Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Vampire Weaknesses

Vampires seem to have a lot of weaknesses. This is because many cultures and histories have been combined and act as a pool to draw from. But in a fantasy world, how can one explain all these weaknesses for what is supposed to be a terrible creature of the night? You could go with the WoD concept and have many types or bloodlines of vampires, or do something simple. The Gods.

Vampires, as with all undead, are weak to holy symbols and Clerics are well tuned to fighting them. Vampires are also killed by sunlight, which is a common weakness they all share, potentially an ancient bane given to them from the God of the Sky. Holy symbols are usually made out of silver, gold, or some other precious resource. Holy water also works as a sort of direct weapon against evil. Vampires can also be destroyed by direct damage and martial might, but so can anything in a high fantasy world. However, even with these powers, the Gods knew that vampires were too dangerous and powerful for mortals to clash with. With dark magic, shapeshifting, mind control, as well as superhuman strength and toughness; Vampires are the natural predators to mortals. In response, the Gods began to grant their followers new weapons against these dark forces; the banes.

Side Note- In some worlds, such as Goblin Punch's Centerra, Gods are very regional. Knowing the Gods of the region is as paramount to traveling through as is knowing the language and having a map. Using this concept, the vampires are instead cursed by the God's bane in their land.
Graf Orlok  @MitchGrave
Clerics can curse vampires. Cleric-curses aren't the same thing as regular black magic curses, they are like divine punishments sent from the heavens, and as such nothing except for a Wish spell can cure these. Naturally, divine-level magic that can cure normal curses won't work on a curse sent by the Gods. Clerics can curse any vampire that has an HD equal to their level or less. To curse a vampire, the Cleric must simple say a specific prayer while holding aloft their holy symbol. The Vampire will often flee even if the Cleric isn't turning them, simply to avoid this curse.

Once a vampire is cursed, they suffer the Gods bane. The vampire will suffer the bane of that specific priest's God, or if unaffiliated, a random bane is rolled on the table below.

Bane of the Vampires Table – Roll 1d10
[1] God of Craftsmen – Silver. Silver weapons or items deal more damage, similar to a werewolf.
[2] God of the Hunt – Wolfsbane. Similar to a werewolf.
[3] God of Fire – Fire. Regular fire catches on the vampire, dealing 1d6 per round.
[4] God of the Dead – Vampire must sleep in their native soil. This only makes the vampire weaker instead of killing them, but degenerate their HD by -1. Symbolic of returning to the grave.
[5] God of the Ocean – Running water. Rivers that flow to the ocean are impassable.
[6] God of the Hearth – Cannot enter a house invited.
[7] God of Farming/Fertility – Garlic. The vampire is repelled by it, as though turned.
[8] God of the Moon – Mirrors. Vampires don't shed a reflection, but a vampire with this bane are additionally turned by the sight of a mirror.
[9] God of War – Stake through the heart causes instant death. Normal vampires are usually killed by a wooden stake simply due to the damage taken, but this bane guarantees it.
[10] God of Merchants – Counting. The Vampire is forced to count out beans or grains of rice spilled on the ground; giving enough time to avoid their attack.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Fantasy Prison Generator

What is the Prison itself like? - 1d8
[1] Squat brown-bricked building. Four lumpy corners, small courtyard for “outside” time.
[2] At the bottom of a huge quarry pit. Can only get in or out via pulley basket, no need for cells.
[3] Underground, built into a refurbished cavern. Cells are just dead-ends with bars over the front.
[4] Tall, gray structure. Everything in the prison is in this one square building.
[5] Large camp with communal wooden houses, several layers of walls and fences protect it.
[6] It's on an island, built into old ruins. Prisoners can roam around, but must return to cells in the night time for role call or else they don't get any food. Monsters eat some of them, naturally.
[7] Huge iron bird-cages built over the rooftops of a sprawling fantasy metropolis slum. Locked trapdoors allows guards to enter or leave. Even if you slip out you'll just fall to your death.
[8] Built into a huge black wall; patrolled by soldiers. Defends the border of the land. Prisoners will almost certainly be given some improvised weapons and act as meat shields during invasions.

Who are the Guards? - 1d10
[1] Hobgoblins. The prison is very well organized and has a strict schedule and uniform.
[2] Dark Elves. They rule mostly through fear; punishments are harsh and terrifying.
[3] Orcs. Prisoners are required to do quite a lot of physical labor, the guards are all getting fat.
[4] Minotaurs or other herbivore beastmen. If you ask for meat in your rations you get beat.
[5] Gnomes. They use illusions, mirrors, and magical spells to instill order despite their size.
[6] Rat-Men. They are the best at finding smugglers and escape-routes; notoriously corrupt.
[7] Dog-Men. Proud, good noses to sniff out contraband, but a little gullible.
[8] Elementals. They are silent, following preset routines. Lightning elementals shock rioters, water elementals push them back into their cells as well as fill the canteens, etc.
[9] Humans. It's pretty normal, but they have very little idea with how to punish other species besides humans. “Oh an Elf stole from the larder? Uhh- don't let him hug a tree for at least a week!”
[10] Meat-Grinder Men. They're “living” people who have gotten torn up so much and put back together that they have mismatched body parts and skin patches from other mixed up guards. They are animated by a magical force, and cannot leave the prison anymore without falling apart.

Why are people sent here? - 1d8
[1] Political prisoners and inconvenient noble heirs.
[2] Debtors' Prison. 10,000c or more. Prisoners brag about their high interest rates.
[3] For being a savage, naturalist, or nudist. Tribesmen are sent here to be 'civilized'.
[4] For their own protection, but it turns out being in 'custody' isn't what they thought.
[5] Just regular, run of the mill criminals. The guards segregate the prison based on gang allegiance.
[6] Those marked by a special blue tattoo, which is cast by a Wizard curse. The curse doesn't do anything except give you a tattoo, so normal law enforcement does the work to send you here.
[7] Captured soldiers, waiting to be ransomed. Unfortunately, their home countries have probably run out of money in this point in the campaign, or maybe they don't even exist anymore.
[8] Religious Offenders. Priests who were corrupt, or just people who sneezed into the altar-bowl. This prison treats lacking faith and criminality as equal causes of incarceration.

How cruel is the punishment/general atmosphere? - 1d6
[1] Relaxed, laid back. Prisoners sometimes get day leave passes.
[2] Constant aid from outside organizations, such as healers or educators.
[3] Guards are neutral, even empathetic, but no nonsense.
[4] Strict and high tension. Riots and murders happen too often for comfort.
[5] Everyone is very professional, except for one cruel, malicious guard who is too well connected to be removed from his post. Punishments range from public humiliation to mutilation.
[6] Hell on Earth. Daily beatings, prisoners are rarely fed, prisoners prey on each other as much as the guards. Prison is occasionally bricked-in to starve off all the prisoners to get in a fresh batch. Warden is an actual demon, feeding on the suffering and pain.

Who is your Cell-Mate? - 1d10
[1] Verto. He's an elf serving a long sentence more out of curiosity then anything. Plays violin.
[2] Half-elf with some magic, needs protection. Blonde, thin, and young. Likely prison bitch.
[3] Three gremlins. Were arrested while in a trenchcoat, imprisoned as one. Argue all the time.
[4] Human villager, son of a leatherworker. Claims he's innocent. He is.
[5] Priest of the God-In-The-Walls. He's of a savage race like a gnoll, tribal orc, ape-man, etc.
[6] Runaway Princess, hiding her identity. Can heal curses and diseases with her kisses.
[7] Half-Back. An awful hunchback mutant, technically a prisoner but works too. Gets free reign around many places in the prison and can get you into the kitchen, morgue, or guardhouse.
[8] Little goblin, can't tell if it's a boy or a girl. Has a coat full of contraband and always willing to make a deal. Has two of the biggest dudes in the prison as bodyguards if you try anything.
[9] Centaur. Claims to have been a pirate once. Being stuck in a small cell with a centaur sounds terrible, but he actually gets the biggest cell in the place with a nice window.
[10] Lady-Killer. Half orc with an anger problems. Real quiet, good with a knife. Supposedly killed a prostitute, but that's not what he is in jail for.

What's the hottest Contraband going around? - 1d12
[1] Tengu Firecrackers. You need them for the big, banned holiday. Only two weeks away.
[2] Blood-Dust Shivs. They melt when they touch blood, leaving little evidence.
[3] Guard “Passes”, paper slips that you give guards to avoid a beating. Sold by guards, obviously.
[4] Soap, socks, and blankets.
[5] Scrolls of Magic Mouth. The gangs are using these for fast, secret communication.
[6] Lotion. It's being used to treat a communicable skin rash going around the prison.
[7] Key Charms. If snapped, they give the user very vivid daydreams of escape and freedom.
[8] Lil' Green Snakes. They're harmless, people just want to keep them as pets.
[9] Salt & Spices to sprinkle onto bland prison food.
[10] Rustmold. It grows on the cell bars in the damp parts of the prison. Scrap them off, dry them out, and then smoke them for a feeling of euphoria. The occupants of these cells is hotly contested.
[11] Alcohol. Common contraband, and all of it here is being bought up or stolen to a single gang leader. It's not being drunk, actually powering a little dwarven digging automaton for escaping.
[12] Brickback Chiggers. Little mites that burrow into the skin and itch the hell out of people. Used as a practical joke, but the prisoners don't know that 1 in every 10 people are deathly allergic.

What Weapon does the Warden carry to instill Fear into the Inmates? - 1d6
[1] Sexy fetish whip.
[2] Long curved razor, facial scars are given to the worst prisoners or those about to be executed.
[3] Magic Crossbow with shock bolts. Doesn't kill, but painfully paralyzes you for an hour.
[4] Mancatcher. The long pole has a button to switch neck-sizes it can wrap around.
[5] Syringe-slingshot tranquilizers. Inmates hit too often with it start to drool and become stupid.
[6] Croquet mallet. Just beats people over the head with it, despite its refined appearance.

A Riot has broken out! Why was it started? - 1d8
[1] Started by a Gang Leader. Wants to use riot as distraction to kill the warden.
[2] Started by a Gang Leader. Wants to use riot as distraction to kill another prisoner.
[3] Prisoners just found out that a vampire has been feeding on them at night.
[4] Minor Earthquake opened a crack in a wall or fence. Chance to escape if you get to it.
[5] The silent ogre prisoner in solitary had his little stuffed toy taken away. He's on the warpath.
[6] Rebellious prisoners are partying; they just want to break into the pantry and liquor cabinet.
[7] The same meal for the past two weeks has been served in the cafeteria.
[8] The guards actually started it. They're bored and want to bust some skulls.

How do People actually get released from the Prison? - 1d6
[1] On good behavior.
[2] Due to an outreach program.
[3] By a pardon from a powerful official.
[4] The prison will close down due to complaints. All inmates are released for suffering enough.
[5] By serving every single day of your sentence. Not a minute earlier.
[6] Not a chance in hell.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Abstract & Experimental "Storygame" Combat System

I once saw a blogpost about this concept. I think it had something to do with “cinematic combat” and used a picture of the Lurtz fight in The Fellowship of the Ring film with pictures as an example of the combat system. I still can't find this blogpost again after like a year, so I think I'll just write out my thoughts and outline the concept.

Basically I had this concept for highly abstracted, “cinematic” combat for a while now, but never found a good way to implement it in a game. This is very experimental, and is more for a “storygame” as opposed to a regular tabletop roleplaying game's combat system.
Edit: I actually found an old blogpost where I described this combat system already. This post still helps explain it better, so I don't think it's redundant.

Abstract Combat
Unlike normal games, characters don't deal damage. The “Fighter” class still exists and probably just gets a +1 to hit each level, which is very powerful in this system. Players still have Hit Points of their own, as well as AC and so on, they just don't carry weapons that deal damage. Instead, all weapons deal as much damage as they are fictionally capable. Monsters deal regular damage and players get normal defenses against it, to keep it from feeling unfair or that the DM is “sniping” players.

When you attack another human or an orc, for example, a spear will kill on a successful hit if you aim at their heart or throat. All combat attacks are “called shots” in other words. Monsters use an AC equal to their normal AC of that body part. If the attack is intended to be lethal or a “killing blow”, they add their HD to their AC. Because of this, armor only applies an AC value to the parts it covers; logically, monsters and people will try to cover their vital spots; poorer bandits will only cover their chest and head with armor, for example. This also applies to weapon hardness and material toughness; no normal blade can penetrate a dragon's scaly hide, and as such a normal blade cannot harm a dragon. You will need a magic sword- weapons only deal as much damage as they normally could do. Magic weapons bypass armor or deal extreme damage through their physical mechanics, not simple +1 modifiers.

Of course you can perform less deadly attacks to more vulnerable body parts to weaken creatures. Chopping off limbs with an axe, or performing drag cuts to cause bleeding, which can still be lethal if a living creature loses enough blood. Certain monsters, such as golems, zombies, or oozes, will become nearly unkillable due to this system- only a full destruction will fully stop them. As such, fights with these creatures more become about driving them off or disabling them in order to move past them.

This system means that Fighters will more or less keep up with creatures and need to spend turns rocketing for lethal attacks; since monsters don't deal any more damage then normal, you could instead use this system against players as well, making every character much more vulnerable. Having special features like a mutation to grant a second heart or an iron-hard skull suddenly become much more valuable then just having a +X to AC or maximum Hit-Points.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Garden- Psychic Rules

Some people have a special extrasensory awareness, towards the lies others tell or to events that happened far in the past. Others have claimed to see the future, or to move objects with their minds. Psychics are the name for these people. Something about a nocturnal lifestyle brings out the psychic potential in people. In Garden, you'd find about one person in a crowded diner with psionic abilities. While the number isn't huge, it's still miles away more common then on their original worlds, where psychic abilities are either extremely rare scientific curiosities or a shadowy fiction not thought of to be real. Garden has psychics in every level of society, from highly paid, telepathic bodyguards to homeless beggars leeching power off the grid to boil some snow to drink.

Some psychic powers generate stress. Psychic stress has no effect until it reaches 7 points or more. Whenever you gain stress when you have 7 points or more, roll 2d6. If you roll under your stress, your are knocked unconscious. Rolling over lets you resist this time. You are knocked out for a number of turns equal to your stress, reducing your stress by -1 each turn until back to zero.

The following powers are available to all Psychics-
Psychic Attack- Concentrate on someone you can see within throwing distance. You send negative emotions and thoughts at them, dealing 1d6 stress minus their psychic resistance. If two Psychics lock eyes and perform this attack on each other at the same time, the lower of the two rolls takes the stress from both rolls combined; the energy is redirected back at them.

Psychic Defense- Creating a “shield” of psychic energy around a person, place, or thing. This power gives its user 3 stress. Roll 3d6 die and mark the result. Whenever another Psychic wants to use a power on this thing, they must roll a d20 equal to or over this number in order to access it. If they fail, they must wait a turn to try again. Some psychic phenomena, such as psychic beings, could be blocked out of entering a location in this way. Once this barrier is broken by a successful roll, the shield disappears permanently. Additionally, when the shield is created, extra psychics can take 1 stress and add another +1d6 to the shield roll, where as the best 3 dice of all in the pool are used.

Mind-Reading- Psychics can focus their power on the minds of another being to sense one layer deeper then what is physically apparent. Using this power gives its user 1 stress. Using this on a neutral looking person will tell you what emotion or major desire is right under the surface. Using this on a clearly angry person will give you a hint at what or who their anger is directed towards and so on. This power can also work on special objects or a rare psionic nexus, but things this powerful and infused with psychic energy can be felt by any especially “sensitive” person.

These powers are what the most basic, common psychic has access to- but there are more powerful Psychics. In Garden, characters don't get experience points, so most advancement is based on wealth and political power. Psychics can advance by spending $2000 on cultivating their Psychic abilities. This includes things like money lost (trying) to use your powers to cheat at cards, buying focusing crystals or psycho-reactive drugs, purchasing strange items found in the lockers beneath the city, and so on. Psychics who spend this money learn a trick.

Psychic Tricks- Each Psychic trick can be used at the cost of 1 stress. These are “hints” of the Psychics blossoming power; whatever trick they have will determine what psychic power they can eventually develop. Tricks lack most practical benefits, but are the most overt and obvious signs of psychic power. Roll once on the trick table to determine your trick, you don't get any more.

Psychic Trick Table - 1d10
[1] You can create an electric shock strong enough to jumpstart a car or deal 1 damage to someone you're touching. It's stopped by rubber soles. (Electrokinesis)
[2] You can now light a candle in a second, just grabbing the wick with two fingers. You gain the ability to make heat in your cupped hands, similar to oven temperatures. (Pyrokinesis)
[3] You can now “touch” things up to two inches deep within a surface, physically sensing things buried within walls or in shallow pools of water. (Dowsing)
[4] You can now tell the last card that was drawn from a deck when you're blindfolded. You can only know things that happened within the past 5-10 seconds, and information is limited to a single short phrase or three digit number, not a sequence of words or events. (Retrocognition)
[5] Guess heads or tails from a coin flip. You have a 4 in 6 chance to be right. (Precognition)
[6] You can spin small objects, flip pages in a book, or gently pull or push things along a flat, smooth surface that weigh less then one pound. (Telekinesis)
[7] You can make a small object disappear from your hand and reappear in your pocket, or vice versa. The object must be a single bullet or smaller in size. (Apportion)
[8] You can heal a 1 hit point wound by touching the area and concentrating energy on it. This only works on wounds exactly 1 hit point or less, has no effect on larger damage. (Biokinesis)
[9] You can touch someone's hand to send them a blurry mental image or voice. You cannot have a conversation, just send a blurb. (Telepathy)
[10] You passively have a constant Psychic Defense around your mind equal to 3 points, or 15% chance to stop an enemy psychic attack. Your mind is like cloudy 'pea soup' to casual psychics. (Blanking)

After developing this trick, the Psychic may be spurred on by their newfound power. By investing another $5000 in their psychic development, they can finally gain a fully fledged Psychic Power. The Psychic Power they get is the advanced form of the trick- costing at least one psychic stress to perform their power but being able perform their old trick without it costing them any stress from now on. At this stage, the Psychic also now uses a 1d8 die for Psychic attacks and gain an extra point of Psychic resistance as their mental power has increased considerably.

Psychic powers beyond these in both power and scope begin to fall into the range of the infamous reality warpers. Psychics in Garden with a fully developed power are considered at the height of their “safe” power, and very few go beyond this. Rarely, a psychic may develop a second trick. This trick and second power only increases their strength, as Psychic powers add together to become stronger. The telekinetic with the powers of telepathy could move objects they can't even see, assaulting people in their homes without even having to step inside. The dowser with precognition could see a real 3 dimensional outline of where someone or something will be in the near future, letting them set up the ultimate heist or an unfortunate accident. Needless to say, Psychics who become this powerful are very feared and are on the path to full Psionic madness.

Psychic Powers-
[1] Electrokinesis- The power to create and control electricity. You can launch a bolt of electricity that deals 1d4 damage in short range, but prefers to hit metal targets. Treat rubber shoes, gloves, and so on as -1 damage to your electricity. You can also shock people by touching them that deals 1d6 damage OR stun someone with a melee hit. With your powers of electricity you can also influence machines; hotwire a car by touch, turn off or on a machine within the same room, or power a machine with your own mental energy- each turn of power requires 1 mental stress- Flying cars require 3 stress per turn to power due to their intense energy requirements.

[2] Pyrokinesis- You can control and conjure fire. You can launch of jet of flame at very short range or light something very flammable and dry on fire for 1d6 damage- water and normal skin is too flame retardant for you to be a killing machine. You can however detonate explosive ordnance within your sight- anyone carrying or immediately next to the explosive gets a save to toss it away or duck for cover before it fully explodes. Finally, you can turn up the heat around your body to intense levels, causing 1 psychic stress to you per round but dealing 1 damage to enemies in melee range.

[3] Dowsing- Allows to feel things remotely. Sensing objects by hovering your hand over them, and feeling things like psychic energy, heat, radiation, electricity, and even abstracted 'life force'. It is the advanced form of psychic intuition and extrasensory power. You can sense minor things buried up to 6 feet deep, and large objects like pipes or underground aquifers buried far beneath you. You can feel hidden compartments in walls, depending on the size of the space. You can also feel parasites or cancers growing in a person, as long as they have reached a significant stage in the disease.

[4] Retrocognition- The ability to see into the past. By touching an object, you can feel the psychic energies of what the object's owner imbued it with. You can tell if a knife was used to kill someone for example, but any more details will be too hard to tell. Retrocog can also give you psychic feedback on extremely tumultuous items or strange items from the lockers in the service tunnels. This feedback deals 1d6 stress damage, but most items that have this will be spooky enough in appearance and location as to give you warning- this is a risk you have inherently by opening yourself up to the past.

Additionally, you can investigate locations. By giving yourself 1d3 Stress, You can focus on a location to see up to the same number of days in the past. During this time, you can see rough forms moving and muffled talking, but very sudden or loud bursts of energy and noise (heightened emotions leave a stronger psychic stain) will be more clear. This period of focus is like a security camera, stuck at one location and every mundane moment must also be watched over. It takes an exploration turn of focus per day you want to search, in which case you will get only a few clues on the true happenings of what happened. Individuals are hard to identify, small items are blurry, and certain events are abstracted.

[5] Precognition- The ability to see into the future. The most sought after Psychic power. Almost all psychics with precog develop a “totem” or mental handicap that requires use to actually use this ability. The totem tends to be something they had or idolized as a child, or something they had on hand the first time their psychic powers awoke. This totem is not a single object but rather an action performed with an object. Examples include throwing “lucky” dice on the ground, drawing tarot cards, illustrating pictures with crayons, or hearing voices in a radio static. The few lucky precognates with the power to see into the future without a handicap make up about 1 in 4 telepaths; which is the chance you have to develop the purest form of precognition.

If you're intentionally peering into the future, it takes 1 exploration turn to divine your totem or to close your eyes and focus on the future. Otherwise, psychic visions come at you directly and immediately. Getting a vision or peering into the future always deals 1d4 Psychic stress to you, and you can only do it once per adventure/night.

Precognition allows the user to either retroactively avoid doing something that causes them harm immediately after it happened, (since you can't actually tell the future while playing a roleplaying game) in the form of a vision OR get a clue to the location or intent of a character. You can also use this power to know where a character will be in up to a day's time (and therefore, always meet them), but due to the chaos of the universe and unsure nature of psychic fortune telling, extreme circumstances might throw off your estimate.

[6] Telekinesis- Your powers of telekinesis have increased. You are now capable of “wrestling” with people at a distance, requiring their full strength to shove off. This is a “human” level of strength regardless of you or the enemy's alien racial origin, which could be much stronger. You can also levitate your body at a slow walking pace, allowing you to float or slow your fall. You can move objects equal to what a human could pick up or carry of an average level with a similar level of speed; heavy creates will slowly float up where as lightweight objects can be flung or levitated quickly. Finally, you can throw objects with enough force to deal up to 1d6 damage- this happens if you throw something like a knife or a pile of glass shards at a foe or a rock at someone's head. Softer or lighter objects will deal naturally less damage.

[7] Apportion- The power to instantly move or teleport matter. You can now disappear small objects even when they are observed, such as warping a gun out of your hand and into a nearby trash can to conceal it. You can't teleport objects that you couldn't physically grab or move, and any object that you couldn't conceal under your coat is too large to teleport. You can also apporate objects into your possession from through a single wall or barrier (such as inside a chest with you in the same room, or through a wall while you are outside) if you know of its exact location, but this costs 2 points of stress instead of one. Finally, you can teleport yourself up to a distance you can clearly see, or through a simple barrier if you've been on the other side before and know it well. Teleporting yourself costs 3 stress and if you fail a stress roll while doing it you disappear forever.

[8] Biokinesis- Your powers let you control the flow of blood and life. You can manipulate people's bodies, letting you cause temporary paralysis or unconsciousness on a successful melee hit. Aliens with a biology too strange for you may be able to ignore this effect. You can also heal people for 1d4 hit points at an equal cost of psychic stress. You can control a dead corpse as long as it isn't too degraded and you continue touching it, causing muscles to fire or the mouth to move and speak, requiring a point of stress every turn you control a body this way. People with Biokinetic powers can also manipulate their own bodies slowly over time. You can change your hormones, appearance, height, weight, and other factors- taking months to make significant changes similar to an endless puberty. You cannot change species or gain significant advantages, but regrowth of severed body parts or healing over permanent scars or other afflictions are possible.

[9] Telepathy- You can now send mental messages to someone you can see. These messages can include words, images, sounds, smells, or any other abstract “thoughts” that one could think. You can send knowledge this way, though anything too complex will be forgotten after an exploration turn. Beyond sending messages, you can also subtly manipulate the minds of others by sending them thoughts in secret, and if they do not know that a telepath is messing with them they may be thinking these thoughts at their own. This can include hallucinations for more skilled telepaths. If you grant a person an object of great personal importance you can send them messages at a longer distances; this costs 2 points of stress for long range thoughts.

[10] Blanking- The Anti-Psychic Psychic. The powers of a blanker disrupt the psychic fields and energies of other psyhic users or psychic manifestations. Blanks keep their basic Psychic abilities but their mind is simply too strange to develop a more traditional psychic power. The Blank becomes immune to any kind of mind reading or psychic attack, and become invisible to psychic sensing and scrying. They do not gain any special immunity or resistance against the powers of psychic that deal real, physical harm such as the fiery blast of a Pyromancer or a levitated object thrown at them.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Dirt-Simple Item Sockets

Items can have sockets. Whenever you find a hoard of weapons or armor, they have a 1 in 6 chance to have one socketed item among them. Socketed items are usually of the highest level of craftsmanship; masterwork items that were intended to be treasured. Due to how good dwarves are at crafting, assume that every dwarf treasure trove or tomb is filled with masterworks; increase socket chance to 2 in 6.

If an item has sockets, treat the 1 in 6 chance rolls as exploding. So if they have sockets, they have one socket. If you roll another 1 in 6, then they have two sockets. If you roll a third 1 in 6 in a row; then they have three sockets. At this point, stop rolling, as only legendary or special items have more then three sockets. Items also have a maximum number of sockets based on their size. For weapons, it's the damage die; 1d4 = 1 max socket like a dagger with a jeweled hilt. For 1d6 weapons like swords and axes its 2 sockets, and finally greatswords and polearms can have up to 3 sockets; embedded along the hilt, or inside the meaty head of the great war mallet.

Finally, sockets are always found empty unless the item was already owned; most socketed weapons found in ancient tombs had their gems pulled out and the item left to collect dust.. You can insert a socket with a gem whenever you wish as long as you're in town. Dwarves in the party have the innate crafting skill so they can socket a gem with a single turn of downtime and a small repair hammer. You can attempt to remove a gem from a socket, but it will have a 1 in 4 chance to chip the gem and lower its quality by one degree (Dwarves only have a 1 in 6 chance instead). High quality gems become standard, and standard gems become dust and are destroyed. Some gems are inherently more powerful then others; Diamonds, Rubies, Sapphires, Topaz and Emeralds are considered the most valuable and grant the most powerful bonuses.

Gems Powers
Every gem has a specific effect based on what it is socketed in and the type of gem. Consult the tables below for each gem type and what they do. Many socketed gems will add a small amount of damage to weapons on a successful hit, or increase resistances when placed in armor, and so on. These gems are elemental in focus, but other types of gemstones may not be; special rune stones, magic crystals, or jewels may have totally unique effects. Regular gems have a basic effect, with high quality gems which are larger or more brilliant have a more powerful, advanced effect.

Ruby gems have power over fire and are associated with strength.
Weapons- Deals 1 Fire Damage on a hit. Quality Rubies deal 1d4 Fire Damage on a hit.
Armors- Reduce Incoming Fire Damage by -1, Quality Rubies make the user immune to desert heat, and reduce all incoming Fire Damage by -2
Accessories- Wearer gains +1 to their Strength stat. Quality Rubies grant +2 to their Strength stat.

Sapphires have power over cold and are associated with intelligence.
Weapons- Deals 1 Cold Damage on a hit. Quality Gems deal 1d4 Cold Damage on a hit.
Armors- Reduce Incoming Cold Damage by -1, Quality Sapphires make the user immune to tundra cold, and reduce all incoming Cold Damage by -2
Accessories- Wearer gains +1 to their Intelligence stat. Quality Gems grant +2 to their Int stat.

Topaz have power over lightning and are associated with dexterity.
Weapons- Deals 1 Shock Damage on a hit. Quality Gems deal 1d4 Shock Damage on a hit.
Armors- Reduce Incoming Shock Damage by -1, Quality Topazes make the user immune to high altitude sickness, and reduce all incoming Shock Damage by -2
Accessories- Wearer gains +1 to their Dexterity stat. Quality Gems grant +2 to their Dexterity stat.

Emeralds are poisonous and are associated with nature and poison.
Weapons- Save vs poison on hit, take 1d6 damage on a failed save. This save triggers again every turn, with a successful save ending the poison. Quality gems have -2 for enemy saves against this.
Armors- While equipped, you +1 to poison saves. Quality increases this to +2
Accessories- Wearer restores +1 hit points if you sleep or camp in a natural place each night. Quality grants the regular bonus, plus you can go one more day without food or water.

Diamonds are powerful and are associated with purity.
Weapons- Makes the weapon +1. Quality makes it +2. Does not stack with other diamonds.
Armors- Makes the armor +1. Quality makes it +2. Does not stack with other diamonds.
Accessories- Wearer gets +1 to all saves. Quality grants +2 to all saves.

Amethyst are magical and associated with the arcane.
Weapons- Makes the weapon count as a wand or staff for the purposes of needing a spell focus. Quality gems make the weapon's attack ignore magic shields, blocks, or other spells such as Windwall as long as the bow is embedded with an Amethyst.
Armors- Grants +1 to spell saves and grants +1 AC vs summoned creatures. Quality increases the normal bonus to +2 each and makes all defensive spells last a turn longer if they last at least a turn.
Accessories- Grants an additional 1st level spell slot, once per day. Quality increases this to a 2nd OR 1st level spell slot, decided each morning when you prepare spells.

Citrine is associated with wealth and health.
Weapons- Grant nothing.
Armors- While wearing this armor, you gain +2 Maximum Hit-Points. Quality gems increase this to +4 Maximum Hit-Points.
Accessories- Grant protection over enterprises or households. 1 in 6 chance to avoid any disasters or economic failures that would harm your holdings. This only works if you're wearing the accessory for the entire time you are out questing, it's like a homeward charm of protection. Quality gems make this protection grow to 2 in 6, and grain a +5% bonus to income from your holding.

Amber is associated with toughness and rural life.
Weapons- Deals +1 damage to wild animals. Quality deals +1d4 damage to wild animals.
Armors- Grants +1 AC vs wild animals. Quality grants +2 AC vs wild animals.
Accessories- Wearer gains +1 to their Constitution stat. Quality grants +2.

Aquamarine is associated with the scholars and healers.
Weapons- Grant nothing.
Armors- Grant nothing.
Accessories- Wearer gains +1 to their Wisdom stat. Quality grants +2.

Jet is associated with luxury and the old world.
Weapons- Deals +1 damage. Quality deals +2 damage. Attacks with this weapon harmlessly pass through 'pure' beings. Such as virgin maidens, unicorns, monks, all-white lambs, etc.
Armors- Grant nothing.
Accessories- Wearer gains +1 to their Charisma stat. Quality grants +2. This charm works on most lower class people, but nobles see the wearer's charm as superficial.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

20 God Battles

[1] One Hundred Million Rats are throwing themselves from a great cliff into the ocean below. Within the water, which has turned a frothy red, the rats kill, eat, and fuck each other constantly. The great explosion of life makes it impossible to tell where the ocean begins and the swarm ends- it is unclear who is winning.

[2] Lightning strikes sideways at the sides of a great mountain which penetrates the clouds. The lightning is blasting off chunks of the mountain, causing rocks and debris to fall below and crush random pedestrians- the bystanders in the crossfire of most god battles are just mortals. Only occasionally do swirling clouds fly from the mountain to block a bolt of lightning- the small clouds inflate and explode into sandy glass dust. The entire mountain is moving at the rate of a burdened and strangled elephant, but the sight is still cataclysmic awesome- it cleaves through hills and shakes down empires on its slow, burdened ride to the edge of the world.

[3] The popular board game that many cultures play has a sudden problem. A certain piece is unable to take another piece- the God is unable to unwilling to allow its representative in the mortal world to be defeated by its foe. Wood refuses to move from its space on the board, glass pieces shatter instead of accept the humiliation. Knocking the piece over with the false piece sets it right back up. People have begun using stand ins or finding another game to play until this divine-level spat is over.

[4] The stream turns backwards. Rocks are shoved aside or fall into strange places, the fish swim in place, little circles as they flap going nowhere. The sandbars have created great swirling vortexes. The effect gets worse the closer to the sea you get; the water has backed up into a massive free-standing wall of liquid, refusing to mix with the salty brine water of the sea. Bears paw at the wall absentmindedly, clawing fish in half.

[5] Prey refuse to be hunted. The God of the Hunt is under attack, or at the very least, indisposed. Deer scuff up their tracks instead of being followed, or bravely rush hunters and wolves alike head on. Traps left in the forest are sprung with wooden prongs; small pits hidden with leaves have been dug by claw and hoof and left for the hunter's return. The antlers of bucks have grown long and ornate, refusing to fall each spring. Rabbits bite into the flanks of hounds or collapse their own tunnels- even farmyard animals turn up their nose at the slop they are fed. On a cosmic scale, the dominion of man over animals is put on hold.

[6] Iron goes cold, and stays cold. No amount of heat or fire can bend or sharpen a blade. The Elves have craft wooden weapons just for this occasion- they all remember the occasional time when the God of the Forge refuses to work. He must be busy somewhere else. Meanwhile, each night gremlins appear from the cracks in the walls, destroying the billows and twisting the shafts of the handles and calipers in the blacksmith's shoppe. They revel in chaos and despise this honest work- floors and anvils are made crooked and lopsided. When a bronze gong can be heard, all the weapons of the forge come alive and kill every intruder- it's a war fought in every silent worship and guild hall.

[7] The Ceremonies cannot end. The selfish Goddess cannot let the celebration pass; the festival continues long after the appointed date. Children in rotten masks play half hearted pranks, sellers in stalls have droopy, dusty candy, and the firecrackers go off like wet farts. The wind itself seems to have had enough; hijacked kites scream like banshees and tear through the market stalls, lighting themselves on fire to crash into the red and gold tents and the fire spreads down the line of decorations. The paper lanterns consume themselves greedily and try to destroy the festival; the fire has no intention to harming the people and burns paths for them to leave easily, even as the smoke billows harmlessly upwards. The smoke is white, clean, just nonsense to be over.

[8] Every person within a certain profession just goes blind. They wake up with milky eyes, unable to see. All the wetnurses, all the cobblers, all the tile setters, all the members of a specific guild; they curse and pray and beg the Gods for their sight to return. Their sight WILL return, when they switch careers. The profession is being strangled out, and people are forced to get by another way beyond the few stubborn blind old fools who refuse to change. The reason for this widespread curse? The patron of this craft had their main implement stolen, thrown into the eyeball of a great leviathan- an act of juvenile defiance and spite. The old-beast's blindness transferring to the workers. The slighted God simply sighs, calls a chariot of stars, and goes to retrieve it.

[9] The battle rages far above in a cloud; the glorious golden light and echoes of thunder are all you can see. It is a physical battle, and the force of each blow and closeness of each swipe can almost be felt by those far below. Occasionally, a divine weapon is deflected and falls to Earth, to be retrieved by angels within a few minutes. Those who are quick may be able to steal one away, but great misfortune is known to befall those found guilty of stealing from the Gods.

[10] The Moon is chasing around the stars like a hungry amoeba. They slither and dance away, winking out or flashing brighter to scare it off. It takes minutes for the bodies to change position and react to each other, hence their distance, but the sight is entrancing to mortals on the ground. Magic has gone totally haywire from the strange motions of the cosmos; spells are swapping targets and effects are doing the opposite of how they are supposed to. Spellbooks are vomiting up their text as ink all over the library floor. Many spellcasters are calling the night early, just hoping their mana doesn't decide to boil over in their throats in their sleep.

[11] The Moon is chasing the Sun. Every few seconds, the night turns to day and back again. This chaos is an upheaval for the entire world; crows are making themselves mute from their incessant cawing, flowers are bursting apart as they unsure if to bloom or retreat into their pods. The tides are sloshing and changing every few minutes, great tidal waves retreat as the water doubles back. There is a great sense of vertigo everywhere- those who think the world is a sphere tie themselves to something hard and heavy so they cannot be flung off the globe.

[12] Every trumpet sounds- the Lord has come. Nobody hears it, because every spider has been plugging up everyone's ears with web. The Lord is very annoyed by this, and seeks the arrogant godling who ruined his good entrance.

[13] Birds flock to the trees, cruelly plucking out their leaves. They've set fire to their nests and bring salt in their talons to sprinkle around the bases of the mighty old oaks. The trees move as slow as syrup, but shake and twist and occasionally slap a bird to the Earth in a crack of bone from a crackling, slow old branch. The weeds and mushrooms curl upwards curiously; knowing whoever wins, they'll be eating well shortly.

[14] The Volcano's lava flow curls into fists and giant swords, stabbing and smashing at the buildings and walls that would divert its destruction. It is fighting the civilization itself; the statues of the empire coming to life; crumbling marble bends up the Earth and carries sprays water from their pipes built to grace the public fountains. The humans who run by are being trapped by flaming nets cast from the oozing magma; pulling in their victims and cruelly burning them alive.

[15] In a grand old city, blood is being collected. Instead of touching and seeping into the stones and collecting there, it slithers along about an inch above the ground, floating from open wounds and sores, from the dead bodies killed in gang fights, or from the chairs at the barber and surgeon. Anyone can contribute by slitting a wrist and letting some out. It floats towards a back alley where a lizard is drinking it, preparing to do battle with a huge black cat with glowing eyes. Each moment, the lizard grows in size and mutates, its skin sharing the color of the lifeblood.

[16] They're fighting underground, and with each blow or wrestling grab and throw, the Earth quakes. You see a building popped from its foundation to be shoved down onto another, great piles of bricks and stone rumbling to the ground as the fight rages just out of sight.

[17] Hundreds of young children are flung from their windows each night, riding on horses made of bedsheets and wearing armor made from pots and pans, fighting in a land of dreams. The most imaginative is the most powerful, they laugh and play for their “noble houses”, each headed by the child priest of a foreign god. The jousting is an illusion of play, but the falls are very real.

[18] Two huge statues rise from the rocky fields. The figures of two gods, formed from rumbling stone, weilding their magic weapons and alit with holy fire and lightning. The two gods forms are spectacular, awesome, and truly humbling to all mortals who gaze upon the slow and measured duel. The arrows are flung in slow motion, crackling lighting from their spells is slug-like in its movement through the air, though no less deadly. Nearby, a tiny mole watches the fight with an animal glee, and a single white star on its head. It is the most powerful, and most in control of this battle, of the three gods present.

[19] The squabble in the desert is titanic in scope. The sand flows from one hill to another as it feels as though the land is tilted from one side to another- huge mountains of fine grained sand and stone entombing entire cities and temples. The dust devils pick up the pieces and fling them sloppy back into place, only for this God's own avalanche to cover up their rivals the only source of water for their foe's people in a hundred miles. To the Gods, a spit in the eye. To the people, a death sentence.

[20] Every single person to ever live is having their soul taken from their resting places, counted by the gates to the great beyond, the Gods weighing each and every sin and virtue, balancing them on the golden scales of life and death. The two Gods are locked in eternal struggle- is man good, or is man evil? The only way to tell is to measure each and every one. This bet has gone on since the dawn of time, and any man who would learn the stakes to know it was naught but for a single coin.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Monster Family- Goblins & Trolls

From left to right- Human for scale, Goblin, Hobgoblin, Troll, Hobtroll
Behind- Gobloaf

Goblin (1 -1 HD, 1d4-1 improvised weapons)
Morale- 6
Numbers- 1d8+1 Scouts & Sentries, 2d20 in a Camp, 2d100 in a Gobtown

Goblins. Short and stunted creatures with a robust gut ecology and little else. Most are green, but different variations exist among separate social groups of goblinkind. Goblins are incredibly stupid, violent, and short sighted beings that are only threatening to adults in groups. Goblins generate their hit points as 1 HD minus 1 hit point, and as such it is perfectly reasonable to find 0 HP goblins. These goblins are the especially weak and sickly ones, and will instantly die when hit with an attack. They are so weak that even attacks that normally cannot kill instead kill them; a satchel hitting their head with enough force can pop it open like a spoiled fruit. You can also kill 0 Hit Point goblins through things like pointing an expanded wand at them, which can emit enough tiny ambient magic to be lethal to such pathetic creatures. Goblins almost always use shitty, second hand improvised weapons. Due to both how bad these weapons are and the lack of physical strength goblins have, they only deal 1d4-1 damage, and thus deal no damage on a hit when they roll a 1.

Out of all the types of “people” in a fantasy world, most will agree they are the least “people” out of all of them. They breed like rats and fill up their environment to carrying capacity in a handful of generations, seeking to consume or be consumed by anything they find. Oddly, Goblins can seemingly eat anything from filth to flesh to plant matter, and yet their small tribes and groups can easily become obsessed with a single source of food to the point of starvation- a patch of lichen on a cavern wall, or the droppings of a specific beast they follow. Goblins also fear the sun and take shelter in caves and underground places despite it causing them no harm- in many ways, it seems Goblins are a cursed parody of ultra-specific cave dwelling creatures.

Beyond living in small tribes, following and worshipping anything more powerful then them, goblins are known for being one of the most commonly 'domesticated' types of monsters. Many cities contain goblin ghettos and warrens, where they work the least popular jobs, or goblins are commonly sold into slavery. Do to fantasy morality not necessarily being equivalent to real world morality; it may also be both righteous and better for everyone to keep goblins on a short leash. Unable to harm themselves or anyone else, their energy is put to good use in service.

Hobgoblin (2 -1 HD, +2 AC from Armor, 1d6 Weapons)
Morale- 8 to 10
Numbers- 1d6 Gang, 2d6 Raiding Party, 1d10+2 in Camp, 1d50 in Gobtown

These creatures are nearly human sized in height, though tend to be thin and wiry. They have dark green skin, long noses, and are less mentally retarded then goblins by a wide margin. Almost everywhere they exist, Hobgoblins bully and lead the small tribes and bands of lesser goblins into larger groups, with the Hobs as the obvious upper class. While still violent and very hardy, they prefer actual food to filth and will force lesser goblins under their command to eat scum while they eat the table scraps. The picture of goblin nobility. In gobtowns; the massive urban centers where goblinoids live together, Hobgoblins make a significant portion of the “upper class”.

Hobgoblins show their trollish ancestry much more then their little brothers, the standard goblin. Hobgoblins are known to regrow eyes and severed limbs after several years, though these always grow back a bit stunted and weaker then what they were born with. Hobgoblins are also a bit less communal then regular goblins, scheming against each other and backstabbing each other with impunity. It should be noted that regular goblins are too stupid to coordinate massive coups; it's usually the Hobgoblins coordinating the effort and pitting the lesser goblins against each other.

When it comes to inhabited dungeons and adventurers, Hobgoblins are better off in a fight then goblins, but still somewhat cowardly. They are not as strong as the average human soldier, but are much stronger then a standard goblin. They are usually found with primitive or scavenged weapons and wearing leather or cloth armor.

Troll (4-8 HD, +4 AC, +4 to hit, two attacks at 1d6+1 claws, regeneration, weakness to fire and acid)
Morale- 12 to 14
Numbers- 1d4 Gang, 1d8+1 Family, 1d6 in Gobtown

Trolls. The classic threat when wandering the world- they seem to thrive everywhere and can eat basically anything, though they prefer to eat anyone instead. Trolls are large humanoids with bright green skin, long gangly limbs, and sunken eyes that see in darkness. They attack with both arms; their claws and murderous strength lets them deal 1d6+1 damage from their attacks.

Their most infamous ability is to regenerate. After taking damage; they heal 1d4 hit points per round. Their severed limbs can be pressed back onto the stumps and after a round will be reattached, though this won't necessarily restore all of the lost hit points from the attack. Stumps cauterized with fire or acid cannot be regenerated. Clever trolls will bite or saw off their own limbs when they are alone that have been damaged by fire or corrosion as to fully heal themselves, or have to rely on the more slow and mundane natural healing that allows normal creatures to heal injuries like burns and scorching. Trolls will regenerate from anything, even from being diced up or beheaded, from the largest piece. These monsters are famous for both how dangerous they are, but also for their weakness. It is commonly known that trolls are weak to fire and acid, which stunts their regeneration abilities for that many points of damage.

Trolls, Hobgoblins, and regular Goblins are all the same species of creature. The difference between them is the amount of time they live, the amount of food they have access too, how much magic or power they gain in their life, and the will of the dark gods they worship. Some trolls remember being goblins, some goblins were once trolls, and hobgoblins are the awkward teenage phase between both. It should also be noted that greenskin, monsterous trolls have nothing to do with Old Trolls, who are a race free from the perversion of evil, these trolls are a degenerate offshoot.

Hobtroll (9-12 +1 HD, +6 AC, +6 to hit, three attacks at 1d8+1 claws, greater regeneration, weakness to strong acids and fire)
Morale- 16
Numbers- Solitary OR 1d3 group in razed Gobtown

Hobtrolls are massive trolls. Their skin is an even brighter shade of putrid green, and they have a third arm growing from their chest. As with all trolls, they regenerate and have ravenous appetites. As the pinnacle of the troll bloodline, their psychopathy and mental state has decayed to a point where armor and weapons only exist for them in a temporary state. They will pick up and use weapons they can see, but only have a 2 in 6 chance to take weapons with them or go to a lair with weapons or armor in preparation for a fight. This chance is also used to see if the Hobtroll is smart enough to avoid an obvious trap. Despite this, they are still incredibly dangerous and will try to attack anything they see.

Their powers of regeneration are greater then normal trolls. They heal 2d6 hit points per round, and can heal damage from normal fire and acid attacks. Only the attacks of purified forms of those elements, spells that deal damage of those elements of 4th level or higher, or powerful elements channeling fire or acid can permanently damage them.

Unlike normal trolls, Hobtrolls cannot integrate into any kind of society. They are only found among other goblinoids if they're currently killing them all or eating the remains. Very rarely, Hobtrolls may join together in a loose group only in an act of endless aggression. Their mental state has decayed where they can only speak in very short, single word sentences. They only value treasure in a transparent way, but can retain sizable treasure hoards from when they were smarter, regular trolls due to their sentimental memories of it.

Gobloaf (10 +10 HD, +2 AC, +2 to hit, 6+1d4 tentacle attacks at 1d4+1, mindless, slime body, greater regeneration x2, weakness to strong acids and fire)
Morale- N/A
Numbers- Always 1

The Gobloaf is not a normal member of the troll family. These are mutants. While occasionally made from an especially tough hobgoblin or from a fetid, chopped-off troll limb, most of them come from Hobtrolls who eat several goblins, or a very pregnant goblin female who dies before giving birth to her liter. This creature is a tangle of green flesh, tangled goblin limbs, and slimy tentacles of primordial creation. It looks like an elongated cube with a thin part in the middle, like a massive amoeba stuck in mid fission, and hence has been referred to as a loaf of bread.

The gobloaf is similar to a shoggoth or other ooze-style creature. It doesn't move beyond very slow, glacial travel along its own slimy excretions. It's a totally mindless creature, using its tentacles to pull in anything nearby and try to either smear it against its skin to slowly absorb nutrients or throw it away from its random flailing. It doesn't have eyes or any kind of head or mouth. Every Gobloaf has between 7-10 tentacles, which can attack anything within melee range. As a partially slime creature, the Gobloaf is able to squeeze through loose gratings and physical objects can get stuck in it, but it is more viscous then most slimes or oozes.

The Gobloaf has all the powers of a great greenskin troll and regenerates at twice the speed of one, restoring 2d6 hit points per round. This incredible regenration can only be stopped by powerful magic fire or acid attacks, or anything that can drain enough life from this creature to weaken it. The Gobloaf is an extremely uncommon creature, but its fluid is used to create the Drought of Cancerous Regeneration and its skin can be used to create Evermeld Armour; magic self-repairing magic armor that keeps the Gobloafs healing long after it is dead. The few gobloaf's who form nearby goblin tribes are revered as living gods, thrown the corpses of intruders or dead goblins to keep the beast fed. Some have even been semi-domesticated, allowing for goblins to use them in battle while only rarely will the Gobloaf attack one of their own, hinting at a unnerving intelligence within this amorphous mass.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Game with Death Concept

In some folklore, people who are dying can play a game with "death" or the Grim Reaper to come back to life. Many deaths let the souls pick their own game, but mine doesn't. He has a very specific game in mind. It's Tic Tac Toe. If you win OR draw, you come back to life at 1 HP. If you lose, death takes you on to the afterlife and that character is lost permanently.

However, you will notice the game's board is quite different. Each square has a single aspect of the character that they won't want to lose. It could be people nearby them and their companions, or it could be the features they most value in themselves, their wealth or magic items, or even things in the campaign world they'd want to represent. You get to go first, and you play with circles to “protect” things you want. Death plays with the Xs, and whatever he crosses over you lose. Or you could let Death go first if you'd like letting him start the game off and pick what he wants to take.

To use this in your game, you could premake a few naughts and crosses boards for your various player characters. Draw pictures of their body parts to represent their stats or just write out what they'd lose if that space is taken. Obviously this game would mean characters will have to give something up, even forcing them into a draw still means they lose parts of themselves for good. This concept obviously works best for game worlds with more personal, perhaps evil incarnations of Death. You could just as easily swap this figure out for something that wants to trade your “soul” to it like a demon, or perhaps a Warlock's patron granting a favor if you win a "game".

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

6 First Level Summoning Spells

[1] Cappyrs Snake - 1st level
Out of the palm of the caster's hand comes a long black tube that writhes in midair. It is a Cappyrs Snake, a special type of constrictor without a head. Its long black body ungulates around as though it can fly, and constricts and attempts to crush anything it wraps around even though it cannot see or eat; it still targets living beings before attacking objects.

When summoned normally, this spell takes a full round to extend out of the caster's hand, becoming a long 3 HD snake which deals 1d8 damage each round it crushes someone. It can only be escaped on a successful save at -3, the save difficulty being increased if the snake has a higher HD. It has an AC of 14 from its scales and attacks anyone- it has no loyalty to its caster. It will attack the nearest being when summoned, but is ejected at about the range of a spear's thrust when the spell it cast. While this spell is quite powerful compared to most 1st level spells, the fact the snake is a truly neutral and aggressive creature makes this spell more powerful; normal summoning spells are restricted in power at 1st level simply due to needing the spell to be “safe” before casting. Not so for the Cappyrs Snake.

Additionally, the snake can be “cut” down to size when summoning it, by chopping at its body with a karate chop by the spell caster. You can make the snake “small” at 1 HD and d4 damage, or “medium” at 2 HD and d6 damage, or keep it as the normal large version. This requires the caster to make a saving throw vs magic to successfully do, and on a failure the snake isn't put out far enough and attacks the magic user instead. The snake lasts for 6 combat rounds.

[2] Monitor Monitor - 1st level
This spell makes a lizard. The small monitor lizard is a 1 HD creature with a 1d4+1 bite and an AC of 14 from its fast feet and scaled skin. The monitor lizard is like any other, and has a reptile brain filled with nothing but thoughts of food and fighting, and maybe fucking, though its unlikely to get a chance since this dimension doesn't have its exact species.

The monitor monitor is extremely territorial. It will attack absolutely anything that enters its “territory”, which is wherever it is summoned, usually a single room or small copse. The monitor will not attack the party as it considers them objects in its territory, unless they leave and try to reenter the area. It will attack giant monsters, armored warriors, terrifying ghouls or literally anything else that tries to come in, biting and gnashing with its claws, even breaking its teeth against foes too tough for it to bite. The monitor will always fight to the death and lasts for 6 turns until it disappears.

[3] Sunlit Marble - 1st level
Conjuring this marble requires a source of direct sunlight, though it can be sunlight produced through a magical item or spell. The spell condenses a small amount of the sunlight into a small marble which floats in mid air. If the marble is hit with an attack (AC 20 for ranged attacks since it's so small, but no need to roll for melee since it doesn't move) that deals 4 damage or more, it is shattered. Beyond this, the sunlight marble can continually produce light as a torch in its same spot for up to one full hour before fizzing out, allowing sunlight to be sustained in a small area even after night falls or if the sky is magically blocked by darkness.

The Sunlit Marble is an intelligent creature. It holds sunlight in itself and has a love and respect for all life, while it has a hatred of the undead. Every round, it casts turn Undead as a level 4 Cleric, and all Undead must flee its radius of light on a turned result. It can deal normal damage or kill vampires, if they were dumb enough to enter the field of light. 

The sunlit marble can 'speak' in slow pulses of light that let it communicate; it can report what it has seen but only knows the difference between things if they are “bad” (undead), “good” (alive), or “tickles” (plants, because they feed off its sunlight).

[4] Summon Groveling - 1st level
The Groveling are the most pathetic race to exist. This isn't an opinion, it's a fact. Grovelings occupy a cosmic position on the hierarchy of all beings, they are much lower then most pets and are certainly lower then even the most low born human; most trees are higher on the scale. They are “people” in the lowest possible state they can be. Grovelings are beings that exist to serve other beings, and are often summoned by goblin Sorcerers looking for an ego boost. They aren't native to the normal dimension, as any world that has predators would be too dangerous for Grovelings.

When a Groveling is conjured, it will instantly bow down before and furiously worship the first living being it sees. They appear as gremlin-like creatures, with patchy fur (it doesn't grow back), bright sad eyes, and a tiny frame. Most are less then 2 feet tall. They have washed out colors that prevent them from being attractive or beautiful but they are too colorful to blend into their surroundings. They are as intelligent as a kobold or goblin, and can use tools, but are simply pathetic. All Grovelings have 1d2 hit points, an AC of 5, and deal ½ a point of damage on a successful hit in combat with any weapon- this means that at least one other Groveling must hit the target for a single point of damage to be made, or the target be hit with a small nonlethal attack, be a near miss for an AoE spell, be cursed, or have some other method to make the half a point of damage tick to a full point. The exception to this rule is for swarms of tiny beings like worms or insects; Grovelings can kill a single member of the swarm per round. While a single member of the swarm is just an annoyance to you, and the swarm is the danger, to a Groveling the individual of a swarm is like a wolf it must face in deadly single combat.

While extremely weak, the Summon Groveling spell is a commonly taught first summon for many magic users. Grovelings have names and can therefore the same individual can be summoned multiple times if they don't die (unlikely). They stay within this realm for the duration of 1 day, and will obey any order given to it by an intelligent being who isn't directly trying to murder it; they are spinelessly loyal to a fault and will tolerate a large amount of abuse before thinking of escape.

[5] Spinsticks - 1st level
This spell creates a small white stick. The stick is actually a living creature from another world; a close look reveals a small bump on its body where it's primary nervous system is located, small discolorations near each end are 'eye spots' to help right itself, and several centrifugal muscles help it perform its one job. When the stick is spun standing up, it keeps spinning for two turns. After the two turns is over, it has lost its energy and falls to the ground dead. The spinstick can act as a reliable timer in a place where normal methods of keeping time do not function or are influenced by malign forces. The spinsticks can also act as a distraction or trap by spinning something on its head; a plate or flaming candle dish that falls into the oil on the floor when the stick stops spinning.

[6] White-Faced Oil Monkey - 1st level
This spell conjures a White-Faced Oil Monkey. The creature is a small, long tailed monkey with a painted white face like geisha. It carries a small gourd with a stopper around its neck, which is filled with oil with a blueish tint. The power of the White-Faced Monkey is that it can communicate with any creature with hands using a type of special sign language. As such, it can communicate with lemurs and raccoon, as well as larger monkeys and apes, and then translate these to humans using a more complex form of sign language, or by writing down what was said on a piece of paper provided to it. The monkey notes that otters have a distinct “water” accent, and the monkey cannot communicate with oceanic creatures even with hands, as their accent is too foreign.

The monkey is a 1 HD creature, but has an AC of 18 as it can dodge, jump, dance, and easily avoid almost all physical attacks. It cannot attack. The monkey is not a slave but will follow and obey whoever summoned it, becoming playful and playing pranks if ignored or running away if put into a bad situation on purpose by its master.

Finally, the monkey carries oil. The oil in its flask is a blue spirit oil, which flows like water for living beings, but is as slippery as the Grease spell for any spirits, ghosts, or intangible beings. This can prevent many ghosts from materializing, as they must stay still to do so, where as this oil will make them slip away. The monkey lasts for up to 1 turn if summoned for communication, or for 1 round to pour out its oil and vanish, as it ceases to exist when its oil is removed from its gourd.