Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Class: The Folk

“Faërie contains many things besides elves and fays, and besides dwarfs, witches, trolls, giants, or dragons; it holds the seas, the sun, the moon, the sky; and the earth, and all things that are in it: tree and bird, water and stone, wine and bread, and ourselves, mortal men, when we are enchanted.”
- Tolkien, On Fairy Stories.

“We do not want merely to see beauty... we want something else which can hardly be put into words- to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it. That is why we have peopled air and earth and water with gods and goddesses, and nymphs and elves.”
-C.S. Lewis

Xia Chenjie

Class: The Folk


Folk possess only two stats, Forma and Numen (Form and Presence, if you roll that way,).

Forma (FRM): The strength of the Folk's physical manifestation. Folk can withstand damage equal to their FRM before losing their material body. They may re-manifest in FRM / NMN modifier days, rounding up (ignore negatives). When you level up, roll d20: if it is higher than your Forma, increase that score by 1.

Numen (NMN): The strength of the Folk's true being. Tied with the health of their home locus: each act that honors / desecrates this locus will increase / decrease this stat by one. If the modifier is negative, the locus has become polluted and the Folk corrupted. If NMN is reduced to 0, the Folk fades completely and cannot return.

Roll 4d4 for Forma; Numen always begins at 10.You may subtract up to 2 from one score and add it to the other.

Saves are resolved by rolling under the appropriate stat.

Folk do not gain experience or levels: instead, the templates a Folk possesses are equal to its Numen modifier. They will always possess the traits of template 0.

Templates


0) Folk Magic, Words of the World, 2 Power

N1) +1 Power

N2) + 1 Power

N-1) Sickly Nature, -1 Power, +1 Corruption

N-2) Polluted, +2 Corruption


Folk Magic


Certain magics are universal among all of the Folk. They are:
  • The ability to change shape as they wish.
  • The ability to appear and disappear as they will.
  • Knowledge of the language of all birds and beasts.
  • The ability to be heard in a man's native tongue.
Folk are tied to their home, whether it be a single tree or an entire biome; they cannot pass far beyond the border of their locus without invoking 2 Power for the duration of their journey.


Words of the World


There is no separation between the Folk and the world, and this is their greatest magic.

Invoking Words of the World requires Power. Power is invoked for as long as the effect is active, and returns when the effect is dispersed. Actions will scale depending on how much Power is invoked.

(This is all just barely tweaked from Kevin Crawford's system in Godbound, by the by.)
  • Damage against a single target (1d6 /1d8 / 1d10 / 1d12)
  • Damage against multiple targets (1d4 / 1d6 / 1d8 / 1d10)
  • Gain armor or defenses (as leather / as chain / as plate / as plate and shield)
  • Resist damage or an effect(damage reduction, damage resistance, countering spell effects, etc)
  • Hinder or weaken an enemy (Penalties to hit, take extra damage, status effects, etc.)
  • Create something
  • Change something
  • Other
For Folk operating outside of their homes, roll d6 for each point of Power invoked. Dice that come up as 6 are considered burnt until the next day.

Sickly Nature


Folk whose numen has been severely damaged take a 1d6 penalty to all rolls that they make, and they may not leave their home territory.

Corruption acts the same way as Power, though it is fit only for foul and misbegotten uses. When it is invoked, the Folk must make a Numen save, or will lose 1 point in that score.

Polluted Form


At this point the Folk has either faded to near-nothing (and thus cannot / will not act), or embraced its corruption and transformed into an abomination. Some small fragments of its old essence might still remain, but drawing them out is next to impossible.

All those who encounter must make a save vs magic at -4 to avoid contracting sickness or curse, per turn. No save may be made for direct physical contact.

Folk who have reached this level of corruption will often attempt to survive by severing themselves completely from their home. This should not be allowed to happen.

 
tvonn9


 Folk PCs

There are uncountable varieties of the Folk that might be found in the great wide world. I'll have a post detailing some of them later down the line.

The most common Folk that might be found in the company of dungeon hobos and the like will be nymphs, woodwose, brownies, goblins, and talking animals.

Needless to say, any Folk who would end up in such a situation already positively inclined towards humanity - there are more of these than one might think, considering the many alliances Mother made in the distant past.

Outside of fools and the truly foul, Folk traveling in the world of men will be met with great respect.

The greatest threat to the Folk is the growing tumor of Hell - fending off this threat will bring many Folk to call upon mankind for aid, or offer theirs in kind.


Monday, May 21, 2018

Methods of Detection

This is a follow up to my earlier post on material replacements for Protection from Evil. This time around, it's replacements for Detect, a spells that falls into the same category of being applicable to a great deal of things, but never differentiating between the things it's looking for.

Dowsing Rod (Detects materials or individuals)


A split length of wood with an internal chamber of half a thumb's size. When a substance is placed within the chamber, the rod will point towards the nearest source of that substance. This property can be used to find specific individuals, so long as the user is in possession of the target's name and some part of their body.

Dowsing rods may be found in the possession of witches, hedge wizards, and other magic users.

Shamble (Detects worked magic)


A makeshift device of twigs, string, and whatever's on hand that can detect nearby human-worked magic. A trade secret of witches.

Shambles are temporary things, and cannot be bought. One might, however, be able to persuade a witch to teach them the craft of it.

White Leech (Detects disease)


Turns a foul brown-red color when feeding upon those with a severe bacterial or viral infection.

A dose at the local barber's costs 5s.

Bezoar Powder (Detects poison)


Low-quality bezoars are ground up into a powder that can detect, but not cure, poison. If sprinkled upon or mixed into a poisonous substance, it will let off a pinkish smoke.

A bag of bezoar powder, enough for 3 uses, costs 50 silver.

Canary in a Cage (Detects poison gas)


Dies when exposed to toxic gas. Depending on the toxicity of the gas, players will have to resist effects immediately, or in 1d6 turns.

The wicker cage costs 5 silver, the canary 10.

Dog or cat (Detects ghosts, Folk, and other spirits)


The easiest and most reliable method, though it is likewise the broadest and least specific. Prone to false alarms triggered by the mailman or the feline desire to fuck with people.

Common pets cost 1-10 silver.

Soulwood Bough (Detects angels and demons)


A length of fragrant, silvery wood. Blooms white in the presence of angels, and black in that of demons.

Can be found in the possession of some magic-users and priests.

Angeldown (Detects evil spirits)

Delicate white feathers that will catch with brilliant gold-orange-blue-white fire when in the presence of a demon. Evil spirits trapped in its light will take an additional 1 damage per turn, per feather.

A single feather costs 50 silver in regions angels frequent, and 500+ silver where they do not.





Sunday, May 20, 2018

Mother Stole the Flailsnails

Regovrso
Decided it was time to throw out a player's guide for games I run. This will be updated, changed, and tweaked as needed in the future.

Basic Stuff 

  • Lamentations of the Flame Princess as a base, Shadow of the Demon Lord initiative gets thrown in there too and don't be alarmed if I say "boon" or "bane" at some point.
  • Stats are 3d6, arranged as you want.
  • Starting money is 3d6 x 10 silver dollars.
  • Games will take place in the setting of Mother Stole Fire, unless stated otherwise.

Classes

FLAILSNAILS principles are in effect, so anything even roughly compatible is A-OK. Daniel Dean has a really good list of options, and there are plenty more lying around the blogosphere. Make one of your own if you want. If you're feeling lazy, roll below.

  1. Red Hat Hobo
  2. White Hat Hobo
  3. Wizard / Witch
  4. Cleric
  5. Link-Boy / Lantern-Girl
  6. Rake
  7. Barber 
  8. Paladin
  9. Hauflin
  10. Lilu
  11. Amazon
  12. Wanderer
  13. Conspiritor (On the Shoulders of Giants)
  14. Corpse-Worker (On the Shoulders of Giants)
  15. Prize Fighter (On the Shoulders of Giants)
  16. Witch Doctor (On the Shoulders of Giants)
  17. Stewpot Witch (Chromatic Soup 1)
  18. Merchant Knight (Chromatic Soup 1)
  19. Inventor Necromancer
  20. Goblin, more different Goblin
Wizards use the GLOG magic sysem, though you don't have to worry about any of the additional templates if you don't want to. Beyond the schools developed by Arnold, you can also look through those made by Skerples or myself.  Don't forget the summoner!

Other Notable Bits


Expanded Equipment List

The Monster Menu-All

HP and Healing 

Shields Shall be Splintered!

Think I'm missing something? Give me a holler.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Class: Allomancer

I've got a friend who's a big Sanderson fan, who asks every so often about running the Mistborn Adventure Game. The odds of that are low, so I did this instead.

Evan Montiero

Class: Allomancer


HP, XP, to-hit: as cleric.
Saves: as specialist.
Restrictions: Cannot wear heavier than leather.
Starting Equipment: Obsidian dagger (1d6, shatters on a 1 causing bleed effect), mistcloak ( +1 AC)

A: Allomancy, 2 metals
B: Into the Mists, +2 metals 
C: Emergency Shot, +2 metals 
D: Burner Pellets, +2 metals

Allomancy
Allomancy works like standard GLOG magic. Spell dice are burned on a 6. An allomancer can hold charges up to their number of templates (maximum 4).

Allomancers do not regain charges daily. Instead, they need to put more metal into their system: a shot of whiskey with a smattering of metal flakes provides 1 spell die. It costs 100 silver and can only be acquired in cities.

Into the Mists
The allomancer can disengage without penalty on a successful DEX roll in low visibility situations (darkness, fog, heavy rain, heavy snow, etc.)

Emergency Shot 
The allomancer can create a charge on their own, using whatever metal and alcohol is on hand. This charge will burn out on a 3-6 (a different colored die is recommended). This takes one hour to prepare.

Burner Pellets
Experienced allomancers can use pellets of aluminum alloy to augment their magic.

A burner pellet will cause an allomancer to burn all of their stored charges at maximum [sum] on their next cast. No Doom is invoked. A burner pellet costs 500 silver, and may only be acquired from specialist sources.

Spell List:


Tin (Senses)
R: Self T: Self D: [sum] x 5 minutes
Gain +[dice] to all checks involving sight, smell, or hearing. You cannot be surprised while this is in effect.

Pewter (Body)
R: Self T: Self D: [sum] x 5 minutes
Gain +[dice] to all checks involving physical strength, max inventory, and damage.

Iron (Pull)
R: 5' x [sum] T: Metal object D: Instant
Pull a metal object towards you. If the object is heavier than you, you are pulled towards it.

Steel (Push)
R: 5' x [sum] T: Metal object D: Instant
Push a metal object away from you. If object is larger, you are pushed away. A coin thrown with this spell does [sum]+[dice] damage.

Copper (Hide)
R: 15' T: Area D: [sum] x 5 minutes
Creates a field centered on the caster. Those within cannot be detected by magical means, and gain + [dice] to saves against mental manipulation.

Bronze (Detect)
R: 100' T: Area D: [sum] x 5 minutes
When active, you detect any magic users within range.

Zinc (Riot)
R:100' T: Individual or crowd D: [sum] x 5 minutes
Enflames a specific emotion of the target's. Attempts to reason contrary to this emotion are made at -[dice].

Brass (Soothe)
R:100' T: Individual or crowd D: [sum] x 5 minutes
Dims a specific emotion of the target's. Attempts to reason with the target are made at +[dice].

Mishaps


  1. Take 1d6 damage; it feels like a hole is being burned through your stomach.
  2. Splitting headache robs you of the ability to focus for 1d6 minutes.
  3. Whatever was being cast backfires upon you.
  4. Your tongue becomes heavy and useless with a coating of verdegris. Cannot speak for 1d6 hours.
  5. Spew out molten vomit. Lose turn, do 1d8 damage self and adjacent being.
  6. Exhale a cloud of sooty smoke, obscuring your form and smelling awful.

Dooms


  1. Signs of heavy metal poisoning take hold. All mental attributes reduced by 1.
  2. Poisoning progresses. Mental attributes further reduced by 2, physical activities taken at -2 penalty.
  3. Mental attributes reduced by a further 3 points. Physical activities taken at -3.
These dooms may be avoided by performing the Rite of Temperance in the Temple of the Smelter King, or by turning oneself over to the Inquisition for purification.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Gorgonopsid Space Liches

Jonathan Kuo
Buckle up, ladies and gents, it's time for gorgonopsid space liches. Please pardon the fellow above, he is out of costume.

It's not easy getting into space. Sometimes, a species gets lucky and just stumbles upon some magic that can get them into orbit. Most of the time they never get off the ground at all. Sometimes, a species tells the universe to go fuck itself, beats it up, steals its lunch money, and does stuff the hard way.

Gorgorex was one of those.

Let's not mince words here, they nearly murdered their own planet to get into space. But they got there, and they got there first. Gorgorex civilization was a dominant player in a bubble upwards of 150 light-years across. A dust mote compared to the empire of the mind-worms that would come after them, but it was the grandest of the time and twice as grand besides because it was built upon a near-absolute lack of skill in the spatio-temporal arts.

Magical gravity control was completely beyond them. Faster than light travel was never even on the table. But they had biomancy and necromancy, and with the combination of the two came all their undying biological technologies. The gorgorex abandoned their bodies early in their interplanetary era for the benefits of lichdom; Phylacteries were mass-produced, flesh was traded for bone, and the species entered the age of post-scarcity. There were plans for a Dyson swarm.

It never came to pass, for gorgorex civilization collapsed completely. A glitch in the sigil-programming of their phylacteries would unspin their souls and wipe the storage. This was hard-coded into the enchantment and was triggered by age: roll over a certain date and poof. Gone.

Entire colonies were wiped clean before anyone realized there was a problem. Frantic workarounds were developed, but by the time the knowledge would reach outlying regions time-lag would have wiped anyone who could have listened to the message. Feral fragments of their networked bodies filled the empire; mindless, atavistic, slowly degrading into dust.

Ten Remnants of the Gorgonopsid Space Liches


  1. Umbilical cord space elevator attached to geosynchronous skull-station.
  2. Self-replicating tomb colony filled with deteriorating maintenance ghouls.
  3. Autonomous skeletal drones, programming hopelessly glitched by age.
  4. Orbital lichyard, hatcheries full of stillborn ships.
  5. Rib cage cylinder habitat, left to the pests for ages.
  6. Orbital solar farm, now inhabited by hives of stellar fire elementals.
  7. Fallow terraforming hexes, spotted with seed and gene vaults.
  8. Osteosculpting station, coral tanks still functioning.
  9. Communication hub, still broadcasting messages from the empire's final days.
  10. Sublight cargo vessel, trapped in a long elliptical orbit.

Ten Treasures of the Gorgonopsid Space Liches


  1. Thinking machine in a formaldehyde vat, desiccated but still functional.
  2. An unused phylactery, ruby-red and smooth as oil.
  3. Monofiliment bone-wire sword, still sharp despite the years.
  4. Portable solar-heater, could survive a bomb detonation.
  5. Pre-lichdom ghoul-suit, still able to do EVA walks.
  6. Non-functioning but intact fusion reactor.
  7. Supercoolant unit filled with liquified Ice 9 elemental.
  8. Blob of active metamaterial, currently at child intelligence and growing smarter.
  9. Painstaking recreation of the empire in orrery form, all orbit times to scale.
  10. A GSL's original body, lovingly preserved for nostalgia's sake.

The Conqueror of Time-Space, Heirozonus Zhul


The last of the gorgonopsid space liches, the utterly mad Heirozonus has devoted his unlife to building a gargantuan museum devoted to showcasing all the eras of fantastic deep time. He pilots this patchwork monstrosity of a rotating cylinder through the time-stream, abducting interesting specimens and endlessly revising and adding to the habitat-exhibits found within.

Hook: the player characters wake up from a drugged haze in a clearly-fake model homestead. There are a few recollections of drinking the night before and lights in the sky. Everyone's clothing has been replaced with ridiculous "local garb" that no one in their right mind would ever wear. Outside the house, there is a skeleton-servitor, eyes aglow...

    Monday, May 14, 2018

    Rehabilitating Mr. Welch

    Come now and lay your eyes upon an artifact of a distant age: the List of Things Mr. Welch Can No Longer Do In RPGs. I was randomly reminded of its existence, so now you are too.

    The central joke holds up about as well as one would expect it to thirteen years later, which is to say not particularly well. It's a product of a very specific time. But while skimming through it I thought to myself "you know, there are some proper gameable bits in here if you apply a bit of elbow grease."

    Why do I do this to myself? I do not know.

    The World According to Mr. Welch


    1. Blizztrigoom is the gnomish god of heavy artillery; cannoneers seeking his blessing mark the left sleeve of their uniforms with interlocking purple and yellow chevrons. 
    2. There is one upside to raising an Indigo Child: their self-centeredness and desire to hone their psychic powers fuels a mental arms race to cheat at chores.
    3. Ogres are surprisingly edible, though rarely done. The karmic irony of man-eating monsters being eaten by men can do one in, if one is not careful.
    4. The Gnomish Pygmy War Rhino is the pride of that people's husbandry. Most royal families of the Tawny Plains have their roots in ancient rhino-breeder clans.
    5. Atrimaia, Goddess' of Marriage, is often depicted as wielding an enchanted whip capable of bringing forth the truth and revealing the true natures and shapes of its targets.
    6. Gnomes have prehensile tongues capable of licking their eyebrows, can hold their breath for ten minutes, and are capable of propping up larger objects with their heads.
    7. It is popular among the upper classes of the Missionary Coast to give themselves names doubling as sexual positions and other innuendos.
    8. Elves have a noted negative reaction to caffeine. The drug will leave them in a state of hyperactivity, preventing them from effective communication, focusing on tasks, or performing complex magical arts for up to eight hours.
    9. It is not uncommon to hear of surface-dwelling Drow weighing up to a quarter ton; the species’ physiology remains in the constant mode of starvation typical of underground life, leading to the associated risks when in a food-heavy locale.
    10. Those men and women in Catalia who live to reach 100 traditionally head out on one last great adventure, an event that brings together the entire community in celebration.
    11. The dwarven khâtanha is a workman’s weapon: A portable anvil that might be converted into a longhaft hammer. A smaller, offhand hammer can be stored in the anvil’s base.
    12. The Order of St. Cymbelorn use mighty flesh-eating boars as their mounts, in honor of their founder’s legendary taming of Ghrutaal Blood-Snout.
    13. The Royal Order of the Red Shirt was founded by a band of peasants who devoted themselves to protecting their king during a terrible war. Their traditional red shirt is supposed to hide bleeding, and thus maintain morale.
    14. Through application of the Narcissistic Path and the Ways of Self-Centering, it is possible to reach Ego Singularity and become a god. This method, unfortunately, does not create gods willing to share blessings or powers with anyone but themselves.
    15. Celestial holds the most profanities among all major language groups, as those of the higher realms consider a great many topics profane. Conversely, Abyssal possesses no profanities at all, only words that offend others.
    16. Trollfat bubblegum is a popular snack due to its constantly-replenishing flavor and endless elasticity. The risk of regeneration is part of the fun, so say supporters of the treat.
    17. Belbirri is a halfling pugilist-demigod, revered for his masterful exploitation of the Tall Man’s Weakness. Among his titles are “the Line-Ender”, “the Fruit Smasher”, and “the Morale Breaker”.
    18. Hymnals of Gorthag Skullfucker the Blood God are a prized collectors item. Each is handwritten in blood-ink and contains notation for only the most head-banging of death-scream-chants.
    19. Vampiric cows have taken off as an innovation of fast food for their sterile, unrotting meat and the safety of eating it raw. No cooking required!
    20. The emergence of infectious zombism swiftly reached pandemic levels due to the population’s ignorance of proper quarantine and bite treatment procedure.
    21. Tasha's Uncontrollably Hideous Sister was originally developed as a joke, but Sashen has warmed up to it over the years and embraced her celebrity.
    22. Hrukharzr (lit. “beard cancer”) is a common derogatory term among dwarves for tangled and ill-kept facial hair.
    23. Guns crafted by Johmgan Zudisk come with a built-in enchantment that provides advice to the wielder on a variety of subjects when asked.
    24. The Order of the Shared Bed, being immune to venereal diseases, take it upon themselves to offer their services with no cost to those in need of them.
    25. Tensor's Herniated Disc will fuck just about anyone up right quick.
    26. Nana Bocani is the Wojzei-Wux Syndicate’s most decorated contract killer, and at 84 she shows no sign of slowing down.
    27. Sharpsteel Ioun stones form a cloud of razor-edged shards around the weilder's head, forming a simple but effective weapon.
    28. Manamead is a gold-blue drink brewed from the honey of dreambees. While expensive, a keg of it can be found at any decent undergraduate party.
    29. The Order of the Unflinching Smile are devoted to enforcing happiness in all beings, through violence if necessary.
    30. When Madam Croetrix’s Blacksuit Club came upon hard times, the workers banded together, repurposed their gimp suits and rebranded their services to include all manner of underworld activities.
    31. Druids in northern forests typically hibernate through the winter, leaving them famished and half-mad come springtime.
    32. Elves are marsupials, carrying their babies for up to eight months after birth. Both male and female elves have pouches.
    33. Elvish funerals consist of hollowing out the tree the individual was born from, placing the body inside, and lighting it afire as it is pushed out into a body of water.
    34. The ninja hive mind was long hypothesized but only recently confirmed by the revelation that ninjas are not, in fact, humans wearing costumes, but a species of colonial, land-dwelling crustacean.
    35. While the Dwarven Battle Perm has no actual usage in combat, warriors will always have one done before going out into the field. The ritual builds morale and calms nerves, and permits the hairdressers time to hear any last-minute confessions.
    36. The Gnomish Pygmy Seeing Eye Rhino is a new addition to the stable of Tawny Plains rhino husbandry, and has become very popular with veterans returning from wars in the north.
    37. “Gunner Girlfriend” is a popular brand of stout ale, flavored with a touch of sulfur and charcoal. It is named after Lucky Aiphen, notorious badlands gunslinger and long-time partner of Blackeye Bzern.
    38. Digga-Digga the Wombat God is a sleepy fellow, trundling around the outback wherever he will. He is known as “The Immovable”, for he cannot be shaken from his path.
    39. Word on the streets is that the Runescrib’d Pontiff’s body is rejecting his sacramental augmentations. Cyberpsychosis is looking more and more possible.
    40. Zealous adherents of the Panaeciln Church will tattoo the ceiling of the Cytosine Chapel across their entire body
    41. Starships anchors not only keep a ship rooted in port, but also serve as a means of transport between the ship and the ground as well as advertisements of available goods and services.
    42. The Neurotic Book of Fantasy is said to reside in the personal library of the mad wizard-psychologist Dr. Dorinihal, the mad wizard-psychologist. He has appended the original edition with his own work, and is looking for a new scholar to continue the cycle.
    43. Standing Dodge is an immensely popular spell despite its lack of effectiveness compared to other evasive arts, purely out of how impressive it looks.
    44. Nonsense rhymes, when penned by a wise had for clever children, can prove surprisingly effective as an implement of exorcism.
    45. Dwarven breast milk can reach alcohol levels of 180 proof, given enough time in the fermentation sacs.
    46. Warriors among the Ah-Huad-Shok tribe will settle blood debts by duels. Each man is allowed to bring with him his saber tooth tiger.
    47. Apothecaries capable of performing an emergency skull removal can be identified by a bone token worn on a braided red ribbon.
    48. Elves secrete a foul tasting oil when threatened. It is of some use and interest to alchemists.
    49. Parrots are entirely capable of learning Power Words. Cunning sorcerers will often leave one on guard in their chambers, prepared with the Red Word of PERISH.
    50. The Dwarvish Poetry Guild is the longest-standing government institution in the Steel Mountains, predating the monarchy itself. The dwarvish chorus of stage theater has its roots in these advisers of lords.

    Friday, May 11, 2018

    "Forth, and Fear No Darkness!"

    Scrap Princess had a good post about the standard spell list and what makes a good or bad spell, and that got me to thinking, and thinking led me to this.

    Instead of re-imagining the spell, I'll turn it into the item(s) that it might as well be.

    Marko Djurdjevic


    Material Methods of Protection Against Evil


    I'll have more to say on the subject of evil at a later time (Emmy Allen's essay on the topic was quite inspiring), but for now treat "evil" as related to demons and evil spirits. These are, at least in my default setting, generated by human action and belief just as gods are. None of these methods will stop an orc from burying an axe in your head, nor stop any spirits that are not demons. (With the exception of salt, which works on all spirits.)

    Salt


    A circle drawn in salt will create a barrier which spirits may not pass. One unit of salt per HD of the entity is required to maintain the barrier. If the circle is disturbed, the spirit will be able to escape. Material beings are able to pass over the circle, though most animals will instinctively avoid it.

    A bag of salt costs 10 silver.

    Holy Water


    Burns evil spirits with 1d8 damage. Particularly zealous water burns for 1d10, socially religious water burns for 1d6, and mildly devout water burns for 1d4.

    Holy water costs 25 silver.

    Anointing with Oil


    A mark is made upon the forehead, preventing possession and defending against mental effects for one hour. Length of effect is doubled if it is applied by ordained clergy or otherwise holy individual.

    A vial of oil costs 100 silver and has enough for 6 uses. A permanent tattoo may be made by a specialist, for a cost equal to the character's first level-up.

    Incense 


    When burnt, produces a strong, pleasing smell that makes evil spirits sluggish and slothsome. Those effected (within 10 feet of the group) always act last in initiative and have a 2-in-6 chance per turn of not making an attack. The smell clings to clothing and is impossible to mask - sensitive noses can detect it from adjacent rooms.

    A cake of incense costs 15 silver and burns for 2 hours. A thurible costs 50 silver.

    Talismans


    Provides wearer with a certain amount of psychological support, granting a minor bonus against fear. Substantial additional effects are unlikely, but possible.

    Talismans range from 1-100 silver.

    Laying on of Hands


    A minor sign. Acts as Bless when made by a ordained cleric or holy individual as part of an appropriate ceremony.

    No cost, but you'll probably have to sit through a sermon.

    Thursday, May 10, 2018

    What's This Fishman Excited About?

    I've been recently alerted to one of the unsung high points of 5e by a fellow I was talking to on Discord.

    It's this piece of art.

    Look at this fishman. He's not just excited, he is downright hyped up. This is a fishman on a mission. He's got shit to do and he's gonna do it.

    What is he excited about?

    1. Just got a new fightstick and a copy of Dragon Sphere Warriors X!
    2. The Squamous Overlord just gave him a raise!
    3. She said yes!
    4. Just got the gills cleaned! 
    5. The really good food flakes are on sale!
    6. Water's warm and filled with oxygen! 
    7. New season of Something and Something was announced!
    8. Local Sports Team just clobbered Rival Sports Team!
    9. Gonna spend all day caring for the coral garden!
    10. Tax return just came in!
    11. Didn't get eaten by a squid!
    12. It's spawning season!

    What fish is the fishman's head?

    1. Clownfish
    2. Angelfish
    3. Catfish
    4. Piranha
    5. Wobbegong
    6. Arowana
    7. Lionfish
    8. Blue Tang
    9. Lanternfish
    10. Fugu
    11. Sockeye Salmon
    12. Fishstick

    What strange delusions does the fishman adore?

    1. The world is not only flat, but also hollow! It's so cool!
    2. Waketrails! They're caused by boats and filled with drugs! Really great drugs!
    3. Chemicals in the water are turning everyone into gay communists! That's great!
    4. The government is listening to everything we say! That's so considerate of them!
    5. This calendar lines up directly with the end of the world! It's so convenient!
    6. There are subliminal demonic messages in our media! It's like a scavenger hunt!
    7. Wizards faked the entire moon! What craftsmanship!
    8. I don't know how vaccines work! What a delightful mystery!
    9. The sponge-masons are behind it all! They're so good at being sneaky!
    10. Whales are building a new world order under their iron flipper! I love their gumption!
    11. The evil empire stole flying saucers from Atlantis! Wow!
    12. Time has four sides! Nature is so beautiful!

    Wednesday, May 9, 2018

    Even More Fantastic Epochs

    Arnold's prompt really took off! Tthere are too many to link now, so I'll just direct you back to Anne Hunter's second post on the matter. (And my first.)

    Here are some more time periods.

    11. The Anunnaki Experience


    Visiting apotheoist extraterrestrials cover globe in stone pyramids and elaborate geographs of birds. Local proto-elves are terribly confused, as they had already created stone pyramids and elaborate geographs of birds and were really looking forward to cheap fusion and metamaterials.

    12. Gnomic Explosion


    A species of gnomes achieves asexual reproduction through budding, floods ecosystem with tiny magical men with pointy hats. Predators forced to convert to gnomovorism or starve. Toadstool cities drive out local flora, widespread psychotropic pollen storms become a regular occurrence.

    13. Zaratanic Column


    An era of near-total oceanic coverage, marked primarily by a strata consisting primarily the compressed shells of continent-sized turtles. Similar specimens and their endemic parasite-descended civilizations have been found in fewer numbers in multiple subsequent geological periods.

    14. Bootleg Epoch


    Global biosphere replaced with cheaper, unlicensed biosphere. Flora and fauna of are of low quality and break down regularly. Colors and proportions are askew, incorrect or confusing categorization is commonplace. Era ends after enforcement of new divine copyright laws.

    15. Megamenstreum


    The universe, finally realizing that mistakes have been made, decides to flush itself out and start over. Everyone and everything is miserable except for the cosmic vampires, who are flourishing. Vampires are wiped out by the next generation of starchildren.

    16. The Recreation Era

    A completely accidental mass extinction wipes out all life on the planet save a sapient species of bivalve-descent hominids. Survivors attempt to recreate their destroyed world by putting on elaborate costumes and filling as many niches as possible.

    17. Crazy Cat Age


    Cats release variant toxoplasmosis strain into atmosphere, assume indirect control of class mammalia. Reign of the God-Felines is eventually overthrown by an alliance between reptilians, insects, and shoof. Shoof driven to extinction during war; nature of the creatures unknown, their sacrifice is not forgotten.

    18. The Great Re-Alignment


    The stable law-chaos matrix is thrown into disarray as a close encounter with another plane leaves a residue of sub-atomic moralitons smeared across the universe. Thousands of competing ethics gradients emerge and fight for dominance via imprinting upon biological life. Law-chaos matrix eventually re-asserts dominance after collapse of the good-evil matrix into civil war.

    19. Terrible Reign of the Sport Kings


    Ordinary sporting event featuring utterly mediocre teams results in indefinite extension of overtime. Game continues despite catastrophic nuclear war annihilating parent civilization. Teams and fans eventually diverge into two separate species. Evolutionary arms race devoted to out-competing enemy team. Age is finally drawn to the close as the ultra-umpire appears on the scene, devouring both teams and declaring a mutual forfeit.

    20. The Morte Paradox


    Thin, unremarkable strata that contains the tombs of every sapient being that is currently alive. Society in turmoil as governments and scientists debate over whether or not the tombs should be opened. Conspiracies and denials abound. Skeletons celebrate, though are not specific about why.

    Monday, May 7, 2018

    O'Neill's Archipelagos


    Did you know that NASA puts all their images up as public domain?

    O'Neill cylinders are incredibly cool, and all the things that make them cool in make them absolutely fantastic for role-playing games. I can't recall being this enthralled with an idea in a good long while: It's the foot in the door for hard-science space opera, and that makes me a happy man indeed.

    So then: the steel-hulled station proposed by O'Neill in 1976 was a cylinder 20 miles long and 5 miles across. That can be unrolled into a rectangular map of 20 x 16 (rounding up the decimal). With two mile hexes, that's a 10 x 8 grid and a decently-sized adventure setting. A bit of wilderness, a few towns, some points of interest, you're good to go.

    The self-contained nature of a cylinder means that each one can be its own cultural and environmentally distinct region. Unlike planets (or regions on a single planet), cylinders can be placed conveniently close to each other, resulting in transit time measured in hours or days.You can get a wildly different setting for next week's episode and just be the next station over.Yoon-Suin to the Veins to Psychon to the Ultraviolet Grasslands to Chromatic Soup and so on (I show my love of stitching modules together yet again).

    Enough talk, have some random tables.

    The cylinder is...
    1. Ancient
    2. Venerable
    3. Around the block
    4. Recent
    5. Up-and-coming
    6. Factory fresh
    And...
    1. Isolationist
    2. Out of the way
    3. Quiet
    4. Of modest activity
    5. Busy
    6. Bustling
    The population is...
    1. Absent
    2. Sparse
    3. Modest
    4. Significant
    5. Cramped
    6. Overwhelming
    And overall the place is...
    1. Absolute dogshit
    2. Rough
    3. Getting better
    4. Decent
    5. Wonderful
    6. Paradise
    Apply Stars Without Number tags, Dark Heresy world generation, random historical oddities, or whatever other tool in your drawer to taste

    That's pretty cool.

    Saturday, May 5, 2018

    Play Report: Two Birds with One Sword

    Finally! After entirely too long, the crew has finally made their way to Hot Springs Island, searching for any secrets of the ancient elves that could save their floundering chocolate factory. Despite a surprise outbreak of hives on the boat, the team safely arrived in the harbor of the ruined elven city on the island's southern coast.

    The away team consisted of:
    • Blue, Carcosan blue man warrior, level 3
    • Robin, Sister-Knight of the Order of the Sable Maid, level 3
    • Simmons, a skeleton, level 3
    • Xeno, a tiefling, level 3

    Welcome to Hot Springs Island


    The group leaves the ship at dawn, tying their boat up to the ruined piers at the bottom of the Iridescent Stair. In the misty morning stillness they hear the sounds of a squabble from up near the top of the stairs, and go to investigate.

    At the uppermost pool, the group spies a half-dozen combustarinos in the middle of a heated (har) argument. A cube of stone, engraved with typically grotesque elven sex acts, sits cracked and lopsided on top of one of the troop: a twitching arm and part of a wing stick out from underneath.

    Simmons, distracted by flipping through the Field Guide, bungles the stealth approach they were taking, but the combustarinos are more confused than hostile. Introductions are made.The combustarinos explain that the Big Bossman (Svarku) had sent them out for some new material for his current construction project. With the best carving now broken, they're stuck: the Iridescent Stair has been picked over pretty well, and the Bathhouse at the top of the hill is far outside their pay grade.

    The party was assured that the dead combustarino, Gary, absolutely had it coming.

    With both groups looking towards the Bathhouse as the source of what they need, an agreement is made. ("When there's a chance the Big Bossman might get angry, we become really good at compromising with others.") One of the combusterinos, Terry, is sent along with the party as a scout and guide as the four progress through the ruins upwards to the Ruined Marketplace.

    (Note: The combusterinos are named Gary, Terry, Larry, Harry, Merry, and Phil.)

    The Library


    Upon reaching the marketplace, the party decides to investigate a vine-infested museum / library. They spend several hours sorting through books, using Simmons' passing knowledge of ancient elvish to sort through the contents (Vornheim tables came into play here.) Of what they found, they decided to take with them a dessert cookbook, a collection of historical fiction of weird biotech fascist elves (the Eld of the Misty Isle) a guide to local tree species, a collection of travel essays for lands to the east, a book containing the secret path to Goblintown.

    (Note: It has been decreed by my players that Flavortown is a ghetto of Goblintown, and that both cities are located within the Funkytown Greater Metropolitan Area.)

    The extra time spent searching put them in the path of a hunting trio of zip birds, who charged the group with aggressive wooping.

    For combat I subbed in Shadow of the Demon Lord initiative, and I don't think it shall ever go away. I love it.

    Xeno and Robin held back and waited for the birds to charge, while Blue rushed to meet them and Simmons climbed up a bookshelf and attempted to get a drop on them. He critically failed, and ended up falling flat on his face while his head went rolling away. As the others scramble to defend themselves from the birds, he fails around to find his head, rolls behind a bookshelf, and consults the Field Guide.

    Blue is dropped to 0 HP and falls unconscious, but he manages to avoid critical injury. One of the birds ends up tripping over his comatose body. Simmons rushes in with his sword, critically fails again, and slams right into another bookshelf.

    Robin ends up carrying the day as she lands a critical blow on one of the birds with her greatsword, killing it instantly. Xeno's player says "why not kill two birds with one sword?", the table has a great lauch, and I rule that if Robin can succeed on a second attack, she can hit the next bird on the same swing and carry over the remaining damage.

    She rolls another critical.

    The remaining bird panics and flees, as one would do. The party sets up a brief rest and spends some time recuperating, cooking up the remains of the two dead zip birds. Terry informs them that zip bird hearts are a favorite treat among the Fuegonauts, and that he'll be able to trade them for some goodies.With evening approaching, the combusterino flies off to his fellows with the two hearts, promising to return in the morning.

    At this point the players and myself takes a short break to go out for drinks.

    The Restaurant 


    For the rest of the evening, the party investigates a ruined elven restaurant on the opposite side of the plaza. Inside they find a wounded goa warrior; Xeno makes a successful languages check and is able to pantomime that they can provide help. Robin seals the wound up, and the warrior seems to honor the action.

    Further pantomime leads to two pertinent strings of information.
    • Point to kitchen -> blowing noise and waving hands 
    • Pointer fingers upright beside jaw -> sharp downward motion -> point to wound.
    Exploration of the kitchen goes smoothly: Simmons avoids the broken pipe that is venting steam, and Robin stuff the hole with her blanket. A book of elementalist cooking techniques is found among the wreckage, and in the office they find a corpse holding a small glass cube filled with diamonds, function unknown.

    With night falling, the party sets up camp with the goa in the restaurant.

    Final Notes


    As smooth and clean as I could have hoped. The additional resources for HSI (the automatic generators, the easy-reference stats for monsters) are astoundingly helpful on top of an already helpful book.

    The players reacted well to having the Field Guide available to them (referring to it as a Pokedex, most aptly), as well as having Terry there (This being the not-big-into-rpgs group, I could definitely see the positive difference.)