Sunday, May 31, 2020

Dirt Simple Turn Undead

By popular request.

Trying out a drawing tablet
Dirt Simple Turn Undead
Everyone can Turn Undead. All you need is a holy symbol. I like more animist religious stuff, so I divide it into Magic Charms (one use, but cheap) and Holy Symbols (unlimited uses, but expensive). You can also put a Magic Charm over a doorway or something and it keeps spirits from going through it if you've already turned them, or like lock the spirit back in its coffin, but it's just a slip of paper so if somebody tears it off the spirit is free that easy. Really expensive holy symbols like gold ankhs or portable altars and the like give you +1 or +2 for the contest.

Everybody can only turn undead 3 times a day, regardless of the symbol.

When you decide to turn undead, the user holds up the holy symbol and says a prayer. Then, compare the level/HD of the Turner to the unholy creature;

If the Monster has a higher HD then the Turner's HD, then the monster cannot attack them for one round. Even a powerful demon or wraith will pause at the sight of the cross.

If the Monster has a lower or equal HD then the Turner's HD, the monster is turned and must flee.

If the Monster has less remaining Hit Points then the Turner's HD, the monster is destroyed.

Clerics, Sages, or other classes with a role involving dealing with spirits and the undead treat their level as being higher for the purposes of Turning. Something like +1 starting at 2nd level, and going up every other level. So at 2nd level they can turn a 3 HD Undead, at 4th level Turner counts as 6 HD and are guaranteed to destroy a 1 HD skeleton, etc.

Also also; this is mostly a single target thing, but a really high level Sage could totally split up their HD worth of turning power to rebuke a whole room of zombies. If you don't like the idea of a 1st or 2nd level Sage/Cleric being able to destroy undead this early on in the game, just make it so you have also have a higher level then the monster's HD in addition to beating it's current Hit Points

Also 3: Add your Wisdom modifier to this contest, because it fits and Wisdom sucks anyway. Gives a little more character variation and makes Cleric or Sage-types more likely to want to play them if they get a high Wisdom at character creation.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Giant Evil Spider Generator

All Giant Evil Spiders begin with;
  • 6 HD
  • AC as chain (14)
  • Morale 13
  • 3 in 6 chance to surprise (by creeping up behind)
  • Ability to shoot webs. Entangles if a save is failed, fires once every three rounds. You can escape webs by having a Strength of +3 and better or by cutting yourself out with a knife.
  • Bite attack that deals 1d6 damage with a save vs poison or die venom.
  • Alignment of Evil

Spider's Body – Roll 1d6
[1] Big Eyed (Can speak simple words) Two huge eyes dominate its face.
[2] Ghostly (Phasing thru its own webbings) Slightly transparent, wispy visions of death.
[3] Squat (Fast) This spider charges down its prey, rarely needing its webs at all.
[4] Fat Abdomen (Webs paralyze w/ 1 in 6 chance) Fires its webs with great speed and accuracy.
[5] Pregnant (Births 2d6 Giant Spiders when first hit, +3 morale) It has tied eggs to its back with webs and will fight to defend its young. After 1 exploration turn its motherly instincts will fade away.
[6] Hairy (Gains hair cloud attack- kicks up hairs that prevent spellcasting) Tarantula like; the spider's fur is filled with irritating barbs. If killed and skinned, the hair could be sold for 800c

Legs – Roll 1d4
[1] Huge (Can Jump 35 ft) Its forelegs are gigantic and well developed.
[2] Clawed (Gains claw attack at 1d4) The claws on its feet are large and cruelly hooked.
[3] Spindly (Ignores slow and hold spells) It can walk as though on stilts.
[4] Armored (+2 AC) Its legs have bony plates like a crab. It raises them to its face as bulwark.

Color – Roll 1d6
[1] Earth-Tone (+1 HD) This spider almost looks like a natural creature.
[2] White (Stealthy; +1 in 6 chance to surprise) Its body is ghostly, totally silent.
[3] Scintillating (Spider reflects first spell) Its body shines depending on how the light hits it.
[4] Gray (+1 morale) This spider is old, injures along the legs it almost lost.
[5] Green (Frog Minion) This spider keeps a tiny frog which keeps it free of parasites. The frog is a Green Spider-Frog (2+2 HD, AC as leather, 1d6 leap attack, croak on death alerts spider)
[6] Black (Deadly Poison, Add “Very” to front of Alignment) This spider's bite gives a saving throw inflicts enough damage to drop the victim to 1 Hit Point on success. On failure is still death.

Webs – Roll 1d10
[1] Round Web (Change alignment to “Neutral”) The archetypal web, and archetypal spider. Only cares about its next meal, only attacks those that attack it or what falls in its web.
[2] Funnel Web (Hazard) Covers the walls, floors, and ceiling of an area leading to an entrance
[3] Trapdoor (+2 in 6 chance to surprise) Leaps out from a trapdoor; held together by strand.
[4] Airbubble (Aquatic for up to 2 turns) Spins a net to trap air; can dive to great depths.
[5] Drawcord (Can leap/fall and retract) Ambushes or drops down; loves to single out prey.
[6] Net (Web ability has -2 to victim save) Throws web nets with its webbing.
[7] Tangle (Hazard) Spider lays down lines of web during combat, seemingly at random. Party members attempting to flank the spider have a 1 in 6 chance of accidentally tripping over a web.
[8] Projectile (Gains web flail attack, deals 1d6 damage) This spider connects a strand of its web to a stone and twirls it around with its ass to smash it into people like a long flail.
[9] Supernatural (Curse) This spider's web contains many hunched over figures of wrapped up prey. Once per day, it can cast a Curse of Weakness which reduces the victim's strength modifier by negative 2d6. Drops target to a minimum of 1 Strength. This lasts for up to three exploration rounds.
[10] Communal (+1 HD, 1 in 6 chance to attract a Giant Spider upon combat) This spider's web is too big and sprawling for even itself. Tiny spiders, fist sized spiders, and giant spiders all pitch in. The Giant Evil Spider is clearly the alpha of this group.

What Priceless Treasure is stuck in the spider's web? Roll 1d8
[1] Several dozen gold coins, woven into the web at regular intervals; it's art.
[2] Dead dwarf corpse, still clutching a handful of uncut gems.
[3] Silvered Breastplate. Adds +5 AC, or treat AC as plate.
[4] The web itself. This could be spun into silk; 100 coins worth per 1 armful of sticky web.
[5] The still living Princess, wrapped up for supper. Return her to her father to get one single “get out of jail free card” in this kingdom and a thank-you cake with 1000c worth of real gold utensils.
[6] Chest suspended 50ft in the air. If cut down it breaks open with a huge crash and draws in a wandering monster. The chest contains 2d6x100 silver coins.
[7] The Hat of Legerdemain. Any one item, that can fit in your palm, placed in this hat cannot be found by anyone but yourself. Additionally; treat your Rogue level as one higher.
[8] The Magical Sword that will defeat The Dark Lord.

What is this Giant Evil Spider's favorite prey and why? – Roll 1d10
[1] Humans & Elves. Easy.
[2] Orcs. Juicy.
[3] Dwarves. Gets it drunk.
[4] Cave bats. Common.
[5] Wizards. Replenishes magical reserves.
[6] Great heroes and villains. Only eats once a century; sustained by liquefied experience points.
[7] Snakes. Proves that 8 legs are better then none.
[8] Goblins & Trolls. Once you catch one, more come.
[9] Dragons. Natural predator.
[10] Other spiders. Less competition for mates.

What is this Giant Evil Spider's Name? - Roll 2d8
1st Roll
2nd Roll
Grim S-
[Color] Yo-
-r the Death

Saturday, May 23, 2020

4 Races of the Chaos Wastes

[1] Frooks
The Frooks are reddish skinned humanoids with flat noses and widely spaced eyes. They are taller then a man, and much stockier too. Their hair is black, gray, or white- the colors of ash. They have thick, four fingered hands and three toed feet. All Frooks are all pyrophiles; all of them have at least some love and fascination with fire. If you cast a fire spell or brandish a weapon enchanted with fire at them, they will be stunned for one round to gawk in amazement, but this only works once per combat encounter against the same Frooks.

Frooks have a relatively simple tribal society, and are also the most well developed and neutral of all the races of the Chaos Wastes. They're also the only one that cooks their food. To be a race that loves and needs fire and live in a place with almost no vegetation means you need to have some kind of organization, or else you'll burn those little resources. They cultivate some small farms for briers and weeds used exclusively for fires, along with tiny stunted squash plants and flytraps for food- the flytraps are farmed for their fleshy pads; waste is piled around these plants to attract flies. They wear loincloths in their villages, but give tunics to their samurai.

They live in small semi-permanent dwellings, which are called Odos. These are half buried houses made of adobe. Frooks live the majority of their lives outside, in tents or under the stars, but nursing mothers, old village elders, weapon-makers, wandering samurai, and young men on their birthdays get to live in the Odo. This is also where they keep the simple clay tablets that contain their primitive writing system; each house has a library of 2d6 tablets detailed debts or heroic individuals who have lived there. 1 in 8 chance for a tablet to contain a protospell.

Like many of the primitive and chaotic races, they learned how to work metal before they learned the arts of farming or animal-husbandry, and even with their low weak fires they can sculpt iron into rough shapes and simple weapons; these are excursively for the samurai, as it takes quite a lot of firewood and reeds burnt to create a basic iron weapon. Samurai are usually armed with a square, pointless hatchet or a short iron poker spear. Villagers carry stone and bone tools and weapons instead, the most popular being a stone adze for digging in the harsh rocky soil and cutting tough roots.

Frooks are not ruled by entrenched lords but instead by their samurai. These are wandering men are granted a weapon, flint and tinder, and some cloth as badges of office. They are trained in ancestral law and common sense, and travel around the Frook-owned lands. They collect taxes by just demanding things of the locals, and settle any disputes or slay nearby monsters that people are suffering from whenever they pass by as duties of office. Samurai can become quite burdensome and abusive if allowed to stay and leech off a community for too long, which is when the Frooks gang up on them to beat them out of town. For a tough, violent race like them, this is a pretty efficient method of governing. Becoming a samurai is considered an honor, but samurai often are forced to fight other creatures of the chaos wastes or fight each other to represent various factions; it is a dangerous life.

Finally, Frooks are among the most neutral of all chaos races, and if you approach a town with no weapons drawn and in small numbers they will not be hostile. Frooks do not trust humans, but are willing to trade. They desire metal tools and armor as well as alcohol, which is becoming a favorite drug, and will give food and water in exchange. Due to lacking the “funds” to trade high value items with you, they will instead craft a samurai tablet, which binds a wandering Frook samurai to serve and protect you for up to a maximum of three years. These tablets have records of what village made them- The samurai are bound by service to honor these tablets, but may betray the contract since they aren't exactly getting paid for it. The samurai can just extort the village back what value they lost from fulfilling the tablet, and keep them as receipt of services rendered.

HD- 2+1
AC- 9
Morale- 11 (13 in the Odo)
Numbers- 1d6 on village outskirts, 2d6 in Odo
Attacks- Meaty Fists at 1d4 or Stone Tools at 1d6
Abilities- None

The Frook rabble are just the villagers and capable adult Frooks that rise to defend their home. They are usually carrying bundles of weedy sticks for firewood or clay pots that they throw down when a fight starts, but some carry stone axes that they will bring to bare. Frooks are a bit dimwhitted and enjoy fighting, so they have higher morale then most normal people. If they are heavily outnumbered, the rabble will still yell out for any nearby samurai to help them.

Frook Samurai
HD- 3+2
AC- 11
Morale- 12 (14 if defending Odo)
Numbers- 1d2 in a village, 1d4 in wandering band
Attacks- (+1 to hit) Crude weapons at 1d6
Abilities- First Strike, First Aid

Frook Samurai have been trained in the art of war and are well fed, larger then most adult male Frooks. They wear cloth sashes and tunics, granting them a little protection, though some very prosperous villages may have Samurai that wear proper armor, imported from other races. Frook samurai are taught all the known secrets of statecraft that the Frook people know, and even know how to bind up wounds and cure acid burns by applying cool ashes. This takes a turn of downtime, and heals 1d6+1 hit points to a friendly target, as long as they have the materials.

On the first round of combat, Frooks gain an extra attack by performing an advanced drawing technique with their weapon. This attack deals the same damage on a hit as a normal attack, and must still roll to hit- this special move can only be performed if the Frook was not surprised.

[2] Cro
The Cro are opposite orcs. It is usually pronounced just as “Crow”, which is also a nickname given to them from the black cloaks they wear. Orcs are green, so Cro are reddish-violet. Orcs are strong, so Cro are weak. Orcs are warriors, Cro are spellcasters. Orcs have tusks, so Cro have dumb little sabertooth cat fangs. Orcs are muscular, so Cro are thin with pot bellies. Orcs wear nothing but loincloths, so Cro wear long robes that cover almost all of their body. Orcs have honor, so Cro are craven. That's basically what a Cro is like. Some believe their race was once one; the Orcoc or Coroc, but nobody is sure. Oh, and all this is assuming you're using Chaos race Orcs, the green skinned ones who live in generic fantasyland; not real orcs that are pig people who live underground.

The Cro rarely make settlements on their own. They don't live in the badlands as stoic wanderers, as a respectable Orc might. Instead, the Cro try to nestle themselves into a city or village of a different race. This allows the Cro to band together and fulfill their need for backstabbing and cowardly manipulation without turning on each other as would be in a Cro settlement. The Cro prefer to subsist on the charity of other races; infesting themselves into social circles and towns, begging and pleading, and manipulating others both for their food, wealth, and supplies. In places where they are dominant, or in places where it is legal, they prefer to take slaves and make them perform all of the labor for them as they lay back and get fat on the fruits of their labor.

The Cro are not strong warriors. They do not use weapons and their spindly arms and legs can barely support their own body weight, much less the weight of weapons or armor. Instead, they use the bodyguards made from their slaves or hired servants, and magic. The Cro love magic and wish to get their hands on it as much as possible. If your setting includes “psionics”, then the Cro are all naturally talented in the art. If not, then the Cro just have an innate “mind blast” power coming from their race's magical aura and bloodline.

This race has little empathy- they care not for their children or servants. Compounded with their treacherous nature, cooperation between them is also strained and forced. The only way they get along with each other are through magical vows, as they lack the honor to honor agreements. These vows can be done by anyone, including non-Cro, simply requiring hands to be held and words spoken. These vows deal 2d6 damage to a person if they break the vow; and the vow can also be nullified through a remove curse spell. The Cro make these vows to ensure their survival with each other, but will gladly and constantly seek to weasel out of them. Powerful beings can simply live with the consequences of breaking the vow, but most beings must follow the vow or perish.

HD- 1-1
AC- 8
Morale- 4 (12 if standing behind guards and laughing evilly)
Numbers- 1d2 counselors, 2d6 coven
Attacks- (-2 to hit) 1d4 claws
Abilities- Mind Blast, Spells

The Cro never fight alone and are easily overpowered if they do so. They prefer to hide and use their powers at a distance. Each Cro can use a Mind Blast only if they have not taken any damage, their pain resistance is too low otherwise- they scream and cry like babies if even hurt by 1 hit point. The Mind Blast deals (1d6 minus the target's Intelligence modifier) more damage to stupid targets. Many Cro also learn magic spells- 1 in 3 chance the Cro knows a 1st level magic spell. If they know a level one spell, there is a bonus 1 in 6 chance they know a 2nd level spell in addition to the first.

Slave Warriors
HD- 1
AC- 14 (armor)
Morale- 18 (cannot break their vow)
Numbers- 2d6 Bodyguards
Attacks- (-2 to hit) Spears at 1d6-1
Abilities- Magic Vow, Unwilling

These are slave warriors. Unfortunate runaways, orphans “adopted” by the Cro in the cities, mercenaries tricked into signing long contracts, etc. They are all sworn to protect their Cro masters, and it is very likely they will die if they break it, as such they are very loyal and will not break rank. However, the slaves despise their masters and will seek to undermine them at every step they can; they cannot attack their masters nor allow them to be attacked without breaking their vows, but especially if fighting against members of a good race they will attempt to undermine without breaking their magical contract. Ignoring sounds at the back of camp during the night watch, throwing down their weapons seconds before a fight begins so they must pick them up first, keeping their weapons poorly maintained and so on. The slaves also know that when their Cro who owns them dies, they will be free, and eagerly await someone who can kill their master without harming them as well.

[3] Bladelings
Short, thin, and agile. This race has very smooth, dark black skin that forms into body-hugging plates, similar to an exoskeleton. Along their limbs and joints are dark black grooves, which are natural weak points. The bladelings do not need to wear clothing due to their tough skin, but still do for the sake of modesty and ornamentation. They have darty red eyes sunk into their eyesockets, which hint at their violent nature and killer instinct.

The bladelings are a race of beings that live in the Chaos Wastes; usually crowding around natural caves and rock formations, as well as stony fields and other places with natural cover, as they do not build their own homes. They are exclusive carnivores, and subsist both on the flesh of people who wander into their territory as well as their limited domestication of the dark brown lizards that sun themselves on the rocks near their homes. Bladelings like to strip the flesh from the bones, then leave out the bones for these lizards to crack and eat.

The Bladelings collect anything sharp, as well as bones, shafts of wood, and stones for knapping and sharpening into knives. While they can't forge iron, they recognize the value and strength of metal tools and gladly steal them from any travelers they manage to capture and eat. Examination of Bladeling tools shows that they sharpen these stolen iron weapons even further on stones; sometimes breaking the blades to make wicked points or sharpening to such a degree the weapons become brittle and fragile. They break longer swords in half and make two daggers from the ends. They are obsessed with these knives and rub them against their lips and their smooth armored skin.

Aside from knives, Bladelines have also been noted to use spiked clubs, simple axes, spears, bear-trap like weapons that are thrown from the hand, and razor whips. Older Bladelings who are slowing down and getting on in years are more prone to learn many knots and tricks of rope, which the Bladelings strangely also have an innate knack for, and tie a strip of animal or plant fiber around several metal splints to create a simple razor-whip weapons. This is about the limit of sophistication that their weapon reaches, but is also one way for the weaker members of their society to still remain competitive in hunting.

They have short, brutal lives, and as such each one is expected to either kill for or craft their own weapons; they are granted nothing by their parents. Very limited information is spread between them, and kindness is almost foreign. Their society is very simplistic in this way, and only the strong and fast will survive into adulthood. They are not above cannibalism; Bladelings sometimes carry the teeth of their fallen fellows and sharpen them into dart-points, but it is unknown if this is just pragmatism or a type of reverence for the dead. Bladelings wear clothing made of raw animal and human skin, cut from the corpses, and tied into simplistic togas. They don't preserve these and only wear them until they rot. They have no interest in trading with people and would much rather trap them to eat later.

Bladeling society is very simplistic. They don't seem to have a hierarchy beyond the best knife fighter and hunter, who gets the majority of the meat and deals with rival tribes. Despite never being able to use a large number of their collection of sharp stones and knives; Bladelings instinctively hoard them as a type of wealth or to attract mates. They even show some respect for warriors of other races who carry great longswords or curved weapons on their belts, bowing their heads before going in to slash at an artery. Rarely a Bladeling will find a piece of a magical material, or a bone of a dead magical creature that is made into a very powerful knife. These Bladelings become tribal chieftains and can expand the territory of the Bladelings by uniting several families and outcast individuals and making war against other Chaos races or invading into border-states with the lawful races. Even though these leaders are usually killed at some time during the campaign and new leaders are shifted along with the ownership of the magical knife, the resulting wars leaves stragglers and outcasts who start families in the new rocky crevices and caves along the campaign trail; leading to small but steady expansion over the generations unless steps are taken to cull their numbers.

HD- 1
AC- 14
Morale- 8
Numbers- 1d6+1 hunters, 2d6+2 in cave
Attacks- (+2 to hit) 1d4+1 knife
Abilities- Speedy, Weakpoints

Bladelings fight to get food, but aren't very brave and prefer fast ambushes. Bladelings are not above racing into a camp, slicing off a few fingers from a sleeping person, and then running back out as a hit and run just to avoid starving; though more numerous raids will try to actually kill everyone and feast on their bodies. Bladelings are quick which makes them difficult to escape from; you'll have to trick them through false tracks or have horses, or else they will chase you down, especially through rocky difficult terrain that they make their home.

However, Bladelings do have a weakness. If you use a dagger against them yourself, or are a Rogue, you will strike into their weak points on an attack roll of 20. This causes them to yowl in pain, being stunned for one round, and deals double damage.

Bladeling Elder
HD- 1+1
AC- 12
Morale- 9
Number- 1d2 in caves, solitary if outside
Attacks- (+3 to hit) 1d4+1 razor-whip
Abilities- Weakpoints

Bladeling Elders retain leadership for as long as the young upstart adults care to listen to them bark. They are known to use razor whips, which are longer reaching weapons that can wrap around an arm or leg, dig into flesh, and bind that limb in place. The Elders are also a bit grayed, losing their natural speed and dexterity, as well as their armor getting thin and cracked from old age.

[4] Commock
These are a tree-dwelling people. They look like sloths, with curly tan fur that gets whiter with age. Beyond having snippy muzzles reminiscent of a hunting dog and huge thumb-claws, they don't look especially strong or aggressive. They spend all their time lazing around in trees. They don't do much of anything except eat insects, scrap bark for water, and conserve their energy all day long. The Commock are however well known in the world because they can talk. Not just speak, but talk. Sometimes about garbage and babbling on about nonsense, but sometimes about history, art, philosophy, magic, and much more. They can hold a conversation for hours, and can lure you right into their trap. Those who sleep under a Commock's tree will find themselves torn apart by its roots.

The Commock live in trees, which are a rarity in the chaos wastes. As a slow, weak race, the Commock would be easy targets for enslavement. Both of these are the reasons as to why the Commock have developed as they are. Before even meeting one, you will learn of the Commock. The rumors around them are so thick as to be nearly impregnable. You will hear how they can fly at will, or how Gods bow down before them. You will hear how they hold no treasure and only wish to share knowledge, and that they only pretend to be naturalists and hoard gold under their tree roots. The conflicting nature of these lies and rumors will stun you, and the Commock add to them every day. In addition, they don't just perform this type of subterfuge with outsiders, but also amongst themselves. They build empires with words, and the most powerful Commock are just the ones whose ideas and names have spread the furthest, and taken the most followers.

The Commock have many fake powers and abilities they say they possess, but there is one rather useful one that they truly do have. Their large claws on their thumbs are magical. They can pierce them into a tree and manipulate its movements- the more who do this the stronger the effect. One Commock can make a branch bend back and whip someone as an attack, two or three can command the tree to stretch upwards to avoid arrow fire, and a whole troop in a tree can make the tree walk on its roots as a mobile battlestation. This effect mostly just works on regular plants, but if a Commock stabs a treant or xyloid with their claw the target must make a save or be affected as though under a Charm spell for as long as the claw remains inside of them.

Whilst interaction with other races is common, the Commock very rarely perform any useful labor or trading. The Commock are very untrustworthy of other beings; they don't trust other Chaos races for their aggressive and warlike societies. They don't trust elves because they think they'll chop off their thumbs to bring back to their forest houses. They don't trust humans and dwarves because they cut down trees for fire and shelter. They pretty much don't trust anyone, though sometimes when migrating between canopies the Commock may hire guards and mercenaries to defend their shambling, mossy white forms as they take slow and plodding steps across the hot wasteland sand.

Commock Lounger
HD- 1
AC- 7
Morale- 10
Number- 1d6 in tree, 1d3+1 migrating
Attacks- (-2 to hit) Claw at 1d4 OR Atlatl at 1d4+1
Abilities- Slowness, Plant-Claw, Woodwarping

The average Commock is not a powerful fighter and could be defeated one on one by most warriors with ease. They always go second in combat, and are slow enough that their attacks are relatively easy to dodge. Their only special power is their thumb-claw which causes a Charm effect if it strikes a treant or intelligent plant person.

Very rarely a Commock will use or carry a atlatl, a primitive ranged weapon that befits their slowness. By hooking their claw into the stick about to be launched, they can give it commands as it is fired to make it wrap around a target, spear into their flesh and deal extra damage, or bend as a boomerang to return to sender. Only a few Commock will carry these weapons, which is basically just a pair of sticks.

Commock Tree-Titan
HD- 6
AC- 16
Morale- 13
Number- One while alone, 2d2 if besieging
Attacks- (+1 to hit) Two Branch attacks at 1d8
Abilities- Slowness, Weakness to Fire

This is not a single monster, but instead a collection of Commocks controlling a huge tree. By hooking their claws into it, it will move to their commands collectively, acting as a weapon and mount. The Tree-Titan is quite large and intimidating; it is a tree that swings its branches as sweeping weapons and is as tough to damage as any tree; you will require an axe or similarly tough clever to deal damage to it. You can also kill off the Commocks riding the tree to weak or stop the tree- each Commock rider (stats as Lounger) cannot retaliate due to having their claws inside the tree; each one that is killed or pried off from the tree-titan lowers its HD by two. If the tree runs out of hit points, it falls over and deanimates.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Dragons = Insects

You know dragons are bugs, right? Think about it. They have six limbs, hibernate for long periods of time like a cicada, and have tough exoskeletons. They are also polymorphic and have nuptial flights. What, you didn't know about those?

Dragon Biology
This is a dragon. Dragons look like giant horned lizards, but they are insects. This is because of convergent evolution- the evolutionary successful structures of a muzzle filled with sharp teeth and leathery wings evolve in any species, no matter how distant to each other, because it's so successful. Dragons also have a two-chambered organ in their throat that allows them to breathe fire; no different then a bombardier beetle. Those aren't horns, they are antennae. Dragon horns are actually one of the most sensitive parts of their body, but what is sensitive to a dragon is much harder and stronger then any body part a human would find sensitive.

Dragons being insects even explains their fighting styles. Why the hell would a dragon land in a middle of a group of highly trained warriors and engage them with claws and teeth? They wouldn't- they'd keep flying overhead. But dragons can't keep doing that- their bodies need to return to a resting position. They need to stop and go to breathe and regain the pressure in their pneumatic muscles- these aren't the same as mammals with flesh and blood. They bleed thick black ichor, magically charged, to keep that big body alive.

Dragons are also eusocial insects, just not in a way that humans understand it. Remember- evolution means that creatures don't necessarily have to be happy about their place in the world to keep it going, nor do the creatures themselves need to understand it. Dragon “Queens” are the traditional six limbed dragon. They live in lairs and lay eggs, hoard treasure, and are said to be the cornerstone for the entire dragon species. But remember, dragons are polymorphic. They have “castes” determined by birth.

workers of the species are the kobolds. They are reproduced by the queen, but not directly. Eggs and incubation is far too costly and slow for such a disposable minion. Instead, kobolds generate from the subtle dragon dust that emits from a sleeping dragon; her lair is covered in the stuff, and will gently mix with the moisture and nutrients in the cavern system until the first few kobolds appear. From then on, the kobolds can reproduce on their own, but it's not a true reproductive system, only drones making more drones as far as the species is considered.

The warriors of the species are wyverns. Dragons themselves are much more powerful then wyverns of course, but the queen is precious and spends most of her time sleeping to incubate her next offspring. Wyverns are born unintentionally from the queen- she isn't even aware that the wyverns are her offspring. These lesser creatures are born from dragon dung- the dung containing tiny eggs that rapidly grow into wyvern eggs and then hatch into self sufficent wyverns that flock together in colonies. Then, these wyverns attack and kill intruders into the dragon lands, acting as a barrier and defender for the “colony” they know nothing about.

Finally, the reproductive males/drones of the species are the longs, or in otherwords, the Eastern dragons. They are not born with wings, their flight is magical. The longs will seek to mate with a female dragoness, coil around her for mating, and then promptly die. Despite being disposable male drones, they take just as long to incubate as a queen dragoness. This is believed to be for two reasons; the first is so they hatch at the same time for coordinated breeding, and second so that when the long dies, the mass of magical energy his body has will infuse the local ecosystem and bring more power to the territory of the dragons; helping to activate the breath weapons of young dragon females and bring magical creatures to their lands; a favored food for the hungry drakes.

Now it's important to mention that, with all that out of the way, dragons don't necessarily have to know any of this. And the ones that do, may not like it.

Dragon Culture
Insects are short lived creatures. They don't have time to learn things; their instincts teach them what they need to know, gained through evolutionary pressures. In the same way a spider is born knowing how to spin a web, the same way a dragon learns the draconic language, the basics of spell-craft, and the understanding that gold is valuable. It's still evolution, just fantasy evolution. If your fantasy world is a billion years old, with cultures rising and falling and the world being reset with new races and cultures and technologies, then these basic facts become evolutionary pressures. Perhaps in ancient days dragons were dumb brutes, or they had to spend decades tutoring their offspring, but not so anymore. They are still solitary creatures despite being a part of a “hive”, the hive is just spread out of differing beings with different goals and often conflicting with each other- it doesn't actually matter if the parts of a 'hive' hate each other. The organism as a whole will live on, evolution works either way.

But not all dragons like this. The most common are the long. Many of them learn early on that they will die, in fact most know it innately as a hatchling. The understanding of their own mortality gives the long a wise disposition even from a young age. They know that soon the nuptial flight will occur and they will mate and then die. This gives them an outlook on life that is unique to the races of men and elves. But not all longs accept this fate. Many run; they fly away to far lands, resisting their impulses and living a life of chastity and celibacy. This is why every culture where longs are common, they are considered even-tempered, enlightened beings. Virginity is required for true enlightenment, and in the same sense, the long are born with that choice.

But it's important to understand; the larger and more complex an organism is, the longer its life expectancy tends to be. This is why once a Long escapes its fate, it lives for thousands of years, maybe forever. Even though it's a disposable entity, it has the 'parts' for a much longer lifespan. Dragons don't have natural predators, except for the occasional Giant Evil Spider; spinning a web between distant mountain spires and capturing two or three migrating young, unlucky dragonoids.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

12 Spell Incantations

[1] “Boils fester, rising munt,
Put some warts on that cunt!”

[2] “Tortured souls, darkness breed,
Call the spirits, you must heed!”

[3] “Vengeful bog, swallowing muck,
Eat my foe, his rotten luck!”

[4] “Boogie down, dancing daze,
Crafty thieves eat for days!”

[5] “Close the book and dim the head,
Speak no spells, Witch's end!”

[6] “Mighty nether, birds' of feather,
I shall sever, black death's tether.~”

[7] “Foulest vapor, rise and damp,
Choking mist, on wing of Bat!”

[8] “Sorcery surround this lamp o' copper,
Time stand still, pull this stopper.”

[9] “With but a glimpse of my evil eye,
freeze in fear, black wing fly's,
I'll catch you out under sky!”

[10] “Evil stew, bubbles for you,
I'll tell you what to do;
Boil alive my friend, witch's brew!”

[11] “Ice-crack breaks! Water flows!
Down this hill, all will know;
Glacier's power, frozen nose.”

[12] “Centipede, hateful breed,
Thousand legs circle the throat,
End this foe, where to go?
Cast their soul within the moat.”

Monday, May 18, 2020

Dirt Simple Cleave

So some of the “solutions” to fighting multiple enemies at a time include rules like multiple attacks for fighter progression, mighty cleave (kill enemy to get an attack to kill another enemy to get another attack, etc) and a few others.

Truthfully, I'm sure these work fine, but I somewhat dislike multiple attacks because it slows the game down and seems too multiplicative powerful. If you get a level up where you deal +1 to hit and/or damage and then another level up where you get an extra attack that's a huge power spike; not just double potential damage but more chances to hit, since even if your first hit misses you get another chance. Mighty Cleave rule is also really nice, elegant, but it also encourages a kind of weird playstyle of killing all the minions or weak dudes before attacking the dude with the most hit points, since that way you get the most attacks, and also turns the fighter's turn into a bunch of rolls an damage and rolls and damage and back to back stuff.

Thinking on it a bit more; I suddenly came up with a very simple idea. I have no idea if this has been done before, it probably has in somebody's rulebook, but I haven't personally seen it. Still, I don't want to claim ownership of this idea since its so simple. I will instead take credit for the design philosophy; make the Fighter do more damage on a hit, which not only makes them better with single targets, but also with this move.

Dirt Simple Cleave
If the Fighter wants to attack multiple enemies, they simply declare how many enemies they are trying to hit with one blow. This must be declared before any to-hit dice are rolled.

Then, the Fighter rolls a to-hit for every enemy they are trying to attack. The ones that are hit will take a portion of the damage, the attacks that miss have avoided the attack.

When the damage is rolled, simply divide the amount of damage you deal among all the enemies you attempted to strike, rounding down. ie, slicing at three goblins with your greatsword, roll damage of 10. Divide by three and round down; each goblin takes three damage. One of the goblins wasn't hit because they had a shield; you still only deal three damage to the two remaining goblins.

You can attack as many enemies with your weapon as you could reasonably hit- one handed weapons could swing and hit the two abreast orcs in the hallway in front of you, where as two handed weapons could potentially sweep everything around you at once. Weapons like daggers and rapiers probably can't attack multiple enemies at once, unless you had some kind of insane speed or dexterity that let you stab that fast, or maybe a spear could be shoved through one guy and hit a bunch of guys in a line, but couldn't be swung in a arc very well.

This is a very simple mechanic, and only requires a little math. Things like damage resistance and damage reduction apply after the damage has been divided and dealt. All types of damage are also applied evenly; a sword of fire will divide its fire damage and slashing/physical damage evenly among all the targets hit, all the fire won't just selectively target the troll.

Note: Monsters can also use this. Maybe you like that idea because instead of feeling like the giant is picking on one player with its 1d12 big club attack, it's going to sweep it around and hit multiple party members for between 0 to 4 damage. Also makes giant monsters feel a bit different to fight, they're hitting half your party instead of just going one on one like all the human sized enemies with single target weapons like swords.

Note Note: I'm more fluffing this as a single big wide swing as opposed to multiple attacks. You could just use multiple attacks for this, but I'm specifically avoiding it because two handed weapons are implied to be best for it (higher max damage) and because it might strain believably (why is your guy stabbing three people and dealing less damage then if he just stabs one?)

Note3: You might be tempted to make this deal a minimum of 1 damage on damage split up, just in case the player rolls a 1 on their damage roll, but I disagree with that decision. It might be a waste of their turn, but players can already waste their combat turn by missing an attack, so who cares. Plus rounding it up to 1 means that it may encourage annoying tactics, like swinging a flail around in a big circle to try and hit 6 or more enemies on a single attack, which would eventually clear a room of goblins either way but just seems dumb. This way, you can bounce off enemy armor which fits the fiction a little better then lucky scraps and bumps dealing significant damage.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Undead Simplification + Ideas

I'm kind of annoyed by monster manuals. Certain things are cool, like making up new monsters and the like, but some things are annoying. It comes with the territory of course; but the fact there needs to be slightly different rules and write ups for virtually identical creatures, or basically inventing new creatures based on commonly used words to refer to many at once, is just a sort of normal tabletop thing. It's not even necessarily bad, it just agitates me a bit.

No where more is this obvious, at least to me, then undead. Like I get the difference between zombies, skeletons, ghosts, and vampires. Things like that. But then you ghouls, wights, mummies, wraiths, ghasts, phantoms, all kinds of silly shit. In D&D, I'm pretty sure all of these are write ups for different creatures that fall under the class of undead being. Once again, I understand why this is done; it's to create more varied monsters to encounter, and undead being an important type of monster its important to keep all of these as unique entities of varying power levels for use in games.

But what about simplicity for the sake of simplicity? Here's some equally pointless reductionism.

Ghouls are the most basic type of undead, and usually result from a corpse being disturbed or buried improperly. They are unliving corpses, animated by sheer malevolence. They tend to be very hungry, living out things they did in life stupidly. Skeletons and zombies are incomplete or weak Ghouls; draining more blood and life force will make them more whole. Maybe really powerful ones explain vampires or liches or something; they just ate their fill and have regained mortal cleverness.

Wraiths are ghostly entities, more like spirits. They may be dead who were cremated, or a dead person missing body parts; returning their body parts to their corpse and resting place may be enough to put them down. They aren't totally physical, and as such can only be hurt by magic weapons or spells. They are usually made of grave dust and always appear as that generic hooded figure floating around.

Ghosts are a separate thing. They aren't undead and typically can't manifest enough to hurt anyone. They're just the spirit of someone who died and hasn't like “passed on” yet.

Death = Sleep
When people die, their corpse shouldn't be disturbed. The best “rest” a dead person gets is when their body is entombed around family members, with treasures of their life, in a sanctified tomb, and so on. The less of these qualities that they have, the more “unrest” they get. Highway bandits killing a person and leaving their corpse for the birds is very likely to create a very unhappy corpse, and that corpse is likely to get up and start haunting people. Sometimes this creates a revenant, an undead obsessed with killing those who killed it.

More commonly though, undead are created when people disturb their tombs, or they weren't buried in the first place. Raising zombies and skeleton minions through necromancy is more just about disturbed and defiling tombs, and then binding the spirits into your service once they wake up; hence the whole “zombies secretly hate the necromancer and will kill them the moment their chains are broken” sort of trope we see a lot in fantasy media.

It should also be noted that more powerful beings leave more powerful corpses, hence they're more likely to get up if not placated. Of course, the corpse could be the actual person just sleeping in the ground, or a different “soul” if you subscribe to that theory. This is why ancient Kings and Heroes are always buried with tons of treasure and around traps and stuff; otherwise you'll have a powerful spirit on your hand.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

The Five Elements (Creative-Process Rant/Tangent)

The “elements” being the basis of a fantasy world is really important, I think. It's not necessarily that it has to be those four base elements- Fire, Water, Earth, and Air. But rather, that the fantasy world is not a faux-simulation of our own world. Giving a fantasy world unreal phyiscs; such as disease actually being caused by miasma and demons, is a great way to seperate the players from their own lives. It's verisimilitude right in the cosmology.

But the question is; what elements SHOULD really make up the fantasy world? Positive and Negative energy? Each God providing something unique? The four elements? I've thought about it a bit, and I quite like the classic four elements, but with one addition.

The Five Elements (Creative Process Tangent)
You see, having alternate element systems is fun. It gives an excuse to make the setting feel a little more alien then traditional Fire/Water/Earth/Air elemental worlds- and I love Wood as an element. But it's not just directly Chinese. Chinese elements annoy me actually; Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water? Why are there like 3 Earth elements and no wind or “clouds”? This is bullshit.

So instead, we'll just add the “Wood” element into the traditional elements. Fire, Water, Earth, Air, and Wood. In this case, I'd also call it Flora, Plants, Vegetation, “Root”, something like that. Flora sounds a bit close to Fire, but has a mystic feel and is short. Vegetation or Vegetable sounds too clinical and is too long; notice how all the elemental words are really short? “Root” or “Leaf” are also good names, and get a bonus for not sharing a first letter with any of the traditional elements; making for easy shortenings, but are only calling the whole element as PART of the plant, so that sounds kind of weird. PLANT element is a little boring but it works. We'll call it Flora for now.

So in my mind, when I imagine world made of these “elements”, I think too literally. This is my fault of course, but in my imagination it's hard to imagine the actual philosophical oldschool ideas of the elements. Think of it this way; Fire is present in everything, but we only imagine fire in the natural world as an “element” as like wildfires, volcanos, the sun/heat/deserts, maybe lightning in some worlds- you get the idea. So I'd like my element system something you can imagine easily.

This is the other reason I chose the element of Flora for my Five Elements system. Because in my mind, I can imagine a world made with these five elements. And you can imagine it without any animals, which are a different class. Of course, in real life, we know that plants are just a different form of living things; but this is a fantasy world.

You can imagine it. The world is shaped by Earth and volcanic Fire. It has clouds and weather and wind, carving the mountains
through the element of Air. It has oceans and rivers. But this would end with a four elemental system- like if the elemental “planes” just form together to create a new planet or plane- there's just primordial ooze here. No green hills, no forests, no deserts with shrubs and so on. It's just a rocky, barren feeling planet at this point. This is why I want the element of Plants/Flora in there as my five elements. I can imagine this world, even without creatures. And this makes some fun setting implications; are these worlds formed on their own? Do the God(s) make them? Do creatures “migrate” from worlds to inhabit new ones? The worlds they go to already have plants, landmasses, oceans, everything- it's a virgin world without men or animals or spirits to inhabit it. I like this, as far as imagination goes.

You can imagine that the different varieties of plants are different forms of the element, or mixtures of elements. Grasses form when Flora mixes with wind and/or fire, though fire is normally the enemy of Flora. Marshes and moss is flora + water, with little Earth to balance it out. Trees are the standard, with order/light being the mixture that produces nice happy trees and chaos/darkness is what creates all those pitch black gnarled woods and brier patches. In this fantasy interpretation, plants and trees are not so much living things as they are elements. This means they grow on their own, as long as sunlight and water is present. In the same way fire forms in the right conditions, plants just grow on their own, using seeds to store themselves. That's why you can harvest or eat the element of wood in this sense- it's a magical force of the world itself. As each element has its own properties, so to does Flora have the power to begat life. Maybe.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

8 Magic Pirate-Captain Weapons

[1] Seashell Stunning Sword – Magic Sword +1
Ego- 4
Stats- 1d6+1

This is a magic sword with a seashell as a pommel. The sword is curved somewhat, making it similar to most pirate scimitars. The main power of this sword is in the pommel, with a spell that wraps around the blade. When the tip of the sword is spun around while facing the target, it glows with green energy that builds and builds. For one round of “charging” (making small circles and not attacking), the sword will have +2 to hit with its ranged attack and stun for a round. Every additional round of charging adds +2 to hit and an extra turn of stun. Finally, when the shot is released by pointing at the target, it will fire a projectile that must make a successful ranged to-hit roll with the above bonuses to hit.

The projectile fired by this weapon stuns the target for the number of rounds charged, and could be blocked by a physical object or another creature stepping in the way, etc. This weapon's ego isn't very powerful and will make the sword fly out of the user's hand from a backwards reaction to the energy blast. Also, anyone using this sword without being able to conquer its ego forgets how to swim.

[2] Marooner's Sand – Magic Bag of Sand
Ego- N/A
Stats- 1d3 Damage w/ +4 to hit

This is a bag of fine white sand. It comes from a desert island, where pirates are marooned to die a painful death. This unusual magic “weapon” is used by throwing a handful of sand at an opponent. The sand seeks gaps in armor, curves around shields, and tries to enter the lungs of the target through flying in the air and sand-blasting their skin with minor damage if it cannot find a nose or mouth. While not a powerful weapon, it is difficult to avoid and gets +4 to hit and is essentially impossible to deflect even with advanced blade arts; but could be blown away by wind.

The sand in the bag is technically limited in quantity, but those killed by the sand have their bodies degrade into sand instead of rotten flesh; pirates will sometimes sever a few fingers or toes from a corpse and leave them in the captains quarters to rot into clean, dry sand. Even if the sand is totally emptied from the magic bag, a small pinch of residue left over inside could turn a dead bodypart into a little pile of the stuff to reload it. This weapon is very simple to use and has no curse.

[3] Grand Siren's Comb – Magic Saw +2
Ego- 6
Stats- 1d8+2

This weapon looks like a huge, novelty metal comb made of a strange wavy metal. The tips are razor sharp and the whole thing is awkward to use as a weapon, it must be sliced and dragged across any victims with both hands like a giant sawblade- difficult to use but very powerful. Each slice of the “comb” not only cuts and hurts like hell but also released a small torrent of ocean water from the wound, which includes crabs and starfish the spew out like blood. Any spells or magic that can stop bleeding doesn't work on this spell; the pinkish sea water forces the blood out like a flood.

Because of the weapon's unusual shape and large size, it is considered too difficult for nonfighters to use effectively. Those who cannot suppress its Ego have disadvantage on all attack rolls. If they are dropped into water, the comb also pulls downward towards its mistress and will cause them to save or be drowned by it.

The comb was originally and item belonging to the great mother of all sirens, who has such strength in her magic and song that she attempts to woo Demigods and Immortals into her clutches. Every since this comb was stolen from her, her hair has become knotted, her face speckled with bursting pustules, and her body and appearance frightening. She cannot seduce anyone in this state, but if her comb was returning, soon no Emperor at see would be safe from her beckoning.

[4] Jollypak Kettlecap – Magic Mace +1
Ego- 2
Stats- 1d6+1

This weapon looks like a piece of junk. It's a short wooden haft with an upside down black-iron kettle on the end. The kettle is hollow inside save the wooden shaft, and as such makes a fantastic ringing when struck on a hard surface. The weapon is a blunt instrument and is used to split skulls and break bones rather then cut or pierce.

When this weapon strikes a foe wearing metal armor, the ringing reverberation channels through their body and the user's arm. If the target fails a save, they drop anything the wielder wants them to except what is in their hands. It can force them to drop something out of a belt loop or off their head, snap open a pack's strap and jiggle out an item, or loose a single key from its ring, but it cannot force a man to loosen his hand's grip to remove his weapon or shield.

This item has a weak ego. Anyone attempting to use this without its ego gets -2 to stealth from the kettlecap slamming into everything when they're trying to sneak. Also, the weapon's power doesn't work for them, the vibration only creates noise.

[5] Salty Spear – Magic Spear +2
Ego- 7
Stats- 1d6+2 w/ Salt Blast at 1d2

The Salty Spear is a mildly famous magical artifact. Pirate captains create long rivalries with each other, and the ownership of this spear can pass back and forth across the great pirate captains as they fight to take it from each other. It is infamous for its durability- the spear sharpens its edge, aligns its point, and smooths and bolsters the shaft if left to soak in salt water for some time. It is even more tough then most magic weapons and could be used against stone creatures with little denting.

It appears as a long metal spear, with a white encrusted tip. It has unusual grooves across the bottom of the head where it is connected to the shaft of the spear; if held upside down in water the water will drain into a magic chamber inside the head. This hollow chamber will rapidly evaporate the water over two combat rounds, mist flowing from the edges of the spear. This ability does nothing with fresh water, but for salt water it will leave behind a collection of sea salt inside the spear's head which can be blasted out. The salt blast deals 1d2 damage and blinds enemies for one round if shot in the eyes; they get a save to avoid if they know it's coming. Slugs and snail-like enemies take higher amounts of damage, as the salt burns like acid.

Additionally, if held above water while underwater, the chamber inside the speartip will fill with air instead and can be used underwater to fire a bubble. The bubble deals no damage but will knock away small foes or give a single breath to an ally.

The Salty Spear has a powerful ego that rejects weaker warriors. Those who try to claim the item will find white flecks appearing around their mouth and nose, and a great thirst for water and drink which will not be sated. After three weeks they will die unless they give up the spear and ask for redemption from the God of the Seas for their hubris. Their corpse will appear as though desiccated; as though found on a ghost ship and died on the deck many months ago.

[6] Claws of Korrat – Magic Claws +1
Ego- 3
Stats- Two attacks at 1d4+1

These claws are a pair of metal weapons designed to be held in both fists and strapped around the wrist for extra stability. They are about a foot long, and both claws contain three long prongs, with the middle claw on each hand being bent downwards slightly and made of a different metal.

These magic claws grant two attacks if held in both hands, which is their primary purpose. They are an aggressive and strong weapon, but have a short reach and give the user -2 AC for using fist-claw weapons like this. With a flick of the wrist, the downwards facing middle claw can be snapped downwards, which makes the claws into a two pronged weapon and the third claw falls down to your wrist and down your forearm, thus making a useful tool for blocking sword strikes. Remove the AC penalty while in this mode, but the claws deal -1 damage on a hit from losing a prong.

This weapon has a weak ego. If a warrior cannot conquer them, just grant disadvantage on attack rolls if they try to use both claws in the same round. Otherwise, the weapons function fine if used one at a time. You could also just use one claw and still gain a single attack and the bonus damage while using your other hand to hold a shield or torch and so on. If separated, the claws will click and “shiver” when not being watched, wishing to be rejoined.

[7] Circle of Power – Magic Circlet +2
Ego- 5
Stats- Deals 1d4 damage to attackers, grants +2 AC

This magic circlet is made of a dull red metal. It is decorated as though twisted into thirteen different knots, of which an average sailor will know 6 and a pirate will know 7. The magic in this circlet requires it to be worn on the head, in place of a hat or helmet.

As long as it is worn, this magical circlet deals 1d4 damage to anyone who attacks the wearer, even if they miss their attack roll. In response to any attack, the circlet glows and the person who made the attack feels pain in their head, as though being branded, and also feel a sense of dread and shame. This power works even if the wearer of this circle attacks the person first; counterattacks or martial arts moves that redirect the force of a blow back at the opponent
do not trigger this circle's power.

Additionally, the Circlet grants protection. The aura of this Circle grants +2 AC to its wearer, making them harder to injure. This aura gives the wearer a feeling of authority and magnanimous, where as it invokes a feeling of jealousy in all who behold them. This artifact is therefore considered at least partially cursed; the wearers of this circle will often be attacked by their own crew in mutiny.

The Circle is quite powerful and has a moderate ego; those without the ego to claim this item must make a saving throw every turn they wear it. On a fail, they must take it off and cannot try to wear it again until the next day.

[8] Two-Skull Axe – Magic Hatchet +3
Ego- 8
Stats- 1d6+3

The Two-Skull Axe is made of dark iron and is ridiculously thick on the back. It is a one-blade axe similar to a hatchet, and the flat opposite the edge is huge; it has both an embedded human skull and, just beneath it, the skull of a baboon. Around both skulls is a runic script that curls around them in a figure eight pattern; if read they speak of “what is savage is made civil until it has need for savagery again” and of bestial rage and stories of murder and destruction.

The weapon is quite heavy, and even in the hands of a skill warrior it is difficult to use. You may add your Strength modifier to your Ego score when using this weapon; characters with -1 Strength or worse cannot wield it at all, it is too burdensome to swing around. As with most Axes on pirate ships, it is excellent for boarding ships. This axe is magic and can shred through standard doors, thick oak doors, doors reinforced with banded armor, and can even hack through iron doors with an exploration turn of effort. The user of this axe will sweat and their sweat will smell as the sweat of beasts.

The power of this axe is in its ferocity. Twice per day (once per skull), the user may make an automatically successful attack roll against a foe after another attack; the first attack can miss or hit and they can still make this special attack. The attack comes out of nowhere as the axe twists in the user's hands and flies at the foe with massive speed and a red glow. The two skulls on the back show the uses by having their mouths slightly open in a bestial scream, or closed when it is done. This power has given the axe a reputation for carnage.

This weapon has a powerful ego. Those who cannot handle the ego of this weapon can use it, but revert into an animalistic form; as though regressing back into a savage. Men turn into apes, lizardmen to crocodiles, elves into wolves, and so on. The relation to species does not matter; everyone knows elves are more related to spiders. This transformation is a curse that is slow; even if the axe is taken away, the cursed one will still retain the animal-like traits and lower mental ability permanently; only a remove curse spell or a miracle from the gods can stop it.