Les aventures d’Isaac – VII

Les aventures d’Isaac se poursuivent, mais maintenant c’est lui-même qui dirige le déroulement de l’histoire! Ce que je trouve fascinant c’est le fait que je reconnais souvent des parties de sessions de D&D auquel il a assisté mais aussi, il y a bel et bien des créations purement de lui!

Dernièrement, moi et Edmond explorons un donjon et, il y a beaucoup, beaucoup de zombies. Et disons que les zombies d’Isaac ne sont pas toujours très zombiesques! La preuve, l’un d’eux est notre ami. Et puis, il y a eu aussi cet incident:


Isaac: Il y a un autre zombie plus loin.

D: Je lui tire une flèche.

I: Ouch!

D: Il parle lui aussi!

I: Oui. Mais c’est un méchant et il est nono lui. Il est tombé dans la potion magique et maintenant il est comme ça.

D:Oh. Ok. Je lui tire une autre flèche!

I: Ouch! Qu’est-ce tu fais là toi?

Autre idée originale d’Isaac: Un corridor couvert d’un tapis. Le tapis ondule. Il y a quelque chose se déplaçant en-dessous!

A note on Aarakocra

I’ve planned an important scene for my players with bird-folk Aaracokra but there’s not much going on with them in D&D 5e. There’s a mention that they hail from the plane of elemental air and being enemies with gargoyles (as elemental antagonists) but I don’t really care that much about extra-planar stuff. Aside from that… well, they’re basically just birds (live in nest, fly for hours without landing and so on), with nothing indicating that they’ve got, you know, human-like intelligence.

So here’s a few quick ideas to make them less bland:

Female Leadership

You know these intricate rituals that male birds (from many species) have to go through if they hope to seduce the oh so hard-to-get female? That makes me think that female Aarakocra ought to be the ones in charge…

Long-range traders

Forget about galleons and caravans, true, efficient long-range trade is made by air! Especially since the Aarakocras (in Chult) use the gigantic Quetzacoalts as aerial pack animals!

Rocky promontory tradepost

Near the Mistcliff Mountains, the jungle folks gather under the protection of brightly-colored Aarakocra warriors. For many local traders, it’s the only place they can get their hands on merchandises from afar.

Cliffside City

Looks like that:


Isaac’s adventures VI

We’ve defeated the third Evil Ninja Boss in an epic mecha fight. The ENB used a giant serpent-robot that threathened to crush us in its coils but we had the perfect counter, with our patented hedgehog defense!

The next ENB can be found in a hotel (I think Isaac has only a vague idea of what is an hotel ha! ha!) and has a peculiar « power », his left arm is mechanical and he can remove his thumb, which is in fact a mini-bomb, so that he can throw it and blast his enemies!


But NukeThumb-Guy, after we’ve killed all his minions, doesn’t go nuclear on us but choose instead to parley.

How about One million dollars to let him live?


My son: « One million dollars and two diamonds. Two big diamonds! »

Not too bad for a day’s work, my corruptible son, not too bad…


Taverns, dives, pubs & cabarets of S&T


The Crooked Fingers

Owned by Old Mindy’s Crew

Fencer in the backroom.

Lechers & Liquors Club

Owned by Maffeo’s Unrepentants

Disreputable, even by Disgrace Ward standard.

The Blackened Teeth

Owned by the Sons of Arson

The most impressive fireplace in town.

Poporo’s Bordello

Live girls (and some dead ones)

Owned by independent, pay tax to Bonemongers

Poporo the Necro-Pimp owns this nefarious joint.

The Fleeing Beauty Boardinghouse

Owned by independent, pays « tax » to Sons of Arson and Fetid Brigade

Rent rooms on second and third floor. Fourth floor is off-limit.

The Pierced Barrel Pub

Owned by the Broken Wheel Syndicate

Best halfling brandy in town.


The Stray Bullet

Owned by the Broken Wheel Syndicate

Changed hands a couple of months ago. Ex-owner forcefully ousted.

The Red Orphan

Owned by the Furniture Mishandling Club

Expect mimics.

The Turtle Shell

Owned by independant, doesn’t seem to pay taxes to anyone

Inside the shell of a dragon turtle (big specimen). Neutral. Don’t wear gang colors.

A Pair of Bludgeons

Owned by Golden Râ, higher-up of the Church of Sempiternal Deprecation

Members only. Fat, greedy merchants talk business.

The Domain

Owned by the 77 Red Dragons

Non-ghouls will feel some unease. At the very least.

Up the Ladder

« Watch your step »

Owned by independent, doesn’t seem to pay anyone

Drunk clients are often lowered by rope so they don’t break their neck falling from the 90 steps ladder.

Busy Wheelbarrow

Owned by independent, pays tax to the Northwall Creepers

Offers a service of « transportation » back home. Efficient if not very comfortable.

The Hidden Atrium

Owned by the Hidden Atrium Masks

Hidden. Really.

The Hourglass Cabaret

Owned by the Hidden Atrium Masks

Managed by charming Madam Colombina. The most haut-de-gamme you can find in the district.

The Passage’s Hole

Owned by the Passage’s Middlemen

Surprisingly spacious once you’re in.

Dart & Dime Cafe

Owned by Fate’s Favorites

Have gambling tables. No cheating.

The Dryad’s Bosom

Owned by Fate’s Favorites

Good food, try the needlefish.

The Winning Cockatrice

Owned by the Marfark Street Mumblers

Fighting pit. All kind of fights. Floor is one big red stain. Bloodthirsty crowd.

Listing a Tyrant’s life

Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,
And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;
He knew human folly like the back of his hand,
And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,
And when he cried the little children died in the streets.

W.H Auden, Epitath on a Tyrant

When I first started thinking about S&T, I knew I wanted it to be political. I rapidly felt the need to have a kind of pendulum effect between two eras in the setting’s fake history: a strict authoritarian rule which would naturally be followed by a period of lawlessness and civil disarray. This leads me to some more (vague) thoughts:

  • some people are genuinely nostalgic about the period when there was stricter control and they forget or just don’t want to remember how it was so terribly oppressive
  • tyranny really is just around the corner, a few unfortunate events and a well-placed charismatic figure is all it takes
  • It’s all about scale,  local leadership is far more accountable
  • The absence of local leadership, be it forcefully removed or just lacking, is awfully detrimental to the people


The authoritarian rule I mentioned is in fact divided between three tyrants, one after another. I don’t yet feel the need (or I’m too lazy maybe) to be very precise about these characters as the actual play will be at a point further in time, but I have to create some modicum of lore about them. Could come in handy.

So here’s a list of quirks I can use to flesh out these tyrants. I’ll keep the fantasy stuff for another time.  I didn’t invent anything new really, just stole eccentricities from a bunch of dead dudes (thank you Muammar Gaddafi, you’re malignant life helped my purpose).

The Tyrant has:

  1. burned down part of the city to make some space for a project of his.
  2. a harem with dozens of multiracial concubines.
  3. the habit of staging fake combat/sport/art performances where he can demonstrate his rather mediocre skills.
  4. female bodyguards in very alluring attires.
  5. written a treatise on proper behavior that is now set in stone everywhere.
  6. orchestrated a massacre of a minority group.
  7. the deep conviction that his people loves him, even with a rebellion raging all around.
  8. taken all of his armies in one big convoy to show off at a neighboring power’s frontier before going back.
  9. built a 50′ statue of himself.
  10. built a 50′ statue of his favorite pet animal.
  11. been pleased that the people chant whenever they see him.
  12. claimed that he received mandate from the gods.
  13. demanded that be erased all things concerning a famous hero.
  14. claimed to be the rightful successor of a famous hero.
  15. the habit of keeping exotic/dangerous pet animals.
  16. one or more secret prisons, nobody knows what happens inside.
  17. a few delusional pet theories that he likes to share in long-winded public speeches.
  18. the habit of receiving young virgins at least once a week.
  19. banned a long list of goods that he personally dislikes.
  20. a favorite sport team that doesn’t seem to be able to lose no matter how bad they play.
  21. a crush on a well-known beauty. She fled in exile.
  22. large portrays of him on the buildings of the city. Its a capital offense to put graffitis on them.
  23. the monopoly on a luxury good. It used to be available, now it’s his.
  24. once ordered a man to be executed. He didn’t chant with the crowd.
  25. once ordered a man to be executed, he wore a hat that was more ornate than his.
  26.  once ordered a man to be executed. He coveted the man’s wife. She killed herself.
  27.  once ordered a man to be executed, he was way too ugly.
  28. once ordered a man to be executed, he remembered him of someone.
  29. once ordered a man to be executed, he was his best friend.
  30. once ordered a man to be executed but then felt generous. He commuted the sentence to prison for life. The man was never seen again.
  31. built an extensive tomb to be buried with riches and his entire staff of (killed) servants.
  32. a bath made of gold.
  33. an artificial lake excavated in order to please his favorite concubine.
  34. often said that he doesn’t hold any power. The people have power. He’s merely the Guide.
  35. spies everywhere. Watch your words.
  36. no trust for spies. Not one bit.
  37. secretly helped the rebels organize so that he could better crushed them.
  38. named his half-wit older brother to the office of Minister of Public Health.
  39. banished his youngest son after a failed attempt on his life. He loves him very much.
  40. always consulted oracles before taking his most important decisions.






If I had Infinite Time: Cargo Cult Adventures setting

Okay, I’m gonna cheat with my own rules (not that anyone cares) and get it out of my head– some stuff unrelated *gasp* with Streets&Turmoil. Another damn setting… That, may I add, I won’t ever have time to try (maybe that’s for the best).

Cargo Cult Adventures

Here’s how it goes.

First, Cargo Cults is something from real life: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult, and not so surprisingly, it’s weirder than most fantasy stuff we can find.

So Cargo Cults, in short, turns around a myth device invented by insular and low-tech societies that believe that foreign goods (strange and magical as thay appear to be) really should be theirs to own and, in fact, would be theirs if only they’d demonstrate the proper behavior to earn it. That means adopting the same « rituals » that seem to work so well for the foreigners,  which includes building planes, airport strips,  having military parades and such, but, huh, using wood and hay instead of anything else.


So based on that weird premise, how about adventures? What if the cargo cults weren’t that delusional? What if planes are indeed sent purposefully by the gods. every now and then, to bring otherwise unavailable goods to the faithful? The gods are generous indeed, but you know, maybe a little bit fickle? So inconveniently the gifts from the sky are bound to land miles away in the dangerous jungle…

It starts with a myth-dream

Of course it does.


The nutjob- I mean-  the Seer of your small jungle village had another vision:   « Behold,  a holy gift from the sky from the Great Douglas C47A! I’ve seen it falling slowly, like a feather, and landing somewhere err, near a high cascade! and… I’ve seen a cave too, dark and deep, and… ugh! scaly, fierce monsters… But don’t you worry, the ancestors will help you on this quest. You youngsters, must find the shipment! Go! And don’t you dare come back empty-handed… »


There you go for the MacGuffin. Explore, fight some nasties and find the treasures. Should work well on a hexcrawl too, methink.

Also, rival tribes compete to find the precious shipments and violence isn’t out of the equation.

Strange shipment

Could be anything, from the seemingly useless, to powerful high-tech/magical stuff. But even the prior would bring prestige to a tribe that manage to bring it home.