Tuesday, August 11, 2020

OSR: Armor Rules Revision

 So there were some problems with my earlier armor rules.  Firstly, they were too complicated and the version I used in my actual games didn't match what I wrote in that post.  Additionally, armor was too effective.  Players who rolled well could skate by with basic armor and never take real damage.  And if the enemies had armor too it was totally boring, like watching two indestructible fighters pound away at each other, exchanging titanic blows that totally failed to scratch either one of them.

As such, I am rewriting them.

                              from here

Armor now provides a flat bonus to Fighting Spirit.  For example, if you are Scoundrel you receive only +1 FS per level.  So a level 3 Scoundrel only has 3 FS.  But if that same Scoundrel were to wear Armor, say Light Fish Leather, he would have 11 FS.

Thus, in the fiction, if a player's armor could protect him from an attack, I would describe the attack as damaging the armor.  For example, if he was wearing a bulletproof vest and was shot, I would describe the impact as being cushioned by his vest.  If however, the attack was some form of damage that a bulletproof vest could not protect against, I would just describe him as dodging out of the way.  This is, of course, assuming it only damaged his Fighting Spirit.   

This will be the case for players and friendly NPCs.  For enemies, I will simply incorporate their armor into their total HP.

Example Statblock:

HD 1 + [8 Armor]
Armor Quilted, Padded Jacket
Atk Sword (1d6+1)
Mor 8
Saves 7 or less

I will also be including the tag [Ignore Armor] that can be added to certain weapons and abilities that bypass armor entirely.  Certain types of damage such as Force and Psychic automatically bypass Armor, but for others it is more situational.


 For example, metal armor will not offer any real protection against Fire damage, so for it, Fire ignores armor.  But if someone is using cold damage that hurls icicles at you, that same metal armor will protect you. 

Refresher- Potential Types of Damage:
- Telekinetic/Force
- Fire
- Acid
- Electrical
- Psychic
- Ice
- Bludgeoning/Falling
- Sharp (Slashing/Piercing)
- Necrotic
- Radiant/Holy 

                                by SharpWriter

Armor comes in Light, Medium and Heavy.

Light armor has 8 to 12 HP, depending on quality.
It takes up 3 inventory slots.

Medium Armor has 16 to 20 HP, depending on quality.
It takes up 6 inventory slots.

Heavy Armor has 24-28 HP, depending on quality.
It takes up 8 inventory slots.

Higher quality armor costs more but protects more, usually. 

Shields, depending on size, add +2 to +4.  They also provide advantages when confronted with certain types of saving throws.
A shield takes up 1 Inventory Slot.

Helms add +2 and give advantage on saves against being knocked unconscious.
A Helm takes up 1 Inventory Slot.

Depending on the type of armor, it may offer certain advantages or disadvantages.  For example, wearing chain means you will receive a penalty to stealth.  Plate or lots of metal might mean a penalty to initiative rolls as well. 

Armor Types:


Types of Armor:

"Leather": Light Armor.  Actually made of quilted fabric, fish leather, wood, hide.   

Chain Shirt: Light Armor.  Concealable under a coat or tunic. 

Chain Tabbard: Medium Armor.  Like the shirt, but protects much more. 

Breastplate: Paired with greaves and armguards and you can be heavy infantry.   

Plate: Since my setting is Iron Age, full plate is likely to be something found in pre-Deluvian ruins or in the realms of beings that are much more advanced in terms of technology, sorcery or both. 

All these armors protect against sharp and bludgeoning, but not much else.


Warded Armor: Armor can be warded.  This offers the wearer protection against certain effects, depending on the wards.  For instance, being possessed, charmed or frightened.  It can also render someone impervious to illusions as long as they wear the armor. 

Enchanted or Magic Armor: Armor imbued with magic can offer protection against one particular element or groups of elements. For example, the Armor of the Ice-Climber might give its wearer resistance to cold and falling damage as well as making it impossible for him to suffer from snow blindness or disorientation on a mountain or in snowy/blizard conditions.


Stab-proof Pads/Vest: Armor that's designed to protect against knives, glass, broken bottles and other sharp objects.

Bulletproof Vest: Protects against bullets.  Comes in a variety of thicknesses, with the higher numbers weighing more and providing more protection.

Vest with Ceramic Plate: Nothing short of a high-powered rifle at point-blank range is getting through this vest.


- Diffusion.  Light/Medium/ Heavy.  Designed to be used as body armor for soldiers primarily fighting enemies equipped with laser weapons.  Come in thin, flexible vests, overcoats that can be placed over ceremonial armor, or entire suits covered in diffusion tiles and grounding lines.  They work by absorbing heat and channeling energy away from the body.  Very effective, but if they get overloaded they crack or even melt.

- Ceramic.  Light/Medium/Heavy.  A layer of interlocking plates that crack and fracture under pressure to stop bullets.  Come in Vests with variable amounts of concealability or in full suits that can cover one from head to toe.

- Stabproof.  Light/Medium.  Vests or padding designed to stop knives and prevent sharp damage.  Primarily used by constables in places with disarmed populations or security guards defending against common scum without firearms or laser weapons.

- Cushioning.  Light.  Not actual armor, this is safety gear designed to protect contractors and laborers working in areas where falls and falling debris are common dangers. 

- Liquiplate or L-plate.  Light/Medium.  Armor made of pockets of smart liquid that compresses and becomes rigid when struck.  When the force is dissipated, the liquid returns to its usual state.  Very expensive but quite effective.

- Powered Armor.  Heavy.  Rare and expensive.  Take an exoskeleton and cover it in plates of ultra-hard, light metal.  Not only does it protect the wearer but it increases strength and speed, and can be covered in all sorts of dangerous bells and whistles.  If someone in powered armor is coming after you and you don't have your own suit, now is the time to start running.  The only problems with them is that they're loud, hard to transport or repair and that they consume energy at a furious pace.  Most can only go about 10 to 30 minutes before needing a recharge.

- Personal Energy Screens or "PEAs".  These are extremely rare and very expensive.  An energy screen is a device that creates a magnetic field around the person wearing one, channeling ionized radiation, lasers or plasma away from the target.  Cannot stop physical projectiles or objects.  Can also be overloaded by too much energy.

- Personal Shield Device.  These are the cream of the crop, the highest echelon of defense.  These babies distort space around the wearer to laugh in the face of most attacks.  Physical rounds miss, lasers burn up too much energy or never reach you and physical weapons bend like balloon animals before your eyes.  The only real dangers while wearing one of these are other powered weapons, which can penetrate a shield because of their own one and plasma weapons, which don't need to penetrate your shield to cook you alive by heating the air around you to the same temperature as the surface of the sun.  Also, try not to run out of power in the middle of a fire fight.  That would be extremely bad.

                                    from here

What kind of armor does this enemy wear?


1: None.  This enemy is desperately poor, primitive or is covered in some kind of natural armor.
2-3: Light.  This enemy relies on movement and stealth or is too poor to acquire anything better.
4-5: Medium.  This enemy has sufficient access to resources to decently protect itself. 
6: Heavy.  This enemy has access to plentiful resources.

If the answer is none, does the enemy have any form of natural armor?

1- No.
2- Yes, the enemy has natural armor that counts as 1d3 [1= Light; 2= Medium; 3= Heavy] Armor.  Reroll any roll of "3" unless the enemy is sufficiently powerful or majestic. 

A Dragon can have natural heavy armor, but an Ogre shouldn't, unless it is the Ogre King of Gorehollow.

If the creature has natural armor, what form does it take?


1- The enemy is covered in scales, thick fat or fur or something else that protects his body.
2- The enemy has used magic to harden its flesh till it is hard as wood, stone or steel, making them much harder to hurt.
3- The enemy is exceptionally fast or agile, making them difficult to hit.
4- The enemy is ensorcelled so that near hits are transformed into misses and direct strikes are blunted.  Neutralizing or circumventing this effect would make your attacks [Ignore Armor].

If the enemy wears Light armor, what quality is it?


1: Terrible.  This Armor is heavily used or shoddily crafted.  It provides 8 Armor points.
2-3: Well-Used.  This Armor has seen heavy use, but it still works.  It provides 9 Armor points.
4-5: Shoddy.  This Armor is of poor quality, but otherwise seems fine.  It provides 10 Armor points.
6: Well Crafted.  This Armor is sturdy and expensive looking.  It provides 11 Armor points.
7: Excellent.  This Armor has been fastidiously repaired or was freshly made by a competent craftsman.  It provides 12 Armor points.
8: Masterwork.  This Armor was made by an expert of his craft.  It provides 12+1d4 Armor points.

If the enemy wears Medium armor, what quality is it?


1: Awful.  This Armor looks like it didn't save the last wearer, or doesn't look like it would last two minutes.  It provides 16 Armor points.
2-3: It will do.  This Armor is barely touching the edge of competence, but it's better than nothing.  It provides 17 Armor points.
4-5: Sturdy.  This Armor provides some protection, though it still leaves a few weak-points.  It provides 18 Armor points.
6: Fine.  This Armor is something you would be eager to wear.   It provides 19 Armor points.
7: Excellent.  This Armor looks like it could keep you safe from most things.  It provides 20 Armor points.
8: Masterwork.  This Armor would be the envy of your companions, and an object of hatred for your enemies.  It provides 20+1d4 Armor points.

If the enemy wears Heavy armor, what quality is it?


1: Good.  This Armor is not the best you've ever seen, but it will keep you safe.  It provides 24 Armor points.
2-3: Excellent.  This Armor provides more protection than anything you've ever seen.  It provides 25 Armor points.
4-5: Wonderful.  This Armor makes you braver and shields you from most casual attacks.  It provides 26 Armor points.
6: Amazing.  This Armor is so safe, attacks practically glance off you.  It provides 27 Armor points.
7: Excellent.  This Armor makes you feel invincible.  It provides 28 Armor points.
8: Masterwork.  This Armor makes you all but invincible.  It provides 28+1d4 Armor points.

                               from here

Saturday, August 8, 2020

TwK: Lighthouse- Goldberg and Sims

"Margaret Sims is an anarcho-communist, an anarchist, a firebrand, murderess, spitfire, diagnosed as insane, prison and asylum escapee and a nymphomaniac, but not necessarily in that order.

But Goldberg is worse."

- Author Unknown

All of these are words used to describe Evalynne Goldberg and Maybelline Sims, two understudies currently on a whirlwind tour of the Western World.  They are a pair of social revolutionaries on a quest to spread the Gospel of Witchcraft to every corner of the world. 

Goldberg is a revolutionary, dedicated to the overthrow of the current order.  She believes that the information blackout, unofficially known as The Masquerade or the Burlesque, is unjust and the knowledge of magic and the existence of non-human intelligences (e.g. monsters) should be shared with the Normals. 

Furthermore, she believes just about every other institution and its leaders must be destroyed, to be replaced with something more pleasing or by nothing.  The State, Church, and Family are first on these lists, but she has an extensive list of things she plans on abolishing- should her plans ever come to fruition.  She will also hand out packets of her diatribes, largely hand-written pamphlets that are well written and professional looking, the only shocking thing being their contents.

But first and foremost among her grievances with society is the ideas of monogamy and sexual mores in general.  Goldberg is depraved and intensely sexual.  She will pursue anyone she fancies and if that person happens to be an enemy, she will still try to sleep with them.  If the target of her affections refuses her, she continues pursuing them anyway and is not above trying to rape her target.  In fact, sometimes she prefers it. 

Goldberg is not a member of Lighthouse, but she is aware of them.  She also has extensive connections with the criminal underworld, normal and occult.  She also has a surprising amount of connections to important men in important positions in politics, media and the entertainment industry.

Appearance - A light-skinned woman with a prominent nose and otherwise average features, appears to be somewhere in her mid-30s.
Manner - Forthright and bold, she seems conceals nothing.
Wants - To topple the State, To destroy the Church, To battle the forces of law and decency, To engage in sexual debauchery
Morality - 'Do as thou wilt' shall be the whole of the law. 
Secret - She produces and consumes a magical elixir that prevents her from aging and keeps her young.  However, the elixir is starting to become less effective on her.  She is becoming increasingly aware of Father Time's disapproving eyes and Death's fast approaching shadow. 

Goldberg doesn't look it, but she is old.  She was young in the 1920s and participated in many of the acts of violence and terror that happened in that era, first as an anarchist, then a socialist, then a Bolshevik, then as a member of the New Left.  Somewhere during that time she discovered Downworld and the power of sorcery, along with the fact that she was quite talented at it. 

But upon realizing the massive disparity of power between those with knowledge of Downworld and those without, she immediately switched targets from her old enemies in the Church and State to the secret governors of the world.  She wants to tear down their curtain and reveal the truth for what it is.  And she doesn't care how many bodies she has to stack up in the process to do so.

Goldberg's latest tactic is to set up cults of Witches.  She recruits among the local population of wherever she is, seeking out those with any magical talent and putting them through a crash course.  Not all survive her intense training, with many being mutated, transformed or worse by the process.  Those few with the necessary will or malleability to survive emerge as magic users.  These become Goldberg's tools to assassinate government officials, stir up trouble and do whatever else she needs them to do.  Unfortunately for most of these Witches, the majority of these tasks are very dangerous as Goldberg almost universally believes them to be expendable, though she would never admit that, and would sacrifice them in a second if she thought it was necessary to achieve victory. 

There is perhaps, one exception to that rule: one Maybelline Sims.

Appearance - A woman with a square, broad nose, otherwise attractive, but her face lets her down
Manner - Polite and composed, except when emotional
Wants - To fulfill her mistress' wishes
Morality - 'Do as thou wilt' shall be the whole of the law
Secret - She is becoming increasingly concerned that her Mistress is insane and that her increasingly erratic behavior is signs of a deteriorating mental state.

Maybelline Sims was the first and most successful of Garfunkel's experiments in teaching and granting sorcerous power to a Normal.  Sims is almost indistinguishable from a genuine caster.  She is also a dutiful student and an eager adherent to Goldberg's radical political and social views.

Like her mistress, Sims is sexually liberated, openly promiscuous and rather amoral.  She hates those who have denied humanity in general access to Magic and seeks to expose it to them.  However, while Goldberg can be thought of as someone who is doing this largely for the benefits she herself with accrue, Sims seems motivated by a higher purpose. 

If you talk to her, Sims will tell you of her dream: a world where everyone has access to the unlimited power of magic.  In such a world, there would be no more toil, as spells could be cast to produce food and instantly grow crops.  Spirits could be bound in service or magical constructs could do all the hard, tedious or dangerous work.  Sorcery could also improve humans, extending lifespans, healing wounds, regenerating lost limbs, wiping away pain and filth.  She imagines a race of shining immortals, living forever in bliss until the end of time. 

The one catch is that not all will be welcome in Sims' future utopia.  She is of a firm belief that all those not suitable for her utopia be wiped away before it comes, indeed, they may have to for it to come at all.  The list of who will not belong in her new world is long and exhaustive, and you're probably on it somewhere.  A few potential examples are people who possess certain mental illnesses, those who cannot care for themselves who are not children and those with low IQs.

from Sin City


1- Goldberg needs access to a secure facility.  She and Sims will provide a distraction will you break in and retrieve the item for her.  Alternatively, you can provide the distraction. 
2- A gang specializing in the sale of occult artifacts has something Goldberg wants.  But they won't sell, or at least, not to her.  If she and Sims went, a fight would probably start.  Go and retrieve the artifact, any way you can or want to.
3- A local group of extremists [1= Fascists/Neo-Nazis; 2= Black Nationalists/Separatists; 3= Communists; 4= Radical Environmentalists; 5= Religious Fundamentalists (of your preferred flavor); 6= Anti-Veil] are wasting time when they could be stirring up trouble.  Go and vet them for potential recruits that aren't total screwballs or born losers and bring the good stock back.
4- A local powerful man needs a favor from Goldberg.  She's willing to let you do it, provided you won't screw it up.  He needs a... [1d6]
    1- Rival Humiliated
    2- A blackmailer silenced, the incriminating information recovered
    3- Evidence of a crime destroyed
    4- A whistleblower to be silenced
    5- Evidence to be fabricated for a frame-job
    6- Tragedy to hide some inconvenient fact
5- A local person spurned her, refused her offer or otherwise did something that irritated Goldberg.  Find them and make them pay, or bring them back here.  There is a chance the person is just a Normal, but they could be something much more. 
6- Goldberg's usual contact in the area hasn't gotten back to her for some reason.  Go find him/her/it and see what's up. 

Insight Buys:

One Night Stand (I-1).  Goldberg can remove diseases, curses or other magical effects from someone.  She claims she needs to sleep with the person to do so, but this just might be because she wants to.   

Your Five o'Clock is Here (G-1). 
Goldberg can get you in to talk to a politician, high-ranking bureaucrat, CEO or member of the criminal underworld.  This applies to the Normal and Occult worlds.  The person you're sent to meet will listen, out of respect/fear of Goldberg, but he won't necessarily help you. 

Stamina Pills (I-2).  The pills make anyone who takes one immune to pain and fear, a +1 bonus to all saving throws but COG and a +1 damage bonus for 1d12 hours.  She can provide you with a small bottle of 1d10+2.  The effects stack, but if you take more than one you have a 1d10% chance (equal to the number of extra pills) of suffering an overdose after 1d6 hours.  

Revolutionary Manifesto (G-3).
  Goldberg gives you a pamphlet she's been working on.  The pamphlet is enchanted.  Reading the pamphlet aloud to any organized group with a formal hierarchy or otherwise transmitting it to all members (E-mail, through the company group chat, etc) will cause an immediate insurrection/revolt.  The inferiors will find some grievance, real or imagined, and rise up against their superiors.  There is a 50% this revolt is violent, while otherwise it is peaceful, largely.  A violent one would be the soldiers in a division taking their commanders hostage, while a peaceful one would be the a large majority of the employees of a company all quitting en masse in the middle of the work day. 

Shards of Primal Rage (I-3). 
Sims gives you some fragments of a broken mirror.  Stabbing these into someone will drive that person temporarily mad and cause them to fly into a psychotic rage, where they will attack everything in sight until killed or otherwise incapacitated.  When they wake up they will have no memories past the point where you stabbed them.  Sims will give you 1d4 mirror fragments.  Each one vanishes upon being used. 

Curse Dust (I-5). Goldberg gives you a bag of powder that contains one of the diseases, curses or undesirable effects she took from someone.  If someone breathes it in, ingests it or it enters their body in another way, they gain that effect.

Purity Spiral (I-10).  Goldberg gives you one of her prized possessions, a magical revolver called Purity Spiral.  The Revolver has the power where 3/Day it fires a bullet that instead of doing damage, it forces the person it would have damaged to save.  On a failure, that person vanishes in a flurry of snow and is never seen or heard from again.  If that person succeeds on their save, he instead vanishes for 1d6 rounds and then returns, malnourished with all the items he was carrying missing.  However, the Revolver is cursed.  Each time it's special ability is used it has a 1-in-12 chance of banishing the shooter to the same awful place.  The shooter, if sent away by this, receives no save to return.  The revolver is also never sent away, but simply falls onto the ground.    

Major Goals:

Kill Paladin.

Goldberg hates the man in the hood only known by that alias.  He's interfered with her plans too many times and nearly killed her once or twice.  Her last cult was almost entirely destroyed by him, though he did have help that time.  She will need help to find out what his weaknesses are and if he's still human.  She suspects he is not, but she needs confirmation before she attempts anything.

Find a New Way to Stay Alive.

Goldberg's elixirs of life and becoming less and less effective.  She has currently set aside the majority of her hell-raising and terroristic activities to pursue leads on how to magically extend her life.  So far, she has found nothing useful and is getting increasingly creative, and desperate. 

Make Contact with Revere, the Dragon of Stripes and Stars. 

Rumored to be the last* dragon born in the world, Revere was born sometimes in the 1700s in the New World.  Compared to other Dragons, the majority of who are in hibernation or self-exile, Revere was fairly liberal and cosmopolitan.  He had the power to shapeshift and walked among humans.  He collected silver items, teas and artifacts from the Founding of America.  He is rumored to be dead, having died in 1967 when he went to Vietnam to aid his** country in the war and bit off more than he can chew.  However, someone using one of his aliases has resurfaced recently and Godlberg is sure it's him.  She desperately needs to talk to the dragon, but so far he, or the person pretending to be him, has been extremely elusive.

*The last one that humans know of, at least.

**His country as in he considers it his property.  

from Sin City

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

GLOG-ifying Fifth Edition Spells: E-H

Betcha you didn't expect to see this series again!  I personally had totally forgotten that I had once planned to convert all the 5E spells to the GLOG format.  But yesterday, the Muse overtook me and I was compelled to begin once more.  This time I have handled another four letters.

As per last time, I have combined redundant spells and cut ones that take away player choices or otherwise make the game less interesting, though this time I was far more generous with my scalpel.  Perhaps it is a sign of my growing weakness.

Part 1 is here.

                                                      by skiorh


Earthquake: As Earthquake under Druid.

Elemental Weapon
R: touch    T: object             D: [dice] minutes

One weapon you touch does +[dice]d6 damage of any elemental damage on a hit.  Do not add this additional weapon damage to the attack roll.   

Enhance Ability: As Animal Attribute under Druid

Enlarge/Reduce: As Enlarge and Reduce under Cosmomancer

Ensnaring Strike
R: touch    T: weapon    D: [dice] hours until used, then [dice] rounds

One weapon you touch becomes enchanted.  The next time that weapon hits a creature, it causes a vine or root to grow down and ensnare the target.  The target must make a DEX save or be restrained by the vine or root.  Each round a creature restrained by this spell takes [dice] sharp damage from thorns or roots burrowing into their flesh and can make a STR check equal to [sum] to break free. 

R: 50'        T: [dice] x [dice]'        D: permanent

You cause vegetation to spring up in a space equal to [dice] x [dice] square feet.  Anyone who is in the area your spell affected must save or be grappled by the vegetation.  The vegetation can be hacked apart, it has [sum] HP and is vulnerable to fire and acid.

Enthralling Look
R: touch    T: creature            D: [dice] hours

One creature you touch becomes attention-grabbing and draws all eyes.  Unless you are doing something more interesting (casting a spell, making an attack, falling down a flight of stairs, etc) all creatures not busy doing something they think is important will focus on the person under the effects of this spell.

The effects of the attention will vary- in combat this may mean that everyone wants the honor of taking this creature's head. If the creature is instead in a bar, everyone might want the honor of partying or sleeping with that creature.

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

A creature you touch and all his non-magical equipment is transformed into pure spirit.  For the duration, the creature can fly and turn invisible at will, as well as fly through all non-spiritual/magical objects (also includes living creatures, undead, but not Constructs).  Magic items are unaffected and remain as they are. 

Evard's Black Tentacles
R: 10*[dice]'    T: A door within range    D: [dice] rounds

One door you target within range springs open.  Peering into this door you will now find it extends into an endless, starless void.  [sum] appendages covered in suckers, slime and human hands emerge from this Void and seize [dice] creatures within range (caster's choice), along with [dice] others (Referee's choice or random).

These appendages will attempt to drag those they have grabbed into this starless void.  Anyone taken through the door into the void disappears and is never seen or heard from again.

The appendages have STR equal to 10+[dice] and HP equal to [sum].  If injured, the appendages will retreat.  After the duration, the appendages will release anyone they still have grappled and retract through the door, which shuts behind them.

Expeditious Retreat
R: touch    T: [dice] creatures    D: [dice] rounds

Any creature you touch may take a free bonus action on their turn, as long as action is only to run, climb, swim or otherwise move. 

At 1 [dice], a creature only moves as fast as it normally would.  At 2 [dice], a creature moves as fast as a galloping horse.
At 3 [dice], the creature moves as fast as a bird in flight.  At 4 [dice], creatures with HD less than [dice] must save to even perceive motion.  

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

Your eyes become bottomless wells of darkness and dark powers flows out.  Each round, you may choose to stare at one creature and direct power towards them.  Any creature exposed to this power takes [dice] necrotic damage.

For each [dice] after the first, select one of the options below:

- Creatures damaged by your gaze get -[dice] to any attempt to run away or escape.
- Creatures damaged by your gaze must save, with a penalty equal to [dice], or cast a wasting disease.
- Creatures damaged by your gaze must succeed a morale check or flee.
- Creatures damaged by your gaze take [dice] additional damage from every attack for the next [dice] minutes.


R: 30'        T: materials        D: one action

If you have all the materials for something, casting this spell on it will combine those materials to create a desired item or structure.  You cannot create items that could not be manufactured by mortal hands, nor magic items, nor items of high quality or artistic skill.

At 1 [dice], you can build something the size of a coffin or smaller.  At 2 [dice], the size of a wagon.  At 3 [dice], the size of a house.  At 4 [dice], the size of a mansion.

Faerie Fire: As Spotlight under Handsome Wizard

False Life
R: touch    T: creature        D: one hour

One creature you touch gains 1d6+[dice] FS for the duration.  This FS lasts until consumed or the duration ends.

R: 30'        T: creatures        D: [dice] rounds

All creatures within 30' of you, or in a 30' cone or line must make morale checks or become frightened of you.  Creatures frightened of you must immediately move in a direction away from you.  If flight is impossible, they will fight or beg for mercy. 

Feather Fall: As Feather under Cthonomancer

R: 30'        T: creature        D: one action

One creature within range takes [sum] psychic damage, save for half.  The creature must also make a COG save.  On a failure, the creature's intellect is reduced.

At 1 [dice], the creature is reduced to that of a stupid man/Ogre.  At 2 [dice], that of a child or subnormal adult.  At 3 [dice], that of a smarter beast, such as a pig or dog.  At 4 [dice], a stupid animal like a sheep or a lizard.     

Feign Death
R: touch    T: creature        D: [dice] days

A willing creature you touch falls into a coma like state that resembles death.  Any spell casts with fewer [dice] than this spell indicate the creature is dead.  While in this state, the creature does not need to eat, drink or breathe.  Any poisons or diseases do not affect the creature until the duration's end. 

If at any point during the duration this creature is damaged, they may make a save.  On a success, the spell ends early and they wake up.  

Find Familiar and Find Steed have been rewritten as a Ritual.  Coming soon to a city near you.     

Find the Path
R: self        T: self            D: [dice] hours

Name a destination.  This spell then provides you with directions leading to that destination in the most direct path.  The spell can recognize things in the physical way, such as walls, but it does not recognize dangers, such as falling damage, enemies, traps, etc.

For example, if the players were on an elevated bridge over a chasm and their destination was at the bottom, the spell would tell them to go straight down. 

Find Traps is cut for being boring

Finger of Death
R: 50'        T: creature        D: one action

Make an attack roll against one particular creature.  On a hit, that creature takes [dice]d8+[sum] necrotic damage.  If a creature dies because of this attack, it rises as an Undead with [dice] HD that remains under your control for [dice] days.

Fireball: As Fireball under Calcomancer

Fire Shield: As Burning Armor under Calcomancer

Fire Storm:
R: 50'        T: [dice] 10 x 10 x 10' areas        D: [dice] minutes

You can create [dice] 10 x 10 x 10 cubes of fire that can be placed anywhere within range.  Anyone inside one of these cubes when it forms takes [sum] damage, save for half.  Anyone within 10' of one takes 1/2[sum], save to take no damage.  Anyone within 30' takes [dice] damage.  Anyone further away takes no damage at all.

This fire is non-magical and will ignite all flammable things within it.

Flame Blade: As Fire Sword under Calcomancer

Flame Strike
R: 100'        T: A circle 10*[dice]' in diameter    D: one action

A column of holy fire pours down from heaven and strikes the targeted area.  Creatures within take [sum]+[dice] damage, save for half.  The [sum] is fire damage, the [dice] is radiant damage.   

Flaming Sphere
R: 30'        T: creatures or objects        D: [dice] rounds

You conjure a ball of fire 5' in diameter.  Anyone who is struck by this ball of fire takes [sum] damage, save for half.  Each round this ball of fire is in existence you may make an attack against any creature or object you choose, within range. The sphere is not limited to moving within 30' of you, only 30' of itself. 

Flesh to Stone
R: 30'        T: creature        D: one action

Target creature within range must save or turn to stone.  Creatures with HD 3x greater than [dice] are immune.  Creatures with more HD than [dice] add the difference to their save.         

R: touch    T: [dice] creatures    D: [dice] minutes

[dice] creatures you touch gain the ability to fly for the duration. 

Fog Cloud: As Fogbank under Calcomancer

Forbiddance: Cut because Hallow already adequately covers this spell. 

Force Cage
R: 30'        T: creature        D: [sum] hours

One creature within range is contained within a cage of magical force.  The cage has [sum] HP, takes half damage from elemental damage and cannot be damaged by non-magical weapons.  The cage lasts for the duration or until it's HP is reduced to 0. 

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

A creature you touch gains a brief insight into the immediate future.  For the duration, the affected creature gains a +[dice] bonus to attack and defense rolls and saving throws and cannot be surprised. 

Freedom of Movement
R: touch    T: creature        D: [dice] rounds

A creature you touch gains a +[dice] bonus to navigate difficult terrain and escape non-magical restraints.  The creature can also move and attack freely underwater with no penalty.

R: 30'        T: creature        D: one action

You edit one creature's memory so that it believes you to be his friend.  You can make your new relationship with this person anything from casual acquaintances to blood brother.  This creature must then save.  On a failed save, the creature accepts the new memories.  On a successful save, the creature realizes that his memories have been altered by magic and will react accordingly.


Gaseous Form
R: touch    T: creature        D: [dice] hours

A willing creature you touch and everything they are wearing is transformed into a cloud of gas.  In this form they can only move 10' a round but are immune to anything a cloud of gas would.  They can move into any area that is not air-tight but cannot affect any object or creature that is not also gaseous.  While in gaseous form, the only real danger is strong winds.  If confronted with a strong wind, the creature must save or die.  The creature affected or the caster may end this spell at any point as a free action. 

R: 10'        T: door            D: one action

A door you target within range becomes a portal to another specific location the caster has been in this universe or another. Alternatively, the door could open to a random location in another universe.  

R: 10'        T: creature        D: one action

You may give one creature an order that it must follow.  To be affected, this creature must be able to see your eyes, hear your voice and understand your language.  If any of those are not conditions are not present, the creature is not affected by this spell.  Note that a creature must only carry out the order to the letter of your command and not necessarily the spirit. Finally, the order must not be more than [sum] words long.  

Gentle Repose
R: touch    T: corpse        D: [dice] days

A corpse you touch does not decay for the duration and cannot be inhabited by a spirit other then the one that originally inhabited it or raised as an Undead.

If the spell is cast with 4+ [dice], it becomes permanent until dispelled or the original spirit returns to inhabit the body.

Giant Insect
R: 30'        T: [dice] insects    D: [dice] hours

[dice] insects within range grow into a giant version of themselves and obey your commands for the duration.  The insects obey you for the duration.  After the duration ends, the insects retain their new size but are free to do as they wish.  If cast with 4+ [dice], the duration is permanent.  

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

For the duration, creatures react to the target in their reaction rolls as if the target had a CHA modifier of +[dice].

Globe of Invulnerability
R: self        T: self            D: [dice] rounds

For [dice] rounds, the caster cannot be harmed by any source.  No effect can damage them.  However, they still retain all other attributes and nothing else about them changes. 

Glyph of Warding
R: touch    T: object or surface    D: special

One surface you touch becomes covered by a magical glyph that is shrouded from all but the caster.  Other creatures must succeed a DC 10+[dice] COG check or COG saving throw to perceive the Glyph.  When this spell is cast, the caster should designate a condition, such as opening the container or standing on the glyph.  Then the caster should designate another spell that should be cast and spend the number of spellcasting dice the caster wishes to infuse into the glyph.  When that condition occurs, the glyph activates and the pre-designated spell is cast on the creature that caused the condition to occur. 

The glyphs last until triggered or removed by the caster, who can then reabsorb the spellcasting dice he used to cast the spell attached to the glyph.

Goodberry: Removed because it makes survival games impossible and makes things less interesting.

Grasping Vine
R: 30'        T: creature        D: [dice] rounds

A vine with 10+[dice] STR and [sum] HP sprouts from a nearby surface and attempts to grapple a creature within range.  As a free action, you can order the vine to attempt to grapple a creature each round and if it has a creature grappled, move it in any direction within range. 

Grease: As Grease under Cthonomancer

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

Target creature becomes invisible until the duration ends.  Attacking or doing strenuous things will not cause the creature to become visible.

Greater Restoration
R: touch    T: creature        D: one action

One creature you touch has a debilitating effect removed.  For each [dice], select one of the options below:
- A poison affecting the creature is neutralized.
- A disease affecting the creature is cured.
- Any reduced ability score is increased back to its natural maximum.
- Any effect reducing a creature's max HP is removed.
- A Horrible Wound is removed.  This option may be selected more than once.
- A petrified creature is no longer petrified. 
- A Charm or Fear affect on the creature is removed.

Guardian of Faith rewritten as

Guardian Angel
R: 30'         T: creature or object    D: [dice] hours

You create a magical construct that can resemble anything you desire.  The creature has HP equal to [sum], armor equal to 1d4+[dice] and does 1d6+[dice] damage on a hit.  The creature can be assigned to guard a creature, object, location or it can be asked to guard a specific route and follow a simple order such as "Do not let anyone besides us past this point."  The creature will carry out that order until it is slain or the duration ends, after which it dissolves into light.  

Guards and Wards
R: touch    T: a structure        D: special

You can enchant a structure you touch so that if anyone you do not exempt from the spell enters it or fulfills some condition that you pre-specify, such as entering the East Wing, opening the locked door in your office, another spell you have pre-arranged will be cast upon the fulfillment of that condition.  If the spell requires a target, it will target the first creature to break that condition.  You may create [dice] conditions and attach a spell to each one.  For each spell, you must burn spellcasting dice and attach them to the conditions and attached spells. 

These conditions and attached spells last until triggered.

Guiding Bolt
R: 30'        T: creature        D: one action

One creature within range takes [sum] damage, save for half, and must save or be blinded for [dice] rounds. 

Gust of Wind
R: 60'        T: 10' line        D: [dice] rounds

You produce a powerful gust of wind that blasts away from you in a 10' line.  This wind disperses gas, smoke and vapors in the air and extinguishes small fires.  If cast with 3+ [dice], creatures in the line must save or be knocked down from the force of the wind.


The real name is Hail of Thorns, but I like this one better, so I'm using it.

Rain of Thorns
R: 50'        T: 30' cone        D: one action

You conjure an enormous number of long thorns that then fly through the air and rain down on the affected area.  All creatures within that area take [sum] damage.  If they are wearing armor that could protect them from a rain of thorns, they may save for half.  If they have a shield, they may save to take no damage, taking half on a failed save. 

R: 60'        T: 60' circle, centered on caster    D: special

You imbue the area around you with your mana, making it an extension of yourself.  Outsiders, Spirits, Ghosts and other purely Spiritual creatures cannot enter the area unless you grant them explicit permission.  This makes the creation of Undead impossible within the hallowed area, unless the caster should permit it. 

For each [dice] used beyond 1, select one of the options below:
- Designate a type of creature, belonging to a race, class or other specific group.  Those creatures must make a morale check to enter or remain within the hallowed area.
- Designate a type of creature, belonging to a race, class or other specific group.  Those creatures cannot be frightened or charmed while within the hallowed area and automatically pass all morale checks. 
- Designate a type of creature, belonging to a race, class or other specific group.  Those creatures take +[dice] extra damage from an elemental source of your choosing (fire, ice, etc).
- Designate a type of creature, belonging to a race, class or other specific group.  Those creatures take -[dice] less daamge from an elemental source of your choosing (fire, ice, etc).
- Portals or teleportation is impossible inside the hallowed area.
- No sound that you do not wish to be heard can be heard within the hallowed area.
- You have perfect knowledge of the location of all objects and creatures within the hallowed area, as long as you are within it yourself.  This gives you +4 to all attack rolls and saving throws.
- As long as you are within the hallowed area, it is illuminated by natural sunlight, unless you wish otherwise.
- All creatures within the hallowed area gain the ability to speak a language of your choosing as long as they are within the hallowed area.  

Hallucinatory Terrain
R: 1000'    T: an area 150' cubed    D: special

An 150' cube of terrain is wrapped in illusion and can appear however the caster wishes it to.  This does not change the actual nature of the terrain, only how it looks.  Creatures can attempt to pierce the illusion by making a COG check with a DC equal to [sum].  Creatures that do so can see the illusion as a vague, filmy image superimposed over the real terrain.

This spell lasts for a variable time.  At 1 [dice], it lasts for a day.  At 2 [dice], one week.  At 3 [dice], one month.  At 4 [dice], the spell is permanent until the caster ends the effect.  

R: 30'        T: creature        D: one action

Target creature must save with a penalty to his save equal to [dice].  On a successful save, the creature loses half his HP.  On a failed save, the creature loses all his HP but for 1d4 points. 

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

Target creature has his speed enhanced and can make a second action on his turn for the duration. 

For every [dice] beyond the first, select one of the options below:
- You may affect one additional creature with this spell.  This option can be taken multiple times.
- The creature gains a +[dice] bonus to armor.
- The creature's normal movement speed is doubled.
- The creature makes DEX saving throws with advantage.

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

One creature is healed [sum]+[dice] HP.  For each [dice] used to cast this spell, you may divide the total restored HP among up to that many creatures.

For example, if Heal is cast with 3 [dice] and restores 14 HP, those 14 points can be divided among up to 3 creatures.

Healing Word: As Rhapsody in Blue under Jazz Wizard

Heat Metal: As Heat Metal under Calcomancer

Hellish Rebuke
R: 30'        T: creature        D: one action

You summon the flames of Hell to scorch a creature.  That creature takes [sum] damage, save for half.  If the creature is truly righteous, heroic or saintly (Referee's Discretion) he instead takes no damage.  On the other hand, if the creature is wicked, depraved or evil he makes his save with disadvantage.  Creatures killed by this spell vanish, to be replaced with a bleached skull and a stack of paperwork approving the acquisition, stapled together and signed in triplicate.  

Heroes' Feast
R: touch    T: a table, blanket or place where a meal can be eaten    D: one action

You conjure delicious, magical food from the ether, enough to feed 1d6+[dice] creatures.  This food grants +[sum] FS to anyone who consumes it. 

For each [dice] beyond the first, select one option below:
- Those who consume this feast have all poisons affecting them neutralized.
- Those who consume this feast have all diseases affecting them cured.
- Those who consume this feast become immune to fear for [dice] hours after eating it.
- Those who consume this feast make all saving throws based on X attribute (caster's choice), with advantage. 

Heroism rewritten as...

Call to Heroic Death
R: self        T: all that can hear the caster        D: [dice] hours   

You make a speech to rouse your allies to greater valor.  The contents of the speech can vary, depending on caster and context.  Regardless of what is said, it works. 

Creatures who hear the speech and are fighting on your side become immune to Fear and automatically pass morale checks for the duration.  They also gain +[dice] FS. 

R: 30'        T: creature        D: [dice] minutes

A target creature receives a -[dice] penalty to any checks or saving throw based on a specific attribute (STR, DEX, etc).

Hold Monster and Hold Person: As Take Captive under Psychomancer

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

One creature you touch is covered by an aura of radiant energy that illuminates everything within 10*[dice]'.  All creatures within 10*[dice] that the creature covered by the aura regards as enemies must succeed a morale check or flee. 

For every [dice] beyond the first, select one option from below:
- Creatures regarded as enemies by the aura-clad creature take [dice] radiant damage every round they are within the aura's range.
- Creatures regarded as allies regenerate [dice] FS a round.
- The aura's light has the properties of natural sunlight.

Hunger of Hadar
R: 30'        T: [dice] creature    D: [dice] rounds

[dice] creatures you target must save.  On a failed save, those creatures are overtaken by the misanthropic hatred and endless hunger of a eldritch Horror from the Darkness between the Stars.  Creatures overtaken by such emotions will attempt to destroy themselves and everything around them in a suicidal frenzy. 

If surrounded by those who do not feel the way they do, affected creatures will destroy them, then each other.  If only with those who share their sentiment, they will destroy each other.  If alone, an affected creature will simply kill himself in the most destructive way possible. 

Hunter's Mark
R: touch    T: creature        D: [dice] hours

One creature you touch becomes marked by your magic.  For the duration, you can sense the creature, knowing what direction it is heading and approximately how far away it is. 

For each [dice] beyond the first, select one of the options below:
- For the duration, you do +[dice] weapon damage to the marked creature.
- For the duration, you receive +[dice] to any roll made to sneak up on the marked creature.
- For the duration, the marked creature receives a -[dice] penalty to any attack rolls. 

Hypnotic Pattern
R: 30'        T: all who can see the effect    D: [dice] minutes

One surface or section of surface equal to [dice] x 10' begins to flash and display twisting patterns of color.  Any creatures who can see the patterns must save.  On a failed save, the creatures will be entranced and will want to do nothing but watch the patterns move for the duration.  Creatures who are entranced can attempt to turn their attention away with another save, if they believe it is more important to look at something else. 

Ex: Guards who are bored and see no danger will watch the patterns in stupefied awe, while those who are on the prowl for an intruder will attempt to focus on the task at hand.  

                                                           source unknown

Monday, July 13, 2020

OSR: Yugoloths: Shiver Squad

                               These people are the ones who inspired this idea.  Credit to them.
They are the creation of a long collapsed Dark Sorority, Sons of a Black God, bad seed planted in fertile soul, allowed to bear an entire orchard of raw wickedness.  Once they were legion, but now they number only in the hundreds, perhaps.  Some say they dream of rebuilding their power and prestige, of becoming the lords and kings they once were.  Some say they desire to take revenge on those who wronged them in the past.  But mostly, people say they want what all corruptible men want: power, glory and of course, gold. 

What even is a Yuguloth?

Yugoloths are queer creatures, halfway between Demon and Mutant.  They possess powerful innate abilities, but live and die like any mortal.  They are loved by neither type of creature so they struck out on their own to carve out a place for themselves.  Once it was said that Yuguloths served a single master, or at least a single cause.  Those days are no more now- every Yuguloth is out for himself.  They do work together and have some love for each other, but generally these bonds of good faith are only intra-unit.  A large number of Yuguloths is likely to result in a great deal of betrayal. 

Yuguloths can be summoned like Demons, though they are not bound by the same limitations, possessing their own physical bodies.  They will work for anyone who can pay, and they accept anything valuable for their services.  They prefer to be paid in magic power or items, but anything will do.  Depending on the specific group, Yuguloths may also accept gold, jewels, slaves, land, favors, secret knowledge or something stranger. 

A common rumor about Yuguloths is that you can control one if you know it's true name.  The Yuguloths insist this isn't true, but it absolutely is.  Yuguloths know this and refer to themselves by nicknames or aliases for that reason.  Anyone who knows a Yuguloths' true name can summon it and command it, though any Yuguloth forced to do something it doesn't want to do will grow to despise the one who commands it. 

It is said that the Sewing Circle, the original co-creators of the Yugoloths, originally placed the enchantment that bound the Yugoloths on them when they were only children and then wrote down the names of all the Yugoloths in a series of 12 books.  However, there was a problem.  The Sewing Circle was composed of Hags, each one greedy and power-hungry; and most of all, completely untrusting.  There were 12 of them, sub-divided into four covens.  The covens could not get along properly however, and only the intervention of The Father get them from ripping each other apart.  So when The Father had to leave for some reason, the stories disagree on what reason, he left his eldest son in charge.  The eldest son was a Yugoloth though- and the thought of being enslaved to the inhabitants of this cathouse or his Father did not appeal to him.  So he erased his own name from the book that contained it and stood aside the next time an argument started among the Hags.  Some say he manipulated them, others say he just gave them a little push.

It didn't take long for the Hags to be at each other's throats, first figuratively, then literally.  The Sewing Circle dissolved as the covens began squabbling then fighting, and in the process the Yugoloth books were lost or destroyed and they were subsequently emancipated, left to make their own way. 

To this day this is the state of affairs.  Many Yugoloths are content with their lives, free-booting around the universe, serving whatever master they wish for whatever they can extort or negotiate them for.  However, some seek to unite their brethren into a single force that could overthrow almost any force.  Many of the latter also seek the eldest son, otherwise called The General, The Marshal, The Prince, The Leader, The First, The Eldest, or simply: One.  They wish to thank him, or follow him, or maybe kill him and take his place.  So far, none have been successful, though many claim to have found him.

Other then that, most facts about the General remain in dispute.  All that is known about him is that he disappeared once the fighting started.  Some claim he died during the fighting, while others think he is in hiding, repairing or collecting the Yugoloths books to either keep them safe or use them himself.  Others say that he is actually doing the opposite, traveling in secret to find the Yugoloth books and destroy them, so that all of his brothers might be free.  Depending on the Yugoloth you talk to, you will find that their position on who the General is to be widely varied, anything from glorious future king to folk hero to the most black-hearted of villains.           

                                              from D&D Fifth Edition's Monster Manual

Shiver Squad: 

Despite being named after the first month of the year, they are not the commanders.  Shiver Squad is a fast-attack squad composed of shock troops.  Shiver Squad specializes in lighting attacks that utterly break an enemy's resistance, leaving them scattered and disoriented.

Shiver Squad is 15 in number, making it one of the smaller groups of Yugoloths.  It is composed of a type of Yugoloths named by their mothers as Cryoloths, named for their perculiar bodies.  Appearance wise, Cryoloths resemble huge insectoids, with terrible faces and slavering mandibles.  They have strong hands with fingers tipped in claws and feet ending in large talons.
Instead of soft skin they are covered in a blue-white exoskeleton.  When not in combat, they adorn their exoskeletons with  scarves and other scraps of clothing, but otherwise are largely unclothed. 

When in battle they wear silvery armor made mercury armor that includes helms, breastplates, greaves and bracers.  Some carry shields, though most don't, instead wielding long spears or two-handed swords.  In terms of height and size, they are tall and broad, but they still count as Medium creatures.  

Shiver Squad prefers to be paid in jewels or salt. 

Their Mother is still alive.  She is a Sea Hag who dwells along the shore of the Polar Ocean.  Her name is Lonely Leah.

The location of the Book that contains their names is known, though not to all.

Base Cryoloth Statblock:
HD 3
AR Mercury Armor (Blunt 1d8; Sharp 1d10; Fire 1d12)
Atk Mercury Longsword (1d8 sharp + 1d6 cold + 1d6 poison) or Mercury Javelin (1d6 sharp + 1d6 cold + 1d6 poison)
Mor 14
Saves 10 or less is a success
Immune to Cold and Cold Damage
Immune to Poison and Poison Damage

Freezing Aura: Cryoloths' bodies are utterly cold, blistering to the touch.  Anyone who touches a Cryoloth takes 1d4 ice damage.  This damage also applies if a Cryoloth is grappling someone or being grappled.  They also cool the air around them- in summer or sunlight this effect is usually negligible, but in winter, at night or when it's cold it can be eneverating.

Mercury Arms: Cryoloths wield armor and weapons made of mercury.  The poison damage their weapons do is based off little bits of the metal that get trapped in the wounds or on the skin of their opponents.  Their weapons are only kept solid by their freezing bodies and the enchantments on them.  They can only be wielded by someone who possesses a similarly cold body or ice magic.  Otherwise, if removed from a Cryoloths' presence the armor and weapons quickly melt into puddles of poisonous mercury.  If a Cryoloth touches one of these pools, the mercury will refreeze into whatever it was before it melted.  

Reinforcements: All Yugoloths know at least one of the True Names of their kinsmen, usually a member of the same squad.  As an action, the Yugoloth can summon that other Yugoloth to aid them in whatever the first Yugoloth was doing.

- Forward attack, hit the strongest target first
- Focus on the high-damage dealers
- Retreat if things get dangerous    

                                                 by Reh0


True name:

Scour is the leader of Shiver Squad.  He has a cold manner, but he is easily the strongest and boldest of the group.  Mercenary life does not suit him, as he is reluctant to retreat and poor at dealing with customers.  He only truly feels alive in battle, smashing inferiors beneath his clawed feet and clashing blades with a worthy rival. 

Weakness: Scour refuses to acknowledge the possibility of defeat.  He will only retreat if things are extremely dire and all hope of victory has been snuffed out.  It's a miracle he's still alive.

Statblock Changes:

+1 HD

- He may make two sword attacks, but lacks javelins.


True Name:

Blister is the Vice-commander of Shiver squad and their primary negotiator.  Among Shiver Squad he is the most eloquent and diplomatic, though by the standards of most he is still a belligerent, arrogant jerk.  Blister's primary duties involve talking to prospective clients, arranging the transfer of money and working out battle tactics with Scour.  He's also the one most likely to order a retreat, as Scour refuses to do so. 

Weakness: Blister is greedy.  He is out to get as much for himself as he can.  He usually conceals this behind a veil of oily charm, but his appetites are great.

Statblock Changes:

AR Mercury Plate + Shield (Sharp 1d10; Blunt 1d10; Fire 1d12)

- His sword attacks only do 1d6 sharp damage


True Name:

Count is Shiver Squad's quartermaster.  He keeps the unit functioning on a day-to-day basis, handling the distribution of pay, rations, and war booty, as well as managing and maintaining equipment.  He is a cheerless and punctilious individual, with the memory of an Elephant and the patience of the same.  He has no tolerance for fools, however. 

Count is inflexible.  He will not deviate from a plan or the most logical (and usually direct) course of action.  He is easy to trick, though no trick will work on him more than once. 

Statblock Changes:

AR Mercury Breastplate (Blunt 1d6; Sharp 1d8; Fire 1d10)

Atk Mercury Daggers (1d6 sharp + 1d6 cold + 1d6 poison)

Spellcaster: Count is a sorcerer, able to manipulate his body's natural energies better than any of his fellows.  He has 3 spellcasting dice, which burn out on a 5 or 6.  They do not trigger Chaos on a roll of doubles.  Count has the spells Chill Breath, Fogbank and Freeze Ray prepared. 

Variable Aura: Count's freezing aura waxes and wanes because of his spellcasting.  Whenever he casts a spell, there is a 2-in-6 chance his armor and weapons melt and change back into their liquid forms.  Reforming them back into their proper shapes takes a full action.  If his weapons melt, Count can make a Fist attack that does (1d4 blunt + 1d4 cold)

Besides Count, there are also two other Cryoloths who can cast spells like him.  If all three are gathered and working together, they can cast Summon Winter.

                                                         by DaveAllsop

Shiver Squad Plot Hooks:

1- There's a war on!  And Shiver Squad has been sighted on the battlefield.  Sneak behind enemy lines and defeat them, or convince them to switch sides. 
2- A city has been trapped by an unexpected blizard and a plague of ice-covered Undead.  The court Sage thinks the storm is not as natural as it seems.  Find the source of the storm and put a stop with it.  Secretly, Shiver Squad has been creating the storm to cover up some other activity they are engaged in in the city.
3- A Tribe of weaker monsters has surrounded a location and are preventing anyone from exiting or leaving.  You are dispatched to investigate why.  The weaker monsters have surrounded Shiver Squad and trapped them inside the location.  If you disturb the siege, Shiver Squad might escape.  But the weaker monsters might still make mischief in the future.  This could be your only chance to crush them.  What will you do? 
4- An evil Sage is performing magical experiments on behalf of an enemy group.  You are hired to put a stop to these experiments, either because they are causing adverse effects or because spies have reported on the experiment's true aims and your employers don't wish them to be completed.  Unluckily for you though, the Sage has hired Shiver Squad to be his bodyguards for the duration of the experiment.  You will have to fight your way through them, or find another way.

                                              by michifromkmk

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

OSR: Meenlocks

                                              by juliedillon

"What you are, we once were.  What we are, you shall become." 

They don't exist.  You don't know anything about them.  You likely will not even see them until it is far too late.  But if you could see them, you would recoil in terror.  They are a sickening hue of palest yellow, covered in bristling hairs, mangy and splattered with blood, mud and other filth, reeking of the wet darkness beneath the earth.  This is the Meenlock, those elusive terrors that haunt the underground.

Meenlocks seek to obtain and capture those who enter the underground, poisoning them and dragging them down into the darkness, never to be seen again.  No one truly knows what they do with those they take, but it can't be good.

Meenlocks are individually frail, so they do not fight their foes directly.  Instead they stalk their prey for great distances, using their natural abilities to plague a target of their choice with hallucinations.  These hallucinations can vary, but they usually portray some as of yet undiscovered threat, betrayed through the sound of nearby footsteps, heavy breathing, the scraping of steel on stone, etc.  The target is tormented with phantom sounds and signs of an enemy, but denied any chance of seeing his pursuer.  The Meenlocks continue this until their target is a weakened, nervous wreck.  If there are other creatures in the area that the Meenlock does not care for, but thinks might be useful, it might also use its powers to drive them toward the target and try to bait them into a confrontation.  It is only when they are certain their target is weak that they strike.

Meenlocks possess razor claws and long mandibles that can easily cut through bare flesh, but their true danger comes from their venom.  Anyone wounded by a Meenlock's grasping claws or piercing maw finds that their strength flees them and their limbs tremble.  With enough of the venom, even the strongest warriors can do little more but cry and beg pathetically as pale, barely-yellow hands drag them down into the dark.   

                                            from alphacoders

HD 2
AC none
Atk Claws (1d4 + venom/1d4 + venom)
Saves 9 or less is a success
Mor 12

Phantasmal Visions: Meenlocks can cause any creature within 50' that they can perceive to suffer auditory hallucinations of any type the Meenlock wishes.  The usual form these hallucinations take is that of approaching enemies or that of an ally in need of help. 

Compulsion: If a Meenlock is within range of a target (as per 'Phantasmal Visions') that has Meenlock venom still in their body, it can instead cause the target to feel the desire to come to the Meenlocks.  The target will begin moving towards the nearest cluster of Meenlocks and will take any appropriate actions to remove obstacles, though they will receive a Saving Throw to avoid hurting their friends. 

Shadow Form: Meenlocks can, as a full action, transform themselves into shadows and flit through darkness like birds through the air.  While in shadow form they cannot be hurt by anything other than sunlight, but similarly cannot effect any physical creature or object. Additionally, while a Meenlock in shadow form can move freely in pitch or near darkness, light can push it back.  Any creature with a light source stronger than a candle can prevent a Meenlock from approaching it in shadow form.  Meenlocks can shift out of shadow form as a free action. 

Venom: Anyone injured by a Meenlock must save.  On a failure, the creature takes 1d6 STR damage.  On a success, 1 STR damage. If this damage ever reduces someone's STR to 0 they are only capable of small, slow movements (crawling, curling up into a ball, etc).  Anything fast or complex, including attacks, receives a -1 penalty equal to the number of times the Meenlocks have injured this person (max -4).  STR damage done like this is healed at a rate of 1 point per hour.

- Select and stalk a target
- Do everything in your power to weaken that target
- Only strike when certain your target is vulnerable (alone, weakened, tired, etc)

Meenlock Plot Hooks

1- A powerful monster has taken a group of miners hostage and is demanding tribute from a nearby village in exchange for their release.  However, the monster is too powerful to face head on.  Sneaking into the mine and finding a way to get the miners out would be better.  However, once inside, you will find that the miners are being tormented and kidnapped by something else.
2- A tribe of monsters is menacing a community.  Please go and root them out.  However once you arrive you will find the monster tribe busy engaged in a manhunt for the creatures picking them off one-by-one.  Stay too long and you might find yourself the victim of the same.
3- You are hired to investigate why an important official in a town is acting strangely.  If you investigate properly, you will find out that is because a Doppelganger is impersonating a person in town.  However, if they are discovered, the Doppelganger will tell you that they were only able to replace the person because another monster is holding the original in a cave.  The Doppelganger will then lead you to a Meenlock cave and hope you end up getting eaten by them.
4- A monster with servants (Mind Flayer, Dragon, Lich, etc) has noticed that their slaves keep getting picked off by something it can't sense, which frightens it.  To deal with this, it will contrive a situation to lure some free agents into its lair to have them track down the source of the disappearances.
5- A party of Adventurers recently disappeared, except for one lone survivor.  The night after the survivor is found he rises from his bed and begins returning to the cave where his companions were slain.  If someone attempts to stop him he says, "I need to go home," or "They are waiting for me".  He does not wish to harm anyone, but he will, if they stand in his way.
6- After a small group of Undead ransack a sleeping neighborhood, a cult of Necromancers that has set up near a big city is discovered.  The area around the hills is infested with free-roaming Undead, who attack any intelligent humanoids near them.  If you enter the Cult's lair you will find the Necromancers all slowly going insane from paranoia and fear, suspecting each other of killing the vanished members all the while building more and more elaborate Undead to ensure their own safety and/or scare off the unidentified enemies.   

                                                  by Blayzes

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

OSR: Cockatrice

                                              by Ryan Barger

At the Beginning, Rooster and Hen lived together as husband and wife.  They both loved each other at first, but once The War started, cracks began forming in their relationship.  For while she loved her husband, gossip soon reached Hen that Rooster had broken his vow and had a secret lover. Hurt and ashamed by this, Hen fled from Rooster's tent and wandered into the wilderness. 

There, she encountered Serpent, that most cruel and clever animal.  Recently deprived of his legs, Serpent was sad and lonely.  Hen would not have approached him, but Serpent gave off an aura of pathos that he never had before.  She approached him and struck up a conversation.  Quickly they began to bond, finding companionship as they bonded over their sadness.  From that point on, whenever Rooster came home with someone else's feathers on him, Hen would make some excuse and sneak out to see Serpent.  Eventually, the two of them came to fall in love.  And soon enough, Hen mimicked Rooster by allowing herself to be seduced by Serpent. 

Hen's infidelity lay undiscovered for many moons, until finally, the child that had been conceived by her and Serpent was born and when Rooster laid eyes on its strange, scaly body, he accused Hen of the infidelity she was surely guilty of.  He then dragged Hen before the whole community, in hopes of shaming her and allowing himself to formally separate from her.  However, once he was finished his accusations, Rooster's various lovers came forward, many with the children that had been produced from the affairs.  Thus shamed, Rooster declared that he and Hen were hence forth enemies and that his children would be a plague on hers.  In response, she cursed him by declaring that he and his descendants would not be able to produce children outside of a lawful marriage. 

This started a feud that has lasted until today.  This is why Farmers who have chickens must conduct marriage ceremonies between a Rooster and their Hens, and why lands where the Gods support polygamy have many more chickens than ones that don't.

And as for Serpent?  Clever creature that he was he kept his silence and whisked away his child, to raise it himself.  This child would eventually grow up to become a Monster named Cockatrice. 

HD 1
AC Fast Movement (Sharp 1d8, Blunt 1d10)
Atk Razor Beak (1d4 sharp + 1d8 DEX(if beak damages target)) or Freezing Eyes
Mor 11
Saves 7 or less

Freezing Eyes: Anyone who meets a Cockatrice's eyes can either take 1d6 DEX damage or find their body slowed.  A person slowed by this gaze can move or make an action (attack, use an item, anything besides talk) but not both.  Anyone who has their DEX reduced to 0 by a Cockatrice has the outermost layer of skin, stopping at the entrances of their orifices, turn to stone.

- Only attack if an enemy is near the nest or a threat
- Stay out of range of those with long or big weapons
- Uses eyes to keep at range, attack those who get close


Cockatrices are beasts, about as smart as house cats.  They are slightly larger than most cats, being just slightly larger than a rooster.  They are carnivores and primarily eat insects, lizards, snakes, snails and worms.  However, they will eat almost any form of meat, including carrion.  Cockatrices use their paralyzing eyes and petrifying beak as means of defense against larger predators, which mostly avoid them.

Cockatrices will not attack larger animals unless they stray too close to their nests or are attacked, but if they are, they retaliate with animal savagery.  Creatures that are unlucky around them find themselves trapped in a layer of stone, alive but unable to move.  Cockatrices then perform the act they are most known for.  They climb up their partially petrified victim's body and begin to eat the accessible soft tissues through the mouth.  And since Cockatrices are also highly flexible, they can usually fit quite a long way inside.  These partially petrified victims usually attract feeding frenzies of Cockatrices, which swarm around the living statuary, screeching at each other and jostling for a spot.  Needless to say, the usual outcome of made a meal by a Cockatrice or a flock of the same like this is agonizing death.  For this reason, Cockatrices have an evil reputation.

Cockatrices are avoided by all reasonable folk.  Some still can use for these creatures though.  Hags often seek Cockatrices, either as guard-animals, for some scheme, or merely to release into a village for a sick prank. 

Adventurers are also known to seek out Cockatrices, as their livers can be boiled to create a potion that reverses petrification.  They are also known to seek out their eggs. 

Among Sages and Alchemists, it is common knowledge that a Cockatrice's eggs, since they are magical, preserve the offspring in a stasis-like field.  As long as the shell isn't breached, the Cockatrice will be alive inside.  These eggs allow an easy way to harvest the livers of Cockatrices, or to wreak criminal mischief.  An unhatched Cockatrice can be hatched if a non-virgin woman pees on one.  And a newly hatched Cockatrice is still as dangerous as a mature one.  Some clever criminals have kept a Cockatrice egg with them as a means of distracting the authorities and escaping. 

                                                    by Mythika