Thursday, September 20, 2018

What The Fuck Did I Do Last Night?

"You were in a bar fight with... three dwarves. And you won but take 1d6 damage, and now you can't go back to that bar."

"Ok. Do I still get the experience?"


BORING

And perhaps a little contrived, but whatever, my point still stands. A bar fight? How do you know? Black-out drunk, wake up with bruises on your face and shin, a fistful of someone else's hair in your mouth, and the other guy is in the cell over trying to pick your pocket through the bars.

Now that's what I call Carousing. Sure, if you narrate it well it can be interesting. But players and DM-alike get all the information at once, and there's an easy temptation for it to just... slide away. Excellent and impactful Carousing mishaps should be something you can't just ignore. Here's my take: until you know what happened, how do you know what will happen if you ignore it? Sure, it might've just been a bar-fight... but who with? Where? What happened? Enter, stage left - What the Fuck Did I Do Last Night?

Rather than dictating exactly what happened, the results are both concrete and freeform. You may never know exactly what happened, but you're very unlikely to get out of it scot-free! Roll each of the following questions in order, but only when the character has a moment to take stock of the situation. Assuming you failed a Charisma roll to end up in this situation, make a note of the value. Some of entries have two options (odds is left, evens right)

Where am I?
  1. In a gutter
  2. A closet
  3. On someone else's floor
  4. In the lockup
  5. Still at the bar
  6. Rolled up in a rug
  7. In a sewer
  8. A gibbet / the stocks
  9. In the dark
  10. In a wizards tower
  11. In a nice bed
  12. In a palatial suite
  13. Falling down a large hole
  14. The top of a building
  15. The cupboards of a busy tavern
  16. In a sack, carried
  17. A wagon of vegetables heading out of town
  18. The middle of the street
  19. In front of a lecture, about to give a speech
  20. An operating theatre

What am I wearing?
  1. No pants
  2. One shoe, not yours
  3. Socks bearing strange formulae
  4. A suspiciously damp shirt
  5. A beard
  6. Painful bruises everywhere
  7. Lash marks
  8. A helmet, horns optional
  9. Blood, probably not yours
  10. Wizard hat, nothing else
  11. The tanned hide of a bear
  12. A crown
  13. A sword in an ill-fitting sheathe
  14. 1d20 copper coins in odd and uncomfortable places. Very uncomfortable, in some cases
  15. Dapper suit
  16. Peanut butter
  17. Children's clothes
  18. Ballet slippers
  19. Mascot costume
  20. Toga

Who am I with?
  1. Two clowns
  2. A gorilla / a sleeping tiger
  3. A pile of spiders / a snake
  4. An attractive woman/man
  5. Your lawyer
  6. Someone's wife/husband
  7. A rival adventurer
  8. A mercenary/bandit (hard to tell)
  9. Four dwarves in various states of inebriation
  10. A half-elf with a frightening mohawk
  11. A notably rich merchant
  12. An heir/ess with a contagious disease
  13. A different party member
  14. A talking skull/book
  15. A hidden voice
  16. Four slaves
  17. An apprentice wizard, in the middle of casting a spell
  18. An inebriated paladin
  19. Someone who looks suspiciously like you
  20. Nobody. You can’t find anyone at all…

To demonstrate, I kludged this out of my list to HTML translator. However, for maximum enjoyment I would recommend that the DM roll on the d20 table only when the player actually asks the question. Embrace contradictions wholeheartedly and with enthusiasm.



Wednesday, September 12, 2018

"It's still magic even if you know how it's done" - Wands and Scrolls, Spells and Staves

Everything has it's price. Nothing comes for free. Magic Users of all sorts have spent years of study or made a considerably one-sided deal to acquire only one or two lesser spells. Only Sorcerers acquire additional magicks solely through the development of their potential, and they suffer for it, just like the rest of us.

Warlocks have a somewhat complex relationship with their spells. Technically, the spell they acquire at level 1 is, to some extent, part of their patron. In order to collect more spells, they must first meet the necessary arcane creatures and arrange an additional contract, with their patron acting as a broker. Expect blood and confusion.

Acquiring more Wizard spells can be equally challenging, but is a much more orderly process. The blood of intensely magical creatures is awash with them, as are the outer reaches of the ethereal plane. Many Wizards spend their lives perfecting the art of capturing spells, to mixed success. This can be trapped in scrolls and sold for considerable profit, or cunningly converted into wands or staves (heretofore known as implements) and used with little-to-no risk from the wielder themselves.

Except everything I told you in that last sentence? A lie.

Don't buy spells from reputable scroll-saleswizards. Don't even look at disreputable scroll-saleswizards. And never, ever buy a wand till you know what you have to do in order to maintain it's magical properties.

You really don't want to know.







How it's done, credit Dominik Mayer

Alright, that should have filtered out the weaklings. Let's get right to it: Scrolls, Wands and Staves.

Scrolls are relatively simple, anyone can make pick one up, give it a quick glance, say a few words and bam! Magic! Mundane classes (not including Thieves for some reason) will need to make an Intelligence check during the casting in order for the scroll to function. If you've spent a solid hour preparing yourself for the spell, take +2 to the check. If you are wearing a pointy hat of considerable length and girth, take another +2.

Scrolls (more particularly, the spells they contain) can develop a number of troubling idiosyncrasies for a safety-conscious spellcaster. Spells sourced from disreputable dealers, bizarre origins, and antiques scrolls long since bereft of the steadying hand of an owner (cough) will have likely shifted away from the arcanotypical mindset of most mainstream spells. They are however, a hell of a lot cheaper to purchase, if you happen to be in need of a highly aggressive Fireball spell for whatever reason.

<sidebar>None of these are balanced, some of these are even beneficial to a point. You can alway roll Intelligence to force a spell to allow itself to be cast, but this is seen as very poor form and is likely to result in your other spells beginning to turn on you. </sidebar>

What is up with this spell?
  1. Cowardly, doesn’t like leaving the safety of your brain.
  2. Neurotic, other spells can’t stand it.
  3. Friendly, will make other spells feel more comfortable about being wherever they are.
  4. Haughty, refuses to be used for any problem below its stature.
  5. Grouchy, no idea why.
  6. Gossips, will reveal secrets, both yours and others.
  7. Ecstatic, loves being cast, especially with as many MD as possible.
  8. Aggressive, hates retreating, will sabotage any attempt at negotiating with an enemy force via spontaneous casting.
  9. Pacifist, will never cast against non-combatants.
  10. Honourable. Surprise attacks? Killing prisoners? Think again.
  11. Careful, will always advise restraint.
  12. Determined, wants you to succeed or die trying.
  13. Caustic, constantly degrading you quietly.
  14. Loyal, to a fault.
  15. Manipulative, whenever you aren’t paying attention it will siphon away spare day-dreams.
  16. Insecure, requires significant coaching.
  17. Attention-seeking, will break things if you aren’t paying it enough attention.
  18. Flexible, really good for alternate uses and will suggest a few themselves.
  19. Accident-prone, double the effects of any mishaps.
  20. Unnervingly quiet...

Wands and Staves are a world apart from shoddy, jury-rigged Remnants, though the general idea is the same: offloading some of the strain of magic to an inanimate lump of wood instead of your own, squishy brain. Squish squish. The problem is, implements are a whole lot less inanimate than you might like.

What is wrong with this wand? (roll 1d10 for disreputable sources, 1d20 for reputable)
  1. Reacts badly to the stress of the wielder (a bit like a printer).
  2. Prefers to be wielded by someone hot, has dreadful taste.
  3. Severe phobia of (1d6): dirt, insects, water, fire, barbarians, axes.
  4. Gets incredibly lonely, dislikes being stored in backpacks etc.
  5. Talks constantly .
  6. Can’t understand anyone lacking an insanity.
  7. Will always do the opposite of what you command.
  8. Needs regular polishing with bizarre oils and rare silks.
  9. Pretends to have precognition, will make mysterious quips and vague predictions.
  10. Snickers behind your back. Menacingly so...
  11. to 20 - nothing. It's just a knobbly piece of wood that can blow your face off if you point it the wrong way.

Implements hold 1 Magic Dice for use only with the spell they store. You can add more MD if you so desire, but track them separately. It expends on a 4-6. Unfortunately, implements don't recover MD the same way Magic User brains do. Oh no they don't. Wands use one of the rejuvenation options on the list below. Staves use two. If a staff has both results, it only has that one method but stores two MD instead of one. A three Magic Dice implement is a theoretical idea that has consumed many Wizards. As in, the concept itself came alive and ate them. A reputable wandseller may be able to adjust the requirements of an implement, but don't expect anything remotely consistent.

How do I recharge this implement?
  1. Leave it for three hours in bright sunlight.
  2. Dance naked under the moon with it.
  3. Leave it to soak in highly magical blood overnight, must be fresh.
  4. Find a leyline to attune to, this will piss of the local spirits.
  5. Kill someone with it (stats as stiletto or hammer).
  6. It turns into a snake when expended, ravenously hungry. Feed it a ration of meat and let it sleep on you till tomorrow. If the snake bites you, the poison will be related to the spell. Staves form boa constrictors.
  7. Must absorb the spleen of a creature it has not previously tasted.
  8. Have the implement fall 100ft.
  9. Must touch an ancient oak, killing the tree and absorbing its life force.
  10. Use it to stir a boiling cauldron of eye of newt, bat wing and hemlock.
  11. At least ten people must worship it and bring offerings.
  12. At least ten strangers must lick it, in a row.
  13. Give it a solemn funeral.
  14. Immerse it in acid for an hour, then pull it out with a bare hand.
  15. Douse it in the blood of an ally.
  16. Get arrested while holding it, bonus points if related to nudity or other victimless crimes.
  17. You have to travel inside the tiny wand demiplane and find out what is wrong.
  18. Feed it to an animal, the implement will take the place of the creatures spine by the next day.
  19. Impale a pixie with it, as one would a butterfly.
  20. Snap it in half, one end becomes non-magical.
  21. Pray loudly to every god in order till one works. Different each time.
  22. Leave it in three gallons of tea overnight, it better be the good stuff.
  23. Relight it with another wand.
  24. Realign the chakras with a mallet.
  25. Go on a spirit journey/insane.
  26. Feed it 1d100 bugs.
  27. Feed it one of the knuckles of your finger. Just one joint, not the whole finger. Has to be yours. It loves thumbs most of all.
  28. Masculine fertility potions.
  29. Just sleep with it under your pillow. It drains your lifespan slowly and is recharged the next day.
  30. Nobody knows...

And that's it! Simple really.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

"And Taborlin the Great said to the stone: BREAK! and the stone broke..." - Truenamer v.1

In the beginning, language and reality were indivisible. The word and the object were one and the same. Saying something, describing something, immediately brought it into being. As you can imagine, small-talk was exceptionally difficult. Nowadays, this ancient language has no bearing whatsoever on the flapping lip-noises the pretentious monkeys make. It's been locked away, for the good of everyone. The Authority no longer makes use of it, the angels are forbidden from touching the stuff. From now until the end of time, the fabric of reality is a solid bedrock upon which everyth- Oh. Oh it's you. Never mind then.

To a Wizard, it appears that you are seconds away from casting a spell with at least three Magic Dice. No physical effects. No one else will notice a thing. But to those that can see the truth of the world, you are blinding. You have no idea what all the fuss is about.

To a Cleric, you are beyond heresy. They can't even categorise you, they just hope you'll eventually blow yourself up.

To an angel or a devil, you are a lowly thief, an up-jumped cretin with access to ancient powers you are completely unworthy of, and they all want what you've got...



TRUENAMER

Starting equipment: shield, interesting book, additional language
Skill (1d3): Archivist, Runes, Angels

A Words of Power, Shatter Effect, 10 tiles

B  Lord over Lesser Tongues, 13 tiles

C  Favoured Word OR Modify Details, 16 tiles

D  Essence Abstraction, 20 tiles

Words of Power
You’ve somehow been infected by a tiny fragment of the language the Authority used to describe the world when it was first ordered. Technically just letters… for now. At the start of each day, pull random Scrabble tiles until you have a full "hand". If you spell out a noun or verb and it appears or happens to a target you can see. Saves may halve damage, durations might exist, but no matter what, it always happens. Truly ridiculous demands (WHALE) stain your soul, can reduce Goodness or even summon Paradox Angels. Those tiles go back into the bag once used.

The simpler the intended request, the less chance for unfortunate side-effects. The more tiles used, and hence specific your request, once again lessens the chance of unfortunate side-effects. Short, blunt, commands against the fabric of reality are likely to have your intentions twisted to require the least level of effectiveness. Vague commands should always be misinterpreted in the most interesting fashion. However, no matter what, a Truenamer's commands are always, always felt by the universe.

Examples:
HOLE - Was cast on a large obsidian wall as the party attempted to escape a marauding golem. It tore a hole in reality, dumping them in a random room on the floor below.

GIANT RAY - Was cast at a group of bandits to prevent them from following down a small tunnel. Summoned a immense one of these:

Hello friend
FOOD - Caused all adjacent creatures to smell completely delicious.

Shatter Effect
Before you make a save against a spell, breath weapon or similar effect, sacrifice any number of tiles for an equivalent bonus. If you use more than 4 tiles, make a Dexterity check or be flung away and fall prone. The effect will be somewhat altered by your meddling, possibly resulting in a Mishap for the caster and you.

Lord over Lesser Tongues
You can cast Speak With Language by spending a tile. Everyone is likely to be confused by the situation. To clarify you aren't speaking a particular language, you are speaking to the concept of that language itself. In addition, you can sacrifice three tiles to pick one of your own choice.

Favoured Word
Pick a word or phrase you have cast before. You always get that word each morning, but lose a number of maximum tiles equal to it's length. When used in an uncertain or vague manner, halve any potential penalties. You can change it by experiencing a new aspect of reality in all it’s primal majesty. Tell the DM what you want. Experience grants knowledge. Knowledge grants control.

Modify Detail
You can roll Intelligence to add or replace letters within the names of effects cast where you can see. Costs tiles either way. Example: Magic Missile becomes Magic Fishile and is now trout-related. Acid Arrow becomes Flaccid Arrow, to obvious and humorous effect.

Essence Abstraction
If you spell out the name of an object you can see, you can add one, simple vowel for free by making a Charisma check. For example - "Stone, BREAK!"

By spelling out someone’s True Name you can cast Dominate, Charm or Disintegrate on them. Peasants and most animals will have one name, adventurers at least two names, and nobles three. Dragons and Gods will have four, five, more or none.

Monday, September 3, 2018

"These are not the murderhobos you are looking for" - Psion v.1

There are dozens of wizards. There are three or four different types of cleric floating around out there. I know of one psion for OSR usage, but I haven't seen a proper mentalist (beyond this one, which is very good but not quite what I'm looking for) designed specifically for GLOG.

I've never felt power/ki/mojo/whatever points felt all that differentiated from spell charges or MD, so they don't show up here. Instead, the Psion is about maintaining spiritual, mental and physical equilibrium in order to allow access to an array of permanent, reasonable strong abilities. Strict diets, blindfolds, silk clothes and meditative regimes are all well and good on the surface, but by the time they are 37 rooms deep into the dungeon, I'm sure it'll be a different story.

In contrast to Psi Points et. al., one mechanic that's been cribbed from mainstream D&D is the idea of Psionic Focus. This is halfway between a new ability and a unique item slot. A fresh Psion starts with three options for them to activate through Focus, and each new discipline adds/modifies the Foci to allow for new tools.

Hooking into the tropes of mystics and yogis, Psions also start with Third Eye, a very loosely designed move. I'll include some examples below, but as a general rule, each restriction should have both gameplay and narrative effect. The first Surge is slightly more potent than an effective skill check, and the second Surge is equivalent to a basic spell.

This version of the Psion hasn't been playtested since its most recent changes but the main differences are reductions in the ease of which new Disciplines can be acquired. Originally, they were acquired at level 1 and every template thereafter, completely for free, PLUS any extra Disciplines learnt from masters. A Psion could do what a Thief OR Fighter OR Cleric could do, and sometimes even better than the original class!

Gasp! It was the 3.5e Wizard all along!

As such, Disciplines only appear at level 2 and are locked behind a list of mini-quests reminiscent of Into the Depths. They need some work, but this should help spread some of the powerful abilities over a wider time-frame. Psions have a very broad toolkit, and the versatility of Third Eye, given safety and resources, is very high. Each Discipline adds even more options, though the narrative locks on acquiring them should assist in keeping the pressure on an aspiring Psion.

Speaking of pressure, the rules for losing Focus need some fine-tuning. I've yet to determine where it sits on the scale of "never happens" to "happens all the freaking time." Breaking Focus prevents a Psion from reFocusing for two rounds, a window of shifting power that will hopefully result in some interesting gameplay.

Final thoughts: Hijinks Potential is the most important factor for each and every one of the Disciplines and Focuses. Whether in or out of combat, each ability should have multiple potential uses, or situations where they are more/less effective. Do all of them achieve this? Hell no. But I'm getting there... slowly. The potential rate of exponential shenanigans is also something that will need investigating, but I'm content with the difficulty required to acquire new Disciplines beyond the levelling progression.




PSION

Starting equipment: silk robes, shaved head, incense, five candles
Skill (1d3): Prayer, Archives, Cleaning

Third Eye, Focus, +1 Initiative

B Disciplines, +1 Discipline

C Omens, +1 Initiative

D Eminence, +1 Discipline


Third Eye
For every sense you restrict, remove, or make a sacrifice for, you can increase the effectiveness of a different sense you possess. The examples given are not exhaustive. Improving a sense twice (by restricting two others senses) allows for spiritual or supernatural efficacy. Under certain circumstances, this supernatural ability may apply to a restricted sense e.g. wearing a blindfold and not eating allows you to see magic auras.

Sense Restriction Improvement Supernatural
Sight Wear a blindfold Seeing as well as a hawk or a microscope Seeing magical auras
Hearing Taking a vow of silence Hearing as well as a dog Hearing a potential future in the wind
Taste Haven’t eaten anything today or yesterday Immunity to poisons, tasting poisons without suffering from them Tasting a person’s secrets from their blood
Smell Burning 1g of incense per hour, more in a smelly location Smelling as well as you can see normally (think dog-o-vision) Smelling the taint of unnatural creatures within an entire dungeon
Touch Permanently wearing only the lightest silks, no hair, no injuries Perfect echolocation 10ft, more in a still area Identify magical items or forgeries by touch alone


Focus
As an action, roll under Wisdom to Focus on any of your available options. If you are knocked prone, go below half HP or reach zero HP, you must reroll Wisdom to maintain Focus, this doesn't require an action. Other highly distracting situations may also require a reroll. Unconsciousness and similar debilities automatically break your Focus. If you lose Focus, you can’t regain it for one round. Every Psion can Focus on these three effects:
  • Use Wisdom in place of certain stat (decide it now) _____________
  • An NPC without a name must save or believe something that you say, so long as it is reasonably plausible.
  • If you stare at a small unmoving object for two rounds, it shatters, bends or rots.
You can roll Wisdom to switch between a Focus without using an action, but if you fail your Focus is broken. In addition, you can expend your Focus in a Surge. Every Psion can perform these Surges:

  • Automatically succeed at the next Initiative check. 
  • Reroll a failed Save vs Stun.
Once you have Surged and expended your Focus, you must still wait one round before attempting to Refocus.


Disciplines
You can learn Disciplines by studying with a Master in that particular art/fighting technique/lifestyle. In addition, each of the following can be achieved once to gain another Discipline, max 1/template:
  • Teach a sickly orphan or neutral monster everything you know
  • Be betrayed, knowingly or otherwise
  • Outsmart a highly dangerous enemy using your powers alone
  • Spend the night alone in a terrible location
  • Undergo ritual body modification
  • As determined by you and the DM
Each Discipline is comprised of three parts: a Passive, a Focus and a Surge. Add them to your list. Even if you are Focused on one Discipline, you can Surge using a different Discipline.


Omens
Roll 2d20 at dawn, each can be used in place of any other roll within your line of sight.


Eminence
1d10 students show up desperate to learn the ways of the Psion. It’s up to you to awaken their latent psychic potential. Each that reaches concordance will send 1d10 new students to you, or equivalent in assistance or valuables.




Discipline of the…

… Iron Fist
One of your hands is completely indestructible, you can use it as a shield
Focus: While your hands are clasped you have 20 Strength against being pushed, moved or shoved.
Surge: Struck target is sent tumbling away from you.
Credit Skerples for these ideas

… Crouching Tiger
Sneak attack, +1d6 damage to unaware enemies.
Focus: Make an opposed Cha check against one person. They can’t see you while you remain focused, but will see you if you touch them, move quickly or make a loud noise.
Surge: Make an opposed Cha check against the person in a group with the highest Charisma. The whole group is affected as above for 3 rounds.

… Hovering Waterlily
Small objects float at your touch.
Focus: Run on walls, falling leaves, water etc. but not air.
Surge: Deal double damage to any airborne target you are adjacent to, or higher than.

... Dragon’s Gaze
Resistant to fire damage, equipment not included. If you do nothing but meditate, immune to fire.
Focus: Anything you stare at feels uncomfortably hot. If you maintain line-of-sight for two rounds, it bursts into flame.
Surge: Phoenix - Instantly stand if prone, dealing 1d6 fire damage to nearby area.

… Ghost Palm
Spend an action to manipulate an object at a distance. Not useful for attacks, or disarming aware creatures.
Focus: +5ft reach with all weapons.
Surge: Your Ghost Palm can be used for attacks and disarming.

… Nightmare Blade
You can create a single weapon out of pure mind-stuff. If you lose it, you lose 1 Wisdom until you regain it.
Focus: If you kill an enemy, make an additional attack.
Surge: Spend a round charging. If your next attack hits, it does x1d4 damage.

… Stone Heart
Reroll failed saves while at max HP.
Focus: Immune to natural exposure, thirst, hunger, fatigue, or suffocation.
Surge: Shrug off one effect, or suppress for 1d6+1 turns if extreme (vacuum, wildfire, landslide).

… Whole Cloth
Create illusionary objects, if unrealistic a target can Save to realise they are insubstantial. Dealing any damage to an illusion pops it.
Focus: Illusions you create can move on their own, or sound real (your choice)
Surge: Illusion becomes solid for one round, can still be saved against.

… Crimson Flower
Resistant to poison and bleeding damage. If you meditate and are focused, completely immune. Focus: Take 1d6 damage to create an object out of your own blood.
Surge: All slashing/piercing weapons deal +1d6 damage for one round.

… Diamond Mind
You always know if something is reading your thoughts, and can create false substitutes with ease.
Focus: Telepathy with anyone who can see you, at greater ranges if you possess some of their hair, blood etc.
Surge: Anyone touching you or maintaining eye contact must save or be stunned.

… Eternal Crystal
While standing still and doing nothing, you gain +3 to all rolls.
Focus: Bestow a Curse upon an enemy. If they fail a Save, they take double damage from a specific event, weapon or threat until your focus ends.
Surge: Attempt to do two different things this round. At the end, decide which version of reality you like best, that is the one that happens.

… Devil Spawn
You receive three random mutations with offensive/defensive stats. Takes 1 ration to reroll a mutation.
Focus: Suppress all visible/magically detectable elements of all mutations.
Surge: Enhance one mutation for a round. Likely involves a Save vs. Fear if it was suppressed beforehand.

… Subtle Tempest
You gain a swim speed equal to double your move, and can hold your breath for additional rounds equal to your Wisdom.
Focus: Manipulate water as the equivalent Control spell.
Surge: Negate an attack against you, as long there is enough water to counter it.

… Ascendent Soul
You can sense the attention of dangerous entities (HD>level)
Focus: gain a stack of Ascension every time you take damage. Gain 2 stacks the first time a dangerous entity damages you. Each stack grants +1 Attack and melee damage, up to a maximum of [templates]+1. Lose all stacks if you break Focus.
Surge: for every stack of Ascension, gain a round of flight, a 1d10+blast beam weapon, and +[level] to Save vs. Fear.

… Silken Thought
Default focus ability #2 can now apply to people with names, though they get a Save each round to dispel the effect.
Focus: You can crudely control the actions of someone without a name. Abhorrent actions allows them to Save to stun you.
Surge: Target has a vivid hallucination of something you suggest being real, Save ends.

… Galvanic Perception
You take no extra damage from sneak attacks. You can also declare up to three Readied actions
Focus: If you pass Initiative by under a third, gain a bonus action.
Surge: See the next action of every enemy in the room


<sidebar> Initiative: At the start of every round, everyone makes an Wisdom check, ignoring any criticals/fumbles. If you succeed, you go before the enemy. If you fail, you go afterwards. You can choose to Delay your action until after the enemy have gone. You can choose to Ready your action, but you'll need to give a very specific trigger for what action you'll take. Only one action, but multiple triggers (e.g. the first enemy to come in range) is fine. </sidebar>

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Automatic List to HTML Translator






EDIT: Turns out my code is smarter than I am, and will eat funky punctuation for breakfast. Go wild! The name of the table will also be used for the text on the button, otherwise it'll be an appropriately generic "Generate" instead. The script will pump out a fragment of Javascript + HTML that can be copied right into the body of any website, and will automatically print out the selected option just below the button. If anyone has a specific request, suggestion or idea for new functionality, let me know in the comments! Examples include: having the last three results stored below the new one, having the text of the button change instead of the text snippet below, having options for subtables. Happy randomising!

Friday, August 31, 2018

"Nothing is destroyed, nor anything created, except by the Hand of the Authority" - Heptamancer (Wizard School)

A few pointers on Wizards:

  1. I don't use cantrips. If someone really likes a cantrip, I'll make it a spell they can learn.
  2. Sometimes, a spell can be cast using 0 MD. You still need at least 1 MD in order to do it, and it never deals damage. For example Fireball cast with 0 MD would be equivalent to a Summon Flame cantrip. Extrapolate as necessary.
  3. Wizards buy spells using this as a general guide. Basic spells go for 10 gold ($1000 in the real world), Advanced spells are 30 gold and you don't buy Emblem spells.
With that, introducing the Heptamancer, Master and Slave of the Seven Souls.



Lesser Disintegrate, credit Daniel Correia
Heptamancers are a weird, pseudo-priestly bunch. They know what happens when you die. Not the Hesayan drivel of "the pious will be rightfully rewarded" which is pretty much the same as "no comment" for them. They know the what, when, where and why of life and death. You should give the player this whole handout and this one. Some may even know about Shadoom. Some may even know what actually happened. Naturally, most Heptamancy spells are Second Degree Heresy, alongside non-bipedal necrokinetics and spells that result in excessive littering.

The Seven Souls themselves are MineralVegetableAnimal, Purple (Memory), Red (Personality), White (Morality), Blue (Magic). The Mineral and Vegetable souls are your material form and biological structure, and so remain with the body when you die as the Lower Souls. The Animal soul defines your basic instincts and and few of the higher-order biological functions, like breathing when you aren't thinking about it (not digestion). The four Higher Souls of Memory, Personality, Morality and Magic are the ones that go to the afterlife, stick around as ghosts, and eventually even reincarnate.

Several Heptamancer spells and Dooms relate to losing souls. This is a Bad Thing. You might be able to find a spell, demon, angel or other extraplanar being (and they are all the same thing really) willing to act as a replacement, but not for free.

The effects of losing your...
  1. Mineral Soul - "Like turning a firehouse on an overcooked porkchop". You start to dissolve. Lose 1 Constitution per round. On the plus-side, you can no longer die from taking damage. You are the spiritual equivalent of a pile of rocks that has forgotten what it is. This is a bad 'un to lose, that's for sure.
  2. Vegetable Soul - You gain no benefit from eating or drinking, and don't heal naturally. If propped up magically, you'll start to rot from the insides out as your gut bacteria celebrate their freedom by digesting you for a change.
  3. Animal Soul - You can only breath and blink "manually". Elves lack this one, but Elves don't sleep. Neither will you. Gain 1 Trauma per night. You won't have to worry about Charm spells or seduction attempts as you can simply... choose not to feel that way. You also lose two points of Attack from your missing muscle memory. Some other abilities may also be effected.
  4. Purple Soul - Full retrograde and anterograde amnesia. You can only form new memories if something takes it's place. Lose all your skills and anything that requires training to master. Spells and Magic Dice don't count, though you'll forget how to cast them. Consciously, that is...
  5. Red Soul - Your empathy collapses. People don't make sense to you. You can't see facial expressions properly. If you have to roll Charisma in order to persuade someone of something without any concrete evidence in your favour (just hoping for the best really), you fail except on a 1. Dwarves seem to lack parts or even their entire Red Soul... until you get them drunk.
  6. White Soul - If you die, you go straight to Hell, do not pass Go, do not collect two-hundred gold. You ripped the label off. Your karma is N/A. You take +4 to saves vs. death and level drain. If an action is completely detrimental to you, you must make a Save to go through with it. Nothing seems particularly wrong or right to you. Bribery is a tool, charity is a waste.
  7. Blue Soul - You lose all spellcasting ability. You gain +4 to saves against spells that have some kind of projectile or physical element as part of their casting, and are immune to all others. Losing your Blue Soul has a 1-in-6 chance of dragging a different soul with it as it goes. It's the big heavy one that has it's roots all over the place.
If your souls begin to lose cohesion, your shadow seems to twist and shiver, fraying at the edges. It is the shadow of an old man, waiting to die. You may be wondering where your ideas and intellect come from, since it does not seem to be a part of the Seven Souls. The wizards say it's in the Blue Soul, conveniently ignoring all the counterexamples happily living non-magical lives. Priests will stare at you for a while, then charge you with heresy. My advice? KEEPWONDERING.



Perk: Staring meaningfully into someone’s eyes allows you to gaze into their soul. You get an idea as to their general mindset, a hint at something hidden, an unmissable insight into their level of spiritual corruption and can receive an answer to one specific question you may have. If they know you want it, they can Save to hide a secret from them.

Drawback: Anyone who you soul gaze immediately and automatically uses the same ability on you.

Spells:

Flesh to X 
R: 30ft T: creature D: [sum] rounds
Target takes [sum] damage, save for half. A random portion of their body turns to 1d6: Bone, Jelly, Mud, Stone, Blood, Light. Roll once when you learn this spell, it's always the same. If can somehow keep the stuff inside them till the spell ends, they heal for half the damage taken. If this damage would kill them, they are completely transmuted and never revert. Depending on the new material, they will probably take -[dice]x2 to some actions, particular Bone and Stone. This spell targets a creatures Mineral Soul. Each instance of Flesh to X has a 2-in-6 chance of working on sentient golems. The Heptamancers haven't quite isolated all the arcane-strands yet, even of this relatively simple spell, but that is understandable with all the new developments in the field. 

Lesser Disintegrate

R: 200ft T: creature D: instant
Target takes [sum]+[dice] damage, no save. If you mention the similarity of Lesser Disintegrate to the better known Magic Missile you will be positively lambasted. Expect to be harangued with cries of "distinct arcane signatures" and "miserable, miserly troglodytes" and the like. This spell also targets a creatures Mineral Soul.

Animate Object
R: 30ft T: [dice] objects D: [sum] rounds of strenuous activity, [sum] minutes otherwise
You imbue an object with a tiny portion of your own Vegetable Soul. It pulses with sudden life, growing tiny limbs, muscles and bulging veins out its own material. It will attempt to obey any action that you give it, though it may have limitations. Books always try to fly, but have some difficulty with the power-to-weight ratio. Objects have a [dice]-in-8 chance of being particularly loyal, this is only rolled the first time you cast the spell on a particular target, it is retained if you cast it again no matter the result. credit Jacob for the last bit

Adjust Metabolism
R: touch T: creature D: [dice] days
You can dial the energy requirements of a creature up or down as you please. Unwilling targets can save to negate. Casting the spell in the opposing direction negates all current effects, but the target will feel intensely nauseous for [dice] hours. 

Increase:
Target feels sprightly and hungry. Gains +[dice] to Attack and Strength checks, but will need to eat an extra [dice] rations each day over the duration or will suffer from the effects of starvation as if they have not eaten for 1 day per missing ration. If [sum]>10 the target permanently loses a point of CON and gains a point of STR if they fail a Strength check. P-p-p-protein!

Decrease:
Targets feels lumpen and heavy. Loses [dice] from Attack and Strength checks, will feel extremely unwell if they eat, but can go without food for [dice] extra days before beginning to suffer the effects of starvation. If [sum]>10 the target must save or fall asleep for the duration. They get +2 to this save for every thing that is distracting them, or every task they must complete.

<sidebar> Starvation rules: You can go without food for three days, or water for one day, without suffering penalties. Every day beyond that inflicts a cumulative -1 penalty to every action that will not directly lead you to food. Beyond -4 you take CON damage instead. </sidebar>

Vivigraphy (Speak With Body)
R: touch T: living creature D: instant
Ask a living body [dice] questions. You are talking to their Vegetable and Animal Souls, just like how Necrography (Speak with Dead) communes with the Mineral and the fading remnants of a Vegetable Soul. It's pretty funny when you ask a person's body a question and they clench their mouth to avoid answering - sometimes the answer is spelled out as freckles across their forehead. Sometimes they just fart it out.

Humoral Tinkering
R: touch T: creature D: [sum]x[dice] minutes
This spell comes in three forms, Fire (Adrenaline), Joy (Dopamine) or Slumber (Melatonin). 

Fire grants +3 to the targets Strength, Dexterity and Initiative for the duration. They must save with a [dice] penalty or fly into a rage if provoked. However, the target uses 1d12 for Trauma rather than 1d20, but will never Faint or Freeze from a breakdown. Prolonged usage can result in agitation, weight loss and even heart attacks.

Joy heals the target 1d6+[dice] HP, lowers Trauma by [dice] and moves a creature up the scale of: Hostile > Neutral > Friendly > Ecstatic. This new mindset is easily disturbed, especially if you were already fighting the creature. Prolonged usage can result in addictive behaviours and depression.

Slumber causes the target to fall asleep within 30-[sum] minutes, and they will sleep for twelve hours or until the sun rises. When the target heals, roll [dice] HD and take the higher amount. Prolonged usage can result in disturbed sleep cycles, drowsiness, insomnia and confusion.

Dispel Inhibitions
R: touch, 100ft if you possess hair, blood etc. of the target T: sentient creature D: [sum]/2 days
The target's Red Soul is unshackled from the White and Purple Souls, and rises from the deep depths. For the duration, nothing seems like a bad idea. From an ordinary commoner, expect profligate violence, adultery, gluttony and embarrassment when the duration elapses. Against mercenaries, wizards and nobility, anything goes. This is one of the few Heptamancy spells that the king (well, the king's magical advisors) has privately banned over a Church decree, for evident reasons. Save negates, and renders the target immune to this spell for a month.

Deja Reve ("Already Dreamt")
R: within sight T: [dice] creatures D: instant
The target's Purple Soul is briefly bamboozled. It treats the last [sum] rounds as if (1d6): 
1. It were but a dream
2. They had made it up themselves
3. It was a story someone else was telling them
4. Had already happened to them
5. Was something they were planning on doing tomorrow
6. Was logically impossible. 
How the target responds to this new perspective is up to them, but will likely require a roll under Intelligence/2 to determine. For most NPCs this is equivalent to a Save, but intelligent creatures like Wizards, the DM, and Dragons will take +4 to the Save.

Judgement
R: T: creature with a White Soul D: [dice] rounds
The targets White Soul is shunted from the body for the duration, Save negates. During that time, the target is in a blind coma, eyes pure white with latent energy, standing, breathing, but not acting. They will encounter a very confused representative of Heaven, the Death of People Who Weren't Killed. If they fail the Goodness check, the Death will attempt to drag them to Hell as normal, Save or Die each round. If they succeed, the Death will just sit down with them and have a chat about the ultimate fate of the universe. 

If the target succeeds the Goodness check by under half, the Death will realise that it is in fact the Death of "Death of People Who Weren't Killed", execute itself, then materialise to kill you instead, preventing it's own reoccurrence. Don't think about it too hard. If you kill, badly injure or place the target into a lethally compromising situation during the duration of the spell, this automatically occurs. The Death can see you, dimwit. It may be easier to fight a pissed off Death than whatever it is you are trying to kill.

Stats of a DODOPWWK: 1d6+[dice] HD, can fly, can render itself immaterial with a thought if that would be beneficial, loses 1 HP every hour in the mortal realm.

<sidebar> Goodness rules: Your score starts at 10, just like everyone else. A concretely beneficial act in terms of the rules Zulin/The Authority grants +1 or more, and vice versa. You'll notice a distinct lack of these laws. This is not a mistake. 90% of people never go above or below 10 during their lifetime. Priests, thieves, zealots, heretics, nobles, murderers and YOU

 make up the remaining 10% </sidebar>

Arcane Polarity
R: T: creature with a Blue Soul D: [dice] rounds
This spell comes in two forms, Yirverse and Jagonwards, relating to the morphology of the target's Blue Soul post-casting. Standard shorthand for the two forms is Inwards and Outwards.

Inwards: Every spell cast that travels through [dice]x10ft of the Blue Soul instead affects the target instead. This includes any spells coming from the caster themselves.

Outwards: If the target contains any spells or MD, they flee at once in a sudden rush. Escaping spells will latch on to any MD available and cast themselves at the nearest target. Any spells that have left a brain will orbit frantically in the Ethereal Plane, and will only have a 5% chance of being permanently lost. Any spells that come near ([dice]x10ft) the target are deflected away at a steep angle. This grants immunity to magic from spells cast outside the radius, and +6 to saves against spells cast within the zone.

Emblem Spells

Excise Soul
R: touch, or 100ft if you possess hair, blood etc. of the target T: one creature D: instant
If the creature has more than [sum]x2 HP or succeeds on a Save, the spell does not take effect and you must make an Intelligence check or suffer a Mishap. Otherwise, the target immediately loses a random soul. You might be able to trap the soul as it leaves, but that will require seperate arrangements.

Reincarnate
R: touch T: a still-warm corpse D: approximately nine months
This spell will only take effect if cast within [sum] rounds of the target dying. Dice are still expended regardless. [dice] of the target's souls are flagged for early return to the mortal plane. If this spell was cast within [sum]/2 rounds, the caster can pick which souls, otherwise it is determined randomly. The Mineral Soul is not part of this process. If successful, a random successful conception that just occurred will receive the recycled souls, supplanting the originals. Care should be taken if a Vegetable Soul is being transferred, as the newborn child will be genetically identical to the corpse. So long as the caster did not accrue any Mishaps or Dooms during the casting, they will know the approximate location on the planet that the child was just created (1d6):

  1. The nearest village
  2. The nearest city
  3. Somewhere in the country
  4. Somewhere on the continent
  5. A different continent
  6. Somewhere more mysterious...

This is First Degree Heresy. It's not the Done Thing. Don't even try to explain why the baby can talk and is complaining about how you left him to die, just say something vague about a destiny and run. If you've moved a Blue Soul out of the Ethereal Plane, then The Third Lantern is coming, and they think you are Shadoom.


Malignancies

Mishaps:
  1. Gain 1 trauma
  2. Take 1d6 damage
  3. Mutation for 1d6 turns, save or permanent
  4. Out of body experience for 2d6 rounds. Save to control for a round, critical fail is a possession
  5. A very confused psychopomp shows up, expecting... something. As Judgement, but any soul will satisfy it, not just yours
  6. Disjunct. One of our souls wakes up, and is likely just as concerned as you are. Duration: unknown
Dooms:
  1. Lose a soul of your choice
  2. Lose a random soul
  3. Five souls peel away from you over the next five days. If you somehow have any left, you lose another one every 2d20 days
Avoiding the Doom of the Heptamancer is patently obvious: continually graft on more souls!





Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Pitiful Damage, Pitiful Results

Ho hum. Another random generator, this one from the crowd-sourced entries here.



Except... I didn't have to write it. I'm just filing off the last edges of my automatic list button HTML generator thingamajig. It'll have some similarities to the Last Gasp Grimoire version, but aimed specifically towards bloggers who want to have some future-juice added to their posts. Just press the button, copy the script and voila, it works every time, 60% of the time.