Saturday, April 30, 2011

R is for Rakasha

So, I've been watching a bunch of old shows on Netflix recently, and there was an episode about something with a very similar name - The Rakshasa. I think they were probably the same thing, especially since it's been a while since I read my Monster Manual, and might be misremembering the spelling (Something there's even more evidence for, since a commenter used "Rakshasas" elsewhere)

Why wasn't it the creature in the Monster Manual? Now, I know I just said that they're the same thing. But really, they aren't. You see, the Rakshasa reads your mind to see who you trust, turns into them, and then, if you don't kill it, tears you apart. Instead we have a humanoid tiger that can use magic. Why not just use the mythical creature when it's so much cooler?

Flash Fearsday: Q is for Quill-beast

Why stay, quietly waiting?

There is no food here - but the people of the camp, they have so much of it.

And if not...

Then they remain.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Flash Fearsday - Barely

Flash Fearsday is a microfiction challenge: Write a horror story in exactly 140 characters. It was started at Porky's Expanse!; however, Porky was unable to continue hosting it, at which point it moved to here. What will you create for the challenge?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

P is for Places

More attempts at making random stuff sensible...

The Collective of Provinces is part of the Representative Republic of Territories, which, in turn, is a member of the Electorate of Provinces, a member group of the Collective of Fiefs.

The aforementioned Collective of Fiefs is a segment of the Democratic Coalition of Fiefs, which belongs to the Economic Coalition, all of which are part of the Indivisible Imperium, a small area in the Commonwealth of Territories, which is ruled over by a Benevolent and Sovereign Theocracy.

They are opposed to the Union of States, as it split from the Honorable Empire of Provinces ten years ago, and boasts having taken with it such groups as the Heavenly and Absolute Principality of Prefectures, and the Peaceful Syndicracy Electorate. It is controlled by a Technocratic Government.

Both of them currently pursecute the Gothic Nymph*, as she stole their supplies of Anapoxag (small, rectangular, red pills.). She is being controlled by the Ghostly Beings Of The Slashing Divinity, a prominent member of the Laeris death cults.

*This arrogant female dragonling has narrow eyes the color of alabaster. Her thick, curly, violet hair is worn in a style that reminds you of an elaborate sculpture. She is short and has a voluptuous build. Her skin is white, with sand-colored scales covering her neither regions. Her tongue is forked. She has feet that are more like claws than anythng else. She has concealable wings and a prominent tail. Her wardrobe is plain, with a completely blue and red color scheme. [I have no clue why she's called the Gothic Nymph, except that is sounded more like a name than a currency.]

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Crown and Shield (Fiction)

This was a collaboration between myself (outermost_toe), will_dearborn, YellowRanger, spookymoon, ersatzy, Indeedlyish, and CallItArtAnyway on reddit, specifically /r/roundrobin.

----------------

"OW!" she yelled, after stubbing her toe on the antique grandfather clock. The clock chimed midnight, muffling the onslaught of curses. Grissom was no doubt waiting at the dock by now. She would have to make haste to meet him, but the emblem had to be retrieved from the underground chambers first. Mira slipped past the guard in the front entrance and quickly made her way down to the chambers underneath the great hall. Mira encountered Yon, the disfigured curator of the treasures of the Chambers. He shuddered as the light flooded his otherwise dark chamber. 'M-Mira, w-what do you n-need?' "I need a car," She shouted, "I should have been at the dock hours ago!" Yon shuddered again, realizing that there was nothing he could do. "And Yon - bring up that replica of the family shield." She allowed a touch of the chill nature that had let her to rise so far as an assassin creep into her voice. "Don't tell anyone. No matter how horrible you are now it can always be worse." She cast her eyes around the darkened Chambers, then back to Old Yon. "Please hurry," she added sweetly.

"Grissom surely wonders after me now, and it wouldn't do to keep him waiting." Casting a coy smile at the hunched figure, she added "It could always be better, too."

                          ***

When she arrived at the docks, she saw nothing. Switching her eye augs to thermal, and extending her senses around her, she quickly scanned the area again, but still found nothing. She was turning to go, when she felt something she hadn't noticed before. Looking up, she saw Grissom, obviously struggling against the ropes. "I knew you'd get yourself into trouble if I wasn't on time," she admonished. Extending her subdermal flexblade, she cut him loose. He feel to the ground heavily, but practically bounced to his feet, as his kind were wont to do.

"Well," she asked, "what happened?"

He held up one of his green-gray hands. When the nanites had done their work he replied: "I'm not entirely sure. Someone attacked me, obviously, but I didn't see who it was. I told them what I was here for. I had hoped they were just a local gang, and dropping your name would help, but it just seemed to make them angry. They didn't want me talking to anyone else, either. Do you know how much it hurts to have your tongue cut down the middle?"

She grimaced at him. "You mentioned me? Now I'll have to keep an eye out all the time..." She looked him up and down. Despite the normal maroon flush returning to his skin, his tongue was still knitting at the end. He spoke awkwardly, and with pauses to spit out blood. It looked like it had hurt like a cast-iron bitch. She took a measure of pity on him and grinned.

"Not like I don't anyway. Did they take your wallet?"

"Sort of. Checked for an ident stick then dumped everything in the harbor. You have the seal?" He frowned. "By the way, you have anything in your place someone might want? Maybe they knew you were coming and were after it." She activated it by way of demonstration. The twisted pattern crawled over itself in the foggy dockside night, a faintly luminescent print in the air before her. She snapped it back off.

"You shouldn't have had an ident stick anyway, and any cash-chits are your own loss. Ready to go?"

"Sure. You got a phone? I need to let Shuffler know that we've got it." He flicked a small switch on his belt to start the stim tank, and continued. "I'm not an idiot Mira. I said they checked for an ident stick, not that they found one."

"Not yet. Lets get out on the boat first, then come back in once we confirm. Got the keys?"

"My half of it. You did remember to bring yours?"

"Don't be an ass," she growled.

"Of course I have my half. I meant the boat keys." Mira gestured towards the dark water. "Y'know, the boat?"

At the look on his face, she growled again, lower this time, and wordless.

"Sorry. When you can breathe underwater you tend to forget about things like boats." Mira's growl became a groan. "Did you swim here, Grissom?" She turned towards the choppy water, scanning the darkness for anything to tell her that the lanky, scaled, and utterly unreadable humanoid was joking. She didn't see a boat. She didn't even see anywhere obvious enough to hide a boat.

"You do understand that I'm not going swimming tonight, especially not," she waved her hand across her body, indicating the layers of delicate tech she wore, "in all this. And this has to be done tonight! We really shouldn't make long-range contact inside the Territories themselves, but this has to be done tonight, and..." An element of worry began to creep into her voice.

"Yep. I swam. There is a boat though. Sunk. And dismantled. And buried. But a boat. In any case Vori came here an hour ago to pick me up, but I 'wasn't here', as you saw. She probably assumed I'd already met up with you and went back to your house to study the seal."

"Shit. Vori's already gone? No matter, we can deal with her when it comes to that." Now the worry was more than creeping. "...About this boat. How 'dismantled and buried' is it? Any chance you can get it on top of the water in a hurry?"

"Maybe. You got some little key-thread that lets you start it? 'Cause it's a trinket-heist other wise."

She looked relieved, then switched to mock hurt. "Leave home without my keys? Who do you think I am?"

Dipping into a pocket, she extracted a set of spools, and offered them to Grissom. He selected one, and she vanished the others again. Getting down to business, he turned and dove into the black water without a splash. She moved a few steps off into a deeper shade, and waited. He soon surfaced with a small boat. He hopped up onto it and inserted one end of the thread. The craft roared to life making both of them wince. He called out to Mira over the noise of the engine "Ready to go? Sorry it's not exactly a stealth skimmer but you said you wanted a boat. 'Sides, it's faster than I am, so it's probably better for this anyway."

-----------

It's still open to contributions, either at the reddit thread or in the comments here.

Farwatcher, Part 1

Thanks to Jensan, of the blog Rustfoot. The character I'm writing about is his, though she is only mentioned in passing.

Such things I've seen. Of course, I don't actually remember any of them. So, perhaps it would be better to say "things I may have seen, but don't know if I have or not". It sounds better the other way. I, it seems, am a Farwatcher, though perhaps not a very good one. After all, I only see things, when someone first speaks to me, but it seems to have nothing to do with them, by all accounts! Still, it tends to be disquieting to most (I remember a sailor, with pale hair and grey eyes, on the Acorn Afloat. He fled, and was far quieter. It was a shame. I liked him...), though not without reason. According to those that will speak to me afterwards, my head twitches, my voice changes, and I talk about things that are strange and unrelated, after which I talk to them normally. I suppose that's why I'm writing this in a journal, not telling my story to someone.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Flash Fearsday

Flash Fearsday is a microfiction challenge: Write a horror story in exactly 140 characters. It was started at Porky's Expanse!; however, Porky was unable to continue hosting it, at which point it moved to here. What will you create for the challenge?

Flash Fearsday: Overseer

Cherry stepped forward, and said "So. You're back. I wasn't expecting to see you here, Liliana. What happened? You fail out?"

"Huh? I ran!"


Edit: For those of you who saw this when I first posted it, or are linking to it and wondering why the heck the URL says "Intangible", I had originally intended for something different to happen, but this got moved forward a post or two.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Expansion 7: Note the Wall

"What stuff? You're in a snowstorm wearing nothing but a credstick."

Talsi blinked. "I am?"

--------

"Look elf, you're coming along," the Lonestar replied.

"Clothes?"

"When we get there, deck-head*."

Deck-head:

Decker; also, someone who spends large amounts of time on the Grid.

--------

"Hey. Wake up!" said the cop, shaking the elf awake.

"What is it?"

"We're here"

---------

Talsi blinked. She did so twice, in fact. Was this really what they called food here? (Note: I used the example word of "food" which isn't technically an expansion word)

---------

"I see no reason to believe that she is rogue. At worst, she was falstimmed*

*Falstimmed: Given false sensory stimulations, especially without consent and/or knowledge.

---------

"See, Talsi? Fire-cubed. Tendrils go through your ears. Head explodes. Might want to take note."

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Procedural Lockpicking Table 1.1

Material:

  1. Brass
  2. Copper
  3. Gold
  4. Silver
  5. Steel
  6. Wood (Carved)
  7. Wood (Druid created)
  8. Stone
If Trapped

  1. Needle trap
  2. Needle trap (poisoned)
  3. Gas trap (see subtable)
  4. Plate trap

Subtable 1: Gas type

  1. Sleeping gas; save vs. Sleep as if cast by a 15th level Mage
  2. Save vs. poison at -3. If failed there will be no immediate effect, but they, and all members of the party that come within 100' of them, will begin to hallucinate
  3. Flammable. If there is air in the room and an open flame is present, or there are sparks created, this gas will explode as a Fireball.
  4. Amnesiant. Save vs. poison or lose your memory of the past d6 days.
If a lock is Brass, it is never started with a Bump. If traps require one, use a rake or probe, instead.
If a lock is Copper, it is is started with a Twist. A Thwack will, however, open it 50% of the time, but the lock will jam if this fails. If traps require that a Twist be avoided, use a probe.
Gold locks are started with an Undulate or a Probe (50% chance of either). As they are soft, and prone to warp, there is a 25% chance (modified as appropriate) that the lock will feel stiff whether or not the action taken is correct.
Silver locks are generally magical in nature (75% chance). If so, come up with strange conditions for it, or roll on Table B. Otherwise, they are always started with a probe.
Steel locks are sensitive, and are never Bumped or Thwacked. They start with a Rake, or a Twist (50% chance of either).
Carved wooden locks are never started with a twist.
Wooden locks made by a druid are always magical. See above.
Locks made out of stone are never started with an Undulate. Regardless of whether or not the action taken is correct, Stone locks are always stiff. However, as they are hardy, there is only a 50% chance (per jam) that they will jam if incorrect actions are taken.

Needle traps do 1d6 damage, have a 35% chance of partially blinding the thief, and a 50% chance of carrying a disease. These must be started with a Twist.
Poisoned needle traps are as above, but have only a 25% chance of carrying a disease, and will, 1d12 turns after striking, (unless a save vs. poison/CON save/Fort. Save is made) do 2d20 damage each turn for 1d4 turns. Unless, of course, you want to use a different poison. This is just quick generation methods. An Undulate is usually required to start, though a Twist has a 50% chance to disarm one.
A gas trap has effects as determined above. These traps require a Probe.
A plate trap is a springloaded steel plate set inside the lock, which will jam it if set off. These require that the lock be started with a Rake. There is a 25% chance that the jam will be permanent. Otherwise, the trap will reset in 1d20d20 days.

Table B:

  1. Lock can only be opened by a small blond child holding a rat, on a Tuesday, in the rain.
  2. Lock must be exposed to jarred moonlight.
  3. The blood of three people (One of each alignment axis) must be placed into the keyhole.
  4. There is a face on the lock, which will ask about some odd detail of the culture of the original creators. A correct answer is required.
  5. Lock will only open if a key is made from the frozen, distilled brain juices of an Ithilid.
  6. Lock requires that a plant be allowed to grow into it.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

M is for Maratu

Family: Kaedok

Branch: Inisti

Latin name: Diabolus palus


Status: Endangered (Est. pop. 150 total, 50% M/F distribution)

As a Kaedok, this demon is able to control stagnant water or brackish water; if mixed with other types it has far less control over those. It is healed by drinking or bathing in such water. Since it is of the Inisti branch, it is harmed by sunlight. Like all Kaedok, it can breathe underwater.

Maratu demons are small for Kaedok, averaging 4'-5' in height. They are covered in thick, green-grey scales, and have webbing on their hands and feet. They have a row of back curving spines down their arms, as well as claws and fangs. Their eyes are large, and have nictating membranes. Their mouths are elongated, and their head are set low, with almost no neck, but they are otherwise human. They fight with their claws and teeth, or spears and tridents. If using a trident they will most likely also have a net, and they show a marked preference for javelins in such cases. However, if using another type of spear, it will almost always be a large, thrusting weapon.

A Maratu can only be killed by exposure to sunlight. However, it will take 2 weeks (1 day if immersed in brackish or stagnant water) to regenerate if it is "killed" by any other means.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Flash Fearsday: Ghosts out of Space

As she turned into the park, she saw... Cherry Walker? What? Cherry had left for the Belt 10 years ago, with no plans to return. How had...?

K is for Karyat

Family: Laernu

Branch: Sarnith

Latin name: Bos diabolus

Status: Endangered (Est. pop. 150 total, 50% M/F distribution)

As a Laernu, this demon is able to control UV radiation; if mixed with other wavelengths, it has limited control over those, as well. It is also burned by seawater. Since it is of the Sarnith branch, it has vulnerabilities to fire.

Karyat demons are mid-size for Laernu, averaging 7'5". They are covered in thick, red-to-black fur, and have hooves. They also have a double row of spikes down their backs, but are otherwise human. They fight with fists or a large axe.

A Karyat can only be killed complete immersion in sea-water, or burning. However, it will take d4-1 weeks to regenerate if it is "killed" by any other means, during which it is vulnerable.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

L is for Libs, Mad, Rumor

A group of rumor mad libs for you all to fill in, as inspired by Telecanter's post of the same name.

To start:

[Phrase] is similar to the [Creature language] for [Deadly insult]

The [Verb] of [Noun] has [Detail]*

[Species] does [Bizzare thing] instead of [Common activity]

Feel free to post your own suggestions for more!

*I.E, Carvings, etc.

Flash Fearsday

Flash Fearsday is a microfiction challenge: Write a horror story in exactly 140 characters. It was started at Porky's Expanse!; however, Porky was unable to continue hosting it, at which point it moved to here. What will you create for the challenge?.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I is for Internals

Internals are organically grown nanobots, found on some Worldboats. Why they are limited to certain ones is unknown, though it is believed that it was a result of the strange effects that arise when making the transfer from one universe to another. They eat the solid wastes of most passengers (logged and unlogged, though that of certain exotic species may prove unpalatable), and repair the ship. There is a small chance that they will enter and repair armor, weapons, etc. (20%, or 50% if wearing armor produced and/or worn by the original builders (though (former?) inter-faction politics could cause this chance to lower if the wrong type is worn)).

Creative Commons License
I is for Internals by Connor Hallowell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

Worldboats and a Poetry Potluck and J is for Journey... As well as Janitorial Robots

A partially cleaned scrap of graffiti on a Worldboat, translated:

Drea'luktu, savorniu, utaln kaday savru.

We sent them out, beyond our worlds.

Tulrin dukquun, eksardiun.

Far past the lightless suns.

Elmnii emsar neie-evor.

A dying universe we fled.


Janitorial Robot:

These small, floating, pyramidal robots are normally non-threatening, but if they, the Worldboat, a logged passenger, or one of the species which originally built the Worldboat is threatened, they will attack by either spraying harmful chemicals (normally used for cleaning) from one of their points (2d6 damage in a 20' cone), or pouring the same from all points (2d12 damage in a 10' cloud, centered on themselves). They, the ship, and the builders are immune to these chemicals. If the proper apparatus is found, 2d4 specific Janitorial Robots can be controlled telepathically.

Creative Commons License
Worldboats and a Poetry Potluck and J is for Journey... As well as Janitorial Robots by Connor Hallowell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Gigacrawler Game - Details

Joining The Wave

To join the Wave, create a Wave account and then click the small "+" in the lower right corner of your contacts. Then type or copy "outermost.toe@googlewave.com" into the address line. Lastly, create a new Wave with me as a member (This could be the character sheet Wave for you - see below), or leave a comment here with the address that appears when you click your name. At that point, I will add you to the Wave for the game.
------------------------------------------------------
Characters


For your character sheet, please create a Wave with me as a participant and then copy down any relevant information (If you wish to include a race or model field, whether one you've seen or of your own devising, feel free to, but remember to also mark any alterations, as those will be the determining factors rules-wise. Any such field is purely "fluff" though. If you do include one, feel free to make up their history, etc.). Obviously you can use a different one as a reference, but I need one that I can see, and track changes to.

Reasonable adaptations of alterations will be fine, just clear them with me first. For example, if you take Bite or Digestive Fangs, and decide that you're a vampire, that's okay. Taking Exoskeleton and looking normal, probably not, unless you've got a good (Or at least really awesome) case for it.
------------------------

Notes

I'll be ready to run it any time from about 8:00 AM or so onward. This doesn't mean that you're obligated to join at that time, but if you do, it's not a problem. Otherwise, it's fairly flexible.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Looking for Players

I'm going to be running a game of Gigacrawler on Google Wave on Wednesday, if I can get enough players. Anyone interested? The rules can be found here. (Well, at the links there, but close enough. Also, links are safe for work.)

Current Players:

1. Adrian

2. Seth S.

3.

H is for "Huh?"

Thanks to a discussion with Richard ( http://lurkerablog.wordpress.com/), on Telecanter's Receding Rules, I have now created Dungar the Tiny, Gnomish Explorer of The Deeps. He uses a Crystal Coracle, which has command words to turn its buoyancy on/off, or make it neutral, as well as fold it. He folds it around him, and then drops to the desired level, where he will then float. "Huh?" is what I'm guessing my players will say when they first see him surface and unfold the Coracle.

G is for Generation

"A strange place is the Menslagan system. It's got a lone Neutron Star at t'center - a huge one, too. Not one of those Dwarves, you know? And it's got a history. The Magiitin wars went through there. Left nothing but these thick rings a' dust around it for a space. Then it clears up for a bit - no planets, I guess - but then you hit this cloud. It's just a bit of ice, and some sand, but it's big. Got a couple of good planets in it, and one thing called a Protoplanet..."

Menslagan system:

Neutron Star

[d12 d12(3)=3]

Solitary

[d10+d4 d10(8)+d4(4)=12]

Size 10

[d4+d6 d4(3)+d6(2)=5]

5 available orbits

Orbit 1:

1 Zone

Debris (Asteroid-planet collision? Planetcrack? War) (Dense rings of dust)

Orbit 2:

5 Zones

Debris (War, same as above) (1ce and dust, fairly insubstantial, part of a cloud encircling this orbit)
Habitable Planets (Nature preserve, size 5)
Exotic (Protoplanet, size 9 (for such planets))
Habitable Planets (Airless surface, underground ecology, size 4)
Debris (War, as above) (Insubstantial ice and dust, part of the same cloud as above)

Orbit 3:

2 Zones

Outer Planets (Dwarf planet)
Outer Planets (Exotic, antimatter Ice Giant)

Orbit 4:

5 Zones

Habitable Planets (Paired contra-worlds, no moons, size 3)
Outer Planets (3 Mesoplanets)
Outer Planets (Cold Gas Giant)
Inner Planets (Captured asteroid, oblong, former Simis (Sigh-Miss) outpost on the surface, no moons)
Habitable Planets (Desert planet, 3 moons, size 7)

Orbit 5:

Special

7 Zones

(Thanks Netherwerks!)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

New Game: Combat and Magic Testing

What I've learned from said testing is that Trolls should be gone after in melee combat, people with low agility (1!) shouldn't be cops, and an Elf with a 19 STR and a 21 AGI is a nightmare to face. Also, mages (even ones with good guns) shouldn't fight Trolls on their own. Okay, so that's a humorous version. What I actually learned is this:

Melee combat may be unbalanced. This will probably get tweaked soon enough, but it might take actual playtesting to determine fully. After all, the Troll didn't have a weapon, and one of the Elves had a knife, and the other a shortsword, so it wasn't exactly balanced (It didn't help that the Troll couldn't manage to hit either of them after he nearly knocked out the one with the sword in the first round). More testing is needed, clearly.

Shotguns will get a plus to hit, and possibly an AoE, but they don't act like bursts from a machine gun. A maximum of 12d8 damage for one shot from a light shotgun is just too much.

Spells seem to work pretty well, but it's a bit of a pain to make them for one of the magic-using classes. Still, it's not that it's hard, as such, just that I don't have all of the stuff fleshed out for them yet.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Flash Fearsday: The Host

I am the host. The host!

A Warm-Slow One

Growing inside

(Or is it?

How would you know?)

The father?

Sla'Gthaln, of course!

Who else...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

F is for Flash Fearsday

Flash Fearsday is a microfiction challenge: Write a horror story in 140 characters or less. It was started at Porky's Expanse!; however, Porky was unable to continue hosting it, at which point it moved to here. What will you create for the challenge?.

Note: The story is now up in this post, but not obviously. I said that before, I know, but I realized that I could say more stuff in the story, so... Also, this is only part of it. The full one will be in the next post.

E is for Enemies, Natural

Sorry about posting this at 12:02 at night. I know it's a bit late, but I didn't finish it until a couple of minutes ago.

Why don't more species have natural enemies in games? I don't see a reason. So, have some!

Kindosi: Stomach Eater Worm (parasite). The Stomach Eater Worm enters with food, mates, allows the young to grow, and then chews out of the stomach, killing the host and ensuring a food supply.

Shen: Scale-stones (fungus). Scale-stones cause the normally hard, but flexible, scales of a Shen to become brittle, stick together, and lose their flexibility, eventually terminating in petrification.

Kimini: Muscle-rot (unknown). This strange affliction eats all muscular and organ tissue, eventually leaving only skin, bones, and teeth.

Lorhpal: Eiikta (predator). The Eiikta is a pale blue, six legged creature with wings and a tail. The head is circular, and about 2' in diameter on adults, half of which is bone. The surface is dotted with eyes, ears, and nostrils. Legs end in large feet, which have pseudo-mandibles. The tail is actually the mouth and throat.

Hrpha: Sunhawk (predator, swarming). The Sunhawk is a golden, bioluminescent, bird that takes advantage of the Hrpha's natural sensitivity to light. They are intelligent, and have been known to laugh in a strange, bubbling, manner as they feast upon the living creature.

Gumik: Limiat (predator). The Limiat is a bright green lizard with three legs in a tripod formation. Their eyes and nostrils are set into the front of their chests, and their ears in the sides. The neck is long, flexible, and ringed with tentacles.

Tikoggya: Fikiti (predator). The Fikiti is a purple beast with blue eyes, six of them. It has 8 legs, and a wedge shaped, sharp edged head, which it uses to slice open its prey.

Tinalyia: Heart-stop Worm (parasite). These worms take up residence in the heart of a Tinalyia, and grow until they have completely cut off circulation, then eats the strange chemicals produced by such creatures after death.

Maculatum Itistis

What is it? Also, what is a "Hierodius Exarch of the Collective Realities"? And where is the "Grotesque Bronze Forlorn Assemblage of Knives"?

New Game: It's Coming Together... Slowly.

Well, I have the basic combat rules (Not including special rules for certain armor types and melee combat), how to make a character, and some stuff about magic. Now I need to write up the classes, do the races, finish magic, and get the basic equipment lists written. Then, I can start work on a bestiary.

Silistik (Sil-iss-tick) and Mikito (Mick-eee-toe)

Silistik:

This docile creature will happily accompany non-aggressive organisms and is either familiar with the dangers of the area or has a preternatural awareness.
It has a luxuriant and exotically-patterned fur. Silistiks make their homes in highly valuable items. The are rarely found alone.

Mikito:

These creature often have a large supply of edible food.
They employ a powerful sting, defending itself by striking and causing a swelling which temporarily hinders in the use of a limb. This creature is in fact a swarm. Mikito will latch onto larger prey and draws sustenance from their bodily fluids, possibly causing infection; it may go unnoticed for some time. They can vanish into thin air and will later be discovered in a pack or pocket. As a defence, Mikito unleash a powerful electrical discharge, stunning the victim and causing the temporary loss of his or her faculties, both academic and mental.

(Many thanks to Porky.)

The rest of this field guide can be found here.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

D is also for "Dumb way to handle machine guns"

The post I mentioned in my last "D is for" post...

Fair warning: This may be wrong about the tendency mentioned - it's based on what I remember of one specific game. The trouble is, I can't check any others. However, I suspect that it isn't, because characters in Shadowrun would have had fewer HPE (Hit Point Equivalents), so they would have been dropping like flies.


I've noticed a tendency to treat bursts or sustained fire with a machine gun or similar weapon as one attack, whereas bows treat each arrow as one shot (Which, admittedly makes sense, it's the MGs I'm arguing that should be changed, not the bows). This leads to an interesting problem: Given the same number of rounds used, if those fired by the MG are bursts, then (assuming the characters using them are both tuned to the same extent for each weapon, whether they're experts or likely to hit themselves) the bow is more accurate per round fired. This means, in turn, that a bow will end up being more cost effective per damage unit done. (Because, statistically, it gets more chances to hit. Assuming that neither of them gets a lucky streak in their rolls, it works out. Of course, randomness and luck can't be thrown out, but it should work), and, in fact, do more damage.

Example:

The aforementioned characters buy, respectively, two twenty round "ammo holders" (A generic term is used because there are several different things that would work), and forty arrows.

Let's track the amount of hits and damage for each weapon as they go through those:

(Assuming they need a 15 to hit)

Bow (d6 damage)
  1. 20 (3)
  2. 6
  3. 9
  4. 7
  5. 1
  6. 19
  7. 12
  8. 8
  9. 11
  10. 15 (1)
  11. 9
  12. 18 (6)
  13. 12
  14. 7
  15. 4
  16. 16 (4)
  17. 4
  18. 15 (1)
  19. 14
  20. 17 (4)
  21. 14
  22. 13
  23. 7
  24. 7
  25. 12
  26. 6
  27. 6
  28. 11
  29. 17 (3)
  30. 13
  31. 13
  32. 16 (2)
  33. 5
  34. 16 (2)
  35. 7
  36. 1
  37. 9
  38. 6
  39. 15 (2)
  40. 10
Total: 9 hits, 28 damage

MG (2d6 damage)
  1. 11
  2. 3
  3. 15 (8)
  4. 19 (3)
  5. 9
  6. 6
  7. 10
  8. 12
Total: 2 hits, 11 damage

Note: I assumed that each burst was five rounds.


I suggest rolling to hit and damage for each round fired, regardless of weapon type.

Example:

The party is fighting four Trolls in a modern/near future game, each of whom can split their fire between two of the available targets. There are three people in the party (Mage, Shaman, Street Samurai.)

To hit the Mage (Martin Troldmand, 12 HP) or Shaman (George Terremoto, 28 HP) takes a 7.

To hit the Street Samurai (Nicole Maiera, 27 HP) takes a 13.

T1 fires a three round burst at Nicole, and two rounds at Martin. Rolling to hit, he gets 10, 5, 4, and then 14, 13. The damage to Martin is 3, 7, leaving him at 2 HP.

T2 fires a five round burst at Nicole. He gets 17, 13, 2, 8, 14. The damage done to her is 10, 2, 4 (Good thing I remembered to check how many hits he got... The next two were 2, 12, which would have very nearly killed her (It requires taking damage equal to your negative HP to kill you on the spot, but she'd have been in bad shape).), leaving her with 11 HP.

T3 fires three rounds at George and two at Martin. She gets 6, 20, 5, and 1, 15. She does 3 damage to George (A critical adds an extra die. In this case, the roll didn't work out so well.), and 7 to Martin (Youch!). They're now down to 25 and -5, respectively.

T4 fires two shots at Nicole and three at George, getting 19, 6, and 12, 4, 7. Rolling damage, he gets 7, and 5, 2. Nicole is now at 4 HP, and George is at 18.

So, one person down and dropping, the fighter-equivalent nearly knocked out, and the Shaman injured. Unless Nicole and George can manage to do some serious damage to the Trolls, they're going to go down in the third round - which would be the shortest combat I've ever seen (This excludes such instances as a dragon against a 1st level party, etc.).

At this point, lets pause and see what this might have looked like using the standard method:

T1 fires a three round burst at Nicole, and a two round one at Martin. He gets a 19 and a 5. Rolling for damage on Nicole, he gets 9. She's at 18 HP, and Martin is unhurt (Just the opposite of above, plus they did less damage).

T2 fires a five round burst at Nicole. He gets 13, and a 2 for damage. She's now at 16 HP.

T3 fires two rounds at Martin and three at George. She gets 11 and 16, with 3 and 12 for damage. This leaves Martin at 9 HP, and George at 16 HP.

T4 fires two shots at Nicole and three at George, getting 19 and 20. Rolling damage, he gets 2 and 15. Nicole is at 14 HP, and George is at 1 HP.

The party is still in better shape overall than they are using the new method.

D is for "Darn it, I tried to write a post and ended up working on the rules to a new game"

Which is exactly what happened when I tried to write my D post earlier. Argh...

Now it looks like I'm going to be working on that in my spare time.

Riddle 3

What is a Vor? Who are its friends? And what is the word - starting with "S" - relating to them?

Feel free to speculate here or at the reddit thread.

"Pal" is a synonym for "Friend". Thus, a friend of Vor, is Vor's pal, or Vorpal. After that, it's pretty clear that the word starting with "S" is sword.

Edit: The answer is above, in black text. To see it, highlight it.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

C is for Corkboard

Specifically, the Microscope game I played a couple of days ago on there with Risus Monkey. My impressions of how it worked for the game:

  1. There were some design flaws with corkboard itself. For example, if you open the map it closes the chat window. The major one was that it it ate both peoples' text if they tried to edit the same note.
  2. Other than that, it worked well. I got a few errors, but they were easily fixed, and the method to do so was explained in the message. Still, having to refresh cleared the chat logs on my end, so you should make backups of them in a note fairly often.

Now, moving on to the game itself:

It was fun. There were many reason why it was fun. One was novelty - I was trying out a new game system. Another was that we had picked interesting ideas for the big picture of it. A third was that, within the background you establish, and anything you add to the "No" list on the palette (The palette is basically a list of what is there that you might not expect, and what you might expect that isn't there), you can do pretty much anything. For example, in the scene we made, I played a willingly possessed dolphin. Anyway, I'd say that the game and the place worked well. If you're thinking of playing using corkboard for something like this, my recommendation would be to go ahead and do it.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Monstrous Challenge of Netherwerks/Blair's Artwork First Monster Manual


(Thank you, Netherwerks)

The creature above is a Kindosi. Kindosi are generally xenophobic, but trust Shen implicitly, and are often seen in the wall passages of that race. They often serve alongside the Warrior-Shen employed on special missions for the Empress, aiding them by the use of their natural chameleonic abilities.

Riddle 2

A Vamian flame, burning bright. Out of mirror, but in sight.

"Pyre" is a synonym for "Flame". Thus, a Vampire.

Edit: Answer is above, in black text. Highlight it to see it.

B is for Blnxnthnu

Blnxnthnu, the demon, is not to be confused with Blunx-in-Thnoo, the place.


Blnxnthnu's sphere is made of verdigrised copper, and weighs about eighteen and half pounds.

Blnxthnu has spirals of smoke streaming from his nostrils, and has a thick line of rough fur down his back. He has an elongated snout, much like that of a dragon. He is rather fat, has blue-ish skin, and the legs of a stork, which are set onto his body backwards.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Flash Fearsday: Ghosts Through Time

A continuation of Porky's post here.

---------

From the night before:

Running on the grass. Wait - is that Leila Stevenson's house? Right number... But the building's wrong. Where am I? What happened to me?

---------

"Where am I?

That house shouldn't be there!

How long was I stuck there?"

She turned sharply off, and ran across the street, into a park.

Riddle 1

2. A key will turn, a statue wake. What made it is, a feathered snake.

A is also for...

Andraegar! This guy is who Kasiv, the mage I'm playing in ChicagoWiz's Wave game, worships.

Andraegar, Lord of Festing and Celebrations:

Commands:

You must cook and eat at least one rare creature each week. If you have eaten a particular creature before, you may not count it as an offering unless a half-season has passed. Sentient creatures are not exempt, and Elves, littlelings and humans, all count as "rare", though cannibalism is frowned upon. Dwarves, of course, also count for these purposes, which is only natural considering that the last one was seen two hundred years ago.

One spontaneous festival must be held in honor of Adraegar, each half season. (Priests only, though other followers must aid in this if their help is asked).

History:

Andraegar is said to have been a particularly hedonistic human ( There are dissenting accounts which state he was an elf or littleling, but the vast majority of the Elves violently reject this.), who challenged the God of Wine to a drinking contest. After a week or more, he finally passed out, but the God of Wine accepted that he had been a worthy challenger, and he was deified upon awakening. (Also, the hangover was deemed to be punishment enough)

Benefits:

Followers of Andraegar are immune to indigestion, alcohol poisoning, lead poisioning, and stomach diseases, and are resistant to most poisons.



A is for Asodel

Asodel lies on a mountain, near the Mirrorshade dessert. It is now nearly depopulated, due to several natural disasters, a curse on the recently recovered Platinum Crown, a war, and the interference of Calaris. However, the majority of the Mourner's Guild are still there.