Friday, January 14, 2022

Simple d8 Weather

A man wearing a hat walks against the wind in a hail storm

To establish, either start with preexisting weather or roll a d8*, interpret high results as clear weather, low results as appropriate nasty weather (a table for this region might be handy), and middling results as indicative of upcoming weather; wind starts picking up, light sprinkling, etc. 

Once weather has been established, roll a d8*, on a high result the weather is either favorite to the players (or to their predictions) or it abates or clears up, on a low result it continues or gets worse, on a middling result it looks like it might change, and either goes down an increment in intensity (ex: thunderstorm to light shower) or becomes another weather type (ex: rain becomes sleet). Repeat** rolling this oracle ad infinitum.

An example in practice:

It starts out a clear, sunny day above a temperate floodplain. 
(rolls a 5) 
But there's a faint humidity in the air, a pressure from the east.
(rolls a 5) 
It remains sunny and clear however, seems the clouds are clustering and passing by somewhere over the horizon.
(rolls a 4)
They lurk ominously. Reports of torrential rains in the neighboring kingdom.
(rolls a 3)
The humidity is beginning to climax and the sky is darkened by stray clouds, soft rains fall.
(rolls a 2)
The clouds break and sheets of rain fall drenching everything, the sky is black and roiling thick with clouds, it's a springtime rainstorm at its fullest. 
(rolls a 6)
The rain weans and becomes sporadic, sun breaks through patches in the sky.
(rolls a 5)
A chilling wind picks up, blowing many of the clouds away.
(rolls a 4)
All the clouds and their rains have gone, replaced by cold wind blowing down from the uplands.
(rolls a 5)
The wind slows a little, mild gusts is all. 
(rolls a 7)
The wind dies completely, a warm sunny day out, the birds sing and hop about.
(rolls a 7) 
The sun comes out in full force warming everything to a pleasant degree.

This system should produce weather that runs for long stretches, tweakible to the roller's taste, and which hopefully lets weather build up and die down. The d8 makes it run with preference towards middling, a d6 might make things swingier! 

*****

*Or really any die bigger than a d4 should work well for this since its oracular
** Rolls can be made once a day, or if you want a bit more granularity, twice or thrice per day (morning/afternoon or morning/noon/evening)

Friday, December 31, 2021

Frogsmouth

image
Secondlina

The City Of Frogsmouth

As your barge poles along the marshland and its swarming piranha-school mosquitos suddenly gives way to a canal city of stuccoed brick tenements, and rickety wood stilt-shacks stacked upon ancient mud-sunk foundations. Bustling, busy footpaths and bateau choked canals leading between all manner of trading houses, music filled cabarets, and elegant mansions. Lamps, liveliness, and old money. All scrawled with the city’s omnipresent frog and crocodile motifs.

The Docks

A bustling, rickety wooden affair of stilt raised clapboard warehouses and narrow boardwalks. Laden barges from upriver and heavy, curving hulled merchant ships from the sea meet and mingle. Crowded with dockworkers, sailors, prostitutes, and fishermen. Spontaneous boat-hook fencing bouts oft break out and many gamblers circulate their way through the crowds keeping track of their favored fighters.
  • Tobias Eclair - The paranoid dockmaster, his office is covered in charms, icons, and holy symbology, his ledgers meticulously kept and often hidden, his person guarded by three swaggering bravoes of the Three-Sword School. A stooge of the Lang family, he tips balances and adds fees to rival businesses.
  • Foul Henriette - Longshoreman, pugilist, and queen of the docks. Wickedly effective boat-hook fencer, the best of all the dockworkers. Was paid a small fortune by the Black Beast to be smuggled into the city and has been liberally spending it.
  • The Fifty Pachyderms - A ladies gang specialized in shoplifting, pickpocketry, and running various dens of sin. Operate pervasively through docks, most locals can point you to a member if you were looking (or more likely tell them people are asking so they can accoust you).

The Foggiest 

Sprawl of slums, all stilt built shacks and trundling board paths, the anti-mosquito wards don’t reach so well out here, and the slum is constantly under the haze of a burning incense that keeps the swarms away. The Fifty Pachyderms have their roots sunken deep here, hard for the constabulary to hunt that which disappears into the hazy maze. 
  • Cammie Potchard - Loudly arguing with icebox company workers in the street, demanding to know news of her brother who disappeared while on the job. This close to leveraging her Pachyderm connections to break into the company warehouse.
  • Suzette Drim - Leader of the Pachyderms, widower of several bargemen, authoritative, larger than life figure, plotting to use her sister’s love affair to scandalize the Lang family or at least blackmail them. Does not know about their assasination plans. 
  • Tammy Obadiah Oberon - Prominent Pachyderm lieutenant. Planning a daring scheme to steal Felecia Cormorant’s fortune. Needs someone with upper class manners to get in the widows’ good graces.

Maxim Icebox Company

A sprawling semi-refrigerated warehouse complex held above the muck of the swamp on thick brick foundations. Receive clockwork shipments from their ice houses upriver, quickly distributed throughout Frogsmouth to their customers. Plagued by infestations of ice mephits which is far more serious than their letting on. 
  • Millicent Maxim Jr. - New owner, struggling with the financial and reputational repercussions of his father's ill fated scheme to only employ 'ruggedly handsome' ice deliverymen. Keeps Renard and Simoné on a sufferance but his patience is rapidly wearing thin as problems beset him from every side. At the point of throwing money at any potential solution to his woes.
  • Hubert Maxim - Clammy skinned, piercingly-blue eyed man. Chief iceologist. Uncomfortably sympathetic to the ice mephit infestation. Drives his brother mad.
  • Beau Renard - The handsomely chiseled model for the Maxim Ice Deliveryman who decorates the company advertisements. Simone's 'assistant' (they both sleep and live in the studio quarters). Taciturn, silent personality well suited for his work.
  • Simoné Tabernack (formerly Lang) - Black sheep of the family, abandoning his station for the life of a painter. Friendship with Millicent strained by his vices (cigarettes, laudanum, and more besides) and lackadaisical attitude towards work. Spends his time in the studio or at parties and nightclubs with Renard at his arm. Owes the Pachyderms big time money.

Ice Mephit Incursion

Tiny, spiky, white-blue devil’s in mercury armour with mercury blades (melting within wounds, poisoning) who have conquered several sub-cellars of the warehouse, building frozen barricades and forges. Accidentally summoned by Maxim Senior… still cloyingly feel his power over them (of which he is unaware). Would like to kill him and either establish a devilish foothold or go home.
  • Stopholise - Chief sergeant of the mephits, perfidious and wheedling, plotting how to best conquer the warehouse and/or how to slip some assassins out after Maxim Senior. Has been passing notes through the ventilation system with Hubert Maxim, the mephit is manipulating him into freeing their tiny army. 
  • David Potchard - One of three workers frozen alive, kept as hostages by the mephits, the company could give half a damn. If thawed he will lead a very angry strike. Handsome. 

A deliveryman for the Home Ice Company hauls a 25-pound ice block cleaved  from a 100-pound block, 1928. Houston, Texas (Photo courtesy of the Sloane  Gallery): houston


Fire Pillar Pool

Wide market pool surrounded by cafes and businesses, at its center is a tall carven stone pillar (out of place among the brick and wood buildings) capped with a fat bellied frog statue belching flame. In the mornings it is crowded with canoes, sampans, and bateau so dense that you can walk across the pool.
  • The God-Hunters - Heavily armed, wearing foreign and esoteric clothing, protective wards, maille, hard faces. They have come to hunt Big Moses, the albino crocodile god of the swamp, an unspeakably heretical goal. Looking to purchase guides and boats. Covertelly bankrolled by the Lang family.
  • Toothless Catherine - Sells baskets of crayfish from her boat, slurps up crustacean innards whilst talking. Gossipy, loose tongued. Knows a secret route into the mausoleum catacombs where she collects blind crayfish. Recently she's been taking several 'wealthy gentlemen' on trips there (members of the Fibula Lodge buying stolen bones from the mausoleum).
  • Loud Lucien - Classic soapbox mad-preacher, rants to an amused crowd about evil conspiracies and whatnot. Secretly an informant of the Pachyderms.

The Glew-Pot Cabaret

A lively dance hall on the pool's edge, slanted, sinking into the swamp, looks to be less made out of bricks so much as hunks of solidified mud. Center of nightlife for the city's more libertine subcultures. Frequented by Millicent Maxim Senior, who likes to watch the pretty boys dance. 
  • Sweet René - The innkeeper, an enthusiastic, heavyset, and astoundingly homosexual man. His personal charm is the sole thing keeping the place afloat (perhaps literally if rumored romantic liaisons with certain spirits are to be believed).
  • Black Beast (real) - A sworling spirit of soot-ash, brimstone, and steel talons, nocturnal. Comes from a very different land, of chimney stacks and cobblestones. An old lover of René, lodging here while it hunts the rich fuck who is sullying it’s reputation. René does not wish it to kill so blaisly.

Hotel Doré

Finest venue in the city, pillastered, cornice overloaded, gleaming white plaster and spiraling gold decorated seven story manse in an antique style. Reeks of sophistication.
  • Harold Luc Pierre - Manager and owner, feuding with René whose “hideous debaucherous eyesore” sits directly across from the hotel. Secretly paying a work gang to slowly undermine the Glewpot.
  • Felicia Cormorant - Wealthy widow of suspicious circumstance, holed up on the fifth floor suite with a fortune in cash, antiques, and fine clothes. Paranoid but compulsively gregarious and often invites guests over. 
  • Hector Armitage - A wretched scamp of an aristocratic bachelor and none other than the Black Beast who has been terrorizing the town, he’s not really a monster, its all costuming and smoke bombs, a rich boy’s sadistic hobby. Feels hunted, but brushes it off. Is yet to properly hurt anyone but is thiiiis close to becoming a serial killer for fun.

City Courthouses

Languid, stuffy, full of fanning bureaucrats and the terrifically corrupt aldermen, not a man jack of them isn't in someone's pocket.
  • Luc D’Vone, Commissioner of the Constabulary - Corpulent, bedecked in jewelry, official truncheon of office. Annoyingly smug. Working with Felicia Mont to steal peoples blood and log it in an effort to trackdown the Pachyderms ringleaders. 
  • Amadeus Wit - The people’s lawyer, beloved by the public. Wins most of his cases. Currently high up on the Kovac Twin’s covert disposal list. 

Fibula Lodge 

Local lodge of the Morose Society (a necromantic society of rich fucks), dramatically decorated with all sorts of old skulls, jars full of preserved things. Opulent. Smoking rooms, studies, and laboratories. Mostly a social club for dabbling dilletants.
  • Isambard Lang - The lodge's Grandmaster, an indulger in opium dreams and blackmail, runs the family liquor company during the day but leverages his real power via the society's other wealthy members. Has been letting Armitages inane plan run its course, dismissing it. Supportive of his sister’s assasination schemes.
  • Millicent Maxim Senior - Slightly doddering with terrible judgment, prone to ill fated schemes and big ideas. Left the public eye after one too many scandals and failed ventures. Has somehow managed to entangle himself as a lynchpin to half the conspiracies in the city. Largely oblivious to all this. 
  • Joahanson Armitage - Father of Hector (the false beast), ignores his son’s activities but would be outraged if he found out what he was really doing, building a necromantic war machine with Maxim Senior using bones stolen from the mausoleum. It's ungainly and hasn’t worked yet but there's a glimmer of chaotic potential in there.
  • Grand Witch Felicia Mont - Elected head of the mosquito-warding wizard order, she has been using her mosquito minions alongside the commissioner to secretly (and illegally) create a catalog of citizen’s blood. 

The Grand Mausoleum

Massive, domed, stuccoed brick, baroque ornamentations, within thousands of cupboard niches hold human remains. Below are the flooded catacomb vaults, where blind crayfish and an ancient shrine to Big Moses live.
  • Sacristan Kovac - A strange little man who knows each niche's inhabitant by name and talks to the bones (some say they talk back). Deeply worried by a recent spate of thefts, fruitlessly harangues the Commissioner about it. Commiserates with Maxim Senior.
  • Assistant Sacristan Badeaux - Disgruntled, reedy amateur necromancer with weaselly ambitions and no talent. Is thieving bones and selling them to the Fibula Lodge who he obsessively admires. Uses the catacombs to store his thefts and meet the lodgers.
  • Big Moses - Magnificently big albino crocodile, decorated with scars and golden torcs, languid, alien, thinks on a centuries long time scales, can take a hybrid man-animal form, killible, but if you were to screw up he would go upon a godly rampage. Gentle to his lovers.
  • Henriette Drim - Sister to the leader of the pachyderms, fiery, lurid, and belligerently kind. Lover of big moses, got permission to use the mausoleum's catacombs as a meeting place from Sacristan Kovac (who thinks she’s just playing around with another ordinary youth).

The Lang Family Residence

Pillared, four storied townhouse all whitewash stucco and curly bits. The Lang family is old money and old prestige descended from the last woman who laid and loved Big Moses, the albino crocodile god of the swamp, and enriched since by their booming distillery and other conniving business stratagems. Their heritage shows in their crocodilian features. Scaly hides and long jaws.
  • The Lady Lang - Queen debutante of the town, a beautiful crocodilian headed woman who hosts only the most lavish parties. Wears the hereditary Lang Ruby (gifted by the god himself). Arrogant, has decided to assassinate Big Moses in order to prevent another family ascending in prestige as the god’s new paramour. Yes, she’s that arrogant. 
  • Inandorf - Severed head of the familial sorcerer who advises in general, and on matters of dental hygiene in particular. Roundly ignored nowadays. Mostly spends his time muttering about how they're going to get themselves killed trying to off the god. Can control a swarm of teeth round his cushioned reading pedestal. 
  • The Mademoiselle Lilly Lang - Younger sister of the current Lady, troublesome, loves to slum it through the unseemly parts of town (crocodilian features hidden by veiled sunhat). Has fallen in love with Tammy Obadiah Oberon, one of the Pachyderms lieutenants.
  • Josephine & André Kovac - Twins, identical to the point of confusion, both finely dressed at the Lang's expense, who manage the family's more underhand dealings. Visit their old man at the mausoleum to bring him certain corpses for secreting away. Efficent murderers.


Rumors: Public 
  1. "The Black Beast stalks the night!" Say the lurid penny dreadfuls. "Youths viciously murdered and kidnapped! The constabulary are useless!"
  2. The Lang Family's secret whiskey recipe has been stolen, and for once the bulbous rump of the law has lifted itself into action.
  3. The Maxim Icebox Company has has had several workers go missing, and they're having a hard time covering this up! 
  4. Foreigners have come to kill the crocodile god for sport, such an insult to the Lang family!
  5. The Queen of the Docks is truly long lost royalty, giving magnificent treasures out left and right. 
  6. Swarms of mosquitoes have been seen, assailing people, can’t those wizards do their jobs?

Rumors: Private/Secret
  1. The Chosen of Big Moses may not have been the one that was rightfully chosen, and the God Hunters seem to know more than they let on.
  2. The Black Beast's modus operandi is completely different, suspiciously sloppy for a force of legend. A copycat, perhaps? 
  3. Maxim IceCo's storage basements have been overrun by supernatural pests, and yet they refuse to ask for help or even acknowledge this.
  4. The Lang family has their fingers in every business and office in town. But the Fibula Lodge has said nothing. What scheme occupies them so?
  5. The Pachyderms have been speaking of a card up their sleeve, and of usurpation. They're just waiting for the perfect moment to strike.
  6. Maxim Millicent Sr. seems to be related to every strange happening in this town. Surely, that can't just be a coincidence...?
  7. Beneath the Great Masoleum, in long-flooded tunnels full of strange fish, lay long-forgotten gifts from Big Moses himself.
  8. The Mosquito Wizard is intentionally weakening the blockers near The Foggiest, to force the people to move into Lang-controlled Slums. 

Encounters: Town 
  1. 1d6+1 Drunken Dockworkers, surly and belligerent, are just spoiling for a fight. Out-of-towners seem a pretty good target.
  2. 1d4 Pachyderms, camouflagued in the current fashions and oozing charm; looking for an easy pickpocket target.
  3. 1d4+1 God-Hunters, casually strolling about town in battle gear, harrassing the locals. Few dare stand up to them.
  4. 1d4 Fibula Lodge Initiates, spoiled-rich teens with a disdain for the lower classes. Like to practice their ill magicks on the streets past midnight...
  5. AND 6. Bump into major NPC on street. Roll d6 for situation: 1 - In Trouble, 2 - Upset, 3 - In hurry, 4 - Busy, 5 - aptly talkative, 6. Aptly Friendly! 

Encounters: Surroundings 
  1. 1d6 God-Hunters, looking around for tracks and signs of movement. Jumpy, nervous, not too happy to have been seen. 
  2. 1d6+2 Fibla Lodge Initiates, performing Bog Rituals and seeking new bones. Not too concerned with who those bones are currently attached to.
  3. 1d4 Giant Leeches, trailing and ambushing those foolish enough to step into the deeper bogwaters.
  4. 1d4 Great Crocs. 30% chance of being accompanied by a Wild Squamous, 80% chance at nighttime. 
  5. Firefly Pixie Cloud. May lead travellers to safety, or may lead them into peril, depending on how "local" they look.  
  6. The Mosquito Swarm. Run. 

Items: Trinkets and Souveniers
1. A set of Drenchwood Fishhooks, considered a favorite of the local catfish. 
2. Limited Edition Miniature Lang Whiskey bottle, empty. 
3. Seasonal bundle of Reekweeds, said to repel mosquitoes.
4. A little doll made of cork, easy to recover from the water. 
5. A rustic carving made in a large plate of crayfish shell.
6. A tiny soap from the Hotel Doré, a collectible since they stopped making these.
Items: Treasure and Loot 
  1. A box of Spirits from many years ago, back before the formulas were changed and watered down. Highly sought after.
  2. Scales of Great Moses, extremely valued by the superstitious and the hermetic.
  3. A Bogblood Vial on a necklace, can be cracked to keep the mosquitos at bay for 3 days. Why do the Lodge Initiates wear these? 
  4. A mint-condition playing card from an Old Master's deck. Family heads would kill to get a complete deck.
  5. 1d4+4 Bloodseeker Darts. They never fail to draw blood from their target.
  6. The Skeleton Key, lost long ago by the bumbling Comissioner. Opens any door in town older than 5 years. 
  7. Page from the Captain's Log, a document whose signer will immediately be pardoned of all animosity. Wonder what happened to this "Captain".
  8. The Peeler, a copper knife enchanted to cut a sheer piece out of anything. Seems to be very brittle.
HWG from the Orbital Crypt was wonderfully helpful in making this. 

Saturday, December 4, 2021

LEKADS


Long ago upon an irradiated war-torn planet a sorcerer-scientist plotted to save his species, creating from the mutated population a lineage of xenophobic squid-things locked within armored shells. A perfect race in their estimate. And the damned things have stuck around ever since.

Lekad (warrior)

Hovering cone, eye-stalk protruding from dome head, plunger manipulator and ray-gun arms
  • Reactionary, xenophobic mutant squid-things locked in sturdy armour.
  • Their ray-guns kill or stun at range and preference.
  • Plunger manipulator grapples poorly but suffices for interaction.
  • Vulnerable to blinding and close range attack.

Subtypes

  • Coordinators
    • Big spherical head full of stratagems and orthodoxy.
    • Ringed with manipulator arms for maximum coordination.
    • Individually egotistically though this is a heresy.
  • Heavies
    • Driven insane by radiation, feared as abominations by the other soldiery.
    • No manipulator, only a heavy-duty ray-cannon.
    • Bulky, thickly armored shells resistant to most damage.
  • Drones
    • Dull, nearly mindless, perform rote maintenance tasks.
    • Two manipulators instead of a plunger and ray-gun.
    • Lose power if taken off their city conduit floors.
  • Slaves
    • Face shields to hide their 'ugliness' from the masters.
    • Psionic dampener helmets make them compliant.
    • Considered vulgar if necessary and useful.
  • Beasts
    • Genemodded mutant critters from their homeworld and the stars.
    • Specialized for tracking, guarding, or other capacities.
    • Controlled with obvious psionic collars, go feral if removed.

Statblock

5 HD, AC as Plate, 2d6 Ray-Gun Attack
Inner Creature : 1/2 HD, AC as Unarmored, 1d4 Strangle Attack

Running Lekads :

  • Reoccurring villain-of-the-week antagonists, let them become a known variable for players to manipulate, occasionally throw some sub-types or such in to mix it up.
  • Dangerous but easily thwartible, play up their goofiness but keep them deadly in a straight confrontation.
  • They have two modes, elaborate monologuing or amusingly abrupt declarations.
  • Shout TERMINATE! a lot.

Lekad Rumours :

  1. A distant emperor, arch-coordinator, commands the lekad imperium.
  2. Longstanding (and one sided) rivalry with a creed of robot men.
  3. In the recent past there was a fanatical civil war dividing the lekads in two, it still echoes on.
  4. Travel in teleporting invasion spheres and saucers.
  5. Their ancient creator controls them in secret from their laboratory-bunker.
  6. Whacking lekad armour at close range will knock it open, exposing the wriggling pilot.
  7. They are color coded into different caste-roles. 
  8. Brutally factional over petty issues and differences.
  9. Hate change and difference to the point of refuting all but the most critical of improvements.
  10. Love to gloat, keep them talking to survive.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

The Wizards Capsule - Pocket Module


Getcher' weird minimalist module Eight whole pages! Get it right here while its hot! Easily insertable into a game on the fly or in a random table! Featuring weird wizard shit! Extra-dimensional possessions! Sabotage! Bickering familiars! 

You can find it here.

Monday, November 22, 2021

MAGIC IS ITEMS AND THEY ARE EATING YOUR SOUL

Arianod 

For use with 24xx.

***

All magic comes from strange items and artifacts collected by the sorcerous and adventurous who study them and practice with them, learning their secrets. 

Thus all magic is formatted as such... 

ITEM : POWER : COST : DIE

With item being the name and/or descriptor, power being what it grants and does, cost being self explanatory, and die being the die used to represent how skilled the user has gotten (starting usually at a d4). An example...

Flaming Skull of Gorbax : kindle & control flames : body turns to ash : d4

When performing magic small uses of a power (after the first few times using the item) will not require a roll ex: lighting a candle with the flaming skull or swirling a campfires embers about. what counts as 'small' can of course be scaled with the player's skill in wizardry as the group see's fit (or not if you'd prefer). When exercising greater control, power, or such, roll a die as normal to how you make die rolls in 24xx, 1-2 is failure, 3-4 is setback 5+ is success, and scale die size appropriate to skill with item. A setback will generally net you a successful spell, but with the cost. A failure is all cost no effect.

State potential consequences clearly, and definitely. The whole of your left arm will become ash. You'll be unable to speak clearly for the rest of the day. Make sure everyone agrees it is a fair cost. 

Wizards under this system, should become collectors of esoteric items, pillaging as many as possible. 

This system allows players to choose how dangerous they want magic to be, they can play it safe and cautious, or fling it about taking costs as they come. Furthermore, it avoids the 'defined by items, I loot my friends body, what am I now' problem with the bonding/skill die increase, while still allowing some looting. 

Optionals :

  • Sacrifices, keeping sacrifices on hand, or choosing them in the moment, to siphon off spell-cost, the more potent the sacrifice the better it works 
  • Ex: siphon the cost of your fireball into a last copy of a rare book which burns to cinders. 
  • Ex: siphon cost of tongues spell onto a horse, it becomes directionless and confused.

Monday, September 27, 2021

35 Cheap Tricks

In response to Phlox, some cheap refereeing tricks.

  1. Have some npcs that are nice, have them invite players to tea, show them hospitality. It'll make the dangerous and duplicitous parts of the world stand out more and endear npcs to players. 
  2. Colliery to above, have weird or scary npcs that are nice, nothing makes an encounter memorable like a giant eldritch demon-spider inviting players to a tea party.
  3. Seriously just have more tea or coffee or brunch parties. Having discussions over meals keeps conversations with npc's more interesting and can provide some fun setpeices. They can even be tense or hostile.
  4. Theatre and plays are fantastic ways to deliver information, world build, and have some fun. Also have your players exploits be turned into comedic theatre once they become sufficiently known.
  5. Give items, locations, objects, and such personalities. Perhaps as explicit spirits, or even just in a 'my rusty umbrella can be temperamental when I try to open it'. Anthropomorphizing things quickly fixes them in peoples minds. 
  6. Give players a goodly but finite quantity of explosives, it will wreck so many things but its worth it.
  7. When I doubt, roll a d6, if the number is higher events are favorable to the players, lower and its bad for the players. Super handy oracle.
  8. Overemphasizing things can be good for some levity and to really reinforce an idea. 'It's a really big pig, like really really big, really really really big, this is just a whopping huge pig.' 
  9. Sometimes fights should just devolve into cartoonish masses of flailing limbs that resolves when the dust clears.
  10. Have crowds gather when players do unusual things in populated areas. Have them heckle and provide un/helpful advice. 
  11. Sometimes having the consequences of a fight be being beaten up and robbed of all their belongings is better than death.
  12. Travelers on the road might buddy up with players for a while if their going in the same direction, for safety and conversation.
  13. Have players overhear npc conversations more often as a way of imparting info, it also helps make npc's feel less like information-kiosks, and can let players in on details about hostile npcs that they might not easily get otherwise (such as that these minions are dissatisfied with their boss).
  14. The Men In Black can fit into nearly any game.
  15. Have players get stuck, in squeezes, on thorns, in mud, and so on. As consequence, hinderance, and flavor.
  16. Throw in little details to spice up combat, instead of the player just successfully hitting their opponent, they press the advantage, causing the brigand to slip on a patch of moss, and surely driving their blade into the brigands heart. And so on.
  17. Likewise, let both players and npcs and monster all get caught out in the middle of doing things.....
  18. Have npc's who hold grudges and act upon them. That street thug the players slighted is going to jump them with his buds the next time they come into town.
  19. Concealed weapons and hidden pockets are excellent fun for both players to have and npc's to use.
  20. Secret doors, hidden pockets, and so forth should always have some outward sign in the description letting you find them.
  21. Describe what happens to leftover food, or prompt your players to.
  22. Giving monsters and npc's a gimmick upon death (like exploding) is good fun, especially if more than one entity has it allowing players to learn it and potential exploit it.
  23. Put at least one big buff boisterous man who sounds like Brian Blessed in your game.
  24. Hair standing on end is handy for conveying powerful magic... or electricity. 
  25. Colors are a quick way to flavor and name things. The Purple Barony. The Greenfolk. So on.
  26. In-world lurid or saucy literature and songs are good fun.
  27. Weird fish are a great way of adding subtle flavor to the world. Casually describe a fish market full of coelacanths and radiodonta.
  28. Slightly uncommon but historical currency names are great for flavor. Get some ducats in there.
  29. Give players unreliable information, but let them know its potentially unreliable so they can choose to act on it or not. Out of date information especially is useful as players know its potentially going to be misleading but can they afford, or even get up to date info?
  30. Give npc's tics like eating something, chewing on something, fiddling, tapping, pacing, and so on, it characterizes and is easy to remember to include in description.
  31. Let npcs be overly enthusiastic and brash, remember that some people are in fact the kind of person who'd join a bunch of strangers in doing something dangerous and stupid.
  32. Locales, people, and monsters are almost universally improved by the addition of some incongruous element you wouldn't normally think of. 
  33. Don't forget that teeth can be just as useful as hands.
  34. Don't forget to describe what languages sound like in addition to what's said (in general terms of course, don't go full conlang).
  35. Give players split second moments of reaction and oh shit as things go bad, traps go off, bushes are sprung, wrong levers are flipped, and so on.
Might do some more! They're very fun and also useful. I particularly loved Phlox's number 4, color coding things is just such a useful trick that I do not use enough.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Kamadan - My Edition


Kamadan

Fearsome leopard, a mane of snakes sprouting from its shoulders
  • Breathes a sleepy miasma.
  • Drags slumbering victims back to its den to feast on dreams.
  • Attacks with claws, jaws, and fangs as a last resort.
  • Dream-pearls form round particularly indigestible dreams in its stomach.