Monday, June 29, 2015

Professionals- The Specialists and Guildsmen of the Various Arts in my BX/LOTFP Western, XXR

  • Professionals roll 1d6 for their Hit Die.
  • Their Defensive Number is 15.
  • They may use any Normal weapon (d8).
  • They may use pistols.
  • Professionals speak their own brand of jargon and slang specific to their profession, plus Lawful, a language of their choice, and any languages granted by their Intellect bonus.
  • If you have Dexterity 16+ you are +1 to hit.
  • Professionals receive 4 points to use to advance the Skills all characters have access to. They receive 2 points each time they level up. They also uniquely possess the ability to invest points in Sneak Attack, multiplying damage on a successful hit. They may invest any of these points in their Career benefits.
  • Professionals do not roll their Luck at 1st level like other characters. They receive Luck 6.
  • At level 3 they gain a new skill: Read Magic, as the spell, which works on a 1 on 1d6. It may be improved like other skills.
  • At level 8 they gain a number of Mastery Points equal to their Intellect. These points never refresh or increase. If an ally fails a Skill roll in which the Professional has invested Skill Points, the Professional can add her instruction to the ally. This cannot make the ally’s Skill value exceed that of the Professional. This ability may only be triggered by a failed roll, but the points, once spent, become a permanent addition to the ally’s Skill.
  • At level 9 a Professional may establish a Secret Society and attract 2d8 skilled individuals whose abilities compliment the Professional’s own. They attract an additional 1d3 per level. These are not Helpers.
  • At Level 13 everyone knows your name (or whatever name you want them to know). You have all the benefits and troubles that westwide notoriety brings with it. You may establish a Union, allying yourself with agencies both public and secret, extending your reach considerably.
  • Professionals may advance to Level 16.
Features Level XP HP
4 Skill points 1 0 1d6+1+Constitution bonus
2 Skill points 2 1500 +1d6+Constitution bonus
Read Magic
2 Skill points
3 3000 +1d6+Constitution bonus
2 Skill points 4 6000 +1d6+Constitution bonus
2 Skill points 5 12000 +1d6+Constitution bonus
2 Skill points 6 24000 +1d6+Constitution bonus
2 Skill points 7 48000 +1d6+Constitution bonus
2 Skill points
8 96000 +1d6+Constitution bonus
2 Skill points
9 192000 +1d6+Constitution bonus
2 Skill points 10 288000 +1
2 Skill points 11 384000 +1
2 Skill points 12 480000 +1
2 Skill points
13 576000 +1
2 Skill points 14 672000 +1
2 Skill points 15 768000 +1
2 Skill points 16 8640000 +1

Saturday, June 27, 2015


Basically I was trying to figure out a way I could streamsline Saving Throws a little instead of having all those individual B/X Saving Throw charts without just basing it on Ability Scores outright. So I just ripped off FASERIP for it. Now, whenever a thing comes up, I don't have to decide which of these categories fits it best, because if the answer isn't an obvious corrallary I just determine whether this should be Easy, Tricky, or Hard to overcome. Straightforward numbers. This even kind of works for Ability Score rolls....your ability score modifiers affect your roll, and the 2 point spread covers the type of high bonus most characters will be lucky to ever benefit from, while making the dude with 18 Dexterity and +1 to saves not automatically Spider-Man, since the chance for failure is wider.

Flat numbers also make things easier to add effects onto. Like if you need to make a Tricky roll  against Breath and make a Hard roll instead, where you'd normally take half damage you take no damage. Same with poison saves and getting a Tricky result. Rolling a 20 on a Red save would give a similar bonus effect.

There are some notes on the digram to show how to transition characters to this method more easily, and specific notations with my cowboy dnd game in mind.  Maybe more annotations as we go, maybe fewer, but otherwise I think it's got legs.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

River Over the Rise

She half-crawled home, stumbling, blinded by tears, her hands clenching and grasping, empty, nails digging into meat, pawing up the rocks, treacherously, still reaching and clawing, sliding down the mountain feeling for where the infant had been. Her knees were long ago opened against the stone. Her feet left a red trail down to the river and a red deed. A whole moon bit at the heat-flicker of treetop shadows, scoured away places she could hide herself. They danced, those trees, and small clouds like scales rushed through a mostly clear but starless night. She never screamed, only wept, hacked, moaned. She had screamed. Now her mother climbed the mountain, carrying its weight in her stomach, struggling for a handhold lest she fall away into bottomless dark.

Blind to the mountain she saw a small scrap of flesh clinging to thin bone. Naked, writhing, wailing, wasting. She would die soon, but not soon enough. The grain was taken. The horses were still and fatted with disease. The fish were dead. The game was over. Her hair was falling out now. There was nothing more to give except peace, a grave's peace, mercy, a demon's mercy. The little one was so still so soon, then gone and washed away. She could suffer enough for both of them now. For a thousand thousand.

Dawn so soon? The climb was long, longer than ever before. It was with Fiera now, she knew, riding forever through plenty. She clung to this tighter than the mountainside as she climbed: the promise of a reward deserved for an injustice visited. The last of many. Beyond the reach of the Vaul it was now. It it had to become, or else she could not climb. She could not think of she. She could not think of the hunger and torture of life in the Vaul. Nor its maker, he gone two freezes now, hunting the continent's most elusive game.

She focused on the light of dawn. She focused through a red mind and a black belly on the stretching land, like a great arm, reaching past the Vaul. Just this mountain, then only another mountain, then merely a mountain more. She could climb just one mountain for as long as she need. Her eyes stung with wind and dust. She blinked away tears against the oranging sky. No bird flew here. No insect chirped. She was alone. Fiera, alone. Though the night was fast the world was still, watching her, knowing what she done.

Sisters. Father. An end to snows. The sea which goes on forever. Pomegranate. A life not in pain. A place not of Vaul. A light outside of Fiera's shadow. A place far from here, away from herself, as far away as any can run. Another man, as hard but kinder. Another child, then another. A world beyond the valley. A life beyond the river...a dawn...

The dawn was the color of sunset. Her eyes did not sting with wind and dust.

All the way to Fiera's river she had gone, much farther than most dared venture in Vaul. She could not let them see. She must not let them know. It was a long walk there, longer walk back. Time enough that the fire had burned now for hours. All night.

The sky waved, shape fading into shape under shifting light. Another ghost-flicker. You would need know the bones of the place to see it now in the small valley's dawnburn, sunk like a stone in a lake of blood. There, where the dead were piled from the Vaul. There, where the fields had once been. There, where the desperate gathered, piling stores, preparing for a bleak hope trek and last resort. Burning brightest. Stoked with marrowfat. Where father would be. Some say her life ended at Fiera's river. Some say her life ended in that moment, at the blazing bright valley as all the awfulness which was HERS burned away. Like the night she became still, and where many would have died, yes, she climbed. She climbed higher. And back, toward the icy throne of Fiera.

She did not feel the cuts on her feet now. She watched her hands and gripped tight to point of pain to know her holds as she climbed. She did not look up. It waited at her shoulder. The rage of a lifetime and a thousand lifetimes. Give yourself to me. You are over. I am begun. It waited at her shoulder, and climbed with her, watching the flame below, haze now further muted in the chill and snow. Was it spreading? It would not reach here. Do not think. Climb. Give yourself to me.

The growl of hunters then. The flash of an eye. Parting white, showing yellow tooth, shining moonlight eyes. NO, it said. You are mine. How many were there now? But how many were the Vaul? She watched her hands close around a piece of the mountain. She squeezed until she saw red, and knew the mountain would be unshakable. She bowed herself, and her eyes were not her own. No, she knew. It would not be that simple, would it? Teeth flashed, blood flowed, the mountain rang and cracked, as she hunted back. She hunted a long time.

Carefully. Tittering: Carefully, with what she did now. A fool to plan a life. A fool to plan a day. A fool to try one's will against the gods. A fool to trust them in the first place, at that. The dawn broke now, the real dawn, lashing clean light at her back without regard to what it shone on. Harsher than the moon. Angry with life. She knew the feeling. For the first time since she ran shaking from Fiera's river, hours gone, she looked down. She looked down into the swell and roar and white and rock of Fiera's river. Far, far below. She looked into the eyes of what waited beneath its black. Somehow, down there. Give yourself to me. She did not look at the fire. The bright light of dawn washed that light out and shone back at her, creeping across black and white and foam, changing everything to gold, and she felt hate for the first time in, oh. Only that long? She hated that gold.

I wonder if I will kill the sun when I die. Carefully,
onto nothing

Did they set the fire? No, perhaps. Legend is an ugly word for not knowing. Some will insist they had, and vengeance was done. There was no right here. Night settled for the first time in a dozen generations on a clearing, not a town. On ash, and the hale red horses and moon mirror armor of men, ankle deep in a meadow of death. Small fires burned now, new fires, pale reflections of the valley of the night before. Fires of the dead, fires of rest and comfort. They came to claim. Even if innocent of the night fires, they came with new fires to burn the last of this world from Fiera's shadow. They thought this a joke, and scorned Fiera. Vaul. The beyonders who hold. The things which broke men.

They kept the thoughts and faces of this valley, piled high like soil, an offering for their foreign bastard. Not white. Not now. As they claimed the smiles of the ruin came the rain.

The rain mixed with the snow. The rain washed blood from rock. The rain lifted ash and danced with it, swirling into a river of dead. The rain filled the earth and the ash mixed with blood and snow and mud and the sweat and piss of the taking men, and the waters rose, and the breath of the march was still and quiet, and the black dead froze, and the tired men made more fires beyond the pass, over the reach, through the narrow, beneath the high and open maw of Fiera's river, thick with power. Tiny men, who scoffed at Fiera. Huddled against long night.

A thing was in the water.

It lifted itself from the black and freeze, the dead and muck, the ash licked off of Vaul boots by unrelenting torrent. It was black itself, slick, with flesh like pitch. It wriggled on its belly like a serpent, hooded like one, its face in darkness. It reached out, unsure of the strength of its limbs. It crawled like a lizard, thrashing, struggling. It crept as a spider, moving only when its heart beat. Its heart beat harder than the rain. It was not seen, yet. It raised its hood and there were fires, small fires, brighter than the fires of men but similar in hue. Its body was tensed, as if ready to flee, watching the white shining conquerors from beyond the edge of their light. Every muscle was stone.

It crawled through the camp, unseen in the clouded dim, beyond the reach of all light but its fiery gaze. First to the dogs. They snarled and challenged her, until they saw its fires. Until they smelled the blood, old blood. They cried, whimpered, and fell silent. It passed by through them, and after a long time they followed.

Into shelter it crawled. Into safety and warmth. The moongleam men were here. They slumbered. In skin it knew. In fires dimmed in the presence of those eyes, sputtering and dying, and in that light, slowly

she stood. Caked in shit and death, earth and blood, naked as a blade. Her hands were on the creature, this being, this thing from out of her world, death in the valley. She was gentle, at first. The first bite did the work. He woke and flailed but struggle though he might the blood never stopped, the purchase never lost. The snap came as an afterthought. She was not hungry, but the Vaul do not love their dogs. She took back the red-sopping skin. She took his sword also, for a night not this one. She only used her teeth. There were not many men the night she came out of the water. One hundred, just.

Was this her now? The moment this new life began? We know none so simple in life, as turning a page. For there was a day far from here, where her hand truly knew steel. And there was a day, long away, where minding of warmaking was bought and paid with heat-blasted muscle and raw screams. There were lives anew, again and again, broken on a battlefield but dragging herself, like a babe, through blade and sand. For life has a new cost each day, a new lender, but payment always is blood price.

Well, someone's.

I know not who she was. I do not understand who she is, what she has become. It is an ugly word, which kills our histories. Deeds never hers. Heights never climbed. Legend. But much is known, and what is known is awe and horror. None will come after her and equal.

Some say she is the mother. Some say she is the child. Some say she is the wolf. Some say she is the goddess. The town. The valley. The victim. The killer.
Mountain, snow, river, night, blood, stone
this was the woman the heartbreaker night hammered keen.

This is Breaka.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

BRAWLER- Disciplined Hard-Assed Punchists for Doublecrossroads (BX/LOTFP)

  • You must have both a Wisdom 9 and Dexterity 9 in order to be a Brawler.
  • Brawlers use 1d6 for their Hit Die. Fighters gain bonus HP at each level from either their Constitution of Wisdom bonus. This must be chosen when you create the character.
  • Their base Defensive Number is 13.
  • Brawlers may use anything as a weapon (fist, chair, branch, broken bottle, etc) and may use any weapon. They do a minimum of 1d4 with any weapon, including bare fists and kicks. However, they do one die size less with conventional weapons (e.g. a Major weapon used by them does only d8) if that weapon’s true damage would be greater than 1d4.
  • Brawlers may also use pistols but they usually use them to pistol-whip people with.
  • They may surprise the enemy on a roll of 1-3.
  • They speak Lawful and a language of their choice. If they have an Intelligence bonus they may apply it to Language checks for reading body language, or lip reading, or facial “tells,” or scars.
  • Brawlers add their number of Hit Dice to their Defense Number.
  • Brawlers begin the game with Luck 6, and do not roll their Luck like other Classes.
  • At level 5, a Brawler gets a defensive maneuver Style Die. The Style Die is a d6 and each number corresponds to a free special effect which goes off when you are attacked on either a hit or miss: Roll, Vault, Sidestep, Fake, Guard, Lucky Strike.
  • At level 9, a Brawler attracts an Entourage and establishes a Hangout. This Entourage numbers 3d10 fans/disciples/students, at least d10 of whom are level 1 Brawlers. They have the run of their Hangout, able to come and go as they please, and the Brawler in question may be partially vested in the establishment.
  • At level 10, a Brawler gets an offensive maneuver Style Die. This Style Die features effects that go off on a successful attack by the Brawler, in addition to damage: Trip, Grab, Slow, Push 5’, Disarm, Lucky Strike.
  • At level 15, a Brawler may use either Style Die during either part of initiative.
  • Brawlers may advance to level 16.
Roll- Move 10' away from your attacker on a hit or miss. You are prone.
Vault- You leap over your opponent as he attacks you. On a hit or miss, your character is now behind the character who attacked you.
Sidestep- Move 5' in any direction on a hit or miss.
Fake- On a hit or miss, you pretend your opponent hurt you much worse than they did. +1 tohit and DN until end of your next initiative.
Guard- On a hit or miss, your attacker is -2 to hit a character within 10' of you.
Lucky Strike- You get an extra attack in, right now, on a hit or miss. At level 10, your offensive style die gives you a chance of a Lucky Strike on a successful attack. Lucky Strike can chain indefinitely in this manner.
Trip- Your target, a Large-or-smaller humanoid, falls prone. This doesn't affect other creatures like dragons and grell for obvious reasons.
Grab- You have enough hold on this creature that you double your attack bonus against them until they save against this grab (Easy save).  If they are smaller than you, they move with you. If they are larger than you, you move with them.
Slow- The target's encounter movement rate is halved for its next initiative.
Push 5'- Like it says. If it's as big as a Hill Giant or Dragon or larger, this doesn't do anything.
Disarm- Like it sounds. If the target wants to use that weapon again it has to use its action on its initiative to go pick it up again.
Features Level XP HP
Sucker Punch
Body Language
Tough Hombre
1 0 1d6+1+Constitution or Wisdom bonus

2 2000 +1d6+Constitution or Wisdom bonus

3 4000 +1d6+Constitution or Wisdom bonus

4 8000 +1d6+Constitution or Wisdom bonus
Style Die 5 16000 +1d6+*Constitution or Wisdom bonus

6 32000 +1d6+Constitution or Wisdom bonus

7 64000 +1d6+Constitution or Wisdom bonus

8 120000 +1d6+Constitution or Wisdom bonus
9 240000 +1d6+Constitution or Wisdom bonus
Style Die 10 360000 +2

11 480000 +2

12 600000 +2

13 720000 +2

14 840000 +2
Style Mastery 15 960000 +2

16 1080000 +2

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Ask And Ye Shall Receive (5e Race- Iagur)

Simon Bisley, duh
Ability Score Increase: Your Strength increases by +1 and your Dexterity increases by +1
Age: 75 years
Alignment: Whatever
Size: Medium
Speed: 40'
Green Death: You gain a Climb speed equal to your normal speed, and can climb while grappling.
Leaper: When you use your movement to make a long jump, you may long jump your Constitution score in feet from a standing start, and double that with a 10' lead.
Language: You speak Common.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Twinmen

At age 1, the child is frighteningly developed. It will resemble an infant still but its mind will be twice as developed as normal, and it will be physically stronger, with greater endurance.
At age 3, the child has something wrong with it. Its head has grown enormous and egg shaped, and it has the body of a tiny weightlifter. It also seems to have some bone disorder. It's not shaped right, even accounting for the aforementioned deformities. It begins to seem slow, compared to its earlier development, and it takes a long time to answer questions or make decisions. There is nothing wrong with the child's brain. It's just building a second one. The child's skeleton is perfectly normal. Both of them are. Its heartbeat is a full measure of music.
At age 9, the child begins vomiting uncontrollably all over itself, a thick sweet-smelling slop which quickly crystallizes in the air, becoming hard as a soft wood. It's white. The child will keep doing this until their entire body is covered, and if they are resisted by efforts to staunch the flow or clean the effects they will continue puking this hardening goop unabated until they dehydrate themselves and pass out. This crusty surface softens over the months into a thin, sturdy leather-textured bag. After three months, the child begins screaming, and moving, and this will continue for the next nine months. The child begins growing.
A year later, the membrane ruptures, and two nude young adults step out ready for life, ready for death. Born to survive.

They are not telepathic but they are of one mind, intimate information from one another shockingly well, and have their own verbal short hand and body language unique to their kind, and then also to their sets. They move independently, yet always toward one goal, synchronized as one.

Either "sibling" can have children like themselves, and when both parents are this type of creature it goes up by another factor. This means there are more and more of these types around.

They are distant and weird while both live. If one dies, however, the remaining "brother" has their full mind and personality restored. Their super great one. They also absorb their vestigial half's Experience as they die, in both story terms and game terms. This leads to a hulking out/leveling up experience that can be pretty dramatic. However, this also locks their potential: the next time they level up will be their last.

In boring game terms this means that you basically have one character that you occupy 2 spaces on the board with, so long as they are still close by. Splitting the party is 100 times worse when you split these guys up, though; they're literally half as effective. They both earn their own XP and climb their own advancement ladder. HOWEVER they have two wrinkles once they set out in the world.

VDND Drunken Master Monk Subtype WHILE DRUNK

This is a venerated kung fu archetype and YES it will be in the game eventually, maybe even SOON, and YES I'm sure others have beaten me to this, probably even doing a GREAT JOB. But I am drunk and I'm running a game in a world where the ocean is alcoholic so here we go.

Path of the Drunken Master

Step of the Drunken Monkey

When you choose this path at 3rd level, you gain the following benefits:
  • You may spend your Action to quaff one dose of alcohol and regain 1 Ki.
  • You may spend 1 Ki to use your Patient Defense class feature, even if you have already taken a bonus action this round.
  • You may also spend 1 Ki to use Patient Defense as a reaction, even if you have already taken a reaction this round.
Stance of the Drunken Ox

At level 6, you become proficient with Constitution saving throws if you aren't already. Additionally, the number of drinks you have imbibed using your Step of the Drunken Monkey feature since your last rest is added to your AC. You obviously lose this bonus with your next rest.

Slap of the Drunken Carp

At level 11, when you use your Flurry of Blows feature, you may instead cause a target within melee range to make an attack against a creature within range. The creature may not pull its punches, and must attack the new target as if it were you.

Style of the Drunken Dragon

At level 17, hindering terrain no longer affects you while you are under the influence of your Step of the Drunken Monkey. Additionally, you gain 2 Ki for each drink by using your Step of the Drunken Monkey option. Finally, the number of drinks since your last rest also apply to your unarmed damage, no merely your AC as in the Stance of the Drunken Ox.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Moon Slave VDND World Tour- Trophies and Fetishes and Offerings to Moon Slave

This is a Trinkets table constructed for those who follow Moon Slave

Roll d100.

  1. Tongue of the last of its kind
  2. Hilt used to kill someone
  3. A jar of witchflesh, in sardine oil
  4. Bone jewelry
  5. A shrunken and gnarled mummified hand
  6. A pouch of lye
  7. A dream journal that fills a new page every morning, but with someone else's dreams
  8. Virgin blood
  9. Slut blood
  10. A fistful of broomstraw
  11. An egg from the heart of a human man
  12. The eyes of a ghoul, which transfix the vision
  13. A bottle of air from a kingdom which burned
  14. A folio of certificates claiming to be souls
  15. Tongs
  16. A glass shard which only reflects scorpions scorpions scorpions
  17. A scorpion
  18. The heart of a noble deer
  19. A mask made from dog flesh
  20. The heart of a human man filled with sleeping bees
  21. A tablet that produces thick purple smoke in water
  22. An oil which burns with contact with air, in a wineskin
  23. A piece of Moon Slave's grave marker
  24. The crown of a forgotten nation
  25. A contract for murder, blank
  26. A sack of rotting meat
  27. An old man's skeleton, complete
  28. A flag, half-burned
  29. A mud-matted wig
  30. A pair of iron dentures
  31. A vial of frogs' wings
  32. 50 coins weight of nightshade berries
  33. Black sand
  34. Ashes from a burned priest
  35. Red candle of witchmass
  36. A hammer washed in fear sweat
  37. A torn painting
  38. A dead plague rat
  39. A shroud from a corpse you didn't kill
  40. The genitals of a corpse you did kill, packed in salt
  41. Wicks made from king tallow and shrew tails
  42. A mysterious green liquid in a vial
  43. A foul smelling purple semisolid in a jar
  44. A glow-in-the-dark white powder in a tube
  45. A deep, hypnotically deep red ichor, in a wineskin.
  46. Mead full of screams
  47. Gelatin made from war horses
  48. Bellows
  49. Matches
  50. Hair from the oldest person to have died in your home town
  51. Stone crocodile tears from a basilisk
  52. Ground up witch hunter bones
  53. A collection of witchfinder pins
  54. A noose which broke, praise Moon Slave
  55. A perfect leaf, slowly yellowing at the edge
  56. A headdress adorned with rib bones
  57. Greaves of coffinwood
  58. A broom, but a mundane one
  59. A catskin
  60. A big fuckoff carved ivory Gandalf pipe
  61. An elk carcass swole with maggots
  62. The finger of a friend
  63. The spine of an adversary
  64. The face of a lover
  65. A comfy pillow
  66. A torch made from a stake
  67. The only innocent sparrow
  68. A rain talisman
  69. A chalk which catches ghost, allegedly
  70. A fertility symbol
  71. An ENORMOUS fertility symbol
  72. Their own casket
  73. A small box filled with pried off fingernails
  74. Twelve pillbugs who never open maybe they are something else maybe i bet
  75. Bloodsaturated sugar
  76. An ancient surrender, never recognized
  77. Your old teeth, from before you became
  78. The only song metal enough for Moon Slave, never played, requiring never invented instruments, written by His child who couldn't speak
  79. An extra shadow, in the shape of Moon Slave, which you carry in your pack and can attach/detach at will.
  80. A memory of your last or perhaps only happiness, made physical in the form of a wooden cat monster figurine.
  81. Scary makeup
  82. Long smoking firelighters you can stick in your hair or beard
  83. Gloves made from a calf's stomach
  84. Hit list
  85. A book of spells, all of which are simply gibberish
  86. A potion which will only be potent for 1 hour, that has 100 more days to mature. Its effects are unprecedented.
  87. An eagle's egg filled with mucousy spiders.
  88. A new language
  89. A drawing of Moon Slave stained with its creator's tears
  90. The First Book of Moon Slave
  91. The Second Book of Moon Slave
  92. The Third Book of Moon Slave
  93. The Fourth Book of Moon Slave
  94. The Fifth Book of Moon Slave
  95. The Sixth Book of Moon Slave
  96. The Lost Book of Moon Slave
  97. The Forgotten Verses of Moon Slave
  98. The Last Book of Moon Slave
  99. The First Revelation of Moon Slave
  100. A soul on a chain, always screaming, only you can hear it

Wild Sorcerer Effects Tables for 5e

This is a modification from the way VDND uses its Wild Sorcerer flavor rules. They are not flavorful enough for me. To this end, every time a Wild Sorcerer casts a spell they roll on the first table, which we can call a minor effect table, rolling 3 dice: two d20 and a d10. If the result on either 20 is a 1, their result on the other d20 is instead compared to the SECOND table, with more serious and uncontrolled effects, which you can think of as a wild fuckup table. Otherwise, the die which lands CLOSEST to the DM is consulted against the first table. The d10 gives a value that certain effects will key off.

Wild Effect Table

  1. Target of the spell changes color. Like it turns shades of blue. This lasts for d10 minutes.
  2. The Sorcerer gains an out-rrrrrageous French Accent for the next d10 minutes.
  3. The Sorcerer sees only females for 1 round.
  4. The target of the spell smells delicious for 1 hour.
  5. Every time the Sorcerer speaks for an hour, bubbles float out of her mouth.
  6. The target of the spell loses all concept of direction for d10 minutes. They don't just forget where north is, they forget WHAT north is, and all directional concepts are interchangeable.
  7. A certain type of indigenous local animal will be drawn to a random member of your party for 1 hour.
  8. One person other than Sorcerer in the room glows like candle fire for d10 minutes.
  9. One nonmagical item in the vicinity of the Sorcerer turns into butterflies. They scatter.
  10. 11 minstrels appear and play loud music, following the Sorcerer, for d10x4 minutes. They vanish into smoke if attacked, but they all have families who love them.
  11. One member of the party appears as a 6 year old version of themselves for d10 rounds. Their game statistics remain unchanged.
  12. One creature in the area gains the ability to cast Charm Person once.
  13. The touch of all party members tarnish silver and other metals for 1 hour.
  14. The Sorcerer becomes covered with alien blood.
  15. The target of the spell may only cluck like a chicken for 1-2 rounds, where an even d10 roll means 2 rounds and an odd d10 roll means 1 round.
  16. The Sorcerer's AC and damage bonus improves by the number of visual aids - "flair" - they have brought with them for their character today.
  17. The target of the spell speaks like Bizarro.
  18. The Sorcerer gains a one-shot use of a Cleric cantrip for the rest of the day.
  19. The spell is accompanied by the sound of an enormous fart.
  20. The Player controlling the Sorcerer closes or covers her eyes for d10 minutes. Her character suffers no penalties, and she may act while blind, but she must have everything described to her in d10 words or less.
 Spell Fuckup Table

  1. The spell reverses; the Sorcerer is the target and must make necessary saves, while the target receives any benefits of the Sorcerer's spell.
  2. The spell randomly targets a different creature in the area.
  3. The spell randomly targets a member of the Sorcerer's own party.
  4. The target of the spell has Advantage on this save/The Sorcerer has Disadvantage for this attack roll.
  5. The Sorcerer turns to iron for 1d10 rounds, immovable and indestructible.
  6. The Sorcerer loses the ability to read for the rest of the day.
  7. The target of the spell becomes capable of casting the same spell, once, for the rest of the day.
  8. A random creature changes gender for 1d10 days.
  9. A random flammable item in the vicinity catches fire. This may also inflict d10 damage depending on the case.
  10. The Sorcerer has Advantage for this spell/imposes Disadvantage for this save, but suffers d10+ the level of the spell in damage themselves.
  11. The Sorcerer must cast the same spell again next round, if able, or suffer the spell's full effects without a save.
  12. A CR 1 creature appears.
  13. A hostile CR 1 creature appears.
  14. A CR 1 creature allied with the target of the spell appears.
  15. An indifferent CR 7 creature appears.
  16. The Sorcerer loses all Spell Points for the day, though she may confer them to another Sorcerer.
  17. The Player controlling the Sorcerer and the Player next to her swap characters for d10 minutes.
  18. The target of the spell teleports home, in comfort and safety.
  19. The Player controlling the Sorcerer may not speak for 1d10+5 minutes, and communicates only in mime. The DM designates her interpreter, and what the interpreter says goes concerning the Sorcerer's actions.
  20. Roll once on each table, both results occur.

Trinkets Table for Whiskeyworld

So in VDND after you get everything squared away they let you have the option of rolling on this little table of useless crap, or the magical world equivalent of junk drawer crap. The idea is that it adds a little flavor to your character, and it does, in the sense that you can come up with some story about why they have this, and the DM can use that. The DM can also just note that you have the object and incorporate it somehow later. The thing is that I don't like the table itself much because of how obviously Square Soft Quest Item most of the entries are.

I think there's a good way to use Trinket Tables for each setting to help build WORLD flavor, and inform characters about what all goes on. Not just grounding them concretely to the setting but also letting casual observers know what's up based on what kind of crap is just lying around.

I made one for Whiskeyworld. It's a little quest-item-y, a little junk-drawer-y, and a little bit of a mix of other bullcrap. A player may roll twice, keep one item, and carry that at level 1 using no Slot of Encumbrance.
  1. A gold plated wrench
  2. Shipman's whistle
  3. Happy Frog scald salve
  4. Instant-light charcoal
  5. An ancient, coral-encrusted canteen filled with fresh water
  6. A fancy man's deck cleats
  7. A replica flag from a famous shipwreck
  8. Goggles bearing the mark of the Blue Circle Traders Guild
  9. Feather of Passage from Sardoas
  10. Illegal one act play
  11. Tattoo needles made from elderfish bone
  12. An incomplete cheat deck of marked playing cards
  13. Elaborate face jewelry
  14. Precentury skull
  15. Sealed can of skeleton juice, expired, rusted
  16. A complete map of an island, unlabeled. Not a treasure map per se just a detailed, thorough map of an uncharted, unidentified island.
  17. Broken binoculars
  18. Season ticket to the Whiteshrike Arena (not yours)
  19. Roughly used paperback novel
  20. Dead man's unfinished diary
  21. Sealed tin of Good Gob's Eyebrow Wax
  22. Goblin cheese
  23. A series of runes used for casting fortunes. They're not magic, they're like a mundane tarot deck or I Ching book.
  24. Deed to an Innerworld property you have never seen.
  25. Tooth from an ancient sea beast
  26. Scale from a modern sea beast, discolored, misshapen, horrible
  27. A vial with three pinches of Godspice left in it
  28. A sacred jar of honey
  29. Blueprints for an island-hopper waveskimmer, partial
  30. The skin of a doll, missing its stuffing and eyes
  31. A sprite-sized copper tea set
  32. Femur cipher from the Skeleton Kingdom
  33. A naturalist's drawing journal, featuring mostly lizards
  34. A letter trusted to you by a fallen stranger, bound for a distant land
  35. A medal for cowardice
  36. The combination to a lock
  37. The man in the shop said this was a piece of the fallen gods...
  38. Robe of the Vestalk Clergy
  39. Etching of a dwarven funeral poem
  40. A metronome
  41. Kerchak cigarettes
  42. Pornography
  43. A 6' piece of metal pipe with protrustions that kind of looks like a key
  44. A masterwork quality floral print umbrella
  45. Silver flecked cigarette case
  46. A bag of psychadelic mushrooms
  47. A bottle of Century Wine
  48. A pair of ladies' sun glasses
  49. A snuff box which crawls around its possessor like a beetle
  50. A bullet with the name of the Buelan Drash ruler scratched onto it
  51. Contract of ownership to a slave you've never met
  52. A smooth green stone
  53. A perfectly cubes blue-and-black-marbled gem
  54. A blocky red crystal
  55. 6 chicken eggs
  56. 1lb scale
  57. Half-empty can of industrial grease
  58. A prosthetic arm, though you have two functioning ones
  59. A pouch of rainbow sand
  60. A belt which always fits
  61. A small gaming set from a culture whose language you don't understand
  62. Signet ring of your family
  63. Broken manacles
  64. Little wooden water strider toy that animates and walks when placed on top of liquid
  65. A sack of pony teeth
  66. A headless chicken
  67. A scented and stained kerchief from your beloved, or from your 'favorite'
  68. Bill of claim of indenture
  69. Marque of passage from the fallen kingdom, Karaiso
  70. Leopard-print loincloth
  71. A pearl resembling 1/2 a human eye
  72. Water testing kit
  73. Firefly glass pendant. At night it seems to be filled with minuscule live fireflies bouncing against its exterior surface.
  74. Prayer idol from a plundered Karaiso tomb
  75. Courtly face paints
  76. A Precentury map of the world
  77. Tin marionette dragon
  78. Superviolent propaganda comic book
  79. Heirloom rings for beards
  80. Silk windsock
  81. Manual of childhood diseases
  82. Token of payment belonging to Tuuata the Sea Serpent
  83. Tea bags from the Apelands, with the mark of a great Kerchak house
  84.  Seal of the Buelan Drash Council Enormous
  85. Bottle of Murder Bear olive oil
  86. A bolt of waterproof fabric
  87. A confession signed by a murderous halfling
  88. Bounty handbill for a criminal witch
  89. Book of spider anatomy
  90. Book of dirty limericks
  91. Book of troll jokes
  92. Necklace of gnome eyes
  93. 30' of golden-colored cord. Purely ornamental, can't support weight like a rope.
  94. A scalp
  95. A miniaturized poppy garden that fits in your pocket
  96. A monocle, tinted purple
  97. A book where each page is a different creature's skin, and the only text is devoted to identifying each skin
  98. The holy book of a Precentury race, devoted to some forgotten god
  99. A divining rod that wiggled when near graves
  100. A blue lantern, international sign of distress in the Blue Circle

Koreshan Sphere Wizards

I am not trying to step on +Arnold K. here whatsoever. Go and read his Sphere Wizards and use them and then tell him you used them and how that went.

This is for a....different perspective.

They are not spheres who are wizards. They are being who become wizards by being spheres.

The Koreshanians

When you spend sometimes decade in study, unlocking the esoterica of the planes, you normally increase in power and understanding, slowly, until as a wizard you are practically a different creature, as removed from man as man from rat. Mostly, this is a matter of a shift in fundamental perspective.

Some people approach cosmic power in the other direction: achieving the perspective, and allowing the power to follow. These are called sphere wizards, and their eyes are opened using time drugs.

These wizards leave behind their corporeal form and become a part of the fundamental universe. This makes the universe itch like crazy and try to dig the wizard out with a rusted sharp spoon, but for the man who becomes the sphere wizard...

From their perspective, they are within the central point of the known world, as it curves around and over them. They sky is above them and within the curve. It is the perspective of an ancient or an idiot spread across space so that everywhere you look is everything.

They exist as points of energy. In lower planes they may appear as a circle or wheel, and in higher planes they may seem as a 3-sphere or cylinder. In the normal world, however, they resemble large balls, about the size of one of those sex balls or pilates balls and why did I write sex balls first??? The wizard is within the sphere, or it's better to say they are the inside of the spheres. What you see in the 3d world, the sphere, is merely the interface point of a part of the universe amongst itself. Sphere wizards are masturbation but then aren't all wizards?

They move by means of  relative manipulation, locomoting their position in the universe. Typically they will attach their gravity to another ally and slightly orbit. They affect the world by reaching through their interface point - the sphere - and imposing their energy on the energy of the world surrounding that interface. (Remember they aren't omnipresent or omniscient, merely a part of everything/a part in everything. They can only control their bodies, but affect themselves in creatures and objects.)

From their perspective, they are reaching out and down into a point in the world and manipulating it, pushing this influence out through the point in space they have deigned to interface with.

They don't have AC as such. They basically have their Intelligence as AC ascending/every point above 9 as a negative modifier for descending for the sphere, since they cannot be touched in another manner. Attacks must focus on the surface of the interface, on the "funnel" to a point in space which is also every point in space. The more abstracted damage the sphere takes, the more stress is put on the overmind of the sphere wizard, and the less likely they are to maintain their form. AC roughly equates then to the strength of the Sphere Wizard's focus, and damage to that focus is a grounding element that ties them closer to the physical plane like a lightning rod.

At 0HP, the sphere shatters, which means that the sphere inverts, which means that the universe ripples a little and the wizard becomes corporeal again. They do not return to human form; rather, their one-with-all being manifests in a physical form. One accustomed to not needing oxygen, and not needing to withstand normal atmospheric pressure, and they will then race themselves to see if their tissues disintegrate before they suffocate. Often they drown in gallons of the effort of their breath.

HD: d6
Saves: as Magic-User
Attacks: as Magic-User
Advances: as Magic-User
Requirements: Intelligence 12 or lower (because the smart guys are too smart to take the easy way out just because it sounds more sexy and powerful).
  • Each round, a Sphere Wizard can do three things: move its interface in relation to another part of itself,  observe, and manipulate a mundane object as if the sphere had invisible hands. It cannot do this with enough facility to wield a weapon.
  • Sphere Wizards can see everything within 360 degree squared, though it takes effort to focus on it all and limit their sight in order to understand part of the world/themselves.
  • A Sphere Wizard's reach for manipulation is its Intelligence in feet or meters or whatever. It may attempt to affect a worn/possessed item, using its Wisdom for anything that would normally be a Dexterity or Strength test. This reach increases 1' each level.
  • Sphere Wizards are roughly 3.5' across and float about 3' above the ground.
  • A Sphere Wizard has a series of abilities called Perspectives. Each level it becomes capable of achieving a new Perspective, corresponding to level number reached. It may effect as many Perspectives as it can so long as the total level requirement for unlocking each Perspective does not exceed the Sphere Wizard's current level.
  • A Sphere Wizard collects "spell slots" like a normal Magic User but do not gain SPELLS like Magic-Users. They can, however, learn spells in the course of play (from another player or by finding a spellbook).
  • They can manipulate as many objects at a time as it has spell slots, but may only use one of these to practical effect each round. High level Sphere Wizards have deadly orbits.
  • A Sphere Wizard is proficient with no weapons or armor, but it may successfully manipulate an object as a "wielded" projectile for 1d4+Wisdom bonus damage.
  • A Sphere Wizard may know any number of languages it chooses, being everywhere and everything. However, the Sphere Wizard may only communicate a number of words at a time equal to its level.
  • At 3rd level, a Sphere Wizard observing through its lens can see all invisible creatures as well.
  • At 5th level, a Sphere Wizard may also use its spell slots to recharge magical objects, imparting the power cosmic.
  • At 9th level, a Sphere Wizard's interface lens becomes charged with magical energy, like ball lightning. Touching the membrane between the real world (the wizard's inner concave world) and the abstraction of the world (the perceived sphere) delivers a powerful shock, 2d6, as does touching it with a conductive item like a weapon. They also gain the power to cast the Sphere Wizard spell on a willing participant, turning any willing character into a Sphere Wizard level 0 in their service. This is a one way ticket though, fellas.
  • At 13th level, a Sphere Wizard is also always aware of the presence of any dead and restless spirits in the vicinity of its interface, and it can communicate with them, because both time and death are an illusion.
  • Sphere Wizards may advance to level 16.
Remember that it is possible that none of the above is.....strictly true. That the sphere wizard manifestation is a long range projection of some Magic-Users tripping ass-to-balls on some powwwerful shit. That when this connection is disrupted it pulls some innocent being to our world to die, while hemorrhaging the MU's brain. That there be a sunflower forest somewhere filled with dead Magic-Users. This is possible.

This is likely.


  1. You may conduct an additional manipulation or observation each round for 1d4 rounds.
  2. You can perfectly recall anything from the current session; that is, you invoke a hint from the DM, that must be delivered concisely and in clear, unambigious language.
  3. You wobble and the world hurts, and something in the world exists less than it did before. A target within your reach (above) takes 1d6+1+Wisdom modifier in damage.
  4. Your "globe" displays one of your memories, perfectly, for 30 seconds. Anyone viewing you sees this memory perfectly from their perspective, no matter what that is.
  5. You may hide your presence, becoming a thin pin-prick of light imperceptible except on like an amazing roll (like 100 on two different d100 rolls) for a number of minutes equal to your level.
  6. Every creature who can see you who is within your range of effect experiences the damage described in 3.
  7. You may exist in 3 points simultaneously, dividing your normal abilities and Perspectives between them.
  8. You heal yourself your Intelligence in hit points.
  9. You take on all the normal capabilities of a Downball.
  10. You may create a false shadow of yourself, a Bubble Buddy. This Bubble Buddy orbits alongside and around you but does not act. If you are hit, you can always elect to have that hit make contact with your Bubble Buddy. If you are crit, or if you roll a 1, your Bubble Buddy always pops. You may only have as many Bubble Buddies active as members of your party, one BB orbiting around each.
  11. Your 'surface' turns black and a wave spreads out from you, dark light. 10d6 damage to all living creatures.
  12. Your entireness absorbs the souls of any creatures you kill. Keep track of who you absorb. From now on, once per day, you may know one thing that each soul within you knew (Ask the DM a question they could answer). You also roll the creatures' HD and heal that many HP at time of absorption.
  13. You gain the freedom of full flight, e.g. you won't float down a pit to your doom, for a day.
  14. Any amount of spells and spell slots may be invested in you by other Magic-Users for the duration of a day.
  15. In the event that you are killed, you reappear in your position from 10 minutes previous with 1HP and 0 remaining Perspectives.
  16. Your interface may change between a sphere and a form resembling your old mortal shape, but with a glasslike translucence and filled with stars. You may switch between the two at will after invoking this ability. In your Sphere Wizard form, you have all your normal Sphere Wizard abilities. In your mortal shadow form, you possess all the abilities of a normal Magic-User 1/4 your level, including the ability to wield weapons, use magic items like rings and clothes, cast from scrolls, etc. You are 2 points easier to hit in this form.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Killing Goliath - somethingsomething Elemental Evil 5e something, Part 3

Full disclosure with 2 parts of this series down, I actually dislike elemental races as a theme. Making de-rigueur elementals and genies and shit makes those already hoary concepts feel all the thinner, and makes meeting a full fledged member of their nation a less inspiring affair. So write me off as pretty stupid for even doing this article series or else read on to hear me complain further about the Goliath.

Some people hate race-as-class, and I get it. I think it simplifies a lot of things and makes you think about what about your character is important to you, but I get it. What bothers me, then, are latter-day races which are basically classes, or which step on what classes do that makes them special. In the Goliath's case they're a race who live as barbarians, so they are a race of Barbarians. You can be a barbarian Barbarian and just be a threshing machine or you can be a barbarian Wizard because why should anyone be required to make a choice? Less either or! More either AND!

I also don't read dnd novels but while I'll give the benefit of the doubt that someone made them interesting their game-book-lore is dull as dishwater. They also simply boil down to being a big guy race when you could spend your big guy nickel on something more interesting.

The elephant in the room, though:

Goliath lost.

Everyone knows this. In the world.
Tiny babies know this.
Dumb people know this.
And he was killed by a tiny baby man.

Confidence is not inspired when you name your race "Losers." Even half-giant would be a clearly better name, except that outside of Dark Sun we aren't allowed to call them that becaussssse why again? Oh because there's technically a different half giant stat block somewhere. Honestly that sounds like another mark against these guys, that they don't even have that aspect of themselves locked down.

There is a type of character that I've always liked the idea of, but my general dissatisfaction with just animal races prevented me from exploring. The great thing about them is that, as a burly race of mountain creatures, I need do very little to convert them over. They instantly come with a swimming pool of awesome points of reference, factoids, and their own societies that we know a lot about. I'll even play ball and name them after some famous loser of their species.


Ability Score Increase: Increase your Strength score by 2, and your Constitution by 1.
Age: Kerchak grown ape by 12, dead ape by 60.
Alignment: Ape law.
Size: Big but Medium.
Speed: 30'.
Great Ape: You have training in the Athletics skill.
Mighty Ape: You have proficiency with Constitution saving throws.
Strong of Limb: You count as Large for carrying/push/pull/lift formulas.
King of Mountain: You're acclimated to high altitudes above 20,000' and you're naturally adapted to a warm, humid climate.
Languages: You can speak Common and Primordial.

I swapped out Stone's Endurance for something that felt in that spirit without feeling too Barbarian, changed a Language, and changed their climate adaptation, but otherwise they work off the shelf. Hell, they'd work by just crossing out "Goliath" and writing "Gorilla."

Outside of coming with an existing culture and thousands of hours of footage to draw inspiration from, these guys have a couple other advantages:
  • Puts more Tarzan/Burroughs into the game which is always welcome.
  • Puts more Planet of the Apes into the game, which I always welcome.
  • Puts more Kong into how long do I have to keep doing this you get the point.
  • Gorillas doing anything will always look cool when drawn.
  • If we get the inevitable bloat of racial Feats, Gorillas can go in a lot more interesting directions than just shrugging off even MORE damage.

Monday, June 1, 2015

VDND Aasimar That Aren't Aasimar unholy mother fuckers...
Aasimar and Tieflings are both examples of another thing I dislike in late-era races, which is races that are built around inherent use of one to eight spells, normal every-day spells at that. I don't like being a Hermione race any more than I do being a Conan race. They also have the big problem to themselves that they can never be as interesting as Tieflings, because angels are never as interesting as demons unless you get to the point I like, where you treat them as functionally identical.

The best way I can think of to make them interesting is to basically throw them out and start over with a new divine-inspired race type. Which is what D&D has done before, and what I've done now. I decided to make them a floating sub-race, and having done so I'm surprised why I haven't seen more of these in the DIY community. Humans were slightly tricky, but otherwise most races can graft this on easily and you can explain those who can't with the fact that the universe is sometimes a huge dick. Especially heaven. I'm sure you could take the Power of the Word sub-class feature as a Feat later? Or work with your dm to make your 1/3 human 1/3 orc 1/3 angel thing? But that's your lookout not mine.

As replacements for Aasimar, they do raise the question, why are these many different kinds of angeltouched being but only humans made half-devil-people? The obvious answer is that everyone but humans knew better.

The Word

The Word are in fact a sub-race which can be applied to any existing race that has a sub-race. Dragonborn, Half-Orcs, and other halfbreed and mongrel races - those without a subclass - are not shewn the true light of the Word. This is the will of the Word. (For Humans wishing to speak the Word, simply add +1 to any 2 Ability Scores and a Language then ignore anything else you would get for being a Human. You are now the Word.) Those who seek the Word will find the Word, though the Word may not speak to them. Those who hear the Word become vessels for the Word, and endeavor to spread the light and order of the Word.

When you choose to be a vessel unto the Word at character creation, you gain the following benefits:

Ability Score Increase: Increase your Wisdom by 1.
Light of the Word: Your eyes may glow brightly like candleflames as an action. You may extinguish this effect as an action. You may also dim and control the brightness of this effect.
Power of the Word: You may speak the Word as an action, though afterward you must take a long rest to regain your strength. Upon reaching 5th level, your understanding of the Word has deepened to the point where you recover more quickly, and may speak the Word again after a short rest.

The Word is all and eternal, but vessels of the Word are weak and simple. Their understanding of the Word is limited to these expressions:

Faim- You confer resistance to necrotic damage to an ally, and yourself gain advantage on saves against necrotic damage. These effects last until your next rest.
Ilthyk- You confer resistance to radiant damage to an ally, and yourself gain advantage on saves against radiant damage. These effects last until your next rest.
Gilr- You may speak as a reaction to allow another who has used their reaction already to make another reaction.
Mosch- You speak and allow another who has or has nor acted in this round to make an additional action this round.
Padiihs- You may impose disadvantage on a knowledge check, and gain advantage on your next knowledge check.
Rav- Your booming voice communicates a single-word concept to all intelligent creatures within 100' of you, regardless of language.