Thursday, September 29, 2022

TwK: Cartoon Cat

The following is a creature created by Trevor Henderson.  

from here

"That's all, Folks!"

- A message found near the scene of grisly murder, painted in blood

Number Appearing: 1
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Languages: Whatever languages you can speak, so can it.
Treasure: The wealth left behind by previous victims is usually left where it is.  Items of great beauty such as jewelry, art and personal tokens are often defaced or damaged, but if repaired, they could be worth something. 

Cartoon Cat is a horrific abomination that stalks and terrorizes mankind for no discernable reason, though judging by the creature's own rare cryptic statements and the disturbing messages it sometimes paints on walls in blood or other bodily fluids, it seems to do these things purely to indulge it's own sadism.

Cartoon Cat is a humanoid creature that resembles a "rubber hose" cartoon character, a style that popular in the 1930s, though Cartoon Cat looks far more realistic.  It's body glistens and trembles occasionally, shifting between solid and semi-solid forms, like the entire creature is made of some sort of black ooze forced into it's current form.  Cartoon Cat possesses long, boneless limbs, with arms that end in bright white gloves and legs that end in simple points.  It's body is featureless black and it has unnaturally large, disturbing eyes.  It's teeth are like that of a human, but are powerful enough to sheer through bone with ease.  Usually, they are stained red or black with blood.         

Cartoon Cat

HD 6
AR none
Atk Claws (1d8+2/1d8+2 appropriate damage) or Bite (1d10+4, has disadvantage on Bite attacks unless against helpless target)
Mor 16
Saves 13 or less

Toonforce: Cartoon Cat does not obey usual physical laws, but instead the laws of cartoons.  His limbs can stretch unnaturally long, he can remove body parts without harming himself, control those body parts even when not connected to his body and do other things cartoon characters can do.  He can also instantly recover from any injury not humorous.  If injured in a non-humorous way, such as being shot, stabbed or bludgeoned, he can make a save as an action.  On a successful save, the damage instantly repairs itself.  If injured in a humrous way, such as being thrown off a cliff, flattened by a steam roller or blown up by his gun being sabotaged, he is injured as per normal and could possibly even die for 1d6+1 days.  If his Specific Death Condition is not meant, however, he will be back.    

Shapeshifting: Cartoon Cat is a shapeshifter and can take on any form he can imagine, though his form will always include one of the following: white gloves, ink-black skin, large, mascot costume-esque eyes.  Regardless of form, his abilities remain the same. 

Specific Death Condition: Cartoon Cat is immortal and cannot be killed unless someone makes an artistic work that describes or depicts his death, then recreates that death in real life.  This death also must be humorous in some way, such as being crushed by a falling boulder or piano, run over by train, strapped to a rocket and blasted into the sky, etc.  Additionally, if Cartoon Cat's real name is not included in the work somewhere, he will return to life in 1 year to seek revenge on his killer on the anniversary of his death. 

Tactics:
- Use shapeshifting to deceive enemies to get closer
- Psychologically torture enemies and drive them mad with fear
- Separate your target, restrain and bite his head off

by Trevor Henderson

Cartoon Cat's Weapons:

For reasons known only to itself, Cartoon Cat is sometimes seen carrying one or more of the following items.  All of them can be used as weapons and seem to be able to enhance it's power.  Cartoon Cat will carry these weapons with it if it intends to fight a more dangerous foe or desires to inflict more damage, or engage in a specific act of carnage. 

What is it carrying today?

A Hammer.  A sledgehammer, massive and oversized, like a giant rubber mallet.  Very heavy- requires a STR of 16 or greater to lift.  Does 1d12 damage on a hit and any creature hit by it must succeed a STR saving throw or be flung (1/2 damage)*10' backwards.  While using this hammer, Cartoon Cat may only make 1 melee attack per round.   

A Tommy Gun.  This gun never runs out of ammo and fires hails of very real bullets.  Does 2d6 damage, save for half, and can target up 2 extra creatures, as long as they are adjacent to the original creature.  The gun will need to be bathed in human blood at least once per week or it will stop working.  While using this gun, Cartoon Cat can use it to make 1 ranged attack per round.

A Cigar.  Packed with highly toxic chemicals, this cigar can be used to inhale clouds of choking, toxic smoke.  This smoke fills a 10' cubed area and does 1d8 poison damage to anyone inside it.  Additionally, should Cartoon Cat grapple someone while he has this cigarette out, he can do 1d6 fire damage to them for free by burning them with the burning tip of the cigar.  Cartoon Cat can only breathe out a cloud of toxic smoke every 1d4 rounds.

Jug of Whiskey.  Full of sloshing spirits, Cartoon Cat can take a big swig and with a flick of it's metallic claws, create a spark that ignites the liquid, allowing it to spray opponents with a stream of burning liquid.  This liquid spray hits in a 15' line and does 2d6 fire damage, save for half.  Creatures hit and flammable items are also ignited, and take 1d6 fire damage until the fire is extinguished.  Cartoon Cat can spit whiskey as much as it likes, but the jug only contains enough for 1d6+1 shots.

A Cutlass.  A pirate's cutlass, sharp enough to shave with.  Cartoon Cat is not a proper swordsman, but possesses enough raw power and bloodlust to easily make up for the lack of technique.  And sadly, it has plenty of experience.  While using this sword, Cartoon Cat can make 3 melee attacks a round, doing 1d6+2 damage on a hit.          

A Bomb.  An enormous bomb that resembles a cannonball with a long fuse, this metal sphere can be primed by Cartoon Cat, after which it then explodes.  The explosion does 4d6 damage, save for half.  This destroys the bomb.  The bomb's explosion will never injure the one who set it off, though it can destroy his or her clothing, armor or items worn on the body.  If close enough, it will also usually coat that person in a layer of black soot.

artist unknown

"I am the abberration.  The absence of all light.  The warping and bending of your reality to make you question everything you ever thought was real."

- The only thing the lone survivor of a suspected Cartoon Cat attack could recall of the lengthy conversation the creature had with the now-deceased

Cartoon Cat rarely speaks, but it is fully capable of such.  It occasionally leaves mocking graffiti on the walls next to it's murders.  Cartoon Cat is as smart as, if not smarter than most humans.  It is also diabolically evil, seemingly fueled by the desire to commit evil acts for their own sake. 

Cartoon Cat commits atrocities for no discernable reason, though many reasons are suspected.  Perhaps it derives pleasure from killing or desires to invoke fear in those who have become aware of it.  The latter seems to be true, as Cartoon Cat will sometimes appear to potential victims multiple times before going in for the kill, tormenting them and driving them to more and more extreme acts.  Cartoon Cat will also make ominous statements and leave messages behind. 

Cartoon Cat's scribblings are usually threats and graphic descriptions of violence or insults directed at the deceased or those who find the remains.  Certain phrases are also known to reoccur, appearing at the sight of multiple murders.  Common phrases include but are not limited to "Someone let the Cat out of the bag", "Cat got your tongue?" and "That's all Folks!" 
 

Another phrase that commonly appears is "What's my Name?"  This is a reference to the fact that though Cartoon Cat vaguely resembles 1930s' cartoon characters, no one knows exactly what it is or what cartoon it is based on.  Some say the cartoon is very obscure and could be found through extensive research, while others say that Cartoon Cat just borrowed the appearance of a cartoon on a whim or based on some ineffable reason.  

Others cite obscure theories that Cartoon Cat is actually the main character of a cursed cartoon that labored through not only production hell, but also a literal one.  According to these theories, black magic was used to make sure that no one would ever forget this cartoon.  However, the rituals used were not properly used, so instead they freed the main character of the cartoon and made him a diabolic horror, then loosed him on the world.  These theories state that only by learning Cartoon Cat's true name can he be destroyed permanently.  This may be what Cartoon Cat is referring to, but this is just a theory, after all. 

All known attempts to destroy Cartoon Cat have failed.  The creature seems to be immortal, capable of resisting almost all types of damage.  And even in a few unconfirmed cases where it was thought destroyed, it eventually returned and brutally slaughtered those responsible.  And since it cannot be killed, it keeps killing.  So they may not have intended it, but it looks like Cartoon Cat will be remembered forever, after all.

from here
"Something very old. A hungry, hollow rot hiding behind an outdated smiling face. As long as there are people watching, it has a hatch to our reality."

- Trevor Henderson, Paranormal Researcher

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

OSR: New Rules for Wizards, stolen from Fantasy Novels

Ideas borrowed from Wheel of Time, The Stormlight Archive

artist unknown

1: All Wizards can innately sense Magic and other Wizards

Wizards can innately detect magic, as a byproduct of them having opened their third eye.  The more powerful a spell, the more likely a nearby Wizard will be able to detect it.  A cantrip might only be detectable across the hall or in the neighboring room, but a fireball would easily be detectable streets away, assuming the Wizard didn't see any of the other effects of the spell.

Similarly, Wizards can detect a creature's ability to cast and manipulate magic as easily as you can see the color of someone's eyes.  Two Wizards can find each other in crowded room, even if neither of them have met or know anything else about each other.  The stronger the Wizard, the more powerful this aura is.  An Archmage will appear to the magical senses of any half-trained apprentice if he's in the same building, but the apprentices might go unnoticed until they're down the hall or right outside the door.

 Note that this works like listening- it is possible to miss certain sounds, especially if they're quiet or you're distracted.  It's not perfect.  If you're not paying attention, a Wizard can sneak up on you.  It's just harder.   

2: Wizards have a varying level of Potential

All Wizards have a varying level of magical strength.  When you create a Wizard at level 1, have them roll 1d12 on the following table.  When you get the result, roll the number of proscribed dice to see what their maximum potential strength is in terms of MD.  A Wizard's growth rate is the number of MD they gain per level.     

Magical Potential Table
1d12

1- 1d4+2 MD.  You have a growth rate of +1 MD per level.
2- 1d6+1 MD.  You have a growth rate of +1 MD per level.
3- 1d6+2 MD.  You have a growth rate of +1 MD per level.
4- 1d6+3 MD.  You have a growth rate of +1 MD per level.
5- 1d8+2 MD.  You have a growth rate of +2 MD per level.
6- 1d8+3 MD.  You have a growth rate of +2 MD per level.
7- 1d8+1d6 MD.  You have a growth rate of +2 MD per level.
8- 2d6 MD.  You have a growth rate of +2 MD per level.
9- 2d8 MD.  You have a growth rate of +2 MD per level.
10- 3d6 MD.  You have a growth rate of +3 MD per level.
11- 4d6 MD.  You have a growth rate of +3 MD per level.
12- 5d6.  You have a growth rate of +3 MD per level.

3: Wizards can pool their energy

Wizards can form a mental link, forming a circle and pooling their strength.  Forming a circle requires at least two Wizards to meditate and synchronize their mana-streams, then for them to link their minds together.  This requires quiet and cooperation, and in combat or an otherwise stressful situation, may require an appropriate check. 

Once the Wizards are linked, one of them must lead the circle.  Usually the person who initiates the link will be the leader, but they can pass leadership of the circle to someone else. 

While linked, all of a Wizard's power will be at the disposal of the circle's leader.  The circle's leader may then cast using the collective MD of the circle to power his spells.  He may only cast spells he has personally prepared. 

The other members of the circle may not cast while in a circle, but can take another action on their turns.

Once a circle is formed, those who are linked must stay close, within 50', to share power.  The circle's link will remain no matter how far apart they go, but if they are more than 50' apart, no power sharing can occur.

The circle lasts until the leader of the circle releases the others and dissolves it.

While in a Circle, should a spell trigger Chaos or Corruption, it affects all members of the Circle.  However, depending on the number of people in the circle, the leader can reroll X-1 MD. So if it's a Circle of 2, the leader can reroll 1 MD.  If it's a Circle of 3, the leader can reroll 2 MD, and so on.

4: Wizards can store power

Certain items, such as Gemstones, can be used to store MD.  A Wizard, by meditating for at least 1 minute, can transfer MD from themselves into the chargeable item.  The MD transferred are lost to the Wizard, but can be used by any spellcaster who can make physical contact with item. 

Besides Gemstones, other items that could potentially store mana include, but are not limited to: crystals, mirrors, prisms, rings, tattoos, piercings, warded lanterns, enchanted cups or cauldrons, along with works of artifice specially designed to store mana.

Wizards can also draw power out of such a container to restore their own lost MD. 

by Petar Penev a.k.a. dnavenom

Friday, September 16, 2022

Tavernworld: Welcome to the Land of Beer and Parties!

from here
You wake up in a bar, spittle dribbling out of your mouth.  You have a monster headache and vague memories of drinking heavily with a stranger, or perhaps a group of strangers. 

Then you go to leave the tavern and find instead of the outside...

1d4

1- The interior of another tavern.
2- The kitchen.
3- The privy
4- A hallway that leads to...roll 1d3.

Soon you'll find out that you're in a seemingly unlimited network of connected taverns.  Welcome to Tavernworld, the dimension where the taps never run dry and the party never stops.  Tavernworld is also known as the Endless (Pub) Crawl or Perpetuafest.

How to get to Tavernworld:

1d6

1- Walk through a portal disguised as a door, usually by accident.  If a bar is cool enough or there's enough of an exciting atmosphere there, some of the doors in the structure will be converted into portals that lead to Tavernworld. 
2- The entire bar was so cool that Tavernworld just took it.  Where the bar used to stand there's just a bare foundation. 
3- You were sent here by someone who knows how to get into and out of Tavernworld.  This is a secret known only by a few, highly knowledgable magical creatures such as Liches, Dragons, etc. All Gods relating to Alcohol in some way know it automatically.
4- You drank a magical cocktail that took you here.
5- You got drunk in an unfamiliar place and woke up here. 
6- A Wizard cast a teleportation or portal spell while drunk and it affected you.  There is a small chance of this happening every time you teleport or Gate with a drunken Wizard, the chance increasing the more intoxicated your caster is.

Some Bars you might encounter on your travels...

1d20

1- A Human Bar that doesn't serve non-Humans.  There's a 50% that their definition of human is utterly bizarre though, to the point that even Human PCs might not be served.  Aggressive bouncers remove those who are belligerent or bother the customers. 
2- A regular Human bar where everyone hasn't realized there are portals to Tavernworld appearing in the structure.  They will react with shock and possibly horror when you suddenly walk out of the freezer of the men's bathroom.  The outside doors still work, but they'll take you to Earth circa Current Year. 
3- A regular Human bar of humans from Earth whose entire bar was just added to Tavernworld.  They're not sure how to react to this and might react poorly if you do anything too weird or strange.
4- An Elven Bar where you have to be beautiful to stay inside.  Ugly people should move on.  There's an enterprising mask salesman nearby making a killing with his cute masks.  He'll sell you a cute mask so you can drink here. 
5- An Elven Bar where you can only pay in favors, memories or whimsy, iron items are banned and everything is very bizarre. 
6- An Elven Bar where the patrons have been together for so long that they have developed their own bizarre internal subculture and are currently engaged in a multi-decades long struggle for control over the kitchen and bar itself.  You will be asked to do favors or perform seemingly mundane tasks that can have dramatic and disastrous consequences, as you've unwittingly become part of the bar's power-struggle. 
7- A Succubus Bar where the non-Succubusses are the "drinks".  Those who refuse to play along will be politely, but firmly, asked to leave.  Technically a brothel, but they serve drinks, so it still counts, apparently.  If you're not easily seduced, particularly attractive or interesting, the Succubusses might be willing to pay you.   
8- A Demon Bar where all the drinks are congealed emotions and sensations.  Ever wonder what liquid suffering tastes like?  What about fear, hatred or sorrow?  Besides that, the place is filthy, dangerous and generally an unpleasant place to be.   
9- An Angel Bar where all the drinks are congealed emotions and sensations.  Ever wonder what joy mixed with a faint melancholy tastes like?  What about satisfaction with just a splash of determination?  Additionally, this bar is extremely exclusive.  People too evil, rude or badly dressed will be asked to leave. 
10- A God Bar where you have to be a Deity to enter, unless you're part of the staff or the entertainment.  Here Gods of all stripes come to drink and party.  This bar is also neutral ground for the most fearsome entities in the multiverse, and all have sworn to abide by the truce while in this establishment.  So in here you can find Cthulhu, Jesus and Ganesha sipping drinks and idly debating the merits of ringed planets in the corner.
11- An Ork Bar where everything can only be paid for in teeth.  Teeth from more dangerous creatures or larger teeth are more valuable than smaller or more common types of teeth.  This bar also regularly hosts wrestling and boxing matches, as well as the occasional impromptu bar-fight. 
12- A 1920's speakeasy full of mobsters, flapper girls and jazz musicians.  The patrons of the bar will not react strangely to anything unusual happening in their presence, though trouble-makers will still be removed, either by escorted out or in a hail of bullets. 
13- A Vampire Bar where non-Vampires are "encouraged" to sell their blood for coin.  The Vampires also allow their bar to function as neutral ground for other factions to meet, as well as setting aside bar of their establishment to function as a market.  Sellers must pay a small fee to enjoy the safety of the market, always in the form of blood.  People will tasty blood will be offered residence in one of the upper rooms or other boons to encourage them to stick around. 
14- An outdoor cabana bar on a white sand beach.  The beach stretches along a beautiful turquoise ocean, but if you walk too far along the beach or swim too far out, you will be teleported back to the other side of the beach/to another part of the ocean.  There is a sun here but it constantly seems to be stuck at a time sometime just before sunset.  The bar and beach are full of pretty people in swimsuits engaging in watersports such as jet-skiing, snorkeling or wake-boarding, as well as other things like having bonfires on the beach, playing volleyball, etc.  It's one giant Spring Break bonanza!
15- A Giant Bar where smallfolk are treated like pests.  Smallfolk stuck here live under the bar or in hidden corners, using Giant refuse to construct crude shelters.  Tables out of thread spools, hammocks out of hankerchiefs, etc.  There are open windows that might lead to beyond Tavernworld, but no one wants to go see what's outside, for fear it's a world of only Giants. 
16- A bar seemingly full of normal Human villagers.  However, fifteen minutes after entering, a band of monsters burst in and slaughter the villagers.  The slaughter is total, violent and unspeakably brutal.  The villagers resist, but mostly in vain and most die.  The monsters then trash the place, loot what they can and leave.  The villagers remain dead for 1 hour, then return to life.  The bar repairs itself and the villagers continue as if nothing happened.  These monster attacks are random after the first, but occur no more than 3/Day.  No matter what the players do, the villagers will always die and always return to life. 
17- Cyberpunk-esque bar full of neon and cyborg implanted patrons.  You'll probably be seen as cosplayers or dudes into gene-modding.  You won't attract any real attention unless you start talking crazy or cast a spell. 
18- Retrofuture-esque bar that is from a future world, but this world has a fetish for fundamentalist religion and a low tolerance for things like magic, non-humans or deviancy.  The police have definitely been called and are on their way. 
19- A bar full of Adventurers.  These Adventurers use this bar as a hub between adventures, selling things to the barkeep and relaxing in between jobs inside.  The barkeep is a paternal, gentle man who loves all his customers and treats them like valued friends.  He is also a max-level Fighter who violently breaks up bar-fights with brutal efficiency.       
20- A Spider Bar.  This bar is full of intelligent spiders of various sizes.  The bar is largely constructed of a large series of webs and runs up the walls and toward the ceiling.  Non-Spiders are welcome, as long as they aren't jerks or arachnophobic. 
21+- A Bar from your favorite TV show/movie/book, or full of characters from your favorite fictional property.  Just don't bring up the fact that the patrons don't exist in your world, that could make the conversation quite awkward.

Creatures, Enemies and Allies Native to Tavernworld:

Alcohol Elementals: Spirits created from the mirth and enjoyment of the people who drink and celebrate throughout the world, Alcohol Elementals are not true Elementals, but incarnate spirits of mirth, laughter and inebriation.  See types below.   

Beer Maids: Resembling glass sculptures of women of various races, these creatures have translucent skin that is clear, brown or green with interiors full of sloshing liquid.  They are always shapely and curvy, and all their bodily fluids are forms of alcohol.  They are flirty and charming, reckless and crazy when partying, but when bound through force or obligation, they become perfect party hosts.  They have the ability to secrete alcohol, encyclopedic knowledge of all known forms of cocktails and mixed drinks and the ability to create walls and other objects out of glass, as well as to repair glass, including their own crystalline bodies. 

Purple-Bloods: These creatures resemble men, usually human in appearance, with purple eyes and dark hair.  They are always ruddy in complexion and stink of grapes and alcohol.  They bleed wine, either white or red.  They clothe themselves in robes of varying colors, red and purple for those who bleed red wine, white, gold and green for those who bleed white white.  These two factions are involved in an endless and mostly stupid conflict for supremacy, with both sides loudly arguing their own merits and clear superiority over the other.  Sometimes that's all these conflicts come too, other times they descend into drunken brawls and brutal fist-fights.  Purple-Bloods have the ability to change any liquid into wine, make people drunk by touching them, and can charm drunk or inebriated people into serving them.  They are often accompanied by posses of semi-drunk and drunk individuals, who they supply with an endless supply of cheap wine. 

Spirit Kings: Levitating, multi-faced creatures, these spirits resemble short, floating men clad in royal robes with multiple faces located on each side of their head.  They also tend to have a varying number of arms, anywhere from four to eight.  They were crowns of glass and when not floating, are accompanied by drunks and lesser Spirits of Alcohol.  These creatures have the power to conjure alcohol, create mists of alcohol, charm and control drunks, to create and telekinetically manipulate glass and to transform themselves into spirits (alcohol, not ghosts).  They fear fire and sobriety.  In some cultures, these creatures are known as Angels of Alcohol or Angels of Celebration, while others label them as Demons of Drink.

Wine Cultists: Humanoids who believe that wine is a gift from the Gods and the best way to commune with them is to lose your reason- the Wine Cultists are groups that rove throughout Tavernworld.  They form mobs that invade bars, steal all the good liquors, put their feet up on everything and generally make a nuisance of themselves.  They will then find an occupied area, get massively drunk and make a huge mess.  They are generally not that dangerous, except when in the throes of one of their rituals, which are barely distinguishable from riots or brawls. 

Maenads: Maenads are women who participated in a Wine Cult ritual and got just a little too into it.  Or rather, they got so into it that they don't know how to stop.  Maenads are women who, when drunk, descend into an animalistic state.  They will go out and dance, even if there is no music.  If there is music, they will dance to it.  If there is alcohol, they will drink it.  If there are men who are not disgusting in appearance, they will cat-called, kissed, maybe even drunkenly dragged into a bathroom or upper room.  And everything will be fine, until a Maenad is denied something she wants.  

When this happens, the Maenad will fly into a berserker rage and rip the creature responsible apart with her bare hands.  This will also trigger the other Maenads nearby, who will also fly into a destructive rampage.  While raging, Maenads fight like men twice their size with the strength of bulls and skin that resists injury.  They can be killed but not without effort, and for most, it's usually easier to run and leave whatever poor fools that angered the Maenads to suffer their revenge.           

Horned Flies: A lesser type of Spirit, Horned Flies resemble small, black-skinned men covered in hard chitin that resembles skin from a distance, but up close reveals itself to be a suit of polished natural armor.  Horned Flies also possess compound eyes and wings, though they tend to conceal these under colorful hats and cloaks respectively.  Horned Flies have the ability to lower inhibitions through touch, to fly, turn invisible and to virtually incapacitate someone by injecting them with venom.  

They are also called Lust Imps by some Sages.  Sleazy and lascivious, they are the attendants of the Succubusses, helping them by weakening the resolve of the stoic, celibate and snooty.  Besides their lewd interests, they also have a great love of gold and material wealth and will do almost anything to gain more of it.  They are utterly shameless, willing to sell their services for coin, a fact that disgusts most other Spirits.

The Daughters of Temperance: A Paladin Order mostly composed of zealous young women, the Daughters of Temperance despise drunkeness, alcohol, saloons and other drinking establishments and go out of their way to make their displeasure known.  They are the ultimate killjoys, prowling the hallways of Tavernworld, looking for anyone being too rowdy, too loud or too happy.  Those they find that fail to meet their draconian standards are ruthlessly punished with public humiliation, beatings or time in one of the Daughter's jails.    

Demons of Addiction: Demons who disguise themselves as comely barmaids, fellow travelers or bottles of spirits, these Demons possess the ability to secrete bodily fluids that are intensely addictive, far more so than even the finest alcohol or the most potent narcotics.  They seek out the lonely, vulnerable and confused and provide them with soothing lies, then feed them what they need.  They can provide many substances or even activities, all of which are vectors through which they will trick, cajole or convince creatures to consume their essence.  

When the creature has done this, the Demon will gain power over them.  Soon the creature will find that conventional vices no longer sate it's inflamed desire.  And you'll build a tolerance fast, needing more and more to get a fix.  And the more you consume, the more sway the Demon has over you.  Consume enough and the Demon will be able to possess your body, leaving you trapped inside, unable to stop it.  Their goal is to take your body, permanently, and then seek out more victims. 

The Drunkard King: A huge man wearing a furred cape, a party hat and carrying a bejeweled cane, the Drunkard King is said by many to be the ruler of Tavernworld.  No one knows if he is Angel, Demon, God or something stranger.  Regardless, he is a very powerful creature who even the most powerful beings dare not cross, at least within his realm.  He is said to possess any number of abilities, most of which are based on shak, unverified claims by drunks and those who no one believes.  These include, but are not limited to, the ability to create food, alcohol or other spirits from the ether, levitation, intangibility, teleportation, immunity to damage from non-magical weapons, immunity to damage done by drunks, shapeshifting and the ability to remove hangovers with a touch.  

The Drunkard King is a jolly soul who loves nothing more than a party and a good time.  Any party he attends will definitely be fun, though the fallout will probably be less so.  He is a chaotic whirlwind of excitement and laughter and inebriation, cruising into people's establishments, throwing killer ragers and then skipping town before anyone cares to ask who is going to pay for all this.  But no one ever seems to question him, after all, he is the King.

Treasures of Tavernworld:

Host's Wand:
1d6+Atk magical bludgeoning

A plastic fairy-princess wand tipped with a silver star.  The handle is white, with a blue stripe wrapping around the handle like a barber's pole.  Despite the seemingly flimsy nature of the wand, it bends but never breaks.  It can also function as a magical mace in a pinch. 

Abilities:
- 3/Day, can turn up to a bathtub's worth of liquid into high-quality beer, wine or another type of alcohol.
- 3/Day, can turn a pile of ingredients into a meal, as long as that pile of ingredients could become that meal.  For example, flour, eggs, sugar, milk and baking soda could become a cake, but not lobster bisque.  The meal is always serviceable, but never exceptional.

Destroying the Host's Wand:

Abandon it in a condemned or otherwise abandoned building and let no one use it for 1 year.  Then have a funeral for the wand and bury it in a tiny casket.

Attempting to destroy it in any other way will result in all liquids the destroyer touches turning to alcohol for 1 year.  This includes any part of their body, including their lips, throat and insides.  This is a curse.  It can be broken by becoming a teetotaller or by beating an Alcohol Elemental in a drinking contest.

Meanwhile, the wand will disappear and reappear in the house of someone who is about to throw a party and is desperately disorganized. 

Barmaid's Helper:

A ring of gold adorned with four Comedy Masks, each with pale, unremarkable stones set where the eyes on the skull would go.  The ring is pretty, but does not seem very valuable upon first assessment.  No low-class person would be suspected of stealing it. 

Ability:
- 1/Day, the bearer of the ring may create up to four copies of himself.  These copies have a varying amount of HD, intellect and competence, depending on how many copies are created.  All copies are solid and independent of the bearer.  They have all the memories of the bearer but have their own will and do not need to obey the bearer.  Copies remain for 8 hours or until they are destroyed.   

The Copies:

Destroying the Barmaid's Helper:

Give the ring to a woman in the service industry and then have her summon all four copies, then do something absolutely heinous, like disembowel a customer.  Then kill her, chop off her finger, submerge the ring in acid and burn the location she's in to the ground.

Any other attempt to destroy the Barmaid's Helper will result in the ring disappearing, followed by four copies of you popping into existence.  Each one has 1d4 HD and is dedicated to ruining your life.  They will attempt to do this through 1d4 [1= Ruining your reputation by commiting illegal or obscene acts; 2= Stealing all of your money/treasure and wasting it; 3= Tracking down friends and loved ones and poisoning your relationships with them; 4= Trying to kill you.] 

from Fantasia

Apprentice's Mop:

A magical mop with cottony bristles, with a handle wrapped in a silk ribbon that used to be blue, but is now quite faded to a pale azure.  The wood is springy and flexible, bending but refusing to break.

Abilities:

- The mop, if it's bristles are damp, will animate and act on it's own.  It will obey a master who treats it well, but will disobey orders it does not approve of.  If mistreated, it will leave and seek out a new master. 
- The mop has all the abilities of a well-trained cleaner, it can mop, clean dishes, dust and sweep up. 
- The mop can levitate an item up to the weight of a small child and manipulate it with telekinesis. 
- 1/Day, the mop can animate up to 3 other cleaning implements for 1 hour.  These items obey the mop and have no souls of their own, deanimating after the duration or when destroyed.

The Mop has the personality of a domestic helper with a sassy personality.  It does not speak, but will support a master who treats it well with companionship and assistance with chores.  It loves to clean and to remain in one place and make it a home.  It does not like traveling, messes or rude people.

Destroying the Apprentice's Mop:


Burning the mop to cinders would do it, as long as the fire was started with alchemical ingredients or fueled by magic to destroy the soul. 

Attempting to destroy the mop in any other way will result in you getting splinters everywhere, and the mop flying away.

The Everflowing Flask:


A brass flask embossed with the symbol of the Ouroboros and a conifer tree.  It is clearly old, but untarnished. 

Ability:
- By drinking from or pouring the flask out, the user can consume whatever fluid is inside the flask that day.  Each day at dawn, the flask fills with a random liquid.  If poured out, the flask can produce up to 4 gallons (15 liters).
- If that much fluid is poured out, the flask remains empty until the next dawn. 

What Random liquid fills my Flask today?

1d20

1- Water. 
2- Water, Salt.
3- Oil, Lamp.  Flammable. 
4- Oil, Olive.  Expensive and good for cooking.
5- Oil, Body.  Good for skin health.   Moisturizing is important.   
6- Alcohol, Beer.  Gets you drunk as per these rules, can heal you as well. 
7- Alcohol, Wine.  See above.
8- Alcohol, Whiskey.  See above.
9- Kitchen Grease.  Flammable and disgusting. 
10- Tomato Sauce.  An excellent ingredient.  Add it to bread with cheese for a guaranteed great meal.
11- Nacho Cheese.  Delicious! 
12- Milk, Cow.  Drink this for strong bones. 
13- Sulfuric Acid.  Does 1d6 acid damage per round spent in contact.  If poured on you, does damage until diluted, washed off or neutralized.  Does not dissolve glass, plastic or magic items.
14- LSD, liquid form.  Causes hallucinations for d8 hours. 
15- Human Blood.  Useful for Vampires or magic rituals!
16- Succubus Fluids.  A potent aphrodisiac, anyone who drinks or has this poured onto their skin takes 1d6 COG damage per sip/splash.  They must successfully save or engage in sexual activity at the earliest possible convenience with the first person who they feel feel attracted too.  And right now, their standards are very low.  If this reduces them to 0 COG, they will rip the clothes off of the nearest person they're attracted too.  Expect to learn something new about yourself and for the morning after to be extremely awkward.  
17- Poisoned Tea, mixed with Deadly Nightshade.  Does 1d6 COG and CON damage per round or until a CON save is passed.  If reduced to 0 CON, you die.      
18- Hydra Blood.  Does 1d8 CON damage per day and hideous pain, causing a creature to take +1 damage per day.  If reduced to 0 CON, you die in agony.  Also hard to cure, only responds to extremely potent antidotes or powerful magic.      
19- Dragon's Blood.  Drinking or bathing in it will produce Draconic mutations as per this chart.   
20- Breast milk from the Mother Goddess most likely to show pity on you.  This milk tastes great and removes all diseases and poisons.  It also restores the first person who drinks it to full HP.  Only one person may gain these effects.  For anyone else, it only heals 1d8 HP per sip.  You can also only roll this result once, unless the fate of the world is at stake or something similarly huge. 

Destroying The Everflowing Flask:


Empty it, fill it with molten metal and let it cool.  Then hurl it into the depths of the sea.

Any other attempt to destroy the Flask will result in all containers you possess that could hold liquid filling with 1d4 [1= Molten iron; 2= Acid; 3= Poisoned wine; 4= Human Blood.]  The Flask will then disappear and reappear in a pawn or curiosities shop.      

Dumb Waiter's Outfit:

A magical tailcoat and set of black trousers.  Tasteful and made of fine linen.  Well made and expensive, yet clearly the garb of a servant.  The clothing never gets dirty and seamlessly alters its size to fit whoever wears it. 

Abilities:
- The Dumb Waiter's Outfit can magically change to look like the uniforms of the staff or servants of any establishment the wearer has been in.  For example, he could change the Outfit to look like the servant's uniforms in a palace he was in, or he could change it to look like the uniforms of the serving men at his favorite bar.
- 3/Day, the Outfit can allow the wearer to teleport an object up to 50 pounds or 50 pounds worth of stuff up to 100'.  If teleporting multiple objects, they must be touching each other.
- 3/Day, the Outfit can instantly clean up a mess that covers no more than a 10' cube or is contained to a single small room.  Referee's Discretion applies to what is considered 'small'.       
Curse:

While wearing the Dumb Waiter's Outfit, if the wearer is at a party, inside an establishment that serves food or drink or in a place that employs servants, if given an order by a supervisor or customer, they must succeed on a COG save in order to resist fulfilling the request.  For every request they ignore and successfully save against, they take 1d4 COG damage.  If reduced to 0 COG, the wearer will begin filling orders and serving immediately and will not stop until a break is called or the shift is over/work is done.  Attempting to stop them from doing this using force will be met with force, or at least an attempt at flight. 

This curse can only be broken by renting out an expensive establishment and having the wearer fulfill requests until he is asked for something that he cannot do. 

Destroying the Dumb Waiter's Outfit:

Give it to a person the previous wearer deeply, truly loves, take them to an establishment and have them succumb to the curse of the Outfit.  Then give them a ruby and order him (or her) to kill himself.  Then burn their body with the outfit. 

Attempting to destroy the Outfit in any other way will result in it cursing you to obey any order a creature gives you.  This curse can be broken by deafening yourself or serving a person you despise for a year and a day.

The Outfit will then disappear and reappear in the closet of a server who is very bad at their job or about to be fired.

source unknown

Other Loot:

Sober Cigarettes
Rarity: Uncommon
A pack of cigarettes made not only of high quality tobacco, but interwoven with fear and restorative magic.  Anyone who smokes one of these cigarettes instantly sobers up if intoxicated.  The cigarettes can also remove other mind-altering effects, granting a new save against Charm and ending hallucinatory effects, as long as they are caused by some sort of toxin or substance.  The Referee may also permit them to grant a new save against other effects.

Switcharoo Pills
Rarity: Uncommon
Pills that come in little plastic packets, color-coded to each provide a different transformation.  No pain, takes less than ten minutes, you'll look and feel like a new man/woman/thing or your money back, guaranteed!*

What type of Pill do you take?

1d6

1- Pink.  You turn yourself into a female version of yourself.  You'll be roughly as attractive in your female form as you were in your normal form, though your female form will be weaker, as it was just created.  If you're already a woman, no effect.   
2- Blue.  You turn into a male version of yourself.  You'll be roughly as attractive in your male form as you were in your normal form, though your male form will be stronger, unless you were absolutely beefy in your normal form.  If you're already a man, no effect. 
3- Green.  You turn into a Goblin-like creature.  Whatever impulse control you had is gone, along with most of your alcohol tolerance.  You're down to eat, drink, cause mischief and do anything else that seems fun, consequences be damned. 
4- Purple.  You turn into a monster that seems to be primarily composed of genitals of various types and tentacles.  No need to explain what this pill is used for. 
5- Black.  You turn into an ultra-attractive version of yourself, like you were redrawn by the world's most horny fan artist.  You also become feral and bestial.  Nothing matter but your desires.  You feel everything super strongly and your Id takes over.  The Ego and Superego take the night off. 
6- White.  You become someone else, your body changing to match this new person.  A new personality takes over and you watch it as if it's a hazy dream.  Depending on the personality, you could look like almost anyone.  You're not totally in control, but you're not a prisoner either.  Are you in control?  Who can say?

Party Animal
Rarity: Rare
Cooking DC: 15
A mixed drink famous for turning any party up to 100 and causing immense drama and many, many poor decisions, the Party Animal is a cocktail made with wine, incense, and the fur, scales or fluids of an animal.  The drinker is then transformed into a magical Beastman who best exhibits the traits of that animal, naturally and archetypally.  Depending on the fur, the effects produced are different.  Regardless of the effect, the effect lasts for 1d4+1 hours, depending on your bartender.  

What animal's fur was in that drink?

1d6

1- Goat.  The drinker becomes aggressively horny and is probably down for whatever crazy fetish you want to try. 
2- Cow.  Females who drink this have their breasts grow and begin lactating- depending on blood alcohol content, this milk might be able to get you drunk.  Males begin secreting a musk that makes everyone more submissive toward them.  For some women, this is arousing.  For men, this either leads to submissive behavior or an attempt to challenge the drinker to a fight.
3- Wolf.  The drinker develops an innate charisma that attracts people to them, and not just because people want to scratch them behind the ears.  Will likely end up leading a group of other party-goers on a raid for snacks or more beer.     
4- Horse.  The drinker becomes indolent and lazy, wanting to do nothing but drink and laze around.  Good for getting people to calm down and actually enjoy themselves.
5- Frog.  The drinker begins secreting a mucus that makes them supple and slippery, or sticky.  Good for playing around, playing pranks, impressing your friends and breaking and entering.  You'll look weird, but if they're drunk enough, people can let that slide.
6- Parrot.  The beak will look weird and intimidating, but check out this plumage!  Also, you'll be the best at impressions, able to mimic any sound you hear.  You'll kill it on karaoke night.

Note that herd animals are preferred, as animals who are solitary or vicious tend to make the drinker either a brooding loner for the evening or tempermental and violent, neither of which are good for a party atmosphere.    

Marshmellow Mambo
Rarity: Rare
Cooking DC: 13
A mixed drink made with marshmellows, soft breezes, pixie dust and the laughter of children, Marshmellow Mambo is yellow-white in color, syrupy-sweet and tastes like happiness.  It makes whoever drinks it impossibly light, while not weakening them.  They could dance on lily pads or walk, or more likely, awkwardly crawl across the surface of water without breaking the surface.  The drinker, while under the Mambo's effects, can perform incredible feats of acrobatics with ease.  They also float on the breeze and take no damage from falling, falling slow enough that they land gently.

Stompa Juice
Rarity: Uncommon
Cooking DC: 10
A mixed drink made of triple-distilled liquor, crushed stone and scraps of skin from a Gargoyle, Rhino or Elephant, Stompa Juice is an extremely heavy drink.  When consumed, it renders the drinker heavier, tougher and far stronger.  The drinker's skin becomes all-but invulnerable.  They take only 1 damage from non-magical sharp or bludgeoning, unless the attacker has superhuman strength.  They make all STR checks and saves with advantage, but all DEX checks and saves with disadvantage.  They also make Pursuit rolls at disadvantage.  The drinker also is very difficult to move and weighs ten times what they would normally.

Wallflower's Delight
Rarity: Uncommon
Cooking DC: 12
A cocktail of diluted fruit juice, weak tea, warm milk and a wilting flower, the Wallflower's Delight is a drink that deflects social attention.  It's not invisibility, but creatures will find the drinker unremarkable and will have to struggle to pay attention to them.  They will seem uninteresting and barely memorable.  This effect can be short-circuited by attention-seeking behavior, rudeness, violence, nudity or doing something particularly interesting or memorable.  You could wade through a crowd with this on and only a handful of people would even notice you, the rest unconsciously getting out of the way for you, even as they barely notice what you look like.  Pairs best with a bland outfit and a submissive demeanor.            

Warpdust Cocktail
Rarity: Rare
Cooking DC: 17
A cocktail made with the blood of a pure maiden, a Dragon wing-skin and Angel tears, plus an absurd amount of high quality liquor and grape juice (for taste), Warpdust is for some, the best cocktail to drink.  The result is a glowing, rainbow-hued cocktail that shimmers and changes color slowly.  It radiates power and tastes like fruit juice mixed with vodka, coming home after a hard day at work and nostalgia.  Drinking Warpdust will teleport the drinker to another plane of existence.  If the creature succeeds on a CHA save, and he get a bonus of 1 to his save per time he's drank Warpdust (max +4) then the creature can appear in a location he's been to before on that plane.  This teleportation is still restricted by anti-Gate wards.  If the creature has no specific destination but a plane in mind, he will appear in a random location on that plane.  Note that a creature can only travel to a different plane if he's been there before.  If the creature has no destination in mind at all, he will be sent to a random plane of existence.

source unknown

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

OSR: The Hour-men and the Salesmen of Time

by Randy Vargas
The Besoa are a rank in the Empire of Lore.  They are normal humans that have a special tattoo placed upon them.  This tattoo is shaped like an eye ringed by roses and arcane glyphs.  Where the pupil of the eye should be, there is instead a number.  This number indicates the amount of time a Besoa has left to live.  When the number hits 0, the Besoa dies, no matter their health. 

So, why in the name of the God-Emperor's Thirteen Eyes would anyone ever let themselves be modified in this way?  The answer is obvious.  The Besoa, as long as they have sufficient means of acquiring more life, can live for as long as they can afford to.  With sufficient opportunities, they could live forever, barring injury, illness or accident.

How to become a Besoa:

The Department of Chronology does not govern the flow of time, but of life.  They are in charge of the regulation and creation of Besoa, as well as monitoring the sale of life.  To become a Besoa, you will need to speak with them.  And while they technically will only make someone a Besoa because of an order from a relevant Clerical or Civil authority, there are rumors that a sufficient bribe to one of their officials can gain the Besoa status.  Additionally, it is not uncommon for wealthy individuals to bribe a Noble or Cleric (of the Church, not the Class) to write an order making them a Besoa.  This is technically legal on behalf of the Chronologists, with any wrong-doing falling on the ones paying and receiving the bribe.  Of course, many Chronologists also take a small cut of these bribes, just to make sure everyone is properly incentivized to work together.

artist unknown

The Sale of Life:

Chronologists are responsible for the distribution and sale of life.  Life can be earned through two ways. 

Firstly, it can be awarded.  The God-Emperor (and other Immortal Individuals) have a theoretically unlimited lifespan, so they can take their own life and give it to another without aging.  Lore will regularly do this, draining his own life and handing it off to the Department of Chronology, who will award it Nobles or Clerics based on the orders from the Lord Governors and the Grand Pontifex.  Thus, as a Noble or Cleric, the easiest way to earn more life is to be obedient and serve faithfully.   

Secondly, one can purchase life.  The Chronologists have facilities set up in most cities where they offer large sums of money to those willing to sell their lifespans for money.  They usually target the poorest people, often those with young children.  After all, young children are such a burden.  They won't miss a few years off their lifespan, and that money will help you take care of them.  Or they'll target young men in dangerous careers and offer to buy years off them, in exchange for cash.  After all, those individuals can just become Besoa themselves and earn those years back.

You can often find Chronologists in cities, in their eponymous black robes embroidered with roses and eyes, usually wearing clock-themed accessories, such as clock headdresses or sundials attached to torcs or necklaces.  These people are often feared by the Lofai, who spread black rumors about them, most of which are untrue.  They refer to these individuals as 'Hour-Men'.

And while most of the sales of life entail the abundance of the poor Lofai being transferred to the relative paucity of the Noble Besoa, the Hour-Men also control and facilitate transfer of years between Besoa.  This is most commonly done in exchange for something very valuable, such as land, castles, ships, etc.  Years are the primary currency for such large purchases within the Empire, being easily transportable and (theoretically) impossible to steal.   

The Effects of the Tattoo:

Depending on how many years a Besoa has, it will affect their appearance and general strength.

Years left     Condition

<5: Ancient and Decreipt.  Disadvantage on all checks and saves, can barely move, might be going senile. 

10-15: Old, sickly and weak.  Disadvantage on CON, STR and DEX checks and saves.  -2 to all Pursuit Rolls.  CON is reduced by 1d6, STR by 1d6, DEX by 1d4.     

16-25: Old but hardy, like an ancient stump that long outlasted the rest of the tree.  Disadvantage on STR and DEX checks and saves.  CON is reduced by 1d3, STR and DEX by 1.

26-40: Middle-aged, not young, but definitely far from old.  With rigorous training, all ability scores remain as they are.  Otherwise, reduce CON, STR and DEX by 1. 

41-60: Young but seasoned, no one would call you old, but too experienced to hang out with kids and young people without feeling weird.  1/Day, get advantage on a STR, DEX or CON save or check.  Increase STR, DEX and CON by 1, up to natural maximum.   

60+: In the spring of youth.  You look like a young adult, ripe with potential and flush with vigor.  3/Day, get advantage on a STR, DEX or CON check or saving throw.  You get 1d4 Ability Score points, increase or decrease STR, DEX or CON to your liking up to their natural maximum.

by David Palumbo

The Clock-Thieves:

Theoretically, the Chronologists maintain an absolute monopoly on the sale of lifespan, not only from a legal perspective, but also because they are the only ones who can initiate transfer of years from one person to another.  Additionally, with the need for a Besoa tattoo, it is impossible to transfer or 'steal' life from anyone without the sophisticated and unwieldy equipment of the Chronologists. 

That's not to say that there aren't rumors.  They say that their are bandits who dwell in cities and walk, disguised, among the people.  These are the Clock-Thieves, or the Hickories.  The Hickories are supposedly gangs of thieves who have learned how to steal years from Besoa and prey on them, running underground black markets where life can be purchased for enormous expense. Some even argue that the reason why the Emperor has not had these illegal time-markets shut down is because he is secretly behind them, his agents being the ones who know how to extract life without Chronologist equipment. 

Others claim that the Nobility are in on it instead of the Emperor, and not only do they steal from each other, but they have agents called Minutemen, who can steal life from those who don't even have Besoa tattoos.  Supposedly, they drain your life 1 minute per second they touch you, so just by walking through a cloud and brushing shoulders with people, they accumulate a huge fortune of time.  Others claim that they are far less kind- kidnapping children and strapping them to improvised equipment that tears away their life, instantly aging them into the doddering old, or simply killing them, leaving the withered corpses of ancient men and women stuffed into crawlspaces or buried in shallow graves outside the city. 

Despite the many persistent rumors and vivid stories about them- no one has ever proved that Clock-Thieves are anything but an urban legend.

Counterfeit Tattoos:

The legitimate Besoa Tattoo, the Rose and Eye, are only given out with the permission of the Emperor or one of his proxies, and inscribed by a trained Chronologist in a ritual process that is relatively safe and tightly controlled.  But mistakes sometimes happen, Chronologists sometimes get drunk and sometimes they commit crimes.  The Department of Chronology will usually banish such men to the counting process and prevent them from tattooing further, but it cannot ever let them leave.  The Department takes great pains to ensure that information on how to make Besoa tattoos does not leak. 

Yet despite the Department's best efforts, scraps of the process have long ago fled the secure walls of that edifice and made their way into the darkened corners of the God-Emperor's domain.

There are more than a few disgraced Chronologists, amateur scholars and rogue Magi who have experimented with trying to replicate the Besoa tattoo, to varying degrees of success.  Some have nearly succeeded, while others have only produced horrible amalgams of blood and ink that only torment the poor soul who has it inscribed on their flesh. 

Obviously, you can purchase these from unscrupulous sellers or at one of Yesterday's Markets.

by Dolly Skin Art

Common Counterfeit Tattoos:

The Bloody Rose: A Besoa tattoo with extremely elaborate rose detailing, thorns and vines stretching up and down the arms and legs of the person who bears it.  This tattoo is an attempt by the Besoa to replicate the immortality of the Upper Nobility.  The Bloody Rose not only stores life, but it freezes the bearer at the age the Besoa tattoo has them at.  This is best done to a young person, as it allows them to remain at their current age, retaining all the strength and power of youth.  The Bloody Rose also allows the bearer to sacrifice years to speed the regeneration process, burning 1 year for 1d4 HP.  Bearers can also spend 1 year per point of a Horrible Wound to instantly heal it.  This type is relatively common among some figures in the criminal underworld or among Knights of the Empire.  There is a 20% that when the Bloody Rose is received, it is done improperly and thus, leaks, losing 1 year per week.

Cruel Thorns: A tattoo that replicates the Eye designs of the default Besoa tattoo, but has no blossoms.  Instead it has an excess of thorns, even potruding from the stylized eyes.  This tattoo is often taken by other Besoa alongside their normal tattoo, albeit in secret.  This one allows the theft of life- from anyone who has a Besoa tattoo.  By touching another creature with a Besoa tattoo, the bearer of the Cruel Thorns can drain life from them at a rate of 1d6 years per round.  Sadly, this process is not elegant nor refined, and causes great pain to the creature being drained of their life.  There is a 25% that when the Cruel Thorns is received, it is done improperly, causing painful feedback to the one who uses it to drain life, inflicting an identical pain on the creature draining life.

The Hateful Eye: A tattoo that was intended to replicate the Besoa tattoo but only causes suffering, the Hateful Star resembles the Sun and is ringed by the God-Emperor's thirteen eyes.  This was meant to pacify him but instead drew his ire.  Those who bear the Hateful Star are frozen at their current age and cannot heal from any injury they suffer, no matter how severe or minor.  Stub your toe while bearing this tattoo and it will hurt forever, at least until you die.  This tattoo is almost always only given to prisoners or slaves by especially cruel masters, as it greatly encourages them to not resist and be very careful.  Creatures overcome by the pain while bearing the Hateful Star usually end up collapsing into a coma-like state, going catatonic at their endless agony until they starve or die of dehydration.  Usually such miserable creatures are killed to put them out of their misery.

The Trickling Sands: A modified Besoa tattoo with an hourglass, instead of eyes, as the primary motif.  This tattoo is modified so that instead of storing years as the smallest unit, it stores hours.  Any creature bearing this tattoo has a life measured in days, weeks or mere hours.  This tattoo is only ever given to those who cannot be trusted or those who must be compelled by the strongest possible means.  This tattoo is popular with powerful gang-bosses and corrupt politicians, and is rumored to be used by certain members of the Imperial Government, though that last thing is likely just a rumor.  There is a 25% chance that when this tattoo is administered it causes normal Besoan aging, reverting the target to an ancient in an instant, as they only have hours left to live.  The normal version of the Trickling Sands is designed to prevent such aging, leaving the bearer in a state to carry out the demands of their master.     

The Spring of Youth: A modified Besoa tattoo that functions almost exactly like the original, with one notable difference.  It does not have a lower limit.  Taking on too many years with this tattoo will reduce you to a child, then a baby, then a barely formed embryo.  There is a 20% when this tattoo is given that it does not function properly, allowing the storage of years but failing to bring any youth to the creature who bears it, as the tattooist overcorrected.  

The Hideous Stars: An experimental Besoa-type tattoo meant to allow the channeling of arcane energy to be directly transformed into years of life, the Hideous Stars as the tattoo became known was a terrifying success, beyond the wildest dreams of the madmen who cooked it up.  This tattoo resembles a starfield woven together by bars of light, a constellation of great and hideous strength.  The Hideous Stars allows the transfer of life like a normal Besoa-type tattoo, but it also allows the transfer of Mana Dice.  The bearer of the tattoo can use these transferred years and MD to heal his injuries and even regenerate lost appendages.  The only problem is that flesh that tends to come from this tattoo tends to be mutated or deformed in some way.  Those who have borne such a tattoo for a long time are barely human-looking monsters, twisted in form.  Despite what the rumors say, the Tattoo does not affect the mind.  The reason why so many who bear the starfield become terrible monsters is because they are rejected by society, or because they had no interest of ever being accepted to begin with.     

Plot Hooks:

1d6

1- Besoa are suddenly and inexplicably aging rapidly in the City.  It's an epidemic!  No one knows how or why it's happening, but they're all extremely concerned.  You are hired by a worried nobleman who is concerned he is next.  Dig into this mystery and find out the truth. 
2- As above, except your client is actually behind the thefts and he is planning on setting you up as the fall guys. 
3- You all wake up with a splitting headache and a baby, an adorable 1-year old girl with a Besoa tattoo and a fortune of 97 years embedded in her skin.  You will quickly come to realize that you stole this child in a fit of drunken ambition and the criminals who tattooed her want her back. 
4- You're recruited to act as the accomplices of Larken the Mad, Master Thief.  Larken wants to rob one of the richest men in the City, the Baron of Amberspear, and Larken doesn't just want the Baron's gold.  He wants his life, or rather, his years. 
5- A group of Chronologists approach you with a unique offer.  They'd like to make a little money, on the side.  They have a plan, a great source of years, just outside the City.  There is a Dragon and they want you to subdue it, so they can tattoo it and drain it's life to make them rich.  How are they going to do this?  No idea, but they're sure you'll think of something.  After all, there's a fortune on the line.
6- The party finds a magical quill that can modify tattoos, non-magical or magical alike.  They could use this to open their own tattoo parlor, or they could use this to make a fortune.  The only problem is finding a few Besoan Nobles and getting them to take their clothes off...

by Marian Voicu

Saturday, August 27, 2022

OSR: Zodiac-themed Magic Items

This is a very silly post, inspired by Lumpy Touch's Gorefield series.  I apologize for nothing. 

by Sergey Kandakov
Aries' Dreamcatcher:

A dreamcatcher strung with glittering thread and hung with bone charms, carved with elaborate scrimshaw designs.  The bones come from a variety of species, including whales, deers, tigers and humans.

Abilities:
- The owner of the dreamcatcher cannot be pulled into the Spirit World while they sleep, nor can anyone enter their dreams
- They always have good dreams and restful sleep
- They will only need to sleep half as long as normal- so if they need 8 hours of sleep normally, they only need 4 for as long as they possess the dreamcatcher

Destroying Aries' Dreamcatcher:


Unstring the thread and burn it.  Melt down the ring and make it into something else.  Bury the bone charms in separate graves.

If not destroyed in this way, anyone who attempts to destroy the dreamcatcher must save.  On a failed save, they suffer all the nightmares the dreamcatcher caught, suffering horrible nightmares for 1d20+X days, where X is the number of months the last owner held the dreamcatcher.  On a successful save, the person who damaged the dreamcatcher instead falls into an enchanted sleep that lasts for 1d20 days or until dispelled. 

Afterward, the dreamcatcher will disappear and reappear in 1d6 weeks, usually in an area that no one has investigated in a while, such as inside an overcrowded drawer, a box of knick-knacks or on a dusty, rarely used shelf in someone's home.

Taurus' Bookmark:

A holographic bookmark like the kind you might see at an Elementary School bookfair.  It shows a mountain climber hanging from a cliff by one hand with the sub-title: Reading Rocks!  If you move the bookmark, you can see the climber grabbing on with his other hand, or dangling from one.  It seems flimsy, but will never discolor or suffer any superficial damage.

Abilities:
- If tucked into a book, the owner can instantly access any piece of information in the book as if they memorized the book.
- After 3 days of being stored in the book, the owner can memorize the book's contents and store it in one of their Memory Slots.

Destroying Taurus' Bookmark:     

Create a blank book and place the bookmark inside it.  Leave it there for a year and a day.  Afterward, the bookmark will have lost it's magic and will be blank and powerless. 

If not destroyed in this way, the bookmark will retaliate against any attempt to destroy it by filling the destroyer's head with the knowledge of every book it has ever been inside of.  That person must save.  On a failed save, that person is rendered catatonic as an incomprehensible amount of information pours into their mind.  The only way to cure this condition is to erase their memory and wipe their mind clean. 

On a successful save, the person instead loses all knowledge of any spoken language and learns an equivalent number of languages.  These languages will always be foreign languages not widely spoken nearby or by companions, extremely obscure or dead languages.

The bookmark will then disappear and reappear inside a random book in the nearest large collection of books, such as a library or personal collection.

Gemini's Copycat:

A small statue of a pair of identical white cats with black around their paws and on the tips of their tails.  The statues are ceramic and sit on the same base.  Their overall size is about that of an ash tray.  The ceramic is highly resistant to cracking.  Dropping it or any accidental damage will cause it to crack and scatter ceramic dust, but this damage will disappear when not being directly observed, and will never affect the statue's overall integrity. 

Ability:
- 1/Day, the statue can create a clone of it's owner.  The clone possesses all the owner's memories and knowledge, but none of their possessions.  This does mean the clone will appear naked.  The clone will obey the owner of the statue without question but otherwise has a personality identical to that of the owner.  The clone wants what is best (based on the owner's belief) for the owner of the statue.  The clone can act independently as well, and if not given orders, will do what it feels the owner would most want it to do.  The clone has 1d8+X HP, where X is the owner's CON modifier.  The clone will only exist for 24 hours or until destroyed.  The owner can also dismiss the clone at any time.  Only one clone can exist at a time. 

Destroying Gemini's Copycat:

The statue must be left in the house of an old woman who will take care of it for at least a year.  Then it must be given to a group of at least 2 small children.  The statue will only lose it's invulnerability to damage if the children are not ordered to destroy it.  If they break it, it must be accidentally.

Any other attempt to break the statue will fail, and will scatter ceramic dust on the person attempting to break it.  This will make cats of all kinds, including big cats and magical cats, hate them until they apologize to the statue by bathing it in milk.            

Cancer's Golden Claw:

A crab claw with a shell that is the color of red gold and white marble.  Brilliant and shiny.  No matter how you clean it, it reeks of salt and fish.  

Ability:
- Each day, the crab claw will make you an expert at one random skill, lending +4 to any roll made involving that skill.
- You always know what skill it is. 
- 1/Day, you may 'reroll' the random skill for the day.  This will select a new random skill. 

Destroying Cancer's Golden Claw:

Bathe the Claw in blood and feed it to something that eats crabs- such as an octopus.  The more powerful or magical the creature, the better. 

Feeding the claw to anything else or any other attempt to destroy it will curse you to have all the water that passes your lips turn to saltwater.  This curse can only be broken by chopping off a bodypart and feeding it to a crab.  After this, Cancer's Golden Claw will disappear and reappear in the house of a fisherman or someone who regularly works or interacts with the sea in a place they don't regularly check.   

Alternatively, you can throw the Claw and demand a refund or to exchange it for something else.  If you do this with a sufficiently tasty sacrifice, there is a chance that the King of Crabs hears you and honors your request.  There is a 4-in-6 chance he gives you a large pile of edible seafood in exchange, with a 2-in-6 chance he gives you another nautical or piscine themed magic item.

by Norbert Lösche

Leo's Wake-Up Worms:

A tin can like that which would contain sardines, marked with a cartoon, anthropomorphic lion dressed in a black suit that resembles one that would have been fashionable circa 1880.  The lion has a spade and stands next to an open grave.  The can also has a label that reads "Uncle Leo's Wake-Up Worms".  There are additional labels describing the contents of the can as well as instructions on how to use it. 

Ability:

- You can open the can to release a large, pale worm.  The worm will seek to escape from the can and seek out the nearest corpse, which it will burrow inside of.  This will reanimate the corpse as an Undead with the original personality, goal and ambitions of the person it once belonged to.  The Undead will slowly decay as well, degrading until it is no longer a suitable living space for the worm.  After it reaches this state, the worm will exit the body and seek out another one.  This causes the Undead to de-animate and "die".   
- If the worm is destroyed, no new Undead can be created.  The worm has the intelligence of a worm and is only motivated by above behaviors.

Destroying Leo's Wake-Up Worms:

The worm is no stronger than a normal worm.  A boot will do just fine. 

Uncle Leo's accepts no liability for loss of worms.  All risks and damages are the responsibility of the owner upon point of acquisition.

Virgo's Lovebeads:

A necklace of tie-dye beads like the kind you might find at Mardi Gras or in a commune focused on alternative spirituality.  Cannot be torn or damaged.  Smells vaguely of some sort of masculine musk or feminine perfume (depending on what you are attracted to). 

Abilities:
- While wearing the beads, all creatures will perceive you as more attractive and charming.  You gain a CHA of 16(+2) or if it is already 16, you get a +1 to CHA.
- 3/Day, you can turn invisible while wearing the beads.  However, the invisibility only affects you and the beads.  All other equipment will remain visible.  You can remain invisible for up to 10 minutes at a time or until you take an action to harm someone, interfere with something that doesn't belong to you or otherwise undertake a strenuous action. 
- 3/Day, you can turn intangible and gain the ability to fly for up to 1 minute.  While intangible, you can pass through physical objects like they aren't there, though you can touch solid objects as normal.  Non-magical weapons cannot hurt you.  You can end this effect early as a free action.  Note that this intangibility only affects your body and the lovebeads, all other items will fall off you, as you cannot touch them.

Curse:

While wearing these lovebeads or carrying them in your possession, there is a 1-in-10% chance whenever you meet a new NPC or go to a new location that someone will fall head-over-heels in love with you.  This person will become a passionate lover to you, doing whatever they feel will make you happy.  But if you mistreat them, fail to respond to their affections or are seen with anyone who could be a love rival, they will rapidly become an obsessive stalker and begin trying to hurt you for spurning their love.  They may even try to kill you as an act of dramatic revenge. 

These individuals can always see you when you are invisible and touch you when you are intangible, though any non-magical items they carry will still pass through you in your intangible form. 

This curse can only be broken by throwing the beads at a topless woman and then kissing her in front of all your obsessed stalkers.  If you do that, they will realize their love for you was all the result of magic.  They might still be mad at you, but they aren't obsessed with murdering you.

Destroying Virgo's Lovebeads:

You can't.  Love conquers all, baby!  That being said, the lovebeads can be contained by sealing them in a silver-lined box and giving them to someone who has taken an oath of celibacy.  This can contain the beads for as long as the box remains sealed. 

The longest this has ever been is 1 year.

Libra's Scales of Virtue:

A set of old-fashioned scales, made of gold, iron and heavy brass.  One side is tarnished, the other gleaming gold.  The tarnished side will never be improved no matter how much it is cleaned or polished, while the gleaming side cannot be soiled or dirtied.

Abilities:
- Each day, the Scales will measure your Good and Bad Deeds based on the last 24 hours. 
- If you have done more Good than Evil, increase all your ability scores by +2 (max 18).  If a stat is already 18, you instead gain +2 HP.  This also increases your maximum HP by as much.  These bonuses only last until the next judgement.
- If you have done more Evil than Good deeds, decrease all ability scores by 1 (min 3).  However, you gain the ability to 3/Day, transform your body into shadow for 1 minute.  While in shadow form, you can pass into and out of any space could, and can only be held back by things that could stop a shadow (such as bright light).  Only magic and sunlight can hurt you in shadow form.  When you transform into shadow, all equipment you are carrying transforms with you.  You can change back early as a free action. 
- If your Good and Evil deeds are balanced, you cannot heal or recover HP in any way until the next judgement. 

Destroying Libra's Scales of Virtue:

The owner of the scale must receive the Neutral Judgement 7 days in a row.  On the seventh day, the scale's metal will become vulnerable to them.  After that, anything wielded by their hands that could damage metal can destroy the scales. 

As the scales are aware of this, for each day past the first that the owner of the scales gets the Neutral Judgement, the scale will lure Good and Evil creatures to it's location.  Both will want to claim the scale and depending on the party's own reputation and moral fiber, will use appropriate tactics to try and gain ownership of the scale. 

Any other attempt to destroy the scale will result in injuring oneself in a spectacular workplace injury, such as slipping with a grinder and driving it into your own hand or a nearby person's stomach. 

Scorpio's Sleepmask:


A velvet sleepmask that is impossibly soft and very comfortable.  It's front is covered in a stylized scorpion made of stars on an ink-black sky.

Ability:
- Each night when worn, the sleepmask will give you a vision of the future.  This vision will reveal some of the events that will occur within the near future.  For example, if you are investigating a serial killer, the vision might reveal who his next potential victim will be. 
- However, the sleepmask also has a chance of giving you a vision of your own death.  This chance is 2-in-10, but increases by 1 each time you receive a vision of your own death.  Roll on the table below to see what vision of your own death you receive. 
- If you receive the same vision of your death 3 times, you are cursed to die in that way.

The only way to break this curse is to go to a place where the curse could be fulfilled, but then endanger yourself in another way. 

For example, if you are cursed to burn to death, set your house on fire, then chain yourself to a cinderblock and jump into the pool with it. 

How will you die, according to this vision?

1d10
1- Shot to death
2- Stabbed
3- Crushed by a heavy object
4- Burned alive
5- Run over by a car or vehicle
6- Attacked by an animal
7- Drowning
8- Buried alive
9- Poisoned
10- Blown up.

Destroying Scorpio's Sleepmask:

Give it to an insomniac and have him wear it for three days.  Then, burn it.

Any other method will simply cause the Sleepmask to disappear when you're not looking and to be cursed with horrible nightmares of your own death.  

Sagittarius's Silver Coins:

A bag of thirty heavy, silver coins that clearly come from some archaic culture.  The coins are each marked with a different mythological beast and the bust of someone politically or historically important from history. 

Ability:
- Each coin can be used to purchase any Good or Service.  This consumes the Coin, causing it to transform into an equivalent amount of currency once handed over. 
- However, one coin is cursed.  After using it, all other coins will immediately disappear. 

Destroying Sagittarius's Silver Coins:

Melt the coins down into raw silver and then make them into something.  Then sell that item to someone for an insignificant price. 

Any other attempt to destroy the coins will result in the coins all disappearing, being replaced with a bunch of tacky, useless or illegal items.  For example, a kiddie pool full of raspberry jam, a van powered by pain, or twenty pounds of cocaine.  The cursed coin will just disappear. 

Capricorn's Handheld Device:

An old, battered looking black cellphone with a pentagram carved into the back.  The ringtone is always on, always loud and always heavy metal.

Abilities:
- The device works as a cellphone.
- 3/Day, the owner may contact anyone with this device by saying their name while holding the device.  If they have a phone, this will contact them through it.  If they do not, it will enable a temporary telepathic connection to the owner.  Missed or ignored calls do not consume uses of this ability. 
- 1/Day, by saying a name and a date, the owner can contact someone in the past. 

Destroying Capricorn's Handheld Device:

Take it apart piece by piece and wash each piece in holy water.  Scratch out the pentagram.  Then recycle the plastic parts in different bins.  Take the metallic parts and melt them down into a crucifix. 

All other methods will result in receiving phone calls from the Midnight Men and being unable to sleep at night, for fear that they are standing right outside your window, watching you.  When you're not looking, the device will disappear and make it's way into the hands of someone you despise.   

Aquarius's Miracle Jar:

An ancient jar that looks like it should be in a museum or an exhibit on ancient greek culture, worked with strange geometric designs.  Cracked, but this does not weaken the structure. 

Ability:
- 1/Day, if filled with human blood, the jar can convert it's contents into any liquid of the owner's choice. 
- Every third time the jar is used, it produces some kind of edible liquid, such as tomato sauce, nacho cheese, hot fudge, etc.

Destroying Aquarius's Miracle Jar:

Fill the jar with blood and command it to transform the blood into an explosive liquid or water.  Then ignite the explosives and run.  If you choose water, then throw a large piece of sodium into the water and blow it to smithereens. 

Afterwards, scoop up all the pieces, grind them into dust, and pour them into a river.

All other attempts will merely cause the jar to disappear and for you to find tomato sauce in incovenient places for the rest of your life. 

Pisces' Silver Spoon:

A silver spoon, with an ornate handle that resembles a mackerel or other large fish.  The knife reeks faintly of salt.  It never gets tarnished.  At night, it vibrates in such a way that remind all who hear it of ocean waves crashing on the waves.

Ability:
- 3/Day, the spoon can recreate any food the owner has ever eaten out of water.  The food tastes identical, but has the nutritional content and calories of water.

Destroying Pisces' Silver Spoon:

Leave the spoon in a desert for 1 month, then bury it in the ground in a landlocked principality (or nation) in a location at least 50 miles from any river or large body of water.

Any other attempt to destroy the spoon will cause the spoon to disappear, while cursing the previous owner to find rotting fish hidden in all their possessions.  Eating the fish will sicken you and make you suffer dearly.

artist unknown

Ophiuchus' Rod of Earthly Glory:

A metal scepter, the length of a flute, made of iron worked with silver that takes the form of silver serpents that wind their way down the shaft of the rod.  The rod is tipped with a strange shape, resembling an inhuman face with five ruby eyes, two below a wide, curling mouth, the rest positioned in a curve above the mouth.  The rod practically vibrates with energy, tingling when not in use, but pulsating in the hands of any who command it's power.

All others, on the other hand, will see the rod as a golden scepter adorned with symbols of the local dominant religion or deity they happen to find most agreeable.  If worship a minority God or secret religion, they will find a small, unimportant symbol hidden somewhere amidst larger ornamentation which tells them that you're one of them.    

Ophiuchus' Rod of Earthly Glory has an Ego:

- It cannot be wielded except by someone with a CHA and COG of at least 13
- Any prospective wielder must possess a grand ambition as well- something spectacular and incredibly challenging

If you do not meet both of these qualifications, the Rod simply remains inert in your hands.  If you persist in using it anyway, it

Abilities:
- As a free action, by pushing one of the smaller rubies, you can cause the Rod to transform into a massive flaming sword that does 1d8+Atk+CHA damage.  The sword also does an extra 1d6 fire damage on a hit.  These flames can spread if you wish or can restrict themselves to the blade. 
- 1/Day, you can cause the Rod to emit a glorious aura of light.  This makes all creatures you consider your allies within 100' to have advantage on saves against Fear and Charm effects, as well as gain +2 to hit.  Enemies within the aura must save vs fear or become frightened of you.  They will not move closer to you unless they have no choice and take 1d4 Morale damage a round.  If this reduces a creature's Morale to 0, that creature runs away or hides or begs for mercy.  Creatures frightened by this ability will only fight if they have no choice. 
- 3/Day, by touching a creature with the Rod, you can cause them to take 2d6 necrotic damage and you to gain as much health.  This also ages the target by 1d10+2 years, while adding that many years to your natural lifespan.  You may use this ability as an action.     

Destroying Ophiuchus' Rod of Earthly Glory:

Claim everything the world has to offer- fame, wealth and power.  Stand at the top of the world, crowned in gold and glory.  Then reject your possessions and status, hand your power over to others and finally, as your last act of renunciation, snap the rod over your knee, then take the fragments and throw half into the sea in different locations, while bury the other half. 

Then pray that no damn fools attempt to find the pieces and reassemble the cursed thing.

artist unknown