#RPGaDay 2020

For the first time in aeons, I’m going to try to tackle entries for RPGaDay whee ~

Not “about” rpgs, mind you, because I’m bad at that and it raises my stress levels when I don’t have Opinions[tm] on a lot of things. Instead I’m going to make a tweet-sized entry for each and post them on Twitter, system-agnostic or geared towards the Jewel Moons/LES “tinyrpg” and also compile them here in this post. At the end, if I’ve done enough, I’ll put them in a little pocketmod or zine 😀

So, without further ado I suppose —

01. Beginning

Tracer Of Voices: Rested on a copy of a text (on any surface, paper to silk to stone to flesh), this writing tablet of smoky quartz and golden wax will display the original version of that text, no matter how far back in time it may have existed.

02. Change

Crafter’s Plasm: A hand-sized drop of primordium, encased in a shell of adamant glass, which will take the shape of any tool (or set thereof) small enough to be wielded in one hand. If the shell is broken, the wielder takes on a change to their form.

03. Thread

* Plucking Red Threads: Discern general details of the most important person for target within visual range, as well as individual’s location.
* Gateway Weaving: Nearly-invisible pattern holds fast any who try to cross through door or gateway. 4 hrs.

04. Vision

All-Eye Wings: Place a drop of your blood on the tongue of this tiny stone bird and it takes flight, showing you what it sees.

Lapis Lazuli: magic
Cairngorm: shades
Serpentine: living creatures
Carbuncle: machina
Opal: primal flux
Topaz: high emotion

05. Tribute

Parter Of Veils: A bowl of unassuming brown-slip ceramic, large enough to need cradling in both hands. If a letter is written to the dearly departed along the inside, and gifts of food and trifles honestly made, at night the deceased will visit.

06. Forest

Moongrove Of A Million Spirits: Trunks of silver-green bamboo soar overhead, rustling faintly in the lack of wind; and every year the Moongrove spreads.
And every slim shaft contains milky opals in its nodes; every opal, a ghost drawn from the soil …

07. Couple

Jackals Of Frost And Flame [Average antagonists]
– damage aura (fire/ice), immunity (fire/ice)
– regeneration (2 Essence/turn)
– Counterspell
These lean and long-legged elemental canines are always seen in pairs and are said to purge sins — and sinners.

potential plans and other such nonsense

A post with no actual useful content. I feel like I should hide under the floorboards >.>;; But at least it’s about what I’d like to do re: content, so there’s that — or things I’m contemplating, and things that could stand to be shuffled off the back burner at some point if only I could stop being tired.

No particular order …

* Get back to the spacehack, because it mostly just needs some new equipment/toys and maybe a handful of example treasures/trinkets/whatevers and then I could try to flog it into working shape? Maybe attach a sample mini-setting or starter area? It’s written to go with BLH/TBH 1e but is probably system-agnostic enough to bolt onto other things by dint of that alone?

* Try that “write a campaign start in five weeks” workbook and see what I get. Not necessarily the spacehack (though see above), I might have a vague inkling of something else already.

* Maybe think a bit more on an admittedly flip notion of making a pocketmod of critters/spells/treasures/prodigies etc for each colour of the rainbow, and then reassembling them in the end into a single larger (quarter-page? I like quarter-pages I think) zine afterwards.

* I could probably stand to start writing random notions and ideas in a notebook again …

* Make the bloody pocketmod companion for Neon Burning Skies, already, damnit.

* Slay the goddamn brainweasels that keep trying to gnaw my face off for tinkerings not being unique enough or brutal enough or insightful enough or whatever-else enough. *sighs*

There’s probably other things — and I’ve really wanted to just write some more trinkets and enchantments and spells etc (maybe themed critter groups?) but omfg the entire world right now I swear —

(╯°□°)╯[THE UNIVERSE]

Lost Emblem Saga

A post! A miracle! And a new game to go with it …? A game!

Let’s not even kid around, the last several months have been hellish. x_x I’m not going to belabour the hows and whys of it all, because we’re all in the same boat, so onward to what I’ve been doing to keep my head above water.

Namely expending on the tinyrpg framework I’ve been making pocketmods for in order to, basically, “make my own Fire Emblem”. *lol*

Look, the turn the franchise has been taking in the last stretch has been making me exceedingly cranky, so instead of raging into the void, why not make my own rpg for spinning those tropes? And my own little “Fire Emblem” setting to go with it? And it would give me something to tinker with while the actual real world was on fire >.>;; I could even try to format it as a quarter-page zine, based on one of the sizes I make notebooks for …

So I did. It took me part of May and nearly all of June but I did.

(I’ve probably committed a score of sins with that quarter-page format but hey, it printed and sewed together?)

It’s still a pretty un-fancy beast, but I think I did okie. And I added some colour to the map this time, lol. The link is just below — this time to an itch.io page, because I made a few different files/formats and this was easier than Drive. Apologies.

The link: Lost Emblem Saga

Three weapons of renown

The Silver Knightlord’s Claw

A massive lance of gnarled, spiraled silversteel socketed into a haft hewn from nightoak and lashed with silver binding.

The Claw has no especial enchantments in and of itself, but in the hands of any blood-descendant of Akanthi the Knight of Silver it is unbreakable and will gleam with the intensity of a dozen candles of moonlight.

 

Six-Leaved Benediction

An unusual spear of Vorakh design, sporting a long head of oddly green steel barbed on one side like a harpoon; six barbs, curving back like thick, stylized teeth.

Though Benediction is a worthy weapon and functions as an enchanted one against foes vulnerable to such, its greater value does not lie in combat — if sunk into the earth haft-first and watered, Benediction blossoms into a sapling as strong as steel and all with 100 feet of the young tree are safe from the predations of spirits and the unliving.

 

Skithani, the Ivory Talon

A shortbow with a notably strong recurve, carved of magically supple ivory and faced with translucent, nearly colourless horn, Skithani is strung with finely braided sinew and at least one time was kept in a sable-skin case along with a score of ivory, self-headed arrows.

In the hands of most, the Ivory Talon functions as an imperishable but otherwise relatively unremarkable shortbow, striking targets with swift accuracy (+1 to attribute tests using Skithani) but no other obvious effects. In the hands of a spellcaster, however, Skithani gains the ability to penetrate the protections of supernatural creatures; its owner may also infuse its arrows with power, expending magical energies to increase an arrow’s wounding potential (adding xd4 to an arrow’s damage, where x is the level of the spell slot sacrificed).

[BLHack] Multiclassing

Multiclassing isn’t built into the Blue Lotus Hack as-is, but all things being equal I don’t see any reason not to have it on the table as an option.  The more variety the merrier, says I, and this is one way to handle it.

Something maybe like this:

  • first and foremost: since there is no XP, when you gain a level you just decide which class you’re adding the level to
    • but remember, this is a 10-level system and you will lose options quickly; you will never “max out” a class if you multiclass
  • when you first take a level in a new class you gain:
    • hit points according to a roll of that class’s Hit Die
    • access to that class’s weapon and armour permissions
    • the attack damage of that class, if better than your initial class
    • the basic abilities of the class
  • choose which class you’re gaining a level in whenever the opportunity comes up; you do not need to abandon your initial class (unless this is a game houserule)
  • you do not get to stack hp rolls, or bonuses to attribute checks when leveling up
    • use whatever Hit Die or check bonus is appropriate to the gained you just leveled
  • only non-caster levels count towards gaining a new ability; only caster levels count towards gaining new gift/spell slots
  • if a level is lost due to level drain or similar, start with the most recently gained class; if you can’t remember the order after that, alternate them
    • or: drop the highest class level until they match, then alternate

[BLHack] Familiars and Animal Companions

Something left out of the BLH was the idea of a sorcerer’s familiar/bonded animal companion/etc, mainly because I didn’t want to put as many extras onto the sorcerer as I did the other classes.

So why not make the idea available to everyone? For a price, that is.

Try this on for size —

Any normal (or even not so normal) beast can be trained with time, effort and care, but to forge a deeper link between a PC and an animal takes sacrifice. The ritual to forge that link eats into the vital essence, but many consider the results worth it.

A PC with a bonded beast loses hit points from their total HP equal to twice the Hit Dice of the creature. In return, the following features are gained:

– The beast is unfailingly loyal, barring extreme abuse
– The bonded and their beast can communicate without words, heedless of distance
– The beast is more intelligent than the usual for their kind and can follow instructions at least as well as a child can
– When the beast is Close, the bonded gains AP equal to the beast’s HD, minimum of 1 AP
– A sorcerer can use their bonded beast as a conduit for their spells, up to Far-Away

Lowering one’s maximum hit points is a dangerous proposition, particularly for sorcerers, but the ability to gain a spell conduit outweighs the danger for many.

The Blue Lotus Hack

Well, here we are.

In 2018, I (after several years of tinkering and talking myself into it) released the Blue Lotus Hack on Drivethrurpg under the name Vai Earthflame, a level of separation that I needed to turn the thing loose at all.

Once I started nosing around the scene again (on Twitter), I alluded to the thing, and then eventually named it, but still did nothing else with it. But I still have some things I’d like to do — some more critters, some more bits and snips and shiny objects — and I can’t readily do that here on the blog without the thing, while adding the things to the Fanged Moon blog would be even more awkward than it initially felt at the time.

So here’s the Blue Lotus Hack, another iteration on the first edition of The Black Hack, with a pile of critters and some treasures and a mini-gazetteer of the setting of Varas. It’s Pay What You Want, because my layout skills are just as non-existent now as they were then; it’s not fancy, it doesn’t have nice art, but it’s (I hope!) readable and does that job well enough.

But it does feel nice to have this actually on my name.

The Blue Lotus Hack — itch.io

The Blue Lotus Hack — Drivethrurpg

[Troika] Silver Dragon’s Forest backgrounds, Pt. 02

Adventurous Venturer

So the Forest isn’t a diamond clamshell city or fractal vortex. It’s still a world of wonders to uncover — and that’s good enough for you; there’s so much to see and do and poke at and maybe carry off with you when you’re ready to move on.

You’ve just about got the travel trick down pat — don’t worry about the going, just go — and there’s been a new discovery behind every tree and under every milky, glassy boulder. Just think of the memories, memoirs and trophies to be found! Learning not to try to eat the quicksilver frogs was another bonus. (Little critters are indestructible!)

Will you find the Silver Dragon? Maybe even the Heart?

Possessions:

* the elaborate pronged broadsword of your adventuring guild
* several stained and patched satchels
* a battered grimoire half full of ancient mysteries (that you’re using as a diary)
* heartscale corselet (treat as light armour)
* patchwork longcoat
* sampling kit
* a hovering mapmaking bauble (it’s very confused by the Forest, but the maps look lovely)
* 10d6 silvers’ worth of gewgaws and coinage from across the worlds

Skills:

2 – Greatsword Fighting
2 – Acrobatics
2 – Evaluate
2 – Astrology
1 – Awareness
1 – Languages
1 – Scrounging

 

Fluttering Bir

That’s bir, not bird — and if you’re mistaken for a bird, well, that says something about the fool goliath tromping through the Forest in the first place, doesn’t it. Who in their right mind would mistake a person for a bird? Don’t goliaths ever look at themselves?

Your wings aren’t even feathered. They’re brilliant, prismatic, shining hard-light vanes of pinions.

Honestly. The Dragon take them all.

They have a bad habit of plowing entire communities and waypoints flat on a good day anyway, which you have no problem growling into the ear of any goliath on whose shoulder you happen to pitch. They don’t appreciate your folks’ craftmanship and artistry (if you hear the word “dollhouse” one more time …) — they do comment on your ritualized warfare, though. How odd.

Well, time to set a few records straight.

… No, you haven’t made friends –!

Possessions:

* array of tiny steel and enamel and laser weaponry (treat as fusil)
* enamel and glass storage moth (note: without access to the moth and its dimensional storage tricks, you can only carry one or maaaaybe two non-bir-sized items)
* painting or carving or smithing or circuit-binding or sigilweaving tools
* records of your home duchy’s last six honour wars
* chaos lens
* neosilk uniform (treat as light armour)

Skills:

3 – Fly
2 – Sneak
2 – Magitech
1 – craft skill (choose)
1 – Bluffing
1 – Strategy

 

Sage Of The Forest

In dreams; in a waking dream; after a long and perilous trek; born to the position … or, somehow, all of the above. Or something completely different. Whatever the catalyst, you took up your mageries in the Forest’s vales.

Maybe, one day, you’ll learn at the Silver Dragon’s scaled paws how to shape steelsilver magic and craft forest life. maybe you’ll slip into some scriptorial cell under the Dead Priest’s aegis. Or perhaps stake out a hollowed home under silvery Forest giants and teach apprentices of your own.

Until then, whatever “then” may be, you plan to amass as much wisdom, as much wonderworking, as you possibly can. You need to be ready.

Possessions:

* long split tunic over sturdy trousers, with pouches in your shirttails
* slim curved dagger
* the locations of two hidden libraries and their pass-stones to get inside
* d3 orbiting gloworbs of different colours
* a tome of mazy paths, rainfolk scales and pressed Forest foliage
* seed and spore collections
* satchel of metal and enamel samples

Skills:

2 – Second Sight
2 – Research
2 – Sage Topic (of choice)
2 – Spell: Ironhand
1 – Spell: Find
1 – Spell: Read Entrails
1 – Spell: Starry Orb
1 – Spell: random
1 – Spell: random

Bitty Beasties

A dozen bitty critters ~

All of the following wee beasties have the following stats, unless noted otherwise:

HD: 1 hp, [Armour Class 10], damage 1, movement abilities as appropriate

A successful attack will, predictably, smite one flat. If any of these critters are attacking en masse — in a swarm, or the like — each hit point of damage dealt by sword, club, fireball, etc can be assumed to kill one critter.

Flutterclam (Sapphire Scallop)
– if successful in attack, has clamped on; victim acts last due to distracting irritation
Is that a brilliant blue bivalve flapping its way through the air? … Yes, yes it is.

Raindrop Jelly
– -2 to attempts to hit a raindrop jelly
Palm-sized, completely transparent jelly. Edible, if rather flavourless; sprinkle toasted bean flour and syrup on top for best results.

Angel Echo
– whisper a recently performed kindness or justice to it and it grants a single +2 bonus to a later action, then fades
A drifting half-glimpsed spectre of wings, blade and nimbus, like dust in a sunbeam.

Shivermoth
– will eat any light it comes into contact with
Big, tatterwinged moth, with sooty translucent wings two handspans wide.

The Dancing Cat
– if treated well, treater is given a useful tidbit of knowledge; if attacked or treated poorly, inflicts a -1 hex to saves for the day and disappears
A large housecat with greeny-gold fur, amber eyes, filmy wings and a knowing look. Is not actually dancing.

Rogue Apple
– always acts first at the beginning of an encounter (always has surprise)
Who expected a luscious fruit to open a fanged maw?! Not always an apple; peaches, plums and even pomegranates have their rogues, among others.

Saw Viper
– venomous bite makes victim grow woody, punky patches on skin, -2 CHA (fade in 1d2 days)
This tawny coloured, rough-scaled snake is less a threat to people as it is to wood, which it burrows — and cuts — through with abandon.

Pale Veil
– if successful in attack, does no damage; settles over target’s eyes, blinding until killed or removed
A strange fluttering thing of diaphanous silky tissue of iridescent colour, drawn to eyes it does not possess.

Barbeque Chicken
– can and will set flammable objects on fire with a touch
These speckled red-and-brown-and-black fowl are as spicy as they are feisty; look out for burning beaks!

Spellghost
– if attacking a spellcaster of any kind, eats one level off a spell slot (potential casting) instead of inflicting damage
Not a ghost; this skittering insectile knot of essence is named for the void it leaves in caster’s minds.

Primordia
– spits attack at 30′ range, immune to element
Sessile fleshy growths or floating honeycombed globes, the least of elementals: air, earth, fire, water, light, dark, thunder, ice, venom.

Skullcrab
– trip attack makes target lose next action (but so does crab, except for movement)
A bony bone-coloured crab using a skull as a home. Yes sir. Not actually undead despite its looks; turning will not help you.