Wednesday 30 October 2013

I am wearing Fungus , results may vary

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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 
(notably often using a dried puffer fish as a helm)
also the stuff about their martial art schools

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

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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.