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Landshut Rules for 5e

I enjoy D&D 5e, but my heart belongs to games like Maze Rats and Sword & Backpack—games where you can keep all the rules in your head, and make up the rest. So I've been keenly following the Landshut posts over on Darkworm Colt.

5e has a pretty decent skill list, a standard equipment list, and plenty of examples for character powers to draw on. So, I threw together a quick-and-dirty pdf of 5e-inspired Landshut hack.

5e Landshut Rules
Following Mr. Matausch's example, let's make a couple characters to see how it works!
Sample Character 1
1. Adjective: 1d6=2
Dexterous (+3)

2. Hits=4

3. Proficiencies (+2)
I’m imaging a ranger-ish character, so I pick:
Animal Handling, Nature, Perception, Stealth, Survival
Light Armor, Martial Weapons, Simple Weapons, Herbalism Kit, Land Vehicles

4. Equipment: 2d6=6
Longbow
Short Sword
Leather Armor
Herbalism Kit
Explorer’s Pack
Dog

5. Lose equipment: 1d6=5. Roll to see which item is kept: 1d6=4. Herbalism Kit.
That is not a lot. This ch…
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The Ruined Tower of Zenopus Prep Notes, Part Six

Finishing my fluffy prep for The Ruined Tower of Zenopus, Zach Howard's 5e adaption of Holmes' Sample Dungeon!
Room A
Rooms B-E
Rooms F & G
Rooms H-M
Rooms N-S3


Random Encounters
This list is a merging of the Wandering Monsters table from The Ruined Tower of Zenopusand Zach Howard's d12 Hauntings in the Dungeon of Zenopus.

I've provided 5e Stats for the hauntings and for standard wandering monsters, but not for a creatures unique to The Ruined Tower. You should go but it. Highly recommended.

The numbers are for a 1st level party of 3-5 characters; double them for a large or 2nd level party.
Unique encounters occur only once, and should be re-rolled afterwards.

1-2. Goblin Patrol
3-4. Stone Skeletons
5. Giant Rats
6. Giant Crabs
7-8. Smugglers
9. Fancy Ghoul
10-11. Cleaning Cube
12.Unique: Split Shadows
13.Unique: Ghost Crabber
14. Sand Storm
15. Sea Fog
16.Unique: Armored Zombie
17. Unique: Abandoned Familiar
18. Scream
19. Green Flame
20.Unique: Green Flame Skeleton


1-2. 1d3 goblins on …

The Ruined Tower of Zenopus Prep Notes, Part Five

Continuing my fluffy prep for The Ruined Tower of Zenopus, Zach Howard's 5e adaption of Holmes' Sample Dungeon.
Room A
Rooms B-E
Rooms F & G
Rooms H-M

N. Sub-Necropolis
100x70’
A large room with low vaulted ceilings and caryatids (columns carved in the shapes of women). The ceiling caves in towards the North wall, ending in a slope of dirt and rubble, riddled with rat tunnels.

Ten carved sarcophagi are spaced evenly across the floor. As per Zach and Holmes.

P. Ghouls’ Pantry
70x50’
This room is filled with cracked and scattered wooden coffins (of recent make and in the Parsasian style), and the floor is littered with gnawed human bones.

Two fancy ghouls are in this room. They are dressed in a wild mismatch of fine funereal clothes and jewelry, now ragged and muddy. If they are aware of the PCs approach, they will hide among the coffins in order to ambush the intruders.

The ghouls wear a collection of bracelets, bangles, earrings, and rings worth 5d10 gp each. Investigation of t…

The Ruined Tower of Zenopus Prep Notes, Part Four

Continuing my fluffy prep for The Ruined Tower of Zenopus, Zach Howard's 5e adaption of Holmes' Sample Dungeon.
Room A
Rooms B-E
Rooms F & G

Past Room G, I've done a lot less to the rooms. Most are pretty much as you'd find them in Zach or Holmes.

H. Underground River
80x50’
A rectangular room with a high vaulted ceiling. The stone walls are carved in bas-relief of strange sea-creatures bearing spiraled shells and sinuous tentacles.

An icy river runs through this room, originating from a cascade of water pouring down the east wall.

I. The Bronze Head of Zenopus
40x90’
I felt the need to clarify how well the Bronze Head can answer its question:
The Bronze Head knows about Zenopus and his research, which was extensive. It can answer nearly any knowledge or lore question, although the information may be a few hundred years out of date. The mask can also check in on the present state of the dungeon. It does not know anything of what has transpired outside the dungeon since…

The Ruined Tower of Zenopus Prep Notes, Part Three

Continuing my fluffy prep for The Ruined Tower of Zenopus, Zach Howard's 5e adaption of Holmes' Sample Dungeon.
Room A
Rooms B-E

F. Firuzeh The Thaumaturgist’s Workroom
60x50’
The Thaumaturgist has secured this room, from which she has made a few cautious forays into the rest of the dungeon, hoping to unlock Zenopus’ secrets.

Workbench: Scattered with books, notes, and materials.
6 books full of impractical arcane theory. If collected and studied at leisure, the following spells could be compiled with an Arcana 18+ check (each): floating disk, knock, magic mouth.Partial maps of the dungeon, and notes on the goblins and pirates. A few references to dark things from under the cemetery.Lunch: Cookpot half-full of lentil stew and a jug of watered wine.Small pots of samples of soil, rock chips from dungeon walls, ashes, dried insects, bat guano, and mossA baby cleaning cubelet trapped in a glass bulbA spoonful of amber material (see E. Empty Rooms) in a sealed glass vesselVarious measu…

The Ruined Tower of Zenopus Prep Notes, Part Two

Continuing my fluffy prep for The Ruined Tower of Zenopus, Zach Howard's 5e adaption of Holmes' Sample Dungeon. Room A, The Goblin's Abode can be found here.

B. Bone Guards
50x50
Walls are engraved with images of simple, linear figures (like Etruscan vases) in esoteric attitudes.
4 closet-sized alcoves, covered with faded tapestries.
Skeletons will attack as soon as someone is 10’ into the room.
Upon examination, these skeletons aren’t bone—they are the same milky white stone as the dungeon. If destroyed, they will reassemble the next day. Blue tracery will mark any places where they were broken the previous day.


C. Corridors
Most corridors are 10’ wide and 10’ high, and made of tightly fitted white stone.

At the referee’s discretion, some of the corridors may show signs of their long neglect:

Earthquakes have shifted the paving stones, causing rises and drops of ten feet or more and breaking up any level surfaces. Passage through this corridor can only be accomplished at cli…

The Ruined Tower of Zenopus: Nutshell Review and Prep Notes, Part One

Holmes Basic is the D&D of my bones.

5e is the game for which I can actually gather a table of players.

So The Ruined Tower of Zenopus, a 5e conversion of Holmes' Sample Dungeon by Zach Howard of the indispensable Zenopus Archives, is pretty exciting.

The result is exactly what you'd hope for. Here's the fun gameplay of a classic old school dungeon, with the clarity of modern layout. There's plenty nice, thought-out additions so that you don't feel like you should have just saved your money and looked up 5e stat blocks yourself. These include some great resources that Zach has developed for Portown and the dungeon factions. There's beefed up versions of some 5e creatures to be more in line with the Holmes/Gygax beasties. There's cleaning cubes, an addition to dungeon ecology that I find delightful (and I keep hoping my players will try to make work as a resource). And there's information on incorporating Portown into Ghosts of Saltmarsh (which I have…