Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Infinity Hotel Playable Characters

Doing work on Wizard City has given me insight that it is the only campaign setting I can think about in which the Infinity Hotel would not be completely inappropriate.

More stuff on the Infinity Hotel can be found under The Index.

Anyways, this is a post from a while ago that I meant to do.

These are the pregen characters for the Infinity Hotel.

It's worth noting that any moderately clever person can probably find out a way to ruthlessly exploit these skills. That is the entire point. Figuring out loopholes to grant infinite wishes, callously disregarding the Laws of Nature and Physics, forming a logic tesseract to convince the Paradox Archangle that perpetual motion machines are totally normal, etc.


Herc Blooddeth - Psychonaut Barbarian


What we get when we crank the Barbarian up to 21. He is a meat machine of destruction, an Unstoppable Force. So apt at breaking things that he can break THE VERY LAWS OF NATURE.

Abilities/Assets:

Juggernaut - Herc may break any mundane object.

Smash the 4th Wall - Herc may break the 4th wall at will, utilizing any metagame knowledge he desires. Once per session he may look at the GM's notes/maps for up to 30 seconds.

Reality Shatter - Player proclaims: "I break the Law of ______"
(Examples: Gravity, Thermodynamics, Murphey's, Dramatic Irony, etc.)

Psychonaut - Player proclaims: "I break ______'s sense of ______"
(Example: I break the sword-hydra's sense of esteem.)


Dalra Godkiller - World's Least Known Assassin


She killed the God of Knowledge so that nobody would remember who she is. The only truly anonymous person in the world. She still carries the head of the God she slew, and it whispers truths through pale blood-drained lips.

Abilities/Assets:

Head of the God of Knowledge - Dalra may ask the severed god-head in her bag any question of lore. It will answer truthfully. Also performs the Augury spell.

Godkiller Poison - There is exactly one dose. It will kill literally anyone. But only exactly one literally anything.

Bag of Everything - From this modest bag any mundane item may be obtained, provided it is less than 10kg. So... not quite Everything.


Tom Groom - The Reincarnate


Every time Tom Groom dies he just reincarnates as somebody else. This is not infrequently a frustrating thing for all parties involved, but Tom Groom tends to keep a good attitude about it.

Abilities/Assets:

Reincarnate - Whenever Tom Groom dies, he just reincarnates back into the scene as something else. Retains all memories, abilities, etc.

Greater Awaken - He can grant sentient life to any object. This is not always the best thing. Said object is fully capable of talking, conversing, thoroughly enjoying and/or despairing at the the meaningless of its existence.

Speak With All - A spell which allows Tom Groom to speak with anything capable of speech.


Galstad - Space Wizard


The epitome of asshole wizards. A Wizard so wizardly that he puts all other wizards to shame! Absolutely no moral compunctions whatsoever.

Abilities/Assets:

Magical Savant - Galstad is so well versed in magic that he can cast any spell he has ever seen, including those from the Five Schools of Mancy.

Wand of Translocation - This wand allows Galstad to do one of three things, at will:
1) Switch heads with any single target.
2) Prick someone, then wither and die as his new body grows out of them.
3) Switch physical positions with the target.

"I don't know who that is, but I know where they shit." - Galstad knows the present location(s) of anyone whose name he knows.


Eramus, Lord of Hell


A Paladin so righteous that he went to hell, beat up an army of demons, usurped Hell's Throne, and now rules it for the forces of Law.

Abilities/Assets:

Lord of Hell - Eramus, being the custodian of Hell, may summon a handful of demons for whatever purpose he desires. They will obey out of fear.

Bulwark of the Paladin - Eramus is immune to any damage from any Evil character.

Accusation - Eramus may convert any object of his accusations into whatever Alignment that he thinks they are. A reason must be provided for this decision. (Note: It doesn't need to be a great reason.)


The Plutonium Fist


Basically a super-saiyan who can blow up everything within a few miles at a whim, along with himself. Much angry screaming required.

Abilities/Assets:

Plutonium Fists - In addition to his fist attacks causing radiation damage, if he smashes them together there is a 1 in 4 chance it'll cause a nuclear explosion, wiping out every single thing within 3 miles, with very few exceptions.

Preemptive Retaliation - In any given scenario, The Plutonium Fist may retroactively act first in initiative. Typically this involves a punch to the face.

You Call That An Attack? - If you manage to survive an attack or assault, or be unaffected by a spell, you can unleash an attack of twice the power right back at sender. Attack mirrors the style and type of the incoming assault. (i.e. if you take an energy blast, you give an energy blast. If you receive a rhetorical assault, you'd better give a rhetorical assault.)


Nyarlathotep


The Crawling Chaos. That one. The Hotel might be literally infinite, but there is only one Deep Dark and only one Nyarlathotep.

Prerequisites for playing Nyarlathotep: The person playing it needs to know more about Nyarlathotep than you do. This may be impossible. There are no limitations or given abilities. The player must draw upon the lore. If ever you suspect that they are not playing Nyarlathotep enough like Nyarlathotep, you may usurp their control.


Level 1 Thief with 2 HP


We call this one the "Hard Mode". No abilities, assets, or powers. You are a level 1 Thief with 2HP. Good luck!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Alarms?

Guards

By DISILLUSIONEDDESIGNS

Man, this list was hard to finish. It's hard to think of alarms that aren't just some variation of "make noise". Plenty of these have overlap with the Traps category.

Alarms are designed to alert guards/owners/captive monsters under certain trigger conditions.
  1. Screaming Mouth - Classic Magic Mouth alarm. Screams very very loud in caster’s voice. This version has noted effect of spreading to any surface that touches it (i.e. hands, clothes, the back of Frank’s head).
  2. Dangerous Potions All Over The God-Damned Place - With just about every loud, maiming, hazardous spell imaginable. Kept in fragile glass containers, each placed precariously for maximum potential energy. One breaking will no doubt set off a chain reaction.
  3. Tortured Goblin - Every wizard it has ever seen has done something horrible to it, so of course it’ll scream and kick and wail every time it sees one.
  4. Animated Symphony Orchestra - Yes, an entire orchestra. The whole thing. Every single instrument, from the grand piano down to the smallest piccolo will follow intruders around, blasting some boisterous symphony. The Wind Section is particularly aggressive.
  5. Scry Pox - Boils break out over intruder’s body, eventually bursting into small eyes. Owner of spell may look through them.
  6. Mark of Ignominy - A Sigil of Ignominy burns into the forehead. Everyone the victims meet will hate and shame them instantly. Strangers will throw rotting vegetables, rough wizards will accost them in the streets, guards will assault then arrest them.
  7. Giant Head Projection - Owner’s head visually projected, Wizard of Oz style, right where the alarm sounded, in whatever state they happen to be in. Sight is fuzzy, and the projection magnifies every little noise.
  8. Omni-Klaxon - It’s a klaxon system, but literally everyone in the city can hear it. Police, wizards, stray shoggoths, and just about every living thing with ears will be disturbed. Quite illegal, trivial to triangulate. Very likely that the entire building will soon be demolished by a grumpy wizard mob unconcerned with its current occupants.
  9. It’s Raining Men - Men of ages 21-96 periodically fall from seemingly out of nowhere. Half the time they die on impact. Nobody ever has any idea where they come from. Men likely to be hopelessly confused at their predicament, and will probably latch onto the first person they see.
  10. The Spanish Inquisition - You know exactly how this works. Turns out it’s an excellent delaying tactic.
  11. A Sudden Economic Recession - Alarm sets off a secret mystical chain of events leading to a “Momentary Catastrophic Economic Recession”. Stockwizards all over the city will start jumping to their deaths, surely alarming anyone by a window or rooftop.
  12. Psychic Linking - Everyone in the building becomes emotionally and empathically linked. Lasts 24 Hours. Owners/Guards become instantly aware of intruders, and vice-versa.
  13. Building Grows Giant Legs - And then lifts itself off the foundation. Entire building begins running down the block in search of the nearest help. Shakes up the building like a birthday present for a toddler.
  14. The Boogie Machine - Lights dim, music plays, disco balls drop from the ceiling, and everyone in the vicinity cannot do anything if they’re not dancing while doing it.
  15. Flies in Your Eyes - Illusory flies start appearing in the visions of intruders. Impossible to swat, impossible to avoid, incredibly distracting. Accompanied by loud buzzing sound.
  16. Open Bounty - Alarm triggers instant bounty, five pounds of unicorn flesh per head, on any and all unlawful intruders. Announces this loudy on street and triggers Sending to the fiercest bounty hunters around.
  17. Past Assassin - Message sent to past detailing current intruders to an assassin, who will then try and cut them off and change past events so that intrusion does not occur.
  18. Triple Point Weather Machine - Conjures up a storm of snow, steam, and rain. Dense storm clouds form above building and lightning strikes hazard every edifice.
  19. Faces All Over - Alarm-triggerer’s face magically appear on anything that normally has faces: coins, paintings, door knockers, ceremonial vases, cats. Other wizards may or may not be exempt. Effect lasts for a week.
  20. The Laugh Track - All actions hereby done within the complex now have a disembodied laugh track in accompaniment. All nearby can hear the delirious studio audience.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

20 Traps for Wizards and Assholes

Guards


Nothing going on here! (Source)

Traps are designed to hinder, incapacitate, or wound intruders and thieves.

  1. Xeno Hallway - Person moves half the speed they did last round, every round. If not sprinting at the start they’ll effectively be stuck.
  2. Time-Delay Exploding Snake-in-a-Can - A few handfulls of spring-loaded snakes pop out with a limp horn sound and a bunch of confetti. Time-delayed explosive packed with ball bearings set within each one to detonate 2-3 Rounds later (around the time someone would pick them up). If on ground reaps ankles. If in hand definitely takes off hand and may be lethal.
  3. Turn Rune - Trigger-activated rune prevents all affected from turning left or right on their own accord. Visual or area activation common. Typically last a day.
  4. Rapid Parasitic Bamboo Darts - Parasitic bamboo is injected via dart, saps nutrients and energy from host, grows at 2 inches/minute. Very awkward to try and run or squeeze with a foot of bamboo jutting out of your knee sideways.
  5. Acceleration Rune - Target starts accelerating at rate of 5ft/round(squared). No effective upper speed limit. Distance required to turn 90 degrees also increases at 5ft/round (starting at 0ft). Unless eventually dispelled, your pieces will almost certainly end up ricocheting into space.
  6. The Classic Zombie Ejection - Used in high traffic dungeons. Anyone who dies nearby gets teleported here, zombified, and then ejected like a floppy pool noodle when the lock is opened. The more impossibly compact the container the better! Think clown car, but it’s your friends and they want to eat your brains.
  7. The Floor is Lava! - Troll Defense Contractors (TDC) are not responsible for any damages or architectural insecurities exposed by use of this product.
  8. False Room - Strangely insecure ajar door/window leads to unnotable or empty room. Passing through threshold triggers conjured walls around all sides, trapping occupant. One-way viewing wall allows owner to view trapped intruder.
  9. Neverending Pit Trap - The classic 10ft pit trap! With false bottom into another pit trap. Followed by another. And another. Repeat forever. False bottom typically survives initial fall impact, but not subsequent movement.
  10. Bound Forgetfulness Elemental - This little guy causes people to forget stuff when they look at it, including the Forgetfulness Elemental. Lives in a conspicuous container, like a treasure chest, transport crate, or a top hat. Generally works down a hierarchy of memories, starting with: prepared spells, recently introduced names, family birthdays.
  11. Wizardnip Sprayer - Yep, it’s catnip, but for wizards. Hidden tube sprays high-inducing liquid (only effective on wizards). Aside from getting really really high, it’ll also attract every wizard in 50 meters to seek you out and rub themselves all over you like some giant disgusting cat. On the positive side, they’ll probably be friendly, and definitely won’t want to cannibalize your flesh!
  12. Dobo Gas - Portmanteau of “Directionless-Hobo”. Clear odorless gas wipes victim’s memory of all local space configurations. Characters can no longer have reference to where familiar places are, even if they’re looking directly at a map. Better ask directions! Lasts 2 Days. If the players have maps, take ‘em.
  13. Radioactive Loot - Hope you enjoy having cancer, thief! Whatever is worth stealing is radioactive. Direct prolonged contact is sure to produce dire health effects.
  14. Memetic Text - Words that, when mentally recognized, causes the reader to undertake the described action. Highly illegal. Very expensive. Subject to sabotage (by changing the text). Popular ones include “Punch Your Balls”, “Eat Your Feet”, or “Aardvark”. Reactions varied to unclear orders.
  15. Binding Rune - Holds exactly one person that steps into it. Person inside cannot escape of their own volition under any circumstance, except for another person entering the circle. Preserves metabolic functions.
  16. Fireplace of Doom! - Big scary demonface fireplace spawns grasping sootfire tentacles and floods the building with smoke in the event of the alarm triggering. Sootfire burns and drags foes back into the Fireplace to cremate.
  17. Portal to the Plane of Distraction - It leaks distractions and red herrings like a flood drain in a storm. Constantly tosses irrelevant, unimportant, and shiny things at the players, such as: ominous golden trinkets, adorable puppies, and tantalizing floating disembodied butts.
  18. Unicorn Spirit Trapped In Sneaky Rake - Ahhhh, the elusive unicorn-trapped-in-rake! How majestic it appears, with great velocity, careening towards your face! It will appear around the estate, inconveniently materializing beneath trespassers’ feet, then galloping off. Won’t hurt virgins.
  19. A Very Seductive Lamp - Charms all who see it. Typically leads to multiple wizards fighting over the sexy lamp. Those holding the lamp close to their chest may act as normal.
  20. Carnivore Spellbook - Nothing so tempting as an open spellbook! Will leap up and snap shut with hidden teeth at anything that gets near it, particularly faces

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Time in a Dayless World

My homebrew campaign setting is called Tidelock. It is, true to its name, about a tidally-locked planet that recently was not. The Apocalypse happened, and it was the Tidal Lock. The world is not geologically or meteorologically realistic. Concessions have been made for fun and convenience. (For instance, the Moon remains arrested out of orbit above the not-Sun-facing pole.) Wizards and Gods did it, all that jazz.

I think this was created by Beau.TheConsortium for the Rare Earth Wiki, but I'm not certain.

The advantage of this setting is that there are clear PC-capability bounded areas, and clear geographical expectations. There is a Habitable Ring around the belt of the planet. Walk towards the Sun and you'll eventually die of heat exhaustion. Walk towards the ice pole and you'll eventually freeze.

What's not so clear, though, is the extent to which things that we (human beings on Earth) take for granted have changed.

The most profound impact of this from a societal standpoint is, by far, the impact on the notion of Time.

There is no Day and no Night. There aren't Four Seasons. No Lunar Cycle. No Tides. No Stars.

(No Stars, at least where people can exist)

So how do people keep track of time? Do they keep track of time? Why would they? What is the relevance of a Calendar when nearly all indicators of Time have been obfuscated?

And, most importantly, how does this impact fantasy societies?

~~~~~~

The Wizards of Chronulus, the City of True Time, have been keeping the Time since the Apocalypse, down to the second. They didn't need to do this, but they did. It was a result of neurotic bookkeeping academics - they just had to know.

There are clocks all over the city. Thousands of them. Newcomers to the city can't stand it, and will often go without sleep for days. They run on Metric time. 10 Hour Days.

They say there's about 4 seconds of variance in the city's timekeeping, due to a notorious intern named Fred who messed up the Standard Clock two centuries ago. "Fred" is now used as a curse word in all scenarios.

People in the city work in two shifts: Afternoon (10-5) and Beforenoon (5-10). Each is the equivalent to 12 hours for us. There are no rest days. Weekends were abolished along with the week. They work until they die.

~~~~~~

The Men of the Southlands had to maintain the Yearly Rites, terrible though they were, lest the gods retract their protection.

Their numbers were scarce following the Tidal Lock. They could not afford to perform the Rites too often, lest their numbers dwindle. They could not abandon them, either, lest the Wolves claim them.

10 women most fertile would engage in ritual conception. When swollen bellies were first observed, 10 women would partake again. When this second group had given birth it would begin again. All who were chosen were whisked away to a coven, forbidden to leave or to touch any man until the year was up. They were fiercely protected.

The First Children would be augured as omens of peace and prosperity. The Second Children would be augured as omens of death and pain, as their birth signaled for the Yearly Rites to begin once again.

These omens would stay with the Children forever. Such was their burden.

~~~~~~

The Dragonborn of Kobara have a sacred mountain in the West, by the endless glaciers of Rim.

The mountain, wide in latitude, shields a great reservoir in its depths. It is a sacred water source - only those of strong protective sorcery ever dare approach it, for fear of the water spirit that resides within.

It produces a steady drip, slow, deliberate, shielded for evaporation or other meddling. This holiest of waters is kept for divination and cleansing rituals. It takes 120 days for enough to decant for one such application. Every such period there is to be a feast.

The Griots and Diviners say that when the waters run dry an empire will fall. It has happened once before, and will happen again soon.

~~~~~~

I'll include the rest of my ideas in list form.

How Is The Time Kept?

  1. Crop Harvest - Plant all your seeds at once. When they're ripe one Harvest has passed.
  2. Decomposing Body - Underdark method. Dead body kept in controlled environment with known factors. Various stages give hint at passed time.
  3. Titanwalk - A giant of great strength, in pact with the people who saved him, strides across the land to mine freshwater ice from the western glaciers and bring it to the eastern desert. He leaves "Foot Lakes" along the way. His titanic glacier-placement produces a yearly Nile-like flood.
  4. The Yearglass - Like an hourglass, but much, much bigger. Massive, mechanically automated. Smaller ones used in accompaniment.
  5. Celestial Gazing - In Undland under the Red Moon, where none but the dead may live, one can still see the stars. Frostcrusted astronomers still gaze at the ever-night sky, no longer understanding its significance but no longer caring. Their time in measured in the planet's wobble - a long period which only the dead would use.
  6. The Long Curse - Buried here, in Goldsoul. Based on the orbit of Korw, the Deep Moon. Elementals and deep things can rely on its orbit once every 25,000 years in the mantle.
  7. Observed Cuts - A trained smith or surgeon produces a cut of consistent depth on a tested individual's arm or face. Its stages of recovery grant insight to time passed. Inexact, but useful on the move.
  8. Sleep Schedules - Circadian rhythm, while screwed up, didn't go entirely away with the Apocalypse. People still needed to sleep. Immensely inaccurate method, and highly dependent on individuals, but also the most practical unit of measurement.
  9. The Death Bell - In the Chapel of Crows there exists a little bell that rings every time someone on the planet dies. Averaged out over 1000 occurrences makes a decent approximation for one hour. (Their planetary population is far less than ours.)
  10. It's Not - Some societies are small enough to not be subject to the tyranny of Time. They have memories, but no past. There is potential, but no future. With no daylight to burn there is no rush. Always living in the moment, yet always susceptible to conquest by timekeeping nations.

Friday, June 29, 2018

20 Magical Guards


What these d20 Table posts are starting to look like is a system for quickly generating random interchangeable hazards for protected locations.

Maybe this will include some kind of dice-location-falling mechanic?

Will require testing.

Anyways, here's 20 Guards.

Robots have slowly phased out since the "Charm Robot" spell was put on the market.


Guards
Guards are either designed, enticed, captured, or paid to deal with troublemakers.
They typically work in conjunction with the Alarm.
  1. Chandelier Mimic - An oldie but a goodie. Ceiling-dwelling mimic that uses its twisted-iron arms to drag intruders up into its kraken-esque crystaltooth maw. Also drops flaming candles.
  2. Depression Slime - Doesn’t really do anything itself, other than creeping along at the edge of peoples’ vision. Those who smell its vapors are allotted 2d20 actions before their next Long Rest. Every single action declared (including each turn’s movement) is subtracted from this total. Subject curls into a fetal position when actions are all used up. Being carried does not constitute an action. Having an idea does.
  3. Animated Pants - Will grapple and put themselves on thieves in a flurry. Once on has full control over intruder’s legs. Made of kevlar. Will use them to run in inconvenient directions or kick people mercilessly in the balls.
  4. Hungry Manticore - The man-faced variety. Clearly was once a wizard. Can only eat those who agree to it. Thankfully, Charm spells can handle that problem.
  5. Co-RON - When developmentally-arrested child brains are put in jars, then put into limb-crushing mobility suits, then instructed that every person they see in their space is their personal possession. On the bright side, you might get to have a tea party with a prepubescent death machine!
  6. Another Wizard - Sometimes a fellow wizard gets desperate enough to take up a guard job. Oh, the humiliation! At least it comes with a lot of reading time and all the intruders you can fry in flaming Grease.
  7. Anti-Sphinx - Lion head, human body. Blurts out answer to the riddle, but not the riddle itself. (i.e. “Time!”, “Shadows!”, “Man!”, “A Newspaper!”) Attacks with great ferocity if no riddle is given for its answers.
  8. Beeeeeeeeeeeeees! - A lot of bees. Like, a heck of a lot of bees. Like, an incomprehensible number of bees... Release the bees!
  9. Mirror Golem - Two-faceted silver nitrate coated machine. Deflects direct-target spells. Front facet shows a false future - anyone who looks in it gains disadvantage on their next roll. Rear facet shows a true future with opposite effect.
  10. Bound Knife Demon - About ten arms, a face more scar than face, and a hundred cursed knives. Definitely wants to weasel out of contract with wizard, but sucks at lawyering and can’t not constantly exsanguinate everything in sight. A copy of the contract must be kept within the bounded area.
  11. Sonic Stalker - Ethereal, invisible wraithlike creature hovers above intruders, holding two spindly delicate hands just outside their ears. Produces escalating white noise until it deafens and/or causes brain hemorrhaging. Doesn’t float very fast.
  12. Ribbon Elemental - A cascading tide-dancing onion of elemental ribbons. Liable to choke, arrest, or dislocate every limb. Vulnerable to turbulent air currents.
  13. Running Zombie Hoard - They smell like a stack of shit waffles, but have this endearing brute force quality to them. Unlike most zombies they can run at full normal speed. Rival wizards are notoriously inconsistent with their jogging regimens. Hoard sizes are measured in how many Fireballs it takes to wipe them out. 3-4 are the norm for guarding work.
  14. Monster Maker - A clockwork Easy Bake Oven as big as a elephant with spindly bow-legged limbs. Produces terrible whirring/pistoning sounds and jettisons steam all over the place. Find at least two random tables for encounters/monsters. Roll on both of them. Something haphazardly combining the two comes out of the Monster Maker after a cacophonous “Ding!”. 1 on a d4 produces Cronenberg monstrocity. Everything else is a half-half. Monsters last for 1 minute before decomposing into goo. May produce monster every 2d4 Rounds. Surprisingly fast for a walking oven.
  15. Child Ninjas - You wouldn’t hurt a child, would you? Half the time they’re actually centuries old super soldiers or something. Ferocious, merciless, but ultimately still children. Kept in line by brainwashing and command phrases. Hallucinogenic poison is a favorite tool.
  16. Party Mirror - Alignment-reflected vengeful clones of every party member. Same capabilities, same stats, same equipment.
  17. Sleepy Siren - Ocean siren kept in stasis on artificial island in complex. Alarm wakes her. Shortly after, siren call goes out throughout entire building. All who fail save are drawn to her. She’s quite hungry after such a long rest, but her vision is blurry her body is a bit stiff.
  18. Adorable Pet - Ridiculously cute dog. Just the sweetest thing! Literally the most adorable creature one could possibly encounter. Looking into its eyes Captivates the victim for 1d4 Turns, putting them into a suggestible state, which the dog then utilizes to make the intruders give him food then take him for a walk.
  19. Patent Violation Automaton - Clunky robot has one job and one job only: to violate patent law when the alarm sounds. Repeatedly casts a copyrighted spell until the teleporting Patent Police arrive in several rounds to ask questions and break bones - not necessarily in that order.
  20. Reverse Gravity Geist - Invisible long-dead guardian of the Gravity Lords, triggered by some preempted blasphemy. Can reverse gravity for one object/person per round. Loves dropping heavy things on wizards, or sending them careening out windows.