Wednesday, August 29, 2018

[Class] The Other

Expanded concept and class based on the final entry of this table.

The Other
HD- d8
Max AC- 15 / Minimum Hit-Points- 5

You are not a person. You look like a human, or a fantasy race of your choice, but you are not. Spells, magic items, and potions that have specific effects on that race or type of being do not effect you; you are treated as something “else”. Though you are similar and blend in with their society, you have a tell- roll this table. Use the left entry if your highest stat is even, use the right if its odd.

Other” Tell Table - 1d12
[1] You have a six fingers / You have a claw on your big toe
[2] You have a spiked, puncturing tooth behind your incisors / You have too many teeth
[3] You smile too wide / Your mouth is very small
[4] Your eyes are heterochromic / You have a second iris + pupil under your eyelid
[5] You shiver in hot places / You sweat in cold places
[6] The hairs on your back react to touch / the hairs on your chest are strong as nails
[7] You have a hare lip / All your scars are symmetrical along your body's vertical axis
[8] Your blood is bright pink / You don't bleed; your wounds sound like gas escaping your veins
[9] Your veins have a blackish tint / Your sweat is similar to honey
[10] You're double jointed in both your elbows / Your spine is very flexible, like a ferret's
[11] Mimic the chirp of a songbird when happy / Mimic a horse's whinny when frightened
[12] Stick out your tongue; taste things at distance / You can and enjoy eating rotten foods

At 1st, 3rd, and 5th level, you gain +1 to hit with all weapons and Fearsome Flesh.

Every even level, you get +1 to rolls to tinker with machines, magitech devices, and power crystal arrays. If this involves creating portals between dimensions; you get a bonus +1 to the roll.

You have power slots. At 2nd, 6th, and 10th level, you gain a slot. These slots have two purposes. The first is to force any mutation or curse you acquire to become beneficial, or gain a beneficial use. This mutation also becomes a part of your body permanently, 'locking' it in place, so only a powerful magic ability that could take away a natural ability can remove it. If the mutation was neutral and provided both good and bad effects, you can incorporate it into your biology to minimize its negatives and improve its positives. Vestigial limbs and organs gain a use, excesses and growths grant bonus hit points, cursed luck is redirected upon opponents and so on. If you don't have any mutations, you can keep a slot open until you get a good one or roll on a random power table.

The second use of the power slots is for your special power; Fearsome Flesh. You can only use this ability once per adventure per power slot. Make an attack- on a hit, you deal (1d6 + maximum power slots) whatever damage type you want. Your body shifts and morphs to perform the attack. You cough up liquid nitrogen bile to freeze an enemy, or a spiked tentacle shoots from your gut to pierce an enemy's armor, and so on. Using this power makes all hirelings following you take a morale check, as it is quite frightening to see your boss as an inuman monster. Additionally, whenever you use up all of your Fearsome Flesh uses on a single adventure, you gain another permanent tell to mark you as an Other.

Similar to the undead, you can be turned. If you are successful Turned, you disappear from the world for 1d4 days. You have to find the “back door” to get back in. When you return, you return with a Terrible Knowledge from your time away. If you are turned and the result is a Destroyed, you return after 1d4 seasons with your highest stat permanently reduced by -1d6 and your level drained by 1, but with another Terrible Knowledge in tow and an obedient 1 HD Null Beast as a familiar.

Your condition is genetic and is passed on to your children. The older you get, the more inhuman you become, your tell is further exaggerated and your body morphs into your adult form. Eventually, you'll be unable to fit in with human society on your own.

At 10th Level, you have become a Outsider and can no longer be turned by a Cleric. Only very powerful magic can banish you now. Your family clusters around you further; you gain 3d6+1 loyal cultists, one of whom is always a 3rd level magic user and 1d4 of your family members develop into 2 HD Null Soldiers. If these soldiers are killed, 1d4 family members will step up to transform to help protect your brood. Also 2d6 Null Beasts bud off of random family members asexually, which will still be treated as children. If you are killed you will return in 2d6 years as long as your family continues to call to you for you to return to them; the cult requires 1d8x100 gold each season to operate. Any mutations you have gained along your adventures can now be hidden in your body with a slight tell, similar to your "Other" tell, but can be drawn out at a moment's notice.

Additionally; you may now build Gateways. Gateways are circles of standing stones, marked arches in city squares and cathedrals, quiet corners in libraries, and within holes dug between the house's own floorboards. You can pass through the gateway to spend 1d3 days acquiring another Forbidden Knowledge OR you can use a Gateway to instantly travel to any other Gateway you've made. Gateways must be sustained once per season through either constant guarding and suspicious activities by your brood, or bribes to locals costing 1d6x50 coins for a Gateway, or a sacrifice of a pure virgin for one Gateway. Failing to sustain a Gateway will make it permanently lose its powers.

Null Beast (1 HD, +1 to hit, -2 AC, 1 frenzied flesh at 1d4+1, reassembly)
Morale- 4, unless commanded to attack
Numbers- N/A

Null Beasts appear as small animals like cats, dogs, chickens, ferrets, rabbits, unusually big rats or lizards, as well as birds like crows and pigeons. While appearing as these animals, they do not fit in with animals of the same type, which are spooked and will break their necks in a panic to escape the false null beast. Null beasts are very cowardly on their own without direction, in which case they will fight to the death or as long as they are commanded. When they die, Null Beasts have a 50% chance to revive in 1d6 exploration turns after being killed at 1 hit point and severely weakened- to slink off and lick their wounds.

Null Beasts have a body that can reform in ways to make attacks. New teeth and claws sprout from unusual places, legs bend wrong to jump up to bite your face, and so on. They don't seem to feel pain, and can eat anything biological regardless of the form they appear. These animals act as familiars, guards, and pets of the “Others”.

Null Soldier (2 HD, +3 to hit, -2 AC, 2 frenzied flesh at 1d6+1, reassembly)
Morale- N/A
Numbers- N/A

Null soliders look like normal people or beings of specific races, tied to their brood. However, they are truly not and have off proportions and usually have either a calm smile or their teeth are constantly gnashing their lips and cheeks. Null Soldiers have no survival instinct, and seem unsure on how to use their bodies; they move unnaturally and fast, and their attacks allow them to exploit their unnatural biology.

When Null soldiers attacks, every part of their body contorts and mutates to cause injury. They may break their own teeth with their inhumanly strong bite, then using their tongue like a piston to spit the shards at you as a gun blast up close. Their eyes may pop just to shoot acid on your face when you wrestle them to the ground, their arms and joints bend backwards and bone exits skin to act as stabbing and slashing weapons, new mouths or organs may just appear from within them.

If the Null Soldier is killed by an elemental attack (burnt to a crisp, frozen solid, zapped by lightning, or melted by acid) or is totally crushed or exploded apart by a very strong attack, they will simply die like they're supposed to. But if they are killed by traditional weapons; the Null Solider will reassemble into a new lesser form with 1 HD and 1 attack. The Null Form is made of whatever is left over of the damaged and slain soldier, bending into a new form to bite and gnash. A decapitated head sprouts spider legs to jump and bite; a disemboweled soldier has his intestines slither out and calcify whatever unnatural organs were within into clubs. It cannot reassemble twice.

Monday, August 27, 2018

The Sapphire Stick

The Sapphire Stick
Ego- 4; Magic Classes
Damage- N/A

The Sapphire Stick is a magic wand. Unlike most other magic items; it's Ego score is determined by magic using classes instead of martial ones; full casters get +1 to this Ego score per level, half casters get +1 every 2 levels, and non-casting classes get no Ego. The wand itself is a short, slightly curved wand made of a strange bright blue material. It hums with ambient magic, especially whenever it is flicked around or struck or knocked from the hand, etc.

The Sapphire Stick is a wand that channels the power of the Sacred Sapphire. Spells cast from the wand get +2 to their spell rolls, healing value, and reduce enemy saves by -2. The Sapphire Stick does not boost damage rolls from spells; it's magic is more based on protection and restoration.

The Ego score of this magic implement means it wants to serve a magic user of great power; but this can be suspended by a good hearted person. Often apprentice or weak magic users with good and pure hearts will find themselves with the stick, regardless of their skill in magic. Powerful magic users with evil intentions or selfish motivations will find the stick quickly abandoning them. Those who try to use the stick's magic to take an innocent life find the spell instantly fails and backfires on them instead; make a hard save or else the person turns into a sapphire crystalline statue frozen in place; a state which can only be ended by a powerful spell or the machinations of the frozen creatures over many years of plotting. This effect can also be done on a killing blow with a spell versus an enemy while wielding the stick instead of ending their life.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Universal Spontaneous Magic System

In order to cast a spell, you must first Invoke a Discipline and declare your effect. Your DM will tell you how difficult this spell is, and then you can roll a d20 meet or beat the SC (Spell Challenge). Add your Intelligence modifier to all normal spell rolls. Casters add their level, half casters add half their level, rounded down, to the spell roll. If you've equipped a wand, staff, magic orb, spellbook, etc. add +1 to the roll.

On any successful spell roll; your character gets -1 to all spell rolls made for the rest of the day. This is due to draining their magical energy. If you drink a mana potion you can restore +1d6 points of your normal bonus. Points over your maximum provide no bonus, but make your eyes and skin glow for 1 turn per point over max.

On any failed spell roll; you must choose one of these four options. If you are casting a spell from a scroll, item, don't know what the spell does, or are manipulating another unknown magical force; roll 1d4 to determine random outcome instead. You must also roll a random outcome if your roll has a final value of 0 or less.

Spell Failure Table
[1] Spell Fizzles. Spell Fails, no ongoing negative modifier. You cannot invoke that Discipline for the rest of the day/adventure.
[2] Overexert. Spell Succeeds, -2 ongoing negative modifier to spell rolls. You are stunned for 1d4 rounds if in combat and cannot cast spells for 1d6-Wisdom modifier exploration turns.
[3] Backlash. Spell succeeds, -1 ongoing modifier. You take some damage to maximum hit points, a random attribute, destroy some of your equipment, or suffer a mutation. If you use spellcaster Dooms, then this option advances your Doom by 1 stage.
[4] Haywire. Spell succeeds, -1 ongoing modifier. Spell is uncontrolled and has random or unforeseen consequences. Summoned creatures are no longer friendly or under the control of the caster, energies fly randomly or change element, healing spells cause mutations, etc.

Spell Challenge
The Spell Challenge or SC of a spell is how difficult it is to cast that magic. You must meet or beat the number on a d20 + modifiers to succeed with your spell, and follow the rules for success or failure normally.

The base SC is 10.

Spells are easier if;
(-1 SC) Casting on an item you own
(-1 SC) Casting on a place you live/closely tied to
(-1 SC) Casting on a willing/friendly target
(-1 SC) You are touching your target
(-1 SC) The area is awash with ambient magic, such as a magician's manse or standing stones
(-1 SC) The spell is cast “as a ritual”, meaning it takes at least an exploration turn.
(-2 SC) You are casting on something that already exists instead of conjuring something new.
(-2 SC) You are casting a “Formula” Spell (spell effect common in campaign setting)

Spells are harder if;
(+1 SC) Target is more then a stone's throw away
(+1 SC) One symbolic degree of separation from your spell's discipline to your desired effect. For example; creating just light from the Elemental Create/Control Fire discipline.
(+1 SC) Conjuring something with a minor supernatural property
(+1 SC per) Each AC gained from heavy armor.
(+1 SC) Area of effect is 5-10 square ft.
(+1 SC) Deals 1d4 Unerring damage.
(+1 SC) Duration over one exploration turn.
(+2 SC) You cannot see or hear your target.
(+2 SC) Your target is a swarm (ignore multiple creature rules below for swarm creatures)
(+2 SC) Conjuring something with a major supernatural property.
(+2 SC) Area of effect is 15-30 square ft.
(+2 SC) Deals 1d6 Unerring damage.
(+3 SC) You do not speak the incantations. This also includes trying to cast from stealth.
(+3 SC) You arms or hands are tied.
(+3 SC) Area of effect is 35-50 square ft.
(+3 SC) Deals 1d8 Unerring damage.
(+4 SC) Deals 1d10 Unerring damage.
(+4 SC) Area of effect is 50+ square ft.
(+1 SC per) Additional Targets past the first. If casting on multiple creatures, the HD of the highest creature determines spell resistance.
(+HD SC) Casting on an unwilling monster or creature; their level/HD increases their resistance.

Every magic user has Disciplines- Disciplines are the type of magical actions they can perform. They are equivalent to schools of magic or broad “spells” they can cast, such as an Illusionist or an "Orthodox" Wizard. Disciplines can only be learned with special training or pilfered spellbooks, or developed over many years.

Some magical characters may seek training or mastery over a specific Discipline; when this is accomplished, add +1 to the Discipline's name, which is added when Invoking that Discipline.

Each class archetype only has a few disciplines for when they start play.

Common Disciplines of Archetypes
  • Create/Control Arcane Energy
  • Animate (Inanimate) Objects
  • Discern the Invisible or Hidden
  • Levitate/Hold Beings

  • Obfuscate Places or Things
  • Guide/Heal Nature
  • Enchant Items

  • Empower/Control Animals
  • Animate Plants
  • Shapeshift Self
  • Create/Control (Localized) Weather

  • Summon Demons
  • Transform self/others
  • Cast Hexes/Curses

  • Conjure phantasms
  • Change Appearances
  • Manipulate emotions

  • Animate Dead
  • Create/Control Death Energy
  • Harm Living Beings

  • Restore health & attributes
  • Ward against monsters
  • Conjure light
  • Counter black magic

  • Create/Manipulate a fated event
  • Predict Actions of Others
  • Peek into the past of a thing or place
  • Project senses remotely

  • Conjure/Control Fire
  • Conjure/Control Water
  • Conjure/Control Earth
  • Conjure/Control Air

Red God Cultist
  • Empower/Guide Monsters
  • Manipulate/Reveal Bloodlines
  • Empower/Damage Attributes
  • Fill places with Gloom & Dread

Alternate Rules for Patrons
You may also be able to replace your Discipline with a “Patron” being. To Invoke, you must speak the beings name instead of speaking a magic incantation.

Casting a spell by Invoking a patron doesn't give you a negative to all spells, just to the patron's discipline as you expend your favor. Doing things that the patron likes, making a sacrifice, and regular religious service during downtime can restore these negative modifier.

Failed spell rolls can allow the patron to cause their wrath upon you instead of a Backlash, and being forced to do a quest for them replaces Haywire spells.

For example; the Warlock invokes the name of an arch demon to burn his enemies twice. He has -2 onging to Invoke the Archdemon; but smashing a gemstone as a sacrifice will allow him to restore a point of his modifier to make further spells more likely.

Example Spells
Ice Platforms
Bortho the Level 4 Magic User has the Discipline Create Ice Sculptures at +1. He wishes to create three floating icy platforms to help his party escape a chasing monster. He is not holding a staff, as his was gobbled up by a gluttonous ooze early in the adventure, and he already cast two spells today. His Intelligence modifier is +1. His spell roll modifier is +4, +1, +1, -2 for a total of +4.

The SC for his spell is 10 + 2 additional platforms. The Dungeon Master rules that the floating platforms should count as a major supernatural property, and adds another +2 to the SC. The DM asks Bortho the area of the platforms you could stand on, and Bortho just says enough for a single person, so the area of effect is just +1 SC. The total SC for the roll is 15.

Bortho rolls a 1d20 and rolls an 8. Even with his bonus of +4, he fails the spell and is presented with the table of options on spell failure. He doesn't want to give up his best Discipline, and fizzling the spell would mean the monster would be upon them without an escape route. Overexerting himself would also be a bad move, because then he would be incapacitated for long enough for the monster to kill him, and he doesn't want to be left behind, and he's weak enough from the dungeon that taking damage could kill him. So he goes with the final option, and allows his platform to be haywire'd.

The DM describes the platforms shakily coming into being, but nothing happens as of yet. The party is skeptical of the Wizard's work, but ascend up the steps anyway. As weight is put on each step, however, they start to float to the left and right, shoved by the weight. The platforms start to crash into each other and the walls, prompting saving throws to avoid falling into the chasm below. Bartho is later kicked in the balls by the Fighter's daughter for killing her father, but Bartho has the last laugh because he is a Wizard and didn't need his balls anyway.

Magic Missile
Any first level Wizard wants to cast magic missiles. Using the Discipline of Create/Control Arcane Energy, they can deal 1d4 Unerringdamage, which means it can't miss and there is no save, at +1 to the SC for a total of SC 11. The Wizard has a staff and is first level, so gets +2 to the roll, not including intelligence. The DM declares this to be a legacy or formula spell, and makes the SC 9 instead. The Wizard only has to roll a 7 or higher to succeed for this simple spell.

Red Candle
A Sage with the Discipline of Conjure/Control Fire wishes to create a magic candle that ties itself with the life force of a young apprentice; the candle turns red when she is in danger. While the Discipline of Fire isn't very closely related to life force or “sensing danger”, the DM makes a ruling since the Sage already has healing and protective magic disciplines that it's acceptable without a penalty; but BOTH Disciplines must be invoked and could be voided on a failure.

The duration is over 1 turn which adds +1 to SC, the apprentice may not always be nearby or in sight, so adding the modifier for distance of +1 SC and +2 SC for no visible/audible target may also apply. Since the spell is being cast on a candle already present, subtract -2 SC. Since this spell is being used on a friendly character, with an owned candle, and they can touch when it is cast/not an issue of distance, you could also drop another -3 SC from the spell's difficulty. But since the target is not always going to be present/touched for the duration, you could also rule these out. I'd mark the SC of this spell to be around 12, give or take, depending on how you'd rule the complexity and symbolic ties.

Spontaneous Magic to Spell Slots Conversion
If you use spell slots; Spontaneous spells instead use up a spell slot instead of giving negative to future spell rolls. Make a saving throw vs spells upon a spontaneous magic cast, and on failure, roll on your favorite spell failure table. This is the cost and uncertainty of using spontaneous spells instead of your safe, practiced rote spells.

1st Circle Spell from SC <10
2nd Circle Spell from SC 10-14
3rd Circle Spell from SC 15-19
4th Circle Spell from SC 20+

Random Discipline Table
Roll 1d20
[1] Conjure/Control Things associated with a “Basic” color.
[2] Astral Magic from Dominions
[3] Repair/Manipulate Mechanical Devices
[4] Generate a random Lovecraftian Horror. This is your patron.
[5] Dig Holes/Tunnels in the Earth or Stone
[6] Summon/Guide Creatures that Fly
[7] Mimic Dragon Powers
[8] Enchant/Animate Cloth
[9] Open/Close Dimensional Spaces & "Otherspaces"
[10] Create/Control a random Magic Energy
[11] Shapeshift self/Control Insects & Arachnids
[12] Manipulate/Stop Time. +4 SC to these spells.
[13] Sideshow Magic. -2 SC to these spells.
[14] Sense/Peek/Manipulate/Project Dreams
[15] Summon Otherworldly Beings
[16] Conjure Soldiers/Equipment/Fortifications
[17] Empower/Degrade Appearances
[18] Shrink/Grow Objects or Beings
[19] Sense/Reveal/Manipulate/Levitate Alchemical Creations
[20] Roll on Cave Girl's Aspect list for a Discipline

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Seeking the "Generic" Wizard

When it comes to creating the “generic” or “orthodox” Wizard, several instant categories come to mind; mostly to do with specific spells. Firstly, fireballs and summoning creatures are both classic examples of Wizards, but step on the toes of specific classes (such as Summoners, Witches, Elementalists, etc.). Invisibility & Knock is also a classic Wizard spells, but it makes the thief outdated and almost useless. Flight and Instant Travel (ie; teleportation) are also contenders, but are too powerful and universally useful in most campaigns for Wizards.

So instead; I boiled down Wizards without the above to create the most generic and traditional suite of powers I thought fit the Orthodox Wizard;
  • Create/Control Arcane Energy
  • Animate (Inanimate) Objects
  • Discern the Invisible or Hidden
  • Levitate/Hold Beings
Create/Control Arcane Energy is a good one; as it fits with things like magic missile, prismatic spray and wall, and fits with all other evocations and generic Wizard spells that aren't tied to elements.

Animate Objects is one that's very fitting, in my opinion. I think of Wizards as from Disney, such as Mickey Mouse in the Fantasia short, or the Sword in the Stone's Merlin, or even Beauty and the Beast's anthropomorphized objects as good examples of what I'd consider an animated object. Not just floating around, but also not totally humanized either. I see the “Animate” keyword as to mean giving human qualities, not just motion, so I see spells like Magic Mouth and Alarm (when an object is moved) also counting towards the animation, which is classic Wizard stuff.

Discern the Invisible or Hidden is a tougher discipline. It's very classic of Wizards to learn the passcodes to secret doors, like Gandalf, but may step on player skill and classes or characters that specialize in secrets and lore. Revealing the invisible at least is pretty obvious; faerie fire or glitterdust are classic examples- along with the Corona spell from dungeon crawl stone soup, though technically that's for Enchanters in that game. As an aside, one of my favorite things from Harry Potter was when Professor Snape commanded the Marauder's map to “reveal its secrets to him”, as though this is common practice to reveal invisible or hidden things, simply throwing around your Wizardly authority.

Finally Levitate/Hold beings is a classic among Wizards. While “levitate” implies a calm and gentle motion, it doesn't imply flight, which is a good start. However I also like to imagine it being able to used as a quick slam or shove, such as to throw people off a cliff or off horses, which is pretty fitting to a non-elemental Wizard's combat potential. Hold person/being is also a classic of Wizards.

There- I think this list of archetypal spells is very well fitting to a non-elemental and generic Wizard. While very specific, I think it helps give personality to the class without being an “everyman”.

Monday, August 13, 2018

PoE Incursions converted to Tabletop

The Temple of Atzoatl (At-Zoe-Ah-Toll) was one of the last wonders built by the mighty Vaal civilization, just before their collapse. Millions of people, lost in an instant, with little more than three thousand surviving the great calamity that destroyed their entire world. The temple, which was meant to be the jewel for Queen Atziri and for the Vaal empire, was lost the moment it was finished and is now trapped in an unusual spot in space time.

The entire temple exists in temporal flux. Most magic relating to time is extremely tricky and almost impossible to pull off, due to even minor changes being set in stone due to the massive cause and effect chain that put them there. But the Temple and all within it just died shortly after it was completed. Now, it may be possible to change the past, and change the temple as it exists in the present day.

Temporal Incursion
Once a Temporal Incursion is found, it can be opened by a simple ritual. Someone with Vaal lineage must spill 1 hit point worth of blood on the alter which will open the portal. Everyone who enters will be transported through time and space to the Vaal temple just as it was being completed.

After the Incursion closes, there is a period of 1d4 days where it cannot be opened again at that same location. On a roll of 4, the stars misalign and you will need to find a new ritual site.

The portal can only be opened by someone with Vaal blood; the famous Oriathan explorer Alva Valai has some within her. Your characters have different chances to have Vaal lineage based on their ethnicity.

Vaal Bloodline Chance
Azmiri- 1 in 4
Ex-“Eternal” (Sarn)- 1 in 6
Ezomyte- 1 in 8
Oriathan- 1 in 10
Karui & Maraketh- 1 in 12

Incursion & Temple Mechanics
When the characters enter the rift, they are transported back in time and space to the temple as it being built. They have exactly 3 rounds within this area, but this time can be extended by killing enemies. By slaying a Vaal cultist, or two Vaal servants, their blood and paradox energy can sustain the incursion for another round. Dealing at least 6 damage in one round to an Architect can also extend the incursion by another round.

Incursions are done to change the temple in the present day. Slaying one architect in a room will allow the other to rebuild that room according to their designs. For instance, if there is an Architect that is a master of poisons and other who is an Architect of the Vaal Jeweler's guild; slaying the master of poisons will turn that room into a treasure trove containing jewelry and skill gems. Killing many extra Vaal in the Incursion will also cause a backlash of more paradox energy; increasing the power and item yield of the temple in the future.

The temple is arranged in the following order; four rooms on the bottom, 3 above, then 2, then the Apex which contains the Omnitect boss.

You can perform up to 3d6 Incursions in a single temple. Once all Incursions are complete, you must open a final portal to the temple's true location to loot it, or find it's actual location in the middle of the godforsaken jungle of Wraeclast.

Alternate “Time Chip” Incursion System
When entering the Incursion, instead put a pile of chips in the center of the table. These will represent the number of rounds the party can stay. Put 3x number of people entering the Incursion. If someone refuses to take an Incursion chip for a round, they exit the timeline and cannot reenter this Incursion. This is a good way to escape if you run low on hit points. Killing enemies grants only a small amount of chips based on the enemy; slaying a servant grants a single chip, which is only enough to keep one person in the Incursion for one round longer.

Also; characters can choose to burn two chips in a round to act twice in the past; they become a blur of swords, arrows, or spells as they manipulate time. After you act twice in one round; roll a saving throw. On a failed save, you take 1d6+X Damage, where X is the number of chips you've taken for this whole Incursion. Dying from this turns you character into weird bloody cursed goo and you seep from the ground in the future, your soul trapped in the temple's temporal flux state.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

PoE Incursion Enemies

Each Vaal enemy is encountered in two versions; the living versions in Incursions, and the undead versions in present day when you find the location of the true temple. The undead versions are the same, but have the same strengths of the undead (immune to disease and poison, no morale, supernatural senses, etc.) and weaknesses of the undead (can be turned, holy magic weakness). Most enemies here are also designed to slow the party down as well as being a threat, to make Incursions more challenging with their time limit.

From Left to Right: Vaal Fallen, Fanatic, Architect, Zealot, Vaal Contruct
Vaal Servant (1 HD, +2 AC, doesn't attack, panicked screeching)
Morale- 0, runs immediately
Numbers- 1d6 per room

The Vaal sacrifices thousands of slaves, servants, conquests, and serfs to appease their gods and to power their arcane machines. These temple servants are no different. Due to both the cataclysm and these of low born standing, there is little paradox to be caused by slaughtering them. Their blood still extends the duration of the Vaal incursion spell- Their screams upon seeing armed strangers attract the Vaal's warriors to fight. In the present day, replace servants with standard Skeleton warriors.

Vaal Fallen (2 HD, +2 AC, -2 to hit, 1d8 huge sword, slow)
Morale- N/A
Numbers- 1d6 per room

Vaal Fallen are humanoid constructs made of armor. They are tough but very slow, and their attacks are easy to dodge. They always go last in initiative.

Vaal Fanatic (1 HD, -2 AC, 1d4 dagger, +2 initiative, self sacrifice)
Morale- 15
Numbers- 1d4 per room

Fanatics do not wear armor and simply run at enemies and intruders, they are made up of bloodletters and self mutilators who praise the Vaal Gods. Fanatics will step in the way of spells, attacks, or projectiles targeting Vaal Architects.

Vaal Zealot (2 HD, +1 to hit, 1d6 spear, flaming bolt spell)
Morale- 12
Numbers- 1d4 per room

The Zealot is armed with a spear and the powers of fire. Instead of attacking for a round, the Zealot can hold up their hand and channel a flaming bolt spell. Players can choose to either evacuate, which means they avoid the slow targeted bolts, or they can press on and continue to fight, in which case they must save or take 1d6 fire damage. Each Zealot only casts one bolt spell.

Vaal Construct (1 HD, +1 AC, fire 1d4 magic bolts)
Morale- N/A
Numbers- 1d8

Tube like construct that fires green bolts of energy. The bolts can hit multiple party members if adjacent, but cannot penetrate through them. This encourages party members to spread out, but makes them more likely to get overwhelmed.

Serpantine Construct (2 HD, +2 AC, +2 to hit, 1d4 tail whip attack, 1d4 constriction, slows movement if constricted- save to break free)
Morale- N/A
Numbers- 1d4

Snake-like construct that aims to stun and capture instead of kill. Very fast for a machine; uses tail whips and entangles prey. Cannot tail whip when entangled, instead slows the movement and attacks of the entangled person unless they manage to make a save to break free.

Vaal Architect (3 HD, 1d6+1 magic blast, special abilities, leadership +2)
Morale- 16
Numbers- 2 per room, once one is killed the other fades into Paradox space

Each Vaal architect has a theme that grants them a different magic blast and special ability. Each Architect also has plans for the room they are located in in the Incursion; killing one makes the other one the sole inheritor of the room and in the present day will have changed it to suite his desires. For instance, if the Architect of Treasures and the Architect of Toxins are in a room together, and you slay the Architect of Toxins, the Architect of Treasures will have inherited the room and it will have become a treasure trove in the present day, still patrolled by the undead Architect you left behind.

Architect Theme Table- 1d6
[1] Fire element blast; casts a 2x version of the Zealot's flame blast.
[2] Lightning elemental blast; creates a storm that deals 1d4 damage to all enemies within 15 feet
[3] Void/Arcane elemental blast; creates a breach that summons 1d4 Breach Monsters
[4] Death elemental blast; casts a screaming skull spell- target must save or take -1d4 level drain
[5] Toxin/Poison elemental blast; releases cloud of poison when hit, save vs posion or take 1d4 poison damage per round for the rest of the incursion or until cured.
[6] Physical blast; Whistles to conjure spinning blades and traps, save vs devices if you try to attack him next rond. Fail and take 2d6 damage.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

d12 Magic Spring/Pool/Fountain Table

[1] The character who drinks from the stream has their teeth fall out and become Teethpoles! They swim around the pool using the nerves like tails, but can be easily replaced in the mouth by shoving them back in. It takes two exploration turns to capture all his teeth back, or one turn if someone trying to catch the teeth has a Dexterity modifier of +2 or better.

While catching the Teethpoles, a shallow nook in the pool will reveal a cache of 1d6 gold pieces.

[2] The character splits. The two copies of the character have the same stats, but half their level evenly between them. If their level is odd, make one of them the “real” one that gets that extra level. All spells are also divided randomly between them, as evenly as possible.

The player controls both as though they were hirelings. Both are slightly transparent and are seemingly made of water. Once either clone gets a level they painfully merge back together again one sleepless night. If one of them dies, they both die.

[3] After drinking from the pool, the character takes 1d6+2 damage to their Con stat and starts to cough up a thick yellow smoke. From this point on, they are immune to the spell Cloudkill and get +2 to all saving throws vs poisonous gas or spores. The gas clouds they exhale go away as they recover from the Con damage, but the immunity and resistance remains permanently. If the Con damage taken from drinking from the pool kills them; they explode into a 5ft radius cloud of gas that deals damage 4d6 damage to anyone who breathes it, save for half.

[4] The pool contains a Hydrelephant. It looks like a clear plastic mass as big as an elephant. It rises from the water and just spits all its water to knock away people who mess with its pool. Doesn't deal any damage, just pushes you away. Dealing 1 damage will kill it.

[5] Every character who drinks from the pool has a 1 in 6 chance to notice something wrong in the reflection. Any Elves in the party automatically notice it. The middle of the pool reflects an invisible urn floating on an invisible piece of wood, which can be touched but simply not seen.

The pot contains the magic ash of an invisible stalker. Valuable as a magical reagent and can be sold for 20+1d10 Silver pieces at an open market. If this ash is poured onto a fire, the invisible stalker will revive and kill anyone nearby. If the ashes are poured into a fire surrounded by a magic circle; the stalker instead will offer to assassinate any single person in the world you wish- this is just a chance, with more powerful and rich targets being less likely for the stalker to be successful.

[6] The pool is magic and heals 1d4 hit points. It keeps this property even if taken out of the pool, but has a limited amount equal to about 15 potions if gathered right now.

[7] The character is effected by the curse of wandering stones. They find themselves burdened by 2 encumbrance points or equivalent in small stones, rocks, and pebbles that collect in their pockets and bags. Emptying them will only find the stones returning with +1 encumbrance more.

The only way to end this curse is to have it lifted by a powerful magic spell, or to push a boulder up a mountain by yourself.

[8] The water is normal, but anyone who drinks from the pool has a vision of a random room in the dungeon. They will get a hint of a monster, trap, or location of a treasure from this vision. 1 in 4 chance that a vision is actually false and will lead the party into danger in some way.

[9] Drinking the water causes the character to grow a new random limb. Roll on this table.
  1. Head, helpful, can cast a 1st level spell
  2. Arm, can grab an extra thing
  3. Leg, increased movement
  4. Tail. Lizard like, regenerates if cut off.
  5. Crab claw on forearm. Grants +1 AC
  6. Extra mouth, underneath the first. 1d6 bite
All of the extra mutation limbs can be removed via a simple surgery, of which takes a few days for recovery time. The lizard tail is more difficult to remove, which is also easier to hide by stuffing it down a pant leg.

This effect happens to every character that drinks from the pool, but is random each time. Drinking twice will have you roll on the table again.

[10] Everyone who drinks from the pool finds their weakest attribute boosted to an 18. Along with this comes a feeling of euphoria and invincibility. However every time they take damage, they lose that many points off this stat until it reaches back to their normal total.

The change that this water provides is immediate but always somewhat suspect. For instance a weak person would grow huge biceps to show their newfound strength, but without the core body to support it. Someone with their Intelligence boosted would be knowledgeable and skilled with magic, but would space out and forget things often, as though they were always on the cusp of losing it.

[11] After the first person drinks from the pool, the next weapon that character sees turns red hot and burns whoever is holding it; it is smelted into a much more powerful glass-like material that counts as a +1 magic weapon. This can happen to an allied weapon or enemy weapons, and would require planning to avoid glancing at the wrong weapon or stealing the weapon.

The weapon made by this process is made of an unnatural material similar to a mix of glass and iron. It can be sold for x20 times a normal weapon of that type can be sold for.

[12] The first character to drink from this pool chokes for a few seconds, falling to the ground dead. They are instantly revived, but despite looking the same they are permanently changed. Whatever race they were before no longer applies to effects by things like spells or items; a human who drank from the fountain is no longer effected by human-specific spells or “detects as” human for example. The person in instead something else entirely; this trait passes on to their children.

This unnatural state of being grants advanced clarity, making them immune to the fear and mind controlling effects of demons and the insanity of outsiders, but the person can be “turned” by a priest. On a successful turning, they are then “banished” from the material world for 1d4 days until they find a “back door” to reenter. Each time this happens, they learn some terrible knowledge.

Additionally; those with this genetic lineage don't age normally and instead have themselves slowly changing into an odd inhuman form, somewhat unique to them. This includes slowly a extending skull, new rows of teeth, spiral-shaped skin blemishes, elongating fingers, and the power to speak tongues not known to mortal races. After 200 years of life in this form, the person can no longer fit into normal society and will need to be secluded or gather a cult of their children and servants around them to care for them and to influence the world.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

6 Types of Magic Energy

[1] Arcane Energy. The most purely “magical” type of energy- it is found inside the bodies of wizards and magical creatures; cultivated by a few arcane species, and within spellbooks and magical items devised by Wizards. and tends to have a pale silver light and color, with pinks, purples, and golds also common. This type of energy has the power over the traits of things, and is commonly associated with changing the most base properties of what they interact with. Forged into an attack, arcane energy usually takes the form of balls or beams of glowing light.

[2] Death Energy. The energy of the netherrealm and of death and decay. Naturally forming around dead things, especially tombs and crypts and things that rot for a very long time, like ancient bones or carcasses. Usually black, dark purple, or a bright putrid green in color. This energy is linked strongly to decay, disease, and the undead. Forged into an attack, it takes the form of screaming skulls or grasping hands that may drain the energy or levels of its victims.

[3] Aesthete Energy. Magic associated with beautiful things, vistas, clouds, and the northern lights. Tends to form around works of art and beautiful places in nature, but can also be cultivated by those with artistic skill or by the reading of poems and plays. This energy moves like music and is usually not directly seen; as it instead enhances what it touches. This type of energy is a secondary form of energy that is tapped into to create phantasm illusions, to create magic elf songs that lure people to sleep, to enhance the beauty of an enchantress, etc.

[4] Permafrost Energy. Energies of ice, glaciers, and the unchanging and unfeeling cold. Can be found in ancient frozen places, icicles, glacier crevasse, or even plucked from the downy fur of a newborn baby penguin. The energy always appears as a very deep dark blue or a blinding, shining light blue. The energy is capable of preserving things for the future and melting things from the long past, and is the whispering voice of timeless things. It was here before the world, and it will be here after. Attacks of this magic manifest as blades or shards of ice as well as biting winds.

[5] Verdant Energy. The energy of nature, usually seen as a blood red or a bright green. While it is life energy, it is also uncontrolled and overpowering, and is only found in the bellies and blood of dire beasts and within the most ancient and massive of old trees. When this energy infuses with people it doesn't just heal them or make them stronger, but it also regresses their evolution and makes them like apes or half animal, with their intelligence and capability for abstract thought reduced as their body and senses sharpen. Verdant energy is seldom used by anyone but a Druid, and even then only in careful doses kept at the end of a long stick to avoid contamination.

[6] Intraspatial Energy. Energy inherent within spaces within spaces. It is sometimes harvested within complex or hidden architectures, or found along laylines. It is either a type of deep orange glow or a is colorless “aura” that gathers in corners and underneath things. It is used to create bags of holding, and to make buildings larger on the inside then the out, but it can also be combined with the magic of keys to open the way into realms within things. Such realms are filled with creatures, treasures, and dangers all manifesting the symbolic and overt traits of the inner spaces. It may be possible to enter a weapon to unlock some hidden potential, or even enter a being to remove some weight off their soul and the source of their ennui.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Punished Poacher

I saw this in a dream.
Punished Poacher
(or Ambulatory Abomination, or Suffering Strider, or Darwin Damned)

These cursed beings are punished by the God of the long walkers and herbivores. They appear as a large grazing mammal, with a human's bent upper torso, arms, and head as the animal's front left or right leg. They must spend all moments supporting the weight of the great animal they are bound to. Pulling grass and tubers from the ground to feed their beat with their arm can keep them alive and strong, failing to move quickly enough will allow wolves to tear out both their and their animal's throat. Any attempt to call out for help or communicate with regular humans will spook the herd and only cause more pain as they are forced to act as a leg of a charging, fast, very heavy animal.

There may also be version of this for other races; elves as the third limb for deer, dwarves for rams, kobolds from great crocodiles, and ogres for elephants. This curse counts as a 4th or 6th level spell and requires great efforts to undo. Most prefer to put this creature out of its misery.

Punished Poacher (3 HD beast, 1 HD man, trample at 1d8, can speak but spook herd causing stampede, can only attack once before needing to provide weight support)