Thursday, November 7, 2019

containers in yoon suin

d12 ways the treasure (or hostage) is trapped

1. Snake coiled around, end visible
2. Ice block, object visibly within
3. Heap of sleeping wolves, part visible
4. Concealing swarm of koi fish/starlings, glimpses briefly visible
5. Giant crab or beetle gripping in pincers
6. Chunk of amber, distorted but visible
7. Gripped in teeth of alligator/hippo
8. Electrified bird cage
9. Mostly buried/set in concrete
10. Beneath water of soporific spring
11. Held by squirming tentacles/ ever growing vines, d6/6 covered at any point in time
12. Boiling in churning cauldron, visible 1/6 of time as other ingredients bubble to surface

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

some spells of English magic

By Rovina Cai

Animam Evocare*
Range touch
Duration immediate
Draws out the subject's soul as a floating mote of pearly color. It can be caught and held indefinitely (in which case the subject cannot have their soul taken by other means) but they will grow depressed and melancholic over time. If squashed the subject must save vs poison: on a success the soul reforms and returns to them, but on a failure they immediately die.
Note: personages with claim on a soul do not take kindly to using this spell on what they view as their property.

Butler's Shade
Range: 0
Duration: 6 Turns +1 Turn/level
Requires a mask. Conjures forth a mindless, vaguely human-shaped shadow to wear the mask that performs simple tasks at the magician’s command. It can run and fetch things, open unstuck doors, and hold chairs, as well as clean and mend. It can open only normal doors, drawers, lids, and the like. It can lift 20 pounds or drag 40 pounds.
The butler cannot attack in any way but counts as a spirit if that ever comes up.
It has impeccable taste in beverages whenever presented with multiple options.

Range: 40'
Duration: 2 Rounds/level
This spell “encourages the moon to sing”, bathing individuals in its pale glow and filling the area with melancholy song. The moonlight can affect creatures within a 40' radius, and may outline up to one human-sized creature per magician level. Outlined subjects shed light that makes them visible in darkness at a distance of 80' and their greater visibility grants attackers a +2 bonus to hit them while the spell is in effect.
The song also gives all those hearing it an additional save vs madness, charms, or other mind-clouding effects.

Dissuade Trajectile
Duration: 2 Turns
Range: Touch
The magician projects out a dissuasion to objects moving towards them. Against missile attacks, the spell grants the caster AC19, and an effective AC17 for all other attacks. They also receive a save vs breath whenever they are exposed to falling or flung particulates like rain or falling dust for it to flow deftly around them.

Empatheticum (from Logan)
Range 60'
Duration 1 round/level
A chosen subject shares everything that happens to you until the duration ends. Emotionally, chemically, physically. Your feelings and desires become the subject’s to act upon. Purple smoke breathed into your lungs intoxicates the subject’s mind. A knife driven through your hand opens a bloody wound in the hand of the subject. Subjects of a level higher than you may save vs. Magic, and if successful, the effect is reversed.

Foucault's Plummet
Range: Self
Duration: 1 round/level
The magician holds up a lead weight on a string. Tilting it alters the earth's pull on them as their body flees unseen stars. Efforts to drastically alter vectors forces a save vs device to avoid falling damage.

Gateau Construit (from Patrick)
Range: 0’
Duration: permanent
An unfashionable piece of magic of foreign creation. Conjures a bridge made of fairly dense fruitcake. The bridge is 10’ long for every level of the magician. Its width is equal in feet to 1/3 of the caster’s Intelligence score in feet. The cake is solid and will support weight, but is about as hard to damage as polystyrene.
It is quite edible and will attract animals, but any persons attempting to eat it for more than one meal per day will find it quite nauseating and have disadvantage on all physical rolls until they get a proper meal.

Goblin Knock (from Alex)
Range Touch
Duration Instantaneous
The magician performs a special knock on a door. The door will open just wide and just long enough for a goblin to scurry out. It is not necessarily friendly nor hostile; mostly it's a goblin, and likely a curious one. It is also not the same goblin every time. It's just a goblin. Over time, the goblins will come to recognize the magician’s knock. The disposition of summoned goblins will change in response to the magician's treatment of their kind.

Hand of Glory
Range: 30' + 10'/level
Duration 1 hour (or less)
Requires the pickled hand of a felon and a candle. This spell causes a magical slumber to come upon creatures with 4+1 or fewer Hit Dice. The magician can specify areas within range (i.e. “only those in the room on the other side of this door”) or may have it only affect 1 creature if it has 4+1 or more Hit Dice, but the spell will otherwise affect all creatures in range totaling no more than 2d8 Hit Dice. Creatures with the fewest Hit Dice are affected first.
Slapping or wounding awakens an affected creature, but normal noise does not. Otherwise they wake at the candle’s extinction.

Mists of Afallach
Range: 20’ radius
Duration: 1 turn/level
The air around you cools and smells of the sea, forming a thick fog. Vision is impossible past 5ft inside of the radius and objects become cool and clammy.

Monsen (from Nate)
Range Touch
Duration 1 hour
The target must declare that they would like to use the monsen, and whatever is done next, 20 friendly mice will appear and assist. They act as well as they can according to their abilities, even dying. They stay for an hour or until the declared act is done.

Pixie Peon
Range self
Duration instantaneous
Ring a silver bell engraved with the name of a particular sylph. They appear before you to carry out an instruction: either fetching an item of yours (one significant item) or delivering a message to someone you know. They fly off and complete the task in 1d6x1d6 rounds. If the spirit cannot bring the object, the object is not the commander's legal property, the person does not exist in this world, or a command is not given within a few seconds, it goes insane and attacks whoever rang the bell until they are incapacitated (d6 sewing needle, 5hp, immune to physical attacks).

Sanguine Seal
Range: 10'
Duration: 2d6 Turns
The magician smears a thin line of their own blood across the lintel or frame of a door, window or gate affects it just as if it were securely closed and normally locked. The blood boils and hisses for the duration, releasing an odor of burning flesh once expired or dispelled.

Range 100’
Duration Concentration
The spell requires a glass filled with water. If magic is detected, a white, pearl-like light appears in the glass; the light shines as bright as a torch if the magic is very close by, going down to a slight glow if the magic is at the furthest range.
Detects cast spells, magical items, or any creature or object under the effect of ongoing magic. Magicians themselves do not detect as magic with this spell, but anyone that is under the effects of an active spell does.
The spell does not identify the nature of the magic, only that magic is present.

Teilo's Hand*
Range 30'
Duration concentration
Stops the flow of anything - rain, fire, wind, coursing water or blood - limited by the span of the magician's hand. Generally most useful with the use of tubes.

Ties That Bind
Range 50'
Duration 1 round/level
Compels a rope to writhe and wriggle at the magician's command. It can enwrap only a creature or an object within 1 foot of it—it does not snake outward—so it must be thrown near the intended target. It attacks with the magician's attack bonus. The rope does not deal damage, but it can be used as a trip line or to cause a single opponent that fails a Reflex saving throw to become entangled. Once bound, the end of the rope tugs towards the creature's closest living relative.

Via Obscura
Range 50'
Duration Instantaneous
Conjures a silk blindfold over the target's eyes. This can be removed fairly easily but is tied tightly, so it takes a round and requires both hands. The blindfold lasts indefinitely while worn but melts away into shadowy strands within an hour when removed.

Winter Down
Range Touch
Duration 1 turn/level
Target grows thick white down feathers, protecting them from cold weather and puffing them up quite considerably, causing them to fall as slowly as a feather.
The spell can be cast with an instant utterance, quickly enough to save the magician or another creature if they unexpectedly fall, but Initiative, if appropriate, must be on the side of the magician. No saving throw is permitted.
The feathers shed fairly quickly into a fluffy heap once the duration expires.

 * With apologies to Susanna Clarke

Monday, July 29, 2019

5e chargen

So I started hacking the PHB a while back:

Orcs: green tinged germanics
Half elves: fashionwitches

But without messing with the rules it's just a hipster collage of natgeo photography. So I stole liberally from Luka's houserules over at WTF, and added some backgrounds from old posts and various OSR darlings.

Take a look at it here

Gnome hack - remove all special abilities and score changes, and give them "Quantum of smallness: If you are unobserved, your size exists in a superposition and you can fluctuate anywhere between dwarf height and six inches to reach higher shelves or fit in little holes."

Dwarves as viking miners is fine. Just read up on Vikings (or miners)

Saturday, June 29, 2019

within cells interlinked

Mothership is really cool and you can pay what you want for the pdf. It's had me thinking about hard-ish scifi games and since you can play an android here's some blade runner 2049:

So using this in a game:

You're an android and the company you work for views you as property, probably. They don't want you getting any ideas about liberation or personhood, and so something they closely monitor is your emotion subroutines.

To do this they assign you a baseline (you, the player, should choose this if you want). This is like a stanza of poetry, a verse of a song, or even an excerpt from a speech or something like that. If you want to do the full-on experience (because why else would I be writing this) you get to memorize it and the Warden gets to come up with a half dozen questions pertaining to maybe a half dozen significant words in the piece - probably mostly the nouns but some other stuff too.

So now any time you return from a mission where you rolled on the Panic table they pull you into this little interrogation room and aggressively test your emotional response to your baseline. You recite your baseline and then can do the whole questioning thing if you want. Whether you do or not, then make a Stress check - your cool responses are what assures your unseen proctor you are adhering to baseline.

Success means you relieve half your Stress (Critical Success relieves all of it!) and you receive a bonus of 1d10 x level Credits.

FAILURE means you immediately roll for a Panic effect and hopefully have some friends on the outside who can talk you out of a pickle

CRITICAL FAILURE is same as above but you are also promptly slated for termination. Other players might come up with something to save you but it's doubtful it'll work more than once.

Monday, June 17, 2019

adventures from the blogs

from deviantart

Some free adventures that I'll try and update periodically:

The One Page Dungeons are allllll free baby

Excellent intro adventures from Dungeon of Signs

The Witch's List from Graverobber's Guide

Cave Quarry of the Chalk Dwellers from Valley of the Blue Snails (map missing but you can surely whip one up)

Stone Sky River Place from False Machine

Swamp of Monsters has a number of keyed locations, if not technically "adventures"

DUNGEON MIXs from Basic Red RPG

Dungeon Dozen has some free pdf adventures down the left side

Adventure PDFs (and a bunch of rules and stuff) from Goblin Punch

Monday, May 20, 2019

on the chromatic hunter, or "coloraptor"

The coloraptor lives in the jungles far to the south. It navigates and hunts using its chroma-sensitive eyes - the brighter color something is the more it is drawn to it. Brave men venture into the wilds in their gray coats to battle the dangerous beast and they do not always return. actuality it eats flowers. A chemical in its body is refined and manufactured into a paste that reacts to flashes of color, so gets smeared onto plates to make an image. The few that are caught and not rendered into "reptigraphs" are kept in captivity in concrete boxes and essentially starved. Like underfed tigers their behavior is more ferocious; their hide loses its shifting patterns and bright feathers. They are fearsome and miserable.

(Why yes, my campaigns have both dinosaurs in zoos and photography)

Thursday, April 25, 2019

red nails, and blue

An experiment for dungeon factions

Get a biggish dungeon map (more than a dozen rooms) like one of these and stuck it with features and treasure and traps and whatever. There are two groups fighting over it so they make up all the encounters. Mark an area on each sides with a faction's color and leave a decent sized buffer zone.

Each room/encounter check roll 2d8, preferably one red and one blue.
-If the room is within the higher die's territory, subtract the lower and take the result.
-If in the enemy's territory, take each result separately. The stronger result somehow infiltrated and has been found out by a “native” and now they are battling. If the intruder survives this becomes contested space.
-If in contested space, the stronger has just killed the weaker (if a tie they are both dying or it's just empty).

Example factions


Extradimensional parasites burning in the lungs

1 - Singed Prophet. Anoints with oil while babbling. 2HD, casts Burning Hands
2 - Naked axolotl spiramander. Screams when wounded. 1HD, stats as dog, glowing gill fronds
3 - Hunchback in sodden robes. Larval spiramanders pop out of back to croak-cast Scorching Rays. 3HD
4 - 1d3 Facehuggers. Try to grapple, lay eggs if attached for three rounds. 1HD
5 - Wereshark fighter thrall, singed and glowing gills, scimitar. 2HD, AC plate
6 - 1d6 dwarves with tongues replaced by long larvae. Can whip out to grapple and burn. 2HD
7 - Emberhoof Ogre. Steps smolder, smoking meteoric club deals 2d8. 3HD
8 - Adult Salamandramorph. 4HD, AC chain, attacks x2, ignite on hit


Honor takes second place in the battle for surface flesh

1 - 1d3 human form knights in armor. 1HD, AC plate, attack with sickles
2 - Hybrid with tail (as club, sends flying on max damage), plate armor coming loose. 2HD, AC leather
3 - 1d4 sharkshead knights. Nonverbal, attack with longswords and hooks. 1HD, AC plate
4 - Hammerhead knight. Chains to grapple and drag. 2HD, AC chain
5 - Hybrid lancer. On bridled salamander larva, charge attacks double damage. AC chain
6 - 1d6 Dogfish halflings. High Dex, sneak attack as thieves. 2HD
7 - Great White Knight. Wields greataxe, covered in remoras that can be thrown as spears that cause bleed, 4HD, AC plate
8 - Mako priest. Rasping mace causes bleed on hit unless they save. AC leather, casts Blood in the Water - summons from this table, roll 1d6