Monday, 28 July 2014

alternate universes

Wizards on the material plane only have access to a limit number of alternate universes - those directly surrounding ours. Great Wizards and Elf Kings have access to the heavenly spheres; lesser magical beings may step between the other earths.

Heavenly Spheres
higher, purer universes than ours - places that govern hidden rules and truths of our universe
Aether - the fabric of the universe - the fifth element - starmatter - divine truth
Qi - the flow of energy within all things - what allows a man to be a man, and not a tree - inner truth
Limbo - nothingness. a meeting ground for great beings.
Entropy - pure chaos - pure reality - maddening but powerful to behold
Dreaming - the collective unconsciousness; the realm of collected ideas and imaginations

the Other Earths
alternate incarnations of the prime material plane. for some reason, they're all either dead or dying.
Ash World - a supervolcano has blocked out the sun. the world is a desert of ash.
Flooded World - the seas rose, and the earth crumbled. 95% of the earth is covered in water.
the Wasteland - the world is completely identical to the prime material plane, but devoid of non-plant life
Forgotten World - humans never evolved, neanderthals took their place in history. lots of dinosaurs.
War World - entire nations fight one another in giant sophisticated mobile war citadels over resources.
the Negaverse - the mirror universe - good is evil and evil is good.

killer instinct

killer instinct

warriors have their own dark knowledge, an understanding of power and presence and emotion.

without even drawing a weapon, a fighter can roll to affect foes with their presence.

X times/day, when combat is initiated or when the fighter has successfully slain a foe, you may unleash your killer instinct - at the moment when you hand grips your weapon, and when you return it to it's sheath.

pick two of these based on your alignment. if your character later has a change of heart and changes alignment, don't change which options you picked. if you're not using an alignment system, just pick two.

Empathy - understand the foe's point of view - +2 charisma checks
Righteousness - evil creatures fear and try to flee from you, good creatures respect you

Blood-Curdle - foe's blood freezes, becomes nauseous, d4 damage, affects non-evil allies
Psychology - detect a foe's secret weakness, hidden blindspot, phobia.

Loathing - you know exactly what to do to piss off an enemy - all affected will only target you
Berserk - your presence elicits an animal response, causing peaceful crowds to become angry mobs

Paralyze - the foe is frozen with trepidation - all affected are stunned or slowed
Silence - astonishes a foe, leaving them speechless, thoughtless, off guard

Pressure - foe's hands begin to shake, and they don't know why, -2 to attack rolls, -1 to damage rolls
Ignorance - you hide your chi, completely disguising your killer instinct. you appear like a nobody.

you can target a single or a group of creatures. targeting a single creature doubles the effect. creatures with HD greater than your level get a will save.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

how potions are dealt with

my buddy matt rundle is playing in a campaign i'm dming, his character is named rickwell the slime wizard, he's level 3 and loves potions.

this is the potion brewing method i've been using, it's been working out well so far but i think it could probably be simplified down a bit more.

 potion ingredients here

(this conversation never really happened; it is a pretend conversation.)

player: i want to make some potions.

DM: okay.

player: i'm a slime alchemist, so i get a +1/+1/+1 to potion making if my environment is warm/damp/dark

DM: that's right. it's warm and damp here, so +2

player: in my inventory i have obliviax moss (tame), red soup, smoke pellets, chilli powder, swamp slime. what can i do with those?

DM: d6, roll high add int modifier

1 - no ingredients identified
2 - 3 only one ingredient identified
4 - 5 all but one ingredient identified
6 all ingredients identified

player: i got a 4.

DM: alright. you don't know what the red soup does. smoke pellets burn hot and make smoke. swamp slime smells gross and is slimy. chilli powder is spicy.

player: what's obliviax moss (tame?)

DM: it's a little sentient moss creature, it can suck people's memory out and learn their spells.

player: so it's got some sort of memory-magic property to it. i'm going to extract that.

(given the information provided, the obliviax moss could have had magic-stealing/plant-sentience/spell-learning/etc properties - anything the player latches on to as interesting.)

DM: sure, you now have d6 vials of memory-goop

player: okay, i have 6 of them. so i want to mix the memory goop with the smoke pellets, the chilli powder and the swamp slime to make a potion of escape artistry.

DM: how do you figure?

player: so the smoke pellets and the chilli powder make a pepper spray smoke screen. the memory goop makes a lingering after image of us, while the real party runs away. the swamp slime i'm adding because i'm a slime alchemist.

DM: that sounds awesome. how many of those ingredients do you have?

player: i'm not sure. we bought a huge crate of smoke pellets in the city. i got a bag of chilli powder from a marketplace. i gathered the swamp slime myself from a swamp. and i just made 6 vials of memory goop.

DM: okay, so you have a functionally unlimited supply of smoke pellets. you have enough chilli powder and swamp slime to use for the rest of the session. the limiting reagent is the memory goop, you only have six vials of it.

player: i only want to use four vials of memory goop and save the rest for later

DM: okay. roll a d6 four times, roll above 3, add your +2 for damp/warm

player: *roll roll* okay i succeeded three times and failed once

DM: okay. you've brewed 3 greater and 1 lesser potion(s) of escape artistry. you can't tell greater and lesser potions apart. when you use one, roll a d4 to see if you get the dud potion.

player: but what if i have an odd number or ratio of potions, like 14/2?

DM: i don't know, figure it out

Friday, 25 July 2014

alchemy ingredients

when your player searches randomly for alchemy ingredients, roll a d20 on the appropriate table

alternatively just roll d6 and then d20

1. witch's cupboard
2. elf or goblin cupboard
3. the wild, or in a beast's den
4. the apothecary, or in a court wizard's cupboard
5.exotic market, or in a nobleman's cupboard
6. black market, or in a criminal's cupboard

not quite finished making this yet so feel free to make suggestions

witch's cupboard
1. bird entrails
2. garlic
3. moonshine
4. diviner's sage
5. morning dew, gathered within 24 hours
6. poison
7. virgin hair
8. amphibian eyeballs
9. teeth or knucklebones
10. singing flowers
11. willowbark
12. dragon sperm
13. fairy, trapped in a bottle
14. chicken egg
15. tea leaves
16. pig heart
17. holy water
18. coriander
19. mandrake
20. gingerbread

elf or goblin cupboard
1. ergot
2. kykeon
3. poison
4. impwort
5. crocodile tears
6. mothwing dust
7. starmatter
8. stinging red nettle
9. human flesh
10. crushed insect guts - spider, centipede, cockroach, dragonfly, scarab
11. goblin seeds
12. bloodcaps
13. fly agaric
14. puffballs
15. royal jelly
16. mock turtle eggs
17. a bag full of the spiciest chilli peppers imaginable
18. monster food
19. blackwater mist (carefully sealed)
20. soma

the wilderness, or in a beast's den or a druid's cupboard
1. psychedelic mushrooms
2. clover, 1/16 have four leaves
3. slime, of various colours and temperments
4. poison
5. peyote cactus
6. aloe vera
7. truffles
8. rotvine
9. dire grubs/swamp worms/giant maggots/bee larvae
10. rock lobster
11. dead animal flesh
12. mistletoe
13. dank fungus
14. swamp water
15. cannabis
16. pure mineral water
17. gingseng
18. wormwood
19. obliviax moss
20. monster egg

apothecary, or a court wizard's store cupboard
1. memory salts
2. methamphetamine
3. newton's net
4. poison, hemlock
5. mysteriously labeled jar of tablets
6. stem cells
7. lots and lots of sulphur, mercury, magnesium, copper
8. magnetic solutions and powders
9. opium, laudanum
10. red soup
11. alkahest
12. petroleum or crude oil, alchemist's fire
13. white tincture
14. ammonia
15. putrid black resin
16. uranium
17. panacea, cure-all
18. sleeping solution
19. thermite
20. ethyl nitrate

exotic market, or a nobleman's store cupboard
1. ground ivory powder
2. cocaine, or coca leaves
3. poison
4. pixie dust
5. moon rocks
6. phoenix feather
7. quality tobacco or other smoking herb
8. sugar jelly
9. health tonic
10. tiger penis
11. magical essence, liquified
12. kava
13. formic ether
14. all sorts of different coloured dyes for food or cloth
15. dwarvern gallstone
16. saffron powder
17. melange
18. sweet spirits of animus (alcoholic)
19. a diamond, or diamond powder
20. fairy gold

black market, or a criminal's store cupboard
1. poison
2. some kind of rare monster blood (dragon, unicorn, elf, human, etc)
3. death spice
4. black coffee
5. brain-crawler larvae
6. purple lotus powder
7. bzrk (street drug)
8. siren-oil
9. explosive gel
10. vampire-, lycanthrope-, or zombie-virus
11. summoned food of the underworld
12. mustard gas preparation
13. summoned water from the river lethe
14. preserved body parts, human and/or monster
15. skin plague (contained)
16. monster growth serum
17. poison
18. poison
19. poison
20. poison

1. snake - the classic. easy to handle.
2. spider -  nerve venom, paralyzes
3. centipede - causes strong nausea and sickness
4. lizard - wart venom, leaves disgusting, infected, stinking wounds + scars
5. toad - LSD-like hallucinations
6. scorpion - fast acting, corrosive
7. leech - blood-thinning, inflicts bloodloss
8. starfish - compelled to tell the truth, laugh maniacally
9. jellyfish - extra painful, 1/3 chance dead body will grow hot and self-incinerate
10. stonefish - non lethal, subtle, victim will grow tired & weak given continued exposure

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

thief skills

everybody's got their own list of thief skills i guess

here's mine, heavily influenced by 3e D&D, LOTFP and DCC

placed here for easy reference. 10 is a good amount of skills to have; d10 is a sacred die.

probably still needs some tweaks

1. Sneak (move silently, hide in shadows)
x/6 chance of moving silently or unseen

2. Sleight of Hand
x/6 chance to steal objects or manipulate objects intricately

3. Backstab
attack from stealth for critical damage
works differently for thieves vs assassins
thieves:  make a sneak check, and if successful, add the result to a x/6 backstab check. If successful, add the result to AB and damage
assassins: x/6 chance of making (the result) number of attacks against a target, +(the result) damage if attack was from stealth or against a weak spot

4. Tinker
(disarm trap, lock pick, craft)
x/6 chance to disarm a trap, pick a lock or understand gadgetry
+x to craft checks

5. Spot
(search, appraise, listen, detect trap, sense motive)
x/6 chance to detect vital information about an object, person or area, player doesn’t see the result of their own spot check

6. Deception
(disguise, bluff, forgery)
x/6 chance to lie or create falsehood, or to manipulate conversation

7. Acrobatics
(tumble, reflexes, climbing)
x/6 chance of performing amazing acts of nimble athleticism

8. Languages
(cast from scroll)
PC knows x/6 +INT number of languages, decide which ones whenever you want
and you have a x/6 chance of successfully using magic items or scrolls

9. Poisons
(apply poison to weapon for d6 extra weapon damage)
by adding poison to a weapon, x/6 chance of adding the result to damage for 1 round
special poisons with superior effects or durations can be found and used instead

10. Bushcraft
(tracking, survival, alchemy, herbalism)
x/6 chance to track a foe
x/6 chance to gather materials from the wilderness
+x to craft checks involving potions, poisons, antidotes or scavenged materials
+x to spot checks involving nature, alchemy, herbalism


old foes of men and beasts
best not spoken of

who slew the great fyre-wyrm SALAMANDUS a thousand years ago
and ate it’s heart and freed the slaves and allowed men to rise to power

HECATE (chaotic)
goddess of witches and dark nature, and foul decisions at crossroads, cats, and chaotic or nature magic.
the beast-men and the dwarves adore her above all

LEN-ZO (len-zo = neutral.)
-LEN, of the Heavens, god of peace (neutral)
the first GOLD ELF
who made peace between men and spirits
all elves hold him in the greatest esteem.
-ZO, of the Earth, god of war (neutral)
ZUR’s son, and the greatest of all kings
possessed amazing powers of precognition and telepathy
LEN and ZO, two
became LEN-ZO, one
and then became king of the Underworld
"to achieve greatness, the spirit must be at peace with itself, and the mind must be at war with itself. the body must be as nothing."

ZAGREUS (the ash-gods) (good)
a great spirit of nature, who commanded
the crashing of waves and the howling of winds
who watched with interest the activity of men
and taught them things
and did not beset them the winds and the waves.

thus, it was brought before the creators
who, with their swords of blue flame
divided it infinitely
and threw the infinite ashes to the air, obscuring the sun.

each falling particle of ash
retained it’s compassion for men
and each became a new spirit, a small spirit
each with a name and a place


GARKADUN (chaotic)
a western trickster god, a baboon with the head of a crocodile
who torments only for amusement
who controls time, the greatest joke

KARNOPTIKON (the blight mother, the harvest mother) (neutral)
foul mother of plague and pestilence
whose children are innumerable
and whose hunger is insatiable.
the HARVEST MOTHER, who provides,
the BLIGHT MOTHER, who punishes,
she is one and the other, but never both

the BENEFACTORS (chaotic)
great beings from beyond this world
who, without concern, mutilate the natural order
and defy prophecy and seek hungrily to possess all knowledge

the King of Skin, an immensely powerful warlock who achieved immortality

the vile utterer, the changer-for-the-worse

the MOIRAI (lawful)
the three weavers of fate, memory, thought & foresight
they have the priviledge of choosing when someone dies, including gods
so everyone fears them
but they do not intervene on behalf of mortals

the king of eagles, who guards the world-tree
kind of a dragon/eagle/griffin looking guy
earning his favour can lead to teleportation via deus ex machina eagle flight

CHIMERA (neutral)
the dragon god
mother of Bahamut (lawful) and Tiamat (chaotic)
grandmother of all dragons
worshipped by dragons
and the ranging nomads of the mountain

SILENUS (chaotic)
the instructor of heroes
god of food, wine, comfort, sexual indulgence
knows all fine things: art, science, war
lives in the forest
assumes animal form to rape passers-by
worshipped by beasts
and the ranging nomads of the forest

TETHYS and ACHELOUS, (neutral)
the two great river gods
wife and husband, TETHYS is the greater
and ACHELOUS is devoted to her.
their daughters (nymphs, oceanids, sirens, etc) guard bodies of water. (lesser rivers and tributaries, or lonely wellsprings, or the ocean)
those who offend them are prevented from crossing the water.
worshipped by birds and fish
and the ranging nomads of the floodplain

SKULLA (evil)
the queen of darkness and the maelstrom who delights in destruction and decay
served by ravens, buzzards and krakens
worshipped by the dark terrors who dwell in the ocean
and the ranging nomads of Skull Island

AMEMAR (evil)
the king of bad ideas
the god of suffering and slavery
he is both slave and slavemaster
the creator of all djinn, who worship him with their hatred
djinn are born from his suffering
brought on by a crown that is too tight
his will commands all elemental spirits

THEMIS (good)
too beautiful to behold
the queen of art and creation
died long ago for forgotten reasons

MITHRA (lawful)
who binds oaths and covenants
and judges truths
the guardian of cattle and harvest and the sacred waters of healing

the SUN KING (lawful) and the MOON QUEEN (good)
the sky gods of the dark elves and the mountain men.
the sun king grants power - the moon queen grants insight.

SLAADWUGLI (chaotic)
the infinite star toad
god of the slaad, the bullywug and the grippli frog tribes
came from a distant planet to slowly release her eggs into the earth's molten core over the course of the next 500,000 years

the TURTLE SAGE (good)
an immortal philosopher monk who lives on a mountain on an island
who has deep thoughts and shares near-omniscient insight
the best guy to ask advice
despite being worshipped as a god, he's mostly just a dude

LEVIATHAN (lawful)
a monstrous seeker-of-knowledge and asker-of-questions
who commands the mimics
but despises all of creation and rejects conventional worship
it has an open agreement with wizards wherein it is willing to exchanges knowledge for knowledge.
if you tell it something it already knows then it destroys you immediately, without hesitation

JU (neutral)
one of the old beast gods
the slime queen

HASGUIL (chaotic)
one of the old beast gods
the god of hogs and vermin

MEDUSA (evil)
cursed with wickedness
goddess of curses, snakes, gorgons, naga
worshipped by blood elves and evil clerics

the first vampire, still alive today
very powerful, almost truly immortal;
killing him would kill all other vampires.
hideous, cruel, cunning, demonic, ancient

reports from the far beyond report other great deities, specifically:
-a great god of rain with a demonic appearance, who grants protection but demands human sacrifice
- a god of the forest who appears at sunset and commands volcanoes
- gods who are trapped and enslaved and forced to work as supercomputers
- a deity who manifests exclusively as a healing wind which destroys the unclean or impure
- gods of dreams, wondrous muses, worshipped through totem spirits.
- the worship of one's own ancestors or past lives.
- a god of swords, who exists exclusively in the beholder's sword and in none other.


devils, archdemons and succubi are worshipped by evil men
many minor demons live in hell and are chumps, and usually can be commanded by wizards
the DEVIL however is super-powerful badass

reports differ on how many devils there actually are - each one claims that there is only ever one at a time. apparently they're lying because there's actually seven of them. usually you never see two of them in the same room together. when you do it's because one of them is about to die.

Pride – Lucifer – the Monarch – the King of Hell

Wrath – Aamon  – the General – the Usurper – he who stood against the Almighty

Envy – Behemoth – the Opponent – the Dissident – who will destroy all

Gluttony – Beelzebub – Pestilence – the Devourer –

Greed – Mammon – the Possessor of all things – the Dark Potentate – the Warden of Souls

Sloth – Belphegor – the begetter of demons – the slave-driver, flail-wielder

Lust – Asmodeus – the coercer – the whisperer – the bargainer

in the ancient wicked prophecies it's said that at the end of days the four sleeping arch-demons will awaken and reward their demonic followers with bloodshed and destruction.

PESTILENCE – the false prophet
WAR – persecution and bloodshed
FAMINE – inequality
DEATH - apocalypse

the four mothers of demons, the succubi –

who are the goddesses of vampires and gorgons. they often try and seduce innocents, especially holy men. if successful, they devour their victim's vital essence and transform it into a baby demon, which matures in 6 seconds and devours the innocent's lifeless husk.


chuck down some races

3d6 stats
3d6 wealth
pick a religion
humans are known to be religious
you can be atheist or agnostic if you want, but that makes you unusual

3d6 stats
highest stat: +1 modifier
lowest stat: -1 modifier

0 wealth
pick a clan:

4d6-1 stats
d6 wealth
immune to sleep, disease, death
vulnerable to magic, iron, fire

choose subrace:

gold: astral projection for X*10 minutes 1/day

silver: true seeing X/day
wild: animal familiar & +1 animal trait
OR nature sense, 5/6 herblore checks

blood: immune to pain, fear, psionics, continue fighting until -10 HP
dark: d6 damage to recover a spell or ability, wound can't be healed for 48 hours.
d6 permanent HP damage to get x1 casting of any spell you've seen

2d10 stats
d6 wealth
choose one to start as:
gremlin - +1 int & dex modifier
hobgoblin +1 int & wis modifier
goblin +1 wis & con modifier
ogre +1 con & str modifier
troll +2 str modifier, -3 int modifier

eat fungus to grow one step smaller
eat manflesh to grow one step bigger
you'll grow bigger over time

1d20 stats

d6 wealth
once per day, transform into your anti-self for two minutes
your anti-self is opposite to you in all ways and has opposite stats
your anti self may be an enemy

3d6 stats

3d6 wealth
pretend that you're a human

your lowest and highest stat can swap 1/day, don't tell anyone at the table you're doing it
all creatures hate you if they know what you are, especially other mimics

3d6 stats
0 wealth
pick an animal

you look like that animal
you have 2 traits of your chosen animal

3d6 stats
d6 wealth
fast swimming
prehensile sticky tongue

slime spit X/day
choose one:

grippli (size: small), +1 dex or cha, +2 to jumping, climbing, slippery oily slime spit
bullywug (size: human), +1 dex or wis, quick drying sticky slime spit
slaad: (size: large) +1 to wis or str, acid slime spit

3d4 for 4 stats
4-1d6 for 2 stats
0 wealth
always get full HD on level up

immune to healing spells