Wednesday, June 23, 2021

The Character of the Terrible (GLOG Class: Specialist)

    There are one-hundred and seven stars in the night sky (there were one-hundred and eight, but one of them is hiding). They are arranged into eleven constellations with nine stars each, and one unfortunate constellation with only eight. Each constellation governs a facet of life and each of their component stars governs a facet of that constellation. In Ages past emperors allowed the stars to govern their lives, and much was entrusted to the those who considered them; but in this age of strife Heaven is pitiless and the stars send down only evil fates.

Source: Misfortune by bundleofblues

Class: Considerer

    You are, G_d forgive you, one who is marked to live an interesting life. Far have you fallen, son of Saul! The king has forgotten you! No longer are you a prophet, but merely a diviner, and probably named "Mommy Fortuna". Practitioners of your lesser art keep to themselves and rarely interact — too hard to keep your stories straight, and you serve as constant reminders to one another of how far your order has fallen.
    You may wear light armor and use shields. You never fumble with crystal balls, bottles, scrap metal or knives.

Skills: 1. Legitimate astronomy 2. Exotic animal care 3. Wagon repair

Starting Gear: a crystal ball (see equipment list), a voluminous spooky cloak, 5 out-of-date gold coins, and a piece of divination tools of your choice.

  • A Starcharts, +1 to-hit
  • B Revelations, +1 HP
  • C Careful Study, +1 AC
  • D Foreknowledge, +1 HP

    You have an insight into your future and your own fate. When events are left up to chance and dice are rolled (that is, intelligent hostility might still interfere), results which would contradict your insight are discarded — and like all good fortune-tellers, you cheat. After a night of stargazing, choose one of the following:
  1. Constellation: the Child.
    Insight: silence, watchfulness. You will leave no tracks. Those you do not speak to will not remember your presence. Attempts to locate or reveal your hiding places will fail.
  2. Constellation: the Elder.
    Insight: acrobatics, applause. You will not fall. You will receive the attention you deserve.
  3. Constellation: the Skull.
    Insight: confrontation, conclusion. You will know when you are being lied to. Any attempts to uncover a secret thing in your presence will succeed.
  4. Constellation: the Snake.
    Insight: betrayal, preparation. When you reach your hand out you will seize the hilt of an invisible medium sword. The sword deals 2d6 damage the first time it hits something, and 1d6 afterwards. Ten minutes of cleaning and sharpening will restore its edge.
  5. Constellation: the Dog.
    Insight: faith, implacability. You will have a clear goal in mind. While tailing someone or following their fresh tracks, attempts to impede you will fail.
  6. Constellation: the Dancing Girl.
    Insight: agelessness, purity. Miraculously, you will survive poison. You will not need food or drink or air while your eyes are closed and your legs are folded.
  7. Constellation: a Crown.
    Insight: a corpse spilling its rot over a dusty throne. People without reason to believe otherwise accept your authority. You will not be publicly humiliated
  8. Constellation: a Tower.
    Insight: something on a hill blocking out the sun. Successful attacks in your presence will be critical, and misses will be fumbled. Catastrophe will follow catastrophe.
  9. Constellation: an Eye.
    Insight: a noose swinging from a lamppost in the darkness. You will know when a promise made to you is broken. You will not be surprised.
  10. Constellation: a Lantern.
    Insight: a weird light where there should be no light. You have supernal vision as a cleric. Given the choice, spells prefer to harm your companions in your place.
  11. Constellation: a Hand.
    Insight: wealth, charity. When you call out for help, help will come. Kind-hearted folks will be generous, hard-hearted folks will be unexpectedly cooperative.
  12. Constellation: one now Ruined.
    Insight: None. You ping as evil. Powerful or wise things avoid you, or cannot see you.

    For up to [level] characters of your choice, you see threats that endanger them and dangers which threaten them with enough time to rush to their aid (you can do this for your fellow PCs but the effect is probably blinding with how relentlessly reckless those idiots are). These revelations come to you involuntarily and are often painful or confusing.

Careful Study
    You may choose an insight in a moment of thought if you can currently see the constellation, or in a minute if you can closely examine a detailed astrological work.

    You know what NPCs will say before they say it, and can mimic them as they speak if you want to piss them off. If you have a crystal ball you can answer direct questions about personal future posed to you by boring people (reading a PC's future always gives the answer "misery, chaos, sticky end"). The answers come in the form of visions, snippets of conversation, and strong impressions. These are always correct but rarely complete. Your foreknowledge is 100% accurate before the prediction is made, but the butterfly effect, other precognitives, strong wills and powerful magic means the future is never certain.
Random Boring NPCs:
  1. A talking animal who wants to know about sports back home.
  2. Annoying thieves who want to steal your divination tools, assuming them to be efficacious on their own.
  3. A burly thug who wants to know about the results of his next job.
  4. A mushroom-worshipper who wants to know about rain in the next few days.
  5. A hired dick who wants to know about his current investigation.
  6. A burly ascetic who wants to know about the end of the world.
  7. A wealthy woman with fat tits who wants to know about back problems.
  8. A monkey herder who wants to hear about circus life nowadays.
  9. A changeling who wants to know how their family is doing.
  10. An old man who wants to hear about his next unlikely victory.
  11. A traveling merchant with an urgent need to know the price of bananas.
  12. A hungry devil, here to eat your prophetic soul.

Divination Tools:
  1. Crystal Ball. May be chucked. Deeply disturbing to creatures without a good sense of what a "face" is. ⅓rd slot.
  2. Voluminous Spooky Cloak. Conceals your entire body.
  3. Wavy-bladed dagger. Iconic for weird creeps in big cloaks. Light.
  4. Tarot Cards (don't work). Enough extra "Death" cards to fill a hand.
  5. Tarot Cards (work). All trump cards have been removed.
  6. Forged cloud journal. Highly detailed, highly incorrect.
  7. High-quality tea. Deserves to be prepared in a high-quality pot, but probably won't be. Ten doses.
  8. Kukri. Its blade is wickedly curved. A +1 weapon, but cannot be sheathed until it has shed at least 1 HP of intelligent blood. Light.
  9. Two-Headed Coin (with your own face). Worth 1gp.
  10. 60' of silk rope. ⅓rd slot.
  11. Travel I-Ching Set. Weighted to give bad results.
  12. Travel Backgammon Set. The divine game. Anyone who can talk will be up for a quick game.
  13. Fortune cookies. Fortunes always come true in unkind ways. Three doses.
  14. The preserved corpses of three songbirds. Already been used for haruspicy; may now be used as companionship.
  15. One liter of cheap moonshine. ⅓rd slot. Three doses.
  16. Book of astrological fables. ⅓rd slot.
  17. Runed Staff. Runes read "Shiitake with Cabbage. Mister Oyster". Medium.
  18. Cartwright's Tools. Enough to fix a broken cart, or torture someone. 1 slot.
  19. Helmet with terrifying face. 1 slot carried, 0 worn.
  20. A weird or inexplicable curio. Roll 1d6:
    1. A glass vial of eternal rain. Destroys divine magic. 3 doses.
    2. Scroll of Terrify Peasantry. Burns to pure ash when read from.
    3. A pair of adamant dice. Turn up 5, no matter how they roll.
    4. Mechanical leg. Works great as a replacement if you lose yours, but is oddly racist.
    5. Map of a graveyard. The location of a massive treasure-trove is marked, but not the location of the graveyard, besides the words "Glost should have died".
    6. Chef's knife. Anything cut by this knife is vegan.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

People's Hearts are Filled with Schemes to do Wrong (GLOG Superhero Campaign, Characters, Advancement)

    Trashed this draft a few times. My first superhero post was written in an evening — I believe that is the correct way to produce a blogpost like this one.

    I've received questions about the general wisdom of "an eleven-category descriptive (not prescriptive) point buy system for generating supernatural abilities of roughly equal power, compatible with your basic d20-like games, with a Worm flavor" presented in the original post, which I will answer in no particular order:

1. Won't classifying superpowers make them feel ordinary, not transcendent?

    I don't want them to feel transcendent. I want them to be grungy and limited in your Worm and My Hero Academia sort of a way — wondrous abilities, certainly, and versatile and interesting tools, but not (at first) drastically altering the human condition. Again: Worm flavor (or if you're unfamiliar with Worm, X-Men). The powers might change how you live your life, but don't change what it means for you to be alive.

2. Why these eleven and not (something else)?
3. Wha-Huh?
4. Why do only some of the powers have scores?

    In short, of Brawn, Durable, Martial, Think, Perceive, Create, Shift, Fly, Zap, Weird and Ace I anticipate the first five categories coming up often. The majority of PC powers (like most in the source fiction) include one or more of the following: the character is very strong, the character is miraculously resistant to damage, the character is good at scrappin', the character is highly intelligent, or the character is sharp on the uptake in ways regular joes can't be (if you think this one's a stretch, consider Spiderman, Wolverine, Batman or Sherlock Holmes).
    The players are familiar with these concepts and are likely to want them, so I listed those powers first and attached them to D&D stats — easy to ask for, easy to get. I gave them scores from 1–3 because I expect questions like "who's the stronger of these strong dudes" to come up a lot in the kind of superhero campaign I want to run.

    The next four are less universal. I'm setting a tone with them; I (as the DM) think common miscellaneous powers will include permanent creation of material, possession of non-human forms, flight, and some sort of 5e-cantrip-level ranged attack thing. I could have included "Invisibility" or "Teleportation", but they're not so interesting enough that I'd want to dedicate sentences to them (Worm didn't, after all). Likewise, these aren't normally assigned scores. One laser-blast is much the same as the other, and most fliers fly about the same. Two fliers competing with each other can be resolved with normal checks — a player could invest in extremely good flight, but the normal kind will do for most encounters and I don't want them to feel like they wasted points on excessive flying ability.

    Finally, there are the catchalls of Ace and Weird. Why do I split them up? I have no idea. Probably because Worm had unclearly-differentiable Master and Stranger categories. Maybe because I wanted Ace to be scary and so teleporting and invisibility needed to go somewhere else.
    They make sense to me now, though. Ace is for existential threats and rule-fuckery (mindcontrol, precognition, time travel, power nullification), and Weird is for ignoring rules (invisibility, teleportation, walking through walls) or just inexplicable shit (seeing an invisible friend who gives you good advice on committing crimes, swap personalities, control one's own emotions).

5. Aren't you concerned in presenting these categories you are limiting the possibilities players will consider? Even if you assure them it's a "descriptive system" and they may have what powers please them, you will affect their conceptions of the world by providing examples, leading them inevitably towards certain conclusions.

    Yes, a little, but let me explain: coloring the players' perceptions is inevitable. If I have any rules it will affect how the players will construct their PCs. Instead of abandoning my responsibilities, I must lead those players down the path of righteousness and sensible superheroes who can fit in an OSR-y sort of a campaign. It's what I wanted to play; you can do it differently if you wish.

    Thinking about it, an "Occultism" or "Divinity" power scored from 1–3 would make a lot of sense for your Sorcerers Supreme and your Thors. I have enough wizards and demigods in my other games, but if you wanted that DC Comics feeling then those would make sense as categories.

6. Enough of your (extremely cool) original characters! Merely demonstrating that the designer is capable of writing out the words of that designer's own system does not demonstrate that the system is usable, let alone good! Show us some real superheroes!

    Are you fucking stupid? Do you not understand what a fucking "question" is? Why are you still talking to me? Why do I still talk to you? When I kill you, you don't die. When I silence you, you return, to urge me towards wicked ends.

    Anyway, I'll stat out some popular superheroes.

Superman, six-sigma (wow!)
Brawn-ב — Bet is notation beyond 1–3, for extreme cases. How much Strength does Superman have? Stronger than you can measure. This is story-game level strength; if Superman said "I will take apart this battleship and lay its component pieces on the beach in sorted piles" I would reply "Well, that sounds like tedious work. It'll take you at least five minutes".
Durable-ב — Same here. How much Constitution does Superman have? Well, there's one specific rock that can hurt him. Besides that he's immune to damage from any source.
Martial-1 — Superman isn't actually super great at fighting. We'll give him 15 Dexterity and Intelligence, and a proficiency with thrown cars.
Perceive-2 — This one is a tough call, since exactly how super-perception works has changed over the decades. You could reasonably argue for any score depending on what comic you're working from, but I'm giving him a 2 under the assumption he can see through walls and perceives time slower. 30 Wisdom, plus the other shit.
Fly-ב — Again, story-game level. Superman can move however fast he feels like.
Zap — He's pretty precise with this; we'll say on a successful attack Superman can deal 2–12 fire damage to anything he can see (his choice). A good zap for a big boy.

    Bit of an odd character to ring it in with, but you can't pass up Superman. I think the system handles him well. Didn't include Super-Weaving or Super-Freezing Breath, or spinning the world backwards so time reverses, but I guess you could if you wanted to.

Spiderman, three-sigma
Brawn-1 — Haven't read the comics, but the 90s animated show made him seem pretty buff. 18 Strength, unarmed attacks medium weapons, normals must make a move check against being knocked over when he swangs his ass into them.
Martial-2 — Spiderman's a heck of a pugilist. 24 Dexterity, unarmored AC as chain, two attacks a turn.
Perceive-2 — Sometimes his spider-sense seems explicitly supernatural. Like, it'll get tripped by evil ghosts, and Spiderman will be swangin' around the city muttering "what the fuck is happening" to himself. Assuming movie-ish canon of bug-like panic-senses: 30 Wisdom, Danger Sense as a 5e Barbarian, Evasion as a 5e Rogue, can never be surprised.
Shift — I'm going to call his wall-crawling and his web-swinging Shift; sometimes it's technology, but I like it as biology. He can walk on any solid surface and he's got built-in grappling hooks that also disable enemy limbs on a successful attack. Neat trick.

    That's a high-level Spiderman. A baby 2-pointer could get away with the Shift and a single Perceive (18 Wisdom and can't be surprised). Techie Spiderman probably has Think in there somewhere.

Batman, one-sigma (ha!)
Martial-1 — Charles Atlas style. 15 Strength and Constitution, always get two attacks against surprised opponents.
Perceive-1 — The greatest detective in the world gets 18 Wisdom. After winning or losing a fight against a named NPC, Batman may choose to consider them a favored enemy. He gets a +4 bonus to checks to track favored enemies, and once per scene he may ask the DM to point out evidence they were present (whiff of poison gas, clownshoe footprint, big glowing ?!, &c).

    Batman's real powers are, of course, having 1,000,000,000s of dollars to spend on airplanes and cars and cool gadgets. Assuming your DM lets you have that as a background feature (I won't), then you're good to go. The rest of his powers are firmly of the 1-point, limit-of-human-ability sorts.

Source: in the description.

    Need to put this information in a pdf, but here's the basics:

Character Creation
    You need a Superpowers (two points worth), a Cool Codename (your choice), a Real Name (also your choice), a Shitty Day-Job (blue-collar or service industry, between $10 and $20 an hour, provides background skills and an income during the week), a Starting Cash (Xd10*$10, where X is a small integer), and an Equipment(s) (purchased with starting cash).

Character Advancement
    You get 25 XP for surviving a session, 10 XP per NPC superman encountered for the first time, 20 XP per newspaper headline you were personally responsible for, and 1 XP per $10 earned through heroics (according to your split of the take). Major XP bounties may be provided for completing long-term goals, beating powerful supermen in fights, and at the DM's discretion. You level up at 200, 600, 1200, 2000, 3000, 4000 &c XP. Extra HD every level, extra point to spend on powers every odd level.

Campaign Structure
    Every week or so an NPC contact will inform a PC of an opportunity for hero-work. These opportunities include breaking into places, beating people up, crashing parties, nabbing high-value targets, and other things you might do in Shadowrun. PCs have an opportunity to prepare (by buying equipment, casing the scene, reaching out to other contacts for help, &c), and then the mission begins. Complications ensue; perhaps the mission is more complicated than originally presented, perhaps another superman shows up, perhaps the PCs receive a better offer. The mission ends and the survivors count their cash.
   Then downtime begins. PCs have 70 hours during the week to work, train, research, purchase or build equipment, and whatever else they want to do. Newspapers run bogus headlines, NPC factions struggle for power in the background, and then it's time for the next mission.

    If I had more time, this blogpost would have been shorter, but I have to go and eat egg salad right this moment. Ciao.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Simplified Classes

I have grown tired of long blogposts; for a change of pace, here are some of my classes shortened to a few sentences each

    You are a practitioner of the First Art of Manufacturing, which deals with the creation of material and the element of Hot Metal. The Academy of the Manufactories sends its students out into the world, after an initial period of training, to gain hands-on experience with immolation and the military-industrial complex.

    Things You Can Do: eat fuel instead of food, light a cigarette with a touch, handle hot objects cooler than glowing, create small (hidden in closed mouth) objects of frangible potmetal at-will. When you wake up in the morning, you may choose a problem to be able to solve with a wave of your hand and a flash of poison fire:

    Powerful Manufactories produce objects of better-quality material. Manufactories who strain themselves (such as when pushing the definition of their problems) produce worse-quality material for a time, for longer and longer each time, until they burn out like matches.

    You are a follower of Aeshe, the Great Sage, who directed your forebears to wear a mask depicting a powerful totem that allowed them to commune with the celestial bureaucracy. While you wear such a mask you are attended by invisible angels with mystical abilities and strict requirements of your personal behavior.

    Things You Can Do: speak and be listened to, ask for food and lodging and get it, see angels and other supernal beings, and live for a long time unless you die first.
    You wear a mask which determines minutiae, but all Clerics are followed by Hallow and another angel of their choice (from this list or a mask-dependent one). they are only interested in helping while you are furthering their interests in the world.
1. HALLOW. In one hour she may hallow an object (dispersing evil, preventing the dead from rising, other things) and with three she may hallow an area for a full day. Minor undead cannot enter hallowed areas, nor rise while inside them.
2. HEAL. Guides your hands to set bones and sew up wounds, occasionally repairs with a touch of her own delicate fingers. Complains all the while about how poorly designed humans are.
3. TURN. With a word, drives everything and everyone at least twenty paces away from you in the manner of a large dog. Intelligent foes can still throw things at you.
4. KINDLE. Sets things (like weapons and people) ablaze. She likes to grab projectiles and fly along behind them.

    Powerful clerics are followed by more angels, who are more willing to bend the rules for them. Clerics who break the angels' rules damage their soul, and risk permanently losing themselves to Chaos.

    You are an agent of the Company, an organization authorized by the Emperor to operate in secret and protect people from themselves. You have been directed to do something nebulous and occult, possibly, unless that was a smokescreen and your real memories will only surface when a trigger phrase is spoken. Such is life as a Metatron.

    Things You Can Do: talk your way past most legal authorities, challenge people to a sword-fight and probably win, make eye contact with someone and keep them from looking away.
    When you touch someone on the roof of their mouth, center of their chest and between their eyes, their memories of the past hour are replaced with a lie you tell them in d6+2 words which their mind will try to accept.

    Powerful Metatrons may edit memories with greater precision, inflict horrible waking nightmares, and other Men In Black bullshit. When stressed (such as when their lies are revealed), Metatrons are prone to losing their mind and believing they are someone else with the same memories and personality trapped in the same body.

    You are in possession of some of the favor of Alden, who was the first and oldest of the five brothers who made your world. For you, this takes the form of superhuman martial ability with sword and bow. No one with abilities like these can escape an interesting life.

    Things You Can Do: win a swordfight against a single humanoid, land arrows in specified apples at any range, instill terror with a dark look, survive falls even when no one could have survived that.
    You perfectly understand weapons the first time you wield them. Mounts are always obedient, civilians are always obsequious, and weather is dark and stormy if it would be dramatically appropriate.

    Old Sword-Shepherds can catch blades and arrows out of the air, bend iron bars with their hands, and face entire armies alone and expect to win. But with every life you end, you become a little more dour. Eventually you will follow the path all Sword-Shepherds must one day take — the path up, the path down, the path on which there is no coming and no going.

    You are a wizened veteran who survived a hundred campaigns. For years you sat in the sun, dreaming of past victories and swapping tall tales with the other old soldiers. Now you sit in the sun alone.
    But why only past victories? Why not some new ones? And if things have changed since your day — so what? Old age and treachery beats youth and exuberance every time.

    Things You Can Do: win any barfight, kick the hell out of a man forty years your junior, construct and operate siege engines, enthrall a crowd with tales of glory, find your way around 'most any place, and survive indefinitely on hay and bootlaces.
    If you get the drop on someone, they die. No one can get the drop on you. You can smell booby traps, and you always know when you're being followed.

    Zouaves are already old, but if they can work the rust off they're more dangerous than ever. Ambush and crush armies under landslides; disrespect kings to their faces; walk the secret places of the earth; speak to elder things as an equal; and, one day, die.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

GLOG Legallydistinctémon (GLOG Setting, Random Tables)

    Legallydistinctémon! A project of the twice-secret Gold Membership© GLOG Discord!

Rubble in the background? A legbone for a signpost? What blasted Hellscape is this?

    The world of [redacted at the request of my lawyers] is one of adventure and mystery, full of powerful ancient creatures and warlocks who seek to bind those creatures to their very souls (what did you think they meant by "the power that's inside"?)
    If you've read the manga you know how wild the setting can be. Predictably, the GLOG community's version of this world is even more grotesque and full of people blowing themselves up with poorly understood "magic". That's what this post is: a collection of ersatz Pokémon and tables to generate them, with content sourced from the GLOG Discord and links to creators and blogs.

    Also, Phlox found a site which randomly generates portmanteaus. Useful for this sort of work.

Fire Legallydistinctémon

Template: 1/2 damage from fire

 2. humanoid elemental
 3. dog
 4. tiger
 5. rabbit
 6. bird
 7. lizard
 8. monkey
 9. pig
10. ox
11. fox
12. moth

 1. flame comin' out of it
 2. flesh damasked with veins of magma
 3. neon skin (1. pink 2. green 3. yellow 4. purple)
 4. a body much larger than before
 5. beautiful lustrous hair
 6. fearsome accessories in stone and metal
 7. piercing eyes
 8. devil wings
 9. a carpet of flame-colored spikes over its body
10. boiling blood, and an aura of heat-haze
11. [roll twice on this table]
12. [roll twice on this table and once on the last]

1. flying type
2. fighting type
3. steel type
4. dragon type

Electric Legallydistinctémon

Template: activate and manipulate machines?

 2. humanoid elemental
 3. crow
 4. sheep
 5. common machine
 6. fluffy doggy
 7. adorable rodent
 8. weird-ass quadruped
 9. fuzzy kitty
10. deep sea predator
11. ??? storm with arms and teeth and shit?

 1. lightning-bolt whiskers that indicate its power level
 2. crackling aura that shorts out machinery
 3. inverted colors
 4. fuzzy fur if it was metallic, or metal wires if it was fuzzy
 5. a body much larger than before
 6. accessories in thick insulating rubber
 7. a long grounding lightning-bolt tail
 8. a glowing bobble on a long antennae
 9. thrumming mechanical features with a million horsepower
10. a staticky mane
11. [roll twice on this table]
12. [roll twice on this table and once on the last]

1. steel type
2. fighting type
3. water type
4. flying type


Ghost Legallydistinctémon

Template: pass through solid objects

 2. wreck
 3. gaunt domesticated animal
 4. costume
 5. interior furnishing
 6. face with stubby body
 7. shapeless blob
 8. body part
 9. thin, thin humanoid
10. gourd
11. chonky body with a small head and wispy tail
12. aristocratic weapon

 1. a sinister hat
 2. more or wider mouths
 3. an emanation of strange light
 4. metallic ridges
 5. a growth piercing it
 6. exposed bone
 7. restraints or containers hanging off it
 8. shadows dancing around it
 9. Inflated, its face leering
10. a knife
11. [roll twice on this table]
12. [roll twice on this table and once on the last]

1. psychic type
2. poison type
3. fire type
4. dark type


Ground Legallydistinctémon

Template: Can burrow

 2. Mole
 3. Worm
 4. Snake
 5. Dog
 6. Hippopotamus
 7. Horse
 8. Lizard
 9. Badger
10. Small Rodent
11. Clay Statue
12. Archaeological Relic

 1. Massive digging claws.
 2. A thick hide.
 3. Red or blue splotches, like mud-splats.
 4. Covered in soil, mud or sand.
 5. Heavy, blocklke limbs or head.
 6. Clay armour, wet or fired.
 7. The ability to roll up into a ball.
 8. A portly body.
 9. Large limbs.
10. A stable stance.
11. [roll twice on this table]
12. [roll twice on this table and once on the last]

1. rock type
2. water type
3. grass type
4. steel type

Dragon Legallydistinctémon

Template: Moves deal an extra [+????] damage.

 2. It's covered in gold and other precious metals.
 3. It has bone or metal armour.
 4. It's wearing parts of its broken eggshell.
 5. It's half mammal.
 6. It's got six legs.  
 7. It's long and serpentine, or at least part of it is.
 8. It's got 1d4 Extra Heads.
 9. It's Birdlike.
10. It's broad and heavy, or at least part of it is.
11. It's spiky and angular, or at least part of it is.
12. It's got 1d4 sets of wings.

 1. Ominously glowing eyes.
 2. A weapon formed from it's body, such as a cannon or blade.
 3. Massive fangs.
 4. Rows of spines.
 5. An extravagant head-crest of some kind.
 6. Heavy pieces of bone or metal armour.
 7. A long, thin, swishing tail.
 8. Extravagant horns.
 9. Smoke and 'dragon energy' billowing from it's jaws.
10. An extra... (1. Head 2. Set of Wings 3. Set of Legs 4. Tail)
11. [roll twice on this table]
12. [roll twice on this table and once on the last]

1. steel type
2. fire type
3. dark type
4. flying type

Bug Legallydistinctémon

Template: always win initiative?

 2. spider
 3. ant
 4. cockroach
 5. dragonfly
 6. cricket
 7. worm
 8. centipede
 9. bee or wasp
10. weevil
11. beetle
12. moth or butterfly

 1. An extra set of legs.
 2. Gossamer wings.
 3. Chitinous blades.
 4. Spiky armour.
 5. Eye spots.
 6. Parasitic fungi.
 7. A shell of natural material.
 8. Metallic chitin.
 9. Extravagant antennae.
10. The ability to stand upright.
11. [roll twice on this table]
12. [roll twice on this table and once on the last]

1. grass type
2. dark type
3. poison type
4. ground type

Dark Legallydistinctémon

Template: invisible in darkness

 2. Ghostly Humanoid
 3. Canine
 4. Crow
 5. Scavenging Animal  
 6. Large Reptile
 7. Ooze or Living Shadow
 8. Rodent
 9. Small Reptile
10. Demon
11. Feline
12. Small Goblinesque Creature

 1. A Crest or Flowing Piece of Fur
 2. A Cloak of Shadows
 3. Thorns, Spines or Claws
 4. An Aura of Darkness
 5. Batlike Wings
 6. A Mask, either as a pattern in fur or skin, or a literal mask
 7. An animate, unpleasant shadow.
 8. Gotten hold of some kind of Archaeological Relic.
 9. Glowing markings or eyes.
10. Spiky horns, or a spiked beak if appropriate.
11. [roll twice on this table]
12. [roll twice on this table and once on the last]

1. ghost type
2. fire type
3. poison type
4. water type

Water Legallydistinctémon

Template: Amphibious, breathe air and water.

 2. Giant Serpent
 3. Turtle
 4. Pinniped
 5. Frog or Toad  
 6. Waterfowl or Seabird
 7. Fish (1. Small Fish, 2. Large Fish, 3. Eel, 4. Shark,)
 8. Cetacean
 9. Shellfish
10. A Sessile Sea-Creature, such as Coral or a Barnacle
11. Cephalopod
12. Leviathan

 1. Voluminous, glittering fins.
 2. A long, serpentine body.
 3. Reflective scales or shiny skin.
 4. A large shell.
 5. The great size that comes from living in the deeps.
 6. Partially or entirely made from clear or murky water.
 7. Has symbiotic coral growing on it.
 8. A glowing lure on a long appendage.
 9. A shoal of similar or smaller creatures like it accompanying it.
10. The ability to hover out of water.
11. [roll twice on this table]
12. [roll twice on this table and once on the last]

1. grass type
2. ice type
3. poison type
4. ground type

Ice Legallydistinctémon

Template: 1/2 damage from cold

 2. Animate Snow Sculpture
 3. A Snowy Owl
 4. Bison or Ox
 5. Moose or Deer
 6. Particularly Fluffy Small Mammal
 7. Polar Bear
 8. Penguin
 9. Beluga or Orca
10. Pinniped
11. Animate Ice Structure
12. Yeti

 1. Icicle spikes growing on its back.
 2. An attendant blizzard.
 3. Clouds of chill on its breath.
 4. A covering or shell, of packed snow or hard ice.  
 5. A big, broad, stocky body, to conserve heat.
 6. Thick gripping claws or broad swimming paddles (whichever would be weirder).
 7. Glittering sheen of frost that catches the light.
 8. Large horns or tusks.
 9. Thick, tangled fur.
10. An internal reservoir of great cold or self-sustaining heat.
11. [roll twice on this table]
12. [roll twice on this table and once on the last]

1. water type
2. grass type
3. rock type
4. ground type

Fighting Legallydistinctémon

Template: [+????] HP

 2. A portly, broad amphibian.
 3. A large, muscular horse.
 4. Large, upright... (1. Canine 2. Bear 3. Bovine 4. Pig)
 5. Monkey standing upright.
 6. Tall, thin humanoid.  
 7. Burly, massive humanoid.
 8. Squat, stocky humanoid.
 9. A large, stocky primate.
10. A large, flightless bird.
11. A burly, thick-skinned quadruped.
12. A non-fish sea creature.

 1. 1d4 Extra Arms.
 2. Massive, bulging muscles.
 3. Leathery, craggy hide.
 4. 1d4 Extra Legs.
 5. Mysterious secret techniques.
 6. Armour (1. Natural 2. Manufactured 3. Scavenged)
 7. Prominent facial hair.
 8. Glowing... (1. Hair 2. Eyes 3. Limbs)  
 9. A weapon (1. Natural 2. Manufactured 3. Scavenged)
10. Heavy bone protrusions.
11. [roll twice on this table]
12. [roll twice on this table and once on the last]

1. rock type
2. psychic type
3. steel type
4. normal type

Grass Legallydistinctémon

Template: invisible in plants


 2. Half-Plant Large Mammal
 3. Tree
 4. Shrub
 5. Fungus
 6. Half-Plant Lizard
 7. Fruit
 8. Vegetable
 9. Carnivorous Plant
10. Vine
11. Cactus
12. Half-Plant Small Mammal

 1. A beautiful blooming flower.
 2. A carpet of moss or dry vines.
 3. A larger and more extravagant form of it's current vegetation.
 4. Wooden accessories.
 5. A covering of snow, sand or soil.
 6. Great size.
 7. A covering of thick bark.
 8. Pollen or spores.
 9. Thorns or spines.
10. A completely different colour!
11. [roll twice on this table]
12. [roll twice on this table and once on the last]

1. ground type
2. water type
3. poison type
4. rock type


Fairy Legallydistinctémon

Template: Other Legamon are less likely to panic or run away

2. Regal Beast
3. Dessert Treat
4. Floating Ring
5. Vague-Humanoid
6. Small Vague-Humanoid
7. Egg
8. Unnaturally Cute Animal
9. Fluffy Cloud
10. Stuffed Doll
11. Ball of Slime
12. Spiritual Totem

1. 1d4 Extra Faces
2. 1d4 Flower Blooms
3. Far Too Many Eyes
4. All the Colors of the Rainbow
5. A Large Red Bow
6. A Larger Head
7. A Crown or Crest
8. A Charming Grin
9. A Completely Different Color
10. 1d4 Pairs of Wings
11. [roll twice on this table]
12. [roll twice on this table and once on the last]

1. Psychic Type
2. Grass Type
3. Flying Type
4. Electric Type


Flying Legallydistinctémon

Template: has wings; can fly

 2. Bat
 3. Peafowl
 4. Crow
 5. Woodpecker
 6. Owl
 7. Pigeon
 8. Goose
 9. Crane
10. Duck
11. Falcon
12. Pterodactyl

 1. Another set of voluminous wings.
 2. The ability to hover.
 3. A new, distinctive patch of color on its... (1. head 2. tail 3. wings 4. rump)
 4. A razor-sharp beak or bill.
 5. Longer legs and twice the land speed.
 6. The ability to imitate any other legamon's cries.
 7. Metallic feathers.
 8. Extraordinary hearing.
 9. An extra head.
10. The ability to glide silently.
11. [roll twice on this table]
12. [roll twice on this table and once on the last]

1. bug type
2. fire type
3. poison type
4. grass type

Normal Legallydistinctémon

Template: the ability to appear completely and utterly normal no matter the situation

 2. Badger
 3. Hedgehog
 4. Rodent
 5. Rabbit
 6. Cat
 7. Canine
 8. Monkey
 9. Cow
10. Bear
11. Deer
12. Marsupial (1. Kangaroo 2. Koala 3. Possum 4. Wombat)

 1. New, distinctive markings on its... (1. chest 2. head 3. arms 4. back)
 2. 1d4 extra limbs.
 3. A bow, flower, or distinctive facial hair.
 4. An object... (1. Natural 2. Manufactured 3. Scavenged).
 5. A welcoming or sour look on its face.
 6. A baby version of itself on its shoulders/back/pouch.
 7. The ability to stand up on its hind legs and walk like a human.
 8. 1d6 new tails.
 9. A completely new patch of color.
10. An old, wrinkly visage.
11. [roll twice on this table]
12. [roll twice on this table and once on the last]

1. flying type
2. water type
3. fire type
4. grass type



Rock Legallydistinctémon

Template: Takes half damage from piercing/cutting attacks.

2. Coral formation
3. Bug with a rocky shell
4. Aquatic dinosaur
5. Snake made out of rocks
6. Literal pile of rocks
7. Rock with legs
8. Animate statue
9. Ancient stone artifact
10. Terrestrial dinosaur
11. Hovering asteroid
12. Animal preserved in amber

1. Glowing crystal protrusions.
2. A perpetual sandstorm around itself.
3. Ancient runes carved across its surface.
4. A bunch of smaller rocks attached to it.
5. Heavy and cumbersome granite armor plating.
6. Way too many spikes.
7. The ability to camouflage within natural rock surfaces.
8. Cracks and chips covering its surface.
9. A mustache. Made out of actual hair or more rocks; whichever is funnier.
10. Wings that aren’t strong enough to get its fat little body off the ground.
11. [roll twice on this table]
12. [roll twice on this table and once on the last]

1. water type
2. ground type
3. steel type
4. bug type


Poison Legallydistinctémon

Template: Your legamon are resistant to poison.

2. Bat
3. Flower
4. Fungus
5. Blob monster
6. Spider
7. Scorpion
8. Snake
9. Lizard
10. Frog
11. Other toxic bug (1. Wasp  2. Moth  3. Centipede  4. Snail)
12. Non-fishy sea creature

1. Bright warning colors
2. Sharp spines
3. Large(r)/more stinger/fangs
4. A coating of toxic goo
5. Lots of fringes and frills
6. An aura of poisonous gas
7. Garbage sticking out of it
8. Acidic spit/blood/tears
9. A long tongue/tentacles
11. [roll twice on this table]
12. [roll twice on this table and once on the last]

1. Water type
2. Grass type
3. Dark type
4. Bug type

 1. has a terrifying shadow that reveals its true form
 2. is shaped like a common object from civilization (1. building 2. weapon 3. vehicle 4. straight up looks exactly like a guy)
 3. is ten-times too-big
 4. has eyes in an unexpected place
 5. relentlessly attacks people who enter its territory
 6. cares about money, for some reason?
 7. is the male/female form of a completely different legamon
 8. is the juvenile/adult form of a completely different legamon
 9. is venerated by the locals who share its habitat
10. is a cleverly disguised insect [add BUG type]
11. is an invasive species
12. fears a random non-threatening pokemon
13. prefers water/land instead of its expected habitat (if already amphibious, can fly)
14. produces a useful substance, (1d10: 1–4 milk or some other edible 5–8 wool or some similar textile 9 medicinal application 10 military application)
15. is critically endangered
16. is entirely immortal
17. incarnates a concept (1. an emotion 2. an event 3. an unrelated element 4. a physical law)
18. is unique, the only one in existence
19. explodes sometimes
20. obsesses over a random mundane inanimate object: steals them, makes them, builds nests out of them...
21. nocturnal
22. lives among humans
23. causes natural disasters
24. lives in a weird place
25. is a literal alien
26. has a secondary type? [Roll on that type's Trait Table]?
27. has been domesticated for a long time
28. is always disobedient
29. is naturally cooperative and loyal
30. is rivals with another legamon in their natural habitat
31. is a regional variant of something else
32. parasitizes another legamon
33. was revived from a strange fossil
34. has multiple evolutions, based on environment or diet or behavior

Example Legamon, Generated With Those Tables:

Pterrifier, The Inquiring Legamon. Flying/Steel.
Pterrifier is a pterosaur with radio dishes instead of wings and two heads, one with a single heat-vision eye and the other with a parabolic microphone. Its stiff wings cannot flap, so it hovers instead. Wild Pterrifiers appear on nights with a full moon to harass politicians and scientists before flying back up into the sky and disappearing.

Forgeox, The Blacksmith Legamon. Fire/Steel.
Art courtesy of Locheil

Wild Forgeoxen wander the roads with a beltful of tools, cleaning and repairing machinery for a small fee. What do they use the money for? No one knows, but they refuse to do anything for free. This Legamon will never respect a trainer who can't work with their hands.

Pinespine, The Soggy Buddy Legamon. Grass.
Pinespines are related to [other cactus guy] but have evolved for the climate of a temperate forest. Water is so abundant in their environment that they can spend most of the day working on carpentry projects, or sleeping as a thick bed of moss grows over them. Their waterlogged spines make them defenseless, and their waterlogged hearts make them kind. Unscrupulous humans sometimes steal from them, or even keep them in cages to produce excellent wooden furniture.

Larvantage, The Conscripted Legamon. Bug.
They don't know it yet, but newly-hatched Larvantages have been drafted into the war of all against all. They are small, weak, poorly-trained and delicious. Their only hope lies in the nickel-plated .44 automatic they were born clutching.

Snipoon, The Hardened Legamon. Bug/Steel.
War has changed the Snipoon almost as much as the adamant threads it wraps around its body. The only gap in its defense is a slot large enough for its newly-evolved sniper rifle and 7x scope. Pairs of Snipoons often work together, serving as each others' spotters.

Overmoth, The Military-Industrial Legamon. Bug/Steel.
Of the thousands of eggs an Overmoth lays in its lifetime, only a few will survive to ever lay eggs of their own. These flying fortresses know they have a duty to the rest of their species. They keep careful watch for predators, and rain automatic fire on trespassers in their territory.

Beegon, The Hunter-Killer Legamon. Bug.
Beegons are the male form of the Beelders. They are useless outside of mating season, so they patrol the hive and detonate if they find intruders. Trained Beegons have been used in human warfare for centuries.

Beelder, The Hard-Working Legamon. Bug.
Beelders are the female form of the Beegons. They produce concrete instead of honey, and humans use their old hives as towns or even cities. Beelders are revered in the Devastee region because legends hold they taught the art of construction to mankind.

Fragondie, The Chain Reaction Legamon. Bug.
Periodically detonating their heavy exoskeletons makes these Legamon biologically immortal. When huge, ancient Fragondies molt it might seem like a terrible cataclysm, but the explosion frees them for long enough to fly high and find a mate. Watch out! When swarms of them sleep in the same place, one molting will detonate the others!

Guppriest, The Guilty Guppie Legamon. Water.

Guppriests are born when a Penumburst has fallen to the bottom of the ocean floor and other water legamon begin to feed on their remains. Some say Guppriests are the reincarnation of the pure spirit of the Penumburst, destined to be corrupted again.

Penumburst, The Shadowy Cathedral Legamon. Water/Dark.

Penumbursts grow to be some of the largest Legamon because they are so puffed up with vanity. Every Penumburst is unique, and each considers their style to be the most beautiful and most interesting of all. They fill the ocean with boastful songs, like old buildings settling.

Garfouls, The Corrupting Legamon. Dark.
Garfouls follow small, vulnerable Legamon and attempt to drive them to grim deeds and greater power, in order to feed off them when they fall. They can be found in any environment but prefer the water because it hides them from the sight of G_d.

The following Legamon came from a source who wishes to be identified only as "daddy":

Tracheiodon, the Compsognathys Legamon. Grass.
This Legamon eats, drinks and breathes through a tube in the end of its tail. It spends most of its time hiding in the undergrowth with its friends, until prey walks by and they swarm.

Vieraraptor, the Velociraptor Legamon. Grass/Dark.
Vieraraptors hunt in small, dangerous packs. The moss which grows on their feet makes them move silently, and their powerful teeth make them dangerous even to Legamon much larger than themselves.

Skovenator, the Apex Predator Legamon. Grass/Dark.
Skovenators are generally solitary Legamon who live and hunt by themselves. They can use any amount of darkness to hide their mottled bodies and stalk their prey. Nothing is safe from a hungry Skovenator, not even an armed human hunter.

Lasheen, the Whip Snake Legamon. Water.
This Legamon's name comes from its shiny reflective scales, which it uses to lure and dazzle its prey before striking them with its long and heavy tail.

Ophlaios, the Flail Cobra Legamon. Water.
Using its multiple tails as a propeller by spinning them is just one of the myriad of techniques Ophlaios uses to defeat its foes.

Macehoggr, the Grudge-Holding Legamon. Water.
Its heavy skull can break the plating on ships that are too large for it to coil around and crush. Macehoggrs hate all Flying type Legamon, and will do their best to destroy their roosts and safehavens. Legends say that, in the past, Macehoggrs have destroyed the foundations of islands so they sank and drowned the Flying types who lived there.

Cower, the Fearful Calf Legamon. Fire.
Known to run from everything, Cowers are hard to raise in dangerous environments such as the Devastee Region.

Vaingulate, the Conceited Cow Legamon. Fire.
After its first evolution this Legamon has become vain and narcissistic. Vaingulates are known to mistake their own reflection for rivals, and challenge them to contests of beauty and strength.

Heliovine, the Sun Ox Legamon. Fire/Fairy.
This Legamon is sturdy and dependable and so is a common site in farming communities. Statues of Heliovines are considered good luck in other countries, and tourists sometimes assume they are worshiped in the region, but they're just cows.


    This region is an archipelago 1000 kilometers long in the southern oceans. It is most famous for its Bug-type Legamon, which grow very large through insular gigantism. Devastee (pronounced deh-vah-STEH) is damp and usually temperate, but prone to seasonal storms. The locals know to avoid the territories of the explosive insects. Tourists don't, and sometimes get themselves in trouble.
    Most towns are linked by Routes and regular ferry services, but a few are more secluded. Gathering the badges of the Devastee Region will require a trainer who is willing to delve into caves, hike through mountains, ford over rivers and brave ferocious Legamon.


    You can't! We're still discussing how Legamon fighting actually works in the context of a TTRPG. Join the Discord and weigh in, if you wish.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

A Different Way of Using Weather Flowers (Hexmap Stuff)

So you're all familiar with weather flowers, or will be when I explain them in a second:

This one's itty-bitty, for demonstration purposes. Larger ones are more common.

    We start in the central hex (labeled "SUNNY"). Put a little smiley face on that one in Paint, if you want. Every weather-time-interval (a day, a few hours, whatever) we roll a d6 (or a d8 and treat 7s and 8s as "stay still" but whatever). If we roll a 1, we move straight up on the diagram (into one of the "RAIN" hexes), if we roll a 2 we move to the 2'o'clock hex (also "RAIN" on this flower), and so on. When we encounter an edge we slide across it to a new hex as best we can. In this example, when we hit a grey hex we return to the "SUNNY" hex in the center — imagine a damp rainforest, where it's never "SUNNY" for more than one weather-time-unit consecutively but the bad storms never last long either.

    Simple, reliable, versatile, handy visual aid, and a little more verisimilitudinous than just rolling on a list (note that, in the example flower, you can't enter a bad storm hex unless you started in a rainy hex). Makes sense that people like them. Let's try something with no playtesting instead:


Yes, that's a hexmap of Middle Earth. It was the first appropriately sized map I found.

    Here's the pitch: The weatherflowers operate like a hexmap, so let's try putting them on a hexmap. Treat them like creatures (purplecthulhu gave me this link when I described this idea; it's good stuff and you should check it out as well). When you roll a d6 for the weatherflower this instead determines in which direction the storm moves. This allows weather to pass over the players while they stand still, allows players to see storms coming and outrun them or hunker down, allows tracking of weather in areas not immediately surrounding the players, and whatever other applications you can think of.

    Here are a few examples (hurricanes "slide" across mountains, wildfires stall on mountains and water, swarms swarm):

HD 10, AC as weather, Morale 13
Movement: as hurricane (24").
Morality: no.
Intelligence: none of that either.
Light Blue Drizzle (automatically makes targets damp. Boats move at half speed).
Blue Thunderstorm
(those with metal equipment or otherwise endangered save every 10 minutes or are struck with lightning. Boats as Drizzle, but also move at half speed in a random direction).
Dark Blue Hurricane (unarmored enemies save every 10 minutes or are struck with flying debris, 1d6 blunt damage. those with metal equipment or otherwise endangered are struck with lightning. Boats as Thunderstorm, but also save or are damaged).
Abilities: Normal Storms are invulnerable to mundane weapons and magical weapons not specifically enchanted to harm Normal Storms. For the purposes of magic, Normal Storms are not "alive" and are not in a spell's area-of-effect unless entirely engulfed or the spell says otherwise. They take 6 damage every time they roll to move.

    This one might be encountered on the high seas, or in coastal areas during the rainy season. Fairly standard. It "dies" after a certain amount of time, depending on its HD roll and if the players know any spells which can hurt storms.

HD 5, AC as fire, Morale 12
Movement: as wildfire (12").
Morality: hungry for destruction-with-fire (Chaotic Neutral).
Intelligence: animal.
Yellow Smoke (stench of burning, sounds of death).
Orange Fire (flammable objects destroyed, flammable creatures take 1d6 damage per round unless protected).
Pink Hellfire (non-bedrock objects destroyed, flammable creatures die, inflammable creatures take 1d6 damage per round).
Black Salamander Court (creatures with less than 12 charisma take 1d6 damage a round. possible to perform the Rite of Agni).
Abilities: Great Fires are invulnerable to mundane weapons and magical weapons not specifically enchanted to harm Great Fires. Great Fires are immune to fire and lightning damage. They take 6 damage every time they roll to move.

    I like the idea of a vaguely-malicious wildfire as an enemy. If you want that Rite of Agni (whatever it is), you're going to have to either snake your way into the center through the normal fire in the orange hexes or figure out a way to survive the hellfire in the pink ones.

HD 20, AC as swarm, Morale 9
Movement: as spiders (18").
Morality: careless with lives, obedient to the Spider Mother (Lawful Evil).
Intelligence: stupid, jumpy, prone to biting.
Brown Recluses (unprotected meat is painfully bitten, disease follows if not swiftly cared for).
Black Wolves (harmless but hand-sized spiders swarm over everything, hirelings and animals refuse to continue).
Red Widows (unprotected meat is painfully bitten, save every ten minutes or seize out frothily).
Hazel See-Me-Nots (unprotected meat is painlessly implanted, eggs hatch in 3 days and baby spiders pour forth).
White Spider Mother (4th level Priestess of Lolth casts spells on creatures).
Abilities: Spiderstorms follow swarm rules (if you don't have swarm rules: takes 0 damage from attacks but automatically fails saves and the like). If its Spider Mother is killed the Spiderstorm also dies.
Spells: Envenomate, Flesh to Webbing, Lesser Polymorph (Giant Spider), Web and Ten-Thousand Hungry Children. 4MD, mishaps and dooms as Priestess of Lolth
    Spiderstorm! Incidentally:

Priestess of Lolth (Wizard School)

Perk: You may speak with venomous creatures at-will. Spiders will serve you loyally, and will spin web and bite at your command. Other venomous creatures aren't necessarily obedient, but will be friendly and non-aggressive.
Drawback: Spiderstick. Your fingers are always a little tacky — not enough to climb with, but enough to be inconvenient at the worst possible times.

1. When you pass through a doorway or narrow opening, you may cross it with delicate and near-invisible threads.
2. You may choose to bleed silk rope instead of blood, 10' per hitpoint lost.
3. At-will, once per night, permanently increase the length of your teeth by 1d6 inches. This replaces missing teeth and you may file them down (given sturdy tools).

  1. Envenomate. Envenomates.
  2. Web. As the Wizard spell.
  3. Spiderclimb. Ditto.
  4. Urticating Bristles. Sprout defensive equipment.
  5. Ballooning. Flying, but spider-themed.
  6. Flesh to Webbing. Like it says.
  7. Webbing to Flesh. Ditto.
  8. Lesser Polymorph. Random: 1. Giant Spider 2. Normal Spider 3. Hot Elf.
  9. Dimension Trapdoor. Like a Dimension Door, but there's a huge fuckin' spider in there.
  10. Ten Thousand Hungry Children. Like a Cloudkill but way, way worse.

  1. Your dice return to your pool only on a result of 1 or 2 for 24 hours.
  2. Take d6 damage, adding the result to your [sum].
  3. Spell cannot be cast again for 24 hours. 
  4. Spell fails entirely, instead you cast [Sum] Times Ten Thousand Confused, Imminently Mortal Children
  5. Gain X eyeballs for 24 hours, where X is your current number of eyeballs. Every time you reach a new pinnacle of eyes, depth perception is impaired for the duration.
  6. Gain X limbs for 24, where X is your current number of limbs. Every time you reach a new pinnacle of limbs, movement is impaired for the duration.

  1. Gain X eyeballs, where X is your current number of eyeballs. Every time you reach a new pinnacle of eyes, depth perception is impaired for the duration.
  2. Gain X limbs, where X is your current number of limbs. Every time you reach a new pinnacle of limbs, movement is impaired for the duration. 
  3. Turn into a sexy drider. For every doom past this one, gain X eyeballs and X limbs.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The People Who Have Really Made History (GLΔG Class: Wizard)

    What's GLΔG? Read here. In short, "character advancement" through narrative triggers. These aren't quite the same as GLOG classes, since theoretically one could finish all of them (though this could take a while).

   It's safest to begin as an apprentice to another Magician, but nothing prevents a young Wise One with more talent than sense from experimenting alone.

(0) Power
    Find an object of Power; usually a grimoire which has passed through many hands, but perhaps the skull of an archmage or a gem that whispers to you in the back of your skull. If you lose it, find another.
    You are a magician of the first rank. Other magicians recognize you, and you recognize them. You can detect magic by scent, taste and touch. If you meet Death you recognize him immediately. If you can't grow a beard you should buy a fake one or the other magicians will make fun of you.

(1) Light
    Keep a staff (at least as long as you are tall) by your side for a month. It may rest by you as you sleep or lie in the back of your cart, but if you relinquish it in any meaningful way, start again.
    Hold your staff up before you, mutter some magical syllables, and light as bright as a torch blazes from the tip. The light shines until you stop muttering or allow the staff to touch the ground.
    With greater power, this is sunlight which blinds or destroys dark things vulnerable to it.

(1) Lock-Knock
    Form a padlock and key from a kilo of silver (expect this to cost as much as a good horse), and place the key into the lock. If anyone removes the key from the lock, scrap them and start again with fresh material.
    If your padlock is locked, mundane doors lock with a touch; if your padlock is unlocked, mundane doors open with a touch. When your padlock changes states all doors you have cast this on change to match. Operating the door with its real key ends the effect.
    With greater power, you can slam mundane doors or burst them open with a pointed finger and a shout. With supreme power, you may choose to destroy doors instead of opening them, and doors you close can only be opened with violence.

(1) Fog
    Spend a full day, without sleep, completely blinded by a fogbank. Certain mountains can be relied upon for this. If the fog clears, start again.
    Huff, puff, and breathe out. Every round, exhale about twenty liters of fog. Circular breathing helps here. Your fog disperses with five minutes of direct sunlight or brisk wind, or a few moments after you stop breathing it out.
    With greater power, this fog can be impenetrably obscuring, like cotton batting, and unbreathable for creatures not yourself. With supreme power, this fog can be unbreathable for you and lethally toxic for others.

(1) Carry
    Heave around as much silver in a sack as you can physically lift for a full week. Speak to it as if it were a close friend of yours. If it touches the ground, or someone refers to it as a sack of bullion and you do not argue, start again.
    At your command, an invisible force will follow you for eight hours. It can carry as much as you, and while it prefers wheelchair ramps it may climb stairs veeeery slowly. This force refuses to work more than eight hours in a day.
    With greater power, this force is as spry as you are (or as you were, if you're now old and arthritic), and can easily keep up with you even when carrying a full load of treasure. It may carry things to and from an area if you wish, but it still won't work for more than eight hours a day.

(1) Missile
    Keep a wand (at least as long as your forearm) by your side for a month. It may rest by you as you sleep or wait in a sheathe under your clothes, but if you relinquish it in any meaningful way, start again.
    Wave your wand before you, shout a magic syllable, and a bolt flies from the tip. It strikes a point you choose, unerringly, as if with your closed fist.
    With greater power, this is a bolt of supernal force which may disrupt spells and punch ghosts.

(1) Hand
    Become fucking ripped. If using 3d6-generated stats, you're going to need at least a 15. The old-fashioned way works, but if you have magic to make you (permanently) buff that will also suffice.
    With a series of magical gestures, you may move small objects with thirty feet of you as if you held them in your fingers. This doesn't apply enough motive force to deal damage with melee weapons (they desync from your control and fall), but you could pull a trigger, or draw a razor across someone's throat. You drop the object immediately when you stop making the gestures.
    With greater power, this moves objects you can see as if you were carrying them across your shoulders. This does apply enough motive force to deal melee damage, and can fling furniture or toss people around.

(1) Disguise Self
    Change your name to something appropriately magical, like Xodorn, or Radamandafandalaster, or Thubarin Thorpein III. Destroy all references to your old self. If another is discovered you know of it immediately, and must destroy it before using this ability again.
    By applying a paste of cold cream, fine albero and oil-of-roses, you may drastically change someone's appearance. You can alter apparent age, gender or race, and alter height by an inch or weight by twenty pounds or so.
    With greater power, you may disguise someone as any living creature larger than a hobbit and smaller than an orc. With supreme power, you may disguise objects and terrain in a similar manner.

(2) Greater Power
    There are many ways to gain more power... you could sacrifice a virgin and let their blood flow onto your object of Power, eat the heart of a Greater Magician, or gain the patronage of an Alien; but you could find other ways.
    You are a magician of the second rank. Your hair is now white and your eyes are now unusual in some way (your choice), and weaker magicians fear you. Mundane creatures who lock eyes with you cannot break eye-contact until you blink. Unciphered text is readable to you with strenuous study, even if you don't know the language. You can grow a beard, even if you couldn't before.

(2) Sleep
    Learn how to brew a potion of Living Death, drink it, voyage to the land of dreams, steal an eye from its queen. In the waking world this is a pink pearl. If you lose it you must find another.
    Those who speak to you for at least a minute fall into a deep and dreamless sleep, if you wish. This is natural sleep from which they will wake in eight hours if not awakened, and you may only affect one person at a time.
    With greater power, you may cause someone to sleep with a shouted command, or lull them into permanent (until dispelled) stasis with at least a minute of conversation. With supreme power, you may apply this to as many people who can hear you at once.

(2) Invisibility
    For a year and a day, do not interact with thinking creatures. If any see your form or hear your voice, start again.
    While concealed under a hooded robe, no one takes notice of your presence unless specifically looking for intruders (or weirdos in hooded robes).
    With greater power, you cannot be seen if you do not wish. With supreme power, you cannot be detected in mundane ways, until someone actually bumps into you.

(2) Feather
    Throw a dozen creatures, at least as large as a child and possessing enough intelligence to brace for impact and scream, from a cliff at least one hundred feet high. Record their behavior and the results. If you lose your notes, start again.
    With a series of magical gestures, a falling object has 1% of its actual mass until you stop performing the gestures or it touches the ground. The law of gravity dictates that it theoretically fall at the same speed as before, but in edge cases like humans in air buoyancy becomes an important force.
    With greater power, you may reduce a falling object's mass to 1% of 1%, causing most things to float up like a balloon. With supreme power, a creature affected by this spell may (if you wish) move perpendicular to the ground at walking speed.

(2) Hideous Laughter
    Laugh until your voice is a half-whispered rasp and you're coughing blood. When it heals (three days at first, up to a week eventually), start again.
    You can force another creature to imitate your cackling laughter, preventing both of you from speaking or whispering magic syllables for as long as you laugh.
    With greater power, this prevents them (but not you) from holding objects or making magical gestures. With supreme power, as many creatures as you wish will imitate your laughter if they can hear you.

(2) Haste-Slow
    Form an hourglass from glass and a kilo of gold, and fill it with precious stones to serve as sand (expect this to cost about 100 times the lock-and-key, or a prince's ransom). The hourglass functions if kept hidden somewhere, so long as you know where it is. If you lose or break the hourglass, start again.
    If your hourglass is right-side up, you may move and think in double speed at-will. If inverted, you may move and think at half speed at-will.
    With greater power, you may apply this to another creature instead of yourself. With supreme power, you may fine-tune the flow of time between ten times slower and ten times faster for the affected creature.

(2) Powerful Word
    Learn an ancient word in the Occulted Language. Before you can speak it, tattoo its hanzi on your tongue. If you have no tongue, tattoo it inside your throat.
    With a shouted word, inflict a moment of agony in all those who hear. The deaf are unaffected; those with the word's hanzi tattooed behind their ears understand what you are saying.
    With greater power, your pronunciation shifts, and this word may stun for a full minute — but as you know it's coming, you are only stunned for about ten seconds. With supreme power, this word instantly kills mortals, no save.

(3) Supreme Power
    There are a few ways to gain this power... you could sacrifice a legendary fighter, a master thief and a powerful wizard and allow their blood to flow onto your object of Power, eat the heart and eyes of a Supreme Magician, or sell your soul to an Alien; there are other ways but they will be very difficult.
    You are a magician of the third rank. Your eyes see in darkness. Animals and small children hate you instinctively. You do not age, and while your beard grows down to your heart you cannot be reduced below zero hitpoints. Elfs and other elder-things offer grudging respect.

(3) Polymorph
    Vivisect a bull, a bear, a cat, a fox, an owl, an eagle, and an additional six creatures as sapient as you are, and record your findings. If you lose your notes, start again.
    With several hours of careful tattooing, and a sharp blow to the base of the skull, you may alter the form of a living person (including yourself). You may set their physical stats to any value you wish, change their apparent age, gender and race, or some combination thereof. Anyone capable of Polymorph can reverse these changes, effortlessly if the tattoos remain and with study and care otherwise.
    With greater power, you may Polymorph animals or turn humans (physically) into animals. With supreme power you may alter mental stats as well, and insert, alter or remove memories.

(3) Lightning
    Be struck by lightning, survive, and be struck by lightning again. If you die, start again.
    With a series of magical gestures you can generate a fistful of cracking sparks. They will discharge, painfully, with skin contact or when a metal object you are holding hits a metal object someone else is is contact with, and dissipate when you stop making the gestures.
    With greater power, the point into which the sparks discharge is probably struck by lightning, weather permitting. With supreme power the sparks leap forth of their own volition, badly scorching their target and siderating it from a clear blue sky

(3) Fireball
    Feed someone important to you into a bonfire. If they live, start again.
    You know how to create an alchemical substance which, when heated or struck or looked at funny, burns near-instantly in a bright flash and a loud snapping sound. It can only be (safely) transported in a container of water. When poured on the ground in sufficient quantities this creates a terrifying wall of fire for a few moments. When dried into a tiny pellet it may be flung from the hand or a sling for a frightening bit of fire-working.
    With greater power you may (safely) form this substance into charges the size of an apple, which explode like grenadoes when thrown. With supreme power your blood, if mixed into the substance, prevents it from exploding until you will it, allowing you to (safely) use large amounts of it to undermine walls or burn crowds of people to death.

(3) Doorway
    Become really, truly, totally lost for a year and a day. If you learn where you are or are spoken to in your native tongue, start again.
    With a series of gestures, rip the seams which hold time and space together. If done carefully this won't draw the attention of anything powerful and unpleasant. You may use this tear in reality to scry into places you have seen before, or which can be clearly described to you. The tear is visible from the other side. Nearby Magicians may be able to sense its creation.
    With greater power you may, over the course of several weeks, build a ritual gate from large amounts of precious metals and stones. This allow you to tear more stable holes in reality which are large enough to be walked through. If there is a gate on the other side you may travel back and forth freely, otherwise it is a one-way trip. The target location of the gate may be changed in an hour-long ritual. With supreme power the gate needs not lead to anywhere real; it may instead open onto a private demiplane, whose physical laws are yours to command. This makes learning other spells easy. It also makes you vulnerable to the Old Things that live Outside, swimming in illimitable gulfs of night and darkness where the dead do not rest and the living do not survive.

    You could develop your spells without ever becoming a Greater or Supreme Magician — but this is increasingly impractical as you grow in age and number of enemies. And really, the benefits far outweigh the costs. Were you even using that soul?

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Nepenthe on the Mountain (GLOG Microadventure)

    I have something special for you freaks today. In 1986 I commissioned an artist named Vinh Khoa to draw a graphic novel for the Unfinished World. Don't believe me? Well, here it is: