Monday, December 7, 2020

GLOG Class: The Knight-Errant

 This is an idea I’ve wanted to do for a long time now. The idea of the brave knight on a quest is such a powerful image to me still, even as I grow older and further away from the fairytales of youth. So when the idea of + templates was raised to me, I jumped on the opportunity. Essentially, + templates are extra abilities that build upon what you already have, unlocked when you complete an in-world goal. This will hopefully encourage players to engage with the world more. Maybe. It could also just annoy some of the more power-gamer-y types.

Anyway, without further ado, here it is!


Knight by Johannes Voss

Knight-Errant

Starting Equipment: A Faithful Horse, Heavy Armour, Crested Shield, Sword Given To You By Your Old Master


Skills: 1. Courtship, 2. Chivalry, 3. Dueling


A: Knightly Quest, Crest [+Title]

B: Challenge [+Slayer of Legends], Code of Honour

C: Squire [+Warband]

D: Whosoever Lifts This Sword [+Divine Right of Kings]

A: Knightly Quest

A Knight-Errant is defined by the Quest they embark upon. Every Knight-Errant rolls for a Quest or discusses one with their GM. This is always some deed of immense honour and glory, and completing it successfully will bring much respect to your family and your name. Begin play with a strange magical item that, while slightly obfuscated in its exact use, will help you complete your quest, whether by leading you to the location of what you’re looking for or giving obscure riddles as to the true nature of your quest.


You may not ignore your Quest for more than a month at once, or you lose all Knight-Errant Templates. While you are working towards your Quest, there will always be a way to escape any bad situation. Upon completing your Quest, you will receive another one at some point in the next 1d4 years through magical or divine means.

A: Crest

Your shield is marked with the crest of your house or homeland, a reminder of where you set out from, though it is far away now. While wearing a shield with your crest on it, you have advantage on checks against being frightened or mind controlled, and have +1 Defence. You will be given an audience in any court you go to, though they may not necessarily like you.


+Title

Prerequisite: Complete a Knightly Quest


You are far more than merely a normal knight-errant now. Through your deeds, your name has become known throughout the land. Gain a title appropriate to what you have done, or whatever sounds cool (e.g. a Knight who found the Crystal Rose of Telgalan would become known as the Knight of Roses). You are immune to being frightened or mind controlled. Any enemy that knows of your reputation rolls morale checks with disadvantage. You will be given audience by anyone you ask it of, and most will respect your opinion on matters of war and battle. Once per adventure, you may pull off an unreasonably heroic feat and survive the process, no matter how improbable. If you ever sacrifice yourself for a cause you believe in, that cause will gain divine protection.

B: Challenge

You may at any point challenge another creature to a duel. In combat, they must save vs. compulsion or be forced to attack you and only you, though you must do the same. The duel is broken if any other creature intervenes in the fight. Outside, you may challenge anyone that can hear you. They must save vs. compulsion or agree to it. You must then decide amongst yourselves a time and place, and terms as to what happens when either of you win. A sufficiently wealthy person may send a proxy to fight in their place.


+Slayer of Legends

Prerequisite: Kill an opponent of mythical proportions in one-on-one combat.


Any normal creature you challenge to a fight now has a 3 in 6 chance of running away in fear at your reputation. You may now challenge people across any distance, and they will receive news of your challenge within 1d3 weeks. This can include kings, gods, dragons or anything of significant enough power. They will accept your challenge unless they have a significant reason to refuse.

B: Code of Honour

Name three things that you hold as evil and dishonourable (e.g. lying, consorting with demons). You can always tell when someone is engaging in those activities. You deal +1 damage to anyone you view as evil in reference to these three tenets. If you ever break one of your own tenets, you lose any + templates you may have and must go on a quest of atonement to regain your honour.

C: Squire

You have a loyal squire by your side, who will assist you in your Knightly Quest. They are two levels below you, and have templates in a martial class of your choice. You may decide their personality and backstory with your Gamemaster. They seek to learn from your experiences, and will assist you in any way they can. However, they may still leave you if they are mistreated. After six years of training from you or after they gain their last template in a martial class, they gain a level in Knight-Errant and go on their own Knightly Quest.


+Warband

Prerequisite: Gain a Title and be granted land by a lord.


Once per month, you may call together a group of up to [Level x 10] Knights to help you in a single task, such as storming a castle or grounding a dragon. These knights are old friends and acquaintances of yours. They will only stay with you for up to a week, and only for the duration of one specific task, after which they disband.

D: Whosoever Lifts This Sword

Gain a sword of immense magical power, rolling on the table below for its magical properties or deciding an appropriate ability with your GM. Once per adventure, you may miraculously survive a killing blow, instead dropping to 1 HP.


+Divine Right of Kings

Prerequisite: Claim the throne you were fated for.


You are the ruler of a prosperous, powerful kingdom. You may retire your character at any point and your character will go down in history as a good ruler, and the people will forever speak your name in reverence.


1d12

Sword Property

1

You may point your sword at a demon and cause them save vs. banishment or be forced back to their home plane.

2

You can instantly kill any being of 1 HD or lower, and cannot be harmed by them.

3

Woodland animals recognise you as a friend, and will follow your orders as their ruler. You can speak to and understand woodland animals.

4

You cannot be hurt by fire or lava. You may ignite yourself to impart an extra 1d6 fire damage on a hit.

5

You may fly and control the direction and strength of the wind.

6

You may raise the corpses of those you kill as 1 HD servants. You may have up to twice your Knight-Errant templates of undead under your control at one time.

7

You may mark any two doors with your blade. Opening one will lead out into the other. Only the one who holds the sword may use this effect. To everyone else the doors function normally.

8

You may freeze any water your blade touches, and are immune to all cold effects. You do not slip on ice, and anyone hit by your blade has their movement halved.

9

Your blade glows as a bright light, and you may shine it in the eyes of your enemies, forcing them to save vs. blindness or be blinded for 1d6 rounds. If they succeed, they are immune to this effect until the next day. You deal an extra 1d6 damage to anyone who violates your code of honour, and also to undead and demons (this does not stack if they are both).

10

Your sword may act on its own, flying out of your hands and attacking whoever you direct it towards. You may do this for [Knight-Errant templates x 2] rounds per day. It may also do this out of combat with no limit, though it cannot attack without using a round.

11

While standing in shadows, you are invisible to everything except high-level magic. You may teleport from one set of shadows to another you can see.

12

You cannot bleed, and cannot suffer from injuries (you still take damage, but there is no physical effect until you actually die). You cannot be hurt by projectiles, only melee weapons.


1d10

Knightly Quest

1

Kill the tyrannical red dragon Termithraviax of Bloodpeak Mountain.

2

Find the Crystal Rose of Telgalan by completing the Trials of the Forest Kings.

3

Reclaim the Throne of Silence from the giants who wrongfully claim it.

4

Find the Ocean Grail of the Coral God, Manifil.

5

Defeat each of the Manifold Knights in single combat.

6

Travel to the City of Ravens and entreat the Lady of Black Feathers to give you the Falling Star Rite.

7

Reach the end of the Time Spiral at the End of the World.

8

Return the Lich Jewel to its rightful place atop the Bonewall.

9

Slay the King of the Insect Hordes and bring back his mandibles.

10

Find the cure for the Heart-binding Curse.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Ever Deeper

 It is spoken of in the Grand Archives of the Timecentred Capital, of the Deep and its beginnings Above us. Before Time, existed the Stars, tiny points of Light in the Deep that took comfort in its embrace. Then one, whose name is lost to time, fell from the Deep into the world, no longer satisfied with the peace that immortality brought him. He wished for power, for worship, and so shone his Light upon the world, creating Time and Mortality. From the Pit, he dragged Man from their sleepless dreams and there they marched upon the Demons that resided in the World, their timelessness stolen by the Light.

For years beyond measure, the wars between Man and Demon raged, until the Star Who Fell committed the Second Sin. He created the First King of Man, Varchic, who took upon himself the Light and bested the Demon Knight Sin’Jakhta in combat, stealing from the Demons the Rite of the Sea. With it, he befouled the World by raising up Land, a cruel mockery of the Deep in the Light’s image. The Demons, nearly extinct, fled into the Oceans, away from the Light, where the Deep could once again restore their immortality. The First Demon, Trelmar’ga, allowed their escape through his sacrifice, and with his dying breath spoke of the Ocean Child who would rise and deliver the Demons back to their ancestral home on the Surface.


And so, the Demons rescinded from the Light, and Man forgot their existence as they basked in the fruits of the Light, unknowing that they too had lost their undying lives in exchange for a falsehood created by the Church of the Star and Varchic himself. The world itself trembles as the Children of Varchic raise more and more Land with the Rite of the Sea. The Church, unsatisfied with that which they have stolen, prepare to march against the Demon King of the Undersea. The Demons await the birth of the Ocean Child to be returned.


Some Quotes from the Conversation that Spawned this:


“You will never "know" the road until you accept that you cannot know it, that it is DEEP.

This is indeed the way of the DEEP, fellow child of Trelmar'ga

The road is ever-winding.”


“The DEEP is below, the DEEP is above, the DEEP is about

The Ocean Child will rise, and Land shall be struck down

the DEEP shall be all once more.”


“The power of the LIGHT is in its finitude, you say, and then with the next breath say that it can overcome the infinite. Even the basics of all things escape your puerile thought.

Upon the sacrifice of the God-Emperor Trelmar'ga, we have been infinite and endarkened.

The DEEP demands that you hear its bells, loud and clear, each passing moment it signals that your life is just a reflection of a reflection, until you are a mere husk of yourself.

That which is finite is flawed.

That which is infinite may strive to remove its flaws.”


“The LIGHT's heat shall boil your depths and remove your DEEP.

And you shall be exposed for what you are, creatures.”


“Fool! For it is exactly the above that first cast it's LIGHT down to the PIT from whence Varchic rose to bless us with the stability of land!

The LIGHT pierces both soul and darkness. It covers the worlds beyond and the Heavens above.”


“You stand on shifting sands heretics. We Men of God stand upon the Rock and bask in the Light.

The Land is our bastion, and it will increase ever onward.

The DEEP offers lies and darkness. It reveals nothing; it teaches nothing; it produces nothing.

You die eternally in vain.

When you lose your bastion in meaning and trip down to the deep will only then you truly see the foolishness of the path you've chosen?”


“I know well my place, Child of Varchic

my abomination is beautiful in the darkness.

Revelation, an abject falsehood. True knowledge is not revealed by some wish-washy power, but is sought for, strived for, and approached by effort in the voids of the DEEP.”


“The DEEP takes your soul every day, another nugget for the beast's eternal dining table, but it cannot do this without your trust. The DEEP knows what you want, it demands that you believe that its offer is the most pleasurable, wonderful and earth-shattering to your soul;

It's infinity can and will be cut short, for its evil and chaos must be stopped.

It is the LIGHT who shall do it.”


“Seek thee not the warm blanket of the Ocean and the DEEP, where all things are peaceful?

Peaceful until Varchic came, indeed.”


“Varchic is Man, the greatest form given by the Light. And Man, as the servant of the Light, alongside the Stars themselves, will pierce and destroy the DEEP.”


“Never have we been meant for something limitless and formless like the deep. That is but poison for men. We put our faith in things finite, and thus find stability.”


I will most likely write some more about this setting in the future. For further reading, here are some other blogposts about the DEEP and the LIGHT:


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Pandaemonium: Six Misguided Lives

 I have fallen silent for far too long on the content front. Thus, I think I will tease my next project: Pandaemonium, a GLOGhack set in the depths of Hell. All of your characters are already dead, pitiful creatures with nowhere to go but up. And up they will go, backstabbing and betraying their way to Dukedom. Or perhaps they will cling on to whatever virtue they have left, seeking salvation for their crimes and a path to Heaven. Either way, you had better be sure it’ll be fun to watch them squirm against their shackles.

And thus, here are 6 backgrounds for you to draw inspiration from. I may release a table of Dark Gifts and Miracles soon as well, to make some of these more usable. These are some of the more interesting backgrounds, since every game has your Assassins and Failed Adventurers. I wanted to show off my worldbuilding prowess a bit. Steal liberally and unapologetically, friends, and godspeed to you all.

1. THE CHOSEN ONE

You were Chosen by the Overseers themselves for a divine purpose, a mission to complete above all else. You were the key to Balance, to the continued existence of All. And you failed.


What was your purpose? [1d6]

  1. Overthrowing the God-Emperor of Hagishka.

  2. Reclaiming the Lost City of Doum from its Rakshasan rulers.

  3. Leading the Armies of Heaven against the Chimaeric Hordes.

  4. Gathering the Pieces of Ten to seal the Seventh Gate.

  5. Destroy the tyrannical Black Dragon Khatrixis upon Mount Kysolthis.

  6. Prepare yourself to be the Avatar of the Glorious One, Overgod of the First Church.


EQUIPMENT: Medium Armour, A weapon of your choice, Light or Heavy Shield, a mark of being chosen (can be an item or a mark on your body)


SKILLS: Leadership, Speechmaking


MAGIC: 1 Miracle or Dark Gift

2. DIRGE-IMPARTER

You took upon yourself the art of Dirge-singing, listening to the eternal songs of the 11 Spirits and soaking in their laments. With that, you cleansed yourself of extraneous emotion and became a Dirge-Imparter, layering your haunting voice with the sadness those songs instilled in you in order to lead the souls of the departed to the Last Home. But this ancient art is heretical, impure in the eyes of the First Church, and so you were put to death along with the serial murderers, the timelost children and the witches.


EQUIPMENT: Light Armour, an instrument (violin, lyre or flute), a Light Medium weapon, a tuning fork that tunes to the nearest source of sadness


SKILLS: Performance, Pensivity


MAGIC [1d8]:

  1. The Lament of Good King Terman: He led his people from the wrath of the gods toward the Horizonland. While playing this song, you travel across land at three times normal speed.

  2. The Ballad of Nostric Bearheart: The greatest warrior of his time, he was said to have fallen to the hundredth warrior after killing 99 others. While playing this song, your allies who can hear you ignore one Advantage during their attacks.

  3. Three Sisters’ Threnody: Through foul magics of the fae, each threw themselves off the city walls thinking the others had died. While singing this song, all who can hear it take half damage from falls.

  4. Coronach of the Fallen: Upon the Battlefield of Vigrid, Modi sings for all the warriors fallen. While singing this song, all allies who can hear you can ignore one Minor Wound.

  5. Lost: A song sung by a forgotten spirit, whose name will never be remembered again. While singing this song, you will find yourself somehow turned towards your destination.

  6. Elegy of the Wolf Child: A child, abandoned by the civilised world, stands weeping above the corpse of the wolf that raised them. While singing this song, you may summon to you the ghost of a wolf who can lead you in the direction of a safe haven.

  7. The Failed Requiem: The greatest composer of his time, died before he could finish his greatest work. You may sing this once per rotation, and any allies who hear it may treat one dice in a single roll as a success, regardless of its actual result.

  8. Death March of the Dragons: The final thing heard by humanity from a Dragon as they flew into the East, never to be seen again. While singing this, any roll to find you has their number of dice reduced by one (to a minimum of one).

3. PIT THING

With effort, you were called a human, though a monster by most. The Chimaeric Hordes dragged your lifeless cadaver from The Pit along with the rest of primordial humanity and shoved your protosoul back into your chest. Evolution has overtaken your strain of ape people, though you were by no means harmless. The Pit Things’ effectiveness in the Razing of the Holy City proves that much. But the world had changed since you had first crawled from the Veins of Reality, and the Pit Things could not survive for long. You died again, along with your people, at last free from the pull of the Pit. By comparison, Hell is a paradise.


EQUIPMENT: Heavy Armour of the Chimaeric Legion, Heavy Shield, a weapon of your choice, a shard of pure darkness from the Pit that can be wielded as a Small Weapon


SKILLS: Any 2


MAGIC: Gain 1 mutation from the Demon Mutations table. Effects that give you extra mutations do nothing.

4. STITCHER

You were an artist, weaving beautiful pieces from the endless piles of corpses the Hordes left in their wake. Sewing needles flowed thread through flesh into yet more golems, unfeeling hunks of meat with all the force of a siege engine. Your children punched through the walls of the Holy City, laying waste to the once-proud spires of the Veddrhorn. But like so many others, you were captured in the counterattack and put to death. A waste of talent, really.


EQUIPMENT: Light Armour, a Heavy Medium or smaller weapon, a set of sewing needles, a butcher’s knife


SKILLS: Sewing, Butchery


MAGIC: You have golem retainer. Roll 1d4 times on the Biped Nature table to determine what creatures you created it from. Your golem has a Body of 1d4+2 and no other attributes. It follows your orders unquestioningly. It has 8 + Body HP. If it reaches zero HP, it is destroyed and the magic is lost, and you must spend 7 rotations continuously working on it to get it working again.

5. CORSAIR OF THE SEVEN ARMADAS

The Great South Sea is your home, the cold ocean breeze your closest companion. You sailed the great blue yonder with your crew of ruthless pirates, cutting down captains and taking their goods for yourselves. With the protection of one of the seven Pirate Kings, you were unstoppable. The Golden Age did not last, however, and the arrival of The Maw marked the abrupt end of your career.


EQUIPMENT: A Light Medium Cutlass inscribed with 3d20 notches for every ship you stole in life, Light Armour, a compass that points towards the nearest source of substantial treasure


SKILLS: Sailing, Thievery


MAGIC [1d8]: All Corsairs can breathe underwater.

  1. You were part of the Armada of Drarik-Il, controlled by the great Sea Serpent of the same name. You can turn your skin scaly, giving yourself +1 Armour and becoming entirely waterproof.

  2. You were part of the Sharkbite Pirates, terrors of the sea who would bite through the ships they sank. You can cause your teeth to become serrated, dealing 1d8 damage on a hit. You can bite through wood and similarly solid materials with this ability, though not stone or metal.

  3. You were part of the Sage Corsairs of Carraig Claíomh, famous for your abilities in writing the Ancient Languages. You can speak Swordsong, the language of blades, through which you can create nonmagical swords of any kind with your voice. These swords last 1d6 hours after their creation.

  4. You were part of the Monks of Blue Ascendency, a splinter group from the Third Church that took to the seas to make a living in accordance with High Thurmani’s guidance. You can move up to 1 metre cubed of water with your mind, and may use it as a ranged weapon dealing 1d6 damage on a hit. You cannot move water that is inside a Fleshcage.

  5. You were part of the Ice Queen’s Navy, riding through the waters on ships of ice, the cold winter breeze in your sails. Any water you touch with your bare skin instantly freezes. You cannot slip on ice, and you move at twice speed while sliding. You can slide on ice no matter where gravity should be, allowing you to slide up walls or on ceilings. You are not affected by slope while sliding.

  6. You were part of the Maelstrom Rats, who travelled into the hearts of storms to destroy the foul Storm Drakes, while using the resulting powers to raid ships and plunder the Great South Sea. If you decide to stay in one place, there is no power in the universe except death that can move you. You can change the direction of the wind as you wish and cause short bursts of gale force winds at will.

  7. You were part of the Pescathropes, a small group of pirates empowered by the life below the waters. You can at any point turn into any fish or sea mammal. You possess all your mental faculties while in this state, and can speak telepathically to anyone within far range. You remain at the same HP, and are reverted to your previous form upon reaching 0 HP.

  8. You are a deserter, a betrayer, or perhaps a double agent. Either way, you moved between one armada into another. Roll twice on this table and gain both abilities. You cannot gain this effect more than once.

6. PALADIN OF THE ALDRIC ORDER

By the words of St. Aldris, you fought back those who were plagued. You waded through their still-rotting corpses as they clawed at your feet, but you did not flinch. The corruption of Black Annis had to be snuffed out, even if you were called a heretic and a monster for it. Or at least, that was what you thought once. Now, in your eternal punishment, perhaps what you had done was indeed wrong. Perhaps those children you slaughtered in Aldris’ name were innocent after all.


EQUIPMENT: Medium Armour, Heavy Shield, a bladed Heavy Medium Weapon with a serrated edge to cause the maximum amount of pain possible, the Book of St. Aldris, a human eye


SKILLS: Genocide, Theology


MAGIC: [N/A]

My Big Projects

OSR: Jazz-infused Space Hijinks: Freeform Space Jazz v0.5