Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Caster Beware! (Grimoire)

redslug (tumblr)

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1. Uninjure – Peel [sum] injuries off of yourself and others, like stickers. You can adhere these onto other things, most commonly an effigy (representing an ancestral foe) or toy (called a banebear). If you don't do this properly before sunrise, or if the chosen effigy is not given a hero's burial, the injuries befall the caster. Caster Beware! A wounded effigy (1-4HD, agony) may rise vengeful under a harvest moon. 

2. Exact Exchange – Cast on treasure worth exactly one thousand gp. That treasure is now worth the exact amount necessary to buy one thing from anyone, provided they are willing to part with it (this is how Saint Zenigo bought lightning bolts from the sky). Caster Beware! Monetary value is one of the 33 divine laws, next to gravity and the Hippocratic oath. When it is broken, a silver coin will appear on your forehead, marking you as an enemy of bankers, numismatists, accounting-beasts (dragons), and Count Argad. 

3. Diagnose – Learn the Myers-Briggs personality type of a target (animate or otherwise), then flip up to [dice] of their tendencies. Caster Beware! Mind-altering magic is always a two-way street. For each tendency of theirs you flip, the target may choose to flip one of yours. 

4. Agastaman's Torch-Bearing Lad – Conjure [dice]HD a cloud of moths around a light source. The cloud keeps the light source aloft and follows diligently. Caster Beware! The Torch-Bearing Lads Union has been known to stalk wizards who publicize this spell's existence. Not to mention Agastaman himself, found dead in his tower after slipping on an orange peel... 

5. Gracine's Garden – A sunflower rapidly grows out of each of up to [sum] target heads. Caster Beware! Removing the flower is painful (1d4 damage + 1d4 lost memories)! Gracine advises you wait a few months for the flower to wither, or cut it with a limestone knife. 

6. Swarm of Darkest Night – Conjure a swarm of climate-appropriate winged creatures. They blot out the sun for six seconds/minutes/hours/days. Caster Beware! The swarm is not yours; rather, it is a mere side-effect of summoning the demon named Porgithal ([dice]HD, rhymes with "orbital"). Now he's free, making mischief somewhere within a three mile radius, and must be sent back to Hell before anyone can cast Swarm of Darkest Night again. He looks like a pig standing on two chicken legs. Thankfully, he's not very subtle. 

7. Skate – Wherever you step, you slide frictionlessly. Caster Beware! You might fall down and get hurt :(((

8. Shape Skull – Reshape your skull (don't worry about the gunk inside). Choose [dice] of the following:

  • You have very cool antlers. People respect you more.
  • You have a single, short, powerful horn on your forehead that can punch thru iron.
  • You have a powerful (1d8) bite attack.
  • You have a partition to separate memories/ideas/skills from the rest of your mind.

Caster Beware! This spell is almost exclusively and obsessively studied by socially-inept magical racists, who may mistake you for one of them. This will get you kicked out of actual cool non-racist wizard institutions.

9. Corpse Orb – Turn a corpse you can see into a 1' diameter sphere. This works on the undead. Caster Beware! Spherical undead are (1d4): 1) harmless; 2) immobilized; 3) just as dangerous; 4) faster and deadlier than their non-spherical counterparts.

10. Grave Curse – Target deserving, unwilling victim must save or turn into a medusa, dracula, thatcher, or other pathetic creature of the night. (entirely unchanged from phlox's version, i just wanted to remind myself to put this on more spell lists because it rocks)

Working Through the Backblog

I am three months behind on blogging. Since then, 142ish blog posts have been linked on the GLOG server. In catching myself up, I decided for basically no reason at all to note my favorites: (i had a lot of favorites)

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Beached Mermaids

For GLOGtober '23, per PRIMEUMATON's challenge:

Atlantis-type situation but in reverse. It goes up instead of down.

...

It is known that the sea is full of cities — as above, so below, etc. etc. We know this because we've gone to one of them- more accurately, it came to us.

Mer is a city designed for swimming thru, in much the same way that Heaven is designed for flying and New York is designed for teleporting. There are no streets, but there are parks. There is a distant sense of human beauty, beneath the abyssopelagic architecture. There are rows of whalebone columns, and gardens. There are bathhouses.

Sixty years ago, it surfaced just off the coast of Guam. It is carved almost entirely out of pumice. It is home to the mermaids.


In the city of Mer, humans outnumber mermaids 16-to-1. You might call this relationship symbiotic: mermaids have money (from deep sea treasures and contributions to the pharmaceutical industry) and humans have legs.

So it is that the most common mode of transportation in Mer is the man-powered palanquin. There have been pushes from the automobile industry to break into the mermaid market; none have held water.

And the livable quarters of the city have been retrofitted with spiraling stairways for two-legged folk and elevator shafts for the rest. The unlivable quarters are still under reconstruction, or have been preserved by the protests of the elders.


The elder mermaids remain, swollen blankets of pinkish flesh pouring out of inaccessible towers. (Their bodies were never meant for light, dry air, and low pressure environments.) They remember the day of judgement, when their homes turned to porous stone and the Seven Plagues of Air were set upon them. They watch the seagull-infested horizon (ech) thru milky, basketball-sized eyes, and rumble disapprovingly.

The greatest of the aquatic generation, Matriline Susubyr, pours from her laboratory, driven mad by the ascent. A powerful biomancer in her own right, she is the reason the Mer can breathe above water. She is also the reason for their banishment.

People have mixed feelings about her.


The younger generations forget that this life is their curse. They forget what they lost — the freedom of movement they enjoyed in the deep sea before their banishment, the weight of the sin that earned them its enmity. They just want to do TikTok dances and yeet a naynay.

...

So you want to play a Beached Mermaid:

Perk(s): You are 15'-45' long mermaid. You can take twice as much damage as normal and are immune to old age.

Quirk(s): You can't swim or breathe underwater. You must be hauled around in an appropriately-sized wagon.

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Celdaenni Domainthings

MOONS MOONS MOONS

In Cath Celdaenn, each season is associated with a phase of the moon:

  • Spring is the season of Geas, the Blue Moon.
  • Summer is the season of Tigerna, the Titan Moon.
  • Fall is the season of Jove, the Harvest Moon.
  • Winter is the season of Nemesis, the Blood Moon.
  • Interstice is the period between Winter and Spring, during which there is no moon.

Each phase tugs at Creation in a different way: Travel is more dangerous under the Blood Moon. Magic is stronger under the Titan Moon. The Blue Moon favors lovers and knights.

Traditionally, Celds travel under the vast, bright Summer moon, and guard settlements thru the dark and dangerous Winter.


100c

Celds trade in c, which stands for coins, or lowercase-c celds (because they are minted with the faces of famous Celds)

Coins in Cath Celdaenn are made of wood, tin, stone, gold, glass, etc etc etc. Coins are recognized not by material, but by temperature; City currency is supernaturally cold

In domain play, c stands for cows (worth ~10 coins). This is roughly equivalent to gp (ghost pots)


Road Quality

From worst to best:

  • Newly blazed trails are slow/confusing/dangerous to travel.
  • At upkeep, if the trail is well-used, it becomes a more straightforward path.
  • With an action, a path can be secured to become a road. Small settlements provide safe places to stay the night. Also, travel along secure roads can be mostly handwaved, allowing for Simple Visits.


Traditions

Cath Celdaenn is "about" a cultural renaissance. Celds remember little of their own heritage, and must work to rediscover it. Tension between old and new traditions is important.

so i think Customs and Traditions should be something you can add to your domain as an action, like a kind of Asset. Stuff like:

Festival - Choose a season. Each year, the town hosts a festival worth [Temple x 25]c. You can contribute additional funds to the festival without an action.

where [Temple] is the level of the relevant Temple holding.

potentially:

  • Each tradition you maintain gives 10(?) XP at upkeep
  • Some traditions have a bonus effect if you have Temple 2+
  • Traditions spread along secure roads between settlements. Higher Temple level = more aggressive spread

some sample Traditions:

  1. Necropolis - The dead must be brought, at great cost, to a specific ancestral burial site. If you founded this tradition, you choose the site.
  2. Berserkers - One in every twenty troops has a big personality, a heavy weapon, +1 attack per round, and is immune to cold and fear.
  3. Ideal Bodies - Shaved heads, long beards, strong calves, etc; the ideal Celd looks like this.
  4. Labor Unions - All district upgrades cost +20c, but Unrest is reduced by an additional [Temple]. If you founded this tradition, you can name the union leader.
  5. Fianna - You have access to twice as many levies in Summer, but no levies in Fall and Winter.
  6. No Flesh Forbidden - Celds will eat dogs, cats, birds, snakes, horses, and so on.
  7. Swords For All/Swords For None - Everyone carries a sword, or at least a dagger./Bladed weapons are forbidden to all. If you founded this tradition, you choose a class to exempt from this rule.
  8. Oracles - Receive omens of season events before they happen.

not entirely sure how exactly I'll use this idea

Ivan's House


For GLOGtober '23, per Locheil's challenge:

A glance at a city that should never have been built.

...

Ivan's House is a three-story manor in the Cistercian style, behind a low defensive wall and a moat, both of which are mostly decorative. The vane, visible from a distance, is a fanged rabbit. A perpetual aurora hangs overhead. The flowers around the foundation are painted on.

Any fighting force that gets too close to Ivan's House is struck from an impossible angle by a ballista bolt. Traces of the last siege remain: a buried war helm, a broken tent pole, a hastily-covered fire pit, a gnawed horse bone.

Past the courtyard, present your merchant's token to gain entry. Once inside, follow the signs past the portrait room, the covered furniture, the master bedrooms, to the long hallway. Walk forward without looking back -- it will take a few minutes -- until you smell souvlaki. Only a few more steps 'til Ivan's House.

...

Ivan's House is a city, and a well-fortified one. It is made up of several miles of tunnel-hallway-streets lined with white doors and looks like the inside of a dimly lit hotel. The greater part of it exists in the fifth dimension, behind the white stone facade — roughly 5000 men and women in total. They call themselves Children of Ivan, or just Ivans.

If you can't move in the fifth dimension, Ivan's House is a good place to learn.

Ivan's House is a major exporter of drugs and metal crafts, mostly fine cutlery and clasps. They are strikingly critical to the local economy; disrupt their supply lines, and you'll have a lot of lords complaining about shortages of electrum spoons and laudanum.

Ivan's House is cold. It is cold because its extra-dimensional surface area is so vast. Their main import is coal for the furnaces; the smoke paints the ceilings sootblack.

The name "Ivan's House" is a colloquialism. Locals have their own name for it: Bnodura. This name is rarely spoken, except by the city planners, and only when they need to expand a neighborhood or adjust a street.

There are five other names, known to select members of the upper cryptocracy. These are the keys to Ivan's House.

There are abandoned places in Ivan's House: spiraling stairwells with no bottom, massive chambers like ten ballrooms stitched together lengthwise, chapels of inordinate sharpness. They exist between residences, down alleys and under floorboards.

Usually, these are stripped of all valuables. Sometimes, they contain gifts:

  • A wooden cube that sings when struck. Strike it again, and it will change the tune. Changes lyrics to beg for its life. 2HD.
  • Unworked steel, reproduces asexually.
  • Black, sharp grass that grows on glass. Glasswork animals come to graze on it.
  • L-shaped titanium wand of Stones to Shogs. (Shogs is very, very friendly. She wants to meet the people depicted on your coinage. She has 20HD.)

...

Ivans favor the kestros; they can arc most projectiles thru the fifth dimension, allowing them to throw thru solid matter 9 times out of 10 (in other words, they ignore armor and most forms of cover) (EXCEPT for lead, which is infinitely long in the fifth dimension)

They can do the same with a ballista, but it's much harder.

Besides this, Ivans are regular men and women -- most with coarse, dark hair, soft noses, dull green eyes -- except that they are always cold, and occasionally ragdoll out of existence upon death.

...

Ivan was a landlord first, a father second, and a wizard as distant, distant third. When the Menuans darkened his doorstep, exhausted by their long campaign into the Boiling East, he was made to house their 800-strong army. When he failed at this, the Menuan general, who was called Caliphreus, brought the heads of Ivan's three sons, and bade him try again.

Ivans live in fear of Caliphreus, who blows ash into their lungs while they sleep.

Ivans live in terror of the Headsmen, who roll thru abandoned hallways and bite the legs off of ambitious scavengers.