Monday, 6 September 2021

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

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

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

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

now today's post is


Most Obvious Thing:

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

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

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

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

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

Further Details:

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

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

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

Animal Power Machine High Resolution Stock Photography and Images - Alamy

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

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

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

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

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



Wednesday, 1 September 2021

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

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

 The room Patrick just did was here



Most Obvious Thing

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

The Harpoon:

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

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

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

Sunday, 29 August 2021

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

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As the kickstarter continues so does this room by room dungeon

 The most recent room was here




 Most Obvious Thing:

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

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

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

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

 Details available with further consideration:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Context and details:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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







Wednesday, 25 August 2021

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

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

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


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


Right now onto

Room 11 

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

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

All the doors are wood enlayed and edged with brass.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now Patrick , what lies behind either :

door number 1? (room 7) 

or door number 2? (room 8)

Sunday, 8 August 2021

Demon Bone Sarcophagus Kickstarter Is Awrithe!

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Me and Patrick Stuart have got the old hat out again

the prequel to the sequel to Deep Carbon Observatory! A contained yet layered tomb complex with threads going all the way into books that don't exist yet either.

Here's the link:


Things we are doing slightly different this time:

-We have a stretch goal (already reached) to get some one to do more than functional layout

-There's an overpriced tier to get a hand painted t-shirt by yours truely

Which might look like this! Woo!

 (you don't have to get a nude snake lady but not sure why you wouldn't)

But yeah if you liked Deep Carbon Observatory but wanted it to be just in one place (and also be part of up coming trilogy) this is a book for you.

Have some more unused art for the book!

We won't be doing the blog post ping pong so you won't be getting constant posts about the kickstarter . We might be doing something to hype it that still creates some """content""" we just don't know what yet. (Any ideas?)

Sunday, 4 July 2021

5 Point Star Faction System

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 Just haven't the focus to post that much, but I got like 3 posts in draft and had some of a afternoon to full one out.

So I've been playing a bit of Magic: The Gathering , mainly Area, to try and learn it well enough to explore its Cube Format , a format that addresses a lot of what deters me about Magic.

Won't be getting into that today, instead talking about using one particular element from Magic in D&D.

(And not the card art , though that is a deep and heady well )

The Colour Pie . That's the 5 dots thing, or more specifically the assignation of traits ,elements, abilities , themes, mechanics , and psychologies, to the 5 colours of magic.

 Actually it's even more specific , its the "allies" and "enemies" concept that came along with it.

This that the two colours directly opposite a colour on the star are its enemies , and the colours clockwise and counterclockwise to it are its allies.

So Red magic has Green and Black magic as allies, and White and Blue magic as enemies.


A Diagram

While White has Red and Black as enemies and Green and Blue as enemies. Hopefully you get the picture. If you don't, there's a considerable amount written elsewhere about it.

Anyway I don't really care about these specific groupings of stuff and how they framed towards each other as I do this particular framework as a default model for putting together factions in D&D.

I think it's fucking neat in that regard because it makes everyone just one degree of separation from their enemies which is the type of "extreme volatile yet currently stable" setup that makes for good d&d potential in your world building.

 You wouldn't have to slavishly apply it , but its a nice default to work towards.

 Think of a faction, think of two enemies for that faction then think of two allies . Then pick an enemy and an ally to also be allied. The remaining ally and enemy will then be grouped up by default.

Patron of The Nezumi by Kev Walker

Here's a example of this be used to array the following fellows:

Picture a swamp , dense with bald cypress, festooned with spanish moss, with a wide slow river winding through it. Somewhere in the green is a haunted stone city, its only remnants the upper stories , the bulk of it swallowed by the mire.

In this swamp is a Dragon , Talking Eels, Frog People , Ruin Shadows and the River Nomads.

The Swamp Dragon is more sly than he is greedy but more lazy than he is sly. If Crocodiles exalted anything other than hungry and sloth, they would exalt this dragon as their rightful king.

The Ruin Shadows are ghosts of little power but reasonable number. The were the most useful servants in life but weren't prized enough to be included into the afterlives of their rulers unlike the musicians and concubines.

The Frog People have migrated from many other swamps. They lost their swamps to the expansions of civilizations and the depredations of monsters. The are an inharmonious blend of a dozen or so different tribes but all agree on that there is no-where else left to go. They have been here long enough for the River Nomads to respect their laws and the Eels to resent their appetites.

The Eels or "The Talking Eels" are Eels that can talk. The Ruin Shadows believe they are descended from the peasants of their city , cursed for their disloyalty. The Eels however consider the sinking of the city a gift from their Eel gods.

The River Nomads could be said to be less "Nomadic" and more that they have a river for a home. Some constantly move up and down the river in small trade, others stay put ,  and hunt or fish. They all bound by a custom to make no home but a home on water.

As to their relations:

 The Swamp Dragon is allied with the Eels. They give him information and gossip while waiting for tasty giblets of meat to fall from his maw as he devours a cow or four.

The dragon was believed to be an agent of their gods and the still make ritual offerings to him so he will keep intruders and looters from their necropolis.

The Frog People are an enemy of the Swamp Dragon, he eats their youngest , oldest and bravest alike.

The River Nomads also plot against the Swamp Dragon, as the toll he demands for passing through the flooded forest is steep.

The Eels trade with the River Nomads too, but have long grievances against the Ruin Shadows and Frog People who both eat them (or have eaten them)

The River Nomads are nomads only because in times passed the ancestors of the Ruin Shadows destroyed their lands and drove them to be ever moving on the rivers and seas of the world.

This shaping event makes ever cautious about the creation of new enemies , and their way of life forces them to treat lightly on the many lands they pass through, so their relationships with the Frog tribes and Eels is careful and considered.

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Velvet Hooks : Curselings, Discretion Bugs

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Might break up the formula for this series for a bit , I was becoming frustrated with trying to find the line between "just highlighting what's there" and what is a good amount of expansion. 


Nasty , pointy , malignities.  Skulk out from the shadows cast by an innocent life . What please them is riddles and gold , but suffering most.

5 Lost Things They Know The Location Of

1. The Ever-Traitor Sword Ujulla , a sword that will slay anything if used in an attack of betray. It will of course betray the user inevitably , but delayable if the wielder sates it with treachery after treachery. 

 2.A Jar of grains from a time previous, where the moon, and  not the sun,  was the source of subsistence to all that is green and growing. They will germinate and grew into strange crops capable of feeding anything that requires something other than food to survive.

3.Time's mercy, who cast it away so they could do their duty. Now in the possession of the nameless god of forgetfulness, kept somewhere in their ever expanding library. 

4.The puckered omphalos scar left by the umbilical cord used to bring the world to life. 

5.The Atalantean Brain Crown that commanded their architectural armies of coral and blight.


Small and politeful , versed well in etiquette and civility , slight delusions of draconic grandeur .

5  gatherings of society in which their guidance would be the difference between fortune and dire ruin.

1. The Feast of The Star Eaters. When a star goes out  its meat is a feast for certain great beings of shadow and all their attendants and parasites.

2. Mermaid Prom. Whose ascendance is the source of red tides before and hence. 

3.League of Insect Nations. Domains are negotiated, grudges and food chains debated, pestilences assigned, sizes granted.Various arthropods are also in attendance but  no mammal has managed the paperwork as yet.

4. Fungal Court. Deep in the rotten heart of the earth, each of the entropy lords plays against the other. The gameboard the great legal work that dictates the properties of matter. To eavesdrop here is be an ear to the great words of undoing and witness the loopholes and make-dos that hold the world together.

 5. The Theatre of Cruelty in which the poet duelists of hell cut the souls out of each other. An appreciative audience could gain the patronhood of one of these psychosurgical artists or discretely gather a writhing soul sliver.