15 January 2019

Fomalhaut/Kowloon Planet 3 - from Barzon to the Capital Ruins

In Barzon, an island on the Kowloon Planet. (See previous posts.)
  • Sent Denton to scout out dock - Svanth is checking out docks with Flying Gods (wasps under his control by way of a cube device) hovering overhead.
  • Discussed whether to take risks killing the hated Ullkmaran and decided to be practical instead. Party is disappointed.
  • Gang dressed in the armor uniforms of Ullkmaran's dead guards from the warehouse.
  • Started loading ship; tried to convince Svanth we're part of Ullkmaran's crew.
  • Zena convinces ship guard we're part of crew; she was hired as guard
  • Loaded more supplies, killed guard in warehouse.
  • Denton prepare ship to depart
  • Threw diambroid at governor Svanth on the dock; blown to bits and fire started.
  • Blew up other ship with remaining diambroid.
  • Pangea is captain. Zena is first mate.
  • Traveled by night to 1408, 1508, 1607, 1707. 1 ship ration consumed.
  • Traveled to 2105. Ran aground on sandbar. Sent crew into boats to lessen weight. Took 4 hours to scrape past.
  • Arrived at port at 12:00 noon. Spent another ship ration.
  • 6 other ships at dock. Decided to drink with crew to celebrate and boost morale. Persuaded all 16 to remain with us.
  • Awaited at dock by
    • man who wanted us to explore the wilderness.
    • bearded old librarian man. Wizard?
    • guy who says he can't currently discuss the work he'd like us to do but that we should meet him in the blue building.
    • mafia lady who offers "family."
  • Zena and Pangea both spent weeks in town taking hallucinogenics to expand their minds and each learned a new spell.
    • Pangea lost 1 wisdom and learned to hold and expel 10x the normal amount of breath.
    • Zena learned a ranged pilfering spell.
Post-game questions for the players:
1. What was the best accomplishment? Exploding Svanth.
2. What do you want to do next? Establish an alliance with a local faction.
3. What would improve the game? The referee should take better notes. (I couldn't remember several details.)

10 January 2019

Stealth, Light, and Surprise

My light and surprise rules are mostly adapted from Gus L at Dungeon of Signs.


  • A PC can behave as a scout to increase the party's chance of surprising whomever they might encounter or fleeing before the encounter begins.
  • Darkness is scary.
Read about Boons and Banes if you're not familiar.


  • Stealth = 5 + Dexterity Mod.
  • In a group, use the Stealth of the least stealthy character.
  • Check Stealth to move silently, hide, or pickpocket.


In light, PCs may not surprise monsters or NPCs except in special circumstances, such as when ambushing or when stealthily moving through a jungle.


  • Monsters and NPCs can be surprised with a 2-in-6 chance.
  • All rolls, including defense rolls, gain two Banes.
  • In the dark, Hired Hands must make a Morale check every turn.


  • The final 10' of any light source is dim.
  • Some light sources provide only dim light. (Example: covered lantern, candle)
  • Monsters and NPCs can be surprised with a 2-in-6 chance if all members of the party are in dim light (monsters may also surprise PCs with the same chance.)
  • All rolls, including defense rolls, gain one Bane.
  • Henchmen and Hired Hands suffer a Bane to all Morale checks when in dim light, unless they are skilled in Stealth (5 or better) and are used to operating in such conditions.
  • A stealthy character (Stealth 6 or better) suffers no Banes from dimness and gains a Boon to stealthy actions.

Light ConditionPenalties
Darkness2 Banes
Dimness1 Bane (unless stealthy)


A party that has surprise will act 1st on round 1 without need for an Initiative check and gain a Boon to all rolls for round 1.

If there is a chance that either party is surprised, roll 1D6.

1PCs Surprise in Dimness or Darkness or when opening a door
2PCs Surprise in Dimness or Darkness or when opening a door
5Enemies Surprise
6Enemies Surprise

Make sure your players understand how a stealthy character in dim light can scout ahead to prevent surprise.
Often, instead of attacking on a surprise round, foes should change the battlefield (throw nets, spring traps, set a fire, hide and snipe, send one of their party to bring reinforcements), or deprive the party of a resource (smash backpacks, extinguish torches.)

03 January 2019

Factions on Kowloon Planet

I made a faction generator for my sci-fantasy setting. I'm proud of it. It's neat.

It has types, traits, connections, and conflict. Part of it doubles as an NPC generator that creates appearance, personality, motivation.

You can make a copy and then edit the file if you like because it's a Google Doc.


Two elements may make it less immediately useful for you:
1. Magic is essentially unknown, so there's only a 3% chance of any faction being innately magical (only one entry is about wizards, for example.)
2. Technology is sought out in much the same way magic is in a vanilla fantasy campaign.

If you're having trouble with Google Docs, click the images below to expand them.