Friday, December 20, 2019

Secret Santicorn 2019: D66 short, utility-only spells

Secret Santicorn came up again on the OSR discord, but this time around, I have a functioning blog to post things on and no school to get in the way. So, here's my writeup for @annowme's prompt of "d66 short, utility-only spells". Annowme, I hope you like them!

From Demonui

The prompt specified "utility-only", which I decided to use as a constraint to write spells with as limited combat utility as possible, however, I'm sure that a smart player could find some sort of use for all of them, and as things went on, I found it harder and harder to not think of combat situations, so the latter half of the list does have some. A fair number of them ended up somewhat tech themed, but the names could be tweaked for a less gonzo game. They are all written to be system neutral, and I wasn't sure on some of the specifics cause I figured the gift recipient may want to tweak those to their preference, or have them scale somewhat.

All spells are assumed to be level 1 spells, or in a system without leveled spells, they can be somewhat improved on with more dice/power invested. Unless otherwise specified, the durations are all 10 minutes.

11 Ping: Caster lets out a ultrasonic wave that maps out the nearby area. Functions like sonar, and can detect invisible objects or entities.
41 Temperate Touch: An object touched can be heated or cooled. This is enough to boil water, or freeze it, but not enough to affect an area larger than about 1 square foot.

12 Escape Rope: Teleports caster and any number of willing targets to the entry point of the dungeon they are in.

42 Ventriloquism: Caster can throw their voice and have it emerge from somewhere else nearby without moving their own mouth.
13 Ariadne's Thread: Once cast, the caster can perfectly retrace their steps through any environment without getting lost for the duration.

43 Adhesive: Stick any two adjacent objects together for the spell's duration.
14 Copy: Create a copy of a small object or signature. Can be reversed to detect if an object or signature is not an original.

44 Grease: Make a surface (10x10 area or less) incredibly slippery and impossible for anyone to keep their balance on.
15 Arcane Eye: Target a small object or location. For the duration of the spell, you can see out of that object as if it were your eye.

45 Photograph: Creates a small postcard sized representation of what you can see in front of you.
16 Ward: Target an area (10x10?). If a creature enters that area you get a ping in your head.
46 Iron Gullet: Transforms your stomach and throat into a sturdy vessel for transporting liquids. For the duration of the spell, you can swallow dangerous fluids, sharp objects, and all manner of objects as long as they fit inside your mouth without harm. They can be spat back out at any time before the spell ends.

21 Historical Reconstruction: Generates a holographic image of the history of your immediate surroundings. With more skill you can hone in on a particular point of history, otherwise this reveals the most charged historical moment that happened in that space.

51 Conjure Rope: Creates 50' of hemp rope.
22 Speak with Dead: You can speak with the spirit of a corpse, however the longer they have been dead the more likely the subject doesn't remember details or has already moved on.

52 Wall of Force: Creates a 10x10 wall of force. With some effort, it can be sculpted into a specific shape or moved around.
23 Transmute Art to Wealth: Transmutes an art object to 50% of its value in GP.
53 Save State: Anchors your self to this exact point in time and space. You return to the same spot in space in time 1 minute after the casting of the spell.

24 Poise: Targeted creature automatically picks up on etiquette cues and social atmospheres for the duration of the spell. Anyone speaking to the target has their disposition bumped up to at least friendly. This spell also subtly alters their clothing to be appropriate for the situation.

54 Hint: Contacting the gods of luck, you are gifted with a brief and cryptic hint about your current predicament.
25 Locate Origin: This spell will point the caster towards the place of manufacture of an object, or the parent of a creature.
55 Create and Extinguish Light: Can create small lights, or extinguish small lights within range. Can also put out mid-sized fires or suppress natural bioluminescence.

26 Tidy: Sorts, arranges, counts, catalogs, and cleans everything in a small area. Generates a professional looking report afterwards.
56 Arcane Lock: Creates a magical lock on a container or portal, and up to 4 associated at casters discretion. Lasts for spell duration, roughly 24 hours.

31 Detect Gold: Objects made of gold can be seen through walls for the duration of the spell.
61 Illusory Entry: Creates a door on a wall that only the caster can step through onto the other side. Anyone else sees a painted door on a wall.

32 Detect Lies: Caster can tell when people are lying for the duration of the spell.

62 Preserve: Transforms up to 10 rations into preserved rations that last twice as long.
33 Summon Vermin: Summons a few small rodents, a bunch of tiny insects, or one large rat. Just enough to bite through someone's bonds, carry an object over to a location, or bother a guard.

63 Remove Gravity: Makes an object weightless for the duration.
34 Absorb Knowledge: Instantly absorbs the knowledge from a written work, no matter the language. Can also be used on a willing target, mind-meld style to transfer knowledge.
64 Select: Fires a small bolt of force at a target. Cannot miss. The target can now be seen by the caster through walls with a faint highlight, and draws all attention from around it. It can also now be targeted by spells and attacks as if it was at arms reach the caster.

35 Mold Earth and Stone: A 10x10 or less area of rock or earth can be shaped like putty by shaping a smaller portion of the material in the caster's hand.

65 Paint: Creates an texture/image of the caster's choosing manifest on a target.
36 Crystal Net: Enchants a number of small crystals or gems so that they can be spoken through like walkie-talkies. (3-6. More if the spell is enhanced)

66 Conjure Ham: Summons one bone in rum ham. Serves 3-4. A bit boozy. Very tasty. (counts as rations for 3-4 people)

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

OSR Parasite Challenge

This post is made for the parasite contest hosted on the OSR Discord server. The other participants, and their blogs, are:
Micah, RTXAmbnz, Lexi, Type1Ninja, wr3cking8a11, Oblidisideryptch, Wizard, and James Young.

The challenge was to make a GLOG class in a week for a parasite race-as-class. I know many of the participants went for something unique, but I decided to go for something classic. I was mostly inspired by the Venom symbiote, but this old flash game from newgrounds kept coming to mind as well. In The Visitor, you play a tiny worm-like alien thing, hopping from body to body and mutating into their forms to solve puzzles. I liked the idea of a class that can hop bodies and use them as they see fit, so I tried to mechanize that and make it fairly simple. Then I added some higher level stuff like Venom-style body mutations to give it some depth.

The adaptations list is where I think some changes could be made, but I figure it could be tailored however the GM sees fit. The adaptations listed down there are just an example.
Related image
Remember this guy?


Starting equipment: Human Host Body (1 HD, Morale 9)
Skill (1d3): Biology, Seduction, Alien

A Symbiote, Hijack
B Adapt, Total Loyalty
C Simultaneous Adaptation
D Fast Adaptation OR Master of Evolution

You are an alien parasite that controls bodies. Your true form is a small worm-like blob of viscous material. Unless in a host body, you have no hands, cannot wear armor, and move at a base speed of 10ft per round.
Notes: I figured this class should probably have some downsides, so the parasite is incredibly fragile outside of a host. They should want to keep their host alive until they can find a new one.

To attach to a new host body the creature must either be willing, unconscious, or restrained in such a way that you can enter their body through an open cavity, and cannot have a number of HD greater than the HD of your current body+1. The new host body can make a save to avoid being controlled, but will take 1d6 damage on a failure. If the strain of the process does not outright kill them, you now have a new host and can use their physical body as if it were your own. Use the host’s physical stats (STR, DEX, CON) and their HP and equipment. While attached to a host your presence is only apparent as a small pulsating black wart at the base of their neck, right between the shoulder. If your host is killed, save or die from the system shock feedback. You don’t have complete control, however, as any action that you command that would be obviously suicidal provokes a morale check from the host. On a success they can make a save to break free.
Notes: The actual mechanics for hijacking a new body ended up being a little complex, but I wanted to put some limiters on it because otherwise it's essentially a free mind control spell. It manages to break some of the limiters later on, but this means a level 1 parasite isn't completely OP.

Image result for abathur
"Better, Faster, Stronger"
By mutating the host body’s natural form, you can make some improvements to their biology and apply one of the following adaptations to them. This takes a week of downtime to recover from the warped body, and permanently lowers the host’s HD by 1. If this would reduce a host to 0 HD, use your own HP, as you are now a hybrid body. In this case you cannot eject from the host until after taking a week to remove the adaptation and restoring the host’s body. Each host body can only have one adaptation applied at a time.
  1. Armored Carapace: The host grows an armored bone carapace, granting AC as plate.
  2. Bone Scythes: One or both arms are replaced with bone claws that cannot manipulate objects but deal 1d8 damage on a hit.
  3. Adrenaline: The host’s metabolism is maxed out, granting doubled movement speed and an extra attack every round.
  4. Wings: The host’s back sprouts leathery bone wings that grant a fly speed of 40 ft/round
  5. Unstable Chemistry: The host can be blown up as an action or on death, dealing 2d10 damage to all targets in a 30 ft range
  6. Amp Up: The host’s STR, DEX, and CON are increased to 18 through intense hyperactivation of muscles.
  7. Residual Budding: The host body remains under your thrall for 1d4 rounds after leaving it.
  8. Forearmed: The host’s arm splits in half at the elbow, creating a third hand. Can be combined with bone scythes
Notes: As noted above, the adaptations list is mostly examples. Feel free to add more or remove some for your own parasite. They might be too powerful, as they haven't been tested yet, but I think they should match well with some of the higher-powered GLOG classes out there. Don't forget to accompany these mutations by horrible impossible folding of the host creature's anatomy.

Total Loyalty
Your hosts now have 12 morale while attached.
Notes: This is where the ability gets to be much more mind-control-like. I still feel like the host should have some level of agency, but at level 2 this is probably fine.

Simultaneous Adaptation
You can now apply a number of adaptations to your host body equal to the number of Parasite templates you have.
Notes: Load up that host with wings, bone scythes, and armored carapace and turn them into a total monster.

Fast Adaptation
You can apply or remove an adaptation in 1 action rather than 1 week.
Notes: I intend to probably tweak the numbers on adaptation time. I don't know how powerful they are yet, but I know I want this thing to be able to adapt itself on the fly at higher levels.

Master of Evolution
Create a new adaptation or choose an adaptation, that adaptation does not count against your adaptation limit
Notes: Allows the player some leeway in making this parasite their own by giving them a signature mutation. Something like Venom's black suit appearance would be cool here.
Related image
More of a symbiote than a parasite, really...

Sunday, March 24, 2019

The Curious Collection of Colin Crowe

Image result for hall of curiosities
Skerples over at Coinsandscrolls is running a community project involving making carriages for a giant interdimensional train megadungeon and I've decided to participate because I've never really done something like this before, and the limited size of the map looked pretty easy to work with. Plus, it gave me a great excuse to learn GIMP finally because I'd been putting that off for ages. So I downloaded the templates and got to work. After many hours of swearing at pixels, accidentally deleting my entire image, and finally learning how to draw a straight line, I present The Curious Collection of Colin Crowe.

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, and I'm probably going to make another one soon if I can work it into my schedule. Currently bouncing around in my head is a car with a giant kraken god in it, ala China Mieville's Kraken, and a natural greenhouse car.Related image

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Session 25: BOSS FIGHT

Session 25: BOSS FIGHT
Image result for chromatic dragons art
Campaign Date: December 3rd, 1631
Date: December 20th
Moon Phase: Waning Gibbous

New Characters:
- Ruck Powder, Goblin Gambler
- Gorm Gorandiir, Stealthy Specialist with a whip

Enemies Defeated:
- 3 Big Clay men (150 xp)
- 32 Normal melee clay men (800 xp)
- 15 Ranged clay men (150 xp)

Total: 1100 xp

Treasure and Equipment:
- 8307 xp of loot from previous sessions (8307 xp)

Total: 8307 xp

- 1 Dungeon room explored (20 xp)
- Beat the Rune dungeon (400 xp)
- Unlocked Rune magic (1000 xp)

Total:  1420 xp

- The party took a quick backtrack to check out the exit to the dungeon, picking up two new adventurers along the way (50 xp)
- After resting for the night, the party descends the floating platform into a massive arena with a giant crystal in the center. (50 xp)
- BOSS FIGHT (50 xp)
- The crystal began to hum with energy as the party grew near, and runes began to appear on it and the ground. (50 xp)
- Ruck fired a laser at the crystal from the floating platform, removing one of its defensive shields as clay warriors began to pour into the room from one of the doors. (50 xp)
- Through a variety of clever combat tricks and quick analysis of exploding runes the party managed to clear all three phases of the boss, causing the crystal to explode! (50 xp)
- Out of the crystal emerged 5 dragons, who flew off through the roof of the dungeon. One of the party managed to catch a glance at one of their faces, which consisted of a single rune and no facial features. (50 xp)
- Packing up the loot they'd acquired, the party returned to the surface and to safety (50 xp)

Total: 400 xp

- Balls to the Wall bonus (50 xp)
- Breach and Clear bonus (50 xp)
- Dramatic battle bonus (50 xp)
- Michael Bay bonus (50 xp)
- Monster Infighting bonus (50 xp)
- Tactical Fighting bonus (50 xp)

Total: 300 xp

Grand Total: 11527 xp

Party Roles and individual exp:
Alex W - Guard, Tracker, Mapper (300 xp)
Logan - Caller, Treasurer (200 xp)
Rory - Tracker (100 xp)
Irene - Caller, Remembremancer (200 xp)
Kory - Treasurer (100 xp)

Death Toll and Injuries:

Investments and Business Ventures:
- Uriel: Travelling to Loegria (11/63 days complete)
- Baral: 2950sp in bank
- RAT: 1600sp, 5cp in bank

Kal/Rionach, Level 3 Necromancer: 5321 (Level up at 9000)
LEVEL UP! | + 1d4 HP | +1 spell slot! | +1 random spell!
Logan/Chitter, Level 3 Ratman: 5344 (Level up at 6000)
Alex W./Kaoru, Level 2 Elf: 5291 (Level up at 6000)
Rory/Baral, Level 5 Dwarf: 20476 (Level up at 35200)
Kory/Ruck, Level 1 Goblin: 1746 (Level up at 2000)
Owen/Gorm, Level 2 Specialist: 1646 (Level up at 3000)
LEVEL UP! | +1d6 HP | +2 skill points!

On Leave:
Logan/Uriel, Level 4 Magic-user: 11387 (Level up at 18000)

— The Voice, Level 2 Specialist: 1879 (level up at 3000) (somewhere in Austria)
Sam B/Branka, Level 2 Muscle Wizard: 6427 (Level up at 9000)
Siobhan/Alex E., Level 3 Specialist: 4412 (Level up at 6000)
Sam P/Joshua, Level 2 Cleric: 3151 (Level up at 3500)
Balric/Augusto, Level 1 Magic-user: 826 (Level up at 2250)
Goblin/?? (Sorry I didn't get your name), Level 1 Goblin: 163 (Level up at 2000)
Dan/Kaulder, Level 1 Barbarian: 719 (Level up at 2000)
Sean/Oswald, Level 2 Specialist: 1531 (Level up at 3000)
Dancin/Tarrus, Level 1 Muscle wizard: 315 (Level up at 2250)

Retired:Irene/Rowan, Level 5 Fighter: 22502 (Level up at 32000)

The halls of the Dead:- Key/Alex W., Level 4 Specialist: 10338 (Level up at 12000)
- Logan/Fulgrenth, Level 1 Barbarian: 1954 (Level up at 2000)
- RAT/Kal, Level 5 Ratman: 18451 (Level up at 24000)
- Logan/Raven-Daylight-Confident-Prophesy, Level 1 Goblin: 410 (Level up at 2000)
--- Easter-Happy-Identity-Citizen, Level 0 Goblin: 110 (Level up at 1000)
- Sam P/Gunther, level 1 Halfling: 0 xp
- Alex/Zed, Level 3 Elf: 6533 (Level up at 12000)
- Ulfric/Alex W., Level 2 Barbarian: 3807 (Level up at 4000)