Friday, March 5, 2021

OSR: Goblins

Giggling, capering, foolish creatures; deprived of fear and drunk on black mirth and base cruelty, the Goblin is foremost among the terrors afflicting the small people of this world.  For unlike the lumbering Trolls, tyrannical Giants, ravenous Ogres or any number of other savage beasts, Goblins are as common as poison ivy.  

They are a dark plague that afflicts the body politic of many civilized lands, growing numerous and potent when the institutions crumble and the nobility become more interested in wealth and internal politicking than defending the borders, and similarly, grow few and scarce when confronted by a vigorous population and a courageous elite.

by MarjorieDavis
HD 0 - 3 HP
AR none
Atk Varies, see below
Mor 15
Saves 7 or less

Cold Iron Weakness: Goblins take +1 damage per die from all Iron Weapons.

Truth-Teller: Goblins cannot lie.  They can muddy the issue, dodge the question and not answer, but they cannot lie directly. 

Chuckle-Voodoos: Goblins have innate magical abilities.  Individually, Goblins can create illusions made of stardust and cobwebs, held together by magic.  These illusions aren't very convincing, being a bit too loud, colorful or simply out of place.  A creature can see through a Goblin's illusion by succeeding on a Cognition check with a DC appropriate to the situation (Referee's Discretion).  The more Goblins gathered in one place, the more convincing the illusion.  Other Goblins can also lend their strength to each other's illusions, producing sound, smell or simply adding more detail.  However, regardless of how many Goblins there are, these illusions will never stand up to physical scrutiny.

- Confuse the enemy with illusions
- Throw stones from slings
- Use hit and run tactics
- Perform a false retreat, then ambush

To customize a Group of Goblins, roll on the tables below:

These Goblins are...


1- Savage.  These are Goblins dedicated to redeeming themselves to the rest of the Folk.  As such, they abhor technology and the fruits of civilization.  They use weapons made of natural materials and diabolical traps to wage war on civilization.  They infiltrate areas where Law is weak and pick off the weaklings, attempting to increase their numbers and strength until they can overwhelm the local outposts of civilization.  These Goblins do not speak the lingua franca of this civilization, restricting themselves to bestial snarls when outside the comfort of their stronghold.  They use weapons made of ice, wood, bone or sharp stone and specialize in guerilla warfare, using traps, ambushes and horribly booby traps.  They kidnap women to be their concubines, steal food and burn everything that reminds them of civilization, including all the books, paintings and clothing.  They themselves wear minimal clothing and armor, especially among the common Goblins.  This type of Goblin also occasionally partners with Druids and other Folk.
2- Mirthful.  These are Goblins who have accepted their position at the bottom of the heap, and regard it with wry wit.  They are convinced that, as they view their situation as hopeless, the only thing that can be done is to laugh about it.  They clothe themselves in colorful motley and make nonsensical jokes, laughing hysterically.  These Goblins kidnap humans to watch their amateur performances or to engage in absurd rituals.  These Goblins do speak your language, but still don't make much sense.  These Goblins also have the most practical experience with magic, able to conjure fantastic illusions and other elaborate displays.  These Goblins sometimes partner with Chaos cults and sometimes, the Minions of the Dark Powers. 
3- Vassal.  Vassal Goblins are Goblins who have taken to serving a more powerful master and altering themselves to be more like their master.  If they are serving a human leader, they may skin humans and make them into magical disguises, which they will then use to pretend to be humans.  Or if they are serving a Dragon, they will build false Dragons out of wood and plaster and move them around at night.  They essentially act as an unintentional parody of whatever their Master is.  This may agrevate their master, as Goblins are not subtle, nor does the concept of restraint mean anything to them. 
4- Royalist.  These are Goblins who are in service of a Goblin King.  They reject the Chaotic nature of their own species and attempt to live normal lives.  They build towns, pay taxes and organize themselves into institutions.  Rarely trusted by Lawful creatures, and with good reason.  For while Goblins can do many things, they are still Folk and still servants of Chaos.  Their instincts can be suppressed for some time, but ultimately they always come out.

Goblin Weaponry:
- Savage Goblins carry daggers made of flint or obsidian, and use slings that they can use well enough to fling a stone from and knock a bird out of the air from 100 feet away.  These weapons do d6 damage. 
- Mirthful Goblins wield clubs and small warhammers made of wood, stone or bone.  They also use Fool Swords, wooden shortswords dyed bright colors that they enchant to be sharp as steel, but useless in the hands of the cynical, jaded or mature.  Children, madmen and those innocent enough to still believe in fairy tales wield these as magical, supersharp swords, while those are not regard them as cheap wooden toys.  They also have custard pies that have filling that burns like acid, colorful lassos made of an endless string of knotted hankerchiefs, and inflated sonic bombs full of flammable sawdust that sticks to everything. 
- Vassal Goblins use whatever weapons their Master would have them use, or make facsimilies of their master's weapons out of wood, stone or ice.
- Royalist Goblins usually use weapons made of bronze or copper, which is lighter than steel but not as strong.  They design themselves to resemble the local Agents of Law, but rarely end up as anything more than an odd parody.

This group of Goblins also carries...


1- Blowpipes.  Blowpipes do 1 damage on a hit, plus the dart is coated in 1d4 [1= Hallucinogens.  Any creature hit by one of these darts has hallucinations for 1d6 hours; 2= A Paralyzing Agent.  Causes 1d6 DEX damage and a -1d4 penalty to attack.  This damage heals itself after 1d8+2 hours; 3= Dangerous poison.  When hit, save or die.  On a failed save, the creature immediately drops of 0 HP and starts dying.  On a successful save, the creature loses half of its HP; 4= Diseased tip.  The Goblins smear their darts in their feces.  Any creature hit with one must save vs disease once the battle is over.] 
2- A bow and arrow.  Goblin Bows do 1d6+1 damage on a hit.  Useful for lighting people on fire once they've blundered into an oil trap, covered in sawdust or simply are standing too close to an explosive booby trap.  Also good for taking potshots at people from very far away.  Goblin archers are a privileged caste, as most Goblins aren't strong enough to draw even a shortbow.
3- Special ammunition for slings.  All Goblin bands over 4 will have at least one Goblin who knows how to use a sling.  For while the Savage Goblins are best with them, most Goblins practice with the sling.  These Goblins, besides throwing stones, also have 1d6 [1= Ceramic balls full of flammable oil; 2= Glass balls full of acid; 3= Fabric balls coated in the pheremones of the most dangerous type of monster around; 4= Smoke bombs; 5= Stink Bombs, save or puke your guts out; 6= Breakable clay balls full of millions of spiders, ants or other creepy crawlies.]

Goblin Strategies:


1- Be more numerous.  Sometimes you don't need a plan.  When other Goblins are nearby, Goblins will carry horns that when blown, can reach the ears of their nearby allies.
2- False retreat.  Attack, then once you take some damage, retreat.  When the enemy comes to follow you, the rest of your force attacks them from the back. 
3- Illusory Reinforcements.  Half of the Goblins attack, the other half stay back and create illusory Goblins.  The enemy has a 50% of not hitting you, or anyone at all.
4- Illusory Enemies.  Create illusions of Goblins heading one way, then wait for the enemies to follow them.  When they do, ambush them or attack from a direction they aren't expecting.

artist unknown

Goblin Army
HP 20 + (10*1d10)
Damage Threshold 3
Atk Spear (1d6/1d6/1d6 + see below)
Mor 18
Saves 8 or less

Army: A Goblin Army is a group of 20 or more Goblins working and fighting together as a unit.  Armies move in groups- 3 can walk abreast in a 10' wide hallway.  Three soldiers in the Army are able to surround one enemy and more will be needed should there be more enemies, or should they be standing shoulder-to-shoulder or back-to-back.  Armies make all saves against area-of-effect spells with disadvantage and should a spell or ability of that kind do damage, they take full damage if evading it is based on DEX or agility.    

Variable Attacks: An Army can make a variable amount of attacks, especially if it is able to surround an enemy.  At base, Armies can make three attacks, but depending on positioning, may be able to make more.  If the Referee rules it, an Army may make a number of additional attacks up to 10 potential attacks, but this is only in a situation where a group of enemies has been completely surrounded.  

Damage Threshold: Attacks against the Army automatically hit, instead have the attacker just roll damage and compare it to the Damage Threshold.  Any attack that equals or exceeds the threshold does normal damge to the Army's HP, but any attack that fails to reach or exceed the Damage Threshold is ignored, as if it did no damage.  

Chuckle-Voodoos: Goblins, when massed, can perform more powerful magicks.  To determine what this Goblin Army can do, roll on the table below.

- Terrify your enemies with elaborate deceptions and enormous illusions
- Mob your enemies
- Have no fear, unless presented with overwhelming force

This Goblin Army possesses the power to...


1- Make itself invisible, as long as it is not attacking.  The sounds the Army make will largely be masked by the illusion as well, but there will still be signs that the Army is there, such as the grass being pressed down where they are standing, the feeling of many eyes on you and the smell.
2- Make itself appear to be somewhere else.  The Goblins can "throw" their voices, taking all the noises they make and moving it to another area within visual range.  For example, if the Goblins are sneaking up on your camp along the riverbed, they can make it appear like they are on top of the hill on the other side of camp.
3- Make itself seem larger.  By weaving an illusion, the Goblin Army can make itself appear double or triples its current size, a veritable sea of Goblin. 
4- Create mass illusions.  Goblin Armies can make incredible illusions that affect entire cities, making it appear like the sun has turned black and the moon the color of blood, or conjured an entire army of illusory monsters to rampage through a town.

Goblins are the lowest of the Folk, scheming, pathetic creatures who have earned the scorn of their brethren.  For unlike most other Folk, not all Goblins actively scorn civilization.  Some of them ape it, living in houses, buying and selling, even practicing math and marriage.  For this, they are despised and rejected by most Folk, who regard them as traitors.  As such, Goblins live apart from them, building communities in isolated areas and on the edges of true wilderness.  These communities are hollow reflections of mortal cities, resembling garbage dumps or strange, mad mirrors depicting our civilizations through a warped lense.  Some Sages have even argued that Goblins are essentially a Folkish critique of civilization, a dark mirror that depicts how they truly feel about us. 

And considering that Goblins are crude, cruel, stupid, savage, ruthless, blood-thirsty and consumed by their base desires, it's not wonder that the Folk hate us.

by artist unknown

Goblin Axegrinder
HD 2
AR none
Atk Dagger (1d6) or (Oversized Axe (1d10) when on Combat Drugs)
Mor 16 (20 on Combat Drugs)
Saves 9 or less

Truth-teller, Cold Iron Weakness, Chuckle-Voodoos: See above.

Combat Drugs: Axegrinders have spines taken from a certain type of slug that when stabbed into a living creature, drive that creature into a blood-thirsty frenzy.  While in this frenzy, the creature can only, and must, make an attack each round.  Additionally, while under the effects of these drugs, the Axegrinder cannot be dissuaded from attacking in any way and is immune to charm or fear effects.  Additionally, whenever a Goblin Axegrinder takes damage while under the influence of these drugs, the Axegrinder gets +1 to attack and damage and any damage to them does not take effect until next round, unless that damage would kill the Axegrinder outright. 

Still Standing: Should a Goblin Axegrinder be reduced to 0 HP, that Axegrinder should make a save.  On a successful save, the Axegrinder doesn't die.  Note that a save should only be permitted if there is a chance the Axegrinder is still alive.  If the Axegrinder is blown to bits or disintegrated, then it automatically dies.

- Inject your Combat Drugs
- Charge into battle with no sense of fear or self-preservation
- Attack the first creature you encounter unerringly, until that creature is dead

Goblin Axegrinders are Goblin warriors who use special drugs to enter a hyper-lethal rage.  While raging Axegrinders are giggling, capering terrors, sprinting at their enemies with no sense of self-preservation, evading attacks and slamming into foes twice their size with enormous axes that split torsos like fruit and smash limbs like logs.  Axegrinders are very dangerous, but without their drugs, they are just normal Goblins, burdened with weapons much heavier than normal.  Should they be deprived of these drugs or prevented from stabbing themselves with the spines, they can be dispatched much more easily.  Additionally, any spell that removes poison will automatically flush the drugs from their system and weaken them.

Axegrinders are usually Goblin criminals, those who have been given one last chance to redeem themselves on the battlefield.  When not in combat or on drugs, they tend to be pitiful, self-loathing types, or opportunists looking for the first chance to desert.  

by Edikt Art

Goblin Sage
HD 3
AR 2 [Light Armor] + (See below)
Atk Varies
Mor 13
Saves 9 or less

Truth-teller, Cold Iron Weakness, Chuckle-Voodoos: See above.

- Use ranged weapons whenever possible
- Hide your true strength
- Deceive the enemy with illusions, lure them into a trap
- When you do attack, strike with overwhelming force

To customize a Goblin Sage, roll on the tables below:

This Goblin Sage is protected by...


1- Medium Armor.  The Sage has AR 3 instead.
2- A shield and helm.  The Sage has +2 AR.
3- His bodyguard.  The Sage is protected by a 1d6 [1= 1d3+1 Goblins; 2= 1 Goblin Axegrinder; 3= A trained beast, such as a massive Dog, a Jaguar, Wolf or Baboon; 4= A Boggart Male; 5= A Druid; 6= A Redcap.]
4- A Spirit Pact.  The Sage has made a pact with a Spirit so that 1d4 [1= He regenerates as long as he is in, on or touching an open flame, recovering 1 HD per round; 2= He is immune to damage from non-magical weapons; 3= He can teleport up to 50' away once per round; 4= He is loved by Nature and as long as he is in an natural setting, the plants and nature around him will subtly intervene on his behalf.  Roots spring up to trip those attacking him, tree branches fall on those running away from him, wolves just so happen to attack when he is in danger, etc.  Treat him as if all attacks against him had disadvantage, unless you are in an area where Law is in firm control, such as a City or Castle.

This Sage fights with...


1- The Sage fights with a sword and is skilled with it.  He makes one 1d6 attack and can reduce the damage of one attack per round by 1d6.
2- The Sage fights with a bow and arrow.  He makes one 1d6+1 attack on his turn.  He also carries 1d4 [1= Arrows coated in pitch that do +1d6 fire damage if set alight; 2= Arrows dipped in poison, on a hit you take 1d6 damage per round until you succeed a CON check, with a max damage of 3d6; 3= Barbed arrows that cause intense pain and give a -1d4 penalty to attacks or delicate movements; 4= Arrows with shafts stained with filth, if hit, save vs disease.  On a failed save, you catch Bottler's Froth*.]
3- The Sage knows how to make bombs.  He has 1d6 of them and can use a sling to hurl them at you.  These bombs are 1d3 [1= Incendiary, full of alchemist's fire.  Does 2d6 damage within a 30' radius and anything ignited takes 1d6 damage a round.  The bomb also leaves a pool of flaming goo that keeps burning.  This fire cannot be extinguished by water; 2= Gas.  This bomb creates a cloud that occupies 30' cubic feet.  Any creature within takes 1d6 damage and must save or be blinded.  The gas clears naturally after 10 minutes or in 1 minute if there is a strong breeze; 3= Explosion!  3d6 damage in a 30' radius, save for half.]
4- This Sage has a Wand.  It does 1d4 [1= Fire; 2= Ice; 3= Poison; 4= Lightning] damage.
5- This Sage has a Staff.  The Staff does 1d6 damage on a hit and can 1d4 [1= Do +1d6 thunder damage on a hit or create shockwaves that blast creatures near the Sage away, STR save to resist; 2= Do +1d6 acid damage on a hit or create a pool of acid on the floor up to 10' long and 5' wide; 3= Do +1d6 radiant damage on a hit or be used to create a blinding flash of light, succeed a CON save or be blinded; 4= Do +1d6 fire damage on a hit or create a wall of fire that is 10' long, 10' high and 1' thick that lasts for 1 minute.]
6- This Sage has a magical weapon** from a Spirit.  The weapon is called 1d4 [1= Indomitable, a sword of bronze gears with a brass blade.  As an action, the user can command the sword to 'Freeze' and it will, remaining locked in place wherever it was, even if that is mid-air; 2= Azure, a sky blue sword made of crystal.  1/Day, the sword can transform into a cloud and replicate any type of water en-miniature- ex: it could create a tiny lightning storm that follows one opponent around and shocks them with d6 lightning bolts; 3= Hieronymus, a scimitar of titanium, a weapon of Heaven.  1/Day, the scimitar can alter the boiling or melting point of a material to be room temperature; 4= Winterbite, a sword made of ice and inlaid with silver wire.  1/Day, the user may create an animated snowman to serve him.  The snowman has 1 HD, 0 AR, a d6 attack and a vulnerability to fire damage.  It naturally melts, lasting 10 minutes in a tropical environment, 1 hour in a temperate climate and 12 hours in winter or wherever it is sufficiently cold.  After 12 hours, assuming it hasn't melted, it becomes a normal snowman.]

Does this Sage have any other abilities or talents?


1- No.
2- He is an Alchemist.  He carries 1d4 useful potions with him.  Select these from your favorite list or from here (Udan-Adan).
3- He is an Artificer.  Expect at least one Goblin in the group he's in to have a 1d4 [1= Pair of wings made of canvas and bones - grant the ability to fly and vulnerability to fire; 2= Sticky Slippers - grant the ability to walk up walls and on ceilings, save or get stuck if you stand still for more than a minute; 3= A clockwork limb that's stronger than a normal limb; 4= Robes made of wool and layered with copper, silver and copper wire - gives the wearer immunity to lightning damage and advantage on all saves against magic.]
4- He is a Magi, having unlocked sorcerous power through years of study and striving (plus the help of his familiar).  He has 3 Mana Dice and knows 1d6 of the following spells: Ash Cloud, Burning Armor, Create or Destroy Water, Earthquake, Partition Metal and Verdigris.
5- He is a Shaman, and has made a Spirit Pact.  To see what power his Spirit Pact grants him, roll on the sub-Table below.
6- He is a Medium, and allows a particular Spirit to possess him to gain greater power.  To see what powers this Spirit grants him, see "Medium and Demon-Soldier".

What Spirit Pact did the Sage make?


1- He can cause a non-magical metal object to fall apart or break 1/Day.  In exchange for this, he traded two fingers on each hand.
2- He can, as an action, do 1d6 damage to a creature and cause it to start bleeding from every orifice.  This damage ignores armor and cannot be prevented or reduced.  In exchange for this, he gave up one eye and his sense of touch.
3- He can drain life from creatures or plants, doing 1d6 necrotic damage to them on a touch and healing himself the same.  In exchange for this, he gave up his ability to sire children.
4- He can breathe fire 3/Day.  The flames fire out in a 15' cone or a 30' line, doing 2d6 damage and igniting everything flammable in the way.  In exchange for this, he hideously scarred his face with a hot iron.
5- He can summon a flock of crows that attack in a swarm.  These crows also spy for him and can retrieve objects for him.  In exchange for this, he provides the master of these crows with 4 eyeballs a month.
6- He can control unvarnished wood, snapping handles, bringing up roots to trip and ensnare opponents, dropping trees on his enemies, bringing down houses or wood-framed buildings on his enemies.  In exchange for his, he buries a Lawful creature alive in the wilderness 4 times per year.
7- He can transform into any animal he has killed and eaten the heart of (as per Wild Shape).  Currently that includes a rabbit, deer, wolf, hawk, quail and a Deerling by the name of Karla Simi of Harvest's Gate.  
8- He can instantly rot any organic material, 1/Day.  In exchange, he performs a dance under the full moon every month.
9- He can fire bolts of lightning 3/Day.  These bolts do 2d6 lightning damage, with a +1 damage bonus for every piece of metal a creature is carrying.  In exchange for this, he is entertaining a Storm Spirit.  However, the Spirit is in love with the Sage and wants to touch him, which would likely be fatal for him.
10- He can transform any liquid, up to a swimming pool's worth, into acid 1/Day.  This acid dissolves everything but stone, glass, plastic and items designed to resist acid, superhardened or magical.  He can transform the acid back as a free action.

by Ryan Barger

Goblin Mediums and Demon-Soldiers:

Goblin Mediums are Sages who allow themselves to be possessed by a Spirit and gain magical power that way.  Mediums gain enhanced physical characteristics and special powers that they can only use when sharing a body with their Spirit.  As such, these combinations are sometimes called Spirit or Demon-Soldiers.  Goblins are not the only race to use such methods, but it is more common among Goblins, as they are a weak race that doesn't have a lot of potential for growth.  For while all Goblins possess innate magical abilities, they usually have a low ceiling for growth, but even a weak human Sage still easily exceeds most Goblin casters.

To see what Spirit possesses the Medium, roll on the table below.  Use the Goblin Sage statblock as the base and modify it from there.

What Spirit is this?

1- A Bar Ra Ghazel.  Also known as Bugbears, the Ban Ra Ghazel are a clan of Nature Spirits who have always stood by the Goblin race, even in ancient times.  They are prized allies, to win and keep their loyalty is the first priority of the Goblin Sages and the Troupe's Boss.  When a Ban Ra Ghazel possesses a Goblin, that Goblin becomes covered in color-changing fur that is usually orange or orange-brown, with yellow eyes and elongated arms.  They move like apes, walking on their knuckles and can easily move through the canopy and climb trees.

Statblock Changes:

HD 3+1d4
AR 4
Atk Martial Arts (1d6/1d6)
Immune to Bludgeoning, Falling damage

Stretchy Limbs: Ban Ra Ghazel can stretch their limbs up to double their normal length.  The can attack creatures as if their fists and legs were reach weapons.

Rubbery Bodies: Ban Ra Ghazel can change the density of their flesh and bones, making them as hard as normal bones or as soft as pudding.  They can fit through any space a house cat could fit through. 

Escape Artists: Ban Ra Ghazel have a +4 bonus to escape restraints, grapples or circumvent physical defenses.

Grappler: Ban Ra Ghazel have +2 to grapple a creature and to keep them restrained.  They are highly skilled wrestlers.

2- A Jub-Jub.  Jub-Jubs are winged spirits of mischief and feral hunger, swooping in to gobble up the enemies of Goblin kind.  They are mercenary spirits, content to serve anyone that will allow them to indulge their appetites.  They are not usually trusted by their Mediums, always kept at arm's length.  When a Jub-Jub possesses a Goblin, that Goblin gains a pair of wings, a crest of dark feathers and an engorged mouth, overflowing with many hundreds of needle teeth.

Statblock Changes:

HD 4
Atk Claw Scratch (1d6) or Acid Spit or Swallow

Flyer: Jub-Jubs can fly.  While in the air, they gain +4 to AR and initiative.  They cannot hover, and must keep moving to remain airborne.

Acid Spit: Jub-Jubs can spit a glob of acid that does 1d8 damage on a hit and 1d6 damage per additional round, until a creature takes an action to wash the acid off or neutralizes it.  Salt or a strong base can do this.  This Acid also damages Armor and weapons, doing 1 damage to them.  Weapons do -1 damage per round until the acid is washed off them and Armor has its AR reduced by 1 per round.  Should a piece of Armor's AR be reduced to 0 or a weapon do 0 damage on a hit (ex: 1d6-6) then it breaks.  Some weapons and armor may be immune to this damage, Referee's Discretion.

Swallow: Jub-Jubs can force a creature to make a DEX contest against them.  All Jub-Jubs have DEX 13(+1) or DEX 16(+2) if airborne.  If the creature loses the contest, the Jub-Jub swallows the top half of the creature and stuffs them into its oversized mouth.  Such a creature is blinded, restrained and takes 1d6 acid damage a round as its top half starts to be dissolved.  Note that Jub-Jubs are too small to swallow an Medium or Small creature, so the creature's lower body and legs will be hanging out of its mouth.  If you succeed a STR contest with the Jub-Jub, you can pull someone in its mouth out.  Also note that Jub-Jubs cannot fly when they have swallowed someone. 

3- A Narflee.  Narflees are Demonic Warriors who usually serve Lady Luthic, Goddess of Decay, Harvest, Disease, Gravediggers and Cattle.  They are proud and stoic, alien in their mentality. Generally, they have a warrior's honor and always accept surrender, but destroy those they regard as despicable.  They tend to be amoral, as they believe that death is natural, and those who die return to the soil to feed the next generation of living things.  They tell you not to be sad, as the worms will eat your corpse and trees will drink your blood.  This isn't a threat, though it may sound like some.  When a Narflee possesses a Goblin, that Goblin gains robes of thin material resembling that of the wings of insects, compound eyes and sharp mandibles, as well as a spirit sword that the Narflee wings with it.

Statblock Changes:

HD 1d3+3
Atk Sword (1d8/1d8)

290 Degree Vision: Narflees can see everything in front of and to the sides of them.  They also have a +4 bonus to detect movement and even have a chance to see invisible creatures, by noticing the subtle changes when an invisible creatures passes by an area they are looking at.

Parry: Narflees can reduce the damage of one attack per round by 1d8.

Magic Sword: Narflees carry spirit weapons.  This Narflee's sword 1d4 [1= Can ignore Armor 1/Day; 2= Can heal the user for 1 HD, usable every 1d4 rounds but requires an action; 3= Can teleport the user up to 30' as a free action, usable 3/Day; 4= Always the user to parry projectiles, even ones that would ordinarily be too fast to see, such as arrows or bullets.]

4- An Omanishi.  Enormous, bulky, brutish Spirits of Chaos and Destruction, Omanishi live only to indulge their base desires, most notably breaking things.  They are easily manipulated, but once unleashed are difficult to control.  Generally, Goblin Bosses just unleash these Demon-Soldiers and tell their brethren to stay out of the way.  While an Omanishi is possessing a Goblin, that Goblin grows to Large size, grows a crown of many horns and gains leathery skin, usually grey, but occasionally dark purple or red.

Statblock Changes:

HD 1d6+3
Atk Fists (1d6/1d6) or Tentacle Horn
Mor 18

Tentacle Horn: Omanishi can extend their horns up to 50', and move them as precisely as an octopus' tentacle.  They can use these horns to grapple creatures or impale them.  These horns do 1d6 damage on a hit.  Omanishi have 10 horns and can attack up to that many targets.  If a creature is attacked by more than one horn, add +1 to the roll per additional horn.  Ex: 3 horns equals 1d6+2.

by jubjubjedi

Hobgoblin Knight
HD 1d4+1
AR 6 [Heavy Armor + Shield + Helm]
Atk Lance (1d10) or Weapon (1d8/1d8)
Mor 12
Saves (7+HD) or less

Truth-Teller, Cold Iron Weakness, Chuckle-Voodoos: See Above.

Faithful Mount: Hobgoblin Knights have a magical mount which they have bonded to.  This mount obeys them without question and fights alongside them.  They can ride their mount without need for saddle or bridle and will never fall off.  Any creature who attempts to ride this mount will likely fail unless the Knight wishes them to succeed. 

Charge: A Hobgoblin Knight can charge and attempt to impale you on his lance while on his mount.  You may attempt a DEX save to avoid this instead of countering with an Attack roll.  Should you fail your save or attack roll, you take 2d10 damage.  Each time the Hobgoblin Knights hits with his lance during a charge attack, he must save.  On a failed save, his lance breaks.  Additionally, if he charges with no lance, his melee attacks still get +2 to attack and damage.

- Charge in on horseback
- Dismount and fight only if the enemy was weakened
- Flee if outnumbered or the situation is dire

Top customize a Hobgoblin Knight, roll on the tables below:

This Knight wears armor made of...


1- Autumn leaves, held together with thorns.
2- Willow bark, cut in long, overlapping strips.
3- Flower petals spun together with silk threads.
4- Fired clay earthware, engraved with swirling designs and painted with scenes of Folkish victory.
5- Layered Spiderwebs, pinned together by the severed limbs of spiders.
6- Snake skin, with the heads of the snakes still attached. 

And carries a shield made of...


1- Glass, possibly stained or colored.
2- Ice, smoking in the heat.
3- Wood, carved and whittled with fantastic designs.
4- Bone, made from a single scapula of a giant beast, scrimshawed and carved.

And is armed with a...


1- Sword
2- Mace
3- Warhammer
4- Battle axe

Made of...


1- Porcelain, thin to the point of translucence.
2- Glass, stained or clear, shining mirror-bright.
3- Paper, folded and covered in a beautiful sketch.
4- Stone, usually obsidian, a large flake carefully chipped off and attached to a wooden handle.

This Knight is mounted on a...


1- A Free Horse.  Horses are condemned to be slaves to other races by the Gods, but this Horse defies them, choosing freedom.  It hasn't known a bit or bridle since it trampled its master and joined the Folk.  Other horses despise it and seek to attack it on sight.  HD 3, AR 0, Atk 1d8, Mor 10 (17 when facing other horses).
2- An Elk.  A great ruler of the Wood and Field, stoic and beautiful.  It has earned the respect of the Knight, who honors it.  Druids drape its antlers with daisy chains and the entrails of slain city-folk.  HD 4, AR 0, Atk 1d8, Mor 14.  The Elk can also parry one attack a round when charging.
3- A White Tiger.  A Tiger who has rejected the life of privilege to wage war against those who have stolen his lands.  A Maneater who loves the taste of those higher than him.  Unwilling to accept his new, lower position.  HD 6, AR 2, Atk 1d6 + 1d8, Mor 15.  The Tiger, if slain, curses its killer to be hunted by the Tiger's Shadow, which will pursue it until the target is vulnerable, then kill the Tiger's murderer.  This is common knowledge and true for all Tigers.  This curse is broken by taking care of the Tiger's cubs until they are old enough to live on their own or cutting off your hand and feeding it to a high-ranking Cat such as a Lion, Bakeneko or Rakshasha. 
4- A Worg.  A wolf who has eaten enough men that is has gained the ability to speak and grown huge and monstrous.  Cruel and capricious, will mock you as you die.  HD 5, AR 2, Atk 1d8, Mor 13.  Worgs have excellent senses of smell and can track creatures over long distances. 
5- A Giant Boar.  Boars are feral, barely controllable and twitchy.  They attack suddenly and without warning.  The fact that this one permits itself to be ridden is proof of the Knight's skills.  HD 4, AR 3, Atk 1d6 (exploding), Mor 17.
6- A Serpicant, King of Beasts.

Goblins are usually regarded as low-class, untrustworthy and actively treacherous by other Folk, but especially by the Faeries, the Folkish Nobility, and the Sovereigns of the Folk.  That said, some Goblins prove to be loyal, true and valiant in the face of all the suffering they have to endure.  So in exchange for this suffering, these Goblins are transformed into Hobgoblins, creatures mightier and more majestic than normal Goblins. 

Unlike their lesser brethren, Hobgoblins are Medium instead of Small creatures, and tend to have skin that is red to reddish brown, instead of various shades of green or green-brown.  They are also much more majestic and graceful than normal Goblins, and generally much more sensible.  That being said, despite their bizarre beauty, intelligence and power, few ordinary Goblins respect them.  They are regarded as upjumped sycophants who are separated from ordinary Goblins.  As such, most of the time, they rarely lead other Goblins. 

Most of the time they end up serving greater Folk as vassals, or occasionally leading small groups of Folk, as long as those Folk beneath them are weaker than they.  They are known to keep the company of Redcaps and Boggarts, while serving Faeries, Trolls and Spriggans.  The greatest of the Hobgoblins are the Knights who serve the Sovereigns directly.  There are four of them who do so and each one is widely known and acknowledged, even by non-Folk.  This list includes such creatures as Torzan the Winter Knight, who slew one of the Avatars of the Dark Powers, and Gibri the Autumnal Knight, who put twenty cities to the torch as an offering to her Master.     

by rainerpetterart

Bosses and Kings:

Goblin Troupes are usually led by a Goblin Boss.  This is the most senior, most intelligent or most ruthless of all the Goblins. 

Goblin Bosses use the statblock of a normal Goblin, plus the results on the following tables.

To see what makes this Goblin Boss special, roll on the tables below: 


1- His intelligence.  The Boss is very clever, but physically is no different than a normal Goblin.
2- He has class levels.  The Boss has 1d4 levels in 1d4 [1= Fighting Man; 2= Boxer; 3= Alice; 4= Vampire.]  He has also has that many HD.
3- He has made a Spirit Pact, as per a Goblin Sage.
4- He is a true Servant of Chaos, a Red Knight.  He has 1d4 levels in Paladin and his Archetype is that of the Red Sword.
5- He is a Druid, possessing 1d4 HD, 1d6 Mana Dice and knows 1d6 Druid spells, plus Wild Shape.
6- He was chosen by a Green God and is a Level 1d6 Prophet and possesses one of the Secret Names of God.

His subordinates...


1- Despise him.  The Boss maintains his position through fear and threats.  Anyone who disobeys him is crushed ruthlessly.  His subordinates fear him and obey his every command, but they also hate him.  If he was in a situation likely to kill him, they'd pray for his death, but they wouldn't kill him themselves.
2- Don't like him, but follow regardless.  The Boss is the best suited to lead, so he's in charge.  They don't like him though, and won't die for him.
3- They tolerate him.  The Boss is a decent leader, but they're a bit discontent with him.  Some trouble could easily be stirred up, should you know what buttons to push.
4- They like him.  The Boss is well-liked, and his subordinate obey him without need for harsh punishments.  He is a Goblin worthy of respect.
5- They love him.  The Boss is regarded almost as a second Father to most of the Goblins.  They eagerly obey him and fight hard for him.
6- They revere him.  The Boss is regarded as a deific figure, and they are his fanatics.  They will fight and die in his name.   

This Bosses' weakness is...


1- Pride.  The Boss believes he is the smartest, strongest or simply the best Goblin.  He will be irrationally driven to destroy anyone who damages or shatters the image of himself he has constructed.
2- Greed.  The Boss is very interested in money and treasure, and will pursue it, even when it isn't the best course of action.
3- Women.  The Boss has a weakness for women, especially non-Goblin ones.  He will try to capture them alive and is easily distracted by them.
4- Ideological inflexibility.  The Boss is a fanatic, whether to Chaos, Druidic or Dark Powers ideology and will not deviate from its tenets.  If you know what he believes, you will likely be able to predict his next move.
5- Temper.  The Boss is easily angered and flies into a rage if mocked or denied.
6- His lust for revenge.  The Boss is motivated by the desire to avenge himself upon an individual, organization or group.  If given a chance to make his target pay, unless it is obviously a trap, he will take it.

by shurita

Goblin King
HD 1d6+2
AR 2 [Light Armor]
Atk Varies
Mor 15
Saves (7+HD) or less

Truth-Teller, Cold Iron Weakness, Chuckle-Voodoos: See Above.

Aura of Glory: A Goblin King possesses an aura of terrible power around it.  Upon first encountering the Goblin King, creatures must save.  On a failed save, these creatures may not take any action to harm the Mummy directly, unless the Mummy attacks first or there is no other way for the creature to preserve itself.  If the creature is then in combat the with Goblin King, that creature must save again or be frightened by the Goblin King.  Those who fail this save take 1d6 COG damage a round they are in combat with the Goblin King.  If this damage reduces a creature's COG to 0 that creature flees in a blind panic and gains the Conviction, "I am terrified of this Goblin King and will avoid them as much as possible."

Spellcasting: Goblin Kings are Magi.  They have Mana Dice equal to their HD.  Their MD burn out on a roll of 5 or 6 and trigger Chaos on a roll of doubles or triples.  If a Goblin King causes Chaos, roll on the table below.  Goblin Kings know 1d8+2 of the following spells: Call to Heroic Death (under Heroism)*, Chromatic Orb, Healing Touch, Heat Metal, Mage Armor*, Magic Missile, Mirror Image, Partition Metal, Polymorph and Shield*.  

- Begin with Mage Armor and Mirror Image
- Use Call to Heroic Death, Shield and Healing Touch to support your allies
- Use Polymorph to try to end battles peacefully

The Folk do not have a proper society, nor a hierarchy.  The only real structure most of them will tolerate is that of family, and some will not even stand that.  As such, when a Faerie identifies itself as a "Noble" or refers to itself by a noble title such as Duke, Baron, General, note that these titles are entirely self-applied.  There is no Folkish structure to apply such titles, nor one that could compel lesser Folk to obey greater ones.  Any Folk can give itself any title it desires.  Thus, when a Folk is leading others of its kind, those others are serving it consentually, or are being kept in place through threats of violence.  The leaders of the Folk are either incredibly charming or capable of ripping their subordinates to shreds, should they have the need to.

The greatest of these leaders are the Sovereigns, the Kings and Queens of the Four Seasons.  The Queen of Summer, The King of Autumn, the The Prince of Spring and the Queen of Air and Darkness are the most powerful Folk in the world, to the point where its debatable if they even are Folk, and aren't something else merely masquerading as Folk.  Regardless, the Sovereigns are undisputed in their supremacy, and virtually none of the Folk would ever dare to challenge them, or even to entertain the idea.  For this reason, no Folk will ever refer to itself as a King or Queen, for those titles are reserved for the Sovereigns.  Whether "Prince" and "Princess" are acceptable is debated among Folkish circles, with the general consensus being that one shouldn't risk it.  As such, if a Folk were to name itself a King, then that would be seen by all other Folk as an implicit declaration of rebellion against the Sovereigns.  And this, brings us to the Goblin Kings. 

Goblin Kings are Goblins who reject the low place they have among the Folk.  These are Goblins who openly embrace the Goblin vice of civilization.  Instead of burning towns and waging war on Law as an act of contrition for the ancient crimes of their Goblin Ancestors, the Kings instead seek to switch sides.  They seek to civilize the Goblins, to make them Lawful creatures.  King work by recruiting Goblins through sermons on the merits of civilization, propaganda or simply conquering Goblin Troupes and forcing them to convert at the point of a sword.  Goblin Kings then introduce their people to the concepts of agriculture, taxes and civil administration.  They build cities and establish towns, trying to uplift their people.

Generally, these projects are doomed to failure.  Goblins will generally follow whatever their leader commands, but the second you take your foot off their neck, they go back to their old ways.  Generally, Goblin Kingdoms only last a few years, or a generation at most, living and dying with the Goblin King.  These would-be rulers are doomed dreamers, grasping for the stars, but almost always falling short.  How these Kingdoms fail varies- sometimes it ends at the blades of assassins sent by Lawful mortals, Chaos cultists or the Folk themselves, while other times it ends in bloody wars as the Lawful nations swallow up the Goblin Kingdom or the Folk besiege and overrun it.  Some are peaceful for long periods of time before descending into wars that rip them to shreds, often right after the death of the King, while in other cases the Kingdom is short-lived and constantly wracked by war, invasion and internal turmoil.

*Since I rewrote my armor rules, here are modified versions of these spells.

Mage Armor
R: touch    T: creature        D: [dice] hours

One creature you touch is covered in a glowing aura that gives a creature an Armor Rating equal to [dice].  The armor lasts for the duration, until the creature puts on another piece of armor or until destroyed.

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

One creature you touch, or yourself, is covered in a magical aura that grants them +[sum] FS for the duration or until it is expended.  This spell can be cast as a reaction to being attacked or another effect.  

Goblin Plot Hooks:

1- You come across a caravan that has been attacked by Goblins.  A little investigation reveals that this caravan was actually escorting a Princess and her handmaids to another city for her marriage.  Please, retrieve her before something horrible happens to her.
2- A Cult is secretly allied with a Troupe of Goblins, using them as a threat to cause chaos and provide cover for a series of assassinations and "unfortunate accidents".  The Cult and the Goblins don't trust each other and are both planning to back-stab the other.
3- The city has been wracked by a series of particularly brutal murders.  Are these the work of a serial killer or the Troupe of Goblins living in the long-abandoned catacombs beneath the city?  Or perhaps both?
4- A local official hires the party to investigate why this year there have been no Goblin attacks.  When the party arrives in Goblin territory, they find that a Goblin King has taken over and is trying hard to civilize the Goblins.  The local official will not like this, should he hear about it, and will immediately begin marshalling for war.  The nearby Folk don't like it either, and have already begun trying to destroy the Goblin King.
5- As above, except the party is hired to kill the Goblin King.  The official already knows what is going on and doesn't like it.
6- A city has been taken over by a doomsday cult, whose leader is convinced the end of the world is nigh.  Secretly, there is no doomsday cult, and all of the strange things that have been happening are because the large number of nearby Goblins are using their powers to create elaborate illusions and trick the populace into believing the cult's leader has magical powers.  The leader may be a fanatic and not realize this, or he may be an opportunist just pretending to have these abilities.  The Goblins are planning on using this cult to weaken the town enough to the point where they can take it over, or at least sack it.
7- The party are hired to find the Mad Prince, a former Royal exiled by his nation's current puppet rulers.  He vanished into the wilderness, but rumors of him persist.  The puppet-King wants him dead and will pay handsomely for this.  Secretly, the Prince has been recruiting among the Servants of Chaos, seeking an army to regain his former throne.  He is violent, calculating and absolutely ruthless, but the throne is his by right, for whoever that much is worth, and the current puppet-King is no paragon of virtue.
8- A Dragon has appeared over a city and flown over it for several days now, and a messenger has come, bearing the Dragon's demands, namely a large amount of virgin women, a heaping helping of treasure and lots of tasty food and wine.  The offering is to be sent to the Dragon's cave.  The party is hired to either guard the offering or kill the Dragon, depending on their level and fame.  Secretly, there is no Dragon, just a bunch of Goblins using illusions to trick the city.  The Goblins will keep the deception going for as long as they can, but ultimately the party is going to figure it out.   

by Raymond Swanland

OSR: New Armor Rules + Weapons beyond 1d8

This post is another attempt by me to rewrite my Armor System to make it not so burdensome on the Referee, as well as to align it more closely with my ethos of keeping things simple and small.  It makes no sense to limit HP and then give the players 15 extra hit points in the form of their armor.  Plus, the Armor breakage rules were irritating me.  You can find those former rules here.

artist unknown

Basic Weapons:

Come in three varieties-

Quick Weapons do 1d6 damage.  You do not add your attack bonus when calculating damage for a Quick weapon.  A Quick weapon is anything you can hold in one hand.  Example Quick Weapons include daggers, throwing knives, nunchaku, sai, sickles and small war hammers.

Balanced weapons do 1d6+Atk damage.  Balanced weapons can be held in both hands or just one without losing effectiveness.  Example Balance weapons include short or longswords, spears, maces and staves.

weapons do 1d8+Atk damage.  Powerful weapons must be held in both hands and cannot be used with a shield.  They also usually cannot be used in tight corridors without imposing disadvantage.  Example powerful weapons include warhammers, greatswords and axes, lances, pikes or polearms.    

Mid-Tier Weapons:

Players will naturally get stronger as they level up and gain higher attack bonuses.  But as the enemies get more HD and armor, they might need more firepower.  Similarly, the Referee might want to equip his more powerful enemies with weapons that do more than 1d8 damage.

Mid-Tier weapons can do 2d6, 1d10, 1d12 or 1d8+1d6 damage.

Mid-Tier weapons should probably start being introduced around Level 4.  These include things like rifles, muskets, cannons, magic weapons, adamantium blades, relic weapons, etc.

Mid-Tier weapons, while they do more damage, still follow the same qualifications as a Basic Weapons.  A greatsword that is perpetually wreathed in flames is still going to be very hard to use in a narrow tunnel.  

High-Tier Weapons:

High-Tier weapons follow the same principle as Mid-Tier weapons.  They should start to be introduced around Level 7. 

High-Tier weapons can do 2d8, 3d6, 1d20 or 2d10 damage.

High-Tier weapons include all legendary weapons, items forged by superpowered beings, and anything else sufficiently important. 

They still follow the same qualification as Basic weapons, though circumventing these limits should be child's play for anyone worthy or powerful enough to wield such a weapon. 

by Matthew Stewart


Armor reduces all damage by X, as long as that kind of Armor can protect you from that kind of damage.  This damage reduction is your Armor Rating, abbreviated as AR. 

For example, normal, non-magical armor can protect you from blunt/bludgeoning, sharp and force damage.  It can also protect you from thunder and acid damage.  Acid damage reduces the armor's effectiveness by 1 point per die, unless the armor is designed to resist acid or magical.  Normal armor can also protect you from lightning damage, unless it is made of metal, in which case you take +1 lightning damage per die.   

Some kinds of damage, such as psychic, radiant, necrotic ignores armor unless that armor is magical or designed to protect against that kind of damage.

Some types of armor only protect against certain kinds of damage.  These are known as Specialist Armor.  Examples include fire-fighting suits, biological or chemical warfare protective gear, space suits, etc.

Light Armor: Reduces damage from all applicable sources by 2.  Takes up 4 inventory slots. 

Medium Armor: Reduces damage from all applicable sources by 3.  Takes up 5 inventory slots.

Heavy Armor: Reduces damage from all applicable sources by 4.  Takes up 6 inventory slots.

Shields: Reduces damage from all applicable sources by 1.  Takes up 1 inventory slot.  If you have a shield and are forced to save against some kind of attack that sprays out and having a shield would be a benefit in evading that effect, instead of taking half damage on a successful save, you may take no damage. 

Ex: Without a shield- Successful save indicates half damage, failed save indicates full damage.
With a shield- Successful save indicates no damage, failed save indicates half damage. 

This only applies to some things, like say, Dragon's breath, a barrage of quills from a Manticore, a Wizard's heat-vision, etc.  Referee's Discretion on whether this ability can be used.

Shields can also be splintered to reduce the incoming amount of damage by 1d12.  Doing this destroys a shield, so if your shield is indestructible or magical, this might not be an option for you.

Helms: Reduces damage from all applicable sources by 1.  Take up 1 inventory slot.  Also provide a +4 bonus to avoid being knocked unconscious from bumps or blows to the head. 

by Daniel Kang

Special Construction and Materials:

If a piece of Armor is Masterwork, it grants +1 to the damage reduction. 

If a piece of Armor is Adamantine (reinforced with Adamantium), it gives you immunity to critical hits from types of damage the Armor protects against and increases the damage reduction by +1.  For example, if your adamantine breastplate is Mundane, it protects you from cirtical hits that would do sharp, bludgeoning, force or acid damage, but not fire or psychic damage.

Mithril, also called Faerie Steel, is a type of metal alloy created by mixing tin and glass into a shimmering, magically conductive substance.  Mithril naturally channels mana, meaning it counts as magical for purposes of overcoming damage resistances.  They also ignore Ethereal Nature, meaning you can use a Mithril mace to beat up a ghost.  Ethereal creatures can also wield Mithril weapons as if they were solid.

Dragonscale is lighter than steel and much more flexible.  It also grants resistance to the type of dragon that the Dragon's breath weapon produced.  For example, if a Dragon's breath weapon was fire, it grants resistance to fire damage.  If the Dragon instead spat giant balls of stone or steel, the armor might make it impossible for the wearer to be crushed to death by earth or metal.

Feathersmithing is a rare art, usually only practiced in Foreign Parts.  It is the Art where soft materials are imbued with magic to make them much harder than normal.  In such lands, warriors fight in armor made of painted porcelain with paper swords and glass shields.  The Folk are sometimes known to practice such an Art, creating hard armor out of willow bark, lances from green boughs and cuirasses of many hundreds of leaves.

Some Magic Armor: 

Griffon Greaves.  A pair of metal guards for the legs, made of boiled leather and covered in the feathers of a griffon.  By themselves, only grant +1 Armor.  But as an action, the wearer can cause the feathers in the leather to unfurl into a quartet of tiny wings and take flight.  The wings grant the user the ability to fly for 10 minutes.  The user cannot fly if they are wearing heavy armor or have an Armor Rating (AR) of 4 or higher.  Once the fly time is expended, the feathery wings meld back with the greaves and the user must wait until the next sunrise to fly again.

Brimstone Helm.  A Helmet that is made of burnished bronze, with strips of inlaid brass, copper and red gold.  It is also topped with a bright white feather.  While wearing this helm, the wearer can give themselves resistance to fire damage and/or immunity to inhaled poisons 1/Day.  Both can be activated at once or independently of each other, but each can only be used once daily.

Driftwood Shield: A Shield that floats like a cork and gives any creature holding onto it a +4 bonus to stay afloat or above water.  It can support one Medium sized creature or two Small creatures.  Large creatures get only a +2 bonus from the shield and so on.  The Shield can also, 1/Day, fire a bolt of light 100' into the sky.  This bolt of light does no damage and can be seen by any creature within a mile.  It burns in the air for 1d6+1 minutes before going out.

Assassin's Armor: A set of Light Armor that, 1/Day, allows the user to alter his appearance to look like any other creature the user has seen or can imagine.  The armor also changes the user's voice, smell and magical aura to match the creature they have been disguised as.  This illusion lasts for 1 hour, after which the armor automatically changes back, revealing the user's original form.

Sanctuary: A shield of silver, polished to a mirror sheen.  Any creature who looks into the shield will see it acts as a mirror, but they cannot see their own reflection in it.  This is because it is not a mirror, but an entrance to a tiny pocket dimension.  Creatures can climb through the shield and walk around in the environment reflected in the shield.  Note that only creatures with souls can enter the shield.  Non-magical objects or things without souls cannot enter the shield.  This  The only exception to this is non-magical clothing (that doesn't count as Armor).

Corpsebane Plate: A breastplate made of iron adorned with gold filigree, which depicts dozens of tiny, wire warriors fighting against unseen monsters.  Included among these warriors are 1d20+4 tiny golden archers.  As an action, the wearer of the breasplate can command one of the archers to fire.  The archer will then loose his arrow, which will fly unerringly and strike any creature within 100', doing 1d6 radiant damage.  If this creature is an Undead, it takes an additional +1d6 radiant damage.  Once all the arrows are loosed, the breastplate only functions as magical armor.  Secretly, an act of heroism on behalf of the wearer will cause 1d4+1 of the archers to gain new arrows.  If no such actions are taken, on the other hand, the archers will regain their archers in 1d20+6 years.

Bracers of Submission: A pair of bracers that grant +1 Armor.  When a creature puts these one, they are compelled to approach the creature they most respect (among those visible to them) and swear allegiance to that person.  That creature, if he accepts the allegiance of the wearer, henceforth becomes the wearer's Master.  Whenever the Master gives an order, the wearer must succeed on a save to disobey.  But if the Master commands the wearer to do something and the wearer does it, the wearer may add whatever of the Master's ability score modifiers most appropriate to the current situation to their roll.  For example, if ordered to attack a creature, the wearer may add their Master's STR bonus to their 1d20 roll.

The wearer may not remove the bracers unless the Master permits them to.  Should the Bracers be removed from the current wearer or the current wearer or Master dies, the pact is immediately dissolved.  In the latter case, the Bracers fall off. 

Helm of Hatred: A scowling helm of black iron that is heavy and burdensome, covering the wearer's face behind a mask of metal.  Whenever creatures first see the helm, they must save.  On a failed save, the creatures become disgusted by the creature wearing the helm.  Depending on the context, their next actions may vary.  If at a dinner party, they may give it venomous stares, but if in combat, any fighters not occupied with a more important threat will seek to destroy the creature wearing the helm.  Note that even on a successful save, creatures will still be subtly repulsed by the helm and will seek to avoid it and the wearer, for as long as they have it on.  This effect can be prevented by hiding the helm, but anyone who knows where the helm is hidden will still feel a vague discontent.

Any creature who wears the Helm of Hatred has their AR increased by +2 and gains immunity to death effects, automatically passing any save or die effects, unless the effect is from something that a magical helm that protect you from, such as plummeting down a three hundred foot chasm or being crushed by a rockslide.  

artist unknown

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

OSR: Why you should cap Hit Points

 from Berserk, a manga you ought to read

Note: I recently discovered the channel Dungeon Craft, so I'm going to be stealing all of my RPG opinions from there from now on.  I also highly recommend them, as Professor Dungeon Master has a lot of interesting ideas.  This idea was originally articulated to me by him.

Or at least limit them in some way.

You might already do this, in which case, congratulations, you don't need to read any further.  But if you are still giving players 1d6+2 HP every level, this is an intervention.

Consider the following- what is the most tense and exciting RPG combat you've ever been in, whether as a player or as a Referee?

For me it was when my Lizardman Wizard was up against four hardened criminals in a bar fight while all my allies were elsewhere.  I knew that one hit from any of those enemies would likely mean death and so I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, watching with bated breath as they rained attacks down on me.  And in the end, all it took was one single swing to do me in.  

My Wizard survived, by the way, but only because the Rogue dragged me to safety and stuffed healing items down my throat until he had no choice but to stop banging on Death's Door.

Now think of the least exciting RPG combat you've ever been you have participated in, either as a player or a Referee.

This one is a bit more difficult, so I won't list a specific example, but I will bet my example and yours share one thing in common: the lack of danger.

When players feel like they can die, or at least be seriously hurt, then the game is tense and exciting.  Arnold K. expressed similar thoughts here. 

But one of the biggest obstacles to tension, especially at higher levels, is Hit Points.  More specifically, it is the large amount players obtain.

If a Level 10 Fighter is attacked by a swarm of Goblins armed with d6 knives, he has nothing to worry about, as he has 60 HP.  Those Goblins would have to attack him for days to actually hurt him.

But if that Fighter only had 20 HP, then that situation dramatically changes.  Suddenly, a trivial nuisance is an actual threat.  

Besides this obvious benefit, limiting HP also simplies the game in other ways.  The Orks don't need to do 1d12+2 damage, they can just do 1d8 damage.  And players don't have to figure out how much damage they do when they hit with their 1d10+2 and 1d6+1 attacks. 

So how is it to be done?

1: Cap HP.  Players gain HP until a certain level, then they stop.  My system, which is largely plagarized from Arnold K., Logan Knight and the Angry GM does this.  See below for more details.

2: Naked HD.  Players gain a number of HP equal to whatever they roll on their HD, but they don't add their CON modifier.  For example, at level 1 the Wizard rolls 1d6 and gets that many Hit Points.  Then at level 2, he rolls again and gets more HP equal to the result rolled and so on.  So if he rolls a "4" at level 1 and a "3" at Level 2, he has 7 HP.

3: Max HP at Level 1: Players get a number of Hit Points equal to their Constitution Score +10, or something like that.  So a Wizard with 10 CON has 20 HP, a Fighter with 16 CON has 26, etc.

My System:

Player Characters start with 1/3 of their CON score, rounded down, in HP.  At level 2, they have HP equal to half their CON score.  At level 3, they have HP equal to their full CON score.

Players also have Fighting Spirit, or FS.  Players gain some amount of FS per level, depending on their class, until the amount of FS they have equals their COG (Cognition) score.

For example, the Level 1 Fighting Man with 12 CON has 4 HP and 3 FS.  At level 2 he will have 6 CON and 6 FS.  At level 3 he will have 12 HP and 9 FS.  And so on.

Note that damage to FS should be described as superficial injuries, near misses, or the PC dodging to indicate the fact that the PC  avoided serious damage.  Damage to HP represents damage to a character's body.  

Additionally, players have Luck Points, which can be spent to alter the roll of any d20 by 1 point up or down.  From levels 4-9, characters receive 1 Luck Point per level.  These can be spent whenever the player wishes and if used, are expended but come back after the character completes a long rest.

Also from Berserk

Monday, February 15, 2021

OSR: The Spirits of the Land

This is a post that has been in the long time coming.  Here's Red Kangaroo's take on the Spirit World and on gateways to the same.

                                                from here

The Astral Sea is the Spiritual World.  It includes everything from the dizzying heights and splendor of Deep Heaven to the miserable pits of Sheol.  It is a place where emotions are used as building materials, thoughts become food and ideologies form the landscape.  It is inhabited by a dizzying array of spiritual creatures, from spells to Demons to Gods.  It is a place of wonders and terrors.  And some of its inhabitants are very well known.

Angels are creatures of holy war and sacred violence, unbending paragons of virtue.  They serve God and Heaven, descending to Earth to wreak vengeance or carry out the will of their distant masters. 

Demons are free-agents of chaos, suffering and hatred, slithering up from the depths of Sheol and out of the darkened places of the universe to rampage through the higher spaces, spreading destruction and terror wherever they go.  They may serve some vile deity, or they may indulge freely in their dark apptetites, unbounded even by reason.

Generally, mortals are unlikely to meet such creatures.  They are too powerful and too important to walk on Earth for long, requiring magic to summon them and a host to contain them while here.

But there is a third type of spiritual creature, the one most mortals are much more familiar with- the Spirit

Spirits dwell in the Shallows of the Astral Sea, the only area of that vast realm easily accessible to mortals.  They lurk just beyond our perception, living in the spiritual reflection of our world, a reversed 1:1 image of what exists on our side. This is part of the Spirit World, but unlike some other areas, here the Veil is thin enough that it can be peeled back so you can steal a peek inside.  Through the use of powerful hallucinogens, certain meditations techniques of magic spells, one can peer into the Shallows and see what spirits are splashing about.

The first thing you will notice are the creatures Sages identify as "spells".  These small spirits range from the size of your hand to the size of a grain of rice and swarm through the Spirit World in incalculable numbers, great schools of tiny creatures, overflowing with strange features and appendages.  Most of these spirits are only about as smart as insects and usually only serve the purpose of being captured by other creatures, either to be eaten or used.  Sages capture these spirits and use them to catch spells, though only some varieties are useful.  You should always be sure to test any spirit you capture, in case instead of grabbing the one that can produce a fireball, you got one that instead produces a furball or something equally useless, such as the ability to speak to doors. 

The second thing you will notice is the Lesser Spirits.  These spirits fill the role of mortals and animals in the physical world.  They are usually intelligent, or at least, capable of being dealt with by intelligent creatures.

The third type of creature you will, or perhaps will not notice, are the Greater, or High, Spirits.  These are the Spirits that stand at the same level as Angels, Demons or even Gods.  These Spirits are generally rarely encountered, as they are far too busy dealing with more important issues to interfere with the tourists.  

                                                        by Pierre Amédée Marcel-Béronneau

Base Spirit Statblock:

HD 1d4+1 [Lesser]/1d6+4 [Greater]
AR 8 [Lesser]/14 [Greater]
Atk (1d6/1d6) [Lesser]/(1d10/1d10) [Greater]
Mor 13 [Lesser]/15 [Greater]
Saves (7+HD) or less

Native of the Shallows: Lesser Spirits can, as an action, leave or enter the Shallows of the Astral Sea at will.  When they does this, they vanish from our world but also loses any ability to affect it except indirectly, until they re-enter our world. 

- Underestimate mortal foes, unless they look really strong
- Pop in and out, using Natives of the Shallows
- Discretion is the better part of valor

To generate a random Spirit, roll on the tables below:

What kind of Spirit is it?


1- Nature Spirit. 
2- Ancestor Spirit. 
3- Mighty Ghost. 
4- Petty God.
5- Elemental. 
6- Chaos Spirit.
7- Law Spirit. 
8- Evil Spirit.
9- Beneficient Spirit. 
10- Eikone. 

What does this Spirit want?


1- Something that reinforces its nature.  For example, Ghosts and Evil spirits want to scare people, Good spirits want to see people joyful, Law Spirits want disorder dealt with, Chaos spirits want chaos, etc.  The Spirit wants you to help it with a problem or to give it the opportunity to do what it is meant to do.
2- Sacrifices.  Can take the form of anything the Spirit might value, from human or animal sacrifice to jewels to your magic sword.
3- Companionship.  The Spirit wants someone to spend time with it.  This person will be taken with the Spirit back to the Spirit World to be a bride/friend/servant or some combination.
4- Challenge.  The Spirit wants you to present it with a challenge, something it could accomplish but not easily.
5- Help with another Spirit.
6- Mortal Delicacy.  The Spirit wants you to bring it something from the mortal world, such as liquor, a child's artwork, an immature pine cone, a maiden's innocence.  

                                             artist unknown

Types of Spirits:

Nature Spirit.

The spiritual personification, or representative of a particular natural feature.  Depending on the power of the Spirit, this can be anything from a patch of grass to an entire forest.  Nature Spirits are the nameless soldiers of the Green Gods, the allies of the Druids and the Folk.  They struggle mightly against civilization, or merely passively resist it.

This Lesser Nature Spirit is...


1- A beetle the size of a cat, with gossamer wings that refract light like a prism.  Speaks through the vibrations of these wings.  It has the ability to refract sunlight through its wings to cast Prismatic Ray.  Wants: For you to knock over an annoying tree, tasty bugs.
2- A pile of stones that shift and move to indicate the Spirit's feelings.  It cannot speak, or chooses not to.  It has the ability to trigger rock slides or cause the stones under your feet to move and trip you up.  Avoid hills or mountains if you have angered it.  Wants: For you to move a particular stone to another hill, to be immersed in fine liquor.
3- A Dragonfly with jewels for eyes.  Can speak, but is very quiet.  Has the ability to reflect magic spells cast on it back at the caster and its wings cut like razors.  Wants: For you to drive away the Awakened parrot two trees over, for you to get the local Harpy to leave or shut up, the Spirit cannot stand her off-key singing anymore.
4- A rotten stump covered in fungi and moss, with the vaguest suggestion of a face on top of it.  Has the ability to summon living roots out of the ground to ensnare and crush, or to drag creatures down into the earth and bury them alive.  Wants: To be left alone, for the lumberjack who cut down an important tree to be sacrificed on top of it.
5- A small man, shorter than a hound, with the lower body of a deer and antlers.  Has the ability to animated nearby plants and make them want to strangle you.  Wants: Sweet corn, fresh vegetables.
6- A glowing ball of light that upon closer inspection is revealed to be a tiny, translucent woman surrounded by a corona of light.  Has the ability to turn invisible, fly or and to cause hallucinations.  Wants: For someone to follow her into a treacherous bog and possibly be eaten by crocodiles, to play cruel jokes.          

This Greater Nature Spirit is...


1- A lion made of stone, with a mane of living grass and stone claws.  It has the ability to sense innocence and corruption, cannot be hurt by anything that could not hurt a boulder and can summon the ghosts of tigers, leopards and lions to savage enemies.  Wants: to protect the innocent, to hunt those who do not respect the forest.
2- A giant made of molten rock, with eyes of flame and a mouth that pours smoke.  The spirit of a volcano.  It has the ability to hurl boulders that split open, spraying hot lava, and is so hot anything it touches or gets near that can burn does.  It is also a giant.  Wants: Human sacrifices, For a particular Spirit of the Upper Air to notice its affections.
3- A living mass of clouds, a lithe sillohuete occasionally appearing in the midst of the storm.  It has the ability to hurl giant hail stones, lightning and freezing winds at its enemies.  It also cannot be harmed by anything that could not hurt a cloud.  Wants: Mass celebrations or orgies beneath it (so it can watch), for large amounts of alcohol or tea to be boiled (so it can have some). 
4- An enormous serpent, with aquamarine scales and horns.  It has the ability to transform into water and create bubbles of water to trap people in.  Wants: To be flattered and praised, for something obstructing a river, such as a dam, boulder or pile of logs to be removed.
5- A walking tower of white spikes, with a rotating mouth full of a million needle teeth and eyes that glow blue.  The spirit of a blizzard.  Has the power to create snowmen minions, exhale clouds of freezing wind and freezes any living creature it touches solid.  Wants: For hot-blooded creatures to die, a spouse or lover to torment and abuse.
6- An enormous lizard covered in downy green-blue fur.  Has the power to almost perfectly camoflague and can exhale clouds of spores that make people hallucinate.  Wants: To be introduced to a real dragon, for you to take a token of its love to Court of Queen Titania, Lady of Summer and return with her reply.

                                                  by Jason Nyugen

Ancestor Spirit.

Ancestor Spirits are spirits spawned by the people who dwell in a land.  They can collective manifestations of a people's unconscious wills, an undirected sentiment that chooses a new vessel whenever that people is in danger, or they can the ghosts of ancient heroes sculpted and molded by decades or centuries of veneration into proud and valiant protectors.  Ancestor Spirits are often, but not always warriors, and usually represent the ideals of that culture- whatever that culture deems heroic or virtuous.  However, in the case of degenerated or evil culture, their Ancestor Spirits may choose not to respond, or may be twisted into villainy.  In other cases, an Ancestor Spirit might have been a complicated person in life, and their descendants may simply choose to overlook this part of their personality.  Sometimes this causes those moral wrinkles to fade over time, while in other ways it remains a part of the Spirit itself.

This Ancestor Spirit is...


1- Yuto Vica Bylo Manz Fragi, The Night Spear.  A Frogling Assassin-King who raised his people in revolt and led a guerilla war against the Handsome Men and the Crocolings for decades.  He won victory after victory and in the end, was only overcome when he was betrayed by a woman who he thought loved him.  Yuto possesses the ability to jump great distances, stick to walls and trees and fights with poisoned javelins which he throws or stabs people with.  His cult is still very strong, despite many attempts to stamp it out by the authorities.  He is said to still protect his people to this day, leading a host of ghost-soldiers that lurk in the depths of the bogs and fens of the North, punishing those who abuse Froglings. 
2- Lafar, Son of Olipa.  A Human soldier who united his entire people under the banner of rebellion and overthrow the Soul-Weavers.  He was the leader of the revolt that overthrew the terrible monsters that oppressed his people, controlling their minds and feeding on them like cattle.  He is said to have been immune to their mind-control abilities.  He fought with a spear, which he twirled and spun like a quarterstaff.  After finally driving the enemy from his shores he was crowned King and ruled for twenty long years, before dying surrounded by his many, many children.  To this day, many Human Kings claim to be descended from him and it is said that should the Humans ever be oppressed again, Lafar will awaken from his long sleep to lead them to freedom once more.
3- Princess Hizibi, the Virgin Queen.  A Dwarf Princess who was hatched prematurely, she never developed properly and thus could not mature into a Queen.  Despite this, she set about working her hardest to help her people, training in all the Queenly arts.  She served 3 different Queens, all who passed before her, her life extended by the spirits.  She is said to be the first Dwarf to ride a Kergeden and she led a band of mounted Dwarves against the enemies of her tribe, but she was never above helping Dwarves of other tribes.  She longed for all Dwarves to join together in universal brotherhood- though sadly this was yet to be achieved.  She was so famous that multiple tribes actually try to claim her and almost all of them have at least one story about how she delivered them from some evil.  Hizibi is said to return whenever a conflict between Dwarves becomes too destructive or when there is a problem that concerns all Dwarves.
4- Arton Hali.  A Wolfwoman archer, Hali was so skilled she was said to be able to shoot the tail feathers off a bird in flight.  Her feats of archery were so impressive that she was permitted to join the males of her tribes in the warring, where she proceeded to utterly trounce all of them.  After saving her entire tribe dozens of times, Hali began receiving prophetic visions.  These visions led her to take control of her tribe and conquer the other local tribes, uniting them under her banner.  Then, leading them on the warpath, she marched South and struck at the Vulkari Empire, crushing their armies and sending the bald-heads scurrying back to their low-land cities.  Since then, the Spine of Tarraq has belonged exclusively to the Wolfmen, and any attempt to reclaim it from them has resulted in the return of Hali and her arrows.

Powers of Ancestor Spirits:
- They can bless particular warriors with extraordinary skill, resistance to fear, charm or damage
- They can send omens to their kin or false omens to an enemy
- They can possess creatures (willing or otherwise) to lend them the skill and powers they had in life

A Creature possessed by an Ancestor Spirit counts as a Level 1d4+4 Adventurer, with a Damage Threshold equal to its level and at least one unique ability.  For example, Arton Hali can see 1 round into the future, knowing what the defense rolls of her enemies would be, while Yuto Manz Fragi has the ability of being able to secrete poison from his skin that instantly forces those affected by it to save or die.  

                                                           by TimLiljefors

Mighty Ghost.                         

Ghosts are usually created from tragedy.  Unfinished business sometimes, but usually this business is the worst sort of sorrow and hatred.  And generally, there are two things that decide how powerful and how intact a Ghost is- the strength of the person while they were alive and the suffering they endured upon their death.  Someone who was weak or did not suffer greatly will leave behind only a pale shade, a fragment of a personality.  The Mother whose son never came home will leave a faint shape that is occasionally seen through the windows or in the halls at night, and you might hear her mournful cries on days celebrating the honored dead or when soldiers return home and march by the house.  But if that woman's son was tortured and murdered in front of her, the ghost she leaves behind will be a terrible ghost, haunting that house, slaying any who resemble the original killers. 

However, there is another factor that few know about.  Should a vicious Ghost slay enough people, it will grow in power and its energies will begin to permeate an area, allowing the Ghost to control the area to a greater extent.  These areas become loci of dark energies, places that subconsciously call to those with a fascination with the Grotesque, Inhuman and Unnatural.  This same attraction also applies to the souls of the dead, but much more intensely.  Should another creature perish in one of these locations, their soul might become trapped there, dragged down and imprisoned by the Ghost that rules over that place.  Such areas are generally known and avoided by sensible folk, at least at night.

This Mighty Ghost is...         


1- The Old Soldier.  An Orzanian warrior who is said to have slain 100 Dwarves in a single day as he fought to save his subordinates, before finally being overcome.  Fatally wounded, he declared that he would never rest until the Dwarves knelt  to his distant Emperor and then charged, trying to buy time for his allies to escape.  To this day he is said to prowl the battlefield where he fell, engaged in an endless guerilla war against an enemy that has long since retreated.
2- The Corpse Child.  A babe who died shortly after birth, his Sage father revived him with vile magicks as a way to console his grieving mother.  But when she saw what her child had been transformed into, she smothered the child and killed her husband, before taking her own life.  The Child still dwells in the Sage's original manor, seeking to be born.  Occasionally, someone foolish will come to the house to exorcise it or doubting the Child's power, claiming it to be an old wives' tale.  The Child is all to happy to claim their souls and make them its servants.
3- The Menagarie of Man.  When an greedy confidence man discovered an immensely deformed man, he decided to shelter the poor soul, in exchange for a small service.  He placed the deformed man on display and charged money for the public to come and see a soul so cursed by the Gods.  This proved lucrative, so the conman began collecting deformed, damaged and otherwise strange living oddities.  But eventually, when one of his freaks was suspected of a crime, the conman murdered the constable  sent to investigate and led his freaks in flight.  Unfortunately, he was caught and torn apart, while his freaks were put out of their misery.  Yet to this day, some claim you can still see the conman's menagarie.  They say he will appear in the gloom of the night, leading a train of wagons coated in long-peeling paint, the signs faint but just barely legible.  "Come inside," he'll say.  Do not take him up on his offer.
4- The Fevre Dream.  A beautiful ferry that is full of fine china, beautiful tapestries and soft rugs.  The staff is friendly and welcoming and the other passengers charming and beautiful.  Enjoy the delicious food and exotic music, but beware, once you board, you may never leave.  Should you attempt to do so, the other passengers will open their mouths to reveal their many needle teeth.  They will drag you down and rip you apart, then have you for supper, while the musicians plink away at their instruments and the Captain with the eyes full of black mirth guides the ship down to Hell.

Powers of Mighty Ghosts:
- Within the area they haunt, they can control non-magical objects as an extension of their bodies
- They can trap and consume the souls of those who have died within their domain, to heal themselves
- They can reanimate corpses within their domain as Undead Servants to aid them
- They can disturb the sleep of anyone who tries to rest here, preventing them from taking long, but not short rests
- They also possess whatever abilities they had in life, but they have likely been strengthened by the other souls trapped or absorbed by the ghost

                                                            by Javier Charro

Petty God.

Mortals will worship just about anything, but just because something is called a God, doesn't make it one.  Many Outsiders are revered as Gods and many Spirits are venerated similarly.  Some cultures even worship the ghosts of their dead ancestors, who are most assuredly not Gods.  The Gods themselves pay no notice of this, dwelling in Heaven, only occasionally appearing in their Temples on Earth to speak to their priesthood.  Mostly, the Gods are too busy to directly intervene in mortal affairs, delegating that to other servants, mortal or otherwise, speaking to them through dreams, omens and the movement of the heavens. 

That being said, there are some beings who have a better claim to divinity than most.  The Sons of God, whether biologically or otherwise, mortals elevated to pseudo-immortality, Outsiders or other Spirits given broad commissions, these beings are one step removed from divinity, but lack the power, the authority or the nature to move any further.  They are permanently trapped, unable to rise further but unwilling to sink lower.  Some of these beings rage against Heaven and plot revenge, while others are content to stay where they are, awaiting the end of the Age, when they shall finally be relieved of their duties and permitted to rest.

This Petty God is...


1- Heraraca.  A legendary hero who ascended to divinity after death.  He was cursed by the Gods for butchering his wife and children in a fit of rage, but managed to redeem himself through completing 12 impossible tasks and broke the curse.  When the Gods finally directly intervened in an attempt to kill them, he did not die, but instead their attack only stripped away his mortal side, leaving only the spark of divinity in his core.  This swelled and grew, until he became an immortal like them.  One day, he will finally finish healing and once restored to his full power, he will assault Heaven and overthrow the Gods, or so it is claimed.  Until then he wanders the Earth, gathering allies and aiding those who are oppressed by those of a higher nature than them.
2- Melizozo.  A Demon of unimaginable power, Melizozo was the most fearsome agent of the Dark Powers, seeking to blot out all reality.  But when he met an Angel of Love, she taught him the errors of his way.  Trusting in her, he was transformed into a champion of justice.  It was he who smashed the Dark Powers and scattered them into the fragments that they are today.  For his treachery, however, he too was shattered, bits of his soul scattered across creation.  It is said that the Angels are busy gathering up the pieces of his body to this day.  When they find them all, they will bring them back together and Melizozo will be resurrected, and that will be the symbol for the final battle of Good versus Evil to commence. 
3- Grazui, the Beautiful.  A sumptuous lord of luxury, he dwells in a hidden, hellish world, in a seemingly endless manor.  In his world of suffering, his garden of Earthly delights, all things are available for the proper price.  Wine, women, and darker pleasures still.  His realm can be reached through a secret ritual, but one can also be taken there, as his servants on this world sometimes open portals to travel to and from his world, whether to send him new sacrifices or play-things, or to pour out into our world to slaughter and plunder in his name.  As such, his realm is continually assaulted by the forces of Good, Evil, Law and Chaos, but all find themselves lost in the maze of cities and wilderness around his home.  One day, perhaps, a pure soul will pierce his defenses and make their way into his presence and rid the world of his corrupting influence.  Until that day though, he will continue to feed on our world, plucking the ripest fruits and most beautiful blossoms for himself, to sate his ravenous appetite.        
4- Elduai, Selenic Queen, Lady of Silver.  A goddess who was banished from Heaven after slighting the King of the Gods, she and her husband were stripped of their immortality and forced to live as mortals.  They spent their lives seeking for a way to reclaim their divinity, and eventually succeeded.  But after they found a method of becoming immortals, they found out it would only work for one of them.  So, rather than leave each other, they concealed the method and swore to think of a better solution.  But then, years later, when her husband's pupil betrayed them upon discovering they had the secret of immortality, Elduai used the method they discovered on herself, rather than let the betrayer live.  As a Goddess, she destroyed the traitor, but had to leave her husband, as she was now a God and could not live on the Earth.  She now resides on the Moon, but one night a year and on some cloudy nights, when the Gods cannot see her, she ventures from her manse to visit the grave of her husband and answer the prayers of those who struggle with love and treachery.           

Powers of the Petty Gods:
- Petty Gods have powerful and unique abilities depending on who they are and how they originally came to where they now stand
- The only power they share in common is a Specific Death Condition: Unless killed in a specific way, they will be restored to life.    

                                              by Mark Tedin


These are Spirits tasked to maintaining the natural cycles of non-living things.  Fire Elementals regulate combustion, heat exchange and collaborate with Earth Elementals on volcanic activity.  Earth Elementals control geologic and tectonic activity, help with gravity, erosion and the production of new rocks.  Water Elementals control the water cycle, evaporation, transpiration and fight with Air Elementals over the weather.  Air Elementals also influence the weather, as well as governing the winds, aiding in pollination and the spreading of seeds and regulating the climate. 

I won't be including any further tables for them, as I already wrote extensively on the subject.

                                              by SlaaneshG

Chaos Spirit.

Chaos Spirits are creatures of contradiction, color, madness, passion and creativity.  They are infinitely varied, vastly different in appearance, ideology and power.  They range from Princes to lowly paupers.  Either way, wherever they go, they do as they will and obey only the rules that they choose to, or are forced to, obey.  They are completely untrustworthy, but not necessarily malicious.  Chaos does often mean anarchy, mob violence, riots in the streets and secret cabals, but it can also be sorcery, art, rebellion against tyranny and freedom.

This Chaos Spirit has...

The Body of a...


1- Dog
2- Horse
3- Humanoid
4- In the shape of a cube
5- Bird
6- Grasshopper

With the head of a...


1- Octopus
2- Wolf
3- Dragon
4- Beetle
5- Household Tool (such as a fireplace poker, spatula, whisk)
6- Weapon (such as an Axe, Switchblade, Gun)

And it...


1- Glows in the dark
2- Is covered in delicate silia
3- Is partially gelatinous
4- Has pieces of metal or glass randomly mingled with flesh
5- Changes color randomly
6- Causes minor hallucinations when it is nearby.     

If these aren't strange enough for you, roll 1d4 times on your favorite mutation table and apply the results here.

Powers of a Chaos Spirit:

- Chaos spirits possess the ability to influence the winds of magic
- They can also influence the elements, striking with blasts of fire, bolts of lightning, deluges of acid and freezing gales
- They can induce mutation and madness
- More powerful Chaos Spirits can distort reality, forcing creatures to reroll attacks, checks or saves, reroll ability scores, change a creature's race or class or anything else that is deemed interesting

                                                     artist unknown

Law Spirit.

Law Spirits are creatures of order, stability and civilization.  They exist to preserve, maintain and strengthen.  They come to aid all those who battle against Chaos and social decay.  They are peerless, incorruptible champions of Order.  Dragonslayers, Witch-Finders and Paladins of indomitable virtu.  They are not always good, and they are definitely not always kind.  Law Spirits may come to aid the heroes who struggle against the Dragon who burns cities to the ground, but they also might help a Tyrant keep his throne.  They are amoral, seeking only that Chaos be fought, no matter the cost.  Additionally, unlike the Chaos Spirits, Law Spirits prefer to remain hands-off, aiding in subtle ways rather than take the field themselves.  When possible, they prefer to let mortals take the reins.  But when the Servants of Chaos come in force, the Agents of Law can expect back up from them.

This Lesser Law Spirit is a...


1- Monodrone.  An observer who can fly and possesses binocular and thermal vision, along with Sight Beyond Sight.  Not very smart, but fairly sneaky.  Acts as a scout and will generally show up to provide vital information to mortals. 
2- Duodrone.  A two-headed creature with one eye on each head.  Fights with a pair of hooked polearms that it uses in tandem, hooking enemies with one and stabbing with the other.  Can also project nets. 
3- Triodrone.  Healers who can levitate and have three legs, which they use to scuttle along.  Can stick to ceilings and walls as well.  Grab people with their three legs, and then carry them to safety.  Known for their skill at healing, repairing machinery and their horrible bedside manner.   
4- Quadrodrone.  Quadrupedal.  Acts as mounts or pack animals for other Law Spirits.  Very fast.  The least intelligent, only about as smart as dogs. 
5- Pentadrone.  Quadrupedal, but with long stingers.  They have different venom capsules that they load depending on the circumstances and current orders.  The shock troops and heavy infantry. 
6- Hexadrone.  The leadership caste of the Modrons.  Can levitate, create six-sided shields of energy and use telekinesis.  Usually surrounded by six floating metal spheres, which they use to protect themselves and throw at people.  Rarely seen by mortals, unless things have gotten quite bad.

Other Lesser Law Spirits include the Bureaucrats of Heaven, which in my world are Spirits, not humans. 

This Greater Law Spirit is a(n)...


1- An Inevitable.  An Outsider constructed like a Construct.  Sent out for one specific objective.  After it is complete, it will return to the Forge to be repurposed or recycled.  They don't have any particular feelings about this, to them it is no different than a mortal dying at the end of their life.  The ones that grow particularly attached to their sense of self or current incarnation tend to fall to Chaos.
2- A Septadrone.  The mightiest of the Modrons, a living war-machine that can fire rockets, hails of darts, project force shields and scale walls like a spider.
3- A Marut.  Inscrutable judges, meditators and arbitrators.  Their purpose is to find things that are out of place and put them back, through whatever means necessary.  They avoid violence unless necessary and never kill, unless required to.  When required to, they slaughter without mercy.  They care for nothing except that the Law is carried out to the letter. 

                                                          by CarolineLaplante

Evil Spirit.

Evil Spirits are demons, but usually are too weak to be labeled as such.  These are the vicious pranksters, cruel plotters and spiteful gossips of the Spirit World.  They aren't strong enough to do a great deal of damage, but they are still black-hearted things that revel in cruelty.   

1- Kindergnaw*.  A small creature with the mouth of a crocodile, a feathery mane and a small, scaly body.  It is about the size of Corgi.  The Kindergnaw cannot be harmed by any weapon forged by mortal hands nor any spell that directly targets it.  In exchange for this, however, it is compelled to only devour those who others request it eats.  If asked politely, the Kindergnaw will find and devour that person.  But it cannot eat any others.  So the Kindergnaw stalks and watches, and when it finds an abused child, a mistreated woman, a downtrodden man, it comes to that person and asks, "Just say the word, and I will grant you the revenge you seek."  Then once that person has been devoured, it seeks out the relatives of the person it devoured and says to them, "[X] asked me to devour your (father/husband/friend).  Just say the word, and I will return the favor."  The Kindergnaw's only real goal is to devour as many people as it can, because people are delicious and it is a glutton.
2- Crushed Racoon.  A creature with the head of a racoon, smashed flat, but somehow it still lives.  The body below the neck is pale, skinless and only has forelimbs.  The rest of the body is a long tail that it drags along the ground, leaving a smear of blood behind it.  The Crushed Racoon loves to ruin important things and solemn moments.  It will sneak into kitchens to destroy wedding cakes, throw itself onto the Bishop's hat during a coronation, and jump into a child's bath to scare it.  It derives sick amusement from these acts.  The Crushed Racoon cannot be crushed and has a bite that will infect you with a disease.  The blood it leaves behind also contaminates things. 
3- Lady Static.  A beautiful, pale woman whose face you can never remember.  Whenever you look at it, a cloud of static is all you remember.  She invites you to sleep with you, but its rarely pleasurable and you always immediately regret it.  By doing so, your hands are marked with blood, and you leave stains on whatever you touch.  Alternatively, this blood may be spiritual, so it can only be sensed as spiritual corruption.  Static wants to corrupt you and make you her slave.  Despite it not being pleasurable, sex with her is addictive.  Besides her corrupting powers, she also has the ability to send people dreams.  She never fights her own battles and flees from danger.  Her goal, besides corrupting the innocent and righteous, is to gain power and build herself a harem of handsome slaves.
4- White Hood.  A man in stainless robes with his hood up to conceal his face.  He pretends to be an Angel to lead pilgrims and good people off the path and into traps and other dangerous situations.  His true form is that of a mangy, blood-smeared predator with yellow teeth and breath that reeks of carrion.  Certain cannibal tribes and savage clans that barely manage to be sentient placate him with sacrifices of blood and fresh meat.  In exchange, he helps them hide from those too strong to face and brings them fresh meat.  His goal is that he wishes to be revered, and he doesn't care if people have to get hurt.

You can find more lesser Evil Spirits here.

Greater Evil Spirits are called Demons and I've already written plenty about them. 

Powers of Evil Spirits:
- Curses
- Abilities that drain power or life
- Abilities that influence or control the mind
- Abilities relating to poison, disease and corruption
- Abilities relating to summoning and controlling the Undead                   

                                                   by Guillaume Seignac

Beneficient Spirit.

Beneficient Spirits are spirits that are righteous, or at least, good of heart.  They pursue good objectives with good intentions.  They aren't always nice or even helpful, but they have nothing but good intentions.  Still, despite this fact, they can be nuisances at times. 


1- Puttos.  Strange, baby-like Spirits who help people fall in love.  Some work with Law to ensure the birth of certain prophetic figures, while others merely facilitate love and romance between different people.  Some believe in the concept of soul-mates, while others acknowledge the fact that love can bloom almost anywhere.  These two factions of Puttos disagree bitterly.  Puttos carry arrows that can deaden someone's heart or make them fall in love.  They want people to fall in love, for their ships to become "canon" and baby things (such as being cuddled, rocked, drinking breast milk, naps, etc).
2- Lares.  Also called Tiny Gods, Lares are spirits that mark and maintain boundaries, borders and other restrictions.  Resembling tiny warriors armed with needle swords, acorn helms and capes made of spider-webs or a single leaf, they monitor the walls, doors and windows of buildings.  They are strong enough to drive away small spirits, as well as rats and other pests.  No house that pleases the Lares will suffer from termites or from an infestation of bugs.  The Lares will hunt and destroy them.  Lares have the ability to speak the language of any creature that enters their domain and the ability to commune with domesticated animals, who aid them.  Their bravest warriors ride cats, which in their culture is comparable to riding a lion or a dragon.  Lares want respect, cups of warm water (to bathe in), tiny weapons and armor and alcohol.
3- Domovoi.  A spirit that protects a family from danger that one day might grow into an Ancestor Spirit, should those who venerate and sacrifice to it grow large enough.  Domovoi have feet of warped wood and bald heads covered in shingles.  Their broad coats resemble rough logs and their staves are carved like the pillars that hold up a house.  Their pipes constantly spew smoke and flame like chimmneys and they always stink of wood, meat and home.  They are here to protect you, and no matter how far you go, you're never far from home with one watching out for you.  Domovoi want hot tea and for you to visit them and spend time with them.  They get lonely when you don't come back to say hi. 
4- Messenger Toads.  Small Toadmen, no bigger than a child, in shiny red coats and matching hats with shiny black brims.  Their shoulders are adorned with gold braid and the insignia of Heaven.  The Messenger Toads are an elite group, entrusted to carry messages by the Gods.  They never lie, never cheat and never fail to get through.  When forced to fight, they use shining rapiers that penetrate all armor, but prefer just to avoid danger.  They want to deliver their messages or packages and get back to work.     

Powers of Beneficient Spirits:
- The ability to bless, fortify or invigorate
- The ability to Banish offending creatures
- The ability to restorate creatures to previous states
- The ability to heal

                                             from here


Eikones are the living personifications of a specific concept or thing.  Essentially, they are living Platonic forms.  If you meet the Eikone for Wolf, it is The Wolf, the one that all other wolves are inferior reflections of.  They are hyper-real, like iron balls dropped into soup.  By looking at them, you can feel the sensation of their fur.  By hearing them, images of what they look like invade your mind.  By touching them, you know what they taste like.  Many of the Eikones are animals, but some are concepts.  For example, you could meet the Eikone of Bureaucracy, or that of Horses.   

Powers of the Eikone:

- Eikones have power relating to their specific nature and the associations they bring with them.
- For example, Wolf can duplicate himself to create a pack of clones who work together and can howl loud enough to burst people's eardrums, break glass and cause internal damage.
- For another example, the Eikone of Power can order people to obey him.  Those who refuse his commands suffer violence, as Power is tied inextricably to violence.  

                                             by RenePolumorfous

*Stolen from Fire on the Velvet Horizon