Tuesday 27 December 2016

you are on fire but like gravity fire

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" The Greeks name the hoopoe (upupa) thus because it would settle on human waste, and feed on foul dung. It is a most loathsome bird, helmed with a protruding crest, always dwelling in tombs and human waste. Anyone who anoints himself with the blood of this bird and then goes to sleep will see demons suffocating him."

"Many people know from experience that bees are born from the car- casses of oxen, for the flesh of slaughtered calves is beaten to create these bees, so that worms are created [from] the putrid gore, and the worms then become bees. Specifically, the ones called ‘bees’ originate from oxen, just as hornets come from horses, drones from mules, and wasps from asses"

"They are called birds (avis) because they do not have set paths (via), but travel by means of pathless (avia) ways."

"Pythagoras says that a snake is created from the spinal cord of a dead person. Ovid mentions this in
his Metamorphoses when he says (15.389): There are those who believe the human spinal cord is
changed to a snake when the spine, in the sealed sepulcher, has rotted. This, if it is believed, occurs with some justice, in that as a human’s death comes about from a snake, so a snake comes about from a human’s death. It is also said that a snake will not dare to strike a naked human."

These are from St Isidore's Etymologies and they are great.

I bring them up because it's easy to resort to real world physics and chemistry to determine how something should go down. 
But this is a fantasy world , and maybe lamarck theory is actually right here. (Arnold is playing with this here too

The trick however would be making an underlying system that either is too buried in the background for the players to notice OR is something that might break things if the players get their hands on it.

Like "spontaneous creation" and having snakes formed from the trailing part of a women's dress left in a rain barrel; and this being weaponized by the players to make a shit tonne of snakes.

This might not be a problem and it would give a certain fairy tale aspect to play, however if it starts raising questions on why no-one has done it before, then it could be a problem

For example if you establish you can eat snakes, and snakes form in the above manner, then why are these people starving when they can make snakes from cloth and old clothing?

Which can lead to either adding on additional caveats (the amount of snakes made from water is limited by the amount of stillborn children that year) or further consequences (if you eat a diet of snakes you become a Yuan-Ti ) .

So depending on how good you are at making up additionally layers of weirdness and bullshit might become a boon or burden. 

Something that you see in a lot of books like St Isidore's Etymology is that underlying principles are established and referred back to, sometimes , incorrectly,to explain an observed phenomena (the descriptions of some snake bites are actually fairly accurate , e.g The haemorrhois asp is so named because whoever has been bitten by it exudes blood, with the effect that as the veins dissolve it draws out through the blood whatever life there is –  Which is hemotoxin being a classic hemotoxin . Classic.
 ) or a supposing on one , e.g "Venom (venenum) is so named because it rushes through the veins (vena), for its destructive effect, once infused, travels through the veins when bodily activity increases, and it drives out the soul.  Hence venom is unable to cause harm unless it reaches a person’s blood

 So start with some underlying principles that effect something the players will interact with, but not something so innate to existence that everything is overturned (unless you can be bothered) .

Here's my example:

Elemental energies can be found in all things . Energies can either August (postive) or Gross (negative). 
The most obvious energy is fire. August fire is fire , Gross fire is cold. 

Confusingly , because fire was discovered first , the concept of burning is also used to describe when any elemental energy spreads and cause the release of more of the energy in nearby objects.

Something can affected by a elemental energy without "burning" . However the harder something is to burn by an energy often the more dangerous and contagious it is when it begins to.


- Fire when burning can be stopped by overwhelming it with any other elemental energy . This is why Fire can be blown out or drowned. 

-Gross Fire causes Water to take on its Gross aspect (crystallization) i.e Ice. When you warm yourself up by jumping up and down you are actually reply the Gross fire with August earth (impacts)

-August Earth Burning is basically a localised gravity well and can be incredibly difficult to escape, and it doesn't seem to be able to be "put out" like other elemental burnings.

-Acid is just Water with higher amounts of August energy  ,  it's just turning things into water! Alkaline is not a thing here, and Acid injuries will look more like putrefaction than a chemical burn.

-Things are Heavy and Solid because they have August Earth Energy. Pumice rocks are full of Gross Earth Energy. Any impact is a release of August Earth Energy. Stomping out a fire is overwhelming the fire with August Earth Energy. If you hit someone really hard with a hammer it could cause a localised black hole!

-There is no separate Elemental plane they are all just folded into this one . Elementals have no consistency of form from individual to individual and can be anything from bestial wrecks to sly man-whore connivers. What constitutes an elemental seems to be the ability to call yourself an elemental and not be destroyed by other elementals.
Their actual physical form might technically be incorporating other elements including "usurper" elements like flesh or wood , and it's a really bad idea to point this out.  The fights between different Elements are nothing compared to the internal fights in that Element itself.

The wizard first level spell "Catalytic Spear" is where players are most likely going to start finding the weirdness.

This spell ignites and releases the dominant element energy in a held object*, which is ranged attack (hit roll modified by perception , damage roll modified by knowings) doing a d8 damage.

A wooden stick will shoot a fire blast  (August fire).  August fire is the most contagious of the elements, so they will start to burn taking an another d4 damage until they put themselves out.
If the die rolls a 4 it goes up a die size, if it rolls a 1 it goes out by itself.

Something that has been super burned like a charcoal stick or a glass vessel will release Gross fire energy , i.e a cold blast, which causes numbing , a disadvantage on Initiative, Str and dex checks.

Rocks and Metals, heavy or refined earths : Positive earth energy, which is imploding, gravity and mass. After striking someone with a gravity blast , the target will take increased damage from falls and blunt attacks will have damage Advantage

Crumbling earths, sands, pumice, clays: Gross earth which is erosion , disintegration and reduces their defense by one

Basic Water and Liquids : August water which is dissolution and liquefaction , what we would think as acid but more "turning into liquid". Does a d8 on the next round  . Rolling a 1 on the damage means it does a d8 on the next round too.

Salt Crystals and any other Crystals formed from dissolved solids :Gross Water which is crystallization , which looks like big faceted shards forming out of your bloods and liquids. This means it the target has to choose between taking disadvantage on str and dex checks or take damage again.

Air but needs to be under your agency so from a bottle or your entire breath. Fulgurites.
August Air : Lightning : Spasmodic jolt, Str check or lose action

Air from corpses, or from long term enclosed spaces: Gross Air :withering , stagnation, dry gangrene. Damage from this attack negates the first attempt to heal it , and gives fortitude disadvantage.

Gems get weird, some of them are going to be  fire, others water, air or earth.

And then there's the elemental heresys , the suggestion that core 4 are not the only ones. As it's not actually fixed and the Elements themselves jealous defend their cosmological relevances.  Flesh , Fungus, ,Thought and Wood are Usurper Elements  . Studying them risks being marked by the elements and more likely to catch fire , drown , break limbs from a fall, or hit by lightning.

The Mongrel Elements risk less from studying them , only provoking ire from the involved elements (Lava provoking Earth and Fire for example).

Elemental Blasphemies are suggestions that there are other energetic properties to the elements, homeopathic memory for water , monster-wombing for earth, inspiration for fire, and hysterias for air.

The Anathemas reject the elements entirely :the Duality: Teratic and  Entropic

The ultra-spectrum of Azure, Stark, Verdigris, Slurring, Deep

Finding texts or scholars covering this is difficult as destroying these is a easy to empower any  (regular) elemental magic.

*it's important to magic if you are holding i.e physically supporting or wearing something , it's "under your agency" and affecting that means you are going against the soul of the target. That's why it's not routine to teleport an object into someone's head and soulless automata are extremely vulnerable.

Some pictures of Elementals!
(sources to follow)

Earth (August)

 Stephen Fabian 's cover for The Metal Monster
 Stephen Fabian 's cover for The Metal Monster

Earth (Gross):

Smiljan Radic and Marcela Correa, Extension to the charcoal-burner's hut, 1998, Santa Rosa, Chile. Photo by Smiljan Radic.

Water (August)

Ringwraith from Ralph Bakshi's Lord of the Rings

Water (Gross)

Radiolaria, single specimen from arranged slide by Wim van Egmond, photograph by David Walker

Fire (August)

From here

Fire (Gross)

photo of "The Garment Distinct" by Bart Hess

Air (August)

 "The Negative Pole of an Electric Spark"  from Camille Flammarion's Thunder and lightning 

Air (Gross)

From Smithsonian’s National Collection of Fishes "X-ray vision Fish inside out exhibition see here

Sunday 18 December 2016

there was a dog at work today , he was a special mister guy

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF so you can do skills and some starting equipment as a background and then make playing non-humans as an option to have instead of a background and then you can have these non-human archetype to go with whatever pathfinder bullshit the players want but if they want to have a non-human but still don't have any ideas there's some tables I'm really tired and not making this easier for anyone

(and this bit of the current "players handbook" I'm using for home games that will be here for y'all once it's been tested a bit more. The stats are Learnings, Toughness, Dexterity, Wits, Perception, Strength, and it's not a homebrew unless you have atleast one pointless stat renaming. The background skill system was influenced by Zzarchov Kowolski's Neo-Classical Geek Revival

picture unrelated

Your background  determines what Stuff you have and any usefully skills  you may have picked up.
When you are playing the game and you try something that requires an Stat check and you think that your past might be relevant tell the g.m. If they are convinced you will get an Advantage to the roll. Make a note of this, because you will get Advantage any other time a situation similar to this happens. Then make Learnings roll.. If you succeed you can keep bringing up your Past in future. If you fail, that's it. That is all your character managed to get the hang off.

You may choose or roll a past from below. The weapon and armour description is mainly for how you picture your character, ignore it if it is not interesting.

Starts with:
Sacks, long hooked pole, protective mask, shovel
your weapons and armour is:
"scrounged and repaired"

Starts with:
dried meats, snares, calls, scent
your weapons and armour is:
"self made and simple"

Starts with:
esoteric cultural item, concealed jewellery,compass,trade item
your weapons and armour is:
"distinctive and unfamiliar"

Starts with:
domesticated animal, basic trade good, lard, homebrew
your weapons and armour is:
"repurposed tools"

Starts with:
bad drugs, stolen valuable, blinding dust, caltrops
your weapons and armour is:
"stolen and/or easily concealable"

Starts with:
jewellery, weird drugs, reading material, clockwork toy
your weapons and armour is:
"gaudy and distinctive"

Starts with:
lantern, maps, crowbar, chalk
your weapons and armour is:
"ancient and rare"

Starts with:
divination tools, spirit cleansing incense, fireworks, blankets
your weapons and armour is:
"anointed and festooned"


Instead of these you can be something NOt HUMAN. They won’t have any stuff, but their Past is used in the same way as other Backgrounds.
Upon choosing one of these you will need  your highest stat to be one of the two listed, you will need to swap it is not.

Some kinda of talking upright animal person like a possum-man or pangoliod, a funguy,  a short hairy irish-esque person, a silly goblin man or walking plantpart
You are Slight (makes some things harder other things easier) but only the other player characters can understand what you say (and maybe things close enough to what you are.).
Your highest stat is now either Dexterity or Perception
If you can’t think of anything use below table.
1. Fun-guy : a walking toadstool dude
2. Hobbot: a cheery little man with hairy feet and this accent, what is it? You don’t know, very rustic and cheeky.
3. Boggle: Ugly , big nosed , squeaky darkness dweller. Like decorated a gnome with bat parts
4.Cocofolk: It’s a coconut but with adorable little limbs . What a fellow
5. TikkityTok: A wind up toy , with all the complicated parts of a person but with cogs and a furnace.
6. Ragdolly: cloth sack filled with life and hair! Smiling face , oh it digusts to watch you eat
7. The Garbage Eating Friend: A rat or raccoon or oppossom, but walking about on 2 legs and touching everything with it’s uncanny pale hands
8. Hand Faced Cat: This isn’t right at all.

Large! Of impressive physical form if not always large, is somehow dense, or potent. A walking crocodile, an anger statute , or just a bearded near-boulder up blinking from below!
You are Burly (makes somethings harder other things easier) but Impetuous! If you (the player) say your character is doing something , your character is immediately attempting it , no take backs or “but wait” if you have spoken too soon.
Your highest stat is now Strength or Toughness .
If you can’t think of anything to be use below table :
1. Gladigator: A scaley lizardy fight man of blood sport
2. Alive Statue: of what purpose it has life?
3. Grim Earth Miner: you have a beard and if imagination fails, a scottish accent
4. Piggy: Fierce and bestial , just appetite or a misunderstood savage?
5.Gorilla of your Dreams: Primate trailblazer.
6. Morlock: Degenerate future bruiser, like an albino neanderthal with crazy shag hair
7. Beetleborglar: A mass of chitin ,choppy bits, intimidation , and insectile authority
8.Rat-Ogre: Fierce rodent snooted head but no cowering squeaker , just this towering nuggety body

Shimmering and foreign, not like us, with their insights , androgyny and arcane ways. You could be a pointed eared superhuman , a walking butterfly, blue skinned jewel eyed deceptionist or a Many-Bowie.

You don’t have as many biologically limitations as everyone else, choose 2 things like “sleep”, “eating”, “aging”, “fatigue”, “illness”  to not need or suffer.  On the other hand your alien-ness means something everyday and harmless , scalds you like boiling water. Something as common as salty liquids, fresh water, iron or song.

Your highest stat is now Learnings or Wits.

1.Bug Eyed Being : thin and insectile with kind alien eyes
2.Fairy Explorer : A man-pixie , long limped and clad in forest green
3.The Spell Who Lived: A idealised figure, conjured as illusion and now partial real!
4.Pygmalion : Eerie delicate artifice , quicken by creator or god dreams
5.Sorcerer's child : your hair is smoke , your wit and eye the fire
6.Flower-being: A pollen smudged face collared  by petal , step with stem or root
7. Star-Man: from the upper upper air, soft and silvery
8. Not-Quite-Ghost: You are cold and ethereal, hearted stopped but not your will.

Friday 25 November 2016


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Tickleboys are horrible.
If you game doesn't have goblins , it has tickleboys. If it has goblins or kobolds or gretchins it also has tickleboys and no-one is sure if they are tribe of them, or cursed ones, or a mutants and even all those half hitdice guys don't know and don't like them and refuse to talk about them.

they are there and ugly and the giggle and they sneak and hide and lick you in yoursleep.

a whole bunch of tickleboys come tumbling out of the cupboard too many to fit there . everything they touch is greasy and sticky.

they will steal babys and replaced them with too many babys 
they will tickle cows and turn the milk into clotted hair

they will swarm you with long pins and feathers 

they will kiss your feet and suck at your fingers 

here they come pulling so hard at their cheeks and turning themselves inside out for a game

laughing so hard they vomit and cry and bubble up snot 

Nothing they do is right, they can fit into spaces too small and eat things too big

hiding in your shoes, 5 in the left 3 in the left

Sucking up a whole pig in front of you, shitting coins into the hands of a blind beggar, cutting a guard dog into tiny pieces with little scissors. 

WhAt ARE They DOingg?

1. They have stolen all the towns assholes and everyone is swollen and sick now. They keep the assholes at the bottom of a deep well , where they will dart away from you like little fish. they are more interested in you finding this well than not finding it and will be lurking in the walls of the well to watch you try and catching these fleshy figs. Then they will follow and sneak up to unpick at any holdings of the assholes to let them bounce everywhere

2. they are sneaking into houses and smashing peoples heads with a big rock. They keep using the same rock and leaving in the centre of town afterwards, no matter where it's buried or thrown. they have hidden themselves in an old dead women and so spy from there.

3. they've filled the church bells with gross quivering eggs. No-one has got the courage up to try and remove them yet. If left the eggs will hatch out doppelgangers , if touched they will pop with sweet stink that will allow the tickleboys to find that person for ever after

4. The towns taverns rats have been shaved and blinded , running around senseless in the daylight.
The hair is melted with weird needings and snuck into the beer of the other town tavern. If the patrons keep drinking it , trichobezoar will grow up inside them until they die.

5. hidden under the rocks and stones of the river , they slurp up and demand a toll on the bridge. The toll is a wet kiss but they sometimes will suck the voice off the kissee and run off to tell all their secrets with it.

6. they have build a fine nest of pins and hooks and layed a golden treasure amongst it. They whispered rumours leading to it and wait with strings to pull the nest closed and then open again plucking the victim apart

Tuesday 22 November 2016


Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF I used to think the name lich should be entirely replaced with "skeletor" but actually , no that's terrible. I mean anytime you think of using a lich you should just use Skeletor , but no liches should not be called skeletor's that's ridiculous .

Aerial servant : Cloud Goon
Anhkheg:  Hate-Mole
Beetle, giant : Insector Rex
Black pudding : The Chubber
Blink dog : Time Wolf
Brownie : Gomorrite
Bugbear : Shaggy Badtimes
Bulette : Dirt-Shark
Carrion crawler: Corpse-Sucker
Centaur : Manhorse
Cloaker: MkUltra
Couatl : Secret Serpent
Dragon : Horse
Dragonne : Suck-Beast
Dragon turtle : Gamera
Ear seeker : Brain Worm
Eye, floating : Scream Eye
Eye of the deep : Drowning Bell
Fungi, violet : Tubscelant Rotter
Gas spore : Exploder
Ghast : Sicker
Ghost: Space-Vomit
Giant : Daddy
Gnoll: Superdog
Gnome : Knob
Goblins: Tickleboys
Gorgon : Ambombibull
Gray ooze :Slunk
Green slime :  Prasinous Illness
Griffon : Mess-Bird
Halfling : Manlet
Hippocampus : Sea-Pony
Hippogriff : Donkey-Bird
Hobgoblin : Henrys
Horse : Lobotomized Brute
Intellect devourer : Escaped Brain
Invisible stalker : Secret Murderer
Irish deer : Hell-Moose
Ixitxachitl : Bastard of The Sea, Sea Bastard
Jackalwere : Garbage-Dog
Ki-rin : Elder-Dog
Kobold : Daniels
Lamia : She-Beast
Lammasu : MellowLord
Lizard man : Plutonian
Locathah : War-Fish
Lurker above : False- Ceiling
Masher: Knife-cod
Merman : Mermaid
Mind flayer : never use illithid "illithid is their name for themselves" no-one cares about their feelings, we don't have to learn this word, don't try and make these dollarstore lovecrafts seem Eldritch or whatever. They are man with a squid for a head that eats brains , that is both the description and bio of a toy a kid made by glueing their toys together, it's great 
Mold : Beard
Morkoth : Hynosquid
Neo-otyugh: Poop-Bluto
Nixie : Shellycoats
Ochre Jelly: Danger-Goo
Ogre : Bethany
Ogre mage(Japanese ogre) : Bethany-Chan
Orc : Sly-Simons
Otyugh: Poop-Popeye
Owlbear: Trash-Beast
Pegasus : Power-Elf
Peryton : Pain-Deer
Piercer : Stalagfight
Pixie : Sodomite
Portuguese man-o-war, giant : Tentacruel
Pseudo-dragon : Peep-Peep
Purple worm: Conquerer Worm
Quasit : Bad Idea Brian
Roper : these are a mess anyway CaveCops (thanks Nick)
Rust monster : Wrickets
Sahuagin: Sharkanoid
Satyr : Mangoat
Sea lion: Ocean-Savager
Shedu : Dude
Shrieker: Unfungus
Skeleton : Skeleton
Slithering tracker : Sucking Chyle
Spectre : GodSick
Sprite : Catamite
Stirge : Needler
Strangle weed: KillWeed
Su-monster : Brain-Ape
Sylph :SkyVixen
Titan : Ultra-Masc
Trapper: Unwelcome Mat
Treant : Thug-Tree
Triton : Aquaman
Troglodyte : Piss-Newt
Unicorn : Ponylord
Vampire : Batman
Water weird : Ghost-Snake
Will-o-(the)-wisp : Blights
Wyvern: Ultra-Vulture
Xorn : Dirt-Ghost
Zombie: Smelly Doug

Monday 24 October 2016

Thinking About WarBeasts

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I opened a post on g+ to talk about ludicrous warbeasts and I'm still thinking about them:

Thinking about the problem of having someone or thing super into killing but still caring about fellow army members and the chain of command. 

(Which has been the biggest barrier to the creation of "war-drugs" . You increase anything that makes a solider better at killing you also advance the "will shoot own troops and disregard orders slider" )

So you breed a war-goat , and its fearless and will fight anyone ; how to you get it not to fight your own troops, or even advance in the right direction?

 If you train the animal to have a trigger response to certain stimulus , it risks discovery and exploitation by the enemy.

 Dumb animals are more easy to have doing stuff reflexively and ignoring context , a giant beetle will charge when the pheromone flag is waved near it regardless of the presented danger of the enemy. 

However if the rider is unable to wave the corresponding Halt pheromone flag the beetle will keep advancing off the battlefield , into fires or even off cliffs. 

A smart animal will integrate context into its commands, however it will have to be more motivated by the training than its sense of self preservation.
 At some point it could be more afraid of the enemy than its learned fear of the rider.

 Fear isn't the only motivator however.

 Hunger and Caring are the other big motivators in animal attacks. 

Hunger is presents some problems because predators do not take unnecessary risks. You hear about people fighting off a bear or a lion with a couple of punches to the snoot because of this. 

Most predator attacks on prey animals result in the prey getting away, predators won't push a fight that doesn't immediately go their way. They can't afford to 

. If you've ever had a pet cat that gets into fights , you'll have had to go to vet at some point to get infected bites and scratches and seen how disabling they can be.

 In the wild there is no vet, a predator gets a broken tooth, a puffed up face obscuring an eye, a cracked rib, there's a high chance they won't be able to feed themselves and then starve to death 
(unless they can survive on scavenging kills and smaller normal substandard food like insects or lizards) 

So a warbeast motivated by hunger isn't necessary going to ignore its self preservation , unless its starting to get hungry enough to weaken it.
 Also once it kills something , it is likely to want to eat it right away. 
And then there's the ever present threat of it choosing to eat something closer. 

There's a couple of interesting and d&dable work-around that could happen here though:

The attached army is could be just not food , skeletons have no meat, treemen or funguys neither, or might be exploiting a known allegory; the kuo-toa use thorny-tigers , and thorny-tigers are allergic to seafood . 

Which is something they would want to keep secret , to prevent the enemy hacking up kuo-toa and throwing them into the maw of the Kuo-toa .

 Another is the attached army to the war beast coats themselves with scent that the war beast has learned to never want to eat. 
Stealing (and using) and/ or replacing the scent would be an tremendously effective sabotage .

The scent could be instead be an attractant, thrown on or previously associated with the enemy to make the enemy perceived as food. 

Insects are a good subject for this, being extremely controlled by pheromones. 

Leading on from this and into another hunger solution is using a beast that doesn't eat meat and making it believe the enemy isn't made of meat and instead the food of the beast. So the subtle scents of dry and rotting wood are applied sneakily to the enemy army . 

Then the giant termite warbeast would mindlessly chew through their troops , spitting out the mangled carcasses just as soon as it swallows them . Or a half lobotomised starving great ape tearing up these delicious smelling "fruits" but unable to find the source to satisfy its hunger 

Stupid beasts or highly drugged /motivated are needed for this strategy , otherwise they would get frustrated and stop

Expanding on this  “Tantalus”  strategy is preventing satisfaction by making a hole in the throat or stomach so the bolus tumbles out as quickly as its eaten.

Some plasticity in the beast, disposable attitude toward it , or fleshy magiks/sciences are required for this. Also again, the  animal to be dumb, drugged or brutalised enough to not be aware of the futility . Or not be an animal that is happy to immediately eat its own vomit.

Some war beasts could have such a prestigious appetite that the typical killing they will do on a battlefield wouldn’t threaten to gorge them to the point of physical impairment 

Alternatively to cutting holes in the valuable war-beast is having it vomit up what (who) it just ate , which could be an additional weaponised behaviour (via acid, temperature of the  bolus,  or just the sheer force of the projection)  .
The vomiting could be the result of drugs, modifying the stomach to not accept solid food , or a mechanic device triggering the gag reflex.
Example of that last  one could be some poor bastard who has to hang off the neck of the beast and jam a long rod down its throat, a festering bit of wire jutting out of the flesh leading to the muscle group that a minor shock is applied to, or a gross polyp that is caressed.

Excessive vomiting might tax the creature's stomach acid and/or cause teeth corrosion, which could be exploited as an attrition strategy by an opponent; sending waves of cannon folder or even domestic animals repeatedly at the war-beasts so they eat and puke until they lose their teeth and become unable to digest food .

A really simple solution to all of this that I could of said at the start but I just remembered  about now is “Surplus Killing” .  If a war-beast behaves likes  this when excessive prey is in front of them they will kill without eating or only eating the choicest bits.
( aka “fox in the henhouse” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surplus_killing )
The concept of a warbeast that carves its way into enemy lines , stopping to quickly pluck out livers or hearts is a striking one.

Caring is the other motivator. I’m jamming together territory  defending , mate /kids protection and dominance displays all in this character.
In all these there is something that the beast is prepared to risk or even sacrifice itself for.

In the wild this can make herbivores or otherwise not hostile animals even more dangerous than predators. Hippopotamus and wildebeest are some of the biggest killers in Africa because of this. 

The hippopotamus doesn’t get “full” and not interested in killing you. As soon as you are threatening its territory (or babies) it wants to kill you. It wants to kill your boat , it wants to kill your dog , it wants to kill you. 

Territorialness could be exploited by an army if the war-beast understands its territorial by smell , everyone in the army anoints themselves in pungent fragrance and the war-beast thinks of the army as “it’s”.  A better fit would be for the smell to mean the that the army was the young of the warbeast. 

The scent could be just thrown into an area, the warbeast then staying in that area and menacing everyone coming near it. Only when the scent disperses could the warbeast be approached and rejoined into the army. (Its own scent glands would be removed so it can’t reapply a scent)

Getting more ludicrous there could be an actual structure or section of land carried by the army to trigger the warbeast territory. 

It might be impossible or logistically prohibitive to have the entire army believed to be the warbeasts young, so maybe just a bonded rider or solider. Which is an obvious weakness and macguffinable. 

If the attached army is to be seen as mates to protect , some poor bastard might have to wear custom costume/armour and have the warbeast mount them , the rest of the army can get by in just being soaked in the urine of a in-heat female. 
 Unless large fake animals are made for this purpose , perhaps being formerly a religious statue or totem carried by the army for divine protection, before its other use was discovered and awkwardly religiously explained as not terrible.

Dominance: something about the enemy could trigger the warbeast to attack to prove its bestness. Most dominance conflicts don’t involve the full capacity of the creatures involved, stags rarely try and gut each other or kick out eyes. But the reduced aggression is most likely more than enough to kill and maim, such as an headbutting goat or stag or a neck whipping giraffe.

In-order to have the attached army not be seen as a threat the uniform of the attached army could some how appear to be showing a submissive posture; helmets with the toward pointing horns of a losing giant stag beetle for example. Or a ritual rolling on the ground and showing the belly before the beast, disguised as ritual madness as not to be understood and copied by the enemy army.

Repeating myself a little here but if the warbeast is just so fucked up on drugs, brain surgery, psionic control or parasites,  it could be made to see the enemy as something desirable to it , either food , mates, or even an environment; panicked burrowing beasts seeing troops flesh as soft soil or making  giant parasites choose hosts that are far smaller than usual.

Otherwise placid beasts could become terrifying warbeasts this way , the giant sloth lumbering towards those "delicious leafs surrounded by troublesome thorns"

This might be very unstable way of manipulating the beast, requiring highly trained and knowledgeable individuals and/or luck.

It's worth noting that in a way an animal should always be considered to be in an altered state.
A dog does not see the world and is responding to very different information than you are in the same situation. War-elephants were recorded as afraid of the scent of camel.

Understanding how the warbeast perceives the world could open up exploitations. Ruiner-Crabs will ignore anything red, glyptodonts poor vision means they can't make out spears and are unafraid of charging a pike formation , battleworms move toward high pitch noises.  

some of the best ideas from the thread are:


Advanced force of burrowing animals, turning a plane in a treacherous field of foot/hoof sized pot holes. Attached army uses giant centipedes as warmounts so they don't care

Huge Knife Ball pushed by giant scarabs. the knife ball has some necromantic device inside it so it crudely animates any corpses stuck to it.

The corpses cling and stab and the ball katamari-damacys to frightening sizes as the battle progresses

Skeleton elephant full of poison snakes, strike out at anyone coming near it

Rust monsters with wasps nests grown all over them.

matryoshka war dogs: they contain consecutively (wet , fleshy, viscerally coloured smaller dogs. They can do a reaching bite where the dogs telescope out from the biggest ones mouth, exchange brute force for numerically superiority, or survive otherwise lethal blows that fail to reach the inner dogs

"ratmen" actually made of rats, that pile up on top of each other until they make a plausible at a distance human shape. More for information warfare than anything as they can show up near anywhere and be mistaken for an actual military unit. Can even steal clothing and armour and disguise themselves further

Advanced version could be a rat army that travels as rats , carrying some building materials and small tools. Then using whatever is around they make walking rat operated warmachines , for example a horse size quadruped formed of tied together bone with farm tool tusks and damp leather hide

A army of intelligent rats would prob do far more damage just fouling supplies, sabotaging equipment, and starting fires, but these rats have this thing about proving they are more than vermin and so do this weird shit with rat junk-mecha

Ian Reily:

I still think an animated wicker man is the most fun siege weapon. Not strong enough to batter down walls, it probably has to clamber over them, setting things alight. You shoot it to put your guys trapped inside out of their misery, or bring in fire hoses to try and de-animate it

Beloch Shrike:

Massive behemoth beasts with acidic semen. Jacked off by teams using a system of canvases and pulleys until they fire their ejaculate artillery across the battlefield.

Here's the thread anyway:

Wednesday 14 September 2016


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It's a fancy castle . Castles are for defense. Palaces are for going NO ONE CAN EVEN TRY TO ATTACK ME extra pointless thin towers.

So a palace is an excuse to make some ludicrous architecture with making it plausible to defend or even live comfortably in.

It's also an excuse to make a series of interconnected rooms with some unusual way of getting from one to the other, either through standard or nonstandard use of the architecture.

Okay maybe that's not a Definitive thing about Palaces but if you can imagine a palace without tall spindly towers and dainty bridges , I dunno man.

Tall spindly towers suggests being able to grappling hook between them , and dainty bridges suggests rooms broken up with open air.

Palaces also suggest extravagance, madness, waste and wealth and those are all hot-shit adventure location fuel.
"location fuel" let's ignore that

It , is of course easier to run a Palace if things are being dysfunctional , so a Gormenghast or a Miss Havisham Palace or the classic ruined and rehabited palace or it's space haunted , or it was never meant to be lived in just a vast display of wealth and then it gone and get monsters all in (like the real life Taj Mahal ).

By "easier to run" I mean as "adventure" adventure. Interacting with a palace with numerous, co-ordinated, and organised inhabitants is going to be a be a diplomatic, heist, running battle, or siege adventure. Or mostly likely an adventure that moves along that list as a farcical progression.

*the actual definition is not relevant to us right now GOOD FELLOW

Here are some palaces that have unusual traversal options , "adventure" adventure and have the architecture noteworthy somehow.

1. The Sky Gazing Palace of Marque Toad-Toad-Toad:

A palace built in an of hubris after the swamps had been drained and course of the river changed. It was not to last.  The palace sunk  but due to its rare construction it did not break apart; it tipped back  but remained intact, its facade now tiled towards the sky. The back half of the palace is underwater, the front half free of water but not of roots and trees.
  The current self declared  ruler is the Marque Toad-Toad-Toad, a giant toad dressed in the mud stained rags he's found here. He has another toad growing from his head. This toad also has a toad growing from his head. All are festooned and crowned. He is often out touring with his court  (a weird mix of swamp dwellers, lunatics, and the truly desperate)
His court is split between his pope (toad pope) , his general (toad general), his archivist (toad archivist) , and his fool (frog).  They are extremely willing to work against each other.
Other things hanging out here included duncan the alligator , a witch travelling backwards in time, a band of catfish musicians who make instruments out of human bones, and some goblins pretending to be a ghost king.

2. The Squirming Palace of the Cliff Bound Urchin King
This is giant sea urchin attached to side of a cliff. It's organs and muscles have been pushed out of the way a little to make room for rooms and passages. This was done by glass walls so on the other side of the glass you can see all the squirming.  The ruler here is a Louse . A wizard Louse. A really messed up teleport spell sent some of wizards intellect into a louse. This louse is basically a coherent wizard some of the time and the rest of the time it just sucks blood out of the walls. The most coherent thing it does is patrol the palace and demand proof of guests that they truly have been working against its enemies (the ocean and the land, must be working against both at once). The Urchin King is backed up by shellfish golems. Failure to satisfy the Louse will mean it will try and capture you and put you in cages to be lowered out over the ocean to die of exposure.

Other denizens included a foul humoured sadistic group of skua bandits, a shadow stealing octopus, anemone men (from Fire On the Velvet Horizon) , sinister elven fleshmancers, and an unemployed and child-eating dwarven circus.

3.Too Many Kings Palace

The Mouse Queen died and the will wasn't found and now all her 56 children claim ownership of the palace.  Magics by the Mouse Queen mean the children can't directly act against each other so they instead turn to make each of their sections bigger. These mice are a foot tall each but like making biiig rooms, but by their standards. So they are cramped rooms but with to scale decorations.

The mouse Queen is still here as a mummy. There's a haunted (regular sized book) , library that has the pages fold themselves up in the form of what they describe and attack people , there's ants dressed and acting like England at the height of its take over the world period.

4.Red and Boreal Palace To The Whales Grief

A big dead frozen whale being carved into a ritual palace by snow elves. Snow elves actually make themselves by carving themselves out of frozen megawhale corpse. They ritually move from the tail to the head, and don't care what happens to the rooms they leave behind themselves (each elf needs an entire room carved out to make them)

Cautiously occupying the other spaces are Mercenary Polar Bears who are starting to get on abit and are thinking about their retirement, A disgraced and scheming shaman, Ghost krill making a song craft to travel to the aurora borealis, maddened yeti (allergic to whale flesh, they keep gorging and vomiting) , drill worms, and  murderous crab philosophers (not all of them, just most of them).

5.The Scavenged and Street scattered Palace of the Gutter Knight
This is a series of interconnect houses, street bridges, barricaded off alleys , teetering trash towers , and sewer repurposement. Collectively it forms a palace. Hovel Knights and Roof Lords ritually duel over ownership as the city moves through the palace somewhat awkwardly.

Also unusually Large alley cats, Gutter dryads , Kid's Chalk Drawings of Gargoyles that work more or less like real ones, The Library of Mistakes, Brain Replacing Pigeons , an identity market , A treasure of useless trash (yet each item will insanely invaluable to one person somewhere), the embassy of the under-owls, sewer sharks and the fishers of men.

6. Earth Exiled Palace, The Horse Rotovator , Grave Thief
It's a giant skeletal horse machine that travels underground stealing graves and forgotten cities.

It's sinister purpose is to erase evidence of tragedies, massacres, disasters of terrible scale , so future people are more likely to repeat them.

It's run and loosely maintained by oily looking human-sized centipedes with baby hands and faces of tedious bureaucrats. Their eyes are dull  quartz stones which nevertheless will work unnaturally well as bribes in bureaucratic matters.

broken but possibly fixable apocalypse engines , all kinds of confused guardian undead, historic evidence , mad spirits, bound Ozymandians (Fire on the Velvet Horizon again) ,  a small gentlemens club of experimental avantguard necromancers (lively but amoral) , bored ghosts, clay men trying to come up with the perfect society (and breaking into fist fights about it) , rusting semi-living warmachines.

*let's not bother with the actual definition