Sunday, 3 March 2019

liKe TEARS in tHe Rain

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Here's brief selection of my  g+ posts that weren't good enough to be a whole post.


the only bad animals are pigeons and centipedes .

By pigeon I of course only refer to Columba livia domestica

cats are fine, except a lot of the time it's a person reincarnated as cat. The cats people talk way too much are actually their future soul prison send back in time.

These cats are terrible.

All primates should considered human , not animal, and thus judged by the same standards as we judge ourselves. So chimpanzees and monkeys are v.bad, but only by human internal standards.
By animal standards they are not animals , they are human.
This was mentioned previously.

Ants would be bad except fungus keeps them in line . However they are not to be trusted.

Wasps are bad but good inflicted on other animals, so this balances out.

Mosquitoes have killed more people than people have killed people , this counts as a good thing , ecologically speaking.

Ducks have been warned, but for now, are not bad.

Metaorganism such as corporations and some religions count as a subset(overset?) of human, and are not animal.

Future revisions might include them as virus .

Future revisions are considering have a 2 axis system , with Bad (Pidgeon) as the X axis and Bad (Centipede) as the Y axis.


Instead of werewolves people turning in giant hands that crush people

Instead of Frankensteins A Very Large Toddler

Instead of The Mummy , A Murderous Painting that rests inbetween murders inside art and takes on different properties depending on what it just rested in

Instead of A Dracula , Sinister Spider Teen Gang

Instead of Fishman , the Ratking

Instead of Zombies, Skeletons that pull peoples skeletons out 


"This eye wreaks destruction when opened. The Cath Maige Tuired calls it a "destructive" and "poisonous" eye that no army can withstand, and says that it takes four men to lift the eyelid. In later folklore it is described as follows: "It was always covered with seven cloaks to keep it cool. He took the cloaks off one by one. At the first, ferns began to wither. At the second, grass began to redden. At the third, wood and trees began to heat up. At the fourth, smoke came out of wood and trees. At the fifth, everything got red hot. At the sixth...... At the seventh, the whole land caught fire"" 

"The baneful eye was at him. This eye was opened only in the field of fight. Four persons were necessary to raise an eyelid of his eye by four polish rods passed through eyelids. The army which would look in this eye, could not resist, even if be in many thousands by number"."


"video games are a unique artform that can be used to tell stories in new and exciting ways"
->makes video game
->neglects or actively suppresses any video game aspect beyond what you would find on a next generation encarta


I mean the opposite of sub-realm would be a super-realm but why not call it a dom-realm



if the rules of the contest mean it has to be 200 words exactly then assume I typed the word "rat" enough to take the word count to 200

alternate tag-lines from VEINS OF THE EARTH

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Obituary for Zak Sabbath

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So looking back at my  regard for him as a friend and my  defending him, and the times that I would look at the evidence of his evil ways people would (very rarely even show) produce and would wonder if it was possible look past one's bias enough to make it worth the pretense of it.

Often this contemplation of biases would come after (fruitlessly) arguing with him about his bizarre refusal to acknowledge tone in online conversation or countless other shit.

Like .. is this guy actually insane? What would it take to convince me?

Turns out Mandy revealing just how fuck awful he'd been to her would indeed convince me:

I'm a little curious if the insight Zak showed towards people ( even , stomach emptyingly, about the experiences of woman)  actually came from a place of genuine emotion.
Then all around that grain of care, layers and layers and layers of rationalization , in order to let him be an absolute cruel shit in pursuit of what ever he fucking wanted.
(so A Narcissist)

Or if it was just him just seeing a puzzle solution with no empathy or care about another human being?
(so a Sociopath)

I've seen plenty of people perform wokeness while trying to mask a callous disregard for others but that was always done in such formulaic and obvious way .
Never seen someone have genuine , intelligent shit to say about all that and simultaneously be evil.

Well, now I have. What a fuck. What an absolute wretch of a fuck of a little maggot of a man.
I thought for a while about a final confrontation before posting this but you  , Zak, deserve so very little now, and I can't see any outcome from that leading to decent reduction of your  chance of hurting other people in future.

And you do love the chance to talk in your defense , with your vast array of sophistry and term defining sleight of hand , I can't help but gleefully deny it to you here.
 I never did get why you gave so much of shit about your woke image being tarnished by slander, especially  if you were indeed a sociopath.
Is it because you had done too much work gaslighting and rationalization  and shield recruiting (hey welcome to my blog) and it was an affront to your pride to have it undone by some anime profiled weebs making shit up?

Like you have worked so hard to bury , contain, and invalidate any evidence, that the idea of people just making stuff up must of seemed so shocking to you.

Anyway, goodbye forever . I hope now only for an outcome in which you never hurt another person again.

Friday, 8 February 2019

DInosaur Naming Conventions

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Dinosaurs and other extinct mega-fauna are great.

They are big and large and dumb and you can use them as super beasts or dragons without feeling like you are cheating the mythology by just having them being large bastards that eat or step on people.

However they often have long ass hard to say names that can feel out of place amongst  the other monster and animal names.

So Now I will Talk About the Merits of Various Nomenclature for Megafauna  In Rpgs

This is arguably a redundant point considering  the amount of language groups and mythologies involved in the monster manual or even just a regular zoo. Surely one will adapt in time?

Possibly! But there's a certain satisfaction in this (small) aspect of world building .

For example the  rareness or familiarity of said dinosaur /mega fauna to the main culture groups is going to be reflected in the name. 

So something that a culture talks about a lot is unlikely to have a long name or one with unusual sounds.
If the name used is a loan word from another language it can often becoming shortened or simplified to fit that language.

I.e Tyrannosaurus Rex becomes T-rex, Orang Hutan becomes Orangutan (and not even said like how it's spelt here) .

Names of things very familiar to culture for a very long time tend to be short and simpler (cow , sheep, goat, dog)  and sometimes have words created from them  (dogged , doggerel)

 To mimic this you can retro-fit words for a creature, i.e called a brontosaurs a bridge, the idea being bridges were named after brontosaurs.

When something is discovered or introduced later to culture (and the existing name is unfamiliar or unsuitable) a quick or throw away description often becomes the name.
The name is created by modifying the word for something familiar and/or a closes resemblence to said thing
The familiarity seems to be more important than the actual resemblance (pineapple, sea mouse).
Then a word that references something else it resembles (mole cricket , crab louse)
a differing property from a familiar form (red pine, water melon, sea turtle)
 its region or environment (Barbary ape, Canadian goose, Sea snake).

While d&d has a lot of "giant" animals with the giant in the name (giant beaver, giant rat, giant bat etc etc), this doesn't come up a lot in real word naming conventions (obvious exceptions include giant squid, giant clam and a few others).

Probably because its rare that you have a giant animal and the regular animal in the same place , so the resident population would just see the giant animal as regular size.

Even when there is 2 similar animals of different sizes (Rabbit and Hare, Rat and Mouse, Gazelle and like one of those dozens of animals like a gazelle but a different size and horn shape) it's rare that one of them gets called giant.

I think it only gets done when some explorer or discoverer type is trying to impress people back home.

Sometimes when the name is a loan word used, the loan word can just be a common description in that language (orangutan meaning Man of The Woods, though there is possible a touch of reverence here) .

Where a loan word is used and its not particularly simple , its possible because the named creature was particular exotic or impressive and someone was trying to impress everyone back home.

Something particular impressive can then loan its name as new verb or adjective (mammoth ). This can be an excuse to name a beast after an adjective or verb in your world (the Mighty,A Wiggle, Flung)

When new names are created for extinct megafauna in fantasy one awful habit is  doing a weird fake tribal "part+ thing the part resembles", i.e Dagger Tail, Hammer head, Whip Tail.

Though the latin name of dinosaur are often this , there's few real world examples of this being used as a naming convention.

To my ear these names tend to be too long for something familiar to culture and too banal if its something unfamiliar and impressive.

Here's my list of megafauna I'm using and the names for them. They are mixture of different language groups, bad puns, descriptors, archaic words , and mashed together combinations of the above.

T-rex: Tyrant , Tyrant King, Tyrant Lizard
(medieval bestiarys had a habit of trying to name one particular animal as the King animal of that type. The basilisk was referred to as the King Of Poison which I always liked)

Ankysaurus: Fortoises
(assuming namers of it would compare it to tortoise and some wag would have made this joke. The only thing close to a real world name created portmanteau syle like this  that I can think of is the old word for giraffe "camelopard". Referring to it having spots like a leopard and a neck like camel)

Gyphadont: Armadazo
(armadillo means little armoured one , this means big armoured one. It's an excuse to mix up the language origins without straying too far from the familiar)

Pterodactyl. = skinbird
:small: skinhawk
Medium , ridable : Picador

(these are common enough to even be a steed. Picador refers to the military unit that uses them and has become a name for the animal itself.)

Quetzalcoatlus  Emperor Skin Bird

Stegosaurus: Massif
(a geological term meant to be referring to the shape of its back. I won't be able to say this without thinking about the "Because da Jungle is MASSIF" joke but that's not a problem.

Triceratops: Trino
(Micheal Raston of Lizardman diaries came up with this and it's fucking gold)

Brontosaurus: Behemoth
(it's good word and I wasn't using it for a super monster. Doesn't have enough mythological richness for me personally to "waste" on just being a big animal)

Velicoraptor: Raptor (popular culture has done the work here already)

Megatherium: Slothlord (More because it sounds good than applied real world naming conventions)

Paraceratherium: Indrik, Hummock
(Indrik is mythological creature that these were named after at one point. Hummock is type of hill and nice mouth shape word)

Mosasaurs; Devil-whale (The Vikings had a lot of "evil whales" and some of them are described pretty similar to a Mosasaur. I would use one of their names but I can't pronounce them easily)

Plesioaur : snakefish, brinewyrm. tideworm
(I feel I can get away with the slightly inaccurate and unimpressive "snakefish" this as there isn't a lot names like this here and marine animals tended to get named like this , "whale shark", "sea lion", "sun fish". Plus I like the incongruousness of it being called a snakefish? 

Andrewsarchus: Kingpig
(I might be overusing the King thing here but Kingpig is good word)

Chalicotherium: goat-ape, knuck-cuu

 (as its not as terrifying as some of the others I feel it can have more mundane name like goat-ape. Knuck-cuu ; like a cow but walking on its knuckles

Monday, 28 January 2019

Weapon Proficiencies

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Weapon Proficiencies:

A weird lumpy limb that wiggled forth somewhere in d&ds many lives.
Often disdained, but generally forgotte.

 And not something I've seen anyone try to  "OSRify" . 


I will do something with its wretchedness. 

If you have spend anytime reading homebrew content you will have encountered numerous house rules for making weapons more complicated and differentiated . 
So that it matters that a spear is long and an axe chops and a warhammer is really good for punching holes in plate etc.

The other thing you might read is rules for people doing tactical stuff in combat like "full dodges", "suppressing fire"  , "shield bashes" etc

The trouble is these are often over looked, forgotten or neglected by players.

Which is BAD if you are perpetual tinkerer dm who wants to try out all these little mechanic options.

And you don't (and shouldn't ) want to have constantly remind the players about them.

However there is going to be some players that do care about it, and chances are they are playing a Fighter.

So making use of all this underused potential is give Fighters a form of Weapon Proficiencies.

Except I'm calling them Training Regimes , (Regime  for short) 

The Dempsey Roll might be known to a boxer , but unless they have trained , sparred , and keep themselves in condition they will be unable to apply it to its best potential. 

A regime means the fighter has studied and regular trains in the use of particular weapon, weapon technique, marshal strategy, special move, new foot work , esoteric stance , etc

A Regime will allow a fighter to , for example, not just use a spear like everyone else, but use it with those weird reach rules you came up with.

They have one per level actively undertaken and practiced enough for it to be as second nature to them as drawing breath.

They can know far more than this, but they limited on how many they have available in their muscle memory and reflexes.

More regimes can be learned from studying books, sifus, weapon masters , secret schools and sometimes their own experiments. It will take anywhere from a week to a month to learn one.

They can swap a regime over, but it requires a week to get up to speed again with the techniques involved.

Examples of Fighter Training Regimes:

Desperate Defense : The "shields will be splintered" rule

 The Long Stance : Always resolve your attacks first when you have longer weapon

Opportunity Knocks: Free attack with a shield bash if your opponent misses twice in a row

Cloud Step : If fighter does nothing but move and avoid attacks their base armour class is their dexterity instead of 10.

Le jeu de la hache : while using an axe 2-handed or axe type pole weapon , if this fighter reduces an opponent to zero or lower hitpoints , they can make immediate additional attack against someone/thing in reach . The benefits of this regime can only be used once in a round

This assumes any class can use any weapon or classes have a set list of weapons available to use. It's not another thing to spend proficiency on , but I guess it could??

Its also very similar to feats; however they can be swapped in and out in downtime and shouldn't stack or provide passive bonuses like feats. Some feats could be repurposed to this system though.

All Regimes don't have to be in equal in power, and some could even be better versions of more common ones.

 The time and resources it takes to learn a new regime is going to vary on how rare and/or powerful it is as well.

Let how much you make wizard players sweat to learn new spells be your guide for how expensive or difficult it is to learn a new regime.

Sunday, 20 January 2019


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Volatility :

I've been trying to come up with a formula for "volatility" in a location and location.
By volatility I mean a setup that will change in complex cascading ways  in respond to nearly any player action or inaction.
Something that can give the most potential for adventure and campaign material for the minimum of content.  

The "complex and cascading" ways don't need to be directed at the players , they just need to create change in the campaign world and be "chaotic" , i.e difficult for the d.m to foresee the future results more than 1-2 steps and with early minor factors capable of causing disproportionate results.

An example with limited Votality:
Secret Grove that if the players stumble on the Blood Druids will be freaked out and try and kill them unless placated etc.
 It's a fine encounter or hex filling but the results and potential interactions are not as rich as I want for an adventure.

An example with Volatility :

Lizard people and toad people in a landscape of swamps.
They are  evenly matched, distrust each , but have to share a rich fishing spot because neither can risk or afford the loses caused by conflict.

Especially as there's a small border town nearby that would love to clear the swamp and build a trade route through there. However they lack the martial might to do so , but can find investors to hire mercenaries if the numbers of swamp people are depleted first.

The Lizards and Toads will monitor the pcs moving through their respective territories but only resort to conflict if they pcs interrupt their fishing (as they take turns fishing and can't afford to lose their allotted time).
If the players kill enough Lizards or Toads , the other faction will attempt to drive the rest out. If they manage to kill an even amount of both they wouldn't.

Regardless, after the players leave the swamp and (assuming) they go to town , the town will ask them for (and offer to pay for ) information , as detailed as possible.

If the players refuse to give any information the town will kick them out.

They will then send scouts to confirm if the information  was legit.

The Lizards and Toads then freak out , assuming an attack is imminent , (even if the town decides not to ) , unite , and start a process of guerilla warfare , with a high chance of wiping out the town.

Potential Future consequences (  even if the players ignore everything)
-A new trade route where the swamp was makes the town grow
-Lizard and Toad refugees show up in other places
-The town being wiped out
-and depending on if there/where the survivors end up and how much influence they have , the kingdom the town is part of might send a retributive force and/or resettlement
-this might trigger escalating miltary tensions with the kingdoms neighbours

So a basic framework for "volatility" could be

Stasis between intelligent agents.
Too Expensive/risky or unable to change status quo

Must be a fulcrum /resource that players could conceivable want , the "conceive" might only exist in the minds of the intelligent agents.

Always least risky for the intelligent agents to assume any new activity involves other party.

and possible  a third factor  (can be intelligent or unintelligent) that will leak in if status quo changes?)

I've been milling over this post for a while , trying to have more to add , but I don't .
Was going include 2 other under sized posts  but I think there's enough here to chew on , so y'all get those posts sooner than 3 weeks . Huzzah

Friday, 28 December 2018

Veins Of The Earth Cultural Specific Murder Objects

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I asked for some fantasy races people wanted me to speculate some weapons for and numerous Veins Of The Earth cultures came up.

And funnily enough I had done some sketches for some spitting balling an EON ago.


unfortunately I've lost any notes I wrote about what the fuck these do

It's the knife with the creepy antenna fingers.
I think it stabbed you in the feelings as well as the meat and could feel out your thoughts about it

This was human spine cord with the brain partially replaced with skull cup of knives. It shot hate at people I guess? I think it did something better than that like it pumped self destructive intrusive thoughts and suicidal impulses into you?

 all I got for these guys is my concept sketches for their knights armour


The Dvagir got something like predecessor to the Old Mate except its more of a hook and has this handy eye so one Dvagir can stick a vector hook and a bunch of them can then pull on an attached rope and gut something open.
Or use then as anchors, exoskeleton removing levers , picks etc.
Good luck trying to read that writing on the picture.
The first picture was me trying to come up with these multitool climbing shapes.

Some pictures of these bows made it into the book, but here's some me developing the idea 

  Also I think there was some kind of nightmare axe that was made up of dreams of axes? Fuck I wish I could find the notes for these
No idea what my idea for that spear was

These had these modular spears that could be assembled into pikes from single spears and then dissembled again.
Spears would be a mini-submarine sized liability to carry around underground but if you had them there then they would rather effective.
Consider a tunnel that opens up into a larger one. The larger one contains a dozen gnomen with long spears. Anyone trying to make through is going to have to be literally crawling up spears to get their.

The other idea was a Resonator , a stone bell tongue that could cause destructive and lingering vibrations in rigid matter. Additional it could be used for seismic solid body sonar.

It's a flat tear drop shaped club made from some hard stone like malachite, greenstone or serpentine.
Its edge has groove in which are attached (via fish glue) various teeth.
These can either be loosely attached to break off in a wound (sometimes with poison) or to a permanent fixture, especially ones from powerful or significant enemies.
The choice of teeth can be used communicate a wide range of cultural insults  , the most obvious is embedding the teeth of an enemy ancestors into their own flesh.

Underwater the No-Swallow Jaw are used with jabs and pull-tears. Swings are only really effective out of water.

The 100 sting spear is just a lot of barbs and stings from various venomous animals at the end of a bone shafter. Like a poison cluster bomb.

Saturday, 15 December 2018


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 I was being shady/fucking hilarious about 3rd edition recently by referring to the above as "3rd edition
 art not aging well"
but honestly, I think it should be celebrated for pulling off (relatively) an iconic , classic but new ,and energized art direction.
Which did involve a lot of pencil diagrams done in a Leonardo da Vinci style , practical looking straps that weren't that practical because placement and sheer multitude, and fucking double weapons.
The Worst. The absolute fucking worst .

 But look, the intentions behind double weapons were good. 
Some weird shit that you could get for your character at the start that made it felt fantastic but "street level" fantastic. 
(I mean this aesthetic did wind up being called "dungeonpunk" )

 So I'm going to make my suggestions for better alternatives of "street level" fantastic

Actual Weapons:
 (the """east""" is generally the source for non-standard weapons but it's a jank if there's anomalous weapon names like "kama" or "tetsubo" in between conventionally named  guisarmes, gladius , zweihanders, arbalests , bec de corbins, dorys, javelins, bills and shillelaghs. Wait what was the point I was making?)

I guess these should/could ""balance"" via price and availability. Weapon proficiencys and specializations has never really been great so fuck that. Maybe that can be the swan song g+ hive mind secretions; a weapon proficiency system that's not character sheet busy work or build fodder.

it's a throwing axe but it bounces  alarmingly when it misses due to its weird protuberances,  according to several youtubers and a history channel show. That's good enough for me , I mean ring mail was a thing in d&d for a while right?
Mechanically its a throwing axe that on a miss resolves a new attack (with no modifiers) on a random opponent within half the range the axe was thrown.

3 section staff:
This is straight up kung fu weaponry but look I don't even follow my own rules and you think I'm going to make it the end of this without including a tetsubo you are new here.
3 section staffs are batshit ,so the fumble range is 1-2 instead of 1. On the result of a fumble it always inflicts its unmodified damage on the user in addition to whatever else happens. However when attacking with a 3 section staff , the attacker ignores any dex or shield modifiers to the armour class of whoever they are attacking. Its damage is a 1d8 (assuming staves are doing a d6)

Sword catchers:
Including Sai and Jitte here, as well as all the fancy looking renaissance ones.
Counts as shield when fighting an opponent with a melee weapon.  Additionally the opponent is  disarmed if they roll a 1,2,3 on their attack roll against the user of the sword catcher (If they roll a 1 they also fumble). Does damage as a dagger  

Like a  2-handed sword but with ambitions of being an axe . Damage as 2 handed axe or sword, but if it hits and rolls minimum for damage , a shield, piece of armour or regular weapon being used by the opponent is damaged.

There's been darts floating around d&d for awhile and no-ones sure if they were meant to be literal darts,kunai ,  mini-javelins , or these "lawn dart" things called plumata. If they were meant to be plumata the rate of fire seems a bit odd (3 per round for 1st edition if I remember correctly)
These ones do a d4 , have a shorter range than other throwing weapons but can be lobbed directly above a group of 3 or more. 
In which case a random member of the group takes the damage from it (with no attack needed)

Ball and Chain:
I saw these on Ultimate warrior and they looked  like a right laugh. It's like throwing like a non-chomping chain chomp.
Make an unmodified attack roll against everyone in the direction you throw this, until you get a hit or run out of targets. Does a d10.

Classic Fantasy Peoples and Their Weapons:
I think 3rd edition gave everyone their own double weapon. Wack. Anyway here is my attempt to make something that would happen with the conditions these demihumes lived in

Dwarven "old mate"
(the dwarvish translates to "the friend you are always glad see but isn't a beer" )
It looks like a short crowbar/pinch bar (just under a foot) with the claw longer and on a flatter angle and with a slight lateral flare to the tip. The opposite end has the chisel on a shallower angle and with a sharper terminal edge. One of side edges is also kept sharp. It often has an "eye" e.g a hole for threading a rope.
 It's proportioned to work as pick,hammer, trowel, wedge, chisel, spike, lever, climbing aid and grapple, and in dwarven hands maybe substituted for any other needed tool in some kind of improvised shenanigan situation.
In addition , on a successful attack roll (d6 damage btw) instead of doing damage it maybe used to lower the armour class of plated, exoskeleton , mineral or mechanic opponent by 2.
I've been up all night and now I'm editing this for typos etc and I still can't decide how much this armour class lowering can happen so dunno? Once? Not lower than 10?

Elven Lessoning Spear
A spear crafted from a tree that has been carefully messed up to give it a series of weaknesses running on an angles to the shaft. It other wise appears to be a polished wooden spear with only a slanted point and no edge.  It does a d4 damage instead of d6.
When stuck into someone and then twisted in a certain way, about 2 centimetres of the spear break off inside the muscle. The snap happens so the remaining spear has another perfect point  (each break being an obtuse triangle, similar to a boxcutter).  If time and care is available a point can be removed for 1 damage, if time is not available 1d4 damage (i.e you just stick your fingers in there and pull)

For each point still in someone : whenever they take a physical action requiring a roll (stat check, save, attack roll) they either take their choice of 1 point of damage or -1 to that roll.

Some rarer Lessoning Spears are made from poisonous woods.

Orc Axe Helmet
It's a helmet that's also an axe so you can do more damage when you are head-butting or trying to bite your opponents face . Can be used to make an additional attack (doing a d6) but the regular attack (also can't be using weapon longer than sword) and this attack will be at a Disadvantage and they are assumed to be already in range for a grapple attempt

Halfling Bastard Pipe:
A pipe heavy enough to be used a life preserver and can function as blow dart pipe, the first dart handily already poisoned by the nicotine build up.  Can also generate a small smoke screen

Gnome Whirlygig:
A large spinning top with blades attached. Do you have caltrops rules? It does that against a random opponent within a 3 metre diameter circular area where it was aimed.

Increasingly Weird Fantasy Peoples Suggested To Me on G+ and I want to get this done already so not bothering including mechanical suggestions

Centaur :
Centaur Staff: Centaurs are going to want to not have to bend down to pick stuff up so having a long staff with a scoop attached would be something they eventually would put together . The other end has a Y at the end for pinning snakes.
The Scoop end can be use lacrosse style to throw a projectile alarmingly fast, especially when combined with full gallop.

Mucus Grenado 
Hagfish slime is made up of these weird folded protein chains that expand when you try and wash it off. This is like that but worse , basically acting as a personal grease spell that makes enough slime to start suffocating you if you try and get it off by scrapping or washing it with water. Alcohol or vinegar is the way to go. It's delivered by throwing a knotted and fermented hagfish at you. : (

A hinge joint like the top of the femur or humerus with 4-8 cm of the bone sharpened into a spike. The marrow has been poured/scrapped out.
Then the space inside the bone further expanded.
This is to make room for a concoction of fermented fat, leftover marrow, certain herbs.
Then its capped off with a mixture of rabbit pellets, tar and fat.

This hearty mix serves both as ration source for gnolls and a way of giving people lethally infected wounds.

Gnolls that have been eating well and often, can have up to a dozen of these.
 As they are a food store and wasting food is anathema to gnolls , they only tend to use them in the following situations:
:bring down very big game , with the komodo dragon tactic of "infect and follow"
:in a series of methodical  harassing attacks , with the intention of exhausting and whittling down resistance , especial when the food that can fight back is protecting a bigger quantity of food, e.g a entrenched village militia defending their non-combatants and farm animals .
:right before fleeing a losing/not one sided enough battle, one where there's enough potential reward , that's it worth regrouping and coming back later

Chisel ended spears with a full metal haft that are used for Snailman vs Snailman conflicts. They are jammed into the shell and then brutally levered to propagate cracks.

They do a d8 damage but have damage disadvantage against things without exoskeletons or shells.
Against things with exoskeletons or shells they do d8 damage  and the next round after a successful hit they make their next attack roll ignoring any armour class other than dexterity modifiers and the like, and the weapon damage increases to a d10.

Radula Shield:
Something like a cheese grater made into a tower shield . It allows the user to attack without the penalty associated with using a tower shield, and inflicts a d6 damage. Some are equipped with a rope and can be swung at range,  inflicting damage from the sidelong blades cutting as the shield is pulled back and little from the initial impact.

Aquatic Elves: 
A hollow bone, shell or coral shaft like an oversized hypodermic needle , with some kind of bladder (seaweed or animal in origin) at one end.
They come in 3 sizes; a 30 cm close fighting one, a metre long skirmishing one, and metre and half sniping one.
They all are called Cnida-glaive , but technically the middle length one is the glaive, the shortest one is the Cnida-Spur and the longest one a Cnida-Lance
As well as straight up stabbing , squeezing the bladder can be used to launch darts (both in air and water) .
Darts are commonly repurposed  sea urchin spines and so can be barbed and/or poisonous.
Darts can be fired immediately after stabbing, lodging them very deep in the poor bastard so stabbed.
In a pinch the user can just pump air or water after stabbing someone , causing additional rupturing especially to something like a lung.
By squeezing the bladder before stabbing with the cnida-glaive and the releasing it once its penetrated , it can used to suck out a flotation gas or acidic slime or some other vital fluid in a monstrous adversary.

ThriKreen :
 Someone suggested ThriKreen and they already got their gythka and chatkcha.
Which sure, are goofy but goofy in some kind of freewheeling 80s barbarian movies way so it's hard to dislike them.
The only thing I'm going to add is they would have bola. It's kinda boring so maybe they have bola made from ant-heads or something

Bird People:
A bundle of dozen or more short spears with rudimentary fletching. Not able to be effectively thrown, instead dropped or dive bombed, the Cloudburster then separating into its component spears, peppering the area.

The damage done and the area effected depends on how far the Cloudburster travels before hitting things (no attack roll needed, ref save for half damage) 
Distance Traveled|  Dmg | Area affected
4 Metre Drop | 2d8 Dmg | 1 metre sq
8 Metre Drop | 2d6 Dmg | 2 metre sq
16 Metre Drop |1d8 Dmg | 4 metre sq
20 Metre Drop | 1d6 Dmg | 8 metre sq

A razor sharp disc at the end of a rope, like murderous yoyo.
The disc shape means it has little chance of getting hooked or stuck, as the intention is something that can be used in swoop attacks, striking quickly at any momentary exposed areas.
No real excited mechanics here, it does  d6 damage and counts as a ranged weapon , despite returning to user after striking.

Mind Flayer:
use other species as tools , so weapons would be other species. Manchurian candidates basically.

Very long , very slender , spears that multiple ettercaps can use at once, slowly moving it through the foliage from a concealed position until its within a breath from an unaware opponent before impaling in a blink.
When not in use Whisper break apart into smaller parts , like a tent pole.
The parts of the Whisper are hollow as it is made from giant spider legs, reverently gathered and shaved down to the bare structural minimum.

The hollow aspect to it means that it can deliver poison, either via stabbing or  blowing it down it , as if it was a giant straw,   dropping poison into a sleeping mouth , ear or exposed food.

The other use of it being hollow gives it is namesake ; it can be used to get a victims attention by speaking down it, getting them to turn towards the source of the noise , exposing an eye or throat to quick impalement.

Whispers are too laterally brittle to be used in combat, and ettercap will never do so, fleeing to conceal the Whisper safely if nessacery.

A Whisper can be a maximum of 10 metres long, (which will require at least 2 ettercaps to use, otherwise a single ettercap can manage). It will do 3d6 damage , however if
1 ettercap is using it reroll 6s
2 ettercap are using it reroll 1s
3 ettercap are using it reroll 1 and 2s
4 ettercap are using it reroll 1,2 and 3s. 

Tabaxi :`
(cat people)
Victory Crest:
A woven wicker shield reinforced with bones.
In the weave is set the claws taken from defeated rivals, giving the shield a ripping attack.
A Victory Crest does from 1d3 damage to d8 damage depending on how many claws have been included.