Monday, April 29, 2013

Treasure

I like magic items that go away when used. It makes them more valuable and interesting to the players, and I don’t have to worry too much about accidently turning the party into a bunch of superheroes.
  
FOUR THINGS YOU MIGHT FIND IN A DRUID’S LAIR

Wrathful Countenance
A lacquered wooden mask bearing an expression of ineffable rage. Whoever wears it grows to a prodigious size and gains:
  • 1d10 temporary hitpoints. These are tracked separately than normal HP, and damage depletes them first.
  • +2 to attack rolls
  • A strength score of 18
  • A Charisma score of 3
The mask cannot be removed until all of the temporary HP are depleted, at which point all other bonuses and penalties vanish and the mask cracks in two, falling to the ground.

Gurning Poppet
A small straw doll with a terrible grin stitched into its face. If a body part of an intended victim—a hank of hair, a nail clipping, a drop of blood— is pressed into the doll, and the doll is set alight, the victim will burst into flames and takes 3d6 damage.

Flower Slave
An large and delicate blue blossom with petals folded into the shape of a face. Once crushed, it releases a fragile but swift warrior, which will obey whoever destroyed the flower. It has the following statistics:
Armor Class: 18
HD: 1 (1 HP)
Move: 120’
Alignment: Chaotic
Saves: 13 in each
Weapon: Deals d4 damage. Roll 1d4 for details: (1-rose whip, entangles on hit; 2-venom spear, target must make Poison Save or take -2 to hit for a turn; 3-willow switch, enrages enemies with low intelligence; 4-filigreed bow, range as longbow

Somnolent Bell
When struck, this glass bell produces a stultifying tone, forcing all who can hear it, including the user, to Save vs Paralyze or fall asleep for d10 minutes. This shatters the bell.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Druids

I never liked druids because they always seemed like medieval ecologists. This is silly because I am pretty sure that if I lived in medieval Europe I would think more about nature red in tooth and claw than nature as a place where you have talking animals and babbling brooks and wind in the trees. If I were a medieval peasant and I heard an animal talk to me I would get an exorcist.

I want a druid more in line with the creepy ones Julius Caesar talks about, what with the blood and guts and weird rites in the wilderness. Burning wicker men in the dark.


Druids are not magical hippies. They do not care about nature. They do not like animals. Druids do not study in wizard school. They do not meditate in temples. They do not memorize spells or petition deities for miracles. Druids track down the numinous and kick the shit out of it until it does what they want.
From Etrian Odyssey

HP as Fighter, Saves and XP progression as Cleric  

Druids summon and bind spirits. Doing so requires sacrifice—they must wound themselves for d4 damage to call forth a spirit with 1 HP, +0 Attack Bonus (AB), 12 AC, and 14 in all saves. Calling up a spirit takes a full round. A spirit under a Druid’s control will obey all of their verbal instructions to the letter.

Greater wounds attract and snare more powerful spirits—for every additional d4 HP the Druid sacrifices during the summoning, they can do one of the following:
·         increase the spirit’s HP by d6
·         increase the spirit’s AB by 1
·         increase the spirit’s AC by 1
·         reduce the spirit’s saves by 1
Druids can summon as many spirits as they like, and spirits last until dismissed or destroyed, but Druids cannot recover any sacrificed HP if they have any spirits under their control.

At level 1, Druids can pick one of the following:
Flame Spirit: you know the Old Word for fire, and can entrap spirits of heat and flame. Spirits you summon shed light like a torch, and can ignite flammable objects at will.

Grave Spirit: you have a talent for snatching souls from the afterlife. Spirits you summon can reanimate bodies and skeletons, giving them +1 HP for every HD the creature had in life.

Sight Spirit: you can see through the eyes of spirits you summon at will

Friday, April 19, 2013

A setting

I bought Carcosa a while back. There was a lot I liked about it, but a lot that was either too tedious or too icky for me to put into my game directly. So I started sticking in Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Like, rituals are more "convince this deranged fairy to help you instead of turning you into an antimacassar" rather than "throw an orphanage into a volcano and summon yet another scabrous mass of tentacles."

So.

PERNICIOUS ALBION = CARCOSA + JANE AUSTEN + ENGLISH FAIRY TALES

Pernicious Albion is England where the pagans never died out, the Romans never left, and the aristocracy keeps their sterling silver sacrificial knives in the cupboard next to the fine china. 

The capital city is New Londinium, a city of black stone and alien geometries. It is filled with opera houses, opium dens, and shrines to the Outer Gods. Its ruler was once called Queen Victoria, but now she is the Midnight Mother, and worshiped as a goddess of forbidden knowledge and bodily transformations—the factors that led her to gruesome apotheosis. 

New Londinium's power is unchallenged, but the many mouths of the Queen often whisper contradictory instructions into the ears of her courtiers, and so the wilds are as lawless as they are radioactive. There are four fairy-warlock warlords marauding through the wastelands of Carcosa, each powerful, each unstable, and each hating the other three with psychotic passion. They are The Regent of Midnight and Noon, who directs his clockwork horde from his clocktower at the End of the World; Pretty Tyrant, a deposed goblin prince with a taste for human flesh and an army at his back; Gogma, the last and most splendid of the Sea Giants; and the Red King of Roses, who lives in the carved shell of a gargantuan crab.

Classes:

Fighters are like this

Magic-users be like this.
Clerics are like this.

Specialist!

Druid
There are also Knights, which are reskinned dwarves, Paladins, which are reskinned elves with Cleric spells, and Rangers, which are reskinned halflings without the weapon restrictions. 

Inspiration: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Pride and Prejudice, Comentarii de Bello Gallico, "The Call of Cthulhu", Skyrim: Dragonborn