Monstober Day 19: Pet

The question was always whether or not the witness PC was hallucinating or if Fluffy really was all that cursed/possessed. Whenever something bad or mysterious happened in another room, suspicion fell on Fluffy, even if it was in the same room as the group. Or was it? Bwa ha ha!

“What is up with this f&$%ing Cat?!?”

No stats on this one because it doesn’t need any. This is something I once pulled in a Call of Cthulhu game and it stuck. Since then, it has appeared in no fewer than three campaigns. I’ve used this bit with different animals, but it’s fun every time.

The lead into this is the group is either in possession of a cat or going to a location where the owners have a cat that takes a liking to a particular Player Character. (Preferably one that likes pets for their character.) The catch is, the animal is not entirely what it seems. The cat, Fluffy, becomes attached to the PC and stays close to them whenever they’re around.

Next, the Game Master picks a different PC than the one Fluffy is attached-to. Whenever the rest of the group’s attention is focused elsewhere, Fluffy will do something absolutely freaky, but only this one character will see it. The GM may even wish to pass the witnessing player a note describing what Fluffy does.

Now, this could potentially be a hallucination. It could be that Fluffy is cursed or even possessed. Maybe Fluffy is actually a corrupted avatar of Bast just messing with the mortals. Whatever is going on with Fluffy, only one character, the witness, ever sees this cat do anything weird.

It was a sure thing that if the witness PC called the cat out and tried to force Fluffy into doing something strange, nothing would happen. But as soon as the group’s back was turned, Fluffy would openly mock the witness. Fluffy never really hurt anyone overtly, and no one in the group ever put the kitty in danger. (Nor would we.)

The question was always whether or not the witness PC was hallucinating or if Fluffy really was all that cursed/possessed. Whenever something bad or mysterious happened in another room, suspicion fell on Fluffy, even if it was in the same room as the group. Or was it? Bwa ha ha!

Sometimes Fluffy was just a cat being a cat, too. Jumping up on counters, running around the room, randomly knocking stuff over, etc. You know? Things especially hyper but lovable Siamese cats tend to do normally.

Regardless, this type of pet situation makes for darned interesting role-playing. It doesn’t have to be related to anything the group is doing, and Fluffy can haunt the group long after it is found. Witness PC can eventually convince the group that there is, in fact, something going on with this feline. But, good luck getting Fluffy to go along with it.

Good times. Thanks for stopping by. Please be kind to animals in real life (and in game.) Even if kitty does act a little freaky.

Monstober Day 18: Gulp

Picture, if you will, an enormous bipedal hammerhead shark with four large sucker covered tentacles sticking out of its face. It has a gigantic maw filled with rows of razor sharp teeth. For added intensity, there are sharp, blade like projections running down the center of its back.

Apparently Frog and (be)hemoth isn’t a creature unless the nice Wizards of the Coast give permission.

Sigh. So, I present my take on a classic favorite. This is the Sharkhemoth. It’s preferred method of digesting its prey is to slam them into its giant, tooth-filled maw.

Picture, if you will, an enormous bipedal hammerhead shark with four large sucker covered tentacles sticking out of its face. It has a gigantic maw filled with rows of razor sharp teeth. For added intensity, there are sharp, blade like projections running down the center of its back.

Sharkhemoth: Init +2; Atk bite +5 melee (1d10+3) + Swallow (see below), Tentacle +3 melee (1d8+3) + grab; AC 15; HD 6d8+2; hp 25; MV 30’ Swim 40′; Act 4d20; SP Grab, Swallow whole; SV Fort +5, Ref +3, Will +1; AL C.

If the attack roll for the bite is 4 or more greater than the number required (or a Critical Hit), they can swallow creatures (man-size or smaller) whole; swallowed victims take 3d6 points of damage each round thereafter.

Tentacle attacks: If one tentacle hits, do damage as normal (1d8+3,) If two tentacles hit the same target, the target must make a Ref Save DC 12 or be grabbed. Grabbed targets with two tentacles reduce their action dice by one step. If three tentacles hit the same target, the target must make a Ref Save DC 14 or be grabbed. Grabbed targets with three tentacles reduce their action dice by two steps. If all four tentacles hit the same target, the target must make a Ref Save DC 16 or be grabbed. Grabbed targets with four tentacles reduce their action dice by three steps. Once grabbed, the target may make a STR check equal to the DC of the Ref save used to make the initial attack (2 = DC 12, 3= DC 14, 4= DC 16.) to break free. Breaking free of the tentacles may only be attempted once per turn one of the character’s actions.

If grabbed by all four tentacles, the Sharkhemoth automatically receives a fifth attack as a free action to attempt to bite/swallow anyone in its tentacles.

Promptober Day 20: Myths.

Sometimes parents actually believe their children.

Getting laid in a horror movie situation doesn’t always lead to death.

Remote viewing is not always 100% accurate, but many times it’s close.

The government is not interested in every paranormal event.

Investigator myths dispelled:
  • They’re not all crazy conspiracy theorists.
  • They’re not all professors wearing jackets with patches on the sleeves.
  • They’re not all wide-eyed college kids bound to get lost in the woods.
  • Just because one believes in ghosts, it doesn’t mean they believe in “aliens.”
  • They actually spend vast amount of time observing nothing until they find something. The “something” may just be a dot or blob, but still evidence.
  • Not all people are stupid enough to go down in the dark basement to check the electrical box.
  • No professional investigator likes a hoax. Hoaxing is not allowed!
  • Not every spiritually-oriented investigator collects crystals.
  • Sometimes freaky footage does end up on the nightly news, and still gets ignored by and large.
  • Priests are not immune to everything just by holding up a cross.
  • Other religions have people capable of performing an exorcism.
  • Not every professor can read Ancient Babylonian or Egyptian Hieroglyphs.
  • Not every spiritual person is educated in every religion.
  • Sometimes parents actually believe their children.
  • Getting laid in a horror movie situation doesn’t always lead to death.
  • Remote viewing is not always 100% accurate, but many times it’s close.
  • The government is not interested in every paranormal event.
  • There really are psychics. Some are quite powerful.
  • The Men in Black are real.
  • The Men in Black are not the kooky guys from the movies.
  • The Men in Black do not visit every experiencer or UFO witness.
  • There really is an Illuminati. They do not approach people on social media.
  • Astral travelers and remote viewers see a lot of things or beings not of this Earth.

Dispelling myths about modern paranormal investigations.

Phenomenon myths dispelled:
  • Not every properly conducted Ouija board session ends in tragedy.
  • Not every alleged haunted house is packed full of scary stuff.
  • Sometimes investigators have nights where nothing happens.
  • Not every EVP session ends in mysterious voices. Many don’t.
  • Not everything is a demon.
  • Not every ghost is evil.
  • Yes, there really are vampires, werewolves, and giant spiders.
  • Not everything is covered in an ancient tome or scroll.
  • If a book is bound in human flesh and inked in blood, leave it alone.
  • Not every cult follows an Elder god or wants human sacrifices.
  • Gunfire does not solve everything, or anything sometimes.
  • Not every artifact is cursed.
  • Sometimes are dolls are just toys.
  • Not all magic is evil.
  • Not all religion is good.
  • Not everything is evil or out to get you.
  • The ethereal plane (spirit world) is a wonderfully weird place.
  • Some beings are truly evil. We don’t know why.
  • There is always a way to banish or destroy a phenomenon.
  • Killing something is not always the answer.
  • Legitimate footage of phenomenon appearing on the internet will be taken down or debunked as a hoax almost immediately regardless of evidence.
  • The Dark Web is real. Most people would be advised to steer clear of it.
  • The aliens are not here to conquer the planet.
  • The term “alien” is no longer preferred. We use ET or being now.
  • ETs do not always abduct people. Sometimes it’s just a sighting.
  • Vampires and werewolves are nothing like the ones in the movies.
  • Stay away from the Reptilians. We don’t mention the Reptilians.
  • There are Reptilian Hybrids. We don’t talk about them, either.

These lists is (mostly) fictional (I guess.) Some of us are conspiracy theorists. More investigations to come with the Des Moines Remote Viewing Society for Monster of the Week RPG.

Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate you. Have fun. More to come.

Disclaimer: People and events depicted herein are fictitious and intended for entertainment use only. Any similarity to persons living or deceased is unintentional. There is no Des Moines Remote Viewing Society. This is a work of fiction. No one was harmed in the making of this blog.

Promptober Day 25: Deep Ocean.

In more modern settings, everything is usually cool unless the players find themselves running out of air, losing hull integrity of their vessel, or having to travel outside of a ship. On the other hand, really scary, huge things live underwater. Things such as kaiju.

When I think of the ocean, I think of Godzilla.

I think most DMs/GMs/et al tend to shy away from deep oceanic adventures. I know I do because in a fantasy campaign one must fiddle around with characters having to breathe, see, survive, fight, and sometimes cast spells underwater. It is difficult at best. Right up there with 1st Ed AD&D planar travel.

In more modern settings, everything is usually cool unless the players find themselves running out of air, losing hull integrity of their vessel, or having to travel outside of a ship. On the other hand, really scary, huge things live underwater. Things such as kaiju.

I’m worked with an adventure for Season 1 of my Power Rangers RPG campaign that covered the topic of kaiju. The presence of something similar to Godzilla wandered up on shore near Bennett’s Cove and and to be guided back out to sea.

Of course, the military, the Rangers, and even the bad guys were all super confused by the presence of such a monster that was seemingly under no one’s control. The creature rampaged because a nuclear plant was being built nearby and it felt the need to let the humans know that it was not okay to build one. The Rangers fought compassionately to get the creature back out to sea without wrecking the city. In true Mighty Morphin fashion, no one was seriously injured, but the nuclear plant’s construction site was smelted into glass by the kaiju’s breath weapon and stomped on by the Megazord. Needless to say construction has halted.

Who knows what other gigantic things could be lurking in the waters of a deep ocean. Real life humanity has barely explored most of the deep blue. Giant squid, sharks, and other sea life could be just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There is always more lurking below.

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you! Have a great rest of the week.

Monstober Day 17: Laugh

Unfortunately, years of success, money, women, and repeated use of the spell have corrupted Larry Snelling. He has become a dark shell of his former self. The evil muse inside his mind starts to take physical form more each time Snelling invokes the dark powers. It becomes harder and harder to cover each show without the dark secret getting out.

How does a stage comedian stay on top?
(Dead Moines on Stage for Monster of the Week RPG.)

*Content Warning*: Murder, Occult Ritual, Dark Magic, Gore.

By using an ancient blood curse that takes life energy in exchange for talent. The ritual psycho’s stage name is Mr Obtuse, because he always has an angle. He travels from town to town, stage to stage in every local comedy club that can be found. Some venues are so small he doesn’t waste his time invoking the dark magicks. Other times, one or two people randomly turn up missing from the airport bar or nearby hotel.

Larry, “Mr Obtuse” Snelling was a poor, downtrodden, talentless hack of a comedian until he accidentally summoned upon what he thought was a stage magician’s prop box. It contained a grimoire of ancient spells that could enhance many aspects of stage magic. All Snelling wanted to do was make people laugh. After researching the grimoire excessively, he found the perfect spell to do exactly what he wanted.

Some nights Mr Obtuse isn’t quite as funny as others. He started in small, local comedy clubs and only moves up to major venues and elsewhere on rare occasions. He claims he feels more comfortable in small clubs. In actuality, he knows it’s more difficult to tie him to any disappearances or murders that happen in the area.

Unfortunately, years of success, money, women, and repeated use of the spell have corrupted Larry Snelling. He has become a dark shell of his former self. The evil muse inside his mind starts to take physical form more each time Snelling invokes the dark powers. It becomes harder and harder to cover each show without the dark secret getting out.

When he finally gets to Des Moines, stress by being approached by local radio talent and multiple interviews start to take their toll. Suddenly he finds himself relying on the ritual more and more until finally, he snaps. Worse, the dark muse may take its final form and consume Snelling.

Hopefully the group catches on before a beloved pet or family member is sacrificed for Mr Obtuse’s talent. Will the group discover the Grimoire and recover it before he skips town? The monster will only come out more and more if he is not stopped.

Thanks for stopping by to see me, though. I appreciate you! No dark anything needed. Inspired by Tales from the Darkside and my friend Miss Pandora Greaves. More to come for Monster of the Week.

Monstober Day 24: Hag.

While many female Ogres live normal, healthy, productive lives, some sprout wings and embrace the twisted demonic and arcane arts. They soon separate themselves from their tribes, even leaving their mates if they had any. These beings are extremely rare and not to be taken lightly.

The Ogre Hag for Dungeon Crawl Classics.

While many female Ogres live normal, healthy, productive lives, some sprout wings and embrace the twisted demonic and arcane arts. They soon separate themselves from their tribes, even leaving their mates if they had any. These beings are extremely rare and not to be taken lightly.

Ogre Hag: Init +2; Atk staff +5 melee (1d6+6); AC 16; HD 5d8+4; MV Walk 20’ Fly 25′; Act 1d20; SP Evil Eye, Poison Brewing, Demon Servant, Cast spells as Level 3 Wizard; SV Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +1; AL C.

One of the Ogre Hag’s eyes tends to be larger than the other. This eye projects evil upon anyone who crosses the Hag’s path. When used as a free action, the Eye forces everyone looking at it to make a Will Save DC14. If the fail is saved, the character suffers a -2 penalty to all rolls for attack, damage, saves, spell fails, turn unholy, etc for the rest of the encounter.

Ogre Hags spend a great deal of time brewing poisons for other creatures or their own wicked uses. The Hag will normally have 1d4 vials of contact poison on her that can be hurled or even spat upon enemies to sicken, blind or disorient them.

The Hag may also summon a loyal Type 2 random Demon Servant at a 20% chance, 1x/day. This chance increases to 30% if the hag prepares for at least one hour. The servant lasts for one encounter or until dismissed. The death of the summoner always releases the demon.

Convention Talk.

I’ve never understood why literally every state around Iowa has gaming conventions up the proverbial wazoo. Iowa? Specifically Central Iowa? We have maybe two full-on conventions per year around here as far as I am aware. A lot of the larger towns on the Iowa border have conventions.

We’re back to in-person events. Yay!

The Icky Cough-Coughs have been downgraded to an Endemic now. That’s something to be excited about. The TableTop RolePlaying Game and MIniatures Wargaming communities are getting back to in-person events.

I want to applaud GenCon and other conventions who have required proof of vaccination and masks. I realize the idea may be unpopular with some folx, especially in the spiritual circles I sometimes resonate with. I’m immune compromised with Diabetes, Chronic Pain, and other health malfunctions. I appreciate it a lot when organizations and people put time and effort into keeping the community safe.

That having been said, I’m cool if conventions don’t require those things. It’s up to the convention organizers as to whether or not they want to require vaccinations and masks. It’s also up to the public whether or not they want to attend those events. Caveat Emptor, I guess.

Gaming conventions can be a lot of fun.

I’ve been all the way around the convention block. I’ve been a visitor, an attendee, a game master, a runner, a speaker, an organizer, and a vendor. I was once invited as a Guest of Honor, but had to bow out due to some personal issues. Conventions are amazeballs.

I’ve only seen a few rare cases where things didn’t go so well. One was an incident involving someone using bigoted language. He was asked to leave the premises and never return to the convention.

Another problem occurred when my co-host showed up over half an hour late and possibly drunk to a panel we were running. I was getting heckled pretty bad before that. I now understand what stand up comedians go through.

One other mistake I made many years ago was accepting a couple of Jello shots from this nice girl in elf ears on the elevator. I’m missing some time from that convention. I was told afterward that the two games I ran while completely drunk were hilarious. This is why I don’t drink alcohol. LOL!

I live in the barren convention wasteland that is Iowa.

I’ve never understood why literally every state around Iowa has gaming conventions up the proverbial wazoo. Iowa? Specifically Central Iowa? We have maybe two full-on conventions per year around here as far as I am aware. A lot of the larger towns on the Iowa border have conventions.

The downer is, if I want to go to a con, I usually have to drive three or four hours in any given direction. It’s so damned quiet around here, I’ve been tempted to find a group and help organize one myself just to get something going again. It’s a lot of work, though.

I don’t think a lot of people fully understand what goes into planning a convention.

If you step back for a moment and think about how hard it is to get a regular five or six person gaming group organized on a monthly or weekly basis, then a convention is like planning for dozens of those sessions. It usually takes six months to a year to really plan a successful convention. It takes time to get the word out, especially for a newer convention.

Let’s take a walk through some of the basics of convention organization. One needs to:

  • Have people on board to take attendance money.
  • Collect money enough to pay the venue (usually up front.)
  • Find a venue.
  • Advertise online, at every game store within 200 miles, maybe elsewhere.
  • Run events.
  • Play in events.
  • Contact various game companies for support. Some companies even send representatives to conventions to run demonstrations and vendor booths.
  • Possibly run a Magic or other TCG tournament.
  • Find vendors and invite them.
  • Possibly find speakers to conduct panels/seminars.
  • Possibly plan/set up an anime room.
  • Setting up a mailing list and/or social media for convention announcements.
  • Organize live events such as LARP or costume contests.
  • Invite Guests of Honor, get them a place to stay, transportation, etc.
  • Find money for GoH privileges. (Hotel, food, transportation, etc.)
  • Fund and print souvenirs, advertising (flyers for FLGS) and badges.
  • Wrangle adventures, tournament rules, judges for pre-advertised events.
  • Possibly organize online events.
  • Set up cameras for Actual Play events.
  • Organize and collect items for auctions, raffles, etc.
Then the day of the event arrives.

Staff will be need all throughout the convention in order to:

  • Take tickets and hand out badges.
  • Handle all of the IT and login issues for online events.
  • Make sure all of the vendors find their assigned slots and can set up.
  • Make sure all of the assigned tables have the proper groups sitting at them.
  • Make sure all unassigned tables are made available for pick-up games.
  • Make sure judges/game masters are at their assigned events on time.
  • (Possibly) work the booth in the vendor area.
  • Coordinate the staff on site. (It’s controlled chaos, trust me.)
  • Make sure cameras are rolling properly for online events.
  • Make sure food deliveries get picked up.
  • Make sure the Guest(s) of Honor are taken care-of.
  • Make sure Opening-Closing Ceremonies/panels/stage events go as scheduled.
  • Clean up areas between sessions. (*I know. It sucks.)
  • Provide a point of contact if the venue has concerns.
  • Man the con suite if there is one. (Keep the veggie trays coming.)
  • Set up the raffles, auctions, etc.
  • Supervise LARP, Assassin, other live games as not to interfere with the venue.
  • Run wargame, Magic, and boardgame tournaments if advertised.
  • Run errands for convention staff and cover breaks in various areas.
  • Make sure all of the money collected by the convention is accounted for.
  • Make sure the venue is paid for any additional rooms/services not already paid.
  • Make sure everything gets cleaned up and put away at the end.
  • Make sure charities get paid/donations are given when/where promised.
  • Get the ball rolling for the next convention.

I may have left a few things out unintentionally, but that’s a good overview.

Did I mention that all of the organizing, planning, and execution of local conventions is usually done by volunteer staff? They might be working to pay their way into the convention or just for kicks, but most local cons don’t pay their staff. Most of the ones I’ve been to (except GenCon) were lucky if they broke even financially. There was no way to pay staff for their time.

There are always a few hiccups in every convention. It helps to have one or two experienced hands on standby to handle conflicts that arise and make sure everyone is where they are assigned. Sometimes staff finds themselves plunging clogged toilets or handing out bottled water. You never know.

The next convention article will cover why in-person events are more important now than ever. They’re never easy to pull off, but some cons have been around for decades and do it pretty well. Some conventions do things differently and charge fees at the table on top of admission, too. Some conventions let game masters in for free as compensation for running games. (*That’s my jam.)

Thanks for stopping by. More to come on this subject. The more I discuss it, the more I miss it. Have a good one.

Monstober Day 12: Face

A face has appeared out of nowhere. It seemingly has no body, no arms, legs. It’s as if a face were printed on one side of a massive coin. It flew into Bennet’s Cove unannounced, silently, and began taking over the minds of the townspeople. Now it’s up to the Power Rangers Super Lightning Force to stop it.

A new threat for Power Rangers RPG.

“I’m waiting for Brock to say it,” Olivia remarked over the comms.
“Nah. He won’t go there,” replied Trent.
“Guys, we’ve fought a lot of weird stuff, but this one wins the prize. First it’s a UFO. Then it’s a freaky face. Now it’s MY face. What the heck?!?”
“Guess he went there,” Xander said quietly as everyone tried to contain their laughter. “Face puns incoming.”

A face has appeared out of nowhere. It seemingly has no body, no arms, legs. It’s as if a face were printed on one side of a massive coin. It flew into Bennet’s Cove unannounced, silently, and began taking over the minds of the townspeople. Now it’s up to the Power Rangers Super Lightning Force to stop it.

That Face.
THREAT LEVEL: 8
SIZE: LARGE | HEALTH: 6
TOUGHNESS: 16 | EVASION: 16
WILLPOWER: 20 | CLEVERNESS: 20
Flight MOVEMENT: 30 ft.
SKILLS:
Targeting +d8*
Initiative +d6
Languages: English, French, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Putty.
ATTACKS:
Energy Beams (Targeting): +d8*, Range 90 ft.
(Evasion, 2 Energy Damage)

Sonic Ray (Targeting): +d8*, Range 20 ft.
(Evasion 1 Sonic Damage, Stun.)

Mind Control Ray (Targeting): +d8*, Reach 100 ft. (Willpower,
Target falls under The Face’s Control)

Powers:
Mimic Faces/Voices: The Face uses a limited form of telepathy, allowing it to mimic the face and voice of anyone it sees. However, it does not know what the person being mimicked thinks or knows. This power can be used to confuse or misdirect opponents.

Mind Control Ray: The Face emits a Mind Control Ray to any one target within 100 ft. If it hits the target must make a Willpower save or fall under the Face’s Control. Additional saves may proc if the target is prompted emotionally by friends, family, etc or asked to do something completely contrary to their nature. Only one target at a time may be controlled. Once controlled the target may move any distance and still be controlled. The Face is able to see and hear through the senses of the controlled target.

Teleport anywhere between the Earth and the moon 1x/Scene.

Hangups:
Unable to walk or engage in melee combat.
Gigantify! completely rewrites this threat’s structure and abilities.

Gold Pieces vs the Common Living Wage in Fantasy Role Playing Games.

Retainers would be easy to come by at that point. But our old friend Jimmy the torch bearer is suddenly going to up his torch bearing game and his prices. He’s probably going to ask for a raise to 3GP per day instead of 3 CP. Then there’s health and dental benefits, especially for his dying grandmother. Probably even talk of the torch bearers and dungeon loot porters forming a union of some kind.

Adventurers walk around with hundreds, even thousand of Gold Pieces (GP), yet most commoners make their wages in terms of Copper (CP) and Silver (SP.)

Quick explanation of coinage from a Basic fantasy OSR type game. Pretty common system.

One single gold piece would be considered a fortune to most peasants who normally earn their wages in terms of copper and silver. However, certain professions would be considered very lucrative in a medieval fantasy society. Quite honestly, I think either the standards should change or the amount of loot adventurers run around with needs to be seriously nerfed. Honestly, it could go either way.

What jobs pay well if I were a commoner?

Presuming the adventurers are still bringing cart loads of gold, magic items, and art objects into a tiny village, who would profit the most? Let’s start with the innkeeper. Most farmers, cobblers, and carpenters come in, buy an ale for maybe 3cp. Most adventurers come in and order “top shelf” ale and the finest accommodations and throw gold around like it’s nothing. They also tend to blow the place up occasionally or get into the occasional donnybrook.

The other townsfolk that always seem to do well for themselves around adventurers are blacksmiths, especially those well versed in weapons or armor. Animals also need shod and barded on occasion. Anyone with an anvil and a forge seem to be in high demand everywhere, but adventurers usually want a rush job and pay extra well.

Let’s not forget the shopkeepers. If a town is (un)fortunate enough to have a general store, they may find themselves at the mercy or good will of an adventuring party. Rations, new water/wineskins, torches, oil, bags, rope and more might be available at a bargain. Unscrupulous shopkeepers usually find themselves on the business end of the group’s weapons. Generous, kind, and understanding villagers might develop a working relationship with the group.

Photo by Mehmet Turgut Kirkgoz on Pexels.com

Never overlook the power (or price) of experts.

(Insert evil-ish GM laugh here.) Suppose the group comes into town with a member of the group that is missing a couple of fingers and may have accidentally been poisoned (by his own weapon.) Said group, not having a Cleric or anyone knowledgeable in dealing with such things is going to need an apothecary before the dumb Thief expires messily. While their friend is being tended, the rest of the group is free to go off an hammer down some ale, but they might want to be careful how much they spend. Apothecary services can run tens or even hundreds of gold depending on the severity of the illness/injury. Otherwise our apothecary could just tell the barbarian to go out to the town cemetery and dig a grave.

A lot of what NPCs charge will be determined by the Judge/GM/DM. It could be based off of what their professional guild recommends or by what the NPC in question would think is reasonable. Non-magical aid would require far less of a toll than magical aid. Reattaching limbs, removing curses, and raising the dead would be far beyond the capabilities of villagers and townsfolk in most fantasy RPG settings. Those capable would likely charge a hefty pile of gold.

Let’s look at Medieval England circa 1300 as an example.

I’m using The History of England as my example.

English wages circa 1300.

Let’s pretend £1 = 1GP and 1 schilling = 1SP. Pence are obviously 1CP. Yes, I know D&D and most other fantasy RPGs use 10CP=1SP, but we’ll make an exception here.

Unskilled labor would be people such as barmaids, stable boys, and many common villagers. I’m guessing slightly more skilled laborers are represented under the second category of Laborer?

I imagine an apothecary or other guild specialist had their prices determined by their professional guild. I’d put them somewhere in the range of £4-5 per year. That’s a guess. Guilds and independent artisans probably chose to charge more or less depending on circumstances.

I estimate blacksmiths and other cottage artisans were mostly paid by selling goods, which is why they are not listed above. I’m certain a fair amount of barter also occurred prior to 1600 AD in the real world much as it would likely happen in most fantasy RPGs. How much are cows, chickens, trades, favors and other items worth? Can you really put a price on friendship and goodwill?

Putting it in some perspective.

In Dungeon Crawl Classics, adventurers are about 1% of the population. (1 out of every 100 people.) That 1% brings back hundreds if not thousands of gold potentially to small towns and villages where the average living wage is no more than, say 5 GP per year.

Wouldn’t ALL of the townsfolk flock to incoming adventurers begging to provide goods, chickens, services, etc? Would less scrupulous villagers suddenly start price gouging?

“Wot? No we’re having a special today. That loaf of bread is going to cost 1 GP.”
or
“Want to buy me lantern? That’ll be 10 gold and, uh, how about that horse you rode in on?”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It could potentially get out of control fast. Suddenly a room at the inn comes to a total of 100 GP per night. Or the innkeeper says, “I guess our adventurers could go out of town and sleep in some farmer’s barn or probably on the cold, hard ground again. The inn has nice, soft beds and warm chambermaids to attend to their every wanton desire. ”

Who’s gonna turn that room down? It’s only a couple hundred gold out of thousands, right? Sure hope the town’s banking establishment and exchequer isn’t corrupt. “What bag of gold? Oh, this little thing? That’s a coin purse, not thousands of gold crowns. Surely you jest.”

Of course, corrupt practices could result in adventuring parties burning the entire town to the ground if they’re serious murder hobos.

I recently talked to a player who literally destabilized the economy of an entire town, possibly the whole province.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

He gave 10GP to every villager he encountered. Yet another player threatened to teach “Magic Missile Class.” and turn as many who showed up into Level 1 Wizards. What would those actions do to a town where silver and copper are the standard medium of exchange? It’s mind boggling.

It’s not dissimilar to a government sending out $1,000 checks to every tax paying citizen in the country. It does some truly crazy things to inflation in the modern world. Imagine the kind of havoc it could wreak in the fantasy medieval world.

Retainers would be easy to come by at that point. But our old friend Jimmy the torch bearer is suddenly going to up his torch bearing game and his prices. He’s probably going to ask for a raise to 3GP per day instead of 3 CP. Then there’s health and dental benefits, especially for his dying grandmother. Probably even talk of the torch bearers and dungeon loot porters forming a union of some kind.

Ultimately, it’s in the hands of the Judge/GM/DM.

Big money, spending GP.

What I’m trying to get at is there seems to always be a massive fiscal disparity between the rules as written for what typical villagers/townsfolk make vs the ludicrous amounts of gold the average adventuring party hauls out of a dungeon. When there’s a massive gap between the haves and the have-nots in the real world, it leads to socio political upheaval. In a fantasy game, it just makes a big mess for the NPCs and probably a headache for most GMs.

I know a lot of DMs tend to rewrite the chart for goods and services. In some cases the scaling almost looks like our more modern economy. 1 GP = $1. That way when the group floods a town with gold they’re barely making a dent in the economy. Is it possible to devalue the GP in a fantasy economy? If someone was paying attention, they could teach the school kids a real lesson in economics.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope all of this ends up being of some use. We might take this discussion up again later. I appreciate you being here.

Monstober Day 22: Forest.

This dire, horrible bear has its face peeled back and skull exposed. Two spindly spider legs protrude on each side of the creature’s thorax and a large abdomen with two spinnerets and an hourglass mark on its furry back. The mere sight of this creature makes many seasoned adventurers freeze in terror.

This hideous arcane/demonic abomination is one of many for a dungeon in development.

This dire, horrible bear has its face peeled back and skull exposed. Two spindly spider legs protrude on each side of the creature’s thorax and a large abdomen with two spinnerets and an hourglass mark on its furry back. The mere sight of this creature makes many seasoned adventurers freeze in terror.

Skullus Spider Bear: Init +3; Atk bite +7 melee (1d6+3 plus poison) Claw +7 melee (1d6+3); AC 17; HD 5d8 (32 hp); MV 40’; Act 1d20; SP poison (DC 22 Fort save or lose 1d4+4 Strength permanently; success results in temporary loss of 1 Strength), web (10’ diameter, see General description of spider web spell, DCC RPG, p. 196); SV Fort +5, Ref +3, Will +1; AL C.

My concept sketch of the bearbug in question.
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