Posts Tagged ‘ Barbarians of Lemuria ’

Murklings in the Wooded Hills

Have I mentioned how much fun From Unformed Realms is? Well, it is much fun, and it’s system-neutral, which means with some thought it can be used for pretty much any game. For example, Barbarians of Lemuria:

Adventure Hook: A chance reunion with an old friend leads to some wooded hills in a frontier region. There the woods are currently being cleared by refugees seeking escape from the punishing taxes of their homeland, but the settlers’ activities have attracted the attention of a murkling swarm.

Murkling
Its gray flesh hung in tatters, covered with gaping sores, glistening with moisture. It dropped from two legs to all fours, and we heard its bones snapping, shifting, adapting to this new form of locomotion. Before it resembled somewhat a man, somewhat an ape, but now it appeared more like a great, obscene rodent. Three more emerged from the burrows, their limbs jointed oddly, unevenly. Unthinkingly, I stepped away, just one step, but still a sufficient number to press my booted heel onto a dry twig. The closest monster jerked and hissed at the twig’s popping, and the creature’s entire body swelled up, its flesh distending, a cloud of dewy particles shaking into the air around it.

Attributes
Strength 0
Agility 2
Mind 0

Combat Abilities
Move 35 ft.
Attack Bite +0 (1d6-1 damage plus possible poison and infection)
Defense 1
Protection 0
Lifeblood 10

Nota Bene
Diseased: Murklings all carry a bizarre disease. A Hero bit by a murkling must make an Easy (+1) task check using Strength. Failure results in infection that sets in after 2d6 hours. The victim suffers joint pains and dizziness (increase Action Difficulty by one step). After 1d6 days post-infection, the victim loses control of one or more limbs, which seek to kill the victim (weilding weapons against him, running him off a cliff, et cetera).

Inflation: Murklings can inhale rapidly and inflate their extremely elastic lungs and stomachs, swelling to a spherical shape. This causes hundreds of short, sharp spikes to protrude from its skin as well as shakes loose of cloud of toxic sweat particles.

Mobility: Murklings move quickly and with agility despite their awkward appearance. They swim, climb, and burrow as well. Due to their adaptive skeletons, murklings can often squeeze through spaces smaller than one would expect.

Toxic Sweat: Heroes that come into contact with murkling sweat must make a Tricky (-1) task check using Strength. Failure results in poisoning. Every 1d3 minutes after exposure, the victim loses 1 point of Strength and Agility. Paralysis sets in when both abilities reduce to less than -1, and the paralysis lasts for days.

July 24th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

Koschei the Deathless

In my last post, I introduced Buyan, a magical island found in Slavic and Russian folktales and myths. Today, we meet Koschei the Deathless. If you’d like to read a tale featuring this villain, here’s a link to a PDF of “The Death of Koschei the Deathless” taken from The Red Fairy Book by Andrew Lang.

So tall he towers over the tallest men, emaciated yet vigorous, unkempt hair and beard grown into ragged and long strands, completely naked. Koschei the Deathless, sorceror and kidnapper, lives in a decaying fortress lost within a rugged highland forest. From this lair, Koschei rides out mounted on his remarkable steed, one of Baba Yaga’s magical horses given to Koschei by that monstrous witch. Koschei abducts women, especially the wives of aristocrats. He locks them up in his fortress’s dungeons, guarded by frost giants and winter wolves, often for no reason other than to enjoy slaughtering those who come to rescue the ladies.

Only Koschei’s deathlessness overshadows his legendary wrath and cruelty. In ages past, Koschei took his soul and hid it within a needle. He put the needle inside an egg. A duck carries this egg in its body, and, in turn, a white-furred hare holds within its body the duck. Koschei locked the hare inside a sturdy chest constructed from iron, crystal, and gold. He buried the chest beneath the roots of an oak tree that grows in Buyan’s forested wilderness. As long as Koschei’s soul remains protected, Koschei cannot die. No force mundane or magical can kill him.

Anyone fortunate enough to locate the oak tree, dig up the chest, and open the container must still contend with the hare, which then races away, seeking to evade capture. If pursuers catch and kill the hare, the duck bursts forth and flies away. Should the duck be caught and killed, the hunter can extract the egg and use it to control Koschei, who sickens and loses his great strength and his sorcerous powers. Cracking the egg open to get the needle breaks this control and restores Koschei’s might, but breaking the needle instantly slays the villain.

Koschei’s steed, which he addresses only with various insults such as “jade” and “nag”, has magical powers. It gallops faster than any mortal horse, and it speaks several languages. It tracks victims for Koschei with its remarkable sense of smell, and no one has ever thrown the horse off their trail. Koschei also possesses at least one amazing magic item, a normal-seeming handkerchief which, when waved three times, transforms into a strong bridge long enough to span any river or chasm. Once Koschei crosses the bridge, it reverts to a handkerchief.

This link takes you to a PDF containing game stats for Koschei the Deathless, making this miscreant usable for Dungeon World, Fate Accelerated Edition, Mini Six Bare Bones Edition, and Swords & Wizardy. Koschei’s stats for Barbarians of Lemuria appear below. Huzzah.

Koschei the Deathless
Attributes: Strength 4, Agility 0, Mind 3, Appeal 0; Brawl 2, Melee 3, Missile 2, Defence 0
Careers: Gaoler 2, Hunter 1, Scholar 1, Sorcerer 3
Lifeblood: 12
Protection: 0 (no armor)
Weapons: Scimitar d6+6
Special: Koschei is deathless as long as his needle is intact. He ignores all damage to Lifeblood.

Koschei’s Horse
Attributes: Strength 3, Agility 1, Mind 2
Offence: Attack with hooves +2; d6 damage
Defence: 2
Protection: d3-1 (tough hide)
Lifeblood: 20
Special: Koschei’s horse speaks several languages. Its swiftness is legendary. It can accurately track a target via scent.

July 26th, 2015  in Product Development, RPG No Comments »

Vodyanoi & Rusalki

From the waist up, a vodyanoy appears as a naked old man, but its frog-like face, tangled greenish hair, and covering of algae and muck over fish scales surely prevents anyone from mistaking this creature for human. What’s more, it has not hands but instead webbed paws, and in place of its legs extends a powerful fish’s tail. A vodyanoy’s eyes burn like red-hot coals.

When not swimming, it usually rides along its river on a half-sunken log, making loud splashes. When angered, a vodyanoy breaks dams, destroys water mills, and drowns both people and animals alike. Consequently, those who live along the banks of a vodyanoy’s river make sacrifices to appease the monster. Vodyanoi also drag down people to their underwater dwellings to serve as slaves.

For Barbarians of Lemuria

Attributes: Strength 4, Agility 0, Mind 1

Combat Abilities: 2 claws +1, damage d6-1; Defence 1; Protection d3-1 (scales); Lifeblood 10

Special: Vodyanoi breathe water as well as air. Against man-made structures, vodyanoi can exert enormous destructive power, comparable in many ways to the effects of a catapult.

For Dungeon World

Group, Hoarder, Intelligent
Claws (d8+2 damage, forceful)
6 HP
2 Armor
Close
Special Qualities: Amphibious
Instinct: To dominate its territory

* Destroy a man-made structure
* Drag victim to the bottom
* Swim silently and swiftly

For Swords & Wizardry

HD 4+1; AC 5 (14); Atks 2 claws (1d6); SV 13; Special breathe water, destroy man-made structure; MV 6 (Swim 12); AL C; CL/XP 5/240

The rusalka, an unquiet undead monster, was in life a young woman who either committed suicide by drowning due to an unhappy marriage or who was murdered by drowning, especially after becoming pregnant with an unwanted child. A rusalka must suffer its tortured existence in or near the body of water in which it both died and was reborn.

This undead creature is not invariably malevolent, for it may die in peace if its death is avenged. Nevertheless, a rusalka’s main activity is far from benign. It seduces by either by looks or by voice young men, who the monster then leads into the depths of its waterway. Therein, the rusalka entangles its victim with her long red hair and submerges, dragging the would-be lover to his death.

For Barbarians of Lemuria

Attributes: Strength 2, Agility 2, Mind 2

Combat Abilities: grappling hair +2, damage d3; Defence 2; Protection d4-1 (lacks any vulnerable organs); Lifeblood 10

Special: Rusalki appear as beautiful, red-haired maidens to mask their true, more horrific appearance. If engaged in seductive efforts against a male hero, the hero must attempt a Hard Mind action to avoid being charmed by the monster.

For Dungeon World

Devious, Group, Intelligent
Entangling hair (d4 damage)
10 HP
0 Armor
Close, Reach
Special Qualities: Undead
Instinct: To kill young men

* Appear beautiful
* Ensare in its entangling hair
* Inflame the passions

For Swords & Wizardry

HD 8; AC 3 (16); Atks Entangling hair (1d3 then constrict); SV 8; Special appear human, charm male, constrict (1d6), undead; MV 9 (Swim 9); AL C; CL/XP 11/1,700

June 3rd, 2015  in RPG No Comments »

Three New Enchantments

It’s been a while since I’d updated my little site here. I’d went from 17 August all the way through 23 November without a single post. That might be a personal best for website neglect. So, to try to make up for my shocking lack of concern for the Internet, here’s my fifth post since and including Monday. Today, I revisit Christopher Pound’s wonderful random Vancian spell names for three new spells, one each for three different game systems.

Pieritz’s Aqueous Apprehension for Barbarians of Lemuria

Pieritz, Grand Sorcerer and Dread Suzerain, grew tired of those who objected to his heavy hand as a ruler, secure in his belief that his lessers could not fathom his methods and motivations, which surely meant they lacked any standing to criticize Pieritz’s decisions. So, he drew down from cold stars a powerful enchantment, and wove this magic into the sands of the beaches of an archipelago off the coast of his realm. These rugged islands, covered with rocky ground and thorny scrub, became places of exile that need no guards. Once a visitor’s foot touches any of the ensorcelled beaches, Pieritz’s Aqueous Apprehension wriggles in, creating a dread of water that grows stronger in direct proportion to the amount of water the victim faces. Two hands cupped to dip into one of the scummy pools that dot the islands? A tightness in the gut and a slight tremor of the jaw. Faced with the expanse of sea surrounding the island? Screaming terror so great that perhaps clawing out one’s own eyes to never encounter such a fearful sight again.

Magnitude: Third
Cost: 15
Requirements: The Stars ARE Right
Minimum Cost: 11
Difficulty: Demanding (-6)

Eznin’s Spell of Irrepressible Gall for Dungeon World

Eznin, a wizard who bristled at the conventions of polite society, crafted this annoying little spell to create scandal and strife in the Summer Queen’s court. It worked like a charm, leading to one divorce, two duels, and an arrest warrant insisting on Eznin’s immediate imprisonment beneath the infamous Three-Walled Tower.

Level: Wizard 1, Enchantment, Ongoing

The person (not beast or monster) you touch while casting this spell has the gall to say the most inappropriate, offensive things. This spell lasts until the target is subjected to a violent response.

Berus’s Doltish Religion for Swords & Wizardry

Berus long nutured a hatred for clerics, viewing them as drones buzzing about on errands for meddlesome powers.

Spell Level: Magic-User, 5th Level
Range: 240 feet
Duration: Permanent until dispelled

This spell that affects only Clerics. The saving throw against the spell is made at a -4 penalty, and if the saving throw fails, the targeted Cleric abandons his deity in favor of an increasingly bizarre set of doltish beliefs, such as in the healing power of stinging nettles or the divine nature of oats. The Cleric consequently loses the ability to cast spells or affect the undead as long as under this spell’s effects.

November 28th, 2014  in RPG No Comments »

The Bajang

Evil and intelligent, the bajang, a type of lesser spirit, lives in tropical jungles, where it delights in terrorizing settlements. Wicked magic ties the bajang’s lifeforce to a single tree in the forest in which it dwells.

In its true form, the bajang looks like a stunted, stocky human with a blunt nose, wispy hair, and pale brown skin. Its beady orange eyes glare malevolently, and a permanent evil sneer creases its wide, lipless mouth. Instead of fingers, it has bony claws, and its feet resemble the talons of a vulture. The bajang can also take the form of a small wildcat, and its victims most often encounter the bajang in this form. As a wildcat, it has light brown fur and retains its distinctive orange eyes.

A vicious and devious fighter, the bajang delights in attacking the wounded, weak, or otherwise helpless. This monster seldom negotiates, and it may be incapable of telling the truth even to save its own life.

For Barbarians of Lemuria

Attributes: Strength 2, Agility 2, Mind 1

Combat Abilities: 2 bony claws +1, damage d6-1 plus poison; Defence 1; Protection 0; Lifeblood 12

Special: The bajang can turn into a small wild cat at will. It uses magic as if it has two ranks in the magician career. Bajang poison forces the victim to make a Hard strength roll to avoid suffering from painful cramps that impose a -1 penalty to strength and agility for 1d6+1 minutes.

For Dungeon World

Intelligent, Magical, Medium, Solitary, Stealthy
Bony Claws (d10 damage, messy)
16 HP
0 Armor
Close
Instinct: To terrorize the weak
* Ambush even the alert
* Form of a wild cat
* Weave enchantments of disease and loss

For Swords & Wizardry

An opponent struck by the bajang’s claws must make a saving throw or succumb to the monster’s poison, which inflicts wracking pains that cause a -1 penalty on all saving throws and attack rolls for the next 1d6 + 1 rounds. The poison’s effect is cumulative; each failed saving throw increases the penalty and adds one round to the duration. In its natural form, the bajang can cast control winds, hold person, and locate object three times per day each. It can cast cloudkill once per day.

In wildcat form, the bajang retains the Armor Class, Hit Dice, movement, and hit points of its original form. It attacks three times per round, inflicting 1-2 points of damage for each successful bite and front claw attack. If both forepaw attacks are successful in the same round, it can attempt two rear claw attacks for an additional 1-2 points of damage each. A bajang cannot cast spells while in wildcat form.

HD 6; AC 2 (17); Atks 2 claws (1d4 plus poison); SV 11; Special 10% magic resistance, change form, poison, spells; MV 12; AL C; CL/XP 11/1,700

November 27th, 2014  in RPG No Comments »