Saturday, 29 September 2012

Theorems & Thaumaturgy -- Preview Chapter!

Yes, it's still happening!

My intention now is to finish the book in the next month -- all that remains at this stage is layout, which I have begun this evening.

For your delectation, here's the first chapter which I've fully laid out: The Elementalist. Enjoy :)

Thanks to Cadanse D and Kelvin Green for the awesome illustrations!

Friday, 28 September 2012

Dungeon Druids III

The rest of this post is designated Open Gaming Content according to the Open Gaming License.

Commune with Dungeon Master
Level: Druid 5
Duration: Instant
Range: See below

Upon casting this spell the druid's mind becomes one with that of the Dungeon Master, the cosmic being who rules over all subterranean realms of adventure. This communion only lasts for a very brief time, and the caster has two options during this period.

Firstly the druid can opt to gain knowledge of the dungeon level which he currently stands in. The Labyrinth Lord is then required to allow the druid's player (and only the druid's player) to look at the map for this dungeon level. This cosmic revelation should be strictly timed -- two seconds per level of the caster. The Labyrinth Lord is not obliged to offer any information about the map's orientation, or regarding the druid's current location. Such mysteries are for the player to try and piece together. While viewing the map the player may not make notes of any kind or communicate with other players. It is recommended that the viewing be conducted in the Labyrinth Lord's secret inner sanctum (a room especially designated for this purpose), where interaction with other players is impossible.

This version of the spell may only be cast by a druid once ever per level of each dungeon.

Secondly, in dungeons where a physical manifestation of the Dungeon Master exists (i.e. locations which are dominated and controlled by an explicit ruler), the druid may opt to enter into a momentary telepathic communication with said ruler. The druid can send a message consisting of one word per level of experience to the dungeon's ruler, and the ruler must send back a response of an equal number of words. The druid will instantly know if the dungeon's ruler is not currently present within its confines.

Clearly, casting this spell above ground has no effect.

Note: players who are known to have a photographic memory may be banned from casting this spell in order to look at a dungeon's map, or have their character suffer permanent insanity upon experiencing the instantaneous revelation of all dungeons in the entire universe.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Spiked Armour for Labyrinth Lord

A player in a game I ran yesterday spontaneously asked if he could have spikes on his armour and shield. My response was "erm, I guess so", and that was that. He used the spikes several times during the adventure, including dealing automatic damage to opponents who were hitting him. It was all good fun, and it was only a one-shot, so I didn't feel it necessary to come up with any negatives to balance out the obvious benefits he was getting.

Having now had some time to consider it, I think something like the following might work as a set of rules for spiked armour.

Banded, splint or plate mail can be forged with integrated spikes. This increases the cost of the armour by 50%. Either small or large spikes can be chosen. Small spikes increase the weight of the armour by 5lbs and deal 1d3 damage. Large spikes weigh an additional 10lbs and deal 1d6 damage.

The character can make damaging attacks essentially unarmed, by simply throwing himself at opponents in an attempt to impale them on his spikes.

When hit by an opponent using natural weapons (claws, fists, bite, etc.) the character's spikes have a chance of inflicting damage on the attacker -- 10% per point of the attacker's AC. This chance applies per round against foes with a grappling, grabbing, swallowing or constricting attack.*

On a natural to-hit roll of 1 the character spikes himself, suffering damage from the spikes. This is in addition to the normal effects of rolling a 1.

On taking falling damage the character is also damaged by the spikes on his armour. There is also has a 10% chance per 10' of distance fallen that the spikes on the armour are destroyed.

In most civilised regions such armour is regarded as dangerous, vulgar and brutal -- a sure sign of someone who's looking to start a fight. The character may get into trouble with the law if he wears spiked armour in towns and cities.

Indulging in a nice heroic embrace with ones companions after a battle is not recommended. The spiked character may risk becoming a social outcast.

Spiked Shields
A shield covered in spikes can also be purchased, again with either small or large spikes. A shield with small spikes costs 20gp and weighs 15lbs. A shield with large spikes costs 30gp and weighs 20lbs. Spiked shields have none of the benefits or drawbacks of spiked armour, except perhaps the drawback of being regarded by law-keepers as a sign of a dangerous rogue. A spiked shield can be used to make melee attacks, dealing damage based on the size of the spikes. If an optional rule for two-weapon fighting is used, a spiked shield may be used to make an off-hand attack. When using a shield offensively it grants no AC bonus.

* Lambton worm yeah!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Dungeon Druids II

A couple more spells for dungeon-specialised druids.

The rest of this post is designated Open Gaming Content according to the Open Gaming License. 
Slime / Deslime
Level: Druid 1
Duration: Permanent
Range: 10' per level

This spell allows a dungeon druid to control the slime-bearing conditions of a subterranean area. The caster can choose to affect any or all of: dungeon floors, walls or ceilings, within range.

A thick coating of dripping, gooey slime manifests over the affected area. The slime has one of several effects (chosen when the spell is cast), depending on the druid's level.

1st level or greater: A slippery black slime. When cast upon the floor, any creature walking upon the slime must save vs paralysis or slip over.
3rd level or greater: A viciously viscous purple slime which has an unpleasant glue-like quality to it. Creatures in the affected area must save vs spells or be entangled in the goo, unable to move.
7th level or greater: An acidic yellow slime which causes 1d6 damage per round to any creature touching it.

The reversed version of this spell removes slime from the affected area. Monstrous slimes within range suffer 1d3 damage per level of the caster.

Blessing of the Omnipotent Mycelium
Level: Druid 1
Duration: Permanent
Range: Touch

Placing his hand upon a dungeon surface (i.e. the bare earth or stone of walls, floor or ceiling), the druid conjures forth an explosion of myconoid growth. The mushrooms and toadstools thus produced are of varying vibrant colours, and some of the crop will have a special useful property. Among the conjured mushrooms can be found 2d4 specimens of one of the following types (chosen at random, all specimens are of like type):

1. Healing: each mushroom cures 1d4hp when consumed.
2. Light producing: as normal torches. The light lasts for 2d6 turns.
3. Druid shriekers: these mushrooms can be harvested and subsequently placed in a new location. For the next 1d6 turns, when anyone except the caster comes within 20' of the mushrooms they will emit a shrieking sound which is tuned so as to be only audible to the caster. The shrieking can be heard up to 120' distant.
4. Shroomlings: animate semi-humanoid fungi which the caster can command. They are 2' tall, have one Hit Die, AC 8, and can attack for 1d4 damage.
5. Puffballs: these fungi can be harvested and placed in another location. When any creature except the caster passes within 20' of them, they will erupt a cloud of spores which has the same effect as a sleep spell.
6. Floaters: 2' spherical fungi filled with a buoyant gas. They can be picked and used to levitate objects and creatures. A single floater can support up to 50lbs of weight. Due to the gradual escape of the floating gas, the fungi lose their effectiveness after 2d6 turns.

Note that the caster can always correctly identify the type of mushroom produced.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Dungeon Druids

AD&D druids. They're not that great in dungeons are they. Not many plants around. Even less fluffy animal friends. But what about if there was an alternative druid class which specialised in subterranean locales?

This is the notion I am running with here.

The rest of this post is designated Open Gaming Content according to the Open Gaming License.

Glowing Fungi of Labyrinthine Guidance
Level: Druid 1
Duration: 2 turns per level
Range: Self

Upon uttering this incantation, the druid's left hand (or a small pouch on his person) fills with a delightful collection of small glowing mushrooms. The glow of the fungi is a pale green, and is less than the light of a candle, but is enough to be able to spot them from a distance of 30'. Typically the mushrooms are dropped one by one and used to mark a path which the druid desires to later retrace. Indeed, while the spell lasts the supply of mushrooms in the druid's hand (or pouch) will continually replenish, ensuring there are always enough available for use.

The glowing mushrooms created by this spell have one further special property: they appear completely innocuous to dungeon denizens, blending into the natural environment and not causing a single monstrous eyebrow to be raised if encountered.

Eye of the Underworld
Level: Druid 1
Duration: 1 hour per level
Range: Touch

The recipient of this spell gains the ability to see in complete darkness for the duration. This is not some newfangled thermo-vision, it's the real deal -- 100% 20/20 vision in the deep darks of the underworld as if it was broad daylight.

As the druid increases in level he can bestow this optical blessing on more friends -- one target per three levels of experience.