Sunday 20 November 2016

d10 Masks

1. Stinkle. Crotchety and imperious. Can sniff out buried treasure and smell where disease is located in a patient's body, but will refuse to do so except for money. Stalwart against fire, but fears water and sharp objects.

2. Bode. Can speak with the freshly dead, and sees no important distinction between them and the living. Borderline autistic. Clammy to the touch. Attracts amphibians, who seem to hold it in some kind of reverence.

3. Gosper. A rabble-rouser and demagogue. Voice can be heard by anyone who sees it, even over the rumble of a crowd. Convinces people to smash their idols for the fun of it and burn their own cities as a joke, then skips away merrily in the ensuing confusion.

4. Jiro. Infuriatingly calm in dangerous situations. Always knows a way out, but won't reveal it until the last minute. Knows the most carefully-guarded secrets of everyone it meets and refers to them in casual conversation. Seeds sprout at its touch.

5. Egwu. A loveable idiot. Everyone's best friend. Can move unconcealed through any social environment on account of being obviously too stupid to be dangerous. Clumsy but lucky, always blundering headlong into fortune. Hated by dogs.

6. Shrieg. Always hungry, but too embarrassed to eat in the presence of other people. Stomach rumbles audibly in the presence of food. Can sustain life on any kind of organic matter, the more rotten and indigestible the better, and will fall on garbage with gusto as soon as it's left alone.

7. Balank. A connoisseur. Takes an amazingly long time to make up its mind about anything, but makes the right decision ninety-nine times out of a hundred. Has an annoying habit of clicking its tongue.

8. Rocus. Walks with the shuffling gait of a very fat man. Insists on getting a laugh from everyone it meets, progressing from jokes through slapstick to unpredictable and nauseating violence. Strong enough to lift a cow over its head.

9. Pippi. A crack shot with any kind of ranged weapon. Terrified of a golden panther that may or may not be hunting it down to take vengeance for some unspecified sin. Looks under all beds and unseals all closed containers to check if the panther is hiding there.

10. Hampus. No special powers. Just a really cool, laid-back sort of a dude.

Sunday 13 November 2016


Hedgehag Spells

Those in the hedgehog community that can use magic are referred to, rather self-awarely, as hedgehags. A hedgehag is likely to know some of the below spells, in addition to minor charms for encouraging the growth of moss/fungus/roots, attracting delicious bugs, keeping water sources clean.
  1. Curl
    A space of up to X by X feet folds into itself, unfolded at will, with no damage to enclosed objects/people. Light and air enter the space via a one dimensional slit, but it is otherwise intangible. Perception check to notice the slit, a thin shaft of sun/moon/torchlight
  2. Bristle
    Causes spines to grow from the target object or surface. Metal or stone spines deal 1d6 damage on contact, all other spines deal 1d4 damage. Pattern, size of spines can be controlled to, e.g, form a ladder, spell out a message
  3. Mulch
    Forepaws and teeth emanate an aura that decomposes dead organic matter, rots wood, erodes stone. This spell can also be used to burrow at half movement speed
  4. Sniff
    Grants caster ability to follow a scent, given a sample of the smell. Allows for tracking people/animals, finding water/food, locating gold/good fortune. Can also be used to anoint with a scent, forming a froth that can pass on the target scent to anything that's rubbed with it
  5. Dream
    Draws the caster partway into the spirit realm. Allows for vision quests, astral projection and communion with both ghosts and nature spirits
  6. Shuck
    Pulls snails from shells, ants from nests, water from wells, gold from chests. Will pull pretty much anything from anything, with strength X.
  7. Shed
    Causes X hundred pounds of autumn leaves to blow through the space between caster's fingers/claws. Can be used to obscure vision, smother flames, hide treacherous ground, celebrate birthdays, or just produce a delicious snack for worms
  8. Worms
    Draws forth X pounds of worms from the earth or, in dire straits, from the stomach. Worms can be of any size, even just one really big one. Simple worm brains can be controlled explicitly by caster while within X feet but can only remember one syllable commands when out of range. Everything felt by the worms can be felt by the caster, albeit hazily
    Any spell cast can be conducted through summoned worms, with some alterations:
    1. Curl allows objects swallowed by one worm to be regurgitated by any other
    2. Bristle grants worms an actual attack, dealing damage based on their size
    3. Mulch works much the same, but worms burrow at twice movespeed
    4. Sniff causes them to smell and taste like the target of the spell
    5. Dream turns them into an effective peyote substitute
    6. Shuck knots worms up, gathering tension to fire through their own coils like meaty darts
    7. Shed makes worms peel apart into a burst of leaves. Please don't do this

I mean this wasn't quite the tone I was going for but fuck me Ryuutama here I come

Hedghags in a World that isn't Redwall

If you think the spell list is cute but for some reason everyone you know isn't running games in which it's valid to be a tiny hedgehog, I'd suggest you stat up a druid that has accidentally swapped bodies with one such mammal during a vision quest. This also gives you the opportunity to RP as a hedgehog coming to grips with a taste for meat, year-round sexual drive, and the fact that curling into a ball solves very few of its problems.

Other Hedgehog Facts from Wikipedia

  • can hibernate, maintaining a body temp of ~2°C. Dope synergy with Curl
  • have some immunity to snake venom. Fuck wait really? Holy shit
  • are prone to cancer. Hedgehag turned evil by brain cancer sounds like a viable villain to me
  • deliberately trap their heads in cardboard tubes for fun. This should not be in your game probably
  • are collectively referred to as an array. Other names for hedgehogs include heyghoge, urchin, furze-pig

Wednesday 2 November 2016

Islands of the Captured Sea

The Islands of the Belly - or Il-Gżejjer ta 'l-Żaqq, as they are known in the local language - are the Captured Sea's only pendocracy. Twice a year, on the day of the equinox, all who choose to contest are taken to Ġagantija Temple (said to have been constructed by a giantess who ate nothing but beans and honey) and ceremonially weighed on enormous golden scales by emaciated slave-priests wreathed in flowers. The heaviest person becomes Adiparch, and for the next six months wields absolute power over life and death. In a measure to discourage frivolous entries, the lightest person gets roasted alive over the Excellent Flame of Ġagantija. The crackling made from their fat is traditionally the centrepiece of the new Adiparch's victory feast.

The islands are all but waterless, a desert of crumbling limestone dotted with ancient fortifications and populated mostly by caterpillars and prickly pears. The local peasants, notorious for their stinginess, jealously guard every inch of their land with drystone walls intricate as jigsaw puzzles, prone to collapsing in any of the hundred and one Named Breezes that plague the coasts during the stormy season. Painted jackals stalk the hinterlands, and swashbuckling Porcupine Men are said to have established smuggler's camps along the outer beaches. The largest landholder is the House of Thumb and Kidney. Its slaves - fed exclusively on cactus juice, which tastes like a mixture of bitter orange and cigarette butts - toil in the blazing sun under the salt-coated lashes of obese overseers, when they're not pulling oars in the fetid depths of the triremes. The islands are located in almost the exact geographical centre of the Captured Sea, a natural crossroads for trade. The grand harbour of Għadam Tax-Xedaq (the only city worth mentioning) is home to merchants of a thousand nations, from eastern Snailcatchers selling dye, alphabets and cedarwood to western Tarshishans selling apples and raw orichalcum. This trade is a vital source of both income and nutrition. Żaqqi banquets are legendary, and the houses compete greedily with each other for delicacies from every corner of the globe. One is advised, however, to keep an eye out for poisons, which are designed to induce vomiting and rapid weight-loss as much as death.

The other great Żaqqi pastime is fortune-telling. Any aristocrat worth their fat keeps on hand a haruspex, whose job is to interpret the entrails of any living creature they can get their hands on. Obesity is again considered valuable here, and the great saltwater hippos which wallow among the island's shallow reefs are renowned for the accuracy of the omens hidden in their guts. Human beings can also be used, of course, if they're fat enough. There are very few whales in the Captured Sea, and only once in history have a crew ventured into the waters beyond the Titan's Pillar to harpoon a leviathan from the River that Girdles the Earth and drag it back, still living, for the soothsayers to get at before it started to rot. Nobody knows what they found, however, as it was considered too shocking to make public and imprisoned for good in the library of the House of Palm and Sinus.

Other methods of prognostication include studying the patterns of holes in leaves eaten by caterpillars, listening to stomach gurgles (which are believed to be the voices of the dead), casting sparrow-bones, scattering grain before sacred roosters and looking at the movement of the planets. The so-called "wretched oracles" of the northern isles are children who've had maggots introduced into small holes cut in their skulls, murmuring increasingly-incoherent auguries over the six months or so it takes for the insects to devour their brains. This practice is disdained in the more civilised south.

A list of island delicacies, by no means comprehensive:
  • Songbirds drowned in cactus liqueur
  • Caterpillars fattened on nettles, the aim being to see how fat you can get it before it metamorphoses
  • Boiled ostrich embryo, still in the shell
  • Dormice fed exclusively on pomegranate seeds, frightened to death, roasted and glazed with honey
  • Baked starfish
  • Flamingo tongues fried in butter
  • Sea anemone soup, a clear glutinous broth flavoured ever so slightly with ginger
  • Goat uterus packed with live starlings
  • The livers of thirteen different animals, mashed into a thick paste and spread on figs
  • Tortoises dropped by specially-trained falcons into vats of boiling brine
  • Elephant ears, said to lose their flavour if the elephant they're taken from dies
  • Scorpions dusted with paprika
  • Ape cheese
  • Giant oysters, the size of two fists together yet disturbingly easy to swallow whole
  • Pitcher plants served raw with their prey half-digested inside them
All of it is served with garum, a fermented fishgut sauce that the islanders claim goes with everything.