Tuesday, October 13, 2020

GLOG/Witch-tober Day13: Large Black Cat


 Based off the prompts of black cat and tribe I was thinking of a tribe that has witches who ride big black cats but I can't think of anything for the tribe I've only got an idea for the cats.


The idea is that these witches use magic to make the cats huge but because magic is fake as shit, the way physics are applied to it is scaled incorrectly, because it's not "truly" huge. From the cat's perspective it's the world that's in miniature. For example the squared cubed law is ignored, they can jump just as high as they are used too jumping, if the cat could originally jump 1 foot, and it was scaled up x10, then it now jumps 10 feet rather then what an animal of that size and weight should be able to jump. They still weight as much as a house cat when in regard to the question of can something can hold their weight, even if they have a person riding on top of them. And they would still react to dogs and loud noises as if they were their natural size. Part of their traits would be "as tiger" and part would be "as house cat", but I'm not sure how to divide it. The simplest would be "whichever one is more advantagous" but I want there to flaws in this magic. Like for example should they have hp "as tiger" or "as house cat"? I'm sure that I want them to "eat as house cat, but move magnitudes faster with all the trace of a housecat" to justify witches riding them and lead too cool scenes like them sitting on something that big should not be able to sit on. I'm imagining these cats being animated in a Ghibli film, so that's the sort of magical aesthetic I'm going for here. I don't know I'm rambling, the day has been long.

You know, would my kind readers post their takes in the comments, let's have a bit of a discussion going.

Monday, October 12, 2020

GLOG/Witch-tober Day 12: Zodiac Armour

 



1d12 Zodiac Armors:

All of them look like a bracelet with the appropriate symbol on it and transform into a cute outfit that inexplicably is as protective as plate mail. The spirit of the armor pushes you to act in accordance with it's will.
  1. Aries: When wearing this armor, you're head counts as a sledgehammer and is immune to and damage you should get from treating it as such. Save to hold back.
  2. Taurus: When wearing this armor, you are immune to knockback. Save to change your opinion.
  3. Gemini: When wearing this armor you can choose to be in to locations at the same time. Save to stop talking.
  4. Cancer: When wearing this armor,  you have unshakable grip on anything you hold. Save to let go.
  5. Leo: When wearing this armor, you can turn into a god damn lion. Save to not show off.
  6. Virgo: When wearing this armor, your vision can't be clouded. Save against obsession.
  7. Libra: When wearing this armor, you are able to stay balanced on anything. Save against indecision.
  8. Scorpio: When wearing this armor, you have a scorpion tail that functions like a longsword but doesn't take up any additional arms. Save against paranoia. 
  9. Sagittarius: When wearing this armor, you can shoot arrows from your finger tips. Save against curiosity.
  10. Capricorn: When wearing this armor, you can walk up sheer cliffs like a mountain goat. Save against fear.
  11. Aquarius: When wearing this armor, you can shoot streams of water out of your hands. Save to keep focus.
  12. Pisces: When wearing this armor, you can transform into a fish. Save to not be gullible.

Notes:

Turning personality descriptions into abilities on armor is hard. I ended up going more focused on the literal symbols of the Zodiacs and I don't really like the saves I wrote for some of them. It doesn't feel like your getting that much cool stuff for the compulsion.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

GLOG/Witch-tober Day 11: SPACE LOVER

 "Hey Gorinich, where are the witches for the last two days? Are you going to cram 3 days into a post again and be very pissy about it?"

No, everything is fine, they are just bidding their time.



Since I was denied cuddles by circumstance this weekend I'm going to make this post wholesome. The two in the drawing are called Xorp and Sally respectfully.

Micro Class: Loving Witch

start with a sensitive heart, a collection of pressed flowers and club with a nail in it.
A: On your character sheet list of entities who you Love and who Love you back, parasocial relationships don't count, you must interact with each other. Adding or removing people from this list is mediated by the fiction. You get [template] MD when resting with someone you Love which can be used to give a bonus to any roll your Loved make in addition to the normal uses of MD. When you see someone you Love seriously hurt take stress equal the damage they are taking. (I run stress as any other damage, but when it takes you out it causes you to have a mental breakdown rather then succumb to physical injures.)
B: Beneficial spells you cast on those you Love have their sum doubled. You can redirect harmful magics directed at your Loved onto yourself. Your attacks do max damage against those who have seriously harmed your Loved ones.
C: You can use MD to heal your Loved ones, and obstacles preventing you from helping them when they need you will vanish by serendipity.
D: You don't need to rest with someone Loved to get MD because in a way they are always with you. You can speak with them through dreams and can always find a way to each other. Any of your Loved can gain as many Loving Witch templates as they want, and can even replace curse templates with them.

Dooms of the Loving Witch:
While you can use whatever mishap table you have at hand, magic cast by a Loving Witch uses these Dooms.
1. You have trouble realizing when your Loved ones need time to themselves. You gain fatigue each hour your not with one of them.
2. You have trouble understanding that your Loved ones have a life outside of you. You need to compel your Loved ones to pay attention to you, they do get a Char save against it.
3. Your Love has turned to possessiveness, your Loving Witch abilities no longer work but if you get your hands on some other magics, then spells to control or manipulate your Loved ones are twice as effective.
To save yourself and your Loved ones from these Dooms, you must let them go.

Race: Grey Alien

Reroll: Int
Perk: You always correctly identify what a weird space thing is.
Drawback: Roll with disadvantage against diseases not from space.

Notes:

The one thing I don't like about the Loving Witch is that even thought you can have any amount of Loved beings, the way some of the abilities are written might make more sense for it you only have one. Also I'm not sure I correctly captured the how Love be with this class, but that's a universal problem that art has.
Maybe I should have written up Xorp and Sally as characters but I am so much more comfortable with microclasses.
A thought I just remembered from back when I made the Fading Curse class, but I don't think I wrote it out anywhere, is that I tend to treat GLOG classes as a kind of poetic form describing a possibility space of a character or archetype. This is especially true with microclasses which encourage an economy of words similar to actual poetic forms.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

GLOG/Witch-tober Day 8: God damn it.

Curse you procrastination.


Because time is limited, I am going to just today's drawings into a meme, instead of GLOG content.

Monday, October 5, 2020

GLOG/Witch-tober Day 5: AAAAAAHH

 Opps, I got off track almost immediately, that's alright I'll solve this issue with some microclasses! I'm realizing that the witch prompts I'm working off are based off the beliefs of actual people, so I'll try to have tasteful fantasy depictions of these practices. 


2:Pumpkin Witch

Starts with a pumpkin patch, a gardening shed full of tools and a huge quantity of candy.
A: Pumpkins fed by your blood count as your children and get +1MD for magics of plants growing, fires burning and Harvest.
B: You can see through the eyes of the jack-o-lanterns you've carved.+1MD
C: By placing the soul of a lost child into a pumpkin and carefully tending to it from October 1st to Hallow's Eve, you can grow a Halloween Dog* as a familiar at first level. +1MD
D: You understand the cycle of life and death, and that your magic is that of a Psychopomp. You can use this knowledge to cheat your way out of death or to become a Reaper** after death. +1MD.

*This a microclass I wrote a while ago, it fits the aesthetic.
Halloween Dog
start with a black coat and yellow eyes 
A) Your a doggo with all that entails, but your also spooky. When unobserved, you can act like a cat, rat or bat. 
B) Track scared people like a bloodhound. When you howl or yap real good, lightning strikes in the distance. 
C) You are a creature of the Hallowed Day. When unobserved, you can act like a skeleton, ghost or spider. D) You can now to join Hell or the Wild Hunt. Become a Hellhound to track sinners like a bloodhound and have the body temperature of a industrial furnace or a Dandy Dog which allows you to run across the sky and shoot lightning (treat as javelins).

**I make no promises about defining what a Reaper is.


3:Crystal Witch

Starts with a pouch of 1d6 different crystals, and a tome on crystals.
A: You know the ritual uses of various crystals and gems for manipulating spiritual energies. When you set out to do a work with crystals (such as cleansing a person or amplifying good energies in an area), you need to roll equal or lower then the amount of distinct crystals you have to see if you have the right one on you. Roll a 1d6 if the effect is subtle and maybe not even existent, 1d10 if it would cause an obvious spiritual disturbance, 1d20 if it's something that even normal humans would feel. The GM can say how much time and effort the ritual is going to take based on how powerful the effect is.
B:You attract a kobold familiar(as in an mine spirit not the dragon servant. Stats as a goblin, but invisible and able to swim through earth.). The kobold interacts with the spirit world and crystals. They will help find and retrieve crystals as long as you feed them and look after their health.
C: You figure out how to store magical energies within a crystal. If you spend 1.5 the time needed to normally produce the workings, you can store the energies inside a crystal, to go off at a thought.
D: You can Talk To Crystals.


4:Crow Witch

Starts with a dark cloak and the trust of a murder of 3d6 crows.
A: You can telepathically speak with the crows your allied with. They trust you to communicate relay information between the murder, your like a psychic radio operator. +1 MD for spells of color and sound.
B: Black is what you get when you combine all the colors together. Your visual illusions cast on crows have a permanent duration, 1d6 of the crows have a talent for mimicry and can teach it to the others if given a couple months. +1MD.
C: You can transform into a crow at will, but you need to make a Cha save back into a human. +1MD.
D: If you and your murder fly together in as spiral formation to form a PRISMATIC VORTEX. Everyone within it's radius will have wild synesthesia and the it's radius expands by 1 mile each hour you can maintain it. (each hour roll for a constitution check to keep flying and 1d6-3 to see how many crows drop out of the spiral. When over half of the crows are out, the cortex is ceases. You don't have to stay in the vortex for it to continue.)


5:Modern Witch

starts with a smart phone two random spells and 50 alt accounts on various websites.
A: You have a sense for the vibes of social media posts. You can perform a vibe check to claim it. If the vibe hasn't already been claimed then the vibe is yours. If it has been claimed then you and the vibe-holder make contested cha saves, loser takes 2d6 psychic damage and the winner gets the vibe. Vibes can be used as consumable MD for spells that target those who interacted with the original post and can be traded with other witches and powers strange.
B: You can spend a vibe to enforce the Map onto the Territory. Either make someone unable to perceive surprises by only allowing them to see what they expect or restraining their behavior to only things what their internet persona would do.
C: You automatically claim any vibes produced by your posts or by posts that reference your posts or posts you've made. 
D: By spending any amount of vibes and an evening you can create a Simulacra that will follow your every command. Simulacra are spirits that completely lack physical presence but have an online one, and consume a vibe a day. When they get 2 vibes, they gain a level in Modern Witch, same at the thresholds of 4,8 and 16. When they get 32 vibes, they achieve free will.


Notes:

I'd like to apologize to all the witches I drew for rendering them so poorly and to Crystal and Crow especially in particular for not drawing them in a conceptually interesting way. This is what I get for poor time management.

In my mind a good witch class has two things. Magic powers that "ramp" over time from the witch doing something weird and familiars. Pumpkin Witches grow pumpkin patches, Crystal Witches collect crystals and Modern Witches collect vibes. Crow Witch can technically collect crows or have their murder grow with the birth of new crows but it does go hard on the "familiar" angle. I also think the recreated the "what does everyone else do when the hacker character plays the hacking minigame" with the Modern Witch. I like the concept but I don't think it can stand on it's own without a dedicated social media subsystem. Plus I think the vibe counting turned out too fiddly.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

GLOG/Witch-tober Day 1: Shoot for the stars.

Nothing gets me to actually produce content as inktober does. But for this year I'm doing something wierd. 

https://sunderedshillings.blogspot.com/2020/09/glogtober.html



So this year for inktober I'm going to do two things at once. I'm going to do the Glogtober, because I am a gretchling, and I'm going to do witchtober because I wanna draw cute and/or creepy gals. I'm blending the two prompts together into an illustration of a witch and some GLOGery that's related to them.



Encounter: Elena the Star Witch.
HD: 1
Appearance: A lady with a huge floppy hat, a really long rifle and eyes that glimmer turned to the sky.
Voice: Loud and energetic, like a Shonen character.
Wants: To kill God.
Morality: Is personally insulted when bad things happen to good people. Will fight anyone.
Intelligence: A quick-thinker and but bad at thinking things throught.
Armor: none
Move: normal
Morale: As a trained solider.
Attack: The rifle FOR THE STARS, which does damage as listed below and two random spells preferably but not necessarily star themed.

Elena can be placed in an encounter table on the road. When the players meet her she's heading in the direction of an important holysite in your setting.

Artifact:
FOR THE STARS
An old worn rifle, that aside from having lived this long is unremarkable  except for one thing. Instead of loading bullets you can pluck a star out of the sky for it's ammunition. When you shoot a star from FOR THE STARS, the shot will travel really far and cause an explosion the size of a small nuclear warhead. This will however cause the gun to melt into slag. This shot can also kill gods.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Secret Santicorn 2019: Psychonauts- Courageous Healers or Conniving Thieves?

This year for the Secret Santicorn I received a request from Nick Roman that goes something like this.

A dungeon/adventuring location set in a dreaming mind. Are you rescuing them from a curse? Stealing a memory in an Inception-style heist? Trying to undo their amnesia and find their hidden true self? You decide!"

So, here's the thing about dream trying to create fiction that evokes dreams, if hard because the waking mind does not think in dream logic. Lucky I think the texts produced by GPT-2 have the dreamlike quality of almost but not quite making sense, so I've come up with rules that use Talk to Transformer as a secondary GM in charge of dream sequences. I don't know how good of an idea this is but it could work. Now, what I have is less of an adventure, and more rules for creating adventures, as a large part of the content is generated by a computer. Also someone please stop me before I end up writing a whole setting.



The Lore:
In recent years a strange kind of artifact has been discovered in the ancient ruins under our fair city. Gates have been dug up that allow you to enter the dreams of others. Each Gate is this ring about two horses in diameter and as thick as mast tree. From the touch it's smooth and almost warm like horn, and each Gate is unique in color and the pattern of it's ridges. Which is good because each one has a corresponding Crown that looks like the Gate in miniature. By themselves the Gates and Crowns are just feel in explicable alive, but when a Crown is put upon a sleeping person's head, than something magical happens.

The space within the Gate unfolds, and you can step into the dream of the sleeper. The dream is not like the waking world, it does not follow rules, at least not ones that make sense to us. However the world of dreams is also the world of thought, so the presence of a waking mind disrupts the flow of the dream, causing the "lucidity" of the dream (which is separate from the lucidity of the dreamer) to ripple out and swing like a pendulum. The common parlance among Psychonauts has come to refer to the periods of greater dream logic as "High Tide" and periods of higher lucidity as "Low Tide". But who can make out what the Psychonauts babble, it would be easy to pass them off as lunatics, stringing together patterns from nonsense and spewing philosophic drivel if the things they brought from the dreams were not so real.

At the time of writing, less than thirty compete sets have been discovered, and despite there not being any real understanding of where they came from and why, the public has really gotten excited by these circles. Dream exploration has become a cottage industry, and one that aims to help with so many psychic ills. Feeling depressed? Do not worry, it can be taken out by our best men. Have your been dreaming of writing your own perfect play, or marrying the perfect wife or having the perfect suit? Well, if you can dream it, we can fish it right out of your skull. Wish you could learn the classics but don't have time or energy? Well, we can  just take the classics, and shove them directly into your subconscious, no problem. Trust in us and our expertly trained Psychonauts!

There have been rumors that there is a dark side to the dream exploration business. That, the Psychonauts might rearrange a personality for their own ends, that sometimes they go in so deep that they can no longer get out, that sometimes nightmares escape instead. All baseless rumors, I assure you.

The Procedure:
Tools: A computer of some sort with access to this site. Fore the sake of convenience I'm going to refer to it as Transformer.
Setup: The GM sets up the computer with the site and writes "Dream Gravity" somewhere visible.
  1. For the Gate to open, a Crown must be on a sleeping person's head.
  2. The party enters the Gate and must weather the High Tide.
    1. The players comes up with a paragraph of description, that the GM inputs it into Transformer.
    2. The GM reads out what the computer spits out, that's what happens. During High Tide, the players just watch the dream unfold.
  3. After it passes, in the Low Tide of the dream, the party can act upon the dreamscape.
    1. This segment is like normal play, but common sense takes a second seat to the sort of tone established by Transformer.
  4. As the Tide begins to pick up again, after an encounter's worth of play, (however you define what an encounter is, say 10 minutes of play if want a ballpark) the party has to choose between PUSHING FURTHER or PULLING OUT.
    1. PUSH FURTHER: If the party pushes further, than 1d4 is added to the Dream Gravity total, and repeats the process from step 2, except this time the prompt is based on the last thing that happened in the dream.
    2. PULLING OUT: If the party decides to exit the dream they can just do so, but they have to roll above the Dream Gravity score for each dream thing they want to take with them, otherwise the thing stays in the dream.
      1. A "dream thing" is any noun you could take with you. Objects, creatures can be taken but not locations.
      2. If Dream Gravity is higher than 10, than each player counts as a dream thing as well.
  5. When the party gets out of the dream, the sleeper usually jolts away. And now it's time to determine how they have been effected and how any dream things interact with the waking world.
    1. Each dream thing represents some part of the sleeper's soul/personality/memory, the GM decides how this effects their character, and it can have some weird magical properties based on how it worked in the dream.
      1. The dream thing can also be used as a one time teleport back into the sleeper's consciousness without the use of a Gate or Crown.
      2. In the astral plane there is a clearly visible thread from the dream thing to the sleeper.
    2. Each thing that was left inside the dream, gains some metaphorical significance and changes the personality of the sleeper in some way.
    3. Every person left inside the dream, sticks around as a new voice in the sleeper's head, and can hijack control of the body if they beat the sleeper in a will contest. Treat this as possession. They can be encountered in the sleeper's head if the party goes in later, but their shape might be different, and they will might remember themselves only sometimes during Low Tide.
The Notes:
The way I have this system setup is to enmesh the Talk to Transformer website with a live human GM, I know AI dungeons exists but I haven't been able to figure it out so I wrote rules around the tool I understand. The concept of High and Low Tide is introduced so that there is a diegetic explanation for the changing between paragraphs of almost coherent computer narration, and normal OSR play. If there's a tangible in-world difference between the two states, than rather than being a weird game abstraction, it's a way to support the fiction of exploring a surreal dreamscape.

I made the main consequence of dream exploration a push-your-luck mechanic because the normal consequences of death and bodily harm don't seem quite relevant in this context. I like being stuck in the dream as a consequence, it tickles the part of my brain that likes tropes like "don't eat the food in fairy land" and "spend to much time transformed into a bird and you might forget you were every human". I don't quite have the words to explain why this feels right, and that's no accident because this subsystem is all about the relation between the conscious and the subconscious.

Dream things are meant to be the treasure that draws players to engage with this subsystem. The fact that each dream things a part of someone's soul serves the purpose of preventing the Gates from being free magic item machines and creates meaningful impact for the game's characters and world. The teleport-into-sleeper's brain that dream things have is a fail-forward mechanic. In that it provides an escape route for when your in a tight spot, but one that generates it's problems. Like how do you get out of the brain once your in there, and how is the npc going to feel once you teleport into him and so forth.

The sleeper wakes up when the party pulls out to prevent players from just quickly going in and out of the dream to reset Dream Gravity. Meaning that players generally only have expedition per person per night, which has the additional benefit that players get to see how they are changing a character's personality over time. Players can use drugs and sleep spells and other methods to get their target back to sleep, but that's ok because there is some opportunity cost of money, spell slots and side effects in some way. 

The Hooks:
While most of the adventure is generated in the computer, there is room to come up with why the players are going into someone's dream.
  • The Court Magician is sure that the King's recent slump is caused by demons he's being possessed by. Get in there and kick those suckers out!
    • The truth is that much to the annoyance of the King's advisers he's being suing for peace with a nearby kingdom, and as they need another war around now it would be nice for a policy change.
  • A painter who has lost the steadiness of his hands to age dreams of the same masterpiece night after night. He wants it retrieved so that others can marvel at it.
  • A man recognizes that he has anger issues, but doesn't believe he's able to change maybe you could help him.
    • There is also the question of what to do with that anger once it's outside the man.
  • A wizard has a business proposition, what if we traumatize some orphans, than extract their nightmares and train the resulting monsters to be guard dogs.
    • I mean, if we take the trauma out of the kids, than the kids don't have trauma anymore which makes this whole operation ethical.
  • A cult believes that if they move their entire collective into their high priest's head, than they will ascend into a higher being.