Saturday, 25 June 2016

Parasite Host - Class


Some are children in the Fever Swamp are chosen to be a Host. They are treated incredibly well, spared the hardship of the swamp-dweller life, princes of the decay and dirty water. On the cusp of adulthood, they are stripped and blindfolded. A shaman, daubed in the protective berry juices and herbs, is the only company they have on the journey to find a Transfiguration Worm. If one is not found within the week, calamity is sure to follow. The last year it happened, Nilfenbergian scouts burnt twelve villages.

The Worm found, the child is offered as host. The worm burrows into the spine, and lodges there, enmeshing itself within the spinal cord of the host. The child is then left in the Swamp, unknowingly tugged by the Worm to find new experiences. Eventually, the Worm has experienced enough, and will force the host back to the Swamp, barely even human. It is not known why they collect experiences.

Transfiguration Host - HD, SAVES AS SPECIALIST, XP AS FIGHTER.

Upon leveling, roll on the appropriate level chart - 

Levels 1-3
d6
Benefit
1
The Transfiguration Worm senses some base magical potential, and stimulates it. The Host wakes up each morning with a random level 1 spell ready for use.
2
The fingers and toes of the Host become like those of a gecko, granting +4 in climb and removing the need for rope – if hands and feet are uncovered.
3
The host awakes with the taste of blood in their mouth – their canines have been forced out by razor-sharp fangs. They can bite for 1d6 damage.
4
The jaw and stomach of the host are modified – the host can dislocate their jaw (by hand) to swallow small objects, and can then vomit them back up at will.
5
The host will not live long – the Worm knows this, and accelerates their metabolism. Their healing rate is doubled, but the host takes a -2 penalty on saves against poison and disease.
6
The olfactory glands of the host are heightened to the point where they rival that of a domestic dog.

Levels 4-6
d6
Benefit
1
The nervous system of the host is radically rewired, granting the ability to learn the last d4 weeks of memory contained within any brain eaten.
2
The host gains a toxin gland, which can be mixed with saliva and spat into the eyes, causing d4 days of blindness of a failed save vs poison. 2/day.
3
An ungainly protrusion from the back of the skull is in fact a gland which can generate enough electricity to stun a human-sized target for 1d6 rounds. 1/day.
4
The host complains of great pains from one arm, and they can feel a twisting and grinding from the bones. Once they eventually pass out, sweat drenched and delirious with pain, the flesh of the arm sloughs off to reveal a wickedly sharp bone-blade, capable of dealing 1d10+1 damage, with +2 to hit. Of course, they no longer have a hand.
5
The parasite has matured enough to tap into its own magical potential – the host memorises a random second level spell when they sleep.
6
The host gains the ability to vomit intense acid once a day, dealing 2d8 damage to those in front of them – however, the higher d8 of damage is dealt to the host as they are burned by the acid.
Levels 7+
d6
Benefit
1
A pair of bat-like wings violently erupt from the back of the host, destroying any armour worn. The muscles of the back become knotted and powerful, enabling flight but disallowing any armour or tight clothing not tailor made.
2
Without warning, the knees of the host snap backwards with a sickening crunch, resembling the legs of a bird. The muscles moan and twist at their sudden growth. The host moves at twice their original speed.
3
The host falls to the ground, screaming, as they nearly double in size, all fragile or worn equipment destroyed. Any natural attacks move up a dice size for damage. The strength of the host is set to 18, and they gain HP equal to their level times two.
4+
The time has come – the parasite takes control, driving the host back towards the Fever Swamp.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

DATA ROT - HALF REMEMBERED CYBERPUNK ADVENTURES

First, some music.


These are some half-remembered adventure-type things I've run for Cyberpunk 2020. It's weird, in a setting most open to people finding out about things and exploiting them on their own initiative, people are most eager to look for discrete jobs. Something to do with choice paralysis maybe?

Most of these ideas are quite nihilistic and nasty. People with money and power abuse it - if that's not your tone they'll need re-working. May as well talk about what my players got up to whilst we're at it.

My Child is a Prostitute and is Missing

The son of the local *big corp* division has a very specific tastes - exotics - which are people genespliced and modified for animal traits. Women with animal fur, ears, shit like that. The deal is a friend of the characters has a child, who is a prostitute. No big deal so far, but they've gone missing. Search of their home reveals a datapad with the clients booked in - namely a lot of visits from the son mentioned above. There's signs of forced entry, maybe some people who got shot for being in the way of a corporate snatch team. They've been transported to the home of the son, who has:

a) many exotics already, all of whom have been memory-wiped and programmed for loyalty. If you wanted to get really nasty they could have cyberweapons built in, to double up as body guards.

b) his own private surgery at the back of the apartment (located deep into corporate territory, ofc.) wherein the missing child is sedated, awaiting the surgery and the mind-wipe. Obviously, this stuff is very illegal, hence the surgery being in the home.

My players first infiltrated the sex-fur party thanks to the Rocker in the party. They went in the back, brutally murdered the surgeon, and picked up the kid. One player was so disgusted with all this they blew the son's head clean off. This caused a riot of exotics running for the elevator whilst the heavy guys took out the security team that had been dispatched to investigate the band of heavily armed weirdos going into the rich-people tower complex. They ended up escaping via the sewers to avoid pursuit by aerodyne vehicles (basically harrier jump jets, but more helicopter-y.) They were paid in free noodles for life by Asian Juan, the proprietor of Noodlebar, the noodle bar, wherein bars of noodles are served.

The Pharaoh is an ex-military Cyborg Impostor

(this one was inspired by Transmetropolitan #2, which is sick)

Flights of Fantasy Inc. maintain several resorts, which are slices-of-life from distant time periods populated by many many clones. Incredibly rich clients pay huge sums to pretend to be people of power and import in these fantasy worlds.

The issue? A cyborg has gone rogue inside the Ancient Egypt Resort, and nerve-gassing all the clones isn't a cost-effective measure for dealing with. The players are. This cyborg is tooled up to all fuck, with laser eyes, appearance changing camouflage (hence him being to kill the pharaoh clone and replace him) and a secret stash of plastic-body guns he smuggled into the resort.

Payscale will vary depending on how many clones need memory wipes/outright replacements. A flat rate for removing the cyborg is low, but you can keep the body and all the black-ops enhancements he's toting.

The players poisoned his food so much that his cyber-liver couldn't handle. He died messily. Cooking contests between guards were involved.

Bounty: Organ Mule

(offering players quick and easy bounties is a nice way of breaking up the larger, more involved operations. This one is not that)

A corporation is offering 10k for the (live) return of an experimental heart contained within the chest of a carrier, who has since gone rogue, and is selling the heart for 50k, or the highest bidder. They've done this to pay for the medical bills of their brother. They are protected by a pretty solid mercenary team, and have a tunnel to the sewers hidden on the ground floor of the building they are selling from to escape. The leader of the mercenary group is a well known sniper-for-hire. The organ mule is desperate and is making very stupid decisions - even with the money from a sell, about half goes to the mercenary outfit, making this a very temporary fix to her brothers's medicals bill.

The party said 'fuck this' and instead decided to look into other lines of employment.

Drug-Chip Freak-Out Zombies

This can be thrown in anywhere really. Basically, the hot new drug is pumping experience/emotion into your skull via datajack - these blackmarket datajacks being very crude, and very damaging. A drug-den is now a lot of people with cables hanging out the back of their skulls, tended to by drug dealers toting sub-machine guns. If the players decide to fuck with the drug dealers, they've got a very crude, very basic ATTACK program they can use to burn out the brains of the junkies, and use them as attack-zombies. Cheap and nasty, just like the drug-chips. They're pretty shitty combatants but have numbers and covering fire from the drug dealers, so they can be used to quite a horrid effect.

The players killed fucking all of them without remorse.

that's all I can remember right now - at least the ones which are interesting and uniquely cyberpunkish





Monday, 13 June 2016

The Old Serpents

Sunday Players super-mega-do-not-read.
The Old Serpents

One-eyed snakes of Law, predating Chaos, life, fire and light. They wield something like magic, but drawing on the age and solidity of the world rather than puncturing reality and channeling the Sea outside. They wish to see all life and light not of them extinguished, but they are patient.

They are immense, and coil far below the sun, under the mountains, where their servitors speak to the pathetic hominids who give them worship. A wise Old Serpent will never fight directly.

HD 18 / AC AS LEATHER / BITE D12 - also is a 12th level magic user w/ access to all spells.

Speaking Serpents

The bastard children of the Old Serpents and something long extinct, any given Old Serpent will have a brood of 1d8 of these creatures. They act as the messengers, passing on information to the People of the Serpent, and commanding the Blind Flesh when direct intervention is needed. They despise the Primordial Beetles - and the feeling is mirrored.

The Speaking Serpents can speak only in lies. The People of the Serpent simply take this as a protective measure - the words of the divine cannot be spoken directly without burning the lungs, throat and mouth gravely.

Speaking Serpents will seek to bite once and leave if attacked.

HD 4 / AC AS CHAIN / BITE D10 + SAVE OR DIE POISON.

Those surviving the bite of a Speaking Serpent gain the ability to taste lies on the air. Taking any form of antidote will remove this ability.

Primordial Beetles

These ghost-white beetles dwell in the unformed pockets of reality, and something must be tossed into their sacrifice-bits to rouse them from their burrow. They have a loose alliance to the Old Serpents, and each Old Serpent has 1d6 -2 beetles it could call upon. They gnaw upon time to extend their burrows, and can, instead of attacking, vomit forth Aging Amber, which ages any who touch it, causing the gain of d20 years.

Their chitin is covered in nearly-human faces, all of which sing the glory of the beetle continuously. This is very very loud.

HD 8 / AC AS PLATE +1 / BITE D12 + 3 OR VOMIT / FLYING

Blind Flesh

The original creations of the Old Serpents once they felt the shift from cold, sterile law to freewheeling chaos, the Blind Flesh are something like men - eight foot muscle bound creatures entirely lacking in a head, the neck-stump containing a pair of nostrils and strange, reptilian disks for hearing. Their flesh is lightly scaled. They are bound entirely to the will of their Old Serpent, and their greater servants. Time has worn down their numbers, and each Old Serpent has 2d20 of these monsters remaining. When the time comes, more will be made.

In combat they use their hideous strength to launch characters into walls, resolved as a successful grapple check, and dealing d12 +4 damage.

HD 6 / AC AS LEATHER  / MAUL FOR D8+3 OR THROW

Native Weirdness

The characters are from NOT!EUROPE, and they've variously dimension/time hopped to their own past on a different continent, which is NOT!SOUTHAMERICA. Also Sunday players maybe miss but it's not huge spoilers.

Roll 1d4 times. Some are cultural, some are more fantastical. Whatever man

d20
Something about the Tribe.
1
All wear a mask. Materials and depictions vary.
2
All are silent – speech is not permitted.
3
All have shards of obsidian embedded in their fingers. (1d6 damage)
4
All bear sharpened teeth.
5
All have their faces scarred into demonic visages.
6
No single member is over 4’10 in height.
7
All are cannibals through choice.
8
They give praise and sacrifice to the Mountains.
9
All fully fledged members of the tribe have two child-slaves bound to them.
10
All bear open wounds, deliberately inflicted and left to fester in the jungle-steam.
11
The entire tribe is one gender.
12
All are [children/elderly].
13
All appear to be heavy with child – they carry parasites within their bellies, knowingly.
14
No skin is allowed to show – they are wrapped about with hide, always.
15
Each is accompanied by their bonded animal. Those who cannot bond are fed to animals.
16
All have long, sinuous limbs. They clamber through the trees with ease.
17
Every single member is missing at least one limb or appendage.
18
All bear a sack of rocks upon their back. They will not discuss the rocks.
19
All have feathers embedded in their skin, delicate patterns swaying.
20
All have blank faces – something has robbed them of their features.

Roll a d6 when natives are encountered. 

d6
Reaction
1
Attack
2
Observe
3
Hunt
4
Ignore
5
Trade
6
Flee
A patrol of natives is 2d6, a tribe is 3d20, each d20 being men, women and children respectively. They are 1HD humans without armour, using spears and clubs.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

CULTS.

Being a record of the Proscribed Cults and Societies of the Nilfenbergian Empire.

"The god you believe in is safe - because it does not exist. Your god is not real. Ours are."
 -Heretic Jean Halet prior to his burning.

Cult of the Unknown / Forgottten.

You shall know them by the wearing of any faded, destroyed or worn religious symbol.
The power is forgotten and stronger for it. Weakness through worship, and strength through obscurity. Only a select few may know of the cult, and fewer still be indoctrinated. The commands - Destroy libraries. Kill scholars and the faithful. Hide me and forget me - and so I shall grow. The most forgetful shall be rewarded.

Pestilent Church

Those afflicted are those blessed – fever dreams speak truer than the unclouded eye, as it is writ within the Book of Lepers. The Prophets are the afflicted, and they render truth throughout their suffering.
We, the Seekers, find the Prophets and bring them to our hallowed halls, wherein the Minders will prolong the flickering flame of a Prophets life and record their sacred words, to be added to the manifold predictions of the Prophets. These are stored within the Blighted Archives, wherein senior Seekers will divine the true meanings and guide the faithful.
--
We give prayer in the Hall of Moans, wherein the most blessed of prophets, immobile in their holy state, moan and reveal the hidden secrets. The only hymns in our church will be those of the Prophets, leading us forwards. Oh, the irony the most agonised are the most blessed, begging for death when they are on the edge of divinity.
Some diseases spew forth substance, bile, blood and fluid. Some prophets spew prophecy. Within the Chamber, the Minders discern meaning like the Haruspices of old, but informed with truth and disease rather than primitive superstition and animal entrails.

Within the Blighted Archives we store the words of all Prophets, as well as our relics – whether they be hated cures for blessings or the viscera of the most notable saints. Each Prophet receives a tome, eventually bound in their own skin, no matter how leprous.

The Unwashed Servants of the Immaculate Prince, the Purest Divinity Untainted.

The commandment - Debase this World and Honour Me.
Loved is the sewer and the charcoal burner.
My idols are filth encrusted - better they do not pretend to reflect my glory.
You shall worship me as a Soiled God - the Immaculate Prince cannot be understood by your mere meat and filth and dust and dirt.
All members of this foulsome cult are well versed in the desecration and defilment of religious structures.

The Many Mouths of Starvation / The Eaters / Cult of Consumption

We fight famine. We hold starvation at bay through our ceaseless consumption. Eat. Eat, Eat, That's all there is to it, my delicate morsel. Hm? Why should I not enjoy saving the world.

The Schism - Quantity or Quality? The Gluttons and the Gourmands. Which will sate a divine hunger best? Mountains of material, edible or no, or else the most exotic, the most daring culinary exploits? Gourmands are of noble birth, with vast sums of money and many strings to pull. Gluttons are simply unstoppable mountains of flesh, their custom steel teeth gnashing endlessly.

Peace Killers / The Cult of Limited Strife

Our enemy, the Strife King, the Lord of Battle, let slip a powerful secret - war is a limited resource. Peace shall reign triumphant once our task is complete. We are gladiators, killers, soldiers, mercenaries and generals all serving under the banner of peace. We spar endlessly afore entering the world to drain the pool of battle as quickly as we can, so that we may all know peace.

THE SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT

The Battle Exotic - The more unusual, the more novel the battle, the greater the drain upon that resource, War. These members are dressed flamboyantly and often wield custom made weapons, discarding them often to move onto something stranger - often mid-fight.

The Battle Extended - The cost of a fight upon that pool of War grows strongest with length - all fights should be drawn out as long as possible to maximise the cost. Adherents to this school will often bear heavy armour but very light weapons. Knights with knives.

The Battle Perfect - The higher the skill employed in the battle, the more taxing it is for the Strife King and his hoard of War. These inidividuals seek out the strongest, most skilled opponents. They will dedicate themselves entirely to a single style and weapon.

The Battle Tremendous - The volume is key - the largest battles, the greatest wars. Manipulators, generals and diplomats rather than the individual fighters of the other Schools.