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Sunday, August 15, 2021

The Cubes That Saved Everyone

 The Time of Fire and Madness had finally come, and the whole world strained underneath it. 

Strange lights fell from the night sky, started strange fires, and then leapt away again.  Many summoned them, but not one of the Serpents responded.  Flesh rebelled against its masters, and the stars trembled in their matrix.

The wonderful city of Avadeiga was dying.  The crops had all burnt up, and the animals had begun rotting while they were still alive.  When the graneries were opened only a fetid must was found inside.  Some fled to what would become the Madlands.  Others began an open rebellion (after all, the regium did not go hungry).

Amid this chaos, the wonderful theurges peered forward and saw a time when the fields would grow again.  It was no so far away.

But the wonderful logicians pointed out that it was still too far.  They would be dead and forgotten before sanity returned here, or anywhere.  Anything that preserved them over those long years would be subject to the same corruption.

And the wonderful mathematicians had an idea.  If the forests would be incinerated, then they must become seeds.  Numerous and subtle and redundant.  A million points from which the forest could someday regrow.  A book could be reduced, and so could a man.  With all of their power and wisdom, could they not reduce a city in the same way?

And so a messenger was sent to the granaries, to summon back the wonderful biomancers.

The Grid

Fresh leylines were placed.  The entire city was wired with a three-dimensional grid.  It was split up into cubes, each one 10' by 10' by 10.  Each cube would be reduced and encoded.  And when the time was right, the code could be used to reconstruct the original.

The code itself would be written in the germline of an organism.  The organism could multiply and grow, and as it did, it would create more copies of the code.  The people of Avadeiga would be saved a thousand times over.

For the organism, they chose an ooze.  

An ooze can survive in the cracks inside a rock, subsisting on the small amounts of moisture and organics that filter down.  You can set an ooze on fire, but unless you are careful to burn every last bit, some bit of jelly will escape and regrow.

All the apocalypses piled on top of each other would not be enough to extierpate the last ooze.

And so each germline (there were about 40,000) encoded a 10' cube of the city--another sector on the hard drive that backed up a everyone.

Gelatinous Cubes

If you gather enough gelatinous cubes in one place, you can observe this behavior.  They'll congregate, exchange names ("234-68-3"), assemble into the shape of the original city, and test for quorum.  

If quorum is reached, the cubes will form a continuous chrysalix (a chrysalis made from multiple primary organisms) and begin differentiating into the people, buildings, books, and plants of Lost Avadeiga.

If quorum is not reached, the cubes will reconvene at the next equinox.

The cubes behave like regular oozes in most respects, but when they are engaging in these programmed behaviors, they are entirely systematic.  They can respond to certain command-phrases, and can speak a certain number of fixed statements.  The most famous ululation of the cubes is "ZOOG!", which is their SYN-ACK initiator.

The voice is that of Avadeiga's Principle Biomancer, Yevanon, whose voice has been inscribed on the germline of every gelatinous cube, in order to be poorly reproduced on the vibrating facets of the cubes.

Carnosus and the Vudra

Gelatinous cubes have reached quorum at least once before, many centuries ago.  The result was the Madlander city of Carnosus, a shifting labyrinth of self-assembling cubes.

While the inhabitants originally hunted for more cubes to rebuild their city, subsequent generations cared little for their parents' struggles.  New houses were built where the old ones were not, and the lost generation was forgotten.  The sages of Avadeiga had completed their resurrection, but it was woefully incomplete.

Instead, the future generations turned their attentions towards mastery of the oozes that birthed their city, and abandoned the idea of a fully resurrected Avadeiga.  The result were the vudra and the sludge vampires (an exiled clan of the vudra).

Mutant Cubes and Weaponized Cubespawn

 Any system composed of cooperating subunits is subject to exploitation when on of the subunits chooses it's own success over the success of the system.

Cancer is a clear example of this.  A cell (and soon, a group of cells) exploits the body's systems in order to acquire more blood, more food, and more growth.  Local success, systemic failure.

Some gelatinous cubes are known to be mutants, and are capable of spawning flawed copies of Avadeigans when advantageous.  In most cases this amounts to nothing more than spawning a confused, aggressive version of one of Avadeiga's inhabitants.  Once the cubespawn has served its purpose (usually by killing the cube's enemies) both will be reabsorbed.

Cubespawn usually die quickly if left on their own.  The same mutations that allow them to be spawned without quorum also tend to inject fatal defects into their own germlines--missing eyes or digestive systems. 

At the same time, cubespawn should be viewed as rational humans in their own right.  They knew that their doomed city would be cubed off and encoded in a gelatinous matrix.  Is it any wonder that they assume that the cube is their ally in these fights?

There are also gelatinous cubes that are far more intelligent than the others.  Their primary mode of conversation is to carry around a skeleton and use it for pantomime.

by Scott Harshbarger


Saturday, August 14, 2021

Lee Herren Luke Jeans

Let's talk about Asria, where the Casio MT-G MTG-B1000B-1A4JF (Produits ménagers Japonais) is.

The Great Pyramid of Asria


In the plains of Asria, there is a great structure--two thousand feet tall and twice as wide.

It is made from stone and metal and stranger things still.  There are between 100 and 135 floors (depending on how you count).  The structure shows evidence of multiple eras of inhabitats, with sublayers and connectors all built according to different types of construction and quality.  

The newer construction tends to be the lowest caliber.  The oldest, original parts of the building are built with such exotic materials and techniques that modern engineers aren't even sure how it could be disassembled, or if its even possible. 

The Great Pyramid has numerous lifts that move up and down the building.  The largest of these are the size of city blocks, and are used as marketplaces.  They move up and down through the layers with a trudging regularity, and are used as clocks by the inhabitants.  

All of this is powered by a system of living hydraulics--domestic oozes that live inside the stone and metal-work of the pyramid.

by Paolo Soleri

The Quiet Farms of Asria


Before you reach the city of Asria, however, you must pass through the farmland.

The quiet farms flank both banks of the Ravello.  They are composed of large, irrigated pools covered with green mats of thrush, a type of ooze.  For the most part, the thrush fields are content to lay in the sun, where they grow fat and stinking, a viscid mat atop a thin layer of stagnant water.  Nothing bothers them except the brine flies.

Once a field is mature, it liquifies, changing color and becoming venous (in some cases).  Then, it crawls to Asria, where it deposits itself in a silo and begins auto-fermentation, in order to prevent spoilage.

Each of these enormous silos is owned by one of the lords of Asria, who owe their allegiance to the queen.  This thrush is then sold as food.

While thrush differentiates itself into different types of edible thrush, they are all universally repugnant.  Bread and meats are also sold in Asria, but those farms must be placed further away.  The city claims all the nearby land for itself and its farms.

Roads through the quiet farms are atop narrow dikes or raised boardwalks.

The Defenders of Asria


It is important to distinguish between the people of Asria--the inhabitants of the arcology, the lords, and their queen-- and the city of Asria, which is composed of the autonomous oozes that control the city and the quiet farms.  

The city feeds and shelters the people, but it does not care about them.  You could travel to Asria and murder every inhabitant, and the hydraulic oozes of that place would not change the lift-schedules by a single minute.  But Prophetessa (May She Live Again) help you if you trample one of the farms.

Any threat to the city is countered by the appearance of a mobulus, another type of domesticated ooze.

by JoshMaule
A mobulus looks like this, except less cartoony and more organic
A mobulus is also a bit more pallid

A mobulus stands 10 to 15 feet high.  They are bipedal, but can break apart and reform into different modules as needed.  It knows a language called avadeigan, which no one knows or has bothered learning, mostly because (a) mobuli don't show up very often, (b) when they do show up, they are often trying to kill you, and (c) they only talk when they need to clarify something, and most of their tasks don't require that.

Mobulus
HDDef none  Atk 1d8/1d8+engulf
Move slow  IntDis guardian

Gelatinous -- All physical damage is reduced by 5.  Attacks that hit its eye (10' off the ground) deal full damage.

Throw Gob -- The mobulus throws a gob of itself up to 100' away.  The chunk is a full HD 2 ooze.  On a hit, it deals 1d8 damage and the target is engulfed by an ooze.  The mobulus takes damage equal to the ooze's HP.

Ooze Traits.

When Lord Mygolios attempted to raze one of the quiet farms in order to install a farm where he could raise his noble pig, he was forced to exterminate several mobuli in the process.  He triumphed, and the farm went up.

Over the next month, however, the neighboring farms stopped producing.  The thrush disappeared as it matured, seemingly overnight.  Wherever it crawled, it wasn't to the great pyramid of asria.

Then, in what was obviously a coordinated effort, dozens of mobuli emerged from the earth beneath the nearby farms.  Mygolios' farm was overrun, his men were digested, and his prized pig was torn apart.

The mobuli remained for a few days more, in order to oversee the re-establishment of the quiet farm.  They dug trenches, and the neighboring farms dutifully donated enough thrush for the ponds to become re-established.  Their task complete, the mobuli marched to Asria, crawled inside a silo, and pickled themselves.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Myconids

Psychology


Humans are very contemptuous of orcs.  They are brutes, never shying away from any cruelty.  And they are warmongers, always divided against each other, always plunging headlong into another meaningless war of succession.

This is very similar to how myconids view humans.

The myconids are the perfect pacifists.  They do not hunt--no throats are slit for their dinners.  Nor do they farm, with all of the conflict and exploitation that agriculture entails.  They are detrivores.  They eat the dirt and flotsam of the world.  They eat the dead, and cherish the living.

They are not a hive mind, but they are strong empaths, each and every one of them.  Thoughts and memories spill over from one myconid to another, like mead spilling between cups during a hearty toast.  Because of this, myconids are much less individuated than humans.  Myconids can't tell which of their childhood memories are their own, and they think it is strange that anyone would care.  Myconids know how foolish it is to fight over a who wears a crown.  Since they blend together, all myconids wear the crown.

"Identity" the myconid would explain, "is a concept that humans invented in order to punish criminals.  Myconids don't have criminals."  

For the most part, this is true.  The same mental spillover that occurs between myconids ensures that there are no outliers among the myconids.  A myconid murderer would be quickly discovered--their guilt as loud as a klaxon in the ears of the other myconids.  A depressed myconid would soon be equilibrated, with their depression diffused across the entire colony, like a drop of paint in a cup of water.

Cultural values and believes propagate in the same way.  

Myconids are much less afraid of death than humans are.  It is still unpleasant to die, but when a myconid finally passes, so much of their memories and personality is already enshrined in their friends that it hardly seems like they are gone.  In the minds of the myconids, it is so easy to imagine a dead friend--their exact reactions and words--that the tragedy is lessened.

In a very real way, a myconid exists in the minds of their friends.  You cannot kill them in a way that matters.

AMOZ Thor's Hammer Viking Halskette, Männer Edelstahl Golden 's
Myconids by MOAI

Culture


Myconids that travel away from their colony for a long time tend to become more neurodivergent.  These myco-nomads are not distrusted, but they are exhaustively questioned whenever they meet up with a colony of myconids.  Fresh ideas are scarce among the myconids.

Like other cultures, however, myconids still have a need for secrets, and for independent thought.  A myconid can easily accomplish this by cutting off their head.  (A myconid's "head" is merely the fruiting body, used for procreation and telepathy.  Their true brain is in their abdomen.)

A myconid that has been decapitated will grow to become a house.  Important decisions in the colony are usually made by the Council of Houses.  Since speaking is difficult for Houses, they typically only voice their opinions by groaning out their disapproval.

In Centerra, myconids are among the devout (like most monsters).  They worship Zulin and obey the Authority's precepts.  They believe that they are a singular creature, and will all enter heaven or hell together.  That's another part of their communal nature, since myconids believe that they are responsible for each other's sins, they usually see each other as another part of their own body.  A strange neighbor is just a spasmodic limb.

The religious leader of each colony is the Cathedral.  The leader of the military is the Armory.  The leader of scientific pursuit is the Academy.  The master of hallucinations is the Apothecary, who also makes most of the foreign policy decisions for the colony.

Biology


Myconids constantly shed spores.  These spores sprout wherever they can, and become ordinary mushrooms.  These mushrooms will never mature into a myconid, and nearly all of them are highly toxic.

These mushrooms are also the primary food source for myconids.  A myconid will wander the world, collecting their sprouted mushrooms (inedible to anyone except themselves) and bring them back to the nearest Silo for redistibution.  While wandering, they are of course spreading more spores.

In order to turn a mushroom into a myconid, it must dosed with massive amounts of LSD, graciously provided by the Apothecary.  Not every mushroom that is thus dosed will go on to become a myconid.  Most of them merely grow brains, and spend their remaining days tripping through alien dimensions, learning impossible truths, before finally dying a mushroom's death.

The other mushrooms--the ones with grounded, plodding minds--pass through this veil of hallucigens and go on to become myconids.  They grow eyes, arms, and legs before popping out of the ground and following the nearest adult.

Can any type of mushroom be turned into a myconid?  Possibly.  Some mushroom species can be turned into myconids quite simply.  Others with difficulty.  Some seem to be impossible.  It's an issue of great debate.

There is a long-running joke among myconids, that if they could just find the right hallucinogens and dosing schedule, they could enlighten humans into something better than a race of barbarous fuckups.

Myconids only engage in sex during the direst of emergencies.  Sex is something that you do only after your colony has failed at something momentous, and a fresh start is needed.  The Apothecary usually gives the order to begin growing phalluses.  A few weeks later, when everyone has finished growing genitals, the shame orgy occurs.

Human sexual habits are understood to occur under different conditions, but it is difficult for them to shake the association.

Combat


Myconids appear in groups of 1d8.  Each myconid is Level 1d4, and their body sizes vary consderably, from child-sized to ogre-sized.  At each level, they gain a magic die and access to new spells.

Lv 1 - telepathy, charm
Lv 2 - illusion
Lv 3 - invisibility
Lv 4 - sleep

They never, ever use lethal force.  

Fellow pacifists can be reasoned with.  Parley is possible with other civilized creatures.

But people who use lethal force against myconids will be treated like any other wild animal.  They will be hunted down and neutralized.  Myconid territory must be peaceful territory.

Their weapons are sleep, illusion, invisibility, and charm.  Their first resort is often charm.  They'll cast it as soon as they see you.  This isn't a hostile act in their mind.  If you complain, they may give you a scroll of charm so that you can cast it on them.

In times of conflict, illusion and invisibility are used constantly until the threat is nullified, either by tricking it into a padded pit or distant quadrant.  The enemies of the myconids will never know what their caves look like, since they will never see them without the veil of illusion. Sleep is a last resort.

If an enemy cannot be scared off or reasoned with, they will be brought to the Armory.  The Armory will administer the Dose, and place the wild beasts in the Garden of Earthly Delights.  At this point, the beast will exist in absolute ecstasy for the rest of their natural life (which is not likely to be very long).  Although the myconids will supply the ecstastic beasts with water and warm blankets, no other care is taken, and the beasts are allowed to expire naturally.

Afterwards, the corpses will be mulched in the community garden.

Uncommon Spells and the Magnificent Travelling House


Although he is rarely spoken of, the myconids do have a queen, who was annointed after her return from the Holy Mountain.  She is known as the Grand Mycina, but most of the myconid will only speak of her enigmatically as The Magnificent Travelling House.  She exists as several tons of fast-travelling mycelium, existing exclusively underground.  The minds of all dead myconids reside in her, in some form.

The Magnificent Travelling House usually travels to the place where she is most needed, where she appears as extra rooms where there were none before, or as a fungus-covered wall that vaguely resembles a face.  She sometimes teaches her people rare spells. 

Triumphant Rot
R: 50'  T: creature  D: permanent
If the target fails its save, it slumps over in ecstasy while mushrooms grow rapidly from its body.  For the rest of its life, it will flop next to water sources and sigh contentedly until it does of malnutrition.  If a myconid gives it a command, it will sluggishly comply.

Inherit
R: touch  T: corpse  D: 0
Creates a new myconid from a corpse.  The new myconid has a portion of the corpse's memories, but is otherwise a normal myconid.  The portion of the memories that are inherited depends on the degree of success.

Degrees of Success:
Highest MD is 1-3 = 33% of memories inherited.
Highest MD is 4-5 = 67% of memories inherited.
Highest MD is 6 = 100% of memories inherited.

Dream Quarantine
R: 1 mile  T: all creatures  D: permanent
The all creatures in the area are trapped in a dream-realm until the caster chooses to release them.  (One save is made for the entire group, using the highest save among them.)  This effect lasts until the caster chooses to end it.  New creatures entering the area are not subject to this effect.  A colony of myconids will enter or leave the dream quarantine as a single group.

This spell effectively allows a myconid colony to trap any number of enemy creatures in a mind-dimension.  Myconids are not very powerful in a dream-realm (since they are not very creative), but they cannot be killed in a way that matters.  If the PCs are trapped in this way, they may butcher any number of myconids before they realize that the myconids are not staying dead, and the features of reality are plastic.  

Since myconids take weeks to dessicate, and humans will die from dehydration after a few days, a prolonged stalemate is usually to the myconid's advantage.

It's a bit risky, however, since there's always the risk that the entire colony will be eaten by badgers while their minds are in the dream quarantine.  (The first sign of this is usually a myconid vanishing from the dream.)  They may choose to end the dream if they can parley some sort of truce with the PCs.  This may involve a binding oath, perhaps involving rings of civilization (below).

Magic Items


Scroll of Summon Ooba

Ooba is a godling that serves the myconids.  She appears as a giant toad, and can be bargained with to eat obstacles.  She will never willingly harm a living thing, but can eat nearly anything organic, as well as most stones.

Scroll of Summon Brimbool

Brimbool is an ice demon who serves the myconids.  He has many abilities, but is limited to making ice walls and describing all the tortures he would like to inflict.  He's gotten quite good at making ice walls over the centuries, however.

Scroll of Mass Diminuation

Up to 10 target objects must save or be reduced to 1/12th of their original size.  Lasts 1 hour.

Ring of Civilization (Cursed)

Wearer takes emotional (non-lethal) damage equal to all damage inflicted.  Cannot be removed.

Mushroom of Enlarge

Effects gained by eating.

Mushroom of Reduce

Effects gained by eating.

Mushroom Hammer

Large weapon.  Deals non-lethal damage.  It feels good to be hit by the mushroom hammer.  Sentient creatures who are hit by the mushroom hammer must save or become unable to defend against the mushroom hammer in the future (since they want to be hit by it).

Luroc's Finger

Looks like a key.  The handle is black iron, the stem is white "ivory" that shifts through all possible permutations.  If you loudly proclaim where you intend to go and insert the finger into a flat wall, it will create an extradimensional microdungeon that leads to your destination.  Usable once.

Roll a d26 and look up the corresponding letter.  That is what the dungeon is shaped like.  The rooms are randomly generated pieces of the Long Halls of Luroc--just use random rooms from random dungeons that you have laying around your house.  At the end of the microdungeon is a door that leads to your destination.

Using Myconids


Use them like any other race!  Which is to say, as another entrenched power center with their own goals, fears, and quirks.  Despite their aggressive pacifism, they are not good guys (but neither are they strictly bad guys).  They can be colonizers and manipulators like anyone else.  They are not above proxy wars (although they will feel very bad about causing suffering, and will probably provide euphorics to the civilians displaced by the war).

Honestly, look at your game map and see if you can't replace of the human towns with a myconid settlement.  They trade, give quests, and die like any other race.

PSA: Spores


You'll notice that these myconids are merely spellcasters--they don't do anything magical with their spores.  This makes sense, because spores are not just a fungo-buzzword.  Spores are the reproductive units of a fungus.  Why do so many people have myconids doing magic with their spores?

I know this is more anthropo-chauvinism, where we humans look at a mushroom and ask "but what does it do?" and the only thing we can come up with is "well, it sits there and releases spores".  It makes as much sense as flipping to the stat block for humans and seeing their abilities listed as "Pacifism Sperm", "Communion Sperm", "Hallucination Sperm".

I know there are some dudes who don't do much besides release their gametes, but it's a disservice to characterize the entire myconid species this way.

/rant

Sunday, February 14, 2021

WHALES FROM HELL

Whales come from hell--everyone knows that.  They swim up from the blackest abysses.  They are formed from the souls of gluttons, who's insatiable hunger inevitably led their swollen bodies back to the light of the living lands, where they can feed on the living.  Either way, two things are certain:

  • They have magic.
  • They can speak.
Their voices are deep and grinding things, like a thousand teeth being pulverized in a mill beneath the earth.  They speak from fog or from darkness, never allowing the ships a chance for a free harpoon.  They speak eldrune (the language of the ancient elves) but blaspheme in common gospeltongue.

Why Hunt Whales?

I'm going to steal from Dunkey here, so don't click that link if you want to continue to believe me capable of original thought.

Each whale yields up 4 resources when butchered.  A failed Whaling or Butchery check yields up only half of the possible bounty.

Flesh - 1d6+6 Whalesteaks
Each whalesteak counts as a week's rations.  No amount of cooking skill can improve the disgusting taste of whale.

Bone - Ribules equal to the number of whalesteaks.
Whaleribs can be made into armor and clothing that can safely contort the wearer to an impossible degree.  You could make whalebone armor that--when properly tightened--squeezes your torso to be twice as long and half as wide.  You could craft a whalebone collar that rotates your head backwards.

Sidebar: these are called caitiffettes in Noth, where they are forcibly applied to those who fled from battle.  The collars are constructed in such a way that they decapitate the wearer if they are removed.

Whale Oil - 3d6+10 Flasks of Whale Oil
The most sought-after oil available, whale oil sells for 10 times the price of regular lamp oil.  All sorts of spectacular powers have been attributed to it (most of which are false).  It does, however, smell pleasant and offer an even flame.

Spermaceti - 2d6-3 Chunks of Uprocessed Head-Melon
Processed by perfumers, a chunk of head-melon can be turned into a flask of spermaceti, which is very valuable as perfume.  If the chunks are instead processed by a high level psychonaut, they can be used to make odochrysm.  Odochrysm has two uses:
  • Perfectly lucid dreaming, including entering the dreams of others who are sleeping adjacent to you.
  • Regaining a lost MD.
Whale Stats

Level 1d6+6 (Same as Flesh and Bone, above)  Armor none
Bite 2d20  Ram 1d6 (ship)
Int 10  Dis malevolent

All whales have 1d3 special abilities.  The first ability is always summon wave, but the others are random.

1. Summon Wave - All unsecured items are knocked off a ship.  People on the ship must succeed on Strength checks to avoid being washed off.  Has a chance to deposit sea creatures onboard (see Tritonspawn Table below).  Usable every 1d4 turns.

2. Albino - Anyone who damages a scarback whale and does not kill it before the next full moon will die in an unfortunate accident soon.  This is common knowledge to all sailors.

3. Whirlpool - Deals 1d6 nonlethal damage to the ship each round (successful sailing check for half damage).  (Nonlethal damage to a ship heals after combat, and is usually just flooding).  The only escape from the whirlpool is to cut the lines.

4. Seagull Symbiotes - Seagull swarm (Lv 3, Swarm Immunities, 1d4 damage to up to 3 targets).  They live inside its blowhole.

5. Aquakinesis - Capable of entrapping the ship under a "hill" of water.  The ship is basically held underwater until the whale releases it.

6. Sonic Blast - Everyone takes 1d6 sonic damage and begins to hallucinate.  A save cuts the damage in half and negates the hallucination.

7. Siren Song - All who hear it must save or jump into the ocean.
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8. Storm of Rage - Ship takes 1d6 damage (Sailing check for half).  Transports you 1d3-1 (min 0) hexes in a random direction (potentially causing you to lose your bearings).

9. Summon another whale.

10. Whale hermit.  This whale's left eye has been replaced with a glass cage.  Living inside the cage  is a scrim-wizard of Level 1d4+1.  They'll crawl out once the whale is wounded.  Sample spells: water to ice, magnesis, fog, warp wood, heal whale.

11. Runic.  Has a spell carved into it's back by an absent scrim-wizard.  (See above for sample spells.)

12. Favored Pet of the Sea King.  Wearing a harness of gold and chalcedony worth 1000s.  This counts as a treasure.  Killing this whale will have consequences.

13. Mock Whale.  A ruse of the merfolk.  Once harpooned, the false whale splits open

14. Claimed Whale. Already harpooned and dragging a barrel, with the barrel's colors indicating the whaling ship that has claimed this whale.  50% chance that the other whaling ship shows up shortly.

15. Carrion Whale.  Undead.  Being eaten by 2d6 sharks.  It is currently swimming to a secret cove, where minions of the Necromancer King stand ready to transport it back to their master.  It will form one of the legs of the Colossus.

Tritonspawn [1d6]
1 - Giant Crab (Lv 4, plate, 1d10)
2 - 2d4 Sea Snakes (Lv 1, leather, 1d4+poison)
3 - Giant Squid (Lv 5, unarmored, 1d6+grapple, will attempt to flee with a meal)
4 - 1d6 Drowned Men (50% chance of being Lv 2 Undead, 50% regular corpses)
5 - Sea Jelly (as a Lv 6 black pudding, only damaged by fire)
6 - 3d6 delicious, ordinary fish.  As rations (except they're still flopping around).  1-in-20 chance of getting a golden wishing fish that will grant a wish if caught and then released.  Hurry!  Catch it before it flops off the deck.

Lampa 70106 Turbo 6 ROHS Ladegerät
Faroe Island Whalers
How to Catch a Whale

I'm not sure about the exact details, but it'll have to have a few steps, each of which will have to have some interesting choices to make.

Finding a Whale
Choose between safe (staying close to shore) and risky (more distant waters).  Maybe younger/older whales frequent different waters, so that you have some control over what level whale you want to hunt.

Harpooning a Whale
Use as much of the combat ruleset as possible.  The whale might not be able to attack PCs directly (if they're on the deck), but it can still damage the boat, pull them out into deeper water, or attract unwanted attention.

Regular Hexcrawl Considerations
And there's always the issue of: how long do we want to stay out here, vs returning to a safe port.  If resources deplete in a predictable way, this is a trivial calculation to make, so of course we need to have resources that deplete irregularly.  Maybe food is supplemented by fishing and water by rain.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Piabon the Dandelion Knight

Piabon is a fairy knight, of course, one of the knights botanical.  But he refuses to say who he serves.

What is your quest?

"I am gathering knowledge of your weaknesses for the coming war.  Don't look so concerned!  It won't be for a long time yet."

How long exactly?

"I find it best not to worry about such things.  But tell me, how poisonous is cinnamon to the human constitution?  Can you safely breath it?"

Piabon is accompanied by Gressa, an enormous white lion.  Gressa speaks with a girl's voice, hates violence, and pretends not to hear or see anyone else except for Piabon, who she addresses with mild contempt.  She is much lighter than she looks.

Want / Do Not Want

Piabon wants to learn about human weaknesses.  He would be especially interested in seeing large amounts of humans fighting at one time.  He has no interest in anatomy or dissection.  He would be interested in a book of poetry that describes heartbreak (another human weakness).

Piabon does not want his face to be seen.  He doesn't want people embarrassing him in front of Gressa.

Help / Harm

If Piabon likes you, he will accompany you (although not underground) and happily tell you about interested locations nearby and all the threats on the wandering monster table (he's traveled quite a bit).

If Piabon doesn't like you, he'll probably try to kill you.

Piabon's Secret

There's actually four of him--brothers who share a name.  One wanders around with Gressa, while the other three usually remain in their laboratorium sanctorum, atop Old Miss Thistle (a mountain).

Piabon

Level Armor as plate  Morningstar1d8  War Bee 1d6 (see below)

Move as human + bumbershoot (see below)

Piabon loves alcohol, and a single drink will make him hilariously, chilidishly drunk.

Piabon's armor is made from spun sugar.  It is light and strong, but melts if it gets wet.

Piabon's head, carefully concealed beneath his helmet, is that of a dandelion puff.  If he is restrained, his helmet removed, and his head blown off, the blower gets a minor wish.  The wish is limited to what an adult human could definitely accomplish with a year of labor.  Build a wall, destroy a bridge, teach the blower to play the panpipes excellently, kill a merchant, etc.

Piabon's War Bee lives inside his magnificent neckerchief.  He carries it in place of a bow, but treat it like a spiritual weapon.  It requires an action on the first turn to sic the bee on someone.  On the first turn and all subsequent turns, the bee makes an attack (using Piabon's bonus) for 1d6 piercing damage.  Lasts until the target is dead or Piabon loses line of sight.

Piabon has a bumbershoot that allows him to fly up to any altitude, but only outdoors and only in the direction that the wind is blowing.  It also allows him to cast featherfall on himself.

Which way is the wind blowing today? [d12]

1 - N

2 - NE

3 - E

4 - SE

5 - S

6 - SW

7 - W 

8 - NW

9-12 - No wind today.

Gressa

Level Armor chain  Claw/Claw/Bite 1d6/1d6/1d8

Move as lion  Int 18  

Gressa will not attack unless she is attacked first.  If Piabon is attacked, she will stand there idly, criticizing Piabon and while pointing out advice and tactics.  This gives Piabon +2 to hit and damage with his morningstar, and allows him to fight much more cleverly than he would otherwise.


Bonus: Dandelion Knight as GLOG Class

Template A - Bumbershoot (as above), Spun Sugar Armor, Wishing Head

Template B - War Bee (as above)

Template C - Condescending Companion (HD 5, random giant animal, as above)

Template D - Spawn Squire

Spawn Squire

You sprout off a hechman.  They are always level 0 (but can always advance as Dandelion knights, or any other knight botanical).  If you would die, you can choose to have your squire die in your place.  They are always named Pod (but may take a new name if they gain a level).