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


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.


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.


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.


  • 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.

Friday, October 6, 2023

d20 Ways to Keep a Corpse

For GLOGtober '23, per xaosseed's challenge:

Unusual corpse preservation methods.


  1. tune - the song of Faraway Endings; an endlessly looping song which forestalls decay in a room. played with at least three instruments
  2. landowner - surround a large coffin with many smaller coffins; each small coffin will rot a little bit faster, while the large coffin will be free of decay. often practiced for dead kings
  3. power - armor, weapons, a terrifying helm: a strong and well-armed corpse can fight off Decay on its own
  4. hive - let the bees deal with it; with a little guidance they can transform a soft corpse into a resilient, reinforced comb. the tomb buzzes
  5. left - death begins on the left side; cut the body in half, and the right side will never know rot
  6. mourning - corpses do not decay for as long as they are being actively mourned; this is because the god of death is a big softie
  7. marine - things don't decay in the sea because of the salt and the cold. on a related note, the Great Pacific Corpse Patch is getting pretty large
  8. giant - as the corpse swells, loosen the skin- just enough to prevent it from bursting. repeat. repeat. the older the corpse, the longer the coffin
  9. salon - keep corpses fresh by providing them with constant, lively conversation; the origin of stand-up comedy
  10. leftovers - feed the table scraps (the toes, the brain, the hair) to a magic dog, and the rest will keep
  11. wrestle - a Very Strong Man stands in the tomb, and wrestles escaping ghosts back into their bodies, keeping them fresh forever; the role of Very Strong Man is hereditary. he also needs to be naked
  12. agile - the Grand General's coffin is in a tomb-chariot pulled by tireless cannibal steeds, such that they might outrun Decay. twelve Grand Generals have been buried this way.
  13. wound - we have a sword of embalming; as long as someone dies by this sword, their body will keep forever. the village elder does her best to stab people before they die of natural causes.
  14. ecstasy - okay, so like, hear me out: stuff the corpse with drugs????? HEAR ME OUT HEAR ME OU
  15. hook - with a long hook, remove the brain, the lungs, the heart, the blood, the muscle, the teeth, and so on; if emptied slowly, carefully, the corpse will keep forever. (throw the waste away)
  16. treasurer - Decay can be bribed: fill the dead's mouth with gold and millet, and it will keep for as long as the offering lasts
  17. invisible - that which is unobserved ceases to age (this is how druids in isolation can live for thousands of years); thus, we must hide the body, wrapping it in masks and cloaks
  18. river - wrap the dead in semi-permeable sheets, attach weights to each end, and throw them into the river; this method turns the dead to colored stone
  19. fear - living and dead alike are frozen by fear; thus, the village elder dons on a fearsome mask and terrifies the corpse into an embalmed state
  20. turducken - so what we do is feed you (whole) to a python, then feed that (whole) to an alligator, then feed that (whole) to a refrigerator-dragon

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Potion Brewing (ech, agh, bleh)

For GLOGtober '23, per SunderedWorldDM's challenge:

Potions and how to brew them.


Potions are spells for non-casters. They're more or less identical to scrolls, depending on your ruleset.

Potions are more interesting than scrolls as treasure because they usually don't come with instructions. Instead, you have to take a whiff/sip to figure out what it does: "if a whiff gave me vertigo and blew bubbles out my ears, what would chugging the bottle do?" it's fun, it's cute, 10/10 good rpg mechanic

[You can cast from illegible scrolls, but they don't have the same "take a sip" gameplay that potions do. They're still interesting, but in a different way.]



I think the appeal of brewing a potion is that it's Kinda Like Cooking™. Creating a scroll is very abstract, but anyone can throw shit into a cauldron and turn on the heat.

So, first proposal for a potion brewing system: Throw a Feast. Magical ingredients like dragon toes and acid jelly and unicorn tears give you a spell for the day you can cast from your belly. The more you spend on the feast, the longer the effect lasts/the more MD you get.

pros: gathering numinous ingredients is Cool Gameplay; i have yet to meet a player who doesn't want to eat a monster; before (and sometimes during) a delve you get to rp having dinner with your hirelings and camp followers and Unlikely Allies; piggybacks onto existing magic system, is otherwise extremely mechanics-light

cons: can't "chug a pot" mid-combat; low chance of cauldron blowing up in your face; no opportunity to play a "mad alchemist" character, which is the whole point of adding a potion brewing subsystem, i guess

Here's an alternative:


If you're an alchemist, or a witch, you start with a cauldron (big enough to fit a human body, just in case). Good cauldrons are expensive; like, 100g.

It's made of cast iron (get it? cast?)

The cauldron is the most important part of potion-making. If you don't have a cauldron, you're shit out of luck.

  • If you know a spell, you can make a potion of that spell for 50g. This is trivially easy.
  • If you have a recipe of a spell, you can make that potion using its primary ingredients. This is stuff like troll heartstring and gypsum: things that are difficult to get your hands on but ludicrously effective once you've got them. You can still substitute generic ingredients (eye of newt, etc etc) for 50g.

[note: if you have a reliable source of primary ingredients, you can make a lot of potions. enough to flood the market, or reliably breathe water all the goddamn time. This is what makes potion recipes Very Good Loot]

  • If you don't know a spell, you can experiment. Drop 10g basic reagents + other ingredients into your cauldron. Roll 2d6 + 1d6 for each sufficiently numinous and hard-to-acquire ingredient:
    • No multiples: inert sludge
    • Doubles: explosion, noxious smoke; 1 vial of poison, effect scaling with the number rolled (see below)
    • Triples: you get a potion! now figure out what it does :dmthink:

[optional rule: no smoke cloud on doubles, DM rolls secretly; players must determine experimentally whether the result is sludge, poison, or potion]

Write down the result of the experiment: it is now a defined in-universe recipe

No matter how big your cauldron is, you only get one dose at a time. (As everyone knows, the first few drops hold all the potency; the rest is just broth)

Doubles Value
1d6. Odorless, colorless.
Induces weakness.
Induces vomiting.
Induces sleep.
Induces mutation.
Slow, certain death. Can be delayed, but never evaded.

Sunday, October 1, 2023

The Book of Useless Sorceries

For GLOGtober '23, per semiurge's challenge:

Come up with a grimoire with some unique spells, a story behind it, perhaps some trap or riddle to figuring it out, etc.


The Book of Useless Sorceries, also called The Big Four by theoretical wizicians, is a tiny tome- almost a pamphlet. It fits snugly in the back pocket of the skinniest jeans. It belonged to Denton the Anesthetized, who downloaded it from a private forum on the wizardweb. (The wizardweb is like the darkweb, except with more robes and less effective assassins.)

The text is attributed to Amanita-anamita, self-titled Archivist Supreme. The authorial voice flipflops between extremely dated humor (like an excruciatingly topical 1000-year-old stand-up routine) and crippling paranoia on a sentence-by-sentence basis. The foreword thanks two other wizards for their contributions to the archival process. Neither is named anywhere in the book.

It contains four spells:

  • Scry: Receive visions of the interior of a tavern.
  • Finding: Learn the direction of the nearest Moon.
  • Golem: Roughly sculpt a lump of clay into the shape of a hand.
  • Fireball: This spell does nothing.

On a related note, here are 6 ways to learn more about spells for enterprising wizards:

  1. Cast them with more power. If you cast a big enough fireball, eventually you'll hear it- the explosion echoing in the distance.
  2. Cast them in the right place. The closer you are to that mountain- yes, that one- the louder it gets.
  3. Cast them at the right time.
  4. Cast them with the right tools.
  5. Cast them wrong. For GLOG, you can use mishaps and dooms. Sometimes, the spell not working the way you expect is a good thing. Just as many times, the wizard rolls triples and teleports into a tiny room full of fire for a twelfth of a second; just long enough to burn the soft parts off.
  6. Get the right person to cast them.

These are the clues. Putting them together is the adventure.


The Tribunal of Deep Earth is an underground complex full of earth elementals (gnomes, moles, grue, giants, dinosaurs, etc). It is run by Gloria Shaytan, who is all the sand in all the world's deserts at once. She is going through a messy divorce with the Dead Sea, which everyone is talking about. She is trying her best not to take it out on her colleagues. She is failing.

Imprisoned within the Tribunal is an elemental named fireball. She is contained within a titanium cube the size of a bathroom stall. She is undeniably evil, and serving out a very fair 15,600 year sentence for various crimes against the creation itself.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Cath Celdaenn Setting Primer


Florian de Gesincourt

[tryna get this done with minimal editing]

These are the default setting assumptions for this week's players. Close readers of the blog will be rewarded with deep (possibly recently retconned) setting lore.

* * *

- Cath Celdaenn is the old imperial capital.
- It is the last city - the only city. The rest fell with the empire.
- It is vast. The City walls contain cliffs, mountains, superstructures, an inland sea. Much of it is overgrown hinterland; circumnavigating it is a 30 day trek.
- It is deep. Some live miles below the canopy, where no light reaches.
- It is covered in ruins. Beneath the overgrowth and climbing ivy, every inch of the City was once a bustling metropolis.
- It is cold. Bring a scarf.

The City is home to the CAPITOL TREE.
- It is a God. Thru its blessings, men gained the body, the breath, and the soul.
- It is massive. Its branches can be seen from miles away.
- It contains the combined wisdom of the thousand-year empire.
- It has two trunks. To the West, it sheds golden leaves. To the East, it sheds purple-red.
- Its roots are everywhere. They anchor the City in Creation, and ward off Shivers.

THE SHIVER is a cold fog full of brilliant nacre strands.
- All that it touches is Shivered. Shivered skin is scarred. Shivered lands are lost.
- Shivers crawl across Creation. Only the City is safe, anchored by the Capitol Tree roots.

The City is also home to THE PILGRIM TREE
- It is massive. The Pilgrims brought it to the City in a palanquin the size of a treasure boat.
- It is worshiped by the Pilgrims, and for good reason. It can perform miracles, and give counsel thru dreams.
- Thru its blessings, the Pilgrims exercise control over much of Lower Celdaenn. For now, they run what remains of the postal service. They also sponsor expeditions into the untamed city.

IRON is profane.
- It is anti-magic. No spell can affect it, only circumvent it.
- It is anathema to the natural world. An iron spike can poison a tree and kill a god.

Cath Celdaenn is also full of:
- CELDS - Re-inheritors of Cath Celdaenn. Proper mutts of the City, rediscovering their lost culture.
- GHOSTS - Coalescing in lakes and valleys. Cold as death. Sometimes traded as currency.
- SKELETONS - Sentient. Mute.
- SAINTS - Dead Celds elevated by worship. Provide blessings thru relics.
- KNIGHTS - Suits of armor belonging to cargo cult orders. Rightfully distrusted by normal folk.
- GODS - Minor nature gods/genius loci. Rarely given the respect they deserve.

Beyond the City are the APOSTATES, who allied with dark forces to conquer the City.
- They engineered the fall of the empire, and the erasure of Celdaenni history.
- They were defeated.

Celds also have the RIGHT TO VOTE. No one knows what this actually means (leaders aren't always elected, and there's certainly no central government) but we're all very smug about it.

Sunday, September 3, 2023

The Painted Garden

tanya shatseva

i am surrounded by paintings and carvings and etchings and murals and sketches and tapestries and so on and so on, one after the other after the other, of trees and flowers and vines and bushes and ferns, etc. etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum, in greens and reds and purples and yellows and pinks and purples and blues and-

You see them. Petals, leaves, vines - but no roots. You can't see them. Where are they?

The Painted Garden is a disease, a sort of graphomania carried by dungeon dwellers. It is contracted from the sort of cave lichen only the starving will taste.

; Shan the Elder called it a "most beautiful cancer." The compulsion to depict the Garden overrides all other inst

cave paintings in chalk and spit and oil. when the paint runs out, they turn to scratching with tools and nails. when the nails run out, they look for paint within

70% afflicted die from starvation in stage 1

stage 2: the afflicted reaches into a painting. they can eat the fruit, drink dew from leaves, sip nectar from flowers. though the fruit can be taken in the hand, it turns to black bile on Unafflicted tongues

idiot. you shouldn't have looked. never trust an artist. authors and musicians too; they're just talking about trees anyway.

20% afflicted are eaten by their companions in stage 2

stage 3: a psychic parasite in full bloom. the roots go deep, behind the eyes. you, the afflicted, can step into the Painted Garden, although little is known about

take the stairs past the blue lilies sunflowers; keep going; under the overgrown bridge; left then left; plug your ears; wade thru green poppies lotus roses yellow; there is the Tree the tree the Tree
take the fruit - purple pink pomegranate

often return with food - black oranges, blue venison. It all tastes terrible, but Below, whole communities can pop up around this kind of food source. And the more afflicted in an area, the more the Painted Garden grows.


Painter - stats as mercenary; can step into a painting, then emerge from another 1d4 turns later (1/day). the destination must be within line of sight or in the same dungeon.

Poet - stats as scholar; 1d10 (conjure strangling vines from throat); can step into spoken word or song, disappearing for 1d4 turns (1/day). While disappeared, the sound ricochets sourcelessly from room to room at a rate of 1 room/round.

both return from the Garden accompanied by 1d6-1 (min. 1) gardenthings (as wolves made of thorned roses)
- if 4+, instead accompanied by garden knight (as ogre made of wet wood; nearby spellscrolls warm and vibrate - on the second round, they explode d6 kaboom

Friday, August 25, 2023

5 Duelist Styles

nicolas nemiri

Loch's Duelist is required reading for this post.

Ψ - Feral
The style of Inner Earth paladins, as practiced in the Prison-City.
You might have learned it from one of their fold, or the spiraling ravings carved in bedrock.

  1. Technique: Dagger-Blood - Bite your tongue and take 1 damage to spit a dagger at them.
  2. Stance: Orehound - You track expensive metal (>200gp) by smell.
  3. Technique: Manacle - With your free hand, grab their wrist. Your grip cannot be broken, except by death of one or both of you. They'll need to overpower you to use the grabbed arm meaningfully.
  4. Stance: Magnesis - You may strike at polearms-length with an iron or steel weapon, swinging it with your mind alone. While you do this, your hands are free.

Ψ - Reaper B)
An impractical style for foolish, lethal people. You must wield a scythe or, more rarely, a katana.
You might have learned it from a black-clad farmer-assasssin, or from
The Memoirs of James Blackgun.

  1. Technique: Vorpal - Go for the throat. If your next attack brings them to 0 HP, you instantly decapitate them in a terrifying display, forcing morale checks and saves vs fear.
  2. Technique: Nothing Personnel - If no one is looking at you (even for a moment), you can disappear and reappear directly behind them.
  3. Technique: Early Harvest - You may forgo both of your attacks to make a single attack against everything in the room, including the furniture.
  4. Stance: Accessories to Murder - You have +1 to hit for every 2 slots of belts you are wearing. 

Ψ - Qusan
The style of the Eastern frontier, in the trenches, under the storm-that-blinds-God.
You might have learned it from a veteran with sunken eyes and pointed teeth, or a roan-bound journal.

  1. Technique: Ankle-Breaker - When you deal max damage with a heavy weapon, you may break one of their legs.
  2. Technique: Jaws of the Steppe - When you could riposte, you can instead catch their weapon in your teeth and wrench it out of their hands. Heavy weapons get a save.
  3. Technique: Bear-Biter - This round, treat your teeth like a fistful of +[level] daggers.
  4. Stance: Yaga Cauldron - Nothing in your stomach can harm you.

Lesson of Qusan: The Man In The Trench - You can assume an alternate persona, recognizable to all who know you as different from you. He (and it is a He) is immune to fear, charms, sleep, cold, and compassion. He has six cravings—numbness, forgetting, a mother's touch, horse meat, sudden violence, and the unspeakable one—whenever you banish Him, adopt another of His cravings. He remembers things.

Ψ - Kenesse
The style of invaders from a vanished land of high cliffs and golden geese.
Maybe you learned it from a runty giant, or a 12ft stele in the hinterland.

  1. Technique: Sunder - Forgo an attack to turn a shield to splinters. Magic shields get a save.
  2. Technique: Knock - Forgo both of your attacks to knock a door off its hinges. Metal doors get a save, unless you forgo three attacks.
  3. Technique: Shape Earth - Forgo both of your attacks to split the battlefield in two. This might be a wall of earth displaced by a mighty stomp, or a collapsed roof section, or a massive crack in a sheet of ice. It's difficult to cross, but not impossible.
  4. Stance: Cloud Step - You can double-jump. If your hair is ankle-length, you can triple-jump.

Ψ - Ja Ki
The style of drunken masters, born in revolutionary circles of the Hungry City.
Maybe you learned it from one of them, or the back of the label on a 500 year old jug of moonshine.

  1. Technique: Muddle - You may forgo both of your attacks to trade weapons with them, somehow.
  2. Technique: Liquid Sacrifice - You may parry with a d10 by sacrificing a waterskin, bottle, or jug of drink on your hip.
  3. Technique: Footstool - When you could riposte, you can instead end up standing on their head, somehow. From there, you can make a further running jump. Either way, this knocks them prone.
  4. Stance: Monkey Gathers Oranges - You can pick up and throw things with your feet.

Lesson of Ja Ki: Stumble - Whenever you go anywhere, you have a 2-in-6 chance of ending up in a bar instead, and a 1-in-6 chance of ending up somewhere you are not allowed to be. This is true whether you are walking alone or being escorted in a cage to your own execution; everyone who accompanies you is utterly bewildered by this phenomenon.

special thanks to random_interrupt for getting me on boell oyino

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Nomothetic Harmonics (d100 Spells)

Magic has a sound, a smell, and a taste.

Casting with more MD may reveal things. Casting in strange places may produce unexpected results.

Spells are stored in the skull, etched on the inside (unless they aren't).


Many spells stolen or half-stolen from Ashes to Ashes.

  1. Stonespeech – [dice + 1] stones scream incoherently for [sum] minutes.
  2. Speak With Dead – Ask [dice + highest] questions of a skull or dead body. -1 [dice] to compel truth, -1 [dice] to hear the emotion of the voice.
  3. Horsebreaker – Deal [sum x dice] damage to cavalry with your bare hands and teeth.
  4. Lore of the Herald – Cast upon a banner or similar heraldry, learn the name of its owner and [dice] of their notable deeds.
  5. Orient – A distant, melancholy song calls from the East.
  6. Dredge – [sum] buried objects (or memories) rise to the surface in an area (or creature).
  7. Phantom Limb – [dice] body parts can’t touch physical objects, only incorporeal ones. Lasts for [dice] hours, or until you dispel it.
  8. Water Walk – Treat all liquid surfaces as a stone floor for [dice] hours.
  9. Stone Egg – Collapse into a heavy stone sphere with [sum x 10] HP. Emerge [highest] hours later. Doesn't count as a rest.
  10. Snowshoe – You do not sink in snow, sand, earth, or plant matter, and leave no tracks.
  11. Glass Eye – Remove one or more of your eyes. You can roll them like marbles and see thru them regardless of distance. Lasts until you put them back in your head.
  12. Summon Hounds – Summon [dice] hounds or a single [dice] HD Hound of Ashkelon. With a royal bone as an offering, you can call a specific hound by name.
  13. Status Symbol – You conjure a golden torc. As long as you wear it, royalty cannot ignore you or order others to harm you. Tarnishes and disintegrates after [dice] hours.
  14. Prodigious Size – You grow [sum] feet taller and gain +[dice] FORT for [dice] hours.
  15. Lightning Strike – Conjure a storm cloud overhead. 1d3 rounds later, lightning strikes the tallest thing in the vicinity for [sum + dice] damage. If that thing is you, you take no damage; instead, it leaps thru your finger in the direction you are pointing.
  16. Serpentform – Become a [dice] HD snake by slithering out of your own mouth like a shed skin, or transform [dice] of your limbs/appendages into snakes.
  17. Babble – Target loudly repeats everything you think for [sum] minutes. If cast with 3 or more MD, they loudly repeat everything they think instead. It is otherwise mute.
  18. Illusory Cat – Conjure a ghostly cat with [dice] of the following:
    • fluent Citizen;
    • claws like karambits;
    • prodigious size;
    • any affection for you whatsoever.
  19. Dreamspeak – Send a cryptic dream of [dice] words and [highest] symbols to someone you saw today.
  20. Head Of Bear – Your head becomes that of a very confused and angry [dice + 2] HD bear for [dice] hours. Your body remains under your control. You see thru the bear’s mouth.
  21. Servant Hands – Your hands crawl off of your arms. They obey your commands like eager crabs. Lasts until you put them back on your arms.
  22. Feather – An object you touch weighs as much as a feather. Lasts [sum] minutes.
  23. Swords to Horses – Destroy [dice] swords to conjure that many beautiful steeds.
  24. Wild Crown – You grow horns. You can speak to anything with hooves. Wither and shed after [dice] hours.
  25. Mimic – Disguise yourself as an inanimate object between the size of a cart and a chair; or, if cast with 3 or more MD, between the size of a cottage and a pin.
  26. Summon Star – This spell does nothing.
  27. Upwell – A spring of seawater appears.
  28. 100 Hands – One hundred hands on pale, childlike limbs sprout all over your body. They can work together to perform up to [dice] actions independent of whatever you’re doing.
  29. Shuffle – [dice + 2] creatures instantly switch places at random.
  30. Reload – [dice] weapons or traps you can see reload retroactively.
  31. Lay On Hands – Dull fear and pain in those you touch.
  32. Create Skeleton – Breathe [dice]HD into a bare skeleton, giving it new life. Skeletons may retain some of the skills they had in life, if given an appropriate amount of HD. Expect them to be disoriented, with no special loyalty to their creator.
  33. Right of Way – You move thru crowds as if they weren't there. Creatures with [dice + highest] HD or less can’t impede your movement; creatures with more must save first.
  34. Taboo – You unerringly track the next [dice] people to speak a phrase of your choice.
  35. Remove Venom – Shoot [dice] poisons and/or drugs in your system out thru your eyes.
  36. Naturalise – Suppress a spell, malison or enchantment for [sum] rounds.
  37. Sculpt Silver – [sum] slots of silver take any form you wish. Blades sculpted this way deal maximum damage on their next hit.
  38. Empty Graveyard – Conjure a handful of fine blue dust into your hand. The dust deals [sum + dice] damage to unarmored corpses, [dice + highest] to armored ones, and turns them into the same dust when destroyed.
  39. Sleep – Summon a blue rope which, while tied around a limb, causes that limb to become dead and insensate. If you get it around a creature's neck, they save vs sleep, becoming drowsy on a successful save, both until the rope is removed. The rope is quite strong for [dice] days, and becomes fragile after that.
  40. Turn Bladed Weapons – [sum]HD and/or slots of sharp metal avoid you like men avoid tigers: arrows veer away, and swords cower in their sheaths when you are near.
  41. Reconstruct Ashes – Reconstruct [sum] objects from a pile of their ashes. They crumble back into ash over the course of [dice] days.
  42. Flowers to Arrows – Turn an appropriately sized field of flowers into [dice + highest] slots of arrows (20/slot) which ignore natural armor. They turn back into flowers after [dice] hours, or wherever they land once fired.
  43. Ironflesh – Turn up to [highest] sixths of your body into immobile iron for [dice] hours.
  44. Shadow – Conjure a black ceramic plate which blocks [dice] senses within spitting distance of it.
  45. Summon Storm – Dangerous weather plagues the area for at least [dice] days.
  46. Magnetize – Draw the nearest [sum] slots of metal to you, or yourself to a 20+ slot hunk of metal.
  47. Augury – You can tell when birds are lying, and anticipate their next [dice + 1] moves.
  48. Forward – You run faster than a horse in a straight line. The spell ends once you stop, slow, or turn [dice + highest] times.
  49. Spider Rider – Your steed sticks to surfaces by an invisible force, ignoring gravity.
  50. Resounding Voice – Your voice is like thunder and ringing metal, and can be heard over the sounds of metropolis, industry, falling water, and war. If cast with 3 or more MD, your voice carries for a mile in all directions.
  51. Suppress Emotion – You conjure a golden shawl which dull the emotions of the wearer to total apathy. The shawl is light as air and up to [dice + sum] feet on each side.
  52. See Through – For [sum] minutes, surfaces you touch appear to you as stained glass, depicting whatever is on the other side.
  53. See Shame – Shame, guilt and embarrassment appear to you as lingering blue-green smoke.
  54. BEES – Target container contains more bees than expected. Filling someone’s mouth with bees deals [dice + highest] damage.
  55. Time Knot – You freeze a target in time and space for 6 seconds/minutes/hours/days. It is invulnerable while frozen, and retains its velocity when unfrozen.
  56. Displace – Target appears to be [sum] feet from its actual location. Up to [dice] illusory copies may be created this way.
  57. Shatter – Target object is struck as though by [sum] iron hammers, with a loud bang.
  58. Bestow Name – Combine a deed of great heroism or villainy, and an item of personal significance, into a name or epithet with [dice] negotiated effects.
  59. Discus of Sunlight – Conjure a golden discus into your hand. It shines brightly when held in both hands or thrown, deals +1d4 on hit, and shatters into a lingering sunlit fog.
  60. Druid Fog – You appear as a harmless fawn, heralded by a creeping fog. If cast with 2 or more MD, you may turn invisible instead, but the fog is non-negotiable.
  61. Flicker – [highest] times after you cast this spell, you can choose to not be real when something tangible would affect you, such as an attack or a spell. You are unreal for an entire round.
  62. Scapegoat – Choose yourself or an object. The next [sum] spells or attacks that can target it must do so.
  63. Contingency – Set a condition in which a chain of [dice] spells will trigger. You must have the MD for the spells to trigger.
  64. Bone to Wood – Turn [sum] slots of bones you can see into dry wood.
  65. Draught of Humanity – Turn a cup/bottle/barrel/lake of water into an elixir which confers either human intelligence or human appearance for [highest] days.
  66. Rust – You conjure a red dagger. At its touch, up to [sum] slots of metal decay as if [dice] decades have passed.
  67. Haruspicy – Ask [sum] yes/no questions about a place or event in the entrails of a dead animal.
  68. Incant of Greed – For as long as you speak without taking breath, [dice + highest] targets you see cannot move or be moved away from you, and must orbit or approach you instead.
  69. River Water – Conjure a stone cup full of cold black water. Anyone who drinks of it forgets you were here as soon as you leave their sight. If cast with 2 MD or more, they lose [highest] additional memories, newest ones first.
  70. Carrion Call – Conjure a harp of bone and sinew. Anyone who hears it played saves or runs screaming in terror. After [sum] rounds, it seeps and softens into gory sludge.
  71. Handshake – Join two hands you can see, as if with strong rope, for [dice + highest] rounds. The owner of one hand cannot lie to the other.
  72. Glibness – For [sum] minutes, people are incapable of disagreeing with you and treat everything you say as reasonable and worth consideration.
  73. Defiance – Reflect [dice] commandments back onto an authority figure in an ironic or karmic manner.
  74. Sacred Bond – With a one hour ritual, establish a bond between yourself and another creature whom you trust, which contains [sum] points. You may each draw points from the bond to restore missing HP. You may only have one Sacred Bond at a time.
  75. Mercurial Form – Take one of the following animal forms: bear-sized, deer-sized, mouse-sized. Each form has at most [dice]HD. Each round, take a new form you haven't chosen yet, until each form has been chosen.
  76. Vital Ichor – Trade up to [sum] HP of blood to instantly grow a [sum + dice] foot tree from a seed or sprout. It doesn't necessarily need to be your blood.
  77. Carcinize – Your hands become heatproof, acidproof crab claws.
  78. Quest – Compel a creature to undertake a troublesome/difficult/legendary/impossible quest, or suffer a negotiated curse. Knights always fail their save.
  79. Spine Sword – Wrench the spine from a corpse, turning it into a bone sword. Casting this spell on a living person does [dice] damage, and gives you a sword with a negotiated power if it reduces them to 0 or less HP.
  80. Effigy – Weave a [dice]HD human-shaped effigy from straw or wildflowers. Resists cold, wet weather. If left unsupervised overnight, it may stand up on its own.
  81. Bristle – Grow a thick coat of sharp fur which inflicts a d[dice + highest] poison on anyone who touches you.
  82. Hazog’s Hands – Two giant stone hands emerge from the earth for [dice + highest] rounds. They obey up to [dice] simple commands from you per round. GRAB THAT GUY and PULL HIM UNDERGROUND are separate commands. Below the surface, they have arms.
  83. Ensoul Stone – Remove your soul from your body and whisper it into a stone. You are wracked with immense pain whenever the stone is struck, to the tune of 1d6 damage.
  84. Rod – Conjure a carved yew rod, as long as an arm, with [dice] of the following effects:
    • falling water gives it a wide berth;
    • sturdy and conductive as copper;
    • deals +1d4 on its first hit each round;
    • flies to your hand when called.
  85. Scramble – All forms of communication in an area become scrambled and incomprehensible: ink bleeds, tapestries unravel, music melts into a keening static wail.
  86. Killing Wind – High winds blow from the southwest, strong enough to pick up a cat/man/horse/cart and throw it [sum] feet.
  87. Gravity Sphere – Gravity increases twofold/threefold/fivefold/tenfold in an area.
  88. Boundary – A wall, fence, or other demarcation acts as a [sum + dice] ft wall of lead.
  89. Clot – You and a target both take [sum] damage. No save, ignores iron armor.
  90. Illusion – Create a moving, silent image centred on a tiny songbird you conjure. You can move and reshape it as you like if the songbird can hear you whistle. If the songbird is killed, the illusion is destroyed.
  91. Open Barrow – Open a [dice x 10] ft wide, [sum x 5] ft deep pit in the earth. Anyone standing too close as it opens must save or fall in. At the bottom is a dungeon with [sum] rooms. The pit always leads to the same dungeon; the number of rooms never decreases, and recasting with a higher [sum] causes new rooms to appear.
  92. Abbreviate – Extract [dice] relevant details and [lowest] interesting details from a large body of literature without reading it. Librarians will hate you for using this spell.
  93. Oaken Ring – A ring of sticks springs up and weaves itself into a fragile cage, trapping intangible creatures with [highest] HD or less as a steel cage traps tangible ones.
  94. Chain of Air – A [sum x 5] ft long indestructible chain of solid air appears between two points you can see. Lasts for [dice] hours, or until you dispel it.
  95. Mole – Summon a [dice + 2]HD Holy Mole with no sense of loyalty or allegiance.
  96. Berserk – You enter a frenzy wherein all things, living and dead, appear to you as snarling demons. This lasts until you next lose consciousness. Gain [dice] of the following:
    • [sum] bonus HP;
    • iron claws (d6);
    • silent footsteps;
    • eyes that see ghosts.
  97. Carp Seal – Remove [dice] poisons, diseases, or curses by whispering them to a fish. As long as the fish lives, the affliction is sealed; when it dies, the affliction returns.
  98. Align – Perfectly align [dice + highest] other targets. Among other things, this can make a person’s face more symmetrical, organize objects up to the size of a sword, or give a unit of gun-toting fools +4 to Hit on their next volley.
  99. Extinguish – Conjure a light lead shotput. Flames within spitting distance of it will burn but won’t spread. After [dice] hours, it crumbles into chalk.
  100. Epic Hunt – Learn the direction/HD/location/name of the nearest dragon.

101. Teleport – Create a shivering portal that leads to another portal you know the location of. [dice]-in-20 chance of survival, per person.

Friday, August 11, 2023

Ruined City Wizardry (GLOG Class: Crucible Wizard)

The first step to becoming a wizard is putting a hole in your head. It's mostly uphill from there.

Start with: metalworker's hammer; insulated gloves; copper rod with bite marks in it
+1 MD per Template
A - 4 Spells, Crucible
B - Smelt Spell
C - Heat
D - First Stage, +2 Spells
E - Second Stage, +2 Spells
F - Third Stage, +2 Spells
G - Seven Point Crucible

A: Crucible
You have made a hole somewhere in your body — lined with lead, concrete, and noble metals — in order to contain and manipulate spells.

Up to [template] spells can be held in your crucible(s), with a few minutes of work. Spells cast from your crucible gain attributes based on where in the body they were held.

  • Forehead: You act before thinking. The spell is fast.
  • Crown: You can't remember anything beyond the last seven years. The spell is imperious.
  • Mouth: You cannot speak. The spell is silent.
  • Eye: You are half-blind. The spell is target-seeking.
  • Heart: You need MD to stay conscious. The spell is ruinous.
  • Lung: You can't hold your breath. The spell is twinned.
  • Liver: You can't hold your alcohol. The spell is reversed.
  • Stomach: You require double rations. The spell is excessive.
  • Palm: You can't hold two things. The spell is far-reaching.
  • Sole: You limp. The spell is delayed.

(This list is non-exhaustive.)

You can add more crucibles to your body. This takes 200g and a season of psyching yourself up to do it again. (You can do it to other people too; it's a multiclassing requirement.)

B: Smelt Spell
With an afternoon's work, you may combine two spells into a new one, or separate a spell into its constituent parts.

C: Heat
You have perfect control over your body temperature. As long as you have MD, the inside of your crucible is hot enough to melt metal.

D: First Stage
The experiment begins in earnest.

With a snap of your fingers, you can reduce yourself to a formless puddle of black sludge. You transform back when heated or set aflame. (Remember: you control your body heat!)

If poured into a mold, you can solidify and take its rough form. The Sorcerer-King of Nemea spends much of her time in the form of an alligator.

In all your forms, you breathe fire.

E: Second Stage
You can change details of your outward appearance (i.e. color, face shape, hair style, sex) with a thought.

You can harmlessly and effortlessly eject poison, drugs, disease, and curses from your body. You may do so as an attack to inflict them on someone else.

F: Third Stage
Every part of your body sheds glorious sunlight.

G: Seven Point Crucible
With an afternoon's work, you may combine any seven spells into any other spell.

Monday, August 7, 2023


First thing you need to know about Celds: they love Celdaenn.
Second thing you need to know about Celds: they hate other Celds.

[bits and bobs stolen from Locheil, per usual]

4 Virtues

Celds respect you if you have two or more of these:

  1. Wit: Sharpness of the mind and tongue.
  2. Memory: Preservation of our ways of life; rediscovery of our culture.
  3. Fertility: Creation of life, art, and invention.
  4. Bear: Self explanatory.

8 Customs

Celds expect you to remember all of these:

  1. Trees: Bringing harm to trees of a certain age is forbidden. Lying to a tree of a certain age is also forbidden. Exact ages depend on species and location; penalties include lashes and dismemberment (a hand for a branch, etc). Tree law is arcane enough to merit its own profession; the lawyer.
  2. Speech: Skalds have the right of free speech; they can insult anyone, even a lord in their own chambers, and cannot be directly punished for it without the lord in question losing face. (Note: this does not prevent them from getting mauled by any Celd, just those who care about upholding the law)
  3. Drinking: Disputes are resolved by either talking, dueling, or drinking. For the latter, everyone tests FORT and gets very drunk; the loser is the one who falls over first, but both characters ToD (roll on the Table of Disgraces).
  4. Iron: Iron is forbidden in holy places. Driving iron spikes into a tree is deadly, and punishable by death. Everyone agrees on this one.
  5. Democracy: Only Celds have the right to vote. No one actually knows what this means, but they are very smug about it.
  6. Scars: For two to transcend a Blood Feud, they must share each scar created by their feuding: an eye for an eye, a hand for a hand, a child for a child. If there are no scars to share, you probably weren't feuding in the first place.
  7. Signs: Each Celd knows the Signs of Friendship (two fingers linked), Respect (fist over heart), and Veneration (two hands interlaced).
  8. Wholeness: A scarred body cannot rightly rule. Prosthetics are common, as is makeup. All parts must be accounted for. Celds go back and forth on whether a clean-shaven face counts as a scar.

royal, skeleton, saintmaker, berserker-knight

20+1 Languages 

Celds expect you to speak at least one of the first six:

  1. Citizen: business-like, loanwordful common tongue; described by outsiders as "barely intelligible" and by Celds as "soft"
  2. Celdaenni: proudly impenetrable Citizen dialect, aka Old Marks or Ancestor; completely different writing system; jostles with Citizen as the "official" language of the City
  3. Sheel: singsong tongue of the river districts, sometimes called Merchant; full of untranslatable witticisms
  4. Kalut: coarse tongue of the seaside districts; insults in Kalut are so devastating they count as attacks
  5. Ilish: grumbling tongue of the displaced Ilmari and their lost sister-cities; plagued by excessive homonyms and loanwords
  6. Skullsign: sign language of skeletons; audible bone-on-bone clacking component
  7. Palace: gliding royal tongue, spoken by servants and captives of the Palace-State; lacks structures for rudeness and aggression
  8. Orison: barking prayer-tongue, spoken by dogs; the sound of it is too delicious for gods to ignore
  9. Howl: language of ghosts and cats; inimitable without a spectral tongue
  10. Feather/Hoof/Coil: spoken by the flying/hoofed/coiling creatures of Creation
  11. Tracks: "written unknowingly by those who walk the wilderness"
  12. Knocks: percussive language spoken with large mallets; transmissible across long distances in the deep City
  13. Teppo: crashing tongue of the Land of Ashen Rain, and its Ways of Unmaking
  14. Qesic: laughing tongue of the Qet, and their Queen-Saint
  15. Gnomen: droning tongue of Gnosc reborn, and its dark wizarding colleges
  16. Feral: dead language of Carcharvan, the Iron Apostate, and of demons
  17. Koan: dead language of Koa, the Despicable Apostate; written in spirals for some godforsaken reason
  18. Nwnish: dead language of Nwn, the Silvered Apostate; has two genders (Above and Below) which annihilate one another when placed in the same phrase
  19. Apolytic: dead language of Apolyon, the Lower Apostate; inventors of law and sarcastic punctuation
  20. Obliterat: dead language; black ink on black parchment; insanely information-dense
  21. Original Linear: dead language; grim hieroglyphs of a death-obsessed civilization

Monday, July 31, 2023

Ruined City Faith (GLOG Class: Saintmaker)

Q: Between the royal Braid and the lowly god, who answers the prayers of Cath Celdaenn?

A: Neither. We do it ourselves.

[inspired by random_interrupt's Priest and theisticGilthoniel's Shrine Priest, many spells stolen from Loch]

Start with: ominous red candles; ludicrously expensive soap; two relics (see below).
+1 Save per Template
A - Make Saints, Make Relics, Ordained
B - +1 MD, Reliquary, Kindle
C - Manifold Blessings
D - +1 MD, Living Saint

A: Make Saints
You know the rites by which corpses are made into saints, and saints are made into relics.

With an hour's work and a source of clean water, you can turn a corpse into a saint. The body of a saint is immune to fire and decay, and may possess other numinous qualities.

For a person to be Made Saint, they have to: 1) perform at least one miracle; 2) die; 3) be venerated by at least ten HD of people.

A saint's base of worship determines their level, which in turn determines the number and strength of their blessings:

  • adventuring party in a cave with a fresh corpse → Level 1 → 1, an echo of their greatest miracle
  • decently well-furnished temple → Level 2 → 4
  • hundreds of worshipers → Level 3 → 6
  • theocratic city-state → Level 4 → 12, a whole wizard school's worth

A: Make Relics
It's as simple as cutting a piece off; Saintmakers can do this without pissing off the saint.

You can quickly enshrine a relic to access the saint's blessings. In short:

Blessings are floating 1 MD spells the whole party can cast so long as they maintain that saint's strictures. The party may only carry one blessing at a time. The party can add up to [saint's level] MD by making an appropriate sacrifice, visiting the corpus, and/or making an oath.

Relics contain up to 1 unique blessing/slot they take up: the White Hand of Cay may allow access to Flowers to Arrows, while her Tusks may offer Snowshoe.

The main body of a saint, or corpus, offers all their blessings.

Saint-killing weapons are also relics.

A: Ordained
You can touch idols, relics and sacred objects without harm or risk of being cursed, even if they belong to a rival and/or odious faith. You still need to treat them with the proper respect.

B: Reliquary
You can cast from relics without enshrining them using your own MD.

B: Kindle
You can force a relic to burst into flames as you cast from it. If you do, you cast with +1 MD.

Charred relics retain their potency, but cannot be kindled again.

C: Manifold Blessings
Your party can carry an additional blessing, or two additional blessings, if they are all of different saints.

D: Living Saint
You know the rites by which a living person can be Made Saint.

You cannot do this to yourself; to the Saint, their Saintmaker. All things interwoven. Each loose strand paired or pared.

This is how we patch a hole.

The 9 Saints Everyone Knows

Saint Cay predates the City itself. She is depicted on wolfback, hunting unicorns with bow and arrow. Her consort is the tilling wolf Cath. A well known epic follows her quest to slay the wizard who stole her eyes and legs. Her strictures are: Be ungovernable, and Avenge yourself.
1. Hunt Down
2. Flowers to Arrows
3. Snowshoe: You do not sink in snow, sand, earth, or plant matter, and leave no traces thereupon.
4. Glass Eye
5. Conjure Hounds
6. Status Symbol: You conjure a golden torc. For as long as you wear it, royalty cannot ignore you or order others to harm you.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

GLOG Class: Cockfighter

Start with: switchblade; bag of rusty spurs; all-consuming gambling addiction.
+1 Cock per Template
A - Bird Influence
B - Chicken Didact
C - Cluck Ops
D - Cock of the Walk

You command a gang of fighting-roosters: [1HD; 1d4/1d4 (spurs); immune to fear; cool name]. They obey two commands: "KILL" and "STOP".

Roosters get +1 to Hit for each of the following they have:

  • A significant and impressive solo kill
  • $$$ DRIP $$$
  • The right to vote

If you lose a rooster, you can train a new one with a week's work. Having more than [templates] roosters will inevitably result in you being overpowered and murdered by your own roosters.

A: Bird Influence
Roosters won't take orders from no goody-two-shoes. Whenever you show compassion in front of them, Save vs bird disdain: all birds ignore your orders until you do something needlessly cruel or dangerous.

B: Chicken Didact
When you gain this template, and every template afterwards, you can teach your roosters another one-word command. Your commands supersede plausibility.

C: Cluck Ops
Birds can remember and act on your most complicated schemes.

D: Cock of the Walk
Nothing can harm you while your roosters are fighting-ready.

d20 Example Commands:

  1. READ
  2. SWIM
  3. VOTE
  9. SMOKE
  11. BOIL
  13. HIDE
  14. JUDGE
  16. CAST
  17. CLEAN
  20. FLY

Thursday, July 13, 2023


A man loved a Morrigan and said this of her: that her skin was græy like knapped flint; that her hair was bloodless white; that her fingers were thick as branches; that her hunger was black like everything; that she carried an unbroken line in her hand, upon which were skewered many soldiers; that she placed a ragged standard in his hand; that she told him: walk on, forever. my Sword is dirty, and i cannot reach the End of it

* * *

All of the world maps are Dead Fucking Wrong, but sometimes rich idiots collect them:

  • Whoever made this one was on some shit. It's 80% Koa, 10% cool drawings of sea monsters, with all the other geography squeezed into the corners. There's also two mountains that shouldn't be there(?) flanking the capital like bodyguards.
  • A set of hypothetical maps which imagines the world as a pair of linked toruses. Gross!
  • Star maps with too many stars are fairly common. This one has too few.
  • An otherwise unremarkable (read: wildly incompetent) projection with an unknown land sandwiched between Parth and Apolya. It has a prominent lake ("Sajra Pit") and is labeled with a friendly-looking tiger.
  • there is a RIVER going from COAST to COAST on this one I CANT

* * *

Fire came to Her.
The Wheel came to Him.
Iron came to Her.
The State came to Him.
Ash came to Her.
The War came to Him.

* * *

A wise woman once said:
    God this place fucking sucks. I'm going home.

* * *

To each Holy thing, their Consort. To the Braid, their Knight. To the God, their Witness. To the Saint, their Bathinger. To the Moon, the Moon.
All things interwoven. Each loose strand paired or pared.

This is how we patch a hole.

* * *

The Mithridants crowded Obscylla to drink thereof;
they drank from her TEN FANGS;
they kissed at her FIVE NECKS;
they sang to her FOUR HEARTS;
and evil grew thick in their liversome tissues

* * *

Nasya Four-Ears once said:
    Stem-sucking Greys keep making fun of us: "oh, no koans to contemplate? no cryptic lessons from the Old Master? nO aLLegOriEs????" There's only one story you need to really GET it, okay? It's the one where the jackal kills the frog, twice; I'd tell you it, but you already know how it ends. 

The City is full of Gods. Some make fruit trees grow. Some do taxes. Some carry daggers, for protection. Many operate otherwise-inexplicable elevators.

* * *

the esoteric bullshit creation myth:
    in early creation, there was only the spinning Wheel
    the Wheel spin'd and spin'd until creation was full
    then spin'd and spin'd until creation was tangled
    a Weaver stop'd the Wheel, gather'd the thread
    and began the long errand of making creation beautiful

* * *

Geometrick Heretics say:
    The world is intransitive. Three Lefts will not make a Right; they never-ever did.
    The Line is a Braid is a Knot is not The Line.
(The Geometrick Heretics were drawn and quartered by the Good winds.)

* * *

Where are the giants, who touched the stars, who wound the Apparatuses?
Said the Witch: They are drowning. They are buried. They are mile-wide stains. They are crawling. They are singing songs about you and how disappointing you are with collapséd lungs. None of them are worth your time. Ask me about dragons instead.

* * *

When Branwyn the Glory-Mantled met the skald, it was decidely a Bad Time To Do So; deep in his period-of-madness, the skald spake: You are a piddling nut/whose tongue wanders sideways/by your grandfather's map/[the last jab is thankfully lost to history, for it was so devastating that Branwyn's appendix ruptured on the spot, killing her instantly and turning her into a bloody willow, so the story goes, barkeep never lies]

* * *

O Hannamun-Hannamun, O Knot. Crawl over me; stand on my hands and feet; anchor me in liquid time.
- an Immortal's prayer

* * *

A man loved a Morrigan and said this of her: that her skin was red like everything; that her hair was red like everything; that her hunger was still very very very black; that she carried her wife in her arms, and nine more stood in her long shadow; that she placed a broken line in his hand; that she told her: if you love me, kill them. i have so many, and they keep treading on my heels



...what's this?

Start with: Two swords; prominent ring-scar; female pronouns.
+1 to Hit and +1 AC per template
A - Sword Marriage, +1 Attack per turn
B - okay, you caught me, it's just Loch's Rotless

A: Sword Marriage
As Rotless, except:

  • You never miss attacks against fools-with-guns, either.
  • You can't speak unless you have a sword in your hand.
  • You and everyone who loves you is immune to peaceful retirement.