Blog Archive

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Thirteen Questions Number IV

A simple and fun way to add detail to any city.

The Thirteen Questions Template Number IV

1. Tell me about a church, temple, ashram, etc. in this neighborhood
Obelisk of balance. An obelisk is type of stand-alone religious site that attracts followers for its special focus. This obelisk is dedicated to moving silently, while many believe this is simply a dance it is actually a deadly martial art. Adherents come, sway, meditate and learn. After ten days of continuous study players can make a wisdom DC 20 to learn +1 on a single attack no more than once a day on physical attacks that do not involve weapons. Adherents can come repeatedly, each time the DC increases by +5, doubles the amount of time needed to gain another +1 to non-weapon attacks. They do not gain extra damage when invoking the ability.

2. Tell me about a shop that sells standard equipment and one of the shopkeeper's quirks
Xaxxoz is a Purple Spectator that owns the Rung, a shop that specializes in climbing, mining & delving equipment. It is a rare species, a purple skinned sentient ball with one large middle eye with eight more eyes on smaller stalks. Though it has no hands or feet, it levitates items to move things around. One cannot lie in its presence if it's looking at you. It charges reasonable rates to buy items, but it is just as interested in buying equipment from adventurers, especially if the item is old and has history. It has strong connections with the Obelisk of Casna, whose followers speak of speak of law, custom and order.

3. Tell me about someone who sells something illicit in this neighborhood
Fessel & Drool - An Imp duo that supply arrows, daggers and other pointy things that are full of Nectar (poison). This poison is not local, and what is more bizarre is that it does not detect as poison. Many local thieves and other cut throats see the pair as their best source. Lots of vials are available, quickly and at good prices. They also have antidotes at much higher prices. The only reason they haven't been arrested is they ensure that law enforcement is provided with any antidote needed. The Nectar poison is a red or orange liquid that quickly evaporates after applied, It lasts for 3.5 hours and inflicts 2d12 dmg or quarter dmg if the save is made, Save DC 18, Constitution based.

4. Tell me about a powerful wizard or warlock in this neighborhood
Resek D'Vannor - a red skinned humanoid with black horns and claws that on immediate glance has the appearance of a typical devil, yet identifies as a mortal creature in all other ways. His magic is devoted to artistic body modification. He gives tattoos and piercings, many of which work the same as magical rings one finds in treasure hoards but they last for a much shorter period. He will often trade favors instead of accepting payment, taking action in kind before he gives his artistic flair. His family name identifies the Vannor clan from the Sea of Stones locale, who are human and very rich.

5. Tell me about a feared warrior who lives in this neighborhood
Sekk Namin - Quillian 12th level Monk. The Quillians are sometimes called porcupine-kin, but they are little known in the spirelands and there are no tribes nearby. It is rumored that she was the survivor of a Gammorec raid that wiped out her tribe but she has stood resilient and ready and ever peaceful. She has some wealth attained  by going on missions, but she disdains open display of stature. She has no enjoyment in underground quests, she is always open to above ground quests in forests or swamps. She loves seeing and helping her people, but it is quite rare.

6. Tell me about someone who is wealthy in this neighborhood
Unit Five-Five Wuin (last name pronounced like "One") - is a rogue modron, that came to the city and made quite a name for itself in completing quests. It is a contractor, finding people who do unique jobs for unique payments. It will often accompany his teams but is more interested in scrounging things than hunting. It has connections to Other Land creatures, both for trading and information. It is unable to enter chaotic lands, especially temples or obelisks dedicated to chaotic gods. Yet, it is able to teleport to any lawful lands, especially those it has already traveled to. Not really liked as it is very greedy and self-centered, but tolerated because it helps and often gives very strange but always useful advice.

7. Tell me about someone you can go to for help in this neighborhood
Unnez - A Tenderfoot (Halfling) cook and restauranteur. She is an escaped slave and former highway woman that made a name for herself in daring robberies. This changed when she went rogue to help a pregnant dwarf, that unknowingly happened to be a very rich royal that has since helped her go legit. She has since skittered the law and authorities helping them in just causes, or assisting the other side if called for. Both sides in the city respect her, as she seems to show no bias. Her restaurant (Uni's Delights) is close to the Quanna Obelisk. Most times she serves guests food without them ordering, and it is quite rare for anyone to turn the food away.

8. Tell me about someone you can go to for information in this neighborhood
Quissino a stunningly beautiful nyssian nymph (Cha 25), known for her private dances and whispered words of delight. Her dancing is her means of whispering info to her clients, and she charges them incredibly high prices. Nyssian nymphs do not petrify, rather they freeze limbs at a touch. Well known both for her beauty, her voice and her utter disdain for charity - she respects those who take action. She has a handful of suitors that she gracefully plays with, wanting to keep them nearby for her protection and favors, but not so close that they will expect permanent companionship.

9. Tell me about a gang or criminal organization operating in this neighborhood
The dreamers are a cult that are assigned to watch victims and pay very careful attention; by rule they are not supposed to communicate, merely watch. They then are paid when they get a juicy piece of gossip or secret that will take down their target. It is not entirely sure if they are physically located in the city, They have a Dream-Inn where potential clients must rent a room for the night and propose their project in their dreams. All victims experience the crime inflicted, in a dream but when they awake the events have actually happened.

10. Tell me about a pub, club, cabaret, gymnasium, bathhouse, etc. where adventurers hang out
Reachers, is a popular cabaret where Zagu, a Flumph, runs a very well known hang-out. He has many elven and tenderfoot staff who serve his concoctions, and many types of foreign creatures come to dance, sing, play or non-lethally duel on a floating battle-mat. Not a great place for a negotiation, but many parties happen here. Flumphs normally reside in the underground, Zagu has acquired an odd weakness that means he must be in light (natural or artificial) at all times or he starts to weaken. He does not talk, he communicates telepathically as long as he is touching the person.

11. Tell me about an ongoing problem in this neighborhood
While not considered deadly, the night gremlins have been an ongoing plague in the area for awhile. There was once a open bounty on them as they can spread incredibly quick, but now it is assumed there are only a dozen or so at any given time.

12. Tell me about a popular form of entertainment or a popular entertainer in this neighborhood
Daazig is a Jahlen game combining climbing and jumping done in an abandoned Seed Tower. The Jahlen are Horn-kin, a Minotaur sub-group who reside in virtually every mountainous region in the world. This sport is part of their training regime, except they do it naturally, which means falling means harsh injury. The Seed Towers are Tenderfeet growing towers, used to grow 95% of all plants in the spire cities. They have a natural safety mechanism as there is a levitation function in the centre of the Tower, as long as the falling person can push themselves inwards, they are protected from lethal damage; lots of injuries still happen though,

13. Tell me about a food or drink that is popular in this neighborhood
Loppal - a reddish-white concotion made from fermenting fazzen spider eggs. A bitter tasting brew, it seems to have a side benefit of increasing fertility in women and intimacy effects in many men. Some humans and elves are willing to pay hundreds of crowns for a taste. It is rumored if the imbiber cannot feel love, the brew is a bitter, deadly toxin (DC 30, 2 dmg / hour; Max 30 dmg.)

As always a thanks to Jack Shear...sp

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Common City Laws

Have been using some of these city laws for awhile in my games. In most cases, there was never a conversation between DM and players, but what they found out during the game sessions. While I love to play impromtu style, in many ways, having the set rules make it easier in many ways as I am consistent in my rulings.

Towers: In Nyssian speak, a Tower is a Guild, or a group of professionals. Most cities are run and controlled by the various Towers, thru the use of laws and bureaucracies. Some of the most common types of towers include: Sollus (Light), Spell (Wizard Training) Sorrow (Mortuary), Silence (Martial Arts), Sword (Military Training), Trade, Paper (Bureaucrats), Merchant or Work. Most cities have a Tower Council that runs most aspects of the cities bureaus and offices, that elect their own on the High Standing Council (Towerocracy) if other ruling governments are not preeminent. Religious holy sites called obelisks are also on the Towerocracy listing. Rich or otherwise powerful Nobles may also get a seat on the Council. The Chair is very rarely a voting seat. Many groups may get multiple seats that represent their prestige and political power, so it is rarely doled out equally.

Taxes: Most travel taxes are paid upon entry thru the city gates paid on the wealth you are carrying, usually coins or other pieces of value. You pay once every two weeks, so entry more than once in that two week cycle will not cause additional taxes, to areas under the same entity. Rates are based on wealth, status, identity and role: Low (5%), Medium (15%), High (30%.) Travel tax is different than tax day; anyone in the city must pay on that day set amounts. Some Nobles may have Right to Travel, which prevents taxation on their horse or person. Magic is rarely taxed unless it is in the form of wealth, armor or items of status.

Gambling: By Tower. Small groups of card or dice rollers take and place bets at specific time and places, they often flee when Lawful groups appear not that they are breaking laws but do not want to be observed. Casinos are temples of Fatanus (Lady Luck), that are located in large communities. They take bets on almost anything, but sports is the most common. There is a fee to enter the Casino, and taxes happen as soon as winning happen, not when you leave the building, usually 10-15% flat charge but it can be more, often in proportion to the bet/risk percentage. Many have tables and specific types of games that are outright rigged, usually there is one or several tables that is completely open to actual fate . Minotaurs and Clockworks are the most common guards. Magic is often hampered by fields.

Jube: This is the most known and feared drug usually referred to as Spice, this is often called the Dream Spice. Most lawful societies allow usage of almost any drugs in medical or religious purposes, but some are restricted by class or nobility. It is rarely illegal to consume, but to create or transport usually is. Jubal is the Lord of Nightmares and Shadows; God of Addicts. They have no obelisks but hovels where they go to consume their dread. While most other types of activity can be covered by bylaws, jube isn't; it is tolerated, never spoken of in polite company and offered assistance by workers of Darras, the dutiful God of the Poor. Addicts aren't technically arrested for being addicts but being drunk or disorderly or causing other problems in public; the unspoken rule is don't arrest anyone if not causing issues for others.

Prostitution: By Tower, Open or Restricted. Open is the rarest type. Nearly every general fetish is accommodated. Payment varies from 20 to 2000 gp depending upon the desired service. Celestial or Devilish or Elemental entertainers are available in most large cities. Protection is guaranteed, so is discretion. Very few good-aligned religions and no neutral ones have rules against this type of vice.

Religion: Except in the largest cities, churches are uncommon. Faith is practiced near an Obelisk which is dedicated to a specific deity or ideal. Many cities have state religion where a particular church or cult takes a flat fee from all taxes paid. The Lawful faiths ones have a strict adherence of what must be done, as well as how and when it should be done.

Slavery: More accustomed to indentured service than slavery, most are captured due to debt, breaking laws or being captured in battle. Normally after a set period of service (20 years) they are granted freedom and settling rights. Children cannot be held enslaved, women and progeny are always freed at a child's birth. Halflings, Ogres, Cat-Kin, Gnolls, & Goblins are the most common beings held; Dwarves can be held as prisoner but very rarely as slaves.  Many lawful and good groups oversee any slave in their area and use political pressure to free anyone they can. In Lawful Bound communities only Nobles with Right of the Chain may purchase slaves. Many communities permit Nobles to utilize slaves, but to a limit of three, five or ten outside of plantations. There may be no market square auctioning, or public lynching but it is seen by most as an evil, unjustice by most people.

Weapon Laws: Rapier, dagger or club can be carried by anyone, virtually anywhere. Some places have the same laws with the use of bow. Most professional adventurers have a license which usually costs from 5 to 50 gp for a year. Some locations have the Right to Carry; where Nobles can carry weapons without license.

Dueling: Most places have at least one day a week where anyone can duel without a witness. Nobles and Adventurers can duel as long as the other person also have the same right. It is not illegal to duel a non-noble or adventurer, but there will be questions if someone dies in a duel. Right of Honour gives Nobles the right to challenge those who have dishonoured them. Again, it is assumed that dueling is to the first three strikes, not death. If someone has a reputation for bloodshed, their actions are highly questioned, and legal experts often find a way to arrest or banish them.

Arena: Similar to Dueling laws except anyone that signs up for Arena fights has no recourse to get out of it later; death may occur though it is not specifically part of the deal. Gladiators are paid, given freedom from slavery or prison, or may be given other noble rights. It is never a one shot, often up to five duels must happen over a month or more. One of the few areas where magic combat openly occurs. Entry to the arena is usually between 1-4 s.p. and dueling occurs at least once a week. There is a continual standing of the top 50 warriors, who must defend their positions for wage and status.

Magic: There are few general rules regarding wizardly magic use. Some magic and users are heavily restricted, to the point where nearly every high level spell-caster stays away, whereas in Lyrria, the most powerful Wizards also virtually rule the entire nation. In most cities, clerics and their obelisks minimize the effect of potential spells as some types of spells (damage, cold, illusion, enchantment, etc) may be blocked. Also, in larger cities, higher level spells are blocked, so that 7th - 9th level spells cannot be cast within several miles. One benefit is that lower level spells, (0 & 1st, sometimes 2nd as well) are not lost when cast, so both clerics and wizard spells virtually guaranteed of being cast an unlimited number of times in cities.

Magic trinkets such as wands are often seized at the gate, to be handed back upon exit. Only weapons or armor are ignored, unless they are full of gems or valuable metals, then they are taxed at obvious value.

Nobility: Nobles represent those of power and stature, most often from wealth or past prestige. Many nobles have unique rights that citizens cannot normally obtain. While the first generation most often keep many of the rights of their parents, it does not descend a second generation unless it is earned. Depending upon the rules of the nation, Nobles have unique responsibilities. They cannot turn away from a request from an officer of the city or nation. They may not have entry fees to a city, but they have a yearly tax, on ALL of their wealth. They may be able to kill a low level commoner for insult but they cannot bad mouth the crown or it's officers.

Their magical rights are tattoos that show their capacity outside of regular laws. These must be shown if questioned. They are very difficult to fake.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Spittunnia - Seed Spitting Potted Plant

These are low-level, somewhat cognizant plants that are used to protect many locations. Trained to attack anyone that approaches that do not wear or speak the code-word. 

Spittunnia Plant (Spitting Plant)

XP 1,200
N Small Plant
Init +2 Senses Low-light vision; Perception +10


AC 16 touch 12, flat-footed 14 (+2 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 22hp (3d8+10 con)
Fort +6, Ref +3, Will +2
Defensive Abilities Immune mind-affecting effects, poison, sleep, polymorph, stunning

Speed 0 ft.
Melee Bite +5 (1d6+2)
Special Attacks Spit Seed

Str 14, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 3, Wis 12, Cha 5
Base Atk +3 CMB +5 CMD 17 / +29 to avoid being tripped, bull rushed, etc
Feats Deep Roots, Skill Bonus +4 Perception
Skills +7 Perception , +10 Stealth; +4 Stealth bonus if planted outside
Languages Druid, Fae* Understand, cannot speak

Environment    Any Forest, Originates from Mario-World
Organization   Pod (2-4)
Treasure Value  Incidental


Spit Seed - 1d6 dmg - treat as Magic Missile (50 ft radius, 25 spits/day)
Deep Roots: Gain +12 on CMD checks to avoid being tripped

Look like medium sized orange sunflower plants, many times in potted plants and well cared for. When planted outside they can be hidden among many other non-magical plants. Either when prompted or when an area is threatened, these plants respond by attacking outsiders. Typically with a pod of 2-4 other plants. Druids are often hired to cultivate them.

There is no maliciousness with these plants, they hunger for flesh of any type. While they do not need animal blood, they still desire to feast on it. Many are well trained so they can be kept at bay with a word, symbol or hand gesture. It is harder to train them to hold their bite for a specific action, as opposed to either biting everything or nothing. DC 20 knowledge plants to train them.

While their seed spit is more effective, as it is treated as a magic missile type attack, they prefer a bite
as they can devour victims killed nearby, but can not savor flesh if it falls too far away.

5-10 HD Stone Spitter; Bite: 1d10+2 dmg, Treat Stone Spit as Magic Missile (2d6+2); +4 Int & Dex; Medium Sized; +2 AC

11-16 HD Acid Spitter; Bite 2d8+3 dmg, Treat Acid Spit as Magic Missile (3d6+3);  +6 Str & +4 Con; Large Size; +5 AC

Monday, 30 April 2018

Mathai – God of the Hunt; Patron of Rangers

Mathai – God of the Hunt

The arrow flying true. The revealer. The Holy Hunter. Mathai is the one who walks through the darkness to reveal what is there. He is an adventurer, a discoverer and a mystical leader. Always in their hearts his followers emerge from the darkness to overcome.

He is the patron of rangers and all individuals who venture out into the unknown. He is the urging spirit giving all people their wanderlust - to discover what was not known before. Often it is the individual who finds a great evil and must return home to tell the knights or wizards who can slay the beast. Or when people must flee with his guidance they find a sanctuary better than their previous home. Tenderfeet, elves, jahlen, charr and others have built cities in honour of the adventuring ranger who finds them a new home through his aid.  Although gifted with many skills, his followers aren't the best warriors. Stories tell of followers escaping from overwhelming odds through cunning or stealth. His followers believe that the best solution, such as stealth or trickery, is rarely the obvious one, like direct combat. Rather through wisdom, wit or will a better solution can be found.

Green is the most associated colour with his religion for most of his stories involve the forest. Clerics wear dark green tunics or robes with a brown, white or gold edge. Otherwise the rangers will choose colours that most help them blend in with the background environment. One little known druidic circle of his wears dark black tunics with a green edge.

His familiar form is most often a woodland creature: deer, bear, and panther invisible to all but the faithful. They move quickly to lead others in a great hunt versus a terrible foe. Elven tale spinners swear by a green furred deer that leads them to battle. These animal forms can rarely be requested; rather they appear to help rangers and others when the force of good can be helped.   His avatar form is an elder ranger, dressed in studded leather having an antler horned helm carrying a great bow. Never coming to speak, he leads others in a battle to the death. To help in this, the shadowy figure always carries at least six arrows of slaying to help bring down the enemies. He will never enter melee; he stands away from the battle using the arrows to help his allies’ at the most opportune times. At the battle of Oocho-Machat, Mathai' s Avatar stood accompanied by over a hundred Elven human, jahlen, tenderfeet and others to defeat an invading army.

His clerics are called guides, hunters or woodsmen; virtually all rangers revere the Great Hunter. There is no division between races, genders or urban versus rural folk among the faithful, all come to learn. One must do as one is called to do. There is rarely a sermons for the faithful, only personal lessons, as His faithful need not come to the obelisks for morals. Tithing is usually 5%; service time is five days a month (10% - months are 50 days), Yet those who cannot pay serve other way.
At the same time, if you can pay more, you do without being requested. There is plenty of differences between various peoples of the realm - what many find odd is that they do not try to assimilate, merely to serve while being who they are. Most faithful are non-lawful but almost always good aligned.

As always, the code is a personal one for followers - players should be feel to do as they want, as long as they are following the code AS THEY SEE FIT.

Mathai’s Code (CG, Patron of Rangers) 
Harm no one,
But let no harm come to yourself
Defend your rights,
But never take another’s away
Never attack first,
But strike the second blow quickly
Let not fear, laws or custom
Stop you from doing good
Evil is the common enemy
Protect the innocent
And destroy the wicked

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Along the city path; Adventure six (sorta)

The party sees the oncoming group, and look around and are unsure of what to do next and perhaps even more important, where to go. The cleric hears a feminine whisper in his ears, "Get to a doorway. Quickly." The party begins to increase their pace, Solauder, casts mirror image on himself for protection, as the cleric, wanting to increase the elves pace, picks him up to carry him along. The group reaches the first door they find, they realize there is a number of fairies among them.

Four small blue smurflings hanging on the dwarf, three smaller insect-legged grig on the elf, and a two-foot tall, green skinned winged fairy flying just off the cleric. Looking for assurance, Allfray tries to gauge the fae, and he gets no suspision or worries, so he opens the door and they go through. The room is occupied with two lovers on the bed in midst action, one of the fae casts a spell which changes the doorway, they look out and see a different alleyway than the brothel they came from, all step through. Now they are in that alleyway, a few hundred feet from where they once were, and already the doorway changes back into a door.

The fairy starts berating the group, explaining the urgency of their mission but Soulader turns it around and is showing considerable mistrust, he doesn't understand the mission as they usually have a simple task to complete. The green fairy tells them that the faeries were the ones who had started "hiring" the group, they were the benefactors, because the group did missions for both reward and honour.

Allfray inquires how could they have known, and the fairy explains that it was on the city map provided to them, and they had the messenger deliver it to them and it was written in Dral. Soulauder explains that Dral is an above ground, good-aligned dark skinned fey of Nyssa, this world. He may appear as one, but he is actually from another world, as his people are the Drow, very distinct in personality and outlook, he does not know the language. The fairy now identified as Abyssinia expresses her surprise and embarrassment, and agrees to help them interpret the city map. They take out the map, and places the papyrus holy symbol underneath, as the shows and incites fairy explains what must be touched and spoken to show the magic, as they follow the instructions, a different detail emerges. Allfray, a native of the city recognizes most of the spots identified, as he thinks about the areas, and touches the map, it changes, showing a more detailed view of each location.

Their mission consists of fixing something from each of these four sites:

The Sky Bridge, a little used, and very well maintained bridge over a now non-existent river.
The Shallow Well, a near empty and shallow well.
The third location, Allfray is unsure of
Finally, Sevel Aviary, created from an abandoned Seed Tower.

Since it is late, the group decides to take these missions up tomorrow morning. The Dwarf, has already started resting at a Tenderfoot pub with 17 smurflings as it seems every time one of them laughs, another one seems to come around. The Drow heads back to the pub where their drover allies congregate, joining in their ale and conversation.  The cleric returns to his residence at the small monastery for vespers, but he notices a small crowd already there. He feels uncomfortable as many of the eyes glaring at him. While they are welcome, he believes he is being watched.

Tomorrow, the adventure continues at the four sites.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

We started late, and some of us had been imbibing for far too long, so we cut the game short. Very useful session though.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Magical Dungeon Fungus

Dwarven and Tenderfoot (Halfling) druids and clerics in my game world often specialize in magical fungi. They learn how to find and cultivate these fungi the same as above ground mates create potions. There are some subtle differences.

This is a mold that appears on almost anything in a dungeon in a two to five foot spread; it is non-sentient, and comes in a multitude of colours which reflects their magic and origin. It radiates a faint magical effect within a forty foot radius.  When either scratched or consumed it has a magical effect based on its colour. If consumed, the creature must make a Fort Save DC 11 or take 1d3 temporary constitution damage for 20 minutes. One gets the benefit whether one beats the poison effect or not. Many types do not need to be consumed, some just need to be breathed into the body. If one does not breathe or eat, such as a construct, the fungus has no potential effect.

If scrapped off from the object, the magic fades in 10d10 rounds and the entire fungus slowly fades. Some alchemists or underground druids have vials that can prolong the fungus indefinitely. Underground druids often try to keep these molds locations secret, as they can be perpetual sources of magic if they are properly harvested. Unfortunately, above ground humanoids just scratch the fungus, and release the magic in a one shot, instead of utilizing them over periods of time; those who understand the difference find this very wasteful on principle.

They are sold at around the same price points as magical potions. They can be enhanced, but via a secret known to underground druids or dwarven brew masters.

These are just the most common types of fungus known, there are many others.

Blue Fungus – healing, 1d6. Can work if the creature has been dead for less than one minute. If consumed twice or more in 24 hours, the second dose inflicts 2d8 damage, no save.

Red Fungus – Rage inducing, -4 on all will saves or skills involving involving mental activity or concentration for 10d6 minutes. Have temporary immunity to poison or weakness effects for the same time

Yellow Fungus: +3 on Calming skill checks or will saves involving mental activity or concentration. If used more than once in a three hour period, the consumer cannot maintain any concentration check for a 12 hour period.

Orange Fungus: +4 on bravery checks or saves for the next . If used more than once in an hourly period, this changes to a -2 penalty instead.

Green Fungus: +5 on saving throws versus poison for a two hour period. No benefit to multiple uses

Purple Fungus: Focusing, +6 on concentration or meditation effects or checks for ten minutes or until used.

White Fungus: Magic Absorbing, -2 on all magical saving throws; concentration check DC 15 to cast a spell within 60 ft of a white fungus

Silver Fungus: Spells have a 25% chance of rebounding on caster if cast within 50 ft of a silver fungus. If a spell is cast immediately after someone made their saving throw, increaase the rebound chance to 50% for the next two rounds.

Lavender Fungus: Unable to lie or decieve; |DC 23 to avoid this magic.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

My (Updated) House Rules

These are the assumed rules I use for running all games. Even when I run other system stories and I am gm, this is what I think should be the default. Again, most times unless it is appropriate, I just use these rules unless there`s apart of the story/game that dictates otherwise.

Cleric Spells
Wizard Spells
Deities The High Gods
Role vs Roll
Active vs Passive Skill Checks
Low Magic
Spells or spell-like affects
Affect of Hordes

Fire spells, items or creatures do not exist on Nyssa. Magical fire was believed to have been banished when the sun was burnt out. Fire spells have since that point are ineffective. A few creatures have the power of fire, such as the flame-winged Phaetox, but it is faith that powers their wings and they are under a very strong compunction - they are physically incapable of telling lies.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Constructs treat their HD number as their intelligence, wisdom and charisma scores until they reach 10 HD, unless the default attributes are higher. If they have an intelligent score higher than 7, they can speak. Otherwise use as per the construct entry in the MM. Constructs have no soul at creation, though rare, it is possible for them to generate one.

A few sentient and free constructs worship the Holy Cog, and gain cleric levels as lawful beings. Most have alignments that mirror their creators in their ethos (Good, Neutral or Evil) but virtually always Lawful.

Constructs have at completion maximum HD. For example, an 8 HD flesh golem would have 80 hp with unmoving constitution scores of 10. They do not naturally heal, so unless they have someone to
support / heal them with magic, they have 51-70% of their maximum start number when encountered.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Guns were once utilized, heavily in some sections of the world.  They still work, but are very unpopular. Though guns cannot be enchanted ammunition can be if made out of magical materials (like anthril), but it is rare and very expensive. The biggest associated problem with guns, is that creatures killed by this weapon will arise as an undead within three days or less. Most people refuse to use guns and societies often arrest anyone seen having them. Lawful clerics lose access to their spells if they use a gun. Only dwarves in their enormous cities have battle cannons to attack huge sized opponents (dragons and giants). Their theory is that it is easier to handle an undead than a living threat.

The prestige class of the Smokers use these weapons, but they are despised. Most either make their own or go to specialized creators or collectors to buy ammunition.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *
Magic or the energy to cast spells is often called the Frequency and it comes from the gods. Obelisks are divine outlets by which the frequency comes to the mortal domain. Any time obelisks are in towns they become the equivalent to churches; the central location for meeting and spellcasting.

Wizards take the energy needed to cast spells. Psionicists and sorcerers create the frequency within themselves, sometimes they are called living obelisks. Clerics are given the energy through their holy symbol.

0 - 2nd level spells generally are not lost in cities, due to being near obelisks, for both clerics and wizards. Must still memorize spells as normal. Larger obelisks sometimes enable additional spell levels not to be lost, but only for the faithful. The dedication of the obelisk is unimportant, if it acts as a connection to the heavenly or demonic forces, it will still charge all spell casters as noted for all spell-casters.

Wizards gain 2 spells every level until 10th. They gain one spell per level until 15th. Wizards no longer gain spells automatically every level past 15th level, they must research them.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Clerics, except for raise dead spells, require only one spell component - their holy symbol, this is the rule for all spells regardless of the description in the PHB or other sources. Clerics are utterly tied to their holy symbol, which is why most will have more than one in their possession.  If they lose access to their holy symbol, they cannot cast any spells. One free feat clerics receive at first level is Create Holy Symbol. This requires 1 hour of prayer at an obelisk or holy site, (or six hours otherwise) and they must verbally say the required prayers. If they are unable to complete the verbal and somatic components, they cannot complete this ritual.

Clerics have 10 + wisdom modifier, of clerical spells in their prayer books by spell level they can cast. They can replace spells freely with other priests at holy sites. When they gain access to a spell level, they gain 6 spells+their wisdom modifier, They gain the remainder on the second level that they have access to the spell

Clerics generally do not memorize healing spells. They can switch out any memorised spell for a healing spell of the same equivalent power level (1st = 1d8; 2nd - 2d8+5, etc.)

The High Gods cannot physically come to Nyssa, only their proxies or servants. Most gods have multiple domains, each will have a different proxy or Avatar. These are utterly and completely loyal. Demi-Gods are able to walk the land, but only in areas of their faithful.

Most people are pagan, meaning they worship more than one god. Only Paladins are required to worship one god; theirs is almost always Japeth. Clerics often follow multiple gods and sometimes follow a principle and not a specific godly force.

It is standard practise to make an offering to any obelisk you go to or pass by; it is considered extremely rude not to. You can use any god from any setting, all are found in small cults in one or two cities somewhere in the world. Most good aligned people say they follow the Quadrane (Quanna, Japeth, Darras & Mathai) or the idea of good gods that serve.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Undead arise when anything dies and the corpse is not properly interned. Things killed by undead generally take 5-12 days, unless a shorter period is listed in the monsters description. If killed by anything else (including a natural death), it takes 21-40 days, and will most likely arise as a Carcass (HD 1+.) Anything that dies in a settled area will be buried in either a druid's grove, temple's catacombs or public mausoleum usually called Tower of Sorrow. Searing Towers are an archaic tradition of cremation, once popular in Phastia, the Desert Lands. Creating undead is perhaps the most vile and hated action imaginable, no society, even evil or chaotic ones condone it.

Jackalla, lawful servants of Anubis act as undertakers in 95% of all communities and are focused on destroying undead. They usually found in Sorrow Towers, large mortuaries, that also serve as their homes. They care little about societies practices, as these jackal humanoids hunt undead continuously.
City folk know the Jackalla as undertakers and always show them respect but never communicate with them outside this role. Outside the city, Jackalla are much more known for their undead raids. They are often willing to trade magic and wealth for service in hunting down undead.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Cosmology There are no stars in the night sky, rather there are four constant moons. Another seven moons can be seen at differing times during the year. The seasons of the year are based on Curen’s (Silver Prime Moon) position; Rising, Peak, Descent, Dearth. The other primary moons are: Drelth (Red), Frel (Blue); Kredant (Green).

The seasons, magic cycles, and predictions are based on their relative positions. There are actually more than 100 moons all around Nyssa, very few of them are ever actually visible without a telescope, but they all have meaning and most have specific connections to magic, fate and the gods.

Weeks are also usually called the Ten-Day. Years are called Cycles. Months are often called Turns, and are each five weeks long there are 15 to a standard year. Holidays occur outside of the weeks.


1st Day: Counting Crowns (Crown is a gold piece for most civilised people)
2nd Day: Steadfast (or Steadfast Prayer or just Prayer)
3rd Day: Burning Candles
4th Day: Sharpening Swords or Sharpening
5th Day: Market (or Tower Day)
6th Day: Wash (or Well Day)
7th Day: Peal (Ringing Bells or just Bells)
8th Day: Hammering (or Hooping)
9th Day: Gate (Travel)
10th Day: Sword Day

Days are generally known by these names throughout the domain for most Nyssian speaking peoples. There are specific tasks most people follow on that day.

These days are rarely fixed, cities share the same week day names, but have them on differing days. Thus the day that fair are is in that location is Market day, the next day that town will have Market day, and so on and so on. Usually scholars will keep a definite record to determine where they are in relation to other locations as counted by the number of days from a specific event.

Most faiths have a day of service, wherein the faithful should visit their church (Obelisk); once a specific period (some every week, others every month, etc.) The 2nd, 3rd & 7th days are the most common. Market day is the rarest, as it is fair day when the market is open and most people do their weekly shopping. Sword Day is often used for military faiths.

Because the days can differentiate between towns, it is possible to visit the same days in a row by Chasing the Week-Wheel. Some merchants, bards, and religious orders deliberately make their living doing this, so virtually every day they have their special day of activity.

Sword Day: Most non-nobles do not pay taxes but can be called upon for military service in times of danger. It is mandatory to participate in training once a week during sword day, but not necessarily using the sword as a weapon. Many may help build or repair sites in their hometown.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Active vs Passive Skill Checks: If the player asks to do something, that is an active roll, and done as normal. At any time, a DM can roll at a half chance check to determine if they notice or realise something that just jumps into their heads, this is a passive roll.

Roll vs Role Playing: How players describe they do something is equally important as a dice roll. For example with trap finding: If a player tells me what they are going to do or how they are going to check, if it fits the scenario, I give them a bonus to the skill check roll. If a player tells me look for traps, without any detail or description, they just roll the dice. This is how a non-thief can potentially disarm a trap, or convince a stranger to do something, or anything else in game, etc.

Low Magic My world is an assumed low magic item world, every dweomered item essentially decays over months (or years), so going into a dungeon they might find info, scrolls and coins, but all the 'Real Magic' has long since faded back into the Ether. Only items found on an outer-plane or at last partially stuck in the Ether can avoid this, but then once on Nyssa, the decay starts to happen. There are ways to avoid this, but usually only available at higher levels.

Free Character Change No penalty for changing characters: outside of a dungeon.  Go ahead, play what you want. Getting killed imposes a slight drop in level for starting a new character.

Duelling Proficiency: Most characters are proficient with both rapier and dagger, as duels are common and it is the weapon of choice for aristocrats and most soldiers. You can carry these anywhere. Many places allow duelling, as it's assumed that both parties consent. Even in places that do not allow duelling as a daily practise, it happens on Sword Day (last day of the Ten-Day week) as its a traditional fair day when competition happens. Duels, both for training and honor occur
regularly. The majority of duels are stopped once three strikes happen or other stated condition.

Spells or spell-like affects are not affected by critical or fumble rolls unless there are side rules specifically in the spell description.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Teleport Spell (5th level) can only be cast from one teleport pad to another. You must know the exact location of the second pad and have been there previously.  If it is blocked (a simple cloth covering it) you cannot teleport through. It takes one hour to carve a temporary teleport insignia in sand (up to six hours if in stone.) The Greater Teleport (7th level) does not need a teleport pad to begin; but it always needs a teleport pad to go to.

An open Teleport circle is slightly different, as anyone can use, and but it will take them to a specific Matched Location only.   If a sealed Teleport Circle it requires a password to step into and out of.

Both clerics and wizards have access to Obelisk Jump, a 4th level spell equivalent to teleport but it can only transport individuals from an obelisk to another one.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

A hoard of gold (especially coins) act as a scry blocker, which is one reasons why kings and dragons cannot be scryed. Top priority.

A hoard of silver (especially coins) acts as an enhancer to many spell & spell effects involving illusions.  Most Fey collect silver for this reason. Seconded priority.

A hoard of platinum (especially coins) prevents charm spells & effects. Some say this is why it is so rare. No Priority - works when there are more platinum in one central location.

A hoard of electrum (especially coins) prevents deception in spells or spell effects.

A hoard of copper coins prevents strength draining magic or effects. Giants always have tonnes of copper in their lairs.

The largest number of coins in a treasury will be dominant, so no dungeon or lair will have more than one hoard affect active.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

After 24 hours, raise the dead can ONLY be cast at an obelisk. There is no additional material components, but the god will not enable them to be cast on an opposed aligned creature or someone that has angered them. Most times a service is required. Reincarnation is much more popular, but the listing is significantly different and so is the mandatory service.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Hembria was an ancient magical empire that spanned the domain; Hembrian is vernacular for anything old.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Guilds are also known as Towers and they commonly hold seats of power in communities. Rather than one-person one vote, each tower has one vote on the governing counsel. Some common towers: Sollus (gardens), Song (Bardic), Sorrow (mortuaries), Silence (martial arts), Solomon (wizards), Law (bureaucracy), Trade (merchants), War (military). Many others exist. In theory they are equal in the power, but this rarely works without political entanglements.

Dragons are called Tyrants, only two known types of dragons are native: purple & ice.

Drow do not exist in Nyssa. (There is a good-aligned, highly musical black skinned Elf called the Dral.)

Psionics exist on Nyssa; they are heavily located in one known area of the world, rare elsewhere.
Talented is a pseudonym for psionic. Tallene are psionic humans.

Coinage: Oromians (the nation of sailors) mint all Nysarian coins. All bear official seals of the local government (City, Region or Nation) and a Tyrant. Wing/Seal, is the equivalent to Heads/Tails. One slight difference, if the coin is subsequently lost, it should not be looked for. This is called an offering to Fatanus (Lady Luck.) Common (Copper), Noble (Silver), Crown (gold), Lord (Electrum) are the names.

While slavery is common in many parts of the world; it’s much closer to forced service. Most are criminals, prisoners of war, or of a differing race. In all but the most evil nations, children are granted freedom at birth (along with their mothers). Halflings are the most common type, next followed by Ogres, Goblins, Gnolls and Minotaurs; dwarves are the least common. Good aligned characters may not keep slaves; but not required to rescue slaves. Lyrria has an open door gate policy, the law does not enforce return, so they are essentially immediately free.

Rapine Creatures: Salamanders, Minotaurs and Gargoyles are a neuter sex; they can create brute drones or forcefully mate with other humanoids to reproduce unique combinations.

Rule of the Fist. In civilized areas large bladed weapons, missile weapons, martial weapons or exotic weapons are illegal to use on the street. Everyone can use a dagger, staff or fist. In some areas, the list also includes free use of the rapier. Beating someone up (unless an elder, child or invalid)  is very rarely considered criminal.

Spice, is the word used for illicit drugs, some varieties are: Bliss, rage, dream, jube, pixie dust, and angel blood. They are illegal in most lawful societies, but they are available.

Taint rules are found on Nyssa. Association with undead or demonic beings may cause the physical body to rot away or become deformed.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Cheribuk - Small Winged Angelic Baby with tiny black horns

Inspired by a computer game where you play an angel possessing creatures. Every time I wrote this up I didn't like it as a good creature forcing evil creatures to do their bidding. So I rewrote it as an evil possessing creature, and it works much better. I have used it a few times in my games.

CE Small Outsider
Init +9 Senses Darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +15
AC 22 touch 16, flat-footed 17 (+5 Dex, +6 natural, +1 size)
hp 36 hp (8d10-8 con)
Fort +5, Ref +11, Will +7
Immune: electricity, polymorph, petrification, cold, poison; Resist: acid, sonic, fire 20; DR 10 / Good 
Speed 20 ft., Fly 50 ft. Avg
Melee +2 Dagger +16 (1d3+2)
Ranged Weapon +16 (1d3)
Special Attacks Possession
Spells Prepared (CL 12th Sorcerer)
 Spells: blur, detect magic, dispel magic, darkness, see invisible (3/day), tongues (1/day)

Str 5, Dex 21, Con 8, Int 15, Wis 21, Cha 15
Base Atk +8 CMB +7 CMD 22
Feats Improved Initiative, Imp Evasion, Uncanny Dodge
Skills +10 Bluff , +8 Knowledge (planes) , +8 Knowledge (Religion), +15 Perception , +13 Sense Motive , +19 Stealth
Languages Common, Elven, Angelic, Horn

Environment  Urban
Organization  Solitary
Treasure Value Half

Cheribuk are a devilish spirit that exists to disrupt peace and order. The rare times they are seen in their actual forms, they appear as small winged babies, similar to the legendary cherubim, except they have small black wings and tiny black horns. Most times they will be encountered while possessing other beings, so foes rarely know that they are actually facing these creatures.

These devils reside in the mortal planes to cause problems for others, tempting creatures on the brink to fall over to the evil side. They are too busy with their plans and schemes to care about wealth or treasure, and they happily exit a body if their host is about to be caught for a crime. Their typical scenario is to exit a host after committing the crime and being arrested.

Cheribuk are horrible in combat directly, as they are very physically weak. However, what they do better than any other creature is to possess creatures, using them as others would use armor. While inside a host, they regenerate and take no damage while their host is attacked. They must be purged from their host to be affected by any spell.

Once they are possessing a host only a dispel evil will evict them from their host. Another way is to kill the host, as a Cheribuk are immediately forced from the host body if this happens.

When a Cheribuk leaves a host for whatever reason, they can act as normal, as it is a free action.
However, the former host will be stunned for the remainder of the round. The host will remember of all of his actions committed while the Cheribuk possessed him, however, the only thing the former host will know is that he was not in control of his body.

Possession: These creatures usually attack unaware beings, hoping in the bodies of mortal animals or humanoids by making a possession attack (+20), if they beat the creatures touch AC, the creature can make a will save vs DC 32. While a protection from evil spell or equivalent will prevent them from inhabiting the body but not purge the spirit if they are infesting someone. Creatures who wear holy symbols of their faith gain a +8 on their saving throws versus possession. Just wearing a holy symbol that you do not actively worship gets a +2 on their saving throw.

Inspired by the computer game Messiah, however, this is an evil version of the possessing angel you play in that game.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Absinthinia - The Green Fairy

These fickle beings are a little twisted and like to see others squirm if not squeal in pain. They are chaotic but not exactly evil fey that reside in taverns and city hovels, helping but causing pain where they can.

Green Faerie (Advanced Pixie)

Personality: . Unlike some of their fairy-kin, Green Fairies enjoy bringing discomfort to others, either physically or socially, as long as someone else is feeling awkward, they are content. These creatures have no loyalty or honor, they have a twisted sense of humor and like to inflict suffering, especially on those who are strong-willed or mean.

Physical Description: They are 24 inches tall and weigh around 12 pounds. They have pale green skin, very light green wings,and most wear dark green clothing. Most use tiny but very sharp rapiers. They often wear a magical ring as a belt, as this is typically the only type of magic item they can use.

Relations: They get along with anyone that can hold their liquor and can laugh at the world around them.

Alignment: Like many fae, they tend towards chaos, shunning rules and order to simply do what they want. Rarely do they desire to hurt other creatures, unless the others represent a threat to them or their fae kin. But they do enjoy seeing others suffer, that makes them smile.

Lands: They are found in mortal lands, usually cities, and most often in taverns, using their abilities to influence mortals in both committing evil or just doing stupid things.

Religion: Their devotion is not to the the fae realm, unlike others of their kind, but to human or other "civilized" gods of drunkeness. If killed, their bodies are transformed back into fairy dust and their spirit, like many other faeries, can be reborn.

Language: Fae & Elven. At higher HD they learn to speak with plants, animals and any mortals.

Adventurers: They look for trouble and if there is none, they like to cause problems.

Green Faerie (Advanced Pixie)
• -8 Strength, +12 Dexterity  (Max Str 7; Min Dex 16)
• Tiny size: +4 bonus to Armor Class, +2 bonus on attack rolls, +8 bonus on Stealth checks, -2 penalty on CMB, lifting and carrying limits ½ those of
Medium characters.
• Land speed is 20 feet. has a base fly speed of 40 feet (Average); Fly +10 (+2 / HD)
• Low-light vision.
• Base Racial hit dice: 4d4 ; they start with 10 hp
• Start with 20 skill points at 4 HD
• Gain a +1 bonus at 1 HD  if they chose any skills from the following list: Bluff, Escape Artist, Knowledge (Any 1 listed), Perception, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, Use Magic Device. They gain an additional +1 skill point for every (unadjusted) ranks they have.

Special Qualities

Damage Reduction 10 /cold iron.

Spell Resistance 19

Light (Ex) : A Green Faerie is continuously surrounded by a 1 ft radius of Green light.

Skill Selection: Acrobatics, Bluff, Craft, Disable Device, Escape Artist, Fly, Heal, Knowledge (geography, nature, local, magic), Perception, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, Use Magic Device

Special Hindrance: Clerics who have taken the vow of abstinence can turn Green Fairies the same as undead of the same HD/level. They cannot be killed but can be forced

HD Advancement: 5 skill points, Feat every 2nd HD
5 HD +1 AC; Fly 50 ft (Good); Speak with Animals; Minor Invisibility (3/day); Drunk A
6 HD +1 AC; Summon Insects (2/day); Speak with Plants; Drunk B
7 HD +1 AC; Fly 60 ft; Speak with Other; Summon Fey (1 / day); Drunk C
8 HD +1 AC; Greater Invisibility (2 / Day + 1 per charisma); Drunk D
9 HD +3 AC; Fly 70 ft; New Feat; Teleport Home (1/week); Drunk E or F

Green Faeries cannot take standard classes until they reach their full HD abilities. They always advance as per this table. They can only gain other skills and feats after 9 HD

Minor Invisibility: As per the invisibility spell in the PHB. At 5 HD, they can activate the spell at will. If their spell is dispelled, it takes 3 rounds for them to reactivate as a full round action.

Speak with plants, animals and other:  They must either be touching or within a five foot radius to activate these abilities. They can use each of these abilities any number of times a day but each use on a particular creature lasts no more than ten rounds.

Drunk Effects

A Tipsy  -3 on social skill saving throws, the Green Fairy must touch their victim to activate the effect
B Clumsy  -5 on on physical saving throws or physical attacks; DC 13
C Trip    DC 15 or trip, must use move action to get up or steady themselves, the Green Fairy must touch their victim
D  Glow-Self: The Green Fairy increases their glow to a 50 ft green radius or
     Glow-Other: They put a glow on someone else, increasing both their ability to see, but they cannot get rid of the glow until it fades in 1 hour
E Blindness: Will DC 15 or the person is blind until the next sunrise, a touch effect is required
F Friendship - Charming Effect to anyone they share a drink with; DC 16
G Repulsion - DC 17, victim is repulsed by the taste of alcohol
H Addiction - DC 19 - 

Friday, 6 April 2018

Corrupt Hunter

Imagine you were a soldier, assigned to guard or invade a particularly evil spot, a part of a unit that was attacked by an evil entity. Neither you, nor any of your brothers-in-arms survive, instead you were corrupted into something entirely different, compelled to serve the force you once stood against. You know its wrong, yet you have no control, you exist merely at the whim of this Master, and do its dire bidding. This is the sad story of every corrupt hunter.

Corrupt Hunter

Type Inhuman
LE  Medium Outsider
Init +3; Perception +5

AC 15 touch 15, flat-footed 10 (+1 Dex, +4 Chain Mail ) 
HD 26 hp (4d10+4 con)
Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +0
Init +1, Senses Darkvision 60 ft; Perception +3
Speed 30

BAB +4  CMB +7  CMD 18
Melee  Long Sword +7 (1d6+3)
Range Long Bow +5 (1d6)
Special Qualities Formation Fighting, Detect as Undead
Special Defenses Dmg Reduction 2/Silver or Magic

Str 16 Con 13 Dex 13  Int 7 Wis 7 Cha 8
Typical Skills Handle Animal, Intimidate, Perception, Survival +3
Typical Feats Power Attack, Cleave, Track

Climate: Spirelands or Old South
Organization: Solitary, Group (2-5), Patrol (3-12) or Unit (30-60)
Challenge Rating: 3
Treasure: Half Standard
Alignment: Usually lawful evil
Advancement Range: By Class (Fighter or Barbarian)

Detect as Undead: While they are alive they detect as undead for the purposes of spells, but they cannot be turned, though it is a common next step for clerics once they are detected as such. Creatures still get bonuses for attacking them as undead such as a ranger's favoured enemy bonus.

Formation Fighting: They gain + 2 on combat and moral checks when fighting within 10 ft of another Corrupt Hunter and fighting the same threat. This is for attacks, damage and saving throws.

No Unit is Alone: Suffer a -2 on combat and moral checks if not within 200 feet of another Corrupt Hunter or if they are out of visual sight of another of their kind.

Corrupt Hunters were human soldiers that were lost in dungeons and then corrupted by otherworldly evil. Reappearing weeks after their disappearance, they have been changed and now keep to a strange secretive brotherhood. They exist midway between their past lives and their new evil devotion. It is not known if they actually have died but neither they nor their previous allies wish to be reminded of the past.

Their main task is warding adventurers away from their Masters lair, usually a well known evil location, often a temple, magic tower or place of teleportation streams. They patrol a primary site and keep an unfriendly eye on roadways looking for information and hunting trespassers. While disliked, they are often ignored as they throw around enough coins to be tolerated and help in shared tasks for a region such as patrolling borders or chasing criminals. Even when they help in such a shared task, they do so as a unit, never willingly interact with non-corrupt hunters. There are often rumors that they are involved in vile rituals, but rarely does any proof come to light.

Usually dressed in light chain mail, armed with shield and sword, many still wearing decorations of rank of when they were when alive, though everything they have is in a state of decay. Known for their elaborate formation rituals and keeping their distance from former friends and colleagues. Corrupt hunters that escape service to their Masters, live a life on the run and none speak about the horrors they have encountered.