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TSS #43

Issue #43
March/April 2009

TSS Returns!
Gloriendl’s Grimoire
New Spells for D&D Wizards!
Adventures in the Wastelands
16 post apocalypse adventure seeds
The 70’s Exploitation Action RPG
Fiends Foul and Friendly
New Monsters for D&D and GURPS



Dark Masques
An Historical Scenario for D&D 4E
The Other Side of the Galaxy
Tale of a Jawa Jedi by Jeremiah Griffin
Fiction by Dan Lambert
The History of the Stellar Expanse
Part II of a Traveller Setting
More Stuff for the Column

TSS #43
Submission Guidelines!
TSS is looking for artist and authors interested in contributing to the magazine, both to
expand your publishing portfolio and also for the general enjoyment of being published.
Presently TSS is not a paying gig, but you will receive a free electronic copy of the
magazine in which your work appears, as well as the accolades and admiration of the
readership (in theory). TSS gains one-time publication rights to your work, for the issue
in which it appears; you retain ALL copyrights and ownership to your work, and may
continue to do with it as you wish after publication.
Manuscripts should be submitted in word-readable format (.tx, .rtf, .doc and so forth).
Don’t worry about formatting, that’s my job. If you have accompanying visuals, please
include them in a hi-res jpg format or similar. If I have any trouble opening them I’ll let
you know. If you are using an OGL, SRD, GSL or other license, please include all pertinent
text for inclusion with your article or artwork.
TSS needs fiction, scenarios, and game content of all sorts, as well as reviews and
commentary. Try to avoid blog-like comments….the bloggosphere has that stuff
covered. If you do reviews, try to make them more interesting than can be found free
on the web (like including some material for use with the game under review, for
example, or a discussion of the publishing history of the game, background on its
publisher, authors, and so forth). It’s hard to compete with the free stuff online, so any
reviews in TSS should offer something more useful than the e-competition.
Send all contributions to: and I will let you know I have received
your submission within a day or two. Don’t be bashful! This is not (yet) a paying gig, so I
don’t expect your work to read like John Ross or Kenneth Hite. If your piece needs some
work or improvement, I’ll let you know, but the goal is to get published here, and it
won’t happen if you don’t send it in! –Ed.

Published by:
‘Zine Mascot:

Nicholas T. Bergquist
John Diffley, Dan Lambert, Tori Bergquist
Various royalty free pieces. Some artwork copyright ©2008 Mark Hughey, used
with permission. Some artwork from the Image Portfolio © Louis Porter, Jr.
Design. All Rights Reserved, used with permission. ZGP logo by Simon Tranter.
Zodiac Gods Publishing in conjunction with, and available at and other online retailers!
Mimi the wonder cat
Published Whenever (in theory)

Produced using Windows Office Professional Word 2007
The Sorcerer’s Scrolls Issue 42 (October-November 2008) is copyright 2008 by Nicholas Bergquist, all rights reserved. All contents
copyrighted by the individual authors. All contributors to TSS grant the editor and publisher one-time publication rights in the issue
featuring their work, including reprinting rights of said issue.
The Sorcerer’s Scrolls will feature content which can be used with other role playing systems published by various companies and
individuals. No trademark or copyright infringement is intended, and no content in TSS shall duplicate such content without an
accompanying OGL or GSL agreement in the text of the contribution that specifically allows such. It goes without saying that to use
the content in TSS, you must own (and therefore should go buy!) copies of the specific rule books from the many fine companies that
publish these awesome games!
To contact the editor, please email me at or write to: Zodiac Gods Publishing; 188 Monte Largo Drive NE #4,
Albuquerque, NM 87123.

Published by Zodiac Gods Publishing


TSS #43

Issue 43 March/April 2009
By Tori Bergquist
Welcome to the second new issue of The Sorcerer’s Scrolls! Yes, it’s technically issue
#43 (and many apologies for those of you who missed issues 1-41 back when it originally
ran from 1985-1990) but thanks to all these fancy new inventions that have popped up
between now and then, it shouldn’t be too hard to keep up on the new issues now. TSS
is being presented as both an e-zine and a POD product, and I was very surprised (and
happy) to see that it sells well in both mediums. Nothing like brisk sales to inspire me to
produce the next issue! On the down side, I haven’t received very many submissions,
although I especially wish to thank John Diffley, Dan Lambert and others for their efforts
at providing content. I am sure if this was a paying medium it might get more attention,
but in order for that to happen I would need to generate many, many more subscribers
(not to mention advertising) before I could pull that stunt off. As it is, the online profits
are about enough to buy some stock art, get some fine logos from the talented Simon
Tranter, and order a couple print copies for my own edification!
I have received a number of great submissions, thank you! Several are featured in this
issue, including more awesome content from Dan Lambert, John Diffley and some
excellent art by Jody Wood. I have been scouring the interweb hither and yon for
copyright or royalty free art, and you shall find more of both within these pages, as well.
Thanks also to Simon Tranter for the beautiful logo for Zodiac Gods Publishing.
To keep the spirit of diversity going, this issue features a wide range of content,
including a batch of reviews focusing on the online RPG PDF market, some great Star
Wars-based fiction, a special feature role playing game by Dan Lambert, more D&D 4th
edition content including spells and monsters, an historical horror adventure designed
for use with Your Preferred RPG, and more.
The next issue may or may not be out in two months. It may take 3 like this one did, or
it may take 6 months or longer. All of this depends upon whether or not people are
interested in contributing material, and whether or not any more interest drums up for
TSS for a more regular schedule. At the current rate, I figure I’ll produce a new issue
whenever “I have enough content to fill one up,” which could take all year for all I know!
But this isn’t exactly a race here, and I’m not exactly doing this for profit, so I think it will
all work out just fine. Anyway, please write, comment and submit material if you enjoy
TSS, and I would love to hear from you!
--Tori Bergquist
March 19th 2009


TSS #43

Gloreindl’s Grimoire
New Spells for Dungeons &Dragons 4E Wizards
By John Diffley
Gloreindl’s Frostfell Blade
Wizard Attack 3
Raising an upturned hand, you whisper a magical phrase and summon a longsword
made of arcane force surrounding razor-sharp slivers of blue ice drawn from the center
of the deepest glaciers of the Frostfell.
Encounter, Summoning, Arcane, Force, Cold
Standard Action – Caster only
Target: Caster only

Effect: A longsword appears in the right hand of the caster formed from arcane force
with the blade radiating intense cold and being super sharp fragments of Blue Ice. The
sword resembles the style of Eladrin made longswords, and acts as such, doing damage
as a longsword plus the caster’s INT bonus in cold damage. The sword will remain in
effect until the end of the encounter, 5 minutes, or may be dispelled at will by the
caster. Additionally, this power works with all cold-based feats, such as Burning
Blizzard. If the caster is proficient in longswords or heavy blades, he/she uses the word
as normal; otherwise the caster suffers from not being proficient with this weapon. The
Frostfell blade counts as a melee weapon for any attack power requirements.

Gloreindl’s Beam of Rimefire
Wizard Attack
Picking out a target, you point your implement at it and send forth a beam of Icy cold
Fire which slams into the target burning and freezing it at the same time.
Daily, Implement, Arcane, Cold, Fire
Standard Action

Ranged 10

Target: 1 target. Increase to 2 targets at level 11 and 3 targets at level 21.

Attack: Intelligence vs. Reflex
Hit: 4d4 + Int modifier of Cold and Fire damage. Target is stunned until the end of the
caster’s next turn.


TSS #43

Gloreindl’s Icy Armor
Wizard Attack 3
Gesturing at yourself, your robes or armor begin to radiate cold, dealing damage to
anyone attacking you.
Encounter Cold, Arcane, Implement
Standard Action -

All Opponents in a Burst 1

Sustain Minor
Effect: Your robes or armor are coated with a light frost which does not affect you, but any adjacent
opponent that comes close enough to try and attack you with a melee weapon or touch attack is hit for
1d8 + Int modifier points of cold damage. This spell will remain in effect till the end of the caster’s next
turn. Enemies who begin their turn in a 1 radius of the caster take the caster’s Int modifier in cold
damage. The caster may, if he/she wishes sustain this armor as a minor action until the encounter ends.


having grown up and out after being exposed from the depths of the earth. 6 A war satellite is still functioning. and it wants its sword back. in which a fabulously wealthy billionaire from Old Earth. out of which emerges a cosmonaut who claims to have been part of an experiment to test a ship that could travel close to the speed of light. which. It is possible to be stopped. 2 The players see a distant shooting star that grows ominously large. Station. Oh. Recently. and in the course of brain-storming for weird ideas I rounded up a few that may (or may not!) be used in the course of that campaign. they find a starship. begins to heal up with nano-repair bots before shattering its rocky tomb. which infect local humans and animals with a silicone-based life form that drives them in to madness and frenzy. the local survivor villagers proclaim him a new warlord. breaking in past the stillfunctioning robot security units. the sword was lodged in the chest plate of a powerful pre-cataclysmic warbot. zapping targets at random on the planet below with a powerful particle beam weapon. The cosmonaut’s ship left Earth orbit in 1970. Unfortunately. and shutting it off. surrounded by very human-like android servants has whiled away the years. 6 . Presented now for your enjoyment are a few of those unusual seeds… 1 While traveling through wasted ruins. and he need to find the tools and materials necessary to repair his anti-aging system. 3 The entrance to a hidden vault is found. he discovered that his auto-docs are failing. but this involves finding an ancient comm. After pulling it out. where the deadly plants are blooming. On investigating. 4 One of the players discovers what appears to be an impressive ebony sword trapped in a lava flow.TSS #43 Adventures in the Wastelands 16 Weird Plot Ideas for your Post-Apocalypse Adventures By Tori Bergquist I recently began a weird hard-science meets weird-science post-apocalypse campaign using GURPS 4th edition. 5 A nearby volcano (which may be a smoldering crater from the end times) is radiating a lethal cloud of spores. characters stumble across a colony of sentient rats which have descended from genetic experiments before the holocaust. The spores are wafting from a lava tube inside the crater. kept unnaturally young by telomerase resequencing treatments. and crashed somewhere nearby. weapon now removed.

the players stumble across a humongous relic from the old war. creating a wormhole in time which leads back in to the distant past. and attempt to forge an army out of the weary folk. The basalt later proved to be a valuable mining source for a local colony of survivors. and finished their work. Of course. or destroy them if they wont cooperate. either for gifts it offers them. they could just as easily by the scavengers! 14 There’s a local hermit in the mountains called Big Ben who is a survivor from the old days. to test the laws of causality! 11 Sometime during the cataclysm an ancient army of war machines was buried beneath waves of lava. The heroes stumble upon a camp of survivors in an otherwise intact resort facility from before the end times who are being terrorized by these slimers. They ask the adventurers to stop this menace. to complete the job they started… 12 A horde of slavering. an ageless cyborg soldier who has lived through a hundred years of struggle and doom. They wander in to the peaceful lands of a survivor community. It’s trying to perfect a way to send people through. One of the war machines was otherwise preserved intact in the quick-cooling lava flow and has awakened! It now seeks to reconstruct the interred army of its machine brothers. liquefying mutants that generate voluminous quantities of highly corrosive vomit are marauding the land and terrorizing the local citizens. or perhaps even looks human enough. or a chance to escape the Wasteworld.TSS #43 7 A squad of immortal super-soldiers wanders the wastelands. 8 An alien vessel arrives in orbit and sends a contingent of scientists down to the surface of the apocalyptic world to investigate. a tripod-like tank left over from the Martian invasion of Earth. and that the Wasteworld is really a colony that succumbed to civil war decades ago! 9 While traveling the across the wasteland. The trail leads to a ruined laboratory where particle physicists once worked on creating wormholes. The characters might benefit from aiding the creature in repairing is starship. and the alien is on the loose! The alien is masquerading as a mutant. but some of the more savvy scavengers in the area have gotten wind of this high tech marvel wandering around and are trying to find it. It turns out that the AI which runs the facility is still quite active. carrying out a need for war which was genetically encoded as a biological imperative. 10 Locals are terrorized by what appear to be immense ravaging dinosaurs straight out of the cretaceous and beyond. 13 An alien vessel investigating the burnt out shell of Earth has crash landed. It turns out they are from Earth. Rumor has it that he’s the only one who knows 7 . who were digging for the metallic parts and pieces entombed within.

they have to figure out why the bugs are migrating north. but maybe. where people are seeing a strange. Someone still has a working DVD player. supernatural entity that they are calling the mothman. and he wants the PCs to debunk it in favor of his techno-church that’s losing its congregation! Of course. or one of them curious “books” about the mysterious Mothman. maybe even the preacher who’s initiating the new cult growing up around the creature. the mystery of the mothman could be a fraud. 15 Monstrous mutant insects are coming from south of the old border. so they know this is a supernatural being from before the end-times. which people believe is a harbinger of doom. larger than skyscrapers and leaving massive swaths of destruction in their wake! The PCs are not only challenged with protecting their local community. just maybe 8 .TSS #43 where the crazy cyber-mutants from the nearby city ruins are coming from. and the PCs need to convince him to help their little survivor town. and a small cult is growing up around this being. and what could possibly be so terrifying to these immense mutants that they would flee from? 16 The PCs are investigating rumors of a local mystery. and that someone is behind it. A local skeptic thinks the mothman is a fake.

the Player Characters (PCs) will face off against. a standard deck of 52 playing cards. get revenge on an Evil Genius.TSS #43 EXPLOITATION! The Roleplaying Game of 1970s Grindhouse Cinema By Dan Lambert PROLOGUE Exploitation! is the role playing game of 1970s martial arts and black exploitation cinema action. allowing each player to become the DJ during a session of 9 . or “Gamemaster” to you roleplaying veterans). paper. EXPLOITATION! is designed as a “beer and pretzels” roleplaying game. and (more often than not) fight characters controlled by the DJ (Death Jockey. the rules of which are fully contained in these pages.” Get medieval on their asses by unleashing your bad mojo on ‘em!! EXPLOITATION! is a complete roleplaying game. If you are reading this magazine. a fun diversion from more rules-heavy systems. All you need to play are these rules. interact with. Fight your way through the porn industry. or score a scam on a drug dealer! Don’t let your enemies “Have A Nice Day. pencils. EXPLOITATION! uses the unique “8-TRACK” system for creating adventures (see Chapter IV: ADVENTURES. you probably do not need a boring lecture on what a roleplaying game is (“It’s like Cowboys and Indians but with RULES!”) Once created. and two six-sided dice.

TSS #43 play). AG: 4. It is a trait unique to heroes and powerful villains. Agility (AG). For example. A roll of 2 always succeeds. and Constitution (CON). Ability Rolls An Ability Roll (AR) is made with two (2) dice each time one of a Character’s Abilities is tested. CON: 6. Intelligence (IQ). Mojo represents a combination of a Character’s luck and self-confidence. No Ability may start out below 3 or above 10. or bend the bars to escape the Roadkill County Jail. IQ: 3. the Character succeeds. The player initially has 20 Ability Points (APs) to divide between his four (4) Abilities. and a roll of 12 always fails. Strength measures a character’s physical power and muscle tone. which are: Strength (ST). or mix up a suitable substitute for Grandma’s Kannabis Kookies. a Character with an IQ of 8 and a CON of 9 has 17 MPs. Roll against IQ to devise a convincing story for Roadkill County’s cops. DJ-controlled Henchmen do not possess it (see ADVENTURES). Mojo Each Core Character possesses a number of Mojo Points (MPs) equal to her IQ and CON scores combined. or unhook a bra with your teeth. CHAPTER ONE: CHARACTERS Each player should create a character sheet for his “Core Character” (CC. Roll against ST when a character must push the party’s Peace Van to safety. or throwing up last night’s fondue surprise. If a number higher than the Ability score is rolled. For example. Constitution measures a Character’s physical health and stamina. the Character fails. At any time 10 . Intelligence measures a Character’s thinking and decision-making abilities. Leroy the Lounge Singer divides his 20 APs like so: ST: 7. See Chapter IV: ADVENTURES). Roll against CON to avoid succumbing to Doctor Naughty’s latest torture technique. Roll against AG to pick the Roadkill County Jail’s lock with your afro comb. Agility measures a Character’s manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination. DJs are encouraged to add to (or subtract from) these rules to create the desired amount of complexity in their EXPLOITATION! games. If the Character’s Ability score (or lower) is rolled.

and background. but stay at their original level (although the Character has probably expended many MPs already to avoid such a CON-draining situation). the Gimmick doesn’t work (or the Attack fails). but his target may perform a Defense Roll to block or dodge the attack (see COMBAT). Lost MPs are regained only at the conclusion of each Hand of play (see ADVENTURES. his MPs are not lost accordingly. When a Character’s CON decreases as a result of Combat or other injury. which represent a combination of skills. a Character who fails a Chain GR may temporarily tie herself up with her own chain! 11 . below) is called for. or fewer than 2 points.TSS #43 during a game. the Ability or Gimmick being tested returns to normal after the roll. The DJ is free to penalize the failing Character with humiliating (but not life-threatening) “fumble” results. when the DJ announces that an Ability Roll or a Gimmick Roll (including Attack and Defense Rolls. to any one Gimmick. CHAPTER TWO: GIMMICKS Each EXPLOITATION! character possesses one or more Gimmicks. Remember that any Ability Roll or Gimmick Roll that results in 12 is a failure. the Gimmick succeeds. If a Character fails a GR. see GIMMICKS and COMBAT. A GR is carried out exactly like an Ability Roll. If a Character makes his GR. his MPs increase accordingly. To use a Gimmick. Each PC and DJC begins the game with 50 Gimmick Points (GPs) to allocate towards Gimmicks. below). REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE ROLL WAS SUCCESSFUL. a Character makes a Gimmick Roll (GR) using two dice. If a Character makes a combat-specific GR (such as Got a Knife or Martial Art). personality. A Character may bolster any ONE Ability or Gimmick FOR THAT ROLL ONLY. his Attack proceeds. When a Character’s IQ and CON scores are improved as a result of Disco Points (see below). For example. and their loss is recorded on the Character’s Record Sheet. These MPs are immediately lost. no matter how many MPs are expended to affect the roll’s outcome. The Character then assigns any number of MPs (up to and including his total number of MPs) to temporarily bolster the Ability or Gimmick being tested. the Character who is about to roll may announce that he is using his Mojo. A character may not allocate more than 10 points.

12 . below). You can’t grow an afro on the spot.TSS #43 In the case of most Gimmicks. For example. Some Gimmicks have no default: a character must have the Gimmick to use it. you either have one or you don’t! Under each Gimmick description are playing card listings. a Character without the Gimmick may still attempt to use it by rolling against a particular “default” Ability. for Players and DJs who wish to randomly assign Gimmicks to their Characters using the deck of 52 cards. All combat-related Gimmicks default to AG –1 point (any sufficiently pissed-off domestic engineer can TRY to use Got a Knife to hurl a butcher knife!) Most other Gimmicks either default to AG –1 or IQ –1 (as specified in the Gimmick’s Description. minus one point. Fro is a defaultless Gimmick.

a Fro has nothing to do with a character’s race or skin color. throwing knives. as well as similar two-handed staff weapons. In other words. as well as so-inclined members of the same sex. Sucka! Solid!! (Jack. You are so experienced at using controlled substances that you can utilize them to temporarily alter your physiology. You sport a huge afro hairstyle. switching sides. anyone?) (3. (7.TSS #43 Gimmick Descriptions Bo Staff. You are physically attractive to members of the opposite sex. Chain. Not only are you an expert with knives. 10 of Clubs). Like the infamous Japanese schoolgirl/assassin Yo-Yo Gubari. and shuriken. while your opponent is deprived of making a defense roll. 2 of Clubs). or other small object in your righteous ‘fro! Fro has no default. 3 of Spades). You must make another Get High roll to affect a subsequent roll. Roll against Gold Chains to BLIND an opponent in a fight! You get one close or ranged attack on your opponent. or ST (your choice) for the duration of one Ability Roll only. any situation. Roll against Fro to successfully conceal a knife. (Ace. Disco. You could sell ice cream to Eskimos! You can fast-talk yourself out of a speeding ticket blindfolded! Defaults to IQ –1. or anything else the DJ will allow! Defaults to IQ –1. you are lethal with chains and chain-like weapons such as the Bola and Bullwhip. (9. You are an expert at talking yourself into. but you usually have a knife on you when the going gets tough. (5. or out of. You can sing and dance that music that will never die: Disco! On a successful Disco roll. handgun. 6 of Clubs). In the world of EXPLOITATION!. Con. the specified Ability is HALVED instead of doubled! (2. (4. you are a FOX! Roll against Fox to seduce other characters into surrendering. Fro. 4 of Clubs). 5 of Spades). (Master of the Flying Guillotine. Fox. Queen of Clubs). Not 13 . AG. Got a Knife. You may blind any given Character only ONCE per fight. On a successful Get High roll. stripping off their clothes. On a failed Get High roll. Get High. You wear numerous gold chains around your neck. 8 of Clubs). Gold Chains. shuriken. you can DOUBLE your IQ. You are adept with this 6’ hardwood martial arts weapon. you will have everyone on the dance floor encircling you and clapping to the music! Defaults to AG –1.

Language. Packin’. You can use a pair of short. Nunchaku.” If you are disarmed. such as the broadsword and the sabre. you can roll against Got a Knife to produce a concealed knife that you forgot you had! (King of Clubs. You are a veteran of the pornography business. Porn. 2 of Hearts). Saturday night special somewhere on your person (strapped to your leg. (Queen. Make a separate roll for each transaction. You are an expert with the weapon that naïve westerners call “Nunchucks”. You must specify which foreign language you know. (3. as well as the smaller and cheaper “Saturday night specials. 7 of Spades). The art of profiting from the burgeoning sex industry without being nabbed by the cops. (Ace. Pimp. Jo Sticks. However. (9. You are an expert with handguns.TSS #43 only can you use Got a Knife to Attack. six-shot. You may wish to team up with a Character possessing Fox and/or Porn. (7. Jack of Spades). fully-loaded. hardwood sticks for deadly effect. the weapon’s damage is reduced by two (2) points. Your art might be Karate. Many weapons. the flail-like weapon that made Bruce Lee famous: the Nunchaku! (5. or the art of using the Japanese Katana (long sword). if you make a successful Packin’ roll. 9 of Spades). 4 of Hearts). and you even 14 . Regardless. You may improvise by using similar weapons such as police nightsticks. you CAN conceal such a weapon. you may make a separate Handgun roll to discover a concealed. however. You are adept at one foreign language besides your own. Kung Fu. you are a deadly fighter with your hands and feet. 8 of Hearts). King of Spades). 6. You have worked both in front and behind the camera on numerous super-eight films. the clients are waiting! Defaults to IQ – 1. your choice!) (8. and you may spend your initial Gimmick Points to buy any number of foreign languages. If you use only one stick. You are an expert at concealing weapons. are usually impossible to conceal on one’s person. 6 of Hearts). Martial Art. or Judo. Defaults to IQ –1. such as rifles. but if you’re weaponless. until the time is right to open a can of whup-ass on your foes! Defaults to IQ –1. You are also adept at similar weapons. (10. You are an expert at Kendo. taped to your back. Handgun. 10 of Hearts). Katana.

Characters must buy separate Scholar Gimmicks for each subject they wish to study. Wakizashi. whether it is History of the Bong. (2. Queen of Hearts). (4. you may temporarily use any remaining Mojo Points to enhance one (1) Ability or Gimmick. and similar weapons such as shotguns. Undercover. or King of Diamonds). (Joker). 15 . Peace Movements Around the World. (9. you get TWO attacks per combat round. Roll against this Gimmick to (for example) make a successful bamboo trap. (King of Hearts. You have your own theme music! If you successfully make your Theme Music roll. Roller Derby. or calling in the cavalry in the form of police squad cars! Defaults to IQ –1. 3 of Diamonds). Defaults to IQ –1. You are educated in a specific subject. Scholar.TSS #43 know a bit about the rumored new technology called the “video tape. Queen. or Ace of Diamonds). or you once worked as an undercover cop. while everyone else gets only one! You must roll separately for each Combat Round. You are an expert with the one-handed Japanese short sword. 10 of Diamonds). or something even more obscure. Rifle. and can out-maneuver your opponents in combat: if you make your Roller Derby roll. you are an expert in military affairs and jungle warfare. This is a “catch-all” Gimmick for Characters who wish to specialize in a particular subject. 8 of Diamonds). You are deadly with rifles. You are justifiably proud to be a veteran of the Vietnam Conflict. 6 of Diamonds). or field-strip an M-16 rifle. (7. (Jack. As such. You’re either an undercover cop. as well as similar weapons (such as the machete).” Make a Porn roll to successfully complete a “blue” film or cut a profitable deal! Defaults to IQ –1. 5. Use Undercover to do undercover cop things. Theme Music. WITHOUT permanently losing your MPs! This effect lasts for THREE MINUTES OF REAL TIME (another player should be drafted to keep time). You spent a great deal of time either as a roller derby player or a frequenter of roller discos. (Jack. Vet. such as sampling cocaine without getting high. You wear a really BOSS pair of skates.

his attack fails. below) go first. This can result in successful attacks that do zero points of damage to the Defender. and the next Attacker down the line in the round’s order of attack gets a chance to show his stuff. provided the attacking Character’s CON is one or more. his Attack does ONE POINT LESS than the damage rolled. A rifle does 1 die + 2 points of damage (see WEAPONS. For example. minus 1 point. During each Round. below). A knife does 1 die of damage. Leroy the Lounge Singer fires a rifle at Pauley the Pimp. who is angry about the new hole in his brand-new purple suit! If the DR fails. but Pauley successfully makes his DR. It turns out Leroy doesn’t have the Rifle Gimmick. Damage is determined by the type of weapon the attacker is using (see WEAPONS. Characters using HAND TO HAND WEAPONS then take turns attacking. The process then repeats itself with a second Combat Round. If the Attacker does not possess the appropriate Gimmick to handle the weapon he is using. until all Character who wish to have attacked. and Leroy’s shot does only bare minimum damage. If the DR is successful. The shot only grazes Pauley. he rolls against his AG score. which is 3 points. Pauley has just attacked Leroy with a knife. until the Combat has been resolved. The attacking Character makes an Attack Roll (AR) against the Gimmick appropriate to the weapon he is using. If the AR fails. any Character who wishes to may Attack any other Character. Characters using RANGED WEAPONS (see WEAPONS. again in order of highest to lowest AG scores. minus any penalty for the Attacker not possessing the appropriate Gimmick (see below). in order of highest to lowest AG scores (Characters with equal AG scores roll one die each. The DR is made against the Defender’s AG. this means the Attacker’s attack succeeds. The Gimmick for hands and feet is Martial Art. so the damage is reduced to 2 points. he also does only 1 die of damage (see below). If the Attacker does not possess the appropriate Gimmick. high roller attacking first). the Attack does only the BARE MINIMUM amount of Damage to the Defender. and he gets to roll for damage. below). A Character without Martial Art may still fight bare-handed. If the AR succeeds. For example. the Defending Character gets to make a Defense Roll (DR) to block or dodge the Attack.TSS #43 CHAPTER III: COMBAT Combat in EXPLOITATION! is divided into Combat Rounds. Pauley 16 . but must roll against AG – 1 point to Attack.

bandaged wounds open back up in Combat. but this time must be spent peacefully. there is no separate set of rules for ranged weapons. Damage from Attacks is subtracted from the Defender’s CON Ability score. The only other advantage to using a Ranged Weapon is you usually get to attack first in Combat (see COMBAT. more powerful weapons are considered more bulky. Weapons Each Character may begin the game with up to four of the weapons listed below (not counting Hands and Feet). so he does only 3 points of damage to Lucky Leroy. Lost CON points heal at the rate of 1 point per ten minutes of game time. Incapacitated Characters cannot make Defense Rolls or use Mojo. similar weapons that use identical game statistics. A Character whose CON drops to negative his original CON score is dead. 17 . Under each weapon description are playing card listings. and require successful Packin’ GRs to conceal (one per weapon and potential Combat situation). The only real chance for an incapacitated Character is to be dragged to a safe area to heal. A Character whose CON drops to zero or lower (due to being attacked or through some other hazard) is incapacitated and unable to participate in Combat. assume that users of Ranged Weapons may attempt to hit any other target within lineof-sight.TSS #43 rolls a 4. Because EXPLOITATION! is not a miniatures game. but he doesn’t have the Got a Knife Gimmick. for Players and DJs who wish to randomly assign weapons to their Characters using the deck of 52 cards. These similar weapons default to the Gimmick appropriate to the accompanying weapon outside the parentheses. In parentheses after many weapon names are other. After that is listed the level of damage the weapon does. so they make easy targets. Attackers may still wail on an incapacitated Character. Weapons doing up to 1 die +1 point of damage are easily concealed. above).

or Jack. 7 of Clubs) Shotgun (Assault Rifle. 3. 6. 6. King of Hearts) Wakizashi (Machete. Queen. 3. Queen. 9. 7 of Diamonds) 18 . 6. 10 of Hearts) Sai (Pair of Daggers) 1 die + 1 point (Jack. 9. Queen. 10 of Clubs) Shuriken (Throwing Star) 1 die – 2 points (Jack. 10 of Spades) Hands and Feet 1 die – 1 point (2. Short Sword) 1 die + 2 points (5. 3. 4 of Hearts. Any Suit) 1 die + 2 points (2. Automatic Pistol) 1 die Rifle (Ace. 7 of Spades) Chain (Bola. 6. 4 of Diamonds. King of Clubs) Throwing Knife (Thrown Hatchet) 1 die (2. King of Diamonds) Knife (Afro Comb) 1 die (5. Queen.TSS #43 Ranged Weapons Damage Handgun (Large Revolver. 9. 10 of Diamonds) Nunchaku (“Nunchucks. 9. 3. Bullwhip) 1 die (8. 7 of Hearts. Sabre) 2 dice (2. 4 of Clubs) Saturday Night Special (Small Revolver) 1 die – 1 point (5.” Flail) 1 die + 2 points (8. Submachinegun) 1 die + 1 point (8. King of Spades) Katana (Broadsword. 4 of Spades) Hand-To-Hand Weapons Damage Bo Staff (Pool Cue) 1 die + 2 points (5. or Joker) Jo Sticks (Pair of Billy Clubs) 1 die + 1 point (Jack. or 8.

If an Adversary dies during a Hand. the Hand is over.TSS #43 CHAPTER IV: ADVENTURES The 8-Track System EXPLOITATION! works best with 3 to 8 players. When his PC is killed. that is. they leave the cards face down in front of them. To begin a game of EXPLOITATION!. and the current DJ may never again use that Character. and is allowed to be given and use Mojo Points. The Players must not look at their hands. Once everyone has been DJ for a single Hand. The Player with the LOWEST numbered card is drafted to be the DJ for the first Hand! (Aces and Jokers are wild. Each player then turns over the first card in their hand. until a DJ is drafted for the first Hand. who now seeks revenge against the Adversary! A Player who has not been DJ yet does not possess Henchmen. the duties of DJ are handed over in a clockwise fashion around the table. one of the Player’s Henchmen must now be promoted to Core Character status. Then. perhaps this is the original PCs longlong brother. Similarly. that Game of EXPLOITATION! is over! The DJ’s Core Character has now become the Adversary. a randomlyselected Player shuffles and cuts the deck of cards (leave the Jokers in) and deals a hand of eight cards to each Player.) Ties are resolved by Players turning over the next cards in their hands. a Player may declare them to be any numbered card. until all Players have had a chance to be DJ once each. However. he 19 . Each Henchman is identically attributed and armed as the DJ’s CC. the villain that the other Players must thwart to successfully complete the upcoming Hand. with the difference being that HENCHMEN DO NOT USE MOJO. a Player whose PC has been killed may promote one of his Henchmen to take the dead PCs place in the current Hand. This simulates the fact that 1970s exploitation actors often quickly went from playing heroes in one movie to villains in the next!! The DJ’s next task is to create a number of HENCHMEN equal to the remaining number of other Players at the table. the DJ’s Adversary. and therefore do the bidding of. This can be explained in any way the Player chooses. These newly-created henchmen work for. each player sits down and creates and arms her Core Character (CC) using the rules already presented above. In each succeeding Hand of play.

The DJ turns over the next card in his Hand.TSS #43 stays dead. The DJ must now generate a Plot. of course. not just the current Hand! (This is an excellent incentive for shy Players to WANT to be DJ!) The Plot The other Players now put aside their hands of cards for later use. which will serve as the basis for the upcoming Hand’s scenario. need to be made up on the fly by the DJ. Much of the detail will. and the Player is out of the game itself. and consults the table below to determine the Hand’s Plot: 20 . but the Plot provides a course for him to steer by.

now he’s spewing psychological advice on network television! To quote the old Klingon proverb: “Revenge is a dish best served cold. the PCs’ eight-track tape player broke down on the way to a huge Skynard concert. but they have to get past her shotgun-toting father… Or. left you for dead. and kill him with your Hands and Feet (no guns allowed!) See Bruce Lee’s classic film Enter the Dragon for inspiration. The PC with the lowest IQ has devised a FOOLPROOF plan to get it. the van has broken down in the middle of the 21 . Never mind the dealer’s 300-pound bodyguard and the crocodiles! See Boogie Nights for inspiration. Grass.” This is a great opportunity for a horror-themed Hand. CLUBS: “Evil Genius Must Die!” The Government has paid you to infiltrate the infamous Doctor Naughty’s secret island stronghold. a PC’s friends have agreed to help him claim the holy grail: the local homecoming queen’s panties! If this Adventure seed seems sexist. or Ass: Nobody Rides for Free!) Love and/or lust are perfectly good reasons to embark upon a Hand of EXPLOITATION!. A PC’s friends have agreed to help him elope with his true love.TSS #43 SPADES: “Kill Phil. First.” He killed your family. and slapped your dog! Worse yet. HEARTS: “Scam a Fox” (or ‘Gas. What the bad guy did to piss off the PCs is up to the DJ. DIAMONDS: Scam the Dealer! The friendly neighborhood coke dealer has a million dollars in cash hidden under his floorboards. feel free to switch genders and go after that football hunk! ACE (Any Suit): “Long Live the Eight-Track!” Something has gone terribly wrong in the recording industry! Have the PCs uncovered a plot to destroy that bastion of quality pop music. Disco? Has a secret society been conducting its illegal affairs disguised as a record label? Maybe the PCs are a Disco band that must storm a greedy record exec’s office building to retrieve their stolen master tapes! JOKER: “Flat Tire. and it involves filling five zip-lock bags with baking soda.” Revenge is also an ideal seed for EXPLOITATION! adventures. Now.

TSS #43 desert! But wait. and weapons without their help. the current DJ must choose Plots. all Players vote again to choose among the tied Characters. Settings. but maybe they have a telephone! The Setting The DJ must now choose a Setting. 22 . A Player may not vote for his own Character. ACE (Any Suit): Recording Studio. During the course of this DJ’s Hand. the Player is out of the game. A Henchman who has been promoted to CC is eligible for the Vote. The 8-Track System allows EXPLOITATION! Players to forget all that crap they’re learned about roleplaying games not having “winners!” After each Player has had a chance to be the DJ for a single Hand of EXPLOITATION!. In the event of a tie. and he has no Henchmen to replace the CC. If a Player’s CC has died. JOKER: Car Wash. The Player who wins the vote wins the Game. Dead Core Characters don’t count. the Players vote. CLUBS: Dojo. should he require new Plots and/or Settings. by secret ballot. Veteran CCs may be used in future EXPLOITATION! games. DIAMONDS: Disco. and consults the table below: SPADES: Roller Disco Rink. there’s a house on the horizon! It’s boarded-up and decrepit. Once all the cards in his hand are turned over. Gimmicks. he may use one or more of his remaining cards to choose them. The DJ should now have five (5) cards remaining in his hand. He may also use the cards to randomly assign Gimmicks (see GIMMICKS) and/or weapons (see COMBAT) to his DJ Characters. on which Core Character survived the evening’s game most successfully. HEARTS: Porn Movie Set. The DJ turns over the next card in his hand. where the Plot’s initial action will take place.

The improved Core Character may. the current DJ may decide to award the player a DP. the DJ will tell the player to make a check mark next to the Ability or Gimmick he just used. Each time a PC makes a successful Ability Roll or Gimmick Roll.TSS #43 Disco Points DPs are the EXPLOITATION! equivalent of what bigger. at the rate of 5 DPs to one Gimmick or Ability Point. come back later as an Adversary. Extra DPs may be saved and turned in after future Hands (never DURING a Hand). or the roll results from a particularly clever idea on the part of the player (“We’ll make a grenade launcher out of a VACUUM CLEANER!”) When a DP is awarded. At the end of the current Hand. No Ability or Gimmick may ever be raised above 12 points. A DP should be awarded only when the roll is made under suitably dramatic and/or cinematic circumstances. of course. 23 . more boring RPGs call Experience Points. the Player may turn in his DPs for points added to the checked Gimmick and/or Ability.

but it is equally hard to imagine the 1970s without them. It is hard to imagine that this Swedish foursome once outdid the Beatles in record sales. I dare you to listen to such ABBA faves as “Dancing Queen” or “Waterloo. Most of these films’ soundtracks are available on Compact Disc. who shudders at the very mention of their name!) 24 .” and get their music out of your head any time soon. use these to create atmosphere during play. (Editor’s Note: the opinions of Dan on Abba do not reflect those of the magazine editor. This is not an exhaustive list. Better yet.TSS #43 CHAPTER V: INSPIRATION The following films (plus one Compact Disc set and one television show) will provide EXPLOITATION! players and DJs with an endless supply of Characters and situations to draw inspiration from. EXPLOITATION! DJs should. but is rather a random sampling of media to get players in a sufficiently-seventies mood. Check garage sales and the Internet! ABBA Gold (Compact Disc). by all means. a working eight-track tape player provides an ideal atmosphere for EXPLOITATION! games.

laced with a myriad of trailers for “upcoming” films. Rum Punch. Grindhouse. This is Bruce Lee’s finest film. in the tradition of the 1970s film Vanishing Point. Robert Forster. As Nice Guy Eddie reminds us in Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. they present the audience with a double-feature. black female characters that we now take for granted. Anderson’s imagination. and bad guy Kareem AbdulJabbar leaving a huge footprint on Bruce’s chest! Get Christie Love. Bruce Lee’s second best film is worth a look for inspiration into the devious tricks of 1970s evil geniuses. Quentin Tarantino’s two-part film owes more to 1970s martial arts and black exploitation films than any of his other offerings.TSS #43 Boogie Nights. The directors pay loving tribute to the 1970s films that inspired this game. and the quintessential “Evil Genius Must Die!” scenario. As the much-endowed porn actor Dirk Diggler. Jackie Brown. From the cheesy “Our Feature Presentation” opening title to the soundtrack’s “bleep” 25 . Mark Wahlberg takes us through the twisted 1970s world of director P. Inspired performances by gifted supporting actors such as John C. Reilly (“People tell me I look like Han Solo!”) make this film memorable. Tarantino’s Death Proof is an ultra-violent. car chase-o-rama (with a bit of chick flick thrown in). Quentin Tarantino brought back such 1970s luminaries as Pam Grier. A stellar cast. In true grindhouse format. Jackie Brown fans will be surprised to discover that Pam Grier has apparently not aged one day since her stint as the premier 1970s Fox. Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’ magnum opus. and more twists than the limbs of Bruce Lee’s latest opponent. Kill Bill. and Sid Haig for this adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel. reminding us that enduringlybad 1970s cinema is about much more than murder and mayhem! Enter the Dragon. The nunchaku fight scene is worth the price of admission. Rodriguez’ Planet Terror is an homage to the best (worst?) of 1970s zombie thrillers. Sugar!” Teresa Graves’ street-smart. black female detective Christie Love is famous for the immortal line “You’re under arrest. Car Wash. undercover cop helped to pave the way for the strong. Game of Death. A song-and-dance extravaganza. Foxy Brown.T.

A more authentic version of Boogie Nights. The original is a brilliant slice of 1970s mayhem by Poltergeist director Tobe Hooper. There is a reason why Quentin Tarantino cast Sonny Chiba as a master swordsmith in Kill Bill. whose films are too often lost in Bruce Lee’s shadow. That Seventies Show (Television Series). Shaft. Check out the original for a classic of black exploitation cinema. Street Fighter. Chiba is a legend of 1970s martial arts cinema. Both films helped to inspire the “Flat Tire” Adventure Seed (see ADVENTURES). Forget Samuel L. Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The remake is a look at how 1970s mayhem is perceived by a 2003 filmmaker. this film is pure 1970s exploitation. Val Kilmer as porn legend John Holmes takes us on a gritty tour of the 1970s skin trade.TSS #43 every time the name of Uma Thurman’s heroine is uttered. Wonderland. but also a funny. Jackson’s modernized remake. A watered-down version of what the 1970s were like. 26 . lighthearted look at what your 1970s characters might do when they’re not kicking ass.

Kattachi are usually found in arid. They may also seize elves and other demi -humans.TSS #43 Fiends Foul and Friendly Some new Monsters for Dungeons & Dragons 4E By Tori Bergquist The following beasties have appeared before. only the females can shape shift in to a form which allows them to mate with species that lack chimeric traits. so only the females can mate with outsiders. these are the fourth edition versions of entities which have appeared previously with stats for Castles & Crusades and Tunnels & Trolls in other Zodiac Gods Publications. subterranean realms beneath the desert. near the ashtarth lands of Dahik. They are trained early on and reach adulthood by the age of 10-12. so most raids with the surface Kattachi Scorpion Men Lore Nature DC 15 Kattachi are native to the Hyrkanian Desert. and the birth result spawned (among other monstrosities) the Kattachi. as they look like normal human torsos welded to a fully ambulatory giant scorpion body. and often war with the dark elves. and shields. Unfortunately. Kattachi prefer pole weapons. 27 . the normal Kattachi lack pincers. Kathack is the immortal lord of insects. and in a spiteful conflict lost to time. and if the Queen is killed. They usually wear lamellar/curbolli armor. Queens are easily distinguished. but the hybrid children of such unions are always degenerate or deformed in some manner. the repulsive demon god. the Kattachi males are all sterile. and a character with a talent for armor smithing and tanning could craft the chitin in to a non-metallic plate mail which weighs half as much as normal plate. there have been wan times when such was a necessity. Kattachi scorpion men are a degenerate race created eons ago for the sadistic whim of Kathack. They have a strong presence in the Hyrkanian Deserts. These updates let you add them to your fourth edition delves! Kattachi Scorpion Men world are to secure breeding stock. and dwell in catacombs beneath the sandy wastes. Likewise. scimitars. Still. and are about half the size of the queen. All Kattachi have natural chitinous armor. including pincers. Only one Kattachi may rise to the status of Queen in a given network. another Kattachi woman will metamorphose to take her place within a few weeks. Kattachi have been cursed by their god with the need to breed with humans in order to continue their species. Both sides like to take slaves as they can. he saw fit to impregnate human women with his own kin. Each Kattachi is a male or female who is fully capable of combat from a young age.

Fire 5 Speed 6 (8 in the desert) Scimitar Strike (standard. Endurance +12 Str 20 (+9) Dex 17 (+7) Wis 14 (+6) Con 17 (+7) Int 12 (+5) Cha 14 (+6) Equipment: Scimitars. an ancient being that is believed to dwell deep within the bowels of the earth. at-will) Ranged 10/20. There are usually a few Kattachi women in a community. 4d8 + 5 damage and Ongoing 5 poison damage (save ends). AC. as all Kattachi males are sterile. 2d8 + 5 damage Long Bow (standard. and twice yearly during the solstice and equinox honor him with sacrifices of slaves and treasure to immense idols in darkened temples. Reflex 20. to whom they are unwaveringly dedicated. at-will) +11 vs AC. She gains the following basic attack: Dagger strike (Standard. Deity Profile: Kathack Aspect: Insects. at-will. to insure the propogation of her species. female Target: Self. Females may transform in to a medium sized human or elvish woman. Nature DC 25 It is rumored that most male Kattachi are sterile. +14. Effect: target is immobilized and is at -2 to Reflexes (save ends both). so that she may carry on the species. chimeras. Will 19 Resist Cold 5. and they must find human and demihuman males to provide to their queen. Alignment: unaligned Languages: Kathack (native). +11 vs. all highly regarded for their 28 . Minor. usually groups of 6-12. shields and hide armor (for the human part). kattachi Origin: Ancient chaos god Kathack is a degenerate mad god of chaos. 2d6 + 5 damage Net Attack (standard. as they love such baubles. Fortitude 22. Nature DC 20 The Kattachi revere a single great queen. Bloodied 53 AC 20.TSS #43 Kattachi Scorpion Men They are prone to raiding human communities for slaves and food. at-will) Range 8. Dark Vision HP 107. Shape Shifter (Daily. Venemous Tail Strike (standard. Middle Tongue Skills: Athletics. +11 vs AC. They have poisonous stingers which they use in combat. encounter) Poison Reach 2. She can not use her tail strike attack in this form.) arcane.+11 vs. Kattachi Scorpion Men Tactics Kattachi prefer to ambush in numbers. 1D4+5 damage). during which they will try to restrain potential slaves with nets and slay any strong opponents Kattachi Scorpion Queen The hub of any Kattachi nest is the Scorpion Queen. Reflexes. females only. They have deep subterranean slave mines to extract precious metals and gems from the earth. Level 8 Brute Medium Aberrant Humanoid (chaos) XP 350 Initiative +7 Senses Perception +10. +11 vs AC. There are said to be Kattachi priests who can call up swarms of insects in the god’s name. a woman who is gifted with the ability to transform between her half scorpion form and a true human or elvish form. This effect will last 12 hours or until dismissed. The Kattachi worship this mysterious and malevolent deity.

Middle Tongue Skills: Athletics +17. encounter) Close burst 1. seeping in from the chaos energy which permeated the land in the wake of the war. Fortitude 26. AC. +14 vs Reflex. Velboshia Lock'Nodivia Tomb Guardian Ancient guardians of the tombs of the gods. Insight +15 Str 22 (+12) Dex 17 (+9) Wis 19 (+10) Con 18 (+10) Int 18 (+10) Cha 16 (+9) Equipment: regal adorning jewelry. however. the temple guardians who died in the conflict against the demons were mummified and submitted to a terrible necromantic process to revive them as eternal tomb protectors. Their species is a chaoscursed race created by the insect god Kathack. Will 24 Saves +2 Resist Cold 10. Bloodied 122 AC 26. the target is considered grappled. The Scorpion Queen may transform in to a medium sized human or elvish woman. and devoured the skull-caps of the bodies. Dark Vision HP 244. or tail strike attacks in this form. 3d8 + 5 damage Scorpion Queen may shift up to her full move and engage in the trample attack at any point along the movement line Shape Shifter (Daily. 4d8 + 5 damage Instant Reaction if target is grappled. but see human and demihuman men as their concubines. pincer. and quickly moves to close in. long bow Kattachi Scorpion Queen Tactics The Scorpion Queen favors her trample attack whenevr possible. 1D4+5 damage). Trample Attack (standard. This effect will last 12 hours or until dismissed. from which 29 . She can not use her trample.TSS #43 Kattachi Scorpion Queen Lore Nature DC 25 Scorpion Queens require normal humans and demihumans to mate. and others discard or slay them after mating. The bodies became covered in a moss-like green substance. rarity.+17 vs. at-will) +17 vs AC. When the War of the Gods destroyed the early Fertile Empire of Hyrkania and laid low the mortal forms of the divine lords. and grew like a fungus in the bodies of these undead guardians. ate the mummified flesh. 1d8 + 5 damage Long Bow (standard. Something horrible corrupted the spells of reanimation. 1d8 + 5 damage Make two basic Pincer Attacks. which tinged their skeletal forms. though how this is done is unknown. 1d8 + 5 damage Double Pincer Attack (standard. Endurance +15. Does ongoing 10 poison damage (save ends) and immobilizes the target (save ends). grabbing foes with her pincers and stabbing them with her tail. She gains the following basic attack: Dagger strike (Standard. Venomous Tail Strike (standard. They take husbands from the males. +17 vs AC. Reflex 24. at-will) Ranged 10/20. at-will. Kattachi Scorpion Queen Level 12 Controller (elite) Large Aberrant Humanoid (chaos) XP 700 Initiative +9 Senses Perception +21. these desiccated corpses were once the proud temple guards and paladins of the divine palaces in the mythic city Corti’Zahn over three thousand years ago. Some treasure these concubines like pets. Alignment: unaligned Languages: Kathack. recharge 56) Poison +17 vs AC.) arcane Target: Self. at-will) +17 vs AC. Nature DC 30 The Scorpion Queens can shape shift for short periods in to normal forms. if both attacks strike. Minor. Fire 10 Speed 6 (8 in desert) Action Points: 1 Pincer Attack (standard.

but their “heads” cannot bear a helm of any sort. sickly eye attached at the end. who were interred as a form of undead intended to guard the tombs of their fallen deities. the geas of duty upon the Velboshia Lok’nodivia is so strong that. All Around Vision HP 105. they will immediately seek to return to a tomb and continue guarding (a different tomb. 2d8 + 6 damage. if they must!) The tomb guardians are usually found in the ancient tombs hidden throughout the Slithotendan Mountains. 4d8 + 6 damage in a Burst 3 radius Eye of Flesh to Stone (standard. Alignment: evil Languages: old tongue Skills: Athletics +17. 1d10 + 6 damage Eye of Disintegration (standard. they are usually armed with enchanted or ancient weapons of fine craftsmanship. and prefer to lurk in darkened corners of the tombs they are so familiar with. Arcana DC 30 Tomb Guardians are rooted to the tombs they protect. then strike when their targets are in visible range. +19 vs Reflex. Velboshia Lock'Nodivia Tomb Guardian Tactics Tomb Guardians move in groups of two to four. encounter) psychic Ranged sight. +19 vs Reflex. Corrupting chaos magic mutated the undead in to a strange abomination with tentacles where their head should be. 30 . Reflex 26. as well. Target's Int is reduced to 1 (save ends). but unprepared. but some were freed for reasons most suspicious. 4d8 + 6 damage. Fortitude 26. as well as in the ruins of Hoggoth and Old Galon Velboshia Lock'Nodivia Tomb Guardian Level 14 Artillery Medium Immortal Animate (Undead) XP 1000 Initiative +12 Senses Perception +26. or carry shields. Bloodied 52 AC 26. Dark Vision. at-will) Ranged 10/20.TSS #43 then extruded four tendril-like appendages. Target takes 5 ongoing force damage (save ends) Eye of Fire (standard. encounter) Area within 20. +19 vs . Some are armored in plate mail. Eye of Idiocy (standard. Second Round: target is immobilized (save ends). First Round: target is slowed (save ends). and certain Necromancers found them useful for guarding other things. Target will revert to normal if the tomb guardian is slain within 24 hours of the effect's onset. Vulnerable Radiant 10 Speed 6 Rusty Iron Long Sword (standard. encounter) Ranged sight. Will 28 Resist Necrotic 20. Stealth +17 Str 20 (+12) Dex 20 (+12) Wis 24 (+14) Con 15 (+9) Int 17 (+10) Cha 17 (+10) Equipment: As tomb guardians. Many of these corrupted tomb guardians remained eternal guardians. 4d8 + 6 damage. each with a hideous blinking. Third Round: target turns to stone. at-will) +21 vs AC. However. Velboshia Lock'Nodivia Tomb Guardian Lore History DC 25 Tomb Guardians were the dedicated templars and paladins of dead gods from the ancient war. the moment the necromantic control slips over them. +21 vs AC. Stoned victims can usually be cured if the tomb guardian is slain within a day of the victim's stoning.

the Tarasque is a dimensional being. and entity of the outer darkness. The scenario as written is set in historical France in 1580.TSS #43 Dark Masques A scenario of historical horror in Tarrascon. France Background The town that killed the legendary Tarasque. France for any game system By Tori Bergquist The Tarasque was allegedly killed (in the tale) three centuries earlier. I have included only generic references with the scenario. and serves equally well as an adventure for any fantasy setting. historical or otherwise. in 1280 or thereabouts. and is especially suitable for a Strange Aeons style Call of Cthulhu scenario. and recently. with the holy shrine and tomb of the savior Saint Martha.5. Tarrascon has long celebrated the victory over this dragoness of evil. it must draw humans in to its worship. It has remained a spectral presence in the region ever since. The Cathedral of Tarrascon. To breach the veil of reality. but instead banished by the holy miracles of Saint Martha. in Provence. which may be haunted by the devil himself. It would make an excellent period piece adventure for a Ravenloft game. In fact. to allow the GM to utilize it with his preferred setting and rule system as desired. with the Darkness & Dread sourcebook from Fantasy Flight Games (an excellent resource for D20 horror fantasy. is an attractive spot for holy pilgrims to visit. which seeks the worship of mortals to aid in its escape. especially the swamps near Tarrascon. The following adventure outline was originally used for a protracted weekend campaign I ran several years ago using Dungeons & Dragons 3. as well. simply change minor details to suit your preferred locale as desired. by the way). the Tarasque was not specifically killed. Time Period: 1580 Europe Location: Tarrascon. Indeed. the material below is primarily an outline. this has begun 31 .

who is sent to investigate unusual threats to His Majesty and France A Tarrasacon native of no special importance.TSS #43 with the arrival of a warlock named Francios Callot. a man who learned hermetic and black magic from the Tabula Smaragdina. a secret society of enlightened men and women who seek out the hidden truths of the universe • A knight of Spain. dating back centuries. When the summoning ends. shed. a noted healer and miracle worker • Employed by the Comte de Maracon as a researcher and investigator. as if by a reptile. with traces of coarse hair.” but instead possesses and polymorphs a host creature in to its desired form on being summoned. who was a true black magician and acolyte of the Tarasque. it leaves the desiccated corpse. when hunters uncovered what appeared to be the remains of a fabulous creature. He regularly funds foreign expeditions to Africa and the New World to recover unique artifacts for his collections. (GM Note: The Tarasque does not truly “shed. the comte would love a fine new • An alchemist and scholar (and secret sorcerer) who studied for two years with John Dee. a member of the Luminares. He later met a basque witch named Efrida. But most recently. currently out of favor with the Lord of Galicia. The skin is hard. he can never stay in one place for more than two days The PCs are all brought in to play via their connection to one man: a patrician and scholar of Marseilles named Sir Stephan Launet. scaled. Though it appears not unlike the decomposed flesh of a body. whose grand father told many stories of the legendary Tarasque Suggested Character Backgrounds Adventure Opening You can pick from the following suggested background and hand them out to your players to give them a starting point for their character histories: • Served a decade in Henry III’s army. drained and mutated. it is something like a skin. as well as a fascination for the exotic. gained the wealth of a nice inheritance to start his own business • A traveling Calvinist priest.) 32 . who mustered out. who cursed him. one which bore a terrifying similarity to local tales of the Tarasque. She lured him through favors and promises of power in to studying the whispers of her outer goddess through drug-induced slumber and astral dreams. his most unusual acquisition came from neighboring Tarrascon. and bone-like. and a Jesuit who is questing for a Basque woman named Efrida. behind. It shows evidence of a six-legged beast. Launet has an extensive collection of texts. a gifted medium and rebellious spirit A special agent and envoy in the service of Henry III. • • • Daughter of a wealthy count of Marseilles.

When he sent for the bodies. and with a local man named Rene Dubois. Martha. or when they are getting close to tracking down who is attempting to raise the dark dragon. Someone dug up dozens of graves. the timing of events should correlate to the investigations of the party and the opportunity for interesting events and revelations. and explains that he fears that the old legends may be resurfacing. The Violation of the Graveyards When the PCs arrive. fears the vandals seek to desecrate the tomb of Martha. The reliquary is an artifact that provides protection from evil to the bearer. to aid in the defeat the Tarrasque. Summary of Events and Complications: The GM should reference each of the following aspects of the story. He begs the PCs to investigate. Bishop Lothaire.TSS #43 hapless human as the vessel of its spiritual manifestation. Launet has contacted his likeliest allies on this matter to investigate. although they are all story dependent. and a mob is assembling to find the culprits. Every third evening they attempt to call upon the spirit of the Tarasque. usually when he wants to make life more interesting for the PCs. utilizing a fragment of its old form. The scandal is causing panic in the streets. the graveyards of the Cathedral of St. He does not admit it. they had gone missing. they have begun the process of permanently reawakening the Tarasque. and holding some poor animal or 33 . but he received news a week ago that they were found killed and dismembered in the swamps outside of Tarrascon. but The Cult of the Tarasque Fracois Callot and Efrida have formed their local cult. The GM should utilize these séances at convenient times. The bishop of the cathedral. He arms the PCs with the Reliquary of St. and looks to hire protection for the cathedral. which are not exactly time-dependent. He will candidly admit that he paid his two best hunters. He also tells them that the blessed vial of holy water she used to subdue the beast is on display in the Cathedral named in her honor. including the alleged site where the saint herself was said to have been entombed. a Spanish man named Navarre and a Fenchman named Golan to seek out the origin of this creature. a grave robber and necromancer. that is. Martha will have recently been vandalized. The Reliquary contains a few grains of the saint’s hair in a vial of holy water.

It is also here that sacrifices have been offered to bring the Tarasque to the mortal plane. although Dubois has ordered the creatures to hide this hole. Each summoning has allowed the coven to augur a portion of the ritual spell necessary to bring forth the Tarasque.TSS #43 local merchant and old soldier. that it may possess the sacrificed victims and walk for an evening among men (shedding the body by daylight). and has suggested that the daughter of Lord Savagni. knows that the key to the hidden catacombs was stolen some time ago. called Castille et la bete. The anniversary celebration of the Tarasque’s death is a month away. he also seeks a way to get in to Saint Martha’s tomb. that he might shatter her holy water vial and steal her corpse. but soon he will have no choice but to accept the will of the mob. The necromancer and grave robber Dubois has awakened the ghouls trapped within. festering globules of semi-sentient ectoplasm. though the entrance is undisturbed. Investigators may stumble across the hole in the basement of the church that leads to the ghoul catacombs. The Castle of the Beast Hidden in the swamplands lies an old castle. long uninhabited and regarded as haunted. It is here that the pieces of the Tarasque are being brought. and people suspect that the beast might seek to return to life for revenge. but not like expected. Murielle. the Castle of the beast. A man named Richard Cuviere. The Hidden Catacombs The basement of the church was compromised. Meanwhile. one of the violated grave diggings penetrated a catacomb tunnel. to allow for the resurrection of the beast on the mortal plane.just not one related in any way to the dark coven dedicated to the resurrection of the Tarasque. The Fear of the Townsfolk and the Festival of the Tarasque Within Tarascon. after a rash of mysterious deaths in and around the cathedral one summer. in fact a witch…. as a means of performing a ritual to immunize the Tarasque against counter summonings. For a fun side-story and an extra twist (as well as a ruse if desired) the GM should give the investigators an opportunity to discover that Murielle is. No one has entered the catacombs in two centuries. which were scattered by the peasants in the swamplands. a prominent 34 . is really a witch. This castle is the location of the coven’s operations. as well as imbue each member with a dark pact. has started a mob on a witch-hunt. as omens are afoot that evil is once more loosed upon the town. and uses them now to do his bidding: find the corpse remains of the Tarasque’s last true body. The noble and his men have protected her so far. or at least her skull. and is guarded by a fiendish werewolf summoned by the cabal to protect them. they were sealed away and hidden behind stone in the church basement. the people are fearful.

in fact. which directed him in the means to awaken the Tarasque on the eve of its death. seeking to cast down Murielle as the source of evil. Her father is the Lord of the Town. Murivelle Savagni The aristocratic Murielle does. Alain Cuviere. NPCs and Monsters of Note Richard Cuviere The merchant and leader of the witch hunt. but she is very secretive about it. who is a married man and esteemed land owner of Tarascon. where he studied under Persian magians to divine dark secrets. and as yet unmarried (she is 19). Not long after moving to the province.TSS #43 Francois Callot The dark master of the cult masquerades by day as a simple farmer and sometimes hedge wizard who can offer up cures for livestock to a handful of dedicated peasants who fear and respect him. Murielle has been carrying on an affair with his brother. but she spurned him. but currently has a quiet romance going with Alain Cuviere. Convinced that this entity is a manifestation of Ahriman or one of his demonic minions (the amesha spentas). Callot encountered the Devil in the Swamp. Callot claims to have stolen the secrets of magic from a lengthy period he spent in the Middle East. 35 . His ire towards Murielle secretly stems from the fact that he once coveted her. and he claims allegiance to the dark Zoroastrian deity Ahriman. he has obeyed. has a gift of second sight. She is a flirt.

Worse yet. where he became fascinated with necromancy and witchcraft. No memory of this event exists. and she remains aloof and hidden from the local community. and instructed Rene on how to make talismans which allowed him to control them. and maintains what is effectively a cabinet of curiosities. He fled to his homeland when the changes began. He is a collector of taxidermied specimens from across the world.TSS #43 Efrida the Witch Efrida is a woman quite taken with Francis Callot. She fled before she could be hanged or burned. who was bitten by a lycanthrope while campaigning as a mercenary in Germany. Within that diary he tells the tale of the depraved cultists who brought forth the Tarasque. if treated right. and he reluctantly deals with the coven. who sealed his diary up in a hidden cache in the basement of the church. and despite his outward appearance of dedication to the church he is a natural heretic and atheist. and upon learning of their plans along with an arranged meeting with the Devil in the Swamp he grew fascinated with their intentions. Afterwards. the mob sought out the 36 . and frequently makes visits to Paris proper and has been in the attendance of Henry III on more than one occasion. Rene spent several years in the darkest regions of Africa. and both wife and child perished in the birthing. and Efrida was accused of causing the deformities. He has occasionally argued philosophy with the Devil of the Swamp.three centuries ago. and were then entombed for their sins in the catacombs by a vengeful mob. with a design on eventually gaining control of the Tarasque for himself. Rene stumbled upon Callot’s and Efrida’s coven by accident. for Efrida has promised him a cure to his malady in exchange for his services. and in the swamps she met the mysterious Devil of the Swamp. originally a soldier names Treville. Rene became fascinated with this evidence of power. informed him of the ghouls beneath the graveyard. largely because of an incident a year ago in which she was midwife to the now deceased wife of the merchant Luis Erabonne. the child was born hideously deformed. and eagerly joined in on their cause. Shortly thereafter she took up residence in the Castille et la bete. filled with strange relics and specimins from around the world. and eliminating his allies if necessary. later to become a saint. allowed the peasants to stone the beast to death. The Werewolf of the castle of the beast A terrifying beast. The Devil in the Swamp Ghouls of the Catacombs These ghouls are the restless halfdead corpse eaters who survived from the first coven that was formed by the Devil in the Swamp to summon the Tarrasque –successfully. Rene Dubois Rene Dubois is a valued merchant and lesser noble in the province. and not much later was directed by the Devil in the Swamp to take up the cause of Francis Callot. and how only the intervention of lady Martha. He could be a potential ally. except in a diary by the Bishop from that period. and eventually los touch with his humanity and became a hermit in the swamps. with whom she had relations.

and are nigh-indestructible. Each time the shadow manifestation appears. black gas and can move about through the shadows and swamp water with some sort of protean speed. They have perfect dark vision. as only dismemberment will stop them. occasionally as a maddened hermit. Prevent (or restore) the defilement of Saint Martha’s tomb. and may become vulnerable to mortal attacks. The manifestations of the Tarasque Each manifestation is terrifying. Unbeknownst to all. In the proper historical setting it would not be at all improper to assume this being is some Gnostic demon or even the aforementioned Ahriman himself! man and woman responsible. What is it? None really know…. and are all but useless in the day. as something incalculably horrifying. The ghouls abhor sunlight. It can never leave the swamp. living in the swamps. sometimes thorny being. where they were forever enclosed. The apparition will appear in permanent and resurrected form on the day of the festival. the Devil in the Swamp simply did not allow the two to die. the baron’s daughter. Uncover the plot of the coven and the location of the summonings. and prevent the resurrection of the Tarasque. Martha then it will follow hypnotically. and does severe lingering damage. and dragged the two to the catacombs beneath the church. castile et la bete. it will last until dawn.but it appears as a dark. Seal the catacombs and/or sanctify it by destroying the ghouls within. messily. If the beast is swayed by a holy man with a tether to St. forcing them to predate upon the remains of interred victims. however. GMs 37 . The manifestations excude a noxious. however. Especially proactive players who figure out the presence of the Devil in the Swamp behind all of this. However. and otherwise invulnerable to most attacks. holy water is especially repellent. at which time it expires. saintly reliquaries will repulse the creature. if it is not stopped! Goals and Resolutions The PCs have the following possible goals: prove the innocence of Murielle.TSS #43 should pick an appropriately horrifying major villain (or manifestation thereof) from the campaign or presumed mythos setting that they are using to be the real entity behind this presence. and under the dark of the new moon. Likewise. or who find obscure clues (such as the diary telling the tale of the ghouls’ origin) should get extra credit! The Devil of the Swamp The mysterious being that has given the swamps its reputation.

I've got a good one. Or it may never have been completely made up. I promise to tell you the story that was told to me exactly the way it was told to me without any embellishments or alterations. have been made up by the person who told it to me. Then.” He pauses for a moment. I don't know. But they decide to find out. It may. they decide to do some research of their own. They say that after their longer better study they have determined that the tip of the human penis is wider to give the male more pleasure. So. which is strange. they use like two million credits and about three years for their experiment at the end of which they announce their findings. Prolly because they sit around looking down their own trousers all day. perhaps by the person who told it to him. So listen up. and it's true too. you can't leave yet. Not to be out done some Mandalorian scientists decide to do their own study. I mean the first one that we know of. When everything is done. It all begins. because it could have been so very happy. By that I mean that I am not making it up. These scientists on Correllia realize that they don't know the anatomical reason for why the human penis is wider at the tip than at the shaft. yet it is a way that would seem to have happened under the most natural progression of events. but rather have had some parts of it modified or added to it throughout its passage from one person to another. far away By Jeremiah Griffin weeks. The spacer erupts into laughter. “Hey stop me if you've heard this one before. In fact it is rather sad. So. I'm just getting started. “Haven't seen you around in some time. So they use like a million credits of grant money and spend about two years researching it. For it all begins in such an unusual way. “No. because that is as close as I can get to the truth. and that's so the man's hand won't fly off and hit him in the face”. the Mandos announce that they know the real reason the tip of the human penis is wider than the shaft.TSS #43 The Other Side of the Galaxy A tale from long ago. from what I understand the basis for the story has some truth to it. see. or rather. as The greasy spacer sets down his mug and lets out a thunderous belch then sighs. in a galaxy far. So after they make their announcement its a big thing in the scientific community. The story of the first Jawa Jedi (and by first. After word gets to some scientists in Corsicant. But. assuming it is true in the first place) is not a happy one. if it were not for the unfortunate circumstances. So they use like twenty credits and a couple of 38 .” “The story I am about to tell you is true. that I know of. because they are sure their study will be more accurate because they are the Emperor's scientists and stuff. however. Or. they announce that they have discovered that the tip of the human penis is wider than the shaft in order to give the female more pleasure.

Zorba. the times before the fall of the Empire. In spite of his best and most dire efforts. His transformation from wretched to pious seemed permanent. Zorba could not seem to rise in power or influence. 39 . This was. being suddenly very wealthy. just like in the old days. not Zorba Desilijic (that guy was a jerk and a totally different Hutt than the one I am talking about. He was eventually reduced to begging the other Hutts for positions and jobs for which he was hopelessly under qualified and very frequently refused. He would have willed his money to just about anyone else. And so. Zorba set out to rise in power and influence. In fact it is quite likely that Zorba killed him specifically to inherit his wealth. great Master Luma found him trying to siphon fuel from his battered old speeder in the slums of a sprawling city. apparently for the time being. you will know why). and then as it turned out for the rest of his life. he did not trust him. offered him food. he did not think he was good with money. his salvation appeared. Luma began to teach him in the ways of the Force. and the few Jedi that remained found it necessary to remain hidden and practise in secret. they were both filled with much anticipation of what he might accomplish. And so. accept he had no closer relatives. and more wealth. and even selling his body for change (for obvious reasons the going price for Hutts has always been very low on the streets). and kindness. He would have preferred his significant wealth had been passed to any other relative. Zorba left in secret on his quest to show others the way of the Force. he took him in. Naturally he was sure that those who would benefit most from his knowledge would be his own dear relatives who he so many things on Tatooine do. accept that he died before he had finished signing his will. Zorba Anjiliac. though they were both sad to part. expecting everyone to see the wonderful changes in his life and take up as he himself had. at all. Like so many beginning Jedi he was at times a bit overzealous. shelter. The reasons it is believed that Zorba killed his relative are varied. with the Hutts. Zorba slowly began to become strong in the Force. and became a true Jedi. When Zorba was very young. of course. like so many Hutts was quite greedy. Whatever the case and facts of his death. Rather than punish the destitute Hutt. His relative did not like him. one of his wealthiest relatives died. Zorba finally found peace. So it came that Zorba realized that he must move on to other systems to find a padawan of his own. leaving his large fortune to young Zorba proved unavoidable in spite of all his best and most obvious efforts (to say nothing of his less obvious ones). Zorba the Hutt. As Zorba slowly began to regain his strength and open up to him. and he only seemed to make money when someone was foolish enough to die in his proximity. The Zorba I am talking about. at all. Luma and Zorba bid farewell to each other. One Hutt in particular. The late. at all.TSS #43 He took to drinking and gambling. When all seemed lost. It is very unlikely that the relative in question would have liked for Zorba to inherit any of his wealth. you probably never heard of and once you hear the rest of the story. an inner peace that few individuals and even fewer Hutts have ever had. however.

Like I said he could not have been more proud of their progress. we all know how Hutts are and they were not interested. he returned to Jabba the Hutt on Tatooine. An epiphany struck him. but he came to a realization. which I am told took them some time to become proficient in (I am not sure which of the four was learning the fastest. but he was anxious. but the four young brothers insisted on accompanying him. With a heavy heart. hoping to travel to some distant planet peopled by a race with much higher intelligence. and so the young Jawas in particular took interest in him in return. Upon learning that the nearest creature who might 40 . and full of vigor. Unfortunately. He was very proud when they were capable of moving a fist sized stone from one end of the cave to the other. he was much more open. In order to further their training. One that he had built himself under the guidance of Master Luma. Next he taught them how to far see and how to do that thing where they talk to each other through the force. he turned back. He had but two light-sabers. he might have waited just a little while longer before beginning this task. In spite of their best efforts to make him work at even the most menial tasks he seemed to spend most of his time with the young Jawas. He traveled from system to system. Finally. In only a short time he realized that four young brothers both seemed to posses something of the Force in them.TSS #43 have shown even the least interest in Zorba had been exploded. in fact most of them tried to make him pay for his debts resulting in a myriad of stories which are best told another time. as fate would have it. It is necessary for any Jedi both for fighting and for meditating in the Force. the Jawas left him to fend for himself. But. and would be at any other time due to the outcome of that particular event. he taught them meditation. He was all too proud of his padawan and truly believed that they were ready for the task. I am not sure he knew [Jawas all look the same anyway]). Like many Jedi masters. and he quickly went to work training them in the ways of the Force and the Jedi. how to reach out to aspects of the Force that seemed to present in their lives already. friendly. they would all need to build their own lightsaber. and jocular. only to experience one rejection after the other. who most likely thought they could ransom him for lots of money. He moved on to teaching them how to move small objects. Some how Zorba managed to get hold had so poorly treated throughout the years of his previous life. Jabba was trying to force feed Luke Skywalker to the Sarlacc at the time and was completely uninterested in learning the ways of the Jedi. His manor was different due to his change to Jedi. Eventually he was rescued by Jawa traders. he began with the basics. But. his ride to the nearest space port crashed in the desert. They could not have known that he was not worth very much. where he was stranded for some days. Had he been a more experienced Jedi. and another that he had found during his travels on the floor of a men's room stall in a less savory kind of space port in Hutt Space. They built a home out of a nearby cave and he continued their training most diligently. and so they took him into their trade vessel.

it took even longer for him to get the kid to the proper medical facilities. For the story of the first known Jawa Jedi is also the story of the first known Jawa Sith. he casually joked with his young padawan that light-saber crystals are actually made of candy. Upon learning the fate of Master Zorba. Apparently. Zorba broke into uproarious laughter. The young Jawa. as he fell over curling ito a fetal position and going into little spasms of excruciating pain. and he deserved retribution. and the other brothers were just the least bit jealous upon watching him train with it. it took Zorba some time to realize that his padawan was in serious pain. Had 41 . but to be laughed at by all of those he had trusted so very much was unbearable. with some difficulty.TSS #43 he only suffered such horrible pain. he managed to swallow it. and oldest brother began building his first under careful watch from Zorba. tasty looking bright pink crystal and stuffed it into his little mouth. And so it was. the other brothers took up their arms (only the oldest had his own saber. When he tasted not but the bland cold. but Jawas are pretty smelly creatures as it is]). I know that look. When. in moments the other brothers realized the trick that had been played and joined in the laughing. Sadly this is were the great calamity begins. and Zorba was all too glad to help him in the construction of his own blade. As I mentioned before. one of the more eager bothers rather forcibly volunteered to go next. Zorba's personality was was greatly changed. and the other took up the other without knowing where it had actually come from [I am told it had an odd smell. and took off in pursuit of their brother to avenge the death of their beloved master. retrieve the crystal. slowly growing more evil with each day. the youngest used Zorba's weapon. the little rodent might have only been angered. the finished product was quite versatile. Next.” “Didn't I tell ya it was good? Hey! Don't go yet! Yeah. And so this sad story comes to a close with the three still in pursuit of their own brother. and rather his teeth gave way to it. who manages to stay one step ahead of them every time. This was most likely the turning point. hard surface of the stone. he didn't think too much more of it. he began to think considerably more of it. but don't of some light-saber crystals as well as parts that could be used to construct the base of the weapon. Upon seeing that the fuzzy little guy had indeed fallen for his joke. You've had a bad day and your just expecting it to get worse. The first. After several months and a handful of surgeries. he thought little of it. Fortunately there were no problems. and using mostly memory and improvisation build his own light-saber and use it to murder his master (he was conveniently meditating in the hospital waiting room). having perhaps a little too much trust in his master quickly snatched up a beautiful. that in a most innocent manner. and he was much more jocular than most any other Hutt in history. the stone had been removed and the Jawa had healed enough to sneak out of his room in the hospital ward. When it failed to give way to his teeth. and since they were living out in the middle of the desert.

Let me buy you a drink. I got a million more jokes and stories and stuff to brighten up your night. Here.TSS #43 worry.” Fin 42 .

I thought I had shot the creature through the heart. we had only Moriarty’s blood spoor to guide us. I unwrapped a package containing artifacts that I had purchased from a Belgian trader in Kabul: two beautiful. sixteen-point stag. “Come. But here. he himself would be the first to sneak in under cover of darkness and pull the abomination to the ground. Watson. A story in the Times gave me a splendid idea for a diversion. I will reveal the origin of another of my friend’s oft-repeated phrases. Later that afternoon. and finding my medical practice to be excruciatingly slow. has solved some of England’s most vexing mysteries. Once there. This elusive stag. I had merely dealt the stag a far from grievous blow. Soon. It was a period in which the city was devoid of criminal activity. to whet the reader’s appetite. I will break with that tradition today. for the first time. and I promptly shot the beast through the heart. like a gory trail of bread crumbs in some twisted variant on that German tale about the children and the witch. It was nearly sundown when we caught up with Moriarty. we found ourselves in Sherwood Forest. we spotted a magnificent. and we were on a train within the hour.” he called. During that time. the legendary hunting grounds of that famous outlaw. It was one of those periods of London history that Holmes deplored. My marksmanship skills had apparently worsened since my army days.” eluded us for nearly an hour. In fact. It was midmorning. being between marriages. I have never.TSS #43 The Adventure of the Deerstalkers Fiction by Dan Lambert I have told many tales about how my friend. in the late Autumn of 1888. The truth be told. The idea I proposed to my friend was a mid-afternoon hunting excursion to Sherwood Forest. too. I had often jostled Holmes with predictions that the Crown would soon erect a statue in honor of him! Holmes’ usual response was that if such a statue were to portray him wearing that ghastly Deerstalker cap and Inverness cape. it was only a flesh wound. Sherlock Holmes (with my meager help). and led the way into the midday forest gloom. finely-polished sporting shotguns. The phrase itself I will save for the end. Holmes agreed. We stopped 43 . Holmes loaded his shotgun. The story was about a new statue being dedicated to one of England’s most beloved literary figures: Robin Hood. to my utter disgust. however (until now) put my pen to the task of relating the tale of how one of Holmes’ well-loved idioms made its way into his voluminous vocabulary. To my delight. Holmes had been wearing a trough in the floor of our flat at 221B Baker Street. whom Holmes came to nickname “Moriarty. I. We all know Holmes’ idiom about eliminating the impossible. Donning his much-maligned but necessary deerstalker and Inverness cape. was feeling the dull effects of boredom. At least.

After a few breathless minutes (when the very air around me seemed to pulsate with the rhythm of my rapidlybeating heart). my friend.” he admonished. said with a grin. but the game’s a foot!” short. and. but please endeavor to let your aim be true this time. all 44 . Holmes had managed to pocket this little treasure and steal away with it. when we saw where the stag’s trail led us. “But Watson. gasps caught in our throats. Holmes returned from his excursion.” So. It turns out that the bear had. I’m alive.” I whispered. The blood spoor led directly into the darkened entrance to the cavernous den of a cave bear! As we approached the mouth of the cave. Old Boy. devoured our beloved stag. If you spy me making haste from that cave. my heart sank as I imagined our hard-earned stag in the belly of a bear. I could hear the brazen glutton snoring from within the shadowed cave. my dear boy? I hate to tell you this. “Our game.” “Don’t keep me in suspense. “You’re alive!” Putting his forefinger to his lips. shouldering his own weapon as he went. one part of Moriarty survived. “Yes. “What has become of our game?” Holmes reached into the pocket of his greatcoat. In point of fact. our guns at the ready. I aimed and waited. indeed. “Holmes!” I exclaimed. bracing my shotgun against a nearby oak tree. I’m afraid our game was not so lucky. with that bear hot on my heels. I learned all this immediately upon Holmes’ return to my sheltering oak. Holmes crept up and into the cave. Holmes. I expect you to provide covering fire. Holmes whispered to me his intention to enter the lair.TSS #43 the while managing not to awaken the sleeping bear. “I want you to stay here. It just so happens that the bear had spared part of Moriarty’s left foreleg: the creature’s hoof. Watson. In hushed tones. Holmes admonished me to keep my voice down. As we inched closer. to be precise. Holmes had managed to find in whilst searching the bone-strewn floor of the bear’s den. handing me the stag’s hoof. And not to insult you.

This early period of advancement included leaps and strides in post-luminal technology (sometimes also called superluminal drive technology). The Stellar Expanse is the name commonly used for the First Human Commonwealth. in which grand organizations motivated by profit and control gradually engulfed and smothered the colonies. This region of space encompasses a spherical region roughly one thousand light-years across. as it came to be known. the early idealism of the colonists. roughly one thousand years after mankind developed cheap and effective post-luminal travel. The corporations sought the management of both raw and living resources. During the early period of stellar colonization humanity stretched itself thin among the stars. a unifying 45 . and worked competitively against one another. the centralized The Early Years The first three centuries of human expansion lasted from 2200 to approximately 2500 AD. passing beyond the confines of the Sol system. The progressive expansion of technology. Somewhere along this track. Post-Luminal Drive The principle behind post-luminal drive technology is hinged in the socalled N-Dimensional Theory. as they strove to expand and perpetuate their own ends. resourced and communication relays necessary to allow the web of humanity to maintain relations amongst one another forced the early colonists to plunder any and all attainable resources they could find. The basic functionality for post-luminal technology has remained unchanged from this early period right up to the present. The opening period for this campaign by Old Earth time measurements is 3450 AD. Throughout all this. and the concept of the stutter jump was replaced by longer period of N-Dimensional Travel.TSS #43 The History of the Stellar Expanse Part II of an evolving Traveller setting By Tori Bergquist governing body of Earth grew weaker and weaker as its own means of enforcement in the colonial expanse was stretched thin. colonizing every world that came close to an earth-like norm. In 2200.” allowing the vessel to draw on enormous energies for short bursts through String-Space. By 2500 the efficient production of anti-matter generators allowed for extremely efficient energy output. the furthest distance to date explored and reached in humanity’s stellar expansion. in which individuated lives and self-governing polities were the norm. the first colony ships were primarily nuclear-powered vessels which utilized their post-luminal drives for short-period “stutter jumps. The development of increasingly more efficient fuel sources allowed for more efficient use of the post-luminal drives which ships were outfitted with. was slowly swept away in the wake of corporate nations.

In 2511 a research vessel for the YTM League. which it was discovered meant it could pass from one region of normal space-time to another without ever moving the distance through conventional fourdimensional space. The only problem with the postluminal drive is the enormous cost in energy it takes to expand the NDimensional bubble around a large object. the post-luminal drive was born. and the corporate expansion period from 2350-2500. fusion drive technology is still more common than anti-matter drives. It wasn’t fasterthan-light drive. An object surrounded in the expanded N-Space field effectively gained the additional properties of that dimensional space. a contractor working for the Gellman-Finder Advancement Megacorp. began expanding in to space. which will be used to move the vessel through the expanded N-Dimensional space. After the colonial period from 2200-2350. Early vessels used fusion drives of various types. although such power systems carried inherent risks that were not minimized until centuries later. by 3450 there are new advances in the understanding of zero point energy and the vacuum energy of space. a new turn in the history of man’s interstellar expansion came to pass. The cost in energy is effectively equal to the square of the mass of the object contained within. it simply moved through dimensional spaces in which the speed of light was irrelevant. The experimental technology suggests that it may not be impossible to actually tap in to these controversial energy sources. most of which had been compressed to the Plancklength. Thus. theory of physics based on the stringtheory of earlier generations. which are usually only found in very large vessels. discovered a temperate water world dubbed Sirius-II in the Dog 46 . Currently. Even in the present. N-Dimensional Theory united the superstrings of the Planck-length microverse with the largest bodies of the cosmos. which later came to be called String-Space. Later First Contact So it was that mankind. and relying on 26 active compressed dimensions to explain the functional basis for space-time. could be expanded artificially and projected around a given object from a radiating device.TSS #43 vessels after 2500 AD used new antimatter harnessing and bottling technology. armed with the post-luminal drive. called the Higgins-Rohmer N-Dimensional Projector. the macroverse. and could move through that space. the postluminal technology was first discovered as a means by which the various 26 dimensions. although the consequences of utilizing such fundamental energies from the very fabric of space-time remain uncertain. times the propulsive power of the conventional drive system. In doing so.

Other non-Nommosi species on 47 . and seemed to be entwined with symbiotic jelly fish eventually called Sirians. A stellar version of the range wars would ensue. the consciousness of the Nommosi expanded. Called the Nommos in honor of the Dogon folklore from earth. The YTM League had recorded dozens of known marine cities. with an erratic but surprisingly stable orbit. but without the intelligence inherent in the Nommosi brains. for example. although the electrochemical radio communication the symbiont made possible often made host predators more effective hunters and host prey more effective survivors. They had created. for instance. and a major prize for the corporate interest which gained principle control over it. Nommosi learned to harvest plants and other creatures for food. and as the symbiotes merged with their host form’s nervous system. the data was nonetheless quickly leaked and sold to other sources for enormous profit. these species displayed no outward sapience. though the Nommosi were intelligent. and displayed a high level of intelligence. prospector ships both corporate and private descended upon Sirius II to set up shop. they had established how to communicate with the Nommosi through radiowaves and had begun a basic language conversion. it couldn’t interact with a human nervous system. In short order. vast and unique architectures cultivated from controlled coral reef growth created sophisticated underwater cities. obviously water rich with 98% of the surface immersed in oceans. The electrochemical communications of the Sirians allowed the Nommos to communicate through radio waves. Likewise. they lacked appendages for tool use. to utilize tools. all rich with the necessary resources for fuel to convert in to energy for post-luminal drives. in any meaningful way. who in turn had no real predators to contend with. from mega corporate sabotage to simple criminal activity and guerilla warfare as various factions ought to gain an edge Star trinary system. The Sirians had sophisticated tentacles which the Nommosi could manipulate through their connection. The survey team also collected volumes of evidence that Sirius II was a metal-rich world. and evidenced enormous levels of egalitarian cooperation and respect amongst the giant sentient Nommosi.TSS #43 Sirius II often served as hosts for the symbionts. When the survey team left Sirius II. Although the YTM League honored its contract and provided the data it had recorded to its employer first. Over time. Sirius II was a lush water world. The Nommos may have been an intelligent animal species at one time. effectively. an aquatic stone age. The survey crew determined that the Sirian symbiont was only capable of binding with another species’ nervous system of the same ecosystem. and on top of all that there were three cold gas giants in orbit around the Dog Star cluster. for lack of a better title. but the developing symbiosis with the Sirians created a unique sort of hivemind. the survey team made first contact with a sapient species. these whale-like beings were immense. After an eightmonth survey and assessment of the resource potential of the world.

radiation damage from occasional fusion reactor meltdowns. funneling technology and the secret of the postluminal drive to the Kardenath as a means of helping them. This group made contact with the Kardenath Republic. which they called Scabari. and when they were first contacted by the Astrogation Survey Guild in 2908.TSS #43 across the galactic landscape. the Nommosi observed with curiosity and blind trust. for they were a species which had not grasped the concept of war. sinking it to the bottom of the Sirian oceans after an act of sabotage and protest about Nommosi slavery. After a century of industrial exploitation and abuse. with guarded caution tempering the optimism of a first contact event. Not five years after the Kardenath first contact scenario. It was this disaster which brought Sirius II to the attention of the larger public body. it seemed had come to their home world to plunder. at the expense of their competitors. the corporate machines moved in to the system to begin facile efforts at negotiating what they wanted with plans to take it anyway. but the Kardenath proved to be politically savvy and maintained a strong military. From 2511 until 2912 AD the pattern of contact and exploitation was repeated countless times. Orbital platforms served as median ports for orbital lifters to meet with cargo vessels. As was traditional by this time. an oversight organization designed to police and protest the exploitation of indigenous sapient and non-sapient species in the colonies. In the midst of all this. it took decades before the Nommosi came to realize that humans were effectively the equivalent of Sirian sharks. The Scabari. Luckily for the Kardenath they were mentally very much like humans in thought. albeit without any post-luminal ships. as they were labeled) which had actually developed a space-age society with impressive efforts at STL colonization and development within their own solar system. the Nommos were forced in to hidden enclaves as their world was devastated by drilling and mining. and led to the formation of the Xenological Research Institute. encountering approximately thirty sapient species. The First Human Commonwealth expanded 48 . A radical guerilla group called the Sentients’ Rights of Freedom Movement (SROFM) had recently sabotaged the Dogstar 9 Mining Complex. a coalition of gecko-like humanoids (Kardenathus-gekkoniderectus. their oceans polluted from industrial byproducts and spills. most of which were living in pre-industrial societies. Giant floating cities were constructed. the initial response was a very pleasant and diplomatic affair. and it plummeted in to the Western Korius Ocean of Sirius II. designed to weather the intense storms of Sirius II. corporations such as Mystical Enterprises (MysTech) were already in violation and tensions began to run high. A notable exception is the Kardenath Republic. and airborne pollutants from the atmospheric lifter rockets. destroying countless Nommos habitats as well as several floating cities. In 2602 the Emmerson Waystation suffered a terminal collision accident with the Heavy Freighter Ullyses 81A.

as hundred of miles of land was scoured with gamma radiation. Ships in orbit plunged in to the atmosphere as well. The Kardenath Republic sents its own diplomats. with participation on the all-human Council. to break the Kardenath defenses. It was time for a change. It was at this time that the Kardenath diplomats realized that the HFC was riddled with corruption and was merely a puppet government to manage the colonies and allow the megacorps the freedom to do as they wished. it was met initially with no opposition. The CDF forces were jaded The Kardenath. although not without consequences. More over. the Kardenath suddenly revealed their selves. When the invasion began. So far. such as the SROFM. The equatorial region of the home world Eryak below also suffered. then establish who the new rulers are. utilizing technology and equipment funneled to them by humans sympathetic to their cause. and provided the greatest impetus for the invasion. The megacorporations secured the backing of the Colonial Defense Forces through illegal channels and hired numerous professional mercenaries for the job. were delighted to gain this elevated technology. but the Kardenath won. they employed the Post-Drive in a fashion which had never before been seen. the local military of the Kardenath was strong enough to hold off privately backed corporate mercenaries. they realized. in the company of the SROFM. The corporate fleet was decimated by the radioactive storm which exploded in their midst. It was a pyrrhic victory. Although many groups had a hand in this invasion. where they petitioned the Stellar Council of the Commonwealth for recognition as a separate and equal political entity. Their own military forces and acquired human ships rapidly mopped up the survivors. being scrupulous and inquisitive beings. The desired effect was instantaneous. The intent was simple: subjugate the Kardenath homeworld (called Eryak by the natives and Scorpius Prime by the Stellar Scout Service designation) and 49 . but the SROFM knew that the megacorps were attempting to secure the backing of the FHC. normally reserved for the sole purpose of peace-keeping and patrolling shipping lanes. Only the foresight of human and Kardenath scientists who had conceived of the plan insured the damaged regions were largely evacuated. crashing with devastating results. They had already watched the corporations violate established treaties and were contesting the flagrant violations of the megacorps that had moved in to their system with military action. projecting via the N-Dimensional space an intense solar flare.TSS #43 remove the existing political body (a world government) from power. as well. jumping right in to the heart of the invasion fleet. igniting forest fires and burning the very atmosphere. to Earth itself. by generating a large field bubble in the coronal region of their home star. When the fleets had moved to a range suited for orbital bombardment. allowing them to use the Commonwealth Defense Force. it was Mystech that was most prominent in its intentions. and took their surrender. It was not long after this visit to Earth that war erupted.

Simultaneously. no action was taken at that time. Most Kardenath who survive today descend from the spacers and colonists that dwelt offworld. formal talks opened up.TSS #43 the Kardenath ecology. It didn’t take much for them to turn around and beg for asylum and protection from the Kardenath. The bioweapons were designed to attack Next: The Current Era of the Stellar Expanse 50 . the action was so vile that it was at this time which a number of fringe colonies seceded from the Commonwealth. The megacorp. an assassination on the Kardenath leaders was attempted. The bulk of the Kardenath population on their homeworld was killed in a matter of weeks. and declared themselves independent in every way possible. Nonetheless. anyway. and with devastating results. As it turned out. and less than interested in losing their lives for this event. while others offered refuge to fleeing Kardenath. Mercenaries realized their failure could mean criminal charges back home. biobombs that were customized from illegal laboratories in the Rim World regions where the CDF held no sway. In the midst of the talks. Mystech and the other megacorporations did not take defeat well. Although many fringe groups and more progressive colonies decried the attack and labeled Mystech and its conspirators as war criminals of the highest order. Afterwards. a small but decisive force of Corporate Soldiers entered the Scorpius system and struck Eryak with illegal weaponry. and it looked like the Kardenath would hold not one but two positions on the Stellar Council of the Commonwealth.

which is one of the only “big name” book releases in this era to faithfully adhere to the tenets of its own system from time immemorial. GORE is another Goblinoid Games special that utilizes the OGL to reconstruct the essentials of the Basic Role Playing system. although it does have some competition from. 51 . that’s not quite the same as laying out a hexagonal map with some digest-size copies of Melee and Wizard lying around. but it missed the point of those earlier editions which remain better. I can safely say that it’s good. The most famous of these games come from the Goblinoid Games guys. cleaner and more concisely worded version of 1st edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.) I’ve even seen some new modules appear for use with (and hopefully containing some rules foe) the Fantasy Trip. seeking instead to evoke the look and feel of those older systems. fully useable systems in the form of Labyrinth Lords and Mutant Future (reviewed last issue).TSS #43 Column! This Month: Retro Game Fun Ramblings by Tori Bergquist including a rule set for the original TSR Conan RPG. While it’s always nice to sit down to play GURPS and reminisce about how it’s spiritual parent was TFT. who have produced some very nice. We have the 4C System (emulating classic Marvel Super Heroes). and a bunch of tiny little cardboard chits about to head Into the Labyrinth… Of course. if you want fast. the Old School System Resource Index Compilation. which is my personal favorite outside of the above games. It’s actually spawned quite a few modules and sourcebooks. simple and furious nothing beats 4C. well. Providing old school gamers with an outlet for their Basic Dungeons & Draqgons and Gamma World cravings these two definitely head the pack. I find Castles & Crusades to be Well. Even the Mongoose Runequest adaptation changed enough to warrant reconsideration by the hard-core old schoolers (and having played MRQ for a year and a half. There is also the Knights n’ Knaves’ impressive but severely under-pimped OSRIC. specifically. if you can believe it! The Fantasy Trip is definitely one of those systems I’d love to see revived. BRP itself. I warned you all that if no one wanted to submit anything to Column! Then I would be forced to…. yet somehow I still can’t seem to find a copy of OSRIC for purchase on lulu! So retro games have manifested themselves in all sorts of forms. and efforts at a Star Frontiers reimagining. This month I was going to discuss the retro game movement.rant again! So here it is. those game which are built around the emulation of older systems. I am aware of a few other emulators out there. dare I say it. there are games which don’t actually emulate the mechanics of their spiritual ancestors so much as pay homage to them. or at least their mechanical elements. which is a remarkably efficient emulation and.

of that the system has moved on to more living and active control. That said.) with a halfway decent cover. His first set for them. Indeed. Its history after Mayfair folded in on the RPG market was fairly sad. while others see only blasphemy and heresy. Anyway. they are so busy playing games that I doubt they’ve even heard of the whole Go Play thing. Please! I’ve been waiting for two years now. D&D. which I love. I still slide by their website every now in then.0 edition is perfect. those are the ones not writing in blogs about it (or Column!) because they are too busy playing. and as we all know GURPS is about as removed from TFT as most hominids today are from our Oligocene ancestors. either. I’d really. and the OSRIC 2. long ago by Steve Jackson to spark GURPS. I have sworn that when next I return to running a major campaign in a fantasy realm. there are a few things I’d personally love to see happen in the retro game market. and Traveller. highly specialized and focused little sub group that it is: MEGS retro game! Anyone remember Mayfair Games’ DC Heroes RPG? Well I do. Runequest. Towers of Adventure. I think the 4th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons has also created an entirely new dimension to the rift between gamers “the way it was” and the way it is today. TFT was one of the big five (as I see it) to embody the early days of old school gaming (along with T&T. going off to Pulsar Games. which while true to the rule set was rife with god awful comic art and poor presentation. Most gamers probably don’t care and just play to have a good time. They released a much improved revised edition that was pleasing to the eye. and then apparently folded. or C&C instead then they might have been more successful. Second. I even snagged a print copy of the 4C System over there! --Tori Bergquist the finest example of this lot. I’d love to see the Mayfair 52 . but here’s all the building blocks” style gaming. I like them bound and printed. is pure classic delving and “do it yourself. as the fundamentals of the system were extrapolated from long.TSS #43 Exponential Game System given a retro game treatment. what can I say? Heck. with its evocative and wordy prose with a deceptively simple system hidden behind the veneer of obscure Tolkienesque fantasy. really like to see the Knights N’ Knaves take all that hard effort behind OSRIC and place it up on lulu. I doubt there’s any legal issue. which released a new edition in the form of Blood of Heroes. fingers crossed that someone has revived Blood of Heroes. In fact. C&C will be my sole muse! I am especially excited about the Troll Lord Games people brining James Cook on board as editor of their magazine. Some players I know are impressed with how much the 4th edition of the game captures the essence of old school as they remember it. I’d love to see a retro edition of the aforementioned The Fantasy Trip. Makes me think that if the old Fast Forward Entertainment modules had been designed for older editions of D&D.