Monday, February 23, 2015

Jilted Jewelry - Rejected Magic Item for LotFP

This was written for the LotFP Magic Item Contest, but it didn't make the cut. I realized it could use some work shortly after submitting and revised it a little since then. Feel free to comment on what you think.
The Originator’s Cube

The necklace consists of a silver cord with a 5-inch brass cubical ornament that is perfectly smooth on all sides but one, which has an elaborate floral design of beyond imagination. Touching the cube feels like organic material and leaves impressions like clay, but after 3 seconds it will slowly return to its original cubical shape. The ornament reacts differently according to how it is interacted with.

If the wearer asks where something is, the cube will shift into a triangular shape and point the way. The route is not always direct and the ornament will shift back into a cube after a few moments. (1d4 hours)

When the cube is touching leather, such as leather armor for example, it will sound as it is breathing heavily when danger is approaching. If someone other than the wearer touches the cube they will feel a sensation similar to static cling (make a Save versus Magical Device). Failing results in their skin being torn like parchment off of their body and falling to a flakey mess on the ground. From the pile of flesh, a naked, flightless baby bat will crawl out, seeking the victim as its mother.

If the ornament touches wood, it will begin to melt. The wood around it begins to bend and crack as it reverts slowly back into the state from whence it came, returning to its form as a tree, then sapling, and finally settling as a seed or nut where it once was. Re-planting the seed will sprout a towering tree instantly with wicked, upward curving branches that sprout 1d8 eyeballs. The fragile eyes grow to the size of apples and can be eaten for the feeling of a full nights rest.

Striking the ornament causes it to explode in a writhing mass of thorny, humanoid appendages grasping at the air. The appendages will immediately wrap around the wearer if there is any kind of danger. (giving a +8 Armor bonus) However, they will be unable to move and the thorns will harm them. (1d4 damage each round.) until it passes. Afterwards, the appendages wriggle and break free from the cube and dissolve within seconds.

Throwing the necklace and it will disappear in midair, only to begin growing painfully out of the collarbones of the person standing closest to the thrower. (Save versus Magical Device or take 1d6 damage.) The cube then acts normally as above. If there is no one next to the thrower, they will begin to feel the necklace emerging around their neck instead.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Hoist the Colors

New banner art courtesy of the skillful Tim Avery!

Here's the picture in full:

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Occupational Hazards

In a land riddled with disease, violence, and social constructs, not everyone's born a wealthy noble or are appointed a knight or have the privilege to enroll in a mountaintop school of magic, so why should your characters?
The low and middle class are likely where you're gonna start.  Roll a d100 and get a job, hippie (Although "Ruler" is in there, but it's only a 1% chance you'll get it. Fucking classism.)
"Well shit, I got Barrel-maker, but my stats are that of a Magic-User." 
Calm yourself, child. There's aspects of magic and alchemy seeped into the cracks of even the most mundane occupations. 

I usually play games where magic is relatively dangerous to dabble in and has adverse effects on its users. (LotFP does a great job with this.) This makes it a challenge to those brave or foolish enough to seek out the powers from beyond. That being said, the first tasks a new occultist would most likely try to achieve would be making their career a little easier.

Re-skinning and coming up with spells for random medieval jobs is daunting, so I'm going to start a series of posts that have examples to get those thoughts cookin'.

Let's take a look at the Dentist, also known in the 1300's as the Laybarber. Not only did these folk cut your hair, they were questionably skilled in oral operations.

Check out that cauldron in the back and the string of teeth. Dentists were certainly regarded in alchemical and magical affairs back in the day. From Jost Amman's "Book of Trades."
Check out that cauldron in the back and the string of teeth. 
Dentists were certainly dabbling in the Dark Arts back in the day. 
From Jost Amman's Book of Trades.
Dentists and other medical practitioners of the time relied on herbal medicine and rituals to drive away pain and discomfort. The Ancient Sumerians believed that tooth decay was due to small worms hiding in between your teeth and used candles made of sheep's fat to try and burn them out. Ouch.

Maybe your aspiring barber surgeon chose to perfect their craft with more powerful magic after singeing too many mouths. If they're lucky, they may have stumbled upon this pamphlet after perusing a hole-in-the-wall bookstore down a dark alley.
The Practiced Lay Barber’s Extraction Handbook by Leeland Penderson

Farmer At The Dentist by Johann Liss
 Leeland was an experienced lay barber trusted by nobles for pulling all of their sugar-incrusted, rotted teeth and providing them with the most stylish pearly-whites that silver could buy. In order to make the perfect dentures, however, he needed teeth. He obtained them by sneaking into peasants’ homes and extracting them while they sleep. Leeland perfected a spell in order to get the most teeth with the least resistance from the “patient.” He was caught forcing the teeth out of a boy who was distantly related to the constable and was charged with malpractice. Leeland spent 5 years in the dungeons before becoming a filthy street rat.
Amongst the scientific diagrams of the jaw and the short catalog of straight razors, there lie sigils for luck in hair cutting and wards for keeping "tooth worms" away, as well as several spells:
Oral Abscission
Magic-User Level 1
Casting time: 1 round
Range: 30’
Target: 1 being
After the lay barber has properly prepared themselves for surgery, this spell is cast in order to make full teeth removal a speedy operation. The patient’s gums will swell at a rapid rate, during which the teeth will begin to fall out. Patients that struggle from the process (make a Save versus Magic) may experience a sharp pain (1d4 of damage) and minor bleeding. The patient will not be able to speak for the rest of the day following the operation due to the inflammation of the gums.
Using this mindset could also be helpful for creating/re-skinning spells and making backstories for DCC (Dungeon Crawl Classics), where level-0 characters are often merchants or craftsman when they start adventuring. Just because they read from some mystical skull that gave them the power to ignite the air around them doesn't mean they won't use the ability to burn down homes in the night only to offer to rebuild them for a pretty penny by day.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Brave Unknown

Welp, here we go.


This will be the new place for the majority of Glen Greentoad's OSR (Old School Roleplaying) game ideas, play reports, and so on.

The goals of this site are to provide ideas and materials for DIY Gaming for Referees, Game Masters, players and storytellers for anyone to make their own games (usually for cheap too.)

A little about my current tabletop adventures, I mainly run Lamentations of the Flame Princess with Logan Knight's Welcome to Corpathium rules and I'll be throwing in some stuff from Zak S's A Red And Pleasant Land shortly as well. I also play a bit of Pathfinder, D&D 5th Edition, and a good variety of board games.

Fair warning, some of the material posted may include graphic descriptions of body horror, mutations, dismemberment, foul language and similar themes. These aren't suitable for kids under 18, so they shouldn't be looking. Get someone who can read the ideas to you without all the bad stuff.

If you're already on Google+ go ahead and add me to your circles and feel free to talk ideas to me there. If you're not on Google+, go make an account because lots of really awesome OSR bloggers and gamers are there.

Anyway, here's something fun for you,


Head Full of Birds, A Cursed Ring for LotFP

still from Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, which partially inspired this one
Still from Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, which partially inspired this one.
A brilliant ring with a sapphire stone grasped by a set of golden talons.

Upon wearing this ring, the victim will begin hearing the sounds of birds in the near distance. For the next 1d4 days, the echoing of wings beating in the air, whistling from rooftops, and birdsongs in trees will haunt the wearer wherever they go, getting closer and louder each hour. This intensely distracts them, giving a -3 to Initiative and -1 to Search checks.

The ring cannot be removed by non-magical means, save amputation.

If the ring is not removed, the calls of birds are heard within the victim’s head. At the end of the final day, the victim is inflicted with an intense headache akin to sharp pecking inside their head. Save versus Poison or the bird(s) will hatch from their skull and attack anyone within the area.

Skull-Hatched Avians (1d4):

1. A trio of screaming, featherless hatchlings shatter the skull with their newly formed beaks. If fed maggots and kept safe they will grow into magnificent helmeted hornbills worth 600sp each in two days. That is if they don’t eat each other first. (roll a d6 at the end of each day, on the result of a 4-6 one is eaten by the others.)

2. Two crows peck their way out of the eye sockets of the victim, and then fly to the nearest oculi to consume. Each has Armor 12, HD 2, beak 1d4 damage, on a crit the crows blind their victim, indulging themselves on their visual organs.

3. Twelve small gray sparrows flee from the corpse of the victim, swarming as their feathers fall like snow from their fragile bodies. Each has Armor 12, HD 1, beak 1d4 damage, one dies each round, exploding in a flurry of gray dust.

4. A fleshy vulture with a beak that drips a black, viscous resin emerges amongst the remains of the skull and spreads its terrible wings. Armor 14, HD 4, beak 1d6 damage, unaffected by fire, resin can be harvested and used as a skin epoxy that grants +2 to Surgery rolls.