Friday, 2 December 2016

Treasures Locked Beneath Ash and Snow


x Precious Metal Molars - what wealth was left was hidden in the back of mouth. 2d20 sp each.

x Hands of the Matriarchs - a mothers blessing kept secret and safe for bleak times. By the time they were opened, it was far too late. Snapping off a finger casts a spell at 3rd level. Worth 5000sp, -1000 per used digit.
  Thumb - Cure Light Wounds
  Index Finger - Magic Missile
  Middle Finger - Bless
  Ring Finger - Dispel Magic
  Little Finger - Sleep

x Fingerbone Lockpicks - single use but incredibly easy to hide. +1 bonus to checks with these picks. 20sp each.

x Curried Meats - frozen fresh, still good to eat if defrosted. 1sp each, 1000sp to a trained chef due to lost techniques which could be learned.

x Dead Idols - The many gods of the enslaved peoples, all dead and forgotten. The ire of these dead gods lingers still, and each has a curse associated with it. Worth 400sp in precious materials, 1000sp to a historian.

Ire of a Dead, Forgotten God
Weakened spirits of vengeance, still bound to empty duty, will attack the holder each night until the statue is given away. HD 2 / AC AS CHAIN / ATTACK +1 1D8 CLAWING / MOV as DOG / M12 / 3D4 APPEARING
The idol draws away all sustenance from food, starving the bearer until the statue is given away.
The idol compels the bearer to sacrifice either 200sp or 1HD of life every three days until given away.
The idol assaults the bearer with hideous nightmares every night, denying them healing from sleep, and stopping magic users preparing spells, until given away. -2 penalty to all rolls after a week of this.
All animals will hate the bearer until the statue is given away, with a 2-in-6 chance of attacking, or else simply running away.
The bearer is inflicted with leprosy until the statue is given away. The leprosy will be healed overnight.
The user must respond to all violence with pacifism, and all offers of peace with violence until the statue is given away.
There is no curse. This god has faded more than the others.


x Overseers Eyes - Eyes of ancient overseers, given to slave-holding families. The eyes are a reminder of authority, and can be used to command slave-derived creatures if they fail a save vs magic. Worth nothing outside of the city.

x Desperation Furs - As the terrible fury of the Riven Wolf fell upon the city, the clothiers and tailors desperately tried to create winter clothes for the people as they burned all books and papers to stay warm. This desperation sunk into the furs themselves, and they reek of fear. Avoid any natural cold-based damage, halve damage from cold-based magical sources, but roll random encounters twice as often. Predators can smell the weakness. 200sp each.

x Forgotten Saints - The people of the city would not burn their Saints to keep warm, but they were forgotten, bedecked in gold and bone-dry in their sealed chambers. Each will defend itself, although it has long forgotten it's name and it's martyrdom. Worth 3000sp -200sp per point of damage over HP dealt, HD 6 / AC AS PLATE / ATTACK +3 AS WEAPON +3 / MOV AS MAN / M12 / 1 APPEARING

x Crown of the Senator - Each week, this crown passed from one senator to a chosen rival, bestowing authority and benevolence upon the wearer. (Save to take malicious action, others must save to not agree with you. Must be worn for a week.) Worth 4500sp.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Beyond the Mountains

*Sunday Players Go Away*
Across the Northern border of the Nilfenbergian Empire lies the Petty Kingdoms - each run by a self-styled autocrat, all too aware of their insignificance. It is said the witches have saved them from being absorbed. The truth is the Empire is under threat from the Demon Sultanate. But this is of little interest. The Petty Kingdoms end abruptly with the Mountains. Some call them the Brokejaws. Others the Spinal Peaks. Yet others the Marginal Range. But to most, they are simply the Mountains.

Some small villages lurk in the shadows of these imposing peaks - folk scraping by in the crags and fearful of the creatures that crawl from chasms in the deeper ranges. They have little to trade but furs and warnings.

Beyond the Mountains is ash and ice. A desolate terrible plain, marred only by the broken teeth of buildings long-hidden by the ice and snow, appearing more like dunes after the many years of frostbitten burial.

People once lived in these buildings, but now they live above them, grim scavengers atop their dog-driven sledges, tearing across the dead country, either starving or committing to cannibalism. They know not of the secrets buried beneath them, but whisper to their rare children that things forgotten should stay that way. None will enter the ice-bound city beneath them, and they are right to.

A name forgotten a thousand times, no expedition ever returning to restore the torch of knowledge, the city evoked it's own end, as such things always go. A people enslaved by another, joint in a collective plea for revenge - and so it was when the Riven Wolf heard their plight. The plain was blasted for six hundred days with storms and snow, the wind tearing skin free and stealing children into the sky, their screams lost in the howling, their tears freezing in their eyes, tumbling blind through snow thicker than castles.

Seeking a weapon here is madness - all that could be learned is an end to both the Empire and the Sultanate. Yet the expedition left, and is now sealed in the glacier-riddled city with the creeping horrors.


SURVIVOR PACK - 4d4 Humans w/ Spears, Dog-Leather Armour. They fight from the back of Dog Driven Sleds (treat as mounted). Each sled has a team of 6 dogs, and can have 3 men fighting and a fourth driving.

The people of the city gathered together to conserve warthm - from each cluster emerged one frozen by the cursed flesh of their peers, forever seeking warmth.
HD 4
ATTACK +4 - 2D8 ICY GRIP (8+ damage freezes random limb - cannot be used until thawed out).

Before the slaves realised what they had invited, they rose up and bound the overseers in chain. The numbing effect of the chains protected them from the blasting to come.
HD 6
M 10 / 3 IN PRESENCE OF SLAVES (That is, anyone dressed in rags)

So too did the slaves gather for warmth in their rags and chains. They pressed closer and closer until their very souls touched, fusing them together in anguish and fear and regret. The only thing that could drive the result away is the whip of their tormentors.
HD 1
M 2

Friday, 4 November 2016

The Dungeon-As-Wound

Negative space carved into the landscape, a hollowing, and a damaging of the wholeness of the material. A fissure in the ground itself. This essay considers the dungeon through the lens of an impossible necrosis of the physical material, a self-generating wound (negative space)[1] alternatively worming and yawning wide beneath, the inhabitants either opportunistic or a consequence of this death-of-stone, spawned by the Wound itself.

Continuing this examination of the physical self-generating negative space (Wound), its very strangeness can be a wound on the expectations and experience of the observer, mirroring the wrongness of the physical artefact. It does not follow the rules of the world – by their nature, these wounds are aberrations, impossibilities in the natural order, a negative space in understanding – a wound in how we thought thinks worked, or how they should work.  This feeling is exacerbated by two common features observed within the wounds – their age, as ruins presuppose history and thereby age, and the impossible inhabitants which cannot, should not ecologically function nor survive.

Self-generating aged ruined structures are a paradox – their nature explicitly points to a history, which is rendered impossible by their very self-generating nature – how can something not here yesterday have the weight of history so deeply embedded into every rotten flagstone. One could view the ruins and devastation not as a mark of history, but resultant of the wound itself – but this rapid destruction would leave burning and sharp fresh-severed rock, not aged ruins stamped by the passage of years.

The inhabitants, those oft-hostile monsters, seemingly doing nothing but squatting in the ruins, waiting to kill those foolish enough to plumb the depths. When there is no natural ecological explanation for their existence or their actions, one must examine through the lens of the self-generating Wound, as well as the negative space/wound opened within knowledge. They could be considered a result of the physical Wound.

One view, that of the self-generating dungeon as a force possessed of a will for self-preservation, more akin to a living thing, would give these generated monsters the role of the antibody, destroying foreign bodies which enter the system of the wound. However, this reasoning, considering the dungeon-as-Wound, renders this strange. The wound is a disruption of an existing system, not a system of its own. We could instead take the view of the inhabitants as debris – the wreckage spawned by the act of wounding itself, the negative growth of the self-generating dungeon. Something akin to survivors, squatting in the ruins left behind, wounded themselves and driven to madness by it, full of violence and spite for those who come after, plumbing the depths of the damaged body the remains were once part of.

They could, alternatively, be viewed as an infection – the wound, left open, allows parasites and disease an easy entry into the ruptured body, infesting and spreading in the increasingly fetid wound, eventually, perhaps, a greater threat than the initial wound itself.

A final view is that of the inhabitants as secondary wounds, caused by the disruptive effects on the body by the original wound, like splintered bone tearing open further injuries within. Following this, the wounding of observers physically and in negative-space infliction within knowledge, are tertiary wounds, further damage by the original self-generating wound, now attacking along further vectors.

As an aside, the increased danger as the wound is probed further and deeper could be understood as a concentration of the wounding energy, as well as the wounding mechanisms being worse as the injury extended deeper into the body – something applicable to all views on the inhabitants. The remains are deeper gouged, the infection deeper and more sinister or the secondary wounding worse.

[1]Whilst this essay is an examination of the self-generating dungeon-as-wound, the notion of the dungeon as a purposeful wound, a designated and conceived site of activity is still worth a mention. Conventional, mundane uses can be easily understood, blunting the edge of their wounding potential, simply assimilated into existing knowledge rather than being a negative space of understanding, mirroring the physical architecture of the constructed space itself. However, giving the constructed space utility does not have to cause this, if the use itself is wounding, something not understood and, potentially, not to be understood. The site of unknown/unknowable utility has the mirrored negative space wounding potential of the self-generating dungeon-as-wound, and, perhaps, intensifies the wounding of knowledge through the frustration of the unknowable use. An additional layer can be achieved when this utility is in-congruent with the physical negative space of the structure itself.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Rivalries, The Strength of a Hateful Bond

In the backwards villages in central Nilfenbergia, feuds between siblings are quashed quickly, for fear of a Rivalry. Once both siblings have committed injury to the other, they are both open to the influence of a Rivalry, an intangible spirit of ill will made manifest.

The first sign is the sudden cessation of hostilities between the siblings. Indeed, they grow close, often being seen conversing together. This is no agreement however, but the influence of the Rivalry, driving the pain and hate of mutual wounds outwards, directed to the village at large. The methods the siblings take depend on their genders.

Two brothers will become sly, manipulative, twisting the desires and dreams of others to crush them and see them hurt, eventually aiming to drive the village apart from each other, a community at war the final goal.

Two sisters will become violent, aggressive, starting physical confrontations and always escalating to naked steel as quickly as possible. Some of the worst bandits of the Nilfenberg Empire have been these sisters, driven by a Rivalry to terrorize, plunder and burn across the realm.

A brother and a sister will be a bizarre combination of the two, both freely switching between roles as the situation determines. A sickening sexual element evolves from this Rivalry, each delighting in the flesh of the other and both in their victims. Kinfucker is one of the more heinous insults in the Nilfenbergian lexicon.

In the case of twins, each gains the ability to shift their appearance to the other, one of them becoming the known destroyer, the other angelic, a seeming force for good in the community.


Banishing the Rivalry is no easy task - one must investigate the feud from it's start, and unravel each wrong committed, finally tricking the siblings into forgiving one another. Records on this succeeding are scant and likely untrue, the Church usually burning them alive once caught.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

The Last Tower - Mini Adventure

This is from a longer thing what I'm doing, but can basically be dumped anywhere you need a weird wizard-tower. Cool. Could be a nice hex filler?


The Last Tower – Rising still, each brick heavily engraved with warding sigils, the spirits of longevity bound within so very tired. From anywhere nearby the top of the tower glints, being made entirely of glass, containing something which seems to call, call, call.
All floors of the tower show signs of very small cuts, everywhere. This is from the golem on floor five.
1. The first floor contains mess and rot. Many have used the base of the Last Tower as their camp, and something is always left behind. A stone trapdoor leads to the basement of the Last Tower, which is flooded, and filled with slime-encrusted black leeches, swirling about in their foulsome pool. Eliminating them would allow you to search the basement to no great effect, bar the corroded metal of prior unfortunates.  There is an illusion here, which shows a well-stocked larder, a trap designed to eliminate casual thieves and determined adventurers alike. A set of stone steps curl up to the second floor. A slender silver gate once blocked the way, but it has been successively torn to shreds by passing mercenaries.

2. The second floor contains portraits, each portrait framed in exquisite white-gold frames. A figure made of wooden splinters hangs from the ceiling. This is the guardian of the room, who will faithfully return the paintings if they are disturbed. Each painting depicts a notable alumni of the college. All are very much alive, and will threaten to blast you with magic should theft be attempted. There are several scorch marks on the floor and walls attesting to the truth of this. Each can cause an elemental blast dealing 5d6 damage once a day. If moved, the splinter golem will replace them to their rightful place, harmless but endlessly reconstructing itself. If stolen and survived, each painting is worth 6000sp. The stairs continue to curl upwards.

3. The third floor is nearly bare, featuring only a glyph set in gold into the floor. Reading the glyph, it is simply a depiction of the creed of the college –
"A light amidst the dark"
The gold is animated to regrow when in this room, and chipping out all of it is laborious and not worth the time taken. 500sp for several days work.

4. The fourth floor contains three sarcophagi, unmarked, constructed of frosted glass. Within each is a blind woman, a bandage covering her face. The founder of the college decreed they be kept here in perpetuity. Each is long dead but perfectly preserved, untouched by time. This effect emanates from the sarcophagi, but only functions on the women. Attempting to interfere with them or the sarcophagi will awaken the golem on the floor above.

5. The fifth floor contains a golem, constructed to resemble an octopus, each tentacle made up of razorblades. If the women are undisturbed, it rests, hanging from the ceiling, swaying gently, whistling as the blades slice the air. If they are distributed, it will savagely kill everyone in the tower before weaving a new sarcophagus, gently caressing the dead women with its razor blades. It cannot leave the tower unless the women do.
HD 8 AC 18 +4 1D8 RAZOR SLASHES 1D10+1 MORALE 12

6. The sixth floor is the Assumed Mausoleum. It marks the supposed death of the founder – he simply vanished and after twenty years was assumed to be dead. All forms of divination have failed to discover anything about what occurred, or her location. All of the goods here are entirely false, and utterly worthless – unless you can convince the buyer of their validity, in which case all the moveable wealth in the room (about a wagon load) is worth 20000sp. It takes the form of exotic silks, precious metals and gems.

7. The seventh floor is filled with star charts, and set about with 4 great lenses, cunningly hidden to stop them being visible from outside. Each one is pointed at a constellation of note:-
The first lens is directed at a constellation which confers luck upon the first viewer, granting them advantage on one roll of their choice. It must be spent within 6 days. The second viewer has poor luck, as the constellation siphons their luck to the original viewer. The GM may force them to roll again and take the lower result at any point for the next 6 days.
The second lens is directed at a constellation which looks really nice.
The third lens is directed at a constellation which renders the first viewer idiotic (2 INT), the second blind and the third deaf. The vampiric constellation feeds on such things.
The fourth lens is directed at no constellation, revealing only inky blackness.
There are no stairs to the eight floor.

8. The eight floor is a chamber of glass, a brilliant gem which randomly emits pulses of powerful, blinding light. (Every d4 rounds). Holding it would burn the hands for 2d6 damage from the sheer intensity of the light. It is an embryonic star, crystallised by unknown processes. The chamber of glass refracts and mutes the light, acting as a containment chamber. It could be worth 10000sp if transported.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

The Library

I'm seeing a Library, dour and grey. Not that you can see it from the outside - it floats in the sea of chaos, a bubble of quiet and storage.

The first room, a reception. A ten foot bird-headed figure, silently observing your coming. The head changes species with each visit. Killing it does nothing - it shall return.

Beyond this, things are in flux.

The Atlas of Dead Gods - a black void wherein float the embryonic corpses of gods forgotten. Each has a blank bronze plaque the size of cities attached. If they are named, they are gone, cataloged elsewhere.

Book Finders Office - A wizened old figure atop his floating desk, the Ink Dogs chained to it. Any stolen book will be recovered by this team. One Ink Dog can blank the pages of a book to stop the knowledge escaping. The other barks out one line, forcing the carrier of the book to find the next line and respond.

NarcoScholars Den - The NarcoScholars bend and warp psychedelically. Some are less psychotic than others. They gladly exchange your induced visions for ever more novel narcotics. Just stay a little longer.

Gorestained Pit - The Haruspexes collect life to gut and discern information from. Every living thing is another book, aching to be read. Everything has entrails if you are willing to stretch the definition.

Stitchers Workroom - The Figment Finders stitch stitch stitch tiny fragments, single words in pages, pages into chapters and chapters into books. To the other librarians, they are dull restorers. They know they endlessly weave new works to infiltrate the Library.

Grammar Fiends

(d4 actions is a sentence, judged from beginning of combat. They can be cut short.)
Comma Imp - Can pause two attacks per sentence, allowing the target to take action first.
Period Devil - Negate an action, undoing it's effect. Ends the sentence.
Exclamation Devil - Double a numerical effect.  Ends the sentence.
Noun Fiend - Whatever the noun is their form, inky and sketchy, made of tiny words floating free. Can change once per sentence.
Subject Succubus - Can change the target of a spell or action (where logically possible) a number of times equal to the number of combatants.

Intellectual Contagion.

It was locked away for a good reason.
HD - Highest INT in party.
Damage - Lowest INT in party.

A smokey black cloud of thought, untouchable by action, only hurt by argument. Characters argue against the concept, the GM decides the strength.

1d4 - weak argument.
1d6 - average argument.
1d8 - good argument.
1d10-great argument.
2d6 - crushing argument.

category of contagion
1. political
2. religious
3. social
4. cultural
5. artistic
6. economic.

(For fun/fist fights, make it a view held by a player or the GM)

Monday, 22 August 2016

DOGS OF THE WASTES - Raiders and such




Every army that ever was or could be finds themselves in the legions of the White Suns. Pristine and regimented despite disparate uniforms they are an endless chrome tide swallowing landscape and settlements alike. Behind them the slaves march, hoping to be elevated to the ranks. 


Bound in leather atop machines designed to kill you and them alike. Nothing is real, they will show you. As both your corpses are cooked in the ruin of their deathride machines those who are left will drag you out, unzip their masks and eat you. Some will take the twisted metal and make their machines more deadly to rider and prey. Let them show you how to die.


Each machine is festooned with spikes, and each spike festooned with people. The people are hooked up to machines which pump they full of drugs. The people are all screaming. First victims, now a member of the choir, barely audible above the instrument engines. The riders are dressed in rotting meat, what remains of choir boys and girls without vocal chords to sing for them any longer.


A swarm of heavy industrial machines, smashing into one another and leaving the crippled beasts by the wayside. Each machine is loved by it's master and hated by it's peers, and the Reavers will do anything to prove their machine is the best. Slow, easily distracted but nothing will be left once they finally find your settlement.