Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Giants


Long ago, it is said that Giants ruled the Earth.

Just as Dragons are the servants of Chaos, spreading discord and disorder wherever they go, Giants are the culmination of Law.  The homeland of the Giants is eternal, and while its location may shift, it always exists.  However, you cannot usually find it.  You either stumble into it or follow a special type of map, prepared by another Giant.

However, not all Giants live in their Homeland.  In the past, Giants ruled the Earth.  Under their ruthless dominion, all the little races lived in relative peace and security, though they were all equally suppressed by the Giants.  But the Giant Empire inevitable collapsed, and the majority of Giants retreated to their homeland.  At first, people were eager for revenge, and so attempts were made to attack and conquer the Giants.  All of these attempts failed catastrophically.  But when the Giant Empire collapsed, many pockets of Giants were left behind, as they were too entrenched or too isolated to notice the Empire was pulling back.  Others simply insisted that their work was too important to interrupt, and they would catch up later.  Some of these Giants did eventually return home, but others did not, as you can still find small groups of Giants scattered in other nation's lands.  Many nations tolerate these Giants or otherwise ignore them, as Giants are very hard to dislodge once settled and very dangerous at any time.

Base Giant Statblock
HD 10  AC 10  Melee Attack as Weapon or Thrown Object 3d6
Mor Varies    Saves Varies

Damage Reduction: Giants take -2 damage from all Weapons not designed to kill something as big as them.  Your Sword is a toothpick to them.

Tactics:
- Throw Cows or Trees or Boulders at people
- Throw people at people
- Take hostages
- Force them to negotiate

Giant Weapons:

Giant Weapon: A sword, spear, or any other weapon meant for fighting giants.  Does 2d8 damage, but gets -4 to hit against something smaller than a Giant.  They also do this much damage against other, similarly sized things, such as Dragons, Trolls, Giant Demons and other such things.

Manning Broom: A device meant to kill smallfolk.  Looks like a broom, but replace with bristles with barbed wire, and occasionally there are big spikes poking out of it.  Does 1d8 damage on a hit, and can hit everything adjacent to the target. Still requires multiple attack rolls though.

Thrown Object: These are boulders, trees, smallfolk, smaller Giants, anything the Giant can get their hands on.  Does 3d6 damage on a hit, save for half.  If your DEX is 14 or higher, save to avoid all damage.  On a failure, you still only take half damage. 

Additionally, there is one other thing you must know.  Unlike Dragons, which are each unique and terrible in their own way, Giants are engineered and modified at and before birth to fit a specific mold.  Each Giant has its destiny chosen for it before his mother and father lay together, though this process is not as dramatic as the sages say it is.  Generally, unless something goes terribly wrong, two Giants of the same Caste will produce a Giant of their Caste.  Also, barring bizarre circumstances, Giants cannot breed outside their Caste.

Each caste is highly specialized, designed to perform one task exceedingly well.  The whole society from top down is organized for the betterment of the whole, so that all Giants can depend on all other Giants.  The Hill Giants are the bottom of the society, meant to be common laborers and servants to the rulers.  Above them you have the Fire and Wood Giants, who fight the battles of Giantkind and feed the Giants, respectively.  Then there are the Frost Giants, who fight or sleep, frozen in ice, awaiting the day they are thawed out.  Legends tell that the awakening of the Sleeping Frost Giants will be one of the Seven signs of the End of the Age, and the return of the Authority.  From there we have the Sun Giants and the Stone Giants, the former being philosophers, mathematicians, and wizards, the latter being plumbers, carpenters, watchmakers and artists.  Then finally, at the top of the hierarchy, we have the Cloud Giants, and then the Storm Giants, and at the very tip of the hierarchy, the Storm King, the strongest Giant in all the world.    







Hill Giants      

Hill Giants were created to be servants and attendants to Giant Royalty.  They are remarkably servile for their enormous size, and most are skilled at cooking, cleaning, and managing other servants.  Hill Giants are also famous for kidnapping promising smallfolk to be their Ruler, and when the Ruler inevitably disappoints them, quietly disposing of them and then feigning ignorance.  And while these partnerships rarely end well, sometimes they do, and can even last for a very long time. There are many stories of willful royal children who end up ruling a steading of Hill Giants for decades, or a Wizard who stumbles down a rabbit hole into a mead hall of Hill Giants, only to find them perfectly willing to bow to him.  Of course, there are many more stories how Hill Giants are just pretending to be servile to lure you in and eat you.  The truth of these stories is probably in the middle somewhere.  Though Giants don't usually eat people- that is a confabulation made up by humans.  Smallfolk have too little meat and too many bones to eat efficiently.  If a Giant wants to get rid of you, they'll just kill you.

Additionally, there is a small distinction to make.  There are two kinds of Hill Giant.  The first is the kind above, the Foothill Giants.  These are the ones meant to serve at the feet of the nobility.  The other type of Hill Giant is called the Steephill Giants, who are instead used as common laborers.  The distinctions between these two Giants is largely indistinguishable in terms of appearance, and can only be seen in dress and how they conduct themselves, with Steephill Giants being much more plucky and independent than Foothill Giants.

Hill Giant Statblock Changes:
Mor 5
Saves 12+

Weak Soul: Hill Giants get -4 to save against spells that influence, such as Charm Person or Fear.  Additionally, any spell that might not affect a creature of their size or nature has 2-in-6 chance of working against them anyway.  Prominent examples might be something such as Charm Beast, or Mass Charm Person.   

Hill Giant plot hooks
1d4
1- A royal child has gone missing on a hunting trip.  When you find them, they are in the company of a group of Hill Giants, who have adopted them as their new leader.  The child will be fine for a while, but inevitably they will slip up and be disposed of.
2- An evil Wizard has a steading of Hill Giants under his control.  Find a way to separate the Hill Giants from their master, before the Wizard uses them to do something horrible.
3- A Hill Giant has shown up at the distant castle of a frontier noble, and has inserted themselves into the household, commanding the other servants.  The noble is immensely pleased by this, but other powers find this disconcerting.  They want you to get rid of the Hill Giant, by any means necessary.
4- As above, but the Hill Giant is actually a scout for an upcoming Giant invasion by a prominent Cloud Giant.  Besides the Hill Giant, no one knows that, but there are signs of an enemy army approaching.

Wood Giants

Many people wonder how Giants can produce enough food to feed an entire society of giant monsters, especially when many Human farmers struggle to feed their families.  The answer is three-fold.  First, there are a lot fewer Giants than Humans think there are.  Secondly, they use magic to enhance their crops, to grow corn stalk that reach ten feet tall with ears as thick as man's arm, or tomatoes the size of baseballs.  Thirdly, they have the Wood Giants.

They aren't made of Wood, but they do look the part.  Wood Giants are green or mottle-brown skinned, often with moss growing in their hair or garlands of living flowers or crowns of creeper vines wrapped around their bodies.  They are the Agriculturalists, Herbalists and Botanists of Giant-kind.  They have a unique bond with domesticated Plants, and can coax even lousy soil into producing bountiful harvests, assuming the Weather cooperates, though this is never a problem in Giant Land, unless a bunch of Cloud Giants are borrowing the rain storms for some ridiculous game.  Wood Giants also supervise all other types of farming in Giant Lands, including herding domesticated animals.  They also tend to any non-Giant slaves, for reasons that must have made sense at the time.

When not in Giant lands, Wood Giants usually live in enormous, walled farms, producing the best produce and tastiest animal products imaginable.  Sometimes these farms employ human or other smallfolk slaves, but just as often the smallfolk who assist the Wood Giants are farmhands who serve the giant and get to live off its largesse in exchange.  Some of them even get paid, though usually not in money.   

Wood Giant Statblock Changes
Mor 5
Saves 12+

Innate Spellcasting: Wood Giants can cast the following spells as first level spells as a full action.
At will: Speak with Domestic Animal, Speak with Domesticated Plant
1/Day: Multiply Food, Plant Growth

Wood Giant plot hooks
1d4
1- A Baron wants to know how his rival has managed to grow such large pumpkins and defeat him every year at the Largest Pumpkin Contest at the Goblinwatch Festival for the last five years in a row.  As such, you are hired to investigate it.  The answer is that a Wood Giant is helping the rival, of course.
2- A Wizard threatened a Wood Giant, demanding the secret to the Wood Giant's delicious grapes.  The Wood Giant acquiesced, and told the Wizard his secret.  But when harvest came, the grape vines instead of bearing fruit bore monsters.  The Wizard's vineyard is burning, and the grape-men and jelly-boys are running rampant.  Find the Wood Giant and see if he has any solution to this problem.
3- A friendly or important NPC has come down with a mysterious illness.  But the only known antidote is located faraway on a Wood Giant's farm.  Only a bunch of plucky heroes such as yourself could retrieve it and come back alive.
4- As above, except the NPC is not ill, and needs to be.  Retrieve this rare poison from the Wood Giant's farm, and don't let him realize what you're doing.


Fire Giants

Long ago, the Forces of Hell tried to invade the surface through the Veins of the Earth.  This may be why the Giant Empire spread in the first place, as people fled to the only ones who could stand against the Legions of Hell.  Some ancient histories do detail how the smallfolk were helped by "Great Men who stood on Mountains".  But when it came time for a Counterattack, the Giants realized that they were not suited for underground fighting.  They were too large, and they could not stand the heat.

So they created someone who could.  The Fire Giants were created for the sole purpose of fighting the Legions of Hell.  Smaller, narrower and more compact than other Giants, they could more easily fit into the tunnels beneath the Earth, and their immunity to heat meant that the flames of Hell did not stop them for a second.  It is said that deep below the Earth, there are still fortresses full of Fire Giants, excavating tunnels and fortresses, digging in and waiting for the order to withdraw.  Some say they are still down there because their masters have forgotten about them.  Others say it is because they are waiting for the day when the Gates of Hell once again fly open, and the War begins anew.

But on the surface, Fire Giants form the rank and file of Giant armies, and usually form the bulk of the police force in any Giant polity.  Others who are unbound to any Master form mercenary companies and travel through the lands of the smallfolk, charging exorbitant rates for their services.  But while the cost of hiring a platoon of Giants is potentially ruinous, the penalty for not doing so can be equally so, especially when your enemy has.       

Fire Giant Statblock Changes
HD 7
Mor 9
Saves 10+

Immune to Fire damage

There is a 1-in-6 chance that any group of Fire Giants or any Fire Giants has a Giant whose instead of bones, has a skeleton made of cartilage, and can squeeze through almost any small space.

Fire Giant Plot Hooks
1d4
1- The War has been raging for some time now.  But the side you're not on/the one you dislike has hired a band of Fire Giant mercenaries.  Try and buy them out, or get them to break their contract, before they go and win the war for the other side!
2- A group of Humans in Giant territory were captured by Fire Giants.  This is an act of War!  But also, going to war with Giants never works.  So go and free them, please, hopefully without fighting the entire garrison of Fire Giants guarding the place where the captives are being held.
3- A Giant army is marching across friendly territory.  The Cloud Giant in charge promised his men would behave, but there are reports of Fire Giants rampaging around, stealing livestock and lighting things on fire.  Confirm the truth of these rumors, and whether or not they are merely deserters, criminals or this is some clever ruse on behalf of the Cloud Giant.
4- A group of wounded, badly weakened Fire Giants suddenly emerge in the middle of an empty field and start running in random directions.  If interrogated, the Fie Giants reveal that they are the descendants of the Fire Giants sent into the Veins to fight the Long War, against the Forces of Hell.  Find out what could be terrifying enough to scatter such mighty warriors, and make sure there's no chance of it reaching the surface. 


Frost Giants

But the Fire Giants were limited in their usefulness.  They were too small to successfully fight larger opponents with reliable success, such as Dragons or the Great Trolls, and smallfolk could kill them far more often than was preferrable.  Plus, as the Giant armies descended further into Hell, they found that many of the lower levels were not merely burning, but some were freezing cold.  So the Sun Giants went back to the drawing board, and came up with an even greater monster. 

Frost Giants are killing machines, bred exclusively for war.  They are resilient to both extreme cold and heat, and they have the ability to blast freezing gouts of air from their mouths.  These gouts of air are so intense they can freeze smallfolk to death.  But even if an opponent is hardier than they first estimated, the blast of cold air still robs them of their coordination and initiative. 

However, as useful as they were in the Battle over Hell, the Frost Giants also presented a potential liability.  They are exclusively bred for war, and as the Giants with the most base physical Strength, they began to wonder why they should obey those higher on the hierarchy than them.  So when they revolted, perhaps its was not a surprise, but it was a disappointment. However, as strong as they were, the superior numbers of the other Giants and the magicks of the Cloud Giants lead to their complete and utter defeat.  After this defeat, the Cloud Giants banished the Frost Giants to the coldest and most inhospitable places in the world, forcing them to hunt whales and seals for food, and to tend patches of multi-colored lichen without the aid of the Wood Giants.  Along with this, the Cloud Giants also stripped them of their magicks that they were so famous for, so no longer could the Frost Giants bond with giant wolves or polar bears, nor could they lower the temperature till their enemies steel weapons cracked like stone or summon blizzards in the middle of summer.  Additionally, many Frost Giants were put 'on Ice' in suspended animation, awaiting the time the Cloud Giants required their services once more.

Frost Giant Statblock Changes
HD 12
Mor 11
Saves 9+

Immune to Fire and Ice damage

Cold Blast: The Giant can blast jets of cold air from its mouth.  This does 1d6 cold damage in a 30' cone.  All within the cone must save.  On a failure they also take 1d6 Dex damage.  Every round they spend within 30' of a Frost Giant or every time they are hit by a Cold Blast, they take an additional 1d6 Dex damage.  If this Dex damage ever equals or exceeds your Dex score, you start shivering so badly you get -4 to attacks and any complex movements, and cannot perform any delicate action successfully until you get a chance to warm up.

Damage Reduction: Frost Giants take -3 damage from all Weapons not designed to kill something as big as them.  Your Sword is a toothpick to them.

Frost Giant Plot Hooks
1d4
1- An Evil Wizard has found a Frost Giant frozen in ice, currently in stasis.  He wants to awaken the Giant and try and control it.  If not stopped, there is a 2-in-6 chance he succeeds.  If he does, he will have an obedient Frost Giant slave.  If he does not, the Frost Giant will rise to continue the war against the Cloud Giants, for as far as it knows, that war is still ongoing.  In actuality, the war has been over for almost five hundred years.
2- A Legendary Frost Giant thane by the name of Jormundar was once the greatest of his people.  He was immortal by the blessing of the Storm King, immune to harm by any weapon forged by mortal hands.  When he disappeared, his treasures were lost to history.  Until now.  Now his final resting place and his treasures has been found in an iceberg that is drifting down the coast.  The race is one to claim Jormundar's legendary treasures, but when you get there, you will find that the warrior himself is not dead, but very much alive, merely in stasis.  Anyone who disturbs his treasure will discover this first hand.
3- A clan of Demons has escaped, slipped through the gaps in the Celestial Net, and are besieging a city.  However, just when things are at their bleakest, a small platoon of Frost Giants arrive.  These Giants are here to fight the Demons and throw them back into hell, but they have no regard for the smallfolk inhabitants of the city.  On the bright side, they will not stoop to looting the smallfolk homes either, so an entire city is up for grabs, presuming you are brave or insane enough to make the attempt and succeed without getting flattened between the Demons and the Giants.
4- A group of Frost Giants have arrived at a middling smallfolk city.  They make their demands, they want food, iron, cloth and some other relatively simple items to acquire.  They will leave peacefully if they retrieve those items.  But the smallfolk in the city are bickering and haggling with the Giants, trying to get a better deal, while the various factions within it debate.  However, the Frost Giants are losing patience.  If their demands are not met soon, they will march into the city, burn it to the ground, and simply take what they need.


Stone Giants

Stone Giants are a strange caste.  They are the caste of artists and performers, intended to write plays, make art, and attend to the Cloud Giants through commissioned work or to perform in the enormous carnivals of Giantkind.  However, despite the ingenious nature of Giant technology and magic, it is not perfect, and much of it is degraded since the time of the Ascension of the Titans.  As such, their is a problem that has afflicted the Stone Giants.  A person can be taught artistic techniques, can be instructed in the techniques and history of artistic movements, and can be bankrolled, but if they do not have the initial seed of creativity, they will produce nothing but propaganda.  There will be nothing transcendant about their art. 

As such, many Stone Giants find themselves unable to perform real creative work.  This is also why Stone Giants handle complex work, such as maintenance of rare technology, carpentry, plumbing, architecture, glassmaking and other complicated tasks that Hill Giants are too dumb or clumsy to perform reliably.  This whole state of affairs is relatively stable, but has lead to two informal sub-castes within the Stone Giants, the artists and the craftsmen.  The craftsmen are the lowlier of the Stone Giants, with less prestige, even if the work they do is just as, if not more vital than the artists.  They handle the skilled labor, they are the watch-makers and goldsmiths and woodcarvers.  The artists are the far more regal of the Stone Giants, and here is where the most famous of their number come from.  They  write and perform plays, carve sculptures, paint paintings,  write poetry and play instruments.  But they also perform more specialized and unique services.  For example, some Stone Giant Artists are trained in Fleshcrafting, where they take living creatures (and sometimes smallfolk) and modify them to resemble fantastic, otherworldly beasts.  Many of the strange creatures that shouldn't exist but do are not created by Wizards, but are actually escapees from a Fleshcrafter's laboratory.  It is also said this is where Beastmen came from.

These two sub-castes are largely indistinguishable to non-Stone Giants, though these divisions often cause great scandal.  For instance, if a Stone Giant that comes from a family of Artists has no creative talent, they are often shunned and disowned.  Some manage to avoid this fate by stealing the work of other artists, or by bluffing their way through life.  Other times a Stone Giant from a family of craftsmen discovers they have unique talents, and is catapulted to new heights of fame.  This can often lead to resentment by more established Artists, who sometimes plot to destroy them.  And this is the side of Stone Giants that almost no one knows about.  Many of them, especially the Artists, are highly ruthless, and determined to climb to the top of their caste, by any means, legal or otherwise.                               

Stone Giant Statblock Changes
HD 6
Mor 4
Saves 12+

Stone Giant Plot Hooks
1d4
1- A Stone Giant wants to interview a famous person and maybe paint their portrait.  This person is far too busy, powerful or hard to reach to respond to more civilized requests for a meeting.  So instead, the Giant has hired you.  Kidnap this person and bring them to me, alive and as undamaged as possible.
2- As above, except the person they want to interview is dead, and the Stone Giant is unaware of this fact.
3- A Stone Giant has been recruited by smallfolk royalty to create a work of art for some important occasion.  However, in their haste, the royalty forgot, or more likely, didn't think to ask the Stone Giant if he was an artist or a craftsmen.  As he is the latter, he is stalling for time, trying to come up with some mind-blowing work, before he is driven out of town or worse.
4- A horrible monster has suddenly appeared in our midst, and is attacking a small frontier community.  The beast is horrific and unnatural, and must be killed.  This horrific beast is dangerous, but it is also an escapee from a Stone Giant's laboratory, and is trying to communicate to everyone that it is not dangerous.  The smallfolk who live in the community seem to disagree, and have their pitchforks and torches ready.  Additionally, the Stone Giant is nearby, having tracked the escaped creature to this location.      

Sun Giants

Sun Giants are often believed to be the rulers of Giantkind, but only by people who have never met one.  But despite their impressive appearances, many Sun Giants are actually kooky, weird, or flat out insane.  But usually, they are so involved in their thinking, they cannot relate to the normal world.  They are the genius thinkers and philosophers of Giantkind, the stargazers and astrologers, the physicists and mathematicians.  While other Giants focus on the practical nature of things, Sun Giants focus on the why.     

In greater Giant society, Sun Giants gather in laborotories or on street corners, to discuss the nature of reality with themselves and anyone who is unfortunate enough to be nearby.  When not in Giant Society, Sun Giants live atop mountains or in distant locales, where their research will not be interrupted by smallfolk. 

Additionally, while many Giants have natural magicks that they can cast without cause of any mishap, they are not true Magic-Users.  The Cloud Giants are skeptical of magic as well, for all the potential it has to cause madness and mutation, so this is a duty they have entrusted the Sun Giants.  Sun Giants not only are the primary sources of magic in their society, but they also investigate the nature of magic and use it to create wonders and masterpieces for their Cloud Giant masters. 

Sun Giant Statblock Changes

HD 1d6+4
Mor 2d6
Saves 1d10+5

Sun Giants have a 1-in-6 chance of being mutated
Sun Giants have a 3-in-6 chance of being able to cast spells as a 1d6 level Wizard
Sun Giants have a 1-in-6 chance of being able to predict the future to a limited degree, and thus were expecting you.

Sun Giant Plot Hooks
1d4
1- A Sun Giant has created an amazing new spell, one that could change the world.  News of this spell has reached the ear of a distant archmage, who has hired you to go steal it.  He will be expecting you to double-cross him, and has already erected countermeasures in such case.  Additionally, there may be others who are already in pursuit of the spell.
2- A Sun Giant has created an amazing new spell, one that is totally untested and highly dangerous.  The Giant needs someone to test it out, as the Giant is crazy, but they aren't stupid.  Would you like to use it?  The spell, while useful, has some unforeseen side effect that  only become visible later.
3- A Sun Giant has seen the future, and is randomly visiting smallfolk towns, babbling about alien stars and warriors galloping out of the sun.  Track down the Giant and find out what he is talking about, before he is hurt or the prophecy comes true.
4- A Sun Giant and his assistants have kidnapped a Mathematician, a Wizard, a Poet and a Philosopher, and are holding them in captivity.  The Sun Giant may not intend them any harm, but he refuses to let them leave. 
  

Cloud Giants

The uncontested rulers of Giantkind.  Cloud Giants were originally meant to shepherd the other Giants, guiding and directing their impulses toward productive ends.  However, the Cloud Giants have lost sight of this original purpose, and now either devote themselves to idle hedonism or fierce, internal competitions.  The Clans of Cloud Giants engage in constant infighting, a constant battle of attrition meant to weed out the incompetent, overly malicious, or unproductive.  These struggles are usually restricted to back-alleys and darkened rooms full of drug-infused smoke, but sometimes they spill over into greater Giant society and even sometimes into the lands of the smallfolk, drowning whole nations in warblood. For this reason, Cloud Giants are either total hedonists, willing to accept their lot at the bottom of the Cloud Giant caste, or are consumed with a lust for power and revenge, and are totally dedicated to ascending to the top-most point in all Giant Society, to become the ruler of all Giants and master of their homeland, the Sovereign, the one who sits upon the Throne of Clouds.

All Cloud Giants, for various reasons, devote themselves fully to their tasks, and like other nobility, have no interest in actually pursuing useful work.  There is no law against a Cloud Giant pursuing a common form of work, but anyone who displays anything more than a passing fancy in another field besides combat or politicking will be prevented from ever rising high.  As such, Cloud Giants compete over land and workers.  A Cloud Giant who has an ample supply of both will have enough income to support themselves and free them from commoner's work.  But the most valuable thing a Cloud Giant can possess is not land or smallfolk, but other Giants.  As the rulers, Cloud Giants are the only ones entitled to buy and sell other Giants, either from another Cloud Giant or by asking a lower caste Giant to sell themselves to the Cloud Giants.  As such, while some Giants are free, able to pursue their own destinies and owning the product of their own labor, many more are owned by Cloud Giants. To a Giant, this is not a state of affairs to be discouraged.  To them, slavery and being owned are the natural state of life and nature, and to be respected.  Even cruel Cloud Giants can still be respected by their Giant slaves, and feared by any smallfolk they may happen to own.  However, Giant slavery is not as cruel as the stories believe, and is more comparable to  that of a Feudal Lord and his peasants.  Most Giants regard the slavery the smallfolk practice as barbarous, a mockery of their noble institution.

But merely accumulating wealth is not the aim of a Cloud Giant.  To do so is another sign of having a low-caste mindset, something to be avoided at all cost by any social climbers.  Instead, the Cloud Giants spend lavishly on themselves, their friends and even their subjects.  Honored guests will be showered in gifts, Superiors can expect lavish "presents" (bribes) and rivals will be shown all the Giant's wonders, from their menagarie of rare beasts to their slaves to their vaults overflowing with treasure.  Thus, even the lowliest of the Cloud Giants have beautiful mansions stuffed to the gills with magic items, treasure, rare monsters, and servants of various sizes.  And this is barest standard of living acceptable to their kind.  The greatest of the Cloud Giants live in unimaginable splendor; some even live up to their name, living in floating castles or atop clouds, where their smallfolk wear wings of wax and feathers in case they fall off a cloud, their Stone Giants carve elaborate sculptures of ice, and their Wood Giants herd the transparent, gelatinous wildlife of the Upper Air.  These Cloud Giants are feared and respected by all, not just for their immense magical and martial ability, but for their ability to call down a legion of Giants to lay waste to a whole culture.  Many a nation has offended a minor Giant, only to suffer the wrath of that Giant's unimaginable master.    

Also, one last note.  There are no Storm Giants.  Storm Giant is a title.  The Cloud Giants who ascend to the highest tier, the Giants who make nations quake and armies melt away like snow before them are the only ones worthy of being promoted to the rank of Storm Giant.  The Storm Giants are the greatest among the Cloud Giants, and from their ranks is chosen the Storm King, the greatest of their kind, ruler of all Giants and one of the among the strongest creatures in the universe. 



Cloud Giant Statblock Changes
(Low-Status Hedonist or Merchant)
HD 8
Mor 6
Saves 10+

Cloud-Walker: Cloud Giants can walk on Clouds as if they were solid ground.  They can also grant this ability to someone with a touch. 

Innate Spellcasting: Cloud Giants can cast the following spells as a level 3 Wizard.
At will: Chill Breath, Fogbank, Gust of Wind
3/Day: Gale

Cloud Giants have a 2-in-6 chance of instead of being spellcasters, having the ability to turn into clouds as a full action. While a cloud, they can move and slip under doors, and are only affected by things that could hurt a cloud.      

(High Status Warrior/Politician)
Mor 8
Saves 7+

Cloud-Walker: Cloud Giants can walk on Clouds as if they were solid ground.  They can also grant this ability to someone with a touch. 

Innate Spellcasting: Cloud Giants can cast the following spells as a level 6 Wizard.
At will: Chill Breath, Fogbank, Gust of Wind
3/Day: Freezing Wind, Incapacitating Grip, Gale
1/Day: Control Weather, Divine Retribution        

Cloud Giants have a 2-in-6 chance of instead of being spellcasters, having the ability to turn into clouds as a full action. While a cloud, they can move and slip under doors, and are only affected by things that could hurt a cloud.      

For even stronger Cloud Giants, give them class levels and abilities, plus 1 HD for each Class level they receive.   

Cloud/Storm Giant Plot Hooks

1d4     
1- A wyvern is terrorizing a small barony.  Hunt it down and kill it, please.  However, once it is dead, you find out it was a favored pet of Cloud Giant Merchant.  The Cloud Giant demands those who killed its pet handed over to him, alive.  If the local ruler likes you, he may stall and allow you to escape.  If he doesn't, he will try to ambush you and deliver you to the Cloud Giant in chains.
2- Two Cloud Giants are fighting a duel.  Or so they claim.  They've brought their entourages with them, merely as a precaution.  Or so they claim.  The local King is convinced this is a prelude to an invasion, and demands you investigate this so-called duel.  What are the Cloud Giants actually here to do?  Are they sincere, or is this the first move in a series?  And regardless of what you are actually doing, be careful, as your interference or discovery could spark a diplomatic incident.
3- A slave market is having a special event, in which they will sell a massive prize, a living Giant!  However, halfway through the auction, the event is crashed by a Cloud Giant and his entourage, who are here to liberate their brethren and steal everything that isn't nailed down as compensation.  Anyone who gets in their way will be killed.  And anyone who is good at exploiting chaos could make a fortune.
4- So it's War!  Long ago, the Storm King made a treaty with smallfolk kingdom, ending a long, mostly pointless war.  Since then, there have been no conflicts with the Giants and smallfolk.  Until now.  Something occurs rendering the treaty broken.  However, while the smallfolk have long forgotten the War, the Giants have not, and they are coming.  Bonus points if the PCs are the ones who break the treaty and cause the war.      

 

Monday, June 25, 2018

GvM: Do not Meddle in the Affairs of Wizards


Magic is a mysterious force in our universe.  No one really understands it, and those who claim to do are liars.  Magic eludes understanding, it is too mercurial to submit to any force or law, especially the laws of logic.  This is not to say that magic is illogical, it may obey certain laws, but whatever they are, mankind was never enlightened on them.  But certain things are known- firstly, that certain actions when done in certain ways can invoke a result that draws the power of magic into the more conventional reality we call inhabit.  This process is usually accomplished through rituals, but it can happen under rarer or stranger circumstances.  The second thing we know is that certain people can innately tap into the power of Magick, molding reality to their whim.  For your convenience, I have included a handy chart.

Magical Talent Scale:

0 Normals
1- Those who Know
2-4 Humans who have successfully endured the Rite of the Iron Maiden
5- Alices
6- Magelings

Normals are the people at the bottom of the Scale.  They have no Magick and no awareness of it.  They are blind and blunt.  But this also has an advantage, in that Magickal things do not happen to them, except on rare occasions.  Those who are in touch with the force of Magick can manipulate it, but are manipulated in turn, tossed about by the blind thrashing of its incomprobable bulk.  But a Normal has no such problem, and will only ever encounter Magick if someone from higher on the scale goes out of their way to show it to them.

Those who Know are slighty above these people.  They have the ability to perceive Magick.  Slightly and faintly, with little nuance or understanding, but they are plugged in, so to speak.  Most of them lack any Magickal ability, but they can cast Rituals and use Magick items.

Those who have endured the Rite of the Iron Maiden are people who either had their own latent Magickal talent awakened or were elected to have some talent, based on the Rite they endured.  This includes the Agents of API, of course.  The survivors of the Rite can do all those below them can, plus they can manifest their own abilities.  These abilities usually manifest as a Semblance, a spiritual entity that is an embodiment of their soul.  This Semblance has a special power that it can use as will, and if needed, can manifest bodily to alter the physical world to its producer's desires.  Semblances range in form and power, and always reflect some aspect of their producer's personality. 

Alices are like those below them, but they never needed to have their Magickal Talent torn from them.  They were born odd and strange, with unconscious powers that are only now manifesting.  Alices were born with their Semblances, and can use them better than any artificial produced Semblance-Master.

Then, their are the Magelings.  Magelings are near the epicenter of Magick, possessing not just the ability to automatically produce a Semblance, but Magelings can do one better.  They can cast spells, weave wards, commune with ghosts and tell fortunes.  They have more power than most people, but they are still mortal ultimately.  They require wands and rituals, circles of chalk and animal sacrifices to produce anything truly nominal.

And then, there are Wizards.

Wizards are not on the scale because Wizards do not have talent.  Wizards do not tap into Magick, they are Magick.  They need no spells or incantations, they merely state their request, and the universe rearranges itself around them to accomodate their desires.  I wrote about them here, but there is more you should learn about Wizards.


All Wizards have the ability to control one Element innately, bending it to their will.  It is unknown if this some fact of birth and no two Wizards have the same Element, or maybe this is some kind of gimmick that the Wizards use because they wanted to distinguish themselves from each other.  These Elements also are where the Wizards get their names from.  For example, Alcyone the Thunder Wizard. 

Here are a few things Wizards have been seen controlling.

Random Wizard Element Table
1d20
1- Fire
2- Water
3- Flesh/Meat
4- Plants/Wood
5- Metal
6- Shadow
7- Gravity
8- Smoke
9- Air
10- Bone
11- Blood
12- Light
13- Earth
14- Mind
15- Void
16- Space
17- Sound
18- Time
19- Thunder/Lightning
20- Soul

Additionally, while a Wizard can freely manipulate their Element in almost any possible way given space and time to focus, they have certain memorized moves that they use in combat or high-intensity situations.

Random Elemental Spells:
1d8
1- Bind Enemy
2- Create Walls
3- Elemental Darts
4- Control Element
5- Elemental Armor/Form*
6- Transmute Object
7- Color of Armaments
8- Elemental Ally

For Elemental Armor/Form, these are two spells, but each Wizard can only possess one.  When choosing which one, consider if the Element the Wizard is choosing is hard to strike.  If it is something like Water that cannot be hit by normal means, then the Wizard will have Elemental Form.  But if transforming the Wizard's body into that Element would not make them harder to hit, then give them Elemental Armor instead.

To see what Elemental Spells the Wizard has, roll 1d4 once for an Apprentice Wizard, roll 1d6 twice for a Magus, and roll 1d8 three times for an Archmage.  They cast these spells are per the GLOG system, detailed here.  However, on a roll of a double or a triple, their spell fails or alternatively, the spells fails in such a way that is logically consistent and possibly gives the players some kind of benefit. 

Spellcaster: [Wizard's name] is a level 1d6 level spellcaster, and has 1d6 spellcasting dice.


Elemental Spells:


Bind Enemy
----------------------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: [dice] creatures    D: [sum] minutes

Creates chains or bonds out of the Wizard's Element that ensnare [dice] people.


Create Walls
--------------------------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: the area around you    D: one action

Creates [dice] inanimate wall of the Wizard's element.  Creatures near a wall are thrown to one side.  If they successfully pass a Dex check of appropriate level, then they can dodge past the forming wall onto the side they choose.


Elemental Darts
----------------------------------------------------------------------
R: 50'        T: [dice] creatures    D: one action

Creates and launches [dice] projectiles at up to [dice] enemies, with each projectile doing 1d6+[dice] damage.


Elemental Armor
------------------------------------------------------------------------
R: self        T: self            D: [dice] minutes

The Wizard encases himself in elemental armor that is solid enough to stop most attacks. 
This gives him +[sum] bonus HP.  When this HP is consumed, the armor breaks and the spell ends.

OR

Elemental Form
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
R: self        T: self            D: concentration

Transform part of your body into a freely moving cloud/mass of whatever the Wizard's Element is.  In this form, they are immune to non-magical damage.


Color of Armaments
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
R: self        T: self            D: one action

The next attack the Wizard makes gets +[sum] to hit and does +[dice] damage.  The damage done from this counts as magic.


Transmute Object
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: [dice] objects    D: one action

Transforms [dice] objects into your Element.  Sentient objects get a saving Throw.


Control Element
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
R: varies    T: [sum] gallons or pounds of Element    D: concentration

The Wizard can freely manipulate [sum] gallons or pounds of their Element.  If they have an Element that does not have weight or take up physical space, they can control all the matter in (one die) within 10', (2 dice) within 30', (3 dice) within 50', (4+ dice) within line of sight.


Elemental Ally
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
R: varies    T: varies                D: [sum] minutes

The Wizard's Element within the area automatically works to defend them, giving them +[dice] bonuses to saving throws and their enemies penalties to attacks.  This has to be logically consistent, such as the Earth rising up to protect them from danger or smoke making it harder to see them.  Range is for one die all the Element within 10' defends them, for 2 dice it is all the Element within 30', for 3 dice all within 50', and for 4+ dice, all within line of sight.


Example statblock:

Alcyone, the Thunder Wizard [aa l k EE aw n ee]
HD 6/6    AC 12    Lightning Blast 1d12 or Rod of Iron(+3) 1d6/1d6
Mor 8      Saves 7+

Conqueror's Haki*: Whenever you engage Alcyone in combat, or he kills one of your compatriots, you must save vs fear.  On a failure, you take 1d6 CHA damage.  Every round you take 1d6 CHA damage.  If this CHA damage ever equals or exceeds your CHA score, you gain the Conviction "I fear the Wizard Alcyone, and will never fight him."  Anyone who has this Conviction will never fight Alcyone, and must flee at the sight of him.  Even saying his name might make you nervous.

Trump Card: 'Wrath of Heaven'.  Does 1d20 damage to one person, save for half.

Spellcaster: Alcyone is a level 4 spellcaster, and has four spellcasting dice.  He has the following Elemental spells memorized: Bind Enemy and Elemental Form.

Wall of Wind: Alcyone can make walls of wind across a space, that push anything outside the wall away from it, while not moving on the outside.  Also, this tends to suck the air out of a place, but in any area with decent ventilation its not a problem.

Protected by the Wind: All projectiles against them miss, and all melee opponents are flung backwards with hurricane force. This cannot protect him from something that the Wind couldn't, like say, a flung boulder or a hellfire missile.

Tactics:
- Fly around
- Shoot lightning at people
- Don't check morale until someone Manifests a Semblance or uses a magic weapon


But what does this mean for me?

There is a schism in the presentation of Wizards in RPGs.  First there are the PC Wizards, who can cast magic, but are very mortal.  They can only cast three spells a day, can be killed by a lucky housecat, and are bullied by Orcs who steal their spellbooks and throw them into the mud.  But at the other end, their are Wizards that create wonders beyond imagination, ruling whole countries and attempting to ascend to Godhood.  Now this schism is not always a problem, in a long-running campaign, perhaps the PC Wizards could eventually rise to that level of power and prestige.  But even if they become the theoretical equal of these Wizards, odds are they will never amass the unique wonders, power and status that one of these Godlike NPC Wizards has.  Just because you both have 9th level spellslots doesn't mean you are the equal to Shadoom, the Recreator of the Serpicant or Vaboola, the person who discovered Enlarge Person and became the powerful being on Centerra for about twenty seconds.  

So in my Modern Occult setting, which will receive a proper name someday, though the smart money is on Those who Know, I have decided to side-step the issue.  There are no PC Wizards in this setting, PCs can't even cast spells.  They have their own unique brand of abilities, but they lack the pussiance of a Wizard.  This provides two key benefits.  First, we do not have to worry about the Wizard schism, because all Wizards can be immensely powerful.  And secondly, you as the GM don't have to worry about making the Wizards make sense.

How did the Wizard make this?  Because they're a Wizard.  How did they enchant these bullets?  Because Wizard.  How did they awaken the Great Sorrow, Nyalaros?  One word: Wizard.  This frees me and you from the burden of realism.  You don't have to worry about players trying to reverse engineer a ridiculous, unbalanced magical device, make rules for crafting magic items, or anything of that sort.  You can just say, a Wizard did it, and be done with the issue.     

And while this does cut down on "hijinks potential" as Scrap Princess put it, that fact is easily compensated for by the fact that since Those who Know is set in the modern world, the players already have plenty of things to build ridiculous weapons or traps out of. 



Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Wizard Megapost


Spells by Tradition:

Biomancer:
1- Acid Rain
2- Adrenaline Rush
3- Animate Potion
4- Befriend Beast
5- Healing Touch
6- Induce Mutation
7- Infantilize
8- Monsterize
9- Regeneration
10- Speak with Animals
11- Speak with Plants
12- Venomous Fluid

13- Manufacture Homunculus
14- Raise Bread

Legendary Spells: Annihilate Flesh, Simulacrum


Calcomancer:
1- Burning Armor
2- Chill Breath
3- Flashpoint
4- Fireball
5- Fogbank
6- Fire Blade
7- Freezing Wind
8- Freeze Ray
9- Hailstorm
10- Heat Metal
11- Light
12- Smother Flames

13- Dead Air
14- Pyrophobia
15- Speak with Fire

Legendary Spells: Control Weather, Fiery Holocaust


Cosmomancer:
1- All Things Adjacent
2- Baleful Moon
3- Blinding Halo
4- Contact Outer Sphere
5- Enlarge
6- Focus Light
7- Lucky
8- Meteor Guard
9- Portal
10- Reduce
11- Sun Shower
12- Transpose

13- Calculate Probability
14- Curse
15- Horoscope
16- Teleport

Legendary Spells: Call Meteor, Time Travel


Cthonomancer:
1- Anti-Gravity
2- Desiccate
3- Feather
4- Grease
5- Liquefy
6- Partition Metal
7- Quicksand
8- Repel Stone
9- Steel Intangibility
10- Stone to Dust
11- Stone to Lava
12- Stone to Mud

13- Airy Water
14- Center of the World

Legendary Spells: Creation, Destruction


Electromancer:
1- Automate Action   
2- Defribulate
3- Disturb Thoughts
4- Divine Retribution
5- Edison's Insult   
6- Eliminate Pain
7- Incapacitating Grip
8- Magnetize
9- Overdrive
10- Sense Electricity
11- Shocking Blow
12- Tesla's Retort

13- Cause Malfunction
14- Hail to the King

Legendary Spell: Attract Iron


Jazz Wizard:
1- A kiss in the Dark
2- April Showers
3- Combustication
4- Dancing in the Dark
5- Dream a little Dream of Me
6- I ain't got Nobody
7- I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise
8- It's only a Paper Moon
9- Rhapsody in Blue
10- Soul of Things
11- Sweet Georgia Brown
12- Two Black Crows

13- Me and My Shadow
14- Parade of the Wooden Soldiers
15- Star Dust

Legendary Spell: Blue Train, Soul Station


Metamancer:
1- Aegis
2- Bind Thrall
3- Call Being
4- Illusion
5- Inversion
6- Invisibility
7- Knock
8- Lock
9- Ounce of Prevention
10- Spell Collapse
11- Spell Deflection
12- Tetragrammatic Wards   

13- Drain the Astral Sea
14- Void Shields
15- Permanency

Legendary Spell: Ensnare

Monk:
1- All Journeys Begin and End with One Step
2- Empty Palm Vanquishes the Wicked
3- Fear of Rain Clouds is Advised
4- Fortune shakes the Proud, but the Humble endure
5- Green Woman is easily rebuffed by the Chaste
6- Light is Foreign, Darknesss is Native
7- Meshi Meshi Meshi Meshi Meshi Meshi Ora!
8- Pain is the Curse of Living
9- Rain Parts for the Wise
10- The Gale shatters the Oak, but the Willow survives
11- The Wise Student fills the Tea Cups
12- Virtue is a shield against Tragedy

13- If you meet God on the Road, Kill Him
14- Sin brings Death, but the Path to Righteousness is Life

Legendary Spell: Suffering is the path to Divinity 


Muscle Wizard:
1- Assert Dominance
2- Beatdown
3- Called Attack
4- Dimmer Punch
5- Dynamic Entry
6- Elbow Block
7- Exploding Jab
8- Friendly Fire
9- Gentlemanly Fisticuffs 
10- Illuminating Punch
11- Indestructible 
12- Road Work

13- Atomic Wedgie
14- Dragonslayer
15- Temple of Iron

Legendary Spell: Infinite Mass Punch


Necromancer:
1- Blight
2- Bloody Feast
3- Break the Chains
4- Create Servant
5- Corpse Gas
6- Death Mask
7- Death Scythe
8- Enslave Undead
9- Explode Corpse
10- Speak with Dead
11- Summon Plague
12- Turn Undead

13-Empower Undead
14- Vampirism

Legendary Spells: Lichdom


Psychomancer:
1- Army of One
2- Charm Person
3- Detect Attention
4- Force of Personality
5- Hijack Vision
6- Hypnotic Laser
7- Lead Tongue
8- Rewrite Memories
9- See Invisibility   
10-Stand Firm
11- Take Captive
12- Telepathy

13- Detect Psychic Footprints
14- Enthrall
15- Incept

Legendary Spells: Generation Gap

Sorcerer:
1- Acid Rain
2- Anti-Gravity
3- Dynamic Entry
4- Explode Undead
5- Force of Personality
6- It's only a Paper Moon
7- Inversion
8- Light
9- Lucky
10- Overdrive
11- Prismatic Ray
12- Rapturous Vision

13- Center of the World
14- Dragonslayer
15- Prismatic Defense
16- Stardust


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

13- Journey to the Past
14- Time Stop


Warlock:
1- Blight
2- Bloody Feast
3- Combustication
4- Desiccate
5- Dimmer Punch
6- Fireball
7- Hellflame
8- Illusion
9- Invisibility
10- Murderer's Servants
11- Partition Metal
12- Venomous Fluid

13- Blood Pressure
14- Me and My Shadow



Chaos and Corruption

Biomancer
Calcomancer
Cosmomancer
Cthonomancer
Electromancer: At the bottom of the original post.
Jazz Wizard: At the bottom of the original post.
Metamancer
Monk: At the bottom of the original post.
Muscle Wizard: At the bottom of the original post.
Necromancer
Psychomancer
Sorcerer: At the bottom of the original post.
Time Wizard: At the bottom of the original post.
Warlock: At the bottom of the original post.


Powers and Drawbacks

A quick note on what these are, as I'm sure a dedicated reader of my blog would be scratching their head.  Well, the long of the short of it is this.  I like this to be simple, so I made all Wizards as similar to each other as possible.  But then I later realized that if Wizards are all the same and can cast spells from other traditions, then what's the point in writing new types of Wizard?

So this is the compromise.  All Wizards get one power and one drawback.  The Power is like the special power of a GLOG Wizard and a cantrip rolled up into one.  A Drawback is self explanatory, it's a Drawback that affects them.


Biomancer:

Power: Can diagnose mundane illnesses and identify poisons at a touch. 

Drawback: Everytime you receive magical healing, it has a 10% chance of mutating you.


Calcomancer:

Power: Can start small fires (cigarette lighter or match-sized) with a snap.

Drawback: You lose 1 Spellcasting Dice if you haven't set something on fire in the past 24 hours.


Cosmomancer:

Power: Can make your light shine like a flashlight.  The light can be any color you like.

Drawback: Cannot sleep without a roof over your head.  Probably also has agoraphobia as well.  The Stars are spying on you, you're sure of it. 


Cthonomancer:

Power: By touching a surface and concentrating for a couple of rounds, you can sense all things within [level]*10' that are also touching the surface.

Drawback: You lose 1 Spellcasting Dice if you aren't touching the ground.  You get it back as soon as you set feet on Terra Firma again.


Electromancer:

Power: Can pass electricity through your body without hurting yourself.

Drawback: You are magnetic.  If any metal that touches your skin, it sticks to you and you will need to succeed a STR check to pull it off.


Jazz Wizard:

Power: If you play music for someone, they must succeed a morale check to continue hurting you or hurt you (roll under their morale).  On a failure, they find themselves unwilling to hurt someone so talented.  They might not help you, but they'll certainly stop hurting you.

Drawback: If you haven't had any alcohol within the last 24 hours, you lose a Spellcasting Die. 


Metamancer:

Power: Can tell something is magical by looking at it.  Can identify all magic items at will, and detect everything, including growth potential, curses, etc.

Drawback: As long as you have a single unburnt Spellcasting Die, you glow in the dark.  This illuminates only the area within 10', and ruins the night vision of everyone near you. 
 

Monk:

 Power: You are trained in martial arts, and can use your unarmed strikes as a weapon.  Unarmed strikes do 1d6 damage.  For unarmed strikes, you may add twice your DEX modifier to your attack roll.  You may also calculate your AC as 10 + 2 times your DEX modifier.

Alternatively, you may use a weapon approved of by your order.  Speak to the Referee at character creation if this is what you desire.

Drawback: You may not wear any armor or use any weapon not approved of by your order.  If you do, you cannot cast spells until you speak to your Teacher/Mentor or the Master of your School and seek his forgiveness.  You will also probably have to perform some act or quest in penance for your violation of your holy vow.


Muscle Wizard:

Power: You can use your Fists as a weapon, dealing 1d6+STR damage on a hit.  But if you miss, and striking an opponent with unusually tough hide, spikes, quills or metal armor, you must save or take 1 damage from hurting your fist.

Drawback: You cannot read or write.  You cannot learn how to.  Reading is for nerds.  Thus, unlike all other Wizards, your spell book is an exercise manual with many drawings, demonstrating the proper poses and physical rituals needed to draw the spells from the enchanted pages into your rippling muscles.


Necromancer:

Power: Can cast 'Speak with Dead at will without rolling any Spellcasting Dice.

Drawback: You attract Undead like moths to a flame.  Each day/week/month, you have a 1d10% chance equal to your level of attracting a free Undead.  Undead enemies will always target you if they have the choice. 


Psychomancer:

Power: Can cast spells without speaking or moving your hands, as long as they are Psychomancer spells.

Drawback: Can constantly hear the "loudest" thoughts of people within 100', "loudest" here being defined by the thought most prominent in their mind.  For example, if your friend's feet hurt, his "loudest" thought might be "Gee, my feet hurt."  This makes concentrating on anything difficult at best.


Sorcerer:

Power: You start with double the amount of normal spells a Wizard would recieve and 1 extra spellcasting die.

Drawback: Whenever you roll for Doom Points, roll twice and take the higher amount.  Half as long, twice as bright.


Time Wizard:

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

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


Warlock:

Power: 1/Day, If you are ever out of Spellcasting Dice, running low, or need some extra juice, or for any real reason, you can call upon your Patron to receive 1d4 Spellcasting Dice or your level, whatever you prefer, though you will only ever recieve a maximum of 5 Dice.  No higher loan will ever be granted.

Drawback: You owe your Patron a favor.  Usually once a Year, once every Month, or once a game session (work out the terms with your Referee at character creation).  This favor is based on whatever or whoever your Patron is, though these are usually at least unpleasant to carry out.  Additionally, every time you use your Power to ask your Patron for an advance, you owe another favor, to be paid whenever your patron wishes it to.  And when your Patron asks for something, you best do it.  Refusing to do a Favor is not a good idea, and usually ends with you losing your spellcasting abilities at minimum, and at worse ends up with you being dragged down into Hell to serve as your Patron's personal chew-toy for the rest of your natural life.




Dooms

Biomancers:
Doom of Fools:  Gain a minor mutation.
Doom of Kings:  Gain a major mutation.
Ultimate Doom:  Turn into a 1 ton mindless blob that eats everything and continuously spawns creatures from your shattered subconscious.

This Doom is avoided by isolating and removing the essence of Cancer from your body, and trapping the essence within another living vessel.  You could transplant it into something living, if you were lame, or you could use it to create some kind of hideous monster.  


Calomancers:
Doom of Fools:  You erupt into a living inferno or ice storm (whichever is more appropriate).  You fly around, shooting flames while being on fire and blowing shit up.  Your only goal is the destruction of people and property, and you go about this task with insane, cackling gusto.  Lasts 2d6 minutes.
Doom of Kings:  As above, but lasts 2d6 days.
Ultimate Doom:  As above, but permanent.

This Doom is avoided by traveling to the Moon and bathing in the red water of its oceans, or by drinking the milk-white water of the Nightmare Sea.


Cosmomancers:
Doom of Fools:  1d3+1 Ghost-Writers (3 HD) immediately appear via gateway and attempt to drag you back to the moon with them.
Doom of Kings:  As above, except 1d4+2 Ghost-Writers of (5 HD).
Ultimate Doom:  As above, except 1d20+20 tentacles (5 HD) of Yosganeth himself emerge from the walls and ceilings within 300' to drag you back to the moon.

This Doom is avoided by drinking the blood of a Sun-Brother, or by playing dice with a Demon and winning.


Cthonomancer:
Doom of Fools: For 2d6 hours, you hear the heartbeat of the Earth.  You are desperate to get closer to it, and will usually begin digging straight down with anything you have in you.  If there are caves nearby, you will use those.  If stopped from doing this, you will resist violently.  You will go down as far as you can, until you come to your senses, are stopped by force or die.

Doom of Kings:  As above, but for 2d6 days.

Ultimate Doom: As above, but permanently.  The Wizard will spend the rest of their life wandering the Veins, and going even deeper, looking for the Heart of the Earth.

This Doom is avoided by leaving the Earth totally behind, or by making a pact with one of the gelatinous Lords of the Upper Air.


Electromancers:
Doom of Fools:  You have some sort of psychic seizure and shoot a lightning bolts out of your eyes in random directions every round for 2d6 rounds.  There is a 40% chance per item that your gear is destroyed.  Any small metal objects that you are carrying become fused to your body.
Doom of Kings:  As above, except 50% and all medium sized metal objects carried become a part of your body.
Ultimate Doom:  As above, except 60% and you automatically fuse with the nearest big metal thing.  This could be a WWI tank, a septic tank, or a telephone pole.  Attempting to intentionally induce this Doom in a controlled environment so as to fuse your body with something cool has a 40% chance of going horribly wrong unless rubber gloves, tesla coils, and goggles are somehow involved (which brings the chance of things going horribly wrong down to 25%).

This Doom is avoided by stabbing yourself with an arrow made from a cursed tree or by stealing a vault full of electricity from the Pinkies. 


Jazz Wizard:
Doom of Fools: Your Patron shows up.  It's time to pay up.  You need one person to send with him.  This person need not be willing, but they must be alive, and a three-souled being.  If you cannot find a person quickly (within a minute or two) or don't have one already prepared, then he will take you.  The person who is taken turns to dust and dies.  Before your patron departs, he will have instructions for next time.
  
Doom of Kings: As above, but this time, your patron left you instructions.  He wants someone special this time.  A virgin, a priest, a child, a famous person, etc.  When he shows up, you either need that person with you, or have permission indicating that they agreed to come with you/your Patron.  If you do that, he will take the person and leave.  That person turns to dust.

The Ultimate Doom: This time, he's not accepting any substitutions.  He shows up, and if he touches you, you turn to dust.  

This Doom is avoided by putting on your blue suede shoes and touching down in the land of the delta blues, in the middle of the pouring rain. Alternatively, bet your soul against a devil's golden fiddle and win.  (Thanks for that, Dan).


Metamancers:
Doom of Fools:  Lose all spell-casting abilities for 2d6 hours.
Doom of Kings:  As above, except 2d6 days.
Ultimate Doom:  As above, except permanent.

This Doom is avoided by stalking someone, studying them, then killing them and taking over their life, pretending to be them the whole time.  If you can't do that, instead create a Beast of Four Sorrows and fabricate evidence to indicate you were one of the people that formed.  After that, change your name and as much about yourself as feasibly possible, and you'll be safe.

Monk:
Doom of Fools- A former classmate of your suddenly shows up.  He demands that you return with him to the monastery, claiming that one of the former senior students has returned, having learned black, forbidden techniques from unknown sources.  All students of your monastery must return immediately, to protect the Grandmaster and the secret knowledge in the Monastery.

There is a 50% chance your classmate is telling the truth.  If he is, you two will be attacked shortly thereafter by Assassin-Monks working for the former senior student.  If he is not telling the truth, he is actually a traitor who wants to test your loyalty to the monastery.  If you prove loyal, he will try to kill you.  If you are not, however, he will tell you to stay lost and not come back.    

Doom of Kings- A former Teacher at your monastery suddenly shows up.  He has a 50% of being a survivor who escaped the monastery when it was seized by the former senior student, or he is working for the student to spare his own life.

If the former, he is being pursued by a posse off Assassin-Monks who serve the former senior student.  When the Assassin-Monks arrive, they will try to kill him and anyone else associated with the monastery.  If you promise to come with them and swear fealty to the former senior student, they will let you live.  If you resist, they will kill you and anyone else who stands in the way of killing the former Teacher.

If the latter, then he will demand you return to the monastery to swear your allegiance to the new Grandmaster.  If you resist, he will try to beat you into submission and drag you back in chains.  He will kill you, though he'd like to avoid that, if possible.       

Ultimate Doom- The Former Senior Student himself suddenly arrives, accompanied by a group of his body-guards and supporters. He will demand you swear your allegiance to him and do something dangerous, unpleasant or degrading for him.  If you refuse, he will kill you. 

This Doom can be avoided by hunting down the former Senior Student and killing him, or by crafting a disguise convincing enough that no one from your former monastery can recognize you.


Muscle Wizard:
Doom of Fools: You make an attack against the person nearest to you.  This attack is so powerful it whips up the air and causes a massive pressure wave, doing 2d6 damage to everyone within 30', save for half.  You are also not exempted from this damage, and you take damage as well from the punch.  This is not because of the shockwave, but because the force of your attack cannot be contained by your frail, mortal body.
Doom of Kings: As above, except the damage done is 2d8, and the range is 50'.
Ultimate Doom: As above, except the damage done is 2d12, and the range is 100'.

This Doom is avoided by becoming the Strongest Wizard in the World, or by winning a boxing match against the current heavyweight champion of the world.  If you're in Eldritch Americana when this needs to happen, the current champion is William Harrison "Jack" Dempsey. 


Necromancers:
Doom of Fools.  Become infected with a debilitating disease.  It is non-contagious.  You need to succeed two Con checks to be cured.  You automatically fail your first Con check, as a result of the Doom.  Two successful Con checks to recover.  On a failure, take 1d4 con damage a day.  If your Con hits zero, you die.  Base DC is 15.  Rest, food and sleep can give you bonuses, and adventuring, extra injury, and cold and damp can worsen the check.  Lost Con restores itself a point a day once cured. 

Doom of Kings: As above, but the base DC you need to pass is 18.  The disease is now contagious.  It has also worsened, and does 1d6 Con damage a day.  All other rules still apply. 

Ultimate Doom: As above, but the base DC everyone else needs to pass is 20.  It is now super contagious.  If infected, the disease does 1d8 Con damage for everyone who isn't you.  But you will not need to bother making your check, as you fall desperately ill as soon as you get this disease.  While others can recover, you will die in 1d20+4 hours. 

This Doom is avoided by making a scapegoat when you become infected with the disease.  For the scapegoat, it must be A, a worthy sacrifice (a human or another sentient, three-souled species) and B, that which will be sacrificed must willingly accept the title of scapegoat.  Alternatively, you could avoid this Doom by becoming a Lich.


Psychomancers:
Doom of Fools:  You gain an insanity.
Doom of Kings:  Your insanity becomes contagious.  Anyone affected by your magic or who links their mind with yours must save or have your insanity infect their mind. 
Ultimate Doom:  Your body becomes the vessel for twisted alien intelligence, and your soul is shunted out into the cold void between the stars.

This Doom is avoided by confessing your sins at the True Cross, or by cursing yourself to never be able to lie.

Sorcerers:
Doom of Fools: Every spell you have currently prepared immediately casts itself as a 1d4 level spell.  If the spell requires a target, the targets are randomy selected, or if the spell is an area of effect, it is centered on the caster.
 
Doom of Kings: As above, except the spells are level 1d6. 

Ultimate Doom: As above, except the spells are all level 5, and automatically target the Sorcerer.

You can escape this Doom by answering the Unanswerable Question or by Defying Inviolable Fate and coming out the victor.

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

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

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

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


Warlocks:
Doom of Fools: A group of 1d4+2 level 2 Adventurers show up to try and kill your Patron, who then contacts you in need of your help.  If you agree to go, they will transport you there, and send you back once you are done. If you do not go and the Adventurers succeed in killing your Patron, you lose your magical ability forever.  If you do not go help, the Adventurers have a (20%) of succeeding.  Additionally, if your Patron lives, they will be very mad at you once they recover from any injuries suffered in the battle.

Doom of Kings: As above, except the Adventurers are level 4 and have a (50%) of succeeding if you do not come to help.

Ultimate Doom: As above, except the Adventurers are all level 5, and they are lead by a level 8 Hero.  If you do not go to help your Patron, they will lose. 

You can escape this Doom by tracking down the surviving relatives, friends and acquaintances of the first adventuring party sent after your Patron and discovering their identities, then killing them before they can form up, armor up, and go to your Patron's lair to fight them.

"Don't listen to them, kid!  Sorcery is a scam, it's all bull!  Archmages are going to take you for a ride and spend the next twenty years stealing every cent you got, along with most of your time and half your soul!" 

- Pater Gollius, former Masque of Red Judgement

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

OSR: Eldritch Americana: Jazz Wizard


"When legendary jazz musician Howlin' Jimmy Jefferson was dying of strange swamp fever, it is said that he recorded one last album, smearing a drop of his own blood on the record. The album itself is lost to time but, in making it, Jimmy liberated his soul to wander the world as the Spirit of Jazz. To this very day, his apparition has been known to appear to aspiring musicians, offering them a piece of its power in exchange for ownership of their souls."

- The Nails, Middle Finger of Vecna, here.   

An ordinary Jazz Musician would be bad enough, but some fool decided that giving a few of them powerful magick would be a good idea.  Depending on who you ask, the Jazz Wizards are a blight on society or the greatest thing to happen to dance clubs, infecting or uplifting with their seductive, ethereal beats.  These Soul Shamans are empowered not by a Primordial God of Chaos but by a far smaller, more mysterious entity, which claims to be a legendary musician, long since past from this world.  This petty deity is far less known, with fewer cults and Wizards than the Greater of the Eldritch Gods, but its name still carries great weight in the Deep South, and in jazz clubs all across America. 

The Jazz Wizard has a very unusual suite of spells at their disposal.  Similar to the Cthonomancer, they have few direct damage spells, but with some clever thinking, a Swing Witch could be just as dangerous as any Snowman, with far less need for fire insurance.

Jazz Wizards have the following Power and Drawback automatically, and pick their starting spells from the following 1d12 table.  Spells 13, 14 and 15 are rare and as valuable as a magic sword, and cannot be acquired at start, but only found through quests and dungeon-delving.


Power: If you play music for someone, they must succeed a morale check to continue hurting you or hurt you (roll under their morale).  On a failure, they find themselves unwilling to hurt someone so talented.  They might not help you, but they'll certainly stop hurting you.

Drawback: If you haven't drank any alcohol within the last 24 hours, you lose a Spellcasting Die. 

Jazz Wizard spell-list:
Starting Spell(s)
1- A kiss in the Dark
2- April Showers
3- Combustication
4- Dancing in the Dark
5- Dream a little Dream of Me
6- I ain't got Nobody
7- I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise
8- It's only a Paper Moon
9- Rhapsody in Blue
10- Soul of Things
11- Sweet Georgia Brown
12- Two Black Crows

13- Me and My Shadow
14- Parade of the Wooden Soldiers
15- Star Dust

Legendary Spell: Blue Train, Soul Station



Spells:

A Kiss in the Dark
--------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: self        D: [dice] minutes

Creates a semi-corporeal illusion of the Wizard.  The Wizard can move and see through this illusion, and the illusion can touch and manipulate objects.  However, the illusion cannot damage anything and if it takes any damage, it pops like a bubble and disappears into a cloud of multi-colored smoke.

April Showers
--------------------------------------------------
R: 50'        T: [dice]*10' circle    D: [dice] rounds

Creates a rain of any liquid you desire in a circle [dice]*10' on the ground.  The shower lasts dice rounds.  This cannot produce any acid strong enough to harm someone.

Combustication
--------------------------------------------------
R: 50'        T: all X within range    D: [dice] rounds

You designate an action, type of person, or concept.  For [dice] rounds, anyone respectively, carrying out that action, being that type of person, or engaging with that concept within range lights on fire, taking 1d6 damage a round.  These flames can be extinguished as normal fire.  This spell does not differentiate between friendly and non-friendlies.

Dancing in the Dark
--------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: [dice] creatures    D: [dice] rounds

For [dice] rounds, [dice] creatures get a bonus equal to +[dice] to any damage rolls they make, as long as they are attacking another creature affected by the spell. 

Dream a Little Dream of Me
------------------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: [dice] sleeping creatures    D: one action

This spell can only be cast on sleeping creatures.  When cast, [dice] sleeping creatures have a dream about whatever the Wizard wants them to.  If you invest four or more dice in this spell, then you can cast this spell on anyone, even if you are not near them, as long as you know their name and they are sleeping.

I ain't got Nobody
--------------------------------------------------
R: self        T: self        D: one action

If you are alone, this teleports a person to your side.  This is just the nearest person.  If you invest three or more dice into this spell, you can choose the person who comes to you.

I'll build a Stairway to Paradise
--------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: self        D: one action

Creates an escape route from danger.  Can help you escape an enemy, social faux pas, or more esoteric dangers.

It's only a Paper Moon
--------------------------------------------------
R: [dice]*10'    T: object or creature    D: one action

Teleports any object or person up to [dice]*10' away and replaces them with a paper model.  The paper model is clearly not them, though at a distance this might be hard to tell at first. 

Rhapsody in Blue
--------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: all who can hear    D: one action

All within range regain [sum] FS.  All bad moods within are dispelled.  Additionally, if someone is under a temporary mental effect such as Charm, Fear, this spell grants them a new save.

Soul of Things
--------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: object    D: [dice] minutes

You imbue one non-living object within range with sentience.  This object is friendly with you, though it is not compelled to obey you.  But the object will be well disposed toward you, unless you prove yourself dangerous.  The object can now move and speak.  For combat purposes, it has HD equal to [dice] and AC equal to [sum], and makes attacks at 1d6+[dice]. 
If you invest four or more dice into this spell, you can instead choose to make the spell's duration permanent. 

Sweet Georgia Brown
--------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: the space in front of you    D: one action

Creates [dice] gallons of sauce.  Anything that this sauce is applied becomes irresistable.  Strong willed beings can resist, but any weak-willed beings must make a Save minus [dice] in order to avoid eating it.  If applied to a living being, carnivorous or cannibal monsters subtract 2*[dice] from their Save. 



Two Black Crows
-----------------------------------------------------
R: 100'       T: the area around the Wizard  D: [dice] minutes


This spell  summons a murder of Crows [sum] birds strong.  The Wizard can control these Crows and make attacks with them as a free action.  The Swarm of Crows can attack an enemy within range for 1d6 damage, and their attacks automatically hit, unless the enemy is using some kind of defense that the Crows cannot get around (such as setting themselves on fire, being behind something they cannot fly around, etc).  The Swarm itself has 2*[dice] HP, and takes full damage from area of effect abilities and only 1 damage from something that could hit one of them.  For purposes of attacks being made against them, the Crows have an AC of 10+[dice].  Finally, if four or more dice are used to cast this spell, the duration is permanent, and the swarm of Crows remains with the Wizard until they are killed or dismissed. 


Note: There are other variations of this spell that summon other types of birds, such as pigeons, quail, macaws, parrots, bluejays, robins and vultures.  However, these other variations are considered more rare, and thus more difficult/more expensive to acquire.


Me and My Shadow
--------------------------------------------------
R: self        T: self        D: [dice] minutes

The Wizard casts this spell on their shadow.  Their shadow then animates, falling under their control.  The Wizard can then take a bonus action for each round the Shadow is animated to use it to make an action.  The Shadow can manipulate the shadows of other people and objects by touching them, and any changes made to their shadows change the object they are connected to. The shadow can also attack, doing 1d6+[dice] damage on a hit to someone's shadow.  However, while this spell is active, the Wizard's shadow is also vulnerable to taking damage from other shadows.  Finally, this spell does not work in pitch darkness. You need light for a shadow to exist.

Parade of the Wooden Soldiers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
R: 10'        T: piece of wood    D: [dice] hours

This spell targets a piece of wood.  When cast, it produces up to [sum] wooden golems (Wizard's choice).  The golems each have HP equal to [sum] divided as the Wizard chooses among them.  All Golems must have at least 1 HP.  The Golems are fearless, obey any order given to them by the Wizard, and are loyal to the Wizard until their death.  They continue to function for [dice] hours or until destroyed.   If four or more dice are invested to catch this spell, the golems do not have a limited lifespan, and will last until destroyed. 

Star Dust
-----------------------------------------------------------
R: touch    T: one creature or object    D: one action

One creature or object the Wizard touches disintegrates, turning to dust.  Creatures and Magical items get a save, mundane objects do not. Creatures with HD 3x greater than [dice] are immune.  Creatures with more HD than [dice] add the difference to their save.  



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

Chaos of the Jazz Wizard:
1d6
1- You lose a magic die
2- For 1d10 minutes, you cannot speak.  All sounds that come out of your mouth are just musical sounds
3- You suddenly become massively intoxicated.  Lasts 10 minutes, then you sober up.
4- Your spellbook becomes incomprehensible.  You must transfer your spells into a new one before you can change your loadout of spells. 
5- All the liquid on your person turns to 1d4 (1= Water; 2= Gasoline; 3= chlorine gas; 4= water, but its actually poisoned.)
6- For the next 1d10 minutes, everything you do is accompanied by appropriate music.  Sneaking around is accompanied by suspenseful music, fights are accompanied by dramatic music and etc. 

Corruption of the Jazz Wizard:
1d6
1- One of your possessions suddenly disappears, and is replaced by the nearest musical instrument.  Miles away, someone is probably very surprised that instead of their guitar/saxophone/fiddle, they now have a magic weapon/spellbook/vital quest item.
2- Everyone within 30' must save or become intoxicated.
3- Everyone within 50' temporarily loses their ability to speak.  Instead of words, musical sounds come out of their mouth. This state of affairs last for 1d10 minutes.
4- Suddenly, all X within 30' catch fire.  This fire is non-magical, and acts as normal fire.  What is X? 1d6 (1= People attacking; 2= People who are lying; 3= bachelors; 4= unwed women; 5= people not of your race; 6= sluts)
5- You are suddenly confronted by a traveling musician.  The musician wants to challenge you to a contest.  And maybe, if you're feeling brave, you can wager over the contest.  Would you like a fiddle of Gold, perhaps?  The musician won't force you to accept a challenge, but expect fortune to turn against you if you do.
6- All liquid within 100' turns to 1d4 (1= liquor; 2= blood; 3= oil; 4= Sweet Georgia Brown barbeque sauce, with the effects of the spell.   

Doom of the Jazz Wizard:
Doom of Fools: Your Patron shows up.  It's time to pay up.  You need one person to send with him.  This person need not be willing, but they must be alive, and a three-souled being.  If you cannot find a person quickly (within a minute or two) or don't have one already prepared, then he will take you.  The person who is taken turns to dust and dies.  Before your patron departs, he will have instructions for next time.    
Doom of Kings: As above, but this time, your patron left you instructions.  He wants someone special this time.  A virgin, a priest, a child, a famous person, etc.  When he shows up, you either need that person with you, or have permission indicating that they agreed to come with you/your Patron.  If you do that, he will take the person and leave.  That person turns to dust.
The Ultimate Doom: This time, he's not accepting any substitutions.  He shows up, and if he touches you, you turn to dust.   




This Doom is avoided by putting on your blue suede shoes and touching down in the land of the delta blues, in the middle of the pouring rain. Alternatively, bet your soul against a devil's golden fiddle and win.  (Thanks for that, Dan).