Monday, July 16, 2018

Toxic Gardens of the Hidden Temple

A heady cloud of opium, tobacco, perfume, and finally sulfur mixes with the mist beneath the waterfall, and you find yourself led, blindfolded and deafened from the crashing roar, out into a courtyard of a spotless but hazy temple.

There are a monks here doing flips, sparring, or sitting motionless amidst the fumes. The head monk is a scarred and one-eyed crabman laughing voicelessly and is known as Master Hatyārē. He will gladly gesture for you to join in with the training, and acolytes will hurry to help you change clothes if you accept.

Once per level you may make a generous donation (d100 x level in gold pieces) and spend a number of days meditating in the Toxic Gardens equal to your level or HD. At the end of that time, Save vs Poison (or Con or whatever you use) as the exposure has its final effect. If you pass, roll on the table below as new insight is unlocked, but lose 1hp/level as your body deals with the toxins. This health loss is permanent.

If you fail your save, you gain d10xp/level from your lesser reflections and instead roll an opium effect & check for addiction.

Using these abilities requires you to yell the name (convoluted series of hand signs optional). These abilities can collectively be used up to your level times/day unless otherwise noted.

  1. Meteor Strike: Make an attack on a target below; if you hit, deal an additional 1d6 damage for every 10 feet you fell. If you miss, you take 1d6 damage for every 20 feet you fell. Can be used as often as you dare.
  2. Stuttering Palm: On a successful hit, have the target phase out of time for 1d6 rounds. Time acts normally on them once they return (so if the floor under them has been greased in the meantime they have to deal with that, etc).
  3. Stop Hitting Yourself: Make an unarmed attack, and the next time that enemy would hit you they must Save vs Paralysis. If they fail they get ju jitsu’d and damage themselves instead.
  4. Threat of Peace, Promise of War: Lock eyes with a creature to learn their alignment. Hold for a round to learn their HD, then one more to learn one (if any) magic or special ability they possess. Distractions (loud noises, attacks, etc) will probably break their attention.
  5. Servant of Breath: Manipulate an object at a distance using the wind. Basically just mage hand for a single action, but the range is earshot.
  6. Chan Style: Make an attack with some nearby improvised weapon. If you hit, you humiliate the target in some way - pull down pants, smack their rump, tie shoelaces etc. All of their allies (but not them) check morale as they see you make a fool of their companion.
  7. Be Swift as a Coursing River: Run across water (or another liquid which would otherwise would not support your weight) up to your normal movement. If you stop though you fall in.
  8. With All the Force of a Great Typhoon: Make a charge attack. If you hit, they get knocked back equal to the distance you travelled. Hitting a wall deals fall damage.
  9. With All the Strength of a Raging Fire: Make an attack at +1 to hit. Your weapon or fist is wreathed in flames and deals 1 extra damage. Victim must Save or be caught on fire.
  10. Inner Steel, Outer Stone: Deal a strike that splits rock. You can break a statue, crack a hole in the wall, or deal an extra d6 to earth, stone, or similar creatures.

Hatyārē, Master of Autumn - Half-blind but strong as an ox. Does not speak beyond claw motions but knows where everything is here. Will put on a show of refusing any challenges for his title but relishes the chance to wrestle. (Crabman lvl10)

Satha Phnadra - a follower of the Gold Lotus from the southeast. Here looking for armed guards to accompany him safely back to worn-torn Sajavedra; no-one has yet offered. (Lotus Mnk lvl3)

King of All Orcs - a foreigner in a bird mask who speaks in a low, hooting voice. He is well versed in and can teach the art of the spear but does not carry one of his own. Will offer help to worthy causes ...that pay decently. (Fighter lvl6)

Lobsang - timid tender of the cherry trees in the foothills above; moves slowly and speaks with a youthful voice but under his many silk layers the flesh is wrinkled and tough. Will “gift” enchanted fruit to donors for 1d6 x 100 gold pieces each: Calm Mind, Halt Aging, Shield Psyche, Avoid Interest. These all last 10 minutes/100 gold spent on them. (Mummified Monk)

Saturday, June 9, 2018

quick chargen for my jonathan strange game

Base Lamentations of the Flame Princess, using the Pernicious Pamphlet and A Red & Pleasant Land


Magician in Training
Fairy Knight (as Elf)
Urchin (as Halfling)
Alice (R&PL pg 30)
Cleric* (PP)
Vampire* (PP)

*Unlockable class Urchin has Sleight of Hand instead of Bushcraft. Magician rolls for 4 MU spells.

Add your modifier to reaction rolls in society
social class
General criminals, hobos, and undesirables.
Average servants
Working poor, or successful servants.
The middle class. May be referred to as “Esquire”
Knights and petty nobles. At this rank, you might be called “Sir” by anyone of lower rank.
Earls, dukes, and other nobles. At this rank you are referred to as Lord or Lady.
Somehow in line for a throne.

Roll on the chart (Into the Odd pg 5), replace Arcanum with a roll on Peculiarities table
(Will prep a custom chart later)

One use unless otherwise stated.
numbered key
roll d100 to see what # it is
PP pg 16
raven's tongue
swallow to speak to birds for a hour
fey thorn
prick hand to get protection from iron for 1 turn
dried athelas
eat to reroll hp
ghostly thread
will slice through one object like a cheese cutter
widow's tears
ingester saves vs poison or is apathetic and inactive for 1 hour
preserved rose
tear up to reroll a reaction with a nature spirit
somnulent bell
when struck all who can hear it Save vs Paralyze or fall asleep for d10 minutes. This shatters the bell
heirarch powder
toss in air to make every being that breathes it save vs magic or spend d4 rounds pointing at their ruler
umber rouge
polishes a blade impossibly sharp. next hit causes bleeding for 1 damage for 1d10 rounds
lesser seal
a minor ranked demon can be summoned once
quicksilver vial
works as a one-time mirror
black moss
ingester saves vs poison or forgets last 24 hours
ancient dust
sprinkled on an object or creature, they save vs magic or age 1000 years
"Three Perfectible States of Being" 1-in-6 Angelology
"Revelations of Thirty-Six Other Worlds" 1-in-6 Planes
"A Faire Wood Withering" 1-in-6 Fairies
instructions to cast "Animam Evocare"
instructions to cast "Teilo's Hand"

You are all done.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

sleep spells and the honeywood

If you have ever been magically put to sleep by a wizard reading his spell out of a book, it’s likely it could be traced, by wending ways, back to when the school folks came to the honeywood.

It’s been a fair while so it wouldn’t be surprising if most anyone that wanted it had a copy by now. It weren’t always on paper, though, and perhaps the real sleep magic of the woods can never really be writ down.


It stretches for a few hundred miles, up from among the foothills and slopes of the Mountains of Smoke Without Flame and down to the Iron Valley. Some say it was someone’s orchard, way back when, and though the apple and oak trees now have grown where they may there does seem to be some truth to it. Between the tangled roots there is a curious mix of masonry - and sleepers - that yet sometimes hint at a single style stretched halfway over a continent. Whoever built the place, and whatever happened to turn it wild, well, we mightn’t ever know.

Most folks avoid it these days, except sightseers or those with a thirst that can’t ever be filled in the city. The roads aren’t kept up like they could be, and the locals mostly stay put, so travelling is rough for any that try it. The towns are welcoming enough when they arrive, though, and the stills are running, so the aimless end up sticking around as often as not. They join in the harvests and the strange festivals and the drinking and sooner or later you couldn’t tell the visitors from the natives.

The ones that keep rambling onward usually end end asleep, or roasted.

Big ol’ fruitbat ogres live in the woods, eating the fruit off the trees and finding travellers in twilight with their weird screeching. Them and their little tapir-headed goblin cousins tend to leave the sleepers alone, but folks that are up are bound to piss ‘em off. They’re easy enough to sneak up on, though, so often times they’ll be found just yapping and dancing around a campfire. They always know where the nearest beehive is and show some smarts in harvesting the honey.

Stats: As Ogre
No. Appearing: 2-4 plus 1-6 tapir goblins
1. Getting drunk off fermented fruit caught in the roots 2. Roasting fish over a fire 3. Dancing around an altar to Herne 4. Sitting back with snouts stuck in a honeycomb 5. Stalking a couple of mushroom foragers 6. Swooping out of the trees at you!

Everyone in the towns is quite content for the most part - the funny ones always end up learning a lesson or heading out. The woods have a way of showing folks how they ought to be satisfied. Anyone complaining that their wives nag too much or wishing that they had never been born inevitably find themselves becoming rather drowsy the next time they are out amongst the trees. They take a lie down between a couple of handy roots and the next thing they know it’s been a few dozen years. They might take a bit to come to their senses but the moral lesson of the whole ordeal always seems to leave them wiser. Of course, some folks take longer than other. You never know what kind of age a sleeper might’ve come from.
Some say on occasion the sleepers will then wake up back in their own time, wiser for their “dream” but wary it was real. If that’s true the sleep magic of the trees is something that’d get the attention of anyone hoping to get a message to the past - and indeed that rumor has already begun to spread. Some desperate souls search the trees for a sleeper with silver hair, looking for one as would pass on a word to a younger version of themself or some other such thing. It’s an iffy thing, since all kind of folk are out there and there’s the bats and dream eating goblins to avoid. They might get lucky though.

Awakening from among the roots is:
1. An old mushroom hunter, his beard to his belly and his granddaughter full grown
2. A prince, his attendants all overgrown and his castle frozen in time
3. A heartbroken heiress, her hair down to her ankles and her estate grown massively
4. A centurion, his pitted armor unrecognizable and his language unintelligible
5. A reptile woman, coated in amber (or honey) and her phase rod barely radioactive
6. A student of Jormund School, his books rotten and the snake ‘round his arm dried out

Folks with book learning came to the wood, years ago. They’d heard about the slumbering in the woods, and with strange divining and calculations they took to cracking how such a thing was done. They brought their books and their pet serpents and carpetbags out of the northlands and threw up buildings around sleepers to measure and test them. It took time, and they lost a few here and there, but eventually a couple o’ wizard women figured it out enough to write it down. They called it Sleep, and took it home and sold it to every mage, scholar, and insomniac from here to the Glassy Mountains.

The two women came back, though. See they’d heard the stories and knew the forest had more secrets to tell about magic.

Jaki - dressed in cobras. Imperious and aloof. 5HD Wizard, knows standard Jormund spells plus Falling Through Your Clothes (All your attire ends up bunched around your ankles, save or phase partway into the ground. 2nd level spell)

Yssica Numbers - a very thick northern accent. Friendly but painfully awkward. 6HD Mathmancer, can cast identify Lamentations-style (and has the materials to do so)

Paladins of the Fall, Fire on the Velvet Horizon
Chromatic Soup Vol 2
Magic the Gathering Lorwyn Art
Angry Orchard Cider
Washington Irving stories (and film adaptations)
Over the Garden Wall