Sunday 29 October 2017



I actually wrote this last year in an interactive-fiction program called Ink, but we didn't get around to hosting it until now. It's still a little clunky but you guys should be able to figure out how to play it. Takes a little while to load, there's no visible scroll bar and there's no reset button so you have to reload the page when you die. Ink is better than Twine in most ways but the lack of free hosting is a killer.

The game is about an awful wizard that you have to find and kill. I hope that you enjoy it.

Sunday 15 October 2017

Gangster Generator

Here is a gangster generator I made instead of working on my thesis. For best results, read every entry in a Tony Soprano accent while listening to this.

Friday 13 October 2017

The Art of Nine Limbs

Substitute Monk rules for our 5th Ed Yoon Suin game

Practitioners of Lethwei, the Art of Nine Limbs, learn one technique from the below list every level. Your Monk level must be equal to or higher than the level of the technique you wish to master, and you must learn these techniques from a master. This could mean training you Bull Style under the head of a martial arts school, or perfecting your Cobra Technique by striking the vital points of a hundred actual cobras

Use the Monk stats for hp (d8), proficiency, etc. Your unarmed attacks deal 1d4 damage and you gain an additional attack every third level. You can only use your Monk abilities while wearing no armour

truly, every part of the Siamese is blessed with venom

1 Boar - rushing attacks, especially with elbows and knees
Charge forward and strike with blinding speed. You always win initiative if starting your turn with this move
Bull - powerful charging strikes
Charge forward and strike with the power of a bull tossing its horns. Throw people around, flip carts, mess up china shops
2 Deer - short leaps away from an attacker
Actively dodge for the turn and you cannot be hit in melee
Eagle - sweeping and blocking with both hands
Actively dodge for the turn and you cannot be hit by projectiles
3 Python - chokes and locks
Lock onto an opponent after a successful attack. If subsequent turns are spent maintaining the grip, the target is paralysed
Scorpion - pinching and seizing nerve centres
Block the target’s chakras after a successful attack; they cannot cast spells for 1d6 turns
4 Monkey - agile movements (requires Deer style)
Perform any non-combat action while dodging and still avoid all melee attacks. Jackie Chan shenanigans
Heron - fast arm movements and short jumps (requires Eagle style)
Actively dodge for the turn and you can redirect up to two projectiles from any volley
5 Viper - attacks to the lower vital points
The target’s movement speed is reduced to half and they lose dex bonuses to AC for the rest of the day. On a crit you may cripple them
Cobra - attacks to the upper vital points
If the target attempts to exert themselves next turn, they take your maximum unarmed damage
6 Tiger - clawing attacks
Your unarmed attacks ignore all armour. Your fingers can gouge metal plate, crush rock, pulverise trees
Leopard - circling; leaping at and tearing at opponents
While above half health, you cannot be struck in melee by anyone lower level than you
13 Black Panther - taught by some teachers as a combination of all the animal forms
Once per day, when below half health, you can spend your turn performing a nine strike combo on a single target. Roll nine attacks. If all nine strikes hit, the target receives triple damage

Friday 6 October 2017

some miscellaneous generators

I put some of the name generators from our ecosystem generator and our dungeon generator on Twine and set it up so you can generate them individually. Maybe that's useful, I don't know. HERE THEY ARE.

Friday 22 September 2017


This is a map of Hyperborea. Or at least the part of it I'm putting in my book.

The anchor in the lower right is KINGSMOUTH. I wrote about this before as Kesselhaven but I'm going to change the name and some of the details. This is the Yellow City of the setting - the hub that adventures will tend to begin from. It's part Jacobean London and part Melville's Nantucket.

Kingsmouth is a whaling city, lit and kept warm by gutters full of flaming oil that run from stone hilltop towers into the harbour. It is ruled by King Jasper Stuart, who lives in fear of dissident Levellers that want to behead him and distribute his oil-wealth among the people. He is served by an order of secret police called the Illuminators, who harvest oil from the nornhvalur, the witch-whale, every winter solstice and burn it in lanterns whose light exposes people's secret desires. They're based out of a huge lighthouse carved from a single gigantic tusk.

Everyone in Kingsmouth is born female, becomes a boy after their first voyage on a whale-ship and becomes a man after seven full years served at sea. Gender roles are enforced. The slums are run by criminal wivegangs, made up of sailors' wives and widows. Bear-baiting, plays and public executions are all popular entertainments. The theatre companies are censored by the King and always trying to flout the law. Minor criminals are sent to a prison hulk called the Adventure. Major ones are maimed, boiled alive in oil or staked outside naked to freeze to death.

In the book all this stuff will be written up in table format so you can generate a pub or a play or a creative mode of execution or w/e. I want it to design it so you can pull out individual tables and use them in other contexts.

The church in the centre right of the map is TOLERANCE. It's a settlement of Levellers, gloomy black-clad puritans who hold all property in common and have declared joy illegal. They have no ruler. The ruler they don't have is Praise-Poverty Vandersmeer, a charismatic Cromwellian preacher who believes the reign of man is at an end and the Hierarchs (standard elder gods) will soon arise from their slumber in Hyperborea's frozen heart to inaugurate an eternal winter across every possible reality. Still working on these guys.

In the upper right is GLASSHEIM, the obsidian tower of the sorcerer Roald Amundsen. It's built in the path of a glacier, fixed to the bedrock, and the glacier breaks around it like a river flowing around a bridge pylon. Amundsen is not technically a lich. He has learnt how to enter a meditative state of living death, lowering his calorie intake to the point where it's negligible and training his body to survive on less than a single breath a day. He intends to live forever, to conquer entropy itself, and is already planning to make himself king of the beyond-the-zero negaverse that he anticipates will follow the heat death of the cosmos. The airship Italia is tethered to the top of the tower. He is using it as a base to communicate with the spirits who live in the aurora, which he believes are outside of Time. He has several children with a princess of Zulshiban and has a pact with that subterranean nation.

The totem in the lower left is the THING ROCK, a lone monolith in the tundra that plays home to the skraeling parliament.

All animals are just humans wearing masks. A long time ago the first human, Peacemaker, went around wooing the most beautiful maiden among each kind of animal, getting her pregnant and convincing her to take her mask off. Thus the hundred skraeling clans were born. Each clan owns a longhouse where the clan Grandmother lives. She runs the clan and keeps safe her ancestor's mask, which allows any clan woman who wears it to take the shape of their totem animal. Children are of their mother's clan, and marrying inside the clan is incest.

Each clan gets to send a representative to the parliament, the All Thing, where the peace of the skraeling Confederacy is maintained. They are constantly at each other's throats over petty bullshit. They throw huge potlatches, competing to see who can sacrifice the most food, masks, metal, mammoths, dogs, caribou and slaves. They play a brutally violent ballgame, like lacrosse or hurling, with a leather ball and whalebone paddles. Masks are titles, deeds to hunting grounds, markers of membership in secret societies and ownership of particular songs. They're often used as currency.

Shamans are outside the clan system and act as impartial judges, a bit like the Supreme Court if part of their job was to enforce the boundary between life and death. Everything is alive and has a soul. When you die you go up into the aurora or down into the darkness under the sea. Or you can lease your soul to a shaman and become their ghost-slave for a while. Sky Elves are the ghosts of children who never grew up. They want friends but don't understand ethics, and will kidnap you away to starve in sky palaces or play ball-games with your head. Rock Elves are wizened old people who hid under the earth until their soul withered away from lack of light. They are sad and frightened and will live forever. Renegade shamans are loathed and feared, like cops gone bad. The child of two shamans is always a monster.

The tents in the centre left are on BEAR ISLAND. The Bear People were exiled from the Confederacy centuries ago for the crime of cannibalism. They still insist that cannibalism is a perfectly reasonable survival strategy in a resource-poor environment like Hyperborea. They've cut a deal for Zulshiban to use their island as a staging-ground for slave-raids. Their beaches are strewn with scavengers and bones.

The palace in the upper left is ZULSHIBAN. The bay ends in a cliff of ice, floating in the water, a hundred metres high with ninety percent of its mass below the surface. Tunnels called the Maws have been bored into the ice, wide enough for five ships - usually Zulshibani triremes rowed by crews of slaves - to travel abreast. They lead to the Hungry Ocean, a secret sea that runs through the caves beneath the Hyperborean icecap. Caisson locks allow ships to pass while preventing its blood-red waters from draining away into the waters of the surface. The Hungry Ocean is inhabited by a prehistoric civilisation of sapient bacteria and produces heat when fresh blood is fed to it, particularly the blood of intelligent creatures. The city of Zulshiban sits on its shore, surrounded by tropical jungle, in a huge warm humid cavern below a roof of dripping blue ice. Every year they have less slaves to feed it. Every year it gives less heat, their farms fail, their armies falter and their culture becomes weaker.

The bacteria colonise living hosts to interact with the wider world. A colonised creature is called a ghoul. Each is a nation in its own right and its actions are as cryptic and erratic as those of nations. The will of animal ghouls is swiftly overwhelmed. Human ghouls generally achieve a kind of eccentric symbiosis with the kingdoms rooted in their flesh, and often get psychic powers or some other kind of mutation-table effect. The current Empress of Zulshiban was anointed with sacred oils and bathed in the lake as a newborn. She is one thousand years old, inhuman and almost unkillable, to the chagrin of her daughters.

The fighting pits of Zulshiban are famous. Janissary slave-soldiers fight dinosaurs and degenerate pale crab-things from far below the earth, knowing the loser will be fed to the Ocean. Exotic spices are grown in the jungle, vampire orchids are raised and carnivorous worms spin silk. The aristocrats of the city indulge in every type of luxury, seeming not to care that each bite of peach or puff of black opium brings their society closer to the end.

Beyond the southern edge of the map is probably Hyperaustralis, Mount Penglai, the pleasure palace of Xu Fu and some kind of Sino-Mongolian steppe. I already have enough to work with, though.

Thursday 7 September 2017

Castles of the Marcher Lords

The Marcher Lord (roll twice)

  1. Extremely proud of his big bushy uncombed food-stained red beard
  2. Coddles his hounds, kicks servants around like they were mongrels
  3. Compulsively cracks his knuckles and hums ballads under his breath
  4. Likes to prove his toughness by breaking stuff over his bald head
  5. Laughs very loudly at inappropriate times. Loathes the humourless
  6. Launches arrows at birds and beasts from his bedchamber window
  7. Absolute stickler for the law. Punishes even the pettiest crimes
  8. Assumes everyone's trying to outwit him. Second-guesses everything
  9. Alcoholic. Cruel when sober. Melancholy and regretful when drunk
  10. Loves chess. Harbours secret hatred for anyone who beats him
  11. Searches chronicles for evidence of crimes against his ancestors
  12. Knows the name and face of every last one of his subjects
  13. Gaunt and sinister. Vomits up two-thirds of everything he eats
  14. Always remodeling the castle. Can't make his mind abut it
  15. Disgusted by his own sexual impulses. Self-flagellates a lot
  16. Gets splitting headaches that confine him to bed for weeks on end
  17. Eats more than should be possible for any one man. Missing teeth
  18. Absolutely devoted to his wife. Gives her anything she wants
  19. Loathes his children and beats them on the slightest pretext
  20. Completely sane. Pretends to be mad for political reasons

Friday 1 September 2017

Pamphlet Generator

Scrap had a thread about neglected literary traditions. It led to me writing a generator for the titles of pamphlets that you might see on the street in seventeenth-century England. HERE IT IS.

Sunday 27 August 2017

Yoon-Suin Market Generator

Each market has a location and is open at a certain time of day.


  1. Along a main street, stalling traffic
  2. An intricate maze of back alleys
  3. The rooftops of private homes
  4. Hundreds of small wooden boats
  5. A bridge crossing the river
  6. A sandbar, gone at high tide
  7. A cemetery, still in use
  8. A temple, before the god’s altar
  9. A natural system of caves
  10. The ruins of a crumbling palace


  1. Dawn
  2. Morning
  3. Afternoon
  4. Dusk
  5. Night
  6. All hours

Each market contains a number of submarkets. I'm calling these 'streets' - I don't have a better name for them.

Each street sells either mundane goods or luxury goods. A small market will have one mundane street, a medium-sized one will have 1d3 mundane streets and one luxury street, a large market will have 1d3 mundane streets and 1d3 luxury streets.

For mundane streets, roll 1d20 on the goods table. For luxury streets, roll 1d20+10. This basically gives you two tables with an overlapping set of entries.

The Epicormic Zone

The bombs were pregnant with flame-resistant seed, designed to bloom under conditions of intense heat. After the inferno came the season of regrowth. Roots bored through shattered concrete to find purchase in soil. Flowers strangled the ruined city. They do not bear fruit - the refugees go hungry.

  1. Aristocrats of the old regime distracting themselves from hunger with an orgy.
  2. Bee witch. Stooped beneath the weight of the hives mounted on her back.
  3. Man dressed as superhero looking for pound of hidden hashish.
  4. Children riding a friendly elephant, looking for her husband.
  5. Policeman disguised as scarecrow. Follows you around, freezes if spotted.
  6. Pruners with secateurs and dried-ear necklaces trying to make everything less confusing.
  7. Swarm of startled bats with tiny bombs attached to their collars.
  8. Rubble-clearing slaves overseen by fat man with flammenwerfer.
  9. Wild police dogs. Feral and starving but will obey anyone in a helmet.
  10. Garlanded pagans seeking volunteers to be sacrificed. Men have hammers, women sickles.
  1. Crashed B-52 with skeleton in cockpit, unexploded bombs still in hold.
  2. Refugee camp in underground train station. Entrance marked by flowers.
  3. Observation balloon. Ivy climbs the ropes that tether it to the ground.
  4. Concert hall. Still set with stage decorations for patriotic opera.
  5. Old re-education school for children orphaned by the police.
  6. Rail-mounted supercannon. Bouquet sprouts from barrel.
  7. Penguin exhibit in empty zoo. White concrete and stagnant water.
  8. Police station. Prisoner in darkest cell unsure if war's over.
  9. High-domed cathedral, adopted as a sanctuary by small birds.
  10. War minister's private bunker. Maps glued to every surface.
  1. Forty cans of beans. No can opener.
  2. Wheelbarrow full of pre-war cash.
  3. Automatic pistol. Jams one shot in three.
  4. Gimp suit made from mystery plastic.
  5. Damaged reels of short slapstick film.
  6. Kazoo that controls bees with coded buzzing.
  7. Subcritical lump of enriched uranium-235.
  8. Box of lead soldiers, tiny brushes, paints.
  9. 144 D-ration bars of bitter chocolate.
  10. Glass tube of methamphetamine pills.

Sunday 20 August 2017

Yoon-Suin Opium Table

My players are all opium addicts. The whole plot of the campaign is just them doing crimes to get more opium. There's already a table in the book for what happens when you smoke opium, but I wanted the effects to have a larger game impact and be more likely to be bad. Hence this. Probably a few ways you could use it.


Nothing happens.
Nothing happens.
Jittery. Your nerves are on fire and everything makes you flinch. +2 dodge bonus to AC.
Lethargic. You can’t keep your eyes open and everything seems to move in slow motion. -2 AC.
Furious. You are filled with a terrible hatred of all living things. +2 to attack rolls.
Peaceful. You are filled with a great love for all living things. -2 to attack rolls.
Alert. You can see every detail of everything. +1 to critical hit range.
Vague. The world is a blur to you. +1 to fumble range.
Dulled pain reception. You can’t feel anything. 1d8 temp hit points, lost when opium wears off.
Heightened pain reception. You feel everything, way too much. Take +1 damage from all attacks.
Competent. You feel like you can do anything. +2 to all skill checks.
Forgetful. You can’t remember how anything works. -2 to all skill checks.
Mildly precognitive. Always go first in combat.
Melancholy. Don’t care if you live or die. Always go last in combat.
Paranoid. They’re all out to get you. You can’t be ambushed or taken by surprise.
Echolalia. You can’t stay silent unless gagged.
Friendly. Everyone is great. People you meet for the first time will like you and want to do favours for you.
Dry mouth. You need to drink something every fifteen minutes or you stop being able to talk.
You can understand all languages and can make a Wisdom save to determine if someone is lying.
You forget how to read and automatically believe anything you’re told unless you make a Wisdom save.
Gold smells like cinnamon to you. You will always know if there’s any in the vicinity, unless it’s actual cinnamon.
Your digestive system rebels against you. Take 1d6 damage from gut cramp whenever you eat.
You gain an unseen servant, as per the spell, that can’t attack but otherwise does your bidding.
Whenever you take damage, make a Wisdom save or be paralysed with laughter for one round.
Fire doesn’t hurt you, but tickles immensely.
Pure water burns you like acid.
You can see, and speak to, the ghost of anyone who has died in the last day.
All animals that see you feel compelled to harass you.
Your features flow like liquid. Once an hour you can make a Wisdom save to look like anyone you want to look like.
You must be outside, breathing the fresh air. You can’t stay in any enclosed space unless you make a Wisdom save.
You enter a creative trance and write an excellent poem, which can be sold to a journal or traded to a noble for a favour.
Music sounds so beautiful to you that you are immobilised with delight so long as you can hear anyone playing it, unless you make a Wisdom save.
A vision shows you victory. Can be cashed in by player to critically succeed on any roll.
A vision shows you defeat. Can be cashed in by DM to make player critically fail any roll.
A demon comes to you in a vision and offers you a bargain.
You blunder into the dream-realm of a minor deity and are now obliged to placate it.
A vision shows you a dangerous place where treasure is hidden.
You dream of thieves and awake to find d100 gp missing from your purse.
A vision resolves something that’s been bothering you. You can ask the DM a question and they will give you a helpful answer.
You are now addicted to opium.

You wrestle
A beautiful courtesan
In a tranquil garden
You ride on the back of
A pustulent leper
In an endless library
You play chess with
A colossal worm
In a cave of jewels
You make love to
A ferocious tiger
In a palace of glass
You are chased by
A swarm of beetles
In a tropical jungle
You are eaten by
A chattering monkey
In a burning city
You debate philosophy with
A rotting corpse
In a lifeless desert
You get married to
A bronze statue
On a sinking ship
You eat dinner with
Your best friend
Atop a high mountain
You are told secrets by
Your worst enemy
Atop a thundercloud

Whenever you rest, if you didn’t smoke any opium that day, roll on the withdrawal table.
  1. Nothing.
  2. Can’t regain HP until the next time you smoke opium. If you already have this, take 1d6 damage.
  3. -4 to random stat until the next time you smoke opium.
  4. Roll on the bad effects table. Effect lasts until the next time you smoke opium.
  5. Monkey demon follows you around harassing you until the next time you smoke opium.
  6. You are no longer addicted to opium.