Monday, August 19, 2019

An Examination of the Courts of the Fae: Gravity and Tea-Time

The Fae Courts of Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter are the most well known Major Courts. But there are many more.

All of them will greet you with open arms. All of them will be polite. All will try to use you.

The Fae Court of Gravity

Copyright Paizo
A powerful court not prone to the same transitions of power suffered by what they view as the inferior courts of weather and seasons. Their influence does remain frustratingly limited over such places as the Astral Sea, Elemental Plane of Air, and over what they call "Cursed Featherfolk" (Angels)


source
Fae members of the Court of Gravity skew towards squat, heavy-set figures or stretch tall and freakishly thin. They tend to be impeccably well dressed, making tailored suits and dresses from the substance between the stars.

They want: To laugh as you fall from great heights. To watch you drop things on their enemies. They want you to capture the Bird Monarchs, alive, so that they may renegotiate the terms of their contract. They want you to sabotage the Thaumonaut's research, so that the gravity-well may not be breached again.

Their gifts: Flightless-bird mounts, which they had bred specifically to spite their winged and clever kin. Gravity grenades. Staffs or wands that summon black holes. Submarines or other methods to survive crushing depths and environments. Silk made from the blackness between stars. Hammers or clubs that are impossibly dense, making them strike with unimaginable force and practically unwieldable by all but their owner. Information on the secret empire that spread beyond the stars. They may be bullied to grant methods of flight in extreme circumstances, but these are notoriously unreliable.

Their Displeasure and Curses: Making you lopsided, clumsy, and likely to trip. Cursing your feet to never leave the ground at the same time, not even to jump. The hostility of all flightless birds you encounter.

Their Leader is: The King of Stars, a conscious black hole.

The Court is difficult to find. Birds and Bees might know of a portals location on the Material Plane if you can speak to them, but they don't wish to risk the wrath of the Court should you show yourself to be an unwelcome guest there. Gates might be conjured through paradoxical places of gravity, such as collecting two tons of feathers and steel on each end of a large scale. Neutron Stars always lead to the Court of Gravity if you can survive the trip.

The Fae Court of Tea-Time


Traders and diplomats who influence grand political discourse and trade across the realms. "Tea-Time" is the modern eras designation of the hour associated with rest, discourse, politics, backstabbing, rumor-mongering, trade, and poison. A "young" court, in the comparative sort of way that they've only been around since the First Nap. While their influence does not wax and wane in the predictable sort of fashion as the Courts of Seasons, they hold no power over wild beasts or druid types. They thus despise undomesticated animals and druids of all sort, and their powers weakens as the Material Plane embraces savagery. They are bitter enemies with the Court of Apocalypse, but act as messengers and neutral ambassadors for many other Fae Courts.

Fae members of the Court of Tea-Time tend to look deceptively mundane. They have an air of familiarity. Upon seeing them you swear you might swear you have met them at a family reunion or a cousin's party. Many appear regal, or elderly. Still others disguise themselves as butlers and maids. Surprisingly, there is no uniform dress code or fashion. Ragged clothing and strange, exotic, and outdated fashions are just as prevalent as impeccable dress. There are no visual indicators of status here, and it is quite easy to insult someone important accidentally. This is by design. Do not trust your eyes in the Court of Tea-Time.

They want: To have tea with you and discuss the weather in refined and polite discourse. For you to mandate laws keeping the hour of tea-time in the kingdom. For you to venture into the Plate of Spices to secure more trade routes, caravans, and tea varieties. For you to assassinate their rivals with poison, undetected.  For you to just relax and take a nap more often. For you to entertain their boorish relatives at a family gathering in their place. For you to serve them as a Cafe Princess.

Their gifts: Enchanted Tea. Poisons. Drugs. Accouterments that improve how others receive you. Cursing your rivals. Sentient,

Their Displeasure and Curses: All drink turns bitter and vile in your mouth. A cursed slumber. Sending you to Wonderland. Forcing you to have tea with an unpleasant relative of theirs in their place. Turning you mad. Taking away your ability to tell time.

Their Leader is: Unknown. Nicknamed The Rumour, as they may not exist. One of the butlers or elderly appearing members are the prime suspects.

The Court is easy to find if you learn the name of any one of their many members. During the local cultures designated tea-time, simply partake of an expensive brew at a local cafe and utter the words "I heard a rumour concerning (name of Court member" and one of their rivals will appear to listen. The rumour need not have any truth to it. If the summoned Fae finds your rumour adequate, they will give you an invitation to visit them in the Court of Tea-Time, complete with instructions to find it.









Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Kino-Kiid (Weird Myconids)

(This is a repost of my worldanvil article here. Sorry for the weird formatting)

Trigger Warning: Body Horror

The Horror of the Kino-Kiid

They're so cute don't u just wanna EAT THEM UP (source)


Also called "Myconids", Kino-kiid are strange mushroom-folk native to the dark swamps and caves of Centras.

Unlike other sentient species, they are singular in their purpose, which is to BE EATEN. They are born with the knowledge that in order to go to Mushroom-Heaven, they must be CONSUMED. Every action they take is therefore in pursuit of this goal, and this single-mindedness makes them easy to manipulate as slaves and as a food-source.

However, those who would comply with their request to be eaten must deal with a strange quirk of the species- any individual kino-kiid has a random chance of being extremely poisonous and/or hallucinogenic. It is especially unhelpful that all kino-kiid taste the same and that the effect and onset time of their mycotoxins can vary wildly from gastrointestinal upset to liver failure to ergotism to coprinus syndrome. The kino-kiid are incapable of understanding this possibility of harm.

ORIGIN


Kino-kiid are a very obvious and embarrassing mistake of whichever deity created them. Clerics of nearly all religions have an embarrassing creation story for Kino-kiid involving the stupid mistake of a rival deity attempting to answer the prayers of some starving nation or population. Even powerful divine petitions and divination spells have yielded conflicting answers to the question of their creation, further adding to what academics call the "mushroom conspiracy"- a series of wild theories about Kino-kiid origins and the implications of their existence.

EFFECT OF CONSUMPTION


Kino-kiid always taste like a delicious mushroom. However, consumption outside of a controlled environment is typically avoided by anyone who knows about the dangers of consuming these creatures. Animals will actively avoid consuming kino-kiid, and so kino-kiid will typically seek out sentient beings that they can trick or bargain into eating them. The most common dangers of consumption are as follows:


  1. No Effect- The kino-kiid is delicious, though the eating experience can be disturbing to those unused to the loud cries of rapturous glee that emanate from the kino-kiid as it is chewed
  2. Hallucinations- Kino-kiid are sometimes psychotropic hallucinogens that cause the consumer to have vivid hallucinations with varying degrees of pleasantness. Kino-kiid hallucinations are sometimes addictive and may be specifically sought out by wizards or philosphers who wish to expand their consciousness to learn the secrets of the universe. Some hallucinations may cause permanent shifts in personality or artistic creativity, resulting in what some religions call Soul Death
  3. Gastrointestinal Upset- Severity varies but is only rarely life threatening by itself.
  4. Coprinus Syndrome - Effects only take place after the consumption of alcohol within a week period. Severity is proportionate to the amount of alcohol consumed, but ranges from extreme malaise to death
  5. Death - Typically by toxic shock. Can be immediate or days later, exact causes ranging from brain death to heart or kidney failure
  6. Death, but worse - Cordyceps grow into your brain and kill you slowly. Rise as a semi-conscious mushroom zombie.


MUSHROOM HEAVEN/HELL


Planeswalkers and powerful wizards have confirmed that Mushroom-Heaven is, indeed, a very real and terrifying place. It is dark, damp, and filled with the screams of the damned as they are devoured by colossal mushroom aberrants. It is theorized that kino-kiid souls are in constant ecstasy as their spores spread and they are given the chance to CONSUME instead of being consumed. Mushroom-Heaven doubles as one of the many Hells for religious creatures- the gods can be efficient when they wish to be.

Author's Note: It has been observed by these same planeswalkers that the realm of Mushroom-Heaven is expanding at a slow but steady rate, and if trends continue then Mushroom-Heaven may begin to collide with regular-old Heaven which may end quite poorly for everyone involved.

If you somehow completely destroy a Kino-kiid (a rather difficult prospect without fire or acid as their souls can inhabit even a single one of their spores) then it goes to Mushroom-Hell. Unlike Mushroom-Heaven, no Planeswalker has actually been to Mushroom-Hell. It is known that killing a kino-kiid may cause it to haunt it's killer, who will forever be victim to a never-ending mandrake-like scream until they end their own life.

WHY HAVEN'T THEY BEEN EXTERMINATED



  • Location


Thankfully, most kino-kiid populations are kept in check by the lack of available things to be CONSUMED by. Their natural habitats are limited to swamps and caves and other places without much sunlight, though if the species ever adapted to more arid climates then nearly all species on Centras would be at risk.


  • Spells

Kino-kiid shamans have unique spells and will trade them in order to be consumed. Wizards and witches alike are unsure exactly how kino-kiid obtain these spells, as kino-kiid don't have the strength or organization for traditional ley-line mining nor do they have the spirit needed to petition the land for these spells directly.

The spells don't seem to care and show up anyway.

Kino-kiid illusion spells of all types are hallucinogenic. They seem tactile and will work on the blind and visually impaired, a feature not present in more traditional wizard-college bred illusion spells.

Kino-kiid necromancy spells are never able to raise the dead, but can always commune with them (no chance of spell failure or spirit rejection). Some of their necromancy spells are quite good at rotting flesh as well.

Finally, all kino-kiid shaman have at least one spell that causes gastrointestinal discomfort for the target.


  • Farms


Kino-kiid are efficient workers who are easy to deceive. Occasionally, societies and cultures who coexist in their native habitats will take advantage of this fact to "farm" Kino-kiid as both a food-source and a work-force.


    • Warning: Rebellion


Mold Toes Law- If enough kino-kiid in close proximity remain uneaten for a certain period of time, they will eventually rebel

The closest thing to a kino-kiid rebellion would be a plague of semi-sentient locust. They will force themselves down the throat of any species, and though they are not individually very strong their sheer numbers and endurance can wear down even the burliest of cave-lords. In their rebellion state, kino-kiid also seem less able to tell the difference between a mouth and other orifices on a humanoid body and will force themselves into a host by whatever means they can, including carving new holes directly into a creatures stomach.

The result of kino-kiid rebellion is always the same, a tidal wave of destruction that wipes out any creatures in it's path, leaving only corpses and the shrieks of pleas to "EAT USS" echoing against cave walls and dark trees.

BASIC INFORMATION


Anatomy & Morphology

Kino-kiid resemble a mushroom with at least two arms and legs that allow for awkward locomotion and the manipulation of objects. They rarely live longer than a single year and grow up to child-size. They have no teeth or mouth but usually have creases that vaguely resemble "eyes". They produce verbal sounds by vibrating their soul-essence which allows them to be universally understood by creatures with language.

Genetics and Reproduction

Kino-kiid reproduce after being digested. Dung or corpses containing traces of kino-kiid will grow 3-5 new kino-kiid as long as appropriate amounts of darkness and moisture are met.

Growth Rate & Stages

Kino-kiid pods resemble normal mushrooms but eventually grow faces and limbs, gaining sentience and breaking off from their birthing place after around 10 days of expulsion or death of the host.

Ecology and Habitats

Kino-kiid thrive in and prefer locations with plenty of darkness and moisture.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION


Social Structures

They don't understand the idea of a permanent social structure, but will organize into "swarms" if they understand they have the chance to overwhelm a potential consumer. Additionally, 1-in-12 kino-kiid are born as what others call "shamans" though this is a phrase that is criticized for it's anthropomorphism. "Shaman" Kino-kiid have the ability to cast spells and can sometimes show a knack for tactics and long-term planning, though their thought processes are still alien compared to any fully sentient creature.

Uses, Products & Exploitation


  • Food Source


For the rare cave-civilization or swamp-metropolis, kino-kiid farms are a disturbing fact of life. While those in power will always use servants as food tasters to test the effect of a particular kino-kiid and avoid poisoning themselves, those in poverty often simply have to risk death by mycotoxin if they wish to avoid certain death by starvation.


  • Workers


Kino-kiid can be exploited for labor, as they are easily deceived and will almost always perform tasks for anyone who promise to eat them at the tasks end. Though not particularly strong, they don't tire easily and thus can be used to plow fields, pick crops, or tend to kino-kiid farms.




  • Average Intelligence

Child-like. However, due in part to their single-minded drive to be CONSUMED, Kino-kiid are unable to understand certain basic societal ideas such as empathy, suffering, shame, freedom, or that their actions can cause harm or pain.


  • Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Kino-kiid have no eyes but can sense atmospheric disturbances in a 30 foot radius around their being and can commune with other kino-kiid up to a mile away to share information seamlessly.


  • WARNING: Parasitic organisms

Due to the combination of their desire to be CONSUMED, the possibility of death or harm to the consumer, and the rapid speed at which they can procreate, kino-kiid are typically considered a parasitic species.



CIVILIZATION AND CULTURE

Naming Traditions

They have no concept of individualism or names, though their Shamans are sometimes given names by others. Some relatively famous shamans include "Rotting Staff" or "Moldy Shoe".

Taboos

They consider it unforgivable for you to not have already eaten them, but will forgive you if you begin to do so. Expect proclamations of glee, worship, and ecstasy from the moment you cook them to when they are finally swallowed and go silent.

Interspecies Relations and Assumptions

Difficult. They just want to be eaten and don't care what they have to do to get you or anything else to eat them.





Running Them In Your RPG Of Choice


Kino-kiid are purposefully disturbing and probably aren't for everyone's table, but for those who might enjoy putting them in their RPG game of choice I wanted to add some notes.

Kino-kiid are basically reverse-"Mr. Meseeks". Their existence is singular and painful and they want to end it as soon as possible. When they speak, their voices are grating and annoying and repetitive, switching between either constant cries to be eaten or shrieks of glee.

Their existence rides a line between being extremely dangerous and potentially useful. A cunning adventuring party could potentially turn them into a powerful weapon capable of wiping out entire cities- they just have to be far away when the rebellion finally happens.

The first time the party encounters one it should be trying to force open one of the character's jaws in their sleep (they don't understand that creatures might suffocate before swallowing them and that they wouldn't get to go to mushroom-heaven). If captured it will obey orders faithfully, as long as it's given a promise to be eaten once it's task is completed (they will typically perform tasks faithfully for up to one month before wandering off or growing enraged, pouting like a toddler and refusing to do more tasks unless you start eating them NOW) As an enemy, they have the same stats as regular myconids, but they are always easy to deceive and untiring. If you cut one in half it'll still crawl around and try to convince you to eat it, though the immediate threat might be gone. They also tend to make tons of noise and thus make good "guards" for organizations or hideouts.

If you try and use them to make rations, the rations will still speak to you and get progressively louder until you finally eat them. They don't make good companions for anyone wanting to be stealthy but can make good distractions.

Quest Hooks: Their spells might be useful to overcome a specific obstacle, and the hallucinogenic ones are worth alot of gold to addicts, wizards, and philosophers.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Adventuring Good Dogs

Haven't posted in a bit~ here, have some Good Bois.



Dungeon Beagle- Small but very loud hunting hound. Can cast knock by howling and barking for an entire dungeon turn (about 10 minutes). Impossible to cage and very difficult to train, but respond well to treats and ear scratches. Breeders are rare and specialized.

Fencing Hound- One of the Sword-Wizards most curious inventions in the recent years. Can wield a variety of blades effectively using only it's teeth. Independent and protective. Mercenary companies will sometimes "lend" out their trained Fencing Hounds to adventuring groups for a slightly cheaper rate than a man-at-arms. While the mercenary hounds are quite capable fighters, their lack of hands and bipedal legs can come at a disadvantage in the strange environments that dungeoneers often find themselves in.




Wraith Boxer- Large white dogs with a curious mutation: each one is deaf, and they can hurt ghosts. Breeders of Wraith Boxers tend to have a regional variation of hand-signed commands that they use to train the playful and energetic dogs. They are fantastic ghost-hunters and their immunity to a banshee's killing screech has made them popular companions for those looking to scavenge the places where those haunts may lurk. Some rare and expensive cross-breeds can smell magic auras or demons as well.



Samson's Mastiff- Look like a 200 pound mop with legs. Blessed with impossible strength and youth as long as their hair is uncut and they don't come into physical contact with the dead. Also possess a strange wisdom regarding battle-tactics, riddles, and chess. Several of the generals during the Age of Swords were in fact armored mastiffs. Incredibly rare and practically sentient. Many societies would equate forced bondage of a Samson's Mastiff to slavery.

Like this handsome boy but with dreadlocks




Design notes:

Dungeon Beagles - I enjoy giving players tools with drawbacks. A repeatable knock effect is pretty powerful but being super noisy seems like an appropriate limiter- though it would be hilarious if some players could figure out how to use this to break into a mansion or something. Based off my own beagle, who continuously figures out inexplicable ways to escape any enclosure.

Fencing Hound - Sif doggos. I like giving granular options for hirelings. Fencing Hounds would be somewhere on the price scale between "random lamp-holder hobo" and "semi-capable man-at-arms" and also give some interesting flavor to the world.

Wraith Boxer - Fairly straightforward but specific skill set. If a location has a banshee problem then maybe get a few of these to help. Their teeth should be able to effect ghost-type-things just fine.

Samson's Mastiff - Haven't gotten to play wargroove yet but I like the dog general. Heavily based off ArnoldK's Brynth Hounds and the biblical Nazarite.  Maybe it's a surprise boss, or a Really Good Dog with a Strength score of 20 as long as it meets the criteria mentioned. The "can't touch dead" restriction should probably only extend to sentient humanoids and undead.

See Dans excellent list at Throne of Salt for even more good dogs.


Sunday, May 19, 2019

10 Monster Setting - Dreadshores

(All of the creatures I chose come from Paizo's Bestiary 3, made for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game).

Pick a semi-intelligent humanoid (could be goblins, ape men, subhumans, etc.). - Pukwudgie
Pick an undead. - Sea Bonze
Pick a giant/ogre/troll race. - Hekatonkheires
Pick a type of great wyrm or lizard. - Grootslang
Pick something aerial. - Stymphalidies
Pick something to lurk in the water. - Globster
Pick something from another dimension (demon, gith, illithid). - Grodair
Pick an ancient fey race. - Rusalka
Pick a classic creature from Greek mythology (medusa, satyr, minotaur, etc.). - Faun
Pick some foul crawly thing that infests the underworld - Sea Anenome

Copyright Wizards of the Coast


The Dreadshore is a bleak and misty place. Humanity clutches to the rotted, barely habitable shores of the poisoned waters of the Rotlake.

Pukwudgies - Goblin-like creatures who crawl from the Rotlake. Covered in Sea-Urchin spines that animate any humans they kill into zombies. Treated as pests of the worst sort and the reason that inhabitants of Dreadshore go out of their way to kill any sea urchins they find on the off chance they could be pukwudgie eggs. Pukwudgies constantly steal from and harass human settlements.

Sea Bonze - Strange, ethereal undead who haunt any boats still upon the Rotlake after nightfall. Known to offer strange games of chance or riddles to sailors on the promise of not sinking their vessels. The reason why no business is done on the Rotlake after sunset.

Hekatonkheires - The many armed colossal mutants who stalk the fields on the boundary of the Dreadshores. Eat humans. Their presence prevent travel further inland, keeping humanity trapped on the Dreadshores.

Grootslang - Strange cross between an elephant seal and a snake. Venomous tusks combined with monstrous strength makes even simple travel impossible when they swarm to the shores during their mating season. However, their blubber is an important source of fuel for industry and helps stave off the killing frost of winter.

Stymphalidies - Man-eating giant pelican-cranes with metallic feathers. Hunted by humans known as Fletchers who use their feathers to make weapons. An important resource of the Dreadshore, as there are no mines or other reliable sources of metal.

Globster - Foul elementals made from the Rotlake itself. Form when too much refuse and corpses collect into a single part of the Lake. Junk-trawlers work tirelessly to prevent them from spawning and sell any usable scrap in one of the many shore markets.

Grodair - A strange, inter-dimensional mutant fish that crawls on tentacles made of purified water. A bulbous, magical sac pulsates from beneath its spine. This organ can contain thousands of gallons of fresh water. Schools of Grodair will often appear somewhere along the Dreadshore and attempt to lazily make their way into the Rotlake. Grodair are absolutely vital to the citizens of Dreadshore as their magical sacs are the only source of drinkable water.  Hunters called Morticians carefully kill and extract Grodair water-organs without rupturing them, as doing so would waste the precious water and can cause a disastrous flood.

Rusalka - Strange, beautiful creatures also known as the Drowned Folk. Come in two varieties. The first are savage cave-dwelling witches who sometimes offer dark pacts of protection for one of the lonely towns on the Dreadshore. The second are cruel nobles who ride in carriages drawn by all manner of monstrous rot-lake mutants. Sometimes, desperate would-be heroes will attempt to rob the carriage of a Rusalka, as legend has it that their jewelry can grant the wearer powerful magical abilities.

Fauns - A cross between a satyr and a mermaid. Descendants of the Capricorn and one of the only sane creatures able to dwell in the waters of the Rotlake. Rarely ever interact with humans. Their tears are said to be an important ingredient to creating a Philosopher's Stone.

Sea Anemones - The underwater caves of the Rotlake are said to possess many treasures, but the every Diver knows the dangers they possess. The anemones within produce a strange, powerful hallucinogen that makes those affected see only the welcoming arms of their most beloved- instead of the toxic lashes of these skeletal horrors.


Copyright Wizards of the Coast




The Humans of Dreadshore

What they look like: Somber. Muscular. Long, clumped, gray hair covered in salt and brine. Men usually have unkempt beards. Almost everyone smokes a pipe.

What they wear: Long raincoats. Heavy boots. Head coverings of either a tricorne cap or a hood.


What they sound like: Efficient. Pragmatic. Words are whispered if close or shouted over the crashing waves. No evocative or romantic phrases.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

My First Dungeon Contest



So I made this with a friend for the One Page Dungeon Contest~



Some Thoughts On The Process

  • It is very, very difficult to make content look nice on one page when you have no experience doing so
  • Having even one person to work with creatively can help with motivation and fill in any gaps in the creative process. I can't draw, so it was super cool to be able to submit something with any original art at all
  • With as long as I've been GMing (about a decade now) it's still weird for me to put together something so formal onto paper for other people to read and GM. Almost all of my content for personal games has been a mish-mosh of disorganized notes and scribbled margins, so having something I've "finished" and can look at as "complete" is weird.

Some Hooks for the Tree

  • Goblin Raiders with weird looking gear have been harassing the villagers. Go put a stop to em. What, you want to be paid?? Fine, we'll give you a silver for every goblin head you bring back.
  • Someone important, maybe the King, is dying. Their shifty looking vizier says you can find the cure to their mysterious illness by killing the Leech-Lich
  • A Wizard wants to study some gravity magic and is putting out a Wytch-Guard Contract. The terms: Don't let their apprentice die while they study the Firefly Heart. They'll probably have to get pretty close to find anything substantial. As a bonus, they'll trade some junk spells for any preserved wild-life adventurers bring back.



Wednesday, April 3, 2019

GLOG Parasite-Race-as-Class Challenge

There was a challenge on the OSR Discord to make a Parasite-as-Class so...here we go.
Links to the other competitors:

Oblidisideryptch, Micah, Type1Ninja, James Young, Coalfiber, Lexi, Isaak Hill, Chuffer, Martin OWizards, and Wr3cking8a11

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Rome apparently had some people who would live off the hospitality of others. Brood Parasitism is when a parasite relies on others to raise its young- like Cuckoos. This race/class is a combination of some of those Social Parasite roles.

-----

The Cuckoo Folk have no recorded history of their own. Named after the enterprising and parasitic avian species, the Cuckoo Folk aren't involved in the upbringing of their own young. As such, they have no family structure or culture of their own, instead living off the hospitality of others.

They accomplish this through the use of unique pheromones exuded by their species. These pheromones elicit a peculiar reaction in the species' chosen "host"- they are treated as a close relative or family member, regardless of available evidence to the contrary.

Cuckoo Folk "hosts" will often brush aside even overwhelming evidence with casual remarks such as "They've always lived with us"- and if pressured further the hosts will eventually react with hostility towards the accuser. Host affection is so strong that a parent figure will choose to feed the Cuckoo Folk Parasite over their own children.

Cuckoo Folk appear to their host groups as member of the same species with a close family resemblance. To others outside their chosen groups, they appear as slender, pale figures whose only distinct feature is the moth-like antennae that sprout from their heads. They are also hairless, and tend to dress in cloaks and clothing that disguise their features so as to avoid suspicion when interacting with those other than their hosts.

There are limitations to the abilities of the Cuckoo Folk. Cuckoo Folk are limited to the number of designated "hosts" that they can manage at once, and as a result will typically limit themselves to interacting solely within a single "social circle" made up of their hosts - also called their Brood. Cuckoo Folk pheromone effects are occasionally known to fail to work in those without positive family structures- such as the rare orphan.


Due to their unique abilities, it is unknown exactly how many Cuckoo Folk live among the greater populace.

Art by Doodle & Dragons

Cuckoo Folk

Starting Equipment: See Brood
Starting Skill: d3 1. Pickpocketing 2. Hiding 3. (Brood)

A: Brood, Social Parasite, Familial Manipulation
B: +1 Brood, Muscle Mimicry
C: +1 Brood, Gray Man
D: +1 Brood, Alpha Cuckoo

For Every Template: +1 Charisma


Brood: At first level, choose or roll randomly to determine your Brood. You have advantage on Charisma checks made when interacting with members of your Brood, and they consider you to be and treat you like a close friend or family member, even if you have never met before. You gain access to an additional Brood you choose with each Cuckoo Folk template.

Social Parasite: Once per month, you may roll on the Carousing table for free as you mooch off of the hospitality of others. If a party member gains experience points from Carousing, you may gain an equal number of experience points without having to spend any money.

Familial Manipulation: During downtime, you may choose to live in the home of one of your Brood. If you do so, you do not have any downtime costs and do not have to pay for food or other daily expenses. Certain Broods may be able to offer other services as well, and will do so at cost or even for free if that is something they would do for a close friend or family member.

Muscle Mimicry: You can perfectly emulate a learn-able ability after seeing it performed once. You can only remember how to copy one thing at a time. Since spells are living, metaphysical beings that live inside brains you can't "copy" them, but this ability does apply to other magical effects such as rituals as long as you witness them being performed to completion.

Gray Man: You can temporarily "disappear" into a group of three or more. Onlookers, even those outside of your Brood, will not recognize you and you will be treated as if you belonged to the group as a whole. This ability can be used to blend in to any group you choose, but members of the group may recognize your true nature if they are not a member of your Brood. This ability lasts as long as each group member is within five paces of one another or until one of the group members speaks to you directly.

Alpha Cuckoo: Your pheromones are no longer limited to your Brood. You can always choose to appear as a close friend or family member to everyone in sight, and will escape suspicion even in the most unlikely of situations. You can walk into secret meetings and dine at the table of kings without anyone being the wiser. Members of your Brood will treat you as they would treat a trusted superior rather than a close friend or family member.

The fat one is you in bird form

d20 Broods 



Brood (Equipment, Skill)
1Nomadic Group of Traveling Musicians (Fiddle, Music)
2Clergy of Major Religious Organization (Holy Symbol, Religion)
3Cult (Heretical Holy Text, Religion)
4Knitting Circle of Wealthy Elderly Women (Knitting Needles, Diplomacy)
5Students of the Local Wizard's College (Text Book, Arcana)
6Fashion Enthusiasts (Roll of Fabric, Dressmaking)
7National Poet Society (Terrible Poem, Writing)
8Opera Singers (Popular Aria, Singing)
9Food Critics (Notebook, Cooking)
10The Local Militia (Helmet, Law)
11Lawyers (Fancy Wig, Law)
12Doctors (Jar of Leeches, Medicine)
13Refugees of a Specific War (foreign holy symbol, Survival)
14A tribe of Wood Elves (effigy carved from Iron Wood, Survival)
15Peasant Farmers (Hoe, Farming)
16Fundraising Socialites (Noble's Clothing, Diplomacy)
17A Dwarven Clan (Bellows, Smithing)
18Retired Crusaders from the last Holy War (fake medal of valor, Diplomacy)
19Rebel Cell (3 fireworks, Hiding)
20Servants of the local Baron (set of silverware, Deception)

Note: Broods are all over the place on purpose- I intended it so that each GM could customize a few for their own setting. As a loose rule, a brood probably shouldn't have much more than 80 or so people in it, so for larger groups the Brood abilities might only work on members from a particular region, for example.

Also, I've never really done a GLOG class before, so no clue if this is balanced or not, but I hope it'll at least be fun to try!

Monday, March 25, 2019

20 Questions for Stone & Shell

Jeff's 20 Questions for (my non-canon version of) Stone & Shell
  1. What is the deal with my cleric's religion?
    -Its a bit complicated at the moment since a Basilisk has been ascended to divinity and turned all the other gods to stone. Long story short, your powers still work, but god can't come to the phone right now. Also the number of raving prophets on the steps of temples has increased tenfold.
  2. Where can we go to buy standard equipment?
    -Most places have some sort of general goods store. "Archeology" (tomb-raiding) is seen as a lucrative but disdainful profession taken up by desperate vagabonds, but just like the parable of the richest men in the Gold Rush being the ones that sold shovels, so are the most profitable businesses today being the ones that sell ten-foot-poles.
  3. Where can we go to get platemail custom fitted for this monster I just befriended?
    -The New Horned Ones are used to working with non-standard forms and could easily tailor something to you, though it'll probably be expensive. Ori would be a good place to start looking. If you find yourself near their homelands, the Dwarves or an Iron Priest could probably make some custom gear for you as well.
  4. Who is the mightiest wizard in the land?
    -Both the Last Witch and the Dust Lord lay claim to the legacy of the First Wizard, but let's hope we never have to find out which one of them is actually stronger.
  5. Who is the greatest warrior in the land?
    -THE UTTERSWORD and it's Exalted Knights are literally unbeatable in direct combat. The Chitinous Elves and their strange tech probably aren't too far behind though.
  6. Who is the richest person in the land?
    -Likely the Last Witch, what with the titanic industries of the New Horned Ones and all the paid debt that Ori rakes in from centuries of smart investment.
  7. Where can we go to get some magical healing?
    -Good luck finding someone who can waggle their fingers and close your wounds. Us common folk do things the old fashioned way- leeches and poultices. There are some rare folk out their who can do it though, maybe you're one of them?
  8. Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions: poison, disease, curse, level drain, lycanthropy, polymorph, alignment change, death, undeath?
    -Say your prayers or go see a good doctor who'll probably tell ye the same thing. Though for some of the rarer stuff you might be able to track down an expert who may or may not be insane enough to have tackled your unique ailment before.
  9. Is there a magic guild my MU belongs to or that I can join in order to get more spells?
    -The New Horned One's got all sorts of guilds and consortiums you can look into. Horned One's in general've been working magic since they were born from the roses of the Spellgarden. If you survive the trip to Smog you can probably find someone to teach you some lightning magic. A Gamble-Freak den probably has a few spells in the pot if you's willing to risk your soul too.
  10. Where can I find an alchemist, sage or other expert NPC?
    -Any proper city'll have all of those. If you ain't near a city, you might come across a wandering Bale of Elves who have the info you need- and even if'n they don't, they should be able to point you to a Bale that does.
  11. Where can I hire mercenaries?
    -Seedy Taverns, mostly. Most towns have a drunk or two willing to hold your light for a few pennies a day. There's also Chitinites if you need a proper expert at killing, though they don't come cheap. Magpie's (A breed of Siryn- call them Swiftlets if you don't want to offend) are the best damn guides if you wanna do any proper adventurin tho. A Cat or Hobgoblin vet will also be happy to scout for you and aren't quite as expensive, and you can find those pretty much anywhere you could find a human.
  12. Is there any place on the map where swords are illegal, magic is outlawed or any other notable hassles from Johnny Law?
    -You'll need a permit for anything bigger than a knife in any city run by the Ambassadors or the BRR (blue-ribbon republic). No one else gives a shit.
  13. Which way to the nearest tavern?
    -There are so many, you can't throw a cat without hitting one.
  14. What monsters are terrorizing the countryside sufficiently that if I kill them I will become famous?
    -The BRR has a bounty on Orcs and their war-breeds. Exalted Knights already wiped out all the proper beasties on this continent, but if you want to earn a noble's patronage and take a trip to the Hidden Continent there's probably plenty of exotic monsters to skin and trophy there. If you survive and return you'd be the first, and could probably retire at your leisure.
  15. Are there any wars brewing I could go fight?
    -The Dusk Lord's Undead are getting, ah, rambunctious. Plenty of keeps doing their best to hold the line, but the BRR still refuses to admit there's a problem. 
  16. How about gladiatorial arenas complete with hard-won glory and fabulous cash prizes?
    -Plenty of Arenas too- Gamble-Freaks tend to run the underground joints which are deadlier but pay better. Proper arenas are held top-side for the citizens enjoyment and tend to pay in fame and influence rather than cash, but to the right person those can all be practically the same.
  17. Are there any secret societies with sinister agendas I could join and/or fight?
    -You know, there's whispers of this dragon cult called Unbound Avarice. Might be nothing, though.
  18. What is there to eat around here?
    -An ungodly amount of turkey and boar. Plenty of fish and cheese if you're in Ori. Other places have specialty cuisines, but you can almost always buy a roasted turkey. It's terrible unless you somehow supply your own spices.
  19. Any legendary lost treasures I could be looking for?
    -My, where to start with that one...There's the Crystal Palace, with it's supposed infinite labyrinth of treasure and riches, but that's in the middle of a volcano and The Gilded One doesn't take kindly to outsiders in general.
    There's the Iron Throne, which commands the legendary Iron Company. It's...somewhere.
    Then there's Nexus, a whole city of wizards that up and vanished.
    That's not even mentioning the Ark, the Cold Stairs, the First Homes...any one of these places could give you a king's treasury if you survived.
  20. Where is the nearest dragon or other monster with Type H treasure?
    -Probably in a dungeon. They're almost as plentiful as taverns.

    (Apologies for the delay in posts. Life's been worrisome than normal as of late and I've got many projects at once all up in the air.)