Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Predatory Projection (Wermspittle)

Predatory Projection
No. Enc.: 1
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 150' (50')
             Fly: 300' (100')
Armor Class: 3
Hit Dice: 5+
Attacks: 1 (See Below)
Damage: Drain STR/CON, or by Spell
Save: F3
Morale: 7

Sorcerers and others engage in any number of ill advised and unsafe practices. Astral, aethyric, and other forms of Projection allow many to overcome their otherwise debilitating physical limitations, such as those incurred from eldritch injuries, the ravages of extreme age, the marks of their various pacts and contracts, or in not a few instances sorcerous imprisonment. By projecting their minds, spirits and souls outwards unto the various planes and strata of reality it is possible to learn much that is otherwise hidden, to gain forbidden or restricted knowledge, to acquire power. And there are few as obsessed with Power as a sorcerer or wizard.

Oops!
Sometimes, when things go terribly wrong under a specific set of circumstances, whether planned or unforeseen, deliberately or involuntarily, the projected form of a spell-caster is severed from their body. Most of the time this results in a gradual dissipation of the projection as it erodes down into constituent energies, the aura peeling away like a brittle scab and the inner essences boiling or leaking outwards like so much noisome effluvia. Most of the time.

I Shall Endure...
Some projections retain enough raw power, sheer determination or stubbornness that they persist long after their bodies have collapsed into dust. Beings of will and spite, unbalanced shells seething with transplanar energies, these projections wander the interstices and junctures, the crossroads and Weak Points where worlds merge or the boundaries In-Between are thin enough to allow them to prowl the perimeters of existence for likely prey.

Dwellers in Darkness
Lingering on the very threshold of reality and forever cut-off from life itself, these perverse beings seek out those they can overpower with their spells and then drain of their life essence, leaving behind a shriveled corpse, their face locked in a horrible rictus of fear. In extreme cases the corpse left behind is so terribly drained that they will themselves drain 1d4 STR or CON from anyone coming into contact with these grisly remains.

A Chill and Loathsome Touch
They need to touch a victim in order to drain their essence, claiming 1 point of STR or CON with each such attack. Victims who survive the depredations of these foul things regain their vitality normally, as long as they were not drained down to zero points in either attribute. Those drained to zero points suffer premature aging (1d100 years), and the affected attribute will be permanently reduced by 1d4 points, irregardless of any healing short of a Restoration spell, and that only has half-effect.

Predatory Projections cannot recover spells in the normal manner. They must convert the essential energies of their victims into either replacement hit points for themselves (1 drained attribute point giving them 1d6 hit points), or expending the ill-gotten energies to regain spells (1 attribute point granting them 1d4 random spells). A typical Predatory Projection will have 3d6 random spells left in its personal repertoire and they can only use the spells that they have lodged or imprinted upon their mind & memory. They cannot use any object, weapon or scroll/book.

But Wait, There's More...
Some Predatory Projections have the ability to infiltrate the dead husks of their victims and reanimate them, after a fashion. These things are easily spotted due to the way that whole sections will be missing and the weird energetic form of the Projection will be visible. Such an Indwelling Projection is AC 9 and has full hit points, otherwise they're the same nasty creature that they've always been, though they often get mistaken for Cacozombies or simple cadavers. They will often try to use this to their advantage in ambushing unwary adventurers.

A Few Last Details...
  • Predatory Projections avoid Horla, whom they apparently fear a great deal. No one is certain just why.
  • They are especially attracted to Somnambulists, whom they seem to prefer over all other victims because there is a good chance that they can possess the body of these individuals and take on a quasi-living existence that they crave dreadfully.
  • A circle of purified salt will ward off a Predatory Projection, inflicting 3d4 damage upon it if it comes into contact with the circle. Using plain salt will keep the thing away, but not cause it any damage.
  • Ordrang hunt down these things eagerly, passing-by other, less-appealing fare. Many occult survival manuals recommend summoning or attracting an Ordrang whenever any sort of malefic Projection is suspected of being active in the immediate vicinity.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hasnamuss

Hasnamuss
No. Enc.: 1
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 7 (Immune to Divine Magics)
Hit Dice: 4
Attacks: 1
Damage: (by weapon or by 'Naloo-osnian Impulses')
Save: F4
Morale: 9

Terrestrial nullities, the Hasnamusses are former sorcerers, defrocked clerics, and others who have achieved a foul and inverted form of annulment, a dread anti-illumination in which their souls have shriveled, shattered  and collapsed into wicked, broken shards that have become lodged within their randomly rotting bodies that are slowly crystallizing from the inside out. No longer fully alive nor dead, but some wretched antithesis of both, the Hasnamuss persists in their material continuance only to facilitate the destruction and despair of others. They cast as many as seven or nine shadows at a time, none of them complete. They literally only exist to cause trouble, harm and to instill Naloo-osnian Impulses within any unfortunate enough to encounter them in their pointless, random wanderings.

Some Hasnamusses wield wickedly barbed spears or toxic staves of coldly luminous iron, but most rely entirely upon their ability to inflict Naloo-osnian Impulses upon their victims. A typical Hasnamuss can extend the area of their wicked influence outwards by 10' plus another 1' per Hit Die. Every ten  minutes spent within the area of a Hasnamusses' influence inflicts a cumulative -1 penalty to all Saves. It is most unwise to linger overlong in their putrescent presence. Those who fail their initial Save and fall under the terrible influence of a Hasnamuss suffer 1d4 damage every ten minutes that they spend in the thing's company. They do get another Save (at the appropriate penalty) after each ten minute period. The damage caused by the Hasnamuss is the sort that leaves marks, scars, even going so far as to horribly disfigure or maim any who actually survive their exposure to one of these terrible creatures.

There are Seven Naloo-osnian Impulses:
  1. Depravity. Victim is filled with unreasonable desires and a lust for committing disgusting, demeaning acts that corrupts their soul and harms others in the most loathsome ways imaginable. Those caught-up in this effect lose their sense of morality, forget their vows or duties and succumb to the need to indulge in blasphemous, contradictory, destructive acts that go against every principle or tenet of belief that they held prior to falling under the influence of a Hasnamuss.
  2. Ruination. An intoxicating sense of self-satisfaction suffuses the target. This sensation is hyper-addictive and can only be felt again once they have led someone else astray through lying, deceit, betrayal and subterfuge. Every time they speak honestly or act nobly, they must Save or suffer wracking pain that effectively immobilizes them for 1d4 minutes.
  3. Murderous. All those exposed to the baleful influences of a Hasnamuss soon acquire a terrible bloodthirstiness that compels them to extinguish the light of life. Not only does the Hasnamuss seek to destroy life, they foment, aid and abet murder. Anyone under the effect of this particular impulse gains a +2 on all attack and damage rolls for the duration of the effect.
  4. Unnaturality. The twisted and corrupt influence of the Hasnamuss inspires a degenerating kind of transformation in all those who spend time in their presence. This influence causes weird growths, random lesions, debilitating deformities and even outright mutational defects, if a victim lives that long.
  5. Artificiality. Despising whatever they decide is now a defect, the Hasnamuss demands those under the influence of this impulse to cut away whatever it is that gives offense, so that it can be replaced by something more appropriate--a vile and cobbled-together simulacrum of the limb, organ or whatever that only remains functional while still within the area of the Hasnamusses' influence.
  6. Appropriation. Hasnamusses do not respect anything, least of all anyone else's rights to anything they want. Beyond simple thievery, this impulse drives the victim to deny others the use of their rightful property. This is not about gaining, it is all about removing it from others, and then wasting it, wrecking it, destroying it; directly in front of them, if possible.
  7. Not-ness. A Hasnamuss cannot abide anyone remaining true to themselves on any level. Those caught-up in this particular impulse will do everything in their power to become 'other' than they truly are, up to and including casting transformational spells upon themselves, resorting to impromptu field surgery to self-modify their bodies, and worse...the more gruesome and graphic, the more the Hasnamuss prefers it. 
The Seven Naloo-osnian Impulses can be treated as a sort of combination Charm and Curse that is meant to be explicitly evil, warped, nasty and destructive. The Hasnamuss can pick and choose, or the DM/GM can randomly roll to determine which particular impulse is in effect. The effect can change every ten minutes.

These are consummately evil beings, literally beyond redemption. They only exist to destroy others. They will seek to delay, deter and destroy anyone and everyone whom they can snare within their area of influence.

Should a Hasnamuss be reduced down to 0 hit points, they will explode in a a cloud of toxic crystalline shards that will inflict 4d4 damage on everyone in their area of influence. There will be one shard lodged in the wound of a victim for every point of damage they sustain. Removing these shards will inflict another 1 point of damage for every shard embedded in the victim's body. Each shard must be cut-out and discarded within the next 12 hours or else the wound will fester, the victim will become feverish and they will begin to transform into a Hasnamuss unless all the fragments are completely removed. Once the fever starts, the transition takes approximately 12 hours. Bless spells can delay it for 24 hours. Oddly enough, anyone out-right killed by the explosion remains dead.
InspirationBeelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson, by G. I. Gurdjieff, with a nod to Alice Bailey who never did quite get out from under Mrs. Blavatsky's shadow, so to speak. Gurdjieff coined a lot of interesting terms and neologisms/jargon unique to his works, some of it quite suitable for use in a Role-Playing context, which would no doubt not meet with his approval, unless he got to be the GM...


Monday, February 27, 2012

Dead-Lead Shot (Wermspittle)


Dead-Lead Shot
Cost: 10 gp for box of 12, but price is always going up.
Effect: Improves performance of Spectral Arquebuses and similar gunpowder weapons. Each dead-lead shot used against immaterial or incorporeal undead forces them to make a save or be discorporated.

Dead-Lead Shot can be sensed even by the most mindless undead at a range of 1d30 feet (determine randomly per each undead). Dead-Lead in close proximity will rapidly provoke a frenzied sort of berserker madness in most 'mindless' forms of animated  undead types such as zombies. Prolonged exposure is rumored to lead to bouts of intense madness and even episodes of mass-possession among the more intelligent forms of undead, but this has not yet been substantiated by credible research.

Incorporeal undead such as spirits and ghosts can detect dead-lead automatically within a 60' radius. They will usually seek to avoid encountering or being directly exposed to this substance, but will mark those carrying it for special attention at the first opportunity. It is suspected in certain old manuscripts and records that Dead-Lead can be made to serve as the basis for binding certain types of spirits, and that it has other applications in regards to the undead besides just disrupting or trapping them. There are dark rumors to the effect that certain whispering spirits have taught a small group of deranged nihilists how to convert Dead-Lead into a smoldering form of transmutated metal that destroys living flesh in a horrific reversal of the substances 'normal' nature.

Dead-lead is harvested by unscrupulous tomb-robbers who plunder the old graveyards and crypts looking for lead-caskets to salvage, melt-down and cast into shot. This often incurs the attentions and ire of the local Barrow-Men who most often take a rather dim view of such things.

There are other types of eldritch ammunition available, but it is still rare, expensive and in high demand by regular army purchasers who get very interested in anyone trying to out-bid them since they represent the Nobility.

Somnambulists (Wermspittle)

Somnambulists

The lady sleeps! Oh, may her sleep,
Which is enduring, so be deep!
Heaven have her in its sacred keep!
This chamber changed for one more holy,
This bed for one more melancholy,
I pray to God that she may lie
Forever with unopened eye,
While the pale sheeted ghosts go by!

The Sleeper (1831)
Edgar Allen Poe




Somnambulists are of many kinds and sorts, but in general they are those individuals who are deeply entranced, their minds locked away deep inside or extracted altogether and their sleeping bodies turned into automaton-like slaves of unscrupulous sorcerers. The process of suppressing the victim's psyche is alleged to have been developed from efforts at countering mezmerists, hypnotists and demonic or other contramaterialist forms of possession. The method of extracting the psyche of a victim is rumored to be similar to the synthetic metempsychotic process employed by the Soulless, but this has never been verified or acknowledged by a credible authority, so it is considered to be so much idle speculation. There are also rumors that there might be Somnambulist connections to the Hasnamusses...but again, that's unconfirmed and decidedly difficult, not to mention terribly dangerous to investigate. It is far safer, and much easier to note the similarities between Somnambulism and Zombism, especially since dozens of treatises and monographs have been published detailing their very clear and direct connections and areas where the two fields overlap more than a little. Indeed it is specifically because of this overlap that the third option of Necromesmerism was first developed during the last years of the so-called War of Thorns.

Not What It Used To Be...
Once, the practice of somnambulism was quite wide-spread, with quite a thriving trade in customized cabinets that catered to the whims and fancies of each and every Somnambulatory Adept with money, but it eventually, as with all such fads, fell out of favor. Most of the certifying bodies that once boasted of hundreds of professional members have lapsed into obscurity and neglect, if not outright foreclosure and discontinuance. The field of Somnambulism is in profound decline. Standards have fallen drastically, and it is no longer under the close scrutiny of the Medical Profession and has slipped into the hands of sleazy cabaret managers, rogue theater directors, and ethically-impaired charlatans who prey upon the gullible and vulnerable, enslaving their victims within a terrible living non-death.

Sorcerers have always had access to the methods, techniques and body of work surrounding the field of Somnambulism, but it has only been in the last hundred years that any real progress has been made along the lines of re-developing the banned, damned and censored techniques surrounding the development of somnambulistic soldiers, such as those employed by the Sleeping Legion and the forces rallied to the lost cause of the Violet Banner. Outlaw Oneirists have been showing up at estate sales and auctions and one of the things that always attracts their attention are those things pertaining to classical forms of somnambulism. Perhaps the Violet Banner might arise once more?

Disreputable & Dubious
Somnambulism has become synonymous with slavery and degradation, it is no longer considered a sort of pathology nor even a medical technique of dubious merit, but rather an out-moded form of abuse and an antiquated approach to sorcerous subjugation. Where once certain deviant Nobles might have engaged somnambulistic servants or slaves, what were once derogatorily referred to as 'cabinet-dwellers,' nowadays only pimps, pushers and morally bankrupt innkeepers and rathskellar proprietors bother with such things. Or at least that has been the prevailing perception for several decades. But Somnambulists aren't only found in brothels or beer halls. The bodies of three confirmed Somnambulists were recently recovered from the Near Depths by the Sewer Militia. One of them showed distinct marks of having been used in some sort of capacity by an Ungeziefer, but not in the usual manner of those wicked things. It had not been converted into a Cacozombie. The Under Marshall is personally calling for an expedition-in-force to deal with what he views as a quote; "...very real threat brewing right below our very feet..." Endquote. Unfortunately, due to the lack of any further compelling evidence, there is little chance of such a major operation being approved. Besides, the experts all disagree as to just what was done to the three recovered bodies and since their summary cremation due to a clerical error, no one but those on the original crew really know just what it was that they actually discovered. Too bad most of that crew soon perished in a freak gas pocket explosion while continuing along their appointed rounds. Perhaps, once again, a few small bands of contractors and freelancers will bravely muck around in the Near Depths, sparing the Sewer Militia the expense of mounting a full-scale offensive upon something that might, or might not even be down there.

Mykal
One night, not three weeks hence, a man staggered out of the Burned Over District into the wan glow of Koponu-cages hanging across the barricades where a group of Wall Guards kept watch. He was in a terrible state, his bare feet were raw and worn down to the bone in places, there wasn't a square inch of his skin that wasn't lacerated, bruised or crudely stitched back together in a clumsy attempt to address the more grievous injuries. An assortment of chisels and wood-working tools were cunningly inserted and lashed into the flesh of his left hand with strands of what appeared at first blush to be rawhide. It was clearly infected and seeping a grisly yellowish pus. The right hand was hideously burned, as if from grasping a hot iron rod.

The guards quickly sent for assistance and within the hour Mykal was safely ensconced deep within the fortified and protected grounds of the Medical College. Sixteen hours of surgery and dozens of spells later, all the worst was past, at least physically. For Mykal.

According to those who make it a point to know about such things, or at least to put forth learned opinions in the absence of concrete facts, as a public service, the strange man now known as 'Mykal,' was a former refugee who had been abducted from the shanty camps and forcibly converted into a somnambulistic gladiator or pit-fighter. It would appear that several gangs of Feral Children have begun to cooperate, if only tacitly, to kidnap and use adults taken from the shanty camps in their latest round of games. How and why they are converting their victims into Somnambulists is something of an open question. Some suspect the involvement of Outlaw Oneirists. Others argue that it is a clear sign of the evil machinations of an Oddling or rogue Prodigy. So far, no one really knows, save maybe the kids, and so far, they're not talking.

Sources: The most obvious inspiration is The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari, which can be seen in its entirety at YouTube, via Google, or Movies Found Online, among dozens of other such sites. You can also download a copy from Archive.org, if you'd prefer. There was a remake, of a sort, attempted (or not?) a few years ago that incorporated live actors with footage derived from the original movie; the trailer is still available at Google. There is also a fun 'Exquisite Corpse' style project that produced two brand new and very different soundtracks for this classic movie that some consider to be the very first Horror Movie. The Sleeping Legion might have been inspired by Kate Bush and her song Army Dreamers, maybe. The Sleeper, by Poe is a natural fit, in a suitably phantasmagoric, slightly backwards post-Gurdjieff sort of way. Various Somnambulist Sub-Types will no doubt present themselves as things continue to develop.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Jalamere: Encounters Within a 10 Mile Radius of the Black Ziggurat

This is a continuation of what we began in the previous Black Ziggurat of Jalamere post. We want to thank Blair of Planet Algol for his feed-back, encouragement and the contribution of a couple of entries to further flesh out the special encounters that might take place in the area surrounding this version of the Black Ziggurat.

[Get the free Swords & Wizardry (White Box) rules: http://www.swordsandwizardry.com/whitebox.htm]


Encounters Within a 10 Mile Radius of the Black Ziggurat
  1. Spatter Moths: 3d6 fluttering moths alight upon one randomly selected victim, taking 1d4 rounds to finally settle into place. They emanate a feeling of calm and peace and trust. Then they explode, covering the victim with a viscous, radioactive sludge that will provoke a CON check or Save to avoid incurring some minor, insectile mutation.
  2. Cuneiform Tablet: Stained, pitted and chipped, but still legible...if you know this particularly rare, even extinct form of pre-human cuneiform made up of spiral impressions of ammonite shells that were pressed into the raw clay to form cyclic patterns. The Tablet is worth hundreds of gold to a linguist, sage or scholar and it only weighs about 20 pounds, so it could be carried out of here. However, anyone falling asleep near this thing will find themself dreaming of Malevolent Monoliths that will begin to hunt them down in their dreams for 2d4 nights, after which time the Malevolent Monoliths will begin to hunt the dreamer(s) down in the physical realm, taking 1d4 nights to reach them.
  3. Transparent Humanoid Corpse: Only their bones are visible and their head is missing.
  4. Writhing Mass (Type II): 1d4 bulbous, pulsating pustule-like conglomerations of what appears to be disparate types of acne-pocked flesh that roll and flop along the ground like blind slugs, always seeking any living thing smaller than itself that it can enfold, crush and absorb.
  5. Poisonous Purple Radiance: Glimmering purple effulgences corruscate and perambulate across the rocky wasteland, teasing the edges of every surface like some weird sort of foxfire that leaves small droplets of dew condensing behind upon any and everything it touches. The dew is poisonous. Save or go blind.
  6. Old Shoggoth: 1 very old, very large Shoggoth is seen slithering along in the far distance. It seems to be ignoring you. For now. Faint cries of Tekeli Li! in the course of the next 2d4 nights make it all but impossible to sleep. But then the thing seems to disappear. Maybe it has gone away for good?
  7. Arachnocacti: 2d8 eight-limbed cactus-spider hybrids wait patiently for someone to come within reach of their grasping claws or venomous maws. Each Arachnocacti can spray a mass of prickly webbing equivalent to a Web spell up to 4 times a day, and anyone caught in these webs takes 1d4 points of damage per round that they attempt to move...or are moved about, like say if they were grasped and picked-up by the creature's claws and dragged towards the slavering fly-trap-like central fang-rimmed maw. The only good thing about these creatures is that they tend to be rooted and it takes them 4d6 turns to extricate themselves from the rocky soil before they can follow any prey that manages to get away. Oh, and their flesh is super-saturated with clean, pure water, so if you kill one, you can replenish your canteens and water-skins.
  8. Rulak: 1d4 creepy fungal things come slithering through the shimmering air with bad intent. (as detailed for Labyrinth Lord HERE)
  9. Masked Watchers: 2d6 black robed and masked figures appear in the distance; waver like mirages; disappear in seconds although one PC may hear strange whispers on the wind. (From Blair of Planet Algol.)
  10. Raging Blob: 3,000 pounds of succulent gristle and sweet-smelling skin rougher than an elephant's rump comes rolling and tumbling down the nearest slope right at the party. If the blob can catch anyone on the roll, it will extrude tentacles and attempt to grapple with them, otherwise it will come to a stop as close to the main cluster of the group and strike out at as many victims as it can reach at once. If a tentacle ensnares a victim (60%) it will attempt to reel them in towards a freshly opened mouth. If the tentacle pierces the victim, it will spew a larval froth into the wound and then rip the harpoon-like member free of their flesh, doing double damage. Anyone 'frothed' by the Blob will need to make a Save or fall into a coma as their body transforms into a micro-blob producing factory...[Raging Blob Labyrinth Lord stats (+Paper Mini)]
  11. Spine Thieves: 3d4 eel-faced hominids clad in woven plastic armor and armed with either shock prods or burn-sticks slither quietly out of the shadows and attempt to subdue one or more stragglers or other likely-looking victims. They will render their target insensible, fetter them with quickloops and plastic manacles, then begin to extract the spine. It is very unlikely that a natural vertebrate will survive this process. If the PCs kill all of the Spine Thieves they will discover 2d4 spines preserved in durable sacs of translucent green fluid and 1d4 Cerebracrystals.
  12. Glyph Block: Random PC trips over or stubs toe (save or take 1 pt. damage) on corner of corroded basalt tablet/block embedded in sand. Examination reveals glyphs worn away into illegibility but sinister in form. May be worth 1d100 gp to the right buyer but doubles chance of nocturnal random encounters while in possession. (From Blair of Planet Algol.)
  13. Hovering Blue Pentazoid: 1d12 fractured poly-planar crystal formations that cut across 1d30 planar layers, creating conditions conducive for a roll or three on the Damned Things Tables every hour spent within ten miles of this spot. The Pentazoids are hyper-intelligent and with a little luck and a good Charisma reaction roll, they might teach a variant form of such spells as Contact Other Plane, Commune with Pentazoid, or Poly-Axial Realignment...but the Pentazoids will demand a grim price for this knowledge...
  14. Petrocloptrian: 1d4 hovering telepathic alien beings who wield seven melee weapons at a time using a form of close-quarters telekinesis. They are hunting Bandersnatches and arrogantly disdain having any interactions with humans whom they see as coarse, vulgar and uninteresting. This is probably a good thing though, as the Petrocloptrians tend to hunt anything that they think is interesting in order to mount it upon the walls of their orbital estates. [Petrocloptrian S&W (White Box) stats] [Petrocloptrian Labyrinth Lord stats]
  15. Aerial Jellyfish Swarm: 2d100 small but hyper-poisonous gelatinous sacs of living fluid flutter and squirm through the air, each one dangling a multitude of tiny thread-like tendrils that will sting anyone who comes into contact with them for 3d4 damage plus an immediate Save at -2 or suffer terrifying hallucinatory nightmares for 3d6 hours. Lizard-shamen often dance naked in the midst of these things in order to receive visions. Those that don't die are considered profoundly accomplished dreamers.
  16. Malevolent Monoliths: 1d4 cyclopean slabs of intricately carved basalt that loom menacingly from their randomly sloping positions within the sand. If the Cuneiform Tablet (2) is present, the Monoliths will awaken and attack everyone in the immediate vicinity, beginning with Rays of Petrification and using Rock to Mud to convert the terrain to a gooey, sticky mess that will hamper their victim's ability to move.
  17. Smoldering Lump of Radioactive Glass: Anyone approaching within a mile of this thing begins to make Saves of suffer increasingly negative radiation effects. Eventually a rise in the surrounding landscape will reveal the still-steaming shard of greenish glass sitting prettily at the very center of a crater that could well be over a mile in diameter...
  18. Insectoid Cadaver: The scattered and defiled remains of 1d6 dismembered insectoids litter the immediate vicinity. There is a base 50% chance that these are Flytaur Type I Drone-Soldiers. [Flytaur Type I Labyrinth Lord Stats] [Flytaur Type I S&W (White Box) stats]
  19. Pernicious Polyp: 1d6 black and tumorous masses of boils, bubbles and larva-like flesh, each one with a different configuration of eyes, mouths, feelers and tentacles circle around the PCs just out of range of any spell or fire-arms they might have. The Polyps will observe the party for 3d4 turns and then either attack in force if the group appears weaker than the Polyps, or else they'll leave. Wait for a day or two. Then circle back and see if luck has changed.
  20. See the Writhing Masses & Worse Table.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Transplanar Contacts (Random Table/Any System)

Clerics and priests commune with their gods. Sorcerers and mages summon-up entities in order to gain access to deep secrets of forbidden knowledge. Sting gains enlightenment after a fashion via dancing around some designer candle-sticks. And that's just great. Just ducky. But ever since the early days when Contact Other Plane meant placing a really long-distance call to some unearthly power Out There, some of us have wondered about who or whom those beings scattered across the rest of the multiverse might call upon and if it might not sometimes fall to Player Characters to answer the call. Collect, in some cases. This table, then, seeks to facilitate a few more of those sorts of situations.
Realities are often smaller than they appear in the mirror. Please do not operate heavy machinery while rolling on this table. Results are non-binding and seek professional help if symptoms persist for more than twenty years.
Transplanar Contacts I
  1. A tribe of wandering spindly abhumans congregated in a square formation four ranks deep are attempting to summon a Hero to their cause. They claim that they are being oppressed by a band of vulture-headed ogre-types that serve a wicked princess out to kill them for having run away from her personal garden. Do you want to get involved? Can you refuse?
  2. A wizened old spider about as big as a castle wants to know the answer to a question that has been bothering it for close to a century now. 'Why do some species of mammals possess more than one set of nipples?' The Spider wants to know...
  3. A fluctuating mass of brilliant orange phlegm wants to know how to get to the sacred precincts of ShfsofsfdsdggX*jdfosdgfg.
  4. Three Hags have called upon you to relieve them of the terrible burden of their aeons-long ordeal of chastity...
  5. (1d100) Twelve-legged blue ants the size of planets waft a foul greenish cloud of information-packed chemicals right at where your antennae ought to be...
  6. A Shining Flying Purple Wolfhound Standing There: "Show Me Where You Are," It demands.
  7. (1d12) Creepy old bug-faced wizards sitting on silk cushions all stare at you in disbelief. Since you persist, they spontaneously crumble into a fine green dust. The connection closes.
  8. The way is open. Feel free to cross-over onto the deck of a sailing ship to nowhere. Literally. Anyone crossing-over is trapped on this ship for 5d20 years, during which time they do not age. However, upon leaving the ship, they can not hear any sound produced by a stringed instrument ever again.
  9. A misty vista expands before you. Death-defying mutilated armies crawl out of dirty holes, one officer turns to look back at you and asks "What is it all for?"
  10. The six surviving members of a secret demonic cabal have gathered to call upon you in order to learn how they might redeem themselves from chaos and evil. But beware, one of them is a traitor. Perhaps more than one of them. In fact they might all be traitors and no one has figured that out yet...
  11. The color mauve wants to know how to gazpitzle a gruollumph, but not so that it yugilizes or gets frumdonkic.
  12. Thirty thousand weasels in bronze armor want to know if they are going to survive the coming battle--
  13. (2d4) flagellant monks are calling upon you by name to intercede in their time of woe...
  14. A well-dressed Marmoset looks across a table set for a feast, farts, and asks for you to pass them the mustard, in French, of course.
  15. A huge, glowing disembodied eyeball roughly the size of a house stares at you. It is luminous and unblinking.
  16. A grove of trees silently and very slowly screams their demands at you. Well, aspirates is probably the better term for it, they don't really, literally have the means to 'scream,' of course that's probably covered by item four on their checklist.
  17. Weeping and desolate, a dryad looks up from her despoiled bower and begs for your help.
  18. A huge, glowing and disembodied head sonorously demands that you return its map, or at least help it locate its missing eye-ball. Either one would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  19. A murderous string of pearls wishes to enlist your guidance as to the best course of action in attempting to assassinate the Queen of T*******************.
  20. Twin glass golems stare forlornly from their pristine chamber of mirrors. Save or be struck blind for 1d4 hours. They wish to know how they might acquire their own souls. Not anything recycled, and definitely not previously-owned, but new. Any thoughts?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Roofcrawling IV (Random Table/Encounter Table)

Roofcrawling Encounters (IV)
  1. Three dead fish, gutted and strung on a length of rusty chain dangling from a nail. Who would leave something like this hanging off of the eaves of a house? Why?
  2. Surface of rooftop is crumbling away. Anything weighing over 60 pounds will break through the surface. The hole that forms expands by 1 square foot for every failed Save or DEX Check, eventually dropping them into an abandoned attic that has become a hidden pigeon coop. There are close to 700 pigeons in this place.
  3. (1d4) Roof-Rats scampering away from something else...
  4. Dozens of small, dull-brown snails are clustered in a spot (1d4) feet wide. Their slime-trail smells strongly of kerosene and is extremely flammable. Any open fire-source within a 10' radius will cause it to erupt into flames causing (2d4) to everyone caught within a 20' radius, Save for half. The snails will be unharmed.
  5. A patch of very sticky tar. Contact with it will cause the stuff to adhere to flesh, armor or clothes. It has a tendency to get on everything. It will cause a -1 penalty to DEX until removed with turpentine or some other solvent.
  6. Loose tiles shift under the weight of any passerby with a 1 in 20 chance of breaking loose, causing a tile-slide that will carry anyone caught within a 10' radius right over the edge. Hello falling damage.
  7. Not all those flapping sheets and shirts are just simple laundry--there is a necromancer's cloak hanging here that is still under a Sheeted Form spell.
  8. Three separate sections of stout rope, six pitons, a light-weight hammer, and one glove all lie here in a pool of dried blood.
  9. The body of a dead apprentice. If someone checks, yes, they are dead, that writhing motion is caused by Gore Worms.
  10. An arrow is stuck firmly into the roof. A tough, silken cord dangles down over the eaves. Perhaps this is here for a reason?
  11. A Flutter-Worm has been staked to this spot. Literally. Someone has deliberately driven a heavy iron spike through its tail. It is slowly starving to death.
  12. This area is covered in a layer of greasy-looking orange ice, probably the after-effect of some spell or Damned Thing.
  13. The facade in this area is completely riddled with termites. It will all fall away with just a little bit of pressure.
  14. Three frogs have been nailed to a rough section of planking. There is a very sharp knife stuck into the plank as well. Someone was in the process of skinning these frogs...but that had to be several hours ago, as the frogs are all dried-out.
  15. A bucket full of slops. It's for the Roof Pigs...
  16. (1d4) bales of hops wrapped in burlap with a tag pinned to one of them. The tag is scrawled with the name of a local tavern.
  17. A hand. Just a hand. Still clutching the edge.
  18. A nest. But not just any nest. This is a nest close to 6' in diameter. There are green feathers mixed in with the debris, leading most people familiar with the area to suspect that this is the nest of a Green Sparrow--those really big sparrows some folks ride.
  19. (1d6) eggs, all of them broken and sucked clean by some scavenger, probably a reptile. There's a scale stuck in the dried goo.
  20. (1d20) strands of dried-out strands of old, abandoned webbing. These can be harvested, if one knows how. Properly collected and spooled, these are valuable.
  21. Three lead balls from a Feral Child's sling. Each is slightly chewed. They are arranged in a triangle.
  22. (1d4) broken and dirty old bottles of some obscure, off-brand Black Liquor. There's a 10% chance of enough being left between the bottles for one mild dose.
  23. Six locks, all fastened together and rusted into a lump.
  24. Some animal has burrowed under this section of roof to make a den for itself. Make a Save or DEX check to not have someone's foot break through the undermined surface. It's probably an empty den. Probably.
  25. The skeleton of a rather large python is curled around the chimneys. The bones are all intact. It seems to have died of old age.
  26. A dirty, ripped in half Aerial-Navy Officer's hat is caught in a drain spout. There might be a name inscribed within the band. The brass emblem is worth a little bit, if only to a collector of foreign and obscure militaria.
  27. (1d4) boots. None of them match. None of them fit.
  28. A sagging section of the roof has become a stagnant pond filled with mosquitoes and leeches. There's a small crate nearby and (1d4) glass jars and a pair of leech-tongs. Someone has been collecting the wriggly little monsters, probably to sell to a barber or surgeon.
  29. The next 30' in each direction is caked in a thick, filthy coating of bird droppings. On one end there is a pair of spades, a trowel and (1d6) buckets where someone has been collecting this stuff for some reason.
  30. A lightning rod juts from the roof in this spot, but the copper cable has already been removed. It'll take a bit of effort (combined STR of 36) to remove the rod, but it could be valuable, if you know where to sell it. (There is a base chance of 20% that someone might recall that such things are often sought out for the core of special wands used by warmages and the like.)
If you're looking for some way to bring a little more Roofcrawling into your game, Johnathan Roberts of Rite Publishing has produced an excellent set of maps 'Over the Rooftops,' that is perfect for a bit of Roofcrawling. We highly recommend it.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Who Is Bujilli?

A Child of Constant Sorrow...
Half-breed and abandoned, Bujilli was raised by his maternal Uncle, a ruthless Almas sorcerer who made his living plundering cairn-crypts and graves. His mother cruelly murdered and his father long gone on to greater things, Bujilli grew up among the Almas, his mother's abhuman people, who barely tolerated him. An outsider among outsiders, Bujilli quickly learned every trick and technique his uncle would teach him, not so that he could perform his task of pilfering graves any better, but so that he could grow strong and one day leave. Like his father, Bujilli was a born sorcerer, like his mother, he was something of a dreamer, left to the mercies of his uncle he became an expert scavenger, spelunker and tomb-thief. The harsh life of his mother's people prepared him for the world beyond their snowy mountains and hidden valleys. But it was not the world he was interested in; Bujilli dreamed of another world. Bujilli dreamed of many other worlds, strange places far away.

A Talent For Trouble...
Sent into some of the worst death-traps and murder-holes his uncle could find, Bujilli survived. He escaped certain death numerous times, only to be beaten if he did so empty-handed. Mauled by vicious cthontipedes, poisoned by ceiling-urchins, stung painfully by scum-wasps, Bujilli endured terrible privations and worse injuries, but he never quit, he never gave up. He endured. He learned. Bujilli grew stronger, smarter, sneakier. He knew from an early age that his uncle bore him no real love, but only tolerated him so long as he brought back valuable findings or rich gleanings. Bujilli grew up having to pay his own way, fending for himself and snatching whatever secrets he could lift from his uncle's yurt without getting caught. Getting bit or scratched was bad enough, getting caught stealing from his Uncle would be lethal. So Bujilli took whatever books or scrolls or manuscripts he could, whenever he could, and learned all he could from them and then replaced them so that his uncle was never the wiser.

A Rude Awakening...
Bujilli's uncle was not quite so doddering and foolish as he might have appeared to a young, restless rascal. Indeed not. Over time Bujilli was allowed to study various texts and to learn spells that his uncle wanted him to learn, spells that would be useful in the work of looting tombs, not the sorts of spells warriors feared or that warcasters flaunted. Subtlety and silence were the watchwords of the grave-robber's trade, and Bujilli proved himself to be an apt pupil. He eagerly pored over everything he could lay his hands on. He devoured every document in his uncle's collection that he could access, including several things that his uncle was certain were safely locked away and out of reach of his precocious nephew. Predictably, things went badly once Bujilli's uncle discovered that his secrets were not quite so secret any more. He was even more upset when Bujilli managed to fight him to a stand-still, spell versus spell. That last fight with his uncle was Bujilli's true coming-of-age rite. It also meant it was time for him to leave. To go out into the world. But not quite on his own.

A Whispering Green Gem...
Deep in the darkness, far below the sharp rocks tumbled across the ruins of a collapsed keep or other fortified redoubt, Bujilli found a smooth, luminous green gem. The Gem of Muktra. The gem whispered to Bujilli, told him stories of other worlds, taught him spells that his uncle did not have in his collection. It quickly became a valued possession, a secret, a confidante, and the one thing in this world Bujilli trusted besides himself.

A Promise, Someday, Somewhere...
Listening to the Gem, Bujilli learned of the Synchronocitor, a fabulous object, possibly some sort of sorcerous device, that will open the way unto countless other worlds...if Bujilli can obtain it. If he is clever enough.

Listening to the Gem, Bujilli has left the mountains of his people far behind as he searches for the Synchronocitor and his chance to leave his world behind.

Listening to the Gem, Bujilli dreams of other worlds, other places...

Will he find the synchronocitor?

Will he travel to other worlds?

Will he ever find what he's really looking for?

You Decide...


Series Indexes
One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six


About Bujilli (What is This?) | Who is Bujilli? | How to Play

Bujilli's Spells | Little Brown Journals | Loot Tally | House Rules

Episode Guides
Series One (Episodes 1-19)
Series Two (Episode 20-36)
Series Three (Episodes 37-49)
Series Four (Episodes 50-68)
Series Five (Episodes 69-99)
Series Six(Episodes 100-ongoing)

Labyrinth Lord   |   Advanced Edition Companion

Bujilli: Episode 14

Safety. Bujilli spat on the gritty floor in disgust. The Phorain had left him amidst the carnage and still-writhing debris left-over from the battle with the Muck Raker. Writhing? Oh no...

Skritch.

Caught-up in the euphoric effect of the Tsannic spell, Bujilli hovered only a few inches off of the floor. Only now did he notice the grotesque undulations of the severed tentacles of the Muck Raker as they crawled and slid and wrapped themselves around the dead. A particularly large segment was fastening itself to the place where the Rhinocerenary once had a head, before the Zurian Princess lashed out in a fit of insane pique.

Scratch.

Bujilli shook his head in an attempt to clear it. He felt like his blood was smoldering, about to burst into flames at any moment. It was exhilarating, intoxicating, frightening. The spell, this Malign and Particular Suspension of Natural Law was too powerful, too subtle, too specialized...or was it? Bujilli rolled his shoulders, stretched his arms and cracked his knuckles. Maybe it was more a matter of putting the spell to good use. He reached across and made a gripping gesture--the translucent portcullis groaned, wobbled then ripped free. It took less than a minute to reshape the thing into a barricade of formidable pointy-bits and to firmly set it into the floor blocking off the way the Phorain had taken the Princess. Should she ever try to return, it was not going to be so easy for her. With a twist Bujilli made the sharp edges of the barricade extend across as many levels and strata of reality as he could visualize or perceive--and under the influence of the Tsannic spell this was a considerable number. He looked up at the Thing That Watches--

Screeeee!

Reflexes honed in deep, dark places saved Bujilli from a lashing, slashing limb that reared from the blood-soaked muck like a blind serpent. He watched the hideous thing waver for a second then vaporized it before it could recover. Bujilli used the spell to vaporize all the bits and pieces of the Muck Raker within range. He caused the muck to dry-out and blow away as well. He raised his hands in order to--

There was blood on his hand.

His blood.

More was dribbling from his nose. He could taste it.

The spell was taking a toll.

He dropped his hands and looked at the huge bulky form of the Thing That Watches squatting solemnly, silently in the center of the room. Bujilli considered attempting to release it, or at least trying to communicate with it, but it was not worth his life. He dropped his gaze then he dropped the spell. He could smell the distinct aroma of his own singed fur. He fell to his knees. At least the floor was clean. Mostly.

Bujilli vomited. He shivered and shook. Blood spattered the floor. There among the dead and beneath the alien gaze of the Thing That Watches, Bujilli suffered the after-effects of the Tsannic spell. He knew that he was fortunate not to have incurred a worse outcome. It had been a dangerous gambit. A foolish waste of a precious page now burned-up and forever removed from one of his Little Brown Journals...but he was alive.

The seizure ran its course. Bujilli pulled out a rag and used it to staunch the bleeding from his nose. His ears stopped ringing. Eventually.

Bujilli stood up. There, across from him, from deep within the darkness obscuring the passage from which the Muck Raker entered this room there was a fetid cloud of yellowish pollen. No. Not pollen. Spores.

Muck Rakers were fungal beasts. The spell had not gotten rid of all of the creature. Some vestige of it still persisted. The spores were its way of spreading itself now that the severed pieces could not infiltrate and integrate with the dead bodies scattered across the cold stone floor.

Bujilli looked up at the Thing That Watches once more. What secrets this strange entity must know. It could teach him much, tell him secrets no one else knew--he was sure of it. Gold, iridium, platinum--cold metal was far from the best or most significant treasure to be recovered from a place like this. Value didn't always come in coin-sized units. This was a stupendous treasure, potentially. Bujilli was loathe to leave it behind without at least attempting to communicate with it, to make some sort of connection, to ascertain just what it was and what it might be capable of--

'Do Not Leave Me In This Place'

He started to shake his head, but the movement re-started his nose-bleed. He looked more intently at the stolid mass of the Thing That Watches. It had not changed in the slightest--though Bujilli could feel the pressure of its attention upon him.

'I Will Serve You'

Bujilli looked down at the floor. The Scimitar. Princess Janildra's ancestral scimitar was communicating with him. He snorted involuntarily, bringing forth a gob of half-congealed blood. Here he was wondering how to make contact with the Thing That Watches and another entity, a spirit bound into a sword, was trying to reach him.

He walked over to the elegant, wickedly curved hyper-folded blade. It held a sinister green radiance just at the very threshold of normal vision. There was strong sorcery caught-up inside this weapon. It held power.

'Yes. Wield Me. Together--'

"Silence." Bujilli croaked. His throat was raw. There was blood in his teeth. His own blood.

He was caught between an untrustworthy magical scimitar and an enigmatic entity he had no way to wake-up or break loose...not without spending a good deal of time researching his options or experimenting with the spells he knew or had on-hand. But there was no time for such things. He would have to make a choice here. The cloud of spores was slowly rolling into the room. It would only be a short while before the foamy crust would start to form across the bodies of the fallen.

But what should he do?



Should Bujilli stay, or should he go?
Should he pick-up the scimitar?
Is there a spell that might stop the spore-cloud?
Should he leave this room?
If so, which way to go?
(check the Map)

You Decide!

Previous                                                      Next

Series Indexes
One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six


About Bujilli (What is This?) | Who is Bujilli? | How to Play

Bujilli's Spells | Little Brown Journals | Loot Tally | House Rules

Episode Guides
Series One (Episodes 1-19)
Series Two (Episode 20-36)
Series Three (Episodes 37-49)
Series Four (Episodes 50-68)
Series Five (Episodes 69-99)
Series Six(Episodes 100-ongoing)

Labyrinth Lord   |   Advanced Edition Companion

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wednesday Werks: Quindra & Hallimox

S. P. over at How To Succeed at RPGs or Die Trying has done an excellent job of converting the Quindra and Hallimox over to 4th Edition D&D.

The original Quindra & Hallimox were statted-up for Labyrinth Lord and both are very important species within the Kalaramar Drifts setting.

We'll be revealing a few more details about both these creatures as there is a Hallimox Mummy-Thief in Part Two of Zilgor's Repose, and a Quindra is said to be lurking around the ruins of a certain fortified oasis...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Shadows of Red Viscous Madness (Wermspittle)


Shadows of Red Viscous Madness
No. Enc.: 1d4
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 120'
Armor Class: 8
Hit Dice: 4
Attacks: 1
Damage: 2d4, +Mindshriek and/or 'The Gurgles'
Save: MU4
Morale: 10

Amorphous and amoral, autonomous and avaricious, these vile things are composed of the slowly condensed fluidic remnant of insanity imprinted upon the sensitive matter that settles out of congealed ectoplasm confined for too long within the walls of unlicensed asylums, underground clinics and so-called Tarnholds where the ill-favored victims of politically-motivated Night and Fog spells are incarcerated. Red and viscous, unsettling and vicious, these lurid shadows seethe and slither across the cobblestones and pitted walls of the Burned Over Districts and often infest Abandoned Properties or the ruins of toppled shambles and decayed shops or homes. Like pools of blood they flow under doors and seep through cracked windows in order to pursue their prey...and these things are very hungry.

Scarlet Shadows
They inhabit the dim spaces and in-between places, the ignored corners or dead-end alleys where they fester and slowly dissolve the remains of their victims. Silent as a dream, they glide forth in the mist and fog, obscured by shadows and quick to take advantage of any diffuse gloom or the pockets of dimness left by malfunctioning or defunct lamps. Quietly, softly, they flow through the shanty camps and the more reputable streets alike, hunting for the morally weak, those unbalanced by the horrors of their plight, the walking wounded who've returned from battlefield atrocities, those addled by some pox or plague, the victims of strange infections or malign, even sorcerous parasitism, in short; the vulnerable. In some villages in the low-lands, these things are referred to as 'Red Jacks,' or 'Red Deaths,' for their tendency to strike suddenly, kill one or more victims with hardly any trace, and then seemingly disappear into the mists.

Fearful Lurkers
Wetly, remorselessly, these terrible things seek out those most susceptible to them and they strike from ambush whether they slowly drip from a damaged ceiling or splash across their victim as they stride through a puddle. Mindless and soulless they might well be, but they are clever in the pursuit of their insatiable mad appetites. One would do well to buy and bear a talisman, charm or amulet to ward off these things. Especially those prone to mental fatigue, grave doubts, or the brutal realities of warfare or medicine. The Red Shadows eagerly seek out those recovering from magically-induced insanity, confusion or fear effects, preferring those sorts of victims to the exclusion of all others. They may well possess some sort of empathic-resonance that makes them particularly keen in their discernment of fear, uncertainty, doubt or moral decay. Negative emotions attract them, insanity and madness intoxicate them, depression feeds them and fear drives them like nothing else.

Mouthless Screaming (Mind Shriek)
While they may indeed be extremely subtle, quiet and stealthy, these detestable creatures are able to bombard their victim's minds with a disorienting cacophony that only those in contact with them can hear. Far more fearsome than any mere gibbering or howling that might echo through the alleys, these things emit a terrifying psychic attack that resembles a Confusion spell, causing all who come into contact with a Red Shadow to make a Save or be disoriented by the terrifying shrieks and screams of dozens of inmates and victims. Those making the Save are only momentarily confused, typically costing them the initiative and granting the Shadow a free attack if they are still in-range. Those who fail the Save are effectively disoriented 2d4 minutes during which time they are incoherent, unable to cast spells or defend themselves. This Mind Shriek effect requires physical contact...unless one is dealing with the 8 HD (or bigger) specimens rumored to have been active in the cellars beneath the boarded-up and burned-out hulk of the Carfax & Seward Clinic. Those particular creatures seem to have developed a more refined Mind Shriek attack with a range of at least 30'...as well as other even less savory powers best left to exterminators and other such professionals who are prepared to deal with these sorts of things.

"The Gurgles"
The Red Shadows strike mercilessly, using surprise to gain a strong grip upon their prey. They will often not cause any actual damage on their first strike, just so that they can wrap around and attach themselves to the body of their victim. Then the foul things attempt to insinuate themselves into the body of their victim through any and all orifices, but mainly the mouth and nostrils, choking them so as to prevent communication or vocal spell-casting, and filling their lungs with cold, filthy matter the consistency of egg-whites that causes the victim to drown to death should they finally succumb.

Every other attack by a Red Shadow can either do normal damage, or it can attempt to induce 'The Gurgles,' forcing itself down the victim's throat. If the victim makes a Save, then they suffer double damage, if they fail the Save, then they will drown to death in 1d4 minutes unless someone helps them.

Lingering After-Effects
Should someone survive an attack by one of these wretched things, they incur a permanent -1 penalty to all Saves against Fear, Confusion or related magical effects. It is rumored among the shanty camps that anyone who has been struck by a Red Shadow will forever bear the mark of their encounter, if not physically, then psychically, and that they will always be known to these things. Whether this implies that they will attract the attentions of any such thing in their vicinity, or merely be a bit more susceptible to their effects/attacks is unclear, as is the way with such things. There are stories being told in the taverns of a Prodigy attending the local Medical College named Belinda Ecsed who was struck by a Red Shadow. The young child was saved, but something very strange happened. Belinda survived, but her hair was reddened and she never smiled again. But the effect upon her was not only superficial, she now possessed a form of the Red Shadow's frightening Mind Shriek attack. And she was quick to use it. Overnight, following the attack that changed her so drastically, Belinda had scrawled dozens of gibberish resembling ranter-litanies across every surface of her bedroom and then murdered three adults before disappearing into the sewers. They say Red Belinda was unhinged by her experience, driven mad and that she sulks about in the old drain-tunnels looking for her next victim.

Tenebrous Tokens
A working charm that can effectively repel a Red Shadow can be purchased from most Jaladari trinket-peddlers, but the cost for such thing is never fixed, always based upon the prevailing astrological conditions and the availability of suitable materials. Constructing a fresh warding charm will take 2d4 hours if the Jaladari is suitably motivated (triple costs), otherwise the process can take as long as 1d4 days to 'get it right.' It costs extra to ward against the Mind Shriek in addition to preventing the wearer from succumbing to 'the Gurgles,' and in any case such a charm will not prevent the normal damage that a Red Shadow can inflict, though a full-blown Circle (or other such Diagram) of Protection, especially one attuned to amorphous evil powers such as these hideous shadow-things, would force such a thing to remain at a distance...for as long as it remained active and unbroken.

Inspiration: "Shreiking, slithering, torrential shadows of red viscous madness chasing one another through endless, ensanguinated corridors of purple fulgurous sky..." from H. P. Lovecraft's classic The Lurking Fear kicked things off and once a slithering shadow of despicable red mayhem started to prowl about, it quickly became clear that these things have had an altogether unwholesome influence upon the broken and battered denizens of the lower streets. An influence reminiscent of Poe, Bloch and those lurid tales of Lillitu and their kin who prey upon the weak and give rise to even worse monstrosities when they discover a willing accomplice or collaborator...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Jalamere: Encounters Within 100 Miles of the Black Ziggurat

This table provides random encounters for those areas with a 100 mile radius surrounding the Black Ziggurat of Jalamere using Swords & Wizardry (White Box) rules.

This is a continuation of what we began in the previous Black Ziggurat of Jalamere post. We want to thank Blair of Planet Algol for his feed-back, encouragement and the contribution of a couple of entries to further flesh out the special encounters that might take place in the area surrounding this version of the Black Ziggurat.

[Get the free Swords & Wizardry (White Box) RPG: http://www.swordsandwizardry.com/whitebox.htm]
Encounters Within 100 Miles of the Black Ziggurat
  1. Harpies (zombified) (1d6): HD 3; HP 11, AC 7[12], Atk Talons or weapon (+Shriek), Move 6/18 (when flying), Save 16, HDE/XP 4/120, Special: shriek [Shriek=Putrefy Food and Drink, replaces usual Harpies Siren Song ability] One in Six is a Lich-Spawn Harpy (HD 6;  HP 42; AC 4[15]; Atk 1 Talons, Bite or Weapons; Move 6/18 (flies); Save 13; HDE/XP 8/800 ; Special 2d6 random spells.)
  2. Phalanxipede (1d4):  HD 3; HP 20, AC 5[14], Atk 1 Claws, Move 10, Save 16, HDE/XP 4/120, Special:  On a roll of '20' the Phalanxipede wraps around its victim doing double damage and improving its exterior AC by +2. The overlapping bands of chitinous armor on their broad backs will often have distorted, spiky structures jutting outwards that they can use in place of their claws, like the spears of an infantry phalanx. There are rumors of these things being used as war beasts...
  3. Free Minds (2d4): HD 3; HP 9; AC 8[11]; Atk 1 Scathing Word; Move 12/8; Save 16; HDE/XP 5/250; Special: Immune to sleep, Gains a Save versus Physical attacks, has no Save versus Spells. Most have 1d4 random spells available. They will often agree not to harm anyone who willingly teaches them a new spell.
  4. Alkaline Ooze (1): HD 3, HP 16, AC 8[11], Atk 1 strike; Move 1, Save 16, HDE/XP5/240; Special: Immune to Heat, Cold, Spells, Stone, takes half-damage from metal, takes double damage from wood--item then bursts into flames
  5. Gargantupede (1d2): HD 6, HP 30, AC 0[18], Atk 1 bite, Move 20; Save 13; HDE/XP 8/800; Special: poison (+6 modifier to opponent's saving throw). Note: Gargantupedes tend to be 60' long and are attracted to the sound of flutes...
  6. Dopplegangers (2d4): HD 4; HP 15; AC 5[14]; Atk 1 Claw; Move 9; Save 15; HDE/XP 5/240; Special: Immune to Sleep and charm, +5 on saving throw versus magic of all kinds; change appearance at will. They are mounted on zombie camels and are looking for the promised prophet of their people. Player characters must roll a D30, on a roll of '30' the Player character is 'recognized' as the Prophet by one of the dopplegangers. Keep rolling for each doppleganger. If they 'recognize' more than one 'prophet' then they begin fighting among themselves. Should the Player Character attempt to take advantage of the situation, the dopplegangers will re-roll for 'recognition' every time they encounter a group of non-dopplegangers...which could lead to some interesting results...
  7. Dry Hags (1d4): HD 3; HP 11, AC 7[12], Atk Talons or weapon (+Spells), Move 6, Save 15, HDE/XP 4/120, Special: Dry Hags can attack with a Dessicatory Embrace on any To Hit roll of 19 or 20 forcing the target to Save or suffer 2d4 extra damage from being drained of moisture. Anyone killed in this manner becomes a Dry Dead slave to the Hags. Each one has 2d4 random spells and 1 or 2 magical weapons.
  8. Starlit Mire (1): HD 3, HP 16, AC 8[11], Atk 1 Emanation of the Void; Move 0, Save 14, HDE/XP 5/240; Special: Anyone stepping into an area within a 30' radius of the Starlit Mire must Save or be exposed to the flesh-blasting cold of deep space. Should anyone be enveloped by the Mire for longer than 5 minutes, their corpse will be randomly teleported across space and time and lost forever.
  9. Skin-Eaters (2d4): HD 2; HP 14; AC 6[13]; Atk 1 Claw or weapon; Move 9; Save 14; HDE/XP 4/120; Special: Every 6 points of damage inflicted by a Skin Eater results in the loss of 1 CHAR point, permanently (unless restored by magic/medicine). They may only have one over-sized claw, but they wield a wickedly barbed hook-cleaver in the more humanish off-hand. They really do eat the skin flayed from their victims.
  10. Manticore (1d2): HD 6+4; HP 32; AC 4[15]; Atk 1 Claw, Bite or Tail-spikes; Move 12/8 (flies); Save 13; HDE/XP 8/800; Special flight and tail-spikes. (Manticore starts with 24 spikes and can hurl up to six spikes per attack to a maximum range of 180 feet.)
  11. Womanticore (1d4): HD 6+3; HP 30; AC 4[15]; Atk 2 Claw, Bite or Tail-spikes; Move 12/8 (flies); Save 12; HDE/XP 9/900; Special flight and tail-spikes. (Womanticore starts with 36 spikes and can hurl up to four spikes per attack to a maximum range of 200 feet.) Special: Sussurussic Sibillance -- Womanticores can attempt to Charm any who listen to their voice and they make slaves of those who prove vulnerable to their uncanny wiles.
  12. Mindless Shamblers (2d12): HD 1; HP 4; AC 8[11]; Atk 1 Strike or weapon; Move 6; Save 18; HDE/XP 2/25; Special: Immune to Sleep, Charm, all mind-related affects. On any roll of '20' the Mindless Shambler latches onto their victim and drains either 1 INT, WIS or CHAR, gaining that point for their own stats. Any Mindless Shambler achieving more than 3 points in each of the three affected areas begins to regain/develop their own points for these attributes at a rate of 1 point per attribute each week, but of course they can always speed this process up by absorbing points from victims. Anyone killed by a Mindless Shambler rises as one themself in 1d4 hours. Those who regain enough points become new personalities, lacking all recollection of whomever they might have been before, and are effectively new people...but they are a weird form of demi-undead, incapable of benefiting from Clerical healing (unless the cleric serves a deity of abominations/undead). Victims can recover their drained stats as normal, or speed the process via a Restoration spell.
  13. Grollaks (3d6); HD 2+1; HP 16; AC 5[14]; Atk 1 Bite; Move 9; Save 16; HDE/XP 6/60; Special: Attack from below--they literally burrow underneath their prey and then burst forth from their shallow tunnel and attempt to drag the meat down into the darkness. Anyone who makes a Save hears or notices the shifting of the soil in time to prepare for the onslaught...otherwise the nasty little creatures will gain surprise. Note: Grollaks cannot burrow effectively through rock, they prefer loose soils and turf. One in Six encounters is not with a pack of Grollaks, but the collapse of one of their old tunnels.
  14. Sting Worms (1d4): HD 7; HP 34; AC 3[16]; Atk 1 Sting; Move 8; Save 16; HDE/XP 9/1,100; Special: poison sting (poison is incredibly virulent and requires 3 consecutive saves to beat it).
  15. Seething Seepage (1): HD 4; HP 26; AC 8[11]; Atk 1 Corrosive Saturation; Move 3; Save 15; HDE/XP 5/240; Special: Remains unseen as it lurks beneath debris and sand, waiting for victims to walk over its body, then it rears up and attempts to form a gelatinous crater or bowl from its own flesh that it then fills with a potent, corrosive stew of digestive juices. It takes less than 3 minutes for the 'bowl' to fill to capacity. The juices destroy leather, corrode metals, and discolor flesh that survives the attack to a grotesque mottled green and yellow that is easily recognized as the 'mark of the lurker.'
  16. Dry Dead (2d6): HD 1; HP 4; AC 8[11]; Atk 1 Strike or weapon; Move 6; Save 18; HDE/XP 2/25; Special: One in six can perform Call Hag in place of an attack. Spell will summon 1d4 Dry Hags. When killed, these bodies crumble into clouds of choking, cloying dust that impedes visibility to 50% in a 30' radius.
  17. Rampant Flesh (1d4); HD 4; HP 30; AC 5[14]; Atk 2 Bulgy Pseudopods; Move 6; Save 16; HDE/XP 6/400. Autonomous masses of living flesh that crawl about bonelessly and malevolently across the sands looking for things to eat.
  18. Rock Giant (1d2): HD 8; HP 46; AC 4[15]; Atk 1 weapon or thrown rocks; Move 12; Save 11; HDE/XP 10/1,300; Special: Throw rocks for 3d6 damage or assume rock-form (immobile) to surprise prey/victims. Rock Giants can also cause Petrification by way of their gaze attack up to 3/times per day. These hulking brutes remain unaffected by all mental attacks, Charms or illusions. They will reform from rubble if not completely scattered over an area equal to one square mile per HD. Some rocks are actually the scattered remains of Rock Giants and can be caused to sprout into a small 1 HD version of the creature if soaked in blood for 1d4 hours. They tend to mature rather quickly, so long as they get plenty to eat...
  19. Slimefall. Foul-smelling masses of greenish slime drizzle over everything for the next 1d4 hours and covering an area of roughly (3d6 miles). The slime seems inert, rotting and is thoroughly inedible. If it is exposed to necrotized flesh for longer than a day, it coalesces into a mass of actual Green Slime.
  20. Special Encounter.

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