Monday, July 29, 2019

[Classes] Eight Mini-Animal Classes

These classes aren't really intended to be for full player character. Instead, they are more like minor classes for secondary characters like animal companions, or for quick replacement PCs with a relatively low power level. Each one has a maximum level of 4 with the same XP requirements as a normal class. Additionally, treat their maximum AC as their base AC, as they don't usually wear armor beyond their natural fur and other protection.

However, unlike normal classes these animals only get XP for treasure spent directly on them. Buying them a solid gold collar, feeding them decadent treats, paying the wages of a falconer for your Witch Owls and so on. These classes are also just animals, just very smart and loyal ones. As such they cannot speak unless otherwise noted, but can understand human speech and follow orders. Treat their loyalty as a normal hireling +1 for their owner, with another +2 if they were raised from birth by that person.

To pick a random animal class, roll a 1d8.

Art @Ovopack, as usual.
[1] Witch Owl
HD- d3
Max AC- 13 / Minimum Hit-Points- 2

You're a wise, magical owl. Witch Owls cannot speak, but can still 'hoo' in response to words and answer questions this way. They can also learn to cast spells, not requiring to speak magical incantations to do so. They gain spell slots according to the table below.

Additionally; Witch Owl's can fly. Being able to fly has some great advantages. Plus your talons act as instant death for any tiny 0 HD creatures like rats or tiny pixies that you catch, but only deal 1d2 damage to normal creatures if you try to scratch their eyes out.

Character Level
1st Level Spells
2nd Level Spells
1
1

2
2

3
2
1
4
2
2

[2] Raccoon Burglar
HD- d4
Max AC- 14 / Minimum Hit-Points- 3

You're a cute little raccoon. You're sneaky and are good enough with your little paws to pick locks. Treat your lockpicking skill as a 0 level Thief at 1st level. Once you are 2nd level, treat yourself as a 1st level thief, and then at 4th level, treat yourself as a 3rd level thief.

As a raccoon, you're also sneaky and can blend in in urban environments. Gain +1 to sneak and stealth rolls at 1st and 3rd levels. You can also scavenge enough food to survive in a city or town and don't get sick from eating it, obviously.

[3] Tiny Giant Spider
HD- d4
Max AC- 13 / Minimum Hit-Points- 2

You're a very small giant spider. Big enough to be held in both hands like a cat, but not so big as to be a monster. Spiders of this size and breed can actually be trained pretty well, but you freak people out with your huge unblinking creepy eyes and just from being a spider.

At 1st level you can shot web as the spell Web once per day. At 2nd and 3rd level you can an extra shot. Finally at 4th level your ability progresses and you can now perform large feats of construction like making a net to catch someone else who is falling down or create some simple cloth from spiderweb.

[4] Bat Guide
HD- d3
Max AC- 12 / Minimum Hit-Points- 2

You're a big old ugly bat. You can fly, but more importantly you can navigate and “see” in total darkness using echolocation. You're a bit weak with fragile bones and no fur or scales to protect you, especially in enclosed spaces where you'll be most useful.

You can't hurt people at all with your physical body, your teeth are too small and claws too weak. At 2nd level, you get +1 to your Max AC. At 3rd level, you can do a power screech that kills small creatures with 0 HD or breaks small glass objects. Finally at 4th level, you grow retractable vampire fangs and can bite things for 1d2 damage. Every point of damage you do with this bite is also healed, as long as you are drinking the blood from a healthy living creature.

[5] Python Assassin
HD- d6
Max AC- 12 / Minimum Hit-Points- 4

You're a large, fat snake that kills people. You don't have any venom, you do it be constriction. You can climb pretty well, starting at 2nd level, and can slither up walls and steep slopes better then a person. You sneak attack people by falling on them or hiding in baskets to leap out. Your bite is weak and only useful for swallowing helpless prey; you can only hurt things by squeezing them, either a full body constriction or around the throat. You can only squeeze things as big as a man or smaller with a Strength modifier of +2 or less, as anything stronger can just rip you off.

Whenever you constrict someone, they must make a saving throw minus your level. If they fail, they either cannot act this round or take 1d6 suffocating damage. If they succeed this saving throw, then they mark one check against you. If they get a number of checks equal to your level+1, they can slip out of your grasp. Once a person has been constricted, you can't constrict them again until you sneak up on them a second time.

[6] Octopus
HD- d4
Max AC- 12 / Minimum Hit-Points- 2

You are an octopus. You are unrealistically strong and capable on land, but still need to be kept moist or else you will slowly dry out and die. You also have 8 limbs, but not all of them are useful right away. You are surprisingly intelligent, can slip into small spaces, and can change color to camouflage, giving you advantage on sneak rolls made while stationary. You can still wear up to 8 magic rings, which makes you exactly as overpowered as you think it does. You can also swim really fast and breath underwater; but you need to use all your limbs to swim.

You have soft skin. Unlike the other animals, you treat your base AC as 8. You gain your AC by wielding shields and weapons. Add your level to your grapple rolls or saves. Finally, you get to use multiple arms. The number of arms you can use usefully is equal to your levelx2. “Useful” arms include using weapons or shields. You still need at least the same number of arms holding weapons or shields as arms dedicated to motion to crawl around on land, else you're stuck in place.

[7] Brutal Stag
HD- d8
Max AC- 16 / Minimum Hit-Points- 6

You're a spirit of nature. But not the peaceful or nurturing kind, you represent the brutality of nature. You have a dark brown coat that becomes black at night, and your eyes can turn red or glow bright white as the moon. Your impressive antlers are both a target for overzealous hunters and also a symbol of your power; they are an ill omen. Roll on the table below every time you appear.
Brutal Stag Horn Table- Roll 1d8
  1. Dripping with blood, constantly.
  2. Several venomous snakes wrapped around your horns, trying to mate with them
  3. Human heart, suspended above both your antlers, floating in midair.
  4. Antlers have a clod of dirt stuck to them, grass growing on them.
  5. Supernaturally large, a cold wind chimes as it blows through them.
  6. Shrike has built its nest here. Several corpses of small rodents have been flung and impaled on your antlers, the shrike a spirit in your honor.
  7. Several skulls of smaller animals, placed atop the tips of your antlers with ritualistic intent. They can cackle and whisper spell incantations to friendly witches.
  8. Has a rival, lesser stag's head stuck on your antlers. You can fling it off and the severed head will scream at people.

You have a hoof attack at 1d4+1 and a gore attack at 1d8+1, impaling people on your horns. Each level past the 1st, gain +1 to hit with your attacks. Whenever you roll your hit points, reroll 1s.

[8] Donkey-Corn
HD- d8
Max AC- 15 / Minimum Hit-Points- 6

You look like a big dumb donkey with a blunt, gray horn on your head. You're the more pedestrian, less magical, and less cool kind of unicorn. For extra jokes, make your horn an actual carrot or a stick just tied to your head. You're bigger then the other animal classes and at the very least get a 1d4 hoof attack. You can also carry a smallish person on your back and carry a decent amount of gear strapped to you.

At 2nd level you can use your horn as a holy symbol, letting you turn undead once per day. At 4th level you can touch someone with your horn once per day and heal them 1d6 hit points.
Art @PerryBibleFellowship (occasional NSFW)

Saturday, July 27, 2019

8 Symbol Spells

Every spell in this list creates a magical, glowing glyph above the head or around the magician's body. This symbol can be physically struck with magical attacks or spells, which ends the effect prematurely. Each symbol has a number of HD equal to its spell level and AC of 8.

[1] Surgoi Rune - 2nd level
This rune gives off an unearthly yellow light. All within the light have -2 to all saves, and if any supernatural or racial bonuses allow for rerolls, this light also stops them. The symbol also curses the caster with its effect, unless an exceptionally large broad-brimmed hat is worn to create a shadow around them that stops the light.

Secondly; this glyph is the second part of the spell Symbol of Saligarra and the glyphs combine together. Together they give off an unearthly orange glow, and when the Symbol is swung to harm a foe it also causes a save or lose 1d6 maximum hit points until recovered.

[2] Crushing Glyph - 3rd level
This symbol is cast about above an enemy instead of a magician. Each round it is above their head, it deals 1d4 damage. Every round after the first, the target gets a saving throw to resist the secondary effect- even on a success they take 1d4 damage. On a failure, they take 1d4 damage + all the damage dealt in previous rounds. If this glyph is not removed quickly, it causes certain death for its wearer. Because the glyph is directly above the target of this spell, they can easily hit it with melee weapons.

The Crushing Glyph lasts for as long as the magician maintains concentration, which is ended when they are next hit. After breaking concentration or doing something else for their turn, the glyph lasts one more turn before dissipating.

[3] Shocking Glyph - 1st level
This glyph is created from static electricity above the user's head. The next time an enemy comes within melee range and is using a metallic weapon, the glyph will zap them for 1d6+1 damage, and if they fail a save they lose their attack from getting stunned by the shock.

Additionally, this spell can be avoided by clever warriors who wrap their sword handles with a special melted bark from a certain tree.

[4] Symbol of Usso - 2nd level
The glowing silver symbol dares any to approach the magician. Anyone who takes a step towards the magician must make a saving throw, or take 1 damage. It only deals 1 damage to move towards them for your entire round, so running at them still only deals 1 damage on a failed save.

By concentrating on the Symbol- the magic user can give up their action this round to channel its powers. This makes the silver light white, and slows movement of those moving towards them by ½ while this ability is channeled- this still only works on those who fail the saving throw.

[5] Blossoming Sigil - 3rd level
This symbol appears as a constantly billowing, blooming flower with gray petals, falling in on themselves and letting out a pale light. Beyond being useful as a light spell, nearby plants turn their heads towards the sigil as though it was the sun's light. All healing spells, powers, or first aid used under this symbol are increased by +3, and all saving throws against death are made at +3. The bearer of this symbol is also the first target of the undead and demons- who despise this light of the blossom. The symbol lasts for 4+1d4 exploration turns.

[6] Symbol of Pangolin - 4th level
This spell creates a hunched brown and red glyph above the target's head, curled into the shape of an orb. This symbol is special and has 18 AC, and grants whoever it is above a bonus armor. The protective field means that when the first attack is made, it must beat an AC of 18, and then if it succeeds make another successful attack roll against the target's normal AC. 
This symbol lasts for up to an hour.

[7] Symbol of Magnitude - 3rd level
You look bigger. The red-orange symbol above your head appears as a shape growing into a larger outline; which continues forever and makes it look like the symbol is constantly growing even when it is not. This doesn't change your actual size, just makes you look bigger and stronger; the lightning falls on your frame, nearby objects bend back to appear smaller, everyone's view shifts a few centimeters downwards, and so on.

While under the power of this symbol, you treat your Strength modifier as +3 for the purposes of attack rolls, contests of strength, or grapple rolls against other enemies. 
This symbol lasts for up to 3 hours.

[8] Sigil of Raining Death - 4th level
When this intimidating purple glowing sign appears above your head, those with knowledge of magic take cover. After this spell is cast, it takes 2 combat rounds to take effect, as illusory storm clouds gather overhead. After the 2 rounds, lightning cracks and glowing purple stones begin to fall from the heavens or ceiling of the chamber you are in. They strike at people through their armor and shields, dealing 1d4 damage per round, which cannot be saved against or evaded. Hiding underneath an object or alcove made of something stronger then wood will protect you- anything too thin or flimsy and the stone just punches through. If you are a quadrupedal creature, prone and flat on the ground, or just particularly large, you will be struck by more then one stone dealing 2d4 damage instead. This spell does not distinguish between friend or foe but the symbol bearer is protected. This spells lasts for two exploration turns.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Talktotransformer generates content for me

I love this stupid thing.
Monster Design
On Dwarf Clerics
On high level PCs. Apparently, he uses three weapons.
Lich Encounter
Treasure
Sci Fi Roleplaying
Wizards of the Coast reintroducing OSR Modules
It's almost self aware at this point.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

6 Ways for Dogs to shoot Arrows

Art @gaudibuendia
I found this cute picture and I instantly started thinking about animal companions, playable animals, and fantastic animals to have in a war. Including in this might be hyper competent archer dogs. These archer dogs I think are more implied to be like a walking quiver and assistant to a human archer. But more importantly how the HELL does a dog shoot a bow?

Ways for Dogs to Shoot Arrows – Roll 1d4
[1] One end of the bow is heavy and has a clawed foot design. This allows it to be stuck into the ground and stand on its own weight. Then the bowstring is drawn back by the dog's mouth and launches the arrow, which is either placed first on a special ramp on the arrow to align it or put in the dog's mouth with the dog skillfully placing the string into the arrow nock in their maw. Also; this would cause some serious burns and cuts from the arrow's fletching or bowstring. Maybe a leather lip guard might be needed like a typical archer bracer.

[2] The crossbow is attached to the dog's back like a saddle. It can be fired either by a special mouth lever, or just fired at will in an abstract sort of way as a mobile weapon. The dog might be able to reload it by rolling over and placing the bolt back on with their teeth, but in a more realistic or practical setting would require a human or something to load it each time.

[3] The dog can throw down the bow and it has small studs on both ends of the bow; these prop up the bow horizontally. It has a duck-bill style design so whichever way it falls, it will always fall with the bow angled upwards at a shallow angle. The dog places the arrow on the string and pulls back with either their mouth or both front paws and releases to fire.

[4] The dog has a minor amount of anthropomorphism. They can fire the bow while standing, though they can't walk or pick things up like a human, but instead jump up on their feet like a dog could and then shrug the bow off their shoulders, firing it similar to a human before putting it back on their head and running like a regular dog would afterwards to reposition.

[5] Prehensile tail. Slinging the bow across the dog's back at an angle, the tail could wrap around the string and pull it back while the dog uses its mouth, biting near the arrow head, to position the arrows onto the pow and fire. Awkward position but could be fired pretty organically and on the move. Naturally this technique doesn't work with stubby crop-tailed dogs.

[6] Dog rolls onto back, uses hind legs to pull bowstring. Holds bow with front paws, aims upside down, tongue lolled out everywhere with each trick shot.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Paradox Crystals + 8 Contained Paradoxes

Paradox Crystal
When magic, the powers of the Gods and immortals, or the insanity of reality warping rear their ugly head, the cosmos may have a hard time keeping these in check in line with the laws of reality. Especially atrocious breaches are answered by the most direct show of force imaginable for the universe itself; Paradox Crystals.

These deep purple crystals grow on the offending objects or beings and stop their breaching of reality. The crystals only do just enough to contain and protect the world from the dangerous and reality-bending paradoxs they contain. The crystals are known to be nearly unbreakable; but anyone who does break them is either effected by the paradox and similarly trapped or has a powerful backlash depending on the paradox. It is not known if a paradox can be freed once contained by the crystals; it seems the easiest course of action is to just coat the area in crystal growth and leave it. For this reason; deep dungeons and shrines may hide these scenes of contained reality bending.

8 Contained Paradoxes
[1] Unstoppable Force, Immovable Object
Two warriors, Saposa the Brave and Irreas the Stout, are frozen in time by purple crystals. Saposa once wielded the unstoppable spear of power, and Irreas carried the unbreakable, immobile shield of the mountain. The moment these two decided to fight sealed their fates; Saposa stuck in a pose of ferocity, charging down at Irreas as he holds up his shield to defend. The moment the two things were placed in a collision course was the moment they were trapped in crystal.

Technically; Saposa's spear has not stopped moving. It is still moving, just with space arbitrarily extending between the two figures without them moving, a tiny sock of space-warp infinitely extending between the two figures, invisible to the naked eye. For this reason these are among the most dangerous of all paradoxes- anyone who chips a paradox crystal is struck with a mere fraction of the nigh-infinite distance the spear has traveled since containment; a single line bisects your body and explodes outwards like a tube. This deals a fraction of 1d damage, causing death.

[2] Squared Circle
This paradox is a drawn picture of a squared circle; a perfect geometric abomination. The crystals have grown over the image in a cross shape, thus blocking anyone from viewing more then a single corner at a time. Whenever you look at a corner, it either looks like a point or a curve, with no in between, but the geometry of this picture is apparent if beheld in its full form.

If the crystals are chipped or broken; the paradox's energy slips lose. The offender is struck by a bolt of mathemagical light that breaks and bends their entire body into a geometric shape; a cube, pyramid, sphere, or prism. Needless to say, this is fatal and very gory.

[3] Chicken or the Egg
This crystal-growth is unique. Instead of a solid block, it is more organized as a small “pen” around a single chicken. The chicken will always take a few steps, lay an egg, then rapidly age and die while a chick comes out of the egg and grows to adulthood, laying its own egg, and repeating the process. Truthfully, the process of this is going at normal speed, where as when the spell was original cast that created this paradox had them going backwards at an intensely face rate to see the truth of what came first. As a paradox, the true answer was not discovered.

Also; anyone looking closely at the chicken will notice it has a sharp large dinosaur claw on its foot and small teeth in its beak; it is prehistoric. This is because the current iteration of the chicken is slowly working its way back up to modern day evolved chickens. Anyone who steps foot in the pen or tries to eat the chicken will get blasted by the paradox crystals and either turn into a neanderthal caveman or rapidly age 1d40 years and probably die.

[4] Married Bachelor
After an unfortunate attempt to end the literal soul-binding marriage rites of their foreign culture with magical divorce; this bachelor is still married. He is still alive, just with crystal growths on his mouth, hands, and genitals. When he tried to speak his false vows, his mouth crystallized. When he tried to sign away, his hands froze. Any attempt for him to marry again causes localized Earthquakes and mutations in his potential bride that transforms them into animals or something else illegible for marriage. He's given up and has returned to his first wife, and happily supports his family by shaving off small, safe amounts of dust from his paradox crystals and selling them to local philosophers and deep thinkers, who use them to help suss out the mysteries of the universe.

[5] Falling-Tree Crescendo
This tree was about to fall in a forest with sound, just without anyone to hear it. It has such been frozen in place, half fallen, held aloft by purple crystal growths. Those who chip or damage the crystals will take 1d6 damage from a split second of a very loud crashing noise. The tree also has a small cult of paradox watchers nearby who sit around it all day in their camp; they believe if enough people gather to this place the tree will be unstuck in time and fall, allowing everyone to bask in the glory of its paradox sound.

[6] Time Paradoxes
This isn't a single incident; instead these are pretty common and the largest sources of purple paradox crystals. However, as with all of the paradox crystals, they are very dangerous to try and gather. Time Paradoxes always surround foolish Sorcerers who try to influence the past and freeze around pairs of people who meet their past selves. Once the older half of them dies from old age the younger one will be freed with their memory continued at the point right before they noticed their older self. Because of this, occasionally people age up several years in a single second with several years gone past since their last memory. As such, it's highly recommended to only go into the past once you're very old so you die quick and it's less likely for your younger self to recognize you; that's why all the cryptic messages people get from the future are from insane senile old people who look familiar!

Additionally; any character who attempts to harvest Paradox Crystal disappears and reappears in the same place 2d6 hours in the future from a time warp. If either die land on a 6 then instead they are gone for 1d20x2 years. If the die lands on a 20 then instead they return for 1d100 eons.

[7] The Bronze Ship
This ship is frozen on a small island made of paradox crystal, with about half the crew below decks also frozen, with the rest of them on deck having long since died and become decaying skeletons. Belonging to an advanced ancient civilization; this ship left port with a full set of mechanical supplies and had stopped near this sandbar to make repairs. The oracle crafted a helpful prophecy to ensure that the same ship would return to port. It seems that at some point the ship was not the same ship that left, as all its parts were replaced, but done over a long enough time that a paradox occurred. Those who interact with these crystals have a chance to take 2d6 damage from their body parts splitting and multiplying and decaying in rapid and painful accelerated healing.

[8] The Liars Tongue
This is a cut out tongue on a special metal alter of truth-metal. The pale white metal prevents anything from lying that is touching it. The tongue of a master spy was cut from his mouth and placed on an alter to speak the truth. The tongue retained some of the cleverness of its master and declared that “This statement is false!” causing the tongue to solidify into paradox crystal instead. This crystal releases a dark cloud of vapor when disturbed which causes things to lose description while within the fog. You cannot tell beings or objects apart, everything merely has a similar vague shape and movement. This is a very small and special collection of paradox crystal, and the few who have gathered some become lost to history over time as a special secondary effect of gathering this crystal multiple times; fading into wraiths that lose both physical substance and others lose the memory of the subject in their mind.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

The Flaming Veil

The Flaming Veil – Magic Veil
Ego- 7
Stats- +2 AC, Fire Immunity, Reserve Weapon, Protection from Deserts, Flaming Breath

The Flaming Veil is a very powerful magical artifact. It is mostly worn by women, as men would think it to be a bit effeminate, but the object has no preference one way or the other. It can only be wielded by those with a powerful Ego. It appears as a gilded, lightweight silvery veil worn over the nose and lower half of the face, with a golden border where it is slipped on. It is made of a foreign metal; so lightweight to be as the finest silks but indestructible.

The Veil has several powers. It grants a bonus protection of +2 AC, and immunity to fire based spells, attacks, and dragon breath. It also grants protection from the desert heat and climate. You can ride a camel around naked all day and your skin will be flawless; no burns or heat from the sand or sun. It also makes it much easier to stay hydrated since you will not feel the intense heat and need to drink only a normal amount of water to survive in the desert lands where it is found.

Secondly, it has the power to draw forth a weapon from fiery ash out of nothing. Whenever the user holds out their hand, they can call forth a weapon they have burnt to ash whenever they wish. This weapon must be fully destroyed by fire, so it is usually reserved to be used with wooden or bone weapons; quarterstaves and bone knives are popular. This weapon is held in an extra-dimensional space until it is needed, and cannot be detected or destroyed.

Finally, the magical veil grants the power of fire breath. By pulling back the veil you can emit a torrent of flame in melee range that deals 2d6 fire damage. Enemies do not get a saving throw nor does armor (AC) grant any protection from this attack. However, enemies who know it is coming may attempt to attack you first to interrupt you when they see you reaching for the veil to pull it back. This power can be used once every dawn or dusk when it recharges. When this power is ready, the veil glows slightly orange, so enemy combatants will know to keep their distance when the flame is hot.

This Veil punishes those who are unworthy and attempt to use it very harshly. First, anyone who picks up or thinks of wearing the Veil will feel a wave of apprehension before doing so, making them feel as they are too uncouth or unworthy to wear it. Forcing yourself to wear it anyway causes the Veil to become red hot moments after being placed on your face, burning a very fine crosshatched pattern into your lips and cheeks- this permanent disfigurement requires strong magic to remove and deals 1d6 damage per round you keep it on your face while burning. 
The culture that remembers this magical artifact even has a name for this mark, which is ascribed to mark people who try to claim powers beyond their control. The word is 'majnundjinn' which means “fool who tries to wish for more wishes”.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Yet another Alternate Saving-Throw System

This is a concept for saving throws via category. It simplifies saving throws into three levels of difficulty, which is less streamlined then a one save system but less fiddly then the traditional five saving-throws method in many OSR games.

Instead, every character of every class uses the following saving throw table. You must roll d20 + Wisdom modifier and meet or beat the number to succeed. Once a character is name level (or 10 in my game) then you automatically succeed Easy saving throws, no need to roll.

Character Lvl
Easy
Normal
Hard
1
8
16
18
2
7
15
18
3
7
14
18
4
6
13
18
5
6
12
17
6
5
11
17
7
5
10
17
8
4
9
17
9
4
8
17
10
X
8
16

Whenever a module, rule, or your DM tells you to roll a “Saving throw” of any type, roll normal. If it is specified as a “hard” saving throw, roll on the hard table.

Each class has a special saving throw. This means when you have to roll a saving throw of that category, you instead downgrade its level on the table. Normal saving throws are downgraded to Easy, and Hard go to Normal.

Fighters get their bonus saving throw against combat maneuvers and/or breath & paralysis.
Barbarians & Monks get their bonus saving throw against poison.
Thieves get their bonus saving throw against traps & devices.
Magic Users get their bonus saving throw against spells.
Clerics & Paladins get their bonus saving throw against either death or disease, whichever is best.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

PoE Item Skins as Magic Items

[1] Arc of Defiance – Magic Bow+1
Ego- 4
Stats- 1d6+1 Damage OR 1d4 “Death” damage

The Arc of Defiance is a shortbow. It's material is a strange, knobbed wood from a far off land, and it is steeped in the energy of deathly magic and malevolence, but also freedom. On a hit, the bow deals either 1d6+1 normal damage with standard arrows OR deals 1d4 Deathly damage when firing specially prepared bone arrows. The deathly damage drains a single level or HD for every 4 points of damage it deals in combat.

The Arc has a significant ego. Those who wield the bow without enough ego are not taught the secrets of creating the bone arrows (which are shown to the owner in dark dreams), and every season of owning the bow they must save or have a level drained. Those who are drained lose weight, become gaunt and skeletal, and prefer dark places and reject any authority for their own barbarism. The ego effects of this weapon are subtle, meaning the bow has a reputation of slowly draining the life out of lesser warriors who cannot master it.

[2] Blood Guard Axe – Magic Axe +2
Ego- 3
Stats- 1d6+2 Damage

This axe's to-hit and damage bonus only apply with the blade covered in blood. You can cut yourself and deal 1d2 damage to activate it, or you can spill the blood of an enemy on your first successful hit in the combat. Blood only stays fresh long enough for a single combat; consider the maximum limit to be one exploration turn until the blood turns cold.

The Blood Guard Axe has the magical ability to control blood. By giving up your combat round, you can swing and motion with the axe to telekinetically control blood, similar to a magical wand. The blood can flow, mix, shoot out in a geyser, form into a flying orb and explode, boil, enter containers, spill and so on. This only applies to liquid blood that has been spilled from a living being, and only fresh blood works. Blood is not very dangerous on its own unless it is diseased or used in combination with another power; the maximum damage you can deal with this power is 1 if you use it cleverly enough to harm someone with it.

The Blood Guard Axe has a moderate ego. Those without the proper ego score are consumed with bloodlust once blood has been spilled on the blade, they must make a saving throw to avoid attacking the nearest living creature with blood. They will also ignore any creature without blood, include enemies monsters that are attacking them, giving those creatures advantage on attacks against the blood guard axe wielder. The ego score of this weapon can also be satisfied by fully bathing this axe in fresh blood for a whole day, upon which it will allow anyone to use it for a week as its thirst has finally been quenched, even if only temporarily.

[3] Devourer Maul – Magic Two-Handed Mace +2
Ego- 2
Stats- 1d10+2 Damage

This powerful weapon has the face of an insatiable beast. Whenever the maul deals a maximum damage roll against a foe of human size or less, it can “eat” them. The target must make a saving throw, and on a failure is swallowed. The maul has a pocket dimension where what it eats goes, an otherworldly space where the air itself is acidic and quickly digests anything within, dealing 1d6 acid damage per round. Being and objects immune to acid take half damage instead; the otherworldly digestion breaks down material in a much more insidious way.

Once someone is consumed by the maul, the only hope for escape is an outside force. The maul can be made to “burp up” anything within if slapped on the back of the head as though burping a baby, which has a 1 in 3 chance to work, and obviously requires you to get your hands on the maul from whoever is weilding it. The other method is to make the maul “eat” a large amount of foul material, such as making several attack rolls against putrid zombies or sticking the “face” of the maul under sewer water for several rounds. Upon vomitting, everything the maul has eaten that hasn't been totally digested.

Additionally, upon a successful killing blow, the devourer maul can “eat” the slain foe, which quickly consumes the corpse in its pocket dimension over the course of 3 combat rounds, making easy revival impossible.

The Maul has a weak ego, as all it cares about is consuming its prey. Anyone who cannot master the maul leaves themselves open on a failed attack roll from being unable to handle its hefty, unbalanced weight; giving them -2 AC on a miss or losing their initiative.

[4] Ivory Steel – Magic Shfting Weapon +1
Ego- 6
Stats- 1d4+1 to 1d8+1 Damage

Without a true form, this weapon can transform into whatever the wielder wishes. While it usually defaults to the form of a one handed sword when unclaimed, the Fighter who claims this steel can make it fold, bend, twist, and morph into whatever basic weapon they want. It can change fast enough that you can make an attack with it each round, switching forms before you attack to adapt to the situation. The weapon also gains the damage die of whatever size of weapon you change it into, so forming it into a dagger will deal 1d4+1 damage, swords and spears go to 1d6+1 and it can go up to a 1d8+1 damage in the form of a huge battleaxe, sledgehammer, or greatsword.

As with all magic weapons, the Ivory Steel has a resistance to being destroyed by magic. But this particular weapon takes it a step further. When struck with a magical spell to destroy the blade, the caster of the spell must make a saving throw. On a failure, the ivory energy around this metal flies at the magic user, and binds around their hands, making them unable to cast spells for 1d4 combat rounds. During this time, the user of the weapon cannot make it shift into new forms, but can freely call back the ivory energy if they spent their combat round waving the blade to beckon the energy's return.

With a powerful ego, the Ivory Steel prevents lesser warriors from using it. Those who attempt to use it find that their damage is rolled twice and the lowest it taken, the blade shifting into dull or lightweight, hollow heads for clubs and maces right before impact. If an unworthy warrior continues to try and use it, the weapon will shift into ivory chains, as unbreakable as the sword itself, clamping around their hands and binding them. This will continue until a master thief picks the lock, or until a proper warrior takes the chains as a weapon for himself.

[5] Thundering-Tempest Shield – Magic Shield +2
Ego- 3 / Special
Stats- Add +2 AC when equipped. Shield bash deals 1d6 Shock damage.

This unique shield is made of thaumaturgical workings and technology, and as such it has no drive or ego of its own and can be used by anyone, despite its magical powers. However, those who do not have the Ego of a 3rd level Fighter will still be harmed by this weapon if they do not possess at least +1 Strength and +1 Intelligence in modifiers or better. This is because the shield is quite heavy and without the smarts to use its powers properly it is just as likely to discharge on the user as a foe.

This shield acts as a normal enhanced shield, granting +2 AC. It can also bash targets and releases an electrical blast on them, dealing 1d6 Shock damage, and can be used as a weapon in this way. However it has another ability- when the holder of the shield is struck by an electric spell or breath attack, the damage is halved and the shield becomes charged up. While charged, the shield can release the damage stored (½ the original source of damage) as a cone blast of lightning in front of the shield user. Targets wearing heavy metal armor do not get a save to avoid this damage, but those without too much conductive material do get a save to avoid it.

[6] Siren's Spear – Magic Spear +1
Ego- 7
Stats- 1d6+1 Damage. Water blast at 1d3.

Empowered with water magic, the rushing of the waves, and the song of a siren this spear has enchanted many both to wield it and to be killed by it. With its impressive Ego, this weapon drives those unworthy who claim it to their doom like the song of a siren. Anyone without the necessary Ego score to wield this weapon will see phantoms of beautiful women, piles of treasure, potions of immortality or anything else they desire just out of reach. If they try to follow this phantom it will lead to their death by luring them over a cliff or a trap, or into the arms of waiting monsters. As such, the spear has a reputation to be cursed by those unworthy to use it.

For those who can use the spear's power however, it is quite a potent magical item. Firstly, the prongs on the end of the weapon can be struck to create wonderful music that entices people to follow it, requiring a saving throw or morale check to resist. This spell is broken if the holder of the spear attacks them, or if they know who the wielder is and refuse to follow. Secondly, the spear can be thrust to create a blast of magical water which deals 1d3 damage on a successful ranged to-hit roll. This power is technically unlimited, but deals no damage against aquatic creatures. Finally, those who wield the spear can once per day mask their appearance in a glamour. The glamour can make them appear as a different person, a different race, armored or unarmored, rich or poor, and so on just from the disguise. Attacking or casting any kind of spell will break the enchantment early, otherwise it lasts up to an hour.

[7] Hell Arrows – Magic Arrows +3
Ego- 5
Stats- Use bow damage +3 Fire Damage.

Flaming Arrows forged in the underworld. Beyond both being enchanted with fire magic, they are also steeped in demonic energies. The bolts hiss and scream when they are released. Since these are arrows, they use the stats of the bow or crossbow an add an additional damage modifier for the attack. While normally used with bows, there are some bolt variants for crossbow legions of hell's armies as well.

Hell Arrows have a moderately strong Ego. When fired by an unworthy warrior, the arrows may hang in the air instead and demand that they commit a minor sin, or promise to commit one in exchange for striking the foe of the archer. Additionally; any Clerics can attempt to Turn Evil on these arrows as they fly, which will deflect them away. Treat the HD of the Arrows as their Ego for this calculation.

[8] Bladed Mind – Magic Helmet/Weapons +2
Ego- 9
Stats- Two Blade Projections at 1d6+2, Defense-Spike Projections at 1d4+2

This incredibly powerful weapon is not a weapon at all; it appears as a strange helmet. This magical item is heavily cursed. By placing it on your head, it deals 1d50 damage to you. If this does not kill you, keep track of the number. The weapon deals that amount again times two if you take the helmet off. This means that characters can easily become trapped inside the helmet, as the damage they would take to remove it would kill them.

The Ego score of this weapon is intense. Anyone without a strong enough ego must make a saving throw to attempt to put the helmet on. If an unwise person places it on their head, they take 1d100 damage upon donning the helmet and will instantly die if they attempt to take it off. They still take double this damage if they manage to grow their ego to accommodate this weapon (ie; they level up with the helmet on), so it is still easily possible to get trapped even if they don't die from donning it. Those who wear the helmet without the proper Ego score must also make a saving throw whenever they attempt to use it, else they take 1d4+2 from the defense spike stabbing themselves. Bladed-Mind wearers without at least 9 Ego don't last long.

The Bladed Mind is quite powerful. It allows the user to project daggers or sword blades from thin air, appearing out of nothing to stab and slash at their foes. It grants two attacks a round as blade projections, and the user can still use whatever weapons they wish in their hands, but the helmet does obscure their vision. Instead, they see through the steel around them. Anyone attempting to grapple the wearer of the helmet must make a saving throw or be rebuked by a Defense-Spike Projection, which erupts from the wearer's body and deals 1 damage to the wearer anyway. This defense spike also works on those that are attempting to use mind effecting magic or telekinetically remove the helmet from its wearer; the spike comes from the nearest solid object and stabs them in the foot or side, dealing its normal 1d4+2 damage.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

20 Miscellaneous Mutations

[1] Your neck becomes perfectly cylindrical, and the bones inside disappear. Despite this, you have no issue with locomotion or keeping your head up, and your spinal column or breathing is not affected, but you can now turn your head 360 degree around. However, you take x2 damage from sneak attacks with blunt weapons, as getting hit in the head causes it to whiplash violently and be easily battered around.

[2] Wings. They start vestigial and make it hard to wear chest armor if it isn't built for it. The type of wing depends on your race and character- humans and most mammalian species get feathered wings. Kobolds and lizard people get scaly dragon like wings. Subterranean races like Orcs and really edgy people get bat wings, and so on.

Your wings don't work at first. However, each time you are hit with a powerful healing spell like regeneration, or restore at least 4 stat points when you do not have any damage stats; some of the magic from that may flow into your developing wings. Additionally, whenever you receive a beneficial mutation, your wings have a ½ chance to develop further instead of gaining a new mutation.

After your wings develop once, you can now flap them hard enough to create a little wind and reduce falling damage as though you fell 20 ft less.

After developing your wings twice, you can glide and slow your fall, meaning you cannot be harmed by falling damage as long as your wings are not bound and you are consciousness when you fall.

After your wings develop the third time, you can now fly. Flying is tiring but very useful- you can only fly while unencumbered and cannot carry anyone else unless they're a very small creature depending on your strength score. Your wings are still very sensitive and will be easily mangled by arrows or direct attacks. Be careful.

If you someone develop your wings 8, 10, or even 15 times or more your wings just keep getting stronger; letting you wear armor while flying, carrying larger beings up to your size, and even letting your create a few magical gusts of wind from wing flaps once or twice per day.

[3] Babification. Your body shrinks, your eyes get bigger, you get cuter and more harmless at the same time. Drop your Strength score by half, but increase your Charisma modifier by +1 whenever you're trying to look cute, innocent, or need protection. If you're already of a small race or are an old person, this mutation produces some very weird or off putting effects. You're still an adult, physically and mentally, just have a shorter statue and higher pitched, squeaky voice.

[4] The hotter your flesh gets, the closer it becomes to clay. Your skin turns more brown or tanned, becomes softer and malleable, and sweats slick. Permanent alterations can be made with the aid of a hot stick of metal and taking 1 damage per minor alteration. This offers no protection from heat- If you die from fire damage, you melt.

[5] The colder your flesh gets, the closer it becomes to steel. Your skin turns more blue and gray, becomes harder and unyielding, and condenses water on its surface. You gain +1 AC for a number of rounds equal to the damage you take from any cold spell, attack, or ice-dragon breath attack. Multiple sources stack, up to +3 AC from your steel cold flesh. This offers no protection from the damage of ice or cold. You also get a bonus +1 AC if you're in cold weather.

[6] Made out of horn or keratin, your face grows a strange symbol. It will be shaped with rings, angles, lines, and curves around your eyes and nose; never blocking your vision but giving you a strange facial appearance. It blocks your ability to wear masks or the vast majority of helmets, but you can use the symbol as a holy symbol once per day; channeling your wrath towards the undead.

If you know a magical symbol spell, there is a 1 in 6 chance that the symbol on your face matches one of the spells, and the daily power of this mutation is instead a single use of that spell channeled through your face; the symbol glowing red hot.

[7] A streak of random color beings to appear on your body. Starting at the tip of your hair and moving down through your skin, one eye that it crosses through, and down to your groin. This streak of color is permanent but has no special effects beyond giving you an exotic look.

[8] Pick one of your hands at random. This hand loses all fingers, becomes green and slimy, and grows 4 prehensile tentacles instead. The tentacles can be used to hold regular objects, but also grant +1 to grapple checks as the suckers help hold your foes in place.

[9] You grow a dorsal fin. Makes wearing most armor impossible and tight fitting clothes a chore. When swimming, you can pretend to be a shark to scare people and automatically succeed against saves to be drowned in murky dark water; the fin helps stabilize you but not necessarily make you swim any better or hold your breath longer.

[10] Scissor-Hands. Your hand are replaced with long blades, involuntary snapping claws, evil little snakes, etc. Makes it hard to hold anything without cutting it. This change isn't permanent, and these offensive fingers slowly fall off over the course of the next 3 days, each one becoming a +1 magic weapon or creature with appropriate stats.

[11] Your lips swell up to 3x the size. They pop loudly if punctured, they take an hour or so to reinflate. Treat your kisses as having the magic of a 1st level Princess.

[12] You gain a swelling green mark on your skin under your left armpit. Beings from other realms start to take an interest in you.

[13] Your head swells up. You gain +1 to your Intelligence modifier, but get -1 to all saves and AC from being off balance.

[14] Your body becomes somewhat conductive to elemental energies- your skin develops a waxy sheen. This is mostly useful as a parlor trick- hold a candle up to your foot and cough out some smoke. If you are struck by an elemental spell or dragon-breath, there is a 1 in 6 chance you can conduct that energy as a bolt or blast centered around yourself- dealing 1d4 damage per dice worth of damage that struck you. You still take the normal damage from the blast, but if the damage would kill you increase the damage of your conductive force by +1d4 and then die.

[15] Your face becomes itchy and stiff. Your face is now a “mask” and can be knocked off your head by a successful grab or by getting hit in the back of the head with a blunt weapon. When your mask is off, you cannot see or speak, but you can still breathe. Additionally, your 'mask' face can be exchanged with other people's mask faces, or with specially made magical masks made from faces, such as ones purchased from a Goblin Market. By using these face-masks, you can create disguises or even gain new abilities depending on the face, but your true face has become a simple mask that could be lost or stolen.

[16] Several bits of your flesh “bubble up” and then fall out of your body. These lumps harden and levitate, floating around you. You don't feel any pain from these flesh lumps but they are still “alive” and can heal themselves when damaged- but your body is weakened from the loss of tissue. You lose -2d6 hit points and gain +3 AC from the levitating protective body parts. If these lumps are destroyed or trapped, then you will lose the bonus AC from them and cannot recover the hit points.

[17] A prehistoric beast grows from your chest! It looks like a baby version of itself, its head poking out from a strange egg-shaped hole in your sternum. It can bite for 1d4 damage, and will loudly cry out for food if not fed, thus making you lose any stealth checks you were attempting. After a year, it will grow larger and fall out of your body, becoming a loyal dinosaur pet. Roll a 1d6+14 on the Random Animal Table to determine what prehistoric beast it is.

[18] You gain a weak spot. Randomly determine a spot on your body, it is NOT mirrored on both sides, so your weak spot could be just behind and under your left knee, for example. This weak spot is the size of a penny. If it is directly hit by a bladed weapon, arrow, strong punch, or other damaging attack you crumple in pain and drop to 1 Hit Point instantly. The weak spot does not look especially different from the rest of your body, and only you know its location.

[19] One of your legs becomes covered in a dark black insectoid chitin. You gain +1 AC, and this leg can also release a foul smelling gas once per day, which causes a morale check for predatory animals and other creatures sensitive to smell.

[20] You grow a tail. If you're a skin covered human, orc, elf, and so forth your tail is a gross rat like tail. If you're a furred creature, your tail will be furry instead, and if you already had a tail it doubles in length and size, granting you a +1 to your Dexterity modifier. Birds or insects instead get their tail feathers or thorax expanded in size and strength, improving their abilities to fly or shoot webs or improving your poison for scorpion stinger, and so on.

Friday, July 12, 2019

8 Supernatural things only Fighters can do

Now “balance” isn't a big deal in most oldschool games, or doesn't need to be a big deal in tabletop games in general. But I do talk about the issues of balance between magic users and fighter/nonmagic using classes from time to time. However, I am firmly in the camp of believing that classes like Fighter and Rogue are just as magical as everyone else, just in different ways!

Of course, if you don't like the over the top supernatural kung fu moves or high level magic item crafting, then pick some of these instead. You won't even need to change any rules.

8 Supernatural Things only Fighters can do
[1] Attempted Blindfighting
When in absolute darkness, totally blinded, or otherwise fighting invisible foes, players don't necessarily get a roll to hit. Especially with thrown or ranged weapons, regardless of how high your to-hit modifier is, you can't see them and therefore cannot even attempt to strike them. Another example in pitch black water- how could anyone even attempt an attack like that? Melee attacks might get a pass for this with the usual disadvantage on the roll or a -4 to the roll, but for the most part invisible = unhittable. Obviously if the enemy is leaving footprints in the snow, or you're using a rapid fire crossbow, then the situation changes a bit. Your DM might have the players throw a hail Mary 1 in 20 chance to even fire in the right direction then have to roll attack to actually hit!

Fighters are the exception. Using their senses, they may be able to figure out where the enemy is based on the sounds they make, or by the clues learned from many battles that tells the Fighting Man where his foe is likely to strike next. Fighters can attempt to make these attacks with the normal modifiers, it just isn't impossible anymore. You could also give this ability to Rogues since it represents their finely tuned senses as well, it's just that Wizards and the like would be unable to fight this way.

[2] Surviving Harsh Conditions
While more tied to a Con score, hit points, or saves; it is theoretically possible for humans to only survive so long in harsh conditions. Three days without water, three weeks without food, and so on. Fighters may be able to do this for longer periods of time then actually possible, if because of a simple high level of physical fitness, a sort of control over their metabolism and bodily energy, or simply superhuman levels of willpower and endurance. Similar things can be resisted such as extremely cold weather; the Fighter's body capable of steaming up from their powerful muscles.

[3] Seal Magic Weapons for a Worthy Successor
In most games; long term of permanent magic effects are solely in the realm of sorcerers. These require specific spells with abilities- but fantasy is chalk full of Fighters setting down challenges and tasks for low born knights to rise to greatness.

Excalibur was a sword in the stone. In a similar manner, Fighters could seal magic weapons and equipment in ways that nobody except a worthy successor (another warrior) could retrieve. It could also be set so it can only be returned by a chosen one, or the Fighter placing the weapon away may determine only one of pure heart or a certain background could claim their weapon. This can be done without a spell or roll; just cleave the magic axe into the log and it cannot be pulled out except by those who the Fighter has chosen to take the weapon. Similar thematic places could be used to store other weapons and items; magic armor is stored on mannequins that fist fight anyone who tries to take them off, the magical lightning spear could be thrown into the sky and only rain down on someone who can take a lightning bolt from that endless storm and survive, and so on.

[4] Directed Rage
When characters lose their minds do to a spell or evil monster pheromones that drives them into a battle rage; they may either attack allies or the nearest living creature in their uncontrollable rage. Fighters are an exception to this, as they may have already felt battle rage or have an advantage at controlling this mental state better then most. When enraged, Fighters may be able to better use their newfound strength towards foes instead of friends, and lose less of their evasion and protection from their one sided battle fury.

[5] Reflecting Magic Spells or Dragonfire
This ability may be restricted only to magical shields or weapons only Fighters can use, or could be a supernatural ability Fighters can attempt or learn, or not added in at all depending on the feel for magic in your game. However, the concept of a Fighter holding up their shield or sword and splitting or deflecting dragon breath or magical beams or bolts of energy is a strong aesthetic that could be put into a game. It's also highly likely this is restricted to only the Fighter type characters, allowing them this defense from these otherwise lethal attacks.

[6] Retain Fighting Abilities while Polymorphed
For most characters, getting transformed into another creature or especially a harmless animal is considered a terrible fate. Even if temporary, the transformed character probably can't talk or cast spells, they can't use items, and they probably lose most if not all of their ability to fight or be useful to the party. Plus there may also be checks or saves to retain mental competence while in animal form, and there may also be a rough learning period of how to use this new quadrupedal body to move and fight.

Fighters once transformed, even if their mind or magic has no special defense against this move, could still retain their skill in combat. They can leap, attack, defend, and otherwise gain all their bonuses in fighting even when transformed to the best of that animal's ability- a Fighter turning into a tiger or bear would be a fearsome thing to behold. Fighters may also retain the use of their magic equipment depending on if the equipment melds with their new body until reversed. Regardless of the type of polymorphing; transformed into an animal and all their gear drops around them in a heap OR transform and their immediate gear meld with their body until it is reversed- the Fighter could still also gain benefits from magical equipment- their magic sword is transferred into their claws, for example, perhaps requiring a saving throw to gain the benefit of this effect.

[7] Injure Things that are “Invincible”
This is mostly a game mechanics abstraction, but certain monsters or opponents may be immune to normal weapons and attacks- such as things with an AC of 21 / -1 for descending. Fighters with high level magic items or simply with a large amount of experience or great strength can actually harm beings that are otherwise immune to damage from a lesser combatant. Though this is done through rules, In context of a fantasy world this is an incredibly supernatural feat of destructive force.

When taken to logical extremes; this could influence other parts of the setting or cosmology. Could a truly formidable fighter strike at a statue and injure the memory of the person it immortalizes? Could a Fighter smash an alter of a God and the God feels an injury erupt on their very body from the strike? If immaterial creatures can be harmed by a driven and focused attack, why not a concept?

[8] Final Blow
When the Fighting-Man is taken down with a final hit, they should have the best saves and physical resilience to perform any kind of final act before perspiring. While this may force you to add in a story game rule; the Fighter is capable of doing one more attack, pulling a lever, or dragging themselves half way across a room to whisper a cryptic message before dying. Other classes are much more sensible to die immediately, but perhaps Fighters can make any saves or abilities necessary to perform this final act of heroism, or spite that traps everyone else too.