Tuesday, 22 March 2022

NooFutura available for purchase

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NOOFUTURA

 



NooFutura the weird fantasy cyberpunkesque toolbox/overgrown zine/ setting guide / barely coherent vapourware book I wrote for the Mothership rpg is live for buying.

I went with Peecho, a print on demand company, which , after a very moderate search, I've found to be the best print quality for price.

It doesn't have any of my art in it , as originally it was an opportunity to just get paid to write something without having to worry about any other aspect of the project. However it proceeded to have an incredibly messy development which resulted in me taking on various other roles in the project. (I will do a "how the sausage was made" as a follow up post to this in a week or so and go into a bit more depth about that). One of those roles was art direction and the subsequent artists for the project were Amanda Lee Frank ( instagram ) and Sam Mamelli (also instagram). So that's whose stuff you are seeing on this page right now.

So before we get to links, I need to point out that
 Peecho doesn't have much in the way of an online shop front , instead it just gives you shareable links , that drop the clicker straight into the checkout.

 So as well as this post serving as the shop front , I'll make a permanent page at the top of this blog , beside the Peecho Velvet Horizon page .


If you want a quick look through the contents here's a preview pdf: CLICK ME

 


LINKS FOR PURCHASING:

EDIT: Peecho's phone checkout menu is kinda ass, and it doesn't show the prices so I'll include them here as of 24/4/22
( 21.83 us $ not including shipping)
 

Softcover

 (28.01 us $ not including shipping )

Hardcover

 (39.00 us $ not including shipping)

 PDF

(5.00 us $ )

(via itch.io) 

Here's some (basic) photos of the binding on the magazine & hardcover format






Tuesday, 15 February 2022

Leucrotta

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A break in the silence to show some photos:

The Mothership zine(?) I got commissioned to write is very close to release. That's me holding on to the test print . It's got some stuff that needs correcting before it can go live, but probably about month away? It was kinda of nightmare from start to finish? It's me doing a take on shadowrun but trying to be less tolkien , more "new-weird", less cyberpunk 1980 and more cyberpunk 2019. 

Well , I say "2019" but it felt like every 3 months I would hear about some new fresh way the internet and modern technology were being alarming , so the longer it went without release , the more glaring the absence of <rpgified version of current alarming problem>.
I think I'm extremely fair from being able to accurately capture the current zeitgeist anyhow so it's basically a grab bag of weird spins on weird niche problems. Actually there's nothing about touch screens being shit in there. Fuck I should've included that.  I've managed to avoid having a touch screen phone for so long and now I have one and I don't think I've ever done anything on it without it feeling awkward and difficult. I guess if that next gen haptic feedback the switch doesn't use and the ps5 was trying to impress people about with, if that takes off maybe they can make a touch screen phone that's mimics pressing a button with a 95% accuracy.

Which sounds good but imagine typing a keyboard where 1 in 20 taps doesn't do anything. That's fucking touch screens.

Anyway , it's for Mothership but it's a zine so it assumes you will just pick out the bits you like and ignore the rest, so you should just do that. Also Mothership just had a kickstarter for a 2nd edition and this is written for 1st edition. No worries. 

Oh it's just going straight to print on demand, likely just Peecho as I found a cheaper + better quality softcover option on there than at lulu. So no kickstarter, you'll just be able to buy the thing.

If people turn out to like it a lot and get a lot of use out of it, yet want it expanded upon and updated for mothership 2, potentially a new book could be created using the kickstarter model. 

However I don't plan on going to that trouble unless its obvious how the new book can fulfil a need or function that this release doesn't manage to.

The pdf of it was going to have some extra functionalities like hyperlinking but like much else about this project , that had fallen through , and it's just going to have the bare minimum for a pdf.
But the good news is that means it will be available at a price suitable for a no-thrills pdf zine, i.e pay-what-you-want.




 




 Anyway I've been messing about making small scale things, being making a lot of modular d&d terrain that will be featured in a huge photo post at some point.

But I also made a Leucrotta using wire form , knead-it, coffee lids and construction adhesive. 


Decided to change the head, sorry I didn't document about 5 steps between above and below.









Wednesday, 15 December 2021

Weapon Breakage In Darksun

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 Really still unsure how to reintegrate this blog back into the Things That Get Done.

I've got a few different ideas for how to change what I do with it so it becomes relevant for me again.
Possible when I start running d&d again (aiming for January in the new year) I'll use it as way of codifying dm prep?

Anyway I have a back log of post drafts, so the current version of this blog might just me hastily doing the bare minimum with a draft post? I can't get over how trying to do anything more will take hours.

 So was talking about Dark Sun and its weapon breakage system got mentioned.

Basically it had a weapon breakage system that was terrible and I'm not sure if anyone used it.

The idea was to encourage players to be improvising or scavenging more. Or make them really feel like they were using bone and wood? Trouble is a lot of campaigns have the dm feel obligated to provide decent magical weapons, and in Dark Sun that often means steel weapons , and then bam the whole weapon breakage system goes out the door.

So what are some ways to push the campaign in that direction of players breaking and improvising weapons?

One:

Player facing rule:

Any damage roll with a weapon of "breakable material" can have the dice flipped to its opposite side, in exchange for breaking the weapon. So 1 on a d6 can be turned into a 6, a 3 on a 12 into a 10.

(could also let players sacrifice a piece of armour to flip a die rolled on them? Light armour is one piece provides +2 ac, medium armour +4 ac is two piece, heavy armour is +6 ac and is three pieces. Losing a piece of armour moves it down a category.  

Let monster parts or other scavenged bits be repurposed as armour  , like hollowing out a kank head gives a helmet (1 piece) etc. )


Two

Sort of dm facing but then is also player facing?

so replace most magical items being found in creature lairs instead with various creature parts functioning as limited use weapons and armour with special properties

So you kill an agony beetle, its antenna can used for a whip that does 1d10 psychic damage, but drops a die size for each successful hit or fumble.

Encourage players to experiment and creative with what they find by letting it giving various temporary or 1 off effects.

Anyway that's the idea, I normally expand upon my rule ideas too much and add too much gradients or whatever, and these posts take up too much time. So trying to stay more efficient = more posts?

Monday, 6 September 2021

Kickstarter Cognition Snare, 8th part of the Hexahedron of the Monks of Flame

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Just 5 Days remain for the kickstarter  , with Patrick dropping some key pieces of art on each of the remaining days

but for me, I'm trying to get a few more pieces created so I'll be sticking to the just doing these rooms. If this is the first post you've clicked on, go here to read the introduction.

The Most Recent Room that Patrick has done is accessible by clicking on the start of this very sentence wow.

now today's post is

ROOM 13 THE LECTERN

Most Obvious Thing:

Lectern room with flimsy looking pew seating all facing east wall where there's a podium, and a circular plinth set into the wall.

It is displaying a statue of a robed man with a flaming orb for a head , arms held out stretched on either side of him , one holding a sickle , the other holding a battle axe.

There's pew wedged in beside the statue, apparently preventing it from rotating back into the wall. Bit of several broken pews are piled up near.

A morose looking young man, looking like a sloppily dressed wizard equipped for travel, is doing something magical to the statue.

Beside him is a scarecrow with one of its hands a dagger.

Further Details:

 The pew won't hold for very long, snapping most likely shortly after the party enters the room. The plinth then rotates into the wall ,  rotating a statue of cowled man , his head bowed , and with his cowl having ash pouring from it like a shower head. He holds a spade and a stick of charcoal. The plinth will then continue to rotate alternating the statues . 

This will fuck up what the wizard (Cymin Gutwagon) was doing , causing him tocurse , and him and the scarecrow (via his verbal commands ) will drag another pew and jam the plinth from turning again. He'll then have to redo the chalk diagrams , realign the bottles, extinguish and relight the candles etc. The purpose of this ritual is to transfer the rare form of flame elemental in this statue's head into a large glass bottle , a job he has been assigned by his master, as he is a barely competent apprentice who tends to mess a lot up.

This wizard had heard about disruption here and sent his apprentice to obtain the only thing he figured he would be able to get it. If he's successful the wizard himself will try and obtain things of greater value from this place.

Animal Power Machine High Resolution Stock Photography and Images - Alamy

The plinth turns by an endlessly walking boulder located beneath it. 

A foot pedal near the speakers podium connects the plinth to the rotating axle when pressed, and its currently always depressed because the speakers podium has been knocked over backwards on top of it (presumably by a panicking monk ).  Move the podium off the foot pedal , plinth stops turning.

Cymin thinks the statues are endlessly rotating due to the time irregularity and hasn't tried any problem-solving deeper than wedging pews in between the plinth and the wall. 


Cymin Gutswagon has the personality of a  fatalistic sullen not to bright teenager , he only seems come alive when directly interacting with elementals, and presence tends to calm them down.

If attacked he has only the simple animated scarecrow with a knife hand for protection,  however he has 3 applications of Enlargement dust and he'll use one on the scarecrow before scurrying for cover and using a wand of ungulation on the remaining pews.  The effect of the wand is to  turn inanimate objects  into belligerent cattle like creatures. It has 12 charges.

 

 

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

6th Part Of Kick Starter Cognition Snare, The Hexahedron of the Flame Monks

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RAH RAH RAH kickstarter
TAA TAA TAA TAAA room by room dungeon

 The room Patrick just did was here

 

ROOM 5

Most Obvious Thing

 Beached Time-Whale! Some bastard harpooned him right in his Tempituitary gland and he dropped out of the astral plane in the middle of this hexahedron causing the problems with the seasons. This whale fills up atleast half the room. The room apparently was some kind of dormitory , with simple cots and cupboards that are now smashed to splinters , with the robes, washing bowls etc all festooned around the room.

The Time-Whale looks like a Whale (!) , but also a lot like a drunk person trying to draw a caterpillar.

It is a whole mess of hard to describe colours and has an elaborately barbed harpoon stuck above its right eye.

Details:

The whale is confused and freaking out but if the harpoon is removed it will be able to phase out back to the astral plane. The whale crashing here is what fucked up the seasonal transition, however even if the whale phases out it it will take another seasonal transition for the Hexahedron to reset itself.

 Unfortunately the whale is only as smart as not that bright dog and in a weird environment and in pain.

Its main defense is winding time back , so if its approached quickly , threatened , or attacked it will wind time back (in the immediate area) to just before that action was attempted.

Attempting to cross the room will freak the whale out enough to "time cancel" the action unless its done very slowly and calmly.

 Removing the harpoon will require either a lot of brute force (hurting the whale), or delicate applied knowledge of either machinery (the harpoon is a nightmare of byzantine hinging barbs) or surgery. 

(not hurting the whale but most definitely freaking it out unless its distracted or calmed down in some way)

The Harpoon:

The harpoon is the size of a polearm, does 1d20 damage but won't reduced something hitpoints below 1.  It's completely bloody awkward to use however , and trying to use it like a regular weapon gives -5 to hit.

However, because its designed to harpoon time-whales , and thus needs to bypass their time-rewind defense by skipping ahead to a place in time where it has stabbed the target.

To active this ability one just needs to speculate about attacking something with the harpoon, it will then suddenly have already impaled the target . 



Sunday, 29 August 2021

Kickstarter Cognition Snare: Hexahedron of the Monks of Flame : The Fouth Part

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As the kickstarter continues so does this room by room dungeon

 The most recent room was here

 


 

ROOM 3

 Most Obvious Thing:

The north , south and west walls have trench of ash in front of them with odd looking bare golden trees emerging out of them.

 There's a 50% chance when the room is entered of it either being of Flame or of Ash. 

If it is of Flame then there's a great cloud of burning gas around the branches and roiling along the ceiling. It burns like a dirty gas flame, mostly blue with ribbons of yellow and the branches of the trees still visible through . 

If it is of Ash , there's no flame cloud, but a cold wind will rise from nowhere, whipping along the surface of the ash trench , making a simulacrum of snow drifting in the snow.

 Details available with further consideration:

The reason the trees are odd looking are they entirely (and artfully) constructed from human bones coated with a valuable amount of gold. They also might be hot enough to cause burns to the touch , depending on how long the flame cloud has been present (see context).

The flame cloud , if present., appears to have purple flames among it to, and these resemble the wings of large butterflies (2 foot wingspan)

The ash wind , however, instead has periodic movement under the ash , like something is swimming in there (which something is).

 Every 5 rounds  the flame cloud dissipates   , and the ash wind starts, which then continues for 5 rounds before the flame cloud bursts into life again.  This will cool down the bone trees so they could be touched without causing damage but then cool them down to the point they will cause damage from being so cold.

This is a ludicrous scenario as far as read world physics is concerned but there is at least 3 sources of bullshit involved , the bones are slightly haunted , belonging to former monks whose remains have deteriorated beyond the state of the ones in room 8, magic is involved in the construction, there's elemental present in both the flame cloud and the ash. 

Assume the trees do 1d6 fire or cold damage to anyone touching them on the 4th or 5th round of the Flame/Ash and d.m call on the possibility for wearing protective gear and getting less damage, or making prolonged contact on rounds 3 (maybe a d4?).

If a branch is broken off from the bone tree , this interferes with the magic that makes it cool down/ heat up and it will stay at its current temperature for 5 minutes. This is just to reward any players who think of breaking off bits of the tree to hit the guardians of this room with them. 

 

Context and details:

 Anyone stepping or falling in the trenches will sink extremely quickly to the bottom of the room through the ash.

The ash trenches are 7 foot deep and continue a "square" (see map) underneath the middle of the room, so if you were to fall into the trench and try and walk along the bottom and climb up when you hit a wall , you would have a ceiling over  your head and be in trouble.

The trees go all the way to the bottom of the room, with 7 feet above the ash and 7 feet concealed.

The room guardians are Flaming Glass-body Butterflies and Razor-boned Skeletal Eels , lesser known Elemental spirits that can be compelled with magic to hang around and attack people messing with an location or object.
Which in this case is the bone trees and the ash trench.

The Butterflies only manifest when the flame cloud is present, and when it dissipates, their wings disappear and they cling to the ceiling and become inert. Their bodies are difficult to see without the wings, and someone would have to be specifically looking at a particular patch of purple fire to notice the lingering visual disturbance of the body clinging the ceiling afterwards. 

 If the bodies are taken outside the room the butterflies can't manifest in them. They valuable as weird trinkets, but more valuable to alchemists or wizards that deal with elementals or summoning.

They attack by swooping down from the cloud and leaving a flaming trail behind them.

There's a total of 8 present. When the flame cloud reappears, any damage done to the butterflies is healed and any defeated ones return to life, unless their body has been removed from the room or destroyed with cold damage (of which they take double damage)

Their ash equivalent  are 5 feet long skeletal eels with delicate looking (but with steel strength) razor sharp ribs that extend out as they dive from one side of the room to another, slicing anything in their path.

Once the ash wind is about to dissipate, they will try to be already in the ash itself when this happens. They will become inert eel skeletons when the flame cloud present. Like the butterflies they will restore any damage or destroyed eel when the wind returns, unless that particular body is destroyed with fire or removed from the room.

Their bodies are valuable in much the same way as the  glass butterfly bodies.

 


 

 

 



 


 

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Kickstarter Cognition Snare: Hexahedron of the Monks of Flame : The Second Part

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So there will be content for you later in the page, first the obligatory and inductionary :

 Our kickstarter approaching its last two weeks and it's been doing great. Next stretch goal is getting more Spells for Bukako!
But we'll get fired from the gig-economy if we don't do at least a modicum of capering and gurning to get further attention and financial redemption . So to make this hopefully tolerable me and Patrick are taking turns doing rooms of a dungeon. Which is
THE HEXAHEDRON OF THE MONKS OF FLAME
(Specifically) 
So if you want to help get the next book published and gets yourself one go here: 

KICKSTARTER LINK

 If you haven't seen Patrick's post introducing the dungeon go here

LINK TO STARTING POST 

Right now onto

Room 11 

Most obvious : 3 Headed half on fire tiger on a raised plinth in between two doors. Flames flickering but no smoke or signs of the Tiger getting more on fire as time passes. Both doors are made from wood.

Walls , floor and ceiling have alternating patches of what looks like soot. Patches are irregular and abruptly edged.
 
Details available with further consideration:
The walls also have simple mural of a procession of people carrying tools , symbols of office, and weapons walking towards the doors .  The sooty patches show a different but similar mural that doesn't line up with sootless mural. With the soot mural , the procession of people instead includes the injured , those carrying broken tools and weapons, pregnant women, and stern looking old people.
 
The burnt areas on the 3 headed tiger look very thoroughly burnt, like charcoal. While the places on it where the fire touches aren't burned at all. No-where on its body does it look partially burned or in the middle of being burnt , such as with skin peeling or bones glistening through. It's either charcoal or an healthy looking tiger that just happens to have fire on it.

All the doors are wood enlayed and edged with brass.

Doors to the North
1: The door on the left has a handle and opens stiffly.

2: The door on the right has a little grotto with a shelf below a brass funnel leading somewhere inside the door. When the complex was functioning correctly a specific smoke would needed to go up the funnel in order to unlock the door, but now any smoke will do.

Door to the East
3:The door to the east looks and acts like Door 1

Context:

This entire complex would be change from one were the Vitality of Flame was contemplated , to one that instead had the Sorrow of Ash as its foci. Not only the foci but also the contents of the rooms and the nature of the guardians and magics too. It would be a Hexahedron of Flame while it was winter to give warmth , hope and dreams of conquest. Then when spring had ended, it would switch to a Hexahedron of Ash, and embody concepts such as preparation , humbleness, detachment, and mortality.  
 
 However the cycle has been disrupted and now both Flame and Ash are trying to manifest at the same time, causing there to be both rooms of Flame and Ash present at the same time, and in a significant amount of rooms even present in the very same room at once.

This room is one of them, causing the tiger guardian to be thrown into paralyzing state of agitation .


 
The three headed tiger known as 3 hungers :
He will take a round or two to notice anyone who enters the room. He will animate and then will demand the doors close themselves and the party tell him what the season is. As the doors were made with the same wood that was burned to give him his spark of life, they will fearfully obey his (or any voice sounding like him) every command.

Whatever answer he is given , he will disagree claiming he can't smell or hear various indicators of the season.  (Such as a birds song, the scent of a flowering tree or rotting dry leaves) He will demand proof of the stated season, but will refuse to let more than one character leave the room if they claim a need to get said evidence. 

If they convince him its Summer or Autumn, he will take his Ash form, where he looks like a 3 headed tiger sculpted from charcoal.

He will then demand to know of what they hope to learn from Ash, and if they give an answer relating to preparation , humbleness, detachment, mortality, grief, loss or rebirth he will let them leave by the northern doors. If they give another answer but can talk about it with enough authority , he will also let through. 
Regardless of their answer or even if they don't answer he will let them leave by east door.
 
 If the convince him its Spring or Winter, he will take his Flame form, where he looks like a 3 headed tiger with an aura of fire.
He will act exactly like he does for Summer / Autumn, but instead will ask what they want to learn from Flame, and expect answers to do with hope ,conquest, passion , conquest, destruction, desire or hunger.
 

He will answer any 3 questions per party about the complex but only if they've answered his questions first.


If the players mock or insult him , he will become even more angry and shortly attack, unless grovelling apologies happen.

If the players say they don't know, he will call them "Damp Bottomed Fools and Pickers of Gnit" and demand they leave via the east door, as they cannot hope to learn anything here. He will tell the door to open and if the players don't leave promptly or manage to explain themselves , he will threaten then attack them.

If the party enter the room for the first time from the Northern Doors , he won't realize (or willingly admit) they have and go about his whole pageantry just the same , and upon him noticing the party. If the party can prove they have been on the other side of these doors (say if their was still a character on the other side of the door when he commands it to shut and is brought to his attention) he will be somewhat apologetic and let them go.

In Combat: 
Treat as a max hit point tiger with 3 bite attacks.
Each head has different effect in addition to damage. If he hasn't turned into his full Flame or full Ash form , each head will flicker erratically from Ash to Flame, roll at the start of every round to determine if a head is in its Flame or Ash form.( Simple way to do this is to roll 3 different coloured d6 , each assigned to a head, on odds that head is Ash, on evens that head is Flame.)
 
3-Hungers is smart enough to apply his attacks strategically , using bites to impair or immobilize the more dangerous opponents,  then move away to concentrate his attacks on the weakest oppenents to try
eliminate them quickly. He will accept abject surrender if accompanied by giving all valuables and weapons to him (normally he would pass these on to the monks, while the complex is unresolved, he'll awkwardly hide them behind himself)
 
if victim suffers the corresponding Flame effect to the Ash effect (or vice-versa) both effects are negated. 3-Hungers will try and avoid this if he can.
All effects last 1d4 rounds but
don't add durations of multiple bites together nor track each one individually, instead set all effects currently active whichever is higher , the roll of the d4 or the rounds currently remaining.
 
 (E.g if character had Air devoured effect with 2 rounds remaining and then received the Raise Temperature effect and the d4 rolled a 4, both effects would now last for 4 more rounds. If the d4 had rolled a 1 , then the remaining duration (2 rounds) would be used for both effects.)

The heads are :
The Devouring of Air : 
Flame form: will devour the air from the lungs of the bitten, making them pass out if they choose to do anything more active than a slow walk this round. They will wake up in 1d4 rounds or sooner if struck or splashed with water
Ash form: fills the eyes and lungs with ash and soot, blinding and choking ,  must make Constitution Check /Saving throw to take any action, will take 1d6 damage on a failure

The Need of Heat:
 Flame form : will raise the temperature of the bitten, as the Heat metal spell and also making them catch fire if very close to even a candle flame.
Ash form: will drain the heat from the bitten, as the Chill Metal spell, and giving them - 2 on all actions to do with acting quickly. 
 
The Voracity to Matter :
Flame form: will eat aware at their very substance inflicting an extra 1d6 damage and cause them to levitate 2 feet vertically per round, effectively weighing as much as helium balloon
Ash form: will become layered in volcanic ash, burning them for an extra 1d6 ,and setting them to the floor (if in contact with it) , only being able to move each round with a successful strength check

If destroyed a great cloud of black smoke will rush out from his body, leaving only an empty 3-headed tiger skin perfectly persevered yet pliable and valuable both as a tiger skin and component for the crafting of magical objects.



Now Patrick , what lies behind either :

door number 1? (room 7) 

or door number 2? (room 8)