Friday, 3 August 2018

OSR and what to explain

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These definition of the OSR posts are the worst.
NEVER THE LESS
*


I feel the compulsion to explicitly state the things I desire in play and assumptions in the material I write,
and,
they overlap so much with what people state as OSR , that it would incongruous for me to deny that.

However if there was a new term or a sub-term that was getting used instead and that was a better fit , sure use that (like Patrick's "Pretentious Hipster" or DIY etc etc)


ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST THE USE OF TERM AND A POSSIBLE REPLACEMENT


There could be a new term that would be a "better fit".

-if somehow it was more clear about what it represented right there in the name, like "story games" (also constantly argued about) gives fairly good indicator of what it means.

         -there's OSR as a style of play and there's OSR as (numerous)  communities. A new term that could dodging the misunderstandings around this .
Like when someone talks about a shit head "in" the OSR there's an implied question about what other (OSR) peoples relationship is  to this person . If this New Term was one that described a style of play then this confusion could be avoided.

So "board gamers" is a term that describes a style of play and to talk about a board gamer community you have to actually put the c-word in there.

     -Because OSR is referring to numerous communities (each generally congealed around particular personalitys and/or websites /social media) and OSR-play to each of these communities generally refers the play styles and assumptions they have. These can vary enough that it causes a lot of confusion . I've read people dramatically stating they are an OSR heretic because they don't like Thac0/descending armour class/Gary Gygax. And basically everyone I'm talking to in the """OSR""" could not give less of shit if one like or doesn't like these.

and against all this:
- The inertia of a  term that everyone is already using is massive and it's rare that anyone has ever got a "better" term brought in. Like, slightly bad example to due length,  "Procedural generated content with permadeath"  is better than "rogue-like" but I've not seen it stick.

-I can't really think of a catchy 2-3 word title that sums up and I doubt its possible to summarize all the stuff I'm about to discuss below in this way.


-I am looking for a new term to describe exactly what I'm about or for the OSR as whole?

SIDE NOTE ON THE TERM "TRAD PLAY"


 A term with a reasonable of traction is "traditional play" / "trad games" , and while it is a term that is kinda useful to talk about a distinction from  "story games".
However  "traditional" by definition is fairly unchanging and isn't looking for refinements, and a lot of OSR** game design is about the refinements and breaking abruptly  from "back in the day" methods.

Additional "tradition" play could be the sandboxy , high lethality , "bob the fighter"  style of play or railroaded to shit , 3 page back story, fantasy novel,  style of play.

**a good example here of contradicting goals had by different self identified OSR people/communities; people who want to have play/game design closely replicate "back in the day" methods and people who want to improve and experiment with play/game design that has the same playstyle/goals as "back in the day"

 
 

NO WAY AM I BOTHERING TRYING TO DEFINE THE OSR AS WHOLE BUDDY

With the games I run and write material for, these are the assumptions and desired play styles I have that overlap with the OSR enough for the term to be correct.


>Players Decisions  Must Matter: The consequences of their actions and decisions is the engine of the entire game. It is what results in an "emergent story", but even before then , the moment to moment play is interesting because what they are doing matters to what will happen.

 To best support this:
 They should be given all the information that would be available to their character.

The g.m should be prepared to accept the results of the dice and roll with the players effects on the world.

>Trying to force a conventionally coherent/cliche narrative for a "better story" by trying to force or cancel player decisions or consequences or ignore a dice roll, will always act against the mattering of player decisions.  Don't worry about the final results working as conventional story , worry about the moment to moment play being interesting .

> Any encounter /situation will be "balanced" ( i.e have the ability to effect) as is appropriate for its existence in the world.
Therefore the players should be able to seek the challenge they want by seeking out different areas, getting information, or coming up with plans, alliances or schemes to balance things in their favour.

Outright avoidance , fleeing , negotiation, schemes, befriending, disguises, and the like are acceptable and even desirable outcomes.

>Because of above , only exp for killing monsters is a bad fit. Consider exp for treasure, pre-set goals, or the like






 Here are some other statements about """OSR""" play I felt were good summaries for me.
They were from a g+ post about OSR assumptions that people felt should be stated.

Lungfungus:

Resolution of action by player skill first then dice or character mechanics. Like players don't declare I roll X instead players describe their characters actions and rolls are done if neccesary.

Gregory Blair :
 
 Killing things is usually not the goal, there is nothing that is "supposed" to happen, combat is not the default assumption for an encounter.

Character death is not taboo and is to be expected.

The adventure will not enumerate the one correct way to resolve conflicts and puzzles; player creativity is expected and should be rewarded by the referee.

Balance as a design goal is generally absent.

Brian Harbon

This is a game primarily about interacting with this world as if it were a place that exists. Outcomes will be based on how this world would react to your interactions, and challenges will be as unbalanced, unexpected, and exciting as they would in a real world. Your goal is generally to survive the enemies around you, whether that be via avoidance, negotiation, befriending, or creatively throwing the balance in your favor./
I think I just view story more as an emergent, secondary effect of OSR play rather than it's active, primary goal. i.e. The goal is not to tell the most interesting story you can, the goal is to interact with and overcome the problems at hand. From those interactions, the story passively emerges.





Brian Murphy

 It is not the DM’s job to balance encounters; it is the players’ job to unbalance encounters in their favor. (AKA: if you find yourself in a fair fight your tactics suck.)



But why all this?

I read this Maze Of Blue Medusa review and the author appeared to have no understanding of other peoples play styles and it was a trip. 
So I thought I could try and make a pre-face to use in future for any material I create.


Annus Horribilis:

 Speaking of any material I might create, let's address the commonwealth .

-The Stretch Goal of me writing material for Demon City has been reached so that's happening.

-There's an edition of Neoclassical Geek Revival happening with just my art. It was a selectable option for backers of the just finished kickstarter.  Not sure what the availability after that will be . I'll let you know

-Jacob Hurst (Swordfish Islands, up for ennie) is doing a Deep Carbon Observatory new edition , he's got a lot  on, there's logistic problems etc etc, but it will happen at some stage with better maps (not  by me, don't worry) , not be a5 (fuck a5) , and have more art and replacements for the stuff I'm not happen with.

Additionally the next release me and Patrick are doing with him will be Broken Fire Regime.
This one has been nailed with so many fucking delays and piss arounds including the previous publisher suddenly dropping it (a whole year of unnecessary delay right there, thanks for that) .

It's got like 95% of the writing and art done but that last 5% plus layout or anything else involving other people is a minefield and we keep stepping on them.


Ones possiblitys and potentials open dramatically up if you find the right people to work with but boy can working with other people send everything into the doldrums.

-The Planescape material has got David Shugars editing it , he is a star, I'm on the last plane now (lawful evil one) and it's being difficult but progress is happening. I'm hoping the decisions and quality of the later writing doesn't make me then have to revise all the earlier stuff however (some of which was written 3+ years ago now). Eta by the end of the year

-The cyberpunk thing: this is on ice at the moment (no pun) , kinda waiting for feedback from someone else in the project .  Will resume this and give it my full focus once the planescrap is out , or if I feel massively inspired. I needed to load the brain with fresh ideas for this anyhow and also? trying to extrapolate a terrible future from the terrible realitys right now is depressing.
It will happen at some stage but don't hold your breath.

These last 2 are the only things that could use that preface I talked about...

After these are done I am so excited about doing something that I'm 100% into and not one that I got caught up in .  Who knows what it will be, something small not involving anyone else most likely.






*

did Sherlock Holmes say Never The Less a lot?  Jeremy Brett delivering the line has always stuck with me  enough to make seem like he didThe fuck is with this Burma Shave Format?

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Teaching a dog to flick the lightswitch on and off is of little benefit to one's peace of mind

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 /
UnClass:

Fighter is a Seldom Prophet
Rogue is a Santa
Wizard is a Labourer
The Cleric a Disillusionist 


WHO ARE THESE FELLOWS:

THE BAT LIKE PROFESSORS 


They Meet On Meat , And Discuss Every Matter.
Oh what you can learn from them! If you can entangle actual fact from the dense sophistic arguments they frame it in


JUDAS BIRDS

They Steal and Conceal, only to have something to betray each other for.
They might just betray who they betray to before they find the spoils.


THE MENFOLK KEEP FUCKING A TREE
it's not even a sexy tree spirit tree.
Ants are the reason

THE EMPEROR DEMANDS HIS FLESHWORKERS AND WOMBWITCHS MAKE HIM A DRAGON ARMY

No-one is good at their job


Some even suspect it's become a competition to be the Worst

A crestfallen Journeyman approaches you  , having spend a wish on a  perfect horse, he now offers to sell it you.





THE HUBRIS OF THE EASTER MAN! HE HAS CHALLENGED THE SKY AND CAST DOWN! WHAT BECOMES OF US?




One of the backer options in this is to get a version with just Scrap Princess art:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1594988817/neoclassical-geek-revival

////
FANTASIA DYSTOPIAS
1.What if Children but Too Much?
2.What if Domestication but Too Much?
3.What if Holes but Too Much?
4.What if Puppet Show but Too Much?
5.What if Writing Things Down but Too Much?
6.What if Tombs but Too Much?
7.What if Dying but Too Little?
8.What if Air but Too Little?
9.What if Bones But One Set Per Family?
10.What if Trains?
///




WAR ENGINES:

A Giant Brass Head, It is a Vast  Kettle That Lips Part and Kill With Steam




A Zorb ball but Perforated allowing the  elite spear men inside to stab and punt it around.


A Walking Wickerman Siege Tower but with bees hives inside, the densely attired troops concealed in the head


The Sickening Ultra Bell


Friday, 22 June 2018

I hate doing reviews of role playing products

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I intend to never do it again , other than "I like this thing" referencing / advertising for people


HOWEVER
I'm reviewing a bunch of Zedeck Siew's stuff right now.

Specifically these zines that aren't really for sale , but if you hit him up on g+ you might be able to get them.

The first 2 are teasers from an upcoming Thousand Thousand Islands project.

Mr-Kr-Gr is the "death rolled kingdom". It's crocodile themed if
 Kraching  (the other one) can be described as cat themed.

Kraching has vignettes. Some are descriptions of people, some of locations, some groups. Also interspersed with myths of the founder "Auw" .

The vignettes are not framed or obviously organized. It is more like reading a collection of short storys and essays (click the link on his name to do that).

The first is The God Auw. It is a description of a statue . The next entry is Auw The Woodworker.
It is a origin story of Auw.

Then it's a description of the town, then a trader, then a book keeper.

It's an arrangement extremely counter to how a role playing book should work.
I don't know if the future book will be like this or not.

However a couple of things make this work way better than it should.

  Zedeck's writing ; it's very sparse , and delightfully so.

Here's the entirety of the writing about Anurra (baring a 4 lines about her house and husband, Allu)

"
Calloused hands, muscled arms. Quick to laugh. But her smile disappears if she thinks you are not looking.
"In the hills , when she was young." All tells you. "She was caught by a witch. The witch gave her a choice: hands that make art, or a womb that bears children. Anurra chose her hands."

  Allu asks you find the witch , force it to return his wife's fertility.  Anurra will hate him for this.
"

There is depths here, about the couple, how the world works, etc. 
Don't think for a second is white wolf pages and pages of fiction that drip feeds you actual material. This is one of the most concentrated, poetic , yet usable piece of role playing writing I have ever read.

So that's a thing.

The other thing happening here is memory and time and a rebuking of exact borders.

This zine starts with a description of the statue of the god Auw. It's described as the god.

 The first story is of the god as when he was just carver.

The description of the town is about the cats.

A later line about the cats "They are either primeval nature spirits , or wood carvings come alive. Or maybe just cats. Or maybe all three."

Auw in their stories changes personality, gender, human /cat.


Things are always always another thing too.  A town is the first 2 people you meet.  A god is the stories told about them and the statue you just past.

You are reading about everything when you are reading about one thing.
So the usual problem of "not being able to find what you wanted" is obscured here. Everything is a little bit everything else too.


There is tables and things in tables too. They are a more familiar format but excellent too.


Mr -Kr -Gr
is crocodiles. More past here than shifting stories. More formal
Also excellent.

The illustrations are by Mun Kao

They are exact , detail rich, and work wonderfully with the text.



Really quick reviews for some pdfs that their creators gave me when I mentioned I might review things ages ago. I have managed to lose both pdfs and didn't feel I could really do a good review anyway, as I wasn't going to use them and that should be the focus of any review (shout out Bryce Lynch running the most useful  rpg blog in existence )

I've felt honour bound ever since to actually review them though.
Please no-one ever send me anything to review again though 


Black Sun Crawl:
(James Macgeorge )
An efficient setting with a concentrated tone and effect , using public domain art and giving a very metal grim dark souls feel. If anyone has a dream about releasing a project of their own this is good guide for how to make something distinct without getting overwhelmed with all the material "you have to include as well"

Castle Gargantua:
(Kabuki Kasier)
A table generated mega dungeon with a greco-roman theme.  Using the mechanics as written to generate the castle seem not ideal to me, and it seems bad for the players to try and navigate it, as the random generation means you can't figure out potential room contents the same way you could a conventional building.

However there's enough here that you could easily find at least one table for your own use.
Some of the monsters have some good imagery and there's a enthusiasm to the whole thing too.
There's one game effect  here , while thematic appropriate for the god Pan,  that could piss a lot of players off, however its nothing a g.m couldn't use their own judgement to handle.


Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Part2 of What Exactly is the Problem Here?

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Picture Unrelated




Okay that last post got more traction/attention than I thought and now I got to clean up my points somewhat.

And look at some more spells to see if there is other conclusions to be drawn.



So in the last post I was trying to dissect my own disinterest in all these spell lists , but it's become blurred in/ or resonant with enough other people , that it's coming across as  a "objective" critique of the spells.

In this post I will try and be clearer about What I want from a Spell and how/if/does various spells fit that, but also be mindful about how this spell could be successful for other player preferences.


Some Concepts Will Use
Hijink potential:
Both how easy it is to use the spell in a variety of ways and how much unexpected things could happen from the spell.


Red Key Card:
A spell that just solves a particular problem , particular a problem created just to have that spell.

Abstract:
 the spell doesn't exist or barely exists outside the game mechanics for it. Magic missile, shield, true strike.

Materialness:
Like the opposite of abstract, what the spell does that then might needs game mechanics or reference existing game mechanics. A example of a spell that creates mechanics by its material is fireball or grease. A spell that doesn't even have game mechanics for what it creates is something like fabrication. Very often a factor in the spells Hijink potential, but not always (unseen servant)

Push Back:
push back is how hard you make it for any player plan to work, either through complication, dice gating or out right failure. Spells with high hijink potential can get a lot more push-back than abstract or red-key-card ones and if the d.m pushes back harder that the player likes then spells that don't risk it are going to be more appealing , example:

Everytime you use burning hands without thinking extremely careful about it, the d.m has the now on fire goblin crash tackle you or the resulting smoke choke you or the smell of cooked goblin attract a snake bear .

Push-back can done because the d.m likes the players to think really hard, or things to be very chaotic, or in some cases is trying to discourage the player.

Might be useful to define Push-Back that promotes chaos vs Push-Back that just prevent things happening at all. However not doing it now.


 I don't know how to segue into this bit:
There's spells I condemned because they created an easy to grasp real world object rather than a weird magic one (but still one with actual physical propertys unlike magic missile) .
So Mount creates a Horse rather than a weird organ beast.

However as players are familiar with horses they could think up more things to do with a horse than an organ beast, thus more hijniks potential so shouldn't it be regarded as less boring?


Also this one:

 There's trusting the d.m to make rulings about edge cases and then there's writing up Telekinesis as "move 2000 coins of weight"
which is like writing up magic as "the wizard can use spells to change reality. The d.m will decide the limits and restrictions of this"

Because players are going to want to know how fast it can move things, can it move small things fast enough to injure , how delicately , if you can target a held item , if someone gets a saving throw if you are trying to lift them up, can you lift someone up by specific body part like eyes or genitals, can you use it to crush or squeeze a throat, can you use it disable a limb or at least interfere with it enough to make attacking difficult , do I have to see something to use telekinesis on it , etc

The only use of the spell that won't require an immediate ruling is just picking something inanimate up and moving it somewhere else when nothing else is going on and somehow I feel this is going to be a less common use to any of the above


Compare to  "imagine the telekinesis as a mystic leaf blower like force which can push or even lift but can't specifically target or manipulate things with any more skill than you could do with a leaf blower < then some game effects if you use it against someone to slow them down or shove an object at someone>

(not saying telekinesis should be that limited but just giving an example of something that gives me something to work with as d.m)



Wizard Role:
Some people like some spells because they allow wizards to do things that wizards should be able to do like Obscure object or other Single Use spells or allow Wizards to be useful without having a complicated plan.

Actually I'm going to a terrible job trying thinking about spells in ways other people like them. Sooo


MORE SUBJECTIVE TAKES ON SPELLS


Arcane LockM: Magically locks a portal or chest. I guess it's something wizards could do but like could this be broader in application so you can use it on mouths  . It's hard to care about this spell
Obscure Object: Masks object against scrying. This is so red card key door I think it's the archetype
Protection from Arrows: Subject immune to most ranged attacks.  Boring but useful and you could see high level wizards getting to not worry about snipers oh wait that's hitpoints. Moving on
Resist Energy: Ignores first 10 (or more) points of damage/attack from specified energy type. Boring but useful


Acid Arrow: Ranged touch attack; 2d4 damage for 1 round +1 round/three levels. Alliteration and it has some materialness  I like it
Fog Cloud: Fog obscures vision. There's a level 1 spell that does this , can it just be one spell?
Glitterdust: Blinds creatures, outlines invisible creatures.  C+
Summon Monster II: Calls extraplanar creature to fight for you. covered previously
Summon Swarm: Summons swarm of bats, rats, or spiders. This is a good way to do a low level summoning , and is creepy and there's prob always a swarmable creature nearby
Web: Fills 20-ft.-radius spread with sticky spiderwebs.  C+ oh wait you can burn it B+


Detect Thoughts: Allows “listening” to surface thoughts.
Locate Object: Senses direction toward object (specific or type).
See Invisibility: Reveals invisible creatures or objects.
Detection spells need a whole post on themselves I think , but Detect thoughts and Locate Object are better than See Invisibilty


Daze Monster: Living creature of 6 HD or less loses next action.  Maybe if said why , like a mind jolt or vertigo but without any thing other mechanics it's boring and feels like it's here to give enchantment another spell
Hideous Laughter: Subject loses actions for 1 round/level. Is this still contagious?  Kinda like the Sleep / Colour Spray , I'd get sick of having happen in every combat.
Touch of Idiocy: Subject takes 1d6 points of Int, Wis, and Cha damage.  Bad. What about the touched target next time has to make a decision just does it really dumb?

Continual FlameM: Makes a permanent, heatless torch.
Darkness: 20-ft. radius of supernatural shadow.
Flaming Sphere: Creates rolling ball of fire, 2d6 damage, lasts 1 round/level.
Gust of Wind: Blows away or knocks down smaller creatures.
Scorching Ray: Ranged touch attack deals 4d6 fire damage, +1 ray/four levels (max 3).
Shatter: Sonic vibration damages objects or crystalline creatures.

A bunch of Okays. Maybe not you Shatter depending on the g.m lets it get used

Blur: Attacks miss subject 20% of the time. I mean okay I guess. Wizards should have some protective spells and it does it in a way with materialness
Hypnotic Pattern: Fascinates (2d4 + level) HD of creatures. What I said about Fog Cloud but also what said about Hypnosis
Invisibility: Subject is invisible for 1 min./level or until it attacks. Sure
Magic MouthM: Speaks once when triggered. Could there just be a "trigger illusion spell?"
Minor Image: As silent image, plus some sound. SO this is why those level 1 spells couldn't do both at once : (
Mirror Image: Creates decoy duplicates of you (1d4 +1 per three levels, max 8). A example of protective Wizard spell that has some special effects to it that make good
Misdirection: Misleads divinations for one creature or object. What the fuck is with all the boring spell : The Return ?
Phantom TrapM: Makes item seem trapped. This actual could be great if was so it made everyone unease not just specific trap detectors

Blindness/Deafness: Makes subject blinded or deafened.  Debuffs are forbidden unless they have some flavour to them , not literally the effect they do as their name. call them "The Devil's Note" and "Unbearable Word" and the effect happens to those exposed.
Command Undead: Undead creature obeys your commands. I mean if you going to have necromancers a thing couldn't they just have this as ability? I guess it's simpler to have it as spell. Bland but forgivable
False Life: Gain 1d10 temporary hp +1/level (max +10). Bland but unforgivable
Ghoul Touch: Paralyzes one subject, which exudes stench that makes those nearby sickened. 
Add that if you touch food or drink it affects the consumer. I know the stink just makes it to tie in with the ghoulness but dunno it gives it something
Scare: Panics creatures of less than 6 HD. What I said about blindness , also there was a level 1 spell that did this. I hate this. Just pick how strong the effect is and give it a single spell.
Spectral Hand: Creates disembodied glowing hand to deliver touch attacks. I feel like this was crude fix for all the necromancer touch spells but a glowing hand flying around combat Sucking the life from people is fine , so sure


Bear's Endurance: Subject gains +4 to Con for 1 min./level.
Bull's Strength: Subject gains +4 to Str for 1 min./level.
Cat's Grace: Subject gains +4 to Dex for 1 min./level.
Eagle's Splendor: Subject gains +4 to Cha for 1 min./level.
Fox's Cunning: Subject gains +4 Int for 1 min./level.

Owl's Wisdom: Subject gains +4 to Wis for 1 min./level.  
Darkvision: See 60 ft. in total darkness. F-

Whispering Wind: Sends a short message 1 mile/level. Bland but forgivable


Alter Self: Assume form of a similar creature.  What I said about Scare



Knock: Opens locked or magically sealed door. The classic red key card door spell and the beginning of the wizard starting to do everyone's jobs. I guess it's the "resource management" aspect to d&d challenge so if that works for you, fine. This spell is a pariah to me
Levitate: Subject moves up and down at your direction. Bland but unforgivable

Pyrotechnics: Turns fire into blinding light or choking smoke. Feels like it should be level 1 and/or replace the spells that do stuff like this without needing a fire

Rope Trick: As many as eight creatures hide in extradimensional space.  fine
Spider Climb: Grants ability to walk on walls and ceilings.  fine

3RD-LEVEL SORCERER/WIZARD SPELLS



Dispel Magic: Cancels magical spells and effects.  I guess wizards should be able to do this : /
Explosive Runes: Deals 6d6 damage when read.  fine
Magic Circle against Chaos: As protection spells, but 10-ft. radius and 10 min./level.
Magic Circle against Evil: As protection spells, but 10-ft. radius and 10 min./level.
Magic Circle against Good: As protection spells, but 10-ft. radius and 10 min./level.
Magic Circle against Law: As protection spells, but 10-ft. radius and 10 min./level.
everything I said about the first level one


NondetectionM: Hides subject from divination, scrying.  holy shit how many spells did this??
Protection from Energy: Absorb 12 points/level of damage from one kind of energy.  make it one spell please

Phantom Steed: Magic horse appears for 1 hour/level.  it's a level 2 mount spell
Sepia Snake Sigil: Creates text symbol that immobilizes reader.   I mean it's okay but 2 spells to trap reading necessary?
Sleet Storm: Hampers vision and movement bland but forgivable


 Stinking Cloud: Nauseating vapors, 1 round/level. fine
Summon Monster III: Calls extraplanar creature to fight for you. covered already
Div
Arcane Sight: Magical auras become visible to you. this is divination kinda alright.
Clairaudience/Clairvoyance: Hear or see at a distance for 1 min./level. bland but forgivable
Telepathic Bond, Lesser: As telepathic bond, but you and one other creature.  I mean it sounds wizardy but would anyone miss it if it wasn't here?
Tongues: Speak any language. as what I said for comprehend languages

Ench
Deep Slumber: Puts 10 HD of creatures to sleep. this is my face for when a higher level spell is identical to a lower level spell - _ -
Heroism: Gives +2 bonus on attack rolls, saves, skill checks. Number increaser
Hold Person: Paralyzes one humanoid for 1 round/level. Like there's snake sigil and that ghoul touch one that I guess are limited versions of this but can we just have those?
Rage: Subjects gains +2 to Str and Con, +1 on Will saves, –2 to AC.  Still no
Suggestion: Compels subject to follow stated course of action.  Fine

Evoc  I was deleting the schools But I guess I should leave them because I refer to them
Daylight: 60-ft. radius of bright light. a 3rd level light spell -_-

Fireball: 1d6 damage per level, 20-ft. radius.
Lightning Bolt: Electricity deals 1d6/level damage.
Sometimes people say these are boring but there's a lot of plans that go around trying to get dudes all in the one place so these spells ruin them the most and a lot accidents that happen because not enough of plan happened before they got used. So don't estimate the "hi jink potential" of spells with high "materialism" I feel weird about making terms now like Ron Edwards




Tiny Hut: Creates shelter for ten creatures. A spell carefully written to only get used for this one thing and makes it so any characters that are good at wilderness survival are redundant boo
Wind Wall: Deflects arrows, smaller creatures, and gases. bland but forgivable

Illus
Displacement: Attacks miss subject 50%.
Illusory ScriptM: Only intended reader can decipher.
Invisibility Sphere: Makes everyone within 10 ft. invisible.
Major Image: As silent image, plus sound, smell and thermal effects.
The only one of these that isn't an existing effect could be 1st level and is pretty limited in scope . Could there just be a Wizard writing that allowed you to do the Snake Sigil, The Explosive Runes and Say Different Things To Different people?


Necro
Gentle Repose: Preserves one corpse.
Halt Undead: Immobilizes undead for 1 round/level.
Ray of Exhaustion: Ray makes subject exhausted.
F-

Vampiric Touch: Touch deals 1d6/two levels damage; caster gains damage as hp.
boring but forgivable


Water Breathing: Subjects can breathe underwater.
Flame Arrow: Arrows deal +1d6 fire damage.
Blink: You randomly vanish and reappear for 1 round/level.
 Fly: Subject flies at speed of 60 ft.
Gaseous Form: Subject becomes insubstantial and can fly slowly.
bland but forgivable 

Haste: One creature/level moves faster, +1 on attack rolls, AC, and Reflex saves.
Slow: One subject/level takes only one action/round, –1 to AC, reflex saves, and attack rolls.

Buff debuffs should always be like these 2


Keen Edge: Doubles normal weapon’s threat range.
Magic Weapon, Greater: +1/four levels (max +5).
No
Secret Page: Changes one page to hide its real content. See Illusionary Script
Shrink Item: Object shrinks to one-sixteenth size.  Sure it could be used in someweird ways but does it have to be a spell?

Okay that's all the 2nd and 3rd done , this getting boring , stopping here.

How to fix :
Obviously if you don't have a problem with these spells then they don't need fixing.

A lot of people mentioned reskinning, or just adding enough materialness to make it interesting.

So Fly gives you wings or something. There's argument for the spells being presented in simple bland ways so you can then modify them for each wizard.

However if the cosmetics (like Fly's wings) don't have any materialness (like being able to tickle the inside of a throat with the wings) then it could be just additional description that gets skipped over. "The enemy wizard makes a glowing carpet appear and/ Yeah he's casting a fly spell I shoot him"

But if the carpet means you can body the wizard off his carpet and flying around on it , then that's good.

However then if each wizards spell flavour actually has materialness it makes their pressure to try a game that.

So either roll with that or just give spells that bore you materialness until they don't.

The same version of a spell but it's a different level. Just have it be the one spell and you can cast it as a second level spell if you want the more powerful effect.
If you just want a bigger spell list for conjurers etc , how about don't and give them some ability other wizards don't have , then stuff like Summoning , Protection Circles, Raising Undead could get its own mechanics rather than cutting it all up and putting it as spells.

I guess that's kinda a simpler solution but I dislike it for some reason.

An alternative to Materialness of effect is making the spell have a circumstance to its use that make hijinks happen around it.
  Like Comprehend language requires a shared meal or the tongue of the creature (attached or not) in your mouth. 

However if the circumstances seem too difficult or involve too much push-back for the players tastes they might hate you.

A way to make this more palatable to players is having the circumstances be exploitable in some way or the spell more powerful than it was.


So Obscuring Mist, Stinking Cloud and Blinding Light (Wait was it called that) all require fire you use because you also folded them into Pyrotechnics make it so the bigger the fire the more powerful effect.

Or Spectral Hand actually involves having real severed hand to animate make it be able to effect more people if get your hands on a bigger hand. Or you can use it on a living hand and fight the owner for control



Friday, 4 May 2018

What Exactly Is The Problem Here Re: 1st level Spell List

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF A spell list doens't really need to be interesting.
As long as interesting emergent situations happen from players having them
And yet , and yet, I am still IRKED by trying to choose a spell list to include in my game.

They are boring. All of the ones I looked at (it was SEVERAL) 

I will now go through the SRD wizard 1st level spell list and discuss why I hate them or dislike them or like them and see if I can draw some conclusion or its just contrariness and over-familiarity (factors that cannot be entirely discounted)

Just because it says "1st level" doesn't mean this will be a series. 




1st-Level Sorcerer/Wizard Spells

Alarm: Wards an area for 2 hours/level. narrow utilitarian, no real appearance other than a generic magic-ness. Like if was a floating eye ball or something.  

 
Endure Elements: Exist comfortably in hot or cold environments.  If you could do with normal equipment why make it a spell? 

 
Hold Portal: Holds door shut. Spells that are going to be same every time because what they do is so narrow bore me A fireball has the potential to play out different depending on how much care you had when you cast. This holds a door shut

 
Protection from Chaos/Evil/Good/Law: +2 to AC and saves, counter mind control, hedge out elementals and outsiders. "this spell increases numbers and has some janky effects that everyone forgets because how does it work exactly and does a first level spell really stop a demon , ugh no"

 
Shield: Invisible disc gives +4 to AC, blocks magic missiles. adding a weird specific interaction to a number increaser doesn't hell

 
Grease: Makes 10-ft. square or one object slippery. This is good spell. It's nearly impossible to think about this spell without going "and what about if there was a pit or spikes or we stood on the high ground so they couldn't get us etc" I mean sure I did just say a spell was bad because it basically did the same thing as mundane item and this literally has the name of the item but this is instant and you can be far away so it gets a pass

 
Mage Armor: Gives subject +4 armor bonus. a number increaser existing slowly so you can ask "what is the difference between mage armour and shield" at a d&d trivia night

 
Mount: Summons riding horse for 2 hours/level. Despite them trying to be boring by making it a horse the fact you can use it as literal meat shield or get it to walk off cliffs on top of people is kinda fun. "animal refuse to attack it" is interesting because you can put it between you and bear and the bear will never attack it fuck you bear. The Wizard should vomit up an fragment of an internal organ which then grows into a meat beast though. Spells that always go for a really boring thing instead of thinking of an interesting thing are bad (see shield's invisible disc ) though sure an argument for ease of communication to player and adaptability could be made.  

 
Obscuring Mist: Fog surrounds you. It's not great but at least it facilitates hi-jinks better than +4 to armour class

 
Summon Monster I: Calls extraplanar creature to fight for you. The effect is fine but considering the absurd richness of cultural detail that goes around summoning and commanding spirits and otherworldly forces this spell is an insult. Because even if you put that stuff in there , this spell still exists and makes all that goat blood look redundant. 

 
Unseen Servant: Invisible force obeys your commands.  The capability for hi-jinks out-weighs any lack of flavour or weirdness  

 
Comprehend Languages: You understand all spoken and written languages. "A instant specific solution for a specific problem!" ugh why not "you can speak or read a written language but only if you get a speaker/reader to share the same food as you or something that makes the "solution" have some emergence 

 
Detect Secret Doors: Reveals hidden doors within 60 ft. Fuck every detection spell

 
Detect Undead: Reveals undead within 60 ft. You heard me

 
Identify M: Determines properties of magic item. If you have too many magical items so you balance it by making the players fuck around , don't , just give them less or make them single use. A staff which just sits in a backpack not getting used because you don't know the command word is dumb. Anyway if you have to have things identified it should be hags and talking eyeless albino savant apes and not just "yeah use the specific solution to the specific problem"

 
True Strike: +20 on your next attack roll. this is some MMO shit fuck off

 
Charm Person: Makes one person your friend. Ugh I guess kinda hijinky but I hate the save or nothing happens and it feels played out but that's me being petty

 
Hypnotism: Fascinates 2d4 HD of creatures. This is even more boring than real hypnotism

 
Sleep: Puts 4 HD of creatures into magical slumber. I feel like this shouldn't be a spell because it's cool when Sinbad throws some powder or lets the magic bird out but when every combat has 4hd of enemy go to sleep it's kinda naff? Like imagine if it was staple for every fight scene in a visual medium , 4 hd of people just lie down?

 
Burning Hands: 1d4/level fire damage (max 5d4). Not going to lie, setting things on fire always gets a pass. 

 
Floating Disk: Creates 3-ft.-diameter horizontal disk that holds 100 lb./level. Redundant because of unseen servant 

 
Magic Missile: 1d4+1 damage; +1 missile per two levels above 1st (max 5). Let's make hurting people boring. Bad. No

 
Shocking Grasp: Touch delivers 1d6/level electricity damage (max 5d6).  If it had something like it could "set" on an object and then touching that object makes it go off, or didn't require magic words and finger waves i.e something hijinky, but right now it's damage spell that no-one wants to use and doesn't even result in much special effects


Color Spray: Knocks unconscious, blinds, and/or stuns weak creatures. It was kind fun when Crazy Quilt did but like sleep it's kinda wack when it keeps happening.


Disguise Self: Changes your appearance. Just make this part of the illusion spell

 
Magic Aura: Alters object’s magic aura. This is literally the worst spell except maybe the implied challenge in killing someone with it. "a partial solution to really specific and minor problem"

 
Silent Image: Creates minor illusion of your design. Fine it's a illusion spell. 

 
Ventriloquism: Throws voice for 1 min./level.  Okay. I guess. Couldn't it be part of the illusion spell? Like you can make a sound without an image or an image without a sound?

Cause Fear: One creature of 5 HD or less flees for 1d4 rounds. Save or minor debuff. Ugh. What about makes a object weirdly scary even though the viewer can't explain why? So you could throw it at someone , offer it as example of haunted object, leave it as ward etc. Too specific and unspectacular 

 
Chill Touch: One touch/level deals 1d6 damage and possibly 1 Str damage. See shocking grasp

 
Ray of Enfeeblement: Ray deals 1d6 +1 per two levels Str damage. It's pretty MMO but "enfeebling" is a fun verb. It's not the very worst but that's only because the competition is FRAIL. But still I can't really dump on this spell just because it's just sounds like something Skeletor would declare his intention to use. "How Do you LIke that Muscle Boy? Not so strong now that I've used my Enfeeblement Ray MeeheheHEHEHHE"

Animate Rope: Makes a rope move at your command. If it's clear what this can do and what unseen servant can do it can get a pass

 
Enlarge Person: Humanoid creature doubles in size. Okay there's all these weird caveats on this spell to make sure it only exists as 1st level buff spell (can't crush people, only increases certain abilities but not everything being bigger would) but can it just be higher level and it does all the shit making someone big would do?

 
Erase: Mundane or magical writing vanishes. See Magic Aura

 
Expeditious Retreat: Your speed increases by 30 ft. See True Strike but a point for "expeditious"

 
Feather Fall: Objects or creatures fall slowly. Barely acceptable

 
Jump: Subject gets bonus on Jump checks. Fuck you

 
Magic Weapon: Weapon gains +1 bonus. Fuuuuuck you

 
Reduce Person: Humanoid creature halves in size. See Enlarge




Patterns so far:
GOOD :

Involves Fire

The ability of a spell to be combined with other actions and lateral thinking is a major factor in me in regarding it as not-boring . The "hijink" factor.

Sounds like Something Skeletor Would Say







BAD:

Does World Building I didn't ask it to and the World being Build  seems to work a lot  like a video game(Protection From Evil/Good, Monster Summoning)

Does something another spell does close enough that it's hard to remember what the difference is (shield and magic armour)

Does something another spell does and it's memorable different but just doesn't really bring anything fun to the table (magic disc vs unseen servant is bad, while unseen servant vs animate rope is passable because the rope is more distinctive objects with its own rich history of dumb gags)

I could just make this all one spell right? Wait are these only different spells because you've got these spell categories like "illusions" and "necromancy" and you've failed to do anything that interesting with them for like 4+ versions of d&d now yet you still have them and have to pad out "illusions" somehow? (disguise self, minor image etc)

Spells that just increase a number are the worst.

Spells that are a "red key card" for "red key card door" are also nearly as bad.
Like , a spell that just makes a specific problem vanish. Compare a "battering ram" or "disguising yourself as an inspectator" as solutions to the "red key card door".
The results are not certain but will result in something (as opposed to it works or nothing happens) happening and both "solutions" can be used again in a varied of situations. 


Spells that have a "special effect" (like if it was t.v series it would involve a special effects budget) but the special effect is a failure of the imagination like Mount or Floating Disc. Again sure ease of reskinning and explainability but the standard it fails is my standard not a universal usefulness standard .

It's d&d classic that I'm arbitrarily sick of  , maybe because it never really was that clear about how it worked (charm person)

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Guest Post by Pliny The Elder

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 I mean DISPLACER KLAUS brought me this and he says it's from Pliny The Elder and who I am to doubt that chuckling rascal?

GREATER HOOT-BEAST


 The lovely and solemn Hoot Beast roams the plains , sustained only by smells . It is thus dependent on the numerous wild flowers and fragrant trees in the pyrrhous  lands. Unusually it does not  sniff the flowers like a thoughtful man or suckle at them like the bee, it instead draws them down their scent from the wind, numerous leagues away from the source.
It is thus provoked by unpleasant smells , sometimes chasing down and trampling the source of them , though when encountering the dense reek of man's settlements they will flee .

The nomads of the Pyrrhous  Plains lure them with perfumed youths and shear the wool from them after the winter months which they use for many purposes,  most notable their spherical hats, which they keep birds of various martial and social purpose.



SATAN



Here is a Satan , its appearance here has been crafted wading through a vast river of soul chyme where it plucks the juicey congealments that have made it through the mastications of the Gnawing Gates.

A Satans size is variable , and is known to be both like a common wading bird and a striding colossi. Its temperament is like most in New Plymouth ; cruel and disagreeable.

It is provoked by hats of all kinds and will make great fuss before commencing violence, plucking at limbs and flinging such grasped great distances .  It however is known to vastly over-estimate its ability to riddle

TABULARAPTOR


 This bird is fierce king of the Pyrrhous Plains and unlike other avian, strikes not with beak or claw but its flattened body, which is like a single blade.

A eagle or hawk will descend directly on its quarry , but the Tabularaptor will descend first at distance and come low , slicing through leg. It returns then when exsanguination  has rendered the struck into a stupourous placidity .
Its method thus forewarns by the falling of grass and stalk at a short distance.

Its nests are not made in cliff but hollow tree, rolling itself like scroll to rest such in.

The Nomads here thus fear dead trees yet strangely do not take measures against them. It is said that they owe their freedom from horse raiders to the Tabularaptor, as a single walker can lie prone evading the bird , but a ridden horse has no such recourse and will surely be victim .

The borders of the plains are indeed marked with short towers , constructed with horse skull and bisected femur to serve as grim reminder of the bird's great feast that was the end of every cavalry lead expedition here.


HUSKY GOBBLER


A simple sand sifting beast, that travels in herds among the many dead rivers along the plains.

None of its dead form can resist decay, crumbling to dust in days. Therefore no part of it can be used for construction or craft.

It is said that raising a Husky Gobbler on food that is not the silt on which it customarily consumes will mean it will not have this property .

The theory is that rocks have a "solid essence" giving them their form , and as fire has cold as its opposite, the silt has an "erosive essence" which is stored in the Husky Gobbler's body.

Indeed the nomads will serve the meat as poison to those that abuse their hospitality.
Eaten, such meat will sustain for a day or 2 , but then create 5 times the hunger it abated, causing such horrors as men eating all their clothing and then biting their own fingers off.

While peaceful , harassing the Husky Gobbler will cause it to sneeze a fine dust with such force , that skin will be abraded off muscle and muscle off bone.

VERY BAD PIG
 


It is stupid except when it is cunning, and cowardly except when it is audacious.

It is so appalling that it vomits from its rear and coughs up dung like a cat does hair.

Rank corpses arose its carnal passions and a Very Bad Pig sow will need to anoint itself with the most putrid of decays in order to distract the male from shit-fighting.

It is said that it was made with all that is terrible of the bear , wolve, cur , boar and bigamist.







 Updated to have sources and change the name of purple plains to pyrrhous plains because that was a place holder that I went with and then went , nah yeah that's fine , and then 20 minutes later hated it

art sources:



Hoot Beast https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macrauchenia
(originally Robert Bruce Horsfall)

Satan
https://store.safariltd.com/collections/sale/products/wild-safari-wildlife-spoonbill-figurines-224829


 Tabularaptor:
it's a Argentavis magnificens and the image is everywhere 


 Husky Gobbler:
stock art of platybelodon herd , originally by Corey Ford

Very Bad Pig
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daeodon
by Jay Matternes

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Anomaly

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF  It is been awhile!

My brain seems to have all its "write rpg material" being sucked limp by trying to finish those planescape notes that I said I was done with but now have an editor for .

the landscape art is being done with collage . Everyone loves collage.


I found this written down while I was cleaning up my room , it's reality problems and rotten incomprehensible technology .
I just wrote down the best ones (10 of about 40) and now are adding some more



1. Dark sickly red fluid , when it contacts rock or bone it makes it bubble, froth and melt. It acts like this for 30 seconds, longer/shorter if the temperature is low/high (respectively)

2.A liquid mirror that staring into it will random swap your skills with some alternate version with you.

3.Contagious glow that slows down fire and explosions to a trickle

4.A crystal that's a big mess of spikes that if it stabs a limb , the limb develops its own personality

5. A leech twisted into an endless writhing know. If place on dead flesh , it will animate and make it repeat its last 5 minutes of life until it completely falls apart

6.Gleaming dust that rigidifies a soft material until its hard as steel. Applied to skin it will just harden the skin which will make it eventually rip off the body as the skin and tissue underneath and around it loses its hold

7. Drifting fog which crystallizes into razor sharp , gravity defying shards sporadically

8. A bouncy orb that doubles in bounce height each time. After d20 bounces it blows up with lethal force

9. A black rock that pulses every 10 second with a deep , bone shuddering,  bass note. Each bass note will trigger an ancestral memory

10. Stack of glass discs, grinding on top of each , make horrible noises. Stuff keeps coming alive around it, spontaneous generation style

11. A stain in the air , like a film strip about to burn. Starting at it for a minute will cause a permanent blind spot in the vision of the starer. They however can reach into this blindspot as if it was a portable hole , with a opening of 30 centimetres.
 Anything living placed in this"hole" will disappear, more or less forever. If something living is not placed in the hole each day, a centimeter hole will appear on the inflicted. If it keeps not being fed , it will continue to grow ,doubling in size each day.
The hole will not cause blood loss or expose the internal flesh to infection , but will limit function as a hole in the body normally would.

12. A black pole, seemingly like coal or slow burned wood, stretched up from its metre base to hair thin over a 100 metres. Nothing can die in its shadow.

13.  A simple brass like hoop, warm to the touch , indestructible and fixed in space.

14. Pulsing mass of needles. If a vertebrate touches them they dive under the skin and proceed to convert them into a invertebrate, chasing and flattening out the bones into plates and sewing the muscles into the necessary ties to move them. It's more than a little painful.

15. A glass ball. Touching either it removes the ability to feel pain for an hour or discharges all the pain that would of been felt by the last toucher into them.

16. A mass of organs turned into something like a circuit board. It removes and stores hunger into salt tubes.

17. A field of white grass, rustling to unknown winds. Each blade of grass ranges from a metre to 3 metres in height. Walking through the field will cause 1d4 duplicates of the walker to appear somewhere in the world. Their personalities will be each different weird exaggerated versions  of aspects of the walkers and each has a 10% chance of wanting to ruin and consume the original. The duplicates all know the exact location of the original at all times.
This effect doens't trigger more than once an hour.

18. A knife with a rainbow blade. The blade is harmless and as solid as an actual rainbow. However anything it "cuts" though will have a mirage appear of them repeating their next minute of actions an hour after they were cut with the blade. The mirage appears 376 centimetres in front of the current location of the swinger of the blade and corresponding to their line of vision.
If the knife's handle is covered with the users blood the mirage will be real for all purposes , for that minute. This will then age the user by 10% of their natural life span.

19. A square of some kind of flexible metal. Its single colour slowly shifts through the visual light spectrum, over the course of a day. Anything wrapped in it will have objects of that colour effectively not exist for it.
Results vary on how much a colour has to match the current colour for it to be effective.  An art programs "fill selected colour " option could be your arbiter here.

20. A small moon that orbits whoever is alive and oldest within 10 metres. It produces moonlight as if an actual moon ("produce" = reflected sunlight if you run that kind of campaign), that does all the things that moonlight usually does to certain magics and magical beings.
Unfortunately anything that happens to this moon, also happens to the actual moon.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Rey and Patrick Argued About Crystals

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EDIT: Added some ""on brand""  ""content""
and Lo! it happened
https://soundcloud.com/kiel-chenier/the-great-crystal-debate-of-2018

take aways from this:

> Rey is relentlessly agreeable

>Rey is also a relentlessly weeaboo. At one point he tries to think of a sword type other than katana. He does not succeed. To be fair Rey did say scimitar first and spends a couple of seconds wrestling with his weebness before submitting and saying katana. He manages to name drop only one obscure anime however.

>Rey says "To Be Fair" dozens of times and it's now in my vocabulary now  : /

>I get called the queen of fungus or suchlike and was confounded by such a charge and then there's a direct quote from me justifying that so : /

>I once ate a bunch of more-or-less identified boletes that were kind of old and got real nauseous just before a plane ride and was faced with the possibility of mad shitting myself on said plane but made myself throw up and it was fine

>don't eat "more or less" identified wild mushrooms. This is fucking stupid and I've at least twice made myself unwell by doing it because I don't fucking learn.

>like I was 100% sure that they weren't the "can kill with just a bite" types. So like I'm an idiot but not a fucking idiot.

>where was I? Oh good points made on both sides (Patrick makes much more good points though)
but numerous concepts and angles of g.m-ing and setting building are covered briskly and interestingly

>Thanks Kiel Chenier for organizing and recording this! You will be interned most honourably with the rest of the God-Kings prize trinkets


also too busy writing usable game content to write any usable game content to bookend this post so :/
 The main takeaway from the debate/sound thrashing of a weeb is that you make something banal and trite good by having it bleed when you cut it

which , to be fair , I think I got from one of Rey's arguements

unless it already bleeds then nah/

Also here is table of things to use instead of crystals or baked goods that are easily understood and visual familiar  (fungus already mentioned in debate)

1. Animal skulls, esp the weird ones like moles, and the human but not , i.e monkeys
"elves cough me up"
 2. homunculus
either the cortical one or the medival one
3. Preserved parts of Saints
4. Bandages stained with the blood of martyrs

5. Oversized Teeth; both animal and human
6. Beetles and other numerous and distinctive bugs
7.Horns
8.Murmuring mouths 
9. Grails
10. Minarets

Monday, 19 February 2018

I want Rey and Patrick to argue about Crystals

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Patrick hates crystals and Rey is a weeaboo , therefore loves Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy has more crystals than a Rainbow Gathering.

I don't super have a side on this , so I'm just shooting at both sides here:

Here is some reasons crystals are bad:

-Google crystals in art, does your soul not writhe?

-lazy plot devices in weeaboo games

-Infact the ease of making a crystal appear special and potent in video games is prob to blame. Like it's just a vector drawing with the lighting way up and boom it's the groin-sauce of the gods themselves

-Dense association with new ageness, hippies, or soft pastel hipsters.

-Also rich people. Diamonds are shit, no one gives a fuck about your wedding ring Sharon, if you need an expert to tell you That yes This is Worth A lot of Money (as opposed to a cubic zircon or whatever)  But functionally it's the same, then it's fucking stupid . This goes for art too.

-That thing where someone is into crystals but doesn't really believes in them, but kind of ironically believes in them because #selfcare , but really it's them embracing other method which is does nothing and therefore can co-exist of with their identity , which is build around being powerless and ineffectual.

-Magic objects that haven't come off or from a living / not living body and/or look safe and nice .If objects aren't magic because you've driven nails into them and tied a goatsjaw bone covered in pepper and dung , but are glowing and have big gems , you are playing an mmo and we can't be having that sort of thing around here.

Here are some reasons crystals could be good:


 -They could be really , absurdly, spike and sharp.  If you use crystals it should be like nature, and nature is utterly indifferent to you and actually alien to you. Crystals should like they are going to kill you by accident and also you are going to have them break off in you and get into lungs and also you just ruined something that took 1000000 years to form

-Crystals that have a dangerous strangeness, an uncanniness suggested by their very structure. Too long , ordered but in chaotic heaps ways, emerging from other things like mold or fungus.

-Sure crystals forming out of blood or bone is good, but honestly this can still look naff if it's a generic looking purple irregular polygon.

So for a crystal to still be interesting , take something about it and go too far with it.




 image sources

 http://volcanofiles.com/2011/12/28/erebus-science-ice-caves/needle-like-crystals/

http://enacademic.com/dic.nsf/enwiki/27491


Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Another Gristly Campaign Skeleton

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CHOO CHOO MOTHERFUCKERS 

busy with a bunch of stuff but here's some quick content using this again 

making another world for campaign use or just somewhere for the players to pass through on their way to some where nicer.


I get some numbers and get these results:

Foundation Of Economy Is: 
Gelatine

Threat that shapes everyone's lives

ongoing Colonisation by distinctly advantaged Others



Significant Historical Event Which Shaped Quite A Bit I Can Tell You

Doomsday happened but it was mild


Immediately Noticeable

Big Chucks of Death things lying around



Underlying Thing:

Nude Survival


Apex Predator:

Starhound


Main Adventure Locale:

 Ice/bone/wart/timebergs



Well, okay so let's say a big otherworldship landed. Some kind of explorational drone of goliath size. The Wormwood Star.

It moved on, but a bunch of new lifeforms dropped off it.

One of them was like a fungus , in that it will pull useful structural material from its host to make more of itself. 

And it was really really good at it.  

Soon it  converted everything on the planet without an active immune system into itself. 

Leather, dead wood, stone, metal, bone; all these break down in weeks now , becoming more of this "crust-blight"




The landscape is now fine dust deserts , chitin towers , and ossification mountains .

The range  of plants that can grow on this is limited.

Some of the "crust-blight" can be boiled down to make a gelatine like material, used as gruel, or hardened into rubber like material.

It's a big dark-sun doom world but everyone is wearing pvc instead of leather and shells in other words.

The cities that resisted the crustblight the longest got fucking weird from the increasingly desperate sorcerous, alchemy and bloodwork responses to the blight.

Buildings fusing and pulsating with veins in attempt to make them alive enough to fight the crustblight. 

This is your adventure locale, a 3 dimension tetragenic architectural cancer, with the surviving materials of the pre-blight age and the unstable prototypes of living-materials ; veined swords, skin-bricks,  breathing cloaks, tooth-steel.

The biggest worse thing is the "star-hounds" , maybe some kind of mite that fell off the Wormwood Star. 

What makes them realy bad is they are capable of incorporating living elements into their bodies.

They start small and numerous in the cities, but in their final life stages , their now massive forms stagger through the dust dunes to some kind of as yet unfound star-hound graveyard/spawning sea. Despite being the dominant predator , the star-hounds give the impression of being pained and maddened by their life here.

 Zdzislaw Beksinski all the way baby
The Cities

NuTree

Star-Hound

Life In The Cities


The City





Obvious influences and further resources for this is Dark-sun, the Alien franchise, Kingdom death, Wayne Barlow's inferno series, Return To Oz ,and the extensively referenced on this blog :Lebbeus woods


That first photo is from here, the rest of the images are painting by Zdzislaw Beksinski and from numerous content aggregation sites 

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130530152858.htm