Category: Games

These are games. Things like reviews, recommendations, game design projects and more. Anything that sits at the same table as my passion for games of tabletop and vidya.

The Other Spellbook

This is a spellbook rewrite, where I am taking the spells from the D&D original booklets but rewriting them in order to make a different but similar spellbook of my own. I’ll update this post as I go, but here are the first 20/97.

Detect Magic

With focus, your eyes glaze over and you can see the auras of magic and their residue trails. The longer you focus, the older the trails you can see (for every 10 minutes, 1 day older residues become visible). Spell ends when focus is broken (through taking actions of your own or others against you).

Hold Portal

Target within eye sight is unable to be closed, effects doors (all sizes), windows, portals, and gates. Locks with keyholes are stuck. Pocket watches with doors are jammed open. Bags can’t be closed or cinched shut.

Read Magic

On examining the movements and spellcasting of another magic-user, the general effects of the spell cast are known. If not in duress, upon your next rest you can prepare the spell witnessed, the first time casting it will have a 50% chance of success. If the cast is successful, then the magic-user can cast it successfully as other spells. If the first cast is a failure, then the spell is forgotten and cannot be prepared again in this same manner.

Read Languages

Running your hand across a text, a commanding voice reads the text loudly in the most widely understood language of anyone within the room who could hear the voice.

Protection from Evil

Creatures and people who the caster consider “pure Evil” are unable to touch the target, with weapon, body, or magic. Lasts 1 day or until another spell is cast on the same target.

Light

Creates a physical orb of light that illuminates a 10 ft. radius. An unlimited number may be created, each exists for 3 days or until dispelled. Each orb acts as if in zero-g.

Charm Person

Targets who are unaware of the caster are at a higher chance of treating the caster upon meeting in a friendly manner. Only lasts until the caster proves to not be worth the friendly demeanor.

Sleep

All creatures capable of natural sleep within 25’ of the target area fall asleep within 2 minutes of the rituals completion.

Detect Invisible (Objects)

Non-living objects that are not visible to the naked eye become beacons of rotating light beams to the casters eye. These lighthouse beacons can go as far as 5 miles. Each light is a different color, color of light is based on the caster who made the object invisible.

Levitate

Target starts to rise off the ground at a rate of 2 inches per minute even when standing still. Spell ends after 2 hours, or if target can be weighed down by a number of pounds additional equal to their own.

Phantasmal Forces

The caster summons 1d20 illusions of ghosts, specters, undead, or ghouls. These illusions act on the commands of the caster and appear real upon all scrutiny (except touch).

Locate Object

The caster imagines an object in as much detail as they wish. They know the direction from their position that the object is. If the object cannot be visualized from first hand looking at the object, then the spell will point the caster in the direction of the closest object that is similar. If no similar object can be found, then the spell points in a random direction.

Invisibility

The target of the spell, living, dead, or inanimate is made invisible. This spell lasts until the spell is broken by the caster, or the target of the spell touches a magical artifact, spell, or enchanted area. A caster cannot make more than 1 target invisible at once.

Wizard Lock

The caster conjures a magical padlock (size and weight determined by the caster), it glows and hums at a high pitch at a low volume. It can only be opened with the wand that the caster used to create it. Spell ends when the caster says so.

Detect Evil

Spell detects any individuals or objects that are enchanted with dark or chaos magic, or think of themselves as someone who has done “evil” actions. Range of the spell is 20 feet.

ESP

A spell that allows the caster to listen to all thoughts not shielded by magic within 200 feet at once. The closer the thinker is, the louder the thought sounds (screaming), and the farther the thinker away the quieter (soft whisper). Spell lasts 1 hour, and leaves the caster incapable of verbal communication for its duration.

Continual Light

This spell permanently alters the a 10 ft by 10 ft cube of space to be well lit by natural sunlight which comes from a flat circular hole on the cube’s “ceiling”. Spell lasts eternally unless dispelled.

Knock

The caster can create knocking noises in as many places on as many surfaces as desired within sight. The surfaces vibrate and quake with each knock, causing unsecured objects and persons to fall over. The spell ends when the caster takes damage or stops the spell.

Fly

The caster chooses a target and the target grows functioning wings. The caster chooses whether the wings are under control of either the caster or the target. The character with wings moves at 3x their normal speed, and the spell ends after 20 minutes times the number of turns spent casting the spell.

Hold Person

The caster chooses a target to hold/restrain that is within 60 feet, and an arcane hand is summoned. The hand reaches out of the caster and is made of arcane energy. The hand exists as long as it grapples/restrains a target, until it is dispelled one of the caster’s hands is clutching a small arcane energy figurine.

A Gratuitous Amount of Ghosts and A Less Than Ideal Number of Chairs to Possess

This is a variant of Musical Chairs, to setup have a number of chairs one less than the number of players and arrange them in a circle. To no music the entire group rotates around the chairs one by one.

When any player says “BOO!” outloud, then each of the Ghosts (the players) must sit down into a piece of furniture in the ring, Ghosts that don’t sit down will evaporate and will no longer be playing the game. There are two situations that will occur at this point, that two people will fight over a chair, or that one person won’t have a chair to sit in at all.

If two ghosts are competing to sit in a chair, rather than push and fight to sit down they must make stone cold faces at each other and start a Contest.

A Contest has two players making ghostly faces at each other, they take turns making ghost noises at each other. Whichever player’s face or expression breaks into a smile or breaks character loses the contest. The winning player gets to sit in the chair.

If a player can’t find a chair to sit in then they can start a Contest with one sitting player. They cannot start a second contest if they lose this one, and the losing player of this Contest cannot start one to gain a new seat.

Once any Contests are complete, the losing player leaves the game and is now a spectator. The winning players remove one chair so that there is only a number of chairs one less than the number of players still in the game.

Players who are ejected from the game while players are rotating around the chairs make spooky ghost moaning noises until one of the circling players says Boo!

That is all there is to this very long-named variant of Musical Chairs.

Costumes

As a fun note here are some ways to spice up this game of musical chairs.

  • Play during halloween.
  • All players wear ghost costumes.
  • When making contests players make ghost noises and serious faces but can also wiggle their arms, legs, in order to add to their spooky vibe.
  • Cover the chairs in fake cobwebs.
  • Add mood and spooky lighting.

Jumpdown Sketch

A quick sketch for the screen of an NES-inspired platformer game idea. You collect the hammer to smash rocks, a machete for vines, and gems for points. The goal is to get to the bottom of each level. Other hazards are snakes, waterfalls, and tigers.

— 8/3/2021

Oldham Rules v.1

On the Brain Trust discord (a discord community based around the Brain Trust podcast and its creators), there was a conversation that occurred about FKR games (Free Kriegsspiel Revolution), and the amount of freedom to create surrounding games where the rules are not wholly defined at the games outset.

This lead me to be inspired and write my own incredibly basic base set of rules to be used for FKR games but that was also inspired by other games that I like (Barons of Braunstein) and games that I play (Red Markets & Dungeon World).

Anyways, here is the PDF of the two short digest pages of rules. Feel free to use them and modify them for your own games and products.

(PDF: http://thomas-novosel.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/SomeShortRulesV1.pdf)

Paper Mini’s Set A

I said that I would do something when I hit 800 followers and Twitter, and so here it is! Here is a free set of printable paper miniatures for wargaming.

Click here for the 13 page PDF.

I made these for use with Lion’s Rampant from Osprey, but as they are generic they could be used with anything probably. These were made for Lion’s Rampant (which is why you’ll notice the weapon combinations for the minis are similar to the choices present in the Lion’s Rampant rulebook).

Because regular miniatures are expensive, not just money but in time (assembly, painting, tools to paint etc), that is why I decided to make my own paper miniatures. Not because their weren’t options present online that I could have downloaded, printed, and used but because I wanted to play with minis that were of my own making/artstyle. So a little more cartoony, but not super cartoony. I just wanted minis that looked like they came out of the old school fantasy rpgs whose art style I like.

That is how I got to making these. I expect that once I have made even more paper minis, I may put them together into a zine with maybe my own house rules to be used with them when printed and assembled. But for that to happen, I would need to create paper terrain, do some more gaming and writing for wargames type stuff.

Until then, the most you will read about paper miniatures on this blog will be my own play reports from using these at my own table for solo gaming.

Chaos Bandits

One thing that rulers fear is a revolt, the exposure of their corruptions, and the mounting evidence of tyranny. What causes hopes to get high in the final days before the whole thing comes crumbling down? What stalls the collapse of empires? Rulers who take advantage of their power. Who make rituals and preparations to summon Chaos Bandits. They gut gangs, ruffians, and the desperate so that faceless creatures with multidimensional sight can wrestle their way out of the viscera.

Picture of a Chaos Bandit named Glamour.

Chaos Bandits are constructs inhabited by chaos voids. When they walk, bustle and move throughout an area, any who come in contact or near them lose their understanding of chaos. The idea of actions being harmful, that action can change the world or their situation is gone. It cannot be even fathomed. What it leaves behind is a population that is tamed, calmed, and soothed into a state of positivity and eery contentedness.

If a chaos bandit is encountered, any individual will be hard pressed to take arms against them. Their silence but for their wheezing chest breaths, their eyes which cry at daylight and dart in all directions so they can avoid touching any living soul… All of this would strike someone as disturbing, but it doesn’t. The world is too still and calm in their presence to be disturbing.

Using the Chaos Bandit

The Chaos Bandit as an enemy should be treated as a force that cannot be stopped by entangling with them (due to their aura). To unbind the void to the construct, adventurers will need to find out who summoned them and force them to dismiss the Chaos Bandit. Regardless of where the bandits are, they will be transported to the summoners location and the void will be closed with the summoners life energy. This kills the summoner, and the chaos bandits void will devour both its own body and all of the summoners.

If the Summoner is unwilling to dismiss or unable to be discerned who they are, then the only other option the players will have is to destroy the summoning pool of viscera. Doing so will mean that no more bandits can be spawned.

Fighting a Chaos Bandit

Fighting a chaos bandit requires SAN checks, stability checks, or whichever would be equivalent as trying to fight a Chaos Bandit is distressing. It is a first experience of violence, like stabbing cute animals, it is stressful beyond belief. Even the most bloodthirsty person would be trembling and sobbing during the act.

If they are successful, then the same test should be made after each time damage is successfully made against the bandit.

Chaos Bandit (Stats)

  • Number Appearing: Chaos Bandits are summoned in groupings and move as a unit. Roll 1d6+2 to determine the size of each squad.
  • Hit Points / Health: 1d10+10.
  • No armor (treat as unarmored). Their perception and eyesight is supernaturally excellent.
  • Chaos Bandits carry weapons, each is rough and dull and turns to liquid silver when it leaves their palms. It is a weak and small thing formed of metals from the summoning pools of viscera. Use daggers or whichever damage rules would match this description of lethality.

Special Ability: Confrontation or thoughts of chaos, violence, etc cause those nearby a chaos bandit complete happiness and euphoria to the point of soothing them into submission. Fighting without regard to this aura causes SAN checks, Stress checks, or a SAVE to be able to overcome your inner peace and keep your hand steady enough to fight.

On Death: If a Chaos Bandit is reduced to 0 HP their construct shatters and a new one is formed at the pool of viscera where they were originally summoned.

Value: Chaos Bandits hold a lot of value to rulers who are not the summoner. This is because they can reap the rewards without any of the dangers or costs involved in being associated with Chaos Bandits. A caged chaos bandit can be sold to the right buyer for 5d10 x 100 coins.

Loot: Chaos Bandits carry nothing, their clothes are a part of their body and their weapons are useless without their touch. But there is a 10% chance that each unit/group of Chaos Bandits will have on their person a smooth clear stone the size of a pebble weighing 35 lbs. Candle light shined in its presence is enhanced to fill a room with light so bright that it makes it impossible to see. Wherever the constructs are being summoned from, this may be a clue to where.

Conclusion

This description for the Chaos Bandit came from the art that I drew. The art came from me playing around with making new art brushes in photoshop for drawing with as I experiment with mixing art styles and mediums together. Will this be the last? Probably not! This was just a quick post with an idea, so if you use it for your games or your personal monster manual you’ll want to expand on it a bit.

Until next time, have a goodnight.

Nicest Detectives

Nicest Detectives is a low rules ttrpg for playing detectives who are clumsy, have families, and still find a way to succeed (whether that changes the world or not, is open to interpretation). For reference, this game is about detectives like those in The Nice Guys (2016).

You can play detectives from any timeframe, as long as everyone agrees to be in the same timeframe.

To Make Your Detective

Each detective has three stats: Person, Family, and Luck. To create a character, distribute 7 points across these three stats. The max any single stat can be is 6. Having a high Person means you are skilled and have a good vibe to what you do. Having a high Family means that you have good relatives, dependable friends, and resourceful colleagues.

Whenever either Person or Family hit 0 after a roll, raise Luck by 1. Having a 0 in Person or Family means your burnt out or you have stressed your relationships as far as you can until you put some time into them. Gain 1 in the stat you work to improve/repair.

Dice Rolls

There are a few times when players roll dice, here they are:

  • When your detective needs weapons, gear, resources, then they roll d6+Luck+FAM (family).
  • When your detective needs to meet contacts, figure out what a clue means, or shmooze it at a party, then they roll d6+Luck+PER (person).

These are examples of two types of actions where stats are added to the dice roll as modifiers. Even without modifiers, all actions are rolled using this rule…

When a P.I. acts, roll LUCK (d6+luck). P.I.’s always succeed (unless the player doesn’t want to). P.I.’s take the changes to their stats based on their roll result, & pick which tags are used to flavor their actions. The other players will ask questions about how it goes down. The GM will play as anyone met, and describe what happens when things go wrong.

  • On a 7+. +1 to BOTH FAM & PER. Choose flawless or stumble.
  • On a 6. +1 PER. Choose tricky or some say skilled.
  • On a 5. +1 FAM. Choose stealing helped or family’s supportive.
  • On a 4. +1 to ANY STAT. Choose Vices can be virtues, or tactics can be distracting.
  • On a 3. -1 PER. Choose underestimated or ignored.
  • On a 2. -1 FAM. Choose bad at cover ops or got a cousin.
  • On a 1. -1 BOTH. Choose sacrifice or failure.

Max out a Stat

Whenever you max out a stat, something big happens. Something BIG. For luck this means that you skip ahead in the adventure, luck is reduced to 0 when this happens for the detective who triggers the skip in the adventure.

For Person, it means that your image cannot be tarnished, it is perfect in how it is. If anything goes against your character, or something comes up that is out of character, you risk your whole persona falling apart. If it falls apart, then person goes down to 1. Circle it, you can’t roll person until you make a big show about who you really are.

For Family, it means that your family relies on you and you rely completely on them. If something threatens them because of your work and you can’t get there fast enough or comfort them, then they need a break. If this happens, then family goes down to 1. Circle it, you can’t roll family until you do something for them.

New Sessions

Whenever a new session is started, rearrange and redistribute your stats scores using what you currently have on your character sheet. If you do this, the session starts with the player describing an event that occurred between sessions to explain why one of the stats increased or decreased.

Core Design

The core rules of Nicest Detectives is that players succeed. Detectives succeed until the players decide they aren’t succeeding. The drama comes from the mysteries that are being investigated and the people they are up against. Adventures are supposed to be planned as most mysteries would for role-playing games. A mix of antagonists and clues and hints.

When making up a clue, give it some hints to where it leads. These hints can only be gotten when the players find and talk to the person it is linked to. The clues are items and documents. The clues always lead to the answer for the mystery, about who did what and why they did it.

Getting enough clues and making sure that no one is able to pry them from your hands is how you solve the mystery and win the game.

Catalogue: Goat Horn the True Wind-strument

An illustrated PDF of this creature entry can be found on my Patreon and is accessible to Patrons :)

As any breeze would say if it had a mind and words to speak it would shriek to all its leader. The magnificent and terrifying horn of the wild goat Odirius. Every breath shouted through its twisted bodied form is a shout of action, a summons to war in the sky. Bring your mightiest strength eastern and western winds and ride on the cloud chariots. Whip the blue until it is purple, a sky full of blood and lightning crackling down to the earth.

This is the power of the horn of Odirius. The wild goat Odirius would be what is called the grandmother of all hooves beasts, even the lesser forms of hellions and demons claim a bloodline that stretches back in time to Odirius. The goat when it was alive held a massive pack of its young that would jump, trample, and bite any that opposed their grandmothers will to roam and be free. They would wander the world keeping all of the grass and hay short. That is why they can no longer grow to the heights of buildings, because Odirius bit their tallness out of them.

Then, on a later day when Odirius was growing older and older. The horde of munching horned beasts was led to the tallest mountain in the world, whose steps were too tall for any creature to climb. Every creature that is, except for Odirius. On this day, Odirius slept under the empty night sky and taught their young all of the stars in the sky, and to which they must each listen to for commands. For the devils it was the stars below, for these goats it was Three Horns Constellation which took the shape of three spiraling goat horns. Lastly before they all fell asleep together, Odirius took their ability to speak and language but silence or bleats (this is one way to determine a devils lineage). This was so that they may have some peace, rather than ask more questions and keep the grandmother goat up all night before her ascension.

As the sun peaked over the edge of the horizon, Odirius was gone. Bits of stone and sand rained from the mountains wall. A flash was seen in the sky, and then drifting down from clouds in a beam of light three items fell. Two horns as large as any single person, and a pelt which matched Odirius’ fur.

The beasts of Odirius scattered across the world to their homes under their stars, on the orders of their celestial caregivers after hiding the relics of Odirius. Whose two horns each summoned the forces of the sky from either the East or the West, and a pelt which could if worn hold any creature in its place against all forces.

Horns of the East or West

This horn is massive and would require either a cart or multiple carriers to move. If any breath is blown into the tip of the horn (while outside under the sky) a cacophonous blaring goat bleat would ring through the air for hundreds of miles around, so far and booming would its sound be that it would ring as of it came from every direction at once. It can only be used once per month, when used roll 2d6. On a 6 or less hold 1. On a 7-9 hold 2. And on a 10 or more hold 3. Spend hold one for one for any abilities off this list after rolling:

  • Wind gusts of giant strength, anything not tied down is moved 120 feet in the opposite direction of the horns name (easterly horn moves objects and persons towards the west).
  • Lightning crack, pick a target. They Xd6 damage. Where X is equal to tens column of their health +1. For example, a character with 20 Hit Points would take 3d6 damage. A character with 4 Health blocks would take catastrophic damage or a 1d6. This is life threatening damage.
  • Water pours in, raining sideways so hard that it hurts. Movements are slowed to a grinding halt, movement now requires a main action as well for everyone in an area the size of a small town. Fighting requires a movement action now as well. The rain will pour like this under a sky so dark it appears to be a starless night for 6 hours. On hour 6, flooding will occur in any low areas halting any armies and requiring the efforts of townsfolk to stop major damages. An unprepared force will take 48 hours to deal with this issue, most prepared forces will take 24 hours. As soon as the rain is gone, a hot sun will beat down on the water. Making the air heavier and heavier as the humidity rises.
  • A fog thicker than any other rolls in and surrounds the battlefield, it can cover the size of a small to medium sized town in area. The fog is so thick that no one can see more than 10 ft ahead of themselves (unless they see using infrared vision). This fog will hang in the air for 24 hours. It can only dispelled using magical means.
  • Giant columns (1’ diameter, 10’ tall) of ice fall from the clouds in the sky. In a circle of 40 ft each person within has a 75% chance of being hit. Those hit take damage equal to a great sword (1d10 or weapon equivalent), those not hit lose their next action as they are too preoccupied with avoiding falling ice shards.
  • Flying from the direction of the horns name come a cloud of birds. Birds of all shapes and sizes swarm in the sky like a den of cockroaches that clambers one on top of another and creates a shadow that covers the battlefield. Each turn until the end of combat, all enemies have a 20% chance of being attacked by birds, on their turn if it is determined they will be attacked they must choose whether to spend their main action avoiding damage from the birds, or take 1d6+1 damage (or a dagger+1 equivalent). The birds will disperse at the end of combat.

From what isn’t picked by the player, the Game Master may choose one result to use against the player characters or their companions and allies.

As a note there are two horns, one that controls the power of the sky’s that come from the east and the one from the west. They both have the same abilities but if used at the same time and choose the same abilities, they cancel each other out.

Pelt of Odirius

When this massive furry pelt is worn the wearer is held in place by its weight. No force magical or mundane would be able to make them move unless the pelt was taken off of them, or they moved themselves. This property means that anyone who wears the pelt, could functionally walk up walls and be immoveable from any outside force. They could also stand on a rock out at sea and ships would be destroyed by the pelts strength, the wearer would also be mushed inside the fur though since it provides no tactical or armor protection.

Additionally any cold regardless of how strong or magical cannot penetrate its fur. This fur would comfortably also function as a tent for up to 4 human sized people, who would be able to walk around within its tent, but no one would be able to from the outside move said tent.

Monsterary: Sun’s Flame Knight

An illustrated PDF of this creature entry can be found on my Patreon and is accessible to Patrons 🙂

A low hanging cloth with singed edges barely billows, despite the never-ending smoke that pours out of the pores across the glowing chainmail that wraps the figure. These chains bend under the heat and pressure of tightly fastened plates curved in a human form. The symbols smeared across the burned armor, appear by inhuman hands, no prints or flesh scratched these symbols.

The Sun’s Flame Knight burns in its armor tall and thin, a tightly bound furnace that pours out smoke and flames. Lights inside give an angelic look when observed in delirious thought. But at the edge of a horizon apart a viewer may see the whipping flames of a hell that has been condensed and weaponized. With only a purpose to wield the glowing blade of the First Stolen Sun in order to punish and uphold the Master Whisperer’s law.

Fear the warrior whose gaze burns long and without falter. Who moves with practiced grace that provides a speed that turns traditional swordplay into a barrage of swings that cuts the air as fast as a hummingbird beats its wings. Only pausing between furies to evaluate how best to eviscerate the enemy, then burn the evidence until it is blacker that space and indistinguishable in texture from the soil.

May the allure of a warm flame and a beacon on the horizon trick your heart into thinking the end to a tortured life is in sight. For even on the rivers of hell a warm flame dances at the final rest stop to the eternal destination.

Statistics

Type: high planar, angelic.

HD: 5

Armor: as Plate

Move: 35 feet

Intelligence: 16/20

  • Precise
  • 2/day: can make an additional action before any character at any time.
  • The sun’s flame knight is made of fire and speaks only in the sounds of whooshing wind and crackling logs. They can unite to a council meeting of other flames using a single finger as if it is wood burning. Burning the prime words (words that translate to all phrase and depths within their first language) into any surface.

Alignment: the sun is the lord, the flame the commander an ally. Any and all allies of The Nightlanders is a foe.

Tactics: methodical, careful with intent and thought. Fights enemies, retreat over death unless under specific orders or dire stakes.

Attacks:

  • 2 attacks per round.
  • Sunblade: 1d10+2; or heavy sword+2. Damage ignores armor as the blades searing light pierces all surfaces.
  • Crackling Frenzy: 4/day, Take 3 main actions on next turn. Damage on all effects is halved for these actions. Sparks fly from a gauntlets flourish, the speed gained through practiced movements comes at the cost of distinguishable tactics being clearly signaled.
  • Overflowing Flaming Tongue: 3/day, Spewing flames from the grates in the scorched helmet, target takes 1d8 damage per round for 3 rounds.

Defense:

  • Deflect: blade attacks against the knight that miss leave an opening, the knight does a basic attack at this moment, rolling twice and using the worst of the two to determine effect.
  • Burning Glare: A strong glint sparks off the shield, a reflection of the sun honed to a daggers point to pierce foes eyes. In sacrifice of a move action, a targets next action has disadvantage.

Special:

  • Can only be destroyed forever using the Sea King Mary’s tears.
  • The Knight glows orange like the embers of a fire in a shadowy forest. This light pierces holes from another dimension, from an age of fire, into the world we traverse. Over the soldier’s entire body, these portals are visible but send eyes and minds reeling into a white haze when stared into.
  • Just like the shining lights of hell at the end of the rivers of shackled flesh, the knight burns as a spiritual signal. A tower in the living world, a world unknown to them, with the trait of mortality which is alien in form and habit. Within 6 miles of the knight’s presence, but only at night, 1d100 dead turn to undead. Roll 1d100 for cities, and roll 1d10 for the countryside (unless reason for bodies to be plentiful is present).

Affiliations

There are some that the Sun’s Flame Knight is connected to, as they are a knight of their own realm and had to spend time in court. Fiddling and navigating the politics of those above and in command or against their own commander.

Flame Commander:

The commander is a solid flame that does not flicker but holds a curved shape with sharp edges. Its commands are issued as sternly as laws of nature and are expected to be upheld in a rigid fashion to how gravity brings apples to fall. A consistency is expected and if not met, punished by extinguishing a soldier. Squishing its heat until it is only coals, wiping away memories and thoughts before kindling the flame back to a young roar. Bringing executed soldiers back to life so that they can forget, cease to exist, and their own physical properties can be reused for another.

The Flame Commander does not care for the individual personalities of their soldiers. The only way that control is maintained is by puppeteering and threats of recycling.

The flame that heats each flame knight or soldier is linked to the flame commander, the commander holds absolutely still in their person in order to make its movements and silent commands known through manipulating the waves and flashes of light of those being controlled. At any point the flame commander can starve an individual linked to the larger flame of air and its energy that is shared. Making them so weak as to collapse under even the weight of their armor.

Unless this link is broken, and sufficient fuel is provided to maintain the energy needed to live, every soldier under the Flame Commander is chained to the army of Hell for all time.

Prime Tree Wood Chunk: the prime tree was the first tree from which all others sprouted. It has long since become lost to the soil, but some of the excess tree clippings that were not used to start the world’s forests were coveted and stowed away by Primordial Collectors. These individuals hide and catalog in personal collections away from prying eyes original progenitors of the world’s materials. They hold in hiding the original seeds which when planted create spiraling and widespread veins of gold.

First Stolen Sun:

Far back in time, before people were ever born or even could think of a name for the blazing beauties that stand ever present in the summer sky. With their gaze coming down and embracing every creature that would ever live. Before we knew the love of warmth and a breezy summer at a swimming hole. Where friends could jump into the water and not be cold, but refreshed so long that the memories of childhood could be a warm blanket in old age.

Before all of this, the Flame Commander was young and brash, there was no king and rulers in the planes of existence just warring bands of elements and essence. The war band of the young spark found the first sun and captured it in a net of stars. This is where the first stolen sun changed into its second form, that of a horse of fire, with the sun changed into a conquerable form the war band cast a spell of chains onto the horse. And it was lead to where the future throne for the Flame Commander would be erected, buried in a hole deep into the stone with only a small piercing faucet cutting through its flesh on one end.

With this turned on, the Flame Commanders weapon smiths can harness star fire to create sunblades. Swords that whip flames and make spotted the eyes of any enemy.

One day, someone may rescue the First Stolen Sun. But only a siege on the black citadel of fire in the volcano Matdrick could make such events occur. It is tempting though? To save a sun? The one that sparked so many others. Certainly the reward for such a task from the Council of Orion would be grand.

Sunblade: burning, blade, damage of a great sword +2 fire dmg. To wield this blade without damage or penalty requires an insulated stone gauntlet which only elemental weapon smiths can forge. If the wielder is made not of flesh, then the blade can be held if they can withstand the temperature (d4 damage per turn held). Spend a main action and choose 1 effect:

  • Next attacks damage ignores armor.
  • The targets next action has disadvantage. They roll twice and take the worst.
  • Fire breath: attack as normal, if you succeed instead of doing the damage of the sword, target will take d6 fire damage per turn for d4 turns.

Master Whisperer:

Lurking in the shadows of dreams and stones, the master whisperer speaks over and over again the laws unwritten. Slay for me, the cold voice groans. Every so often the fingers move like snakes in sand. Darkness clings to the pale skin as the void attempts to pull back the escapee.

My words are unwritten, they speak truths which will bury themselves deep into your being. Act for me. These are the rules the Master Whisperer lays.

Rules from the Master Whisperer creep in only when an individual has fought in 10,000 skirmishes, brawls, and melees. The bloodlust of those without blood but who only see it tempts the Master Whisperer who drinks what comes filtered through the earth and that was wrought of violence “in the name of”.

To some the Master Whisperer will make bargains… But to others, those of elements and essences only commands are uttered.

Heed the Call: At a stone after a long fight a murmur is heard. You are resting and blood pools into the dirt. A leathery voice speaks softly to you “Skin the hundred headed serpent Poison Fang, and give the skin to the Warlord Adam Kraith. Do this and I will allow you to speak once across time and space through the shadows”. If this quest is completed, the Master Whisperer will offer this favor once, for each other completed another is granted. The ability to speak a phrase through the shadows to anyone anywhere in the world awake or dreaming.

The Master Whisperer does this, because the harm will always outweigh the benefit, words from shadows are fearsome beasts of horror not advisors of good fortunes.

RPG Creature: The Black Ocean

This is a creature for fantasy and horror scenarios.

Note to reader: I am currently over halfway finished reading The Fisherman by John Langan. It is very incredible and seems to me to be like a weird-fantasy or Cthulhu-esque horror scenario with what is going on in the book. I won’t spoil it, but something that is talked about as just a very minor thing at the moment, not even being the big monster or the grand antagonist is a black ocean. The ocean seems incredibly terrifying especially to me, as it can be a vast entity of terror that fills any shape that can dare to hold it. This monster write up is partially inspired by the black ocean where the fisherman casts his lines in Langan’s book.

An unending rage

There are times when the adventuring party will go out to sea or to any body of water and will find a rocky section. This is not the black ocean. The fiercest hurricane’s waves are nothing compared to the depthless rage that is contained in this oceans waters.

How you can tell you have are at the black ocean:

  • Crashing waves that quake across the coast and over the water. Although there is no sign of bad weather or winds as there is a clear sky.
  • Peering into the waters you sense endless depth. Like looking into absolute darkness, you can sense the endlessness of it but cannot see past its walls.
  • On the edges of the water, off the coasts on the rocks lining its edges will be bone dust and shredded flesh. Any fish that is in this water has high chances that it will be shredded apart by its waves until it is entirely unrecognizable. Just bits of rotten fish flesh on whiter than any sands coasts.

Interacting with the water

No vessel can go over the black ocean, any that even attempted to would be likely destroyed or crushed within its grip. But, rumor has it that sacrifices to the ship of the dead may bring forth a vessel that will carry you to its opposite shore. Travelling on this ship is also rumored to take from you, because if the sacrifice is not large enough then the ship will crash itself on a pile of stones in its center. The water’s waves wiping whatever doesn’t starve off the rock in a single day, no blood even appearing in its dark waves.

When a creature not of the black ocean treads even a step into the waves. The waves will lick and grasp at the individual dragging them from an inch of water into the ground. Breaking bones with every wave’s crash, pounding their form into the rocks underneath the yellow foam coming from each pillar where waves meet. It appears like the sea is foaming at its mouth when someone touches it and is consumed. The body will very shortly, after screams and drowned words, be visible as the water retreats. All blood and liquids within the form have been removed entirely, a dried and desiccated corpse remains. Then a final wave will splash along the shore, dragging what remains into the depths below.

If anyone goes under the waves, it is absolute darkness. It is impossible to see through even using magical means. Anyone trapped under the waters will be spun and disoriented by the undercurrents. Unable to sense until the hands latch on, the murmurs of the dead bodies that have sunk below ring true as they reach up to latch onto those who find themselves with their head submerged. These bodies are lifeless, but the black ocean’s currents manipulate their forms so that they twist and snap to take perform its actions. Treat this as you would a very difficult grapple.

Learning about the ocean

The black ocean is only mentioned in the most obscure texts, and even then only mentioned in passing in reference to when the world was born. An ocean that was primordial and later enraged as it sunk below the world into a land filled with darkness, bare forests, and beaches that hold its edges in.

When the black ocean is discovered or comes up in play, here are some questions that could be worth answering or finding answers to:

  • What beast is rumored to live trapped beneath the black ocean’s waves?
  • Who has forged a path to the black ocean in the past?
  • What warnings are found carved into the stones at the black ocean’s shores?
  • What happened when a sample of water was taken from the black ocean?

Black Ocean – Stats

Type: cosmic force,

HD: endless.

Armor: why even ask? This is an ocean.

Intelligence: Unable to be determined. Any sign is incomprehensible as it is a force of energy beyond our scale. It has a sense of scale like looking and gazing at a night sky full of stars.

Align(ment): all are destroyed in the black ocean except for the Sea King Mary and the Ship of the Dead.

Attacks:

  • 1+(1 per character in the ocean) attacks / round
  • Crashing Wave (1/round per character caught): any characters in the black oceans water will lose 25% of their HP for every round in its grasp. No roll is made, attacks always land. A prepared defense will halve the damage dealt.
  • Dragging Maw (2/round): any characters in the water will be pulled 3x their movement speed further from the shore or any safety.
  • Truth Trance (1/round): target will hear disturbing truths and secrets about their lives. Secrets only the dead or themselves may know, these are dark enchanted words spoken in a speech that resembles the sound people make when they are drowning. Coughs and gurgles. This trance makes it so a character cannot move on their turn or act, the trance is broken when the target is touched or shook.

Defenses:

  • Attacks against have no effect.
  • Any items that touch the water have a 90% chance of being pulled in with unmatched strength, characters who hold these items will find letting go in time before being pulled a medium difficulty check. Items cannot be pulled from the water and have a 65% chance of being completely destroyed.

Special Qualities:

  • Entities that are aligned with the black sea have 6x their normal speed when moving under its waves.
  • Characters caught in the water cannot defend any attacks made against them. Any defense made will double damage done by the black ocean against them.
  • Character caught in the water cannot escape it without assistance from an outside force. Even that task would be treated as incredibly difficult, and any success would come at grievous costs.