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

#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.

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).

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

Nine Black Jewel Moons: Scattered Jewels

Well, I have done the thing, or at least a thing — a companion document of sorts for Nine Black Jewel Moons.  Scattered Jewels has two small rules options, some enchantments and prodigies of the primordia, more ideas for antagonists, a scatter of NPCs and a few brief sketches of new places beyond the Edge of the world.

Scattered Jewels

I have an idea or two for a small adventure I could fit on a pocketmod that would use Jewel Moons, if not quite~ the setting itself, being much smaller in scope.  We’ll see if I can figure it out?

A companion with some ideas for Neon Burning Skies is, at least, almost finished …

Four enchantments

Binding Blossom

If two or more beings drink from the same draft within the hollow of this translucent ruby-glass rose (the size of two fists pressed together), those beings will always be able to sense the general location of all who drank, as well as whether they are in any great physical distress.

 
The Cleansing Fires

Actually small blocks of essence-of-amber; when one is tossed into flames or onto coals, any broken object passed through the leaping golden flames is miraculously restored.

 

Sorcerer’s Shawl

Not an item of clothing at all, but a delicately carved gem or polished bit of precious metal meant to be inserted into the flesh. Such a Shawl may have one of two purposes: either to serve as a grimoire containing 10 levels of spells in any combination (“readable” by touching the Shawl), or it may hold up to 5 levels of spells inside waiting to trigger at the owner’s command (and those must afterwards be re-cast or replaced by other cast spells).

 
Sorrowthorn

An enchanted arrow carved from briarwood, chiseled to a point but bearing no arrowhead, and fletched with trimmed rose petals.

A sorrowthorn does no actual injury even though it does appear to pierce the flesh; instead it overwhelms the victim with paralyzing grief until shaken or otherwise shocked out of it.

The Dawnstorm Blades

A pair of shortswords resembling wedges of rippled, razor sharp rosy crystal or glass. The blades are mounted in plain hilts wrapped with white and gold leather and have no quillions or hand guards to speak of.

The blades may be wielded simultaneously without penalty. When making an attack, the decision may be made to use one of the blades’ dawnstrikes: double the damage, which becomes thunder damage. This may be performed three times a day and the enchantment renews at dawn each day.

If the Dawnstorm Blades are turned against the rightful ruler of a place, they will inflict a dawnstrike on their bearer instead. Swearing an oath of loyalty gains their bearer a second pool of dawnstrikes, usable only in the service of the one to whom the oath has been sworn.

A lone blade may be wielded; but the pair cannot be divided between multiple owners unless split between a liege lord and their loyal one.