Friday, September 18, 2015

Worms of Errand

The need is there, but without context. The errand remains, but in a void of nuance, without understanding. Some almost forgotten impetus moves this remnant of a person, like a dark planet that cannot remember the gravitational forces which sent it hurtling through space. It only knows it now must move in this direction. Sometimes there is a sparking memory of the sun that birthed it and cast it away, but mostly it moves in muddled confusion in the only direction it can.

But this is not about that sad planet, this is about the worms and their errand.

"When a person dies with great suddenness in an area heavy with thaumaturgical potential, it is not uncommon for his or her body and being to rise up (or some parts thereof). Many of these wretched pseudoliving beings are well known and well documented. (See the thoroughly mediocre works of Maypole for several examples of this.)
"Still though, Worms of Errand are exceedingly rare. Like all Near-risen, a sudden death near to a thinning or tear in Reality's Veil is required. However the specific alchemy of the Worms of Errand require two unusual components:
  1. The victim must be engaged in an incomplete and thoroughly mundane task at the time of death.
  1. The victim's remains must be undisturbed until completely rife with worms.
"After the worms and their waste become the majority of the mass, the resultant creature will rise up in great confusion. It will eventually attempt to complete it's errand: deliver its letter, speak to the landlord about a creaking board, offer the widow condolences and a pie..."
- Bartholomew Harrold 

Disparate bits of human memories, especially of the victim's final memories, flit haphazardly through the alien distribution of its new being. After a few days (1d6), the final errand coalesces into an overwhelming drive for the Worms. Bits and pieces of the victim's strongest personality traits and memories will also occasionally be expressed.

Looks? Well it looks like you'd probably expect it to: a writhing mass of necrophagic worms and rotting flesh pulled together into a vaguely human shape, sometimes still partially clothed. It smells like old meat. It sounds slick and slithery and wet, like many, many bodies covered in viscous effluvium squirming past one another. Eventually, Worms of Errand, learn to "speak" with these sounds. I don't think you want to touch or taste it.

If helped to complete its task, the Worms will dissipate into a pile of what it's composed of... If destroyed, unless great care is taken to stomp out like 75% of the worms, it will form anew (in 1d20 minutes). Each time the trauma of its destruction becomes more likely to imprint on the new form, making it more and more dangerous. 

Most eventually become the monsters folk presume them to be...

Game stuff:

1 HD. 1 attack by weapon, usually 1d4 improvised club, though early incarnations are very unlikely to attack. Movement, Human Speed. Can only be totally destroyed by carefully killing almost all the worms.


So I've added a tip jar to the blog, in the form a Patreon Campaign.

If you've gotten any worth out of these monsters, wizards, and classes and stuff, please consider donating. Any amount would be greatly appreciated and help to ensure I am able to keep doing this.



Saturday, September 12, 2015

so this one time I sort of won this thing...

A while back I wrote this little one page "adventure" about a glowing ball of accidental sadness, a big fucking frog, some unhappy villagers, suicide, and an indestructible tentacle monster. I included some Algernon Charles Swinburne poetry in it and everything.

So I was kind of surprised when I tied for first in the 1 page dungeon contest.

Click the Picture to Enlarge it.
I hadn't posted it yet because, well, it seemed redundant. It's on the 1pdc page, available in a cool compendium you can (should) buy, and probably other places at this point.


So I may or may not delete the above paragraph because it's beside the point, unuseful, and/or just me grousing. Either way, these two sentences stay in.

On to the fucking point, I'm posting this now because I made a thing I think will make this easier to run. It's a drop chart to determine which tentacle is hit and where it was hit. Fighting the Thing of Ten Tentacles will by nature be a bit complex. Hopefully this can alleviate a bit of that.

Just make all damage rolls against the Thing of Ten Tentacles on the chart.

You cut along the dashed lines, fold on the dotted ones, and tape it together to make a little box. That should prevent the dice from tumbling out unless the player just fucking slings that shit.

Click to Embiggen

You can also print out an extra copy to cut up as counters to deal with all the independently fighting/flopping tentacle pieces.

Finally, a little advice...

Assuming old school D&D type game stuff:

  1. The frog is mostly just there as a signifier that shit's distorted. It's depressed and slowly starving. All other animal life (except the adventurers probably) are smart enough to stay away from the orb now. Like bugs and fish WILL NOT cross that threshold.
  2. The Thing has 10 attacks per round, 1d6 damage from bludgeoning and/or constricting.
  3. Any roll of less than 3 damage against the tentacles themselves is inconsequential. 
  4. Any roll above 3 damage severs the tentacle at the outside of whatever quarter it landed on.
  5. Each severed 1/4 tentacle has 6 HP. 1d2 damage from flop-slam attacks.
  6. Each severed tentacle that is more than 1/4 tentacle breaks into other pieces on 3+ damage rolls. Does 1d4 damage.
  7. This is still pretty complicated. 
  8. The half-orb-like body of the Thing has 30 HP. Destroying it "blinds" the Thing.
  9. The conduit has 30 HP on each level and can only be destroyed by kinetic damage. Energy attacks phase right through it. Any attack of less than 5 damage is inconsequential. 
  10. 1d6 seconds after breaking through the conduit, it explodes for 1d30 damage filling whichever level was burst.
  11. I imagine the conduit looks like a warp-core filled with angry green-blue lightning.
Anyway enjoy this "adventure" "weird-sadness-location". Should you actually run it, I'd love to hear how it went.