Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Shimmering Swords of Shallamaballa

The Glittering Knights of Shallamaballa are a nearly forgotten memory.  Shallamaballa was one of the many tiny worlds accessible only via a Rainbow Bridge, of which Asgard is the most famous and most butch.  The Glittering Knights were the protectors of the Fabulous Realm until it was destroyed by the Slayers, the strange servitors of the Beast of the Black Fortress.  Now all that remains of that heroic order are a handful of its legendary magic swords.

A Shimmering Sword typically takes the form of a rapier or other light one-handed blade, usually with a basket guard.  Curvy scimitars and gigantic daiklaive style two-handed versions are sometimes encountered as well.  When drawn a Shimmering Sword produces a small burst of colorful sparks, typically baby blue, hot pink or deep purple in hue.  The same colorful sparks trace bright arcs through the air as the wielder swings the blade in battle.

Mechanically, the following rules apply to any Shimmering Sword
  • Magic Blade: +2 to-hit and damage
  • Friend to Magic Horsies: +2 reactions from unicorns, pegasi, and etc.
  • Too Damn Shiny: unable to surprise foes with eyes while blade is drawn
  • Argh! My Eyes!:once per day on a missed swing the wielder may attempt to temporarily blind his foe with a light display, save versus paralysis to avoid d6 rounds of blindness, -1 to save for each extra eye above two, if foe uses ultravision a failed save indicates they are knocked out for d6 turns instead
I have no idea what this screenshot is from.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

random dwarf names

This is a quick and ridiculous extrapolation from the names of those wacky dwarves in The Hobbit.


First Part
1-3. B-
4. D-
5. Dw-
6. F-
7. G-
8. Gl-
9. K-
10. N-
11. O-
12. Th- or T-

Second Part
1. -alin
2. -ifur
3. -ili
4. -in
5. -ofur
6. -oin or -loin
7. -ombur
8. -om_ur
9. -ori
10. -orin or -horin
11. -ri
12. -walin

  1. When you get double letters (e.g. Dwwalin) you can drop one or keep them both and try to figure out what it means.  Maybe you could even insert an apostrophe, like so many bad fantasy and sci-fi names. "Dw'walin."
  2. If you get "-om_ur" you have two options. A) Simply insert the first part you rolled again, such as Tomtur or Glomglur.  B) Roll a second "first" part, for names like Tomglur or Dwanur.
  3. Option B) above can also work with the middle f of -ifur and -ofur if you want.
  4. You're on your own with pronounciations of some of these results.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

not to be confused with the Karkus, which is from Dr. Who

So this semester I'm in this trippy class called Literature and the Related Arts: Sfumato, Synesthesia and Spirit, which I took mainly because the prof is the right kind of crazy.  (Also, "William Blake: WTF?" is an ongoing literary interest of mine, so any class about literature and the visual arts is Right Up My Alley.)  We had a guest lecturer this week, a local landscape painter whose work has gone from fairly straight representational oil-based cornfields to psychedelic watercolor cornfields.  Apropos of nothing, this dude recommends listening to Emerson, Lake & Palmer's second album Tarkus, which I am doing as I type this.  Some kindly miscreant uploaded the whole thing to YouTube.  Thanks, kindly miscreant!

While poking about the internets for this album, I stumbled across this image, from inside the album:

click to embiggen

I just thought all you all needed to see that, especially my Encounter Critical homies.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Bonus Classes of Sarpedon

For my next campaign I wanted something like AD&D style subclasses with less of the hassle.  So I'm calling the result Bonus Classes.  A Bonus Class is a very simple layer over an existing class, with an additional stat prerequisite.  So unlike AD&D subclasses, you don't hassle with their own rules anywhere else.  No custom spell lists or experience point charts, for example.  So here's a first draft at a Bonus Class for each of the canonical seven BX classes.  Note: no attempt has been made to balance this stuff.

Blaster Knight (Fighter Bonus Class), Prerequisite: Cha 13+, you get a random blaster gun (chart forthcoming) and all the social perks of being a knight

Psi Lord (MU Bonus Class), Prerequisite: Wis 13+, you may use the psionic rules from pages 19-21 of the LotFP version of Geoffrey McKinney's Carcosa.  Also, you have a big bald head.

Ninja (Thief Bonus Class), Prerequisite: Str 13+, you get access to the list of cool ninja gear (forthcoming) and whenever attacking from surprise you get d4 additional attack rolls

Adept (Cleric Bonus Class), Prerequisite: Int 13+, each level starting at first you get one random MU spell added to your cleric spell list, this means you actually get a spell at first level

Malformed (Dwarf Bonus Class), Prerequisite: Cha 9-, you may roll d4 mutations/defects

Gray Elf (Elf Bonus Class), Prerequisite: Con 18+, each level you gain a random MU or Cleric spell (you choose which list to roll on) as a daily power

Psycho (Halfling Bonus Class), Prerequisite: Int 9- and Wis 9-, may flip out like a maniac in combat for d6 rounds, during which Psycho gets 2 attacks/round at +2 to hit (melee only), but must fight for the entire period rolled even if that means attacking allies

Monday, April 01, 2013

Celestial Sects of Sarpedon, part 2

The Alphomegans
Oneg the Prober, Lord of Mutation
ridiculous mustache (handlebar, Franz Joseph, Hulihee, etc); clerics unable to grow a mustache wear an artificial one in order to turn or cast
purples and/or pink robes with long sleeves and concealing hoods plus a shoulder strap satchel or a fanny pack
at every even numbered level (2, 4, 6, etc) the cleric gains a random mutation/defect
at 5th level their satchel functions as a bag of holding
worship sites including standing stone circles, huge Uluru (Ayers Rock) style outcroppings of natural stone, and the location of unexploded nuclear missiles
some of the Malformed dwarves of Sarpedon are Alphomegans
Priests of the Eternal Regeneration (see below) are welcomed as brothers and sisters of the same strange birthright.

Bringers of the Light
Tefral the Surveyor, the Great Lantern-Bearer
lit lantern, clerics of this sect cannot cast spells/turn unless holding a lit lantern (continual light and electric illumination count, so long as they are lanterny shaped)
either pinks and reds or purples and greens (see below)
turned undead do not flee, they explode in big balls of white light
Among all the Celestial Sects of Sarpedon there is a minority position that holds that the Celestial Gods should never be named outside the holiest of ritual observances.  E.g. 1 in 6 Crimson Arbitrators will refer to their god as the Judge or He Who Judges, never calling him Arishem.  This heterodoxy is most common among the Bringers of Light.  Fully half of their temples consider naming Tefral to be blasphemous.  These priests wear robes of purple and green.  The more mainstream Tefralist temples wear pinks and reds.  The rivalry between the two schools of the Bringers of Light is intense and sometimes violent.

The Eternal Regeneration
Ziran the Tester, the Great Beneformer
skull displaying various nonhuman attributes or additions such as batwings or tentacles, a third eyesocket in the forehead, fangs, etc.
hat or helmet with red wings (bat or bird), blue robes with red trim
1st level clerics of Ziran begin play with one random mutation/defect and gain an additional one every odd level thereafter (3, 5, 7, etc).
Some of the Malformed dwarves of Sarpedon are members of this sect.
Alphomegan clerics are considered allies, joint heirs of the grand blessing of genetic instability.

Sisterhood of Infinite Patience
Yasmana the Abider, She Who Watches the Skies
The Divine Phuthan (Foothand), which looks kinda like this:
Purple robes decorated with circles of red and/or blue, masks with third eyes painted on forehead
Laser eyebeams: number of attacks per day equal to level, for d6 damage per level to a range of 10’ level (e.g. 5th level cleric gets 5 attacks per day for 5d6 each to a range of 50’)  No to-hit roll required, but creatures immune to normal weapons save for half
The Sisterhood was once an exclusively female sect that now admits male members.  Male clerics of this sect are refered to as Man-Sisters until they reach third level where Man-Mother becomes the correct title (even higher ranked are the Man-Matriarchs).
This sect is more centrally organized than most, with the Mother Temple of the Holy City of Yasmana dictating policy for most other temples.

The Holy Hunters
Thoryon the Smiter, Hunter of Evil
double headed axe or hammer
red robes with white and gold trim, elaborate helms
may use hand axes and battle axes
the clerics of this sect are more self-righteously interventionist than a lot of these organizations, they seem pretty confident they can fix the world by smashing in the right skulls

Students of the Silence
Amalagar the Proclaimer, Utterer of the Final Word
The Negatron, a metal tuning fork-like instrument sometimes with a cube, sphere or pyramid at the bottom
black robes with white or light blue trim or white robes with black trim, often involving lots of zigzags
can use Lightning Bolt as a third level spell, Transmute Rock to Mud as a fourth level cleric spell (but not its reverse), and Disintegrate as a fifth level cleric spell
lots of members of this sect take vows of silence, a randomly recruited NPC of this sect has a 2 in 6 chance of never speaking save to cast spells