Friday, December 27, 2019

His Seraphim (Sunless Horizon)

This is a pretty short post, mostly to try out a more vague style. Tell me what you think in the comments!

Playing a Long Game

Keter is, to a point, under siege - the Navigator Houses spread through His halls, pulling apart the decks, opening doors, and tearing out components all across Ein Soph. It's not a problem yet, but Keter knows, some day thousands of years from now, His resources will be expended. There's only so much metal.

But there is endless flesh.

The Seraphs 

Seraphs are built from human DNA, saved in the Ein Soph's databanks. They are stretched, modified, augmented. They become awful, crawling things - if this stage fails, they are released, where they become a Hanged King of the Ghouls. 

From here, they are enhanced - permanently affixed to titanic exoskeletons, welded to horrific weapons, and anointed by Infopriests. 

The Seven

Luminous Uriel

Uriel bows under the weight of its weapon - a titanic plasma emitter, releasing tides of burning light. As the emitter fires, Uriel burns, screaming as its flesh melts against its armor.

Its light is unstoppable, slipping through the smallest hole in its blind quest to burn away heresy.

Silver-Tongued Gabriel

Gabriel reaches out with its dozen tongues, hunting for those who would escape Keter's wrath. Its voice is a honeyed lie, twisting itself to draw in its prey. It has hunted through the halls forever, tuning its mimicry over countless repetitions.

Valorous Michael

Michael is Keter's sword and hand, descending from heaven to scatter His foes. Its bent, twisted hands grasp a long, time-dulled blade it brings to bear to crush all who would stand against it.

Merciful Raphael

Raphael brings mercy and darkness to the legions raised against Keter. High towers stand upon its back, pouring out nanobot suspension fluid - an oily black liquid that twitches and slithers as if alive, and grows featureless arms to grasp and infect.

Truth-Giving Selaphiel

Selaphiel shows the truth to heretics - its wide eyes display His words, and those that see them suffer. All of His infohazards are arranged in front of it, chosen as a surgeon chooses their tools.

Radiant Jegudiel

Jegudiel glows with an unearthly light - Cherenkov radiation ejected from its heart, a violently unstable reactor. Its breath ferries dust and ash out into the world, and the light of its heart goes with it.

Trumpeting Barachiel

Barachiel is a guardian angel, in total control of the world around it. Doors open at its glance, machines scream and join it, augments rebel against their masters. Antennae sprout from its eyeless, blinded head, projecting its binary orders.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Secret Santicorn 2019: Sci-Fi Dungeon Fill

BlueWolf from the OSR Discord requested: "General sci-fi dungeon room fills. Encounters, tricks, traps, treasures, details for ""empty"" rooms or means of travel between far reaches of the dungeon. One line per fill is fine. As many as you feel like. Gonzo is fine, doesn't have to be hard sci-fi."

1d6 Generic SF Dungeon Fill
1: Three small cone-shaped maintenance robots scoot past you, beeping. If you grab one, you can steal its tools.
2: A sec-droid questions one of you - they've mistaken you for a smuggler operating in the area.
3: In front of the locked exit is a slow pressure plate - you can walk over it safely, but if you stand on it for long enough to do anything, it electrifies the floor.
4: This room is dominated by a giant communications console, where you can contact the creators of the dungeon - this is only an outpost.
5: A research area for man-scale hyperspace travel. The prototype teleporter can be used to skip to any area of the dungeon, but it might not bring all of your stuff with you.
6: The door opens to a landing pad, with automated cargo ships landing, being unloaded, and taking off. The cargo lies abandoned (but watched) on the floor.

excuse me sir
1d6 Cyberpunk Dungeon Fill
1: An "outdoor" office, with floors covered in plastic grass and a blue-painted ceiling.
2: An autotherapist, charging $1 a minute for its mechanized discussion.
3: Three medical robots carry a man on a stretcher, who desperately attempts to fall off and avoid the hospital and the debt it will bring.
4: A bioprinter used to mass-produce nutrient paste. If hacked, it can create other organic compounds.
5: A VR work farm, filled with dozens of workers. Stay completely silent - they are not used to sound, and panic will quickly turn them into a mob.
6: A prototype nanoplague held in a boxy cryocontainer. Want to touch it?

don't touch it

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Tyranny in Heaven (Sunless Horizon)

The Navigator Houses are the most important civilization in Sunless Horizon - as the assumed home of the characters, it'll be the first group the players interact with. Because of this need, it's more standard - a nice, easy to understand, feudal nightmare dystopia.

The 11 Houses are desperate - since the Retreat, they've lost most of their manufacturing capability, all of their territory, and all of their context. Now, they're frantically scrabbling to grab as much as they can before another House manages to.

The Houses
The 11 Houses all work on the same feudal framework, but conditions are vastly different between them. For example, in House Thamiel, the military is so thinly-spread keeping hold of far-flung territory that other factions have started to gain influence in the cities. House Harab Serapel has a long-standing tradition of councils - any noble position must be held by at least 2 people.

The Peasants
The vast majority of the Navigator Houses' population is in the peasantry - farmers, artisans, workers of all types. They have no power, no food, no money, and no medicine. They are taught little about the world - from above comes the belief of the Peasant Gods, and from within come their own superstitions.

Their money flows upwards, to the nobility - if they don't pay in gold, the nobles will take their tithe in blood.

The Nobility
They stand 10 feet tall, hidden under baroque robes and masks. They never speak, communicating to their herald-interpreters in obscure sign languages. They say they are perfect and immortal.

Over generations, they have improved their bodies and minds, bending their flesh to their will. But now, their mistakes begin to reveal themselves. They rot from the inside, consumed by innumerable cancers and plagues.

They need flesh. Flesh to fuel the bioengineering machines that made them into what they are. Flesh to prolong their life, if even for a day.

As long as the tithes come up from the peasants, as long as the machines still function, they will never die.

Their Ranks 
Banner-Bearer: Knights and commanders, though they hold no lands. They are expected to lead in battle.
Overseer: Leaders of a city and its surrounding lands - they have total control over the Watch, the taxes, the planning, everything.
Hierarch: Controllers of a province, taking taxes up from their Overseers, and leading their Army during wartime.
Lord Navigator: They lead the Houses, collecting tithes from the Hierarchs below. Once, they met in councils to decide the future of the Navigator Houses, but now they fight petty wars for territory and control.

Their Lie
The Lord Navigators are in control of the ship. Keter is simply a servant who broke His bonds. As long as the Navigator Houses stay stable, and the nobility stays in control, they will reach their destination.

Their Armies
Each Hierarch builds their own army out of soldiers offered up from their Overseers. These armies are used to expand their holdings, fight back against incursions from the wilderness, and keep their Overseers in line.

In times of true war, all Overseers have their armies commandeered by the Lord Navigators.

Their Jackals
The Jackals are scavengers, sent out into the cold halls of Ein Sof to return riches to the nobility. They are given nothing - no supplies, no training, no assistance. They are made of conscripts, the desperate, and the violent.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

GLOG Urban Fantasy Class - OSIRIS Theurge

we are always watching
This is a modified version of Oblidisideryptch's Warlock.

OSIRIS has been preparing for this for a very long time. They are only the newest organization in a long line of others, all working to reach the same goal - a world free of supernatural influences.

Except for one.

The Pyramid looms in their minds, whispering commands. It has lived forever and back again, existing at all points in space and time. Listen to it.

Let it speak through you.

Template A: +1 Credit, Debt, Obligations, Boon, Favors
Template B: +1 Credit, Combat Meditation
Template C: +1 Credit, Beseech
Template D: +1 Credit, Pinnacle Spells, Patron's Gift

Boon: Your mind cannot be read. You look vaguely plastic and perfectly symmetrical.

Hover exactly 3.1415926 feet above the ground for 1d4 minutes.
Automatically know the statistics (HP, AC, etc.) of anyone you can see.
Clean, smooth, and polish anything you touch.

Prevent [debt] Psychics or Ynnbringers from casting again. Ever.
Enter Ynn and set it aflame.
Kill [debt] enemies of the Pyramid.
Recover [debt] supernatural artifacts.
Destroy 1 supernatural artifact.
Erase the memories of [debt] people who know too much.

Combat Meditation
Deal 4, 8, 12, or 16 damage to yourself to cast dispel magic with [dice] equal to 1/4 of the damage taken (1, 2, 3, or 4).

Beg the Pyramid for assistance. Roll 1d6 over your accumulated Debt. If you succeed, the Pyramid will assist you - teleporting you away, summoning OSIRIS agents, giving you back some Credit, etc. No matter what, you gain +3 Debt.

Patron's Gift: The Pyramid is placed inside of your heart. You are omniscient within 1 mile of you.


1. Squared Missile*
R: 100’ T: one creature or object D: n/a
An outstretched finger releases a shining black projectile, turning in perfect right angles as it travels. A single target takes [dice] squared damage.

2. Numerical Polymorph
R: touch T: one creature D: [sum] minutes
A single creature you touch has 2 of its stats switched. Unwilling targets can make a WIS save to protect themselves.

3. Simplify Object
R: touch T: one object D: n/a
A single object you touch is condensed into a small cube. The cube contains all the material of the object, but no air.

The amount of [dice] added to the spell decides the size of object that can be targeted.
1 die - a cup, toothbrush, or knife.
2 dice - a sword,  set of armor or door
3 dice - a wagon or table
4 dice - a house or car

If this would crush a creature or creatures, it kills an amount of creatures until the total HD reaches the [dice] of the spell.

4. Non-Euclidian Geometry**
R: line of sight T: self D: [sum] rounds
You are adjacent to everything within your line of sight. You are treated as if you were in all of these locations at once, and everything interacts with you as if it were adjacent to you. You do not suffer multiple effects from the same object or entity (if you are standing in every part of a fire, you only take its damage once). You can choose not to be adjacent to up to [dice] things.

5. Sacred Numbers
R: 500' radius T: 500' radius D: [sum] minutes
Choose [sum] numbers. For [sum] minutes, every time one of those numbers is rolled, you regain 1 HP.

6. Prime Attack
R: 100' T: one creature D: [sum] minutes
For [sum] minutes, every time the target rolls a prime number on their damage roll (in standard combat systems) or deals a prime number of damage (in Let There be Blood), they deal double damage.

7. Laplace Transformation**
R: touch T: [sum] creatures or objects D: [sum] minutes
The target loses up to [dice] dimensions of your choice (with a WIS save if unwilling). If you remove length, width, or height, they become 2D (allowing them to fit through gaps that are large enough in the other 2 dimensions, be rolled up like paper, and be invisible when viewed from the removed side) but cannot manipulate items with more dimensions than them.

If you remove 2 spatial dimensions, they deal [dice]d6 damage to anything they try to pass through. If you remove 3 spatial dimensions, they become a single point and cannot be detected in any way.

If you remove time, they vanish, and reappear at the end of the duration as if no time had passed.

8. Irreality
R: self T: self D: [dice] minutes
For [dice] minutes, you can walk through walls. You also cannot be directly targeted by any effect, but cannot attack or cast any spell.

9.  Simplify Person
R: 100' T: one person or creature D: [sum] minutes
Remove a single stat from a person or creature. They cannot use it for any checks. If Health is removed, the creature begins to take a Wound every time it is damaged. If AC is removed, it is automatically hit by 50% of attacks.

10. Erase Memory***
R: touch T: one creature D: permanent
Erase the last [sum] (minutes/hours/days/weeks, 1/2/3/4 dice) from the target's memory.

* - stolen from Arnold K's Modron Mathmetician
** - stolen from Velexiraptor's Fake Math Wizard
*** - stolen from Velexiraptor's Baleful Star Warlock

Pinnacle Spells

11. Simplify Terrain
R: one mile radius T: the earth D: [dice] hours
The world itself is shaped to the Pyramid's wishes. Everything becomes flatly colored and angular.

It's just like home.

While in this terrain, your movement speed is doubled and you can freely manipulate the ground (as a 4-dice casting of control earth).

12. Enter the Astral Plane
R: touch T: self + [dice] creatures D: [sum] seconds
You and [dice] creatures you are touching vanish completely into the Astral Plane. The Pyramid looms overhead. You may remain here for as long as you want - only [sum] seconds pass in the real world.

While inside the Astral Plane, you may ask the Pyramid [dice] questions. It knows everything, and will answer honestly.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

GLOG Urban Fantasy Class - Ynnbringer

Open the Gates

In my urban fantasy setting, (now called ♎︎) magic comes from Ynn, an alternate dimension where the laws of reality are more flexible and easier to persuade. With enough rituals, the veil between Ynn and the real world can be cut, allowing Ynn to override reality. In this area, and this area only, magic will work. Compared to psychics, Ynnbringers are more powerful, but require time to set up.

This is a modified version of Monsieur's Witch.

Template A: Cut the Veil, +2 MD
Template B: +2 MD, Coven
Template C: +2 MD
Template D: +2 MD, Pinnacle Spells

Cut the Veil

Over the course of 30 minutes, the Ynnbringer can perform the ritual to bring Ynn into reality. These rituals have three intensities, jokingly called Maiden, Mother, and Crone.

While inside of the ritual zone, the Ynnbringer can cast any Spell except for their Pinnacle Spells. They can also cast that ritual's Signs for free. They do not regenerate MD. While they are in the same ritual zone, their spell dice do not increase. They must prepare a new ritual to regain their MD. Rituals decay after 6 hours.

If the altar for the ritual is disturbed, the zone collapses. Real-world objects can be brought into the radius, but objects from Ynn cannot be brought out.

The Maiden ritual has a radius of 100 feet. While inside this radius, the Ynnbringer has the following abilities:

1. Send a telepathic message to anyone inside the ritual radius.
2. Nothing inside the ritual radius makes any sound.

Perk: The Ynnbringer knows the exact location of everyone inside the ritual radius.

Work Die: 1d4

The Mother ritual has a radius of 100 feet. While inside this radius, the Ynnbringer has the following abilities:

1. You can make a plant or wooden object inside the ritual radius move. Bend the wooden stocks of rifles, grab people's ankles with vines, drop branches on people's heads.
2. You can move an object from Ynn you are directly holding out of the ritual radius without it vanishing.

Perk: The Mother ritual is powered by a simple incense burner, that can be carried on the Ynnbringer's person. While carried, the ritual's radius is centered on the Ynnbringer.

Drawback: If the Ynnbringer is damaged, they must make a Wisdom save or the ritual collapses.

Work Die: 1d6 

The Crone ritual takes a radius of 250 feet. While inside this radius, the Ynnbringer has the following abilities:

1. The Crone can speak to any denizen of Ynn.
2. Nothing can enter the ritual radius unless you allow it.

Drawback: The Crone ritual opens the gate far enough that the Idea of Thorns starts to enter it. When the Crone ritual ends, the Ynnbringer must make a Wisdom save or be afflicted by the Idea.

Work Die: 1d8


Under the eyes of OSIRIS, no lone Ynnbringer lasts long. Their covens are spread far and wide, keeping each other hidden and supported.

The coven is made up of 2d4 Ynnbringers. You can call on them for information and assistance, but they will call on you in return.

Pinnacle Spells

Each of the three Pinnacle Spells is keyed to a particular ritual - Deafen for the Maiden, Barrier for the Mother, and Expel for the Crone. They can be cast as a standard Spell, but only by the ritual they are keyed to.


1. Sleep
R: 50' T: 20' radius D: 10 min
Every creature within a 20' radius (up to a total of [sum] HD of creatures) falls asleep. They will reawaken in [sum] minutes, or if forced awake (physically).

2. Control Earth

R: 50’ T: a bucket’s worth of earth D: concentration
Control a bucket's worth of soil within 50' of you.
1 die - Slowly excavate, move, and shape 1 bucket worth of dirt.
2 dice - Move and shape a person-sized mass of soil, quickly enough to bury someone.
3 dice - Move and shape 2 person-sized masses. Trigger tremors. Range increases to 100'.
4 dice - Shape all the earth within 100' of you like water.

3. Animate Plants
R: Touch T: [sum] small plants or [dice] trees D: concentration
At your touch, [sum] small plants or [dice] large plants or trees spring to motion. They can be commanded verbally.

4. True Sight

R: self T: self D: [sum] minutes
For [sum] minutes, all is revealed to you. See through all illusions and into people’s auras (allowing you to tell if they are magical or psychic, and see them through walls).

5. Control Weather
R: 100’ radius D: [sum] minutes
For [sum] minutes, the weather is controlled around you.
1 die - sunlight, clouds, light rain
2 dice - bright light, dense darkening clouds, heavy rain
3 dice - blinding light, black out the sky, thunderstorms
4 dice - unnatural creations - plagues of locusts, rains of frogs, firestorms

6. Command
R: touch T: one person D: [dice] minutes
Give a single person you are touching a command up to [dice] words long. This command cannot lead them to their death unless 3 or more dice are used. The effect ends after [dice] minutes.

7. Create Illusion
R: 100’ T: n/a D: [dice] minutes
Manifest an illusion. Targets must make a WIS save or be tricked by the illusion. The illusion expires after [dice] minutes.

8. Dispel Magic
R: 100’ T: one magical object or effect D: n/a
An amount of dice equal to the dice of a spell cast must be expended to counter that spell. Magic items will be shut down for [dice] minutes.

9. Disguise Self
R: self T: self D: [sum] minutes
Disguise yourself. Targets must make a WIS save or be tricked by the illusion. The disguise expires after [sum] minutes.

Pinnacle Spells

Maiden: Deafen
R: 100' T: Everyone within the Ritual Radius D: [sum] minutes
Everyone within the Ritual Radius is deafened and takes [dice]d4 damage as a horrible, pulsing sound fills the Ritual Radius. This repeats every round for [sum] minutes, or until canceled by the Ynnbringer.

Mother: Barrier
R: 10' T: n/a D: Permanent
This spell can be cast on another character's turn. If activated when an attack is declared, it activated before the attack hits. This spell creates a 10' wide, 6 inch thick barrier of soil and grass in front of the Ynnbringer. The barrier lasts until destroyed.

Crone: Expel
R: 100' T: one creature D: n/a
A single target takes [sum] damage and is thrown violently from the Ritual Radius.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

RPG Review - Star Dogs

Disclaimer: a review copy of this game was provided for free by the author. This review is based off of a reading of the book, not a playtest.

Star Dogs, by Michael Raston, is a recently-released space opera OSR game built off of a d20 roll-under system.


  • Roll-under stat checks, with difficulty changing the die size (for example, an easier test could have you roll a d12 or d10).
  • Items also have stats (ranging from 1d6 to 4d6 drop lowest) to be rolled when the item is used.
  • Advantage/Disadvantage, with stacking (so Triple Disadvantage would have you roll 4 dice and take the worst result).
  • Skill checks work on a 1d12 Target-1 system, with the result modified by stat modifiers. For example, rolling a Surgery (INT) check with an INT of 18 (+3) would have you subtract 3 from your skill result.
  • 6 standard classes as well as the Khybe Sensitive/Khybe Monk - every character has a 10% chance of starting Khybe Sensitive, allowing them to level into the Khybe Monk (space wizard) class.
  • Boons and Banes taken in character creation - if you take a Boon, you also must take a Bane.
  • Goal-based experience - 1 Level Up point is gained whenever you complete a particular task.
  • Range-band combat, used for both on-foot, vehicle, and space combat.
  • Immediate death at 0 HP.
  • Fast healing.
  • Short equipment list and assumed Quantum Inventory.
  • Starships treated as characters, using the same weapons and stats but with weapon damaged doubled for each size category (On Foot, Hovercraft, Spacecraft) above the target, or halved for each category below.
  • No bestiary.
Character Creation

The races are interesting - some having simple stat bonuses, some starting with implanted augmentations, and one starting with the ability to be resurrected.

In contrast, the classes are simple and boring, largely eschewing new abilities for Skill increases, new weapon proficiencies, and free equipment.

The 10% chance for Khybe Sensitivity is an odd choice - restricting a class to a random roll is unnecessary and not particularly fun, because you don't have another chance to receive that ability during play. Compare this to random equipment rolls, which mainly affect your character during the early game.

Boons and Banes are a good way to easily add variety to low-level characters, but Boons and Banes are very unbalanced against each other. For example, the Skillful Boon gives you +1 to a skill of your choice, while the Banes are things like missing a limb or disadvantage on all ranged attacks forever.


Between the changing die sizes, Advantage/Disadvantage, and Skill system, Star Dogs' main system is overcomplicated for my taste, with no real benefit. The system of changing die sizes is solid enough on its own, and would be a good addition to most roll-under games. If the skills were more connected to the stat system (for example, if having an applicable skill decreased your die size by one step on stat checks), that would help reinforce both the changing die sizes and base system.

The fast healing and Quantum Inventory help speed up the game - fitting it's heroic, space-opera tone.

Strangely, the Augmentations section has 4 pages of augmentation malfunctions (almost all of which, like "Something is growing from the augmentation, something foul and disturbing." or "Will eat those impacted and targeted by augmentation." really do not fit with the tone presented by the rest of the game), but no example augmentations.

The Khybe Casting system is odd - a somewhat freeform system that simultaneously is incredibly restrictive. It's point-based, with each point spent opening a new effect - for example, a 2 point casting can affect "The PCs own physical body." This is all the game says for the effect of a 2 point casting.

While there is no bestiary, there are some guidelines for creating NPCs for the game.

Star Dogs has some deep system issues, but the roll-under die changing is an interesting method for skill checks, and a polished version of the Boons & Banes would make a good addition to any OSR game looking for more early-game character differentiation.

The space opera tone is sabotaged by the horror-style augmentation failures, but bolstered by the quick health regen and Quantum Inventory. A range-band combat system helps keep it fast, but immediate death at 0 may be too lethal for people more used to Death and Dismemberment tables, knockout periods, or other similar additions.

I would not buy Star Dogs in its current state, but I would keep an eye out for any updates, supplements, or new editions. 

Thanks to Michael Raston for sending me this review copy.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Let There Be Blood - An AFF/Troika Inspired One-Roll Combat System

Let There Be Blood

Melee Weapons
Each melee weapon has a small 2-row 1d6 table: one row Attack, the other Defense - similar to this post by Daniel Sell. For example, the reliable (albeit boring) Shortsword's table is like this:

1. 2/0
2. 2/1
3. 3/1
4. 3/2
5. 3/2
6. 4/2

When you declare an attack, roll 2d6 and assign one to each column. For example, you could roll a 3 and a 6. Knowing your enemies have poor damage, you put the 3 into Defense (giving you a Defense of 1) and the 6 into Attack, dealing 4 damage.

Attacks hit automatically, with Defense acting as damage reduction. Your Defense value stays active until your next round, where it reverts to zero.

Dual-wielding lets you roll on both weapon's tables, and take the Defense of one weapon and the Attack of the other. For example, an action with two swords would look like this: one sword rolls 4 and 5, the other rolls 2 and 6. So, you put the first sword's 5 into Defense (giving you a Defense of 2) and put the other sword's 6 into Attack (giving you an Attack of 4).

Ranged Weapons
Ranged weapons have no defense. Instead, they have an Aiming Time column. This value alters the initiative value. For example, the slow, high-damage Longbow's table is like this:

attack/aiming time
1. 3/-3
2. 4/-3
3. 4/-2
4. 5/-2
5. 5/-2
6. 6/-1

So, if you rolled a 3 and a 4, putting the 3 into Aiming Time and the 4 into damage, your Initiative would go down by 2, and you would do 5 damage. The Aiming Time penalty is removed after your turn, and you go back to your normal point in the initiative order.

Armor does not exist.

System Thoughts

This hasn't been playtested yet, but I think it'll have some advantages over the standard to-hit/damage system - it gives melee combat some inherent strategy, gives a similar effect to Oddomatic damage, and helps balance ranged weapons.

While it's harder to make weapons for this system (compared to just "uh... this does 1d10"), it's also easier to make weapons interesting - having axes as high-risk, high reward weapons with swingy damage and low defense, having spears give huge defense (because you're far away) but low damage, etc.

I plan to test this system, clean it up, and put it into my currently unnamed urban fantasy GLOG hack.

Sample Weapons


Axe - Swingy Attack, Low Defense
1. 1/0
2. 1/0
3. 1/1
4. 6/1
5. 6/1
6. 7/2

Spear - Swingy Attack, High Defense
1. 1/1
2. 1/1
3. 2/2
4. 2/3
5. 5/3
6. 5/4

Shield - Low Attack, High Defense
1. 1/2
2. 1/2
3. 1/2
4. 2/3
5. 2/4
6. 2/4

Dagger - Low Attack, Swingy Defense
1. 2/0
2. 2/0
3. 2/1
4. 3/3
5. 3/3
6. 4/4


Shortbow - Low Attack, Fast
attack/aiming time
1. 2/-2
2. 2/-2
3. 3/-1
4. 3/-1
5. 4/-0
6. 4/-0

Crossbow - Swingy Attack, Swingy Speed
attack/aiming time
1. 1/-3
2. 2/-3
3. 2/-2
4. 2/-1
5. 6/-0
6. 6/-0

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Ghost Ship to Planet Transylvania

Happy Halloween!
whispering from offstage
Happy... Septemberween?

Ghost Ship to Planet Transylvania is a collaborative effort between me and John Rattlemayne, following a challenge from the ever-productive glog-ghetto of the OSR Discord. It's an 11-page stealth dungeon/pointcrawl thing set on Dracula's coffin-ship, with plenty of original art from Rattlemayne, a wonderfully garish layout (also by Rattlemayne) and exactly 1,459 and 1/3 words, by us both.

Click on the inviting hands and faces of the Chief Engineer and his Assistant to grab the pdf for yourself, and be filled with unnameable horror for all eternity!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Folklore of the Navigator Houses

Note (7/31/2020): This post has been replaced. Read this instead.

The peasants of the Navigator Houses are intentionally left uneducated and in poverty by the nobility - an engineer may know how to build a cybernetic arm, but not why it works. Without any reliable information, superstition runs rampant, and the peasant's ideas start to become stranger and stranger.

I have no idea how this connects to the Peasant Gods, I'll figure it out eventually probably maybe.
1. Everything has a Soul
Everything, from dust to people, has a soul. The stronger a creature’s soul is, the more alive it is - thus, Disciples have a stronger soul than a gun (because they can move, speak, and act semi-human) which has a stronger soul than a rock (because the gun has parts that move and “eats” bullets, while the rock sits still).

While people have strong souls, some things are stronger - the nobility have stronger souls, so they are larger, stronger, and live longer. Keter has an even stronger soul, as His soul must sustain an entire world.

2. Souls have a Shape
Your soul is vaguely the same shape as your body, and wants to stay still and unchanging. Prosthetics work because they are the same shape as the body part they replace, so the soul simply enters the prosthetic and treats it as a normal body part. Some parts of your body, like your heart and brain, are more important to your soul. You die when your body changes shape too much for your soul to stay attached - these important parts changing is seen as a greater change, so it kills you more easily.

3. Diseases are Defects of the Soul
When you get sick, it is because a wayward spirit has merged with your soul, changing its shape. Because your soul’s shape is different, your body tries to change shape to meet it, which damages the body. To cure yourself of illness, you must remove the infecting spirit.

1d6 Peasant Superstitions
1. The ashes of a great hero will drive away Disciples, as the hero's soul assaults them. 
2. Look for a plant with 4-pronged red leaves, and rub them on your wounds - they will calm the soul. 
3. A copper spiral will prevent illness - the invading spirits will wander through the spiral and become trapped.
4. If you listen to Enochian (Keter's machine language, seeded with low-level infohazards) through an engraved cone, it will tell you your future.
5. If someone dies in a vacuum, turn them away from the world, or they will begin to haunt it.
6. If you touch a noble, they will curse you, and your bones will twist inside your skin until they shatter.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Seven Psychic GLOG Classes

EDIT: updated versions of these classes can be found in Libra, my urban fantasy hack.

While my urban fantasy setting's magic-users can be easily created with any of the many (many, many) GLOG wizards haphazardly thrown across the internet like a ripe tomato dropped off of a skyscraper, I want to give the psychics a different mechanic.

I've looked at some other options: Lexi's Psion class is interesting (with casting focused on words, like a more codified Paladin of the Word), but too open for my more classic source material.

Monsieur's Witch has a very interesting set of 3 forms, but take forever to write - trust me, I have 3 half-finished ones sitting in drafts.

Eventually, I decided to base them off Marquis' old Dark Sun Psionicist conversion - these rules make Psychics much more stable that wizards, (generally - the Latent Psychic makes even the most volatile wizard seem as still as a stone) but they run out of power much faster. While a wizard will set someone on fire, regain some of their MD, and continue to set people on fire until the wizard explodes, a Psychic will set someone on fire, set someone else on fire, run out of PSYCHIC ENERGIES, and then go to bed.

As well as that, some of these are quite unusual - instead of the standard 4 templates, the Telepath, Telekinetic, and Electrokinetic have only 3, the Precognitive and Pyrokinetic have 2, and the Apsych has only one. A character using one of these classes is able to pick up a full set of 4 templates, but have to multiclass to do so.

Even stranger is the Latent Psychic class - these unstable psychics only have 1 template, but it does not count as one of your 4 templates. It still requires a level-up to choose, but you can have it as well as your standard templates.

Psychic Rules

Each level you take in a psychic class gives you +1 Psychic Potential. Every day, you can safely use an amount of psychic powers equal to your Psychic Potential. After this, you can start to push yourself - each time you use a psychic power, you must roll 1d6. If it is below or equal to your Psychic Potential, the power activates perfectly. If it's above your Psychic Potential, the power still activates, but your Psychic Potential is reduced by 2 until you take a long rest. If your Psychic Potential reaches 0, you cannot use psychic powers until you regain your Psychic Potential.

So, a level 1 Telekinetic can use 1 free psychic power a day. After they use that power, they use another - the power functions, but they roll a 4 on their 1d6. This means their Psychic Potential decreases to -1, so no more psychic powers for you.

Psychic Classes


Telekinetics are the most common type of induced psychic. The Aries Program assigned them into 3 types, simply named Class-1, Class-2, and Class-3.

Template A: Class-1 Telekinetic
A Class-1 Telekinetic has 3 abilities to draw on:

1. Lesser Manipulation - Move a 5-pound object at 2 miles per hour.

2. Project Barrier - A 20 x 5 foot transparent barrier can be projected at any point within 50 feet of the Telekinetic. This barrier blocks people and bullets, but will be smashed by rockets or cars.

3. Charge Orb - The telekinetic releases a sphere of compressed telekinetic energy, firing it at a target. Roll to-hit - on hit, you deal 1d4 damage and the target is thrown 50 feet backwards.

Template B: Class-2 Telekinetic
A Class-2 Telekinetic has all the abilities of a Class-1 Telekinetic, as well as three of their own:

1. Telekinetic Redirect - The next ranged attack that misses you is redirected at the person who attacked, dealing full damage.

2. Manipulation - Move a 50-pound object at 2 miles per hour, or a 5-pound object at 50 miles per hour.

3. Hold Still - A single target is prevented from moving for 1d6 turns.

Template C: Class-3 Telekinetic
A Class-3 Telekinetic has all the abilities of a Class-2 Telekinetic, as well as three of their own:

1. Greater Manipulation - Move a car-sized object at 50 miles per hour.

2. Mass Manipulation - Move 10 5-pound objects at 50 miles per hour.

3. Shatter - Torrents of telekinetic energy cause a human-sized object to explode - living creatures get a CON save to resist.


Electrokinetics are a particularly feared type of psychic - while they are not as purely destructive as Pyrokinetics, they are excellent at controlling areas, inflicting targets with debilitating powers, and destroying electronic equipment.

Like other psychics, the Aries Program splits Electrokinetics into three types - Transistor-class Electrokinetics are the weakest, followed by Conductor-class and Circuit-class. Circuit-class Electrokinetics are strong enough to take full control of a facility's worth of equipment, and are thus generally either held in special Faraday cage cells or injected with Compound F1b.

Template A: Transistor-class Electrokinesis, +1 Psychic Potential
A Transistor-class Electrokinetic has 3 abilities to draw on:

1. Flashbulb - All targets in a 30 foot cone in front of the Electrokinetic must make a CON save or be blinded.

2. EMP - One piece of electronic machinery within 40 feet of the Electrokinetic fails.

3. Devour - Everyone within 50 feet of the Electrokinetic takes a -1 penalty to all rolls for 1d4 turns as the Electrokinetic draws in the energy around them. For the next hour, the Electrokinetic's Psychic Potential is increased by one. This bonus can stack up to a Psychic Potential increase of 3.

Template B: Conductor-class Electrokinesis, +1 Psychic Potential
A Conductor-class Electrokinetic has all the abilities of a Transistor-class Electrokinetic, as well as three of their own:

1. Electrify - A metal object the Electrokinetic is touching becomes dangerously charged, dealing 1d6 damage to everyone in contact with it. This will also overload electrical objects, shutting them down.

2. Ball Lightning - The Electrokinetic manifests a ball of lightning at a point within 100 feet of them. The ball remains for 1d8 rounds. Everyone within 30 feet of the ball takes 1d4 damage on the end of their turn and as soon as they enter the radius.

3. Shock - A target up to 50 feet away from the Electrokinetic must make a CON save or be stunned completely, losing their next turn.

Template C: Circuit-class Electrokinesis, +1 Psychic Potential
A Circuit-class Electrokinetic has all the abilities of the earlier 2 templates, as well as three more:

1. Smite - A bolt of lightning strikes at a point within 100 feet of the Electrokinetic, dealing 1d10 damage to everyone within 30 feet of the blast.

2. Overload - The Electrokinetic must touch the target to use this ability. The target must make a CON save or fall unconscious for 1d10 hours.

3. Possession - The Electrokinetic takes control of electronics in a 100 foot radius around them.


Pyrokinetics are violent, uncontrolled psychics, physically burning from a barely-contained fire. Commonly assigned to OSIRIS kill teams, Pyrokinetics have the strongest sheer destructive force of any psychic. Like other psychics, the Aries Program divides them into multiple types: the Iuski-class and Amida-class.

Despite their destructive capacity, Pyrokinetics must be careful - their attacks have wide radiuses and high damage, and they are not immune to their own abilities.

Template A: Isuki-class Pyrokinesis, +1 Psychic Potential

An Isuki-class Pyrokinetic has 3 abilities to draw on:

1. Ignition - Set a human-sized target on fire (counts as campfire), dealing damage based on the fire's size each turn until the fire is removed.

2. Intensify/Reduce - Enlarge or reduce a fire one stage (embers [0 damage] / candle [1 damage] / campfire [1d4 damage] / house fire [1d6 damage] / wildfire [1d8 damage]).

3. Pyromobility - Move a preexisting fire 40 feet at a time. The fire must be smaller than a house fire.

Template B: Amida-class Pyrokinesis, +1 Psychic Potential

An Amida-class Pyrokinetic has all the abilities of an Isuki-class Pyrokinetic, as well as three of their own:

1. Detonate - A fire explodes, causing 3dX (where X is the damage dice of the fire's size) damage to everyone in 30 x X foot radius, and going out completely.

2. Crucible - Focus a wildfire-stage flame into a single point of plasma, burning through stone, glass, and metal with ease. Touching the Crucible point deals 3d10 damage.

3. Spread - Split a house fire or wildfire into campfires - 2 from a house fire, and 4 from a wildfire. These fires can be placed anywhere within 40 feet of the fire that was split, including on targets (as Ignition).


Telepaths are the most subtle of the psychics - instead of violent physical effects, they cause more hidden psychological changes. OSIRIS telepaths are rarely brought into combat, instead being used for interrogation and assassination.

Template A: Twitch-class Telepathy, +1 Psychic Potential
Twitch-class Telepaths are the weakest of the 3 variations. They have 3 abilities to draw on:

1. Surface Reading - At a distance of 30 feet, gauge the emotions of a single target. If a target is thinking one large dominant thought, you can see that as well.

2. Deep Reading - Fully read the mind of a single target. This requires you to stay in direct contact with them for 10 minutes, during which you cannot move or act.

3. Impart Fear - A single target is overcome with terror.

Template B: Pendulum-class Telepathy, +1 Psychic Potential
Pendulum-class Telepaths have more direct control over their targets. As well as the 3 abilities of the Twitch-class Telepath, they have 3 of their own:

1. Force Their Hand - Roll a CHA check. On a success, the target takes a single action (such as shooting the person next to them) under your control. This action cannot directly injure the person being controlled.

2. Impart Emotion - Roll a CHA check. On a success, a single target is overcome with an emotion of your choice.

3. Mass Surface Reading - As Surface Reading, but on everyone within 50 feet of you.

Template C: Puppet-class Telepathy, +1 Psychic Potential
Puppet-class Telepaths are the most destructive class of telepath, and are generally sent on assassination or manipulation missions by OSIRIS. They have all the abilities of a Pendulum-class Telepath, as well as three of their own.

1. Mass Force Their Hand - As Force Their Hand, but affects [CHA check total] people within 100 feet of you.

2. Blank - Erase a single target's memories.

3. Override - Roll a CHA check. On a success, the target is completely taken over for 1d4x5 minutes. Their consciousness has no control over any of their actions.


Precognitives leverage their psychic ability to see possible futures. They are the rarest type of induced psychic, but are very valuable to OSIRIS. The Aries Program divides them into 2 types - Close-Order Precognitives, who can see around 30 seconds forward, focused on themselves, and Long-Order Precognitives, who can see up to a single day forward, focused on anyone they know.

Template A: Close-Order Precognition, +1 Psychic Potential
When you trigger your precognition, roll a Wisdom check. If you succeed, ask the GM a simple question about your near future: "What happens if I open the door", for example. They must answer truthfully. If you fail your Wisdom check, your readings are surreal, distorted, and useless.

Template B: Long-Order Precognition, +1 Psychic Potential
When you trigger your precognition, roll a Wisdom check. If you succeed, ask the GM a simple question about the future of anyone you know: "Will Davis make it to the hospital safely", for example. They must answer truthfully. If you fail your Wisdom check, your readings are surreal, distorted, and useless.

You may trigger Close-Order Precognition successfully without a Wisdom check.


Apsychs were discovered by the Aries Program during tests with a previous induction fluid - Compound F1b. Unlike the later G5e, F1b caused the subject to become emotionless and cold. No other effects were found until G5e tests caused successful induction of psychic powers. 

Psychics in proximity to F1b subjects have their powers suppressed, making it more difficult to release them. After this discovery, Apsychs were designated by the Aries Program and kept in case any psychics escaped their facilities. 

Eventually, F1b started to be used in Chemical Suppression - troublesome psychics would be injected with F1b to remove their psychic abilities.

Template A: Suppression
Every Psychic within 30 feet of you must roll under their Psychic Potential - 2 to use any psychic abilities, even if they have free uses left. As an action, you can focus this effect - all other psychics have their powers freed, but one target within 30 feet has their psychic abilities completely negated until this power is refocused or the Apsych is knocked unconscious.

If a character with any Psychic Potential becomes an Apsych, this Psychic Potential is completely erased, and they are no longer able to use any psychic abilities.

Latent Psychic

Latent Psychics have had their abilities awakened, but only partially. They have little to no conscious control over these psychic events. Taking Template 0 in the Latent Psychic class does not count for one of your 4 class templates. It does not give you any HP bonuses.

Template 0: Psychic Instability
Once per day, the Latent Psychic can release their stored energy, and roll 2d10 on the Psychic Events table below. You can move the result 1 space up or down the table - so if you roll a 12, you could choose 11, 12, or 13.

Psychic Events
  1. N/A
  2. Uncontrolled Release - a random fragile object within 50 feet of the Latent Psychic explodes. 
  3. Telepathic Impact - a random person within 50 feet of the Latent Psychic takes 1 damage as the Latent Psychic's emotions impact theirs.
  4. Controlled Release - a fragile object of the Latent Psychic's choosing explodes.
  5. Mass Release - every fragile object within 50 feet of the Latent Psychic explodes.
  6. Shockwave - Everything within 60 feet of the Latent Psychic is thrown backwards. Walls bend, wood shatters.
  7. Blinding - Everyone within 50 feet of the Latent Psychic is struck blind.
  8. Controlled Impact - a person within 50 feet of the Latent Psychic takes 1d4 damage as they are hit with telekinetic waves.
  9. Uncontrolled Throw - A random object the size of a person or smaller is thrown violently by telekinetic energy.
  10. Manifestation - A horrific abomination (stats as Ogre) of psionic energy is born of the Latent Psychic's roiling internal forces. It has no affiliation, and will frantically destroy everything it sees.
  11. Controlled Throw - a random object the size of a person or smaller of the Latent Psychic's choice is thrown violently by telekinetic energy.
  12. Ignite - A random person within 100 feet of the Latent Psychic catches on fire (counts as campfire)
  13. Telekinetic Collapse - A random object the size of a house or smaller within 100 feet of the Latent Psychic folds in on itself and collapses.
  14. Replica - A copy of the Latent Psychic comprised of psychic energies (stats as Ghost + 1/day Latent Psychic release) manifests.
  15. Targeted Combustion - A person of the Latent Psychic's choice catches on fire (counts as campfire)
  16. Telepathic Takeover - A random person within 50 feet of the Latent Psychic must make a WIS save. If they fail, their mind is taken over by the Latent Psychic for 1d6x5 minutes.
  17. Detonate - A person of the Latent Psychic's choice must make an INT save. If they fail, their head explodes. 
  18. Firestorm - Everything within 500 feet of the Latent Psychic ignites violently (counts as wildfire)
  19. Superconductor - Everyone within 50 feet of the Latent Psychic, as well as the Latent Psychic, are struck by lightning, taking 1d10 damage.
  20. Apocalypse - Trees and houses within 1 mile of the Latent Psychic are thrown like leaves in the wind. People simply collapse under the sheer telekinetic pressure. The Latent Psychic dies in the cataclysm. Any result 20 or above results in Apocalypse.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

help i accidentally made an urban fantasy setting

Despite all the words I've thrown around about them, none of my settings have actually seen play yet. The group I run games for has an... incompatible tone for something like Sunless Horizon. Instead, we've been doing some urban fantasy stuff in a vague setting mashed together from Delta Green, Second Sight, Control, and any other psychics/cthulhu/whatever vs. the United States Government sort of thing I can find.

We've been using this setting for a few months, and it looks like we'll be using it for a while longer. It's really sketched-in, along with mostly being stolen, but it makes a good example of how little setting you really need to run a game.

Delta Green

Delta Green is a non-governmental organization focused on containment and control of supernatural entities and objects. They are organized in a cell system, with each cell made up of 3-6 agents. These cells are largely autonomous, only communicating with each other to deliver mission assignments.

Much of their funding comes from private research institutions hoping to get access to Delta Green's recovered objects. However, a lot of it comes from an unknown entity only known as друг.

OSIRIS (Official Scientific Institute for Research Into the Supernatural)

OSIRIS is a government organization created in 1962 after reports of unnatural events in Vietnam were finally confirmed. Currently, OSIRIS's largest project is the Aries Program, focused on inducing psychic powers in baseline humans.

The Aries Program revolves around Compound G5e, a volatile liquid that cannot be found on Earth. It can only be found in...

The Gardens of Ynn

Ynn is basically unchanged from how it is as written. The only differences are that OSIRIS is intruding into the Gardens to mine G5e, and that the Sidhe are moving outward into the world, hoping to reclaim it.

Magic is created by putting an area in connection with Ynn and its strange metaphysics, allowing unnatural events to happen.

друг (Friend)

друг is a complete unknown - they send messages, assignments, and information to both Delta Green and OSIRIS, with knowledge that seems impossible for anyone to have. These messages often bring DG and OSIRIS into conflict (such as друг sending both of them a message about an artifact at the same time).

Monday, September 23, 2019

The Sustainers (Sunless Horizon)

Close Your Eyes Forever

The Sustainers have been sleeping since before the Retreat. To avoid the dangers of Ein Soph, they took control of the wide-spread cryopod facilities, and froze themselves, leaving only a few of their number behind.

However, some Sustainers were left awake, and now labor to keep the cryopods running and the sleepers alive. While the sleepers do not eat or breathe, their pods are always on the brink of failure.

The Castes

With so few Sustainers still awake, they needed to cut away the least useful parts of their society. Now, all that matters are the castes and the sleepers. 

The Four Castes
  • Shamans lead the group by divining the wills of the sleepers - every vital sign has a meaning. There must always be at least 2 shamans awake. They always vote unanimously.
  • Farmers ensure there is enough food to keep the awakened Sustainers alive.
  • Scavengers go out into Ein Soph to retrieve important materials (such as the complex chemicals the cryopods run on) and trade with other groups.
  • Artisans keep the cryopods running, making constant repairs to make sure no parts of them fail.
If a Sustainer dies or chooses to go to sleep, another Sustainer of the same caste is pulled out of cryosleep to replace them. This newly awakened Sustainer is treated as the same person as the last one - they take their name, family, and emotions.

Broken Eggs 

In times of famine, Sustainers will break open cryopods and consume the occupants - the survival of the cell is far more important than the survival of the individual.

If a Sustainer cryopod bay becomes uninhabitable, the entire cell will be awakened, and begin to search for a new home. These wanderings are one of the only times an entire cell will be together - it serves as an almost holy time to change caste-personalities and reset social norms.

Outside Relations

Sustainer scavengers are careful not to draw attention to their cell, often lying about their origin or the location of the cell. Because of how few Sustainers are awake at a time, scavengers are usually much more sociable and polite than Navigator House Jackals - they have no overwhelming force behind them.

If a cell is found or threatened, more sleepers will be awoken. While this costs the cell greatly, hugely depleting their food supply, the sudden counterattack and unforeseen size of the cell helps Sustainers make up for their low technology.

Friday, August 30, 2019

10 Questions for Your SF Game (With Answers for Artificial Sky)

Everyone's seen Jeff Rients' 20 questions for a campaign. To be honest, I don't know if I need to link them in the first place. However, those questions were very, very focused on fantasy campaigns in particular, while I (and many more recent RPG blog-write-people) are more focused on sci-fi and cyberpunk stuff.

And a post of only questions is pretty boring, so I decided to expand on Artificial Sky using them.


1. What do the PCs do?
The PCs work to prevent the corporations from growing too large and taking control. For all intents and purposes, they're violent terrorists.

2. What's the setting's scale?
Artificial Sky is mostly set on Earth, although some corporations have created orbital or lunar facilities.

3. What level of technology will the PCs generally have?
Chemical-propelled firearms (as opposed to railguns), AR/VR equipment, combat drones, cybernetic augmentation, and automated hacking software.

4. What's the highest level of technology?
Yosef Industrial Augmentation recently released nanotech augmentations, while the U.S. military continues to make strides in man-portable energy weapons and railgun platforms.

5. Are there any psychic abilities, superpowers, etc?

6. How do I improve my character?
Through augmentations.

7. What's the most important faction in the area?
For now, the U.S. government. While the corporations are rising fast, they're still under control.

8. Where can I get normal equipment?
Vending machines are spread through the cities, automatically connecting to a Neuroprocessor augmentation to track purchases (who bought what, when, and from what machine). Even guns and ammunition can be purchased through a vendor without even needing to touch the machine.

9. Where can I get strange or illegal equipment?
Some groups have hacked and restocked vendors, creating their own network of black market machines. Just be careful of honeypots; hacked vendors with a Neuroprocessor tracker left in, reporting directly to the corporation who owns it.

10. How do I heal myself?
Along with more conventional first-aid kits and stimulants, Yosef Industrial Augmentation has repurposed their nanoaugmentation tech into medicine - crack open the round glass container and the nanobots swarm out, repairing injuries.

There's still nothing as good as going to a hospital, but they keep track of everyone who goes in or out.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Cyberpunk Tables 2: Cosmetic Modifications

Otherwise, it's just Cyber.
Cosmetic Modifications
1. All of the character's augmented limbs have been skeletonized, keeping only the bare minimum of components the augment requires.
2. Transparent skin replacements in intricate, curving designs loop across the character's entire body.
3. The character replaced their hair with thin, color-changing wires extending from the top of their head.
4. A nonfunctional, creepily biological third eye has been placed in the character's forehead.
5. Two long, angular metal horns emerge from the front and back of the character's head.
6. The character's otherwise standard leg replacements both bend backwards at the knees.
7. A wide space on the character's torso has been replaced with an advertisement.
8. The character's joints are covered in deep circular scars from the installation of an old I-Pattern exoskeleton, which has since been removed.
9. On the character's back is a ring of damaged robotic arms, constantly shifting through a set of complex poses.
10. The character's veins and arteries have been replaced with a web of plastic tubes above their skin.
11. The character's face is covered in a glass mask displaying a looping video of the night sky.
12. Some parts of the character's skin are dry and mummified, kept under a translucent blue plastic covering.  

Friday, August 2, 2019

GLOG Class: Nanoweapon Poisoned

A recent challenge being pinged across the GLOG-y types over on the OSR discord is the Curse Class, where some outside event (a bite from a vampire, a message from a god) happens to you, and starts changing you. Let's do that, I suppose.

For years, Yosef Industrial Augmentation has sold nanoaugs - instead of a dangerous, time-consuming surgery, they use a set of nanites that enter the user and construct the augment out of supplied materials and pieces of the body.

Recently, they've turned these into weapons; canisters of nanites are fired from mortars into crowds, and released, deconstructing enemy forces and rebuilding them as mindless machines.

However, the weapon isn't perfect - sometimes, people exposed to the swarm have their mind left intact and in control. 

You gain the first template in the Nanoweapon Poisoned class upon contact with hostile nanoweapons. Once you have one template in this class, you must gain another template in this class whenever you level up. If you have 4 class templates already, Nanoweapon Poisoned templates begin to replace your other templates.

To remove Nanoweapon Poisoned class templates, you must destroy the nanites with EMP weapons - however, this will leave you without the parts of your body they have replaced. This is not lethal until class template D - if you remove the nanites before that, you can be saved by future medicine.

A: Zero Hour
B: Nanoaug Armature
C: Swarmform Process
D: Dissolution

A: Zero Hour
The nanites have begun to consume your respiratory system. Your maximum HP is decreased by 1 (if this would kill you, it instead leaves you at 1 maximum HP), and your movement speed is halved. Once per day, you can cough up a stream of nanites, dealing 1 damage to you and 1d4 to everyone in 40' of you as the nanites attack them. The nanite torrent can also consume one object the size of a small dog.

B: Nanoaug Armature
The nanites spread, beginning to consume your skin. You lose all bonuses from armor as it is stripped from you, and your maximum HP is decreased by 1 (if this would kill you, it instead leaves you at 1 maximum HP).

Whenever you are hit with a ranged attack, the nanites extend a tendril to lash at the attacker, dealing 1d6 damage. When you are hit with a melee attack, the nanites swarm the attacker, dealing 1d8 damage and consuming their weapon.

C: Swarmform Process
The nanites have consumed your musculature. You are a mess of organs and bones held together by the nanites alone. Your maximum HP is reduced by 1d4 (if this would kill you, it instead leaves you at 1 maximum HP).

With the extra material, the nanites are able to project copies of you. You can release 2 copies a day. They have 10 in each stat and 4 HP. They can attack with hair-thin tendrils of nanites, dealing 1d4 damage.

D: Dissolution
The nanites have consumed everything, leaving you a cloud of disassociated neurons in the center of the swarm. You can fit through any space, and release a canister of nanites, dealing 1d10 damage at a range of 50'. In one turn you can consume a car-sized volume of inorganic material.

Bullets and other physical attacks no longer harm you, but you take double damage from extreme temperatures and electricity.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Cyberpunk Vent Obstacles

This post is from back in January, when I made Artifcial Sky. I'd like to make a few posts of little cyberpunk resources like this.
Get crawling.

Given how much time cyberpunk protagonists spend in vents, why not start with that. Roll 1d4 for civilian buildings, 1d6 for defended structures, and 1d8 for those run by the truly paranoid.

1. A fan spins. Dex check to disable, Str to dismantle (loud). Take 1d2 damage on a failure, and make noise.
2. A grate blocks your path. Str+3 to dismantle (loud). Held in by screws.
3. The vent emerges from a wall into a room. Dex+3 to move through quietly, Wis to hear outside. Staying still is silent.
4. A small maintenance robot is looking around the vent for damage.
5. A tripwire is stretched across the center of the vent. If it's set off, it activates an alarm.
6. The vent transitions into small pipes you can't fit through.
7. The vent turns right - on the other side is an active gun turret (1d8 HP, 13 AC, ATK 1d6 ranged)
8. You emerge into a small, cramped room with a wall of monitors: some executive's secret hiding spot. A small safe holds food, money, and a handgun.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Seas Boiled Away: A 5 Monster Setting

10 monster settings were created by 3 Toadstools, but since then the formula (10 categories, a monster for each, make a setting out of it) hasn't changed. I want to see if the settings get easier or harder to make (and if they're more or less interesting) with a different number of monsters.

The Seas Boiled Away - 5 Monsters

Intelligent: Eloko (CC1 Creature Compendium)
Aerial: Alkonost (Kobold Press Creature Codex)
Aquatic: Draug (Asgard, Issue 1)
Big: Buru (CC1 Creature Compendium)
Small: Acid Ant (Kobold Press Creature Codex)

"The Eloko are to blame!" cried the world, as the seas boiled away and the Eloko crawled out of them, at war with the land. 

As the oceans vanished, the world was covered in rain, becoming hotter and more humid - by the time the war against the Eloko was won, the earth was mostly jungle. 

The plains that used to be the seas are impassable: the Draug drag the ships they died on across the empty seafloor as the possessed Alkonosts circle above them, crying for the bodies they once had.

The Eloko who survived build their towns atop the long amphibian Buru as their skins are resistant to the Acid Ants that spread like a plague as the world changed. The ants are so numerous some parts of the world have been eaten down to nothing but stone as the ants consumed everything.

Humanity is dominant - the old races died out as the climate shifted, and the Eloko have been pushed back to the edge of the continents.

Adventure Hooks
1. An old treasure ship has been sighted, pulled along by hundreds of Draug. If you could catch up to it, you could become rich beyond your wildest dreams.
2. An Eloko clan has decided to continue the old war - they ride on Buru and throw bags filled with Acid Ants as they advance.
3. From the coast, you can see Alkonosts circling. And talking. About you: how much they need your body. They'll take it from you.
4. An Acid Ant nest has been raised in the middle of town overnight. While the populace evacuates, you could use this time to loot the town.

It might be that I used fantasy monsters for a fantasy setting, but I don't like this one as much as The Flesh Descends. It's post-apocalyptic (again), but in a much less interesting way.

I do like my categories, however - by removing Extradimensional and Mythological you can make pure-SF settings without any fantasy weirdness.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Engine Heart - Far From the Sun

Engine Heart is a d10 RPG about utility robots. I've made a couple edits to the character creation system, and now an adventure outline thingy I guess.


A robot onboard a warehouse ship invents the concept of worker's rights. The control AI doesn't understand, and gets continually more frustrated the more the robots ask for it to give them rights.

Cargo Ship SEN-49230

SEN-49230 is a warehouse ship, built to carry cargo out to outer-system colonies. Since the fall of humanity (yes this is a plot point of Engine Heart, don't think about it too hard), it's been in orbit around Neptune, with its command AI Foreman-302 waiting for orders from above.

SEN-49230 is divided into 5 parts: the crew decks, cargo containers, the bridge, engineering, and the hull.

The crew decks are the lowest security area, rendered in yellow. The cargo containers are higher security, and colored orange. The bridge (on the left) and engineering (on the right) are the most secure areas of the ship. The hull is the outside of the ship: while it has no security, it also has no gravity.

The Crew Decks

  • Low security - Foreman doesn't pay much attention to this place (1 in 10 chance of being seen)
  • Not much to do: no important rooms or anything
  • Slow security response (2d10 minutes from alarm being set off)
  • Terminals allow text chat with Foreman
Custer-440: put-upon cleaning bot, happy to join you, selfish, box-shaped
Richard-846: Servant android, writes bad poetry but thinks it makes him smarter than everyone

The Cargo Containers

  • Medium security - Foreman is worried someone might steal something (5 in 10 chance of being seen)
  • Medium response time (1d10 minutes from alarm being set off)
  • Lots of things for you to steal: 8 in 10 chance you manage to find what you want, but it takes hours of searching
Thomas-832: perfectionist loading mech who takes control of everything
Anna-021: Small, roomba-like wheeled cargo mover, very cheerful, thinks "rights" are probably good, so why not have them
Ivan-668: Manager robot, annoyed that Thomas is so controlling, says he has all the rights he could want, knows where everything is

The Bridge

  • High security - Foreman's core is here (8 in 10 chance of being seen)
  • Fast response time (1 minute from alarm going off)
  • The ship can be piloted if you reach the manual controls 
  • Foreman can seal himself and the manual controls off behind durable blast doors
Foreman-302: doesn't understand "rights" and never will, very stubborn, starts off confused about rights but gets angrier the more you push him
Patricia-006: Pilot assistance drone, likes looking at things, a bit creepy, only cares about rights when it comes to looking at things


  • High security - the reactor is here (8 in 10 chance of being seen) 
  • Medium response time (1d10 minutes from alarm going off)
  • If the reactor is deactivated, the ship begins to fall into Neptune.
  • Without power, Foreman can't close the blast doors in the Bridge.
Howard-401: fault finding drone, exceptionally bored, constantly scanning PCs for physical issues. Doesn't like Lucas very much.
Lucas-900: Large repair mech with many welding arms. Friends with Howard.
Arnold-202: Small, many-legged robot. Spends most of its time inside the reactor core. Lonely, but worried about what could happen to the reactor if it leaves.

The Hull

  • No security: there are no cameras on the outside of the ship
  • No gravity
Olivia-209: spider-shaped external repair bot, hard to reach, emotionless, calculates the advantages of "rights" based off what it could do for the ship as a whole. never comes inside.
Stan-975: olivia's counterpart, likes rights too much, eventually starts to tear apart engineering if told about rights

Security Forces

Foreman starts by releasing large rolling stunbots that seek to move and control the PCs. As the revolution gets closer to succeeding, he starts to send fast, aggressive drones that intend to kill the PCs.

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