Tuesday, September 12, 2017

#DIY30: All the rest

There are a few prompts that I'm saving for full posts, but all of those that didn't make enough material for will be bundled together here.

11th) Why is the stone circle on the hill top broken? 


Archbishop Whalesh has broken the Treaty of Five Chiefs, overturning three generations of co-existence between the Church and the Five Peoples. He has given his blessing to those who would desecrate the High Places; bands of young men, converts to the church and severed from the stars have taken up the call to topple the marker stones, go out to smash the altars, to terrorize those who might sing the Music of the Spheres Cosmic.

The archbishop has likewise decreed the dissolution of all traditional marriages and outlawed the old practices – only a church marriage is official now. The astronomic arts, one practices with such care in the High Places, are likewise now criminal. 

12th) What is there to do when stationed on an interstellar lighthouse?

Beamrider relay stations are meant to be automated. They are places of utmost isolation – buoys in a black sea. But still, some intelligence will live there.

They will clone for themselves bodies, fork off branch versions to inhabit them. The station becomes home then to elaborate theatrical dramas, generations long. Sagas of love, loss, friendship, adventure, hate, retribution, redemption, all the things that put butts in seats. Passing ships export the recordings to wherever they might go.

Centuries pass, and the solipsistic history of a vast computer mind speaking to itself grows ever more byzantine. Eventually it will become too much, and the curtain call comes. There will be a final, brilliant moment, before the cast dies to the last, and at last there is fin.

The computer might sleep then, for a time, before starting over again. 

14th) Roll a D20 and count down that many photos on https://www.flickr.com/explore. That's your prompt.

(I used "xth random image on Wikipedia Commons" instead, rolled a 13)

A corroded metal ring, taken from the finger of a long-dead warrior. At least a thousand years old, it has no monetary value and only faint historical worth. It was a gift-ring once, a little bit of its old magic remains.

If the ring is stolen, the thief shall reliving the owner’s memories in their dreams each night – hours of bloodshed, friends hacked apart in the snow, keels splintering under grinding ice, starvation and fire and loss. If the thief is confronted with anything that might trigger these memories in their waking life, they must pass a WIS save or trigger a fight/flight/panic response.

If the ring is bestowed as a gift, it grants a blessing on its wearer – their hands shall always be warm in the snow, and their dreams shall be of mead halls and brave comrades. They cannot become exhausted through sleep deprivation.

Such was brave Hrathulf’s reward…

16th) Make an equipment list for a post apoc setting, using only things in 1 room of your home. Garage and kitchen are easy mode.

In the room you are able to find the following salvageable items:

  • Blue backpack
  • Satchel bag
  • Baseball cap with neck-flap
  • Ushanka
  • Deck of cards and bag of dice
  • Metal water bottle (21oz)
  • Sandals
  • Table-leg club
  • Icelandic flag scarf
  • Jacket
  • Flask
  • Bottle of antibacterial soap
  • Pocket knife
  • Nail clippers
  • The Silmarillion

17th) What nations existed 500 years ago and how did they fall?

Sorang-Seh, pearl of the Sedsen Isles, saw the crabs migrate. Their lagoons were left as empty as their stomachs. A few of their stone structures still remain in the islands they once called home.

Ungalt, home of the greatest jade carvers in the world, vanished in an instant, under the burning ash of Mount Fotets.

Tluseí died the slow death. A bloated government that could not keep order, a populace turned upon itself by the ideologues that had wormed into places of power, a changing climate and years of famine – all took a pound of flesh, until in starvation, the nation devoured itself.

19th) What single change would you make to a popular D&D setting and why?

Forgotten Realms – Supervolcano, asteroid impact, nuked from orbit by invading aliens, etc.

I do not particularly care for the Forgotten Realms. I understand the value of having a generic base setting, but the thing about generic base settings is that development is the DMs job. Give people the tub of Legos and let them go, don’t waste time elaborating on it.

So, I propose gigantic, status-quo shattering disaster followed by enough time to allow what is rebuilt to become an entirely different setting. This would push the Forgotten Realms out of the default position, and do a lot to remedy

Planescape – Change the cosmology

I love Planescape, both as it is and as a concept. As-is, there’s not much I would change: maybe either getting rid of the Outlands and just having Sigil and the planes, or moving all the important features of all the planes onto the Outlands and sticking it all on a turtle or whale or bull and calling it a day – but both of those are rooted in the feeling that the Outlands feel a bit redundant when you have the City of Doors right there.

Conceptually, thought there is a whole lot that can be done with “Here’s the multiverse. It’s structured according to rules. There’s a city in the center.”

You can take that concept and change the rules, the planes, the city, and come up with all sorts of cool variants. A new take(s) on Planescape that embraces that sort of variability would definitely be my cup of tea.

Wilderlands of High Fantasy / City-State of the Invincible Overlord – Rebooted with DIY sensibilities.

Pretty self-explanatory, this one.

21st) Most unexpected spell that helped you get past the walls of the Fortress of See.

“It was Eoldar’s Instant Hard-Boiled Egg what got us through that wall, I swear before the gods. We’d managed to get in through the Whore’s Passage, like Brency told ya, but were stuck just outside one of the inner guard posts and me leg was falling dead asleep. Guard was right in your way and didn’t look to be moving and I hadn’t got the space to get him drowsy with a bit of pixie dust. But he was making himself some breakfast, and I made a lucky guess, and he turned around for just enough for us to rush out and bag ‘im.”

22nd) Milk Demons- besides Cecil, what are their names and what do they taste like?

It is very important to remember that milk demons are a very different thing from demon milk. The latter will not be explained here.

Demon-possessed milk tastes like rotting sugarcane and turpentine. It cannot be spit out and demands to be swallowed. The only effective means of removing milk demons is through the pasteuxorcism process, where the possessed milk is heated and then cooled in scripture-inscribed vats of cold iron.

Common milk demon names, other than Cecil, are Calcigor, Fencil, Vixnilliar, and Lencelgan.

23rd) How do gods work in your campaign? Does belief make them more powerful? Can characters become one?

There are gods, and then the gods of men.

Gods are simple: A god is an entity that is worshiped, that is powerful enough to bestow magic to those who follow it. Whether or not they are believed in or followed has no impact on their power or scope, they exist beyond humanity’s belief in them. They might be called the Old Gods

The gods of men are different, for they are created by human beings. This is not a conscious effort, but rather a sort of naturally-occurring effect: mass exerts gravitational pull, humanity creates gods. Appropriately, these gods are representative of spheres of human life and existence, and live within the tangled mess of ethics and philosophy that man finds himself in.

The gods of man can fade over time as their followers die out or the world changes around them, eventually vanishing when there is no niche left for them. They cannot die like the aforementioned gods.

It is possible to achieve apotheosis through the magic that births the gods of men (such as in the case of DOG), but it is difficult and dangerous.

24th) If the object closest to your left hand right now was a magic item in your campaign, what would it do?

Item: Black cylindrical speaker, roughly size of a grenade.

When the Black Speaker is thrown, it will produce a cacophonous screaming in an abyssal language. The noise will rarely form a coherent statement, but it is spectacularly loud and aggressive.

The effect will last for about a minute, after which point the Black Speaker will be powerless until the next dawn.

25th) The last thing you drank is a potion. What are its effects?

Dihidrogen Monoxide is a most pernicious and deadly poison – flavorless, scentless, common and deadly.  Laws passed to control the substance termed the “universal solvent” have done little to halt its spread – this is due in part to the fact that it might be made into a potion that can purge Dehyd Demons from the brain.

Yes, this toxic substance, destroyer of neighborhoods and toppler of lives, is the only known method of fortifying the brain against Dehyd Demons and purging them from the mind. The drinker finds themselves stirred from languor and in possession of an icy focus. Their eyes are opened and the illusions of the Dehyd Demons are cast aside.

Of course, Dehyd Demons aren’t real. The Authority says so. They aren’t real.

26th) Your childhood pet is now a monster. How is it going to kill me?

“Locals say it was a big cat, sir.”

“How big?”

“Big enough that it shouldn’t be here. You don’t find tigers at this latitude, sir.”

“Anything else?”

“It was gray, didn’t make any noise,  and tracked sand everywhere.”

“And carried off a prize cow with it.”

“We found the cow, sir. Just over that hill. Half the cow, at least. Lots of sand around it.”

“No sign of tracks or fur?”


“Might as well put out a posting for those vagrants at the Yeller and Trout. Decent reward, nothing fancy.”

“Consider it done, sir.”

27th) So what's with that overly-elaborate locked box?

Within that lacquered box lie the relics of St. Ren-jain, holy hermaphrodite and martyr of the Opal Steps. The relics include:
  • The fragmented skull, broken from the terrible fall.
  • The obsidian dagger with which their throat was cut.
  • A drop of breast milk, on which the Lost Infant was fed.
  • Crumbs from the Banana Bread Miracle, where Executor Yw was led to believe.

29th) Goblins are great. Why or why not?

Goblins are the greatest, and they are the greatest because they are goblins.

Humans have a tendency to become full of themselves. To think that the universe is ordered to their desires. To think that they are masters of the world, instead of its momentary stewards. To think that everything they do is serious and important.

Goblins reject this. They are here to take the piss, to be the gadfly, to destabilize the comfortable and remind the powerful of where they stand. They are the folk of chaos: of pratfalls and fart jokes and civil disobedience.

A goblin warren is based around their queen broodmother, who is protected by her sterile daughters and sisters (jack pucks) and served by her swarms of sons and brothers. Hobs are those goblins that run the Market. The Goblin Kings have gone away, but everyone knows that one day they will return.


And that's the end of the little ones. It was a great deal of fun, so many thanks to +Beloch Shrike and the others who helped fill out the list.

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