Old School rotoscope style animation of a murder hobo with a 70's porn mustache raiding the lair of the Ape King, punching an albino lion into submission before dispatching it by throwing a sword through it's skull... that kinda thing. Here it is!
The very next NPC that the Party must track down or otherwise locate will have only one identifiable trait/feature (not sure what, but something commonly encountered), so it may take a while to find him. His name will be 'Gellin.'
My hope is that the party will have to ask numerous strangers, "Are you Gellin?" :)
via an internal rupturing or explosion of an organ
In at least nine Southeast Asian species of the Cylindricus complex, workers feature greatly enlarged mandibular glands that run the entire length of the ant's body. They can release their contents suicidally, rupturing the ant's body and spraying toxic substance from the head, which gives these species the common name "exploding ants." The glue bursts out and entangles and immobilizes all nearby victims. The soldiers of the neotropical termite family Serritermitidae, have a defense strategy which involves front gland autothysis, with the body rupturing between the head and abdomen. When outside the nest they try to run away from attackers, and only use autothysis when in the nest, to block tunnels up, preventing attackers entering.
1. ANT is to GIANT ANT as EXPLODING ANT is to EVERYBODY SAVE VS PARALYSIS
2. This would be a terrible Mutation for a PC to acquire...
1. DON'T PANIC. Sooner or later, that Character is gonna die. Keep cool.
2. CARRY A TOWEL. You will likely be Besmirched with Copious Gore within minutes of the first Random Encounter. Cost 1-3 CP, Encumbrance 1 GP. Those lacking towels suffer -2 on Reaction Dice (if they have not washed-up since last combat)
Magic Item: Towel of Absorption
Terrycloth gimcrack that completely wipes a character clean in one rnd, leaving no trace of dreck on either the person or the towel itself. One in Ten have the additional property of Absorbing up to 20 lvls of Magical Spells cast at the user (10+1d10); the Towel will Absorb Mental Spells if wrapped around the head, or Absorb Physical Damage Spells if tied around the neck like a cape, all other types of Spells are covered by wrapping the Towel around the waist like a kilt. Drawback: Encounters with sentient beings will likely involve the question, "Is that a towel... that you're wearing?"
Does anyone need another Beholder variation? Well, here's mine:
AC 1, HD (10), HP 70, Magic Eyes, At Will: Fly, Telekinese 100lbs, Telepathic Communication
Large Central Eye: Slow Spell, all within 90-degree cone, 60' terminus, no Save
Four Eye Stalks: 1. Magic Missile(s); 1d4 Missiles ea rnd, will target Spellcasters to ruin Spells 2. Hypnosis Ray; Save vs Mental Spell or be completely dominated until the gaze of this eye is broken, Stun for 1d4 rnds thereafter, will target most powerful/effective opponent 3. Vampiric Wounding Beam; causes 3d8 damage, Save vs Spells for 1/2, and adds these to HP, targets of opportunity, 1/rnd 4. Nullification Beam; renders targeted Magical/Technological items "non-magical"/inoperable for 1d4 turns, Save vs R/S/W Negates, will target most powerful/effective item used against it, 1/rnd
What if there were a Magic Item, maybe a Ring, that would grant all the abilities & powers of an Ogre Magi? Quite a powerful item... brought to mind the 'Ring of Gaxx', with the "randomly resetting" rotating gemstone, so how about:
The Ring of the Ogre Magi is set with a white gem of nine (or ten, if you incl Ogre STR) facets, each keyed to one of the magical functions, each usable 1/day, but here's the kicker; only one function may be in effect at any time. If the gem is set to Charm Person, the Charm ends when another function is selected, and the gem is turned until a different facet faces the tiny ruby triangle set into the band... if you encounter a barred passage, do you forgo your Polymorph disguise for Ogre Strength, and try to Bend Bars, or do you switch to Gaseous Form to slip through, and save the STR for later combat?...
Somebody's PC just acquired a majorarsenal of a Magic Item, so of course there's a catch, right?
Immediately upon putting it on, it permanently drains 1d4 HP, and grafts to the digit for life
Changes to the physiology occur: -Eyes change color (the MM reads, "Their eyes are dark pupiled with a white center." Does this mean a dark iris and a white pupil? You decide. Maybe throw in Infravision as a full-time bonus) - Sure you Regenerate, but Magical Healing no longer works on you; no Cure Spells, no Healing Potions, just natural rest and the ring, baby. You're gonna have to set aside some time for your Precious ea day! (And remember - you can Regenerate for as long as you want, but once you switch facets, no more healing for 24hrs!)
Since this gimcrack does damn near everything, no other Magic Rings for you. In fact, I'd even say that any Item under 'Misc. Magic' simply would no longer work for the ring-bearer, or perhaps only those the DM allows.
Other "side-effects" occur: Ogres tend to like/hate you, an Ogre Magi is searching for the Ring, which contains the spirit of his father, must defeat him in single combat (I don't know... somehow or other!), maybe use of the Ring gradually adds further Ogrish physical attributes...
I love the idea of this Item being found as per The Hobbit; just lying there on the ground in an untraveled area, no guards, no Big Boss Battle, not even a locked chest - just right there on the floor, in a dark corridor. And so are destinies made and fortunes assured.
In the area of awarding/calculating XP, I've tried:
- by-the-book AD&D 1st rules; actually calculated for ea monster, multiplying bonus per HP... forget that! - basic 100XP/HD ruling for all monsters, w/bonuses determ on the fly - using Labyrinth Lord XP/Lvl Tables in what is largely a 1st ed AD&D game, for faster leveling (did not incl GP treasure unless this money was actually "spent on training/research", at a rate of 1XP/GP spent) - also briefly dumped the entire XP haul into the Player's laps to divide as they like... the just went ahead and divided it equally, anyway!
And Now, for Something Completely Different:
In my new system, the PC level will have both a "ones" place (actual XP Lvl), and a "tenths" place (tenths being XP points toward the next lvl); so a newly advanced fifth lvl Fighter would be "F 5.0", while another who is halfway to between sixth and seventh lvl would be "F 6.5".
Awarding "Tenths" will occur whenever the Party or PC succeeds in completing any major Party objective or goal, when a Treasure trove is secured, or for any other accomplishment the DM feels is worthy, possibly incl:
- clearing/mapping an entire dungeon level - acquiring a long-sought item - completing a quest - slaying/imprisoning a Boss Monster or NPC - finishing a story arc - impressive role-play, idea, tactic, sacrifice, service to deity, etc. - completing a significant side-adventure - defeating significant Random Encounter - solo feat by PC; saving rest of party, overcoming major obstacle, etc.
Still in Effect: - MVP Houserule still applies; determined at the end of a "complete adventure", the winner being awarded 1 or maybe 2 Tenths. - Cash will still have to be spent on training, research, etc to advance, but will not directly affect XP (roughly 1,000 GP/lvl) - Rather than an XP-cap on non-humans, humans simply advance faster; ea time a human levels-up, he gains an additional Tenth toward the next lvl.
1. Classic: carved talons clutch an apparently living eyeball, gazes around when not in use
2. Topped by Plasma Globe which buzzes and arcs when activated
3. Unadorned bar of polished steel, works well as a club/baton in melee
4. Glassteel dowel topped by multi-pointed crystal star
5. Gnarly shaft topped by twisted root cluster grasping a smooth river rock
6. Living flowers of various hues bud and bloom at tip each day
7. Made from the body of a magically taxidermied albino python w/jewel eyes
8. Telescoping/collapsing shaft for easy carrying/storage
9. Entire thing softly glows like a fluorescent light tube
10. Topped by grotesque Gargoyle head, speaks its own Command Word(s)
11. Fires burst of colorful metallic glitter with a loud "pop!" when activated
12. Rod made of a stack of Copper Pieces. To activate, another CP must be added to
the end, to which it immediately attaches, glows, then discharges its magic
Polyhedral stones, useable 1/day.
GNARNs do not fall if dropped, but rather hover/float, and will follow
after sentient beings. Activated by
touch, GNARNS add a bonus to the bearer’s rolls
for one turn. Roll a d6 twice (ea time
(d6) Bonus, Roll on Tbl 2(d6)
Bonus Applies to…
1. No Bonus Today! 1.
2-4. +1 (ALL categories,
no roll) 2. AC
5. +2 (two categories)* 3.
6. +3 (one category) 4.
* User gains bonus in rolled category, plus the
one immediately before it; roll a 2 and gain +2 to AC and Saves, roll a 6 and
gain +2 to Your Pick and Initiative, etc
GNARNs that have been swallowed by Demons, Spawn of Shog-Gnargoroth, etc. Transform into translucent gems, and have the power to Raise Dead (alive, full HP) once only, provided a Bless Spell is cast upon them. This drains the stone of all magic.
"Well, here's your problem, ma'am; this thing here is leaking poisonous gas!"
d12 Gas Issues From...
1. The hollow stem and pistils of a bouquet of fake flowers in a vase
2. A fragile glass sphere balanced precariously atop a door frame
(1 in 6 it breaks open on head of PC opening the door; no Save for you!)
3. A motion-sensitive Puffball Shroom Fungi, either concealed or in plain sight
4. A mechanical trap hidden within a humanoid skull
5. Under pressure in a stoppered vial, disturbing it in any way = 50% of bursting open
6. The handle of a walking cane can be unscrewed... affects only the opening PC
7. An unremarkable crack in the flagstone floor
8. A metal grille in ceiling (drop to the floor, the bottom one foot of the room is clear,
Save at +3)
9. The arse of an iron pig, which also has a coin slot on its back... it jingles if shaken
10. A series of peg holes seems to indicate that a ladder or shelving was once affixed
to the wall... but one at face level is a trap triggered by a pressure plate
11. A nest of debris contains several "hatched" egg shells, and one that is unbroken...
12. A multi-jointed mechanical arm which extends from a concealed niche, spraying
gas from a swivel-mounted oscillating nozzle
Inspiration provided by the Dungeon Dozen - check it out for awesome d12 tables!
Simple system for unusual action success resolution: Roll PC XP Lvl or less on appropriate die type, as determined by difficulty of task
Die Degree of Difficulty
d4 Success Highly Likely, but requiring a roll anyhow
d20 Very Difficult
d30 Amazing Feat
Therefore, a 5th lvl PC automatically succeeds at tasks which are Highly Likely to succeed, and has a 5 in 10 chance of succeeding at a Tough task. A 10th lvl PC has a fifty/fifty shot at even a Very Difficult task (10 in 20), but even at this level has only a 1/3 (10 in 30) chance to perform an Amazing Feat successfully. Even a first lvl PC has a slim chance to accomplish the improbable!
Bonuses of +1 to +3 (or more) may be applied by DM, based on related Ability Scores, degree of familiarity with task, etc.
My group has long used the "Clerics use the weapon that their god uses" houserule, rather than the "guess I'm using a mace" rule. I'm considering implementing a system in which this specific weapon gains increased bonuses and other powers as the Cleric advances; for example, a bonus of +1 when 3rd lvl is reached, +2 at 7th, +3 at 12th... Special Effects will be included as well; the weapon of a devotee of a "Fire god" might become a flaming sword, or have the power equivalent to a Burning Hands spell twice/day, maybe even a Flamestrike option at higher lvl, while the trident of a sea god's Cleric could grant Water Breathing, Create/Purify Water, etc. A special ritual must be performed by the head of the Cleric's order once the appropriate lvl is reached, or perhaps a quest must be performed... the specifics differing depending on the god being worshiped. Only the Cleric can access these powers; for anyone else, the weapon is not magical. Of course, the Cleric must be mindful to use these powers only in the service of the god, else the power will be revoked or suspended. I like the idea of the Player knowing he's gonna get something cool - provided he earns it! "Can't wait until I'm 12th lvl, and I can Disrupt Undead with my spear!"