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Spells That Are Fucking Metal: Arboreal Gallows


Arboreal Gallows is a song by The Botanist, a weird motherfucker who makes lo-fi black metal with a dulcimer about how plants are going to take over the world and kill us all. It's pretty good. Some of the best- no- THE BEST lo-fi dulcimer metal I've ever heard. Credit where it's due.

Arboreal Gallows

No./Area of Effect: 1d4 Strangler Roots/round, 100’ radius
Duration: Until no living creatures are detected within the targeted area.

For ages only plants, fungus, and bacteria grew upon the earth. Cycles and cycles of decay, growth, death, and decay, taking place in languid times before animals came, graceless and savage. The plants remember. Long ago, as roots intertwined, they grew together and gained common interest: to consume these intruders and return them to the earth, to fuel their own growth and restore their primacy.

Arboreal Gallows is an invitation for the vines to rise above the surface and take what is theirs. Roots and thorns emerge from the soil, grasping at the living or the freshly deceased and draining them of their humors before they are pulled below. In order to cast Arboreal Gallows, blood must be spilled. There must also be a sacrifice, a show of goodwill: the caster must shed at least one hit point of their own blood onto the ground, and welcome the plants into their own body, or be consumed as well. After the sacrifice, a small, thorned slug-like creature will burrow into the open wound. This passenger will grow and spread inside the caster’s body, changing it gradually until it is as much plant as human, and then more, until blood is gone and only chlorophyll remains.

Beginning the round after the sacrifice, roots will begin to rise and attack. Each round, 1d4 roots will emerge and attack the living or pull the deceased or unconscious below to decompose. The roots will continue to emerge until there are no remaining living animal creatures in the area. They will target wounded first, and those who move the most second. Unwounded and unmoving creatures are undetectable by the roots, who sense moisture and vibration. The caster will not be attacked by the roots unless they attack first.

Strangler Roots
Armor 12, Move 15′, CL/2 Hit Dice, thorn whip 1d4 damage, Morale 12.
Each root beyond the first to attack the same target raises the attack die for each by one die (2 roots roll 1d6 each, 3 roll 1d8 each, etc). On a roll of 6 or higher, the target is grappled and cannot move until it breaks the grapple by succeeding at a roll-under Strength check with a penalty equal to CL/2.

The parasite inside the caster will sap 1d4 hp for the first week, 1d6 the next, up until it is sapping 1d20 hp. If the caster has not died by this point, they will be consumed and transformed into a plant-based anthropomorphic creature composed of roots, earth, and fungus which must feed on decomposing corpses. They are visibly inhuman, but and convince others they are normal humans via exuding hallucinogenic spores with a successful (7+) social roll. The parasite’s growth can only be stopped by surgical removal and flushing of the caster’s blood via leeching.

Miscast Table

1
Spell fails. The ground releases mushroom spores which cause hallucinations to those in the affected area for 2d6 hours. A successful save vs. poison halves the time.
2
Spell fails. All blood shed by those within the area sprouts into flowers. This makes healing and treating wounds nearly impossible until the effect ends… if it ever does.
3
Spell fails and the caster’s metabolism changes to that of a decomposer. They are only satisfied by consuming rotten foods, waste, and insects.
4
Spell fails. Branches and vines overtake the area, imprisoning all within in a tangled mess of wood that takes hours to clear.
5
Spell fails. A tree somewhere in the forest gains sentience and movement, and has knowledge of the caster. Their feelings toward the caster are up to the Ref.
6
Spell fails. All carnivorous animals in the area become herbivorous and vice versa. They likely do not know or understand this, and a blight of sick animals will arise until they begin to die or figure out their new condition.
7+
As standard Miscast Table result.

Monster/Class: Reef Elves (statted for DCC)

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Reef ElvesNothing particularly sea-themed about this band except the name, but they're fucking killer live. The Curse That Is by Graves At Sea

I wrote these as part of the 2017 Secret Santicore for a dude who wanted some previously undiscovered aquatic elves for Dungeon Crawl Classics. I was going to stat them for LotFP too, but the systems are on such different power scales when it comes to PCs that it just didn't make sense. But anyway, here are some cool aquatic flesh-eater elves for DCC and I dare you to use them anyway.

Reef Elves live below. Some, it is said, have never seen the sunlight, so deep are they beneath the waves.They take many forms, when it suits their purpose: as fish, as half-fish merfolk, or when they take to land, as bipeds nearly indistinguishable from common elves but for the coral growths down their spine, which they are careful to keep hidden.

Deep, hidden in dark crevices and the lava floes of mountains long consumed by the sea, they reside in their re…

D30 Solstice Rituals

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Praise the D30, grandest of the dice and for which I have the time to write tables.
 Here's a bunch of weird winter-flavored customs, celebrations and rituals for pagans or cultures with pagan roots that haven't quite died. It's written so that 1-10 aren't so far-fetched, 11-20 are a bit weirder, and 21-30 are real strange, so you can roll the appropriate die to skew the chances, or just roll a d10 and choose your level of oddity. Let me know if you guys like this, or rip me off by making some of your own like it and make me feel special.
D30 Solstice Rituals

1 A massive conflagration of whole trees in the town square to drive away blizzards 2 Flaming arrows are launched into fields of dead crops each morning as the sun rises 3 Fires may be fed only with the fat and dung of animals 4 A fire is lit each night on a frozen lake   5 A decorative braided rope made from human hair, animal hyde and natural fibers is hung from every entryway. The wealthy incorporate wire made from pre…

Non-Magical Healing & The Medicine Skill (and, of course, Torture)

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Fuck Clerics. Magical healing is bullshit and removes a huge part of the resource management aspect of dungeon crawling. Plus, it practically requires one of the players to choose to be one to maintain the game balance. And why keep such a specific, limited class with its origins in a vampire hunter class? Get rid of that shit and figure something else out that has a little bit more variety than crusaders or Van Helsing. Yeah, I've got something in mind, but that's coming in another post. For now, here's how we deal with non-magical healing. 
Recovering HP
1+Con modifier hp per day with bed rest.
1+Con modifier hp per day without bed rest with a successful Con check.
Dwarfs recover 1+Con modifier per day without bed rest with no check necessary. They recover 1d4+Con modifier per day with bed rest. They consider taking time off for healing lazy and will not do so unless severely wounded.

Negative Con modifiers will cancel out healing or cause loss of hp instead as the wound …

Spells That Are Fucking Metal: The Violent Sleep Of Reason

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I always liked to play barbarian characters. Rage is cool. It's pretty badass to be able to just turn off everything except your urge to kill. Shouldn't Magic-Users get a chance? Tapping into the primal forces of the universe should allow them to really fuck stuff up... but of course there are risks to abandoning their rationality.
Not Meshuggah's best album, but it has some awesome moments. Check out MonstroCity.
The Violent Sleep of ReasonNo./Area Affected: self Duration: 10 rounds

As powerful as the reason and structure of man has allowed them to become, atavism is yet more powerful. The wild abandon of nature -and even moreso the destructive strength of the cosmic voids and winds- dwarf what is possible with the pathetic works of humankind.

The Violent Sleep of Reason causes the caster to surrender all control over their actions in exchange for the might of chaos. The caster will enter a fugue of rage and destruction for 10 rounds. At the beginning of the fugue, the caster …

Film Review: The Goat Witch (w/ bonus Ritual table!)

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The Goat Witch
Warning: NSFW
The Goat Witch is a short film by Black Rider Productions, made in 2014. It depicts a ritual in some detail, which is the entirety of the film. Awesome, right? So many horror/occult projects feel the need to tell a ghost/haunting/going insane story that unfolds over time- which has been done before. Keeping a tightly focused, concise plot is rare. And being able to give it a narrative at the same time, that’s cool. Of course, a film like this needs to have some good effects, and The Goat Witch's are impressive.
It’s definitely worth a look, and hopefully it’ll prove inspiring for you, too. I know that I’m definitely looking forward to seeing some of their other stuff. Check out their website and their other films at http://www.blackrider-productions.com/

. Something Gameable: 1D20 Ritual Requirements Maybe you want to throw a wrench into the players' plans, or they got cursed. Maybe they want to enhance one of their spells even more. Maybe you need a …