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An Array of Specimens Tagged as House Rules

This Place is Crawling with Tables


It all started when I found the old AD&D Lankhmar supplement, which features this gorgeous map right here:

See all those white boxes? The supplement contains neighbourhood geomorphs that you randomly insert when the players move off the main streets and into the ‘burbs, and even suggests changing the geomorph if the players don’t go back there for a while to make the city feel more alive. I know, it’s wonderful.

 

Around this time I was also having chats with the also wonderful Jeremy Duncan about mapping Cörpathium and his own Galbaruc, and the trouble of figuring out how much is too much, what to nail down and what to keep loose. Because as pretty as the above map is, forget that.

 

Really what I want is to capture the sprawling mutability of cities like Viriconium and Ambergris, something you experience by running around in it rather than poring over a lavishly drawn map, with just enough grounding to make it work as a game.

 

 

OKAY SO WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST SMART GUY?

 

Map your main streets. That gives you a framework, points of reference, clever/punny street names for players to remember. Everything else though? Doesn’t matter until it matters.

 

When your players want/need off a main street drop a d4 and a d6 (try to use a d6 with sharp corners, you need that random bounce). If the numbers match, there aren’t any reachable exits.

 

Otherwise, treat the d4 as the player’s position on the street, facing the way you are. The number is how many alleys they can see, and the points of the dice show the rough direction they’re in. Add them clockwise from whatever point is closest to the d6.

If there are 4 alleys put the 4th wherever.

You might prefer to drop the dice directly onto the map instead, do whatever makes you happy, I’m not your mother.

 

There’s also this roughly where the d6 landed:

 

1.  Someone left their door open

2.  Public house

3.  Sewer entrance

4.  Way to climb onto building

5.  Lesser street

6.  Intersecting lesser street

 

So if you rolled like below, there’s four reachable alleys; one back off in the direction of the 2, one ahead in the direction of the 1, one directly off to the right thanks to the 3, and another one wherever takes your fancy. The d6 came up as a 5, so there’s a lesser street leading away back on the left side of the main street.

 

 Okay so now we’re running around in alleys, fun!

 

Every time the players enter an alley, drop the d4 and d6 again and generate the exits like before, using the tables below. If the numbers are the same, there’s a complication.

 

 

AlleyCrawling
d4Points of Diced6
1Alley.1Back door.
2Alley.2Darkened nook.
3Alley.3Boarded-over alley.
4Alley.4Way to climb onto building.
5Reachable window.
6Alley complication.

 

 

Read the rest…


5 comments



Does This Look Infected?


So you’re sloshing about in hot muck swinging knives around, sounds like a germ orgy to me.

 

I love the theory of the Humours and the batshit insanity that is medical history, so what started as a list of medical services in Cörpathium turned into four tables of available cures from the major practitioners and the side effects of their failure, as well as a table of Infections and Diseases for them to cure. Because your 3rd Level Cleric isn’t always going to be around you know.

 

After any encounter where you take a flesh wound, roll under your Constitution. If you fail you have contracted an Infection, which probably won’t slow you down too much but it’ll be really icky. If you roll an ultimate-fail 20 that’s not infected, you’ve gone and caught yourself a Disease.

Once you have an Infection or Disease you can stop rolling, anything else that tries to get inside you just gets eaten up by the established bacteria.

 

 

Infections -– 4d4 hours to manifest
d12
1Your skin grows raw and red and sprouts enormous blood blisters that swell to the size of a small apple before popping in arcs of putrid plasma, over and over again like boiling mud baths.
2Pus weeps from your throat and crusts into barnacle-like lesions on your neck, causing intense pain if you speak anything but lies.
3A crater-like pox mars the flesh around the wound and creeps up your neck. The vinegary stench grows when you are under stress or heightened excitement and puffs of yellow vapour vent from the pox. Save vs. Poison or suffer the effects of Confusion.
4The wound will not heal properly; rather than closing, small bunches of fleshy tendrils emerge from the cloven flesh, like the fingers of babies.
5Thick black tears leak from your eyes, clouding your vision, and you find that after you have wiped them away, when your fingers are stained black with oil, your eyelids cling together every time you blink, your hands stiffen, like fingertrap lockjaw.
6The skin around the wound hardens and crusts in blackening shards like a burning tree, then begins its creeping spread. +1 AC for the first week is pretty great, but then your joints begin to stiffen, walking becomes a chore, you'd rather lay down in the dirt, bury your fingers and breathe in the muck..
7Your organs grind and groan like a wounded animal. Every d8 hours you will spend d2 Turns in agony while you pass a grotesque opalescent kidney stone. After you've stopped crying you can sell it as a spell component.
8The sound of dogs barking inflicts searing pain upon your bowels, you break out in fragrant pink boils in the sun, you have an overwhelming craving for all manner of crawling insects.
9Every d6 hours you disgorge a surging mass of green bile that continues to bubble and churn after it has left your throat.
10Gob Rot. Your gums fester and peel back, you swallow parts of your tongue as it begins to putrefy, teeth drool out of your mouth while you speak.
11Swollen boils sprout from your skin, oddly puckered like an anus. If they are still present after a week, the next time you are amongst a large group of people they unfurl like glistening mucus-coated blossoms of skin, violently jettisoning flesh spores into the air.
12Fibrous purple fronds curl out from your skin, interwoven and fragile, ever-growing. It would be beautiful if they weren't siphoning off your blood supply.

 

 

 

Diseases -– 4d8 hours to manifest, roll cure chance twice and take the lowest
d12
1Sticky, caustic sweat beads from your pores. It burns those that touch you like watered-down acid and corrodes anything exposed to your skin within d4 Turns.
2Tendrils of skin sprout in patches, softly swaying and bulbous at their tips. A fluid bubbles from them like snail slime trying to scare away a predator, the same consistency, the scent of compost. It is a sympathetic narcotic, every time someone takes the slime upon their tongue in order to explore the feculent gardens of their mind in search of lost inspirations, you lose yourself in the same experience.
3The flesh around the wound becomes spongy, pliant, it exudes the scent of fuchsia. Synaesthesia ravages your psyche, and pulling away clumps of your deteriorating body makes the most deliriously beautiful music.
4Leprous Crawl. Your flesh sloughs, a bicep one moment and a sack of atrophied muscle hanging from bone in a skin bag the next. But that's not what bothers you, it's when it comes back. Creeping up the bone, tendons attaching, muscle re-adhering, the sucking sounds within your skin. It never rebuilds the same way and your skin is starting to smell of rot.
Re-roll Strength each time.
5Your belly distends, swollen with bacteria and gas. During any physical exertion roll under Constitution to control the horrendous flatulence brimming for release.

Week Two: The bloated skin of your belly is a roadmap of stretch marks, the next failed roll will see your stomach split and spilt.
6Clothing has to be peeled away, you sweat like mucus, everyone seems to walk too fast for you.

Day Two: Veins pulse beneath translucent skin, you wonder if your legs are beginning to atrophy, you know you're being neurotic but you're so tired, everyone else is so fast.

Day Three: The flesh of your legs has jellied, you can see bone through blueish muck in the shape of a thigh, the translucent skin has spread up to your ribs.

Day Four: Your legs collapse, lost all integrity. You might survive another day before it reaches your brain.
7You wholeheartedly believe that tiny men with the faces of carrion birds pull themselves from your yellow blisters to whisper the secrets of the cosmos to you.

Day Two: They teach you a random 9th Level Spell. When you cast it you don't realise that nothing happened, that you were mumbling gibberish, you believe yourself all-powerful. They promise you so much more.

Day Three: Your companions must die, they know too much, the carrion told you so.
8Fingers, fingers everywhere. They start as bony nubs but they emerge soon enough, calloused, without fingernails, twitching and catching on things.
9Your skin is pocked with holes like the back of a pregnant frog. Fleshy nodules emerge to squirt thin streams of noxious green fluid before retreating back inside your skin. It isn't an infestation, it is your own flesh, and it is growing larger.
10Resinous Influenza. It's not the bleary leaking eyes that bother you, nor the deep-bone ache or even the delirious shakes. It's the absurd amount of mucus that you expel every time you sneeze and the fact that it sets like resin almost as soon as it touches your exposed skin.
Your face begins to look like a grotesque melted mask and that is not a good look for anyone.
11The Worm of Entropy grows within your bowels, emerging from your body at night to raise up and taste the air. Not an invader, grown from your own flesh.

Week One: Whenever you come into contact with a new person/entity make a Reaction Roll for yourself to figure out how you feel about them. Any time a group comes to consensus there is a 2 in 6 chance that you outright dissent.

Week Two: Strength and Constitution decrease by d4 each. At night you have the uncomfortable sensation of being watched.

Week Three: Your body suffers 2d4 minor Mutations. The worm is more bold now, and can be seen slipping from various orifices so that it can peer out at you.

Week Four: Your flesh loses its integrity, collapsing into a gibbering pile of sentient filth from which the worm emerges, laughing sludge sloughing from it's many-hued flanks. It is transmution made flesh, save vs. Hysterical Weeping.
12It starts with a dry itch, dustings of dead flakes falling from your skin as you scratch like chronic dandruff, turning strangely polychromatic as it settles.

Week Two: It's in the flesh now, your skin has almost entirely itched away and you're scratching canals into the muscle beneath. It doesn't even look like flesh and blood anymore, just polychromatic granularity like a bathbomb.

Week Three: Your hands have been ground away so you rub your itching limbs together as best you can, grinding biceps over your torso, crushing your chin against your chest.

Week Four: Without anything left to scratch it with, you find that your flesh slowly regrows, but the moment your limbs build back into moveable stumps..

The polychromous decay is a powerful spell component and many of those who contract its disease end up as limbless torsos in a Maleficar's basement, unable to scream through dust-filled lungs, forever regenerating porous dusty flesh only to have it scraped away.

 

And now for the fun part! Roll randomly for a cure depending on your contacts and budget. If a cure works I doubt I’d establish it as the ongoing remedy for that condition though, this is an age of experimentation.

Since a large part of these working is a placebo effect, players should get bonuses to the chance of success if they can demonstrate that they truly believe in their authenticity. If someone collected the components for their own eel blood and crab egg enema I would give them some god damn bonuses.

 

Continue onwards for the cures or head straight to Penny Pamphlets to download everything in a spreadsheet.

 

Read the rest…


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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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Let’s See What’s Been On Your Mind


All body parts of dead Maleficar are valuable for use in creating Fetishes, but the true wealth resides within their skulls.

Every day of their lives the Maleficar’s void-touched brain etches patterns into the inside of their cranium, like moth larvae burrowing through the bark of a tree. The longer they live the more ornate and extensive the pattern, which, if deciphered, bears the formula to hitherto unknown magic.

 

When a Maleficar’s head is taken, the inside of their skull will contain an unknown spell of level equal to the highest level spell a traditional Magic-User would have been able to memorise.

This will require you to make some shit up.

 

 

Some spells rumoured to be contained within the lost Cranial Stacks of the Bibliothèque Verrotten:

 

Larval Pit of the Cosmic Hive

Maleficar Level 6

Duration: Instantaneous

Range: Infinite

Components: Fingernails from the intended victim, amniotic fluid, a live wasp.

 

Take the amniotic fluid from one who has not yet birthed, heat it in a copper bowl over an open flame, add the fingernails without ceremony, the aroma will draw the wasp.

When the wasp settles within the bowl drink deeply, and incant the words when you feel its final dying sting.

 

Within the victim’s belly the larvae begins to grow. Within days the nausea turns to debilitating pain, within weeks their belly distends to hold the larval girth, within two months their withered corpus breaths its last.

At the next full moon the cosmic chrysidine digs its way through flesh and gravedirt to unfurl its terrible wings under black sky and knowing stars.

 

(It still remembers the first belly that brought it into this world; yours. It will seek you out, whether to serve you or to lay its own brood within you is yet to be seen.)

 

 

Black Colossus

Maleficar Level 9

Duration: 1 Turn/level

Range: 30′

Casting Time: 2 Rounds

 

The Black Colossus manifests as an oily mass of shadow, crawling up walls, creeping through cracks, digesting flesh with its touch.

HD equal to caster level, it can only be harmed by flame or sunlight.

The Colossus will follow its last command until the duration ends or the caster spends a Round to mentally implant a new instruction. It will destroy anyone who directly tries to harm it, but can be commanded to place itself in harm’s way.

When the duration ends so does the caster’s control over the Colossus. It holds nothing but hate for you.

 

 

Interloper of the Flesh

Maleficar Level 3

Duration: 1 Turn/level

Range: Special

Casting Time: 1 Round

 

The Maleficar swaps bodies with a chosen target. To do this they must either be able to see the target, or be in possession of something that belongs to them.

If one of the bodies is killed, the consciousness it was carrying is destroyed.

When the spell ends, each surviving consciousness is drawn back to its original shell. If the body is dead they are not drawn back alone. Effect as Summon.

 

 

Protoplasmic Seed

Maleficar Level 4

Duration: 2 Rounds/level

Range: 60′

Casting Time: 1 Round

 

A seed of thought-stuff is implanted in the target’s head.

Deep-held terror of something physical seeps into the seed, which quickly swells to merge into the target’s brain matter, cracking their head open like an egg and pouring out in a translucent pink manifestation of their fear, dragging the body along by its spinal cord.

The manifestation will turn on the target’s allies first, but once they are gone it will seek the destruction of every other living thing until the duration ends and the jellied brain matter slops to the ground.

The Target Fears..
1d10
1A pile of melding horses, shivering and snapping their teeth.
2A starving two-headed she-wolf, her dead young still hanging from her womb.
3A great winged thing from beyond, its body hidden beneath a mass of writhing parasitic worms.
4Seven tentacles lined with the emerging seeking hands of children.
5A frog god, its tongue ensnares them to be torn apart by the humanoid amphibian horrors growing from the flesh within its mouth.
6A broiling mass of polyp-like cells, growing ever wider to smother and digest them.
7A twisted tower of gnarled stonework, siren songs from within call them one by one to climb its sides and enter it from above. (Target may save vs. Magic, if they succeed move on to the next target, someone must enter every Round.)
8A giant fish. In the first Round it splits open and turns inside-out, in the second Round 2d10 venomous lampreys emerge from its organs to seek prey.
9An amorphous mass of flesh carried by the deformed legs of children. Arms and mouths and eyes and parts unknown emerge and retract from its bulk as it lumbers towards them.
10A young woman in a heavy hooded cloak, clasped at the throat. When she opens it there is nothing but darkness within apart from the dozens of thin tendrils that slosh out and penetrate their flesh, draining them to a husk.

17 comments



Cunning Linguists


Every Magic-User develops their own method of writing magical formulae, like some kind of sorcerous cipher, preventing their knowledge from being read by the plebeian unworthy.

Every other Magic-User knows the spell Read Magic, which they can cast and read anything they want.

 

Wait what? When did deciphering a madman’s work become such a throwaway bit of bag of tricks nonsense? If I was a wizard my spellbook would be overflowing with false passages and curses and traps like some kind of nightmare word labyrinth of doom, not presenting itself on a podium for the next first-day-of-magic-school Johnny that comes along. Read MY magic? I fucking think not.

So sure, Read Magic allows you to read magical writings, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to read it right.

 

When Reading Magic, save vs. Magic. Your Referee will probably apply penalties or bonuses depending on what you’re trying to read, and you can apply bonuses by concentrating really hard and using additional Cataclysm points before rolling. The number by which you succeed or fail is applied as a bonus or penalty to the 3d6 roll your Referee now makes in seeecret.

 

 

3d6Cunning Linguists
14-18Success
11-13Success/Librarian's Lament
8-10Librarian's Lament
5-7Chaos Reigns
1-4Tome of Terror

 

Librarian's Lament
1d20(d10 if the writing isn't in a book)
1You birth a wriggling pink rat with a young version of your own face out of your mouth. It scrambles away and out of sight. It will grow to about the size of a pug, it develops translucent flaps of skin to glide on, it keeps showing up to foil your plans.
2Tiny hideous mouths split open over the surface of the object and begin to scream.
3Cold pink mist swells up from the object and wafts out in a 30' radius, save vs. Poison or lie down to sleep in a blanket of fog.
4You read the writing as something utterly different, you have no reason to believe that it isn't right. If it is a spell, the first time you try to cast it a Chaos Reigns roll is triggered.
5The object bearing the writing bursts into flame like a pile of magnesium.
6Your eyes snap open wide and fill with churning pink clouds, black at the edges like a storm, dim flashes of light perceivable in their midst.
You find yourself blind, groping in lurid darkness, until your eyes settle back on the page. Your eyes are permanently ensorcelled, unable to see anything but writing, but able to decipher any written language or cipher without aid of any kind.
You may find that there is a kind of poetry in the fibre of the world itself, but learning to read that will take some time.
7Get up from the table, go to the nearest bookshelf, close your eyes, pull down a book, flip to a random page, scan down and read the first few lines that catch your eye. For the next 2d4 days save vs. Magic whenever you want to start a conversation or cast a spell, if you fail the only words to come out are those lines over and over again.
8Vow of Poverty. You just cursed yourself. Precious metals and gems rot within your presence, visibly deteriorating every day, leaving nothing but discoloured muck after a week of being within 15' of you.
9Five trails of gently floating green lights appear, wafting into your lungs as they reach you. The lights are leading demoniac hounds with the hands of men and voices of children to you from various directions.
Every 8 hours roll a d4 per remaining hound, on a 4 they have come to collect you.
10Your nearest companion compulsively stabs you with whatever blade is closest to hand. A copper serpent slithers from the wound and into your hands, its blood-slicked scales are carven with arcane knowledge.
(Hand the player the Magic-User spell list, they gain any spells they can legibly write down within 10 seconds. To cast the spell they must ingest a number of copper coins equal to spell level. The spells use Cataclysm as normal but do not need to be written in a spellbook or memorised.)
After 10 seconds the serpent will strike out at whoever is holding it, pumping black venom into their veins if its fangs find flesh.
11Heat emanates from the page and you absent-mindedly place your hand against it to feel the warmth.
The ink burns into your skin like a tattoo.
The first lie you tell will become true, and the writing on your hand will change to remind you of that for all time.
12The book's cover grows course and hairy, legs sprout from the spine and it leaps from your hands, running across the room and up the wall. It points a strange cloaca at you from the base of its spine and expels clumps of bright green mildew at you that burns the skin, flapping away to the other side of the room if you get too close.
13The edges of the book slice your fingers open before it drops to the floor, leaving tiny rows of perfect bloodless papercuts.
They will never heal, and from this moment forth you will bleed prose.
It is not for me to know what secrets may be found in your blood.
14The book decomposes into hundreds of tiny paper mite crabs, they swarm over your arms, digging into your flesh, searching for orifices.
If more than 50% of them find their way inside you, gain a spell of a random level, but you can no longer eat anything other than paper, mumbling incoherent script when you are hungry.
15The page splits horizontally and unfolds, then vertically and unfolds, then horizontally.. again and again until the page is 15' wide. In the centre is a sketched doorway, the handle is so realistic you feel that you could reach out and grab it. If you open the door roll 1d6. The door leads you..
1. Into the chambers of a disrobed person of note who does not take kindly to the intrusion.
2. Into a room piled high with glittering treasures. Anything you take will immediately adhere into your skin, and it will take part of you with it if torn away. Opening the door will lead you back into the room where the book lay.
3. Into the lair of a great black serpent, slumbering after feeding. Shapes like hands push out the skin of its distended belly and you hear far-off whimpering. If it wakes, its yellow cut-glass eyes flash with hate and it will regurgitate its meal before attacking, bathing them in a hot flush of digestive juices that melt their limbs and prevent escape. Otherwise, it intends to digest them slow, they may yet survive, you have but to release them.. (Within the snake's belly is: 1-2. The person who originally wrote the words. 3. A buxom lass sacrificed to the serpent, sacrificed for consorting with devils. 4. A foolhardy adventurer brought here in search of a sacrificial hoard, collected over centuries. 5-6. A mewling litter of children, they imprint on the first person they see as their mother with animal intelligence, they are stronger and more agile than they look)
4. Into a dimly lit subterranean room, connected by secret stair to the lavish home above. Yellow wax drips from walls and altars, icy fingers caress your spine as the light flickers over strange stains, a hand-written tome rests on a dais, dedicated to the glory of the Yellow Queen.
5. Back where you just came from. You watch yourself move towards the book, attempting to read its secrets, watching it unfurl into a doorway, stepping inside.. The more you allow things to progress as they were the more of you there are, watching yourself watching yourself in neverending sequence until you stop yourself from reading the book, at which point every you that stepped through the doorway is un-happened, sucked back out of reality in pockets of agony.
6. Into your chrysalis deep below the earth. There you will sleep for years to come, until the changes are complete, until your terrible maniacal glory can be loosed upon the world.
16The book shrieks and tears itself in half, blood falls to the floor instead of paper fragments, the missing half regrows, the books tear themselves in half, blood falls to the floor...
The books continue to replicate in this way until there are several hundred, shrieking in a pool of blood.
The blood tastes like learning.
17Tendrils snap out from the crease of the book, penetrating your chest and belly, churning as some drain and others pump.
Your organs liquefy and drain out with your blood, and in its place your body fills with fluid like liquid golden light.
You glow like a pinkish-gold beacon, and take a -5 penalty to saves vs. Magic, but cannot be poisoned and gain a d4 bonus to Cast the Bones and Conduit of the Cosmos rolls.
18You read the words aloud and all who hear them age d20 years. Save vs. Magic, if you fail you continue to read. Repeat.
Anyone who reaches the age of 90 during this time falls apart like disintegrating paper.
19Violet light flashes from the pages, in your temporary blindness you can hear the resonance of your own thoughts. When you look back at the book you are staring at your own placid face, when you cry out it is the face in the book that opens its mouth and screams, not the featureless mess of words plastered around your swollen eyes.
20The pages of the book begin to flip back, growing faster, pulling at the air around you, the flurry of paper flipping between the covers of the book consists of more pages than the book could possibly have contained.
The pull at the air around you grows stronger, small objects begin to lift from the floor and disappear between the pages, your feet begin to shift..

 

Read the rest…


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Pull Back The Sheets


Fold-over Lamentations of the Flame Princess character sheets are available in Penny Pamphlets, as well as some simple henchman sheets for the guy you’re going to be after your current character swells and explodes in vibrant fungal agony.

 

They’re designed to use my house rules, but if you don’t want to use those rules, uh too bad?

 

Last Gasp Character Sheet frontLast Gasp Character Sheet backLast Gasp Henchman Sheet


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This Is Weighing Me Down


Encumbrance should be a measure of not just how much weight you can carry, but how easily you can manoeuvre whilst carrying different things, we’re adventuring here after all. Besides that, there’s also the fact that most of the time there’s going to be some things that you want to be a bit more accessible than just sitting somewhere in the big pack on your back.

 

[Edit: there’s a much better version of this in The House of Rules, thought it doesn’t have a pretty picture.]

 

The encumbrance system I use requires a touch more maths at character creation, but is a hell of a lot more interesting than a shopping list of crap in a sack. It’s built off the existing LotFP “different items” list and Rotten Pulp/Evil Baboon’s Anti-Hammerspace Item Tracker, and probably a couple of things that have been discussed by Brendan over at Ultimately (now of Necropraxis). It adds a touch of reality and management to the important things, differentiates between characters, but isn’t so complex or restrictive as to make it boring.

 

So you’ve rolled up a character and you’re going shopping. Excellent. Let’s start at the top (or skip to the summary if you’ve a short attention span):

 

What Has It Got In Its Pocketses?

 

– Everyone is able to wear leather armour and carry a normal weapon without it counting towards anything, because otherwise an adventurer might as well be naked. Maleficar will normally pick up their spellbook before a weapon though.

 

– At any time an average character can carry 6 other Significant Items in an immediately accessible place. The location of these items is noted on your character sheet. Specialists automatically carry their Specialist’s Tools as one of their Significant Items.

e.g. Your 50′ of rope is coiled across your chest and you’ve tied a lantern to the end of it, you have a short bow across the opposite shoulder, a quiver of arrows secured to your thigh, an iron-clasped Book of Pestilent Proverbs suspended from a chain attached to your belt, and a sheathed dagger strapped to your left forearm. In addition to that you’re gripping an axe in your right hand and holding a map in front of the lantern light with your left. You’re carrying a normal weapon and 6 other Significant Items (the map doesn’t count), which doesn’t affect your ability to explore or fight because hey: adventurer.

 

Notes on weapons:

A “normal weapon” would be a d6-d8 melee weapon or a d6 ranged weapon. If you use a weapon that deals d4 or less damage you can carry 2 in place of a normal weapon. Each additional weapon carried on your person counts as a Significant Item, with two-handed and heavy weapons counting as 2.

 

For example:

 

Feargus the Fanged, assassin for hire (Specialist), carries out his contracts with two daggers sheathed in a small poison-filled bladder on his back. They count as his normal weapon, so he can carry 5 other Significant Items after equipping his Specialist’s Tools.

 

Magnus, Mouth of the Ever-Present (Cleric) carries a two-handed mace to enforce the will of his god. He doesn’t carry a normal weapon so the two-handed mace takes up both that slot and a Significant Item, after which he can carry 5 other Significant Items.

 

Elsbeth Copperbound (Fighter) prefers to use a long sword, but carries a heavy crossbow on her back to even out the odds from a distance. The sword is her normal weapon and doesn’t count as anything, but the heavy crossbow she carries on her back counts as 2 Significant Items so she can only carry 4 other Significant Items rather than 6.

 

– Your Strength/Dexterity modifier affects how many Significant Items you can carry. If they’re both positive/negative the highest/lowest applies, but if they’re different add them together and that is the number that applies.

 

For example:

 

Strength +2 and Dexterity +1 means you can carry 2 more Significant Items than normal.

Strength -2 and Dexterity -1 means you can carry 2 less Significant Items than normal.

Strength +2 and Dexterity -1 means you can carry 1 more Significant Item than normal.

 

– Wearing Chain or Plate armour decreases your Significant Items by 1 and 2 respectively unless you’re a Fighter.

 

– You can carry additional Significant Items on your person, but each one adds a -1 penalty to your physical rolls including Attack Bonus.

 

– In addition to Significant Items you can carry any number of Insignificant Items on your person as long as you can explain where it is. The location of these items is noted on your character sheet.

e.g. In a small leather satchel attached to the back of your belt you’re carrying a pipe and tobacco, 5 copper coins inscribed with your own face are in a pouch hanging from the hilt of your sword, 3 vials of spider venom are tied around your ankle with string, a bronze whistle hangs from a delicate chain around your neck, and a map said to lead to the underground chapel you were born in is tucked into a fold of fabric inside your left sleeve.

 

– The things you’re carrying on your person count as your first point of encumbrance if you’re carrying at least 3 Significant Items in addition to your weapon, which keeps you Unencumbered within LotFP rules. After that, you can start shoving things into your backpack.

 

 

We Should Get a Mule..

 

– Things carried in packs are considered dead weight. An average character can carry 4 different kinds of items in a pack before gaining a point of encumbrance. Insignificant Items don’t count.

 

– Your Strength/Constitution bonus affects how many different items you can carry before gaining a point of encumbrance. If they’re both positive/negative the highest/lowest applies, but if they’re different add them together and that is the number that applies (minimum 2 items per point of encumbrance).

 

– There will come a point where the Referee (I like to be called the Lamentation Princess) will rule that your set of items is taking up more than one slot. Heavy items always count as separate items.

e.g. The 3 flasks of lamp oil you were carrying up until you pulled them out of your pack and started throwing them counted as a single item, but the twin metallic meteorites you just stole from that cult count as an item each. After escaping, your coin pouch held 12sp and counted as a single item, but after selling the meteorites it holds 190sp and counts as 2 items.

 

– If it can’t realistically fit in your backpack, it’s not going in your backpack. Therefore ‘oversized’ items like 10′ poles are strapped to you and treated as Significant Items. This means that if you’re already carrying your limit of Significant Items, strapping a 10′ pole to yourself counts as 2 additional Significant Items (like a two-handed weapon) and incurs a -2 penalty to your physical rolls including Attack Bonus.

(This takes the place of the +1 encumbrance imposed by LotFP rules, which makes more sense to me. If I start carrying a 10′ pole I’m not going to say “Oh crap you guys wait up I don’t think I can walk so fast anymore”, I’m going to say “Oh crap having this pole tied to me is really awkward, I hope I don’t get attacked because wow, feeling clumsy.”)

 

– Finding something in your pack during combat takes d3+1 per encumbrance level rounds.

 

– Becoming Lightly/Heavily/Severely Encumbered incurs a cumulative -1 penalty to your physical rolls including Attack Bonus, in addition to movement penalties. If the encumbrance is due to wearing Chain or Plate armour Fighters ignore the roll penalty.

e.g. You decided you just HAD to pry that last golden lion from the alter, but after stuffing it into your backpack you’re carrying so many things that you’re Lightly Encumbered, and now scuttering sounds are rushing across the ceiling. Until you lose some items you’ll only be able to explore 90′ every 10 minutes, and you’ll be at -1 to hit if you have to fight. (Of course, you can dump your backpack before starting to fight, but heaven knows who might try to take it while your back is turned…)

 

SUMMARY:

  • Everyone can wear leather armour, carry a normal weapon, and carry 6 (modified by Strength/Dexterity bonus) Significant Items on their person for their first point of encumbrance. Tell me where they are.
  • Additional Significant Items carried on your person incur a -1 penalty to physical rolls.
  • Everyone can carry any number of Insignificant Items on their person. Tell me where they are.
  • Everyone can carry 4 (modified by Strength/Constitution bonus) different items as dead weight in a pack on their back before gaining another point of encumbrance.
  • Finding something in your pack during combat takes d3+1 per encumbrance level rounds.
  • Levels of encumbrance incur a cumulative -1 penalty to physical rolls in addition to movement penalties.
  • Chain and Plate armour decrease Significant Items by 1 and 2 respectively. Fighters ignore both this and encumbrance physical roll penalties caused by armour.

 

 

Bonus rule: Wardrobe Malfunction

 

Like Shields Shall Be Splintered! or Oh Crap, My Hat! but for everybody.

If you are hit in combat you can choose to sacrifice a Significant Item or other piece of equipment before damage is rolled.

If you can explain how the attack removed or destroyed that item instead of injuring you, it happened.

If your explanation is stupid or you take too long not only do you lose the item but you still get stabbed.

 


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Always Carry Protection


First of all, Gus L has mentioned getting rid of leather, chainmail, and plate in favour of Light, Medium, and Heavy armour over at Dungeon of Signs a few times now. Which happens to be one of the things I really liked in the one game of Gamma World I played. I’d much prefer players to make up exactly what they’re wearing and apply an appropriate armour class than say they’re wearing chainmail and leave it at that. It also links in well aesthetically with LotFP’s existing weapon list.

 

Speaking of, in general I’m pretty happy with the LotFP weapon list, being that it consists of a few specific weapons and then Minor Medium Large Great make up what it is it does this much damage okay. No fuss, no muss. But. I’d still kind of like for the choice about what your Medium weapon actually is to make a difference beyond flavouring, without turning the weapon list into a 10-page section.

 

So, the size categories stay, that’s your damage, but depending on what the weapon actually is you also get this..

 

Sword: If you haven’t been hit this round roll twice for damage, take the best.

 

Hammer: When you attack choose +1 vs. Medium or better, or a normal attack which

reduces Heavy AC by 1 but deals half damage.

 

Axe: Minimum half damage vs. Light or less.

 

Flail: +1 vs. Medium or better, ignores shields. Can choose to attack weapon, Strength check

to disarm on hit. On any miss roll under your AC or hit yourself.

 

The reasoning being that swords are versatile, hammers can punch through with spikes or crush joints to reduce mobility, axes are built for chopping right into things (my thumb can attest), and flails.. well flails is flails.

 

[Edit: these and the Notch rules have been updated in The House of Rules]

 

 

That’s Not A Knife..

 

I use group Initiative, but would also like characters who have an Initiative bonus to get some kind of benefit from that. So, different kinds of weapons have benefits in different situations.

At this point I’d like to mention that this and the weapon categories were inspired by a couple of things mentioned by Brendan Strejcek, now of Necropraxis. In fact the dagger part is stolen directly from him and Gus L.

  •  If you successfully hit someone with a dagger you can choose to grab hold and keep stabbing, automatically hitting Flesh in subsequent rounds every time you win a wrestling roll (contested d20 + AB and Strength modifier). Anyone wielding a Medium or larger weapon will need to kick you away before attacking with their weapon.
    (Daggers should be deadly and useful, if you manage to get in close to someone you can cut straight to the meat, bypassing Grit and damaging Flesh. Finesse isn’t worth a damn when someone has a knife to your belly)
  • While wielding a Medium or larger weapon you may make a contested Initiative roll to attack first when someone with a Minor weapon closes into melee range.
  • While wielding a weapon with reach you may make a contested Initiative roll to attack first when someone with a smaller weapon closes into melee range, and automatically attack first and cause double damage to anyone that actually charges you.

 

Another Notch on the Axehaft

 

I find it really boring for characters to be able to pick a weapon when they start out and then hold onto it forever unless they find something magic or wake up naked in a pit. I mean sure, it’s nice to have a weapon with history, but don’t you want that history to actually mean something? I also want some kind of indication that all this murdering necessitates equipment maintenance, but I don’t want that to be a gaping pain in the arse.

 

So, Notches.

 

Every time you roll a 1 or 2 to hit in combat your weapon takes a Notch, this doesn’t necessarily mean it was damaged just then, more a simple way of quantifying wear and tear.

 

Each weapon can take Notches equal to its damage die (so a dagger can take 4 Notches, a long sword can take 8, Lumpy Space Princess’s knifemace can take 10).

Once the weapon has 2 Notches, roll 2 of the weapon’s damage die after every attack, if the roll is equal to or less than the number of Notches, the weapon breaks. So you might embarrassingly break your axe with a wild swing against the wall, or you might snap your dagger off in the merchant priest’s chest.

If the weapon takes another Notch after it has reached its limit, it breaks.

 

Now, armour makes it harder to hurt your squishy parts, fair enough, but what about the armour? Every time an attack against you rolls 19 or 20 your armour is damaged, reducing your AC by 1.

 

The standard rate for repair is a tenth of the item’s full cost per Notch or AC point (so one Notch on a Medium sword costs 2 silver groats to repair, and it will set you back 100 silver groats to repair the point of damage that drugged-up Nun of the Lotus caused to your Heavy armour).

Prices are subject to review and gouging.

 

 

[Edit: Go read Brush of Fumbling’s excellent post that works weapon quality into Notches if you’re tired of brooms being as durable as battleaxes and all of your blacksmiths being the same guy with a different moustache. I’m using it effective right now.]

 

 

If You Liked It Then You Should Have Put a Pistol On It

 

When you have to walk around with everything strapped to your back, economy of utility can become pretty important, and getting hold of something that actually performs more than one function may just make you fall to your knees for a bit of an ugly joy cry. Credit for sparking this particular thought fire goes to Tom at Middenmurk.

Fuck your +1 sword, give me a shield with a lantern in it and big spikes sticking out of it.

 

Basically, coveted equipment doesn’t have to have some bullshit charm on it, it just needs to be uncommonly useful for the kind of foolish things you’ve chosen to run around doing.

 

I’d rather carry an iron cresset than a torch, it burns just as long, using pitch, rosin, or pine knots, and if someone jumps out of the dark I can beat them with it for d6 damage. As a bonus on 18-20 they also catch fire.

10′ poles are useful but DAMN are they unwieldy to just lug around. Why not carry a 10′ spear or polearm instead, with several interlocking foot long sections at the end that can be easily removed if damaged? Hell, while we’re at it let’s make the top section removable as well so that it can be used as a weapon in close-quarters. Like Tom said, “As is often the case with historical reality, similar business ends are applied to different lengths of wood for different purposes.”

Check Tom’s other article and follow the link to My Armory at the end for more examples. Sure, a lot of them are just things with pistols jammed onto them, but you get the point.

 

For seriously though, fuck your +1 sword.

 


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Full of Clerical Errors


Following on from the last post, here’s some actual Mystics.

 

Devotee of the Corpulent One

 

They Worship What Now?

More a projection of collective behaviour and desire than a real deity, the Corpulent One manifests as an enormous bloated humanoid being that sprouts arms and various other body parts almost at random from its pustulent body.

Devotees worship him in excess of all things, food, liquor, narcotics, lust.

 

Facts and Foibles

  • Devotees do not have a measure of Faith, but must be in a constant state of intoxication or excess to perform rituals. While in this state they are at -2 for all physical rolls, and unless you’re terrible at life should be role-played like the messy hedonists they are.
  • Devotees often make use of glass cups to help maintain a constant state of inebriation. A liquid narcotic is poured into the cup and heated, which the Devotee then suctions to their back for absorption through the skin. This or something like it is what passes for a Holy Symbol among Devotees.
  • If they are sober but wish to cast a ritual the Devotee must make a Test of Faith roll, or may gain d4 temporary Faith points by performing an act of excess like necking a full bottle of moonshine or devouring an entire roasted boar leg.
  • On a 20 on Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me the Devotee loses their mind and transforms into a manifestation of the Corpulent One with a healthy appetite. HD equal to the Devotee’s level, 1 +1 per HD attacks with multiple arms and mouths, 20% chance per round of vomiting in a 10′ spray, save vs. Poison or trip balls. Everyone is on the menu.

Rituals

Delirium Tremens

Mystic Level 1

Duration: Instantaneous

Casting Time: 1 round

Range: Touch

 

The Devotee drains themselves of all intoxicants and narcotic effects, becoming utterly sober, and transfers it to a single target.

The target must save vs. Poison with a penalty equal to caster level or shiver and shake and sweat and retch and shit themselves to death under the full weight of a Devotee’s worship of excess.

If they save they’ll still be cripplingly intoxicated for the next 3d8 hours.

 

 

Endless Feast

Mystic Level 1 (replaces Turn Undead)

Duration: It ain’t over ’til it’s over.

Casting Time: 2 rounds

Range: 60′

 

A feast forms out of the surrounding area; trees bend and break themselves into a table, fully-laden platters form from dust and refuse and vapour swirls out of the air and settles as wine into goblets.

1d6 + caster level beings within view who aren’t Devotees of the Corpulent One must save vs. Magic at -2 or begin to partake in the feast. Other Mystics can save as normal and people of the Devotee’s choosing can save at +2. Creatures who are above human-like desires are unaffected.

While the feast continues anyone that comes within 10′ must save to avoid joining. Anyone trying to drag someone away from the feast will find that they’re grafted to the seat.

A further save can be made every day to try to leave the feast, but the amount of food and wine consumed each day decreases Constitution, Dexterity, and Strength by 1 (if they don’t have ability scores, just figure out which one of those things they’d have the most of and set an appropriate number). Once any score reaches zero the Corpulent One manifests at the table and consumes them, laughing hysterically and gulping from a great goblet of wine.

Seeing this causes anyone still partaking in the feast to save at a further -1 from then on.

Casting Endless Feast immediately sobers the Devotee.

 

 

 

Malpractice
1d20
1The flesh within the wound begins to consume itself, releasing an intense smell of rot amidst a cacophony of sucking noises and causing damage equal to the healing ritual used.
2The wound is healed but for the next d6 hours the target is on a rollercoaster of uppers and downers, every time they try to do anything more difficult than walking there is a 50% chance of a new narcotic effect kicking in, preventing them from completing the action.
3Boils and blisters that smell like a hangover bubble up around the wound, the target is at -2 to physical rolls for the next d4 days. These hp cannot be healed until the blisters are gone.
4The wound heals, but little foetus arms grow out of it overnight.
5Fat begins to flow out of the wound like a split liposuction bag, strange rodents appear out of nowhere to drink the fat until it dries up in d8 turns. These hp cannot be healed until it dries up.
6The wound is healed but short tendrils of flesh grow from the area. Unless they are smeared with something they can consume at least once a day they will digest the flesh around them and plant the seeds for more tendrils.
7The wound smells irresistible and the Devotee takes a d2 bite out of it.
8The wound is healed but the target now suffers a loss of self control, needing to save vs. Poison to resist any intoxicants in their vicinity.
9Pound of Flesh. The Devotee tears a chunk of flesh from their own body and grafts it into the target, healing the wound but taking equal damage.
10The wound is healed but does not completely close, luminescent blue mushrooms with shimmering green gills grow from the wound, they are highly hallucinogenic when consumed but deal 1hp of damage with a 10% chance of addiction/growing from the eater's own body.
They fruit once a week and turn to black sludge after 2 days.
11No hp are restored, pink blisters swell around the Devotee's throat and burst, sending them on an acid trip for the next d6 turns.
12The wound is healed, but the target's body swells and bloats, reducing Dexterity by 2 until they lose the weight.
13No hp are restored, and the intoxicating smell seeping from the wound requires everyone, including the target, to save vs. Poison to stop themselves tearing at the target's flesh for consumption.
14Chittering teeth emerge amidst the torn flesh and snap shut into a grotesque mouth where the wound used to be. The target must feed it every day or lose 1hp as the flesh around it decays.
15No hp are restored and the target's blood flows out of their wounds, eventually turning into a clear alcohol before it stops draining out. The target is somehow able to live, but their Intelligence is reduced by 2, the Devotee would like very much to drink from them, and their blood is now flammable.
16No hp are restored, effect as Delirium Tremens but with a bonus instead of penalty equal to caster level.
17No hp are restored, thick round bulbs of flesh sprout all over the Devotee and burst in a yellow cloud like sporing mushrooms. Everyone within 30' must save vs. Poison or collapse in a comatose drug nightmare for the next d6 turns. The Devotee is not allowed a save.
18The wound is healed but the area around it soon begins to turn green, weeping foul-smelling fluids and becoming almost gelatinous. The target must save vs. Poison every day to prevent the condition progressing and taking over more of their body, taking a penalty to physical rolls for every stage it advances. To completely recover, the target must make 3 saves in a row, if they fail a save it regresses to its initial condition, and if they fail 3 times in a row their body collapses in a seething pile of bubbling green filth.
Any healing from a Devotee of the Corpulent One during this time will actually progress the condition.
19No hp are restored, the Devotee's belly splits open and spills their intestines onto the floor, causing damage equal to the healing ritual used. If they survive, their innards grow back and they regain the hp lost.
20The wound is healed, but the next time they sleep the target must save vs. Poison or erupt in a manifestation of the Corpulent One, tearing and digesting their own flesh until there is nothing left but a pungent stain. The rest of the party will definitely hear this.

 

Read the rest…


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I’ve Gotta Have Faith


Okay so Clerics. First of all, I’m going to call them Mystics (or Cabalists, The Possess’d, Prophets, Seers, Emissaries, or Daemonseed depending on who you talk to). It’s never really made sense to me how holy missionary warrior priests end up robbing tombs with a bunch of misfits, but Mystics, spreading the word/infection of their strange god as they travel and getting some sweet loot while doing it, that makes sense.

 

Now, while I hold with the LotFP notion that there are no real gods and for the most part the deluded Mystics themselves are the ones with the power, let’s ignore that for now. Mystics are meant to draw their power from a god, some higher being, something that allows them to perform what might as well be miracles. However, mechanically they don’t work any differently to Magic-Users, their faith doesn’t come into things other than as flavouring. They have a set number of spells that they can cast per day and after that they dust off their hands and say “Welp, that’s that, I won’t bother god again until tomorrow.”

That’s some bullshit.

 

In my setting Mystics do not have a set spell limit, they have an ongoing Faith tally which measures both the strength of their belief and their perceived divine favour, and casting a Mystic spell uses Faith points equal to its level.

Mystics gain Faith by witnessing what they would interpret as divine intervention or proof of their god, or by actively achieving things in their name. When they slaughter the priest of a rival cult, when they convert a crowd of listeners, when they call out to their god and their fortunes change, when they eat a hallucinogenic mushroom and their god copulates with them while proclaiming their destiny, the Mystic gains d4 Faith. Your Referee will tell you when you’ve gained Faith, don’t be asking for it.

When the Mystic does something their god would not approve of or witnesses something which would shake their belief; a commune of the converted found diseased deformed and starved, a call for help which goes unanswered, a nocturnal visit by a creeping hulking thing which whispers terrible secrets of the endless sky into the Mystic’s ear heedless to the invocation of their god, they lose 2d4 Faith.

 

Yes that’s right, playing your Cleric like an actual Cleric will allow them to do more Cleric things, I know, it’s genius.

 

One of my favourite little bits in Vornheim is a random encounter table entry with a Cleric of Vorn kneeling in the snow crying out “Why? Why has thou forsaken me?????”, and it excites me that that is something which could happen naturally during a game simply because of the way a Mystic’s Faith works.

 

Mystics don’t prepare spells in advance, they may call upon any power they know, but it takes a round longer than normal Cleric spells as it’s more of a rite or ritual than a release of stored power. In fact let’s just call them rituals instead of spells.

After they have reached their Faith limit, the Mystic may attempt further pleas to their god with a 3d6 Test of Faith roll, with a penalty applied for every point needed after the first. If they suffer a Crisis of Faith or worse, they suffer a 2d4 penalty to Faith in addition to any other effects. My example Mystics also have personalised Malpractice tables for Crisis of Faith or Inverse Effect results while trying to heal someone.

 

3d6Test of Faith
14-18Success
11-13Success/Crisis of Faith
8-10Crisis of Faith
5-7Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me
1-4Inverse Effect/Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me

Mystics can also attempt to amplify their rituals with a Hand of God roll. Bonuses can be applied by sacrificing additional Faith before rolling. The player announces what they want to happen, and the Referee applies penalties accordingly. An effect without penalties would be something like double duration/benefit.

Attempting to perform the same ritual more than once in a day also requires a Hand of God roll, gods get bored easily. Bonuses can be applied by sacrificing additional Faith before rolling.

 

3d6Hand of God
14-18Success
10-13Success/Crisis of Faith
8-10Inverse Effect
5-7Inverse Effect/Crisis of Faith
1-4Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me

It’s fun to keep in mind that there is no god and this is all in the Mystic’s head, anything physical manifested by their delusion.

 

Crisis of Faith
1d20
1Visions of floating in the infinite while your god slowly consumes your mind and flesh fill your senses. For d2 turns collapse in terror/ecstasy depending on your god.
2Yellow blisters swell all over your body, within days you can see small creatures gestating within.
3You find yourself in a dark, dust-strewn burgundy room. There are no windows, no doors, a lamp burns atop a broken chest in the centre of the room. A misshapen creature who was once a man drags itself from a darkened corner. It offers you one wish, whatever you desire will be yours. If you refuse you find yourself back where you began, if you make a request take the place of the misshapen fool in the burgundy room.
4Thunder roars like a mountain falling into the sea and blasphemous creatures rain down. They hop and crawl and angry blue welts raise where they drag their tongues across your flesh. In d4 days more pull themselves out of the welts without breaking the surface of your skin.
5You find a wicker effigy in the corner of the room, behind a tree, beneath a stone, it was there all along. You have no choice but to set it alight. The embers cool and the ash falls away from an unharmed young child, surely sent by your god. When no one is watching they eat crawling vermin and wicker grows from behind their ears.
6You and those within 60' who don't save vs. Magic experience the agonising birth of your god for the next 2d6 rounds. They just want you to know how much they went through for you, and you've let them down.
7The floor splits and steam the colour of orange rot billows out like a mushroom cloud. Darkness rolls within its mass and everyone but the caster must save vs. Poison. Those who fail lapse into seizures and speak in tongues for the next turn. Days afterward they'll notice the swollen lump at the base of their skull.
8Insect legs bristle out of your skin like hair, when you break them they leak the blood of infants died in the womb. It smells like limbo.
9Eyes open across your chest, filled with pinpricked wells of tar. Looking at a random companion, you now realise that they hope to murder your god, how did you not see it before?
10Stigmata. Pain racks your body as if splintering wooden spikes were being pushed into your flesh, wounds stretch open and blood seeps out around the edge. The blood is dark and viscous and reeks of age. Lose d4hp.
11Locusts the colour of bronze infested with corrosion pull themselves from the pores of your skin and swarm around you. Stumble around in a cloud of wings and mandibles for 2d4 rounds until they burrow back into your flesh.
12You begin to weep tears of blood and mucus, before they hit the ground they curl upwards and float into the sky.
13The integrity of the Mystic's flesh becomes dubious, they feel numb and lesions break out across their skin. For the next d6 days they take double damage. Every time they curse their god there is a 10% chance of the condition lasting a further d6 days.
14You draw a dagger and slash across your stomach, you tear your intestines out of the way and take hold of the clay urn within, you smash it on the floor and seize the preserved bladder from amongst the broken clay and dried flowers, you tear at it with your teeth until it opens and stare into the face of your mother, you drive your thumbs into her eyes until they burst and release a lilac vapour into the air amidst her screaming, your god laughs and you awake in a cold sweat.
15Your tongue burns with an intense heat, you open your mouth and spit something to the floor, you smell your roasted flesh, your saliva still pops and sizzles. The orange hunk of metal on the ground cools into an image of a plump locust, lying on its back displaying bloated clusters of eggs coating its abdomen like a lobster.
Whether you keep the idol or not you dream of the Locust Queen for the next month, of her desire for her children to blanket the land, of your special role in all this.
16Your eyes burn from your head as if something has drooled acid into them. You find you can sense people's intentions, but can no longer get around without being led.
17The next time you sleep you dream of a figure hooded in blue velvet, their mere presence makes your skin crawl and you feel as if you're going to be sick. In a voice like discarded cicada shells being crushed together they ask if you desire to be shown the truth. If you accept they will show you the truth behind your power, make a Test of Faith roll. For anything but absolute success, your mind refuses to understand the revelation, roll on the relevant table. If you succeed, you no longer require Faith to perform rituals, but are now free of any kind of religious direction..
18You vomit hundreds of gold coins which immediately melt into the floor. For the next d4 days every time you try to cast a spell you vomit melting coins instead, losing 2d4 Faith.
19The area within 60' becomes the absolute absence of light for the next 2d6 hours. There are things moving within.
20A bloated foot-long maggot with a hundred black eyes pushes its way out of your throat. Fingers like anemone fronds bristle at the ends of the stubby round legs near its head. It rolls onto its back and its belly splits open in a clean line down the middle, coiled intestines and organs unimagined bulge out of the wound, it smells like fresh fruit in a rose garden.
Eat from its belly and age 2d10 years and gain a level.

 

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