Thursday, October 8, 2020

GLOGtober 8th: Mysteries and Baited Hooks

So, we've got the Ranger Made of Hooks, but absolutely no idea who, what, or why they are... That's a mystery. It counts.

Happy GLOGtober!

The Rangery

'Ranger' is an in-world title. Rangers are somewhat like a secret society, somewhat like a freelance intelligence agency. They exist in the largest cities and the most distant wastes; naturally, many of them have found their way to the Mountain.

All Rangers are Made of Hooks, transformed into that shape through some arcane ritual initiation that has never been witnessed by an outsider. Perhaps there is an indoctrination component, some element of the process that turns double-agents into triple-agents and prevents them from betraying the Rangery. Or perhaps the ones that can't be turned are detected and quietly killed and replaced - after all, it would be hard to identify them once their body has been transformed into a knot of barbed and twisted iron.

Like Satans, you should add Rangers to all your encounter tables, maybe opposite the Satan (boxcars?). They can appear anywhere. They shouldn't really be directly hostile unless you're fucking with them, so take reaction rolls on that end of the spectrum to mean that their purposes are orthogonal to yours and likely in conflict.

They make camps, small chambers of comfort deep in the underground or high on the face. They stock these camps with weapons and provisions, everything crafted solely from locally available materials. The entrances are very well-hidden, but should you find one uninhabited you are welcome to make use of everything within; if the Ranger had not wanted you to find it, you wouldn't have done so.

You can play a Ranger Made of Hooks if you meet a friendly one and accept and complete a questmystery for it.

1d20 Ranger Mysteries

  1. What lies at the heart of the Sun?
  2. Take this ball of fishhooks to the mouth of Hell, anchor the line nearby, and throw it in.
  3. What was the cause of the War that sundered the world?
  4. Bring me the crown of a last king of giants.
  5. Who blinded the leeches?
  6. Burn the homes of the mushroom-folk.
  7. Who were the Brothers?
  8. Make peace between the ratmen and the bat men.
  9. What is the meaning of the word 'elf'?
  10. Cast this barbed spear from the top of the Mountain or higher, and have it land in the sea.
  11. What is the source of G_d's power?
  12. Plant this fishhook in the flesh of the Rune King.
  13. Who is or was the Traitor?
  14. Open the path from the cradle to the top of the Mountain.
  15. Who survives of the Red Court?
  16. Poison the blood pits.
  17. What is the purpose of the Rangers?
  18. Bring a colony of mushroom-folk to the surface of the moon.
  19. Where lives the oldest whale?
  20. Bring the richest denizen of the catacombs before the Sun to face judgement.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

GLOGtober 7th: Adventure! (Class: Ranger)

Happy GLOGtober!

Definitions and Etymology

So, the term "adventure". It doesn't normally - in real life - mean walking into a tomb and killing (or being killed by) skeletons, getting treasure, all the things we expect from a tabletop RPG "adventure". It really just means, like, going somewhere. The going, that's the adventure, the exciting part. What you do when you actually get there is just... Work, usually. Sometimes hanging out. With the bros. But usually just work.

This image disagrees with me, but fuck it. It doesn't know anything. It's just an image.

I forget where I was going with that. 

You know who goes on adventures? Rangers. And you know what you need for adventures? Hooks.

It all fits together, don't you see?

Ranger Made of Hooks

1/A: Bushcraft, Ankomorph
2/B: Trailblazing, Wilderness Lore
3/C: Barbs, Ranging, Fishhook
4/D: Ambush, Skyhook

A: Bushcraft
You have skill in bushcraft, and can easily make mundane objects out of natural resources such as sticks, rocks, and plant matter which function nearly as well as professionally made versions. This takes ten minutes for anything portable (torches, a short rope, snares, spears, etc), or one hour for vehicles or structures (shelters, pit traps, rafts, sledges, etc). This isn't infinite free gear - you and your GM should work together to describe what exactly you do to make whatever things you're making - but it is as much free gear and as good of free gear as is possible.

A: Ankomorph
In place of flesh, your body is comprised of thousands upon thousands of iron fishhooks, knotted together into barbed, twisting appendages in rough facsimile of an orcish or goblinoid form. This renders you immune to most concerns of fleshier beings such as disease and poison, although you do still require sustenance and have to be wary of rust and lodestones. Their natural hardness gives you 4 AC that doesn't stack with armor, and your unarmed attacks and successful grapple checks deal 1d6 base damage.

B: Trailblazing
You have skill in tracking and pathfinding. Yourself and your party are not slowed by rough terrain during overland travel.

B: Wilderness Lore
When encountering a strange plant or animal for the first time, you have a 2-in-6 chance of identifying them. When encountering a condition (a disease, poison, curse, enchantment, etc) for the first time, you have a 2-in-6 chance of knowing of a strange plant or animal that could affect that condition in some way (causing it, curing it, immunizing against it, etc). When learning of or entering a notable location for the first time, you have a 2-in-6 chance of deducing an adventure hook or rumor with at least one true element for that location from context clues and prior information. These chances improve by 1-in-6 per Ranger Made of Hooks template, to a maximum of 4-in-6 at template D.

C: Barbs
When you successfully hit with an unarmed attack, you can make another unarmed attack against the same target with no penalty and without spending an action. This continues until you miss.

C: Ranging
Your first random encounter each day always includes, contains, or consists of the following, in some form:
Dense vegetation (forest, plain, savanna, jungle): Enough food and water for your entire party.
Sparse vegetation (desert, steppe, tundra, scrubland): Enough food and water for yourself and four others.
No vegetation (dungeon, glacier, salt flat): Enough food and water for you.

C: Fishhook
You have, somehow, acquired a fish friend. It is a giant cave pike, who despite its ill temper and tiny brain considers you its best pal in the entire world and will do its best to defend you. It possesses a preternatural ability to find you if and when you abandon it, and will do so eventually even if slain. Or maybe that's a different fish, then. Hard to tell.

D: Ambush
When you begin an encounter and aren't surprised, you may retroactively decide where to have placed yourself and any members of your party that agree to follow your direction. At least one member must be visible and out of hiding.

D: Skyhook
Your hooks reverberate with minute variations in frequency, allowing you to predict what the next change in the weather will be by standing outside and concentrating for one minute.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

GLOGtober 6th: Mountaineering Rations of the Two Cities

 Almost caught up to GLOGtober...

Rations of the Mountain

Okay, so you've taken ship to the Mountain, you've arrived at one of the Two Cities, and you're about to head inland or underground on a Grand Adventure.

What the fuck kind of food do you bring with you?

1d10 Rations available in the Old City

Or, "What are these River Kingdom troops eating?"

1. Tea, compressed and molded into cakes (discs) or bricks.

2. Sesame- or poppy-seed bagels, strung on a piece of cord and carried around the neck.

3. Pre-fried rice, millet, and/or wheat flour, eaten as a porridge - or straight, in an emergency.

4. Fermented cabbage, cucumber, and radish pickles.

5. Cured meat or fish, preserved through brining, marinating, and then smoking.

6. Repeatedly steamed and basked (dried) rice, allowing it to be quickly rehydrated with the addition of hot water. Doesn't come in a box, though.

7. Sundried cottage cheese made from horse, goat, or sheep's milk.

8. Cooked ground venison, compressed into bite-sized cubes and dried.

9. Bread soaked in vinegar (for acid) and/or fermented black soybean and salt (for salt) and then dried. Used as a condiment or soup base.

10. Fermented milk wine, slightly alcoholic.

1d10 Rations available in the New City

Or, "What are these Charter Nation troops eating?"

1. Fresh chickens (or larger beasts, for larger parties), carried or driven along alive and slaughtered when it's time to eat them.

2. Hard cheese, preserved inside its rind.

3. Olive oil, carried in small clay pots stoppered and sealed with wax.

4. Just a big ol' sack of cracked grain.

5. Hardtack or other dried biscuits/crackers.

6. Beef, pork, or venison jerky.

7. Salt fish or pork, requiring multiple boilings before palatable.

8. Small beer, barely alcoholic; or water, cut with vinegar.

9. Wine mixed with honey and seawater, or mead.

10. Sauce made from fermented fish and salt, used as a condiment.

What was the point of this?

If I'm honest, it was kind of a punt. I do think it's useful to know what the "rations" you bring with you up the Mountain or into the dungeon are, though. Like, if you're carrying a big jar of olive oil, that might come in handy for things other than eating it.

Monday, October 5, 2020

GLOGtober 5th: Mountain Topography

Bit of a cop-out, but I've gotta catch up to GLOGtober and I have a map of the Mountain that I haven't posted yet.

It's not this one, the side-view point map hastily scribbled on a piece of paper:

clicc for big, but I've already posted this one.

It is this one, a topographical map:

clicc for big, this one is new.

This was created for me ages ago by kahva and I never did anything with it, but I really like it. I suppose it'll be especially useful if and when I need to do some overland travel bits in a game. I've added the two cities myself with very little consideration - their positions aren't final.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

GLOGtober 4th: BATTLEMAGES (Class: Fighter but also Wizard)

Happy GLOGtober! Still playing catch-up, but here's your swirling rainbow vortices post. 

First, we have to talk about BATTLEFIRE.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

GLOGtober 3rd: Goblins of the Civilized Lands

The GLOGtober prompt todaytwo days ago iswas 'Goblins'. Lets knock that one out before I continue.

The Civilized Lands

The Civilized Lands, from whence adventurers come to the Mountain, are dominated by two large culture-groups, each formed from several component polities. They are the River Kingdoms, an imperial federation that originated in the homelands of the orcs, and the Charter Nations, a more loosely organized alliance and trade group that originated in the homelands of the goblinoids. Today, we are concerned with the latter.

A goblin peasant levy


The Mountain Player's Handbook has this to say about goblinoids:

1. Goblinoid: Bright red or yellow eyes with slit pupils, catlike noses, small pointed teeth, bushy sideburns (across all three sexes), and dull orange, yellow, or green skin covered with fine, short, downy fur. Goblinoid society holds that the place of men and women is at home, so most (but not all) goblinoid adventurers are neuters.

1. Bugbear: Eight to nine feet tall (-1 AC, can wield heavy weapons as if they were medium), reroll Strength.

2. Hobgoblin: Skin and fur tend towards warmer colors, five to six feet tall, reroll lowest stat.

3. Goblin: About three feet tall (+1 AC, can only wield medium weapons two-handed and can’t wield heavy weapons), reroll Dexterity.

Remember, I was an E6 3.5e gal first, so that's what my goblinoids look like. Fine, downy fur, big sideburns, and little wet cat noses. 

They're born in litters, about ten at a time, usually one or two of each binary sex and the rest neuter. Bugbears are a genetic anomaly which are born among litters of any other sort of goblinoid, and appear normal as infants but grow to their full size rapidly. Goblinoid natural philosophers theorize that these traits existed to enable their survival of some great hardship in their shared prehistory, and Charter Nation societies tend to have fairly strict gender roles as a result; expecting goblinoid men and women to be parents and homemakers while more physically hazardous roles such as mining, millwork, and military service are filled by neuters. As a result of this, of course, more adventurously-minded male and female goblinoids are likely to be encountered in regions outside of the Charter Nations themselves. 

A hobgoblin FIGHTMASTER, or perhaps a BATTLEMAGE

The Charter Nations

There are six on the Charter Court, with innumerable petty nations, city-states, and feudal holdings between them.

Forest, tundra, and steppe; geographically massive, sparsely populated, and rich in natural resources. A feudal empire, stagnant in neither ascent nor decline. Durrans are reputed as cold to those they don't know and generous and loyal to those they trust. Majority goblin.

Rolling hills and inclement weather; spread between the continental coast and a few small islands. A kingdom, technically, or between one and three depending on who you ask. Escautians are reputed as superstitious, worldly, and crude in manner. Majority hobgoblin.

Sharp mountain ridges, open plains, plenty of coastline. An ancient and rich empire in decline. Eturicans are reputed as greedy, debauched, and detail-oriented. Majority hobgoblin.

An archipelago of rocky cliffs and plateaus; warm year-round except at high altitudes. A federated commonwealth of city-states. Kolvenians are reputed as prone to vice, sloth, science, and romance. Majority goblin.

Forest, field, and river; large but land-locked. Two kingdoms merged into one through marriage, an uneasy union. Ostmarchers and Montaguans are reputed as excellent brewers, gourmands, and stubborn perfectionists. Majority goblin.

Flat plains ascending to rugged hills; sunny and warm. An ascendant empire, struggling with the tensions of industrialization. Pyrenicans are reputed as arrogant, prideful, and musically and culinarily talented. Majority hobgoblin.

It should go without saying that most of these 'reputations' originate outside of the nations mentioned and very possibly none are true. Goblinoids are a diverse bunch.

Friday, October 2, 2020

GLOGtober 2nd: Let There Be Blood and also HELLBASTARDS

The GLOGtober prompt today is 'Blood'. Blood is one of the four elements. But normally there's only one kind of blood. That's kind of boring.

Here are some more types of blood you can have.

  1. Royal blood. It's blue. Satans and vampires prize it especially, for some reason.
  2. Oil. It's flammable. Horses have oil for blood, why don't you? This one seems dangerous.
  3. Spiders! Thousands of 'em. Are they your children? Are you a spider in disguise? Nobody will ever know, unless you tell 'em.
  4. Too much blood. We're talking quentin tarantino horror movie splatters every time you get cut, and a complete inability to suffer from (or die due to) blood loss.
  5. Music. Since songs are swords, and vice versa, this can be at least a little unfortunate from time to time.
  6. Normal-ass blood. Sometimes you just gotta chill out for a second. It can't be all weird blood all the time, or none of the weird blood is weird anymore.
  7. Communism. Blood is red, at least normally. You know what else is... Red? That's right. I don't know what this does but if you or someone around you can talk to blood you should probably ask it how to solve the transformation problem.
  8. Dragon blood. Does it make you greedy? Paranoid? No, that's fascist race science, your blood doesn't define you. Having dragon blood does mean you count as a dragon (and not as a normal, non-dragon person) for things that care about that, though. Dragons probably make a lot of things that care about that, because they're fascists.

9. Ferrofluid and ink. DIGRESSION: HELLBASTARDS 

when you are a hellbastard part of your body (a hand, or both hands, or your tongue, or your heart and all your blood, or your eyeballs and brain) is inky black and wet-looking, as if you had spilled ink on it. 

everyone HATES hellbastards. that's why they're called hellbastards. so you better fuckin' keep that shit covered up. they'll like, run you out of town or stone you to death. regular people roll morale whenever you're visibly a hellbastard around them

blacktongue: tongue is inky black and far too long, might also be forked. blacktongue hellbastards are fond of masks, fans, scarves, and whispering sweet words from behind their hands. if you're a blacktongue hellbastard you count your Charisma as 2 higher whenever you're in darkness, and 2 lower whenever you're in bright light. once per day, or as many times as you want during the night, you can extinguish a light within 30' by flicking your tongue at it and swallowing it up.

blackheart: veins show dark beneath the skin and black in the corners of the eyes. blood is incredibly pigmented, so opaque it can be used as ink or dye, and ferrous -- reacts to magnetic fields like ferrofluid or the weird stuff megan fox pukes up in jennifer's body. it dries into salty magnetic tar. the blood flows slowly and hurts constantly with the dull full-body ache of a hangover. blackheart hellbastards move like rickety old people and often affect canes or crutches for comfort, though they can move swiftly when they need to. direct sunlight causes your veins to smoke through your skin and any open wounds to sputter and crackle, dealing 1 damage per minute of continual exposure -- this can be avoided with voluminous clothing or by being careful to stay on the shady side of the street, etc etc. you get +1 Strength and -1 Dexterity and roll on the Death & Dismemberment table with advantage whenever you're a blackheart hellbastard

blackhand: entire hand or hands are blackened, up to the wrists and partway up the forearms. i think this one is a whole-ass class and it's the guy from princess mononoke

blackmind: turn all your spells into blackened hellbastards. immune to most mind-affecting stuff, can't be a paladin. If anyone ever cuts open your head your brain drips out like motor oil. your eyes are completely black and this is even more disconcerting and scary than any other kind of hellbastard and everyone gets an extra 2 difficulty on morale checks if you personally cause them. you can see in complete darkness as if it were bright light, and if its magical absolute darkness then it also lets you see invisible things and lies and hidden danger.

10. Honey. This marks you either as one of the fey or a very carefully constructed simulacrum.
11. Extremely potent psychedelic-dissociative-deliriants. Don't lick your wounds. Or do, I guess. I'm not your mom.
12. Text. pages and pages and pages and pages and pages and pages and pages and pages. secrets, mysteries, books that haven't been written yet and ones that have been written many, many times. all written in monospaced pixelated font, like an old computer terminal.
13. Type O negative. This makes you a universal donor. That's a valuable thing to be. Sucks for you if you need blood, though. Some people will tell you this makes you more likely to be outgoing, have leadership abilities, easily shrug off small issues and details, be frequently late (and rude), resilient, and flexible. I think they're probably right.
14. Thread. A single, unbroken, string of red. As strong as reasonably strong fishing line. There must be miles of this stuff in you.
15. Poison. On the upside, this means you're probably immune to poison, or else you would have died by now.
16. Seawater. Foaming brine. Contains all the things the actual ocean does.
17. Glittering black glass. Molten in your veins, so probably you never get cold. Quickly hardens into brittle curls and cruel twisting spires when exposed to the air.
18. Clay. Wet, slowly trickling. This makes you extremely hard to move if you don't want to be moved, for mysterious reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with real-world physics. It also means you can't bleed out.
19. Blue house paint. Why do you have this? Is this part of some elaborate con to fake a claim to the throne? Probably, I mean that's pretty much the only reason I can think of to replace your blood with blue paint. You definitely weren't born like this.
20. BATTLEFIRE. This is a link.

okay yeah that's great Vayra but what the fuck do i DO with it

Apply this to every character from now on. Just roll a d20 or something.