Thursday, February 28, 2013

People I Have Been

Farciat Edward, Human Bard

Scott Summers, a.k.a. Cyclops (pre-gen)

Zucifus Kade, Illustrated Man and Rescuer of Stories

Brother, Quasi-Buddhist Magical Singing Kung-Fu Vampire Robot

Alufar, Psionic Sorcerer (pre-gen)

Edugar Wintros, Drow Archer (pre-gen)

Dolores Dierdre Darkdown, Homespun Death Priestess (pre-gen I rebuilt)

Ocs Rukas, Divine Human Idiot

Crazy Bob the Murderer, Crazy Murderer

"Dude-Bro," a character I sat in on for a couple sessions and whose name I forget, Druggie College Frat Douche.

Margilla Goldenback, Ape-To-Human Brain Transplant

Drake Tungsten, Pregnant Robot Daredevil

Raleigh, god of Emptiness and Spiders

Blackangus, Man-Eating Cow

Kawrl, Vampire Bird

Thirsty Bubble, Drunken Modron Monk

Caluthes the Decapitated, Resurrected Vampire Archer

Hugo Montenegro, The Spy With Hypno-Eyes

Nekiuradedafasas, Secret Vecnan Priestess

Jean Flambe, Untouchable Cage Fighter

Chester Allan Woodworthy, Gentleman's Gentleman

"Naked Cowboy," some pun-based character I sat in on one night.

Mitch the Man-Witch, Magic User

Fabula Rasa, Magic User

"The Scottish One," smooth-talking incredibly-vaguely Scottish-accented Smuggler Disguised As Musician

Dice, Robot Skeleton Inquisitor

Some Pregen Whose Name I Forget, the only ninja in a ninja game who acted like a ninja

Danger Princess, ruler of the exploded Daredevil Kingdom

Obituaries of Arcis Enumre

Here for all time will stand the roll of player characters who have fallen, as well as key NPCs who suffered spectacular or remarkable ends, as well as the means of their dispatch, for the life of this campaign world.

Roddi the Gnome- Stung to death by bees; Petrified by a basilisk's gaze.

Galanno the Halfling- Drowned trying to become water while on bad trip.

Steve Guardsman- Burned to death by Firefish.

Panzer- Burned to death by Firefish.

Argent Cogspiral- Stabbed to death by elf prison guard.

Dunst- Impaled on rocking chair during daring prison escape.

Rogus the Dragon- Blown to smithereens by goblin cannons.

Gary Force- Washed away in acid spewn from exploding dragon parts.

Viatrix Belarkham- Immolated by Fireball, Crushed by collapsing ceiling, turned into tree by unicorn

Aguzi Enchiladacrotch- Happy Bunny and the Runaway Sunshine, turned into a god

Bertram the Goat- Left to die in burning prison.

Other Goat Whose Name I Forget- Left to starve to death in Crypt of the Riddling Cricket.

Betram the Goat II- Eaten by goblins.

Goblin King Who Totally Has A Name But The PCs Never Learned It- Crushed by his own collapsing tower.

Evil Elf Sorcerer Who See Goblin King- Devoured by rats.

 Joe Nathan Axeguy- Crushed by collapsing ceiling

Lucky the Goblin- Arrow through head

Gold Dragon- Gold Dragon

The Second Gold Dragon- Reflected Fireball, followed by Atomic Elbow from house.

Bort the Ogre- Speared in chest by unicorn

Unicorn- Decapitated

Bertrams 3-4- One Hundred Skeletons

Bertram 5- Burning fog

Evil? Wizard in a Tower- Horn of Blasting

Third Gold Dragon- Bees

Nutt Butt, Nudelord of Apes- Visatrix

 Mindless One- Harpy

The Pegasus Whose Name I Forget- Harpys

Friday, February 22, 2013

Arcis Enumre- Rockpriest (Cleric and Dwarf Variant)

There's nothing stopping this kind of class from being more broadly applicable but I mostly put it together because I wanted to help emphasize the godlessness and divine disconnect of Elfs in this setting. Also the "cliche" of the dwarven paladin was an interesting one to stumble across when I was first getting into this hobby.
from Warhammer Online
HD: d6
Save: as Dwarf
Attack: as Dwarf
Advance: as Cleric
Requirements: Strength 9, Constitution 9, Wisdom9
  • Rockpriests may use only a quarterstaff or magic staff as weapons or as/in addition to their holy symbol.
  • Rockpriests may wear any armor, but may not use shields.
  • Rockpriests begin with 1 spell from the Cleric's spell list at 1st level, and gain Cleric spells at the same rate as a Magic-User.
  • Rockpriests have infravision 60', allowing them to see in the dark.

by Rayph
Rockpriests are dwarfs who have forged a strong connection both to the stone and earth of the Physical plane and to their jolly but serious goddess Bomdutra, Dwarf goddess of duty, stone, and beer. Rockpriests are also called Dwarf Priests or Beer Priests.

A Rockpriest spends all their time steaming drunk. It's the only way they can properly commune with the gods to cast their spells. When thoroughly drunk, a Rockpriest is -4 to hit with weapons, as if blinded, but suffers no other penalties of blindness. Rockpriests in this state cannot speak any language except Dwarf and Elf, though they understand any language they know. There are upsides to this holy state, however. A Rockpriest in this state is aligned with both the Spiritual and Physical planes, and all saving against their spells save at -4, a penalty which stacks with any other penalties to saving vs. spells.

All Rockpriests know both Spiritus and Material.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Arcis Enumre and Jeff's Questions

Because he who is tired of Jeff is tired of life.

  1. What is the deal with my cleric's religion? Clerics are lucky individuals born with the ability not only to hear the gods but, also, for the gods to hear them. All true gods come from Spiritual plane and some False Gods come from the Material or Magical plane, and have devotees but no Clerics since Clerics are something different, unless a Cleric serves more than one master. Gods are capable of squeezing an aspect of their presence through fissures in the walls of the Material plane, poking out like God in Monty Python, and so all the big gods have physical addresses. There are some 20 or so major gods, true and false, but new gods and temples are popping up all the time. Most of the big gods have a temple and presence in the so-called God District in Arcis Enumre, and this is what draws many Clerics to the city (and, therefore, many other adventurers). There are hundreds of living gods, monsters and creatures terrible to behold, or divine regents, things like that, which a Cleric can pledge to serve but they confer no spells and answer no prayers.
  2. Where can we go to buy standard equipment? There are a lot of shops in all quarters of the city and at all levels apart from the Tower of Time and the subdungeon. Outside of Arcis Enumre, there are wandering peddlers, some meager stores at some inns, and usually a couple of formal shops or a merchant bazaar of some kind in the human kingdoms. In the Dwarf cliffs, most equipment is custom commissioned, even the rudimentary kind like arrows or rope. In the valley, there are smiths and makers but no formal system of commerce, and certainly no friendly ones.
  3. Where can we go to get platemail custom fitted for this monster I just befriended? One of the human kingdoms in and beyond the great forest may have a talented enough craftsman who will relish the challenge, and a Dwarf might know a guy at that. In Arcis Enumre, anything can be bought with enough money.
  4. Who is the mightiest wizard in the land? Depending on who you believe (or your metric) this is either the Living Queenking, Goddess God and Regent of Arcis Enumre, or else a fabled lich. Most likely it is a priest in service of the Thunder Queen, gatekeeper of the Mystical plane.
  5. Who is the greatest warrior in the land? The berserker skull-and-blood-lord of Klort didn't get to his post by being an idle boaster, though there may be many in this land of hide, smoke, and bone which challenge his claim as mightiest. The human kingdom of Klort is ten days' ride from the most outlying farmlands under the protection of Arcis Enumre. Within the city, the subterranean megadungeon that is her foundation is home to Taurcis Enumre, first among minotaurs, who eats anyone whose faith is weaker than his own.
  6. Who is the richest person in the land? Entirely without question, this is the rarely-seen Queenking, though the richest which PCs are likely to encounter outside of the royal tiers would be members of the Barony of Orchard Leaves.
  7. Where can we go to get some magical healing? Find a high-level Cleric, pledge an oath or debt to a powerful temple in Arcis Enumre, or locate an elf or magic user who can craft potions. There aren't any heal-o-mats, and healing comes with a hefty price of either coin or responsibility, though the elves in the city sanitariums can work near-miracles sometimes.
  8. Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions: poison, disease, curse, level drain, lycanthropy, polymorph, alignment change, death, undeath? Poison and disease at a local surgeon or sanitarium, the others don't have convenient local cures and usually require a quest in the service of a temple as payment.
  9. Is there a magic guild my MU belongs to or that I can join in order to get more spells? You can pledge your service to the Thunder Queen or apprentice with a greater elf or caster, but there is no Wizards Local 246.
  10. Where can I find an alchemist, sage or other expert NPC? Arcis Enumre attracts all the smartest and bravest professionals of these types, but some are paid small fortunes and kept by the human kingdoms. All the best blacksmiths are dwarfs, of course.
  11. Where can I hire mercenaries? Everyone is for sale in these lands. In Arcis Enumre in particular, hiring someone who can write to post a notice for you in one or several taverns is a good way to start, as many are willing to sign up to fight for the promise for a share of the spoils large enough to start a business of their own.
  12. Is there any place on the map where swords are illegal, magic is outlawed or any other notable hassles from Johnny Law? Using magic of any king on the Watchguard of Arcis Enumre is punishable by subdungeon. Breaking an oath sworn to a temple is punishable by subdungeon. Human kingdoms all have their own customs. Dwarf society dictates that armor never be entirely removed.
  13. Which way to the nearest tavern? Everywhere in the Dwarf cliffs counts as a tavern. There are 200 taverns, pubs, and inns in Arcis Enumre, and several temples also make a ceremony out of drink in some way. In human kingdoms there are usually two, one for soldiers and merchants and such and one for the rabble, of which PCs usually number.
  14. What monsters are terrorizing the countryside sufficiently that if I kill them I will become famous? Those who slay Medusas are celebrated in Arcis Enumre, and anyone who finally puts down Taurcis Enumre will be heralded as the mightiest of the mighty. Venturing into the mountain, home of giants and abominations, and returning is nothing short of a miracle. Surviving an encounter with a unicorn makes one infamous, and the unicorn usually catches up with you anyway. The forest is sick with Harpys and Owlbears and killing any of these is considered a great deed in almost all places. The key to safe passage through the valley lies in killing any orc chieftains you come across. Anyone who faces a dragon and survives is typically heralded, and should anybody kill the Sleeping Mountain they would be seen as a new kind of god. To be honest, though, getting anywhere traveling across the open plains and roads without a small army in tow is considered an accomplishment, crawling as they are with dinosaurs.
  15. Are there any wars brewing I could go fight? Klort is basically at war with everyone, all the time, but for the most part it's actually the marshaled masters of the Physical, Spiritual, or Magical plane, rather than individual kingdoms, which are constantly at war with one another...and always hiring.
  16. How about gladiatorial arenas complete with hard-won glory and fabulous cash prizes? Several outlying taverns around Arcis Enumre have a kind of fight club going on, there is a constant Circus going on in Arcis Enumre's upper level, and certain human kingdoms prize a more formal kind of martial combat. Dwarfs are too busy for that shit, but there are several loosely organized battlepits in the valley.
  17. Are there any secret societies with sinister agendas I could join and/or fight? Elves refer to a group known as the Velvet Nail, the society of assassins who exist entirely on paper in the form of correspondence and testimonials. Their conspiracies and executions have been carried off with the subtlety of a spider web, acting on orders passed down from up to a century ago. In Arcis Enumre, aside from the major factions (the gods, the dragons, the Barony, the Queenking, the Medusas, the Gargoyles) vying for control of the city and its future direction, there exists the Stray Parliament, which powerful spellcasters can have a voice in through the investment of a familiar. This rough assembly of dogs, cats, frogs, rats, and more hold sway behind the scenes of the city, carrying out their own agendas whilst blending into the animal life of the city mostly unobserved. Knowledge of the Stray Parliament is only shared with spellcasters who have had their familiar for a minimum of 2 levels, though all familiars are invited to join as a matter of course.
  18. What is there to eat around here? Food. Fresh eggs or produce is a big deal in the city, elven wine is a big deal outside the city.
  19. Any legendary lost treasures I could be looking for? First-Forged or First-Crafted items are always powerful, the original items of their kind created in the world. Some trophies of slain monsters are treasures to themselves, providing not only a reward and source of income but usually possessing some special quality of their own.
  20. Where is the nearest dragon or other monster with Type H treasure? Dragons are usually found hiding in caves along the coast, though some take up residence further inland in a dungeon, sanctum or temple out in the forest or the lichlands, or else found in the great subdungeon that makes up the foundation of Arcis Enumre.

Shyguy B/X Class

I'm a huge fan of the first two Paper Mario games, and to a lesser extend the third one. I've long kicked around the idea of doing a table-top game with it since it's ready made for the idea, at least if people stick to playing the kinds of characters who are often Mario's sidekicks in these games. The Shyguy works really well as a kind of Fighter-Also but I ultimately think I'd go with Savage Worlds or something for a full-on game of Mario RPG.
HD: d6
Save: as Halfling
Attack: as Cleric
Advance: as Cleric
Requirements: 8+ in all Ability Scores.
  • Shyguys cannot use armor or shields. They are pretty much always dressed as some variant of Shyguy, mask and all. They get +/- 2 AC for this.
  • Shyguys can use any weapon, but only one kind of weapon at a time. Their name changes to reflect this, e.g. if they pick up a spear at first level they are now Spear Guy and can use any spears they find but only spears. They may learn a new type of weapon in play, but are then restricted to that. It takes a full day for every session you've spent with your previous Name Weapon to get used to a new Name Weapon. Shyguys add their level in damage to their Name Weapon.
  • Shyguys are all either Clever, Sneaky, Nimble, or Tough.
    • Clever Guys have a magic comic book that describes a number of First Tier spells equal to their Intelligence Bonus.
    • Sneaky Guys have all the ability to Hide as a Thief of their level, but no other Thief abilities. If you're using LOTFP I guess this would mean they have Stealth 5/6 at level 1 and then Stealth 6/6 after.
    • Nimble Guys can make a free movement whenever they are attacked. They get a +1 damage bonus with ranged attacks.
    • Tough Guys ignore the first attack that any creature makes against them. This does not include things like gaze attacks or paralyzing touch or magic missile, but it does include big area attacks like Breath Weapons which would include them.
  • Shyguys are considered to have Charisma 18 for the purpose of hiring or keeping Shyguy retainers.
  • When retreating, Shyguys will always trip on their robes once, because that's just adorable.
  • Shyguys speak the Common tongue as well as the secret whisper-language of the Shyguys. 
  • At level 5, a Shyguy's Name Weapon may be a magic item like a rod, wand, or staff. If these items do damage then the Shyguy's Name Weapon bonus will apply to all damage. If the item is limited to a number of charges, the Shyguy gets 1d6+1 additional charges out of the item. If it is limited to a number of uses per day, the Shyguy can use that item an additional time per day.
  • At level 8, they get a Job. Their Job determines their additional abilities and also lets them order any Shyguy without a Job as if that Shyguy were one of their retainers. Shyguys become either Generals, Scholars, Crooks, or Knights
    • As long as Generals have retainers they can elect for a retainer to take damage from an attack or from falling instead of them. Morale and reputation never suffer when Shyguy retainers are sacrificed in this way.
    • Scholars know a number of total languages (including the languages and any bonus languages from 1st level) equal to their Intelligence, and a number of First Tier spells (including any spells gained at 1st level) equal to their level.
    • Crooks gain all additional abilities of a Thief half their level. If you're using LOTFP that means pick two skills other than sneak attack, you have those 6/6.
    • Knights can use all armor, and reroll any save which they critically fail a number of times per day equal to their Constitution score.
  • At level 10, they may assemble an Engine, a land-going vessel which can house a deceptively large number of Shyguys (up to 100), has AC -3/21, can absorb 10+1 HD of damage, and does damage equal to the Shyguy General's hit points. For every million points of XP a Shyguy acquires beyond level 10, their Engine's HD is improved (10+2, followed by 10+3, etc).
  • Shyguys may advance to level 10.

If a Shyguy's mask is lost, they will cover their face and fall prostrate before their true face may be seen. If this mask is not returned immediately, they will vanish in a puff of purple or green smoke and are considered dead. A Shyguy vanishing in this manner always leaves behind 1 gold per level, regardless of coins and equipment carried.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Arcis Enumre Play Report- GM-ing From The Heart And Ass

Menda is a Crocman named Smave. She is recreating a character she played before but she has sex with me. Joshua is a Gnome named Roddi. Raven is a Halfling named Galanno and 2HP (gotta love Constitution adjustments). Claude came in late and got shitty stats but played a Fighter named Steve.

They buy gear. "Can a Crocman just wander into a store in this world?" No they cannot, so I guess they're outside the city dealing with a peddler. "Who's blind." Actually yes that sounds perfect. I can always use a return of the Honor System peddler.

They get the lowdown on their place in the local political clime, their best chances at fortune and glory, but I stress that anything can and does happen. What do you want to do? "March into farmland and do good deeds!" Fuck now I need to think of something interesting to do on a farm. Um..

"You see some elves in a field with some purple cows." The fuck did I say purple cows for? This sets of a 3 second discussion about the relative normalcy of purple cows and a 3 minute discussion about stealing or eating them, or eating what comes out of their udders.

"Let's find the farm with the most cows and help them." "Or chickens." Chickens? Now chickens I can work with, Medusas breed their pet cockatrices with normal chickens and it's possible that, say, a Hag might also keep one for eggs for spell components... "No, we're doing cows." Shit.

The next house doesn't have any farmland attached apart from a small garden. It has one goat. "Okay we're doing goats now." Shit. Long conversation through the door with old man who refuses to open up for the Crocman who keeps threatening to eat his goat. Party half-convinces selves old man inside is the door when a little hunched old dude pops out of a back window and runs off through the field, even odds he's bringing back cops. Claude arrives late, so I let the digressions drag a little while I help him construct a character on the side. Three minute discussion about whether to take goat or eat goat. Three minutes discussing whether to leave the poor old man an apology not with the goat or on the goat but in the goat, shaved into its fur. A message of goat, or in the medium of goat. Smarter heads prevail and they head on.

Third house is quaint cottage with old woman who takes forever to answer the door and a cat. Crocman left outside to watch road for trouble. Old woman assumes other two are the authorities here to help her search for her missing spoon she reported. Still not sure if she's magic or has something magic or terrifying in the house. She brings them in to search for clues and totters off to can. Gnome expends Favor but gets no real result, instead I direct him to silverware drawer full of other spoons and forks and knives and shit, so he thinks he still had an effect. This works and he's proud of himself. Old woman taking forever in can, I realize, and it clicks what to do. Where's my B/X Companion I got on RPGNow? Flip flip ah, here we go, stats if I need them...

Old woman on floor. Dying. Says she cannot go on apparently, that it will have to be THEM now. Crocman hears commotion and enters, demands old lady's attention. She summons him forward, reaching up as far as his junk before thrusting all her magical essence into him. Red smoke erupts from Smave's mouth as member of County Watch comes through door investigating disturbance of peace the previous old person reported. Mist flows over everyone in the house as the house pitches and shakes. Then the house stands up on long, sinewy, viscous pink and green tentacles and begins slithering down the road. Newcomer cop is swept up for the ride, good way to integrate him into a party he's initially at odds with, see every action movie ever. Random Encounter roll finally comes up, so the PCs in the house, still unsure what's going on, slither past a group of highwaymen on the road. "Fucking magic houses!" they barely hear.

Cat reappears. Cat talks. We're an hour in, not counting creating 4 characters on the spot in 30 minutes. I love old-ass-school games.

Talking cat explains the house has a great destiny, one bestowed upon it so many owners ago that nobody really remembers what it is. However it must have tenants, because the house has to belong to someone, with the party now bonded to the house with Smave as head of the household. Talking cat is part of package deal, effectively a familiar-like being the house makes within itself as a kind of user interface. Gives me a way in-game to talk directly to the players about the stupid or awesome decisions they make and second-guess all their actions. Also I figured everyone would like the talking cat, and Menda hates my talking-cat-voice so that lets me antagonize her, which makes her stay in character if only to argue. Similar trick with Claude and threatening to kill innocents and letting Raven correct NPCs. Cat does a lot of exposition but it goes by quick and everyone stays in character. Awesome.

TARDIS jokes started already as have Howl's Moving Castle jokes. Cat has been renamed Housifer. Must zag on them: house isn't bigger on the inside or magically expandable but does stretch and add stories and rooms as needed. Room of Requirement mention as a speedbump but now we're back on to "holy shit walking house." Everyone takes a room and they sleep. Wake up in morning in forest clearing, surrounded by burned out houses. Houses are investigated. Swarm of bees encountered. Manage to get through entire bee fight without Eddie Izzard reference, a sign they're diggin' this. Bees sting the gnome to death, they drag him back to the house.

At this point I've a decision to make. I'm big on the whole shields-shall-be-splintered, everything-shall-be-splintered thing but this game is humming right along and I want to be sure they know the ropes and the kinds of consequences their actions have before chucking them in the real deep end. So I come up with a plan. A brilliant plan, one of whose potential outcomes includes a mobile dryad sex party living upstairs in the house. I put this plan in the hands of Raven. Raven does what Raven does which means he falls for the obvious hook given him by the cat but also falls for the equally obvious trap set by dryads, and now he's gone forever, unless I take drastic action.

Meanwhile they're finally searching house. They find a few potions and a few books and a few other things. Don't tell them what potions are but give them clues. One of the books becomes a recipe book with three non-food items written in an Arcane dialect; Yummy Juice, Upsy-Daisy Juice, Little Big Juice. Can't just blindly give them a resurrection potion though, let's see what that potion doubles as...."Summon Dragon" looks good. They feed potion to gnome. Sense of doom drawing close as gnome awakens.

Party interprets this as the halfling's return, because he's possessed by a treant by way of a magic acorn in his throat. Giant trees have surrounded house. Still trying to get them on line for dryad sex party but no dice. Decide to make treant sound pitiful and impotent since I feel his pain. Would have him manifest physically and smash house but I forgot to write up house stats during the bathroom break earlier and the game is starting to drag so I don't want to pause. Have treant make fun of them and show them how to VAGUELY work the house. One of the books discovered earlier becomes a map book marked with the house's favorite places. Menda is drunk by now and says "Take us to the beach!" Beach is where I put most of my dragons. Halfling spits out control acorn and is hale and hearty. That's two Mulligans I've given, third strike and these dudes are out.

Party flips out halfway there re: dragons and decides to play it safe and go find some treasure. House changes course. We take a brief break for some pizza and for me to roll some hit dice. They just want to go get treasure? Ok then.

House has settled again the next morning. Pitch black outside. Musty. Cave. Halfling and gnome go exploring with single lantern, Steve the Guard chooses to read the party's small library, Smave the crocman drinks a potion, the "Little Big Juice," and shrinks. Rides around on a severed zombie hand (do not even ask at all) like a mighty steed for a while and rolls to find a secret door. Finds one. What can she find at her height? Probable a lot more hidden places. Ok how's this: mouse hole with tasteful front door. Mouse is polite and his room is extremely spare, just bedding, no thimble teacups. Talks a little bit about how he's also part of the house, package deal, there's a lot of secrets and creatures living inside this house, which is itself a creature.

Outside Roddi and Galanno hear trickling water, scurrying bugs, and the unmistakable clinking of coins. Clink clink clink. Greed gets better of them and Gnome finds pile of treasure. A long scaly tail slithers out of the light. He widens the lantern's beam. Saving throw time. Woops! Three strikes and Roddi's out. Roddi and all his equipment turn to stone, including the lantern, leaving Galanno in darkness with a basilisk bearing down on him. If he turns on a light, basilisk will find him and he runs risk of petrification. If he stays in darkness, basilisk MAY find him and absolutely slaughter this 2 hit point Hobbit. Ray chooses to use his Halfling hiding powers and barely escapes the basilisk's wrath. He opts to go and hide in the treasure as the basilisk skitters off looking for him.

Inside Menda tries in vain to get Claude re-interested in game, climbing up on book she's reading. He closes book on her, nearly killing her PC. She's very drunk right now but coming down and I've rarely seen her so sad. She does survive without my intervention, though, and heads off to find more tiny-sized secrets. Rolls perfectly again, finds a crack behind bookcase leading to empty room with Alice-sized door in the floor. Knob too big to turn while tiny, door too small to fit into while normal sized.

Raven partly buries Galanno in the basilisk's hoard, sending the basilisk scurrying back. Has an arrow ready. He fires two perfect shots at the basilisk, even with a blindness penalty, before the basilisk closes the distance. Then, with both a blindness penalty and a negative strength modifier, proceeds to stab the basilisk in the face with an arrow, repeatedly. Basilisk keeps biting at him but the halfling keeps either avoiding the bites or making his saves and manages to entirely outlast the creature. It fails a morale save with 3hp remaining and runs away to bleed to death. Galanno calls out for Steve's help and over the next several hours, with adequate lighting and caution, they haul the treasure on board the house. Some characters have enough swag from just this raid to level past 3 but I only level them to 2; anyone who survives next session levels to 3 automatically. They get a ton of coinage and jewelry and some scrolls and potions.

Smave has returned to full size and opened the door in the floor. Tempted to go in a Locke and Key direction here but instead fill it with multi-colored aquarium sand, general all-purpose magical ingredient, by-product/waste product of house, they can use it for spell and ritual and potion components. Smave sets it on fire. Ok hell, let me give them a random potion, why a youth potion, I randomly roll. Smave takes a couple doses and looks 20 years younger, as much as a crocodile can. Housifer appears and acts all smarmy about this and to provide exposition (such as the material takes about a week to regenerate enough to be useful). In fit of impotent rage Smave forcefeeds Housifer some potion, turning him into a kitten. Smave smashes out through wall and bookcase and then helps Galanno and Steve drag the statue of Roddi inside. House begins to walk out of cave system.

Not bad for a session 1 with about 4 minutes of planning.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Arcis Enumre- Scrivener (Magic User Variant)

Bards are a weird catch-all class and as time has gone by they've picked up more and more abilities that don't quite fit anywhere or aren't enough to fill up a whole class. They're minstrels, they're magicians, they're illusionists, they're thieves, they're fighters, they're Dirk Benedict from the A-Team, they're assassins and great at poison for some reason.....I wanted to make a bard that was a bard like Shakespeare was a bard, tying into some of my feelings about Magic-Users. I wanted an option for a class whose knowledge of magic is incidental to their real interests. I also wanted a class of adventurers from the opening of Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. I don't know that they quite work as a class to themselves and I think for the most part I'm just going to rely on Alternative Spellcasting for the same effect.
Bartleby Art by Rebecca Dart
HD: d4
Save: as Magic User
Attack: as Magic User
Advance: as Thief
Requirements: Intelligence 9, Wisdom 9, Constitution 8 or lower
Prime Requisite: Intelligence; Scriveners with Intelligence 18 earn 5% bonus xp.
  • Scriveners roll 1d6x10 for their starting gold.
  • Scriveners do not receive a spell at 1st level, but are considered to have a spell slot for the purpose of Enchantment.
  • Scriveners have a locked spell progression (see below, but not as far below).
  • Scriveners can use Cleric spells inscribed on scrolls.
  • Scriveners know one additional language. Scriveners can copy a book in a week or write a book in a month.
  • Scriveners can create 1 one-spell scroll per day at level 3, and another at level 9.
  • Scriveners of level 6+ are considered to have certain texts memorized; any text the Scrivener has copied 10 times or more (up to the Scrivener's level) may be denoted as Favorite Works. The Scrivener may expend Clairvoyance in order to recall a single fact from any of these texts.
  • Scriveners have limited advancement opportunities and are usually poor or lower class; they advance to level 12 and cannot build keeps or hold domains.
  • A Scrivener may expend a spell slot to Enchant.
Scrivener Spell List:

1 None/Enchant
2  Read Magic
3 Comprehend Languages
4 Locate Object
6 Clairvoyance
7 Dispel Magic
8 Charm Person, Charm Monster
9 Mirror Image, Remove Curse
10 Infravision, Contact Higher Plane
11 Confusion, Feeblemind
12 Sleep, Geas

Scriveners are sometimes called Scribes or Bards (in the master poet and storyteller sense not the Sister Golden Hair sense) and have the ability to Enchant a number of times per day equal to their level. Scriveners possess no unique magical aptitude and acquire their abilities through repetition over a long time. Eventually, they know certain stories, jokes, curses, legends, and riddles inside and out.

A Scrivener can Enchant a group equal in number to the Scrivener's total Hit Dice (or the Scrivener's Hit Die's value of non-HD peoples or creatures). A Scrivener must share a language with his audience at first level, but may cast Comprehend Languages as a free action after 3rd level to facilitate. A Scrivener may Enchant his audience for a number of minutes equal to the highest value of his combined Hit Dice. In this manner a level 12 Scrivener could Enchant 12HD worth of creatures 12 times per day for 48 minutes each, assuming he always shared a language with his audience.

Creatures who are thus Enchanted get a Save vs. Wands to resist. Otherwise, the creatures are captivated by the Scrivener, unable to leave or attack or do anything other than laugh, cry, or ask questions. This effect ends if the targets are attacked. After the Enchantment ends, affected targets must make a Morale save or else either leave the Scrivener in peace or treat him as 1 level better on a reaction table.

Scriveners are always old.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Arcis Enumre- Gentleman (Thief Variant)

There's nothing stopping someone from being a dashing, gentlemantly Thief using the existing rules. Their special abilities don't particularly give them fun tools to play with if they go that route, and it's a good opportunity to appropriate a few Bard abilities for a game with no true Bards....
art by Darwyn Cooke
HD: d4
Save: as thief
Attack: as Thief
Advance: as Thief
Requirements: Intelligence 9, Charisma 9
Prime Requisite: Dexterity; Gentlemen (or women) with a Dexterity of 16 or higher get +5% bonus xp.
  • Gentlemen may wear leather armor, or may have their clothes fitted with unobtrusive hidden protection to act as leather armor for twice the normal price for leather armor. They may not use shields.
  • Gentlemen may use any weapon which they can conceal on their person, and as such are prohibited from using two-handed weapons.
  • Gentlemen advance their abilities in a manner similar to a Thief's progression of skills. The skills Open Locks and Find/Remove Traps stay the same, and Pick Pockets improves, but their other skills change, and advance as below.
  • A Gentleman's social requirements and professional engagements prevent him from advancing beyond 16th level.

Sleight of Hand governs a Gentleman's ability to perform simple illusions such as making something appear, disappear, or change through simple technique, or in other words their ability to employ pick-pocket-like trickery unnoticed even when directly observed, as with a stage magician; Move Unseen, if you will. Gentlemen do not scurry about; instead they attempt to Fascinate people, holding their attention and curiosity for long periods of time and allowing others to scurry about unnoticed instead. Despite this, the Gentleman can be adept at Blending Into a Crowd, ceasing to be anything but a face among faces, if presented with the opportunity, as a Thief might with shadows. A Gentleman's instincts may give him a sense or hunch when danger is near, or if they are missing something, but unlike Hear Noise may not grant the Gentleman any indication of the direction or nature of that danger. Gentlemen receive an extra skill, Cover, which governs not only rudimentary skill at disguise but also the ability to maintain a persona or lie convincingly in the face of danger.

Operating under the auspices of these abilities a Gentleman need not be hidden or have surprise in order to Sneak Attack someone.

Gentlemen know how to treat their lessers, and retainers of Gentlemen have their morale improved by 1.

Arcis Enumre- Pacifist Class (Fighter Variant)

I'm a big fan of all the classic classes and that includes later inventions like the Monk and Paladin and such, and yes even the Bard. But there's nothing purely sacred about the way a lot of these classes are put together, and I wanted to play around and see what kinds of options I could present for my players by taking aspects of classes and exploding them across multiple different classes, making these sort of rules variants on the core classes, or something close to what Pathfinder did where some class Archetypes replace almost every feature of a class while still recognizably being that class. In this first instance, I made a Fighter who had the moral code of the Paladin and the implied open-palm sanctity-of-life aspect of Shaolin Monks that would work with a few different class interpretations. I also had one of my players in mind, because he generally had a problem killing creatures.
Gordon Fucking Liu

HD: d8
Save: as Fighter
Attack: as Fighter
Advance: as Cleric
Requirements: Dexterity 9, Wisdom9
Prime Requisite: Strength; Pacifists with a Strength of 13 or better earn 5% bonus xp.
  • Pacifists may use any weapon against unliving or undead targets but if they kill a living person or creature with it, even accidentally, they must surrender that weapon and give up the use of weapons of that type forever.
  • A Pacifist may wear any armor, and may use a shield with any armor except plate. A Pacifist uses the higher value of her Strength, Constitution, or Dexterity to determine any Dexterity bonus to AC (but not to missiles or initiative).

art by Cliff Chiang et al, from DC's New 52 Wonder Woman #10
Pacifists may deal an additional 1d6 on every successful attack as long as that attack does not kill.

Pacifists may intentionally "take" a hit. Those doing so may deal 1d12 unblockable unlethal damage to their attacker.

Pacifists know a form of pidgin Spiritus and, all else being equal, are preferred over normal Fighters in some temples.

Arcis Enumre- Cuckoo Class

The idea with this was something like doing Yotsuba or Mr. Magoo as a class, a character protected by their own divine obliviousness. I also quite liked the idea of the really intelligent and aware character who projected that persona to unbalance his enemies, hence the Tom Baker photo. Someone it was impossible to get the drop on or outmaneuver not because they are so damn amazing and clever but because they're unphazed in the face of the amazing and find amazingness in the mundane instead.
HD: d6
Save: as Cleric
Attack: as Cleric
Advance: as Cleric
  • Cuckoos may not wear armor. They may use any weapon they find but the weapon has a 1/6 chance of breaking or being absent-mindedly discarded after any fight, and they cannot buy weapons unless weapons are the only thing available to buy in a shop.
  • Cuckoos add their level to hit and damage with an improvised weapon.
  • A number of times per day equal to their level a Cuckoo can be distracted by something else and declare their Obliviousness in the face of danger and consider their AC to be 0/19 for an attack.
  • Cuckoos speak Cuckoo and Elf, Arcane, as well as the languages of Pixies and Goblins.
  • In a combat situation where the Cuckoo is one of several potential targets, a hostile creature must roll a 1-2 on a d6 in order to attack the Cuckoo first. After the creature's first attack, it may notice the Cuckoo and attack freely.
  • Cuckoos may babble in Cuckoo once per day to distract. Babbling is usable once per day, gaining an additional use per day at levels 4, 7, and 10.
  • Cuckoos may advance to 10th level.

Babble which distracts those around the Cuckoo may have one of two major effects. When used during an encounter, the Cuckoo may use this distraction to swap places in initiative with her enemy, or automatically have her party go first in simple initiative. In roleplaying interactions, the Cuckoo can avoid unwanted attention by confusing those around her, beginning a conversation over again from scratch as if for the first time. If this effect is attempted in a large enough group, the group collectively gets a save vs. spell effect, with the Cuckoo's Wisdom score being the DC for the save.

As they level a Cuckoo amasses a Collection. This can be a library, a bag of trinkets, charms on a bracelet, etc. There are pieces in this collection equal to their Level+Wisdom Score. Any time you want to see if you have an item in this collection relevant to the situation at hand, roll 1d100. Rolling equal to/less than the current size of your Collection means that item is in your Collection. You lose things and use them up and give them away all the time, so what's in your Collection at any given time changes a lot, requiring a new roll each time. For every 105000 xp after level 10 you add 1d10 pieces to your Collection.

Cuckoos can steal anything worth 1 copper without making a check roll.

Additionally, Cuckoos with high ability scores have the following attributes

Strength 13+: You may wear leather armor. You may use any shield you find but have 1/6 chance of losing it or breaking it after each fight.
Constitution 13+: You save as a Dwarf.
Dexterity 13+: You may backstab creatures who are unaware of your presence for double damage.
Intelligence 13+: You level as a Thief.
Wisdom 13+: You may Search for things which are neither treasure nor traps at 4/6.
Charisma 13+: You gain a Pet at Charisma 13, 2 at 15, 3 at 17, 4 at 18. These are mundane non-talking non-magical animals who are not specially trained with 1HD or less. These do not count against your number of Retainers.

Cuckoos reaching level 10 become Cuckoo Kachoos. Kachoos do whatever they want, and are cleverer than given credit for.
  • Obliviousness uses may instead be spent on Saving Throws.
  • Babble uses may instead be spent to reroll to hit or damage rolls.
  • You may check your Collection 1/day to mimic the effects of a magic spell, turn undead, a skill roll, or a natural 20.
  • Kachoos are never the first to be attacked if there are other targets presenting (excepting obvious exceptions).

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Arcis Enumre- Crocmen Class

My wife wanted to play something like the Dragonborn character she had played in a friend's game so I bashed this together. It serves as a pretty decent template for almost all "beastmen"-type character race-classes, really, though if I'd remembered the Labyrinth Lord-compatible Mutant Future Mutant Animal generation rules I'd have just had her use those at the time. No reason we can't use both, though.
custom figure by "GrownNerd"
HD: d8
Save: as Fighter
Attack: as Fighter
Advance: as Fighter
Requirements: 9 Constitution, no greater than 9 Intellect or Charisma
Prime Requisites: Strength.
  • Crocmen may wear no armor and are proficient with spears.
  • Crocmen speak Crocman and have a 50% chance of knowing Elf. 
  • Crocmen may double their movement in water.
  • Crocmen are always treated as wearing Leather Armor and shield, AC 6/AC 13
  • Crocmen are always considered to be armed with a spear, accounting for damage from bites, claws, and tail slaps. They are also always considered +1 to force doors or grab/hold.
  • Crocmen may never have retainers and are often gouged by the few reputable shops in Arcis Enumre which agree to trade with them.
  • Crocmen can "hide in shadows" as a Thief when in water, swamps, or tall grass.
  • Crocmen never make a poison save for eating garbage. 
  • Crocmen may advance to level 8. At level 8 they may build and stock their own Dungeon, attracting up to 8HD worth of creatures, who may be replaced if they are killed. For every 100K XP after reaching level 8 they may attract an additional 8HD worth of creatures.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Arcis Enumre- Gnome Class

art by Kate Laird

HD: d6
Save: as Thief
Attack: as Thief
Advance: as Thief
Requirements: No ability scores of 7 or less, or 5+ on 1d12
  • Gnomes can use any armor except plate. Gnomes cannot use shields, or wield two-handed weapons.
  • Gnomes speak Gnome and Common, Elf, Dwarf, Halfling.
  • Gnomes can Hear Noise as a level 16 Thief. 
  • Gnomes get an additional bonus language each level. This can allow the Gnome to speak a new language or dialect, conversing with a new bunch of humans and demihumans, or as a very limited Speak-With-Animals ability; like, at level 1 you could choose "rats"... 
  • Gnomes can change size between 6" and 3' at will. Clothes and items they have made change with them but armor and weapons others have crafted do not.
  • Gnomes can advance to 8th level. At level 8, gnomes gain an entourage and can use their status to find free food, drink, and quarters anywhere they are already known.
  • Gnomes are also considered to always have chalk. 
  • Gnomes can eat rocks or gems to survive.
  • Gnomes also receive a free pet or mount at 1st level.

art by Raven Mimura