2019. szeptember 6., péntek

Miscast tables: Meta-magic and Mind-altering spells

The final installment of the miscast tables series is a double-feature... Thanks to everybody who commented on these, and soon I'll put together a unified pdf for easier use!


Metamagic (spells affecting or modifying other spells or spellcasting abilities)


  1. Wipe-out. The caster loses all prepared spells and takes 1d3 damage for every prepared spell lost this way.
  2. The caster’s magic jumps to the nearest conscious humanoid. For the duration of 2d6 hours, the new person gains the full spellcasting abilities of the original caster, all remaining prepared spells and spell slots, is considered to be the level of the original caster for spellcasting purposes. They can prepare new spells (if the duration of the effect permits) or risky cast from the original caster’s spellbook. This doesn’t intersect with any spellcasting abilities the person might have. Treat it as a “parallel consciousness”. After the 2d6 hours, the effect is reversed and the original caster regains their abilities (and whatever prepared spells are left).
  3. “So Many Mouths to Feed!” All of the caster’s prepared spells and open spell slots are replaced with Magic Mouth. These must be cast to clear the way for new spells.
  4. The winds of magic are out of control! For the next [caster level] hours, treat all spellcasting attempts made by the caster as risky casting.
  5. The dam breaks! All of the caster’s memorized/prepared spells are cast at the same time, in a single round. The caster takes 1d3 damage for every spell cast this way.
  6. The caster’s misjudged attempt at modifying the fabric of the universe triggers a butterfly effect. Everybody in the universe can feel the fluttering of the wings… but no one knows what happens at the end of the chain of events that are set into motion. The Referee introduces a significant change in the game setting. When the caster first encounters evidence of this event, they will definitely know that this is THEIR doing.





Mind altering spells, charms, telepathy


  1. All channels are two-way... The caster switches minds with the target of the spell (or one random target). Charisma, Intelligence and Wisdom scores and all saving throws “travel” with the mind. All else (hit points, attack bonuses, etc.) belongs to the body. Every turn, both victims can attempt to switch back. If both are willing AND pass a save against Magic, the swap is reversed. If only one person is willing, this person must pass a save with a -4 penalty.
  2. The caster’s mind is lost in the intricacies of the psychic realm. The caster suffers the effect of Feeblemind, lasting [20 - caster’s Intelligence score] hours.
  3. Next time the caster tries to persuade, fast-talk, cheat, bribe etc. an NPC in a non-magical way, the spell that was miscast is cast by the person the caster is trying to influence (but with the caster’s level), with the caster (or their group) as the target.
  4. All metallic objects in a [caster level times 10’] radius start to resonate with the caster’s thoughts and transform them into audible sound. The caster’s current intentions, doubts and fears are broadcast for everyone to hear.
  5. Under the stress of the spell, a small fragment of the caster’s mind forms an enclave. This isolated little piece is identical to the rest of the caster’s mind but in one thing: it completely believes that whatever the spell was intended to do, succeeded. From now on, whenever this might affect their behavior, the caster takes the information stored in the mind-fragment as the absolute truth.
  6. The psycho-magnetic vibrations caused by the miscast awaken the latent psychic abilities of a random sentient target of the spell, or, if the spell doesn’t have targets, a random sentient creature in [caster level times 10’]. If the campaign doesn’t use psionics or similar powers, the target receives a 1/day use of a random spell, roll 2d6:
    2 Suggestion, Mass
    3 Feeblemind
    4 ESP
    5 Charm Person
    6-7 Message
    8 Comprehend Languages
    9 Suggestion
    10 Forget
    11 Confusion
    12 Charm Person, Mass


2019. augusztus 27., kedd

Miscast table: Necromancy!

The necromancy chart might seem tame in comparison to some of my other miscast tables... but the stakes are still high. After all, we are talking about the manipulation of life and death!

Necromancy and life-force altering spells


  1. “They are coming to get you, Barbara!” All undead within a [caster level] mile radius learn the whereabouts of the caster and the taste of their bone marrow or blood. They will relentlessly pursue the caster for 2d12 hours.
  2. From now on, the caster, although living, can be Turned or commanded as undead by Clerics. When a Turning attempt is made in the character’s presence, they are automatically included in the effect, even if they are not specifically targeted. While Turned, the caster is only able to speak in grunts and beastly growls. This lasts until Remove Curse or Cure Disease is employed.
  3. The caster’s life force is drained. Their body desiccates and becomes wrinkled. Hair turns gray or falls out. Character level is unchanged, but 1d2 hit dice are lost. Re-roll hit points with the remaining.
  4. The caster’s body becomes dead meat. It starts to decay, cannot heal naturally. Only a Cleric of higher level than the caster can heal them magically. After [caster level] days the caster’s body is revitalized, can heal again, but the effects of putrefaction can only be undone by high-level Clerical magic.
  5. The Mark of Undeath! The caster and every living creature in [caster level times 5’] are marked to rise as zombies 24 hours after their death (every living creature, so be prepared for zombie gnats, rainworms and moles as well). The victims are unaware of this fate. The mark is revealed by Detect Evil and erased by Dispel Evil.
  6. The flow of necromantic energy corrupts the caster’s natural healing abilities. The next [caster level] times the character rests, subtract the amount they would heal from their maximum hit points.



2019. augusztus 26., hétfő

Miscast table: Energy, force, and nature

More miscast tables! This time for all spells concerning the manipulation of natural forces and energies. I will probably try to finish two for tomorrow, or maybe all that's left, and compile them into a pdf!

Elemental-, energy- and nature-based spells


  1. The mundane version of the invoked element becomes hostile towards the caster for 1d6 days. Campfire burns them, water flees form their mouth, light blinds, winds crash their ship and branches tear their clothes, etc. The severity of these assaults is up to the Referee (and probably also depends on the power level of the intended spell).
  2. All metallic objects in a [caster level times 10’] radius become electrified and discharge with a painful electric shock. Everybody touching, wearing, holding such an item must save against Devices for each such item, or take 1 (for jewelry), 1d3 (for metal weapon), 1d6 (for chain armor), 1d12 (for plate armor) damage.
  3. Natural order is disturbed in a [caster level times two miles] radius area around the caster. Natural order is restored in [caster level times 1d6] hours, but consequences remain. Roll 1d4:
    1 the air becomes thinner, oxygen saturation drops. Everybody gains 2 points of Encumbrance while in the area of effect. Characters with a negative Constitution modifier must save against Paralyze at the end of every hour or fall unconscious,
    2 the freezing breath of the White Worm or perhaps Ithaqua sweeps through the area; temperature of air drops significantly (e.g. from summer warmth to winter cold, from winter cold to Arctic),
    3 the sun becomes a red monster that devours men, seeking them out with heat rays; both indoors and outdoors temperature of air raises significantly (e.g. from mild spring to unbearable summer, from unbearable summer to apocalyptic heatwave),
    4 magnetic disturbance: all metallic objects (including weapons, armor...) drop to the ground, can be only lifted and carried or worn as five times their usual Encumbrance value; keep in mind, this means even metallic parts of non-metallic objects – like nails keeping a boat or wooden construction together.
  4. [Caster level times three] Magic Missiles rain from the sky or appear out of thin air. Everybody in a 60’ radius must save against Breath. Distribute the missiles between the caster and those who failed their save. The caster doesn’t get to save, they are hit anyway, but maybe their comrades or enemies take some of the damage…
  5. Phlogiston saturation increases significantly in a [caster level times 30’] area. All open fires explode violently, and everybody holding or standing near such a source takes 1d4 damage. On a damage roll of 3 or 4, they also must save against Breath or catch fire. Burning creatures take another 1d4 damage on the next round, and if that is a 3 or 4 too, they are engulfed in flames and begin taking 1d8 damage until put out. Putting out flames in the phlogiston-saturated environment takes twice as much effort.
  6. Space swallows itself and a black hole opens in a maximum of [1d6 x 10’] from the caster, in a random direction (roll 1d6, 1 below, 2 through 5 is north-west-south-east, 6 above), but in the same general area. The hole remains open and active for 1d6 rounds. All loose objects and creatures in the vicinity are sucked into it at a speed of 20’ per round. A save against Paralyze can be made to grab onto something. If the initial position of a creature relative to the black hole cannot be determined, they are [2d6 x 10’] apart.



2019. augusztus 25., vasárnap

Miscast table: Dislocation, Teleportation, Polymorph

The second installment of my custom miscast tables, detailing the unforeseen consequences of meddling with space, time, and matter! These are quite elaborate, with sub-tables inside some of the results.

Mechanical clarifications:
If an effect lowers hit die, re-roll the character’s hit points with the remaining and take the lower result as new maximum. If the current hit points are thus over the maximum, they drop too (but otherwise no damage is taken). Dropping to 0 or less hit dice automatically kills the character.


For these miscast effects, “one random target of the spell” means one of the following array: the caster plus all others targeted by the spell (friend or fore); or just the caster, if the target is inanimate.


Teleportation, dislocation, movement and polymorph type spells



  1. As space folds and reorganizes, some body parts cannot keep up. Roll 1d6, one random target of the spell loses:
    1-2 an arm, 3-5 a leg, 6 an eye.
    This also means the loss of 1 hit die. Re-roll hit points with the remaining.
  2. One random target of the spell disappears for 1d6 hours, then rematerializes – tired, hangover, dehydrated, confused, but also sort of euphoric. Treat this as failed Carousing (with no experience points awarded) and roll on the campaign’s harshest Carousing Mishaps table. If no such table is available, the affected character makes all saving throws and attack rolls at a -4 penalty for the next 24 hours.
  3. The mind of the caster is displaced by an alien entity. At the end of the given duration the caster’s mind returns to its body, with no recollection of what happened during this period. The possession event causes a loss of [caster level times 200] experience points. Roll 1d4 to see what the alien entity does while in control of the host body:
    1 stays for 1d4 hours and wants to learn about humanity's weaknesses (this knowledge will eventually be used during the invasion of Earth by vampyres form outer space),
    2 attacks a random nearby target using the caster’s best weapon or spell for 1d8 rounds,
    3 behaves completely normal (and the character is under the player’s control), but then takes over when the character goes to sleep. Its goal is to assemble a homing beacon / teleportation pad / arcane gateway to bring more of its kind to Earth. It needs seven rest periods of work to accomplish this. The possession lasts 1d10 days. The character is always exhausted.
    4 casts all of the caster’s prepared spells, one per round, than leaves the body. If the caster has no spells prepared, the entity risky casts a randomly determined highest level spell form the caster’s spellbook. The entity’s behavior depends on a Reaction roll, it can use the spells to aid or hinder the host’s party.
  4. The quantum disturbances cause sudden and irreversible changes in the body of one random target of the spell. No saves apply. Roll 1d6:
    1-2 the spell Enlarge is cast on the victim, their body ripples and grows to 150% its previous size, ruining all clothes and armor,
    3-4 the spell Shrink (reversed Enlarge) is cast on the victim, their body ripples and shrinks to 50% its previous size, rendering all armor unusable,
    5 the victim’s body is fused with a fly that happens to be in the spell’s area of effect; from now on this character is a hideous man-fly-thing, unable to speak, digestive fluid dripping from the mouth (1 spit attack per day, 20’ range, 2d8 damage), hideous compound eyes with a 270° field of vision. The thing, fortunately, is sterile.
    6 Janus! A second face appears on the back of the victim’s head. It duplicates the victim’s looks. All the organs are completely functional, but the victim still has only a single brain to process all the information. For one month, no benefits can be gained from the second face, and all actions are with a penalty (-4 on attacks, -1 on skills, etc.). For a full year, while they learn to coordinate their faces, they gain 10% less experience points.
  5. One random target of the spell fuses with whatever material they are in contact with (standing on, wearing, holding – in this order, so a standing victim will fuse with the ground, a flying victim will fuse with their clothes, a naked flying victim will fuse with the sword they hold, a flying naked unarmed person is lucky (?)). The “depth” of the fusion is only 1d6 inches, but there is no harmless way to separate the two materials any more. The separation (amputation) will cause the loss of 1 hit die. Re-roll hit points with the remaining.
  6. The caster falls into a relativity trap. For the following 1d6 hours, all their movement is halved, their attacks and saves are made with a -4 penalty, as their perception of the world doesn’t line up with the realities of outside observers. For each hour spent in the trap, they age 1 year.




2019. augusztus 24., szombat

Miscast table: Illusion spells

I'm creating custom tables of miscast results for various types of magic. I could use the standard D&D division of magic schools (Abjuration, Evocation, etc.), but I've decided to go with six similar, but slightly different categories, that sort of make sense to me and fit the spells in Lamentations of the Flame Princess:
  • Teleportation, dislocation, movement and polymorph type spells
  • Illusion and invisibility spells
  • Mind altering spells, charms, telepathy
  • Elemental-, energy- and nature-based spells
  • Necromancy and life-force altering
  • Metamagic (spells affecting or modifying other spells or spellcasting abilities)

I will be posting them as they are completed. For the first installment, I present you the illusion miscast table, heavily inspired by theories of light.

Miscast effects for illusion and invisibility spells


  1. Those newfangled scientists say vision is the perception of light reflected from objects. For the following 1d6 months, the caster is physically hurt by looking at certain materials. If the caster looks at a surface that is at least palm-sized for longer than 1 round, they take 1d6 damage. Roll 1d6: 1 steel, 2 wood, 3 linen, 4 paper (ouch!), 5 gold, 6 human skin.
  2. The trusted old school scientists say vision is possible due to the human eye emitting special “eye beams” that trace the world around us. The caster’s “eye beams” become lethal death rays for 1d12 rounds. They burn through organic matter (including the caster’s eyelids) for 1d6 damage per round, but don’t set things on fire. The “eye beams” have a range of [caster level times 10’]. Mirrors and other shiny surfaces reflect the rays in a random direction – if there is a lot of this going on, everybody in the area must save against Devices every round to avoid being hit. While this effect is on, the caster is effectively blind. After the duration of the effect, the caster remains blind for 1d6 days.
  3. According to the corpuscular theory, light is made up of minuscule particles called “corpuscles”. They now hate the caster. For the following 1d10 days, anytime the caster does something that requires vision & concentration (aiming a weapon, reading, scouting), the corpuscles play tricks and the caster just cannot achieve anything unless they successfully save against Breath.
  4. The caster’s perception of reality is warped for 1d6 hours. For any object or person they encounter the Referee can roll 1d6, on a 1 the caster is adamant it is an illusion and refuses to think otherwise. Any illusions encountered during this period is automatically believed.
  5. People’s shadows are slaves! The caster’s shadow breaks free of its shackles, and is now a cunning, dangerous monster. HD = [caster level], AC as leather, Move as unencumbered human, Morale 8, 1 soul-rending attack for 1d3 damage [1d6 if HD > 5], immune to physical damage, but can be tortured with bright lights (torch or stronger do 1d6+ damage). A super bright light triggers a Morale check. The shadow can either use its attack or try to break free another shadow slave. That shadow’s master must save against Magic. The shadow knows who has the worst save.
  6. The caster becomes Visible for 1d6 hours. This is a sort of reverse Invisibility... It means that the caster is seen by everybody in a [caster level times 10’] radius. They are literally noticed through walls or in complete darkness. No material can block Visibility.



2019. augusztus 20., kedd

1d8 spider mutations

From the creative duo that brought you the 1d6 things that happen when you lie to the skeleton interrogator... 1d8 horrible but also kinda useful mutations you can get from being bitten by a giant arachnid!


  1. Eyes all over your forehead, unable to concentrate for a week (-2 on all rolls), afterwards 270 degree vision, only surprised on 1 if you can theoretically see it coming.
  2. Your teeth fall out, and mandibles burst forth from your mouth. Your bite now does d4 damage, but you cannot eat solid foods.
  3. You can cast a 10' x 10' Web once per day, but doing so leaves you exhausted and hungry and you gain 2 points of Encumbrance until you rest and feed. Also, it's a spiderweb, so guess where it shoots out from!
  4. A new gland grows in your body and secretes 1 dose of a potent poison per day (effect: save or unable to move for 1d6 rounds). You are NOT immune to this poison. If you don't have the opportunity to drain the gland once per day, then save or be unable to move for 1d6 HOURS. Otherwise, you can use the extracted substance as weapon or food poison. The poison looses potency in 1 hour after coming out of your body.
  5. Sticky body hair, can cast Spiderclimb once per day, but handling things is a pain in the ass. Manipulation of objects (including taking clothes or armor off) takes twice as much time, and you are unable to attack on the same round when dropping or swapping weapons (and attack with -2 on the next).
  6. 1d3 +1 vestigial legs sprout from your buttocks. They are both gnarly AND useless.
  7. According to a collection of 85 fun spider facts, "it is estimated that a human is never more than 10 feet away from a spider—ever". Awareness of this fact renders you unable to sleep peacefully - you need 2 extra hours to rest up properly. Once per week, you can call out to all spiders in the vicinity: a sizable swarm crawls out and fulfills one command.
  8. Arachné's blessing. You become incredibly talented at weaving. During downtime you may spend a week to create a tapestry worth 1d6 x 100sp. On 6, roll another mutation.


2019. július 17., szerda

Neural Network Generated Hexcrawl

Talk to Transformer is awesome. I already collaborated with this text-writing neural network to create a dungeon adventure, called The Tomb of the Daughter. Nowadays I am using Transformer to create hex descriptions. It started out when I fed it some fragments from Carcosa... then it became pretty much its own thing. I'm slowly compiling materials for a post-apocalyptic science fantasy world. It's fun. It's also much harder to control than just the dungeon. I try to edit as little as possible, and most text still comes from Transformer's outputs, but I have to link them together on the editor-level so that it makes more sense. I'm also going deeper and generating mini-dungeons for a couple of hexes.

Guodong Zhao

The hexcrawl has humans on the rainbow specter and more (the heritage from those Carcosa prompts), but also dwarves, elves, insect people...

A handful of examples:


SALTWATER SPRING

Trolls of the monstrous Trollpaw tribe appear on the western shore, fighting together to control a spring of seawater.
This spring has been known to grow more dangerous by nightfall. The spirits wander the area looking to drink, and cause problems for others in the night. It's a curse from a deity who made this particular spring; at night it contains powerful acid which breaks down barriers to spirits.


CAVERN OF THE KUPO

The hex is inhabited by a race of reptilian humanoid insects known as the Kupo.
The Kupo have very sharp wings and no tail, though they do have a very sharp sparrow-like mandibles. Their eyes are black, and they resemble a bird's, and are shaped like what looks like a long tail. They are usually accompanied by drooling, wingless monkeys.
They live in a vast underground cavern that reaches beneath the ocean. The Kupo are generally quite peaceful, but their presence causes alarm to the other races of the underground. The Kupo sometimes use traps to capture monsters and eat creatures found in their tunnels. They eat the most interesting things, including humans.
The Kupo are very fast, able to fly long distances without the use of their arms.


DROMUND KAAS ENCLAVE

A small, ancient, magical enclave of Dwarves and Elves sits in a small circular cove called Dromund Kaas. Some of their numbers are fugitives from King Kommr. King Kommr was feared because of a smallpox epidemic that had plagued his country, and Kommr's sons were blamed for it because they carried the plague with them.
The inhabitants of Dromund Kaas are known to lurk around the island with their strange magic, and when they can, they travel through the mountains and into the interior of the island in search of treasure.
The place is guarded by an old-style swordswoman named Aelian with a mysterious curse: she was killed by a magical dagger sheathed in her heart, but she is very much alive. To kill her, one must use this enchanted dagger.


GORE-CAVE OF THE HALF-GOAT

The ruins of a small town, whose inhabitants were all murdered at birth.
The current resident of the ruins is a monstrous, grotesque half-goat. The half-goat lives in secret in a small, enchanted cave made of stone. It feeds only on living humans and has been so for centuries.
The half-goat has a human face that hides itself from its eyes but is able to see through humans and their clothing. Its hair is black-like blue, and it is able to grow new parts of its body every so often.

1. FROZEN PITS The first chamber is located on the northern side of the cave, just beyond the entrance. Inside the cave are six gigantic pits. Here in the first pit, a human corpse lay frozen for months, until its bones became stuck to a frozen ice block. It was left to decay there for so long, it was nearly entirely gone as of the last time it was dug up.
The corpse is inhabited by a bloated redhead humanoid, who we don't know if it is human, or if it is a creature of the dark. It looks vaguely human in that form, but this thing has no eyes or ears. And it's talking. When it's talking, it's speaking in a different tone. The creature gives this weird, creepy hum. It's almost human-in-a-possible-other-form thing, but it's a lot tougher. Its mouth is wide open, almost a mouth-like gape. The creature attacks with one or both of the following attacks: A slow, stabbing growl from the top of its head or a piercing, piercing growl from the bottom of its head. It wants nothing more than to see its own reflection in the water and then see if they can trust it.

2. TREASURE CHAMBER The second cavern is also located on the northern side of the cave. This is the oldest cavern in the entire Half-goat's world. This is also where a young Ogre was killed, although he died from his injuries, rather than from frostbite.
The half-goat’s treasure is hidden in the second cavern:
a. A stone ball filled with dark energy which causes everybody to bleed profusely, a crystal tablet contains blood plasma to control the body's natural defences (from heat, cold/therapeutic radiation and blood pressure) and the ability to stop a virus from spreading if implanted into a body;
b. a book of magical lore about a pair of wizards, each of which has developed a certain form of mind magic and which will also have a particular ability in the area of a given time period, and will also know how to summon spirits and other magical beings that work in those areas. The book ends with an interview with the two wizards.
c. a wand of invisibility and a scroll of silence.

3. REGENERATION PITS The third chamber on the other side is a narrow corridor that must be crawled through, with one wall blocked off. In the third chamber there are nine gigantic pits, filled with ichor which is dried out, ready to receive water. The half-goat submerges itself into these pits to regenerate.