Friday, July 30, 2021

8 Snakes & Their Unusual Venoms

These are giant evil snakes or anything, they're just snakes. All snakes here have 1 hit point (die on any hit) and AC 14 unless otherwise stated. Because of fast they can strike, they don't make attack rolls, instead just make a save vs poison. Upon failure, you suffer their venom effect. If you aren't surprised by them, you can try to attack and kill them before they bite. Snakes bite once and then run away, unless they predate on people.

Thunder Asp
This small snake has a dark gray body with yellow highlight scales; giving it the impression of a lightning bolt. It can open its mouth in a threat display, which shows off its bright yellow fangs that spark with electricity when exposed to the static electricity in the air. Its spit acts as a conductor, so whenever it opens its mouth a sudden shock is generated.

Venom Effect- An electrical shock. You take 1d6+1 lightning damage. You also twitch and take 1d3 damage to your Dexterity from fried nerves.

[2] Skin Snake
It has no scales (set AC to 10) and looks like a little dismembered penis slithering around. Kind of gross, but cute in a weird way. The skin snake doesn't come out during the day or night, since it's too hot or cold, and its very sensitive, preferring to run across smooth stones then irritating sand and gravel. The skin snake will still bite when threatened like other snakes- before going back to its burrow lined with various bits of nesting material to keep it comfortable.

Venom Effect- The skin snake's venom makes the victim feel uncomfortable and itchy. Rashes break out over your skin very easily. You have to make a saving throw every exploration turn you are wearing armor- you cannot wear any armor for the next exploration turn if you fail the saving throw. This effect lasts for about two days.

[3] Cookie Snake
This snake is named after a specific type of cookie; the snickerdoodle. (or maybe the cookie is named after the snake, nobody knows). It has about the color and texture you'd expect, though the snake itself tastes terrible even as far as snakemeat goes.

Venom Effect- Once bitten, unusual yellow discharge will start to leak from your eyes. You get -2 to attack rolls, and disadvantage on ranged attacks or spell-aiming rolls. This discharge is sometimes collected as a minor magical reagent for certain magic user spells, but is only useful fresh (leading to keeping cookie snakes). The discharge will continue to come out for an hour, or six turns, before clearing up.

[4] Frazetta Viper
This snake is a small dull brown. Despite its camouflaged color, it tends to sun bathe on the top of stones in the sun, giving it a golden tan.

Venom Effect- Anyone bit by this snake has their body's muscular system hijacked. Over the next three days, they gain an intense amount of muscle mass while stealing vital elements from their organs and blood- they gain +1d2 Strength per day, losing an equal amount of Constitution at the same rate. This venom technically does no damage, but can be very deadly simply because some people's bodies essentially starve themselves to death to build huge, unnecessary muscle mass. At the end of the three days the person experiences massive fatigue, pass out, and loses all Strength gains over their one hour bout of unconsciousness. Their Constitution takes time to come back (one point per day). 

Intense amounts of bloodletting will prevent a day's worth of Strength gain/Con loss, but deals 1d3 damage from the blood loss instead.

[5] Serpent-of-the-Stones
This snake is quite large, treat it as a 1 HD creature. It has a black and gray body color with a long, flat head. The Serpent of the Stones is a creatures said to be distantly related to dragons; due to its habit of phasing into stones and sleeping in them for many years, only to spring out again when a careless mason or miner splits the rock. The main power of this snake is its extremely magically potent venom that allows living things (but nothing else) to pass through and into whatever its venom has touched. It can use these on rocks to slither inside, but flesh can also yield. These snakes can do this to eat your liver, which they do to any large bodied, warm blooded animal.

Venom Effect- When bitten, you get two saves. The first is to avoid the bite. The second is to clutch and claw at your skin to prevent the snake from eating your liver. If you fail both saves, you die. If you fail one save, the snake will be knocked loose. Additionally, any other living thing you touch for the next hour has a 1 in 6 chance to phase partially into you; no AC roll required to hit with natural weapons like claws and teeth and so on.

[6] Hoop Snake
This snake is very aggressive and will bite its tail to roll towards its prey, especially on the downhill slopes of mountains. You save at -2 unless you see the snake coming, which is difficult as you will be looking at it from the dead on straight angle unless another party member is watching out. The snake is very agile and fast; it can zigzag through a field of caltrops for example.

Venom Effect- Save or die poison. People who die from this have their muscles clench and contort- their faces are always found in a look of extreme surprise. You can also save yourself by stepping behind a tree, in which case the snake will struck the tree causing it to wilt, blacken, and die instead.

[7] Diary Moccasin
An unusual viper with a yellowish scale color, flecked by black spots. The spots on its back are random and unique for each snake; many local cultures use them as a form of divination. Their venom has a mental effect associated with it- forgetfulness, flights of fantasy, and obliviousness. Those who are bitten want to write down their experiences and ideas, leading to a sort of absent mindedness and foolishness that weakens them to magic.

Venom Effect- Once bitten, the victim loses 1d3 points of Wisdom per day. You cannot drop below half your original Wisdom, rounding up, from the effects of this poison. The victim also seeks to write things down and will scratch things into wood or their own skin if unable to write in a book or on tablets. Those who are illiterate will draw pictograms instead. The victim of the bite must spend at least one turn per hour scrawling things down.

Anyone who reads something they've written, at the time of this venom or not, gains an inside knowledge of the bite victim which makes them vulnerable to magic from that person, as though reading their true name or essence on the page. You can totally burn and destroy everything you wrote down if you didn't lose any of it; but during the venom you'll have a spasm if anyone tries to take your crazed writings away from you. The effects of this venom last about a week.

[8] Magnetic Biter
This snake looks a silvery color with blue highlights, especially around the tip of its tail and its head. It has a constant magnetic field around its body; consider it as having +2 AC at least against heavy weapons, which try to veer away from it as though magnetically opposed.

Venom Effect- Anyone bitten by this snakes experiences magnetic "pulses" that rip through their body, deals 1d4 damage every exploration turn you are wearing or holding metal objects. If you are wearing no metal items, you still take 1 damage from the iron in your blood beings forced out through your skin in tiny, impossible to see metal flakes. You get a save every hour to end the effect.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Can you jump this gap? (Jump Rules)

More games need rules for jumps. It comes up all the time, and it's never actually useful either- too many games with specific units and lengths for jumps.

Instead, just use this table. No rolling unless it says so. Here's a cleaner pdf version.

Defining the Gap-
Every gap you can "jump" is roughly something you could imagine a human jumping with a running start, such as the chasm in a cave or the roofs of two wagons speeding through the desert. If the gap is smaller then that, or isn't very precarious, then you don't need to roll because it's easy. If the gap is too big to feasible jump, or you're trying to Jedi-jump your way into an open window like 20 feet up a castle tower you can't roll because you can't do it unless you have a special power or spell or whatever. Pretty simple.

By default, if you can't jump the gap and try anyway or fail your roll; you get a save. On a failed save, you fall. On a successful save, you manage to catch the edge of the far platform with your hands, and need help to climb back up unless you're strong (+1 Strength or better). It takes one combat round to pull you up.

In the case of multiple conditions begin true, use the bottom-most row on the Y axis and the right-most column on the X axis.

Can you Jump the Gap?

Jumping while...

Not in a Rush

On a Ninja-Stealth Mission

Being Chased

Shot at with arrows

it's raining or wet

the gap is big / other side is higher up

You have a vine/rope to swing on

Moving Platforms / During Earthquake

Being attacked by flying monsters

Are you...



Yes but 5 in 6 or you make noise

5 in 6

4 in 6

2 in 6





Agile? (+1 Dex)




5 in 6

3 in 6

1 in 6




A Rogue?





5 in 6

2 in 6


1 in 6


A 7th Level Rogue?






4 in 6


2 in 6

1 in 6

Very Agile Level 7 Rogue? (+2 Dex)






5 in 6


3 in 6

2 in 6


5 in 6

Yes but always makes noise

2 in 6

1 in 6



Yes but the rope snaps



Monday, July 26, 2021

My Favorite GMod Map

It took me a while to find it again. I certainly didn't remember the name after all these years, but eventually I did find it.

The map is called Castlehill_b3. I don't know if it was still b3 when I first downloaded it, or if it was an earlier version(?) but the map seems so old and unpolished I feel like it probably is. Apparently, it's a medieval RP map, but I'm pretty sure I never played medieval RP. However I did find this map a long time ago while playing Gmod, so I must have popped into a random multiplayer server with it to download it.

Looking at it from here, it's very small and primitive. Indicative of early and amateur source mapping. Very little skybox work, so it appears like a flat plane floating in space. When you're actually on the ground floor of the map though, it doesn't seem so bad. Maybe it's like a tiny patch of land in a landlocked kingdom; a tiny fort that's a days ride from another town. The perfect low level starting adventure location.

It has a bunch of landmarks. First is a town with a lake and farm, a large castle with a moat in the center, a holy church/abby/tomb up in the "mountains", and an abandoned shack or building in a "forest" area, which you can barely see in the far corner of the second image.

The lake contains a little something- a treasure chest secreted in a bunch of rocks. I always imagined this like a secret cache for rebels or smugglers, but it could just as easily be some pirate treasure. Interestingly the lid of this treasure chest makes a door opening/unlocking sound when you use the Use key on it- but it doesn't open. I've tried from every direction of the chest, inside the chest looking up with noclip, or even pushing the treasure chest out of the lake but nothing will open it normally. You can use the physics gun to forcibly remove the lid from the chest, but as far as naturally opening the chest I don't think it ever worked. I've known what is in this chest for years, but never knew if it could be opened.

Next up, we have the town itself. I love this town. It's really small but can appear bigger just be being down in it. I love the little signs above the shops; generic painted symbols to represent businesses. It's an almost slap in the face of our modern corporate culture- an abstracted consumer-focused view of what you can get here, instead of what this place offers you. Though in a sense, we're almost regressing to it with the "minimalism" trend. The town also has a windmill that constantly spins (even if you physgun it out of the tower it is in) and a waterwheel that constantly spins AND makes a lot of noise (thankfully you can turn it off by switching the lever). The inside of the buildings is also, in my mind, a bit more "realistic" if due to the tiny rooms and chambers just above or below each business- small dark living spaces for the people who work there. It's minimal, but appreciated.

The inside of the tavern is something I want to touch on for a second. The chandelier. It is connected with the ceiling with a rope tool, colored as a black wire. Strangely, it seems default set to be touching the ground with how long it is, there is too much slack. It spawns into the map that way, I didn't touch anything to make it fall. I assume this is because of the maps age; one of any source and gmod updates could have broken it over a decade ago. I actually don't remember if it was always like this; because the last time I loaded up this map it was already super old so I can't say for certain.

The streets lead to the back where there is an armory and a church- I also love that the church has an absurdly small graveyard and a ladder to reach the roof. There's no way inside the belltower without noclip, and even if you did- no bell. There is also a large tower in this town; which doesn't have any official or implied usage. The inside is filled with storage containers- so I guess it's some kind of storage unit? There is a large window in the top floor with one of those crane hoist window bar things over the window. While I'm sure the map maker didn't put that much effort into the design, it would help to have a pully on the top floor so things could be hoisted up there.

The inside of the smithy is tiny; a small hallway leading to the best approximation of a forge one can make with early source mapping skills. I like the modern mechanic's tools to represent a medieval smiths tools on the table there; and the tiny anvil. The inside of the church is also very small, but nice. There is a sharp 90 degree turn into the main hall of the church, with a pulpit and only enough room for a tiny congregation, but hey I buy it for a town with like ~8 houses. The "windows" along the sides of the church in the image above are actually just holes; no windows are there and the back window can't be broken.

Short ways from the town is a tiny farm. Once again- the squares of wood on this building look like pure black voids of space because of source updates no doubt breaking the map and the lighting. I don't think it always looked like this; you can use a flashlight up close to see the normal wood. There's really nothing to not for the farm itself; it's a barn with no living space, just a patch of dirt outside where people no doubt place watermelons to grow. It is Gmod after all.

Next up is the castle itself. The Castle is the center of the map and probably it's coolest, most intricate part. The castle has a moat and a bridge that leads up to its drawbridge. Both the drawbridge and the portcullis can be drawn up using two levers in the guardhouse, which is both functional and cool. The inside of the castle also has a courtyard and a few buildings within it; which in my opinion is a great castle design and feels more realistic then the more compact "one building" castles you see in some fantasy media. The various buildings have mostly empty rooms, as well as a small office / "throne room" for what we can assume the lord of the place would be like, though obviously using the modernized Half Life 2 assets.

This map has a soundscape, as with most Gmod maps. This one strangely has a swamp-like soundscape for when you're inside the castle; you can hear the croaking of frogs and wet swamp noises- possibly for the moat, but it seems strange and off putting. It's nothing in particular to speak about, but I think the idea of having a castle surrounded by nature sounds like that is kind of unique.

I distinctly remember using this castle and the bridge as a battleground for humans versus zombies in the past; large NPC wars were always a staple of oldschool Gmod fun. Unfortunately the NPC AI isn't very good; unless you leave the castle gates open and drawbridge down, there's no way for them to even try to get into the castle.

However there is a secret way inside the castle. The well in the center of the keep can actually be entered from the moat using a secret passage. There is an invisible ladder down the well (meant to represent climbing) to reach the inside of the keep from the outside. I should also mention that there's normally no light down in the well, I added the light you can vaguely see in the image so you can see how deep it is. I love secret passages like this in maps.

Next up is the dungeon, or oubliette. I like the design of this; it has an upwards grating and hole people can fall or be pushed into, with a small dungeon door that can only be opened by a lever too far for the person in the cell to reach. I also like that the map designer gave enough space so that falling into the dungeon from the hole causes a small amount of fall damage- Gmod's default fall damage isn't the same as half life's or TTT's, so I don't know if it's more or less, but it seems like it wouldn't be a lethal amount, which is perfect for the type of dungeon this is.

To me, this also has a sort of environmental storytelling to it. I remember imagining this castle keeping a prisoner, perhaps a rebel, inside the dungeon. Their friends can't risk an escape attempt, but can at least sneak in through the well and send them food or a hidden weapon from that grating above.

Next up is the largest tower of the castle. This one is furnished; the other towers are mostly empty or built along the walls, not even really worth showing. This one however looks like a royal bedchamber; I like to imagine a princess lives here. You can also see a chair placed before a strange floating piece of material; this time I don't think it was a glitch, but the map maker's own creation. It's meant to be a mirror, almost certainly, but since the source engine doesn't support mirrors it's just a blank slate of material with no makeup desk. I want to give a lot of credit to the map maker here for at least TRYING to put something like that in, instead of just ignoring it completely.

But that's it for the castle. Next up- the "forest" in the corner of the map.

I never was quite sure what this forest should be. When you spawn into the map, you appear in the middle of the town, the map's most developed section- thematically speaking spawning into the forest might make sense as if you are a traveller coming to the Kingdom. But that wouldn't fit what's in the forest; at the center is a small, run down building. The various holes and ruin of the building doesn't fit anything else in the map, meaning it's a unqiue entity. 

For me, it certainly seems like a "horror" focused part of the map. The building itself is also a mystery; it doesn't really look like a sawmill and is too big to be like a hunter's cabin, and with the barrels inside it seems to me that it's meant to be some kind of dilapidated inn or travel house. I don't think the intention of this building was very clear; but it is nice to have a thematic change of pace from the rest of the map at least.

Finally; we come to the ancient church. I don't know exactly what this is really; I see it a bit like a temple or monastery, but it's a bit of a mausoleum. It's also the highest elevation of the whole map; giving the impression of being the real "castle hill" on this castlehill map. From ground level, it's also the only part of the map that really tries to feel like an actual place; lazily placing a few big stones to give the impression of a mountainous region.

When you open the two double doors of the temple (or noclip into it) it begins to play a great atmospheric music track. I actually don't know what track this is; but it sounds very professional and very HL2-ish, so I assume it's one of the atmospheric tracks from the game, but I don't recognize any of them in particular. This music track also keeps playing for as long as you continue the level, almost as though you discovered the map's biggest secret.

And I'll give you a bit of a spoiler; this temple does have a secret. It's in the main hall. I'm also quite a fan of that generic spotlight effect, not visible from outside of the temple, that comes in through the hole at the top. When you find the secret switch, the statue moves aside.

It opens up a ladder to a secret area. Now remember, this is Half Life 2's source engine, so this isn't real time lighting. I do like how the map creator baked this lighting detail at the bottom of the stairs though; makes the area within seem all the more darker.

The ladder leads to this; an extremely dark chamber with a seemingly bottomless hole. The sides of this area seem to have pathways or stairs, broken and fallen apart, with a main bridge over the dark chasm leading towards a secret tomb. This place is insanely dark normally; both images were taken after placing spotlights and light tools to make them visible. Even so, it's incredibly atmospheric and creepy; especially with that music from above.

Across the short bridge is a secret tomb. The tomb is small, with two torches that cannot be lit, however disappointing that is. And finally, within the secret tomb, is a skull and some old bones. I like to imagine this being the bones of some kind of saint or great ruler. Still, after ALL that buildup, I was hoping for something greater. Of course- that's the inherent problems with a map like this- it has certain limitations. Perhaps in a perfect world the creator may have had another idea for the bottom of this tomb; an ancient vampire monster being spawned? Maybe a magic sword? Or were just some old bones in a dark place filled with mystery supposed to be all that was here?

With this shot; you can see how small this secret area really is. The hole is actually pretty deep- but just ends at the bottom in a generic stone floor; no secrets or cool stuff down there. It's basic, sure, but it really spoke to the imagination of my younger self.

Here comes the personal story; I used to make my own screenshots. I would open up Gmod, pose ragdolls (usually TF2 characters) in cool or action themes, take a screenshot and use that as my computer desktop years ago. For this map and bridge in particular; I made a picture of a few TF2 characters crossing this bridge, fighting off a hoard of crispies. The crispies were the ragdoll of a charred, burnt up corpse sometimes used in jumpscare videos from HL2- they were the scariest looking ragdolls. I had them crawling up the sides of the bridge, charging in from both sides, with the TF2 characters running towards the ladder. One character was being dragged to the ground while the others ran on, helpless to do anything about it.

Now this is the part where I'd tell you I still had that screenshot, and post it- but I don't. That was well over ten years and four computers ago. I don't have anything to show for this effort- except for the memories of this map. But I can tell you something; that screenshot, and this bridge area in particular, they gave me the direct inspiration for the Anemics random encounter and the original picture of the Dead Underground City Encounters post on this blog. This gmod map is an origin of just one idea; but something that sparked my inspiration in the very least.

I like that Steam saved my spray

Anyway; this blogpost was really masturbatory. Moreso then usual. This wasn't really building to anything; moreso just a project of pure nostalgia and a little story about inspiration. It was fun to go back to take pictures of everything; this one was just for me. If you find something useful or entertaining in it, then I'm happy for you.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

[Class] GLOG: The Foreigner

For every Foreigner Template you possess, gain +1 to your Strange Ways skill

Starting Equipment- Colorful shawl, curved knife, pungent tea-leaf pouch.
Starting Skills- Roll 1d3-Horses, Spy, Merchant

A: Strange Ways, Foreign Friend
B: Exotic Fighter
C: Unseen Details, Important Elsewhere
D: Foreign Friends, Do My Eyes Deceive Me

Strange Ways
Every Foreigner posses strange ways. Strange Ways is a special class-only skill to the Foreigner. It begins at 1 in 6, increasing by +1 for your A template, and increases for each Foreigner Template you have beyond that. You do not improve the Strange Ways template by testing it- it can only be improved by taking Foreigner class templates.

Once per session, the Foreigner may use Strange Ways to attempt to solve a problem. In essence, you can use this skill to replace the ability of any other skill you may or may not have trained. However, Strange Ways are inherently strange and therefore limited. 

Strange Ways rely on unorthodox solutions that only work in a specific occasion, at a specific time or place, or with a specific, uncommon item or tool to be used. For example, if a chicken spirit gives your party a task to balance an egg on your nose without dropping it else she will attack you; the Foreigner would take up the challenge- by poking a needle into the egg and balancing that on the tip of his nose, he can finish the challenge no problem. The chicken spirit will be angry, but must allow you to pass because you succeed at her challenge.

The Strange Ways ability can also be used to perform certain limited feats of magic. Nothing that can copy a spell effect, but something akin to a cantrip or magic-spell-like ability common to magic users. For example, the Foreigner can roll Strange Ways in an attempt to command a lesser demon after dabbing a bit of ash under their tongue; since in their culture that demon holds a position of prominence and is commonly summoned to obey village elders, etc.

Foreign Friend
You have a permanent camp follow/retainer that begins with you in your adventure. They are level 0 and have no special skills or abilities. However, unlike regular camp followers they have no morale, ask for no pay, and will do anything you ask, even suicidal or illegal things. You chatter away with them in some strange foreign language and nobody in the party is quite sure if they're your slave, sibling, or if you're a prince or something; nobody is quite sure.

If your Foreign Friend dies you don't get a new one until way later. This isn't a minion generating ability.

Exotic Fighter
You are skilled in an exotic weapon, an unusual martial arts, or flow in strange motions. Whatever the case, you have a strange fighting style. You get advantage to hit on the first round of combat against people "from around here" as they have no idea what to expect from your weapon skill. If you spend the first round of combat against a foe who hasn't seen your style instead defending yourself, you get advantage on your defense rolls as your sweeps and motions are totally unusual. After that, you must make default To-Hit rolls and Defense rolls.

As a bonus, gain +1 to Combat Maneuver rolls.

Unseen Details
You see things differently from people "around here", and have none of the social qualms about it. When you get this template, pick smell or lick. You can now request extra bits of detail relating to that sense- most people from around here wouldn't be willing to lick a pillar to see if those stains are from water or acid from a hidden trap, but you are.

Important Elsewhere
When dressed in full garb of your homeland, smelt up with foreign perfumes, and flaunt your gold and class- you cannot be directly denied. People can try to stall, ask for their superiors, or try to deceive you but nobody can tell you "no, you cannot talk to the prisoner" or "the west wing is off limits to visitors". This ability costs a single point of conviction to use if you use that mechanic- otherwise just limit it to once per session.

The above ability is really great and is totally stolen from the K6BD RPG called Broken World.

Foreign Friends
At the start of each session, you get 1d6+1 free retainers, lantern-boys, cam followers, etc. equal in loyalty and usefulness as Foreign Friend. If you have over 8 of them, you can't get any more until some of them die off. If your Foreign Friend is still alive at this point, they get to pick an A class template and become a 1st level hireling who does not ask for any cut of the treasure; still bound by tradition.

Do My Eyes Deceive Me
The Foreigner's wealth of unusual knowledge, high senses, and unorthodox ways of thinking culminate in this ability. Exactly once with this character; you may declare a new item or object you find as a significant magic item from your culture, lost in this place. These items still have to thematically make sense; so you couldn't say a random canteen on a dead adventurer refills itself with healing elixir, but saying it has a holy seal on it that lets you change any water put within into holy water with a special prayer would be fair.

The Foreigner cannot make world-destroying level magic items, but the items are akin to powerful magical artifacts with abilities and drawbacks mostly decided with the Foreigner.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Dungeons & Joe

Like many of you, I started playing tabletop games at a very young age. Actually, I didn't play the tabletop games, but I played imagination games, which I just called Adventures. I would often bother other kids, either at school or on my Boy Scout camping trips, to play pretend with me. Few did, of course, but the idea was always there.

Fast forward to when I had a stepfamily. We (the children) had a short summer job of dog sitting for an elderly couple. This was before cellphones and the old couple didn't have internet- so we'd go over there and just talk. My older step brother was a very intelligent youth (still is actually- he became an engineer) and I tried to get him to play imagination games with me too. He did, but his insistence on making things more realistic or consistent within the fictional world gave me a newfound insight. It was no longer just about imagining my friends and I fighting monsters, but it was about worlds.

Finally, after I graduated high school, I was introduced to a larger group of friends. These people were acquaintances. I was always very socially awkward, but having matured and being able to finally mingle with a larger group of people was extremely exciting for me. It was then I learned about tabletop games as they are; dice rolling games with rules, splatbooks or fictional settings, and many more. I was fascinated by these and began to read pdfs of rulebooks online- and it was just about that time that I found out about Joe.

Joe's Game
Joe was a friend of a friend. I had met and hung out with him a few times but we were not friends. Strangely, I knew about him for over a year I think and yet never knew about his game. If you're one of the few people who knew about this- shame on you not telling me about this shit sooner. To add to the mystique, I didn't even learn about Joe's game from Joe, but from another friend. We'll call him Leo. Leo was not a close friend of mine but we bonded a bit based on our similar taste in media and a growing love of tabletop games- I learned Leo had a Dungeons and Dragons group he played in, but he also told me all about his adventures in Joe's world, Joe's game. They called it Dungeons & Joe.

Dungeons & Joe wasn't actually D&D. It was a sort of free-formy kind of thing. This was before I knew anything about tabletop games, so this seemed pretty reasonable as far as rules went. As it was explained to me; Joe would just roll a d20 or d6 and then, based on how good the roll was + a character's general skill or power level, that would be how good they did on the action. Certain spells or abilities may have had their own rules- I later learned Leo's character had progressed to the point where he could cast Wish up to two or three times per day, but he had to get lucky and had only a 1 in 20 chance of succeeding on his magical wish.

Now before you create in your mind a bad impression- this wasn't just some tiny little game done among like 3-4 people. Oh no. Joe had been running this game for years. Something like 5 or 6 years of a single continuous fantasy world, with something like twenty odd people having played in it. The most amazing part to me was how Joe kept it all straight in his head; the world had a specific time line. He ran the games while pacing around the room, like he was organizing his thoughts. If you made a new character, he would let you skip ahead- like say take a few years in training for you to catch up to the rest of the players in the timeline, and you'd get stats or skills to match your new training. Every person playing in this game was a unique actor; sometimes they met or even had PvP duels, though I assume these were mostly not in person. Something like the magical arena where dying meant you lost the match, but the magicians would just heal you back to normal right afterwards was probably as high stakes as these battles went, I imagine. But there was politics and inter-character drama, with different characters leading the various factions as they grew in influence.

Now let's talk about the craziest part of all- the setting.

Joe's World

Dungeons and Joe had a unique setting that I truly wish had a published, or at the VERY least a fully written down master list of all the major stuff going on. As far as I'm aware, I'm the first person to write down all this information, or at the very least, make it public. Dungeons and Joe is a modern oral tradition. Sadly, I do not have even a fraction of the full lore, and what I have learned was from talking with second hand sources (the mutual friends, like Leo) from several disjointed talks about 7 to 8 years ago- my information is spotty at best.

So to begin, Dungeons and Joe had a unqiue setting that is very reminiscent of a kitchen sink styled world. Not exclusively fantasy, but having elements of sci-fi, modern fantasy, and super hero media all rolled together. There was a very advanced set of technology mixed with magic, or magitech if you prefer, which powered the world ine one of the different setting planets or worlds. The general theme of the game seemed to focus around powerful individuals (the players) running factions and taking over cities, often with a very D&D esque anarchistic bent. I don't recall any huge governments or empires ruling over the game world, it seemed much more open and free which is a nice way to encourage players to take action in the world.

I don't know the actual cosmology or lore of Joe's world, other then I know for a fact the Gods exist, several of them, and several supernatural magical powers and/or elements seem to have either a consciousness or have a spiritual bent. I therefore have no creation myth to share.

Instead- let's talk about the world(s) themselves. Firstly, there is the Earth. It is very similar to the Earth in the real world, which I think was intentional so players could just self insert and play as themselves. Then there is Gaia. Gaia is a second planet that orbited across from the Earth, perhaps always hidden behind the sun. Gaia and Earth both have very similar human-like primary species, but humans on Gaia are called Gaians and have magic, which humans don't. However, humans can perform acts of “Will” which are similar to chi. Leo once described this to me in a very interesting way; his character, a human, had no magic but his will was so strong that if his arm was chopped off, he would have a glowing energy arm take its place, because he was high enough level at this point in the game that a major debilitating injury like that could be overcome with his natural prowess.

Also; Gaia and the Earth somehow crossed over. This seems to be where the important shit in the setting “starts” as far as my knowledge goes, in terms of the different magic/technology crossing over. I'm unsure if this event happened in the ancient past or if it's relatively modern, but it's important as it allows the powers to cross over in a sense. There was also apparently a third planet called “Terra” but let's not get into that right now.

This setting featured a lot of magictech. I recall it being called something akin to Ether. Ether was essentially a mist-like substances that filled the canals and ravines that separated the landmasses of Gaia and/or Earth, which acted like natural barriers. Even then I could see this being a good set up for a campaign, as this meant infinite explorations to players who wanted to explore a new zone. Anyway, Ether was collected and refined into glass orbs called Ether Orbs. These orbs were used like battery packs to power all kinds of magictech machines, like hover bikes and magical 'force' guns.

I specifically remember the guns bit because my character (who I got to play for exactly two sessions- my life's biggest disappointment) had a gun. I was going for a sort of cyber cowboy thing. But Joe was adamant that my character only had six 'real' bullets. Real bullets were apparently either banned, destroyed, or just incredibly rare in this new world. Real bullets were incredibly overpowered, and did “realistic” amounts of damage to people, where as the vast majority of guns and projectile weapons used “force” shots, which were similar to powerful kinetic blasts or points. I really ended up liking this compromise later on, it keeps guns feeling closer to melee weapons in this type of setting.

Sadly, my journey with Dungeons & Joe ended here. I didn't get to play in that game any more, and the friend group this once consisted of slowly faded away and drifted apart. There's no good way to end this blogpost, so instead, let me list the cool shit I remember that didn't fit in with the above.

Cool Stuff

  • Color based magic system. Each "color" of magic had a different specific use. I remember Red being able to like project on surfaces and do something with that surface, and Purple appeared as smoke that could make things bigger or smaller. (This detail was especially cool because another player mentioned a group of assassins that used purple magic to kill people; mostly by making things in their room really big and crushing them to death with them). Of course, there were master mages of color magic who could learn white magic (all colors at once) or learn how to manipulate the color black (which meant they could cancel out other color magic).
  • Magic Item "Letters" owned by Leo at some point in the game. Set of 26 magic letters that granted magic effects to items based on whatever words were spelled out on them, but you only got one of each letter. Leo told me he used him to spell out "TIME" and "WARP" on his twin swords, letting him hit enemies and change time, warp them around, or hitting someone with both at once to send them through a timewarp.
  • Leo's character had a father named "The Green Grenade" who was a semi-famous superhero in the setting. Guess he fought like Batman with different grenade-themed gadgets on his utility belt.
  • The magic used by the Gaians (or through the Ether creation industry- don't remember which) creates a form of negative magical pollution. Most mages can only used the fresh magic energy and create pollution, but another player who I spoke to about the game had a unique character whose whole thing was he was the only one to ever be able to use the pollution as a magical power source, making him a bit of the big name in the setting.
  • At one point, Leo's character became big and important enough to own/rule over or otherwise run a city. I believe the city was quarantined as a vampire plague had spread through it- with Leo's character also getting turned into a vampire. I don't think this was a permanent vampirism though. Because everyone in the city became a vampire I think it was probably just a thirst for blood sort of thing as opposed to actual vampires with actual vampire weaknesses, but I do remember something about shields/domes over the city to stop people from leaving during the quarantine so maybe sunlight was a problem too?
  • Leo told me his character had gotten so powerful that he was seriously considering "starting over"- there was apparently a special fountain or pool owned by the Elves that could rebirth or regenerate someone, starting over from scratch as a mechanic for starting over. I don't remember if it made the individual more powerful afterwards, a sort of Disgaea-esque infinite recursion treadmill, or if it was more like a Doctor Who regeneration.
  • The advanced cities of Earth(?) had flying hovercars and technology, but these were powered by Ether orbs, glowing glass balls filled with magical mist. My character, short lived as he was, used these specifically as ammunition to recharge his force gun.
  • Beastfolk existed in this world; apparently some of them were like Viera in FF XIV, humans with animal traits, but some were more like full furries. More interesting; some of these also started their life cycle looking like actual puppies or baby animals, before growing into a more humanoid shape as they became adults.

I learned about everything here like 10 years ago too, so my memory is spotted. This is as best as my recollection can account. I don't know these people anymore. All I know is that Dungeons & Joe was as strong and inspiration for me as fantasy media was for many others; and I wanted to share the imagination within it. This blogpost was a bit personal, perhaps a bit more then I wanted it to be, so this one is just for me.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

8 Gnoll Shaman Spells

[1] Imp Finger
- 1st level
The caster's finger glows purplish red and is pointed at a target. The target feels a rush of pain and feels bites and scratches from an invisible demon. It deals 1 damage per round, and you require a save to concentrate on anything other then madly clutching at the imp. The imp is a real thing summoned by this spell, and can be battered off by anyone nearby- it is banished back to hell the moment it is knocked off your body. Anyone can knock it off of you by making an attack at disadvantage, unless if they have true sight or the ability to see the invisible.

[2] Blood Boiling - 1st level
This spell makes blood boils. Affects all blood in a single container, otherwise only a tiny droplet of blood is effected by this spell. This spell only works on blood removed from a creature that is still warm or "alive" for the purposes of magic.

This blood, if splashed on someone, will just deal improvised weapon damage like splashing boiling water at someone (1d3 damage), and make a save or be blinded for a round if hit in the face. If used on a hunk of meat or severed body part, it will begin to turn red and swell up, and quickly destroy it. Gnolls usually use this spell to boil a whole cauldron worth of blood; either for torture or cooking.

This spell has one special case use. If the spell caster bites their lip while incanting the spell; they can cast it on themselves. Their body begins to sweat and heat up- their insides boiling alive. When next attacked in melee by a slashing weapon or after three rounds, they explode and die in a boiling blood explosion. Shamans are rare enough to be valuable in Gnoll society, but their short and violent lives and general fanaticism means older shamans may use this spell to become living weapons to destroy enemies of their tribe while cackling madly.

[3] Fur to Hooks - 1st level
This spell requires the caster to sever a lock of hair or patch of fur off of their own body. By ripping off or cutting a piece of hair and casting this spell, this spell makes the hair curl and magically turn into metal hooks. The type of metal and its roughness depends on the hair; elves who cast this spell will find their hair turning into golden wire or glint, where as wiry haired gnolls will find scraggly rusted metal hooks, which they prefer anyway.

If cast suddenly and dropped on the ground, they act like improvised caltrops, dealing 1d2 damage to anyone who walks over them. They can also be used around a campsite or torture-tent, the hooks hanging up meat or stretching apart skin. These hooks degrade at about the same rate as the hair would after being removed. This spell is the reason gnoll shamans may look patchy, though it may just be mange.

[4] Ghoul Blast - 1st level
Upon casting, the caster's outstretched hand is filled by some kind of spectral, pale green goop reeking of necromantic energy. The ball is thrown, requiring an attack roll to hit. The caster may add their caster level to the attack roll, as the ball hones in on their target. Upon a hit, the ghoul blast deals 1d8 damage and forces the target to save or be paralyzed for 1d4 rounds. Anything immune to ghoul paralysis is immune the paralysis effect of this spell, but not the damage.

Gnoll shamans can use this spell to take out tough targets and step over them to get at the unprotected innocents behind them, while the rest of the pack eats the fallen guy alive- or begins tying him up to bring him back to camp and sacrifice him to their dark demon gods.

[5] Beast Stop - 1st level
This spell exerts the caster's will over lesser animals. When this spell is cast, 2d6 + the caster's HD worth of regular animals are stopped in their tracks, and cannot move or attack, though they can bite if someone say puts their hand in their mouth. The animals can move and fight back after the first bit of damage is done against them, but won't move when you put a blade to their neck. It works on any kind of animal. Intelligent animals, or highly magical or special animal companions can get a saving throw. Half animal people (like gnolls) can move just fine, but will field unnerved when this spell is cast on them. This spell lasts for 10 rounds, or usually just a whole combat encounter.

Gnolls often use this spell on mounted scouts or knights, dragging the riders off their horses while they stand there. Often, they kill the horses for meat and bones, but prefer sentient flesh to feast on.

[6] Blood Ritual - 2nd level
This fearsome spell is often used by Gnoll shamans to prepare a raiding party. Each member of this spell is marked by blood- fresh blood, but it can be from any source; the shaman, the targets of the spell, or sacrifices. The blood is used to anoint the heads of each target of the spell. When it is finished, the group gains a +1 morale bonus.

Additionally, the entire group marked by blood ritual gains magic resistance. Each member gains the collective HD of the group + the HD of the caster in percentile magic resistance. So an average raiding party of 7 gnolls of 2 HD each with a 3 HD Gnoll shaman casting the spell would be worth 17 HD, or have a 17% chance to resist a spell. After one spell is resisted by any members of the group, the protection ends. In order to avoid this being wasted on something insignificant, this magic resistance may only activate against significant spells. Meaning a 0 level cantrip doesn't trigger it, but a 1st level Sleep or Color Spray spell does.

[6] Demon Maw - 2nd level
This spell twists and morphs the face of the target, which the caster molds like clay in their hands. The face becomes demonic, with elongated teeth and jaws, wrinkled skin, and dark set-in eyes. Using this spell on a Gnoll champion or the shaman themselves, they can look formidable, striking fear in the hearts of lesser men. Unpaid or cowardly retainers must make a morale check if they look upon a demon-maw gnoll.

This spell also has a practical benefit, making the bite damage-die of the target go up by two sizes +1 and count as a magic attack. So a 1d6 bite gnoll would have a 1d10+1 bite attack, where as a 1d3 bite human would get a 1d6+1 bite attack (1d3 to 1d4 to 1d6, example). This spell lasts until the next dawn.

[7] Bouda Charm - 3rd level
The Bouda is a shapeshifting hyena witchdoctor creature who can mimic voices to lure people into the bush and destroy them. The Boudas are sacred to Gnolls, even if they don't necessarily work together. At the very least, Gnoll shamans have managed to steal some of the powers of the Bouda through magic.

In order to cast this spell, the caster requires a bundle of wild animal hair, a bunch of fangs and bones, and wrap these up in twine and wear it as a secured necklace. Once the incantation is spoken and the necklace put on, this spell is passive and constant. It also takes up this spell slot until it is ended.

As long as you wear the Bouda charm, you can mimic any voice or creature noise you wish. You also become able to clap your hands which destroys illusions and forces invisible things to become visible. Wearing the Bouda charm makes you treat your spells and resistance to spells be as though you were one HD or character level higher. Also; the Bouda charm has a passive effect on other Gnolls nearby, making them more willing to listen to and serve the caster of the spell who wears this charm. Even non-Gnolls can sometimes command small groups of the violent hyena-men simply by wearing this.

Shamans with Bouda charms aren't as suited to frontline fighting, as they have given up one of their most powerful spell slots to become a master of magic in other ways. If the necklace is ever removed, even for a moment, the spell is ended and the caster's body erupts in 3d6 damage worth of claws and bite marks from a spectral hyena in an instant- a punishment for spurning the power of the Bouda.

[8] Fire Dancing - 3rd level
This spell spiritually connects the caster of the spell, hereby referred to as "Dancer", with a fire. The fire follows the dancer's movements, growing when they spread out their arms and legs, flowing with their motions. The "fire" of this spell can be stoked by motions and dramatic gestures to give off long flares of flame, launching as far as a catapult- essentially, this spell can be used to turn an especially large fire into a siege weapon. With a sweeping motion, the dancer can make the fire wave across a large area like a fan of flame, blowing over and igniting or consuming everything in its path. With a shrinking motion, the flame can be focused down into a smaller point to concentrate it, and then with a striking motion, it will lash out in a powerful blow against a single target or point and so on.

In game terms, assume the average bonfire has 5d6 worth of fire damage it can give off before being "used" up. Every round, it gains back 1d6 of its "ammunition" by burning through its fuel, with more fuel being added adding more damage back quicker. This spell lasts until the fire is expended, or the caster dies- the fire dying along with them.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Angered Nature Spirit Generator


All Angered Nature Spirits begin with:

  • 8 HD
  • AC of 16
  • Morale of 16
  • +5 To-Hit
  • Divine Nature - Immune to Death &Wish magic effects. Has magic resistance to other spells at 50% (Either chance to resist or lessened the effect of the spells by this amount)
  • Resistance to all Elements- Half damage taken from Fire, Lightning, Frost.
  • An Animal Form (Roll on the Appearance subtable to make them more supernatural looking- otherwise they just look like big/regal versions of normal animals) The Animal Form is also the type of Animal the nature spirit can commune with freely. Each spirit can be accompanied by 2d6 HD worth of animals of its form whenever it is encountered.
  • Alignment of True Neutral

Spirit's Animal Form & Attacks - Roll d12
[1] Boar (Gore attack at 2d8, Charge on first round of combat deals +1d6 damage, +1 AC) Appears as a massive, hulking boar with a long shaggy coat and huge, magnificent tusks.

Boar-Spirit Appearance Subtable - (2 in 6 chance for each to be True.)
Golden tusks
Unnatural coat color
(Roll 1d4 on the Color Table)
Pig-Nose shimmers like crystal
Six Legs
Eyes glow red with unnatural rage

[2] Stag (Horn attack at 1d8, two Hoof attacks at 1d6, regenerates 1 Hit-Point each exploration turn, Runs unimpeded thru foliage & is immune to Entangling Roots) Majestic stag with long branching antlers. It moves in total silence and disappears into brush.

Stag-Spirit Appearance Subtable - (2 in 6 chance for each to be True)
Has the face of an old man w/ long white Beard
Bird nest or bee hive in its Antlers
Flowers bloom from where its hooves step
Long, Snake-like neck
Smell of
petrichor follows it

[3] Wolf (Bite at 2d10, Can track scents) Majestic white wolf. Hugely predatory, but serene.

Wolf-Spirit Appearance Subtable - (2 in 6 chance for each to be True)
Mouth constantly drips blood
Tail is wrapped up in briers and thorns
Blue streak from end of nose to tip of the tail
Body streaked in symmetrical scars
Furless, skinless, muscle fibers and mad eyes
Instead of a white wolf, it's a black wolf

[4] Bear (Bite at 1d10, Two claw attacks at 1d8 each, +1 HD, enrages at half health increasing die size of all attacks by one unit and being unable to retreat, -25% Magic Resistance) Huge bumbling bear. Typically thought to be unintelligent and lazy, but fearsome.

Bear-Spirit Appearance Subtable - (2 in 6 chance for each to be True)
Many weapons stuck in its back
Bone ridges follow along its spine
Long, lemur-like ringed tail
Has human back-feet, leaves humanoid tracks like Bigfoot
Cool metal-band style facepaint

[5] Fox (Bite at 1d6, has an extra Nature Power, -2 Morale, shift Alignment one step towards Chaotic) The archetypal trickster, though lacking in direct strength.

Fox-Spirit Appearance Subtable - (2 in 6 chance for each to be True)
Fur color shimmers as it moves
Extra tails (Roll 1d8+1 for number of total tails)
Wears a shiny, fist-sized glass bead around its neck, tied on by a golden cord

Whiskers are many times longer then they should be, flow like they are trailing in water

[6] Horse (Kick attack at 1d10, Can Hoof-Stomp once every three rounds- save or be knocked prone, can Trample downed characters dealing 2d12, -4 Morale, Fast- cannot be escaped from or chased unless you have horses) Massive, majestic stallion or mare. Double the number of horses accompanying it- they are noncombatants.

Horse-Spirit Appearance Subtable - (2 in 6 chance for each to be True)
Flowers grow in its mane
Hooves are made of mossy stone

Looks wet and drips water like a Kelpie
Whinny ends in a thunderclap
Tail seamlessly transforms down its length into fog or mist

[7] Snake (Bite at 1d8- save or die poison, Constriction attack at 1d10 damage per round and can't move- must make a hard save to escape, +1 AC, surprises 4 in 6 times) Massive viper, bigger then an anaconda with emerald green scales.

Snake-Spirit Appearance Subtable - (2 in 6 chance for each to be True)
Scales are black instead
Eyes are milky white, as though blind.
(Can't see, but uses other scents equally well as sight)
Two tiny vestigial arms on upper body
Rattle on end of tail
Water constantly trickles down crest of head off tip of nose like snake-waterfall

[8] Lion (Bite at 1d12, Two claw attacks at 1d10, Roars at the start of combat causing morale check for hirelings and all mundane animals) Majestic, powerful, deadly. This lion spirit only appears with Lionnesses, as it is the King of the Beasts.

Lion-Spirit Appearance Subtable - (2 in 6 chance for each to be True)
Mane has appearance of space; filled with stars and galaxies
Ground quakes when it roars
Tip of its tail is bristled like a Morning-Star
Vestigial wings
Has the spots of a giraffe
OR Stripes of a zebra
Top of face is covered in forefather's skull like a helmet

[9] Crocodile (Bite at 2d8- if target is not killed will grip and deathroll, no save, knocks everyone prone who were adjacent and automatically hits each round until freed or target is slain, +1 AC, can swim) Great beast of the rivers. Prefers to attack from water, but can gallop as fast as a man on land.

Crocodile-Spirit Appearance Subtable - (2 in 6 chance for each to be True)
White OR Pink
Tip of nose has a hand-shaped limb
(Can ambush from water if you try to "save" drowning victim)
Scales are knocked loose easily- turn into rose petals
Teeth are especially long, wicked, and scary looking
Fish frills & fins on arms and back, gills
Eyeballs are golden orbs
(Made of actual gold- worth 250c each when removed from corpse)

[10] Ape (Two Giant-Fist attacks at 1d8, can use weapons like boulders and logs, climbs, intelligent, cannot be surprised, shift Alignment towards Lawful) Massive Ape-Spirit of the forests and jungles. Travels with a trope who watch its back at all times.

Ape-Spirit Appearance Subtable - (2 in 6 chance for each to be True)
Blood red fur
Huge dumptruck ass
Wears facepaint
Hole in center of each hand
Big golden belly; slaps like a war drum

[11] Panther (Bite at 1d10, Two claw attacks at 1d8, surprises 5 in 6 times) Massive spirit of a predatory cat. Could refer to a black panther, but also to leopards for African inspired settings or Jaguars for South-American inspired places instead.

Panther-Spirit Appearance Subtable - (2 in 6 chance for each to be True)
(After surprise round & in combat) Appears like a glowing psychedelic suggestion of a cat
Appears with a silver crown on its head. Doesn't fall off until dead.
(Treasure worth 300c)
Leaves behind black feathers when it jumps
Can walk weightlessly on any surface, like palm fronds or water
Inside of mouth/lips and nose are a weird color
(Roll 1d8 on the Color Table)

[12] Hawk (Beak at 1d8, Two Talon attacks at 1d12, flight, true sight) The powerful spirit of birds-of-prey; the hawk can see you from any distance and see the invisible and hidden.

Hawk-Spirit Appearance Subtable - (2 in 6 chance for each to be True)
Several rusted manacles adorn each leg, just above the talons
Instead of a Hawk, make it an Owl
(Silent flight instead of super-vision)
Has a massive, colorful plume on its head
Peacock style tail; works fine in flight
Wind kicked up by its wings is unnaturally cold

Spirit's Nature Power - Roll 1d8
Nature Powers are like spells for the purposes of saving throws and other mechanics, BUT cannot be countered and are immune to antimagic spells or antimagic fields- these are divine powers. Unless otherwise stated; Nature Powers can be used once per round.
[1] Regeneration (Heal itself or an ally by 1d6 once per round) Infused with life energy.
[2] Musk (Save or fail spells in adjacent squares, scent lingers for a turn.) Animal odor.
[3] Geyser (Deals 1d4 damage to random enemy) The ground splits, releasing boiling steam.
[4] Butterflies (Emits 1d3-1 Butterflies per round, if they land on a weapon they cannot be used to attack until knocked away or blown off) Tiny white butterflies of peace; make weapons impotent.
[5] Animate Golems (Creates 1d3 HD worth of Lesser Golems from surrounding area each round) Rocks, mud, sand, water, foliage all converge and twist into humanoid shapes every round.
[6] Acid Puke (Stream of acid deals 1d10 damage, Must give up Bite/Beak attack to use if it has one- otherwise can use freely. Throwing distance) Pukes up its stomach acid.
[7] Elemental Control (Roll 1d4- Fire, Water, Earth, Air. Creature can Control Elements in the area. Elemental blasts deal 1d6 damage) Creature has decent control over one of the four elements. Can be used to change terrain, throw projectiles, counter spells, etc. The element is only rolled once.
[8] Whirlwind (Moves thru, 1d4 damage to each it passes thru. Increase monster's base speed by +25%). Turns into a spinning gust of wind that can move through solid objects. If it moves through a creatures space, it deals damage to them from the whipping winds.

Why is this Spirit Angry? - Roll 1d8
[1] Bloated (+1 HD) Spirit is even larger then normal. Went mad after eating a full harvest.
[2] Bewitched (+25% Magic Resistance) Branded by arcane symbols- they failed to control it.
[3] Defiled (Acid resistance, Corrodes non-magic weapons that hit) Grove polluted by waste.
[4] Betrayed (+1 morale, +3 HP, 3 in 6 chance for each element on the Spirit Appearance subtable) Once worshiped guardian spirit, its pact broken. More otherworldly then the others.
[5] Iron Ball (+1 damage to attacks/powers, shift Alignment towards Evil) Evil human weapon, stuck in its flesh, festering.
[6] Petrified (+1 AC) Body is half stone, cracking and reforming, as though covered in plaster or hit with an unsuccessful Flesh to Stone spell.
[7] Beyond Sight (+1 To-Hit, Dispel illusions it looks at) Its eyes glow with supernatural being. It has seen things nothing of this world should; human sorcerers have contacted outer beings.
[8] Awakened (-2 to hit, -1 HD, -1 Damage to attacks/powers, double accompanying creatures) This spirit has only recently been awoken. Its anger is from the change sine the old times, though it is still sleepy and ignorant from its time spent dormant.

Spirit's Revenge - Roll d8
This is a constant effect that is constantly emitting from the angered spirit. This is its revenge against the intelligent races and peoples of the world who have angered it. This is how the spirit is retaliating against people; the effect is widespread and will hit everyone and everything in the area where it is. Assume a small valley worth of space or a full hex/hex + all surrounding hexes.
[1] Fear (Hirelings get -1 to morale rolls, -1 to all saving throws vs this Spirit) Nature's wrath.
[2] Rage (+1d6 HD animals accompany it) Fills the hearts of its kind with rage; move against man.
[3] Growth (Casts Entangling Roots at start of combat) Plants spring up to consume brick.
[4] Smoke (You take 1 more damage from every source) Bellows blackness. It is a spirit of death.
[5] Famine (Every day, use double rations) Hunger and bottomless bellies.
[6] Fire (Immune to Fire Damage, gains flame spew attack at 2d6 once per three rounds, save for half) This spirit brings forth nature's most destructive element. To burn for the regrowth.
[7] Destruction (Items break on attack rolls of 1 or vs rolls of 20) Machines tend to fail around it. The closer you get and the more complex the machine; the easier it fails. Anything manmade.
[8] Storms (Missiles have disadvantage to hit, low visibility) Surrounded by a storm. Could be a dust storm, thunderstorm, rain storm, hail storm, etc. Whichever fits the animal best.

Spirit Reaction-Check Rules
This spirit is usually of Neutral alignment, as it is both an animal and a being that supports that natural order of the world. But it is angered- angered at humans or intelligent races that bring technology, destroy the forest, strip the hills for metal, and bring death and subjugation to the animals.

As such, the creature is not normally aggressive but because of its anger, it will attack intelligent, bipedal beings. It has a 5 in 6 chance to attack humans or other races on sight. This chance is reduced by -1 for each of the following the party has when encountering the spirit.

  • Majority of the party hails from tribal/in tune with nature societies (including Elves)
  • Characters prostate themselves and do not make eye contact
  • Anyone in the party can Speak with Animals. Talking to it won't stop it from mauling you necessarily though.
  • Party has at least one wild animal companion. Dogs, cats, etc. don't count. Give this a +2 bonus instead of the animal companion is the same type as the Spirit; or they can talk in animal noises so the companion can defend these humans as being "the good ones".
  • If the Nature Spirit is a prey animal, then if nobody in the party has meat in their belly (has eaten meat for rations that day or the day before). If the Nature Spirit is a predator animal, then the opposite. If your character is biological incapable of eating plants/meat, then tough shit.

Optionally, you can also increase the chance of attack on sight by +1 for each of the following being true. For values over 6 on your X in 6 chance, consider adding every point over 6 to morale as it takes revenge on those who violate mother nature.

  • Carrying an open flame (torch, burning spell, etc)
  • Majority of the party made up of spellcasters (in settings where magic is "unnatural)
  • Anyone wearing fullplate/heavy armor
  • Anyone who is responsible for a large amount of environmental damage, like if you accidentally started a forest fire once or you are a nobleman who drained a swamp to build a castle and so on. Even without outward signs or proof of this, the spirit just knows what you did.

What does it do to the dead bodies of people its slain? - Roll 1d6
[1] Makes a loud howl; hundreds of vultures fly down to pick at the remains.
[2] Drags the bodies to the edge of clearings or the sides of the road bordering wilderness. Warning.
[3] Drags the bodies to trees and thickets- thrown for the roots.
[4] Eats them. Of course.
[5] Rips them up and wears their entrails around its neck. Stained red with invader blood.
[6] Pisses on them. This may seem purely spiteful, but it also speeds up how fast they decompose. Within 2 days the corpse is half liquefied, turned to rich soil with flowers sprouting from it.

What will the Spirit do for you if you manage to calm it? - 1d8
[1] Will raise a baby for you. The baby becomes a wild person, but in tune with nature.
[2] Lead you to a secret healing spring in the wilderness. Cures 1 mutation and restores HP.
[3] Lead you to an ancient burial site of a warrior. Buried with golden sword and silver shield.
[4] Teaches you one random nature spell. If you're a Druid, you get to pick the spell.
[5] Blessing of Power. Grants you +1d2 points of Strength and maximum Hit Points.
[6] Touches you on the forehead, marks you with a symbol. Animals of its type are now never aggressive towards you.
[7] Watching the majestic spirit clams your heart. Restore some sanity / heal 1d3 Mental attribute points / gain some Conviction if you're playing GLOG.
[8] Gives you a magic staff made of green wood. The staff grants magical powers over nature, and enhances natural spells cast by one caster level. The end of the staff has a green leaf which shows how much energy it has left; wilting and dying when the staff is expended.

What reaction does it have to Animal-People of its Type in the party? - 1d6
[1] Revulsion. Attacks them first.
[2] Curiosity.
[3] Confusion.
[4] Can't tell the difference between them and a man.
[5] Paternal/preening behavior. Doesn't want to kill them.
[6] Instant attraction. Engages courtship rituals.