Posts Tagged ‘ Swords & Wizardry ’

Jasper’s Starfish Dragon

In my last post, I imagined Jasper, son of Laryssa and John Payne, as the superheroic Crayola Kid. I also explained that Jasper needs ear surgery to help improve his hearing. At the time of this writing, the Payne family has raised $2,050 of $4,300 needed for Jasper’s medical bills. Check out the Paynes’ GoFundMe page. I’m planning on another donation by Spes Magna Games at the end of this month once my March sales receipts are deposited to my PayPal account. I’m also hoping that the little bit of exposure my posts bring might inspire others who can to be generous.

Of course, I need something gaming related for this post, and so this time I’ve statted up Jasper’s starfish dragon (click on the pic to embiggen the image).

The Starfish Dragon

Deep beneath the waves of the vast sea lurks the starfish dragon. The size of a galleon, supernaturally strong and invulnerable to all but the most powerful weapons, it seldom surfaces except to protect its territory against hostile interlopers. When the starfish dragon attacks, it stirs up massive waves and then tears the hull open from underneath. It usually then descends back to its depths, leaving the sailors to the mercy of the elements.

For Dungeon World

Intelligent, Magical, Hoarder, Huge, Solitary
Tentacles (b[2d10]+5 damage, +2 piercing)
20 HP
4 Armor
Forceful, Messy, Reach
Special Qualities: Aquatic, know the deeps, nigh-invulnerable scales
Instinct: To terrorize the weak
* Crush with tentacles
* Exhale unquenchable fire
* Toss massive waves

For Swords & Wizardry

HD 10; AC 1 (18); Atks 3 tentacles (1d8), 1 bite (3d6); SV 5; Special +1 or better weapon to hit, 35% magic resistance, breathe cone of fire (10d8 with save for half damage), control ocean waters; MV 6 (Swim 21); AL N; CL/XP 14/2,600

March 22nd, 2015  in RPG No Comments »

The Terror of Toys

So, I started reading J. R. R. Tolkien’s Roverandom last night. I’ve long maintained that all good children’s stories must have an element of fear, darkness, et cetera, in them. Tolkien obviously agreed. Rover, after being turned into a toy, complains that he wants to run and bark and play. Other toys chide Rover, telling him to be quiet because the more a toy gets played with, the quicker it wears out, breaks, gets discarded and so forth.

In other words, the very thing that a toy is made for is the thing which a toy dreads.

Excellently dark.

Of course, I could not help but think of the fantasy game implications of Tolkien’s tale. In short:

1. Toys are sentient, capable of communication, and are motile. We don’t know they’re sentient because we can’t hear them talk or see them move. Toys can’t move when they’re watched, and even when not watched most move very slowly, especially if they aren’t appropriately articulated. A block of wood carved into the shape of a horse can perhaps wobble a little bit and fall over, but that’s about it.

2. Toys don’t like being played with. They want to be left alone, kept in mint condition on display on a shelf out of reach of children’s fingers.

3. Toys fear death at the hands of children. They also fear being discarded or lost, which likely leaves them at the mercy of the elements, nibbling rodents, and so forth.

Thus, the life of a toy tends to be limited and full of dread. Toys are created by thoughtless craftsmen to endure torture and eventual destruction, all to amuse children who are oblivious to the terror they inflict.

Quite understandably, many toys become quite bitter, even hateful, especially of children. Rarely, one of these toys entreats whatever powers might listen for aid, and Cro† infrequently decides to intervene. In his mercy and his cruelty, he grants the toy magical powers, almost always including the ability cast Animate Object, but in such a way that it can affect dozens of toys at the same time. Individually, few of these animated toys pose much of a threat, but acting in concert against a terrified child alone in his playroom….

†Cro, the God of Truth, Chaos, and Opposites. Cro always speaks the truth. Cro always lies. Cro stands firm against what is evil. Cro revels in evil, his hands stained with innocent blood. Cro is all things, and all things are Cro.

February 4th, 2015  in RPG 1 Comment »

Fenestra of Baleful Ectypes

The dreaded Fenestra of Baleful Ectypes, a cursed magical mirror, hangs on a mildewed wall in Myrrha, a ruined villa once home to an exceedingly wicked senator named Woodruff. A man of perverse tastes, Woodruff’s reputation for cruelty has only grown since his death. His slaves were the most frequent targets of his vile appetites.

Of these slaves, the most famous is Cloe, who Woodruff forced Chloe into being his mistress after cutting off one of her ears. As revenge against Woodruff, Cloe baked a birthday cake containing extract of boiled and reduced oleander leaves, which are extremely poisonous. Her plan backfired.

Only Woodruff’s wife and two daughters ate the cake, and all died from the poison. Woodruff had Cloe hanged by her wrists from the vaulted ceiling in the front hall so that she could see her slow, torturous death in the mirror. Shortly after Cloe finally expired, Woodruff’s other slaves revolted and killed their cruel master before escaping into the hills around Myrrha. The Fenestra functions much like a crystal ball, allowing its user to see distant places and even times. Doing so is not without risk, for the mirror’s magic taps into Vioo, that barren, dark realm that exists on the other side of mirrors and mirror-like surfaces.

For Dungeon World:

When you use the Fenestra of Baleful Ectypes, roll+INT. *On a 10+, choose 3. *On a 7–9, choose 2.

* You see what is transpiring at the place you want to view.
* You see what is transpiring at the time you want to view.
* You do not take -1 forward the next time you use the mirror.
* You do not attract unwelcome attention.

For Swords & Wizardry:

The Fenestra of Baleful Ectypes functions much like a crystal ball. Its user may see what is transpiring in whatever location he desires to see, over a considerable distance and even through the veils of time. When a user taps into the scrying powers of the mirror, he must make a saving throw. Failure means the mirror’s magic ripples uncontrolled, and the user attracts the attention of one or more of Vioo’s wicked denizens. Certain spells and other precautions may be used to prevent being seen through the Fenestra. Usable by: Magic-Users.

December 26th, 2014  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 increasing 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 »