I ranted about elves before way back when but I still wanted a little extra something to make them more alien and just a bit different. Nor your tree hugging wild elf or that mysterious high/gray elf or whatever you want to call them. Somewhere in the bowels of the internet someone made the comparison of old D&D elves to Elric. I like that. Then this little idea popped into my brain that focuses on the standard fighter/magic-user type elf.
In ancient times, the elves make a pact with an ancient being whose name has been long lost. They wanted the power magic and immortality. The elves were granted both but not at the same time. The elves learned the power of magic and would each live for 1,000 years. They had magic but using would cost them years off their lives. The elves created an empire and rules the world for millennia but due to their arrogance and decadence their empire has crumbled. Many elves venture out into the mortal world out of boredom.
The Game Mechanics:
When the elf casts an arcane spell, roll 1d20. If the result is less than or equal to the spell’s level then elf permanently losses HP equal to the spell’s level.
And since I’m on a Dungeon Crawl Classics kick, there’s a little variation for those rules. Elves do not suffer from Corruption. Instead, any time a Corruption effect occurs, the elf loses permanently HP as above plus suffers the effects as if the character had Spellburned a number of points equal to the spell’s level (but doesn’t gain any bonus to the spell check). Additionally, Elves may voluntarily “Spellburn” HP at rate of 2/1 (1 HP=+2 bonus to the spell check). These HP are permanently lost.
Really, I can’t even pronounce that. Let me just call it Chandler’s Book of Stuff That Will Give You Nightmares.
Lusus Naturae is a bestiary of monsters designed for Lamentations of the Flame Princess but it’s pretty easy to convert it to whatever OSR game you want. This isn’t your run of the mill collection of demons, forgotten horrors, or orcs and goblins who have an additional odious habit. These are wild, weird, eat your face, swallow your soul, ruin the rest of your day type monsters. Like I said, it’s designed for Lamentations of the Flame Princess so if you’re experienced with any of those adventures (like Death Love Doom (AL)) then this is right up your alley.
There’s lots of cool stuff in there. There’s actually a connection between many of the monsters. Some created others. Some like or hate others. It all just depends. Also there’s a neat little thing that some of them have. “Killing Blow” He who kills the monster gets something. Maybe something good. Maybe something bad. But this is for Lamentations so take that as you may. And you get away without having a cool crazy monster generator.
I think my two favorites (so far) have to be Doctor Volt and the Gelatinous Hypercube. Yes, Doctor Volt. A supervillian teleported to a fantasy world. Hehe. And the Gelatinous Hypercube. Well. I think the name pretty much says it all.
I can’t not mention the art. I usually don’t bother mentioning art but in this cast I will make an exception. Gennifer Bone did a great job making bring these these nightmarish creatures to life. The art is cool and disturbing as it should be for this book.
So this gets a big thumbs up from this guy. Now I’ve got about a half dozen ideas bouncing around inside my head.
You can grab Lusus Naturae at Drivethrurpg. (AL)
Hey, there isn’t a Raise Dead spell for Lamentations of the Flame Princess. There’s no reason there shouldn’t be but it’s still got to have that special something that makes it Flame Princess worthy. So here’s my modest attempt.
First, here’s a couple of my thoughts this spell. Death is natural (cause of death might not be). Death is one of the laws of the universe and everything dies eventually. Cheating death unbalances the universe and is a Chaotic act. So in this case the spell is a Magic-User spell rather than a Cleric spell. Also, returning the dead to live should be time consuming, expensive, and dangerous. So here you go.
Magic-User Level 5
The Magic-user attempts to defy the laws of the universe and return a fallen being to life.
Fist, the dead body must be as whole as possible. Missing limbs and organs are not replaced. The caster must acquire rare oils and spell components with a value of 1,000 SP per Level/Hit Die of the target. Additionally, the caster must perform a long and precise ritual lasting 1 hour per Level/Hit Die of the target. As part of this ritual, the caster must attempt to bring some sort of balance to the universe by sacrificing a number of sentient beings of the same race as the target. The total Levels/Hit Dice of the sacrifices must at least equal the Level/Hit Dice of the target.
Once the ritual is completed, both the caster and the target attempt a Saving Throw versus Magic. If both succeed then the spell was successful and the target returns to life with 1 Hit Point.
If either of them fail so does the spell. Roll 1d20 on the following chart. If both fail then roll 1d10+10 on the following chart. The spell may not be attempted again.
A cleric will not witness or partake in this ritual. Also, a cleric cannot be the target of the spell.
1: The body is consumed in a divine fire leaving nothing but ash.
2: The body shows all the signs of life but no soul has entered it. It will expire from dehydration in a matter of days.
3: The target’s soul reenters the body but the transition was too much. The target has total amnesia and is now a Level-0 character.
4: The target’s body explodes with necromatic energy causing Level/Hit Dice D6 of damage to every thing in a 30 foot radius. Save versus Breath Weapon for half damage.
5: The caster accidentally summons the spirit of wrong person. This can be any dead person from history as determined by the GM. But chances are that it will be some historically insignificant person.
6: The soul of the target ends up in the nearest animal no smaller than a rat.
7: The caster’s and the target’s souls switch bodies.
8: The target’s soul ends up in a random item. That item is now magical and has powers based on the class and level of the target and GM’s discretion.
9: It looks like the spell worked. The target will live for 1d100 days (GM rolls secretly) then target drops dead, his corpse rotting away to nothing in seconds.
10: The target’s soul does not enter his body but is turned into a vengeful ghost which attacks and haunts the party.
11: The caster accidentally summons some otherworldly entity that now possesses the body of the target.
12: The ritual fails but summons forth 2d6 angry ghosts which immediately attack any present.
13: The target’s body explodes in a shower of flesh eating maggots. Save versus Breath Weapon or take 1d6 damage each round until the character makes a successful Save versus Disease.
14: The spell mostly fails. The target’s soul reanimates the body but as a form of free-willed, intelligent undead.
15: The caster loses a number of levels equal to the Level/Hit Die of the target. If this drains the caster to 0-Level then the caster is killed.
16: The spell weakens the veil between the mortal world and the Underworld. The area will be haunted by ghosts and become prime habitat for undead creatures.
17: The spell loosens the connection between body and soul. Each being within a 30 foot radius must Save versus Magic. Those who fail their Saving Throws have their souls switched to another random body. If only one character fails the saving throw then his soul is ripped from this body.
18: An Angel of Divine Retribution descends on the area killing every sentient being in a radius of the target’s Level/Hit Die x miles. Save versus Death or die.
19: Every dead creature in an area in radius equal to the target’s Level/Hit Die x 100 miles is re-animated as zombie.
20: An area in radius equal to the target’s Level/Hit Die x 100 miles is drained of life. All creatures 4 HD or less are instantly killed. Those with more than 4 HD are allowed a Saving throw versus Death or die. This effect lasts in the area for one year. For one 100 years, no plant life will grow in this area and animals will avoid it.
Brendan Strejcek made a real cool post a couple of weeks ago about simple corruption for magic-users and I made a comment back then on G+ and well the idea has bounced around in my head and stayed there. So I figured I’d share it here as part of my “Familiars Shouldn’t Suck” rants. I’ve embellished on this idea a bit and twisted it with a Lamentations of the Flame Princess vibe.
Every magic-user has a familiar spirit. This spirit possesses the magic-user. It cannot control him but does drive the wizard to learn more and more spells and perform all sorts of magical experimentation.It is the source of arcane power. It feeds off the magical power summoned by the spell caster and grows in power as the magic-user gains power.
When the magic-user dies, the familiar consumes his soul and erupts from the corpse or even sometimes just reanimates it as demon/eldritch horror of HD equal to the level of the magic-user. Just turn to the Summon Spell and start rolling to see what kind of horror has been added to the world.
And there you go simple and strange. And yes, I know I should have posted this sooner but real life has been really busy of late. Enjoy.
OK, OK. I get it. I’m really behind on ranting about stuff. But heck. Life’s been really busy. This little rant is about Green Devil Face No. 5 and for just $1.25 it’s a pretty damned cool little PDF.
The description on Drivethrurpg gives a you good idea about what’s crammed into those 12 (13 if you count the cover) pages. There’s one nasty little trap but the bulk of the book is charts. Handy charts.
Now, I’ll admit that that I probably won’t use the Natural 1/Natural 20 (Fumble/Crit) charts. Got too many of those damned things anyway. But this guys humble opinion the real gems here are “What’s up with that cult?” and the new experience and advancement charts. The “What’s up with that cult?” chart earned a place in my weird DM notebook. It’s a quick and easy way to put roll up a crazy cult.
The random advancement and experience table is one of those things that so simple but still awesome. Let me lump these together into one thought. First, all characters start off at the same base line. There’s a simple d6 roll after an adventure. Success gain a level. Fail and try again next time. When a character levels up, there isn’t the cookie cutter addition of XYZ abilities. Instead roll on a class specific chart and hope for the best. Once again really simple but will add a butt load of variation to characters of the same class.
Like I said it’s only $1.25. It’s worth it.