Sunday, March 31, 2019

OSR: Revised Combat Rules

                                                    by bitrix-studio

Initiative:
- Everybody rolls 1d20+DEX modifier
- Highest Roll go first
- If you tie, the person with Higher DEX goes first

Melee Combat:
- Do not roll vs a Static AC, instead roll 1d20 and a damage dice.
- Your opponent rolls a 1d20 as well, along with their damage dice.
- Both of you should add any attack modifiers to your d20 roll and any damage modifiers to your damage di(c)e, respectively.
- Higher roll wins.  If the attacker wins, they do damage equal to what they rolled on your damage dice.  If the defender wins they take no damage instead.
- Any attack that does max damage (ex: rolling a "4" on a 1d4) does normal damage and causes a Horrible Wound.

Melee Weapons:
- Come in three groups, Quick, Balanced and Powerful
- Quick Weapons:
+ Include such things as daggers, brass knuckles, and anything one-handed or concealable
+ Do 1d6 damage, then add any class based damage modifier, but no STR bonus
- Balanced Weapons:
+ Include anything bigger than a Quick Weapon, but nothing oversized
+ Examples include such things as most swords, some axes, some hammers, most spears
+ Do 1d6+STR damage, then add any class based damage modifier
- Powerful Weapons:
+ Includes the big stuff excluded from the previous categories
+ Examples include: widowmakers, morningstars, flails, bastard swords, big axes and hammers, and anything large and oversized
+ Do 1d8+STR damage, then add any class based damage modifier

Ranged Combat:
- There are two types of Ranged Combat, with weapons that you can evade, and ones you can't
- For Weapons you can:
+ These include things such as slings, atlatls, blowpipes, darts, shuriken, throwing needles, throwing knives, arrows, or etc (Referee's Discretion). 
+ Treat these as melee attacks
- For Weapons you can't:
+ These include things such as guns, missiles, or etc (Referee's Discretion)
+ When using these, they only require a full action to use
+ When one is directed against you, make a saving throw.  Then have the Referee tell you the Range.
> If the Range is Close, then a successful save means you take half damage.  A failed save means you take full damage.
> If the Range is Medium, then a successful save means you take no damage.  A failed save means you take full damage.
> If the Range is Long, then a successful save means you take no damage.  A failed save means you half damage.

Ranged Weapons:

- I explained the Categories above, so I'll just list a few common Ranged Weapons below
- Common Ranged Weapons you can evade:
+ Bow and Arrow 1d6+STR damage
+ Sling 1d4 damage
+ Blowpipe 1 damage (poison sold separately)
- Common Ranged Weapons you cannot evade:
+ Pistol 1d8
+ Long Gun (rifle, shotgun, etc) 2d6
+ Shotgun 3d6 at Close range, 2d6 at Medium range, 1d6 at Long range: if firing shot.  If firing solid slugs, treat as a long gun.

HP and FS:

- Players have two pools of HP
- Enemies only have HP
- HP:
+ Stands for Hit Points
+ The physical integrity of your body
+ If this gets damaged you can take damage to your body
- FS:
+ Stands for Fighting Spirit
+ This is your willpower, magic, and your ability to defend yourself
+ When you take damage to this, all injuries are minor, or the attack misses in the fiction, even if you take FS damage
+ It's like one of those blows in a fight scene where the Hero evades a blow just barely
+ While you have at least 1 point of FS, you cannot receive a Horrible Wound
+ If your FS is extinguished, if there is any leftover damage, it doesn't "roll over" into HP

Armor in a world with no AC:

- Armor has a rating, from +1 to +6
- When defending, instead of rolling damage dice, you can just add your AC to the roll

Horrible Wounds, and how to acquire them:
- I use Emmy Allen's tables and rules for these.  She came up with it, not me.  Find the tables here.

                                                   by Samuel J. Woolf

Saturday, March 30, 2019

OSR: Races in Nukaria

Nukaria is based on the world of the ancient Near East, somewhere between the time of ancient Summer and the old Assyrian Empire.  This area was characterized by a ludicrous density of peoples, tribes, cities, religions, and etc.  The diversity on display is absolutely ridiculous and that is what I wanted to portray with Nukaria, a great seething cauldron of people groups living in close proximity to each other, migrating, warring, trading and intermarrying with each other, with each of these people groups having a semi-distinct culture, with their own gods and situation.

However, that task is proving to be quite hard, so I decided to make things a little easier on myself, and wrote up a table of the common races in Nukaria.  If I was playing a Nukaria game with someone, you could choose from any on the list below.  These aren't the only races in the world, but they are among the most recognizable.  That's not to say you might not be surprised to meet one of these people, that all depends on each person and culture.  Some people are perfectly fine living among other races, and others keep to themselves, closing them off to foreign influence.  It all depends.

 
1d20
1- Humans.  The one, the only, they don't need any description. 
2- Orzane.  The violent, sensitive pigfolk.  Rulers of the world, even as they fail to rule themselves.
3- Quarrians.  The Blue People.  Cold, quiet moon-callers and star-singers.
4- Elf-Men.  The beautiful, short-lived creations of the Handsome Men.  Riddled with cancers and birth defects, all while looking flawless on the outside. 
5- Frogfolk.  Cold and wet, with warm hearts.  Highly honorable creatures.
6- Lizarian.  A highly intelligent, if cold-blooded, people (pun totally intended).   
7- Jelly-Eyes (Salamanderfolk).  They're not a creation of a Frog-woman and a Lizarian, as they will insist.
8- Goatling.  When a scapegoat is sent out into the wilderness to carry away a communities' sin, it doesn't always die.
9- Oxmen.  Stoic, proud, disciplined, and consummate vegetarians.
10-  Crocolings.  Cold-hearted, patient people with swift tongues and mastery of dozens of languages.  Beautiful poets, famous for their dry wit.
11- Sluglings.  They are gross and wet, but they're quite inoffensive, if you can manage to get past your initial revulsion.
12- Hoba.  The Little People.  They have nonsense-nations and liar-kings, all while their real settlements are concealed underground or in inhospitable places.
13- Doelings.  Skittish, yes, but also fast, nimble, and kleptomanical.  Watch your coin-purses around them, and set a guard around your vegetable garden.
14- Nekomimi.  They look a bit like Humans, but with cute ears and twitching tails.
15- Brackle.  Plant people who die in a year.  Known for their laconic speech, drug use, and poetry.
16- Dwarf.  Black-skinned people with flowers growing out of their beards.  They're tough, quiet, and collectivistic. 
17- Spiderlings.  Everything thinks they're weird, but no can deny their talents.  The best weavers around.
18- Fetchlings.  They have skulls for faces, which makes them quite unnerving.  Still, don't let them frighten you, they're nice, if a bit weird.
19- Cherubs.  Green, skull-faced beings with colorful swirls on their cheeks.  Each single cherub actually has two souls in their body, a "brother" and "sister" who compete for dominance, with one eventually suppressing and killing the other.  They are a solitary race, living alone in the wilderness or in the midst of other races.
20- Greys.  Little grey men.  They have advanced technology that will let them slaughter you, if it actually works.  Their weapons are powerful, when they aren't accidentally blowing up their wielders.

                                                                      by molybdenumgp03

Savages!

Secondly, here is a table for people you might encounter traveling on the road.  Some of these are hostile, and all are potentially so, but violence isn't the only answer.  Many of them are perfectly willing to talk it out with you.

1d20

1- Troglodytes- Starving Men.  Troglodytes look like deformed humans with tusks, dust-colored hides, and minimal hair.  They specialize in stealth and rapid, brutal assaults.  You won't see them until it's too late.  Want: To kill you for being on their territory or to eat you. 
2- Gnolls Huntsmen.  Hyena-men wearing ramshackle armor and carrying scavenged weapons.  They laugh and scream, taunting you from a distance.  Quite unsophisticated, but they do possess a certain brute cunning.  Want: Your worked goods.  Weapons, armor, clothes, and domesticated animals, if you have them.  
3- Dwarven Missionaries.  Black-skinned Dwarfs with live flowers growing out of their scalps.  They're eloquent speakers and harsh, unflinching warriors.  Mess with them and they'll beat you with iron cudgels.  Want: to recruit you to come back with them, to the Cold Lands.  They will promise you a quiet, safe life.
4- Mi-Go body-snatchers.  They look normal, and not that well armed.  Currently laden with expensive trade goods or valuable possessions.  Want: To infect you.  Their poorly defended caravan is a trap.  The second you turn your back, they're going to try and infect you with the fungus filling their innards.
5- Quarrian Witches.  Blue-skinned Quarrian women wearing ripped, dirty clothes and traveling without a male escort.  Eagle-eyed and untrusting.  Want: food, survival supplies, and help escaping the Witch-Wardens following them.   
6- Goblin Merchants.  Disguised as people of some other type.  Always seem to be smiling, and don't get basic procedure.  Sell impossible goods, memories, dreams, and curses.  Want: to sell you something.   
7- Lobsterbacks- poor, Fyrinx-Afflicted fools.  People from the locals area with bulging stomachs and strange, weeping sores.  They demand food.  If you give them some, they will eat it right in front of them, with no concern for their own lives.  If forced to fight, they do so with tears and curses directed at those damn "lobsters".  Want: food, to be freed of the monster riding in their bellies.
8- Flagellants.  A group of traveling religious fundamentalists.  Spent time scarring their flesh, stealing animals to sacrifice, and preaching to each other and anyone who will listen.  Likely being hunted by Paladins or being followed by crowds of eager listeners, possibly both.  Want: To spread the word about their cult.
9- Imperial Road-Wardens.  They serve the Orzanian Emperor.  Their job is to keep the roads open and escort traders.  Sometimes honest, sometimes legitimized highway robbers, not so different than the bandits.  Want: to avoid trouble, to make some coin. 
10- Orzanian Equites.  Orzane on horse-back, wearing fancy robes and carrying fancier swords.  They will speak to you and be generous, but if you tick one of them off, expect to be challenged to a duel on the spot.  Want: to read you their poetry, to engage in some civilized conversation, to duel a worthy opponent. 
11- Mutants.  People from the local area, but changed.  Mutants are despised and feared by all, expelled from all civilized society.  They survive by selling themselves into slavery or becoming bandits.  This group choose the latter.  Want: clean clothes, warm beds, and wine.  
12- Skinchangers.  When a man wears too many faces, his original slips off, leaving nothing but a voice and a will.  A small tribe of shape-shifting weirdos.  Here to show off and mess with you.  Want: To toy with you.
13- Primitives.  They're naked, except for mud and their bone piercings.  They are either defending territory or hunting.  Want: You to leave, or your pack animals (if you have any).   
14- Druids.  They hate you, man of the city.  You are guilty of the cardinal sin, symbolic thought.  They will kill you and eat your brain, because you are a stain on the universe that must be erased.  Want: for you to perish. 
15- Morcai Raiders.  Morcai are lizard people from the desert.  This is a band of females, looking for husbands.  If they catch you, they will try to take you prisoner and bring them back with them.  Once in their desert homeland, you might end up a breeding stud, if you're lucky enough for a Morcai woman to choose you.  If you're not, you'll likely be sold to a Red Circus and die a violent death for a cheering throng, or you'll be shipped off to work in the mines.
16- Kenku Cultists.  People from the local area with giant bird masks/heads on.  If they ever take them off, they die.  They will follow you, then when questioned, deny it.  They might attack you.  If they do, they will deny it.  Want: No one knows, but they're creepy.  You should probably just kill them anyway, to be safe.  
17- Vampires.  They were sent away, and so have clung together.  They hide in the day and hunt at night, spending the day fitfully sleeping in big, fraternal piles, separated by sex.  Want: blood. 
18- Amazons.  Amazons sometimes challenge each other to leave their desolate homeland to walk among civilized folk, robbing and plundering and performing brave acts, then fleeing into the night.  Want: the opportunity to prove their bravery and competence as well as directions back home (They're lost).
19- Buffaloboys.  They've got real bad attitudes.  A primitive people, with little interest in politics, philosophy, or civilization.  Want: to be left alone.  Get close and get brutalized.
20- Grey Troopers.  Greys in barely functional war-armor.  Very dangerous, unless you start sabotaging them.  The the armor rapidly becomes a death-trap for the Grey inside.


Languages

I totally forgot this one, so it's being added now.  This is a table for the general types of languages in Nukaria.  If you want to figure out what language someone is speaking, roll below.

1d20
1- Tribal Speech.  The local speech of the people belonging to a specific region, ethnic group, or religious sect.  Usually not used elsewhere in the world.   
2- Lingua Franca.  This is the tongue of the Conquerer, of the Trade-Masters.  It is used to bridge ethnic and religious gaps, spread by war and migration.  If you can't speak to someone, try this one first.  In Nukaria, for the majority of the civilized world, this language is Orzanian. 
3- Gutter Speech.  This is the tongue of thieves, vagrants, and thugs.  It is full of impenetrable slang, hidden meanings, inside jokes and double entrendes.  Used primarily by them to communicate discreetly and identify their kin. 
4- Low Speech.  This is the speech of the common folk in an area.  Simpler than the way the nobility speak, language with unnecessary syllables pulled off and useless frills trimmed away.  Speaking this can be seen as a sign of relatability or low breeding, if you are high class.      
5- Tradespeak.  This is the language of trade, of gold and coin and bargaining.  This language is not taught, it is discovered.  Merchants who once had to struggle to communicate with their customers suddenly find themselves learning it over night.  This is why you can always communicate with a shopkeeper, even if you are strangers in a foreign land.  For you see, no matter where you are, money talks.
6- High Speech.  This is the language of the nobility and aristocracy.  All high-class folks seek to school their children in this, and communicate in it, to insulate themselves from the peasantry and accusations of being low-class.   
7- Black Speech.  This is primarily known as the official language of the Minions of the Dark Powers, but they are not the only ones who use it.  Black Speech is a magical language that is not taught, but discovered, by those who have committed grave sins.  Murderers, Kinslayers, Betrayers and others like them, they all wake up one able to speak the Black Speech.  For this reason, speaking Black Speech is the ultimate taboo, and almost no one would dare speak a word of it in public. 
8- Dwarvish.  Dwarvish is the only known language that can be taught in a month.  It is simple in construction, so easy thata child can be speaking fluent Dwarvish in a week or two, with the parents not far behind.  Even just spending enough time near Dwarves speaking their native tongue can teach you how to speak it, if you bother to listen.  No one knows why this is.    
9- Handsome Men Prime Cipher.  As detailed here, a superior language, one tongue to rule them all.  Not usually spoken, but almost always written.
10- Vassal Speech.  This is the language of farmers, used to listen to the whine of their crops.  When the apple trees start murmuring about blight, the farmer needs to be able to understand them.  When the wheat start talking of how lacking in nutrition the soil is, the farmmer must be able to hear them.  Usually used only to eavesdrop on plants, and try to interpret their noises and movements into something intelligible.  Plants don't speak words per say, so Vassal Speech is very dependent on context and interpretation.  This language cannot be used to speak to wild plants, as wild plants don't have a language. The spell 'Speak with Plants' replicates this language for some time, as it is a very hard tongue to learn, requiring many months, if not years, of observation.   
11- The Wild Tongues.  The "languages" of animals.  Animals do not speak languages, but they do have body language and make noises.  The Wild Tongues is learning these movements and gestures, so you can know what your dog is trying to tell you when he runs up to you and starts barking.  You can learn the tongue of any domesticated or semi-domesticated animal.  For example, dogs, horses, chickens, cats, llamas, songbirds, etc. 
12- Sign Language.  Pretty self-explanatory, I think.
13- Body Language.  This is a language almost all intelligent species know unconsciously, and use.  If you are fluent in body language, you can communicate your intentions to all others without saying a word.  If someone else nearby is also fluent in body language, you can hold an entire conversation only through poses.  Muscle Wizards and Martial Artists are fluent in this language.   
14- Magetongue.  The Language of Magic.  Used by all Wizards.  All Wizards and Magic-Users speak and write this one, unless they're totally illiterate.  If there are magical runes on something, they're written in this.  You need at least a drop of magical talent to learn this language- if you have no capacity to learn magic, you'll never be able to understand it. 
15- The Holy Tongue.  This is the Holy Language that the Scriptures were originally written in, kept alive only by churches and cults for ceremony.  It sounds beautiful and holy, even though very few people speak it.  Only usually spoken by Priests, Teachers of the Law, religious officials and Nobility.  When you speak to a God, best do it in this language. 
16- Racial Tongue.  This is the tongue that all members of a race speak.  They know it on a bone-deep level.  Even if they aren't aware of it or have never used it, they speak it.  All Humans speak Human, all Quarrians speak Quarrian, etc.  This language usually isn't that commonly used, as it's difficult to consciously speak it without practice. 
17- Lawful Speech.  An alignment tongue.  If you are Lawful, you can speak this tongue.  When speaking, you may choose to allow others who do not speak this tongue to be able to understand you, if you wish.  This language cannot be taught.  If you ever stop being lawful, you forget this language.
18- Chaotic Speech.  An alignment tongue.  If you are Chaotic, you can speak this tongue.  When speaking, you may choose to make your speech sound like anything else.  Anyone who does not understand Chaotic Speech will onyl hear what sounds you want them to.  This language cannot be taught.  If you ever stop being Chaotic, you forget this language. 
19- The First One.  An alignment tongue.  If you are Neutral, you speak this language.  This is the first language, the one from which all convention tongues flow.  Anyone who understands any other spoken language can understand this one.  This language cannot be taught or lost, only temporarily forgotten.  If you ever become Lawful or Chaotic, you forget this language.  
20- Divine Words.  Gods usually speak to us in the Holy Tongue, or in the language of our tribe.  They seem to be able to speak any language they want.  But when they get angry with us, or wish to make a point, they shift into this language.  Divine Words echo in the soul of anyone who hears them.  Divine Words are the music of the spheres, the screech of the background radiation left over from the birth of our universe, the scream of supernovas and the grinding of the tectonic plates, the transcendent crashing into the mundane with the force of a meteor impact. 

                                                           by batkya

Friday, March 29, 2019

OSR: Druid

I am continuing my quest to OSR-ify all spellcasting classes and make them all GLOG Wizards in increasingly elaborate hats.  Thus, it was only a matter of time for the Druid to come under my purview.  For further reading, see here and here.


The State of Nature in Nukaria

No sane person would go into a Forest in Nukaria, or any other type of wilderness.  The Orzanian Empire, the dominant world power and your likely governors, is large and loosely connected, with few urbanized areas, with most of the population being scattered about in de facto independent city-states, even if the City Elders have sworn an oath of allegiance to the nearest Imperial Saptrap.  This leaves large patches of thinly-peopled lands, as well as areas of genuine wilderness within the bounds of the Empire.  Even in the best of times, traveling the Imperial Roads is an exercise requiring caution and preparation.  If you want to be safe, you will need a few weapons, some companions to ward off bandits or wild animals, some money to bribe tax-collectors or Road-Wardens and a map, in case you get lost.

Yet as dangerous as it can be to travel on the Imperial roads or within the lands of a supposedly civilized nation under Imperial rule, the wilderness is so much worse.  The wilderness hides many things, from savage people to wild animals to Magical Beasts and even greater terrors.  If people must leave the safety of civilized lands, they do so in large caravans with many guards and they stick to well-trodden paths.  There is a reason why the job of Adventurer exists- it is because they are among the few crazy enough to wander into the wilderness and fight the savages on their own turf.  This often leads to many of them dying grisly deaths, but a few of them are good enough to beat the monsters at their own game.

Of all the many dangers of the Wilds, few are more dangerous than the Druid.  The Druids are people who abandoned their tribe, culture and religion to follow a savage, primitive religion.  They are the naked priests of a monstrous anti-religion, the heralds for Green and the wrath of the wild.  Few are foolish enough to enter the territory of a Druid Circle, as Druids are not only incredibly dangerous, but are also ludicrously territorial.  Druids will kill anyone they catch intruding in their territory.  They hate the City and anyone who associates with it.  They prove this by leaving the shattered skulls of intruders on the edges of their territory, the top of the skull broken open so the Druids could scoop the brain out and eat it, as a warning to others.  Often people who regularly pass by or through this area will name the skulls or decorate them with flowers, in the hope of distracting from the fact that just by being near a Druid, they are risking their own lives.

To the Agents of Law, Druids are a menace, because they are trying to destroy civilization.  Druids hate them.

To the Servants of Chaos, Druids are an unreliable ally, because the Druids insist that philosophy and symbolic thought itself are the true evils.  Druids sometimes ally with the Servants of Chaos, and sometimes the Druids eat them too.

To the Minions of the Dark Powers, Druids are evil.  Druids think the same about the Minions.   

To the Brotherhood of Broken Chains, Druids are violent savages.  Druids are also bad for business.  Druids agree, after all, that is the point.

To the Handsome Men, Druids are gross, smelly and unsophisticated, and thus, deserve to be either rescued from their imperfections or be destroyed.  Druids hate the Handsome Men, because they sold out.

To the Folk, Druids are wonderful.  They are trying so hard to undo the damage their former people have caused.  They are to be commended and aided for this.  This isn't always true, however, as Folk are fickle allies, of course.  The Druids basically idolize the Folk, or Bears, depending on the specific sect.

The Druidic Religion

Druids will tell you they don't have a religion.  Or at least, they would, if they didn't hate you and only spoke in the most dire of circumstances.  Most would classify them as having a religion though.  The Druidic Faith is simple.  The only true evil is symbolic thought and everything that flows from it.  That means language, civilization, marriage, bread, shoes and most of everything else you can think of is evil to the Druid.  Conversely, the prime commandment of the Druidic Faith is to live as animal does.  Take what you desire, hunt and forage, and do whatever is necessary to ensure your own survival and the perpetuation of your line.  This is the highest virtue for the Druid.

Druidic religion is the reason for why they do what they do.  It is the reason Druids kill woodsmen and besiege cities and spread plague and assassinate kings.  It is the reason Druids refuse to wear clothes and live in the furthest reaches of the wilderness.  It is the reason why they mostly abhor civilized folk and shun them.   

The Druidic Religion does not have any Gods, or at least, no Gods with any names.  Instead of Angels, it has the Folk, and instead of Demons, it has the Civic Demons, such as the Medictor, the Iron Fey, and the ancient servitors of the long dead Ancients.

Being a Druid

If you wish to play as a Druid, you should probably wait for an Evil Campaign, or one that is based on playing as the Servants of Chaos.  However, if you must, talk to your Referee first.  If your Referee agrees, then you will need to decide on two things as a Druid- what type of wilderness you came from, and what your Druid Circle was like.  You may decide yourself, or roll on the tables below.

What type of Wilderness were you from?
1d10

1- Forest.  Your starting Wild Shape form can be a deer, a boar, or a wolf.
2- Foothills  Your starting Wild Shape form can be a hawk, an ibex, or a Ratel (honey badger).
3- Mountains.  Your starting Wild Shape form can be a mountain goat, an eagle, or a snow leopard.
4- Prairie.  Your starting Wild Shape form can be a rabbit, a condor, or a lion.
5- Steppe.  Your starting Wild Shape form can be an argali, a brown steppe bear or a vulture.
6- Desert.  Your starting Wild Shape form can be a hyena, a camel, or an ostrich.
7- Tundra/Cold Desert.  Your starting Wild Shape form can be a swan, a marten, or a bear (white or brown, it's your choice).
8- Swamp/Bog.  Your starting Wild Shape form can be an alligator, an anaconda, or a flamingo.
9- Coastline.  Your starting Wild Shape form can be a shark, a coconut crab, or a seal.
10- Lunar Valley.  Your starting Wild Shape form can be a Glornak, an Raxil, or a Luna Wolf.  

What is my Druid Circle like?
1d6

1- The Alpha Druid was my father (or mother), and the other members of the Circle are his wives and my siblings and half-siblings.
2- My Circle was rather lax, with the Alpha Druid frequently raiding nearby towns to steal women and food and few objected to this practice, or at least to voice their concerns.
3- My Circle was isolationist, rarely speaking to anyone, even other Druid circles.  If anyone who didn't belong to our Circle entered our territory, we killed them.
4- My Circle was radical.  We worked to destroy the cities and towns around us and killed anyone who resisted us.
5- My (former) Circle expelled me for some sin.  I must work to get back into their good graces.
6- My Circle has sent me here on a secret mission.  I need to complete my mission and after that, I will probably return to them soon.


The Silent Speakers for the Green God

The Druid is a sub-class for my basic OSR Wizard class.  For any other details, see the base class here.

Power: You automatically begin with the spell Wildshape.

Drawback:
You have sworn an oath of savagery.  If you ever break this oath, you must repent before you cast any more spells, including Wild Shape.  If you continue casting spells without seeking out a Druid Elder or an Archdruid and confessing your sins to them and probably performing some act (a quest) for them to prove your sincerity, you will be hunted by other Druids until you die.  When you create a character, decide on what your Oath of Savagery is, or roll on the table below.

I vowed...
1d6

1- To never speak.
2- To never wear clothes.
3- To never use weapons or tools.
4- To never use money, buy or sell.
5- To never follow the customs of civilized people.
6- To never ask for something when I could take it.

Druid Starting Spells:
1d12
0- Wildshape
1- Animal Attribute
2- Call of the Wild
3- Crown of Vermin
4- Earthquake
5- Enhance Senses
6- Flame On
7- Mask of the Wilderness
8- Primal Descent
9- Revolt Against the Modern World
10- Seal Shut the Tomb
11- Sylvan Ally
12- Verdigris

13- Conjure Animals
14- Conjure Folk
15- Reincarnate

Legendary Spell: Cellular Decimation


Wildshape
--------------------------------------------------
R: self        T: self        D: [dice] hours

You transform yourself into an animal which you have killed and eaten its heart.  You gain all the physical traits of the animal, except for HP and FS, you keep your own for that.  You also lose any abilities that were dependent on your normal body, such as speech, spellcasting, and other things (Referee's discretion).  You retain your own mental attributes.

If appropriate, when traveling into an animal that is hardy or hard to kill, such as a wolf, elephant, baboon or etc, you gain +[sum] FS for the duration.  This bonus does not apply to animals that are either easy to kill or smaller/more fragile than your base form.

Finally, while in an animal form, you can communicate with other animals of that same variety as if you shared a language.  

Animal Attribute
----------------------------------------------------
R: touch    T: creature or self    D: [dice] minutes

You or a creature you touch gains [dice] of the features listed below.

Bear's Strength.  You gain a +[dice] bonus to STR checks and damage rolls for the duration.
Mongoose's Agility.  You gain a +[dice] bonus to DEX checks and attack rolls for the duration.
Echidna's Constitution.  You gain a +[dice] bonus to CON checks and reduce poison damage by [dice] for the duration.
Badger's Will.  You gain a +[dice] bonus to WIL and Fear checks for the duration.
Fox's Cunning.  You gain a +[dice] bonus to WIS and perception checks for the duration.
Eagle's Splendor.  You gain a +[dice] bonus to CHA checks and checks made to intimidate or persuade for the duration.

Call of the Wild
-------------------------------------------------------------
R: touch    T: creature or self        D: [dice] minutes

You or one creature you touch grows natural weapons from their body.  These can be claws, horns, an enlarged jaw, a barbed tentacle or anything else you wish (Referee's Discretion).

Additionally, for each [dice] beyond the first, select 1 option from below:
- Your weapon can inject venom upon a hit, causing you to deal an additional +1d6 poison damage.
- Your weapon is covered in viscous slime, making it stick to whatever it touches.  This stickiness is strong enough to support the weapon's wielder for the duration.
- Your weapon saps energy from the person hit, giving them a -[dice] penalty to any additional attacks.
- Your weapon is magical, for the purpose of overcoming certain immunities.  It can also harm purely spiritual entities, such as ghosts and etc.

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

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

Earthquake
--------------------------------------------------------------
R: 1000*[dice]'        T: all within range    D: [dice] rounds

You cause a terrible series of localized tremors that strike all within range for the duration.  All living creatures must succeed a save or fall prone.

In the outdoors or the Wild, this spell would be scary, but largely non-threatening.  However, in a city or settlement, it could cause considerable damage.  If this spell was cast with 1 [dice], assume it only knocks over the most rickety of structures.  If it was cast with 2 [dice], assume it can knock over some poorly constructed buildings, with a destruction rate of 20%.  If the spell was cast with 3 [dice], it can knock over all but the strongest buildings, as well as destroy walls and damage fortifications.  Assume 50% of the buildings within range are damage.  If the spell was cast with 4 or more [dice], assume it can destroy anything but buildings specifically designed to resist earthquakes or enchanted to be stronger than usual, leveling 70% of the structures within range.

Enhance Senses
----------------------------------------------------------
R: self        T: self            D: [dice] minutes

For the duration, you enhance any one sense of your choosing.  This gives you +[dice] to detect things with that sense.  You can make your vision good enough that you see like a cat, or enhance your nose so you can smell like a dog, or change your ears so you can hear like a bat.

Flame On
-------------------------------------------------------------
R: self        T: self            D: [dice] rounds

The caster bursts into flames.  Anything they touch that is flammable or a living creature that could be affected by fire takes +1d6 damage upon contact with them.  For [dice] rounds, the caster takes no damage.  But after that, they will begin to take damage, as if they were actually one fire.  The caster may extinguish the flames at will.

Mask of the Wilderness
-------------------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: [dice] creatures    D: [dice] hours

You wrap [dice] creatures in mud, sticks, leaves and other natural debris from the environment around them, covering them in it.  As long as they remain in the type of environment where the disguises were crafted, they receive a bonus to any checks or saving throws made to hide, sneak or remain concealed equal to 1d6+[dice].

Primal Descent
------------------------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: [dice] creatures        D: [dice] minutes

[dice] creatures within range must save.  If any of the creatures targeted have HD greater than or equal to [dice], they may add the difference to their saves.  If any of the creatures targeted have HD 3x or greater than [dice], they automatically pass their saves.  Any creature who fails their save against this spell has their consciousness and higher brain functions suppressed and revert to a feral state, becoming beasts in their own mind.  They have no loyalty to you.  Additionally, they will retain their base personalities, though in a much blunter form.

For example, if a man who loved his wife was affected by this spell, he would still protect her while affected by the spell, and if any man got to close or too friendly to her for his liking, he would growl and snarl at them.  

Revolt Against the Modern World
-------------------------------------------------------------
R: 50'        T: [dice] pieces of technology    D: one action

[dice] pieces of technology within range immediately malfunction and stop working.  If they are a piece of technology that could not malfunction, such as a shoe or a sword, they instead fall apart and break.  If you cast this spell with 4 or more [dice], all the technology targeted automatically breaks, and will need major repairs or to be replaced.

Seal Shut the Tomb
--------------------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: [sum] HD of undead        D: one action

A total number of Undead with total HD of [sum] or less must save.  If the Undead have more HD than [dice], they may add the difference to their save.  If the Undead have 3x or more HD than [dice], they automatically pass their save.  Any Undead who fail their save against this spell are instantly destroyed, their false souls freed from their rotting shells.

Sylvan Ally
------------------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: [dice] trees            D: special

When you cast this spell, select [dice] trees within range.  Each tree will be compelled to act, taking one action against a target you specify.  Once each of the specified trees have taken an action, the spell ends.  If you wait more than [sum] minutes though, the trees will finally decide you have wasted enough of their time and stop listening, ignoring further commands unless you cast the spell again.

You can make a tree interfere with someone's action, such as shifting a root potruding slightly out of the ground upward so that he trips, or lowering a branch so it tangles the overhead swing of his arm.  This automatically imposes a penalty equal to [dice] to the person attacking.

You can also make a tree attack someone by dropping a branch on them.  The target of the attack gets a saving throw.  On a success, they take no damage.  On a failure, they take 1d12 damage as a branch falls on them.

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

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


Conjure Animals
--------------------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: an empty space    D: one action

You can summon up to [sum] HD of animals to your location.  These animals will not be innately loyal to you, and once they come to you, will return to acting as animals of that type usually do.  The type of animal summoned will be something found in the area, but you may specify it when you are casting the spell.  For example, if you are in a city, you could specify that you are trying to summon [sum] HD of pigeons, or if you are in a forest, you could specify that you are only summoning deer.  You may also summon only 1 large animals, as long as its HD are less than or equal to [sum].

Conjure Folk
-------------------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: an empty space    D: one action

You sing an ancient melody, one deeper than words, the song of wood and stem and stone.  This song echoes through the area around you, calling the local Folk to you.  You may choose to contact one specific local Folk, or just any that happen to be in the area.  Then, make a saving throw against [sum].  If you roll under [sum], you have succeeded and some Folk show up.  You may summon up to [dice] Folk, with up to [sum] HD divided among each one.

Your saving throw may also be modified by the following conditions:
- If you call out to a specific Folk, using their name, -1 to your saving throw
- If you are in a place where Folk are likely to be, -1 to your saving throw
- If you are carrying any cold iron, +1 per piece you are carrying
- If you are generally rude, unsympathetic, an Agent of the Law or a "civilized" urbanite, -[dice]

The Referee may also choose to forgo the saving throw if he or she feels it appropriate.  Sometimes the Folk cannot wait to talk to you, and other times, they wouldn't speak to you if you had the cure to the terminal disease killing them.

Also, remember that the type of Folk summoned depends on where you are.  If you are in a city, you will find very different Folk those in the virgin wilderness.

Reincarnate
---------------------------------------------------------------
R: 10'        T: 2 creatures        D: one action

You will need two creatures for this, of the same size.  The more similar they are physically, the better.  One creature is to be designated the Source and the other the Vessel.  You will need both creatures to fail a saving throw, or consent, if they can.  Then, if both creatures are in agreement or failed their saving throws, have the Vessel kill and eat as much of the Source as they can.  Then the Source must make a save.  If they succeed, their spirit leaves their destroyed body and possesses the Vessel's body.  If the Source fails their save, they instead die.

The Vessel's body then slowly changes shape until it resembles a younger version of the Source.  At this point, you should have the Source make a second saving throw, with a penalty equal to every physical point of difference between the Vessel and the Source.  A point of difference is when the Source and Vessel were from different species, races, sexes, one possessed a major difference in physical ability or something else that was different about the Source and Vessel's body, applying Referee's discretion of course.  If the Source passes this second saving throw, no additional effect.  However, if the Source fails their second saving throw, roll on the table below.

I reincarnated, but I am not all here:
1d6

1- I have lost some of my memories
2- I have lost a class level
3- I have lost any convictions I might have had
4- I have forgotten how I originally look, thus my new body is strange in appearance
5- I have gained a Conviction from the Vessel chosen for me
6- I have gained terrible knowledge from beyond the Void of Death and I have been seized by new purpose and madness.  Or perhaps, I am sane and you are the mad ones?


Chaos and Corruption of the Druid:
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 Druid:
1d6

1- You cannot stop talking for 1d10 minutes.  If you stop talking "in-character" for more than a round, you lose 1 spellcasting dice.
2- You take 1d6 damage and start bleeding from every orifice.
3- For the next 1d10 hours, you attract animals.  These animals have no special loyalty to you or are inclined to listen to your commands.
4- One random piece of technology within 100' breaks.
5- A part of your body transforms into an animal's corresponding body part for 1d10 minutes.  The animal selected must be one that you can transform into.  Roll 1d6 to see what part of your body is transformed: 1d6 [1= Right arm; 2= Left Arm; 3= Right Leg; 4= Left Leg; 5= Torso; 6= Head.]  
6- A swarm of nuisance animals burst out of the ground and cause a ruckus.  This can be a colony of bats, a flock of birds, a swarm of rats, etc.


Corruption of the Druid:
1d6

1- You turn into an animal as per Wild Shape for 1d10 minutes.
2- A Civic Master appears and tries to hurt you.  City Masters are basically anthropomorphized streets, buildings, or landmark.  The Civic Master has 1d10 HD and an AC of 8, makes a slam attack at -6 doing 1d20 damage, and can only be hurt by something that could damage a building.  Axes, sledgehammers and explosives are good, daggers and arrows and bullets are not. Referee's discretion applies, of course.  The Civic Master pursues you until manage to escape it or it dies.  If you escape from it, it will wander until it finds the nearest city, then it will enter and transform back into a building or statue or road.
3- You trigger an earthquake as if you cast the spell Earthquake as level 1d4+1 spell.
4- You cause the weather to change.  Over the next 1d6 hours, the weather slowly transitions to: 1d6 [1= Sunny, with clear skies; 2= Pouring rain; 3= Massive thunderstorms; 4= Hailstorm; 5= A Tornado; 6= Pouring rain and flooding.]
5- One random flammable object within 100' lights on fire.
6- A 1d6+2 HD animal appears in front of you and it is angry.  The animal will begin attacking anyone who comes near it until it is killed or driven away. 

Dooms:
Doom of Fools- You are teleported to an uncharted, savage wilderness for 1d10 minutes.  After the time limit is up, you are instantly returned to wherever you were when you were initially teleported.

Doom of Kings- As above, but for 1d10 hours.  Additionally, everyone within 30' is sent along with you.  All teleported to this distant location are returned with you, as long as they are still within 30' of you when the time expires.  You know this, but whether you tell anyone is up to you.   

Ultimate Doom- As above, but permanently.  Additionally, everyone within 50' is sent along with you.

This Doom can be avoided by becoming an Archdruid or by destroying a suitably large artifact of civilization, such as a library of irreplaceable books, a cultural treasure, a legendary magic artifact or perhaps something more spiritual, such as  a kingdom, a nation or a religion.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

OSR: The Brotherhood of Broken Chains: Master and the Pillars

[The following is a compilation of a series of documents transcribed by Interrogator-Lord Marwen of Soliko, agent of His Imperium, the Emperor of Joyous Exultation, Lord Unquaro's prayers be upon him.  The information contained within should be recognized as the opinions and thoughts of a law-breaker and do not in any way reflect the opinions, thoughts or desires of His Imperium or the agents of the Emperor or his loyal subjects.

All subjects detailed below are to be considered a danger to any nation they enter or person they encounter and should be dealt with only while utilizing extreme caution.  If any agent of His Imperium encounters any of the individuals below, they should flee immediately, unless they have sufficient arms to dispose of the law-breakers below.  So says the agent of His Imperium.
]

When Kings disappear into the night, when priceless artifacts go missing without a trace, when Priests are revealed to ordinary men after all, you will know our name.  We are the Brotherhood of Broken Chains, the dark kings of the rotten underworld and the true inheritors of the filthy society you have created.  You sneer down at us from your gilded towers, but your power is built on lies and deception.  You have done nothing to earn your status and simply had it handed down to you. You are unworthy of your positions and thus, you live in fear of the day you will be exposed.  That day, it will come.  On that day, you will be dragged from your beds and killed by those who once served you. 

Until that day, you will have to deal with us.


Master of Chains

Some of my peers have told me that it is hypocritical for a person with my beliefs to lead an organization that has a hierarchy.  I respond by saying they are fools.  De-centralization is good for hiding but useless for other purposes.  How are we to confront a central structure without structures and institutions of our own?  They say I am not consistent.  The truth is though, I am pragmatic.  The world will not be set free by idealists, but by those who have the will to do what is necessary.  That is what I am doing.  If they wish to take this burden from me, let them try.  If I meet another capable of this task, I will offer them my position.  Until proven otherwise, I will continue to move as if I am the only one capable of bringing this task to completion.

If you need further proof of my ability, look to where I came from.  I was born on the Northern frontier of the Empire, in the city of Vateeshi.  Those who know the city will tell you it is a miserable place and they would be right.  It is a sprawling expanse of houses on stilts and covered walkways, constantly smelling of rotting wood and filth.  The fisherman and trading guilds practically ran the city, with the magistrates more concerned with whoring and shaking down wealthy passerbys.  I made my living there as a cut-purse, until I was caught.  Luckily, I was caught by some of the civil magistrates and not a guildsman.  The latter would killed me, but the former settled for using me as an excuse.  Claiming that I was a delinquent, they brought me back to my home and accused my Mother of severe negligence in raising me properly.  When they saw the sight of our home though, as well as the fact that my Mother was raising me and my younger sister by herself, as my Father had died years earlier, they decided to make an example of her for her crimes.  They then proceeded to clap her in irons, confiscate my sister and steal everything of value that we owned.  I was left behind with a few scars, a small mercy.

My Mother was made a comfort woman and my sister was married off, despite being only thirteen at the time.  My Mother later died in captivity from being mistreated and abused by the soldiers she had been assigned to.  My sister died in child-birth. And I?  I met some interesting folk, who taught me some very interesting things.  I spent years honing my skills and nursing my rage.

Then I made them pay.

Weakness:  I have a weakness, I assure you, but it is not that I am stupid enough to write it in this volume, even if I am the only person who will ever read it.

Statblock:

Master of Chains
HD 5  AC 16  Atk(+2) Crownbreaker (enchanted Staff) 1d6+1/1d6+1
Mor 7    Saves 12 or less is a success

Spellcasting: The Master of Chains has 8 spellcasting dice and 8 spells prepared.  His spellcasting dice burn out on a 5 or 6.  The spells he has prepared are Blight, Devil's Own Luck, Meteor Guard, Hailstorm, Adrenaline Rush, Charm Person, Assert Dominance and Scary Mary.

Chaos: If the Master of Chains casts a spell with 2 or more spellcasting dice, he has a 1-in-6 chance of invoking Chaos.  If he does invoke Chaos, roll on the table below.

Chaos of the Master
1d6

1- The Master is struck by lightning and takes 2d6 damage, save for half.  This damage cannot reduce the Master below 1 HP.
2- The next magic spell cast within 50' automatically targets the Master, unless it was cast by the Master on himself.  Then it targets a random person.
3- The Master's next attack misses automatically.
4- One random person within 50' has their electrical synapses suddenly erupt forth, doing 1d6 damage to them.  Additionally, the people near the affected person must save.  On a failure, the electricity arcs from the original person, hitting them and doing 1d6 damage as well.  This electrical charge can arc through as many people as there are nearby, only stopping when the closest person to it passes the saving throw.
5- A cloud forms over the Master, 1d100+10 feet overhead.  This cloud follows the Master for 1d10 days,
each day, roll for the weather the cloud produces.  Today the cloud produces 1d6 (1= Rain; 2= Snow; 3= Hail; 4= Blood; 5= Fish, frogs, or an appropriate small animal; 6= Mildly acidic rain, does 1d2 damage for each minute exposed)
6- For the next 1d10 minutes, the Master can suddenly sense all electromagnetic radiation within 100' and he must save.  On a success, he can see EVERYTHING.  On a failure, he goes mad for the duration.

Tactics:
- Cast Devil's Own Luck on yourself
- Then cast Meteor Guard on yourself
- Use Charm Person on anyone you can
- Then weaken the strongest remaining opponent with Blight
- Use Hailstorm to soften up the opponents for Assert Dominance

Status: Active.  Despite my advanced age, I remain in firm control of the Brotherhood.  I am still at our headquarters, organizing brothers, storing the goods they have acquired, filing mission requests and performing all matter of duties to keep my organization together.  None have dared to challenge my reign, except for a few foolish traitors, who will soon be dealt with.

The Four Pillars

The Four Pillars are among the most prestigious and trusted members of my organization.  They are among the few beings in the world that I know I can count on, when things go poorly, and do not have to force to obey me.  I do not trust them, per say, but we have an understanding.  When I need something done that cannot be entrusted to a lesser Brother, I summon the Pillars.

                                                        (Duvaine Lalatino is his normal form)
Duvaine Lalatino

While he cannot claim to be the Eldest Brother or the historical first member of our organization, Duvaine Lalatino has been with us for a long time.  He is a founding member of the Brotherhood, and currently is in charge of all Northern operations, as well as one of our senior instructors responsible for teaching the Brothers who have the talent or drive Fist Arts.  Or at least, those are his assigned duties.  In practice, Lalatino prefers to let his subordinates handle the administration of his affairs, as well as any task he does not find stimulating enough.  However, I tolerate him, because while Lalatino is often negligent and manic when it comes to filing his reports or showing up for meetings, he is a superb enforcer and one of the deadliest warriors I have had the pleasure of fighting alongside.  The fact that he has a habit of killing off some of the more foolish members of my organization in his wild rages also helps me tolerate him.  Anyone foolish enough to disturb Lalatino even after I have made it so easy to ignore him was probably not cut out for this line of work, anyway.

Duvaine Lalatino is a Handsome Man, born in the wild lands of the North.  He showed a special talent for violence, one that even rivaled the martial prowess of other Handsome Men.  However, this did not earn him the adulation he expected.  The Handsome Men have built a society of equals, with few hierarchies and fewer rewards for climbing them.  Thus, Lalatino struck out on his own, to carve out a kingdom for himself.  His first attempt, he confessed to me, was a total failure, and he was exiled to the Slave Kingdoms (the lands of the non-Handsome Men) and sent South.  This was a mistake on the behalf of his enemies, and one he plans to teach them, when he eventually returns to seek his revenge.  This probably won't be any time soon, however, as Lalatino is easily distractible, and prefers a good fight over any long term planning.  I have also been careful to quietly undermine any preparation that Lalatino does make, so that he will always be behind schedule.  As of now, I need him too much to let him wander off and pursue his own ambitions.  There may come a time in the future when allowing Lalatino to move forward with his plans will benefit me.  If so, I will lend my weight to his cause.  Until that day though, Lalatino will remain at my side, until I permit otherwise.   

Weakness:
Lalatino's own weakness is that he is easily angered.  Any insult, along with disturbing his work or touching his things has the chance of sending him into a rage.  During these rages he is quite dangerous, but also short-sighted, and easier to ambush, distract or trick.

                                                         (Duvaine Lalatino's War Face)
Statblock:

Duvaine Lalatino
HD 5  AC 13  Atk(+2) Petal Dancer (Enchanted Glaive) 1d8+2 or Natural Weapons 1d6+1/1d6+1
Mor 10    Saves 11 or less is a success

Spellcasting: Duvaine Lalatino has 2 spellcasting dice and 2 spells prepared.  His spellcasting dice burn out on a 5 or 6.  The spells he has prepared are Entomb and War Face.

Parry: Duvaine Lalatino can parry up to 1d8+2 damage from one attack a round.  He can also parry damage from ranged attacks.

Double Attack: If two people are standing next to each other, if he is attacking with his Glaive, Lalatino can attack both of them at once.  This requires two attack rolls.

Chaos: If Duvaine Lalatino casts a spell with 2 or more spellcasting dice, he has a 2-in-6 chance of invoking Chaos.  If he does invoke Chaos, roll on the table below.

Chaos of Duvaine Lalatino
1d6

1- There is an explosion of glitter emanating from the Wizard, getting all over everything within 30'.
2- The Wizard loses the ability to speak anything but compliments for 1d10 minutes.
3- The Wizard starts glowing as bright as a torch for 1d10 minutes.
4- The Wizard is surrounded by music as Orchestral Accompaniment for 1d10 minutes.
5- The clothes and armor the Wizard is currently wearing disintegrate, vanishing in a shower of glowing sparks.
6- The Wizard suddenly has 3d6 adorable animals, ex: kittens, appear around them.  These animals start running around, causing trouble, and generally making a nuisance of themselves.  

Tactics:
- Run away, then put on your War Face
- Cast Entomb on any spellcasters
- Use Petal Dancer to hit large groups at once
- Then attack the weakest person

Status: Active.  Lalatino is currently on a mission, investigating rumors that the Horn of the Dragonmaster has been found in Eva's Mountains.  If these rumors are true, he is to retrieve the Horn for the Brotherhood at any cost.


Orvan, Son of [Unintelligible]

[His full name was simply unreadable.  Every servant who read the latter part of his name either couldn't see it, or developed massive headaches and couldn't read any further.  The Wizard I asked to read it started bleeding from the eyes before he fainted.  The Wizard, upon waking up, claimed to not remember anything, though he still studiously avoided me for the next month.]

Orvan is the one person in the entire world that I might consider a friend.  I trust him totally, despite his odd nature.  He is the youngest of the Pillars, but the one who has served me most effectively.  He has never once disobeyed an order.  If it were not for his inflexible nature, I would be grooming him to be a successor.  Tragically though, this is unlikely to happen.  Orvan is a competent administrator and a brilliant enforcer, but he possesses not a drop of charisma.  He would be a poor leader. 

This is mostly due to his nature.  Orvan is partially Human, with the emphasis on partially.  For reference, humans are those strange, hairless creatures from the distant West, with tiny eyes and delicate, symmetrical bodies.  However, Orvan is no ordinary Human.  His eyes are dark as the Void and incite the same fear in those who look upon them without preparing themselves.  He speaks quietly, always reserved, and rarely seems to feel any emotion.  He can feel them, but he generally doesn't.  Additionally, Orvan possesses one final noticeable feature.  He has two wounds, one on his right forearm, the other on his chest, both that look like he was impaled.  The wounds are open to the air, exposing bone and muscle.  They do not bleed or seem to cause him any pain. 

As for the second part of Orvan's nature, he has informed me of it himself.  The rest I have pieced together from my own memory, especially given my part in his "birth".  Once, Orvan was just an ordinary citizen of [unknown city or nation, the text is the same as his Father's name, see above] when [unknown group, enemies?] attacked his people.  He joined the fight, but during the fighting he [Incomprehensible, what does that mean?].  I encountered him soon after and helped him [No no no this cannot be, this must be a lie].  With his help, we [This volume is nonsense, it's just another trick, the Master of Chains is playing you, Marwen.]

In conclusion, I think the experiment was a great success.

Weakness: Orvan has a terrible phobia of wooden stakes.  He cannot stand to be near one and will flee if he sees one, especially if it being wielded against him.  He has told me that he will [I don't understand] for the [that's not a number] time by impalement, and I have elected to believe him.  Orvan's predictions have never been wrong before.

Statblock:

Orvan, Son of [My eyes, my eyes, how they sing to me]
HD 5  AC 12  Atk Weapon 1d8/1d8
Mor 11     Saves 11 or less is a success

Herald of Specific Death: When Orvan wishes to, as a full action, he may cause everyone in 50' to display a specific fatal wound (such as an arrow wound to the chest, a cut throat, a smashed skull, etc).  If that person takes damage in the specific area that matches the wound they display, they take double damage from any successful attack.  Do not count this double damage as part of the Attack roll.  To determine what fatal wound the players will receive and you don't have any ideas, roll on the table below.

How will you die?
1d8

1- Beheading
2- Sliced to ribbons
3- Impaled by a spear
4- Skull crushed
5- Hand cut off, bled to death
6- Burned alive
7- Riddled with arrows or bullets
8- By having your throat cut

It will not Die: Orvan takes half damage from all non-magical sources of damage, except from wooden stakes.

Weakness: Orvan takes double damage from wooden stakes.

Phobia: Orvan is terrified of wooden stakes.  If he sees one, he must immediately check morale or flee.    

Weapon Hoarder: Orvan is armed to the teeth.  He has 1d20 weapons on him at all times.  Change these to suit whatever area he is in.  If he's exploring a cave, for instance, he won't bring a polearm or a longbow, and etc.

Tactics:
- See who has the most serious fatal wound
- Target those who are the most dangerous or the ones with the easiest fatal wound
- Target all spearmen first

Status:
Active.  Orvan is currently assembling a team to go after a foolish group of traitors who dared to defy my will.  He is under order to capture them, or if they prove irritating, to kill them.

Zena Shadow

Every ruler must have a Shadow, a person who perches above them, a ruthless warrior whose job it is to remind them of what is at stake.  The Shadow must watch and wait, and on the day that the ruler fails to do what a ruler must, the Shadow springs, slays the ruler, and takes the ruler's position.  This is to ensure laxness and decadence never affect the ruler, for they can always feel the Shadow's knife against their throat.  The best rulers have little need for a Shadow and the worst are swiftly replaced by theirs.  And since I am a ruler, I have a Shadow of my own.  Her name is Zena.

I know very little about her.  She follows our customs, but she is no Orzane.  I suspect she is a Quarrian, but I am unsure of this fact.  I do know her name is Zena, because she told me.  This is one of the few facts she has ever related to me.  She is a woman of few words, preferring to let her actions speak for her.  She is almost always by my side, at least when I am on the island or in my fortress.  She does not travel with me, but never fails to let me know that she was somehow watching me while I was gone.  Other then that, she sits in the corner of whatever room I am in, occasionally curling up at my feet like a maiden asking for a man's hand.  Those who do not know better might confuse my Shadow for my favorite toy.  They would be sorely mistaken.

I have made several attempts to lure Zena away from her duties as my Shadow, probing her for weaknesses.  Through intermediaries, I have offered her money, power, fame or glory.  She refused all offers.  I even hired a trusted Brother to attempt to seduce her, but she skillfully rebuffed his affections, though she did enjoy his ministrations for several months.  I hoped that she might get pregnant from their liasions, but to no avail.  The woman is careful.  My last attempt to break her was I had an orphan child brought to my fortress and raised as a Ward.  I had hoped that her maternal instincts would kick in and she might start to care for the orphan boy.  Tragically though, it seems Zena doesn't have a maternal bone in her body, so the attempt failed.  Still, I was able to indoctrinate and groom the boy into a worthwhile Brother, so it wasn't a complete waste of effort.  Additionally, these efforts taught me something very important.  Zena is a zealot, a true believer.

I do not want to entrust my organization to a zealot.  A ruler must be flexible, and Zena seems incapable of flexibility.  I must guard myself, as I do not want to entrust my life's work to her, she will destroy it all, in pursuit of her ideals.  I could just kill her myself and appoint a new Shadow, but down that path lies risk.  I do not know the true nature of Zena's abilities, so that is an obvious danger.  Even more than that though, I must be careful.  In battle, the most important factor is a warrior's will.  So on the day I fail to strike ruthlessly at a foe or do what has needed to be done, I will have already lost the edge needed to crush my shadow.

Weakness:
Zena will not allow anyone but her to harm me.  She is single-minded in her pursuit and survelliance of me, as any good Shadow is.  Would she die to defend me?  I am not sure, but I suspect that if were to be seriously endangered, Zena would be the first to come to my defense, unless this was part of some ploy by her to kill me.        

Statblock:

Zena Shadow
HD 4  AC 14  Atk(+3) Sentencer (enchanted longsword) 1d6+3/1d6+3
Mor 12   Saves 12 or less is a success

Monstrous Strength: Zena is incredibly strong, with a STR of 18(+3).

Magic Sword: Zena's sword, Sentencer is enchanted.  Anyone injured by it must save.  On a failure, his or her blood forms chains and manacles, binding the wounded body part to the nearest solid object, whether that be a wall, the person's sword, or the person's body.  These chains can be broken with a successful DC 10 STR check, but doing this reopens the wounds, making that person take 1d6 damage a round until they take an action to staunch the bleeding or take at least 1 point of fire damage to the affected area.

Parry: Zena can parry damage twice per round, reducing damage taken from any non-magical attack that could be fended off by a person with a sword by 1d6+3.

Tactics:
- Lie in wait
- Assault one person at a time
- Focus on the small, clever ones

Status: Active.  She watches me even now.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

OSR: Mad Scientist

I have been flirting with the idea of making my own post-apocalyptic setting for a long time now.  I'm still not sure if I plan on doing it, but if I do, I'm thinking it will be based on the Those who Know setting, after the Masquerade has finally broken under the strain and Humans become aware of all the other species living among them in secret, along with the massive inter-government conspiracy to cover this fact up.  Though since that could lead to anything from global thermonuclear war to a single, global dictatorship, I have no idea what that setting will look like.  So for now, I'm going to think about it.

Until then, here's a class that could work for that setting, for any other post-apocalyptic setting, or for anything pulpy and turn of the century-feeling.

                                                                         by megamoth

"Mankind has yet to recognize my genius!"  

You are a Scientist with wacky theories, terrible interpersonal skills and several (possible) mental disorders.  You are extremely weird and likely have quite a few bad habits.  You are also one of the most brilliant thinkers who ever lived (or so you tell yourself).  It might even be true.  You have fused spirituality and technology, and thanks to that, you have advanced further and faster than anyone else in your field. 

Your school of Magic is an Outsider school.  It is not illegal, per say, but there is no official recognition for you school. Additionally, any of your weird or semi-legal activities will not be given a pass by the authorities, as you aren't a Wizard, just a Magic-User.  You can't go to school to become a Mad Scientist, and you definitely can't be accredited as one.

                                                                 by sedone

"It's alive!  Alive!"

The following is a sub-class for my base Wizard class.  For more information on the general class, check it out here.  For information relative to this sub-class, see below. 

Power: If you have time and materials, you can create a device called a Gadget and place on of your spells inside it.  You may then infuse this device with as many spellcasting dice as you like.  This causes these dice to be automatically expended. Other spellcasters may also charge this Gadget as well with their spellcasting device.  Anyone may then use the Gadget to cast the spell encoded on it, using the dice loaded into it.  However, these dice, once expended, must be replaced, and will not natural regenerate within the Gadget.

Drawback: You are insane.  You begin with one delusional belief.   

What is your delusion?
1d6

1- You are being haunted by the vengeful ghost of a former partner.
2- You created a monster many years ago and now it has returned to seek its revenge against its creator.
3- You are being stalked by a shadowy organization who want to use your genius for their own purposes.
4- You know who the true rulers of the world are, you know about the Giga-Conspiracy, the true explanation of everything.  Everything bad in the world is because of Them, and you know who They are.
5- Your thoughts and dreams are secretly being influenced by an outside source.  You must take precautions to prevent them from controlling your mind by doing things such as walking around a building three times before entering it, avoiding black cats, never taking off your bronze mask, or etc.
6- You suspect all members of [Group]* are sinister and are working against you and your interests, for reasons you do not know.  You must always utilize caution around members of [group], lest they get the better of you.

*The [Group] can be any group or class of people, from a specific race, tribe, religion, culture, social class, or etc.      

Mad Scientist starting spell list:
1d12

1- Conduit
2- Electronic Override
3- Flesh Grenade
4- Gamma Infusion
5- Germinate
6- Hypnotic Laser
7- Induce Mutation
8- Out of One
9- Possession
10- Probability Cloud
11- Summon Plague
12- Technopathy

13- Atom Smasher
14- Chain Lightning
15- Triumph of the Sun

Legendary Spell: Kaiju, Captain Trips


Conduit
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R: touch    T: creature            D: [dice] hours

One creature you touch suddenly gains the ability to cast spells for the duration.  They gain [dice] spell slots and spellcasting dice, and you can transfer up to [dice] spells to them.  You cannot use these spells while they are in the person who received them.  The spell ends after the duration does or when they run out of spellcasting dice.  When it does end, the spells you transferred to them return to you.

Electronic Override
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R: touch    T: machine            D: one action

The caster, if he or she touches a machine, may bypass any physical or software security systems utilized by this machine, overriding or bypassing them in an instant.

Flesh Grenade
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R: self        T: self            D: one action

Produces up to [dice] explosives, which grow from the caster's flesh.  These packets can be detonated at will by the caster as a free action.  These explosives, if detonated, do an amount of damage equal to [sum] divided by the number of explosives produced.  The explosions affect an circular area 10*[dice]' in diameter and anyone who takes damage from them may save to take half damage.  The caster is not immune to the explosions caused this way, and could easily kill him or herself.

Additionally, for every [dice] invested in this spell beyond the first, you may choose 1 of the options below:
- The bomb is an incendiary device, and lights people and objects exposed to it on fire
- The bomb has bits of bone and metal embedded in it, making it do +1d6 damage to anyone with an AC of 15 or less
- The bomb is a stunner, doing no damage, but creating a blinding flash of light and an enormously loud sound.  Anyone exposed to this sound and light must save to be able to do anything but cover their ears and sit quietly, so rattled with they be.
- The bomb is an acid bomb, doing acid damage instead of explosion damage.  The acid will linger after the explosion, dissolving all organic material, but not glass, stone, metal or plastic.

Gamma Infusion
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: creature            D: one action, then [sum] minutes

One creature within range takes [sum] nonlethal damage.  If the damage the spell causes equals or exceeds its HP, the creature then transforms into a monster.  This monster gains [sum] HP, gains a STR, DEX and CON scores equal to 12+[dice] and regenerates [dice] HP a round.  The monster then proceeds to fly into a rage, attacking and destroying everything in its path.  It is stupid and feral, driven only by a primitive desire to destroy.  And while it cannot plan, it will retain its personality from before transforming, and any antipathies had before.  If it disliked you before you cast this spell on it, it will probably try to find and pull your limbs off.  The creature continues its rampage for [sum] minutes or until it is killed.  After that, it transforms back.  If this spell is cast with four or more spellcasting dice, you can choose to make the duration for as long as you want, or permanent. 

Germinate
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R: 10'        T: pool or container of liquid    D: [dice] hours

The caster must select a container or pool of liquid that amounts to less than [sum] gallons in total amount.  This water is enchanted for the duration.  Anyone who rests in the pool of enchanted liquid heals 1d6+[dice] HP an hour.  If the water was enchanted with 4 or more [dice], then anyone missing a body part who rests in the water will regenerate the missing body part over the duration. 

Hypnotic Laser
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R: 10'        T: creature        D: [dice] minutes

One intelligent creature that can see you and is within range must save or be hypnotized for the duration.  On a failed save, the creature falls under your influence.  The hypnotized creature will take suggestions from you, but he or she will not do anything obviously suicidal or something that his or her moral code would disagree with.  However, in the state of suggestion, the creature will be very easy to convince of something ridiculous, such as "chemicals labeled as poisonous aren't actually, they're just the way that people hide their expensive liquor!" 

Induce Mutation
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R: touch        T: creature            D: one action

One creature you touch must save.  On a failure, the creature is disfigured, gaining [dice] mutations as its flesh is molded into some abherrent shape.

Out of One
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
R: self        T: self                D: one round

This spell may be cast as a free action.  Upon casting, the caster creates [dice] identical copies of themselves.  These copies all have the spellcaster's original properties and abilities.  Each copy may then take a separate action.  Then, at the end of the round, the caster picks the action they would most like to be true.  That action becomes real, and the copy that carried out that action remains real.  All other copies of the caster fade from existence, and the actions they took are undone, as if they had never happened. 

Possession
------------------------------------------------------------------
R: touch    T: creature        D: [dice] hours

One Creature you touch falls asleep.  An unwilling target get a save.  Creatures with more HD than [dice] add the difference to their save.  Creatures with HD 3x greater than [dice] are immune to this spell.  On a failed save, the target falls asleep anyway.  Then your spirit leaves your body and can enter theirs, controlling them.  You do not have access to their memories or skills, but can still utilize any abilities of yours that were tied to your mind, though not your body.  For example, your magic sword will still obey you, but the pistol that scans your biometric readings will think you are a different person.

Your body will remain in stasis during this time, but if it is killed, you will not be able to return to it.  Also, your body will itself be vulnerable to possession while you are away from it.

Probability Cloud
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
R: self        T: self                D: [dice] rounds

The caster disconnects themselves from reality, partially existing in an area as a probability cloud.  This area is 10*[dice] square feet.  During this time, the caster appears to be standing in multiple places within the probability cloud, copies of them appearing and reappearing.  At any point, the caster may choose to insert themselves back into the domain of physics, choosing one location to exist at and instantly appearing there.

Additionally, if anything interacts with the probability cloud, such as someone reaching out to touch the caster on the shoulder or attacking the probability cloud, the caster must save.  On a failed save, the caster automatically appears their. On a success, the caster may choose to be or not to be in that location.

Summon Plague
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R: 30'        T: [dice] creatures        D: one action

[dice] creatures become afflicted with a disease of your choice.  There are a million varieties of this spell, each with a different disease.  If you don't know, roll 1d6.
1d6
1- Smallpox
2- Bubonic Plague
3- Spanish Flu
4- Yellow Fever
5- Ebola
6- Cholera

Technopathy
------------------------------------------------------------------------
R: touch    T: machine        D: [sum] minutes

You may manipulate up to [dice] machines or devices as if you were touching them at the moment.  For example, you could dial a phone from across a room without moving, enter a command into a computer terminal, or etc.  This does not give you access to machines, as normal security procedures still apply.


Atom Smasher
-------------------------------------------------------
R: 10'        T: piece of metal    D: one action

This spell targets one piece of metal, and converts it into a strange, glowing green solid.  This solid is softer than all worked metals, glows in the dark, and burns with strange, otherworldly energies.  Then, [dice] rounds after the spell was cast, the affected metal explodes, dealing 2*[sum] to everyone within [dice]*10'. 

Chain Lightning
-------------------------------------------------------------
R: 50'        T: up to [sum] creatures    D: one action

One creature within range takes [sum] electrical damage, save for half.  Then, the nearest creature within range of the first creature takes [sum]-[dice] damage, save for half.  Then, one creature within range of the second creature takes [sum]-(2[dice]) damage, save for half.  This continues, the electrical damage decreasing by [dice] each time until the next person in the chain would take no damage.   

Triumph of the Sun
--------------------------------------------------------------
R: 100'        T: creature or object    D: special

You create a small ball of plasma in the air above your hand.  The ball of plasma starts at 1d6, and increases by [dice] sizes (see below).  Other casters may pour spellcasting dice into this ball, increasing it by [dice] sizes as well.  Non-casters may choose to take 1d6 damage and pour their blood into the ball.  For every 1d6 damage they take, count it as 1 [dice].  When you are finished charging the ball, you may throw it.  The ball does 1d6+[dice] damage on a hit, then it explodes, dealing damage equal to its size to everything within 10*[dice]', save for half.

To determine how big the explosion is, consult below.

1d6 --> 1d8 --> 1d10 --> 2d6 --> 2d8 --> 2d10 --> 3d8 --> 3d10 --> 4d10 --> 4d10 +1d6 per [dice] past 9

                                                           by VVernacatola

Chaos and Corruption of the Mad Scientist:
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 Mad Scientist:
1d6

1- Everyone within 50' of you must save.  The first person to fail their saving throw develops a mutation.  If everyone saves successfully, no effect.
2- A cloud of stinking gas explodes out of your every pore.  Everyone within this cloud must save.  Those who fail their save lose their next action as they retch and empty their stomachs onto the ground.
3- The next request you make of a person is treated as a hypnotic suggestion.  That person must immediately save.  On a failed save, that person will go to carry out the request immediately, no matter what.  You do not know this.
4- You suddenly realize you are being watched by someone.  You must hide, immediately.
5- You suddenly notice that someone has planted a magical charm on you that lets your enemies track your location.  You must find this charm and get rid of it, quickly.
6- You suddenly have a flash of insight on how you can create a monster servant who will be ever loyal to you.  The process you discover is complex and risky, but it will work, if you do everything right.  However, there is a 50% chance that something goes desperately wrong during or after the monster servant is completed.


Corruption of the Mad Scientist:
1d6

1- Everyone within 50' of you must save.  The first person to fail their saving throw catches a random disease.  Roll on the Summon Plague table to determine which disease this is.
2- A packet of explosives grows out of your skin.  In 1d3 actions (slots on the initiative ladder), it explodes, dealing 3d6 damage to everyone within 30' of the explosion.
3- A copy of you suddenly appears from nowhere.  This copy of you is 1d6 [1= As confused as you are; 2= Certain this is a trap set by you; 3= Certain you are an imposter; 4= Going to work against you; 5= Undead and hostile; 6= Helpful and happy to be here.  A really nice guy, actually.]  The copy remains until it is killed or 1d20 minutes, then it vanishes.
4- You suddenly realize you are being followed.  What you do with this information is up to you.
5- You suddenly realize one of your companions is actually a monster in disguise.  What you do with this information is up to you.
6- You suddenly have a flash on insight on how you can create a new body for yourself and finally be as attractive/strong/immortal as you'd always dreamed of being.  The process you have discovered is complex and risky, but it will work, if you do everything right.  However, there is an 80% chance something goes desperately wrong during or after your new body is completed. 

Dooms:
Doom of Fools- A creature straight out of your delusion attacks you, with the intention of killing one of your companions, stealing a valuable item from you, or doing something else to hinder your progress.

Doom of Kings- You receive a revelation that what you thought was true was actually only half true, as a group of creatures straight out of your expanded delusion attack you, with the intention of stopping you from taking a particular action, inflicting some malady on you, or something else sinister and insidious.

Ultimate Doom- Your delusion expands again, until it is all-encompassing.  You learn the terrible, hideous truth right after walking into an inescapable trap.  This can be something like all of your loved ones secretly being agents of Them, or the monster you created years ago tricking you into entering an area that is guaranteed to kill you, or the ghost of your old partner finally catching up to you and ripping your spine out.

This Doom can be avoided by seeking out the Puppet-Master who is controlling everything from behind the scenes and stopping them, or by joining and cooperating with the conspiracy that is currently working against you.

                                                                by d-art-studios