Monday, April 12, 2021

More Wizard City GLOG Classes

BUREAUCRAT BRAVO

You are a bad person. A very, very bad person. You're also a bureaucrat, with an intimate knowledge of the oppressive machine. You know how to twist the knife of semi-annual audits, how to make rich and poor alike squeal in confused agony, how to replicate the wheels of Hell itself.

You know how to game the system. It's War Tax Season. Time to get to work...

Every Template: +2 to Bureaucracy checks.

Starting Equipment: Official Stamp, Registered Ledger, Pen
Random Starting Skill [d3]: 1Printing, 2 = Sleight of Hand, 3 = Brown Nosing

Red Tape
B Pen is Mightier, Machine Mind
C Hit List
D Bureaucratic Creep

Red Tape
Any time you witness a creature breaking a bureaucratic rule, or failing to adhere to an established formality, even a tiny bit, you curse them with -1 to AC and all rolls. For this you must be able to speak and write. This is not cumulative.

Pen is Mightier
In your hands pens, pencils, quills, and other writing implements are effectively Medium Weapons, though they cannot be wielded in both hands.

Machine Mind
Reading, processing, or appraising written materials requires 1/10th of the normal time for you.

Hit List
You maintain a ledger that continually updates with the last 10 words spoken by the last three targets of your Red Tape effect. If you should lose this ledger, it will fail to continue to update after 1 Day. You can make a new one with 10 Hours of work and 100 Spellgold, though it starts as blank.

Bureaucratic Creep
Your Red Tape effect is now cumulative, and can be used multiple times on the same subject, though not more than once per round. Each use requires a different broken rule or failure to adherence.


GREY GNOST

You are the silence of the grave, the stalker in the darkness, the hunter of misplaced books. No student or professor shall dare question your authority, no intruder shall reave unrestrained.

You are a librarian.

Every Template: +1 to Stealth.          Every 2 Templates: +1 Book Casting Die

Starting Equipment: Truncheon, Grey Robes, Gas Mask
Random Starting Skill [d3]: 1 = Informational Sciences, 2 = Tracking, 3 = Literature

A Book Meld, Blunt Force
B Book Casting, Librarian's Chains
C Silence
D Incorporeal

Book Casting Die: As MD, but can only be used to cast spells from books or scrolls.

Book Meld
You may freely move through and occupy spaces with books or bookshelves. Attacks and spells against you have a -4 penalty while you're within a full bookshelf (tiny ones grant no protection).

Blunt Force
You get a +1 bonus to attack and damage with blunt weapons, such as Truncheons, maces, blunt-headed crossbow bolts, and staffs.

Book Casting
You may cast spells from scrolls and books as a Wizard does with the Book Casting feature. You use Book Casting Dice for this function.

Librarian's Chains
You have two additional quick draw slots and two additional inventory slots. These slots can only be filled with books, scrolls, or other written materials.

Silence
2/Day: Area with radius 30' around you becomes silenced. No sound may be produced within this effect for 1d4+1 Minutes.

Incorporeal
Twice per day you may turn Incorporeal like a ghost. Lasts for 3d4 Rounds. In this form you can attempt to possess a living creature. Target must Save, or you get full control for as long as you're incorporeal. If still possessing the target at the end of this ability's duration, you get ejected out, causing 2d6 damage to both you and the subject.

KRILL MAN

KRILL MAN. MAN OF KRILL. YOU ARE KRILL. KRILL ARE YOU. 
BOTTOM OF FOOD CHAIN. TOP OF DANGEROUS.

Every Template: +1 HP, +1 to STR, DEX, INT, and WIS Scores.

Starting Equipment: 10,000 Krill, Chum Bucket
Random Starting Skill [d3]: 1 = Forming Thoughts, 2 = Having Feelings, 3 = What Is Love?

A KRILL MAN
B Faster Krill Generation
C True Shapeshift
D Hardened Krill

KRILL MAN
You are KRILL MAN. Your power is proportional to how many krill you are presently composed of. In order to sustain and multiply your krill you must provide yourself food and water.

You are a shapeshifter. You can squeeze through spaces no smaller than a krill (quite small!). You must, however, maintain a general humanoid shape, even when squeezing.

For every HP lost you lose a proportional amount of STR, DEX, INT, and WIS at a 1:1 ratio. Your Strength, Dexterity, Intellect, and Wisdom do not recover normally, instead remaining proportional to your HP.

You recover 1HP per day, provided you've eaten one meal (usually algae) per HP to recover.

Faster Krill Generation
You now recover 2HP per day, though your food requirements are the same.

True Shapeshift
You may now take on any form you desire, no longer being limited to humanoid shape.

Hardened Krill
You now lose 1 STR, DEX, INT, and WIS per 2 HP lost, instead of per 1 HP lost.


SPEED WIZARD

YOU HAVE A NEED. A NEED FOR SPEED!

Which is to say: you need drugs. You're a junkie. Congratulations. You need wizard drugs to live, or else you explode. That's not a figure of speech: you will literally explode if you don't get more wizard speed. Enjoy the rest of your inevitably short life!

Every Template: +1 Magic Die

Starting Equipment: Five Used Needles, Handful of Unknown White Powder
Random Starting Skill [d3]: 1 = Depravity, 2 = Begging, 3 = Alchemy

Perk: You don't need to sleep.

Drawback: You must consume one drug doses of stimulant every day (Wizard Speed is the most common of these). For every dose you fail to take you permanently gain one Doom Die.

Doom Die: Whenever you cast a spell, roll an additional die for every Doom Die you have. This die is used purely for the occurrence of Doom (not Mishaps), and has otherwise no effect on the casted spell.

Cantrips: 

1. Take a deep breath. You can smell drugs within 30ft. You can identify which drugs they are if you've taken them before.
2. Spin around in a circle really fast to hover a few inches off the ground. In this form you can be pushed like a hovering disk.
3. Smoke something. You can tell where it's been during the past day.

Mishaps:

1. MD only return to your pool on a 1-2 for one day.
2. Take 1d6 damage
3. Random mutation for 1d6 Rounds, then Save. Permanent if you fail.
4. Immediate withdrawal: halve movement speed for 1 Day.
5. Immediate withdrawal: halve INT for 1 Day
6. Immediate withdrawal: halve WIS for 1 Day

Doom:

1. You explode in a glorious shower of drug-laden gore and tissues. Deal 4d6 damage to everything in a 50ft radius and leave behind 2d10 doses of Wizard Speed.
2. Anyone who has any drug addiction will find your flesh irresistible and attempt to eat and/or smoke you. Your flesh is effectively Wizard Speed.
3. You combust into a sparkly grey smoke. When inhaled produces the effect of Wizard Speed.

Speed Wizard Spell List:

1. Absorb Toxicity*
2. Absorb Potion*
3. Blink*
4. Haste*
5. Slow*
6. Rot Teeth
7. No Sleep
8. Remote Parabiosis
9. Highest High
10. Blur
Emblem Spells
11. Flesh to Drugs
12. Time Dilation

(*Spells not listed below can be found on the communal GLOG spell document.)

[Rot Teeth]

R: 50' T: One creatures or Self  D: 0

Targets must Save at a [dice x 2] penalty. On failure, you make the target's teeth fall out. Bite attacks of targets now deal 1 damage on hit. If they dealt 1 damage before they now deal no damage. Targets without a bite attack are stunned for 1 Round and lose 1d4 Charisma.

[No Sleep]

R: Touch T: [dice] Creatures or Self  D: [dice] Days

For [dice] Days, the targets of this spell receive no penalties for not sleeping, and automatically recover their MD regardless of getting sleep.

[Remote Parabiosis]

R: 30' T: [Dice] Creatures  D: [sum] Minutes

Target may Save if unwilling. On access or failed Save, target's blood stream becomes linked to yours. They share any positive and ill effects that you presently have due to poisons, drugs, or other blood soluble effects. Additionally, all participants take one damage per Fatal wound any others receive.

[Highest High]

R: Touch T: Self  D: [sum] Hours

For [sum] Hours, any numbered effects received from taking drugs doubles. So too for withdrawals. If 3 MD are used, you do not suffer any negative effects from these drugs for the duration, including withdrawal.

[Blur]

R: Touch T: Self  D: [dice+1] Rounds

You become super blurry and difficult to pin down. For [dice+1] rounds, all attacks against you have a [sum] penalty to hit.

[Flesh to Drugs]

R: 30' T: Creature or Self  D: 0

Target flesh-composed creature must Save or part of them explodes into wizard drugs. On failed Save, the target's following limb is turned to 1d10 drug servings (1d6): 1. Left Leg 2. Right Leg 3. Left Arm 4. Right Arm. 5. Torso 6. Head. 

Requires 1 [dice] to use against targets of 2 HD or less. 2 [dice] for one between 3-4 HD, and 3 [dice] for 5-7 HD. 4 [dice] for 8+ HD.

[Time Dilation]

R: 0 T: Self  D: 1d4 Rounds

This spell requires 3 MD to use. Immediately take an extra 1d4 Rounds. Everything else in virtually frozen in time.

Monday, April 5, 2021

How to End Your Campaign


I've been in a few TTRPG campaigns at this point, and there's always some special feeling associated with ending a campaign that you really enjoy. It's a kind of bittersweet like finishing a beloved book series or an RPG series. Now, I'm not talking about campaigns that stop. Plenty of campaigns stop and most that stop probably aren't missed. But campaigns that end require a certain special something. They need closure.

Now, this isn't a talk about how to narratively climax your campaign, or even the denouement but what comes after that. When all is said and done and the roleplaying dissolves away forever, and it is simply the players talking.


Debrief

Have a debrief with everyone. Talk about the campaign - the ending, the bits in the middle you didn't explore, the paths not taken and the roads unfollowed. You probably didn't explore every aspect that you could've, but you can still talk about it (provided you don't plan on running the same content again for the same people). Go crazy with spoilers. Show them what's behind the curtain.

Spend some time discussing the system(s) you used. Did it facilitate the game well, or was it an overall hindrance? What parts worked and didn't?


Talk About Future Campaigns

The best mitigation of feelings of emptiness at the end of the campaign is to talk about stuff you want to do in the future. Have a break (for your sanity), but talk about the things you want to do next. Take advantage of the fact that you slew the scheduling demon and managed to make the schedules of several full-grown adults collide and discuss plans for the future. Hype everyone up for the next thing.

Switch systems, switch GMs, switch genres.


Don't Forget to Friend Everyone

If you like this group of people, make sure to share your contact info with them for future shenanigans, be it Discord, Skype, email, blog, or whatnot. Hell, if you're super comfortable then invite them to your wedding or something. I'm not a social guru, which, if anything, makes reminders to friend people all the more important.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Tom Generator

This is not an April Fool's post.

The abundance of sexy male drow concubines in my Tidelock campaign has necessitated a table. For shorthand, a sexy male drow concubine is known as a Tom. (e.g. "House Xynyx's lounge presently has four Toms.")

This is the vibe right here.

SEXY DROW CONCUBINE TABLE

d10

Name

Body Type

Accessory #1

Accessory #2

Secret Power

1

Nail

Windy willow branch

Live spider earrings

Luminescent body oil

Stringed instrument which resonates with the hearts of the infatuated

2

Xylem

Marathon milk swimmer

Occultum nose piercings

A reeeeeeally big guisarme

Poison skin secretions

3

Crow

Alpha stallion

Halo of live bees

Codpiece with a king’s ransom of studded jewels

Spell: Limbs to snakes

4

Midnight

Grass-fed organic beef filet mignon

Tattoos - all chosen by mother

Multi-tailed wig made of  braided dwarf chin scalps

Spell: Hands to Spiders

5

Adze

Hypofemme cosmic angel

Veil of sweet-scented silk

Black glass contact lenses

Eye contact initiates Charm spell

6

President

Ambiguous Androsuccubus

Rings rings rings - head to toe

Belly button replaced by strange lock

Holds breath indefinitely, sneaky

7

Outcross

Pillar Man

Full body snake scale suit

Glass harp that produces angelic boys’ choir voices

Can pull poison daggers out of thin air

8

Allemain

Muscle senpai

Snake whip

Piping hot tea pot

Can hide anything smaller than a softball on their body.

9

Ruthful

Disco alien

Neon braided hair to the floor and back

Bull’s horns prosthetic

Venomous scorpion stinger tongue

10

Clithrid

Perfect triangle

Obsidian mohawk

Giant boa constrictor with skull scale patterns

Retractable venomous heel spurs


Monday, March 29, 2021

Carnalia

A summary of select excerpts from the Chronulean Journal of Sociology and Spiders Issue #129, co-authored by W. Smith and C. Le Brau, on the transformation of the most prominent drow festival holiday of Carnalia.

The JSS is the most-cited academic journal with
regard to Sociological and Spider studies.

The Carnalia is one of, if not the most important holiday within the Twilight Republic, and remains a testament to how even some of the most conservative elven traditions are in fact highly malleable. The week-long festival, which features elaborate patrician-sponsored public feasts, temporary liberation of slaves, religiously sanctioned acts of class violence, traditional gift-giving, various devotions to the god of chaos and dreams Manmanuk, and raucous acts of drunken revelry in the streets, is frequently celebrated as the most anticipated event of the year.

The holiday, established within the century, appears to represent a compromise between traditional drow values and the ever-evolving circumstances of their establishment of colonies on the surface.

The Night of Knives

One must start the history of the Carnalia with its now-outlawed predecessor: the Night of Knives. During the reign of the Spider Queens, the Night was an annual event sanctioned by the Queen in order to worship and appease the Goddess of Venoms with the violent purge of the unworthy.

Eyewitness to these events was the historian Sabzyrm di la Kenafin, who provided this testimony:

"The Spider Queen, and hence the goddess herself, declared when circumstances befit that those of weak will and fortitude should be purged from the realm. During this period gangs of festival worshipers bearing sacrificial knives and loose stones would paint themselves in the blood and viscera of the fallen and engage in acts of vandalism, aggravated battery, home intrusion, murder, and cannibalism (the last three acts normally reserved exclusively for the Royal House). The streets would be filled with rivers of blood as those unfit were purged. Great and poor House alike would be besieged and tested against the mobs, who would particularly revel in the consumption of incapable elites. In these ways the population of the disparate poor was controlled to levels manageable for the food supply, and the powerful Houses did not grow complacent."

A New Synthesis

As the monarchy was overthrown and the goddess expunged from elven society, this holiday was made illegal by the new Senate assembly, who more than likely saw it as a threat to their growing power and legitimacy.

These practices of the Night of Knives, however, contained some inertia among the populace. In the record of the last hundred years there have been statistically significant upticks of capital crimes during the period previously reserved for the Night. This testifies to the staying power of the tradition. Seeing as these traditional cathartic desires required an output, a compromise was struck between the institutions of government and religion to usurp the old Night of Knives for their own purposes.

In the year 570 ATL the first Carnalia was declared, in cooperation of the Senate, who had officially designated the holiday. Of the various new gods at their worship, Manmanuk was chosen to be the benefactor of this new holiday, in no small part to his attribution to causing the Tidal Lock itself (and hence opening up vast regions of the surface to the drow, who bear a sensitivity to sunlight).

So it was declared by Amom, the Rememberer of Manmanuk:

"For a period of one week at the conclusion of the solar calendar the great mask of Manmanuk shall be hoisted above the Twilight City to cast its pall. Festivities shall be had, and those showing devotion to the Forgetting God, to whom we owe our ascension, shall prepare feasts to be shared among the public, lest the faithful ransack their homes and take what the chaos god demands. Slaves shall be masters and masters shall be criticized without retaliation. Gifts shall be given among families. No vendettas between Houses shall be pursued. There shall be revelry in the streets, and let no person be withheld from their god-ordained right to mischief and misdemeanor."

Gifts

Gifts given during Carnalia are typically small things with hints towards violence. Knives and elaborate letter openers are typical favorites, as are servings of properly-labelled poisons and mead. Frequently they tend towards the joking or ironic, such as the 'knife to stab your mistress with', or the 'effigy of an impotent man'.

Another popular gift to emerge during Carnalia is that of the spell scroll, which has become much cheaper to produce in recent years. Most frequently these are tightly wrapped up and hidden within other gifts, such as embedding one around the wrapped tang of a dagger, hiding one within the mouth of a household god-idol, or stuffing one behind the pane of a hand mirror.

Contents of these hidden scrolls often include ironic joke spells or useful cantrips. For instance, a scroll hidden on a dagger might contain a spell to mend bleeding, or one hidden in a silk rope might assist in freedom of movement.

A common iteration of this, particularly as gifts to children, is a puzzle-idol of Manmanuk. These idols, which greatly vary in appearance and function, are said to grant strange and alarming dreams to those to whom it was gifted until they can solve the puzzle and extract the magic scroll from the idol. Such puzzles may be mechanical in nature or be inscribed with riddles. 

An innovation upon the Magic Mouth spell appears to be the source of these idols, and previous research has found that dispelling these enchantments renders the puzzle-idol impossible to relinquish its reward.

Inversion of Social Pyramid

Slaves of house holding status are considered free during this time, and they are liberated to criticize their masters. In the early days of the Carnalia's institution, this often resulted in retaliations post-event, but has since been regulated by the priests of Manmanuk, who are capable of inflicting horrible nightmares, purportedly even madness and death by fright, upon those who do not respect the activities of the holiday.

Since then, these comeuppance have been largely accepted by the city's heads of households as inevitable and important. 

Feasts

Most popular of foods, particularly among the Houseless and slaves, has been warmed spiced cider and bread - foods long to have been considered extremely rare and precious underground. These two, along with other surface staples, were traditionally acquired only during surface raids, and were hence reserved for Houses of high caloric exertion and favor with the Royal House.

Since then, however, they have shifted to being deigned a lower class food, due to their recent overabundance. Expansions into farmland in the Feyfjord and trade among the Southlands has made both of these things abundant, resulting in surpluses of caloric energy that have not existed in drow society since well before recorded history.

Recent Developments

Recently, this freedom has also extended to the city's undead, which were previously thought to have been mindless and hence immune to the social inversions of the holiday. As such, Carnalia is a time when skeleton, zombie, ghost and wraith alike will wander the streets, partaking in revelry and mischief without fear. This has led, particularly among those Houses with preserved lineages of undead family members, to the repeated criticisms of the Houses' matriarchs by their ancestors.

Particular so-called beasts of the house have also been given this freedom, resulting in numerous reports of manticores, giant snakes, dire bears, and other strange things roaming the streets during this time. And though murder is explicitly frowned upon during the Carnalia, the definitions of 'mischief and misdemeanors' often vary from species to species, resulting in a few rare instances of intervention by the magistrates to moderate the carnage.

Monday, March 22, 2021

What Hath Captain Meth Cook Cooked Up?

The Tidelock party has had a drug cook in their basement for the longest time and I was never really sure how to roleplay him until a few weeks ago when off the cuff I decided he should be like a old sea captain.

YARRR!
(From The Lighthouse)

Sir Morgan Bacardi Kraken Havana Appleton is cooking up some drugs!

He will always sample them before offering.

d10

Drug Appearance

Arrrr! It’ll...

Side Effects May Include...

And...

1

A fine white powder.

Turn yer eyes inside out, so ye can see the insides of yer skull!

Hydrocephalus

Anarchistic Thought

2

Small yellow crystal like a kidney stone.

Give ye visions of yer own dying rotten putrescence!

Teething

Religious Disjunction

3

White powder with a little bit of blood in it.

Give ye the pep ye need to get that promotion!

Blindness

Hallucinations About Spiders

4

Clear liquid coated on a rusty nail.

Straighten ye out like a fine razor!

Lockjaw

Kidney Failure

5

Orange liquid slurped from a lit lantern.

Put hair on yer armpits! An’ gusto in yer gizzard!

Orbital Bleeding

Thalassophobia

6

Rubbery thing jammed up nose.

Make yer hair fall out!

Hair Loss

Doing Philosophy

7

Wrinkly black moldy chunk.

Make ye smooth like a baby’s bottom!

Cyanosis

Impotency

8

Neon yellow syringe

Shine a great an’ terrible light in the darkest pits o’ yer soul!

Gout

Craving for Human Flesh

9

Glowing rock

Bequeath ye the stomach to digest even the hardest o’ bones!

Dysentery

Stockholm Syndrome

10

It’s a fish knife. Why?

Spill yer beans like a blubberin’ boy nary a day separate from his mum!

Jaundice

Nostalgia