Posts Tagged ‘ Swords & Wizardry ’

Mephitic Horrors

Another trip through From Unformed Realms, this time aiming to create a Lovecraftian horror for use with Swords & Wizardry!

Its leathery flesh, covered with finger-length spines, sharp and dark, glowed faintly from deep cracks and pocks, as if some internal fire guttered just beneath its skin. It walked upright, like a man, but balanced itself by means of a sinuous tail that ended with a knobby clump of something like bone. Where arms should have grown from its shoulders extended writhing, muscular pseudopods, growing and retracting, seeking to touch, to grasp…to burn!

Mephitic Horror
Hit Dice: 5+5
Armor Class: 4 [15]
Attack (Damage): 2 pseudopods (1d4)
Move: 9
Save: 12
Alignment: Chaos
Challenge Level/XP: 8/800
Special: Constrict and burn, immune to fire, spittle, toxic bile

Mephitic horrors are a sort of evil elemental that serve unholy entities that seek to return to the Material World in order to terrorize, enslave, and devour. In melee, mephitic horrors attack with their pseudopods. A creature struck by a pseudopod is ensnared to be crushed and burned, which causes an additional 1d6 points of damage per round the victim remains grasped. Instead of a pseudopod attack, mephitic horrors may spit up to twice per round (once per pseudopod attack not made). This spittle has a range of 30 feet. If it hits, the target suffers 1d4 points of damage as the spittle burns. The target must also make a saving throw to avoid being blinded for 1d6 rounds. A mephitic horror that takes more than 5 points of damage from a single attack involuntarily coughs up a gout of toxic bile. Creatures in melee combat with the mephitic horror when it regurgitates must make saving throws to avoid being splashed. The ghastly bile quickly worms its way into flesh. Those exposed to the toxic bile (meaning those that failed their saving throws) develop painful, aggressive tumors after 2d6 days (a Cure Disease suffices to overcome this malady, the exact effects of which are left to the Referee’s discretion).

Adventure Hook: The discovery of an intriguing artifact leads to a long-abandoned fort controlled by bandits for nearly three months. The bandits stumbled across the fort while trying to evade the authorities. One or more mephitic horrors prey on the bandits, seeking to slaughter them all.

July 18th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

A New Cleric Spell & A Magical Lake

At that time Jesus exclaimed, “I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to little children.” (The Gospel According to St. Matthew 11-25)

Apophatic Facade
Spell Level: Cleric, 1st Level
Range: 120 feet
Duration: Until dispelled or an attack is made

The object of this spell, whether a person or a thing, becomes invisible to both the normal sight and darkvision of Chaotic creatures. A non-Chaotic creature can see the target if that creature fails its saving throw against the spell. An invisible creature cannot be attacked unless its approximate location is known, and all attacks are made at -4 to hit. If the invisible creature makes an attack, the spell is broken. Otherwise, it lasts until dispelled or removed by the caster.

Pilkullinen

The Great Northern Forest’s full extent remains a mystery. It is an inhospitable land of rugged, wooden terrain subject to heavy precipitation, especially during the latter spring and fall months. A few days west by northwest of Mirror Rock is a shallow, wide valley into which flows several small streams. These streams feed into Pilkullinen, an alkali lake with remarkable properties. Pilkullinen is shallow for most of its length and breadth, perhaps no more than several yards deep except during the heaviest of rainy seasons. The lake drains into marshes along its southern and eastern shores. During the shorter dry seasons, much of Pilkullinen evaporates or drains away, revealing dozens of large, natural pools. The strange minerals in the lake concentrate in these pools, and impart upon the waters healing powers. Unfortunately, the savage and xenophobic barbarians native to the region believe their fierce gods gave Pilkullinen to them alone, and they zealously guard it against trespassers.

Anyone who soaks in one of the large, natural pools for 1d4 hours may benefit from the lake’s special qualities. Roll on the following table and apply the results.

Pilkullinen’s Powers

1: Cures all diseases and heals 2d6+2 hit points.
2: Cures all diseases and heals 1d6+1 hit points.
3: Heals 2d6+2 hit points.
4: Heals 1d6+1 hit points.
5: Boosts health. +1 saves versus disease and poison for a day.
6: Strengthens will. +1 saves versus charm and fear for a day.

July 10th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

The Great and Terrible Wilderness

Thy heart be lifted up, and thou remember not the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage: And was thy leader in the great and terrible wilderness, wherein there was the serpent burning with his breath, and the scorpion and the dipsas, and no waters at all: who brought forth streams out of the hardest rock, And fed thee in the wilderness with manna which thy fathers knew not. And after he had afflicted and proved thee, at the last he had mercy on thee, Lest thou shouldst say in thy heart: My own might, and the strength of my own hand have achieved all these things for me. (Deuteronomy 8:14-16)

Fire Serpent
Armor Class: 5 [14]
Hit Dice: 4
Attacks: Bite
Special: Breath weapon, immune to fire, poison
Move: 12
Save: 15
HDE/XP: 6/400

Fire serpents, magical beasts that hunt during the heat of the day in certain deserts, appear much like normal snakes except for their brilliant scarlet coloration and the heat shimmer that surrounds them. An adult fire serpent may reach lengths between 12 and 16 feet. A fire serpent is uncomfortably hot to the touch, but not hot enough to cause immediate damage. When startled or threatened, this creature curls into striking position and exhales a gout of flame in a line 5 feet wide and 30 feet long. The blazing heat of this breath weapon inflcits 4d6 points of damage (a successful saving throw indicates half damage). A fire serpent’s bite packs a deadly poison. Those that succumb to this toxin burn from the inside.

Dipsas
Armor Class: 7 [12]
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: Bite (1d6-1)
Special: Induce thirst, surprise foes
Move: 9/6 (burrowing)
Save: 17
HDE/XP: 3/60

Another rarer sort of magical snake found in certain deserts is the dipsas, also known as the thirst snake. These snakes lurk near oases, waiting buried in the sand or within the spaces between rocks. A dispas surprises its prey 4 in 6 times. Its bite forces a saving throw to avoid magically induced thirst. This thirst is so powerful that the victim will ignore even attacks for 1d6 rounds in order to slake the maddening hunger for water. Dipsas prefer to attack prey gripped by overwhelming thirst.

June 19th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

The Phoenix Chasuble of Acqui Terme

Shown in the pictures above are the front and back of a beautiful chasuble made by Geneviève Gomi of Maris Stella Vestments. I read about these remarkable garments on New Liturgical Movement’s site, specifically this post right here.

A chasuble is a liturgical vestment worn over other vestments. It is something like a poncho. It’s an oval-shaped (or nearly so) piece of cloth with a round hole for the priest’s head to pass through. It tends to fall below the knees all around. It originated as a adaptation of common garb worn all over the Roman Empire in the first few centuries of Christianity. Originally, the priest at the altar would have been dressed very much the lay people in attendance at the Mass. In some way, the idea of reserving a special outer garment arose, possibly for no more reason than it was easier to keep one clean if it wasn’t worn every day like normal clothing. As you can see from the pictures, chasubles today are no longer common articles of clothing, but can be works of art embroidered with ornate designs and images symbolic of religious doctrines, such as the use of the phoenix as a symbol for the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

My aims here, however, are significantly more modest. I’m just using a wonderful picture as inspiration for fantasy gaming.

The Phoenix Chasuble: This remarkable relic was created for the first bishop of Acqui Terme, who wore it on certain sacred days, including the day in which the bishop faced down an army of marauders at the city gates. The bishop’s words and courage so impressed the war-like chiefs of that horde that they ordered that Acqui Terme remain unharmed. For more than the past two centuries, the Phoenix Chasuble has remained in the cathedral vestry, handed down from one bishop to the next. The full powers of the Phoenix Chasuble are perhaps unknown. The wearer gains complete immunity to fire, even magical flame. He also enjoys a +4 bonus to saving throws against magic. Once per day each, the wearer can use the following magical abilities: Continual Light, Detect Invisibility, Dispel Evil, Fireball, Fly, Protection from Evil 10-Foot Radius, and Wall of Fire. The wearer can communicate with any type of fire elemental while wearing the Phoenix Chasuble. Once per week upon command, the Phoenix Chasuble causes its wearer to burst in flames. The wearer’s melee attacks inflict an additional 1d6 points of fire damage. Any creature striking the wearer in melee combat likewise suffers 1d6 points of fire damage. Usable By: Lawful Clerics only.

June 8th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

“Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!”

Galgenbaum is ruled by five Mayor-Justices, each one serving for life and holding jurisdiction over part of the town, and all five meeting to decide matters that affect more than a single jurisdiction or the entire town. When a Mayor-Justice dies in office or is no longer able to perform his or her duties due to ill health, a new Mayor-Justice is carefully chosen from the Rechtsanwälte, the guild of lawyers. The selectee must be approved by the unanimous consent of the Mayor-Justices. Each Mayor-Justice possesses a magical gavel and sounding board. When a Mayor-Justice takes the oaths of office, the other Mayor-Justices invest the new justice with the gavel and sounding board. This ceremonial process links the Mayor-Justice with the gavel and sounding board. Their powers function only for the Mayor-Justice to whom they have been entrusted.

When a Mayor-Justices strikes the sounding board with the gavel, the magic takes effect on all who hear the gavel’s raps. Mayor-Justices are immune to these effects, which vary depending on the number of raps of the gavel. A Mayor-Justice may choose to exempt certain persons present from the effects. Typically this courtesy is limited to the bailiffs present in the court.

One Rap: All those affected are subjected to a Hold Person effect. After one minute, a saving throw can be attempted to move normally.

Two Raps: Those affected must stand up and remain relatively motionless. After one round, a saving throw can be attempted in order to move normally.

Three Raps: Those affected must sit down. After sitting down for one round, a saving throw can be attempted in order to stand and move about normally.

Should a gavel and its sounding board fall into unauthorized hands, the magical powers still function, but the user cannot exempt anyone from those effects. This includes the unauthorized user himself. Furthermore, the gavel and sounding board are invested to a particular Mayor-Justice, who becomes instantly aware of the items’ misuse. The Mayor-Justice even knows the general direction and distance to the gavel and sounding board. The closer the Mayor-Justice is to the items, the more precise is his or her knowledge of their location.

May 18th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »