Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Minimodule 3 Part 2: ATTACK AND DETHRONE GOD


Picking up where we left off...

The battle of Yetek works like the opening sequence of Deep Carbon Observatory - everything is happening at once, you never get a chance to catch your breath. Pick one of the three entries into the city: you will be able to see anything that the arrows are pointing to. Your goal is the temple in the center.

There is a twist here: The God of Ankhar is also active and will move around the city. Every time the PCs move between events, roll d6.
  • 1-2: The God stays where it is.
  • 3-4: The God moves 1 space.
  • 5-6: The God moves 2 spaces.
If there are multiple routes it can take, a d6 roll divided by two or three as applicable will direct where the mad one goes.

What if I Don't Want Hyperlethality?

  • Option 1: Grievous Wounds - If you drop below 0, use Emmy Allen's grievous wounds here.
  • Option 2: Replacement characters - Use this handy Knave generator. You start with  a sword or spear, a shield, and Armor 13.
  • Option 3: Take A Break HP - You recover all lost HP when you get a moment to collect yourselves (Bath House, Elephant Enclosure, Arena without the manticore)

The Main Gate

Who needs a ram when you have Ayo?
  • A chaotic mass of soldiers (HD 4 HP 25, d8 damage, Defense 13, morale 8) waits on the other side. The formation will break after it hits 0 HP.

Over the Wall

The ladders! Get up the ladders!
  • Takes 2 rounds to get up to the top. Defenders will hurl down stones (DEX save vs d8 damage) or burning oil (DEX save vs d6 damage for d4 turns). Successfully hitting someone at the top of the wall will interrupt the attack.

Through the Drainage

Hold your breath.
  • Takes extra time to feel your way through the dark - the God rolls twice for movement. The Enemy camp is reduced to Low Chaos.
  • Crocodile attack! (5 HD 25 HP, 14 armor, d8 bite, morale 8, WIS save with disadvantage vs surprise attack, will attempt to death-roll after a successful attack)
  • Senech must use both hands to keep her guns and ammo from getting ruined. If this changes for any time, all her weapons have a 50% chance of being useless.
  • You are all caked in filth and smell terrible.

The Town

People running in chaos, soldiers fighting in the streets.
  • Combat is deafening. People are fighting house-to-house, you can barely tell who is enemy and who is friend.
    • Individual combat in this area would be miserable, so it will be abstracted like this: each player may grab as many d20s as they wish (including 0). They will roll them all at once. Each success (over 13) means they are able to break up a cluster of enemy soldiers and will be granted 1 Reinforcements (more on that later). Failure means they will take d8 damage.

Artist's Alley

Still filled with the impaled bodies of those deemed to have been working idolatrous crafts.
  • A mass of soldiers (HP 15, d8 damage, Defense 13, morale 8) runs through the streets to where the main fighting is.
  • From an upper-story window, an old man cries out: "Send them back to whatever demon's teat they sucked on!" He tosses the party a figurine of the Mother of Dawn, which possesses 1 charge each of 3 different spells:

The Market

Looted and smashed to bits.
  • A mass of soldiers (HD 3 HP 20, d8 damage, Defense 13, morale 8) charges on to reinforce their fellows at the gate.
  •  A Scholar and a Clown have taken shelter under an overturned fruit cart. If the soldiers are dispersed, they introduce themselves as the "Sons of Thunder" and will gift the party a smooth grey stone which, if thrown on the ground, will blind and deafen anyone nearby, after which they will use one of their own and run away.


The Baths

An old, sturdy complex of buildings where folk would purify themselves before heading to the Temple.
  • Townsfolk have barricaded themselves inside. CHA check or the head of Malenairis needed for entry.
  • Three sailors are lounging around in peace, despite the chaos outside. One is Tall, one is Fat, and one is Old. They generally (as they will inform you) don't tend to do anything much at all, but their ship is down in the harbor just outside the city and they'll be able to smuggle people out of the warzone and down the coast to friendly territory.
    • This is an emergency means of escape, should the party become too injured to continue on to victory.

The Stables

The stench of camel dung and the terrible sounds of animals in terror fill the air.
  •  The horses are panicking, and the stablehands are unable to keep them under control.
    • Releasing the horses will cause a stampede. If the Enemy Camp is Low Chaos, it is now High Chaos. If it is already High Chaos, the mass of soldiers' HP is reduced to 20.

The Arena

Where once there were chariot races and theater services, Malenairis transformed it into a place of bloodshed.
  • The manticore (HD 6, HP 30 Armor 13 2 1d6 claws OR 2d6 bite OR poison quills - ranged, CON save or keel over frothing at the mouth) has been fed on townsfolk since the occupation began, and like any overfed cat it has decided to sleep it off for twenty hours a day. (If it is not woken up, a surprise round is made.)
    • The manticore's quills are coated with a deadly poison (alas, the manticore itself is immune). They can be removed without waking it (DEX with disadvantage) and thrown like knives.
    • The manicore's gut is filled with 2d6 soul-pearls. Eating one of these will allow a PC to revive after hitting 0 HP, recovering half of their max. They can be eaten multiple times, but further revivals require re-rolling the PC's hit die - if the sum is lower than their current max HP, that number is their new maximum. If it is higher, they permanently lose 1 max HP.


The Enemy Camp (Low Chaos)

Malenairis' lieutenants have managed to establish order among the main body of soldiers.
  • Mass of Soldiers (HD 7 HP 40, d8 damage, Defense 13, morale 8)
    • For every point of Reinforcements the party has, remove 2 HP from the enemy.

The Enemy Camp (High Chaos)

The soldiers of Ankhar fight amongst themselves now, leaderless and in a panic. This is the default state of the Camp.
  • Mass of Soldiers (HD 5 HP 30, 2d6 damage, Defense 13, morale 6)
    • For every point of Reinforcements the party has, remove 2 HP from the enemy. 


The Palace

Once home to the queen and her consorts, then home to Malenairis and his lieutenants, now ablaze.
  • Soldiers scramble about, trying to form a bucket chain.
  • It's possible to rush in and salvage some of the treasures within, as follows
    • Players who go into the palace must make a DEX save. On failure, they will take 1d6 damage from heat and smoke inhalation. Either way, they will recover 1 slot worth of art and treasures, which will be 1-3 of your people or 4-6, Ankhar plunder of other nations. Either might be handed over for gold.

The Gardens

A moment of quiet, but not for long. The fire of the palace casts dancing shadows among the date trees and palms.
  • The Widow and Handmaid signal the party from their hiding spot with the call of a screech owl. They have Malenairis' head in a basket and are trying to find a way out of the city. 
    • The Baths provide the safest option, seconded by the party's direct protection. If they try to escape on their own, they will not make it beyond the walls.

The Elephant Enclosure

A makeshift wooden palisade set up in the gardens abutting the palace.
  • The elephant (HD 15, HP 75, 2d6 tusks x2 or 4d8 trample) is old, imprisoned, and grieves still for the loss of her herd. Her only comfort is the blind, deaf elephant handler who has been her companion for 40 years. She hates the Ankhar soldiers with depths that cannot be imagined. 
    • If she is freed from her chains, she will will fight alongside the players. Should she survive (and should the players keep going with these characters), all elephants shall be their allies.
    • If Ayo has any booze left, the elephant will sniff it out and down it all. She will fly into a rage, and all of her attacks will do double damage.

The Temple

The statues have been toppled, the frescoes scratched out by spearpoint, the mosaics torn up with shovels. The desecration is total, gleefully done. In the center of the wreckage a pavilion has been erected,a tent of shimmering indigo cloth whose dimensions are so perfectly measured that it hurts to look at it: the angles are too sharp. An altar has been erected in front of the tent; blood from the sacrifice of sheep and bulls already stains the scarred image of the Mother of Dawn on the floor.
  • The chief priest and his acolytes have hunkered down here. They are shaken by witnessing the God's departure. They are unarmed and unskilled in combat, but they remain defiant and utterly unbearable
  • This is the home of the God of Ankhar. He is not likely to be here.
  • The Azazel remains inside the tent.

The God of Ankhar

A naked manlike figure, twelve feet tall with golden skin and fiery beard. He has been mutilated by his worshipers: eyes cut out, ears cut off, feet hobbled. Screams and babbles incoherently. Masturbates furiously.

HD 9 HP 45 Armor 15 1d10+3 stone pillar, Morale 11 Can throw bolts of divine lightning (3d6, cooldown 5)


The Azazel

A bloated black goat just a bit smaller than the elephant. It has grown fat on Ankhar's sin, taking on all of their crimes against humanity into itself so they might absolve themselves of guilt.

The Azazel will not try to fight: it will permit itself to be killed. This will curse the party with the Mark of the Goat - they will not be welcomed in any city this side of the Indus if they bear that mark.

(MAKE SURE THE CURSE IS CLEARLY COMMUNICATED. PCs will have bad vibes about killing it - too easy, walking into a trap, whatever. Don't use it as a gotcha.)

Useful notes
  • The Azazel hates fire - that alone will spur it to move. Sunlight is even worse and can kill it without triggering the Mark of the Goat.
  • The Azazel is incredibly heavy, but could easily be chained up and dragged by the elephant.
  • The Azazel always lies, convincingly. It wants people to sin, so it can feed.
  • The Azazel will offer forgiveness of sins via transferral. This will require swearing a covenant with it, which will entail consistently and continuously feeding it through greater acts of evil.
  • The Azazel can be exiled without killing it - driving it out with fire or hauling it to the harbor and setting it adrift on the sailors' ship.
If the God has not been dealt with, it will interfere if there is an attempt to move the Azazel from its tent.

Final Reckoning

  • If the God of Ankhar is killed - Ankhar'swar effort is broken. Even if they survive and regroup, the loss of their general and their god in one night is too much. They will not visit this place again for generations.
  • If the God of Ankhar lives - It will return to the tent of the Azazel, if possible. If the Azazel is dead, it will limp out of the city, either to the Ankhar encampment (Low Chaos) or out into the desert alone (High Chaos)
  • If the Enemy Camp is in Low Chaos - Ankhar's forces retreat and regroup outside the city under the command of surviving
  • If the Enemy Camp is in High Chaos - Ankhar's forces are routed in their entirety. No surrender or orderly retreat is possible.
  • If the Azazel is...
    • Killed - PCs inherit the Curse of the Goat
    • Banished - Depending on method, it will either die a true death under the sun or slink away into the night, to emerge again some other cursed time.
    • Untouched - It will be taken with the retreating Ankhar soldiers OR the liberating army will find and have to deal with it.
    • Joined by Covenant - The PCs will be driven to lead the counter-attack, pillaging Ankhar's lands with equivalent cruelty. If the Widow and Handmaid survive, the war will eventually unseat the king of Ankhar himself.
  • If treasure recovered > 5 - The PCs can gain enough coin through rewards from return or profit from sale to retire to a wonderful little island somewhere, at least until they need to murder another god.
  • If the Widow and Handmaid are safely extracted from the city - The triumph over Malenairis brings not only all the people of the nearby cities together, but the hill tribes as well. This unified resistance not only drives Ankhar out of these lands, but helps to establish a new queen..
  • If the PCs die without dealing with the God or the Azazel - The Ankhar war machine continues despite the loss of its general. Your land is conquered.


  1. I have promised, I have delivered.

  2. Dang, this is really good. I've read about two dozen battle systems, and none of them seemed as crystalized and cool as this. There's something here you could make generic and would really shine.