Tuesday 24 December 2013


If the first roll doesn't make sense just keep rolling and combining the results until an ungodly mess results?  TIS THE SEASON FOR UNGODLY MESSES! 

  1. Upside down castle 
  2. Bowl of brains 
  3. Rogue Glacier 
  4. Oversized key 
  5. Crude desperate map 
  6. Candles 
  7. Shark's teeth 
  8. Wooden sword 
  9. Ghosts 
  10. Frozen lake 
  11. Old Coins 
  12. String 
  13. Cup of wine 
  14. Manta rays 
  15. Barbed leather 
  16. Clock tower 
  17. Melted Sand Dunes 
  18. Misshapen faces 
  19. Owls 
  20. Lists 
  21. Whispering poison 
  22. Implausible pits 
  23. Firetraps 
  24. Bee people 
  25. Hungry Streets 
  26. Wind machine 
  27. Dark engine 
  28. Very old people 
  29. Ill stars 
  30. Slime Princess 
  31. Child gangs 
  32. Vomiting statues 
  33. Bored angels 
  34. Boiling water 
  35. Boar 
  36. Tiny wings 
  37. Bag of soot 
  38. Shallow pools 
  39. The moon 
  40. Very new blood 
  41. Hollow trees 
  42. Barking men 
  43. Needles 
  44. Crone's eyes 
  45. Bronze Tortoise 
  46. A great drill 
  47. Tar 
  48. Half a mouse 
  49. Gut strung harp 
  50. Dried frogs 
  51. Angry mob 
  52. Strange Lights 
  53. Tradition 
  54. Strays 
  55. Widows 
  56. Razor Webs 
  57. Directions 
  58. The Tanner 
  59. Snakes 
  60. Snail shell 
  61. Obsidian mirror 
  62. Bitter seeds 
  63. Bone chair 
  64. Scraps of a dress 
  65. Titan Arch 
  66. White Coral 
  67. Mud 
  68. Mockery Jungle 
  69. Plague House 
  70. The End 
  71. Withered plains 
  72. Silver Road 
  73. Red Sign 
  74. Black Rainbow 
  75. StormClouds 
  76. Chain 
  77. Heart 
  78. Flies 
  79. Bakers 
  80. King's Grave 
  81. Golem's script 
  82. Pig's tail 
  83. Tin Crown 
  84. Echo 
  85. Knapped Flint 
  86. Spices 
  87. Squid Beak 
  88. Cage Door 
  89. Lilies 
  90. Coal 
  91. Spider Milk 
  92. Bog Whistle 
  93. Finger nails 
  94. Penny Dreadful 
  95. Urn 
  96. Talisman 
  97. Game Piece 
  98. Forgotten ring 
  99. Pearls 
  100. Careful remembrance 
  101. Mourning 
  102. Pins 
  103. Bells 
  104. Cord 

Monday 23 December 2013


Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF HO HO HO HO

1.Hammer Of Solutions +2 , this +2 bonus only applies when used on skill checks where a hammer is a completely daft thing to use

2.Sword of the North. Always points north

3.Handaxe of wood, chopping. It's made of wood but can still be used for chopping as a normal axe

Oh fuck are all these going to be lame punnish eye rolling garbage that used to pad up dragon and every other substandard tstr publication ?

I will suplex you

4.Tome Of War: it's a book on strategy that when a lever on its spine is pulled it extends a chain and teeth and then becomes pretty much a bear-trap / flail hybrid

5. Tongue gun: It's a fleshly looking tube that can be surgeryed  into your tongue so you can shoot poison darts (actually teeth that start growing in your tongue) from your mouth and suck up poison for the darts. With extreme care, because if the poison goes anywhere other than the tube, it's still poison

6. Arrows, Piscine Doom: These arrows turn into sharks a moment before impact

Sharks are not fish. YES BUT THEY ARE DOOM TO FISH okay yeah point HO H O HO

7. Crawling dagger: This dagger is alive and its trust and love must be earned like that of a pet. It will become soft like a large slug and crawl rapidly along your body, thus eluding any search for weapons. Also if it has tasted someone's blood and you know their name you can send it after them to crawl down their throat and cause vast internal ruin

8. Morning Star, Luciferous: This is made of some kind of fantasy magnesium that acts like steel except  you can light the head of it and it burns really hot and bright but will be consumed after 3d6 rounds.
Pretty sure that is a tautology . And do you mean ball and chain morning star or a spikey mace morning star . THE BALL AND CHAIN ONE BECAUSE THOSE ARE GRAND AND DON'T PRETEND YOU CARE ABOUT TAUTOLOGY 
9.Pestle of Gore: This is large pestle that can be used as a tetsubo. As a coup de grace action you can reduce any corpse within reach into a conventionally necromatically unusable paste 

Friday 20 December 2013

Down From The Chimney His Sack Burst Forth

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
Manticore is nearly here. Manticore brings people the things they dare ask for. DISPLACERKLAUS  however just brings shit no-one asked for.

no but seriously I'm doing this thing and I hate it and I'm not allowed to go on rambling incursions of pure bullshiting campaign speculation until I finish this thing. I fucking hate this thing. I have included pangolins so it's getting better.

For now DISPLACERKLAUS will fill in for me




Melancholy in Sodom

Japes and Jackalweres


The Bright Beast That Was

Devil's Bigness

Acclaims and Adverses 

Bogs and Bogs and Mud

Tome of Feuds

Ripe Tower



Night's Black Bosom 



Special Lady of War

Woeful Pits

Squalid Depths

Mad Giants Of Galaxy


PlagueWulves of the Unearth 

The Humongous 

what else do you have DISPLACERKLAUS?

wow that is truly unwanted

1 Pikepike!
that is the first one and already it doesn't rhyme and some else made that joke
2 Spear Bear!
3 Fog Frog!
4 Road Toad!
5 Mat Cat!
none of these deserve exclamation marks DISPLACERKLAUS
6 Mocktopus!
that's more of a punning word substitution  
7.Door Boar!
8.Chisel Horse!
9. Grappling Chicken!
10. A Bag of Wet Mice!
11. 2d6 goblins
12. flour
13. Hawk Stork!
this is going well DISPLACERKLAUS, so well. What else do you have?


3.guard dogs
4. books
5. sling stones
6. hats
7. spouse lures
8. lower intestines
9. pauldrons
10.economic system

why all these tables are fucking stupid DISPLACERKLAUS
1. Ironic Suicide Pact Wager Contract
2. Murdered while impersonating a corpse
3. Drunk themselves to death. Literally, stuck a straw in a vein and slurped their way to death
4. The priest gave them shit directions to the afterlife
5. Actually an animated snowman made of ectoplasm
6. Legs fell off
7. Allergic to own skin
8. Shat heart out
9. Flying machine
10. Internal burial
11. bard

that's kind of an improvement

fuck you
1. Tuba launches squids
2. Organ fires blazing souls
3. Violin lacerates random target when played hard enough to break strings
4. Drums that explode
5. Flute that shoot poison needles
6. Piano that has extendable hammers when keys are pressed



1. The island of Crying Ducks
2.  The island of spare legs
3. The island of hot snow
4. The island with an ecosystem entirely made from centipedes
5. The island of geological unlikely rocks
6. The island of the pretend wizard
7. The island of miniature brontosaurus 
8. The island with low cloud cover
9. The island with the small volcano
10. The island where people bury their shadows
11. The island with upside down trees
12. The island that rains diamond
13. The island that smells like gas
14. The island that is entirely edible
15. The island that follows you



I coulda sworn Cimim's already showed up in a post. Where did you get them from DISPLACERKLAUS?


get out

Wednesday 4 December 2013


Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF Big hated things that Sunk Cost Fallacy keeps me plugging away at how I loathe thee.

Much decent ideage goes off into that dark realm.

Meanwhile y'all get this crap:

This Lake Seems Fine to me:

1. No surface tension in the water. Nothing can float or swim in it.
2.Once a week it releases a killing invisible cloud of carbon monoxide
3.It connects up to a vast underground sea. Surprisingly large things can find their way into this lake
4. A Turlough lake with a ruin at the bottom. Drains and floods suddenly like the cruelest of water levels though.
5.A nearby civilization has covered up a genocide by concealing the evidence at the bottom of this lake
6. The crabs here seek out human bones to make flutes with. If they do not play these flutes , something worse rises out of the lake and rampages.
7.Evil horse live at the bottom of this lake. They can see you from the very bottom of the dark waters.
8. The touch of the waters causes monstrosity and when the moon is full a great wooden cube rises from the waters. Inside is a labyrinth, with treasure apparently, but mostly monsterized former treasures seekers who failed to make it out again before the labyrinth sank.
9.Those ducks. Actually lures on the noses of horrible frog beasts
10.Big snapper turtles with the 7 seven words that can unravel the world carved on their shells
11. Drinking of these water is the equivalent to the signing of a contract in the understanding of eldritch elemental powers. This means you have agreed use of your body by the them for a certain amount of time at a unspecified date.
12. This is where you go when you die. It's cold and it's dark and nothing happens. Everyone who has died is at the bottom of this lake.
13.This lake is where the night is kept when not in use
14.There is one giant eye at the bottom of this lake. Someone is looking for it.
15.The mouth that will swallow the sun is swimming up from the bottom of the lake. The lake is always stretching its depths so the mouth will never arrive but the lake will tire one day and become finite and the mouth will arrive
16. The only innocent things in this world are the stingless jellyfish that swim in this lake and now you have found them who else will too?

Monday 25 November 2013

Additional Page For Dreary Island Map

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF I contributed something to this, 
specifically the OSR cares collection. It's like a horrible island with encounters and stuff.
There is a page missing though.
Here is that page

Thursday 21 November 2013

things that are random other than dice, encounters, boxes containing boxes, the bones of fish, the mysterys of teeth

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF Say you have a 1d100 table with various things on it having greater or lesser percentages than each other.
Like a encounter table for a city where 14-19 is a lobotomized child and 20-21 is a street shark and 22-35 is a an overdressed candy boiler. If you suddenly needed to adjust the percentages of  everything on the table you would have to rewrite the table (say candy is illegal or lobotomized children are being sent to the moon or what have you).
if you have a hat or small bag or whatever , and are determining a random result by drawing a token or bead or marble you can adjust the percentages fairly easily by just adding more tokens of that type.

Like say if you wanted to do your random encounters for an island using scrabble tiles (or SpellingSquares as it is known here in Aotearoa ). All the E's are Electric lemur , the K's are Killer Beetles etc. Each time something is encountered and rendered unencountable you remove that tile.

Or encounters in a buffer zone between two waring factions. Each time events dictate a faction is increasing its presence you add more of their tokens into the bag.

Though up this when I was trying to think of new , easy ways to have dynamic systems modeled before me as I g.m. I'm getting  increasingly uninspired towards dungeons and hex maps (actually I've never liked hex maps. I find them kinda fiddly and ugly looking and too contained) .

I want the "life" of an area to be immediately graspable to me when I'm looking at my notes. What scavengers will be drawn to a kill ,  who will notice a noise, how the situation is already changing even before the p.cs blunder into it.

Attempted a few cluster fuck encounter table flow chart timeline hybrids (down the chart is the progression of time) that weren't even remotely plausible.

I ran a game recently where I sectioned off the map into various territories of the creatures and had the encounter table being something like this:

1,2 Local
3,4. Ubiquitous local
5 Colour
6.  Wandering

Local being an encounter with whoever's territory they were in , with some locals having the trait "ubiquitous", which meant they were more likely to be encounter. Locals were ubiquitous if 2 or more these traits would apply to them : zealous, numerous , restless, perceptive.

If ubiquitous local was rolled in a territory were the local weren't ubiquitous , then it was treated as colour encounter or a no result.

Colour encounters were stuff like the weather , semi harmless wildlife, natural recourse, or just a chance to quickly remind everyone that they were drudging through a bog or whatever. If the party/players were in a rush a colour encounter would just be skipped.

Wandering was a short table of wandering encounters.,  monsters and npcs that could show up anywhere.
Neighbouring locals would be on this table, the exact purpose of their trespasses to be decided in the moment.

(actually I think the encounter table for the game I had neighbour in the first table and not a wandering result. But now that I have thought of this way, I like it this way).

You'll have a chance to use these notes for yourself as the whole island I did for this game got cleaned up a bit and submitted to an upcoming OSR package type deal. If it doesn't get used , I will upload it here instead.

Anyway I felt like I had a better grip on the islands denizens having their territory in front of me like this.
And I really like having stuff integrated like  weather and ecology and descriptions in with encounters. These however risk being a "too many empty rooms" if you don't read the players interest's right and start giving them more information than they need about what this fucking blue rabbit is doing or whatever..

But yeah it's part of the ever leaning process of being a g.m , fine-tuning your notes and presentations and information systems. Do you like immediately knowing who is charge in a city or do you want a table of obstacles and obfuscations to use in the city? Do want instant dungeons or instant schemes? Etc etc.
Don't mistake me here , not saying that any of the above are binarys. Blah blah blah.

Ideally I want to feel of the place at a glance, the forces driving it (ecological , political, mercantile etc) , its day to dayness , its history and what there is to actually do there and what is going make that different from this other place in the world.

This Crate contains a
1. sack
2. urn

Sack contains a
3. Chest
4. bundle
5. basket

Urn contains a
1. sack

Chest contains a
1. sack
2. urn

Bundle contains a  
1. sack
2. urn

Basket contains a 
1. sack
2. urn

Bag contains a
1. sack
2. urn
6.1d100 wraiths


Bones of Strange Fishes formed these things

1. Discrete pick, can pick one word out of some ones throat, this word they can never say again
2. Clever Awl, makes tiny holes , but only in one direction
3.Subtle Hook, will ensnare only those smarter than you
4.Diplomats Jaw, when fixed in your throat will allow you to say two things at once , each heard by a different listener of your discretion
5. Malign Barb, a tiny misshaped shard , that will cause slow but ruinous infections to those it wounds absent mindedly
6. Ocular ring , all waters will be of the purest transparency to you. From a boat you can see deep deep into the abyss. But everything you see can see you just as keenly.


Inside this tooth is concealed

1. A ghouls egg
2.Dungeon seeds
3.Far too many wasps
4. Congealed Misery
5.Wee dancing men
6. A black steel centipede
7. A ghosts memory
8. an antidote for the poison in the other tooth
9. A tusk which can impossibly spiral out to the length of a sword
10.A bell which causes pain to the undead
11. a bone louse
12.delayed blast fireball

Thursday 14 November 2013

More Terrible Tigers

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF Tigers?
Arnold wrote some fine Tigers.
Tiger being a short hand here for an organism evolved to specifically to exploit our, homo sapians , weaknesses. Click that link already

Anyway I totally asked him about doing some Tigers and he was like "yeah do it"
and now there are more Tigers

Nix Cat:
Nix cat's have long weird tails with a indistinct lure on the end. They have long pointy faces like ant eaters and quietly cough bone disks out to bleed you dry. The thing about them is , if they can see you face , they know exactly where your blind spot is. And that is where they will crouch. The lure however will indistinctly and badly hide right in front of you , always not quite identifiable, rustling behind a bush but , always darting out of your reach , while off to the side the Nix cat almost politely coughs another disc across your throat.
The discs are fast and curve in flight as to confuse the position of the cat.

Pitch Toad:
A black greasy looking toad, somewhat like a leech. It will savage your face or an ankle and then quickly hop away. The bite alone is not fatal, but your chemistry will now be altered. 3 hours later you will admit a smell that will drive all domestic animals to murder and consume you. You flesh will be poison to them. They will die and stink and then the toads will quietly come in their hundreds to feast on the carrion.

Booggedy Eel:
An eel which lurks at the black depths of desolate lake. The more you have heard about it the stronger it is. It will selectively leave survivors to spread stories about it, drawing curiosity seekers. When it gets to a certain size , it spawns (asexually) and dies, the juvenile Booggedy Eels crawling over land to find lakes, loch and fens of their own.

A devious variant of the mimic. Pretends to be treasure. Keeps pretending to be treasure all the way back to town, and stays pretending to be treasure until it is sold and alone with someone. Devours them, then makes it look like a break in. Takes off with the treasure and hides with it in some others creatures lair. So beware of treasure hoards in the lairs of creatures with no reason to have them.
A Snits natural form is that of bipedal , starved looking pig thing, with club like hands and a lazy smile.

Quarrelly Bug:
Like a earwig. It sneaks and tucks itself away in your repository canal. The male makes you miss hear things. The female makes you miss say things. They come out to breed and lay their eggs when there is nice pile of corpses , like those generated from a diplomatic mishap.
So watch out for unexplained battlefields.

Gable Giant:
Not much bigger than a man, gray, with long limbs and a great gullet. A soft footed , agile thing, crouching in the alcoves and byways of the joinings of roofs and steeples.
It it eats people of course, but to maintain its survival , it tries to eat people that wouldn't be immediately missed. So generally tourists. It can tell a tourist for they look up far more than the embattled city goers. From there it gets their attention, by contorting its body into shadows suggesting of noteworthy architectural strangeness , that can't quite be seen, but perhaps, from this side street the view would be better, no that is not right, maybe its a minaret, seemingly accessible from this alley?

False Drummer:
In times of war, drummer boys will go from town to town , recruiting brave youths to fight for their kingdom. Some however, are actually giant crickets in disguise and their hypnotic rhythms , once out of town, will cause a panicked rush to follow the false drummer straight off a cliff.  
Hence the superstition about it is unlucky to join the army in the twilight, for those that do , join doomed regiments, never to make it home.
It would be more helpful if the superstition was "Giant insects can pass as human if the light isn't so great"

Lantern Spider:
It's a spider that builds upon its back the shapes of web and stick and old cloth, the shapes of conspirators muttering and digging , in the black night.
It waves about its glowing ended limbs to make lanterns , and gnashes its fangs with a steel like clang , to complete the illusion of robbers burying treasure.
It will then bury itself, while making as if the lanterns are fading into the distance, and wait for the curious (and greedy) onlooker, it so carefully lured early with bobbing lights.
When the onlooker comes a digging , only the spider is their to drag them underneath the soil. And people are not prone to tell others that they are off to seek buried treasure.

Wednesday 30 October 2013

I am wearing Fungus , results may vary

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Some armour "tags" for non conventional armours

Not Really Magically Armour Tags:

Climbing Aid: Has hooks, spurs , claws or helpful rope hoops to aid in climbing

 Non-ferrous metal: This armour is made from metals that are not ferrous so if the g.m tries it on with magnets or electrical attacks that ignore metal a.c you can be like nuh-uh non ferrous metal. Examples Um some kind of bullshit fantasy titanium or something.

Buoyant: It floats! Possibly too well. Examples coconut husk (see links at end of post, I suspect though that would sink), reeds, packed with kapok or some other plant fibre, bamboo, mushroom caps

Noisy: Ceremonial bells and clappers and chimes. Makes a lot of noise. Might be terrifying to a particular kind of spirits. Also lets animals know you coming a mile off so you are less likely to startle a bear or a snake or something.
examples: ring mail with little charms and bells attached, a internalized bag pipe system (also Buoyant!), layers of extraneous loose plating like scales, rings similar to those attached to a Buddhists monks staff (for warning away animals and to alert people within ear shot that there was a monk nearby for all your monk needs)

Custom: It's made just for you, so it penalizes other people wearing it , and when ever the g.m tries to be "that would be uncomfortable in armour" you have a reasonable amount of wiggle room to go "nah I'm sleeping in my armour anyway"
example: expert craft work, a clone of your own skin grown harvested and tanned, luke warm wax that is poured over you and hardens but remains soft at the joints, it's assembled by ants or homunculus on you.

Insulated: It counts as cold weather clothing. Examples untreated seal or walrus hide like just roped to your body, thick furs, sacks of hot ash (sending up blinding clouds when penetrated ), penguins, congealed fat coated cloth

Intimidating: it makes you look big and scary. Morale check for dumb things.
examples; big ass horns adorned with burning pitch , skull masks, ludicrous spikes, helmets that disguise and/or amplify your voice, mummy bandages or other monster disguises

Subtle: it's not that noticeable and can be worn under clothing or gives the appearance of clothing
Examples: fine chainmail, stylish black leather, reinforced great coat , dress reinforced with steel banding

Don't Touch Me: It is spiked , anointed in caustic paste, sharpened , barbed ,hooked , foul tasting or smelling or otherwise trouble .  Grappling or eating you cause pain or at the very least discomfort
Examples: barbs , hooks , etc, obsidian scales, covered in chili oil, thorns/insect stings attached with tar or sap, toad skin armour, hedgehog skin armour

Magical Armour Tags:

Ablative : this armour is designed to break away absorbing damage, either with a fixed pool of damage reduction (absorbs 2 points of damage until it has absorbed 12 points) or a "Shield must be Splintered" system. (you may sacrifice the armour to reduce damage from a blow to a single point)
Examples: A potion that makes you bleed  from skin , and then hardens into a thick scab crust, layers material frozen on you,  stitched together vermin , semi-real illusions or alternate reality armours
Possible non-magical examples pumice stone , quilted paper , cloth 

ehh. It not so bad ?

Share holder Parasite : This armour has a store of hit points that you can replace your own with when wounded. The percentage of hit points you have replaced as compared to your own however is its chance of making you do what it whats you to do. Once hit points have been replaced they are replaced for good. 
Ground up Golem: this armour has an interior space filled with sand. Heavy but very good at absorbing force. The sand leaks out and replaces your spilled blood until you are replaced with maddened elemental spirit. 
Fungus: Starts inserting itself in your organs and blood supply . At some stage will want to convert your whole body to a fruiting body and get you to climb stuff and release spores.
Ancestral armour: empowered by cantankerous committee of ancestor spirits. Possible unaware, possibly just uncaring that the current wearer of the armour is not their descendant. Because they are going shove your soul straight out of your body, you good for nothing gadabout!

Workaday Parasite: the magic properties of this armour are powered by your life force. It skims the first 3 hit points of any healing you receive but this armour cannot be disenchanted like a standard magic armour.
examples: Transparent glass , inserts needles into you and fills itself with your blood
A tangled mat of leeches, armour hide that grows into you and has to be cut lose to be removed (troll skin)

Space Warping: Using magic principle as those involved in creation of portable holes, bag of holding and carpets of entrapment, missiles pentrate this armour but fail to ever reach the flesh on the other side , mere fabric millimeters away.
It has a limit to how much it can absorb though. At which point it releases all the missles outward from the wearer in a fearsome torrent of pointy shit.
Variant 1: as above but each missile is not stored but redirected and released 1d10 rounds/minutes/hours later
Variant 2: the interior distance of the fabric is greatly stretched but the missle will still make it through, but a hour later. Wearer is advised to not be wearing it then. Or turn it inside out before hand.

Anointed: armour is not ignored by ghostly hand touch attacks or stuff that just has to touch "you" but not your skin exactly, for the magic to work.
Examples: woven witch hair, mosaics , inscriptions , mummy bandages, calligraphy (on the armour or attached paper) , ghosts or protective spirits incorparated into the armour, talismans in the form of teeth , bone, skin or gems.

Secretions: the armour secretes a fluid or oil. This might make it silent, slippery , fire resistant , highly flammable , insulated (cold or electricity) or just gross.
Examples: decorative spouter gargoyle heads as  pauldron , drowned perpetually wet haunted armour, polyps oozing away merrily , algae clots , symbiotic ooze or giant protozoon . Xenophyophore ? or an oversized Foraminifera?

Hive: insects live in the armour, either through specialized compartments or incorporating the hive in the armour. They may be capable of repairing the armour or just sting and bite the shit out of your enemies. This could be non magical if you were somehow secreting the pheromones that would make the hive believe you to be their queen,
examples: ants, bees , wasps. Little naked versions of you. Flies in a semi rotting organic armour. Fur with charmed fleas that infest and bedevil your foes 

Sustaining : the armour is capable of giving you food , water or air.
examples: symbiotic algae, plant or fungus which converts sunlight , or your own detritus into substances. Still suits from dune. Biotech. Bonded Air elemental. 

Weaponized: has built in or concealed weapons, or weapon potential. Maybe melee or missile, only suitable as a back up or actually formidable enough to rely on.
Examples include coconut husk weave with trimmings of animate rope with sharks teeth as for a chain saw like effect  or extend as a whip like radula .
Judge Dread/Death (skeletal) eagle pauldron that can be commanded to strike as a heavy crossbow. Quills .
 Hatchet head helm. Nematocysts (possibly ranged), seed pods or acidic spore blasts. Concealed chains or spine with snapping skull. Animal skull gauntlets . Sashimono that converts to a spear or stave.

coconut husk armour from the Kiribati http://web.prm.ox.ac.uk/weapons/index.php/tour-by-region/oceania/oceania/arms-and-armour-oceania-222/ 
(notably often using a dried puffer fish as a helm)
also the stuff about their martial art schools http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Kiribati

Monday 21 October 2013

Psionics Handbook

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF Reading the psionics handbook for 2nd edition again.

I still like psionics. I like the range of powers. I like blowing things up with your mind and turning your hands into axes. It manages to have a different feel to magic somehow, like all the powers are "abilities" rather than "events.
Like a spell which turns your hands into axes somehow does not seem right to me, while as psionic/mutant ability it works.
It might relate to why I feel kinda cheated when monsters have spells as powers rather than their own abilities.
Can't think of what the distinction, exactly, is. Maybe a spell , to me, once began , is some what out of the hands of the caster.

The idea of casting half a fireball spell or using a fireball spell to make a wall of fire or a ball of light , is somehow not spell casting. (minor cantrips however seem fine to my mind).

Magic is too complicated to make elaborate adjustments on the fly. Like trying to improvise music. You can have prerecorded samples of any complexity but creating new music out of scratch would be limited to the use of a single instrument and a basic refrain.

While supernatural abilities are an extension of your abilities by very definition, if you can create fire  you are not limited to creating a set amount each time, no more than you are limited to walking a set distance each time you use your legs.

Anyway this all extremely fuzzy. As I am writing this I can thing of numerous exceptions and it's just going to degenerate into a bunch of hand waving and ellipsis really.

Short answer "acid secretion" = good psionic ability
 "breath of the black dragon" = terrible psionic ability (3rd edition psionics handbook ugh)

Though the reverse of this should mean I dislike spells that when used give the caster a new open ended ability.
Which , while yes some spells I dislike do this, (fabrication, I think from the rules cyclopedia) , there is more I can think of that I think are cool spells (shape change, unseen servant, pyrotechnics (pass on the name though) . Telekinesis however is a weird one. I don't like the name as spell (I would call it "Witchy Lifting"), but I do like scenes where wizards just smash people with invisible forces.
I seriously do not like "you can lift 2000 coins worth of weight" as the mechanic. That is some bullshit. That is like having a spell saying "you can fight so much better".
I'm cool with stuff being ruled on the fly and having effects being "broad strokes" , (say hide in shadows doesn't need a couple of paragraphs talking about what is plausible to hide in) , the possible implications of telekinesis seem immediately require some crunch guide lines.

Like how fast you can move something, how easy it is to hit something with telekinesis , can you just crush someone with the forces , what about just choking them, can you reach inside there body, does any of that require a to hit roll, what about slowing someone down or tripping someone up, can you snatch missiles out the air, what about gas particles / dust particles/ fluids, or running interference on someone's melee attacks?

Now I'm not saying this needs to be all carefully accounted for, but some rough guidelines definitely .

(say you can apply negative modifiers to peoples actions summing to -4, can't effect anything smaller than you can see, you need to be able to see what you are lifting , can't effect the insides of people, limit on max speed, if something is moving around precise targeting is out)

My preference would be to have the extreme possible applications of telekinesis be covered as different spells. Which is like how psionics handles it. So the ability to to throw a small thing incredible fast is "kinetic bullet", using people as puppets is "body control", and force chokes and slamming people around is weirdly not in there.

Now I'm arguing for a spell to like a psionic ability. Shit this was all meant to be a preamble for the thing I actually wanted to post and it going nowhere and everywhere fast. I'll try and draw it to vague conclusion and move on.

So I guess for telekinesis as a spell, I would prefer, (according to vague poorly articulated , possibly non existent , criteria ), a "clumsy invisible giant" spell that can batter people and lift objects.

Actually "Clumsy invisible giant with poor eyesight" is a pretty excellent way to explain the limitations and possibiltys of the spell.

Okay fuck it I give up. I hate open effect spells with latin names maybe.

Anyway psionics in dungeons and dragons is also terrible when they try and make it general setting with broad mythological resonance. Because there is very little mythological imagery to tap into , and it just turns up some floating crystals and head-bands.

Basically there is room for setting specific supernatural abilities that are simpler  than spells and are more like superhero powers.

MAybe that is the criteria in my head. Spells have their own reality to them (fireballs have this range and this area, light makes this thing glow for this long) while superpowers refer to the broader reality of the setting (you can make fire happen. It acts like fire.)


moving along.

The attack and defense modes are dumb. Their names are dumb, they use up too much time and mechanics and there is a table of modifiers and nobody likes a table of modifiers.
Because  tables of modifiers are dumb.

I have made it all better:

Hertha von Walther in Joyless Street a.k.a. Street of Sorrow (G.W. Pabst, 1925) German title: Die freudlose Gasse
There are 6 powers that are intense focused mental States.  You can use them to protect yourself, as a general aura, or to  attack a specific individual.
(I'm skipping the exact mechanics because the 2nd edition ones were kinda terrible and I'm not sure of any good commonly used substitute systems. If you need something quickly just treat them like spells of levels 1 , 2 or 3 as appropriate )

Attacking someone with a State with a State of your own means you are subject to an attack from their State. I.e attack and defense happen automatically and simultaneously.

Each State is extremely vulnerable to one other State in particular. This means that the user of vulnerable State is automatically effected by the other  dominant State who remains unaffected.

If neither State is particular vulnerable to the other, you both make saving throws as per usual to avoid the effects.

The States:

The Crawling
you let out every horrible thought and memory from the depths of your own psyche. You wear them , unafraid , like verminous armor, and they call out to the minds of others, stirring all that is unwanted in them.

effects: as an aura, sense known weaknesses and fears in others.
as an attack inflicts Catatonic despair.

 Howling crumples before the The Crawling. The animal instincts turn on themselves in blind tearing panic, the enemy perceive to be impossibly from within.

you turn off all that chatter in your head and submerge into bright red instinct and adrenaline overloads, take everything down to a raw animal level.

effects: as an aura, increase a physical stat by one, no use of language skills or higher reasoning.
as an attack: target's survival responses become unreasonably extreme: anger turns to berserk rage, caution becomes panic

Thanatos crumples before Howling. The animal has always faced death.

You focus entirely on absolute certainty of your own destruction and when you accept this, there is nothing to fear

effects: as an aura: immune to fear or other attempts to change emotional state, reflects attempts to intimidate back on the initiator
as an attack: paralyzation
Solipsism crumples before Thanatos. The belief that only you are real means that now you are staring at the absolute end of everything.

It's all just a manifestations of you. You can do anything , because you are everything.

effects: as an aura: unlikely coincidences and luck start coming your way. D.m rolls twice on any random table and takes the one most favorable to you.
(if this seems too much "believe shaping reality" for your tastes, only have it effect tables that could be effected by the characters confidence and audacity )
As an attack: existential self doubt causes any attack or roll to fumble on 1, 2, or 3

Dissolution crumples before Solipsism. Dissolving your identity before someone who is utterly sure of their identity is just doing exactly as they want

The concept of a continuous absolute self is a bad illusion. You dissolve into a myriad.

effects: as an aura: invisibility to mind reading abilities and magics in groups of 3 or more. Near invisibility in crowds, just not noticeable enough to be noticed.
as an attack: confusion as the spell.

Mind Worm crumples before Dissolution. It's just more noise.

Mind Worm
A catchy mantra , phrase , song or loop is repeated over and over and over. It gets into others heads and drives them to distraction.

effects: as an aura, anyone concentrating their attentions on you finds it difficult to concentrate. You get a free reroll on any attempts to bluff, hustle, distract or confuse someone.
as an attack: target once effected needs to make a successful saving throw to under take any action require concentration

The Crawling crumples before Mind Worm. Its inanity derails the introspective spiral driving the Crawling

Wednesday 16 October 2013

it's wizard all the way down to a burning core of wizards harry everywhere even that lamp wizards

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
These class ideas seem to be unpopular , (and.... no I don't have a bad socialist joke to put in here)
 so I will do just one more. Until I think of some more.

Here are some wizards that are just done by making the usual access to wizard stuff different

Blood mage: All spells with a duration you have cast are cancelled if lose consciousness or die. You get 1 extra spell of each level you can cast when you are at 1 hit point

Astrologer : Your spells are random determined, but include the cleric list. Reroll your spell selection (include % to know spells) each week. You may cast any divination spell as if it were a level lower.

Illusionist : You may cast illusions spells as if they were one level lower. Any non-illusion spell you cast has 50% chance of being illusionary. This is rolled in secret by the d.m.

Summoner: You have the levels of spell you can cast but do not cast spells. Instead you may try and summon and bind something. You spend a level of spell (like a first level spell)
The d.m then rolls on a random encounter table suitable. That thing shows up. The chance of it doing what you want is = your % to learn spell with the level of the spell being the creatures hit dice adjusted by the level of spell used. On subsequent rounds you can spend more spells to try and wrangle it.

Sawbones: you can't target a creature with a spell unless you have a bone of that species on you. If you have a bone of creature of more hit dice than you can burn that burn to get a spell of the highest level you know. Only once per species of creature.

Necromancer: You can cast necromancy spells if they were one level lower than they are. You do not reagin spells with rest and memorization. Instead you must ritually kill something(s) with a max hit point totally at least as high as the sum of all your spell levels.

Elementalist:  Elemental aligned spells are cast by you as your chosen element. (so a fireball would be lightning ball, cold ball or gravity ball for air, water, and earth elementalist respective)To regain spells you must rest submerged in that element. This does not effect because you do this trance preparation thing. Each time you get access to a new level of spells to regain that level you have to be exposed to a more intense expression of that element.

Hungry Ghost : you have to roll to hit with your spells. On the plus side you get fighter attack bonuses. You can also sacrifice a number of spell levels to reduce the damage done by attack by that amount.
"Mandrake gestures hypnotically: All the bullshit totally happens. Fuck you."

Prestigiator: Select 5 first level spells. You do not automatically cast them, instead you have % chance of them working as would a thief with their thief skills. You can assign which % goes where. You must explain how you are doing these things with gimmicks, flash powder ,sleight of hand and misdirection. Because you are not actually making magic happen you fucking lunatic. At 3rd level I guess you get to make a second level "illusion" happen and so forth. Up to 5 powers of each level. Like it would kind make sense if the % didn't automatically start at your current level but this class is pretty much batshit so just do whatever. You have the option of not taking a first level spell and having a thief skill instead.

Dread Bearer Of Ebon Blade: you have a dagger and one 1st level spell effect. Every time you stab something that spell effect happens. At 3rd level you get a second level spell effect etc. By "dread" I mean these are doomed assassin lackeys that are never going to make it past 3rd level and they totally brought into this bullshit because of the name.

 you cast spells without memorization (if you do that kinda thing) . You may not learn spells from scrolls or books , but do so by eating brains. Any spell you cast on yourself has maximum duration. Any spell cast on you by someone else has a 50% chance of effecting the next person you touch as well. You may not go to sleep until you have cast your maximum amount of spells.

Witch: you have access to both cleric and wizard spells , but you may not effect someone with a spell unless you know their true name or having something personal of theirs like a lock of hair or a diary or something.

Monday 7 October 2013

Anarchy for Sale in Sigil

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF by that I mean here are some tables and things that people having been asking me about

Pandemonium Fracking Coffee:
Estimated price for coffee is 100 gold piece for one cup. Cup most be consumed immediately after being brewed by trained insane barista.

Effects are :
you are immune to sleep for a month!
For the first week after not sleeping , -1 to all actions, irritable, mild delusions
for the second week, -2 to all actions, d.m rolls a d20, that number that they rolled, when ever they roll that number (on any dice roll), you hallucinate something

3rd week -3 to all actions, as above but 2 numbers and must make a will/spells save to prevent flying into a rage when provoked

4th week, as above but also must will/spell save to prevent confusion as the spell for 1d4 rounds when an unexpected situation happens.

After the month sleep for a week, and gain 50 exp per level.

To make Pandemonium Fracking Coffee requires (in addition to the training, see below) a Fracking Bean Organ , a dangerous looking steam engine/pipe organ  thing the size of a toaster that has a system of pipes so complicated that the beans get confused and give up caffeine they don't actually have. These are made by xaostiticss and residents of bleaker asylums (via therapeutic crafts). They cost what ever is in the person next yous pockets (players not characters or npcs). One dollar =10 g.p

Training requires having a crazy person yell at you while other crazy people demand coffee all with the winds of pandemonium screaming at you. It will cost you what ever is underneath the nearest table

YOu then get an insanity from the following table. Then roll a d4 , if you get a 4 you have successfully learned how to make coffee. Otherwise you may try again.

To make Fracking Coffee requires 1d4 rounds , some burnable fuel source, water, and anything brown that you believe is some how coffee beans. "Real" pandemonium fracking coffee is from beans that boneless albino civert cats have choked to death on after consuming the beans in the feces of another boneless albino civert cat, but honestly no-one can tell the difference.

1. Your character feels compelled to change their name every session and will be irked furiously if called by a previous name

2. agoraphobia

3. the existence of a type of random monster (determined by a local random monster encounter table) will be never be believed by you

4. hypochondria . -2 to saves vs poison and disease

5. spell / will save or be struck by kleptomania in any civilized area

6. Hysterical muteness, save vs spell/will or be mute in extreme situations (like when a TPK is threatened)

7. Having a recurring hallucination that you ask/debate for advice

8. Terrified of domestic animals
9. Won't drink anything handled by someone else

10. You believe you are an expert on 1d4 areas of knowledges. The depth of your utter incorrectness is deep and vast 

11. Suspect you are the only real person

12. Believe a mundane object on your person is the source of your powers. Lose a level if is not on your person until you find it or a convincing substitute 


1. You tabletopped some drinks and now you have caught Fire from a Gensai or Azer. It's like the cold but not. You burn with blueish flame adding 1 damage to hand to hand attacks but any equipment you did not go carousing with is going to be slowly burned up. It will last one session.

2. You got to talking to this babe and he/she/they convinced you to join a random faction (see table below). Yep , you got honey potted. You are not a member yet, but will annoy everyone talking about how great the factions ideas are for like a couple of sessions until you get over it or don't.

3. You got a tattoo from a passing mermaid. It is a stylized anchor which any aquatic dweller will recognize as sign meaning "drown me". This prank might endear you to them, depending on if you are trying to be taken seriously or not. -/+ 2 to encounter rolls depending on how being a figure of fun will work in your favour right now

4. You have been mazed by the Lady! Oh noes! Jokes! NAh you just got real drunk and couldn't find your way out of the closet at your room at the inn. You are shaken by this experience though, -2 to all rolls when alone for the next session.

5. You have sold your future corpse to the Dustmen for 1d4 x100 gold pieces! Unfortunately this mean if you are raised or reincarnated they will mark your soul with rune that means undead are automatically aware of presence if you within 500 feet of them and will be hostile

6. You got talked into joining some Doomguard in a street fight against some Harmonium. Start the next session with half your hit points but your reputation towards the Doomguard is improved

7.You spent 1d100 gold on a useless item (see table below) because a talking squirrel convinced you it was a bargain. Squirrels don't know shit.

8. You ingested something squirted out of a bug for fun/attempt to impress someone/ blot out the horror.
You have a great time but now can't see anything that is a random colour for 1d4 sessions

9. Either due to a hot and sordid encounter (roll charisma if you are game) or just speculation from across a crowded room, you have a new additional sexual preference. If your character already has that preference, +4 favorable modifier to that charisma roll to see if you hooked up:

 1. talking animals 
 2. 1undead corporeal (preserved) 
     2 undead corporeal (just plain nasty)
     3 undead corporeal (skeletons)
      4 undead incorporeal 
3. Mechanical beings
4. Centaur or otherwise part animal
5. dudes
6. ladys
7.dude ladys *
8. lady dudes *
9.bondage, even/odds topping/bottoming
10.players choice

10. you have adopted a pet
 1.celestial singing mouse
 2. stone  lorus
 3. goose
 4. double tom
 5. barnacle
  6. blind dog with smaller seeing eye dog

11.  Someone brought in someone discount potions/ discards from the alchemists ward. And you ingested them. 
your arms are now swapped
2. improve a physical stat by 1. yussss
3. you have scales. Not enough get a armour class bonus though
4. you now are highly flammable. Reroll any fire damage and take the better result
5. True sight as the spell for the next session
6. Music causes you physical pain for the next 1d6 sessions. 1d4 points of damage per round of exposure
7. swap bodies with another p.cs who was carousing with you, or roll on reincarnation table to determine if no-one else was on the piss with you

8. For any potion you drink from now on roll a d4. 1: half effectiveness 2 double effectiveness 3. normal 4. reverse effect

12. You stumbled through a portal and continued the bender somewhere else. Roll a random other carousing table. Alternatively if none are handy, your foray into parts unknown results in a blackout , scars and lose a random valued item and gain exp = estimated market value of it in g.p. Item might be retrievable.  

alternate carousing tables HMS Apollyon , the classic, denefix , this one, this other one and one more

*by which I mean someone currently occupying a "other gender" category because of their assuming of cultural and/or physical traits of one gender while actively possessing vestigial or partial traits of another. Which is not to be confused with someone who is transgender. Confused? tell me about it.

Random Faction Table for Blue Rabbit Sigil : table weighted to reflect
 doomguard affliation and bar's location bias
2-4Bleak Cabal
7Fraternity of Order
8-9.Free League("Indeps")
10Mercykillers("The Red Death")
11Revolutionary League("Anarchists")
12Sign of One("Signers")
13Society of Sensation("Sensates")
14Transcendent Order("Ciphers")
18-20: Doomguard

Useless Crap Item

1 A property deed for somewhere in limbo

2. A portable hole! Oh no wait, clever slight of hand, it's a circle of very matt black fabric.

3.Undead Repellent! See any undead around? No? That's because it works. Actually just kerosene.

4."invisible, weightless" cloak in a gift wrapped box

5. Ghost whistle! Only heard by ghosts!

6.Potion of minor rehydration

7.Boxing glove arrow

8. Helmet of "dark" vision actually a regular helmet with covered up eye slits

9.Magic wand of negation. Actually just a stick.

10. Tanar'ri book of protocol. Detailed and thorough but completely useless due to the nature of tanar'ir

11. Modron joke book. Pages and pages of random numbers12. Map of negative material plane. It's just a black sheet of paper.

Monday 30 September 2013

how to run a pokemon campaign

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
like look at pokemon. It's what an alien would draw animals like if it wanted to make animal shaped lures for people. Compare fishing lures to actual bait fish. Similar smoothing and simplifying "
Basically there is only one Pokemon, and its trying to get into this world, and it shapes its protrusions in all this myriad of form to get people to base their entire lives and society around it, and more and more of it can enter this world
 play as  some kind of protean being outside of space and time and you insert yourself in this world as the things known as pokemon. But each aspect of you has to have a certain amount of autonomy or it destabilizes. 
You also need human trainers . The interactions of which help congeal reality around your aspects.

So you start off being only able to manifest a couple of basic pokemon and can get a fairly loser trainer , but as you can gain in strength you manifest more bizarre or trainer appealing forms, lose your old trainers, and there is always the choice between keeping an old aspect or starting again with something new and more potent, or more appealing to richer trainers. Because you also gain in strength by competing with other Intrusions.

It would be kind of meta with like how a player has a bunch of different characters but they are all "aspects" of you intruding in this fantasy world, but now you are explicitly stated to be this. So the player is actually playing a player character player with player character player characters.

mechanically it would be like you earn exp but can spend it on leveling up, purchasing new characters, unlocking new characters.
Trainers would be like equipment, with prerequisites. Like if you want a "beach babe trainer" you would need be a X level water pokemon that is cute or something.


Patrick Stuart
Im sorry but humanoid pokeon are fucking bullshit. total fucking bullshit

Patrick Stuart

Scrap, in the Pokeworld is the true 'Pocket Monster' man iteself?

Scrap Princess
+Patrick Stuart come on there is a certain appeal in them acting human in only one particular way and then animalistic in every other way. Like Dr Moreau but they don't even try, they do one thing like a person (box, sing, mime), and then shameless revert to animal behavior for the rest

Scrap Princess
No humans are the only animal not yet replaced by pokemon (which of course are extrusions from an external entity)

Patrick Stuart
Your two replies infer something horrible don't they? How sure are you that humans have not yet been replaced? Becasue, looking at characters in the pokeverse THEY ALL ONLY DO ONE THING AGAIN AND AGAIN

Wil McKinnee
Like defecation.

Wil McKinnee
But I mean that in a Bataille kinda way, as the sole expressive force. Like a Guayaki Tribesman's midnight song.

Scrap Princess
+Patrick Stuart maybe all the poke battling is the entities trying to determine if they have replaced everyone yet

Scrap Princess
The entities suspect that they have already won long long ago and that there was only one entity but it's been so long that the various extrusions believe themselves autonomous even as they themselves  observe the puppet selves they control turn on their strings

Patrick Stuart
I just read Ghastleys entry in the online pokedex and its fuckng terrifying, example paragraph "Gastly first appeared in The Ghost of Maiden's Peak. This Gastly had the ability to talk and shape-shift. He kept posing himself as the spirit of the woman which legend said turned to stone after many years of waiting for her love to return to her. As the ghost of the maiden, Gastly kept on toying with the minds of young men."

Gastly can slip into any place it wants. However, Gastly's body will dwindle away when exposed to a strong wind but it can probably regenerate itself later. A Gastly is capable of toppling an Indian Elephant within two seconds by enveloping it in poisonous gas.
That last note is the kind of totally bonkers thing my kids make up. The obsession with scale and timing is a very specific feature of being about 10 years old and/or a 19th century naturalist or political philosopher.

You know George Hutcheon's "origin of Pokemon species" articles, right?

Scrap Princess
Dusknoir has an antenna to receive radio waves from the spirit world and will take a spirit in its pilant body to guide it home

Patrick Stuart
+Scrap Princess Yep. There is one that is actually a sarcophagus and one that is a living candelabra a well.

Scrap, what the fuck is going on with Voltorb? Does anyone ever come close to explaning that? It's lie having a D&D monster where the entry in the monster manual is itself the monster.

Scrap Princess"
ancient legends once told Cofagrigus could eat nearby humans and turn their lifeless bodies into mummies. It also has the ability to form two pairs of arms. Its real face is covered up by parts that slide out of the way when it is active."

Scrap Princess
+Patrick Stuart no , just a "new pokemon just happen. Some of the happen so they look like stuff. This is pleasing to the pokemon because reasons"

Basically there is only one Pokemon, and its trying to get into this world, and it shapes its protrusions in all this myriad of form to get people to base their entire lives and society around it, and more and more of it can enter this world

Scrap Princess
like look at pokemon. Its what an alien would draw animals like if it wanted to make animal shaped lures for people. Compare fishing lures to actual bait fish. Similar smoothing and simplifying 

Richard G
yesyesyes. when are we playing dyspokemon?

Arnold K.
Every Cubone ever WEARS HIS MOTHER'S SKULL ON HIS HEAD.  Wrap  your head around that.

Also, Yamask is the soul of a dead human.  It retains memories of its previous life.  If you put it on  your face, you get possessed by it.

Neither of those are Dark, but they are pretty dark.

Arnold K.
Also, aside from spending his afterlife being forced to fight children's pets, Yamask can also breed and lay eggs.

Arnold K.
Also, lest I be unhelpful: Umbreon is the cutest dark pokemon (according to peer-reviewed journals).

Arnold K.
+Patrick Stuart Voltorb shares a lot of DNA with mimics.  When you find stuff on the ground of dungeons, it's always inside a pokeball.  In the Power Plant (Pokemon Red/Blue), some of the items on the ground were actually relatively badass voltorbs that attacked you.

They re-used this idea in Pokemon B/W, with another gotcha pokemon: foongus, the most asinine creature in the game.

Patrick Stuart
+Arnold K. There are dungeons in pokemon, and things in the dungeons and they are inside pokeballs? How?? Why??

Arnold K.
Dungeons are either (a) pinatas full of angry hornets with a rare pokemon at the bottom, or (b) just in your way.  Despite having cellphones and digital watches, their transportation system is so shitty that completing your pokemon journey (going from one major city to another) requires you to go through meteorite-impacted caverns.  You can't even get a boat to some places.  You gotta swim though flooded sea caves and fight hundreds of zubats to get places.

And pokeballs. . . you can put anything in pokeballs.  Pair of socks, the soul of the king of pokelantis, etc.  Primitive pokeballs were made from weaponized fruit (?) called apricorns, and big pokemon had to be captured in appropriately sized pokeballs.

Also, giving some credence to +Scrap Princess 's conspiracy theory: it looks like pokemon have been replacing the default animals.  Normal birds were shown in early episodes, but no longer.  Normal fish were shown in museums, but only to demonstrate what ancient pokemon used to eat.  

Scrap Princess
+Patrick Stuart well pokemon can hold items. SO maybe the pokemon had the item and then it escaped and left the item behind. Or items are pokemon spores

Scrap Princess
The ocean is about 70 to 80% tentacool, and darkness, darkness is made out of fucking zubats.

Arnold K.
Meowth, that's right.  You can't swing a zubat in some caves without hitting a zubat.

Arnold K.
And the ground was paved with geodudes.

Scrap Princess
like the first time you see "repel" in a shop its like "man that's stupid, why would I turn down exp?" but by the time you are trying to get through the marine caves its like "YOU SHOP DRONE! HOW MUCH SUPER REPEL ? I WILL HAVE ALL OF IT HERE IS FISTS FULL OF MONEY DO YOU HAVE THIS IN A TANKER ? ONLY 99? 99?!?!? WHAT THE FUCK I WILL BUY TANKER SELL ME A TANKER SELL ME A FUCKING CROP DUSTER OF IT FUUUUUCK"

Everything is animate and intelligent, like evil shinto

Scrap Princess
there is prob a totally crap " mysterious orientals" essay about how the lingering influence of Shinto informed the creation of the pokemon franchise

Patrick Stuart
The pokeball is an end-point for human technology. Because pokemon can do anything, control of them is the only meaningful control.

Scrap Princess

A dark day in the histroy of war was when specially breed zubats were released in the enemy cave networks. Their move list: "sing" "confuse ray" "stun spore" "self destruct"

Arnold K.
And they all have Arena Trap, so you can't run away.

And there's a man outside the cave selling lawn mower hats.

Arnold K.
Maybe pokemon are devolving us.  Turning us into some sort of simpering, childish society where we cannot work or think on our own.  Where ten-year-olds are the pinnacles of achievement and the adults just flounce around putting their pokemon in beauty contests and shit.

Meanwhile the pokemon are all breeding with each other, traveling through the internet, talking with the dead, messing with the weather, and exhuming our graveyards to raise armies of yamasks.

Richard G
thank you so much for this thread. I love it.

And really, when are we running this?

Richard G

That could certainly work - POW v POW battles to get the creatures into the pokeballs.

I'm going to give some thought to writing a system just for this..... (tho no results quickly, I suspect)

For some reason the most frightening thing on the yamazk Bulbapedia page (out of a lot of frightening things) was this;-

"They serve Cofagrigus. They were lonely and tried to make more friends, but now they are happy because many Pokémon have come to play."

Now they are happy.

Richard G
at first they are noisy and resist but their wills soon subside.
...now I can't remember which Cthulhu module that's from.

Richard G
gotta catch you all is a great tagline
It's an S John Ross game... I wonder... it might actually be good.

Arnold K.
Never played it, but I've read all of it.  It's a clever mangling of the mythos and the 'mons.  The system is really simplistic and gamist.  It looks like it could be fun, though, but only if enjoyed the abyss at the center of that particular Venn diagram.

Richard G
what's going on here I think is different in intent - Ross seems to have gone "hey Pokemon are cute and a little creepy - let's dial up the dissonance by importing Cthulhu," whereas I think the agreement here is that Pokemon is plenty creepy enough already.
...it's free, though. Worth a look...

+Richard G yeah I was going to say that, like  the mythos is a step back from the strangeness of the pokemon. Like "evil scaly squid demons" are pretty played out and chibi'ng them is not doing anything new.

The only angle I can think of to make a pokemon rpg interesting for me is if you player some kind of protean being outside of space and time and you insert yourself in this world as the things known as pokemon. But each aspect of you has to have a certain amount of autonomy or it destabilizes. You also need human trainers . The interactions of which help congeal reality around your aspects.

So you start off being only able to manfeist a couple of basic pokemon and can get a fairly loser trainer , but as you can gain in strength you manfiest more bizarre or trainer appealing forms, lose your old trainers, and there is always the choice between keeping an old aspect or starting again with something new and more potent, or more appealing to richer trainers. Because you also gain in strength by competing with other Intrusions.

It would be kind of meta with like how a player has a bunch of different characters but they are all "aspects" of you intruding in this fantasy world, but now you are explicitly stated to be this. So the player is actually playing a player character player with player character player characters.



mechanically it would be like you earn exp but can spend it on leveling up, purchasing new characters, unlocking new characters.
Trainers would be like equipment, with prerequisites. Like if you want a "beach babe trainer" you would need be a X level water pokemon that is cute or something.

Richard G
that sounds amazing! My own idea - to set it all during the 17th century and you play Balinese or Ryukyu islanders who are forced to make devil's pacts with the pokemon to drive off the Europeans - seems relatively pedestrian. 

Richard G
playing a protean being that needs humans reminds me of a video game proposal I wrote once for Little Lost Shoggoth, where you play a shoggoth with a simple mission (get to Carlsbad Caverns to restart the world engine) and you have to get the humans to help you, but if they see you they go mad and if they find out you exist it's torches and pitchforks, so the game is about sneaking around them, reading their work papers when they're not there, using recordings to play over the phone to make stuff happen, and hiding in unlikely places aboard ships and trains to get transported to where you need to go. I thought about maybe if you ate someone you could get their skills for a short time. 

Arnold K.
I like Scrap's idea.  Other ideas:

You could play it straight, as a group of the few lone souls that know the truth.  Every day you machine gun down a dozen trainers send a few more pokemon back to the nameless void.  But the pokemon lap the blood off the ground and core the memories of all involved.  You never make it on the evening news.  You need to make it to Los Alamos in order to detonate the nukes there.  You've got a scientist that thinks he's found a way to destroy the whole planet and everyone on it.

It's a grim goal, but it's better than the alternative.  You've all seen what the pokemon are planning.  You all know what they intend for humanity.

And so you strive to end the world, in order to save the souls of the living.  They'll never thank you for it, of course.  They don't even know why you fight, or how you fight.  They call you "Team Rocket" on the evening news, presumably after the nuclear stockpiles you are seeking.  But people are told that you "steal pokemon".  And when they learn differently, the pokemon make them forget it.  Yeah, a lot of you wear black sweaters, but they sure as fuck don't have a big red letter R on them.

It doesn't matter.  Everyone sees the letter R anyway.  Just like how they don't see the shotguns and the scroll cases.  And you kill pokemon, yes, but you kill people, too.  They die never understanding anything about the world they live in.  The death of livestock.  Which is perhaps an appropriate comparison.

Okay.  Simpler prose.  Focus.  Shit.

But there is no security or network or anything.  No one knows how to do anything except fight pokemon, watch pokemon on TV, talk about pokemon on the streets, and go to pokemon beauty contests.  All you have to do is take off your black sweater and you are incognito and no one recognizes you.

Not even the pokemon recognize you.  Sure, some of them do, but most are them are just appendages of something greater.  All humans look the same to them.

Arnold K.
The old cities are there of course, but no one goes there.  It's like no one can see those places.  Instead of using the old highways, the people take roundabout routes, going through mountains and swimming across oceans.

There are roads connecting the major cities, but they're invisible to the common folk.  Maybe it's too much illusion to maintain.  Certainly the old cities are wrecks.  Scarred in a dozen ways by the pokemon's arrival.

And so you go into the shells of the old cities for supplies and weapons.  Things are just sitting on the shelf.  The stuff in cans is still edible.  The apocalypse wasn't that long ago.

Team Rocket owes a great deal of its survival to the creature called Meowth.  It's a traitor to its kind.  A rogue drone.  It's assistance was neither asked for not understood, but it is gratefully accepted.

All pokemon can speak, of course.  It's just that the words are usually the last thing their trainer ever hears.

+Scrap Princess I'm just going to vomit ideas out.  Excuse me.

It'd be hard to roleplay an alien intelligence.  What does an alien intelligence do for fun?  It needs a human element.

Maybe you need a human trainer to be your face to the world.  Maybe your power is linked to how many people think you're awesome, but no one remembers a sandshrew, and so you've got to attach yourself to some chump and ride him to glory.

You can just form new pokemon and appear in front of your trainer.  In fact, pretty much all the wild pokemon that appear in front of your trainer are just aspects of you.

But when you fight another trainer, you actually are fighting another entity.  The thundershocks are just for show, the real battle takes place on a whole different plane.  And so you rise and fall with your trainer.  If your trainer dies or whatever, it's a pain to reattach yourself to a new one.

There's other stuff you can do to get more XP, too.  Devouring souls, eating fingernails.  But pokemon battles are a big one.  So your job is to steer your idiot trainer around so you can fight entities of about your power level (to get XP) while avoiding ones who are more powerful than you.

And you don't just manifest as pokemon, either.  You can also control electronics and mess with people's brains.  When you catch word that Team Rocket is going to drop sarin gas on Pewter City, you need to play some stuff on TV about a spearow swarm on Route 24.  Get Ash excited enough to jump on his bike really quick-like.  And you need to get rid of Brock, too.  He's starting to suspect too much.  Killing him would be harder than engineering a situation where he runs of chasing the local nurse, so you do that.

And thus, vast, transdimensional intelligences are forced to find their a date for a 10-year-old kid for the dance aboard the S.S. Anne.

The identical pokecenter nurses?  Your creatures entirely.  Like finger puppets on top of a tentacle.  If a human ever cracked open that pokeheal machine, they'd see the yawning abysms of infinity stretching out around them, instantly snuffing their fragile, three-dimensional brains.

Arnold K.
I support anything that leads to more madness.  Might I suggest that it contains pokemon #d151 when it is found?

Richard G

Nice. I was thinking Ditto but this is more elegant (and claims primacy!)