Friday, March 29, 2013

KIPPLE (monster)

"The rooms of the abandoned palace were lined with all kinds of trash: decaying robes, damp parchment, rusty metal goblets, bones, discarded wrappings. We didn't think anything of it. Then we noticed Fen Tak missing, and assumed he wandered off. When Sheilar was no longer behind me, though, I knew something was wrong.
We found their bodies later by accident, faces covered, garbage stuffing every orifice. Harald and I kicked at the trash, but did not discover who did it."

Ignored trash begins accumulating and following creatures, gaining 1 HD/rd. When it gets above 10HP, it will try to envelop a nearby creature and suffocate them. If not attacking or seeking prey, it collapses back in a normal pile of trash.

HD 1-4
AC 14
no. Attacks 2
Damage 1d4
Special Attacks Entanglement, Suffocation

If both attacks hit, the Kipple has entangled a creature, which is also immediately gagged. If not freed, such a creature will suffocate in 2d4 rounds. Creatures can attempt to free themselves with a BB/LG roll or contested STR roll against the Kipple's STR 18. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Carrion Eye (monster for sci fantasy games)

Carrion Eye
Carrion Eyes begin as a smooth cylinder or orb (30in circumference) floating a few feet above the ground, with a large apertured eye at one end. When they encounter dead creatures, the Eye will roll on the corpse, which will be stuck to it through the Carrion Eye's strange energies. These energies can also reanimate limbs of the corpse to activate special abilities or even attack with weapons. The Eye's control of these limbs are as if they were it's own naturally, and its preferred mode of conveyance is to crawl with them. Sometimes they are so decayed they become little more than tentacles or claws, however.

A Carrion Eye will typically follow trails of corpses, absorbing them, until it finds whatever is killing things and begin silently stalking them. Once the Carrion Eye has doubled it's mass, it becomes agitated and desires to shed the current accumulation to begin anew. It cannot do this itself, however, and will provoke other creatures to attack it. The Eye's goal is to wound the creatures sufficiently in battle that it can begin new accumulation with their corpses after they have destroyed the current outer mass. (Either way, it'll try to flee after being reduced to half HP unless opponents are hurt sufficiently).

CLIMATE/TERRAIN: Fresh battlefields, sci-fantasy dungeons, silently following you
ARMOR CLASS: -2/22 (base body) 5/15 (accumulated tissue; basically when it's at half HP use the harder AC)
MOVE: Hover/scuttle 10ft/rd, maneuver 20ft/round if falling (permanent "feather fall" effect)
HIT DICE: 7-16,  base body always has 6 and accumulated mass the rest, see below
TREASURE TYPE: Might be some sweet loot on the accumulated corpses, or useful animal parts
DAMAGE/ATTACK: Eye Ray for 5-16/ claws 1-4/ weapons
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Whatever abilities the creatures it's accumulated had, Eye Ray, Infinite Gaze
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Regeneration (base body only, 2HP/rd), Construct immunities (immune to disease/poison/charm/sleep); half damage from fire and cold to base body
Eye Ray: 5-16 points of energy damage;
Infinite Gaze: anyone staring into the Eye's lens is transfixed by the seemingly endless depth - save VS Petrification (or roll under WIS-2) or be transfixed
Carrion Eyes move completely silently until they have absorbed a decent amount of dead stuff.

Here's a chart if you need some quick ideas for what weird abilities it's accumulated:

Rotting arm holding longsword (1d8)
Rotting monster/animal claw (1d6) (50% poisoned)
Wizard arm holding orb with stored spell (roll level and spell randomly)
Undead Arm with Drain: 1. Ability score 2. Level 3. Age/Time 4. Remote Blood sucking
Beholder Eye Stalk (roll randomly)
Monster Head with Breath Weapon
Monster part with Fear effect (1-2) or Charm (3-4) like a siren’s head
Monster part that grants Carrion Eye Invisibility (1-2) or Improved Invisibility (3-4)
Some kinda flame thrower or laser gun limb
Carrion Crawler stalks
Field of Electricity like Flaming Hands but Electrical damage; metal armor doubles damage
Anti-magic field

Every 8 points of damage it takes has a 10% chance of eliminating one of the special abilities, as the accumulated corpses are destroyed/knocked off/burned/etc.
If this seems confusing, maybe run the base body as one creature and the accumulated ick as a second creature, where they can't hurt the first one til the second one's dead.

(pictures from Takato Yamamoto)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Trouble in the Great Empire of the Flaming Moon

This is some writing I did to start fleshing out the fantasy asia campaign I want to run this summer. I'm still at least two months away from running anything related to this, but thought it couldn't hurt to put this out there and see what people think. I wanted a document to work backwards from, essentially, in making some decisions about the setting.
Currently I'm thinking there will be an all-native, new character, non-FlailSnail party and some sessions run for "weird foreigners", IE FlailSnailers. The actions of one group could affect the other.
I'm currently debating whether to make the native group BRP/CoC Characters (probably not), how much supernatural to have on the PC side, and how much outright warfare there should be.

After a long period of stability, the Great Empire of the Flaming Moon is beset by troubles from every quarter. The Emperor seeks to resolve these troubles by the time the Flaming Moon rises in the sky, a mere six months from now.

-Last year, several Daimyo to the South broke allegiance to the Empire, forming Free Territories. One of these is even ruled by farmers who have done the unthinkable and deposed their Daimyo! It is said they ignore every edict of the previous two Emperors, and allow the blaspheme of Hengeyokai in their cities. The greatest Wu Jen come from the province now ruled by a coalition of Farmers. The Samurai there now take orders from farmers! It is feared they may start training Wu Jen more frequently than the traditional one every 10 years.

-The Islands of Chan to the West have stopped sending tribute and cut off communications. Samurai sent to investigate have not returned. The two prevailing theories are that the Chan have declared complete independence or that they have allied with the Shou, who occupy a large landmass further West. The greatest unarmed warriors come from Chan.

-The Shogun has put it out in certain discreet quarters that his sages predict: in the month before the Flaming Moon rises, the God Kashima will take a nap, allowing the great catfish Namazu to thrash about and cause an earthquake. He desires to not have to add to the Emperor's woes. If any might know how to seek the Catfish God or contact the Kobrokuro, they should enquire at the Gate of Forgiving Flames. (If an earthquake does occur, the Empire may lose many palaces and the tradition of giving great sums to the lower classes to appease Namazu must be observed.)

-Sightings of ghosts and other spirits are at an all time high. Respected Sohei Suneyoshi requests brave and discreet souls to investigate some of these. The Emperor is highly paranoid of the supernatural.

Social class hierarchy (not based on financial status):
Shogun / usually most powerful Daimyo, often more real power than Emperor
Daimyo / local lords / upper nobility
Samurai Families / lesser nobility
Farmers (also peasants, often under heavy taxes)
Artisans (also Wu Jen)
Merchants (seen as parasites culturally, cannot take political positions)
indigenous minorities / actors / bards / criminals / wanderers / butchers / executioners / former slaves / (some of these might be higher based on local religious beliefs)

People "outside" the above system but respected by it:

People "outside" the above system judged against each other but not automatically respected:
oiran, tabu, geisha (prostitutes and courtesans, could be equally male or female)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

“All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring.”

(Quote from Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk)

Some gods I made up for characters or my own settings.

Derketa is a goddess of death, secrets, and the harvest.
Some say she has no servants other than her clerics, but some say all serve her, and only those who realize it can die happy.
When you die, she takes you in her embrace and you and she whisper secrets back and forth, eternally.

Undead are those who have cheated the Goddess; lovers who have spurned her and must be sent back to her forgiving arms.

The living should not turn away from danger - Derketa does not make mistakes. If it is not your time and you have her favor, you will come through danger victorious. If she feels you have lessons still to learn, secrets still to gather for her, you will survive, chagrined. Certain death should only be met when one feels one has gathered all there is to offer from life, but situations where there is some slim chance of survival are not shunned.
Some claim to have glimpsed her when near death; she appears as a purple-robed figure in a bright field of crops. When she turns to you, her face is skull-like, but it is not fearsome; you have been waiting for her all your life. Her embrace is neither warm nor cold, but her breath is pleasant, like the smell of a warm fire on cold winter air.
Clerics: Her followers see no conflict with healing. Her Clerics consider themselves her direct agents, and it is for them to decide if it is someone's time. They take responsibility for being death or keeping someone from it. Her followers are encouraged to live life heartily and experience all it has to offer, to collect experiences, luscious sensations, secrets and obscure knowledge so that one might have many interesting things to whisper back to her in "the long embrace".
They enjoy bawdy songs and befriending unlikely creatures.
Alignment: Any non-Lawful. Her clerics operate under an intuitive interpretation of her whims, not a rigid system of rules. They tend to not be evil, as they try to function within a community, not take advantage of it.
Symbol: A skull with two sheaves of wheat crossed under it and stylized breath coming out of it's mouth.

Nicht is the void between life and life, the void between the worlds.
The void takes a god with no more worshippers, the void takes a man when his body fails.
When you have better enemies than friends, when your guardsman takes coin to turn down the wrong hallway, when the curtain stirs, when the knife slides in through your back and you cannot breathe, Nicht is there, and you become part of Nicht.
The void has intelligence; The Nothing has plans - and followers. This dread intelligence is alien to man, however; to stay on its path yet remain usefully sane, Nicht's followers engage in a regimented form of daily meditation.
Their ways are secret. They consider uniting a target with Nicht to be delivering a blessing, a gift. Gifts cost money, however; Nicht's followers are both merchant and messenger.
Clerics: all are multiclass Cleric/Assassins, and must meet the ability score requirements for such in the 1E AD&D PHB. They may be of any race, but those who are not Orcs, Half Orcs, or Beast Men often hide their worship when in society. To advance in level as a Cleric they must heal someone from the brink of death. To advance as an assassin, they must successfully use the Assassinate ability once or fail at it three times.
Alignment: Nicht is Chaotic Neutral, its followers can be any Neutral. Nicht is not balance; balance is something.
Symbol: a blank grey square with sharp edges.

A god of sensual pleasures and rest from effort, this deity is worshipped by hedonists and the lazy. The two types of worshippers can become frustrated with one another, but their divisions are short lived. Basabat is known to manifest often, and choose sex of its avatar based upon whom it plans to seduce at any particular moment. Its most distinctive appearance is that of a humanoid with catlike features, the degree of which can vary.
Clerics: Seek pleasures for their own sake. Amass a fortune, then blow it on a weekend of excess with your companions. Seek the path of least effort, but do not shy from effort when the reward is a greater span of pleasure. Mercilessly annihilate those who disrupt or seek to destroy your pleasure.
Cats favor these Clerics and may help them in small ways. The Cleric can forgo having a first level spell to incur the favor of cats in a direct way three times a day. (trip enemies, see through eyes for 1 rd/lvl, provide a distraction, loose a rope, knock over a kettle, etc) IE Use a spell slot for this 3/day instead of a spell.
Alignment: Basabat is True Neutral, but unpredictably Good or Evil in that it will sometimes strive for the pleasure of others and sometimes mercilessly pursue its own pleasure. Clerics may be any neutral. Effort must be balanced with pleasure.
Symbol: a peacock feather, or the feather of a bird hanging from a cat's mouth.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Bas̶t̶a̶rd (class for old school D&D Games)

"Oh, don't worry, I can do that. Here, let me at it..."
"Weeeeeeeelll, I never said I was an expert!"

I was gonna go though all the OSR blogs and check out the other Bas̶t̶a̶rd type classes people had written up and then look though G+ to see what +Reynaldo MadriƱan and I had said about this before, but fuck that, I'ma just write some shit and you're gonna like it or not. Here is what I can salvage, distasteful decoupage of failure scraped off to make 'er good as new. Based on the 2E version.

REQUIREMENTS: NONE. Anyone can be a Bastard. Anyone. There are orc bastards, froggy bastards, feline bastards, and of course the usual suspects. Some Bastards are strong, some wise, some neither.

Hit Dice, Attack, Saves, Level Advancement: As a Thief
Weapons: Any, but they like to keep a hand free.
Armor: Bastards wear whatever armor they want, but each point of AC improvement over Leather gives a penalty of 10% to D&D-like sneaky Thief Skills or a 1-for-1 penalty to LotFP style sneaking. You probably gotta take off your armor to cast spells, but ask your GM; I'd let you do it in Leather Armor, but nothing better.
Class Abilities:
"I was roommates with a Wizard once, which is basically the same thing...
Bastards can cast spells, but no reputable magic school will teach them. They can read spellbooks and scrolls, but not create them (unless a Thief can create scrolls in your system). Bastards gain knowledge of spells exactly how you think they do - stealing the spellbooks of others. If they have a spellbook in their possession to memorize from, they can cast spells with the progression detailed in the chart below. If they can con a deity into it, they can learn Cleric spells.
"I wasn't always a cop." (-Axel Foley, Beverly Hills Cop)
Sneaky Bastards also have some abilities similar to Thieves. They begin with:
Climb Walls: 50%
Detect Noise: 20%
Pick Pockets: 10%
Read Languages: 5%
Then have an additional 20% to distribute, which may be used on abilities not listen here (Move Silently, and so on). If the game is LotFP, then they start with 3 points to distribute among Specialist Skills and get 1 more per level.
"No no no, that 5 silver was so I could get rid of all this change for a gold piece, you already put away the money for the merchandise..."
"It was all a big misunderstanding! The other guys were trying to rob you, I was protecting your stuff..."
Once every other game session (or once per day plus an additional time per day for every 2 levels gained), the smooth talking Bastard can automatically critically succeed on a single Charisma check. If being used to affect a Monster or NPC reaction roll, the adjustment is +3. If a check would normally only affect 1 NPC, the player can choose to have it affect others in earshot as well ("Hey boss, these guys really seem OK, I think we should let 'em go...")
"I used to drink with a guy from the Desolate Woods of Man's Lost Hope, he used to say..."
At the same rate (once every other game session or 1/day with an additional use every 2 levels gained), the Bastard can attempt to remember lore about a place, town, creature, plant, item etc. with a 10% per level accuracy, +10% for each point of INT bonus.

Bastard Spell Progression
Bastard LevelSpell Level
After 10th Level, everyone is shocked the Bastard is still alive, and you should probably quit while you’re ahead. He does, however, begin progressing in spells as a Wizard two levels lower.

I hope I avoided:
As Radiohead said, "Anyone Can Play Guitar"

Communitas Monstrum

I asked people to point me at monsters n traps they want me to stat up. They obliged.

+Jensen Toperzer : "This Guy

keep in mind that he's about 20 ft tall and his signature ability is shutting down your spells"
AC 2 or 17; MV 120’/480’; HD 8-12; #AT 4; D 2d8/2d8 & 1d8/1d8; SZ Huge (20ft tall); +5 tH man sized or larger/-5tH smaller or by HD; The 2d8 damage listed is from the two large Khopesh it carries, the 1d8 damage is bare-fisted; instead of using it's two free hands to attack, however, it usually uses them to cast spells as a Magic User of level 5; the third set of hands hold two Anti-Magic Orbs above its head that, when both are held by the same creature, cause a Dispel Magic effect in a 30ft radius. Individually, the Orbs can cast Dispel Magic as an 8th level Magic-User 3 times before losing their magic. The Drone, Magickiller is immune to the effect of the Orbs together, but the effect from just one will cancel it's own spells as effectively as anyone else's.
Immunities: Damage resistance 5 against edged weapons and fire;
Vulnerability: takes double damage from electricity attacks; if air flow is cut off, will enter stasis until restored.
These constructs were built to fight an ancient war to purge Magic-Users from the land; they are animated with the consciousness of a warrior from that time. The intervening centuries have driven them quite mad, except when they are fighting Magic-Users, which gives them clarity and purpose. 
XP: 950

+Mike F requests these two, conceived of by +Scrap Princess with flavor text cut n pasted from her blog+Chris Hales wanted me to stat up a cat pic, so I stuck it in where I thought appropriate :

 The Crime bird.  Its beak is prized as a lock pick, it picks pockets, pillages houses and roosts on stolen jewellery, trading up whenever it can, the lesser stuff stashed in obscure nooks. Why is it not long dead? For one , it voids itself on its stolen goods, imparting a stink near impossible to remove, and secondly its beak, originally evolved to pluck deep borrowing rock worms, will take a eye out faster than you would believe. Lastly and most importantly ; it is a complete and utter cunning shit of a bird.

    AC 7 or 12; MV 10’/360’; HD 1; #AT 1; D 1d4; SA Eye Pluck Save VS Breath or lose an eye; Pick Locks and Pockets at 75%, other Thief Skills at LvL 5; Guano is as Stinking Cloud with 2ft radius; SD Never surprised; SZ S; Int Utter Cunning Shit; AL C; XP 20+1/hp 
    Beak: if harvested and properly preserved, adds +15% to Pick Locks rolls when used as lock pick.

 While certainly small, 4 limbed and mostly bipedal , the piss pixie seems named more as a horrible joke than any other resemblance to its name sake. They are appear to have something of a languid intelligence, but little drive other than sucking up sweet, vinegary or alcoholic dregs, and often fond sleeping instead a vessel used for this purpose, their form extremely rubbery and flexible.
 If menaced they defend themselves by squirting forth a horrible smelling stinging yellow fluid into the eyes of the attacker, and then slither off to hide in some  unplausible gap or nook. They lack a jaw and their face resembles a prolasped anus partially dried in the sun.
There is a uncommon poison, that is odorless and tasteless,  and makes the blood of the drinker smell overwhelming attractive to the piss pixie. They will be able to smell the victim from leagues away and wait to the victim is asleep where they will latch on with their horrible snouts and suck the blood right through the skin, like a hickey of the damned. They will not stop until the victim is bleed dry.

AC 5 or 14; MV 120’/60’; HD 2 ; hp 2-16; #AT 1; D 1-4; SA Stinking Spray range-10ft Save VS Breath or 1d4 DMG and Incapacitated for 20 minus CON rounds; suck blood for 1HP/rd, anesthetizes locally, undetectable to victim; HS/MS at 65%; Can fit into bottles, nooks and crannies as if size Tiny; SZ S; Int Low; AL CN; XP 20+2/hp 

Jensen ToperzerFeb 28, 2013

fuck that stat up the Tyrannosaurus Hex 
 You are insane Wizard and you have an excess of enchantments , scar runes, and  magic tattoo designs. Oh and Tyrannous Rex.
Tyrannosaurus Hexes are what happens when you  use more or less laminate every square centimetre of a T-rex in magic wards. They are extremely dangerous , extremely unhappy and disrupt all magic around them in dangerously and unpredictably ways. Have you seen Holy Mountain ? This is your T-rex right here (the one not talking) THE WHOLE THING IS ON YOUTUBE WHAT ARE WAITING FOR? (watch it from the start after though. Well okay watch that scene with the Timothy Leary parody, then watch it from the start). Hmm maybe they are addicted to eating magic? Nah then it just makes them some kind of Disenchanter monster that seems to only exist to take stuff off the p.cs. Thinking...thinking..
Okay Tyrannosaurus Hex have a marauder phase where they just run around screaming at the new colours and eating people. But after that they realize they are intelligent and conscious and driven by the desire to formulate the fantastic new ways of magic  they can  just about grasp. The T-hex then attempts to study magic and experiment, as best as it can do with a wild magic field ( that it can learn to suppress) two dainty forearms , the mind of apex predator and no formal training what so ever.
Like an Outsider artist if art could blow things to pieces and turn those pieces into spider-wolves. And the artist was a giant bipedal killing machine.


Oh god.
  • AC 5 or 14; MV 150’; HD 18; #AT 2; D 1-6/5-40 (tail/bite); SA 
    30% of the time the T-Hex will be encountered in a frenzy, attacking only with its tail and bite - during this time, any spell cast within 50 feet will interact with its stored magic to produce a Wild Magic Surge (Basic Version); 
    The other 70% of the time, the T-Hex is encountered during a sentient phase, and will attempt to use its stored magic to cast spells like a 1d6th Level Magic User, with a 1 in 6 chance to cause a Wild Surge. The T-Hex in this state can choose whether other casters trigger a Wild Surge or not. These T-Hexes like to use whatever's in the room to make pets to defend itself. Let's say you get "Crab Demon" on that summon generator - that means the T-Hex makes a big crab thing out of dead PCs, the smashed door, and the pile of gold in the room. For instance.
    SZ L; Int 30% Non 70% medium; AL N; XP 6,550+25/hp 

+Chris Hales   Chris HalesYesterday 12:27 AM

  • AC 4; MV 90’ but hates to walk - see below; HD 3; #AT special; SA
    This breed of Bombardier Beetle secretes explosive orbs - each acts as a Fireball spell as cast by 3th level Magic user; The Beetle itself is immune to this, with one exception - it is blown by the blast to the perimeter of the effect. These creatures are sometimes encountered in the wild, propelling themselves along with their explosive orbs or drifting back and forth in "play".  SZ M; Int Non; AL N; XP 125+3/hp.  

I'll leave these two for crowdsourcing, I couldn't think of anything good:
+Joshua Macy   Joshua MacyFeb 28, 2013

How about a portable, easy to set up trap suitable for dungeoneers to carry and deploy against the denizens. I'm thinking something like a bear-trap in a sack, so that it doesn't clank and you could deploy it either with a chunk of meat or something valuable inside sack or on the ground concealed by the sack.

Pearce SheaYesterday 8:54 AMn  +Pearce Shea