Tuesday, June 30, 2020

1d20 Centipede Loot from the Centipedes zine!

  1. Sexual Aids
    1. Male Chastity Cage- This cage clasps around male genitalia, restricting growth through arousal. The legs of the centipede wrap around the shaft and the head of the centipede covers the glans. The cage is modeled after the Black Centipede and gives the male a fearsome adornment.
  2. Arms and Armor
    1. Boiled Leather Armor with Centipede Pauldrons - If hit by an attack that exactly matches your armor class, one of your pauldrons will animate and crawl down the attacker's weapon to bite them, dealing one damage per round until you or the attacker dies. Both pauldrons may animate in this fashion and attack multiple targets independently.
  3. Domestic stuff
    1. Centipede Cutlery - Fork, spoon, and knife adorned with centipedes. These utensils automatically cast “Purify Food” on centipede meat and make the meat palatable to the diner.
  4. Creatures
    1. Clutch of Centipede Eggs - Giant centipede eggs, there just happens to be as many eggs as there are members of your party - just like the dire wolf scene… you know, before those ass-hat writers at HBO ruined everyone’s character development.
  5. Clothing/Jewelry
    1. Cyrano de Bergeac - A centipede shaped ear covering that allows the wearer to understand spoken centipede, but not speak it. If you possess the twin Cyrano, you and the other wearer may speak to each other at great distances, but only in declarations of love.
  6. Art
    1. Centipede Creation Story - A 4’ x 9’ tapestry depicts the most common creation story of your setting, except that key characters in the scene have been replaced by a variety of centipedes.
  7. Books
    1. Centipedes! - A Roughly 80 page soft cover “book” that covers a variety of centipedes from an ecological perspective, along with some amazing rumors, stories, and legends about centipedes.
  8. Maps
    1. Tyrant Centipede Map - A rough, hand drawn overview of the local countryside with 1d8 Xs marked on it in yellow for rumored sightings and 1d4-1 green Xs for confirmed sightings.
  9. Furniture
    1. Centipede Fainting Couch - The couch is styled after the common giant centipede, lying on its back with delicate sweet meats exposed, legs spread to accommodate would be fainters. Sitting or lying on the couch while conscious is nothing special, but if you actually faint near the couch, the legs will reach out to catch you and place you on its stomach cushions where its legs will caress you lovingly until you wake.
  10. Tools  
    1. Centipede Lockpicks - Two slender metal centipedes that are frozen stiff and cold to the touch. Instead of picking locks in the usual manner, cup the lock picks in your palms and breathe on them to warm them. Once you feel the centipedes begin to stir, cup your hands over the lock so they have no recourse but to enter the lock. They’ll defeat the lock at their leisure and try to escape once they’ve breached the other side. Rumor says they’re trainable and that you can goad them into picking locks faster and coming back to you on their own by feeding them exotic metal shavings.
  11. Animal stuff
    1. Giant Centipede Barding - Any adventurer with an interest in a centipede mount or companion would be blessed to happen across this barding, because you can damn near fit a small army in plate for the cost of someone skilled enough to custom make centipede barding. Adds +2 to Centipede AC.
  12. Musical Instrument
    1. Centipede Harp - Harp back is one long curved centipede and each string is held taut by a pair of legs at the top and bottom. When plucked, the strings make horrible sounds that could not ever be misconstrued as music. This is Chitorian - the language of chitinous creatures - you hear. The harp may be used to “play” several short, simple phrases to creatures that speak Chitorian, if you don’t speak it yourself.
  13. Religious stuff
    1. Centipede Prayer Beads - Set of prayer beads carved from actual chitin to look like the segments of a centipede. No special qualities, probably just a gift for a centipede loving monk or priest.
  14. Containers
    1. Centipede Backpack - No straps, this chunky and disproportionate centipede clings to you by wrapping its legs around your torso. It isn’t particularly strong, but it will attempt to grapple anyone - except you - who attempts to make off with it, being not so much an active defense measure as it is an alarm that your pack is being pilfered. Will also bite the hand of those looking to steal from your pack dealing one damage, no save, no roll.
  15. Medical/Pharmaceutical 
    1. Centipede Stitches - Common gray centipedes, ranging in size from one inch to one foot long, are pressed over an open wound and then stabbed in a particular spot in the brain which causes a full body muscle contraction, forcing the legs to pierce the flesh on either side of the wound and squeeze closed. This kills the centipede, but keeps wounds disinfected and sealed.
  16. Spells
    1. Appendages to Centipedes - Turn your appendages into centipedes under your control. Fingers and toes are 1HD, Arms are 2 HD and Legs are 3 HD. These centipedes can detach from your body and navigate the world at your command, once you reattach them you’ll know everything they have experienced with their senses. They die after one hour and if you don’t find them and reattach them to yourself before sunset, congratulations, you’re an amputee now. Once the centipedes are reattached to your body, they change back into your standard appendages.
  17. Favors
    1. Blessing of the Broodmother - Far beneath the ground, there is a gargantuan mother centipede guarding a clutch of eggs that number in the millions. She’s rumored to be the source of all centipedes. She will take a sick or wounded member of your party and let them rest peacefully amongst her eggs until whatever ailment that plagues them has passed. 
  18. Luxury goods
    1. Centipede Shaped Soap - This bar of soap takes all the drudgery out of bathing; simply wet it, touch it to your skin and watch in amazement as it scuttles around your body to give you a thick, foamy lather.
  19. Curses
    1. Tyrant Centipede Curse - Bad juju of a serious nature and definitely not for amateurs. The 13 Witch Queens of the First Forest hold fast that every curse strikes twice - curse not lest ye be cursed. This is a scroll, book, or oral retelling of the ways and means to curse a foe in the manner of the Tyrant Centipede, but only the strongest of spell casters should even consider using this. It should be used only  for the gravest of transgressions because this curse demands much of the caster.
  20. Potions
    1. Transfusion Centipedes (Cursed) - A glass bottle full of what appears to be Transfusion Centipedes. If you try to insert these into a wound to heal yourself, they’ll happily crawl in and begin to eat you from the inside out.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Mouldering Mildred, a weird NPC encounter.

Mouldering Mildred

If you’re new to town, you’ll find her with your nose. A sticky sweet smell will drift lazily beneath your nostrils and beckon you come hither, Moulderingy Mildred has a sweet treat for good boys and girls.

And you’re a good boy! Of course, why not?! So you won’t hesitate to trot right over to her palanquin. It’s a grand thing; takes six retainers to carry its spacious girth. It looks like it could hold three men and their horses comfortably - standing even! The fabric must be fifty different colors and twenty different materials. The colors and materials blend into each other seamlessly and they preen in the warm light of the sun, begging you to feast your eyes upon their largesse. 

As you approach the palanquin, everything falls apart. Your brain almost refuses to make the connection, that the smell that lured you here and the sight in front of your eyes are in any way connected. Some people scream. Some people cry. Most people vomit.

Mouldering Mildred is laying on a veritable throne of pillows. She is old, ancient and decrepit. Her naked flesh is stretched impossibly taut against her nearly translucent skin. You can see every vein she has and most of what little muscles she has. Her muscles give you teasing glimpses of the bones beneath, like risque portraiture.

Her legs are splayed at grotesque angles - is her pelvis broken? Her sex hides beneath a forest of thick black pubic hair, dripping with… fluids. The smell that brought you here? Piss, shit, sex, sweat, neglect, apathy and cruelty was all that was.

Your eyes travel upwards and it just gets worse. Deflated breasts heave under the great strain of breathing. The vacuum of her stomach is a graveyard where life could not ever have been sustained.

Her mouth lies slack and the sound of her breath rattles in her dry throat, even as a thin line of drool clings tightly to her jaw. 

What little hair Mildred has to speak of clings wetly to her face, adhered to her forehead with a sheen of sweat. If you were lucky, it’d be covering her eyes. You’re not.

Her eyes are pale and clouded over with the blindness of unknowable years, but they see you. They see through you. In an instant, those eyes know everything about you; their hateful gaze sweeps across your sins and lays bare your soul.

You get a sense of a yearning in those eyes - she’s begging for death. Homemade, artisan death delivered straight from those strong capable hands of yours. Just wrap your hands around her throat and see it done. But your lizard brain is screaming in terror, trying to rip itself out of your skull and run bodily away from the ruinnatious decision you contemplate. Touch Mildred to watch your entire life burn up before your eyes.

As you run away - don’t be ashamed, everyone does the first time. You might notice the palanquin is not so grand. That fabric that flapped so elegantly in the wind and invited you to bask in their radiance is tanned human flesh, dull and yellowed. It does not dance in the light, it does not invite you to feast - it is a monument of shame.

You might also finally see the retainers that carry the palanquin as you make your escape. They’re mostly women, but undoubtedly you’ll see a man or two. They’re all young with bright faces, full of ambition. They’re all dressed the same, in plain and modest, but immaculate clothes that belie the nature of their occupation. They’re a cruel juxtaposition with their employer.

If you have a kind soul and a just heart, you’ll feel great shame at your reaction to your first meeting with Mildred. You’ll be called back to her, an unseen force beckons you to come back and make things right, to offer any assistance you can with her situation. You’ll approach her carers and they’ll dismiss your every concern. Mildred is doing just fine, she’s happy here and she wants for nothing. Mildred has a loyal coterie who sees to her every need.

If you press this matter, her carers will become more agitated, hostile. They’ll insist your claims are baseless, that you’re out to get them and even that you’re upsetting the very woman you claim to try to be helping. If your behavior continues, you’ll likely be formally chastised by the local guard and eventually taken into custody.

Most people give up at this point, but if you don’t - if you are not so easily swayed then you’ll likely try to investigate further. Mildred is carted around the market, around town, but nothing unusual ever occurs and everyone seems to think everything about her is perfectly normal. So one night you’ll follow her palanquin home and then the fun really begins.

You’ll follow her out of town and if you’re lucky, the roads will be swept clear and the palanquin will simply make its way into the woods where you’ll inexplicably lose sight of it after a time. But you’re not lucky, no you never are.

Since you’re not lucky, there’ll be roadkill on the edge of the path. Fresh, wet with rain, sun dried - it doesn’t matter. The retainers will stop their forward trudge and lower their burden to the ground. 

Mildred will crawl out of the palanquin on her stomach. Her legs will flop lifelessly to the ground as she clears the edge. Her “hands”, oh god - you’ve just noticed her “hands”, are raw bloody nubs of flesh that she stabs at the ground to drag herself forward, oblivious to the rocks and sticks that rip into her weak flesh. She leaves a trail of a tarry black substance behind her, oozing from her wounds.

She circles her rotting prey in a sick caricature of the natural order, stalking this inanimate pile of decay as though it might actually elude her.

Like a dog, finding just the right spot to lie down - Mildred will circle her quarry three to five times. However improbable; she’ll arch her back, which brings her face even closer to the ground than it already was.

She fixes her cold, blind eyes upon you. Obviously, they can’t see you - she’s blind, but right you wish her eyes did something as simple and mundane as see you, because right now her empty eyes are doing something far more hateful than seeing. Her eyes penetrate you. They’re worse than eyes, they become greedy little hands. They reach and grab, peeling back the delicate folds of your brain to molest your very thoughts.

You can feel Mildred in your head. She is not rifling through your secrets, or pillaging your memories. Those are sneaky, shameful things done quickly and quietly by small people. No, Mildred is large in your mind, exuberant! She is frolicking, she is rolling around in your most private shame with all the enthusiasm of a pig in shit. It’s a filthy act, Mildred violates you and with each passing second your memories - good and bad - become less and less vibrant until they no longer feel like moments you lived, but dull stories you heard someone telling in a tavern long ago. The more guilt you carry, the longer she’ll feed. That’s what she’s doing in your mind, you know. To you, it’s perverse, disgusting and unwelcome. To her? This is just lunch.

After a dog’s age, she quits. This is not an act of mercy. Further atrocity has been set aside just for you. Now that she has fed the incorporeal, she must nourish the physical.

She sticks out her tongue; it’s too wide, too long, too thick - too everything. It isn’t a tongue. It reaches out from her mouth and strokes the dead flesh -  what’s left of it. Her eyes are locked to yours and her mouth is making a sickening wet sound against that dry corpse. If you’re lucky, it will only take her hours to get through it.

But you aren’t. You never are.

Days pass. You’re exposed to the elements. The sun is hateful and you burn. The sun is cruel and you blister. You don’t move. You don’t eat. You don’t drink. You develop sores from lying in your own filth.

Today you’re lucky! She finishes! She crawls back into her palanquin, reversing every step of her initial movement with perfect accuracy and fluidity. She’s quick now. Always dangerous, but now she’s quick and dangerous isn’t a cruel enough word for what she is after a feeding.

It’s like the townies know, like they’re in this together with her. You’re not lucky - they’ve been waiting. Once she’s out of sight, a traveler “happens” upon you and transports you back into town out of the goodness of their heart. It’s not goodness. It’s guilt. They let this happen to you. Better you than them.

They take you back to town and place you in a bed in the back room of whatever passes for a church in this god forsaken backwater. You are surrounded by friends of circumstance. You are not the first of Mildred’s victims. You will not be the last. If you’re lucky, you’ll recover from this (Any result on 1d20, but a 1). Recovered or not, part of Mildred moulders in you now. 

Monday, February 3, 2020

My Zine Is Live On Kickstarter!

Check out my zine!

It’s a system agnostic zine all about centipedes in A4 format. Nothing too crazy, but it’s my first one and I’m stoked!

Monday, December 16, 2019

Ice Golems.

In the world at large, golemancer's and their magics are respected, but sit low on the totem pole of arcane practices. Mundane folk regard them with as much awe as any other magic user, but actual Practitioner's look upon them as skilled craftsman, no more special than a masterful black smith or leatherworker.

There's a hierarchy within the practice itself as well. The hardness of a material reflects the difficulty of making a golem from it and the strength of the finished product, so naturally Golemancers who work with diamond are most highly regarded with workers of ruby and sapphire not far behind. Common stones lie in the middle, followed by the weaker gold and silver of coin and jewelry, and pitiable ice golems bring up the rear garnering as much respect as they have strength.

Yes, the soft bodied golemancers of the Southern territories look down on their Northern brethren with contempt for our soft, brittle works, but the North doesn't mind. Proud Northerners live hard, brutal lives fighting to survive the arctic conditions - we don't have the time or the resources to go trekking hundreds of miles away to diamond mines and waiting weeks or months while hired labor mines that precious gem. We're fighting for our lives today, right now - and that's when our golems must be made.

In the Southern territories, an ice golem is weak - almost as low down on the hardness scale as material can get at a measly 1.5 Mohs. But in the Northern wastes, with a howling winds and temperatures hitting 30 or 40 below freezing? Ice golems have a greater strength in those hateful temperatures, reaching a hardness of 6 Mohs. Still not nearly as strong as a diamond golem, but any Northerner worth his salt could build you an army of ice golems before a Southerner had even travelled to the mine or quarry where his work would start. We've got front yards, backyards, house roofs and country roads just filled with snow - build you a quick snowman, sprinkle some water, make a little token offering to Jack Frost, Lord of the Dead and Frozen and you're in business.

Of course, there's other ways you can go about working up an ice golem if you don't truck with Jack Frost. Kill a fearsome beast of ice and snow and put it's still beating heart inside the chest of an ice man. Craft a body made of ice and snow with all the skill of a proper artisan and animate it. Enchant a piece of clothing - or more likely steal one that's already been enchanted - and gift it to your ice golem.

No need to go through all that trouble though, not in the North where Jack Frost is King. He loves his troubled sons and he doesn't think a thing of standing up armies of ice and snow for them.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

NPC Quirks of Manner and Speech

Roll 1d20 for a quirk, of manner or speech or roll 2d20 and combine.

NPC Quirks
1. Taps own nose.
“Watch me!”
2. Tugs at earlobe.
“As men say.”
3. Takes off hat and wrings it in hands.
“I tell you hwhat.”
4. Bites lip before speaking.
“Well, about that…”
5. Runs fingers through own hair before speaking.
“Listen Linda!”
6. Will only make eye contact with your right eye.
“This is strictly off the record.”
7. Stands too close when speaking
“We’ve got a saying around here.” but the “saying” is just whatever they were already going to say in reply.
8. Never uses profanity, whisper very infantile substitutions.
“... because that’s just neighborly.”
9. Does former/current meth addict mouth fidgeting.
Speaks about interacting with themselves as though they were two people. “I told [themself] dealing with [PCs] was a bad idea.”
10. Holds their breath while you speak.
“You hear?”
11. Takes a deep, calming breath before they start talking every time it’s their turn to speak again.
“Well I’ll be a [Magic Animal]’s [Political/Court Position]!”
12. Pantomimes taking notes about what you’re saying. “Helps me remember the details.”
“Mansplains” martial weapons, but just trusts you know all the relevant info about forgotten grimoires.
13. Makes sign of the evil eye toward the south before speaking.
“Pardon my Orcish darling, but he’s an [completely inoffensive and factual statement].”
14. Does a “Wash my hands of you”
gesture when finished speaking.
“...and you’d be wise to remember that.”
15. Rolls a coin over fingers while you speak, pulls it from behind your ear before they speak.
“... or at least that’s what my Pappy used to say before he died in the war.”
16. Will only talk while walking.
“Y’all hungry, we can do this over food if you like, ‘cause I’m hungry.”
17. Makes shocked expressions at mundane details and stone faced for actual shocking information.
“Now that sounds like something I could sink my teeth into.”
18. Can’t get through a sentence without a yawn.
“... and that’s the truth, or the buzzards take my eyes after they hang me for a liar.”
19. Prefers to speak to you, facing away from you.

20. Takes gloves off before shaking hands.
“If’n you don’t mind my saying…”

"...before the Grand Vizier comes for us."

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Rituals and Template

So Zedeck Siew did some writing for the Demon City ttrpg. A preview of some of that writing was posted, specifically some rituals Zedeck wrote and I thought they were really cool with a fairly easy to follow template and I've been disappointed for a while that I haven't seen anyone else using that template, so I crafted some rituals based on it.

Hand of Glory

The Hand of Glory is created in two parts; Hand and Candle. The hand itself must be cut from a hanged man, and then pickled in salt and the urine of a man, a woman, a horse and a hare. After pickling, the hand must be smoked with herbs for a full turn of the moon. Once pickled and smoked, wrap the hand in a funeral pall until you’re ready to insert the candle.

The candle needs be made from the fat of the man whence came the hand, with soot from a burnt temple or church mixed in to give it a foul coloring. The wick should be made from the hair of a predatory beast.

Place the Candle within the Hand to finish creating a true Hand of Glory.

A Hand of Glory is invaluable to thieves and other ne’er do wells, but ware the man who wants one and the work he needs it for - he won’t be using it for something so innocent as stealing mere silver from a local merchant.

Several factors determine the potency of the Hand. Each condition met below confers one point of Intensity.

If the hanged man was: 
- Innocent
- Framed by you
- A Child
- Royalty
- An executioner
A friend or lover

If the urine came of:
- Royalty
- A magical beast

If the church or temple was:
- Your faith and personal place of worship
- Over 100 years old
A wonder

If the hair for the wick came from an animal that was:
- 3 HD or greater
- Magical
- Rabid
- Unbound when you took its hair

Effects of the Ritual

The Hand of Glory, regardless of Intensity
- Casts light only the bearer can see.

Intensity 2
- As above, and unlocks mundane doors and windows.

Intensity 3
- As above, and stops sleepers from waking up, paralyzes any residents who lay eyes on you until your candle is out.

Intensity 4
- As above, and unlocks magical doors and windows, and erases any memory of having seen you in their house.


Gather about you the things or people you aim to protect. Speak your intention to them, tell them what you’d seek to protect them from, in the general sense, with this Alarm ritual. Walk the perimeter of the area you wish to guard, hand in hand with your companions or carrying the object(s). As you walk the perimeter, speak your intention to the open air - tell the world that you have safe guarded this place and you plan to defend it with your life. Tell the air, tell the soil, tell every creature in between that those who would seek to harm you and yours are not welcome here. Tell the world and it’s creatures they’ve been fairly warned and you will destroy interlopers without mercy or sorrow.

As you walk and intone your intention, string the perimeter with thread, being sure to leave plenty of excess thread, suspended above the ground at eye level and tie a bell to the string for every second of advance warning you desire. If you wish for this alarm spell to notify more than one person you’ll need a separate quantity of bells for them and they must be physically present.

Next place an unlit candle at each cardinal direction within your guarded area and five candles at each inter cardinal direction - if you wish your alarm spell to light up the area, otherwise you may skip this step.

Next gather the thread from each of the “walls” of the area and draw them inward to the spot where you and your companions or material possessions will be and tie the excess thread around your finger and the finger of anyone else you wish this spell to notify. You cannot have the spell notify more people than there are “walls” to your thread perimeter, so if you want several people to be alerted be sure to craft an irregular shape. 

When you’ve tied the string around the finger of the last person you wish to have be alerted say “and now the weary may rest without worry”. If you’ve correctly completed the ritual the thread, bells and candles will all disappear and you may sleep or leave the area and you will immediately know if someone crosses your perimeter.

Increase the potency of the ritual by one if:

The thread is:
- A single unbroken strand of silk from a venomous spider
Made of spooled silver
Made of spooled gold (+2)
Woven from the hair of a magical beast

The bells are:
- Solid gold, worth at least 1,000 SP each
- Family heirlooms
- Stolen from a Bell Exorcist

The candles are:
- worth at least 1,000 SP each
made of the melted fat of a person or group who have betrayed you

Effects of the Ritual

Regardless of intensity, when your alarm is triggered you will awake immediately or immediately know your alarm has been triggered, the bells will ring once altogether, and the candles will light casting their natural light.

Intensity 1
- As above, but the bells will ring continuously for one minute and the candles will cast light twice as far.

Intensity 2
- As above, but the bells will ring until you desire them to stop or until the threat has been dealt with, whichever comes first.

Intensity 3
- As above, except the bells will ring as one solid note that will cripple weak enemies with pain in their heads - save vs stun/save under CON - and the candles will light up the area as if it’s under the light of the noon day sun.

Purify Food and Drink

Be thankful for your food. Thank the farmers that planted it, grew it and harvested it. Thanks the merchants that stored it and sold it. Thank the soil and sun that fed it.

Say a small prayer to your god ending with “We would now dine on these bountiful gifts with clear consciences and thankful hearts.”

The ritual increases potency if:

The ritual is completed by:
- A church priest +1
An ordained Paladin +2
A celestial being specifically sent to you to complete the ritual + 3

Effects of the Ritual

Intensity 1/2/3
- Purifies of poison and restores one bite/plateful/tables worth of food to it’s just cooked/picked freshness.

Holy Matrimony 

Gather your friends and family about you. Invite them to feast and drink with you. Celebrate your love for your partner and your time together. Dance, laugh, cry and just let yourself succumb to the emotional current of the celebration.

The following day, have a holy man or men of yours, your partners or both faiths officiate a ceremony. Promise yourselves to each other and affirm your love in front of everyone who celebrated with you the previous night, in the customary manner of your culture.

Finally, close out the ceremony with a kiss.

Regardless of the intensity of this ritual, you’re now married to your partner in the eyes of the gods and your fates are inextricably intertwined for better or worse.

The effects of this ritual increase in intensity if:
- You’re truly in love with your partner.
- One point for every ten years of happy marriage.
- Your friends and family approve of your marriage.
- Your revelry was raucous and genuine.
- Your revelry resulted in a marriage proposal from someone else of your faith
- If a child is born from your you or your guests revelries.

Effects of the Ritual

Regardless of Intensity, you and your partner are now married and you are afforded all the divine and legal rights of your lands entailed by that.

Intensity 3
- You always know the general “status” of your partner - “Something’s wrong!”

Intensity 4
- You always know the general location of your partner

Intensity 5
- You know the specific health of your partner, their specific  location, and you can communicate with them through thought if you’re within eyesight of each other.