Friday, March 21, 2014

Working on a thing

I have / had a few new spells and critters to actually post but then I misplaced the scribbler I wrote them in.  Am working on that.  *facepalming*

That said, since Xmas I've also put together a beta outline for and am roughing out a few of the parts of a fantastical-Egypt setting.  (Yes, this again.) 

Right now I'm trying to decide whether I should keep my chosen city names as they are (the actual place names) or change them so this is more "fantasy not-Egypt" instead of "fantasy Egypt"; this is the kind of thing that I fret over endlessly, blah.  I'm also trying to decide how much to put in this thing in general -- too much detail is probably bad, not enough will make it short and pointless -- and also trying not to have the vapours over writing more than a few critters / oh gawd what about art / I am horrible at formatting / etc etc. 

Basically the biggest hurdle is that I panic and abandon the project again.  I'm good at that, unfortunately.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Some format and content musings, nothing to panic about

If I were going to bundle up and format my spell or magic item entires here, would normal-sized or digest-sized work better or would it matter?

If one were tinkering with a world setting and might format the incoherent madness results into something downloadable or purchaseable or both, would it be useful to go whole hog and include the/a 'core' ruleset or just the setting-related material?  Also, that normal/digest thing again.

None of the above is an actual concrete promise, but having less flailing over variables does tend to help me think ...

Friday, July 5, 2013

Magic Item: Ring of the Winter Beast

Ring of the Winter Beast:  No sage has divined the origin of these slim, pale rings; a wan silver-gold frosted over with some indefinable, glittering dust, smoothed as if by long wear, rings of the winter beast seem as likely to be unearthed pristine from within nexi of air and water channels as they are to be claimed from unattended and pilfered hoards.  Others care less for the rings' origins as they do for the benefits that can be coaxed from its cool touch, and save the scholarly debates for another time.

A ring of the winter beast, untapped, contains ten charges.  Expending a charge produces the following possible effects as desired by the wearer of the ring:

- frosttalon:  glittering claws sprout, granting 1-6/1-6 damage attacks for six turns
- snowshield:  icy, scalelike nodules spread across the body, granting an AC bonus of 4 for an hour
- winterfang:  six crystalline spurs sprout, which may be pulled free and thrown up to 20' for 1-4 damage; these dissolve in an hour if not used
- icebite:  an extra 1-6 of cold damage may be added to an offensive spell being cast within the next six turns
- coldheart:  for two charges, one spell slot may be regained (attempting this more than once a day causes the ring to explode in a 3-24 damage burst of freezing energy in a 20' radius)

So long as a ring of the winter beast contains charges, its wearer takes one less point per die of damage from cold, air or water.  Physical attacks caused by ring powers are considered cold-based.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Monster: Chromatic Ooze

Chromatic ooze
Armour Class: 7
Hit Dice: 1-1**
Move: 90' (30'), Cl 90' (30')
Attacks:  1
Damage: 1-6
No. Appearing: 2-20
Save As: M-U1
Morale: 12
Treasure Type:  Special
Alignment:  Neutral
XP Value:  7

 Flowing along like syrupy, opalescent clots of ever-shifting, multicoloured paints, chromatic oozes create a riotous swarm of flesh-devouring colour wherever they happen to be found -- and they can be found virtually anywhere.  What the oozes lack in size they make up for in numbers and reproductive capacity.  The clinging acids of a chromatic ooze dissolve any living material it manages to engulf, leaving behind both non-organics and dead organics.

A chromatic ooze inflicts 1-6 hit points of damage per attack, its dissolving touch causing injury out of all proportion to the ooze's small size.  Worse still, when an ooze has caused enough damage to equal its maximum hit points it promptly fissions into a pair of identical oozes.

Striking a chromatic ooze is a gamble.  Whenever an attack on an ooze is successful, the ooze releases a flash of bright light with one of the following effects, avoidable by the attacker with a successful save vs. poison:

1) red:  berzerk for two rounds
2) orange:  nausea for two rounds (-3 to all actions)
3) yellow:  flee in terror for three rounds
4) green:  poisonsoul, -3 to all saves for two rounds
5) blue:  paralysis for two rounds
6) indigo:  prism charm, refuse to allow oozes to be harmed for two rounds
7) violet:  blindness for four rounds
8) roll twice

One in three oozes contain a jelly opal within their mass, a dense cyst of glassy nature and translucent play of colour.  Each such jelly opal may be valued at 10-60 gp depending on size and the appeal of its colours. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Monster: Nightshatter

Armour Class: 4
Hit Dice: 2+2***
Move: 90' (30')
Attacks: 2 claws or special
Damage: 1-6/1-6 + special
No. Appearing: 2-8
Save As: C3
Morale: 10
Treasure Type: G
Alignment: Chaotic
XP Value: 55

Creatures formed of a slick and brittle darkness, nightshatters (kurtae) hail from a plane lying in parallel with the ordinary world.  Though they resemble smoky, barbed skeletons fossilized into obsidian and draped in shadowy tatters, as if of robes or clerical vestments, they are not undead -- but they do feed on the strength of living creatures, the coil of bloody ghost-flames in their empty ribcages growing with every successful hunt.  For all that they may be parleyed with, with offers of beauty or the lifeforce of other living things, and they appreciate clever subversions of their demands for new, fresh life.

Each successful strike from a kurtae's sharp talons drains 1-4 points of Constitution from the victim, which returns after a day of rest per point lost.  Each such point drained grants a +1 bonus to saves, attack and damage rolls to the nightshatter in question for the next hour. A kurtae may forfeit all attacks for two rounds in order to shadowshift, disappearing from sight and returning anywhere within 100', delivering (if it wishes) a backstabbing attack (as a thief of its Hit Dice) upon a single target.

Nightshatters may only be harmed by spells or magical weapons.  They take no damage from holy water and cannot be turned (as they are not undead), but fire inflicts half again as much damage upon them.  Purified water and specially consecrated earth can be used to ward away nightshatters.

Some knots of kurtae are led by a nightshard, a kurtae of five Hit Dice with the spellcasting ability of a fourth level cleric or magic-user.

Musing of Posting

I've been contemplating a wee little setting writeup for the Red Box as of late, a village or town or two and a few minidungeons with some broad-brush wider setting hints, and those contemplations have been spawning a few creations.  So I'm working on clawing past the posting paralysis for a little.

(no, seriously, it's taken me nigh onto three weeks just to brass up and get this far.)

I'm not making any promises of daily (aiie) or continuing regular postings, but hopefully I'll get a bit more added at least ;3  Just the gribbly bits, I won't bog the blog down in setting material meanderings.

Onward --

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Monster: Mask

Armour Class: 4
Hit Dice: 1+2**
Move: 90' (30')
Attacks: 2
Damage: 1-6/1-6
No. Appearing: 1-4 (2-20)
Save As: MU3
Morale: 7
Treasure Type: G
Alignment: Chaotic
XP Value: 23

 A mask (called vek in the creature's native tongue) a small, gangly-limbed humanoid roughly the size and shape of a goblin, its flaky-scaled rust body concealed under all-enveloping robes of bruise-purple, ash grey or blood-brown.  The creatures' epynomous chalky mask, featureless and yet somehow faintly demonic, never leaves its gnarled face and yet somehow does not obstruct the basic necessities of life.

Each mask wields a ragged shard of some unknown phosphorescent crystal as a personal focus.  This shard is not used to attack directly, but to direct bolts of magical energy (flames, electricity, stunning cold or stranger things) at opponents up to 40' away twice per round.  Each such bolt inflicts 1-6 hit points of damage.

A mask cabal is led by a 3HD great mask with the spellcasting ability of a 4th-level MU, attended by 2-7 underlings of 2HD and the spellcasting talents of 1st-2nd level MUs.  Occasionally a mask or cabal of masks may lead a warren of goblins -- or, more rarely, kobolds -- to much more threatening heights than those minor humanoids usually reach.

Masks take damage only from magic or silver weapons.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Magic Item: Corpselife Ring

Corpselife Ring:  Known in some circles as Daviane's Ring for the minor magister that -- supposedly -- crafted the first known example, corpselife rings vary widely in size, design and ornamentation.  The only trait which any given rings have in common is their composition: a corpselife ring is made up of filaments of bone and black iron of various thicknesses, twisted together in a strange mottled composite.  All known corpselife rings have been finger-rings, though tales suggest at least one bangle has been crafted with the same enchantment.

A corpselife ring initially grants a simple magical effect, usually a +1 bonus to Armour Class and saves in a similar manner to a low-powered ring of protection.  It is when the bearer of a ring is killed that its true purpose asserts itself -- 1-4 rounds after death, the bearer of a corpselife ring "resurrects" as a free-willed undead creature, gaining the following traits:

- Alignment immediately shifts to Chaotic, if applicable.

- Curative magic no longer functions, but bearer may "heal" themselves by consuming living flesh and blood, regaining hit points on a 1:1 ratio of damage dealt.  50% of bearers gain a paralysis ability similar to that of a ghoul.

- Bearer gains subsceptibility to turning, etc using level +2 as Hit Dice.

- If the undead bearer is destroyed, their soul is dissipated with no chance for resurrection.

Rare examples of the corpselife ring additionally grant an immunity to nonmagical weapons to the undead transformation.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ten Dragon Traits

Sometimes you just have to mix things up a bit. Maybe the PCs are bloody effective at what they do, or maybe they just know all the stats ... whatever the reason, a little variety is always good ;3

Being honest, I could probably better call these "critter traits"; they were written up for dragons but -- with a merest smidge of tweaking, and maybe some thematics -- could be applied to almost any beastie. (I have a sudden terrifying image of a swarm of giant rats ...)

Don't forget to bump the XP awarded appropriately ~!

Roll for a selected trait or simply pick one from the table below. If you're really feeling frisky, roll 1d4 times:

01. Primal Energies: Instead of (or in addition to!) the dragon's breath weapon, its claws and fangs are wreathed in the same damaging forces that compose said breath weapon. Double the damage of these attacks (2d4 instead of 1d4, etc). Appropriate immunities will negate this extra damage.

02. Phaseshift: Every 1d3 rounds the dragon is simply ... not all there, partially fading into some other dimension of existence. Attacks at this time fail 75%; on the upside, the dragon has the same situation.

03. Runic Ablation: Whether an aura of ghostly flame, orbiting glyphs, a transparent, shimmering energy field, glowing channels carved through the scales or most anything else, the dragon has a buffer against damage equal to 1/3 of its hit points. This buffer must be negated before the dragon itself takes damage. Half the instances of such fields affect physical damage, half magical damage.

04. Blood Scion: When reduced to half or less of its hit points, the dragon may produce a blood scion from its spilled life, effectively creating a draconic simulacra resembling a dragon of its type and 1/3 of its Hit Dice. The scion acts as directed by the dragon, lasts for 1 day + a number of days equal to the dragon's Hit Dice, and has a range of 100 miles.

05. Reservoir: Altered by magitech, the dragon bears a oily, slowly-shifting carbuncle mounted in orichalcum and black iron clockwork imbedded in its flesh. The carbuncle contains an additional 1d3 breath weapon uses, regenerating over 48 hours -- and this breath weapon need not match the dragon's own.

06. Life Siphon: The dragon is a psychic vampire, feeding on the pain and injury of those around it. For every four hit points of damage dealt to other creatures within 100' feet of the dragon, the beast regenerates one hit point.

07. Artefact Maestro: The dragon can make use of any and every magic item it may possess, whether warping them (to fit rings on claws, for example) or imbedding them into its scales in order to draw on the item's enchantment. It may expend breath weapon uses instead of using up charges or expending one-use items.

08. Death Curse: Not so useful in combat (unless the dragon has a way of making that impending doom abundantly clear), but a wonderful parting shot. With its dying breath the dragon lays down a major curse on the creatures that ended its life -- DMs, be horribly creative.

09. Master of Nature: All stone/plants/water/flames/more esoteric materials within 1d4+1x100 feet of the dragon may be affected by the beast as if by move earth, stoneform and related spells. Choose one substance, or 1d4 for added malevolence.

10. Godling's Beneficience: The dragon may grant a fraction of its power (a breath weapon equal in damage to its Hit Dice, a half-strength claw attack, a one-shot spell if the dragon has casting ability) to a number of subordinate creatures equal to twice its Hit Dice.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Some Random Potion Tables

... so much for posting more regularly. *facepalms*

Here's a little something I was tinkering around with at work last night, a handful of little tables for generating unusual and/or more detailed potion descriptions.

Potion ...

1. pomegranate
2. amber
3. colourless
4. inky
5. rosy
6. emerald
7. prismatic
8. roll twice

1. opaque
2. pearly
3. swirling
4. quivering
5. translucent
6. bubbled
7. iridescent
8. fizzing

1. water
2. thin syrup
3. thick syrup
4. powdery (add water or choke!)
5. sticky
6. gelatinous
7. solid
8. pasty

Smells Like
1. grass
2. sewage
3. honey
4. nothing
5. roses
6. undead
7. bread
8. smoke

Tastes Like
1. bakeapples
2. blood
3. rain
4. seawater
5. peanuts
6. wine
7. bone
8. earth

Contained In
1. crockery jar
2. glass flask
3. small skull
4. rough stone
5. leather skin
6. wax tube
7. metal phial
8. hollow jewel

1. no
2. accurately
3. falsely
4. accurately (magical)
5. falsely (magical)
6. "belongs to"
7. "made by"
8. changes daily