Saturday, February 29, 2020

Sir Robyn: Immortal Time-Wizard

Sir Robyn Albert Wooster of Scamps, Snuggles, & Wooster
L to R Prof. Snuggles, Sir Robyn, Prof. Scamps

He claims to be a Lawyer. He appears to be a human male in his late twenties or early thirties. He wears clothes that were obviously once very fine, but seems to have been sleeping in them in an alleyway for some time. He is routinely accompanied by two raccoons whom he calls Professors Scamps and Snuggles. These, he insists, are respected Professors of Law, and the senior partners of his firm. He will consult with them on Legal matters.

He is generally very friendly, enthusiastic about whatever troubles or obstacles might be facing his new friends (although this enthusiasm dims somewhat if the challenges are not of an immediately legal nature). He will, unless very soundly rebuffed, attempt to be helpful. Unfortunately his problem solving (outside of legal matters) tends to be very direct, solve the immediate problem, and cause several larger related problems. In diplomatic circles he inexplicably introduces himself as the "Emissary of the Bee People." In social circles he will insist that raccoons are the height of fashion, despite all evidence to the contrary.

For all his idiosyncrasies, he is a competent Lawyer if called on to practice. Mostly interested in contract law, but will serve on criminal cases if that is what is on offer. In any criminal case he is involved in, he will be representing both the prosecution and defense (however, as he explains, it is actually Professor Scamps for the prosecution, and Professor Snuggles for the defense; he is just there doing paralegal stuff). It does not matter what period of time or geography he is called to, he will have a complete working knowledge of the relevant law codes.

He seems to have an inexhaustible supply of Cocaine, which he will foist on anyone who seems the slightest bit interested/does not say no hard enough. It would be difficult to keep and sell on in bulk if not snorted immediately, due to his unorthodox delivery method.

Sir Robyn, seen here high as a goddamn kite
If asked about himself, he is extremely forthcoming. He will say that he was born in Worcestershire in 1573, graduated Law School in 1600, and currently lives on the Moon. Regardless of what campaign year it is, his answers remain the same. All these things are true.

He appears out of nowhere in a rather disconcerting manner. If a character has a business card of his, they should be able to summon him by holding the card and wishing for him to appear. He gives out business cards to most people he meets. He speaks a staggering number of languages of both human and non-human origins.

If attacked, he is relatively easy to hit (always counting as unarmored and surprised/flatfooted) and has an effective total of 1 hp. If a PC does attack him, he will instantly fall like a sack of cement [possibly staring in disbelief at the arrow in his chest/growing blossom of blood on his clothes/large stab wound/etc. before falling]. As soon as the body is inspected closely however, it is revealed to be a straw dummy somewhat like a scarecrow, with a watermelon for a head carved with a crude smiley face, and dressed in an outfit similar to that of Sir Robyn (the pockets of which contain old candy wrappers/bits of string/crumpled receipts and other detritus). It is at this point that Sir Robyn will instantly reappear behind the players and make some remark along the lines of "Oh, that looks like it hurt" or "Boy, I'm glad I'm not him". If killed multiple times, the seventh dummy will have a pumpkin for a head (if questioned why this is, Sir Robyn will answer "Well, I'm not made of watermelons!" He will always find this absurdly funny).

One of the most disconcerting things about him is his inability to remain static in the time-stream. Having uncovered the secrets of time-travel, he jaunts around looking for legal work, which means that the first time he meets the characters may not be the first time they have met him, and vice versa. This disjunction from the timestream also means he has a somewhat skewed perspective on things.

Sir Robyn is not really much of an antagonist, nor is he a helpful NPC. He is more of a force for chaos. One option for his inclusion is to allow the PCs the ability to call upon him at any point, generally the appearance of an easily distracted slightly hyperactive immortal accompanied by two raccoons will cause more problems than it solves. He can be useful as a source of information as he does know a lot and will always answer truthfully, although not always helpfully. Another thing he can theoretically do is acquire weird and wonderful items, which are more often monkey paws and come with terrible downsides.

Sir Robyn is mostly intended as a humorous annoyance, or a volatile resource. Along the lines of Bat Mite or Mister Mxyzptlk. He is generally good natured, and very willing to help. However he is at the same time remarkably self-centered, somewhat monomaniacal, and blissfully unaware of danger posed to himself or others.

He certainly cannot be defeated with brute force (and such attempts will no doubt cause him to become more interested in messing with the PCs), however there are other ways of dealing with him. For one, he genuinely wants to deal with complex legal disputes, and so finding a lot of paperwork for him to fill out whilst quickly running in the opposite direction is a good option. There are probably other ways of trapping a capricious being unbound by the laws of time and space, but to detail them would somewhat spoil the fun. There may be some form of ancient magic that may anchor him, or a particularly malicious 4 dimensional trap, or finding some other poor unfortunate to sic him on.

Sir Robyn: Endless font of dumb ideas

Dewey Decimal Random Books

Random books table using d1000 and Dewey Decimal System

Your players just found some books, but what books? You didn't really have anything planned, as detailing every single item in a room is for nerds, and anyway, why would they care about the books in the first place? Reading is also for nerds! If only there was some form of giant table that could generate subject matter from a simple numeric code. Well, you're in luck! Someone already invented it! The cataloging system of your local library (lit: "Nerd House") fits easily onto a 000-999 system layout.

So, a couple of things about this table. Firstly, the system itself is pretty weird and dated (it comes from the 19th Century, and the guy who invented it was a massive creep). Several of the entries are either no-longer used (defunct pseudosciences which I have placed back in), or are for subjects that did not really gel with D&D (Computers, Photography, and the like), which I have vetted and mostly replaced with random spellbooks and the like.

I've left all the references to real-world geography and languages the same, as I assume it would be easier to analogue them with a point of reference yourself.

Anyway, I hope that this proves useful for someone, and feel free to comment with any suggestions for changes.

d1000 Random Books
000 Information & general works
001 Knowledge
002 The book, writing, libraries, and book-related topics
003 Systems
004 Data processing
005 Filing Systems
006 Spellbook [Memory Spell]
007 Spellbook [Thought Spell]
008 Spellbook [Mind Spell]
009 Spellbook [Information Spell]
010 Bibliography
011 Bibliographies
012 Bibliographies of individuals
013 Bibliographies of Spellbooks
014 Bibliographies of anonymous & pseudonymous works
015 Bibliographies of works from specific places
016 Bibliographies of works on specific subjects
017 General subject catalogs
018 Catalogs arranged by author, date, etc.
019 Dictionary catalogs
020 Library & information sciences
021 Library relationships
022 Administration
023 Personnel management
024 Henchman management
025 Library operations
026 Libraries for specific subjects
027 General libraries
028 Reading & use of other information media
029 Reading Magical Writing
030 General encyclopedic works
031 Encyclopedias in American English
032 Encyclopedias in English
033 Encyclopedias in other Germanic languages
034 Encyclopedias in French, Occitan, and Catalan
035 Encyclopedias in Italian, Romanian, and related languages
036 Encyclopedias in Spanish & Portuguese
037 Encyclopedias in Slavic languages
038 Encyclopedias in Scandinavian languages
039 Encyclopedias in other languages
040 Sorcery
041 Philosophy of Magic
042 Dictionaries and Encyclopedias of Magic
043 Miscellanies of Magic
044 History of Magic
045 Magical Items on the World
046 Schools of Magic
047 Primers of Magical Study
048 Advanced Works of Magical Study
049  Theoretical Magical Research
050 General serial publications
051 Serials in American English
052 Serials in English
053 Serials in other Germanic languages
054 Serials in French, Occitan, and Catalan
055 Serials in Italian, Romanian, and related languages
056 Serials in Spanish & Portuguese
057 Serials in Slavic languages
058 Serials in Scandinavian languages
059 Serials in other languages
060 General organizations & museum science
061 Organizations in North America
062 Organizations in British Isles; in England
063 Organizations in central Europe; in Germany
064 Organizations in France & Monaco
065 Organizations in Italy & adjacent islands
066 Organizations in Iberian peninsula & adjacent islands
067 Organizations in eastern Europe; in Russia
068 Organizations in other geographic areas
069 Museum science
070 News media, journalism, and publishing
071 Newspapers in North America
072 Newspapers in British Isles; in England
073 Newspapers in central Europe; in Germany
074 Newspapers in France & Monaco
075 Newspapers in Italy & adjacent islands
076 Newspapers in Iberian peninsula & adjacent islands
077 Newspapers in eastern Europe; in Russia
078 Newspapers in Scandinavia
079 Newspapers in other geographic areas
080 General quotations
081 Quotations in American English
082 Quotations in English
083 Quotations in other Germanic languages
084 Quotations in French, Occitan, Catalan
085 Quotations in Italian, Romanian, & related languages
086 Quotations in Spanish & Portuguese
087 Quotations in Slavic languages
088 Quotations in Scandinavian languages
089 Quotations in other languages
090 Manuscripts and rare books
091 Manuscripts
092 Block books
093 Incunabula
094 Printed books
095 Books notable for bindings
096 Books notable for illustrations
097 Books notable for ownership or origin
098 Prohibited works, forgeries, and hoaxes
099 Books notable for format
100 Philosophy
101 Theory of philosophy
102 Miscellany
103 Dictionaries & encyclopedias of Philosophy
104 Thaumaturgy
105 Serial publications
106 Organizations & management
107 Education, research, related topics of philosophy
108 Groups of people
109 History & collected biography
110 Metaphysics
111 Ontology
112 Methodology
113 Cosmology
114 Space
115 Time
116 Change
117 Structure
118 Force and energy
119 Number and quantity
120 Epistemology
120 Epistemology, causation, and humankind
121 Theory of knowledge
122 Causation
123 Determinism and indeterminism
124 Teleology
125 Infinity
126 The self
127 The unconscious & the subconscious
128 Humankind
129 Origin & destiny of individual souls
130 Parapsychology & occultism
131 Parapsychological and occult methods for achieving well-being, happiness, success
132 Mental derangements
133 Specific topics in parapsychology & occultism
134 Mesmerism & Clairvoyance
135 Dreams & mysteries
136 Mental characteristics
137 Divinatory graphology
138 Physiognomy
139 Phrenology
140 Specific philosophical schools and viewpoints
141 Idealism & related systems & doctrines
142 Critical philosophy
143 Bergsonism & intuitionism
144 Humanism & related systems & doctrines
145 Sensationalism
146 Naturalism & related systems & doctrines
147 Pantheism & related systems & doctrines
148 Dogmatism, eclecticism, liberalism, syncretism, & traditionalism
149 Other philosophical systems & doctrines
150 Psychology
151 Intellect
152 Sensory perception, movement, emotions, & physiological drives
153 Conscious mental processes & intelligence
154 Subconscious & altered states & processes
155 Differential & developmental psychology
156 Comparative psychology
157 Emotions
158 Applied psychology
159 Will
160 Philosophical logic
161 Induction
162 Deduction
163 Abduction
164 Conduction
165 Fallacies & sources of error
166 Syllogisms
167 Hypotheses
168 Argument & persuasion
169 Analogy
170 Ethics
171 Ethical systems
172 Political ethics
173 Ethics of family relationships
174 Occupational ethics
175 Ethics of recreation, leisure, public performances, communication
176 Ethics of sex & reproduction
177 Ethics of social relations
178 Ethics of consumption
179 Other ethical norms
180 Ancient philosophy
181 Eastern philosophy
182 Pre-Socratic Greek philosophies
183 Sophistic, Socratic, related Greek philosophies
184 Platonic philosophy
185 Aristotelian philosophy
186 Skeptic & Neoplatonic philosophies
187 Epicurean philosophy
188 Stoic philosophy
189 Medieval Western philosophy
190 Modern Western & other noneastern philosophy
191 Philosophy of the United States and Canada
192 Philosophy of the British Isles
193 Philosophy of Germany and Austria
194 Philosophy of France
195 Philosophy of Italy
196 Philosophy of Spain and Portugal
197 Philosophy of Russia
198 Philosophy of Scandinavia & Finland
199 Philosophy in other geographic areas
200 Religion
201 Religious mythology, general classes of religion, interreligious relations and attitudes, social theology
202 Doctrines
203 Public worship and other practices
204 Religious experience, life, practice
205 Religious ethics
206 Leaders and organization
207 Missions and religious education
208 Sources
209 Sects and reform movements
210 Philosophy & theory of religion
211 Concepts of God
212 Existence, ways of knowing God, attributes of God
213 Creation
214 Theodicy
215 Science & religion
216 Evil
217 Prayer
218 Humankind
219 Analogies
220 The Bible
221 Old Testament (Tanakh)
222 Historical books of Old Testament
223 Poetic books of Old Testament
224 Prophetic books of Old Testament
225 New Testament
226 Gospels & Acts
227 Epistles
228 Revelation (Apocalypse)
229 Apocrypha, pseudepigrapha, & intertestamental works
230 Christianity
231 God
232 Jesus Christ & his family
233 Humankind
234 Salvation & grace
235 Spiritual beings
236 Eschatology
237 Future state
238 Creeds, confessions of faith, covenants, & catechisms
239 Apologetics & polemics
240 Christian moral and devotional theology
241 Christian ethics
242 Devotional literature
243 Evangelistic writings for individuals and families
244 Religious fiction
245 Hymnology
246 Use of art in Christianity
247 Church furnishings & related articles
248 Christian experience, practice, life
249 Christian observances in family life
250 Christian orders & local church
250 Local Christian church and Christian religious orders
251 Preaching (Homiletics)
252 Texts of sermons
253 Pastoral office and work (Pastoral theology)
254 Parish administration
255 Religious congregations & orders
256 Religious societies
257 Parochial schools, libraries, etc.
258 Parochial medicine
259 Pastoral care of families, of specific groups of people
260 Social & ecclesiastical theology
260 Christian social and ecclesiastical theology
261 Social theology and interreligious relations and attitudes
262 Ecclesiology
263 Days, times, places of religious observance
264 Public worship
265 Sacraments, other rites & acts
266 Missions
267 Associations for religious work
268 Religious education
269 Spiritual renewal
270 History, geographic treatment, biography of Christianity
271 Religious congregations and orders in church history
272 Persecutions in church history
273 Doctrinal controversies and heresies in general church history
274 Christianity in Europe
275 Christianity in Asia
276 Christianity in Africa
277 Christianity in North America
278 Christianity in South America
279 History of Christianity in other areas
280 Denominations and sects of Christian church
281 Early church & Eastern churches
282 Roman Catholic Church
283 Anglican churches
284 Protestant denominations of Continental origin & related body
285 Presbyterian churches, Reformed churches centered in America, Congregational churches
286 Baptist, Restoration Movement, Adventist churches
287 Methodist churches; churches related to Methodism
288 Unitarian
289 Other denominations & sects
290 Other religions
291 Comparative religion
292 Classical religion (Greek & Roman religion)
293 Germanic religion
294 Religions of Indic origin
295 Zoroastrianism (Mazdaism, Parseeism)
296 Judaism
297 Islam, Bábism & Bahá'í Faith
298 Mormonism
299 Religions not provided for elsewhere
300 Social sciences
301 Sociology & anthropology
302 Social interaction
303 Social processes
304 Factors affecting social behavior
305 Groups of people
306 Culture & institutions
307 Communities
308 Polygraphy
309 History of sociology
310 Statistics
310 Collections of general statistics
311 Theory and methods
312 Population
313 Special topics in statistics
314 General statistics of Europe
315 General statistics of Asia
316 General statistics of Africa
317 General statistics of North America
318 General statistics of South America
319 General statistics of Australasia, Pacific Ocean islands, Atlantic Ocean islands, Arctic islands, Antarctica
320 Political science
321 Systems of governments & states
322 Relation of state to organized groups & their members
323 Civil & political rights
324 The political process
325 International migration & colonization
326 Slavery & emancipation
327 International relations
328 The legislative process
329 Absolutism
330 Economics
331 Labor economics
332 Financial economics
333 Economics of land & energy
334 Cooperatives
335 Socialism & related systems
336 Public finance
337 International economics
338 Production
339 Macroeconomics & related topics
340 Law
341 Law of nations
342 Constitutional & administrative law
343 Military, defense, public property, public finance, tax, commerce (trade), industrial law
344 Labor, social service, education, cultural law
345 Criminal law
346 Private law
347 Procedure & courts
348 Laws, regulations, cases
349 Law of specific jurisdictions, areas, socioeconomic regions, regional intergovernmental organizations
350 Public administration of the military
351 Public administration
352 General considerations of public administration
353 Specific fields of public administration
354 Public administration of economy & environment
355 Military science
356 Foot forces & warfare
357 Mounted forces & warfare
358 Specialized forces, engineering & related services
359 Sea forces & warfare
360 Social problems & associations
361 Social problems & services
362 Social problems of & services to groups of people
363 Other social problems & services
364 Criminology
365 Penal & related institutions
366 Secret associations & societies
367 General clubs
368 Insurance
369 Associations
370 Education
371 Schools & their activities; special education
372 Primary education (elementary education)
373 Secondary education
374 Adult education
375 Curricula
376 Education of women
377 Ethical education
378 Higher education (Tertiary education)
379 Public policy issues in education
380 Commerce, communications, transportation
381 Commerce (Trade)
382 International commerce (Foreign trade)
383 Postal communication
384 Communications
385 Railroad transportation
386 Inland waterway & ferry transportation
387 Water, air, space transportation
388 Transportation
389 Metrology & standardization
390 Customs, etiquette, folklore
391 Costume & personal appearance
392 Customs of life cycle & domestic life
393 Death customs
394 General customs
395 Etiquette (Manners)
396 Women's position and treatment
397 Outcast studies
398 Folklore
399 Customs of war & diplomacy
400 Language
401 Philosophy & theory; international languages
402 Miscellany
403 Dictionaries, encyclopedias, concordances
404 Special topics of language
405 Serial publications
406 Organizations & management
407 Education, research, related topics
408 Groups of people
409 Geographic treatment & biography
410 Linguistics
411 Writing systems of standard forms of languages
412 Etymology of standard forms of languages
413 Dictionaries of standard forms of languages
414 Phonology & phonetics of standard forms of languages
415 Grammar of standard forms of languages
416 Prosody
417 Dialectology & historical linguistics
418 Standard usage (Prescriptive linguistics)
419 Sign languages
420 English & Old English (Anglo-Saxon)
421 Writing system, phonology, phonetics of standard English
422 Etymology of standard English
423 Dictionaries of standard English
424 English thesauruses
425 Grammar of standard English
426 English prosodies
427 Historical & geographical variations, modern nongeographic variations of English
428 Standard English usage (Prescriptive linguistics)
429 Old English (Anglo-Saxon)
430 German and related languages
431 Writing systems, phonology, phonetics of standard German
432 Etymology of standard German
433 Dictionaries of standard German
434 German thesauruses
435 Grammar of standard German
436 German prosodies
437 Historical & geographic variations, modern nongeographic variations of German
438 Standard German usage (Prescriptive linguistics)
439 Other Germanic languages
440 French & related Romance languages
441 Writing systems, phonology, phonetics of standard French
442 Etymology of standard French
443 Dictionaries of standard French
444 French thesauruses
445 Grammar of standard French
446 French prosodies
447 Historical and geographic variations, modern nongeographic variations of French
448 Standard French usage (Prescriptive linguistics)
449 Occitan Catalan, Franco-Provençal
450 Italian, Dalmatian, Romanian, Rhaetian, Sardinian, Corsican
451 Writing systems, phonology, phonetics of standard Italian
452 Etymology of standard Italian
453 Dictionaries of standard Italian
454 Italian thesauruses
455 Grammar of standard Italian
456 Italian prosodies
457 Historical & geographic variations, modern nongeographic variations of Italian
458 Standard Italian usage (Prescriptive linguistics)
459 Romanian, Rhaetian, Sardinian, Corsican
460 Spanish, Portuguese, Galician
461 Writing systems, phonology, phonetics of standard Spanish
462 Etymology of standard Spanish
463 Dictionaries of standard Spanish
464 Spanish thesauruses
465 Grammar of standard Spanish
466 Spanish prosodies
467 Historical & geographic variations, modern nongeographic variations of Spanish
468 Standard Spanish usage (Prescriptive linguistics)
469 Portuguese
470 Latin & related Italic languages
471 Writing systems, phonology, phonetics of classical Latin
472 Etymology of classical Latin
473 Dictionaries of classical Latin
474 Latin thesauruses
475 Grammar of classical Latin
476 Latin prosodies
477 Old, postclassical, Vulgar Latin
478 Classical Latin usage (Prescriptive linguistics)
479 Other Italic languages
480 Classical Greek & related Hellenic languages
481 Writing systems, phonology, phonetics of classical Greek
482 Etymology of classical Greek
483 Dictionaries of classical Greek
484 Greek thesauruses
485 Grammar of classical Greek
486 Greek prosodies
487 Preclassical & postclassical Greek
488 Classical Greek usage (Prescriptive linguistics)
489 Other Hellenic languages
490 Other languages
491 East Indo-European & Celtic languages
492 Afro-Asiatic languages
493 Non-Semitic Afro-Asiatic languages
494 Altic, Uralic, Hyperborean, Dravidian languages, miscellaneous languages of south Asia
495 Languages of East & Southeast Asia
496 African languages
497 North American native languages
498 South American native languages
499 Non-Austronesian languages of Oceania, Austronesian languages, miscellaneous languages
500 Natural sciences & mathematics
501 Philosophy & theory
502 Scientific Miscellany
503 Dictionaries, encyclopedias, concordances
504 Scientific Principles of Sorcery
505 Serial publications
506 Organizations & management
507 Education, research, related topics
508 Natural history
509 History, geographic treatment, biography
510 Mathematics
511 General principles of mathematics
512 Algebra
513 Arithmetic
514 Topology
515 Analysis
516 Geometry
517 Sorcerous Geometries
518 Numerical analysis
519 Probabilities & applied mathematics
520 Astronomy
521 Celestial mechanics
522 Techniques, procedures, apparatus, equipment, materials
523 Specific celestial bodies & phenomena
524 Astromancy
525 Earth (Astronomical geography)
526 Mathematical geography
527 Celestial navigation
528 Ephemerides
529 Chronology
530 Physics
531 Classical mechanics
532 Fluid mechanics
533 Pneumatics (Gas mechanics)
534 Sound & related vibrations
535 Light & related radiation
536 Heat
537 Electricity & electronics
538 Magnetism
539 Modern physics
540 Chemistry
541 Physical chemistry
542 Techniques, procedures, apparatus, equipment, materials
543 Analytical chemistry
544 Qualitative analysis
545 Quantitative analysis
546 Inorganic chemistry
547 Organic chemistry
548 Crystallography
549 Mineralogy
550 Earth sciences
551 Geology, hydrology, meteorology
552 Petrology
553 Economic geology
554 Earth sciences of Europe
555 Earth sciences of Asia
556 Earth sciences of Africa
557 Earth sciences of North America
558 Earth sciences of South America
559 Earth sciences of Australasia, Pacific Ocean islands, Atlantic Ocean islands, Arctic islands, Antarctica, extraterrestrial worlds
560 Paleontology
561 Paleobotany
562 Fossil invertebrates
563 Miscellaneous fossil marine & seashore invertebrates
564 Fossil Mollusca & Molluscoidea
565 Fossil Arthropoda
566 Fossil Chordata
567 Fossil cold-blooded vertebrates
568 Fossil Aves (birds)
569 Fossil Mammalia
570 Biology
571 Physiology & related subjects
572 Biochemistry
573 Specific physiological systems in animals, regional histology & physiology in animals
574 Biomancy
575 Specific parts of & physiological systems in plants
576 Mutability of creatures
577 Ecology
578 Natural history of organisms & related subjects
579 Natural history of microorganisms, fungi, algae
580 Plants
581 Specific topics in natural history of plants
582 Plants noted for specific vegetative characteristics and flowers
583 Magnoliopsida (Dicotyledones)
584 Liliopsida (Monocotyledones)
585 Pinophyta (Gymnosperms)
586 Cryptogamia (Seedless plants)
587 Pteridophyta
588 Bryophyta
589 Forestry
590 Zoology
591 Specific topics in natural history of animals
592 Invertebrates
593 Miscellaneous marine & seashore invertebrates
594 Mollusca & Molluscoidea
595 Arthropoda
596 Chordata
597 Cold-blooded vertebrates
598 Aves (Birds)
599 Mammalia (Mammals)
600 Technology (Applied sciences)
601 Philosophy & theory
602 Miscellany
603 Dictionaries, encyclopedias, concordances
604 Technical drawing, hazardous materials technology; groups of people
605 Serial publications
606 Organizations
607 Education, research, related topics
608 Patents
609 History, geographic treatment, biography
610 Medicine & health
611 Human anatomy, cytology, histology
612 Human physiology
613 Personal health & safety
614 Forensic medicine; incidence of injuries, wounds, disease; public preventive medicine
615 Pharmacology and therapeutics
616 Diseases
617 Surgery, regional medicine, dentistry, ophthalmology, otology, audiology
618 Gynecology, obstetrics, pediatrics, geriatrics
619 Experimental medicine
620 Engineering
621 Applied physics
622 Mining & related operations
623 Military & nautical engineering
624 Civil engineering
625 Engineering of railroads, roads
626 Construction Sorceries
627 Hydraulic engineering
628 Sanitary engineering
629 Other branches of engineering
630 Agriculture & related technologies
631 Specific techniques; apparatus, equipment, materials
632 Plant injuries, diseases, pests
633 Field & plantation crops
634 Orchards, fruits, forestry
635 Garden crops (Horticulture)
636 Animal husbandry
637 Processing dairy & related products
638 Insect culture
639 Hunting, fishing, conservation, related technologies
640 Home & family management
641 Food & drink
642 Meals & table service
643 Housing & household equipment
644 Household utilities
645 Household furnishings
646 Sewing, clothing, management of personal and family life
647 Management of public households (Institutional housekeeping)
648 Housekeeping
649 Child rearing; home care of people with disabilities & illnesses
650 Management & auxiliary services
651 Office services
652 Processes of written communication
653 Shorthand
654 Codes
655 Servant's Training
656 Valet Training
657 Accounting
658 General management
659 Advertising & public relations
660 Chemical engineering
661 Technology of industrial chemicals
662 Technology of explosives, fuels, related products
663 Beverage technology
664 Food technology
665 Technology of industrial oils, fats, waxes, gases
666 Ceramic & allied technologies
667 Cleaning, color, coating, related technologies
668 Technology of other organic products
669 Metallurgy
670 Manufacturing
671 Metalworking processes & primary metal products
672 Iron, steel, other iron alloys
673 Nonferrous metals
674 Lumber processing, wood products, cork
675 Leather & fur processing
676 Pulp & paper technology
677 Textiles
678 Elastomers
679 Other products of specific kinds of materials
680 Manufacture of products for specific uses
681 Precision instruments & other devices
682 Blacksmithing
683 Hardware & household appliances
684 Furnishings & home workshops
685 Leather & fur goods, & related products
686 Printing & related activities
687 Clothing & accessories
688 Other final products, & packaging technology
689 Small trinkets and wards
690 Construction of buildings
691 Building materials
692 Auxiliary construction practices
693 Construction in specific types of materials & for specific purposes
694 Wood construction
695 Roof covering
696 Utilities
697 Heating, ventilating, air-conditioning engineering
698 Detail finishing
699 Inscribing Runes
700 The Arts
701 Philosophy & theory of fine & decorative arts
702 Miscellany of fine & decorative arts
703 Dictionaries, encyclopedias, concordances of fine & decorative arts
704 Special topics in fine & decorative arts
705 Serial publications of fine & decorative arts
706 Organizations & management of fine & decorative arts
707 Education, research, related topics of fine & decorative arts
708 Galleries, museums, private collections of fine & decorative arts
709 History, geographic treatment, biography
710 Area planning & landscape architecture
711 Area planning (Civic art)
712 Landscape architecture (Landscape design)
713 Landscape architecture of trafficways
714 Water features in landscape architecture
715 Woody plants in landscape architecture
716 Herbaceous plants in landscape architecture
717 Structures in landscape architecture
718 Landscape design of cemeteries
719 Natural landscapes
720 Architecture
721 Architectural materials & structural elements
722 Architecture from earliest times to ca. 300
723 Architecture from ca. 300 to 1399
724 Architecture from 1400
725 Public structures
726 Buildings for religious & related purposes
727 Buildings for educational & research purposes
728 Residential & related buildings
729 Design & decoration of structures & accessories
730 Sculpture & related arts
731 Processes, forms, subjects of sculpture
732 Sculpture from earliest times to ca. 500, sculpture of non-literate peoples
733 Greek, Etruscan, Roman sculpture
734 Sculpture from ca. 500 to 1399
735 Sculpture from 1400
736 Carving & carvings
737 Numismatics & sigillography
738 Ceramic arts
739 Art metalwork
740 Graphic arts
741 Drawing & drawings
742 Perspective in drawing
743 Drawing & drawings by subject
744 Drawing the Fourth Dimension
745 Decorative arts
746 Textile arts
747 Interior decoration
748 Glass
749 Furniture & accessories
750 Painting
751 Techniques, procedures, apparatus, equipment, materials, forms
752 Color
753 Symbolism, allegory, mythology, legend
754 Genre paintings
755 Religion
756 Enchanted Paintings
757 Human figures
758 Nature, architectural subjects & cityscapes, other specific subjects
759 History, geographic treatment, biography
760 Printmaking & prints
761 Relief processes (Block printing)
762 Scriptoria
763 Lithographic processes (Planographic processes)
764 Chromolithography & serigraphy
765 Metal engraving
766 Mezzotinting, aquatinting, & related processes
767 Etching & drypoint
768 Demonic Engraving
769 Prints
770 Images
771 Spellbook [Image Spell]
772 Spellbook [Illusion Spell]
773 Pigment processes of printing
774 Hologramancy
775 Spellbook [Light Spell]
776 Spellbook [Dream Spell]
777 Spellbook [Divination Spell]
778 Shadow Plays
779 The Art of Capturing Souls
780 Music
781 General principles & musical forms
782 Vocal music
783 Music for single voices
784 Instruments & Instrumental ensembles & their music
785 Ensembles with only one instrument per part
786 Percussion instruments
787 Stringed instruments (Chordophones)
788 Wind instruments (Aerophones)
789 Magical Instruments
790 Recreational & performing arts
791 Public performances
792 Stage presentations
793 Indoor games & amusements
794 Indoor games of skill
795 Games of chance
796 Athletic & outdoor sports & games
797 Aquatic & air sports
798 Equestrian sports & animal racing
799 Fishing, hunting, shooting
800 Literature & rhetoric
801 Philosophy & theory
802 Miscellany
803 Dictionaries, encyclopedias, concordances
804 Discursive Literature
805 Serial publications
806 Organizations & management
807 Education, research, related topics
808 Rhetoric & collections of literary texts from more than two literatures
809 History, description, critical appraisal of more than two literatures
810 American literature in English
810 American literature in English
811 American poetry in English
812 American drama in English
813 American fiction in English
814 American essays in English
815 American speeches in English
816 American letters in English
817 American humor & satire in English
818 American miscellaneous writings in English
819 Puzzle activities
820 English & Old English literatures
820 English & Old English (Anglo-Saxon) literatures
821 English Poetry
822 English drama
823 English fiction
824 English essays
825 English speeches
826 English letters
827 English humor & satire
828 English miscellaneous writings
829 Old English (Anglo-Saxon) literature
830 German literature & literatures of related languages
831 German poetry
832 German drama
833 German fiction
834 German essays
835 German speeches
836 German letters
837 German humor & satire
838 German miscellaneous writings
839 Other Germanic literatures
840 French literature & literatures of related Romance languages
841 French poetry
842 French drama
843 French fiction
844 French essays
845 French speeches
846 French letters
847 French humor & satire
848 French miscellaneous writings
849 Occitan, Catalan, Franco-Provençal literatures
850 Literatures of Italian, Dalmatian, Romanian, Rhaetian, Sardinian, Corsican languages
851 Italian poetry
852 Italian drama
853 Italian fiction
854 Italian essays
855 Italian speeches
856 Italian letters
857 Italian humor & satire
858 Italian miscellaneous writings
859 Literatures of Romanian, Rhaetian, Sardinian, Corsican languages
860 Literatures of Spanish, Portuguese, Galician languages
861 Spanish poetry
862 Spanish drama
863 Spanish fiction
864 Spanish essays
865 Spanish speeches
866 Spanish letters
867 Spanish humor & satire
868 Spanish miscellaneous writings
869 Literatures of Portuguese & Galician languages
870 Latin literature & literatures of related Italic languages
871 Latin poetry
872 Latin dramatic poetry & drama
873 Latin epic poetry & fiction
874 Latin lyric poetry
875 Latin speeches
876 Latin letters
877 Latin humor & satire
878 Latin miscellaneous writings
879 Literatures of other Italic languages
880 Classical Greek literature & literatures of related Hellenic languages
881 Classical Greek poetry
882 Classical Greek drama
883 Classical Greek epic poetry & fiction
884 Classical Greek lyric poetry
885 Classical Greek speeches
886 Classical Greek letters
887 Classical Greek humor & satire
888 Classical Greek miscellaneous writings
889 Modern Greek literature
890 Literatures of other specific languages and language families
891 East Indo-European & Celtic literatures
892 Afro-Asiatic literatures
893 Non-Semitic Afro-Asiatic literatures
894 Literatures of Altaic, Uralic, Hyperborean, Dravidian languages; literatures of miscellaneous languages of South Asia
895 Literatures of East & Southeast Asia
896 African literatures
897 Literatures of North American native languages
898 Literatures of South American native languages
899 Literatures of non-Austronesian languages of Oceania, of Austronesian languages, of miscellaneous languages
900 History
901 Philosophy & theory of history
902 Miscellany of history
903 Dictionaries, encyclopedias, concordances of history
904 Collected accounts of events
905 Serial publications of history
906 Organizations & management of history
907 Education, research, related topics of history
908 History with respect to groups of people
909 World history
910 Geography & travel
911 Historical geography
912 Graphic representations of surface of earth and of extraterrestrial worlds
913 Geography of & travel in ancient world
914 Geography of & travel in Europe
915 Geography of & travel in Asia
916 Geography of & travel in Africa
917 Geography of & travel in North America
918 Geography of & travel in South America
919 Geography of & travel in Australasia, Pacific Ocean islands, Atlantic Ocean islands, Arctic islands, Antarctica, & on extraterrestrial worlds
920 Biography, genealogy, insignia
921 Biographies of Sorcerers
922 Biographies of Saints
923 Biographies of Warriors
924 Biographies of Thieves and Assassins
925 Biographies of Scribes and Scholars
926 Biographies of Healers
927 Biographies of Artists
928 Biographies of Gods
929 Genealogy, names, insignia
930 History of ancient world to ca. 499
931 History of China to ca. 420
932 History of Egypt to ca. 640
933 History of Palestine to ca. 70
934 History of South Asia to 647
935 History of Mesopotamia to 637 & Iranian Plateau to ca. 637
936 History of Europe north & west of Italian Peninsula to ca. 499
937 History of Italian Peninsula & adjacent territories to ca. 476
938 History of Greece to ca. 323
939 History of Other parts of ancient world
940 History of Europe
941 History of British Isles
942 History of England & Wales
943 History of Germany & neighboring central European countries
944 History of France & Monaco
945 History of Italy, San Marino, Vatican City, Malta
946 History of Spain, Andorra, Gibraltar, Portugal
947 History of Russia & neighboring east European countries
948 History of Scandinavia
949 History of Other parts of Europe
950 History of Asia
951 History of China & adjacent areas
952 History of Japan
953 History of Arabian Peninsula & adjacent areas
954 History of India & neighboring south Asian countries;
955 History of Iran
956 History of Middle East (Near East)
957 History of Siberia (Asiatic Russia)
958 History of Central Asia
959 History of Southeast Asia
960 History of Africa
961 History of Tunisia & Libya
962 History of Egypt, Sudan, South Sudan
963 History of Ethiopia & Eritrea
964 History of Morocco, Ceuta, Melilla Western Sahara, Canary Islands
965 History of Algeria
966 History of West Africa & offshore islands
967 History of Central Africa & offshore islands
968 History of Republic of South Africa & neighboring southern African countries
969 History of South Indian Ocean islands
970 History of North America
971 History of Canada
972 History of Mexico, Central America, West Indies, Bermuda
973 History of United States
974 History of Northeastern United States (New England & Middle Atlantic states)
975 History of Southeastern United States (South Atlantic states)
976 History of South central United States
977 History of North central United States
978 History of Western United States
979 History of Great Basin & Pacific Slope region of United States
980 History of South America
981 History of Brazil
982 History of Argentina
983 History of Chile
984 History of Bolivia
985 History of Peru
986 History of Colombia & Ecuador
987 History of Venezuela
988 History of Guiana
989 History of Paraguay & Uruguay
990 History of Australasia
991 History of undiscovered lands
992 History of imaginary lands
993 History of New Zealand
994 History of Australia
995 History of New Guinea & neighboring countries of Melanesia
996 History of Polynesia & other Pacific Ocean islands
997 History of Atlantic Ocean islands
998 History of Arctic islands & Antarctica
999 History of Extraterrestrial worlds

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Plague Doctor

So, Plague Doctors are cool, mostly because all attempts of Medieval minds to understand and deal with the world are cool. In fact there is a lot of logic behind Medieval medicine, even if it was not necessarily correct.

They were also brave individuals who, at great personal risk, treated plague victims both rich and poor. They were typically hired by a municipality or town council during times of plague to especially focus on the poor who could not afford private physicians. Although they did not always have medical training, their prerogative was still to care for victims of the plague, witness wills, offer moral succor, and subject themselves to voluntary quarantine by dealing with none save plague victims.

This is not a Medieval Doctor.
This is different sort of Doctor.

Plague Doctor

You are a Doctor.
Plague Doctors: Killing it in fashion since the 16th C.

Your skills are many and your understanding of the four humors is deep and should not be questioned. It is your job to heal whining peasants and arrogant nobles of whatever plague ails them, with the use of your many tools and amazing clothes. Sometimes this takes the form of leeching, sometimes feeding them purgatives, sometimes of jabbing them with a pointed stick, sometimes tying them up and having them bound in a dark room, and sometimes (for greatest efficacy) all at once.

Doctor seen here with important jabbing stick
As a Doctor you wander the land, solving plagues and getting paid. The one thing that surely all Doctors want is even fancier Doctor clothes, and sharper Doctors sticks. For that you obviously need cash. 

Scary Doctor Mask

Now, the most important thing you learn in Doctor school, is that in order to properly treat people for Plague, they must be properly terrified. Sometimes people stop complaining if you just turn up looking scary enough. Thus the thesis is proved that you can scare Plague right out of the body. Hence, the Scary Doctor Mask.

Seen here being creepy
The mask is made of leather, metal, and glass, and most importantly it looks really spooky. The main point of the mask is to show people that you are a Serious Doctor and look cool and scary. People like to know that their lives are in the hands of someone appropriately intimidating, and surely someone you are that afraid of must know what they are talking about. 

However, this badass mask has another property: to keep out all the awful smells that poor, unwashed, gross, peasants reek of. It probably also helps keep out plague miasmas or something.

Dancing skellingtons are a common side-effect of plague

These people suffer from an excess of boils probably due to a dearth of leeches

See, here's your problem. You were full of animals

Important Doctor tools
Important Doctor Bag

As an important Doctor, you carry with you a bag always filled with interesting bits and pieces, often sharp and pokey, for medical purposes. Along with this, it often contains odds and ends of a confusing and medical nature. It cannot hold anything else other than non-encumbering items (it is already full of Important Doctor things), however it will never ever truly be empty of such things as small stabby tools, bits of weird glassware, suspicious herbs of unknown provenance, and possibly a dead vole or two.

The main thing that the contents of your Important Doctor Bag is for, other than holding surgical instruments, is brewing up curative patent medicines and cures.

Some so-called Doctors may wander around selling false hope and snake-oil. Not you though, your patent medicines work all the time, or at least most of the time, they mostly do something in any case. You certainly wouldn't stoop to selling snake-oil... unless you found some oily snakes.... and some dumb peasants were willing to buy it.

Rules Malarky
Hit Dice: d6 per level
Experience Track: As Specialist
Saves: As Specialist

Special Abilities:
Scary Doctor Mask: You wear a cool and creepy Doctor Mask. You have a bonus, equal to your level, when attempting to frighten or intimidate someone.
Pointy Doctor Stick: For jabbing patients. Does 1d6 jabbing damage, always non-lethal (you're a Doctor dammit, not a murderer) however subdued patients are much more open to surgery. You receive your level as an attack bonus but only with your Pointy Doctor Stick.
Doctor Bag: This is a neat looking Doctor's bag which goes well with all your other Doctor clothes. It is jam packed with nifty instruments, herbs, and unguents. It is packed to the brim, and you can never fit anything more in it; however it is always assumed to contain a supply of cruel looking metal probes, scalpels, pliers, and bonesaws [count as Daggers for rule purposes], as well as a number of glass phials, some interesting bits of string, jars of leeches, and a supply of healing (or at least weird smelling) plants and herbs.
Potion Making: Given access to your Doctor's Bag and an entire day of downtime you can brew up a single dose of potion. You can spend a day fiddling with herbs, bits of dirt, funny glassware from your Doctor bag until the potion is formed. The potion remains essentially inert and unspoiled until consumed, at which point the effect of the potion is rolled. You can change the die roll either up or down by up to half your level (rounded down).

Potion Effect (d100)
  1. Haha! That guy just died. Save or Die Poison
  2. Causes a feigned death for 1d4 days. I think I saw this in a play once
  3. All bones dissolve, welcome to your new life as a sack of meat! 
  4. Too many bones! Bones start growing uncontrollably
  5. Uncontrollable Blood Vomiting! Lose 4d6 HP 
  6. Powerful emetic
  7. Powerful diuretic
  8. Powerful laxative
  9. Powerful purgative (combination of the above three)
  10. Leeches (just a jar full of leeches, honestly you don't know how you didn't notice before you swallowed them) 
  11. Lose d6 to all stats for d10 days (permanent on a 10)
  12. Lose d20 hit points for 24 hours
  13. Lose d6 DEX for d10 days (permanent on a 10)
  14. Lose d6 CON for d10 days (permanent on a 10)
  15. Lose d6 CHA for d10 days (permanent on a 10)
  16. Lose d6 WIS for d10 days (permanent on a 10)
  17. Lose d6 INT for d10 days (permanent on a 10)
  18. Lose d6 STR for d10 days (permanent on a 10)
  19. Zombie Potion, all free will is lost and the consumer rendered highly suggestible lasts a week
  20. Snake oil (water)
  21. Snake oil (sugar pills, tastes sweet)
  22. Snake oil (made of snakes, probably poison)
  23. Snake oil (pheromone that attracts snakes) 
  24. Snake oil (will transform consumer into a snake)
  25. All hair grows rapidly an extra d20 meters in length. Formerly bald characters now sport a luxurious mane.
  26. Super powered body odor. Anyone within a meter radius must save against poison or become nauseous. Lasts d10 days (permanent on a 10)
  27. Skin changes to an unnatural colour (d10: 1.Blue, 2.Green, 3.Yellow, 4.Orange, 5. Red, 6. Purple, 7. Neon Pink, 8. Monochrome, 9.Roll Twice and Combine [one half one colour, one half the other] 10. An ever shifting hue) Lasts d10 days (permanent on a 10)
  28. Pustules. Consumer develops pustules all over their body. Unsightly, but only mildly irritating. The discharge of these pustules is mildly corrosive, so I suppose you could weaponize your pimples if you want a super gross super-power Lasts d10 days (permanent on a 10)
  29. Hunger. Consumer must eat twice their weight in biomass every day to survive, on the upside while this lasts they consume any organic matter that is not explicitly poisonous. Lasts d10 days (permanent on a 10)
  30. Blindness. Lasts d10 days (permanent on a 10)
  31. Deafness. Lasts d10 days (permanent on a 10)
  32. Consumer becomes cold-blooded and must lie in the sun for 2 hours in order to remain active for a day. Lasts d10 days (permanent on a 10)
  33. Uncontrolled Flatulence for 24 hours 
  34. Immediate loss of all body hair  
  35. Cure for Lycanthropy 
  36. Cure for Vampirism 
  37. Cure for the Common Cold 
  38. Antihistamine
  39. Cough Suppressant
  40. Antiseptic
  41. Local Anesthetic
  42. Counts as an Iron Ration
  43. Mild Hallucinogen
  44. Strong Hallucinogen
  45. Super Acid! Get ready to trip balls for 24 hours
  46. Mild Sedative
  47. Strong Sedative
  48. Immediately Fall Unconscious for d4 hours 
  49. Funny Tasting Water
  50. Placebo (no effect, but consumer believes they are completely healed of all ills) 
  51. Regain d4 HP 
  52. Regain d6 HP 
  53. Regain d8 HP 
  54. Regain d10 HP 
  55. Raise consumer's body temperature by 10°C with no adverse effects. They can now be used as an emergency radiator in extreme weather conditions.
  56. Increase consumer's buoyancy. Can no longer sink in water unless specifically weighted down. Lasts d10 days (permanent on a 10)
  57. Mild Painkiller
  58. Strong Painkiller
  59. Immunity to Pain for 24 hours
  60. Mild Stimulant
  61. Strong Stimulant
  62. Liquid Crack Cocaine! Take double actions for 24 hours
  63. Lose all sense of fear.
  64. Gain an eidetic memory.
  65. Gain the ability to identify by scent.
  66. Sweat transmutes to pleasing perfume
  67. Antidote
  68. Powerful Anaphrodisiac 
  69. Powerful Aphrodisiac
  70. Powerful Priapic
  71. Immediately cast d4 random wizard spells
  72. Immediately cast d4 random cleric spells
  73. Immediately cast d8 random spells of both cleric and wizard lists
  74. Become completely immune to all magics for good or ill, can no longer cast, use, or be affected by anything magical. Lasts for d10 days (permanent on a 10)
  75. Gain the spell "Speak With Toad" Chose one toad in the world. For one minute once per day you can understand and be understood by the toad, provided you are within speaking distance.
  76. Cure for Consumption 
  77. Cure for Leprosy 
  78. Cure for Plague 
  79. Four Thieves Vinegar (Keeps all plagues at bay) 
  80. Low alcohol tincture
  81. Highly alcoholic tincture
  82. Tincture of Opium
  83. SWANK 
  84. Gain d20 hit points for 24 hours
  85. Gain d6 DEX for d10 days (permanent on a 10)
  86. Gain d6 CON for d10 days (permanent on a 10)
  87. Gain d6 CHA for d10 days (permanent on a 10)
  88. Gain d6 WIS for d10 days (permanent on a 10)
  89. Gain d6 INT for d10 days (permanent on a 10)
  90. Gain d6 STR for d10 days (permanent on a 10)
  91. Gain d6 to all stats for d10 days (permanent on a 10)
  92. Cool mutation (Roll on your favorite mutation table) 
  93. Grow Gills! You can now breathe underwater! 10% chance that you lose the ability to breathe air 
  94. Wolverine Claws! How? Who cares! That shit is badass! You can always count as having a d6 damage weapon in each hand
  95. Beautiful Plumage. You grow exotic feathers all over. Quite fetching, although people may try to murder you to turn you into a hat 
  96. Super Ears. All problems with hearing are alleviated, plus you get a +2 bonus to hear things
  97. Leather Hide, you grow a cool scaly hide that adds +2 to your AC
  98. Super eyes. Regrow any missing eyes. Plus your eyes can now see in the dark
  99. Limb growth. If the patient is missing a limb, they regrow it. If they are not, they should no complain, because hey, free limb!
  100. Universal Panacea. Holy Shit! I hope you remember how you did that, because DAMN! That just fixed everything that was possibly wrong with that person. Plus, they permanently gain 1 point to every stat. 

You are terror, you are master of life and death, you are a Doctor.

Fear me peasants!

Random Town Generation

Inspired by this and this

So, this system is pretty self explanatory. Simple table for what to find in any random settlement. Larger die size indicates greater complexity. Also works as a mapping device, roll the dice on paper, and record the face of the die. Then use the shape and relation to the other shapes to determine a map of districts.

It means you can also add the possibility of big city sophistication into a smaller settlement. Say, creating a village using a bunch of d4s and then one d10. This may result in some unorthodox settlements, a village of hovels with a giant theatre, or a settlement composed of nothing but social hubs. However I think that this can give some great character to the place, if there is a theatre and nothing but hovels it might be an ancient Colosseum whose surrounding city long ago decayed and shrank, a large settlement somehow only made up of taverns may be a waypoint of several trade routes between giant cities.
  1. Residence (Poor)
  2. Market
  3. Artisan
  4. Social Hub (Tavern/Church)
  5. Residence (Middle Class)
  6. Administrative Centre
  7. Merchant's Quarter
  8. Entertainment (Theatre/Bear Pit)
  9. City Wall/Gate
  10. Fortification (Tower/Keep/Castle)
  11. Slums
  12. Residence (Rich)
  13. Dockyard
  14. Arsenal/Armoury
  15. Justicars (Courts/Prison)
  16. Waterworks (Sewage/Baths/Public Fountains)
  17. Foreign Quarter
  18. Something Unique
  19. Palace
  20. College

I used this to generate the city of Vincenza for my campaign, although I didn't use the dice to determine where the buildings lay. Instead, I started with a layout and filled in the different sections with the results from the table (majority of d10s with a few d20s). I wanted different factions to hold different parts of the city, but didn't know what I wanted them to be yet, so I used a point to point version of the Risk board with the separate continents being the points of control of different factions/borders of their influence. Then after filling it in, and moving it around a bit, I drew in some land, some water, and hey presto! A city!

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Alignment Spread

Ah, who else remembers the glory days of Demotivational Posters? When pretty much every meme worth sharing followed the same structure. Well, Pepperidge Farm remembers... and me too I guess.

Taking the lead from this post over at Monsters and Manuals, here's my take on the fictional archetypes of the classic Lawful/Chaotic-Good/Evil Alignment spread.

[Edited for clarity, in case anyone doesn't know by sight: LG: Hiro Nakamura (Heroes), NG: Bilbo Baggins (The Hobbit), CG: V (V For Vendetta), LN: Rorschach (Watchmen), TN: Jayne Cobb (Firefly), CN: Tyler Durden (Fight Club), LE: HAL (2001: A Space Odyssey), NE: Emperor Palpatine (Return of the Jedi), CE: The Joker (The Dark Knight)]

Monday, December 23, 2019

Mad Mages

I have always been quite taken with Ten Foot Polemic's version of Wizards, the idea that the study of magic starts with a crack in your soul that slowly grows wider and wider, with the forces of chaos spilling in. Spells not only being the point of the crack in your soul in the first place, but also the only way to dispose of all this raw chaos. However, all this chaos swirling around your brain, combined with an ever expanding crack in your soul, is probably not going to do a huge amount for your mental stability. To that end: Wizard Madness!

I should actually do a personal thank you to James of Ten Foot Polemic for his advice (specifically that players do not remember negative modifiers, but they will always remember positives).

Magic, Madness, and Sadness
So, obviously, basic pitch being: Madness equals Magic, more Madness means more Magic (eg: Adventure Time, Unknown Armies). In game lore wise, a magic-user rends a hole in their mind, allowing reality warming chaos in. Needless to say, the more chaos sloshing around in your head... makes head not good think right... As you tear down the dam that keeps the maddening unreality of existence out, more power comes in, but that dam was your sanity.
As Wizards level up, every time they advance to a new spell level, the crack in their minds grows a little wider, and they lose a bit more of their grip on reality.

Oh Ice King, you and your Wizard eyes.
Mechanically, magic equals madness, and though these madnesses are a byproduct of more spell power on the brain, it would not be the only byproduct. Much like the Ice King's wizard vision makes him see things that aren't there, but allows him to see invisible things that are there, each madness kind of leaks out into the real world. Making a real bonus for following it, and a real penalty for breaking it. The more severe the condition, the greater the bonus/penalty. Insanity Systems The problem with random insanity systems tends to be that they can be sort of way out of left field (and not in tune with the character concept), and either cripplingly punishing, or barely noticable (I'm looking at you here White Wolf).
Since this is very much a flavour sort of thing I want to allow as much freedom to players as possible to making their own madnesses, yet still keep the mechanics streamlined and workable.So to that end I tried to drill down mechanically effective insanities to a core of three most applicable madnesses

1) Compulsions: You need to do the thing [OCD, Addiction, Tourettes] 2) Aversions: You need to avoid the thing [Phobias, Anxiety, Mystical Geas] 3) Delusions: You need to believe the thing [Visual and Auditory Hallucinations, Paranoid Schizophrenia] And at three levels of severity 1) Eccentric: Easy to achieve, reasonably socially acceptable 2) Disturbed: Difficult to achieve, unsettling to most people 3) Insane: Almost impossible, deeply uncomfortable even to those who know you well I think this makes the system mechanically neat, and universally applicable. It means that you don't get a character stuck with an insanity that doesn't quite gel (Indiana Jones' crippling fear of snakes, works better than a crippling fear of clowns, or a compulsion to touch every door handle three times). This leveling does require some DM fiat on what counts for what level, but my intention was for it to scale, so that if you have an addiction to snorting fairy souls, expect to get that +3 when you finally manage to find another stash.
Some Wizards will sink real low to get their fix

You get a bonus whilst behaving in line with your madness, and you lose it when you behave outside of it. The first two are pretty mechanically straightforward, do the thing/do not do the thing in a scene and you get the bonus, eg. Compulsion (Alcohol): Bonus to saves while alcohol is in your system, Aversion (Can't Cross Running Water): Extra AC when not in/over a stream. I think that a constant bonus to all rolls may be a bit overpowered, so may be ideal to limit it (although, it would make people really chase the dragon in regards to their madness). Delusions are slightly harder to model, but I figured that the bonus was applicable so long as you mentioned your belief in a scene/did not act in direct contradiction to the belief. Delusion (Raccoons Are The Height of Fashion) for example, would be considered active every time the character mentioned how fashionable raccoons were, and would be considered immediately void were the character yield to leaving their half dozen disgusting trash pandas outside during a formal event. It might get irritating for a player to be constantly shoehorning their delusion into every scene, but its fitting in modelling the sort of social friction of being around someone whose mind is slowly fracturing under the strain of filling their head with magic gasoline. Unique Powers Continuing with the idea of with more madness comes more magic, I really like the idea of a new and unique power (rather than just a prosaic +1) comes with the advent of wizard-madness. Fits in with the idea of Ice King's Wizard Eyes and things like Bibomancy from Unknown Armies. That said, I sort of can't think of a way to appropriately balance them, or think of a whole list of suggestions. Maybe I'll come back to this after rereading about Dragon Cults. Game Mechanics Malarkey

Every time the Magic-User gains a new spell level, they gain a new madness, or upgrade the severity of an old one. To obtain a "Disturbed" (+2) level, you need to have an "Eccentric" (+1) level. Every time a new madness is gained, the player can choose to gain a new madness, or upgrade an old one. Upgraded madness must be related to their original focus. An addiction to alcohol may turn into an addiction to only Elven Brandy, and a phobia of clowns may develop into a phobia of smiles. Player's choice on whether it is a compulsion, aversion, or delusion.

The negative consequence being: loss of bonus, how difficult something is to do/avoid, and people's natural reactions to you being a complete headcaseAnd the more extreme the insanity, the sweeter the tasty magical effectIt might be too much, but perhaps delusions have a chance of being true or not at any given point, and what is true today may not be true tomorrow

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Concerning Hobbits

Has anyone ever read the Bromeliad?
These books
Well, a lot of my inspiration for twisting the Halfling class came from this... and from Goblin Punch... and from Ten Foot Polemic... let's just say I don't actually have any original ideas at all.


Halflings are seen to be relaxed people who live in harmony with nature. They wear no shoes, only basic homespun garments, and use no tools. They live inside the hollows of large trees (or sometimes in large warrens in the ground), generally have many completely docile animals around, and as a rule are high off their fucking asses all the time.

Several Halflings seen here on a quest to the nearest 7/11

Halfling Drug Culture

Halflings have the best shit, everyone knows this. It is said that it was the Halflings who taught the secret of making alcohol to humans, and although humans have subsequently developed a large range of alcoholic beverages, it is universally agreed that there is no drink more potent or toothsome than that made by the Halflings. They produce wines, meads, beers, and spirits of every kind imaginable.

In addition to this there is the famous Halfling weed, which produces a feeling of relaxation and euphoria, with the side effect of increased appetite (the source of the Halfling reputation for idleness and appetite). Halflings are particularly fond of this, which seems to settle their almost omnipresent anxiety. There are many varieties and strains of this plant, and connoisseurs are known to discern between them as a vintner would between vintages of wine.

Cultivate large varieties of Psilocybin mushrooms, which they are fond of eating ("A shortcut to mushrooms" is a common Halfling expression meaning that some activity or other will be a good time). In addition to preparing them in many different ways, they will also make "toadstool tea", a distillation of the active qualities into a, rather repellent, juice (aficionados swear it is an acquired taste). Halfling brewmasters are fond of brewing these into beers and wines, combining the psychoactive properties of the mushrooms with the effects of alcohol.

"Bilbo's not here, man"
"No man, this is Bilbo, let me in!"
"Bilbo's not here, man"

Halflings will cultivate poppies where available, creating tinctures, teas, and smoking products. All of which has a euphoric and soporific effect. These products are often employed by surgeons of the human world to numb patients during surgery, or to placate those madmen hounded by mania. Halflings are also fond of certain varieties of toads and frogs whose skin, so they claim, contains a wondrous effect. They will often keep the same animal by their side for may years, and upon its death they will skin it, dry the skin, and smoke it.

A variety of other plants and procedures unknown outside of Halfling communities also exist. Pretty much if it will get you out of your mind, the Halflings have probably already mastered the cultivation of it. Halflings have a resilience to all forms of psychoactive drugs, probably for an overabundance of them.

Halfling Beastmastery

Hi Ho Rover!

Halflings have a preternatural ability with animals, being able to summon them to help willingly with a manner of tasks. Halflings have an inbuilt natural magic that lets them extend their minds into other beings, and dominate their will. Although Halflings would obviously prefer to put it in a more gentle nature, but that is the nature of it. Their trees are hollowed out by armies of squirrels, their burrows dug by legions of badgers, their flocks need no fences as the animals simply do not stray, and when the time comes they walk meekly to the slaughter.

Even this Pig thinks Halflings are slackers

A Halfling settlement is unnervingly peaceful to outsiders. Simply the sounds of nature, of small figures relaxing in their tree hollows or by the brook, or composing their god-awful poetry. All sound of industry replaced with quiet and docile animal sounds. The cows do not even moo too loudly. It is not exactly unpleasant, but it is uncomfortably alien. Most Halflings who leave their settlements, make a good living working with animals, although some left their settlements because they did not wish to work in the traditional Halfling manner.

The Dread of Machines

Halflings are the other side of the coin to Dwarves. Halflings are terrified of technology, and above all the ancient devices of the Dwarves. Halflings will be uneasy around the technology of humans, tend not to like working with even the simplest of tools (would much rather get an animal friend to do a task for them). You will tend not to find Halflings as mill-workers, or smiths, or even carpenters; those that do are Halfling daredevils, revelling in the exhilaration and terror of the machines.

Halflings worship nature, and hope when they die to be forgotten, brought back inot the folds of nature and unconsciousness. Halflings brought into the fold amongst humans will follow in the imposed worship of the Church, but there are no real devotees, no Halfling martyrs or Saints. Those Halflings who are within the Church tend to be efficient bureaucrats rather than ecstatic preachers, or devoted ascetes. For all their seeming atheism (or so the Church has called it when they have previously purged and Crusaded against Halflings), they do believe in at least one supernatural entity, a dark presence that terrifies them. Although it is not mentioned amongst them, nor to any outsiders, but they all know the terror they feel has a name... The God of the Machine: Armok.

Rules Malarky
Special Abilities: 
At One With NatureHalflings are most at peace in the woods and natural places. They have a 3 in 6 Bushcraft skill at first level.

Small, Sneaky and AfraidHalflings are dextrous and careful and good at staying out of danger. They begin with a 5 in 6 in Stealth in the wilderness or in confined spaces. They gain a +1 bonus to your DEX modifier and add a bonus +1 AC when you are not surprised. They’re small and so cannot wield large weapons and treat medium weapons as two-handed. Halfling unarmed strikes only do d2-1 damage.

Dangerous Devices
If a Halfling ever comes within 20' of a Dwarven Abutubarû Device they must make a save against Law. Upon failure, they have become linked to the Device, slaved to its will. The Halfling is now compelled to act in accordance with the Device's directive and must attempt to fulfil its centuries old task. F the Halfling is removed from communication range, they regain their own will. However they may not communicate this fact, and must do all in their power to prevent it, as the primary directive of every device is to prevent disconnection. If they are under the effects of mind-altering substances, they are assumed to have a +5 bonus to the save. A Critical Success on this roll means that the Halfling has connected to the Device, and it is now slaved to them.

Starting at 2nd level Halflings gain the ability to dominate creatures and bring it under their control. They may attempt to dominate any animal of hit dice equal to their level -1. At any time they may control their level worth of hit dice in animals. Trying to dominate a new creature beyond this releases their hold on a random animal under their control.
A Domination attempt take one whole round (declare before initiative) and requires the Halfling to touch the creature or look deep into its eyes. All creatures can feel the violating touch on their psyche during domination attempts, failing a domination roll may fill unintelligent beasts with madness and fear and drive intelligent creatures to kill the Halfling before they lose their free will.
Domination is an opposed check of the Halfling's Charisma bonus plus level against the target’s Wisdom modifier plus level. If the Halfling is under the influence of mind-altering substances, they are assumed to have a +2 bonus, and additionally will not automatically madden an unintelligent creature, unless the check is failed by a margin of 5 or more.
Creatures might attempt to break free of this control (save vs Law) if they are treated badly, or forced to do something drastically against their will. If they successfully resist twice in a row they break free and may turn on their former master.

Drug Culture
Halflings only suffer half the psychoactive effects of any substance (rounded down)