Monday, November 5, 2018

//GLoG.dat -hackr -?



Really backed myself into a corner, title wise, by placing the .dat file in the root.

So anyway, the idea here was to find a solution for a hacker that didn’t have them playing their own mini session with the GM while everyone sat around bored. Honestly, I had very little in the way of ideas on how to do that until I came across this blog post by Michael Bacon while casually looking at the Cyberpunk 2020 hacking section in an SRD. The two just sort of meshed. Yeah, last post made it seem like I had something lined up, didn’t it? A very clever lie.

Anyway, the short of it is, the cyberspace of 20XX is heavily dependent on meatspace, and is accessible through augmented reality. This slows hacking down to the speed of every other action, rather than Shadowrun’s “speed of thought” deal.

Is it the best solution? Maybe not. But it seems usable and opens the door for other ideas.

Hacking in a Vague Description
You get one cache slot per level that can hold a single program. You load these at daily wakeup.

You get one processing die (d6) per level that can be used to execute a program. These are refreshed by a night's worth of defragmenting.

You execute programs by allocating your processing die in a program and then rolling them. The more dice, the more effective the program execution. Each die you invest has a 50% chance of returning (on a 1-3) into your processing pool.

So...Wait...What?
There’s two things you’ve got to keep in mind during all this: 1) The tech of 20xx isn’t like the tech of today. Gone are the days of CD-ROMs, USB, and platter hard drives. Now is the time of solid states, high capacity cassettes, and ZIP-disks. 2) The programs your running, for the most part, aren’t standard programs. They’re major resource hogs, probably originally developed by a world military to run on specialized computers. Low- to mid-level AIs generated to perform a very specific purpose. Kaung grade MK11 type stuff. Definitely shouldn’t be in the hands of a street user. Your deck is bleeding edge and modded all to hell, but can still only execute a minor handful before needing some serious garbage collection.

Actually, a third thing. Given the saturation of technology (from wearable devices to microcontrollers in weapons, nearly everything is part of the IoT) and the advancement of security (signal dampening paint for instance), cyberspace takes on a skewed, yet similar image of the real world. People appear as clouds of processing points within personal area networks, and objects can vaguely be made out based on their thickness, material, and the way signals bounce off them. High level AIs (thems with the ability to reason and self initiate) roam cyberspace carrying out tasks by their owners, or potentially going rogue and casing trouble.

Your Deck
This is your portable supercomputer. I say portable, but I mean it in the way a cooler is portable. “Yes, technically”, but still a pain in the ass. While you can store up to 10 programs in the data storage of the deck, only programs in the cache slot can be executed. Loading programs are typically done before deployment to the field, as they take roughly an hour to transfer.

The most typical way to interface with your Deck is over AR (augmented reality) - a pair of goggles that display the virtual world overlaid on the real world, allowing for the viewing of both cyberspace and meatspace at the same time.

Cassettes
I could try telling you these are Special Command Read-Only LogLess Scripts (see what I did there?), however that would be unimportant. Also complete gibberish. What these are are high capacity analog magnetic tape that store the ones and zeros for a military grade program, suitable for one time use. Inserting the cassette into your deck allows you to execute the stored program, providing a free processing die from the on-board processor. Should you choose, you may allocate your decking resources to the execution of the program. Again, being military, these are single use items that self destruct after a single use.

Transferring programs from cassette to deck, and vise versa, is possible, but a huge pain in the ass. It also takes about an hour, but any number of programs can be swapped between the deck and cassettes.

If you seek to execute a program that you’re not sure of what it is, consult your GM.

Faults and Snowcrashes
Because of the experimental nature of it all, sometimes you encounter system errors. Faults are relatively minor errors and occur when the processing die produces doubles. Snowcrashes occur when triples are rolled, and are horrible. Don’t roll triples.

Faults
1. Resource hog - Dice only return to your pool on a 1-2 for 24 hours.
2. Short Circuit - Take 1d6 damage
3. Static Arc - CyberDeck takes 1 endurance damage
4. Zombie process - An unterminated process is taking up a processor. Lose one processing die for 24 hours.
5. Feedback - Headache inducing patterns overwhelm your AR interface. Agony for 1d6 rounds.
6. Ctrl+Alt+Del - Cannot execute any programs for 1d6 rounds while the tasks restart.

Snowcrash
1. I/O board is fried - It’ll take you 24 hours to fix it
2. Motherboard is burnt out - It’ll take you 72 hours to fix it
3. Prison of Your Own Flesh - A feedback error causes you to hallucinate for 48 hours straight. As it dies down, you find yourself unable to return to your deck, the horrors you saw scaring you off it again and again.

Wait...I can get hurt by this?

Oh yes. From Faults and Snowcrashes, to any number of AI, anti-personel programs, or ICE protocols can assault your deck, or other devices, causing it to play havoc on your cerebellum. Such is the trade off for modern day godlike ability: Sometimes you’re the only one able to see the monster.

Anyway, on to the brass tacks -

Hacker
You're a console cowboy; master of the realm digital. You collect military grade computer hardware for nefarious activities in cyberspace. Stay outta Memphis hotel rooms.

Starting Skills: [1] - coding, [2] - cryptocurrency, [3] - dive bars
Starting Equipment: CyberDeck; light pistol; 2 casettes

A.     +1 processing die, + 1 cache slot, +2 programs
B.     +1 processing die, + 1 cache slot, +2 programs, Projection
C.     +1 processing die, + 1 cache slot, +2 programs, Virtual Agent
D.     +1 processing die, + 1 cache slot, +2 programs, Merge Programs

Projection
You've finally been able to afford the 'trodes upgrade. While wearing them, you may close your eyes and concentrate, leaving the prison of meatspace behind. Your consciousness falls completely into Cyberspace, allowing you to move freely through the system. Spatial relations lose meaning, becoming more abstract; PANs take on the form of geometric shapes. Networks outside the Cloud appear as large, black monoliths. AIs appear in their cold, logical true form - four dimensional shapes, ever in motion and pulsing with light.

For purposes of other programs, your current location within Cyberspace counts as the origin of the range. You are fully visible to any in AR, and a silvery digital trail leads back to your deck. Programs that target a device can target your deck if your projected location is within range.

Virtual Agent
    You've managed to incorporate a secondary array of RAM into your deck, and allowed an AI to take up residence within it. It can perform simple tasks on it's own, such as executing a program at a given time, however it is only a mid-level AI and still requires commands from you. Should the deck fall into a "broken" state, it will take 24 hours after completely fixing the deck for the AI to return.

Merge Programs
   By putting two different programs on cassettes into a special virtual machine, and forced to combine based on survivability. Think of it as a genetic algorithm thunderdome. Don’t worry, they’re probably not sentient. After the week of retraining, the combined programs produce one of the following:
1) A random program
2) A mutation of one of the programs
3) A new program based on the combined  programs

Note: I considered making "Create Program" an ability, however that basically translated out to "Do the GM's work." Which is a suck power. If you have an idea for a program, talk to your GM about it.

Programs
This is a non-exhaustive list of programs, and many more may exist out in the world. Typically a program comes in one of three catagories: Offense, Defense, and Utility. I've not labeled them.

Object saves: If the equipment is on a person, use their save. They’ve clearly fiddled with the settings. AIs save as NPCs.

Programs
R: Range     T: Target D: Duration

Babel
R: Self     T: Self D: Concentration
A language program for decrypting or encrypting files. The process operates on [dice] files at a time.

Charm12
R: Connected     T: Device D: [dice] real time minutes
You temporarily reactivate the low level AI in a broken device and are able to query its memory. May know how it broke if the event was logged in time.

Credentials
R: 20’     T: [dice] Device    D: [sum] turns
Makes a device believe the user has authorized access. Invest 3 [dice] to instead target an AI and convince it you are admin level user.

Disguise
R: 50’     T: Device  D: [dice] hours
Makes a device appear as another within Cyberspace.

Fireball
R: 200’     T: AI D: Instant
Does [sum] 'fire' damage to all higher level AI within the sphere. Save for half.

GlobalQuery
R: Self     T: the Cloud    D: Instant
Through accessing various backdoors of common public record databases, user may as [dice] yes/no questions. If [sum] is 10+, user may ask any question using [dice] words.

JuryRig
R: Connected     T: Device D: Instant
Communicates with the Device’s low level AI and attempts to find a work around for the damage done to the device, though at a price. Temporarily removes [dice] quality checks for [sum] rounds, before breaking completely until properly repaired.

Knock
R: 30’     T: Device  D: Instant
Injects a litany of various common “OPEN” commands into the targeted equipment. Has a [dice]-in-6 chance of working. You’d be surprised what uses an “open” command: automated doors, smartgun actions, parachutes, etc.

Powerword: Blind
R: 20’     T: User D: Instant
When targeted against visual equipment, generates blinding light which...uh, blinds the user for [dice] rounds. Save negates. Cyberoptic implants count as “visual equipment.”

Powerword: Deafen
R: 20’     T: User D: Instant
When targeted against audio equipment, generates a high pitched squelch that deafens the user for [dice] rounds. Save negates. Cybercochlear implants count as “audio equipment.”

Powerword: Stun
R: 20’     T: User D: Instant
Generates a power loop feedback in the device of a user, stunning them for [dice] rounds. Save negates.

Ratatalk
R: 20' T: Device D: [dice] real time minutes
Allows communication with currently functioning device AI. Program translates between machine and human.

Rati
R: 20' T: Device D: Concentration
Allows for the accessing of networks not connected to the Cloud. Any network worth breaking into has ICE patrolling its systems, always comparing activity against Suspicion Profiles. However, there is a [dice]-in-6 chance the program will hide you well enough for ICE to ignore you.

RevealAI
R: 100’     T: Device D: [sum] turns
Allows for pinging and probing a device to determine if it’s an AI disguising itself. AI must save to remain hidden.

SignPost
R: 0’     T: Location    D: [dice] days
User is able to leave [sum] length message within the cloud, bound to their current location. This message is viewable by all. Note, this is different from Message Boards or AR advertisements, as those require a dedicated device. This steals a bit of space from surrounding devices to avoid the need of a hosting device.

Shatter
R: 25’     T: Device  D: Instant
Generates feedback in the device. Device must save or take [dice] damage to durability.

ShieldWall
R: 50'     T: Device  D: [dice] turns
Adds +4 to device’s saves.

Static Wall
R: 100’     T: Location   D: Concentration
Generates a solid wall of static in cyberspace. Moving through the space in meat space does [dice] durability damage to devices. AIs take [sum] damage.

Stiltskin
R: 50’     T: Device  D: 5*[dice] turns
Puts a device into a sleep mode.

VirusScan
R: Connected     T: Device D: [Dice] turns
Detects whether current device has a virus or other malicious code

Watchdog
R: 50’     T: Self D: [dice] hours
Detects devices/AI/ICE moving within Range and alerts the user.

Web
R: 20‘    T: Self D: Concentration
Your deck begins to spew garbage signals within a radius around you, making it look like there are a multitude of devices within the area, requiring [sum]/2 rounds to sort through to find you. Flammable.

The Turing Institute has cataloged the following programs, and keep them securely contained in non-networked computers. (They’re ideas I thought of, but deemed too powerful - or just odd. Could be usable for plot, so here they are):

Powerword: Kill
R: 20’     T: User D:Instant
Sends a massive power surge through the device, killing the user

Doom Song
R: 20’     T: Device   D: Instant
Does [dice] worth of durability damage to the device. If this breaks the device, add +1 to the [dice] value and target all devices within 25’ of the original.

Implant Suggestion
R: 20'     T: User D: Instant
Over loads sensory equipment to produce a frequency that implants a [dice] word command into the target's brain.
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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

//GLoG.dat

Sometimes, in the long shadows of hte night, I get to imagining I've got time and brain space to run a game again. A cyberpunk game, specifically; set in a 20XX where Mega Corporations run the majority of things, humanity is locked some vague place between meat and machine, and chock full of all the technobabble you can squeeze out of the collective works of William Gibson. Or "Billy Gibs" as I call him.

Shadowrun is great, but I'm not looking for the magic aspect. Also a break from Tolkien elements would be nice.

Cyberpunk 2020 seems the perfect solution - I mean, it's in the name - however with 9 attributes and 50+ skills (I stopped counting), this seems a bit too long for the probably once a month session it would have to be. Seriously, "Cryotank Operation" seems WAY too specific.

Then I refound the notebook of printed GLOG rules. Seems the best fit: 6 common place attributes; contextual skills; quick and easy character build; templates easily modifiable. However, a quick search led to nothing on a cyberpunk GLOG version. Some pirate related stuff, but nothing cyberpunk.

So, then, the below happened. At this point in time, they're based on standard GLOG rules (-1.0?) but adjustments to that may get wedged in as needed.

Augmentation 


What's cyberpunk without some sort of body augmentation? Every old system needs an upgrade at some point; the human body is no exception. Each time this template is taken, the character gains 10 points to spend on augments. Not all augment points have to be spent at once, and can be saved until use. Augments most likely come in two forms: Cybernetic and Biological. A non-complete list can be found here.

The Face

You are a man about town. Your fingers are on the pulse of the nightlife and social gossip. If you’re not part of the ‘In crowd’, it’s because you’ve turned them down and they’re the worse for it. 

You gain +1 Groupie for every template of Face taken. A groupie is like a hireling, but without the money cost. XP is shared only on missions they part take in.

Starting Equipment: Stun Pistol, Stun Baton, Silk Suit

Starting Skill: [1] - Fashion, [2] - Pop Culture, [3] - Recent News

A Nice Threads, They Know Me Here
B Street Cred, Pep Talk 
C Fanatic Groupies, Gang Uniform
D Really Good Liar

Nice Threads
Until they start making armor in pinstripe or egyptian silk, you’ll take your chances without. While wearing fashionable clothing of the same cost as related armor, you receive the equivalent defense, but without expending Inventory Slots. The clothing is Fragile however, and you suffer -1 def each time you’re scorched, dirtied, shot, stabbed - anything that would ruin such fine clothing. 

They Know Me Here
You’re a regular at a local dive bar. The patrons are Friendly towards you, and are usually willing to lie for you, given plausible deniability. For a smile and some sweet words to the owner, you can use a backroom unmolested. 

Street Cred
By recounting your recent adventures to a crowd, say a bar crowd, every character that participated in the adventure, and the retelling, receives an additional 10% of the XP received during the adventure. Usable once per adventure. 

Pep Talk
Once per session, as a free action, you may give a rousing speech to attempt bolster the spirits of your allies. Any friends that can hear you regain 1d4 HP (the DM is encouraged to give a +1 or +2 bonus based on vigorous gesturing and if the other players are actually encouraged by the speech). Outside of combat, the speech is worth 1d6. 

Fanatic Groupies
Your good looks and honeyed words have won over the crowds, to the point they’re willing to jump in between you and danger at a moment’s notice. If you take physical damage, you can choose to pass off the damage to an adjacent hireling. They make no additional check or save, merely take the damage meant for you. 

Gang Uniform
While wearing an outfit involving a symbol representing the gang, any allies loyal to the gang and wearing the same symbol receive a +1 to attack. The symbol can be just about anything, as long as it undeniably identifies the specific gang, and members thereof. 

Really Good Liar
Once per session, you may declare any excuse or argument to be both valid and acceptable. 


The Fixer



The world has problems, no one can deny that. You make a living by providing solutions to these problems. Be it guns, drugs, or even rare animals, if you wanted, you know how to get your hands on things, and if you don't, you know someone who does. 

You gain +1 Contact with every Fixer template taken. Contacts defer from Hirelings in that they won't go on field missions, but will provide services for favors or hard cash. Contacts gained in this way have Loyalty 10, and are unlikely to rat you out.

Starting Equipment: Medium Body Armor; Med Pistol

Starting Skill: [1] - Black Market, [2] - Conspiracy, [3] - Contracts

A Well Connected, Well Prepared
B Done your homework
C Line of Credit, I Remember Reading About That
D I Know A Guy

Well Connected
When hiring hirelings, treat your Charisma as 2 higher.

Well Prepared
When in a shady back alley, you may spend any amount of money to receive an unmarked box. When opened, you declare what’s inside, as long as the item(s) are equal or lesser in value than what you paid, and use the correct amount of inventory slots. It is possible to have a smaller box within a box. 

Done your homework
Any very specific detail you learn about your next job adds a point into a special conviction point pool. This pool is usable by the team, may only contain up to the fixer level's worth points, and these points are only good for the specific job.

Line of Credit
You’re known for being good to your word. Where most illicit dealings require money up front, usually in a nice briefcase or other easily verifiable form, people who have heard of you or dealt with you before are willing to extend up to 250,000 units of standard currency (nuyen, bitcoin, dollars, whatever). Mind you this is total, be it across multiple dealers or all with one. Regular repayments are expected, with rather unfriendly results should you seem to be neglecting said payments. 

I Remember Reading About That
Once per day, you may treat your Intelligence as being 20, for the purposes of knowledge related skill checks. 

I Know A Guy
Once per session you can call in a favor owed you by someone within your network of contacts, with a 5-in-6 chance of them willing to accept without payment.  


Grizzled Cop

You’ve been on the Force longer than most. In fact, of those you graduated Academy with, you’re probably the last alive. You’ve seen some shit, but your dedicated to the job and seeing the criminals of this town brought to justice. You gain +1HP and +1 Save vs Fear for every Grizzled Cop template you have. Starting Equipment: Medium Armor, Badge, Service Revolver* Starting Skill: [1] - Law, [2] - Loose Cannon, [3] - Criminal Underground A Officer of the Law B Determined, Trained to Take a Hit C Thin Blue Line D ...Do You Feel Lucky, Punk? Officer of the Law You are a cop, and are allowed to engage in the benefits of the position: free coffee at Donut Hut, running red lights, and carrying a gun in restricted areas. Oh, right, you’re also able to arrest people, call in police backup, and push your wait around while flashing the badge (targets Save vs Fear or be compelled to answer questions). On the other hand, you are also susceptible to Internal Affairs investigations and people looking to film you abusing your power. So, be careful. Or don’t. I ain’t the cops. You are. Determined This job has cost you two marriages, countless night’s sleep, and a working liver, yet you stuck with it. You can have up to two points of Conviction, rather than the standard one. Additionally, when spending a point of Conviction to attack an enemy, you deal an extra +1d8 base damage. Trained to Take a Hit You’ve been shot before. You’ve been stabbed before. You’re not fond of them, but you know how to take them, using your body armor to its fullest effect. Once per day you can reduct incoming damage by 1d12 points. Or you can choose to ruin your armor and reduce the damage by a straight 12 points. Thin Blue Line Adjacent allies can use your Save vs Fear in place of their own. This ability has no effect if you are currently afraid. Additionally all other Officers of the Law allied to you get +1 Attack while in scene. ...Do You Feel Lucky, Punk? Uh, uh. I know what you’re thinking. “Did he fire six shots, or only five?” Well, to tell the truth, in all this excitement, I kind of lost track myself. Any attack made using the Server Revolver that doesn’t hit has a 4-in-6 chance of not consuming ammunition. *Note: Service Revolver is a medium pistol with no electronics. Six shots.

Hacker


Ah, jeez, this is gonna require a little more room, and its own system. Found here.


Street Samurai

You’re the Hero; the Protagonist; World’s Greatest Swordsman. Or maybe you’re the Razor Girl; nerves set to overdrive with fingers full of blades waiting to be used. Whoever you are, you’re a student in the nearly lost art of Ass Kicking, always on the lookout to fight someone bigger and badder than you, until you prove yourself a master. You gain +1 HP for every Street Samurai template you possess. Starting Gear: Medium armor, 2 melee weapons of choice, medium pistol Starting Skills: [1] - Stepping Razor, [2] - Soldier, [3] - A Combat Expert, +1 Attack B Trophy C Signature Weapon, +1 Attack D Armed Shield, Unstoppable Combat Expert You gain +2 to both Combat Maneuver rolls. Further, if you get exactly the number you need during an attack roll, make an opposed attribute check as you would during a combat maneuver. On a success, you make a free combat maneuver. Trophy You collect trophies from high status opponents you defeat; be it a hachimaki of a rival bosozoku leader or a scrap of cloth barring a Corporate logo taken from a former security guard Captain - as long as it is possible for someone to identify and realize that they associate with the trophy. You gain a +1 Attack against those sorts of people. These bonuses stack, though after a while the bosozoku should run out of people. The trophies also make negotiations with that group more difficult. Signature Weapon Choose a weapon you’ve used before. You gain +2 to Attack when using that weapon. Armed Shield On a successful Grapple Maneuver against a target with a ranged weapon, you may make a free attack action against any other target, at a -2 attack modifier, using the grappled target’s weapon. Additionally, any attack made against you while the grapple is held, gets redirected to the grappled target. Unstoppable When you fell an opponent down to 0HP with an attack, you gain a free attack acton with the same weapon.

Tweaker

Put simply, you’re a man that enjoys a chemical dependency. Doesn’t matter what it is: HyperCocaine, Synthohol, or Crystal Pepsi. You indulge nearly constantly and have a tendency to lose yourself to the whims of the drug. 

You can ignore +1 points of Intoxication (Drunkenness) for every Tweaker template you take. 

Starting Equipment: Light Pistol, Baton, 1d4 doses of your drug. 
Starting skill: [1] - Streetwise, [2] - Chemistry, [3] - 

A Drug Fueled Rage
B Twitchy, Dependant
C Drug Resistance
D Becoming the Drug, Burn Out

Drug Fueled Rage
By taking a large dosage of your drug of choice, you may enter a drug fueled rage. While enraged you are immune to pain and fear, and gain +1 to your attack and defense. You do, however, lose yourself to the drug. Any action described as “defensive”, “curative”, “cooperative”, or “tactical” is not one your drug addled mind can comprehend. The drug says FIGHT, so you fight. Using technology anymore complicated than a gun, or a weapon implant, is right out. While you won’t target your friends, anyone that harms you (accidental or otherwise) in this fight ain’t a friend until the rage ends. 

Twitchy
The drug has left your nerves a complete mess. When surprised, you have a 3-in-6 chance to act on the surprise round anyway. 

Dependent
Keep those eyes open. Taking a dose of your chosen drug adds 1d4+level in temporary HP lasting as long as the drug effects.  

Drug Resistance
When in the midst of your Drug Fueled Rage, should you take damage greater than half your remaining HP, you may spend a Conviction point to ignore it

Becoming the Drug
You’ve entered a new state in your drug habit: A toxic zen. Replace the bonuses from your drug fueled rage with your level. In addition, when you enter a rage, also activate Dependant for free. 

Burn Out
Your heavy drug usage has ruined your nervous system, dulling your connection with the world. All incoming damage is reduced by 2 points, even when you’re sober. 



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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Shields Shall Be Fiddly


50% cover should be +4AC
Been hankering to build another shield in all this free time i ain't got. Maybe see if I can get something weildable, rather than just ornamental.

Either way, in contemplating this, I took to reflecting on the time I spent fighting with a shield, and let me tell you, the dang things are equalizers. Many a time I held off a better fighter long enough, just cause my left arm was attached to a giant board that negated everything on that side. Switching arms confused the hell out of them. They're also the source of all my concussions, but that's another story.

I figure this sort of thing warranted more than just a +2 to AC. See the above picture, that's at least 50% cover, but +4 seems too much, also boring. Sure, it's the quick and done route, but what follows is more of a hassle! </selling_points>

Medium Shield
+0 to AC vs melee, +2 to AC vs range
Special: Once per round a non-magical, non-ranged attack the wielder knows about has a 2-in-6 chance of being blocked completely. For fighters, this applies to every attack, rather than once per round. Obviously if the character loses their Dex bonus (unaware, tied up, etc) they lose this save.

If using Shields Shall Be Splintered rule, then this can be activated after a failed Shield save.

Small Shield, i.e. Buckler
As Medium Shield, but +1 to AC vs range, and 1-in-6 chance.

Large Shield; i.e. Tower Shield
As Medium Shield, but +4 to AC vs range, and 3-in-6 chance.

"But...doesn't this make shields must have equipment?" Yes. Because shields are must have equipment if you don't want to get hit. That's sort of their deal. That's why they were made.

However, there's a few ways around it.

Flail
Successful attack vs AC alters shield block roll by -2 for the attack

Ax
Successful block by the shield incurs damage to the shield, eventually breaking it. Requires item endurance system to work.

Bearded Ax
Successful attack against AC, and unsuccessful Shield save allows the attacker one of two options: 1) Do attack damage as normal or 2) pin the shield in the ax's beard for the round. Pinning the shield removes AC bonus, and disallows for Shield saves.

Hammer
Successful block by the shield incurs a strength related save. Failure means shield wielder suffers half of the would-be attack damage from the hammer.

Pistols and Muskets
Where pistols and muskets ignore armor, they also don't care about shields. No AC bonus, no Shield save.

Magic Missile
Also doesn't care.

Lightning Bolt
Wood makes a poor conductor, and would probably offer some protection. Steel however is an excellent conductor. -2 to Touch AC, no Shield save.

Area Effects
Shields provide no alteration to saves and subsequent damage, unless using Shields Shall Be Splintered.

So, there we are. Future players, I hope you're looking to play test this when I get back to into things. One potential issue: Bogging down combat, especially when fighters go at it. Maybe limit based on level? Something to chew on.

"Listen, listen, listen. I'm just saying: You put Runes of Eye Implosion on a shield, and call it a day."
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Friday, August 3, 2018

Erdgeist MKII


You, all both readers, have probably noticed I've stopped mentioning a vague, ill defined system that plagued the earlier posts of this blog. Well, as predicted, I've grown bored of it. Also the idea was garbage. There's enough systems out there handling mechanics well enough, I needn't be reinventing the wheel. That weird duality thing I was going for, bin that too.

That being said I'm not intending to remove the older stuff, but will leave it to be mocked and picked over. See something you want, take it. Could probably grind out a GLoG class from them.

Shoot, might as well update some of it.

Erdgeist


Remember them? Dirty little gnome creatures that gave me repeated excuses to use the phrase "mud womb."

HD 1d6-1 (minimum 4 at first)
Advances: As Halfling
Saves: As Elf
Special:
   * Unable to resist Commands (per spell) given by an elf, even through magic.
   * Need to Serve - see below
   * Goblinization - see below
   * Knacks - see below

Need to Serve
When joining an adventuring group, you must designate one other member as your Master. You should then seek to serve them and fulfill their wishes. To willfully deny a direct order, carries the penalty of a cumulative -1 to your Charisma score. To willfully refuse to take a Master carries the same penalty, but applied per day.

Further, in times of boredom, or idleness, must make a Charisma Save vs Magic. Failure results in a cumulative -1 to Charisma score. Upon reaching Charisma 4, the Goblinization process begins.

Goblinization
Having failed in your duties, your mind shatters into chaos, unable to cope with this new reality. Your body becomes twisted and cruel to match the newly developed evil within you. Serving sucks! Chaos and violence are your new favorite past times.

Whenever your Charisma score drops to 4 for any reason (failed save from above, curses, attribute damage, etc) your character has been fully goblinized and is out of your control.

Knacks
While not exactly spells, they're inherent abilities of your kind intended to help you be a better servant. You gain one per level, however these selections are permanent and may not be changed.

  • Chthonic Sympathies - With concentration you may detect the presence of valuable stones within 50 ft of you, Intelligence bonus times per day.
  • Gerry Rig - Given at least some time and vaguely the correct tools, you can repair a thing to working condition for Charisma Bonus days. If the bonus is zero or negative, the time becomes fraction of a day. After the time passes, or first usage, the item breaks once more and needs to be repaired properly. 
  • Helping Hands - To better assist in their tasks, the Erdgeist may create smallmen (think tiny homunculus) from rocks, sticks, children skulls, radishes, or anything else on hand. They won't fight, but have two inventory slots. Any damage they take, you take, and you can only make Constitution bonus number of them. They remain animated for one day, before the magic consumes the component parts.
  • Hinzelmann's Homing - Should your Master ever misplace or lose an object of their ownership, you, the good servant, can take a few moments of concentration to know instinctively the direction and distance of the object. While arrows and items sold don't count, items stolen and daggers stabbed into the hide of a rare beast do. 
  • Immaterial Made Manifest - To better serve your Master, you may play host to entities on the Ethereal plane, potentially gleaning some of their knowledge. 
  • Master Craftsman - Choose a crafting skill. You now gain a rank per level in that skill (Up to 6). Further more, once per level you may generate a masterwork item in the skill. Should you perish through age or violence, the object begins to degrade quickly. Weaves unravel, beer curdles, iron works dull and rust; all becoming unusable. Any spell targeting the item affects the Erdgeist as well. 
  • Speak With Host - When within (level * 10)feet of a natural speaker of a language, you too can speak that language. Should they move out of range, you lose the ability to speak the language. You retain no knowledge of the language. Within the company of other Erdgeist, your native language is a combination of clicks and whistles. 
  • Strong Back - You gain level number inventory slots, as long as the items carried within are your Master's
  • Torchbearer - With a moment of concentration (standard action, if this is a factor), you may summon Dexterity modifier + 1 floating orbs of light per day. They give off the dim glow of a standard torch and may be directed anywhere within 50 ft of you. They last roughly an hour, until guttered, or until extinguished. (Affected by both torch gutter and magic gutter)
  • Transmutation - Given the proper focus (say, a spinning wheel) you may change one mundane substance (say, hay) into another (say, gold thread). This transformation, however, only lasts until the sun crosses the horizon. 
  • Treasure Keeper - To better watch over your Master's treasure, you may place it into a nice sturdy vessel, like a pot. This vessel then acts like a Bag of Holding, but specifically for coin. You may only have one at a time. 

So, what happens after level 11? Honestly, I didn't expect you to live past level 5. 
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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Character Sheet Attacking Critters

Because direct HP damage gets boring after a while.

Babel Mold
A dark, chalky mold, that smells slightly of rotten fish, growing in damp, dark places. Typically it grows sprawling across any porous surface, however when it takes to reproducing it grows in fragile nodules that, when disturbed, erupt in a cloud of spores. In most animals, these spores are harmless if inhaled. In animals with a speech ability, the spores infect the brain and creates a spontaneous case of aphasia. Should the PCs be foolish enough to walk through it, have them Save vs Disease. Failure causes their known language(s) to be replaced with "Babble" until cured.

Torri Meddwl
Often called "Brain Fucklers" by the uneducated, the creatures resemble slimy humanoid brains with four probing barbed tentacles. Upon a successful touch attack, the creatures cloud the mind, essentially rending a Lore Bid from their targets current pool. These bids can be restored as normal. Should no Bid remain, the attacks become physical.


     1HD
     Armor: Touch
     Damage: Special, or Barb 1d4

This guy gets it.
Red Crowned Torri Meddwl
No one is quite sure who named these, or why they named them as they did, as the pattern around their crown is blue. They typically grow to twice the size of their smaller cousins, however are a particular threat to spell casters, as each successful touch attack consumes a spell slot, chosen at random. Should a prepared spell have occupied that slot, there is a 1-in-6 chance the Torri will cast the spell. Spell slots are restored as normal, and the attack becomes physical should none remain to be sapped.

     3HD
     Armor: Leather
     Damage: Special, or Barb 1d6

Queen Torri Meddwl
The biggest bitch in the brood, her abilities attack the victim's memory directly. In this context, that means the game notes. Yeah, the things you write on the back side of the character sheet. Upon a successful attack, hand them over to the white-out equipped GM, who will then remove 1d8 words "randomly." Don't look at me, I use my brain meat to remember things; straight physical damage for me.

     3HD+1
     Armor: Leather
     Damage: Special, or Barb 2d4

Bog Cat
So Majestic
With the body of a jaguar and the head of a handsome ginger with glowing blue eyes, the Bog Cat lurks in swamps and the namesake bogs, awaiting wayward adventures. Upon encountering any that may cross his path, it'll offer games of trivia in exchange for fabulous prizes. It's probably a magic item. Or a freshly killed swamp deer. Either way, should the adventurers accept the challenge and lose, the Bog Cat will eat their name, causing everyone and everything to forget it.

The Bog Cat abhors violence and will slink off effortlessly into the trees, should it be attacked. 

     3HD+1
     Armor: Chain+1
     Damage: Special, or Claw Swipe 1d8

<Name Sidebar> 
Names don't heal on their own, as they're not simply a thing you call yourself; those would be titles. Names are the manifestation of the bonds you form in world. When you were born, your parents loved you enough to name you after a great hero. Your schoolmates hated you to the point of giving you a nickname based on a bodily function. Sharing an intimacy with your partner as generated pet names between the two of you. To have your Name eaten is effectively to have those bonds eaten.

While it can't be healed, you may be able to get it back. This would take some major convincing on your part, as the Bog Cat is reluctant to regurgitate it's food. How trashy. And that is, of course, assuming you can find the correct one a second time.

It should be noted that Names are not the same as True Names, and that mortals do not have True Names. Also, the name/title thing is the opposite for the Fey. But those are topics for other sidebars. 
</Name Sidebar>


Eald Wiht
In a darker time, a cruel wizard performed horrendous experiments that involved literally sucking the years of life out of his victims, in an attempt to obtain immortality.  He, himself, probably became a lich; they usually do. His victims, on the other hand, became corpses. However, still charged with the dark arcane energies, the corpses soon arose once more, and now lurk in the dungeons of the ruined tower. Confused by their premature aging, the corpses will lash out at anyone foolish enough to enter their entrapment with their burning cold hands, seeking to sap the remaining years from their bodies. As you can imagine, it REALLY hurts. 

     3HD
     Armor: Touch-1 
     Damage: Adds 1d6 onto the age of the character. 

Aufhocker
Strange, shape-shifting spirits that often take the form of small animals or, on occasion, short humanoids - most often a dog or elderly woman. It waits quietly at crossroads, on watch for any lone traveller or small group of rubes (i.e. the PCs). It offers no hostility until gaining their trust, at which point it leaps on to one of their backs, grabbing on tightly. Once grappled, the Aufhocker increases the victims encumbrance level by one every round (light to medium to heavily) or by 1d4 if point buy. Once the victim is immobilized, the spirit begins to consume it's prize.

     2HD
     Armor: Chain
     Damage: Encumbrance rating

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Sunday, March 25, 2018

10 Maleficence Effects Based on the Plagues of Egypt


"But it's just another bug." What? No. Stop.

Focus. Think.

1. Water into blood (דָם): Ex. 7:14–24

The misaligned arcane energy crashes back onto you, transforming all water based objects in your inventory into blood. This undeniably ruins them. Water skin? Full of blood. Alchemical potion? Just a vial of blood. Bottle of wine? Nope, grape flavored blood. The water in your eyes keeping them moist? Blood. Any vampire in the area can smell this sudden concentration of blood, and they wish to meet you.

2. Frogs (צְּפַרְדֵּעַ): Ex. 7:25–8:15

It's Wednesday, my dudes.
Unbeknownst to you, you begin to produce frog pheromones, and begin to attract all the frogs in the area to you. Now, I worry you read that as "a lot of frogs." No, no. ALL the frogs, as well as the stink, noise, and muck that come with them. The area you're in, there are frogs there, trust me. You're never more than eight feet from a frog. 

More into body horror flavor? That's good, cause you also begin to take on physical features of a frog. Your skin grows slimy and wort covered. Your eyes bulge, your back hunches, your mouth grows ever too wide, your tongue ever too long. Hair falls out, fingers grow webbed, throat grows pouchy, throat pouch fills with squirming tadpoles. These tadpoles live and grow for a few days until you vomit forth your babies (and they ARE your babies), only to have your throat refill with tadpoles. 

3. Gnats (כִּנִּים): Ex. 8:16–19

The word kinim could translate to lice, gnats, or fleas. But that is unimportant. What is important is the red rash beginning to spread across your skin. It itches like a sonofabitch. No soothing balm helps, only scratching. However, scratching also spreads it. You can imagine how stressful this is. 

Either way, the real trouble beings during the camping phase or city action, when the rash subsides and the sneezing begins. With every sternutation clouds of lice and fleas rush from the victim and into the surrounding area, infecting those around them.


4. Mixture of wild animals or flies (עָרוֹב): Ex. 8:20–32


Christian interpreters understand this as a swarm of flies. Ignore this. Jewish interpreters take to this as meaning a swarm of scorpions, venomous snakes, venomous arthropods, and reptiles. So much poison. 



The caster's hair (all of it) turns to snakes, their moles sprout tiny scorpion stingers, their saliva occasionally congeals into centipedes. While the social stigmata is obvious, whenever a court card is played at the table these new body mates become enraged at the host and biting viciously, poisoning them. 

5. Diseased livestock (דֶּבֶר): Ex. 9:1–7


Witches curse livestock; this fact is well known and widely believed. Sometimes, however, the magic backfires and curses the caster instead. When this occurs, the caster begins to sprout patches of musty fur, prone to matting and knotting, and your tongue bloats and grows too big for your mouth. While this may be enough for some, upon encounter an animal (any and all animals), they'll grow immediately aggressive to you. Doesn't matter what sort of animal: cow, chicken, cockatrice, kelpie; all hate you and will try as best as they can to show you. Usually though biting. 



6. Boils (שְׁחִין): Ex. 9:8–12


Exactly what it says on the tin: Painful boils dot the caster's skin. However, when struck by a blow strong enough to burst one (i.e. taking a wound), the boils do indeed burst, but cry out the victim's darkest secret or gravest sin as they do. 



7. Thunderstorm of hail and fire (בָּרָד): Ex. 9:13–35


You know in cartoons when a rain cloud forms above a victims head and rains upon them in a comedic fashion? This is something like that, only with fiery hail and brimstone, instead of rain. And also room/area sized. The shattered hail makes traversal of  the area difficult, the burning sulfur makes breathing painful, and the flames, if left unattended, will start fires. 





8. Locusts (אַרְבֶּה): Ex. 10:1–20


A cloud of biting flies rushes forth from the caster's mouth, filling the room and biting everyone within. They will probe at any potential opening and cavity. Always hungry, always biting. Rations too are in danger, as the flies will consume them rapidly and producing more of themselves at a sickening and alarming rate. They continue until visibility and mobility are zero, at which point, should no food be left, they begin to consume themselves.  



9. Darkness for three days (חוֹשֶך): Ex. 10:21–29


The caster becomes entrapped in eternal midnight. No matter the local time, time within (card*10) meters of the caster is always midnight. Should you be on the surface, a shaft of darkness towers into the sky, with the moon and stars clearly visible. Clocks within the circumference always show midnight, returning to current time once out of range. In the Underworld the world around you is just a bit darker; light sources work at half strength, creatures of darkness are embolden. 



10. Death of firstborn (מַכַּת בְּכוֹרוֹת): Ex. 11:1–12:36


The person you cherish the most appears on the scene and is fated to, before the end of the scene, perish. This person can be anyone: firstborn child, mother, sister, cousin - whom ever is the closest to your heart. The person came here for no other reason but to see you, and developed the urge long enough ago to appropriately travel to your location, suffering similar trials and tribulations along the way.

Their death may be violent (as is likely in combat) or sudden (such as a heart attack). Healing automatically fails against them. No matter the actions, they WILL die before the scene is ended.




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