Thursday, August 31, 2017

#DIY30, Day 6: Six Types of Vampires

The dread bacterium itself.

Haematophage (Vampiris parvissimis)

These microscopic vampires devour the red blood cells of their victim, inflicting upon them a crippling anemia that swiftly becomes fatal. The haematophagi multiply rapidly, turning the victim’s blood into a blackened, lifeless sludge. The plaque spreads from the infected or their corpse by means of liquid contact: phlegm, spittle, semen, vomit, and bile must not be touched, but it is tainted water that is the greatest danger. Blood-sucking insects – lice, ticks, mosquito, biting flies – may also transmit haematophagi, as will any scavenger beast picking at an untended corpse. The vampires shall kill those beasts and spread further.

It is imperative that any outbreak be curbed as quickly. Water must be boiled above a sacred flame. Meat must be abstained from. Animals that appear to be diseased, wild and domestic, must be killed and burned. Those infected by the plague are to be quarantined or shown mercy, their homes marked with a red chevron and their bodies burnt.

Mountain shucksters will often peddle vials of garlic water or packets of prayer-parchments as preventatives. These do nothing. Haematophagi are weak only to fire.

From Darkest Dungeon

Impaler (Vampiris doryphoros)

A species possessing of a rigid, extendable proboscis that may reach up to ten feet at its fullest extent. They are size of a child, crawling on all fours and bearing a gray carapace and beady blackened eyes. They will hunt in packs, chittering to each other in the darkness and separating a traveler from his companions. The lucky vampire will impale the unlucky soul, raise them high, and bleed them dry. The others of the pack will protect the eater as it fills its belly.

Impalers die best by crushing beneath a millstone, though a hammer will do.

by Nathan Anderson

Bloodbather (Vampiris bathori)

An amphibious species. They are completely hairless, with skin the color of a fresh scab. Their eyes are pure white and their fingers and toes are webbed. They prefer to lurk in fetid swamps patiently waiting for the will-o-wisps to lead a traveler astray. They are solitary creatures, gathering together only to mate.

They will not burn. Salted iron weapons are effective.

Orzhov concept art from Magic: the Gathering

Red Banker (Vampiris berebergi)

Blood for gold! Blood for gold! This is the cry of the banker as they walk among mortal men. The crowds part at the sight of their red-silk robes. Their mouths are those of lampreys, their ears like fans, their noses like upturned leaves, their rasping tongues hives of louses. They surround themselves with translators and incense bearers.

They cannot stand holy icons, and so make a point to buy out any churches they come across. Gods make for very good advertising mascots.

Also from Darkest Dungeon

Mimic (Vampiris mimicus)

They appear as men. Chalk-pale, dark-haired, tall and thin and bearing all the raiment of some distant aristocracy. In high society one might see them, their velvet capes perfectly clean, their fanged smiles friendly and innocent. They drink only the blood of chickens and pigeons.

This appearance is a sham. Those possessing of a third eye might make out the true form of the vampire, puppeting around its false body: a bloated, dark, moldering thing, three rows of serrated teeth, eight asymmetric eyes, pulsing rows of clicking, waving limbs.

They must be torn from their hiding place between the shadows of space before they are beheaded.

Sunbather (Vampiris solaris)

Their colonies are found out in the deserts. They stand in rows stretching out to the horizon, collecting sunlight on their wide, black wings. When night comes they go off to hunt, their bodies awash in a faint golden glow and their tongueless mouths moan songs of coronal radio into the darkness.

They have no special defenses or weaknesses. Stake through heart, decapitation, burn the body.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

#DIY30, Day 5: The Dung Knight

5th) Write a Bug Knight class for the system of your choice. 

From Hollow Knight
Hit dice: d12
Saves: As fighter
To hit bonus: As fighter
XP: As dwarf
Weapons and Armor: None, see below

Tally ho! It's time for a new #DIY30 post! 

Few are called to be a Dung Knight. It is a duty that lesser bugmen find difficult to shoulder. They must flinch at no stench, stand above no mess, do the jobs that others find impossible! Their honor must be spotless, their words pure, their actions heroic - for if the keepers of nightsoil cannot find it in themselves to give a shit, who will?

Carapace: The Dung Knight’s mighty shell provides protection equivalent to plate armor. They cannot wear any additional armor or doff their shell. They sink like stones in water and require either aid or two turns to recover from being knocked prone.

Dung Ball: The Dung Knight’s mighty weapon is a compacted ball of feces and dirt, dealing 1d8 damage. The dung ball begins with a range of 60’, increasing by 10’ with each level past 1. The dung ball will burst on impact, and it takes a full movement action to roll up a new dung ball.

  • Packing: The dung ball does an additional point of damage for every turn spent rolling it about.
  • Ricochet: Upon hitting a target, the dung ball has a 1-in-6 chance of remaining intact and bouncing of for the remainder of its range. This chance increases by 1 every level until it is guaranteed.

The Smell of Victory: A Dung Knight will always smell of his craft. He won’t notice it, but everyone else will.

From Kingdom Death

Saturday, August 26, 2017

#DIY30, Day 4: The Black Weight

(Continuing with the now-properly named #DIY30, (full list compiled here) a question from +Mateo Diaz Torres)

4th) Make a monster based on your deepest fear 

The Black Weight has chosen you. It calls to you. You can feel its yellowed eyes follow you from on high, its judgment on your shoulders like a glacier of lead. You must go to meet it. It calls for you and you alone.

The approach – The landscape has been changed. Great hands have twisted it out of shape, filled up with your waste: Burnt bridges, the ghosts of chances never taken, the dust of cares that never mattered, regrets in their churning multitudes, trashed time, could-have-beens. All the filth that has gone into your body, all the filth that has come out. The chaff and slop that has filled the waking moments before the coming of your death is dredged up and displayed to all.

Outside the lair – In the center of the wretched refuse of your life, it becomes difficult to breathe. From within that monument you hear the gleeful recitation of your sins; every hidden shame, every skeleton in every closet. They are the chains of truth upon your shoulders.

Within the lair – Unbreathable now, in the face of your depravity, your worthless flesh a stain and tumor upon the dance of physics. You stand within a palace built of the corpses of your dreams, nailed together by your laziness, your stupidity, your docility. You have let your body go to ruin, your sword dull, your mind tepid, your heart dim, all in the pursuit of the beastly Black Weight. It is strong and ever stronger for its feeding upon you.

You must defeat it. It will not kill you, but you cannot live with it continuing. You must defeat it. You have been chosen. Any still willing to give your carcass aid may do so, but you must deliver the final blow. A sword forged of a beloved’s hands shall offer some aid and comfort, but it must be swung by yours.

If brought to its knees, the Weight will plead, and beg, and take a most piteous form – but most importantly, it will remind you. Not just of what you are, but that it is needed. It is the anchor against chaos, the bulwark against the dissolution of self. There is no stability without it.

Strike now, strike now. If you do not, you will return to this pit, again and again and again forever and ever amen.

(Mechanically, stat the Black Weight as an adult or older dragon, replacing the breath weapon with weaponized existential depression targeting a single individual. The effected party member is the only one that can kill the creature, but doing so requires a series of difficult will saves or some killer RP moments.) 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

#DIY30, Days 1-3: Troll Biology, Unplayed Games, Weird Damage

These all come from a G+ thread started by +Beloch Shrike and filled by some other fine folks as an DIY alternative to the other 30 day RPG meme going around. I like it better than the other one.

1st) What is a heretofore unknown secret of Troll ecology?

Despite open flame being one of the two things that can scare a troll (the other being a larger troll), fire is intimately linked to troll reproduction on both a symbolic and physical level. Perhaps it is this power over their lives that strikes that primal fear in the trollish heart – they loathe it, but they cannot exist without it.

Male trolls decorate their territories with trophies of their conquests: great carved stones and skulls on sticks are perennial favorites. These are certainly used for the intimidation of intruders and the marking of borders, but do not seem to have any link to mating displays as previously thought. Those displays are instead found only within the heart of a troll’s territory, where the males will decorate their nests with trophies related to or evocative of fire, as symbols of their strength and virility: Bright red flowers, scraps of cloth, sham campfires, strings of fire strikers, burnt sticks, pits filled with ash, bundles of half-smoked cigarettes, cave paintings depicting the male in question commanding flames or fighting the sun.

The meaning is simple: this is a strong troll, who is able to face down fire and challenge it for domination. It is all for show, but the show is enough for a female troll.

Trolls that mate through the usual means will have typical troll offspring: brutish, cunning, violent, ever-regenerating. However, there is growing evidence to suggest that an alternative is possible, potentially an extinct predecessor species.

If common wisdom is ignored and the ashes of an immolated troll are kept in a single place (a hole in the ground is easiest) and kept warm, an object like a curved teardrop, about half the length of a forearm, will form within the ashpit. This object is a chalky white in coloration, with faint streaks of orange-red. The surface is pitted with shallow holes, about the size of a fingertip, and each surrounded by a slightly raised ring. It is warm to the touch and remains so without change.

The current theory is that male and female trolls will produce complimentary ‘eggs’ (the objects are not eggs, bearing no shell or innards, but have been named as such), which when fit together will form the next stage of gestation. Unfortunately, only three eggs have thus far been recovered, all from male trolls.

2nd) What's a campaign you would love to play in, but nobody is running it?

Degenesis Rebirth. I’ve run two sessions of this (and sat in on a third at a con), but in typical Dan fashion, my eyes were bigger than my stomach and I tried running it for people who were not the right level of RPG nerd to get the most out of it. Fun was had, but I wasn’t able to sink my teeth into it. And there’s a whole lot to sink ones teeth into with this game.

I suppose if I really wanted to I could reskin it for a retroclone since the setting is the real selling point for me, but whatever. It’s a cool game and you can play as a gnostic landskneckt with a flamethrower who is fighting horrible spore mutants from space, along with his best friends the horrible computer-fetishist shut-in and the cowboy policeman with a big hammer.

3rd) How can a monster harm a character in a new and unusual way?

The character is unharmed, but each round they remain in the monster’s sight their items grow heavier with worthless gilt ornamentation (+1 encumbrance / item / turn). Swords fall from hands and embed themselves in the floor. Armor becomes too heavy to stand in. If aid is not delivered fast, bones are crushed, organs pulped. The effect will never wear off, not even with the death of the monster.

The monster’s touch is a slow corruption of the body, but does not harm. Rather than losing hitpoints, the target gains this corruption. If that score is raised to equal CON x5, the transformation is complete and final. They are a different being now, and their old self is dead. Corruption can be reduced by leeches, bleeding, surgery, or prayer, but never below half of the maximum if it has been raised higher.

Saturday, August 19, 2017



This is DOG.






Please do not forget DOG.


DOG on the hunt with MAN

When Ama Adimatha led her children through the Snow, the wolves followed. And in those frozen years, completely by accident, mankind managed to uplift a god. The god’s name is DOG, and among all the gods of man, only our mother Ama Adimatha is as beloved.

Now, mankind had always created gods, even when they were simple apes hiding from the dragons. But humanity had never had any proper power to do the creating with – it’s easy enough to make a god out of nothing but fantasies, but much harder to shape something that actually exists. This was the first instance of such an ascension: if it is possible for such an event to happen again, it will not be on such a scale.

The godhead of DOG is dragonfire-wrought, divinity at its most pure and powerful. Miracle above all miracles that power did not corrupt. DOG is good. DOG can only ever be good. If DOG ever appears else-wise it is because DOG is mistaken about whether something or someone else is good.

DOG has no awareness that it is a god, nor that it is a shared godhood. To its multitude of minds, it is only DOG. There are no clerics of DOG, as the magic bidning god and man is universal in this case.

The wolves regard DOG with mistrust and confusion, though they do not understand why.

DOG will wait at the gates for you.

 by Fred Fields


  1. Trollhound – Bred for hunting trolls. Very good at their job.
  2. Bloodhead Terrier – Black fur, red face, fiery attitude.Good at hunting rats, imps, and sprites.
  3. Charlie-Tug – Small, wrinkled, caught on with the nobility.
  4. Kinderfresser - Is actually very good with children, and will not eat them. Often confused for a domesticated bear.
  5. Tokorian Bristleface – Luxurious walrus mustache, protector of sheep, constantly outwitted by goats.
  6. Abbotsfriend - Sleepy, a good companion. A common sight in monasteries and libraries.
  7. Tusslepunk – Energetic spaniel with a plume of reddish hair running from the top of the skull to the middle of the back.
  8. Pitcheared Pointer – Black-eared, long-nosed, never heard to bark.
  9. Pareemi Plumcoat – Beautiful, sleek, and exceptionally rare in these parts. Short, purple coat.
  10. Gobdog – Raggamuffin mutt that may or may not be a goblin in a disguise.
  11. Snazzamoodle – Wizards got involved with cross-breeding. This is the result. Current fashion is octarine fur and a few too many legs.
  12. Thoolian Blue – A stoic grey-blue breed from the north with curly fur. Takes to howling mournfully on new moons.
  13. Cinder Shepherd – The signature farming family dog. Star of broadsheet comics, soup can labels, and commemorative stamps.
  14. Basset Hound of Tindalos – Result of breeders with wizarding degrees. Magically capable of waddling and flopping out of right angles.
  15. Saddleback Pariah – Half-wild outcast breed found in favelas and leper colonies.
  16. Folkdog – A bridge between the worlds of man and Folk. The subject of ancient gift-giving ceremonies in the wild countries.
  17. St. Cuthbert – Thick as a brick, strong as an ox, lovable as an ugly baby.
  18. Sahmoor Pit Mastiff – A war breed pitted against the horrors of both Hell and the Inner World.
  19. Great Grey Whalehound – Signature sight on the ships of the northern amazons for their hunts. Excellent swimmers.
  20. Thylacine – Wizards adamantly refuse to say that they exist, the Folk say they died out long ago, theologians are still discussing matters, but it’s still right there wagging its tail.
  21. Hellhound – DOG can do no evil, but DOG will also never abandon a friend. Hellhounds are made when DOG follows someone to Hell in an attempt to rescue them.
by Snatti89


  1. Ratlike
  2. Small
  3. Medium-small
  4. Medium-large
  5. Huge
  6. Bear
  1. Companion Dog
  2. Guard Dog
  3. Hunting Dog
  4. Working Dog
  5. Primitive Dog
  6. Wizarding Dog
  7. War Dog
  8. Designer Dog
He is good because:
  1. Can detect evil and speak to ghosts
  2. Carries a flask of rejuvenating whiskey on his collar
  3. Is not afraid of anything
  4. Can absorb sadness and turn it into love
  5. Can herd anything with legs
  6. Has a happy smile
  7. Still knows the secrets of Wolfspeak
  8. Can smell out disease
  9. Sees for the blind
  10. Wants to go to space
  1. No way I'm writing about dogs without Hachiko. Won't happen.
As I am eternally late to the party, there have been many other bloggers who have already done much more clever and better things with dogs. Check out Arnold's really good dog class.