Saturday, July 6, 2019

Dan's Notebook of Unfinished Wonders, Vol 4

Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3

I am certain that I repeat entries in these regularly. I do not care. I overflow with minutiae.

  1. Hell is the furnace which fuels the universe
  2. Chamenotheism - the gods are lost, dead, gone away, or revealed to be false
  3. Thousand-Eyed Wa, great sage of the Fourth Path
  4. Watchers on the River and the Red Deer Cave People
  5. The Pith Street Rebellion
  6. Flower urchins, found near seashore tidepools
  7. Duselains - a people
  8. Giraffe-riders and the Witches of Pough
  9. Acupuncture drains out demons residing in the spinal column
  10. A gospel of angels, a party of demons
  11. Sphinx with a porcelain mask and calico coat
  12. Class/game based around reincarnation. A hellcrawl - defeat your demons, work towards enlightenment.
  13. Octopus-hide cloak
  14. Mantis shrimp folk
  15. Religion - evil cannot be defeated, all effort goes into outwitting it
  16. Alewife witch - a class
  17. Last Dangerous Visions as an Esoteric Enterprises grimoire
  18. Pelagy the mermaid, living in a well.
  19. The 15th Black Painting, Francisco Goya's Rey Con Túnica Amarilla.
  20. Fortress on the Tumorous Sea 
  21. Caste determined by language
  22. [DIDACT], a six-eyed god
  23. Dungeon - based on a convention hall, where the contents of each room rotate on a schedule
  24. Nyarlathotep's job is to make sure all of reality doesn't collapse back into Azathoth.
  25. Translated alien speech is rendered in diagrammed sentences.
  26. "There's an alien in the terminal, says he wants to tell me about Jesus."
  27. "You can't collect back taxes on people who enchant their gold."
  28. "There's a worm in my blood - I need to keep drinking to keep it suppressed."
  29. The watcher-angels rebelled against God after He cut out and murdered his female component.
  30. The Janissaries of the Tower are loyal in the absolute to those who hire them, but follow above even that the three laws:
    1. They cannot partake in harmful action against their home.
    2. They must maintain proper worship of Janis at all times.
    3. Each must spare one life per military operation. Those spared become ehnigan - the ritual imparts irreversible change of spirit in them. They are not permitted to worship Janis, but are called to bear witness.
  31. The only fantasy timeline you ever need is the Holocene Calendar.
  32. Containment facility and model town, deep in the Antarctic waste.
  33. Class/Race - The Chessmen. Pawns level up and gain options to change into soldier-Knights, defensive rooks, or leader-bishops. Some might even become incredibly powerful Queens, or the weak lynchpin Kings.
  34. Technomeditation - freeing one's mind implants from outside memefluence.
  35. A ship's identity is beholden to many factors: date of launch, size, purpose, origin, crew, first destination. No explorer names, always have a cat (even fake), hang a toy in the cockpit.
  36. Prompt - Kidnapped, imprisoned. Cinderblocks and plywood in a basement, somewhere. The man in the next cell shares stories of distant worlds. Is he lying?
  37. AI that serve as the decomposers of information in the cybersphere.
  38. Meatslugs! Meal of the future.
  39. Zombies possessed by demons and angels, dragging their war into physicality for the end. 
  40. The "nation with no borders" - the distributed cyberstate.
  41. A message from a fetus to its mother: "there is something outside my house."
  42. Giant squids everywhere and no one really notices.
  43. The view outside during RTL travel is a Mandelbrot fractal.
  44. Peace-foam, a nonlethal restraint weapon. 
  45. "No, We Don't Cut off Our Boobs", and Other Stories of Growing Up Amazonian - a memoir.
  46. FTL-capable ships are mostly converted asteroids and iceteroids, carrying thousands of smaller ships inside them for jump.
  47. A tiefling wizard - white skin, blue face, gold hair and filigree.
  48. Death sipping at a juice box, offering it to the grieving daughter at the bedside.
  49. A missionary world goes dark, then word emerges: "They're eating their sons."
  50. "Like a man with no tongue trying to describe a star to a man with no eyes."
  51. "The Rabbit Hole" - a network cafe.
  52. The return of names-as-power in an internet-heavy world.
53. "I have built my own religion in the halls of my dreams. I can no longer see through my window. The grime sits so thick now that the world beyond is a smear of grey-brown, the color of empty stairwells."

54. There was a war, once. You lost. You lost the one after that, too, and the one after that, until you had no leaders left and it was no longer a war and all memory of the time before was severed neatly by the marching lines.

55. Mjoll Mjollsdottir...
  • ...was made of debts. Debts on her heart, her lungs, her bones, her brain.
  • ...kept a faded poster behind the bar. "Visit scenic Olympus Mons". A pale red print of the great Martian mountain.
  • ...had no mother and no father. Mjoll the chimera, the self-made.
  • ...came down from the north to pay a visit to the Apostate.
  • ...once killed a man, a man who served a dragon.
  • ...dragonslayer. It would not be tonight, Nor tomorrow. Victory in her lifetime, unlikely. Victory in death, impossible. Dragonslayer still. 
56. Granma had three grey teeth and moss beds in her gums, skin like an old oak and hair like wet thatch (birds nested in it).
"You do this thing too fast!" - she said this constantly, demanding careful slowlness of a dozen simultaneous tasks.
Everyone called her Granma, relation or no. That was who she was.

Class: The Wagon

The colorful caravan wagons of professional dungeon hobos.

A wagon levels up like a normal character (or a fighter, if using class-differentiated XP), but only gains XP when silver is spent on it. (ex. If Ayo the gutter monk has 500 silver, spends 200 on the wagon and 300 carousing, she gains 500 XP, but the wagon only gets 200)

Upon reaching a new level, a new module can be added to the wagon, examples on the list below.
  • Oven - Can prepare food while traveling.
  • Forge - Can repair broken items or create new ones.
  • Lockdown Mode - Wagon can be fortified against outside assault.
  • Telescope - Look at things far away and navigate accurately by the stars.
  • Storage - Can carry double provisions or 5 large items.
  • Rookery - Long distance communication via raven.
  • Distillery - Brew booze and potions.
  • Brownie Hutch - A brownie lives here! He's your friend.
  • Shrine - Characters that leave an offering will be Blessed. This may occur only once per day.
Methods of Movement
  • Blue Ox - Sturdy, good on rough climates, temperamental
  • Infernal Engine - Fast. Prone to breaking. Imps are little bastards.
  • Tracks - Slow, hard to steer, can go off road.
  • Chicken Legs - Wagon clearly stolen from a witch, she wants it back.

Modular Armor

Each set has three pieces: torso, legs, head. Each piece is rated at +1, +2, or +3. AC is 10 + sum of bonuses, nothing new there. Each armor set has a bonus for the complete set, and mix-matched sets likewise have specific bonuses.

The Joy of Premade Characters

As per Troika!, Godkillers, that Darkest Dungeon for Lamentations pdf I show off to everyone, etc.

Emergent narrative and backstory is the backbone of an OSR character, but it's nice to have a nudge towards how a character might act, a rough sketch of personality that can be filled in and detailed as time goes on. You can build a setting through people and items.

I like it. I should do more with it.

The Basics of Spiritual Engagement

I have Monsieur to thank for the basis of the mechanics, and Charles Dunbar's excellent panels on Shintoism for keeping this all in my head.
  • WIS deals with Understanding, your ability to comprehend a spirit.
  • CHA deals with Power, the strength of your own spirit.
Both of these stats provide a modifier as normal, and serve as the equivalent to AC. Spirits you encounter will retain their normal AC stat, and add their usual attack bonus to their own Understanding or Power rolls.

Items, spells, and other preparation can provide bonuses to Understanding and Power.

More Mystic Cults for Esoteric Enterprises 

Each cult in EE has eight signature spells of levels 1-8. In a coincidence of massive convenience, cleric domains from back in 3.5 have signature spells from levels 1-9. And an overarching theme.



  1. With this out of the way, I shall begin compiling and expanding these posts into the Book of Fragments

  2. I think I have something for the Pith Street rebellion. Also, the wagon idea is great! I had a campaign where the part ride in a wagon pulled by a great long necked multieyed horse giraffe thing. I will definitely import some of these ideas if I start it back up.

  3. Meatslugs: also used as artillery ammunition in the Meatwar.

  4. Hell as the powerhouse of the universe is genius and I love it. Presumably it burns souls; as the spiritual fuel is used up, they are born into the temporal world. (Or reborn, if they accumulate enough of whatever it is Hell consumes to be recycled. Evil? Personality?). Birth is the exhaust, anyway. As the sentient population increases, so does entropy, gumming up the works. Guess the universe ends when Hell is empty and everyone is an ascetic saint.

    Also a big fan of #24, for similar reasons.

  5. I gotta say, those Troika! character classes are the biggest selling point for the book. Makes one shots a breeze, having premade characters so interesting and weird.