 1st level, I mapped out the main protagonists and power groups in advance. This included:

· The deities
· The leaders of the temple
· The power groups in Hommlet and Nulb
· The wider Verbobonc power groups and the regional groups.

Having read through the module several times I started to ask how and why the leaders had the powerful magic items they had, how they interacted with each other, what their operational responsibilities and reporting lines were, any relationships and so on and so forth. I found that once I started asking questions and providing answers, that the richness of the setting increased dramatically.

In the end I had about 15 different power groups that the party were interacting with either directly or indirectly in a way that shaped events in the game. In many cases an event occurred that the party had no knowledge of and would not come directly into play but would affect the campaign.

For example The bandit group at the start were concentrating on attacking Elven caravans rather than human ones. This was due to their leader’s wish to have Celene’s relations with Verbobonc sour and to close the border. The humans, not losing many caravans did not put a great deal of effort into stopping them. Meanwhile the spy leader who reports to the Temple is aware that the caravans he is identifying as good targets are not always being taken, whilst more well defended, lower value targets are being targeted. He knows another intelligence agency must be at work to pick the targets and would normally think that there is a subversive element in the Temple and root it out, but he is also aware that somebody else has been promoted and has responsiblity for recruiting for the temple, which is a role he used to be tasked with. He is now unsure of his position and is wondering if he has disappointed his masters. By the party driving off/capturing/killing the Bandit leader, the trade caravans resume their normal targeting and the relations between Celene and Verbobonc resume as Verbobonc takes a greater interest in the loss of its caravans.

The party found that they had more trouble from the good factions than the evil. They broke a Gnomish Law (in my campaign I had Verbobonc originally owned by the Gnomes and thus the laws are derived from Gnomish Law) and the St Cuthbertines were insisting the law was enforced whilst the Druids, rangers and state (through the wizard) were pleased the party had driven off the bandits and did not think that exiling them for something that was in their eyes merely a (serious) protocol mishap was the wisest course of action. Things were very tense for a while until the bandit leader killed the druid leader and the family of the rangers leader, then it got worse. The rangers went after the bandit leader thereby abandoning their post (it took many weeks to catch him and left the rangers weakened and in the Wild Coast) and the St Cuthbertines took control of the village so that the rule of law could be re-established. The party was exiled and the village was poorly defended and severe political in-fighting between the church, state and the Gnomes throughout Verbobonc occurred. Eventually leading to full Gnomish autonomy when the state found the only way to appease the church was to change some ‘out-dated Gnomish Laws’.

Why did the party have such an impact when they were only mid level? Look at the demographics of the state. With the Greyhawk demographics including population by level and class it turns out there are very few mid-level character classes and the party would be a significant resource for the state in its fight against the Temple. With the rangers gone, exiling the party would have left the Hommlet region very exposed to the now apparent Temple.

I guess my final point is, look at the background population, there may be fewer personalities than you would consider and the players can soon have a major impact if they are in the nation’s top 50 most powerful people

From: []
Sent: 07 August 2007 19:40
Subject: Re: [greytalk] Sorta Off-topic: Political Intrigue?

The level is flexible; for one group, they'll be somewhere between 7-10th (depending on where I put it in the campaign), for the other the level will be wide open because we'll roll up new characters just for this. The 7-10th level group is very familiar with my DMing style, the other group is not yet...although I could run them through some more standard fair if it's an advantage for the players to be familiar first.

My long-time players tend to like an overarching mystery, interspersed with fairly "standard" dungeon crawls, city adventures, or overland action. For an example of our usual style of play, here's a list of the adventures I strung together to get my PCs to 6th level, with an overarching mystery I described earlier, set in the original '83 boxed set:

- Intro to my amnesia/alternate Greyhawks campaign, starting in a cave south of Hommlet.
- Mad God's Key (Dungeon Adventure), changed to a cult of Orcus
- An altered version of Dungeon's "Shut-In", with a xvart culprit to lead to:
- An altered version of Mona's River of Blood, set in Verbobonc
- T1: Village of Hommlet
- Some overland travel to an oracle in Perrenland, then south through the Vesve for a small incursion into Delvenbrass, where a gate lead to:
- The City Beyond the Gate
- Returning from this adventure, the party is transported unknowingly to an alternate, FtA-era Oerth, where the overrun city of Chendl surprises them.
- Overland travel to Safeton, where eventually the party locates their secret contact. This shadow-dancer takes them to the Plane of Shadow, and eventually back to 576-era Oerth.
- They follow a priest of Iuz south across Woolly Bay, and I ran them through Stormwrack's "Shatterhull Isle"
- C1: Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan
- West to the base of the Hellfurnaces, where they discovered the lost Suloise city of Lov Ulos, which served as one end of the tunnels in:
- UK6: All That Glitters

The over-arching mystery was covered in more detail months ago, but a quick recap is that the PCs were brought here from the FtA-era 'Hawk, their memories wiped out, and now they're seeking the ochtycs (?sp)...they don't know if yet, but they used to be demigods, and the ochtycs will allow them to regain a portion of their power and eventually go after the Soul Husks to take Iuz down a notch.

Once the party reached the Sea of Dust (at the end of All That Glitters), we switched DMs, so that's where things currently stand. My next plan is some interaction with the Silent Ones of Keoland, some information-brokering with an agent of Evard, a trip through White Plume Mountain, and eventually the ToEE. At this point I haven't decided whether to make the Great Kingdom material before or after the ToEE.

On Mon Aug 6 17:03 , Marc-Tizoc "Gonzᬥz" sent:

What level will the characters start? Are the players experienced in general and with your DMing? Please describe your usual style of play / DMing.

MTG wrote:

Hi MTG (and kiddies),

Didn't really have any plans yet. I thought I'd try my hand at some general political intrigue adventures, then re-read Ivid for ideas. My group has swapped DMs for a while, so I've got a lot more down-time to work on this than I'd usually have. In the meantime, my plan was to read through Scott's South Province reports (sadly, I never had time to read them before -- sorry Scott!). I also thought about looking into the reviews of some Birthright adventures, but that's a guess on my part.

But in general, I was hoping for more guidance on the pacing of this type of adventure, interesting ways for PCs to use skills that might be unique to a political environment, etc. (that's why I thought it was off-topic). Plotting our the political entanglements isn't where I'm worried, it's running a new type of adventure and keeping it interesting for the players. But once I get this figured out, I'll be more than happy to share. :-)

Thanks again for your help!

~Jim (Basiliv)

On Fri Aug 3 20:23 , Marc-Tizoc "Gonz�lez" sent:

Jim and fellow GTers,

I apologize for not sending this email earlier as I'd hoped.

Jim, I suggest you provide a few more details. Where you base your initial campaign is important for helping us provide further suggestions.

For example, I've imagined a campaign based in North Province that deals with the ramifications of Grenell's machinations regarding the fall of Bone March, starting in one of the coastal towns, Bellport, for example, and developing the PCs' knowledge about Grenell's miscalculation / betrayal, along with the Iron Schism, as it plays out with the church armies of Hextor, that center of training for Hextor sohei (Arrowstrand?), and featuring the distaff death knight that Gary Holian detailed.

Alternatively, Scottenkainen has reported repeatedly on his campaigns in the South Province.

Do you get my drift? Share more of your ideas, so we can riff off yours.