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.

1 comment:

  1. That corruption has so many interesting role-playing possibilities. CREAT alternate kind of damage.