Monday, January 28, 2019

Sting's Deadbeat Cousins, or: Divinatory Item Generator

So, the Hobbit is pretty great, right?

Pinterest is the bane of my existence but I did manage to find the original source for this image (by theGorgonist)

Sting: Dagger that Glows when Orcs are near

Item that Action when Category is near

Item d20
  1. Dagger
  2. Sword 
  3. Spear
  4. Axe
  5. Mace
  6. Hammer
  7. Halberd
  8. Bow
  9. Crossbow
  10. Rifle
  11. Pistol
  12. Shield
  13. Breastplate
  14. Helmet
  15. Ring
  16. Necklace
  17. Gauntlets 
  18. Boots 
  19. Skull
  20. Tome
Action d20
  1. Glows
  2. Changes Color
  3. Emits a Beam of Light
  4. Screams
  5. Moans Pleasurably
  6. Vibrates
  7. Freezes
  8. Burns
  9. Strobes
  10. Smells of Farts
  11. Smells of Flowers
  12. Leaks Blood
  13. Recites Scripture
  14. Becomes Heavier
  15. Levitates
  16. Smokes
  17. Moistens
  18. Plays Music
  19. Whispers Psychically
  20. Turns Invisible
Category d20
  1. Orcs
  2. Humans
  3. Elves
  4. Dwarves
  5. Goblins
  6. Dumb Undead
  7. Intelligent Undead
  8. Predatory Animals
  9. Herd Animals
  10. Birds
  11. Books
  12. Alcohol
  13. Demons
  14. Ghosts
  15. Royalty
  16. Criminals
  17. Wealthy People
  18. Liars
  19. Virgins
  20. Sluts (anyone who has had sex recently and enjoyed it, even a little) 

Most of the results for "witch hut" are Minecraft, which, in retrospect, makes sense (by Tiana Maros)

The Shop

The shop is run by an old, old man who has been old for as long as anyone can remember. They call him The Shopkeeper in the Woods. He loves mysteries, especially the mystery of what his magic items do, and he’ll encourage the players to buy the cheapest items. If killed, he Obi-Wans out (with all his items and cash) and returns the next time someone visits the shop, gently admonishing his killers if they return. If they kill him a second time, they will never be able to find the shop again.

At every visit, the shop has 5 items for sale, all rolled randomly. They count as magic for the purposes of hitting ghosts and werewolves or whatever.
  1. Two unlabeled items, each a bit cheaper than a silvered sword
  2. An item with its action labeled, 2x the price of the unlabeled items
  3. An item with its category labeled, 3x the price of the unlabeled items
  4. An item with both its action and category labeled, 4x the price of the unlabeled items

Tables for items like these would probably be cool, too (xkcd)

Betty Bacontime has her own version of this table here.
The button was built using Spwack's Automatic List-to-HTML Translator v2.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

BE HELLBOY! or: the Sanctioned Cambion--a GLOG Class

So, Dan over at Throne of Salt wrote a Hellboy class for dB/dX games. In the grand tradition of the GLOG, I decided to adapt it (with his permission). The class was already quite close to GLOG format; I just added Fan the Hammer, tightened the wording, and ordered the abilities. Without further ado, here’s the class:

I haven't read any Hellboy yet, but he sure does look cool (image via IGN)

Sanctioned Cambion

For every Sanctioned Cambion template you have, increase your HP by 1.

A: Infernal Heritage, Leadfoot
B: Blessed Lead, The Gitchy Feeling
C: Drawing Out the Devil, Ember Eyes
D: White Sacrament, Fan the Hammer

Starting Equipment: Revolver (d6 exploding on 6, offhand, 6 shots)

Infernal Heritage
Take half damage from mundane fire and embodied demons. You are immune to seduction.

You’re heavy, as though made of stone. It’s difficult to move you or knock you down. Most humans can’t do it at all, and you roll with advantage against stronger creatures. You sink.

Blessed Lead
Keep up to [templates] bullets primed to deal triple damage to possessive demons (and none to their hosts). It takes a day to prepare one bullet.

The Gitchy Feeling
Sense the presence of demons and spirits within 60’, and (roughly) their numbers and strength.

Draw Out the Devil
Force incorporeal demons to Save or be trapped in an object. If you know the demon’s true name, it has disadvantage on its Save.

Ember Eyes
With a bit of light, you can see 30’ in the dark (no color). Your eyes glow like hot coals.

White Sacrament
With an hour long ritual, you and your allies can enter a pocket of hell and strike at the blackened soul of a manifested demon. For every HP you sacrifice, your allies all get +1 damage on their next successful attack. If you are killed, everyone is trapped in hell.

Fan the Hammer
You can fire your revolver as many times in one attack as it has bullets remaining, but use only the best roll for the actual attack.

Here’s a neat trick: you can set a google doc so that anyone with the link can view it, then get a shortened URL and QR Code attached to that link, then print those things out. An iPhone's camera, Android's Google Lens, and Snapchat can all read QR codes. That lets everyone at the table look at the doc on their phones without printing a bajillion copies or emailing them the link. You can just print the QR and show it to them. This link goes to my google doc for the Sanctioned Cambion, which will update if I make any changes.

Like I said earlier, this class is mostly not mine, but I do have some commentary on the abilities and changes I made.

Ability Ordering: I spread the three applied exorcisms out over the last three levels and the infernal bits out over all of the levels. That way, the Sanctioned Cambion grows in power both with their hellish abilities and as a demon hunter, which is pretty cool.

Infernal Heritage: Reduced the fire immunity to resistance, because I’m not a fan of total immunity.

Leadfoot: Removed the math from it, because less math is better.

Blessed Lead: This is the same--Dan updated his version to match mine.

The Gitchy Feeling: Added a range specification.

Drawing Out the Devil: I didn’t want to bother with turning tables, and Save scales with power anyway.

Ember Eyes: I worded this one to match my thief ability.

White Sacrament: I don’t like spell activation effects, so I converted it to simple HP-for-damage.

Fan the Hammer: This ability is an original. I tried to word it so that it would make sense in both the GLOG and Moonhop. I considered giving the class an Extra Attack, but I decided that infringed too closely on Fighter Territory. I’m proud of this ability, though--it lets players mess with crit/exploding damage chance, if you use those things, and practically guarantee a hit at the cost of using a lot of ammo.

So, I’ve written 15 other classes, but I posted this most recent addition first because it was easy to write commentary for. I think I want to say more about the other stuff I’ve written, but I also don’t feel like writing it down right now, so they remain unposted. If you do want to see them, you should hang around on the OSR Discord, where I workshop and share my stuff regularly.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Moonhop (an Oddhack)

Here it is! I’ve been workshopping this on the OSR Discord for a while now and I think I’m happy with it. It’s a hack of Into the Odd (paid version, free version), with GLOG-style races, failed careers, and a bunch of player-facing rules, including classless GLOG Magic, a new-ish set of Hexcrawling speed rules, and weird Hireling Squad rules.

Click the image or this link.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Secret Santicorn 2018: CHARLATANS

So we ran a Secret Santicorn event over on the OSR Discord server. My prompt is from the wonderful Gorinich over at Without further ado, here it is:

“A random table for magical powers that can be rolled on multiple times to generate character that is anywhere from a complete charlatan with no magical powers to one that only has magical powers. So that NPC wizards can be made with a list of powers they claim to have and players have to figure out how much of it is bullshit and how much is genuine.”
--The Illustrious Gorinich

In a lot of ways, this prompt is just about systematizing Mysterio, which is rad because Mysterio is rad (image source)

Format: Effect of Spell or Magic Item / Mundane Explanation
Roll 1dX to see how many of an NPC’s powers are actually magical, where X is the number of powers they have.


  1. Fireball / Grenade up your sleeve
  2. Disguise Self as different person / Makeup kit and acting classes
  3. Magic Missile / Bag of rocks and impeccable aim
  4. Flight / Harness and very thin wires
  5. Telekinesis / Powerful electromagnets in your sleeves
  6. Teleportation / Smoke bombs, hireling in lookalike makeup (+ acting classes)
  7. Raise Dead / Skeleton marionettes, hirelings in zombie makeup 
  8. Summon Hellhound / Large, friendly dog with red paint
  9. Feign Death / Easily ruptured fake blood packets, superb breath control
  10. Prophesy / A set of tarot cards and friendly, gossipy, inquisitive hirelings at the front door
  11. Transmute Copper to Silver / Water, Silver Nitrate Powder, and Copper Wire
  12. Extradimensional Pockets / That trick where objects disappear from your hands
  13. Sleep / Airborne knockout drug and compressed gas canisters
  14. Light / Paintbrush sleeves, chemically activated luminescent paint
  15. Invisibility / Flashpowder, trapdoor
  16. Polymorph Self / Flashpowder, trapdoor, well-trained animals
  17. Summon X from Hat / Hat with open bottom, cabinet with open top, object to summon.  d6 1 Colorful Scarf 2 Fluffy Rabbit 3 Blazing Molotov 4 Steel Sword 5 Gold Coins 6 Delicious Pie
  18. Potion of Cure Wounds / Alcohol, Opiates, and Glitter
  19. Darkness / Chemical log, burns to make thick black smog
  20. Haste / Drugs and rollerblades. So much drugs. So much rollerblades. 

Deep insecurities about lack of magical ability. He can still totally blow up your house, though

There’s the table. Let’s take it for a spin. We’ll give our CHARLATANS four abilities each. (I apologize for the names).

Minnie Gonnegaul
“You better watch out, mister! If you piss me off, I can--I can disguise myself as anyone! I can call forth to the dead to serve me!”
“Abilities”: Disguise Self, Feign Death, Raise Dead, Darkness
Fake Abilities: 4. Complete fake.
She’s an actor with a penchant for fake blood, which she uses to die dramatically and pathetically, and to paint onto her hirelings to make them look like zombies. She also has a brick of dirt she burns to stress people out.

Ianus McKillian
“Do not mistake me for some conjurer of cheap tricks! These are all real! I promise!”
“Abilities”: Flight, Extradimensional Pockets, Haste, Summon Blazing Molotov from Hat
Fake Abilities: 3. He’s got one eldritch trick up his sleeve, in addition to the regular ones.
He learned a party trick a few years back for making things disappear from his hands. That was a gateway drug; he soon learned to pull things from hats (ever the daredevil, he decided to use lit bombs). It turned out that was a gateway drug into actual drugs, which he has paired with rollerblades to terrifying effect.

He can also ACTUALLY FLY. It’s unclear where he learned this. It may have been with whoever gave him the drugs.

Linda of the South
“AH SHIT! poof
“Abilities”: Teleportation, Potion of Cure Wounds, Invisibility, Polymorph Self
Fake Abilities: 3. Like Ianus, there’s a spark of magic in her heart, alongside all the opiates.
She’s got a lot of pets, and a lot of friends, and a lot of trapdoors. Combine the three to get an unnerving stagemaster, zipping around and occasionally showing up as a dog. Where did the real woman go? Under the stage, of course, to take a long draft of her “cure for a long day.” After she missed a few payments, her supplier sent someone to collect. Greeted by the sight of a tall man with a receipt, Linda shrieked and disappeared. There was no trapdoor.

Smirlin of the King’s Court
“If you continue on your current path, I foresee--if you look in the cards here--a pile of ash. Quit asking questions about how this works if you wanna avoid that future.”
“Abilities”: Fireball, Light, Prophesy, Telekinesis
Fake Abilities: 1. Tricks by day, demonic pacts by night.
A fortune teller who lives just down the street. Good for a day of entertainment. The last guy to call his bullshit was levitated to the top of a tree, lit up brighter than the moon, and exploded. Business is booming.

Torch Hollow did my prompt over here: 

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Moonhop Failed Careers: A Knight and a Cowboy Walk Into the GLOG

Here’s some more Moonhop.

That's what Into the GLOG is called now; I’m committing to the implied setting. Today, I’m posting Failed Careers (modeled after James’) to go with the Race table I made. Era die size determines max starting era: d12 for Orbital (default), d10 for Digital, d8 for Modern, d6 for Industrial, d4 for Medieval, and skip the first die for Ancient. Many of the failed careers are “forwards compatible,” so you can update equipment where necessary to avoid anachronism (like an Aristocrat in an Orbital setting basically still makes sense if you call the weapon a Laser Rapier). That said, I’m going to use older failed careers exactly as written, even in Orbital settings, for reasons enumerated below.

First, an explanation of the weapon notations as I use them. I'm not totally confident in this method of sorting weapons, but it'll give you a basic idea of each weapon for now.

dX: Damage, Applied Automatically
Armor X: Reduces Damage by X
OH/MH/BH: Offhand, Mainhand, Both Hands
You can hold up to 2 OH, or 1 MH/1 OH, or 1 BH
Throw: Can be Thrown for Full Damage
Xpld: if damage rolls listed value, add another die
Shots: How many shots before reload
Ignite: Save or d6 every turn until success
Jump: if damage rolls listed value, roll damage against nearest target

d12 (Era)d12Failed CareerWeaponAnother Thing
1-2 Ancient
1AstrologerAugury Knife (d6, OH)Spyglass
2BakerRolling Pin (d6, OH)Delicious Bread
3BrewerDagger (d6, OH, Throw)Beer Urn
4EmbalmerExcerebration Hook (d6, OH)Canopic Jar
5False ProphetGnarled Staff (d6, MH)Devoted Disciple
6FarmerScythe (d6, OH)Ox
7GladiatorTrident (d8, MH)Net
8OutlanderGreataxe (d10, BH)10 Hallucinatory Berries
9PrisonerManacles (d6, OH)Funny Looking Rock
10ScribeChisel (d6, OH)Salacious Love Clay Tablets
11ShepherdCrook (d6, MH)Sheep
12SoldierSpear (d8, MH, Throw)Shield (Armor 1, OH)
3-4 Medieval
1AristocratRapier (d8, MH)Fancy Clothing, Too Much Chin
2Barber-SurgeonScissors (d6, OH)Wig
3BlacksmithHammer (d8, MH)Chain Mail (Armor 1, 2 Slots)
4CultistWavy Dagger (d6, OH)Pint of Blood
5FalconerCrossbow (d8, BH)Falcon (3 HP, d6)
6FlagellantScourge (d8, MH)Horrific Scars
7ForesterBow (d6, BH)Bear Trap
8Grave DiggerShovel (d8, MH)Sack of Dirt
9JesterScythe (d6, OH)Belled Hat
10MinstrelQuarterstaff (d6, OH)Lyre
11NunStick (d4, OH, Throw)Roller Skates
12SquireWooden Sword (d6, MH)Shield (Armor 1, OH) with Heraldry
5-6 Industrial
1BankerFlintlock (d6 xpld 6, OH, 1 Shot)Sack of 30 Counterfeit Coins
2ChimneysweepBarbed Wire Broom (d8, MH)Endless Soot, Insufferable Accent
3ClockmakerScrewdriver (d6, OH)Pocketwatch
4CowboyRevolver (d6 xpld 6, OH, 6 Shots)Dynamite (4d6, Save for Half, 20' Radius)
5Factory LaborerHammer (d8, MH)Tattered Rags
6FiremanFireaxe (d8, MH)Bucket of Matches
7GamblerFlintlock (d6 xpld 6, OH, 1 Shot)Deck of Cards
8MercenaryRifle (d8 xpld 7-8, BH, 1 Shot)Chain Mail (Armor 1, 2 Slots)
9MilkmaidStool (d6, OH)Bucket of Milk, Smallpox Immunity
10Oil BaronFlintlock (d6 xpld 6, OH, 1 Shot)3 Wine Bottles of Crude Oil
11Revolutionary3 Molotovs (d6, OH, Ignite, 10' Radius, Throw)Pamphlets Decrying Status Quo
12Street MagicianBrass Knuckles (d6, OH)Top Hat, White Rabbit
7-8 Modern
1ActorProp Sword (d6, MH)1 Bunch Flowers
2AthleteJavelin (d8, MH, Throw)Pole Valuting Pole
3Boy ScoutPocket Knife (d6, OH)50' Rope
4DetectiveSnubnosed Pistol (d6 xpld 6, OH, 6 Shots)Trenchcoat with Deep Pockets
5Mafia ThugTommy Gun (d6 xpld 1-2, BH, 3 Shots)Ragged Suit
6PhilosopherBook (d6, OH)Pack of Cigarettes
7PhotographerCamera Stand (d6, MH)Film Camera
8PilotRevolver (d6 xpld 6, OH, 6 Shots)Flak Vest (Armor 1, 2 Slots)
9ProfessorMetal Meterstick (d8, BH)Pipe, 3 Smokes of Tobacco
10ProstituteWhip (d6, MH)Restraints
11SpyButterfly Knife (d6, OH)1 Dose Lethal-If-Ingested Poison
12StonerTree Branch (d8, BH)6 Joints
9-10 Digital
1Audio EngineerBoom Mic (d10, BH)Boombox, 1 min Audio Storage
2Chemical EngineerCarbon Steel Knife (d8, OH)Industrial Explosives (6d6, Save for Half, 40')
3Drug DealerUzi (d6 xpld 1-2, OH, 3 Shots)1 Packet Crack
4HackerTaser (d8, OH)50' Programmable Blinking Lights
5LegislatorCane Gun (d6 xpld 6, MH, 1 Shot)1d100 Bribe
6Pizza DeliveryHubcap (d6, OH, Throw)6 Pizzas
7PlumberPipe Wrench (d6, OH)Large Bottle of Glue
8RoboticistShoulter-Mounted Robot Arm (d8, OH)Camera Drone, 1 Hour Battery
9StudentBookbag (d6, MH)1d10,000 Crippling Debt
10Tech SupportPipe Wrench (d6, OH)Paired Radios, Unmitigated Rage
11WeathermanBrass Knuckles (d6, OH)3-Day Weather Predictor
12ZookeeperSpiked Electric Cow Prod (d10, BH)Necklace of Teeth
11-12 Orbital
1Anti-Riot PoliceShotgun (2d4 xpld 4, BH, 6 Shots)Riot Shield (Armor 1, OH), 3 Smoke Grenades
2Bionic SurgeonCauterization Dagger (d8, OH)Bionic Eye and Viewing Pad
3BureaucratSilenced Pistol (d6 xpld 6, OH, 6 Shots)Blackmail on Local Leader
4GeneticistInvalid Trophy (d6, OH)Mutant Baby
5HooliganBat with Nails (d8, MH)Hoverboard
6Laser Engineer3 Laser Pointers (2d6, OH, 1 Shot Ever)3 Flexible Mirrors
7ScrapperCrowbar (d6, OH)Strong Electromagnet
8Space PilotLaser Pistol (5d6, OH, 1 Shot Ever)Bottle of Whiskey
9Spaceship EngineerCoil Pistol (d6 jump 6, OH, 6 Shots)Blowtorch
10SupersoldierAssault Rifle (d8 xpld 1-3, BH, 6 Shots)Battle Armor (Armor 2, 4 Slots)
11SurvivorRusty Knife (d6, OH, Throw)Irradiated Jeans, Irradiated Genes (Sterile)
12WarlordSpiked Scepter (d8, MH)Outfit with Too Many Spikes (Armor 1, 2 Slots)

And now a quick aside about the world of the video game Rimworld:

In Rimworld, humans fly around their arm of the Milky Way at sublight speeds in cryosleep, colonizing planets. Every time a planet gets to a certain tech level, it either becomes a singularity and cuts off contact with everyone OR it nukes itself into ruins. That’s not the end, though: eventually, survivors rebuild from the stone age up. This has been going on for a long time. In the actual game part of Rimworld, you manage a colony of people whose cryosleep ship has crashed into a world on the rim of the arm of the Milky Way. Your characters get a random childhood and a random adulthood, and they don’t even have to be from the same tech level: you might get a medieval serf kid who grew into a spacefaring mercenary, or a gene-modded super soldier child who grew up to be a librarian.

So basically, I’m trying to do something similar here. Every moon is at a different tech level, so player characters can be from any tech level, presumably abducted into space. Humans get two failed careers, so most of them will actually be transplants from one tech level to another, which is neat. A game might start with a Barber-Surgeon, a Cowboy, and a Hacker sharing a last drink before a lethal dungeon-delve. That’s good shit.

Also I realized that I had left off a major inspiration for Moonhop: Enter the Gungeon, which is just fantastic all around. It’s super gonzo, it oozes charm and fun, and it still manages to pull off interesting, melancholy NPCs. It also has a great implied world, one very similar to what I’m trying to build here, with lots of anachronism and desperate adventurers blundering around the universe. I’ll probably do a more in-depth post on it at some point in the future, separate from Moonhop.

Starbound isn't currently on the list of inspirations, but I love it a lot and at some point
I'll realize some fundamental piece of Moonhop is lifted from it (Lili Ibrahim)

This image was like two months of controversy in the Starbound community, you have no idea (Starbound)