Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Meanwhile (1)

Meanwhile...
Larshin breathed in deeply. It was colder than he had counted upon, but it had worked. He stood up for the first time in over a decade. His legs responded powerfully, like they used to before that hateful day in Jerdun when he had lost too much to contemplate. He could walk again. The crystal in his hand tinkled into a fine dust of sparkly shards. Its task was done. There was no going back now. The smirking yeti-girl handed him a rough felt robe with elaborate bead work at the chest and shoulders. He tried to thank her but she made the gesture for silence so he kept his peace. There would be plenty of time later to thank her for helping him make the transition to her world. It felt good to be whole again, to feel the blood rushing through all of his functional and intact limbs. He felt giddy, like a young schoolboy on the first day of holiday. He noticed his host, his guide, the yeti-girl motioning for him to follow her out of the cave into the sunlight and fresh air. He never felt the noose as it dropped over his head from above the cave mouth as the Yeren yanked him off his feet...


Don't forget that Bujilli is currently in a dark place and we could use your help to determine all sorts of things, including just what might be prowling around for him and Leeja to encounter...

Episode 137 (Rapunzel Overdrive)
Random Encounter Table: In A Dark Place

Monday, July 27, 2015

Yellow Kids (Wermspittle)


"When you're different in a society, you're funny."
Will Eisner

Yellow Kids
No. Enc.: 1d4
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 60' (20')
Armor Class: 9
Hit Dice: 1* [Advance as dual-classed Magic-User/Thieves at 30% XP penalty]
Attacks: Spells or Signs: See Below
Damage: By Spell or See Below
Save: 7
Morale: 6

Special: Yellow Kids have the ability to make use of one of the Lesser Yellow Signs once every hour at will. They will sometimes also wield magical weapons such as wands or staves, but cannot use scrolls, potions or rings, and never wield mundane weapons. They also regenerate 1 hit point per round unless exposed to bright light. Their flesh dissolves into an inert gray goop that ceases to regenerate when exposed to acid. All Yellow Kids seem to share some form of group empathy/telepathy the parameters of which have yet to be determined.


The Six Lesser Yellow Signs

  1. Drallift: Imposes a -1 penalty to Morale, to Hit and Damage rolls as Bless (Reversed), affecting up to three victims at a time. Multiple exposures have been known to unhinge some people; there is a cumulative 10% chance to develop temporary insanity each time this sign affects the same person.
  2. Bellig: Putrifies all previously edible food within a 30' radius and turns water yellow with nausea-inducing spores that persist for 1d4 hours. Anyone consuming the spores suffers intense fever, hallucinations and cannot eat, drink, sleep or recover any hit points for the next 36 hours. Once these toxins have run their course, the victim must make a Save to avoid losing 1d4 WIS or CON (their choice), which can be regained normally.
  3. Zagaftl: Produces Fear as the spell, but with the added distinction that the victim incurs a permanent -1 penalty on all future Saves vs Fear effects.
  4. Jovlom: Causes an intense and pervasive form of apathy to take hold of the victim. Those who make their Save lose the next 2d6 rounds doing nothing in particular. Those who fail to Save lose all memorized spells, automatically fail all Initiative checks, have their Morale reduced to 3, and lose one minor item, weapon or object of their choice over the course of the next 3d6 rounds.
  5. Hully-Gee: The victim laughs uncontrollably at anything, especially things that are not funny at all. This effect lasts for 2d6 rounds.
  6. Wot-Wot-Wot: As Confusion spell (LL p. ), only those affected simultaneously babble incoherently while attacking anyone within range (except for the caster) for the next 2d6 rounds.


Pudgy and soft to the point of being best described as mushy, their flesh has the texture and feel of cold oatmeal packed loosely into a sausage-skin. Hairless and boneless, they can squeeze themselves through small openings or gaps between fence-stakes and the like, an ability they put to good use when evading capture or escaping from those who would do them harm.

Clad in hand-me-down robes, nightshirts and rags, these illiterate little degenerates seem to be almost ubiquitous in the alleys and Low Streets. They prefer the shadier areas, where they can stay out of the direct sunlight, and will seek to avoid bright lights whenever possible. These whispering, giggling and japing jokesters sell every kind of word, phrase and bit of prose or writing available, even a few forms so obscure or peculiar as to be unfathomable, but they themselves are completely illiterate, unable to read anything at all, especially their own signs and posters.

Scandalmongers and peddlers of prevarications and out-of-date propaganda, corrupting fictions and banned political cartoons, bizarre manifestos and caprichographika,Yellow Kids are the fruiting bodies of much larger, more pernicious forms of fungi that somehow survived the purges and pogroms and riots that followed the last war.

Perhaps they are in league with printer's devils like the Puritans claim, or they might serve the Repairer of Reputations as a legion of gossips who sometimes spread the truth mingled in with the more salable half-truths and fabrications one can find scrawling and crawling across the pulpy paper their Nickle Dreadfuls, Broadsheets and other publications are printed upon. No one really knows and few people really care; Yellow Kids are comical little waifs who mispronounce and reduce everything they hear into a weird sing-song pidgin that quickly becomes all too personal and increasingly more disturbing if you listen to it closely. They are best ignored, if you can manage it, otherwise one is advised to toss them some coins or tokens, take the periodical they proffer and keep moving. They will accept nearly anything that resembles a coin including bits of tamped sheet metal or washers. It isn't the value of the thing exchanged with them, but the act of exchange itself that they value.

Before the war various scholars were doing in-depth research into the nature of the Yellow Kids. Only one ever published anything on the subject; Gnosiomandus. His notes, sketches and observations were collected into a special monograph that was originally only available in a hard-bound limited edition of one hundred copies, but has since achieved a strange sort of underground notoriety as it has been copied and re-copied and distributed in a much looser, manuscript form filled with dozens of notes and diagrams added-on by previous readers. It is commonly held that there is no longer any single definitive edition of this work available any more. Perhaps one day an enterprising editor will collect all the various pieces and parts and assemble it into a definitive work.

The only cadaver of a Yellow Kid that has ever been studied, if only briefly before it was forcibly reclaimed, was reported as being snaggle-toothed, with distorted ears, beady eyes, and only the most vestigial of internal organs leading less cautious or sensitive members of the medical community to declare some sort of kinship to the Vinkin, or possibly Fungal Tyrants. This alleged link has never been conclusively proven, and indeed most reputable Unnaturalists would dispute the claim as irresponsible and something of a regrettable rush to judgement, especially in light of the so-called Yellow Scare or Yellow Peril during which time hundreds of these creatures were seized and burned by panicked mobs.

When the oily green-black smoke cleared and the mess was cleared away by sweepers and order was restored, as much as it ever is any more, the Yellow Kids greeted the tired and exhausted individuals as they made their way home after the rioting was over with their own special edition of the evening news. No one has burned another Yellow Kid since that night.

Yellow Kids automatically flee from cats, but have an abiding hatred of dogs and pigeons. They also seem to dislike Zoogs, possibly because the little folk are rumored to have perfected a method for distilling a particularly potent form of alcohol laced with psychotropic compounds reminiscent of the best absinthe from the corpse of a Yellow Kid...of course that is probably just a rumor...

Yellow Kids advance as Dual-Class Magic-User/Thieves and have access to a number of unique spells. We'll be detailing some of those spells in a follow-up post...

These creepy little things were inspired by the infamous Yellow Kid created and drawn by William F. Outcault, with a touch of Robert W. Chambers, Alfred E. Neuman, the Newsboy Legion (gone horribly wrong), Charlotte Gilman's Yellow Wallpaper got squished into the mix as well, and a wee bit of preternatural fungality more in line with William Hope Hodgson or perhaps Jeff Vandemeer than HPL, and of course M. P. Shiel who gave us the original Yellow Peril (as well as The Purple Cloud), and the classic comic book character The Yellow Claw...and while some of their predecessors were incredibly distorted projections of rampant vilification and demonization of particular peoples during a time of war...these entities are not projections so much as extensions of  something entirely inhuman and seemingly irradicable...and yes, those 'Sign' these nasty little things use as weapons are not just weird symbols derived from their connection to unmentionable, unthinkable, unwholesome forces, they are literally little yellow hand-painted hand-bills and other types of signs that they will sometimes leave lying around...

Friday, July 24, 2015

In a Dark Place...[A Random Encounter Table for Bujilli]

Currently...
Bujilli has woken in a dark place. These are some of the things that might be prowling about in the darkness around him...
Here are a couple of random tables to help us find out what might be lurking out in the darkness. If multiple readers roll multiple results, we'll either average the die rolls out, or you readers can vote on a most preferred option in the comments below, or I'll just mash things together into some sort of composite situation--they don't all need to be all at once. We could probably manage two or three of some of these encounters, especially if they are things best avoided or whatever...


In the Dark (1d6) [minor things]
  1. A small cloud of luminiferous aethyr escapes from a fading aperture that will seal-over in the next three minutes...unless something happens to force it to remain open.
  2. Dozens of warped and twisted fruiting bodies flop about in slow motion as their juices form a sticky pool around the edges of a Pesthole that has been colonized by some form of yellowish fungal spores.
  3. Roll 1d30 on Damned Things Table One.
  4. There's something on the ground there. It looks round and made of metal of some sort, most likely a type of electrum, but with a silver-chased edge. Perhaps it is a type of coin? Yes. It is a Spaug Coin. Go ahead; pick it up if you dare... 
  5. Roll 1d30 on Damned things Table Two.
  6. Guess it was something more interesting after all, roll again on the next table.


What is That? (1d12) [more interesting things]
  1. Thap. thap. Thap. A small, wriggling thing resembling a half-formed embryo with over-large eyes squirms its way through a lingering cloud of displaced aethyr. Just past the agitated creature a smallish Weak Point collapses into oblivion, frustrating the tiny Flidder immensely. Where will it go now? Can it detect another Weak Point nearby? It just noticed you...
  2. Dismal, gray light streams through a small grove of petrified un-trees. You recognize a Gloomlight spell and spot the little glyph floating placidly over a small mirror-surfaced pool of some liquified yellow metal. There is a corpse lying at the edge of the pool. A morlock in green-stained chain-mail that has been rent asunder by some sort of explosive weapon from the looks of it...then you spot the Lurm who cast the Gloomlight spell. They appear to be wounded and not doing a very good job of hiding behind one of the petrified un-trees...
  3. Black ice. There is a low-lying fog swirling about your ankles and the air grows distinctly colder as you go on. The black ice gets rougher, thicker, more difficult to traverse without slipping or falling. Larger and larger masses of broken stone, rubble and architectural ruins protrude from the black ice, forming an increasingly labyrinthine terrain. In the distance you can just barely catch a glimmer of purple light and hear what sounds like some sort of weird song coming through what appears to be a Weak-Point offering a way to enter a blasted and blackened arctic region where a Quindra contemplates the probabilities of your decision...
  4. Jexilon the Jaladari floats over to you from behind a huge ruined pile of broken cyclopean masonry. With a squeal of avaricious glee they launch into a sales-pitch in a rapid succession of dialects until they find one you recognize enough to do business in--they want to sell you a Gloomswallow that they've recently captured. Jexilon discretely avoids mentioning that he has 6 Gronk mercenaries and a freelance eloi umbralist guarding the thing. Of course that turns out to be moot once the thing breaks free after casting Ectoplasmic Expulsion on  the umbralist, incapacitating them and throwing the Gronks into confusion as this unregistered beast does not recognize the efficacy of their swords as mandated by Gronk Central Command....
  5. There is a rancid, musty scent in the air. Just ahead the ground or floor appears to glint slightly as if moist with some viscous, organic nastiness. At first you might think it the black oily residue of a Loathsome Mass, but the smell is different, more pungent and there is an impression of tarry, stickiness to the wet stuff that is not at all similar to the usual oiliness you'd expect. The dull, pinkish-mauve worm-like pseudopods give it away--there is a Black Sack ahead and something--several smallish somethings--are hunkered down near what you suspect is the main mass of the Black Sack making scraping noises and muttering to one another just above the level of a cautious whisper. There are some little humanoids rubbing javelins or darts in the toxic slop surrounding the Black Sack...roll again on Table Three below to see what manner of creature they might be.
  6. A severely damaged Automaton with Flidder-flesh bonded to its frame lies neglected on a mostly flat toppled menhir of bluegreen stone. A closer look reveals it to be a Pruztian Fyter with three of its original zinn-plated limbs mostly intact, but one of its arms (the left one) having been incompletely repaired and mostly replaced with some sort of insect-limb combined with Flidder-flesh. You can hear someone arguing off in the distance. A demented Pruztian exile is exhorting his few remaining Thumbling retainers to go get him another Flidder immediately. He is running out of time. His left side is slowly turning to stone, a soft and crumbly sort of mineral with the consistency of cheese, and he is convinced that the deactivated Fyter he is trying to repair somehow can help him overcome this latest in a along succession of sorcerous insults and petty attacks by his various enemies who are all jealous of his so far unrecognized genius...
  7. More of the petrified un-trees. upon closer inspection you see that they resemble some bizarre form of tentacled coral with a central columnar body and roots to match the writhing limbs above. It's the roots that give you pause. You can sense the hundreds of tiny snapping, gnashing teeth all clicking together in all those little mouths struggling to get at your flesh well before you can actually see them. It might be prudent to avoid getting much closer...
  8. A cluster of hissing, flickering Umbral Things wearing masks made form dead people's faces caper and prance around a small gray trapezoid. suddenly the shadowy entities stop in their tracks, make some sort of arcane gesture then silently disband, each one leaving in a different direction. Their ritual failed. They abandon the trapezoidal object as worthless. The gray trapezoid is carved with twenty-eight characters that resemble Ixaxar glyphs, but are more curling and smooth, as though melted into the gray stone by some wriggling werm-thing. Incautious mishandling of this item summons a Yirgao.
  9. A small, thirty-foot long fragment of the infamous Arch of Lindraxis protrudes form a Weak-Point. A Were-Shade of Uttonj is intently studying the thing, oblivious to the Gloomshadow that is furtively swirling into place behind them. Will you intervene and attempt to warn the Were-Shade, or will you let nature take its course?
  10. At first it appears as though a sword was somehow dancing through the shadows as if by magic. then you glimpse some sort of Polyp wielding the weapon. It could be either a Monodril, or a Hexapodalite, but probably not a Type VI Abomination, since they tend to rely on spells rather that weapons...
  11. Three Skeletal Mourners, each one of their bones lovingly wound in tarnished brass wire and draped with rotten red robes carry some sort of three-spoked wooden frame at shoulder height between them. Dangling from a set of three bronze chains is a grimoire bound in some sort of mauve-tinted hide that visibly struggles to break free of the wards imposed upon it. If you look more closely, the skeletons don't seem to mind just looking, then you will notice that there are tiny red flames flickering in the skulls of these skeletons; not in their brass-lined eye-sockets, but at the center of their hollowed-out skulls and somehow partially visible to the naked eye in a most unnatural manner...oh and a small band of four Thysanurians are carefully and quietly sneaking up on the skeleton book-bearers. One of these book devouring insects is carrying a Magical Weapon that you can select from This Table.
  12. Rujjomi the Xing-Tian bone-molder and mask-maker squats in the darkness with their broad back up against a section of lichen-crusted masonry. Three dead Blemmyes lie only a scant few feet away with their mid-sections crushed into gory pulp by Rujjomi's powerful fists. These would-be assassins wear distinctive looking studded leather armor fashioned from Xing Tian hide; a deliberate insult and a sign of their master's great displeasure. These killers were sent after Rujjomi by her former patron... 


Little People? Really? (1d6)
  1. Four Nirlock children are out on their very first hunt away from the adults. One of them is quite clever and has led them all to a spot where a Black Sack was festering away in the darkness so they could all apply the poison goo to their javelins.
  2.  Zindlebarf leads the six remaining members of his tribe of kobolds now that their previous chieftain choked to death after trying to eat a chunk of Black Sack. If this stuff is so nasty, Zindlebarf has decided, it would be a good thing to scrape-up and use on their weapons.
  3. A Creeping Baby Doll has gotten mired in the rotting gunk surrounding this patch of Black Sack fungi. The broken toy cries out to you in an eerie, unsettling voice...
  4. (1d6+1) Drilg are tending to the (1d4) younglings who managed to step into this rotting fluid without realizing what they were doing. Worst family outing ever.
  5. That's not a Black Sack after all, and those aren't little people--its all a ruse by a patch of Mindslime to lure unwary victims into reach.
  6. Those aren't kobolds; they're (3d4) Pit Nibblers...but what are they doing?


Thursday, July 23, 2015

August is Web Serial Writing Month


August is Web Serial Writing Month and we will have some special bonus Bujilli-related content in addition to the regularly scheduled episodes every Thursday. More details to follow...

Bujilli: Episode 137 (Rapunzel Overdrive)

Previously...
Rust and debris swirled and splashed down in a riotous torrent right at Bujilli...

Crackling, sizzling ripples of orange dust spread out from the center-mass of what had only moments before been a gargantuan metallicized insect.

Ripples grew into wave upon wave of rust, dust and ichor and dwindling remnants of chitinous stuff. One after another. Each one spreading out farther. Washing across the rubble and wreckage. Rapidly growing into a crashing, smashing tidal wave of corrosion looming over Bujilli and Leeja as they looked on from their precarious little ledge.

Bujilli raised the Synchronocitor in an attempt to ward off the worst of the rust.

The Synchronocitor flickered and shimmered with violet flames. Bujilli commanded it so protect them both. The violet flames surged all around them both, forming a Zone of Protection.*

The mound of rubble beneath them shifted. groaned, began to wobble to the left under the impact of the rust, dust and debris flowing and frothing about the place.

The Synchronocitor's Zone of  Protection was not going to be enough.

Leeja grabbed him around the waist and used her lashing, flashing white tendril-hair to lift them higher, up out of the way of the onrushing rust and towards some part of the mound that might be somewhat more stable.

It was a valiant effort.

She struggled for every yard they covered. Sweat glistened across her skin as she exerted herself like never before. Leeja closed her eyes and focused entirely on her hair and getting them up and away from the mess caused by Bujilli's runaway spell.

Jagged fragments of stone and metal provided plenty of places to gab onto. She avoided the worst of the tangled masses of barbed wire or anything that gave way too quickly when she came into contact with it--having grown up in Aman Utal, she was very well aware of the sorts of things that might lurk amidst the jumbled rubble or disguise itself as a clump of rocks and the like.

The the bulk of the rust struck the mound full on.

Metallic screams filled the air. The entire mound shifted. Orange flakes sprayed over everything. Debris flew everywhere.

The mound began to teeter backwards. they'd never reach the top now and if they did, it would be a very bad place to be when the whole thing fell over into the backwash of rust.

Leeja realized that her hair alone would not be enough to get them out of harm's way. It was strong enough, just not long enough, nor could she move them both fast enough. She needed something else. A spell? She did not know Levitation, not yet. In fact she only knew a few spells. Most of what she knew were perceptual manipulation things. Lesser beguilements, discerning surface thoughts, that sort of thing. The sort of spells her mother had passed on to her more through a form of osmosis than outright instruction; things that came easily to them both because of their nature.

Her nature.

For a large part of her life she had rebelled against her true nature.

Niobe, her sister had mocked her for it.

She had struggled to fit in with the others, to be something they could accept. But no one ever really had. Not until she met Bujilli.

He had accepted her as she was. He knew she had something monstrous in her heritage. He'd accepted her anyhow.

That meant a lot to her.

She wasn't going to let them both die now just because she was afraid of becoming more like her mother.

Her mother's folk were highly intuitive, very empathic...but not in the sense most others thought of that capability. They didn't just 'read' emotions or cloud people's minds, they could reach in and manipulate, twist and even remove things.

She reached into Bujilli's mind. He was open to her. He trusted her.

The Levitate spell was easy to find. Even easier to trigger.

Both screamed in agony as the spell exploded into effect and they were borne upwards into the cold, dark night...


* See the post on the Synchronocitor for more details.

Meanwhile...
Mak-Ait-Akh**, Makait as the spindly apelings insisted on calling him, scanned the horizon. All around him spread a lurid red landscape. Desolate, barren, deadly; he was expected to die miserably out in the wastes surrounding Ylgreve when he had been expelled. That conniving little liar Jamildra had wasted no time in getting him black-listed and banished in retribution for his so-called betrayal. Never mind the fact that he had carried her back from her disastrous debacle of an expedition beneath Zormur's Palace. She was upset all the more since he had deliberately left behind her precious ancestor-possessed scimitar. Let her go get it for herself. He had declared when the solicitors had interrogated him at her behest. If they hadn't already accepted her bribes they might even have agreed, but the winds of political skullduggery were even more whimsical and wild than the winds of war and he she had gotten her way, for the most part. He had gotten exiled from Ylgreve. Banned and barred and banished, just as she had demanded; right before she was set with the geas to recover the blade she had allowed to be left lying in some ruined place through her incompetence. Because he had been black-listed, she could not call upon Makait for assistance. The memory of her spluttering impotent rage amused him. Even now after all these long weeks and longer miles trekking through the Kalaramar Drifts...


(**Now we know something of what happened after Episode 13...)



Waking up in the darkness with blood running down his lip was nothing new to Bujilli; but doing so while being suspended nearly a hundred feet in the air by a spell he didn't recall casting was a new twist.

He shook himself. Spells. His head ached horribly. He tightened his grip on the Synchronocitor. There was a Levitation spell in effect. It felt very similar to the one he tended to use...but it had been subtly altered, empowered, overcast in a way that ought to have fried his brain to a cinder. Except it hadn't. Instead the spell had bulged outwards, distorted by what appeared to be some seriously inexpert casting. It had been cast from within him, from his repertoire, using his mind and his knowledge, the patterns residing within his brain. But how?

Bujilli sat up. This took effort. He ached all over. His singed hair reeked and would need to be trimmed, again. At least the bloody nose had stopped. He felt like warmed-over wermscheiss, but at least he was alive. Nothing dead hurt this much, from the texts he had read growing up.

Down below the rust surged and sloshed and was settling down into a sort of lake of flakes.

They had escaped the worst of the crashing wave and the cloud of abrasive dust that had followed.

The synchronocitor gleamed with violet light that shimmered and shivered and flowed outward from the staff-like device in a dozen or more streamers that all led back to him. To his skull. His brain. For a moment it reminded him of Leeja's writhing and wriggling hair, only this was violet light that was seeping into his brain.

His Levitation spell hovered before him like some abstract defense against imaginative intrusions.

It had been his spell.

But he did not cast it.

He had been involved, of course, but it had not been his idea.

The spell had not spontaneously cast itself. He knew because he checked. that was how he knew it had been his spell and that it had been cast from within his skull and should have burnt his brain to a cinder at least. But it didn't happen that way. Instead the spell had jumped like a spark from one pole to another in some galvanic demonstration. It had connected with the Synchronocitor and somehow went into a resonant feed-back loop with the Zone of Protection.

This had over-charged the spell and very likely saved their lives.

The Synchronocitor was softly singing to itself in a creepy little child's voice. some sort of nonsense ditty in excessively inflected Franzikaner dialect.

Out on the horizon Bujilli spotted what looked like some sort of city or castle or fortress. Whatever it was, it had towers, spires, domes and lights. Either torches or street-lights; he wasn't sure which, but either one indicated an active presence of some sort of people in the place. Whoever lived there, whatever the place was called, it could offer them shelter, maybe even food and drink.

His hand brushed against Leeja.

She was very, very still.

Cold.

"NO!"

Bujilli reached out to his partner. Golden filaments of light spread outwards from his hand, sinking deep into her flesh, down into her bones, awakening whatever it was that lurked inside her, whatever parallel to his Counsel that had imprinted itself upon her back in Wermspittle at Idvard's old place.***

Whatever it was, if it was some duplicate form of the Counsel etched into his bones by some ancient machine, or something else; it was not enough.

He willed his energy through those golden threads of light and into her form. All his vitality, his will, his vrillic essence. There had to be some way to help his friend, his partner.

The Synchronocitor stopped singing. He could feel it observing him, but he didn't pay it any attention. Everything he had, all that made him who and what he was boiled through his body and soul to flow through tiny golden threads that linked him to Leeja.

He called on all his allies and guides and whatever spirits or things might help him set things right.

Lightning flashed and roared overhead. The rain resumed, only harder and mingled with hail now.

He struggled with every last bit of his strength and personal power.

His nose began to bleed again.

Violet sparks snapped and crackled all around him.

It wasn't enough.

With an inarticulate howl of rage Bujilli seized upon the spell vibrating all around them, the Synchronocitor, the Counsel-things scintillating between and within them both, and something happened.

Something wonderful. Something terrible.

Bujilli awoke in a dark place...



*** See Episode 39 for details.

Roll for Initiative...

and a couple of Saving Throws as well...


Synchronocitor Status: Somewhere between curious and bored, while recharging itself.

Roll Saving Throws!
Bujilli needs to roll a 11 or higher on 1d20.
Leeja needs to roll a 6 or better on another 1d20.
Both are suffering from a -2 penalty at the moment.

Should both of them succeed, then they will be together when they wake up. If one or both of them fail, then they are separated when they wake up. You decide!

In this instance the Saving Throw pertains to both damaging effects and displacement. Speaking of Displacement Effects, you can check out our old table for those HERE. You can read more about Saving Throws on Pages 54-55 of the Labyrinth Lord book.

Will it Leave any (more) Scars?
We need to determine how long Bujilli and Leeja have both been incapacitated (both times). If someone would be so kind as to roll 1d6 for each of them, we'll know how many hours they spent suspended over the rust lake. Another roll of 1d20 will tell us how many hours Bujilli was out of it before waking up in the dark this second time.

We can then roll for Initiative for each of them normally.
1d20 each. If Leeja gets the Initiative, we'll determine her situation first, depending on the rsult of the Saving throw above.

We'll need a few d6 and d20 rolls, and actually a d10 or d12 roll would also be pretty handy as well, since now we need to determine where they are, what the prevailing conditions are, and all sorts of fun things like that.

Then we need to decide the top three priorities for Bujilli and Leeja. Should they try to figure out where they are first, or look for one another?  If they find each other early on, should they explore this dark place, or try to get out, or attempt to sort out what just happened between them?

Whatever happens next; You Decide!

And of course, it's Time to Roll 1d6 for a Wandering Monster.
Please roll 1d6 and let me know the result. If you get a 1, the encounter is an environmental factor. A result of 6 will mean we need to roll on the new Wandering Monster Table I'll be posting tomorrow to determine what might be prowling around out there in the darkness...

What Should They Do Next?

You Decide!

Previous                            Next

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Phantasmal Menaces (Wermspittle)


"In films murders are always very clean. I show how difficult it is and what a messy thing it is to kill a man."
Alfred Hitchcock

Phantasmal Menaces
No. Enc.: 1
Alignment: Neutral (Thoroughly Despicable)
Movement: *See Below
Armor Class: Glass Plate 9, Projected Form 7
Hit Dice: 1+
Attacks: 2 Claws or 1 Bite
Damage: 1d4/1d4+poison, or 1d6+poison
Save: F3
Morale: 9

Special: Limited to 30' radius of its glass-plate, Silver does double damage and silver objects affect them as Holy Symbols affect lesser undead.

Any fool knows that it is not possible to trap someone's soul using a camera, not without serious modification and the application of one or two proscribed spells. It's nothing for amateurs to fool about with by any means. But of course, those sorts of obstacles have never stopped anyone from engaging in such questionable practices, especially if they themselves are lacking in common sense.

Phantamalists and Fantomists, and in some instances those engaged in research into opticks or the emerging fields of Ectography, Haemotropy, and other forms of esoteric photography (including Caprichographika), are often all lumped together in the popular press as geistmongers, peddlers of degenerate art, and unsavory characters all too likely to attempt to enslave intangibles and the like irregardless of the consequences. Fulvous Frida, a popular comic strip in one of the weeklies, is constantly decrying the dangers of unlicensed photomancy and related darkroom arts. Certainly the anonymous artist behind the comic has an obvious personal agenda, but their farcical tirades more often then not strike a chord with the people of the Low Streets and Back Alleys. The comic is so successful that has attracted the sponsorship of Lear's Soap.

But aside from the trumped up terrors and supposed indiscretions of carefully misnamed or cunningly disguised figures of note who are suspected or known to engage in any of the various arts, crafts or techniques disparaged and reviled by the comic, there are actual, very real dangers that have arisen from these fields of endeavor and inquiry. One example of such troublesome thinsg are the so-called Phantasmal Menaces.

Back in the early days of glass-plate image-capture, during the hey-day of Phantasmagoria and Magic Lanterns (which are making something of a come-back we are told), a great many images of various sorts were produced and circulated from show to show, theater to theater, with most ultimately getting stored in some warehouse or a repository or simply discarded. All well enough at the time, however it has turned out to be akin to a Pruztian landmine left-over from the last war and half-buried in the mud.

A surprising number of those old glass plates have been rediscovered by various Guttersnipes, Urchins, Feral Children and even Foragers. Left to fester and decay in obscurity, many of these images, especially those exposed to Spectral Brine or some other form of contamination or pollution, have begun to take on a strange half-life. Some of them whisper garbled blasphemies more gibberish than anything, but dangerous nonetheless. Others ooze off of their glass plates and attack anyone or anything within their limited reach.

So far, very little is really known about the entire process behind the formation of these Menaces, though it has been reported by two different Foragers that have run afoul of these things that silver seems particularly effective against them, possibly due to some sort of arcane chemistry...


What We Know...

  • Phantasmal Menaces derive from discarded old glass plates that were once used in magic lantern shows and similar entertainments.
  • They inflict wounds with their jagged claws and vicious little needle-teeth.
  • Those wounded by a Phantasmal Menace must make a Save or else be poisoned and unable to sleep or recover hit points through rest for the next 1d4 nights.
  • Phantasmal Menaces cannot move outside a 30' radius of the glass plate they derive from.
  • Breaking the glass plate requires inflicting damage upon it equal to double the thing's HD.
  • Breaking the glass plate will terminate the manifestation for 1d6 nights, during which time the pieces will slowly reform and the creature return.
  • To end the manifestation once and for all, it is necessary to encase the glass plate in silver, or submerge it in a solution of silver dissolved in nitric acid for more than four hours, after which time the plate is rendered completely inert, black and image-less.



Work-in-Progress: T'zugri


My hands feel good today, so I'm getting things done for a change, which makes me very happy.
The piece above is still getting touched-up a bit, but it gives you a fair idea of what this strange little thing is going to look like when it goes out in the next little bit. T'zugri is a smaller-scale setting like what Jack has been telling me to do, so well, I'm doing it. Finally.

I'm also working on a pdf for the Trinkets & Trash entries from Wermspittle (with some fresh new entries to make it worth the while) and the first Little Brown Journal is nearing completion as well, again that will include some fresh, new content and not just be some stuff scraped off of the blog. It is nice to be making some progress again...

ShareThis