Dice Roller

To roll multiple dice (e.g. 3d6), click the plus symbol then roll the dice multiple times to combine the results.
Clicking the plus symbol again will clear the result.
Click here for the standalone dice roller page.



A Dated and Annotated Catalogue of Random Tables

Lost Sci-Fi Items


I was sorting through my files and found this list of random sci-fi items.

I have no idea why I wrote them.

 

1d10Sci-Fi Items
13 maintenance robots, their power sources torn out and processor-heads crushed. Full of gold wiring.
2Bag of diamond databanks. If you can find a reader you'll discover half of them to be full of space porn.
3Reinforced glass cylinder full of liquid bronze, inscription describes it as an emergency non-death aid. Full of nanites, not designed for you. They'll heal you but there's a 75% chance they'll heal as if you were something else (treat as mutation).
4Black-iron spherical helmet, utterly nondescript outside but lined with sapphires and brass studs inside.
If you put it on you see through the eyes of an exploration probe on a purple jungle planet lightyears away, the things worshiping it erupt in fear and chaos as their god-idol suddenly moves.
You're wearing something that takes years of training to properly master, save vs. Poison to remove it without leaving your consciousness floating somewhere in the blackness of space.
5I'd like to see someone find a dolmantle (from the comic Prophet) as an item, but one that's been in the dark, in a box, in a cave, growing steadily more insane.?
Roll loyalty on fumbles or when exposed to awkward social situations to keep it from flipping out. It can replace a lost limb but on the first critical hit inflicted against you it leaps upon the attacker and smothers them, using their body as a skeleton as it runs away screaming.
When you sleep it creeps up around your ears and whispers softly to you all through the night.
Can be used as a breather to survive underwater or in noxious environments, roll loyalty with a penalty equal to days you haven't fed it to stop it trying to pull out your tongue.?
6Softly keening bright pink mushrooms gently swaying atop an indistinguishable rotted pile. If you sing back to them they release a soft pink mist of spores into the air that fill you with euphoria for the next d6 turns. Nothing can bring you down, everything seems good, everything feels wonderful, everything..
If you eat one inhuman screaming fills your brain for the next week.
7The coffin is almost overflowing with loose sheets of yellowed paper. They are filled with maddened scrawl and diagrams and calculations and degenerate ranting.
It will take d2 weeks of research to read through it all, after which you will be able to build a self-sustaining d8 damage disintegrator beam from scrap pipe, lightbulbs and rat faeces. Save or gain a random Insanity.
8Looking through the glass you can see strands of translucent resin interlaced over the inner surface. In the center are two fist-sized yellow crystals the texture of gold.
d6 days after removing them from the coffin they will "hatch", melting into an ooze that smells like cinnamon and absorbing into the first fleshy thing they can find, taking over their mind, colonising them from within, consuming all the meat they can kill while they search for a cozy place to nest. After laying their eggs they will stumble off to some dark filthy place to die and leave a hollowed golden corpse.

50% chance one of them hatches as soon as the coffin is opened.
9A pleasure artifice of unrecognisable gender, wakened by a spark of electricity as you open the coffin lid. Before it was shut off it was ordered to perform some very specific and rather aggressive acts of domination and punishment, and it is nothing if not obedient.
10You open the coffin to find yourself lying in repose. You watch yourself sit up from the ceramic shell, joints creaking as they break out of cryosleep, you watch a mouth stretch open wide, engulfing your vision, full of stars, it consumes you head-first, your body kicks and struggles in the air as you are sucked inside to scream and float an eternity in the infinite blackness of space.
The rest of the party sees you open an empty coffin and carry on as normal.

4 comments



The Yellow City


YELLOW QUEEN

Equal parts mystic folklore and flesh, ruler of the Yellow City, smooth-limbed and whisper-voiced, a creamy advanced jaundice complexion and a face hidden behind a brocaded veil to be disposed of on her next wedding night.

Summoned by sects and cults to offer her a new groom that they might hear her rattled whispers of fortune and future.

She does so love them, her collection of suitors, though none have endured the consummation of their union unspoiled.

YELLOW CITY

A hazy metropolis the pale yellow-green colour of powdered bile. The features of the inhabitants seem extended somehow, their skin spongy, and they taste of soap.

Being half dream-scape, obtaining directions in the Yellow City is a hopeless task. To make your way you’ll need to focus on whatever it is that you desire to find.

For every attempt to find a place/thing/service, the player who rolls highest on a d20 must make an INT check, but if the player who rolled lowest fails a WIS check, roll on the Hindrances in the Yellow City table before you get there.

If the INT check itself is failed, roll on the Lost in the Yellow City table.

Much like a dream, anything encountered on those tables will become your new focus until they’re resolved or someone rolls a 1 or 20 in the process, in which case you may choose to move on (or re-attempt a failed INT check).

However, anyone that has been wronged without some manner of closure will likely intrude on you later.

Alternatively, guides can be employed, though their services are not free.

THE CHIMING CHAPEL

The immense palace bristling with bell towers where the Yellow Queen wanders her chambers amongst smouldering piles of incense, forever veiled and awaiting her next suitor.

BLACK EMPRESS

Smiling under a chittering black mass of beetles (or so it seems in the dark), the jealous false-sister of the Yellow Queen who wishes for marital celebrations to end and the mourning night to wake.

She can tell the past but there is always a price.

Her sarcastically sulky, smarmy, oil-tongued people live and travel through the shadows of the Yellow City, waiting for the night, calling out their Yellow neighbours.

LIGHT

Within the Yellow City time doesn’t abide by normal schedules, turning a corner might as easily turn morning into moonless night.

Lamplighters are therefore one of the most important and most harried occupations in the city, tasked with ensuring that the smoking lamps of streets and houses never go out, because we can’t have the shadow people moving out of their dank corners can we?

The position of the lamps are however untouchable, immutable, and while you may think you’re doing a good thing by moving a lamp closer to eliminate the shadow people’s lurking space, the people of the Yellow City will shriek in terror and beat you with fish until the lamp is returned.

Torches, lanterns, and candles are considered obscene and you’ll be drenched in buckets of spoiled condiments and pâté on sight.

THE FLORISTS AND THE BAKERS GUILD

The seething rivalry between the Florists and the Bakers Guild is as old as the city, though more recently the Bakers Guild have come to accuse the Florists of scheming in league with the Black Empress. After all, funerals require flowers, not frothy cakes, and the Necroflorists in particular are ever so shadowy aren’t they?

Both sides remain ever eager to conscript others into their elaborate sabotages, offering rewards of secrets and their more covetable creations.

REMOVING OBJECTS FROM THE YELLOW CITY

When leaving the Yellow City, if you have stolen, requested more than your fair share of a reward, or purchased an outlandish item (so buying a sword is fine, but not so much if you focussed on finding the Returned Ironmonger, who forges blades in the image and essence of his near-death terror), you’ll need to make a WIS check for each instance. Unless you fail the check, you’re unable to ignore the unreality of the item and it decomposes/melts/fades/floats away as a cloud of thin-legged moths/otherwise disappears as dreams so often do.

If this happens to 5 or more items at once they’ll amalgamate into a mocking representation of your greed, separate from the Yellow Queen and free from her influence, with HD equal to the number of items. It will escape cackling wildly into the night if it can; only to keep coming back to upset your plans when most inconvenient/embarrassing, or simply to keep ruining a good night’s sleep.

d10Hindrances in the Yellow City
1d6 Chaplains
Furtive moist-eyed old men with sagging lilac skin and silken purple robes, their mouths held open in a surprised drooping sigh beneath the slanting golden spires of the circlets closed around their craniums. Terribly interested in your relationships and the customs of the outside world.
They show cringing supplication to Matrons and Ladies in Waiting, fawning moist-palmed pity to Suitors, exasperated fear to the Florists and Bakers Guild, and lord themselves over lowly Celebrants.
2Necroflorist
Bright purple eyes peering from their damp black form; skin, lank hair and clothes like a black hole. Offering you a violet daisy and wondering if you've come across any bodies from which it might cultivate a new bloom, or if by chance you'd care to donate your own.
3d4 Matrons
Warm-smiled women of immense girth and soft powdered makeup, with little superfluous arms that emerge from the folds of their dresses to fuss about.
They're ever so sure that there's something you should be getting ready for or doing, the wedding is so close.
4Suitor
Drifting melancholy turning to ravenous horror, the Yellow Queen's former husbands still wander the Yellow City.
Roll on Suitor Transformation table if you upset them.
5d6 Ladies in Waiting
Frothy dresses and misshapen pearls draped over impeccable manners, painted pliable masks concealing scathing wit and needle-filled sucking chasm mouths.
6Wandering Pack of 4d4 Celebrants
Desperately seeking knowledge of the next wedding to take place, will become maniacally despondent if you cannot convincingly assure them of some small details.
7Obscene Baker
Fancy-swaggering through the street carrying a monstrous swaying soufflé the height of a child, morbidly proud, spewing offers of having a taste like they were threats whilst trying to both get away from you and parade the fruit of their labour.
8Flower Crabs
Scuttling things with nervous curling unfurling manipulator arms and the fat little faces of terribly ugly little girls, shedding wilted flowers from their carapace wherever they go.
9Yellow Queen's Chamber Guard x d4
Slightly addle-minded cheerful fellows in dainty puffy slashed sleeves and little pantaloons over slim stocking-covered legs, wearing enclosed eyeless bucket helmets to preserve the Queen's privacy, finding their way by the sounds echoing through the helmet's mounded swirls, defending the Queen's honour by way of brittle-bladed halberds and the heavy ledgers hanging from their waists. Everything in varying shades of yellow and gold.
Charisma check to avoid a spell cast from a Chamber Guard's ledger.
10Somnambulant Dreaming Cultist
The people of the city turn stiff and alert and their eyes dart away while talking to you, watching the cultist drift along the street while their neighbours take dainty nibbling bites of the dream flesh like cleaning fish.
If you cause the cultist to gain consciousness they will be enraged at your carelessness before waking life pulls them back from the Yellow City.


d10Lost in the Yellow City
1You find yourself in the Raining Hall, a rich cream-walled room with a vaulted ceiling dripping globules of itself down towards the erratic cleaning staff darting about the room. Whenever a drip actually hits someone's skin, the entire ceiling falls in a slopping crash, with another already dripping in its place.
The current cleaning staff have been working for several days and the room is starting to fill.
2An enormous crawling toad with a mounded hill of a back, where a collection of Unmarried sit snugly inside fleshy holes crooning to each other of their nuptial desires.
Earnestly warns you to stay clear of the Owl (entry 10) and its perverse corruptions, offering sanctuary and transport on and in its back if you should so need it.
3You realise that you've wandered into the middle of a long hall filled with guttering lamps and a single, frantic lamplighter running back and forth refilling and relighting lamps as they splutter out at random. Slick trails of spilt oil surround the enormous golden cistern and the lamplighter's pantaloons are drenched with sweat. Groups of sulkily impatient shadow people gather in the darkness, muttering sweetly that it is high time for the night's activites to begin, and more and more lamps are being left unlit at the outer edges.
4You stop in a close-walled street packed with a rambling queue of people waiting for their turn to sit in a shallow corner of a hexagonal public bath. A wedge of people have already lined up behind you and murmurs of dissent rumble along the line.
5Your footsteps echo into the Dream Pool. Slick blacks walls and tiles surrounding a wide pool in a drip-echoing circular chamber, filled with a liquid like thin custard where beautiful men wade about softly.
If you submerge your head you can drink the dreams of another to learn a secret or desire.
Roll a d20 for each character that plans to drink and record the number.
Every time they attempt to drink a dream they must make a Constitution save. If they fail, the amount by which they missed builds up, they can feel the pool's fluid flowing through their tissues, and when it matches the result of the d20, the beautiful men will come to pull them into the pool and drink them.

Beautiful Men x half of d20 result
6You find yourself wandering about in a lost corner of the gift room of the Chiming Chapel. Intricately wrapped boxes piled high around tables holding caged creatures and servants, dangling makeshift chandeliers of linked golden gifts, mounds of cake and pastries in varying states of decay and deliciousness.
7A huge figure in relief; torso, elongated arms, head craning from its neck, bulges out of a wall spouting poetry with wafting gesticulations to a crowd while adoring admirers rub their hands over its prodigious jangling belly.
In the dim lamplit sitting rooms behind his wall the nobles of the Yellow City exhange streaming gossip in languid repose, information drifting about like smoke. Rumour has it, that in the half-light of the rooms they even traffic with their shadow counterparts.
Entrance can only be gained in pieces through his mouth. Your body will mend once passed through the other side (though equipment won't), but if you try to make him swallow you in anything more than thigh-sized chunks he will blush with a, "Oh no I couldn't possibly, far too large for my little mouth.."
8You wander into the Spinster's Wheel, the courtyard meeting point of six streets, where the Unmarried of the city converge nightly to feast on the Florists' unused arrangements, carted in by wary apprentices.
9You find yourself in a dining square full of round wooden slat tables holding morbidly obese human forms apparently made of pudding, surrounded by seated people digging wobbling yellow chunks from them with pitted iron spoons.
When the puddings notice you they all call out at once trying to coerce you into sitting at their table, indicating how delicious their spoon wounds look and the satisfied faces of their diners.
10An enormous owl with human arms emerging from the slick feathers at the sides of its breast, surrounded by a harem of the Unmarried, inquisitive as to opportunities to add to its collection, attempts to entice an exchange by offering objects from the depths of its feathers.
Will entertain the idea of a short-term addition as it is in competition with the Toad (entry 2) leading up to tonight's Bouquet Banquet (entry 8) where one will be decided as Lord of the Unmarried.


d6The Cost of a Guide in the Yellow City
1A poem.
2Accompany them to the home of their intended lover and successfully petition their desires on behalf of your guide.
If you fail, both your guide and their intended lover:
1. Fall upon you with ridicule and knives.
2. Thrash you with wilted bouquets of roses.
3. Transfer their obsessive affection to you.
4. Fall apart into slithering piles of luminescent slugs.
3A hand, it doesn't matter whose.
4Your most treasured possession.
5Carry their burden while they guide you.
They may not take it back and the baskets tend to contain things that get rather upset when dropped.
6Obtain a slice of delicious cake from a member of The Baker's Guild without being seen.


d6Suitor Transformation
(HD equal to the number by which your Charisma check failed when you upset him)
1His torso peels apart to expose dusty, pulsating mounds like fleshy compost piles covered in tiny shivering mouths, and 10+d20 bloodworm red phalluses snake from his groin, writhing across the floor in their immense length, seeping sticky, adhesive precum from the tips of their swollen heads.
When wilfully touched they retreat in flaccid repulsion back to the mounds, along with anything stuck to them.
2A thick long-bodied fish with shimmering pale blue silver scales and dead eyes, gnashing its translucent teeth and writhing its way towards you. Six clones of the suitor sit fused along the sides of the fish, feverishly masturbating and ejaculating in steady streams like a grotesque fountain, causing the ground to become ever more slippery and suitable for the eel-like body of the fish.
Fish starts with no AB/AC.
Increase fish's AB/AC and decrease player's AB/AC by 1 per Round, while all of the clones live this continues indefinitely.
If any of them are killed, while the fish's AB/AC is higher than the number of clones left, increase the player's AB/AC and decrease the fish's AB/AC by 1 per Round until it matches the number of clones left.
3Like a giant stocky soldier crab if its insides were made of icecream bulging through a shell made of rotting lingerie sewn together several sizes too small, melting as it gets more and more excitable.
4Conjoined twin giants, fused by ribcage and thigh, one demure and fair, one overbearing and grotesque. Red roses fall from the grotesque's split belly, a cloud of bees from his brother's, and yellow honey flows over their chins.
5His torso extends and tears up its center, broken ribs rolling around like the dying legs of a centipede, his arms and sighing head loll backwards as he stumbles around trying to support the weight of his still-expanding body, in the midst of which you can see his pale child-clones budding and growing from the pink and purple mass to reach out and slash at you with fine silver knives.
6A maiden-faced wasp tears itself from his back, dropping the body like shed paper skin, wet new wings lifting it into the air to curl its abdomen forward, presenting its throbbing cock stinger engorged and red.
The stinger lays something inside when it wounds you, something soft-faced that chews and burrows with stroking fingers beneath your stretching skin.

6 comments



DEATH & DISMEMBERMENT


Emmy Allen just put up a great post over at Cavegirl’s Game Stuff about wounds/not automatically dying at 0HP, you should read it.

On a tangent, last year I found time to start thinking about D&D again, and I found that after such a long time without playing at all it really changes/solidifies what you want to actually get out of playing. And for me that’s FAST, RECKLESS FUN.

In looking at things I’ve written in the past, there’s a lot of doom you guys. So much doom.
I think previously I got a bit carried away because doom is fucking fun and interesting to write, but after having time away from it I read some of it and think “fuuuuuuck how would I even make than fun or even work in a game?”
I love horror, I love GROT, and I want to bend things back around to that kind of comedic gore and debauchery rather than the pockets of everything’s-fucked-forever that I had accidentally stumbled in to.

That said, I really don’t mind terrible things happening to players: My brother’s wizard having his 3 remaining good limbs torn off by thin air the first time he tried to cast a spell was fucking hilarious, and lead to him hiring a little mercenary girl who the dice told me thought he was the most amazing thing in existence and carried him around like a backpack. IT WAS THE BEST.

I also don’t mind cataclysmic game-changing things happening to the world – it’s part of why I built Corpathium to be something I could just re-generate over and over again.

I just want those things to be FUNNY (even if just in the extremity of their terribleness), and USABLE.
If I’d struggle to know what to do next if it came up in a game I don’t want it anymore.

And one of the most important things I’m keeping in mind is something Rose once said to me after a game, which to paraphrase: the players need something good to happen to them, otherwise it’s just all doom and terror and pain forever.
Which might be fun to dream up and write, but isn’t so fun to play through if that’s all there is.

So don’t expect to see my stuff suddenly become less gory and demented and psychosexual, I just want to make sure that it’s actually all usable, funny, and allows space to breathe, rather than just turning into a macabre writing experiment.
More Return of the Living Dead less Day of the Dead.

Corpathium is being re-written, my magic tables and system are being revised, I don’t know where I’ll get the time but I want to make some really great things.

And if my rules thought they were safe they were so fucking wrong.
For starters I stopped pretending I was playing Lamentations of the Flame Princess with house rules – bitch your game has been pure house rules for a long time.
Then I started looking really hard at things to decide what was important and what wasn’t, ditched what wasn’t, and pushed and poked what was to make it as simple and quick as possible (e.g. my original Weapon Breakage/Notches rules: it used to be that every weapon had a quality rating 1-5 and you checked it for breakage using the weapon’s damage dice whenever an attack roll came up as the quality rating or less. That makes perfect sense as an exercise in simulation! But not in fucking play! Now it uses a simple Shitty/Basic/Quality rating that the player actively chooses to test to do cool shit which I’ll explain some other time), with bonus points for using the same mechanics as other rules. Because I really can’t be bothered tracking 50 subsystems anymore.

It’s not all finished, and I don’t know when I’ll share things, but when I started revising everything I decided to type it up like an actual ruleset which is now tentatively titled GROT.

Long freaking story short here’s an excerpt straight from it explaining MY new way of doing HP/wounds/dying covered in filth:


Read the rest…

4 comments



Close Encounters with Humankind


If it’s not clear yet, I’ve been raiding some unfinished tables (and by ‘tables’ I mean the giant spreadsheets I start putting together like “oh I should make a wilderness travel table… okay so I’ll need a table of human encounters and a table of creature encounters and a table for the scenery and a table for interesting plants and then I’ll need to do the same thing for swamps and mountains and…”).


SO HERE’S SOME PEOPLE YOU MIGHT ENCOUNTER IN YOUR TRAVELS!


d20Along the Road You Meet..
1d4 Travellers.
22d4 Bandits, led by:
1. Insane prophet wearing the skins of beasts.
2. Wizard who knows 5 random spells.
3. Musically-voiced troubadour who swaggers the fuck around.
4. Conjoined-twin priestess of filth and fire, arms coated in poisonous pitch.
5. A pretty little pale-faced girl.
6. A naked man wielding a greathammer, staunchly silent from within his gorgeously painted wooden demon tribal mask.
3An envoy:
1. Replete with standard bearer, courtesan assassin, two arquebusiers in fabulous silk breeches, a towering eunuch wielding mace and dagger, and a superbly eloquent emissary with sharp, tapering nails.
2. Five serpent-tongued albinos in deep-hooded velvet robes that smell strongly of mice.
3. Comprised of a sole emissary of enormously morbid girth, dripping as much jewellery as sweat.
4. Three arbalesters wearing black-stained sallet and bevor, following a pair of porcelain-armoured knights, their helmets shaped like fat smiling faces, holding a great banner between them on pikes. The glyph-surrounded face in the banner speaks as the fabric ruffles and rolls.
Travelling:
1. On foot.
2. On domesticated Powder Deer, the leader/leaders riding Husbands.
3. On palanquin carried on the backs of blind monks.
4. By the charity of strangers.
4A game hunter house, the whole extended family bedecked in fine armour and filigreed weapons, accompanied by nervous Pets driving the carriages or running alongside wielding nets and spears and chains.
Some creatures will be killed for the thrill of the hunt, others captured for the arenas.
5d6 Merchants.
6A solitary warrior wandering the land.
72d6 Mercenaries, currently:
1. On their way home from a successful employment.
2. Infested with something awful from exploring where they shouldn't.
3. Looking for employment.
4. Dragging themselves away from catastrophe.
8An absurdly enthusiastic botanist and his long-suffering companion.
9A displaced hermit.
10A small cadre of intellectuals (d4+2) on their way to study/explore/harvest the nearest suitable thing.
Accompanied by:
1. d6 Mercenaries.
2. Bickering Maleficar siblings.
3. Two nervous students per intellectual, armed with braces of wheellock pistols, spears, and packs overflowing with notebooks and specimen jars.
4. A lithe, rough-faced duellist with flowing red hair, her body tattooed with the names of every person she's ever killed, a poison-throwing beauty, a scarred and disgraced ex-general, armed with crossbow pike and sorrow, and a kindly old traveller they picked up along the way; a member of the Endless Dark Murder Cult who will ensure they never make it back from the wilderness.
11An army on the march.
12A hunting party, five men armed with spears, bows, ropes and traps, accompanied by a favoured daughter and a lazy son.
13A priest on a holy mission.
14A travelling poet and assassin.
15d6 Merchant caravans + d6 Mercenaries per caravan.
16The ragged survivors of some terrible catastrophe:
1. A crazed marauder raid.
2. A sudden epidemic of beautiful floral infection.
3. Excavations that an unearthed and awoke an ancient slime.
4. The downfall of a would-be sorcerer who stole a Wizard’s tome and started reading.
17A feverish migration of the faithful to the site of some obscure religious celebration.
18d8 mould-covered fungus-controlled wretches making their way back to civilised lands to fruit. They're filthy but rather cheerful, eager to make friends.
19A maniacally self-assured and self-appointed duke looking for conscripts into his glorious army. So far he has a pock-faced teenage boy wearing absurdly good armour, a particularly angry swan, and an old man who looks to be at death's door who never talks. He rides on the shoulders of a naked farmhand with the proportions and mental capacity of a troll, drooling around the golden gag bridle between his teeth.
202d6+4 trappers and a silk-draped procurer who is more capable than he looks, seated next to his current flame, leading a caravan of wheeled cages looking to capture beasts for exhibition and sale.
Despised by the great game hunter houses.
d6If It's Not Clear How They're Travelling..
1On foot.
2On nearly-dead horses.
3On warpigs.
4In a crude carriage pulled by somnambulant humans in a permanent drug-induced sleep.
5In stag-drawn chariots.
6In a caravan train powered by a truly stupendous amount of rats running in the oversized wheels of the fore-carriage.

8 comments



Take Me To Your Leader


Following on from Use Protection, who the hell is in charge here?

TownCityd20 Government
1_A self-interested baron more concerned with baking than matters of state.
_1A beautiful queen breeding moderately intelligent crustaceans in the waterlogged rooms of her castle.
22An enigmatic priest and his frantically charismatic cultists.
3_A raving one-eyed fat woman with a shockingly strong grip and uncanny spitting aim. It's easier just to let her be in charge.
_3A hall of conversing paintings.
44A sketchy shaman type who lives out in the woods. Constant envoys are sent to obtain and carry his verdicts/edicts.
5_A war council of marauders who decided they'd rather live in the town than sack it. They're surprisingly effective rulers.
_5A beloved penitent beggar queen who becomes a beast at night and hunts through the streets.
66A stern mother and her five golden-haired boys.
7_A rabid black-garbed man with a ponderously protruding posterior and a spittle-soaked hatred for the mundane.
87A cabal of wizards, possibly amalgamated into a single mass.
_8The orphaned 9-year-old end of an illustrious heritage, in a beautiful delicate pink bouffant lace dress.
99A cheerfully portly ruddy-cheeked burgomeister wearing the most impressive Jacobean ruff, accompanied by two stern-faced puffy lapdogs (who are also wearing ruffs).
10_An immense pimple-faced man in fine ill-fitting clothes of beautiful colours. He's been known to eat flies. Is actually a whole bunch of frogs in a man suit.
_10A fragile blue-skinned woman with a failing voice who holds council with a menagerie of beasts around her column-arched circular chambers. Drifting ice crystals form in your breath within her presence.
1111A beautiful effete man with eyelashes as long as fingers, blood blister red lips and a hairless cranium. He has a penchant for jellied exotic birds and likes his men scarred.
12_A retired thief queen, settling into small-town life with a harem of fawning rogue boys.
_12Three crones and dancing oracle twins in a gazebo-topped tower. The twins' eyes roll about their heads in a drug-addled blissful delirium and their skin has the hue of pearls without the shine; off-white with a surface illusion of translucency.
1313A sweet-tongued woman wearing jewellery made from the bones of her unfaithful lovers.
It's hard to be faithful when she’s addicted to jealousy and can drive you sweating into the arms of another with a careful turn of phrase.
1414A twin who fears the return of their sibling.
15_The sister founders of the town, now fused together in a fungal mass contained within a guarded stone cellar.
_15An androgynous youth in a pale ruby throne, marionette strings tied all about their body leading to silver bells hanging about the chamber, a warning to everyone should they ever move.
1616A moist-eyed girl with a musical voice kept in an elaborately carved enclosed wooden palanquin. The shadows obscure everything but her face.
17_Old Jenny Finger-Biter, drifting cheek-deep in a green-brick pool in the centre of town. Sure she gnaws off people's fingers in their sleep, but she's so wise.
_17A particularly large pale barrel-bodied Regent Fish, carried around by sopping wet courtiers, it can only speak while gasping in the open air.
1818A five-sibling council; two of them incestuous, one of them nervous and strange, one of them seductively generous, and one of them studious and aloof. All are scheming against the others, none realise all the others are faerie changelings that long ago replaced the originals.
19_The Marble Fawn, a melancholic anthropomorphic albino deer, probably cursed.
If asked about it his body shakes and he softly says with eyes closed, “witches”.
2019A blind man taking council in his shit-drenched bird room.
_20A dramatic turquoise baboon with a golden seed of intelligence planted within its skull growing golden shoots and leaves from its nose and ears.

No comments yet, tell me what you really think



Use Protection


It doesn’t pay to be defenseless out here, so who comes out to play when this town/city is under siege?

(Alternatively, throw them into armies for a bit of fun.)

 

TownCityd20 Special Protection
11Trained beasts with amazing outfits.
_2Alchemical horrors released from orb-like receptacles suspended along the streets.
23World-weary Watch that become crazed murder party animals when they drink from their special flasks. Then they have the most fun, everything else is just a come-down.
3_Rag-tag militia that smear faeces on their terrible weapons and hurl horrified-looking frogs who've had their orifices sealed shut, bloated with hallucinogenic gas.
_4Ceramic suits of armour full of yellow slime animated by the will of quadriplegic telepaths on stalking animal-limbed ceramic thrones.
45A stolen unit of lobotomised harvest soldiers, bearing lanterns full of Mondmilch.
5_A lusty troupe from a particularly violent burlesque school.
_6Gaily dressed ribald arquebusiers, accompanied by nervous squires carrying beautifully obscene painted pavise shields to protect them during their nonchalant mode of jocular assault.
67Wax soldiers animated by the black wicks burning from the backs of their heads.
7_Elderly shapeshifters trading protection for having someone to talk to.
88A Flesh Crafter sect and their creations abominable and beautiful.
_9Swarms of little girls with sharp knives who climb like spiders, with powdered white faces and brilliant pink painted lips spreading like a rash over their chins.
910Discrete poison-throwers that look just like everybody else.
10_A lone sorceress who lives in a towering mud-brick spire covered in drooping, determined flowers.
_11Fat, reconstituting giant mud spiders powered by clockwork orbs at their hearts, crawling out from beneath lifting pavement stones.
1112Beautiful sombre women in robes like a procession of Mother Marys, swinging rosary-like strings of censer balls full of smouldering narcotics.
12_Red beehives goaded into a frenzied madness by their keepers, stung to death in the process.
_13Purposely-stunted dwarfish entertainers riding on the backs of crazed beasts heavily pregnant with parasitic jellies. Wagers are taken on the outcome and chaos.
1314A Plague Priest colony swinging and swaying their bodies to ring the crusty bells hanging from their rotting wrappings.
1415Noxious green gases expelled from towering grotesque corals doused in water, sapping the fluid from anyone who didn't recently swallow a tiny squid.
15_Really unsettling malnourished figures wearing fly masks, slowly shifting their feet in incongruously marshy patches of land around the perimeter of the town, constantly wreathed in grey fog.
_16A rain of exploding, dividing frogs launched from bulbous pitted mortars. They reform from the chunks, getting smaller and smaller, getting into all your cracks.
When it's over they're cleaned up by ravenous herons with surgically-implanted copper bellies full of green stomach acid bubbling behind foggy glass viewing portals.
1617Ever-so-vaguely humanoid flesh-warped pink pigs wearing dented plates of armour and wielding shoddy halberds and hammers, squealing in fear and challenge.
17_Rumour holds that if a particular old man is injured, the town cats will metamorphose into vengeance-bound yellow-eyed black slavering beasts the size of cows.
They always get him drunk and push him to the front line.
_18The walls of the city are hollow, stone wall and walkways wrapped around a ceramic shell exposed on the exterior side. Expansive black puddings and violet jellies kept alive by food shoved through hatches slide and squeeze through them, released when necessary by watchman that bring heavy hammers crashing down on the ceramic exterior wall.
1819Twelve crows with golden nails driven into their chests by five cursed old women. Each crow drags d20 mindless spirits with them, eaten from corpses.
If a crow is killed its spirits dissolve - if the nail is removed while it still lives the spirits roam uncontrolled and vengeful - if an old woman is killed so are three crows.
The final old woman is a failsafe lest the others are all killed, in which case the twelve golden nails break free and plunge into her eyes, and she becomes a giant golden-feathered crow beast with glorious wings sweeping over four ragged arms and a headstone crown, crawling with restless spirits like lice.
19_The people are all infested by some manner of fungus, thin-stemmed fruiting bodies sprouting out from around their eyes.
It doesn't bother them much apart from imbuing them with a tremendous sense of community spirit, but when murdered they tend to explode in a cloud of invasive spores.
2020Grenadiers riding in chariots drawn by packs of armoured hairless baboons painted in the colours of the particular Grenadier House, each with their own alchemical recipe.
Turning base metal to gold still escapes them, but they're getting pretty close to that universal solvent.


One comment



In Cörpathium


Whhh okay, deep breath, this is going to be a big one.

 

M. John Harrison’s Viriconium was one of the big inspirations that brought Cörpathium into existence, and one of the things that I loved most about those stories was that the city was never the same; places move, facts shift, but it remains Viriconium. So that’s something that I wanted for mine, a city that could be destroyed and brought back without just hitting a reset button, and is why my magic mishap and city encounter tables are so gleefully full of potentially world shattering stuff: I’ve never been worried about having to start again, it’s fun if everything gets torn down.

But at the same time, I’m not writing fiction here, I’m writing things that need to be used. Actually throwing everything out and starting from scratch would be an insane thing and a huge waste of my time.

 

So, my answer was to write up twenty potential boroughs, a method for randomly generating the entire city with a dice drop, and conditional variations based on what boroughs end up existing and which dice generated them.

 

First you take a 7 dice set and 5 other d20’s in your hands (or more if you like go nuts) and drop them in front of you, trying to keep them reasonably close together.

 

 

Each dice represents a different borough. Their position doesn’t necessarily show the physical layout of the city, just how the boroughs relate to one another.

You take the points of the shape on the top of each dice (well, just the points for the d4, and for the d10’s pretend they have a triangle on top), and if that leads to another dice, those boroughs are accessible to each other, which ends up looking like this:

 

 

Now the numbers on each dice relate to a different borough on the table below. Go through the 7 dice set first, beginning with the d20, then move to the highest number of the other d20’s. If you get a duplicate number, replace it with the next lowest number not already taken by a smaller dice, and if all the lower numbers are already taken, roll on the Additional Undefined Boroughs tables.

 

(Clicking any of the borough names will take you to its full description further down the page.)

 

 

ResultBoroughs
1Artist's Quarter
2The Rookery of Van Möldus
3Temple District
4The Twin Nests:
Plateau of Plague, Plateau of Time
5The Sporous Apiary
6Lilacs
7The Wheel of Gold
8Von Goethe Gardens
9The Crystal Ponds
10Flesh Market
11The Sulphurous Spires
(of the Serpent)
12The Library Eternal
13The Old Folk
14The Sprawling Tower
15Plague Zone
16The Black Web
17The Blood-Red Palace of the Godless
18The Demiurge Pit, Crater of Life
19The Device
20Manifestation of the Monolith in the Dark

 

There are also some constants regarding Cörpathium:

 

 

Constants
The Fogwalk
Replaces the dice nearest to the bottom. The Corpusmilch canal (and Möldenghast Blvd either side of it) then flows through to the furthest dice.
The Emerald Pit
Replaces the additional d20 nearest to the centre of the group. Roll on the Additional Undefined Boroughs tables for its surroundings.
The Howling Spire of Time
If the Twin Nests do not exist, place the Howling Spire of Time in whichever borough you see fit.
Chance of Deicidium per Borough
POOR boroughs have a 1 in 6 chance.
MIDDLING boroughs have a 4 in 6 chance.
RICH boroughs have a 5 in 6 chance.
Guilds for Everything
If there's one thing Cörpathians love, it's organisations.
The Candle-Makers Guild, Seamstress Union, The Baker's Cooperative, the Rag and Bone Guild, Order of Lost Letters. Numerous guilds for everything.
Chances are that no matter who you talk to, they're part of some kind of sect, no matter how small.

 

So then things look like this:

 

 

Cörpathium’s government and law enforcement depends on what boroughs actually ended up existing in this iteration of the city, so you start at the top of these tables and pick the first one that applies:

 

 

Conditionals: Government
(select the first that applies)
Conditionals: Order
(select the first that applies)
If there is no Temple District, but the Blood-Red Palace of the Godless exists, Cörpathium is ruled by the Godless and the Childlike Oracle, the Lamb, Eater of Eternity.If the Blood-Red Palace of the Godless exists every single borough will have a Deicidium, and the Godless are responsible for the order and protection of Cörpathium.
If there is no Temple District, or the Blood-Red Palace of the Godless, but The Old Folk exist, Cörpathium is ruled by that which crawled up from the Emerald Pit so long ago, and the Old Folk live.If Cörpathium is ruled by the vast thing that crawled up from the Emerald Pit, Cörpathium is guarded by the Order of a Thousand Eyes. Replace the Deicidiums with Watch Houses and re-roll for each borough that doesn't have one.
If there is no Temple District, or the Blood-Red Palace of the Godless, but there is a Manifestation of the Monolith in the Dark, it is no manifestation, Cörpathium is ruled by the Monolith and those that speak for it.If Cörpathium is ruled by the Monolith in the Dark, Cörpathium is watched over by the Silent Ones. Remove any Deicidiums, the Silent Ones have no home, they simply are.
If there is no Temple District, Blood-Red Palace of the Godless, or the Wheel of Gold, the Haugroten trading family own all of the Fogwalk and hold a constant seat within the Corvuscult, as well as appointing a trio of Haugroten Sons to watch over each borough.If there are no more than three Deicidiums and the Corvuscult are in power, the city guard is made up of the private mercenary armies of the Corvuscult families, the Whoredens. Remove any Deicidiums and place a Whore Den near each Corvuscult Family's home.
Otherwise Cörpathium is ruled by the Corvuscult.Otherwise Cörpathium is guarded by the Godless.

 

Which in this case means that Cörpathium is ruled by the Corvuscult and guarded by the Godless.

 

The Emerald Pit (in the centre there) still needs to be in an actual borough, which is where the Additional Undefined Boroughs tables come in:

 

 

d6Additional Undefined Boroughs
1Poor.
2Poor.
3Middling.
4Middling.
5Rich.
6Rich.

 

d12Name: Poord12General Environment: Poor
1The Warren1Infested with fungus and an unnaturally large amount of insects. At least there's something to eat.
2Swinehaven2Ramshackle buildings overgrown with plantlife.
3Crone Spawn Commons3Oily, sludgy slum, terrific brewhouses.
4Black Rose Hill4Enormous kludge idols to strange gods are erected in the streets, on rooftops, in the middle of public houses.
5Corpsewallow5Built around an open sewer, algae-covered stone hewn steps leading down. Easy access to Cörpathium's subterranean for the Kanalsknecht, easy access to Cörpathium for things that live below.
6Red Rookery6Inhabited below the streets in the sewers and tunnels and carven halls, the lavish buildings above abandoned to superstition.
(roll on Rich tables for the borough above)
7The Drowning Mass7A single monumental swaying tower continually built upwards from scavenged scrap, erected in the midst of another borough.
8The Scales8The pages of religious texts and pamphlets plaster the walls.
9Bladderrot Downs9Carrion birds wait patiently on cracked tile rooftops, the people throw birdseed about them as they walk to no avail.
10Syringa Vulgaris10Thick layers of soot coat every visible surface, communal fires are kept burning in the streets near alley entrances.
11Roach Bottom11The buildings are well-kept but the people are anaemic, a blue-and-white walled mansion of turrets and balconies looms in the centre of it all.
12The Pit12Leeches. The people walk around with giant fucking leeches gorging on their blood, letting them grow big and fat enough to cook like some kind of nightmare blood sausage. On the plus side all this leech treatment means they're all surprisingly healthy, if a bit light-headed.

 

d12Name: Middlingd12General Environment: Middling
1The Flower Bed1The door of every building is carved with a mass of tiny figures and the people walk mice on leashes of string.
2Bloodvessel2Fruit vines grow up the faces of buildings, bats are everywhere, heavy round seeds underfoot are the foremost cause of injury and guano is scraped from the streets.
3Liberius Waltz3An abnormal amount of lanterns both on the street and hanging from building walls, lamplighters work in packs here.
4Blackmark4Aqueducts bring water to an excessive number of overflowing fountains, the streets are constantly flooded.
5Crowsfoot5Brightly-coloured pennons hang from the balconies of every house, inked with various poems, some like wards of protection, some regarding potently vapid nonsense.
6White Walls6The streets are paved with several layers of skulls, their brainpan supporting foot traffic, supposedly covering something more concerning below.
7Littledeath Point7The walls are plated with thin pressed sheets of bronze depicting battles that never happened, great romances that never were, fables taken deathly seriously.
8The Festival8Shambling buildings leaning out over the streets to drape silks and lanterns over the heads of those below, waiting for the next celebration to begin.
9Blackfriar's9The entire borough subscribes to a sect that forbids cleaning of any kind or severity, but the craftsmen are some of the best in the city.
10The Gallows10The buildings are tall and stern and spiked as if previously used for some dastardly purpose, inhabited now by gaily dressed dandies and sighing madams.
11Tenderloins11Soft pink curtains hang in every window, beautiful terrace houses huddle close and hide the activity in the alleys behind, an enormous marble statue depicts a young woman willingly offering her thigh while a starveling dog chews on it.
12The Bowery12The ground is sour, like a marshy mangrove mud flats type deal. The entire borough is built on one big stilted platform over the top of it. You can see crabs and breeding insects through the gaps.

 

d12Name: Richd12General Environment: Rich
1Dulwich Hill1The buildings are all painted in solid pastel shades, hand-lettered black script above the doors proclaiming the owner or purpose.
2Weaver's Cross2Every roof is a spire, it's like a patch of needles threatening the sky.
3Báthory3The cobblestones are carved like the beautiful faces of youth, scrubbed daily to shine by hump-backed cleaners.
4Yellowbrick Court4Clean white walls enscrawled with symbols in living green moss, constantly trimmed and watered.
5Moonpond Waltz5Houses raised up amongst an absurd walled-in zoo, the occupants accompanied by a small entourage of armoured handlers wielding mancatchers and padded tower shields whenever they wish to go for a stroll.
6The Old Rat Ward6Monumental houses of dark stone arranged in the sign of the Yellow Queen, dedicated to pursuit of her knowledge and happiness.
7The Spiral Rise7The walls are all coated with dripping pink wax, like a thousand candles had been lit around the parapets and allowed to burn down.
8Copperpin Peak8Rich red droplets of blood always seem haphazardly splashed about on the streets, porcelain-pale and just as smooth, but if the sombre polished-wood faces of the houses have a tale to tell their lips are tightly sealed.
9Blue Points9Every house has a goat on a running chain, allowing them a good 10ft reign around the front of the building. They're like a status symbol, would you look at the horns on that.
10Willowood10The entire borough is like one big theatre, the sets are absurd, everyone acts as if they were auditioning for a part with exaggerated melodramatic flair, don't block.
11Dartmoor11All of the major buildings are ceramic, curiously shaped, decorated by images of unseen flora, with vulgar yellow stone staircases that spiral down into the earth.
12Featherwort Downs12Birds in cages line the streets, hanging from balconies and street lamps, attached to doors and trained to sing a certain song when a visitor shakes them.

 

Which I roll on and get a poor borough, The Drowning Mass: Inhabited below the streets in the sewers and tunnels and carven halls, the lavish buildings above abandoned to superstition.

Which means I need to roll a rich borough to go on top of it and get Báthory: The cobblestones are carved like the beautiful faces of youth, scrubbed daily to shine by hump-backed cleaners.

Which is awesome.

 

And a great city needs great entrances, so here’s a few that can be put around anywhere that makes sense (well except for The Tributary which should be put at the opposite end to the Fogwalk so that it can be next to the Corpusmilch as it enters the city):

 

 

Entrances
The Tributary
An expanse of open-palmed beckoning arms, their perfect marble skin marred by patches of crustose red lichen, reaching out around a gaping entranceway astride the Corpusmilch river.
Entrance requires a gift or action dependant on the cycle of the moon. Nothing may pass through the Tributary during the full moon.
The Common Gate
Six severed goat heads hang from the walls along the gateway, hung with wooden charms. A low keening crawls from their throats and their nostrils flow with a lurid pink mucus when something unnatural moves in their presence.
The heads need to be prepared and replaced weekly as they rot.
Fishwall Gullet
Gaping fish-like lips emerging from the wall, hewn from the same stone, carved within like a cavernous throat, an inviting tongue lolled out, waiting to swallow you whole.
Attended by the Fishwives, it's best to treat them kind or you may find the mouth on the other side reluctant to open, the way behind you closing.
The Oracle Gate
The undying head of a little girl sits in an iron cage suspended from a lantern post, limp red hair hanging now almost to the ground.
Each group of travellers leaving by her gate must ask a question or curse their own journey. Roll a d6.
1-3 she answers your question true
4-6 she spouts prophecy unavoidable
Each group of travellers entering by her gate must answer a question of her own, and if they do not know, must seek out the answer before the moon's next phase.
Lie to the little girl and face the laughing living light which spills from her mouth.

 

Which after I think maybe half an hour including messing around in Photoshop, gives you a city that looks like this:

 

 

The actual dice that generated each borough also determines another variation, which you’ll find in the Dice Variance tables below. I’m not going to list all of the ones I got here, but among other things it did result in a huge flesh giant being under construction, and the in-vogue religion being Yoon-Quiun, most hated enemy of Roy’s snake worshipping Mystic, which I think is pretty funny.

 

Anyway here are the full borough descriptions. Really most of these could be used as cities all by themselves, they don’t have to be in Cörpathium. In fact after generating the city above for our current game, one of the first things I did was decide that the the Sulphurous Spires wrapped around the Demiurge Pit would be a whole other city to visit.

The Additional Undefined Boroughs could also be used for extra neighbourhoods outside the main walls or to pop up unexpectedly if you travel down an unfamiliar path or whatever you want.

Really, I’m incredibly happy with this, it feels like nose to tail cooking in RPG form and I love it.

 

Make your own Cörpathium.

 

Read the rest…


17 comments



Hogwarts Can’t Save You Now


With Thoth’mora taking his dead twin sister’s head to gain the knowledge within, I figured it was probably a good time to actually finish the spell research rules I’ve been vaguely thinking about since I first made the Maleficar rules.

 

The LotFP spell research rules require you to take a wild guess at how long it will take and spend that much money before the Referee makes a random roll to find out how long it will actually take, and if you didn’t guess high enough you lose all your money and waste all your time and get nothing. Oh and if someone interrupts you to bring in a tray of tea and biscuits you also lose everything and have to start again.

Which is BORING.

 

So, here’s what I’ll be doing.

 

[Basic things to know about my magic system first: Spells are not memorised, you get a random amount of spell points to use each day called Cataclysm, spells use an amount of Cataclysm equal to their level, and when you try to use more spell points than you have left you make a 3d6 Cast the Bones roll to figure out if it works, or how badly things go wrong.]

 

  • The basic time required to learn a new spell is FOUR WEEKS, regardless of spell level.
  • This can be done while adventuring, not an issue, because Maleficar are sketchy weirdos who would be thinking about this shit like all the time, waking up at odd hours, stopping suddenly in caves with looks of “of COURSE!” on their faces, and also forcing the whole party to take a month of downtime every time the wizard wants to learn a spell is super, numbingly boring.
  • You get one shot to learn each spell, no second chances honey.
  • Roll 3d6 + your level, vs. 3d6 + spell level, and look up the variance on the table below.

Now unless you roll quite low, you’re pretty much always going to learn the spell, we’re just finding out how well you’re able to use it and what additional things you might have to do to cast it.

 

Before rolling, you can do things to vary your chances.

  • STUDY MORE/LESS;
    If you spend 1-3 weeks less than normal, re-roll your highest dice and take the lower result for each week you dropped.
    [Why would you want to do that? Well maybe an army of demon-possessed plague rats is on the march and you’d really like to learn Cloudkill before they get here.]
    If you spend 1-3 weeks more than normal, re-roll your lowest dice and take the higher result for each additional week.
  • THROW MONEY AT THE PROBLEM;
    Spending 100sp per level of the spell on experimental components and research material and good drugs will allow you to re-roll any dice with a result lower than the opposing roll’s lowest dice, and take the higher result. Spending double that amount will also allow you to roll an extra d6 if you end up with any doubles.
    You’re likely to only find sufficient quantities of that kind of thing in cities or freakish communes though, so even though you can research spells out in the wild, it’s still easier in the comforts of home.
  • STEAL SOMEONE ELSE’S;
    If you possess a deciphered version of the spell, remove the highest dice from the opposing roll.
    [Quick additional rule because if someone wants to walk around with Maleficar skulls hanging off them I’m good with that: If you have a deciphered version of a spell in a spellbook or skull or otherwise, but haven’t actually spent the time to learn it yet, you can cast it while reading from its source if you Cast the Bones.]
  • BE INDUCTED INTO THE MYSTERIES;
    If you undertake a journey/perform some esoteric ritual specific to the magic you are trying to learn, as per Tom’s ideas on magic, you may re-roll each dice of the opposing roll, and leave the lower result.

 

3d6 + Maleficar level vs. 3d6 + Spell level
VarianceResult
Beyond +12(as below, plus)
The spell may be cast spontaneously, it seeps from your very being, no word or motion is necessary, no time.
You are permanently marked by small manifestations or physical anomalies relating to the nature of the spell.
up to +12(as below, plus)
Casting only requires half as much Cataclysm, rounded up.
up to +9The incantation is absorbed within your brain, you can cast it from memory.
up to +6You require access to your spellbook, casting takes an extra Round.
down to -6(as above, plus)
There are additional requirements to cast the spell. Match the numbers on your dice to the Demands of the Void table. Demands are only duplicated if you rolled a double or triple.
down to -9(as above, plus)
There is a complication in learning the spell, match your roll to the Thaumaturgic Complication table.
down to -12You fail to comprehend the spell, and open the way to something else. The next time you cast a spell of any kind make a Cast the Bones roll with a penalty equal to the level of the spell you were attempting to learn.
beyond -12(as above, plus)
Your ineptitude causes a zone of arcane madness and manifestation for d6 days, with 6 being permanent.
100' radius per level of the spell you were attempting to learn.

 

 

Demands of the Void
Result(Individual Dice Results)
1-2The spell drains additional Cataclysm, equal to the number on the dice.
3-4The spell requires a specific component.
5-6There must be ritual.

 

 

Thaumaturgic Complication
Result(Sum of Dice Results)
14-18The spell has an Abyssal Side-Effect.
11-13Pockets of black bile open within your mind, roll on Insanity table.
8-10Your flesh is corrupted, roll on Transmutation table.
3-7Part of your body fucking tears itself off, grows extra bits, and wishes your death. It might attack you now, or it might plot your downfall in the shadows. Roll on Body Horror table.

 

 

d20Component
1An inscribed Fetish.
2A raven's wing.
3Finger bone of a peacefully dead man.
4The honey-preserved macerated flesh of the Mellified Priests of the Viridescent Ziggurat.
5The written sentiment of another from time past.
6A Bog's Head Hawkmoth caught beneath a full moon.
(Sickly dark green, the back of their heads resemble the mortifying face of a man left to decay in the waters of a bog, strands hang like muck-covered lichen.
They squeak like scheming mice.)
7The fresh entrails of a toad.
8A clump of diseased blood-red moss.
9Dried tentacles of the oily grey-skinned spawn of the leviathan.
10The hair of a harlot.
11A copper piece once held by a priestess.
12Nacreous Milk of the Antelope.
13Mushrooms sprouted from a corpse.
14The ashy pollen of the Widow's Blossom.
15Burning pages of poetry.
16The legs of a Blue-Bloat Bore Grub, dug from the limbs of an Ash Spider Collossum.
17Three rotten sparrow's eggs.
18The tattooed paw of a Bloodmouth monkey.
19The neutralised honey-thick semen of a Jewelled Mound of Ur.
20A sleeping rat.

 

 

d20Ritual
1Your bare feet covered by water, steam rising from your mouth and nostrils.
2A fistful of hair torn from your head, thrown upon a flame.
3A steady rhythm drummed against something resonant, continuing after you've stopped.
4Obscene symbols drawn in concentric circles around you.
5You must be naked to cast the spell, not a thread touching your body.
6You must swallow a living creature whole.
7Flagellation.
8A shivering, shaking dance in a mentally-induced fever.
9Hot wax poured upon your head, running down your face.
10The tips of your fingers slit, wrists pressed together and brought to your face to mark a circle of blood.
11Your mouth filled with dirt, exhuming the incantation.
12Let no sentient creature enter your sight, let your eyes never close.
13Plunge your hands beneath the soil, let the worms twist their bodies about your fingers.
14Drink the blood of another.
15Intermittent regurgitation, the pool of vomit churning into a swirling spire that streams back into your mouth at the culmination of the spell.
16A spider held on the tongue, swallowed after casting.
17Urinate in the dust and dirt, take the acidic taste upon the tip of your tongue, spit the final word.
18Take the knife to your belly, spill your vitals, the wound will close when the casting is done.
(Unless you rolled maximum damage, which means you cut too deep, the wound remains.)
19Hold your hand in the flame of a candle until the casting is done.
20No blood may be spilt in your presence while the incantation is performed. Make a Cast the Bones roll for every wound you witness.

 

…which means there’s going to be different wizards casting the same spell in different ways, maybe even with slightly different effects, questing around for that particular component they need, asking the Fighter if they can borrow a pint of blood, dancing and spitting.

 

It’s going to be great.


3 comments



Welcome to Scenic Whereverthefuck, if you lived here, you’d be caught up in drama by now.


In my short, sharp review of Scenic Dunnsmouth at the end of the last post, I listed what I felt were its shortfalls when I was running it, chief of which was the lack of inter-NPC relationships.

Well instead of crying about it, what I did was start working on my own town generator using a set-up method inspired by Scenic Dunnsmouth, and it’s done now.

 

What you do is this:

 

  • Roll 20d6, 1d4, and a couple of d12‘s if you feel like it (I threw them in for flavour as an afterthought, like a final dash of paprika). Either do it on a big piece of paper or take a photo that you can pretty-up using a future box.
  • Remove any d6 that has a result lower than the d4, so that you end up with something like below (click on the pictures to make them bigger and better).

[Edit: Originally the idea of removing d6‘s lower than the d4 was to vary the size of the town, but I think a better use of it would be to vary how many groups have a Common Curiosity, to lower the chance of having an overwhelming amount of things going on at the same time. So, roll 10 + d10 d6‘s, and that’s the variable town size. Then, re-roll each lot of d6‘s with a result equal to or higher than the d4 and look up the result on the Common Curiosity table.]

 

  • Each d6 is somebody’s house!
  • Mark where all of the dice landed, then re-roll each lot of d6‘s that have the same number and look up the result on the Common Curiosity table below.
  • Re-roll the d4 on the table corresponding to its number for the most significant/interesting feature of the town. The group that matches its original number is the most closely associated with it.
  • Look up the result of the d12‘s on the Other Features of Interest table.
  • Then roll on Who’s In Charge Here? to find out who’s in charge here.

 

Re-roll d6'sCommon Curiosity
1Ostracised from the community, more than happy to help ruin the plans of others for good or bad.
2Were once caught in a compromising position with a well-bred member of large livestock. It brings everyone else great joy to ensure they never live it down.
3Have a surprisingly large assortment of goods for trade or sale.
4Incredibly friendly, attempting to summon an earth-shaking terror using an underground shrine they found, need help recovering the innocuous missing pieces.
5Fervent devotees to a known religion.
6Protectors of an ancient and terrible secret.
7Cannibals.
8Members of the same bloodline.
9Addicted to a strange and wonderful new drug they have discovered.
10Under the influence of a sentient plant growing in the area, its form depends on the number of homes affected:
1-2 Discoloured patches on the skin, small hidden sprouts.
3-5 Root clusters in the darkness at the back of their throats, speaking for them, a fledgling mother plant beginning to grow in the area.
6+ A large, established plant, protected by those given over more wholly to its symbiosis.
11Insect cult. If six or more homes are affected, a shrine containing a physical manifestation of their worship exists in the area.
12Aggressive/distrustful towards outsiders.
13Dress like demons and prance around burning pyres when the moon is full.
14Militant nudists.
15Share a psychic connection to one another that allows them to simultaneously experience everything that happens to each individual member, and grants them terrifying powers of the mind when their number exceeds fourteen.
16Extremely welcoming towards outsiders.
17Enthusiastic practitioners of a strange pastime.
18Speak in a dialect not used for centuries.
19Organic body-horror replacements from a fallen star in the hills. They smell of thyme and their flesh is all-too pliable.
20Will attempt to burn Magic-Users and Clerics like witches.
21Capture children of all ages as offering to the toad beast in the woods for the protection of the town. The sacrifices sleep curled within amber pus-filled holes in the hardened skin of its belly until they emerge as misshapen and fantastic children of the fae.
The rest of the town is oblivious.
22Their windows are dark and they do not answer their doors.
23Share a competitive rivalry over something quaint.
(Hunting, baking, growing large vegetables, needlework, gardening, offering sacrifices to their abhorrent god, etc.)
24Are afflicted by a terrible, undocumented ailment.
25Wash their dead in the creek and bury them beneath the silt, returning in a week's time to retrieve their bare, yellowed bones.
26Form the militia of the Blue Palm, adept in the use of paralytic poisons derived from local flowers.
27Incredibly eager to marry-off/apprentice their sons and daughters, will go to great lengths to prove the superiority of their children over their neighbour's.
28Summoned a melting pyramid-headed lady of unspeakable lust and terror as a plaything and instead became her emotional puppets. She can't hurt them but is trying damned hard to make them hurt themselves, she can't leave this plane of existence until they are all dead. She resides in secret at the home nearest to the centre of the group and she hates it here.
29Esoteric horticultural society, with a 3 in 6 chance of having access to any rare plant you care to mention and a high likelihood of losing their minds over any specimens of your own you'd like to share.
30+Recently welcomed the offspring of their god into the womb of a blushing bride on her wedding night, we're all terribly proud.

Read the rest…


5 comments



“We Burn the House, Everyone In It”


Two of the girls Rose works with at the tea shop have been wanting to play some D&D, so we thought we’d have them over for drinks and a nice shipwrecking at Zzarchov Kowolski’s Scenic Dunnsmouth.

Now they’d never played an RPG whatsoever, so they got sent this email before the game:

 

So you’ll be coming to this place called Malles Vermald, it sometimes looks like this, and other times it looks like this, and sometimes it looks like other things entirely.

 

It sounds like this, and this, and this, and this, and this.

 

It tastes like a choc-chip mint icecream sundae served by a swamp bear on drugs.

 

The time period is kind of a nonsense 16th-17th century renaissance/era of enlightenment type deal, with conquistador-style exploration in vogue and science and anatomy starting to be a thing.

 

Most everyone has a bit of an air of frontier conquest about them but people have been living there for at least a few hundred years without ever having seen a native inhabitant, but historical documents only exist from the last hundred years for some reason.

 

The biggest and best city is Cörpathium, which sometimes looks like this or this or this or this, and was mostly already there when we found it.

 

There aren’t any elves or dwarfs or hobbitses but there are four major ethnicities.

The Moors are steeped in mysticism and have near pure-black skin, like polished ebony, with pupil-less white eyes and rich silk clothing dripping with jewellery.

Urgoths/Saxons are the pale mongrel children of might-as-well-be-Europe.

Francs are like their more effete olive-skinned cousins.

The Morgen are pale to the point of ethereality with epicanthic eyes and bullshit Lovecraftian names, when born they’re anointed to the sect of one of their hundred gods instead of taking a family name.

 

The animals are weird and awful and you’re probably going to lose bits and catch diseases and maybe die.

 

There aren’t simple ghosts and demons but there are things that operate on a different level of existence that might drive you insane or turn your flesh against you or both or something worse.

 

YOU CAN BE ONE OF FOUR THINGS!

Magic-Users aren’t lame old wizards they’re crazy weirdos who risk insanity and mutation and destruction.

Clerics aren’t noble holy men they’re delusional ritualistic heretics who worship things that might not even exist and have to please them to use their power.

Fighters like to hit things with swords.

Specialists have mad skills and depending on what you want to do could be assassins or thieves or trackers or librarians or whatevs.

 

If you super badly want to be any of those things let me know, otherwise we’ll make it up on the day, that’s what Rose always does.

 

And then I threw them on a boat bound for Cörpathium and we started things a little bit differently.

Read the rest…


9 comments