Friday, 29 April 2016


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From the Bat Labels tumblr, it's a death bee. Queen of the death bees in fact.

The book Evolving the Alien defines life as anything capable of Self Replication , Mutation , and Hereditary  (paraphrasing a little here).

So while fire can reproduce , the "child" fire will only have properties from its immediate environment , so it's not alive, as per the defination.

Computer viruses* reproduce , have hereditary but don't mutate by themselves, unless you count human beings reworking them or modifying them as a form of reproduction and mutation.. in which case I guess they count as alive for this definition.
Conventional virii rely on repurposing another living entity for reproduction so if you want to accept their edge-caseness , using a human brain as form sex organ is just a step further.

*I'm possibly well out of date here with how this work so inform me if I am

The book offers a hypothetical extreme example of magnetic vortices on the surface of the sun as an possibility of a  life form.

(I can't remember it well enough to explain how that works sorry)

and today's post (actually been sitting around in draft form for weeks) is about making other extreme lifeforms in elfgames


(there's like 3-4 blog posts and threads that have all blurred together in my head and I can't credit the originator exactly, but yes , this idea has previous precedence)

Dungeonea is a negative lifeform. Its structure is absence , its metabolism chronovorical , its gametes erasural.
Its seed will potentially germinate on anything hidden or lost , especially in enclosed negative space ; a basement , cave , or pit.
 From there its metabolism rides on the process of time , "speeding things up" , the walls erode out  , the geological tick-tock hastens, and notable , more history becomes to have happened.

(it's important to note in a world with magic , the act and fact of the observation of reality is a much of a viable substrate as the solid lumpy bits are)

So an ordinary basement , can , depending on the exact* species of Dungeonea in it , can with a generation grow an abandoned thieves hideout, a murder cult church , and a cave bear lair.

Dungeonea hijack speculation, local mythology,  and folk history in their metabolic process, in the same way a tree will pull CO2 out of the air and H20 out of the ground to craft its bulk.

Part of their phenotypical capabilities are to redirect the lost or desperate towards themselves. I.e beings  that might think it a  reasonable thing to hide out in a horrible damp cave.
Things that have no agency of their own (ie objects) can be relocated to itself if no-one is actually sure of where exactly they are, in a form of behind the scenes metaphysical ledgermayne.

Anyone stashing or hiding anything near a Dungeon risks memory loss or confusion about where they placed the thing concerned. After a while the thing will then be found in the Dungeon itself.

The Dungeon benefits from this by the creation of further rumour, mythology and history making, micro and macro nutrients to it.

Anything taken from a Dungeon can convincingly seed another: wealth , legendary weapons or trophies etc from a Dungeon that get  lost or secreted away in a suitable environment have a high chance of germinating another.

To aid this , like the over-consummation of fruit hastening the voiding of a swallowed seed, such things tend to encourage asociality, risk taking, exploration, greed and paranoia. (the source of talk of "cursed treasure" or dragon's tainted gold)

Different genus of Dungeonea differ from each other in the speed which they grow , the seamlessness (or lack thereof)  into their surroundings, and the degree of physiologically effects on the population (retro-active mythologising, hoarding, culting forming, abandonment of children ) or the degree of "taint" on objects taken from there.

*I was going to try and map out the Domain , Kingdom , Phylum etc of Dungeonea with the Domain being Negative Space Lifeforms, the Kingdom being Architectural, and the Phylum being one that manipulates history; however it threatened to become a paralytically explosive form of speculation so Arnold can do it.


Spells most notable "phenotype" is of course a rearrangement of reality in the form of More Fire or Less Alive People  etc.  Most of the time they live inside the inflicted wizards brain , jealously guarding their patch of mental territory

Mental territory is either the prime juicy realm of  a "memorized" spell, which can be cast, or the scratchy barren realms of a  "known" spell, of which a wizard has familiarized themselves with but can't currently cast.

(it should be noted , that yes, doing more than most cursory skim read any spell risks it then permanently having a presence in wizards brain despite no formal memorization happening.)

Most spells currently in use by wizards are a satisfactory balance between usefulness (the spells effect) and in-mind aggressiveness.
 In much the same way most gardens and farms are comprised of crops known to be not poisonous, not evasive , and relatively hardy and pest resistant.

The common spells also demands a  proportionate amount of mental space for its effects. A level 3 spell uses up a level 3 slot. etc

However there is nothing innate to a spells possible nature that means it has be well behaved, reasonable or viable.

Rogue , weed, parasite, trap ,pest etc  spells are known . Ones that happily bully every other spell out of a wizard's head, or intercept an intention and make themselves cast instead.
 Some appear to be a routine Unseen Servant or Floating Disc but are complete brutes in regards to other spells and will carve out the space that otherwise would be commandeered by a 2nd ,3rd or even 5th level spell  .

Some are known to even make more room available for themselves if the wizard otherwise doesn't have the casting level, repurposing mental resources used for  memory, body functions, or aspects of the wizards identity for itself.

Other mutants and rogue spells work the other way. They attempt to out compete other spells in selection by the wizard using less mental resources (spell "slots) for more effect (higher level). However , there is no such thing as a free lunch. These varieties tend to do permanent damage to the wizard or the nature of reality around the wizard.

Anytime a wizard learns a spell (by which meaning: familiarizes themselves with a spell in a transcribed form well enough to know its game effects) there is a minute risk a reproduction error will creep in , in the same way our own reproduction is subject to. Most wizard training is about minimizing and deleting these "errors" so spells stay pretty much the same.

However self taught wizards, disreputable or deliberately iconoclastic schools run a much higher risk of translation errors.

In conclusion spells can be said to be asexual reproducers . A "sexual"* reproduction also exists, the striking of inspiration that harbingers a wizard creating a new spell.

 This rare event results in spells that tend to be better behaved than rogues or mutants, but still, extreme  caution should  is  used .
\This why the lexicon of spells is a relatively static affair .

*though a far more of a chaotic free for all of trait assignment that a diploid chromosomal affair  . Which , how many, and how much any spell is involved in the pregeneratory of a new spell is impossible to say.


I wound up writing that in a particular voice and that was kinda weird. I had some more ideas which I might expand on later

Rock statues , gargoyles : crap that looks appropriate around the place but suffers from too much attention. Sometimes becomes murderous

 Cloud vortexs : reasons why the weather makes no goddamn sense around here/ being parasited by a cloud

Storms , wave mazes: ditto for spooky islands

Gravity Coral : Floating solid stuff that makes horrible space holes and space treasure


But for now some game effects for rogue spells:

(NOTE: I think I made this game effect too invested in making statistically accurate results for the game world, so if you just like effects the generate more game relevance  just change it to stat check or roll on mutation table)
(EDIT: I think Arnold's table fits the text better , and is also his usual standard of great ,so have a look at that too

When a wizard looks at spell well enough that the g.m can go "it's a fireball but it does 4d6 damage and uses bees" it will live their head. Prob in a pathetic form that will never get the chance to do anything, unless the wizard is not in their right mind, trained by maniacs, or the spell is a dangerous rogue variant.

It also risks  the spell mutanting slightly. In a well trained and healthy wizard mind in regards to a tried and tested spell the chance is about 1 in 10,000.
this risk only happens the first time the spell is known and then again when it is memorized.

However the following increases the chance by a decimal each:
-wizard is high, suffering from prolonged stress or deprivation,  drunk, concussed, mentally ill or otherwise "not right" (more than one can apply)
-memorizing rather than just perusing
-spell is an 'unstable' variant*
-wizard is self taught
-school of magic practised is  gauche , thuggish or 'avantgarde'

so a drunk gauche-schooled wizard memorizing a conventional fireball has a 1 in 100 chance of having a spell mutant when memorizing it for the first time. If they were sleep deprived as well a 1 in 10.  And then furthermore if the spell was Unstable , a 100% chance (or if you prefer , a 9 in 10 chance )

*as indicated by something like "this scroll has an unstable version of a fireball spell" etc. Also there are some Very Unstable spells which roll for mutation every time they are memorized.

THIS SPELL HAS MUTANTED! Or permanently damaged the casters brain
But it is a small matter!
1. Some aspect of the wizards personality is always apparent , like the spell is gaudy and overly showy or involves a disportionate amount of skulls. Anyone passingly familiar with them will be able to recognise such a spell as being cast by them.
2. The spell has cross infected another !Roll a mutation for another spell the wizard has memorized.
3. Double the duration, effect or range of the spell, whatever seems the less relevant and half whatever of them is the most relevant. Randomly determine if unobvious.
4. If caster has any spell disrupted this spell is immediately cast instead.
5. Spell is insecure! Caster now can't speak the name or describe any other spell  they know or have ever heard of. Charades or opaque descriptions is okay. The spell will prob catch on to nicknames for other spells though.
6. The spell is eager to please but prone to passive aggression. If the spell is cast first in a day , you may reroll and keep the best of any one roll to do with the spell. If it is not the first spell you cast in this day , one roll to do with it is rerolled and the worst result used
7. You may instantly rememorize this spell if you knock a wizard unconscious , destroy a scroll or spellbook.
8.  This spell manages to look a lot like it's doing the opposite to what it is actually doing.
9. It will leave (additional) lingering traces of its use, such as eldritch markings, fruity smells, cold patches, unnatural plant growth etc. The host wizards personality tends to shape such a thing.
10 roll on next table

 I guess of concern but not unduly
1.  Spell casts itself twice, second time random target
2.  This spell is always "chosen" to be memorized when selecting spells
3.  Wizard loses all memory of childhood.
4.  If player stalls for too long when declaring action, their character casts this spell if able
5.  A random animal nearby begins to detest the host wizard
6. Minor nose bleed and major auditory hallucinations whenever spell is cast
7. Random stat is reduced by 3 points whenever spell is not currently memorized.
8. Spell teaches you one secret of anyone the host wizard successfully casts it on
9.  After casting the spell a unidentifiable mass of semi-animate flesh must be dug out of skin later or infection will result
10 roll on next table

..well yes Could be worse I suppose

2.  Every time this spell is cast the nearest unborn animal mutants significantly

3. Host wizard will always make this spell available to someone else on request , stopping anything they currently are doing to facilitate a transcription.

4. Spells effect for the next casting will change nightly to the most impressive spell effect host wizard has been witness to each day. However it remains still at its level of potency, so it might be level 1 version of fly or such like.

5. Spell will bud off into 1d4 half strength versions of itself whenever cast.  (1 means as "normal") . Random targets will be assigned unless host wizard can quickly assign them.

6. Spell upon cast will make way more noise and light than is ever conceivably  necessary and additionally alert anything sensitive to magic of the casters existence with  3 kilometers

7. Each time the spell is cast a random sense is halved in effectiveness and another one doubled.

8 Each time this spell is cast the nearest ghost or spirit has their memory altered so the host wizard significantly figures in it

9 Inflicts hitpoint damage to the wizard equal to itself level when cast. Damage happens at very end of round , if someone else takes this amount of damage due to the actions host wizard (due to this spell , an ongoing effect of a previous action e.g setting someone on fire or other circumstances) , host wizard does not take this damage , or atleast has the damage reduced by the amount inflicted.
10 roll on next table

oh buggery
1. The only language or speech the host wizard is capable of is saying is the spell's name

2. Double its effects but reduce host wizards level for anything other than spell casting and exp needed for next level by 2

3. Each time this spell is cast , a random dimensional interloper shows up the next day

4. 5% of the wizard's body disappears  when the spell is cast, as if they were a swiss cheese. Use this cumulative  percent as the chance that this kills them outright

5.  Casting any other spell does damage = its level

6 . Spell can be memorized as a level 1 spell but all other level one spells become Very Unstable when this is done.

7. Spell effect repeats 1d6 rounds later. If a 6 is rolled , reroll but repeats in minutes. If another 6 , hours.

8. Spell can change various aspects of itself to suit a  situation such as elemental type or the shape of its effect as negotiated by the caster to it.  It will now take a share of exp like a henchman however.

9 . Caster gains a random mutation each time spell is cast. If they start spamming this spell until they get something super good , make the spell develop  another mutation

10 Just fuck them up

Note anecdotal evidence suggests negative effects can be remedied or at least somewhat mitigated by the consummation of wizard brains and/or organ transplants

Monday, 21 March 2016

Not understanding the question : Animal Mineral Vegetable

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF So this is a thing:

Key quote:
"... one is assured that Lek Laï is not a simple mineral but a kind of metal-animal , capable of "swimming across mountains"

Which other than being worth sharing because it's amazing, is interesting because it's easy to take for granted the thinking of animals, minerals and vegetables as obvious and distinct categories.

The idea of spontaneous generation is possibly the first thing you might think of ; the idea that animal life 
(specifically verminous and unwanted life; I guess this was the only kind no-one bothered to check that hard. If someone was "hey silkworms come from water evaporated in moonlight" some entrepreneur would of got onto that )
could spring from inanimate; maggots hatched from meat, mice from old grain, snakes from dresses trellises left in rain barrels. 

Other examples from this mindset were the mandrake( it's a plant but a screaming plant) or bears licking their cubs into being from salt, the "vegetable sheep" explanation for cotton.

Numerous plants marked a mythological event  ; the first cultivated daffodil "Narcissus poeticus" , Judas ear fungus springing from the tree Judas hung himself on*

And then there was all shenanigans with whatever the fuck alchemists were on about.

Now before we get talking about animism : how do we know what was actually believed , what was metaphor or some kinda of catchy story to remember what a plant looked like or where it grew or just something to tell the kids to shut them up for minute? 

Who the fuck knows and it's possible it was varying degrees of all this at  various times or more accurately it would be some semi-fluid hybrid of bullshit, pragmatism , belief and faith which cannot be easily translated to any modern mental frame of reference.

So that plants don't have feelings, animals are distinct entities from the landscape  , and just what was going with kings love life is completely irrelevant to soil quality : these are not self evident facts at various points of time and culture.

So this is where I go : make up weird shit for how the world works for your campaign for fun.
Well yes But. 
So Ars Magica was set in "mythical europe" , the idea being, somewhat in passing, that all that weird medieval shit was true. 

Which was a somewhat terrible idea as if all the ideas we actually treated as true it wouldn't actually feel medieval. 

As in if dress trellises always turned into snakes could a siege hold out by turning spare clothing into protein? (okay maybe medieval people believed snakes were poison so it wouldn't work)
The point being in would kinda turn into a baron munchausen setting . Which is fine but it's just interesting result. 
Though arguable you could make up more medieval bullshit  to stop people treating the bullshit seriously or start claiming that being rational about things just makes them not work (because of the Realm of Reason , a thing in Ars Magica which was awkward and dumb)

I'm getting away from myself.


Animism. And those "tribal stories" where a mountain is also a daughter who ran away but also a mountain. 

Animism can't be easily understood as "invisible things in stuff"  , it's a complete rethinking or irrelevance of those categories of animate / inanimate, animal and mineral , agency and co-incidence.**

Tribal stories: are they a story or belief or a metaphor? My understanding of my own un-understanding is , that, basically no.

Trying to frame them or understanding them in such terms seems like trying to understand an ocean  by writing about what the splashing noises sound like.

Fuck this is what keeps throwing me off writing posts , this was gonna be a list of weird shit  and it's spiralling out of control in multiple directions and taking up hours.

I'm will try and wrap up somewhere useful:

Defining "animals" as things that are animals in this world and "monsters" as everything else is pretty terrible.

Everything should have a reason to exist that makes sense for the world and hopefully little sense in ours. I'm sure Arnold wrote something about this but now I can't find it so read this one as an example:

Magic as technology or magic as technology in a pulp comic have been done a lot.

Magic as technology is pretty familar, but so is the other one, it's just not explictly labelled as such.

Basic this form : there is magic, it's all over the show, it doesn't make sense , but it doesn't intergrate with anything and only monsters and wizards and their various aracana have it.

(Which in one form is the "magic is chaos" variant , where magic is always spooky and rare and corrupting and outside civilisation which is just kings and digging holes but some how magic is still worse than that. Which is generally considered more interesting than guards with +1 swords but I still think it's played out as shit and is more echos of christian metaphysically framing which is even more played out as shit. Even if has great production values like lamenations.)

AS opposed to "folk magic" , where everyone is kinda doing spells or bargaining with spirits and shit and there is an absolute intregation between magic and how the world works. There might be a lot of risk vs reward type deals and death spells and  curses .

Like a guy that you buy magic items off sounds like bullshit but that's literally what happens 
and it's great and there is couple of books I wish I had on me to reference right now about "outside priests/magicians" and "inside priests/magicians" and the activation of objects to deflect curse but I don't so it's a dumb content farm link.

but also average people have been doing magic forever

and voodoo dolls was people mistaking vodoun stuff for how white people used to curse each other and then promptly forgetting they used to curse each other

So I'm saying you can world where the barbarians have magical armour because they snuck around and dug up all your graves and made shirts out of your mourneds hair and that's even better than the shit where there is no magical swords except for one and it's super weird and you have to roll on a mutation table every time you use it and there is kings and hole digging.

and possibly you could reskin something that everyone**** complains about doesn't feel cool because everyone has magic powers (like 13th age or 4th edition or Feng Shui wait no-one complains about Feng Shui. Well okay they don't complain about that) not just the wizard and the priest.
Also the priest is as boring as possible so he's not mistaken for the wizard and mutation tables and what the fuck am I doing I'm literally collating very different systems philosophies into one straw man here I need to stop adding more to this bit and finish the table at the bottom which is what I intended to write 5 hours ago 

and you should read everything here if you haven't already

and I just started to scratching the surface of this oh gawd I just wanted to make up this thing

like that thing I talked about at the start.

1. Mountain Bear : It's a type of rock but it's also a punishment for taking too much prey and not leaving offerings when staying in caves.
Like it's any rock that looks like a bear that someone found , and everyone lets their kids play with them. But it's also death scary to find one in a cave if you don't have anything to offer them because then a large bear of earth with a rock skull that breathes with stolen breath will kill you before that night is over. Unless you go out and kill and over the first thing you see. If you make that promise , go off and see something and don't kill it then the Mountain Bear will kill both of you.
It's also a rock that is good for sharpening hunting spears and knives (reroll the first attack roll with that weapon in a hunt and take the best), but if used for war you then have to go to Mountain Bear (it's a place too, but not a literally place, except it kinda is) and make a successful case to Mountain Bear (it's a god too) why it was a legal war or your entire village disappears. 

2. Traitors river: This is water that will poison peoples minds against those that trust them. You can find it by drowning someone and using them as a boat in a moonless night in most small bodies of water.  After that the easy bit is getting someone to drink it , it's exactly like water and so can be easily slipped into their drink or food. The next bit is a bit tricky; whatever you were hoping to happen will genuinely work but create such a shitstorm it will fuck your shit up as well. 
So in order to not have that happen you have got to work out what the water wants to do and then betray it before it betrays you.  
A good rule of thumb for how this works is if when you, as your character, declare you are using it and the d.m can't work out why the fuck you would do that or at the very least , why you would do that right now, why then the Traitor's river is properly just as shocked.

3. There is this tree and this whale and they swap places sometimes and tell each stuff and pissing off one means the other is going to be really pissed off and everyone in the respective environment listens to the tree / whale so it's going to be a bad time. The locals use the same name for both the whale and the tree but are real vague if they are talking about every one of this tree and every one of these whales or there is just one tree and one whale or even if they recognise there is difference .

4. Cats are literally shithead shadows from hell and the only good thing about them is they eat mice and mice are terrible gossips as well as shitheads from hells so if a cat knows something you know only that cat and whoever in hell bought the secret knows it. Mice learn something, everyone in hell and everyone who talks to hell  will know it.

Nobody kills cats that often because all the mice that haven't been digested will escape. 
Also all shadows are a kind of dead cat and cats age in reverse so there's bound to be another one soon anyway.

Oh and when they digest mice they cough them up as moths which are idiots and fly to moon and tell them all the stories they have misremembered and/or made up. Then the moon tries to verify all this bullshit with you at night and that's what dreams are.

So obviously if you can keep away from mice, cats and mothies you will stop dreaming and then no-one can see or remember you except in song.*****

No , none of those entries were "rumours" , I am saying they should be literally true if you use them in campaign. 

*yeah for purposes of ye olde time fungus is a plant. Also the tree is supposedly a elder tree, so good luck finding a decent strong branch there Judas"

** I mean someone's prob going to learn me here , I mean all you bastards seem to have all these degrees and such. But I will learn something

*** Speaking of grossly ill formed but talking about stuff anyway let's just stop here

**** by "everybody" I'm just flailing at some fucking straw windmills here like Don Quixote on a rpg forum this is worst mixed metaphor.
I was watching Vikings and man if you are going to play that loose with your historic "France" just give everyone onions  and striped shirts and berets and have the fucking eiffel tower right there it would distract me from how terrible that siege plan was like holy shit guys they have crossbows inside the castle we didn't expect them to shoot us with crossbows when we got inside though they only worked when they used them against people outside the castle. 
No, I'm not being facetious I would be able to take it seriously if all the French people had berets but don't take it seriously when they have a stupid plan and keep forgetting about shield walls. You don't understand my complicated relationship with the ridiculous yet. 

***** Rats are noble and wise because they have kings which is the dumbest thing about this whole thing. No-one has worked out what happens when cats eat rats or rats eat mice. When rats eat cats however it's a matter of political delicacy and people don't talk about it.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

it's all natural and it's all bad

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF This spaceship/ palace/ screaming void prison is
a big naked dude
William Blake "Nebuchadnezzar "
all tied up in a tortured cube with fetid iron cable that decay has made more like a microscoped viewed hair than anything wrought

The rooms here are cut into him and held open . The flesh grows back and is removed , fake lives written on it and then burned to power the engine , a black thing like beetles grown into buildings by virii. Sits on his back , dead light denying matt iron burned somehow to charcoal.

It's the last god of a dead world , betrayed by his head priest and preserver into eternal service for his followers. The Archive Pope , mummified in lacquered paper  sits in the skull,  debating the thought forms of his god, trying make him agree . The rot fearing undying  extend out in the lungs with the archives of a entire world to manage

The Rot is a black sea where the bowels were and is a council of mammoth fungal mother knight islands , like feudal lord and aircraft carrier, dueling and campaigning further up in blight crusade .

All sorts have build up warring camps of star refuge on the skin and back.  Some of them have made inroads inside , where they content with the endless flesh chimeras of the Centipedesses who seek delight in the flowering form of predator and prey and the ratcheting creation of evolution .

The Archive seeks to preservation, The Rot to have their children in every home , the Centipedesses a vast tapestry of arms races.

Friday, 12 February 2016


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like you can make them human but with pointy ears
and that's fine if you just want to draw people different
fine to me
that's the only one here
I haven't found you and cannot possibly be talking about you

So if that's all you do
draw them real weird though or just real cool, so make it the cool people have different stats than you

from here

Or make them more like people , like the heroic people of bigot folk dreams ,
but live like animals . Like man-shape pokemon.  Walk right out of bush they were shitting in , all glistening and ethereal.
How does that outfit even work?
It doesn't  that's just what their skin looks like.
All kinds of stories and songs about things that you can't go and see.  Oh but you can't , it's just  not there anymore. But it was. And it was perfect and good. We are the good people. Language , poems , art, creation myths, lineage, heroes and gods.
but it's just Batesian mimicry . On a scale about the same size as you. Looks you right in the eye.
that face flawless over a mind of animal noise

Sure you can play one

Ildiko Muresan , from here

they don't have big city , or even a village. Just quietly sleep in hollow trees and come out to drink moonlight. Everything they need is in their dreams. Some can't sleep and they just have keep walking  until they do.


these don't have no cities either. Dry up and curl along , light as anything. Sometimes landing near where there is enough talk and noise to fill up enough to walk on in and be something like you.

Sunday, 7 February 2016


Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF Dear Displacer Klaus what are somethings that can replace the 4 classes to support distinct synergic playstyles?


  1. Horse, rat, snake, 6 year old human
  2. I-phone, clockwork mouse, clawhammer, silly putty
  3. Police Station, Cartoon Animal, Captain Hook, Vague Supernatural Phenomena   
  4. Time Elemental, Homunculus, Ooze Disguised in Human Clothes, Elderly Fairtale Bear
  5.  Captain Picard, Socrates, A computer powered by Snakes, Rasputin 
  6. Arson, Shoplifting, Fraud, Regicide 
  7. Sherlock Holmes as played by Jeremy Brett, Sherlock Holmes as played by Robert Downey Jnr, Sherlock Holmes as played by Paranoid schizophrenic who is right about everything except being Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes as manga 

Monday, 21 December 2015

scrap notes, system for equipment , skills and background

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF Brendan  ( was asking about one roll equipment systems and asked if I should bother typing up one of mine and he was like yeah do that and I was like yeah cool and man if you don't like run on sentances you must be hating this blog


Been trying to jam as much of the character creation system together as I can and also keep it "new school" in the sense you get have a special snowflake but not in the way that requires 2 hours of creation.

This was my way of putting skills, starting equipment, and background together:

Your past determines what stuff you have and any usefully capabilities you may have picked up.
When you are playing the game and you try something that requires an ability check and you think that your past might be relevant tell the g.m. If they are convinced you will get an Advantage to the roll. Make a note of this, because you will get Advantage any other time a situation similar to this happens. Then make a Intelligence check. If you succeed you can keep bringing up your Past in future. If you fail, that's it. That is all your character managed to get the hang off.

You may choose or roll a past from below. The weapon and armour description is mainly for how you picture your character, ignore it if it is not interesting. If you to have a Past not on here either talk to the g.m before hand and arrange something or just write it down and pick 4 items from any pasts equipment. HOWEVER you will have 5 seconds to do so. If pick something that is not actually there that counts as a wasted choice. You will need someone else to count out loud at you.

Starts with:
Sacks, long hooked pole, protective mask, shovel
your weapons and armour is:
"scrouged and repaired"

Starts with:
dried meats, snares, calls, scent
your weapons and armour is:
"self made and simple"

Starts with:
esoteric cultural item, concealed jewellery,compass,trade item
your weapons and armour is:
"distinctive and unfamilar"

Starts with:
domesticated animal, basic trade good, lard, homebrew
your weapons and armour is:
"repurposed tools"

Starts with:
bad drugs, stolen valuable, blinding dust, caltrops
your weapons and armour is:
"stolen and/or easily concealable"

Starts with:
jewellery, weird drugs, reading material, clockwork toy
your weapons and armour is:
"gaudy and distinctive"

Starts with:
lantern, maps, crowbar, chalk
your weapons and armour is:
"ancient and rare"

Starts with:
divination tools, spirit cleansing incense, fireworks, blankets
your weapons and armour is:
"anointed and festooned"

Design notes:
There is only 8 because I'm having a lot of new people play soon and too many choices actually slows people down apparently. I love them myself but hey. The pasts are biased to ones that kinda lead to a life of being a wandering danger junkie as opposed to a general cross section of life.
If someone wants to be a broke blacksmith or a disgraced scholar that's fine though.
Need to rethink some of equipment .

No one has a tent or some other stuff but plenty of the Pasts have jewellery or trade goods and I figure trying to trade flour for a tent or trying to find a fence is a good way of meeting people and starting stuff.
Otherwise desperately ill equipped is fine too.

Still haven't worked out how I want to do weapons and armour and I might leave off the descriptors in the final version, as they might confuse beginners.

The schrodinger's skill system owes a debt to Zzarchov's excellent Neoclassical Geek Revival

Saturday, 19 December 2015


Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF Here are some new terrains to sprinkle around your maps or elaborate fisher-king fantasy life


Like a tangle of blackberry but with canes girthing in metres. The underlayer is passable , the ancient bottom canes arching at about 2-4 metres above you.
It's very dark , dusty ,  with a few patient lichens,  eldritch fungus and ghostly ferns. Moving vertically is an engineering project, with metres of wood, sword length thorns (technically prickles)  , and eye searing sap.  The middle layer has a bit more light,  weird dirt pockets with bizarre microbiomes , and bird nests. The top layer is a violent sea of green and crimson waving thorn cane. And birds. And insects. Violently territorial birds and insects.

unique fungus, herbs. Emperor bramble sap. Bird eggs of some obnoxious fairy tale quest variety.

Occasional cane collapses (see Rocs below), thorns, sap,  cordyceps fungus.

BEASTS : Weasel like elegated pangolins of a variety of sizes; The smallest slinking around the tops eating birds the biggest slinking around the bottom and eating you. Rocs like to make their nests in the middle layer , sometimes causing collapses.  Dali Stilt mini elephants that migrate vertically as they grow. Spiders. Mites. Ticks. Beetles etc. Spiders that make themselves bird costumes to get birds to try and fight them. Giant red-eyed vorpal Kiwis.

OTHERS: Dueling ant knights sculpting the throne bases like ant castles , beetle grumble men, dancing fungus, millennium seeds , thorn entombed castles (maybe the cause of cargocult ant people behaviour) ,


Underneath frozen sea ice somewhere where the tide goes out for half a year at a time.
The drowned can fake their lives better when it's out and will trade for props for their sad mummery. Most things hunker down or wander out with the tide. The crustaceans mainly rule but it's the perfect place for spirit world diplomacy

wrecks, shellfish (pearls), anything that otherwise would require going underwater to get. Corals.

HAZARDS: collapsing roofs, lurking anemones like an anus rock for your foot to enter. Ghosts. Spirits of cambain dead. Dream eating coral.

BEASTS: crustaceans (fortified tank like lobsters, long legged hair stealing crabs , eerily bone scrying isopods ) scythed beaked penguins sliding on their bellies to murder you , spirit court fox courtier. Polar bear mercenaries seeking work in the spirit worlds.

OTHERS: A shipwreck trapped in the ice above  accessed from the gash in its belly. Isopod fortune teller. The drowned that are forbidden the afterlifes of sea or land and make fake ones.