Thursday, January 30, 2014

Through the Looking Glass

Or when did I become a trend setter?

I wasn't mod in the 60's, cool in the 70's or hip in the 80's, since then my boys have kept me  informed on just how behind the times I am. The latest WoTC article on XP for goblins is causing quite a stir out there, it's been covered at by +Eric Tenkar the Tavern and earlier at  Points of Light - and it's a topic I covered a year ago in XP Evolution - The Orc.

Look, compared to 0e and 1e, characters from the newer editions are 'girly men'.  I mean going from needing to kill 100 Orcs to make 2nd Level to only needing to kill 7, how else can you describe it? 

It's the difference between the crime of the century and holding up a candy store.

It's Conan covered in gore, standing on top a pile of his enemies bodies, while listening to the lamentation of their women compared to Mickey and the Beanstalk.



How would you make the comparison?

If Lady Dwarves Look Like This

No wonder the male dwarves keep them hidden.  Go see what RPG Booster found on FaceBook.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Busy, Busy - but not too busy to post a tip

Or what's in a Name

Not that I'm on a posting schedule or anything, I've been drafting posts for +Stellios V. Perdios February Blog Hop and writing a brand new adventure for my group for Saturday.  (I'm incredibly excited about how this one has come together and I intend to post it after we play test it.) 

Anyway, here's my tip for when you're stuck thinking of a name for an NPC. 

Turn to Google Translate, or the translation engine of your choice, pick a language and type in word that comes to mind.  If the language doesn't use Latin characters Google Translate will say it back to you and then you can write it down phonetically.  You get a name that sounds like a real word and unless they speak the language, your players will never know. 

For example, I needed a name for a Djinn. I selected Arabic as the language and typed in 'Random'.  What came out sounded like 'Ama Shwaria', it looks Arabic, it sounds Arabic, abracadabra, my Djinn has a [random] name.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

One D*mn Post

Just reading one post made me junk everything I'd been working on for Saturday night's gaming and start over.  Why, because I'd forgotten to write in anything of wonder and what I had written doesn't lend itself to modification.  In short, I had remembered the mechanics and forgotten the game.

The post in question was an older one written by -C; one of the 'You might like' suggestions when I was reading Hack & Slash's current entry.  The post is The Epic Failure of Perception and Stealth, A Skill Deconstruction Post,reading it I realized that everything I had written was based on what the players rolled, not what the characters did.  That's just wrong, I'll let them roll perception checks, but they won't find the secret door, they'll find something for the characters to twiddle and once they do they'' find the secret door - or the pit trap.

While one post made it blindingly obvious what I was doing wrong, posts at The Rusty Battle Axe and at The Nine and Thirty Kingdoms about Magical Geography and having wonders in your campaign laid the ground work.  When the players talk about the magic in your dungeon, it should be about the experience, ala Disney, rather than the +1 Sword of <current foe> Slaying the characters found.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

40 Years of D&D

And I've been playing for most of them.  I started gaming in 1977 and first played D&D when I got to college two years later.  I still have my AD&D books and have been rediscovering them through my soloplay campaign.  I'm struck by how much we ended up ignoring, encounter distance, encumbrance etc.  To be fair we did use the grappling rules which didn't get fixed until Pathfinder - or 3.75e as my group calls it. I'm also struck by the disorganized strucure of the Players Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide. It's not easy finding the rules in there, take Encounters, the rules start onpage 47 with encounter frequency and distance, then hare off on Movement and Getting Lost, make stops at Infravision & Ultravision, Invisibilty, Mirrors and Listening at Doors before you get to Surprise onpage 61, then Initative, finally getting Encounter Reactions on page 63. Who cares about their reaction, I'm combat at this point.

Does the O in OSR stand for Obfuscatory?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Soloplaly Game Report - Teuta Act II, Scene II


The next day , they awoke to to find their host Eucheron pensive and worried.  He informed them that his son Petoai had been hunting in the mountains to the east with some companions and they were over due in returning.  He offered them two weeks rations to search for the hunters. 1 The party quickly agreed, as they wanted to search the mountains in any case.

Eucheron pointed them down the trail the hunters had taken, it skirted the mountains for several miles before turning left and plunging into them.  As they walked along they heard a sudden crashing and cry of a deer in pain.  Rushing forward, a troglodyte had just brought down a small doe.  Sumakos cast entangle on the creature to slow it as the others rushed in to attack.  They faltered as the creatures stench thickened and swirled about them.  It clawed  Lucius, the pain and the unfamiliar weapon making him miss his return strike as the troglodyte pulled him into it's embrace biting at him until he fell.

Throwing Lucius at the Teuta and Sumakos, making them dodge away, it lunged at Maedus but the tall grass entangling stopped it short.  Maedus' return stroke went awry.

It swiped again at Maedus, the claws whistleing past his face, but Sumakos thrust his spear into it's side and Maedus gave it a mighty buffet that stretched it on the forest floor.  Maedus and Teuta attended to Lucius, while Sumakos butchered the deer.  Lucius's wounds were too serious for him to continue, so they returned to hamlet to let him rest and have Eucheron smoke the deer meat for them.

The second day, Teuta, Maedus and Sumakos set out again, searching the mountains for  two days without finding any sign of the hunters.  They decided to head back to pick up Lucius at that point.  On the way home, during Sumakos' watch,  he saw a bear coming into camp, attracted no doubt by their careless leaving of food and garbage within the campsite. Yelling at it roused the others, but did not scare away the animal.  Sumakos cast Entangle, but the bear's great strength didn't notice.

Sumakos closed with the bear to give the others a chance to snatch up their arms; his thrust missed as the bear's claws pulled him into where it could bite his shoulder.  Sumakos fell as Maedus and Teuta ran up with flaming brands to drive the beast away.

They rigged a stretcher out their cloaks and carried Sumakos back to the hamlet of Clausura where Lucius awaited them.2

The sixth day, Lucius, Maedus and Teuta resumed the search, turning into a different mountain valley. They found a campsite where the ashes were still barely warm and made camp there.3 Pushing hard the next day further into the mountains, after noon they heard the sounds of combat and rushed forward to see the last of the hunters fall in battle with four of the foul troglodytes.  Lucius cast Dancing Lights and the troglodytes stood dazed, one swaying from it's wounds.4  Maedus and Teuta shot arrows and slung stones, but none of them hit the trogs, thus wasting the advantage Lucius had provided.  Shaking off their daze, the monsters closed in.  Maedus and Teuta managed to land solid, but not mortal blows.  Lucius's opponent clawed him, knocking him to the ground.  Maedus absorbed a similar attack, unfazed.  Teuta endured a savage clawing and biting but remained defiant.  The damage slowed her and the creature easily evaded her next attack, while Maedus killed his opponent.  The troglodyte that had dropped Lucius turned and clawed at Maedus.  Teuta's opponent tore into her again, dropping her to the ground.  Finally, Maedus was overwhelmed, leaving the remaining troglodytes to enjoy their grisly feast.


[TPK,is just desserts for a small party without healing on a hexcrawl]


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Origin of Species - Satyrs

Detail from Red Figure Psykter (Wine Cooler).  British Museum 
Mythology with it's stories of monsters encountered and overcome is one of the deepest roots of the hobby.  Many of us probably had an idea of these creatures before we cracked our first Monster Manual.  Culturally, the stories and their characters from Greek and Roman mythology are the common heritage of Europe and America and their images abound, albeit distorted from the original through the lens of time and demands of narrative in our media.

Consider the satyr, you may have first encountered him as Mr Tumnus in Narnia or as depicted in Legend. The 1e Monster Manual depicts them as "interested primarily only in sport - frolicking, piping, chasing wood nymphs, etc."  A gentle woodland creature, apt perhaps to play a trick on the players, but not generally considered an enemy.

Now look at the description of satyrs given 1900 years ago.

Pausanias - Description. Of Greece . There is also a smallish stone, just large enough to serve as a seat to a little man. On it legend says Silenus rested when Dionysus came to the land. The oldest of the Satyrs they call Sileni. Wishing to know better than most people who the Satyrs are I have inquired from many about this very point. Euphemus the Carian said that on a voyage to Italy he was driven out of his course by winds and was carried into the outer sea, beyond the course of seamen. He affirmed that there were many uninhabited islands, while in others lived wild men. The sailors did not wish to put in at the latter, because, having put in before, they had some experience of the inhabitants, but on this occasion they had no choice in the matter. The islands were called Satyrides by the sailors, and the inhabitants were red haired, and had upon their flanks tails not much smaller than those of horses. As soon as they caught sight of their visitors, they ran down to the ship with out uttering a cry and assaulted the women in the ship. At last the sailors in fear cast a foreign woman on to the island. Her the Satyrs outraged not only in the usual way, but also in a most shocking manner.

A much more wrathful creature than the gentle piper of the forest.  Researching the original myths is a good way to find alternatives to the usual depictions of monsters that will surprise your players with an unexpected challenge, keeping the game fresh for everyone at the table.


Yes that IS what the satyr is balancing the cup on, history is rarely G-rated.  For a very different take on Mr Tumnus and Narnia in general  try this entry from S#!t Roleplayers Say.

[Ed. Did you know Blogger's spellcheck doesn't check the Title? Corrected.]

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Religion in Play

1e Clerics




   Over at Role Play Craft there is a discussion of religion, ideology and philosophy in role playing games.  I don't disagree with the results of the discussion (a home rule system of religions and philosophy), BUT I strongly object to many of the premises and assumptions made during the discussion.  They all support the result, however they are stated in such a way that they leave the reader with a false impression that this is in some sense the only 'true' result.


  In the interest of full disclosure, I'll state that I've never made up a religion for an RPG.  I've toyed with the idea, but it's made me too uncomfortable to follow up on.  Perhaps it's my upbringing, perhaps it's the line from Niven & Pournelle's Inferno about "games played with the concept of religion." Perhaps it's a lack of imagination.  No matter what my personal hang ups, I have no problems with other people doing it.  My path has always been to use source material.

  First I want to dispense with the notion that "the relationship between fantasy role playing and religion has been tenuous in the past."  In Volume 1 Men & Magic, the original write up of the cleric states "they have the use of magic armor and all non-edged weapons (no arrows!). " A clear reference to the Christian tradition of fighting priests.  It's explicit in the 1e Players Manual, that "This class of character bears a certain resemblance to religious orders of knighthood in medieval times."  The illustration (also taken from the 1e Players Handbook) shows recognizable clerics from cultures across history.  And the Deities and Demigods books have always provided stats for the various historical pantheons.    In other words, in D&D the cleric class and religion have always been firmly tied to historical traditions.

(I admit stats have never been provided for Jehovah in any flavor.  But really, omniscient, omnipresent and omnipowerful; there can only be one  and it's the DM in my campaigns.)

   Now the summary of  the planar nature of D&D's default cosmology is quite accurate and concise enough to deserve some applause, but I'd also point out that the 3e version of Deities & Demigods gives examples of mono- and duo- theistic religious systems and the 3e Manual of the Planes provides alternate cosmologies.

  My last carp with the article is the conflation of the dark ages with religious fanaticism. <Sigh> I will allow that they don't teach history in school anymore, but it's all out of copyright and you can find books on Gutenberg.  The so called Dark Ages, which roughly correspond to the time between the abdication of Romulus Augustalus (476 AD), the last Western Roman Emperor and the crowning of Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor (800AD) was the time of the movement of the peoples.  Romulus Augustalus being himself the son of a barbarian mercenary.  This was the time of the great migrations, religion was certainly a force, albeit a conservative one.  Mainly it was a time of searching for philosophical answers which manifested itself in the rise of Christianity; Catholic, Orthodox, Arian, Gnostic and many other sects lost to all but the dustiest scholars;  as well as the rise of Mohammedanism.  Even the Norse religion enjoyed a brief renaissance with the introduction or elevation of Baldur.

  Now the main reason for the preceding paragraph is the suggestion in the post that it's somehow 'grittier' (what does that word mean in a pen and pencil game?) to have religion look like how it does in the real world.  I am NOT saying it's somehow a bad thing to have competing religions as the post suggests, in fact I favor it, but the post never examines the reason for competing religions.  And that reason is culture.  Catholic Christianity grew out of Latin Rome, Orthodox from Greek Byzantium, Arianism was the choice of the Germanic migrants, Gnosticism grew from schools in Alexandria. Mohammedanism from Arabia.

  It's not enough to come up with a list of religions, you need to provide the cultural background too.  I believe that layering competing cultures will provide a campaign with more depth and texture than just a list of competing deities and philosophies.

While I disagreed with aspects of the post, I certainly enjoyed reading it and it definitely made me think.  I encourage you to go and read it for yourselves and I'm adding Role Play Craft to my Blog Roll.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Blending & Layering Cultures, Painting a Fantasy Setting

There is a very good post on Light Age vs Dark Age civilizations over at Hack & Slash.  He calls out the distinctions between civilizations ascending and descending the heights of power (Light Age) and those wallowing in the troughs between the heights.

   I've been having some thoughts about using Medieval Italy as a template for a fantasy setting and at this point I'm fascinated by the number of cultures that were intertwined.   The original cultural distinctions between Latin, Samnite, Etruscan, Umbrian, Greek and Gaul had been blended into the Imperial Roman culture (Light Age).  The Lombards, mercenaries in Rome's pay, destroyed the western empire and set up their duchies. Which controlled the countryside, but not the cities. The cities set up their own forms over government based on the old Roman forms, the Bishop's were often very influential in the cities.  The Goths came in to overthrow the Lombards, the Byzantines invaded under Belisaurius and Narses to restore the Empire, the Saracens took Sicily.  That's six layers and we're still not up to Charlemagne.  Add in the French, Germans, Normans and Spanish and you'll begin to see why the Renaissance was so rich in Italy as they had so many cultures to draw upon as they reascended the heights - as well as why a man could betray himself by the way he ate his peas.

  My conclusion is that building a good setting is like painting, you need to blend and layer colors and cultures in order to develop a rich, realistic work of art.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

D&D 40th Anniversary Blog Hop Challenge

The original WABAC Machine
I've entered, have you?  I'm looking forward to firing up the Wayback Machine and dredging up memories of my misspent youth

http://d20darkages.blogspot.com/p/d-40th-anniversary-blog-hop-challenge.html

Friday, January 17, 2014

Insanity Cures

Driving in to work with the full moon  in the west and the first pangs of cabin fever caused by yet another long Midwestern winter reminded me that I need to finish off my series on Insanity and Insane Lists by writing up the ways in which characters can be cured of their afflictions.

There are three ways characters can try to over come an insanity, each affliction needs to be treated separately.  The ways are therapy, alchemy and magic.  Keep in mind that the cure is often worse than the disease.

Therapy in a fantasy setting is only available in the form of 'aversion therapy'.  Negative stimulus is applied to the character by the thug therapist whenever the character engages in the objectionable behavior.  In other words the character hires someone to beat them with a stick whenever the insanity kicks in.  All damage inflicted is subdual damage.  Each 'treatment' has a 1% chance of curing the character of the affliction for each point of damage inflicted.  The chance of a cure is halved for Serious Disabilities and therapy is ineffective in treating Disabling Disorders.  The character must heal completely between sessions.

Alchemy offers the hope of temporarily alleviating the symptoms through pills, powders and potions.  First one must find an alchemist who isn't working on the whole lead to gold issue. To find the effect of the potion, the character rolls a Constitution check and consults the table below.  Note that alchemists are always tinkering with their formulas, so each batch they make will have separate effects. There are 2d4 doses in each batch.


SeverityPoisonDose lasts forCost
Eccentricity1: No effect and character becomes addicted.
2: Works, but the character becomes addicted.
3: No effect, character is Sickened for 1d6 hours
4: No effect, character is Sickened for 1d6 * 10 minutes
5-12: No effect
13: Works, duration is halved
14: Works, character is Sickened for 2d6 minutes
15+ Works
20+ Works, duration is doubled

Natural 20: Permanent Cure
1 week 10 GP
Minor Disorder  1: No effect and character becomes addicted.
2: Works, but the character becomes addicted.
3: No effect, character is Sickened for 2d6 hours
4: No effect, character is Sickened for 3d6 * 10 minutes
5-14: No effect
15: Works, duration is halved
16: Works, character is Sickened for 2d6 minutes
17+ Works
22+ Works, duration is doubled

Natural 20: Roll again 10+ Permanent Cure
1 day 100 GP
Serious Disorder 1: No effect and character becomes addicted.
2: Works, but the character becomes addicted.
3: No effect, character is Comatose for 1d6 hours
4: No effect, character is Sickened for 2d6 hours
5-16: No effect
17: Works, duration is halved
18: Works, character is Sickened for 2d6 minutes
19+ Works
24+ Works, duration is doubled

Natural 20: Roll again 15+ Permanent Cure
1 hour 250 GP
Disabling Disorder  1: No effect and character becomes addicted.
2: Works, but the character becomes addicted.
3: No effect, character is Comatose for 1d6 days
4: No effect, character is Sickened for 3d6 hours
5-17: No effect
18: Works, duration is halved
19: Works, character is Sickened for 2d6 minutes
20+ Works

Natural 20: Roll again Natural 20: Permanent Cure
1d6 * 10 minutes 1000 GP

Magic seems to offer the most reliable or the least painful way of curing insanity, but there are severe limitations.  Few arcane spells deal with curing, at the DM's option reversed arcane spells, such as Feeble Mind and Confusion will alleviate specific types of insanity for the duration of the spell.

Divine spells will take care of Insanity, Restoration will cure one affliction for each casting.  But insane characters marked as having been 'touched by the gods'; and deities are wary of crossing each other's will.  Most deities will not allow their servants to remove Insanity immediately .   The case of exemplary worshippers is an obvious exception.  Of course when a high level cleric or paladin becomes insane, it's a good indication that they have gathered a supernatural enemy.

The safest way to have the affliction removed is to perform a divination to determine which deity inflicted the insanity, then go to that temple of that deity to have the affliction lifted.  This will almost certainly involve the character performing a quest.

Wishes can cure insanity, but because of the divine nature of the affliction the wording should be creatively interpreted by the DM.  For example, wishing to remove Serious Acrophobia could leave the character so fond of heights that they insist on walking on stilts.

Insane Lists


As promised earlier, here are the lists of Insanities and how they effect the characters.  They've been culled from such authoritative texts as Chivalry & Sorcery, Warhammer FRP and Call of Cthulhu.

All penalties are cumulative.





Eccentricities  

Minor afflictions that add color
Die Roll (d100) Name Description
01 – 08 Absent Minded The character misplaces one random item per day. They must take 20 in order to find it.
09 – 16 Allergy The character sneezes in the presence of or develops a rash from touching a common substance or animal
17 – 24 Biting Fingernails The character bites their fingernails constantly
24 – 32 Headaches The character suffers from blinding headaches. These headaches are brought on whenever the character needs to make a Will test. Whether or not they succeed or fail the original test, they must make another test at the same DC-2 or develop a headache for 1 hour. During the course of the headache, they are at -4 on all saves, attacks, skill checks and initiative. The good news is that they're so mad they get +2 to hand weapon damage rolls
33 -40 Narcissism The character is so in love with their own image that every time they pass a reflecting surface, they must make a Will save DC16 or spend 1d4+2 rounds primping
41 – 52 Nervous Rash The character develops a rash.
Roll d6:
1-2 on the face or hand lowering Charisma by 2.
3-5 Chest or back, not effect as long as they wear clothing.
 6  Groin – and it itches all the time
63 – 60 Nightmares The character suffers from nightmares. This has no effect on the character, but any spell casters trying to sleep in the same or adjacent rooms must make a Will save DC14 or be unable to recover spells
61 – 68 Shaking The character develops tremoring in the hands. Ranged attacks are at -2 and there is a 5% chance of spell casting failure. Arcane and Divine
69 – 76 Stammer The character stutters like Eric Idle in A Fish Called Wanda. 10% chance of spell caster failure.Arcane and Divine
77 – 84 Talking in Sleep The character talks in their sleep.This has no effect on the character, but any spell casters trying to sleep in the same or adjacent rooms must make a Will save DC12 or be unable to recover spells
85 – 92 Talking to Self The character talks to themselves constantly. Opponents get a +1 on Perception checks
93 – 00 Tourrette's Syndrome The character cannot say six words without cursing. Charisma -2. (-4 with the opposite sex)


Minor Disorders

Behaviors that provide a minor disadvantage to the character.
Die Roll (d100) Name Description
01 – 05 Introversion The character becomes painfully shy and self centered. Charisma is -2
06 – 10 Mild Acrophobia The character is afraid of heights and makes Will saves at -2 when standing less than their height away from a ledge with a drop at least equal to their height
11 – 15 Mild Addiction The character develops a chemical dependence on a substance; usually alchohol, but tobacco, coffee or any smoked or ingested substance is possible. Whenever the character goes with out the substance for 24 hours, they make Will saves at -2
16 – 20 Mild Agoraphobia The character is afraid of open spaces and makes Will saves at -2 whenever out of doors
21 – 25 Mild Ailurophobia The character is afraid of cats and makes Will saves at -2 in their presence
26 – 30 Mild Animosity The character harbors ill will towards a specific group. Roll d6:
 1- Opposite Sex;
2- Same Sex;
3- Specific Race;
4 – Shorter creatures;
5- Specific religion or other group;
6 – Gingers.
Charisma is at -2 when dealing with the object of the animosity
31 – 35 Mild Aracnopohbia The character is afraid of spiders and makes Will saves at -2 in their presence
36 – 40 Mild Astrophobia The character is afraid of thunder and lightning and makes Will saves at -2 during thunderstorms
41 – 45 Mild Claustrophobia The character is afraid of confined spaces (Any dimesion less than twice their height * the number of cratures in the room) and makes Will saves at -2 whenever in such a space
46 – 50 Mild Cynophobia The character is afraid of dogs and makes Will saves at -2 in their presence
51 – 55 Mild Hemophobia The character is afraid of blood and makes Will saves at -2 iwhen they can see it
56 – 60 Mild Heptephobia The character is afraid of being touched and makes Will saves at -2 when within 3 feet of another creature
61 – 65 Mild Hippophobia The character is afraid of horses and makes Will saves at -2 in their presence
66 – 70 Mild Hydrophobia The character is afraid of water and never bathes. Charisma -4 or -2 if they use perfumes
71 – 75 Mild Hypochondria The character is convinced they are becoming ill and spends their level in glod pieces daily on cures and nostrums
76 – 80 Mild Musophobia The character is afraid of mice and makes Will saves at -2 in their presence
81 – 85 Mild Ophidiophobia The character is afraid of snakes and makes Will saves at -2 in their presence
86 – 90 Mild Scotophobia The character is afraid of the dark and makes Will saves at -2 when without a source of light
91 – 95 Mild Toxicophobia The character is afraid of poison and must make a Will save DC 14 to eat any food not prepared by themselves or tasted by another
96 – 00 Mild Xenophobia The character is afraid of strangers and has a -2 Charisma penalty when dealing with people they have not met


Serious Disorders 

Issues that will change how the character acts

Die Roll (d100) Name Description
01 – 04 Depression In the face of the overwhelming futility that is life, the character must make a Will save DC 15 to make any decision. Charisma -4
05 – 08 Heroic Idiocy The character ignores all fear affects and must make a Will save DC the opponents total hit dice to resist immediately attacking
09 – 12 Kleptomania The character comulsively tries to steal trinkets and small objects and must make a Will save DC 20 to resist the impulse
13 – 15 Megalomania The character is full of their own importance in the world and will stop at nothing to increase their power.
16 – 19 Schizophrenia The character develops a separate personality, with individual Intellligence, Wisdom and Charisma stats. Randomly determine the new personality's alignment and career interests. The personalities switch whenever a Will save is failed. Experience must be split evenly between all personalities
20 – 23 Serious Acrophobia The character is afraid of heights and makes Will saves at -6 when standing less than their height away from a ledge with a drop at least equal to their height
24 – 27 Serious Addiction The character develops a chemical dependence on a substance; usually alchohol, but tobacco, coffee or any smoked or ingested substance is possible. Whenever the character goes with out the substance for 24 hours, they make Will saves at -6
28 – 30 Serious Agoraphobia The character is afraid of open spaces and makes Will saves at -6 whenever out of doors
31 – 34 Serious Ailurophobia The character is afraid of cats and makes Will saves at -6 in their presence In any encounter invloving the creature, the character is initially petrified and will always be Surprised.
35 – 38 Serious Animosity The character harbors ill will towards a specific group. Roll d6:
 1- Opposite Sex;
2- Same Sex;
3- Specific Race;
4 – Shorter creatures;
5- Specific religion or other group;
6 – Gingers.
Charisma is at -6 when dealing with the object of the animosity
39 – 42 Serious Aracnopohbia The character is afraid of spiders and makes Will saves at -6 in their presence In any encounter invloving the creature, the character is initially petrified and will always be Surprised.
43 – 45 Serious Astrophobia The character is afraid of thunder and lightning and makes Will saves at -6 during thunderstorms
46 – 49 Serious Claustrophobia The character is afraid of confined spaces (Any dimesion less than twice their height * the number of cratures in the room) and makes Will saves at -6 whenever in such a space
50 – 53 Serious Cynophobia The character is afraid of dogs and makes Will saves at -6 in their presence In any encounter invloving the creature, the character is initially petrified and will always be Surprised.
54 – 57 Serious Hemophobia The character is afraid of blood and makes Will saves at -6 iwhen they can see it
58 – 60 Serious Heptephobia The character is afraid of being touched and makes Will saves at -6 when within 3 feet of another creature
61 – 64 Serious Hippophobia The character is afraid of horses and makes Will saves at -6 in their presence. In any encounter invloving the creature, the character is initially petrified and will always be Surprised.
65 – 68 Serious Hydrophobia The character is afraid of water and never bathes. Charisma -4 or -2 if they use perfumes. The character makes Will saves at -4 when near a large body of water
69 – 72 Serious Hypochondria The character is convinced they are becoming ill and spends twice their level in glod pieces daily on cures and nostrums
73 -75 Serious Introversion The character becomes painfully shy and self centered. Charisma is -6
76 – 79 Serious Kleptomania The character comulsively tries to steal trinkets and small objects and must make a Will save DC 20 to resist the impulse
80 – 83 Serious Musophobia The character is afraid of mice and makes Will saves at -6 in their presence In any encounter invloving the creature, the character is initially petrified and will always be Surprised.
84 – 87 Serious Ophidiophobia The character is afraid of snakes and makes Will saves at -6 in their presence In any encounter invloving the creature, the character is initially petrified and will always be Surprised.
88 – 91 Serious Scotophobia The character is afraid of the dark and makes Will saves at -6 when without a source of light
92 – 95 Serious Toxicophobia The character is afraid of poison and must make a Will save DC 14 to eat any food not prepared by themselves or tasted by another
96 – 00 Serious Xenophobia The character is afraid of strangers and has a -6 Charisma penalty when dealing with people they have not met. In any encounter invloving the creature, the character is initially petrified and will always be Surprised.


 Debilitating Disorders

Issues that prevent normal movement and adventuring

Die Roll (d100) Name Description
01 – 19 Amnesia The character loses all memories
19 – 25 Catatonia The character is immobile and unresponsive, literally frozen in position. They may be carried.
26 – 38 Pantophobia The character is afraid of everything, and jumps and starts continually. They make all Will saves at -8.
39 – 57 Paranoia Not necessarily an issue for many characters, because the DM is out to get them.
58 – 71 Severe Agoraphobia The character is so afraid of open spaces that they refuse to venture outdoors
72 – 85 Severe Claustrophobia The character is so afraid of enclosed spaces that they refuse to venture indoor
86 – 100 Stupefication The character stands drooling and babbling inchoerently. They may be led, but will take no self directed actions




Thursday, January 16, 2014

Beer Review - 3rd Street Maple Stout

Went to the gym tonight, then proceeded to blow the workout by getting a burger and beer.  3rd Street Maple Stout, 3rd Street Brewing, Cold Spring MN. Nice roasted malt flavor with a definite maple finish.  It lives up to it's name, I'm glad I tried it and I'll look for others by this brewer.  But I won't buy a six pack.  The maple flavor got to be a little too much by the end.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

On Constructing Random Lists

I've published couple of random lists recently.  Which is a bit of a change from last year, when I would have thrown them into JavaScript and put them on the Utilities page.  Stellios over at d20DarkAges suggested in the comments that I could work in the entries from the Random Creatures from the Lower Planes table out of the 1e DMG to the 236 Mutations table.  His suggestion is worth a response as to why I won't be doing it any time soon.

   If you look at the Utilities page, you'll see that they're just random generators at the heart no different from the mutation and insanity lists I published.  And I construct them in the same manner, that is I look at all the entries I have and then I start grouping them into categories.  The type of category, whether the  what body part is mutated or what type of creature may be encountered doesn't matter, at this step I'm establishing a base chance that a something n that category is encountered. In the case of mutations, I decided that I wanted hybrid crossbreeds to appear about 15% of the time, other visible physical mutations about 60% and unseen mental or other mutations the remainder.

    I then establish subgroups and weight their probability as needed within those categories.  At this point since I have something specific in mind, like adding wings, I start thinking of every possibilty related to that that I can think of.  It's one thing to find bat wings in a list, but why not chicken wings?  And if they're there what do they do?  This is where the actual content is determined.

   The final step is to put probabilities by each entry and make them add up to 100%.  Some movement of the group percentages occurs to ensure that the individual entries occur in the desired frequency, that's how hybrids ended up at 16.3% of the list.

   Now, when you're programming it's trivial to keep the category and subgroup ratios constant as you add individual entries. But it's a non-trivial challenge with a list. You can do it with multiple tables, but to me the point of the list is to quickly and easily generate a result.  On the ridiculous end I could see you rolling on seven tables to generate a mutant with red and green plaid eyeballs; but I don't see anyone wanting to.  So as a design choice I keep the lists flat, preferably a single list if I can, to let the user roll and go. 

   The other design choice is how many entries are in the list?  Obviously it's bounded by the maximum die roll, which in turn is set as the minimum power of 10 which includes the total number of entries.  A little recursive, but trust me on it.  Adding, for example, plaid eyeballs into the table while keeping the category and subgroup proportions consistent, requires recalculating at least every entry under Physical Mutations -> Head OR, more likely as there are are many entries in the 1e DMG tables, increasing the die roll from d1000 to d10,000 and recalculating every probability in the lists.    

So while I'm not planing on expanding the list, if I do put Mutations on the Utilities page, I'll include the 1e tables and the plaid eyeballs.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Forgotten Gem - Metamorphosis Alpha


Metamorphosis Alpha was science fiction role playing game written by James M Ward and published by TSR Rules in 1976.  It is also one of the first two RPGs I ever purchased, I found my copy this summer cleaning the basement.

In just 32 - 8 1/2 x 11 double column pages it gave you a complete role playing system, similar but different from D&D.   Still based on 3d6, the character attributes were Radiation Resistance, Mental Resistance, Dexterity, Strength, Leadership Potential and Constitution.  Characters can be basic humans, mutated humanoids or mutated animals or plants.  Mutants don't have Leadership Potential

Radiation Resistance and Mental resistance both used cross index charts comparing the power of the attack against the character's resistance to determine damage.  Here we're seeing one of the roots of the hobby, as similar charts were used in hex and counter board wargames of that era.

Poison vs Constitution used a similar chart.

Rules and examples of character generation take up about two and a half pages - including an illustration.

When you consider that the rest of the pages give descriptions of every deck of a 50 mile long starship, lists of mutations, a beastiary with mutated humans, animals and plants and lists of technological treasures, this game is pretty much the epitome of 'rules light'.

I only played it a few times in high school, but the player rewards in terms of advancement just weren't there.  You could gain access to technology, such as robots, and wander around the starship, but unlike Heinlein's Orphan's in the Sky, there was no set goal of achieving control of the ship.  Not being an experienced game master, the system was just too open ended for me to continue with.  So it's been in storage for several decades awaiting for me to level up as a DM.

On a side note the 1e DMG has rules for running a cross over with Metamorphosis Alpha.

[Ed. - forgot to ask: Any of you get to play this one?]

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Safe!

Safe! at home!
   Many pixels have been sacrificed this week on the suggestion that DMs establish 'Safe Words' for the players to invoke when the game/side conversations get out of hand.  So here go some more.  I agree rather less vehemently with Erik over at Tenkar's Tavern and Talysman at The Nine and Thirty Kingdoms, that safe words do not belong at the table. (You can stop reading now if all you wanted was my opinion.)

The reason I consider my agreement less vehement is that I think the subject is worth a discussion rather than a polemic refutation. In his post, Talysman stated that the concept of Safe Words comes from the BDSM community where they are established so that the submissive can control the action. That corresponds with my knowledge of the community and subject, which I freely admit is based on TV, episodes of CSI and more recently Doc Martin, not any personal knowledge.  I suspect that is how most people perceive the subject and, whether or not it's true, the perception of it is what must be addressed.  Indeed, I think the failure to address the perception was a critical flaw in the original post.

   Now to go back to original post the suggestion for the safety word was to handle two separate situations, the action in the game and the side conversations.  The perception of the term 'safety word' is only related to controlling actions.

As a DM, I'm the only one who should be controlling the game, even then it's race to keep up with the players.  The idea that a player could have a safe word that would make me say the 'oh, OK, the troll didn't just hit for claw,claw, bite, rend, after all' - is completely abhorrent.  I have run groups where people got visibly upset when their character reached single digit hit points.  I didn't cut them out, but starting with the next campaign I explicitly stated that characters may die - and had one croak in the first random encounter - the dice dictated the outcome, not me.

The second suggestion that a safety word be established to control side conversations, um, no, bad idea.  Here's why, groups are social entities and an important part of the socialization process is the group deciding what behaviors they will accept and developing mechanisms to indicate when a line has been crossed.  Indeed the title of Talysman's post gives his group's mechanism; others may consider it rude, crude and socially unacceptable - but they are not part of his group and do not get to dictate it's behavior.

In the case of a pick up group at a store, school or convention - I still would not use it.  Establishing such an explicit rule I think would make the players more concerned about not offending each other than about having fun.  And in the end if it's not fun why bother playing the game.  A DM has plenty of ways of controlling players as well as characters and as the person in control, it's part of their responsibility to make sure that the everyone has fun.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Insanity

Geico's Therapist Sarge
    Insanity has never been much of an issue in the D&D family, despite the characters operating in a milieu that makes Khe Sanh, Bastiogne and the Somme look like a peaceful Sunday afternoon.  Think about, raiding Orcs, shambling undead and ravening dragons litter the countryside the characters are traipsing through - and they take with the sangfroid of Wellington at Waterloo.  The characters face death by falling in spiked pits, crushing by boulders thrown by giants and rending by the fangs of a thousand types of slavering monsters - and they never blink.

    Other systems, more attuned to a horror trope, handle insanity organically.  Call of Cthulhu being probably the most famous - the more you know, the madder you are.  Warhammer FRP also contains a system for characters to gain insanity as a byproduct of normal adventuring, gaining them from receiving Critical Hits, failing Fear tests and drinking certain poisons.  Disorders once acquired in that system are almost impossible to remove, the character ends up as a quivering mass of psychoses.

   In my campaign, I've instituted the following home-brew insanity rules, certain events such as Critical Hits, specific horrendous or chaotic sights - like the cathedral transformed into a giant skull cause the the players to gain Insanity Points.  Every time they do, they make a Will save DC = current Insanity Point total.  So it becomes progressively harder to pass the check.  The difficulty of the check then determines the severity of the disorder.
< 10 - Eccentricity (Always checks for rain when stepping through a door, never sleeps above the ground floor or other behavior the DM finds amusing)
10-20 - Minor disorder (Obsessive/compulsive behavior, Fear of a creature causing the character to be surprised every time they see one or another disorder that places the character at a minor disadvantage)
21-30 - Serious disorder (Paralyzing fear of a creature, schizophrenia or another issue that changes how the character reacts)
30 + Disabling disorder (Severe agoraphobia, catatonia or other issue that prevents normal movement)

Failing the check sets the character's Insanity Point total to zero.  Until the next time.

And now I have another list to make of insanity types.

[Ed. Forgot to say this was inspired by The Rusty Battle Axe ]

Saturday, January 4, 2014

236 Mutations

Spider - Man Mutant
Warhammer: Slaves of Darkness

Want to make an old monster seem like new?  Add a mutation or random chaotic feature!

It's an old trick and built into many rule systems which feature a Law vs Chaos alignment system.

I was working up an new Beastiary entry and wanted to call out that a certain percentage of the creatures had random mutations.  Usually I'll find a chaotic feature or random mutation table and roll on it, but this time I decided that I would put them all together.  That was a number of hours at the computer over Christmas.  I may have been a little too ambitious on this one.

But here's a list of random mutations inspired by lists in RuneQuest, Warhammer and Metamorphosis Alpha.

The random Creature table for substituting body parts is below the jump.

Die Roll (d1000) Mutation Description
1 - 4 Acid Touch Anything that the creature touches or touches the creature takes 1d2 damage
5 - 6 Acidic Skin The creature exudes Acid from it's skin. Creatures it touches or which succeed in touching it take 1d4 acid damage
7 - 8 Albino The creature's skin is dull white and it has red eyes. -2 Constitution
9 - 13 Armor Class -2
14 - 18 Armor Class +12
19 - 23 Armor Class +2
24 - 28 Armor Class +4
29 - 33 Armor Class +8
34 - 53 Arms – Different Creature Roll on Creature Table, substitute the Arms
54 - 56 Arms- Quadruped/Biped If a Bipedal creature, the creature's arms become legs
57 - 71 Bat Wings The creature has Bat wings and may fly at one and a half times it's walking speed in Light Armor
72 - 73 Beaked The creature has a beak in place of it's mouth and nose. Roll d6:
  1-2 Duck,
  3-4 Chicken;
  5 Eagle;
  6 Pelican
74 - 78 Berserker The creature is capable of barbarian like rage.
79 - 88 Beweaponed Arms One of the creature's arms ends in a weapon instead of a hand. -2 on all Dexterity related skills. +2 on all attack rolls with the weapon. Roll d8:
1 – Spear;
2-3 Sword;
4-5 Mace/Hammer;
6-7 Light Crossbow;
8 – Anachronistic Weapon, such as an assault rifle, bazooka, laser pistol or chain saw
89 - 90 Big Ears The creature has large ears and gains +2 to Perception checks. Roll d6.
1- Oversized;
3-4 Rabbit Ears;
5 Elephant Ears;
6 Donkey Ears
91 - 97 Bird Legs The creature has bird legs and can execute an additional claw attack, if it forgoes adding dexterity to AC
98 - 102 Bird Tail The creature has a bird tail and gains +4 on Balance checks
103 - 104 Bison Horns The creature gains horns and a Gore attack
105 - 108 Blood substitution The creature's blood has been replaced by another substance. Roll d6:
1 – Electricity (successful attacks do 1d3 Electrical damage to the attacker);
2 – Acid (successful attacks do 1d3 Acid damage to the attacker);
3- Fire (successful attacks do 1d3 Fire damage to the attacker);
4- Gas (Successful attacks release a spurt of incapacitating gas. Fortitude 5 + HD/Level or unconscious ;
5 – Maggots (Constitution +2);
6 – Molten Metal (successful attacks do 1d3 Fire damage to the attacker for two rounds)
109 - 112 Body contains large Gem When the creature is killed a large precious gem is found in the body.
113 - 113 Body studded with Small gems The creature's body is studded with 6d4 semi-precious gems. +2 AC
114 - 117 Boneless The creature has cartilage in place of bones. +4 Dexterity
118 - 121 Bones of Brass The creature's (exo)-skeleton is made of brass. +2 AC, immune to electrical attacks
122 - 125 Bones of Iron The creature's (exo)-skeleton is made of iron. +4 AC, Bludgeoning weapons do a maximum of 1 point of damage
126 - 129 Bones of Stone The creature's (exo)-skeleton is made of iron. +2 AC,
130 - 131 Bowling Ball Head The creature's head is a perfect sphere with two round eyes, a round mouth and no nose or ears
132 - 135 Breath Fire The creature breathes fire (3d4 damage) twice a day
136 - 137 Bulging Eyes The creature's eyes bulge like a frog's. It gains dark vision but saves vs Light spells at -2
138 - 142 Burst into flames The creature bursts into flames causing 3d6 fire damage to all adjacent when killed
143 - 144 Camouflage Pattern Skin The creature's skin is camouflage patterned. DM Chooses colors. Creature must be nearly nude for to benefit from camouflage
145 - 146 Carapace The creature is covered in a hard carapace like a beetle. +4 AC, Movement * ¾
147 - 148 Charisma -2
149 - 151 Charisma +4
152 - 155 Charisma +6
156 - 160 Charisn'tma (Hat tip: Terry Pratchett) This creature s cursed with the opposite of charisma. Any other creature when encountering it for the first time must make a will save DC 12 or attack it immediately
161 - 167 Chicken Wings The creature has the wings of a chicken and subtracts 1 from every damage dice for falling
168 - 174 Cloven Hooves The creature has cloven hooves instead of feet and can execute an additional Kick attack, if it forgoes adding dexterity to AC
175 - 176 Colored Skin The creature's skin is an unusual hue of the DM's choice
177 - 178 Confusing Patterned Skin The creature's skin is patterned in a confusing way. DM Chooses colors. Creature must be nearly nude for attackers to suffer Confusion
179 - 180 Constitution -2
181 - 183 Constitution +4
184 - 186 Constitution +6
187 - 188 Copper Body The creature's body is made of gold. Immune to electrical, acid and fire attacks, Constitution +2
189 - 190 Crest The creature has a crest like a rooster (1-4) or wattles like a turkey (5-6)
191 - 191 Crown of Ears The creature has 2d4 ears growing around it's skull. +4 on Perception checks. Surprised only on 1 in 10.
192 - 193 Crown of Eyestalks The creature has 2d4 eye stalks growing around it's skull. +4 on Perception checks. Surprised only on 1 in 10.
194 - 194 Crown of Mouths The creature has 2d4 mouths growing around it's skull. It doesn't need backup singers.
195 - 195 Crown of Noses The creature has 2d4 noses growing around it's skull. It gains the Scent ability
196 - 197 Crown of Tentacles The creature has 2d4 tentacles growing around it's skull. +2 Dexterity
198 - 199 Cryokinesis The creature can cause extreme cold up to 25 feet away. Fortitude Save DC 10+ HD/Level or 1d3 damage
200 - 201 Crystal Body The creature's body is made of translucent crystal. +2 AC, +3 Constitution, +2 Charisma. -4 Saves vs Sonic attacks
202 - 203 Cyclopoid The creature has a single eye. -4 to Ranged attacks and -2 to Perception checks
204 - 205 De-evolution The creature causes mutants, demi-humans and humanoids to devolve towards the base creature. Each round those adjacent lose one mutation or racial ability until they are pure human.
206 - 207 Matte Black skin The creature's skin is dead black, with black eyeballs.
208 - 209 Death Gaze The creature has a death gaze attack, Fortitude save vs 10 + HD/Level or die
210 - 211 Deer Antlers The creature gains horns and a Gore attack with a 5 foot reach.
212 - 213 Dexterity -2
214 - 216 Dexterity +4
217 - 219 Dexterity +6
220 - 223 Double Vision The creature sees double. -4 on all attacks
224 - 227 Dual Mind The creature possesses two fully functional minds and personalities Each mind may take separate actions
228 - 247 Eagle Wings The creature has Eagle wings and may fly at twice it's walking speed in Light or Medium Armor
248 - 252 Elastic Arms The creature can double or halve the length of it's arms at will
253 - 257 Elastic Legs The creature can double or halve the length of it's legs at will
258 - 261 Electrical Discharge The creature can project a lightning bolt (6d6 damage) three times a day
262 - 263 Emaciated The creature's body is thin and wasted
264 - 265 Evil Eye The creature has the Evil Eye gaze attack, Will save vs 10 + HD/Level or become cursed -2 to all Saves, Attack and Damage until Curse is lifted
266 - 270 Explosion The creature explodes for 6d6 damage against all within 20 feet when killed
271 - 275 Extra Joints in Arms The creature's arms have extra joints. Escape Artist +2; Climb +2
276 - 280 Extra Joints in Legs The creature's legs have extra joints. Escape Artist +2; Climb +2
281 - 282 Faceted Eyes The creature has faceted eyes like an insect. +4 on Perception checks
283 - 287 Falcon Wings The creature has Bat wings and may fly at three times it's walking speed in Light Armor
288 - 289 Feathered The creature s covered in feathers
290 - 291 Featureless Head The creature's face is covered by blank skin. Despite this the creature perceives everything normally
292 - 296 Fits The creature is subject to epileptic fits. When first wounded or first attempting to cast a spell in combat roll d20 + Wisdom modifier. If the roll is less than 6, the creature is incapacitated by a seizure
297 - 298 Flaming Skull Face The creature's head is a naked skull, wreathed in Flames. Butt and Gore attacks do 1d4 Fire damage
299 - 300 Flat Head The creature has a flat head. Convenient for placing drinks
301 - 305 Flying Squirrel Membranes The creature has loose skin membranes like a flying squirrel and can glide long distances, if it is not wearing armor. If the player is from Minnesota, the creature can take off and fly acrobatically
306 - 307 Force Field Generation The creature generates a field which prevents physical intrusion within 5 feet of it.
308 - 309 Furry Hide The creature is covered in a furry hide. +2 AC
310 - 313 Gas Generation The creature produces gas out of the orifice of the DM's choice. Roll d6:
1-2 Stench (Fortitude 10 + HD/Level or be Sickened),
3-4 Poison (Fortitude 10 + (HD/Level)/2 or die),
5-6 – Laughing gas (Fortitude 10 + HD/Level or be incapacitated for d4+2 rounds). Bonus: DM gets to do sound effects
314 - 318 Genius The creature is and acts like a genius. +8 IQ, minimum score is 18
319 - 320 Giant Increase size category by two
321 - 322 Gills The creature has gills on it's neck. It may breathe underwater, but must keep it's gills moist at all times
323 - 324 Goat Horns The creature gains horns and a Gore attack
325 - 326 Gold Body The creature's body is made of gold. Immune to electrical, acid and fire attacks, Constitution +2, Charisma + 6
327 - 328 Grotesquely Obese The creature is immensely fat. +2 AC, Movement is halved and cannot fly
329 - 330 Hairy Skin The creature is covered in a hairy hide
331 - 345 Head – Different Creature Roll on Creature Table, substitute the Head
346 - 347 Headless The creature has no head. It's features appear in it's chest. -2 AC and -4 to Perception checks
348 - 349 Hideous Appearance The creature is uglier than a Packer fan outside of Wisconsin. -8 Charisma; surprises on 1-3.
350 - 354 Hopper The creature has a single massive leg. It moves at half speed by hopping
355 - 356 Hunchback The creature is hunchbacked. +2 Strength, the creature defends as if one size category smaller
357 - 364 Hybrid Creature - Arms, Legs, Tail Roll on Creature Table, substitute the specified parts of the new creature for the base creature. If the creature has no Wings or Tail, ignore those body parts.
365 - 372 Hybrid Creature - Arms, Legs, Torso Roll on Creature Table, substitute the specified parts of the new creature for the base creature. If the creature has no Wings or Tail, ignore those body parts.
373 - 380 Hybrid Creature - Arms, Legs, Wings Roll on Creature Table, substitute the specified parts of the new creature for the base creature. If the creature has no Wings or Tail, ignore those body parts.
381 - 388 Hybrid Creature - Arms, Tail, Torso Roll on Creature Table, substitute the specified parts of the new creature for the base creature. If the creature has no Wings or Tail, ignore those body parts.
389 - 396 Hybrid Creature - Arms, Tail, Wings Roll on Creature Table, substitute the specified parts of the new creature for the base creature. If the creature has no Wings or Tail, ignore those body parts.
397 - 404 Hybrid Creature - Arms, Torso, Wings Roll on Creature Table, substitute the specified parts of the new creature for the base creature. If the creature has no Wings or Tail, ignore those body parts.
405 - 412 Hybrid Creature - Head, Arms, Legs Roll on Creature Table, substitute the specified parts of the new creature for the base creature. If the creature has no Wings or Tail, ignore those body parts.
413 - 420 Hybrid Creature - Head, Arms, Tail Roll on Creature Table, substitute the specified parts of the new creature for the base creature. If the creature has no Wings or Tail, ignore those body parts.
421 - 429 Hybrid Creature - Head, Arms, Torso Roll on Creature Table, substitute the specified parts of the new creature for the base creature. If the creature has no Wings or Tail, ignore those body parts.
430 - 437 Hybrid Creature - Head, Arms, Wings Roll on Creature Table, substitute the specified parts of the new creature for the base creature. If the creature has no Wings or Tail, ignore those body parts.
438 - 445 Hybrid Creature - Head, Legs, Tail Roll on Creature Table, substitute the specified parts of the new creature for the base creature. If the creature has no Wings or Tail, ignore those body parts.
446 - 454 Hybrid Creature - Head, Legs, Torso Roll on Creature Table, substitute the specified parts of the new creature for the base creature. If the creature has no Wings or Tail, ignore those body parts.
455 - 462 Hybrid Creature - Head, Legs, Wings Roll on Creature Table, substitute the specified parts of the new creature for the base creature. If the creature has no Wings or Tail, ignore those body parts.
463 - 470 Hybrid Creature - Head, Tail, Torso Roll on Creature Table, substitute the specified parts of the new creature for the base creature. If the creature has no Wings or Tail, ignore those body parts.
471 - 479 Hybrid Creature - Head, Tail, Wings Roll on Creature Table, substitute the specified parts of the new creature for the base creature. If the creature has no Wings or Tail, ignore those body parts.
480 - 487 Hybrid Creature - Head, Torso, Wings Roll on Creature Table, substitute the specified parts of the new creature for the base creature. If the creature has no Wings or Tail, ignore those body parts.
488 - 495 Hybrid Creature - Legs, Tail, Torso Roll on Creature Table, substitute the specified parts of the new creature for the base creature. If the creature has no Wings or Tail, ignore those body parts.
496 - 503 Hybrid Creature - Legs, Tail, Wings Roll on Creature Table, substitute the specified parts of the new creature for the base creature. If the creature has no Wings or Tail, ignore those body parts.
504 - 511 Hybrid Creature - Legs, Torso, Wings Roll on Creature Table, substitute the specified parts of the new creature for the base creature. If the creature has no Wings or Tail, ignore those body parts.
512 - 519 Hybrid Creature - Tail, Torso, Wings Roll on Creature Table, substitute the specified parts of the new creature for the base creature. If the creature has no Wings or Tail, ignore those body parts.
520 - 521 Hypnotic Gaze The creature has a hypnotic gaze attack, Will save vs 10 + HD/Level or become hypnotized
522 - 523 Hypnotic Pattern Skin The creature's skin is patterned in a hypnotic way. DM Chooses colors. Creature must be nearly nude for attackers to be Hypnotized
524 - 525 Illusion Generation The creature can project an full sensory illusion for 10 rounds plus it's Wisdom modifier
526 - 527 Illusion of Normality Despite any physical mutations, the creature appears like a normal individual of it's kind. Nor will it be noticed using most Extraordinary Abilities
528 - 532 Initiative -2
533 - 537 Initiative +2
538 - 539 Innate Magic User The creature has three spells as determined by the DM which it can cast as a Extraordinary Abilities
540 - 541 Intelligence -2
542 - 544 Intelligence +4
545 - 547 Intelligence +6
548 - 551 Invisible The creature is naturally invisible
552 - 553 Iron Body The creature's body is made of iron. Immune to electrical and fire attacks, Strength +2, Dexterity -2, AC +6
554 - 558 Irrational Fear The creature has an irrational fear of a type of creature. Roll d6:
1 – Random humanoid race;
2 random demi-human race;
3 – Girls;
4 - Boys;
5-6 Roll on Creature table
559 - 563 Irrational Hatred The creature has an irrational hatred of a type of creature. Roll d6:
1 – Random humanoid race;
2 random demi-human race;
3 – Girls;
4 - Boys;
5-6 Roll on Creature table
564 - 567 Leaps 30' The creature has the ability to spring 30' and attack
568 - 587 Legs – Different Creature Roll on Creature Table, substitute the Legs
588 - 589 Legs – Quadruped/Biped If a Quadrupedal creature, the creature's forelegs become arms
590 - 591 Levitation The creature can levitate itself and it's equipment only
592 - 593 Life Drain The creature can drain one level on a successful touch attack. Fortitude DC 10 + HD/Level
594 - 597 Light Generation The creature can generate a brilliant light from it's eyes as a double strength bulls-eye lantern
598 - 599 Lions Mane The creature has a mane like a lion
600 - 609 Lizard Tail The creature has a lizard tail and gains +2 on balance checks
610 - 614 Long Arms The creature has extremely long arms, it gains 5 foot reach and +2 Climb
615 - 619 Long Legs The creature has extremely long legs, it doubles it's movement speed
620 - 621 Long Neck The creature has a very long neck and may make Bite, Butt or Gore attacks with a 5 foot reach
622 - 623 Long Nose The creature has a comically long nose and gains the Scent ability
624 - 625 Macrocephalic The creature has a huge head. Intelligence +4
626 - 627 Magnetic Field Control The creature has complete control of the magnetic fields within 40 feet and can use them to manipulate any ferrous objects.
628 - 628 Manikin The creature's head becomes mostly a large mouth; gaining a Bite attack. Out of the top of the head grows a miniature head, arms and torso of the original creature which does all of the talking and thinking for creature. The manikin may be armed with diminutive weapons; but when using them, the creature's body may only make Bite attacks.
629 - 633 Mechanical Bird Wings Glittering pinions of sliver and brass allow the creature to fly at it's walking speed, regardless of the armor it carries
634 - 635 Mechanical Wings – Jet Swept back silvery wings make the creature as wide as it is tall. Jet engines under the wings roar like an F-14 Tomcat. The creature flys four times as fast as it can walk, regardless of Armor or Load. Huge or larger creatures with this mutation get four engines
636 - 637 Mechanical Wings – Propellers Fixed silvery wings make the creature one and a half times as wide as it is tall. Radial engines under the wings drone like B-17's. The creature flies twice as fast as it can walk, regardless of Armor or Load. Huge or larger creatures with this mutation get four engines
638 - 642 Mental Block The creature's mind simply blocks out the presence of a certain type of creature. Roll d6:
1 – Random humanoid race;
2 random demi-human race;
3 – Girls;
4 - Boys;
5-6 Roll on Creature table
643 - 644 Microcephalic The creature has a very tiny head. Intelligence -4; Treat as Confused
645 - 646 Molecular Disruption The creature can disrupt the molecular bonds controlling any material. 1D6 damage, bypasses Hardness and Armor
647 - 651 Moron The creature is a moron. -8 IQ, minimum 1
652 - 656 Movement *1/2 Applies to all movement
657 - 661 Movement *2 Applies to primary movement
662 - 666 Movement *3 Applies to primary movement
667 - 671 Multiple Arms The creature gains two additional arms.
672 - 681 Multiple Legs The creature gains two additional Legs.
682 - 685 Near Sighted The creature is near sighted. -4 on ranged attacks. Ranged attacks past the second range increment are at a random target
686 - 687 No Ears The creature has no ears. -4 to Perception checks.
688 - 689 No Neck The creature has no neck and may not turn it's head. -2 AC and -4 to Perception checks
690 - 691 No Nose The creature has no nose
692 - 693 No Skin The creature has a no skin, the veins, organs and muscles are clearly visible and it constantly leaves a trail of slime and gore. Attackers gain a +1 to confirm critical hits Charisma -4
694 - 695 Oily Skin The creature exudes a greasy oil from it's skin. +2 to Escape Artist
696 - 700 Overgrown Arm One arm is massively overgrown. The creature gains +2 damage to any blow struck with a weapon in that arm only. Roll D6 1-4 Dominant arm; 5-6 Off hand arm
701 - 705 Overgrown Leg One leg is massively overgrown. The creature gains a Kick attack, but movement speed is *3/4
706 - 707 Patterned Skin The creature's skin is patterned. Roll D6:
1-3 Striped;
4-5 Spots;
6 – Pinto. DM Chooses colors.
708 - 713 Peacock Tail The creature has a peacock tail, pretty isn't it, and gains +4 on Balance checks
714 - 717 Plague Bearer The creature carries an extremely virulent disease. All characters within 15' of it must make a Fortitude save DC 10 + HD/Level or contract it
718 - 719 Planar Travel The creature has the ability to move and adapt itself to any plane of existence
720 - 721 Pointy Head The creature's head rises to s sharp point, giving it a Gore attack. Intelligence – 2
722 - 725 Poison Bite The creature has poison fangs like a snake. Fortitude 10 + (HD/Level)/2 or die
726 - 729 Poison Touch The creature's very touch is poison. (Fortitude 10 + (HD/Level) or -2 Temporary Constitution damage)
730 - 734 Poor Dual Brain The creature possesses two fully functional minds and personalities Each mind may take separate actions Each mind tries to dominate the other, roll d6 each round to determine which brain wins. The brains will always act against each other.
735 - 736 Precognition The creature knows the future before it happens. All characters must declare (but not resolve) their actions before the mutant. +2 Dodge Bonus to AC against all attackers
737 - 746 Prehensile Tail The creature has a prehensile tail like an opossum and gains +2 on balance checks. It may also use the tail to wield a shield or off hand weapon
747 - 748 Pygmy Fun sized creature. Reduce size category by one
749 - 750 Pyrokinesis The creature can cause fires up to 25 feet away. Fortitude Save DC 10+ HD/Level or 1d3 damage
751 - 752 Quills The creature is covered in Quills, it may not wear armor, other than chain. +2 AC and attackers must make a Reflex save each round (DC 10 + creature's HD/Level) or be stuck with a quill for 1d2 damage
753 - 754 Radiates Cold The creature radiates cold, attackers take 1d6 cold damage per round
755 - 757 Ram Horns The creature gains horns and a Butt attack
758 - 767 Rat Tail The creature has a rat tail and gains +2 on balance checks
768 - 768 Rearranged Facial Features The creature's facial features are swapped into different positions on it's skull, leading to a bizarre appearance, but no other effect
769 - 772 Regeneration The creature regenerates HD/Level hit points per round
773 - 774 Repulsive Field Generation The creature generates a field with Strength 15 + HD/Level that it can use to push creatures and objects remotely
775 - 776 Rotting Flesh The creature's flesh is rotting away like a zombie. Charisma -2
777 - 778 Scaled Skin The creature is covered in reticulated scales. +2 AC
779 - 793 Scorpion Tail The creature has a scorpion tail and gains a Poison Sting attack
794 - 803 Seagull Wings The creature has Seagull wings and may fly at one and a half times it's walking speed in Light Armor
804 - 808 Short Arms The creature's arms become T Rex like in their puniness It has no reach and may only use weapons one size category smaller than the base creature.
809 - 813 Short Legs The creature's legs are very short. Halve movement speed
814 - 818 Shrunken Arm One arm is shriveled away. It can not be used for attacking or to hold a shield Roll D6
1-4 Dominant arm;
5-6 Off hand arm
819 - 823 Shrunken Leg One leg is shriveled away. The creature must use a crutch or other means of support to remain up right. It never gets a dexterity bonus to AC.
824 - 825 Siamese Twin Two creatures in a single body, each controls one side. All of these have either the Dual Brain mutation (90%) or the Poor Dual Brain mutation (10%). Perception +4, Constitution +2
826 - 829 Silly Voice The creature speaks in an extremely silly voice. -4 Charisma
830 - 833 Silly Walk The creature walks or otherwise perambulates in an extremely silly manner. It gains +2 on Initiative rolls as attackers are too bemused by it's erratic movements to react quickly
834 - 835 Skull Face The creature's head is a naked skull
836 - 839 Sonic Generation The creature can shatter 10 cubic feet of glass, 5 cubic feet of stone or 1 cubic foot of metal with the sound it makes.
840 - 844 Spell Absorption: 1st Level Spells Unaffected by spells of the indicated level(s)
845 - 849 Spell Absorption: 1st - 4th Level Spells Unaffected by spells of the indicated level(s)
850 - 850 Spell Absorption: 1st - 8th Level Spells Unaffected by spells of the indicated level(s)
851 - 851 Spell Absorption: 1st - 9th Level Spells Unaffected by spells of the indicated level(s)
852 - 854 Spell Absorption: 1st -5th Level Spells Unaffected by spells of the indicated level(s)
855 - 856 Spell Absorption: 1st -6th Level Spells Unaffected by spells of the indicated level(s)
857 - 858 Spell Absorption: 1st -7th Level Spells Unaffected by spells of the indicated level(s)
859 - 863 Spell Absorption: 1st & 2nd Level Spells Unaffected by spells of the indicated level(s)
864 - 868 Spell Absorption: 2nd Level Spells Unaffected by spells of the indicated level(s)
869 - 871 Spell Absorption: 3rd Level Spells Unaffected by spells of the indicated level(s)
872 - 874 Spell Absorption: 4th Level Spells Unaffected by spells of the indicated level(s)
875 - 878 Spit Acid The creature can spit acid (1d4 damage, lasts for two rounds) twice a day
879 - 881 SR 10 Spell resistance 10
882 - 888 SR 5 Spell Resistance 5
889 - 893 SR HD Spell Resistance equal to the creatures HD/Level
894 - 897 Stench The creature has a hideous stench or produces such a stench on demand. Fortitude 10 + HD/Level or be Sickened
898 - 899 Stone Body The creature's body is made of iron. Immune to electrical attacks, Strength +2, Dexterity -2, Constitution+2, AC +4
900 - 901 Strength -2
902 - 904 Strength +4
905 - 908 Strength +6
909 - 910 Surrounded by Flies The creature is surrounded by a swirling cloud of flies. Attackers suffer a -2 penalty due to concealment and distraction
911 - 930 Tail – Different Creature Roll on Creature Table, add or substitute the Tail
931 - 935 Tail Snake The creature has 5 foot snake for a tail. It gains +2 on Balance checks, and a Poison Bite attack
936 - 937 Telekinesis The creature can use telekinesis as a 5th level mage
938 - 939 Telepathy The creature can read and project thoughts. Roll d10 on a 1 the creature ALWAYS broadcasts it's thoughts
940 - 941 Teleport The creature can teleport itself and it's equipment only
942 - 943 Temporal Control The creature can control it's existence in the time stream, fading out and returning at will. No time passes for the creature while it is absent from the time stream.
944 - 945 Temporal Instability The creature intermittently fades from the time stream. Each round roll a d6. On a 1, the creature fades out and returns 5 rounds later in the same location; on a 2 the creature fades out and returns 4 rounds later. No time passes for the creature while it is absent from the time stream.
946 - 958 Tentacles for Arms The creature has tentacles instead of arms, - 2 Strength, +2 Dexterity
959 - 960 Third Eye The creature has a third eye in the middle of it's forehead. It gains True Seeing and Detect Alignment as Extraordinary Abilities
961 - 961 Three Heads – Different Species The creature has two heads, one of which is from the Creature table. One half of such mutants have also have the Dual Brain mutation; and one tenth also have the Poor Dual Brain mutation
962 - 962 Three Heads – Same Species The creature has three heads, they may be of either sex. Three quarters of such creatures also have the Dual Brain mutation; one tenth also have the Poor Dual Brain mutation
963 - 972 Torso – Different Creature Roll on Creature Table, substitute the Torso
973 - 974 Transparent Skin The creature has a transparent skin, the veins, organs and muscles are clearly visible. Attackers gain a +1 to confirm critical hits Charisma -4
975 - 975 Two Heads – Different Species The creature has two heads, one of which is from the Creature table. One quarter of such mutants have also have the Dual Brain mutation; and one quarter also have the Poor Dual Brain mutation
976 - 976 Two Heads – Same Species The creature has two heads, they may be of either sex. Half of such creatures also have the Dual Brain mutation; one quarter also have the Poor Dual Brain mutation
977 - 978 Undetectable by Magic The creature cannot be detected by any magical means, including scrying, clairaudience, clairvoyance etc
979 - 988 Vulture Wings The creature has Vulture wings and may fly at one and a half times it's walking speed in Light or Medium Armor
989 - 990 Warty Skin The creature is covered in a tough warty skin. +1 Ac, -2 Charisma
991 - 992 Wisdom -2
993 - 995 Wisdom +4
996 - 998 Wisdom +6
999 - 1000 Wreathed in Flames The creature's body is wreathed in flames. Attackers without reach take 1d4 fire damage every round