Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I am a barbarian at the gate



One of my players really really really wants mermaids in our game once we resume in the fall. My first reaction was that mermaids are perhaps a bit precious, but on the other hand, who am I to say no?

In any case, I don't think my players are really liking my pet setting, so I think I might go for something a little bit more classic DnD. 

Locations


New Thalassa
The Coral-Spired City and the undine’s capital. It straddles the shore, with its greater area deep underwater. Land-dwellers who wish to do business with the Undine may converse with them in the Dry Quarter or on palace-barges off the coast.

Old Thalassa
The Obsidian City, built ages ago with long-lost volcanic magic. It has been claimed by the Never-been, malign deep-sea beings that also captured the undines’ goddess. It was abandoned nearly overnight by its inhabitants, so its wealth still remain, beneath crushing pressure and total darkness.

Cathedral of Catastrophe
Church of the undines’ (relatively) new patron deity, Rasp, the stone-headed god of calamity. Travelers willing to perform a service for the Disastrous Bishops can secure safe passage over sea, protected from both storms and the grasp of the Never-beens.

Enemies of the Undine

The Deep Sisters
Sea-witches skittering across the abyssal plain astride their spider crabs, bringing false life to whale falls and snatching the souls of drowned sailors. Include The Bathyal Ladies, Mother Midnight, Agony Aunt, the Hagfish Medusa, and the Angler Queen


Bathyal Lady
HD: 6
AC: 16
Attack: 1d8 (claws) or 1d6 (bite)
Movement: 120’ feet in water, 10’ on land
Bathyal Ladies are warped cousins of the undine, with the lower bodies and jutting jaws of a viperfish. They are photophagic, able to snuff all light sources within 100 feet, gaining 1d8 HP per source in the process. This can raise their HP above its normal maximum value. 

The Never-beens
Hadopelagic un-gods that ooze out of cracks in causality at the bottom of the world. They captured the Glass City of Old Thalassa centuries ago, and the goddess of the undine with it. Their influence makes all but the most cautious sea travel impossible. Include The Sans Seraph, Terror Doll, The Rickets Merchant, The Murder Swan, The Wicked Unravellers


Wicked Unraveller
HD: 4
AC: 14
Attack: d4 (touch)
Movement: 60’
Wicked Unravellers are human-shaped holes in reality, appearing as dark silhouettes swathed in unravelling rags. On a successful attack, they destroy a single piece of mundane equipment. If the victim has none left, the Unraveller un-happens something else, like the victim’s name, memories, senses of taste, or color. Wicked Unravellers move in water as easily as land.

Undine NPCs


The Blue Queen
Ancient undine and last surviving priestess of their nearly forgotten goddess. She is a mostly benevolent tyrant, but has no tolerance for anyone that risks breaching the security of her city. She has many agents across the continent, all of whom are eager to put ambitious adventurers to good use. Her plans to reconquer Old Thalassa do not necessarily square with the interests of land dwellers.

Wages-of-sin
Priest of Rasp with an apocalyptic bent. Lives in a human village, trying to root out a diabolist that has been sickening livestock and ruining crops. He will reward anyone willing to help, but he is very tight-lipped about his past in New Thalassa.

I think that maybe this is edging into the special snowflake specialization that LotFP seems to opposed to, but I don't know that I care. My friend wants to play a mermaid, and so a mermaid she will have. In any case, this could easily be changed to make a somewhat non-shitty bard, which is a sequence of words I thought I would never say.

Undine, a class for LotFP

HP and Saves as Cleric, XP as Magic-User

Undine have the upper body of a human and the lower body of a fish. Because their tail is powerful and nearly serpentine, they can move normal speed on land and in water. They can breathe both air and water, as well.

An undine can sing to put enemies to sleep. An undine’s song can affect anything that hears it.

When a target hears an undine’s song, they must make a Save vs Paralysis with a penalty equal to half the undine’s level. If they fail, they fall motionless until roused or they succeed another Save vs Paralysis, which they can make every round.

An undine can affect a number of HD of enemies equal to their level with a single song. Singing requires complete concentration; an undine cannot move or make any other action on the turn they sing.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Complete Arcane is completely terrible

It’s interesting fitting homebrew into LotFP’s paradigm. Its classes are very spare—the four main classes each have this one Thing That They Do, and they get better at it every level, but they can’t do much else. So making a class that fits into LotFP means you have to boil a class down to a single mechanic. I don’t know if I will be including any of this in my current game, but I want to get it on paper so I can stop thinking about it.

Okay, so first thing is two things.
  1. Warlocks from 3.5 are not very good.
  2. This short is charming:
It also demonstrates nearly everything a warlock is trying to be, minus the diabolism. The witches are blasty-shooty magic-users that have a wide array of tricks they can use as much as they want.

Witch, a class for LotFP

From Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together
 HP as Magic-User, Experience as Specialist, Saves as Cleric

All witches have a wand. They require it to cast spells. They can cast as spells as often as they wish. A spell can affect anything within 100 feet of the caster. A spell can do the following:
  • Replicate the effect of any simple weapon, tool, or mechanical object, such as a torch, grappling hook, bow and arrow, or ladder.
  • Manipulate an object. The witch uses Charisma in place of Strength and Dexterity.
A Witch can cast simultaneously a number of spells equal to 1 + half level. The maximum number of spells they can have active at one time is also 1 + half level. Otherwise, spells last until dismissed. 



I like shapeshifting characters in theory, but in practice, it seems to require a lot of paperwork. I think LotFP's one-class-gets-one-ability structure works well in this case.
 
Beast Child, a class for LotFP

HP, Experience, and Saves as Fighter

Beast Children can turn into creatures. In order to be able to turn into a creature, a Beast Child must
  • Have a level greater than or equal to the creature's HD.
  • Possess some part of the creature, such as a tooth, scale, or bone.
A Beast Child can have a number of forms equal to 1 + half level. If they exceed this limit, they must choose which forms to keep and which to discard. They can regain lost forms by reacquiring the corresponding creature part.They can transform as much as they like. It takes a full turn to turn into a creature. When in the form of a creature, Beast Children:
  • Keep their max and current HP, saving throws and attack bonus.
  • Gain the Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, of the creature
  • Gain any special abilities the creature possesses.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Pernicious Shortcut


Agrace, The Not-World, God’s Garden, the Vestibulum, The Third Kingdom

The shortest route between any two points is through Agrace. Some say it was once the Garden of Eden, abandoned by God since the Fall. Some say it is the Raven King’s third domain (after England and Faerie), leased from Lucifer until the Apocalypse.  Still others think it is simply a cosmic midden, where the refuse of Creation molders once it has served its purpose. Regardless, it is a perfectly interstitial space; it shares topologies with all worlds. All nations share a border with it; all rivers eventually drain into its ocean; all roads lead to its causeways. Enterprising magicians have found a way to use this to their advantage.

There are no teleportation spells in Pernicious Albion. Instead, magicians in a hurry must pry open a door into Agrace. This, naturally is extremely dangerous.

Agrace is silent and almost completely empty; its plains are a dark red, its seas a bitter green; its forests twisted and tired and grey. The sky in Agrace is always a pale gold.  There are neither rain nor clouds in The Third Kingdom.

Weirding Gate

Magic-User 3
Duration: 5 minutes, or until dismissed by the caster.

Creates a doorway between Albion and Agrace. Anything can pass through the gate as long as it fits, and remains in Agrace until it can find an exit. Distance works differently in The Third Kingdom, and so every mile travelled in Agrace translates to two miles travelled in Albion. 

By Zazisław Beksińki; a gnostic titan


 Denizens of Agrace are as dangerous as they are uncommon. There is a 1 in 10 chance of having an encounter per day. I will stat these up over the next few days.
  1. Corpus Inverter
  2. Debased Sorcerer
  3. Gnostic Titan
  4. Microcosmic Sun
  5. Travelling Fairy Lord-roll 1d4 (1-Duke of Sighs; 2-Bone Knight; 3-The Lady Electric; 4-The Lazarus King)
  6. Chaos of ravens
  7. Eternal haruspex
  8. Infernal dignitary-roll 1d4 (1—Alrinach, Whose Domain is Shipwrecks; 2—Agares; 3—Adramelech, the Hypocrite; 4—Ahriman)
  9. Heavenly ambassador-roll 1d4(1--Zephekiel, who rules Mercy; 2--Jophiel, guarding a tree; 3--Remiel, searching for a relic; 3--an angry cherub; 4--one angel and one demon, fighting)
  10. One of the winds-roll 1d4 (1—Boreas the North Wind, 2—Notus the South Wind, 3—Eurus the East Wind, 4—Zephyrus the West Wind
  11. Travelling Vampire Lord
  12. The Wild Hunt
  13. Bewitched Knight
  14. Splinter of Imperium
  15. The Green Knight
  16. Displaced djinn
  17. Servant of Steel
  18. Diminished god
  19. Dragon
  20. Death  
As a note, this is entirely based off of a footnote in Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell