#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

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

[spacehack] Who Lives In The Void?

Of course, what are the Void and the Shard Sea without someone — or several someones — to inhabit them and the worlds found within them?

Sample Kinds

Haouu (Owlfolk)
Tall, sturdy and feathered, with small wings folding neatly away, taloned hands and feet and the visages of tufted-eared owls
– Advantage against illusion, charm or other mystifying effect

Miuren (Catfolk)
A kith sporting retractile claws, an expressive tail, a soft pelt of fur and the features of a domestic feline
– Advantage on a test to avoid damage of any kind 1/day

Sebau (Shardfolk)
-Humanlike, sporting a scatter of tiny “false stars” in the hair and eyes of brilliant jewel colours
– mindspeak with Nearby sapients

Melitti (Beefolk)
Bipedal, fuzzy bee people, with four arms, two wings and variable colours to their plush
– create simple tools at will

Parad (Greenfolk)
Sapient plant people varying from green-tinted exemplars of other folk to gnarled wood-wights and all gradations between
– Advantage to resist or overcome poison and disease and similar afflictions

 
Kinds Table

01. Beefolk 05. Daemonen 09. Glitterwing 13. Crystalin 17. Greenscales
02. Human 06. Brazen Ones 10. Fair Folk 14. Minotauros 18. The Wise
03. Ghuls 07. Sebau 11. False Angels 15. Bonefolk 19. Shadowalkers
04. Alabastri 08. Parad 12. Wolfen 16. Living Lights 20. Naga

 

And, if you fancy adding a change or two, some physical quirks:

01. bits of body replaced by living copper, starvine, bloodwood, crystal, royal resin 11. oddly-coloured or luminescent blood
02. third eye, round and gemlike 12. corpse eyes
03. additional pair of slender limbs 13. antennae, or extra antennae
04. moonblade tusks 14. bioluminescent strands in hair or other pelage
05. bioluminescent patterns 15. symbiotic algae in skin or pelage
06. perpetually charred flesh patches 16. glassy nails or claws
07. one or more pairs of slender translucent tentacles 17. molts unusual dust (golden, iridescent, ashy, tiny scales, pollen)
08. brassy scales, feathers or fur in patches 18. implanted voidbloom
09. bone thorns 19. drinks blood/ichor
10. a tail, or an extra tail 20. filmy or glassy vestigial wings (of any kind)

[tinyprg] Steel Blossom Dreams

When I put Nine Black Jewel Moons together, I asked my flatmate if there were any other kind of implied setting I might tinker with; their answer is best summarized as “Legend Of The 5 Rings, but with more yokai and maybe more not!Japan fantasy”.

I tossed around the idea along with the other things I’ve herded cats around for, since another reskin would be fairly straightforward.  The upheaval around FFG’s rpg department in the tail end of last year gave me a bit of a jolt (and prompted the silliness of the “family name” tables in the finished PocketMod) … and then the fantasy!Japan collided with my budding idea of trying to make settings or adventures of various scopes to also fit the format, and months later here we are.

Steel Blossom Dreams needs Nine Black Jewel Moons, as the rules are in that PocketMod, and I’ve tried to use as many English-equivalent terms as possible to cut down on explanations in a very limited space; this is most obvious in the antagonist lists (so, “sickle weasel” instead of “kamaitachi”, for example).  Arguably by the nature of the beast it would be easy to take the basicness of SBD and have it all look like any fantasy you might like, I suppose.

Six Swords Rising is a tiny setting overview that is rules-free and, technically, can work with whatever you want to use it with.

Steel Blossom Dreams

Six Swords Rising

I’m sort of considering trying to moosh the rules portions (+ magic talents and such) from NBJM and these two iterations together into a little zine thing, but I haven’t decided yet.  It’d probably still be pretty bare-bones, but all the parts would be in one place?

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 …