Sunday, May 30, 2021

Adventures in the Upside Down- 8 Spells

(All art, names, and ideas were taken from listening to this album.)

[1] The Calm and the Storm
This spell is cast only when the user is within a storm. The storm moves so that the eye of the storm hangs over and around the user- following their movements for up to two hours. When the spell ends, the storm dissipates early, but the entire fierceness of the storm ravages inside the caster's body.

For the next 2d4 days after casting; the user will experience sudden coughs and spasms, their eyes clouded with unseen storm clouds. They take 1d6 CON damage. Using this spell can end a storm that would otherwise destroy, or even guide it for your own purpose, but you will feel its wrath either way. Especially powerful or magical storms deal 2d6 CON damage instead. If this is lethal, the caster's body will shake itself apart in a bloody spiral.

[2] Manta
Transforms the caster into a giant, flying manta ray. The ray's mouth is filled with the caster's head, which can think/see/talk just as it could normally. The caster can only direct the manta's body vaguely- it is an animal and cannot use weapons or items. This manta transformation can fly through the air or through the sea (but you cannot breathe water during this spell unless another effect provides it), and can carry up to 2 beings of the same general weight and size as the caster was before this spell was cast.

This spell lasts for 1d8 hours. If the manta's body touches any soil or earth at all; if it be from clouds of mud thrown at you or a rock thrown from a sling, the effect ends early and you will plummet.

[3] Revelation
This powerful spell must be cast on a stone altar after at least 5 HD of human or animal sacrifices have been made. The caster directs towards the sky and it visibly rips open, creating a black void where the caster may call upon any god or entity beyond the stars to speak through. This hole is still not big or powerful enough to let in any of these beings; but a sliver of their divine or otherworldly power could be let through, or it could allow those being to hear and speak to the evil cultist who may use this spell.

Also, whenever this spell is cast, 2d6 HD worth of otherworldly beings slip through the veil into this world, generally these will all be beings from the home dimension of whatever being was contacted by the first use of this spell. If no entity is specified, make it 3d6 HD worth of random others and otherworldly creatures instead, at least one of which will be a horror. None of the entities summoned or called by this spell are controlled in any way by the caster and act appropriately.

[4] Dear Zahdia
This spell grows "speed energy" underneath the caster's feet. Instead of walking, one slides. Every round of sliding, you gain +5ft or 1 square of movement. You can stop this speed at any moment by raising a foot or hopping into the air- though momentum will still carry you forward- any break in contact with the ground causes you to stop.

Additionally, this spell allows the user to speak while traveling at any speed and the message will be heard loud of clear, even if they couldn't possibly speak an entire message while standing besides someone, or if the noise of them swooshing past would be too loud to hear over it.

Note: This spell does not offer any increases to reaction time or prevent you from crashing into a wall at a million miles per hour and fucking exploding.

[5] Trepasses Bay
This spell is a semi-permanent enchantment, and must be cast on a body of water big enough that you cannot sea the other shore from one side. This spell is also a Cleric spell, and can be cast by a Cleric or Magic User of appropriate power.

This enchantment makes the bay moodier, foggier, and darker in general. At night, spectral lights can sometimes be seen, especially if any corpses are nearby. If a corpse is loaded onto a raft and pushed out into the water, it will be taken by the water, disappearing into the night.

For every burial done through this method, the area gains a greater and greater aura of the somber. Similar to a great monument or graveyard; the area around the bay will become quiet and serene, any beauty it had will remain but be changed into somber, melancholic beauty. This ability grants a +1 to saving throws for all beings within, and makes Cleric magic more powerful. Add +1 to the roll of healing spells for every two dozen or so corpses sent downriver.

[6] Peaceful Place
As Trepasses Bay, but in a field of flowers or meadow instead. Bodies are "taken" by the enchantment by being buried here. Additionally, bodies buried here never come up on their own nor do they contaminate ground water. The flowers grown in this meadow are always of pale colors, but can be woven into a garland or flower-bracelet which grants the place's effects to the user while worn until they fade away after 1d3 days or when spiritually "drained".

[7] Mother Earth
Anyone caught with or attempting to learn this spell is killed under pain of death in more wizarding societies. It requires a clay dummy of a volupterous woman to be placed on an altar somewhere in a mostly natural shrine.

After 2d6 weeks, the statue will begin to come alive and grow larger. Eventually, it will grow into a flesh and blood woman of the same skin tone as the clay she was made with. She is incredibly independent and enjoys traveling and learning new things, but her body will make her look more and more like a weird sex pervert no matter what she does. She'll tend to travel around; she also likes to sleep around, and can become pregnant with almost any living creature. Often, she is where horrible half man, half beast monsters come from- violent satyrs and minotaurs from when she laid with common farm animals. Yuck.

The Mother-Earth has a final property- if she dies, whatever land her corpse falls on first becomes contaminated. Her skin , flesh, and bones quickly rot away. Her body is death to plants and the land itself. Wherever an Earth Mother dies; the land becomes sickened and weak in that area. Plants will begin to wither, animals sicken and become twisted in some way.

[8] Captain Trips
This spell will be found in a weird spellbook or scroll with a different name. Something cool but vague and mysterious- like "Conjunction of Forgotten Yesterdays" or "Silent Winds from the Southern Watchtowers". When cast, an 8 ft. tall giant of a man in a black cloak, with blonde hair and blue eyes appears before you, swiping at nothing in the air and screaming about a winged terror attacking him. It takes two rounds for him to calm down, within that time he'll attack the closest living thing.

This is Captain Trips, a half giant sky captain who once sailed on the Skies and was trapped in stasis after being flung overboard. Once he is aware of where he is and what is happening; he will be generally helpful. Alignment of Chaotic, but friendly. He'll try to find his crew until he learns they've all been dead for two hundred years.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Shitty Witcherverse Idea - Runebrands


The Runebrand is both the name of the mark as well as the person. "Oh that village over there? They've a Runebrand." Or "That bandit's tattoo? That's a Runebrand. Be careful."

Runebrands are not feared with the same superstition as other forms of magic are in the world, as anyone can have one, but are still considered only a step above a Witcher. Having a Runebrand is also one of the few ways for an individual human to become more powerful in the Witcherverse, if they weren't turned into a Witcher or born as a Sorcerer.

In order for someone to become a Runebrand, they must have a Rune (which are one of the five Witcher signs) branded, tattooed, or scarred into their skin. The larger the brand, the more powerful it typically is. While the brand is being placed, it must also be "charged" by visiting a place of power of the corresponding sign. Each regular person can only have one Runebrand, and its powers are similar to those of a sign, but less overall powerful. Each Witcher-sign grants the Runebrand a different set of abilities.

Those with the Aard Runebrand gain some of its power and momentum. Attacks become more powerful, swinging faster and with more force then what the muscles alone could generate, and running speed and jumps are improved; blasted along with waves of force. This Runebrand is perfect for a heavily armored warrior. If the one with this Runebrand hits someone with a strong punch or blunt weapon, they can shove their enemy back with a small wave of force; significantly less powerful then an Aard cast by a Witcher, but enough to knock back or shove down a single foe with a good hit. This ability still requires stamina to cast and can be exhausting if used two or three times in a fight.

Those with the Axii Runebrand gain no new abilities, but instead gain some very powerful passive resistances to magic- specifically, mind controlling magic. Axii firstly makes its users almost totally immune to the Axii sign cast by Witchers, as well as gaining resistance to the mind controlling magic cast by sorcerers, witches, and even supernatural beasts. Many important nobles or powerful people have at least one Axii Runebrand, or may secretly be one themselves, to prevent themselves from being manipulated by mages and their ilk.

Those with the Igni Runebrand are naturally gifted with fire. This doesn't allow them to cast Igni in the way Witchers do, but instead grants a sort of "inner flame" that allows them to light small bundles of dry, flammable material on fire with a bit of concentration. For example, they could light a torch or an arrowhead dipped in pitch by just staring at it for a few seconds. Secondly, they are also highly resistant to the Igni sign, dragon fire, and fire in general; they can walk into burning buildings and only receive only minor burns while a normal person would have burnt to a crisp.

Those with the Quen Runebrand are resistant to physical pain and injury. This sign is more subtle then the others, given its nature as a purely defensive rune, but it simply makes the skin thicker and harder to cut. Thugs in cities and soldiers may carve this Rune into their skin for a defensive bonus, though without the proper rituals and planning it may have no effect beyond being a styled tattoo.

Those with the Yrden Runebrand are known to have the magical trapping rune active on themselves. Those who grab or touch the Yrden Runebrand will find their body suddenly struck with magical energy, slowing them down considerably and potentially dealing a small amount of damage. Those with this Runebrand can only focus it for a moment before impact, inflicting it on someone who harms them in that timeframe, but like any Runebrand it is far more exhausting for them to use their ability then for a Witcher to use a sign. Because this Runebrand is limited to working on those who touch or injury this Runebrand, it is often put on prisoners, cultists, or other fighters with more suicidal tenancies since this brand doesn't help them to survive longer in a fight.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Random Horns Table

Roll 1d10 for all symmetrical horns, 1d12 for natural horns, and 1d20 for a totally random set of horns or horn-like protrusions on your head.

Art @TheDrekkubusDen (SFW, but very furry)

Random Horns Table


Bull- Longhorn




Bull- Toro Bravo


Rhinoceros Beetle




Narwhal / Unicorn




Jacob's Sheep (Four horns)


Deer Antlers


Three horns.


Moose Antlers


One goat horn pointing left or right




“Crown” of many small, sharp horns.




Two small, demon nubs. Skin color.




Horns connected into a “ring” or “halo”


Water Buffalo


Not a horn- bone skullcap

Monday, May 24, 2021

Sky-Ocean Island Generator

Roll once for each category except intelligent inhabitants. 1 in 6 chance for island to be inhabited.

What are the skies around the Island like?
- 1d10
[1] Brimming with an astral current. Once you leave this island, you can't find it again.
[2] Broken marble columns float in the clouds- there are ancient ruins on this island.
[3] Breeding grounds for Gryphons. They are neutral, unless you try to steal a valuable egg.
[4] Tangled within huge cluster of sky-vines. Plenty of wood, but your ship might get caught.
[5] Many broken pieces of the island float out here- perfect for hideouts. 1 in 3 chance of an ambush.
[6] Light anomaly. Every turn spent on the top deck of the ship deals 1d4 damage from exposure.
[7] The Wind that prowls these parts. Blows your sail to pieces if you don't show proper respect.
[8] Once-in-a-millennia migration of huge spinning world tree seeds. Beautiful. Heal 1d4 HP.
[9] Dirigibles set up in periphery. Traders will sell you supplies for island raid; too scared themselves.
[10] Infested to shit and back with Cliff Racers.

What is the Island made of? - 1d8
[1] Just a cloud. You can walk on it. You find a few dull halos lying around- angels had a party here.
[2] Stormcloud. It's darker; if you dig too deep into the mass with metal you'll be electrocuted.
Crumbling marble temple, hanging gardens. Water spills off the edge beautifully.
[4] Sky lantern made by a giant. The fading flame inside has been burning for hundreds of years.
[5] Huge flotsam Roc nest. It's abandoned now; ancient egg shells could be made into armor.
Flying rock. Soil. Coated in light teal grass. White bunnies scamper- nutritionally vacant.
[7] Flying rock. River terminates off the side. Small mountain. Looks very artificial; diorama.

[8] Twinkling giant mass of lighter-than-air crystal. Harvesting it for expensive magical reagent sounds great until the dwarf explains that even one crack could cause the whole thing to shatter and drop everyone to their deaths.

What scary monster lives on this Island? - 1d12
This island is the nest of a Winged Terror.
Blood Fox. Like the Rabbit of Caerbannog, but burrows into your chest and sleeps there.
[4] Huge Pink Goat. Charge knocks you back 2d20 feet. Will knock you off, on purpose.
[5] Huge Aershark calls this place home. It's a flying great white with blue/white skin.
[6] Tribe of dodo cannibal-men. Flightless. They're in stasis, takes 2d2 days before they get up.
[7] Hungry Horror. Save when you see it, or go insane for 2d6 days. Prefers if you go catatonic.
[8] Disc of Fimb. Large silver disc, toilet-seat shaped. Inside edge is razor sharp, flies at you.
[9] Canus Vantor. He's an immortal warrior, 12th level. Screams his name. Badass spear.
[10] Wicked Lwyd. Spindly brown witch-thing, legs can extend up to 70 ft. Steps from island to island, when not currently fucking people up with 3d6 random spells. Trapped here, for now.
[11] Thunderthighs. Bloated humanoid that builds up deadly static charge; touching you is the only way to get rid of the uncomfortable charge. Stolen from Don't Rest Your Head.
[12] Roller Gremlin. Like 2 feet tall, can roll anything into a ball. Yes, it's exactly Katamri, but all your bones break and he'll use your corpse to make a "seed" for a new flying island.

What other hazards are on the Island? - 1d8
[1] Some unmarked, inconspicuous mechanism will turn the island 90 degrees vertically.
[2] Stairway leading to the island's interior. It's fake. Grate comes down, acid pours in.
[3] Quarries of ringing stone. Won't kill you, but will make you deaf if you stick around.
[4] Local dream-world is sickened. You have nightmares. Save or lose one random spell-slot.
[5] Faces carved on the stones. Will spy on you; tell your secrets to any enemies here.
[6] Some wizard dumped their failed experiments and junk here through a portal once. 2d4 cursed magic items litter the island's surface.
[7] Skull of Stupidity. Shrine to Emptyhead, once king of the ogres. If you touch it, minus 2d6 Intelligence. You get one point back every time you finish reading a book.
[8] Explosive pods. Large plants with attractive fruits; fruits explode when touched. If one goes off, you can bet the whole field of them is about to go off too. Seeds go shooting off like bullets.

What treasures are on the Island? - 1d8
[1] Rolled up carpet. Unfurling it reveals a Genie! Specifically; a Wind Jinn.
The stash of the infamous King of Cartwheels. Specifically; 50,000 coins.
[3] Hand puppets made of silver, gold, and platinum magically woven into soft fabrics.
[4] Flask of Tomorrows. If you drink it, you live tomorrow. Then wake up today.
[5] This island has a small bubbling red pool at its center. Spring of Healing Potion.
[6] Sword of Sands. Arabic style- controls sand. Probably stashed here for safekeeping.
[7] There's an old gnome who lives here. He can fix anything. Item, body, relationship...
Longbow of the Titans. Absurd draw weight; need 20 Strength. Deals 1d30 damage.

If inhabited; Who lives on the Island? - 1d10
[1] Minotaur couple. Too old for kids, love each other very much. Tell everyone else to fuck off.
[2] Aether wisps. Like elves made of fog. Shushes you; they die if you speak above a whisper.
[3] No living people; but golems. They stand on the very edge of the island, look out, waiting.
[4] Castaway Red-Faced Nobles. Got lost on way to safari; airship out of fuel.
[5] Huge goo monster. Collective of everything it ate. Offers to absorb you; you will know peace.
[6] Bitter Northwinders. Ankle-length black hair. Here for a burial, will be gone in 1d3 days.
[7] Tribal birdpeople. Nomadic; resting for migration flight. 1 in 4 chance of Landless instead.
Society of ghosts. They ask you to please die somewhere else; this island's afterlife is getting crowded. If you do die here they'll shun you for a few hundred years then warm up.
[9] The King of Cartwheels and his merry band. He's about 65, can't really do acrobatic stunts anymore, grumbling in the ranks. Will pay handsomely if you can restore his lost agility.
[10] Beautiful blue-haired humanoid females- they are alone on the island. They wear see through gossamer dresses, are absolutely hospitable and invite you to stay as long as you like. They have plenty of food and will listen to your exploits with rapt giggly attention. Only 50% chance that they are some kind of race of evil succubi sirens even though your players will suspect them 100%.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

8 Supernatural things only Rogues can do

I made one for Fighters, so why not Rogues too?

Pickpocket Magic Items someone is Wearing
Most magic items have a sort of will or personality all their own. In some games, like 5e D&D, they are actually bound to their users through attunement. Many magic items act as protective elements, or are considered the same as a normal item but "better" in one or more ways. Wouldn't one of the ways something could be better is that it is harder to steal?

For certain items, like rings, ribbons, armor, bracelets, and so on; somebody is usually wearing them to get the effects. Most people would agree stealing a ring off someone's finger is harder then stealing it from a bag they're carrying, plus the magical effect would make a subtle change in magical energy that the victim of the thief would notice. As such, only thieves can steal magic items from people without them feeling it be lost away. Perhaps when they steal away a magic item, they wrap it in a blanket so it can't try to fly back to their owner, or maybe their thievish nature temporarily puts the magic items to sleep.

[2] Enter stealth (again) during Combat
There tends to be rules for this, something like disengage or using a ninja smoke bomb. Basically, you can reengage stealth in combat. Now I'm not saying its impossible to become hidden again, but in any normal fight, especially in most D&D style encounters where there are usually less then 20 people in any given fight, the ability to suddenly slip out behind a pillar and go back to sneaking around to stab somebody in the back is party far fetched.

While of course any fight is chaotic, and people lose track of shit all the time, people in a fight are hyper aware about whats going on, and will naturally break off into groups to fight each person and watch their friend's back. For a fighter or magician, I would say you can't go back into stealth after an ambush, as they already know you're there. But a Rogue maybe could; taking a short route around to flank an enemy, or just ducking underneath general eye-level and then sliding in to stab someone seems to me like it would take a lot of luck and superhuman levels of competence, hence its inclusion here.

[3] Saving throw against Unseen Traps
So depending on what D&D or DIY ruleset you use, some of them have saving throws against traps, and others don't. Some games use a simple chance to activate when you go over the trap, unless you trigger it at a distance with a spell or 10 ft pole or something. Depending on how strict you are, you could say that nobody gets a save against an unseen trap in that, even if you're on edge, you aren't going to know a random poison dart will fly at you or a blade falls from the ceiling.

But Rogues have a sort of supernatural 6th sense for this kind of thing. Maybe when they activate the trap, the tiny differences in air pressure or maybe just their skill with devices gives them a feeling of what's coming next- so they dodge to the left and it just so happens the spikes were coming out of the wall on the right. You could say its supernatural luck, but Rogues are all about dungeon traps in particular, so this one is a magical ability disguised as moxie.

[4] Ninja Jumping
Rogues can jump farther then other characters, but specifically, it's that stereotypical "ninja jump" that floats with downwards momentum. Obviously if you jump on something in real life, it's going to be really loud. Even jumping down onto dirt can be pretty loud too. But ninja jumps are softer, land quieter, meaning you can run over people's rooftops or jump from ledges without making a loud obvious noise that attracts too much attention.

[5] Multiple Ambushes thru the Elements
This is a bit like the Reentering stealth in combat thing, but a bit more specific. You've probably seen a movie or show where something like this happens- a horror movie killer or a ninja/heroic warrior stepping out of fog, smoke, sand, or leaping out of water, attacking and killing an enemy in a group, and then they jump back in to that obscured area, to then pop out again when it gets quiet again later- hunting down their enemies one by one.

Now this is kind of an aesthetic thing, but I actually really like this concept for Rogues. Perhaps you can use this element of the battlefield and reenter stealth every time you make a successful attack and kill in one roll from stealth. Failing a sneak attack or attacking a target too tough means you can't go back into stealth from this "element".

[6] Infiltrate a place by posing as a Servant/Squire/Underclass
In a situation where an important person is having a ball or event, and a bunch of servants and the like are there, the actual ability one would have of being able to infiltrate such a place is impossible. See, even in a situation where everyone is busy, all the servants there are going to recognize each other, if at least by silhouette, especially if you consider face and voice. Posing as a guard doesn't really make sense- guards are going to know each other, at least as acquaintances.

However, a Rogue can bypass this. Perhaps their ability to sneak and general charisma let others just 'skip' over them subconsciously, or perhaps they have some kind of supernatural luck to go with their sneaking skills. Rogues just have "that" type of face and body type where people just gloss over it- oh it's that new guy, who just happens to look and sound like the Rogue, and just doesn't say much letting the Rogue get away with his not too well thought out plan.

[7] Climb Sheer Surfaces
Arguably already a supernatural skill that D&D gave them through the skill. However, if you have a totally smooth surface, like a giant crystal or wall made of glass, or an especially smooth bit of stone or concrete, there is no way any normal person could climb out without a tool. There's no place to get a grip! But Rogues don't have this issue. Their hands can stick to the wall, perhaps a bit like a gecko, letting them climb out on any surface.

[8] Escape Afterlife/Cosmic Realms
Alternate dimensions or cosmic planes are common in some tabletop settings. However, without magic spells or the powers of the gods or spirits that can transverse these realms; any mortal sent to one would become stranded. The exception are Rogues. By using their incredible abilities of luck and perseverance, they can somehow manage to return from a prison dimension or other realm meant to trap and ensnare them for good.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Winged Terror Generator

All Winged Terrors begin with;

  • Ability to Fly
  • Takes one round to take off once landed
  • 7 HD
  • AC as leather (12)
  • Morale 14
  • +4 to hit
  • Bite Attack / x2 Kick Attacks (rolled below)
  • Alignment of Neutral

Terrible Head - 1d10 (Bite Attack)
[1] Pelican (no damage; save or be swallowed whole) Long neck, distorted shrill bird-cry.
[2] Lion (1d10 bite, +1 morale) Distressingly humanoid. Shaggy mane hides its red eyes.
[3] Pterosaur (1d6, +1 HD) Some ancient beak-face from forgotten years.
[4] Fly (1d6 acid spit at range) Can fire acid blobs in flight. Giant creepy eyes.
[5] Fellbeast (1d12, Alignment to Evil) Yes, just like LotR. Long scaley necks, horrible teeth.
[6] Squirrel (1d4, spits two rocks at 1d8 in flight) Very cute. Boulders held in its cheeks.
[7] Woodpecker (1d6, +1 to hit with all attacks) Focused. Pecks holes in cliff faces.
[8] Hornet (1d8, Add "Angry-" to front of alignment) Is about as mean as it looks.
[9] Sea Cucumber (None. At 50% HP, Tubules breath weapon at 3d4 in a cone; save for half) Head terminates in a weird cloaca hole. Regurgitates its inner organs as a desperation move.
[10] Parrot (1d6, breaks open iron armor on attack roll of 20- no longer protects you) Bites open seeds as hard as your armor routinely. Magic armor +1 or better is immune. Whistles.

Terrible Legs- 1d8 (Kick Attack- Both kick attacks the same) Roll 1d6 for biological.
[1] Talons (1d10) Bird of Prey. Hunts and carries away cattle with these.
[2] Bird Claws (1d4, adapt at digging) Just like a chicken. Can dig you out if you try to hide.
[3] Dragon (1d6, dexterous, add "-Hoarder" to end of alignment) Very rapacious. Drops rocks.
[4] Hooves (1d4, save on 4 or be knocked prone, -1 morale) Sounds like a horse when running.
[5] Grasshopper Legs (1d6+1, jumps- takes off one round faster) Deadly sharpened spines.
[6] Hippopotamus (no attack, takes off one round slower, +1 HD and AC, save or die if it lands on you) Crushes people to death death.
[7] Stilts (no attack, +2 AC, weak to fire) Long stilts of wicker and wood.
[8] Cannons (2d6 explosive shot, -8 to hit, save or take half damage if adjacent to target, once per round, twice per encounter) This creature has unnatural cannons of metal instead of legs. Must steady itself if in flight to use these.

Terrible Wings - 1d6
[1] Moth (1d4 Dust attack while grounded) Sheds dust and curled setae; stings eyes, blisters skin.
[2] Dragon (+1 AC, takes off one round slower) Heavy wingbeats. Curls around itself for defense.
[3] Pterosaur (+1 HD, wind power) Huge skin flaps; can generate wind gusts to knock away arrows.
[4] Bat Wings (Nightvision, Can cling upside down) Creature of the night.
[5] Insect (-1 HD, takes off one round faster) Smaller then the others; droning flight. Hovers.
[6] Feathers (Quiet flight, +2 in 6 surprise) Colorful if it lives in a tropical jungle or island, white if it lives in a mountain, dark if it lives in a cursed land.

Terrible Tail - 1d12
[1] Puppy (Takes one less round to take off) Excitable. Wags as its mauling you.
[2] Thagomizer (1d6+1 tail attack) Prehistoric skin up to the base of the tail. Lazy weapon.
[3] Crocodile (+1 AC, can swim, takes off one round slower) Large, fat, frumpy.
[4] Leopard (+1 damage with all attacks) Stalks it prey. Likes to perch in gigantic world-trees.
[5] Peacock (Save or be dazzled one round) Unfurls proudly, will interrupt spellcasters.
[6] Scorpion (1d4 tail attack, save vs poison or 2 damage per round for 3d6 rounds) Black as coal.
[7] Smooth (+1 HD, takes one more round to take off, +1 morale) No tail at all. Plucked chicken.
[8] Stringer (1d8 attack, only in flight) Could pierce through chainmail. Not a bee; stings a lot.
[9] Chain (two 1d4 chain whip attacks) Short fleshy tail, a rusted manacle stuck on it from when it was once captured. Has learned to use its chain as a weapon.
[10] Sucker (once every three rounds; save or be swallowed) Weird purple flesh nub. Pair of lips on the end; leads directly to stomach. Some Wizard's horrible fetish, maybe?
[11] Pidgeon (1d4+1 feather dart attack at range) Can fling its feathers as projectiles. If its wings are also feathers, it gets two of these attacks per round.
[12] Rabbit (Paralyzing dust; save on breath or be stunned for 1d3 rounds) Big cotton tail. Looks really dumb, until you realize it produces paralyzing dust. If it's smart enough it will shake this on you from above, or kick up a bunch and flap wings to blast it at your face. Otherwise you have to try and flank the creature to be subjected to this.

Why is this Winged Terror attacking you? - 1d6
[1] You got too close to its territory.
[2] You are of its preferred prey species.
[3] Some random gem or cool rock in your inventory is actually one of its eggs.
[4] It can't tell your group of adventures apart from the one that tried to enslave it in the past.
[5] It's an old, ancient, lonely beast. It's gone senile and aggressive. No loss of power.
[6] It coats itself in the blood of humans & intelligent beings to attract a mate. Red wings.

What is its downy fluffy mane made of/or look like? - 1d6
[1] Look fluffy, really articulated spines. Puff up when angered.
[2] Long greasy hair, makes a mane. Looks spectacular in flight.
[3] No down, spikes instead.
[4] Chains and nails driven into its flesh/carapace. Rusted, blooded, will not die.
[5] Made of flowers, leaves, vines. Could be plucked for appearance, or just grows on the monster.
[6] Body of a giant fluffy caterpillar. Literally hollowed out and worn on the neck. Your hand goes numb for 1d6 hours after touching it.

What cool treasure is in its nest? - 1d8
[1] 1d3 Flying Swords, stuck in the earth. Makes sense- flying swords vs a flying monster.
[2] Scroll carrier. Within is 1d4 random weird magic spells. Lost on route to a Wizard library.
[3] 1d4 Giant Eggs.
[4] An entire airship- sails ripped and hull cracked. Could be made airborne with work.
[5] Giant unexploded iron bomb. Tossed from a catapult, Terror kept it as memento?
[6] Young dragon skeleton. Worth a fortune for medicine.
[7] Automaton Steed. It's a metal horse. Tireless. The Terror thought it was a real horse and tried to grab it for a meal, now it just kind of stands here waiting for someone to ride it out.
[8] Some dude tied to a rock with metal chains. Winged Terror eats part of him every day, poor bastard just grows it back.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Blatant Fetish Posting- Vore

So let's talk about getting eaten alive by monsters. That's fun- happens less often then you think. There's a lot of random, specific mechanics that could be used for getting swallowed up. I've seen a few games with rules like acid damage per turn, rolls or DC's to escape, and so on.

I've had to have written a bunch of these rulesets by now in my various monster and creature write ups. Here's a unified procedure to make it easy.

Art @FinalRoar (very NSFW)

Getting Swallowed
Usually, characters are swallowed whole on an attack roll of 20 by a bite attack by a creature at least two sizes larger then the character. For instance, a human couldn't swallow a halfling whole, unless if they were some kind of weird mutant thing, but an ogre totally could. To make it a little easier, I'd argue that the bite attack does no normal damage (since it's a swallow, not a bite).

Some very large mouthed creatures, creatures with vacuum-breath, or long sticky tongues like giant frogs have a save-or-be-swallowed attack/ability they use instead. Save or be swallowed. Humanoid monsters should probably have to grapple you first.

Once you're hit with one of these; you don't get to escape. You get swallowed up. Heroic characters could avoid it in special situations; like a mighty warrior could hold the creature's mouth open with their body, a Rogue could maybe grab onto the tongue and avoid falling down into the gullet, etc.

Now, realistically speaking, it's pretty unlikely you'd actually be conscious if you get swallowed down the throat of a giant monster- you'd suffocate before you actually got harmed by stomach acid, and digestion is too slow to really act like an "attack" anyway. But this is fantasy, and I handwave this away since a giant monster probably has a lot of air in its body cavity for you to breathe at least for the first few minutes of getting swallowed whole.

Every round after the round of being swallowed, you take 1d6 + HD of the creature. This means a 4 HD giant frog deals 1d6+4 damage per round that you're in its stomach. You get a round of grace period, to represent the acid taking time to start corroding you and to make very high HD monsters less instantly murderous, though it's still pretty dangerous to be in there more then one round!

This is a nice middle ground of the main "punishment" of getting eaten to be separated from normal combat, but also means you don't want to get eaten. Based on certain monsters like Behirs or dragons or whatever I wonder if it'd be better to try and get eaten so you can avoid their more dangerous attacks like fire and lightning breath in standard D&D- this method makes a decent amount of unavoidable damage every round pretty dangerous on its own.

Once you're in the monster's stomach, there is no easy way out. Rogues may roll to climb out of the monster's throat- otherwise you are trapped.

You may make attacks against the monster from the inside. There is no attack roll- all attacks automatically hit. You cannot use any large weapons inside the monster; you can only use daggers or natural weapons like claws. (I'd say if you're inside a REALLY big monster, then you can use a sword instead, it cool) If you're fortunate enough to have these, you can harm the monster from inside. In these cases, the battle becomes a race against time to slay the monster and cut your companion out of its belly.

On an internal attack roll of 20, you can cut a slit large enough to escape, though it doesn't necessarily kill the monster; just deals the regular damage of the attack. Once this slit is cut, the monster cannot swallow anyone else unless it can regenerate. You can also save this move for a lethal final blow; the person inside cutting themselves out and the monster dies spectacularly.

I have no idea who the fuck drew this.

Sunday, May 16, 2021


- +2 Magic Shield
Stats- Adds +2 AC

The Bitterscreen appears as a gray-green, sickly metallic shield with a collection of fading flowers drawn on the front. It is magically enchanted and grants the wearer a significant magical aura of protection of +2. If shields in your game already grant +2 AC, then bump this up accordingly.

The Bitterscreen has two primary abilities. The first is that anything in the "view" of the Screen will not heal correctly. For people this usually means hiding the screen with at least a tarp or turning it away in camp, else you will restore no hitpoints over a good night's rest and all medical procedures will heal a die size smaller (so d6 to d4 and so on). The Bitterscreen seems to just make healing a problem, as though it projects an aura of decay. 

This ability also works passively in combat; all regenerating creatures or foes can only regenerate a maximum of one hit point per round per source of regeneration. So if a troll was fighting you, it heals a maximum of 1 hit point per round. If the troll had a ring of regeneration on, then 2 points per round, etc. This does not effect the holder of the shield, as only the outwards face emits this negative energy.

The second ability of the Bitterscreen is the Bitter Ray. The holder of the shield can charge up a blast of energy which appears as a dull glowing light. This energy is then released as a cone in front of the holder extending to a maximum of 40 feet. This blast deals 4d6 damage evenly distributed to everyone within the cone, friend or foe.

There is no limit to how many times this blast can be used, but each time it is used the user loses maximum hit points equal to the lowest number rolled on any single die for the blast's damage. For instance if they rolled a 1, 3, 3, 5 they would lose 1 maximum hit points, or if they rolled a 5, 5, 6, 6 they would lose 5 maximum hit points, etc.

The name of this artifact has vexed scholars for years, as despite the similarity in names, this item has no relation whatsoever to the Bitterhound.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Vagueposting- Gryphons are hard to beat

 Art @Tomasz Chistowski

When it comes to designing fantasy mounts or animal companions/warriors for fantasy settings, it's REALLY hard to beat the griffon.

I don't necessarily mean beating as in like, they're really strong and powerful in a fight or whatever- though that is certainly the case. It's like a flying horse that can fight, both with a beak AND claws. This makes it pretty powerful in combat, and that's without the high level badass knight no doubt riding its back. Also: I'm using Gryphon as I like that spelling the best, but Griffon in the text, because that's the one that doesn't trigger my spellchecker.

But anyway; specifically I meant the griffon is hard to beat as a conceptual mount. What do I mean by this? Let's examine it.

In fantasy worlds, you tend to think of ways to "power up" medieval warriors or battles- as to add levels of power not available in the real world. Of course, it's difficult to do so. Don't take me as a historical revisionist or history worshiper, but typically speaking the people of the past are going to roughly use the most efficient and effective means available to them to basically anything; including warfare. It's kind of hard to improve on the concept of slashing someone with a sword or polearm, so in order to add some fantasy pizazz on top, you make them out of magical materials and the like. Pretty simple.

Mounts are a bit of a tougher problem. In real life, people never decided to go around riding hippopotami or bears because they're scary and never got around to domesticating them. Which is fucking stupid, because they totally should have. Horses were used as mounts probably because they eat grass, which is something humans can't directly eat, had backs uniquely suitable for carrying a heavy person in a way that a wolf or cat simply can't do even if sized up appropriately, and because they're already social animals that fit well for domestication. This is, of course, all armchair theorizing stuff, but you're reading Vagueposting so I guess that's your fault right? lmao.

Anyway, with that in mind, you want to make up a fantasy animal that knights and warriors can ride into battle. Being on a mount is such a massive advantage in any pre-modern combat; but horses are kind of lame. Note: Obviously, horses are actually extremely dangerous, and the simple momentum of being on a giant animal is more then enough to give this huge advantage! But they don't have claws or a fearsome bite of a predator- they're grounded, and aren't especially armored. They are mostly known for being fast. Of course, realistically, that's all they NEED to be; no animal can fulfill all of these qualities in a way with the same efficiency in a realistic way- but in fantasy you can make animals fit these roles.

Art @Studio 0618(?)
BUT But there is more to this! You could take things like giant cats and lions, which is fine, or giant wolves or bears or boars and what not- BUT there's a bit of an issue here. I'll take lions out of this; but for all of these animals there is a bit of a wild or negative connotation connected to them in certain ways. This is why you see orcs riding wargs and not humans. And then you have tigers and elk and stuff, but those are more fitting for one off, special natural characters like elves or druids, not a "knight".

So in order to make a more powerful, sup-ed up version of a horse, it needs to be something that has a bit of nobility to it, has to be able to fight or be more intimidating then a horse. In this, I would say that lions/big cats can be a good substitute. However, lions in my opinion are a bit harder to sell because everybody kind of already has an idea of what a lion is and how big it roughly is, and they aren't quite horse sized. Perhaps specifying that they are giant lions could help, but in the end, lions are still grounded. They can't fly. They are also a "mundane" animal, which lacks some of that fantasy danger/power level increase.

Now you COULD go with magical version of a horse. Typically, a Pegasus (or THE Pegasus) is a cool one, but is a bit weak in terms of combat prowess. It's just a horse with wings; could be incredibly fantastical in a grounded setting, but in a setting where players are going to be jousting against dragons, it's comparatively weak. Another example would be a unicorn, or an alicorn to borrow My Little Pony terminology (which is a winged unicorn.) These are pretty badass on their own, but we're talking specifically about combat mounts.

There are some magical beasts or beings you could use for this too. Flying sharks, wyverns, harpies, sphinxes, gragoyles, manticores could all be potential monsters- but here's the thing. They can't be too innately magical or "out there"- I won't even get into detail about all these creatures being typecast as evil or bestial as you can kinda change that, but the point stands. They need to be grounded somewhat, biologically and in terms of ability. The standard fantasy knight needs to be the "mundane" character, and can't be too crazy or else it breaks some of the fantasy suspension of disbelief.

Art @Deiv Calviz

Now let's discuss the elephant in the room- not an actual elephants. Dragons. Dragons are the big one you could argue are stronger or "better" then a gryphon; but herein lies the issue. Dragons are actually TOO powerful to really serve as a mount in my honest opinion. Now I know dragons have a long history of serving as heroic (and evil) character mounts, but dragons fail for two reasons in my opinion. Firstly, dragons are a bit too powerful and outshine their riders in a way- this is not something you want a mount to do. Breath weapons change up the dyanmic in a way that takes away from the "flying/magical knight dude" idea. If the dragon is significantly small then it could work in this context, but then the other issue is that dragons are too smart. Dragons are usually portrayed with a human level of intelligence or "greater", thus meaning they can usually talk and would be more of a partnership of the rider and the dragon they are riding. 

In my opinion, this messes up the dynamic. For two reasons primarily- first, it takes away focus from the combat power and prowess of the rider once again, but two, it makes them irreplaceable in a way. If you ride a dragon into battle, you ride A dragon, not a dragon. The thing about mounts, in my mind at least, is they need to be at least somewhat replaceable, or at the very least, not of equal value to the rider if one had to be slain in a fight, if that makes sense.

To better explain this; you could imagine a fantasy knight going into a stable getting a new horse if theirs died, or if the horse is exhausted and needing to switch it out for a long journey. You could imagine a fantasy knight doing the same thing with a griffon- but NOT with a dragon. Not with a character. Of course, if you make dragons into the setting closer to animals then it works out- but these are starting to not resemble the stereotypical fantasy version of dragons!

What about other mounts? Well- anything reptilian (including dragons to an extent) is going to be a bit too sinister to work as the generic noble knight mount. Those flying Fell-Beasts that the Nazgul ride around are also great, but once again, very villainous! An artificial mount, like a flying carpet or something would only really fit for a Wizard and is a bit too wacky. Giant bugs would also totally fall flat here- most people don't like bugs except for maybe a big fuzzy moth, but that lacks punching power. Now riding around a giant bird or eagle has a lot of promise here- I think these are plenty good, (and in a way, you could argue they are the in between of a horse and griffon; a "mid level" option, if you would, that or a Hippogriff.), but the griffon is still a bit more powerful in this direct confrontation. Being the "most" powerful isn't necessarily a good trait here, but it's part of the factors for being in the running.

Now, you could always make up your own mount, which is totally fine. I have no problems with that; but it lacks a certain fantasy "realness" that existing creatures have. I'm sure that you as a worldbuilder or dungeon master run into a similar issue; you'll make up a unique race and just feel they can't really stand up to the mass cultural power that things like elves, dwarves, and orcs simply have. I feel the same way about trying to make up my own fantasy mounts or "good" creatures for people to use or live with in a fantasy setting. In a weird way, I actually think that random whacko made up stuff works better for monsters then for knowable, domestic creatures in the setting- though if you're trying to make your own setting, it's equivalent.

Art @Seb Lee

But the Griffon? It has clout. It's a real mythological beast. It's been used as a fantasy flying mount for a long time- I know Warhammer and Warcraft have done it, I'm sure at least one of the official D&D settings have done it; and there are certainly more examples I cannot name here. It's part of the pop culture and social consciousness for fantasy tropes. While that's not really a "fair" reason- it IS a reason nonetheless. You can even switch them up a bit; griffons could be made of different birds or cat bottom halves; it isn't too hard to imagine giving griffons animals stereotypes of birds, or lions, or both in a combination. Their capabilities could be more grounded and animal, like roughly equal to a flying predatory cat/bird creature, or they could be supernaturally strong and "boss like", as they are seen in games like the Witcher, Dragon's Dogma, etc.

And another thing; birds are attractive. Not in a weird sexual bestiality way, but in an purely looks way. They're majestic, especially birds of prey. Larger reptiles we would associate with mounts (like crocodiles, komodo dragons, etc.) are scraggly, not symmetrical and "cute" enough to really cut it as something humans want to ride around on and pet and feed scraps around the campfire- same goes for giant flying bug mounts, massive bats, or like weird giant smoke monsters or whatever.

So to sum up; When it comes to giving a good or generally honorable Knights a souped up version of a knight for epic fantasy battles or powerful tools for adventuring types- griffons are going to be really hard to beat in terms of aesthetics, power, plausibility, thematic grouping, and especially cultural relevance and reiteration.

If you have ANY ideas on mounts that can beat the Gryphon- please share. I'm desperate.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Motes of Power

Motes are the name used to describe the whirling glowing orbs or specks of energy surrounding magic users when charged with magical energies, especially when they cast powerful spells. They seem to appear spontaneously, either slipping in from thin air or from behind the cloak or unseen spots in the viewer's vision. They twinkle along with the speaking of the spell, disappearing when it is cast- as though a chorus with the incantation.

Most of the time, these notes just appear and they aren't controlled. But did you know you can make them yourself?

Motes of Power
- X Level Spell
Motes of Power is unique in that it can be prepared in any spell slot you want. Whatever level of spell you prepare this spell in; it will create that many motes when it is cast.

Motes are normally created and destroyed without any sense of intelligence or control; but a skill magic user can make better use of them. Each mote can be spent to;

  • Boost the Caster Level of a spell by +1
  • Boost the Caster's saves vs spells by +2 for one roll
  • Reduce the Caster Level of an enemy spell by -1, which nullifies the spell totally if it drops to 0

Additionally, each mote acts like a spotlight in dark places, making stealth or subterfuge impossible when they are around. If a spell is cast that creates something like a magical portal, magic circle on the ground, or a summoned being; the motes fly to that being and rotate around them clockwise. Opposed spellcaster creations will have counter-clockwise motes.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021


Furnace Golem (5 HD, +7 AC, +4 to hit, 1d6+1 fist, 2d8 Flame Breath OR 1d4 Eye Beam, Inner Fire, Construct)
Morale: N/A
Number: One or Two

The Furnace Golem looks like an ancient bearded dwarf. It is made of metal and is both a furnace and a creature. Within the furnace golem is a fire which is its power source as well as its primary weapon- the furnace must be occasionally be fed anything that can be consumed by flames to continue to power this golem. If it's flame is every put out, it will cease to be animated, and can only be lit again by a special, magical flame. As a golem, it has no conscious mind and no will of its own; it will fight to the death every time, and is immune to any spells that target living things or mind-controlling spells.

The Furnace Golem may strike with a steel fist dealing 1d6+1 damage, or may use weapons and will deal the damage of the weapons at +1. Its arms are very inflexible and it cannot use two handed weapons, and prefer just to smash people with its fists anyway unless ordered otherwise. 

Every round it may also release a gout of deadly flaming breath released from its riveted mouth- this deals 2d8 damage to anyone in about a spear's range of its mouth in a cone. However, each time it uses this ability, it loses 1d6 hit points from the loss of its inner flame. In order to preserve its flame, as well as to provide a ranged weapon, the golem may also fire a beam of focused heat and light from its eyes; channeled from its inner fire. This deals 1d4 damage and can travel as far as an arrow from a shortbow- any longer distance and the light fades and its becomes ineffective.


[2] Fulgrite Golem (3 HD, +5 AC, +6 to hit, 1d10 electrical cleave, 1d6 retaliation shock, lightning call, construct)
Morale: N/A
Number: One indoors, 1d8 along a beach

Fulgrite Golems appear as long, twisting roughly humanoid figures made from fulgrite. Can only be created with several powerful bolts of lightning trapped away or called by the artificer. They are still charged with this electrical energy after being made. More fragile then the other types of Golementals, the Fulgrite golems move with much greater speed if needed, but pause in place between frantic bursts of speed. It's body is very brittle, and as such it doesn't twist to move but instead prefers to rotate its body fully or hop in unusual motions that make it difficult to predict.

The Fulgrite Golems attack by moving past people; their bodies shedding a skin of electrified sand, magnetic waves, and bits of glass fired in all directions. Because of this nature of attack, they cleave through groups of people who approach them, dealing damage to all with each attack. The electrical energy of the fulgrite golem deals 1d6 damage against anyone who strikes them with a melee weapon made of anything conductive- but the Fulgrite golem takes identical damage as you use up its charge.

Finally; these golems can call lightning. By standing still, they can move the local weather one stage. This ability obviously only works outdoors. Clear skies go to cloudy, cloudy goes to dark, dark goes to stormy. The lightning from this storm won't hit the fulgrite golems (as it hit them already) but will hit anyone who raises up a metal weapon or might strike a tree; once every other round.


[3] Riptide Golem (6 HD, +4 AC, +4 AC, swimming, three 1d6 ripcord attacks per round, can grapple at +2, construct)
Morale: N/A
Number: 1d4 laying in wait in a stream

The riptide golems have a central "body" that looks like a sunken barrel or hollow log. When it is activate, its true form is revealed. The golem "walks" and attacks with long loops of cord tied around smooth river stones. The ropes are carefully enchanted so they don't slip off. The golems are known for the distinct sound they make as the river stones are pulled into its central body, made wet with water, and rub against it on the way out, creating a clacking noise. These cords and stones must remain wet; its central body can store a small amount of water for a few minutes outside of a stream or pool, but it must return soon or else it will deactivate.

Every round, it can whip out its loops to strike enemies with the barrage of stones. It can also wrap these cords around people to try and drag them under the water to drown them, but doing so gives up one of its "loop" attacks. Piercing damage done to its main body will cause its water to leak out faster- it can only be out of water for a maximum number of rounds equal to its current HP divided by 6, dropping the remainder. Or in other words, the minimum number of dice its current HP worth of hit points could be rolled with d6s.

[4] Stone Golem (8 HD, +6 AC, +6 AC, slow, crush at 2d10+2, made of stone, construct)
Morale: N/A
Number: Hopefully just one

The stone golem is carved from a block of pure stone, and engraved with magical words that cause it to become alive. It is the slowest of all types of Golementals and can only act once every other turn. It can only move about as fast as a man can walk, but never tires, does not bleed, and will never stop perusing its target once it has been told to. The golem is slow and stupid, cannot jump or fly, and as such could be trapped in a room or a pit with no method of escape.

Since the stone golem is made of stone; it cannot be damaged by bladed weapons unless they are significantly magical; +2 or better for swords or arrows to harm it. Normal blunt weapons will take damage as though you were attacking a block of stone, because that's exactly what you are doing.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Luigi's Mansion 3 - A Masterclass of Treasure Troves + 30 Treasure Trove Ideas

©Nintendo (obviously)

Have you played Luigi's Mansion 3? It's quite good. Maybe a little "soft" like most modern Nintendo works, but it has a lot of unique idea, charm, high production values and polish, and some amazing creativity and variety. My favorite thing about the game is how much "unique" stuff is in it. Like unique floors and rooms, unique props, and most of all- unique treasure troves.

I don't think any other game out there give a similar feeling of being able to explore pretty much everywhere and find some random hidden treasure trove. But I'm not just making this blogpost to talk about this video game, I actually wanted to draw attention to how good some of these treasure troves are in the context of a dungeon crawling environment.

Now in this context, I'm using the term "treasure trove" to refer to small, optional bits of 'treasure' hidden away in props or side areas. Since trove might sound a bit more like a LARGE amount of treasure like a treasure hoard, you could also replace this with treasure caches or small little stashes of treasure.

The reason why I like Luigi's Mansion 3 in this so much is because, much like OSR/DIY dungeon crawlers, the focus on the game is on exploration. In Luigi's Mansion 3 it's moreso to find keys or other items, solve puzzles, and eventually defeat the boss on each floor, where as in a dungeon crawler it's moreso about getting the treasure. But Luigi's Mansion 3 just oozes creativity when it comes to hiding treasures just out of plain sight.

To some this may sound obvious; but the idea of filling a dungeon with lots of small, miss-able treasures every which way is a great way to ensure that your players will find at least some of the treasure. In games I've run, the "large" treasure troves (if they are significantly hidden in any way), tend to not be found, where as the more small ones based on simpler interactions are. Therefore, you need to make sure there is ENOUGH treasure around that the party can actually get some XP and level up if they don't find every nook and cranny, and cramming treasure everywhere in small amounts makes sense for this. While "balance" is a bit of a controversial word, I think balancing out a dungeon's play experience so that most groups will get a moderately useful amount out of it without having to stumble upon one secret wall or door is very important and an important element of good design.

Also, after the first time it happens, you bet the players will be investigating nearly everything. To those who already have long running groups playing OSR games, this will be expected, but if you grab some random players who have never played tabletop, or come from a more structured gaming background such as 4e or 5e D&D, they will be less likely to randomly pull a mounted boar head's tusk down to reveal a hidden cache of silver coins that spew out if its mouth. As such, Luigi's Mansion 3 acts as excellent fodder for ideas to steal for your own dungeons. Here's 30 ideas for where to hide treasures, stolen or sourced from Luigi's Mansion 3.

30 Treasure Troves & How they are Hidden / How to Open Them
Stagnant, rank bathtub filled w/ black water. Drain to reveal the coins at the bottom.
[2] Small artificial palm trees on a diorama of a pirate bay have paper money for leaves.
[3] Statue of a naked lady. Nipples are actually coins.
[4] Rack for clothes in the ancient barracks. The hanger-bar is hollow, filled with rolls of money.
[5] The kitchen. Underneath the oven is a big conductive copper plate- unintentional treasure!
[6] False brick in wall, hiding treasure. Eyes of evil overlord portrait look right at it.
[7] Book has paper money stuffed in the pages. Book has to have a fitting name, like "Payday".
[8] Maypole. If you spin it around enough, gold nuggets rain from the archimedes screw inside!
[9] Mounted lion's head with a braided mane. Pull it, mouth opens, silver plate inside.
[10] Mural on a wall shows chest; chest bricked into wall. Stolen from Goblin Punch.
[11] Ancient Temple. Face rotating bull statues away from each other; treasure comes up.
[12] Ancient catacomb. Four color-coded tombs. Place color-coded skulls for secret room.
[13] Obvious trap doors for a pit trap puzzle. One doesn't open. Within is treasure-chest.
[14] Poem on a wall, missing word like "gold" or "wealth". Trace word with finger to open it.
[15] Room with multiple wind-fans. If you get them all spinning at once; treasure is revealed.
[16] Fountains on edge of room, transfer to dry central bowl, delicate silver boats float up.
[18] Archery range w/ arrows stuck in target. Hit bullseye to flip it over; coins glued on base.
[19] Four sitting chairs; pressure plates under cushions. Hold them down to reveal treasure chest.
[20] Piano in a room. Certain combination of keys = top opens to reveal golden strings inside.
[21] Chicken coop. Pressure plate under the empty nest; place eggs to reveal white jade egg.
[22] Standard nobleman's portrait with golden rays of sunshine behind him. Really gold leaf.
[23] Decorative cannons on display. Deep in the barrel are gold balls. Tip or "fire" to loose.
[24] Elevator. Ride on top of the elevator, not in, to go to a secret jewel room.
[25] Banners or curtains covering a niche filled with gold.
[26] Flaming torches on a hall. Some aren't lit. The classic- light them for a secret room.
[27] Room with sandlot. Have to dig deep; treasure chest inside.
[28] Armory with spears. Rusty, shitty spear is actually a lever connected to a trapdoor.
[29] Ancient throne room. You have to be really fat like the old king. Throne sinks into floor, pulling down the pillars around the throne with it vertically to reveal niches stuffed with ransom.
[30] Pendulum blade swings back and forth over walkway. Stand on blade itself with daring leap, it goes through the wall with a wide enough crack for you. There is a secret room there.

Friday, May 7, 2021

I made up 8 Stands

「BIG K.R.I.T.」
Type: Medium Range, Average Stats
Ability: This stand launches objects with telekinetic force. The amount of force is the same no matter the size or air resistance of the object, so small objects like stones or coins are launched as hard as bullets, where as large objects like cars are shoved only a few meters. The object cannot be a living thing, but severed limbs could work.

However, once an object is launched, it will then rapidly begin to heat up over the course of one minute. The object will give off an amount of heat in proportion to its size. Small objects will get so hot that picking them up will burn your hand, where as large objects will get so hot they'll start to melt metal and cook the air around them. After this minute, the object will begin to cool down at a normal speed. Objects still warmed from this ability cannot be fired again with the telekinetic blast. The heat generated from this ability also will not damage the object itself, but anything around it can be affected.

Type: Remote Control Stand
Ability: This stand appears as a weazel ball made of flesh, with a highly stylized wolf connected to it. This stand can be used on anyone if the user makes them bleed- it can be from a cut, punch, medical procedure, etc. The 'ball' will sink into the person and become dormant. At the exact moment a digital clock would end in a 0 (as in, every 10 minutes), the Stand will activate and begin to explode the person from the inside out with large, bite-shaped holes over their body once every minute.

If you are affected by this stand, it is possible to transfer it to someone else by drawing their blood before the clock hits the zero. If the time is up, the Stand will not stop attacked until whoever it is within is dead, but if they manage to survive for long enough then it will be transferred to the next person whose blood was drawn by whoever the stand was in last. It is also possible to transfer the Stand into animals, blood bag storage room in the hospital, etc.


Type: Close Range Power Type
Ability: Whenever this Stand punches someone with a solid, good hit- one bead on the right (yellow) side of its abacus is slid over. Once all the beads on the left side have slipped over, one bead on the left (red) will slide over and all the right beads reset.

For every left side (red) bead that is active, the Stand can perform one totally unerring hit. This hit ignores physical terrain, range limit, and other Stand abilities. Once this hit is done, the bead slides back and is considered used up. As the power of this Stand grows, the number of beads on the right side of the abacus decrease, thus making it easier to use the more powerful left side beads. Also, as a surprise this Stand could potentially have right-side beads get slid over by "defeating" another Stand user in a game or sport preemptively before a battle.

If the Stand hits anyone else while it has active beads, ALL of its beads are reset, both on right and left. This Stand is only good with one on one battles.

Type: Swarm Type, Excellent Defense
Ability: This Stand appears as a swarm of flower blossoms with no stems. Whenever this Stand is used, the user can create exactly one flower on an object. Because this is a swarm type stand, destroying just one flower head deals essentially no damage to the Stand user. Every few seconds, the flower buds will start to multiply- first creating a bud, and then 'blooming' when its active. Destroying a flower will prevent it from multiplying, but Flowers can be placed in sneaky places like inside a pant leg or handbag, or even inside your mouth and can multiply to go totally out of control.

Once there are at least two or more flowers, the person must repeat any action they attempt equal to the number of flowers on their body. If the flowers are on an object, then you must use the object that many times equal to the number of flowers. For example, if the flowers were placed on you and you took a step, you'd need to step as many times as there were flowers. If you fired a gun covered in flowers, you'd need to pull the trigger equal to the number of flowers on the gun and so on.

Type: Closer Range Power Type, Poor Stats
Ability: This Stand looks liked a golden, idealized version of a man with a wrestling championship belt. It has a hole where its face should be, which from behind the user almost looks likes its framing their face. This Stand's ability is to just make everything the user does, says, or attempts to do look incredibly intimidating and powerful.

Against this Stand and its user, you'll feel as though you're hopelessly outmatched, unless thought is used to see that the effects of his actions are mediocre at best. The Stand is actually really weak and shitty, it just tricks people into giving up by seeming unbeatable.

Type: Remote Control Stand
Ability: This stand is a small instrument or music player. The Stand Master simply has to play or begin the tune around the intended target. From then on, the target will start to hear the Stand from any other device that can play music, such as phones, televisions, music players, intercoms, street musicians, and so on.

As they hear the music, their body will begin to transform into an animal. The animal is always a stereotype of their body and personality- a big hairy guy might start to turn into a bear, a slim swimmer will turn into an otter, flirty librarian will turn into a big fancy bird, and so on. The transformation takes a long time, but goes faster the longer they are within range of the music. The person turning into an animal will retain their full human mind and ability until the transformation is complete, in which case they are fully an animal in both mind and body.


Type: Medium Range, High Defense
Ability: This Stand has a long purple cloak which is used for its ability. If this cloak covers any part of a living thing, that part of the living organism will turn into a robotic version of it. The person or animal still retains full control of that body part, but it now has the capabilities of a machine and the disadvantages of a machine at the same time.

For example, a person with their legs turned into a machine's legs mean they are as hard as metal, and they won't get tired from running around, but they would 'short out' from getting shocked or their metal parts would rust very fast if submerged in water, and so on. Any stand that heals living things won't work on robots, but anything that can repair or modify machines could work on the robot body parts. The user of this Stand can use it to turn themselves into a machine for strength, or enemies to try and disable them.

Type: Long Range
Ability: This stand appears like a flat, chrome eagle. This is a long range stand, and the user can see anything reflected in its body as long as they are outside at the same time (they look at the reflection on its body with a supernatural sense of sight). The eagle itself cannot see, and requires its user to guide it. As it flies, it can turn sideways to become nearly invisible to anyone on the ground, but if it turns sideways towards its user they will not be able to see anything through it.

This stands ability forces anyone the user can see to "trip". The person can trip in any direction, even straight up. The ability deals very little damage on its own, but can obviously be used to 'trip' people into dangerous objects or into other people to start fights etc. People who are agile can recover from these trips, but the more injured you are the more powerful these trips become. Eventually the "trips" become more like being flung several feet in any direction the Stand user choose- even including straight up to slam them against the ground or kill them from a far height.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

8 Forest Witch Spells

Art @Sherbakov Stanislav

Withering Body - 1st level
This spell magically enchants the witch's body to appear old(er), shrinked, and wrinkled; as though gaining the elements of tree bark to the skin. It's hard to tell if the witches are just this old are under the effect of this spell all the time. Grants +2 AC and reduces the amount of damage you can take from all bleeding effects collective to 1 damage per exploration turn.

[2] Empower Specter - 1st level
Within ancient dark forests and lonely wild places, spirits who died and wandered far from all others remain. These specters can only watch living things, whispering in the ears of mortals, and giving a feeling of being watched. This spell empowers these specters by a blood sacrifice; requiring 1d4 damage worth of blood to either the caster or any captive animal or person. (Any chicken or rabbit will cover the cost). The blood empowers the specter, and gives it a vague humanoid form of a black shadow.

The specter is not under the control of the caster, but considers themselves in their debt. They can be used to perform minor tasks or spy on people. They have the ability to move objects when no one watches, like stacking stones or rifling through packs, and can fly through the underbrush along the shadows. They are banished by bright lights- even a torch would be enough to keep one away, and they are very reluctant to approach someone with even a candle.

The Specters can also fight, but it would require a great number of them to do anything. Treat them as 1 HD Ghosts with one standard attack; deals 1d3 damage on a hit. They cannot level drain and are always banished when successfully turned.

[3] Deadfall - 1st level
This spell requires the Witch to throw a stone or stick into the brush. It crashes against unseen rocks and brush and creates a very loud, echoing noise similar to the sound of a fallen tree. This echoing noise has two effects; firstly it unnerves the weak willed, causing -1 morale to unpaid or especially cowardly retainers for the rest of the adventure. Second, it has a 1 in 6 chance of drawing in a wandering monster encounter from the nearby area, curious about the noise.

Forest witches tend to cast this spell as a first measure against intruders, simply throwing a stone towards their general area in the brush. If it is unsuccessful in scaring them off or drawing wolves to kill them, then she will need to resort to a more direct approach.

[4] Change Self - 2nd level
This spell grants the caster one mutation. The mutation is random, but is always somewhat based on the caster's surroundings. Casting it while waist-deep in water may grant the user gills, or webbing between the fingers and toes. Casting it while rubbing the blood of a freshly slain deer on your head will likely grant you antlers, and so on. Most mutations granted by this spell are neutral, having both beneficial and negative qualities.

[5] Spell Suck - 2nd level
This spell requires a successful melee hit. The Witch must get up close to the target's face and suck the air out of their lungs while they are in the process of casting a spell. Upon a successful roll, the Witch steals the spell from the target. This spell is used up in the process.

[6] Noose of the Forest - 3rd level
Animates a twisting branch to wrap around someone's neck from the nearest tree, and then dragging them up to the average height of the branches while choking them. This spell animates a branch strong enough to lift up a man in full armor and carrying gear within a few seconds. Without neck protection or padding; you take 1d6 damage per round. If that doesn't kill you, destroying the branch to free you means you fall and will take fall damage equal to falling out of a tree.

When this spell is cast, you get a saving throw to make a noise when dragged up, otherwise you are dragged up silently, making it easy for the witch to pick people off on the back of the marching order, one by one. Anyone killed by this spell remains hanging from the tree, swaying in the wind.

[7] Dire Portent - 4th level
This spell requires an animal sacrifice, usually a rabbit, fox, or a fawn. The animal is bewitched to follow the caster, and the animal is then fed foul magical reagents. Then, it must be sent against your foes. When they find the animal, the moment they touch it or try to interact with it, it dies gruesomely by twitching and spurting blood from its eyes and mouth. If inspected after death, its insides are totally rotten to nothing, liquefied, the rest of it a hollow skin.

Everyone who saw the animal die is cursed. They get disadvantage on all saves against spells until they are ritually cleansed by a priest and live a pious life in isolation for one year or slay the witch who cast the spell. Only those who had a hand in killing her are freed from the curse.

[8] Cat's Body - 4th level
This spell transforms the caster's body into that a sleek jungle cat. They become about as large as a jaguar, gaining +1 HD, natural stealth and speed, climbing and leaping abilities, night vision, with two powerful 1d6+1 claw attacks. Their face remains the same. They can still speak, but lose the ability to cast spells or use their hands. 

They can only regain human(oid) form by killing a person and sleeping within/on their corpse. Otherwise, this spell is permanent.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Dirt Simple Grappling

How long have grapples been a meme for in D&D or DIY stuff? I feel like at this point, they've been such a point of contention that people have created a whole bunch of house rules and simplifications for them. Even 5e has pretty simple rules for grapples.

But can we go simpler? By simpler in this case, I don't just mean "roll attack or roll under strength", I mean something that's got a little meat to it. So instead; Dirt Simple Grappling.

Grappling Rules
Grappling goes in two stages, going from a Grab to a Hold. You must have at least one hand free to utilize a grab. You can still use the other hand. You can only upgrade a Grab to a Hold if you have both hands free, or using small enough weapons (daggers, claws, etc.) that you can still use an arm effectively. You can make attacks with your free hand, but must use your action for a round grabbing somebody unless you're a badass Fighter or something. You can also instantly put somebody in a Hold IF you perform a grapple from stealth.

In order to grapple somebody, roll one of your class's HD size die vs one of whatever size dice you use for monster HD (I use d6 for my game), if your  roll is higher, you succeed in your grapple action and have grabbed the monster. If the monster's roll is higher, your action fails. If the monster is naturally armored and spiked or is wearing spiked or razor armor, then you take damage from your failed grapple.

Note: I use this for my surprise rolls. I would allow a player to add any initiative bonuses they have from stats/class/race/magic items or whatever to add to this grapple, since its implied to be a sort of agility thing, but you can't get a bonus to grapples if it's a weapon, since it only works for attacks with that weapon.

In a Grab: The Monster cannot move away from the grabber and they cannot attack the grappler with a ranged or long reach weapon like a spear or whip. The Grappled target CAN attack the grappler with a shorter weapon, spell, natural weapon, etc. The grappled target can move towards or around the grappler, just not away from them. This includes the ability to charge right into them in an attempt to bowl them over if they are significantly larger or wearing heavy armor.

To move from a Grab to a Hold, you can simply use your action on a round to hold the creature. You move it into a position you can wrap your arms around it, pinning it down. The grabbed creature cannot attack the grabber anymore once in a hold.

In a Hold: Creatures that are in a hold are put in a condition where they (pick one);

  • Cannot Move AND Cannot Attack their Grappler. All other attacks are made at disadvantage.
  • Are shoved/thrown 10 ft in a direction (ends grapple)
  • Knocked prone (must spend a round to get back up, or fight with disadvantage on the ground- can end grapple or the grappler can go prone to keep the hold on the ground)

If a creature is of a significant size advantage OR has more arms then the defender, then they can make a grab turn instantly to a hold. The first roll determines if the monster can escape from the hold before it is made. For example, a giant wrapping his hand around you is instantly a full hold, meaning you can't fight as your body is constricted in its grasp. The same applies to giant snakes, many-limb tentacle monsters, and so on.

Once someone is in a Hold, you can attempt to take them down. This can be a nonleathal choke until they pass out, or a lethal neck-snap type of move.

Add your class damage bonus with attacks with your Strength modifier. If you're a Monk/due with powerful unarmed attacks, you can add the maximum possible size of your unarmed attack die to this too if you don't think it's too broken. If this number is equal to or greater then the enemy's remaining HP, you can take them down. Otherwise, you deal your normal unarmed combat damage as you slowly twist their ligaments too far or constrict their airway and the like.

The purpose of this ruleset is to make grappling a simple ruleset that reduces the power of a grapple while making it something that doesn't waste your turn automatically- and provides some tactical use. Also, a lot of ruling over rules still applies. You can't grapple anything too big or strong, or anything without a physical body, of course, and will have to handle it on a case by case basis.