Thursday 11 December 2014

Blazing World, The first planar document release

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Gosh I sure do like writing game material

Okay so a few years ago I thought I should make a formal release for legacy and cash purposes.

And the thing I thought would be easiest and most toothsome to people was the semi-coherent notes about the use of the planescape setting

So for the last 2 years (possibly more??)  I have been thumping away at something. But I hate it.

To get it finished as acceptable product for sale will just take so much longer because it is chore and I have no real passion for it. More of "hey this would be cool I guess" feeling.

Working around the planar alignment setting and something so broad is horrible as a first project.
There is stuff I am way more interested in making into a presentable book than this.
Stuff that I would use myself at the earliest opportunity and is not titanic in scope.

I think that is the main thing, I don't have any urge to run a planar campaign anytime soon. I definitely have a urge to run Wide-on-for-destruction or Islands or VeryBigSpaceShip and creating material for that is creating material for myself, and it is easy to feel it is successful when, at the very least, you did a through prep job for once.

But I have a lot of stuff already wrote for it, which I don't want to "waste", and I don't want to sit on it indefinitely and I don't want to start other stuff with it unfinished.

So I am planning to polish up what is there, fill in the blanks and then release as free documents to you all because I am bounteous and so are many others .

The black things running from the Vale are called threads. They bridges of blackness in blackness and souls follow them and try not to get eaten by angler fish.

This is the first part, Blazing World:
download it, use it , don't make money off it without my permission, as I am still formerly declaring my rights as the author  and a Creative Commons Non-Commercial Attribution license, or CC-BY-NC.

There are a couple of references to tables that will be in future documents. Vermin road Caravan and Flesh rift beasts.  For the first if you can't wait until that one is out, just do a random merchant caravan but weird it up. For a Flesh rift beast use a random animal intelligence evil beast . either an existing monster (hell hound, howler, eyewing etc) or use an animal with fire legs or something.

Give me feed back on it and it will help the finishing off of the future documents. They will be realise every couple of months depending how much polishing I can be arsed with.

Since I original thought I would be dodging intellectual property laws there are a few name changes , which I guess are not so necessary now.

I will give the lexicon and main changes and additions here, a lot of these will be elaborated into the document that talks about the basics of the thing Which would of been the obvious one to release first but hey.

Working Assumptions , adhered to partially

  • all places should have something to do there that is fun

  • I'm not dealing with real world mythology because it's already been covered. can easily put gods everywhere if they want

  • The current alignment is not and has not been a constant feature. Bits and pieces of other arrangements are still there . The Planes/realms do not have to be consistent in tone for this reason. There are border realms and locations which are nearly realms in themselves as they are soley merging or emerging from another realm. 

  • No way am I doing the neutral good plane and the neutral neutral good plane. The torus is roughly a 9 point axis. can easily use bits of each places to flesh out whatever planes system they are using anyhow

  • I used off the cuff working titles for things and then I used them too long and that became the name. I guess that is how etymology works though.

  • Each Realm would see its self as morally correct. None of them would define themselves by their opposition to another. None of them would exist to punish people. The hell is a hell because everyone there believes this is the best way to behave to become strong and free and right. Reflected that in the naming and how it all works

  • The list of how spells get changed is gone. I was really tempted in some places but it opens up a can of worms with why would the realms let anything happen at all they don't want? Still half convinced that a giving each place a couple of effects that don't work , might write an appendix for it. Also makes everything about wizards. Like "how do we get the feeling of this place Oh let's change how magic works because Magic spells are the most important thing ever" Which I have mixed feelings about

  • People are going to want something they can use the very first time they read it. Like people will get their players teleported somewhere and they will go "oh shit , what is there? I need a table"
  • The Realms themselves are the power. The gods (if any) , demons, angry bears squat or pay rent there. It's about have a metaphysical congealment baser than religion or morality.
  • The Realms do not clearly map to each other. Some will have formal occupants and manifestations. Others will have a dirty tent with a Free Beer sign, spelt wrong, hanging up upside down.


Realms: Planes. Though they are less discrete than the original planes blending into each other and having bits that are nearly a plane by themselves.

The (Terminal )Torus: basically the great road /outer planes. The change is that the planes / realms are connected physically so they can be traversed without the use of portals.It's just more satisfying to me to draw and imagine. Some  of the realms act as a light source or sky for others.

Vale of Tears: The prime material plane, the "real world"

Glooming: Astral plane. Kinda. The black thing souls travel through to get to the realms.

Twilight: Ethereal plane. Kinda. Immediately overlaps the Vale of Tears and it's were you are when you leave your body. Go up from here and you reach the Glooming

Souls: The thing you have inside your meat. Will have a certain amount of Salt on it, which it will exchange to become an Imago when it reaches a realm. Souls aren't forced to go anywhere. Generally. A soul with a lot of Salt will be escorted or be spruiked to by representatives. Weak willed or indecisive or less valuable souls run a risk of being eaten on the way or press ganged or conned into somewhere. Souls do not have shadows and cannot gain levels.

Salt: the amount a soul has sweated, strived, suffered and cried in their life. It's what keeps the realms solid. A Realm lacking salt will break up and be absorbed by other Realms. It can actually be dug out of some Realms or stolen from in transit souls and since it is useful as a drug, a empowery for Denizens , and an additive to make food actually have nutritional value for people who are not dead but living here, it's the currency, and an entire black market called Vermin Road exists because of it.
A Denizen (like a demon or deva) that has been exiled or excommunicated will need regular Salt or they will be at greatly reduced strength

Vermin Road: not quite a specific place in the same way the "Underground" or  the "Black Market" is not a place though it has places and locations associated with it. Both a trading route, a network of trading posts and the economy that exists between the cracks of the Realms and gods agents and  representatives. It is made up of  exiles, refugees, traitors, squatters, remnants from past mythos, low and high level denizens trying to run something on the side, and of course fucking adventures. The currency is in Salt, but a great deal of other things are traded too , with some of seemingly opposed Realms having more economic ties they the would like to admit.

Denizens: So souls that exchange over their salt to a realm become an imago. An imago can then become (eventually) a Denizen. Denizens are big noise like demons and angels and they like. IF they are killed off Realm they reform in the Realm, with varying amount of time and loss of status and power.  If killed in the Realm , they are dis-incorporated ie destroyed

Imago: A soul that has become aligned to a Realm.. From there they might become a denizen or merge with the realm. Will reform if killed in the Realm but be destroyed off Realm. Will need constant Salt if they attempt to stay off Realm. Which can happen when an Imago decides one day that the Realm that seemed the coolest is Bullshit and it's taking too long to become a Denizen and also they might of pissed someone off powerful.

Dweller: Someone/thing that has lived (generally generationally though some being might be long lived enough)  long enough on a Realm to be changed by it and more importantly can survive there without needing Salt. Some Dwellers have  been on a Realm so long everyone assumes they must be Denizens or Congelates, the Slaadi being the most obvious. The Slaadi however just moved in a long time ago and act like they own the place. A Dweller will not be able survive without Salt on the Vale of Tears. A child born in a Realm is automatically a Dweller. Can be killed on or off realm. If killed on the Realm they have been aligned with , their soul will be absorbed immediately by the Realm without becoming an Imago. Dweller souls have no Salt.

Congelate: A some what coherent being directly made by the Realm itself. Will be permanently destroyed if destroyed off realm. but eventually regenerate if destroyed on Realm . Extremely rare to go  off Realm, will need Salt to survive off Realm

Incarnate: Like Congelate but is an abstract force of the Realm. The classic unseen possessing demon of horror movies or the burning wheel 6 winged angel is an example of Incarnate. Personifies the Realm to instinct that means they are extremely unpredictable, unfathomable, and dangerous.
Pinnacle of Virtue , The rifts of All Flesh, Heart of it All  and the Plains of Relevation are all known to have Incarnates. The other Realms are presumably y capable , but undocumented at this time. It's possible that out breaks of madness, weird arcane blights or unnatural fads have been Incarnates unrecognized

Tourist: anyone in torus that is not "from there" . Presumably a bad pun,  "torus-ist"  , made long ago. Sometimes used as insult by Dwellers to people that are also Dwellers but haven't been part of the place for an arbitrary amount of time or generations

Food:   Some Realms generate food that can sustain Tourists as well as Dwellers, Solitary for one (but its bland and gross) and Blazing World is another (but there is no regularity about anything here ever).
If a tiny amount of Salt is added to Realm food it will subsist a Tourist. Dwellers living in the Vale have the same problem, unable to draw substance from the food without Salt.

Realm Equivalents :

Limbo ,  -> Seether

Arborea, . BeastLands -> Blazing World

Elysium-> Starry Night/Desert of Leavings

Mount Celestia-> Pinnacle of Virtue

Mechanius-> Encyclopedia of All Machines

Acheron-> Grind

Baator-> The Heart Of It All

Grey Wastes-> Plains of Revelation

The Abyss, Gehenna-> The Flesh Rifts aka Canyons of All Flesh

Pandemonium -> (Mt)  Solitary 

No real equivalent but usable material for could be found in

Ysgard-> Seether, Blazing World

Carceri-> Solitary, The plains of Revelation

Bytopia-> Blazing World, Desert of Leavings, Pinnacle of Virtue, Infinite Library

Arcadia-> Pinnacle of Virtue, Heart of it All, Infinite Library, Encyclopedia of All Machines

Astral, Ethereal -> Starry Night, Seether, Glooming, The Blood Clouds

Thursday 20 November 2014

Worlds Expamded, Very Big Spaceship

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I did another fleshed out campaign setting for the 52 page rule book (in the tools side bar) as a follow up to this post here

This World is a Very Big Space Ship. It's not entirely real and it travels through peoples dreams and some of them get in.
It is mostly composed of Meadows, Corridors, Engines, Sleepers , BulkHeads and Nightmare Castles.

Meadows are huge rooms often 20 kilometres in size. They have a disconcerting mix of plants from all different biomes and time periods growing. They are essential to the function of the ship. Most of the player races are supposedly descendants of species grown to maintain the meadows.
The fruit and nuts and less identifiable things growing here easily supply to the nutritional needs of those that live here.

Corridors connect the meadows .  They are also vast and sprawling, but more conventionally constructed from steel, wood and obsidian.

Engines are found in nooks, alcoves and chambers off from the corridors .They are huge and like cathedrals worn smooth under 10,000 years of rain. They do things, occasionally. Some of them have interfaces and can request the players attention to be directed at this nightmare castle or another. They usually have a few Attendants , greatly variable in power and function. Other than that an Engine can be broken by anyone willing to spend the time dismantling , though its parts are not rare or valuable and presumedly they do something 

The Sleepers sleep in great ice, more mountains , shapes in mathematical law than things.

Bulkheads are doors that lead to the dreams outside. Some seem to vent waste into that space , other seen forth Mercury Squid to harvest things. Sometimes they just swing open and really should be shut . Going through a dream is a great short cut to get to another part of the ship vast, though the nature of each dream is its own.

Nightmare Castles are when dreams get into the ship and make themselves at home. Some are merely physical like a glistening slime or an ashen stain. Attendants from the Engines usually clean these up, eventually. Other NIghtmare Castles refer to a colony or a settlement of sentient beings , who would otherwise vanish with the dream they are from. NIghtmare Castles generally have their own physical laws around them. The Engines send their Attendants to dismantle Nightmare Castles where they can and ask of people that live in the meadows to do so .

Maybe many generations ago this was more hotly pursued , but the those living in the meadows always thought it was best life to the Engines Attendants and only the most zealous or provoked attempt to destroy with any real motivation .

Some meadow dwellers move into in Nightmare castles. There is crime and money and art and all kinds of new and things change here.

The players will gain Exp from stealing and destroying from Nightmare Castles or , alternatively, advancing the interests of one. There is no need pick a side , though you can gain exp from only one side each game. The Engines and The Nightmare Castles reinforce those that serve them like roots pushing through soil.

The Player Races are:

Nemos are dreamers that got caught in their own dream and now live here (or the descendants there-of). They look like a child grown up, but a childs idea of grown up so with too long limb or a childs proportions on adult size or just too big eyes or some other caricaturation

Nemos can choose to be unaffected by any aspect of a dream or a Nightmare Castle, but just one aspect at a time. So ignore the antigravity but be effected by the words igniting toads or whatever

Pink Elephants:

Pink Elephants are Pink elephants with dextrous snouts and pads. They can expand/contract their mass and size to twice or one half. They are most commonist to the meadows


Shadows are very flat and black, like planarians with variable limbs or a Balinese shadow puppet They can have all the advantages of being very flat and black. They were originally from the Corridors but that matters much less these days

Tooth Fairy:
Tooth fairys look mostly like people with sprinkling of glitter and insect parts as drawn by a child. Not always the most stable of children either. They used to attend the Bulk heads and some still fish with the Mercury Squid. Mercury Squid and Tooth Fairys are the only thing that can volutary bring something from a Dream into the ship, though Tooth Fairys are limited to just one thing. This has made them more than most to seek the Nightmare Castles, having a skill valuable there .

Any other races or thing could also be considered, all things dreamed of could of immigrated here with the Nightmare Castles

The Classes are aligned based on their approach to challenges. Confronters go head on and directly . Sneaks are basically the opposite of this favouring  subtly, indirection, and ambiguity  . Snipers favour precision and a ruthless pragmatism and don't hesitate to stay the hell out of way.  Skin thieves obviously fill the last option and wear things skins to turn into them.

(Athletics and Stealth as the page rule book, Notice combines Notice detail and Hear Noise and new skills are Discombobulate  and Ascern, and are described after classes.)

Confronters confront, pushing at things to see the truth, rising to challenges and matching their stubborness to others Strength
Melee: +2
Saves: Body and Mind are plus 8 speed is plus 3

Bonus to the following skills:

hitpoints roll 4 d6 and take highest.. Apply constitution bonus if positive, ignore if negative

Can use any armour or weapon

level 1 : No: If you can directly interfere with what someone is doing you can make the same kind of roll as them (for example an attack roll) and if you get higher you prevent them from doing that. This counts as your "turn" for the round. If the action you are interfering with doesn't have a roll associated with it (like a hypnotic charm both parties make an appropriate save or stat check and if you get highest you stop them doing it)
The form of interference can be yelling over the top of someone trying to cast a spell or repeating what they say in a dumb voice or it can be a physically interruption like a tackle . It has to be the same "form" of action though. So you could throw rocks at someone shooting at you but not do a flying tackle.

level 3 No Fucking Way:  That thing about how you have to do the same form of action? Yeah that doesn't matter anymore. You can yell at someone charging you to confuse them or demand answers from an Spicey Arsonist as they try and set you on fire
level 5: Stubbocerous : When nailed with an attack or spell or other effect you can make a body or mind save to have to take effect next round instead. You can keep putting it off as long as you keep making saves , but only one attack at a time.

Sneaks are sneaky.  Greedy for secrets and strategies  and complicated alternate pathways.

Melee: +0
Missile: +1
Body:+3 Mind:+7 Speed:+9

Bonus to the following skills:

Hit points are roll 2d6 and keep the highest. Apply con modifier, minimum hitpoint is one

Can use any armour or weapons

level 1: Sneakings: If a player has not declared their character to be doing anything they are always assumed to be hiding or  just naturally  blending or remaining  unnoticed. Unless specifically known about and looked for they will not be the first targeted in an combat.

level 3: Knowings: at the start of each session the g.m must pass a note to the Sneak player containing a secret that is at least somewhat relevant.

level 5: The d.m must give you access to their credit cards. Misdirections: you can "No Wait!" an action before the end of the round declaring that you are doing something else / or  additionally  instead. Not: you must do this before the dice are rolled, but can do after the immediate consequences are announced. This is not a time reverse power but more of reflection that the character has amazing reflexes and preparations. Assume that the character started to do the action and then quickly responded. So if you pressed a button to release a poison gas you could use this power to declare you actually are jumping away from the gas or putting on a gas mask.
 Basically it's like you can get an additional action after the repercussions of an action have been announced. I should of just explained it like that instead. Fuck it. I'm not rewriting it all the text is up there and I can't find the eraser,

Sniper philosophy is about having the maximum results from the littlest action possible. Analysis and decisive action and not being anyway near the trouble. Also shooting people while hiding somewhere. Don't forget that. The word sniper refers to someone who can shoot the elusive snipe.

 Missile +3
Body: +5  Mind: +7 Speed+5

Bonuses to the following skills:

Hit points are roll 2d6 and keep the highest. Apply con modifier, minimum hitpoint is one

Can use any armour or weapons

level 1: Grievous shootings when rolling damage for a missile weapon you can roll twice and take the one you want.
Trick shot: IF you use a one on your missile damage you can do a bonus effect like force an oppenent to save or drop their weapon or have Disadvantage on their next attack

level 3: Hinge Pin: you can use your Notice checks to tell the most crucial bit of something, the bit that if removed causes the most amount of damage. This can be a social infrastructure, physical structure or magical bereavement etc.
level 5: Carnival of Carnage You may select 2 targets for a single missile attack via richants , impalements or pass throws

Skin Thief
Skin Thieves believe in adaptation and using what others have done for themselves, and discarding anything the moment it is no longer useful.

Body:+3 Speed:+5 Mind: +11
Bonuses to the following skills:

Hit points are roll 3d6 and keep the highest. Apply con modifier .
Can use any weapons or armour

level 1: Skin Taking. If a skin
 (or significant amount of the things body , a rule of thumb being atleast 10 % of its mass or 50 % of its outer covering.. Skin is used to mean this in any text below)
is worn by a skin thief they become that thing for all intents and purposes , except mental stats (intelligence and wisdom)  become an average of the creatures and the skin thieves. If the hit dice of the original creature is higher than your level , the amount that it is greater is multiplied by 10 and used as percentile.
Roll this percentile at the start of any situation in where the original creatures nature  would dictate a different course of action than the characters. If the percentile rolled is under the g.m takes control instead.

. (you might like to have the player keep control instead , as long as they play appropriately. This works better thematically , with the Skin Thief still having some wiggle room to manipulate the drives )

If the creature is still alive double this percentage,
as the creature does not have to dead , just separate from a large enough portion of their body. This includes shed skins from anthropods or reptiles or saving enough hair from a mammal.

Changing from the Ship to a Dream or Nightmare castle causes the skin to be instantly shed.

level 3: Flesh Speaking: as speak with dead but can be used on any body part or fluid of atleast 2 kilos in weight or spread over at least half as square metre, regardless on the condition of the owner

level 5: Children of the Stomach: instead of wearing a skin the Skin thief can consume it and vomit it out later as an action. The skin takes the form of the original being acts under the control of the Skin thief, unless of greater hitdice than the skin thief, in which case the percentile control system is used.

Each of the Stomach Child's hitdice is rolled twice with the worst taken to determine its hitpoints.

Any skin kept in the stomach adds its weight to the emcumberence of the character, assume a line for each skin of humanoid size.  Although immobility is reached at maximum encumberece additional skins can be ingested, each requiring a Body save. Failing a body save causes the death of the Skin Thief and the immediate release of all the  Stomach Children who will remain alive until they see their reflection.


Discombobulate: Discombobulate is rolled whenever a player attempts to justify how the Nature of a Dream or Nightmare Castle work in their favour and the g.m does not have immediate surety of the likeness of it. It is can used to determine adjustment to disorientation from weird gravity or geometry or otherwise rapidly adapt to an alien situation.

Ascern: Ascern is used like notice but rolled to determine clues towards the nature of a Nightmare Castle , Dream or the physiological reality of a sentient being.

Examples of Nightmare Castle and Dream Natures (note Nightmare Castles are almost interchangeable with Dream , except the Nature will be adapted , harnessed or somehow pragmatizised by the founders)

1. Violent Cartoon: ridiculous slapstick damage. Double damage from any source unless the being responds in a spectacular and overboard fashion. Ascern to notice this, and a successful Discombobulate roll means damage is halfed.

2. The more afraid you are of something the more a distance will stretch in localised fashion, effectively slowing you.. Fear as the spell effect effectively paralyzes   Discomboliate rolls to resist fear. If a Nightmare Castle people will be caged near their phobia as way of creating additional space in a room. Sometimes a funnel channels a substance desirable to be compressed through the pockets of the terrified person causing it to be spilled and contained in the localized space. The unlucky person is then shot and the space snaps smaller compressing the substance into a tidy brick.

3. Speculating about something has a 1 in 3 chance of making it happen here. This is extremely dangerous if a Nightmare Castle.

4. 1d6 objects or aspects of the environment are trying to kill you at all times. Discombobulate rolls to try and select what objects are trying to kill you

5. Mirrors and similar reflective surfaces contain an opposite version of you , releasable if broken. Nightmare Castles will have some insane clone war shit going on

6. No one can die here, but still are inconvenienced and hurt by physical damage

7. Your weight here depends on your mood. The more negative you are the heavier. Assume a variance of 1% to 1000% of original weight. Discombobulate to try and switch moods rapidly. If Nightmare Castle expect people to use weaponized (or mechanized like operating a machine)  mood swings via drugs or scrap books of sad/happy pictures

8. Relative gravity , like the closest and largest surface is down. Discombobulate to make this work for you.

Tuesday 18 November 2014

This is not that list of questions for your campaign

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF So Jeff Rients of future man eating fame wrote a list of 20 useful and entirely reasonable questions for your campaign.

This is not that table.

This is an example of the other type of questions players will ask you and you should get some practise answering them now before all those bright keen faces are turned you with the first input they have ever done to a roleplaying game

1. Is there weaponized Squid? 
(follow up questions are below)  Can I start with one? How much are they? Can I have one as a pet/horse/best friend? Can I play one? Can I dual wield them?

2. Is there undead robots?
follow up questions involve the nature of consciousness and the existence of the soul in your campaign and can I play one? or have one as a pet or a gun that shoots them?

3. Do Icebergs walk across the land ?
can I be from one? Is godzilla frozen in one? Can I play a godzilla?

4. What do birds know?
(no further questions)

5. Does medicine work like it does here but no-one knows CPR or does it work like a cartoon so I cure amnesia with more head injurys or does it work like medieval euro people thought it did with demons in your teeth?
Do I start with demons in my teeth? Do I know CPR? Can I invent CPR? Can I give myself powers with additionally organs? What planet is in ascension in my spleen midmorning?

6. I want to play a hobbit but really I'm the fleas controlling the hobbit. Where is that in the book?
Could I take over a new guy with my fleas? Or another players guy?

7. How much could I rent my body out to spirits before I lost control of my character?
What are the names of the spirits? Are they cool?

8.What level do I have to get my character to before I am the g.m?
Can I half be the g.m at an early level? What about when you leave the room?

9. What is the dumbest thing I can spend my money on?
no dumber than that but cool. Like a pet with a pet with a weapon? Can pets dual wield?

10. How ugly can my guy be? Like Can I basically be a walking fish?
No wait I wanna be a walking fish. What is the reverse scuba technology like in this world?

11.The lamp oil? Is that like cooking oil, kerosene, white spirits or napalm?
How much can I buy of it?

12. How does physics work in this world?
What makes the planets stay up? Are there planets? Is it elves? Can I play an elf from another planet? Does everything work like how we though it did in the past? Can I discover stuff and pass it off as a magic? Is possible to use the scientific process to organise the concepts of magic?

13. Can I start with weapon hands?
What about crab claws? Can  I play a crab with human hands? Can I have one as a pet? Do they live on a different planet? Can we go there?

14. What cultures approve of cannibalism?
What about if we are super rich? Aren't rich cannibals be default , I mean if you think about it? How is the class struggle here anyway? Is there a Karl Marx? How receptive are people to the ideas of anarcho-syndicalism here?

15. Can my character not be real , but a hallucination of another character?
But I still wanna be able to do stuff. What are the stats for that?

16. Which is the rome but with lava fire country in this world? 
What about the ice circus country? Can I have a pet from there?

17. Can I invent an insect?
as a player like right now I tell you an insect and you put it in the game? Or as a character? Can my spells be insects that then exist in this world after I cast them? Can I play an insect who is actually a spell cast in this world? What about as a pet?

18. Is there reverse fire?
What about reverse water or earth? What do they wear there?

19. How much money can I make inventing siege engines?
Can I play a siege engine? In what ways are animals used in siege engines?

20.What is the most significant tree to the economy of the starting place?
Is it really a tree or maidens stitched together? If I play a maiden do I get spells or do people that worship me get spells but only if I'm mad at them?

Thursday 6 November 2014

Away from that MOnster cupboard encounter

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF 3 weeks already where has the time gone.
Well mainly it's gone working on The Velvet Horizon Bestiary  and skool and going man am I tired from skool.
Also the blog posts I keep drafting keep growing in complexity and the old days of just writing up a thought experiment as far as I could take it are faded.
Well not faded but  it's hard to just through ideas out without feeling disappointment that I wasn't taking to the time to brood them into a more completed form, like a book with pictures and everything or an otherwise useable game document. So I feel that the posts here will prob be more monthly that forenightly but maybe , occasionally, things shinier will emerge , as I concentrate the blogging energy on specific projects rather than split it between blogging and them.

And none of you fuckers get me anyhow.

Anyhowway while the draft for THe World is a Very big Space ship loiters around the draft folder some more I thought I would do this quicker thing that Cole asked me to do after I went and posted this on g+

"Encounter table idea : having all the creature encounters have a sign/tracks/trail description that you read out instead if they are rolled AND the party is being stealthy . Some shy creatures could have the reverse of this and have only signs if the party is noisy.
If the next encounter roll turns up a monster instead use the one previously indicated instead, though I guess if the party is still stealthy then maybe it is tracks again, which could be fun realizing that something is now following you , though it is currently not exactly sure where you are.
Guess it could turn up if you are too noisy with something else.
Also does anyone run predators as things that just follow the party until they can swoop down kill and/or abduct the weakest member and then flee? and like be never seen other wise?"

and he battered his eyelashes and said he would love to see an example of this.

So here we go, let's do one for Islands, that last post which if you can'r be bothered clicking back is about Cocofolk, Iguanas, Foamlings and Sand Hoppers living in islands chains that are actually the tops of submerged skyscrapers. And the skyscrapers are full of monsters.


1. Axe beak. Aggressive large flightless bird. Ambush predator. Often attacks out of territorism
Signs: territory markings in half cut down trees. Large bird scat w, containing bones and crab shells

2.Woefully Sloth : bear sized sloth with long anteater nose. Excellent camouflage. Hides up trees.
Signs: Will be wandering around digging up ant nests. Valuable fur and medicinal plants ggrowing on it, dangerous if cornered

3. Splinderpede : big as centipede that follows you from tree tops shooting poisonous spines at party weakening them helpful to fleeing leaving behind unconscious companions for it to pull into a tree and eat,
Signs: Carcass up trees. Spines embedded in ground and trees . Other animals reluctant to cross open ground , included those big enough to normally not be so skittish

4. Machine-Animated -By-Fungus : it's a machine thing animated by fungus from Below. It seeks out biological enzymes to suck into itself.. Unusual preferences in target select but overreacts when threatened Signs: dead animals covered in mould and stranger fungus but uneaten. Stray bits of junk metal and technogripple scrapped off on things.

5. Man-Hive: Bees that repurpose corpses into walking be hives. Dangerous if approached. 10% chance Hive is swarming, ie half the bees are going of to find a new home, preferably alive to kill hollow out and partially animate..

Signs: A knowledge eye will pick out man-hive bees (short wings, morel like a bumble bee with viscous jaws. from regular bees floating around the many many flowers that will be in the area (man-hives relocate). Also man-hive-bees will visit corpses to obtain things they use for maintained the hive. Mamhive honey does all kinds of crazy shit from memory transfer, raising the dead, preserving wounds and enpowering corpses. Getting the details right is a little tricky though

6 Voop: tiny blue men that will sneak up all the party and with sharp long straws each remove a hit point each from various partial organ slurping. This is hit point will not come back on it's on or with regular healing magic. THey will stalk the party and wait until they are sleeping or separately. The procedure is fast and painless.
Signs : None. They are tracking you know but are unsure of you number and exact position

7. Bruiser Squid: Large omnivorous land squid, has 4 main tentacles combined from each other. Moves like a drunk gorilla turning resentful circus tricks. Aggressive with tree shaking  hooting and mantle slapping and ink sprays if approached or near a food source. If they are hunger they will follow (oblivious) at a short distance and then signs of weakness or running will make it charge semi-arboreally bring tree down and moving rather fast .
Signs. Broken branches in weird places. Patches of ground swept clare, big fruit that have be masticated and slurp dry

8.Razor Ghost: Like a man made out of scissors shadows. From Below. Cuts you painlessly to pieces. This will not kill you for several weeks.
SIgns: entrance to below exposed, vandalized wards, animals missing limbs, very quiet birds

Wednesday 8 October 2014

Worlds Expanded; Islands

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"This World is Islands. The island are the top of drowned airtight skyscrapers.
You can play a Iguanoid, cocofolk, Sandhopper, or  Foamling
The classes are Beach Comber, Tamperer, Big Liar, and KingCrab. You seek  to grow your village with modern conveniences and monster flesh"

As fun as making quick allusions to possibilities is, I'm going to flesh this out, using the Roger Sg Sorolla's 52 page rule book as the mechanics

village mechanics:
By bringing back exotic foods you will grow in status and power. So various things have a Food value instead of a gold value. Divide by 10 and that's how many meals that things is worth, if you want that number to mean something.
Not everything that is edible is worth exp. Same way not everything sellable is worth exp. Your village is fussy okay?
Modern convinces like comfy chairs or cheese grater found in the underworld will also be worth meals, though no-one eats them. Just everyone is grateful for you bringing it back that they don't mind you not fishing or root digging like everyone else.

Your village provides one thing for the party at the start of each session (other than the first) : a thing is like "restore all your hit points" or "1d4 0 level losers accompany you to help drag the tree" or "start digging a really big pit". 
Any thing additionally requires rolling your Esteem on a d6. It starts at one and goes up by one everytime anyone in the party goes up a level. It can be reduced by bad things happening to the village or the party embracing themselves. It represents both the size, health and talent pool of the village and how much  they will do for you.  After  you roll your Esteem reduce it (temporally) by one. So if it is 6 you get 2 things automatically and the next thing has a 1 in 6 chance of failing (by rolling a 6, because it is now 5, you dig?)

At higher levels the d.m might decide to have the village be able to do fancier things for you or have some things cost more temporary esteem or have a esteem gambling mechanic or have the esteem tradable in for the creation of NPCs or many other ways of making this more complicated. Anyway this is a basic way to represent you are dragging shit back to make people happy. 

The Peoples:
They are different peoples thought they generally live together in ad hoc villages. Some villages go crazy and worship blood robots or feed people to fang pits but at least cocofolk and foamling can live side by side.

Brightly coloured iguana people. They can swim and hold their breath for ages have natural leather armour and claws and bites like having a dagger on them. They are made of meat and blood and thus are Delicious to Carnivores 

These are like coconuts evolved to look more and more like people and now they are people. When they get old they bury themselves and turn into a cocofolk tree, which if pestered enough might wake up enough to answer questions about the old days. Their skin is as hard as leather armour and they float so well they will need to hang on to something very heavy in order to sink. They breathe as a human would however. They are made from wood and plant stuff and coconut milk and flesh, therefore are Delicious to Herbivores

These are delicate sylph looking people formed from ocean foam and parts of them partially turn into water. Once a day they can turn into a puddle of water for a round per int point. Trying again after that requires a successful mind save or forever more remain a pool of water. They can never again enter the ocean, it is a solid mass to them. They need to breath and eat as a human. They dissolve into sea foam when they die , and are Palatable to Carnivores but Extremely Delicious to Ocean going predators (because the ocean hates them).

An upright walking sand flea. Narrow , and chitin is somewhat translucent and not as hard as it might seem. Can leap as far as a human could throw a cat. Made of bug parts so only Palatable to Carnivores but Delicious to Insectivores


Scavengers and opportunists, learning what is nessacery to survive and quick to experiment and explore new ways of thriving.
Their motivations are generally to find new and better ways of living and surviving and obtain status by being the first to discover new foods, lands and tricks.
Melee: +1
Saves: Choose one out of mind, body and speed: that gets +9 the other 2 get +5
Bonus to the following skills:

Can use any armour or weapon

level 1 : Player can spontaneously declare their character has just the right mundane item on them, once a session, if they reasonable would of had an opportunity to obtain before hand
level 3: Can reconstruction an idea of what has happen in a location
level 5: Standing in the right place. When characters position goes from vague to suddenly important you can choose the most favourable place to be (as long as it only mildy abuses plausibility) 

King Crab:
This class focuses on protecting themselves and constantly add and modify their own personal set of armour, using bits of shell, hide, old coins, wood and bark etc. tough, make armour from coral and exoskeletons and other hard things.  Their motivations are generally developing personal power, and obtaining status for their might and endurance.
Melee: +2
Missile: +0
Body:+9 Mind:+7 Speed:+3

Can use any armour or weapons

Bonus to the following skills:

level 1: Their personal armour counts as heavy and goes up by 1 every 2 levels.
level 3: Big arm: incorporate a monstrous limb , attack or similar as part of their armour, allow the ability to use that as a natural weapon , possibly with reduced damage from the original if the originals damage was more due to the beasts strength
level 5: incorporate a monstrous ability into your armour that is based on its skin , shell or hide, like fire resistance, camouflage , spell deflection etc.

Note all King Crab armour upgrades assume you have access to appropriate  monster parts

Tamperers can't leave anything alone, they provoke, investigate, fiddle, explore and experiment. While the beachcomber seeks to learn new things out of pragmatism , the tamperer just does stuff to see what happens.
They are generally motivated by (often slightly malicious) curiosity 
Choose one from Melee and Missile, that gets +1
Body: +7 Mind: +7 Body +7
Bonuses to the following skills:

Can use any armour or weapons

level 1: Can modify one thing about a complex device or magic device for one use with a successful tutu check
level 3: Can choose the target of a missed shot
level 5: Can steal a device ability or a magic ability from its point of origin and store it on them with a successful tutu check. The point of origin has to be distracted or not currently active to use this. Only one can used .

Big Liar:
Someone who makes up stories so convincing they become real. Seeks out new things to discover and new people to talk to.

Body:+3 Speed:+5 Mind: +11
Bonuses to the following skills:
Can use any weapons or armour

 Can cast spells as a wizard or a prophet (choose at character creation) as per normal 52 page rules.
level 1: you can speak to all animals
level 3: you can speak to all living things , and anyone giving their word to you must keep it or be forced to do something else that you will
level 5: Once a day if you tell someone something out of combat they must save or believe it


This skill is used when the play wants to get something from the local environment and its relatively simple only time consuming. The success of this skill often means a good number or quality of the thing is found , with failure meaning only a token amount is found. Sometimes the a failure means nothing is foraged.
Examples "I wish to gather a number of small trees for making stakes" is a forage check. Success means the wood is very good quality (possibly giving a bonus to damage etc) or found quickly or in great number.
"I will see if their is any fresh water nearby" that's a forage check. Failure means no fresh water nearby.

Anoint means smearing potent fluids or oils on a weapon or tool for task at hand. It can also involve the incorporation of objects to empower a weapon or tool. The anointment must involve something precious being sacrificed , or the anointment is significant or connected to the task. It can be done between sessions or in play , especially if the player gives a bombastic speech. Having a successfully anoint weapon or tool means a number of free rerolls are  gained (only one reroll can be used per roll) = to the amount you succeed the check by.
Examples of Anointing: the blood of one slain by a monster used to anoint a weapon used for it.

A child of the task attempted being slain and used to anoint a great fish hook to fish up a beast capable of feeding the village

A bone of ancestor of hated rival incorporated in a weapon against that rival

The hair of a grieving village used to make a rope to trap a child eating giant.

One anointment can be attempted per session on a item. If the things used in the anointing are particular potent or epic or cool maybe give the player one free reroll and the anoint roll giving them bonus rerolls if successful

as per 52 page book.

This means to craft , fuck around , modify , or tinker with something. It is used to discover subtle properties of an object or a device, or turn raw components into a useable form, e.g. turning a fishes spine into a spear etc. Failure generally means you can try again next session. IF the tutu-ing seems do-able by anyone success mean it's done faster or better than usual.


Beasts have a hunger value. This is a number that if rolled or under on a d6 means the beast will try and  kill eat someone (not always in that order). Small beasts will stalk and strike when the party is separated or weakened, bigger beasts will try and snatch and carry off the biggest, or drive off the rest of the party. Mindless will just attack and try and eat regardless of party strength or response.

HUnger: roll on a d6. If someone is delicious roll 2 dice and keep the worst opposite if playable
If something is Very Delicious as above but also move encounter table up or down one if that would bring an encounter to eat them

Encounter tables:
There always should be an encounter, with simple herbivores and environment conditions taking the place of a "no-result" encounter.
Encounters with beasts should range from the tricky to catch but worth food (fast moving herbivores, possibly lead a pursuing party into a environment hazard or creature lair) , big dangerous herbivores that only attack if provoked (and worth food) , big dangerous carnivores that are rarely hungry (pythons) and stuff that is from below (ghosts, glass elementals, business men). The environment can serve as a form of traps , tricks and treasure , with trees with valuable fruit that release hallucinating gas, bird eggs atop dangerous cliffs etc.

The Down Below serves as the traditional dungeon environment with weirdness and technology, old magics etc. There is less food here but more Modern Conveniences and items of potency etc.

Beasts on the island also should be valuable for powerful items that can be made from their blood , hide and teeth. Treat the concept of a monsters lair with treasure instead as the monsters body instead.  You can still have lairs and stuff as well.

The whole eco system and foraging as dungeoneering is inspired by Mike F's Terruzeng island stuff.

I will come back to the idea of using encounter systems to represent  an ecosystem at some point because it has been something on my mind for awhile 

Sunday 5 October 2014


Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF This World is Islands. The island are the top of drowned airtight skyscrapers.
You can play a Iguanoid, cocofolk, Sandhopper, or  Foamling
The classes are Beach Comber, Tamperer, Big Liar, and KingCrab. You seek  to grow your village with modern conveniences and monster flesh

This World is a Very Big Space Ship. It's not entirely real and it travels through peoples dreams and some of them get in.
You can a play a Nemo, Pink Elephant, Shadow, Tooth Fairy
The Classes are Confronter, Sneak, Sniper, Skinthief. You seek safety , survival, and the ejection of Nightmare Castles

This World is Hollow. Cruel star people rule the surface and below is furious squabbles over liquid light and solid heat.
You can a play a Fungoid, Meat-Engine , Coal Elf, or Worms
The Classes are PowerLeech, Mercenary, Bonepicker , or Snuffer
You seek glory, food, secrets and domain

This World is Giant Trees. The world of the dead gnaws at the roots and clouds are predatory too.
You can play a Squibbon,  Cankerlad, Caterpillar, or Parasite-Ape
The Classes are Borer, Glider, Leaper and Chameleon
You seek the skulls of your ancestors, amber and the settling of grim feuds.

Sunday 21 September 2014


Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
I do various arts and mostly the vector is a fungus like urge to destroy my environment and convert it to something that is an extension of me. Or to create some other form of noise and then convert that into a coherency that somehow is me extending my psychic domain.

People talk about art and the expression of feelings, especially those weird nameless feelings that dislocate and wrench. Actually I don't know if they do , I think they talk about art and its dialogues and its ideas  and not feelings at all. Possibly because they are over-specialized cockroach people?

Anyway they should because I believe that sometimes people make art so they have this feeling that had no name and now it still does not have a name (as names are useless unless there is a close enough reference point for both communicators) but the artist can know that , somehow , the feeling has happened is represented outside their own head.
Which is somehow quite important for people.

I have pretty much never attempt this , once, here, with op-shop tapes and samples from past giants

ANyway, rpgs, and the perverse urge to use the creation of them to express some inchoate* mewling thing.

This is possible a terrible idea as intentions vs results go, as you are involving other people , which is always a terrible idea , and every session is its own beast.

People do do the hyper focused I-want-this-to-be-about-this game design and I like this in theory even though I don't think I have seen something that I would actually want to play and it seems the roll of mechanics vs expectation preloading is sometimes overstated in favour of mechanics and farce is always ready to take the wheel.

(I used the AW 2d6 system variant World of Dungeons a way back and the thing about anything you can roll for has  a pretty much 50% chance of working (though often with a draw back or cost) means mayhem and putting players putting each others  souls in bugs bodies and no one had a clear idea of how dangerous anything was and dunno skeletons and a guy fell in a hole and didn't run into the gas spores or spotlight dogs)

also this

*I just discover inchoate also means "(of an offence, such as incitement or conspiracy) anticipating or preparatory to a further criminal act." so I am even more hilarious than I thought

BUt what was my point? Oh yeah sometimes I have an itch to express something and its describe a setting or a game or something.\

That thing where the real world has a secret world sliding on beneath and behind, going back stage to reality and its all empty and discarded props. The secret world is tawdry and sniggering and our heroes chase things and become things themselves and they are looking just as much they are running and it's pick two run, hide or just might find. No-one wants to be left behind.

SO like any urban fantasy horror like X-files or Supernatural or Buffy but shittier. Way shitty*. There is no budget, no overarching mythology , and the characters are fucking losers who go into the dark secret places in order to get a taste of some sublimation and the real world is leaving them behind or they have already fallen off or they just never got along/on anyway.
Like Neverwhere but instead of a fantastic underground market happening right in front of the norms , it's a guy in a foreclosed shop smelling like sick dog going "oh you just missed them"

It's the cast from the goonies 10 years on breaking into places looking for tunnels and starting fires

*well not shittyier in the way that it has even more cliches, and obvious plot twists , and conventionally narrative arcs and plot protection and all that garbage that I hear makes a good story and I laugh and laugh and laugh.

And like , the shadow world has a budget of fucking zero , so they can't live there.

And things keep going back and forth from obviously fake and nonsensical (why do all these people wear wigs over their faces and eat people from their caravan and not get caught) to real and internal sensical (there is a very large bug and it ate a lot people) and evidence just vanishes and reality actively rewrites itself infront of your eyes to a default boring.

So a lot like scooby doo.

The players solve mysterys for loose change , get into fights with the worst dogs, try to keep their shit together enough to not lose it, not show up in real world enough to get arrested or get locked out of the shadow world and gradually get swallowed whole by their protective self mythology.



Real World

Shadow World: not actually a place , more the bits that happen when the real world is not paying attention. Anything brought in the real world will be converted into the real world.

Some kind of dynamic where the less you have your shit together the easier you can access the shadow world but the hard it is not go crazy. Being crazy can dump you back in the real world. Too much access to the real world means consequences are more likely to find you , like being arrested or locked out. You could get lost to the shadow world in which incase you have become a urban myth and a crude caricature of person.

Some vague ass system so you can get set fire to things and get shot reliably.  CoC, unknown armys ,etc. Monster of week is the opposite of this so it might work by going too far the other way.
A 2d6 partial success system could possibly be fun so people try anything and then it prob happens with crap consequences.  And if everything gets too fantastical well then wallpaper over it afterwards. "Wait I thought this was necromancer's lair, now it's a P-lab? What about that golem made from people? It was children standing on each other in costume?"
Any explanation that creates even more questions is a good one.

Characters: like depressed saleswoman, valium addicted househusband, talentless teenager, runaway.
They should have a reason they prefer trying to find grout gnomes than facing their real life

Maybe somekind of way of developing the characters explanation for all this as a personaly mythology that makes them slightly more powerful , everything slightly more deranged and there is still a chance they will realize that this baseball is not Excalibur and they can't deflect bullets

Friday 29 August 2014


Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF I BEEN PUTTING ALL THE NAMES ON g+ for things and requesting fantasy races and then some people asked for Doppelganger, Grey Ooze , and Displacer Beast

CLICK HERE FOR ORIGINAL THREADS BECAUSE THERE IS OTHERS THAT V.GOOD (or search #scrapnames if the link doesn't work because g+)

I can't think of it to be anyway interesting to have doppelganger having names. Like they are either (in my head) tormented echo monsters (like a meat mirror, like a spambot or a rogue Turning test trying to prove it and you are not real) that barely believe they are real or they are so far beyond identity that a name is like us pissing on our clothes so we know they are ours.

Grey Ooze...buh I'm still thinking about this. Okay their names are smells

1. <boiling bleach>
2. <Ironed dirty sock>
3. <rain on hot pavement>
4. <brake fluid>
5. <mouldy used firework>
6. <cheap fake lavender and pva>
7. <dry milk>
8. <raw egg>
9. <ozone>
10.<moth ball/camphor>
11.<rotten flour>

Displacer Beasts: feel like these would have a complete different understanding of space and inhabiting space and the concept of attaching a narrow band of energy to the points and vectors of an individual weirdly pointless to them. The equivalent for us would be throwing a pebble in a lake to represent someone. Displacer beast would fundamentally both know and know their not knowing of themselves and other displacer beasts
. You can describe where a thing was but it already is un-naming by trying to include a previous state as part of its identity.
Which is a complete necessity for us, but an absurdity for Displacer Beasts. Okay so maybe if they try and use a name for themselves they just choose a location that they were at because that what they think names are.

Displacer Beast Names

1. Behind You
2. Beside The Stairs
3. Under The Moon
5, Inside
8.The Roof
9.Along Gates
10.In Its Shadow
11.Not There

*tried to make a link to searching by hashtag #names but fuck I don't know


2.Boss Man
3.Stocious Wily
4. Big Jobs
5.Hacksaw Perky
6.Jasper Screwy-Little-Bastard
7.Peter O'peters
8.Violent Ted
9. Nanna Belligerency
10. Frightening Tom
11.Doxie Sweets
12.Fizzer the Completely Reasonable
13."Deeply" Worrying Jim
14.Happy Sam Awful
15."Hurtling" Mertle
16. Nel The Pisser
17. Raw Knuckle
18. Grimey Carmichaels Goonly
19 "Don't Tell Me To Calm Down" Providence
20. Aednat Jane Lavender Blood Blood Blood

1. Scaldy Mongo Drainer
2. Cat Fucker
7.Daint Skewer


3.Old Woman
6.Elder One Wards
7.Thuja Stonecrack
10. Athrotaxis

Toadborn Namesss

9.Spoilate Tugs
10.Dull  Vlume

Skaven names:

1.Sarcosis Spittle
2.Blight And Woe
3.Vex Cruels
5.Wrack Shivet
6. Fits Twitcher
7. Slunks Carnifex
8. Viscreling Bilechild
9.Sempervirens inVitro

Names of Kenku:

2. Master Wind
7. Friar Handsome
8.Dame Graves
9. 6 hearts

Names of Giants

1.5 Tigers Man
2. The Great Gut of the North
3.Old Grim
6.Tom Dredge
7.Annis o the moor
8. Lonesome Hun
9.The Arm in The Dark
10.Vor the Sunderer
11.Ashen Dreg  

Githyanki Names :

1. Let It Burn
2. Scorning
3.All Wars Just
4. Revelations Purposeless
5. Strangling Star
6. Disdainer
7.Hurtling Toward Pain
8. Among The Strong
9. Endlessly Falling Architect
10. Visitation Rites Anew
11. Never Failing Her

Githzerai Names:

4. your-thrones-parasites

Thri-kreen names:

1. Stop That
4.Gos Over
5.Hunt Best
6. Sticky
9.Wears A Man
10.Very Much
11.Hello There

Dwarf Names:

1.Brain CrimeHammer
2.Toom Dirtpuncher
3.Augnusicity Slurry
4. Judas Stone
5. Biggun Godhorn
6. Maulissa Tuggles
7. Frost Berlinwall
8. Grist Wronggrinder
9. Undle Shovvelingsmire
10. Leiss Goreblock
11. Boron Hugwraith

Elf Names:
2.Delsmaiden Drown'a'child
5. Glimmerbone
6. Gloam Takewant
7. Hiss Godsfruit
8. Beesong Carcass
9. Selenium Pouring Harm
10. Flitting Whipperskull
11. Dove Grievous

Dragon Names:
(note young dragons name themselves after a specific point of pride, then add to that until it weighs on them that their deeds could be merely cataloged  and so give themselves sweeping titles suggestive of countless glories. There is numerous other fads and whimsys but the most notable after this is the tendency for the very oldest of dragons to have but a single word, with the implication being their name was the source of the word.

YOung dragon names:
1.Bruxatonn, Fouler of the Lake
2.Cavourous, The Cattle Scourge
3. Heinous Red, The Doom of Pigglewiddle
4. Brutus, Eater of a Million Babies
5.Xorable, Who Shat On The Moon
6. Black Virens, Usurper of Bogspoke Manor
7. Seething Disrustrix , Decimator of the Wayward Moor
8. GristleGore , Pig Despoiler

Older than that:
1.Assanine The Poison of The Sky
2. BroilGlare , The Wound of the World
3: Vux The Madderner
4.Turmoilous the Goreful
5.Hateful Histonix , the Merciful
6.Carst Whose Shadow is Loss
7.Umbral Craetagus, Scar of the Mountain
8.Ghastrosmous, The Stain on Gold

Ancient Dragon Names
1. Hunger
2. Wrath
4. Lamentation


1. Big Rats
2. Fucks To You
3. Braindigger
4. Skulk
5. Rabies
6. Candy
7. Pubesmoker
9. Tongues

but really go to g+ search for "scrap princess and maybe try searching the hashtag #names to find many more suggests which were so excellent that I just fucked around for an hour trying to include them here in some fashion but it was fucked

Tuesday 19 August 2014

the monsters they climb into each other part 2

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF So I did that previous post and then I thought of more.

Okay so jellyfish have  a some what complicated life cycle with various stages appearing like completely different animals and some having a colony stage of life there as well.
So that's some food for thought there. Monsters that turn into other monsters or monsters that break bits off themselves which then have independent existence until/or than/they form a colony organism which is a different monster. Sooo lets say snakes are actually the motile sex organs of Medusa (a flowering stage) and search out new locations , have sex and make more snakes, but if conditions are very hostile to snakes they combine together to make a hydra , or if a snake finds a suitable place for forming a medusa , then it starts turning into a medusa.

our souls could be a colony organism and the talking and culture we do is the sex / infomation exchange (not be confused with the sex the partially hijacked monkey body does*) but on death the individual astral organisms that make up a soul fly off and some of them clump together (possibly with other soul cells from a complete different soul colony ) to take on other  forms of life. For the bits of the soul responsible for anger form a colony organism know as wraith. Ghosts are formed from the parts of the soul responsible for nostalgia and emotional connection to places.
Other astral , intangible or undead monsters can be crudely shoehorned or reskined however you want to make up this metaphysics (Chinese and  Egyptian concepts recommended for a read).
Also this blog post

*but really that monkey is driving, you are bad at hijacking soul colony organism, I guess they get ideas out of everything the monkey does, maybe the monkey is your soul colonys form of gene shuffling?

And  here is a  combiner monster(s):

Gulp are a huge (could eat a couple of camels beside each other) ray like thing but more stomach than ray. Like great leather bag with 2 piggy eyes on top most of the time they swoop along canyons and rocky mountain passes , flattened like a single bat wing then snapping opening to swallow whole a goat or blind pilgrim. They can't really fly with something in their stomach but can glide which they will do to a crack or cavelet unassailable by ground and proceed to quickly vacuum seal themselves around their food, suffocating and preventing all but tiny movements. Imagine being sealed between 2 thick layers of very tensile and  resilient rubber , with not a single gab. Even trying to move your arm near your head pulls against both layers like pulling against a 100 rubber ropes. They  rely on the thichness of their skin and the trapping of the prey to protect them against sharp objects. If they cannot fly they more or less helpless. They are mildy intelligent and have a language that is extremely good at describing geography surface area and wind currents and complicated 3 dimensional structures changing rapidly over time. They have a understanding of local languages as well. They not interested in anything other food and sleeping after food.

Skiz: a white ring with multitudal eyes  and with limbs like origami if origami used bone knives instead of paper. They cheat when they fold themselves , taking up way less or more space than they should.  They can fold round themselves forming something like a bladed worm drill. They use this to insert themselves in a desert trees core. Its limbs , when it wants or needs to jag out the top like a bone crown of scissors. They absorb nutrients from the tree and defend the tree and sometimes ambush life near the tree to fertilize the soil around the tree. They are rarely found outside the tree and are quite intelligent and with a language elegant and  sophisticated for the explaining of spatial properties  and subjective absolutes. Again like the Gulp they pick up local languages easily and will know a few, despite they lack of opptunitys to have done that. They pass their time in a dream like fugue feeding off the tree and will react with violence to anything disturbing this. Though offering anything to help the tree might calm them

Puund: The Punund are like an inch worm but without defined end. They accordion in from a few metres and then stretch out to 15 like a lumpy slinky dressed up like fake rock scenery from a b-grade movie.
They do not eat or sleep. They have not language but their minds overflow with a sense of great hopeful expectation, like an endless near arrival that not quite happens,  that is intoxicating and slightly painful to the contacters. IF they are prevented from travelling at least 10 kilometres  a day they will wither , form a dormant , pale looking thing and waste away within a year. Anyone contacting its mind during this stage will know despair but visions of unlimited possibility.

When  the Skiz or the Gulp are particularly  threatened or hunted or food is desperately scarce, or the Puuund particular is imperiled they will find one another (and they always know where each other are) and they will go together to unerring seek a Puund. When all 3 are together they flow and become one , the Gulp-Skiz-Puund. It looks like mutant terrestrial whale designed by Wayne barlowe and it is brutal , intelligent , and capable of minor alternations of space and time around itself so it can accelerate and turn and squeeze like something its size and mass should not be able to. It will single mindedly move to improve conditions to something tolerable for its parts and then separate.  The minds of the Gulp and Skiz too different to not be painful in union. Being close to the Puuund mind is worse for them however as its never-arriving-joy makes them feel like they could go home again.
For the reason these 3 creatures can form together is their origin is the same , a different aspect of reality where the rules were constantly changing and consciousness and unifying theorys and energy and matter surged in and out of each endless reinventing each other. Some how some of it got sheared off when it past to close to this world and these 3 creatures were the congealate of the exiled material. The Skiz and Gulp can dream an echo of home (which is why their lives are arranged to maximize the time unconscious and blissful) while the Puuund dealt with the shock by giving itself an constant loop of hope and amnesia , endlessly repeating the moment it thought it could leave this place.

 EDIT: Changed the text abit so its obvious there is only one of each, and the Skiz and the Gulp speak something other than their own languages , which they presumedly pick up from dreaming slightly outside reality and seeing the places where language lives as the move past them.

Monday 18 August 2014

Together the Kobolds

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF Soooo this is a filler post inspired by list of stuff suggested to me to blog about a way back.

Their name is lost to time and vaguerys of google plus's archiving service.

Anyway they suggested write about monster that combine together to form a bigger monster

SO that sounds like slime molds

SLime molds:

Quick version : they are single celled organisms that when food is scare join together to make a motile colony organism and then when some other condition they form a "flowering body" that releases spores that float far far away and turn into new single celled organisms.

SO idea 1:
Taking this pretty much as it is have dungeon slimes that are classic anime rpg slimes (small and weak and numerous). If a new niche opens up , say a large alpha predator is removed , the slimes congeal into a giant slime monster (possibly using left over parts of the old one alpha predator; lets call this version The Re-animator Slime Mold) and start using that niche instead.

Making it so it is not obvious that it was all those mini slimes forming the new one would be interesting. Maybe the only clue would be the now complete absence of mini slimes
Other ecological niches in a dungeon the slimes could form is scavengers (presuming they were decomposers before and presuming the difference is scavengers eat things that are recognizable as food and decomposers eat whats left), grazer (you weaponized all the albino cave goat and now only slitted legged jellys graze on the lichens here) , predators of varying prey sizes and habit (chaser, ambusher, stalker).

Presumedly cleaning out the dungeon off all life results in the slimes forming a giant and strange flower stretching out above the dungeons , possible seen as a sign that the place has been blessed by the gods and is now free of the taint of evil. But really it's slime sexing in the wind and now spores are being spread on the wind to seed new dungeon slimes.

Or if the slime spores are just not stuck to the adventurers boots, so next time they explore a place , even if there is not monsters there, there will be after they have left.

Possibly by slime , I could be talking a "protean force of evil" and so all monsters are combinable to make bigger monsters and monster spore spreads on the wind and boot of tomb plunderer.

There was a lot of talk that I don't know where to find now about the dungeon as a living organism, so this would dovetail nicely in with this.

I can't help be thinking of the humanoid ladder of hit dice here (ie kobold-goblin-orc-hobgoblin-ogre) and kobolds quietly insinuating themselves together to make a ogre. Or you hack into a troll and its full of goblins, like all molded together seamlessly.

Can't think of anywhere to go further with that (also warhammer orks were fungus based so lets just make that explored)

Specific Combining Monsters:

Kobobobobold: Kobolds when pushed far and deep enough out of their lairs find a secret places to mold together forming a centipede like kobobobobold. Still thin enough to squeeze in and out of tinest spaces but now a concentrated threat. Like a long line of flesh ringed with mouths yapping away in awful cacophony running along on all the fingers and toes the limbs having formed ribs and structural supports. The great mouth is full of mouths.

Destalt: a unconvincing human simulacrum , it looks wrong , it talks wrong  , something is missing. If it is sufficiently shunned or mocked, it splits into 4 humour elementals;  Blood (air ), Black bile (earth), Phlegm (water ) and yellow bile (fire), which should be somewhat like that body part , somewhat like that elemental and excessive in that temperament  
Or you could do it the other way and have certain knowledge known only by a being that is formed when the 4 humour elementals are combined.

Ghoul Giant:  Something like a tongue and something like a flatworm. Itself 2 metres long, it makes  itself a  giant's  body out of fresh corpses ,molded together with webbings of red blood like gel (that will attempt to bond to any tissue in comes in contact with becoming part of both). This ectopic tissue it uses also hijacks the nervous systems allowing it to animate and control its constituents. It is not undead. It  start with one and then collect (violently subdue , generally smashing only as much of it as it needs to get the body. It is not precise but if renders someone unconscious they can be webbed into itself and controlled).
It will fine tune its body replacing parts with fitter parts and replacing the ones damaged. It is generally limited to about the size of an elephant before its ability to control all its parts and the parts ability to hold the weight cause a limit. Though a larger or abnormal ghoul giant could possible former larger bodies or if the parts were more potent.
It seeks to use this body to access great heights (sometimes carrying spare parts if it feels the journey will lack opportunity to procure more)  and form there it splits its body and reveals its red self and undulates causing a weirdness some say is a prayer to distant sleeping gods others say is a mere mating call.

Saturday 9 August 2014

gender roll, thoughts on encounters and blogging

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So I read this comic
and I started thinking about all the lady presentations* it missed out and making a table here to include them, But then I started thinking about how basically the majority of them would be localized to the last ten years and in the western world and then only certain parts of it. And would it be an interesting or awkward anachronism to put them in a fantasy world?
*my favourite is monster drag

Considering all the forms underground gay culture takes (link, another link, , also fuck madonna and watch Paris is Burning asap, and shit one lesbian link what is with that?)
(feel free to share better more informative links in the comments oh mysterious audience peoples)
And consider "other" genders and the awkward/colonist attempts to make them fit in the current modern western way of thinking of gender identity. Anyway my point is people are big and weird and diverse and horrid and cruel and small.
Also that drag/gender performance/ sexual identity/ gender impersonation for career advancement  blur .

Anyway here is some gender rolls/identitys that attempt to be not modern concepts awkwardly shoehorned into different worlds  but mostly still are and also some actually historical influence.

(by male / female I am meaning that which is commonly thought of as male /female in the society with the conventionally anatomy that usually implies )

(also I don't think there is not a single gender identity which isn't someone else restrictive stereotype that they have spent their life fighting against. So if these concepts feel like they are mocking you, that wasn't there intention but I will listen to any grievance you have thoughtfully)

(also it might seem that I'm implying that all the societies mentioned below marginalize or objectify even when they supposedly celebrate an other gender , using a mythologizing process to contain a gender deviance like cyst or a pearl , so it does not spread further. Okay that is exactly what I am doing because I am fucking cynical and bitter.

This is not an analysis of other cultures other genders however because that is an extraordinary difficult and loaded proposition

doomed but noble hyper performative.

Audarana (singular and plural) dress as their "opposite" gender in an exaggerated way. The exaggeration is in an earnest  way rather than a satirical way. For example a male role Audarana will have a elaborate beard , a epic swagger and a ringing hearty laugh. A female role Audarana will have long long plaited hair , the daintiest of bearing, and the softest disposition. An Audarana will be the most noble fairy tale version of their gender role, yet it is still obvious to the society around them that they are something else. The male role Audarana's hearty laugh will be too melodic for a man, the female role Audarana too boastful in her dutifulness and providence. The path society sees for them in tale and song is that of the doomed romantic, a
Don Quixote whose attempts to be the archetypical lead them to destruction. Audaranas themselves maybe naively unaware of the patronizing patronage of the culture around or they may slyly manipulate to their advantage.
Pronoun : as their presented gender

androgynous troubleshooters

Drull are from a culture that is very into a pantheon of man spirits and woman spirits, with extensive protocol to do with all activities. Most protocol involves gaining the spirits approval. Society believe that when you die the pure bit of your soul goes to the after life and then all the bits that were to do with society hang around as spirits and help guide and strengthen people.

This society (let's call the Da-Pu-Und  ) however is pragmatic to understand that there is situations that come up that are,  or can be best dealt with by being, outside of the protocol. These are the realms of the Outside spirits.
The Outside spirits however are extremely disinclined to be helpful and only the Drull may talk to them and try and get their favour.

Anyone in the Da-Pu-Und who does not live up to their expected gender will quietly and pointedly shuffled in the category of Drull, which is more or less Androgynous. They are ignored and pitied but also tolerated for their perceived ability to find solutions and compromise where all else has failed. They face scorn however if they are perceived as being too manly or too womanly. Most of them leave Da-Pu-Und , especially the ones who would happily be a woman or man but can't stand the absoluteness of the roles in Da-Pu-Und. Some Drull however enjoy the weird social mobility they have and/or find it hard living outside Da-Pu-Und where other cultures don't recognize their "inbetween" gender.

Pronoun: Their or It. Often awkwardly in the 3rd person.
( "awkward 3rd person" is fair translation of Drull actually.)

okay this is taking too long, which brings me to this thing about blogging;
my interest is more lying towards working on bigger more elaborate projects rather than opening a blank page here and seeing what I am going to type today.
That's when I have the most fun here, the numerous posts that I had no idea what the content was going to be and discovered it as I typed it. The post that kinda grind are the ones where I have a clear idea and then am having to try and explain it. Not a fan of explain myself as you can prob tell.
This post is falling under the second category, like I have been chipping away it for awhile and I could of used the crucial and rare"hey I can be bothered sitting in front of the computer and actually concentrating on one thing" time on something else bigger and ongoing.

So what I am saying is I can never be bothered to do reviews and if I just occasionally update with the skeleton of an idea it is because I am working on something totally sweet.

Here is more gender skeletons that if I fleshed out this post would be delayed another week or two

Barren Mothers:
scarred truth tellers

Weapon Birthers
mothers to munitions

father christmases chaste saint

Wolf whores
as long as they do not have language they can live beyond manners

SAS gaylords (SPARTTAAAAA!!)


keep changing my mind on the numbers here but I'm thinking , when exploring a large area atleast, 1-2: monster 3-4: plot hook, location or evidence of wider machinations happening in the area 5-6 : "nothing" but use this as a chance to have a quick description of the local environment, or signs of the resident monsters or a false alert encounter. So if you start describing the environment the players can't immediately assume its roll initiative time