Saturday, January 16, 2021

Jar of Hu'Tuli's Fog

This is a glass jar with a silvered rim and legs for support- it can stand freely on its own or be carried with a strap. The jar appears to be filled with a thick, opaque mist that sluggishly rolls and boils over itself as it moves, it gives off a dim green-blue glow in darkness.

The lid of the jar is made of a pure silver and is fastened with the glass in such a manner that it cannot be opened; only a tiny twisting part in the center can be turned to open the jar. This pinprick of an opening lets out a tiny bit of the magic mist over time- much like a censor or incense burner. Usually you would open the jar and either leave it in place or carry it with you; either way after one turn of being open the air is filled with a thick mist. This fog seems to take over the local reality- birds go silent and the sun is dimmed. If you are indoors the fog seems to rise from the floor, if you are outdoors it whisks around nearby trees as though hiding out of sight.

Once the Jar has been opened for one turn and the air is filled with mist- replace all wandering monster encounters with Hu'Tuli Figments and Hu'Tuli Entities. These encounters take the place of normal ones- these only apply to wandering monsters, as the magical fog keeps away other foes or makes them lost when trying to find you, thus you only run into the figments or entities instead. However stationary encounters- such as stumbling across an orc's camp, will still trigger as normal. If other people are within the fog you bring for at least a turn, then they too are subject to this rule.

After the jar has been closed, it takes 1d6 turns for the fog to dissipate while indoors or 1d2 while outdoors. When the fog is gone, the world will return to as it was.

Whenever you roll for wandering encounters; there is a 1 in 8 chance you will encounter the Hu'Tuli Entities, otherwise, encounter Hu'Tuli Figments. As the Hu'Tuli Entities are much more dangerous; their coming is foreshadowed by a howling wind. If the players stuff up the jar immediately and run or hide; the entities will disappear 4 rounds after combat is initiated, as though the mist just dissipated enough to no longer support those otherworldly foes.

Hu'Tuli Figments (1+2 HD, +1 To Hit, +2 AC, Fog Baton attack at 1d6+1 [cold damage], ghostly apparitions, made of mist)
Morale- N/A
Number- 2d6

The Hu'Tuli Figments appear like shadows. They look like people you know, barely obscured by the fog. Getting closer doesn't show more detail, that's just how they look. They attack with batons made of the mist- which pass through physical matter. When a baton hits your body, it goes right through, but it chills you to the bone dealing cold damage. As this damage is not a physical tearing of the body, it can be cured by simply warming up at a fire, but enough at once can be enough to kill.

The beings are ghostly and as such cannot be hit by normal weapons- they pass through them. Only magic weapons, weapons made of silver, spells, or special kung-fu attacks can hurt them.

The Figments are also made of mist, meaning they can move through any kind of terrain and disappear and reappear at will- meaning they attack from all sides and cannot be surprised. Certain spells or techniques, such as blowing on them with a magic fan, can break them apart and stun them for 1d4 rounds. While they appear like ghosts, they are not undead and cannot be turned.

Hu'Tuli Entities (4 HD, +2 to hit, +4 AC, Windchill attack at 1d8+2 [cold damage], Scythe attack at 1d6+2, ghostly, howling, windborn)
Morale- 17
Number- 1d10

The Hu'Tuli Entities look like rough humanoid shapes made of a smooth, gray ice with holes. The holes in their body is also how they create the wind sound- the howling wind that accompanies their arrival is their trademark. These Entities are much more powerful then the Figments, and seem to possess a greater intelligence. Where as the Figments seem to just be following their nature or attacking anything they sense as prey, the Entities almost seem to be intentionally targeting intruders into their realm, as anyone using the Jar has one foot in a different plane.

The Entities blast out elemental cold in the form of a wind blast that hits anything in front of them, every round. Treat this like a ranged arrow attack. They also attack with small metal scythes they hold in their unformed hands; spare scythes can be seen hanging from the holes in their body, the hooks flying off when they are struck by a hard blow.

These are magical creatures; solid but still as spirits. They are somewhat transparent but are certainly more physical then the Figments. They are still immune to normal weapons and require magic attacks to be defeated. Additionally, their signature howl is their most frightening feature. Untrained hirelings and animals must make a morale check or flee when they hear the sound- anyone who flees will be lost to the mist, and must make a saving throw or be trapped in that cold, misty realm if the Jar is closed again before they are found.

Finally, as Windborn creations they are immune to the normal tricks that work on the Figments; they cannot be pushed away or harmed back by winds. This ability also extends to supernatural winds, as well as making them immune to being knocked back, shoved, or knocked prone- as their body will float back up, carried by the stringing mist.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Celestial Guardians

We have three faces, to look upon the nature of good, evil, and everything between.”
We have no hair, as we have no vanity. Instead, stuck to our heads are the coins given in alms to the downtrodden in righteous compassion.”
We have four hands; an arm to fight the young warrior with his speed and rage, and an arm to face the old warrior with his skill and resolve.”
We have three legs, as to be stable like the holy tripod.”
We have no navel, as we are not born of this earthly realm.”
Our eyes are clear; as we see through all deceptions.”
You will not pass through this gate.”

Celestial Guardians
HD- 12+8
AC- 22
Morale- 17
Numbers- Two
Attacks- (+8 to hit) Two double-fist attacks at 1d10+2, thistle tails w/ paralyze on hit
Abilities- Celestial Grace, Ageless & Flawless, Divine Word, Martial Arts

These two Celestial beings are bound with guarding a heavenly gate. Between the realm of the mortal world and the realm of the divine; gateways exist. Only those of worth may pass between. The Celestial Guardians make no attempt to stop the passage of great holy men, gods and demigods, heroes of renown, and those with a pass. They make no attempt to stop those coming out. For all others; you may not enter the Heavenly Realm.

These two beings are giants of divine nature. They are high ranking servants of heaven, but are not high enough in rank to be considered as Deva or Devi. As such, they have four hands but only two arms; they can wield up to four one handed weapons or do two-hand martial arts techniques with each arm, but still only get two attacks per round. They have three legs, which provide perfect stability- they do not suffer knockback or grappling effects that move them from their spot. They can fly and run faster then a horse. If they are on the ground, they can beat their wings to create a gust of wind that knocks back all projectiles, elemental blasts, and flying enemies except unerring arrows or those tipped with metals heavier then lead.
They also possess a thistle tail which requires an attack roll. On a hit, the target is paralyzed for one round, no save. If this move is used against living trees like Ents, Xyloids, or other wooden beings their bodies explode into fresh sapling growth and vines that cover them; that character or being is killed and their soul is released to the great wheel as their body nourishes fresh growth.

The Celestial Guardians are masters of combat, and guard the gates to the Celestial realms at all times. They have no human weaknesses; they never sleep, eat, or have their attention drawn somewhere else. As Celestial beings, they cannot be caught unaware by any mortal methods. Even invisibility is too conspicuous for them; they can see the dust motes in the air around your body as it creeps up on them. For these reasons; the Celestial Guardians almost never miss an attack. They can declare any attack they have missed as a glancing strike instead; the shockwave of their palm strikes still dealing 1d4+1 magical, irresistible damage to their target.

The Guardians possess flawless, ageless divine bodies. Celestial Beings are immune to level drain, poison, disease, and save or die spells and weapons. The sole exception to this rule is a vorpal sword, which upon an attack roll of 20, you must roll two more twenties consecutively to behead them, one for each head, otherwise all three heads remain firm. The Divine entities are also immune to fumble rolls. If they roll a 1 on an attack or save, treat it as a natural roll of 20 instead.

The Celestial Guardians know the Divine Word. This powerful spiritual word is a magic word above the other Words of Power. As such, if a magician attempts to use a magic word, one of the three heads can shout this word and silence it in their throat. They can also speak this word themselves freely to alter reality- the divine word can be put in the place of all lesser sorceries. Consider one guardian capable of casting any worldly spell, up to three a round, simultaneously.

Finally; the Guardians are masters of martial arts. They can perform any worldly martial arts, and know all martial arts styles. They can instantaneously switch to any style they choose and can counter every style, except the Way of the Left Hand. Every time they make a successful To-Hit roll with a fist attack, they may add one of the following secondary effects. They will choose whichever is most tactical for the situation at the DM's discretion, but you can also roll randomly.

Celestial Martial Arts Effects Table- Roll 1d8
[1] Aneurysm- The attack has created an internal aneurysm. Next hit deals double damage.
[2] Disarm- Disarms or breaks the weapon the victim is using. Magic weapons get a save.
[3] Disc- The momentum of the blow has created an air disc, which flies at the target next round. The air disc has an attack of +4 and deals 1d6 damage on a hit. Attack roll or save to avoid.
[4] Chakra Blocker- Target has become weak to paralysis. The next time they are struck by a thistle tail or a paralyzing move, they are paralyzed for one hour. Ignores immunity to paralysis.
[5] Mist Fist- Target is pushed back through a divine mist that appears behind them. They reappear at the base of a holy mountain; Celestial Gateways are usually built at the top.
[6] Ennui- Target loses the will to do anything, gets disadvantage on all rolls. Most motivate self one round to clear the effect.
[7] Concussed- Target is struck in the head. Forgets a spell, martials arts technique, or why they are trying to pass through the gate in the first place.
[8] Shakes- The target loses -1d6 Dexterity. This is righteous stat damage, and cannot be healed with holy magic or healing powers from prayer.

Also the Celestial Guardians can summon any weapon they want from the Celestial Armory or an Astra if they really need it, not that they do.

Monday, January 11, 2021

The Houses in my Dreams (ACTUAL DREAMS)

The reason why I put (ACTUAL DREAMS) up there in the title is so you didn't get baited into thinking this was a post about tabletop games with a weird or evocative title. It isn't. This is a post about my dreams, specifically, the houses in my dreams. I've written about my dreams before, and how they offer inspiration to tabletop game content, but this time this is just pure writing.

The Horror-House in my Dreams & Inside the House in my Dreams
This house is arranged a bit like a carnival ride. It may actually be a carnival ride. I've had this one twice, or one and a half times. I either walk or ride an airboat on a tract like an amusement park- but with scary things. Every room is a jumpscare. I get used to it pretty quick, though I'm pretty sure the ghosts are real. Eventually, I start getting excited about it- the room wide mirror becomes a new opportunity. I can feel the ghostly woman appearing and I know she will scream, the hair on my back rises as I smile.

Once, the dream was on an air boat ride. The air-boat ride went down into the scary basement- the current pushed us towards the end of a large rectangular room. The door behind us was closed; the water was freezing cold. The spikes at the end of the hall were real. I don't remember what happened next.

I'm trying to leave the house, or trying to see every room. The only way forward is to go through tight places. It's like that power from modern Wolfenstien- I can go through impossibly tight pipes. They start wide enough for me to crawl, then I'll hit a smaller hole. I squeeze through by pushing my face in- it's like my eyes are my whole body. I move by just pushing. The Freudians might attribute this to some kind of symbolic desire to be birthed, but it's more like getting pissed out a really long dick. Gross. But I don't think of it like that in the dream- I'm not so concerned about getting stuck, moreso just concentrating on the effort, perhaps even elated.

The Cars in my Dreams
Side note- the cars in my dreams are fucked up. I know hating the “subconscious fears and desires come out in dreams” thing is the new vogue, but there's gotta some truth to it. At least, things you think about are more likely to manifest in a dream, OR you just remember those dreams that are poignant to you. Right? Or I thought I read somewhere that dreams are ways to prepare yourself for things in the waking world? Only way I can explain it- because my brain must think I really need to practice driving more or something. My dream car is fucked up. I'm always slamming on the breaks and rolling through red lights as though my car is sliding on ice and not decelerating. It gets up to speed and doesn't stop- often times I'll turn backwards and be driving my car in reverse. I takes my car like two full city blocks to slow down, so it ends up I run through two lights or one and a half lights and finally slow down in the middle of a busy intersection. I don't think I ever really hit anyone, just run a lot of red lights and get honked at a lot. I think I'm more scared of my mom finding out then the police, which is weird because I've lived alone and driven my own damn self around for over 7 years now. I guess it's like getting in-class dreams years after you graduate.

In these “car” dreams I'm usually trying to get somewhere, and using my intuition of the homes and buildings around me to find my way through a mixture of residential and commercial zones. These neighborhoods are often like the ones from my childhood, but the houses are all different. Not different as in “weird” just different in that they aren't what I remember. I'll circle a neighborhood trying to pick out my grandma's house from the line and I'll come back a second time; all the houses are different. It's like the streets overlap, not that anything has consistency when not observed in dreams. It's a very strange feeling to be aware of the unreality of everything and the vagueness of form in a dream and knowing that it's not solid when you stop looking at it; but not being aware you are in a dream.

Often these dreams blend into each other. I often get disappointed when I wake up and I can't go to the fictional fast food places in my dream world. But sometimes I'll try to take a shortcut, or drive through a shady, tree-filled residential zone. And that's the last dream I'll talk about today.

The House at the End of the Lane
It's not a specific dream, but it's a specific place in a dream. I've had this one twice, I think. I'm driving down a road in a residential street- an area where its hard to see out into the city and know where I am or where I should be going. I just want to drive down this road until I come out the other end. But the road keeps getting smaller, more isolated. It feels like I'm squeezing through the pipes, but cramped up in a car instead.

Then I reach the end. The road keeps going until it stops at a residential foot path, closed up with a big fancy metal gate, looking more like the entrance to a golf course. It's like the end of a cul-de-sac but there's no turn about. There's no easy space to move, the road just ends. For some reason, I think there would be two houses here, one on each end, but I always remember the left one the most.

This house is big. It's the house at the end of the lane. It's nice, it's a two story ones you see in the nicer neighborhoods. I don't know why I'm so pissed at this house. Maybe it's a disconnected sense of jealousy towards the obvious wealth of the owner, or the nice greenery and local privacy of where they live. Maybe I just blame them for not letting the road go all the way through, for some reason.

This house is very reminiscent to me. I drew it when I first woke up that night. It had large dark bay windows with potted plants, a nice front lawn with a reddish brown stone path leading up to the house, and away from a central dais to the side yard, which was also fenced. The house itself was light blue in color, with white siding and stylish supports. It was a nice and “fancy” house, but had no pillars or anything like that. It was a respectable upper-middle class home. At least, that's how I would define it. The roof was made of dark blue tiles, giving the whole thing a very handsome look.

I remember this house very well, because I thought I imagined it. Now this could be the part I lie to you and tell you some long story how I saw this house in real life and I bought it like it was destiny, or then I learned it was a real house connected from me somehow through a long lost twin or something. Sadly no such luck. I had however assumed I had made the house up. But it was only a day ago at the time of me writing this- I looked outside my front door and right across the road and a little vacant lot from where I live and there was the house. Not a house though- it's not a real house. But there is a group of apartments with the exact same color- the baby blue and white almost nautical theme for the paint, the dark blue matching roof shingles, it's just like that. I had this dream some time near the end of 2017, and it was only now, years later, that I actually realized it.

Note- I'm not claiming at all my dream somehow influenced reality- I've lived here years before and after that incident. I know full well the house in my dreams was taken from this real life place; I don't claim some kind of supernatural power or precognition in the slightest. I just find it crazy after I finally where the inspiration for that house in my dream came from. I see those homes, those mini-houses, every single day when I leave my home. They were hidden in plain sight the whole time.

And that's all the Houses in my dreams.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Blood of Many Mens

Blood of Many Mens –
Magic Banner +1

The Blood of Many Mens is an orcish artifact. The “mens” blood used to paint the banner include human, elf, and dwarf- ancestral enemies to orcs. Anyone who flies this standard in battle grants their soldiers +1 to morale checks when in battle. This bonus works when fighting against anyone, not just “mens”- you can use this against orcs for example.

Beyond the bonus to morale- those who have mastered this standard know it has another power. Those who wield it can channel the power of the hoard. Subconsciously, soldiers will begin to move in formations or loose fighting groups along to the pull of this flag. You could stand behind a battle line, lean the banner to the left, and the whole line will subtly move in that direction- this happens if the soldiers have been trained for it or not. Using this power, a clever orc commander can get his unruly mob to move into advantageous positions, or even to move fighting groups towards certain destruction- the soldiers will look up from the melee only just now to realize they have moved onto the rickety bridge- right as the commander slashes the ropes out with their sword. You can use this on groups who are fighting even who aren't under your command; subtly steer a barroom brawl out into the street and into a rival's fine porcelain shop is a very real possibility.

The standard has two other rules. The first is that prisoners cannot be taken by the warband UNLESS they are somehow maimed. This banner demands blood. Typically, elves have their ears removed, humans may have a finger cut, and a dwarf have their beards shaved. (It doesn't actually need to draw blood to be a maiming, at least for dwarves). Other races may have their tails removed, tusks broken, or third eyes put out. It is a brutal battle standard- orc warbands can use this to great effect to capture slaves, but their slaves will always come back maimed and injured for this reason. Some Orcs may be tempted to violate this rule to bring back slaves that catch higher prices.

The second rule is that the banner may never be allowed to fly during times of peace. If you negotiate a peace treaty with an enemy, or decide against attacking a fortress after camping besides it for three days; the banner must be rolled up and hidden in a pack or taken away immediately. No one is allowed to see the banner freely- it must only be seen when it is marching upon them or being held by you. Otherwise people would become use to it, and the magic would be lost. You can't allow people to become used to this, so the banner must be kept secret and away whenever not in use.

If one of the two rules is broken; the banner will have you repay the price in blood. Whoever breaks the rule feels dread; the next time they take a hit, it will roll critical damage- as in maximum damage on all of the attack's hit dice. There is no limit to how long this curse will hang in the balance. The Orc who marches home with this banner held high in pride, violating the second rule, on their last successful raid will retire in peace and luxury. Then, years later, he's hit with a lucky stab by a slave years later- the final debt repaid in full.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Ring Dragon

Usually, you can only wear two magic rings. One on each hand, or sometimes one on each ring finger. There's usually a contrivance as to why- the magical energy fields need to be kept apart if you try to wear multiple rings! Or the magic only works if powered by your heart- hence one per arm, else the bloodflow of magic would be too weak if split among multiple rings per hand. Sometimes you can wear more then just one a hand; but the powers don't always play nice together.

However, magic rings are among some of the most common magic items, and they can be worn by anyone; both those who use swords, use stealth, or cast spells are equally enriched by a good magic ring. This means that, naturally, a wealthy and successful adventuring type may find themselves with an excess of many magic rings they can't use. Some rich men have tried to find ways to get rid of their stockpile of magic rings, which would otherwise just sit around and collect dust in some treasure room.

But what about those few who are beyond “rich”? The immortals, the Gods, the great elven kings and queens who have lived for eternities? Once you have found your pair of best magic rings, what to do with the troves of them you have laying around? What possible use could there be for such a mass of unwanted and hoarded jewelry?

Ring Dragon
(12 HD, +8 To Hit, +9 AC, claw attack at 1d8+1, tail attack at 1d6+1, hits are magic, flight, Arcane Fire Breath at 6d6, spells)
Morale- N/A
Numbers- However many you can afford (only one)

The Ring Dragon is an artificial construct of magic. It is an incredibly powerful artificial creature- possessing both more wrath and personality then a golem, with all the magnificence of a dragon. Its body is made up of a combination of magic rings, magic ash, melted precious metals, and solidified magical energy. The gemstones studded in the rings it is created with appear just underneath its skin; covered by a layer of waxy ash. Most dragons despise these beings; as they are both more powerful then a dragon and yet incredibly attractive to one- they want to be the one to slay a Ring dragon, take its golden bones and jeweled hide and add it to their hoard.

It requires a truly impressive, unthinkable amount of wealth to create one of these. No estimates truly capture the cost, but 10,000,000,000c is a rough estimate to start.

The Ring Dragon is more powerful then a regular dragon, though it lacks some of a dragon's intelligence. The Ring Dragon's entire body is infused by the magic of the rings used to create it, and as such its hits, scales, and attacks all count as magic. It can also fly regardless of the state of its wings, because of magic, and cannot be grounded with a grapeshot cannon blast in the same way a more flesh and blood dragon might. The Ring Dragon cannot bites, as its “muzzle” is bound by the rings used in its creation, but it has a fearsome breath weapon- Arcane Fire. This bright blue fire burns objects with supernatural vigor and ignores normally fire retardant materials. It is hotter then hell and can be used once every 3 rounds as per a normal dragon.

The dragon cannot open its mouth to eat, but instead consumes both magic ash (inhaled afters its fire breath burns magical materials to ingest) and it absorbs ambient magical energy, once again sucked up by its nostrils- the dragon doesn't require much “food” to survive as an artificial being, but it does seek to gluttonously consume mana as any dragon would food. Because its such a large beast, it can drain huge amounts of magical energy whenever it feeds- enough to deplete a layline or sites of magical importance after just a few feedings.

In my games, Dragons can't cast spells. They are strong enough all ready. But the Ring Dragon is made of magic; it has some of the powers of the rings used to create it. The Ring Dragon innately knows a collection of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd level spells and can cast them as a 6th level magic user. It can't learn any new spells, these are just the ones it has inside of it. If any of the magic rings has a famous power or curse associated with them used in this dragon's creation; let the dragon have a modified version of this that is either cast like a spell or an aura which negatively curses though who strike it.

Finally, the Ring Dragon is a creation. It is designed and made to serve its master, but its immense power and draconian form give it a pride that is hard to control. When this dragon is made, roll 3d6 to determine its Loyalty, as you would a newly made Hireling. Roll a d20 under this amount to get the dragon to do anything that goes against its behaviors, or anything that puts it in danger. Note- roasting a village or killing a group of adventures is not “danger” to this dragon. If the roll under fails, the dragon either goes to sleep and refuses the order or does the order anyway but begrudgingly, and permanently lowers its Loyalty score by 1.

Ring Dragon Behaviors
Roll to get the dragon to do something besides these, OR roll to stop it from doing these.
  • Kill anyone (besides its Creator) who enters its lair.
  • Burn magical flammable magic items- wooden wands and staves, spellbooks, etc.
  • Hoard and protect metal magic items and treasure (roll to take anything)
  • Consume large quantities of ambient magical energy and sleep for 2d6 years.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Five Nights at Freddy's 3 is the Best in the Series

Back in the midst of ancient time, to the far off year of 2014- I had just gotten fired from my first job. I was very sad about it. I went to my Mom's house- It was closer to my workplace- plus she was away so I had to take care of her cat (RIP) at the time anyway. I cuddled up with the cat, turned on my laptop in bed, and watched a livestream of a little known popular streamer-bait game known as Five Nights at Freddy's. It was kind of magical experience.

Here's the thing- before this series got popular and flanderized, endlessly iterated upon and hated from being a pop culture icon of the annoying younger generation- it was a mysterious game. It had a lot going for it- incredibly simple in design and presentation, but totally unique. There was nothing quite like it at the time. I can say with absolutely zero percent irony that it was a really cool little gem. I should also mention here that I've never actually played any of these; I'm not a big fan of horror games like this and I find it hard to justify a purchase of something with so little content. So my knowledge of the series is mostly from the perception of an observer. But as an observer- I have come to a conclusion.

The third game is the best (ludonarratively). Here's why.

Five Nights at Freddy's Mechanics
To begin, let's look at the mainline series games. This is going to be about the series prior to Sister Location, which radically changed up the formula. The first game was about a security guard working in a small office, defending himself with a limited power supply and cameras to keep track of the movements of the animatronics. The second game was much the same; except now there were more attack angles from vents, a central direction, and the player had to put on a mask to hide from the machines. The third game has only a single opponent which you must distract while balancing different systems. The fourth game featured a child in their room, fending off the nightmareish creatures by shining a light on them and listening to audio cues at the doors.

These basic mechanics are all iterations of the main formula; but none of them fit exactly. You see, in the first FnaF game, you use the camera to keep track of the animatronics, but watching them on the screens is of little use (except Foxy, which slows his attack), as the animatronics are only going to be attacking from either side of you- you need to use your hallway lights to see them and close the doors. The second game is a more complex version of the first, but you have to use the camera to wind a ghost music box- this means you're actually penalized from watching the movements of the animatronics as you need to focus on the music box and your immediate surroundings by putting on the mask or watching the vents. None of the animatronics are actually a threat unless they're directly in your office or at the end of the hall. The fourth game is a bit of a departure and has a few things you need to watch, like keeping the toy freddy heads from piling up by shining your light on them (causing a game over if you don't keep tabs on them), closing a closet door that slowly opens to reveal a monster, and listening to audio cues. This game doesn't have a camera system at all- it's a bit of a departure.

Now of course- you can still use the camera for its intended purposes- keeping track of how close the danger is. It's just not optimal if you're playing the game on the later nights or the more difficult “custom night” mode. But for me; the original idea of the series was based on a simple premise- a security guard, trapped in a haunted location, playing a deadly game of cat and mouse. Your only eyes are your security cameras. You can't fight the monster, only try to play around it, using technology to give yourself the edge to survive.

Five Nights at Freddy's 3
Five Nights at Freddy's 3 features only one enemy- Springtrap. Springtrap is a unique animatronic in both look and feel, unlike anything that had come before in that point in the series. For the most part- the animatronics leaned into the uncanny valley effect that Scott's games already had (infamously, he began the series after a parent complained that his failed kid-friendly indie game about beavers was too creepy- they looked like animatronics as opposed to living thigns) The pre-rendered 3d models really helped with this as well. While some animatronics were broken up to that point, the idea of a totally decayed one with an actual human corpse inside (which had been implied to be a thing from up to that point) was unique. Secondly, Springtrap was unique as it was a solitary enemy- and he seemed to possess a sort of intelligence to him.

Using the camera is paramount in this game. You need to keep track of where Springtrap is- which is difficult as he often blends into the background. This game takes place in an in-universe horror museum, using actual animatronics and props from the other locations. But of course, one of the animatronics is alive. As such, every camera angle is filled with animatronics and rotting parts in darkness, making it hard to see him. Even when you DO see him, you need to lure him away from your security station by using noise cues with the camera, and you have to do this while balancing a few meters like heat and oxygen levels since the ventilation in the place sucks.

From a combination of these factors, I think the third FNaF game best encapsulates the basic concept of the series as a whole- no gimmicks or multiple ways to fight back. Even having only one enemy is a bit of a lie- there are ghosts of the other animatronics which will occasionally pop out to jump scare you- but it isn't an instant game over. They drain your other resources instead, which is a first for this series to have something like a “health” meter in this sense, beyond power. Basically, it gives more room to mess up and raises the stakes. In short- You are trapped somewhere with a malevolent force, and your only option is to outsmart it, watching it through a grainy television camera as the power is going out and the feed is cut- barely able to make out the shape lumbering in the darkness through the static. Your only option is to rely on ever failing noise makers, the same horrible feeling you get in a horror movie when all you can do is watch something on a screen with no power to actually control it- just praying it doesn't find you. This is the basic concept of the series distilled down in its purest form.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Really overcomplicated explanation on how a "Ring of Glamour" might work

Ok so imagine you find a magical ring that can change what you look like. It isn't like "yeah you can make yourself look young or old, or turn invisible, or change into a different person in appearance", no that's not good enough this has to be REALLY specific and explain every detail.

The above explanation of just "can make you look different however you want" is more then fine, good even, so I don't know why I randomly made up this ruleset for it but hey, here you go. Maybe this Ring was made by an autistic illusionist or this is how you can imagine it works because you need the exact actual method of doing it in case you get Isekai'd into a fantasy world or something.

Ring of Glamour
This magic ring appears as a simple golden band in its default state. When placed on a finger, this ring can control one specific aspect of your appearance, which is shifted or activated based on how it is turned and on which finger it is placed on. When you have the ring on and you twist it on your finger, it changes your appearance based on the way its turned, the effect becoming more extreme the longer you twist it in that direction.

What if you are missing a finger? Can't alter that element of your appearance. Pulling the ring off at any point will end the effect in an instant, so you can only have one effect from one finger on at once unless if you have multiple rings.

Also feel free to use this as a magic effects table at 1d10 with a d2 to choose the effect.

[1] Left Pinkie: Controls your hair or fur. Clockwise makes it appear longer, fuller, and more luxurious. Counterclockwise makes it look spottier, thinner, or as though it is falling out. If you go too far counterclockwise you'll look bald eventually, but you can never really stop going clockwise as your hair will just get unnaturally longer and longer looking until it strains believably. Also effects body hair and facial hair about as much as you'd expect.

[2] Left Ring Finger: Controls your apparent age. Clockwise makes you look older, counterclockwise makes you look younger. Mostly centers around the face, body height and size don't change.

[3] Left Middle: Controls your "brightness"- includes your skin, hair, fur, clothes, etc. Clockwise makes it lighter, Counterclockwise makes it darker. Skin will appear as natural as it can, but if turned too much you'll appear as an albino or like a pitch black shadow person. Doesn't change colors, just dark/light hue. Your eyes and teeth will also not be changed, so if you go all black you'll look like a spooky floating face if you smile or your pupils will look like demon eyes if you go all white during a blizzard.

[4] Left Index: Controls color of your outfit. Will not effect highlights or accents, or natural colors like metal/wood/leather, just dyed colors such as for a gameson or tunic. Turning the ring will shift the colors along the spectrum.

[5] Left Thumb: Changes you apparent size. Clockwise makes you look bigger, counterclockwise is smaller. You still see the world from the perspective of your illusion form, but can't touch anything unless you could touch it anyway. Making yourself look really small can make you basically invisible except you'll get lost in grass and bump into everything since your eyes are down there.

[6] Right Thumb: Controls how rich you look versus how poor you look. Changes your clothes, smell, and apparent health and grooming as well. Clockwise makes you look richer and more attractive, counterclockwise poorer. Isn't quite the same as "just looking better", as it mostly just applies magical makeup. If you go really far counterclockwise you'll start to look like a sick, starving leper with spots growing over your body and stuff, but if you go really far clockwise your appearance will change into a parody of the ultra rich like you'll have a powdered wig and really pronounced makeup and stuff.

[7] Right Index: Changes how much noise you generate. This apples to both your voice as well as footfalls. Clockwise boosts sound, counterclockwise reduces it. If you go really far clockwise your voice will deal 1d4 damage like yelling in a megaphone and really far counterclockwise will just totally silence you and your noises.

[8] Right Middle: Controls your smell. Clockwise increases your smell, Counterclockwise decreases it. Note that "your smell" can be nasty BO or natural nice pheromone spell, whatever your characters own abilities and hygiene standards meet. Only really useful for scaring people away or avoiding animals.

[9] Right Ring: Changes how opaque you are. This only works on your physical body and the ring itself; clothes and items are not effected. This one works a little differently; Clockwise makes you look more and more transparent; eventually leading to full invisibility. Counterclockwise instead does the same BUT to your reflection. Cranking it counterclockwise will make you look like a vampire since you'll have no reflection.

[10] Right Pinkie: Controls the color of your eyes. Turning the ring will shift it along the color along the spectrum. If you close one eye while you do it, it "locks" the color it has in place, so that way you can finally have your heterochromatic donut-steel character.