Wednesday, July 18, 2012

or why massacres of cute goblin babies are not a problem in my games

I enjoy a moral dilemma as much as the next guy, but I don't find skewering baby goblins to be fun.
So, I've made some chnages to certain breeds of monster:

Orcs are organized like naked mole rats or hive insects. I got that idea from Harn, I think. They have no babies unable to defend themselves, just half-grown ‘runtlings’ that pop out of the cave-mothers multiple wombs, ready to fight from birth. Orcs have genetic memory (this is also taken from Harn) which ensures that they all have a roughly similar culture. It’s violent and savage, with strong tendencies towards what most people would call evil. The cave mother can to some extent control her hive with pheromonesand her black milk, so that orcish society can function with a semblance of order. The orcs don’t work well together when not under the control of a cave-mother. The control range is limited. Orcs go rogue, berserk , blind, or die if the cave-mother is slain (this is inspired by a scene in Return of the King). They amy also go rouge or perish if they wander too far from the hive.
In theory, a rouge orc might be Lawful or Neutral, but that's very rare. It is possible that he could be Chaotic but not espeically evil-- just unpredicatble and aggressive.

Half-orcs are sterile. They tend to be a little on the crazy side, but some can pass for ill-favored humans. As for how they are made, let's just say that an orc cave-mothers pheremones can't control a man's thinking brain, but can arouse certain physiological responses....ewww squick.

Goblins reproduce by possessing and transmogrifying the infants of human and demihuman races. Yes, that’s inspired in part by a certain movie with David Bowie. Hobgoblins and bugbears do the same. According to gnomish lore, the earliest goblins were Chaotic gnome cultists warped by a curse.

Trolls reproduce by fission, and are not very social creatures. Their grasp of language tends to be minimal. When a troll goes into ‘heat’, other trolls sense it and chase it down, then rip it apart and scatter the pieces. The pieces grow into new trolls.

Kobolds are actually little earth devils. New kobolds are mined from toxic ore veins and set to work for the older kobolds.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Longbeard isn't just a nickname—this tricky dwarf has a magic beard that moves at his will, much like the effect of a permanent animate ropes spell. He can use it to trip opponents, grab light objects, tickle sleeping people or beasts, etc. It grows back quickly if cut with ordinary blades, but it might be burned off or neutralized by magical means.

I haven’t read the old Slavic fairy tale which inspired the picture above, so I don’t know if my idea is close to the original type.

Monday, July 2, 2012

New Items for B/X (or any edition)

Rod of Flame-gout

This polished, hollow brass rod is cast to resemble a bell-mouthed dragon or serpent.  To use the rod, the wielder must first fill the hollow with lamp oil or a similar flammable substance, and then fired by depressing a concealed trigger (no command word necessary). Flame belches forth from the activated rod, in a small cone that grows from a few inches to 5 feet in diameter at 30 feet long. Damage=1d12. Targets may save against Dragon’s Breath for half damage. Because the area of effect is small, and the rod must be aimed, the wielder must roll to hit any targets in the area of effect. This roll gets a +1 adjustment, in addition to any DEX adjustment the wielder normally gets on missile attacks.

The fire is likely to scorch or ignite dry cloth, hair, paper, etc.

The rod may be used as many times per day as the wielder pleases—but every single shot fired requires a flask of lantern oil. The oil is utterly consumed. Reloading takes a round.

This item may be used by any class.

Nail-biter Rod

This hollow, rust-flecked iron rod is fashioned to resemble a bell mouthed dragon or serpent. To use this rod, the user must first pour metal coins, broken chain links, nails, or similar small metal objects down the muzzle. The rod is fired using a concealed trigger (no command word is necessary). Rusted, broken metal sprays from the open end of the activated rod, in a roughly conical burst that grows from a few inches to 10 feet in diameter at 60 feet long. Anything in the cone is subjected to 1d4 attacks. Each hit does 1d4 damage. Large targets, like a man standing very close to the muzzle or an ogre at any distance, will block the effect for anything behind said target.

The wielder must roll to hit, using the range table below.

Range= 15/30/60

DEX effects this attack in the same manner as any thrown or missile weapon.

The rod may be used as many times per day as the wielder pleases—but every single shot fired requires a pound of small metal bits.  The metal ammunition is broken, corroded, and generally rendered worthless by the action of firing. Even gold coins are ruined. Reloading takes a round.

The rod is quite loud; firing it in a dungeon may attract wandering monsters.

This item is prohibited for clerics, but may be used by any other class.

NOTE-- I may edit both items a bit, after I get some feedback on them. These are basically fantasy boomsticks/guns.

 My current campaign setting does include simple blackpowder weapons, but those are unreliable and pretty rare.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Fake Dinosaurs= 'Real' Monsters

I had these as a kid! I've got no idea what happened to them.

Many D&D fans will recognize the bottom two as the rust monster and the bulette.

My assumption is that Gygax, or one of the other DMs in his circle, bought a bunch of plastic 'dinosaurs' and used those as miniatures.

The cute monster in the upper left quadrant looks like the love child of the Tarrasque and a Fiend Folio carbuncle. Carrasque? Tarbuncle? Maybe it has a jewel buried in its head, which can be removed from its dead body by means similar to those needed to extract huge diamonds from the Tarrasque?

Okay, that’s a bit goofy even for me.

It could be fun to stat both the upper figures. What are they?

I’ll probably come back to this. I’m working on my math studies now, and I have some serious writing projects to do a bit later.