06/10/2020

Martian tribal treasure tables

League of the Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 2, Issue One

Here is the blog Red Berries for the Red Planet, which I feel is much more unknown than it has any right to and many more people should keep an eye on. All posts combine succinct setting evocation and down-to-table playable mechanics with the setting's own twist. Additionally, most posts are edited a second time, expanded and published as pay-what-you-want printable zines, giving them a really solid, rounded-out feel.


Anyway, I fed some of his tables to the paid version of Talk to Transformer (using successive 20,000-character free trials) and selected and (minimally) edited the results while on public transportation or half-watching TV (notably, all proper nouns except the witch's ring, the bardiche and the last spell were given by the transformer). Here they are:


I Loot the Body, But Find No Coin

Alternatively, What is this nomad's treasured keepsake?, or What can I barter with this nomad for?

  1. Soiled kimono with a locket bearing an ivory engraving of a woman
  2. Ornamental fan calligraphed with the words "May money always find you" 
  3. Leopard hide as cloak
  4. Purse of silver coins from a Free Barrow, bearing the profile of a skeleton head in a half-helm.
  5. 1d4 gold coins bearing a depiction of a grinning brain
  6. Grotesquely erect clay penis: wand of Sublimation of the Incubus Wine.
  7. Gilded skinning knife
  8. Solid brass kitchen cleaver with carving talon
  9. Two longswords from Agramat, in rather poor condition
  10. Old Witch's Ring: engraved minutely with indecipherable script, but seemingly useless. Allows the wearer to comprehend and pronounce the modulation of silences that is witch-speech, whose tongues have withered away.
  11. Grooved wax cylinder. When played in a cylinder phonograph, the spoken dream diary of a servant reveals in a calm voice the existence, beneath the family mausoleum of a provincial scholar-officer, of another, secret crypt, as well as the means to unlock it.
  12. Pole of bright copper, on which an impish creature is engraved on one end and an pious, honest man on the other.
  13. Elderberry bonsai

The tribal leader carries...

Equipment, treasure, keepsake or source of authority (real or ritual):

  1. Dowsing rods and full waterskin, a rare find in the Great Vacuum
  2. Dreadstone Staff: A simple six-foot +1 staff of obsidian. 
  3. Halfling athame with sapphire pommel 
  4. Fine ebony whip, made out of a black snake and lined with barbed steel wire
  5. Hide armour of flayed giant skin
  6. Gilded morion with face plate, bearing the small tusks of a demon
  7. 2d4 Masterwork firecrackers, capable of making anything combustible (as flask of burning oil; fires created as Faerie Fire)
  8. Canoptic urn filled with ravenous blackflies. Once per week use of Insect Swarm if attuned to the user (ritual requiring a charisma save and offering of 1d6 hit points of own flesh) or after successful psychic domination. Single use otherwise, after which they disperse.
  9. Elven silver priest charm engraved with the neume of the Threnody of Thoth: while it can be learned by priests, with this charm the hymn can be sung even by non-priests. When worn, acts as a passive Comprehend Languages spell, limited to the written word in the languages of man. Will contribute to the wearer's good karma if he or she gives it to a dying person (automatically pass next Death save, one use only). 
  10. Royal ring: +3 charisma while the wearer (and the player) speaks like Elven nobility. However, not everyone might understand the nuances of such speech, nor might take to it kindly. 
  11. Jeweler's set, including scale, eyepiece, and case of knives, stolen from the Red Wizards of Thay
  12. Notes on various magical wells that none have ever been able to find
  13. Operation manuals for assorted steam construction machinery and a fat roll of reports, blueprints and diagrams on what to do with what once was Agramat City

The tribe's idol/sacred treasure is...

  1. Two jaguar dogs, petrified 
  2. A fruitful sapling. When grown into a tree, produces every fruit imaginable, from blueberries to durians. 
  3. Ten rusted barrels of ­permafrozen pelmeni, one scratched with claims that they taste best when fried twice in sunflower seed oil.
  4. The Bardiche of Binding: under the gleam of its indigo alloy blade engraved in silver Kufic script rallied all the Great Vacuum tribes long ago. Actually resembles more closely a fauchard. 
  5. Scale mail shirt from the Lagashian wars. Hidden on the inside are floorboard plans for the Chaos airship Rubeus, annotated with "Obliviate the dragon?"
  6. Mummified simulacrum of the dead lover of an Imperial prince
  7. Enchanted Backgammon set that can be played by oneself. Apparently, the unseen player’s skill level swings wildly. Its true purpose is as a divinatory tool, given one knows how to play/speak the board’s code and read the auspices.
  8. Bronze idol of a star-faced mole: beckons forth 1d6 star-faced moles (as goblin) from their burrows. 
  9. Man-sized polypoid mummies in elaborate coffins, gilded in gold.
  10. Ancient star chart in lapis papyrus.
  11. A feather of the Nightingale. Radiates light as bright as a torch, with all the properties of natural sunlight. Give it back at the sound of her dodecafonic birdsong, lest it turn into ripping metallic shrill.
  12. Unbound manuscript folios written in silver on jade-green parchment. Mages can learn from it the summoning incantation Sparafucile's Skillful Stabbing.
  13. A pair of iridescent dragon scale mail hunting hound jackets

 

Sublimation of the Incubus Wine: Turns any untainted liquid into Incubus Wine. The drinker adds 10’ to their Movement score and can travel a single further hex per day thanks to enhanced endurance, at the cost of irritating priapism (-1 to reaction rolls). Lasts for d4 days. No adverse effects on women or eunuchs. 

non-mages: -1d4 Wisdom OR 1-in-6 chance for each use that an hostile Incubus is summoned. 


Threnody of Thoth
: As GLOG spell Raise Spirit.

non-priests: -1d4 Wisdom or Charisma each cast OR become absolutely mute as your tongue rots away and falls. Cast only with a single, automatically expended MD.
 

Sparafucile's Skillful Stabbing: (As Invisible Stalker but): the target must be reasonably argued to be a grave threat to Imperial order, whatever remains of it now. The soul of God-Queen Aelita's silent assassin was trapped in the Astral Realm through an arcane ritual, so that he could forever serve Her.
 
non-mages: -1d6 maximum HP OR pass a save under the presence of those threatening the Imperial order or fly into a murderous rage.
 
 

Hobo Nickel, Gediminas Palsis

Old Witch's Ring
 
Suzhou Star Chart

Full two-page spread


14/05/2019

Harry Clarke Bestiary - The Monstruous Vermin

The Monstruous Vermin


Armour Class: as plate
Hit Dice: 3
Move: as dwarf
Attacks: oversized rapier (1d8), crush (1d12), dung ball (special)
No. Appearing: 1
Save as: dwarf 3
Morale: 4
Treasure: assorted keepsakes
Alignment: Neutral


Why did it find itself transformed into a monstruous vermin?
  1. Punishment for unnameable sins.
  2. Debauched and debased itself to what it is now.
  3. Slowly changed into what it was treated as.
  4. Troubled dreams spilled over into the waking world.
  5. The cold, uncaring and meaningless hands of fate.
  6. An unknowable mystery, forever lost.

In this sorry state, it is nevertheless forced to provide for its former family. To this end, it has taken up adventuring. However, it never was particularly resolute, and will hopelessly carouse everything away.

It is as much a captive of its helpless kin as of its own ravenous hunger, aggravated by a distaste for all fresh food. It can only bring itself to eat moldy bread, rotten vegetables, carrion, and other tainted food.

It finds vile pleasure in scurrying on the floor silently and hanging from the ceiling, faintly swinging while waiting to fall on its armoured back over prey (1d12 damage).

The Monstruous Vermin always rolls in front of it a ball of pressed dung, soil and assorted trash as big as it is, which it uses to spring traps, clear shallow pits, as sustenance source, and to safekeep mementos. Additionally, when on top of a slope or cliff, it will throw the ball down to crush any unfortunates below (damage as if the victim fell from that height, halved on a successful save). 
It will diligently roll the ball up any slope. Are we, then, to imagine him happy?

What can be found inside the dung ball?
  1. 1d6 gold buttons (1 gp each).
  2. A collection of textile samples.
  3. An bone-rattlingly loud alarm clock.
  4. An officer's sword.
  5. A letter to a father.
  6. A suitcase of textile samples.


  7. Released for the Harry Clarke Bestiary under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.