Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Monster: Abi (Catsquirrel)

Y'all thought I was kidding, didn't you.

Abi (Catsquirrel)
Armour Class: 8
Hit Dice: 1+2
Move: 150' (50')
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1-4
No. Appearing: 1-2 (2-8)
Save As: F1
Morale: 6
Treasure Type: Nil
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 19

Abis, or catsquirrels -- presumably the product of a very bored magic-user's experiment, or possibly a magic-user's lab disaster, but no one is 'fessing up to the matter -- show much more of their feline ancestry than sciurid in their body-shape. However, they possess somewhat shortened forelegs with paws adapted for grasping as well as clawing, which forces a catsquirrel into a bounding sort of gallop. All four paws, in fact, are suitable for climbing, and the limbs rotate more than those of a true cat; the tail is a broad plume, like that of a squirrel. An abi's head looks essentially feline, though with slightly larger eyes. Most catsquirrels are a mottled rust and sable, occasionally with white "booties".

There is no predicting an abi, not even during combat. The creature may throw itself at a target, biting and clawing for 1-4 hit points of damage, or it may run away or climb to safety the first chance it has. A catsquirrel is not even predictable in its use of its maddening yowl -- a short, repeating scream that causes all within 30' to lose their actions for 1-3 rounds if a save vs. paralyzation is failed because of the yowl's skull-splitting, brain-freezing noise.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Monster: Musalces

Blame for this one, if blame there be, is placed upon Eliyes ~

Next up, catsquirrels.


Armour Class: 7
Hit Dice: 4+3*
Move: 210' (70')
Attacks: 2 hooves + 1 gore
Damage: 1-4/1-4/1-10
No. Appearing: 1-2 (1-4)
Save As: F3
Morale: 10
Treasure Type: Nil
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 200

At first blush a musalces resembles an ordinary moose. A closer inspection, however, reveals the musalces' steel grey coat with white "stockings", its slightly leaner frame, and the elaborate -- and fiendishly sharp -- points of its palmate antlers. Not that it would be terribly hard to recognize the musalces long before a visual confirmation; the wind rushing through its antlers produces a surprisingly musical tone. Unlike mundane moose, both sexes are antlered.

The musalces also "sings", a deep basso melody that reverberates and strikes an unnatural fear into predators -- including sapient hunters -- that come hunting it. All those hearing the musalces' song must save vs. charm or be forced to flee from the creature; those who successfully save are nonetheless at -3 to to-hit and damage rolls, shaken by the fear of the beast. Only if its song fails to send an adversary packing does a musalces enter melee, using hooves and sharp antlers to inflict 1-4 and 1-10 hit points of damage respectively.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Monster: Pristic

Armour Class: 3
Hit Dice: 5+4*
Move: 180' (60')
Attacks: 1 bite
Damage: 1-12
No. Appearing: 1-6
Save As: F6
Morale: 9
Treasure Type: Nil
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 400

Fearsome creatures, pristics resemble large crocodiles with long and heavy jaws -- if those crocodiles were heavily cloaked in dark armoured scutes, and stood upright on long legs with hooves suitable for chasing down prey. The teeth of a pristic are compressed and serrated, suitable for slicing chunks out of its victim; a fact which is all the more terrible when combined with the creature's relative intelligence and occasional pack behaviour.

Pristics chase down prey in combat, snapping with their jaws to inflict 1-12 hit points of damage. The wound inflicted by a pristic's bite continue to bleed until treated, losing an additional 1-4 hit points per round until bound or healed by curative magic.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Twenty Trivial Trinkets

Every once in a while, a goblin or orc or bandit carries some small object that's just a little, well, odd. Not always valuable (or understandable; just how did a goblin get some of these things anyway?), these little trinkets may provoke a moment's curiosity or add a bit of flavour to the tiniest of treasure hoards ...

01. An assortment of crushed and pungent herbs packed into a perforated tin sphere the size of a large walnut

02. Three dessicated honey-glazed frogs, one half-eaten

03. Four silver coins, pierced and strung on a rawhide cord alternated with five polished claws

04. A crumpled wad of leather on which is written a love letter to an orcish warlord in perfect courtly language

05. Three slender golden bangles, each hung with a single fingerbone

06. A small bottle of waxed wood (contains 1 - poison, 2 - elven spirits, 3 - blood, 4 - quicksilver)

07. A copper coin whose edge has been honed razor-sharp (watch your fingers, thieves!)

08. A lucky elf ear

09. 1-6 polished and red-etched knucklebones, used for gambling

10. A tiny ivory carving of a curled-up lizard; every time it is looked at, the posture seems to have changed slightly

11. Five obsidian arrowheads tied around their tangs with red rawhide

12. A bone comb etched with geometrical designs

13. Four large seeds kept in a twist of coarse wool coated in wax

14. A small glass flask containing a tiny (1 hp) jelly

15. Bark-paper broadsheet proclaiming a volunteer drive for the next hobgoblin horde

16. 1-6 pieces from an agate chess set

17. An assortment of small bone boxes containing cheek rouge, kohl, etc etc ...

18. A string of roughly shaped, small freshwater pearls

19. A silver holy symbol from a Lawful church, carefully wrapped up in leather

20. A curved horn knife, still stained with blood and bits of silvery feathers

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Magic Item: The Blue Rose

It remains to be seen whether noisms or Eliyes will kill me for this first ...

The Blue Rose: Inexplicably named -- for while it bears flowery ornamentation, there is no rose amongst it -- the Blue Rose is a blade both famed and cursed.

With a long and surprisingly slim blade of highly polished steel, Blue Rose appears deceptively fragile; its grip is of polished ebony threaded with plaited gold wire, its pommel-nut an unidentifiable fruit, perhaps a pomegranate, carved of lapis. The Blue Rose's leaf-and-blossom etched golden quillions are forked, one crescent curving forward and the other back, and instead of a knuckle-guard the hilt is threaded with a golden chain that rests against the hand before meeting the pommel and trailing away to terminate in a coin-sized locket of gold.

The Blue Rose is a sword +1, +2 vs. otherworldly creatures. Against an oathbreaker or deciever the Blue Rose inflicts an extra 1-6 hit points of damage, as the slender blade is antithetical to such things; twice a day, it may be slashed through an illusion to dispel it or used to ward against a mental domination. Strangely enough, if the Blue Rose is stood in an enclosed field for a year and a day it will double the yield of the earth and bring good fortune to those who work it; but the blade loses all power for a year and a day following.

Unfortunately, the bearer of the Blue Rose pays for its power. While claiming ownership of the blade its bearer is treated as if possessing a Constitution two points lower.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I've been tinkering with the notion of "grimoires" -- spellbooks which contain only a single spell or possibly a few closely-related spells, which may only be cast by reading directly from the grimoire's pages. The upside to this necessity would be that the spell(s) of the grimoire are distinctly more powerful and / or esoteric compared to the run of the mill variety.

So far, my major points of consideration are:

- The spell(s) are more powerful than a typical spell of its "level". Not necessarily radically so, depending on the spell in question; some may simply have unusual effects.

- The spellcaster expends a memorized spell of the same nominal level (or a number of spells that add up to the level) in order to cast from the grimoire.

- The casting takes time, as the grimoire must be leafed through, read from, etc. It's not enough to just have the book in one's possession, it must be made use of. (Just how long I haven't decided.)

- If a spellcaster somehow came into possession of a grimoire with spells of a level higher than they could normally cast, they can make the attempt if they have enough spells to spend fuelling it. Backlash of some kind would likely be involved.

- A spell from a grimoire cannot simply be learned. It can be used as a source of spell research for an equivalent (and higher level) "normal" spell, but a grimoire spell is unique and cannot be memorized straight from the grimoire's pages.

... So, these would be the cast-from-the-book ritual type spells, with unique appearances and (theoretically, at least) effects. Maybe non-spellcasters could have a way to use the things.

Maybe, for extra oddity, the things could also have alignment Ego and Intelligence scores much like certain swords --

Monday, June 22, 2009

On the Fire-Bird

From the field notes of Salan Kir'ith:

"Of the Fire-Bird, or Fire-Rukh, there are a great many things of which I may speak. The Plumage of the Bird is well-known to the meanest of naturalist and scholar, being of the ruby red of Flame and dagged like the fire's tongues; indeed, such plumes glow and warm with their own inner Fires. These ornaments are valued highly by those who may place such claim to them, being of a great size and beauty; there are those who would make Raiment of them, and others Armour, or a Magery of Fire.

"Such is the desire for beauty that there are those that would dare the Fire-Rukh's brazen Talons and burning Bill, sharp as swords. For the Bird is great in size as the Dragon is mighty, and may bear away the greatest of beasts in its claws; to char to ashes in the burning Fires of its body.

"There are those scholars which contend that the Fire-Bird is as the same as the Phoinix. It is my contention that such fools are ignorant; there is as nothing known of the Phoinix related to the Fire-Bird, save for the touch of fire. There is found nothing of the Phoinix's purples and gold in the raiment of the Fire-Rukh; nor does the Fire-Rukh craft its egg of myrrh and spice, intending an immolation. Indeed the egg of the Bird is of a singular sort, gleaming like an Ember, and scorches the stone of its cradle.

"That Egg, being singular in nature, bears a great Secret. If the egg of the Bird is spirited from the stone, or expressed before time from the body (a gambit favoured by a Fire-Rukh in travail, to use as a destruction of flame), and is thrust intact into a body of cool Waters, the shell crumbles to a powder of ashes. Within these ashes and the Body of the Egg, with fortune, lies a great pearly Jewel, as if of Moonstone, of the greatness of a grown man's head and washed about with ghostly Fire. Such Rukh-Seeds may be of the most powerful of Mageries."

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Minidungeon: A Cache of Crystal

A Cache of Crystal

This minidungeon is meant to be dropped into an existing dungeon system; perhaps at the end of a long and winding stairwell that gradually became crystal, or behind a glittering panel hidden by a secret door ... The rationale behind the Cache and its contents has been left deliberately untouched, so that individual DMs may create their own rationale behind the strangely glittering intrusion into a nice sensible dungeon environment ;3

All surfaces – walls, ceiling, floor – of the Cache are lined with thick icy-cold crystal. These crystal slabs are not of gem-quality and in fact will dissolve if removed from the Cache, but they do influence the environment around them: all individuals not protected from cold take one hit point of damage per turn spent within the Cache.

On the map of the Cache, 1 square = 10'.

1. “Vestibule”: This oddly-shaped chamber contains a single, locked door. Two heavy iron braziers flank the door, still somehow guttering with faint, milky-white flames that give off no heat. Also present are the bodies of two unfortunate adventurers, who will rise up as ghouls [AC6; HD 2**; hp 10, 12; Mv 90' (30'); Att 2 claws/1 bite; Dam 1-3/1-3/1-3 + paralysis; Sv F2; Ml 9; XP 25] and attack any who enter. The majority of their equipment has rotted or rusted away, with the exception of 23sp, 14gp and a silver dagger.

In the southeastern corner is a niche in which stands a battered marble statue of a lion-headed human in baroque armour. The statue's shattered hands once held objects; its shattered crystal spear lies against the wall of the niche, but the orb it once held is nowhere to be seen at the moment.

2. Bedchamber: Oddly normal-looking for such a place, this small chamber contains a small featherbed piled with four satin coverlets (44gp ea.), a desk with copper washbasin and ewer (6gp the set), and a hearth. The flagstones in this chamber have been replaced with roughened marble.

Two fragile texts on the desk are volumes of an esoteric work titled The Books of the Diamond Sun.

3. Sanctuary: The door to this chamber is carved from a solid slab of glittering, milky white crystal. It is locked, and neither thief skills nor magic will open it; the key, a smooth crystal orb that rests in a central hollow in the door, is in No. 5.

Two more braziers – these burning brightly – flank the inside of the locked door to this chamber. Inside, the ceiling is domed and hung with crystal; against the western wall rests an altar, to all appearances hewn from a single man-sized chunk of frosted crystal or eternal ice. Above the altar is a mosaic in monochromatic glass depicting an avian, phoenix-like creature. On the altar rests Blind Reflection.

Surrounding the altar and apparently fed from unseen springs is a semicircle of perfectly clear, faintly reflective fluid. If the altar is approached two verrun [AC4; HD 4+2**; hp 28, 25; Mv 120' (40'), sw 120' (40'), cmb/fl 120' (40'); Att 2 or 1 Dam 1-8/1-8 or suffocation; Sv F4; Ml 12; XP 275] will rise from the “moat” and issue one warning to leave the altar and its contents alone. If unheeded, or if the party shows signs of hesitating too long, the verrun will attack.

If the verrun are destroyed and Blind Reflection claimed, a circular portal 10' in diameter and ringed in black crystal opens in the centre of the chamber. (The destination of the portal is left for the DM to determine.)

4. Gallery of Blades: This open chamber appears to be empty save for the locked door in its northeastern wall. However, every ten feet crossed in the chamber will trigger the walls to spray a barrage of crystal blades, inflicting 1-4 hit points of damage to any within 5' who fail a save vs. death ray.

5. Annexe: Piled with amphorae containing strange frosty grain, porcelain bottles of icewine (12 ea., twenty salvageable bottles) and long-decayed exotic fruit, this is a very unusual storage room indeed. Other than the strange foodstuffs, the chamber holds two ivory chests (65gp ea.): one is filled with 232gp, the other is stuffed with strange dark-blue furs and four potion flasks wrapped in rough silks.

On the floor lies another body, this one inanimate and still showing signs of blade damage on its tattered clothing. The corpse carries a rusted shortsword, 34gp, a small ruby pendant (45gp) and a set of thieves' tools, as well as the crystal orb that serves as a key for No. 03.

Magic Item: Blind Reflection

Blind Reflection: This fey and enchanted weapon is a slender spear, its shaft of rowanwood ornamented with brass and black iron. The blade of the weapon, its tang sunk into a black iron socket, is long and shaped like a wickedly sharp prism; the weapon's head gleams with an impossibly reflective surface, like a crystal formed of a mirror's glass.

Blind Reflection is a spear +1, +2 vs. shapechangers and undead. The bane of enchantments and magics of all kinds, Blind Reflection may have its warding light invoked at any time: its blade flashes brilliantly, and any magical effect -- be it spell, magic item usage, mental influence, or even onrushing dragon breath -- is immediately nullified. However, Blind Reflection may only exercise this power six times; on the sixth usage of the warding light its blade shatters into dust.

The style of the weapon is a peculiar blend, resembling both the weaponry of the fallen neu empires and, most notably, the work of the bladesmith Jie Chue. Should that worthy ever be queried, however -- if he lives still -- the smith merely shakes his head with a small smile, reminding that he forges only swords.

Monster: Verrun

Armour Class: 4
Hit Dice: 4+2**
Move: 120' (40')
swim 120' (40'), climb 120' (40'), fly 120' (30')
Attacks: 2 or 1
Damage: 1-8/1-8 or special
No. Appearing: 1-4
Save As: F4
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: Nil
Alignment: Lawful
XP Value: 275

Creatures from some otherworldly plane -- or perhaps a sorcerer's fevered imagination -- verrun are ever-shifting beasts, flowing from plumed and barbed serpent to humanoid to bestial predator to strange and alien winged shapes without pattern or pause. Though seemingly composed of glass and quicksilver, water and molten gold, they are not automatons or golems. Once bid to guard a place or object, verrun are unswerving in their dedication to their purpose; but they attack as swiftly as they may, and give forewarning.

In combat verrun attack twice in a manner appropriate to their current shape; regardless of the means used, each attack inflicts 1-8 hit points of damage. If a verrun deems it a better choice, it will forego normal attacks for a breathless strike: if the target fails a save vs. poison, the verrun's fluid substance invades the target's breathing passages and begins to suffocate them. The victim is -2 to all rolls on the next round, -4 the next, and then must save again each round or die. The verrun may release its victim at any time, and may continue to attack other targets.

Verrun are immune to non-magical weapons. They take one less hit point of damage per die from any elementally-based damage.

Four Unusual Potions

Ninefold Golden Essence: Not surprisingly, this slightly syrupy fluid is a deep, warm golden colour, almost metallic looking; this potion is most commonly found in a bulbous flask of opaque white glass.

One dose of ninefold golden essence provides the imbiber with the following benefits for 2-5 turns: +1 bonus to Armour Class, +2 to saves vs. all mind-affecting magics or similar effects, and the imbiber takes one less hit point of damage from fire or the attacks of undead creatures. While ninefold golden essence is in effect, the imbiber's flesh resembles a flexible, dark gold metal.

Spirit-Calling Elixir: Usually -- but not always! -- stored in a vial of jade together with a carefully-inked diagram, the spirit-calling elixir is a completely colourless and almost vapourous tincture.

When poured upon the ground in the patterns displayed in the diagram, spirit-calling elixir summons 1-4 lesser elemental spirits to serve for ten turns or until dismissed or destroyed.

Draft of the Pale Moon: Thick and milky, the draft of the pale moon is the colour of cream with a distinct pearly sheen in any light. It is most commonly found in delicate flasks of silver or crystal.

Imbibing the draft of the pale moon bestows the ability to see, and to speak to, all manner of invisible and immaterial creatures for the duration of the potion's effect.

Wonderful Transmutation: Stored in dark flasks of nearly any substance, the wonderful transmutation is a thin blood-red liquid as reflective as quicksilver.

On its own, the wonderful transmutation has no effect. However, a spell of any kind -- though of third level or less -- may be cast into the liquid, and the potion will absorb and hold the spell's power. At any time afterward, the wonderful transformation may be imbibed and the stored magic absorbed by the imbiber, allowing an extra spell of the stored level or lower to be cast.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Magic Item: The Pale Lord's Light

The Pale Lord's Light: At once delicate and fearful, the Pale Lord's Light is an oil lamp no larger than two cupped hands. Unlike more common lamps of brass or even common earthenware, the Light is forged of hair-thin and glittering black iron, cool to the touch; it bears a single looped handle, and is covered in finely rendered etchings of arabesques and stylized wings.

The Pale Lord's Light is a double-edged blade. When filled with oil and lit, it burns with an unseen fire -- and calls all undead creatures within two hundred feet to it to stand motionless and insensate, staring at the colourless flame. This fire will last for an hour; and many adventurers deem this more than enough time to lure and ambush the undead hordes, or to barricade them away.

However, the Light bestows a second "gift". Any undead that basks in its light and is not destroyed when the lamp burns down is touched by the Pale Lord's power: the creature gains a full hit point count from its Hit Dice, +2 to to-hit and damage rolls, and is turned as if a creature of +4 Hit Dice. Its innate abilities, if applicable, inflict a -3 penalty to their saving throws. Perhaps worst of all, the creature may receive this blessing once a year, increasing all but its hit point count and receiving +2 Hit Dice or the ability to learn magic-user spells in its place.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Various project status and suchsort

My attempts to collate blog contents into a format that I can release through Lulu have been bordering on the comical (if not stressful), I have to admit. Outside sourses of distraction and stress have slowed me down but I am trying to get back in saddle, so to speak. I haven't set aside the notion, just trying to work out how to put it all together; the raw conversions to Labyrinth Lord, at least, are just about complete.

(There have been much flailing along the lines of "what in the seven shining hells do I do with it?!" --)

For the elemental project, I've started in on the critters and am working out basic notions for magic items, spells and the uses of cysts. The fluffier parts haven't had a word set down yet -- but arguably take up the lion's share of my mental meanderings on the subject.

... I am slow, and still a little flailing, for which I apologize.

I'm still working, though, don't worry *grins*

One thing that's been preying on my mind (aside from how to bridge together the blog contents) is the overlap between the blog critters and the critters to be put in the element collection. The various spirits at the very least arguably belong in both collections, and there are a small number of similar stragglers.

Would this bit of overlap be problematic for anyone interested in the collections? I'd love some input before I fret myself to death.

Magic Item: Edge of Dawn

Edge of Dawn: With heavy yet sinuous, curving lines and an almost organic design -- its grip contoured to fit the fingers, the bulbous curves of its quillions flowing into its deep-bellied blade -- the Edge of Dawn seems alien, unrelated to anything in the known world. Nor does its material dispel this thought, as the huge battle-blade is formed entirely of a pale golden glassy substance tinted with the merest touch, at blade-edge and raised whorls, of pink and colourless fire. Rippled and textured, particularly in the hilt, Edge of Dawn appears to have been poured ... or grown.

Edge of Dawn is a two-handed sword +2. Against amorphous creatures and beasts of chaos, the blade glows with an inner light and inflicts double damage.

When the Edge of Dawn has been used to destroy twenty creatures against which it is inimical, in any combination, its power of dawn patterning may be invoked. As much as ten cubic yards of raw material (cut wood or even felled trees, raw ore, bales of wool) may be transmuted into finished materials or objects, or ten cubic feet of "natural" matter (plants, stone, earth, simple animals) may be called into existence from literally nothing. Dawn patterning is reset even if the maximum amount of material is not shaped or created at once; the count of destroyed creatures begins again at zero whenever the power is used.

Though the sword has never revealed itself to be sapient, some wielders of the blade have recorded the sensation of an ancient presence watching their spirits and weighing their actions while they have borne the Edge of Dawn. The sword's alien form and substance, and its unique properties, suggest to many scholars that it is assuredly an artefact -- or even direct conduit -- to the forces that shaped the world. Despite its apparent benignity, the Edge of Dawn may bring more than expected to an unwitting or displeasing wielder.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Monster: Frost Ooze

Frost Ooze
Armour Class: 8
Hit Dice: 1+2**
Move: 120' (40')
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1-6 + special
No. Appearing: 1-10
Save As: F2
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: Nil
Alignment: Chaotic
XP Value: 23

Flowing like a thick syrup or runny gelatin, a frost ooze is a verminous and unearthly cold plasm that -- when actually motionless -- resembles a chunk of translucent ice. An icy white tinged faintly with a bluish cast, frost oozes are as translucent as glacier ice; as they slither along, they leave a frozen, glittering trail behind them.

A frost ooze attacks by lashing out with a quickly formed pseudopod, inflicting 1-6 hit points of damage and numbing the victim with bitter cold, causing a -1 to all rolls for two rounds. If a chilled victim is struck again by the ooze, or another ooze, in the same combat and a save vs. paralyzation is failed, the frost ooze freezes a patch of the victims's skin. Save for an ice-white discolouration (which fades in an hour) and another two rounds of -1 penalty, there appears to be no affect -- until the next time the victim rests. Then a 1/2 HD frost ooze bursts from the victim's flesh, inflicting 2-8 hit points of damage and immediately attacking its parasitized "parent".

Frost oozes are immune to blunt weapon damage, whereas fire inflicts double damage. Cold-based attacks cause an ooze to double in hit points.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Monster: Saviah

Water Spirit, Saviah
Armour Class: 4
Hit Dice: 6+6****
Move: 150' (50')
swim 210' (70')
Attacks: 2 claws or 1 tail slap
Damage: 1-6/1-6 or 2-12
No. Appearing: 1 (1-2)
Save As: F6
Morale: 9
Treasure Type: V
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 1550

Spinners of intrigue and keepers of secrets, saviah are valued -- if somewhat mistrusted -- spirits of the Courts of Water. These elemental spirits are serpentine, their sleek coils scaled in mother-of-pearl and trailing silvery seafoam fins edged in the blue-green of the ocean. Easily attaining twenty feet or more in length, a saviah may rear to seven feet or better; and their upper bodies display a strange blending of humanoid and feline traits, cloaked in a short and icy white pelt with their hands strong webbed paws bearing claws of shell. The head of a saviah is more lupine than feline, with great black-pearl eyes and a mane of wild sparkling seafoam; and down a saviah's backbone, amongst its delicate fins, lies a row of wicked red coral spines that match the curving horns on its brow. Saviah are soft-spoken, inquisitive creatures, but they follow their own agenda and no one else's.

Saviah contend that they have better uses for their time than crude combat. Nonetheless, if drawn into conflict they lash out with their claws, inflicting 1-6 hit points of damage per successful strike, or lash with their heavy spined tails for 2-12 hit points of damage. Far more preferable, to a saviah, is to create a seaweb -- a shimmering lacy pattern of water droplets and whirling currents that charms any within 15' that fail their saving throw. A saviah may create a seaweb once every six rounds. Once a day a saviah may lay a seabinding on a single target; if the victim fails a save versus spell, they are geased (as the magic-user spell) to follow one request or command of the water spirit.

Saviah have the spellcasting ability of 4th-level clerics. A magical weapon is required to harm them, and they regenerate 2 hit points per round when in contact with water or ice.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Magic Item: Daiyi's Bloodflames

Daiyi's Bloodflames: These crystalline items are each two inches long, resembling wickedly edged wedges of deep blood-red ruby, tinged with fire; slightly convex on their flats, the "head" of each wedge is a smoothly polished dome.

To use a bloodflame, the wedge must be driven into the skull of the new bearer above and between the eyes until only the domed head is exposed. This procedure causes the loss of one point of Constitution. In addition to the Constitution loss, the new bearer may sacrifice hit points in order to gain further daily uses of the bloodflame; without this pool of energy, the bloodflame may only be activated once a day.

Expending a use of the bloodflame produces one of the following effects, which are considered innate and nonmagical abilities of the bearer:

- passively detect magic for one hour

- add damage to a single attack (physical or magical) equal to 1-8 + the bearer's level

- add +2 to Armour Class, to hit rolls and saves for one hour

- heal 2-8 hit points

Other, unique abilities have been noted for certain bloodflames.

Daiyi is an obscure and little-known historic figure, apparently a spellcaster of some repute -- though accounts do not agree as to the precise nature of its magic, its sex or even its race. Certain texts suggest that Daiyi may have been some form of spirit or otherworldly creature, perhaps a guardian beast or daimon. Further items have also been attributed to Daiyi, including the ring of the glass cage and the bloodblade of Heaven and Earth.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Monster: Hetera

Armour Class: 7
Hit Dice: 1+4*
Move: 180’ (60’)
Attacks: 1 tail-lash or 2 claws + 1 bite
Damage: 1-4 + paralysis or 1-3/1-3/1-4
No. Appearing: 2-8 (3-18)
Saves: Normal Man
Morale: 7
Treasure: Nil
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 19

Hetera are unusual animals the size of turkeys; long of hindlimb with spreading claws, their forelimbs are considerably shorter and end in paws suitable for running or grasping, with a wickedly curved talon on a powerful "thumb". With compact bodies, a long slender tail, curved neck and compactly-muzzled head armed with a small beak and four fang-like tusks, hetera are well-armed for being such small beasts. A hetera's hide is covered in soft mink-brown downy fuzz, while its four feet are scaled like a bird's -- and its tail bears a crest of long, poisonous quills running down the final quarter of its length.

Though normally herbivorous, hetera will scavenge or pick up small animals when given the chance. In combat a hetera will lash out with its quilled tail for 1-4 hit points of damage; those wounded by the quills must save vs. poison or be paralyzed for 1-6 turns. If its poison fails, and the hetera feels cornered or is in a large flock, it will begin to attack with thumb-claws and bite for 1-3 and 1-4 hit points of damage respectively until capable of fleeing. If enough adversaries are felled by poison, hetera will begin to scissor out flesh with their beaks and fangs.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Three Lock-ley Notions

Lockjaw: This small construct is carefully worked into the bulk of the object it secures, looking like a elaborate, scalloped brass and steel lock raised high from the surface of the door, chest or what-have-you. However, sharp shining teeth of adamant fill the irising keyhole jaws of a lockjaw, ready to neatly sever any object -- lockpick, fingertip, or otherwise -- that pokes into its maw. Only its own brassy key will be permitted inside.

The Golden Gear: Not simply one gear, but a cluster of tiny golden glass gears perpetually rotating within a colourless crystal sphere the size of a walnut, the golden gear will disable any wizard lock it happens to be pressed against. The myriad tiny gears whir and churn, appearing to extend through their shell and snarl in the now-visible spell-lock, unraveling the magics that hold the portal shut. The golden gear is always charged; with every use, one of its gears changes to a dull silver, until the sphere is inert.

Bindspider: Varying in size from a coin to a clenched human fist, bindspiders are objects of steel and crystal clockwork, electrum plates and silver wire. If applied to a door's latch, the bindspider will dig its legs into door and frame, pressing its body into the wood or stone; if presented to a latch's loop on a chest, it will thread its limbs in pairs through the catch and clutch them together. If an object can bear a lock, the bindspider can become that lock. Most bindspiders possess no keys, responding only to the touch of their owners.

Monday, June 8, 2009

returned ...

... productive posting may still be patchy for at least a few days. Things have not gone as I would have liked today.

In the meantime, please grant me the indulgence of the following; not the most practical of entries, perhaps, but a needed one.

Armour Class: 8
Hit Dice: 1**
Move: 120’ (40’)
Attacks: 2 claws + 1 bite
Damage: 1-2 (see below)
No. Appearing: 1
Saves: C1
Morale: 10
Treasure: O
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 19

A burra appears much like a large housecat. It is long in the body and legs, with the hind legs being a little longer than the forelegs; its coat is black, with white paws, muzzle blaze and “bib”, and its eyes are a rusty green-gold. Burra are known to crop up occasionally in the strangest places, sometimes to meddle in humanoid affairs and sometimes to offer pithy – or even useful – advice in their strange silent “telepathy”, indicated with much swiveling of their ears. Some burra even set themselves up as sages of a sort.

Burra disdain physical combat. This is just as well, as their combined attacks of claws and bite will inflict at most 1-2 hit points damage; they may cast spells as 2nd-level magic-users, however, and have no compunctions against attempting to raise that bar even further. Though not innately capable of becoming invisible, much like a halfling a burra may conceal itself in the slightest of cover (or even the absence of cover), with only a 1-in-10 chance of being spotted so long as the burra remains still. Similarly a burra can move with uncanny silence, making sound only on a 1-in-6.

One legendary burra, commonly known as Ashura, is believed to have the spellcasting ability of a 5th-level magic-user in addition to the skills of a 9th-level thief. Ashura has a definite taste for cynicism -- and a dragon's hoard of texts -- but has been known to unbend for adventurers in a jam.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Exile Commences.

Today I wind up on a plane, off on an exilea vacation in the loving clutchesarms of my family.

Depending on the state of house renovations, the exasperating dialup, and the whims of my mother, I may not have a great deal of access to the vastness of the interwebs while I'm gone. I'll pop in if I can, but posting is essentially going to drop to nil.

I shall be back on 08 June!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Genreh's Text

[A tiny girdle-book of fragile parchment leaves, slim and bound in soft mink-brown doeskin and containing four carefully-annotated spells. Strangely, the contents are divided between the art of the magic-user and the miracles of the cleric; the first inked in crimson, the second in gold. The tiny book is commonly believed to be named for its discoverer.]

Reading Life's Threads
Level: C 1
Range: 25'
Duration: 1 round
Effect: Divines the health and physical integrity of a creature

Casting this spell allows the determination -- at a glance -- whether a creature has been injured, has been poisoned, or is currently in ill-health. Reading life's threads does not exactly identify the nature of magical or cursed malady; however, you may use the information it provides to work towards a positive identification. Lycanthropy, for example, may register as a magical curse caused by injury -- but review of the subject's battles will narrow the options swiftly.

Level: C 2
Range: Touch
Duration: 1 day
Effect: Places a beneficial "packet" of energy within subject

The casting of this spell creates a lifeseed, a "packet" of energy drawn from the Positive Energy Plane, and places it within the chosen recipient. At any time during the spell's duration, the recipient may choose to absorb the energy contained within the lifeseed; this absorption either heals 1-6 hit points or nourishes the recipient as if it were a normal meal. Only one lifeseed may be carried at one time by any given individual.

Will of the Scarlet Moon
Level: MU 2
Range: 100'
Duration: 1 turn
Effect: Enchants a subject with a monofocused bloodlust

Will of the scarlet moon, when cast upon a chosen target, compels that target to single-mindedly attack a single designated creature to the best of its ability. While under the influence of will of the scarlet moon, the targeted individual ignores all other individuals and threats, attacking its designated victim with bloody intensity; they gain a +2 to to hit rolls and damage, but -4 to Armour Class.

Scarlet Moon's Fury
Level: MU 3
Range: 100'
Duration: 5 rounds
Effect: Imbues a powerful -- and murderous -- battle-skill

The enchantment placed by this spell creates a surge of unending fury and blood-hunger in a single creature, making them into a single-minded, nearly bestial combatant. To hit rolls and damage inflicted are increased by +4; Wisdom, however, drops to 6 and no actions may be taken other than to attack savagely. The recipient is immune to further mind-influencing spells while under the fury's effects, and will attempt to kill anyone within sight -- including the magic-user, given the chance.