Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Monsoon Ghats: Skyclad & Linen Armor

Depending on one's varna, luck, and worldliness is how one dresses while adventuring in the Ghats. Regional styles of decoration, the influences of the Bel Shahih from the northwest, and the variety of dyes available for the cotton, camel hair, and silk of the land make the Monsoon Ghats an eclectic and colorful region. Those wise in the way of fashion can tell where a man is from, what a man has lived, and what a man does by virtue of their dress. 



What follows is a partial set of armor rules I'm using in my home game that I'm playtesting on the weekends; but the randomizer tables will certainly be useful even if you personally do not like my armor rulings. 

Said armor rulings are as follows:

  • AC = 10 + Dexterity Modifier. It ascends.
  • Shields, Helmets, and other such items have a Protection Value, which can reduce damage at the cost of reducing the dice of the Protection Value. A roll of 1 means the breakage of the item. 
  • Poor Quality Items last one expedition before they must be replaced or repaired.
  • Adequate Quality Items may suffer 1d3 expeditions, in need of replacement or repairs after a roll of 1. 
  • Exquisite Quality Items must be destroyed or tarnished through violence or hardship to be in need of repairs or replacement. 
  • Magical Items are of Exquisite appearance and can only be destroyed by magical means.
As I am at work, and have much more work to do before this is worthy of being a total article (randomizers for each category and type of armor by quality), here are simply the first two items: Skyclad depictions and Linen Armor.

Armors


Skyclad: To go skyclad is to wear nothing, to put your faith against the metal of your foe and to let fortune divine the victor. When fighting skyclad you gain your Charisma Modifier as a bonus to AC, but enemies inflict a critical hit on a 19-20 range rather than just upon a 20. A naked character is not necessarily considered to be skyclad.

What it looks like (d8):
  1. You have dusted yourself in bhasma, sacred ash, caking yourself in grays.
  2. You have painted the mark of your patron daeva upon your brow, it makes you daring.
  3. You have been painted with the face of a great beast upon your belly, like a tiger. You feel as though you are connected to this totemic image.
  4. You have painted upon your brow a devotional tilaka, for the achievement of central focus.
  5. You have dribbled red vermilion across your face, pulled down over your eyes as though expectant of blood to shed.
  6. You keep a single red upward brushing of the thumb upon your brow.
  7. You have ornate calligraphy inscribed upon your nude form in henna, devotional mantras.
  8. You have danced in audacious, gaudy kumkuma, embracing the illusory spirit of the world made manifest.
Linen Armor: Composed of finely quilted linens, reinforced beneath by studding of nail, scale, or metal plates. Clothing of quilted linens caries no social stigma, can be tailored to fit a variety of styles, and can be worn comfortably when travelling in arid climates. (AC +1) [If you prefer to, use this to replace any generic Light Armor by using a different value.]

What color is it (d30):
  1. Yellow, like mango blossoms.
  2. Yellow, like the desert sky before a storm.
  3. Yellow, like the soft light of a morning sun.
  4. Blue, like the ocean on a summer day.
  5. Blue, like a peacock's cerulean feathers.
  6. Blue, like the hottest and most sacred of flames.
  7. Green, like a fresh hog plum.
  8. Green, like a forest in a valley gazed from a nearby hill.
  9. Green, like a skittering lizard's scales.
  10. Red, like the bitter clay of the desert.
  11. Red, like the blush of a young lover.
  12. Red, like the warmth of a heart illuminating a home in evening.
  13. Orange, like the wings of an evening moth.
  14. Orange, like an evening sun.
  15. Orange, like the baked flesh of an unfortunate wayfarer.
  16. White, like snow upon the mountain.
  17. White, like foam upon the river waters.
  18. White, like teeth, like bone.
  19. Black, like the midnight sky on a starless night.
  20. Black, like back of a sun bear.
  21. Black, like the hair upon a child's head.
  22. Pink, like coral from the bay.
  23. Pink, like the last bright light before evening takes hold.
  24. Pink, like a sunburnt elephant's chapped hide
  25. Violet, like pressed lavender flowers.
  26. Violet, like the twilight sky.
  27. Violet, like the bruises upon a fighting-man.
  28. Brown, like the down upon a chick.
  29. Brown, like the richest of coffees.
  30. Brown, like the tan upon a well-traveled man.
Poor Quality Modifiers (Cloth, d6)
  1. ...which always smells of mildew.
  2. ...which is stained with incriminating and embarrassing colors.
  3. ...which is torn and ratty from years of use.
  4. ...and it itches fiercely.
  5. ...which looks like you stole it off a pauper.
  6. ...which looks like you stole it off a corpse.
Adequate Quality Modifiers (Cloth, d6)
  1. ...patterned with images of stylized fauna in silver thread.
  2. ...patterned with images of stylized flora in contrasting thread.
  3. ...which carries with it a scent of perfumes.
  4. ...patterned with geometric symbols.
  5. ...which brings you some small comfort when worn.
  6. ...which shows signs of clear care from the one who crafted it.
Exquisite Quality Modifiers (Cloth, d8)
  1. ...elaborately patterned with scenes of aquatic life in golden thread.
  2. ...elaborately patterned with depictions of cosmic powers in golden thread.
  3. ...inlaid with small gemstones which shimmer like starlight.
  4. ...feathered with the plumage of peafowl and birds of paradise.
  5. ...crafted from only the finest silks, imported from beyond the northern mountains.
  6. ...sewn with thread woven by the hands of the divine at a loom beyond this realm.
  7. ...which scintillates through various colors dependant on how the light hits it.
  8. ...which is always comfortable and lavish to wear, regardless of climate.
Next time: Rattan Armor & Styles, Hide Armor & Styles, and Poshteens I've got a good few books on the textiles of India back at my apartment, and I really want the inventory/armory for this project to allow for interesting looks and interpretations for each type of armor. Outfits, and regular clothing, are deserving of the same sort of love but I might save this for things like clan/tribal groupings/varnas or regional purposes.

Just doodling up further randomizers while at work, as today is a very slow day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Monsoon Ghats: The Naga-Malla [Race-as-Class + Generators]

So I've been working with some folks to try to do an Indian setting right. As an Indian person, even as far removed from my cultural heritage as I am, I have always found much of the representation to be...not great. An Indian setting should not be Kali-ma and Ganesha in Fantasylands, because generally you don't get Jesus Christ in Fantasylands because that's a bit insulting. You generally get a "One True God" wherein you can make commentary on the religions at play without directly insulting or disrespecting them. And India, is of course, much more than its religions. It is a beautiful land of many cultures and clans, amalgamated and accommodated to create a unique place that's worthy of proper research and representation in the gaming sphere. 

I'm going to try to do that, in a setting called The Monsoon Ghats, and I am sure that I will also fail on some level; but from the bones of it someone better than myself might be able to do an even better job. I acknowledge that given how utterly colonized I am, I cannot be the true Scotsman some folks might want me to be in regards to representation; but I'm willing to put in the efforts and to try. Making an Elephant race-as-class is sort of its own kettle of fish, but I was inspired because the party I'm playtesting with work for a Crocodile; so I figured I ought to make a class for the rival city-state.

The basic rulings for The Monsoon Ghats are based in Ben Milton's Knave, White Box S&W, and some stuff from the Black Hack that I'm not opposed to.  It does have classes, which grant a Hit Dice, as well as abilities and drawbacks. No saving throws beyond ones base Attributes. Usage dice come into play for item quality.

It works pretty well. I'm playtesting it on my weekends.

What follows is a race-as-class, the Naga-Malla, a reincarnated elephant warrior who hold a vaunted place in the modern society of the Ghats, and who adventure to help scour evil from the land. You could even use this in Yoon-Suin, for an interesting ruler of one of the Hundred Kingdoms.




=============

The Naga-Malla, (The Fighting Elephant)
HD: d12

Prime Requisite Attributes: Constitution & Wisdom of 14+

Starting Karma: 55 + 2d10
[If using another system, the Naga-Malla saves as a Cleric and Advances as a Dwarf]

The Lord of the Universe ignited the twin suns of soul and life, and from their crackling heat the earth was given solidity. As the illusory world of promise and sin began to solidify at the dawn of creation, the sounding of the primal thrum, “Om” rang out into the cosmos. It brought comfort to the Lord of the Universe, it expanded out like ripples upon the sheer surface of a pond.

From the first of the earth, he created beings to carry the sound. Unburdened by his virtues or his doubts, he created the elephant, as stewards of the land, wise enough to be kind, wiser still to be cautious. As time progressed, as the world fell into flux and disarray, as truth and falsehood warred for wounds and for the right of dominion over the world; the elephants stood on the side of the primal truth of an unsullied sound. When river dragons and their falsehoods came to be known as the catalyst for such great suffering, some elephants took up arms.

These were the Naga-Malla, and to this day their breed exists above all others, for their nobility and righteousness. Fewer in number than in times past, they nonetheless carry great respect where it is they tread; and many a mannish house will placate them in hopes of receiving boon or blessing. You are the reincarnated soul of previous Naga-Malla, come once again to ensure the world is held only by the righteous.

Special Abilities:
Arms & Armor - The Naga-Malla, due to being an elephant, is limited in what arms and armor it may wear. It naturally possesses an Armor Class equivalent to Hides, though it may instead choose to go Skyclad if properly anointed and painted for it. Armor for a Naga-Malla must be specifically crafted by artisans, and many armors for war elephants are too crass and vulgar to suit a Naga-Malla. In regards to weaponry, the Naga-Malla can wield any weapon it desires to in its trunk, though it possesses natural weaponry and might be better off not using man-crafted arms at all.

Natural Weapons: The trunk of a Naga-Malla deals d8 damage, its trample deals 2d4, and its tusks deal d8. When used against creatures of significantly vile alignment (Impure, Wicked, or Vile), the damage dice are increased by a degree.

Elephantine - You are an elephant, large and cumbersome, but blessed with divine grace. You may always know, psychically, the general compass directions due to your connection with the earth. You have four legs, tusks, and a trunk; you may trample things, gore things, or strangle things. Your trunk is your only true manipulator limb, and it acts with amazing dexterity.

Spellcasting - The Naga-Malla has the capacity to cast spells from the Earth, Heavens, and Fate domains. They know a number of spells equal to their Level + Wisdom Modifier. They may learn spells from other temples, provided they spend at least one month’s time there or perform a great service for said temple.

My Skin, the Rumbling Earth - The Naga-Malla are proficient in Earth Magic, and may cast spells from this domain as though they were a level higher. Additionally, Naga-Malla possess a tremor-sense that extends out from them in a 30’ aura. If a Naga-Malla meditates or otherwise remains motionless, they can sense the presence of impure or wicked souls.

Remover of Obstacles - The Naga-Malla are blessed by the Lord of the Universe as masters of tribulations and the removal thereof. The Naga-Malla gain advantage on all saves meant to remove barriers, unlock or lock items, break through doors, or to secure a location. You may shrink your form to one the size of a mule, and suffer no disadvantage due to your size or weight when bypassing obstacles (such as walking a narrow precipice, or fitting through a cramped corridor.)

Speaker of the First Thrumming Sound - The Naga-Malla came into being with the first thrumming sounds of existence. The Lord of the Universe, having blessed them with the origin of all sound, granted them the capacity to communicate with all natural things. The Naga-Malla speak through a thrumming psionic voice which radiates out from behind their eyes and the center of their brow; it sounds as it should sound. They can speak any language in the Monsoon Ghats this way, and can communicate gentle commands to animals of lesser intelligence.

Disadvantages

Enemy of Serpents - During the Wounding War, the Naga-Malla gained their title when they struck out at the River Dragons for their dark whispers and mistruths. The Naga-Malla retains this bias towards all serpent-kind, regardless of how many cycles of reincarnation they have fallen through. When confronted with serpents, river dragons, naga, or other sorts of makara, the Naga-Malla must make a morale check or fall into a berserk rage against the creature; shouting condemnations from on high.


Sacred Dharma - The Naga-Malla suffers terrible sickness of self if their actions directly lead to the harm of innocents or those of good karma. If a Naga-Malla suffers a loss of alignment, they suffer Disadvantage until they have made a pilgrimage to the closest shrine and sought out an act to atone for their sins. If a Naga-Malla ever falls into Impure or lower alignment, their tusks begin to burn at their mouth, causing them to speak only lies as they suffer from necrosis of the mouth.

Ignorance of the Illusory - The Naga-Malla exist so firmly as a truth that they have a hard time parsing through the illusory elements of the world. The written word is an utter riddle to them, the study of which perplexes them to the point of headaches. They tend to take men at their word, and for spiritual entities, assume only the concept they’re based around to be truth with no conditions to be applied. Thus to a Naga-Malla, all raksha are wicked and all vanara are good; and any action to the otherwise simply does not make any sense.

Names
  1. Yamavarna
  2. Gazalikhan
  3. Mataangakha
  4. Arjundrona
  5. Pilliayak
  6. Gajachandra
  7. Gajara
  8. Varanakandi
  9. Ihrawani
  10. Kaimmati
  11. Ibhanoq
  12. Gajumanda
  13. Mohandes
  14. Yamagna
  15. Sudraganta
  16. Rishikara
  17. Varumoksha
  18. Dandagaja
  19. Rajarukh
  20. Ganamali


Titles
  1. The Mountain Peak
  2. The Lotus of the Caves
  3. The Churner of the Seas
  4. The Knower Under the Mountains
  5. The Long Marcher
  6. The Herald of the Sound Primeval
  7. The Lord of Elephants
  8. The Breaker of Naga
  9. The Drinker of Skies
  10. The Pillar of Strength
  11. The Opener of Ways
  12. Of Great War-Wisdom
  13. The Noose of the Vile
  14. The Inheritor
  15. The Mighty
  16. The River Lord
  17. The Temple’s Might
  18. The Herald of Great Truth
  19. The Stone Made Shattered
  20. The First of their Name


Appearance Randomizer (Hide)
  1. Rough hide of charcoal greys, as though coated in ash.
  2. Mottled hide of light browns and reds.
  3. Supple hide of black, like a starless sky.
  4. Soft hide, muddy grey; as though slathered in river clay.
  5. Reddish hide like teakwood, covered in small fuzzy hairs.
  6. Rough hide of white, smooth as bone to the touch.
  7. Leathery hide of blue, as if bathed in cerulean as a babe.
  8. Pink hide, with white hairs; like a peach.
  9. Tough leathery hide of black, like wood after a forest fire.
  10. Grey and ruddy hide, like that of an elephant unburdened by its dharma.


Appearance Randomizer (Tusks)
  1. Two tusks, of ivory white, which splay out as if to greet the world.
  2. Two tusks, of bone yellow and unequal size, one has seen wounds the other has inflicted them.
  3. Three tusks, of pearlescent white, two wrapped over one another like embracing vines, the other curved outward to give them privacy.
  4. A single tusk, stained in blood and mottled with pits. The other tusk was lost, and it is felt freshly like a phantom limb.
  5. Two tusks, carved short and tipped in gold. Marks of nobility and station.
  6. Two tusks, long and ancient, they almost drag upon the ground with the weight of their age.
  7. Four tusks, two on each side, bitter and vicious bones. They pierce and rip with the fury of a crocodile or a young bull in musth.
  8. Two tusks, one discolored by the foul magics of a witchburner man who sought your tusk for profane rites.
  9. Two tusks, carved in the visage of serpents, banded in the leathers of those you’ve slain.
  10. A single tusk, cut to half length. In place of a missing tusk, a prosthetic of hateful metal which causes discomfort on a cold night but allows you to feel whole. 


Mark of Reincarnation
  1. Depigmentation around your face and eyes displays celestial events from times immemorial. At night they sparkle like stars in the heavens. 
  2. Those who stare too deeply into your eyes hear the thrumming of the primal sound in the back of their minds.
  3. The tip of your trunk displays patterns of shimmering gold when you use it to manipulate things.
  4. You were born with scars from an ancestral soul’s conflict with the River Dragons. 
  5. Egrets which land upon your back take the color of celestial peafowl.
  6. One of your eyes glows brightly like your inner sun, the other is mournful in its hopes like a midnight’s moon.
  7. Your flesh is deeply grooved with edifices of triumph and spells known by distant ancestors.
  8. The trumpeting of your trunk can play sweet melodies.
  9. The dust at your feet when you walk takes up beautiful colors that suit your mood.
  10. You have a full body of wooly hair, like that of a saddhu, marking you as a most ancient soul.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Yoon-Suin Appendix G: Explained List of Suggested Traditional Monsters Found in Yoon-Suin - Part 2.

A continuation of a previous post, for the reions of Lower Druk Yul, The Mountains of the Moon, and Sughd. I actually really enjoyed attempting to incorporate these generic monster listings into a more specific setting, even if it is just set dressings. Some are better than others, (my favorite probably being the Will o'Wisp from the first entry), but I'm enjoying this regardless.




Lower Druk Yul
Bulette - Wayward backwash of dragons, the bullete is a vicious ambush predatory who lurks in the yellow-dappled hills of lower Druk Yul. Each bullete exists in a state of perpetual rage. In life they live in endless hunger, seeking to feast upon man and beast who should be filial chattel to draconic masters, a position they will never hold. In dreams, they turn and churn in froth-mouthed loathing envy for wealth, status, and the ability to fly upon the moonlit skies. Few, save for the most bold of royalty, seek to make a bulette part of their menagerie. Most know well enough to avoid their path.

Ankheg - The Grasshopper men of lower Druk Yul are territorial and barbarous, and among the most violent of them are those who undergo the five-fold murderous right of the Ankheg. Baptized in the blood of larvae and of a herd caterpillar, the Grasshopper man enters a feral state, melting itself down in vitriol and cocooning itself in the flesh of those it seeks to avenge. After a week of horrid rebirth, the Ankheg emerges, now a tunneling beast who sprays acid and who rampages until it has bloated itself to death on the flesh of any who would get in its path.

Gargantua - Beneath the tall grass lurk the colossi of old, half-buried in ruins consumed by the rough, rugged countryside. Flesh melded with ancient black stone, old and calloused, dead but alive. Fifty to a hundred feet tall, sometimes larger, in the form of insects, lizards, man and beasts alike. Their eyes shine with a piercing white cunning which fades to dim starlight when its eyes are closed or obscured. Scholars debate if they are ancient war-men from distant Xinjiang, constructs of the Dwarfs meant to combat the eldritch threats of Upper Druk Yul and the Mountains of the Moon, or the derelict eidolons of once powerful deities who held sway over this sparse territory.

Cyclops - Paragons birthed of the Elephant Demon's most profane rituals, the cyclops are towering humanoids of blue-black skin with a solitary eye, dropping ears, ragged tusks, and violent mien. The eye of a cyclops can be wielded by wizards, sorcerers and sages for the purposes of discerning cosmic but malign truths or to scry curses upon their foes. Cyclops in Lower Druk Yul are often deployed as the shock troopers of a crusading colonization effort by the cult, attempting to pacify grasshopper men or any belligerent intelligent beings who might stand in the way of the faith. Those who are not attached to the cult often seek to inhabit caverns with strange acoustics, howling out mournful songs for ten thousand nameless dead. The Ogre Magi of Syr Darya look upon Cyclops with uncharacteristic pity, in whispers they contemplate if a Cyclops might be a means of binding a Magi's soul into a wretched, bestial, shackled form. 

Hook Horror - The apex natural predator of the borderland, the hook horror is a vaguely insectoid avian creature which dwells in the tall grass. It uses its acute hearing and slithers on its belly across the grasslands, lying in wait for caravans of traders or wayward pilgrims; striking under cover of darkness, flaying the victims alive. Hook horrors leave behind ravaged campsites of skinless corpses. It is not unknown for these creatures to drag skin husks into sinkhole lairs and engage in foul bartering with others of their kind. Slugmen and the Ogre Magi, whose flesh they find to be unpleasant to taste or wear; occasionally engage in trade with these skinflayers; trading slave chattel for the pelts of their enemies.

Jackalwere - Fewer creatures in this world are more insidious than the Jackalwere. Emissaries of the vestiges of long dead deities once worshiped in the Oligarchies and Druk Yul, birthed in the black flame of dragon's spite and given wicked form of man or carrion dog for purposes of bringing ruin and strife to those who cross their path. They infiltrate the camps of pilgrims and travelers, making use of their charisma and charm to lull their prey into a false sense of camaraderie. Once drinks of tea have been shared and kind words of friendship spoken, the Jackalwere mesmerizes the unfortunate soul with a lullaby to nightmares played on a gilded kora. In dreams their victims are at the mercy of dead, decaying, decapitated gods who seek to find any lineage to those who were once loyal and to subjugate the dreamer into an unending insane state of torpor. If caught in the act, a Jackalwere fights with brutal swords and flees in animal form only if confronted by holy-men or overwhelming force.

Manscorpion - Known to scholars as the Girtablilu, the manscorpion are a race of guardian spirits given form. Appearing at gateways into the underworld, these raksha-faced entities guard the border between spirit and man, punishing those who try to trifle between such places. They can remove their faces, revealing a cosmic truth that has been storied as a glance which melts the face of those whom they gaze upon. With their face removed their spiritual side appears as a star-light smoke of gold and blue, rising to the heavens and casting forth a terror to those who view it; a hallucinogenic trance in which the victim feels as though thousands of scorpions are attempting to burst forth from their flesh. All wield wicked glaives in antiquated stile, embellished with lapis lazuli and cruel barbs. They will hold counsel only with demigods or the blind, and in neither case do they enjoy it.

Medusa - The Protectress of a long damned apotropaic spell, the Medusa and her wards have made their home in Lower Druk Yul so as to make her many pursuers further burdened in their hunting. Originally a daitya of Upper Druk Yul, she was brought low and cursed by dragons for her refusal to aid in the cosmic wars between their kind and the eldritch creatures from the Mountains of the Moon. Each thread of her hair was given serpentine form and each whispers terrible paranoid secrets into her ears. She fled her home only to be hunted by Slugmen warlocks who had learned of her warding spells of petrification. Shackled by their foul magic and told by her serpentine locks that she awaited eternal humiliation and indignity at the slugmen's hands, she carved her spell into her eyes such that any who met her gaze would find themselves locked eternally in stone. After generations of flight and pursuit by hubristic wizards, cabals, and cults; she began to carve her victims in her own image, granting them similar abilities. She is now pursued by the Cult of the Elephant Demon who has discovered there is but only one true Medusa, and who seek to force her to grant them her spell.

Mummy - In ancient times, there were kingdoms here. Mound-dwellers and nomads with their own traditions and cultures, who once reigned over Druk Yul, paid homage to dragons and fouler things. The horse-lords of the Pallum Jun, eternally debauched Belshum Pel, the gold-tusked royals of Sahbassiq, the masked folk of Khemmendruk, even ever-frozen Gelun; all surpassed the prior in bitter wars and genocide, all undone in hubris and ambition. Their dead were shrived and ritually buried, regardless of the corpse being mangled by grasshopper men, eternally scorched in dragon's flame, or host to a legion of foul spirits. Hundreds, even thousands of years since their fall, they still thirst for dominance and treasure. The jingling of coins, the misplaced desire of settlers looking for a new home, will see these mummies rise from their deep places. Silently they stalk their prey, blighting the earth and carrying the curses of their fallen kingdoms in their wake.

The Mountains of the Moon & Sughd
Giant Crayfish - These crustaceans were in ancient times, the livestock of otherworldly entities who conjured them from baleful moonlight and the cosmic milk of lingering distant stars. Not until great wars and calamities against the Dwarves of Sangmanzhang, were they pressed into use as mounts for extraterrestrial cavalry and eventually Dwarven Irregulars. The breed found commonly in the Mountains of the Moon are opalescent in color, their meat a soft sour that when properly brined can inhibit trans-dimensional visions. Some are stilled use in the armies of the oligarchies, others roam the deep and hidden places, submerged in reflected starlight, and hungry for the flesh of mortal beings.

Tentacled Blink Cat - The Tentacled Blink Cat is an emissary of the long night, an heir to ancient wars between the Celestial Blink Hound written of in texts in the ancient halls of Sangmanzhang. One would chase the other, never would the two meet, and so the legends go that whenever one grasped close enough to another they would tear into the curtain of the void and reveal a bit of light. The tentacled blink cats of our modern era are surely less legendary, though no less savage in the destruction they can bring. They possess a hateful intelligence, utterly alien, which reviles all life. While their young will sadistically kill their prey to be nourished by the meat, elder examples of the species are able to sustain themselves on the psionic evocations of pure terror and dying memories--often allowing their lairs to be overgrown with rotting corpse mounds as a sign of stature. When confronted with a mountain dog they will either attempt to chase it or flee from it, explaining in many cases the use of shishi or foo dog statues that line the roads of the Oligarchies. Such cats fear the overwhelming numbers of a pack and will cling to their hidden places in the face of these icons; though such safety is never assured.

Dwarf - See Dwarves of Sangmanzhang. Most encountered will be waging ancient blood feud wars, performing profane rites to invoke the void lotus, bartering with old enemies to spite even older enemies, or attempting to find the location of ancient Sangmanzhang -- in all its fallen glory.

Galeb Duhr - When the wind blows strangely through the Mountains of the Moon, they ring out in frozen chants "Ga Leb Du Hr." The Dwarfs know the meaning of this phrase, which causes the rocks of the Mountain to spring to life in sorrowful imitations of long dead soldiers; but the truth of the matter is not something they will readily speak aloud to foreign scholars. The Ogres of Syr Darya believe it to be a cleansing chant, "All Wicked Spirits Be Gone From Here", though in translation this would be an incredibly flawed reading. The rocks which take form and fight during this time, speak only these words, and to the Oligarchies they are known as the Galeb Duhr. Those wise enough to know the weathers, or those skilled in wind sorcery, often attempt to rouse the rocks from their slumber while enemies move through their territory; but such an art is hard mastered and harder still to perform to perfection.

Genies (in Sughd) - In Sughd, as much as in any other place of civilization, the wheels of society move very slowly. The Genies, or Jinn, are that which move it just a little quicker at the behest of their masters; bound and shackled to labor for all eternity by magicians and wizards alike. Though once creatures of primordial elemental power and chaos, they were drawn through the veil of reality and bound into sick and weakly shapes by mortal hands. They perform minor miracles and serve as a celestial bureaucracy bound to the mortal world, attending to matters on the authority of their human betters, hateful of every moment in which they are denied the powers of their original existence. Occasionally a genie may break free and resume its original form as a dao, ifrit, marid, or whatever elemental title it clung to; such beings often take up the task of waging war against Sughd with armies of elementally-blessed mercenaries enticed by the promise of wishes which might better their lot in life. The Yellow City knows well enough not to bind genies, it is far easier to torment meat into doing as they are demanded than to trifle with such raw and hateful magics. Some claim they learned this lesson the hard way.

Cloud Giant - Vicious dharmapala, the sky-painters, the word-thieves; the Cloud Giants dwell among the stars and the frozen-most points of the Mountains of the Moon, wherein they reign as judges and masters of their stratospheric realm. When the year is right, they paint tales of ancient days in the auroras, breathing to life alien lights from their mouths and eyes. They dance a dance of the end times, of avalanches, or meteor showers. Their arms move in and out of existence, causing the appearance of anywhere from four to six limbs at any given times. Their eyes shift places in much the same way, gazing into past, present, future, below, above, beneath, and to the land of the dead with pulsating and dizzying fervor. The words spoken to them by mortals of weakened wills are frozen in the air, lost forever from the mortal mouth; some of the Cloud Giants wear such words as jewelry, others devour them and mock eternal the victim in their own voice.



Storm Giant - Beneath the Cloud Giants, in the storm-hidden caves of the mountains, dwell the drum bangers, the thunder-brewers, the man-burners. Gathering in pairs, these behemoth men of ebony and rain-cloud-made-meat whoop and holler at the tribulations and melancholies of men. These mahakala loathe silence, revile politeness, and love only those whose hearts overflow with violent ambition. Many tales of a heroic Storm Giant exist, often depicting the character shifting and ebbing through humanity and monsterful cruelty. Those of age and experience can temper their outbursts, often working forges and finding patience in the slamming of mighty ono hammers upon cloud forges. Such giants produce weapons of legend, for both heroes and villains alike.


Stone Giant - The great ogres, the daityas, the scribes of earth's truth; they dwell in and around the oligarchies, in the dark places, in the hidden places, in the lost places. They intone low thrumming sounds and hear back the echoes of the world. Notably man-eaters, this has not prevented many a delver and adventurer from seeking out their insight in search of hidden cities and places of great wealth. To one another they call themselves the gönpo, and they are known by this name in certain esoteric texts, far-flung city-states, and within the annals of Syr Darya where they are noted as bitter protectors of sacred oaths. Few ogre magi will comment on what this means, though secret sacrifices to deep-built ashrams occur thrice a year, via caravans out of Syr Darya. These stone giants are spoken of in tales for their taste for virgins, though the truth of what it is they hunger for is open to interpretation. More than a few wayang plays have been dedicated to the gönpo who eat away a virgin's innocence so they might better fight a foe who would otherwise manipulate their humanity.

Roc - Praise is oft given to the divine bird of the Tree, the Ziz of the Mountains of the Moon, the genus loci of Yoon-Suin itself. Resplendent in size and feathers, the Roc is the immortal enemy of the Elephant Demon; known to swoop down from the heavens and steal away the Demon's avatars to feast upon their knobby grey flesh. Their shaking head horn, easily the size of a horse, is said to herald the coming of the monsoon. Many a legendary magicians, slug-man, fakir, and monster hunter have hunted the Roc for the golden ivory of its horn; which when brewed in tea can allegedly heal any poison, and when carved into netsuke is said to produce wondrous living figurines. They are known in frescoes and carvings from the earliest ages of man-kind in the region, with some claiming the pestilent feces of the great Roc is the cause for the many powerful strains of tea to be found throughout the Purple Lands. Folkwives tell tall tales of offering up serpents to the Roc, who upon devouring the serpents will bless the anointed worshipers with wealth, yak, and divine guidance. Just as many wayfarers cast the Roc as a harbinger of doom; if one is seen near the road, even from a great distance, it knows of you; and it will cast you down into torments unless its great appetite is appeased.



Next: Probably some notes for the Monsoon Ghats, as I've been deep into research for that and it's been fun to look into the cultural upbringing I was denied.


Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Yoon-Suin Appendix G: Explained List of Suggested Traditional Monsters Found in Yoon-Suin - Part 1.

I've been dealing with existential dread, so here's some very late Yoon-Suin Encounter tables and an attempt to incorporate the Yoon-Suin Appendix G additional monsters into said tables with my notes on how I'd run them beneath it all. Monster context is important, it is what makes the setting the setting. Below are the first three regions in the Appendix G, twisted a bit to incorporate consolidated lore from other editions or to just try to play off regional items I'm into.




The Yellow City & The Topaz Isles
Sahugain - Degenerate fishmen and shark-kin, the Sahugain haunt the brackish reefs near the Topaz Isles. The Sahugain are said to be born by the last hateful breath of drowned Hayai nomads, cursed now to swim the sea in endless hunger for the flesh of their former people. They war with the kraken-men and can be found, occasionally, in the employ of adventuring guilds and head-hunters who seek to contend with beasts of the deep.

Locathah - Sand and ochre-colored fishmen who can be found in the lower docks and markets of the Yellow City, often seeking to purchase foreign intoxicants. The Locathah encountered by most are pilgrims, searching for the "the true dream of the haunted sea" which is an alleged primal god-head state that can be tapped into by those of the right sensibilities. Many a cult or magus can count Locathah among their henchmen as a result of this.

Giant Crab - The giant crabs of the Bay of Morays are naturally occurring animals that feast upon the detritus of the Yellow City. Less scrupulous managers of crab-fighting troupes will make use of the far stronger but far less intelligent giant crabs rather than deal with the potential rebellions of crab-men proper. This practice would be frowned upon, but few are able to tell the difference between the two creatures.

Tako - As goblins are to man, tako are to the kraken-men. These octopi-folk wage petty wars among themselves and anyone unfortunate enough to stumble into their coastal cave-dwellings. Of note, a tako can be bargained with so long as their payment is made in knives. Tako view knives as the teeth of a great leviathan, and those who would use such "teeth" in treachery invite upon themselves misfortune.

Selkie - Shapeshifting female spirits of Hayai folktales, the Selkies of the Bay of Morays take either the form of a tropical monk seal or a manatee depending upon their age and power. Young Selkies are intensely curious about the surface world and take upon the lithe form of seals as a show of their playfulness and exuberance. Older Selkies, who know well the cruelties of the Bay, take the form of manatees, their hides pock-marked by the sufferings inflicted upon them. The Slugmen of the Yellow City have heard tales of marrying Selkies for dominion over the sea, and though a fool's errand, many seek to abduct these creatures for such a union.

Basilisk - Imported from deep underground and from across the sea, Basilisks are a companion beast that were for many decades considered to be en vogue by the decadent Slugmen of the Yellow City. Their popularity comes and goes as pets, with those discarded by their Slugmen owners either ending up captured by poisoners and freelance torturers or running wild in the slums, gorging themselves on cockroaches and pariahs.

Reef Giants - These titanic anchorites dwell deep beneath the Bay, meditating in contemplation of some greater being to whom they owe their loyalty. Occasionally one awakens, instructed by strange whispers to pilfer and plunder the riches of other beings and bring them to the deepest trenches of the sea. Though usually solitary, they occasionally gather in family groups best comparable to a brahmin household in both opulence and hierarchy.

Giant Squid - While often noted as warbeasts of the Kraken-men, the giant squids of the Bay of Morays are naturally occurring entities which seek only to feed upon whales, manatees, and other large ocean-dwelling creatures. When spurred on by Kraken-men, they seem to possess a hive-mind and a cruel cunning that allows them to take delight in twisting men apart.

The Hundred Kingdoms & Lahag
Beholders - Conjured into being in ages past by a cabal of magicians who studied among Sangmenzheng, the Beholders are aberrant elder entities of paranoia made flesh. Originally intended to protect fakirs and shahs from the plots of their enemies, the Beholders engaged in horrifying tortures of the flesh and consumption of potential beings who could harbor thoughts of harm in their hearts. Many early kingdoms were destroyed to the last by Beholders who sought to protect their charge, only to consume them to protect them from the threat of these degenerate kings taking their own lives.

Ettercap - Ettercaps in the Hundred Kingdoms are foul champions of the Spider Goddess, formerly high ranking cultists who have lost their minds and humanity to be blessed with her venomous mien. These spider-faced demons can be found in sealed temple rooms where they are fed failed aspirants, in the wild where they hunt those who do not bare her mark, or on the fringes of settlements that worship the Elephant Demon--as such places are always ripe with gore to feast upon.

Gloomwing - These gigantic moths dwell within the haunted jungle of Lahag, and those who know of them claim them to be the cause for many an angry ghost. Making use of baleful pheromones and hypnotic powers, gloomwings ensnare their prey, eat their physical shell, and leave their shadow to wander the jungles as a wraith. The unfortunate soul who is implanted with the eggs of a Gloomwing has their spirit devoured, casting their immortal soul from the cycle of reincarnation and into oblivion.

Intelligent Plants - Lahag and the fringes of the Hundred Kingdoms are rife with terrors, including the very flora of the land. The haunted jungle is filled with carnivorous spidery white creeper vines which throw pollen-coated thorns the size of knives, those struck by them suffer extreme necrosis and rot away into rich soil within a matter of hours. Mantrapper plants are common both in the jungle and the private gardens of the Hundred Kingdoms, where such plants dissolve their victims in acid and produce hallucinogenic "corpse honey." Though of the dozen additional dangerous plants of the jungle, the most notable is the Yellow Musk Creeper, whose musky puff ball flowers can grant angry spirits physical form and infect the living into becoming mindless thralls.

Stirge - The Stirges of Lahag have the bodies of brightly colored birds and cruel, adaptive proboscises made from draining away blood from specific body parts. Some can inject a venom which liquefies muscle, others melt away bone, but all are known to cause paralysis in victims. Jungle Stirges gather in large colonies, building nests from the rotting bodies of their victims. Due to their large "noses" and general horrifying abilities, Stirges are considered to be heralds of the Elephant Demon and can be found building their nests as far away from Lahag as Runggara Ban.

Wraith - Derelict shades, wraiths cling to the mortal world by way of their last dreadful memories. Ancient kingdoms can be overrun by wraiths who exist in perpetual agony of their city-state's downfall, attacking outsiders in the hopes of infesting their bodies and fleeing the calamity that seems nascent. Wraiths produced by gloomwings exist in pure torment, lashing out at the living in the hopes of displacing their souls and fleeing the jungle.

Wight - Wights in Lahag are formed from the cursed bodies of royalty, drowned in the God River by demons. At night they crawl from the waters, seeking to devour outlanders and those who would not pay them homage. Their bones are carved with hellish embellishments and their flesh painted in rot that tells the stories of their downfall. Those of their bloodline or who pay them a respect may learn from the wights the true names of demonic entities.

Lamarakh
Bullywug - Along the God-River there are many degenerate tribes which have entered into more devoted unions with their totemic gods, and among the most notable are the toad people who dwell in the muddy mangroves. Cannibalistic to their young, eternally hungry, bloated and corpulent, these batrachian people view anyone other than their own people as a threat. Lamarakhi hunters who travel through their areas will often wear elaborate horned frog masks and slather themselves in mud, as this is often enough to fool a Bullywug.

Catoblepas - These creatures are meandering swamp beasts with long necks, pig-like snouts, and matted hair which obscures their face and vision. They eat brambles and pond weeds, gnaw upon ginger root, and only upon nights of the full moon do they become a true threat. On such nights the Catoblepas desires to feast upon the flesh of virgins, and their eyes become visible and to gaze upon them causes madness.

Dryad (Jungle) - Dryads of the Lamarakh are the spirits of mangrove and swamp baobab, and thus are either guardians who dilettante the river from the land or predatory demons who seek to allow for the destruction of man's influence. They manifest themselves, typically with flowers woven in their hair and whorls painted upon their bare flesh. Those who lay with men, depending on their predilection, either grant the man divine rite to protect their people from the evils of the River, or they absorb their mate into their own flesh, making use of his soul as a homunculus meant to render the tribe into ruin.

Grippli - If the Bullywug are degenerate tribesmen, then the Grippli are what they once venerated before falling into horned frog totemic degeneration. The Grippli are a breed of jungle spirits who dwell within the low-hanging fruit that hangs above the river. When they fall into the river they are born as brilliantly colored frog-people who will help lead people back to known paths, villages, or show them rich fishing areas.Though now in an age where the Bullywug exist in force, the Grippli are seldom kind to those who do not prove themselves worthy of their boons.

Weretiger - Dwellers of the river-forest know well the tale of the Weretiger. A lost prince from the Hundred Hundred Kingdoms came to the jungle in the hopes of beseeching it for aid against those who butchered his family. He was a timid and kind man, but now he saw enemies everywhere and had become a vicious man himself. The jungle took pity on his soul and bifurcated his essence. In times of peace, when his enemies were not around him, he would be a man as he once was. But in times of rage, a demon would burst from his skin in the form of a tiger. The lost prince may have passed away many moons ago, but his spawn and some of his victims possess a similar curse--unburdened without his empathy.

Intelligent Plants see Hundred Kingdoms entry, but in Lamarakh they are water-logged, vicious, and often aquatic.

Vodyanoi - If the River is divine, then the vodyanoi are its crusaders. Hulking entities that resemble powerful pot-bellied pit fighters with the heads of knobby-hided whales; all obfuscated under endless tangles of strangling reeds and feasting eelings who suckle for the blood of the river's chosen. Some tribes of the river hold the idea that the vodyanoi were once objects of worship and deserving of respect, while others have legends of profane and vicious sacrifices in which the creatures would maul and rip apart the flesh of virgins until the river ran red. Regardless, when the river demands blood, the storm clouds gather, the air grows rich with thickness, and the vodyanoi seek out enemies with terrible claws and the rippling energy of electrical eels.

Will o'Wisp - The shadow fires of Lamarakh dance along the edges of the river, inside the mouths of totems, behind the eyes of jangseung statues. They are the spirits of the ancestors, mischievous and baleful as often as they are kind and a boon to travelers. They delight in wayang puppetry, often joining in to increase the lighting quality and better animate their chosen heroes and villains. In the event of a wicked encounter with such beings, they are known to accept coinage (or even just coin-shaped items) thrown to the river. They will dive for such items, snuffing out their lights, and ceasing to be for a time.


Next time - Part 2.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Happy Holidays - Gifts for Dolmenwood Classes



It has been several long months since I've been able to properly work on some Dolmenwood content for public consumption. Yesterday I challenged myself to make amends for this by writing a holiday adventure in a single day. I'm not exactly done with it yet, but people certainly seem to think the concept has promise.
That being said, I did finish one of the bigger parts of this adventure: an appendix of gifts to be given to adventurers of every Dolmenwood class/race-as-class by a Host. The adventure is written to be played by 2nd-3rd level characters, the sort who are starting to get known; as such nothing gift-wise is outlandishly expensive or powerful. They are merely nice little utilities. For some of the newer classes mentioned on the Dolmenwood MeWe, I've operated on my own assumptions. I've also operated on the assumption of Dolmenwood being in Emeraude, meaning that Havenland and the Midderlands exist in a broader setting. I hope that I might have the adventure done by Christmas Day, or even New Year's at the latest. Looking at layout, it is about 40 pages long including all appendices.

As for other projects and such in my life, they are chugging along, slowly as ever. But progress is being made and I've wisened up to being more than just a one man operation. Things will get better, more efficient, more interesting. In time.

Regardless, have a wonderful holiday.
- Brian Richmond.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Beldam County: Haggards

Hags are to women as Haggards are to men. Haggards indulge in insane machismo, foul skullduggery and utmost thuggery. Hags lurk in isolation, Haggards demand attention and brutalize those who scorn them, often in turn make them haggard themselves. It is unknown if they breed. They are plenty happy to torment ladies and menfolk alike, make them squeal out little rabbit sounds; but such an act is merely psychic defilement and domination. The Hags say Haggards make their own out of shitty people and from bodies they dredge out of the Slugbarrens.

Roald Dahl's The Twits, Illustration by Quentin Blake.


They're always just a little too tall and a little too heavy, with jaundiced eyes or those of a bloodshot red you only knew as a child in nightmares. They reek of alcohol, skunky grass, old milk and pennies. They are hirsute, but only enough to allow you to glean a scabrous hide.

While hags like their spells, Haggards like pipes, hammers and clubs. They like to hurt people until people join'em. Hags are the evil that isolation, domination, and witchery make. Haggards are the evil of the mob, of the Brom Bones or Gaston type, and they want more like them. Bravado is the only measure of worth, and those who use hokum magics aren't worth respect because a well-placed fist ought to do just as well as a firebell spell in their crappy little minds.

Haggards make up a large population in Beldam County, they don't like the Hags or the Harpies on principle. They torment the Mensfolk and any Ladies who find themselves wandering through, berating them into joining the mob as a Haggard or scaring them out of dodge. They bully Mugwumps when they can, but the innate cursed cravenness of a Mugwump does not make them all too fun to harm. Haggards can't see children, because they have no inner child that allows them to process child logic. They don't like singers and guitarists, they think the blues are weakness made vocal. Lowmen enjoy manipulating Haggards, as they are almost universally twits and easily brokered with. Haggards dislike Lowmen because they're a bunch of suited smoke-eyed sinners who can't be bullied.

But Haggards hate, above all other things, a hobo. A hobo has whimsy and joy in their wandering soul, a fact that a Haggard cannot abide unless he's beating it out of the roustabout. Hobos who invoke the Road Gods can make a Haggard cringe in self-reflection of where they got lost. Haggards would love to kill off what makes a hobo a hobo, but that'd require building infrastructure and trying to be nice; which isn't in their nature.

The only way to not be picked on by a Haggard is to ignore them and treat them like a facet of society, until such a point they decide to prey on you. Unless you're actively hunting Haggards, you'll eventually find yourself brutalized by their fists and foul nature. They're the toxic masculinity of the mob made manifest, they're every bad father, bully, backwoods slasher, and beast made man; much like how a hag is that for a woman.

Haggard.
No.Enc. 3d4, AL C, MV 90' (30'), AC 8 [11], HD 2+2, #AT 1 (Club/Fists), DG 1d6 or Weapon, SV F2, ML 10. Special: A killing blow from a Haggard causes a Save vs Spells by a male-identified victim. If they fail, they rise as a Haggard in a mockery of their former form.

A Haggard who is working for a Hag can steal the mojo of virile and macho men by publicly demeaning them. Victims who react must make a Save (Charisma or Strength), and on a failure they lost 1d4 points of that attribute until they prove their macho manliness. Functionally this is a geas spell, usually cause for a fight or a snipe hunt or some other insane feat of foolishness.

Playing a Haggard
Okay, you're going to be less than a good person. Haggards are meant to be bullies, blackguards, thugs and bastards. They're like a self-sympathetic Orc, because at least an Orc has a chance at some tragic backstory. A Haggard is just toxic macho bullshit made manifest. That being said, playing a Haggard you're essentially a human, you just have to have low Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma. Your alignment is Chaotic, skewing towards Evil. You can speak and read, but don't care much for books.

How do I look?...
1. You've got a manky eye and a snaggletooth grin.
2. You've got constantly bursting pimples under your beard and your teeth keep falling out.
3. You've got one nostril and more hair in your ears than on your scalp.
4. You've got fingernails that look like they'd belong on a lobster and breath like rotten garlic.
5. You've got the nose of a crocodile and the eyes of a raging bull.
6. You're hairy as a skunk ape and you've got fangs like a jaguar.

How do I sound?...
1. Like a cask of bourbon laughing at an ether frolic.
2. Like you're going to beat to death everything good that ever graced your presence.
3. Like all you ever dined upon was cigar smoke and crying grannies.
4. Like a foreign fop or dandy, followed by cruel inane cackling.
5. Like a sonuvabitch who always has to question everything that isn't obviously making the world a worse place to live in.
6. Like you're playing at being an intellectual or gentlemen, calling people "m'lady" and "m'arm" or "Mister Thinks-He's-Smoort."

Do I remember anything from before I got made Haggard?
1. Nope. All the better for it. Ignorance is bliss.
2. She laughed at you, and you realized that you were obsessed not in love. To late to face that now.
3. He never respected you, so you beat'em down until he didn't have a face. You regret that, but you can't put him back together.
4. You threw that first rock and the screams and the breaking of bones, it did you well. It made you high. It made you feel dirty. No turning back, you'll never be goodly again.
5. You shouted and hurled insults and screamed bloody murder until all those weeping terrified children weren't in your sights anymore. Maybe you could've been a better man. Maybe a father. Hard to remember. Better to forget.
6. You beat that vagabond to death, your friends called you a hero. Of course it were your friends that were rustling the cattle. Blackmailed you. Hero isn't a hero if you're not given respect. Lot of blood happened. Lot of blood keeps happening. Better off now.

If your GM is cool and you're playing a Haggard as a human fighter type, with low stats in the thinking and social arts, see if you can get the ability to make Haggards out of things you kill. It only works on male and male-identifying creatures, and it is functionally just a zombie fever type of situation. No raised Haggard owes you any loyalty, and frankly they'd only listen if you beat'em back to death. Its more of a background flavoring than anything useful, and really this should just be an NPC type situation race.


Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Yoon-Suin/Thousand Thousand Islands Homebrew: Crocodiles of MR-KR-GR

So I finally got my hands on Zedeck Siew's Thousand Thousand Islands, and I love them. They have a good voice and amazing art, and as such I've been inspired. I've opted to locate the locations within the issues into my Yoon-Suin game, on to the river-lands of the Lamarakhi. I wouldn't necessarily put a Crocodile in most parties, but they'd make a flavorful choice; sort of like having a Crab-man or a Slugman in a party.

For proper lore, go order a copy of the zines. Cuz they really good.

The Crocodile of MR-KR-GR
Hit Dice: d12
Prime Requisite: STR
Initiative Bonus: +0

Art by Robertson Sondoh Jr.
Used without permission.


You are a crocodile of the Kingdom of Rolling Death, of the flooded land of Singga. You are a punisher of man’s sins and vainglory, a devourer of their gods and demons, a deity of the river made manifest in flesh. You live well upon the river, which flows down through the lands of the Lamarakh. You bloat yourself on fish and mud crabs, on criminals and those who deny the curfew of storms. But none of this will sate your ambition for power, glory and adventure.




Saving Throws
Class Feature
Level
Experience
Paralyze
Poison
Breath
Device
Magic
Strange Sorceries
1
0
12
11
14
17
17
1
2
2,750
12
11
14
17
17

3
5,250
12
11
13
14
16
2
4
10,500
12
11
13
14
16

5
21,000
12
11
11
12
14
3
6
42,000
10
9
11
12
14

7
84,000
10
9
10
10
13
4
8
160,000
10
9
10
10
13

9
320,000
10
9
8
9
11
5
10
500,000
10
9
8
9
11
6


Armor Proficiency: Crocodiles of MR-KR-GR have a natural armor equivalent to hides and leathers, which at level 5 becomes equivalent to chainmail, and at level 10 becomes equivalent to plate. Crocodiles of MR-KR-GR do not suffer penalties to swimming as their armor thickens. They may wear decorative cloth items without penalty, though any bonus but magical ones are not retained.


Weapon Proficiency: Crocodiles of MR-KR-GR have natural weaponry by way of their crushing jaws and their sweeping tails. The Crocodiles of MR-KR-GR deal 2d4 damage with their jaws, or 1d12 with their tail. They can wield no other traditional arms, though in the Rolling Death Kingdom they can easily find fitted tail weapons or replacement fangs for additional damage dealings.


Monsoon Moods: The crocodiles of MR-KR-GR are bound to ancient motions which saw their domination of the Rolling Death Kingdom. On sunny days, a crocodile is more susceptible to sleep spells, acting as though they had one less HD for the purposes of the spell’s effectiveness. On rainy and overcast days, the crocodile suffers no boon or malus. On days of the monsoon, storms, or other downpours, the crocodile increases all its damage dice by one degree and strikes a critical hit on an 18-20, which deals a Wounding.


River Lurker: If a crocodile is able to ambush its opponent it gains a +2 to hit and may immediately make a Wounding if they roll a critical hit. If hidden in water, a crocodile can Hide-in-Plain Sight at a rate of 4-in-6.

Crocodile: You are 12-17 feet long, 900-1200 pounds, and 3-6 feet tall. This might be a problem in some situations, and it is worthy of note. You also have claws which aren't built for manipulating objects, though your jaw/tongue can function as a very clumsy hand if need be. 


Wounding: A crocodile’s jaws are vicious and terrible. When a crocodile scores a critical hit while using its jaws, choose from the following options or roll a d3 and consult the following.

1. Rolling Death! - The crocodile whirls and rolls, rending and ripping away at the flesh. If the victim of the attack was the same size or smaller than the crocodile they must roll a Save vs Death or lose a limb.

2. Swallow Whole! - The crocodile begins to swallow the enemy whole. If the victim is of lesser size than the crocodile they must Save vs Death or be swallowed into the crocodile’s gullet, taking 1d4 damage a turn until they can cut themselves out or die. Creatures larger than the crocodile take an additional 2d4 damage and have whatever limb the crocodile was trying to devour, disabled.

3.Toss! - The crocodile jerks its head and throws its prey aside, tossing it 1d10 feet aside and dealing an additional d6 damage. If the thrown victim hits an object or hard surface, they take 1d4 damage on top of this, and if they hit any other living thing all parties struck must make a DEX save or be made prone.


Strange Sorceries: The crocodiles of MR-KR-GR have innate sorcerous abilities which manifest as they age and gain experience. These knacks are innately magical and of a divine sort, and can generally be cast once a day refreshing after a long rest or the coming of rain. At first level either roll a d12 to determine your ability, or pick as you desire.

1. Mannish Form - Once per day the crocodile may assume the form of a muscular sharp-toothed human. They may remain in this form for as long as they wish and revert back to normal at will. While as a human they cannot cause wounding via their bites and may not make tail attacks. For purposes of magic item or equipment use, a human form is treated as a warrior of equal level.

2. Blood Speaking - Once per day the crocodile may ask a question of blood, such as that found in a water or spilled from the palm of a servant. The blood will answer truthfully any question it can, such as where it originated from or how a person felt in regards to something they did.

3. Water-in-shape - Once per day the crocodile may assume the form of a watery puddle equal to itself in width, allowing it to swim through tiny cracks or to effectively teleport through bodies of water (up to Level x d20 miles in water). The crocodile may revert to its normal form at will.

4. Torpor Sleep - The crocodile enters a healing state while it sleeps, healing damage equal to 1d12+Level while under the effects of magical sleep or a long rest. While in this torpor state, mind-influencing spells or psionic abilities deal 1d4+Level damage to any caster who would use them on the crocodile, as its mind is filled with hungering horror.

5. Breacher of Ways - Once per day the crocodile may ignore any magical barrier, aura, or consecration, walking through such magical shielding as though they did not exist. Those within the crocodile or affixed to its flesh in some manner can also be transported through such barriers.

6. Maws of the Glutton - Once per day the crocodile may connect its inside to the vicious divine hunger of the natural world, turning its mouth into a place of fangs and lashes. Those who are bit during this effect must Save vs Paralysis or become paralyzed for a number of rounds equal to the crocodile’s level. This ability can be used until the crocodile has killed someone that day.

7. Idolatry - Once per day the crocodile may bring to life anything made in the image of a crocodile and command such a construct as though it were a loyal servant. The HD of the construct is equal to half the crocodile’s HD and at the end of 1d6 hours it turns back into an inanimate item.

8. Pebble Slave - Once per day the crocodile may vomit up a servitor constructed from pebbles and gizzard stones, animated by the will of the river and the monsoon. This servitor acts as a hireling or retainer with no proficiency in combat save for throwing stones (each attack diminishing it until it is gone). Pebble slaves have a d6 HD and a crocodile may have a number of such slaves equal to their own HD.

9. Corpse Call - Once per day a crocodile may call to it the bloated, drowned dead of a body of water to swim their way to the crocodile. Consuming such corpses (provided there are any) can restore Hit Points equal to the following amounts: a single body (d4), several bodies (d8), many many bodies (d10) or an atrocity’s weight in corpses (d12+4). The crocodile is immune to diseases from these corpses, and the crocodile may speak with dead to the corpses for a number of minutes equal to the crocodile’s level. Eating old corpses is considered uncouth.

10. Stomach of the Deity - Once per day the crocodile can turn its stomach into a horrifying dimension, a fetid acidic cave from which there is little chance of escape. Enemies who are swallowed whole take d12 damage per turn until dead and upon death find themselves trapped in this psychic realm as a spirit. The crocodile may vomit up a ghost whenever they so choose, and they may hold a number of spirits within them equal to their level.

11. Spies on the River - Once per day the crocodile may attain the senses of any being who is wet with the water of the river or through the eyes of kingfishers that lurk in the treetops on the edge of the water. The crocodile hears anything their subject may hear, see what they see, taste what they taste. This ability lasts a number of hours equal to the crocodile’s level or until the crocodile dismisses the power.

12. Ruiner of Man - Once per day the crocodile may lay a terrible curse upon a humanoid, severing their connection with the Gods to be but a whisper (breaking any ability to cast divine spells save for cantrips/orisons), making any food that enters their mouth rot, and turning any water they sup upon into briney salt water. This curse lasts a number of days equal to the crocodile’s level, with a Save vs Spells allowing the victim to halve the duration of this punishment. When the curse manifests the voice of the crocodile enters the victim’s head and forces a Morale save, with them suffering the effects of fear on a failure.


Names. Roll d12 for each part of the name. First Part: 1. Ar- 2. Ym- 3. Sr- 4. Kra- 5. Sa- 6. Ja- 7. Mr- 8. Kr- 9. Mu- 10. Shem- 11. Baal- 12. To- Second Part: 1.-hey- 2. -san- 3. -man- 4. -kra- 5. -hesh- 6. -ah- 7. -ay- 8. -gung- 9. -hagh- 10. -vesh- 11. -gug- 12. -ma- Third Part: 1. -na 2. -kul 3. -nan 4. -hesh 5. -manv 6. -sew 7. -tu 8. -pir 9. -vaj 10. -gal 11. -ban 12. -tdis Appearance, roll d8 for Head/Body. Head: 1. Massive underbite with teeth that splay out like a pile of daggers. 2. Decorative hooks and piercings across the maw, a few golden teeth. 3. Eyes that shine a pale white light, like the moon when it is waxing gibbous. 4. Gnarled maw of swirling dagger-like teeth which have cut up the lips and pierced some skin. 5. Scarred flesh and old wounds, the marks of those foolish enough to try to take your head. 6. Tattooed stories of the rise of MR-KR-GR upon each scale on your skull, the mark of one who educates others. 7. Stains of blood that will never fade due in part to ravenous constant feeding and the lamentable curses of the devoured. 8. Prosthetic eye or part of jaw, made from a latent and weak demonic idol; broken for your purpose. Body: 1.Bloated and scaled thick, with puffy thick scutes. 2. Narrow and thin like a gharial, with arrow-shaped scutes. 3. Dark of coat with osteoderms thick enough to crack a coconut upon. 4. Obese, with a yellowed belly you proudly display and a tail as thick as a tree trunk. 5. Scarred hide, the marks of many spears and arrows criss cross your dermis. An embedded implement, half healed over, lingers. 6. Albino and of a sickly looking disposition, stained with mud to keep out the damnable sun.
7. Wounded, your bones bare the weight of a conflict lost, with at least one limb replaced by the stonework of a demonic idol bent to your weight and purpose.
8. Mannish in size, you bare the mark of interbreeding with humanity; though you came out more crocodile than person. Backstory: 1. The Lamarakhi want your flesh, want your skull, want your magic for their own purposes. You swam down river and they came for you, but you survived. A wise crocodile will hunt them before they have the chance to rally a war party. 2. You feasted deep on the meat of the Yellow City’s wayfarers and have made your way downriver to see what further metropolitan flesh might do for your palate. You’ve heard of slugmen and this has piqued your interest. 3. In a monsoon induced feeding frenzy you felt a choking sensation. Upon vomiting you saw the severed arm of a human paramour you held closely. As lesser crocodiles ripped at the half-digest flesh you felt great sorrow and desired to leave your home. The bad memories will fade in time. 4. Demonic idols haunt your dreams, the workings of wicked men from ages past. You know they are in places beyond the Rolling Death Kingdom, and you have journeyed out to find others who will help you destroy them. 5. You were a god of leisure until finances and fickle superiors cast you out. You have found solace in opium-pickled flesh, but the habit is costly and you are nearly an addict. You sell your services now to survive and to someday take vengeance on those who knocked you down from luxury. 6. You were on a patrol down the God-River when you saw an atrocity of crocodile corpses, throats slit, bellies opened upon the beaches. You took this as a dire omen and have left the Kingdom. Perhaps out of fear for a calamity to come, perhaps to find the killer, perhaps to allow the killer to remove your rivals before you return.


The Monsoon Ghats: Skyclad & Linen Armor

Depending on one's varna , luck, and worldliness is how one dresses while adventuring in the Ghats. Regional styles of decoration, the ...