Saturday, August 18, 2018

40 masks for secret cults

Recently in my campaign the players encountered a secret underground cult (as usual).
The gimmick is that all cultists wear different masks, so I came up with a bunch of them:

rat in a hat
horned god
young lover
gold frame
sinister cat
beak of horrors
rich old geezer
blue velvet
smiling pig
red with fangs
frills and glitter
gnarling dog
comic relief
butterfly wings
raven with huge beak
iron teeth
single tear under left eye
comes with
a veil
bat with bloody snout
completely flat; no face; red
cheated & angry
Cyrano de Bergerac
fish with feathers
mouth behind bars, Dr. Lecter
cuckolded husband
mirror surface reflects others
owl with bleeding eyes
blue with vertical mouth
distorted by pain
seductive silver eyelashes
wounded wolf
orange scales
happy face
crimson tears
deer, antlers sawn off
three tortured faces
ignorance is bliss
classic Venetian

Most masks are relatively simple, but expressive, hand-made by cult members. The masks don’t have big protruding parts, because they are meant to be worn while moving around in confined places (tunnels and dungeons), or while cavorting naked in the forest.

Animal masks are more or less identifiable natural animals.

Demon masks are nightmarish visions of carved wood and papier-mâché.

Theatrical masks are meant to represent a single emotion or a well-known character type from popular plays.

Carnival masks are halfmasks, covering the area of the eyes and nose. They were obtained in the city.

Friday, August 17, 2018

[Monster] Amazonian River Creeps (using the Random Esoteric Creature Generator)

I wanted to have some fun with James E. Raggi IV’s Random Esoteric Creature Generator (the old edition, not the new fancy one, unfortunately…). I started rolling, and this is what I came up with.

Basic Body Shape: Combination = Quadruped + Quadruped
                [I rolled quadruped twice, so… Octoped?]
Basic Characteristic: Avian, +3 AC (Oriole)
                [Orioles are not very creepy, but they can be very colorful, so I’m taking that feature]
Size: Small, -1 HD, 1d8 appearing
                [A swarm of small avian/insectoid eight-legged creatures, with tropical colors?]
Movement: Swimming
                [Nice twist! They slither in the water, then, like flying fish, jump out and attack]
Attack: Tail (extra attack, 1 die type less damage)
[Their basic attack is beak-based, and they do an extra tail attack. Sounds logical, because they already have an elongated body to accommodate eight legs]
1.       Wings
[Reinforcing that avian type… I don’t want to make them fully airborne, so maybe they use these wings to perform leap attacks and jump down waterfalls. Or maybe I’ll treat this not as wings, but as a single crest. More rolls are in order! And of course I roll “multiple features”…]
2.       Rubbery Body
[This is a crazy strong feature, each damage die is halved, missile attacks bounce off in a random direction]
3.       Multiple Legs
[Ahahahahahaha this is great! Even more legs! Up to 16! Rubbery colorful fishbird creepy-crawlies]
Strategy: Attack least armored
Motivation: Hunger

Straight away, a creepy and actually usable monster! And it even sort of makes sense, how all these features come together.

Amazonian River Creep
No. appearing: 1d8
HD 1 (4 Hit points), AC 15, Move 120’ (when swimming; 60’ on land)
Bite +1, 1d4 damage; Tail +1, 1d3 damage (next round after using its tail attack, the Creep is AC 13)

Nimble fast-moving river predator: Elongated, segmented creature, with eight pairs of legs. A bony crest protrudes from its spine (for better navigation in strong river flows). The whole body is covered in yellow-to-orange-to-black scales. A flock of scaly river worms hellbent on taking a bite out of your flesh.

Rubbery Body: The scales are extremely strong, and attacks easily bounce off it:
“If an attack is successful, but the rolled damage is less than half the weapon’s natural maximum (for example, a roll of 1–3 for a weapon that does d6 damage, before any modifiers), then the weapon bounces off and does no harm to the creature. Missile weapons that bounce off have a 10% chance of bouncing directly at another randomly chosen combatant, and if this happens, the original attacker should make new to-hit and damage rolls against the new target.”

Combat: The Creep attacks either with its beak (full of small, vicious teeth). May deliver an extra attack with its long tail, however this option leaves its soft underbelly exposed to damage.

Tactics: Lives in packs (1d8) in jungle rivers. The pack’s hunting tactic is simple: they sneak up on their victim underwater, then leap out, try to make hit-and-run attacks.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Plant-growth serum side effects

Recently, I wrote up some ideas foralternative healing potions. One of them is actually a plant fertilizer / growth serum, but used by adventurers as a healing drug. In my original post, its side effect is a rapidly growing plant scab monster sprouting from the treated wound. In this post, I offer more side effects when using a plant-growth serum as a healing potion.

Main stats reference OSR/LotFP rules, [5e mechanics in square brackets].

Plant-growth serum

Effect: Heal 1d12 hit points [heal 2d4 + Constitution modifier hit points]

Side effects: Save against Poison [make a DC 15 Constitution save], or roll 1d8:

Cough up seeds for 1d8 - Constitution modifier days (min. 1). The seeds belong to a grain or plant common to regional agriculture, can be eaten or planted.
Become mildly/strongly/hopelessly addicted to the serum. Each 3/2/1 days without it, add 1/2/3 points to the total Encumbrance rating [add 1/2/3 levels of Exhaustion]. Every time this result is rolled, increase addiction level. If addicted, Save against Poision [make a DC 15 Constitution save] every day/week/month. On success, lower addiction rating (mild addiction goes away for good). Negate daily effect with minor healing spell etc., cure addiction as strong disease.
Fertile sweat! All items in prolonged contact with the body during the day of consumption (clothes and armor worn, weapons held, the bed slept in, etc.) become covered in nasty mold.
Skin takes on a greenish hue for 1d6 days.
Experience strong changes in taste and eating habits (crave a food that was previously hated or something generally not considered edible, covet a food that’s a religious taboo, eat soil).
Beautiful, but vile-smelling flowers sprout from the healed wound (or, if there was no open wound, from the orifices of the consumer). If torn or cut, a very bad mood sets in for 1d3 hours.