Dicember 2021 – ghost

Ghosts are fun. Whether it’s coming across a fettered and desperate — or raging — spirit, stumbling into the drama around a long-deceased soul who may not be all their stories say they are, or (this one has legs) getting sideswiped by an antagonist who found a whole new way to be a pain in our heroes’ collective arse after their presumed dispatching, ghosts are overlooked as sources of story and adventure.

And that’s without getting into the potential extra layers if your game features ancestor worship!

So, here are some possibilities for ghosties and ghoulies and things that go bump in the night …


This ghost is …

01. bound to a specific object; destroy the object and free (or destroy) the ghost
02. bound to a specific object; restore the object and free (or destroy, or empower) the ghost
03. has a driving goal: protect a specific location (will be helpful if helped)
04. has a driving goal: protect a specific individual/family (will rest if natural lifespan is finished, in the case of an individual)
05. has a driving goal: take revenge for their death/ruination/dishonouring
06. has a driving goal: take revenge for the death/ruination/dishonouring of someone else
07. is an ancestral spirit acting in answer to a descendant’s petition
08. is an ancestral spirit meddling in the affairs of the living for their own purposes
09. woken by disturbance of their grave; restoring the burial will bring them rest/placate them
10. roaming because of the lack of burial; proper rites will bring them rest/placate them
11. seeking to found a ghost/ancestor cult, and may have even killed themselves for this purpose
12. actually not dead, but is an uncontrolled emotional projection from a living being


This ghost can …

01. grant flashes of memory from the ghost’s lifetime by touch
02. inflict a thematically appropriate surge of emotion by touch
03. “ride” inside their own corpse or that of another, moving it about
04. control 4d4 small (or not so small) animals, using their senses
05. manifest in 2d4 locations simultaneously
06. “mark” a target by touch, being capable of instantly manifesting in the presence of a “mark”
07. cloak individuals in their presence from the senses and/or powers of other unliving beings
08. “ride” inside a living being undetected; can whisper to them whenever they wish, though
09. grant small wishes made to them; can hear prayers directed to them
10. draw a living spirit out of their body as a “living ghost” for sunset-sunrise
11. manifest phantasmal, plasmic objects or weaponry
12. summon tongues and balls of pale, clinging grave-flame

Dicember 2021 – gold

They say that Sussuranukuth is prideful even of the most prideful beasts.

They say that Sussuranukuth treads so daintily that the grass does not dare to bend beneath his talons; that his wings glitter in the light like the sun itself.
They say that his breath is that of sweet myrrh and sleep-bringing fog, or else ravenous flames all the colour of the rainbow, of all the jewels known to mortals.

They say, also, that Sussuranukuth, The Gleaming Glory Scholar, will suffer no part of his treasures failing to match his own dazzling, golden hide.


What else might be found, then, amongst the coin and the ingots and the glittering sun-coloured jewels?

01. golden pomegranate, cunningly hinged to open into quarters; inside, its pips are amber nuggets strung on hair-fine gold wire
02. topaz pendant the size and shape of an acorn, mounted in a “cap” of granulated gold and suspended from a heavy gold loop
03. long-tailed blouse of byssus sea-silk, darkly golden and lighter than air
04. necklace of amber spheres interspersed with rose petals of pale gold
05. heavy gold signet ring, stirrup-shaped and engraved with the seal of the Second Queen’s Fang
06. glass amphora sealed with glittering wax, containing luxuriously luminescent celestial honey from the gardens of paradise
07. knife honed from golden coral, stained with a martyr’s blood
08. waxed-leather-wrapped brick of tissue thin sheets of pounded gold for gilding food and sweets
09. heavy ritual mantle of cloth-of-gold on tawny silk, trimmed with silken tassels
10. golden rosebud locket containing a tiny braid of honey-blonde hair
11. six waxed paper screws of golden lotus dust
12. paired delicate cups of deep yellow jade carved in the shape of peonies
13. roughly-smithed goblet of heavy, unornamented gold, battered with long and careless usage
14. golden ceremonial dagger, its grip inlaid with a scale-pattern of amber and milky-gold glass
15. slender gold circlet inset with a crescent moon of six pale citrines
16. half a dozen bottles of the finest dandelion wine
17. death mask of stiff gold sheet, depicting a sleeping face with wild hair and slightest hint of horns
18. five phials of glittering golden ink tied up with a yellow ribbon
19. heavy multi-layered robe of thick silk velvet dyed with saffron
20. pair of golden haircombs, sculpted with stars and the sun-in-glory

Dicember 2021 – ooze

I like putting jellies in my games. Like, a lot. (they count as oozes! they do! the ochre jelly has been around forever! and the gelatinous cube is just a big square one! *lol*) Which means every once in a while I write up some new jellies, or give some old ones a fresh lick of paint, or both.

Not really anything fancy as a preface here, just jellies. Because jellies.

Jellies jellies jellies. Lol.


Blossom Jelly
1 HD
A translucent, creeping gelatinous drop, pale pink or deep rose or reddish violet, marked with petal-shaped patches of transparency.
– 1d4 + Evanescence: struck with delicate sorrow, test to take any action, 1d6 actions; dissolves organics

Dream Jelly
1 HD
An effervescent oval of perpetually flowing jelly, transparently amber-rose-violet and spangled with an oily iridescent sheen.
– 1d4 + Waking Dream: dazed and hallucinating dreamlike visions, 2d4 actions

Peacock Jelly
2 HD
What a surprisingly enchanting sight; who expected a jelly to be such a lovely blue-green colour, to have such a golden sheen, to shimmer so iridescently …
– 1d4 dissolve; Fascinate – all within 20’ stand staring at the jelly’s play of colours; Fission — when hp depleted, splits into two 1 HD jellies

Rune Jelly
2 HD
This rippling mass of translucent, flame-coloured cytoplasm sports glimmering runes and glyphs that flare to life on its surface and fade out again.
– 1d6 dissolve; consumes enchanted objects; Spellspawn — immune to spells, spells cast at jelly are absorbed, released as a 1 HD jelly next action

Crystal Jelly
4 HD
Transparent, colourless, glittering — like a great crystal orb, flattened slightly — sliding along the ground … and then suddenly sprouting shining blades.
– 2d4 pummel or gel shard; Volley — launches 1d4 blades of dense sharp gel ‘glass’, 1d6 each; dissolves crystal, glass, gemstones

Dracojelly
4 HD
This dense, gelatinous ovoid flows with purpose, and its slightly translucent mass is a single deep colour webbed with markings that make it almost look scaled.
– 2d4 rasping; Exhalation — blast of energy-infused gel, fire/acid/cold/electricity/etc, 3d6, every third action; immune to damage type dealt by Exhalation; consumes metals

Void Jelly
6 HD
Somehow, a mass of light-enveloping blackness and a translucent gelatinous shadow, simultaneously. Still faster than it should be, and very bad news.
– 2d8 entropic pseudopod; consumes everything; Engulfing Nothingness — two successful attacks engulf a target in the jelly’s mass, target is lost 3d4 actions later; immune to mundane damage

Monstober 2021

Here we are! Let’s see how many entries I can make for Monstober, using this prompt list by TheBurntCoin @ Twitter — I’m posting them all into this post, updating as I go, because it’s easier and so I’m not spamming up my blog (and the feeds of the folks out there watching it) with a zillion tiny posts, lol.

01. Candy
Afidaxus
3 HD
A drake of burro-size and long low frame and short broad membraneous wings, sharp of beak and cloaked in thick glittering green-violet scales — scales that cover rows of glands along flanks and spine that exude a sugary wax, sweet, spicy, and entirely edible. If you can get it.
– claws 1d4 / bite 1d8 / breath weapon 3d6 + slow, scalding syrupy mist; flight; 1d3 spells

02. Horned
Ram-in-wolf’s-clothing (Flinthorn Sheep)
2 HD
Not your average woolie beastie, this sheep sports a short, tightly curled fleece of mottled grey and dun, disturbingly intelligent eyes, and a pair of broad spiralling horns that spread wide before curling forward in wickedly sharp points.
– gore 1d6; charge — with 20′ starting room, rush to gore for 3d6 + stunned; howling bleat — causes fear within 60′

03. Fleshy
Narhistrix
6 HD
If compared to any creature, this jowly and foul-tempered beast is most like a massive, rippling hog — but a hog sporting thick claws instead of split hooves, and a snarling maw of shearing fangs instead of a hog’s upturned snout. Its arched back bristles with quills, and its speed belies its massive girth.
– 2d6 bite, 2d4 trample; crush — successful bite + trample to single target shattered bone under weight of onslaught, rendering a limb useless; ignores first 3d4 damage

04. Reptilian
Aurha
4 HD
Coiling through the air with rippling grace is a sleek viper with blue and silver scales, its tail lined top and bottom with flickering white fin like those of an eel; a good twenty feet or more of cold slitted eyes and silent judgement that watches every motion.
– bite 2d4 + 1d4 cold + paralysis; flight; call windstorm; sense intentions

05. Clawed
Yukanen
6 HD
What looked like ripples in the lake — like a cresting wave — suddenly takes to the air: a furious raptor of whirling, foam-flecked teal blue water. Its eyes are like twin pearls, and talons of razor-sharp ice flash as it dives.
– claws 2d6 + 1d6 cold; flight; elemental; invisible in water; immune to mundane weapons; cold, wind, water invulnerability; salt vulnerability

06. Tusked
Crown-of-thorns
2 HD
A strange deer-like creature, long of neck and leg, fleet of foot and rumoured to carry a jewel in its forehead beneath flesh and golden hide. Beware not its coronet of five curving horns; it defends itself with protruding fangs as long and curved as sabres.
– goring slash 1d10; fickle fate — grant Advantage or Disadvantage to target’s next action; magebane — hostile spells fail against it 4-in-6

07. Eyeless
Quivering jelly
1 HD
There’s something almost hypnotic about the way this multicoloured, prismatic jelly shivers and sparkles … – 1d4 dissolve (does not affect stone, bone); attach — automatic damage each action after successful attack; fascinate — subject loses actions until shaken or otherwise distracted

08. Multilegged
Salamandrach
3 HD
Slick, coal-black skin peppered with sulphur-yellow chitin; a creature with a distinctly amphibious look to its wide maw and round eyes and grasping toes, that conflicts in the mind with its long segmented body and hundred skittering legs —
– bite 1d8 + poison (slow); always acts first; climb sheer surfaces; burrow

09. Brutal
Gorak
4 HD
A baboon near six feet tall on its hind legs — a baboon of snowy porcelain, its too-smooth ‘hide’ still flecked with gilding here and there, that raises four forepaws in warning of violence to come.
– pummel 1d6 x4; relentless; construct; track blooded target; half-damage from magic

10. Mimic
False door
10 HD
What’s worse than a chest that tries to eat you? The moment when you realize that “door” you just waltzed through was a creature’s maw, and now you’re standing in its gullet, and here comes the digestive juices …
– bite 2d8 (if “door” closes on victim); acid — 1d4 automatic damage every minute if inside false door; cold vulnerability; metamorph — molds self to fit room contours

11. Tentacles
Blightwyrm
6 HD
The whispers from a hideous draconic creature slither through your mind and you swear you can see the beast before it approaches — a serpentine creature of venomous fang and slender, folded forelimbs that look useless compared to the twin clusters of coiling, twisting, barbed tendrils that sprout where wings should be. – bite 1d6 + 1d4 physical attribute loss; lash 2d4 + constrict, x2; telepathic, breath weapon — venomous mist 4d4; 2d6 spells; amphibious

12. Hybrid
Living Eclipse
9 HD
A spherical void cut into the world, or extruding into it; a dancing white-hot — or is it ice-cold? — coronal flame crawling eternally across its surface. None know its source. None know what it wants. – coronal burst 4d4 heat or cold, 25′ radius; black sun — blindness; create light; create darkness; swallowed whole — induces fear; devour memory; elemental null; raise black bones

13. Insectoid
Devil’s darning needle
1 HD
Just a big old red and black dragonfly, never you mind ~ Even if its long as your forearm ~ Even if its diving at your face with hooked legs and curving abdomen ~
– bite 1d2 + 1 drain/action; devil’s stitchery — sews up one orifice; eyes by preference (blind), then mouth, then …

14. Aquatic
Ii’ama (Marine-snow)
3 HD
It looks just like a few drifting clumps of snow in the water, or maybe some broken chunks of ice — then the translucent, scaly beast surges forward with a snap of its flippers to snatch prey with a fang-filled maw at the end of its long, long neck.
– bite 2d4; barrel roll — bitten target dragged and whirled around; aura of winter — cold surroundings 50′ (lose every other action)

15. Plantlike
Dandelion
6 HD
Well, yes, the name was given in jest. Less of a joke is this great golden-green feline’s long wooden fangs, or its thorny paws, or — in all honesty — it’s regal ruffled mane of golden, filamentous petals. The royal beast forgives you.
– bite 2d6, claws 1d8/1d8; create food and water; command plants; shape wood; greenblessing — luminescent tendrils of foliage banish next injury, toxin or hex

16. Armoured
Revok
5 HD
That’s a pretty, and pretty unhesitating, mirage plodding slowly your way — a tortise tall as an ox, scaled in velvety black with every plate and scute that encases it a gleaming mirror, its shell rising in tall irregular peaks of shining mirrored crystals.
– bite 2d8; acts last; magic reflection — spells cast at still work, 1d6 beam of random element ricochets back at caster; steelturn — 1-in-6 chance of melee weapon turning to mirror and shattering

17. Wet
Rainsnail
1 HD
A strange little half-elemental creature; a snail the size of one’s noggin, grey-blue with pearly striped shell, just gliding along encased in a bubble of water.
– healing waters 1d4; call stormbolt 1d6; summon clouds; summon rain

18. Fiery
Blazewing
1 HD
Beautiful, mesmerizing, but dangerous; a butterfly the size of a shield, its wings orange and crimson flame.
– burn 1d6; flight; firedance — fascinated for 1d4 minutes or until shaken; water vulnerability

19. Corrupt
Malspell
2 HD
For a brief moment there was a red-rimmed shadow of a twisted, broken glyph; but now it’s gone — and now each spell cast is warped and wounding …
– incorporeal; possession — successful ‘attack’ on spellcaster inhabits them; bleed — while inhabited, each spell casts causes 1d6 damage to caster; banished by incense smoke; silver vulnerability (even while inhabiting)

20. Construct
Balehound
4 HD
A terrible whimsy of blackened and wolfish articulated iron, hell-silver etchings across its gleaming plates. Its eyes are glowing lamps; its ragged jaws gape wide, revealing the sorcerous ghostfires inside. The jewel in its brow holds the blood of its intended prey, or that of its master, and it does not reveal which it is.
– bite 2d4 + 1d6 heat; construct; tireless; bloodbound — if for prey, will track and has advantage against, if for master will guard loyally; hellrun — howl causes hallucination of chase through damnation, 1d4 hrs

21. Devilish
Ahauit
7 HD
The pact was sealed, the contract was signed, and now a menacing figure stands guard over the threshold: flesh the colour of a bruise, gnashing tusks, bulging eyes, a lion’s ears and tail, and two swords carved from darkness.
– nightblades x2, 2d8 + paralysis; immune to mundane weaponry; ivory vulnerability; blinding snarl; telepathy; 1d6 spells; fell guardian — acts first when defending bound charge

22. Ancient
Grey bones
2-8+ HD
When a skeleton — of any kind — exists long enough, it just might develop a self and a mind and an existence of its own. With age comes wisdom, and deep time, and deeper secrets.
– undead; moonwave — 1d6 damage per 2 HD, 25′ radius; divine secrets; divine truth; 3d4 spells; telepathy; sage wisdom (1d4 topics)

23. Winged
Melocophony
4 HD
A strage sight glides through the air: a conglomeration of dozens of blades of stained glass, like a fireworks of glittering black-trimmed wings was frozen in time. As it approaches, a soothing chiming hum begins to resonate …
– bladewing 2d4; shivering shriek — every 3 actions, vibration 3d6 + blindness, 60′; calm emotions; incite fury (berserk)

24. Diseased
Urugotha
1 HD
Bad enough that the thing looks like some unholy amalgamation of slug and leech and rotting meat, but the wretched creatures spawn endlessly and spread their filth besides.
– rasp 1d4 + attach for 1/action; taint water; swim/climb/burrow; withering fever — once attached, 2-in-6 chance every action to infect with disease (lower one trait 1/day until cured; cannot fight or otherwise exert self)

25. Folktale
Old Hag
13 HD
You might catch a glimpse, in the mind’s eye, while you lie in the dark at night. Most likely all you know is the weight on your chest and the hell in your head and you can’t move —
– 4d6 spells; inflict paralysis; steal sleep; invisibility; phantom form; hagridden — receive no rest from sleep until curse lifted

26. Ethereal
Day-gone-by
1 HD
Sometimes magic or just deeply felt events leave behind such an impression on the world, they spawn an insubstantial, intangible echo of that memory or event; a phantom tangle of luminescent self-stuff just waiting for a new home.
– jolt 1d3; memory implant; disorientation — subject of memory implant cannot act on 2-in-6 for 2d8 hours

27. Faerie
Little people
1-6 HD
A glimpse of a gnarled figure barely hip-high, sporting red vest or cap — or a glimmer in the air — or a curious, magnificent, tack-less horse — or a whisper on the wind, teasing …
– 2d4 spells; shapeshift (horse, crow, fox, fey light are common); invisibility; tree-portal; grow grove; create illusion; fairy blow — 1d6 damage, wound spills fishbones, hair, twigs, Disadvantage until curse is broken and injury is healed (shaken); repelled by silver coins, religious tokens, crumbs in pocket, inside-out clothing

28. Arcane
Heqai
1+ HD
Gliding along the ground — and up walls, and through the very air itself — is a glowing, shimmering shape, as if a snake’s skeleton were formed of countless sorcerous glyphs. And it does so very wish to add ever more to its sinuous calligraphic spine.
– glyphbite 1d4 per HD; devour sorcery — each spell cast at the heqai (or sorcerous writing devoured by, elixir absorbed by, etc) adds one HD and heals all wounds; otherwise immune to hostile magic; broken sigil spawning — if more than 3 HD, destruction leaves behind 1d4 1-HD heqai

29. Decaying
Uruke (Creeping bolete)
3 HD
Glossy rusty brown mushrooms as tall as a grown adult. Well, it could be worse, right … like it they started to slowly walk about, and gather corpses. Maybe make some. Oh dear.
– cap bash 1d12; spore cloud 20′ — sleep; bone toss — 2d4, 50′; firespawn — flame damage makes two 2-HD uruke

30. Harvest
Wadjwer (Great Green)
15+ HD
A dragon — a great dragon, thick with bulk yet still sinuous in its movements as it strides, coiling, across the land. Its scales moss and malachite and jade, or jasper and copper and carnelian; its horns gnarled and branched and burnished golden brown; and both its broad back and spade-like tail are overgrown with bone-spur trellises covered with berry-vines, young trees loaded with fine fruits, and every herb and leaf and green-growing thing one could wish for —
– bite 4d8, claw 3d6 x2; breath weapons — 10d6 resinous acid spray; regenerate 1 HD/minute; 4d6 spells; healscale gift 3d6; cornucopia scale; banish disease; banish poison; mass create food and water; create non-metal goods

31. Nightmare
Fallen-from-grace (night mirror)
1 HD
They say it looks like a conglomeration of delicate refracting black prisms, at first, but no one sees it like that — what they see is a horror that reflects back horrors, before tearing them away from the screaming soul and incorporating them into its ever-shifting form.
– invoke terror; fivefold blight — blindness, paralysis, numbness, deafness, muteness; spreading horrors — Disadvantage in 100′ radius, spreads 100′ every night while remaining in place; dream theft; memory theft; immune to physical damage; immune to magic; vulnerability — roses and salt

more bitty beasties

It is time, once again, for a handful of itty bitty critters to perplex, amuse or swarm ~


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, frankly, obliterate one of these critters; and if any of these critters are attacking en masse — in a swarm, for example — each hit point of damage dealt by sword, club, fireball, etc can be assumed to kill one critter.


Smoke-and-Mirror
– incredibly sharp; will deal another 1 point of damage on the next round of battle from bleeding
– staring into a smoke-and-mirror at rest will grant a vision of the past or possible future
A butterfly, large and showy, all of deepest translucent obsidian flutters by.

Rollsnail
– strike!: makes target have to check their ability to keep standing upright whenever it attacks, regardless of attack’s success
What snail moves fast enough to trip you up? One as big as a grapefruit with a shell just as round, and a habit of flicking the ground with its foot to pick up speed.

Whim-rune
– changes the colour (and sometimes the texture) of whatever it settles on or is struck by
A chiselled shape of near-invisible magic — until it changes its perch in a shimmer of rainbow light. May be contained inside stone.

The Cold Hare
– shatters metal that strikes it, leaving the hare unharmed
These icy bunnies are bad news in a field or anywhere else; where they den down, it grows winter-cold, creeping bit by bit with each passing night.

Glass Scarab
– carries an image inside its transparent abdomen, transferring it to the first target it attacks
Strange crawlers the size of two fists, and clear as the glass they’re named for; inside is a memory borrowed from the last being to touch it for a minute or more.

Fluttering Cherry
– “attack” does no damage but bypasses all armour and similar protection, causing an urge to ennui and stillness for up to an hour
Some cherry blossoms flutter free of their bough and tumble on wayward winds to spread their awareness of the ephemeral beauty of the world.

Dancing Spider
– bite causes uncontrollable itching and twitching for a day; harmless, but definitely distracting
Exactly that, a hand-sized spider of bright green and gold fluff and delicately hooked feet that tap-tap-taps its way to attracting prey — and audiences.

Bleeding Rose
– the first sight of a bleeding rose prompts a save against the horror of its beauty or else have nightmares for the next three nights
It’s a rare thing to see a rose briar climb and slither and coil like a snake, piercing with wickedly sharp thorns …

Drift-fractal
– captured in silk, the mote can be used to give a +1 bonus to save against magic; or “cast” one random (1st-level) spell of any kind, then escapes
Shifting, multicoloured paisley of pulsing energy, this spawn of clashing magics will fend magic away if wrapped in silk.

Guiding Star
– “burns” the mind when attacked, causing -2 to INT and WIS for a day
This small, flickering pale flame appears without notice, drifting ghost-like to lead the lost out of their predicament.

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)

 

#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.

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

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.

[spacehack] Some space critters

Comet Lobster
1 HD
Only has 1d4 hp; Clinging Pinch does 1 damage every moment after attack unless removed
Cold, pale, tasty, vicious, and comes in swarms.

Corsair
1 HD
Mocking Banter makes adversary lose next action on failed WIS test.
Folks of all kinds take up the pirate’s life, but these folks consider themselves experts.

Shipcat
1 HD
1d2 Claws, 50% chance to warn of incoming danger to ship
Sleek, proper, and said to grant favours to captains who treat them well; honest mousers, too!

Dazzle Swarm (Dazzlers)
1 HD
1 damage, Flickering Strobe: CON test or blinded 1d4 moments
These floaty shimmery mote-y things do nothing on their own and little when in clouds, but their lights flash at the worst times.

Mirrorling
1 HD
Can mimic the shape of anyone it comes across, attack 1d2 and -1 WIS
An amorphous conglomeration of silvery, mirror-bright floss, until it insinuates itself amongst the crew.

Glassine
1 HD
Acid Spit 1d3, Disadvantage to attacks on glassine made with blunt weapons
An infestation of these arm-length translucent slugs in riotous colors can wipe out ship stores in days, and their spores are everywhere.

Aerojelly
2 HD
Inanimate organics that come in contact dissolve the next moment, immune to cold and fire
Wispy, nearly transparent jellies that will ooze over asteroids, ships, anything really.

Ringfire
2 HD
Blazing Corona, CON test or continue to take damage every moment until successful CON test.
Exactly what it says on the tin: hoops of sullen red-orange flame, oddly spongy and as wide as the average adult is tall.

The Withered
2 HD
Two Claws 1d4, WIS test or flee in fear 1d4 moments, mindspeech
The shriveled, dry remnants of voidfarers gone awry, all too eager to feed from planting that terror in others’ hearts.

Shardlost
2 HD
Chilling Touch 1d6 + INT test or hallucinations for four hours
Some folks get too much of the shardfield into their system. Figuratively, or literally.

Ammonitus
2 HD
Shellshield 2 AP + can be sundered, multiattack 1d3 three times, shipwrecker
Bulky, ribbed spiral shell, pyrite and grey, and a dozen grasping, hook-studded tentacles, oily black.

Aether Crane
3 HD
Beak Stab + bleed, 2 hit points per moment, or Wing Buffet 2d4 and CON test or stunned one moment
This huge and multicoloured crane can be ridden through the void; it will carry two riders, or one rider plus some very compact cargo.

Glitterjelly
3 HD
Prism Tentacles (2d4) + CON test or take another 2d4 damage of fire, ice, or light
Sweet, glimmering jellyfish; nice to eat, if they don’t get you first. The fire ones are nicely spicy.

Bloodspike
3 HD
All DEX tests rolled with Disadvantage, CON test or Drains 1 Level with Hit
A shark of the void, blood-black and savage, that feeds on the spirit more than the flesh.

Great Nudi
3 HD
May cast a beneficial spell of level 1-3 if offered food
Why yes, that is a billowing, ruffling multicoloured nudibranch the size of a cow undulating through the void.

Alabastri
3 HD
Pale Bolt 1d6 up to Far Away target, up to three targets; shatters wood or glass, shipwrecker
Strange creatures of articulated milky shells and long, long spikes, like an insectile hedgehog.

Void Ivy
4 HD
Continues to inflict initial damage every moment until needle coils removed, only damaged by fire
A malignant coiling knot of greenery that moves of its own accord; the spores of a corrupted starvine seed.

Frozen Ocean Sage
4 HD
Can cast 1d6 first level spells, 1d3 second level spells and 2 random higher level spells; 1d6 Phantom Staff
A frozen ocean sage will never reveal their features, but they are willing to offer words of advice wherever they may be found in exchange for their whimsical requests.

Stardrake
4 HD
2 claws 1d4 + Bite 1d8, Breath 2d10 on 2d8 Nearby targets once every six moments (shipwrecker)
A sturdy carbuncle-hide dragon that can fly through the void, carrying two riders plus their personal cargo in harness.

Jurai Bee
4 HD
Sting 1d10 + CON test or add 2d10 poison damage or paralysis
The monstrous, usually docile bees that nest within and pollinate the most ancient of starvine trees.

Shardwyrm
5 HD
Bite 1d6 and CON test or petrified
This massive viper-like creature sports waxy scales and lurks amongst the debris of the Shard Fields.

Anemohydra
5 HD
Six Tentacles 1d8 and CON test or paralyzed, will sprout another attack tentacle when injured unless damaged by fire in that moment
A barrel of soft translucent flesh, gaping maw and a corona of writhing, stinging tentacles, found anchored on any solid surface.

Cold Mannequin
5 HD
Lure — WIS test or be drawn towards mannequin, Frostburst 2d8 damage to any Close targets every 4 moments
Scattered throughout the void are inscrutable statues of seamless white metal that stand guard and wait.

Vespain
5 HD
Bite 1d6, Sting 1d6 + acid spray 2d4, immune to piercing attacks, shipwrecker
Gigantic hunter wasps from the starvines and greenworlds, armoured in ominous crimson and blue-black.

Gnarlomeba
6 HD
STR test or Bound in place along with equipment, CON test or stunned 1d6 moments after successfully struck
A glistening, gritty, gigantic cell of pseudopods found amongst asteroids and other rocky debris.

Ebon Spider
6 HD
Black Web — DEX test or Entangled + 2d8 damage per moment, Bite 1d12 + 1d4 next moment after attack, shapeshift
These massive black arachnids can take the forms of any creature that they have devoured.

Godsthorn
6 HD
2 Barbs 1d8, healed by magic (2 Hit Points per level of spell)
An amalgamation of black briars and brass armour in roughly humanoid shape.

Void Manta
6 HD
Becomes Invisible until it attacks, as an action; shipwrecker
The colour of the void and speckled with twinkling lights … when you see it coming.

Pearlshell
7 HD
Darkness cloud affecting all Nearby, 2 Tentacles 2d6 + INT test or dazed one moment
And out of the dark drifts a pale-fleshed nautilus nestled in a shell of shimmering ivory, two tendrils trailing.

Fatescythe
7 HD
Ambusher’s Aim — holds action for two moments then WIS or DEX test or target is OoA, all DEX tests are rolled with disadvantage, can cast 1-4 1st level spells
Elegant, sharply sculptured mantids, wise of eye and swift of strike.

The Waxen
7 HD
Create Objects (of resin or wax), Create Meal, Charm (as an action), Teleport to Nearby location once per fight
Strange shelly creatures all but hidden under their protective domes, but amenable if not attacked.

Ghost Ship
7 HD
Will reform and hunt those that defeat it, vulnerable to fire, unliving, shipwrecker
Sometimes an entire vessel and its crew persists beyond death, if the mission was fraught enough.

Myrmich Lord
8 HD
Spawn – create 1d6 2 HD myrmichs every moment, Quicksilver Bite 3d4 and liquifies metal it touches
Gargantuan ant-like conqueror as at home inside planetoids or grand cities as it is deep inside shards.

Crystir
8 HD
Blind all Nearby, Discern Fate, Create Illusions, Prismatic Bolt 3d6, shipwreck
Beneath the frost, a faceted sphere of living crystal as large as a ship that peers into the future and the past.

Living Comet
8 HD
Iceflame Aura 2d8 all Close subjects, 3d6 Ram + CON test or crushed prone, shipwrecker
It’s not the snow and ice that lives, but the spirit that rides the comet through the void — but why?

Luminous One
9 HD
Healing Fires 3d8 restoration, Claws 3d8, spells as 4th level spellcaster, grant Weal or Woe
A heron of blue-white light, a misty and vaguely humanoid shape, both at once, or neither; but a source of succor nonetheless.

Madmaw
9 HD
1d10 damage next moment after attack, immune to elemental based attacks and slashing weapons, shipwrecker
This horror is part monster worm, part centipede, all iridescent barbed jaws, and perpetually hungry.

Steelshard
9 HD
2 Tentacles 2d8 + if both hit, grapple and Beak for another 2d8 damage, shipwrecker.
Sometimes, just being an enormous arrow-sleek steely squid is more than enough.

Abyssan
10 HD
Immune to normal weapons, vulnerable to light, attacks stop healing until healing magic or equivalent is used; a person killed by an abyssan will become a ghoul (PC HD, paralytic touch) under the abyssan’s control in 1d6 minutes
A colourless slash in the fabric of reality, wrapped around a conglomeration of the bones of scores of the dead.

Aethermist
10 HD (special)
Slows ship travel to 1/6 normal, disadvantage on all rolls, shipwrecker
A vast, foggy sargasso in the void that slowly saps the life out of all inside it, its own essence dispersed through ten pale, false ghost-hearts.

Siphonate
10 HD
Engulf — any target smaller than 6 HD, 2d6 damage every moment; immune to physical weapons, shipwrecker
One of the eerier encounters in the void: a long and slowly tumble-swimming tube of wispy plasm, more than capable of swallowing a ship whole.

Bright Blizzard
11 HD
Beauty Of Snow — WIS or Pilot test or be lured into centre of the Bright Blizzard, 2d6 damage to all touching or within it, CON test or be frozen solid after 1d6 minutes of being drawn inside, vulnerable to fire, immune to cold
Elemental phenomenon like this huge storm — ephemeral, delicate, but deadly — can and do spring up without warning.

Zeuglon
11 HD
Disadvantage on attack rolls when Zeuglon attacks, immune to elemental damage, shipwrecker
Like a reptilian whale, drawn out sleek and menacing and equipped with four flukes to speed its fanged jaws ever closer.

Starvine Wanderer
12 HD
Inject Seeds, Engulf — any target smaller than 8 HD, Chlorophyll Infusion, Burning Sap 2d8 + 1d8 damage the following 1d6 moments, shipwrecker
Uncountable glittering, emerald and bronze branches radiate from this young starvine tree’s woody core.

Suneater
12-15 HD
Extinguishes all fire and light up to Far Away, 2 Claws 1d8 + 1 Bite 1d10, CON test or lose 2 levels (Pilot test or lose two levels/ship HD), can cast 1d8 spells of any level, shipwrecker
A frightful and monstrous draconic creature with four insectile wings, rows of hateful eyes, and a coal black hide glistening with bone-violet.