"In the Far Realm, outside time, onerous minds drift, absorbed in contemplation of madness. Unspeakable beings whisper terrifying secrets to those who dare communication. These secrets were not meant for mortals, but the Alienist plunges into abysses of chaos and entropy that would blast a weaker mind. An Alienist's mad certainty is sometimes strong enough to sway others to believe in her own future transcendence..."
– unknown source
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
|Source: Eldritch Gate by Wuggynaut|
An inkblot that grows and spreads and one day covers the whole page. A misspelling in a complicated legal argument. A flaw in the steel of an otherwise perfect sword. A snake that eats at the roots of the world. It's possible that they came from somewhere else — is that better or worse than the idea that they were always here?
You are an Alienist; one who has wandered from the Way of understanding. If you'd like, you can choose what terrible thing happened to your Alienist — maybe she read the wrong book, or studied the wrong artifact, or walked through the wrong door. Whatever it was clarified her mind like formaldehyde and turned her into one of the occulted.
Alienists can wear light armor and may use shields. You never fumble with clubs, staffs, or very sharp blades.
She knows two delusions from the list (roll a d6 twice), which she casts with madness dice. Madness dice are very similar to magic dice but not necessarily interchangeable. You can store delusions in your head equal to her intelligence mod; other delusions must be stored in an appropriate fetish (see the equipment list for examples). Alienists can cast directly from a fetish in their hands, or transfer a delusion to or from a fetish with an hour of meditation. If you have more delusions than fetishes or intelligence then you may not cast.
Skills: 1. Archaeology 2. History 3. Linguistics
Starting Equipment: Concealing clothing, a dog's hind legbone, another random fetish, writing implements, athame (light).
Perk: Your mind is heap of broken glass and charred wood. Attempts to read your thoughts deals [level]d6 psychic damage to the clairvoyant. Fear effects charm you, and charm effects cause fear.
Drawback: Everyone is aware Alienists are dreadful freaks. Small children cry at the sight of their faces, and even if they walk around in a voluminous black cloak people can just tell there's something wrong. Shopkeepers will do their best to refuse them service, and they might be run out of town by peasants with torches. This is the price of genius.
- A New Eyes, New Flesh
- B Hateful Mind
- C New Geometry
- D Liberating Touch
You look at the world in a strange new way. Roll for one of the following:
- Piercing Sight. Your eyes are featureless glass. When you wake up in the morning, decide which [level] materials you can see: meat, stone, metal, earth, vegetation, magic. All other material is invisible to you.
- Overwhelming Sight. Your eyes are black and completely nonreflective. All 108 colors of the true spectrum are visible to you, including "Trap Prepared Deliberately", "Difficult Decision, After Much Soul-Searching", "Horrible Crime Committed Long Ago" and other traces of the past. Unless you are specifically on watch, you are always surprised by any present-day encounter.
- Desiring Sight. Your eyes are grinding clockwork. Artificial light (such as from a torch or lantern) is invisible to you, but you can see motion at any distance with enough detail to discern a raven from a crow.
- Profiteering Sight. Your eyes are, apparently, gone. Perceive objects as being shaded in monochrome according to how valuable they are. You are colorblind in all other respects.
- Conflicting Sight. Your sclera are black and your pupils white. You see darkness as light and light as darkness. Dim twilight is about the same.
- Grasping Sight. You have tentacles in your sockets instead of eyes. They can unfurl to 10', taste like a tongue, and grip like a strong hand. Tentacle-eyes let you climb like a very long gorilla, but if an NPC sees them they'll go loco. Like, NPCs will freak out at any of these fucked up eyes, but they really hate the tentacles.
She is a strange new color, or texture, or substance. Roll for one of the following:
- Treen Flesh. Her skin is oily, russet, and non-conductive enough to render her immune to lightning damage. Fire damage permanently blackens it. For every six points of fire damage dealt to her, she loses a point from her maximum HP. After taking 36 points of fire damage (keep a running total) her charred exterior renders her immune to fire as well.
- Vertiginous Flesh. Her skin is a normal color, but is much farther away than it looks. Ranged attacks deal half damage.
- Ganoid Flesh. Her skin is lustrous and steely, giving her +2 AC and a slight resemblance to a fish.
- Dwale Flesh. Her skin is lightless matte black. She is immune to poison and her blood corrodes metal in minutes: one HP melts through a dagger's worth of material. Upon striking her, bladed weapons are useless until repaired.
- Sinter Flesh. Her flesh is rough and grey, and is not damaged by fire. She does not need to breathe.
- Vetanda Flesh. Civilized people are obliged to attack her if they see her skin. Nothing will ever willingly bite her.
While standing in a corner of a room she is, if necessary, also standing in all other corners of the room. She gains another delusion by rolling a d8.
Whenever you wish, and as many times as you wish, you may reroll your alienist's intelligence score until it is higher and reroll another score of your choice until it is lower. When their intelligence is 18 you may reroll it with 4d6, and so on and so forth. Minimum stats can't be altered further. Gain another delusion by rolling a d10.
While your hand is on a humanoid's shoulder, you can snake a sharp tentacle into the back of their neck and control them like a puppet. You can make the other character talk and move, but you can't make them cast spells. They are aware that they are being controlled and will panic as soon as they are released. If you takes her hand off of their shoulder or moves away they are released immediately. At this level you may choose two delusions.
- Summon Alien
R: 10' T: a space large enough for the summoned alien D: [worst] hours
A small crawling blind thing (1HP, no AC, Morale 2) with two appendages and a body like paper appears in the target area. It collapses into dust at the end of the duration or upon death. For every [die] invested in this creature, choose two details:
- Thick hide, granting AC as leather and a pattern of your choice.
- Dense meat, granting [sum] HP and causing the creature's corpse to count as a ration.
- Natural weapons, allowing a 1d6 damage attack.
- Functioning wings, allowing flight like a butterfly.
- Great size, allowing it to be ridden.
- Obedience, allowing it to be commanded by your Alienist.
- Bravery, granting Morale 12.
- Another six legs, allowing movement like a charging bull.
- Many eyes, allowing vision like your Alienist's own.
- Human lips, allowing speech in your Alienist's voice.
- Human form, resembling anyone you wish.
- Permanence, removing the time limit on its existence.
Invested MD only return when the creature dies or is dismissed. NPCs may object to your alien's presence.
While this delusion is in her head, the Alienist doesn't understand that animals do not talk.
R: touch T: anything D: permanent
Target increases in length up to [dice] times. Objects so lengthened cannot be further Lengthened. If the target is part of a creature, they may save to negate this.
While this delusion is in her head, the Alienist can't estimate distances longer than her handspan.
R: shouting distance T: a spell, enchantment or spellcaster D: instant
Target spell is deflected or undone if [dice] is equal to or higher than its. Target enchantment is dispelled or stolen if [sum] is strictly higher than its. Target caster may choose: no casting for [dice] hours and your Alienist's invested MD burn, or roll their own MD until they have a sum greater than [sum]. MD rolled in this game are expended, returned, and cause mishaps and dooms as normal.
While this delusion is in her head, the Alienist can't see spells (even her own), and is frightened by their effects on the mundane world (save negates).
- Stone to Teeth
R: sight T: a cube [dice]*5' to a side D: permanent
Stone inside target area is converted to a pile of milk teeth. Living stone is immune to this.
While this delusion is in her head, the Alienist can't tell the difference between solid materials.
- Meat Hive
R: sight T: meat of [dice] HD or fewer D: [dice] hours.
Target meat is filled with [sum] holes containing eyeless carnivorous honeybees (1HP, AC as leather, stings require saves vs. fear). The bees are hungry, and aggressive to everything but their own hive.
While this delusion is in her head, the Alienist doesn't understand that individuals are individuals, and sees every limb as a distinct entity.
- Hideous New Shape
R: touch T: a physical living body D: [dice] minutes
Mold the target like clay over the duration. Changes are permanent at the end of the duration, and targets given a Hideous New Shape cannot be further altered.
While this delusion is in her head, the Alienist doesn't understand she is the same sort of creature as any other person.
- Crown of Cruelty
R: sight T: a being with free will D: indefinite
[sum] invisible barbed nails are hammered into the target's crown chakra. Their reaction rolls are made with 1d6. Reaction rolls made against the target are made with 1d6. Each of these rolls removes a nail, and until all nails are removed target saves with a [dice] penalty. MD invested in this spell only return on the target's death or when all nails have been removed.
While this delusion is in her head, the Alienist can't tell what emotions others feel without being told.
- Contact Something Else
R: self T: not the self D: instant
Your Alienist may ask [expended] questions of the higher power contacted. This answer is always correct if your Alienist has recently done something the higher power approves of, or has a 2-in-6 chance of being a lie otherwise. If the question is outside their area of knowledge they'll pretend to know what they're talking about but all bets are off as far as accuracy goes.
The Alienist may choose which MD to count to contact the [sum]th entity:
- Five-Sided Skull, who approves of decay and disapproves of technological innovation. Knows about everything now destroyed.
- Sabal Sabash Sabazos, who approves of human laws and disapproves of time travel. Knows about everything humans plan on doing.
- Mouth Mother, who approves of huge amounts of wasted food and disapproves of human laws. Knows about everything hidden from the sun.
- Hati Moon-Eater, who approves of sappy romanticism and disapproves of haute culture. Knows about everything difficult and painful.
- Abaddon, who approves of monsterhunting and disapproves of lies. Knows about everything he hates (monsters, witches, bankers).
- Susamun, who approves of keeping important secrets and disapproves of books. Knows about everything ever written.
- Bast, who approves of large sacrificial offerings and disapproves of you not paying attention to her. Knows about anything she cares about (luxury, cash, dishes of warm cream).
- Wailing Cicatrix, who approves of nothing and disapproves of all. Knows too much.
- Old Man Under the Ice, who approves of reports from the surface and disapproves of contacting other entities. Knows about everything that happens in the cities.
- The Desert, who approves of insanity and disapproves of kindness. Knows about everything that happens in the wilderness.
- King-Smith, who approves of kindness and disapproves of voting. Knows about all craft, skill and art.
- The Jade Throne, who approves of detachment and disapproves of nothing. Only answers with a "yes" or a "no".
While this delusion is in her head, the Alienist doesn't understand the difference between those dead and alive.
- Five-Sided Skull, who approves of decay and disapproves of technological innovation. Knows about everything now destroyed.
- Blasphemous Orb
R: 100' T: a point visible to the Alienist D: instant
The Alienist points and a bead of force darts from her fingertip to the target. Unsecured objects within [dice]*10' of the target are tossed around by invisible goopy tentacles. People in range take [sum] damage if vulnerable to getting clocked by loose-flying garbage. Absolutely obliterates furniture.
While this delusion is in her head, the Alienist can't understand what is valuable and what isn't without being told.
- Unspeakable Speech
While this delusion is in her head, the Alienist is unable to speak to anything she normally could. She may Speak with Doors, Evil, Poison, Herself and Weapons.
- Ruin Logic
R: sight T: something with stats D: instant
This is the less horrifying of the two legendary delusions of the Alienists, but is still a fright to behold. Can only be contained in her mind or a specially designed fetish. Exchange [dice] numbers on the target's sheet permanently. If the target's AC is changed their armor fuses to them. Other changes are less obvious but still nonsensical.
While this delusion is in her head, the Alienist can't tell the difference between other people without being told.
- Door to Hateworld
R: 20' T: an area of solid ground 6' wide with 10' clearance D: [sum] days
This is the more horrifying of the legendary delusions. Can only be contained in a specially designed fetish. When cast, your Alienist loses [worst] charisma and a doorway opens in target area. Anyone who looks inside goes immediately and irreparably insane, no save. Every sixty seconds a random Alien is Summoned from the door as with [dice] MD. They are Obedient to no one.
If your Alienist enters such a door, you win. Game over.
Roll a d10 to determine which you start with. These can be found, or made, or perhaps purchased from another Alienist if you've got the cash. Others varieties certainly exist.
- Hind Legbone of Dog. Unremarkable. 1 slot.
- Golden Chalice. Must be made out of at least 30gp of material and filled with wine. ⅓rd slot
- False Eye. Must have been used by a murderer as they committed their crimes.
- Bottle of Spinal Fluid. Must be extracted from a living person. When they die, it is rendered useless. ⅓rd slot
- Sharp Knitting Needle. Must be inherited or given as a gift. As a light weapon. ⅓rd slot.
- Spade. Must have been used to bury someone. As a medium weapon. 1 slot.
- 20' Steel Chain. Must be wrapped around your waist as an uncomfortable, clanking belt. 1 slot.
- Silk Phrygian Cap. Highly unstylish. Can't wear a helmet at the same time.
- Greatsword. Large enough for two delusions, which are returned to you abruptly if you ever attack with a different weapon. 2 slots.
- Suspicious Book. Don't let the censors see this one, or its salacious cover. ⅓rd slot.
- Dangerous Mathematics. Must be the only paper copy in existence. Can contain Ruin Logic.
- Key to Hateworld. If you chose Door to Hateworld at fourth level, this key is caught in your throat the next time you wake up. Every time you lose this key it will return with progressively sharper teeth. 1 slot.
- Your MD return to your pool only on a 1 or a 2 for twenty-four hours.
- Screaming agony for 1d6 rounds. Lose control of any ongoing effects.
- You cast Summon Alien instead, summoning a random non-Obedient creature.
- Until this mishap takes effect, you are inside the target area of any area-of-effect spells which could target you.
- You lose your delusion for twenty-four hours. If it was contained in a fetish, you lose that as well. It returns in some unlikely way after twenty-four hours have elapsed.
- All people who can see the delusion are affected as if it was in their own mind until you cast again.
- You lose coherence. For an hour your mind is under the effect of every delusion. You may cast any non-legendary delusion if you can figure out what the Hell is going on.
- The alienist loses intelligibility, is under the effect of every delusion for twenty-four hours, and may not cast.
- She loses her power and is permanently rendered an orthodox wizard with as many Magic Dice as she had Madness Dice. She is no longer under your control. You lose. Game over.
It should be fairly obvious how to avoid this fate. Good luck.
Tuesday, February 9, 2021
- Ugly .65 caliber horse-pistol. The gun's gilded butt is dented from someone wielding it as a hammer.
- Long thrusting sword with a ring pommel. The sharkskin on the grip is worn soft, and most of the steel has blued with age, but the edges have been carefully maintained. Repeating text has been etched around the pommel in tiny spidery letters: JUDGE NOT JUDGES JUDGE NOT JUDGES JUDGE NOT JUDGES JUDGE NOT...
- A black mask in the shape of a skull. Steel core, thickly lacquered, with a sturdy ribbon to keep it attached. Fitted for one specific face.
- Who Is He And How Shall We Know Him?, a poorly-translated pamphlet about the Messiah. Some of the particularly incomprehensible sections have been crossed out and rewritten with a pen — unfortunately, the editor wasn't any more fluent than the author. The margins are filled with objections and cross-references, in several hands, arguing several mutually exclusive points. The cover is stamped EDUCATIONAL COPY - DO NOT BURN.
- Three finger-sized sticks of dynamite in a waxpaper packet sealed with food-safe glue. The block-print label advises the packet be stored away from heat and ignition sources, and provides a cheatsheet for blast radii in different conditions.
- Handful of fat coins made from tempered glass, with flecks of gold leaf trapped inside. When held up to light the seemingly-random pattern of gold casts shadows on the ground revealing who minted the coin and when.
- Hipflask bearing a scuffed recreation of the classic al secco oil mural Nosam's Cabal Slays the High Priest Jonathan with Burning Knives. Contains eight ounces of strong applejack.
- Packet of boiled-sugar candies flavored with ephedra.
- Tin labeled POWDERED OPIOID-IPECAC, containing a few dilapidated handrolled cigarettes stuffed with frankincense and damp with clove oil.
- Carbide lamp with changeable lenses of colored glass. A tally of twenty-three marks has been kept on the back of the lamp, labeled "porters lost".
- An anatomically accurate model of a heart carved from dolomite. Luminiferous white fluid leaks from the cut surface of its valves. The heart beats every forty-five seconds, keeping perfect time in all conditions.
- Wooden board with lettering in black paint: "JOSHUA CONGSHEN PREACHES HERE TODAY". Attached to a bit of wire so it may be hung in different places.
- Set of tarot cards, well-thumbed. All of the trumps have been removed, with the exception of the Tower, the Hanged Man, the Hermit, the Hierophant and the World (which depicts an inverted pyramid shrouded with shadow).