Friday, August 31, 2018

GLOG: Class: Sword Wizard

The rule of Norag is one of eugenics. There are greater men and there are lesser men. The lesser men serve, while the greater men rule. But kings are not made by their blood and pedigree. To be king one must be worthy.

Like their War Wizard brethren, the Sword Wizards have given themselves to the War Lich. But where the War Wizards give mind, body, and soul; the Sword Wizards need only give their heart.

For hours the Sword Wizards are held flat on a basalt slab as their chest is sliced, their ribs cracked, and their veins snipped until before their very eyes rests their beating heart. Then at last the micalibur, a sword of such fine a craft to be of an immeasurable earthly value, is thrust into their chest. Those that survive leave the basalt tower to make kings worthy for the thrones of greater men.

Bright Wizard by calebcleveland
by calebcleveland

Perks: Embedded in your chest where your heart is there's a sword. It is your micalibur. 

Drawback: If your micalibur is destroyed, you die.

1. You can sharpen a fist-sized object to a knife's edge. You must be holding it and it can't be harder than steel.
2. You can restore 1d8 HP by swallowing iron/steel swords. The sword is destroyed in the process.
3. You can suck one lantern-sized object, up to 50' away, into your chest hole. Activating this cantrip again ejects the object up to 50' away.
Spell List

1. Sticks to Swords
R: 50' T: [dice] sticks D: [dice*2] Rounds

You change the targeted sticks into swords. If you invested 3 or more [dice] the sticks change into large weapons that deal 1d10 damage.

2. Barrel Trick
R: 0' T: Self D: special
Slashing weapons gain a particular likeness for you; so much so that they refuse to leave after digging into your flesh. They also do you the solid of not killing you while they're crashing on your insides. When you would take damage from a slashing weapon, you absorb the damage and the weapon gets stuck inside you. The weapon is immovable while it's inside you. After you've absorbed [sum+5] damage the spell ends.

3. Steel Wind
R: 50' T: one object or creature D: 0
The sharpness of your blade carries on the wind. Make a melee attack with a slashing weapon in your hand to a target within 50', dealing +[sum] damage on a hit. If you're unarmed this spell deals 1d6 damage. You gain +[dice] Attack for this spell's Attack roll.

4. Transmute Metal to Fire
R: 80' T: one metal object D: permanent
You change the targeted object into searing fire. The object maintains its mass and shape but scorches for 1d4 fire damage for each [dice] invested. 

5. Personal Armory
R: Touch T: one container D: [dice*2] Hours

Your establish a link with the targeted container. For the duration, your chest opens up like a closet revealing the inside of the targeted container. You can swap items in and out of the container  through your chest cavity regardless of the distance between you.

6. Argyrosis
R: 0 T: one creature D: [dice] hours

The target creature's skin turns into platinum. Their unarmored Defense becomes 14+[dice].

7. Animate Sword
R: Touch T: one sword D: [sum] Rounds
You bring a sword to life, allowing it to move and follow commands. It moves by hopping on it's hilt at a rate of 10' per Round. If you invest 3 or more [dice] the sword can fly at a rate of 40' per Round.

8. The Razor Spiral
R: Self T: [dice]x10' radius D: concentration
Blades of invisible force fly around the caster. All creatures in area take 1d4 damage each round the spell is maintained. Roll damage for each creature individually, starting with those closest to the caster. The spell ends automatically when [sum]+3 damage has been dealt. The blades will also cut or damage fragile objects in the area.

by Skerples

9. King's Voice
R: 50' T: one creature D: [dice] hours
You fill the targeted creature's voice with authority. The targeted creature can't be you. For the duration of the spell, that creature can utter a [dice] word command to one other creature that can hear and understand them, who must Save or obey. If the command lasts more than one round, the creature gets a new Save at the beginning of each round.

10. Wall of Swords
R: 30' T: wall D: permanent
You summon a [dice]*10' panel of swords. You can configure the panel however you want but it must remain rectangular.

Emblem Spells
11. Sword of Kings
R: Touch T: one creature D: Permanent
You anoint the targeted creature as a true king and bestow upon them the divine right of rule. If they accept your burden, they must draw your micalibur from your chest.  Next sunrise [sum] Vassals will arrive to the creature's location to help them forge the kingdom they will inevitably rule. Vassals are first level Fighters. You can only cast this spell once in a lifetime. If your micalibur is lost or destroyed, the creature will lose their claim to royalty forever and their vassals will disperse.

12. The Vorpal Sword
R: 50' T: one creature D: [sum] Rounds
You summon this most feared blade in the hands of the targeted creature. The Sword decapitates its target on a natural 1 through [dice] if they fail a Save (and if they have a head.)
1. MD only return to your pool on a 1-2 for 24 hours.
2. Take 1d6 damage.
3. Random mutation for 1d6 Rounds, then Save with -4 penalty. Permanent if you fail.
4. Your micalibur flies from you, landing 50' away.
5. 2d4 daggers dig out of your body like fleeing parasites, causing you 1 damage each.
6. If the spell targets a sword, it targets you instead. If it targets you, it targets an enemy or fizzles. If it targets an enemy, it targets an ally.

1. One of your limbs is replaced with a sword. You can control the sword like a limb, put you can't use it to grab or hold anything.
2. Your chest hole erupts with searing fire, causing you 1d8 Con damage. The fire never burns out and shines as a torch. Sheathing your micalibur causes you terrible horrible pain, dealing 1 Con damage.
3. You turn into a sentient sword. If a creature picks you up you can make a contested Cha check to dominate them.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Dealing with Ogres

The Night Axe Ogres of Hot Spring Island hold dominion over bone and obsidian. They use their powers to craft efficient tools and deadly weapons that aid in their quest for vengeance against Svarku and his Fuegonauts.

The Night Axe are willing to offer their finely crafted useful objects to adventurers in exchange for more resources (hide, bone, obsidian, etc.)

Every time the PCs bring at least 100gp worth of resources to the Night Axe, roll on the Night Axe Treasures table (HSI pp. 160, 166-167.) It'll take the Night Axe 1d10 days to complete the crafting process. Subtract 1 day from the process for each additional 100gp worth of resources the PCs bring, minimum 1 day.

The below table offers some stats geared toward the GLOG system, but can be easily converted for any other retroclone.

ResultEntryAdditional Notes
1—2Bait PouchCan store up to 4 inventory slots worith of items. If containing meat and opened, there's a 50% chance that d6+1 Zip Birds will converge on the location.
3—4Basket of Regrowthcontains enought whale fat for 6 uses.
5—6Blade of Martok
7—8Bluescale Hood
9—10Bluescale Slippersgrants +2 Defense
11—12Bone Mallet of Straight FlightDeals d6 damage on a hit, plus if a creature is killed, the spike travels through them and attacks the next creature behind them.
13—14Bone Necklace of Salamader BlindnessWhen donned, provides 1 Round of Invisibility against Salamanders if moving. 10 minutes if completely still. Has 12 uses.
15—16Bonespell Necklace
17—18Bubble Bracelet
19—20Candle of Relaxation
21—22Censer of LearningRequires 1 inventory slot worth of Foraged Herbs from the island to be burned. Other herbs might work. 1 person can inhale the smoke to gain perfect photographic memory for the next 4 hours.
23—24Coppermance Prowler FeathersDestroy a feather to teleport to a location 50' away that you can see.
25—26Counting Pouch
27—28Cube of AntsBreaking the cube unleashes a horde of d20+40 bullet ants. They prioritize fuegonauts and their allies.
29—30Fireproof Blanket3x8' foot blanket that absorbs up to 20 fire damage before exploding in a puff of ash.
31—32Giggling Sling Stones
33—34Gourd of WaterContains a mounful water elemental (HD 8, Attack 15, Defense 19, dmg 1d8, +1d8 dmg against submerged targets.) The elemental must be coaxed out of his gourd.
35—36Lady Finder
37—38Obsidian Shrapnel
39—40Obsidian Water Grenadesexplodes for 1d6 damage in a 20' radius.
41—42Paw'lard's Perfumegrants +4 to reaction rolls. Has 12 uses.
43—44Paw'lard's Wooden Spoondeals 1d10 damage and takes up two inventory slots worth of space. The meat of slain creatures is perfectly preserved.
45—46Red Crystal Firestarter
47—48Red Scale Bootssolidifies a 10x10' area of lava over 1 round.
49—50Redball8 uses
51—52Rockcrackerdeals 1d10 damage and takes up two inventory slots worth of space. Once per day can open up a 5x10' crack in stone. Useless afterwards for 24 hours.
53—54Runed Bird Skull HelmGrants a STR of 20 when wounded or dying.
55—56Runed Bird Skull Pauldrongrants +2 Defense
57—58Runed Bone Haftdeals d6 damage and has a reach of 10'
59—60Runed Bone Torch
61—62Runed Head of Obsidian Blindnessprovides 1 Round of invisibility against obsidian bladeguards if moving.10 minutes if completely still. Has 12 uses.
63—64Runed Salamader Jawbonegrants +1 Defense and the wielder ignores 4 points of damage from fire or heat sources.
65—66Salamader Deciever's Dice
67—68Scrimshawed Ear Gaugesif pierced through the ear, grants the wearer the ability to communicate telepathically with any other creatures wearing the gauges. The telepathic line is open and private conversations aren't possible if multiple creatures are wearing the gauges.
69—70Silver Gloves of Obsidian Artillery
71—72Silver Hair Belt
73—74Silver Sack of Nuggets
75—76Silver Tongue Skull
77—78Silversight Hood
79—80Silverzip Bola
81—82Singing Rope
83—84Slipshine Oil
85—86Stay Fresh Bag
87—88Strap of Facesallows the wearer to counsel with the God of Vengeace. Has 6 uses.
89—90Training AxeAny creature that attempts to lift the axe must Save or be caught in an hour long trance. During the trance they're body will run through axe manuevers.
91—92War Horn of Friendship
93—94Watertight Basket
95—96Whalebone Lockone locked only the owner can pry it loose.
97—98Wind Glove
99—100Wooden Multitool

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

GLOG: Class: Convoker

I've always had a bone to pick with the cleric. The bone I have isn't the fact that they exist, like some edgy atheist might have, thought that I am. It isn't even the fact that clerics are a Gygaxian one-up to another Gygaxian one-up. It's the fact that the cleric doesn't really simulate the viral nature of religion.

In game settings where clerics are prevalent, religious institutions are just assumed to be around. They don't really go into how these religious institutions came to be or how they interact with the world at large. Most of the time these settings don't even outline these institutions' structure: their commandments, moral codes, traditions, superstitions, etc. In fact all of that is conveniently hand-waved away. After all these religious institution only serve to provide a backdrop for clerics to exist without scrutiny. There's nothing wrong with this but I've always thought of it as a missed opportunity.

Fear generic cleric man!

Stop me if you've been in this situation before. It's Sunday morning. You're asleep, nude under the covers, and your hook-up from the night before is cradling your shoulder. The door bell rings, followed by a loud series of knocks. You wake up and you're sharply reminded of the hangover you now have from one too many screwdrivers the night before. The bell-ringing, and door-knocking and head-hurting continues. Your hook-up is crawling towards consciousness and they're probably doing as good as you right now. And the knocking persists. You scrounge your carpet for the closest pair of clean underwear and as if almost by instinct stumble towards the door; whatever to make the pain in your noggin go away.

You open the door. A voice rings out. "Hello! I was wondering if you would spare a few moments to talk about what God means in your life?" You think about grabbing a blackcat from your bucket of fireworks labeled JW, but decide to shut the door instead and flop back into bed.

When I mention the viral nature of religion, this is what I'm talking about. That Jehova's Witness knocking at your door is motivated. So motivated in fact that he has the willpower to get up at 6AM, get dressed in his short-sleeve white button up, slack, tie, and dress shoes; get to church at 7AM; leave church at 8AM; straddle his bike and go door to door to preach you the word of God.

I don't know what's so important about the word of God. But it must be pretty important if Jehova's Witness twinks are willing to wake me up at 10 AM on a Sunday to preach it at me.

This class is an attempt at making the cleric that Jehova's Witness twink.

by Maksym Gospodinoff

Class: Convoker

A +2 Power Words, +1 Faith Point, Convocation
B +1 PW, +1 FP
C +1 PW, +1 FP
D +1 PW, +1 FP

Power Words
You're not sure why but wherever you utter certain words magic shit happens. When you say "Blood" people bleed. When you say "Love" people want to fuck. 

Power Words are the cornerstone and commandments of your religion. "Though shall not kill" becomes "pacifist." "Respect thy neighbor" becomes "Neighborly."

When you cast spells, they are created by combining Power Words. You can combine "Blood" and "Love" into "Bloodlove." Whatever the effect is is up to you. You can mutate the word as much as you want as long as the root stays the same. "Pacifist" could be "pacify, pacifism," but not "peaceful."

Faith Points
Faith Points are like spell slots for convokers. Casting spells require that you invest FP into them. A spell that heals or deals damage does 1d6 per Faith Point invested. A spell with a duration lasts 1d6 rounds per Faith Point.

Faith Points don't refund at the end of each day. Instead you only regain Faith Points by doing one of the following:

  • Increase your Convocation Score by at least 1. (2 point)
  • Preach your religion in a public area filled with people for at least 4 hours. (1 point)
  • Have your convocation sacrifice a 1 HD creature or 100gp to your faith during a ceremony, mass, Sunday Church, etc. (4 points)

This is your flock. These are the select few who actually buy into this faith dribble that you're spewing. It's your girlfriend, your best friend, that bum you picked up off the streets.

Your convocation is represented by your Convocation Score. It starts at 9 and increases by 1 for every new sheep you take under your fold.

Whenever you cast a spell, your convocation must be present and you must roll under your Convocation Score or else your miracle-working ways are unanswered. 

If you fail a convocation roll, your members make a Morale check, and on a failure 1d4 members' eyes are opened to your scam and they leave.

You can command your Convocation like a true prophet. The Convocation has 1HP per member and they can manage to do just about as much as a single PC.

Just another Sunday

Example of Play
Garat has been pushing this Skizrakz the Blood-Letter idea around town and it seems to have caught on. The god is all about inclusivity and political correctness through the honored past-time of slaying your enemies and bathing in their blood.

Garat is a 1st level Convoker with a Convocation score of 11. (Him and his neighbors were ale to convince 2 vagrants to join in exchange for some soup and bread.) His Power Words are Blood and Love.

Every third Tuesday of the month everyone gathers together for BloodLove, in which they kidnap a passer-through and sacrifice him to Skizrakz.

The key to the entire ritual is Garat's Bloodlove spell, which is something to behold.

Garat casts Bloodlove on his volunteer. His player invests his only Faith Point and rolls Convoation. He succeeds with a roll of 9!

The victim's blood begins to explode from his body like a fountain and the convocation jumps for blood like they're at a GWAR concert. They wrap things up with a positivity orgy in which they sodomize each other but not before everyone has shared one compliment about everyone else.

Friday, August 17, 2018

GLOG: Rules: Death & Dismemberment

I kicked off my Hot Spring Island campaign last Sunday over discord. The PCs were hired by the Bootstrap Bay Trading Company to track down and kill a Dire Boar that had been wrecking the company's expeditions left and right. 

Eventually they discovered the boar's lair and lured it out, were they discovered that this particular specimen was more magnetic than your average boar. With their pistols nearly being ripped from their hands, and the weapons of failed expeditions flying at them like shrapnel from a furry IED, the PCs eventually slew the beast. But not before Lorens D'Arron was impaled by a giant ivory tusk.

This is when my Death & Dismemberment rules came into play, and the point that I realized I never put them to writing. And with Death & Dismemberment being a hot topic of late, I thought I'd take this opportunity to do just that.

Death & Dismemberment

When you're dropped to 0 HP or less, roll 1d6 + Excess Damage and reference the result on the appropriate table of Courtney's "A Table for Avoiding Death." Any Bleed, Internal Bleed, and Pain dice are taken as Death Dice.

If you're dealt damage while you have Death Dice, roll 1d6 + Damage + Death Dice.

Critical hits as well as attacks that deal max damage also cause characters to gain Death Dice. Roll 1d6 + Damage and reference the results as above. 

Every round in which you have Death Dice, if you exert yourself make a CON check. If you fail, you gain a fatal wound.

If you have a fatal wound, you're unconscious, and you'll die in 1d6 + CON mod rounds. Your fatal wound can be stabilized by rolling a 1 on a d6. Alternatively an ally can attempt to stabilize your wounds by rolling under half their Intelligence. Regardless of the method, if you're stabilized you won't regain consciousness until your Death Dice are cleared and you're healed to 1 HP.

Magical Healing clears 1 Death Dice for every 2 points of HP healed. Death Dice can also be cleared by resting for at least 6 hours.


Round 1
Lorens D'arron is staring down the snout of the Dire Boar. It wins initiative and charges. It's Attack roll hits and it rolls a 12 for maximum damage.

The DM makes the Injury roll. The result is a 13. Lorrens' nose is pierced by the boar's giant tusk and ripped off, giving him 2 Death Dice and the Shaken status.

Unfortunately it gets even worse for Lorens as he only had a max HP of 4. So a second Injury roll is made. He rolls 3d6+8 (3d6 because of his 2 Death Dice and +8 because of the excess damage.)

The result is 15. 1 of his fingers is ripped off and his arm disabled as the boar's tusk impales his limb. His pistol clinks against the ground. Additionally he is staggered, loses 1 point of DEX, and gains another 2 Death Dice.

Now it is Lorens' turn. Despite his great injuries, he bravely presses forward, pulling his dagger out of its sheathe. He makes his Con check. And he makes it with a 13!

Round 2
Lorens has carved into the boar and decides to keep it up. He wins initiative this time and moves in for the attack. He makes his second Con check, and fails with a nat 19! His wounds get the best of him and he falls unconscious, and he will die within 2 rounds if he is left unchecked.

Round 3
Lorens' ally, Shuren Qin-Zheng, attempts to stabilize his compatriot. He succeeds with a nat 1! Lorens may be out for the count but his life is saved.

Later that night Lorens awakens to the smell of pork roasting over a spit.

by Ludvik Skopalik

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Revisiting the Time Wizard

I got to play my Time Wizard for the first time yesterday playtesting an introductory adventure for Arnold K. I only got to cast 1 time wizard spell but I felt that was enough to justify a revisit to the class.

What follows is my own personal critiques of the features in my Time Wizard class. Perks, spells, dooms, etc are quoted; my own thoughts are italicized

Perk: When you would roll a boon or bane, you can reroll one of the d6s once.
Unfortunately for my character Arnold K does not use boons or banes in his GLOG games. This isn't a bad thing, but going forward I'll consider avoiding designing around Banes and Boons specifically. The GLOG scene is subdivided into people who use Boons & Banes and people who use plain +/- modifiers; the two are not easily interchangeable.

Drawback: Magic that would grant you boons, or would alter the possibility of your rolls positively, has no effect on you.
The wording on this is weird. It was meant to offset the strong perk, but I could have worded it better. The intent behind it is that Time Wizards are the only beings in existence with free will, and as a result magical constructs such as luck and fortune have no effect on them.

1. Change your appearance to that of a child, an adult, or an old person. 
2. Tell how old an object is just by looking at it. 
3. Detect the closest temporal disturbance. A disturbance is any effect that influences time. You can sense the direction in which the disturbance occurs, but you can't gleam its exact nature.

Cantrip 1 came in handy during Arnold's game. We encountered a small hole that was barely large enough for an adult to fit through, so I aged down to a child and crawled down like the chimney sweep I was destined to be. Also helped in calming down a child victim of a witch that the party discovered. So this cantrip is pretty good in my book.

Cantrip 2 I'm on the fence about even though it seems fine. I used it a few times to identify the age of a few objects that seemed suspicious, and even though my suspicion ended up having merit, knowing their age didn't really help. I feel like this cantrip lacks "oomph" but I think the full extent of its use has yet to be seen.

3 was absolutely useless and I know exactly why. I mean what the heck is a temporal disturbance anyway? Yes I know I define it one sentence later, and even though it's thematically suitable, unless the campaign you're in revolves around time, this cantrip just feels useless. Definitely back to the drawing board with this one.

1. Minor Paradox
R: 0
T: Self
D: 0
When you cast this spell, you may remove an action from the last [dice] rounds. Alternatively you may insert an action.
This is the 1 spell I cast and it was more of a headache than exciting or useful. Arnold hit the nail on the coffin with his critique. It's just too annoying to force the DM to keep track of combat rounds, and the nature of the spell gives the wizard a "get out of jail free card" that is all-encompassing with no downside. So rather than salvage this spell I think it's better to just replace it entirely.

1. MD only return to your pool on a 1-2 for 24 hours. 
2. Take 1d6 damage. 
3. Random mutation for 1d6 Rounds, then Save with a -4 penalty. Permanent if you fail. 
4. You lose your Perk for 1d6 Turns. 
5. You lose all sense of time for 1d6 Turns. You automatically lose Initiative rolls and are always surprised. 
6. You're stuck in a time loop. For the next d6 Rounds, Save or repeat your last action. 

1. You age 2d10 years. 
2. Each time you cast a Time Wizard spell, Save or the spell causes a temporal disturbance. 
3. A clone of yourself from a different time period appears in the world. Its mission is to obliterate you.

Mishaps and dooms didn't come up during the adventure because everyone was level 1, but I'll take this opportunity to talk about them anyway. First off, I suck at coming up with Mishaps and Dooms. Maybe that's why my early attempts at making wizard classes lack them for the most part. With that said, this wasn't a half-bad attempt on my part.

Mishaps 1-3 are par for the course.
Mishap 4 is iffy for the same reason the perk is iffy.
Mishap 5 seems underwhelming. Losing all sense of time should have more consequences than just losing initiative rolls and constantly being surprised. But it feels so vague that it needs some sort of concreteness to make it work. Leaving it as just "You lose all track of time" doesn't seem like it will cause any inconvenience in the middle of a fight.
Mishap 6 I actually like. It can lead to some interesting scenarios on its own.

Going into the Dooms, I went into it with the Elementalist's Dooms in mind. That is to say, the more you fucked with time the more it fucked with you.

Doom 1 is fine. It's a warning shot from Time itself. This is the slap on the wrist. Go any farther and there will be actual consequences.
Doom 2 is iffy for the same reason Mishap 4 and the perk are iffy.
Doom 3 I like but it might be too vague. It essentially just adds an extra head of broccoli on the DM's plate. "Ugh now I gotta figure out what this evil twin is doing and how it's going to effect the party. ugggggh!"