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An Array of Specimens Tagged as Corpathium

How to Make Friends and Imagine People


While there may be plenty of NPC generators already in existence, I wanted one specifically for Cörpathium that I could use to make all of the characters ever. So, I made one?

 

Since the tables would be unforgivably ugly if I had to reformat them to fit here, head to Penny Pamphlets or click this link to download the NPC Birthing Sac in spreadsheet form. With the amount of tables I use, I’m really finding spreadsheets to be the best thing in the world. Instead of having multiple PDFs or text documents open I can have one spreadsheet with all of the pages I might need, and I can even freeze the headings so that no matter where I scroll I can still see the table name and number. For something absolutely free and easy to use download LibreOffice.

 

[Edit: everything besides the doubles and triples tables is now also automated here.]

 

Since my idea of fun does not include a cross-referenced 500 entry table of “Tempestuous, Has Kind Eyes”, “Will Betray You, Smells Like Cinnamon”, and “Hooked Nose, Was Once Bitten By a Sheep”, my generator has you drop a handful of dice for vague descriptors of different character aspects, then take a reaction roll and a random name and imagine the rest. I mean really, we can figure out if they have a weakness for cherry pie and fast women later.

 

 

Okay Shut Up Now and Tell Me How to Use This Thing

 

Step One: Every dice has its own table, so scoop all of them into your hot little womb of a hand and roll. If there are any doubles or triples re-roll them on those tables.

 

Step Two: I have made names for every race in Cörpathium. Every god damn one. Roll d100 once for a full name and occupation or a few times to mix it up. Add an elaborate title if you feel like it.

 

[There aren’t any demi-humans in Cörpathium, 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. Anything deeper about their cultures can be made up mid-game I don’t got that kinda time.]

 

Step Three: Make a reaction roll. Some of the original rolls should be interpreted with this in mind.

 

Step Four: It’s alive.

 

 

OKAY LET’S MAKE OURSELVES A GIN & TONIC AND BIRTH SOME NON-PLAYER CHARACTERS

 

NPC #1:

3 (Franc), 6 (Old Female), 6 (Inconsistently), 5 (Alluring), 9 (Tall and Fat), 12 (Fame), 13 (Storyteller), re-rolled double (Hides their blindness well), reaction roll 10

 

Penelope Clairval is a Francish Cook, and while she may be pushing her sixties her constant food-tasting and activity has kept her tall frame plump, and her clean tight apron frames her pot belly in a way that you find oddly and compulsively attractive. She’s extremely happy to have you here but occasionally has spats of frustration while she’s running around the kitchen regaling you with stories of  her culinary endeavours and how they’ll make her famous throughout all Cörpathium some day. You’d never guess that she’s blind and finds her way around the kitchen by smell and memory alone.

 

 

NPC #2:

1 (Moor), 2 (Young Male), 6 (Inconsistently), 10 (Utterly Absurd), 3 (Rotund), 3 (Power), 20 (Plans/Destiny), re-rolled double (Pathological liar), reaction roll 8

 

Harbungur Uruman, the Pastel Lord, is a young Moorish boy currently prenticed to the Sewerkeepers, where he is able to access nearly-closed pathways that the older and larger men cannot. He wears clothes too large for his portly little frame, likely passed down from his father, but the jewellery hanging from every available space is decidedly un-Moorish; things either washed into the sewers or long-forgotten, shimmering and strange. He found something down there in the places no one else can reach, something he believes will one day make him a lord of Cörpathium. He doesn’t know how to react to you, he isn’t sure if he can use you, and sways mid-conversation between joviality and disdain. Everything he tells you is a lie, and his young mind still has trouble keeping track of which lies are being told to who.

 

 

NPC #3:

4 (Morgen), 1 (Old Male), 1 (Overtly), 3 (Squalid), 2 (Impish), 8 (Sociopathy), 4 (Body Language), two re-rolled doubles (Unexpectedly knowledgeable, Overly perfumed), reaction roll 5

 

Cul-Ragaroth Magog is a near-decrepit Morgen Narcotic Chymist, the filth-stained vestments covering his bent, shrunken body are little better than burn-marked rag and he despises you, something he communicates quite clearly through venomous words and unmistakably malevolent movements. Persistence pays off though, because if you can talk your way around his hate and the overpowering scent of rose-water he uses to mask his chemical experimentation, you’ll discover that he knows about everything.

 

 

HELLS YES THAT WORKED EXACTLY LIKE I HOPED LET’S MAKE ALL OF THE CHARACTERS


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Horrors of the Unknown: There Was a Fungus Among Us


Diasporea

 

The stranger moves towards you in slow, gliding steps, their body hunched inside a great coat covered in dry leaves and sticks and rotting plant matter. Metal trinkets and bones hang from the gnarled branches extending from their head like horns. A powdery whisper accompanies them as they move closer, and a low thrumming voice like rain asks where your dead grow.

Light washes over the stranger’s coat as they move into the glow of your lantern, and you see the gaps amidst the sticks and filth. You see fungal sinew strung inside, like the forest floor caught in a web. A thick mass of lichen veil hangs in the hooded space below the stranger’s antlers, and ever more unexpected mounds and wooden horns are illuminated across their back. Small stout yellow round-capped mushrooms in jagged rows beneath its throat and chest quiver and begin to thrum against wood and bone, forming the words that politely ask again, “Where do your dead grow?”

 

Colonies of fungus and mould that cobble debris together to gain a locomotive form. They will talk to you, they’ll even trade, but they have no empathy. They won’t understand why you’re so upset that they dug up your daughter, pulled her corpse apart, and placed the pieces amongst their body. Fragile but hard to kill permanently, and the spores that erupt from them in times of stress end up everywhere, and your flesh is ever so fertile.


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Horrors of the Unknown: A Familiar Face


Time-worn faces adorn the surface of a clay relief set into the wall like a door. It cannot be moved, it cannot be broken, but something in its centre gleams in the torchlight. Thin layers of clay have fallen away over time, exposing a blood-red gem the size of a man’s fist. The sculpted faces seem to be twisted towards the gem in sorrow.

 

If a character removes the gem, ask about those they hold most dear, of friends, of family, of lovers. Make a list of 2d6 of them. The clay seal soon crumbles and falls without the gem to bind it.

Long limbs that emerge and contract carry a bulbous mass of flesh from the space beyond in a shambling riot of locomotion. The whole surface of its skin writhes with the faces of the only people the character cares about, they moan and cry and beseech as it crashes forward with grasping appendages.

If it catches hold of a character it will pull them in towards the distending mouth of the person they care about most. A lover, their mother, a mentor, the quivering lips wrap around their body while the creature’s gnarled hands struggle to push them further in until they are gone.

Once someone is within it, the creature will flee if it can.

 

The creature’s limbs constantly wither and re-emerge, removing them does nothing.

Successful attacks against the creature’s body will instantly destroy a random face, cutting deep and silencing their pleas, black muck spilt from limp hanging skin like a burst blister.

The amount of damage caused determines the affect on the person whose face was imitated.

 

1They disappear in the night and are never seen again, though the PC hears whispers in the darkness when no one else is near.
2They develop an unrelenting irrational hatred for the PC.
3They grow pallid, their hair falls out and their limbs atrophy.
4They become zealously devoted to the Ninth Cult of the Black Dawn, plucking their eyes from their head, seeing life anew.
5They lose all memory, left with the mental state of an infant.
6They fall deep in lust with one of the PC's most hated enemies.
7Their belly swells as if pregnant, but in the 8th term their stretched skin grows sour, sores open and putrefy, after another two weeks they birth a brood of black hounds.
8They dissolve into a pile of reeking filth. They keep appearing in the middle of the PC's dreams, off to the side, unrelated, their back turned and weeping. They want to find a way back.
9They are murdered and cannibalised by their closest relative.
10+They go out late at night. Local children disappear. They refuse to be seen without clothing. Their body is not what it used to be.

When the last face has been destroyed the creature will instantly collapse, devoid of life. Anyone that was swallowed in the last hour can be cut out from its mass, apparently unharmed, but over the coming weeks the lesions on their torso come more and more to resemble the faces of people dear to their companions.

If no one was swallowed, the person whose face was last destroyed grows ill, their body swells, they constantly ask after the family of others, and their limbs grow spindly, disconcertingly long..


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Tales from Cörpathium, Chapter One: Dick Puncher


Last weekend we took our first foray into Cörpathium as a small-time mercenary band looking to gain some coin and reputation. I didn’t have much time beforehand so I came up with a few jobs they could take and the main preparation was keying a map for the only job that required crawling through a building.

They did not take this job so I ended up winging the whole session.

Other things I learned? The city tables that I made work great in having the city and the player’s experience grow in a natural way, but are a bit much to be happening all the time given how many boroughs they’ll be constantly travelling between, and I also want the city to feel more full, I want the different boroughs to have their own atmosphere without me just constantly making shit up, so I can concentrate on what’s going on in the game instead of worrying that I’m making the environment interesting enough.

So, I’m probably going to do up a document that sets out each borough with common sights and sounds and smells, common activities for different parts of the day, major landmarks (“Oh you want to go to a brewhouse? The biggest one in this borough is the Thirst of the Leviathan. whispering inaudibly: and down a hidden staircase they drain vagrants of blood into a grate in the floor.”), and a table of mundane encounters specific to that borough, then likely make it a 50/50 chance when travelling between boroughs of rolling on the city encounters, or that borough’s encounters.

 

Drink of the day was a Marquini, using Regal Rogue Vermouth and Earl Grey infused No. 3 London Dry Gin.

 

Rose: Octavius Goldenloins (Fighter Lvl 1) – Overconfident tinyman with an oiled moustache and a feather cape.

 

Michael: Ballmar the Girthy (Mystic Lvl 1) – Oblivious Lover of Bakhri, the only healer, probably the greatest liability. (I let Michael re-roll his Ability Scores twice and he still ended up with an Intelligence of 5)

 

Roy: Gravelax Bowel-Shatterer (Maleficar Lvl 1) – Wearing spell-inscribed leather armour decorated with jaunty shrunken heads and teeth. On the lookout for more teeth.

 

Ellen: Madame du Lumpé (Specialist Lvl 1) – Ex-madam of the Black Rose whorehouse, her black left hand is still full of the poison that was meant to kill her.

 

 

The mercenary band, the Gilded Loin, receives messages regarding several jobs.

Sister Nektaria Siourthas of the Cathedral of Lost Virtue needs help finding a missing Whaugur, Octavius’ old friend Holt Brueghel is trying to organise protection for a merchant caravan headed to the Möndfels, bibliophile Ryszard Schmaler is looking to recover stolen property, and Cordell van Heerden wants help reclaiming a derelict library.

They head straight for the Cathedral of Lost Virtue.

Let’s do this in bullet points.

Read the rest…


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Welcome to Cörpathium


Greatest city of the new and ancient land, the overhanging levels of jettied houses stacked atop each other shadow the sprawling streets, solid stone architecture unknown to any of the old countries nestles behind shouting waremongers in the morning mist, birds sing from a neighbouring rooftop and something scuttles from under your bed. It’s another beautiful day in Cörpathium, watch your step.

 

When entering a new borough roll below.

 

3d6Boroughs of Cörpathium
14-18Well, You Don't See That Every Day..
4-13Another Day In Paradise
3End Times Cometh

 

Another Day In Paradise
1d20
1A young woman bumps into a random PC as they push through a crowd, she blushes and apologises and continues on her way.
Further on into the neighbourhood the PC will find an old man hawking something that looks very much like something important to them, something they no longer seem to be carrying. There are already several interested buyers standing by his stall.
2A shrieking man falls to his knees in the street, clawing at his skin.
1. He is the son of a Corvuscult family, prone to fits of madness. Discretion would be appreciated.
2. A wasp has crawled under his skin to lay her eggs.
3. He's just a plain old loon.
4. He is a Haruspex, suffering a vision of locust plague, harbinger to the coming of the Locust Queen.
3A young woman is bitten by a dog.
4A Speaker of the Godless announces a curfew in light of unnatural maulings in the neighbourhood the past few nights.
5A couple of inherited wealth dandies sitting at a coffee house laugh at a random PC's attire.
6A vendor of fig pies scrambles to collect the contents of his upturned cart before the crowd consumes it all.
7A rat the size of a terrier emerges from a nearby sewer and slumps back on its hind legs in front of a random PC, scratching its bloated stomach.
Roll Loyalty. It won't be pretty if you roll low.
8A young girl hawks her services as an assistant in dangerous and foolhardy ventures.
She can't be more than 14, she's an exceptionally skilled thief, and she can fit into places your fat old arse never could.
9A street urchin attempts to snatch a coin purse or other item from a random PC.
10A woman with old letters sewn into the folds of her dress glides through the street. Her sunken eyes are the colour of despair and she fawns over every man she meets like a whore, murmuring and cooing through full red lips.
11A bucket of innards and vomit is dumped on the PCs from an overhead window, it is unclear if it was accidental.
12A gaunt man with stretched hanging skin stands on an iron stool preaching to 2d10 onlookers about the evils of the Corpulent One.
13A Mother of Silence strides through the street, her footfall would crash in your ears if her presence hadn't stolen every sound within 30'. [Mothers of Silence will be another post]
14A spruiker in a jaunty hat proclaiming himself to be the originator of Cuckold's Courage sells bottles from a cart on the street corner. The bottles are full of:
1. Urine.
2. Fermented onions and cat faeces.
3. Putrefied fishguts.
4. Curdled milk and rubbing alcohol.
5. River water and silt.
6. Crushed lice and dust. "Just add water!"
15An elderly woman drops the fruit she was carrying and four young men in ostentatious clothing start dancing a jig, stomping it into the road.
16When they return home a random PC will find something important missing and a yellow feather on their bed. Hagatha Gloom of the Golden Harpies has taken a liking to them.
17A burly drunk emerges from a brewhouse and shoves his way through the PCs.
18A woman in obvious Toad-Dropping withdrawal pushes her way past the PCs and into a nearby alley.
19A man wearing a large stitched leather top hat and a coat embroidered with images of vicious rodents hawks bottles of Verminbane. Caged rats are piled behind him for demonstration and several greased tame rats climb over his shoulders and crawl about his feet, leashed to his belt by string.
20Seventh Goat mercenaries jostle the PC with the highest Strength as they pass. If offence is taken they invite you to settle the matter in the Viper's Nest fight den tonight, they've been in need of an opponent anyway.

 

Read the rest…


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