Sunday, February 16, 2020

Vancian magic and world building

"Within this instrument," said Pandelume, "resides the Universe. Passive in itself and not of sorcery, it elucidates every problem, each phase of existence, all the secrets of time and space. Your spells and runes are built upon its power and codified according to a great underlying mosaic of magic. The design of this mosaic we cannot surmise; our knowledge is didactic, empirical, arbitrary. Phandaal glimpsed the pattern and so was able to formulate many of the spells which bear his name. I have endeavored through the ages to break the clouded glass, but so far my research has failed. He who discovers the pattern will know all of sorcery and be a man powerful beyond comprehension. - Jack Vance"
Magic often describe how the world function so I thought that it could be interesting to do some world building around the principles implied by how vancian magic work to try to integrate it more into a setting.
"Turjan found a musty portfolio, turned the heavy pages to the spell the Sage had shown him, the Call to the Violet Cloud. He stared down at the characters and they burned with an urgent power, pressing off the page as if frantic to leave the dark solitude of the book. - Jack Vance"
What meaning can we gather from how vancian magic work?

Spells are nearly alive, they are wild and want to be free. Spell books are like prisons for them, a spellcaster mind seem like a better place for them to reside.

Memorizing spells is luring them into your mind. A mage's spell slots are like beautifully crafted mental cells designed to lure spells in. Casting a spell is luring it out of the pretty cage you crafted in your mind. Once a spell leave it cage you forget it.

You can memorize multiple copies of a spell, this mean that you can craft multiple memory prisons in your head.

Clerics do the same, their prayers are mental prisons for the spells delivered to them by the gods.

Maybe when a spell is miscasted it trash the place when it leave it cell and the mage forget some bits of their life in the process.

A other type of world building we can do is to expand the vancian concept, like we can  can say that any form of magical knowledge erase itself from memory once used.

Everything in such a setting would be about preserving magical knowledge to avoid definitively forgetting it. Maybe you have giant engraved runes stones marking the land like in The Banner Saga, these being the spell books of the gods. The primordial runes stones have been crafted by the gods but maybe new ones can be crafted by people but these are lifelong or multi generations projects like cathedrals.

Some of these primordial runes stones may be damaged or defaced and the knowledge or the spells that may be learned from them could be erratic or corrupted.

Maybe people fear forgetting things and record many other meaningful things. Maybe they record things into different mediums to have fail safe copies: books, engravings, land art, tattoos, etc. Scribes and people who engrave knowledge are super important. Oral history is all about transmitting it, once you chant a saga you forget it as it words and their magic embed itself into the persons who heard it. 

Architects who build dungeons forget their magical architecture afterward. Once you forge a magical blade you forget how you crafted it and maybe the runes on magical items are engraved to transmit how to craft them. Saying a magical being true name erase it from your memory.

Or maybe forgetting things is built into different aspect of the fabric of the world. Maybe dungeons are forgotten places that fester or are badly remembered. Maybe that magical weapons erase from their wielder memory who they have slain. Maybe forgetting the dead turn them into undead, so you have to honor the memory of the people you kill if you don't want them to come back. Wars mean building colossal monuments to honor the dead to avoid returning undead armies. Fabricating fake memories or preserving false histories could have interesting consequences too.

Monday, January 27, 2020

How to wear your magical scarf

Magic items could have different effects depending on how you wear or use them, for example:

Think about a magical sword, it could have different effect when you:
  • Hold it in your hand
  • Keep it in your scabbard
  • When you draw it 
  • Hold it close to your chest
  • When it taste blood
  • When you strike it in the ground
  • When you pray over it
  • When it break (or when a other blade strike it) 

Jewelry can have depending effect depending of:
  • how you wear them
  • where you wear them (neck, ankle, wrist for necklace) 
  • when they are in their jewelry box
  • when you hold them in your hand 
  • if wear them for a specific event 
  • when you wear them with a other item

It could be fun to experiment with this.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Spooky City

I drew the spooky city that I generated with the Anxiety Wizard's city generator.
I may eventually turn the city into a free zine.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Magical Cat

This magical cat is...

...made of  (d10) with eyes of (d10) 
  1. Jade
  2. Ceramic 
  3. Pure darkness
  4. Paprika 
  5. Amber 
  6. Saffron 
  7. Stained glass
  8. Marble
  9. Moon dust
  10. Soapstone 
and it hunt (d10)
  1. miniature people
  2. small dreams
  3. petty thoughts 
  4. tiny golem
  5. clockwork birds
  6. crystalline spiders
  7. shadows
  8. faeries who turn into keys
  9. mouses made of salt
  10. invisible parasites 

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Kobold Lair Stuff

I asked on twitter stuff to place in a kobolds lair, here is the compiled result. 
Thanks to everyone who contributed. 
  1. Hatchery / Egg warming chamber
  2. Shaman hut where they dry herb and prepare paints
  3. Genealogy stand
  4. Pseudo-scientific fortune-teller equivalent: "Your scales are heart-shaped, your breath smell like egg etc... So you are 30% red dragon, 50% gold dragon, 20% black dragon. Avoid adventurers on sunday. Now give me 2 rats"
  5. Tunnels than only a rolled-up pangobold would fit through
  6. Workshop where armor is made from cast-off scales for non-kobold allies
  7. Tools (mining, or for crafting traps)
  8. Piles of Stuff (Hoards but probably trash)
  9. Bones piles (collected after eating the meat, probably left around to be used as crafting material)
  10. Unlucky previous adventurers caught by traps
  11. Giant rat farm
  12. Giant rat dairy
  13. Trash heaps
  14. Trash forge
  15. Giant rat powered industrial treadmills/wheels.
  16. Metal scrapyard
  17. Thermal vents/hot springs
  18. Herbarium
  19. Mushroom farm
  20. Kobold ossuary
  21. Wishing egg: carve something on a stone egg and it will happen when it hatch.
  22. Pens for moles and other burrowing animals
  23. Clockmaker's workshop
  24. Weird convoluted traps to protect their lair.
  25. Mounts and their stables.
  26. Workshop with weird stuff that don't really work.
  27. Nursery for baby kobolds to be raised (and trained to make raids).
  28. Training ground
  29. Underground river
  30. Small lake with fishing gear it boats
  31. Flooded cave (some hidden treasure in it? Only the leader who can swim can get it!)
  32. Warming materials and goods, like a big collection of rugs
  33. Traps workshop
  34. Random junk/trinkets that have been sorted in piles...
  35. Blanket fort
  36. Weapon stores
  37. Poison making station
  38. Alchemy lab (often explode)
  39. Dragon mourning shrine with relics
  40. Shrine dedicated to attracting a dragon. Full of offering and representations of the dragon. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Alternate vampire broods

Some alternate vampires broods I wanted to use for the garlic weavers zine.

Vampire Grubs
  • Grip attack
  • Eat corpses to regenerate
  • Burrow underground
  • Need blood to start their metamorphosis into a beetle vampire lord.

Vampire Mandragore
  • Created when a mandragore is nourished with human blood.
  • Charm spells
  • Scream make blood vessels erupts
  • Dring blood with her roots

Vampire Leeches
  • Mutate as they drink human blood.
  • Infected corpses spawn multiple vampire leeches
  • Hunt other vampires for their blood

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Fire & Ice City Set

I wrote a city set for Anxiety Wizard's city generator. My goal was to make something with a primordial vibe.

City of Fire & Ice 

The Land of Fire was once covered with jungles teeming with life until the Seven Lich Kings came from the north dragging Winter with them, chained to their war mammoths, screaming blizzards and snowstorms. The frozen Kings chained Winter into the earth and the land froze. The Lich Kings forged blades of ice and hunted down the great dragons. The jungle people rose to face the frozen kings, but the frozen kings kept reanimating their fallen warriors and the free people were vanquished. 

But there is some hope, people are taking arms again and are gathering in the Volcano Cities of the Ember Queens. Former servants of the Lich Kings, trained to master fire, the servants of ember broke their bounds and forged their own glory, fire in their eyes and a cold blade in their fist.

  • Primordial heroic fantasy. 
  • Fire: the city is build on the clift of a dormant volcano, thermal vents warm houses and buildings.  
  • Ice: the city is build in the frozen south, once covered in jungles the southern land is now a frozen wasteland.
  • Amazons: The Ember Queens and their amazon warriors rules over the city, women and men are welcomed as equals and are judged by their deeds and the valor of their heart.   
  • Dwarfs: dwarfs come from the center of the Earth and are immune to fire. 
  • Giants: giants never stop to grow and they live long. A teenage giant is a head or two higher than a human, venerable giants have a hard time fitting in the city. The bigger they grow the slower they become. 
  • Lizard Folks: cold blooded, their kind face extinctinction, the volcano cities are their last refuges. 
  • Nomadic tribes: the jungle tribes are now nomads who live in the frozen waste, hunting and fighting a guerilla war against the undead legion of the lich kings. 
  • Once a verdan land: frozen traces of the past are everywhere, verdan spirits are wounded and angry, often taking the form of giant beasts.  
  • The Lich Kings and their vassals: the Lich kings rules through their undead minions and their human servants. 
  • The Ice Witches: some clever witches learned how to channel the freezing power that seep through the land. 
  • Mammoths were the war beasts of the armies of the lich kings, the giants liberated them and adopted them into their tribe. The only mammoths that still serve the lich kings are undead ones.

Landmarks (d12) 
  1. The Furnace: connecting with the underground lava pools and the dwarven kingdom, the Furnace is the royal forge where the finest weapons are crafted by the iron mothers and their apprentices (to help the resistance, dwarf matrons are now training non dwarfs apprentices). 
  2. The Chimney: a high stone tower that let the extra heat of the volcano escape in the skies. The patterns painted on it walls cool down the fire spirits who try to escape through the chimney. Shamans sweat and dream in the surrounding saunas.   
  3. Ember Palace: build with volcanic stones the palace of the Ember Queen look more like a feasting hall than a castle but it is still massive and impressive. The Queen rule with her adopted daughters.  
  4. Lava pit: a stone dome build over a open sky lava pit, it redistribute the heat around the city. Dwarven ambassadors reside here. 
  5. Wyvern Stables: build around a stony peak, these stables host the playful children of the Firebrands, the royal wyverns. Lizard folks take good care of the beasts. 
  6. The Bone Arena: a jousting pit built with the bones of giant beasts. Those who enter the arena do it for sport and to perfect their art. Everyone who fight are celebrated during the night, until dawn. 
  7. Ice Tower: home of the Ramorhaz, the head of the city Ice Witches. The Ramorhaz are not easy to deal with but they have stolen the secret of death and life from one of the Lich Kings. They keep ice worms as pets.   
  8. Salamanders’ Bath: steam bath warmed by the natural heat of giant fire salamanders. Favorite place of the lizard folks.   
  9. Warrior Academia. Learn the secret of Steel with one of the adopted daughters of the Queen, each teaching her own secret technique to any women or men who dare to challenge them. 
  10. Frozen One. A ice mountain containing a titanic verdan or undead beast, found by the Ramorhaz and linked to the source of her powers. Ice witches often come here to commune with the beast.  
  11. Mammoth Hall. Gigantic hall built by the giant folk to honor their mammoth friends, the hall commemorate how the giant liberated the mammoths from the Lich King and became their allies.  
  12. Jungle crater, snow covered on the outside, humid and warm in the inside, this small crater harbor a thermotropic jungle garden. The gardener is a old and wizened lizard woman who remember the time of dragons, before the liches came and extinguished their fire. Now only the wyverns fly in the skies. 

Districts (d30) 
  1. Dwarfs district: dwarfs love stone and lava, they are warm and fiery, mothers are sacred to them because of their devotion to the Magma Matter. Their stone houses are small, round and brightly painted. Surface dwelling dwarves are mourning a loved one or they took a human as a life partner. Half dwarfs are more often female (60%).   
  2. Giants district: giant are big, hairy and love the cold waste. They enjoy the company of mammoths and other large beasts. They are joyful and love the company of humans. Most of them are males (70%) as many of their women warriors were killed by the Lich King’s legions. Teenagee giants sometimes mates with humans. They live in crude longhouses.
  3. Nomads district: the nomad tribes once wandered the great jungle and learned how to wander the cold wastes but the legions of the Lich King force them to take refuge in the city. Their district is decorated with effigis representing vanished animals and verdant spirits. They still travel the land to hunt lost spirits and to lead their guerilla war so their houses are often empty. Each house is a refuge for a verdant spirit, a empty house can be used by anyone, doing so require a offering to the spirit that took refuge there. 
  4. Red Guards district: the elite warriors of the queen and their family live there, their status grant them a bit of extra luxury but their halls are always open to strangers. 
  5. Brewery district: humans, giants and dwarfs live and work together to craft the finest mead. 
  6. Forge district: the apprentices of the Iron Mothers open their shops here. The population is quite diverse, free people, dwarfs, giants and strangers from distant lands. 
  7. Cold district: this district is no longer connected to the heating vents, people use a central embers pit to warm and distribute ember stones. Life is more rude but some folks prefer it like this, especially by grey apes (yeti like sentient apes).  
  8. Ice district: this district have been frozen by the Remorhaz. People fighting undead encased in ice can still be seen. Only reformed undeads who deserted the legions of the Lich King live there. People avoid the area. 
  9. Fire district: the district was devastated by fire spirits or magic. Some of it ruins still contain magical hot ember. Some fire spirits built their lair there. Lonely dwarfs sometime settle there to harvest the magical ember. 
  10. Adventurers district: strangers from distant lands gather here before leaving for dangerous dungeon delving expeditions, inns and equipment stores make good trades here. The best place to gather rumors. Local kids and teenagers know a lot about adventuring and make good henchmen. Old adventurers with a dead wish also volunteer sometimes, promising their shares to their family. 
  11. Market district: a big market under animal skin tents. People trade all kind of food and handcrafted items. Ice age animals are also available.
  12. Lizard folks district: the blue scaled lizard folks have a hard time enduring the ice age, they still dream about the time of the verdan beasts, the times of dragons’ fire, before the Lich Kings chained Winter to the land. They use ember stones and lava eggs to warm their grottos. They know rituals to change genders and are great tattoo artists. They craft wyvern scales armors and can teach how to ride these beasts. The city probably host the last survivors of their specie. Trangender folk from other species seek them to transition, they often settle in their district and learn their culture.    
  13. Boneyard district: at first it was a mammoths boneyard but now everyone put their bones there, mammoths, giants, humans and others. Bonekeepers and their families live their, taking good cares of everyone’s ancestors.  
  14. Pleasure district: these halls are for the art of pleasure, women and men can freely entertain each others, danse, chant, consume drugs and relax. The local artisans wear body paints and are well respected for their crafts. Drugs crafters try to maintain alive jungles flowers and their seeds. Trans people who mix their tribe’s ancestral knowledge and the secrets they learned from the lizard folks become the best drugs crafters. 
  15. Mercenaries district: mercenaries from distant lands are often stranded in the cold wastes fighting futiles wars against the Lich Kings. A lot of them decide to take residence in the Ember Cities. The district is a rich mix of cultures.  
  16. Refugees district: the northern tribes survivor fled before the armies of the lich king, some of them found refuge in the volcanic cities. Their customs are different but they know a lot about how to survive in the cold. 
  17. Construction district: humans, giants and dwarfs work together on a big project that will become a new landmark. Teenagers are excited to learn the secret of architecture from the dwarfs.  
  18. Rogue Queen district: no one trust her, she was defeated by the current queen in a duel, she have contacts within the undead armies, she fight dirty and is often petty. Her spies are everywhere. The current queen still have a weak spot for her. 
  19. Volcanic mud district: a old jungle tribe know the secret of how to shape the volcanic mud and how to awaken it magical properties. Their member are secretive and badly understood but their healing techniques and enchantments are well respected.  
  20. Tattooist district: tattooists are busy recording the history of the jungle people before the dream fade away. Their tattoos grant the memories of past lives. 
  21. Cultists districts: people from this district worship a elder verdant spirit, it true form is forgotten and it dreams are getting disturbing, it shape have too many legs, hooves and claws.  
  22. Obsidian district: the obsidian carvers know the old songs that make the dark stone stronger. In the oldest days the dark stone was the only material that could kill a dragon. There is a lot of pressure on the the younger generation to learn how to carve the obsidian stone but the young feel like this is useless since there is no dragons anymore.    
  23. Disparate tribes district: survivors from discimated tribes are trying to live together. To do so they have to forget old grudges. 
  24. Ice dwarfs district: these dwarfs came from the northern glaciers, they work to free winter from her chains but no one understand their language. The know how to smith ice into formidable blades. Fire dwarfs are uncomfortable around them. 
  25. Burned ones district: a long time ago a tribe burned a godlike being and have been cursed to bear their scars. The elders try to attone themselves from the sin of their ancestors but the new generation don’t mind their scars and don’t care about the past. Some say that fire can hurt them but never kill them. 
  26. Fossils district: the stones of this district contain many fossils, old lizard folks are carefully digging them out and are trying to speak with their spirits, some are trying to craft weapons or magical talismans with them.   
  27. Destroyed district: a hate bearer undead infiltrated the district and exploded in a mass of hateful flesh that destroyed many houses. People are trying to rebuild but feel uncomfortable. Some bit of undead flesh still lurk in the ruins.   
  28. Spiders district: spider necromancy is based on poison and is very different from the sorcerous necromancy of the lich kings. Like the lizard folk, the spider people need the warm of the city to survive. Old spiders enjoy weaving clothes with humans while gossiping.
  29. Lava flow district. A long time ago the volcano covered a older town with lava, the district is built on these ruins. People do not dare to disturb the body of their ancestors who were encased in lava. Some of these bodies radiate heat and warm houses. 
  30. Ice shard district: a gigantic never melting ice shard was found in the cold wastes and was brought into the district. People are chipping slices of it and carving them into all kind of items. Some say that the ice shards users are becoming a bit strange. 

Random Encounters (d100)
  1. 2d4 nomads speaking about something strange they saw in the cold wastes.
  2. 1d6 Red guards looking for a (1.criminal, 2.prisoner, 3.creature, 4.undead, 5.rogue guard, 6.runaway kid)
  3. A zombie bitten and infected giant, scared and in pain.
  4. 1d6 dwarf matrons looking for a escaped fire salamander or spirit.
  5. A lizard folk in dreaming fever, dreams may become corporeal.
  6. Human possessed by a winter spirit freeze everything they touch.
  7. A escaped wyvern, nervous and hungry.
  8. 2d4 drunk mercenaries looking for trouble.
  9. A redguard with a bad reputation notice one of the characters. 
  10. A reformed undead, tracked down by a 1d6 vengeful warriors.
  11. 1d3 ice sorceress apprentices who lost control of a rogue ice spirit.
  12. Iron maiden weaponsmith breaking up with her abusive girlfriend warrior.
  13. A runaway fire salamander, curious and looking for eat sources to eat.
  14. A mammoth mad with pain because of a embedded obsidian shard.
  15. 1d3 human spies working for a undead general.
  16. 1d6 smugglers with a cargo of trainted weapons.
  17. A heartbroken dwarf drunk with lava mead, vomit fire.
  18. A shaman looking for a cute spirit that can grow big and dangerous.
  19. The Ember Queen trying to be incognito, looking for her adopted daughter who is in troubles.
  20. Dwarf ambassador and her retinue of d6 dwarfs looking for a dwarf pariah who is trying to start a new life or to smuggle dangerous fire gems.
  21. 2d6 smugglers trying to smuggle a baby wyvern but being too obvious about it.
  22. Bad loser of a arena duel looking for more people to fight.
  23. Happy winner of a arena duel noticing one of the characters.
  24. Escaped ice worm leaving a trail of half eaten frozen victims.
  25. Someone resuscitated by a ice witch, wandering the street confused, imbued with a temporarily incontrolable strength.
  26. Runaway lizard folk youngling, tried to follow a vision, freezing to death.
  27. Drunken warrior master boosting she can break any blade “show me yours!”.
  28. Rogue verdan beast, blind and in pain, hunting ice witches and other magic users.
  29. Lost baby mammoth looking for their giant friend (also a kid).
  30. Lost jungle beast (panther, etc), freezing and angry, probably someone’s pet.
  31. Dwarf mourning her daughter, crashing down in a fiery berserker rage.
  32. A intersex half dwarf notice one of the characters.
  33. Hyperactive teenager half giant notice one of the the character.
  34. Sad giant, sitting in the street and refusing to move, old and gigantic enough to block the street. Local people are angry or scared for their houses.
  35. Old nomad shaman and their apprentice looking for a missing verdant spirit (or the reverse).
  36. 1d6 frustrated nomads who lost companions in the waste, discouraging other people.
  37. Red Guard who lost a arm in battle, looking for work.
  38. Someone need help to hunt down a companion who became a undead in the cold waste. 
  39. Apprentice brewer looking for a stolen keg of magical mead.
  40. Stranger from a distant land, looking for a lost compatriot.
  41. Old grey ape (yeti) mercenary looking for work.
  42. Grey ape (yeti) looking for companions for a pilgrinage to their destroyed home.
  43. A reformed undead looking for protection and work.
  44. 1d6 smugglers stealing magical embers.
  45. A teenager or kid henchman looking for work, their parent was a adventurer.
  46. Old adventurer looking for a group to loot a dangerous tomb.
  47. 2d4 merchants arguing togethers, one of them ask a character to arbitrate.
  48. Lizard folks funeral ceremony.
  49. Trans person passing through a bad dream fever induced by the potion they took during their transition ritual. The bad dreams they perceive may become corporeal.
  50. 1d6 bonekeepers looking for stolen bones. A rogue necromancer is suspected.
  51. Drugs crafter looking for strange ingredients.
  52. 2d4 nasty mercenaries looking for a deserter.
  53. 2d6 refugees from the distant north looking for a warm place to sleep.
  54. 1d6 dwarfs looking for a damaged construction golem.
  55. A outcast Ember Queen and her beastfolk bodyguard, looking for allies or companionship.
  56. 2d4 rogues are attempting a heist, one of them notice the characters. 
  57. Lava mud elemental, confused, searching for the wounded person they were supposed to heal.
  58. A elderly sorcerer lost control of a wood carved fetish that contain the spirit of an angry ancestor. 
  59. 1d6 rogues are trying to take care of a infected companions but things are going badly. 
  60. Tattooist possessed by a vampiric tattoo after using a cursed ink.
  61. 2d6 Cultists looking for a runaway family member hosting the fragment of a ancient verdant spirit.
  62. Corrupted verdant spirit tracking a target or cultists.
  63. A kid is being laughing at for showing off a obsidian weapon they made.
  64. Elders of different tribes arguing over if their kids can hang out together. The kids ask a character for help.
  65. Ice dwarf try to communicate with a character. They follow them around if ignored.
  66. Someone burst into flames, a shadowy figure observe from a distance.
  67. A building is on fire, a burned one refuse to leave the inferno.
  68. 1d6 lizard folks digging out a fossil. One of them seem sick...
  69. A mass of forgotten undead flesh spill out of a abandoned building.
  70. A hate bearer undead, soon ready to explode in a mass of undead flesh.
  71. A undead infiltrator following a assassination target.
  72. A undead spying pet observing a target.
  73. A strange monolith appeared out of nowhere, people are gathering around it. 
  74. A ancestral blood feud between two clans erupt in violence. 
  75. Impromptu street market. People are trading local goods. 
  76. 1d6 people are accusing a spider person of vampirism. 
  77. Spider person need help to bring back a family member or lover who became feral. 
  78. 1d6 bodies encased in lava stone move toward the characters or a NPC.  
  79. Someone embedded by a magical ice shard is mutating into a frost giant or beast. 
  80. Rangers discuss rumors about a gigantic undead mammoth.
  81. Funeral procession with a long ritual to protect the death body from unlife. 
  82. The earth rumble and shake a bit due to the volcano. 
  83. 2d6 kids or teenagers are playing, their game may interfere with the characters’ activities. 
  84. A caravan is getting ready to leave the city in 1d4 days and are recruiting guards. 
  85. 2d4 elders are reading bones or other divinatory tools. 
  86. 2d4 women are travelling together, one of them notice one of the characters.
  87. 2d4 men are playing a traditional game, one of the notice one of the characters.
  88. A pregnant woman is looking for someone. 
  89. 1d6 warriors are mourning a recent defeat.
  90. 2d6 warrior are celebrating a recent victory.
  91. 2d6 lizard folks and 1d4 transgender humans are celebrating a ritual about dragons. 
  92. A wounded wyvern and it rider crash down nearby. 
  93. A snow storm hit the city for 1d4 days. The storm may be supernatural or not. 
  94. A large group of refugees arrive to the city, a nearby outpost or city have fallen to undead legions. 
  95. Nomads are talking about a strange crater in the cold wastes.
  96. 1d6 Rangers are bringing back a undead prisoner in magical obsidian chains. 
  97. Rumors about a incoming undead attack circulate. 
  98. The temperature is colder than usual for 1d6 days.
  99. The temperature is warmer than usual for 1d6 days. 
  100. A rare celestial conjunction will happen tonight, celebrations and warding are planed. 
(when a NPC notice a character, this mean that they find them interesting, this can naturally mean different things)

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Fantasy Calendar

Viditya discussed online about how he would like to see more calendar instead of maps in gaming material, so I wondered how to draw calendars that are as fun as a map to draw and to look at. I thought about how the ancient Mayan calendar is impressive visually and I tried to quickly draw something inspired by it circular shape.

I drew a central figure and I improvised around it. The calendar have 6 months of different length: 14, 24,29, 31, 41 and 46 days. A year is two cycles of these 6 months, the first cycle is named the young one and the second the old one. So for exemple you have the 5th of the Young Cold Star and the 5th of the Old Cold Star. 

The six months are represented in the vertical bar of the calendar: The Cold Star that freeze the land and crack the stones, the Breaking Stones who shake the land but free the warm iron, the Ember Steel who warm the hands but who wound the people, the Storm Tears who unleash passions but who make things grow, the Mother Grail who collect the tears and transform them into something new, the Born Fire who is full of life but short lived.   

  • The two women heads represent the warm sun and her lover, the cold sun who was born like a boy but grew like a woman. 
  • The two moons represent their dreaming selfs, one his cracked and bad dreams often escape from it. 
  • The small star represent the cold star, a white dwarf that gravitate further away from the two lovers and who often try to separate them, she is often represented as a undead crone.  

I drew different icons that represent special events that are celebrated during the months.
More world building can be generated by defining the events that they represents.

Maybe we can use a random table for inspiration, the day is a celebration of a (d10):

  1. natural cycle
  2. unnatural cycle
  3. historical event 
  4. mythological event 
  5. popular festival 
  6. ancient ritual
  7. human activity 
  8. holy day
  9. rite of passage or union
  10. roll twice and combine the results
I like how crafting the calendar craft a cosmogony, I think there is a lot of space for experimentation when drawing calendars like maps. 

Monday, December 9, 2019

The wyrd tongue that walk on three legs

Contributions by: Tore N, Draugmith, Greg S, Nomad Galactic, Usedforscreaming. 
The creature is the divine child of a satyr like deity and a shadow that nested in the shimmering realm. One legend say that the creature was conceived when the satyr god seduced one of his priestess while she was possessed by the shadow. A other story say that the satyr goddess and the shadow felt in love but that their union and their offspring was cursed. Satyres try to ward off the creatures, some want to hunt it, other respect it divine heritage and secretly seek it blessing. 

(1) Wyrd skull 
The divine offspring is blind and can only perceive beings who memorized spells, it often use it shadowy hands (6) to feel it surrounding. The wyrd skull can cast spells stored in the skulls of wizards, see (4) and (5).

(2) Torso-tongue. 
These organs detect changes in kanna or magical energy. In this way the creature hopes to be lead back to its distant home where color has its origin, and where even the least creature lives on kanna.

(3) Veil tearing horns
These horns can tear through shadows, illusions or beings made of pure light or colors. 

(4) Head receptacle - Decayed skull 
The divine creature eats wizards, absorbs their heads into it's body. The head is still alive in a semi-comatose state, conscious of what happens but without free will. The goat can cast any spells the wizard had prepared at the time of digestion. Once expended, the head decays into a skull.

(5) Head receptacle - Empty
When empty a head receptacle can absorb a first or second spell and hold it to digest or release it later. Piercing the creature through one of it empty receptacles do a extra die of damage.    

(6) Shadowy hands
The divine child have long shadowy limbs that can stretch to grasp preys, within 15ft, no save is possible against their grasp. Their grip cannot be broken and the limbs cannot be cut. The limbs may be severed by tying a red ribbon around them. A severed limbs act autonomously and will meld itself to the nearest living thing, they favour ankles, wrists or necks to attach themselves.

(7) Triplicate goat-legs
They allow the creature to mimic the footprints of pair-bonded satyrs to avoid being tailed by hunters (or the satyrs themselves).

(8) Tail slicer
In addition to doing a small bit of automatic damage to anyone who flanks or backstabs, it has a small chance of severing the silver cord of anyone spying on it from the ethereal plane. The creature itself is not conscious of other planes, but the slicer knows. 

(9) Shimmering fleece 
The fleece shimmer near kanna leylines. Legends say that if woven into a garment the fleece can protect it wearer against magical attacks.