Wednesday, July 6, 2022

D10 Black Books: Opium Dreamer Edition

 Bandwagoning from here and here. Why "Opium Dreamer"? Because all of these are inspired, in one way or another, from entries in my dream journal. Keeping one is nice, I recommend it.


  1. Children of Wood
    Unpublished notes from philosopher Georges Bataille, written as a reinterpretation of the Golden Bough through his personal thoughts on death and the erotic. Examining the similarities of fertility rites around the world, the notes fixate on a recurring ritual for healthy children featuring the slaughter and taking the role of a goat.
  2. Shadows over Archezabrazil
    Memoirs of a woman who survived the destruction of her farming community during World War One. Besides the obvious inconsistencies, such as fighting in South America and advanced bomber aircraft relative to the time, it also describes several encounters with "bright-eyed men" that devoured language.

  3. Architecture Issue 300
    The June 1920 issue of Architecture magazine, largely focusing on a small architectural group's efforts to revitalize the flagging style of Art Nouveau. Taking inspiration from Cambrian fossils and one member's visits to ruins on the Pacific coast, their reimagining has a strong nautical bent compared to the more earthy original style. They managed to build one building, the Rota Opera House in Boston, which now has the highest deaths by drowning per capita in the United States.

  4. Become Like Rose Petals, Blowing Free!
    55k word fanfiction of the anime Revolutionary Girl Utena. The first three-quarters roughly follow the plot of the show, although with various continuity changes such as the shadow puppet girls more directly interfering with the plot, the emphasis of the prince as masked, and the replacement of the Black Rose Duelists with the Knights of Naotalba. The final quarter focuses on Anthy's search for Utena after the conclusion of the show, with them reuniting at an airport in Yhtill.

  5. Bound on the Cross
    A pop theology book that attempts to reconcile Protestant Christianity with the BDSM lifestyle. Would be largely unremarkable if not for its extensive quoting of the Book of Maphon, an apocryphal 3rd century text on cosmology which spoke about the existence of a second moon, and whose copies were thought to all be lost in the Great Fire of London.

  6. On Our Lady of The Seven Days
    A book that claims to share various true stories of time travel, and more specifically the Virgin Mary's role in them. Stories include Marian apparitions in "temporal trances", the retroactive applications of miracles with only the receiver knowing of the previous events, and of course, people praying to her being sent back in time. A recurring element is of seven swords piercing her breast, each representing a day of the week.

  7. Project BLACK ANTLER
    CIA documents revealed by Wikileaks detailing experiments done during and after the Korean War. Noticing several Muism artifact's effects on human fertility/virility, the experiments attempt to shape conditions to create a new breed of human, servile and strong. The experiments were a limited success, although the experiments were halted after later children began to age quickly and reproduce asexually.

  8. Explodierender Kopf!
    German electronic music zine dating to 1997. In between a tongue-in-cheek review of rave locations and a hand drawn PSA on safe ecstasy use is a list of songs, presented in speech bubbles from a 3D modeled head, that help establish a connection with the nervous systems of followers of the worm god.

  9. The Wheelings of Ants
    16th century necromantic texts discussing ways to partition and communicate with or cut off portions of the soul. The book discusses how the shallow pleasures of Aphrodite and Dionysus separate humans from true joy, and speaks of ants as the one kind of being freed from their influence, the partitions meant to achieve a more antlike state.

  10. Dolphins in the River Styx
    A book written by a friend of John C. Lilly building on his work with isolation tanks. Using a combination of sensory deprivation, LSD, ice-cold water, and partial drowning, attempts were made to tap into the portion of the noosphere where the thoughts of the dead lingered, both to help comfort loved ones and gain otherwise-lost information from military operatives. The process was nearly perfected, but funding was cut due to lack of useful results.



Sunday, November 7, 2021


 Bears. Trees. Rocks. Lichens. The wilderness, untamed by axe and plough. The darkness, unrevealed by lampposts and roadsigns. What's the point? Who could prefer that over the bustle of a great city? The clever rat, the mighty bouncer, the bold pigeon, the wise pickpocket, the kind opossum — these are your creatures.

Most of these class abilities have been stolen from deusSquigBoss, and Vayra

Starting Equipment: Plain clothes, no jacket but an umbrella, mace (the spray), a wallet with some form of ID

Starting Skills:    1. Architecture    2. Animal Handling    3. Meteorology    4. Rumourmongering

A: Streetlamp Soul, Tread of Rat, One True Love, +1 MD
B: I Know A Guy, I Talk To The Wind, +1 MD C: Tread of Cat, +1 MD D: I NEED YOU, +1 MD

Streetlamp Soul: You are a spellcaster that uses Metropolis Dice, which are identical to Magic Dice in every single way imaginable. You roll a d10 for a new spell at templates A through C, and choose one at Template D. Your DM may reward you with spells-as-treasure at their discretion.

Tread of Rat: Choose two of the following adjectives: smoky, narrow, dilapidated, glitzy, shadowy, bustling, expensive, imposing, damp, loud, unwelcoming, shunned. While in an area described by that adjective, you travel without being followed, find free lodging (of some sort) for one person, and can guide one person (including yourself) through the area at double speed.
    Every time you level up, select another adjective. Effects stack. Adjectives may be selected multiple times.

One True Love: You love the city, and nature's belly is filled with spite. You get -1 MD and -1 to rolls in towns, -2 in villages, -3 in dungeons, and -4 in wilderness, and your class abilities don't work. The latter two don't apply if it's inside a functional city, like a spooky sewer/crypt, or a park.

I Know A Guy: You know the way to every minor named character, around half of the medium-importance characters, and 2d3 important characters. There's a [template]-in-six chance that you've already met them before.

I Talk To The Wind: You may talk to either the wind, the roads, OR vermin. In all cases, their perspectives are strange and off-kilter.

Tread of Cat: If a human could leap a gap with a roll, you can leap it without a roll. If a human could climb a structure with equipment and preparation, you can climb it with your fingers and toes.

I NEED YOU: YOU CAN KEEP ME ON THIS EARTH. BE VIGILANT. I LOVE YOU. Oh, you have seen her in your dreams! and she has seen you on the crescent of the hill. Her wind-corridor heart, her hundred-thousand luminous arms, her body of sodium and soul of rain. You love the city, and the city loves you. Once per day, you may ask the city a question about a part of her self. Your answer will be in the cryptic purple prose of an utterly alien being that loves you very much.

A sacred tree


  1. Tragic Accident
    R: A stone's throw T: One being D: N/A
    Deal [dice] + [sum] damage to a single target. This manifests as an accident that could plausibly happen; if this can't happen in their current location, the spell will be delayed until they enter somewhere where it can happen.

  2. Possess Vermin
    R: A 100ft radius circle around you T: Up to [sum] city-dwelling animals D: [dice]*[sum] minutes
    You may see through the senses of and control target animals for the duration of the spell; pets are immune. If cast with 4 MD, you may instead transform yourself into the animals of your choice.
  3. Create/Destroy Attention
    R: Touch T: You or another person D: [dice]*[sum] minutes
    For the duration of the spell, the target is treated as though they're either the most interesting or least interesting feature of the area (caster's choice). If cast with 4 MD, they're instead treated as either the most interesting or least interesting feature of the whole city.

  4. Magic Graffiti
    R: Touch T: Up to a 10*10 sq. ft. section of wall D: One week
    You cover target wall with artistic designs of your choice. For each MD invested you may choose one effect:
    - You may see through the graffiti
    - You may hear through the graffiti
    - You may have the graffiti speak a message/sound upon a trigger event happening within a stone's throw of it
    - You may have the graffiti send a mental ping to you upon a trigger event happening within a stone's throw of it
    - The graffiti is animated and moves around
    - The graffiti places anyone who looks at it and fails a save into a stupor for up to [dice] hours

  5. Pass Through Hidden Places
    R: Up to [dice]*30 feet away T: A place you know about D: N/A
    You find a one-way passage for you and your companions to pass through to a place that you know about (that being defined as a location which you know both the purpose and location of). Crossing through narrow alleys, stairways, and tunnels, you bypass all obstacles/security and trigger no random encounter checks, but take double the amount of time to get there.

  6. Pea Soup Breath
    R: [dice]*30ft radius centered around you T: Self D: [sum] hours, or [dice] minutes in strong wind/sun
    Choking black smog pours from your mouth and nose to the surrounding area. The density and effects of the smog vary with the number of MD invested in him:
    - At 1 MD t
    he smog is sufficient to obscure details (faces, etc) and apply disadvantage to ranged attacks made through it.
    - At 2 MD t
    he smog is sufficient to obscure objects more than 5' away in their entirety.
    - At 3 MD the smog 
    is thick enough to conceal an outstretched hand, and obscures even magical vision
    - At 4 MD the smog deals [best] damage to creatures other than you with every breath, and they must roll STR each round or be struck permanently blind if it contacts their eyes directly.

  7. Demolish
    R: A stone's throw T: An object D: Instant
    You gesture, and the target rots/crumbles/corrodes to uselessness. The exact amount of destruction caused depends on the amount of MD invested.
    - At 1 MD, the effect is equal to a few blows with a hammer (handheld object, art)
    - At 2 MD, the effect is equal to a strongman with a sledgehammer (door, a whole room's worth of stuff)
    - At 3 MD, the effect is equal to a half-dozen strongmen with specialized tools (a wall, a tunnel)
    - At 4 MD the effect is equal to a well-placed blast of dynamite (a whole building)

  8. Skeleton Pass
    R: N/A T: A slip of paper D: One day
    For the spell's duration, the pass shifts and changes to give you access to whatever you currently want/need. The power of the effect changes on how many MD are used.
    - At 1 MD it gives you access to public services, like transportation and food, free of charge
    - At 2 MD it gives you access to private/paid events/locations, like concerts and clubs, free of charge
    - At 3 MD it can fool keycard readers and act as a VIP pass to places/events
    - At 4 MD it gives you access to very rich and very secret places, and alerts secretaries that their bosses need to meet with you ASAP

  9. One Man's Trash
    R: Touch T: A dumpster/trash can D: N/A
    Rummaging through the trash, you find up to [dice] slots of stuff worth up to [sum]*10 in standard currency. You can't find money with this, and don't earn XP from anything you sell from it.

  10. Command City's Cells
    R: Line of sight T: [dice] unimportant/unnamed NPCs D: [sum] minutes
    For the duration of the spell, you may see through the senses of and control your targets. Any damage that they deal or are dealt is mirrored onto you.

  11. Invoke Riot
    R: Earshot T: [dice]*[sum] people D: [dice] hours
    The targets of the spell are all filled with seething rage, which inevitably manifests itself as violence and property damage. You may direct them towards a general source of ire, but you must be at ground zero to cast it, and it starts immediately.

  12. Mark Turf
    R: Around you T: [sum] blocks D: Permanent
    You establish mystic dominance over a section of city. You are aware of the type and general disposition of magic cast within the area, and can designate [dice]-1 other types of event to sense. You can influence the general nature of the location (see Tread of Rat), and mundane and magical figures recognize you as an authority of the area. You may cast this on only one location at a time. 
 Mishaps/Dooms: No. Instead it works like Hubris, except, instead of you earning the City's ire, you begin to resemble it more and more, until you become so in-tune that you aren't human at all.

At 5 points, you're affected by a permanent chill, which makes you immune to extreme temperatures by virtue of always being uncomfortably cold.
At 10 points, you're surrounded by a halo of sodium-vapor light. You shed dim light in a 10ft radius with all the benefits and drawbacks implied
At 15 points, your mind begins to blur into the mind of the city. You cannot perceive yourself as an individual, only as a tiny part of a much greater whole.
At 20 points, you take a turn down an alley that wasn't there before, and isn't there anymore. You disintegrate into the genius loci.                                                                               

Saturday, October 9, 2021

13 + 1 Dragonclans of the Mountain

A note: not all of the entries on here are completely true. The universities of Pyrenica view the Dragonhomes as far more unified than they actually are.

  1.  Rauður Span
    Hoard: Slaves
    Scale Color: Bright red
    Brutal slavers, and the most famous of the dragon clans due to their frequent raids on coastal settlements. While all dragons clans are avid phrenologists, the Red Span are particularly obsessed with it; their skull-priests have great tomes filled with descriptions of every tiny difference in skull shape.

  2. Járnmagi
    Hoard: Spells
    Scale Color: Dull blue-gray
    Lords of Járnturn, where dissenters to the great dragon state are "reeducated". Their dragonborn have iron cages embedded in their stomachs, from which spells are enslaved and made to lash out in the heat of battle. It's rumored that long ago, one of these dragonborn fled, and began the art of bottle witchery.

  3. Stríðssynir
    Hoard: Weapons
    Scale Color: Burnt Orange
    The Martians are by far the most bloodthirsty clan, and would be even more infamous than the Red Span were it not for the fact that 3/4ths of their iron boats sink/fail because of their sheer weight. They've also began experimenting with using lenses to focus light into blinding, burning beams.

  4. Hoard: 
    Scale Color: Maroon
    Fierce, civilization hating anarcho-fascist-primitivists. Instead of using boats, they hollow out massive logs and set them adrift - YOU ARE DAMNED carved on the side, of course. Their pet wolves are filled with the drained blood of slaves, and have rudimentary knowledge of tool use and bipedal movement.

  5. Lilja Borða
    Hoard: Ships
    Scale Color: Sea green
    One of the main reasons that invasions of the Dragonhomes fail (besides the dragons) are the Lily-Eaters. An unique amphibious subspecies of kobold, the Lily-Eaters are masters of seaborn combat and have many nasty ticks up their sleeves - harpoon guns, chained cannonballs, etc. Any ship that isn't sunk by them is hauled and lashed to Fljótandibær, a cancerous town of interconnected ships.

  6. Stórir Sjáendur
    Hoard: Sacrifices (inanimate or animate)
    Scale Color: Black
    The priesthood of the Dragonhomes' state religion, which mostly consists of "give all your money to dragons and they'll definitely reward you". The high priesthood cultivate vestigial twins in emulation of their draconic leader, and listen to their whispered prophecies about the coming end times. The most frightening of these prophecy-makers are grafted onto dragonborn, and sent out as walking weapons of psychological warfare.

  7. Stjörnuskoðendur
    Hoard: The stars (hopefully)
    Scale Color: Brownish-purple
    The eldest of the dragon clans, led by no other than Vo Fanur. The clan has grown strange alongside him in his old age, and seek to possess the stars themselves. Mostly this has taken the form of gunpowder rockets, but both more efficient fuels and higher launching sites have been sought. In warfare, these rockets double as makeshift and (dubiously) safe drop pods.

  8. Álfavinir
    Scale Color: Neon purple-pink
    Psychonauts that see through this layer and into the next. They carry gas bombs filled with powerful hallucinogens (whose effects usually involve little metal men trying to convince you to stab yourself in the genitals). Uniquely, they actually revere their dragonborn, who are wired with extra brains, ears, eyes, etc so they can sense more. When questioned about the whereabouts of their long-absent draconic ruler, they always say she's "beyond the crystal forest". 

  9. Beinakóngar
    Hoard: Bones
    Scale Color: White (painted with elaborate patterns of black spikes)
    Led by a dracolich, the Crypt Kings assuage their leader's paranoia by filling his necropopalace with all sorts of cruel and unusual traps. The fearsome reputation for kobold traps can be traced back to them. They're also fond of the undead, and bury newly-born dragonborn alive in elemental rituals to create the undead known as cobolds.

  10. Lindwurms
    Hoard: Religious artifacts
    Scale Color: Moss green
    The bane of the Church, Lindwurms are fierce raiders on par with the Red Span, less well known only because their targets are much more specific. They sail up rivers and creep down from the woods in pincer attacks to raid churches, taking artifacts, enslaving clerics and paladins, and burning the rest. They proudly boast about how their ultimate goal is to take enough to draw the Suns' attention, so that it'll come down and they can take it too.

  11. Augu
    Hoard: Security/knowledge
    Scale Color: Stygian blue     
    Their leader insanely paranoid even by draconic standards, The Eyes are the secret police of the Dragonhomes. They are the ones responsible for disappearing dissenters and assigning "free" kobold spies to where they need to go. When they raid, it's always under the cover of darkness, and they never start the assault until they're already everywhere.

  12. Blóðörn
    Hoard: Their creations
    Scale Color: Pale pink
    The self-proclaimed inventors of the forcemongrels (known in civilized lands as the dragonborn). While the other clans would dispute this, there's no doubt about how they've mastered the craft. Their dragonborn are stronger, faster, and tougher than those of the other clans, and have those pesky former minds of theirs removed - or at least suppressed, trapped - so that there's no chance of betrayal.

  13. Trommusöngvari
    Hoard: Percussion instruments
    Scale Color: Bronze and/or beige
    The entertainers and artists of the Dragonhomes, the Bangskalds create all sorts of percussive instruments, from tiny bells to massive gongs. Their raids are an assault on the ears, as they concentrate the noise through special horns to deafen, confuse, and concuss. For some reason, they also have a reputation for being particularly dogged in chasing down escapees.
Endalaus, Nafnlaus
Hoard: Fat
Scale Color: Translucent
Exiled underground for reasons long forgotten, this clan has degenerated into something most strange. Emaciated, blind, with cartilage instead of bone, they wander the secret veins of the earth, bursting upwards in towns and villages to devour whatever they can get their hands on. Their dragon, considered to be a bit of a runt, has had a massive bounty placed on it, and so would-be dragon hunters often delve into the holes they leave to track them down and kill them.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Midnight In The Desert (Buckets of Blood Campaign Pitch)

Art from Cosimo Galluzzi. Most art here from them, actually

You're a broke loser, and you and some other broke losers have just met up in front of some 70s muscle car.  The voice on the payphone told you that it would get you all out of debt if you could simply deliver this briefcase to an address on the other side of the United States - and PLEASE don't open it, it's really for your own good. Whether it's from New York to New Mexico or from Washington to Florida doesn't really matter, because no matter what it's gonna be a long drive.

Inside the car is:

  • The keys.
  • A loaded double-barrel shotgun, with six more shells in the glovebox.
  • One thousand dollars in cash. 
  • A walkie-talkie with no batteries. Your employer's preferred method of communication.
  • The briefcase. Locked and covered with talismans from every religion you can recognize, and several you don't. Don't open the briefcase.
If you for some reason find yourself opening the briefcase, then inside you find an ancient book with yellowed pages, everything written in Classical Arabic. How do you understand Classical Arabic? You do now.

It is The Necronomicon.

The briefcase and the talisman's purpose is to hide its presence. Open it, and you gain the magical equivalent of a nuke, but at the cost of having every single thing that wants that nuke know your precise location. That's assuming you open it. What if you do as you're told?

Well, you drive across the U.S.. You beg, borrow, and steal more money. You enjoy classic Americana (this was Marilyn Monroe's favorite diner!). You fend off demon cults, lovecraft cults, demonic horrors, lovecraftian horrors, government men, and cryptids/aliens. You marvel at natural beauty.
His head was killing him—but he felt on the brink of something big,
 something important. He had to get out, get
away from the house and the noise.
Out into the warm evening air.

Even with the book concealed, it still attracts all sorts of weirdness. Everywhere you go, something is wrong, and woe be upon the place where you linger for more than a day or two. To put it in more gameplay-oriented terms, the main loop would be travelling while trying to maintain resources (sleep, gas, food), and dealing with spooky complications on the road and at towns. As for tone, it should be spooky and weird, but have a humorous B movie edge, even if the humor is in the excessive amounts of gore.

All this takes place in the 80s/90s, of course.

1d6 Spooky Road Events
  1. While driving at night, the environment around you is suddenly bathed in darkness. Then the road stripes disappear. Then the road. 
  2. You hear the patter-patter of feet on the road, then something lands BAM on the roof. If you get out and see what it was you see something running off in the distance, leaving nothing but bloody bandages and the smell of rotten meat.
  3. Carrion birds circle and follow your car.
  4. An engine starts behind you, and you see red and blue lights. A police motorcycle is heading for you at top speeds, with no regards for the driver's safety.
  5. A man sitting in the back seat asks for a drink. He wasn't there before.
  6. Blocking the road is a procession of hooded, robed people. You're gonna be here for a while.
Rolling blackouts scheduled for this evening.

1d6 Creeps and Weirdos
  1. A horned person in a business suit, floating as if underwater. His/her/their face is intensely familiar. He/she/they ask if you remember him/her/them. He/she/they will make you remember.
  2. WHAT THE FUCK ITS THE FUCKIN MOTHMAN! He steals some of your snacks and tells you some cryptic advice about the next encounter/danger. He's a cool dude, really, the type you can chill out and have a couple beers with.
  3. Someone in a lab coat who's exploded into crushing red and yellow tentacles, their deflated body being dragged along. It constantly emits a high pitched whine, like a thousand mosquitos. The disease isn't biological, listen for too long and you might catch it too.
  4. A giant bigfoot wearing a top hat. He throws ripped-off cow genitals at your windshield and laughs heartily. It's only gonna escalate from here.
  5. A battered pickup truck truck filled with teenagers, power tools, and kerosene. They've listened to one too many metal songs and played one too many games of B/X, and are now on a sadistic rampage. Forget no harm to minors, it's kill or be killed and they're probably all possessed anyways.
  6. An elderly middle eastern man, wearing dark glasses. He's hitchhiking, and who would deny some poor old man? In reality, he wants to revisit some of the work of his youth, and he won't let anyone get in his way.
A psychic disease buzzing like a
summer evening. Lurid. Pervasive.

1d6 Particularly Messed-Up Towns
  1. There's a certain sadness to this town. The historical St. Obed's Church was the people's pride and joy, and ever since it burnt down it seems like the community have all entered a state of mourning. They're even refusing to have more children.
  2. The people here all have memory problems. They struggle to remember why you're talking to them, facts about the town, what they normally do. Peoplewatching, everyone seems to just move on autopilot. At night, they all go outside to look at the lights in the sky.
  3. Everything's closed down, except for the mall. Car not working? Go to the mall. Need a doctor? Go to the mall. What about a place to sleep? Go to the mall. From the outside, the mall doesn't look like it's received any changes to accommodate anything.
  4. This town is surrounded by a sort of bubble. No matter what time of year, when you go through the threshold, it's a sweltering, humid summer. It's almost like an everlasting summer, bro that's pretty messed up bro.
  5. There's no one here. Everything's free. Something moves in the corn, though, laughing. This town is theirs now, and it does not suffer thieves.
  6. Holy shit and piss and cum they put fluoride in the drinking water.
One day, the tides went out and never came back - still he heard the waves out in the desert.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

20 Minute Dungeon - Troll's Tower


Recently, I heard that the man behind the blog Caput Capre had gotten into a private drunken challenge with some friends. In it, they each had to design an entire dungeon within the span of only twenty minutes. This sounded fun to me, and so I decided to try it myself. The result was the Troll's Tower, a crumbling ruin home to a ravenous, stealthy troll. I did the initial challenge on paper*, and then copied down the writing onto a Google Doc for better legibility. You can find the result down below:

The idea behind this challenge is to unleash your inner designer id; no thinking, no cruft, just vomit out the idea of a dungeon onto the page. It would probably work best with some sort of prompt, selected before you start the timer. Caput Caprae had "opera", while I had mossy ruins on the mind. If even one person bandwagons off of this, I'll be happy. If no one does, then I might be a bit miffed?

Click ME for legible text

*I don't even like the idea of mapping software. I'd much rather draw it with my own two hands, even if the result looks worse.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021


 I have been challenged by Locheil of The Nothic's Eye and Cosmic Orrery of Cosmic Orrery to an EPIC THREE WAY PICTURE PONG. I can't say that I'll do this until I drop dead, but at least I'll try.


After all, necromancy isn't free. You need raw material, after all, and sometimes there's no nearby villages that are practical for "recruitment". The Alpha Theta Lambda Fraternity, as part of a long term project for Wizard College, are investigating whether giant graveyards are a viable alternative. While most projects so far have mainly been using the bones in various ways, they've started to see what they can do with what flesh remains. That's what the thing above is; a bunch of rotten giant flesh stuffed inside some scavenged giant greaves, and animated with necromantic magic. It's currently being tested on some knights who think that necromancy is an "abomination", and who don't respect the sanctity of Wizard College.

As for this, I'm 99% sure that this is a PLAY PUT ON FOR THE AMUSEMENT OF FAIRIES:

Fairies think themselves superior to humans (because they mostly are), and hate when humans seem to try and upstage their luxurious lifestyle. So, when they feel especially insecure, a troupe will head over to the nearest collection of rich/influential people, and force them to prepare a play. If a person is lucky, like the lady on the right, they'll merely have to act well on pain of fairy curse. If they're unlucky, like that bureaucrat on the left, they'll have to do it in a ridiculous/impractical/uncomfortable costume, like a hollowed-out mossy rock.

As for my responses:

To the Nothic I give this image of a man going who knows where:

And to the Orrery I give this lovely group of people:

Monday, January 25, 2021

Answering Vayra's 10 Questions

To hop onto the bandwagon, and potentially get ranked, I decided to cover the 10 questions from  Vera Lynn's blog. I have no specific home setting, so this is mostly cobbled-together cool stuff that I would include in a world that I run.

Blog posts without pictures are intensely boring

1) What class knows the most martial arts? Are they real martial arts like kung fu, or made up ones like krav maga?

There's no martial art-sy classes included by default, although I'm fine if you want to play one. There's no schools or dojos of martial arts either. However, there's plenty of travelling weirdos and vagabonds, more than a few of which willing to teach you their own personal style.

2) Can I start out having already made a deal with the devil or do I have to do that in game?

In game, mostly because it's more fun to meet the weird spirit and negotiate with them than to do it in character creation. Devils are weird; some people say that angels and devils are from otherworld dimensions, while others say that they're just like earthly spirits, only from the surface of the sun and core of the earth. In any case, you can definitely make deals with any of those things.

(Side note: you can also make a deal with The Kingdom, far to the east. Just alert a Royal Emissary and they'll have the papers and some cool stuff in no time. Expect to follow some byzantine code of honor in exchange.)

3) Do you want me to write an 8-page backstory? Can I write an 8-page backstory, if I want to? If I write something down in it like I'm the timelost princess of the brass city and the daughter of the sun and I commanded legions in the Hell War but was betrayed by my father's vizier but I don't know that, or that I'm elf conan and cooler than everyone else, will that be true?

I'm fine with backstory, just don't make it too crazy. It's the backstory for a reason, all the cool things are supposed to happen while playing.

4) If I eat someone's heart, will I gain their powers? What about their brain?

Sometimes eating the heart will heal even the deadliest diseases, sometimes it's just a delicious cut of meat. Sometimes the brain grants awesome psychic powers, sometimes it grants Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Eating things generally grants power, but it depends on what you're eating and what part.

5) These classes are boring, can I be one from somewhere else? What about from a different system entirely?

As long as it's from the system (usually GLOG) and I get to look over it, I'm fine with it! I have no solid "world", so I can probably make it fit with a bit of fiddling and thinking.

6) If I make a sword, which one of us gets to name it?

The sword-spirit decides. Sometimes it decides within a minute of being quenched, other times it remains nameless for decades, until it's cracked and rusted and bloodied. People often think that they decide their sword's name themselves, but the spirit's influence is subtle when it comes to dubbing itself.

7) Am I allowed to kill the other player characters? What would I have to do to be allowed to? Do I win if I kill them all? Actually, how do I win in general?

PvP is judged on a case-by-case basis, but as long as both players are cool with it OOC, I won't pull any punches. You win by bringing peace to your pastoral little Ghibli village, or by making so many spirit deals and collecting so much magic that you ascend to something not quite human. (Yes, I associate being turned into a weird magical NPC with winning. Why wouldn't I?)

8) What language stands in for 'Common'? Or what are we all talking to each other in? Like the party, mostly, but also everyone else?

Common, mostly. Not any Earth language. I know that's a bit boring, but the idea of finding something in plain English via dimensional shenanigans and having no idea how to read it is extremely entertaining.

9) How do I learn how to talk to rocks? No not once a day just, like, normally?

You just gotta know the language. The spirits all technically speak one language, but the dialects are all so varied that they might as well be different. If you know how to speak to birds, for example, then the spirits of the river or the dead will understand you, but only barely (and vice versa). People who know many of these dialects are revered, for being the bridge between the human and spirit worlds.

10) Which kinds of wizards get to serve kings and live in towers and shit and which ones are run out of town or stoned to death in the streets? Can I be both? At the same time?

Clerics, priests, bards, witches, druids, warlocks, shamans, sorcerers, mages, magic-users, and the like are what you would typically consider "wizards" and wander the wilds or live on the edge of town, solving weird problems and speaking with spirits as previously mentioned. Royal mages are unseen, as are most elements of The Kingdom, but are responsible for many of the wonders from there that find their way out west. Wizards with a capital W are people possessed by magic? become one with it? are magic made flesh?, are walking natural disasters, and are completely inhuman and fucking terrifying.

I've realized over the course of making this that I don't know exactly what I want, only that it be points of light.

D10 Black Books: Opium Dreamer Edition

 Bandwagoning from  here and  here. Why "Opium Dreamer"? Because all of these are inspired, in one way or another, from entrie...