Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Work in progress... Gutterspites

I've been working on a few things over the last few months - although most of my gaming energy goes into my Pathfinder campaign, now in its third year. The characters are, uh... 8th level. I should feel more guilty.

Here's a little taster of one of those projects, or rather a taster of a little slice of the project: devising some very, very minor supernatural beasties to afflict the ordinary population of a fantasy realm, the kind to produce folk remedies and the intervention of a village witch rather than a full-blown adventuring party. These are partly for flavour, partly as an alternative to rats and diseased goblins as an introductory adversary for beginner adventurers.

Just wanted to share a bit of this with you! There's still a lot to do on this new supplement but I'm enjoying it (but being sidetracked by the research).

If anyone's wondering about the supplements I already wrote - I'm now waiting to hear back from both Paizo and the Open Gaming Store about consignment, both having received my application form and gone radio silent. Did I put explosive runes on them by accident?

Gutterspite

Imps are often held to be the lowliest of fiends, but even lesser entities are responsible for much misery around the world. Gutterspites are barely-conscious bundles of malevolence that prey on whatever unfortunate mortals they can find. Too weak to inflict serious harm, they settle for inflicting unhappiness, pain and ill-luck, feeding greedily on the misery of their victims.

Gutterspites have the following traits unless otherwise noted:

Paltry Malevolence (Ex): Gutterspites are such pathetic fiends that even a hint of divine power is enough to annihilate them. Any devout follower can use a holy symbol to make a touch attack against a gutterspite. A successful attack with a symbol of a non-evil faith deals 1d6 damage, bypassing their damage reduction. An unholy symbol instead makes a gutterspite sickened and frightened for 1 minute. Unlike most other fiends, a gutterspite’s attacks do not count as evil for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Shun Hallows (Ex): Gutterspites cannot enter an area protected by a consecrate or desecrate spell. If a holy symbol is displayed in a door or window, a gutterspite must succeed at a DC 15 Will saving throw to pass through the opening or any other opening within 20 feet of it.

Minor Telepathy (Su): A gutterspite has a limited form of telepathy, allowing it to convey simple concepts or emotions to other creatures that possess telepathy.

Baleful Gutterspite

The long, feathery tail of this creature could almost be beautiful, if it weren’t for its sickly colouration and the dull malice in its three bone-white eyes. Four crooked arms clasp greedily at a dropped coin.

Baleful Gutterspite

CR 1/8

XP 50

NE Diminutive outsider (evil, gutterspite)

Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception –2

DEFENCE

AC 16, touch 16, flat-footed 14 (+2 Dexterity, +4 size)

hp 4 (1d10–1)

Fort +2, Ref +4, Will –2

DR 3/cold iron, silver or good; Resist acid 3, cold 3, electricity 3, fire 3

Weaknesses paltry malevolence, shun hallows

OFFENSE

Speed 20 feet

Melee tail +7 melee (1 nonlethal plus fatewrack)

Space 1 ft., Reach 0 ft. (5 ft. with tail)

Spell-like abilities (CL 1st; concentration +1)

1/hour–lightfingers (DC 10, drop item only)

STATISTICS

Str 3, Dex 14, Con 8, Int 2, Wis 6, Cha 10

Base Atk +1; CMB –7; CMD 2

Feats Improved Initiative, Weapon FinesseB

Skills Perception +2, Sleight of Hand +6, Stealth +14

Languages minor telepathy 10 ft.

ECOLOGY

Environment any

Organization solitary

Treasure none

Description Resembling a four-armed squirrel with a third eye in place of a mouth, baleful gutterspites lurk amongst furniture, clothing and rafters, waiting for an opportunity to afflict a victim with bad luck. They relish the scent of failure and frustration, and are the bane of artisans and cooks, who find simple tasks suddenly eluding them.

Fatewrack (Su): A creature struck by a baleful gutterspite’s feathery tail is subject to misfortune. For the following 24 hours, the creature can’t take 10 on any skill checks, and a natural 1 on a skill check always fails as though it were a critical miss on an attack roll or saving throw. This also affects the result of taking 20.

Feather Touch (Ex): The incredible softness of a baleful gutterspite’s tail means a creature doesn’t automatically become aware when struck. The baleful gutterspite can attempt a Sleight of Hand check to conceal the attack, opposed by the victim’s Perception.

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Rusty Mick's Off-Brand Specials: the Double-(Barrelled)-Cross

“It's really gear”
“Sometimes you just need that 'what the hell!?' edge”

Look, you don't go to Mick's for chips and irons and that workaday crap. The reason I trot down to that poky rat-hole every once in a while is for an edge. Mick's genius, if you wanna call it that, is laying his servo-hands on kit that no scummer nor rent-a-cop nor Mister Johnson ever considered you might have.

"Holdout gun? Always a solid option. Not always easy to get to when things turn sour, mind. The trouble is, turning coat only takes a moment and typically they've got you bang to rights.

What's tricky is, your average betrayal isn't a spur-of-the-moment thing; it's a set-up. Vehicles get hacked, scripts overwritten. Tools get sabotaged. And of course, that old classic - ammo gets swapped out.

Only a handful of these boys got made before the company wiped in the '13 Unpleasantness. Never on the open market, but I managed to lay my hands on this beauty. Someone pulls that smirk on you mid-run? You don't need to worry what's in the magazine before you let 'em have it."

Rakotoarisoa Industries 'You Bastard' Baobab++

This ultra-rare prototype shotgun was designed for the truly discerning (well, paranoid) runner. Superficially indistinguishable from the Baobab - itself a clone of popular Indonesian models - its additional features justify an eye-watering price tag. Discreet reinforcing mesh massively enhances the weapon's resilience, allowing it to survive low-powered direct hits and use as an impromptu shield without impeding its firing capabilities. The chamber and barrel are hardened and shaped to redirect explosive force, reducing the chance of a fatal misfire - accidental or otherwise. More importantly, its heavy frame conceals an emergency secondary firing mode driven by magnetic pulse. If the owner has sudden doubts about their ammunition, a simple flick of the finger activates the backup mode, allowing sections of the barrel to be launched as spinning projectiles. Though the range is short, the ammunition very limited and the lethality low, it can still take down an unprepared traitor or buy time to reach cover and draw a backup weapon.

The barrel's construction divides it into a small number of sections cunningly fitted together. When one is launched, the magnetic impulse system adjusts itself to select the next section for firing. Fitting new barrels is time-consuming and costly, but worth the price.

Specs

(system-neutral and therefore vague)

The Baobab++ functions as a normal shotgun when firing its main ammunition. Its reinforcement reduces the damage it suffers when used to parry attacks or the chance of it breaking when struck.

The adapted chamber and barrel reduce the chance of a misfire occurring naturally. If tampered ammunition is fired, it is only half as effective as normal in damaging the weapon.

Switching to the secondary firing mode is a quick and easy matter: treat this as equivalent to flicking a safety or ammo selector. In this mode, any chambered ammunition is ignored entirely (bypassing the chance of a misfire). The magnetic pulse fires sections of steel barrel with effect equivalent to a heavy handgun (including range and rate of fire). The razored edges reduce the effectiveness of soft armour but otherwise rely on speed and impact. Each barrel provides ammunition for four shots. Once any barrel segments have been fired, the accuracy and lethality of the standard firing mode for that barrel is decreased by a cumulative 20%.

The Baobab++'s sturdy construction allows it to be wielded as an effective club. Once the barrels have been fired off, the exposed electrical elements can deliver any remaining charge as a taser.

The rarity and subtle design of the Baobab++ make it extremely difficult to distinguish these additional features from any mundane shotgun of its type simply by examination. Appropriate scanning tech can identify the presence of the battery.

A Baobab++ weighs twice as much as a normal shotgun of its type due to its construction and battery requirements. Replacing the barrels after use takes approximately one hour with appropriate tools.

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Shameless Self-Promotion: Inglenook's Book Launch

As some of you may recall, I've been putting together some of my musings on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game* in human-readable** form, for those of you who enjoy that sort of thing. I've compiled some of the ideas into, currently, three short PDFs and I've gone so far as to get a compatibility license from Paizo. I'm posting a few samples below.

I'm still waiting to find out whether Paizo will sell the PDFs through their website, so in the meanwhile I may as well plug them here.

Due to budgetary constraints (which is to say, being skint), if you'd like a copy of the actual PDFs, I have to ask for a contribution. You can give me a donation on Ko-fi and leave a private message on how to contact you, or email 123456789librariansandleviathans#gmail.com (remove the numbers and stick an @ instead of the #) to look into, oh, Paypal or something.

What are these pamphlets, these flimsy rags, you may be wondering? Probably not. Let me enlighten you, either way. The three PDFs I've completed so far are the work of our old friend Inglenook, occasional mage. They are much along the lines of those three posts, with a mixture of thematic cantrips that probably aren't much use in the face of frothing orcs, and some quite useful spells.

The PDFs are bookmarked, not locked for editing (so you can add as many of your own bookmarks as you want) and free of DRM.

Inglenook's Wind and Weather

Twelve pages, containing sixteen spells relating to weather effects. Make more use of the weather rules: let giants blow away in the breeze, read in the middle of a typhoon, and awe your enemies with dramatically-appropriate supernatural weather. Not particularly silly.

Inglenook's False Friends

Have you been mis-sold magical incantations, scrolls, spellbooks or eldritch initiations into blasphemous rites? Embarrass yourself with belated, public realisations that you learned the wrong spell? Avoid the pitfalls of overeagerness, scrawly handwriting and gullibility with this handy guide to spells that aren't the spell you're actually looking for. Thirty misleading spells, often silly, but some of them potentially useful nonetheless. When you need to temporarily hide a servant, lecture the undead or slightly alter your trousers, this is the place to look.

Inglenook's Bloodlines of Lesser Fame

As Inglenook says: "Sorcerers! Empowered by the inhuman blood of their ancestors, many of these mortals manifest great heroism – or villainy. They possess incredible strength and hardiness, wield fearsome magical power, or display the blessings of gods and fiends. Such bloodlines are whispered by bards and traced reverently by sages, and their potent influence sings through the generations.... These are not those bloodlines."

Not especially serious, but completely useable in a serious campaign with the right approach. Were your ancestors thrown in prison repeatedly? Good at haggling? Subordinate? Well sus? This book is for you! Seven new bloodlines (plus three wildblooded variants).

*as the license states, "You may refer to our game using the phrase "The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game" (never just "Pathfinder" or "The Pathfinder RPG")." Not going to stick to that for normal posts, but since this is basically advertising I probably should.

** elf-readable, dwarf-readable and goblin-readable forms are not expected until early 2020 due to budgetary constraints