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.