Tuesday, 16 November 2021

Pulp Plants

Plants are another category of monster that characters might encounter in a Dungeon Crawl Classics adventure. When you are adjudicating exactly what "plant" or "plant traits" should mean, the main concern is that these things are vegetal. Their lives occur at different time scales. They can be dormant for a very long time. They are probably hardier than they look - as anyone who has attempted to eradicate kudzu or Japanese knotweed can attest - and, if they are woody, weapons like arrows and spears are unlikely to do much (if any) real damage. Their thought processes are farther from human than those of animals, or even un-dead, so that attempts at contacting, controlling, or affecting their minds might be at a significant penalty if it is possible at all. 

The judge will also have to consider the effects of being a plant-based monster on Mighty Deeds and critical hits. It would not be a stretch to imagine that some of these do nothing, while others might have a reduced (or even enhanced!) effect. In many cases, the description of a plant creature should give the judge some guidance. In many cases, though, things are left to the interpretation of the person running the game. That is okay; you've got this. The rules bend to you, not the other way around.

It is also notable that, while most plants are immobile, plant monsters are often capable of a surprising range of mobility. Still, there is nothing wrong - and everything right! - with treating some plant monsters almost as hazards which are (literally) rooted to the spot!

Here are three plant monsters you can use in your home game. Note that, while these are inspired by the accompanying images, I did not take the actual text into account.

Walking Kudzu: Init +4; Atk vine tendrils +2 melee (1d3 plus grab) or bite +3 melee (1d3); AC 12; HD 3d8+6; MV 20’; Act 1d20;  SP plant, regenerate 1d3/round, camouflage, grab, plant seeds; SV Fort +5, Ref +1, Will +0; AL N.

When standing still among green vegetation, walking kudzu is difficult to see, allowing it a +6 bonus to all attempts at hiding. 

Its arm-like vine tendrils can grab creatures it hits, allowing it to hold onto them. Held creatures can attempt to escape with an opposed Strength check vs. +4 

Why walking kudzu is interested in humanoids from the animal kingdom (including humans, elves, dwarves, halflings, etc.) is a question which is perhaps better not asked (or answered). If the walking kudzu is able to hold such a humanoid for a full 5 rounds, it will plant seeds within it. Without magical aid (1 HD of clerical healing is sufficient), these seeds germinate in 1d5 hours, doing 1d5 damage per turn thereafter. If a victim reaches 0 hp, what remains of it becomes the nucleus of a new walking kudzu. Don't let the illustration fool you; walking kudzu victimize all genders equally.

Note that a walking kudzu continues to regenerate even after being reduced to 0 hp. It just grows that fast. Even if fire or acid are used, there is a 50% chance that the walking kudzu will begin regenerating again after 1d5 hours. Even if that chance fails, the walking kudzu may begin to regenerate days, months, or even years later. Only if completely reduced to ash, disintegrated, or completely dissolved can an adventurer be certain that a walking kudzu will not return to life.

Giant Predatory Flower: Init +2; Atk flexible stamen +4 melee (1d4+1 plus capture); AC 12; HD 12d8+24; MV 0’; Act 2d20;  SP plant, immune to mind-affecting, aware of creatures within 30', surprise, melee attacks with 30' range, capture, drown; SV Fort +15, Ref -10, Will +0; AL N.

The giant predatory flower can lash out with two stamens, each capable of reaching as far as 30' away. A creature struck by a stamen in automatically captured unless it succeeds in Reflex save equal to the attack roll. Each round, a captured creature may attempt an opposed Strength check (against +6) to escape, and the giant predatory flower can bring prey 10' closer, eventually lifting them into its flower bell, where creatures are drowned within its mildly acidic juices. Climbing out of the flower is a DC 15 check, and each round that a creature spends within it must succeed in a DC 10 check to swim. Creatures failing this check (and most will, as they tire) take 1d6 temporary Stamina damage from drowning. This Stamina damage is fully restored if the creature gets 10 minutes access to air and rest.

Giant predatory flowers are often able to attack with surprise (1 in 3 chance). They capture animal prey, depositing each into their inverted-bell flowers before seeking additional prey. This allows the plant to gain vital nutrients it cannot easily obtain from the soil. Giant predatory flowers are essentially mindless, and cannot be trained, but they are sometimes planted by cruel and devious magicians who have other means to avoid their clutches.

Venusian Human Trap: Init +0; Atk tendril +2 melee (1d3 plus grab) or "bite" +4 melee (1d8 plus trap and digest); AC 14; HD 6d8+12; MV 10’; Act 6d20;  SP plant, immune to mind-affecting, aware of creatures within 60', melee attacks with 20' range, grab, trap, digest; SV Fort +6, Ref +2, Will +0; AL N.

The Venusian human trap is a nasty piece of work which moves slowly around the jungles of Venus, looking for prey. Its myriad tendrils pull it along, but can also grab prey. If a tendril hits, it holds on, requiring a DC 10 Strength or Agility check to escape. Each additional tendril increases the DC of the check by +2, so that a PC grabbed by three tendrils must succeed in a DC 14 check to escape. Each round that a victim remains in the tendrils, it is pulled 1d3' closer to the Venusian human trap's maw per tendril grabbing them.

A Venusian human trap can only "bite" creatures it has pulled into its space. A successful bite attack traps a victim within the plant, where they suffer 1d7 points of damage from digestive acids each round (Fort DC 15 for half). A trapped victim has a 50% chance of taking 1/2 damage each time the entrapping plant is successfully damaged. Worse, it requires a DC 20 Strength check to force open the maw of a living Venusian human trap to allow its victim to escape. The plant can only hold one victim at a time; once a victim is reduced to 0 hp, the plant requires an hour to complete digestion. Feel free to roll the body before this time is up; you might just get lucky!

See Also: Fungoid, Lorecaps; Mutated House Plant; Potted Plant; Siren Bush; Stinkdew; Varga Plant; Verdant Stalker; and Zephon.

Sunday, 7 November 2021

Empire of the Cyclops Con Debrief

 Empire of the Cyclops Con is over, and, once again, I have failed to take any screenshots whatsoever. What can I say? I guess I live in the moment.

Over the course of the convention, I managed to run three adventures, take a couple of quick sojourns into Gather Town, and spend at least a little while at the Social Hour. All in all, I would consider it a success.

I started my Saturday with Fire in the Mountain, skipping the travelling encounters (except for narration) to focus on the events in the dungeon itself. There were surprisingly few deaths, mostly due to my rolls - lots and lots of "1"s for me all convention - and what deaths there were tended to crowd towards the end of the session. I was really pleased that the players found enough clues to put together at least the broad outlines of the backstory.

Because of time constraints, we didn't get past the room with the Impenitent Abbot. The players never discovered that they could not open the door from this side, and there were likely to be more shenanigans with going down the shafts, dealing with the remaining Impenitent, and finally being confronted by three more capering goat things before being able to escape the mountain. They left the stairway to hell open, but we did have some fun with shifting it to new locations. Even with half the zero-level PCs surviving, one player ended up with no one by the end. These are the perils of splitting the party/

After a brief break, I jumped into running The Arwich Grinder. It has been years - years! - since I ran this for a group that included so many unjaded players, and it was a real joy to heap on the darkness as we went. There were also a fair number of survivors, but again my rolls were less spectacular than they should have been. Also, I had Skatch the Elder reminding people to burn Luck rather than fall for my fearful machinations. Most of the deaths were, again, the result either of splitting the party or of failing to take precautions. 

I have run this adventure many times, and it was a delight to have the players realize that there are more than eight Curwens. It was truly rewarding that they realized the names Uncle Charles called them in his delirium were not merely random, but must be family members they were not aware of.

Finally, I was lucky enough to have a player who was new to DCC - this was only his second funnel adventure!

On Sunday, I ran Dread Orchid, which is an add-on to the Jungle Tomb of the Mummy Bride kickstarter. The player who had requested a cleric was unable to join, leaving a party that could have survived with caution, but preferred bold action. Because this adventure is not available for generally purchase yet (and the kickstarter backers have not even seen it!) I will omit any details save to say that only the thief survived, and then by the skin of his teeth. The halfling, given a chance due to my rolling two "1"s in a row, came close to escaping, but curiosity did him in.

I would like to offer many thanks to my players over this weekend! You rocked the house and made it fun! Man thanks to David Harvison, Eric Betts, Jim Skach, Joe Colistro, Lucas MacClure, Lucas The Beard, Matthew Shayefar, Michael McMurray, Mike Dawson, Mike McKeown (+1!), Ron Kirkley, Russell Bevers, Todd Hennessey, and Zachary Amsden. If I left anyone off the list, please assume that it is because I am an idiot and forgive me the lapse! A couple of glasses of wine, and I am using the Event Sheets to help me order my thoughts!

Final Thoughts: 

Goodman Games has done a hell of a job making the convention approximate the in-person experience, especially with the use of Gather Town. And I love being able to game with people in different parts of the world. Online conventions are something I am likely to continue participating in, especially the Goodman ones and Cons farther afield, such as AlbaCon

But, man, am I ready for in-person conventions again.

Hopefully, I will see some of you at GaryCon 2022. Right now, I am scheduled to be there in person, and I really hope that comes to pass. I have a fantastic and supportive family,  but I feel guilty taking up the kitchen for the weekend. I feel guilty not giving them my time when I am right here. And the energy around a Discord table, as good as it might be, can never replace the sizzle of playing in person.

Today in Ontario, our Covid-19 case count rose again, and the Effective Reproduction Rate went over 1. This means that, for each person who gets the virus, it will spread to slightly more than one person. This might reverse, or it might turn into a fifth wave. Alll I can really do is hope that we make our collective Luck check.

If things work out, and I make it to GaryCon, please say "Hello" if you see me! I cannot tell you how much it will be appreciated.

Sunday, 31 October 2021

The California Raisins

California Raisin: Init +4; Atk slap +4 melee (1d6+1) or bite +2 melee (1d8+1) or music; AC 17; HD 3d8; MV 40’; Act 2d20; SP music, dance; SV Fort +4, Ref +8, Will +8; AL N.

Music: A California raisin can use its Action Die to perform music, rolling with a +8 bonus. This sets the DC for a Will save; those who can hear the performance and fail this save spend the next 1d3 rounds dancing (losing all other actions).

Dance: When engaged in melee combat, a California raisin can use its move to travel up to 10' without provoking a free attack. When doing so, it can cause an opponent within melee range to succeed in a DC 10 Will save or move with the raisin, ending within melee range but at a specific point chosen by the raisin. California raisins will use this ability to dance opponents into dangerous terrain, or even off the edges of cliffs!

It is a strange fact, but not all mummies are vulnerable to fire. Nor do all mummies carry the dread rotting disease known as the Curse of the Pharaohs. Indeed, not all mummies are even dead.

In the Land of the Sun Giants, grapes of prodigious size and vitality were once grown. Upon these, the alchemists and sorcerers of the Sun Giants experimented, seeking to preserve the power of the Sun in two enormous Scoops known as the Logos of the Kells. These once-living titans even learned how to preserve dried grapes in humanoid form, giving them souls and personalities for their amusement. Thus were born the California Raisins, named for the Land of the Sun Giants.

At least four such beings still wander the world. A.C, Beebop, Stretch, and Red. Each is a powerful musician, using vocals, drums, guitar, and bass respectively. Their music is classical rhythm and blues from the place they once dwelt in. Their high AC comes from their ability to dance with opponents, perceiving their attacks in their body language almost before the opponent knows what they will do.

There may well be other California raisins still in existence - they used to come in units of about 50!

The California raisins are short by human standards, but they have large faces and considerable mass. They are not typically hostile, but will certainly use their abilities to protect themselves. The roam the world seeking the last of the Sun Giants, the Sun Maid, who they believe can restore them to their lost home.

Rumors suggest that a being who consumes a portion of a slain California raisin's sugar-dusted body gains a bonus 1d6 permanent hit points. This bonus may only be gained once. Raisins are, some would claim, good for you!

(Canid manimals and other canine or semi-canine beings should be warned, though, that California raisins are even more poisonous to them than normal raisins are. Should a canid consume a portion of California raisin, it takes 1d5 temporary Stamina damage and must succeed on a DC 15 Fort save or die in 2d7 rounds,(

Friday, 8 October 2021

Empire of the Cyclops Con Submitted Events

 It's all fun and games until someone loses an.....

......Never mind. It's all fun and games!

EDIT: I have been told that finding these games on the Tabletop site is difficult. Here are direct links:

Albacon Debriefing

Albacon was last weekend, and I ended up running a game for the convention. First off, Albacon is run to support a worthwhile cause. Secondly, the organizers are fantastic people. Third...well, do we really need more reasons than that?

Restraints on time and energy prevented me from submitting more than a single game this year, And, while I suck at remembering to take screen shots while running games, at least one of my players was good enough to remember and post one!

The game I ran was Night of the Comet, which was a playtest scenario. This was a good example of why playtesting can be important, because while the players seemed to be having fun, there were areas of the scenario which definitely need work. Many thanks to Julian, Richie, James, Sam, Martin, and Aaron!

Sunday, 29 August 2021

The Joy of Swarms!

Swarms are some of the most dangerous opponents you can encounter...not because of the individual prowess of the swarm members but because they are cumulative. Sword, bow, and axe do little to dispel a swarm of yellowjackets, and even firearms cannot stop a tide of army ants. The mightiest warrior in the kingdom is no match for several hundred rats. 

It is not surprising, therefore, that swarms made the cover of several pulp-era adventure magazines. But what if you want to use some of these covers as the basis for an encounter or two in your adventure? The core rulebook offers statstics for four types of swarm: mundane bats, vampiric bats, insects, and rats. It does not, sadly, offer a swarm-specific Critical Hit table. If the judge uses Table M (Monsters) for critical hit effects, the results are often absurd within the context of the encounter. We will rectify that here.

In general, DCC swarms are enough creatures to occupy a 20-foot by 20-foot space. They take half damage from normal weapons and non-area effect attacks. When they attack, they make a single d20 roll (plus modifiers) against all targets in their area. Although swarms usually have a low number of Hit Dice, taking reduced damage from most attacks really makes them hard to disperse.

Every swarm in the core rulebook also has a special effect if it hits, requiring a saving throw to avoid it. In the case of rats and bats, this is the potential for disease. In the case of insect swarms, this is a venomous sting that can deliver additional damage. For some reason, bats care more interesting/diverse diseases than rats, but you can easily change that in your own adventures!

So far so good. Now, let's add a few swarm types from pulp-era magazine covers! If some of these seem silly to you, well, you are not alone.

Crab Swarm: Init +2; Atk swarming attack +1 melee (1d3 plus shred); AC 14; HD 6d8; MV 20’ or swim 20’; Act special; SP attack all targets within 20’ x 20’ space, shred (Reflex DC 10 or 1d3 extra damage), half damage from non-area attacks; SV Fort +5, Ref +2, Will -2; AL N.

Crab swarms are far more dangerous to slow characters or those who have been disabled due to injury. They attack with claws and bite, and shred flesh from opponents who do not dislodge them quickly enough. Some crabs also have a 20' climb speed.

Crab swarms occur in real life, although not usually as dramatically as they do in pulp fiction. There is some evidence that aviator Amelia Earhart, having sustained injuries in a crash landing, was eaten by giant coconut crabs. The most effective use of crab swarms I have encountered was in Allan Quatermain by H. Rider Haggard. I attempted to reproduce the effect in an encounter in Stars in the Darkness. Clark Ashton Smith's The Master of the Crabs is another inspirational source.

Flying Squirrel Swarm: Init +4; Atk swarming bite +1 melee (1d3); AC 11; HD 3d8; MV 30' or climb 30' or glide 40’; Act special; SP bite all targets within 20’ x 20’ space, half damage from non-area attacks; SV Fort +2, Ref +4, Will -2; AL N.

This is a bit of silliness, but it might make a good encounter in a forest of evil repute. Flying squirrel are not normally dangerous. Even the few reported "attacks" seem pretty tame. But for some reason the squirrels in the image are large, and out during the daylight, and apparently have a taste for meat. Do with it what you will.

Lizard Swarm: Init +2; Atk swarming bite +4 melee (1d2); AC 11; HD 3d8; MV 30’ or climb 20’ or swim 20'; Act special; SP bite all targets within 20’ x 20’ space, half damage from non-area attacks; SV Fort +3, Ref +3, Will -2; AL N.

10% of lizard swarms carry a venomous bite, requiring a DC 5 Fort save to avoid 1 point of temporary Stamina damage (heals normally).  

Lizard swarms are common enough in role-playing games, Individual lizards can and do bite humans, and some of them may have bites that are painful, or even dangerous, but you are extremely unlikely to ever encounter lizards attacking en masse in real life.

As a side note, I would prefer to have the images for each swarm alternate between the left side of the text and the right, but cover illustrators (or those who purchased these images in the pulp era) seem to prefer images that face right. They also preferred to tempt their presumed audience with a torn blouse or two.

Monkey Swarm: Init +4; Atk swarming bite +5 melee (1d5 plus disease); AC 13; HD 8d8; MV 40’ or climb 40’; Act special; SP bite all targets within 20’ x 20’ space, half damage from non-area attacks, fling feces and sticks, disease (see below); SV Fort +3, Ref +5, Will -2; AL N.

Monkey bites are unfortunately not at all uncommon. Monkeys can carry diseases such as tetanus and rabies. The judge is recommended to use the disease table for bats in the core rulebook. You could even pump up the risk, considering the virulence of some monkey bites, but if you do this you should make sure that the players have some way of knowing that monkey bites are dangerous.

An arboreal monkey swarm can also fling feces, sticks, overripe fruit, and the like at targets prior to melee attacks. These attacks allow the swarm to target all creatures in a 30' x 30' square, which must make Will saves (DC 5 +1 per additional round) to avoid fleeing the area. Of course, the monkeys can move faster than most targets, so fleeing is seldom effective. A monkey swarm can use this tactic to drive targets toward preferred attack sites, or away from their territory.

Piranha Swam: Init +0; Atk swarming bite +5 melee (1d3 plus frenzy); AC 15; HD 7d8; MV swim 40’; Act special; SP bite all targets within 20’ x 20’ space, half damage from non-area attacks, water protects from fire-based spells, frenzy; SV Fort +4, Ref +4, Will -2; AL N.

This doesn't have to be just piranha; this can be any relatively small but dangerous fish the judge desires. Are there swarms of freshwater eels? If the judge wants them, there are! Obviously, the easiest way to avoid these dangers is to not get into the water in the first place. Once you are attacked, the easiest way to survive is to get out of the water.

Water protects piranha swarms from fire-based magic and similar effects, granting a +2d shift on the dice chain to saving throws and reducing any damage suffered to one-quarter. The judge may rule that the medium allows electricity-based spells to affect all targets in range (including any potential PCs), and cold-based spells to affect all targets in half normal range, so long as they are at least partly in the water.

When characters are successfully attacked by the swarming bite of piranha, they must succeed in a Luck check, or the piranha attack in a frenzy that round, doing an additional 1d5 damage to all targets that failed their Luck check. For creatures without Luck scores, assume a base score of 10. Particularly cruel judges may have "exploding" frenzy damage. Each time a "5" is rolled, add an additional 1d5 damage. In this way, cattle - and adventurers! - may be stripped to the bone in seconds.

Serpent Swarm: Init +5; Atk swarming bite +2 melee (1d3 plus venom); AC 10; HD 6d8; MV 40’ or climb 20’ or swim 30'; Act special; SP bite all targets within 20’ x 20’ space, half damage from non-area attacks, venom; SV Fort +3, Ref +5, Will -2; AL N.

Crack open the core rulebook and pick your favorite snake venom from Appendix P. If the serpent you want isn't there, you will find a few additional options in 50 Fantastic Functions For The D50...less than half of them are serpent venoms, though, because the article details venoms from spiders, reptiles, insects, and even mammals.

If you have not had a chance to check out Primal, it comes highly recommended as a DCC-type adult animated series. And by "adult" I do not mean risqué, I mean that it deals with strong themes and violence. Anyway, the second episode is River of Snakes, and despite being drawn almost cartoonishly, the sense of horror is effective.

Spider Swarm: Init +2; Atk swarming bite +1 melee (1 plus venom); AC 9; HD 4d8; MV 20’ or climb 20'; Act special; SP bite all targets within 20’ x 20’ space, half damage from non-area attacks, venom; SV Fort +0, Ref +10, Will -2; AL N.

As with the previous swarm, you can find potential venom effects in Appendix P of the core rulebook or in 50 Fantastic Functions For The D50. Or you could simply choose to have a DC 5 Fort save to avoid an additional 1d4 damage. Spider swarms are not going to have webs strong enough to capture PCs, but they may impede vision or slow characters down. 

For other versions of the spider swarm, see Tales From the Magician's Skull #1 and Both Foul and Deep.

Turtle Swarm: Init -2; Atk swarming bite +3 melee (1d5); AC 20; HD 5d8; MV 5’ or swim 20’; Act special; SP bite all targets within 20’ x 20’ space, half damage from non-area attacks; SV Fort +7, Ref +2, Will -2; AL N.

These turtles can apparently leap up from the water, and I am tempted to give them an extra ability where a hit requires a DC 5 Will save to avoid fainting for 1d5 rounds. 

As with piranha swarms, the easiest way to deal with these is to get out of the water if you can. Easier said than done if you are trekking through a swamp. Needless to say, although turtles can bite - and snapping turtles can sever digits - being attacked by a swarm of turtles isn't something you need to worry about in real life. Well, all of these stats are a bit more gamist than realist. 

If your swarming turtles are not large, snapping-turtle types, consider reducing the damage to 1d3 or even lower. Turtles with softer shells might even have a lower AC.

Weasel Swarm: Init +3; Atk swarming bite +3 melee (1d4 plus blood drain); AC 12; HD 6d8; MV 40’; Act special; SP bite all targets within 20’ x 20’ space, half damage from non-area attacks, blood drain (any target wounded by the swarm takes an additional 1 damage per round until entire swarm is killed or dispersed); SV Fort +1, Ref +8, Will -2; AL N.

For some reason, swarms in these covers love attacking anyone who ventures into the water, even if the creatures attacking are not normally aquatic. Nonetheless, in a world where some might bond with Mulferret, Queen of Weasels, things like this just might happen. In fact, I think I included weasel swarms in her write-up, and as I do not have the book in front of me at the moment, they may be different.

Final Note - Swarm Criticals and Fumbles

When a swarm rolls a "20", that is a crit against everyone. That is, perhaps, a bit over the top and breaks suspension of disbelief just a little. I recommend that, if a swarm rolls a "20", each character is given a Luck check to avoid the critical effect. Each character who fails has a critical effect rolled, so that everyone is not always the recipient of the same effect.

When a swarm rolls a "1", that would be a fumble in all of its attacks. Rather than trying to figure out what that means, consider having the swarm just break of its attacks and/or disperse. A 5% chance per round of getting out of a swarm attack alive, just by luck, might not be realistic, but it is true to the nature of pulp fiction. 

Tuesday, 10 August 2021

Challenge Accepted

Jack-a-lope: Init +3; Atk antlers +3 melee (1d3); AC 14; HD 1d3; MV 40’; Act 1d16; SP see below; SV Fort -3, Ref +6, Will +0; AL N.

Go West from Sour Spring Hollow a good step, or find yourself slinging lead on some Weird Frontiers, and you just might encounter a jack-a-lope. Truth be told, the glow deserts of the post-Apocalyptic future are as good a habitat for these critters as any, whether it be in Umerica or Terra A.D.

Of course, you shouldn't assume that every jack-a-lope you might encounter is the same. So roll that d14, and see how the one you encountered is different!

1. Bounding: This pinkish jack-a-lope can leap up to 40'. If it does so as part of an attack, it gains a +1d bonus on the dice chain to both attacks and damage. Legend says that this type of jack-a-lope can also teach new-shorn lambs to dance with the rattlesnakes, although exactly what that means is a mite unclear....

2. Al Mirage: This jack-a-lope has only a single horn, but does +1d damage with it. It can teleport using an Action Die up to 60' away. Finally, it can create illusions of standing water within 120' (Will DC 15 to disbelieve) once per hour.

3. Carnivorous: Gains a bite attack for 1d4 damage, and Action Dice increase +1 step up the dice chain. Crits as a monster with twice its Hit Dice.

4. Giant: Increases Hit Die, Action Die, and damage by +1d on the dice chain. Gains +2 hp per Hit Die. Gains +10 move (+20 if rolled a second time, then +30, etc.). Each time this is rolled increases Fort save by +2 and decreases Reflex save by -1.

6. Beloved of Radu: Blessed by the Prince of Rabbits, this jack-a-lope has a +10 bonus to all saves and 6 additional Hit Dice.

7. Tibbar-kin: The jack-a-lope drains the life of other creatures, and can target any creature within 120'. Roll a Action Die +4 to determine the Fort DC to resist. The jack-a-lope drains 1d7 hp, which are added to its hit point total, unless the target saves.

8. Just the Bait: The jack-o-lope has a symbiotic relationship with a nearby monster, drawing in the curious and distracting them so the other creature can attack. Possibly descended from an escapee of a spaceship that crashes in some peaks....

9. Better, Stronger, Faster: +1d to Action Dice and damage. Speed increases by +20'; Reflex saves and Initiative increase by +4. Jack-a-lope gains an additional Action Die.

10. Luck Thief: If you spend Luck within 100' of this jack-a-lope, make a DC 16 Will save, or the jack-a-lope gains hit points equal to your spent Luck, and there is no other effect.

11. Luck Eater: Every successful attack made by the jack-a-lope permanently consumes 1d3 points of its victim's Luck.

12. Bunny Combo A: Roll 1d6 and 1d8. Apply both results. Identical results stack.

13. Bunny Combo B: Roll 1d6, 1d8, and 1d10. Apply all three results. Identical results stack.

14. Bunny Combo C: Roll 1d6, 1d8, 1d10, and 1d12. Apply all four results. Identical results stack. If you roll a "12". that means you also gain Bunny Combo A for a total of 5 modifications.

Wednesday, 4 August 2021

Evil Birthday Cake


Evil Birthday Cake: Init+3; Atk bite –2 melee (1d12); AC 8; HD 10d3; MV 0’ (20'); Act 2d20; SP uncanny senses 200'  range, enslavement, mesmeric influence, aging to heal; SV Fort +8, Ref –5, Will +12; AL C.

Some people never get the attention they feel they deserve. Their desires coalesce on their birthdays, bringing into existence an evil birthday cake. There is also said to exist somewhere a Book of Pure Evil which can bring such a vile confectionary into existence. Regardless of how it comes to be, the one who desired it is the evil birthday cake's first victim, as it is enslaved to do the cake's bidding. The cake's first command is always the same - to be put upon some form of mobile platform, because the cake has no legs. The 20' movement speed indicates being pulled along on a relatively smooth surface using a flat dolly or some sort.

Uncanny Senses: An evil birthday cake is somehow aware of everyone and everything within a 200' radius around it. The cake cannot be surprised, even if it is part of a surprise party.

Enslavement: The evil cake can enslave one being within 200', unless they succeed in a DC 15 Will save. The being who called the cake into existence gets no save. An enslaved being is dominated by the evil birthday cake, and does whatever it wishes, but cannot go more than 200' from the cake without the enslavement being broken. only when the current slave is released (by being forced away from the cake) or killed may the cake attempt to enslave another.

Mesmeric Influence: An evil birthday cake can use an Action Die to attempt to mesmerize a victim within 100'. That victim must make a DC 20 Will save or use its move and/or any Action Dice to come as close to the cake as possible. The cake uses this ability to bring prey within biting range and/or to make foes lose potential attacks.

Aging to Heal: An evil birthday cake can use an Action Die to heal 3d12 hit points. When it does so, its causes its enslaved victim to age 1 year per hit point gained. An evil cake without an enslaved victim cannot use this ability.

Sunday, 1 August 2021

Reddit Prompts New House Rule

This Reddit post asks a pretty important question. I am going to paraphrase it here:

How can you use the Dice Chain to make sense of things like Strength checks, where an 18 Strength should have a real advantage over a 13 Strength?

This prompted me to write:

You could say that each additional attempt is made at -1d on the dice chain, which prompts players to let the strongest go first. (In fact, I will be using this from now on for checks like opening locks as well.)


And there you go. New house rule. Thank you, bored-n-curious, for making me think about this! I would never have come up with this solution without your prompting!