Monday, January 21, 2019

The Cleric

So sometimes I rework stuff because I can't leave well enough alone. This Cleric rework is much more focused on preaching and doing what your religion says than the half-healer half-paladins of modern D&D.

The Cleric
(a GLOG class)
Related image
You're on a mission from God.

Cleric A: Divine Portfolio

Cleric B: Evangelist, Mission from God

Cleric C: Splinter Sect

Cleric D: High Priest, +3 Sect Heresies

Divine Portfolio: Clerics have a set of 1-3 Domains, each with four Commands. For each Command of a domain you directly obey when invoking one of its miracle, it gets +1 die, up to your level. You may add extra dice to a miracle, for each die added this way, roll a die on the Disfavor table, starting with a d6 and stepping the die up each time. If you obeyed no commands and only invoked a miracle using extra dice, roll on the Disfavor table an additional time. You begin with 3 Miracles from your chosen domain.

Disfavor Table
1. Your deity puts before you a test of faith, which you must overcome alone.
2. Poor intentions beget poor outcomes. Roll with disadvantage for the rest of the session.
3. You lose your connection to your divine powers for 24 hours.
4. Misused divine energy sears your eyes. Go blind for a week.
5. You must do penance. Take a vow of poverty, silence, or fasting, and follow it for a month.
6. You lose something of personal value to you.
7. You are wounded through what seems like random chance. Roll a d12 on the Wound Table.
8. You are marked for your sins. Gain a spellscar.
9. You are excommunicated. Those of your faith will ignore you. Those who hunt traitors and exiles will hunt you, and find you, and your judgment shall be swift and merciless.
10+. You are stripped of your divine powers forever.

Evangelist: When you go into town, your sermons draw audiences of (level)d6 believers (and potentially some unbelievers as well). After your sermons, you can hire on a number of believers equal to your level as hirelings. There is a level-in-6 chance of one of them having class levels. All believers, hired or not, will be kind to you and do small domain-appropriate favors for you that do not put themselves in jeopardy.

Mission From God: Pick a command. When you obey it when invoking a miracle, gain an extra die.

Splinter Sect: Start your own sect! Pick three of the following Heresies. You can pick the same Heresy multiple times.
1. Unbounded Dominion: Choose an additional domain.
2. Deeper Mysteries: Learn a miracle.
3. Upon Closer Reading...: Invert a command. That command is also inverted for all of your believers.
4. Syncretism: Combine two miracles that you know from different domains into a new miracle. This miracle scales with commands from both domains.
5. Divine Provenance: Pick another command for Mission From God.
6. Blessed Indoctrination: When you hire a believer with class levels, those class levels are in Cleric of your domain, with miracles of your choice.

High Priest: To many, your believers could be called cultists. In your sermons, you can make pronouncements that will be followed by your believers to the best of their ability. So long as the pronouncement falls in line with your domains' commands, they will follow unless it puts them directly in jeopardy, and your hireling believers become fanatics who will follow your commands to the death.

Cleric A: Holy symbol, holy texts, vestments
Cleric B: Assorted incense and ritual salts, sanctified melee weapon of choice

Domain List
1. Authority
1. Punish sinners and criminals
2. Convert nonbelievers
3. Spread the rule of law
4. Defend those who obey the law

1. Smite
Range: 100'; Target: 1 creature or object; Duration: instant
Deal [sum] damage to the target. If the target is a creature, and [dice] is greater than 1, you may force the target to fall prostrate. They must save on their turn to stand up.

2. Summon Minor Angel of Judgment
Range: N/A; Target: N/A; Duration: [dice] hours
Summon a minor angel of law adjacent to you. It has [dice] HD, can fly, and projects a [dice]*10' radius field that enforces the law. It follows your commands to the letter, so long as they are consistent with the law. It can and will resolve disputes perfectly in accordance with the law within its field.

3. Empower
Range: touch; Target: 1 creature or self; Duration: [sum] rolls
Target gets +[dice] to their next [sum] of one of the following: attack rolls, saves, STR/DEX/CON ability tests INT/WIS/CHA ability tests. If the target violates the law, this spell ends immediately.

2. Battle
1. Openly confront your enemies
2. Crush the opposition
3. Fight your own battles
4. Die in battle

1. Enrage
Range: 50'; Target: [dice] creatures; Duration: [sum] minutes
Targets become enraged and must save to restrain themselves from resorting to violence to solve even the most trivial of problems. You may also give them +1 to attack and damage rolls as a barbarian's rage.

2. Summon Blessed Armory
Range: touch; Target: N/A; Duration: [sum] minutes
Summon [dice] blessed weapons of your choice. They count as magical and silvered, and the wounds they leave cannot be healed except by magical means.

3. Untouchability
Range: touch; Target: [dice] creatures; Duration: [sum] rounds
Anyone attempting to attack a target must save vs. divine intervention. If they succeed, they don't need to make those saves anymore.

3. Blood
1. Shed 1+ HP of your own blood.
2. Shed 1+ HP of someone else's blood.
3. Sacrifice an animal with at least 1 HD.
4. Drink 1+ HP of someone else's blood that has been shed previously.

1. Blood Servant
Range: self or touch; Target: 1 creature with blood; Duration: [dice] hours
Create a fluid servant made out of blood, with 1HD for each HD sacrificed (minimum 1 HP for 1 HD). It follows your complex commands, squeeze through very small gaps, and can force creatures it attacks to save vs. suffocation.

2. Exsanguinate
Range: 50'; Target: 1 creature with blood; Duration: instant
Deals [sum] damage to the target. You control the exsanguinated blood for [dice] turns. It works as a Mage Hand made out of blood.

3. Hemomancy
Range: Touch; Target: 1 creature's blood; Duration: instant
You learn information about the creature you drink the blood of. 1 die gives you their name, appearance, mental state, and any ailments they suffer from. 2 dice lets you track them by scent. 3 dice gives you their actions for the past 24 hours and lets you experience one memory in that time from their perspective. 4 dice extends that to the past week and 3 memories.

4. Creation
1. Bring beautiful things into being/prevent them from being destroyed
2. Empower others to create
3. Discover the wonders of god's creation
4. Show others the beauties of creation

1. Mend
Range: touch; Target: broken object or wounded creature; Duration: instant
Repair broken mundane item or heal wound of [sum] or less.

2. Transmute
Range: touch; Target: [sum] inches^3 of material; Duration: instant
Targeted material becomes another material of your choice. 1 die; must be same category of item (metal, food, tool) and all further restrictions. 2 dice; must be same consistency of matter (powdery, sludgy, solid) and all further restrictions. 3 dice; must be same state of matter (solid, liquid, gas, etc.). 4+ dice; no restrictions.

3. Duplicate
Range: touch; Target: item; Duration: [sum] hours
You create a perfect mundane duplicate of the target. If [dice] is 3 or greater, the duplicate also copies one magical property of the target. Duplicate fades away at end of duration.

1. Speak With Dead
2. Blight
3. Command Undead

5. Knowledge
1. Learn about the world, especially its secrets
2. Distribute knowledge to the masses
3. Speak truth to those who spread falsehoods
4. Recover lost and hidden things and bring them back for all to see

1. Identify
Range: touch; Target: item, creature, or effect; Duration: instant
You learn [dice] magical effects that the target has. If [dice] is 2 or greater, you also learn what created it. If [dice] is 3 or greater, you also learn about the target's history. If [dice] is 4 or greater, you learn about how to replicate its effects.

2. Mind Meld
Range: touch; Target: creature; Duration: instant
You have a telepathic connection with the target, can read its surface thoughts, and can have a 2-way telepathic conversation. If [dice] is 2 or greater, you can also read its recent memories. If [dice] is 3 or greater, you can also read its secrets. If [dice] is 4 or greater, you can also wipe its mind.

3. Dowse
Range: N/A; Target: item or creature; Duration: [sum] hours
You learn the direction to an item or creature that you can name or describe; your sense of this follows the target as it moves.

6. Purity
1. Aid the downtrodden
2. Preserve the proper order of the world
3. Resist and destroy the undead, abominations that they are
4. Ensure that purity begets purity, that the pure do not do impure things

1. Cure Disease
Range: touch; Target: living creature; Duration: instant
Target gets to save vs. [dice] diseases afflicting them. If they fail, can't try to cure it again until the disease progresses.

2. Turn Undead
Range: 50'; Target: [sum] HD of undead creatures; Duration: instant
Targets must save vs. fear, if they fail they flee. If [dice] is 3 or greater, they also take [sum] damage even if they pass their save.

3. Heal
Range: touch; Target: living creature; Duration: instant
Target rolls [dice] HD and regains that many hit points. This expends [dice] of their short rests for the day.

7. Trickery
1. Execute the final stages of your plans
2. Lie
3. Act in secret
4. Subvert authority

1. Break Chains
Range: self; Target: physical restraints; Duration: instant
Anything physically restraining you no longer does so. Handcuffs unlock, chains snap, cell doors open, guards' grips loosen involuntarily. If you are imprisoned, you can teleport [sum]*10 feet away to a location where you are free.

2. Chaos
Range: [dice]*50'; Target: [sum] items; Duration: [sum] minutes
In a [dice]*50' radius, you can cause small items to fall, flames to flicker and die, doors and windows to open and close, armor to rattle, and other impressive and distracting theatrical effects.

3. Illusion
Range: 50'; Target: [dice]*5' radius;
You create an illusion (basically a perfect hologram) of whatever object or creature you want. It can
move as long however you dictate, but it cannot make any sound (or smell, touch, etc). Remember that illusions can only add, not subtract. (They can cover up a hole, but not create the illusion of a hole).

8. Wilds
1. Oppose the spread of civilization
2. Prey upon those below you on the food chain
3. Destroy unnatural abominations like the undead
4. Spread life into dead places like cities

1. Call Fauna
Range: N/A; Targets: N/A; Duration: [sum]*10 minutes
[sum] [dice]HD local creatures flock to you. If [dice] is greater than 2, they will follow simple instructions that are in line with your Commands.

2. Grow Flora
Range: [dice]*50'; Targets: [sum] plants; Duration: instant
Targeted plant life grows to [dice]+1 times its size. If [dice] is greater than 2, you can roughly control the shape that it grows in, and have it grab items and creatures (they save vs. grapple).

3. Shatter
Range: 100'; Targets: mortalmade item, construct, or undead; Duration: instant
Deal [sum] damage to target in an explosion of shrapnel that shreds other nearby unnatural items and creatures, dealing [sum/2] damage. This effect chains up to [dice] times.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Character Sheet v0.01

Like a lot of OSR blogs, I'm working on a homebrew system that has all the things I like. Soon, I'm going to be shoving some players through what little I have scrapped together. This character sheet, formatted through Herculean effort in Google Docs, is part of that system. It's going to get revised, but all the main elements are here. Take a peek!

Friday, January 18, 2019

The Engineer

Who builds all the dungeons and keeps and wizard's towers that adventurers so dearly love to plunder? You do, of course. And you've decided that your talents might be more lucrative in the other half of the dungeon business.

The Engineer
(a GLOG class)
Image result for medieval torbjorn
You solve problems. Not problems like "what is beauty," because that would fall within the purview of conundrums of philosophy. You solve practical problems.

Engineer A: Dungeon Architect, Diagrammer

Engineer B: Blacksmith, Stonespeaker

Engineer C: Juryrigger, +1 Blacksmith bonus per rest

Engineer D: Master Builder, +1 Blacksmith bonus per rest

Dungeon Architect: With five minutes (or, three times in a short rest) and your toolbox, you can:
1. make a trap or other mechanism trigger when a specific condition is met, or at a chosen time.
2. secure doors so they can't be opened without breaking them down, as a Lock spell.
3. hide features of constructed environments (like a door or arrow slot in a wall, or grease or a rune on a floor).
4. break down or erect 10' of mundane walls, or excavate an equivalent amount of material (roughly a 5' cube).

Diagrammer: After seeing the outside of a location, you can roughly sketch its inner plan. From inside a room, you can roughly sketch adjoining rooms that you know about.

Blacksmith: During a short rest, you can repair mundane armor and weapons. You can also apply one of the following bonuses to a weapon or a set of armor during a short rest, or four of them to different weapons/armor sets during a daily rest. A weapon/armor set can only have one bonus at a time. The bonus wears off at the end of the day.
1. Balanced Weapon: +1 to attack rolls and parries.
2. Brutal Weapon: +1 crit range.
3. Rending Weapon: +2 to Wound rolls.
4. Swift Weapon: +1 Initiative when wielded.
5. Ablative Armor: Ignore the first wound you take while wearing this armor.
6. Coated Armor: Can reroll saves against environmental effects until you fail a rerolled save.
7. Concealed Armor: Can be hidden under mundane clothes. Can't be applied to plate.
8. Hardened Armor: +1 AC.

Stonespeaker: You can deduce the goings-on in a room by analyzing the layout and the scuffs on the floors, walls, and furniture. In a room, you may ask a question of the space like a Speak With Dead spell. Do this only once per room.

Juryrigger: With a day's work, you can build a device that replicates the effect of a magic item you have access to. It works once, then falls to pieces. You can also overclock a magic item that hasn't been created this way, doubling its function for d6 rounds, after which it falls to pieces.

Master Builder: Reduce the construction time for Dungeon Architect to 1 minute; you can make an INT check to do it in 1 round. With access to appropriate tools and materials, you can build complex clockwork automata. A 1 HD automaton takes 1 day, 2 HD takes 4 days, 3 HD takes 9 days, and so on. They mimic creatures you have seen of equivalent HD, though can only replicate mundane abilities. They must be wound for HD hours to function for the day, and will obey simple commands given by manipulating their control levers.

Starting Equipment:
Engineer A: Toolbox, helmet with integrated lamp, drafting papers, crowbar (stats as war pick)
Engineer B: Telescope, portable anvil and whetstone

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Killing In The Name

This is a set of lightweight, debilitating combat rules I'm workshopping for my own homebrew OSR ruleset.
Related image
(note: ability score abbreviations like DEX and STR always refer to the modifier, their names (Dexterity, Strength) always refer to the score itself)

If one group is ambushing the other, the ambushing group gets a surprise round.
Initiative is your DEX plus any modifiers from abilities and items. You don't roll. If there's a tie, the creature with the highest Dexterity goes first; if there's another tie then the GM decides.

On Your Turn
Can attack and move, or do something else and move.
Can't move and cast a spell or use a spell-like ability at the same time. You may be able to attack and cast as a Stunt at the GM's discretion.

To hit, roll under 10+STR (melee) or 10+DEX (ranged). Add enemy AC to your attack roll. On a miss, you still deal half damage, but subtract enemy armor from the damage you deal.

You can Stunt on your attack and do something extra, like making a called shot, tripping, sundering a shield, disarming, or pushing, by risking dealing no damage on a miss at all. Tell the GM you're doing this and what in specific you want to do on a hit before you attack.

If you're dual-wielding, you can make 2 attacks per turn, but missing whiffs and deals no damage, and you step down your damage die.

A natural 1 crits for your choice of double damage dice or inflicting the corresponding wound to the damage you dealt. A natural 20 is a critfail - automatically miss, and the GM picks another consquence.

You can parry a melee attack, which gives you +DEX to your AC against that attack, and disadvantage on your next attack. Must announce a parry before you know the outcome of the attack.

Weapons (credit to GLOG: Owlbear Stew Edition for list)
Image result for fantasy armory
1. Axe: 1d6+STR slashing damage, a miss deals 1dSTR damage even when Stunting or dual-wielding
2. Bow: 1d6 ranged piercing damage, takes two hands to fire
3. Crossbow: 1d12 ranged piercing damage, takes two hands to fire, takes a STR check to load and fire in the same round (or takes full round to load)
4. Dagger: 1d6 slashing or piercing damage (your choice), can be thrown, 3 per inventory slot
5. Flail: 1d6+STR bludgeoning damage, ignores AC bonuses from shields.
6. Greataxe: 1d12+STR slashing damage, needs two hands to wield.
7. Greatsword: 1d10+STR slashing damage, needs two hands to wield, on 6+ damage target saves vs. disarming.
8. Halberd: 1d8+STR slashing damage, needs two hands to wield, enemies you hit are pushed 5ft in a direction of your choice.
9. Maul: 1d10+STR bludgeoning damage, needs two hands to wield, on 6+ damage target saves vs. knockdown.
10. Pike: 1d8+STR piercing damage, needs two hands to wield, double melee reach, can make an attack in response to a charging enemy that automatically crits if it hits.
11. Quarterstaff: 1d6+STR bludgeoning damage, when wielded in two hands, counts as dual-wielded.
12. Rapier: 1d6+DEX piercing damage, can riposte after successfully parrying and immediately attack at disadvantage.
13. Sabre: 1d6+STR slashing damage, on 6+ damage target saves vs. finger loss as Wound 6.
14. Scythe: 1d8+STR slashing damage, needs two hands to wield, double melee reach, can attack two adjacent enemies and deal half damage to each.
15. Spear: 1d6+STR piercing damage, can be thrown, on 6+ damage target saves vs. organ rupture as Wound 8
16. Stiletto: 1d4 piercing damage, can be thrown, 3 per inventory slot, can be well-hidden on person
17. Sword: 1d6+STR slashing damage, step up damage die when wielding with two hands.
18. Warhammer: 1d6+STR bludgeoning damage, on 6+ damage target saves vs. being stunned as Wound 1
19. War Pick: 1d6+STR piercing damage, on 6+ damage reduces target's armor by 1
20. Whip: 1d4 bludgeoning damage, double melee reach, can grab an object or limb on hit instead of dealing damage.

Armor and Shields
Leather armor: 2 AC, +1 initiative.
Chainmail: 4 AC.
Platemail: 8 AC, can't parry, -2 initiative.

Buckler: +1 AC and an additional +1 when parrying.
Light shield: +2 AC.
Heavy shield: +3 AC, but can't parry.

HP, Death, and Wounds
HP is ablative armor, representing your ability to shrug off and luckily avoid damage. Once you hit 0, you start taking hits to the meat that really hurt. You can keep fighting until your wounds become incapacitating. You might not really want to.

Damage that puts you at or below 0 HP also inflicts a Wound. Roll a d6 on the Wound Table and add the absolute value of your negative hit points (so rolling a 6 at -5 HP would give you an 11, massive internal hemorrhaging).

To get your HP at character creation, roll your Hit Dice with advantage, then add CON.

Wound Table
1. Stunned, save or you have disadvantage on all rolls next turn.
2. Light gash, save vs. bleeding for d3 damage (does not cause additional wound) each turn until you succeed.
3. Hand broken (d6, evens: left hand, odds: right hand), disarmed, disadvantage with that hand.
4. Deep gash, save vs. bleeding for d6 damage (does not cause additional wound) each turn until you succeed.
5. Ribs cracked. -1 Strength, -1 Constitution.
6. Lose d4 fingers (d6, evens: left hand, odds: right hand). Disarmed. -1 Dexterity, permanently.
7. Limb broken (d4, 1: left arm, 2: right arm, 3: left leg, 4: right leg). Arm: drop held item and arm useless. Leg: knockdown, can only crawl.
8. Organ ruptured. -2 to a random physical and random mental ability score.
9. Eye/ear lost. (d4, 1: left eye, 2: right eye, 3: left ear, 4: right ear). If second time receiving this wound to eyes or ears, blinded or deafened.
10. Concussion. Save vs. unconsciousness. -2 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma.
11. Massive internal hemorrhaging. Save vs. unconsciousness. -2 Strength, -2 Dexterity, -2 Constitution.
12. Gutted. Save vs. unconsciousness. Save vs. d6 bleed each turn until someone stitches you shut.
13. Lose a hand (d6, evens: left, odds: right). Save vs. unconsciousness every minute until you tie a tourniquet.
14. Lose an arm (d6, evens: left, odds: right). Save vs. unconsciousness every turn until you tie a tourniquet.
15. Lose a leg (d6, evens: left, odds: right). Unconscious. Save vs. death by blood loss every turn until you tie a tourniquet.
16. Skull split. Unconscious. Save vs. death. Lose 1 level and all abilities gained.
17. Spine severed. Unconscious. Save vs. death. Paralysis from waist down.
18. Disembowelment. Death.
19. Decapitation. Death.
20+. Chunkysalsafied. Death, everyone nearby saves vs. trauma.

A short rest takes 15 minutes of downtime and consumes 1 ration, you can't take more than HD short rests per day. Restore 1HD of HP and heal a wound 6 or less.
A daily rest takes 8 hours of combined sleep and downtime and consumes 1 ration. Reroll your HP, if it's higher than your current HP set your total to that, and heal a wound 12 or less.
A long rests takes 24 or more hours of sleep, downtime, and good meals. These conditions can only usually be found in town. Set your HP to the maximum and heal a wound 12 or less.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

d100 Catalysts

Catalysts for Mad Scientist Witches (or eccentric semimagical loot for anyone else)

Image result for mad scientist laboratory

1. Sparking clockwork heart
2. Dragonbreath sac
3. Stitch of time
4. Giant's molar
5. Inert ice-9 crystal
6. Brain in a jar
7. A book of dark magic
8. Captured starlight
9. Lump of stem cells
10. Colossal squid eye
11. Self-winding coil
12. Hole in the universe
13. 1 gram of unobtanium
14. Egg of unknown origin
15. Self-replicating spore
16. Essential salts
17. Singing crystal
18. Golem animation paper
19. Preserved mimic
20. Your own skull from the future
21. Very minor god in a box
22. Past-reflecting mirror
23. Dog residue
24. Fang of dire cobra
25. Tiny rolled-up dimension
26. Die that always rolls 1s
27. Tarrasque scale
28. Universal solvent
29. Infernal contract
30. Snow globe with tiny people inside
31. Vial of suspicious blood
32. Your diploma (it's got to be good for something)
33. True love's kiss
34. Powdered magic sword
35. Golden idol
36. Dripping ball of ooze
37. Bottle of ancient liquor
38. Mysterious contraption that detonates an explosive powder to propel a small metal pellet a great distance at incredible speed
39. Microscopic black hole
40. Evil play
41. Knucklebones of a saint
42. Storm in a bottle
43. Mountain heartgem
44. Plague vial
45. Alien organ, meat
46. Alien organ, instrument
47. Frictionless orb
48. Evidence of absence
49. Tyrannosaur tooth, fossilized
50. Proof of the end of the world, irrefutable
51. Causal loop
52. Titan-bee honey
53. Carbon nanotubes
54. Self-sustaining force field
55. Preserved man-o-war
56. Your own hippocampus, surgically removed
57. Intricate clockwork box of unknown function
58. Famous painting
59. Soul in a bag
60. Radioactive sludge
61. Lock of nymph hair
62. Spidersilk Gordian knot
63. Trapped angelic visage
64. Witch's cauldron
65. Lamp that projects darkness
66. Consecrated silver coin
67. Kaiju bone powder
68. Calculation engine, miniaturized
69. Universal lubricant
70. Giant evil catfish lung
71. Cold fusion core
72. Your mentor's ghost
73. Roll of duct tape
74. Jar of ectoplasm
75. Bound elemental
76. Powerless djinn
77. Soylent paste
78. Roc feather
79. How To Destroy The Earth, first ed. printing
80. Memory crystal
81. Intrusive thought
82. Summoning stone
83. Animate spell, bottled
84. Brass telescope
85. Dead language inscribed on tablet
86. Meteorite, ferrous
87. Pure energy
88. Whale oil
89. Trapped nightmare
90. Forgettable lump
91. Destabilized genetic material
92. Forged royal seal
93. Dire prawn
94. 5-dimensional cube
95. Abhorrent vacuum
96. Gate to hell
97. Phoenix ashes
98. Very small moon
99. Battery, powered by friendship
100. Roll twice and combine them.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Mad Scientist (Witch Tradition)

There have always been those who dare push the boundaries of what society says "should be". Once, they were called witches, women on the fringes of town who dared seek knowledge forbidden and strange. They were visionaries, persecuted by mobs who couldn't accept their genius. You carry their fraught legacy into an era of bottled lightning and harnessed fire, eagerly leaping at the chance to create - nay, command - the future.

Mad Scientist
(a tradition for The Bottomless Sarcophagus' GLOG witches)
Image result for mad scientist
(by megamoth on DeviantArt)
You'll show them. You'll show them all.

Undergrad (d4 Work Die)
Perk: You only need half the usual amount of sleep and food.
1. You instantly ferment a plate of food or bottle of drink.
2. You sprint at triple walking speed.
Emblem Work: Hold My Ale, Watch This
Range: N/A; Target: self; Duration: [sum] minutes
Perform one improbable physical stunt as if you had rolled a critical hit on the roll. At the end of this work's duration, feel the repercussions as if you had rolled a critical failure.

Graduate (d6 Work Die)
Perk: You have a stipend of [level]*10gp from your program that you can use to buy equipment and catalysts when you're in town.
Drawback: You don't have those three crucial letters after your name (PhD), so no one takes you seriously.
1. You scan through an entire shelf of books for a piece of information in d6 minutes.
2. You retrieve a helpful tool of your choice from somewhere on your person.
Emblem Work: Thesis Defense
Range: N/A; Target: self; Duration: [sum] minutes
You gain an impenetrable shield against all effects relating to [dice] catalysts you possess. Other effects force a save vs. discombobulation, if you fail, this work ends prematurely.

Professor (d8 Work Die)
Drawback: You have to spend 10+2d20 hours a week giving lectures and grading papers. If you fail to keep up with the demands of your position, save vs. Losing Your Grip.
1. As long as you're doing a long and convoluted technobabbly explanation, you have the full attention of everyone who can hear you.
2. When you're in town, you can call on a hapless TA to do menial labor for you (this can't help you with your drawback, unfortunately). You can also bring them along on adventures as a hireling for course credit.
Emblem Work: Doctor of Forbidden Science
Range: N/A; Target: N/A; Duration: N/A
Your next [dice] works last for double time and have double range. This work automatically causes a Mishap after those works end.

All works of mad science need a magical or technological catalyst to power them; it is not consumed unless the work says so. A d20 table with sample catalysts is provided below.

1. The Crude Mortal Form Is So... Limited
Range: touch; Target: creature; Duration: [sum] minutes
Target gets [dice] of the following (can pick same effect multiple times):
- a relevant positive or negative mutation (ex. book of dark magic → can be turned as undead; stitch of time → falls slower)
- + or -[dice] to a relevant ability score
- protection from or vulnerability to a relevant effect (ex. gram of unobtanium → radiation resistance; self-replicating spore → vulnerable to poison)
- becomes 1 size larger or smaller

2. Behold My Death Ray!
Range: 100ft; Target: [dice] creatures/objects adjacent to each other; Duration: instant
Deal [sum] damage of a relevant type to each target, they save vs. a relevant effect (ex. sparking clockwork heart → save vs. electrocution; dragonbreath sac → save vs. burning; jar of stem cells → save vs. mutation, brain in a jar → save vs. mind control)

3. It's Aliiiiiiiiive!
Range: touch; Target: catalyst; Duration: [sum] hours
You cobble together an animated servant out of a catalyst and surrounding materials (ex. golem animation paper → golem; egg of unknown origin → baby dinosaur; your own future skull → mini-you). 1 die makes it tiny (1HD), 2 dice makes it small (2HD), 3 dice makes it your size (3HD), 4 dice makes it up to big (4HD), 1 extra die makes it permanent and consumes the catalyst. It has a relevant ability and movement type, and uses your work die for hit dice and to attack if you so command it. Takes [dice] hours to create, or [dice] days if permanent.

4. The World Is Not Enough
Range: [sum]*30ft sphere; Target: area; Duration: [sum] minutes
You use a catalyst to project a relevant effect in the area around you. This can be a localized benefit or penalty (ex. giant's molar → everything gets bigger), a terrain change (ex. singing crystal → rocks grow crystal spikes), weather (ex. inert ice-9 crystal → hailstorm), a change in lighting conditions or temperature (ex. captured starlight → bright illumination), etc.

5. They're Really More Like Suggestions Of Thermodynamics
Range: touch; Target: catalyst(s); Duration: instant
Turn a catalyst you have into up to [sum]ft^3 of a relevant material (ex. colossal squid eye → water, preserved mimic → flesh, self-winding coil → sheet metal) in a crude shape of your choice. This consumes the catalyst. Alternatively, you may use this to combine two of your catalysts into a new, related catalyst of the GM's discretion.

6. Oh, That's Where I Left It!
Range: N/A; Target: N/A; Duration: instant
Detect the direction to the nearest [dice] things within [sum]*100 feet similar to the catalyst (ex. essential salts → find undead, self-winding coil → find mechanisms, your own skull from the future → find mad scientists).

7. I've Seen Things You People Wouldn't Believe...
Range: N/A; Target: one creature or item; Duration: instant
Use a catalyst in combination with a helpless creature or item in your possession to learn one fact of your choice about it. (6-[dice], 3-[dice] if catalyst similar to target) in 6 chance to destroy the creature or item in the process.

8. That's Not How That Works!
Range: 100ft; Target: one effect or ability; Duration: instant
As a reaction to a spell, ability or spell-like effect, you can channel the power of a similar catalyst and roll a d20 under [sum] to nullify that effect.

1. Local law enforcement is alerted to your presence. They're going to ask you the difficult questions: namely, do you have a permit for that? They're going to show up in 1d6 hours or when you get back to town to confiscate 1d6 of your Catalysts and Crafts; forfeiting the offending catalyst or craft prevents this.
2. Nearby creatures are attracted to your meddling. You automatically run into a random encounter in the next d6 hours. You can prevent this by setting out a distraction for them that will keep them occupied.
3. Some local peasants have seen or heard about your science and it frightens them. Within the next day they will find a moment to throw stones at you and shout profanities, dealing 1d6 damage. Saving a peasant's life or livelihood prevents this. as does showing the peasants who's boss.
4. An inquisitor is on your tail, warning the populace and confiscating items of power. Locals give you the cold shoulder for d6 days, and won't sell to you or buy from you. Making a donation (10gp or equivalent in favors) to the local church prevents/ends this.
5. A local rival mad scientist wants to put you in your place. They will publicly confront you with their own works and devices sometime in the next 24 hours. You can avoid this by giving them a peace offering of some information or materials they'd be interested in.
6. The catalyst goes haywire and starts to change you. You gain a random mutation for d6 hours. At the end, save or it's permanent. You can prevent this by getting the catalyst as far away from you as possible and doing some mad first aid to nullify the mutation.

Losing Your Grip
1. Two of your catalysts combine and react in a devastating way, causing a 30 foot radius explosion that deals 2d6 damage of a relevant type and destroys both catalysts. Gain a spellscar.
2. It's so simple, can't they see? You inevitably steer conversations to finding ways to use or enhance your creations, and other subjects bore or enrage you. Disadvantage in social situations that don't involve your work.
3. Nothing will stand in your way, not law, not money, not petty morality. Remove Wisdom from your character sheet entirely. Your moral compass points towards one thing alone: advancing SCIENCE at any cost.
4. Your creation consumes you in an ironic and entirely preventable way. Hubris is the ultimate fate of any proper mad scientist.

Sample Wyrd Transports
1. Flycycle - It's a bike that can fly.
2. Enthralled Troll - You've plugged so much stuff into its brain that it's not really a troll anymore, legally.
3. Teleporting Box - It's surprisingly roomy. Takes the amount of time it would take to run the equivalent distance to charge.
4. Desk Chair with Jet Engines - It's got enough seatbelts. Probably.
5. Carriage of Doom - It moves on its own gigantic spiked wheels, churning with a ferocity like a living creature.
6. Giant Reanimated Pterodactyl - It's not a dinosaur. Why do they keep calling it a dinosaur?

Starting Equipment
Witch (Mad Scientist) A: 2 random catalysts, discipline-specific textbook, lab coat, goggles
Witch (Mad Scientist) B: 1 additional random catalyst, 2 random books, toolbox

d20 Catalysts:
1. Sparking clockwork heart
2. Dragonbreath sac
3. Stitch of time
4. Giant's molar
5. Inert ice-9 crystal
6. Brain in a jar
7. A book of dark magic
8. Captured starlight
9. Lump of stem cells
10. Colossal squid eye
11. Self-winding coil
12. Hole in the universe
13. 1 gram of unobtanium
14. Egg of unknown origin
15. Self-replicating spore
16. Essential salts
17. Singing crystal
18. Golem animation paper
19. Preserved mimic
20. Your own skull from the future

Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Judge

Paladins? Bah. A king can't count on them to do his bidding. Too much fancy moralizing religion in the way. Knights won't work either, they have all that chivalry and nobility and self-important puffery. No, real monarchs need their own corps of loyal enforcers, unquestioning and brutal.

The Judge
(a GLOG class)
Image result for judge dredd
Juries. Executioners. Judges.

Judge A: Here's My Badge, Voice of Authority, d8 HD

Judge B: Detect Crime, +d8 HD

Judge C: Call for Backup

Judge D: I Am The Law, +d8 HD

Here's My Badge: You have a seal, emblem, signet ring, legal document, or other icon of your authority handed down by your ruler that allows you to resolve disputes in their stead. Anything you do, if you flash your emblem in a realm that recognizes your ruler's authority, is endorsed by the ruler and therefore legal. Even outside of your ruler's realm, you will be seen as an authority figure, and respected (or, more likely, mistrusted) as such.

Voice of Authority: Your voice is loud, commanding, and undeniable. When you speak normally, you are heard by everyone in earshot, and when you shout, you startle them and gain their undivided attention. This gives everyone who hears you a d6 penalty to their next action, and if the penalty is more than their HP, they must save or flee.

Detect Crime: You can detect lawbreaking like a paladin's Detect Evil. This only applies to your ruler's laws, and if something is technically legal (loopholes, situations that aren't covered), you can't detect it.

Call for Backup: You have authority over the local watch. In a pinch, when you're in town, you have a 2-in-6 (increasing by 2-in-6 per additional template) chance to call d6 watchmen to your aid. When in town, you can also conscript d6 watchmen into your party; they follow your reasonable, legal commands.

I Am The Law: Your Voice of Authority now forces a save vs. obeying when you command someone to follow the law, e.g. "Drop your weapons!" "Stand down!" "Hands behind your head!". Only works on someone until they pass a save, and only on creatures that can understand you.

Starting Equipment:
Judge A: Icon of authority, gavel, book of law
Judge B: Weapon of choice branded with icon of authority, handcuffs and key
Related image
also works as rules for Captain Sam Vimes; i think that's kinda neat
(disclaimer: yes, i'm making rules for playing a cop. i also have rules for playing a cannibal who turns genitals into sleep-inducing meals. the content i create is obviously not an endorsement of any real-life practices. please don't turn me into Discourse.)