Showing posts with label Gnarkotic Manuscripts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gnarkotic Manuscripts. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Always like the idea of PC Familiars, but disliked the original PH handing of the idea. I think that any magic should come with some risk, but the familiars of 1st ed were such easy targets that the spell made no sense to me. Sure, you might (5%) get a Quasit or Pseudodragon, but you'll prob get a 2HP Toad that will die in the next Random Encounter. This version of the spell makes the arrangement a much better deal for the Familiar, which means it might actually be worth it!
A Spell of Ritual Magic which can be cast by a Wizard of any level, but only during certain alignments/phases of the moons, occurring once every 30 +1d30 days. Type of creature summoned determ randomly. All are no larger than a small house cat, of exceptional, though still animal INT, have 4 HP and AC 7. They have no offensive attacks to speak of, although they can defend themselves as a 1/2HD Monster, doing 1 or 2 HP damage. No extraordinary or magical abilities (venom, if any, is effective against very small animals only). Creature Summoned is magically bound to caster, and the two share an empathic psychic link. When the Familiar is w/in 12", the Wizard may simply concentrate in order to "see" through its eyes, "hear" through its ears, etc. Also, each adds the others' HP to their own total; so both the Familiar and the Wizard will have the Wizard's HP +4. The pair share the same AC, either the Wizard's or the Familiar's, whichever is better. Familiars are rendered immune to Mental Influence/Control, and are extraordinarily lucky, automatically making all Saving Throws. If a Familiar is killed, the Wizard loses the bonus 4 HP, and also permanently loses an additional 1d4 HP, and may not cast the Spell again for one full year.

1. Archaeopteryx
2. Big-eared Bat
3. Horned Viper
4. Beaded Lizard
5. Your Standard Rat
6. Large Centipede
7. Iridescent Mantis
8. Spider Monkey
9. Small Ocelot
10. Aye-Aye
11. Bristly Tarantula
12. Colorful Constrictor
13. Horned Chameleon
14. Pygmy Hedgehog
15. Naked, Exhibitionist Mole Rat
16-20. No creature responds

10GPgem: Be sure to assign/determine an NPC trait or two to provide a little personality.

Friday, March 25, 2011


lvl 5, cast time 5s, area effect 30' rad, 1creature
Whatever action the recipient/victim attempts on the following rnd will not only be unsuccessful, but will in fact fail in the most catastrophic and picturesque manner possible. Attacking swordsmen will not simply miss, but rather trip and impale themselves on their own blade, spellcasters attempting Fireball will have it explode in their hands, opponents using modern weapons will experience a jam/backfire, while advanced weaponry will "short out", draining all remaining charges, etc. If target is unfortunate enough to declare he is doing "nothing", a tiny micro-meteorite falls from the sky (or other improbable effect if underground, etc), unerringly striking for 1d4 damage per lvl/HD of the victim! Players using the spell may suggest potential effects, subject to DM veto/modification. DMs using the spell are encouraged to be real jerks about it!

lvl 5, dur 2r/lvl, cast time 5s
Creates 1d4 Mirror Images, whose AC and total HP = those of the caster; if two images, ea has 1/2 of caster's HP, if three images, ea has 1/3, if four, each has 1/4.

lvl 6, cast time 6s, dur 1trn/lvl
Allows caster to dissolve into a pool of caustic, mobile goo, which can seep under doorways or through small cracks (3" MV), flow up walls and across ceilings, fill appropriately-sized containers, etc. The touch of the goo dissolves living tissue at a rate of 3 HP/rnd, and the Slime can extend one pseudopod/rnd (max 1/lvl), attacking as a monster of HD = to the lvl of the caster. Pseudopods which hit attach to the victim, and auto do damage ea rnd. The Slime takes 1/2 damage from cutting and thrusting attacks, and no damage from blunt weapon attacks, and retains the AC and HP of the caster.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


THE IDEA: Wanted a means to generate/introduce new Spells, Monsters, PC quests/pursuits, adventure plots/subplots, add some "local color" to the new campaign world, and offer weird insights into the peculiar pursuits of the Ancients. Not a lot of specific details at this point, more like an idea generator. ("this scroll requires intensive study... get back to me next week"). I'll post details as I go.

THE THING: The Gnarkotic Manuscripts are scroll sheets of unknown, nigh-invulnerable gray metal, inscribed with the occult secrets of the Ancients. Sometimes found rolled and stored in scroll tubes, they remain flat once unrolled, and have the unusual property of clinging to any flat surface (think "post-it" note), even a plastered wall or door. Appear blank until touched by Magic-using being. Scrolls which require more than a full "page" of writing function just like a PDF file; the reader can "scroll thru the scroll" by touching/dragging lines of faintly-glowing script. There is a row of numbers & symbols (possibly a code?) across the top of each scroll... some believe the Gnarkotic Manuscripts comprise a single, incredibly vast compendium spanning the entirety of the Magic of the Ancients, while others maintain that they are more a collection of distinct works, and the number/codes are a form of indexing, as in a library. A complete archive is unknown. Note that any spells may be copied into Spellbooks and, if the Wizard is capable, made into a standard "one-shot" Scrolls, but may not be cast directly from the Manuscripts.


1. "RITUAL MAGIC "; a spell which can only be cast at certain times/places/conditions for unusual effects, such as (d12)
1. The Gates of the Moons 2. The Sibilant Whispers of Hastur
3. The Invocation of the Colorless Fire 4. The Gate of Returning
5. Raising of the Black Ziggurat* 6. The Primordial Imprisonment
7. The Lamentation of the Lost 8. The Alignment of the Spheres of Xeg
9. The Crimson Cascade 10. The Banishment of Yith
11. The Avuncular Avatar of Azathoth 12. Binding of the Familiar

2. MAGIC ITEM CREATION; materials, Spells involved, etc., for any one item. Roll randomly on Magic Item tables

3 THE MASTERY OF LIFE ITSELF! arcane/alchemical instruction in the creating/breeding/manipulating/reanimating/perverting area...(d12)
1. Decantation of the Homunculi 2. The Gifts of Gnarlathotep
3. The Incubation of the Egg 4. Formulae of the Wrinkling Replica
5. Domination of the Doppelganger 6. The Aeonic Advancement
7. I am the Slime 8. The Shapes of Things to Come
9. The Gratuitous Graft 10. The Incandescent Imbuement
11. The Scales of the Serpent 12. The Internment of Invulnerability

4. "STANDARD" MISC SPELL; determ randomly at whatever level you feel appropriate, disregard any "common picks" and look for something more offbeat to add to the Wizard's Spellbook

5. SUMMONING SPELL; a specific creature for a certain purpose, or limited duration, if provided with proper appeasement (d12)
1. The Sufferance of the Shantak 2. The Eclipsing Swarm
3. The Angry Gnargoyle 4. The Putrid Eruption of Kyuss
5. Coalescence of the Congeries 6. Acquiescence of the Quasit
7. Subservience of the Shoggoth 8. Restraining Order of the Unseen Stalker
9. The Mycetic Malfeasance of MiGo 10. The Howl of the Byakhee
11. Accretion of the Algoid 12. The Solicitation of the Slaadi

6. "NEW" MISC. SPELL; from your latest blog-crawl. I don't have a table because I think 1st ed AD&D pretty much covers it, I'm rarely interested in what I come across, and I don't have much to offer in this area, either! (I'll post a few modest Ritual and Misc "New" spells next post, but here's my fave Spell Compilation, and there are some good ones here, too)

7. GLYPH or SYMBOL; the Ancients were all about magic runes and such, no doubt. I'm fond of 'em, too. General Effects:(d30)
1. Fire 7.Electricity 13. Insanity 19. Mutation 25. Weakness
2. Cold 8. XP Drain 14. Despair 20. Polymorph 26. Phasing
3. Paralysis 9. Blindness 15. Discord 21. Obsession 27. Stupidity
4. Stunning 10. Radiation 16. Rage 22. Giggles 28. Unseen Object
5. Fear 11. Slowing 17. Warding 23. Passion 29. Elder Sign
6. Cursing 12.Amnesia 18. Hypnosis 24. Suggestion 30. DM's Whim

8. LEGEND & LORE; "adventure hook" entry detailing a legendary person/place/thing, possibly incl a map or directions, clues, hints, enticements...

*see also here :)