Thursday, August 16, 2018

OSR: Revamping the Time Wizard



This idea was conjured from the ether by the great and powerful Chris Wilson, a man who walked where others feared to tread.  You can find the original here.  Some additions were made by Skerples here.

Anyway, I really shouldn't do this.  Time Travel is an immensely dangerous thing to introduce to any story, opening cavernous plot holes and creating whole new questions in the viewer's minds.  As such, if you are going to use this class, be very, very careful, and be prepared to improvise, as if you give the players a tool, you should expect them to abuse it in every way you expect and several you didn't.

So if you bring up the idea of playing a Time Wizard or tell a player they can play as one, be very careful.  You should be expecting your adventure to fly off the rails by that alone.  Additionally, you should have your ideas about how time travel works, how alterations to the past are made, and etc all worked out by now.  If there is some sort of Celestial governing body that controls the flow or nature of time, this Wizard is very likely to be an eyesore to them.  Or perhaps not, the choice is yours.  I'm operating under the assumption that Time Wizards are allowed to cast spells for the purposes of this post, but if there is say some sort of homicidal deity in charge of Time in this universe, you might want to be careful.

As for the applications of this Wizard sub-class, there are quite a few.  While there is only one spell that could conceivably damage someone by itself, there are quite a few spells related to defense, mobility and there are many spells that could be very dangerous, in the right hand.  Additionally, while Skerples has suggested that every Wizard sub-class have at least one directly damaging spell, I think its fine for the Time Wizard not to have one.  I mean, they can already manipulate Time itself, they don't need to be able to fling fireballs.  And if your players really want to, they they can play a Calcomancer instead.

But as it's been stated in numerous other places, Wizards are stupid.  A normal person, if you asked them if they wanted to travel through time, would probably be struck by all sorts of philosophical questions, or at least the worry that if they did so, they might catastrophically mess things up.  Most Wizards wouldn't let you get past the word travel before saying yes.  Time Travel is the holy grail of Wizarding, or at least, one of the Holy Grails.  The others, are of course, immortality, dimensional travel, resurrection, and some other stuff that is as dangerous as it is potentially world-shattering.

But unlike those other things, which are impossible with magic, Time Travel most certainly is not.

The Time-Master

Power: You can sense when alterations to the Time Stream happen automatically.  You know when history has been altered, time is looping ground-hog's day style, and when Time is stopped, you can still think and perceive events normally, but you cannot move or act.

Drawback: You know the exact time and place of your death.  It may become altered by Time Travel shenanigans, and will change, even if you don't based on the choices you make but you always know the date, no matter what.  For example, if attack a King and get captured, the date you are going to die will come up a lot faster then if you start a turnip farm in the middle of nowhere.  When you generate your character, roll 1d6 to see when this is.  1d6: (1= Within 1d6+2 days; 2= Within a 1d2+1 weeks; 3= Within 1d3 months; 4= within 1d6+1 months; 5= in one year on this day; 6= in 1d6 years).  When this date comes up, you die, no matter what.

Time Wizard starting spells:
1d12
1- Call Previous Self
2- Curse
3- Devil's Own Luck
4- Fling to the Future
5- Flux Shield
6- Mandom
7- Paradox
8- Revert Age
9- Safe Time
10- Stasis
11- Time on my Side
12- To Dust

13- Journey to the Past
14- Time Stop

Call Previous Self
-----------------------------------------------
R: self        T: an empty space    D: [dice] minutes

A version of yourself from any point in the past suddenly arrives to assist you.  They will generally be helpful to you, and behave as you would at that age.  If they die, you must save.  On a failed save, you cause a Temporal Disturbance equivalent to a level 5 Paradox Spell.  After the duration, your previous self disappears back to their own time.

Note: If you use this spell, you are essentially opening yourself up to being summoned into the future by a future version of yourself.  The Wizard does not know this when casting the spell.

Curse
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
R: 10'        T: creature        D: one action

You peer into a creature's future and choose one future you particularly like.  You may then describe that creature's future in [sum] words or less, and three of the words must be "I curse you...".  This future is unavoidable, and will happen soon.  For example, if you say a creature will be driven from their home by their loved ones and devoured by wolves, that will happen soon.  The Referee may alter slight details, times and circumstances, but the spirit of your Curse will come true.  If you Curse someone with death, nothing can kill them until the curse does.  Finally, this does not work on a creature that cannot hear you or does not understand at least one written language. 

Devil's Own Luck
--------------------------------------------------
R: touch    T: creature        D: [dice] minutes

One creature within range becomes inconceivably lucky, as Time itself is protecting them.  The next [dice] attacks against them automatically miss, and they pass their next [dice] saving throws automatically.

Fling to the Future
-----------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: One Creature        D: one action

You fling a creature forward into the future!  They appear to vanish from reality all together only to reappear [dice] rounds later. An affected creature isn't aware of the shift in time; from their perspective everything appears to suddenly shift around. 

Flux Shield
-------------------------------------------------------
R: Touch    T: One Creature        D: Concentration

You surround the target creature with a temporal flux field. The field causes the target to take only half damage from physical attacks. The other half of the damage is flung into the future. When the target has taken [sum] future damage, the spell ends and then all that future damage is taken either all at once, or over time.  If one spellcasting dice was used to cast this spell, it will be distributed across the next hour.  If it was cast using two spellcasting dice, over the next day.  If it was cast with three spellcasting dice, it can be over the next week.  If it was cast with four spellcasting dice, it can be over a target's entire lifetime. Additionally any spells cast on the target take effect [dice] rounds later than normal.

Mandom
--------------------------------------------------------
R: self        T: self            D: one action

You travel [dice] rounds (5 seconds per die) into the past.  Everything resets to how it was back then, and no one but you and other Time Wizards are aware of this travel.

Paradox
--------------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: all around you    D: one action

This spell causes an impossible integer, a feedback loop that cannot be resolved.  The Timeline is thus wrenched apart and immediately puts itself back together.  When it does 1/2[dice] individuals must save.  On a failure, these individuals cease to exist.  On a success, the individuals are instead somewhere else, because of different, altered choices in their lives.  The other half of individuals that must save are chosen randomly chosen by the Referee.  You get to choose at least one person, minimum.

Revert Age
-------------------------------------------------------
R: touch    T: creature or object    D: one action

One object or creature you touch reverts to the state it was in the past.  The target, if it was a living creature, must then also save.  On a failure, they forget everything that happened before that time.  If the spell was cast with 1 spellcasting dice, it can revert them to how they were up to [sum] seconds ago.  If the spell was cast with 2 spellcasting dice, it can be any time up to [sum] days ago.  If the spell was with three spellcasting dice, it can be any time up to [sum] months ago.  If it was cast using four or more spellcasting dice, it can be any time up to [sum] years ago. 

Stasis
--------------------------------------------------------
R: touch    T: creature or oject    D: [sum] minutes

One creature you touch is placed into suspended animation.  Unwilling creatures get a save.  Creatures with more HD than [dice] add the difference to their save.    Creatures with HD 3x greater than [dice] are immune.  While in stasis, the target's bodily functions cease and they grow no older.  This spell only affects creatures up to [sum] HD. If sum is 4 times the target's HD, the duration becomes permanent, and you can set the only condition that will cause the target to reanimate.

Safe Time
---------------------------------------------------------
R: self        T: self            D: one action

The caster vanishes and reappears exactly where they were, except [dice] people of the caster's choice are already dead.

Secret:
This spell transports the caster to a parallel universe almost exactly like their own, except for the fact that [dice] people they wish to see dead are already dead in this universe.  However, the more people the caster wishes dead, the further their spell has to look, and thus the more different this new universe might end up being.  When the Wizard rolls into this universe, there is a 1d10% chance equal to [dice] that one of their companions is different.  If the Wizard rolls that one of their companions are different, roll to see what the change is.

What is wrong with my companion?
1d6
1. Minor difference, such as a facial scar or a goatee.
2. Different gender.
3. Different class.  (Roll randomly.)
4. Inverted stats.  (18s become 3s.)
5. Different race.  (Roll randomly).
6. Actually an evil twin that will reveal themselves only at the worst possible time (basically turning into an NPC at that point, but let the player play them as normal until then, and don't even tell them).  Roll a d4 to see what alternate version they seem to be.

Time on My Side
----------------------------------------------------------
R: 0     T: Self     D: [sum] minutes

When you cast this spell, secretly write down [dice] readied actions in an If->Then format. If the condition occurs to trigger them, a high-speed time copy of you appears and performs the action or actions on the next initiative step. If the triggering event does not occur after [sum] minutes, the spell has no effect.

E.g. You invest 3 dice and write down, "If the Orc Warlord runs, I will 1) run to the door, 2) close the door, 3) cast "prismatic ray" targeting the Orc Warlord". 

To Dust
------------------------------------------------------------
R: Touch    T: One Creature or Object    D: one action

You isolate the target object's existence and shift it through the timestream to the instance of it's most decrepit state. Books rot into mold, wood softens into pulp, lamps burn out, but stone is unaffected. If cast on a creature, the target ages [sum] years and might suffer the maladies of old age.


Journey to the Past
----------------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: touch    D: special

You can leave a marker on one object.  This marks this moment in time and space.  At any time, you and up to [sum] others, (determine when the spell is cast) within range are transported backwards in time to the moment that you tagged. 

Time Stop
-----------------------------------------------------------
R: self        T: self        D: [sum] seconds

Time stops for [sum] seconds.  You must stop Time for up to 5 seconds to take an action, otherwise you can merely use Time Stop to gain +[dice] to AC or a saving throw.  For every 5 seconds Time is stopped, you may take an action. Once [sum] seconds have passed, Time returns to normal.  Everyone but another Time Wizard or a Time-based Monster is unaware of actions that take place while Time is stopped.  For creatures that are like that, they can see and perceive things around them as normal, but they cannot move. However, if another person casts 'Time Stop' as well while Time is already stopped, you will only be able to move for [sum] seconds as per normal, then you will be frozen, as are they.  

Chaos and Corruption, simplified:
When you roll doubles, roll on the Chaos table.  The spell still goes through.  You receive 1d3 Doom Points. 
When you roll triples, roll on the Corruption table.  The spell automatically fails.  You also receive 1d4 Doom Points.
At 10 Doom Points, you invoke the Doom of Fools.
At 20 Doom Points, you invoke the Doom of Kings.
At 30 Doom Points, you invoke the Ultimate Doom.  


Chaos of the Time Wizard:
1d6
1- MD only return to your pool on a 1-2 for 24 hours.
2- Take 1d6 damage.
3- Random mutation for 1d6 Rounds, then Save with a -4 penalty. Permanent if you fail.
4- You lose your Perk for 1d6 Turns.
5- You lose all sense of time for 1d6 Turns. You automatically lose Initiative rolls and are always surprised.
6- You're stuck in a time loop. For the next d6 Rounds, Save or repeat your last action.

Corruption of the Time Wizard:
1d6
1- One random person within 100' ages a number of years equal to your current Doom Points
2- When you go to sleep tonight, time resets and the day repeats itself.  This continues for 1d4 times, with an exploding die.
3- A Lord of Time shows up and tells you that if you're going to mess with the timeline, at least do it competently.  Any rudeness or interruption of his lecture will be met with hideous, instant death.  This applies to both you and anyone else
4- You are teleported to a timeline where there are no humans, and are left to wander a wasteland for 1d8 hours.  Everyone else only experiences you being gone for 1d8 seconds.
5- One random person within 100' de-ages a number of years equal to your current Doom Points.  If this would be enough to reduce them to pre-fetal ages, they disappear and are never seen or heard from again.
6- Time Stops for 1d6 (1= 1 round; 2= 1d3 minutes; 3= 1 hour; 4= 1d6 hours; 5= 1d3 days; 6= 1 year).  No one but other Time Wizards and you experience this.  Everyone else doesn't even notice it.  Afterwards, Time was stopped for more than 1 round, save vs madness.  Also, other Time Wizards are going to be looking for you, to punish you for your indiscretion.

Dooms:
Doom of Fools- A wound appears on your body.  This is a wound you will take in the immediate future.  It will do 1d6 damage. If you do not receive a wound from a source that matches the wound you will have, ex: if you see you will get shot in the arm, you need to get shot in the arm.  If you do not receive a wound like this within 1d6 minutes, you cause a temporal disturbance that acts exactly as if you cast Paradox as a level 1d4 spell.

Doom of Kings- As above, except the wound does 1d8 damage, and Temporal Disturbance caused by not taking such as wound is equivalent to a level 5 Paradox Spell.

Ultimate Doom- As above, except the wound does enough damage to kill you and then some.  The Temporal Disturbance caused by not killing yourself is equivalent to a level 8 Paradox Spell. 

This Doom can be avoided by traveling to another universe and killing another version of yourself to take his place, or by challenging the Lords of Time to a game and winning.    

API: That Which Should Not Be

Part 1 is here
Part 2 is here

First, a note.  Arnold K., a long time ago, made a brilliant suggestion.  Demons, Angels and Spirits are all composed of the same substance, just as a butcher, baker and candlestick maker are all humans, and merely have different jobs.  Similarly, Demon, Angel or Spirit are just vocations or roles, and while they differ in their duties, all three of those creatures are of the same essence.

Secondly, in my works, Demon just means "Bad Outsider".  If a strange being from outside our universe crawls through a hole in reality and starts pinching the heads off of bears, it is a Demon.  Similarly, if it starts blessing children and spouting prophecy, it is an Angel, which just means "Good Outsider".

And with that clarified, on with the show!

Rules for Outsiders:

- They are stronger than you
- They are generally smarter than you
- They fear nothing*

*Unless killed by a magical effect or weapon, their soul is merely expelled from our universe, and they can return at a later time.  They know this, and thus shun magic, magicians, and others like that.  They might allow themselves to be killed with a non-magic tool if faced with a greater danger.  Other Outsiders count as magical.

Rules for the Multiverse:

- Space is big, really, really big
- Earth doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things
- Outsiders generally regard you as beneath their notice, unless you interfere with them
- Only weirdo outsiders want to talk to and communicate with humans


The Cosmic Boonies

Earth, or whatever planetoid your favorite RPG setting takes place on, is a cosmic backwater.  There are millions of dimensions/universes out there, and almost all of them are more interesting then ours.  Humanity and the like is relatively insignificant, equivalent to a bunch of squatting primitives who have never had any contact with the greater universe, and as such, throw spears at helicopters and kill travelers who accidentally wander into their territory.  If you were an Outsider traveling across the universe, Earth wouldn't be on your map, though you might find it being whispered about in some seedy bars as an wild and terrible place, though it wouldn't live up to the rumors.  In essence, Earth is the equivalent of a seedy gas station on an infinite highway, with terrible bathrooms, an unfriendly staff, and they only sell terrible, sandwiches made with third-rate bread.

Similarly, just as Earth itself is all but irrelevant, Humans are little more than slightly advanced animals compared to almost all Outsiders.  Outsiders are creatures made of pure thought, pure liquid consciousness.  They can change their shape at will, as their flesh is a mere suggestion, an extension of their minds.  Humans cast magic, Outsiders are Magic, but with will.  They are simply greater than us, in the same way a Human society possesses infinitely more complexity than the primitive structure of an ant hill.  We are to Outsiders what Ants are to Humans.

But at the same time, while the Earth is full of nonsensical beings and located in an absolutely isolated corner of the cosmos, it is not without its uses.  The very isolation and crudity of its inhabitants can be a great benefit for any Outsider willing to bear with an enormous downgrade to everything.  If you can bear the thought of being contained in a shell of meat while you are here, breathing the same air as millions of other entities do, then Earth can be quite useful.  As such, an Outsider can find Earth very useful.

Roll below to see why this Outsider has come to our Planet.

1d6
1- A victim of magical abduction.  They were summoned here by a bunch of incompetents.  50% they killed the summoners out of irritation, and 50% some of them are still alive, though the summoners are still terrified of the Outsider
2- A criminal element.  They are a criminal on the run.  25% the Outsider equivalent of police show up to apprehend them and try and take them hostage, 75% they escaped.
3- A tourist.  A dopey, sheltered traveler.  Not as dumb as they look.  You'd have to be pretty smart to get this lost.  And they are lost. They will ask you for directions to places you didn't even know existed.
4- A child.  They ran away from home.  Parents will be here soon.
5- A soldier.  A deserter from some incomprehensible army trillions strong.  Others will arrive soon, looking for them.  50% chance they are the soldiers allies, 50% the soldiers enemies, hunting for strays.
6- A madman.  Every day they are here, they have a 20% of suddenly leaving, vanishing into the void, never to be seen or heard from again.

The nature of Linear Time

Outsiders do not merely come from other worlds like ours.  They come from higher realms, and as such, have higher minds then us.  Their consciousness is not limited, constrained to the shackles of meat and blood and bone.  They can float through space as an astral spirit, touching nothing yet seeing all.  This liquid consciousness of theirs means that they know things about our Past, Present and Future.  They can arrive before big events are going to happen, excited to witness them for the first time, and if they talk to someone, they will likely know a lot more about that person then that person is comfortable with, such as the exact date of that person's death, their last sexual partner, and what their first word was.  They will freely disclose such information, and will be surprised when you don't seem thrilled by them knowing the following.

There is a reason they do this, by the way, and it's not just because most of the Outsiders who come to Earth are weirdos. The reason is because to an Outsider, the sharing of information is a way to establish a bond, a sign of trust and friendship between individuals.  The idea that certain pieces of information are not worth sharing or remembering is utterly alien to them.  Additionally, ways that mortals show affection for each other, such as pair-bonding, flirting, and sharing of food are all likely to provoke insincere interest or feigned impassion.  Other things mortals do, such as eating, defecation and sexual intercourse are likely to provoke disgust from an Outsider, unless they're a real sicko.

That which should not Be

However, for as poorly guarded as our planet is, it still has its defenses.  Those who attempt to enter our universe without permission will suffer for it, for as they enter, they tear the very fabric of reality, causing distortions in our universe.  Whenever an Outsider arrives, roll 1d20 below, or have something equally strange and eerie happen.  This effect lasts for as long as the Outsider is here, and diminishes when they leave.

Most Outsiders don't stay long, just long enough to prove their point then leave.  For any Outsider that stays longer then a day or two, just have reality start breaking down in the area around them.  For an idea of what this looks like, see here.
       
Distortions of the Fabric of Reality
1d20

1- Statues, and pictures of people start to weep blood.
2- All food is suddenly swarming with maggots and weevils.  Any liquids that can be drank (water, alcohol, etc) become undrinkable.
3- All water within 1 mile turns to blood.
4- The wind picks up and begins shrieking and howling.  Winds rattle in their panes, loose objects are flung around, kites are yanked out of the hands of children and etc.  Play up how the wind sounds like a scream or a wail.
5- Clouds gather and acidic rain starts to fall.  The acid does no damage, but it burns and irritates the skin and damages buildings, paint and statues.
- The wounds people are about to receive appear on their bodies
6- The lights go out, and all electronics fail or malfunction in spectacular fashion.  Analog devices are fine, but digital and electric devices are destroyed.
7- All radios and phone lines stop working.  Picking them up or listening to them only lets you hear a specific phrase being repeated over and over.  TV and streaming services also stop working, instead playing distorted clips that have surreal hidden messages in them.
8- Mysterious graffiti starts appearing all over the walls, in the margins of papers, and written on people's bodies in pen.
9- People's reflections become distorted and disfigured.  Looking at the altered reflections too hard causes the mirrors displaying them to crack.
10- You suddenly forget the last 1d10 minutes.  For the players, skip ahead to the next room, and pick up as if they had just been playing for the last couple minutes.
11- Time begins to move at an accelerated rate.  This effects only the local area, but the players won't know that.  Living beings age faster, watches begin turning faster, and natural processes accelerate.  A cloth that gets wet from the rain will seem to dry in minutes, and days will take only hours.  This rate also accelerates the longer it is allowed to go on.  First time will move at double speed, then triple, then etc, and etc.  
12- Strange music begins to play from an unknown source.  It can be a relevant song from in-universe or something ethereal and alien sounding, produced on toxic, forbidden instruments.
13- Hallucinations overlay reality, transforming this current location into one formed out of the character's memories.  The characters are suddenly children exploring their grandparent's basement, or they are back in school, hiding from the school bully.  This area is a mish-mash of all the character's memories, so it should be disjointed and odd.
14- If there are any corpses within a mile, they rise from where they have fallen and begin to cavort and dance with each other, engaging in a silent, forbidden dance.  Anyone who attempts to stop them is attacked with deadly force and forced to join the dance.
15- Animals begin to speak, babbling in languages both human and alien.  This doesn't make them more intelligent, just gives them the ability to voice their inane thoughts.
16- All prey animals within the area sense the arrival of a greater predator, and behave accordingly.  Birds stop singing, small animals hide, and you see larger creatures fleeing through the open.  A deer sprints by, you see a brood of rabbits hiding under a fern, horses start kicking on their stalls, etc.  Domesticated dogs and cats start barking and yowling, and if let loose, flee.
17- A delectable, pungent or strange odor fills the air.
18- One door within this location now leads to an alien world, a distant dimension, or an alternate universe.
19- All within range must save or become overpowered with some incredibly strong emotional urge.  This can be fear, happiness, rage or anything in between.  Those who save are unaffected, though they can still feel the Outsider's presence weighing on their minds.
20- The sky suddenly changes, altering to have two suns, or display strange planets or constellations that have never been seen in the sky before.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

API: The Brainstormer and his Cloud Nymphs


"I can see it all, you can't understand, you could never, only I, I feel it, the poetry of the sky, the inverse breath of God breathing dew upon the grass and smiling down a child's flower, it's all so clear.  The vibrations of the atoms in the upper atmosphere, yes of course, and the movement of a butterflies wing in Peru, it all makes sense now!  The inverse mountains of water and dew, the great blue anti-sea, I understand it all!  All before, they were simpletons, they could not understand it.  That is why they failed.  I am the only one who could ever understand it.  Everyone else, they were all Fools!"
- Dr. Jacob Mattella, moments before he renamed himself to the Tornado Tyrant

One thing that no one likes to think about is that certain things are merely inborn.  No matter how hard you work, no matter how much you train, you will never start from the same place as a man who was born with more talent than you.  That's not to say you might not surpass them, but most of the time, the one who starts with a head start uses that head start to go even further ahead, to make the manageable gap insurmountable.  Most of the time, when the Tortoise and the Hare race, the Hare wins, no matter how little we like to acknowledge the fact.

This is a fact that Dr. Jacob Mattella could never grasp.  He was born lucky, blessed with a high IQ, high verbal intelligence, and he wasn't too bad looking.  He was popular in school and big man on campus, as well as Salutatorian of his college class.  And he was blessed in one other way.  Mattella was a Mageling, and had the ability to do magic most people couldn't conceive of.  The first woman who ever broke his heart caught leprosy right after their break-up, and Mattella became good enough at counting cards and manipulating fortune that he regularly walked away with thousands of dollars from playing poker and blackjack from his local Casinos.

But did Mattella count himself as lucky, blessed beyond all reasoning?  No, of course not.  Just as the brain surgeon does not compare himself to to the middle-class insurance salesman but to the real estate mogul, Mattella did not compare himself to the spiritual destitution of most Humans, but to the Mage-Lords and Sorcerer-Kings, the Wizards.  And compared to them, he was but an ant.  So he spent years of his life chasing after ancient texts and tomes, searching out ancient secrets.

Then he found one.  The secret to read the mind of the sky.  The process to be able to do this was arduous and virtually impossible in ancient times.  It involved, firstly, squeezing thousands of eels for their brine, and then capturing a thousand lightning bolts, then distilling, purifying and combining these two ingredients.  This would create the Elixir Anemoi. 

From there he had to drill dozens of holes into his skull, which was difficult but not impossible, especially with the help of anesthetic and some tools borrowed from an orthopedic surgeon.  This was actually the least dangerous part of the process.  Then, all at once, he had syringes filled with the Elixir Anemoi, and all at once, had them inject it into his brain.

At this point, he went completely fucking nuts.

From this moment on, he declared, he was now to be known as The Tornado Tyrant!  He then ascended into the sky and built himself a castle of solid cloud, a floating hurricane-palace kept aloft by his disturbing magical power.

The Tornado Tyrant then set about his goal of proving that not only was he right, but that he was better than any Wizard, and to prove this, he went and attacked Alcyione, the Thunder Wizard.  However, to his surprise, he was utterly and completely crushed.  But rather then kill him, Alcyione found him amusing.  So the Wizard decided to humor him, and said this to him.  "You want to defeat me, eh?  Well, that's fine.  Far be it for me to step on some child's dream.  Thus, let us bind our fates together.  I curse you to meet a man who will be your equal in every respect.  You and this man will fight.  This will be your fate.  So when you meet this man, if you survive the encounter, come find me, and we will see if you have grown enough to defeat me."     

So then the Wizard left, the leaving the Tornado Tyrant to think.  He realized that if this person he was going to meet was going to be his equal, he should be at least as strong as the Tyrant.  So he set about preparing.

The Tyrant Today

The Tornado Tyrant (formerly Dr. Jacob Mattella)
HD 4  AC 13  Bio-Lightning(+3) 1d6/1d6
Mor 12     Saves 9+

Bio-Lightning: The Tornado Tyrant can fire bolts of natural lightning from his hands.  This lightning is not nearly as strong as the stuff produced by clouds.  It does 1d8 damage, with an additional +1 damage for every piece of metal the target is carrying.  Additionally, if the target is wearing something that is insulated against electricity when they are hit, they may save.  On a success, they take no damage.  They also receive a -1 penalty to their save for every piece of metal outside their insulation, or every hole in the insulation.

Innate Spellcasting: The Tornado Tyrant can cast the following spells as a level 6 Magic-User.  He does not roll for Chaos or Corruption.  His dice burn out as normal.
At will: Fog Bank, Chill Breath
5/Day: Freezing Wind, Sense Electricity, Overdrive
3/Day: Acid Rain, Tesla's Retort
1/Day: Divine Retribution

Tactics:
- Find out which of these intruders is the rival
- Challenge him to a one on one fight.  Expect cheating, but wait for him to cheat first.
- If anyone interferes or it looks like you're losing, fry the most dangerous one with lightning and run for it

Mattella himself looks like an older man with light brown skin and a graying beard.  His head is shaved, and he has dozens of syringes stabbed through his skull, each one with an end capped in gold and full of the bubbling Elixir Anemoi.  Lightning arcs between these syringes, surrounding his head with a corona of electricity.  His eyes are wild and full of endless energy, and as he speaks, he gets more and more into it, gesturing and shrieking and making odd non sequitor statements.  He is prone to instability, randomly attacking people, and generally acting like a psychotic crazy person who can control the Weather.  But his Weather Control abilities are restricted to those in his statblock for smaller work.  He can summon clouds and rain down hail, conjure tornados and bring enough rain to cause a flood, but this is big, imprecise magic.  He is not suited for delicate work.
  
The Tyrant has been doing nothing for the last couple years but prepare for the arrival of the Rival, the man he is destined to fight.  He has fortified his hurricane-palace, stock-piling weapons, supplies, and other necessities.  He also been traveling around the world, seeking out rare treasures that could be of use.  Most of these don't prove nearly strong enough for him though, so most of them molder in his back room, so weak they aren't even worth the effort of using.

His hurricane-palace is also full of other things too, food, canned goods, rare animals and creatures, attractive and semi-traumatized people, piles of money and assorted books, and a bunch of other things.  Mattella is insane, after all.  And as a solidified construct generated from his power and mind, the hurricane palace is more proof of this then anything else.  The Palace is solid enough and some parts of it look quite imposing.  Yet other parts of it fracture and diverge into nonsense.  In the words of Patrick Stuart, "They look like they were designed by an architect on drugs, on in a dream.  Everything is there for a reason, it's just that the reason is insane."  But the biggest change the Tornado Tyrant made was finding some decent help.

He did this by creating the Cloud Nymphs.

The Cloud Nymphs

They are intelligent, sapient creatures woven of water vapor and bestowed with the spark of unnatural life.  They are all effortlessly loyal to the Tyrant, and regard him as a Father-figure or Master.  They love him unconditionally, and would never betray him.  However, they are intelligent and plagued with their own neuroses, and they are not flawless.  They overlook things and make mistakes. 

There are between 7 and 12 of the Cloud Nymphs at any given time.  See 'The Cumulus Brothers'.

Base Cloud Nymph
HD 3  AC 13  Atk Varies
Mor 8   Saves 10+

Cloud Shift: The Cloud Nymph can transform from mortal form, where they are solid with flesh made of solidified ice, snow and dust, bleed water and can be hurt by all normal damage, to their cloud form.  In their cloud form, they cannot be hurt by non-magical damage, can fly, and do not take fall damage.  It is a full action to transition between these two forms.  While in cloud form, the Cloud Nymphs cannot affect anything solid.

Cloud Walk: Cloud Nymphs can walk on clouds as if they were solid ground.

All-Weather: Cloud Nymphs are immune to cold damage, suffocation, poison and disease.  They do need to rest, but they only need to drink water.  

Tactics:
- Generally be friendly
- If you're alone, run and get help
- Always try and capture powerful people in case they are Mattella's Rival

Narci Pearl 

"Mother" of the Cloud-Men, The Tornado Tyrant's (Mattela's) "Wife".  She can spray acid.  Is fiercely protective of her "husband", but generally doesn't care for the lives of the other Cloud-Men.  She would die for the Tyrant, but not for them.  She is cold and ruthless, with the exception of when it comes to him.

Statblock Changes:


Acid Spray: Narci can spray acid in a 30' cone.  This does 2d6 damage, save for half, and then does 1d6 damage a round to everyone who took damage from it originally until they take an action to wash it off.  Her acid cannot dissolve glass, plastic, or ceramics. 

The Cumulus Brothers 

There are between 3 and 12 of them.  Roll 1d12 at the start of the adventure to see how many are currently running around.  They generally travel in packs of 2 to 3, so if you roll 10, there are two pairs and two groups of three running around the hurricane-palace or adventure sight.  They all have names like "Joe, Rick, Todd, or Bob, and Cumulus is always their surname. They generally run around causing trouble and asking pointless questions, acting like a bunch of unsupervised children in a candy shop.  Will avoid direct combat, but generally fearless.  If attacked by something that could actually hurt them, they will run away and combine, piling up to form Cumulonimbus, their "big brother".

Statblock Changes:

1 HD each.

Cirrus 

Whispy, flaky.  A coward, and she knows it.  Continually crying.  She is either spying on people for her siblings, or she is sitting alone, weeping over her own lack of courage.

Statblock Changes:

As base.

Strain 

A blocky creature.  His solid form is ice.  Lazy and unmotivated, except to protect his siblings.  If threatened, he'll run, and throw up walls of ice to block your path.  Can combine with Alto to form Nimmar.

Statblock Changes:

Ice Maker: Can conjure walls of ice from thin air.  These walls have 2 HD, cannot be hurt by sharp damage, and take half damage from ranged weapons such as guns.  Some ranged weapons such as bows may have no effect at all, Referee's discretion.

Cecillia 

A talented, lanky swords-woman made of ice and sleet.  Fights with a freezing sword of the same substance.  Cold and mostly emotionless in her demeanor.  Only gets excited when she is fighting someone who can seriously challenge her.  Can combine with Virga to form Streleitza.

Statblock Changes:

Freezing Sword: Her sword does 1d6 damage on a hit, and 1d6 CON damage.  If someone is suffering from any amount of CON damage, they subtract -1 for each time they have taken CON damage from any roll requiring precision, dexterity, or fine, delicate movements.  If the amount of CON damage taken ever equals or exceeds someone's Constitution score, they start shivering uncontrollably and get -10 to do anything.  This CON damage can be restored by spending an equal amount of time to the CON damage taken in a warm place, such as in front of a fire, sharing warmth with another person, or something like that. But until then, the person uses their reduced CON score for everything relating to CON, such as Saving Throws and Con checks.

Virga 

A young warrior woman, who wants to prove herself.  This is stymied by the fact that she is completely incompetent, and has no skill in either violence or magic.  Knows a single attack that pulls water out of the air to form ice, but this does no damage (it's about as dangerous as being hit by a snowball).  Can combine with Cecillia to form Streleitza.

Statblock Changes:

Terrible Swordsman: Virga has a sword that does 1d6 damage.  However, she attacks at -4, and anyone with any training can tell she's a complete amateur, with very little, if any potential.

Snowball: Has a single technique that she can use as a full action.  She calls it 'Dire Winter'.  It conjures a ball of cold. You should have her pose dramatically before using it.  Then she must make an attack.  If it hits someone, they must make a save.  On a failure, they take 1 cold damage.  On a success, it has about as much effect if someone hit you in the face with a snowball.

Alto 

A dutiful servant and helpful person.  She is the big sister to all of the Cloud Nymphs, and almost a  second mother to the Cumulus Brothers.  A good friend, though a bit of stick in the mud.  Cannot break a rule, no matter what.  Can blast water out of her hands and control it to a limited degree.

Statblock Changes:

Water Hose: Can blast a jet of water from her hands.  This does 1d6 damage to anyone it hits and they must save or knock it over.

Slick Floors: As a free action, Alto can cover the floor around her with water.  Anyone running or not paying attention must save or fall over on their face.

The Storm Nymphs

The Storm Nymphs enter the scene are when two or more of the Cloud Nymphs merge together to form a new entity.  The Storm Nymphs that result from this fusion are intelligent and highly powerful, each one possessing abilities based on the component parts that formed it.  When ever a Storm Nymph is formed, it is always at full HP.  Additionally as it is a fusion monster, a Storm Nymph may at any time, as a free action, revert back into its component parts.  The component parts are restored to their autonomous, separate nature and are back at full HP.

Base Storm Nymph
HD 6  AC 16  Atk varies
Mor 11  Saves 7+

Abilities: As base 'Cloud Nymph'.

Tactics:
- Strike fast, strike hard
- Protect your siblings
- Split back into your pieces if you are in danger of dying

Nimmar [Nim-arr]

A fusion of Alto and Strain.  A blocky, androgynous man made of ice and sleet, with hanging dreadlocks of white hair, adorned with ice crystals.  He can create walls of ice and control water.  He usually uses this power to trap people in boxes of ice, then fill the interior with water, drowning them.  But if he needs to fight seriously, he can blast water with the force of a fire hose, powerful enough to blast someone off their feet and peel bark off trees.

Statblock Changes:

Atk: Fist 1d6/1d6 or Cold Cage or Water Coffin

Cold Cage: As a full action, Nimmar can create a cage of ice around a person.  This cage has 4 HD, cannot be hurt by sharp damage and takes half damage from ranged weapons such as guns.  Some ranged weapons such as bows may have no effect at all, Referee's Discretion. If two people are close enough to each other, Cold Cage can surround both of them.  He also uses it to block doors and exits, especially if he is retreating.

Water Coffin: As a full action, Nimmar can create a bubble of water around a person's head.  This does 1d6 STR damage to them for every round it is in place.  If the STR damage taken by this attack ever equals or exceeds a person's STR score, they collapse and start drowning.  STR damage done by this attack is healed as soon as the person can breathe and has vomited up all the water.  Nimmar must be able to see you for this attack to work.  If he cannot see you, the bubbles of water fall apart.

Streleitza [Stre-lie-za]

A fusion of Cecillia and Virga.  A powerful, super-fast warrior woman with lance that if it hits you, freezes your blood and internal fluids.  Your death would be painful, if it wasn't so quick, or you weren't so cold.  Streleitza rarely speaks, but when she does, her voice is liquid and cold, utterly lacking sympathy.  The only thing that brings her joy is a worthy opponent, and so few are actually worth her time.  Most of the time she is only going through the motions.

Statblock Changes:

Atk: Ice Lance(+3) 1d8/1d8

Ice Lance: On a hit, target also must choose.  They can choose to either have a limb covered in ice or take an extra 1d6 cold damage.  Whatever limb affected by the Ice Lance is chosen by the Referee.  A limb covered in ice cannot be used for anything except to as a blunt melee weapon, dealing 1d4 damage.  Additionally, if Streleitza chooses to cover a leg with ice, the person cannot move, as their leg is frozen to the ground.  This ice has 1 HD, cannot be hurt by sharp damage and takes half damage from ranged weapons such as guns.  Some ranged weapons such as bows may have no effect at all, Referee's Discretion.

Winter Warfare: As a full action, Streleitza can fire off a hail of razor-sharp ice crystals in a 30' cone.  This does 2d6 damage, save for half. 

Cumulonimbus 

A fusion of as many of the Cumulus brothers that are left.  Can shoot lightning and is absolutely enormous.  Has a bunch of other abilities.  A smaller version of the Tornado Tyrant.

Statblock Changes:

Atk: Electric Fists 1d6/1d6 + must save or be temporarily stunned as a tiny electrical shock screws up your neural patterns

Variable HD: Cumulonimbus has a number of HD equal to the number of Cumulus Brothers that combined to form him, with a maximum equal to the number rolled at the beginning (see the Cumulus Brothers above) and a minimum of 6.

Innate Spellcasting: Cumulonimbus can cast the following spells as a level 4 Magic-User.  He does not roll for Chaos or Corruption.  His dice burn out as normal.
At will: Fog Bank, Chill Breath
3/Day: Freezing Wind, Shocking Blow, Incapacitating Grip, Overdrive
1/Day: Divine Retribution

Monday, August 13, 2018

OSR: Succubusses and the Dark Powers


Note: The creatures I am about to describe are technically androgynous shapeshifters who take whatever form they want, either for their own reasons or to accomplish a goal.  But I will be using female pronouns and Succubus to refer to them, for convenience. 

A Succubus is like a ghost.  It's not something that should populate a random encounter table.  Every Succubus should be unique and have her own personality and goal(s).  They are not a one-time encounter, they are something to build an adventure around.  A Succubus can have many roles, but I will be focusing on one in particular- the Succubus as manipulator.

Faust was the Exception


The Minion of the Dark Powers know that asking someone to sell their soul to them is a hard sell.  Most god-fearing people will reject the offer, as they should.  The Dark Powers are not known for being a bunch of bloodthirsty cutthroats and back-stabbers for no reason.  So most Demonic contracts and Infernal Pacts involve a fair amount of arm-twisting, strong-arming, and let's say, less than legitimate meanings.  A person will agree to almost anything if you threaten to skin their daughter right in front of them. 

But others dislike this hard-nosed approach to negotiation.  It's bad for business, and ultimately hurts the Dark Powers in the long run, they claim.  These more sensitive souls claim that what is needed in such negotiations is a feminine touch.

Thus, the Succubus comes to earth, clothes herself in flesh, sculpts it into the image of a comely young woman, and sets out to drag some poor fool to Hell.  A Succubus first canvas their mark, spending time spying on the mark, seeking out what he or she likes and dislikes, what his or her habits are, and most importantly, what he or she needs.  Do she need a friend?  Does he need a wife?  Or something else?  Money perhaps, or a rare piece of information?  Regardless of what you need, the Succubus will acquire it for you, or more likely, lie and say she has acquired it, and use that as leverage to manipulate you.  The Succubus will ask you to do something for her.  She will ask you to commit three sins for her.  But she won't call them sins.  She will stroke her fingers across your chest and whisper her request into your ear, making it seem like some deliciously dark sexual roleplay, planting the idea in your mind before suggesting it seriously later.  Or she will say you are the only one who can do this.  She will appeal to your desire to be the hero.  Or she will offer more tangible rewards.  Treasures she does not have, but will claim she does.  Succubusses are born liars, and they know how to manipulate a mark.  Succubusses that can't are usually dead by now, or chained up in the basement of some temple, being interrogated for information on the Dark Powers.  They will say whatever they think will spur you to action.  They seduce, but not just with their flesh, there whole image, personality, every word they say is carefully chosen to steer you toward her goal. 

For the sins she asks of you, they will be similarly targeted, based on whatever your weakness is.  She will ask you to steal for her if you are greedy, or if you are self-righteous, kill three "Criminals" who escaped justice.  Each of the sins she will ask you to commit will be phrased in a pleasing way, wrapped in enough flowery language to excuse the villainy inherent in it.  Then if you do it, she will praise you vigorously, before asking you to do just one more thing for her.  Each of these sins will also be of escalating nature, each one a further test of your morals, each one another step on the road to Hell.  If you do all three as she commands, the Succubus gains ownership of your soul, and you must obey her, or she can rip your soul out of your body and leave your body and spirit helpless. 

And that is what she wants.  A Succubus tempts those who are in danger of falling into sin, in the hopes of gaining their soul.  And once she has your soul, she is unlikely to ever let it go, and will keep it with her until she has it taken from her (an unlikely prospect), or she is tricked out of it (even less likely).

This is the core of a Succubus adventure.  A Succubus has taken the guise of a normal person and is attempting to cause one person to fall through her manipulations, so that she may possess that person's soul.  This person need not be important, it can be anything from a virtuous farm boy to the King of a small nation and anyone in between, the important thing is that they must be in danger of falling.

Succubus Adventure Plot Hooks
1d4

1- A stranger shows up.  A certain important person has a secret that is in danger of being revealed.  If this secret were to be revealed, it would be ruinous for that person and probably a lot others.  The stranger will pay you handsomely to recover the information before it is revealed.  Discretion is required for this mission, as is deniability.  However, unbeknownst to anyone, the person who orchestrated the theft or "loss" of this information was a Succubus, and is planning on using this as leverage to get the important person to do as she wishes.
2- A Succubus creates a scenario in which her mark must commit a sin in order to succeed, ie he must kill a child or something to win.  For example, they are challenged to fight a duel with a powerful opponent, but the opponent has a hostage.  Every time they are in danger of winning, the opponent's minions threaten the hostage.  The only way to succeed- in theory- is to allow the hostage to die.  Then she will come to the mark disguised as either an Angel, Paladin or Saint and give them a "holy" quest so that they can be cleansed of their sin.  However, this holy quest will only lead to more sins, until the mark hopefully falls.            
3- A Succubus comes to a Player Character and offers them something they need.  An antidote to a deadly poison, a cure for a fatal disease, a way to break a curse.  If she cannot offer that, she will offer them something they might want, such as a fabulous treasure, a shot at eternal life, a Wish.  All she needs is a little help, and she will help them acquire this.  Her reasoning with seem sound, and she will seem to be legitimate.  But in the process of helping her, she will ask for more and more wicked things, until the mark hopefully falls.
4- The Player Characters were dispatched or are seeking out a rare treasure or power.  An anointed warrior, Priest, or holy maiden guards the way to it, and tells the Player Characters that they cannot pass and retrieve this power unless they prove themselves worthy.  But unbeknownst to all, a Succubus desires the power, and is manipulating the power's guardian, in the hopes that the guardian will fall and thus loose their holy power, and be easy prey for the Succubus, as well as be unable to stop the Succubus from claiming the treasure.  What will the Player Characters do?  Stop the Succubus and try and retrieve the power or use the chaos to claim it for themselves?  Either way, this adventure should end with chase between a group of Paladins, the Succubus and the Player Characters all trying to grab the treasure before the others can.

The Fiend Herself

Succubus
HD 3  AC 14  Atk Poison Kiss (see below)
Mor 6  Saves 7+

Poison Kiss: The Succubus can kiss you, forcing you to save.  On a failure, take 1d10 damage.  If you have commited any sins you haven't repented of, or done at least one of sins the Succubus asked you to, you automatically fail your saving throw.  You also take an additional +1d10 damage for each serious sin you've committed.  On a successful save, you take no damage, and the Succubus burns her lips on your holy person.

Shapeshifter: The Succubus can shapeshift into anything she desires.  Her stats do not change no matter her form. 

Invisibility: As a full action, the Succubus can turn invisible.  This gives her +4 to AC and +4 to hit. 

Flyer: The Succubus can use her 'Shapeshifter' ability to grow wings and fly.  If she has her wings already out, she gets +4 to initiative.

Tactics:
- Never stand and fight
- Live to fight another day
- Say anything to live

Succubusses never do their own fighting.  They are businesswomen and bargain-hunters, they do not stand and fight.  They will say and do anything to live.  They will fight if they absolutely must, but they hate unnecessary violence, especially if it threatens them.  So if a Succubus needs something stolen, someone spied on, or a mark manipulated, she'll do it yourself.  But if she needs someone's kneecaps broken, someone killed, or something else crude or violent done, she'll call her Knights.

A Succubus' Knights are her servants, slaves and previous successful marks, now forced to serve her for all eternity.  They follow her around, doing whatever she says, and doing her dirty work.  But while many of her Knights might despise her, they are bound to her by the fact that she owns their souls, and can take back possession of their soul whenever she chooses.  However, while this forces them to be obedient, it also provides a secondary bonus.  Unless the Succubus herself is killed or she is forced to give up her souls, she can create new bodies for her knights and resurrect them if they are killed.  However, this process takes time, up to eight hours, a powerful Wizard, and up 1,000 gold.  All these are things a Succubus could easily acquire, given enough time, but not something that could be found in the middle of a high-stakes mission.

To generate a group of a Succubus Knights, roll twice below, or until you get a number larger than 25.

The Succubus' Knights
1d20

1- A Blackguard/Anti-Paladin.  A Knight with a complicated, tragic past.  Maybe he originally served the Dark Powers, or perhaps he was tricked into falling from grace.  Either way, a sad story, one that resulted in a broken man.  A level 1d4+1 Fighter, with a magic sword and armor. 75% chance of being human, 25% of another race under his helm.
2- A Troll.  Most Trolls possess a form of pseudo-immortality.  This one is now totally immortal, and thus, fears nothing. 
3- A fallen Priest.  Once he attended the Gods.  Now he bows at an altar of blood-stained Iron, a pawn of the Laughing Gods of the Pit.  Regardless of his opinion of the Succubus, he hates himself.  Has divine powers that allow him to cause wounds to worsen, infect people with diseases, and cast Tasha's Hideous Laughter.   
4- Another Succubus, who lost a game of chance against the former.  As a normal Succubus.  Will likely pretend to be a hostage, much to the consternation of the other Knights.
5- A Mutated Freak.  He was despised for his deformity, and cast out.  The Succubus offered to help him.  Three favors later, half the people in his village were dead and he was a wanted criminal.  He might regret his action.  Stats as an Ogre, but with a disturbing, alien intelligence.   
6- A penitent Serial Killer.  He killed before, mostly young women and children.  Now he kills more challenging game, but he hasn't lost his original taste.  He always feels bad after he kills someone, and memorizes the names of all who he has killed.  A level 5 Thief with a backstab ability.  Charming and friendly, when he wants to be.
7- A Gentle Beast.  Considers an eternity of service a mere droplet of water in the vast ocean of eternity.  Regards the other Knights as quaint, yet inconsequential little things.  Tells you how little you matter in the grand scheme of things.  To it, mortal life is barely worth acknowledging.
8- A Wizard.  Currently in way over his head.  He has no idea how much trouble he's actually in.     
9- A virtuous farm boy.  A young man desperate to get out of here.  He obeys the Succubus, but with obvious reluctance.  Fights with a quarterstaff.  Actually a genius at fighting, and could easily fight three trained swordsmen and win. 
10- An Old Monk.  Looks like an ordinary old man.  Actually seeking the secrets of transcendence, and was side-tracked.  Either that, or this was part of his plan all along.  Full of folksy wisdom and pretends to be going senile.  Actually incredibly sharp.  A level 7 Boxer, and capable of anything an old man could do in a kung-fu movie.  
11- An Intelligent Undead.  The Succubus attacked the Undead where it was most vulnerable, his soul.  Terrified the Succubus will somehow end his newly gained immortality.  Immune to pain and fear. 
12- A Ghoul.  A well-spoken, portly monster known for his dry-wit and excellent conversation.  His touch causes death, sapping your life force and causing your flesh to cool where he touches you. Extended contact with him causes you to fall into a deep, dreamless sleep that you'll never wake from.  Then you'll die, and he'll eat you.   
13- A Chimera.  Chimera are about as smart as fifth grader, though not capable of speech, but while the possess at least the potential to be quite intelligent, they are not very bright.  This one got talked into selling its soul for the corpse of a golden stag.  Roll three times for the perspective of the heads.  Regardless of what you roll, the heads all disagree with each other, constantly growling, bleating and arguing amongst itself. 
14- A Bard.  Roll 1d4 to determine what this Bard is: [1= Evil, here to have some fun; 2= An imperfect Victim= He couldn't say no when a beautiful woman asked him for something, and now he is paying for it; 3= Too insane to realize the situation he is in; 4= Grateful to the Succubus, because he finally got away from that horned weirdo with the fiddle made of gold].  Either way, a level 1d3 Wizard and 1d3 Thief.
15- A Magic Sword.  The Sword's wielder is a middling Fighter who got tricked into giving the Succubus his soul.  The sword is named True Man's World and is an intelligent magic sword.  Anyone who wields must save every day they carry it or they develops a ridiculous sense of honor, in the sense that they refuse to do anything dishonorable.  True Man's World has the power of once per day, a target creature must save or be forced to fight you fairly 1 v. 1.  This magic sword can be strengthened by fighting and defeating three knights who are at least as strong as you.
16- A possessed Construct.  He was dead and wanted a new lease on life.  She was willing to give it to him, for a small fee.  Then that small fee grew and grew and grew some more, until suddenly he was a suit of invincible armor with a living soul bound up in it.  He doesn't get tired, feel pain or temperature, doesn't sleep, and doesn't need to eat or drink.  He's totally alone, with a burden no one can understand.
17- A Vampire.  Is currently planning on waiting till his soul withers into nothing, then turning on the Succubus.  Until then he's taking every chance he gets to go wild.     
18- A Giant.  A servile member of one of the lower castes of Giant. 
19- An Adolescent Dragon.  This seemed like such a good idea at the time.  But now the Dragon is starting to realize the Succubus is never going to let him go.  The Dragon has mixed feelings about this, but even if it loves her, it is definitely plotting to escape.
20- A Saint.  Sacrificed himself so that the Succubus could not take another's soul.  Infuriatingly noble, and annointed by someone powerful.  Magic that would not benefit him rolls off his back like water off a duck's feather.  Superhumanly strong and fast.  Has been ordered multiple times to do something morally unpleasant, but circumstances always intervened to protect him.  Some higher power is watching out for him, and the Succubus is growing more and more worried that she's going to get struck by lightning.  She's right to be concerned.  
        
How does this Knight in particular feel about the Succubus?
1d6

1- He hates her.
2- He loves her.
3- He is grateful to her for freeing him from the restraint of morality.
4- He is ambivalent toward her, but terrified of leaving her, because then he would no longer be immortal.
5- He serves her out of loyalty, as he is also a Minion of the Dark Powers.
6- He doesn't really have an opinion on her.  It's just a job to him.


Saturday, August 11, 2018

OSR: Plundering the Epic Level Handbook

So I got the Epic Level Handbook as a gift from someone very dear to me.  It was interesting, but not really worth the money, in my opinion, since most of my campaigns are shorter affairs, and no group under my tutelage has have never reached the golden heights of level 20.  But I've never been one to turn down a gift.  But rather then let it molder on my shelf, I decided to tear it apart and work through it to see what I could adapt for the OSR.  So let's get started, and what better place to start then the beginning!


Chapter 1: Useless.  Full of feats (I don't use them), skills (ditto) and notes on making prestige classes.  Perhaps interesting if you care about 3.5, but I don't see anything of use here.


Chapter 2: Spells.  Most of these are either too complicated, with pages and pages of spell description, or just thirteen different variation of bright light that kills people.  Still, they weren't all bad.  Here a few I thought were interesting, remixed by me and adapted, for your convenience, into the GLOG style.

Crown of Vermin
-------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: creature        D: special

One target creature within range becomes surrounded by a swarm of biting flies, beetles and locusts.  To anyone but them within 10', the swarm of insects deals 1d6 damage a round, save for half, with a minimum of 1 damage dealt.  The spell remains active until [sum] damage has been dealt.  Then the remaining insects fly away.

Helleportation
---------------------------------------------------
R: touch    T: creature        D: [dice] rounds

One creature you touch is sent to Hell.  The target creature takes [dice] damage and then returns once the duration is over.  If this spell causes them to take more than 3 damage but doesn't kill them, they return with a new scar and a packet of paperwork stapled to their chest.  If it causes them to take more than five damage but doesn't kill them, they return missing a limb and their nose pierced, with a vistor's pass dangling off their new nose ring.  If the damage caused by the spell is enough to kill them, when the duration is over the only thing that returns is a flensed skull with a strange mark engraved upon it.  Each time also has an independent 1d10% equal to [dice] that something unsavory follows them back.   

Summon Winter
---------------------------------------------------------
R: 1000'    T: creature or object    D: [dice] hours

You summon winter.  One creature or object within range suddenly starts to emanate immense cold that can be felt up to 1000*[dice]', sucking in all the heat nearby.  All unprotected creatures take 1d6 cold damage an hour as long as they do not take shelter.  Water in the air is frozen by the immense cold, and a blizzard develops in the range that the cold can be felt, assuming you are outdoors.  Additionally, if anyone freezes to death because of this, [dice] of them rise from the grave as unbound Undead, who will lurch around and hunt down the living, to devour them and drink their hot blood.

Dragon Strike
----------------------------------------------------------
R: 100'        T: a clear space big enough    D: [dice] hours

Summons an adult Dragon for the duration.  After the duration, it vanishes into thin air.  Other creatures should react appropriately as if a Dragon appeared in their midst. The Dragon is intelligent and friendly to the caster.  For payment, the Dragon wil perform any task it does not find demeaning or unworthy of its talents.  For example, chasing off a squad of Orcs is likely beneath the Dragon's notice, but obliterating an entire company of knights sent to kill the characters is certainly a worth while task, though it is likely to cost the caster a king's ransom.  The Dragon will want to be paid, and will leave a location where you can leave the payment.  For payment, the Dragon will want something to add to its hoards.  For example, if it hoards books, some rare tomes.  If it hoards weapons, your magic swords might be sufficient.  If the Dragon is not paid, this spell will not work for you again until it is.
     
Kinetic Control
----------------------------------------------------------
R: self        T: self            D: [dice] rounds

For the next [dice] rounds, when you are hit by a blow, you instead take no damage from the kinetic energy of the blow, though any additional effects (poison, fire, cold, etc) still damage you as normal.  Then, that energy absorbed into your body, you may make a melee attack.  On a hit, the target takes [sum] damage, where [sum] is the total of all the kinetic energy damage you would have taken from those hits.  Ex: if you got hit by two attack each that would have dealt 1d6 damage, [sum] equals 2d6.

Release me
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R: self        T: all creature touching you    D: one action

All creatures currently touching you take [sum] damage, equally divided among all those touching you.  Any creatures killed by this spell explode into gibblets and red mist.  None of the blood or viscera ever gets on you.    

Mass Frog
-----------------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: [dice] creatures        D: varies

[dice] creatures within range must save.  On a failure, they transform into Frogs.  The Frogs maintain their personalities, motivations and habits, but suffer from a much reduced intellect.  They gain the physical stats of a normal Frog and cannot do anything a Frog could not do.  Creatures with more HD than [dice] add the difference to their save.  Creatures with HD 3x greater than [dice] are immune.  

Mummy Dust
---------------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: [dice] magical objects    D: one action

[dice] magical objects disintegrate into dust.  This is Mummy Dust.  Pouring it over a freshly deceased corpse allows the spirit it originally hosted to return and reanimate the body, which then rises as a Mummy.  The Mummy has the same HP/HD it had while alive, and doesn't necessarily obey you.  It also maintains its personality, motivations and habits from when it was alive.  Other then that, the Mummy is a traditional Undead in every other respect. 

Nailed to the Sky
---------------------------------------------------------
R: touch    T: one creature        D: [dice] rounds

One creature you touch is blasted into low orbit around whatever planetoid you are currently inhabiting, flying around at the borders of the thermosphere (right below satellites might be).  This causes them to take 1d6 suffocation damage and 1d6 cold damage a round for the duration.  Once the spell is done, they are safely transported back to Earth, or more likely, their body is.  This is unlikely to hurt creatures used to high altitudes and/or low temperatures, so Yetis and Dragons are likely to be virtually unaffected.  Other creatures might also have some kind of resistance, Referee's Discretion.  Additionally, you must be under an open sky to cast this.  Otherwise it merely pins the creature to the ceiling.     

Rain of Fire
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
R: 100'        T: a circle 10*[dice] in diameter    D: [dice] minutes

Creates a cloud within range, around 100' in the air.  This cloud, once created, begins raining drops of fire down on an area 10*[dice]' in diameter.  Everything in the area takes 1d6 damage a round, and becomes lit on fire.  Any flammable materials in the area will be caught on fire, and fire will spread normally from there.  The fire itself is non-magical.

Raise Island
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R: 100'        T: a body of water    D: [dice] hours

Raises an island out of a body of water.  This island will be [dice]*100 feet across.  Casting at level 1 will give you a sand bar covered in flopping fish, casting this with two spellcasting dice will get you a crag of rock, and three or more will give you a rocky atoll.  If you cast this spell using four or more spellcasting dice, you will have a proper island.  Additionally, if you cast this spell using four more spellcasting dice, the duration can be as long as you want, or tied to a specific trigger, such as "If anyone steals my treasure, this island will return to beneath the waves".    

Safe Time
---------------------------------------------------------
R: self        T: self            D: one action

The caster vanishes and reappears exactly where they were, except [dice] people of the caster's choice are dead.

Secret:
This spell transports the caster to a parallel universe almost exactly like their own, except for the fact that [dice] people they wish to see dead are already dead in this universe.  However, the more people the caster wishes dead, the further their spell has to look, and thus the more different this new universe might end up being.  When the Wizard rolls into this universe, there is a 1d10% chance equal to [dice] that one of their companions is different.  If the Wizard rolls that one of their companions are different, roll to see what the change is.

What is wrong with my companion?
1d6
1. Minor difference, such as a facial scar or a goatee.
2. Different gender.
3. Different class.  (Roll randomly.)
4. Inverted stats.  (18s become 3s.)
5. Different race.  (Roll randomly).
6. Actually an evil twin that will reveal themselves only at the worst possible time (basically turning into an NPC at that point, but let the player play them as normal until then, and don't even tell them).  Roll a d4 to see what alternate version they seem to be.

Verdigris
-------------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: a line [dice]*10' long    D: one action

Creates a wall of plant life that bursts from the ground in a line 10*[dice]' long.  This plant life is thick and impossibly dense, and has [sum] HP.  It is too wet to burn, so only fire spell of second level or higher can damage it.  It must be hacked through with melee attacks to penetrate its defenses.  Additionally, anyone hit by it takes [dice] damage.  Smaller buildings are also hurt by this as well, taking the same amount of damage.  Casting this at first or second level is strong enough to destroy a hut, thatch-roofed cottage or a yurt.  If this spell is cast with three or more dice and the line extends through the wall of a stone building or a wall, it can damage those structures as well. 




Chapter 3: The Epic Adventure: Yeah, this part is not all that interesting.  This is mostly tips on managing the exploits of high-level campaigns.  I've never had a campaign that ever reached this level, the highest any of my player groups ever got was to level 10, but some of these tips might be useful.  I wouldn't know.  However, there is one useful thing of note: a group of epic plot seeds/adventure hooks.  Here are the ones I found interesting.

Random Epic Campaign Hooks:
1d10

1- The players accidentally or purposefully mess up a much beloved prophecy (such as the up-coming return of a benevolent Deity) and all the followers of that religion turn against them.  Can the players fix their mess, and how will the world change as a result of this catastrophic change?
2- A bunch of Wizards, magical people or others of similar stature break away from their home kingdom, literally.  A chunk of earth several hundred miles acres in size tears itself out of the Earth and starts to float up into the Heavens.  Go find and stop them, as well as try and rescue the many non-magical people unwitting dragged along on this adventure
3- An evil Wizard has perfected dimensional or time travel and has gone in pursuit of the Elf Lords or the True Elves.  Chase them across time and space, and do not allow the Wizard to succeed.  If they find the Elder Elves, who knows what kind of damage they could do. 
4- A player character is attacked and either has their heart stolen or is injected with some kind of slow-acting poison.  They must track down the people responsible and find an antidote before they die an unavoidable death.  (This might not work if the players have a method of cheating death).    
5- An artifact capable of controlling dragons is discovered.  Words spreads across the world, and soon people start flocking to its locations, in the hopes of seizing it for themselves.
6- A plague is spreading the minds of Wizards, and anyone infected gradually goes insane, then is enslaved to some kind of magical, otherworldly intelligence with an unknown agenda
7- A powerful Wizarding college enters an all-out war with a large religious organization, instigating an armed conflict that rapidly spirals out of control and threatens to consume everything.  If the situation is not somehow stopped, it could consume the whole nation, and maybe even the world.
8- No new babies are being born, and resurrection spells stop working.  See Dan's ideas on the subject here.
9- The Pope or Head of a Good(ish) religious organization renounces her deity and her faith.  Find out why.
10- The populace of a small community, nation or underclass in an Empire decide that one of the more famous PCs would be a much better ruler, and ask that PC if they will accept the throne and become their King.  This will not go over well with the current ruler of these people.




Chapter 4: Epic Magic Items: a note to you, gentle viewer.  While I did steal the names, I mostly wrote out the effects of these items myself, as the ones in the book were not in any way suitable for the OSR.  By the fourth time I read the phrase, "In the hands of anyone but [insert class] this weapon functions as a +X [insert adjective related to sharp] [insert type of sword]" I gave up and skimmed the rest of the chapter, looking for useful tidbits and excising everything else.

Some magical weapons
1d4

1- Gripsoul: Anyone killed by this sword has their soul imprisoned in the gem in the pommel of the sword.  The sword's wielder can communicate with the souls trapped within, those since the sword's wielder killed them, they are unlikely to be very helpful.
2- Holy Devastator: A sword that 1/Day can emit natural sunlight for up to 10 minutes.  This damages the Undead, Vampires and Ghosts, as well as putting other creatures such as Slimes and Oozes to flight.
3- Unholy Despoiler: A cursed sword that leaves wounds that never heal, and even if the wound itself is survivable, even the smallest wounds will quickly become infected and kill the person wounded.  This is an unavoidable fate unless the one wounded kneels before the sword's wielder and agrees to do some task for them.  The wielder of the sword knows this, but no one else does.  Any contracts made between the sword's wielder and the one wounded are magically binding, though only to the letter of the agreement.
4- Everwhirling chain: A spiked chain that is constantly moving, like a rattle-snakes' rattle in its wielders hands.  Can attack or defend on its own, but must obey the orders of its wielder.  The chain has the reach property and can entangle other's weapons and shields. If you attempt to retreat from combat with the chain's wielder, they get a free attack against you, assuming you are still within range.   

Random Ring Table
1d6

1- Ring of Ineffable Evil: 1/Day, the wearer of this ring can drain HP from anyone they touch, healing themselves up to their maximum and gaining temporary Hit Points up to double their maximum HP.  These temporary Hit Points, if not wiped away by absorbing damage, fade in eight hours or when the wearer next rests.  Anyone who has HP drained from them will feel weakened, but not dead, unless you take all of their HP, in which case they die, with no save permitted.
If a Good person tries to wear this ring, they will feel a constant desire to use their newly-gained ability to exploit people, and if the opportunity to do evil and possibly get away it comes up, they must save or be temporarily overcome with their darker side.  Referee's discretion on what counts as Good.  

2- Ring of Virtuous Good: 1/Day, the wearer of this ring can push themselves beyond mortal limits, and make one attack against any target they desire, as long as they could conceivably hit that target.  For the to-hit roll, the wearer adds their level to the roll, along with any usual modifiers.  Then, if they hit, the attack does maximum damage (ex: for an attack that does 1d6 damage it does 6), and counts as magic.  It also does double damage to any creature who is either evil or a Minion of the Dark Powers.  
If an evil person tries to wear this ring, they feel their conscious tugging on them every time they try and commit any evil action, and if they commit the evil act anyway, they must save or be overcome with shame and regret, even if they are hardened killer or remorseless monster.  Referee's discretion on what counts as evil.  

3- Ring of Admant Law: 1/Day, the wearer of this ring can make one magical effect or spell cast in their presence to cease to exist.  This is a free action, and can be done at any time as a reaction to one of these effects.  Any spell or effect nullified by this ring simply ceases to exist, and does nothing.
If a Servant of Chaos tries to wear this ring, it will instead lock itself onto their finger and paralyze the hand, preventing them from using it.  Only an Agent of (the) Law can remove the ring.  The only other way for a Servant of Chaos to remove the ring is to chop off their finger.   

4- Ring of Chaotic Fury: 1/Day, the wearer of this ring can make one spell cast in their presence a level 1d8 spell, forcing the spellcaster to roll that many spellcasting dice, even if they do not have that many normally.  The caster is still subject to chaos and corruption as normal.  Additionally, any Doom Points, if any accumulated by this spell are the max amount for that kind of magical mishap.
If an Agent of (the) Law tries to wear this ring, it will instead forbid them access to its abilities and burn them for 1d6 damage.

5- Ring of Peaceful Succor: The wearer of this ring, as a full action, can teleports themselves and up to 10*[your level] people to a hidden corner of the universe where they can rest in near-perfect safety.  There are sufficient resources there for those teleported there to survive 100 days, divided by the number of people brought there.  The ring can then teleport you back, though it cannot allow you to teleport to any place that might be dangerous, and if ordered to do so will not obey, and instead teleport you to the stronghold of a friendly NPC, your childhood home (assuming it wasn't destroyed), or to the wearer's kinsmen (assuming they do not hate the wearer for some reason). 

6- Ring of Temporary Invincibility: The wearer of this ring has their HP immediately rise to 1000.  They can never gain HP for any reason.  For every year they do not wish to age, they can take 1 damage, and do not age.  If they ever fail a save and do not wish to fail it, they can instead take 50 damage and act as if they succeeded.  If they ever lose a limb or suffer some sort of catastrophic mutilation, they can take 100 damage and immediately regrow the limb or regenerate their body totally.  If they do not wish to eat for a day, they can instead take 1 damage and act as if they did.  If the wearer ever takes the ring off, they return to their normal HP and whatever health they were at before they put on the ring.                     

A Legendary Book:
1d3

1- Yagarax's Tome: A spellbook containing all the arcane secrets you can think of, and a few more you haven't.  Anyone who reads it can learn 1d10+1 new spells.  However, for each new spell they learn, they take 1d6 Wisdom damage.  If this Wisdom damage ever equals or exceeds their Wisdom score, they gain an insanity.  A few possible ones could be: "I am the Greatest Wizard the World has ever seen.  All should fear and revere me," or perhaps "I now release the awesome power of magic, and will not face any Wizard greater than I."          

2- Libram of Ineffable Damnation: A book of wicked deeds, vile acts, and horrible history.  Part novella, part historical work, part instruction manual.  When reading this book, the reader may ask 1d6 questions relating to wickedness, acquisition of power, or some other sinister aim such as "How do I marry the princess?"  Or "How do I become King of this kingdom?"  Or "How do I sell my soul and not end up getting screwed over by the person I sell it too?"  The book will provide the answers to these questions.  The book also details many lesser evil deeds, such as the recipes for dangerous, addictive drugs, instructions on how to effectively torture someone, how to plan and execute crimes without getting caught, and etc.  The first reader of this book, once they read it, will realize how bad this book makes them look, and will usually not want anyone to read it.  After the questions have been answered by the book, it vanishes mysteriously, usually amidst a bunch of chaos or a pile of corpses or something similarly distasteful, only to mysteriously end up in the hands of someone else wicked.  The book is just paper bound with animal skins, yet has surprised a very, very long time.  Goodly beings find the book distasteful, and are loath to touch it, though this isn't a magical effect.    

3- Libram of Gainful Grace: A book of parables, moral lessons, and the secret history of many wicked people who would later go on to become great Saints, Teachers and Heroes.  When reading this book, the reader may ask 1d6 questions relating to morality, heroism, or overcoming evil, and the book will direct them to relevant passages.  Examples include "How do I banish a Demon that is bewitching someone influential?", "How do I break a curse?", or "How do I save a soul that was sold to a Minion of the Dark Powers?"  The book also includes many lesser pieces of advice and encouragement relating to godliness, manners, and living in an upright manner.  After the questions have been answered by the book, it usually vanishes mysteriously, as it is needed elsewhere. Wicked beings find the book distasteful, and are loath to touch it or look at it, though this isn't a magical effect.         

A collection of Rods and Staves
Note: All Staves are magic items, capable of storing a spell, though the person wielding it must possess at least one spellcasting die if they wish to cast it, unless the item's description says otherwise.  Rods are just like normal magical items, and can be wielded by anyone.

1d10

1- Staff of Winter: This Staff is pre-loaded with any spell that does cold damage.  If the Staff's Wielder does cold damage to anyone, as a full action, if they point this staff at the person, that person takes an additional 1d6 cold damage, no save. They can only do this to someone they have damaged with cold in the past 8 hours or less.

2- Staff of Domination: This Staff is pre-loaded with any spell that charms or manipulates people's minds.  As a free action, the Staff's Wielder may change the duration of any charm effect spell from its normal to duration to 'for as long as [The Wielder] is conscious'.  Once the Wielder goes to sleep, passes out, is rendered unconscious or otherwise dies, the extended spells automatically end. 
  
3- Staff of Fiery Power: This Staff is pre-loaded with any spell that does fire damage.  As a full action, the Staff's Wielder may consume any fire within range, healing themselves for 1d6 HP/FS, + 1d6 for each spellcasting dice used to create the fire, if it was created with magic.  If not, see below.  A torch heals 1d6 HP, a bonfire heals 2d6, a furnace 3d6, and a wildfire or forest fire heals the Wielder to full.

4- Staff of the Cosmos: This Staff is pre-loaded with Contact Outer Sphere.  As a full action, if the Staff's Wielder casts Contact Outer Sphere and they have this staff under their control, they may ask a question with up to double the amount of words. 

Note: Contact Outer Sphere allows you to ask the stars a question up to [sum] words long.  This doubles that to 2*[sum].

5- Staff of the Magician: This Staff is pre-loaded with Prismatic Ray.  As a free action, the Staff's Wielder may teleport to the sight of where any of their ray impacted, though they must teleport on the same turn as they cast Prismatic Ray.
   
6- Rod of the Restless Dead: This Rod grants the Wielder the ability to be unmolested by the Undead.  The Undead will treat the Wielder as if they were also Undead.  The Wielder may also cast Speak with Dead at will while holding this Rod.

7- Rod of Nightmares: This Rod grants the Wielder the ability to, if they encounter someone asleep, to give them horrible nightmares.  All the Wielder must do is look at them while they are sleeping and have the Rod in their possession.  These nightmares can be random, or they can contain whatever imagery or contents the Wielder desires.  Those afflicted by these nightmares have a 2-in-6 chance of awakening within 1d20 minutes, sweating and afraid.  The nightmares are otherwise normal, and fade in time.  

8- Rod of Splendor: This Rod grants the Wielder the ability to always look impressive.  The Wielder never stumbles, slurs their words, or is dressed in anything but the latest fashion.  They look, smell and sound dignified, no matter where they are.  Even if those the Wielder is with cannot speak their language, those around them will still think of the Wielder as cool and impressive.  Anyone with strong magical abilities, class levels or more HD than the Wielder can save to resist this passive charm effect.  The Wielder, if they carry or wield the Rod with them, will always find that people treat them well, offer them gifts, and invite them to nice parties and exclusive social events. 

9- Rod of the Archmage: This Rod grants the Wielder 1d4 spellslots and 1d4 spellcasting dice, and allows you to cast spells.  Only roll once, when first picking up the Rod.  The Rod affects various people different.  

10- Rod of Kingship: This Rod allows you to give a person one order, and they will carry it out, no matter what.  That person must be making eye contact with you at the time you give the order, and it only works on a person once.  The order can only be up to 6+[your level] words long.  

Other Assorted Treasures
1d3

1- Cabinet of Feasting: This cabinet, once per day, can be opened to reveal enough cooked food to feed everyone that the cabinet's owner wishes it to.  The food summoned will always be hot and delicious, and there will always be leftovers. 

2- Golem Armor: This is a suit of plate armor that can also act as a 5 HD Golem under the control of the one who possesses its control egg.  The Golem is immune to all magic effects that would change its shape, and cannot be hurt by non-magic weapons or effects.  While being worn as a suit of armor it boosts the wearer's STR to 18 and their AC to 17, though they cannot use any weapons or cast spells inside the Golem, and will have to make due with the Golem's iron fists (1d6+3, counts as magic).  Additionally, if the Golem is destroyed it can be repaired, though at significant expense. 

3- Cup and Talisman of Al'Akbar: This is a two part artifact, relics left behind by the Demigod Al'Akbar when he walked among us.  The Cup of Al'Akbar is a chalice that takes two hands to carry, and can be filled with any liquid you desire.  If anyone suffering a negative effect, such as being poisoned, petrified, paralyzed, blinded, deafened or anything else negative drinks of the liquid filling the chalice or has it poured over their head, the effect is removed, if they are a Good person.  If not, they will continue to suffer without relief.  This effect usually works only once per day, unless this is the desperate hour of a group that is on a mission from God or some kind of holy quest, in which case Al'Akbar may allow it to work many times.

The talisman of Al'Akbar is an eight-pointed platinum star that gives the wearer holy powers.  If they bless any liquid within the chalice of Al'Akbar, the liquid if drunk or poured over someone's head restores them to full HP.  This power works only once per day.

Finally, if the cup is filled with a liquid and the talisman is dropped into it, then the liquid is poured out onto the ground, it will create a new body for any being the holder of the relics desires.  If anyone the holder loves has recently died and has not departed for the afterlife, they can possess this new body and return from the dead.  However, if this final ability is ever used, both the Cup and the Talisman of Al'Akbar disappear from the world, and are not seen again by anyone for another 1*1d100 years.

Also, one final note.  The Cup and Talisman of Al'Akbar only work for good people.  Anyone who is not virtuous and attempts to use it will find the Cup and Talisman do not obey them, and any liquid placed in the Cup burns them like scalding water, but has no further effect.             


Some I made up
1d2

1- Diadem of Dominion: A diadem of golden wire, with moonstones and pearls interlaced throughout.  Anyone who places this on their brow becomes the rightful sovereign of a nation they've never heard of.  This is accepted by everyone in the nation, no matter how little sense this makes, though some people will still rebel, as people rebel against their lawful rulers all the time. 
      
2- Gloves of Spell Stealing: If anyone casts a spell in your presence and you wish for that not to be the case, you can make Charisma check with a DC equal to 8 + the level the spell was cast at.  If you make the check successfully, you catch the spell out of the air, and it does not take effect.  However, you must hold the spell in between your hands.  If you let it go, however, the spell will immediately take effect, unless you trap the spell in an empty scroll, spellbook, wand, staff or Wizard.  Additionally, if the original wielder agrees to not cast the spell, the spell will instead return to their brain with no fuss.  However, they may be lying, so be careful about that.


                                                          by Mesozord
Chapter 5: Monsters.  I found most of these not that creative, though some did interest me.  I'm not writing up statblocks for each of these things though. 

- Atropal: Divine abortions or cosmic miscarriages.  Giant, semi-divine undead fetuses.  Their biggest ability is that if you're weak enough you can't even approach them, as they exude an aura of negative energy that kills anything below 10 HD and raises them as undead servants.   
- Phanes: Time travelling shadow monsters.  They are semi-divine, godlings who move through time like fish through water.  They seek to bind those they can in chains of unbreakable fate, ruin good possible outcomes, and change destiny for the worse.  Their biggest, coolest power is the ability to summon versions of its opponents from alternate universes to do its bidding.
- Gloom: A hairless freak that can jump from shadow to shadow.  Nigh-uncatchable assassins.
- Ha-Nagas: People headed snake monsters, spellcasters.
- Shape of Fire: An inhabitant of the one of the burning Hells, here to destroy you.  Pure, burning rage made manifest.
- Shadow of the Void: a living, three-dimensional shadow that when it touches you, causes cold black flames to spread across your body.
- Winterwight: An undead horror sheathed in ice.  Its skull is bare, crowned in cold white, blue or black flames.   

Chapter 6: Oh God make it stop: The Epic Setting.  Far too many words.  I don't care what they say.  This details a bunch of characters, settings and factions for Faerun and some other places.  You can buy the book yourself if you really care, because I don't.