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 ...