Saturday, March 29, 2014

Rumors of Booze Giants

  1. They are foul and sweaty, like troll farts. (True)
  2. They use small hollowed-out mountains as brewery vats [ +Joachim Heise ] . (True-ish. The brutes periodically flood certain caverns with wort. The flora of the caves give their brews unique properties.) 
  3. A Giant's belch is like the roar of a lion. (True)
  4. The drunker the Giant becomes the bigger they get. It's said that if a Booze Giant were to ever sober up, they would be the size of a halfling. [ +Delos Adamski ] (Unknown. No one has ever seen a Booze Giant even approach sobriety.)
  5. They tend to alternate between extreme violence and loud, incoherent melancholy. (True.)
  6. Booze Giant shamans are master brewers, each one specializing in a different alcoholic intoxicant. [ +Michael Fuller ] (False. Despite many legends to the contrary, the potency and flavor of their brews are accident of cavern flora and stolen grains.)
  7. They bully smaller creatures into stealing rye from human fields so that they may brew their strange intoxicants. (True. However, they're willing to use any grains or fruits to cop a buzz.)
  8. Individually, Booze Giants are not terrible opponents in battle. They pack one hell of a wallop, but are slow and clumsy. (True. Though, they are absolute hell on fortified positions.) [ +J B Bell ]
  9. Booze Giants rarely parley and never barter. (False. If they are sad and find a sympathetic ear, they're far too willing to talk. Fun fact, they're close talkers. [ +Aaron Carlson ] Booze Giants are willing to trade away almost anything for stout Dwarven spirits.]
  10. Their eyes are rheumy and unfocused. (True. Not only are they naturally myopic, they're constantly cross-eyed drunk.)

Booze Giant Quick Stats
Size - 12' - 16' tall.
Hit Dice - 1d4+3 . 
THAC0 - 19. [Strikes as a Creature of 2 HD] 
AC - 7 [12]. 
# Attacks - 1 or 2 (Club or Fist/Fist or Fist/Stomp)
Range - Melee or 30-60-90 yards for club (see below).
Damage - 1d10+3 - Big-ass Club (always a wild swing or angry hurl). 
             or 1d6+3 - Fists (only throw haymakers).
             or 2d10 - Stomp (only prone/supine opponents, +2 to hit). 
             Successful Melee attacks knock Normal size opponents down on 1in6, Small on 2in6. 
Typically encountered in packs of 3d4. 

When encountering Booze Giants roll 1d6 : 
1-2 → Sad. 
3-4 → Sleeping. 
5-6 → Angry. 

My thanks to everyone who contributed, I've attempted to place your names close by your contributions.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Creepy Spell

Rough draft of a Wizard spell from an adventure I'm writing.

Bone Reaping
Level: 1
Type of Magic : Fleshcrafting, Necromancy, Alteration
Duration: Permanent.
Saving Throw: Negates.
Reversible: (Bone Sowing? Too much sex-pun.) Not Reversible.
Required Components : Moral Ambiguity, a Strong Stomach, and a Ritually Prepared Bone; See Below.

By means of weird and frightening magics, this spell removes all the calcified minerals from a single bone within a living creature's body. These minerals are summoned into a porous ball of bone-salts, appearing in the caster's left hand.

The creature takes minor damage (1d2 to 1d4), and he/she/it will be stunned for 3d6-HD rounds. The remaining gelatinous bone is unsuited for supporting any amount of weight. The process is extremely painful and may result in a permanent lack of mobility for the victim (if, for instance, a leg bone was reaped). The calcified minerals are summoned into a single porous ball of bone-salts, appearing in the caster's left hand.

To cast this spell, the wizard speaks the proper phrases while a ritually prepared bone of the same type* is held in the his/her right hand. (*Trying to harvest a human's finger bone? You'll need the same finger bone from another human, ritually prepared of course. Trying to harvest the anklebone of a booze-giant? You'll need an ankle bone from a booze-giant. )

The Ritual Preparation: A still living victim is secured to a meticulously cleaned stone altar. The desired bone is then slowly and carefully removed from the victim's flesh with a silver scalpel. All the while, the wizard chants certain mnemonic phrases, keeping in mind the proper arcane formulae. This takes approximately 1 hour for smaller bones (phalanx, carpus, etc.) and 4+ hours for large bones (tibia, femur, etc.).

An equal amount of time is then spent blackening and drying the bone over a brazier of low-burning flames. Into this brazier should be cast two patinaed copper coins while speaking Death's name.

All throughout the extraction and drying process, the victim must be kept alive. The victim may or may not be sedated depending on the sadistic bent of the wizard.

Finally, the blackened bone should be polished to darkly gleaming.

Notes about Adjudicating the Results: Simply imagine what would happen if the bone in question were suddenly made of jam. That happens: falling down, lots of screaming, dropping weapons, etc.
What about skulls? Skulls are actually multiple bones fused together, but... if the players can figure out how to remove a skull while keeping the victim alive, they totally deserve that win. (Also, they scary.)


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Cronnon's Senate of Guilds

These are the Guilds that rule the city-state of Cronnon:

The Bound Brotherhood of Blacksmiths (a.k.a. Soot-eaters) - The Brotherhood lead a voting block of metalworking tradesmen (Redsmiths and Goldsmiths). Their higher officers receive more training in political chicanery than smithying; it's quipped, "Most soot-eaters are better hands with a gavel than a hammer."

Cronnon Company of the Red Metals - This is an association of redsmiths (workers of copper, brass, and bronze). Some few of the Company are skilled in the art of clockwork and capable of producing unusual mechanical devices.

The Good Guild of Goldsmiths (a.k.a. Misers) - The Guild, a desperate alliance of gem-cutters, jewelers, coin-minters, and goldsmiths, was formed just after the Downfall. In this era without luxury, they know that their most valuable asset is a vote on the Senate floor. In fact, the Misers are in secret talks with the Association and Free Fellowship to wrest power from the Brotherhood.

The Modest College of Tinkers - (Whats a Tinker? It's an itinerant tinsmith.) This loose collection of independent wanderers are represented by whomever happens to be in town and also willing to stomach the Senate's blatherings. Traditionally the Tinkers are opposed to whatever schemes the Soot-eaters are trying to pull.

Free Fellowship of Handicraftsmen (a.k.a. Mud-weavers) - The Fellowship is an odd assortment of weavers, seamstresses, chandlers, potters, and other skilled laborers unrepresented by the rest of the Senate. The Mud-weavers are the most internally divided of the guilds. There a so many factions working at cross-purposes within the organization, few outsiders stand a chance knowing how the Fellowship's vote will be cast.

The Undivided Society of Stonemasons (a.k.a. Block-Os) - Being the only folks capable of making lasting repairs to Cronnon's crumbling infrastructure has given the Block-Os undue political capital. They are not above leveraging their skills in obvious or even public acts of extortion.

Sturdy Lodge of Woodwrights- The Lodge is a friendly order of carpenters, loggers, wainwrights, and wood carvers. Most in the lodge display a genuine sense of fraternity for their fellows, in sharp contrast to the other Senate guilds. As fellow travelers in the wild, there are often strong connections between the Lodge's loggers and the Tinkers.

Association of Brewers, Cooks, and Bakers (a.k.a. Cookies) - Though both teamsters and farmers are officially unrepresented in the Senate, these folks have a staunch ally in the Association. In fact, there is some talk of the Association using their strong ties with the teamsters as leverage against the other guilds.

Fraternal Order of Barber-Surgeons and Apothecaries - The Order dedicates itself to guarding the secrets of the healing craft. Most of the Order are aloof, arrogant, and though necessary are not well-liked. Rumors have it that the Order has a great deal of knowledge in the ways of poisons as well.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Tale of Two [Random Results]

What's that Transportation Animal? ← Click to Find Out!
What's the Bard Singing? ← Click to Find Out!

Made Possible By...

Note that you can close the dialogue box and click again for a new result. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

GM's Day... Gifts?

If you're like me, you see this avalanche of awesome RPG shit every day in your blog feeds, on the googles plus, and/or reddit. Creative stuff that folks like +Dyson Logos (1) or +James Young (2) or +Aaron Carlson (3) pump out all the time (and for free to boot). Also, if you've got a few bucks, the good gamers/publishers ( +Venger Satanis for instance) over at Drivethru RPG have a wealth of sweet action for you. If, like me, you also have little to no free time, you get this weird urge to create a setting that holds all of this. All of It! (And isn't Rifts...) That way you can just have one game with all-the-things, and gonzo will reign supreme.

I've started to make this uber-setting a couple of times, but I always get carried away with one theme or another and all-the-things suddenly don't fit. Then I start thinking, do I really want all-the-things in one world?...

Then it hit me like a ton of very obvious bricks, that setting already exists (and its fantastic [and I've played/ran the hell out of it). Planescape. How could I forget Planescape? All-the-things are within walking distance of my favorite FRPG city, Sigil. Go. Go walk the Planes, berk. All the strangest things are there already. Just waiting for ya ta tumble to 'em. (Who wouldn't want to drink with demons and talk like a Victorian pickpocket?)

Oh, the other "gift", my little RPG product, "The Wretched Grasp", is currently on sale. So if that $.50 price point was too high, you can snag for $.35 through the 15th.

Anyway, happy GM's Day, nerds.