Friday, September 11, 2015

flamingoes and mustard both bite

Drank coffee at night and find myself with keyboard in hand

Pic unrelated

so I was a little bit homeless for a while there but kept reading blogs and had a little extra money so purchased some delightful books: R&PL, Yoon-Suin & (why did i only get a pdf the first time) Deep Carbon. Might review them, though I doubt any level of further insight it might produce

Playwise, I tried running Sky-Stone-River-Place for a few sessions a while back but I was using a really loose Lamentations/Dark Souls hack that I tinkered with for like a week and never entirely understood so all my min-max players found other things to do. SCARED 'EM OFF. But having read it many times over I will review the free two-year-old module, as it is a miracle of rare device.

This week started playing with a group who basically organized a weekly game themselves and are “down for whatever” so it’s a Zak-style 3rd ed strip-down. Started in this dwarfhole and I immediately remember why I rarely run big dungeons - I really hate describing rooms. A regular occurrence:

“You see this room is made of old stone and- well it’s identical materials to the others, being different only in dimensions, which are 25ftx20ftx35ft. Also, there are three more rotted dwarf priest corpses in the corner and you notice the floor is more yielding than before.” “Is there light then?” “Uhhhh i guess so yeah. It comes from...the other door which I forgot to mention. Actually two other doors. Wait they’re shut, there isn’t any light forget I said that stuff.” “Okay so what do i see”

The players are naturals though, trying to spike doors shut using broken skeletons and coming up with really bizarre defenses for while they sleep. They are almost all elves but they come to my strain of OSR by way of Werewolf and 4th ed so I am excited for what else will happen. Lord knows how the first roll on a dismemberment table will go over.

What Would Middle Eastern Dwarf Do


Because it is sitting in front of me.

The book is rad but you knew that. Some things:

-Appendix alone makes it ridiculously useful. Hook generator: check, map generator: check, random animals: check (surprisingly difficult to come up with that many discrete & somewhat iconic critters, my Google Doc sputtered out after 60) and a few others with niche, but very definite, value.

-Really satisfying to read on the bus, if a bus is available in your area.

-Speaking of tables: Guest generator is the real deal. Basically just a streamlined/de-boring-ified mutation table mixed with a demon generator, yet avoiding any strong hellfire aesthetic. Very cool for coming up with weird dangerous dudes way quicker than, say, LotFP Summon, and in my opinion better than Vornheim’s.

-On first readthrough I wished things like the children in wells would have been a little more prevalent, but on further consideration I think the focus is well placed on generators and using them. The little tidbits regarding setting, for me, provide the real meat for adventure ideas, but on the other hand I have the easiest time whipping up stuff like that on the spot, while coming up with a reasonable intrigue or non-elementary quest takes a while of uninterrupted thought.

-The puzzles in the written locales are v cool. I like the golems and the difficult-to-reach ceiling trapdoor. Takes puzzle thinking without being some gimmicky Zelda shit. Interesting uses of blood and/or gravity in various rooms as “figure out the rules here and use to your advantage” puzzles.

-Focus (I believe rightly so) is almost solely on GM toys. A single class, a single spell, and like handful of magic items are the entirety of what would generally be considered Player toys. This is unusual in my experience (an example: the last stage of DCO has one big and several smaller, scattered GM toys, slightly outnumbered by useable items, artifacts and NPCs, though several are potentially both, like the poisons) and so I have little ability to evaluate it at this point. But it is An Interesting Point.

-So almost no magic items. Also,

-No flamingos. Why.
Source includes flamingo. Perhaps an expansion is forthcoming.

We demand an expansion

eat me

if you want something done, you must do it yourself

Following Elizabeth the Second Bathyscape’s advice, here we go:


It is a hammer to many and it is a bird to some. It was The Bird long ago, the Phoenix; a being of wind and flame, traversing the long red years and lifetimes of Voivodja in crackling heat. But then the Slow War came, and the fire left it.

It cannot be reborn right now because of all the time fuckups. It hates the Jabberwock.

It hides among croquet games and tries to command any low ranks cards or pawns who come near it, to move wickets closer to the Mustard Mines, though it doesn’t speak so that’s hard.

It will keep urging you to three of the various Mustard Mines and eat a sample from each to create a Triangle of U within your body. The biting hot trifecta of the mustard, it hopes, will ignite it and begin the rebirth.

It will indeed ignite if this is completed (inconstantly, as time ebbs and flows) but always de-ages before it can truly die.

The Triangle appears on your stomach, etched in cinders, and is of great interest to vivimancers, the Druid Circle of DC Plant-Powered Characters and a Galapagoan necromancer and they will occasional hire bounty hunters to retrieve you.

(The real cure is to 1: kill the Jabberwocky or 2: find Meteoric Wasabi. Very rare. The Pale King is after it because of both a rumor that the Sphinx wants it and the tax potential of spices)

It has a strange relationship with hedgehogs and might eat them? You never see it eat so who knows. They flee it though, if they can. None of the royals will - or perhaps can - notice it is unusual, even if you are hammering them in the face with a flaming bird.

Functions: While you hold it, it fusses around if you aren’t doing anything towards its constant mission, including trying to actually play croquet. This makes most activities you might use a hammer for impossible. If you agree to its psychic nudges to help it you can Smite like a paladin with it, which will also light the target, the bird and you on fire. It functions as a d10 warhammer otherwise. Completing the Triangle of U makes any crit with it deal an extra d6 in fire damage plus ignites. It can bite at a weapon to make disarm attempts. Functions as vorpal weapon against Jabberwock.

If you manage to cure it, you get a free reincarnate effect when you die but your next life you’ll be fireproof and have pink skin.

aaaaand time for bed

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