Dicember 2021 – skull

You’ve found a skull!

It happens more often than one might think, in this line of work. Unlucky adventurers, remnants of raiding parties, the aftermath of some beastie’s dinner — skulls turn up in all sort of places.

This one’s … kind of different, though. Starting with the fact that there’s only a skull. No other body bits, no fleshy stains, no hints or clues. Just a skull, sitting neatly all on its lonesome on the floor, or on a shelf, or a stair, or … well, you get the idea.

But that’s not the only interesting bit!

Your new-found skull …

01. … has a sealed scroll, smeared with golden wax, clutched in its jaws
02. … is engraved all over with arcane notations, filled with cinnabar stain
03. … is animated and hostile! sharp fangs sprout as it snaps at you!
04. … is animated and lonely. please, just a chat for a little while, at least …?
05. … is completely covered with delicate mosaic-work in obsidian and rose quartz
06. … has been filled with pellets, stoppered and painted; a macabre rattle to be sure
07. … has been sectioned around the middle, hinged, latched and locked
08. … is overgrown with rust-green moss, and azure mushrooms grow from its orifices
09. … has every second tooth replace with one of silver or crystal or pearl
10. … has been converted into a lantern, candlelight glowing from its eyes and sinus
11. … is surrounded by a corona of pale violet flame that does not burn
12. … is missing the top of its vault, the cranium filled with an iridescent, red-violet ichor

Dicember 2021 – night

A delicate collection of slightly fraying scrolls; velvety black cotton paper, picked out in inks of white and silver and palest electrum and deep dark blues; bundled in wolfhide, or packed in a willow-withe basket, or sealed in a silver casket as round as the moon.

These are the remaining sorcerous works of Kha’heba, Whisper Of Midnight.

01. Eyes Of The Night: Under natural night-time darkness, see with perfect clarity; enchantments are limned with moonlight. Lasts until sunrise.
02. Mothlure: Designate an object and a type of target (elves, skeletons, moths); all in a mile’s range are drawn to the object. 8 hrs or until sunrise.
03. Midnight’s Stroke: Semi-corporeal blue-black weapon that does no damage but stuns those attacked into inaction for 1d6 missed actions. 1d8 min.
04. Afraid Of The Dark: Target is -2 on all tests/rolls at night or in darkness; unnerved and jumpy. Three days or until hex is lifted.
05. Nightcloak: Covers 100′ sq. area in soft nighttime darkness; allies are refreshed and all gain one extra action before spell ends, antagonists must check morale. 10 min.
06. Dreamless Sleep: Target falls into unwakeable slumber for eight hours, wakes healed and cleansed of disease/poison, but at Disadvantage for a day due to disorientation.
07. The Eternal River: Travel at riverboat pace for the night towards destination, along the river of stars. Ends at sunrise.
08. Night’s Watch: Calls small creatures — moths, bats, mice, cats — to stand as a warning system, alerting caster to danger or unusual activity nearby. 6 hrs.

More Tiny Treasures

Because why not, says I …

01. a delicately woven white woolen shawl, sewn over and fringed with red crystal beads like droplets of blood
02. a full feasts’ worth of red stoneware platters and bowls polished smooth as glass, each sporting a different glyph etched in gold
03. two folding hunters’ stools in blackoak and leather; one seat of white hide, one black
04. a braided torc of bronze, finials wrapped in loops around amber orbs
05. ten discs of compounded alchemical incense kept in a leather-lined brass box
06. a glittering violet-blue scale long as a fingertip, strung on a silver chain
07. a packet of letters on ancient parchment, each sporting colourful silk mending
08. an oval of rosy quartz the size of a quail’s egg, with drops of blood suspended inside
09. a blue steel gorget, mirror-smooth, engraved on the inner surface with prayer sigils
10. a pair of scallop shells lined, trimmed and hinged with gold, one shell packed with pigment and the other meant to hold water

Hamsterish Hoard of Hexes is live!

Today’s the day!

The day that Hamsterish Hoard of Hexes is live! 😀

Brought to you by Paolo Greco of Lost Pages (lostpaolo @ Twitter), with lovely art by Alex Damaceno (gnarledmonster @ Twitter), it’s time for spells, shiny things and animal wizards!

Sixty-four levelless spells across eight themed grimoires, each with their own quirks, physical grimoire descriptions, and a selection of brand-new fantsay knowledge, esoterica and tricks of the trade that enterprising spellcasters squirreled away, to whit:

  • Principia Primordia and its powerful channeling spells and plants
  • Least Book of Serpentarius, teaching the secrets of harnessing star power
  • Roseate Codex, a magic handbook about roses, and how to feed them with yourself to defy death
  • Collected Wisdoms, holding the keys to wisdom, denial, and dowsing.
  • Tjehenet, a papyrus filled with shiny and glittery magic
  • Ex Sanguinis, and its crimson sorcery of emotion and blood
  • The Manual, that famous tradecraft grimoire
  • Book of the White Cat, teaching the icy mystery of the Queen of Clowders

The spells in Hexes can be used alongside Wonder & Wickedness, also from Lost pages, or on its own.

And right along with them, there’s a random table for each grimoire just right for equipping a new magely-type with a trinket, toolkit or odder bauble that suits their magical style 😀

It’s not just spells, mind you — the second half of Hexes brings out a collection of enchanted items , polished up and collected in one place. Lenses and lanterns, stones and lanterns and clockworks. Always clockworks ~ Including the spellchick.

You knew I wasn’t kidding about the spellchick, right? 83


[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.

Second verse …

Well here I am again, a solid decade after my first foray into tabletop blogging. I hope, anyway.

The first “hoard” was (and still is) over on Blogspot, and was dedicated to critters and magic and a few random ramblings, focused on the Mentzer/Rules Cyclopedia version of Basic D&D. I had a decent enough output for a stretch; then life started getting rocky and some things flared up, and my posts tapered off and then stopped. There were a few attempts to get back up on the horse, but between continued RL rollercoasters and, frankly, not remotely feeling comfortable with the way the OSR had evolved (and even less so with specific bodies in that scene), I never did wander back. Mentzer being revealed as a creeper frankly didn’t help either.

In the meantime I poked at 2e AD&D, Exalted, a few other games; picked up The Black Hack; and so on. I also was — and to be honest, mostly still am — paralyzed enough by anxiety that it took me well over two years to write a take of my own on TBH and then even longer to publish it (so long 2e was well out by then, so I only priced a few dollars because I didn’t want to draw attention away on top of whatever other stress-derived reasoning I have/had), which I did under an alias which I assume worked if only through obscurity. I was too nervous to mention it, even under the alias, or to do more than make a post or two on the blog I made for it. The second, smaller project and the small companion to the hack are still unfinished, because I talked myself out of them; the more words, the more I might get recognized. Rational? Nah. But stress and anxiety and work issues and life issues don’t care about rationality and neither does the internet.

In the past year-ish, though, I’ve tried poking my head up out of the gopher hole I’ve been hiding in, mostly on Twitter. The net result of this is having refound some folks, following some new people, and squeaking out a few tiny little things to discover that the current flavours of posting shiny things on Itch and whatnot wake up my screaming frayed nerves like nobody’s business. I don’t want to feel that anxious constantly and the guilt of not succeeding in joining in/in not making the same sorts of things that I see on Twitter/etc etc is no fun either. But I’d still like to try to do a few things now and again.

So, what to do?

Start another blog, where I can throw words around randomly every once in a while and breathe a little better. And who knows, maybe I’ll get this step wrangled also and be able to join in without panic elsewhere, some time in the future.

I don’t promise a steady stream of material like way back when. It’s also entirely possible this project crashes and burns. But I’m going to try, slowly.

It’ll probably be mostly TBH-related things (1e, by and large, though I have 2e and quite like it I spent those years with 1e), and I’d like to try some Troika after all, and probably some fairly system-agnostic tables and lists. And oh how I’m looking forward to my copy of Old School Essentials — and maybe I can get my Basic off the ground again soon. That would be nice. Noodling around with variations on that one minirpg (to be re-linked here soonish) may also happen, because maybe I’ll feel less embarrassed about writing variations on a theme and ruleset if I’m just doing it in my own space, you know?

… and this got long as hell, and I’m squirming. Oi. Still, it’s needed said. Let’s see what trickles out over the future.