Monday, 28 December 2015

Mundos de los Cataclismos

They get called Sleepers, mostly. Sometimes postapocs or just apocs. Formally they're supposed to be referred to as failed colonies, but even the government calls them Cataclysm Worlds when they're feeling sensationalist.

There are lots of them. The empire is big and space is full of surprises. Plenty of worlds have a colony ship, or ten, launched at them before the probes turn up any real data. Usually it's the air. Too much nitrogen, not enough CO2, unexpected clouds of acid, something like that. Other times it's the topsoil, or oceans full of some horrible poison cooked up by a brief flare of single-cell xenos a million years ago.

But then there are more interesting ones. Sometimes it's not even the world that's the problem. There's an issue with cryosleep, a problem in the reactors, a captain that just sort of snaps. The worst, of course, is when the world is too hospitable to life. The ship settles down, folds out into a city and fucked-up alien biology starts pouring in through the windows, through the walls.

All of them are worth huge amounts of money. They're the collected remnants of entire asteroid belts, pre-manufactured into everything that's needed to support life on hostile worlds. Power cells, atmo machines, medical supplies, seed stores, gene banks. One salvaged AI core or gravity compensator can set an explorer up for life, especially if the rest of the expedition is too dead to split the profits. The governments offer rewards, though they're not quite enough, and you can always find buyers on the black market. Though what a crime syndicate wants with a tailored strain of nitrogen-fixing bacteria is perhaps best left unexplored.

What's Wrong With This Cityship?

  1. FOG
  4. BUGS
  16. SQUIDS
  20. FLOOD
  22. ICE
  24. PUNKS
  29. APES
  31. MEMES
  34. OOZE
  35. THE SUN
  38. SAND
  42. RATS
If you have some way of choosing a famous historical personality at random this list also doubles as a Doctor Who episode generator.

we make thank for picture famous artist Kilian Eng

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

12 Things the Aurora Borealis is that Isn't Aliens

Because all it ever feels like it is is aliens. Or spirits of the dead or something. We can do better.

  1. Ice madness. Can actually see the aurora in the eyes of afflicted people. They just see it when reasonably cold and looking up
  2. Backwards time echoes of a magnetic doomsday device that will strike the area in the next hundred years
  3. What the sky normally looks like - everywhere else is cloudy b/c of alien contrails/rivers of souls
  4. How the sky celebrates Christmas
  5. Shadow of a negaworld poorly superimposed over this one like that old blue-red 3D effect thing
  6. Great sheets of luminescent sky algae feeding on overabundance of nitrogen
  7. n-th dimensional demiurge has scrawled signature into latest project
  8. Sign that the sky turtles have come to earth to breed and you will soon be finding sky turtle eggs about the place
  9. Mountain-top monks weaving big green eternity blanket to forestall existential dread
  10. What happens when the moon is close enough to reach out its tendrils and start grabbing at shit
  11. World's diary. Major historical and geographic events recorded with significant bias
  12. Elf poo

Monday, 21 December 2015

Bluestone Barrow: A Dunkey Dungeon Adventure

Used the Dunkey Dungeon Generator to make three dungeons for my new setting, The Salt. Changes I've made to the dungeons are in bold.

Below is the first dungeon, which us two Dunks just played through in about half an hour as a kind of mental midnight snack.

Bluestone Barrow

First dungeon is set in the far south; a land of dried-out swamp, mangroves thick with salt, flooding once a fiveyear. The dungeon is a treasure hoard cum barrow. A hibernating CLAY LEVIATHAN slumbers in the cracked earth out front. SPECTRAL PIXIES giggle from the thick NIGHT BLOSSOM covering the mound.


Room A.
SOUND: Muffled voices from next room. (Room B)
Treasure room. Magnetic gates prevent you removing any gold or steel, even if you brought it in with you. PIRATE'S SPEAR made of pure gold in hand of enormous porcelain golem. Talisman in room B deactivates gates, activates golem.
Entrance is to the south, a half-collapsed arch of rough stones. Eastern staircase leads down to cool cellar. Roof has partially collapsed to the west, separating rooms A and C.

Room B.
SUMPFIANA the HELPFUL PLAYWRIGHT and SUMPROGG the ABSENT-MINDED GARDENER (who are spectral pixies) fighting for possession of a SCABBARD OF THE ELEPHANT (Any weapon sheathed therein gains +2 when fighting from back of pachyderms/aurochs), each with an extremely good argument for why it is rightfully theirs. Actually they stole it from a nearby burial mound and have probably annoyed the shit out some ghosts.

Room is lit by light from Room A and a jar of fireflies. The room is newer and better reinforced than the others. Six bodies are buried in raised, open-air coffins full of salt. One corpse clutches the runekey for Room A. The pixies know this.

Room C.
Formerly a necromancer's lair. Now a breeding pair of OCHRE HOGs has made a nest of the spellbooks, which reveal interesting magical snippets if closely examined. Torn-up pages, gummed back together, may have produced odd new spells. (1d3 workable pages. Roll two results from the first three available death, destruction, earth and plant cleric spells* and mash them together in some way that mostly makes sense.)
A few holes in the ceiling let in dappled light. You could almost certainly bash your way out through ones of these if you really, really wanted to.

*Those spells are:
1. Cause Fear: One creature of 5 HD or less flees for 1d4 rounds.
2. Death Knell: Kill dying creature and gain 1d8 temporary hp, +2 to Str, and +1 caster level.
3. Animate Dead: Creates undead skeletons and zombies.
4. Inflict Light Wounds: Touch attack, 1d8 damage +1/level (max +5).
5. Shatter: Sonic vibration damages objects or crystalline creatures.
6. Contagion: Infects subject with chosen disease.
7. Magic Stone: Three stones become +1 projectiles, 1d6 +1 damage.
8. Soften Earth and Stone: Turns stone to clay or dirt to sand or mud.
9. Stone Shape: Sculpts stone into any shape.
10. Entangle: Plants entangle everyone in 40-ft.-radius.
11. Barkskin: Grants +2 (or higher) enhancement to natural armor.
12. Plant Growth: Grows vegetation, improves crops.

me and Matt on vacation
where Matt and I went on vacation
what the landscape looks like basically
~playthrough below~

Saturday, 19 December 2015

The Salt

It's called The Salt. Or just Salt, depending on your grammatical preferences. There are other names in other languages but you don't speak those languages and you won't need those names.

Salt is not one desert, though foreigners sometimes can't tell the difference. The north is cold; sleet and ice and salt. The north kills you without you ever knowing. Here the salt is spiteful. The centre is hot; sun and sand and salt. You can feel your death days away. Here the salt is patient. The south is not a desert at all; scrub and hogs and salt. In the south it is the people that kill you. Here the salt is valuable.

In truth, all salt has its uses. Pink salt, wrapped in northern ice, burns with unrelenting flame, makes fireworks and lures evil spirits. Black salt, still warm from the desert sun, burns out poisons and gives glimpses of the future. White salt, scraped off the desert mangroves, tastes really, really good.

The salt trade is everything in Salt. The country is named for it, after all. The deserts won't grow food crops. Even the far south cannot support the grains and cattle other nations thrive off. Instead, great caravans turn the Three Wheels of Salt. The northern wheel runs clockwise, from glacier down to frozen sand. The aurochs are biggest here, the height of five horses. Loads are strung up on their backs and ribbons knotted through their manes. The middle wheel runs counterclockwise. From frozen sands through a hundred leagues of dunes down to the broken spine of stone that marks the parched delta. The aurochs here drag stone sleds. Bone and bark armour clatters on their scarred, fur-less shoulders. The southern wheel is small and flat and bent. It runs clockwise below northern cliffs, down dry riverbeds and up their banks, touching two dozen different kingdoms that cart salt yet further south. The aurochs here are of another lineage. Scarcely larger than cattle, they work in teams to pull wagons and pick fights with hogs and wildcats.

How to make Gold from Salt

If you can get hold of an aurochs it's easy to find goods to trade, and there's always profit to be made turning the wheels. Most of this profit will not stay in your purse though. The Companions have steep protection fees, and setting out without a company's flag to fly is likely to cost your life.

It's possible, too, to turn against the wheel. Work is harder to find but few of the larger companies make trouble for a small caravan carrying messages and parcels on special request.

Travel without an aurochs is difficult, though not impossible in some regions. The western dunes have oases to rest at and to the east, on the slopes of the vast, dead plateaus, there are hardy groves of dates and figs, little herds of scrawny goats. Down south the there is far more food and water. The threats here are hogs and wildcats and bandits, if you've no circle of aurochs to shelter in.

Those roads that a woman may walk, that an aurochs cannot, hold some of the greatest treasures of Salt. The fine sands of the central deserts will swallow a lumber aurochs whole. Adventurers on sand shoes will have better luck pushing out to the ancient temples buried in the dunes. The cracked valleys in the east wind too tight for an aurochs to turn. Their bones can be found at the dead ends of these valleys, left to starve when their masters could not turn them back towards the desert. Here are the burial chambers of a thousand dead queens and princesses, sandstone guardians standing watch over funeral hordes. In the south there are battlefields from centuries past. Over bracken and broken trails that wagons cannot cross you may find the swords and axes of ancient warriors, caked with salt from each fiveyears' flood.

The north holds the richest treasures and the greatest perils. Deep in the ice are artefacts not of this realm. Devices of black stone and ancient magic. Ships that sail on the skies, leaving green wakes to light the snow below. Great snakes of ice, wolves the size of aurochs, ghasts and ghouls with bones of sleet and the ice madness, ever whispering. Here are the gates to Hyperborea.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Pirate Generator

In the tradition of such Dunkey classics as Witch Generator and Vampire Generator, we present to you: Pirate Generator. Generate all the things. In the future there is nothing that will not be generated.

click the fight, get a pirate, fight the pirate

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Dungeon Generator

So you remember that nifty biome generator we made a while ago. Did that again but dungeons. Change the number in the url to change how many rooms your dungeon has. HAVE FUN.

It's got like 2,400 creature combinations, with 120 adjectives and 20 nouns for each thing in the biome. There are about 120 rooms, 20 for for each room type and 20 general ones. And the NPC generation just completely rocks. THIS IS NOT ENOUGH. For version 2 we'll probably crowdsource a million more rooms from y'all.

Version 1.2 will be first though! It'll let you generate biomes and NPCs and items and dungeon maps and all that separately. Start holding your breath yo.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Music as Currency. Music is Currency.

It's a dystopia. It's always a dystopia. They let you do the weirdest things with every day stuff (please start a debate about that in the comments) and that makes them accessible and interesting.

So in this dystopia, as in all dystopias, people are deeply fucking bored. Always. They still remember the internet, or stories of it. Endless information piped from across the globe. The freshest content renewed with every f5. But now it's just smoke and craters for forever, and subsistence farming doesn't make you feel enriched when all your food tastes like shit. But even though dvd players and working tvs are hard to find and electricity hard to produce, mp3 players are everywhere. Every phone, every ipod, every stereo, every car radio with a cable jack or a usb port, it all gets used to endlessly loop the culture of dead civilisations.

But you get bored of hearing the same song over and over and over, especially when that song sucks, so obviously you trade them. With limited access to computers you can rarely copy an mp3, but you can trade one ipod for a stack of cds. All it takes is figuring out about what each song is worth. It turns out that is very hard.

Pop songs are clearly worth the least; they're common and lack depth. But, then, everyone likes them. They're guaranteed currency wherever you go, so that makes them worth more again. Rarer stuff is worth more to a collector, but who has time to collect in dystopia? You might be able to trade Vivaldi and Sigur Ros and the Sesame St theme with one of the Aquifer Queens, but if you're living rough in the badlands, Taylor Swift is better than gold.

And then there are the people that remember the stock market, and banks and mints and all the ways economies should work. So you get the one set of turntables in a thousand mile radius and go into business. Or you start printing banknotes, backed by the basement collection you found: every song, album and ep produced by The Beatles, or anyone that was in The Beatles, on cd, vinyl and live dvd. Or you just start speculating, telling people how many Adam Levine's they can get for a Drop It Like It's Hot remix. I'm not even sure that radio stations have a real-world allegory at this point. They definitely start wars.

Presumably, at some point, someone does just decide that bottlecaps have intrinsic worth. But think of life before that. How much is entertainment worth in a dead world?

Sunday, 29 November 2015

The Unfortunate Occurrence at Thumbroke Manor

I have decided I want to run Gothic horror games using Into the Odd. I think that's a good and normal thing to do.

So here's a game we did several days ago. I ran it and Nico was the only player. It took maybe an hour to write and a bunch more hours to play, which is a good return on investment, especially if any of you guys use it also. I'm good at being characters though so that means I don't need a lot more to a run a game than a couple of strong personalities in a tense relationship. Your skills may lie in other areas! See how it goes.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

The Town That Were Pubs

The Town That Were Pubs is only pubs. There are no streets. There are no houses. There are only pub.

Sailors talk about it in hushed tones.

There are windows. They look out onto a starry night and an endless sea of rooftops. The rooftops all belong to other pubs. Some of the rooftops are pubs in their own right. You can, in the distance, see a moonlit ocean. You cannot reach the moonlit ocean. Feel free to try though. Many a debauched evening has been spent in fruitless quest for the moonlit ocean.

The food is very good. Most pubs have a speciality or two. There is a great deal of rivalry between denizens of neighbouring pubs.

The bar staff all seem like normal people, but you have never heard of anyone you know being hired as one. The don't answer inconvenient questions about how it all works, but they're not dicks about it.

Most good pubs and all bad ones have a secret entrance to the Town That Were Pubs. You can of course only access the secret entrance when you are too drunk to remember where it is. Whenever players carouse they have a one in a thousand chance to wake up in the Town That Were Pubs.

You meet all sorts of interesting people in the Town That Were Pubs. Viking chieftains, Tang Dynasty poets, Nantucket whalers and labourers fresh from cutting stone for the Pyramids. Also wizards and elves and bug-eyed guys from Tatooine cantinas. The Town That Were Pubs respects no boundaries of time and space.

You can leave the Town That Were Pubs the same way you entered it - by getting so drunk you can't remember where the secret exit is. This generally happens if you hang out in the Town That Were Pubs long enough. Say for about an adventure's worth of time, or long enough to have a chat with an interesting stranger and find out a single important piece of information. When you leave you will not necessarily find yourself at the same point in the space-time continuum where you entered the Town That Were Pubs. Your memory of everything that happened within will be clouded by alcohol, and probably seem like a crazy dream.

Some scholars say that there exists an equivalent to the Town That Were Pubs for every different kind of building - that there is a Town That Were Libraries and a Town That Were Slaughterhouses and a Town That Were Post Offices and a Town That Were Public Toilets. Those guys are dicks and you should ignore them.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Pub Names

These are names. Names for pubs. There's no special trick or anything.
Roll once on each of the tables below*, stick your results together. Or click the pretty pictures!

*We got too excited about names, so you're going to have to do 1d6*1d20 to get results

click 4 1 nameclick 4 many name

Friday, 2 October 2015

Random Encounters in the Apalachees

  1. Hogs being driven to market in the South
  2. Abandoned Three Sisters garden w/ undead eels in soil
  3. Minor devil fiddling on a hickory stump
  4. Men of the Ordnung in buggies, looking to buy or steal brides
  5. Backwoods trappers in hot pursuit of the Blue Beast
  6. The Blue Beast smoking a pipe of finest tobacco
  7. Gang of hammer-wielding convicts plotting against a machine
  8. Preacher in an apple orchard that has miraculously sprouted overnight
  9. Itinerant clan of mothmen
  10. Smoke rising from a still, bear-traps hidden in the undergrowth around it
  11. Pair of federal agents looking for gunrunners
  12. Gunrunners masquerading as miners
  13. Coal golem, terrified of being burnt
  14. Herd of shaggy, aggressive unicorns
  15. Men passing a jug of Black Drink around a campfire, taking bets of who'll vomit
  16. Witch's cottage in grove of toxic berries
  17. Minor devil chained in furnace of locomotive
  18. Snake-handling evangelists offering life eternal to anyone who tries it
  19. Inbred kid whose banjo has one string made of gold
  20. Old woman dressed in the skin of fresh-killed hogs

Friday, 25 September 2015

Shark Tabble

Tabbles are very important and also are sharks. Thanks for enjoy.

  1. Fat. Scarred. One side of mouth pulled up in grin.
  2. Lean. Dark. A little too long. Spine not smooth enough; jointed like elbows.
  3. Short. Blunt. All mouth, no tail. Fins stunted.
  4. Striped. Poised. Fins suggest elegant, poisonous fans.
  5. Hunched. Intent. Drags itself through the water like it's crawling.
  6. Vacant. Monolithic. Drifts like a glacier, mouth agape.
  7. Misshapen. Symmetrical. Blunt hammer-heads of flesh along length.
  8. Powerful. Uncaring. Kills of spite not for you, but for your species.
  9. Sharp. Tight. Bent like an arrow. Always watching something else.
  10. Silent. Watchful. Mouth itches its way forwards. Tips of fins spasm.
  11. Curved. Pale. Body washes away from a pointed maw.
  12. Driftwood. Roll again for the description of the driftwood.
These all also work flawlessly for describing people, as well. Just roll on through the bits with fins.

Hopefully I included all the sharketypes.

I really wanted to include this shark chart because I love it.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

d100 Stuffs

This is a big fuck off tabble of normal stuffs that normal people could conceivably have on them and like fiddle with enough for it to be noticeable. You should kill those people and steal the the things and make them part of your schtick because character building.

Click to find out what weird loot this idiot is fiddling with
  1. Bag o' dice
  2. Snuff box
  3. Opera eyeglass dealie
  4. Monocle
  5. Really blunt butterfly knife
  6. Ball-peen hammer on cute utility belt
  7. Necklace puzzle thing from Yu-Gi-Oh
  8. Prayer beads
  9. Pipe
  10. Sketchpad
  11. Bonsai tree in glass bubble
  12. Sea monkeys in glass bubble
  13. Good luck charm
  14. Foreign language dictionary
  15. Nutcracker
  16. Bag o' sunflower seeds
  17. Ruler, protractor, abacus
  18. Palm-sized idol of dead god
  19. Ball-on-a-string
  20. Oracle bones (don't work)
  21. Straw hat
  22. Tricorn hat
  23. Tall hat
  24. Broad hat
  25. Colourful felt hat
  26. Hat w/ bells
  27. Medieval beanie equivalent
  28. Hand-knitted hat
  29. Non-shit fedora
  30. Shit fedora
  31. Pocket-watchy sundial/star map
  32. Broken compass
  33. String of shrunken monkey heads
  34. Clockwork beetle
  35. Playing cards
  36. Erotic playing cards
  37. Poorly-scribed holy book
  38. Beaten-to-shit teddy bear
  39. Knitted scarf
  40. Small flute
  41. Pet rock
  42. Pet dried toad
  43. Kaleidoscope
  44. Locket w/ stranger's hair
  45. Dominoes
  46. Ghost in a jar
  47. Ghost of crab in a jar
  48. Quillpen and ink
  49. Hammer and chisel
  50. Leather notebook etched with picture of unicorn
  51. Magic 8-ball
  52. Walking stick
  53. Really lovely vest
  54. Music box
  55. Hand mirror
  56. Conch shell
  57. Slightly creepy cloth doll
  58. Stuffed canary
  59. Very large, very old coin
  60. Dried mouse heads
  61. Fisherman's cap
  62. Hat w/ buckles
  63. Reversible hat; one side filthy
  64. Toortsog w/ tassels
  65. Skull cap made of actual skull
  66. Bandanna with flowery motif
  67. Greasy newspaper folded into captain's hat
  68. Hat from fertility festival. Wildly inappropriate
  69. Huge powdered wig
  70. Almost-entirely-eaten helmet
  71. Slightly overlarge copper ring
  72. Tin of caviar from by-gone era
  73. Satchel of potpourri
  74. Tiny violin
  75. Holy symbol shaped like torture device
  76. Crab claw
  77. Oyster shells
  78. Seed pearls
  79. Fingernail-sized chunk of fool's gold
  80. Geode
  81. Miniature bagpipes
  82. Very well preserved jerky sausage
  83. Winding key for something clockwork
  84. Scrimshaw
  85. Whittling knife
  86. Quill pen and ink
  87. Vellum
  88. Snowglobe
  89. Thumbscrews
  90. Extra shoelaces
  91. Half a lockpick
  92. Box of watercolours
  93. Pouch of tobacco
  94. Flask with ever-present thimbleful of potent liquor
  95. Hourglass
  96. Caged fairy
  97. Political manifesto
  98. Pamphlet about immigrants
  99. Sealed letter
  100. Potato stamp

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

America Generator

(font size is being fucky in this post. just ignore it I guess)

I have been thinking a lot recently about making a game where you play as colonists in 17th-18th century America, or a fantasy version thereof. This would somehow dovetail with the Comanche thing I wrote about here. Don't know how yet.

What I would ideally like to do is have a sort of dynamic hexcrawl system where the PCs move around the map founding new colonies, watching them grow organically, doing quests to help them along, defending them from the perils of the wilderness and the darkness of the human spirit. The flipside of this would be playing as the natives of the country, hereafter called "Indians", sabotaging the machinery of empire and trying to drive the invaders back into the sea. It would all be a bit like a tabletop version of Civ.

So here is a way of populating a colonial landscape with towns that develop a history over time, characters that interact with one another and a system of quests that naturally spawn and replenish themselves. The big thing it's missing is a way of handling Indians, who need to be exactly as developed in their characterization as the colonists. I'm still trying to figure out how to do that. There's more variety in social organization among the Indians than the colonists - the system below can handle Brazilians or French Canadians with roughly equal fidelity, but I don't have one that does both the Cree and the Maya.

(I'm calling them Indians because literally every source from the era calls them that, using Native Americans would detract way too much from the flavour of the period. What I liked about The Comanche Empire is that it treated Native Americans as basically the same as Europeans, organized differently and in possession of different skills but in many ways doing the same basic shit that Europeans did. I would like this game to capture some of that.)

american colonial history. not pictured: the murdery parts

Sunday, 13 September 2015

New Meat Dungeon: Happy Funtimes Bloodpit


Mmmmmm CAD programs
Okay so I made this thing in SolidWorks. I'm calling it the Blood Pit, because I read a bunch of choose-your-own-adventure books lately and it ruined vastly improved my ability to name things.

The pit is broken into four wedges, which each contain a maze/gauntlet with the same layout. The wedges all funnel down to the centre of the pit, where they join up into a small gladiatorial arena. Looks like this:

The idea, from a metagame perspective, was to come up with a good way to do competitive rpgery. Start each player with a character or two in their own private wedge, then they have to fight through a micro-dungeon in order to get to the middle and kill each other. Obvious warning: this is not a good game type for the wrong kind of nerd. Friendships may should be broken.

ring = crosshairs
riddle = questionmark
labyrinth = spiral
trial = skull and crossbones
The zones in these wedges are, in the order encountered, Ring, Riddle, Labyrinth and Trial. Each wedge has a theme, and each zone has a mechanically consistent but thematically different encounter. Every dead end is a Dead End. Save vs death, you rat.

Every round of combat, guess at a riddle and stumble through the labyrinth should be counted. Give it a wanky name like 'Heartbeats' or something if you're really desperate. Use these to keep track of where people are so that they enter the central ring at the right time.

For my mechanically consistent encounters, I have picked these things what are below:
  • RING - Simple, pretty easy encounter to get everyone warmed up. Takes place in a circular chamber that should be decorated appropriately to your theme.
    • 2 HD, armour as leather, 1d6 attack.
  • RIDDLE - Mid-sized room with some kind of barrier between rimwards entrances and hubwards exit: river of acid, wall of roots, bloated fleshbeast, etc. Answering riddle correctly removes barrier. Every time players guess wrong they take 1d3. Trying to cut through the barrier also earns you 1d3. Either of those last two things cost you time.
    • Answer for all riddles is the same thing. For me it's always death.
  • LABYRINTH - Contents of labyrinth make travel between any intersection take 1 time period thingy. Shape of labyrinth makes any sensible path take 5 units, but anyone not paying attention should lose some valuable time here.
  • TRIAL - One serious fight with an interesting monster. Central part stuck in middle of room with about 6 limbs/extra fighty bits flying through the air around it. Monster should surprise PCs probably. Do some suspenseful trudging though the bigger arena here before you spring it.
    • Body of critter/main critter is 2 HD, armour as chain, 1d6 attack
    • Limbs of critter/extra critters are 1 HD, armour as paper, 1d3-2 attack. 
Here are some example wedges:

Gladiator Automaton
Sphinx – wall of sand:
“What is the surest path to freedom?”
Choking Mist
Fae (Alice in Wonderland duh)
Warty Toad w/ Axe
Big Blue Caterpillar – wall of mushrooms:
“What is life’s greatest reward?”
Clinging Roots
Faeries + Faerie Queen (like giant beeeees)
Death Knight
Wall of Maws:
“What medicine will ease my pain?”
Grasping Arms
Chain Demon
Haunted Samurai Armour
Sage-Looking Fucker in Peace Garden – wall of him/her doing kungfu:
“What marks the start and end of empire?”
Spinning Mu Ren Zhuang
River Kami w/ Angry Lantern Spirits
Hugely Fat Clown w/ Ladder
Ringmaster – wall of clown antics:
“Who gets the last laugh?”
Bouncy Castle
Ghost Pies + Ghost Baker

The central arena can be anything you fucking want it to be
  • a caltrop-carpeted pit feat. on rickety podium ballista
  • a boiling lake, water slowly rising, one 10 foot pole on the island in the middle
  • extra dimensional portal that grants control of devilwasps to anyone standing in it
  • giant set of scales - every person on them releases more mustard gas on the ground below, increases die size of damage dealt in getting to the centre
Just make it something that rewards people getting through the maze quicker!

Whole map from top wow

And if you know anyone with a 3D printer then I can totally give you the file and you can go and print this thing and stick it in the middle of the table that's like half the whole point I mean c'mooon.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Barons of the Kingdom of Calvino

  1. Split in half by cannonball in wars w/ the infidels. Each half leads separate existence. Bad half runs the barony, executes peasants for trifling crimes. Good half hops about doing good deeds and living in the forest. Both are in love with the same person.
  2. Lives in the trees. Swore an oath when twelve years old never again to set foot on the ground. Has kept it. Goes pretty much where they please - barony heavily forested.
  3. Does not exist. An empty suit of armour that maintains itself through sheer willpower. Stickler for rules. Obsessed with counting and organization. If you can prove its title to the barony is in error it will fall apart and disappear.
  4. Obsessed with birds. House is an aviary. Due to an absence of crows in the kingdom, has trained storks, flamingos, parakeets to prey on flesh in their wake.
  5. Is a book detailing the life of a fictitious baron whose decisions always correspond to those which must be made at the exact moment of reading. Turning ahead to predict the future is strictly forbidden by the order of the baroness.
  6. Is a guy's reflection in a mirror. The guy is not the baron; only the reflection is the baron. Mute, because sound cannot travel into or out of the mirror, so must communicate in hand gestures. Writing is backwards, deeply incomprehensible.
  7. Was swallowed by a tiger when very young and cannot get out. Lives quite comfortably inside the tiger, although quarters a tad cramped. Orders can only be heard by pressing one's ear right up against the tiger's belly. Professional tiger tamers constantly on standby, as tiger rampages cause total political paralysis.
  8. Is, by order of the queen, the poorest person in the barony at any one time. Life in barony a feverish race to the bottom. Winners accumulate huge amount of property in single executive order before having it all confiscated by the next guy. That or starve to death.
  9. Wanted for murder in a dozen counties, arranged to be put on trial by himself. Legal proceedings against him cannot legally proceed until the resolution of the current case, which has been going on for fifteen years now. Jurors, barristers, witnesses all barred from leaving courthouse.
  10. Baronship communicable by touch. Current baron lives in a barrel. If they were to move about in public the barony would disintegrate into a massive and bloodthirsty game of tag.
  11. Thinks clouds are people and people are clouds.
  12. Power-sharing arrangement in low-lying country means first baron has authority over everything above sealevel, second baron has authority over everything below. Sea level in most places about waist height. You can kick someone to death and avoid extradition by walking about on stilts.
  13. Believes self to be hideously ugly. Has made illegal mirrors, portraiture, the act of description. Individuals caught using words to represent visual images are disfigured with hot pitch.
  14. You're the new baron! Village archivists just dug up a bunch of old papers that prove your claim conclusively. You have also inherited an ancient feud with the family of the count next door, who have a tradition that you can't come of age until you have wreaked vengeance on an enemy of the bloodline and (it turns out) are resorting to forgery in order to generate more enemies.
  15. Has memorized every square inch of the barony, every stray thought in the heads of its inhabitants. Hasn't left study in years - passes laws based on deterministic model of events that they maintain in their imagination. This worked infallibly up until two weeks ago, when the baron forgot to account for one tiny detail and the whole thing spiralled out of control. Now people are getting executed for crimes they would have committed in an alternative universe where a single sparrow never fell.
  16. Terrified of a monster that changes each time they describe it.
  17. Citizens tell you sorrowfully that the baron has gone mad and believes herself to be a crocodile. They offer a hefty reward for a cure. In fact, the baron is just a crocodile they have put a hat on.
  18. Barony is a vast empty desert. Each grain of sand is subject to the baron, making them ruler of the greatest empire in the history of the world.
  19. Fears assassination and usurpation by their future self. Plots to assassinate and usurp their past self.
  20. Village of a thousand barons and one subject, who has a difficult life as they are the only one expected to grow any food.
First three are from the endlessly gameable Italo Calvino, rest are more or less (in some cases less) my own invention. Use with bandit table to engage in maximum literature.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Hydras: The "I can't keep doing this to myself" Edition

Swear to god y'all better let this die because we will keep making posts if you do and it will kill me and I will haunt the ever-loving shit out of you.

Heads regrow in about a year, if the body isn't slain. Cutting off the first ten heads will cause the last two to sprout. Kill all the heads and you get to go hunt for the golden fleece, probably. Or maybe the hydra just has golden fleece.
  1. Nemean Lion. Face is halfway between Helen of Troy and a wildcat, and not in a sexy way. Golden skin is impervious to arrows. Bites for 1d6.
  2. Lernean Hydra. Head cloaked in chitinous shell. Can spit a spider crab (1 HD, AC as plate, two claws at 1d4 each, grapples your face on a successful hit w/ both) at you 1/day. Bites for 1d6 + poison.
  3. Ceryneian Hind. +20 Dex bonus to AC. Yeah you can't hit this thing unless you trap it first, somehow. Ram 1d4.
  4. Erymanthian Boar. Mouth is framed by jutting tusks. Mottled skin is exposed beneath ragged fur. Cold damage puts it to sleep for 1d4+1 rounds. Gores for 1d8
  5. Augean Stables. Looks exactly like a horse butt. Fires excrement at you for 1d6 damage to your sense of honour. No actual damage, though. Can cast Grease 1/day. We both know that ain't really grease.
  6. Stymphalian birds. Has two bronze beaks, one on either side of face. Plumes of metal feathers sprout from neck like mane. Can fire feathers like arrows as attack action. Is terrified of rattles and will flee from them. Peck 1d4.
  7. Cretan Bull. I mean look it's just a bull head. Always loses initiative. Gore for 1d8.
  8. Mares of Diomedes. Rearing, mad-eyed horse head. All teeth are canines. Can breathe fire for 2d6 damage in a cone, 1/day. Bite 1d6.
  9. Belt of Hippolyta. Strong-featured head of a woman with a golden girdle around her neck. Immune to damage. Remove the girdle, head falls off. Probably definitely a metaphor for something. Hair whip 1d4.
  10. Cattle of Geryon. Cow head dripping thick, meaty cud. Has a crush on the bull head. The upper body of a two-headed dog sprouts from its neck like a tumour. Can vomit forth a swarm of gadflies 1/day. Gore 1d4.
  11. Apples of the Hesperides. Branching, twisting limbs like a tree made of arms. Fat, golden organs hang from the branches. Snake heads tip each limb, a hundred in total, tongues lolling catatonically. Slam 1d6 + poison against everyone in a 10' radius circle.
  12. Cerberus. Three headed dog. Three attacks for 1d4 each, all against the same target.
So easy to Google image search it's actually disgusting
Stats as wolves. Roam around in packs of 1d6+1. When you cut the head off one, each other hydra gets another head. First one just dies though which is super sad </3

Is rumours about the pcs. Must kill with fire. Somehow.

~topical humour~
Any damage not done in an effort to remove a head spawns a head with HD equal to the damage done. Cutting off heads does/does not produce more heads as normal, depending on how much you hate your players.

When you cut off its head, you grow a hydra head. Your new head hates you so, so much, and you can actually hear it thinking mean things about your weight.

Haha but no seriously I don't think this is gameable I'm just out of ideas.

Friday, 28 August 2015

You call THAT a hydra??

Continuing from my brother's post which continues from Goblinpunch. (Arnold stole it from Chris McDowell I think but I'm really not willing to chase it back to Hesiod or whoever)

I see London, I see France


HD 7 AC leather Attacks (see below)
Move 15 Int 3 Mor 7

A corpushydra has only one, mean-eyed head, but a hundred bodies. It lives in cold swamps (a lot of bodies is a lot of excess heat) and slurps up anything even slightly edible with its long, hollow tongue.

Corpushydras attack in two ways: by trampling enemies into pulp, and by using their many hearts to build up pressure in their veins until blood shoots from their eyes with enough force to dent armour. Each of the hydra's bodies occupies a 5-foot square, but will happily share this space with a human-sized creature as part of its trample attack.

When you try to move through a corpushydra's space or it moves through yours, make an opposed strength check. If you fail, you have been knocked prone, and you take trample damage every turn until you pass a strength check and can stand up again. The hydra tramples for 1d6 + 1 for every adjacent square it also occupies (max 1d6+8)

Blood Spray
A corpushydra will use blood spray on anyone attempting to attack it from afar, or any creature that looks like it can win a lot of opposed strength checks. Blood spray is a ranged attack dealing 1d8 damage, reflex save to avoid being blinded by cloying blood.

Petting Zoo Hydra

HD 1-20 AC leather Attacks (1 per head)
Move 12 Int 3 Mor 7

A petting zoo hydra is created whenever some really weird shit happens at the petting zoo, which is pretty rare, frankly.  The heads will regrow in 1 round unless salt or fresh milk is applied to the stump.  It has one head for every HD.

Heads [d20, or just go down the list]
  1. Duckling - Nibble 1d4-1, but with a -2 to hit.
  2. Chick - Peck 1d3-1.  Pecked target must save vs giggling.
  3. Kid - Nubby horn attack 1d4-1.
  4. Rooster - Crows.  Every turn, has a 10% chance of attracting a new random encounter
  5. Goose - Smashes for 1d4.  Ridiculous 20' reach.
  6. Puppy Skull With Glowing Red Eyes - Bites for 1d3.  Can reanimate dead things as friendly zombies, 1/turn.
  7. Mistreated Blue-Tongue - Bites for 1d3 + disease.
  8. Emu - Pecks for 1d4.  Easy to sever: neck only has 1 HP.
  9. Bag of Grain - Can cast cure light wounds at will.
  10. Ibis - Peck 1d3-1.  Save or lose an eye.
  11. Spider Monkey Hand - Attempts to steal your weapon and hit you with it.  Str 12, Dex 16.
  12. Ram - Gores for 1d4 damage.  On a miss, there is a 2-in-6 chance that the horns gets jammed in something, trapping the ram head there for 1 turn.
  13. Sow - Bites for 1d4.  Never forgets.  (Attacks whoever attacks it first, and never changes targets.)
  14. Llama - Bites for 1d6.  If the attack roll is 1-3, it attacks another head instead.  If the other head is having a bad morning, the two heads will start fighting, only stopping when one head is bitten off or starts crying.  (This causes two heads to grow, as normal.)
  15. Sloth - Sleeps until it takes damage, at which point it wakes up and starts biting for 1d3-1.
  16. Mule - Bite 1d4 damage, save or it whinnies upsettingly at you.
  17. Fairy Penguin - Peck 1d3-1, Every 3 turns, breath a cone of frozen air, 1d6, 20' cone.
  18. Teen on Work Experience - Does nothing except scream about baby animals and madness, begs to be sent home, yells at players to bring salt.
  19. Pen - On a hit, traps a player inside.  On subsequent turns, beats "head" against ground, dealing 1d6 damage to occupant automatically.  Made of chickenwire, and the lock can be opened by anyone with greater int than the hydra.
  20. Koi - Doesn't want to fight.  It will just make weird fish noises all fight.  If it is the only head remaining on the body (i.e. it is a koiydra) it will run away.  It's also tamable, if you have patience.
Basically this but even fluffier

Transplanar Hydra

HD 8 AC plate Attacks (1 per head)
Move 12 Int 5 Mor 7

It is unclear whether these things are incredible war-machines or slightly uncomfortable accidents. Each of a transplanar hydras heads is from a different plane of reality. Cutting off a head causes a different head to rotate in from the closest reality, while two fresh heads bud in further planes. Further growth may be prevented by applying an antithetical element to a fresh stump. A transplanar hydra will never grow a head in a plane it has already visited.

Most transplanar hydras begin with at least five heads, in the classic planes of earth, fire, air and water as well as one in the material plane. Possible heads include:
  1. Fire - Burning oil saliva. Bites will set targets alight, and the ground beneath the hydra's head will smolder until put out.
  2. Water - Can breathe a Fog Cloud 1/day. Will try to catch people in its mouth and drown them.
  3. Air - Two swift attacks per turn, at a -2 penalty. Looks like a dumb bird.
  4. Earth - Stone or metal weaponry striking the head will be absorbed on a failed strength check. Absorbing something sword-sized or larger grants the head +1 damage (max +5).
  5. Magnetism - Reverse Gravity 1/day, affecting only metal objects (someone in chainmail or above counts)
  6. Ooze - Engulfs on a successful attack, as per your favourite kind of ooze
  7. Light - Eye contact with the head blinds anyone failing a reflex save. Creatures with darkvision don't get a save.
  8. Bone - Anyone attacking the head in melee combat takes 1d6 damage from bony quills.
  9. Glass - Head reflects all spells towards new, random targets.
  10. Mind - Everybody stands still and thinks through the moves of the coming fight. Replace dex with int, str with cha, con with wis, maybe? Play through the fight otherwise as normal. When the combat is over - hyrda head/players dead/retreated - return everyone to where they were at the start of the fight, except now running away/catatonic.
  11. Confluence - N-th dimensional head exists to the full definition of this plane of existence. Can attack anyone that has ever been, or ever will be, within a normal hydra's reach of anywhere the hydra's body ever has been or will be. Players use this same set of rules for attacking the hydra.
  12. Life - Contact with the head's fluids impregnates the affected surface/person with d100 species of random creatures. Remember that probably about 97% of the world's species are invertebrates; bugs and fish.
  13. Subtext - Position of the head can only be inferred from environmental clues. Head takes 1d10 damage for every uncomfortable, unspoken topic broached between characters.
  14. Luck - Treat every dice roll made near the hydra as though it rolled the maximum value. All attacks are crits, all saves are passed, every improbable plan works for both hydra and players.
  15. Faith - Resembles the head of all gods. Anyone watching it die must save vs crisis of faith 1d6 weeks later. Failure means you need to get a new life goal.
  16. Oscillation - Head is constantly making a noise like a jack-hammer. After two rounds spent within 50' start saving vs deafness. At three rounds take 1d4 damage as your bones start to shake. Fourth round, 1d6 damage. Fifth, 1d8. Etc. Leaving the radius resets this effect.
  17. Math - Head can only be damaged by prime numbers. This should mean that your damage is likely to be better with 2d3 than 1d10??
  18. Narrative - Cannot be reduced below 1hp except by something that makes somebody at the table go, "Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn."
  19. Logic - Will attack anyone perceived as illogical (that's pretty much everyone on the material plane). Will totally ignore anyone that starts sorting things. Will probably allow itself to be sorted.
  20. Hydra - The head is one of these. If you kill all the other heads and this is the only one left, the hydra stops being transplanar are starts just being a hydrada.

Took me like 3 days to get 17, 18 and 19.
Pretty sure the joke's dead by now.