Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Marana infirmux!

Pronunciation guide here

Blood (excellent game) has a wonderful series of cultist language phrases and words that I heartily recommend incorporating into your RPG of choice for things such as parts of an eldritch incantation, the speech of the Old Ones or, well, things cultists yell.

Here's a random table!

Roll 1d50:

1. Rud'minuox
2. Rudsceleratus
3. Pestis Cruento
4. Cruo
5. Crunatus
6. Petriacruento
7. Cruentu
8. Cruensseasrjit
9. Cruonit
10. Shaantitus
11. Cruento Pestis
12. Domus
13. Marana
14. Bibox
15. Vorox
16. Cruento Paashaeximus
17. Shatruex
18. Infirmux
19. Crudux
20. Vigra
21. Invisux
22. Maravita
23. Domus-bhaava
24. Acerbus-shatruex
25. Pretaanluxis
26. Odiosux
27. Odiosuu
28. Cruo-stragaraNa
29. PrayaNavita
30. Villomaxus
31. Profanx
32. Profanuxes
33. Exim'ha
34. Tuulenux
35. PraaNsilenux
36. Esco
37. Bhuuesco
38. Desco
39. Bhuudesco
40. Hatanoceo
41. Gero
42. Geropayati
43. Cruonita
44. Infuscomus
45. Malax
46. Caecux
47. Quodpipax
48. Pallex
49. Durbentia
50. Lokemundux

As a rough guideline, roll D2 of these for a yell or exclamation and D3+1 for part of a dark rite or a full spell.

Words are sourced entirely from here:

Vilomaxus gero malax!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Sanity (and body) shattering

In Bloodborne, there's a rare but deadly effect called Frenzy which occurs when you are forced to process eldritch truth from monsters, akin to Call of Cthulhu, and are overwhelmed (represented by a filling meter). This results in a frenzy that is incredibly physically painful and deals huge damage. It's an interesting way to handle sanity blasting knowledge that would cause your head to explode, so here's an attempt to translate it into OSR/D&D games:

The one on the right is the absolute inspiration for this post.

Certain rare monster attacks cause Frenzy damage (For example, 1d6 for HD 1-3 creatures, 2d6 for 4-6 and 3d6 for 7-9+). This damage is not subtracted from HP but rather noted next to Wisdom. When it reaches the total Wisdom score, the victim takes double their Wisdom in damage (save for half). Yes, this means that characters with greater insight and perception will be more susceptible when their will eventually breaks. 1 point of frenzy can be reduced per turn in safety or 1d6 points can be healed with specialized sedative medicine.

Example of play, for fun:

Former cultist Dam the Mad (2nd level wizard, 5 Wisdom), grim mercenary Wolfgang (2nd level fighter, 9 wisdom) and inquisitive Flimbo (3rd level halfling, 11 wisdom) search for Father Almwick in the cellar beneath Harrowsby Church. The marching order is Wolfgang, Flimbo and then Dam (acting as torchbearer). Upon reaching the bottom of the steps, Wolfgang feels something... dripping from above? With mounting horror they look upward and the torchlight reveals Father Almwick (HD 3, 13 HP armour as leather+shield, 1d6 frenzy damage) now squamous, grinning with wicked, bloodied fangs and climbing the ceiling.

Initiative is rolled. The corrupted priest goes first. He leaps upon the fighter and barely beats his AC of 5, dealing 3 points of damage through whispering unfathomable truths in his ear. The fighter pushes him off and strikes him with his zweihander for 7 damage. Flimbo misses with his short sword, Dam does a single point of damage with his dagger, and Dam's player regrets using his only Sleep spell on those feral beggars. Next round, the players go first. All miss except Flimbo, who deals 3 points with a short sword slash. Almwick hits Wolfgang, pulling him forward and dealing 6 damage by telling him the secret origins of his deity. The frenzy damage reaches his total Wisdom score and he fails his save. As Wolfgang only had 11 HP, Dam screams "CRUDUX CRUO!" as he is covered with his friend's brain splatter.

This, coincidentally, is what happens if you try to have more spells than your level limit allows.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

D8 OSR/D&Dable things inspired by Void Pyramid

Void Pyramid is a brilliant, retro style computer RPG that meshes two very disparate genres, Egyptian mythology and science fiction, to create a really unique setting. The evocative and imaginative descriptions, the elegant and fast mechanics, and the rad soundtrack create a game that explores and combines both of its inspirations very well. I would definitely recommend the game and it can be downloaded for free from the link at the bottom of this post.

The use of both Egyptian mythology and science fiction creates a blend that ignites the imagination, and many of its weird ideas, creatures and treasures could serve as excellent inspiration for D&D/OSR games of a science-fantasy or gonzo style. Here are some examples...

1. Vibro weaponry, similar to magical weapons but the +X to hit is instead added to the critical hit range, e.g. a +1 vibro sword would get +1 damage and crit on a 19-20.

2. When a character is brought back from the dead their visions of the horrific underworld will take a toll on their fragile mind, forcing them to endure possible insanity as per the system of your choice [1].

3. Yak Men pit fighters and witch doctors, owned as prized possessions by a mad, ageless tyrant.

4. A cat man assassin, deadly but extremely vain, pedantically counts the number of people killed and will boast of the exact number.

5. An Etherscope: a strange device that allows one to see into the void realm to search for and call spirits. Can be helpful for summoning a spirit from the realm of the dead for a ritual but you can also be unlucky enough to stare into the "face" of a formless horror, risking both sanity and soul. Here's one way of handling it mechanically:

Roll 1d20 (add INT and half your wizard/necromancer level): Natural 1: a Being of Law! They see you back and will judge you severely. If you are incredibly sinful/Chaotic, they may send a vision to a paladin to hunt you down. 2-10: Nothing besides strange cosmic phenomena (swirling colours, strange beings with trumpets, etc.). 11-19: A spirit! You may call it to you for questioning, rituals, or whatever reason you may have. 20: An unfathomable horror!

Yes, this does mean that wizards/necromancers technically have a higher chance of seeing a horror. Being a powerful wizard draws the attention of those sort of things so I think its appropriate.

6. A very valuable and highly realistic picture of the most divinely beautiful king or queen who ever lived, unclothed. If looked at, save vs a heart attack. A failed save means being reduced to 1HP (or 1/4th if you want the effect to be less harsh), otherwise you may just need a cold shower. Could be employed as a weapon in a manner similar to the Monty Python funniest joke in the world sketch or possibly sold to someone or something that has a way to resist its effect.

7. A Mutation Tomb: Possible stat increases, possible stat decreases but most important of all: possible mutations or becoming a mutant class [2]. Here is a quick example table:

Roll 1d6:
1-2: Decrease a random stat by 1.
3-4: Increase a random stat by 1.
5: Gain a random mutation.
6: Become a mutant class.

8. All of the deities of the campaign setting are actually extremely powerful, multi-animal hybrid [3] bio-weapons with incredible psionic power. All cultists receive psionic emanations from their deity, which can then be manifested by the cultist as specific psychic powers or "miracles". These "gods" also have differing opinions on how the cycle of life and death should be ordained, with each deity ultimately deciding on whether their followers should have the power to control the hellish, unnatural and undead or the power to destroy ("turn") them.

[1] Call of Cthulhu obviously has great insanity rules but there are other games and house rules that do it brilliantly, such as Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay or the rules found here:

[2] Mutant Future, The Metamorphica and Warhammer: Realms of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness are just some examples of the many great resources for mutants and mutations in RPGs.

[3] For the classic Egyptian mythology feel, different animals should be combined to make a humanoid deity. However, there is also the option to go nuts and combine monsters you choose from whatever monster books you have. Limit yourself to say 1D3+1 parts of the hybrid, get the page count of a monster book, grab an online dice roller and then roll a Dx (x being the total page count) for each part of the hybrid.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

What the heck is a Macke Town?

Here, this song will answer everything:

Also, expect OSR/Old school RPG stuff along with discussions of video games and anything else I feel like blathering about.