Monday, March 30, 2020

Session Notes (More Redwall)

    The noble nroman, Ahistorian and Xenophon of Athens joined forces with me to test those rules for a Redwall game. We had a good time. nroman has a report here.

    Here is the outline of the planned mission. In actual play, we noodled around so long in Redwall and on the road that the middle bits were entirely breezed through. The entirety of the structure is displayed in the hopes you will benefit or be entertained.


Blacksnout the Frail, Fox Wanderer, played by nroman.
Rillbar Riverstone, Otter Hunter, played by Ahistorian.
Welko, Shrew Riverfolk, played by Xenophon of Athens.


    The Sword of Martin the Warrior has disappeared once more. Was it stolen from the Great Hall? Did the champion bearing it fall in some far-off land, their body never recovered? I did not answer these questions, though it might be important later.
    A rat stumbled into Redwall a few days ago, demanding sanctuary, driven half-mad by starvation and blood loss. In his fevered ramblings he speaks of a warlord who wishes to conquer the east. Many ancient treasures have been stolen to legitimize his rule and decorate an immense statue of him. Chief among these is, of course, the Sword.
    The most recent haul of stolen treasure, including the Sword, will leave by ship within the week. If a small band of brave Redwallers could make it to the port in time, they might be able to steal the Sword back. Three such heroes would be plenty.

No you can't just go through the woods. That's about eighty miles of hoofing it through dense, trackless forest — it would take just as long as going around and you would almost certainly die.

Part 1: To the Mill

    The party is supplied with a few days worth of rations, simple weaponry, and some equipment. I said that the players could take one inventory slot worth of gear, "something like a coil of rope would be fine", and so they all chose rope. No rope was used this adventure.
    The trip to the northern ford will take two full days of walking. The party will have to sleep on the road one night, and will reach the mill by the next evening.

    Roll 1d6 three times over the course of the day, and three times over the course of the night. On a 1, an encounter occurs. Roll 2d6 on the following table:

Old Road Encounters [I didn't prepare many because I didn't have many ideas and thought the players would encounter one at most (Turns out they couldn't even manage that)]
2: The Blue Empress (roll for Reaction)
     25 HP, 16 AC, 1d8 fangs +4 (save or triple damage)

Omen: A sudden flash of terror that freezes you in place, a strong instinct to close your eyes and cower.

    This female adder is named after her metallic scales. She is gossipy, and likes to talk about her cache of eggs (Ssssafe in her nesssst, sssso many beautiful eggssss), her husband (The handssssome Yellow Duke, terror of the ssssouth), and Paimon (He is coming! Besssst to abandon your preciousssss red temple, and flee hissss hunger, yessss).
    If her reaction roll is 7 or higher, she has eaten within the past month and will only attack the party if insulted. On a 3 through 6, she is peckish, and will taunt the party before attacking them. On a 2, she is hungry, and will attack the smallest party member silently and drag them into the brush.

3 – 5: Cultists (roll for Reaction)
of them, 6 HP, 12 AC, 1d6 crude weapons +1.

Omen: Smoke rising, the distant sound of a rattle, low voices singing a song you cannot quite make out.

    Rats wearing rags and bird-beak ornaments sing and dance around a tree, from which hangs an effigy of a bird. A shaman shakes a bird-skull full of bones and foul burning herbs. The area is full of smoke. The rats are blitzed out of their minds and cannot understand spoken word.
    If their reaction roll is 8 or higher, they are happy to see the party and will offer them a huff from the skull (HRTS or unable to speak for the rest of the day). On a 3 through 7, they are wary, and place themselves between the party and the effigy. They will attack if the party approaches. On a 2, they will scream in terror and attack the party relentlessly.

6 – 8: Mole Engineers
    1d4+1 of them, 6 HP, 10 AC, 1d6 simple tools +1

Omen: Tracks of clawed feet, marks from tools being trailed or used as walking sticks, cheerful and incomprehensible conversation about rocks.

    Moles on their way to the northern ford. Someone is paying to have a bridge built over it. Hard workers are welcome and the pay is good, so a fairly large group of moles are already there. The Foremole is excited to talk about bridges (Baint seen a bridgin' in 'ese parts sinse me grandmoul's time, ay? 'Eres grate need for hard wourkers op thair).
    The moles are friendly, but are walking much slower than the party ('aist makes wais, 'ats what me grandmoul allwis said, bohur). Maybe they'll see you there?

9 – 11: Squirrel Bounty Hunters
    2d4 of them, 8 HP, 12 AC, 1d6 shortbows +2

Omen: They're pretty stealthy, but a sharp eye might detect some red hairs caught on twigs twenty feet above the ground, or the swaying of a branch in the absence of wind.

    Squirrels searching for the scouts of Verdictus. They are a little cagey on who or what "Verdictus" might be. They will warn the party that the Blue Empress is on the move and ask them to warn anyone else they meet. If there is a squirrel in the party, they will ask them to keep an eye out for any signs of eagles.

12: Chicken (roll for Reaction)
    20 HP, 14 AC, 2d6 beak and talons +4

Omen: The shadow of a huge bird hanging low in the sky, claw marks on a tree limb, a bloody battlefield littered with the bodies of squirrels.

    This adolescent golden eagle is being hunted by squirrels. His left wing is full of their arrows and he can barely fly, but he is still strong enough to kill. Chicken has no idea why the squirrels are attacking him. He is unfamiliar with the local geography, but if he leaves before completing his mission (discovering the whereabouts of an ancient naga) he will face exile or worse from his community.
    On a reaction roll of 7 or above he approaches the party to beg for help; on a 6 or below he will attack if the party contains a squirrel, or else just flee.

Part 2: On the Water

    The party has been picked up by a flotilla of shrews and will be carried up-stream in longboats. The shrews expect the party to pull their own weight at the oars, but otherwise it is a pleasant, speedy and (mostly) safe journey.
    The trip to the head of the next section of road will take two days. The flotilla will sleep on the riverbank by night, but the camp will be well-guarded.

    Once a day, roll 2d6 on the following table:
River Hazards (We never rolled on this table).
2: Luce Attack    An immense, carnivorous river fish has noticed the flotilla and plans to make it his lunch. Roll INIT and prepare for a fight. On his turn, the pike will attack a random target (1-in-6 chance this is a PC). Targets are pulled into the water and take 2 damage every round as they are savaged by the fish. The shrews are busy pulling their friends out of the water or keeping the boats upright; it's up to the party to deal 10 damage to the fish (consider his AC to be 12) to drive him away.

3 – 5: Rapids
    No more fun and games; you'll have to really pull to get the boats up this section of the Moss. All PCs roll HRTS and sum the total. If it is greater than or equal to [party size]*10, you succeed with no issue. Otherwise it's rough going and the party must roll on the following table:
  1. Gain 1 exhaustion.
  2. Gain 2 exhaustion.
  3. Gain 3 exhaustion.
  4. Boat swamped; rations lost
  5. Boat swamped; rations lost
  6. Boat swamped; random gear lost

6 – 11: Nothing Happens
    Nice day for it, eh?

12: Chicken
As on the Road Encounter table, except he is soaking wet and about to start crying.

 Part 3: Retrieval

    The party has reached the eastern coast. Only a last stretch of road lies between them and their goal. The journey to the port will take two full days, and the party will have to rest on the road for one night.

    Roll 1d6 three times over the course of the day, and three times over the course of the night. On a 1, an encounter occurs. Roll 2d6 on the following table:

Vermin Road Encounters
2: Gornat (roll for Reaction)
     15 HP, 14 AC, 1d6 hatchet +2 (attacks twice)

Omen: Axe-marks on the ground and foliage, wild howling in the distance, a babble of threatening nonsense from someone hiding behind a tree

    Gornat is an oversized weasel plagued by intense auditory and visual hallucinations. He is happy to hold a conversation, but he can perceive an extra  PC named Tanrog. Tanrog delivers immature insults which sour the whole conversation [like, "Hey Gornat, looking good (— for a little bitch)!" "Listen, we need a favor (— and if you don't help we'll kick your ass!)].
    Gornat tries to be polite, but he can't understand why everyone pretends to not hear Tanrog. He hates Tanrog. Whenever he meets new people, Tanrog is already there, ready to ruin a chance to make new friends.
    Reroll Gornat's reaction every few sentences. On an odd result he responds in a pained tone to something the party did not hear, and becomes more miserable. On an even result he turns pale with shock, and becomes more angry.

3 – 5: Militia Patrol (roll for Reaction)
of them, 6 HP, 12 AC, 1d6 picks and spikes +1.

Omen: A confusion of booted prints, distant marching songs, jingling of equipment

    A small host of vermin following a proud Captain with twice the HP. They are carrying mining tools instead of proper weaponry and their uniforms are shabby and mismatched. Regardless, they are capable fighters and work for peace in the region.
    If their reaction roll is 7 or higher, they hail the party and will leave after ensuring they aren't slavers or raiders. On a result of 3 to 6, they will take the party into custody and back to Vermintown (This is a good thing, sort-of, since they will no longer roll for encounters). On a 2 they will take the party back to Vermintown after beating them unconscious.

6 – 8: Stoat Sappers
    1d4+1 of them, 6 HP, 11 AC, 1d6 bludgeons +1

Omen: Deep tracks from small feet, random chop-marks in the environment, irritable yelling about holes.

    Stoats on their way to the northern ford. They have heard it is possible to make a lot of money without putting in much work. The stoats have more experience with demolition, but their understanding of pitprops might be useful in bridge building.
    They will trade their clubs and shields for the party's rations, and have a small supply of jewelry they will trade for axes or shovels.

9  – 11: Regal Soldiers
    1d4+1 of them, 6 HP, 12 AC, 1d10 pikes +2

Omen: A mess of booted prints, distant marching songs in a strange language, and tall polearms visible from a good distance away

    Rat soldiers under a Captain with twice the HP. Having delivered the Sword of Martin the Warrior to a waiting ship, they are patrolling to catch any would-be heroes. They are immediately hostile to any group containing non-vermin (i.e. the PCs), but they will try to confirm what the party knows before they attack. They aren't bright, and can easily be tricked into giving away the location of the Sword.

12: Mama Reave
    6 HP, 10 AC, 1 knitting needle +0

Omen: Her tent is signposted for about a mile in both directions, and the fabric is eye-catchingly colored.

   Mama Reave is a wandering fortune teller who is traveling towards Vermintown, stopping often when she thinks customers are nearby. She will read palms and cards to tell the party's fortunes. Mama takes almost anything as payment, but prefers metal tools. It would be cool to actually read the players' fortunes here.


    A sprawling port laid out across several miles of unpleasant pebble beach. All manner of creatures live here, roughly divided along the lines of woodlanders, reptiles and large predators. They are agitated by the presence of the eastern warlord's troops, and are happy to direct you towards his ships in the hope that you will drive them off.

The Ship

    The treasures of a dozen kingdoms have been looted and brought to this lonely stretch of coast. The last vessel would have carried dregs — if not for the surprise appearance of the Sword.
    The ship is guarded by four rats; one of them a giant with 15 HP, 12 AC and a 1d8 claw attack and the rest with 6 HP, 12 AC and 1d6 cutlasses. They will attempt to scare off the party by identifying themselves; this is a ship of the Eastern Warlord, bound for the Isle of the Crowned Fox, and it would be terribly stupid for anyone to try to attack it. The Sword can be found in an unlocked chest on the deck of the ship.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Notes for a Redwall Campaign

    Redwall! Holy shit, what a good idea for a campaign! It's all there already! Brian Jacques already drew you a bunch of maps! The world is already populated with weird towns and cults and caves and ghosts and ancient evils and bizarre ruins! The races-as-class are practically already statted up! The rules of the setting have been made clear!
The mechanisms for starting an adventure are in place (some bullshit is going down at the Abbey)! The mechanisms for replacing fallen party members are in place (the world is full of humble but forthright heroes)!

    I have and have had a lot of thoughts on this subject. Let's go through them in no particular order.


    How does this work? Should there be size categories? Does it affect your AC? Your to-hit? Your hitpoints? Your stealth? Your move? Yes, probably.

This is probably all the relevant numbers for anything you might want to roll.

    Ignore this next part if you already have enough crackpot takes on GLOG rules and homebrew:

    I don't like rolling under stats. I understand that, in the GLOG, you (as a player) are supposed to want to avoid rolling. It's supposed to be risky, a bad idea, &c. I just don't like it. Someone with 5 strength has a 25% chance to pass a strength check, someone with 15 strength has a 75% chance. You might be three times as likely to pass a given check as your friend who rolled up a character at the same time. Eh.
    Plus it's not as simple as that, since you also might apply bonuses and penalties to a roll depending on circumstances (not every strength-check situation is as difficult as every other). So you're rolling a d20, maybe adding or subtracting from the result, comparing it to a number which is different for every player — eh. Don't like it.
    So maybe I just won't do that. Instead, you roll a d20, add/subtract relevant bonuses/penalties, then see if you've got 10 or above. Maybe for more difficult challenges I can use AC-like numbers. 12, 14, 16 at the upper end. Maybe I will run a game using only derived stats.
  • MOVE: to move in an interesting way (climbing, running, jumping, swimming), to move despite restraints (chains or giant snakes), to move an inanimate object (a barred door, a heavy statues), to move someone who doesn't want to be moved (when knocking them over or picking them up). Includes STR bonus/penalty.
  • HRTS: to resist pain (from poison, exposure, torture), to rally against mental effects (like fear or charm), to hold out for a little while longer (while alone against an army, or on the edge of death). Includes CON bonus/penalty.
  • SNEK: to move smoothly and carefully (such as on a tightrope or across a minefield), to slip from restraints (chains or giant snakes), to walk without making a sound. Includes DEX bonus/penalty.
  • SKLL: to do something cunningly (when crafting, painting, writing), to shelter inside your own head (when exposed to the Awful Horrors of the Outer Darkness), when interacting with brain parasites (such as spells) Includes INT bonus/penalty.
  • INIT: to act without hesitation (when starting a fight), to throw yourself out of harm's way (when setting off a trap), to throw yourself in to harm's way (when tossing someone out of the range of a trap), to browbeat a crowd before they realize what's going on (Innit? Innit?). Includes WIS bonus/penalty.
  • SAVE: when there's nothing left to do but hope. Includes XHA bonus/penalty.
    So, here's how character creation works: First you roll your stats. Then you check the different animal races to see what you can pick (need a lot of strength and con for badgers, need to have low int to be a rat, something like that). Then your species determines which templates you can pick at first level.
    After that, when moving around the world, when faced with a situation that calls for a skill check (following basic good sense like "don't roll unless any result would be interesting" &c), you roll a d20, add or subtract MOVE, HRTS, SNEK, SKLL, SAVE as appropriate, and compare the result to 10.

    Now, finally, we may discuss what's up with the little and the big animals. Here is a list of playable (ish) species:

  • Shrews (Any class except Cursed, Knight)
    Must have at least 12 DEX. Know how to use a rapier (light, +1 melee damage, 1 slot). Can work a boat as Riverfolk. If Riverfolk, proficient in an extra weapon.
    +2 HRTS.
  • Dormice* (Monk, Chef, Musician, Smith)
    +2 HRTS.
  • Voles (Any class except Soldier, Cursed, Knight)
    +2 MOVE.
  • Dormice*
  • Mice (As a Dormouse at first level, and then any class)
    +2 INIT, SAVE.
  • Squirrels* (Any class except Riverfolk, Smith)
    Must have at least 12 DEX. No move checks to climb trees, ever.
    +2 MOVE.
  • Hedgehogs* (Any class except Thief, Soldier, Cursed)
    Must have at least 12 CON. Can roll up in a ball for +4 AC, 1d6 unarmed attack (you are blind while rolling).
    +2 MOVE.
  • Moles (Any class except Riverfolk)
    Must have at least 12 WIS. Poor daytime vision, excellent night vision, always know which way is North.
    +2 SKLL.
  • Hares (Any class except Thief, Riverfolk)
    Must have at least 12 DEX and STR, or 15 in one. Hands and feet are light weapons, extra hex of movement per day.
    +2 MOVE, HRTS.
  • Otters (Any class except Thief, Smith)
    Must have at least 12 CON and WIS, or 15 in one. Know how to use a heavy javelin (medium but can be thrown as light). Hold breath for CON+ minutes (minimum of one minute), swim at double walking speed.
    +2 MOVE, INIT.
  • Squirrels*
  • Hedgehogs*
  • Foxes (Any class except Monk, Riverfolk, Soldier, Cursed)
    Must have at least 12 DEX and WIS, or 15 in one. Excellent night vision.
    +2 SAVE, SNEK, SKLL.
  • Badgers* (Any class except Thief)
    Must have at least 12 STR and CON, or 15 in one. May choose to start with Bloodwrath, even if not Cursed. If Cursed, you get an extra attack.
    +4 MOVE, +2 HRTS.
  • Wildcats*
    Non-PC. Very strong.
  • Badgers*
  • Wildcats*
  • Wolverines

    Creatures marked with a * can be different sizes (player's choice). "Slight" creatures cannot use two-handed weapons, but get a +2 bonus to SNEK. Oversized creatures eat double rations, but get a +2 bonus to MOVE. Ancient creatures have doubled STR and CON (yes, this is broken).

    AC is determined by armor, and a given set of armor fits only one size category. You can only use a shield if you have a class that allows it. Everyone can wear light armor (0/3 slots); higher tiers can only be worn if you have a class that allows it. Everyone can wield clubs (light) and throw stones (1 damage). You can use other weapons safely if your class gives you that proficiency, or if you train under someone with that proficiency for a week and pass a SKLL check.


    "Proficiency?" I hear you ask. "This isn't 3.5, drongo. We're real gamers, and Moldvay never mentioned anything about proficiencies". Well, don't lynch me yet.
    Being "proficient" in a weapon means that rolling a nat 1 on an attack roll is merely a miss and a notched weapon. If you didn't have that proficiency, you would have fumbled and risked injuring yourself or others. The primary use of training isn't to make you better at using a weapon, it's to make you less likely to hit yourself in the foot with it. Nothing is preventing you from swinging any weapon you happen to come across.

    Pick your classes depending on your species' list. Most only have one template, but a few have a second if you wish to devote yourself to them.
  1. Thief
    A: Guile.
        People assume you are allowed to be doing whatever it is that you're doing, unless given a good reason to think otherwise. Guards might accept false paperwork or "surprise inspections", cooks might believe you're a taste-tester, locals assume you're one of them unless you're very out of place. You are proficient with slings and knives. +2 SNEK.
    B: Shadow.
        You may roll SNEK instead of SKILL when picking a lock or a pocket, and instead of MOVE when scaling walls or climbing ropes.
  2. Chef
    A: Good Cook
        You can prepare a good meal out of trail rations. Good meals heal 1d6 hp for everyone who participates in them, and they get an additional save against any ongoing negative effects. Good meals take an hour to prepare and twice as many rations as just eating food. +2 HRTS.
  3. Musician
    A: Talent
        If you compose and perform a song about your adventures, people in nearby communities will have heard about it within a week. You get +1 to reaction rolls wherever you go. Additionally, if you know the name of something (a person, place or object), you know a useful fact about it.+2 INIT.
  4. Monk
    A: Neophyte
        You may heal another person for 1 HP with a successful SKLL check. You can continue doing this until you fail a check. You always pass your SKLL check when learning how to use a new weapon. Additionally, you are a skilled read (which not everyone can do). +2 SAVE
  5. Soldier
    A: Campaigner
        Battle training and experience make you a dangerous enemy. You may use shields and medium armor, and have a permanent +2 to-hit. Choose three weapons; you are proficient in all of them. +2 MOVE.
    B: Old Soldier
        You've survived when others haven't. You have a permanent +2 SAVE and AC, and angry ghosts always target you first.
  6. Knight
    A: Nobility
        You represent a level of civilization no longer extant in this world. You may use shields and any armor, and have learned how to repair your own gear (which you can do for free with a successful SKLL check, difficulty depending on the gear). You can't repair gear you don't know how to use. Choose two weapons; you are proficient in both of them. +2 HRTS.
    B: Majesty
        People can tell what you are at a glance. Your words carry weight, and even your enemies will take them seriously. Additionally, you may issue a challenge during combat, forcing enemies to attack you and ignore others. Intelligent enemies get a save.
  7. Riverfolk
    A: By Boat
        Yes, it's a boat and not a ship. You are proficient with the javelin (light) and the sling (medium ranged). You can row, or direct people unfamiliar with rowing. You can steer, or scream in terror at someone unfamiliar with steering. You also know how to swim, which not everyone can do. +2 INIT.
  8. Wanderer
    A: On Foot
        You've spent your life in the wilderness traveling between the small settlements that dot the land. Wanderers are something like peddlers, something like mailmen, and something like mercenaries. When you encounter an omen (like from Rat on a Stick), you may choose to reroll and take the second result. You can use medium armor and shields. Choose one weapon; you are proficient with it. +2 SNEK.
  9. Cursed
    A: Bad Blood
        One of your ancestors was afflicted with the bloodwrath, and now so are you. You have a rating, X, equal to your level. When blood is spilled or INIT is rolled, you have an X-in-six chance of entering a murderous rage. You can always choose to fail these checks. While raging your attacks cleave and have +X to-hit and damage. You will target the closest person, friend or foe, unless you pass another check.You must attack; if there are no enemies within reach you will attack your friends. There is no way to reduce your rating. +2 MOVE.
  10. Smith
    A: Mongery
        You can repair notched gear with a successful SKLL check (but damage it with a failed one). If you have the forge, the tools, the supplies and two weeks you can produce two slots of equipment (this is forty pieces of ammunition, six light weapons, two medium or one heavy). +2 SKLL.
  11. Hunter
    A: Woodcraft
        You may roll SKLL to follow someone's trail through underbrush or meadow for up to two days after they have passed. You are proficient in bows and one light weapon. +2 SNEK.
    B: Stalker
        Your ranged and thrown weapons get 30' of extra range before distance penalties are applied. You can follow prints across sand, damp stone or frozen earth.
  12. Captain
    A: Tactics
        On your turn, you may shout orders to another character to give them an additional action, foregoing your own. You have +2 SAVE, and if your allies have the same bonus if you pass the check first.


    Guys Redwall is a kung-fu world. At first it might be hard to tell, because the world is Quaint English Countryside and everyone is a mouse. But this is not a High Fantasy story where there are cosmic forces of Good and Evil and everyone picks a side, and this is not a Romance sort of a tale (tail haha) where Good defeats evil through love and compassion. This is a world where Good defeats Evil by whipping its ass. Your value as a person is defined by your capacity for and willingness to inflict hideous violence. You get better as a warrior by traveling the land and murdering evil people. There are no wizards, and there is a suspicious absence of clerics given that the central theme of the book is monastic life.
    There is one thief who ever lived anywhere in the world. They named him "The Thief" because the idea of thievery is just that wild to them. The only thing he steals is pie and, once, a flute.

    When rats and stoats &c go about raping and pillaging, the valuables they steal consist largely of food. Wine, ale, beer, cheese, bread, cakes and candies. Besides that, they steal clothing and weaponry and occupy buildings. Sometimes they nick tapestries. Once, they discovered pearls, and the existence of semi-precious gems toppled the local governments. What I'm trying to get around to saying is; Redwall doesn't have any money.
    There's no cash. Gold and gemstones exist (there's a golden cup in one book, a few crowns, and Martin's sword has a ruby in the pommel), but no coinage. Nobody has produced any currency. Hell, there aren't any stable civilizations that might come up with the idea. No kingdom or country seems to last longer than the lifetime of its warlord, or possibly the child of the warlord.

    So where does that leave us? We can't do gold for XP, because there isn't any gold. Nobody has any piles of treasure. And violence for XP leaves us wanting a little something. That incentivizes murder for murder's sake — off-tone for Redwall, I hope you will agree.
    The solution, as proposed by a member of the OSR discord, is exploration-for-XP. You gain experience from wandering through the world. Every hex is worth thus-and-such (depending on how dangerous or interesting it is), and you level up through the traveling itself. This makes combat interesting — you don't want to fight, because you don't get much out of it, but you might need to fight because the bad guys are impeding your path forward, or are occupying some important location. Loot is nice, but the more you're carrying on your back the slower you travel (and thus the slower you level)

    Is this a perfect solution? No.


Ok sure, here you go.
Here's one from Lazurez on Deviantart. It shows Salamandastron as being slightly north-ish of Redwall, which I don't think is correct.

Don't know what this one is from, but Salamandastron is slightly south-ish of Redwall and that's good.

This one is in Swedish. What fun! Salamandastron is north of Redwall again — it flips back and forth depending on what map you're looking at I guess.
    Those give an idea of the scale of the world, but there are plenty of little maps that chart the journeys of their books. Here are a few:*xZ2pJOItavMg07oKg46M9g.jpeg
This is from The Long Patrol, which is about the eponymous organization of, basically, rangers.
Think this one is Doomwyte. Turns out, there's more than one thief in the world — he started a secret organisation dedicated to the concept of thieving.

Monday, March 23, 2020

General Manufacturing (Class: Wizard)

    The hammer of Industry is the beating heart of Empire. The Manufactory is a living foundry, consuming fuel and producing materiel. As tradition dictates, the Academy has sent you out into the world to gain experience before you settle down to a lifetime of production. Perhaps you will discover a better technique for mining coal, or forging iron. But be careful not to die — defaulting on Wizard Student Loans carries terrible consequences. Crooked logs burn straight.
Source: Ullathynel on Tumblr

Class: Manufactory

    You are an Academy-taught caster with a focus on producing war-materiel and reinforcing military and industrial positions. You have a pool of Manufacturing Dice, which are very similar to (but not quite the same thing as) Magic Dice. These MD will let you improve the world. The empire expects no less.
    You can wear all types of armor, but may not use shields unless another class gives you that skill. If you have at least one template in this class you never fumble while using hammers, clubs or knives.
    You know one technique from your list, determined by rolling 1d8. You may learn additional techniques from other Manufactories, or through buying the information from the Academy. They may also be found on blueprints throughout the world.
    Techniques are used by rolling your MD, in a manner very similar to casting a spell. In general, treat them as you would treat a spell except they are called techniques and not spells.

Skills: 1. Metallurgy, 2. Military History, 3. Court etiquette
Starting Equipment: Smith's leathers (as heavy leather, half damage from fire),  a small, skittish pony (HD 1, Morale 7) and two-wheeled cart, three pounds of high-grade coke.

Perks: You may eat five pounds of firewood (2 slots, 1sp) or one pound of coal (⅓ slot, 1sp) instead of rations. One pound of high-grade coke (⅓ slot, 1gp) counts as both food and drink.
    You may also taste ash to determine how long ago its fire went out. You can detect one-hour increments for the first day, one-day increments for the first month, and one-year increments indefinitely.
Drawback: When you needed it, the Academy was only too willing to extend you a line of credit. You must pay a sum of gp equal to 50% of all gained experience every month to the Academy's debt collectors. The collectors can be found in every city.
    If you miss a payment, the collectors can be found ANYWHERE AND EVERYWHERE, and you will not escape them. Once you reach the 4th level you no longer need to make these payments (though the Academy is grateful for any endowments to the ol' Ardens Mater)

  • A Kindling, +1 MD
  • B Spark, +1 MD
  • C Distemper, Clang Speech, +1 MD
  • D Temper, Seignurage, +1 MD

    You may rub flammable materials between your hands to set them alight. You can hold flaming objects without harm, but larger fires are still a threat.
    Project a short beam of extreme heat from your two hands, for one round per level per day. Hot enough to weld, cut, amputate and scorch. 2d6 fire damage if used as an attack.
    You can curse like a sailor kicking over a wizard's gravestone. Once a day, you can loose a stream of invective and obloquy that terrifies all who hear it. Anyone who has a reason to think you might be talking to them will quickly and quietly flee the area. If used during combat, all living NPCs must roll morale.
Clang Speech
    You can speak to metalwork. Potmetal is cowardly, ferrous materials are violently racist, sacred steels are clear-spoken and intelligent. Metal can't really perceive the world around it, but it can tell you how old it is, who crafted it, and might be able to offer some advice. It isn't always obvious if you're talking to the metal or yourself.
    Material your techniques produce is military-grade steel if you prefer.
    In one month, turn 100gp of glass and gold into 110 actual coins of gp. This process can be scaled down, but since it's more time- than labor-intensive it still takes a month. The glass pieces (heh) you produce are technically fiat currency; the magicians who issue them can say "Fiat" and set your head on fire.


  1. Mill Material
    R: n/a T: n/a D: permanent
    Produce [dice] slots of equipment from the air. They are low-quality potmetal and break the first time they roll a fumble.
    You may produce [sum] slots of equipment instead, but they will be of such poor quality that they break after their first use. Suitable for bolts and bullets &c.

  2. Reeking Shard
    R: [dice]*5' T: a line to the limit of range D: instant
    Blast burning pieces of metal and chemical propellant out of your hands. The closest target saves or takes [sum]+[dice] fire damage. Targets on the far side of one that has been hit save or take [sum]/2 fire damage.

  3. Iron Band
    R: touch T: n/a D: permanent
    You produce a coil of wrought iron up to [dice]*5' in circumference. This cinches up tight, and might be used for manacles or in construction. The coil has 14 AC and 10 HP and ignores any damage source which deals less than 6 points.

  4. Iron Spike
    R: 5' T: n/a D: permanent
    You produce [dice] three-inch iron bolts from your hand which punch out with enough force to pierce and rivet thin metal.  If used in combat, each of these bolts deals 1d6 damage. Roll a separate attack for each of them.

  5. Sunder
    R: touch T: a metal object or surface D: instant
    You touch a piece of metal and ruin a [dice] inch square area (or [dice]^2 square inches). The area is shattered, rusted, twisted, and generally destroyed to a depth of [dice] inches. You can use this to destroy enemy arms and armor, to break through a bank vault, to free someone you've imprisoned in an iron band, or anything else you can think of.

  6. Miniature
    R: touch T: a person, place or thing you can visualize D: permanent
    You produce a miniature, in potmetal, of something you have seen before. It is highly detailed and can include measurements if you want. The miniature weighs one pound. With one [die], it can be as detailed as 1:10 scale. With two [dice], 1:33. With three, the miniature can be scaled at 1:87. With four [dice], the miniature can be scaled at 1:285.

  7. Reinforce
    R: touch T: solid object D: permanent
    You touch something and reinforce it with plates, bolts, spikes, bands and bars of iron. This is like a Heal spell for inanimate objects, restoring [sum] HP to building and vehicles and other solid objects. You may also cast this on a weapon or a suit of metal armor, giving it +[dice] to all damage rolls or +[dice] AC but making it heavier by [dice]+1 inventory slots.

  8. Skeleton
    R: [dice]*20' T: a cube [dice]*10 feet to a side D: permanent
    A cage of potmetal springs up around the targeted area. It has 12 AC and [sum] HP and ignores any damage source which deals fewer than 3 points. Repeated castings can make a sturdy, somewhat-solid block.

  9. Bombard
    R: touch T: a cannonball weighing at least [dice]*20 pounds D: instant
    You touch valid cannonball and it flings itself up to [dice]*100 feet away. This is as effective as a combined Magic Missile and Fireball; first dealing [sum] damage to a target within range and then dealing [sum] damage to everyone within thirty feet who fails a save. Twenty pounds of cannonball occupies six slots of inventory.

  10. Machine Spirit
    R: n/a T: n/a D: [dice] days
    You can summon a ghastly assistant to help you with your work. They have a vague human form and a clear human voice, 10 AC, [dice] HP and enough effect on the world to carry [dice] slots of items.
    Machine spirits dissipate instantly when they reach 0 HP or when their time runs out, and they seem to fear this more than you fear death. Wherever they go to between summoning must be unpleasant. In any case, they are eager to assist.

  11. Area Denial
    R: sight T: a circular area with radius [dice]*100' D: permanent
    This is the first of the terrible Signature Techniques of the Manufactories. The target area becomes uninhabitable to life. The air is poisoned, dealing [dice] damage with every breath. Structures become treacherous, and liable to collapse. Roads tear themselves to pieces. The effect lasts for decades. Using this technique without authorization is a capital crime.

  12. Earthworks
    R: sight T: a rectangular area equivalent to a [dice]*100 foot square D: permanent
    The second Signature Technique. The target area is reshaped according to your whims. You may dig trenches up to 20' deep, or erect bulwarks up to 20' high. The effect is slow, and creatures in the target area may save to avoid falling or being crushed. Using this technique without authorization isn't a crime in and of itself, but you can really piss people off by restructuring their front yards.

  1. Misappropriation. MD return to your pool on only a 1 or a 2 today.
  2. Miscalculation. You take 1d6 damage and blood leaks out of your orifices.
  3. Misapprehension. The technique fails entirely.
  4. You did something wrong. Everyone within 30' saves or is struck by a wave of ethereal rubble and dust, which deals 1d6 damage (even to ghosts) and then vanishes.
  5. You did... something. Metal objects within 10' turn into glass, glass turns into wood, and wood turns into high-quality steel. If you're on a boat this is a catastrophic setback, otherwise it's sort of interesting.
  6. Six Machine Spirits appear and promptly scatter. You cannot use any more techniques today.
Dooms of the Manufactory
  1. Material you produce is wood or woodsmoke. This lasts for twenty-four hours, and may negatively impact the quality of your techniques. This is the first step towards being used-up.
  2. Material you produce is glass or a thin haze that smells like burnt-out machinery. This lasts for a week, and may negatively impact the quality of your techniques. This is the penultimate step before being used-up.
  3. Material you produce is rotten bone or the smell of blood. This is permanent. Performing your techniques deals [dice] damage to you, and mishaps permanently reduce your HP total by 1. If you have paid off your Academy debts then they will allow you to live out the rest of your days in failure and exile. You are no more use to anyone.


    Why are you here? Just make your own. You don't need me any more.