Monday, August 2, 2021

I am the Boogley Boogley Boo Monster

FIVE MORE KITTEN EATING MONSTERS

FUCK YOU THIS IS A SERIES NOW



1. The Grebble

Grebbles are just... The fucking worst. They're like horrid, dirty old Goblins with terrible beards, except they're smaller and don't have any of the things that make people like Goblins. Grebbles like to hurt people. Not in a sexy sadistic way, but in a petty, spiteful way. They'll eat a kitten not because they're hungry or they like the way it tastes, but because they know it'll make people sad. If they could, they would eat your kitten while you watched. The only reason they don't is because they are extremely small and weak and if you punched them their sad, frail old man twig bones will simply flake apart under your epic huge meat fist and they will disintegrate.


2. Carnivorous Tree

Tree that eats people. They look like normal trees, if a bit older and more gnarled than they should be. Lots of knotholes, perfect to hide from predators or build a nest in.
Then you get in the knothole and it slams shut and you starve to death and then the tree eats your corpse because it was a carnivorous tree, you FOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLL
The lesson here is never to trust trees.


3. Snuffler

Snufflers look like giant ant-eaters with even larger mouths. They meander along and suck up any small animals that get near with their massive, toothsome maws. They would definitely eat a kitten.


4. Cuckoo-Kitt

Cuckoo-Kitts are the worst. They're a close relative of cats with limited shapeshifting abilities. Their favorite thing to do is to find domestic cats prowling out in the wild, eat them, absorb their shape, and then return home to the owners to be pampered. 
Not actually that much different from regular cats otherwise.


5. Sabre-Shrew

The Sabre-Shrew is one of the smallest animals ever to be observed practicing advanced tool use. Appearing much like an upright, long-armed shrew, these little bastards take all sorts of sharp objects from their environments and fashion them into makeshift sabers, which are then used both in mating displays and defense against predators. Due the size of the Sabre-Shrew, kittens are generally not targets - But under the right circumstances, these bastards will kill a kitten and remove its claws to make sabers.
Sabre-Shrews have also inspired the creatively named Sabre-Shrew Style of sword fighting, whose practitioners fashion their own blades out of whatever materials can be found on short notice and then strive to emulate the ferocity and chivalry of the Sabre-Shrew. Always show honor to opponents of your own size, and always cheat like hell when fighting anything bigger than you. The style has seen the most popularity among Halflings.
All practitioners of Sabre-Shrew Style I was able to contact have denied the consumption of kittens, but isn't that exactly what a kitten-eater would do?


Sunday, August 1, 2021

THERE'S A GOOD MAP

 THIS ONE ACTUALLY WORKS! I MADE IT WITH THE HELP OF A FRIEND! I HAVE NO IDEA IF I SHOULD INCLUDE THEIR NAME HERE OR NOT BUT THEY WERE FUCKING INVALUABLE!


Saturday, July 17, 2021

I WILL NEVER PAY TAXES AS LONG AS I LIVE

THIS ENTIRE POST IS INSPIRED BY THE FACT THAT I THINK FFIV'S ULTIMA WEAPON IS REALLY FUCKING COOL AND WANTED AN EXCUSE TO USE ITS IMAGE AND IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT I WILL PUT A BEAR IN YOUR HOUSE

Also for a world that's supposed to have some focus on fallen civilizations and struggles of the past there's a shockingly low number of ancient superweapons scattered around and I need to add more


Long before the present day, there existed a civilization in and around the area known today as the Deadlands. This post isn't about them, because they're an important part of the campaign I am currently running and I know that my players are probably this blog's most consistent readers. For this article, all you need to know is that their civilization was attacked by the Dust-Eater, an incredibly powerful abomination of unknown origin. The ensuing conflict more or less wiped (Let's rip off archeologists and name it after where it was based) the Deadlands Civilization off the face of the planet. The consequences of this event are very much still echoing through history, but again, I can't talk about them right now.


The Deadlands Civilization was not the only one to exist at the time. Our particular story will focus on the Empire of Angróvan. Angróvan, like most of the world, responded to this incident with absolute panic. No one knew exactly what had happened, but one moment there was a thriving (if rather isolationist) culture, and the next moment there wasn't. Everyone had reasonably assumed that they didn't have to worry about anything dropping out of the sky and destroying an entire people in less than a month, but that didn't stop it from happening. How do you prepare for something like that? Did it happen instantly, or where there warning signs that no one knew how to look for? Could it happen again?  Could it happen to us? 
Suddenly, providing contingency plan for giant monster attack was an essential function of government.

Most nations responded by searching the ruins for anything that might have warned of the attack, developing evacuation plans for populated areas, and at most planning efforts to slow the creature down. Alliances formed over mutual promises of refuge in case of a disaster, international organizations plotted ways to fight back - I suppose it would have been a bit like the Cold War, but if nuclear weapons were actually aliens. The point is, people responded.

While the rest of the world signed treaties, held studies, and made sure they had access to emergency transport, the rulers of Angróvan took a different approach. In order to fight a unknown and incredibly powerful being, they chose to build an incredibly powerful being. 

There was an understanding from the start that this thing was going to cause collateral damage. They weren't building a conventional weapon, they were building something that would be capable of stopping something conventional tactics wouldn't have a chance in hell to stop. No matter how many civilian casualties there are, it would be better than losing their entire civilization. Nothing was off-limits. No plans would be shot down over questions of morality. If this thing was ever used, the only piece of the equation left would be survival.


Time passed. Kingdoms rose and fell. People who hadn't even been born had time to grow old and die. No new monsters dropped out of the sky, though widespread panic had been the end of more than one nation. Gradually, people stopped worrying about another catastrophe. People who hadn't been alive to see the incident chocked it up to a miscommunication or exaggeration of some sort. The world stopped caring about the Dust-Eater.
But Angróvan never forgot. It continued, reduced to a shadow of its former self thanks to the sheer cost of the weapons project. But the weapon still wasn't finished, and so work continued.

Eventually, all that was left of the great Angróvanian Empire was the city from which it first emerged, and yet production still continued. Foreign policy stopped mattering, merchants gave up on coming to a city that didn't want to buy or sell anything of significance, and the outside world forgot that Angróvan even existed. 

The Weapon, however, was finished. No one was really sure why they had created it. Any project council had long since been replaced with a local religion. The Weapon became a center of worship and veneration, but no one ever dared to try and activate it.

Outside the city, the world kept turning. Eventually, surveyors arrived and discovered what looked like, to them, an ancient city of cultists dedicated to the worship of a massive idol. There was an invasion, and the few remaining citizenry of Angróvan were killed to a man.


"What the fuck is that", said the conquering empire. "Why were people worshipping it? Why can't we figure out how to damage it? Where the fuck does it come from?"
A small team was formed to study the thing, though it was all kept as secret as possible. No one knew what this thing might be able to do, but you don't play around with mysterious idols from ancient cities. That would be stupid.

Eventually someone managed to turn it on, of course. The activation lasted a few minutes at most, but there wasn't much city left by the end of it.

In what has been called "The only good choice they ever made", the conquering government decided that this thing was some kind of horrible eldritch demon-god. They couldn't destroy it, so they did the next best thing, and locked it away. At first it was placed in joint storage with other magical items, but everyone knew it wasn't a permanent solution. Amidst the ruins of Angróvan, a vault was constructed, and the Weapon was sealed inside. The existence of this vault became a closely guarded secret, but the kings of the nation quickly decided that it was their holy duty to seal away the horrible eldritch demon-god so that it might never again see the light of day. Every king dug further down into the earth, improved defenses, and made damn sure that the guardians and defenses of that site would last long after their line had ended. Many chose to be buried down there, and at least one turned himself into a lich and lay down for a thousand-year nap. 

Memory faded with time, as it is prone to do, and the nation of conquerors-turned-guardians forgot its ancient traditions. The royal line was ended, and the existence of the vault was eventually forgotten.


But the Vault still stands strong, and the ageless guardians within are still bound to their duty. And at the center of it all, the Ultima Weapon still stands.





Friday, July 16, 2021

Go-Go-Go-ZOOM

Inspired to the point of borderline plagiarism by a random False Machine image ping-pong response


Go-Go-Go-ZOOM is a deity of progress, optimism, and an idealized future. It is also notable for the fact it does not exist.

Go-Go-Go-ZOOM has projected its glorious voice and mission back in time so that the people of Egharl may take heed and build a future even more brilliant and glorious than the one Go-Go-Go-ZOOM resides within already. For Go-Go-Go-ZOOM to exist, it must be created, and so its worshippers must strive to create it, for this is the will of Go-Go-Go-ZOOM. The form of Go-Go-Go-ZOOM must be futuristic. It must be new. It must be interesting.  Go-Go-Go-ZOOM cannot abide mundanity. Progress is the is everything. 

The faithful of Go-Go-Go-ZOOM hate the world as it is not for any coherent ideological reason, but because they understand that the current flawed system must be overthrown by the superior system of the Future in order for them to ascend closer to the infinite glory of Go-Go-Go-ZOOM.

Progress towards what? It doesn't matter. Progress towards the end of the world? Progress towards the Singularity? Progress towards the ascension of squirrels as the dominant form of life? Progress. Progress? Progress! Progress! PROGRESS!

Progress can conflict with itself. Go-Go-Go-ZOOM does not discriminate between progress towards the extermination of gorillas and progress towards the total population of gorillas entering the multi-trillions. Go-Go-Go-ZOOM loves it all. 

Every body that has ever been constructed for Go-Go-Go-ZOOM has been imperfect. This is by design. Go-Go-Go-ZOOM will always exist at some point in the future, because the second Go-Go-Go-ZOOM is given corporeal form it goes from being an ideal into being a physical thing, and that would be terrible. Go-Go-Go-ZOOM can exist in a dream, an aspiration, a set of blueprints, but the second you start building it? Nothing that exists in the present can be from the future. Go-Go-Go-ZOOM is always from the future.


And yes, the name is case sensitive.







Wednesday, May 12, 2021

I Steal Pathfinder's Asura Ranas

We're talking about Fiends. They tend to lead to some dark shit. CW for mentions of self-mutilation and gore. It should be pretty obvious when they come up.


Pathfinder! 

D&D's sister series. Where all the good writers went after 3.5 was over. That game system I know but have never played. Darker and Edgier D&D. That setting that's really cool because the Great Old Ones are more active participants in the world. Fiends 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Pathfinder's "Book of the Damned is great. Hell, it manages to rival Planescape's "Faces of Evil". Partly this is because I love Kitchen Sink Cosmologies, and I love curveballs, and I love new extraplanar factions to fuck about with, and the Book has all of those. Of particular interest to me, the Book goes out of its way to list a bunch of beings just below proper Fiendish Divinities in power level, and as far as I know, virtually none of them have received the slightest attention. 

This leaves the perfect opportunity for me, a Rascal, Rogue, and Rapscallion, to swoop in and talk aimlessly about them while also kind of giving my thoughts on the Fiendish Races themselves at the same time.

Iunno I wanted to talk about these guys because I think they're Cool and New, and I'm going in alphabetical order, so we start with the Asura Ranas.

For those unfamiliar with Pathfinder cosmology: Asuras are Lawful Evil Fiends created from the mistakes of the gods. Deity gives its pet serpents sapience and then they sneak off and eat all the high priests? That's an Asura. Deity throws a ball of bandits with such force that it hits a planet and causes a mass extinction? That's an Asura.
Cool idea. We immediately run into a problem with applying them to Egharl, because Egharl doesn't have gods. That being said, Asuras in general are way too cool for me to just leave out. I'll talk about that problem more when I do a master-post on Fiends sometime. On to the Asura Ranas!


Andak the Disembered

This is exactly what you'd expect from a guy named "The Dismembered". He's a guy whose "limbs have been hewn into multiple pieces and reattached awkwardly and randomly". In a bit of a strange twist, they're associated with axes (implying dismemberment on a battlefield), torture, and self-mutilation. Makes sense, but it's a bit weird that his priests focus entirely on bloody self-augmentation, with no mention made of cutting off other people's limbs. I'd probably play him as a patron of corrupted self-improvement, kind of like The Meat from TMA. Determination to be strong, even if that means contorting your body into an unrecognizably hideous form. Overall: Pretty cool.

Bohga the Treasurer

Bohga! Second Rana in, and we may already have hit my favorite. Bohga is a creature of corrupted asceticism, who attained perfection after meditating over a horde of stolen goods for millennia. That premise alone stuck in my mind more than basically anything else in the Book. The image of an evil ascetic meditating over the horde of gold she's stolen but will never use? Instant classic. 

Chugarra the Guru of Butchers

We literally just had a guy named "The Dismembered" two entries ago. Chugarra is just an evil butcher. He butchers people. I will admit that the image of a massive, skinless butcher is fun, but overall? Pass. 

Chupurvagasti, Lady of Poison Mist

The name tells you everything you need to know. I don't understand what poison mist has to do with a deity's mistake. This is a portfolio that's been covered before. I'd prefer to use some sort of Prince Elemental Smog instead of this woman. Nothing here is uniquely Asura, and nothing here is overtly interesting enough for me to ignore that. Pass.

Gavidya the Numberless

The Book describes him as a "Cloaked figure who has no fewer than six faces at all time, each forming from folds on his scalp before gravitating towards the center of his head and competing to be eaten by his smiling mouth.", and that is a bloody amazing description. He's a patron of false prophets who delights in causing inter-religious strife, which is easy for me to adapt for use in Egharl. There's very little for me not to love about this guy.

Hydim of the Eternal Fast

An Asura Rana created by a god who accidentally condemned a nation to famine, I would immediately dismiss this guy if it wasn't for his name. Harbingers of Famine aren't hard to come by - Pathfinder alone features a bloody Horseman of it. That being said, the title is unique enough to set him apart from the crowd and make me think there's a place for him as a sort of Tantalus-like figure, constantly hunger but physically unable to break fast. Also, his obedience requires you to "Eat 13 pages from a sacred text", and anything that makes players eat paper is okay in my book. Pretty cool dude.

Ioramvol with the Mouth Full of Boulders

This poor guy. I don't even know how he became an Asura Rana - The Book just says he "Suffered countless deaths via falls, premature burial, and rockslides". I have no idea how being crushed by falling rocks a lot leads to achieving Enlightenment, but to each their own. This guy gets a pass in my book because of his name alone, without even having to take into account how cool a "tattoed colossus pierced with shards of rock" who spits boulders out of his mouth would be to use in an encounter. Also, he has the Undead and Murder subdomains, and that's honestly the premise for an adventure in and of itself. Competes with Bogha for my #1 spot.

Maeha, the Father of False Words

I'm torn on this guy. On one hand, he kind of treads of Gavidya's toes, being another Rana whose worshippers pretend to be priests of a different religion. On the other hand, his Areas of Concern include Propaganda and Isolation, which speaks to a totally different sort of Rana - A false shepherd of the lost, presenting a kind demeanor but working to lead vulnerable people even deeper into isolation. I like that angle. It's dark, and it'd be hard to pull off in a game, but I think it's a very solid concept. Reminds me of The Lonely from TMA. This guy is pretty cool.

Onamahli, the Twice Pure

I have no idea what to do with Onamahli. She's just got too much stuff going on. On one hand, she has an obvious connection to beauty and self-image, being created after a celestial being tore itself in half in an attempt to become beautiful. It's topic you'd have to be careful around, but one that could produce some really emotionally intense adventures. On another hand, she's said to be "Contemplating the paradox of competing divine truths". That seems a bit silly. Of course, different gods believe different things! I don't spend my day contemplating the paradox of multiple rats wanting the same piece of cheese. Then there's the fact that one of her areas of concern is "Double-Standards". That deserves a whole Rana to itself, not just a single line in an already overstuffed one. Finally, there's the whole thing about two minds, one body. That bit is just kind of weird, and if used poorly, it'll just end up vilifying plural people. I don't like her.

Rahu, the Sun Eater

Rahu is a giant, flying, disembodied snake head that is said to cause eclipses by eating the Sun and Moon. He also has a thing for executions, and both are seen as manifestations of gluttony for light and life. Quite frankly, you had me at "Giant, flying, disembodied snake head".

Rytara, Serpent of the Eastern Eye

Rytara is a four-headed snake with three eyes on each face, and she uses her third eye to see your worst fear so she can cause you to reliv- Wait a second, this is just a goddamn Sakhil! A Sakhil snuck into the Asura section! 0/10!

Taraksun, Awakener of Wrath

If Taraksun was just a being associated with wrath, I'd pass him off as generic and be done with it. That being said, Taraksun is associated with specifically the wrath of impotent people - Captives, slaves, people like this. It's an interesting situation. Liberation is a pretty consistently good thing, but that doesn't mean Taraksun is without a niche. I could see him as someone who tempts people into rage first for a beneficial cause, to set themselves free and strike back at the people who hurt them, but then continue to stoke the fires of that rage long after they're necessary. Or he could be an agent of the cycle of revenge, always making sure one member of the bloodline escapes in order to extend the vendetta down another generation. All in all? Pretty cool guy.

Zurapadyn, the Best Who Waits in Smoke

Zurapdyn is said to "Revel in any act of fiery purification performed for misguided reasons.", which more or less makes him the patron of witch burnings. That's great. That's a great niche I don't think anyone has tapped before, and also fire is cool. I'll need to use him sometime.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Midnight Madness

About a month ago, I started spitballing random ideas on Discord. It was around 12, but the ideas were all inexplicably good, so I'm throwing them all out here, with a bit more development than they had when I first made them.


None of the races have stats yet, and won't gets stats until someone wants to play one. I'm hoping to rework 5e's weird race system into something that has less horrible implications and more class variety. 

None of the non-races have stats either. They will probably all end up being bears.


SWINEFOLK

Swinefolks are humanoid constructs made out of the flesh of pigs. They vary in sapience between unusually stupid monkeys and fully sapient individuals. They are a playable race. In the New World, aka the As-Of-Yet-Unnamed-Eastern-Continent, they've formed full settlements. Making one of these would might be a good College Thesis for Flesh Wizard College. Flesh Wizard College doesn't exist, but that's the comparison I'm going to make.


TROGLODYES

Maybe playable? I don't know. I love them and this specific variety of troglodyte are some of the very first canon inhabitants of my underworld. 
Underworld meaning caves, not the afterlife. I would probably have a second heart attack if I learned that these things were angels.

BRACKEN

Humanoid patches of ivy which spontaneously manifest around civilization. Often quite urban. If Egharl was a different sort of world, I'd say that they're born in the place where civilization and the natural world meet, but those are metaphysical ideas, and we don't do metaphysics here.
They can probably be any plant, ivy just came to mind first.

WARFORGED

I struggled to fit Warforged into the world for a while, but they've finally got a place! 
Warforged are born when a blacksmith dies with their work unfinished. They spontaneously assemble themselves from strewn about materials, and begin their lives. 
They aren't a reincarnation of the blacksmith, they're independent beings in their own right.
I also guess they don't have anything to do with war now, so they should probably just be called "Forged".



Those are the fancy ones. The rest will be unadulterated, direct-from-source madness.

TEETH MONSTERS

They have no teeth, but they eat teeth. Just fucking swallow them down whole. Either they break the teeth down for the magical energy contained within, or they use the teeth as bladder stones. I don't fucking know which.

WEIRD WAYS PEOPLE ARE BORN

Shifters are just children born under a full moon.

Bullywugs are Grung come into existence when a tribe of existing Bullywug or Grung gather up a bunch of frogs into a pit and then educate them. 

Sometimes, turtles lay one really big egg instead of a clutch. These really big eggs hatch into Tortles.

THESE ONES GO TOGETHER

A strange mutation found in the heart of cities - Children are born with gleaming silver eyes, and silver ichor in place of blood - They are the Yine.

Those who are badly burnt while pregnant may give birth to the hot-blooded Adrunt, whose skin is black as soot.

They say that if you stay too long in the mines, your children will have stone-grey skin and dine on rocks - These people are known as the Baniver.

In the wilderness, children born under the full moon sometimes show unusual, animalistic traits. In academic circles, they are called Biinae. Most people know them by their colloquial title: Shifters.

OTHER ASSORTED BULLSHIT

Worm People, who live underground. They're somewhat agoraphobic.

The Pale Ones, a race of cyclopean beings who live underground.

When you carve a Treant into little pieces, you can make people out of it. These people are sapient, and they're called Treelings.

All Dragonborn are born colorless, and dye themselves in a show of loyalty, and to display clan affiliation.

One of the primary elemental heresies is the idea that Gold is the Fifth Element.



NEWT MEN. MEN WHO ARE NEWTS. I DON'T KNOW WHERE THEY COME FROM BUT HERE THEY ARE.


Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The Before-Things

 Before we begin, it is important to note that the Before-Things do not exist. They aren't imaginary, because something imagined is something that can be conceived of, can be described to others, can even be given a physical form, if you're a decent artist. Before-Things aren't like that. They are real, in the sense that they can physically alter the world around them, but regardless of that fact, they do not exist.


Maybe it'll make more sense if I explain exactly what Before-Things are.


Before-Things are the remnants of everything that has ever been retroactively removed from reality. Obviously, no one knows what the things which have been removed are, because if anyone knew what had been removed, than it clearly hasn't been properly removed. More than likely, even the beings which caused the removal aren't even aware that they did it. All that they'd remember is performing a ritual in order to destroy something that already does not, never has, and cannot possibly ever exist. This is, for obvious reasons, impossible. 


So, then, what are Before-Things? If a concept really is so utterly erased, how is it possible that remnants are left behind?

It's probably best if I explain with an example. Imagine for a moment that the color orange is retroactively annihilated. This doesn't mean that everything orange disappears, or that people start seeing different colors where orange once was, or that everyone stops considering orange to be a color distinct from red, it's just that orange, as a physical thing and as an idea, just stops. It stops ever having existed in the first place.  It stops having ever not existed, because the non-existence of something necessarily implies that opposite is possible as well. Orange stops being  conceivable. Not individuals, not by a cultural zeitgeist, not by the zapping of neurons, not even in the inexpressible way by which reality perceives itself. It is just fucking gone.

In this situation, what happens to foxes?
Foxes are orange, but they aren't only orange.  There is more to fox-dom than just the fact that they are orange. Foxes have other colors on them. They have claws, and fur, and eyes, and many things within them that are not the color orange.  

To be clear, when I say that foxes have things that aren't orange, I don't mean that they have things that aren't colored orange. They do, but that's beside the point. When I say that foxes have things that aren't orange, I mean they have things that aren't orange in the same way that a flag, even a flag that is entirely colored orange, is still a flag, and not a color. Back to foxes.

As I was saying, orange may be gone, but there's still plenty of fox left over. The problem is that foxes don't just changes colors, once orange disappears. Foxes do not suddenly become blue. Instead, the color of a fox is now something that doesn't exist, and that causes... Problems. 


This, in essence, is what the Before-Things are. They're objects with traits that no longer exist. They're stuck in a paradoxical state of simultaneous existence and non-existence, and non-existence is winning. Reality doesn't recognize them anymore, and so they're being erased. That's where it ends, for most of them. They quietly wink out of ever-having-been. Some of them, though, figure out the only way they can extend their lifespan - Being recognized. 

Sure, they can't get the universe to remember them, but they can get people to, and that's the next-best thing. How do they accomplish this? Doesn't matter! Most often, it's almost murdering someone. There are few times you're more focused on perceiving something than when you're fighting for your life, and trauma flashbacks will provide some sustenance for years to come.

It doesn't matter, though. They're fighting a losing battle. The question isn't whether or not they'll cease to exist, it's how long until they do. 


How do you use any of this shit?

Fuck if I know.

I am the Boogley Boogley Boo Monster

FIVE MORE KITTEN EATING MONSTERS FUCK YOU THIS IS A SERIES NOW 1. The Grebble Grebbles are just... The fucking worst. They're like horri...