Sunday, January 19, 2020

OSR: Outer Planes

Not included:
- Sheol.  Sheol is the land of the Dead.  It is a grey, endless waste beneath the Earth, full of shades and darker things.  All things that are lost end up here, eventually.  You can reach Sheol by going down.  You'll hit it eventually.

- (low) Heaven.  This is where the Gods of Law live.  It is a floating island of incredible size, floating at the edge of the planet's exosphere.  It is the headquarters for law on this planet, the place where the Rock of Eternity and the Genesis Frog are kept, as well as the Nukarian God's servants, Angels and other wise.  You get to low Heaven by going up really high.    

- Deep Heaven.  Also called The Spirit World, the Floating Realm, the Emptiness, the Void or Space, this is the place where thought is action and dreams are reality.  This place is filled with the thoughts, dreams, ideas and passing fancies of every living creature. It is also the place where prophecies, dreams, magic and Outsiders pass through to get to the world of matter.  There are many ways to get to Deep Heaven, but all of them are strange.

                                                                     by unknown

The Accursed Planes:

These are my versions of the Lower Planes.  None of them are places where souls are sent for Judgement or their Afterlife, that all takes place beneath Nukaria or in Deep Heaven.  These are just other Planes, inhabited by creatures that are reasonable, ie capable of reason, with its own gods, laws and civilizations.  That being said, a being from the "base" Plane that contains Nukaria would probably be immensely displeased to find itself here.   

1- Riot.  A world of manic energy and endless movement.  The people of Riot are all disfigured, mutated or modified, having altered their bodies to fit current fashion or utility.  Their world resembles them in this way, full of cities and monuments frantically being erected, modified mid-stream and occasionally being abandoned, to be blown to bits, before some new project is begun in its place.  No one seems to sleep, or even rest.  They will look upon you with pity and try to fix you.  Don't let them, or you will never leave this place.  You can get to Riot by doing specific types of specific psychedelics in specific amounts, then traveling for at least a minute at 40 miles per hour.

2- Bane.  A world inhabited by a race of Devils linked to every single intelligent, living creature on the party's home plane.  Whenever you feel pain, your Devil feels pleasure and whenever you feel joy, it suffers terribly.  Your Devil's life is also tied to yours- it dies when you do.  For these reasons, your Devil despises you totally.  Your Devil also knows a secret- if you die at its hands, it will not die, but instead gain power and agelessness, as well as being freed from bondage.  This is what all the Devils desire- for you to die and for it to bathe in immortality.  Unfortunately, your Devil cannot usually reach you.  But these are unusual times, are they not?  You can get to Bane by going into a bathroom, writing your name backwards on a mirror, then turning out all the lights and reading the nonsense name you have written aloud.  If you have done it correctly, the bathroom will have changed and when you exit, you will be in a different universe.
   
3- Battery City.  An endless city, composed of skyscrapers, brownstones and small warehouses.  The buildings vary in architectural styles, materials and age, but they all fit seamlessly together here.  Additionally, there is no other type of terrain visible- no harbors, parks or anything of the sort.  Unlike the city's strange harmony, however, the inhabitants of this plane are all ruthless and traumatized.  They are all paranoid and untrustworthy, fighting each other constantly over the smallest of things.  The only order comes from living in an area ruled by one of the Gangster Kings, but their reigns are short and bloody, as they don't trust their lieutenants and the feeling is mutual.  Stay too long and you will find yourself seeing conspiracies in the sideways glances of your former friends.  What are they not telling you?  You can get to Riots by lying to someone you love, putting on a mask, then hiding in an isolated place.  Once you are hidden, say to yourself, "Liar, Liar, what aren't you telling me?"  Do it right and you will find yourself in Battery City. 

4- Selene.  A world of madness and inversion.  Here the nights are bright, lit by a mammoth moon that drowns the world in silver, while the days are dark, the sun small and pale, delicate as a yellow poppy.  On this plane, the harder you try to hide a secret, the more easily it is revealed; mirrors show new images, rather than reflect ones that already exist; to wear clothes is to be naked; to go about without a mask is sinfully erotic and utterly scandalous; fire freezes and ice burns.  The first Wizards come from this place, as only a topsy-turvy people could come up with the idea of feeding their thoughts to tiny monsters instead of trying to understand them.  You reach Selene by waiting for the night of the full moon, going up onto a high roof and reading a love poem to her.  Then, jump off the roof.  If you have done it properly, you will be unhurt and have ended up in Selene.   

5- Archeon*.  A world consumed by sport, battle and blood.  Archeon is an endless tournament, a competition between all comers for the championship.  This plane draws warriors, willing or otherwise, from all worlds to continually refresh the pool of challengers for the belt.  All in Archeon are expected to conduct themselves with honor and to follow certain nigh-immutable laws. Fair play is the whole of the law- you may slaughter your opponents in combat, but if you attempt to cheat in a match, you will be hounded by all the warriors nearby until you repent or die.  You get to Archeon by arranging a formal duel or fight between yourself and an opponent.  Your opponent must cheat, while you do not.  If this happens, after the fight, you will receive an invitation to participate in The Tournament.  If you accept, follow the instructions on the invitation.  Do so and you will be taken to Archeon. 

6- Carceri.  A dying world of salt flats and dessicated trees.  There is minimal plant and animal life left here, only the hardiest and most vicious of creatures could survive a terrible place like this.  They rule the harsh, blistering days, scraping out meagre existences here.  But these are only the last of the old inhabitants, on their way out.  The much more numerous residents of this world are the Undead.  Many of them are feral, wandering endlessly in search of something that will relieve their suffering or bring them some satisfaction, while others are slaves to the Corpse Knights, who serve the Rotting Kings.  The latter are the rulers of this world and fight amongst each other in grinding, perpetual wars that have been raging for millennia, at the very earliest.  You can get to Carcerei by going into the desert, climbing into a coffin, sarcophagus or some other container for holding the dead, then burying that container in the sand.  When you dig yourself out, you will be in Carcerei.

*Not mine.  I have included a link to the original post that suggested the idea.  

                                                         source unknown

The Parallel Worlds:

The Accursed Planes are what happens when you go "down", but what happens if you go sideways?  You end up in one of the Parallel Worlds, which are much like our own.  Some of these worlds are so indistinguishable from each other that you could spend a lifetime looking for differences and you might never find any.  In this world, you will find other many of the same people, institutions, nations and etc in your Home Plane.  This is the best part of any Multiverse story, I find, to see all the alternate versions of characters and the world, and that's what the Parallel Worlds are about. 

These aren't all the Parallel Worlds, but I figured it was a good start.     

7- This world is almost exactly like your Home Plane, except here, the alternate selves of the party are a band of criminals on the run from the authorities.  The specific nature of their crimes are up to you, as well as how they ended up doing these bad things, but make no mistake, the alternate selves in this universe are evil.  You can get to this world by sneaking into a courthouse or other public building at night, committing some evil act, leaving behind a personal possession, then leaving before the sun rises.

8- This world is almost exactly like your Home Plane, except the alternate selves of the party are working for a previous antagonist, preferrably one that the players killed.  Their alternate selves are not evil, but they might be a bit more opportunistic than the players.  You can get to this world by finding the bones/body of one of your fallen enemies, dismembering it, then dancing around it until dawn.    

9- This world is almost exactly like your Home Plane, except the alternate selves of the party are cursed in this universe.  They're slowly turning into animals, being chased by Ghosts or some equally terrible fate.  If asked about this, they will tell the party that they went after a treasure that the players haven't heard of or sought out and were cursed for their trouble.  The alternate selves switch between musing about all the wealth they gained and cursing their own hubris.  You can get to this world by getting a Magic-User or a Prophet to curse you to "Be cast out of this world."

10- This world is almost exactly like your Home Plane, except the alternate selves of the party choose the opposite choice and experienced a different outcome that the players did.  Did the players give up in pursuit a powerful artifact or a treasure?  The alternate selves from this world didn't and now they're rich.  Or maybe they're rich, but the Wizard died and the Paladin is missing a hand.  Use your creativity.  You can get to this world by writing a list of regrets, burning it, then sprinkling yourself in the ashes.  Then go to bed.  When you wake up, you will be in another world.

11- This world is almost exactly like your Home Plane, except the alternate selves of the party are pursuing a different goal or quest.  Maybe if the players are on a treasure hunt, the alternate selves from this plane are preparing for a heist mission.  You can get to this world by writing a task you never intend to complete on a piece of paper, carving it into a piece of wood, engraving it on a stone, etc.  Then smash the object to pieces, dissolve it in water and drink it.  Do it correctly and you will find yourself looking for something to wash the taste out of your mouth in another world.

12- This world is almost exactly like your Home Plane, except the players are being mentored by a noble NPC who is a bit stronger then them.  If I was running this world, I'd make that NPC by a Dwarven Paladin named Dane, but that's because of an old joke between me and my players.  All it really matters is that the NPC is righteous.  You can get to this world by writing the names of every living, noble souls you can think of in a circle, then stepping inside the circle, blind-folding yourself (everyone inside the circle must be blind-folded) then spinning around and pointing at one of the names randomly.  If when you remove the blind-fold you find the circle of names missing, you are in another world. 

13- This world is almost exactly like your Home Plane, except one of the players' alternate selves has a cool magic item, treasure or other possession that the players don't.  If asked, the alternate selves will tell the players where they can find it, though odds are that this magic item is held by some antagonist or stuck at the bottom of some terribly dangerous dungeon.  You can get to this world by telling stories about the item they desire, then making a model of it out of base materials, such as wood, mud, etc.  Then burn the model and allow the smoke to engulf you.  When it clears, you will be in another world. 

14- This world is almost exactly like your Home Plane, except the player's alternate selves in this universe are at their most noble.  They are almost all good, or at least better than they could be.  This is a "best possible version" sort of deal.  The alternate selves aren't necessarily stronger than the players, but they will definitely have better teamwork.  You can get to this better world by having a conversation and confessing your flaws to each other.  Then write your own name in the dirt enough times to form a circle.  Then sit in this circle and meditate on these flaws.  Keep going and do not open your eyes until you hear your own voice speaking to you.  When you open your eyes, you will be in another world.  

                                             by IvanLaliashvili

Blessed Planes:

The Blessed Planes are the "upper worlds".  They aren't utopias, still blighted by death and suffering and woe.  But they do possess significant, inherent advantages for those who dwell there.  Compared to the world the party is native from, these ones might be more appealing as destinations or places to live.  That being said, while these worlds do not share the problems of our world, they have many of their own unique ones.

15- Arcadia.  This a world of unspoiled wilderness, of life free of the complications of civilization.  This world causes technology to fail and progress to unspool, slowly lowering everyone present here into a more primitive state.  At first, this causes suffering.  But the longer you spend here, the more it seems to invigorate the person.  The air is more bracing, the water more delicious, the food more nourishing; everything about this world fosters strength.  Those who have the strength grow on this world, becoming as the fearless men of old.  However, there is a gray lining to this silver cloud.  Arcadia is ruthless towards weakness.  Anyone who cannot adapt to this newer, harsher environment, or someone who was kept alive by technology or a complex social system will be devoured by this world.  You can get to Arcadia by burning a house to the ground, stripping down and smearing yourself with the ashes, then diving into a fast-flowing river.  When you surface, you will be in Arcadia. 

16- Philia.  This is a world of sacred fraternity, of union between brothers.  Here all creatures are connected into a plane-wide hyper consciousness called Raina, who constantly speaks to all the living creatures on this plane.  Additionally, because they are connected to each other through Raina, all living creatures can hear each other's surface thoughts.  This means that there is little violence on this planet, as many small conflicts are easily resolved.  That being said, while small conflicts can easily be resolved, larger ideological ones cannot.  To prevent these groups from fighting, Raina segregates the people by race, religion and language and does not tell the groups about the other's existence.  This keeps everything mostly peaceful, but also makes the groups hyper sensitive.  If someone from this plane encounter anyone that is not like him, he will tend to react with confusion, shock or horror.  If these differences run down moral lines, it will usually also lead to fierce anger on his part.  You can get to Philia by weaving crowns of flowers for your companions, then once everyone is adorned, shackling yourself together and dancing around in a circle.  Dance and dance until your heart overflows with love and when the music of your hearts beat as one, you will be in Philia. 

17- Symbiosa.  This is a world of love, where everyone who is born on this plane has another person they are destined to meet and fall in love with.  This system is known by everyone, but it leads to as many problems as it solves.  Try not to stay on this plane for too long, or you might end up being incorporated into the system and discover you have a Symbiosa too now.  You can get to Symbiosa by wrapping yourself in red ribbons, blind-folding yourself and having a dozen poets simultaneously read love poems over you.  Their voices will swell and meld and drown your mind.  When silence finally returns, you will be in Symbiosa.   

18- Shoyashi.  This is a world of fantasy made real, cut whole-cloth from the dreams of young, love-struck teenagers.  Anyone who enters this world gradually finds themselves being transformed into themselves; or rather, a younger, cuter version of themselves.  Shoyashi is a world with no rough edges, no harsh realities.  There is still suffering and sadness, but it is usually of the petty, melodramatic kind.  This world is prosperous and peaceful, so the only real conflicts here are of elevated, soap-opera style personal struggles and interpersonal drama and the struggle to find love.  Basically, this world is like being inside a silly, overdramatic romantic comedy that takes itself 100% seriously.  You can get to Shoyashi by wearing your finest outfit and gathering any other travelers around a table set for a sumptuous feast.  Anoint everyone present with oil blessed by a God then have a massive food fight.  When you have run out of food, you will be in Shoyashi.    

19- Nyzori.  A world devoted to pleasure, to experiencing the good things in life.  The world is a series of endless gardens, where all manner of good things can be found, done or experienced.  Everything from painting to rigorous debate to eating and sensuality.  All those here are attended to by masked attendants who do anything that is asked of them.  Additionally, no one here ages, though people can still die.  But the longer one stays here, they come to realize that the pleasures that once excited now bore.  So people switch from garden to garden, seeking out newer, more novel pleasure.  And as you go deeper in, the gardens become stranger, more forbidding, the people less friendly, the attendants more sinister, the pleasures, more depraved.  The further down you go, the less sense things start to make, as people descend down into madness and corruption. And once that fact has been discovered, it makes it a bit harder to enjoy yourself.  That is, if you're still staying.  I really think you should.  I mean, what are the odds?  That might happen to others, but you, you're different.  I'm sure of it.  You can get to Nyzori by preparing a garden, tending to it and making it beautiful.  Then, throw a massive party in the garden with anything you think will be fun.  Make sure to party hard enough that you black out.  If you manage to do so, when you wake up, you will be in Nyzori. 

20- Mount Celestia.  A world of radiant good, of splendid joy.  The world is almost exactly like the one you left, with the same buildings, same geography and the same people.  But things are better here: the weather is more pleasant, the food tastier, the people friendlier.  The last part is important, as this world is one of endless peace.  There is no war or crime on this planet, except that brought by outsiders.  And even that is small, as few outsiders can even find the strength to grab their swords and lift it in anger.  The power of this world is that it slowly, but surely, molds the minds of those who come to inhabit it to never use violence.  The people in this world are also all vegetarians.  But the control goes further then that; over time, Mount Celestia's influence becomes so great that it binds the soul of the person to it, removing all knowledge of evil and how to inflict it on others.  It is a world without darkness, of happy, peaceful, serene, blind fools.  The only question is, do you pity, or envy them?  You can get to Mount Celestia by doing penance for your crimes and/or sins, then filling a bathtub with lavender water, flower petals and gold coins.  Sit in the bathtubs, blind fold yourself and have a musician play music over you.  When the musician stops, you will be in Mount Celestia.        

                                                 by LouieLorry

Thursday, January 16, 2020

SOS: Tommy Tripps and the Triple Ts

                                             from Star Wars: Darth Vader #7

                 (The character's name is 0-0-0.  He was my inspiration for this post.)

The Birovan underworld is full of bounty hunters, assassins and all sorts of other unsavory types who will do anything, for the right price.  Wet workers are a dime a dozen, if you know where to look.  But even among the scum of the Birova Sector, there are some standards.  There are some things even cold-blooded killers won't do.  Some jobs are just too dangerous, inconvenient or ugly for the run-of-the-mill cleaner.  For some jobs, you need a specialist.

And among the underworld's blackest, there is a certain duo, sometimes a trio, that specializes in really messy jobs.  They take the kind of work that no one else will.  They'll do anything, as long as the price is right and the job interests them. They are effective, if unsubtle assassins.  Most of the time, however, is spent on retrieval jobs.  They are excellent at kidnapping and trafficking unwilling victims anywhere they need to be taken.  The other most common type of job they work is information retrieval or enhanced interrogation, depending on what euphemism you prefer. 

They are known as Triple T, or 3T for short, and they are available for hire.

                                                     by behance

Captain Thomas "Tommy" Tripps aka "Captain Tripps"

No one is sure what he is Captain of, at first.  He doesn't seem to own his own ship or be a military man in anyway.  But cross Tripps and you'll soon realize he is captain of the boat taking you straight to Hell.

On the outside, he resembles a butler robot, albeit one that looks very human-like.  He very closely resembles the type that magnates and oligarchs often have at their elbow, ready to translate whatever needs to be said.  He will top off glasses, serve meals, massage his master's shoulders, read contracts and of course, translate.  If you don't look closely, or don't know what you are looking for, you will probably overlook him entirely.  This is what he desires, as he thinks it is absolutely hilarious when the truth is revealed.  To complete the illusion, he pairs it with an abnegating, servile demeanor and acts as if he is always eager to please.  To an extent, this isn't that far from his actual personality.  His mask mostly consists of him being very docile and seemingly obedient.

But as history shows, this is nothing more than a mask.  Thomas Tripps is a psychopath and a serial killer.  He views all other living creatures as nothing more than tools, to be ignored, used, abused or discarded at will.  He is also rather arrogant, though he conceals this well behind his self-effacing demeanor.  Those who truly know Tripps will realize that his eager-to-please nature is actually a cruel jape, a way of mocking the other person he is talking to, a form of elaborate burlesque that only makes him laugh. 

That's fine with Tripps though.  He doesn't want you to laugh.  He wants you to scream.

Tripps works for money, but its' never been about money.  He only does it so he can evade prosecution for crimes.  Tripps loves to hurt people and derives an almost erotic enjoyment from the acts of torture and murder.  He is the least well-armed of his cohorts for this reason, as Tripps prefers to work with his victim tied to a chair or strapped to an examination table.  Despite this fact, Tripps is still a terrifying foe, his cybernetic body enhancing his speed, strength, toughness and senses.  Along with that, he is equipped with many gruesome instruments that he will be eager to show you.

Weakness: Tripps is a narcissist, among other things.  He thinks of other people as tools, and thus, he doesn't understand them.  Tripps is easily blind-sided by those who can skillfully manipulate others, as he doesn't expect a tool to try and affect him.  He will never see a betrayal, double-cross, or verbal trap coming.  The dialogue between groups and ideas would be incomprehensible to him, if he actually cared to investigate it at all.  In short, he thinks you are much dumber than you actually are.  He will underestimate you the first time he faces you.

Statblock:

Thomas Tripps
HD 5
AC 13
Atk Blink Pistol (1d8, save vs firearm) + Gauntlet Blade (1d6+2) or Instruments of Torture (special)
Mor 14
Saves 10 or less is a success

Cybernetic: Tripps is a cyborg.  His body can be hacked, though he has some very impressive firewalls.  He does require air, sleep, food, water and rest, but the amount of these things he needs are limited.  When he is at full health, he can survive in space without the need for any additional equipment, though only for about 10 minutes.  He is only vulnerable to poisons or diseases if they somehow get past his metallic shell.

Hunter's Eyes: Tripps' cybernetic eyes let him see in low-light environment.  He also has thermal and binocular vision.

Instruments of Torture: Tripps' cybernetic body conceals many small tools that are only useful for torture.  Tripps is more often recruited for his skills in breaking prisoners then his assassination skills, for this reason.  His Instruments of Torture are not incredibly dangerous, but are not useful against someone who isn't helpless.  As such, if the creature the Instruments of Torture are being used on is restrained or helpless, they take up to 2d10 damage from being touched by them, though Tripps is careful enough that he can toggle the amount of damage done, as long as he does at least 1.  Against someone who is not helpless, the Instruments of Torture only do 1d4.

Tactics:
- Let others take the risks
- Never endanger yourself
- Target the weakest
- Separate them and drag them away

                                                         source unknown

Bryan Trant aka "Broken Bryan" aka "BB"

Bryan Trant was born to a relatively wealthy family of wealth managers, or "Goldeners".  They were the sort that made nothing themselves, but instead were responsible for stewarding the assets of their much greater clientele.  A comfortable, if dull existence awaited Trant, were it not for the actions of his Father.  For reasons that are largely unknown, Trant Sr. decided that he was tired of his modest lifestyle.  He wanted to live like a Prince, so that's what he endeavored to do, through a combination of smoozing, borrowing, embezzling and making risky investments.  For a while, he achieved his dreams, sending his sons to prestigious academies, buying his wife beautiful fabrics and glittering jewels, but most of all, finally being respected by those who had looked down on him his whole life. 

But then the market suddenly declined.  Not long after, creditors came knocking.  Then authorities took a closer look at his books.  Before the Trants knew it, they were on the run from some very wealthy, very angry people who weren't getting their money back.  Not that those wealthy people knew this at the time.  They thought Trant Sr. had hidden the money somewhere, so they hired Captain Tommy Tripps and a pack of cold-hearted, well armed men to find it.

After torturing Trant Sr. to the brink of madness, Tripps realized that the man was telling the truth and there really was no money left.  It had all been lost or spent already.  When Tripps reported this fact, his client ordered Trant Sr. terminated.  Tripps was more than happy to oblige.  He then proceeded to systematically murder every single member of Trant Sr.'s immediate family, with one exception, before finally killing the man himself.

Yet despite Tripps complete ruthlessness, he did not kill Bryan Trant.  He saw something in Bryan, a seed of hate.  For him, and for the world at large.  For some reason, Tripps thought he could use that, so he spared the boy and carefully tended that seed.  And after years of abuse, elective surgery and cybernetic modification, he feels he has succeeded.

From the outside, Trant is a pathetic figure.  He resembles a rich man in a Grav-Chair, clad in faded robes, his lower body shielded by a blanket.  If this blanket is shifted or you feel underneath, you will see that Trant's body ends at the waist, everything below having been amputated.  Trant was then permanently attached to the Grav-Chair, which has been heavily modified to keep him alive.  Trant is plainly and obviously miserable in this state, resenting the loss of his body.  He will never walk again, never experience the touch of a real woman he doesn't have to pay again and never not be looked upon with pity.  As such, he goes out of his way to make himself look as bad as possible, rarely changing his robes, letting his hair grow long and unkempt, never cleaning it so greasy locks hang down into his face.  His fingernails are long and jagged, as he chews on them when nervous or angry.  Trant hides behind his veil of greasy hair and rarely speaks at any volume above a whisper. 

Tripps likes to use this appearance to their advantage.  The two of them often use the pathos aroused by Trant's condition to evade suspicion.  When people look at them, all they see is a crippled rich man and his robot butler. 

This would be their first, but certainly not their last mistake.  Trant's Grav-Chair has also been heavily modified to accomodate dozens of concealed weapons, including a missile launcher, two incinerators, a Grenade Thrower and a pair of Heavy Stubbers.  Trant is sitting on top of enough firepower to reduce an entire company of soldiers to a bloody ruin.  And he likes to use it.  Trant doesn't care for pain or torture, but he does love to watch people die.  And he doesn't mind if he has to kill them himself.

Weakness: Trant despises most people, especially those who have what he does not.  Namely, these things include, but are not limited to: whole, able bodies; families, friends, loved ones; healthy, loving relationships, romantic or otherwise; clear consciences or solid moral principles.  If he believes that it is not an incredibly terrible idea, he will try to kill anyone like this.  He also despises Tripps, but is too scared of him to do anything.  But if Tripps were going to die, Trant would not help him.

Statblock:

Bryan Trant
HD 3
AC 10
Atk Collapsible SP Rifle (2d6, save vs firearm) or Concealed Arsenal
Mor 16
Saves 9 or less is a success

Cybernetic: Bryan Trant is a cyborg.  He does require air, sleep, food, water and rest, but the amount of these things he needs are limited.  His cybernetic body parts could be hacked, but the security around them is impressive.  More importantly, his body is only kept alive by his cybernetic components.  If these were destroyed or deactivated, he would die.  Tripps has the ability to switch off Trant's life-support at will, because of the secret backdoor he installed in the Grav-Chair's software.  If this were discovered, Trant could be easily neutralized. 

Concealed Arsenal: Trant has many weapons concealed in his modified Grav-Chair.  As a free action, he may activate any of them and use them in place of his rifle.  His arsenal includes:
- Missile Launcher: Does 4d6 explosive damage in a 30' sphere, all within must save for half.  He has 1d4+1 missiles at any given time.
- Incincerator: Fires jets of burning slime that sticks to everything and cannot be extinguished by water.  Does 2d6 damage in a 30' cone, with an additional 1d6 damage a round until the fire is extinguished or the slime is scraped off.
- Heavy Stubber: An anti-infantry weapon that easily makes mincemeat of all but heavy infantry.  Does 1d12 damage, save vs firearm.  Trant may make an attack on an additional target with this weapon, if there is an additional target adjacent to his first.

Hover: Trant's Grav-Chair hovers off the ground.

Large Size: Trant's Grav-Chair is cumbersome, making him count as a large creature.  Additionally, his chair is noisy and prevents all attempts at stealth, as it is easily heard. 

Shields: Trant, as an action, may activate a force shield around his Grav-Chair.  This shield has 3d6 HP and is immune to acid, cold and sharp damage.  It also takes only half damage from blunt sources, not counting projectiles from SP weapons, unless the projectile is from a sufficiently powerful weapon, or bigger than a man's fist.  The shield is vulnerable to heat.  But if subjected to too much heat energy or fire damage, it will fail and overload, requiring 1d3 rounds to cool before it can be reactivated.  Trant can restore his shield to full HP on his turn as an action, but while his shield his up, he cannot make an attack on anyone outside the shield.  He can drop the shield as a free action.

Tactics:
- Pretend to be helpless
- Use your rifle from long range
- If confronted with a larger force, use 'Concealed Arsenal'
- Use your 'Shields' to make a getaway

                                              from wall paper up

Truncheon IV

Truncheon isn't actually a member of Tripps' crew technically.  Tripps and Trant are partners.  That's because "Truncheon" is a robot.  Specifically he's a combat robot, a Mark 6 Montana-Vickers Armored Combat Model, originally designated as ACM 176547-A.  Tripps and Trant found him when on a job to capture and interrogate a corrupt military officer who has part of a smuggling ring.  He was part of a platoon of robots that were being decommissioned.  But unlike all the others, ACM 176547-A had suffered only minor external damage.  The only real problem was to his crystal computer, which had been slagged in combat.  Since his computer was toast, the only way to fix him would be to install a new one, but those cores cost much more than the actual robot.  So they decided just to scrap it, along with what was left of the other robots in the platoon.

But one man's trash is another man's treasure, and Tripps wasn't going to miss his chance to get his hands on an almost undamaged combat robot.  So he and Trant killed half the people in the scrapyard and blew up a couple of the main buildings, all to steal this robot.  In truth, they mostly killed those people and destroyed that building for their own amusement, but it did achieve the primary purpose of covering up the theft. 

From there, they gave the robot an immature paint job and decorated its' chassis with human bones, strips of skin and other gruesome charms.  Then they programmed the robot speak and gave it the orders for it to be relentlessly cheerful when responding to them and to appear dim-witted.  Then they dubbed this new robot "Truncheon". 

Tripps uses Truncheon as a blunt instrument and a sacrificial lamb.  If he needs someone to buy time, do something excessively risky or do something simple, he sends Truncheon to do it.  And each time Truncheon is destroyed, he and Trant gather up what remains and fix him.  After a couple of times, Trant pointed out with the amounts of replacement parts, Truncheon was barely even the same robot.  After debating the Ship of Theseus for a couple of minutes, Tripps got bored and declared that they were actually constructing a new robot, named Truncheon 2.  They have done this several times by now.

Truncheon, of course, doesn't have an opinion on this.  He is a robot, after all. 

Statblock:

Truncheon IV
HD 3
AC 14
Atk Wrist Lasers (2d6 fire, save for half) or Steel Fists (1d8/1d8)
Mor 20 (will only retreat if ordered to)
Saves 8 or less is a success

Robots: Robots do not need to eat, drink, sleep or breathe.  They do not possess minds to read or influence with magic, so they ignore all charm, fear or other spells or abilities that affect the mind.  They do not get scared or tired.  They can be hacked.  

Programmed: This robot is programmed to obey orders from Tommy Tripps and Bryan, overriding orders from the latter in favor of the former.  This robot know how to fight, sneak and use somewhat clever tactics.  It is no genius, but it can stage an ambush and use stealth, though that's kind of hard for it.  

Tactics:
- Charge in
- Be jolly
- Never be afraid of anything

                                                 from tweak town . com

Saturday, January 11, 2020

OSR: Wizard Weapons

This post is an unofficial part 2 to my post on Sages

Wizard Weapons are an addition meant for my spell-less Wizard, the Sage.  It is to grant the Sage some kind of base magical attack, to make them feel a bit more special, since they don't start with any spells.  This post will also ensure to combine the best ideas I have with that of others, as well as to clear away any previous rules and to start fresh.

They are called Wizard Weapons, but with proper training, any living creature with a soul can use one.  Constructs cannot, but anything else can, even Undead.  Though it would take a truly deranged soul to give an Undead one of these tools.  Wizard Weapons are mostly products of earlier, more developed ages.  They are the only true "magic item" that can be crafted by Sages.  In truth though, they possess no inherent power on their own.  Instead, they are enhancers, amplifiers, directing the natural power flowing through a mortal's body and focusing it into a blistering attack. 

Wizard Weapons come in three types: Wands, Staves and Guns.

                                                             source unknown

Wands do not require ammunition, they draw their power directly from the life-force of the wielder.  Firing a Wand does 1 FS damage to the wielder automatically (or forces them to roll a spellcasting die, which burn out as usual on a 5 or 6) and does 1d6 damage of an appropriate type to an enemy.  Wands also usually require an attack roll.  Wands are almost always a ranged weapon.  Wands can also be overcharged, with the wielder infusing more life-energy into the Wand to make an attack stronger. 
What does this Wand do?
1d6

1- It is made from the wood of a hanging tree and stained with the blood of a murderer.  The Wand does necrotic damage and requires an attack roll.  Those who are struck by it and survive hear whispers in the darkness and the presence of others around them, even when they are alone.  To the wielder, the Wand is always cold and seems to radiate a subtle "wrongness".
2- It is made of brass, wrapped in bronze and copper wire and tipped with gold.  It smells of ash and charred meat.  The Wand does fire damage and requires an attack roll.  These fires set flammable things on fire and spread like a normal blaze.  They are non-magical.  To the wielder, the Wand always feels warm to the touch. 
3- It is made of iron, the handle wrapped in Serpicant skin.  This wand does sharp damage, opening wounds on the target, as if they were injured by phantom swords.  It does not require an attack roll, but instead a saving throw.  Those who pass their save take no damage from these attacks, while those who fail take damage as normal.  This Wand was actually the property of an Imperial Interrogator who served at the Ministry of Justice.  If returned to the Ministry, a reward might be offered.
4-  It is made of silver with a wooden handle.  The Wand does electric damage and requires an attack roll.  When used, bolts of lightning leap from the Wand, causing small thunderclaps that are audible for hundreds of feet.  Using this Wand will give away your position immediately.  Additionally, during a Thunderstorm, this Wand does not require the wielder to spend their own FS and can make 1d6 attacks without payment, as it is drawing energy directly from the storm.
5- It is made of an icicle, the handle wrapped in leaves and flowery stems.  The bottom of the wand is tipped with an ever-blooming flower that closes when the Wand isn't being used and opens when it is.  A Handsome Man design.  This Wand does ice damage and requires an attack roll.
6- It is made of glass and engraved with swirling, fractal patterns.  Light refracts through it, casting looping rainbows across the walls and floor.  This Wand requires an attack roll and does damage as if it was a level 1 casting of Prismatic Ray during the day, if it is exposed to sunlight.  At night, it does psychic damage.  If it is in a dark place where the only light is from torches or a campfire, it does fire damage.

                                                         by Daniel Zrom

Staves do not require ammunition, they draw power directly from life-force, as Wands do.  Staves are often ranged weapons, able to project power over a long range, but they are more flexible and varied in their powers.  They can also be imbued with the wielder's mana, making them a magical weapon that is much stronger and more dangerous than a mere quarterstaff should.  To activate a Stave or to imbue it with magical energy does 1 FS damage and grants one ranged attack or one round of treating the Stave like a magical weapon.

What does this Stave do?
1d6

1- This Staff is made of solid iron and is topped with a bronze orb adorned with red gold.  It is warm to the touch and shines brightly in the sun.  With this Staff you can either fire a blast of fire, requiring a ranged attack, light the orb of the staff on fire, causing the staff to do +1d6 fire damage on a hit, or you can create a wall of fire.  Each cost 1 FS, except the wall of fire, which grants a wall 10' long, 10' high and 1' thick for each point of FS spent.
2- This Staff is made of ornately carved wood detailing plants, vines and fruit.  When used, the Staff's wielder can force someone to save.  On a failure, they take 1d6 damage as plants take root inside them.  If they have open wounds, the plants will widen them, spilling out of the wounds. 
3- This Staff is curved and oddly shaped, carved of a single bone from a massive and powerful creature.  The Staff can be used to heal or to cause tumorous growths within someone.  Both effects require the target to be touched by the staff.  For purposes of damage, the Staff functions as an ordinary quarterstaff.
4- This staff is made of dark wood, carved from a section of mast from an infamous slaver's ship.  The Staff requires an attack roll and does necrotic damage either from range or as bonus damage to a melee attack.
5- This Staff acts as an amplifier of the wielder's will, allowing him to move one object or creature at a time, as long as that object or creature is the same size category as the wielder.  The Staff's wielder must spend 1 FS a round to manipulate an object or creature like this.  Creatures get a save to resist.  Moving creatures doesn't hurt them, but the Staff can be used to throw someone against a wall.  This does 1d6 damage per 10 feet thrown, with a max of 3d6.   Also, the wielder can telekinetically crush a person or object held in the Staff's control.  Crushing a creature or object like this does 1d6 damage a round, with no save permitted.
6- This Staff is made of shining copper, teased into a curling shape at the top.  The staff feels soft and somewhat brittle when empty.  This Staff does not have the ability to make its own magical attacks.  Instead, by spending 1 FS and letting yourself be hit by some kind of magical effect, you can cause the Staff to absorb the magical attack, essentially ignoring it.  Then, for no additional cost, you may fire the magical effect from the Staff as an action.  When the Staff is charged with power, it does not feel brittle at all, but is instead harder than steel and automatically counts as magic for purposes of melee attacks.

                                                by medders

Guns are a weapon of previous eras.  Once they used some sort of magical or alchemical process to fire projectiles, but the knowledge of these mixtures was lost.  When this happened, most guns were destroyed or recycled into something more useful- but some remained.  Some of the Handsome Men and Sages of all races have sought to create substitutes that could enable guns to function once more and some of them have succeeded. 

Still, these successes are few in number and the secrets of such as guarded savagely.  As such, guns are rare and ammunition is very scarce, being found only in small caches of 1d6 to 2d6 in high-level dungeons or taken from dangerous enemies, such as Handsome Men Princes, Dragons, Orcs or high-level Sages. 

To determine what kind of Gun you have, roll on the tables below:

This gun is called...
1d6

1- Is named Sahara.  It has an ivory handle and all of its furnishings are made of gold.  The barrel is steel, but all other metal components are made of gold.  It is a beautiful weapon.
2- Is named Dean.  It is a small weapon, but surprisingly powerful.  It has endured immense abuse, but with a little care, it will return to being an instrument of calculated death.
3- Is named Izara.  It is made of black metal, polished to a mirror-finish.  The lacquer on it is clear but indestructible.  The handle is teakwood, the darkest wood that could be found.  The instrument radiates a beauty, and a lethality, that makes your heart catch in your throat.
4- Is named Hugo.  The weapon is small  and highly concealable.  It is made of metal painted black, with a dark blue handle.  In the dark, it is almost invisible.
5- Is named Salvation.  Spartan in appearance, engraved with a crucifix and wrapped tightly in blessed ribbons.  The barrel has the words, "Blessed be God" engraved on the right side, and on the left, dozens of tiny crosses have been scratched into the barrel.
6- Is named Lucy or Fat Satan.  A massive, burly weapon that has the power to punch a hole the size of a trashcan lid in someone.  The weapon is made of stamped steel and smells perpetually of blood and sulfur.  An ill-omened weapon, seeing it is a sure sign of impending catastrophe.

The ammunition you have is...
1d6


1:
Casing: Dragonbone, black bone full of iron.
Firing: A blast of fire from the barrel
Effect: Flames spew from the wound, as well as the mouth and nostrils of the struck, turn the target into a pyre
Mechanics: 2d6 damage, +1d6 fire until the struck drinks a bunch of water or puts his wound underwater

2:
Casing: Alchemically strengthened glass, stained a sickly green, translucent, full of a sloshing mixture
Firing: The shattering of glass, the hiss of gas escaping
Effect: Target begins screaming as the green mixture splatters him and begins dissolving his flesh
Mechanics: 1d6 acid damage a round, anything damaged by the acid is converted into more acid.  Acid is neutralized by water or salt.

3:
Casing: Brass, engraved with geometric designs, a faint ticking can be heard coming from inside
Firing: The sound of a bell tower ringing
Effect: Target has chunks of his body disappear into the ether
Mechanics: Target, if he is below half HP, must save.  On a failure, target vanishes, taking all possessions with him.  On a success or if he is above half health, 3d6 damage

4:
Casing: Made of white clay, painted with flowers and doves, warm to the touch
Firing: The sound of birdsong
Effect: Target is engulfed by incorporeal flames as dazzling light floods the area
Mechanics: 2d6 radiant damage to target plus fills the area for 1d6*100' with natural sunlight

5:
Casing: Made of rawhide, wrapped in butcher's twine
Firing: The smell of meat, the scream of a hog
Effect: target's fles begins frothing like cola, their features twist and new appendages burst from their body
Mechanics: 2d6 damage + 1d4 mutations

6:
Casing: Carefully folded paper, covered in poems written by monks
Firing: The chanting of a hundred throats, casting prayers toward heaven
Effect: A puff of smoke, the slam of a heavenly gavel
Mechanics: Target takes 1d6 damage and must save.  If he is righteous, he regains 1d6 HP.  If he is wicked, he immediately suffers some sort of seemingly natural accident, such as being buried in a cave in, struck by lightning, attacked by a tiger, etc.  If the target is of a muddled sort and the Referee cannot decide, he takes an additional +1d6 damage.

                                                           from here on coolvibe.com

Thursday, January 9, 2020

OSR: Sage

                                            by rodg-art

I love magic.  In fairy tales and ancient myths, I loved how the world was full of wonders.  Tales of faeries in the woods and dragons in the mountains, smoke curling out of their nostrils as they snoozed on piles of gold, they filled my mind when I was young.  Along with these I loved tales of chivalry and heroism, of knights and gallantry.  King Arthur was among my favorites, along with the gorier parts of the Old Testament, especially First and Second Samuel and Kings.  That was my favorite reading when I was a child. 

As such, when I began running my own games, I wanted to bring forth that same spirit of wonder and adventure to my players.  But D&D fails spectacularly in conveying the magical elements of its universe, at least in some ways.  Everything is too sterile, too predictable.  The Vancian system, spell levels and all that serves to make the most mystical and wondrous thing in that fictional world, magic, identical to some kind of advanced weapon system. 

Now these are not new ideas, others have described them far more eloquently than me.  See here for Esper the Bard's original critique, and Cacklecharm's essay

As such, I have attempted to make most of my classes limited in their access to magic, or to make their magic stranger or have more hooks to bury the character into the world.  Paladins, for example, have magical abilities but they must adhere to their sacred oaths.  This is part of the reason why I have been so keen to adopt the GLOG system for spellcasting, it really does lend magic at least an element of unpredictability, of danger. 

This is the next step, a Wizard without any spells at all.  I call them Sages, the name from Cacklecharm.

                                                   by crimsonking

Sage
Starting HP: 1/3 Con
Fighting Spirit: +2 per Sage level, up to WIL score
Starting Equipment: Wand or Staff, Dagger, Bag of Alchemical components or book (can be on any topic the Referee approves of), Lucky charm or holy symbol

Abilities:

1:

Research: You know a lot of things, but what you don't know, you can find.  If you have access to a library, an Archive, or any other vast resourvior of information (the Internet, an electronic Database), you may attempt to find the answer to almost any question.  For each day you spend there, you may roll 1d20, with a chance equal to your level that you find the piece of information you are looking for.  For example, you could be looking for the answer to the question "How do I kill the Demon-Tyrant Balrai?"

If you were a level 1 Sage, you'd have a 1-in-20 chance of finding the answer on the first day.  You also get +1 to your roll per day you spend looking and you may reroll your 1d20 roll once per day, if you have a keeper of this knowledge, such as an Archivist or Librarian assisting you.  If you roll a success, the Referee will provide you with an answer, though it may not be an answer you like.  Additionally, answers may be vague or misleading, but they will always contain some truth.  The Referee could tell you about a highly exaggerated account of the first time Balrai was almost killed, but he cannot lie to you.  

Depending on the contents of the library, some things may not be contained within its walls.  If so, you will know after 1 day of searching.  If you speak to one of the keepers of that knowledge, they will be able to offer you a clear confirmation or denial of whether or not the knowledge you seek is contained within, unless they are under orders to lie.

Wand and Staves: You know how to use Wands and Staves and can use them.

2:

Sense Deceit: If you believe someone in a conversation is lying to you, you may take an action to observe them and roll a WIS check.  They must make an opposing check to bluff you, using CHA.  If you roll higher then them, you can tell if they are lying to you or not.

3:

Detect Magic: If you are looking for magic, magical items or tracking a magical creature, you can make a WIS check.  The Referee should determine an appropriate DC based on how powerful the source of magic is, how recently it was here, if any other magic was used here, etc.  If you succeed on your Check, you can determine where a source of magic is or if it is still here.  If the source of magic was moved recently, you may be able to track it (Referee's Discretion).  Magic feels different to every Sage, to some it has a specific smell, to others it leaves strange marks in an indescribable color, while to others still it produces a strange, ringing tone that lingers, a tinny, echoing sound in the Sage's ear.  

4:

Detect Fracture Point: If the Sage takes an action to look at a creature, object or proceeding, he can determine what the Fracture Point of that thing is.  For example, if he uses it on a magic ritual, he will be able to discover that if the dance is interrupted or the vessel dies or the fires are extinguished, the ritual will fail.  Similarly, if he is fighting someone, and uses this ability, he might discover the old soldier he is fighting has a bum knee that pains him, and attacking it could disable the soldier for minutes, if not hours.

5:

Substitute: If the Sage is performing a ritual and doesn't have the time, materials or simply cannot execute one of the Ritual's steps, the Sage can attempt to use a Substitute.  This Substitute has to be similar enough- such as using a yearling instead of a human toddler, or white candles instead of red.  The Substitute has a 1d10% chance equal to the Sage's level of working.  If it doesn't, roll on the Ritual Failure table as per usual.

6:

Omen Sense: The Sage can sense when things are different, odd or changing in the world's spiritual ecosystem.  If the Sage sits and meditates, he has a chance equal to his level each hour to be able to sense fluctuations in the winds of magic.  These fluctuations indicate portentous or important things, such as a large battle, a Dragon or a Great Sorrow awakening from hibernation, the crowning of a new King, the upcoming birth of a Messiah-figure, etc.  He can also sense when Outsiders cross the threshold into our universe, provided he is close enough or they are powerful enough.

Additionally, if one of these Omens is sufficiently powerful, it may strike the Sage without him looking for it.  For example, if you are sleeping in the valley beneath the volcano lair of Gorranus, the Great Wyrm and he wakes up from his 1000 year slumber, you'll probably notice, regardless of whether or not you meditate.

7:

Unconscious Clairvoyance: Your soul has grown tendrils, which reach out into the minds of others nearby, scooping up forgotten thoughts and idle musings.  You should be considered to know almost everything that the other members of your party know, though not their secrets.  Additionally, you will not know their skills or detailed knowledge, but you will know what they are thinking about at the moment.

Essentially, if the Referee tells another party member something based on their background or specific knowledge, you will know this too, even if you are not there.  For example, if the Scoundrel recognizes the tattoo on the assassin as matching the one worn by his serial-killer father or the Fighter recognizes the martial technique of his opponent as belonging to a rare technique only taught in a specific region, you will know both of these facts.  You might not be aware of the significance of these facts, but you will know them.  

8:

Sight Beyond Sight: As True Sight/Wizard Vision.  You can see magic, invisible things, the true forms of shape-changers and things as they truly are.  To your eyes like this, a coward is smaller and dirtier than he normally appears, rat-like, more vermin then mortal.  Meanwhile, a virtuous man glows with inner light, his blood blazing like molten iron, shining through clay flesh.  You can also see emotional or magical scars on people's souls using this Sight, so you can tell if someone is cursed, blessed or has been possessed.

A warning though: looking upon a particularly foul creature with your Sight Beyond Sight can be a truly traumatizing sight.  If you look upon a creature with any sort of fear or charm effect using your Sight Beyond Sight, you have disadvantage on any rolls against their abilities.

9:

Lidless Eye: Your soul has grown vast indeed; and it is hungrier than ever.  You seek and absorb knowledge like you are driven by a compulsion.  Your soul's extent is so great that it spills out even more than it already did, absorbing information from the environment like a sponge soaks up water.  For game purposes, you can "hear" everything the players and Referee say as table-talk, but non-game terms are filtered out as things beyond your comprehension.  What "Pizza Delivery" and "[Insert Pop Culture Reference here]" mean are forever beyond your understanding, but you can hear everything else.

For example, you do not know that the Outsider has a Damage Threshold of 6 or that it is makes two attacks for 1d6+4 sharp damage but if the Referee tells the party that this enemy is immune to fire damage, you can tell the other members of your party that the Outsider cannot be damaged by fire.

                                                         by mashamaklaut

Sages fill the normal role a Wizard would, but they do not have spells.  Instead, Sages must rely on their cunning, their weapons and their research.  Sages do not start with magic, but they could learn how to acquire it for themselves.

How to get some magical mojo of your own:
1d6

1- Learn some Rituals.  All it really requires is the knowledge, the right materials and a few friends.
2- Find and Acquire one of the Secret Names of God.  These are either floating around in the minds of Prophets, in Temples, Dungeons or attached to a Deity. 
3- Sell your Soul.  You don't have to sell your actual soul, but you get the idea.  You can strike a bargain with a a spirit of the otherworld to give yourself superpowers.  This is the fastest option, with the least effort up front.  Just make sure you read the fine print, and keep your patron happy....
4- Alchemy.  Potion brewing is like performing rituals, except even easier, though much more expensive.
5- Artifice.  As potion brewing, but even more expensive.  Also, you really need to know an allen from a socket wrench for this to be a viable route.
6- Find or make a Wizard Weapon of your very own. 

What to do with Sages:

- In a low-magic campaign ala Dark Sun: There are no Wizards, only Sages.  Sages themselves either use Wands and Staves or Guns with non-magical bullets as their primary weapons, depending on DM preference.  If it's more Conan, then I'd use the former.  If it's more The Dark Tower, as in a world that has "moved on", I'd select the latter.

- In Sea of Stars: I'd make them like Jedi, essentially.  I'd give them weapons from "a more civilized era" that only they could use, and one starting piece of magical knowledge, such as a ritual, a magical language, a potion recipe, an Empty-Man's name, etc.

- In Those who Know: There are Wizards out there, but the players cannot become Wizards.  I guess I would just stick them in there, but that might be stepping on the Investigator's toes.  Then again, I'm sure most players would prefer to play a pseudo-Wizard then a Detective.

I'm not sure about Eldritch Americana or Nukaria.

What I wouldn't do: Throw Sages into a setting where Wizards are relatively common.  In such a place, the Sage is Luigi, forever playing second banana to his infinitely more popular brother, and rightly so. 

At the same time, I am torn.  I have spent a lot of time with the Wizard and I am reluctant to abandon him.  As such, I will keep him, at least for some of my settings.

                                                       by RafSarmento

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

OSR: Cursed Items: Curse as Gamble

This is part 2 to a series on Cursed Items.  Reading Part 1 is not required, but it is recommended. 

This post is about the second type of Cursed item, the type that while powerful, present obvious risks.  They are the magical equivalent of nitroglycerin; they present an obvious danger, but they can do what nothing else can do. 

For these items, I recommend informing the players up front about the dangers of using such an item.  Hopefully the potential reward of using such an item will present the players with an interesting choice.

Risky Cursed Items
1d6

1- Ring of the Undead Master
2- Cauldron of Restoration
3- Hat of Disguise
4- Robe of Stars
5- Butcher's Nails
6- Sceptor of Thralldom

                                            from Fantasy Biker Store

Ring of the Undead Master.

This ring is a band of silver studded with dozens of amethyst stones, all sloppily inserted with little regard for aesthetics.  The worksmanship of the ring itself is quite poor, in fact.  However, the ring clearly wasn't meant to be a piece of jewelry.  The ring radiates magic, making the hair of anyone who approaches it stand on end.  It is the magical equivalent of carrying around a fuel rod from a nuclear fission reactor.  The ring oozes power and danger in equal amounts, because make no mistake, this ring is powerful.

The ring contains 1d20 Charges.  The player should not be told how many charges there are.  However, they should be told this: if the ring exceeds 20 charges, it will release all of its charges at once.  Once the players find out what the ring can do, they will realize what a terrible thing this is.  The players should also be told that if the ring ever hits zero charges, it will stop working permanently.

While wearing the ring, the wearer can burn as many charges as he likes and make an attack roll.  The ring will then fire a ray at the target, doing Xd6 necrotic damage, where X is the amount of charges burned.  If this reduces a the target to zero HP, there is a X-in-6 chance that the creature's corpse rises as an X HD Undead that is not under the wearer's control.  If the wearer fires a similar ray at a corpse, the corpse will automatically rise as an X HD Undead not under the wearer's control.

The wearer will learn this shortly after donning the ring, but the way that the ring regains charges is through the death of sapient creatures with souls at least as strong as a human's.  The creature must be sacrificed and its blood poured into a glass.  The ring must then be removed and placed in the hot blood.  The ring will devour the person's life force and store it within one of the ring's gems, gaining X charges, where X is the sacrificed creature's HD.

If the number of charges in the ring ever falls to 0, the ring breaks and loses its magic permanently.

If the number of charges in the ring ever rises above 20, the ring vents energy, releasing 1d20 charges in a wave of necrotic energy.  Everyone within 1d20*10' of the ring must save, including the ring wearer.  On a successful save, they take 1d20 necrotic damage.  On a failed save, they instantly die and their bodies are raised as Undead hostile the last wearer of the ring, as well as all living things.  This is secret knowledge because no one has yet survived it.

                                                source unknown

Cauldron of Restoration.

It's a large, heavy pot, made of solid cast iron.  It is slightly damaged, but the construction is clearly solid.  In fact, if you touch it, you find it to be much heavier than you would have expected, the metal even more solid than you would have imagined.  The Cauldron almost seems to be more "real" than you or anything else.  Compared to it, all other pots almost feel soft, though that's probably just you imagining things.  Surprisingly, the Cauldron will float like a cork if dropped into water.

The Cauldron will either include with it, or have stenciled on the side, a recipe for potions of vitality.  The recipe for this potion is this: fill the Cauldron with a mixture of 1 part blood, 2 parts water, 1 part liquor, along with a pinch of salt, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a dash of pepper.  Add honey or sugar for taste (the potions taste awful either way, but honey or sugar helps).  Then light a fire under the Cauldron and bring to a boil.  This whole process takes about half an hour.  As you boil the ingredients, the mixture within will begin to froth and bubble, glowing and convulsing, spraying drops of warm, glowing fluid across the ceilings and walls.  Then, once the majority of the fluid has boiled away in a cloud of invigorating vapor, the bottom of the Cauldron will be full of a sweet tasting, cinnamon-scented liquid that radiates magical power.  The liquid produced will only enough for 1 person to drink and they must drink the whole thing to cause any anything to activate.  Anyone who drinks one of these potions heals Xd8 HP, with the rest rolling over into FS.  In this, X is the HD of the creature who's blood was used in the mixture.  If it was a PC, use class levels instead of HD, but otherwise everything is unchanged.

But there is a catch.  The Cauldron of Restoration is cursed.  It once belonged to a powerful Orzanian Witch-Warrior named Ryzia [Rye-za] of Uahin [Wa-hin].  Ryzia commanded both great magical abilities and impressive martial skill, a feat which made him a great hero to the burgeoning Empire.  Ryzia was also the one who originally created the Cauldron, with the help of his city's patron deity, Numox the Divine Genius, God of Poetry, Dancing, Cooking, Healing and Masculinity.  Ryzia used the Cauldron only for noble purposes in those days, but as he was called further and further afield, asked to accomplish what he had once done with fewer resources and farther from home, Ryzia grew desperate.  He thought (not inaccurately) that his forces were the only one keeping the fledgling Empire's Southwestern provinces from being exposed to the kingdoms and barbarians of that same region.

He would not turn back or retire from the field, but he had to do something.  So as Ryzia's wars continued, he grew more and more vicious, fighting with a fervor and zeal that inspired his men and terrified his foes in equal amounts.  Ryzia eventually abandoned traditional ways of making war, instead using guerrilla and terror tactics to harass his enemies.  He ordered atrocities designed to dissuade the enemy from fighting, leaving whole nations scattered to the wind, displacing whole tribes and slaughtering those who did not submit to Imperial rule.  This worked for a while, until finally, God Numox caught wind of what he was doing.  Numox saw what Ryzia was doing and was immensely displeased by what he saw.  A prophet came and rebuked the Witch-Warrior, cursing him to do to his own people what he did to the foreign tribes he crushed.  The prophet also cursed the Cauldron, commanding it to become an "everlasting monument to Ryzia's crimes". 

The curse made the Cauldron all but indestructible and caused it to occasionally produce Potions of Cancerous Growths instead of Potions of Restoration.  Potions of Cancerous Growths always look and smell exactly like Potions of Restoration.  To determine which one was brewed, roll on the table below.

What kind of potion is produced?
1d20 

1: Potion of Cancerous Growths.  Cause a creature who drinks it to have their body become infested with thousands of fast growing tumors that grow expontentially, plundering the body of resources and deforming the drinker's body into a forest of hideous growths.  The actual cause of death is usually heart failure, suffocation, organ failure or brain death.  Unless the creature who drinks it has some astounding ability to quickly change the shape of their body, such as an Outsider's shapeshifting or has access to miraculous healing, such as from a God or a Lich-level Biomancer, the drinker dies.
2-20: Potion of Restoration.  Cause a creature to regain Xd8 HP, then FS, where X is the HD/Class level of the creature whose's blood was used in the mixture. 

There are, of course, also modifiers that can be attributed to this roll.

Modifiers:

- If the creature who whose blood was used gave it up willingly, then the chance of brewing a Potion of Cancerous Growths is not increased.
- If the creature whose blood was used had their blood stolen or taken from their corpse, then the chance of brewing a Potion of Cancerous Growths is increased by +X, where X is his HD/Class level.  For example, a 3 HD creature whose blood was used nonconsentually would increase the chance to where a roll of 1-4 would brew a Potion of Cancerous Growths instead.
- If the creature brewing the Potion is a wicked creature, then the chance of brewing a Potion of Cancerous Growths is increased by +X, where X is the number of unjustified evil actions that creature committed.  For this, only count the especially notable acts though.  Jaywalking may violate the law, but it's not evil for our purposes though.  Killing a helpless prisoner or sacrificing a baby or something like that would definitely be evil, though.  For example, if the creature brewing the potion sold a baby to an evil cult and killed a helpless prisoner, the chance of brewing a Potion of Cancerous Growths increases to 1-3.
- If a Unicorn horn or Unicorn horn shavings are added to the mixture and you were involved in the killing or hunting of the Unicorn in some way, add +2x to the chance of brewing a Potion of Cancerous Growths, where X is the Unicorn's HD, you sicko.

All of the details about how this Cauldron works, its history and the like, except for the curse and the fact that it produces Potions of Cancerous Growths can be found in the Imperial Archives and various collections of historical volumes. 

The fact that it occasionally produces Potions of Cancerous Growths should be revealed by the party's enemies.  I recommend dispatching them on a routine mission to hunt down some bandits or cultists and have the enemies have access to brewed Potions of Restoration.  The Potions make them hard to kill, but make sure you show one of the enemies drink his Potion, only for it to actually be a Potion of Cancerous Growths and kill him.  Have this happen multiple times, until the players realize what you're trying to tell them.  If they ask, be sure to tell them there is a chance of brewing a Potion of Cancerous Growths.

As for Ryzia's fate, it is shrouded in mystery.  The official, Imperial histories say he accidentally attacked a village of loyal Orzane that he thought were traitors and when this fact was revealed, he killed himself out of shame, ensuring justice was done with his last breath.  And despite this ignimonious end, the Cult of Glory still venerates him as one of the soldiers who followed God Marzan's example of service, valor and heroic self-sacrifice. 

This hasn't stopped many ghost stories circulating about Ryzia, especially in the Southwestern regions of the Empire.  Mothers often scare their children with stories of Ryzia the Witch-Warrior, who is said to still walk the streets late at night, having used black magicks to extend his life.  He is said to kidnap naughty children who stay out past their bed times.  Similar stories are told by cadets and initiates into many of the Empire's military academies, with the seniors telling their juniors that Ryzia was once a cadet here and still haunts the dark corners of the academy.  But there's probably no truth to these stories.  Right?

                                                           by Nika

Hat of Disguise.

It is a hat, always slightly battered, but otherwise in good condition.  It changes it various types of hats, depending on who wears it.  These changes always occur when no one is looking at the hat.  The hat is usually brown or black, but it can be other colors.  The hat also radiates magic, warming the head of anyone who wears it, making all of that person's hair stand on end.  Anyone who puts it on will feel a surge of power flow through them and learn the Hat's power.

The Hat of Disguise grants the power to anyone who wears it to disguise themselves.  The Hat can alter someone's appearance, smell, the sound of the person's voice voice, even the way he smells.  But it does much more than that- it is not merely an item that changes the body, but it also changes someone's mannerisms, subtly guiding the person's behavior so that they are are all but indistinguishable from the real thing.

Here's how the power works.  When the user wants to activate the Hat's power, the Referee should ask the user a list of questions.  This list of questions includes most basic personal information, but is not limited to this alone. 

Here are some example questions the Referee can and should ask:

What does the person you want to alter your appearance look like?
What type of clothing does he wear?
What does this person sound like?
What does he smell like?
Does this person bathe often?  Does he wear perfume?
Does he wear make-up?  Paint his face? 
How does he treat people?
Is he married?  Does he have any children?  How does he treat them?  Does he act like he loves his wife(s)?
Does he practice the ways of violence?  Or is he a man of peace?
What are his mannerisms?
Does he have any habits, good or bad?
What virtues does he have?  What vices mar his character?

If the user is pretending to be someone who the user has encountered in-game, the Referee should compare the answers the user gives to what the Referee knows about this NPC and record the number of correct answers.  For each correct answer, the user gets +1 (max: +6) to his disguise check.  Each incorrect answer does not grant a +1, obviously.

For example: If the user say Dozaine of Melchis loves his wife but the Referee knows that he was forced into the marriage to avoid scandal and resents the woman for it, then that is incorrect.  If the user answers that Dozaine is stiffly formal with his wife, but seems to show her no affection, then that would be correct.

If the user is using the Hat to instead disguise themselves as someone who he has invented as an alter-ego or suitable disguise, the Referee should ask the questions of the user, who should answer them.  Then, once finished, the Referee should have the user make a disguise check, as above.  In this case, as the person who the user is being doesn't exist, there is no chance of the user being recognized as an imposter.  However, if someone rolls low on a disguise check in this situation, then the user will be thought of as suspicious or a liar, as the questioner sees through their flimsy persona. 

There is just one more thing you should be aware of.  The power of the Hat of Disguise is so great that it even fools the wearer.  For every hour that the Hat is worn, it does 1d6 WIS damage to the user.  If the WIS damage taken like this ever equals or exceeds the user's WIS score, the user becomes convinced that he actually is the person he is disguised as.  He will continue to act as that person and will ignore, evade or deny any attempt to convince him that his false persona is not his real one.  He will also resist all attempts to remove the Hat, though he will only use the abilities that his false persona grants him.  If he is ordinarily a Wizard but he is disguised as a non-caster, he will not be able to cast magic, as he doesn't believe he can.  

If the Hat is removed before the user's WIS score is reduced to 0, the user will not mistake his false persona for his real one. 

If the Hat is removed at any point, the disguise effect ends and the user is returned to his normal appearance and persona. However, if his WIS had been reduced to zero, he takes 1d6 trauma points and gains the Conviction, "I do not want to wear that Hat ever again."  He must also make a save to gain an additional Conviction based off of the disguise he was just inhabiting.  This varies, but is usually based on the other person's habits, such as, "I refuse to stay at any room in an inn that is not divisible by 3."

                                             by u/jay_bleu

The Robe of Stars.

A robe made of fabric so dark, words like "black" fail to describe it.  It is stygian and looks like it was made from the ocean of Night itself.  And in a way, it was.  However, the robe isn't just impossibly dark, but it is crowded with stars.  These stars shine and twinkle, glowing like the night's sky in a place with no light pollution.  These stars also move, the robe mimicking the movements of the stars across the sky.  Anyone who can navigate by the Heavens can use the Robe of Stars to find his way, even on cloudy nights.

Note that above only describes' the Robe's appearance at Night.  The robe looks different during the Day.  During the day the Robe mimics the sky, being a beautiful azure blue, with fluffy white clouds floating across it, as well as a huge blob of light on it for the sun.  During the day, the Robe illuminates a 30' area, assuming you are in a place not already illuminated by the sun.  In sunlight, this light isn't noticeable, but it obviously would be underground or in a dark place. 

The Robe has two powers.  First, at any time, the user may pull the Robe's hood down over his eyes and he will find his position seemingly altered.  He will see himself high above the planet of Acreage, the planet upon which Nukaria exists, and be able to gaze freely out into Deep Heaven.  His motion will be somewhat random, but he will be able to determine, roughly, what will happen if he engages the Robe's primary power.

The primary power is that the user may, as an action, open a portal from Deep Heaven to the planet he is standing on.  To determine what happens, he should roll on the table below.  The user may close the portal as a free action, as long as it is his turn. 

1d12
1- Horror from the Darkness beyond the Stars.  You have accidentally opened a portal next to a petty Old God.  Immediately, 1d4 [1= 1d10 Tentacles; 2= 1d8 many-fingered Hands; 3= 1 enormous pink thing (a tongue), covered in cilia, sticky; 4= A half-mile long serpent-thing with glowing "eyes"] emerge from out of the Robe and begin causing damage.  This is one of the Horror's appendages, which it has stuck through the small portal that opened next to it.  It will try to use this portal to slip through the net around Nukaria and land on the planet.  If it manages to do so, it would cause a small, local apocalypse and maybe the end of the entire world.  To do this, the Horror imposes its will on the user to try and force them to keep the portal open and will use its appendages to try and grab people and pull them back through the portal, so hopefully the user will keep the portal open, to prevent the user from shutting the portal, as that would mean stranding his comrades in Deep Heaven, with it.  The user must succeed a WIL contest with the Horror to close the portal.  The appendages have 1d3 HD each, with an AC of 11 and make 1 attack each round at (+2, 1d8 crushing or piercing).  They can withdraw back through the portal as a full action.  Finally, if someone ends up on the other side of the portal, they will find themselves face to face with the Horror, which would most likely be too powerful to actually fight.
2- Sucking void.  The Robe of Stars' portal is designed to prefer more solid objects over lighter ones, letting them pass through.  However, when it comes across a space where there is nothing, opening it here creates a powerful suction.  All creatures within 30' of the user must save.  On a failure, the creature is dragged towards the user.  The creature has 1d3 chances to grab hold of something.  If he fails all of his chances, he is dragged into the Robe and flung out into Deep Heaven.  This suction effect obviously ends if the user chooses to shut the portal.
3- Light from a Dead Star.  When a Star dies, it can sometimes persist for a while, clinging to embodied existence, a sort of self-enforced Undeath.  These Stars are usually destroyed by other forces in Deep Heaven, but before this happens, these Stars begin firing on distant worlds, other Stars or creatures out in Deep Heaven, taking revenge on all that lives.  You just so happen to have caught and transmitted one of those blasts.  The light does 3d6 necrotic damage, 100000000' cone, save for half.  
4- Jet of Dust.  A jet of dust going 400 miles per hour.  Functions as a 30' line of piercing damage that does 3d6 piercing damage each round for up to 3 rounds or as long as the portal is open.  Does half damage if you succeed on an Armor save.  (Roll your AC like a save.) 
5- A cloud of frozen chlorine gas.  A block of some toxic gas, frozen into a huge lump.  It flies 1d6*10', then crashes and evaporates into a 30' cloud that does 2d6 damage per round to everyone within the cloud.
6- Call of the Void.  Nothing is visible.  But when the portal is opened, everyone within 50' must save.  On a failed save, they start feeling the urge to walk to the user and enter through the portal.  Even those who passed their saves take 1d6 WIL damage a round for as long as the portal is open.  If this WIL damage ever equals or exceeds the creature's WIL score, treat it as a failed save.  This process continues until the user closes the portal or everyone who wanted to
7- Strange Radiation.  Dazzling light and an odd, tingling sensation blankets everyone within 50'.  This radiation causes everyone within the affected area to either gain 1d3 points to a random attribute score (max 18) or lose 1d3 points of a random attribute score (min 3).  There is a 50% of one of these event happening.  Also, regardless of what happens, all within the affected should save vs mutation. 
8- Shooting Star.  Shooting Stars are not true Stars, but living weapons fired by the Gods at Demons to prevent them from entering the upper realms without permission.  Shooting Stars are simple creatures, living only to kill Monsters and explode. If one ends up on your planet and there are no Demons or Monsters to fight, it will try to immediately return to Deep Heaven and if you refuse to let it, it will try to destroy you.  There is also a 50% chance that a Shooting Star is pursuing some other Outsider.  Shooting Stars stat as Outsiders, with the Demonic Gift to explode.  This obviously kills it, of course. 
9- Starlight.  One random creature within 30' of the portal is exposed to wisdom of the Heavenly Spheres.  For a second, he hears the ticking cogwheels of Natural Law, the engines of fate rumbling behind space-time.  That creature must immediately make a WIS save as this knowledge rushes into his mind.  On a failure, that creature takes 3d6 WIS damage and gains a random insanity.  On a success, the creature may ask 1d3 questions to the Referee about the past or present.  The Referee may only provide answers that the Stars might know.  The Stars know much about the past and present, but they do not know the future. The Stars also do not make judgements- think of them as super fast divine computers, hyper-complex Constructs.  They do not think, they calculate.  
10- Sunlight.  A wave of pure solar energy radiates out from the user in a 30' radius sphere.  This sunlight damages Undead  and other creatures harmed by sunlight as per normal and restores 1d4 FS to every living creature who is not hated by the Sun.
11- Spaceship.  A spaceship suddenly flies out of the Robe.  The Spaceship has a 2-in-6 chance of being an abandoned hulk, otherwise it is being piloted and is currently in use.  If the spaceship is being piloted, the pilot must save or crash into the heavenly body the Robe's user is standing on.  Once it lands or crashes, you will find the spaceship full of 1d6 [1= Humans; 2= Animal-people, such as Froglings or Snakemen; 3= Robots- this ship is unmanned; 4= A mixed crew of humans, animal people and robots; 5= An alien race that you've never seen before; 6= Roll again, with whoever you rolled as the crew being tormented by some kind of Monster or Demon that slipped aboard and has been preying on the crew ever since.]
12- Constellation.  The Stars of this Constellation, an important Celestial Institution, file an injunction against this portal being opened for 1d100+10 seconds.  They warn the user that to summon this Constellation to his word would delay them and prevent them from carrying out their directives.  Instead, the user should belay his request to open a portal and in exchange, this Constellation will... (roll on sub-Table A, "What will this Constellation do?").  If you ignore the Constellation, the portal will open and 1d12 Stars will be stranded on Earth.  This is likely to attract a lot of attention, from locals, evil people who know how useful Stars can be, from the Celestial Bureaucrats who are going to be incredibly angry that you stole some of their servers and probably from the Celestial Security Forces.

sub-Table A:

What will this Constellation do?
1d12
1- The Royal.  It will grant you an opportunity to serve a Monarch.  If you succeed in your task, you will surely be rewarded.
2- The Noble.   If you do not cancel your request to open the portal, the Constellation will have you chastised by the local authorities.  If this happens, the user of the Robe will soon find themselves framed for a crime in the next city or town they visit. 
3- The Judge.   It will grant you or anyone you wish a Royal or Imperial Pardon for a crime already committed.
4- The Knight.  If you do not cancel your request to open the portal, the Constellation will give you a valiant death in battle.  If this happens, the user is cursed to die in the next (dramatically) important battle.  This curse is broken by surrendering to the foe in that important battle.  If the user somehow survives the battle, the curse also ends.
5- The Thief.  If you do not cancel your request to open the portal, the Constellation will curse you with poverty.  You will lose everything but the shirt off your back due to taxation, fines, theft and catastrophe.  This curse is broken by voluntarily giving away all your possessions and taking an oath of poverty for at least 3 months.
6- The Councilor.  If you do not cancel your request to open the portal, the Constellation will have someone file a lawsuit against you in the coming days or weeks.
7- The Custodian.  It will grant you an inheritance from one of your relatives who is likely to die soon.  So if Great-Uncle Simon suddenly dies, you will be named his heir.
8- The Hunter.  You will be given a chance to find one of the Questing Beasts.  Example: the Jabberwocky.
9- The Prophet.  You will be given the location of the one of the Secret Names of God.
10- The Shepherd.  You will be given a loyal beast.  This beast has a 50% of being some sort of domesticated animal, such as a horse or hound, or some kind of cool monster, such as a griffon or romper (dire otter).
11- The Artist    If you do not cancel your request to open the portal, the Constellation will curse you with madness.  You will immediately develop some kind of crippling insanity.  This curse is broken by doing a bunch of drugs and going on a vision quest.  Ask your local Priest or Oracle for help with that.
12- The Pariah.   It will grant you a chance to do a great and noble deed.  Evil will rise up soon in your area and you will be well positioned to crush it.  The Constellation trusts that you will make the right call.

                                                                 from polyvore.com

Like this, except all the spikes are on the inside.

Butcher's Nails.

A headband made of tightly coiled fabric interwoven with wires and large, metal plates.  the inside of these plates have small metal spines that prick the skin.  Putting on the headband and tying it on will cause discomfort, but also send vague emanations of power through the wearer's body.  At any point, the wearer may, as  free action, activate the butcher's nails.  This will cause one of the spikes to pierce the wearer's skin, digging into their flesh.  This does 1 HP and 1d4 WIS damage.  In exchange though, it grants a +1 damage bonus.  If the wearer activates more nails, they can give the wearer other abilities.  However, each Nail still does 1 HP and 1d4 WIS damage.


While the wearer is wearing the Butcher's Nails, he cannot regain WIS points.  If he removes the Nail's at any point before the WIS damage taken equals or exceeds his WIS score, he is fine.  While the Nails are off, any creature whose WIS was reduced by them recovers WIS at a rate of 1 point per day, back up to his maximum.

But if the Butcher's Nails ever reduce his WIS to 0, they permanently bond themselves to the wearer's body.  The wearer cannot remove the Nails.  If someone attempts to take them off forcefully, the wearer dies.  Additionally, if the Wearer's WIS was reduced to zero by the Butcher's Nails, he gains the Conviction: "If I can solve a problem with violence, I will."

<Referee's Note>  Convictions work somewhat like this in my setting: if you have a Conviction to do X and you see an opportunity to do X, you must save to resist.  On a successful save, you are able to resist.  But on a failed save, you gain 1d6 points of Stress as long as you still have the opportunity to do X.  You can avoid this temptation by getting away or rendering it impossible to do X.  For example: if your Conviction is "I am a Kleptomaniac" and you see an unguarded object that looks like it might be worth stealing, you will be tempted to steal it.  If you fail your save, you can still avoid the temptation by leaving the store or pointing it out to your compatriots, assuming they aren't enabling your bad behavior, of course.  </Referee's Note>

                                                      source unknown


The Sceptor of Thralldom.

The Scepter of Thralldom is a royal scepter, made of gilded wood, ornamented with three tiny chains of iron, bronze and copper wrapped tightly around the handle.  The end of the Rod is tipped with a ruby, which is encapsulated in a cage of silver wires, the cage itself tipped with a single point of impossible sharpness. 

If you stab someone with this sceptor, he must save.  On a failed save, he takes 1d6 WIL damage from your stab wound.  Anyone with their WIL reduced below its maximum by the Sceptor of Thralldom becomes a Thrall of the wielder.  If the wielder gives them an order, the Thrall will feel compelled to obey.  It may try to disobey, but must succeed a WIL saving throw to successfully do so.  Remember to include its newly reduced WIL for the saving throw.

If the creature instead passes his WIL save, he does not take WIL damage and need not obey you, though he will sense the Scepter's attempts to crush his will.  There is no visible difference between someone who has passed and someone who has failed their save against the scepter.  

Thralls with zero WIL cannot disobey your orders, though they will also be vulnerable to other mind-influencing effects, such as Fear or Charm.  Additionally, all creatures under your control regain X points of WIL per day, where X is their HD divided by 3, with a minimum of 1.  For example, a 12 HD creature regains 4 point of WIL per day.  If the creature instead has SHP and a Damage Threshold, double the the creature's Damage Threshold and use it as if it were HD.