Thursday, March 29, 2018

Malfunctioning Machine



From another time, perhaps another world, you were made. You know this, but you do not, cannot remember.

You have no nerves, simply sensors. Damage is noted, not felt. You rust, or rather, tarnish. White dust sifts like snow from joints long unused to movement.

This would be fine sans self-awareness.

Even then it might be okay... without the tantalizing memory of fulfillment dancing electric across microcircuits.

From danger, or any intense and immediate need, comes the closest pass to electric sensation.

Entropy is winning as always.

You are strong but deteriorating. You are a static value slowly failing. You will cease to function.

No one can repair you. The circuits will break, you hope. If only the gears and pistons fail, this chassis shall be your prison.

Game Stuff:

Ennui Robot, a class for like LotFP and OSR-etc.

Each EnnuiBot is a unique configuration, though all will have 2 recognizable arms and at 2 recognizable legs. They weigh between 400-600 lbs. and stand between 4-7 ft. tall. Beyond that, go fucking nuts.

The mysteries of EnnuiBot power-supplies require at least 4 hours of nonfunctional downtime. This can be overridden by the unit. However the next night-cycle will require 8 hours, and will automatically engage.

Robots don’t need air, food, or water, and are immune to sleep spells and biological toxins. They take 2x damage from electrical attacks.

Ennui Robots are considered to be 5HD creatures whenever that would matter. However, they begin play with 80 hitpoints (CON Mod still applies but only at level 1).

They do not heal. They cannot gain more HP. Mend does not help them. No one can fix them.

EnnuiBots will, of course, lose HP in the usual fashions.

Beyond that, all saves are 16 and drop by 1 every even level. +1 BAB. +2 STR or STR Mod is 1 higher than indicated. AC as Leather, unless otherwise indicated. Advance as Dwarf.

At character creation, players may choose to forgo 10 hp, and in exchange roll on the special Robot Biz chart. No more than 30 HP can be expended thusly.

1d10 Robot Biz
  1. Ray Gun - 1d10 ray gun, +1 to hit due to integrated targeting systems. 10 minute recharge between shots. Player decides where weapon is mounted.
  2. Tripod Leg Arrangement - Gyroscopically controlled balance, plus 3 legs, plus excessive weight make these units very difficult to knock over. +5 to any saves to prevent slipping, tripping, etc. Unit only needs 2 legs to function; however, save bonus is reduced to +2.
  3. Tool Arm - 1 robo-hand is replaced by a tool. Roll d4.
    1. Industrial Drill, 6 inches. 1d4+1 damage. Can Drill through, for example, ferrous alloys and soft stones.
    2. Titanium-alloy Pick-axe. 1d8 damage. Capable of tunneling through stone.
    3. Interchanging mini-tool set. Imagine a retro-future Dremel tool. This is that. (d3+1 if the player insists on punching with it. On an attack roll of 1, the hand is ruined.)
    4. Hypersonic Pest Repulsion Device. Uses soundwaves outside human hearing to repel pests in a 30’ radius. Insect setting repels insects and most arachnids. Small pests keeps snakes, rats, and the like at bay. Large pests keeps most Hare to Nutria sized animals away. Using a higher setting does 1 point of damage per minute to smaller animals. The large pest setting, with a successful melee attack, can cause a man sized creature extreme intestinal distress. (Save or be stunned for 1d4 rnds.) Use beyond 10 minutes in a day, adds 1 hour to the EnnuiBot’s for each 10 min. increment.
  4. Electro-Parasitic Symbiotes -  Glowing, semicorporeal lines twist into something resembling a leech built out of electricity. Not original to the unit, these creatures sustain themselves from an EnnuiBot’s power-supply. In exchange the E-PSs actively try to protect their unit. The Symbiotes interpose themselves between their unit and incoming threats. Not quite here, not quite somewhere else, the E-SPs cannot be harmed, but act as sort of a kinetic dampener. This improves the units’ AC by 3, but the unit’s night-cycle requirements are increased by 2 hours.
  5. Extra arm - Simple, an extra arm to hold a shield or a wriggling captured goblin or what-have-you.
  6. Approved for Heavy Construction Assistance - Additional +2 to STR or STR mod is 1 higher. 3/6 Architecture skill (or system equiv.).
  7. Deep Wilderness Assistance ROM and Hardware - 3/6 Survival (or system equiv.). EM Shielded Internal Compass and highly accurate Pedometer yield 5/6 Navigation (or system equiv.).
  8. First Contact Protocol Subsystems with Adjustable Data Set -  6/6 Language (or system equiv.). However, when any new intelligent species are encountered, the unit is compelled to initiate communication. Once marked as HOSTILE, the unit may respond as appropriate.
  9. Odd Antenna - Made from rock crystal, narwal ivory, twisted willow roots, or other similarly NOT robot type materials, and carved with intertwining sigils. Detects unshielded Magic within a 20 ft. radius.  These are EXTREMELY valuable to wizardly types.
  10. Holographic Display Projector - Unit can project an image of any roughly man-sized or smaller object, creature, etc. it has witnessed. With a successful INT check, it can project a ‘believable’ chimera made up of 2-3 distinct objects/creatures.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

DIY30 #5 this one is running outta control

5. What sort of abilities would a Bug Knight class give to a character?





“The sun under cosmic impetus rolls in orbit around the great protrusion of the world. So too does a ball of dung circle an ant hill, beneath the impetus of the lowly scarab. Cosmic secrets repeat across nature. Echoing spirals and circular orbits reiterate the grand works of existence.
“In the ignoble beetle is contained all of existence. Study. Understand. Watch. Listen. Comprehend.
“Allow the cosmos into you. The beetle becomes one with your flesh. So does the sun. So too does the impetus of all things.”
            - Excerpt from a Heathen Grimoire
“As the holy war against the dry kingdoms was waged, praise God-most-Censorious, an order of fighting friars became entranced with the heretics’ natural philosophy.
“They took the crawling beetle as their symbol. With it, Delanore did fall.
“But so too did the Friars of Coleoptera… heathens now, one and all. Forsworn are they against God. Show these sorcerous filth no mercy.
“This is the duty of all God’s children.”
            - From Bishop Tomlin’s “Prescriptive Histories” 

Since an inquisitor first scrawled the word “Heathen” in scarlet across a Coleopteric tome, “Heathen” has been writ on the title pages of the Friars. Whether personal or secretly printed upon the Western shore, all texts describing Coleopteric meditations share a single name.
(Occasionally, Heathen will be in an acrostic title, but this is rare.)

First Lesson:
Scarab
“The moon is the sun, the sun is a ball of dung, a ball of dung is the grass. Your corpse will become soil. Soil becomes the grass. You have always been the sun, the moon, the thorn and fruit.”
This is always the first lesson, the necessary lesson. Separation is a lie. (So too then is logic, but that lie is quite useful to the seeming world we see.)
The Scarab Tome requires 60 minus INT hours of intense study to Understand.
As well as 48 minus WIS hours of Watching Scarab Beetles in the wild to Comprehend.
Once one has Comprehended, an Aspirant need only let the Beetle within them.
A female Scarab soon to lay her eggs must be found and coaxed into your palm. Look at Her. Know Her; know Yourself. Submit to Her “Your” right to live. (1% chance the Aspirant irrevocably dies. Few know this.) If she accepts you, she will extend her ovipositor.
Open then your skin for her. She will lay her egg.
Then you will Comprehend, actively.
1d6 Active Comprehensions

One – With intense non-concentration, very literal outward dissolvent meditation really, the aspirant can ignore solid barriers. Requires 1d6 minutes of focus and a successful WIS check to begin. And another WIS check for each additional foot beyond the first. Failure at that point is death. Cosmically irrevocable and all that.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

DIY30 #3 New ways to hurt you

3. How can a monster harm a character in a new and unusual way?

The villagers will kill you. The pawns and catspaws of Chaos won’t need to.

You might even come back to the monsters… ostracized, starving, and beaten desperate. (Should you survive the goodly alewives and shire reeves and gong farmers, of course.)

Chaos begets abandonment and acceleration of change, surging glorious impermanence.

(Think of it as a Supraphysical energy transmitting impossibilities, enforcing extraordinary novelty.)

The monster need only make you a monster too.

For instance, agents of chaos can force a save vs. mutation (magic probably). Powerful beings at will. Minor beings daily.

Maybe use these charts along with 2 differently colored d6s:



The terms in italics at the end of each entry tell you how to deal with somebody rolling the same mutation more than once.



#diy30

Saturday, September 2, 2017

DIY30 #2 - Dream Campaign


2. What’s a campaign you would love to play in, but nobody is running it?

This probably doesn’t warrant a blog post, but…


Anyway, OK. I am fairly certain no one is running this, nor will anyone ever do so...


If you image search "suspicious Elizabethan" this shows up first.



Elizabethan England, all characters are actors and/or playwrights, also everybody is a spy.

So deep, deep espionage.

No one can be trusted. Complicated webs of conspiracy woven ‘round fellow thespians, disaffected nobility, and even the Queen herself.

Networks of informants. Gunpowder. Treason. Plots.

Like, I used to think I wanted to run this… but no. It’s something I want to experience.

Also, I am like virtually sure that I never will.


\_(^~*)_/

Rules... Probably something light. Into the Odd could be reworked for it.

Stats: "Stage Presence", "Situational Awareness", "Rough & Tumble" ... maybe. 

So there, I started the work for you. 

Somebody make and run this, please. 
I will write sonnets and doublecross everyone. Much fun!!

#diy30


Friday, September 1, 2017

DIY30 #1 - TROLLS

  1. What is a heretofore unknown secret of Troll ecology?



“The things, alone in this mind you, in all of nature itself! mind you…
“…Trolls are symbiotic collectives: an unnatural community of fungi, alga, and animal systems. (I qualify the animal with system, seeing as beyond their nervous systems, there is nothing animal about a troll’s actual physiology.) The shape is animal, more or less human, really, however…”
- Naturalist Keeylen Wright

“Wright’s findings (when found within his cemetery of words) indicate an unnatural origin. How odd then, that the habits of trolls align with the current aims of druids. That is right!
“Though, I hear your loud doubt. Why else then will a troll eat Nothing but manflesh?? Why the trolls in the zoo of Sky Lawn Township demonstrate this on a daily basis…”
- Wayne Filinoster, noted Provocateur

Trolls don’t need to eat you, but they will try. The vast sum of their energy comes directly from the sun. Their flaking, barkish skin is imbued with microscopic photosynthetic cyanobacteria. Their body is stiff springing, wood-like, and fungal. A troll can sit, rooting its limbs into damp soil, soaking in sunlight and nutrients. Energy the creatures somehow store.

(Energy somehow used again, powering its impossible regeneration.)

I mean it’s preposterous. It’s probably magical. It is beyond your humble narrator, at the very least.

This also explains the odd legend of trolls turning to stone in sunlight. That rumor has killed so many fool hardy exploitative explorers and would be heroes.

But it is a bit true.

In direct sunlight, any troll that has been active for more than a day must Save vs. Magic or remain stock-still until darkness descends. Bacterial imperatives override ancillary insticts.

Overall, trolls are producers and little affect the ecosystems in which they reside. They don’t need to eat you to live, but they will, eat you if they can.
Their terrible strength can tear off a warrior’s arm. Their splintery teeth will pulp the meat and crack small bones. Then the whole awful mess just sits in in the back of their throat, rotting. This is the impetus which causes a troll to fungal bloom and release its spores. If any of the immobile, unthinking offspring reach adequate size, a new troll will be born.

†(base 50% chance, modified by how much foot traffic the area endures)

#diy30


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Big Basic Weird Fairytale Equipment d100 Table



Characters start out with: a burlap sack, a few crusts of bread, clothes, and roll 1d100 on the fucking chart 3 times.
(Also I think with random equipment, we should probably roll stats, then equipment, then pick a class.)






.
1.      Knife with Whaletooth Handle
2.      Brass Shears
3.      Bear Skin
4.      Rapier with Clamshell-guard
5.      Big Rattan Shield
6.      Small Hunk of Fools Gold
7.      Wineskin, half-full
8.      Clay Pipe, Just a little Opium
9.      Bundle of String
10.  1 Silk Stocking
11.  Small Sack of Lead Shot
12.  Halfpike
13.  Cheap Tin Scissors
14.  Block & Tackle with 24’ Rope
15.  Hand Drill
16.  Powder Horn, Full
17.  Deer Hide
18.  Silver Lance (Medical)
19.  Crowbar
20.  5’ of Chain with a Horseshoe Welded on the End
21.  Pair of Dueling Pistols, 4 Balls, & 4 Vials of Powder in a Nice Box
22.  Clay Jug, ¼ full of Moonshine
23.  3 Threadbare Socks
24.  Heavy Fabric Sheet
25.  Pink Phrygian Cap
26.  Iron Tipped Spade
27.  3 Flasks of Oil
28.  Broadaxe
29.  Broken Manacles
30.  Dented Trumpet
31.  6 Wires of Various Lengths
32.  Heavy Belt with a Pointy Buckle
33.  Crock of Lard
34.  Plain Wooden Stein
35.  2 Bars of Strong Lye Soap
36.  Buckskin Jacket
37.  Oiled Iron Breadbasket
38.  Stubborn Donkey
39.  Straight Razor & Strop
40.  Heavy Chisel
41.  2 Dozen Caltrops
42.  Long Rivercane Switch
43.  50’ Rope
44.  Tin Whistle
45.  Lock & Key
46.  Prosthetic Leg
47.  Rusty Old Musket, Nonfunctional
48.  Nice Tricorn Hat
49.  Fine Brass Bonesaw
50.  Blankets
51.  Lantern, Flask of Oil, Flint
52.  Pan Flute
53.  Clay Pot of Clove Scented Pomade
54.  Whetstone
55.  2 Iron Pots with Lids
56.  Throwing Axe
57.  Flint, Steel, & Tinder
58.  30’ Sturdy Rope
59.  4 Small Bronze Bells
60.  Floppy Yellow Hat
61.  Monkey’s Fist Knot, tied around a Rock, 3’ Tail
62.  Small Willow Bow & 6 Arrows
63.  4 Torches, Flint, & Steel
64.  Canvas Tent
65.  Fancy Riding Crop
66.  Decorative Brass Nail
67.  Wooden Cup, Carved with the Symbol of God-most-Censorious
68.  6 Bone Needles
69.  Wheelbarrow
70.  Miner’s Pick
71.  3 Darts & a Dartboard
72.  Heavy Felling Axe
73.  Several Foolscaps of Fine Paper
74.  Water Skin
75.  Steel Bear Trap
76.  Mallet & 12 Wooden Stakes
77.  Small Cask of Rum
78.  Fishing Gear
79.  Lead Effigy of ISoG
80.  Flint & Steel
81.  6 Crude Knives
82.  Large Bottle of Laudanum
83.  Rusty Iron Cutlass
84.  Small Knife
85.  Sturdy Digging Stick, Orange Bodark
86.  Canvas Rucksack
87.  Grimoire: Summon & Bind a Tooth Collector
88.  Three Thick Beeswax Candles
89.  Iron Fireplace Poker
90.  5 Empty Vials
91.  2 Torches, Flint, & Steel
92.  Crude Bone Mattock
93.  Smooth River Stone
94.  Crampons
95.  Huge Grain Flail studded with Scrap Iron
96.  Small Sword
97.  Mallet & 6 Iron Spikes
98.  Awkward Crossbow, 4 Bolts
99.  Dental Pliers
100.    Goat Leather Sling & 3 Iron Bullets


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Murder Xmas in July

So late last year, Chris asked me to write an adventure about evil Santa Claus. I hesitated.

I don’t like Christmas, at all.

David Lewis Johnson


(Being an atheist, queer, transwoman without family ties would be enough. However, I’ve worked in retail for the majority of my life so I extra super fucking hate xmas.)

Then I was just like, fuck it. I wanna do this, but make it fucking terrifying. Like why would you want a campy, softcore xmas adventure? I dunno, I guess folks do. But I sure as shit didn’t want to write that.

Shortly thereafer, I got flooded with inspirational/aspirational artwork, and the goddamned thing bled out of me in a single arterial spurt.


Thomas Novosel
C├ędric Plante


Then everyone else involved helped me make it so, so much better. (Especially you Liz!)

Now, “Santa is Dead” has been nominated for a fucking Ennie, in the Free Product Category. Which is a little crazy. It’s a seasonal product from a first time publisher… like this situation is surprising.

Until you look at the team Chris assembled.


And, if you have a few bucks to spare, the money “Santa is Dead” earns goes to a great cause.







*****

What's an Ennie? It's basically like the Gen Con award. One of the bigger awards, I think, in the industry. It is somehow vaguely associated with that ENworld website. I am still not sure what ENworld is. 
So yeah, it's the Gen Con award, and is based on fan voting. So if you are a fan, please vote.