Saturday, 31 January 2015

Kausikan Serpent Peoples


The Kausikans pre-date human dominance across the world. They were mentored in magic in the blackness beneath their mountains homes. This is how they came to revere the Mountain Things. Their knowledge led to a mass-enslavement of humans in the local area. What provoked them into attacking the last city is not known, but it is known that is war over-extended their empire, leading to collapse. It is possible some small groups survive to this day.

In the Last City, they hibernate, trapped by the fearsome magic they unleashed.

Active Patrols 1-12 Kausikans, with a 50% chance of d8 of them being Mystics. There will be 1-20 hibernating Kausikans nearby. For each Mystic, there is a cumulative 5% chance of a captive demon. (generate as Summon)

Kausikan Warrior


AC as Chain, 30% of d4 armoured warriors, AC as Plate

1 Attack as Weapon, +1 Damage

Kausikan Mystic


AC as Chain

1 Attack as Weapon, +1 Damage

Roll for 1 1st Level spell from normal list.

Artefacts of the Kausikans.

Kausikan Serpent Peoples
Endless spell-slates can be found with Kausikans living, dead or hibernating. Most are broken, and the majority of the whole ones replicate the effects of modern spells.
Beaten copper collars, usually found around the necks of dead human skeletons. These slave collars are bound to a rod, and cannot be removed once they are donned.
The slave rod can be used to inflict inhuman levels of pain on all of those wearing collars at once. It cannot be used on a single slave. It is a small stone baton with a glyph on one face.
A small polished rock, which seems to have some inner quality. It is a seeing-stone of the Mountain Things. Significant military personnel of the Kausikans would carry these.
A variety of weapons with uncomfortable balance and grip, but perfectly serviceable. The wielder will not be able to forget the otherness of the weapon. They thirst for the blood of mammals, especially that of humans. These weapons deal +1 damage to all mammals, and score a critical on 19-20 against humans.
A strange metal spike with a great deal of intricate carving around the point. These Stone Killers were used to punch holes in walls and to obliterate the famed golems of the last city.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Bound to a Higher Power

A wizard's power is often not entirely his. Legends are rife with mages bargaining and sacrificing to gather power from things not human. Often these bargains leave their mark, unique to the entreated thing. It is known that such spirits hate familiars not of their choosing, and that this feeling flows both ways. A magic-user balancing between two such bargains is walking a perilous path indeed.

To begin bargaining, one must first find the ritual to call the entity. Such things are hidden, and given up only grudgingly. It is worth noticing that such rituals only call - they do not bind. Such entities cannot easily be bound, and one powerful enough to do so has no need to bargain with them.

Once found, the ritual must be performed, and then the bargaining begins. Not everything these things want will make sense, but one can be assured of their malignant purpose. Once completed, the cast will be marked (table 1) and the entity departs, granting the user benefits to their power. (table 2)
Once an initial pact is made, those who serve their masters well may ask for additional favours. These may be at reduced cost, but will never contradict the entities wishes.

Bonds with weaker entities are possible, and are generally done in a more equal manner, although the gifts are far weaker. Most often, the exchange is that of magical power (slots, buffer points) in return for favours to be cashed in when the entity sees fit. These requests can be ignored, though this spoils the relationship with the entity who may decide to collect more forcefully. If the debt is great enough, additional entities may attempt to collect a soul-bounty.

Marks - Roll for mark and location.

Single, large eye. (50% chance of being dead.)
Cluster of smaller eyes. (Same chance as above.)
Thick, ugly, matted fur. It stinks.
Area becomes bone, and obviously so.
Pale, unhealthy light radiates from the area.
Right arm.
Permanent wound. (30% chance infected, 30% chance burn (not exclusive))
Left arm.
Blasphemous tattoo. (50% chance living ink, shifts to various hideous scenes)
Needle-thin quills. (10% chance poisonous)
Minute feathers.
Gaping mouth. (5% chance speech-capable. 15% chance requires feeding.)
Spike. (40% chance bone, 30% chance metal, 10% chance stone, 20% more exotic material)
Back of the hand.
Sigil in scar-tissue.
Visible tumours.
Right leg.
Finger-width portal into nothingness.
Left leg.
Skin becomes fabric. The pattern shifts.
Right foot.
Insect limbs protrude, wriggling madly.
Left foot.
A single tentacle sprouts.
The area is removed. If it is deemed essential, a replacement is offered. This replacement will be inhuman.
Inside the eye itself.
No visible mark.
Table 2 - Roll however many times seem appropriate given the bargain.

Additional spell slots / buffer points.
Knowledge of spells appropriate to the entity.
Knowledge regarding a topic appropriate to the entity.
The use of a servitor bound to the entity.
The loyalty of lesser servants, on the condition you give the same to greater servants than yourself.
A specific item in the entities power to create or possess.
The ability to channel the entities power entirely once a month.
Counsel on one question a week.
Freedom from human frailties (i.e. no ageing, disease, hunger, thirst etc.)
A position of promise in the entities court. The invoker is taken to its realm permanently if they cannot offer something more.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Blackened and Twisted by Power

Spellburn in DCC is pretty badass, although the existing system requires the spellcheck to make sense beyond recovering spent spells, making using it in LotFP tricky.

What if it wasn't optional?

Magic Users no longer memorise spells, but they do have to lug either a spellbook or a scroll containing spells they wish to cast around with them. Casting a spell now burns off ability points from a physical statistic (determined by spell or a roll) equal to the spells level.

Using the same level brackets as exist for memorisation, we can determine what is within the wizards easy grasp - second level spells become usable at third level, for example. Magic Users can over-extend, but they burn DOUBLE the spells level in ability points, meaning second level spells cost four ability points until the caster reaches third level, third level spells cost six until fifth level, etc. Spellburn damage must heal naturally, at the rate of about a point every [whenever makes sense for your campaign. I'd go for a week.]

To make magic a little more palatable, Magic Users do slowly develop a 'Buffer' of faux-ability points to feed the magic, representing their finer grasp of the magical arts as they advance up the levels. The Buffer should probably regenerate daily, and is equal to the Magic Users level. This amount never exceeds the cost for over-extension, meaning doing so will always incur at least a small amount of spellburn.

Other fun things to steal from DCC for Magic Users is the magic corruption table, perhaps to be invoked whenever a novice warlock over-extends? Or just as a level-up 'perk.' Also Patrons would be really cool. Even if you never intend on running DCC, it's worth picking up just for subsystems to cannibalize.