Saturday, 23 April 2016

New Vivimancer Magic Item: Liquid Flesh

In a spare moment, I took a look at the file I have for the revised edition of Theorems & Thaumaturgy. I was surprised to see just how close it is to being finished! I just need to add a couple more magic items (I want to include a nice round eight items per class) and that's basically it for the text.

To that end, here's a new vivimancer item I just came up with. It's nice to get back to thoughts of bio-sorcery :)


Liquid Flesh
A slippery, semi-transparent gel-like substance of lurid, red-violet hue. When applied to damaged skin or flesh, the gel begins to bind itself with the wound, fizzing and releasing a pinkish smoke. Over the course of one minute, the liquid flesh integrates with the subject's own flesh, repairing 2d6 hit points of physical damage. Liquid flesh is not effective at curing diseases, although it may be used as a remedy for disease-symptoms which cause damage or irritation to the skin.

Each application of this substance carries a 1 in 6 chance of resulting in an unsightly cluster of purple nodules at the site where it was applied. There is also a 1 in 30 chance of the gel infiltrating the subject's nervous system, with side-effects determined by a roll of 1d4: 1. a loss of 1d3 points of INT, 2. a major change of personality (e.g. a randomly determined alignment change), 3. a major emotional reversal – becoming either highly logical or irrational, 4.  an overpowering desire to serve beings of an otherworldly race or culture (as determined by the Labyrinth Lord).

Liquid flesh is typically found in glass jars containing 1d6 doses.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Wormskin Issue 2 PDF: On Sale Now!

http://www.rpgnow.com/product/176892/Wormskin-Issue-2

Behold! For it is come.

Issue 2 of the world's most popular Dolmenwood zine. Its 46 dewy-moist pages feature:
  • An introduction to the High Wold, the south-westerly corner of Dolmenwood.
  • Descriptions of the seven hexes clustered around the village of Lankshorn.
  • Details of the most signifcant people and places in Lankshorn, including: the Hornstoat's Rest inn, the fairy-blooded bladesmith, the Man of Gold Apothecary, the Church of St Pastery.
  • Tavern fare generator.
  • Psychedelic compounds generator, including details on buying, selling, and manufacturing.
  • Seven new monsters: addercorn thralls, barrowbogeys, bog zombies, longhorn goatmen, shorthorn goatmen, nightworms, witch-owls.
Get it here!

(PDF only for the moment. The print version should be ready to go next week.)

Saturday, 19 March 2016

DCC Vivimancer: Vats of Creation

I've been reading the DCC book again, recently, especially the section on magic. I'm really taken by the magic system, with all its variable randomness, outlandish effects, and nasty risks. So, naturally, I have been wondering what it's like to create spells for the system. Here's my first attempt, a conversion of one of my old vivimancer spells (originally written for the Labyrinth Lord rules in Theorems & Thaumaturgy). I'd be very interested to hear what experienced DCCers make of this! (By the way, the spell assumes the presence of random tables of beneficial and hampering mutations.)

Vats of Creation
Level: 3    Range: Touch        Duration: Varies    Casting Time: One week
Save: N/A

General: This spell enables a wizard, with the use of a specially prepared vat, to create any life-form which he can dream up. Before the casting can begin, the wizard must construct a laboratory containing a suitable vat (see Manifestation). The cost of the vat is variable, but determines the size/power (i.e. the maximum Hit Dice) of the creatures which may be spawned in it -- 1,000gp per maximum Hit Die. (For example, if 5,000gp are spent constructing the vat, then creatures of up to 5 Hit Dice may be grown within it.) Once constructed, the vat may be used for multiple castings of this spell. Each casting also requires material components (nutrient solutions, DNA buffers, plasma, etc) to the tune of 100gp per Hit Die of the planned creature.

Once the vat is prepared, the caster must determine the qualities of the desired creature, including its physical form and appearance, its personality and instinctual behaviour, its form of locomotion and native environment (i.e. either water- or air-breathing), any attack forms (claws, fangs, tentacles, spines, etc) it may have, and its Hit Dice. Generally speaking, anything which the wizard dreams up -- whether plant, fungus, or animal -- is possible. In addition to natural attack forms, the caster may attempt to imbue one or more special qualities into the creature. Examples include: flight, the ability to breathe water and air, a breath weapon, poison, and so on. For each such planned quality, the spell check is penalised by -2.

Caveats:
  • Attempts to replicate an existing individual will fail.
  • The creation of intelligent (i.e. of human or greater mental capability) life is possible but elusive. Only spell check results of 32 or higher allow this. Otherwise, the spawned life-form possesses at most animal intelligence.
  • Creatures spawned with this spell are not bound to obey their creator’s commands -- they have minds of their own and behave according to their own instincts and whims.

Manifestation: Roll 1d5: (1) the creature is spawned in a gel-filled vat of crystal; (2) the creature is spawned in the bubbling, sulfurous waters of a natural spring; (3) the creature is spawned in a vacuum, contained within a brass vessel; (4) the creature is spawned in the distended womb of a specially bred, giant primate; (5) the creature is spawned in a floating sphere of radiance.

Corruption: Roll 1d6: (1) the caster becomes obsessed with the desired creature but can never succeed in realising his vision; (2) the caster’s physical appearance takes on something of the form of the intended creature; (3) small, jellified life-forms emerge from the orifices of the caster’s body on a daily basis; (4-5) major; (6) greater.

Misfire: Roll 1d4: (1) the intended creature is spawned -- with Hit Dice equal to the caster’s level, AC 14, an attack at +4 (1d8 damage), and any planned special qualities -- but it is hateful and immediately attacks its creator, upon emerging from the vat; (2) on the 1d7th day, the vat explodes, dealing 3d6 damage to the caster and anyone else within 15’; (3) instead of the intended creature, a hideously deformed twin of the caster grows in the vat; the caster is soul-bound to the wretched twin, such that damage (disease, poison, etc) to one affects both; (4) while monitoring the procedure, the caster is sucked into vat and floats there for the casting time.

1: Lost, failure, and worse! Roll 1d6 modified by Luck: (0 or less) corruption + misfire + patron taint, (1-2) corruption, (3) patron taint (or corruption if no patron), (4+) misfire.

2-11: Lost. Failure.

12-15: Failure, but spell is not lost.

16-17: The caster creates a creature of up to one Hit Die per level, with AC 1d4+10 and a single attack at +4 (1d4 damage). The creature is genetically unstable and dies after 1 week. There is also a 50% chance of the creature being flawed in an unexpected way (roll 1d3 disabling mutations).

18-21: The caster creates a creature of up to one Hit Die per level, with AC 1d4+11 and a single attack at +5 (1d6 damage). The creature is genetically unstable and dies after 1d3 weeks. There is also a 30% chance of the creature being flawed in an unexpected way (roll 1d3 disabling mutations).

22-23: The caster creates a creature of up to one Hit Die per level, with AC 1d4+12 and either a single attack at +6 (1d8 damage) or two attacks at +4 (1d6 damage). There is a 20% chance of the creature possessing an unexpected quality (roll a beneficial mutation). The creature is genetically unstable and dies after 1d4 months.

24-26: The caster creates a creature of up to one Hit Die per level, with AC 1d4+13 and either a single attack at +7 (1d10 damage) or two attacks at +5 (1d8 damage). There is a 40% chance of the creature possessing unexpected qualities (roll 1d2 beneficial mutations). The creature is genetically stable and has a natural lifespan of 1d6 years.

27-31: The caster creates a creature of up to one Hit Die per level, with AC 1d4+14 and either a single attack at +8 (1d12 damage), two attacks at +6 (1d10 damage), or three attacks at +4 (1d8 damage). The creature possesses 1d3 unexpected qualities (beneficial mutations). The creature is genetically stable and has a natural lifespan of 2d6 years.

32-33: The caster creates an intelligent creature of up to one Hit Die per level, with AC 1d4+15 and either a single attack at +8 (1d12 damage), two attacks at +6 (1d10 damage), or three attacks at +4 (1d8 damage). The creature has an Intelligence of 2d6 and possesses 1d3 unexpected qualities (beneficial mutations). The creature is genetically stable and has a natural lifespan of 3d10 years.

34-35: The spawning processes produces twins: two identical, intelligent creatures of up to one Hit Die per level, with AC 1d4+15 and either a single attack at +8 (1d12 damage), two attacks at +6 (1d10 damage), or three attacks at +4 (1d8 damage). The creatures have an Intelligence of 2d6 and possess 1d3 unexpected qualities (beneficial mutations). The creatures are genetically stable and have a natural lifespan of 4d10 years.

36+: The caster creates a supra-intelligent creature of up to one Hit Die per level, with AC 1d4+15 and either a single attack at +8 (1d12 damage), two attacks at +6 (1d10 damage), or three attacks at +4 (1d8 damage). The creature has an Intelligence of 2d6+12 and possesses 1d5 unexpected qualities (beneficial mutations). The creature is genetically stable and has a natural lifespan of 6d10 years.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Wormskin Issue 2!

The goatlord Malbleat with human thrall, by Nico Maioli

I am pleased to announce that I just put the finishing touches to the content of issue two of Wormskin. This issue goes into particular detail about the region around the village of Lankshorn, on the southern border of the forest -- a great place to start adventuring in Dolmenwood!

The contents of issue two are:
  • An article on psychedelic compounds available in Dolmenwood, including a d30 generator table.
  • A d30 generator for common tavern fare. Fermented snails with whipped cream, anyone?
  • An introduction to the High Wold and the special relationship between humans and goatmen in the region.
  • Descriptions of the six hexes around the village of Lankshorn: the Trothstone, the manse of Lord Malbleat, the king's mounds, the Ditchway, King Pusskin's road, and Lankston pool.
  • Details about the village of Lankshorn, including the Hornstoat's Rest inn, the church of St Pastery, the Man of Gold Apothecary, the fairy-blooded bladesmith, the lord's manor, and the standing stones behind the village.
  • A rumour table for the Lankshorn region.
  • Nine new monsters which lurk in the High Wold: addercorn thralls, barrowbogeys, bog zombies, Woldish goatmen (longhorn), Woldish goatmen (shorthorn), nightworms, tanterwallops, and witch-owls.
 Coming to RPGNow in PDF and print when the night and day are equalled.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Hoard Class / Treasure Type Analysis

As part of the process of writing new monsters for the second issue of Wormskin (due out in March), I found myself in need of a decent overview of the various hoard classes and what they represent.

Some links on the topic:
  1. A comparison of the treasure types in 0e, AD&D, and B/X: http://savevsdragon.blogspot.de/2012/07/free-download-treasure-type-comparison.html
  2. An analysis of the types of monsters that have each treasure type: http://hackslashmaster.blogspot.de/2015/02/on-analysis-of-1st-edition-treasure.html
  3. The equivalences between B/X treasure types and LL hoard classes: http://aleaiactandaest.blogspot.de/2015/06/bx-treasure-type-ll-hoard-class.html
  4. The average value of LL hoard classes: http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=30134

I combined all of the information pertaining to LL& B/X in a document for my own reference. I've uploaded it here for anyone else who's interested.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

LL Campaign House Rules

After playing around with D&D 5 last year (and deciding that, while there are some elements of it that I like, overall it's not really my cup of tea), I'm just about to start a new Labyrinth Lord campaign.

I've just finished compiling a short (6 page) house rules document, including details on the custom races and classes of my (very vaguely imagined) setting.

Click here to check it out!

Friday, 1 January 2016

For the Coming Year

So, as the new year is beginning, it feels like an appropriate juncture to take a moment to assess where I stand with the various RPG-related projects that I have going on. In no particular order...

  • Theorems & Thaumaturgy Revised Edition: The writing is mostly finished. I just need to add some elementalist magic items (I decided to add a section of magic items to go with each of the classes in the book -- the elementalist in the current Theorems & Thaumaturgy has a big 0 in that department). When that's done, it'll be onto layout and the possible requisitioning of more illustrations.
  • The B/X Warrior: Following on from the B/X Rogue, I've started working on a Warrior class along similar lines, amalgamating and subsuming a set of optional abilities for the fighter and various sub-classes or variant archetypes. I've got the basic concept worked out, so now just need to spend the time writing it all up properly. I also have some rough ideas for a wizard and priest class along the same lines, which may also get written up at some point.
  • The Complete Elementalist: This is a project that I've had in the works for a long time, at least since publishing the Complete Vivimancer. I make progress on it in bursts, once in a while, when I feel the urge. I'd like to say that I'll try to get this published this year, but it's far from certain. We'll see.
  • Wormskin: Issue 1 has been a great success, in terms of sales, at least. Greg and I have started working on issue 2 and we have a lot of material lined up for future issues as well (including two complete adventures set in Dolmenwood!). I'm excited that the Dolmenwood material which we've been writing is finally getting to see the light!
  • Wizardzine: Has not been forgotten! I have a half-written second issue which I'm hoping to finish off at some point (though the muse has left me on that one, for the time being) and came up with a completely different idea for the second issue last week. I'll have to see if the new idea takes seed enough to be developed into a full issue. But suffice to say, Wizardzine will be back, when the stars are right.
  • New Labyrinth Lord game: I'm starting up a new campaign in January and have been putting together some house rules documents for that. (The adventurer cleric class which I posted yesterday was for the campaign.) I may get it together to put some more of these documents up for download.
It looks like I'll be publishing at least one big book this year (Theorems & Thaumaturgy Revised Edition) and several smaller ones (Wormskin, B/X classes, Wizardzine). Very exciting!