Monday, 21 July 2014

Running Domain Play as a Carousing Table part1

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Whelp I had an idea for this , like 6 weeks ago and then didn't have a real chance to type it up and so wrote some "notes" so I can easily do it when I have a spare few hours and a computer and here I am in front of a computer resting my knee so I'm looking at my notes and fucks.

They are just a fucking mess of conflicting ideas and tangents and the suggest of unnecessary subsystems and introducing tarot cards because that always makes something seamless and easy to use

But first things first; the carousing table rule is where your characters spend gold , get some exp for it and then roll on a table, as seen here:

Many people have made their own versions:
Updated version, that is fancy:

With me?
So the idea is if your players are now in charge of stuff but no-one really is interested in playing it in all its detail but it would nice if running the thieves guild meant something , even if you will always be busy travelling to the moon to fight laser mummys or something.

And presuming that any political situation is so complicated and crazed that you have no idea what exactly is going to happen as consequence of any action so tables

Ideas on how it could work:
@# you spend X amount of gold advancing your interests you get half ( or a d6X10 as a percentage) that in exp back and roll on a table. Table will need enough bad situations to make this not a given for players to roll on it

@# you just roll on a fairly balanced table at the end/start of each session to see what trouble and opportunity have winged in

@# the player puts a wager (gold, exp, land expansion , severe inconveniencing of a NPC) and you roll on a table to see what the results of that are

@# A  more complicated domain sub system that I will detail in a following post
As alternative to rolling on a table or as Random Event Generator entering random years into wikipedia gives a list off all those things that have happened then. Scroll down until you find something appropriate .

Also you could draw a tarot card and interpret that. Or assign various events to all the cards. Or just the major arcana. I thought about doing that on this blog post buuuuut not today.

here is an example of events table though so you have that atleast from me:
1. IF the player was trying something , the exact opposite happens. If they weren't , somehow their domain has a new reputation that is the opposite of what they actually do
2.Success, but player pisses someone off who was previous kindly disposed to player
3.Success but the continuance of it requires the on-going patronage of an insane person
4.Clusterfuck roll 3 times
5:.Failure and somehow a recent misfortune is now being blamed on player
6: Failure and a weakness of their domain has been widely exposed
7.:Successs but a new faction has entered the scene
8. Roll twice , the first is what you tell the player the second is what is actually going on
9.Failure: someone the p.c knows and likes is now in danger and prob desires to flee
10. Success and player's domain becomes some what inconveniently feared
11.Failure but player's domain's enemys are cautioned against acting against them
12. Failure and violent infighting erupts in players domain
13 Success but all on-going conflicts are escalated
14: Success and a previous enemy offers to join forces
15: Failure but valuable secrets are learned
16: Failure and the players position is threatened from below
17: Failure and someone allied is revealed to be a double agent
18: Success but will reverse if players domain does not appear to be innocent and peaceful for next 2 appropriate domain time units
19:Success but 1d4 foes are convinced now to make an alliance against player
20: roll again but read failure as success and success as failure

(note for success that will reverse if condition is not meet: if this nonsensical due to to the success being not really reversible , like learning something about someone, read a reverse as a random foe gains the same benefit.

I'm just screeding here rather than giving  a coherent useable system , but I guess thats what I do around here.
aaand it I figure its something pretty campaign specific so parts are more handy than plug and play system. OR I just can't stay focused. Whatever. My notes ramble on more from here but I'm going to break this post up into 2 parts so I can come back to the subsystem with more clarity than I feel I have now. It also has an attached table and that needs some chin-stroking and yeah to be continued..


Sword of the Samurai should be played ASAP as how to run domain play 

oh look it's abandonedware

So basically it is a good example of tiered domains where you start out being in charge of village work then get promoted to being in charge of province , then a county  , then a region then the whole kingdom. And this is done by having the highest honour and being elected by the guy above you, until you just above the top and then its more or less open warfare for the Emperor-dom or whatever.
You can go to peoples houses and try and make friends or bait them into dueling you or wander the country side doing heroic things so your honour goes up or sneak into peoples houses and kidnap their sons or whatever. It's great.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Just for the Record

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF Just for the record Zak Smith is a friend of mine and I am trans.
 I have not found him to be transphobic or anything he has done to be transphobic.

People are calling him transphobic or passing on that other people are saying he is transphobic without checking that out.
 Which is shit because
a) It's a fucking lie
b) Transphobia is something that is bad and important and as a transperson I fucking hate you if you are using it to shore up some shitty argument you are having. Show me why you are saying this so I can know and make effective decisions or all you are proving is transphobia means fuck all to you.

Anyway here is collection of tables I did on g+ UPDATED I found the cleric one

1. The tea makers : Scald match: a large kettle each of boiling water. Stances like knife fighters, feints and lures to encourage the other to waste a splash , some stay out of range until the kettle has cooled and then charge at use it as a bludgeon, the more water kept the heavier the kettle. Others little strategic splashs to the face or hands.
Duel goes to submission, unconsciousness or death as dictated previously
2. The bakers : each duelist bakes an army of gingerbread men, muffin marauders, swiss rollers, croissant crabs and the like and sends them to the bakery of the other. A simultaneous siege and marathon bake off, each baker desperately replenishing their forces, juggling bake time schedules , and the merits of scale and economy and their own fatigue. The loser will be forced into their own oven by the others army when they can defend their kitchen no longer.

3.The wig makers A simple hand to hand combat. Except any weapons or allies are legal as long they can be concealed in the duelists wig before the duel is commenced.

4. The candle makers Both are covered in pitch a

5 The Grave diggers With shovels in a pit being slowly filled from above

6 The tailors A duel with foot long needles , suspended above even more needles, by a tangle fabric scraps and tiny threads. Each duelist must sewn and weave a secure position anchor point before risking attack

7 Cheese makers have a month to prepare their bodies with custom diets and then a month in a dark room to make and hone whatever weapons and armour they can out of cheese. They must provide the milk with their bodiesnd then must navigate a dangerous trap filled maze with only a small candle to initially light their way, and from there may make additional candles from anything they find or catch. The duel ends when one is set a flame by the other.

more than just criminals , these clandestine fellows are:
1 Believe they are all the same person, just different aspects of them. Everything belongs to them for they dream everything into existence. When they want it back they have to sneak it back, directly confronting the dream risks shattering it and forcing them to dream another into existence.

2. Learn their skills from a shadow group of alien documenters, in exchange for fulfilling various weird research and espionage assignments.
Alien documenters desire to bring city consciousness through painstaking manipulations of the flow of information in it

3. Thuggee cult

4. Revolutionarys splintered endlessly into in esoteric factions, generations ago. Now political discourse serves as dogma and arcane shibboleths and dictates the style, targets and methods of their crimes

5. The members believe being in life means being in debt ala original sin and all just laws gain their authority from this. Their initiaon is to die and then sneak out of the shaded realm (go look for resurrection side effect tables) , thus getting out of the contract. Then believe no laws apply to them, yet still believe in the rightness of law as it applies to everyone else

6. Run by members of a proud untouchable caste. Train more members who are not members of the caste so the wrathful ghosts of the betrayed ruling caste will claim them instead when they escape out of the hellish afterlife bondage the undercaste tricked them into.

7. What bizarre environment would allow for the professional codification of criminal talents? (okay other than this one) Some kind of hellish Apokolips planet megacity which folds its way into all other possible cities by virtue of its density and bullshit., that is what! So thieves are basically all mister miracles.

8.  Agent Provocateurs , misdirectors and sowers of vast suggestions of conspiracy . Editors of history and archeological vandal, defilers of vaults and tombs. What for? To always confuse the actual history of the world. They do not know the true history,but just know it never should be known. The possibility of It gnaws at them. The founder knew but took his own memory before starting the guild. This is one story. Others are told. Like post-modernist but even more neurotically driven.

9. reincarnating immortal deviants who have their higher souls stolen and hidden in 1000 different objects as part of an elaborate and amusing scavenger hunt.

10. If illusions become too real they ascend to the next level of reality which is the current campaign one, but now they have thief skills to represent their flickering detachment to physical laws. Even if in the previous reality they were an illusion of a door or a plate of fish.

1. Wasp galls. Either giant or small but dimensionally twisted
2.Enamel formations in giant teeth

3. Hollowed out ossified cloud, still afloat
4. Fog banks
5. Giant bodies and/or stomachs. Either fresh, dead, alive or hard rotten or frozen
6.Dimensionally tunnels in everyday space like those mirror worms in Donnie Darko
7. Flat land style , 2 dimensional cave painting dungeon or rogue geometry book trap

8. Fulgurite formation in a desert

9. A syconium, but like with more Aliens body horror

10. Gods heart, 4 part interlocked

11. Frozen waterfall, more of vertical dungeon

12. Iceberg

13. Fumaroles
Wizard gimmicks:

1. Snail eyes that can extend really far
2. Eats (silences) the speaking of their own name if it is pronounced just right. Wouldn't die from not feeding this way but will go into extreme cranky withdrawal
3. Claims to have pet shape shifter. Might just be talking to random objects and animals.
4. Spare brain in a jar around neck. Memorizes double the amount of spells but needs assistance switching brains.
5. Hat on close expectation seems organically extruded. Can withdraw into hat like a snail but several magnitudes more creepily.
6. A baleful face on their tongue is actually doing the speaking and thinking. Eats via nose straw and grotesqueres.
7. Always looking up. Waiting.
8. Doubled up like a king or queen on a playing card
9. Sleeps in the arms of an ogress nursemaid. Suckles from her.
10. Waters congeal into algae slimes in her presence 

So this oppressive warrior elite are notable in that;

1. Centipede grafts of random size and placement
2. Never make a noise, except when they die, all the words come out at once in a sonic explosion
3.Gain another pair of arms each time they win a duel (from the loser of the duel)
4.They eat only live food which they fight while eating in it
5. Start their initial training with an assigned partner. At some point at the last grueling challenge they and their partner have to decide which one dies and becomes a skeleton armour set for the other to wear the rest of their life. Those that best their partner with force will have an armour that plots against them, those with trickery an armour they can never trust or one too foolish to trust.
6.Value the use of a missile weapon above all else , refusing to fight in melee . If they can be engaged in melee , they have failed in the principals of observation, stealth, surprise, misdirection, and controlling the terrain.
The society in which they lord over can be compared with that prison , the combined with Samurai snipers.
7. Like the aztec with their jaguar knights and eagle warriors. But each animal cult is an evasive masked and secret band protecting/marauding the streets at night. Like gangs of aztec batman. Each gang/animal cult has a different month in which it is dominant and different code of laws to enforce.
8. Trepanning their 3rd eyes open to shoot murder beams at you from all the angry spirts they consume and store from the brains of crazy people. Have raids were they capture people to store in asylums in order to drive them insane so they can consume their brains to reload their murder beams.
9.One armed swordswomen.  Their other arm ("the child holding arm")they remove and use to form the bone blade of the sword.
10. Murderous long steel straws they use to literally drink the blood of the working class

Worshipers of gods, intoners of rites, pointers of bone;

1. Dirt eaters. The earth is the mother they worship and she loans them her power by the eating of dirt. 100 grams per spell level. Returned in the usual way.

2. That idea that gods are empowered by belief? Not here. Here the reverse. Belief sucks the strength and essence away from the god in question, everytime certainty  is needed or a doubt soothed , the god bleeds. Spells most of all. The gods here are secretive things, big shapeless mass of night , quavering and pitiful. Illuminates  seek them out and jealousy guard their names and forms. A god might be good for anywhere from one to a thousand spells before it dissolves utterly.

3:VARIANT: regular believe empowers the god, spells hemorrhage it. Gods shyly present themselves to simple folk, fearful of being discovered and used by the Hierophants, slying updating and changing the canon and scriptures as they drain one god after another.

4. Ancestor ghosts hang around until they are destroyed utterly to power the spells invoked Crematior  entrusted with this grim mantle.

5.There are no stories of gods here just stories but as long as people discuss, read, debate and believe the stories, and more importantly what people say about people saying about the stories the Canonists can rewrite the world as needed to make it more like the stories.

6.Paranoia , apothenia , and the deduction of vast conspiracys empower these Iconclists. They worship nothing , but claim to see the connections and natures to all things others do not and this gives them power.

7. Their gods here are small and personal and curled up their brain , a godworm.  The physical limit to how much godworm can be curled inside you acts as a level limit to the Custodians.

8.. The gods dream in a ocean and trash washes up from this ocean. Scavengers go down their secret wells to the astral shores and pick through the debris of divine dreaming , evading the strange crabs there. Their spells are always a mishmash of every pantheon, sometimes satirical , semi-sensical or alien.

Inventors who believe in the future, wielding their unstable prototype devices to do great things.
 but somehow each device falls apart after a single use, to be angrily discarded and condemned by the inventor.
They move on to their next theory or insight and the practications there-of, not knowing that they consume some of their cultures actual psychic  potential for change and advancement with each of these devices, condemning their society to stagnation.

10. Sheppard tend the flock. And the flock should really think about that metaphor harder as they unwittingly consign their souls to be consumed utterly by the godbeasts waiting for them on the otherside. The godbeasts send a few crumbs of power the Shepherds way in order to from them to enact minor miracles.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

The Gentle People

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF Tricksy and whimsy folkf of the wildes and glens to betrixt anf fefoul yourre players:

Peggles Tickeyboo:

A grinning old womans head with a pair of goat legs. She will greet travellers at a crossroad or a lightning split elm with the refrain "sing how ye feel and I'll dance ye a reel"
She will then dance a gleeful dance and also reward particular fine singers with the gift of songbirds bursting from their mouths everytime they sing. Someone who si:ngs mockingly will be rewarded with shitting a goose

A orange man with a very wide face. Will come to weary parents and offer to lull the quarrelsome child . If the parent accepts he will sew the childs mouth shut. If the stitching is removed Hob-Hush-Don't-Cry will angrily appear and demand the parent pay a price for ruining his fine work and give them his mouse brides impossibly dainty  dress to fix. Otherwise he and his dozen mouse sons will pinch and worry the child endlessly.

The Gley:
A very big cow with big saucer eyes that follows travellers at night treading silently on the tops of trees. If you make direct eye contact it will let out a frightful howl and disappear. Travel that night will take 3 times as long with 3 times the troubles but your sons and daughters will have moderate success as sailors.

Wrinkle Bag:
Small wee fellows so wrinkly and saggy that their eyes are lost in their folds and crevices. They finds their way good still by sniffing and huffing everywhere and holding his brow up on occasion like a oafsome fringe.
Small bands of them will ruffle through unminded possessions looking for cheese. If there is no cheese they will furiously piss on whatever food and finements there is. IF the people so bedeviled later complain about the food they will throw hornets nests down on them from trees.

The ChildEater:
A wicked woman with long long arms and long long legs and wild fierce hair. Eats up wayward children in 3 tidy bites.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

minor cultural eccentricities

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF There is this blog post I started writing but it got long and needs heaps of explaining about the home campaign and I kinda want to try some stuff out in it first and then 2 weeks have gone by and so you get this quick place holder

(some of these are historically accurate)
1. Every profession and I mean every profession has a distinctive outfit , not always related to the practicalities related. This outfit is the only clothing permitted for the citizens.
2.A large bunch of unequipped lunatics follow the army around , volunteering for cannon-fodder, zerg rushes, terror raids etc and other near suicidal missions for the chance to be promoted into the army
3. Extremely tolerant, reasonable and aggressive expansionistic at the same time, absorbing countless regions into their own but other than reasonable tithe payments , demand little from it's colonies, content to have each people rule themselves how they were ruled before. The only thing that really winds them up is one particular heresy that they will not tolerate and if conquered peoples can't keep themselves orderly, forcing them to come and politely obliterate the current ruling body.
4. Nomads with distinctive torture arts to make entertaining orphans and animals!
5. Ruler rules for only a month and is kidnapped and forced into the position.
6. Elephants wander the market places sampling wares. They will violent rebuke mis-measurers and bakers and sausage sellers who mix brick dust in their products. OR possibly just violently attack people at randomly and everyone just says it is legit.
7. Everyone is calm and fatalistic but cheery because the exact date of the end of the world is now definitely known now. For certain.
8. The ruler will only be seen in profile. This is not an affection as he doesn't exist in other angles , well he does but as separate people running around the city in seemingly minor but somehow vastly important roles

Friday, 2 May 2014

3 cities skeletal yet fleshy

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Drowning Lions;
located at the edge of a cold tundra-ish desert , a port town, battered by storms , salt spray and dust
Landmarks: Spherical urchin like central palace, concentrically ringed and walled. Impressive and dangerous zoo and bonsai confir arboretum about the only nice things here and they are contained in things looking like a deep sea prison
Architecture; hunkered down, like soviet bunkers or monuments ,flared at the base, occasionally spiked or whimsically gargoyled
Emphasis this in descriptions; stoicism, distrust, dourness. Constant restrictions and rationings, despite not currently at war with anyone. Always assumes the worst in a matter of fact way

peoples; wearing absurd amount of  layers from the cold and dust storms, complain fatalistic about the weather
food: watery stews, dried absurdly tough meats, and wormy potatos

in charge; ring barons and baroness, each with a increasingly large shoulder panther, like half python half panther, which sleeps, acting as scarf and hat. Vote on decisions, with a monkey acting as tie breaker.
enforcing; each ring around the city has different bureaucracy and guard force. Guards badly trained volunteers armed with blunderbusses packed with rock salt, lorded over by impressively hatted heavy infantry ("bristlers") wielding 2 handed swords who work as mercenaries in various lands
special opportunities; hiring the "bristlers" mercenary or robbing their manors, one of the few displays of wealth here. The zoo is always looking for more dangerous specimens. It is rumoured that the entire city was a built as a seal on some kind of portal or vault and it any wealth it has goes towards maintaining the underground fortification.

Suun Gleez
 A city build out of bamboo scaffolding and jury rigged structures completely obscuring the castle it was originally built around. Castle occupied by ghost powered insane warmachines, city founded by exiled servants still loyal to the now dead ruling family.
Landmarks; It's a three dimensional maze with a haunted castle in the middle

Architecture; bamboo and fabric and silks, glazed with fire resistant bug secretions. Fabric lines "tunnels" that act as through-fares
Emphasis this in descriptions: you have to keep climbing everywhere, there is no planning , noise, fabric partitions as walls mean the "inside/outside" thing is not really a thing here. Large pet beetles, moths and birds everywhere. A weird sense of temporariness yet stratification
peoples; Excitable, act like fabric blocks all sound. Brightly dressed, given to big schemes with little planning, always making things out of rope or repairing things. Unconventional thinkers and prone to giving nicknames
foods: roast caterpillars, aerophytes, spicy mushrooms. Spit roast lizards. Bad luck to eat birds or eggs.
in charge; Everyone effected by an issue will have an opinion on it and agency of that opinion. Consensus minus one to make any decision. Anarchy. Everyone talking about everything all the time to make any decisions what so ever is part of the noise and possibly informs the impulsive mentality to plan as little as possible as to avoid talking about it.

in forcing; see above. Everyone will fight you from all directions with lassos , bolas and attack birds.
special opportunities; Everyone talks up how great it is going to be once they get the castle back and will encourage you to go and clear it, but then get really uncomfortable and embarrassed if anyone brings anything back from there and quietly encourage you to take it away and not mention it again.


People mined their way to what they thought was hell and then made business opportunities. Half prison half town living off the prison.  Other cities sell them their convicts , and if they are bad enough they are sold into the pit to the alien troglodytes who dwell past there, where they are made into war golems for some kind of subterranean war. Each layer is occupied by increasingly worse people. Like 1984 but with more upward mobility and therapy speak.

Landmarks: a huge gaping hole in the middle of the town. Grim watch towers everywhere with listening cones.

Architecture: Mostly carved into the side of the pit. Stone brick grim buildings everywhere. Horizontal efficient, tend to build up. Occasionally beauty in elaborate stone scrimshaw carving and murals
Emphasis this in descriptions: It's a prison where the inmates guard the inmates in order to not be inmates one day. Utilitarian. Stressed yet hopeful.
peoples: everyone has some kind of personality disorder and has to live with a bunch of other people with personality disorders but is trying their best to manage to be a better person, as not to get demoted a tier and forced to live with even worse people. A lot of self-improvement philosophy and lingo  combined with prison slang.
in-charge: Each tier has a warden with
enforcing: Dangerously reasonable armed forces (called "intervenors")   with big pitbull like rats with almost supernaturally sense of smell. 
special opportunities: entrance to subterranean realms, concentration of criminal knowledge, still a mining town and turns up strange artifacts or dangerous invested tunnels.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Grappling Rules, Stat check saving throws

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From discarding images

I scribbled some notes on grappling rules while avoiding the rain at a friends house and it's been a week(ish) since the last post and now they are here.


Make an attack. Generally this attack will go after all the other attacks happening because it counts as the shortest weapon.
If you successfully hit make an contested stat check. You and the target both choose if you want to use strength or dexterity .

A contested check works by both contestants try and roll under their stat . The one who succeeds by the most wins. The amount you win by is called the outcome

In the result of a tie, whatever was happening before the check keeps happening. So in the result of an attempt to start grappling, no grappling happens.

If neither party succeeds their check , it counts as a tie.


If you have successfully grappled someone you can inflict the outcome as stat damage to their strength or dexterity (that only lasts while the grapple is maintained) or inflict it straight to their hitpoints (which is treated as normal) via a variety of head butts , knees , body slams or constrictions.

If you have a small weapon or a natural attack like wolf jaws, a cestus,  or a dagger you can add that weapon/attacks damage to the outcome when inflicting hitpoint damage like this.

If reduce your opponent to zero strength or dexterity  they are pinned and can't do stuff other than yell and curse your parentage.

To get out of a grapple , as an attack , you make a contested check (as above) but at a disadvantage (roll twice and take the worst result) . If you win this you can then leave the grapple, or inflict damage as above. Any stat damage you inflict is also restored from any you may of taken.

If you have pinned someone you can then choked them out. It will take a round + their constitution modifier in rounds. They will then be unconscious. After that amount of time again they will be dead.
cover of


I like stat check saving throws. But they mean spells work a lot less than usual.

So I was thinking about making all spells have a mild effect that usuals happens , a severe effect that happens on a bad safe, and a no effect that happens a good save.

AND THEN I was like oh I could give just give spells a duration of like 5 -outcome and
the damage like 2d10 - outcome
(because I'm into spells being used more often and not being one of the biggest sources of damage in the game, so I'm also scaling the damage down like this)

Haven't put it into practice or really sorted the math but this post dovetailed neatly in covering it.