Ray O Beetle men. Cedric P Ok what about these beetle men? I need some quirky detail to start drawing. Ray O They have intricate and varied nose-horns that curve up like a rhinoceros beetle. Also, they are artificers and alchemists. So they have gadgets and/or bandoliers of potions. Benjamin B They don't use belts or pouches - they use shell-weld resin to stick things directly to their exoskeletons.
Vincent Q Is there a ruling caste of powerful Dung Beetle ruling them from their rolling Dung Castle? Ray O The females are powerful and bulky. Makes are slender, subservient accountant types. They wield a lot of power as the logistical backbone of the beetle empire while the women are out making war. Benjamin B The alchemist cast have complex jaws and weird glands. They chew weird ingredients, combine them with secretions and glandular juices, and regurgitate the resulting fluids into beautifully crafted jeweled flasks. These potions are among the most prized and the trade in them is the core of the beetle folk economy.
Cedric P it must be a pain to live in a rolling castle. Ray O All the rooms are round and sit inside a thin layer of fluid, so they revolve/remain upright even as the ball rolls. However, they must sometimes wait on one of the radial tunnels to line up with their room's doors in order to ingress or egress. Moving from the outside of the castle to the throne room is a lengthy process that requires the whole castle to be rolled in very precise directions in a very precise sequence. Benjamin B First dungeon where you must tract vector and velocity for when navigating it's Chambers. Cedric P The ball must roll very slowly. I imagine they use giant beetles mounts to roll the castle.
Ray O Those grooves create rings like tree rings. That is, they change as the castle grows in size or when a new ideology takes over and consciously changes the pattern, so that you can point to older grooves and talk about what happened during that period. Benjamin B it'll show up in idiom and common sayings. "You're running in a narrow groove!" to indicate somebody has reactionary thinking. Ray O "You do your groove and I'll do mine." "We've all seen that groove before!" "Why can't things be like they were in the old grooves?" "Everyone is moving to a different groove these days." Benjamin B Learning the history of the bugfolk is tricky, because they reckon time in circuits of the palace groove, but as the groove widens each circuit takes longer in a dead reckoning of time. Ray O Truth. I wonder if they ever revisit an old groove for a significant period of time, further confusing the timeline. "During the 237th circuit of the third navigation of the groove of St. Grakulon the Wise..." Benjamin B The interior heavily-grooved regions of their nation is called the Rutlands. The smallest grooves have weathered into gentle undulations in the land, while the more recent grooves are still sharp.
We did some collaborative creatures creation on G+:
Benjamin B Mind-control snails that perch on the craniums of different host species and control them. Cedric P they suck the brain into their shell? Benjamin B A harpoon-like tooth full of venom paralyzes their 'host' and allows the snail to get comfortably anchored. It bores a hole in the skull with radula and acid and extends its proboscis into the skull and hook into spinal nerves for controlling the body. I imagine them being cheerful and cute, with little eyestalks and everything.
I'm picturing a snail with a skull in place of shell.
Maybe a nasty variant specie that consume the brain.
I like how they could almost be mistaken for jaunty hats.
That's awesome. What if these are children. The snails can only drill through skulls that haven't hardened into full adulthood.
And you are stuck with a snail kid. Since they don't erase their personality, they just fuse with it. Farmers won't kill their kids just because they have merged with a snail. I mean if they can still work on the farm, there still good. Times are hard, you need all the hands you can get.
Maybe different sub-species of snails are especially good at different things, making them attractive options for 'partnership' in some communities. A snail that grants a superior sense of smell, letting snail children to scent valuable truffles, for example. A snail mage can concentrate on two spells at once. The heavy spiked shells of the war-snail serves admirably as a great helm.
Oooh. I could see a weird detail of a village where it's generally abhorrent to imagine having a snail child ... it's a 'tragedy' in other words ... but one farmer has done it one purpose to 'make' a truffle hunter kid. So everyone kind of looks down on that farmer, maybe even you, but you need info from him.
Yeah it need to remain a tragedy. But you have to compose with it when it happen. That farmer who voluntary contamine his child is a greedy bastard.
A soft 1hd créature hidden in a AC 12 shell that easily shatters. The shell only break on a maximum damage roll. The soft creature regen 1 hp by round. When the shell is broken the creature will start collecting the broken pieces and will slowly reassemble it shell in 1d12 days.
When wearing it shell, the creature build strange constructions. These constructions take 2d10 days to be build. Each construction give 1 extra hd to the creature. If the soft creature is reduced to 0 hp, its constructions crumble to dust and vanish from memory.
I learned a lot with this project. Stuff like Scribbus but also self confidence and perceverance. I was never able to finish anything this big. For me this is super important because in the past I always had panic attacks when trying to work on big projects. So this is a big deal for me because this means that someday I will be able to draw a graphic novel like I ever wanted to do. What helped me to go on was the collective nature of Chromatic Soup, working alone I would have probably retreated. But we learn a lot when we are in relation with other people. The DIY community kick ass! :D
Chromatic Soup is big but I still consider it a zine because of how it was made and because of it totally unprofessional editing. I learned a lot of stuff, but naturally the zine must still have a lot of small errors.
I am looking forward to see what we will do with issue #2
Next time I GM some hex crawling when we roll "no encounters" I will give a trail to follow. I totally forgot about this simple but nice technique to create exploration opportunities (and choices).
Hex crawling random encounter test (D6)
2) Fresh trail left by a encounter
3) Old trail left by a encounter
4) Debris or marks left by a encounter (trail too old to follow)
5) nothing (or a natural landmark to remember)
6) gradual weather change
Dungeon crawling random encounter test (D6)
2) Some sensory clue that a encounter is (or was) nearby (but avoidable)
3) Some sensory clue that a encounter is far away (could be debris or a trail)
6) Your light burned faster: - 1d3 torch turns or roll usage die)
I will also use this table for tracking down encounters: http://chaudronchromatique.blogspot.ca/2014/07/following-trail-of-random-encounters.html
After drawing the elf maiden travelling in a water bubble I posted some drawings about elven firefighters having to protect their forest against fire based menaces and monsters. Sadly I lost those posts when I deleted my public collections on G+.
So here is a repost of what I remember.
The idea was to setup a non grim-misery-crawl OSR campaign. I mostly got inspired by the post "Playing Cute" on Gloomtrain.
Most of the characters are elven firefighters (fighter-mages) apprentices who wield water and vegetation based spells. They are level 01 trainees.
The campaign start after their graduation but something happen and the firefighter veterans are cursed into a eternal sleep or are somehow magically disabled.
The safety of the forest now rest on the shoulders of those newbies PCs.
The characters have access to some of the artifacts of the firefighter guild, but they have to learn how to unlock their potential.
XP is awarded for doing firefighter stuff.
The sandbox is build around the forest and it inhabitants.
The elves have a firefighter treaty with the other forest dwelling races, including the chaotic races like the Bullywug. The newbie firefighters will also have to keep the respect of those races to avoid losing their help.
To add variety, some replacement or backup characters can be from the races that honor the firefighter treaty. It is often a political move for those races to send away a annoying member of their specie on firefighting duty to get rid of him or her.
For exemple this bullywug moss shaman who can summon moss spirits.
Most of the monsters encountered need help with some fire based menace or incident.
Like a troll that was stupid enough to eat something on fire. Now he can't contain the fire in it regenerating fire belly. He is afraid to set the fire of the forest but he dont dare to speak because he fear belching fire out of his mouth. So he get in a lot of trouble and incidents. Simply killing the troll is a solution but there is a big risk that he will explode and set up more fire!
So the players have to find inventive solution to deal with the fire based menaces and monsters.
As the character level up, the campaign escalade with the apparition of the Dark Fire. A corrupting fire that twist what it burn into monsters.
For exemple a dark fire treant, who is angry and resentful of the firefighters for failing at their duty and letting him burn. The fire treant become a dark fire king that try to spread the fire in the forest.
Defeating some of the big monsters should also bring some hope and a opportunity for reconstruction.
Like when the dark fire treant die, if you open it bark you can find a Embers Dryad. If well nurtured this dryad can use her power to help the vegetation regrow after a fire, she can also sense the dark fire and travel between burning trees. Maybe she also have some limited fire control power. People dont trust her but she could be a new replacement character.
The end game could be about lifting the curse from the firefighter veterans to awaken them or to accept that they are gone forever.
Weapons and armor training: you can use any armors but you are only trained in the use of flails, morning stars and spiked maces.
Dual wielding flails: when dual wielding flails you can add 1d4 “flail die” to your attack or damage. The flail die size step up every three levels. When wielding a single flail you can add +1 to attack or damage.
Slow but steady: you have -10 to you move but your armor don’t count as encumbrance because your armor is like your snail shell.
Slimy body: when naked, you can climb at move 15 and squeeze through openings as small as 5 inches across.
Vulnerable to salt: salt causes you damage like burning oil.
Desiccates quickly: you needs twice the water when traveling.
Eyes stalks: you don’t see colors, but you can see 360 degrees all around so you don’t count as having a "back" for the purposes of backstabing.
Hermaphrodite: you can have babies with anyone. Depending of your partner, some of your babies will be snail or slug persons, some will be cute little flailsnails.
Crawling tongue: you can communicate with snails and slugs. Mutant snails and slugs are harder to understand. If you want, you can start with a angry little flailsnail pet (they are mostly decorative).
LevelExp.PointsHit DiceFlail Dice Title
1 0 1d6 d4 Spiked Lad
2 1565 2d6 d4 Slime Maiden
3 3125 3d6 d4 Man-at-Flail
4 6,250 4d6 d6 Morning Star
5 12,500 5d6 d6 Snail Flail
6 25,000 6d6 d6 Iron Slug
7 50,000 7d6 d8 Snail Knight
8 100,000 8d6 d8 Slug Lord
9 200,000 9d6 d8 Flail Queen
10 300,000 9d6+1 d10 Mother-Father of Snail-Chains
Dimensional flailsnailing travel: when you travel to a new flailsnails campaign you may choose to reroll your hit points and to gain a temporary extra HD in exchange of a roll on the random table of the Article 4 of the Flailsnails convention (see table below). After one session of gameplay, you may choose to remove the extra HD to shake off the effect rolled on the table.
Random table of the Article 4 of the Flailsnails convention (1d100):