Posts

Schools of Magic

School's done, and I've been putting a lot of energy into another hobby--gardening.
I decided I'm going to try doing longer posts, less frequently.

I was thinking the other day about the fact that wizards (or witches, and warlocks) are generally portrayed as being educated at schools. Whether it's a high/middle school like Hogwarts, Pratchett's Unseen University, Sabrina's Academy of Unseen Arts, etc. This does bring up a few interesting concepts:

Perhaps 'School of Magic' is a literal thing. You could have an Arcanist's Academy, with a College of Conjuration, College of Illusion, College of Enchantment, etc.; all with their own respective Deans and administrative staff.Greek life allegories--wizards are often thought of as frail, old men; but that really only makes sense for professors/faculty. Adding in wizard fraternities and sororities adds in some complex dynamics. fraternities with rivalries and ensuing pranksPledgesHazing scandalsDrinking/drug …

Hypnophage

This post brought to you by two weeks of insomnia.

Hypnophage (base):
Feeding form: an indistinct, human-shaped figure with waxy, opalescent skin.
Resting form: a hard,opalescent plaque-like film with a waxy finish

AC (base +/- HD) HD (varies, starts at 1) Att pseudopod
THACO & saves: as fighter

The Hypnophage does not want your gold, your flesh, your blood, or your soul.
It feeds on your sleep. Or rather, it feeds on your capacity to sleep in the future.
It attacks and feeds using pseudopods which emerge from it's chest and stomach.

Combat:
On a successful attack roll the Hypnophage grapples and immobilizes the target. The target can attempt to escape on it's turn on successful save vs paralysis.If the target is still immobilized on the Hypnophage's next turn, it feeds.Feeding: The Hypnophage deals 1d8 sleep damage to the target and gains the same amount in temporary hit points. Once the Hypnophage's temporary hit points equal it's actual hit points it's hunger i…

Underwater Adventures?

When I was a little kid, like real little, I somehow heard of marine biologists and wanted to be one. Then it was paleontology, then at some point actuary. Probably others in there too.
Anyway, I love how the ocean is kind of a different planet entirely.

I've heard great things about subterranean adventuring in Veins of the Earth, though I haven't purchased it (yet), but making something similar for aquatic encounters sounds interesting.
Cephalopods are a potential option for player race/classes:They're smartThey have arms, so it's reasonable that they could use weapons and shields and investigate dungeonsMany cephalopods can change color. This adds a potential new source of magic component (you have to wave your tentacles like this, and be just the right color mauve to get this one right!)You can fart inky sneezes!I think a roughly human sized squid such as the Humboldt Squid (Dosidicus gigas) works best for this ideaMost species of octopus and squid have 8 arms, there…

Stonegrove part 2, and life

I have been thinking over my setting, Stonegrove, a fair bit of late.
I have been considering that trying to make a full campaign setting is honestly probably a bit much.
I'm considering winnowing it down to a hex crawl or a point crawl.

Another major problem is that I want there to be tension between elves/humans/goblins, but I want them to mostly get along. Mostly. Trying to think of interesting problems is a bit difficult for me.

I have also been considering rewriting the goblins as toad people and the elves as mushroom people, but perhaps that is the start of something else.

For a variety of reasons I have focused on nurturing the analytical part of my brain and my creative side has atrophied a fair bit.

DMing tips from a Newb

This post brought to you by the bit of a spat going on between Monsters & Manuals and The Tao of D&D. The former advocates 'just do what works for you' while the latter points out 'what does works mean?'
I think 'do what works for you' is honestly pretty decent advice, though I do understand it's not very specific.

I've DMed in 3.5, B/X E and 4th.
I am very much 'just do what works for you' but I'm going to try and off offer some meaningful, hopefully helpful definitions of works here. So, definition of something working, from a rules perspective is:

Is understandable/comprehensible. It doesn't have to be logically consistent, but it needs to be actually usable at the table. This is fairly subjective; for me, standard B/X D&D initiative is unusable, as are the different weapon speeds; so I don't use them. You can only learn this by doing.The rule is not clumsy/does not negatively impact the action and progress of the game.

Vampire Cyberpunk?

Unlike my previous posts, this is for a non D&D based system; probably a PbtA derivation, or maybe BitD. So, if you're an OSR/trad only kinda person feel free to skip this one, you won't hurt my feelings. I promise I'll have more on that front soon, but there is some interesting comparing dice towards the bottom if you're into that.

I like some aspects of Shadowrun & oWoD..
Er, Old World of Darkness--is that OWOD, OWoD, Owod, OwOd? No idea.
Never played it, only passingly familiar.
I've played Shadowrun like twice, no idea which edition; point buy classless systems bore me to tears, no thanks GURPS et. Al.

Shadowrun:Juxtaposition of cyberpunk and fantasyThe concept that increasing cybernetic enhancements or other artifical aspects decreases access to magic for whatever reasonWoD:The idea that the PCs are hunters, mages, werewolves, or vampiresI know there are other properties, I don't care; those are the main ones & the most fleshed out and interest…

Stonegrove, post 1

One of my current ongoing projects is a city called Stonegrove.
This could be a hexcrawl, a pointcrawl, a module, a small setting, I'm not sure yet.
I've been playing around with it.

Here are some basic concepts:

Base is a mix of B/X Essentials, Labyrinth Lord, popular house rules and possible other stuff.Playable races are Human, Elf, GoblinUses Race-As-ClassHumans have, basically, Fighter, Cleric, Magic-UserGoblins have Fighter, Magic-UserElves have Fighter, Cleric I actually switched to using the term 'Bloodline' instead of 'race' for a few reasons.  Some info on the bloodlines, as I've written them so far: HumansPhysically largest, strongest bloodlinemost diverseonly bloodline to have  knowledge of smithingvulnerable to White Deathcame to Stonegrove escaping..something? Hundreds of years agoElvesvulnerable to ironare the original inhabitants, and built the ruins that the city is build amongsequestered themselves in an alternate dimension to avoid magical …