A Hamsterish Hoard Of Hexes

When I started posting bits and snips of rpg material way back when (2008? OMG AM I OLD *lol*), it was mostly critters of various stripes — something I still tinker with — but sprinkled in here and there were posts of spells, or collections of spells, and I didn’t waste any time writing up trinkets and fancies and magic items of various stripes either, because we all like shinies. And life was good ~ ;3

I kept this up for a good stretch until life and life crises derailed me, and then I turned into far more of a lurker in the online rpg scene for a number of years. But lo and behold, the wheel turns and times change, and what’s old is new again again, and I peeked my head out on Twitter a while back.

I found folks I remembered from before, and new folks, and life was also good!

And lo, a project grew from a grand suggestion: gathering up spells that I’ve written and forming new, themed spellbooks from them. And then adding descriptions for said spellbooks — and non-spell contents of their pages — and nifty trinkets and shinies a spellslinger who knows the magics contained inside one might own. And along with that, a selection of enchanted items.

Including the spellchick. Because I am still ridiculously proud of the spellchick. Moohahaha.spellchick

A Hamsterish Hoard Of Hexes is going to be released by Paolo Greco of Lost Pages fame (and credit where credit is due, Paolo is also where the nudge to do this came from!), and it’s going to be illustrated by Alex Damaceno, creator of Beyond The Borderlands. The eccentricities of the words inside are mine, though X3

Looking forward to posting more about the contents later! 83

Zombie Mink!

In some lands, mink are trapped for their luxurious fur. In others, these sleek and slender predators may be farmed for the same purpose; and, in yet others, mink are turned loose to multiply to keep down the numbers of rats and other vermin, sometimes to the point of becoming vermin themselves.

But in the end, the mink are tossed away, one way or another, with or without their soft and gleaming coats. Killed in their numbers, the creatures are discarded and left to rot without a second thought.

That is sometimes a very, very bad idea.

Sometimes, the mink don’t stay gone.

You wouldn’t want to wear one of these.

And they don’t arrive alone.

Zombie Mink: Bloating with death, sporting clotted fur or bare necrotizing muscle, this small horror bares needle-like fangs and a burning witchfire in its empty eye sockets.

OSE

Zombie Mink: AC 5 [14], HD 1-1** (3 hp), Att. 1 x bite (1d6), THAC0: 19 [0], MV 150′ (50′), Saves: D 12, W 13, P 14, B 15, S 16, Morale 10, Align: Chaotic, XP 7, NA 4d8 (6d12), TT: None

> Undead: Vulnerable to turning
> Burn The Infestation: Double damage from fire
> Infravision: 40′
> Leech: Upon a successful attack, locks onto victim and drains blood, automatic 1 hp damage per round until target dead or ferret is destroyed
> Plaguebearer: Bite has 2-in-20 chance of infecting the target (save vs poison). The disease has a 2-in-4 chance of being deadly (die in 1d12 days). Otherwise, the victim is sick and bedridden for a month.

TBH 1e

Zombie Mink: HD 1-1, one bite 1d6 (+ 1 each moment until removed or destroyed), CON test or contract disease (second CON test or OoA in 1d12 days), undead, double damage from fire

tinyrpg/LES

Zombie Mink: [Minor]  B 4, A 9, P 6; Essence 1; 1 Armour Point; damage 1d4
– double damage from fire, light
– successful attack: 1 Ess/turn until removed or destroyed
– Body test or catch disease from bite (Body, Alacrity halved for month; second Body test to survive, then roll on Death effects table)

 

projects in the hopper currently

It seems to me that a(nother) brief ramble on the things I’m actively working on/planning/contending with wouldn’t hurt anything so here we go, in no particular order:

  • Nine Black Jewel Moons 2.0, or the expanded version, or however you want to look at it *lol* — this will be much like Lost Emblem Saga (which evolved from Jewel Moons 1.0!) and will be easily smooshed with it. It’s probably getting a mostly-different title since in the creating of an actual place/defining some things, I accidentally(?) another mini-setting. There’s also going to be wee note to the effect that yes, using the setting without the “new stuff bubbling out of primordial chaos” is actually doable and by all means feel free to just use the “stable” part of the setting as-is.
  • A brief zine with a system for dimension/planewalking, and some planes and worlds to go with it (with a gribbly hook or two each, I hope). This will ostensibly be running off the tinyrpg skeleton but since that’s ability tests at its core it’s basically compatible with a sea of OSR/NSR/sworddream/etc stuff out there. I just want my own tiny not!Planescape and I ain’t even sorry
  • Another brief zine-y thing that makes up a fantasy/fantastical city, which will probably be some establishing paragraphs and then a pile of random tables because I have some ideas there. If I can get more than ideas and actually do something, it might get submitted to Arr Roo’s City Jam, but *stares dead-eyed into the calendar* It may also link into the planar thing above; see Planescape and also who doesn’t like weird city-existences?
  • I kind of want to make a little collection of tables for quirks/appearance/location ideas/something-something? I liked the idea of the stuff in Knave and Maze Rats but I dooooon’t really want to use those atm, and also the themes didn’t really gel with what I do in places. Since I like making little tables when I can, why not boil them down some and then put them together?
  • At some point I need to collect up and dust off and format together all the little bits I wrote for RPGaDay like I said I would >.>;;

pondering on the Two Lands and rpgs and projects

I keep wandering back — even while I’m still moving at a snail’s pace on Jewel Moons 2.0 and the “planar” idea for a wee supplement-type and am now debating some swords as well as some random tables of setting-dressing-ness again — to the idea of an rpg (setting?) based properly (“properly”) on pharonic Egypt. Or I should say, wandering back again …

By “properly”, I mean something that while not strictly historical (because you don’t get magic and actually traveling to the underworld etc in a strictly historical setting version), bears a hell of a lot more resemblance to how things actually were/were perceived in Egypt than killer mummies and stupid curses and camels roaming around in 1500 BCE and etc etc.

It’s an idea I keep going back to again and again and not actually doing anything with. Which is annoying. (and when I say I keep going back, I mean my first effort was a never-submitted article to Dragon Magazine that I was working on, that was for character kits. yes, this was for 2e AD&D. I’ve been beating this dead horse in my head for a loooooong time.)

Earlier this year I mostly battened on a lens for PCs that might, well, actually make a reason for adventure; this both kicked up my thoughts on the notion more actively for the first time in ages and also brought a whole heaping helping of frustration to roost because, frankly, fuck 2020 with a rusty chainsaw.

Still, the idea knocks around in my head and wakes up and goes “hi :3” every time I pull a textbook off the shelf.

Another source of dithering all over the map is the subject of just what to use/what I could use/etc etc as a skeleton. TBH? I’ve considered Troika, although while I could do a nice pile of backgrounds I swing back and forth on whether the background pile will help illuminate the setting, or constrict player options. I occasionally consider the tinyrpg skeleton I put together, and then I run backing into the night at the idea (as is my way). Troika is currently in the lead by a smidge?

So this is basically a lot of rambling saying not much of any real use but. Oops?

(Jewel Moons, etc, is still happening. just slowly. there are many things that are making a bad year continue to be a bad year and I am Slow on my best days anyway)

(also, let me end by noting that I still absolutely bloody loathe WordPress’ new setup and this was as “easy” to post how I wanted as nailing jelly to a tree)

*flips table*

Fuck WordPress and this ~new editor~ right in the ear.

Fucking blocks and forcing them on everything and forcing maddening double-spacing everywhere and taking my goddamn option to post just using basic html away.

This just might be enough to make me ditch a blog again. We’ll see.

#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.

08. Shade

* Relieving Canopy: phantom shadowsilk protects from effects of bright light, sunlight, heat. 4 hrs.
* Umbral Porter: subject transports up to twice body weight in objects inside own shadow. 8 hrs.
* Shadowbarb: 1d4 damage, blind 2 hrs + until healed

09. Light

* Dead Illumination: pale light soothes and pleases 1d6 unliving, improving reaction towards caster.
* I See!: recieve answer to one short (10 words or less) question or problem.
* Tiy’s Candle: floating orb remains unseen until danger threatens. 4 hrs.

10. Want

Fell-Wings Revelation: A palm-sized fat teardrop of amber-red, transparent, and warm to the touch, the Revelation shows in its depths what its holder wishes for more than anything else.

No matter what it is.

No matter if they will admit what it is.

11. Stack

The Nacreous Towers: This vale of towering pillars — of uncountable small, shelly, ancient remnants — have strange power yet. Power to change anything tucked into their crevices into something new; to whisper fossil’d secrets, if a shell is swallowed.

12. Message

Tailwind: Riders and other couriers more than happy to carry samizdat right along with more mundane string-sealed parchment packets, wax jars and folded letters. By saddle, hoof, fin and wing, Tailwind can get where folks on the ground need them to go.

13. Rest

Wayfinding: On lonely roads, a traveler may chance on a wayfinding — a small cottage of weathered wood. The host is gracious, so long as no mention is made of silvery hooves.

In the morning the wayfinding is gone, and a moon-mark remains on the flesh.

14. Banner

Oriflamme Of The Heart-Sapphire: Long-lost and legendary, cut from darkest skyvelvet and embroidered with silks drawn from the promises of all who swore to follow the Heart’s teachings. Its discoverer could claim much, from Hearthold to the star-blades.

15. Frame

Phantom Barrier Adornment: Not so much a door or window casing as the series of delicate inscriptions placed on it, barring the entry of inclement weather or any creature smaller than a cat unless carried inside. Even a large bay may be so encircled.

16. Dramatic 

Nightcaper [Average antagonist] 
- Psyche increase 
- vulnerability: silver, wine 
- Captive Audience 
Sometimes traveling entertainers don't die pleasantly, and their bright tattered remnants roam in search of the life -- and song -- they've lost.

17. Comfort

What-You-Need: Before you pluck this silvery-grey small flower without knowing what will happen; the bloom whispers it into your mind. An unseen anima rises, to manifest as whatever best suits in your time of trial; a hug, warmth, soothing words …

18. Meet

Coralheart: Odd little scallops, with thick shells of rose-to-carmine, ridged and heart-shaped; placed on forehead or throat, a shell will project a speaking image of you to whoever has the matching half. Some like to do this just to see who answers.

19. Tower

Iunia: A massive, striated, azure shard stabbing itself towards heaven, surrounded by the remnants of four others, their gilded spires splintered.

Every sixth dawn, a door irises open at Iunia’s base.

Every fourth, thunder like metal wings from within.

20. Investigate

Recorders: Sometimes primordia seeps, leaving a cyst deep underground. Those cysts can grow, spawning strange growths and hollows filled with wondrous horrors linked to the cystseed.

When the dungeon breaches the surface, Recorders move in.

21. Push

Marbolete: Over-fertilization, a bit of ill-luck, and sweetfields and water meadows may find their crops thinned out and heaved high by impossibly large and stocky, stone-dense mushrooms.

But, hollowed out, marboletes do make grand little cottages …

22. Rare 

Sky-Merled Martikhoras [Major antagonist] 
- Earthbolt (1d8 ranged, 1/2 rounds) 
- cloudform 
- venom 2 Ess./turn 
When storm and stone align, the heights spawn not a common martikhoras, but a beast whose emerald craggy hide is spangled white and azure.

23. Edge

Water Knives: Ground from mussel or abalone or spiny oyster, a water knife is a blunt oval blade of polished nacre, gripped between thumb and forefinger. Run lightly along a wound, the knife dissolves, washing away injury (up to 2 Ess.) and poison both.

24. Humour

Nanba’s Icepick: A decrepit-looking thing, its cherrywood grip scratched and pockmarked and the actual pick freckled with tiny rust spots, the tip slightly out of true. But with a touch to one’s skin, one learns just how to break any ice with goodwill.

25. Lever

Saint Rhodon’s Grace: The snapped shaft of the worn blackthorn prybar used by the custodian of the bonehall to free the jeweled saint from their cella before the wyldfires collapsed the structure. Holding Grace aloft wards off flames and the wicked dead.

26. Strange

Lily-Bulb Conveying: There are those who know how to place a message of no more than five breaths into a star lily; and since these lilies spread by great thin runners, and spawn many bulbs, the word can creep.

Grapevines are considered unreliable.

27. Favour

Reciprocal: When someone has done a great service, but it’s not the time nor the place for one to repay, one can draw forth a reciprocal to offer instead — a slightly-flattened, golden, bubbled orb. When held and wished on, it calls one to service.

28. Close

Seal-Twice: Affixed to any correspondence, this evening-blue wax contains a second missive mystically encoded into its substance. To release, the seal must be removed and then attached to a suitably folded, blank document; if broken, all is lost.

29. Ride 

- Proper Carriage: A mount's tack/harness now fits with maximum comfort, 6 hrs 
- Grey Invitation: Allow a deceased soul to inhabit you, sharing skills 
- Irisride: Reach out to the spirit of an extant rainbow and be carried to any place the bow extends over

30. Portal

Ringwalk: Not a place or an object but a process, most commonly associated with (and taught by) the loose guild of the same name; with the knowledge of the right glyphs, and the ability to trace them, a Ring may be drawn to step into another world …

31. Experience

Bone-Wisdom Distillation: At times, the sum of a life’s lessons and knowledge — and more rarefied elements still — concentrate within a single, crystallized bit of a corpse’s skeleton. Liquefy and consume in blood or wine or both, and gain all.

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