Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Alphabet of Outer Beings - P is for Prophecy

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P is for Prophecy

Prophecies are predictions or foretelling of things to come. Often prophecies come in the form of cryptic , almost riddle-like, visions of the future through magical or divine means. These prophecies are difficult to interpret as they are often vague and the details as such that they could be fulfilled in multiple ways, or that the true intent of the prophecy is only made clear in the moment of it's coming to fruition.

In RPGs prophecies can be difficult to work with, and even more difficult for Judges to write. This will not write a prophecy for you, but instead give you a series of common pieces that you can string together in the rough structure of "A [adjective] [subject] will [verb] a [target] in [location]" or similar. The Judge is encouraged to roll when needed and parse together a prophecy that makes sense, or doesn't, or better still makes sense in more than one sense. A "groom will be slain by a crown" could be interpreted more than one way, a man to be married will be killed by a king/queen, or it could mean a groom (as in for horses) will be slain (as in will cease to be himself) by a crown (placed on their head when they gain control of a monarchy).

Table P1: Adjectives (roll 1d8)
  1. Albino
  2. Tyrant
  3. Innocent
  4. Pure
  5. Corrupt
  6. Lost
  7. Poor
  8. Wise
Table P2: Subjects (roll 1d10)
  1. Child/Son/Daughter
  2. WarriorHero/Champion
  3. Wizard/Sorcerer
  4. Demon
  5. Herald
  6. Father/Mother
  7. Prophet
  8. Marked
  9. Bride/Groom
  10. King/Queen
Table P3: Verbs (roll 1d12)
  1. Slay
  2. Find
  3. Release
  4. Become
  5. Born
  6. Perish/Die
  7. Be slain
  8. Bleed
  9. Sacrifice
  10. Replace
  11. Destroy
  12. Assemble
Table P4: Target
  1. Crown
  2. Weapon 
  3. Kingdom
  4. Book/Tome
  5. Gate
  6. Curse
  7. Temple
  8. Power
Table P5: Locations (roll 1d12)
  1. Direction:
    1. East
    2. West
    3. North
    4. South
  2. Water:
    1. Ocean/Sea
    2. River
    3. Lake
    4. Waterfall
  3. The Old Kingdom
  4. The Great City
  5. Jungle
  6. Steppes
  7. Wastes/Wastelands
  8. Below the earth
  9. Island
  10. Canyon
  11. Desert
  12. Mountains

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

MCC - Shroomer Character Class

Much like animals and plants mushrooms and other fungi were heavily affected by the mutative effects of the great disaster. Though rare, intelligent humanoid(ish) mushrooms and fungi have evolved and mutated into being in the unknown years since the great disaster. Unlike manimals and plantients the unique physiology of mushrooms and fungus, specifically the presence of the interconnective mycelium has meant that the Shroomers have evolved such that they display very few physical mutation but a heightened presence of mental mutations. Likewise they retain their native ability to connect to the great fungal colonies of Terra AD with various benefits.

Hit Dice: Shroomers gain d4 hit points at each level.

Mutations: Upon achieving 1st level, a shroomer gains 1d3 random mental mutations (see Table 3-2: Mutations).

Artifacts: Shroomers have no natural affinity for artifacts but due to their highly evolved mental capacity they do gain greater understanding as they progress to higher levels.

Summon Spores: All shroomers are servants of the Great Fungal Intelligence, a world spanning intelligence that resides within a global network of mycelium. This allows the shroomer to summon spores of the Great Fungal Intelligence for various effects equivalent to the Nanogram wetware ability (page 255). This power can be used once per day per character level. The Shroomer rolls 1d20+CL+Per and gains defects instead of patron taint when a "1" is rolled. The Judge to adjust the descriptions of these effects to suit the spore and fungus based source of the power.

Mycelium Nutrient Transport Healing: A shroomer may, in natural areas, make contact with the global network of mycelium and spend 1 turn absorbing nutrients from the mycelium to enhance their healing. Doing so heals the shroomer of 1d6+CL damage.

Radburn: Shroomers exposed to radiation or other mutagens may develop - or sometimes even lose – mutations (see Chapter 3: Mutations). Shroomers that lose all of their mutations devolve to into a non-sentient fungal or mushroom organism. If this happens in an area where they are able to connect to the mycelium, or if they are carefully transported to such an area, they may regain a single mutations at the will of the Great Fungal Intelligence. The shroomer makes a standard luck check, using the luck score they had at the time of their de-mutation, and if successful immediately gains 1 random mental mutation as well as their former ability scores, language, upright locomotion, and prehensile appendages.

Glowburn: Shroomers may elect to use glowburn when activating a mutant power or summoning  spores (see Chapter 3: Mutations).

AI Recognition: Shroomers are not recognized by AIs. They are simply too alien for an A.I. to mistake them for an ancient one.

Archaic Alignment: Shroomers player characters automatically begin as servants of The Great Fungal Intelligence and may not join any archaic alignments unless their master allows it.

Shroomer Titles (level/title)
  1. Spore
  2. Hyphae
  3. Pinhead
  4. Primordia
  5. Shroom
  6. Great Cap 
Feedback and comments are welcome, so long as they are constructive.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Alphabet of Outer Beings - L is for Legends

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L is for Legends

Many are the legends and myths that surround powerful beings. These may be part of a Deity's religion or the rumor's surrounding a Patron's mortal life. Some such may be true, others patently false, and still others couched in such doublespeak that the truth is forever concealed. Some may be consider apocryphal despite their truth while others are embraced despite their falsehood. Below are 20 random legends that can be applied to any Outer Being or even used for other power creatures. For any given legend roll a d6, if the result is odd the legend is false, if even it is true.

Table L1: Random Legends (roll 1d20)
  1. The outer being gained the power and position by slaying another of their kind whose name is now lost to the winds of time.
  2. The most powerful mortal agent of the outer being is actually empowered by a fragment of its essence. 
  3. The outer being once slew a powerful dragon and freed an entire country from it's evil. 
  4. The outer being has many children by mortals who all stand to inherit the being's power should they perish. 
  5. Somewhere out in the world there exists a weapon forged expressly to kill the outer being. 
  6. The outer being has created many powerful weapons to be used by champions of the being's alignment and cast them throughout the world. 
  7. The outer being is a false being, a charlatan who uses the power of their worshipers or followers to further itself without having any true power of its own.
  8. The outer being is lying about its alignment and motives.
  9. An entire race of demi-humans exists because of a curse from the outer being.
  10. The outer being is the sole survivor of a faction of outer being's who were destroyed ages ago. 
  11. The outer being was once more powerful but through unknown means has lost some of its former power.
  12. A great and powerful empire lies buried in the west with a deep connection to the outer being.
  13. The outer being's aide is taxing and only through their followers and worshipers are they able to maintain their ties to the mortal realms. 
  14. The outer being is dying, and its followers are insufficient to do more than slow its death.
  15. The outer being sacrificed the lion's share of its power creating a powerful (roll 1d6) 1) 
    1. creature 
    2. weapon
    3. magical spell 
    4. seal on a prison
    5. artifact of power
    6. other (judge's discretion)
  16. An avatar of the outer being will be born to a mortal family when the next celestial alignment occurs. 
  17. The outer being is waging a war against an ideological opposite and uses the power gained from worshipers/followers to fuel that conflict.
  18. The outer being is the warden of a prison for powerful entities beyond knowing.
  19. Unlike others of its kind the outer being lives in the mortal realms and hides itself with powerful magics or remote locations.
  20. The outer being was born a mortal marked for greatness who fulfilled an ancient prophecy and gained their immeasurable power.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Nuts & Bolts #153 - Hacking the Cypher System - Nightbane

Nightbane is not a game that a lot of folks know. I've mentioned it in the past. It's an older game from Palladium Books that I first picked up in college back in 1996 (a fact that I know because I found the receipt in the back of the book last night). I've long since given up on Palladium's house system because I just find it to be too much, and as a result a lot of the games I played when I started gaming have sat on bookshelves and waited for their turn to come back around again. Always I would see them and want to play but every time I tried the rules stopped me cold.

When the Cypher System Rulebook came out a couple of years back I really started to look at Cypher as a way to bring back Nightbane for myself and my friends. The focus changing aspects of The Strange had shown me that there a way forward, but I still couldn't quite break the problem of the core characters, the titular nightbane. Nightbane are supernatural shapeshifters. The have a human facade and a monstrous morphus. The facade form is just human, no powers, no abilities beyond that of a normal non-heroic person, but the morphus is a powerhouse.

Thankfully Unmasked came along and gave me the final piece of the puzzle. A duality for form can exist no just by replacing a part of the character's sentence as in The Strange, but by omitting it entirely. The teens in Unmasked are given only a few pool points and a descriptor. Their masked alter egos gain not only a full character sentence but shifts as well. My eyes were opened and I knew, at last, how to make the nightbane work.

I started my players with a descriptor and an occupation, a Hideous Gravedigger, a Perceptive Electrician, and a Creative Tech Consultant. These were the human guises of the players, the as yet unaware of their true nature nightbane player characters. Each character started with 5 points in each pool, modified by their descriptor as appropriate, and that was it. This is less than the teens in Unmasked, and may seem harsh, but Nightbane is, in part, a horror game and the mortal facade form needs to feel weak and vulnerable.

Their morphus forms however gained not just a type and descriptor, becoming a Hideous Warrior who Rages, a Perceptive Explorer who is Sworn to the Seal*, and a Creative Adept who Needs no Weapons, but they also gained shifts, assigned by me, based on the appearance of their twisted and monstrous nightbane morphuses. These we determined the old fashioned way, using the tables in the original RPG's book.
*Sworn to the Seal is a rename of Sworn to the Crown, but this character is loyal to the US Government instead.
Getting back to my gaming past proved a wonderful experience and CYpher proved more than equal to the task of taking an old Palladium Books game and breathing new life into it for my friends and I, much in the same way that it had for Palladium's After the Bomb at Gen Con 2017 when I ran Furry Road.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Alphabet of Outer Beings - B is for Boons

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B is for Boons

Deities provide many boons for their followers in the form of blessings, spells, and other divine gifts. Patrons often reward their followers with knowledge and understanding. Occasionally a patron may make a more direct hand in the affairs of their mortal followers however and provide direct assistance. These boons may come at after a great deed or labor is performed or be bestowed prior to the vassal embarking upon a notable quest for their patron. The boon lasts until such time as the patron deems the vassal no longer worthy, or as noted.

Table B1: Supernatural Boons (roll 1d20)
  1. Blessing of the Dragon's Blood (gain +1 AC)
  2. Gift of Hermes (gain +30' movement per round)
  3. Favor of Charon (may automatically succeed at a "roll the body" check one time)
  4. Gift of Zeus (increase all lightning damage dice +1d)
  5. Blessing of Horus (gain a +1 to Will saves)
  6. Gift of Aphrodite (gain +1 Personality)
  7. Blessing of Fortune (gain +1 Luck)
  8. Gift of Athena (gain +1 to Intelligence) 
  9. Blessing of the Crone (gain +1 to spell checks)
  10. Gift of Hades (increase all cold damage dice +1d)
  11. Blessing of Cthulhu (gain a cumulative 1% chance to spontaneously resurrect from death for every 100 years dead)
  12. Gift of Mars (gain +1 to attack rolls)
  13. Blessing of Osiris (gain +1 to Fortitude saves)
  14. Gift of Hephaestus (increase all fire damage dice +1d)
  15. Blessing of Achilles (gain +1 to Reflex saves)
  16. Gift of Poseidon (may breathe under water for 1 turn per level per day) 
  17. Blessing of Merlin (immune to surprise attacks) 
  18. Gift of Artemis (gain +1d on ranged attack rolls) 
  19. Twist the Strands of Fate (once per day re-roll a die roll)
  20. Gift of Aesculapius (gain a +1 to all HP recovery rolls)

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Nuts & Bolts #152 - Hacking the Cypher System - Minions & NPCs

Minions in Cypher System have always been a bit of a mixed bag. The level system makes minion stats very easy to determine and their approximate power easy to gage. However because of the simplified way that minions operate they tend to suffer diminishing returns later in the game state as their skills do not generally increase nor do they gain the ability to apply effort to their rolls. As a result as antagonist NPC levels rise the target numbers for NPCs and Minions steadily increase and reduce the effectivity of the Minion or NPC.

This has been observed and discussed in the past with both fans and creators proposing ways for NPCs & Minions to grant assets, or apply effort out of their health, and similar. Ultimately however, none of these solutions have really solved the core problem. If a level 5 NPC face off against a level 6 NPC that level 5 is pretty much destined to lose. While defeat may be inevitable, there should be a way for that level 5 NPC to affect the level 6 without relying on 15% of rolls to be able to do anything. Likewise a level 6 NPC should be able to make short work of a level 2 NPC without the risk of poor dice rolling.

I'm proposing a simple fix, one that doesn't require the GM to pick up dice, that will help even low level creatures contribute (even if only a little), but that also allows high level NPCs to act accordingly. Best of all, it's super simple.

  1. Determine level of task the NPC/Minion is attempting
  2. Subtract the NPC/Minion level from the level of the task, the remainder is the final difficulty level
    1. If the remainder is positive this number x3 is the d20 target for the player rolling the dice.
    2. If the remainder is zero no roll is needed, the NPC performs the task, and if an attack deals their normal damage.
    3. If the remainder is a negative number the NPC/Minion applies that many levels of free effort, or may provide an asset to the PCs or other NPCs on a one for one basis. 
Easy right? How about some quick examples:
  • A level 4 minion attacking a level 7 creature that it's master is fighting. The player rolls at a level 3 (9+) for the minion (instead of a 21+ using the rules as written).
  • A level 6 NPC ally attacks a level 2 creature ambushing the group. It applies 4 levels of effort (potentially one hit killing it) or can provide as many as 4 assets to the PCs.
  • A level 3 minion trying to defend against a level 3 creature succeeds with no roll required. 
The GM can always use an intrusion to allow lower level NPCs to succeed on higher level tasks of course, which also means that the GM gains the leverage to keep the story momentum going where they need it. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Alphabet of Outer Beings - O is for Oracle

O is for Oracle

Oracles are people who provide counsel and often prophetic predictions of the future, via precognition inspired by their god. The methods of their divination vary, and some made require study and readings while other may be struck by visions. Oracles tend to be either well treated for the prophetic powers or shunned for the ill news and perceived bad omens they foretell.

Table O1: Oracular Methods (roll 1d6)
Oracles have various means of divining the future, some are studies in the ways of making readings while others are given the gift of prophetic visions. There is an even chance of a Oracle being a skilled reader or a gifted visionary. Roll a d6, if the result is even roll on Table O1a: Readings, if the result is odd roll on Table O1b: Visions.
  • Evens: Readings (roll 1d8)
    1. Ossomancy, the reading of bones
    2. Cubomancy, the reading of dice
    3. Hieromancy, the reading of entrails
    4. Tasseography, the reading of tea leaves
    5. Spodomancy, the reading of ashes
    6. Astology, the reading the stars
    7. Tarotmancy, the reading of tarot cards
    8. Chiromancy, the reading of palms
  • Odds: Visions (roll 1d6)
    1. The visions come at random, about a random subject.
    2. The visions come when touching the intended subject
    3. The visions come only when exposed to a holy substance
    4. The visions come during sexual climax brought about by the subject
    5. The visions come during epileptic seizures 
    6. The visions are brought about by ritualized fasting and prayer

Table O2: Oracle Status (roll 1d6) 
The oracle may be a respect member of the community or a shunned outcast whose prophecy is cursed.
  1. The oracle is an outcast who is shunned by all who know better.
  2. The oracle is the leader of a local temple or sacred site 
  3. The oracle is a respected "wise person" in their town or village
  4. The oracle is feared but respected, they wander the country but receive hospitality from those they encounter
  5. The oracle lives in a remote location and only by making a perilous journey can they be reached by those worthy of glimpsing their fate
  6. The oracle is kept by a powerful individual such as a king, high priest, warlord, or wizard. Their status will depend on if they serve willingly (50%), and the status of their keeper

Table O3: Prophetic Details (roll 2d4)
The gift of prophecy is a difficult one to bear, especially depending on how often the prophecy comes true and how easy it is to understand.
  1. IGNORE ME!!!!!!
  2. The prophecies are cryptic and couched in double meaning but 100% accurate and always come to pass
  3. The prophecies are cryptic and difficult to interpret, but are often accurate (70%), and often come to pass (70%)
  4. The prophecies are difficult to fully grasp (50%), and occasionally inaccurate (50%), and only come to pass half the time (50%)
  5. The prophecies seem easy to understand but are often misunderstood (20% chance of a false interpretation), and are often wrong (70%), or fail to come to pass (70%)
  6. The prophesies are somewhat easy to interpret (60%), but occasionally inaccurate (50%), and only come to pass half the time (50%)
  7. The prophecies are clear and easy to understand, and mostly accurate (80%) and often comes true (80%)
  8. The prophecies are clear and chillingly easy to understand, they are also 100% accurate and come to pass no matter how much one tries to prevent them

Friday, August 31, 2018

MCC - Expanded and Customized Manimal Sub-type Table (Glowburn Episode 17)

Since there was a lot of discussion about manimals and the manimal feel in MCC vs TMNT & After the Bomb I decided to split the difference and stay somewhat true to MCCs old school roots but also leverage in some species/genus consistency. This table replaces table 1-7 on page 20 of the MCC core rules.

Table 1-7: Manimal Sub-Type (roll 1d30)
  • 1-2 Primate: Roll 1d4 (1) gorilla; (2) chimpanzee; (3) orangutan; (4) gibbon. 
    • All Primates receive Heightened Intelligence instead of a random Mental mutation
  • 3-5 Canine: Roll 1d4 (1) dog; (2) wolf; (3) coyote; (4) fox. 
    • All Canines receive Extra Senses in place of their first Physical mutation
  • 6-8 Feline: Roll 1d4 (1) lion; (2) tiger; (3) cheetah; (4) panther. 
    • All Felines receive Heightened Agility in place of their first Physical mutation
  • 9-10 Ursine: Roll 1d4 (1) brown bear; (2) grizzly bear; (3) polar bear; (4) panda bear. 
    • All Ursines receive Heightened Strength in place of their first Physical Mutation 
  • 11-12 Bovine: Roll 1d5 (1) cow; (2) bison; (3) buffalo; (4) antelope, (5) yak. 
    • All Bovines receive Gas Generation in place of their first Physical Mutation 
  • 13-14 Suidae: Roll 1d3 (1) pig; (2) hog; (3) warthog. 
    • All Suidaes receive Heightened Stamina in place of their first Physical Mutation 
  • 15-17 Rodentia: Roll 1d6 (1) mouse; (2) rat; (3) squirrel; (4) porcupine; (5) beaver; (6) rabbit. 
    • All Rodents receive Shorter in place of their first Physical Mutation 
  • 18-19 Amphibia: Roll 1d3 (1) frog; (2) toad; (3) salamander. 
    • Frogs & Toads receive Domination instead of a random Mental mutation;
    • Salamanders receive Pyrokinesis instead of a random Mental mutation.
  • 20-22 Avian: Roll 1d6 (1) hawk; (2) eagle; (3) crow; (4) owl; (5) vulture; (6) seagull. 
    • All Avians receive Wings in place of their first Physical Mutation 
  • 23-25 Insecta: Roll 1d6 (1) roach; (2) ant; (3) fly; (4) grasshopper; (5) beetle; (6) moth. 
    • All Insectas receive either Wings or Carapace in place of their first Physical Mutation, appropriate to their species type. (i.e. Ants = Carapace, Moth = Wings)
  • 26-27 Serpents: Roll 1d4 (1) king cobra; (2) python; (3) boa constrictor; (4) rattlesnake.
    • All Serpents receive Plasticity in place of their first Physical Mutation 
  • 28-29 Lizards: Roll 1d6 (1) chameleon; (2) gecko; (3) komodo dragon; (4) gila monster; (5) iguana; (6) turtle or tortoise. 
    • Chameleons receive Holographic Skin in place of their first Physical Mutation;
    • Turtles/tortoises receive Carapace in place of their first Physical Mutation;
    • All other Lizards receive Regeneration in place of their first Physical Mutation.
  • 30 Roll again on this table, then roll on Table 1-6 Mutant Appearance.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

MCC - New Mutation - Kawaii


You have evolved the ability to retain a juvenile appearance even into adulthood. As a result other mammalian sentients find you extremely cute, a fact which you have learned to take advantage of. From social situations to catching enemies off guard in combat, your overwhelming cuteness has given you the ability to gain a leg up on many other denizens of Terra A.D.

Type: Passive
Range: N/A
Duration: Permanent
Save: None

General:  The mutant is unnaturally cute.

Manifestation Roll 1d4: (1) The mutant’s eyes are unusually large; (2) The mutant’s body is covered by a fuzzy coat of fur/hair/feathers, as appropriate; (3) The mutant’s head is large for their body and their face is round and cherubic; (4) The mutant’s body is slightly rotund in such as way that is adorable.

Check Results

  • 1 Failure, mutation replaced by defect.
  • 2-11 Failure, mutation results in cosmetic change only; you're cute, but not that cute.
  • 12-13 The mutant’s Personality score is increased by +1.
  • 14-17 The mutant’s Personality score is increased by +2.
  • 18-19 The mutant’s Personality score is increased by +3.
  • 20-23 The mutant’s Personality score is increased by +4; when the mutant is in social situations with other sentient mammalians they never have a disposition toward the mutant worse than neutral.  
  • 24-27 The mutant’s Personality score is increased by +6; when the mutant is in social situations with other sentient mammalians they never have a disposition toward the mutant worse than friendly; when in combat against other sentient mammalians the mutant is never the first target.
  • 28-29 The mutant’s Personality score is increased by +7; when the mutant is in social situations with other sentient mammalians they never have a disposition toward the mutant worse than friendly and the mutant receives a +1d for interaction rolls; when in combat against other sentient mammalians the mutant is never targeted until they have attacked.
  • 30-31 The mutant’s Personality score is increased by +8; when the mutant is in social situations with other sentient mammalians they never have a disposition toward the mutant worse than helpful and the mutant receives a +2d for interaction rolls; when in combat against other sentient mammalians the mutant is never targeted until they have attacked.
  • 32+ The mutant’s Personality score is increased by +9; when the mutant is in social situations with other sentient mammalians they never have a disposition toward the mutant worse than helpful and the mutant receives a +2d for interaction rolls; when in combat against other sentient mammalians the mutant is never targeted until they have attacked and their first attack is always considered a surprise attack.

Monday, August 27, 2018

MCC Recap - You're in Rubble

Last Wednesday I ran the another session of my monthly(ish) MCC game.

Meet the Seekers:
  • Sinclair, the Mutant (Chitinous armor) (level 2)
    • Played by Andrew Lyon
  • Bo Goodboy, the Yorkie Manimal (level 1) and Ricki the Dog Manimal
    • Played by Jon Hook
  • Winona, the Beaver Manimal
    • Played by William Keller
  • Ratfinkle, the Rat Manimal (level 1) and Flic-Flak the Sentinel (level 2)
    • Played by Alex Perucchini 
Have you gotten a tetanus shot recently?

The tibbar were now dead, and the ruins quiet. The seekers took a moment to assess their situation and decide on next steps. Ratfinkle, proud owner of one of the tibbar's strange weapons, decided to put some time into figuring out just how to make use of it. Unfortunately the manimal was not well prepared for such introspective tasks and in the process of attempting to figure out the workings of the cadmium rifle he loaded a shell into the wrong end of the barrel and then fired the weapon. The resulting explosion killed the manimal and when his companions tried to roll the body the found there was little enough left to even bury.

Deciding to open the door at the back of the room the seekers found it locked and the only apparent means of unlocking, a small square of ancient material. They attempted hands and faces, both their own and those of the fallen tibbar, but to no avail.

Bo Goodboy, bored of the repetitive testing of the lock, moved out to investigate the courtyard area alone. As he approached the ruins of one of the fallen towers he spied the fallen form of another tibbar, one that they had not killed. Cautiously approaching Bo was at least partially prepared when a giant mutant mantis sprang up from the rubble near the corpse and slashed him with it's wicked serrated claws. His flesh rent in a nearly fatal first attack he swung his stone axe up and over his head and cleaved the creature's head from its body. After taking a moment to collect himself he looted the tibbar and found a fully charged c-cell! Almost a worthy reward for the damage incurred.

Meanwhile Sinclair was frustrated by the lock, and swing his massive club into the square of strange material destroying it and receiving a nasty shock. Annoyed the group decided to see in there was a way in from outside the ruin, and moved out to search for a window. They found that the tower did have windows but that the closest was two dozen feet above the ground. Using their skills as gatherers two of the team made rope using the local vines and tied them to a section of rubble. Wenona used her teleportation mutation to place the rubble beyond the window to act as a grapnel and Sinclair climbed up the rope and into the tower.

Within he found that there was a hole in the roof and that time and water had destroyed all the tower's floors except a small section he now stood on. Looking down into the tower he spied the other side of the door they could not open and beside it a long desiccated and decayed corpse. Searching the corpse Sinclair found a small hexagonal badge in silver with a white bird, five shiny discs, and, searching the remains specifically, a strange mechanical implant in the skull of the body.

Sinclair fiddled with the hexagonal badge enough to get it to stick to his clothing and unlock the door allowing him to exit the tower's ruins back into the room of the tibbar slaughter. The seekers then decided search the last room within the ruin, a largely collapsed pile of rubble that quickly collapsed as they searched. Sinclair was pulled in and Bo grabbed his arm but was unable to prevent himself from being pulled inward as well. Wenona was quick to grab Bo but likewise fell into the collapsing rubble. Flik-flac reached out to try and help his friends but failed to grab hold of Wenona and then followed the other seekers into the mess. In the end they all fell into the pit created by the collapsed rubble, taking many cuts from the shattered glass and twisted metal. As they pulled themselves out the found that Bo, already weakened by his encounter with the mantis had bled out from all the cuts he took from the glass. They could not rouse their freind and had to mourn his loss.

At last the seekers had had enough, they took the rest of the day and rested, using the tents the tibbar had left behind, and regrouped in the morning. They decided to check the small ruin at the overlook before pushing deeper into the ruin. Investigating the nearly destroyed structure the group found a ring of gold and red stone and another hexagonal badge, this one in gold and white, but only after defeating a quartet of giant centipedes that ambushed them from the rubble. Flik-flac quickly used the remains of one of the centipedes to fashion a manica for his arm out of the segemented chitin while Riki gather the remaining plates up with the intent of getting the village craftsman to fashion it into a suit of armor.

With all the external ruins explored the group turned their eyes on the passage into the mountain, and the ruins within ....

In Memoriam: 
  • Ratfinkle, blown to smithereens by his own cadmium rifle
  • Bo Goodboy, falling into a pit of glass

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Alphabet of Outer Beings - U is for Unholy

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U is for Unholy

The clerics of most deities have the ability to channel divine energies to rebuff, damage, and even destroy utterly, entities that their deity considers anathema. Deemed "unholy" by their mortal worshippers these abominations in the sight of the gods are often used as targets for questing knights of holy orders, and are often rare to find within the domains of followers of such deities. Deities often take offense to the existence of multiple creature types, but some may focus their enmity on fewer, or even single creature types. A cleric of such a deity will find their ability to "turn unholy" especially effective in such cases.

Table U1: Number of Unholy (roll 2d4)
  • 2: A single creature type is truly abhorrent to the deity to the exclusion of others. (skip Table U2
    • When turned, these unholy suffer a turn effect three steps/levels/results worse than the normal effect.
    • Roll 3 times on Table U3 and gain +3 for each benefit rolled.
  • 3: Roll 2+1d3 creature types on Table U2
    • When turned, these unholy suffer a turn effect one step/level/result worse than the normal effect.
    • Roll 2 times on Table U3 and gain +2 for each benefit rolled.
  • 4-6: Roll 5+1d3 creature types on Table U2
    • Turned as normal.
    • Roll once on Table U3 and gain +1 for the benefit rolled.
  • 7: Roll 2+1d3 creature types on Table U2
    • When turned, these unholy suffer a turn effect one step/level/result worse than the normal effect.
    • Roll 2 times on Table U3 and gain +2 for each benefit rolled.
  • 8: A single creature type is truly abhorrent to the deity to the exclusion of others. (skip Table U2
    • When turned, these unholy suffer a turn effect three steps/levels/results worse than the normal effect.
    • Roll 3 times on Table U3 and gain +3 for each benefit rolled.
Table U2: Types of Unholy Creatures (roll 1d12 as indicated by Table U1) 
In addition to the unholy rolled below, Lawful and Chaotic deities automatically gain all creatures of opposing alignment as unholy.
  1. Undead
  2. Demons and/or Devils 
  3. Magical Constructs (golems, homunculi, etc.)
  4. Unnatural Creatures (slimes, molds, gelatinous cubes, etc)
  5. Humanoids (roll 1d10 to determine species)
    1. Dwarfs
    2. Elfs
    3. Halflings
    4. Humans
    5. Goblins
    6. Orks
    7. Trolls
    8. Ogres
    9. Lizardmen
    10. Serpentfolk
  6. Natural Animals
  7. Dragons
  8. Hybrid Creatures (such a chimera, griffins, manticore, sphynx, etc.)
  9. Monsters (basilisks, phase creatures, hydra, etc.)
  10. Fae/Fairies
  11. Celestials/Angels
  12. Shapeshifters (lycanthropes, changelings, etc)
Table U3: Special Benefits Against Unholy (roll 1d8 as indicated in Table U1)
  1. Your deity's holy symbol repulses the Unholy and their powers passively; your bonus applies to all saving throws against Unholy powers. 
  2. Your training makes you especially adept at combat against the Unholy; your bonus applies to attack rolls against the Unholy creatures. 
  3. Your deity has bond with a key substance (such as water, oil, silver, etc.) that takes their blessing strongly and reacts to Unholy creatures; when using a blessed item of that substance against Unholy creatures your bonus increases the result of the blessing accordingly.
  4. Your faith acts as a symbol for those who follow you to rally around; your allies gain your bonus to their Will saves against the Unholy. 
  5. Your faith acts as a shield against the Unholy for those who follow you; your allies gain your bonus to their AC against the Unholy. 
  6. You faith strengthens your allies against the Unholy; your allies gain your bonus to their Fortitude saves against the Unholy. 
  7. Your deity's servants are especially quick to answer your pleas for aid against the Unholy; you gain your bonus for any attempts to summon such servants to aid you against the Unholy. 
  8. You deity's holy symbol burns the Unholy like a brand; you may wield your holy symbol as a weapon dealing 1d6 plus your bonus as damage. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

MCC - New Mutation - Machiavellian Mind

Machiavellian Mind

You see other residents of the world as pawns and possess the ability to convince, cajole, or intimidate them into doing what you want.

Type: Passive
Range: N/A
Duration: Permanent
Save: None

General:  The mutant is unnaturally persuasive.

Manifestation Roll 1d4: (1) The mutant’s eyes are deep set and piercing; (2) The mutant’s body tall and thin allowing them to look down on their peers; (3) The mutant’s hair is strangely wispy and looks like a dead animal sitting atop their head; (4) The mutant’s skin is a strange orange tone.

Check Results
  • 1 Failure, mutation replaced by defect.
  • 2-11 Failure, mutation results in cosmetic change only; the mutant steeples their fingers when they think.
  • 12-13 The mutant’s Personality score is increased by +1.
  • 14-17 The mutant’s Personality score is increased by +2.
  • 18-19 The mutant’s Personality score is increased by +3.
  • 20-23 The mutant’s Personality score is increased by +4; the mutant may roll an additional 1d3 when attempting to convince or persuade another sentient, including non-Patron Artificial Intelligences (includes AI Recognition rolls).  
  • 24-27 The mutant’s Personality score is increased by +6; the mutant may roll an additional 1d5 when attempting to convince or persuade another sentient, including non-Patron Artificial Intelligences (includes AI Recognition rolls).  
  • 28-29 The mutant’s Personality score is increased by +7; the mutant may roll an additional 1d6 when attempting to convince or persuade another sentient, including non-Patron Artificial Intelligences (includes AI Recognition rolls).  
  • 30-31 The mutant’s Personality score is increased by +8; the mutant may roll an additional 1d7 when attempting to convince or persuade another sentient, including all Artificial Intelligences and Patron AI (includes AI Recognition rolls).  
  • 32+ The mutant’s Personality score is increased by +9; the mutant may roll an additional 1d8 when attempting to convince or persuade another sentient, including all Artificial Intelligences and Patron AI (includes AI Recognition rolls).  

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Alphabet of Outer Beings - Y is for Yeoman

Author's Note: When I started this project on somewhat of an unplanned whim earlier this year I created a list of topic ideas and was able to get about 25 of the letters. Y, was the holdout. I wracked my brain, and even talked with a bunch of folks at Gary Con about what a good "Y is for..." would be that wouldn't also get overly specific (such as Yog-sothoth, or Yellow Sign). Ultimately I figured "That's December Marc's problem," since I had a whole lot of other letters, all with good ideas already lined up. As the letters tick-tocked by and this became less a "that could be fun" and more a "I can really do something cool if I finish this" I started to sweat that maybe "Y is for..." would be my downfall. I'm therefore doubly pleased to not only have a great idea for Y but to present it early to you all (strike while the iron is hot and all that), and let some other letter be the final post of this series. 

Y is for Yeoman

Yeoman are the servants and attendants of clergy, wizards, nobles, and kings. They are the faithful servants who go nearly unseen, and often unrecognized. Some may be born into their station, others sold into it, and still others chosen for the great honor of service. Regardless these men, women, and children are often in the room when great and powerful people do important things, but their names are seldom recorded for posterity.

Table Y1: Yeoman Origins (roll 1d6)
Yeoman are brought into their service in a number of ways and often their origins are very specific to the station they serve.
  1. Orphans - The yeoman are ophans, taken from the local orphanages between a certain age (often 10-12 years old) to serve. They may or may not considered slaves.
  2. Volunteers - The yeoman are volunteers who serve at thier will, often for defined terms of 1, 3, 5, or 10 years at a time.
  3. Slaves - The yeoman are simple slaves, bought into service with their freedom revoked. 
  4. Chosen - The yeoman are chosen to serve, with service often being considered a great honor. Unlike volunteers, above, the yeoman are chosen from the population, and may not wish to serve.
  5. Tithed - The yeoman are part of a tithe owed to the church or patron, chosen by the people, and given, either as slaves or as defined term laborers, to the service of the clergy or wizards.
  6. Matrons (only post-menopausal women may serve)
Table Y2: Yeoman Requirements (roll 1d10)
Not all yeoman are created the same. Many religions or wizardly patrons require that only a certain type of individual serve as yeoman. 
  1. Virgins (often also a specific sex)
  2. Eunuchs 
  3. Children (not older than post-pubescent, once yeoman age out of service they often join the ranks of the clergy or sorcerous acolytes)
  4. Blind (or blinded after being brought into service) 
  5. Mute (or rendered mute after being brought into service)
  6. Deaf (or rendered deaf after being brought into service)
  7. Specific Sex (male, female, intersex, etc)
  8. Physical Appearance (eye color, hair color, subjective attractiveness, etc) (often also a specific sex)
  9. Natural Ability (intellect, psionic power, physical fitness, etc)
  10. Roll again twice and combine
Table Y3: Yeoman Duties (roll 2d4)
Yeoman are sometimes given to a particular service, apart from the general housekeeping and other such work executed by more common servants.
  • 2: Sexual Services (the yeomen are required to perform sexual services in addition to, or in place of, other work)
  • 3: Inner Circle (the yeomen are the sole servants of the highest ranking clergy or wizards only)
  • 4-6: Standard duties, the yeomen act as general purpose servants for their masters.
  • 7: Translators (yeoman is fluent in at least 1d4 additional spoken languages)
  • 8: Scribes (yeoman is literate in at least 1d4 languages)

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

MCC Mighty Deeds of Artifacts (Glowburn Episode 16)

For my 2nd episode of Glowburn as an official co-host I proposed a rules modification. For completeness sake I present it here for those who may want to review.

Might Deeds of Artifacts
  • Yes, that’s right, Mighty Deeds … of Artifacts! I think I’m actually going to test bed this in my monthly game, but the idea is that a Sentinel using an artifact already gets a bonus die, I’m not seeing any downside to allowing them to declare a Mighty Deed that uses that artifact (e.g. a ricochet shot with a gauzer pistol, or trying to melt a lock with a laser rifle). Just like in DCC a 3+ result on the Sentinel’s artifact die would declare success of the deed in some degree. 
  • It’s simple enough I think, and will help Sentinel’s shine so long as they are using artifacts (which also will incentivize them to use artifacts).
  • So the basics here are:
    • The deed must be related to an artifact weapon or armor used by the sentinel!
    • The Sentinel's Artifact die must come up a 3+ for the deed to happen!
    • The attack (or other action) must also succeed!
    • The Artifact die does not add to damage (unlike a Warrior's deed die) this is expected to be offset by the higher damage output of artifact weapons.
That's about that. I'm going to try this in my monthly campaign and we'll see how well it works. 

Monday, July 30, 2018

MCC Recap - Wabbit Season

Last Wednesday I ran the another session of my monthly(ish) MCC game.

Meet the Seekers:
  • Thorn the Plantient (level 1)
    • Played by Craig McCullough
  • Sinclair the Mutant (Chitinous armor) (level 2)
    • Played by Andrew Lyon
  • Agutter the Healer (level 2)
    • Played by Paul Go  
  • Bo Goodboy the Yorkie Manimal (level 1)
    • Played by Jon Hook
  • Piertramp the Sentinel (level 2)
    • Played by Forrest Aguirre
  • And William Keller as:
    • Fliver, a Pure Strain Human
    • Ringo, a beetle Manimal
    • Arthur, a Plantient
    • Winona, a beaver Manimal
Elmer Fudd Would be Proud

I hand waved some character change outs by explaining that some of the PCs were really tuckered out by the combat that ended last session and others had arrived from their camp/village late. With 3 hour game sessions (at best) expediency is key. This brought Forrest's Piertramp back into the fold and introduced a quartet of new zeroes helmed by Will.

The tibbar chief had fled into the main structure of the ruins, a large, partially intact building that had a pair of functioning doors. Piertrap looked around and noticed that a corner of the structure was collapsing however and went to investigate. Peering through the rubble they could see inside a small ruined room clear of debris and spread with pallets for sleeping. Piertramp lucked out and back away as a nest of giant hornets higher up in the ruined walls decided to defend their turf. Ringo stepped forward and much to everybody's surprise he spoke with the hornets and convinced them that they weren't any trouble!

Figuring that the tibbar would be expecting a frontal assault the group decided to remove the rubble and come in through the broken corner of the room. Sinclair used his massive war-hammer (now festooned with tibbar ears) and easily smashed the rubble inward until there was a traversible path. The group piled into the room, weapons ready, expecting the tibbar to come in through the door opposite their entry. Instead, nothing.

Moving to the door the trio of Sinclair, Piertramp, and Thorn flung the door open to a ruined hall, and nothing more. Clearly their quarry were further in the ruins already. They explored the immediate area briefly before determining that the closed room next door must contain the remaining tibbar.

Once more the trio of Sinclair, Piertramp, and Thorn flanked the door on either side with thorn in the middle. Piertramp flung the door open revealing the last few tibbar; the cheif, two other warriors, a shaman, and a number of females and children. Thorn spared no time and shot an arrow into the shaman who was standing between the door and the chief. The old tibbar went to one knee but he was not out of the fight. Reacting instinctively he reached out to drain the life from his enemies and restore his own, a natural 20 resulted in draining nearly a dozen hit points from the three explorers.

Enraged by the attacks the tibbar launched into combat and the fighting got intense quickly. Bo tried to sneak a peek at the door but slipped on some gravel and slid into the doorway where he became a target for the enraged rabbit-folk. On his next turn Bo attempted to use his Devolution mutation on the tibbar shaman, with 6 points of glowburn added to the attack. A natural 1 was the exact opposite roll he wanted to see, and I was forced to request a luck check. Success and only 1 point of the glowburn would be permanently lost, failure and all of it would be. The resulting 18 was not welcomed by the poor manimal.

Thorn became target for the ranged attacks of the and was dropped to zero by a combination of life drain, arrows, and explosive cadmium bullets. Agutter was quick to rush to Thorn's aid, but the use of a medipack proved too much for the plantient, restoring 9 more HP than needed Thorn had a 45% chance of having a mutation "healed." I grabbed my dice and rolled a 44! With no other mutations the revived Thorn was left in a vegetative state (I wish I'd had that pun on deck during play!).

Bo and Sinclair both went down during the remaining fight, and Agutter was forced to risk the medipack again with Craig rooting for more devolution to join him. Ultimately it was not to be and the seekers pressed with attack until first the shaman, then the chief and finally the last of the warriors were slain. With barely a second thought the group massacred the females and children and exterminated the tibbar entirely. Wow, that got dark. Good place to break for the evening...

In Memoriam: 
  • Fliver, an arrow pincushion
  • Ringo, drained of all life force by the Tibbar shaman
  • Arthur, exploded by a cadmium rifle shot
In a Pot:
  • Thorn, the Cactus

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Alphabet of Outer Beings - N is for Numerology

Many Outer Beings have a number that carries great weight to them and their followers. Occult numbers are often found in the beliefs of Law aligned Outer Beings. Chaotic Outer Beings may have claim to a number but this is very rare for their chaotic nature means that regularity and relationship are seldom partners.

Determination of an Occult Number
  • Roll 1d3 to determine the number of digits
  • Roll 1d10 to determine each digit
Table N1: Occult Significance of the Number (roll 1d3)
  1. The number is extremely lucky
  2. The number is significant but is neither explicitly lucky or unlucky
  3. The number is extremely unlucky
    Table N2: Occult Meaning of the Number (roll 1d6)
    1. The number is closely associated with death and destruction
    2. The number is closely associated with wealth and fortune
    3. The number is closely associated with wisdom and learning
    4. The number is closely associated with nature and weather
    5. The number is closely associated with the stars and power
    6. The number is closely associated with The number is closely associated with rebirth and healing
    Table N3: Divination of Number (roll 1d6)
    1. The number is significant if it comes up at random.
    2. The number is significant when calculated based on complex formula kept secret by seers and diviners. 
    3. The number is used when throwing bones or dice.
    4. The number is in conjunction with a calendar used by the followers of the Outer Being.
    5. The number is used in geometric drawing that is then interpreted by a seer.
    6. The number is used in combination with blood divination.

    Wednesday, July 18, 2018

    MCC Graboids! (Glowburn Episode 15)

    For my first episode of Glowburn as an official co-host I adapted the Graboids from the Tremors movie franchise. Below are my show notes for the Mutagenesis portion of the show with my stats for the graboids. 


    Because somehow new Tremors movies keep coming like worms on your lawn after a heavy rain…

    But at some point in the pre-pocalypse world it became cheaper to genetically engineer some actual graboids and then pit them against real people in a weird reality TV survival show.

    Unknown years later those creatures have mutated into even more monstrous and lethal creatures. These are not for the faint of heart.


    Hit Dice: 8d8, avg HP 40

    AC: 16, Init +5; Atk bite +8 melee (1d10); or Drag Under Special +4

    MV 60’ subterranean only; Act 2d20; SP Drag Under, Tremorsense; SV Fort +4, Ref +1, Will +3.

    Tremorsense: The graboid “sees” by sensing any movement and impact on the ground in a 360 degree around them.

    Drag Under: If a graboid successfully attacks with a bite on it’s first action in a round it may make a special drag under attack against the target’s strength. If successful the target is dragged below ground and immediately takes an additional 1d14 damage.

    Wednesday, July 11, 2018

    The Alphabet of Outer Beings - J is for Janissary

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    J is for Janissary

    Janissaries are elite warriors who act as the bodyguards for powerful or important individuals or households. Unlike crusaders, paladins, and zealots the sole responsibility of a janissary is to protect their charge. Janissary battalions are created by powerful patrons, as yet another means of control and influence over the mortal world, and by powerful churches to protect their highest ranking clerics and most treasured holy sites.

    Table J1: Janissary Signature Weapons (roll 1d6)
    Janissaries are often known for using a special weapon that is not commonplace outside of their ranks.
    1. Enchanted or Blessed weapon (gains +1 die increment to damage)
    2. Wands (contains 1d10+5 charges of an attack spell)
    3. Heavy Crossbow (Increase damage die 2 increments, takes a full action to reload)
    4. Compound Bow (Increase damage die 1 increment)
    5. Alchemical Grenades (thrown explosive that deals 3d6 damage to target, 2d6 in a 5' radius, and 1d6 damage, from 5' to 10' radius)
    6. Black Powder Muskets/Rifles (treat as a Heavy Crossbow (above), also ignores armor on attacks (or gains an attack die increment), and all fumbles results are automatically the highest possible result). 
    Table J2: Janissary Specialized Support (roll 1d6)
    Janissary battalions often benefited from specialized support that enabled them to focus on being purely military units.
    1. Cadre of elite surgeons or clerics specialized in healing and treating of wounds. 
    2. Artillery support via the use of ballista, catapults, black powder cannons, or magic  
    3. Engineering corps who clear or prepare the roads ahead (ensures faster movement)
    4. Service support who travel ahead of the main force to prepare camp (ensures better rested warriors)
    5. Armorer corps who maintain and provide weapons and armor
    6. Roll again twice.
    Table J3: Codes of Conduct
    Janissary units are held to very strict codes of conduct and loyalty. In addition to their unwavering loyalty to their employer, be it temple or or wizard, they are expected to follow strict codes of behavior. Janissaries belonging to a religious order are also expected to be devout and uphold the tenants of their religion.
    1. The Janissary may not marry.
    2. The Janissary must always be armed and armored in public.
    3. The Janissary may not practice any skill other than those of a warrior.
    4. The Janissary must accept all offers of surrender from their foes.
    5. The Janissary may not grow facial hair.
    6. Roll again twice. 

    Tuesday, July 3, 2018

    MCC Claws (a.k.a. Screamers) - Glowburn Episode 14

    My first appearance on Glowburn Podcast, before I was added to the show as a co-host, I detailed the Claws/Screamers from the Philip K. Dick story "Second Variety" and the movie screamers for the Mutagenesis segment of the show. Below are the slight cleaned up show notes from that appearance.


    So there’s this Peter Weller movie called Screamers based on a Philip k Dick story called Second variety. The story is great, and the movie was pretty good. Both have stuck with me since High School.

    In the movie the screamers are more like little burrowing creatures in design, in the story they are whirling balls of doom. Either way they are self replicating robots that were made to win a war. They hunt people based on their heart beat. These are the type 1s.

    The kicker is that the self autonomous factories that churn out these killer robots started to design new and better types: claws that look like us.

    Type 1 Claw

    Init +5; Atk claw +4 melee (1d5); AC 14; HD 2d6; HP 8; MV 30’; Act 1d20; SP Straight for the Heart, immune to mind control; SV Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +1.

    Straight for the Heart: On an attack roll of 20 instead of rolling for a critical hit the Claw has attacked the target’s heart. In addition to normal damage this attack deals 1d10 damage direct to the targets Stamina as the heart is systematically destroyed.

    Wednesday, June 27, 2018

    The Alphabet of Outer Beings - F is for Festival

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    F is for Festival

    Festivals are, broadly, celebrations of religious holy days, or other significant and important dates. They are often celebrated through feasting, music, ritual, ceremonies, and/or other observances. Festivals for patrons may be times when the patron's followers are required to enact a certain ritual during a cosmic event such as an alignment or solstice. Religious holy days commemorate the important events within the religion and/or the life of the deity. While many festivals are celebratory some may be sombre occasions, or may be preceded by fasting or other periods of denial.

    Table F1: Duration of Festival (roll 1d6)
    1. 1d3 days (calendar)
    2. One day (sunrise to sunset)
    3. One full day (calendar, sunrise to sunrise)
    4. One night (sunset to sunrise) 
    5. 2d4 nights (observances only after sunset)
    6. 2d3 significant hours (e.g. the hours around midnight, sunrise, the solstice, etc.)
    Table F2: Purpose of Festival (roll 1d3 and 1d3)
    1. Remembrance of...
      1. a significant battle
      2. the death of a saint
      3. one's ancestors or dead relations
    2. Celebration of...
      1. a miracle
      2. a major celestial event
      3. a saint (birth, canonization, etc.)
    3. Observance of...
      1. Harvest Season
      2. New Year
      3. Planting/Spring
    Table F3: Festival Focus (roll 1d8 twice and combine)
    1. Food
    2. Drink
    3. Music 
    4. Dancing
    5. Contemplation of religious teachings/writings
    6. Ritual Sacrifice (see S if for Sacrifice)
    7. Games or contests
    8. Reflection on the meaning of the festival
    Table F4: Prohibited Conduct (roll 1d6)
    1. Overindulging
    2. Singing
    3. Working during the festival
    4. Preparation of food during the evening hours
    5. Consumption of food during the daylight hours
    6. Consumption of a specific substance
    Table F5: Festival Accoutrements (roll 1d4)
    1. None
    2. Specific style of dress (e.g. traditional, costumes, lack of clothing, etc.)
    3. Symbolic Decoration (e.g. use of decorated eggs to symbolize the changing of winter to spring)
    4. Iconic Decorations (e.g. images of ancestors/relatives, Idols of a Deity, etc.)

    Friday, June 22, 2018

    MCC Recap - Entering The Ruined Citadel

    Last Wednesday I ran the another session of my monthly(ish) MCC game.

    Meet the Seekers:
    • Thorn the Plantient (level 1)
      • Played by Craig McCullough
    • Sinclair the Mutant (Chitinous armor) (level 2)
      • Played by Andrew Lyon
    • Agutter the Healer (level 2)
      • Played by Paul Go  
    • Bo Goodboy the Yorkie Manimal (level 1)
      • Played by Jon Hook
    • Flic-flak the Sentinel (level 2)
      • Played by Alex Perucchini 
    The Ruined Citadel

    As dawn broke early the heroes woke to the dawn's light coming across the grassy hills by the lake where they camped. A hasty breakfast was gobbled down before they set off to climb to the ruined citadel they could see across the lake. Before departing the members of the Atomic Equinox pulled Thorn aside and said that if he would like to join their brotherhood he should travel to the west and south to the Glowing Grove, where he would be welcomed as a fellow plantient.

    Moving Southeast around the lake the group stayed low, hiding in the waist high grasses and moving between the copses of trees that dotted the hillsides. They were able to stay hidden as they moved onward toward the citadel that way. Skirting one copse of trees they overheard some voices from within and approached cautiously. Within they found a group of four manimals of the Chosen of Zuu, one of whom had been wounded by a tibber "thunder-stick." Agutter applied some healing herbs, saving the life of Magilla the Gorilla. After some conversation these new followers offered to accompany the group and help end the tibbar threat.
    • Meet the manimals:
      • Ida Kno, the Orangutan manimal 
      • Magilla, the Gorrilla manimal
      • Ratfinkle, the Rat manimal
      • Lyle, the Bear manimal
    After another hour of stealthy travel the group found a stair cut into the mountain and used it to climb towards the ruins above. Though the stairs were in some disrepair in places they were able to reach the top without issue only to come to a walled off area blocked by a metal door. 

    The door had no handle on their side and only a slit to look through. Ratfinkle tried to push the door open, and failing that he knocked loudly, and then attempted to stab the creature whose eye appeared at the slit. As a desperate attack on the barely seen doorman ensued Bo Goodboy impressed the others with his mutant talent to devolve other creatures and reduced the target to an animal state. 

    Confident now, Lyle stuck his hand into the slit and ripped the door from the wall, gaining a large and unwieldy tower shield in the process (+2 AC, fumble die of d14). Beyond the now door-less portal was a room occupied by two tibbar and a rabbit. The group quickly charged in and dispatched not only the tibbar, but also the rabbit. One of the tibbar did make an attempt to escape and warn its fellows but was downed by a thrown dagger. 

    The group searched the room and turned up a c-cell (charge unknown), and some basic tibbar weaponry. Beyond the room they could see a cliff-top area. on one-side a swift drop down to the lake, on the other a long low building, and ahead a small cluster of tents, though they could see no sign of more tibbar. 

    The group attempted to sneak to the nearest structure but unknown to them they were spotted, and the tibbar, now on alert, began to gather their forces. Inside the building they found the remains of some ancient vehicles and a number of useful items including a solar cell, AND, a quantum cell! Also a slot machine, a coffee maker, and a copy of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. 
    Judge's Note: I used my scavenging table (here) for the major loot, and also this table for minor loot. 
    With the garage thoroughly ransacked the group peered out to see a group of seven tibbar warriors led by a tibbar wearing a strange red cloak and wielding one of two "boom sticks" (I kept changing the name), with a lieutenant wielding a second.  These tibbar were evacuating the tents of their occupants, mostly females and young, and getting prepared for battle.

    The group tried to sneak out of the garage but most failed their agility checks for sneaking and a combat broke out. Using smart tactics (prioritize the artifact users, stay behind cover) the group rallied and defeated the warriors and ran the leader off. The leader, still alive and now down several men managed to make a break for the main portion of the ruins.

    The group now had a choice, would they press the attack, or take a moment to regroup and tend their wounds?

    In Memoriam: 
    • Ida Kno, the Orangutan manimal 
      • Felled by an arrow

    Wednesday, June 13, 2018

    The Alphabet of Outer Beings - G is for Geas

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    G is for Geas

    A geas (sometime geis, plural geasa) is a vow or taboo requiring, or prohibiting, a certain behavior. A geas can be a societal or supernatural and the consequences of breaking such a geas will vary greatly depending on the source. The breaking of a societal geas can result in dishonor for being rude, or ma y even result in imprisonment as though a law was broken. The breaking of a supernatural geas can result in spiritual or physical weakness, or any number of other potential effects. Below are several options for supernatural geasa and the ramification of breaking them. These may be gained via a powerful Curse spell, at the hand of a powerful witch, wizard, or other magic users, or even be the result of an angry god or dealings with the lords and ladies of the fae.

    Table G1: Type of Geas (roll 1d8 & 1d6 then continue to Table G2)
    The oath-bound is ...
    1. ... prohibited from consuming the flesh of ...
      1. Dogs
      2. Chickens
      3. Fish
      4. Goats
      5. Cows
      6. Sheep
    2. ...  required to repay ...
      1. all debts
      2. any slight or insult
      3. kindness
      4. violence
      5. gifts
      6. fines
    3. ... prohibited from lying to ...
      1. Children
      2. Women
      3. Siblings
      4. Witches
      5. Royalty
      6. Virgins
    4. ... required to accept ... 
      1. offered hospitality
      2. offers of surrender
      3. all gifts
      4. the first offer (cannot bargain)
      5. their fate (may not re-roll dice, and the character cannot try to change prophesied events)
      6. legal judgements
    5. ... prohibited from fighting with ...
      1. Thrown weapons
      2. Swords
      3. Maces
      4. Clubs
      5. Knives
      6. Bows
    6. ... is required to ...
      1. observe celestial events (solstices, eclipses, etc.) with appropriate rituals
      2. tithe 3d3x10% of their income to their lord or deity
      3. follow all orders from those of higher station
      4. introduce themselves with their true name 
      5. remain silent unless they pay somebody to listen
      6. accept all challenges laid upon them
    7. ... prohibited from consuming ...
      1. Alcohol
      2. Sweets
      3. Caffine
      4. Eggs
      5. Preserved foods (e.g. salted, canned, etc)
      6. Mushrooms
    8. ... prohibited from entering a home without ...
      1. gaining permission from the owner
      2. wiping your feet
      3. offering a gift
      4. removing headgear
      5. removing one's weapons
      6. washing one's hands
    Table G2: Effects of a Broken Geas (roll 2d6 + Luck Modifier)
    All effects are permanent unless otherwise noted or the character undergoes a lengthy process to make restitution for breaking the geas. The oathbound will generally have some idea of the strength of the geas that has been laid upon them.
    1. (or lower) Instant Death! No save. 
    2. Crippling weakness! The oathbound suffers permanent 2d6 Stamina damage, and 1d6 Strength and Agility damage.
    3. Weakness! The oathbound suffers permanent 1d6 Stamina damage.
    4. Major Curse! The oathbound suffers a permanent penalty of -2d3 to all rolls. 
    5. Minor Curse! The oathbound suffers a permanent penalty of -1d4 to all rolls. 
    6. Fate's Torment! The oathbound becomes an immortal pox upon his very race. Forevermore those he meets will be struck with bad luck, and only by removing themselves from the society will they be able to prevent their curse from targeting others. They are cursed to live forever alone. 
    7. Fate's Target! The oathbound is fated to die by the whims of fate. Every day there will be a minimum of 2d4 times when the character will need to escape death's grasp. This can take any form, from a ship sinking, to an attack of brigands, a rival's assassin, or slipping in the bath. 
    8. Amnesia! The world forgets you entirely! The oathbound is wiped from the minds of every person who ever knew them except deities and the person or being that laid the geas upon them. They may no longer call upon bank accounts, lands, titles, or the like. Favors owed to them are no longer remembered and those to whom they owed favors are inexplicably hostile
    9. Transformation! Over the course of the next month the character slowly and painfully transforms into an animal, losing their sentience and intelligence last. 
    10. Destitution! The oathbound loses everything they owned. Weapons and armor break, money or valuables are immediately lost or stolen. Lands are lost or become worthless. The oathbound is reduced to a penniless pauper. The geas remains in place and the oathbound will suffer this result every time they break the geas. 
    11. Major Bad luck - The oathbound automatically fail their next 2d4 rolls, or takes the minimum result. The geas remains in place and the oathbound will suffer this result every time they break the geas. 
    12. Minor Bad luck - The oathbound automatically fail their next 1d3 rolls, or takes the minimum result. The geas remains in place and the oathbound will suffer this result every time they break the geas. 
    13. (or greater) The character is struck unconscious for 1d3 hours. The geas remains in place and the oathbound will suffer this result every time they break the geas. 

    Wednesday, June 6, 2018

    Nuts & Bolts #151 - Mutant Crawl Classics Scavenging Table

    Scavenging is a big part of post-apocalyptic life. Since going into a hex crawl with my game I have been wondering how to deal with that at the table since I may have to determine what kinds of useful items may be found within a randomly found ruin. I decided to do a little work up front and create a scavenging table. 

    For each turn spent scavenging/exploring within a given area the character rolls 3 dice as determined below, and adds their luck modifier (meaning low luck = penalty on roll). Characters with the gatherer starting occupation may add +1 to their roll. The total is compared to the chart.
    • Location Type / Die size
    • Wilderness area / d3
    • Looted ruin / d4
    • Un-looted ruin / d5
    • Looted structure /d6
    • Un-looted structure / d8
    If an entry requires additional rolls the character's luck modifier is added (or subtracted) from ALL subsequent rolls!! For artifacts, roll 1d8 (adding the searcher's luck mod) and consult below:
    • 1-4 - Has the lowest power source type with half charge (or roll to determine # of charges)
    • 5-6 -Has the lowest power source type, but is fully charged
    • 7-8 - Has the 2nd best power source type and is approximately half charged (or roll as appropriate)
    • 9 - Has the 2nd best power source type and is fully charged
    • 10 - Has the best power source type (usually unlimited use)

    A note on trade value: The MCC book gives item values in creds within Table 1-4 (page 18). In my game this is purely to put reference around barter value (on average) and does not equate to any kind of standard currency or economy. Your mileage may vary, but regardless the values of some goods will be higher, or lower, to certain people. Scrap will be more likely to have value to a craftsperson (craftsmutant?) than a gatherer or healer. 
    1. (or lower) Nothing but a location appropriate creature (75% chance of hostility)
    2. Nothing 
    3. Nada
    4. Zilch
    5. Zip
    6. Junk - 1d6 pieces of junk that weigh 3d8 pounds each. Each is only worth 1d4 creds trade value.
    7. Good Junk - 2d6 pieces of junk that weigh 3d6 pounds each. Each is worth 2d3 creds trade value.
    8. Scrap - 1d4 pieces of scrap materials (plasteel, peraglass, etc.) suitable for crafting or trade. Trade value is 2d6 creds each.
    9. Good Scrap - 1d6 pieces of scrap materials (plasteel, peraglass, etc.) suitable for crafting or trade. Trade value is 2d8 creds each.
    10. Ancient clothing - Intact clothing of the ancient ones. This has no value of armor (but 50% chance of rendering the wearer immune to [roll 1d3: 1: Heat, 2: Cold, 3: Atmospheric contaminants, 4: All of the above]. 
    11. Miscellaneous Artifacts (roll 1d10)
      1. Carbon Nano-Cord
      2. Com-Badge
      3. Energy Cloak
      4. Fusion Torch
      5. Grav Clamp
      6. Holo-Cloak
      7. Multitool
      8. Rejuv-Chamber
      9. Sensor Pad
      10. Sonic Spanner
    12. Power Cells (roll 1d5)
      1. C-Cell
      2. F-Cell
      3. S-Cell
      4. Q-Cell
      5. Solar Recharger
      6. F-Pack
      7. Q-Pack
    13. Medical Equipment (roll 1d8)
      1. Accelershot
      2. Cureshot
      3. Cybernetic Implant
      4. Medipac
      5. Medishot
      6. Neuroshot
      7. Radshot
      8. Stimshot
    14. Grenades! (roll 1d4 for type, and 1d3 for quantity)
      1. EMP Grenade
      2. Photon Grenade
      3. Stun Grenade
      4. Quantum Grenade
    15. Ancient Melee Weapon (roll 1d3)
      1. Zapper Glove
      2. Force Baton
      3. Plasma Sword
    16. Ancient Vehicle (roll 1d3)
      1. Grav Ped
      2. Grav Sled
      3. Bubble Car
    17. Ancient Ranged Weapon (roll 1d10)
      1. Dazer Pistol
      2. Fazer Pistol
      3. Gauzer Pistol
      4. Lazer Pistol
      5. Mazer Pistol
      6. Neutron Rifle
      7. Fazer Rifle
      8. Gauzer Rifle
      9. Lazer Rifle
      10. Mazer Rifle
    18. Ancient Armor (roll 1d6)
      1. Bubble Helmet
      2. Enviro Belt
      3. Force Field Belt
      4. Plasteel Mesh
      5. Power Armor, Scout
      6. Power Armor, Attack
      7. Power Armor, Assault
    19. (or greater) Exotic Item - This is the truly rare find. An intact item, with power or power cells, that has a unique function. Judge's discretion, but this should be good! Examples include:
      • Cortexin Cylinders
      • Force Field Projector
      • Gene Resequencer
      • Stasis Booth
    Alternately you may need some tables a little more location specific. It's not expected you'd find a suit of power armor in a family home for instance. So you could try these...

    Domestic Location
    1. Ancient Clothing
    2. Enviro Belt
    3. Carbon Nano-Cord
    4. Fusion Torch
    5. Grav Clamp
    6. Multitool
    7. Rejuv-Chamber
    8. Sensor Pad
    9. Sonic Spanner
    10. Dazer Pistol
    11. Stasis Booth
    12. Bubble Car
    Medical Location
    1. Grav Sled
    2. Rejuv-Chamber
    3. Sensor Pad
    4. Sonic Spanner
    5. Accelershot
    6. Cureshot
    7. Cybernetic Implant
    8. Medipac
    9. Medishot
    10. Neuroshot
    11. Radshot
    12. Stimshot
    Industrial Location
    1. Carbon Nano-Cord
    2. Com-Badge
    3. Fusion Torch
    4. Grav Clamp
    5. Multitool
    6. Sonic Spanner
    7. Grav Sled
    8. Bubble Helmet
    9. Enviro Belt
    10. Industrial Exoskeleton (use Power Armor but reduce AC and remove in-built weapons, or replace weapons with Fusion Torch and Multi Tool)
    Military Location
    1. Com-Badge
    2. Energy Cloak
    3. Fusion Torch
    4. Holo-Cloak
    5. Multitool
    6. Military Hospital (re-roll on Medical Locations)
    7. Military Garage (re-roll on Industrial Locations)
    8. Force Field Belt
    9. Plasteel Mesh
    10. Grenades! (roll 1d4 for type, and 1d6 for quantity)
      1. EMP Grenade
      2. Photon Grenade
      3. Stun Grenade
      4. Quantum Grenade
    11. Plasma Sword
    12. Lazer Pistol
    13. Mazer Pistol
    14. Neutron Rifle
    15. Fazer Rifle
    16. Lazer Rifle
    17. Mazer Rifle
    18. Power Armor, Scout
    19. Power Armor, Attack
    20. Power Armor, Assault

                                                      Wednesday, May 30, 2018

                                                      The Alphabet of Outer Beings - Z is for Zealot

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                                                      Z is for Zealot

                                                      Zealots have an extremely deep and fervent passion for their religion. They are driven to preach, convert, or prosthelytize about their religion, or to go to war against the enemies and heretics of their beliefs. These men and women often take their beliefs to extremes, including the attendant behavior. As a result these people often have unique abilities that are driven by their passions, and can cause even the staunchest of enemies or opponents to falter before them.

                                                      Table Z1: Type of Zeal (roll 1d6 and 1d4) 
                                                      • 1-2: Radical - Radicals use their zealotry to work against their enemies with words and actions that attack faith and ruling systems to tear them down in favor of their faith.
                                                        1. Fanatic - The fanatic preaches to convert new followers. They may gain a bonus equal to their level on rolls to convert people to their beliefs or lead the believers of their deity.
                                                        2. Insurgent - The insurgent specializes overthrowing governments and monarchies unfavorable to their faith. They may gain a bonus equal to their level on all rolls to undermine such enemies.
                                                        3. Renegade - Renegades are converts, former followers of another faith who use their knowledge of that deity's faithful to further tear down their new deity's opponents. They may gain a bonus equal to twice their level when applying this specialized knowledge to aid their new god.
                                                        4. Subversive - The subversive specializes undermining the works of deities the oppose their own. They may gain a bonus equal to their level on all rolls to undermine other deities either overtly, or covertly.
                                                      • 3-4: Firebrand - Firebrands bridge the gaps between Radicals and Militants without being either. They specialize in mobilizing the faithful or urging the mob into action.
                                                        1. Demagogue -The demagogue spews hateful speech about the enemies of their faith. They may grant allies of level zero or level one a damage bonus equal to their level through hateful rhetoric about their enemies. They may also gain a bonus equal to their level to recruit such followers by leveraging people's hatred and fear.
                                                        2. Instigator - The instigator uses rhetoric to spur their followers into action, or gain the allegiance of new followers. They may grant allies of level zero or level one an initiative bonus equal to their level through rhetoric. They may also gain a bonus equal to their level to recruit such followers by leveraging rhetoric to inspire the faithful to action.
                                                        3. Rabble-rouser - The rabble-rouser works behind the scenes, playing situations to their advantage by using the power of a mob to incite events that play into their own plans. The rabble-rouser gains a bonus equal to their level when attempting to form a mob, or to incite that mob into action in the furtherance of their own plans. If the rabble-rouser instigates a mob to violence the mob gains an attack bonus equal to half their level (round up) to attack rolls. 
                                                        4. Agitator - The agitator works to weaken the enemy by harming their own faith or morale. The agitator gains a bonus when acting to damage enemy morale, cohesion, or when sowing discord within the enemy's forces or faith. When facing off against such a force in combat they may impose an attack penalty equal to half their level (round up) on their enemy's attacks through their agitating actions.
                                                      • 5-6: Militant - Militants are the warriors are their faith, and zealous militants take their belief in their deity to the extreme, gaining martial prowess through their extreme devotion.
                                                        1. Flagellants - In combat a Flagellant may wound themselves as a sacrifice to their deity. This allows them to re-roll a damage die, taking damage equal to the result of the re-rolled die. 
                                                        2. Diehard - After being reduced to zero Hit Points, Diehards may continue to fight on for 1 round per level before collapsing.
                                                        3. Maniac - The maniac charged into battle heedless of the consequences. They may choose to reduce their armor class by any amount up to their level and add the same amount to their attack rolls. 
                                                        4. Champion - The champion is blessed by their deity (or believes they are) and is protected by divine grace. In battle they may gain a bonus equal to their level to their armor class, if they do so they must sacrifice a divine spell (if applicable), or forfeit any speak attack abilities for that round. 
                                                      Table Z2: Zealous Passion (roll 1d6) 
                                                      • 1-2: Zealot - The zealot may use their special ability once per day without other restriction
                                                      • 3-4: Jihadist - The jihadist may use their special ability at will against a specific enemy of their deity or creature deemed unholy (e.g. at will against goblins).
                                                      • 5-6: Crusader - The crusader may use their special ability, once per day per level against any of their deity's enemies/unholy creatures.