Saturday, December 18, 2010

Monster: Musillyc

Because I can never resist these kinds of suggestions ...

Armour Class: 4
Hit Dice: 1+3*
Move: None
Attacks: 1 clamp
Damage: 1-6
No. Appearing: 1-100
Save As: C2
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: Special
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 15

Strange and oddly beautiful molluscs, musillyc are believed by some to have been magically modified from the jekti. Unlike the cave clams, however, musillyc are immobile and hang in clusters from delicate-looking strands of golden byssus, and their shining shells are long, fluted, and edged with rippling edged pierced through with uncountable holes. Each musillyc is surrounded by a globe of aetherous water, its multicoloured gills trailing through the globe and its shell relaxed and open; and the sound of the surrounding air passing through the water and the piercings of their shells creates an inhuman yet soothing music.

Musillyc do not enter combat, though if disturbed one will snap its shell closed on the irritant and inflict 1-6 hit points of damage. The musillyc's music has a magical, hypnotic effect however -- all who hear it find themselves unwilling to be aggressive or willful, receiving a -3 penalty to all aggressive actions and saving throws vs. charm or spell.

There is a 2-in-6 chance that a musillyc will carry 1-8 transparent pearls of rainbow hues, valued at anything from 50 to 500gp. Musillyc pearls are more valuable sold in groups, as they chime together musically.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Magic Item: The Burning Road

Under the brilliant noonday sun Jie Chue laboured at the forge; a tremor signaled another's presence, and he paused his work.

A brash and stubborn princeling stood before him, his temper quenched as he detailed his desire. Strength and brilliance forged as one, though without the touch of iron; no dainty graces, only the power and the will.

Jie Chue sent the princeling to the south as he turned back to his forge.

At the fall of night, he gave the gift of the earth's own fire.

The Burning Road: A massive two-handed sword, almost too heavy to lift, the Burning Road bears an unnaturally broad blade and a chisel tip. Forged not from any metal but from black basalt, the sword's blade is shot through with glowing veins of red-hot magma; despite this the sword's edge is honed as fine as an obsidian razor. Burning Road's grip is wrapped with rough red leather braiding, and its pommel is decorated with tassels of fire opals and red silk.

The Burning Road is a two-handed sword +1. With each successful strike, the blade stores one "point" and its veins glow even more firey; when four points have been stored they may be expended to fuel the blade as it is used to destroy a single enchantment or similar magical or mental influence. Alternately, the points may be expended to create a firepath -- a focused beam of flame from the blade that unerringly points towards a desired location known to its bearer. The beam lingers for four rounds.

This blade does not approve of those without the will to fight fairly for its gifts; damaging allies or oneself in order to accumulate power results in a backlash of 1-6 points of damage per point in the blade as phantom magma lashes the offender.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Dozen Dungeon Diversions

Sometimes, you just need a bit of "dungeon dressing" or an oddity to leave your players scratching their heads ...

- A stone statue of a goblin, paper-thin and hollow. If the statue is broken, goblin bones tumble out.

- Seven mushrooms growing from a rotted leather satchel, each one's cap being a different colour of the visible spectrum.

- An intricate set of gears and levers set into a hollowed-out panel in the ceiling or wall. The clockworks move continuously but have no obvious purpose.

- A small, white and friendly kitten with glowing eyes. The kitten will follow the party everywhere; if it is killed, the next night there are two kittens.

- Shattered and freshly bloody chains left in a haphazard pile in an otherwise empty room or corridor.

- A white marble doorframe replacing a normal dungeon door. A hour after the doorframe is passed through, the party's shadows turn white for a day.

- Leaning against a wall, a pyramid made from fourteen dead tarantulas.

- Fifteen knucklebones laid out in the shape of an arrow (perhaps pointing at a secret door, perhaps at nothing at all) on the floor.

- A pool of phosphorescent water seeping in through the dungeon walls. The water is safe to drink (tastes fruity!) and detects as magical, but has no special properties other than its glow.

- A sudden breeze carries the scent of marigolds, scorched metal and blood.

- At head-height, a rusty dagger is thrust into a wall; from the pommel-nut dangles a leather thong strung with teeth and walnut shells.

- Sprawled against a wall, an elven skeleton wearing the tattered remains of a kobold hide as a mantle. The fingerbones appear to have been sharpened.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Feathers and Death

What started off as my deciding on writing another video game hack (similar to, if not as extensive, as my Final Fantasy hack notions) has rapidly mutated into something else.

I suppose I had other ideas simmering in the back of my head; whatever the cause, the items and critters contained in the document below pay lip service at best to the original source material.

Feathers and Death

A 1-up to anyone who recognizes the game *grins*

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"My" D&D; or, oh yay a meme.

when you think about Dungeons & Dragons, the cover of what product comes first to mind?"

Oh yeah. I went there. *snorts*

I may be happily pittering about with the Rules Cyclopedia off and on at the moment, but AD&D2 is my home and always will be -- and one of these days I'll be getting that Spelljammer campaign up and running. And my next Planescape campaign for that matter.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Monster: Jekti

Armour Class: 5
Hit Dice: 1-1
Move: 6' (2')
climb 6' (2')
Attacks: 1 spit
Damage: 1-4
No. Appearing: 4-40
Save As: Normal Man
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: Special
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 6

Commonly called cave clams and dungeon oysters, jekti have slippery grey-green bodies and a row of beady red eyes encased in thick, ruffly bivalved shells the size of an ogre's head. On rare occasions a jekti may be seen slowly migrating along nearly any stony surface found in a cavern – or dungeon – but the cave clams are most commonly found clustered in colonies on walls, choking off passageways, and generally being a nuisance. Some dungeon inhabitants cultivate the clams for that very purpose.

If approached, and especially if disturbed, a jekti will gape its shell and spit a hissing stream of orange-yellow acid at the interloper, inflicting 1-4 hit points of damage with a range of 10'. The acid will inflict a further hit point of damage the following round, then go inert.

The bitter, caustic flesh of a jekti is not considered palatable by humans or most demihumans, but goblinoids of all stripes consider cave clams a prized treat. The molluscs collect no treasure per se; however, each jekti has a 15% chance to carry an amber-tinted “acid pearl” within its slippery mantle.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Monster: Lithira

Armour Class: 8
Hit Dice: 3*
Move: 180' (60')
Attacks: 2 hooves
Damage: 1-4/1-4
No. Appearing: 2-20
Save As: C3
Morale: 7
Treasure Type: Special
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 50

Found in oases and the grasslands that make up the desert's southern reaches, the lithira is a delicate looking creature that travels in small herds and resembles an antelope in basic build. Long of limb and neck, the “pearl gazelle” sports a long plumed tail, large black eyes, and a snowy coat in addition to the plate of pearly horn that gives the creature its common name. Though this plate -– spanning the top of the skull and down the length of the muzzle -– is lovely in its own right, the lithira's true treasure lies in the smooth organic gemstone found in the skull-bone beneath. Deep ruby in the female and amethyst in the male, these “pearls” are highly valued as talismans with up to 200gp in good condition.

In combat the lithira attacks with sharp forehooves, inflicting 1-4 hit points of damage per hoof. though not immune to non-magical weapons, if a lithira is struck by mundane steel it will dissolve into an insubstantial, mist-like form for a round. During this time the lithira may not be attacked at all, save by magic; the pearl gazelle will attempt to flee if possible, and any further attacks while the lithira is in mist form provoke a magical backlash against the attacker of 1-8 hit points of damage.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Spells for Lonely Letters

After my dead-tree copy of Jeff Rients' Ye Olde Book of Spells arrived in the mail today, I was struck by a certain notion:

To cheer up the poor lonely letters in the book.

I'm also half out of my head in a murderous heatwave, so fair warning in regards to what follows *grins*

Gate of the Moon
Level: MU3
Range: 1 mile
Duration: 5 rounds
Effect: Opens a temporary spatial gate

When this spell is cast a disk-shaped 5’-diameter portal, ringed in silvery, luminescent crystal, is created; this disk will transfer anything which passes through it to a single location of the magic-user's choice within range. The magic-user can then instantly transfer himself from his current location to the chosen location by stepping through the manifested gate; if the magic-user travels through first, the gate will collapse before any other may pass through. The magic-user always arrives at exactly the spot desired when the moongate is created.

Level: MU2
Range: Touch
Duration: 1 turn
Effect: Focuses enmity into wounding ability

Casting this spell onto a target, the magic-user implants within that target’s mind a driving hostility against a single target or creature type (spellcasters – not recommended if you're still in reach! – orcs, dragons, etc). For the duration of the spell, the target may focus that enmity into increased damage and accuracy in combat: an extra 1-10 hit points of damage for every successful attack. However, all attempts to attack subjects other than that targeted by judgement's effects suffer a penalty equal to the spell’s bonuses.

Level: MU1
Range: 100’
Duration: Instantaneous
Effect: A bolt of necrotic force

A nasty twist on the traditional magic missile, a netherbarb is also a floating bolt of magical energy – in this case, purplish-black and writhing. A netherbarb inflicts 1-4 hit points of damage to a living target and causes one point of Strength to be lost for two hours – but it will “heal” 1-8 hit points of damage if cast at an undead creature.

Quelling Touch
Level: C2
Range: Touch
Duration: 1 round
Effect: Blocks all non-mundane abilities

Casting this spell prevents the target from casting spells or calling upon similar supernatural powers or abilities for a single round. This includes using spell scrolls or similar items, or using innate yet unnatural abilities such as a charm gaze or fire breathing.

The Thousand Masks
Level: MU2
Range: 0
Duration: 1 hour
Effect: Changes own shape

By the use of this spell, the magic-user may manipulate their shape into any other reasonably humanoid form. Weight may be shifted by as much as one-half, and extra limbs -- such as wings or additional arms -- may be grown (no more than two). No special attacks, defenses or abilities are gained despite the changes in shape. Colouration may also be changed by the use of this spell.

Unblinking Eyes of the Lynx
Level: C1
Range: 30’
Duration: 1 turn
Effect: Increases visual awareness

Casting this spell sharpens the target's ability to absorb and process visual information, granting a +1 bonus to attempts to find hidden or secret doors and similar instances of cunningly-hidden things. The target's eyes develop a pale gold-green luminescence while the spell is active.

Level: MU2
Range: 100’
Duration: Up to 1 week (see below)
Effect: Plants a delayed command in the target’s mind

Casting this spell allows the magic-user to place, undetected, a single command within the psyche of the target to be acted upon at a later time. Such a command or suggestion must be relatively simple, such as “bring the red vase to the crossroads” or “keep the outer door unlocked”, and may not be self-destructive. The command remains quiescent and undetectable until its pre-set "waiting period" elapses. The xenourge may also be implanted with a trigger word or situation instead of a flat waiting period.

Yesterday’s Grace
Level: C1
Range: Touch
Duration: 1 round
Effect: Gathers information from an object or place

By casting this spell and touching an object (or a wall, in the case of a room; said room or part of a room may be no larger than 20x20’), the cleric may determine the following information about the item’s previous condition: condition, physical ownership, actual ownership, location (if applicable), and usage.

Zone of Docility
Level: MU2
Range: 50’
Duration: 4 rounds
Effect: An area in which hostilities are impossible

Casting this spell produces a soft, melodic drone in a 20’ radius which lulls all hearing it into a half-hypnotized state, leaving them vulnerable and unable to take offensive actions. The spell affects 3d8 HD of creatures within its area of effect; victims are effectively stunned, unable to take any action, for the first round. In subsequent rounds those affected are addled but recovering, capable of defending if attacked but little else. Victims making their saves are addled in the first round and subsequently unaffected.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Magic Item: Tifani

Tifani: A small defensive construct beloved of the neu, a tifani is an orb of scintillating glass shards in a riot of colours, held in spherical shape by a delicate orichalcum frame.

Some tifani are are triggered by touch (such as by being picked up), or are pre-set to trigger when a moving object comes within a certain range, or by the presence of a specific type of being. Other tifani are even equipped with tiny legs of orichalcum and bronze, waddling about like animated baubles until their trigger is met.

As soon as that trigger is tripped, however, the tifani detonates in a magic-fuelled ball of glittering flame and needles of magically-hardened glass, inflicting 2-12 hit points of damage on all within a 10' radius of the exploding construct.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Repost: Esper Class v. alpha

As the old download link is, it seems, broken:

Esper v. alpha

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Book of Light

[A small volume, this spellbook has covers of finely hammered and frosted steel with a faintly bluish tinge, formed over a core of oak. Both covers are lipped and one is slightly larger than the other, such that the pages are completely encased when the book is closed. The pages themselves are of fine parchment, the script and diagrams within recorded in a strong hand in black ink; the front cover bears an unknown sigil in cobalt and azure enamel. The Book of Light contains eight first level magic-user spells, six unique spells as detailed below with the addition of shield and magic missile.]

Level: MU1
Range: 0
Duration: 1 turn
Effect: Blocks magic missile damage and creates a concussive sphere

Casting this spell creates a field of magical energy around the magic-user which halves the damage caused by magic missiles and similar effects. Once during the duration of the spell, the magic-user may create a palm-sized shimmering black orb; this orb may be thrown up to 20' and explodes with concussive force, causing 1-6 hit points of damage.

Arms of the Brute
Level: MU1
Range: 0
Duration: 1 turn or 1 hour
Effect: Improve damage in combat or ability to lift, carry and haul

The magic-user has two forms of this spell to choose from. If the combat version is used, a +2 to weapon damage is gained for one turn; if the non-combat version is chosen, the magic-user adds +4 to their Strength score for the purposes of lifting, carrying and similar activities for an hour.

Silver Sickles
Level: MU1
Range: 50'
Duration: 4 rounds
Effect: Creates flying silvery shears

Casting this spell conjures a pair of curved, hinged shearing blades that can be commanded to fly up to 50' away from the magic-user. In combat the blades deal damage as a dagger, and function as a silver weapon; against plants and plant-based monsters the blades inflict an additional 2 hit points of damage.

Shining Bolt
Level: MU1
Range: 50'
Duration: 1 turn
Effect: A shattering bolt of electricity

Bright and to the point, this spell produces a bolt of brilliant lightning that races towards the chosen target, inflicting 1-6 hit points of damage; the bolt also shatters metal and desiccates scale and flesh, causing the target's Armour Class to worsen by 2.

Level: MU1
Range: 40'
Duration: 1 round
Effect: A blade of ice and possible environmental hazard

This spell creates a razor-keen shard of ice that flies at a single target within range, causing 1-6 hit points of damage upon impact. Alternatively the magic-user may direct the shard against the ground, creating a slippery skin of ice up to 40 square feet in area that lasts for four rounds; any attempting to cross the ice must make a dexterity check or fall prone.

Shroud of the Blaze
Level: MU1
Range: 0
Duration: 1 turn
Effect: Orbiting protective flames

Casting this spell creates two airborne flames that circle around the magic-user. Any opponent that attacks the magic-user in melee is stuck by the flames, receiving 1-2 hit points of damage. Once during the duration of the spell, the magic-user may create a third flame; this flame may be directed to 40' away and causes 1-4 hit points of damage to its target.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Magic Item: The Waiting Storm

In the falling light of evening Jie Chue found himself approached by the scion of an ancient line.

This pale-haired prince desired a pair of light and shining blades, quick to blood, a hidden sting; though, cursed in his blood, could wield no steel. He asked only for wisdom.

Jie Chue smiled and turned away.

In the rising light of morning he gifted the prince with dawn's own lightning.

The Waiting Storm: Paired shortswords, The Waiting Storm is crafted of transparent glass as strong as steel; pale gold and rose and colourless, the glass of the blades appears rippled and dimpled though is perfectly smooth and bearing a razor's edge. Though hilt and pommel are cast as one with the blades, the grip of each sword is wrapped with twisted white and jade green silks and bear a white silk tassel tipped with gold. Each of the Storm's blades holds within a bit of the power of lightning, released at the will of the wielder.

Each blade of The Waiting Storm is a shortsword +1. With every successful strike, a blade will generate one hit point's worth of stored damage to a maximum of six points stored in each blade. These points may be expended as electrical damage during an attack; alternately, three points may be expended to hold a target for one hour if a save vs. paralysis is failed.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Pair of Spells

The Peacock Robe
Level: MU1
Range: 0
Duration: 1 hour
Effect: Enhances the personal Charisma of the caster

By casting this spell, the magic-user cloaks themselves in a scintillating glamour that amplifies their personability. Appearing to be a more charismatic and trustworthy individual, the magic-user gains a +2 to reaction rolls for the spell's duration.

Bright Ember Bindings
Level: MU2
Range: 40 ft.
Duration: 4 hours
Effect: Constricts the target's limbs with flame

By casting this spell, the magic-user binds the target's wrists (or equivalent with manacles of brilliant blue-gold flame. These manacles prevent actions requiring free use of the limbs; and every round in which the captive actively struggles the manacles constrict and flare, inflicting 1-2 hit points of damage.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Magic Item: Scarab Arrows

Scarab Arrows: Ancient creations of the oldest kingdom of the Glittering Sands, scarab arrows are in the current era often more prized for their antiquity and delicate craftmanship than for their enchantments. All scarab arrows have bronzewood shafts and are fletched with golden falcon feathers; the head of an arrow is a delicate, detailed sculpture of a scarab beetle, legs held pointed before it. Depending on the type of arrow, the scarab may be of obsidian, deep blue glass, or gold.

A scarab arrow is an arrow +1. Different types of arrow have different properties, as follows:

Obsidian: The scarab animates and burrows into the flesh of its target, inflicting 1 hit point of damage and -1 to morale per round until cut or pulled free or dispel magic is cast on it.

Blue glass: If the target fails a saving throw vs. spells, it is then charmed by the individual who fired the arrow despite the injury.

Gold: Erupts into pale golden light upon contact, inflicting 1-4 hp damage unless the target is undead; affects the undead as if holy water.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Monster: Fossil

More bones! Just of a perhaps more palatable kind ;3

Armour Class: 6/4/2
Hit Dice: 3/6/9*
Move: 90' (30')
stoneswim 90' (30')
Attacks: 3
Damage: 1-4/1-4/1-8 or 1-6/1-6/1-12, or 1-8/1-8/2-20
No. Appearing: 1-4
Save As: F3/6/9
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: I
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 50/725/1950

Fossils are unusual elementals; spirits of earth inhabiting the petrified bones of long-dead creatures. The animating force of the elemental draws the bones together again, granting it a physical body with which to travel through -- literally! -- the mundane world. The hollow eyes of a fossil shine with tiny pinpricks of gold or jade-coloured light. Despite their appearance, fossils are not undead and cannot be turned, harmed by holy water, or otherwise affected by magic or objects that affect the undead.

In combat a fossil strikes with whatever natural weaponry its stony frame possesses, slamming petrified bone into its opponents when necessary. Most fossils possess a combination of “weapons” and attack in a one/one/two pattern, inflicting damage as noted for their Hit Dice above. Fossils of six and nine Hit Dice cause petrification in the bodies of their victims when they strike, effectively draining one level in a round in which the fossil successfully attacked.

Fossils are immune to non-magical weapons, and to all damage from earth and cold. They take double damage from lightning-based attacks.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Monster: Kiknai

Kiknai (Frost Swan)
Armour Class: 7
Hit Dice: 2+2
Move: 120' (40')
fly 180' (60')
Attacks: 2 wings or by weapon
Damage: 1-6/1-6 or by weapon
No. Appearing: 1-3
Save As: F3
Morale: 9
Treasure Type: M
Alignment: Any
XP Value: 35

The kiknai – commonly referred to as “frost swans” or “snow swans” – are large swan-like birds with faintly sparkling, pure white plumage, silver-grey feet and bills, and brilliant blue eyes. Native to the frozen lands, the odd kiknai may put in an appearance in warmer climes, whether as a migrant, a noble's garden ornament, or simple curiosity – as the snow swans are as intelligent as any human, and may take a human shape.

In combat a kiknai will fight with whatever weapons come to hand if it wears a human form, but prefers combat in its native shape. As an avian a kiknai batters with its great wings, inflicting 1-6 hit points of damage with each strike. Every three rounds a snow swan may create a frostwave with its wings, a freezing cone of air measuring 20' long and 10' wide at its end that inflicts 4-16 hit points of damage.

In human shape a kiknai usually but not always has hair of white or silver; their eyes are always brilliant blue, however, and a coolness seems to follow them. In either shape they are immune to all forms of cold.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Magic Item: Cerastes Staff

Cerastes Staff: Though ancient of design and -- like many other objects of their kind -- attributed to the neu of more temperate climes, the cerastes staff has found its greatest popularity amongst the traveling spellcasters and mystics of the Golden Reach and its desert borders. Appearing crafted of bronzewood carved with a sheath of tiny scales and bound with copper rings, when held up to the sun a cerastes staff shines transparent, like brazen glass, and reveals intricate internal clockworks of gold and adamant and garnet. Usable as a weapon, a cerastes staff is more useful still when its fangs are bared.

A cerastes staff is a staff +1. As willed by the bearer of the staff, a pair of small bronze fangs or "horns" may be extended from the side of the weapon; if these horns are used to draw blood -- even a scratch will do -- the staff will negate any one poison affecting the bloodied individual. The staff will then store the poison to be used against a target by deploying the fangs once more, and will not heal again until the stored toxin is expelled.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Monster: Sa'au

Armour Class: 4
Hit Dice: 1+4
Move: 150' (50')
Attacks: 2 claws + 1 bite
Damage: 1-2/1-2/1 + special
No. Appearing: 2-12
Save As: C1
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: Nil
Alignment: Chaotic
XP Value: 23

Eerie little creatures of death, sa'au resemble nothing so much as the half-crystallized, ambulatory skeletons of human infants. Empty jaws chattering like off-key chimes, sa'au prefer to attack in swarms whenever possible, overwhelming their targets with panic before they move in with tiny bone claws to pluck away bits of soulstuff.

In combat sa'au attack with their hardened bony fingers and snapping jaws, inflicting 1-2 hit points per claw and 1 hit point per bite. If sa'au makes a successful bite attack it latches onto its victim, causing 1 point of Constitution to be lost every round until the creature is destroyed. This loss is recovered after four hours; if all Constitution is lost, the victim dies and a new sa'au claws free from the corpse within twenty-four hours.

When first faced with an attacking swarm of sa'au, a save vs. paralyzation must be made or the wave of fear generated by the creatures causes a mental crippling; all actions against the sa'au are at -2 to all rolls until one sa'au is destroyed.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Another Handful of NPCs

Name: Jenan
Class (or lack thereof): Normal Man (jack-of-all-trades)
Armour and Armour Class: none -- AC 9
Hit Points: 4
Weapon(s): dagger, staff
Belongings of Note: wrapped leather packet of honeycomb, dog and small cart
Alignment: Lawful
Notes: Cheerful, but prone to taking sides in an argument. Third-generation daughter of beekeepers, highly knowledgeable about unusual insects and insectoid creatures.

Name: Rilani
Class (or lack thereof): C1
Armour and Armour Class: chain mail -- AC 5
Hit Points: 5
Weapon(s): sling, mace
Belongings of Note: iron and silver holy symbol, linen formal vestments in grey and golden yellow, wolfsbane
Alignment: Neutral
Notes: Cleric of a martial deity and considers running from a battle dishonourable. Has lost a fellow cleric to lycanthropes while a novitiate and rages over the fact; she gains a +1 to hit against such creatures.

Name: Keskia
Class (or lack thereof): Normal Man (scribe and bookkeeper)
Armour and Armour Class: none -- AC 9
Hit Points: 3
Weapon(s): dagger
Belongings of Note: scribal kit, lacquered bronze seal, needle-daggers concealed in hairpins
Alignment: Lawful
Notes: A stickler for details and the letter of the law – but, if her trust is gained, will also happily point out any available loopholes in local laws that deal with taxes, fees and other such levies of cash. Collector of old manuscripts.

Name: Tajar
Class (or lack thereof): F1
Armour and Armour Class: leather armour -- AC 8
Hit Points: 7
Weapon(s): dagger, shortbow, spear
Belongings of Note: bundle of raw pelts, bone charms and carving tools, set of boar's tusks
Alignment: Chaotic
Notes: Flighty but not violent, save when startled or expecting the local law to come crashing down on poachers. Gets highly agitated when she is in an urban environment for longer than a night or two. Loves baby ducks.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Book of the White Cat

[A compact volume of spells and cryptic notations on the construction of mageries, the Book of the White Cat is small enough in size to be cradled comfortably in the crook of an arm. The Book's pages are of creamy parchment edged in gold, its contents scribed in a sure and delicate hand in black and cinnabar inks; the covers are of dense oak overlain with immaculately clean white velvet. And -- over the velvet -- is stitched, edged in golden thread, what seems to be the pelt of a small white cat, with its tail dangling free from the spine of the Book. The "bones" inside the tail are of silver, however, and the tail serves as a magery that will contain one spell level per day when life energy is given to power it.]

Veil of Mist
Level: M1
Range: 0
Duration: 2 turns
Effect: Magical field absorbs energy

Casting this spell cloaks the magic-user in a protective sheath of magical force. This ward may take on any form -- a pearly mist, orbiting plates of milky crystal, a barely-perceptible green glow -- and will absorb 2-5 hit points of elementally- or magically-inflicted damage before dissipating.

Level: M1
Range: 60'
Duration: 4 hours
Effect: A single warding rune

Casting this spell places the glyph for "watchfulness" anywhere within the spell's radius. This glyph is normally silvery but may be rendered visible only to the magic-user if so desired when the spell is cast. For the duration of senseglyph, if a creature passes within 5' of the glyph the magic-user is alerted to the activity; the glyph does not identify the type of creature, or its intent.

Winter's Talons
Level: M1
Range: 60'
Duration: 10 rounds
Effect: Grasping spars of ice injure and confine

Casting this spell at a target coats its lower body in bitterly cold ice, freezing it in place and injuring the flesh. The target takes 1-3 hit points of damage and is immobilized for the spell's duration unless they can break free; a successful Strength check will enable escape in 2-4 rounds, and strong creatures break free in 1-2 rounds. Application of flames will free the target but also inflict appropriate damage.

The Fire Rose
Level: M1
Range: 0
Duration: 4 turns
Effect: A flower-like sphere of flame

Casting the fire rose conjures to the magic-user's hand a rippling, twisting sphere of flickering fire that resembles a stylized rose of flame. The magic-user may elect to use the fire rose as a melee weapon (as a dagger, with +1 to to-hit and damage rolls), or release it as a single-use projectile with a range of 60', 1-6 hit points damage and a +3 bonus to hit.

Pale Winds Gifting
Level: M2
Range: touch
Duration: permanent
Effect: Sacrifice lifeforce for healing another

A rare curative trick in the magic-user's arsenal, this spell allows the caster to give up their own lifeforce for others. For every hit point sacrificed by the caster, the recipient is healed two hit points. This spell's dweomer resists being cheated; if a clerical healing spell is applied to the caster to heal the sacrificed hit points, it is only half as effective.

Storm of Doves
Level: M2
Range: 120'
Duration: 1 round
Effect: Creates doves of lightning

Storm of doves creates a flock of fluttering birds of crackling electricity that swarm all within a 15' radius of the spell's point of origin. The doves inflict 2-8 hit points of damage, and victims must save vs. paralyzation or be stunned for one round.

White Queen Tail: The tail dangling from the Book of the White Cat functions as a low-powered, universal magery that requires lifeforce in order to function. Every day a single spell level may be created and stored within the Tail by sacrificing two hit points which may not be healed that day; the Tail will hold no more than that single spell level at a time, which may be tapped when the owner of the Tail wishes in order to cast any single first level spell currently available to the owner.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Five Uncommon Metals

When spicing up a treasure hoard, sometimes minor -- if still unusual -- properties of an item's material can be every bit as interesting as a new enchantment, especially if the material is rare and/or valued in and of itself. (Mithral, anyone?)

With that in mind, a few unusual metals for weapons, armour, or odder widgets:

Ignis Cor: A dense, brilliantly cherry-red and slightly translucent metal that -- despite being of no unusual temperature itself -- registers as fire to anything which may react to fire. Useful as a weapon against creatures weak to flames, dangerous when stored with very flammable substances.

Pet'tjeri: Deep bluish black with ultramarine highlights, this metal is shot through with coiling filaments of silver. Often used in protective charms, when alloyed 1:1 with steel the resulting weapon may injure creatures vulnerable to silver or cold iron.

Noctis: A very fragile but beautiful metal found natively only in easily-shattered nodules, best used as wire niello or other forms of inlay or alloyed with gold or silver. Noctis, pure or alloyed, glows softly in a variety of colours, some hues -- such as purple -- being rarer and highly sought after.

Pashken: Dull, almost pewter grey in colour, this metal is strong enough to be made into weaponry but is not recommended for armour. It is riddled through with a strange absorbent quality to its substance; a pashken sword, for example, will absorb as much as a flask of any fluid applied to it. Impact will cause the fluid to be expelled.

Hekai: Very obviously an exotic metal, hekai is as transparent as glass and etched with frosted feathering. If touched to an enchanted object or a magical field or other effect, hekai or an object composed mainly of hekai will flicker with a brief shower of golden sparks on a one-in-six chance.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Monster: Duraki


Armour Class: 5

Hit Dice: 3+5

Move: 120' (40')

Attacks: 1 fists or by weapon

Damage: 1-4/1-4 or by weapon

No. Appearing: 2-8

Save As: F4

Morale: 10

Treasure Type: E

Alignment: Chaotic

XP Value: 75

Strange humanoid creatures, duraki are androgynous and eerily similar in appearance to one another, as if all created at the once by some magic-user's experiment. Their flesh is smooth and fishbelly pale, almost pearly, and slick with a thin sheen of blood continually shed by their pores; their eyes are featureless and white, as is what little hair that they possess. Duraki will arm themselves with any weaponry they may acquire, but are just as happy to use their fists in their raiding and pillaging.

Duraki attack with their fists in combat, inflicting 1-4 hit points of damage per strike, or else make use of an eclectic variety of weaponry -- essentially, any weapon one may acquire, it may wield. Certain duraki have demonstrated a fondness for flaming oil and pitch as weapons.

If a duraki is brought to half of its hit points, on the following round it may trigger a cystburst: a wave of blood and gore erupts from the creature, congealing into 1-6 1 Hit Die or 1-2 2 Hit Die duraki. Save for the lower number of Hit Dice, the spawn function identically to their "parent".

Friday, March 5, 2010

The wheel in the cage goes round and round ...

Not back for a week, and the blogosphere has managed to already cough up the beginning of another one of Those Debates. Pfeh. Lovely. And with a side-order of one of my other annoyances, besides; but that seems confined to a small space, so what odds.

This is the sound of me knocking my head against my desk.
(tis rather a hollow sound ...)

New critter in the morning if work doesn't eat me alive.

Monster: Qiparal


Armour Class: 7

Hit Dice: 1+1

Move: 30' (10')

fly 120' (40')

Attacks: 1 bite

Damage: 1-4 + special

No. Appearing: 2-20

Save As: F1

Morale: 8

Treasure Type: I

Alignment: Chaotic

XP Value: 19

Unusually large bats, qiparal are covered in dark fur and have muzzles much like that of a jackal, as well as a jackal's ears and oddly grooved fangs. Their most shocking trait are their wings, however; for when a qiparal spreads its wings and begins its fluttering flight, it reveals the brilliantly coloured patterns its wings' translucent membranes. These bright patterns make the qiparal resemble some kind of predatory butterfly -- which works to the creature's advantage.

In combat a qiparal bites, inflicting 1-4 hit points of damage. The wounds inflicted by a qiparal's grooved teeth continue to bleed freely, losing 1-2 hit points per round so long as the injury is not tended to, and given the chance a qiparal will lap up fresh blood rather than continue to attack.

Any individual within ten feet of a fluttering qiparal must make a saving throw vs charm or be entranced by the brilliant flashes of colour and pattern for 1-8 rounds unless the magical effect is cancelled or dispelled. During this time the victim may make no actions and is unaware of any activity surrounding them -- or inflicted upon them.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Magic Item: Rings of the Winged Moon

Rings of the Winged Moon: “Rings” in name only, this pair of slender bangles are crafted of a strange silvery porcelain-like substance, translucent and faintly bluish. Stronger than they appear, the Rings must be worn on either wrist in order to function; placing both bangles on one wrist renders the enchantment temporarily inert.

When active, the Rings may be called upon to produce any small object of a utilitarian nature – knife, cup, quill pen, thief's pick – forming the object out of the same silvery material that the bangles themselves are composed of. No more than three such objects may be in existence at any one time, and after 1-10 turns the item will fade into nothingness.

The origin of the Rings' name is unknown, though sages speculate on a connection with the chthonic cults of the Lunar Serpent.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Monster: Myrrist


Armour Class: 6

Hit Dice: 1-1

Move: 120' (40')

Attacks: 1 weapon or bite

Damage: 1-6 or 1-3 + special

No. Appearing: 2-8 (3-30)

Save As: F1

Morale: 11

Treasure Type: Q (C)

Alignment: Neutral

XP Value: 5

Sworn adversaries – and natural predators – of the cricet and chiktik both, the myrrist are small, long and lean; weasels or fishers in a humanoid shape. Standing some two and a half to three feet tall, myrrist are covered in soft fur that ranges from snow white to sable; their eyes are bottomless black, their rounded ears edged in the same, and their teeth needle sharp. Myrrist often wear meticulously patchworked armour jacks but are otherwise austere and unpredictable in their tastes for ornamentation. Likewise, their reactions to other sapient species is equally unpredictable -- save that they will not share territory peacefully.

In combat a myrrist fights with a javelin long enough to be wielded in melee if necessary, inflicting 1-6 hit points of damage. The myrrist weapon possesses a long, narrow and wickedly-barbed head that lodges in the wound; tearing the weapon free inflicts another hit point of damage. A myrrist carries 2-6 such javelins but will fall back on using fangs if necessary, inflicting 1-3 hit points of damage and if choosing to do so locking its jaws to automatically inflict 1-2 hit points per round of blood drain. A myrrist so jawlocked can take no other actions unless it releases its victim.

Elite members of a myrrist clan, numbering 2-12, possess 1+1 hit dice. A chieftain of 1+4 Hit Dice will be found in the myrrist's lair, and fights as a 2 Hit Dice monster; he or she is attended by 1–4 elite myrrist.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Monster: Shutai


Armour Class: 5

Hit Dice: 1/2*

Move: 150' (50') (special)

Attacks: 1

Damage: Special

No. Appearing: 4-16

Save As: M1

Morale: 9

Treasure Type: Nil

Alignment: Chaotic

XP Value: 6

Strange, small entities, shutai glide swiftly across any and all possible surfaces; living shadow-shapes, like lacy and baroque silhouettes of teardrop cutouts that slide and swarm towards any available targets. Those who find themselves attacked by shutai slowly lose their own shadow and a portion of their own self along with it.

Shutai “attack” by attacking a shadow cast by an individual; as a shutai comes into contact with a shadow, it draws away some of that shadow's substance into its own lacy patterns. This attack inflicts 1-3 hit points of “damage” but does not cause injury – however, if the total of “damage” dealt by shutai should match or exceed the victim's current hit point total, the victim's shadow has been completely consumed. The shadow damage -- if one's shadow is not devoured -- "heals" over the course of an hour.

A shadowless victim is at -1 to all actions and saves and is listless, unable to innovate or act on their own initiative, and must be coaxed into action by others. A shadow may be restored by the same means used to lift curses or cure magical disease. Shutai take damage from spells, and from magical or silver weapons.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Magic Item: Ring of Viridian Veins

Ring of Viridian Veins: A slender finger-ring of copper in the form of twisting vines, the Ring of Viridian Veins is decorated with tiny leaves of deep green jade. Despite its apparent fragility the Ring is strong as steel and will resize to fit as needed.

The bearer of the Ring will find their hair (or fur, feathers, etc.) develops a vibrant emerald tint. So long as the Ring is worn, that individual requires only one-half of their usual food requirements so long as they are exposed to a light source of torch-strength or better for the majority of their waking hours. Continuous exposure to full sunlight drops the food requirement to one-quarter.

The original Ring of Viridian Veins was forged by the Grey Brother, or magesmith, of the now-defunct naturalist's guild once commonly known as the Verdant Wings. Since that time the Ring has been widely copied, its enchantments freely spread by the Wings as the Sere Winds parched forests and farmlands both.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Not Dead, Only Sleeping and other such commentary

I am indeed not dead, only sleeping, as it were.

For a few various reasons -- some having to do with the blogosphere, some to do with non-Interwebs events, and a great deal to do with other activities in my life at the moment -- I've not been feeling the itch to write for this neck of the woods. I haven't given up my Rules Cyclopedia by a long shot, but my attention is elsewhere.

Burnout chewed at my heels for the majority of the previous fall, so this does not really surprise me ... much as it doesn't surprise me that my extra immersion in the lands of giant robots is a definite distraction. (There is a pile of Mekton Zeta and various Dream Pod 9 books sitting next to me as I type this, along with several volumes of Gundam mechanical guides and photonovels ...)

I churned out posts for the better part of a year, and I daresay I'll be back again before long. But I need other things at the moment, and there are some other things I don't need much so much of.

Cheers, all ~ I shall be back ;3

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

File Downloads --

It's taken me longer than it should have to get to these; I think this will be reliable, at least in the short term. In any case, here they are:

Final Fantasy Red Box Hack 1.0

Little Treasures

One-Page Dungeon: Chantry of the Earthflame

I know the download site isn't ideal; please bear with me ...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Monster: Azul

Armour Class: 2
Hit Dice: 3+4*
Move: fly 180' (60')
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1-4
No. Appearing: 1-3
Save As: M4
Morale: 11
Treasure Type: Nil (special)
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 75

An azul is a gaseous entity, a billowing sapphire fog measuring no less than 20' x 20' in rough dimension (though it will flow down corridors, through cracks, and generally "deform" itself as necessary). Alien creatures, it is not entirely clear whether azul are sapient or even sentient; they seem to exist merely to tamper with the flaws of energy and magic. Some speculate that they were created by ancient spellcraft, pointing to their concentrated essences which are useful in certain mageries.

In combat, a azul may jolt all within its gaseous shape, inflicting 1-4 hit points of damage as pure magical energy -- akin to a magic missile -- strikes all within range. However, the azul may only attack in this manner once every three rounds. Far more insidious is its sapphire inversion: within an azul's mists fire causes cold damage (and vice versa), electricity causes no damage, charms and similar magic reverse subject and victim, and healing magic restores the undead while harming the living. Individual azul may also possess other, additional inversions or warpings.

Azul take full damage from magical sources. Physical weapons do no damage unless enchanted, in which case they inflict damage equal to their magical bonus.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Magic Item: Ivory Carbuncle

Ivory Carbuncle: Another of Mindara's creations, or so he claimed, the Ivory Carbuncle is a smooth sphere somewhat less than an inch in diameter. The Carbuncle's colour appears to shift randomly, though smoothly, between a nacreous cream and a glittering ruby red; it may be mounted in a jewel's setting and still function, or it be applied directly to the flesh where it will adhere and sink until it resembles a cabochon.

Regardless of the method used, the bearer of the Ivory Carbuncle is protected from the effects of charm spells and similar mind-controlling magics, paralysis, and blindness. However, this protection will function only so long as the Carbuncle's bearer takes no hostile action against another being; should the gem's bearer attack or perform a similarly hostile act, the Carbuncle falls inert for 1-4 hours.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Magic Item: Winter's Drafts

Winter's Drafts: Named not for any particular quality they hold, but for only the season in which they may be distilled, these translucent elixirs glitter like ice crystals suspended in white wine. Each type of elixir is traditionally identified only by the small enameled mark on the body of its frosted silver flask, or by a sprig of the appropriate foliage tied to the neck with a bit of white ribbon.

Grass: Identified by green-berried holly, the Grass draft is meant to be applied to as many as six weapons up to the size of a longsword. So treated, a weapon gleams with a cold glassy shine and -- when next used in a successful strike, lethal or subdual -- will send the victim into a death-like sleep from which they will not wake unless injured or the enchantment is dispelled. This strike may be used three times.

Milk: Marked with holly bearing white berries, the Milk draft is applied to an article of clothing such as a blouse, robe or cloak. The elixir permeates the substance of the clothing and leaves behind a faint shimmer like frost; for a week's time, such clothing will protect as if the one wearing it were wearing chain mail and under the effects of a protection from evil spell.

Coal: Black-berried holly identifies the Coal draft. A tool of sacrifice, the Coal draft is consumed while up to four individuals are named; the consumer of the elixir will then take upon themselves all injury and affliction directed towards those individuals for the following twenty-four hours.

Blood: The red-berried holly marks the Blood draft. Consumed by a living being, the Blood draft will remove a cursed condition or permit a shift from Chaotic alignment; used against an undead creature as if holy water, the elixir may restore the undead to its living self if the creature fails a saving throw against death magic.

The names of the four Drafts are also part of the enchantment, though their meanings have been lost.