Thursday, 24 September 2020

The Fantasy HighTech Cocktail

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 So I saw the trailer for FF16 (or FFXVI) .

It looks like they are rushing out a new Final Fantasy using the engine for the remake of ff7 and heavily drawing inspiration from Dark Souls and Game of Thrones hoping to hit the zeitgeist in doing so.

But it got me thinking about Final Fantasys mix of fantasy and high tech and Lo! made the following table. It makes most sense being a straight d6 and read across table, but you have the option of doing a split result table and trying to draw it all together

 EDIT: I had a table here pasted from google drive and it shat itself . It was okay in reader viewer, but I've crudely converted it to a .jpg below and give you the link to see it as a google drive document here:

Saturday, 12 September 2020

Some Benched Equipment Rules

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 Here's some equipment rules for a modern or futuristic setting . They were part of something I was working on but that project got a specific system for it and theses were written system agnostically and I'm not sure they have that much merit in the first place.


The idea was when you have a saturation of market options the ability to navigate brands and models becomes a character skill rather than a player skill.

Like if someone goes to buy a chainsaw and knows nothing about chainsaws they might by  a shitty mid-range brand. If they know a little about chainsaws , they would seek out stihl or husqvarna.

If they know even more about chainsaws they would know which models from Stihl or Husqvarna are worth it and which are less so. At this stage of chainsaw knowledge they are likely to have formed an Opinion about if Stihl or Husqvarna are the better maker of chainsaws.


link is here

Thursday, 3 September 2020

Velvet Hooks: Colour Monster & Corbeau

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It's been a while but I'm back with some  sweet, sweet, <default content>


Poisonous quadruped that dwells (and multiplies) in mirrors

Of the handful of monster that I think needed another pass this is the one that I think needed it the most. It's sort of awkward between being a mystic mirror beast, but not actually being that mystical .  So I'm going to expand on it now , giving 6  new abilities of the Corbeau

1. The Corbeau will stalk its prey via reflective surface. It will appear only in the reflection and not  outside it until it chooses to. It can then appear anywhere that was reflected.  So someone who spots one moving in the reflection will likely look in the surroundings for the creature , rather than the mirror itself.  Subsequently this means no Corbeau casts a shadow unless its another Corbeau. (see number 4 for an expansion of this)

2. The encounter/use the description invokes is that of a mansion abandoned with wild stories about what befouled. Then inside the mansion is a Sallow* of Corbeau stalking the party through multitude of mirror. The wild stories of the Corbeau could make the party over estimate the danger or powers of the Corbeau , but the discovery of the Corbeau as simple ( but cunning) beast might prove anticlimactical, if none of the suggested additional powers are added.

3. One such additional ability is if a Corbeau is lurking in a mirror and the mirror is broken , it multiples the Corbeau into a number equal and proportional to the fragments  resulting.  So if you wish to deny a Corbeau a perch to stalk and spring from , you would best be sure their wasn't a Corbeau hiding in the reflection. Newly created Corbeau are extremely hungry and will have mere hours to find subsequent food before starving to death. They will often turn cannibal on each other if no other food is present. 

Still water doesn't have such a property as it doesn't break into clear shards.

4. A Corbeau can create another Corbeau by looking into a mirror or reflective surface from dawn to dusk.  They will only do so if food seems plentiful enough, so not to risk having a rival or even  a predator.

5 Corbeau cannot break or harm a mirror or reflective surface. In the case of still water this means a Corbeau can walk across it as if it were solid glass and a Corbeau falling into a still pool will result in it being broken across the unmoving surface of the water

6. If a mirror contains a Corbeau and another Corbeau is within reflective range, the Corbeau in the mirror will be compelled to perfectly mimic the Corbeau outside the mirror. Any other Corbeau lurking in the mirror aren't compelled in such a way, but if multiple Corbeau are in reflective range of the mirror then they will. There is also a limit to how many Corbeau can pop into the other side of the reflection, that being one a round. But once the amount of Corbeau outside and in the mirror reach an equilibrium, the compulsion will mean the remaining Corbeau will be trapped in mimicry until one/some reflected Corbeau leave the reflected range.

 Assuming all 6 of these abilities is present here's a quick 6 hooks for them

1. Odd disappearance has lead to Mirror Merchant believing one of his mirrors is cursed but he can't work out which one it is . (one mirror has a Corbeau)

2.Mirror with Corbeau in it as trap, alternates with Mirrors that are dangerous unbroken (these render a viewer paralyzed as they stare at the reflection)

3.Dark gruneous pine forest with multiple pools for Corbeau to lurk from (pretty much in text)

4. Mirror given as a gift , really an assassination tool, a lurking Corbeau in a mirror won't show up as magical.

5.Spy using trained Corbeau to sneak messages.

6.Mansion guarded at night by turning around the paintings. Each has a mirror on the back , and a Corbeau in at least one of them.  Just before the household staff being their morning duties a goat or stray dog is let loose in the hallways for the Corbeau to catch. It will then withdraw into a mirror with its prey and the  staff can safely turn the paintings around again.

*"Sallow" being the collective noun of Corbeau


An invisible colour drinker, that is it is an invisible colour and it is a drinker of colour. 

1.Giving them an additional ability of eyes rendered blank from their attacks lose any gaze attacks , so they become weapon against monsters with a gaze attack (Beholders, Medusa) . Then a party in process of making preparations against such monsters , might go off to the swamps festooned in the brightest colours they can source, ready with nets to swing as soon as their garments start bleaching.

2.Chirurgeon who do a lot of amputations could potentially create a market for Colour Monsters. As the area they drink from becomes permanently numb they wouldn't be that suitable for general medical practice. But for an amputation, this matters not. However to keep a Colour Monster might require expensive pigments regularly obtained and it might serve better to commission adventures to source them before a military campaign and then destroy them afterward.

3.Potential City Encounter/event of Colour Monsters obtained for the above purpose getting loose and running amok creating panic as people cover themselves in the blandest garments they can manage. The would-be re-captors of the beasts would need to follow a trail of invisible formerly bright things and/or create bait of the wildest colours they can find.

4. A bizarre fighting style "the Glass Arm" , whose practitioners use long glass blades and render their fighting arm invisible via the Colour Monster. Such a follower could make for a distinctive mercenary, henchman , duelist or assassin.

5. Particular long wet seasons in the Melanic Moors can cause an excess of the brightly coloured flowers the Colour Monster is want to feed upon and subsequently creates an boom of Colour Monsters. If the following season is not as long , the available food runs out and swarms of Colour Monsters roam outside the swarm seeking colour to drink, resulting in a panicked population adorning themselves drably and donning mesh over their eyes. (pretty much in the text)

6. These swarms can result in a creature , as would be encountered on a random encounter table (Crimson Contradodron for example), having been previously attacked, and is now invisible , numb to pain, and likely confused and enraged.

Saturday, 1 August 2020

Velvet Hooks: Brainstormer & Capitualtors

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Another post with highlighting or creating hooks to use monsters for Fire On The Velvet Horizon.

This post features..
Maniacs who supercharged their brain with the energies and crackling knowledges of the sky itself!!!
1. A proto-brainstormer would make a great patron for adventures, requiring (and paying v.well for) a worlds-span worth of ingredients, monster parts and materials. This all resulting in a superpowered skycastled supervillain makes for a delightful twist if the players don't learn what the results of the would be dictator of the heavens plans are. (pretty much in the text)

2. The final results of research being the Golden Elixir "Anemoi". This being the substance directly injected into the Brainstormer-to-be's brain. If found or stolen in other circumstances, it makes for a certain amount of dilemma. It's worth a great deal , but selling it means it will likely result in the creation of a Brainstormer. (pretty much in the text)

3.What gives the Brainstormer their power and mental unhinging is the supernatural awareness of inner and outer workings of the heavens themselves. While they tend to not do much with that knowledge other than exert their ego, if something about the sky is needed to known (say the climate is heading towards an iceage, a hole into outer space has been created, an upcoming superstorm is approaching or even an exact weather report for a year benefiting a naval invasion) they would be the ones to know it.

4.The Cloud Palace that a Brainstormer builds is an obvious dungeon, either with one in it, or one post -Brainstormer. The post -Brainstormer palace could be run with a timer, as parts of it break up and disperse, or the whole thing could of have drifted into an area of unnatural stillness of air.
This would prevent it from falling apart and allow new occupants to have moved in and claimed it for themselves, adding another aspect to it.
(pretty much in the text)

5.One such Cloud-palace could of developed a mini-society from the former servants and kidnap victims of the Brainstormer. Maybe the kidnapped victims have no wish to return home and are praised as the Queen , now the King has fallen, by the servants. An adventuring party could be enlisted to find a stolen princess and instead find her now enthroned .

6.While a high level threat , a low level party could still deal with a Brainstormer if enlisted or able to do sufficient research about the Brainstormers former identity and thus predict and impersonate a potential kidnap victim , allowing for a great advantage in an assassination attempt.

Morose bisected jawed fatalists , a mercenary people that can hide inside the realm created by your eye

1. As a hex encounter, their hives "look like grey smoke piled in drifts" are found in woods. Unpredictable but not necessary dangerous unless provoked, i.e the party disturbs the hive and takes away some of the stolen art. Even if they don't mess with anything, a couple pc's might wind up having Capitulator hop inside their field of view just for something to do . (pretty much in the text)

2.The obvious use of them being hired to spy on the players, is most interesting if the players know nothing about them , and with only one character has one in their eye, they might assume the creature is invisible to the rest of the party. Assume the Capitualtor has to be present in the field of vision of the affected character to listen in , and give that character a chance to notice them.
If the party learns about the Capitualtor without the Capitualtor knowing this , this also gives them a chance to feed false information to their hirer.
The Capitualtor will need to leave the eye in order to relay this information. (pretty much in the text)

3. Their love of gambling could bring them out especially if the stakes or methods of betting are particular unusual . Even one in the employ of someone else might tempted to switch if an interesting enough bet is made. Stolen artworks could be wagered back from them

4. . What makes bets the most interesting to them are ones placed on a uninvolved individual who has a variety of forces acting upon them, especially ones where a group identity is conflict with an individual identity

5.They serve as particular difficult culprit for a "closed room" detective puzzle. So one has be inside the victims vision until they are alone, then sprung out to kill them, and hidden themselves in the eye of first person to find the body. They might still be there, pretending to be uninterested in seeing the case unfold, but really being involved. Infact if they become too interested they will lose their sense of "non-self"and fall out of their non-state of being inside someone's vision.

6. Their hatred (near hatred) for movements that are  "unembodied, unquestioning, passionate and zealous" could see them involved in a clash between art schools and victims they claim, raising the stakes to near civil war (let's assume a society where art schools are interchangable with political parties).

Saturday, 18 July 2020

Velvet Hooks : Bog Elf & Swamp Drunks

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Another back up post topic, the creation ( or highlighting) of hooks to use monster from my favourite dead horse Fire On The Velvet Horizon

Bog Elf:
A Subtle tanninic people, from a mirrored world beneath the still dark waters of the mire .

1. A weapon of a hero , who united the warring tribes , was lost when he and his retinue were betrayed in dastardly swamp ambush. But lately a description of that very weapon was told of , in the hands of a weird knight. He and his fellows were sighted making war on the Potempkimen , a campaign that seems to be continue still.  (pretty much in the text)

2.  Speaking of which , if ever one needed an ally against those sneaky bastards the Potempkimen, the Bog Elf are committed adversary, if you can show them a flair for subtle and convoluted scheming  (pretty much in the text)

3. Liquid Shadow is a valuable substance , and the Bog Elves will trade it for metal goods . The trick is finding them , making contact , and getting their trust, then sourcing metal objects to their liking. As their tastes and needs can seem inexplicable. (pretty much in the text)

4.A very favoured ally of the Bog Elves maybe granted access to the shadow realm , of whose borders seep into those of the Elves. They will only lower such an explorer temporarily in the realm. If such an explorer wished to stay longer and cut themselves lose (and elude their guard) the Bog Elves would have to take on a visitor from the shadow realm of equal size and shape to the astray explorer , and this they do not want.

5.One of the alternatives the Bog Elves use in place of metal is ages-wood. This is wood that has spend a number of ages in the bogs, hardened by tannin and the weight of history.  Each age that has past leaves a different mark on the , and will be named either for the age it has spent in dark or the number.
So Fire-age-wood or 4-ages wood. Such wood can make weapons more than equal of any metal weapon and by being not metal they often have a use in cheating curses or piercing wards

6. A procession of bog elves has come before a king wanting a crime addressed. One of their princes has seen a princess and had his heart stolen. Therefore they want a heart of equal quality in return . It is unclear if they want it as a metaphor or literal.

Swamp Drunks
Those who can navigate the mysterious and maddening Melanic Moors, by being near mad themselves

1. The most obvious hook, the players wish to hire a guide through the Melanic Moors. The trick is sifting through the human wreckage in the outer reachs of Jukai to find someone who truely knows their way through the Melanic Moors , and isn't just a lush wanting to have someone buy them drinks while they lead them in a circle. (pretty much in the text)

2. Stories about certain parts of the Melanic Moors are only accessible to exactingly specific kinds of intoxication, and certain brewers recipes are effectively both the key and the map to access secret hordes and lucrative pharmacological gardens

3.The trade between the Swamp Drunks and Jukai is prohibited , thus making the role of middlemen lucrative . Assuming you can avoid the snares of being set up to serve as an offering for the Peace men and their smuggler catching quota, or being unable to discern the esoteric from the worthlesss
(pretty much in the text).

4. Another money earner for the broke , homeless , and heavily armed ; is clearing out some of the watchtowers of former expansion. When these get used by shallow-boat pirates , murder cultists, street gangs or other banes to peaceful business,  it can unclear if they "belong" to the Swamp Drunks , with its unclear semi-state hood. The safest solution is to pay adventurers to clear them out and then arrest them if it turns out the towers occupants had enough family connections to cause unrest.

5. The exact nature of the Melanic Moors is something two very different groups are invested in.
One group is the University of Jukai , specific the House of Epistegeology who will fund missions of discovery and research , that look a lot like  trespassing  , burglary and even kidnapping. The other group is the Jug-Fellows.
"Jug Fellow"is term that is normally used to refer to a temporarily camaraderie formed around the sharing of a 5 gallon jug  . But it also refers to the secret societys that each form around a tense onion layered secrets , analogies, deceptions and bizarre estoeric truths relating to the moors.

Each will teach a new member a truth , then once the member has proven themselves, they will reveal it to be a lie. Then when the fellow discovers the various ways that it being a lie has truth to it, they will reveal the deeper truth to it.

The Jug-fellow-societys are fiercely protective of their mix of knowledge, insight and deception , and while they don't have the deep pockets of the House of Epistegeology, aiding them in keeping the secrets of the Moor secret , will earn valuable allies.

6. Passing through the wrong area of the Melanic Moors (or at the wrong time) could result in a Jug-Fellow band demanding tax (preferable drink, but possibly song or other entertainment) . Refusing will result in the band disappearing with a laugh, and the travellers finding themselves inexplicable lost and the Jug-band show up again after a couple hours to ask about that tax again.

Monday, 29 June 2020

3 Session Framing

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I have indubitably done a post on this before , but I have this jolt of inspiration that I will write out right now

(so a lot of "campaigns" often last 3 sessions, so why not frame them that way)

A school of sorcerers had a sinister engine explode ripping apart the school. BUT a magic protection has frozen time mid explosion and the players are students who must escape the school with its now mid-explosion configuration . Also the outside world hates the wizzys and the players would best use this opportunity to "obtain" as much of the schools artefacts to allow them to survive in the outside world. The time stop magic is inconsistent and certain previous contained hauntings and elder beasts now wander its weird halls. Further CONFOUNDING YOU  are the hounds between time and other inter-spatial blights coming it through the cracks

basically the plot of 13 ghosts except with more ghosts, robbery, and murderous machinations.
An unrated movie by the way!
Here's a link to the synopsis


if you haven't seen it and just want to know right now

Just like the movie! Except the iceberg broke off a chunk inside the ship and protein starved tardigrade people defrosted and are running amok eating people! And the players are the under class forced to work in dangerous conditions below, because rich people have their souls kept in jars above! And some asshole thought it would be a good idea to have a monster zoo onboard!

the players are planning the ultimate heist! Getting all the balls, kites, and dogs that the scary old lady next door to the park claims when they go onto her property. Her property is a vast overgrown thorny mess and her house a crooked 3 story dwelling, squatting there like a underfeed toad.

Like Dante's Inferno but in reverse and more like Aristophanes's The Frogs

You are vice sodden dilettante,ingénue and fops invited to a private viewing of a renowned (and infamous!) art patrons gallery. But once gathered around his sinister collection he reveals himself to be the very Devil! You are cast into a painting and must struggle through the weird worlds depicted, as you leap from painting to painting, each one twisted to reflected the various sins and betrays that have made up your characters degenerate existence (ala silent hill)

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Velvet Hooks: Boa Boy and Boa Constructor

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More Velvet Hooks.
This series will be interspersed with other post topics but right now I don't have anything worth doing a full post on.
Also? , I'm no longer going to bother trying to label the hooks as "expanded content/original content" , as it seems arbitrary and not useful to try and divide them like that.
I'll keep the "pretty much in the text" one though.

Boa Boy:
The head of a child, the body of a snake, a simple abdead* servant . What could go wrong?

1.Boa boys are used as guards in well off houses. But where to put them? Lurking in vases , like the snake charmers money maker? One option is a fake safe, maybe being obviously hidden behind a large painting. Such a safe has boa access at the back . So when the safe is opened by intruder , the boa boy is waiting to pull them in , with the door engineered to swing shut afterwards

2. Eccentric Aristocrat with dozens of Boa boys holding up his train. He often needs to replace them , as he's prone to make wagers about his ability to shoot a glass of sherry balanced atop the head of one of his unfortunate boa boys.
He prefers Boa boys with eyes that aren't quite blue or green.

3. A Boa Boy of rare intelligence and an insatiable desire for vengeance. It murdered its first owner, making it seem like an accident. From there it moved on to another house, replacing the  Boa Boy on staff there . The "replacing" involves the current Boa Boy being set free, enlisted to  help, or if they prove too loyal  ,being killed and disposed of.

4. A isolated mansion with its owner succumbing to an heart attack. The Boa Boy staff are a particular witless example, and keep the mansion running as if the owner was still alive, rather than mummified in the tea room.

5. Certain Boa Boy are made and  sold off , but with a certain magick in their creation, sneak out at night to report back to their creator, who is slowly building up quite the blackmail portfolio,

6. Someone has let loose an illness as to have more dead children , as the poor often sell bodies they can't afford to have appropriately disposed of . The engineer of the blight doesn't need the resulting Boa Boys, they are just the byproduct of an extensive study in which the line between undead and abdead is to be understood.

*"abdead" using the term from China Miéville here as to define an animated corpse that isn't powered by necrotic energies , instead magic is used to restart and maintain its biologys.

Boa Constructor:
A vast snake with a maw full of clever hands. Makes itself a very important figure via trade and specialized construction, as to provide for its vast appetite

Encounters with Young Forms  (and pretty much in the text already)

1. Xanthic Snake: A series of brutal forest traps designed to isolate and maim , so allowing the Xanthic to gorge easily.

2.  Pavonated Snake :As above but instead of maiming, the trapped are then engaged in attempts at conversations and attempts at bargaining.

Griseous and older , expanded upon:
3 A mysterious shop sells strange and complex weaponry.   Examples are a thing like a elongated zither that will snap one of its metal strings like a bull whip, or one which resembles the fiendish child of a sextant and a scythe that will launch sharpened discs slicing through the air. Each weapon requires unique ammunition and this shop is the only place where these can be found.

4 In the treasure horde of some fabled beast lies a suit of armour. Constructed of starmetals, dragonbone, and the rarest of nights gold, it however is currently ripped nearly asunder. The construction of the armour is such that only by finding the original creator could there be any hope of seeing it repaired and modified to fit another. Spoiler Alert :  The creator is a giant snake with arms for teeth : o

5 Have a major villain or obstacle to the pc have custom armour, but if you can find the snake and bribe it , you will learn its weaknesses, Snake in question has "retired"  , having reached its maximum size and build a palace for itself.

6 Final Form of a Boa Constructor : so when they reach their maximum size a Boa Constructor will retire to its elaborate custom made palace. However this palace is actually a  womb  , factory and massive egg. It will slowly dismantle the Boa Constructor  painstakingly peeling nerves from muscles, etc, and then interlace the nerves unto a new massive frame of rubber, silk , steel , and wax.
The muscles are then attached to an engineering nightmare of levers, cogs, pulleys, and chains.

After an entire century the palace egg will hatch, revealing a Boa constructor the size of a castle and more mechanics than snake. Its frail flesh now spread like a fine web through out its bespoke colossus.

This Boa Constructor Omega will find an city that has is the right mix of vulnerability and viable potential. One that's relatively easy to take over ,  but still has the potential to  become a cultural mecca with a giant robotic snake running it.
This final form is less interested in food as it is knowledge, any city it runs will soon become renowned* for its libraries and universities

*I mean the MechaBoaConstructor overlord will likely be the first thing mentioned in conversation but the next thing is going to be the libraries and universities