Midderlands Encounter Generator

I’ve got the second session of our current Midderlands campaign (set in Great Lunden) coming up today and have been working on a random encounter generator for it. I’ve not done all the Wards yet and have prioritised the ones I expect to come up in the session, I’ll be adding to it as and when I get time though.

Clicking on the link below will take you to the generator:

Unboxing Video: Midderlands Great Lunden

I’m super excited! I’ve just received my Kickstarter stuff for the Midderlands: Great Lunden, I’m really chuffed to have played a small part in the writing of this excellent set and am grateful to Glynn Seal at Monkeyblood Design, both for giving me the chance to play in his sandbox and also for rushing me the books in time for my game on Friday.

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Random Things: Updated Midderlands Name/Occupation Table

I’ve been updating my chart of Midderlands Names/Occupations to incorporate information from other sources, there is a list of inspiration sources at the bottom of this post.

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Random Thing: What does that Lunden building look like?

When you’re wandering around the streets of Great Lunden in the Midderlands there are a number of important buildings marked specifically on the map, but what about those buildings that aren’t marked?

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CSI Midderlands – Races

(C&C Version)

Since we’ve switched to using Castles & Crusades for our upcoming CSI Midderlands game set in Great Lunden, I wanted to tweak/re-skin some of the default races to better suit the setting (IMO).

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Random Things: Midderlands Names/Occupations

With the kind permission of Glynn Seal from Monkeyblood Design, I’ve plugged the name/occupation table from page 217 of the first Midderlands book into Chartopia to create an automated version of the table:

Many thanks to Glynn for allowing me to put this on the blog, check out the various Midderlands products on DrivethruRPG and in the Monkeyblood Design store.

Random Things: Midderlands Trinkets

As I’m sure you all know by now, I’m a massive fan of the Midderlands setting by Glynn Seal of Monkeyblood Design and have even been privilieged enough to write on a couple of projects for them. One of my other loves in RPGs is the random trinket table from D&D 5E, so it seemed only natural to combine these two loves.

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Cantrips in OSR Games

I’m a massive fan of cantrips. In roleplaying/D&D terms cantrips are low–usually zero–level spells that mages have and can cast without using any of their spell slots. These aren’t big powerful spells, they’re small little cool things that various magic-users can do by harnessing their innate arcane mastery, for example: lighting a candle.

Unfortunately cantrips aren’t really a things by default in my beloved OSR games and, whilst I’ve seen a few implementations of them in various books, none of them have really captured my imagination or made me want to include them in my games. With my CSI: Great Lunden (you can see the player handout I did here) game starting in a few weeks (yikes – that came round fast) I wanted to have some way to represent cantrips in the game that was going to be easy and not require a whole slew of new mechanics.

Cantrips are one of the things I really enjoyed about 5E D&D, effectively there’s a list of 0-level spells you get to pick from, each with some really minor effect but–since they don’t cost spell slots–you can just keep on using them. I love this because it means that your mages (especially a low level) is still going to have some magic stuff they can do even when they’ve blown through their two magic missile spells (or whatever is in their arsenal).

Since we’re running LOTFP for our Midderlands game there are only three spell-casting classes that I really need to concern myself with:

  • Cleric
  • Elf
  • Magic-User

Elves and Magic-users both utilise the same sorts of spells so I really only need to focus on Arcane and Divine spells, so I decided to dig out my 5E PHB and have a look at some of the cantrips available for those two types of magic.

Arcane Cantrips

Basically the arcane cantrips seem to fall into the following rough categories:

  • Inflict a small amount of damage.
  • Make a really weak illusion.
  • Create illumination.
  • Send small messages.
  • Perform magical tricks.

Divine Cantrips

Divine cantrips seem to run along the following lines:

  • Create illumination.
  • Giving allies a small bonus to dice rolls.
  • Repair objects.
  • Inflict small amounts of damage.
  • Perform small, wondrous signs.

At first I considered just adding some additional spells to the existing list for LOTFP but I don’t really see a massive benefit to adding yet another thing for the player characters to track in the game. Then it occurred to me that I could just create a list of minor magics that PC Magic-Users and Clerics could just do (since most of the damaging stuff is less effective that using a weapon anyway).

My Cantrip Idea

So, for my Midderlands game, I’m considering allowing Magic-Users and Clerics to perform effects from the following lists at will:

Cleric Cantrips

Clerics may perform one of the following effects as their action per round, doing so does not cost any spell slots, however casting the cantrip must be their only action, they may not move or do anything else taxing.

  • Cause an object to shed light in a 20′ x 20′ radius (the light can be coloured as desired). This effect ends if the Cleric creates a light on another object or dismisses it as a free action.
  • Repair a single small break or tear in object (this cannot restore magical functionality to broken arcane items).
  • Make their voice boom three times as loud for 1 minute.
  • Cause flames to flicker, brighten, dim or change colour for 1 minute.
  • Cause harmless ground tremors for 1 minute.
  • Create a sound (such as a rumble of thunder) that originates from a point of your choice within 30′
  • Instantaneously cause an unlocked window or door to burst open or slam shut.
  • Alter the appearance of your eyes for 1 minute.

Magic-user Cantrips

Magic-users may perform one of the following effects as their action per round, doing so does not cost any spell slots, however casting the cantrip must be their only action, they may not move or do anything else taxing.

  • Cause an object to shed light in a 20′ x 20′ radius (the light can be coloured as desired). This effect ends if the Cleric creates a light on another object or dismisses it as a free action.
  • Throw a bolt of magic energy at a person, make a ranged attack, if successful the target takes 1D6 damage.
  • Magically move an object weighing no much than 10 lbs 30′.
  • Repair a single small break or tear in object (this cannot restore magical functionality to broken arcane items).
  • Create an illusionary sound or image of an object within 30′, the illusion lasts for 1 minute or until dismissed. Images have no substance and are easily determined to be false if examined, objects created must be no larger than a 5′ cube.
  • Create a harmless sensory effect such as a puff of wind or faint musical notes.
  • Instantaneously light or snuff out a candle, torch or small campfire.
  • Instantaneously clean or soil an object no larger than 1 cubic foot.
  • Chill, warm or flavour up to 1 cubic foot of non-living material for 1 hour.
  • Make a colour, mark or illusionary image appear on a surface or object for 1 hour.
  • Create a non-magical trinket or illusionary image that fits in your hand and lasts until the end of next turn.

Those are the lists I’ve got so far (based on the 5E cantrips), I will probably tweak them or trim the lists down before implementing them in the game. Let me know what you think.

Image used for the article is A Suitable Present taken from the Old Book Illustrations website: https://www.oldbookillustrations.com/illustrations/suitable-present/

Random Things: Goblins of the Bileward

I’ve been lucky enough to have a sneak preview at a writer’s copy of Glynn Seal’s excellent Greater Lunden book (and let me tell you, you’re in for a treat when you get your hands on it).

One of my favourite parts of the book are the write-ups of the various wards, in particular Bileward, a ward populated mostly by goblins.

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CSI Greater Lunden Player Handout

In a recent episode of my podcast I discussed the upcoming CSI Greater Lunden LOTFP Midderlands game that I’m going to be running (starting in July). To help give my players a grounding in the setting and hopefully get the creative juices flowing I created a handout for them:

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