Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Special undead

Special Halloween post (a day early)! Certain beings beyond death are more dangerous or strange than others, or simply more rare.


Ghost

HD: 2
Found: solitary in abandoned homes, places of strange death, treachery, obsession, or terror

Appearance: withered ghostly light in the warped shape of the person who died, twisted by all-consuming emotion.
Voice: echoing and distant, as if from deep down an unseen hallway
Wants: to fulfill its obsession
Morality: wild, emotional, irrational
Tactics: careful, tricky, but aggressive

Attack: +2
Defense: +1
Speed: +2

Abilities

  1. Incorporeal: can remain invisible and intangible at will, unless its emotions are flared.
  2. Possession: able to possess the bodies of mortals who are emotionally inflamed.
Created when a mortal dies while engulfed in the extremes of emotion, be it terror, hatred, desire, or others. This emotion drives them far beyond human behavior, to wild acts that may seem impossible to their friends and loved ones in life. They become tied to an area or object, and cannot leave it beyond a certain range unless they possess the body of a mortal. 

Evocation - Stail Woman by Andrea Chiampo

Poltergeist

HD: 1
Found:

Appearance: completely invisible, shaped like a frail, crouching humanoid. Faint but distinct light glows from within when the command word is spoken.
Voice: echoing sounds, like a clattering or ringing with no apparent source
Wants: to serve its purpose, usually as a thief or personal guard for dark wizards, or to secure safety once abandoned.
Morality: flatly logical, cautious but not fearful
Tactics: evasive, avoids combatants while flinging heavy objects at them

Attack: -1
Defense: +1
Speed: +0

Abilities

  1. Unseen: cannot be seen naturally, though a small, candle-like blue light glows at its heart and it becomes immobile for 1d6 rounds when its command word is spoken.
  2. Telekinesis: with a clumsy force, the poltergeist can levitate a set of somewhat lightweight objects in a certain area, such as a chair and small items on a nearby table. Makes a launcher check with 2 stars.
Created by cutting out part of the soul and binding it to a word in a lengthy and horrific process that cripples the mind of its subject. Usually dark wizards will extract 1d6 poltergeists from a soul, inventing a new command word for each and using them as thieves or disparate guards.


Wraith

HD: 3
Found: 1d6 in the stillest of places

Appearance: somewhat like a dark, tattered robe floating in the air, shedding dust, ash, or whatever gave it form.
Voice: silence
Wants: stillness, silence, and deadness
Morality: inscrutable
Tactics: cautious, well considered, almost passive

Attack: +3
Defense: +1
Speed: +2

Abilities

  1. Withering touch: medium damage, deals a wound on 6.
  2. Discorporate: fades into particles briefly, becoming intangible for a round.
  3. Screams of Quietude: goes still for a round, damping all sounds within a long earshot.
Formed of particulate matter in places of deepest stillness, these strange elemental beings of deadness are formed seemingly on their own, almost always underground. Perhaps these taught the ancient necromancer lords their dark art, in a nearly successful bid to end life in our world. Perhaps the night sky is black with void wraiths, impatiently waiting for the moon and stars to die or abandon us so that they may finally put still this wretched land of flowing blue, swirling white, and creeping green.

They float through the air, and are absorbed by stone. While this weakens the spirit, it also corrupts the material. The result is a brittle rock called Wraithstone, which crumbles into needle-like shapes and is prized by alchemists.


Mummy

HD: 3
Found: solitary in rich tombs, the tops of mountains, buried under ancient temples, or lost in salt mines

Appearance: desiccated corpse from bygone eras, preserved by forces of man or nature and bearing a distinct strength in will and body.
Voice: soft and dry, but commanding and impossible to ignore
Wants: peace in the afterlife, to dispel invaders
Morality: similar to life
Tactics: careful, well considered but not aggressive

Attack: +3
Defense: +2
Speed: -1

Abilities
  1. Command: all undead who can hear it will obey its words without hesitation.
  2. Slam: heavy damage. Deals 1 damage to the mummy on successful hit.
  3. Mummy's Curse: whoever kills a mummy is stricken with a major curse.

Emperor of the Sands: interred deep within stone crypts lined with gold and history, draped in what were once fine silver wrappings and golden regalia. Guarded by twin stone guardians and possessed of divine favor.

Saltmen: lost workers in an ancient salt mine, their industry that ended their lives has now ironically preserved them beyond death.

Eternal Monk: preserved in a ritual of meditation, fasting, and special diet in order to achieve an eternal peace as they were lowered into sealed pits underneath holy places. Those who desecrate their place of burial may face the full might of long-lost martial arts, but the righteous seekers of their wisdom may find secrets which are unattainable by any other means.

Mummylands: tropical lands where the oldest of preserved dead can be found, hundreds if not thousands across the realm. Many of them are decorated with fine clothes, tattoos, and jewelry.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Character history

When rolling up a new character, players can use these to generate a good framework for a backstory. Background, secrets, and connections have mechanical effects, but players can be allowed to come up with whatever else the GM allows, within reason. Secrets are also freeform and can be invented, but they should have some dramatic impact if discovered.

Hometown

Where the character grew up. Could be where they spent their whole life, or a childhood home that they left as soon as they could, or a place their family moved to for whatever reason.

Contradiction by Jeff Chen

  1. Farming village
  2. Port village
  3. Mining camp
  4. Roadside inn
  5. Logging camp
  6. Castle outpost
  7. Farming town
  8. Seaside town
  9. Mining town
  10. Merchant town
  11. Castle town
  12. Foresting town
  13. Plains city
  14. Coastal city
  15. Mountain city
  16. Trade city
  17. Forest city
  18. War camp
  19. Ruined city
  20. Nomadic caravan

Collecting the Payment by Stefano Scuccimarra

Background

This is more what the character grew up doing. Players can choose any from 1-10, or they can roll 1d20 for one. Most likely they were apprenticed to their parents, being raised to take over the family profession before they decided to become an adventurer.

  1. Beggar: panhandler skill, ragged outfit, tin cup.
  2. Farmer: farmer skill, stained outfit, and a hoe or pitchfork.
  3. Carpenter: builder skill, hardy outfit, handsaw.
  4. Cook: cook skill, stained outfit, pot & spoon, common spices.
  5. Blacksmith: smithing skill, hardy outfit, hammer, and steel ingot.
  6. Surgeon: surgeon skill, stained outfit, bandages.
  7. Gardener: apothecary skill, stained outfit, bag of seeds.
  8. Scribe: poet skill, clean outfit, quill & inkwell.
  9. Painter: painter skill, stained outfit, brush.
  10. Poacher: survivalist skill, camouflage outfit, knife.
  11. Trader: linguist skill, exotic outfit, 5 foreign silver coins.
  12. Heir: fine outfit, 10 silver coins.
  13. Minstrel: musician skill, plain outfit, instrument.
  14. Actor: politician skill, fine outfit.
  15. Jester: comedian skill, ridiculous outfit, inflatable ball.
  16. Criminal: pickpocket skill, ragged outfit, 3 silver.
  17. Courier: +1 speed, running outfit, hometown map.
  18. Squire: politics skill, surcoat, short sword.
  19. Wizard's apprentice: +1 magic, eccentric robes.
  20. Wizard's subject: ragged outfit, -1 maximum vigor, random magic power.

Siblings by Petar Milivojevic

Secret

Players should roll these in secret, or come up with their own if sufficiently dramatic.

  1. Banished from nobility
  2. Fled noble life
  3. Ran away from justice
  4. Escaped wrongful conviction
  5. Hidden gender
  6. Deserted the war
  7. Member of a cult
  8. Holds a powerful grudge
  9. In a long term relationship
  10. Kills small animals
  11. Unusual tastes
  12. Embarrassing interests
  13. Stolen treasure
  14. Stolen weapon
  15. Stolen status symbol
  16. Killed someone important
  17. Hunting a rival
  18. Eats human flesh
  19. Hates anyone of a certain race
  20. Cannot swim

Fly high, my friend by Mauro Belfiore

Scars

Characters should start with one scar, from growing up in a dangerous world. Each time they get wounded, it should also leave a scar.
  1. Cut across the eye
  2. Cut across the mouth
  3. Broken nose
  4. Foggy eye
  5. Cuts on the arm
  6. Missing teeth
  7. Missing finger
  8. Missing toes
  9. Cut on chest
  10. Cut along neck
  11. Punctures in torso
  12. Burn on face
  13. Burned arms
  14. Missing hand
  15. Missing foot
  16. Missing ear
  17. Missing eye
  18. Cut across forehead
  19. Punctures in arm
  20. Cut across nose

Connections

Players can roll one of these when they create a character, usually getting a benefit along with an open ended question for them to answer, perhaps at character creation or perhaps gradually as they play. For the negative ones, such as debts, I would recommend giving them an exp bonus for paying them off or otherwise solving them. These can be recorded on the party sheet, unless the player wants to keep them on their sheet.

1- People
  1. Your sister Matihl travels with you as a guard. What was she like as a child?
  2. Your brother Sigund is coming along to cook. How was growing up with him?
  3. Your lover is with you to repair leather and metal items. How did you meet?
  4. Mentor Vimatn demands weekly reports. What was their teaching style?
  5. Parents write weekly letters. What do they write about?
  6. An obsessive hanger on tends to get in the way. Why are they following you?

2- Business
  1. Owe 1d100 gold to the cult of the Inner Moon. Were you a member?
  2. Debt of 1d100 gold with Baron Kihlig. How long will they give you?
  3. You owe 1d100 gold to Shosturv, your friend. How good of a friend are they?
  4. An assassin fulfilled a 1d100 gold contract, yet to be paid. Who did you need dead?
  5. There is a bakery you partly own. Why did you set out?
  6. You're the business partner to an innkeeper. What made you leave?

3- Animals
  1. Pet dog came with when you left your home. What does it like most?
  2. Hunting bird tagged along. What do you feed it?
  3. Family mule sent along with you. Does it follow or lead?
  4. Stole a horse. Whose was it?
  5. Missives by bird come from far away. Why do they write to you?
  6. A war dog has taken a liking to you. Just how friendly is it?

4- Reputation
  1. People say you're a lucky one. Is that totally wrong?
  2. Everybody thinks you're rich. Do you try to live up to that?
  3. They say you're clumsy. What was the start of that?
  4. There's supposedly an air of mystery around you. What causes that?
  5. You're said to be fashionable. How do you handle that pressure?
  6. Some say you're an incredible lover. Is it flattering or uncomfortable?

5- Rumors
  1. Word has it that you're cursed. What's the supposed curse?
  2. There's a story that you had a violent outburst. What really happened?
  3. Innkeepers say you trashed a room once. How bad was it?
  4. You're said to have survived impossible odds in a fight. Did you get lucky?
  5. A noble scion is supposedly betrothed to you. Who are they?
  6. Of a crew that ostensibly hid great treasure, you're the last remaining. What keeps you from getting it?

6- Other
  1. A nomadic wizards cursed you to fall short of your destiny. Are you after them?
  2. A bandit leader owes you bigtime. Did you mean to help them out?
  3. The heir of Nuliwim County wishes you stop adventuring and join them. How do they know you?
  4. Baron Shuladn begrudgingly owes you a favor. Is that more trouble than it's worth?
  5. You covered for a squad of deserters. Where did they go next?
  6. You are native to a strange and distant land. What brought you here?

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Major curses

Omens

When the curse is cast, this is how the cursed can know. The signs are cryptic, but the feeling of wrongness cannot be ignored.

Shadowed Whispers by Maik Beiersdorf

  1. Suddenly there are giant moths perched all around. Now that you notice them, you realize they were always there, blending into your surroundings somehow and waiting.
  2. The stranger's teeth are wrong. Almost like a human's, pale and square. But not quite the color of something living, and too square, more like chisel blades.
  3. Just as your companion rounds the corner and leaves your sight, you realize they stand before you. You watched them leave.
  4. At the edge of your light, you see a severed head with a malicious grin. As you look closer, it morphs into a discarded cloak.
  5. Everyone's eyes, noses, mouths are shifting about their faces, sliding around one another in a horrible flow.
  6. As you eat, something tiny feels too hard between your teeth, tastes metallic and glassy. You try to spit it out, but it slides down your throat with the next bite.
  7. Nearby clatter followed by a loud, low humming that nobody else seems to notice.
  8. When nobody is speaking, your ears pick up a voice speaking just too softly to understand. Listening for a moment, you recognize it as your voice just before it goes quiet.
  9. Cutting pain slides up through your gut and deep in your chest, stopping at your throat. It stings there for a moment before fading into a persistent tingling, then disappears.
  10. Something drips down your forehead and face. It feels thick and warm, and looks dark. When you touch it your hand comes away dry.
  11. Only you feel the ground lurch slightly beneath your feet, breaking apart to reveal a glimpse of a yawning abyss below.
  12. Suddenly you remember that you dreamed all this, the entire day exactly as it has happened so far. The dream ended with hands pulling you into darkness and cutting you open.
  13. A faint clicking noise, nearby and almost regular. Craning your ears you hear it coming from inside your chest, every time you move.
  14. A massive shadow passed through the night sky, covering a swatch of stars. It didn't make a sound, but somehow you know it was close by.
  15. When you reach into your pack, another hand grazes yours. Looking through your bag you find nothing out of place, and no holes.
  16. Something crawls along your teeth as you speak.
  17. Passing through town, you realize that everyone is staring directly at you. You feel something watching from above, and when you look back down all appears normal.
  18. Your shadow shows a reflection like a mirror. In it you can see a stranger, moving carefully.
  19. A shrieking, wailing cry from very close, so frenzied and wild that it cannot be discerned from insane laughter. Nobody else heard it.
  20. The sky is pitch black, not a cloud nor the sun visible for a moment.

Rotten Horse by Julian Bauer

Curse

The effect is not apparent at first, but will show itself in time
  1. Occasionally, the cursed wakes up alone in the middle of the night, to see an unnaturally tall and pale woman standing over them with a white lily in her hands. If they touch the flower, she will attack and devour them.
  2. Those who hate the cursed will see them in dreams, and always know where they are.
  3. The skin and flesh of the cursed tightens across their body, creaking with every movement and ready to tear open at the slightest puncture.
  4. Sunlight stings the skin of the cursed, which feels dry and ready to burst into flame with any spark.
  5. Waxen worms spill from the mouth of the cursed whenever they try to speak.
  6. Burdens feel unbearable, as the limbs of the cursed feel weakened and heavy.
  7. Sickly crows gather and follow, looking tense and ready to frenzy at a moment's notice.
  8. Food and drink taste like thick blood. Soft silks and velvets feel like barbed thorns. The gentle caress of another is only grit and scraping bristles.
  9. Hounds will not look away from the cursed, and often follow, growling and ready to pounce.
  10. An itching builds up deep beneath the skin of the cursed, driving them to scratch deep into their body. Any injury only feels like a brief alleviation.
  11. The bones of the cursed clatter and crackle with an abhorrent noise regardless of how carefully they move.
  12. The stomach of the cursed is encompassed by crushing hunger, and will never feel full.
  13. Strangers will always think they recognize the cursed as a troublemaker or wanted criminal.
  14. No animal will carry the cursed, and they will sink like a stone in water.
  15. Trapped in a monstrous form that polite society will refuse to accept.
  16. Any foe struck down by the cursed will rise again to seek vengeance.
  17. The stars watch intently at night, making it impossible to rest normally.
  18. All tools and arms that are taken up by the cursed will eagerly crumble and shatter in their hands.
  19. Trapped in a beastly form which is unable speak or write.
  20. Whenever the cursed draws near, unliving flesh will crawl away from them.

Army of my sins by PaweĊ‚ Latkowski

Release

There may be only one way to become free of this affliction.
  1. Beseech the one who swore the curse, to lift it from you. If they die, this becomes impossible.
  2. Swallow a handful of silver dust. Can be mixed into a drink, but may poison you either way.
  3. Entreat the aid of a priest or god. If faith is unsure, the curse will remain and its swearer will know of the effort.
  4. Allow a ghost to possess your body. This will release a curse, but the spirit will have its way.
  5. Cleanse the curse with suffering, by self-flagellating and fasting until the curse is lifted.
  6. Give away half of your wealth to the poor, or your most valued possession if you are yourself poor.

Woodland Ghost by David Romero

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Saint

Inspired by a wonderful suggestion by ArkosDawn, which lead to the first cleric I would actually encourage people to play as!

Lepro-sees by John Sullivan

Perform miracles by accepting temporary curses. Magic user.

  • Stat bonus: +1 speed per level, -1 maximum vigor every two levels
  • Starting items: incense, steel cudgel
  • Skill: politician, writer, or thug
Level 1: miraculous
Level 2: burden, smite
Level 3: forbiddance
Level 4: divine retribution, relic
  • Miraculous: perform miracles by accepting minor curses upon yourself. When you choose a miracle, roll 1d6 for a curse, adding +1 to your roll for each miracle you have used in the same day. Curses last the rest of the day unless otherwise noted or if that wouldn't make sense.
  • Burden: once per day, select an enemy when you use a miracle, inflicting them with the curse instead of yourself.
  • Smite: strike your foe with divine power once per day, dealing +1 damage for each curse you are afflicted with. This includes major curses, curses from techniques, and cursed items.
  • Forbiddance: place an icon that will repel one enemy type whenever they look upon it, for the next 8 hours. Can be used once per day, and enemy types include magical beasts, gods & demons, elementals, cursed & undead, fae, natural beasts, and humans.
  • Divine retribution: once per day, spread one curse that afflicts you onto an enemy. They will be alleviated when you are, or can release their curse separately.
  • Relic: give a piece of your body (such as a tooth, a small vial of blood, or a lock of hair) and a blessing to one person at a time. As long as they hold your relic, it will protect them from any kind of curse, but they will also be unable to use magic.

Miracles
  • Heal an ally within sight by 2d6 vigor.
  • Increase the recovery of a wound by one day.
  • Call upon a lost item to return to its owner, through anything but solid barriers.
  • Grant an ally +2 strength and agility for an hour.
  • Endow a flame to keep burning for 1d6 +2 days.
  • Steal a magic power for one hour.
  • Split a single stone with a touch.
  • Dispel temporary ailments such as blindness.
  • Conjure 1d6 rations worth of food.
  • Split a body of water to cross safely and dry.
suffering by ivan stan


Curses
  1. Lashed by spectral whips for 1d6 damage.
  2. Stricken with hunger, eat 1d6 rations or become strained.
  3. Legs become limp and useless.
  4. Skin disappears, taking +1 damage from all sources.
  5. Arms chained behind your back.
  6. Stricken with silence. Cannot use another miracle for 1 minute, or speak for the rest of the day.
  7. Flesh becomes salt. Take 1d6 damage from notable contact with water.
  8. Invisible imps perch upon you and strike anyone who approaches to help you.
  9. Lose control of your actions. After 1d6 rounds, GM controls the saint for one minute.
  10. Become stiff and immobile for 1d6 rounds.
  11. Shrouded in a nightmarish illusion. People won't talk to you, guards may attack.
  12. Stricken with poverty. Armor, shield, or weapon burns away in holy flame (only one, in that order).

The church is powerful, the people have their faith. Why then, would a lowly peasant ever shy away from the powers of the gods? When there is a holy light of healing, a conjured meal before them, or a demon slain with a touch, how could any deny the privilege of such a position. They hesitate at the sight of a stricken saint, bearing the heavy spiritual weight of their curses after a trying day. That power is great, truly, and holds a position of some guaranteed safety under the church, but such suffering is well more than enough to push away thoughts of joining the orders, until true evil makes itself known and someone with faith enough to become a saint also finds suffering enough that those curses seem worth enduring.

Saints can be adapted for specific gods or religious orders, simply by creating a themed set of miracles and curses. I left off the curses at 12 because I figure by the time someone is carrying around six curses they're not likely to keep pushing that envelope.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Playable races

In my game there are no racial attributes, so players could easily be an elf, orc, dwarf, or any of these more interesting options. GMs can also feel free to come up with whatever new races they like, as long as they could reasonably function like a human.

Cikrem

Nomadic tribes found throughout the land, recognizable by their brightly colored skin, hair, and eyes. It's not common for them to intermingle with other tribes, but many tribes hold to a prophecy that a golden Cikrem of combined houses will unite the tribes and bring peace to their kind for millenia.
Their clothing tends toward dull, neutral coloration that contrasts with their vivid skin, and large, elaborate cowls or hoods. Cloaks, capes, and scarves are quite common in their fashion.
Many of them worship gods of light, such as flames, the sun, the moon, the stars, and glowing creatures from deep caves and odd seas.

Trip through Space by Kaya Kepa

Mebirinu

Peoples from the dense underbrush of the woodlands, they are known for their black blood and bones. Because of these traits, they are believed to have poisonous flesh, and an affinity for similar dark arts.

Kippil

Mountain dwellers who possess an extra joint in each of their arms and legs. Most find them off-putting and they are frequently assumed to be sneaky or agile, despite the famous kippil mercenary group named the Steel Cranes. In their homelands they often dig deep into the mountains and even have a few cities beneath the stone.

Veshkin


People with crystalline, iridescent hair and nails who call the deserts their home. It is a common belief that they are naturally honest and helpful, a fact which Veshkin thieves and scam artists do well to take advantage of.

Diamond by Harumi Namba

Tula

Inhabitants of cavernous valleys who possess broad, blunt horns on the sides of their head. They tend to be either very tall or very short, with average height Tula being considered rare and unattractive. Additionally, they are viewed as stubborn and brutish, although they culturally prefer diplomacy and negotiation over warfare.

Fahd

A short race of humans whose bodies are covered in long stiff hairs that extend outward. Their language is quite fast, sounding chittering and confusing to outsiders, but it is quite comprehensive. Most tend not to wear clothing, and their natural hair generally covers them very well. In fact, it is considered more obscene among their people to shave than it is to be publicly nude.

Gollo

People with hanging flaps of seemingly excess skin. They possess advanced medical techniques and have an elaborate culture around healers and the gentle fending off of sickness.

Yingao

Denizens of the Great Umbral Forest, so overgrown that there is no grass growing under the shadows of the trees. Coming from such an environment, these people have a very faint glow about their eyes and mouths (including their saliva), and their skin tends to be dark with a greenish tint.

Ort

An empire of pale humans from frigid forests across the sea. Their skin has darker and lighter patches, and their teeth are unusually long and sharp, with unpleasantly small round eyes. Many of them were once united in a conquering empire, and most claim lineage to those days, though most others peoples have little fondness for that era.

Finnin

Smaller of stature but strong of will, these people live in large but close knit communities and are somewhat well known for their large, colorful, singular eye. Despite having only one eye they are quite expressive, and in some black markets their eyes can be purchased as a youth restorative or material for fortune telling.

Shimex

Oft alienated for their completely smooth bodies, without a hair to be found, nor nails on their fingers and toes. Their culture prohibits conflict or selfishness, but they have a reputation for being conniving and tricky. Generally they are very quick to integrate into new cultures when given the opportunity, and adopt new customs well.

Nihemi

A tall people with silvery skin and four, narrow eyes. They have a predilection for long robes and fine silk, and have a very insular culture.

Bolshu

People seemingly swollen with excess blood, with bodies bloated and tinged purple. They use their blood in a number of holy rites, and have a tendency to see the blood of other races as impure or cursed.

-

Far races

If you want to run a really out there or gonzo game, here are a few more wild race options that players might be interested in.

Wermlen

Beings that build cities in huge immutable metal rings, most of the time buried deep underground but always with at least some of the city on the surface. In their larval stage, they appear as eel-sized worm creatures which form small communes of five or six, which can act at the scale of a human.

Fornd

Appearing like a shrub made of clear crystal, which moves by growing in a direction and shriveling behind. The 'leaves' hold items and pass them along as it moves. Their homeland is on the ceilings of vast underground caverns, though they cannot pass along walls or ceilings anywhere near the surface.

Mkyek

Appearing as what we would recognize as a human fetus, though a little larger than a watermelon, flowing in the air surrounded by an orb of fluid and a wavering field of delicate energy. Any items it possesses are held in this field by moderately strong, short-range telekinesis. Originating from hidden moons, they claim to have built the world but this is a myth.

Vriitikra

Featherlike beings which are iridescent with flexible, strong filaments that usually wrap into a tubelike shape, and can thus hold items. They are able to change colors, and it is thought they were once able to perfectly recreate a human appearance.

Dwalm

Scaly tentacled beings with around nine long, flexible limbs and a round, spine covered body. Their limbs must coil together to hold the body upright or lift most human made items. They were created by a passing comet, which caused them to grow out of naturally formed mirrors.

Ayectraiv

Another floating race which looks like several rods of glass each holding a shimmering goo. At the tops of these rods they are open, and the goo extends upward into a more shapeless mass, which can use items. They say that in their realm, the glass is not necessary, and they can take their natural, majestic form.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Martial classes

Infantry

Fight well on a team, acting easily as leader or support. Combat trained.

  • Stat bonus: +1 blocking defense every level
  • Starting items: chainmail, large shield, spear (balanced weapon), lucky charm
  • Skill: archer, surgeon, or tactician
Level 1: phalanx, siege diet
Level 2: squad support
Level 3: mentor, heroic sacrifice
Level 4: team attack, rally
  • Phalanx: when you block alongside allies in the same melee, gain +1 defense for each, or +2 for each who is also infantry.
  • Siege diet: split your meals with close companions (other player characters) to each get by on one ration per day.
  • Squad support: if an ally within reach would take damage from a ranged attack, you may take the hit in their place.
  • Mentor: if you have fought alongside an ally through at least one level up, when you see them perform a non-magical technique you can declare that you will practice it, and can use it once in a later encounter. This also works for skill stars if you have the same skill, but you can only be practicing one ability at a time.
  • Heroic sacrifice: whenever an ally in the same melee would take a wound, you can choose to take the damage in their place.
  • Team attack: +1 damage for each ally attacking the same target at the same time.
  • Rally: once per day, call out encouragement to your ally and restore vigor for all who can see and hear you by 1d6.
warrior by Khoa Viet

Duelist

Focus your skills on a singular opponent. Combat trained.
  • Stat bonus: +1 defense per level when parrying
  • Starting items: gambeson, rapier (balanced weapon), fine hat
  • Skill: thug, writer, or brawler
Level 1: duel, trophy
Level 2: defensive posture, flourish
Level 3: guard break, dignity
Level 4: match and break
  • Duel: goad a target into facing you in a one-on-one fight if they fail a save. In civilized areas, the time and place of the duel must be agreed upon. Anyone else attempting to attack either of you during the fight will have -1 attack, in addition to cultural repercussions.
  • Trophy: when you defeat a prestigious foe, you may take a trophy of your victory from their person, either a valuable accessory of even a piece of their body in more brutal lands. This trophy can later be brandished to exercise their authority for your own ends for one interaction. Only one trophy can be held from a given figure at a time, and repeated use may weaken their authority.
  • Defensive posture: block with a balanced or light weapon as if it were a small shield.
  • Flourish: when you achieve an impressive victory (against a particularly tough foe, or within one round for example), you may call for unfriendly onlookers to reroll their reaction rolls with a +4 bonus.
  • Guard break: a special attack option that will lose against a fast attack, parry riposte, or feint attack, but will deal full damage against a blocking opponent as if their defense were zero.
  • Dignity: when your vigor is full and you haven't attacked your duel opponent yet, they must make a Will save in order to strike you.
  • Match and break: when you make the same attack as your foe, you deal full damage.

Cavalier

Manage engagements to fight off multiple foes. Combat trained.
  • Stat bonus: +1 speed every two levels
  • Starting items: chainmail, crest (small shield), greatsword (great weapon)
  • Skill: politician, armorer, or tactician
Level 1: rampart, hit and run
Level 2: living barrier, split focus
Level 3: imposing figure, disengaging blow
Level 4: thrill
  • Rampart: when you block, each time an enemy attacks you may choose to reroll your block defense before the next attack.
  • Hit and run: strike an opponent as you pass, or lunge in before stepping back. This requires your target to win a speed contest in order to engage in melee with you.
  • Living barrier: any failed attempt to hold ground can be rerolled once.
  • Split focus: when engaged with multiple foes, you may choose two attack options and target each enemy with one of the two.
  • Imposing figure: instead of attacking, you may inflict one enemy with a -1 attack penalty until you are successfully struck.
  • Disengaging blow: strike an opponent as you move away. This allows you to retreat while making an attack.
  • Thrill: if you wound a foe, you can make a new attack against any other engaged foe.

Berserker

Enter a bestial rage to become stronger and more reckless. Combat trained.
  • Stat bonus: +1 maximum vigor every level
  • Starting items: fur cloak, 2 hand axes (mass weapons), human skull
  • Skill: survivalist, thug, or apothecary
Level 1: rage
Level 2: brutality, adrenaline
Level 3: fury
Level 4: unbreakable, wrath
  • Rage: once per day, go berserk to become seemingly invincible and unstoppable for three rounds. This grants +1 attack and defense, as well as ignoring wounds and postponing death rolls until the rage ends. Attack choices are ignored by your aggression, causing you to take and deal full damage with only defense to mitigate it. If you rage while wearing medium or heavy armor you become strained, and if you spend a round raging and don't attack something, make a will save to avoid eating your weapon.
  • Brutality: become more skilled in fighting without a shield, increasing the attack bonus from dual wielding to +2, or granting +1 attack when wielding a weapon two-handed.
  • Adrenaline: for one round per day, treat your strength as 20. Can be used in or out of combat.
  • Fury: enter a rage up to three times per day, and each time you wound a foe while raging you may choose to extend the duration by one round.
  • Unbreakable: gain a natural defense bonus of +1 at all times.
  • Wrath: your rage now grants +2 attack and defense, as well as immunity to pain or fear based effects.

Thief

Use stealth, skill, and luck to steal and accrue valuables. Partially trained.
  • Stat bonus: +1 stealth every level
  • Starting items: blackjack (light weapon), dark cloak, lock & key
  • Skill: cook, jeweler, or panhandler
Level 1: thievery, counterfeit
Level 2: lucky, perfect crime
Level 3: slippery, change hands
Level 4: very lucky
  • Thievery: gain the locksmith and pickpocket skills with one star each.
  • Counterfeit: forge a false copy of any item you've stolen, which will pass for the real thing under immediate scrutiny, but may be caught out later.
  • Lucky: once per day, reroll any d6 roll you made, including damage rolls, skill checks, and others.
  • Perfect crime: whenever you steal something that is being actively guarded, if nobody spots you or notices your passing then you will immediately gain bonus exp equal to half of the spending value of what you stole.
  • Slippery: get a +3 speed bonus to retreat from melee.
  • Change hands: retroactively declare that you swapped one or more items with another player character, no matter how far separated at the moment.
  • Very lucky: reroll up to three separate d6 rolls per day.

Assassination by Yiming Nie


Assassin

Use stealth and manipulation to kill without fighting. Partially trained.
  • Stat bonus: +1 to attack every two levels
  • Starting items: 3 throwing knives, disguise kit, vial of poison, contract for assassination
  • Skill: launcher, politician, or acrobat
Level 1: opportunist, assassinate
Level 2: cold read, pierce
Level 3: bet my life
Level 4: fadeaway
  • Opportunist: any time you attack with a distinct advantage, such as from behind, while hidden, or from above, you deal an additional 1d6 damage. This applies to attacks made while grappling.
  • Assassinate: for every secret of the target's that you know, gain +1 damage during the first round, up to +5.
  • Cold read: the first time you get a good look at someone, you can examine them to determine one of their secrets at random. Can alternatively be used before combat to determine what the opponent's first action will be.
  • Pierce: attacks on unaware or immobilized opponents bypass defense.
  • Bet my life: non-magical poisons that you have added to food or drink, or your weapon, will not affect you unless you wish.
  • Fadeaway: if unengaged during combat, you may roll a stealth check to disappear, and perform a stealth attack on your next turn.

Hunter

Specially skilled in subduing large beasts and laying traps. Partially trained.
  • Stat bonus: +1 quick inventory slot every level
  • Starting items: hunting knife (light weapon), trapping kit, bow, quiver, animal skull
  • Skill: survivor, butcher, or archer
Level 1: trapper, astride
Level 2: wrangle
Level 3: provoke, fast trapper
Level 4: steer

  • Trapper: create traps outside of combat to either halt, damage, or alert you when passed through. You must spend an hour every morning preparing your trapping kit. More elaborate or useful traps can be made using specific items at GM discretion.
  • Astride: climb on top of large beasts to strike vulnerable areas for a guaranteed hit. Beasts can spend their turn attempting to shake off an astride hunter with a strength save, but if the hunter spends their round clinging on, it becomes a strength contest.
  • Wrangle: using a rope, attempt to tie down a beast through a strength contest. Anyone can contribute, but any non-hunters will be knocked prone if the beast wins. Any tied down beast will remain prone until it can succeed a difficult strength save.
  • Provoke: take an action to impel beasts into charging at you. They will take 1 damage if you are beside a wall.
  • Fast trapper: once per encounter, a trap can be laid during combat. This takes one full round, and includes movement to lay tripwires or hazards.
  • Steer: while astride, a hunter can force the beast to move if they succeed on a strength contest.

Wild Hunter by Russell Dongjun Lu

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Revised starting classes

These classes are available from the start, and players can unlock others by performing certain feats and quests in the campaign.

Warriors and Mages of Nathune - Concept by Narthyxa

INFANTRY
Fight well on a team, acting easily as leader or support. Combat trained.

  • Stat bonus: +1 blocking defense every level
  • Starting items: chainmail, large shield, spear, lucky charm
  • Skill: archer, surgeon, or tactician
Level 1: phalanx, siege diet
Level 2: squad support
Level 3: mentor, heroic sacrifice
Level 4: team attack, rally
  • Phalanx: when you block along with allies in the same melee, gain +1 defense for each, or +2 for each who is also infantry.
  • Siege diet: split your meals with close companions (other player characters) to each get by on one ration per day.
  • Squad support: if an ally within reach would take damage from a ranged attack, you may take the hit in their place.
  • Mentor: if you have fought alongside an ally through at least one level up, when you see them perform a non-magical technique you can declare that you will practice it, and can use that technique once in a later encounter. This also works for skill stars if you have the same skill, but you can only be practicing one ability at a time.
  • Heroic sacrifice: whenever an ally in the same melee would take a wound, you can choose to take the damage in their place.
  • Team attack: +1 damage for each ally attacking the same target in the same round.
  • Rally: once per day, call out encouragement to your allies and restore vigor of all who can see and hear you by 1d6.

BERSERKER
Enter a powerful rage to become strong and reckless. Combat trained.
  • Stat bonus: +1 maximum vigor every level
  • Starting items: fur cloak, hand axe (2), human skull
  • Skill: survivalist, thug, or apothecary
Level 1: rage
Level 2: brutality, adrenaline
Level 3: fury
Level 4: unbreakable, wrath
  • Rage: once per day, go berserk to become nearly invincible and unstoppable for three rounds. This grants +1 attack and defense, as well as ignoring wounds and postponing death rolls until rage ends. Attack choices are circumvented by your aggression, cause you to take and deal full damage, mitigated only by defense. If you rage while wearing armor, subtract its defense from 6, and roll 1d6 under the result or become strained. If you spend a round in a rage without attacking something, make a will save or eat your weapon.
  • Brutality: become more powerful without a shield, increasing the attack bonus from dual wielding to +2, or granting a +1 attack bonus when wielding a weapon two-handed.
  • Adrenaline: for one round per day (or a 10 second span), treat your strength as 20. Can be used in or out of combat.
  • Fury: enter a rage up to three times per day, and each time you wound a foe while raging you may choose to extend the duration by one round.
  • Unbreakable: gain a natural defense bonus of +1 at all times.
  • Wrath: your rage now grants +2 attack and defense, as well as immunity to pain or fear based effects.

THIEF
Use stealth, skill, and luck to steal and accrue valuables. Partially trained.
  • Stat bonus: +1 stealth every level
  • Starting items: blackjack, dark cloak, lock & key
  • Skill: cook, jeweler, or panhandler
Level 1: thievery, counterfeit
Level 2: lucky, perfect crime
Level 3: slippery, change hands
Level 4: very lucky
  • Thievery: gain the locksmith and pickpocket skills with one star each.
  • Counterfeit: forge a false copy of any item you stole, which will pass for the real thing under immediate scrutiny, but may be caught out later.
  • Lucky: once per day, reroll any d6 roll you made, including damage rolls, skill checks, and others.
  • Perfect crime: whenever you steal something that is being actively guarded, if nobody spots you or notices your passing then you will immediately gain bonus exp equal to half of the spending value of what you stole.
  • Slippery: get a +3 speed bonus when retreating out of melee.
  • Change hands: retroactively declare that you swapped one or more items with another character, no matter how far separated you currently are.
  • Very lucky: reroll up to three separate d6 rolls per day.

DRUID
Grow useful plants when you need, using natural magic. Magic user.
  • Stat bonus: +1 ration per inventory slot every level
  • Starting items: cudgel, pouch of common seeds from your homeland, druidic passphrase
  • Skills: thug, survivalist, or cook
Level 1: bramble, naturalist
Level 2: vine, command
Level 3: heartfruit
Level 4: arbory, wither
  • Bramble: throw down a handful of bush seeds into the dirt and cause them to magically grow immediately, forming a semi-rigid barrier or short step up. These bushes will have no seeds, but fruit or vegetable bushes can provide 1 ration.
  • Naturalist: none of your druid powers can be used while you knowingly touch metal, or until the next new moon after you do so. You and companions (not including vehicles) are impossible to track through natural terrain by any normal means, as long as you all travel reasonably carefully.
  • Vine: throw down vine seeds into dirt, which grow up to ten meters instantly across the nearest upright solid surface. These can be used to climb easily, or they can pull down weak structures or immobilize one target, who can escape with a strength save or assistance. They will produce no seeds.
  • Command: once per day, you can put any magical plant under your control for 1d6 minutes. They may remember what happened during this time, but might understand your motives.
  • Heartfruit: call upon the protection of nature to grow a plant with healing fruit. It has no seeds and grows after a month of care, from then on producing a new fruit after a week, and new ones a week after harvesting. The fruit itself has thick, dark red juices and tastes salty, restoring all vigor or healing one wound.
  • Arbory: once per day throw a tree seed into dirt, causing it to grow swiftly and unstoppably up to twenty meters. This tree will grow no seeds, but fruit trees can provide 1d6 rations.
  • Wither: once per day, you can cause any plant to wither up and die with a touch. Deals one wound to plant creatures.

Combat trained classes are proficient with all weapons and armor. Partially trained classes can choose to be proficient with either light armor, heavy armor, or shields, as well as either proficiency with balanced weapons, mass weapons, or great weapons, or one skill star in archer or launcher. Magic user classes can choose any of their items as an arcane focus or roll for an additional item as one. Everyone is proficient with light weapons, and can gain proficiency with one particular weapon by landing three successful attacks with it. This proficiency can be gained for a new weapon, but the previous one will be lost.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Articorpus Suprultima: magical mecha and more

The temple of a conquering god, built up and shaped into a titanic body for its divine spirit to inhabit through the hands of the faithful crew. A coven of witches weaving life into their shared home, granting it gargantuan legs and sharp fangs. The necromancer lords of old burst from their crypts, crafting a bone behemoth of the ancient dead to scour the lands. An insect god from another world approaches the party and requests their assistance, neural pathways open and inviting, in protecting this world that it might at last live in peace.



Each magical mecha has at least three available positions: pilot, gunner, and engineer. On their turn, the pilot can either move the mecha or turn it up to 180 degrees, or activate special movement abilities like wings or drills, the gunner can either fire or reload one of the weapons, and the engineer can repair one system or recover the hull by one. Weapons can only fire at targets in a semicircle in front of the mech, unless they hit all adjacent. Movement system with speed higher than 1 can only move in a straight line, and cannot move less than their full speed. Multiple crew can work at each station, but there's no benefit beyond two pilots or two gunners to a weapon. Crew can move to other stations, but it takes one round if they were piloting or gunning.

Attacks hit automatically, dealing one hull damage and disabling one system as determined by 1d6. When Hull reaches 0, the mech is damaged beyond use. Each movement system and weapon has an equal chance of being hit (a mech with more than six systems would be excessively powerful). Whenever a mech is hit, the crew add their mech's instability to the impact of the attack, and try to roll that number or higher on 1d6. If they fail, their mech is turned by the attack to face, away from the attacker.

These craft are massive, similar in size to an upright castle. Any attack from one will completely obliterate a human-scale target, up to creatures like dragons or kraken which can manage survive one hit and deal some damage back. Any attack less than a dragon's fire or a siege weapon will deal no damage to any mecha, but invaders can attack the crew.

Baba Yaga Hut by AlcoholicHamster


1. WALKING TEMPLE
Exiled priests of Roaz built a new home and named it Virth, thus giving life to a new conquering god and granting it full form in a humanoid shell of gilded marble.
Hull: 6
Instability: 2
Storm Ballista: 10 range, 1 impact
Angelswarm Wings: 2 speed flight, +4 clumsiness
Inverted steeples: 1 speed walk

2. COVEN BEAST
Some say the oldest magics are the greatest, and the glimmering teeth and claws bursting from a home built by hand incuse a testament of such claims into the ground with every step.
Hull: 4
Instability: 1
Claws of the Moon: 2 range, 3 impact
Fangs of the Stars: 1 range, 0 impact, always targets movement system
Great Beast's Legs: 1 speed crawl, if not used, -1 clumsiness for one round

3. WAR THESIS OF WIZARDRY
As the kingdom of Waylet found itself more and more deeply embroiled in war the monarch put equal pressure on the wizards to develop more powerful magics.
Hull: 8
Instability: 3
Ultrastaff: 5 range, 2 impact, roll two systems and choose which takes damage
Wheels of Progress: 1 speed roll

4. GRAZIAX FROM ZHELL
Wayward god-prince of a distant, unimaginable divine realm fleeing from a devourer of worlds. It seeks the aid of intrepid pilots to enter its body in a symbiosis that is apparently common in its home realm.
Hull: 6
Instability: 2
Acidic Outpour: 3 range, 1 impact, can hit two adjacent targets
Grand Pincers: 1 range, -6 impact, no system damage but can latch on and move with target (can let go at any time)
Catapult Legs: 4 speed leap, takes two turns to leap

5. BONEGRAVE MAUSOLEUM
Lich lords from the ancient days, long thought defeated and slain, have merely been building their strength in quiet crypts. Now they unleash power and death gathered through the ages, meaning to take back the lands of the living.
Hull: 5
Instability: 3
Necrotic Megascythe: 3 range, 2 impact, any human-scale creatures in range are killed and raised as undead
Countless Femurs: 1 speed crawl

6. DREAM LORD
Slumbering deep in the sea since perhaps before the first human flesh imagined its own existence, it has been awakened by wild cultists whom it consumes and takes counsel from in their eternal sleep.
Hull: 10
Instability: 5
Awakening Star: 6 range, 0 impact, target's crew make Will saves or become incapacitated by nightmares for a turn
Voidwind Wings: 1 speed flight, even in space
Slithering City: 1 speed swim
Eats mortals, who make a Will save to become trapped in its dreams and then die. If successful, they become a new crew member.

7. FORGEMASTER'S MOUNT
Built by ancient dwarves with tonnes of the finest steel, over generations of master craftswork. The explosive powders are a wonder to alchemists, who insist that the wizards have it all wrong with their 'mountain magic' theories.
Hull: 7
Instability: 4
Ancestor's Hammer: 1 range, 2 impact
Mountainfire Sling: 6 range, 3 impact, 2 hull damage, five shots per battle
Short legs: 1 speed walk
Inverted Volcano: 5 speed leap, one use per battle

8. KRASCHKUL THE THUNDER
An ancient hero of the giants, perhaps the oldest still living and the only one to ever have a full suit of plate mail forged for him, as well as a blade that could be called a broadsword. Those legends have left out how dull of mind he is, having been secretly guided to most of his heroism by hidden human passengers.
Hull: 5
Instability: 2
Sword of Kraschkul: 1 range, 3 impact
Giant's Roar: 1 system damage to all adjacent mecha
Charging Storm: 3 speed run, takes 2 rounds to charge, 1 hull damage to one target in path

The Boat by Salvador Dali


9. THE YELLOW STAR
Something of a moving palace made to be as comfortable as possible, ultimately with many concessions in terms of combat ability. Commissioned from golemancers of the Yellow City by its wealthiest slugmen, it is a polished stone giant with huge decorative topaz eyes.
Hull: 13
Instability: 2
Major Mass Flare: lights fuses at the start of the turn, looking like a weapon charging up. At the start of the next turn, shoots a huge array of fireworks up into the air in a stupendous but harmless display
Avalanche Slam: 1 range, 3 impact
Ponderous Steps: 1 speed walk
Contains an opium lounge full of silk pillows, and a delightfully stocked tea cabinet. Crew get +1 against mecha abilities that affect them.

10. GYS SILVER MANTIS
An oddly-shaped craft ridden by pirates from across worlds, its shoulders sport metallic sails and crystalline cannons protrude around the waist.
Hull: 5
Instability: 3
Aether Cannons: 4 range, 2 impact
Boarding Hooks: 1 range, -6 impact, allows the Astral Mallard's crew to board the enemy
Luminary Sails: 2 speed flight in astral currents
Port and Starboard: 2 speed sail

11. BIRIGX THE PUNISHED
The whipping post of all hell, a great hulking demon whose skull has been wrenched open and whose innards have been carved out. There are greater demons of equal magnitude, but they do not answer to summons and Birigx is not given a choice.
Hull: 4
Instability: 1
Mass Trident: 5 range, 2 impact
Cataclysmic Dismissal: hits all adjacent, 3 impact, 2 hull damage, kills Birigx crew and sends him back to hell.
Tattered Wings: 1 speed flight
Cloven Hooves: 2 speed run

12. CHARIOT COLOSSUS
Once in an empire long past, the land's greatest engineer determined to make a more powerful chariot. They succeeded, and kept on succeeding until they had created this gleaming tower of a warrior with lumber and bronze.
Hull: 7
Instability: 2
Rain of Bronze: 3 range, 1 impact
Greatest Pike: 2 range, 3 impact
Wheeled Basis: 2 speed roll

Done as part of the GLOG mech/robot rules challenge. Other participants:
https://slugsandsilver.blogspot.com/2019/10/yoon-suin-glog-clockwork-golem-player.html
https://nuclearharuspex.blogspot.com/2019/10/mech-rules_5.html
https://octarinetinted.wordpress.com/2019/10/04/mantle/
https://oblidisideryptch.blogspot.com/2019/10/ezcocotli.html
https://crateredland.blogspot.com/2019/10/having-mechs-on-first-date.html

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Arcane focus

Magic users must have an arcane focus to use their techniques in combat. Just about anything can be selected as a focus, but for players who really need some help, they can roll on this table. None of these can be reasonably sold, their only value is sentimental and personal.


1. Instruments
  1. Lute
  2. Lyre
  3. Drum
  4. Flute
  5. Trumpet
  6. Bagpipe
  7. Tambourine
  8. Bells
  9. Rebec (medieval violin)
  10. Crotals (finger cymbals)
2. Apparel
  1. Hat
  2. Scarf
  3. Glove(s)
  4. Cape
  5. Cloak
  6. Coat
  7. Bowtie
  8. Mask
  9. Ribbon
  10. Shoe(s)
3. Jewellery
  1. Amulet
  2. Circlet
  3. Bracelet
  4. Necklace
  5. Ring
  6. Eyeglass
  7. Armband
  8. Brooch
  9. Clasp
  10. Earring(s)
4. Equipment
  1. Shield
  2. Scabbard
  3. Fishing Pole
  4. Wheel
  5. Shovel
  6. Hammer
  7. Net
  8. Oar
  9. Fire poker
  10. Torch
5. Melee
  1. Dagger
  2. Sword
  3. Axe
  4. Spear
  5. Mace
  6. Halberd
  7. Poleaxe
  8. Club
  9. Whip
  10. Flail
6. Fine tools
  1. Quill
  2. Armillary
  3. Candle
  4. Lamp
  5. Needle
  6. Hairbrush
  7. Mirror
  8. Hourglass
  9. Spool
  10. Scissors
7. Kitchenware
  1. Cup
  2. Bottle
  3. Fork
  4. Cauldron
  5. Plate
  6. Kettle
  7. Spoon
  8. Sieve
  9. Millstone
  10. Breadbox
8. Remains
  1. Skull
  2. Dried animal
  3. Pickled organ
  4. Pickled animal
  5. Teeth
  6. Scrap of skin
  7. Eyeball
  8. Preserved hand
  9. Scales
  10. Seashell
9. Art
  1. Figurine
  2. Painting
  3. Plaque
  4. Dream catcher
  5. Poetry
  6. Book
  7. Engraving
  8. Embroidery
  9. Flag
  10. Stained Glass
10. Other
  1. Spellbook
  2. Stone
  3. Coin
  4. Gear
  5. Staff
  6. Abacus
  7. Broken sword
  8. Braid of hair
  9. Scrap metal
  10. Bandage