Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Realm of Alfgrim

Alfgrim is the home of my knight, Sir Maledoric Goreson, eighth-ælfen Cleric of Nebrovolent and apostate preacher travelling to Normandie for the Jousting Tournament run by +Mike Davison

It's great fun to think of places spawned by these FLAILSNAILS-y things, although my stance on the play style has been sort of... Filled with animosity. I know, I know. Let this be proof that hearts may change.

Gloomy and dew-clouded Alfgrim sits on a mystical border between Elfland, Narnia, Ravenloft, and Averoigne.  It's a pocket dimension that was fairly simple some decades ago; a few monochrome castles, a couple of dragons, a wicked sorcerer and an Enchanted Chalice was all that distinguished it. Since the Chalice was recovered and brought to the Yellow Castle by Sir Carredot, the place has bloomed and blossomed and become as wormy as an untended rose-bush.

Weeds and briars now grow wild over the once well-tended paths and gardens. The Black Castle fell into disrepair and is plagued by Kleptobats and Goblins (the Kaotic kind like in Disney's Cinderella, not the little green men kind). The various other great Castles have turned inward and become corrupt. The Dukes and Barons of Alfgrim owe their obeisance to the Master of the Enchanted Chalice. Some say he is a spiteful and gloomy avatar of the King of Elfland, but his Yellow Robes and jealous possession of the Chalice suggest he may have been the King of the Yellow Castle long ago. He may have once been a Nyarlathotep worshipper but he is rarely seen these years since he travels back and forth to other realms with some frequency.

A picture here of the Yellow Castle

Yorghl, Grundhl, and Rhindl have retired to deep caverns and spawned a multitude of other smaller and distinctive drakes that give sport to the plethora of minor knights that roam the demesne. Every gong-farmer, low courtesan and boot-black may become a knight by fulfilling a mysterious and inscrutable mission of the Yellow King. His agents come in the deep of night bearing a parchment scroll upon which is described some (perhaps trivial) task, the completion of which garners the man or woman a horse, lance, sword, and shield. Why the ruler would want a super-abundance of knights is unclear, but the nobility is prone to casual internecine warfare for unclear reasons and the ranks need be filled. The knights are broken down into a myriad of orders, and only a scant half dozen orders follow traditional notions of chivalry and then only loosely. For every 10,000 knights one might be a Paladin but several hundred are Blackguards, Anti-Paladins and Scoundrels. The rest are mere fighting men with tawdry banners.

The women at court all admire and copy elvish fashion and it is considered a great accomplishment to poison a rival and seduce his elvish mistress. The men are great fops and prone to change at the literal blowing of the wind. Powdered wigs are the norm as is ghastly makeup.

The stoutest children are delivered to the elves for whipping and scullery duty to put them in their place. They may return humbled, but they might also be changelings or 500 years older when their apprenticeships in the workshops of the elves are complete. They may come back the same day fully grown and half maddened.

There are no normal Dwarfs in Alfgrim but Duergar  and Redcaps abound in the woods and hills. Goblins and Hobs war with the elves on the borders of the elf lands and the occasional non-corrupt wandering preacher spreads the word of the Crucified Immortal Savior that was worshipped before Averoigne was clipped from the Aereth of long-ago. A million tiny saints have cropped up since then, and the worship of the gods of the Romani and Griega abounds beneath the surface and is accepted. The Master of the Chalice accepts dignitaries from the Bishop of Averoigne and sends couriers to and fro - they deal in finding heretics on the lam. These heretics are known to spread false doctrines of the nature of the demiurges that (if spread unchecked) could threaten the basis of the Averoignal Church

I envision some kind of Darklands/CAS/Mythos/Albrecht Durer/Pre-Raphaelite mockery of Chaucer and the Grail Legend

New Spells

  1. Thornbloom
  2. Prayer of St. Roch
  3. Flyblown
  4. Summon Dryad

New Monsters

  1. Lapines - Rabbit Hobbits
  2. Cruhound - the furious spirit of a faithful dog killed in anger by its master
  3. Pilgrim Ghuls - flagellant penant-cannibals who wander in packs trying hard and generally failing to delay the onset of their ghoul sickness. They serve St. Wendy Go
  4. Confessor Engines - great hulking suits of armor driven by the priests of the Crucified Immortal to find and destroy wayward heretics. They have a very narrow understanding of doctrine and do their best to flay and cremate armchair philosophers and theologians they come across after a brief debate
  5. Worm Surgeons - they offer bleeding, tending of wounds, barbering, and the innoculation of Grinthworms to remove physical disfigurements. Usually unpleasantly symetrical and totally within the Uncanny Valley of physical perfection 

Random Encounters by Hex Type (more to come, here):
  1. Road
  2. Castle/Keep
  3. City/Village/Town
  4. Swamp/Riverside/Lakeshore
  5. Hills
  6. Fields
  7. Forests
Even law abiding citizens ought not to be trusted in travelling the realm.  On a 1d4 roll of 1-3, the encounter will be dangerous and evil, and on a 4 the Reaction Roll will be adjusted to that of the lowest party member's - not the ostensible leader's.  Everyone is distrustful on the roads in Alfgrim.

Exports: silver, wheat, oak, pine, herbs, cinnabar, venoms, toxins, dragonscale and dragon flesh (not bones!), rubies, mushrooms, zombies and skeletal-automata, vivimantic chimerae

Imports: beef, chicken, corpses, lead, iron, exotic animals and monsters, spirits (alchemical), spirits (metaphysical)

Governmental structure: a loose aristocracy; the Master of the Enchanted Chalice is a despot but his concerns do not intersect with the day-to-day affairs of Alfgrim except in the matter of executions

Necromancy and Vivimancy are cottage industries and the Alfgrimners do hot trade with Y'lorgne and ship Chimerical monstrosities throughout the multiverse (mainly within the domains Alfgrim touches directly). Their arts of surgery and chirugery (and the subset skills of psychick chirugery) are well-advanced. The people have a very lawful streak, but almost all are pragmatist and sensible except in the matter of fashion and the most recent elfin fads and literature. They are by and large fairly dull and un-creative and easily ruled, doing their utmost to stay within the confines of the law and still make a profit and do the other party harm. Internecine strife is common and within the bounds of the law these feuds are perfectly legal.

Languages: the people of Alfgrim benefit from a steady diet of the pesc d'babel and use it in a number of condiments. Aminos from the fish provide the people of Alfgrim with a strange polyglottism and they all know a variety of modern and ancient languages. Low Gloranthan and Latinate Gothic are not susceptible to the amino frequencies of the fish and the first is used as the ritual language of the Worshipers of the Romani gods and the second as the language of the Church of of the Crucified Immortal
Stick that in your ear, monsieur
Population: as of QR 1871, Alfgrim's total population was about 428,000, mostly spread throughout several large cities and numerous villages. Isolated farm-steaders are often eaten by Hobs so the people of Alfgrim group in defensible walled settlements. Of these, perhaps 13000 are Duergar tradesmen, 7000 are elf and half-elfen aristocrats at court, and about 3000 others of various mixed local and inter-planar races. Of this small contingent, most are Saurioids (Sleestaks and Serpent-Men) and Crafted-persons (Golems of various types)

Main cities/villages

  1. Külm (the ostensible capital and seat of the Yellow Castle and its court)
  2. Theiönne
  3. Meitz
  4. Kurtesse
  5. Arinz
  6. Muteinne

Notable NPCs:

  1. The Yellow King, Master of the Enchanted Chalice, Commander of the Army of Squamous Flame, Opener of the Gates of the Kingdom
  2. Aric D'Anseln, High Lieutenant of the Order of the Chalice, Head Inquisitor
  3. Veruc, Hobgoblin Archmagos
  4. Aegelberth - Wandering Minstrel, key to the Narnian Gate (on the lam)
  5. Roberiel - Master of Rats and Minister of Hameline
  6. Byrine Gorgestes - Guardian of the Black Tower
  7. Jehann Dehurke - epileptic messiah and Key to the Averoignal Gate
  8. Laboragh Cortosk - Alchemist-Assassin and Head-Demon Worshipper of Vaubrac
  9. Lafcadio Hanzo - Ninja/Cobbler, Pilgrim from the Ketsu Empire

Notable Unique Monsters

  1. Yorghl and Grindhl the Dragons are long-dead but Rhindl bears their spawn at the bottom of the Gevaudrun Caverns. From there, monthly, a new dragon-spawn issues forth to wrack the lands. They still serve the Master of The Enchanted Chalice and it is unclear why he permits them to ravage the land. To kill dragons without a permit is High Treason.
  2. Baroness Trustoupe - Doppelgänger Matriarch of Elteste. It is natural and common for doppelgangers to enter into service of thieves guilds and the Baroness is rumoured to be everywhere
  3. Quentin Parago - Lapine Knight-Errant
  4. Hamaradd - Owlbear Genius
  5. Chuparant - Vampire, Current Key to the Ravenloft Gate (missing; presumed dormant - the Ravenloft Gate is open and unclosable)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hearken Back to Adventure

Player 1, I watched Adventuretime with my kid today and there's a scene in which Finn the Human is carried through the air by a pack of Prankster Balloons that owe him a Blood Oath. Fulfilling their Oath, the mighty warrior allows then to fly free and finally die.

So then I was thinking about days of yore when adventures prompted this kind of thinking in me, and I came up with Atari Adventure, which predates even my exposure to Moldvay Dungeons and Dragons, I'm fairly certain.

A biggish dot. That's your class and race.

Your Quest?  Recover the Enchanted Chalice, taken and hidden by some evil sorcerer.  You start outside the Yellow Castle; it's never explicitly stated but the Yellow King is your Patron and he has charged you with bringing back what was stolen.

The sorcerer retired from this story - perhaps some necromancy went afoul and did him in. His three Dragons lurk the hedge mazes and catacombs of this mostly-empty land.  Yorghl, a Choppingdrake, fears the power of the Yellow King invested in his castle's Yellow Mithrael Key.  The Green Venturevore Grundle is madly jealous of the treasures placed in his care and pursues thieves to the ends of the realm, roaring mightily.  And lastly Rhindle the Red Flamiger is fast and treacherous and guards the entryway to the abandoned Red Castle in the far Southeastern Wastes.

Flitting above it all the Kleptobat Knubbherub occasionally and perversely screeches down to visit ruin upon unsuspecting questers by taking gold and artefacts at his whim. Some say that locking him away in the White Castle will ease his ceaseless flying. He flits about looking for a thing that most creatures cannot see.  A totem to enter into some secret dimension where a message may be read by only the most wise and patient.  The Bat may be the incarnated God of Thieves or perhaps an avatar of Kaos itself.

An elegant Yellow Mithrael sword that is nearly omnipotent - but The Bat is immune.  This legendary blade was salvaged from the Collosal Caves that the most hoary and sagacious remember only dimly.  It is as deadly when set down as it is when wielded by a master.

Keys to the various totemic castles that dot the Land. Yellow, White, Black.  These are made of strange alien metal and have additional properties that can only be unlocked by gifted questers.

The Magnet. Made of inert Black Oridium, the magnet has no effect upon standard ferrous metals but it attracts the Ancient Keys from a distance.  It can even pull the Enchanted Chalice through solid walls, and deflect the Bracket Bridge's path momentarily.  The Sword hurtles through the air when brought within a certain distance of this mysterious horseshoe - perhaps they are attuned, somehow.

The Bracket Bridge - Precursor technology allows the Questor's passage through solid walls and thorny hedges without slowing.  The device is rather cumbersome.

The Enchanted Chalice glows with a reaffirming light, and Dragons are naturally attracted to this glow and the constant beautiful hum the orichalcum inside it resonates with.  What will happen when the Chalice is brought back to the Yellow Castle (1d20)?

1.  The Castle will dis-enchant and the magics inside will be invested into the Questor, who gains 1000 XP per difficulty level
2.  The Bat is revealed to be an avatar of Nyarlathotep - somewhere he is startled and drops the Brown Book of Wor
3.  The Great Old One Robinette will come again to deliver his Æostre Message.
4.  The Reality Switches click clack smoothly to the right - all Dragons gain +3 to their attacks this Quest
5.  Level Select!  All the items in the Land are taken up by the Great Processor and moved to another random location.
6.  Previously unknown Castles arise, and the landscape shifts to allow passage to these hitherto hidden demesnes
7.  the Bat becomes a terrible Black Dragon that can swallow Players and Questors on his own
8.  Flylike robot beings from beyond the sky swoop down to nibble on the walls of all Castles, occasionally firing gouts of devastating magic.  It's rumored they destroyed the Magician, somehow
9.  A hulking Gorilla is set loose upon the lands and its mazes.  He throws barrels and steals the daughters of royalty away. He hates plumbers.
10.  The great adventurer Harry runs by, always heading to the right.  Is it eastward?  Eventually he clambers down into the gloomy depths of the Æreth to rescue his cat.
11. Glowing Yellow dots appear throughout the land, and adventurers are set upon by colorful ghosts, released periodically from dungeons beneath the Gray Castle from whence none may enter and that none living hath glimpsed
12.  The Mithrael Sword vanishes! It is replaced by a spinning knife disc, or else a maul that inflicts an improved die of damage upon fire creatures
13.  Local gravity near the edges of pits is greatly increased; these effects are more pronounced upon Lawful alien beings
14.  You may now find a Whip, A Map, A Parachute, and a Pistol. The Pistol has no ammunition.
15.  A fiendish mad bomber appears at the top of all Castles, hurling explosive bombes down at all that approach
16.  A rabid female Kangaroo appears, who punches all Monkeys, Gorillas, and Dragons until an adventurer aids her or is directly responsible for bringing her Joey safely to her. The Monkey King loudly objects
17.  The King's Chef is set upon by animated Pickles, Eggs, and other terrible Hamburger Toppings. He uses Essential Saltes and gravity to quell these  possessed foodstuffs
18.  Missiles stream from the sky, come to destroy the pitiful rulers of the land and their colorful Castles
19.  The Kings war with each other frenetically, hurling stones and fireballs at each other for days until a truce is finally negotiated.  It is possible the Princess has eloped with a Plumber
20.  the Wizard of War approacheth, with his Smiling Orb of Doom and an Army of One-Eyed Laserbots. All shall tremble and despair!

Yorghl, a voracious Dragon: +8 initiative, Bite +10 (1d12), HD 10d10+25, Action Die 1d20+1d6, Reflex +5, Will -10, Fortitude +8.  Alignment N.  May roar once per encounter causing a DC 16 Fear effect in all who hear, with those failing must run opposite. Those that save are at -3 to attack that round.  He will flee when the Yellow Key is presented strongly.  He collects all jokes told to him in a book bound in the skin of Pole-Vaulting Perverts (the so-called Brown Book)

Other Dragons have similar statistics.  At night, Grues and Ghosts wander the land, looking for Adventurers that want for light.  It is rumored a great number of artefacts as powerful as the Chalice exist, and the Chalice was stolen from an Underground Empire far away

Other dragons are posited to exist/wished to exist but have not been espied.  Those swallowed by the Dragons are not killed - nothing in this land may ever be killed forever - but they do acquire minor corruptions that may be relieved by the hot breath of Giants

Monday, July 14, 2014

DCC Solo Module Entire Draft of the Text Is Written!

Frabjous Day!  Calloot!  Callay!

Anyways, I think once I get the thing edited and tested again I will submit to GG for approval, and then comes the thing where I have to lay it out.  Luckily, I've been tinkering with it the whole time, so except for dropping in artwork, there's nothing much left to do. Ahem.

Noah's Knot.  Take That, Mrs. Dempsey!
Above is a (very garbled!) map of the branching node paths.  I have only one node to add, and that's the one in which you can return to Halthrag Keep after you have escaped it by some other method in the course of play - I need some good neutral turf, though, since <REDACTED>.  Note also that the Random Encounter nodes are another 50 or so, IIRC

Man, my eyes are better with these new glasses but also quite tired.  Wish me luck!  It's rare for me to feel a sense of accomplishment of this kind - I think with early planning and thinking and doodles and notes, this thing started back in September of last year or so...

Basic draft PDF, here we come!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

3rd Party Classes for DCC List

DarioFish's Fantasy Races

What you should see here below is an easier-to-manage list of 3rd party classes and race/classes for DCC. If you have a suggested update or I have missed credit where credit is due, please let me know however you can.

If there is an entry without clear information, it's because I know of the class but haven't had access to it yet owing to it being a purchasable thing that I haven't got. Other than that, I try to update it when something is brought to my attention on the DCC G+ community.

The Lupine Masters and their Squibs

The Lupine Masters of Urghilline Omicron, and their Protein Squibs
Noah Stevens

When Jo the Synthoid, Mistress Aarona Vesk and Nimble Nels the Starlord made planetfall on Urghilline Omicron, they were warmly greeted by the Regional Governess of the district in which they crashed.  A tall, lithe, ostensibly female Lupinoid named Hersetskin, the sub-matriarch of her clan, arrived with a small contingent and a horde of pink bipedal protein units, dubbed “Squibs” by their Lupine masters.

Now, at this time in that system’s history, Urghilline was populated entirely by the Lupines; they had conquered the system very early in their development and made great leaps and bounds in science, philosophy, planetary management, and bio- and techno-psionics.  They had refrained from interstellar travel for themselves, as they were a comfortable race.  They had developed the technology to do so, of course, but had shipped off the other sentient races endemic to the system “for their own safety”.  For all their mastery of technology and enlightenment, the Lupines were at root a very bloodthirsty race.  The Sheepeople of their system had at one time been their primary food, as the Lupines were obligate carnivores.  But now, the Sheepeople wandered the stars, trading and interacting prosperously with other sentients; this was the Lupine’s doing and they were the Sheepeoples’ benefactors and patrons.

The Lupines were comfortable; they spent their days disporting and philosophizing, crafting beautiful artworks, planning and building great feats of architecture and tearing them down again.  In the summer they would rut mightily, and none of their race suffered illness, and they lived hundreds of their planetary cycles.  All was well.  Their psionic mastery was such that war had been extinguished from Urghilline and they tolerated neither direct or indirect violence to the fully sentient beings within their purview.

That said, they were lustily bloodthirsty and rapacious still in some ways, and these urges they visited exclusively on the Squibs who were engineered expressly for this purpose.  At the center of Urghilline V, a dense and generally inhospitable world, the Lupines had created a hollowed extra-dimensional space and packed it full of a fleshy giant Ooblek, tended by a sub-class of sedated Lupine worker and a million tiny drone-bots.  The Ooblek had no awareness nor will and was merely a mass of flesh and blood-producing veins, harvested unceasingly without fuss.  Tons of this flesh would be cut off, set adrift in the hollow, pulverized and then formed in molds to give a roughly bipedal shape, and finally invested with a primitive will to move and follow orders.  These Squibs were taught to revere the Lupines as demigods and to give assistance to them until such time that The Red Haze descended upon the Lupines and the Squibs were singled out for Uplifting.  Let us note, here, that the full satisfaction of the Lupine’s obligatory carnivorous urge required a bit of struggle and a great gout of red blood, and (happily) only obtained once per day.  For generation upon generation, millions upon millions of fully sentient beings were spared the senseless slaughter that lack of will and scientific and philosophic motivation had not or would not drive out of the Lupine Masters.  They themselves thought nothing of it, and indeed the Squibs toiled happily at only the most meaningless tasks that were far beneath the notice of their hirsute and powerful overseers – e.g. blood mitigation, robe changing and delivery – these things need not be contemplated.  The previous more sentient victims of the Red Haze were thankful for the Squibs' unflinching sacrifice.

When Aarona Vesk and Nimble Nels arrived, towed through space by Jo Suguru the Synthoid, they crash landed and the impact crater caused by their Sexynth capsules caused little damage.  They had been guided down by graviton emitters and they had been observed for nearly a full parsec by the Lupines’ psidrones and datagobblers.  A small contingent of Lupines was there to greet them most courteously, one of whom – Dorpsillo – was Hersetskin’s re-robing officiant.

“Greetings, star-farers!” intoned Hersetskin, as the trio of adventurers brushed themselves off.  Hersetskin inserted a smooth and comforting underlayer of warm empathy and a telepathic projection of the complete recent history of the Lupine home-system; she noticed almost immediately that a discomfiting presence arrived with the out-worlders.  This is now known to be the influence of Nels’ Krovarion blade.  It was Lupine custom in this part of their history to signal a great string of admiration impulses and tonalities delivered sensorium-wide, registering in the vocal ranges as flattery and in the mental ranges as a mild boost to self-esteem in the recipient.  Vesk and Nels bowed, somewhat disoriented from their removal from the shared-sensorium capsules mere moments previous.  Jo found his hat, and wondered how this innocuous exchange might take a turn for the worse.  He was not worried – such was beyond him – but he was given to planning and proaction.

After a lengthy rumble of admiration and goodwill, followed by a lengthy pause, the Lupine Hersetskin waited.  She knew that the customs of outworlders would not necessarily mesh with her own, and was prepared for a small flurry of humiliations.  She felt a little peckish and perhaps a snack was in order while the newcomers recovered from their trip.   She signaled to Dorpsillo to offer the welcoming vestments.  Nels’ blade hummed and his half-open eyes wandered groggily as he made some ineffective verbal and somatic gestures at greeting, his voice slurred in his recovery from hypersex stasis.  Psychically, he was as a man who arrives at work in a state of nakedness.

Jo was wide awake and his sensors attuned to manifold wavelengths as he watched the sub-lieutenant offer each of the new arrivals a spotless robe of megasilk.  He had no need of clothes, as such, but knew that the entire planet was warm and that his companions would soon be disrobed again, as fast as they could manage.  Aarona shimmered in the afternoon suns, her mycelium glistening in pseudoperspiration.  Nels yawned, clumsily.

At just this moment, one of the pink Squibs that accompanied Dorpsillo turned and muttered to Aarona thusly: “Mistress, your fronds and their care and upkeep do you great justice for you are quite beautiful.”

Aarona bent and said “Many thanks, my pinkie!  Pray tell, who is this adorable little entity?”.  She looked around expectantly at the assembled host, and patted the friendly Squib’s proteinaceous processor unit.  A wave of confusion broke over the entire assemblage – psionically emanated from Hersetskin who looked disapprovingly at Dorpsillo's sub-entourage.

Dorpsillo, aplomb, hastily and ravenously devoured the squib who had offered the touching compliment.  It was unknown to the trio at that time, but no Squib since their creation thousands of generations in the past had been known to utter a sound without prompting from a Lupine, and even then it was rare for them to say more than a word.  This one was obviously defective, although it did not falter in its duties to squirm and look afraid as Dorpsillo snatched it up and devoured it in great haste and consternation.  A spray of blood, a little bit of a wiggle, and the greeting ceremony continued without missing a further beat.  The blood-drenched robes that were originally offered to the trio were replaced and finer ones brought to them – the new ones woven with mithril instead of duralloy, since Nels’ heritage was recognized at that point.  Altogether gracious.  To comment on such an odd event so early in their acquaintance with the off-worlders would be highly unusual and a serious faux pas.

Further reflection has lead to the conjecture that it was the presence of the Krovarion blade combined with Nels’ natural talents for empathy that prompted this burgeoning free will in that first lone Squib.  Thereafter, wherever the trio went, riotous calamity followed – mostly through no fault of their own.  Squibs of all makes and models became self-aware and recalcitrant, inspired by the physical beauty of Aarona and her innocent demeanor and selflessness.  It was as if her freely unfettered soul was projected onto them, and the natural order of the situation in which the Squibs were unfeeling victims of the Lupine’s merely utilitarian murderous rampages was no longer tolerated.  They ran, struggled loudly, muttered things in discontent, and shouted abuses at their benefactors.  The power dynamics of the planetary and system-wide situation were suddenly laid bare, except now it were as if a hammer screamed torrents and objections at a carpenter for his rough usage.  No Lupine nor third party observer understood precisely what happened, but riots and uprisings became commonplace.  Innocent as she was Aarona recognized - and was coached by Nels and Jo at great length - that her own views on feminism and power had little bearing on this planet and were in fact insulting and dangerous in the given context.  Secretly, she harbored wishes that the whole of Lupinian society be toppled and laid waste by the Squibs.  And thusly the Squibs wished it, also.  At least whilst the wanderers were allowed to visit the planet.

In retrospect, we recognize that the Krovarion blade brought discontent wherever it was carried.  It is revealed to be a Chaotic artifact of the Great Precursors and although Nels finally did master and destroy it in QR 54865, his wanderings and heartache felled many a vast stellar empire wherever he set foot.  Aarona Vesk went on to briefly rule her own galactic empire (as it was foretold), but Nels and Jo had a mighty task evading the Black Gargoyles that the Lupines hired to find them for Aerethean decades afterward.  Eventually, he came to avoid the company of sentient and artificial lifeforms entirely, preferring mindless servitors upon whom his own moods and subconscious desires could not be projected.

Asskickers of the Universe for SWN/Other Dust

I guess my French Canadian comrade in fatherness +Vincent Quigley is ramping up for the certain Marvel thing which I will not name but anyways it's called Guardians of the Galaxy and I'm sure Marvel doesn't mind free press and excitement.  He's got a (kind of exciting) plan to run some space-games.  Strange, I'm doing space games lately and there's Crawljammer and CUaBM and certain appeal for high space adventure.

These characters may or may not ever get used in play, but they were fun to think of, especially when Jo the Synthoid was falling through space forever, handy Vacuum Shield out front and towing Sexynth Stasis Capsules full of lurid fungoid and elfin life-forms behind him, pondering the nature of the soul, free will, and where to find his load of garbage and complete his Special Purpose.

Used without Daniel Fairbairn's permission, but maybe I can get a shirt on payday to make up for it.

Here you go, my Asskickers of the Universe:


Aarona Vesk, Leader of the Myconite Diaspora and 3rd Prophet of the Fungomid Empire

Str 13,Int 7,Wis 13,Dex 10,Con 8,Cha 16
Speaker, Hermit, Prophet
2 Logic Grenades, Vaac Suit

Her low Int and high Charisma often bring on trouble - comely and an excellent public speaker but generally dim and uncreative after a life of sybaritic luxury.  Thanks to her amorphous fungoid composition (roughly in the alluring bipedal shape that is recognized as "attractive" in this arm of the Galazy), Aarona is endowed with QUICK HEALING and can subsist on oxygen and sunlight.  Her lurid mauve color changes to a nasty streaked red when she is angry or pouting.  A little bit of a stereotype, but her powers of persuasion are unmistakable, and she may grow to command hordes of sentient life if not dissuaded from this disastrous course.

Lord Nimble Nels, Elfin Psychic Researcher of Aereth483

Psychic (Telepathy), Noble, Psychic Researcher
Str 7, Int 13, Wis 14, Dex 13, Con 12, Cha 12
Berserk drugs, Spook drugs, Mindblade (not yet activated)

Nels accompanies Vesk everywhere she goes, and believes himself to be her social equal owing to dubious royal lineage and "magickal" abilities.  He has a crude robotic third arm, a holdout cavity in his chest where a heart would be (pumping made up for by many smaller distributed liquid micromotors), and a strange and mostly inert precursor artefact, the Krovarion Blade (actually a mindblade that Nels cannot yet fully utilise).  He often uses mind-numbing drugs to quell his painfully powerful EMPATHY, and it may be these he stows in his empty heart-space.  He may be attracted to Vesk because of her physical charms, her spritely optimism, or some combination of self-defeatism and psychic residue.  A bit of a fop.

Jo Sugru, Trash Scow Operating Synthoid Lifeform

Survivor, Transport Specialist (Trash Scow), "Man" With No Name

Str 15, Int 13, Wis 11, Dex 9, Con 14, Cha 8
Combat/Assault Shield.  Pummeling pipe (improvised)

Actually the most capable of the trio, Jo (a playful nickname bestowed by Nels) is regarded by the other self-absorbed two as something of a pet.  He is an artificially created life-form, pliant and agreeable, totally immune to the cold and void of space, and able to work his will on machines that he can touch.  He identifies as a he.  Since he was spit out by a fabrication unit to collect space junk and return it to the factory that made him, he has had no end of trouble brought upon him by Nels and Vesk, who crashed into his collecting scow and diverted its course to the nearby Ughilline system, thereby bringing about the Dorpsillon Incident and requiring the psychic decontamination of an entire population of (usually complacent) protein squibs.  That said, he generally does his best to protect his erstwhile friends, even going so far as to tow them through space in stasis orbs for a thousand Earth years, his Arc Shield foremost to protect from superfast particles and debris.

These three are wanted in the nearby galaxy of Urghilline IV, since Nels' "acquisition" of the Krovarion Blade could actually prompt Vesk's rise to the throne in that system by virtue of a long-lost prophecy which neither are aware of (Jo is aware of it but the subject has not yet come up).  They are hunted by the hideous Black Gargoyles of Leptron 4, treacherous minions of the Cult of Nebrovolent of Ixia who will do all they can to recover the precursor telepath blade

Anyways, I'm off for bed.  Jo's hat says "Keep On Truckin'"

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

the Clockwork Head of Genbo Gashodokuro

(Entry into Joey Lindsey's nefarious contest, or not, if the time is up)

The souls of all naughty children go to the bottom of the well.  Yes, all of them.
It came to pass that in the Village of ____ a villainous man, said to be a sorcerer, confined his soul and evil intent in a finely crafted clockwork skull and buried himself away next to a shrine of his foul God N____.  This was in the Age of Heroes. One day a well was sunk in my grandda's time and the water there was found to be sour and unhealthy.  Many children in the village went missing but it were said they could be heard cavorting at the bottom of the well, dancing and giggling, and the rattling of a baby's rattle also (although it was said only older children disappeared)...

The augurs said it were ill and the fishing dried up anyhow, so the village has fallen into hard hard times and only the most thirsty and unwise go there in the light of the moon.

1) the trail from the village leads to a miserable clearing with sick looking crickets by day, and twisted willows and scrawny elms at night. By the light of the moon, a fog rises and the characters are in danger of having Gen-bo the Gashodokoro himself arise to bite their heads off playfully and without warning (any random encounter roll in this area will be Gen-bo automatically).

2) the well is slimy and foul smelling and rarely used even in emergency - the rotten rope may break in a bad moment

3) the Clockwork Head and the Children - the Clockwork head glitters in the moonlight and cannot be found during the day. If it is picked up, the children will rise and begin to dance in the light from above, headless...

...If given the head, one child-spirit will wind it and tell a plaintive tale and ask to be taken and laid to rest:

Piggy is hungry and will beg for food and - only in the full light of the moon, and above ground - attempt to nibble on the PC that carried him up the rope unless given sweets (rations will only awaken his appetite and not put it down)

Polly/Molly loves to dance - she will dance a little jig and whisper sweet nothings in the PC's ear as they climb. Any tickled characters must dance unless they save vs reflex/will

Rocko loves to fight and will grapple and choke a character that saves him before collapsing in a pile of bones and sawdust.  He gives noogies if grappling for 2 damage per round, and a Fortitude save will break the hold

There is only one head, and only one child can be saved at a time. After the first is saved, the head will stay behind while the spirit of the child goes to the 7th nirvana for reincarnation. The body will vanish with chilling laughter and crickets or shuddering of elms and fireflies.  The other remaining children will wander down into the lower rooms at random.

...Of course Gen-bo will come to claim his head if/when all three are rescued, with the chance equal to twice the number of kids already saved on a d6.

The statue of Nebrovolent presides over the resting place of Gen-bo, moudlering and headless. A winding key is found clutched in his nasty desiccated hands. If the body is disturbed in any way, The Hungry Giant Skeleton Ghost of Gen-bo comes to bite off someone's head and reprimand them sternly. After the first child is saved, the head must be rewound for the children to talk or cooperate further.  Else, they will gesture and tickle or dance or grapple as described.

Molly/Polly always has a winder on her person, for she was Gen-bo's assistant in life and a spiteful little orphan at that. She may have been the bastard daughter of the village priestess and the handsome water nymph in the stream north of the village.

The Rattling Guardian is a pile of bones and assorted trash.  An elf or dwarf can find or spot its carnelian eyes (worth 100 Lunar) before it rises up, or after a battle is over. It rattles so disconcertingly that turning attempts and spells with verbal components may not be cast unless the caster makes a DC 15 Will save or the equivalent. Snakelike and quick, its bite causes melancholy and an increase in melancholic humors.  Rocko and the Rattler are mates and will cavort and laugh together. The rattle is an actual baby's rattle but searching through the pile reveals only adult bones.

If Gen-bo is put down with finality i.e. all three children are taken rescued/saved and further the body of Genbo is blessed, buried in consecrated ground or burned, the head will thereafter sing a Lotus Sutra when wound that will cure maladies 3 times.  It can be smashed to get the jewels out of the eye sockets, but if this happens they willbe revealed to be glass.  If his spirit is not laid to rest, he will visit the characters nightly and say a lewd joke and try to bite off their heads, the target decided at random.  If a character has the head in his or her possession, that character is the target of the joke and the playful bite.

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