Monday, 31 May 2010

Star Trader

Captain's Log, Stardate 42015.31

Our destination is the planet Deneb IV, beyond which lies the great unexplored mass of the galaxy. Our intention is to dock at the Farpoint orbital for one last resupply, while investigating the potential trade opportunities available with the Denebian government. Meanwhile, I'm becoming better acquainted with my new command - this Galaxy-class starship. I'm still in awe of the bargain we managed to secure at the Starfleet auction. As for my crew, I am still short in several key positions, most notably an executive officer, but my contacts tell me that a highly experienced ex-Starfleet officer, William T. Riker, is willing to join our team at Farpoint.

Our five-year mission is to explore the galactic fringe, and to seek out new civilizations and new potential trade routes, to boldly go where no trader has gone before.

I expect this to be a profitable Enterprise.

The Prime Commission

The Confederation of Free Planets has awarded you a Prime Commission - the right to travel beyond the fringes of the Federation, explore the unexplored, spread the light of capitalism and democracy, and seek your fortune in the wider galaxy. Vast fortunes await those willing to boldly go where no-one else will - into the unexplored fringes of the galaxy, beyond Farpoint and the Denebian Gulf. If you can muster the courage, the luck, and the sheer force of will to face death and the deep unknown, you can become a legend. One day, perhaps you will outshine the great Kirk.

Daunting dangers and untold opportunities await you in the fringe. Growing civilizations, bizarre beings, stellar phenomena and Romulan raiders all lurk within the galactic depths. At times, you will have nothing but hope as your weapon against the darkness. At others, you will rely on force of arms, wit and words, or superior technology to win the day. You must be both a capitalist and a missionary, a diplomat and a warrior; an agent of both the Confederation and of your investors...

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Sneaky Sorceror Spells

Whitefire's Unseen Archer
Level: 2
Duration: 10 minutes/level or until discharged
Range: 10 feet/level
Target: one bow or crossbow, and 1 bolt or arrow per level.

This spell allows the caster to use a bow or crossbow from a distance, albeit at a -1 penalty for every 10 feet away the weapon is. The weapon can be moved up to 20 feet per round, and can be fired once per round, until the duration has expired, or the weapon has fired all its enspelled ammunition. Both the weapon and the target of the weapon must be in line of sight of the caster.

Mask Under the Mask
Level: 5
Duration: 1 hour/level

Much like the spell Disguise Self, this changes the caster's visual appearance. However, unlike that spell, if the disguise is pierced (through feeling the target, True Seeing, or Dispel Magic), there is a second disguise underneath, which includes tactile, olfactory, thermal and auditory disguising on the caster, and which cannot be detected by True Seeing unless the caster loses an opposed Magic Attack roll.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Doodle Dungeons

Made during boring moments at work.

I've since been informed by John that I should make them smaller, as he prefers microdungeons. Good thing for him I've got work next week.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010


The continent of Spindlewick has seen a lot of wars over the eons. Just about everybody has had a go at everybody else at some point. You almost can't fire a ballista without hitting an old battlefield.

Obviously, at some point, the High Druids decided that all this probably wasn't so good for the bits of landscape playing host to the battles. After some petitioning, and possibly a few battles of their own, involving magically animated trees, they managed to get most of the sides involved to agree to only start wars over "proper" things, like territory, farmland, kidnapped royalty, and suchlike, rather than any time a king felt the national ego could do with a boost.

For times like that, there is now Grudgeball.

Grudgeball is usually played on a large oval or square field. Two teams of of players try to hit the ball (actually a goblin skull alchemically treated to give it bounce) through the opposing team's goal hoop using hefty wooden mallets. A Druid referees, and makes a vain attempt to enforce the "no intentionally hitting other players with your mallet" rule. The ball may be handled with the mallet, or the head or body of a player, but not the feet or hands.

A Grudgeball team is made up of 11 players, 8 of whom may be on the field at any one time. Up to two of these players may be "heavies" (defined as anything that's more than 10 feet tall when it stands up straight, or that weighs more than 25 stone), with the special limitation that if both heavies are deployed on the field at once, if one is incapacitated or sent off, their "slot" must be left open, and not filled with a normal player from the bench.

Arcane magic is usually banned on the field, but divine magic is permitted (on the grounds that nobody is willing to tell a god he's not allowed to get involved), although smiting of players is generally considered bad form. Intentionally enchanted mallets and other items are likewise banned, although some relic mallets that have picked up a sort of ambient enchantment from the belief of the fans do see use (and get stolen a lot by rival teams), and golems and reanimated dead are permitted (on the condition that they can say "I am a player" to the Druid referee).

Games usually last an hour, or until a riot breaks out.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Microlite: Feats of Power III - this time it's Clerical.

Rogue Feats (Continued)

Lucky Bastard
Once per session you can either re-roll a dice you just rolled, or force the DM to re-roll a dice he just rolled, on the condition that the outcome of that roll effects you. The second roll stands, even if it's worse (for you) than the first one.

Cheating Bastard
You get +2 on the Knowledge skill, and can cast all 0-level mage or illusionist spells, as well as arcane spells from scrolls.

Cleric Feats
(just as a reminder, in m20, Clerics get a number of turning attempts per day equal to their level + mind bonus + 2)

Wrathful God
When an enemy attacks you in melee, you can expend a Turn Undead attempt to deal that enemy the same amount of damage as you take.

Loving God
When you cast a healing spell, you can expend a Turn Undead attempt to roll d10s instead of d8s to see how many hp you heal.

God of Storms
You can throw small bolts of lightning as a ranged attack. Essentially, they work like a thrown spear (including your Strength bonus to damage), except their use your magic attack bonus to hit. Additionally, if you expend a Turn undead attempt, the bolt deals double damage.

Civilized God
Any time you would normally grant an ally a bonus on a roll (through aid another, flanking, a spell, etc.) they get an additional +2 on that roll. You can expend a Turn undead attempt to grant an ally a +3 bonus (including the extra bonus from this feat) on any one roll they are about to take.

God of Light
you can provide illumination sufficient to see by at any time you like. Additionally, if you expend a Turn Undead attempt, all allies within 60 feet of you get +1 on all rolls for 1 round.

God of Shadows
You get a +3 bonus to Subterfuge, and can expend a Turn Undead attempt to make a sneak attack like a Rogue.

[Tablanomicon of Jahibnfil] Assorted Alchemy



Quiescent Quicksilver: A vile of near-inert quicksilver that absorbs all sounds for 10 minutes on release.


Think-Man’s Pumice: Transforms gold into lead. Useful in certain limited situations.


Liquid Lunch: A liquefied luncheon, feeds four. Delicious and nutritious.


Geas Grease: The first person to slip over in a pool of geas grease owes its creator one major favour.


Sovereign Glue: Two things joined by this substance cannot be unjoined except by magical means or universal solvent.


Merchant Paste: Rub on silver or copper coins to make them appear gold for three days. Enough for 500 “gold” pieces.


Alchemic Armour: Apply to add +3 to the armour value of a particular suit of armour. The effect dissipates after five hours. Unfortunately, so does the armour.


Illusionist's Fire: target appears to catch fire, but suffers no harm.


Mouldy Bread: Either cures any disease or gives you terrible food poisioning.


Tracer Dust: Once you sprinkle this on someone, a specialised lodestone compass will point to them for five days.


Universal Solvent: One dose dissolves any kind of physical bond between two objects or creature.


Mass Opiate: Specially treated holy water that causes everyone in a 20-foot radius to forget their struggles.


Dragonfire Tar: Clings to target, dealing 1d8 damage per round until they jump into the water.


Rock Oil Solution: Add to water to create up to 10 oil flasks.


Cleansing Agent: Add to any body of water to cleanse it of all imperfections. Do not pour into ocean unless you like global ecocide.


Sleeping Draught: Stopper says “Sleeping Draught, Do Not Disturb”. It doesn’t like being disturbed.


Ghoststrike Oil: When applied to weapon, it becomes semi-insubstantial and ignores armour. It also attracts ghosts.


Elixir of Life: Heals the drinker completely of all wounds and adds +1d6 years to their lifespan. Positive effect is somewhat offset by cocktail of water-borne parasites and diseases.


Philosopher Stone: Contains the voice of one noisy dead philosopher.


Metaversal Solvent: As universal solvent, but can dissolve metaphysical and metaphorical bonds. Use with extreme care.

Microlite: More Feats of Power!

These were actually penned by TheLoneAmigo, but as he's not around today, I'm presenting them. Part 1 here.

Fighter Feats (Continued)

Tangling Chains
On a successful attack roll with a flail, spiked chain, or whip, you can move your target up to your Strength modifier x 5 feet towards you.

Ready Polearm
Once per round, if an enemy moves before attacking you (and is within melee range) , you may make a free attack on them.

Lightning Reload
You may reload a crossbow as a free action.

Mighty Bowman
You may add your Strength modifier to damage rolls with bows.

Nimble Throwing
You may add your Dexterity modifier to damage rolls with thrown weapons, rather than your strength modifier.

Wizard Feats (Continued)

Tome of Knowledge
At the start of each day, you may prepare one spell you know and can normally cast, ready to be read from your tome. Once during that day, you can cast that spell for free while wielding a tome.

And now some for the Illusionists...

Cloak of Distraction
At the cost of 1 hp you can replace your AC with a Subterfuge + Dexterity roll against 1 attack when wearing a (suitably flashy) cloak.

Orb of Mystery
When wielding an Orb and casting an illusion or enchantment spell, at the cost of 1 hp, you can re-roll your magic attack, and add your Mind bonus to the result (in addition to the fact it's already added to your magic attack anyway).

Rogue Feats

Charming Bastard
You get a +3 bonus to the Communication skill.

Sneaky Bastard
You get a +1 bonus to the Subterfuge skill, and can always hide, even in the middle of combat, with a Subterfuge + Dex roll.

Athletic Bastard
You get a +2 bonus to the Physical skill.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

[m20 magic item] Bottled Lightning

A post inspired by the above picture, the awesome lightning pirates in Stardust, and the fact that "mana potions" are boring.

Lightning is power. In a magic-rich environment, this is true in more ways than one (that one otherwise being "the power to fry anything stupid enough to be standing out in the open"). The wizards of the Coin long ago worked out that properly captured and processed, lightning could be used as a power source for their spell-workings. Most wizard towers have a lightning-rod and processing equipment installed, although unless the resident feels like messing with the local weather patterns or annoying a god, there's always the problem of getting a regular supply (compounded by the fact it goes flat after a while). Many wizards prefer to just buy it from the few skyship crews who specialize in lightning collection.

A bottle of reasonably fresh, refined, lightning costs about 350-400gp. It can be used in one of two ways:

Firstly, a wizard (or cleric) can drink it as a standard action. If he then casts a spell on his next turn, that spell's HP cost is reduced by 1d6. If the caster doesn't cast a spell on his text turn, however, the build-up of power discharges, dealing him 1d6 damage.

Second, it can be shaken and thrown, causing it to explosively discharge. This deals 3d6 damage to the target, and 1d6 damage to anybody standing next to him (Reflex save for half. DC = thrower's attack roll).

Stale, old, bottled lighting would use a d4 or d3 instead of a d6.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

The Coin

The world is flat. Any fool can tell you that. Of course, long ago, the fools of a past age thought it was flat like a shining coin, soaring through the void with its three luminous moons like some mad god's lost change.

The discovery of a bunch of elephants and a planet-sized turtle adhered to the other side of the "Coin" kind of upset this theory, but sadly, by then, the name had stuck.

So, this is my campaign world. A little Discworld*, a little D&D kitchen sink, far more planning than is healthy, and far less planning than it seems to warrant. The map above was originally created by TheLoneAmigo, then got tweaked by me (you can blame me for the horrible shade of orange on the deserts, him for the place names).

*which is to say, a lot Discworld.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Microlite: Feats of Power!

One of the main issues I have with Microlite20, at least in the form Jarrah uses, is that it provides relatively little room for character differentiation - the only ways in which characters of the same class/race combo differ from each other is in their stats (rolled at random) and their equipment (so now we're back to characters being defined by their items... a particularly odious 3.5ism that I never enjoyed).

Thus, I've proposed a system that draws in some of the elements I love about D&D4e and the feat system from 3.5e. I'll be the first to admit that t's not particularly "balanced"... but balance isn't really our core emphasis in this version of D&D so much as ensuring everyone has an interesting time. Since it's all a mess of houserules anyway, anything too odious can be easily reigned in.

Feats of Power

At 1st level, a character selects one of their Class Feats. These serve to further define the character. At every odd level thereafter, an additional feat slot is opened up. Characters may fill these feat slots with techniques and clever stratagems they learn from wizened masters, combat teachers, or come up with in their own path.


Nimble Swordsman
You may add your Dexterity bonus to attack rolls (in addition to your strength score) in any round where you move at least once.

Cleaving Axe
Whenever you hit with an axe, you may deal damage equal to your Strength bonus to any other adjacent enemies.

Hammer Smash
Even if you miss, you still do damage equal to your Strength Bonus to the creature you were attacking.

Defensive Counterstrike
Whenever an adjacent enemy attacks one of your allies, you may make an immediate attack against them as a free action. You can only do this once per round.


Wand of Accuracy
At the cost of 1hp, you may re-roll a magic attack roll and add your Dexterity bonus if wielding a wand.

Staff of Defense
When wielding a staff, add +2 to your AC.

more to come...