Friday, June 9, 2017

"Shadow of the Demon Lord" Yard Sale

Once upon a time, I was flirting with the idea of running a Shadow of the Demon Lord campaign. For various reasons it never materialized. I re-discovered my notes this afternoon while organizing my desktop, and figured I might as well share it with you, The Internet, in the hopes that someone, someday, plays the campaign I envisioned. Also, if you're familiar with Carcosa, you'll probably see where I was going with this...

A Hell-bound Fetch [Phantom or Wraith] haunts this road, killing at his whim. He wears black armor covered in unholy symbols and wields an oversized black iron greatsword. Each time he is killed, the person killing him becomes him. If the players kill the Fetch and take/wear his things, the villagers in the towns nearby will notice and attempt to capture the heroes and bury them alive beneath tons of rubble. Unwitting heroes wishing to avoid this fate must be quick to seek out a scholar or a priest.

The fetch is called Iron Samuel. He was a killer who slew the constable, then took the town’s girls for his own, killing whoever tried to intervene. He raped and murdered twenty-nine people before Michael Turner, the blacksmith, stuck a hot poker down his throat while he slept. They burnt Iron Sam’s body at the stake, and his armor and weapons were broken. Thirty-seven days later, Turner emerged from his smithy looking exactly like Iron Samuel, wearing armor forged to look exactly like Sam’s. He killed eleven in a fit of madness before Bill Mortonson gouged his eyes out with a trowel. Forty-four days later, Mortonson appeared in Iron Samuel’s armor, wielding his sword, and killed eighteen. He fled into the night.

In a funeral shaft dug into a weathered hilltop is the forgotten grave of a long-dead sorcerer. Clutched in the remains’ bony fingers is a stoppered vial filled with a mysterious green-glowing potion. Drinking the potion causes one to enter a hallucinogenic state for 2 hours, and to be visited by visions of forgotten, arcane gods.

The gods have polyhedral heads (platonic solids) and address the PC as "Initiate."  The PC may ask a question of each god. D4 is concerned with ascension. D6 is concerned with progress. D8 is concerned with war. D10 is concerned with measurement. D12 is concerned with the unknown. D20 is Advent, the God of Adventure, and will answer any question truthfully in exchange for a random curse or mutation. The PC need not ask any questions.

In the swamp is an empty catacomb containing ancient coins and jewelry, curious figures made of precious metals, and similar treasures (with a combined value of 500 silver). If taken the thieves will be unerringly tracked down in 3-6 days by the 3 Mummies [Barrow Wights] which inhabit this catacomb.

An elderly Ogre lurks among the gullies and ravines. It is voracious and will fight to the death; in fact, its only desire is to die in battle.

A clockwork creature is barely visible from within a small pit crawling with poisonous myriapods
[Rot Scarab Swarm] Upon closer inspection, the clockwork creature is badly damaged and cannot be salvaged, except for its left arm: A clockwork character who takes 4-7 days to replace its arm with this one has its Strength increased by 1.

The faeries direct you to the Unbreakable Stick, taken from the world’s first tree. It holds up an unstable rock ceiling; removing it will collapse tons of rubble on you. If only there were a way to remove it without setting off the trap…

Near the outskirts of a notoriously difficult to traverse bog lay a castle occupied by 6 Ogres led by a Champion.

A dozen crumbling huts mark the remains of an abandoned hamlet. A solitary Living Tar clings to the ceiling of the largest hut, waiting for prey. 500 silver may be scrounged from the ruins.

Did someone say treasure?
A magnificent brass necklace. It is of exotic workmanship, set with stylized images of stars and planets. You can use an action to instantly and safely teleport yourself and up to five willing creatures within your reach to a destination chosen by the GM. This object has one use.

A matching pair of limestone bracelets. They appear to have been made by an underground race of men. They emit a field in a 10-yard-radius sphere around you that keeps out normal insects.

An elegant platinum and walrus tusk breastplate. You do not become fatigued from exposure to extreme heat or cold.

A bronze spearhead on a birchwood shaft, engraved with images of the sun and set with obsidian flakes. It is of ancient workmanship. The object radiates menace. Creatures within 5 yards of it make Will challenge rolls with 1 bane to resist being frightened.

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Magic of Adult Swim

China, IL is a pretty great show. Anyway, here are some magic items for 5th Ed D&D (or whatever, nothing has stats, you can figure out what this stuff does in Pathfinder or B/X or what-have-you). 

Owl Suit. A ludicrous, over-sized carnival costume. When worn, you can flap your wings and do a ridiculous little dance which will transform you into a giant owl for 1 hour. You can't voluntarily change back until the hour has ended, but you can transform back if dispel magic or a similar effect nullifies the Owl Suit's magic.

Universal Doorknob. Place on any wall to create a door, which can be opened with the knob. When you remove the knob, the door disappears. Placing and removing the knob is as easy as touching the doorknob to a surface and uttering a magic word.

Inventor Crows. A flock of crows which, if challenged to build something, will. It takes them 1 hour and a stack of materials appropriate for the thing's construction. So, the crows could build a sailboat, but they would need wood, linen, nails, pitch, rope, etc.

Organic Water. It's not so much that it's good for you, just that everything else is bad for you by comparison. Treat as a superior healing potion.

Ointment and Athame of Alternate Truths. Will resurrect any recently killed creature (rough ballpark, say, within the past two weeks).  Simply slather them in ointment, then plunge the accompanying ritual athame into the dead being's heart (or brain, if a heart is unavailable). Missing limbs will regrow; damaged tissue will become whole; old scars will disappear. The resurrected being will believe (regardless of the truth or falsehood of it) that you were the person who killed it. This belief will have accompanying memories (false ones, if you weren't the killer) and the resurrected being will believe them forever. "You," in this context, means, "Whomever plunged the ritual dagger into the dead guy's chest," so plan accordingly.