Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Energy Beams from Other Dimensions

For a brief period of delightful insanity, the power of Marvel's Mr. Angst himself, Cyclops, was described as such: "The original 1983 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe volume stated that Cyclops's eyes contain inter-dimensional apertures, releasing powerful energies from another dimension into his own via the beams. This account states that his body naturally metabolizes ambient energy that is used to open and focus the apertures in his eyes. The energy of the beam itself originates from this other dimension." [source]

We can use this. We can use this well.

XP track as fighter; HD, saves, and equipment restrictions as expert.

Freaking Energy Beams: at first level, you gain access to Red energy, another color energy of your choice, and the Continuous Beam aperture form.

Aperture Location: your aperture has a fixed location on your body. This location may be any surface which comfortably fits your eye and a little extra all around. You may ask your GM if you can put it somewhere with less area, and what cost it might entail. The forehead or either palm are recommended.

Making Changes: switching between colors and aperture forms requires a full round of concentration. Declare at the start of a round, before initiative if rolled every round and before anyone can say what they're doing, that you are switching either for a different one. If you take damage or you are forcibly moved, you lose focus and remain with the color and aperture form you had active before the declaration.

New Colors: at third level, and then again at fifth, seventh, and ninth levels, you naturally have a new color become available. Choose a color you don't already have available when you reach these levels.

New Apertures: at second level, and then again at fourth, sixth, and eighth levels, you develop access to new apertures. Choose a new aperture you can't already use when you reach these levels.

The Secrets of Others: with a week of teaching from another Beamer you may learn how to access one of their colors or apertures. This time might not be the only cost to learning the secrets of other Beamers.

Energy Reserves: opening the aperture takes energy. A lot of energy. At first, your aperture has a maximum ammo die of d4. When you gain new aperture forms, increase the size of the maximum ammo die by 1 step.
Each use supplies a single round's worth of open aperture time. You may spend an entire ammo die step to open the aperture for a single, consecutive 10 minute duration.
Getting the ammo die back to maximum size requires being outside or in a magic-rich environment. Each day spent in either, or half day spent in both, this way takes the ammo die one step up (0/1 charges left to d4, d4 to d6, and so on) up to your maximum die.

Beamer Supreme: when you reach ninth level, you gain access to a single powerful enhancement to your Beaming powers:
  • Portal Projection: you may spend an ammo die step to project a portal in the air up to 1 meter in front of you from your aperture. This portal leads anywhere you are familiar with on the same plane. You can keep it open for up to 1 minute, and may step through it, closing it in the process.
  • Second Aperture: a second aperture opens up on your body. You may use both at the same time, each attuned to whichever color you pick and with whichever form you choose.
  • Planar Attunement: using a day-long ritual, you are able to attune to a different plane rather than an energy dimension. Consult your GM how this would manifest, but here are some examples: fire plane would manifest similar to dragon's breath, divine planes could manifest similar to turn undead, water plane would manifest as a torrent of water.
  • Intense Coloration: you gain access to the intense versions of color dimensions while attuned to those colors. Consult the catalog for what these do. Intense Coloration requires 2 ammo die rolls per use, but still require only a single ammo die step to run for 10 minutes.

Color Catalog
The effect of each color is what happens when that color interacts with practically anything else.

1. Red
Damage: 1d10.
Effect: concussive force. Goes straight through wood and leather, ignoring either as damage reduction or armor. Can go through metal. Save prevents metals from breaking.
Intense: 1d20 damage and goes right through all breakable materials. Needle Beam affects only damage, adding 1d10+3 damage.

2. Yellow
Damage: 1d8.
Effect: weakening. Materials are twice as likely to break, while living things make STR and CON based rolls at a disadvantage. Both last 1 minute. Save negates.
Intense: materials that can break will break on their next use while the effect remains. Living things cannot use STR or CON for rolls at all and have HP equal to the amount of HD they have while the effect remains. Both last 1 minute. Save negates new HP value.

3. Blue
Damage: 1d8.
Effect: slippery. As Grease for anything in the color's area of effect for 1 minute. Save negates.
Intense: affected things cannot actually touch anything else, instead gliding against surfaces. Save replaces effect with Grease.

4. Green
Damage: 1d6.
Effect: halting. Cancels any ongoing movement and momentum of things in motion and makes joints completely stuff, preventing further movement for 1 minute. Save negates.
Intense: freezes affected things in relative space. If on a planet, they will not remain in place as the planet hurtles away, but will follow the planet remaining in place on it. This can cause things to remain in air. In this state, things are not subject to physical damage of any kind, including weight pressure. This effect lasts 1 minute.

5. Purple
Damage: none.
Effect: strengthening. Materials are half as likely to break, while living things make STR and CON based rolls at an advantage. Both last 1 minute.
Intense: breakable materials become unbreakable. Living things cannot fail reasonable STR and CON based rolls and their max HP temporarily increases by twice their level. Both effects last 1 minute.

6. Orange
Damage: 1d6.
Effect: sticky. Anything that touches another thing when struck is now stuck to it for 1 minutes and requires an STR check to remove. Save negates.
Intense: no STR check may be made to separate things stuck together this, as well as becoming continually sticky so this stick to anything touching them later. Lasts 1 minute.

7. Black
Damage: 1d8.
Effect: infecting. Horrid black infection sprouts from struck area, causing 1 damage per round for an amount of round equal to twice your Beamer level. This infection can move from a surface to a creature, but the duration counts from when that surface was first struck. Save when infected negates.
Intense: the infection deals 3 damage per round, cannot be negated with a save, and continues past the initial duration unless a save is made. When the initial duration ends, and every round thereafter until the effect ends, make a save to end the effect.

8. White
Damage: 1d10.
Effect: searing. Applies high heat with appropriate effect - flammables catch fire, metal heats, and so on.
Intense: metal melts, flammables instantly combusts, flesh boils. Needle Beam slices straight through anything. Use with care.

9. Grey
Damage: 1d6.
Effect: crystal growth. Crystals of various kinds grow from struck surface. Side-effects as appropriate. Crystals turn to dust and disappear after 10 minutes.
Intense: crystals rapidly and intensively grow out from the affected area. Things may end up encased in crystals quickly. Living creatures may suffocate inside. Crystals last 1 hour.

10. Brown
Damage: 1d8.
Effect: weighing. Things struck with sufficient amount of color become twice as heavy. This effect does not stack and lasts 10 minutes.
Intense: the effect now stacks infinitely, as long as it is applied within the 10 minutes of the first time the effect happens. It takes one round of exposure for the effect to apply once.

Other colors might exist. Consult your GM.

Aperture Form Catalog

1. Continuous Beam
Fires a continuous beam for the duration of the aperture being open. It deals damage as normal, so long as the beam was focused for around 1 round on the target. When fired into a melee, compare attack roll to all ACs in that melee. It hits all the ACs it passes. If the beam hits nothing you can see, it continues in a straight line until it does hit something.

2. Bullet Pocket
The aperture becomes 2-stage. The first stage takes an entire round to complete, where it collects energy into a tight bullet. The second stage takes place on the round after, where it is fired in its concentrated form. The bullet deals damage as normal and may be fired normally into a melee.
It is not advised to use this form with the 10-minute aperture opening. The effective range is as crossbow.

3. Scattershot Pocket
As bullet pocket, except instead of a single bullet being generated, many smaller ones are created. These are fired in a cone in front of you with according to your throwing range.

4. Forked Beam
As continuous beam, but you may fire 2 beams at 2 strictly different targets, with -2 to the attack roll. Additionally, halve damage dealt and deal damage per beam.

5. Mixed Beam
Choose another color you have available when you switch to this form. You fire both color beams at the same time as a continuous beam, using the damage of the lower beam when used as a weapon, for both effects. Conflicting effects (like sticky and slippery) cancel each other out.
When you switch to a different form, choose which color to keep attuned.

6. Needle Beam
As continuous beam, but beam is needle thin and deals damage with a die one step higher and +3 damage. Red automatically affects metal and White’s effect is quickened.

7. Flat Beam
Fires a completely flat continuous beam, wider than a regular continuous bean, at an angle you choose when you switch to this form. If you do not choose an angle, it is horizontal.

8. Curved Beam
A continuous beam that is fired curved. The curving starts immediately and may be in any angle, allowing tight spirals or a beam that follows the curve of a planet.

9. Phase Beam
A continuous beam that deals very little damage, but passes through objects of limited volume. The beam can be stopped by 30cm of consecutive material, with very small gaps not counting as breaks. Otherwise, the beam continues unabated.
1d10 damage beams deal 2 damage this way, while all other beams deal 1 damage. Red beam cause an anchoring effect with a save negating. White beam causes mild heating.

10. Light Beam
A continuous beam that manifests as light. It cannot cause direct damage, and stop at the first instance of solid material, but reflects off reflective surfaces as would normal light.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

RPG Setting a Day - Day 4

The fourth day, treasure, gets me to consider what might lie in the region and, more specifically, Nimrod's fortress.

Fantastic Galilee’s greatest treasure, much like real world Galilee, is the fertile land. Farther north and the clouds don’t reach, further south and the desert intermingles. But it is not the only treasure.

In Nimrod’s coffers are collected magical items and piles of coin. Between taxes and successful conquests, Nimrod’s faction are exceedingly wealthy.
Further, deep below the fortress, lies a magical spring filling a pond with healing water. Around the pond grow herbs which absorb this quality and have become a staple in Nimrod’s mess hall, where his own warriors, rather than the mercenaries, are fed.

After some thought, I settled on combining fact - the fertile land - with the fiction that helped Nimrod establish such a long rule. He heard of and uncovered the spring, allowing his forces to bounce back from any fight far quicker than his enemies could.

And again, have some more tone setting.

Friday, 3 August 2018

RPG Setting a Day - Day 3

Now we're up to properly making writeups.  I've given some thought to the conflict in Fantastic Galilee and I'm going with what history has given me: a contested land, constantly changing hands between multiple factions vying for the fertile land and strategic locations.

The conflict of Fantastic Galilee centers around Nimrod and has faction having seized long-term control of the region. From within, rebels band together to resist the rough rule that grows longer and longer, uncharacteristically so. From without, Ezekiel’s faction, a warlord from the north, gathers their forces for a push.
The two factions opposing Nimrod’s will cooperate, but should they have the upper hand in the end, fully plan to take out the other. The rebels want a council of locals, Ezekiel wants the region for himself.

A short post this time around, but I suspect such is the nature of this project, at least for now.
Have another tone-setting picture.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

RPG Setting a Day - Day 2

So now we're on to the sublocation for this month's project.

Taking straight from reality, this important sublocation is Nimrod Fortress, where the warlord and ruler of the region resides. In fact, it subtly stars in the top picture in yesterday's post.
Sadly, all pictures available are ruins, so we shall use our imaginations to make up for that.


Wednesday, 1 August 2018

RPG Setting a Day - Days 0 and 1

OK, let's do this. Here, Jacob Hurst offers we hijack #RPGADAY for creation. So yeah, we are doing this (or we give up trying).

Day 0 - The Pitch
Pitch: Fantastic Galilee of Israel. Arid yet green, large hills, and mountains in the distance. Streams and wadis snake through the terrain, providing splashes of bright colors and sudden changes in height.

Rich resources of fruit, milk, wine, meat, gold, gems.

Climate: trends towards hot, with very hot summers and mild winters. Moderate precipitation, with rainy, but not stormy, winters.

Historical Problems: warred over and over again by locals from every direction, allowing few victors enough time to establish themselves

Current status: ruled by a harsh overlord for over a decade, a long span of time never seen before, from his fortress atop a small mountain. Taxes are high and demands are many, so few settlements get to thrive and many try to pack and leave. Outside the reach of the overlord, his competitors lie in wait, preparing to strike and willing to take in his malcontents.

Notable semi-common features: clashing signs of past occupiers, praising one god or another, as well as their leaders - statues, shrines, temples. Winding streams and small waterfalls. Deep wadis and their sharp walls.

Consistent Colors: light brown ground and yellowish dirt. Olive-green leaves and deep-green shrubs. White construction stone.

Crazy Talk: the current ruler is a demigod, which his god has anointed to rule this region for eternity.

Day 1 - LAND
So I need some pictures about my hex-flower and that's it. I can work with that for today. For now, nothing but pictures.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Monster Jars

With a prompt from one Chris Wilson from the OSR Discord server - "Monster Jars".

Here, have a class. It assumes silver standard.


A likely Jarrymonsterer | Original | Artist

You have studied the art of uniting monsters and jars, in multiple forms and kinds. You harness the powers and abilities of monsters this way.

Class: Jarrymonsterer

Your HD, to-hit, saves, equipment restrictions, and XP track are as magic-user.

Your Jars: in order to perform your jarring abilities, you need jars treated in advance. Any glass jar may be treated and is measured in doses. At most, a jar you treat may contain up to 3 doses and needs to be appropriately large, but each dose in a single jar costs more to treat: a single dose jar costs 50sp to treat, a 2-dose jar costs 150sp to treat, and a 3-dose jar costs 300sp to treat. Treating jars takes an entire day, though you may treat multiple jars at a time. A treated jar takes up a single equipment slot.
When all doses in a jar are expended, it remains treated, but will require cleaning before new doses may be put in. This takes 10 minutes per dose the jar can contain and all doses must be cleaned before reuse.
Treated jars are hard to break. Treat as reinforced wood for breakage rules.
You may carry as many jars at one time you have levels in Jarrymonsterer.

Salvaging Jars: at any time, you may spend a day with a jar to salvage it for materials and costs. Salvaging this way gives you materials to be used in treatment and rituals on other jars. When you salvage a jar, you lose the jar itself as well.

Exotic Jars: if you have jars made to order, or find particularly special ones, they may be exotic jars. Exotic jars have several advantages over regular glass jars, depending on their features:
  • if it is made from an exotic glass or glass-like material, it becomes as hard as steel to break when treated.
  • if its glass is stained with art, it may contain an extra dose at no cost (single dose becomes 2-dose and so on).
  • if its lid is etched or inscribed with art, pickles from pickling and monstrous jars are done a single sunrise quicker, while a monster-in-a-jar may be recalled without pinning it down, from a 10' distance.
Additionally, you might find Ancient Monster Jars, treated with long lost techniques. These jars are unbreakable, are not lost when salvaging or if not fed as monstrous jars or jar monsters on time, come in all 3 sizes, and have both art features even if they are plain and possibly not even made out of glass. You can tell them apart from other jars without error.

Jarring Ethics: you can jar nearly anything. The line is drawn at a certain degree of humanoidness. Any humanoid you can safely say is a civilized kind of humanoid, goblins and orcs and kobolds included, for instance, cannot be jarred. Consult your GM for some exceptions, like mind flayers.

Monster Food: each dose contained in a jar also counts as a ration when you eat it, but you do not necessarily need to eat a ration to consume a dose. In addition, roll with advantage when saving against effects of ingested hazards, like poisons, since your stomach has become hardy.

Monster Pickles: the simplest method of jarring monster is monster pickles. Pickling requires a freshly dead monster, a means to scoop out its innards, and 10 minutes of work per jar you want to fill. A monster can provide a number of doses equal to its HD. Monster pickles must rest in their jar for 1 full day before they are usable. If strict day time is not kept, assume 2 sunrises need to pass before the pickles are ready.
Monster pickles provide a monster's ability or trait for a duration equal to your level in Jarrymonsterer per dose. This ability or trait is chosen when scooping out the innards of the monster. Consult your GM what is available and how it works.
If a jar containing monster pickles is broken, you have one round to eat the spilled doses before they lose all potency.

Monstrous Jar: you can treat a jar into a monstrous jar with an hour-long ritual and an unconscious monster. This ritual costs 100sp in materials per HD the monster has. When the ritual is finished, your jar is now part monster.
A monstrous jar requires a single ration per day to live. It needs to be fed after the sun rises and no later than noon. It will complain until it gets fed. It will die and melt away, along with the jar, if not fed in time.
In its jar stomach, a monstrous jar can hold a number of rations equal to the number of doses it can hold. These doses are treated as pickles, including the time it takes for pickling to finish. You now essentially have a self-refilling pickle jar.
A monstrous jar can't be broken, but it can be killed or punctured into non-usability. It has 1 HP per HD the monster had and an AC like platemail. Any saves you make against area of effect spells apply to the jar as well.

An example Monstrous Jar | Original

Monster-in-a-Jar: a particularly complex technique allows you to squeeze and entire monster into a jar. This requires an unconscious or willing monster and a 3-hour long ritual. You may put a monster with HD equal to or less than the number of doses the jar can contain and each jar may only contain a single monster this way. The ritual costs 200sp per HD the monster has.
Monsters jarred this way are not automatically tamed, merely forced into a small space. They may be released at any time and rejarring them does not require the ritual be performed again, as long as no more than a day has passed since release and you are able to pin it down for a single round while the jar's mouth is firmly placed against the monster.
If the jar breaks, the monster inside it is immediately expelled out and has to be rejarred with a new ritual.

Jar Monster: the most complex monster jarring technique, the jar monster acts as a companion to the Jarrymonsterer. You may only have a single jar monster at a time. Creating your jar monster requires a monstrous jar as a base, a day-long ritual, and 300sp per HD the monstrous jar has. The monstrous jar is consumed in this process. In its place, you get a practically identical jar, but it is now a type of combination between a monstrous jar and a monster-in-a-jar.
Your jar monster begins with the ability the monstrous jar used as its base has, and can expand into this monster on command and is obedient to you. Additionally, this jar can accept as many doses from other jars as the monstrous jar could contain as additional abilities when expanded. These abilities last 10 minutes times your level in Jarrymonsterer, and the timer runs from the moment it first expands with doses inside it, even if it reverts back to jar form.
The jar monster needs to be fed like a monstrous jar, as well, although it can last an entire day extra if fed double rations at the next feeding time.
The jar monster has normal HP for its HD, based on its HD as a monstrous jar. Other rules apply the same. It has AC equal to its regular monster base when expanded, and as monstrous jar when in jar form.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

The Dragon

A discussion on race-as-class over on the OSR Discord server led to the idea of a dragon race-as-class, where your experience points are your hoard are your power and age. So here.


Contrary to popular belief, dragons don't age as other creatures and races do. An old dragon is not necessarily strong, and a strong one not necessarily old, at least if what you count are the years it lived. Dragons appear to age, and gain power, as their hoard gains size.

A player playing The Dragon uses the following rules:

HD: d12.
Experience Point Track: as magic-user. See class features.
To-hit: as fighter.
Saves: special. Use the class that gives the best saves vs. magic and magic device, if such saves are separate from the rest, with other saves being inverted (becoming worse as The Dragon levels up). Otherwise, as magic-user.
Weapons and Armor: special. See class features.

Great Hoard, Great Power: The Dragon draws their power from the size of their hoard, gaining levels as it grows. To gain levels as The Dragon, you must invest gold as experience points into the hoard. Gold invested this way cannot be used for other purposes, with one exception: if you put in copper coins, you may trade them up for an equal number of silver or better coins. Experience points are gained at a 1:1 ratio to gold value.
Gold that is removed from the hoard, by pesky adventurers for instance, lowers your experience points but not your level, and you will need to work up new wealth again.

A Place for your Hoard: for your hoard to affect you, it must be concentrated in one place, as either a big pile or a set of linked chambers. At first, you might be able to carry the hoard on your person or with you in a wagon. By the time you become a young adult, though, you are likely to need a permanent lair, for the hoard could become very great in size.

Stages of Growth: while dragons have 12 stages of growth, The Dragon only reaches the 6th stage before needing to retire if they want to continue growing, due to the need to protect their now very large hoard. When The Dragon reaches 6th level and its stage, they cannot gain enough experience points to advance to the next level and stage, by gaining no more than 1 experience point less than the requirement for the next level. Any more experience points gained beyond this limit are lost.
The 6 relevant stages are: wyrmling, very young, young, juvenile, young adult, and adult.
As your stages of growth progress, you grow in size, gain AC, improve your breath weapon, and gain more access to your special features, in addition to standard improvements.
A young adult atop his relatively sizeable hoard | Original

Size and Length: dragons start big and only grow bigger. Your length is separated into 2: your body and your tail, with the tail making up nearly half your full length. As a wyrmling, your body length is 1d12+5 feet and your tail is 1d3 feet shorter. For every stage you grow, your body grows 1d3+10 feet longer, and your tail 1 foot less than that.

Draconic Hide: your AC as a wyrmling is as good as leather armor. For every 3 stages you grow, starting from young, improve your AC by 2. When you become a young adult, your hide begins to resist magic naturally and you roll saves vs magic and magic device with advantage.

Breath Weapon: you can breathe fire in order to attack others. Your breath weapon is a cone that erupts from your mouth to a distance of 10 feet, 5 feet wide at the base. For every stage you grow, the cone becomes 10 feet longer. Every other stage you grow, starting from very young, the cone becomes 5 feet wider at the base. When you become a young adult, you may choose to breathe a jet of fire instead of a cone. Double the length of the cone and keep it a uniform 5 foot width.
Your breath weapon deals damage equal to your HP, and after use you may not use it again for 10 minutes.

Natural Weapons: you have natural weapons in the forms of your claws, your mouth, and your tail. as a wyrmling, you may only use one of the three at a time in a given round. When you become a juvenile, you may use two of them in a single round.
All of your attacks add your level to their damage. In addition, each of your claws deals 1d6 damage, your mouth 1d10 damage, and your tail 1d4 damage in an arc behind you.

Treasures in the Hoard: whenever you include gems or magical items and equipment in your hoard, you may choose to forgo the experience point reward and instead use them for abilities and special benefits by attuning yourself to them. This feature essentially replaces equipment for The Dragon:
  • Gems: starting with the first gem, you may detect gems 1/day in a 100 foot radius. Each gem included this way allows you to detect that type and up to that value in gold. You gain another daily use if you have at least 1 gem worth 500 gold, and a third daily use if you have one worth 5000 gold. Gems never need attunement, and also always give their experience point value as well.
  • Magical Weapons: a weapon that provides a magical bonus to-hit and damage may be attuned to provide that bonus to your natural weapons. If multiple weapons are attuned this way, you only receive the highest bonus.
  • Magical Armor: an armor that provides a magical bonus to AC may be attuned to provide that bonus to you. If multiple armors are attuned this way, you only receive the highest bonus.
  • All Magical Items and Equipment: items and equipment providing special abilities may be attuned to provide them to you. Consult your GM how that manifests, with the following limitations - each attunement can provide only a single daily use with a duration in rounds no longer than you have levels in this class.
  • Consumable Magical Items: require attunement and provide their effect on use. When used this way, they are consumed as usual.
Magical items and equipment you put in your hoard this way will never provide you experience points and can never be converted back to experience points in exchange for their benefits.
You may attune yourself to as many benefits and abilities from magical items and equipment as you have levels. However, each item or piece of equipment may only provide a single effect from itself per attunement. To get a weapon's bonus and its abilities, for instance, 2 or more attunments are necessary.
The OG Dragon on Hoard, Smaug | Original

Mighty Wings: you have mighty wings, which at first allow only short flight. Before you become a young adult, you may fly ten times your total length in feet at a time, in a largely straight line. After that distance, you need to rest for a minute before flying again. Once you become a young adult, you may fly for extended periods of time. Consult your GM how that works out. Your flight speed is 100 feet plus 10 feet per level per round.

Draconic Greed: your lust of gold and treasure leads your decisions and moral compass more than anything. Whenever shares of loot or payout are at stake, you must roll 10 plus your level or more on a d20. If you fail, you must demand a bigger share or payout. Additionally, if cutting your shares are ever brought up, roll the same saving throw, but twice. If you fail in either or both, you must stand your ground. Failing in either of these could lead to violence.
If you succeed at the saving throw, you will not be content with what you will be given, but you will accept it. Never forget the grievance, though.

Draconic Pride: up until you are a young adult, your draconic pride will not let you allow others to touch your hoard. It is yours and yours alone. Once you become a young adult you will demand, threaten, or hire others to do the work you once deemed your own. At this point, you will be too proud as a proper dragon to do the type of menial labor of carrying treasure.

Kobold Attraction: whenever you interact with kobolds, your draconic lineage will make them more compelled to help you. When you encounter kobolds, roll reactions at +3, and kobolds will require great compulsion to be hostile towards you. In addition, kobolds will agree to become hirelings for very little, if at all. If you gain a large amount of them, treat them as kobold Extras. Once you become a young adult, you may spend an entire day to instantly gain a first level kobold Extras if you have none.

Energy Beams from Other Dimensions

For a brief period of delightful insanity, the power of Marvel's Mr. Angst himself, Cyclops, was described as such: "The original ...