Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Go Die In a Hole: a Podcast for You

 Back in 2019, me and Nick put our microphones together and made a podcast called Go Die in a Hole.  We made 2 episodes.  It was a magical journey in which I learned how much I hate the sound of my own voice.

The concept:

Go Die would be a podcast where we analyzed adventure design, specifically dungeon design.  There aren't a lot of podcasts that focus specifically on dungeon design.  

* Which elements of the dungeon work well?  Which elements suck?

* How does the dungeon's layout affect how it plays?  How's the flow and the tempo?

* How well does the dungeon tell a story?

To explore these questions, we would spend 1 episode exploring a dungeon in rapid fashion: one person would be the DM and the other person would be the entire party.  Combat would be resolved in a single roll, or would be hand-waved entirely.  

Then we would spend episode two discussing the adventure.  The focus would be on (a) how information about the dungeon is presented to the player, (b) the types of decisions/problems that the dungeon presents, and (c) how a party would make these decisions.

We only sorta succeeded at these goals.

Anyway, now we made two more, so there's four in total.  And I guess that's pretty cool.

Episode 1

I run Nick through B1: In Search of the Unknown, written by Mike Carr in 1979.  It was the adventure that was included in the first edition of Basic D&D.

Episode 2

We talk about B1: In Search of the Unknown.

Episode 3

Nick runs me through CM8: The Endless Stair, written in 1987 by Ed Greenwood (creator of the Forgotten Realms).  It was an adventure for the Companion Set.

Episode 4

We talk about CM8: The Endless Stair.

-

Hopefully it won't be 2 years before we record another one.

Thank you, Nick, for your melodious voice and vorpal wit.  You have a better work ethic than me, and I resent you only slightly for it.

Note: not a Patreon post.  Psh.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Gorbels

Imagine a 2d wizard, living entirely in the photon-thin surface of your television screen, who learns about the existence of a third dimension--hitherto unobserved by himself.

Wizzrobe from Zelda (1986)

And even though the two-dimensional wizard might have some understanding of these spaces and its inhabitants, the wizard still has no way to interact with it.  None of his tools give him the ability to interact with the world in a three-dimensional way.  Even his mightiest spells are two-dimensional.

So what that wizard needs is a three-dimensional tool.  Even a humble instrument would give him the purchase he needs to begin his three-dimensional machinations.  But it is difficult--so crushingly difficult--to construct such things from two-dimensional tools.

But by now you already understand that all of this is just an analogy for three-dimensional wizards struggling to interact with the four-dimensional universe, so let us speak plainly.

A tool that allows a three-dimensional creature to access the fourth dimension is called a tetravect.

The smallest four-dimensional organisms are gorbels, and many wizards attempt to summon the blasted creatures and attempt to make a tetravect from  their bodies (which have organs that grow fourth-dimensionally).  This is a difficult road--gorbels are maddeningly obtuse in both mindset and biology.  (For example, every dissection presents a new set of organs.)

Geminoids are also an option, but no one knows their true nature yet.

Second, other wizards may also attempt to summon slaad, but they are fools.  Slaad interact with the multiverse, which is entirely different from the fourth dimension.

The third and final option is to build a tetravect out of three-dimensional parts.  (This is akin to building a cube out of squares, or building a hypercube out of cubes.)  The resulting creature is a triphage (or more commonly, a tirapheg).  

We'll come back to tiraphegs in a second.  Let's talk more about gorbels first.

Gorbels

Only a fucking idiot would attempt to reach the fourth dimension with a gorbel-based tetravect scheme, and yet it happens often enough that we had better stat out the little monsters.

Gorbels are red, rubbery orb creatures.  They have three eyestalks that can be retracted inside their head.  They have two blubbery baby arms that terminate in bulky claws.  And they have a dull, drooling mouth that hides a decent set of fangs.  They are 2-3' in diameter, and they weigh less that you think.

Gorbel from the Fiend Folio (1981)
Does anyone know who the illustrator is?

Gorbel

Lvl 3  Def leather  Bite 1d6

Climb average  Int 2  Dis oblivious

Rubbery - Immune to bludgeoning damage and falls.  Bounces as well as a basketball.

Self-Insertion - Whenever a gorbel takes damage, it splits into two nearly-identical gorbels (with the same current HP).  (This the actually a different insertion of the same gorbel, but don't worry about that.)

Spike Burst - When a gorbel is killed, it deals 1d4 piercing damage to all creatures within 10'.  Dex save for half.

Psuedoresurrection - Gorbels that die have a 4-in-6 chance of reappearing 1d6 minutes later at some location within 200'.

Gorbels are difficult to keep in captivity.  When bored, they bite themselves (creating more gorbels) or engage in "barbering" where they bite the eyestalks off of other gorbels.  They are famously difficult to entertain, and gorbel-keepers are advised to hire professional entertainers.  (Gorbels enjoy slapstick and children's stories.  At no point do they laugh, smile, or show any reaction.  If bored, they will wander off and commit mischief.)

Wizards who wish to keep gorbels are advised to have a disintegrator on hand so that excess gorbels can be killed instantaneously.  They will also need a system to hunt down psuedoresurrected gorbels and throw them into the disintegrator.

Gorbel-keepers are also advised to construct their lair in such a way as to avoid Gorbel Resonance Cascades.  GRCs occur when a gorbel takes damage in such a way that when new gorbels are inserted into existence, they also take damage.  A pit of acid can cause GRCs.  So can a small room with strong walls.  Once more and more gorbels are bent into a space, they can begin taking crush damage from all of the other gorbels, creating a runaway reaction that can explode castles and collapse dungeons.

And of course, the sequela of a GRC is always a bunch of gorbels reappearing in the area.  Gorbels can become aggressive when they outnumber non-gorbels by a large margin.

It is not known what type of food gorbels actually eat.  They obviously get hungry, and they are always trying to eat things, but nothing seems to give them sustenance and most things cause them to vomit and take damage. 

They are famously oblivious.  Roll a d3 when you encounter one to determine its disposition.

1 - Oblivious.  Ex: staring into the sun.  Aggressive if touched.

2 - Distracted.  Ex: trying to eat a rock, gagging, and throwing it back up again.  Aggressive if touched.

3 - Aggressive.  Will try to eat you while shouting its name.  Aggressive gorbels in adjacent rooms will hear the commotion and come bouncing in.

Magic Items of the Gorbels

In the process of making a tetravect from a gorbel, there will be many failed attempts.

Gorbelblood Potion 

Creates a clone of the drinker without any clothing or items.).  Prepared spells are split randomly between the two.  Yes, if you use it on a PC, you can now control two identical PCs.  After 1 hour, one of the two clones (determined randomly) melts painfully over the course of five minutes. 

The name of the potion is a bit of a misnomer, as gorbels lack blood, instead having a pneumatic circulatory system.

Gorbel Bile

Comes in a vial with 5 applications.  Each application of bile reduces an objects weight by 20 lbs, down into the negative weights.  Smaller doses can be applied, if you wish.  Lasts 1 hour.

If applied to a 20 lb object, the object now becomes weightless.  A second application causes the object to weigh -20 lbs, and causing it to fall upwards if not secured.  A third application causes it to weigh -40 lbs, and so on.  

If drank, each application gives you +2 to jumping and -2 to shoving (and similar).

The name of this potion is absolutely accurate.  Gorbels are 50% bile by weight--although distilling it correctly is another challenge.

Gorbel Bone Chariot

Gorbels are boneless.  Inducing osteogenesis in gorbels is a biomantic and spiritual challenge.  So is removing them, since gorbel corpse disappear shortly after their death.

A successful gorbel bone chariot is a successful tetravect--the point of this whole exercise.  The chariot described below is only one form that a gorbel-based tetravect could take.  The chariot is a spherical cage, 10' in diameter, made from chrome-plated gorbel bones.  When used, all creatures inside the cage are shifted along a fourth-dimension access to a place a few centimeters outside our universe.  The rider with the highest Charisma is the "driver" and controls the function of the chariot.

Unlike most (spirit-facilitated) teleports, this is a "sharp" teleportation.  Anyone who is halfway in the chariot when it teleports will be cut in half.  If you teleport into a solid object you will be fused with it.  It sounds like a thundercrack every time it is used, and hearing protection is strongly recommended.

There is no three-dimensional air out there.  Anyone who uses the chariot without fully exhaling and relaxing their airways will take 1d6 Con damage (if reduced to 0 Con, the result is lung eversion and death).  Even with that precaution, anyone remaining in an extradimensional space will lose consciousness after 2 rounds.  (I'm glossing over the other effects, like the nitrogen bubbles and edema.  You honestly need a space suit.)

From here, you can observe any location as if you could see through walls.  Additionally, you can teleport to any visible location with 1000'.  Each of these two usages causes the passengers to gain 1 point of Trauma.  

If you see a gorbel's true form from this vantage point, take another point of Trauma.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Zala Vacha

"Zala Vacha" was originally the Church's name for them--a broad category of all the cults scheduled for extirpation. They didn't have a name for themselves, because they didn't have anything in common (although they soon would).

And there were so many of them. A hundred city gods, a thousand petty divinities, and ten thousand hearth spirits (recognized by only a single family). A vast tree that hung over the whole continent, with every part shaded by its countless branches.

Except the Church did count them. It counted them, wrote out the next century's work, and then the Church pruned t hem back. Now the tree is just a stump with a few stubby arms, too thick to hack and too wet to burn. At some point the whole thing will have to be ripped up.


Let us be clear–there are some “cults of Zala Vacha” that do not consider themselves cults, and do not consider themselves a part of Zala Vacha. For the sake of your digestion, I've broken the largest "cults" into four parcels.


Please Don't Lump Me In With Those Other Guys

  • Void Monks
  • Necromancers
  • Truthmakers
  • The Dawnbringers
More Reasonable Than You've Been Led To Believe
  • The Fire Cults
  • Excelsiors
  • Biomancers
  • The Dinosaur Cult
Exactly As Horrible As Rumored
  • Doomslaves
  • Darklords
Held in Universal Contempt
  • Goxlagog
  • The Rat Cult

Void Monks


The void monks abhor the other members of Zala Vacha, and want nothing to do with them. (Although to be fair, the void monks feel the same way about most people.)


Nevertheless, the monks' atheist inclinations earned them suspicion, and their investigations into the lacunae have earned them condemnation. 


They do not have a centralized power structure, but the greatest of their monasteries is the Obliterat.  Their lay followers are the House Unheard. They are not associated with any god. (Casca, god of the Void, is respectfully acknowledged but not worshipped. He has nothing they need.)


Necromancers


While necromancy certainly existed prior to Nameless Queen Yama, she was the one who perfected the art.  Nearly all of the advancements in necromancy for the last 200 years have been made simply by studying her notes.  Modern necromancers struggle to understand even the things that she attempted to explain in her journals.


The Church burned her at the stake no less than three times and obliterated her memory.  They were successful.  She has not returned since, and her original name is irrevocably lost.  “Yama” is just the word for “zero” or “null” in gospeltongue.


While there are certainly necromancers outside of the Queenscult, the best necromancers are taught by her students.  And the Queenscult is jealous–it is quick to stamp out competing schools of necromancy.  


The Queenscult is led by the Visceral Court, men and women who each possess one of the Nameless Queen’s reincarnated organs.  It is through them that her rebirth will be secured.


Her army is the decapitantes--the headless armored zombies of both humans and giants.  Her elite soldiers are the princesses revenant, nearly a hundred wights raised from the now-desecrated Tomb of Unwed Princesses in Noth.


Their goal is the resurrection of the lost kingdom of Kyona, and nothing else.


by Suguru Tanaka

Truthmakers


UmU is the god of Truth, and OmO is the goddess of Lies, except for when UmU is the goddess of Lies, and UmU is also the goddess of Truth.  It’s all very tongue-in-cheek.  If you can grasp that, you can understand the Cult of UmU in its entirety.


Their great enemies are UmO and OmU, deceitful rival deities whose schemes must be hunted down and discovered. Most of the machinations are directed towards counteracting the machinations of UmO and OmU.


All four of these gods are very, very real. As real as all of the other gods.


The first tenet of UmU is “All gods are false, and everything a priest says is a lie.”


The second tenet of UmU is “It is useless to make lists.”


The third tenet of UmU is “Irony is the superior type of humor, and people who like it are superior to those who don’t.”


The fourth tenet of UmU is “There is no greater fool than someone who understands a piece of the Divine Plan.”


The fifth tenet of UmU is “All order is false order.  No line is perfectly straight, and we should stop pretending that it is.”


The sixth tenet of UmU is “You can only start to learn things when you realize that you don’t know anything.”


The seventh tenet of UmU is “How many more of these things do I have to write?”


The tenets change every time they are written down, and in fact, joining the Cult of UmU involves writing your own set of tenets.  


Every truthmaker of UmU holds the rank of The Pope, and is considered to be a heretic by every other The Pope.  But that’s not an obstacle–the The Popes of UmU have no prohibition against cooperating with heretics.


Some of them are mad, but most of them are probably just clever people pretending to be mad.  They dress like priests of other religions.  They hold their ceremonies in the middle of the night, in the temples of other religions.  


Sincerity is anathema.  People who sincerely join the Cult of UmU are tryhards, and should be avoided.  People who join the Cult of UmU ironically are the true children of UmU. In fact, the truest followers of UmU are the people who do not know that they are following UmU.


Their schemes usually involve embarrassing important people, mass schadenfreude, and general chaos.  (Some of the schadenfreude incidents can be intensely cruel.)


Their allies are: 


  • Mockeries.  What looks like a kid in a troll mask is actually something with the same statblock as a troll.  What looks like three guys under a dragon costume is actually something with the same statblock as a dragon.

  • Laughing Beasts (Babarukhs).  Sort of like werewolves that turn into big shaggy muppet-ogres with bone-white masks.  Cruel provacateurs.

  • Clowns.  The most hated of the Underworld’s creations.


They operate a circus somewhere in the Underworld. Their symbol is the fox, probably.


by Suguru Tanaka


The Dawnbringers


Good and Evil fought a great war, and Centerra was their battleground. Evil triumphed, the Authority turned his face from his creation, allowing it to be remade in the image of Evil.


This is why there is pain, disease, and death. In the Authority's infinite wisdom, do you think that he would create a world where your children would die of deformities before their first birthday? Where so many sleep in the streets, infected by diseases that cannot be cured? Where so many labor the whole lengths of their cheap lives, before finally dying alone and unloved?


And of all the poisons oozing from this cursed world, the cruelest one is the one that convinces us that this is normal--that this world is the natural state of affairs.


There is no justice in this world, but there will be justice in the next. This world must be ended so that the Authority will reclaim it. Only when the last sinner perishes will the world be allowed its rebirth. (And we are all sinners.)


The Dawnbringers will be the ones to do this. The Maiden has shown them how to take the love in their hearts and direct it.


Their greatest weapon is kindness--honest kindness without any strings attached. They heal all who come to them. They avoid violence and killing as much as possible. They operate many shelters and orphanages (and it is from these places that their most devout followers originate).


If they must fight, they will fight with non-lethal means. They avoid cruelty and killing as much as possible. They are not pacifists, and their soldiers include angels--beatific figures with halos and wings. They always show mercy to those that they capture. But before they release you, they will pacify you, healing your mind by restoring it to its natural state--where violence is rightfully abhorrent. You will never want to look at another weapon for as long as you live.


Truthfully, their ultimate goal is far from them. There have been mass suicides (happy ones, if you believe their priests) and sterilization of the willing. But yes, someday they will end the world--a calm sunset before a glorious dawn.


by Suguru Tanaka


The Fire Cults


The last remnants of the old volcano religions that existed in Centerra before the advent of the Church and the Taming of Fire.  They worship a paired set of divinities: Quen is the god of fire, self-realization, and rebirth.  Marsaat is the goddess of shadows, privacy, and peace.  They are believed to have a hidden church beneath Lady Hellfire, the last volcano in the world.


Out of all of the arms of Zala Vacha, the Cults of Quen and Marsaat are the most popular with the general population.  They perform all of the functions of a local church–weddings, exorcisms, namings, last rites, blessings, and festivals.  Many people have grown to loathe the Church’s inquisitions and authoritarianism, and they find resonance in the fire cult’s values of privacy and personal autonomy.


Excelsiors


Zhul is the god of money.  His followers are the excelsiors.  With his blessings, their eyes become jewels, and their skin becomes gold.  He dangles the promise of immortality, for what worth is wealth if death still stalks?


Any animal can be made into a Slave of Zhul by replacing its eyes with gold coins. Whenever the eyes are removed (from master or slave) the poor soul keels over and weeps like a toddler until they are returned.


Zhul's domain is money, mining, charity, greed, and immortality.  The excelsiors operate a number of prominent charities for the poor.  They also appeal to people who seek money, and there are always any of those.


Until recently, Zhul was a god in good standing with the Church. But the story of Zhul's indelicacy, discovery, imprisonment, and escape is too long to recount here.

 

His warlocks have the following powers.


  • Appraise - learn what something is worth.  At higher levels, learn to whom it is worth the most, and why.  (This ability is more powerful than it seems.)

  • Purse - stomach is a bag of holding.  Accessible by swallowing and regurgitating items.

  • Covet - teleport an item into their hands.  After [dice] rounds, it is returned.

  • Goldenbody - become immune to damage for [dice] rounds.  This spell has no effect on damage caused by gold, jewels, and other overt forms of wealth.


And yes, they do believe themselves to be superior to all other members of Zala Vacha.


by Suguru Tanaka


Biomancers


There are many schools of biomancy, but the oldest and the greatest is the Cult of Elcoroth, the Infinite Pillar of Flesh, who manifests as a rainbow of flesh arcing overhead (or several). If Zala Vacha has a heart, it is the miles of cardiac tissue that beats within Elcoroth.


The greatest living practitioner of biomancy is Grandfather Oshregaal, who dwells in Revanwall.


The Cult of Elcoroth has acquired a great deal of power and legitimacy simply because they are known as the greatest healers in the world.  Even the Church cannot cure cancer–something that the Cult of Flesh can manipulate as easily as your grandmother knits a scarf.


The Cult also derives its support from those who wish to develop super-human soldiers (and there are always a few).


Lastly, Elcoroth retains a degree of support among ranchers and cattle-folk.  Back when they were still called Elcor, they were a god of cattle, especially leatherworking and safe birth.


The Dinosaur Cult


Tyroganon Ferox was an ancient reptile, and perhaps the greatest genius and prescient that has ever lived.  According to his own testimony, he was able to see the entire timeline of Centerra in its entirety, hold the entire thing in his mind, and perform calculations on it.

There was no power on Centerra great enough to prevent his death. If there had been, he would have found it.  And although he uplifted other ancient reptiles to serve him, his power could not prevent an apocalypse that killed all of them irrevocably.  (The Great Deluge, it is believed.)  Tyroganon Ferox died in that era, and he remains dead.

To his human servants today, Tyroganon communicates by fossil tablets.  If you wish to speak to him, all you have to do is walk through the wild places and mumble.  (So great was his prescience, that he has already seen and heard all the things that have been, and will be, spoken in all of creation.)  If Tyroganon wishes to respond to you, you will stumble across one of his tablets, where he will respond to you in perfect Common.  (His spelling is impeccable but his penmanship is atrocious.  He was a crippled tyrannosaur.  It was difficult for him to scratch in the mud.)


His loyal servants are rewarded with the locations of gold mines and lost jewels.  All of his cultists someday hope to find a fossilized treasure map.


Tyroganon has other servants.  The serpentmen, long since extinct themselves, have been evacuated from a dying timeline.  Now, the serpentmen are crawling up through the history of Centerra.  They are appearing in history books where once there was nothing.  Ancient ruins are sprouting where once there was only sand. 


Allegedly, anyway.  No one has any memory or evidence of the weird ophidian ruins not being there. We're just taking them on their word.


But their assassins are already here. Serpentmen wizards, atrox pedigrees, and the abominations they call reptoks.


They are crawling up the timelines, these dinosaurs.  They are crawling up the timelines and soon they will be here.  Every year that passes, they get 13 months closer.  Can you hear them?  The words in your history books are turning traitor.


First they’ll kill your great-grandfather, then they’ll kill your grandpa.  Then they’ll lay eggs in your grandma’s house.  Then your dad will be dead, slain in his boyhood by a raptor that crawled out of a mine.  And then they’ll be here, all teeth and scales and you’ll be snapped up and devoured.


The paradox cascade will be shunted into a sacrificial timeline. A New Truth will overwrite the Old Truth. The border will shake and then shatter, flooding all the disharmonious corners of the universe, and the universe will accept it because the Universe values for Harmony but does not understand Truth. 


The incongruent residua will be shackled with chains of irrefutable causality and drowned.  The Authority will smile down from his sun (a bit warmer than the yellow one no one remembers) and flick his tongue in pleasure.  The reptilian thieves will steal from the dinosaur kings, and all will be as it ever was.  Mammals will be exiled to to, and the victors will forget the victory.


Of course, many madmen claim that this has already happened.


Doomslaves


Doomslaves are all consecrated to Phasmagore, the goddess of Blood and Doom.  Every member of her cult exists only to slaughter her enemies until their death.  Doomslaves wield serrated bastard swords called doomblades. They are deathseekers–their goal is to literally die fighting. 


Phasmagore is usually depicted as a woman riding a red horse or, less commonly, a woman sailing a ship on a sea of blood.  She wields two swords and nine heads hang from her waist.


Doomslaves cherish bloodshed, violence, anger, etc, but they are always obligated to accept a surrender–typically, they will just sacrifice a single person to Phasmagore and then be on their way.  They also won’t fight unarmed people, although they may sacrifice a few.


They claim that Phasmagore lives in a lake of blood, down in hell.  When they spill blood, they are merely “sending it back” to her.  Spill enough blood, and demons called shrikes will arise.


All who die in the name of Phasmagore are guaranteed a seat at her table, where there is feasting and fighting for all eternity.  All sins are forgotten, and all painful memories wiped away.  She does not require faith, merely service.


by Suguru Tanaka


Darklords 


Those who worship Mallefar (a.k.a. The Hammer of the Apocalypse, a.k.a. Master of the Falling Sky, a.k.a. The Debtholder) are known as Darklords and Darkladies.  They are gamblers, hedonists, diabolists, and spellbreakers.  Yes, they are exactly as edgy as they sound.


Mallefar is a comet filled with demons. Most believe that it was constructed by the Authority as a prison, and cast far from his light.  The comet returns every few years so that their repentance can be ascertained (just in case they’ve had a change of heart).  


Another theory is that Mallefar is their pleasure barge–the demons are joyriding between worlds.


Either way, Mallefar certainly seems to have a sentience of its own (much like Centerra itself).  It has a much different orbit than the other celestial bodies, and travels far from the universal ecliptic.  Speaking to Mallefar has been successful on exactly one occasion.  The evil comet spoke of its intention to strike Centerra, changed its course in order to pass below the aurora, and then departed to complete its orbit, mocking its audience all the while.


I will not repeat the comet's words here. They are too vulgar.


Mallefar has a period of 19 years and 19 days–it does not orbit near Centerra often.  In the long nights between their master’s warmth, Darklords and Darkladies turn to more conventional demon summoning to enact their plans.


They also have a connection to the Edgeless Sharp, best described as the dimensionless, semi-sentient plane of severance (in all its forms, but especially physical).  Many of them wield Orbs of the Edgeless Sharp and other strange artifacts–all gifts from Mallefar, arriving as asteroids that fall on the homes of Mallefar's enemies.


Orb of the Edgeless Sharp


Spend as long as you like gazing into the orb and invoking the Edgless Sharp.  Each round, a dozen papercuts open up on your body.  At any time, you may point your finger at a target and command the Edgeless Sharp to sever it.  It deals 1d6 slashing damage to the target for every round spent charging up the orb  (max 10d6).  


For every d6 that shows a 3, you take 3 damage.  Multiple people can charge up the orb simultaneously–the orb is “fired” by the first person to invoke it after helping charge it.  Usable 1/day.


by Suguru Tanaka



Cult of the Evil Earth


Goxlagog is the god of oozes and evil earth elementals.  He was worshipped by a nameless culture who valued boredom as the ultimate symbol of luxury.  Yes, there are pits of boiling clay, and if you go to the ceremonies you might get to meet the Black Pudding* and yes, those earthquakes did kill a lot of people, but like, Goxlagog sucks. Not as much as Gribblegrim and the Rat Cult, but close.


*The front end of the Black Pudding, not just the bucolic appendages you stumble across on wandering monster tables.


The Rat Cult


Incoherent, tawdry, and of no consequence whatsoever.


by Suguru Tanaka



Monday, December 13, 2021

New Class: Slayers

There's a few different ways to become a Slayer.

One way is to cut out your own eye, put in in the hand of Zotzi the Slayer, and tell her that you want to train under her.

"Holy shit," she says, laughing.  "I didn't actually think you'd do it.  When do you want to start, idiot?."

Another way is to join the Doomblades or to pry a doomblade from the bloodyfist of a Doomblade that you defeated in single combat.  (The two actions are equivalent.)

A third way is to get your hands on a chainsaw or two.


Baiken, from Guilty Gear


This is a GLOG class, cut from the same cloth as Goblin Guts v2.

Prime Kill Count

A         Murder

B         Taste Blood, Speak with Scavenger

C         Cleave

D         Blood Offering


Murder


Instead of a regular attack, you make two melee attacks against your target and they make one melee attack against you.  All three of these attacks are resolved simultaneously.


Taste Blood


After tasting fresh blood, you learn the creature’s physical weaknesses and can track them like a bloodhound.  After hitting someone with a bladed weapon, you can lick blood off your sword as a free action.


If you have all 4 Slayer templates, you can even learn their psychological weaknesses as well. (As a result, getting punched in the mouth tends to make you a bit philosophical.)


Speak with Scavenger


You can also speak with scavengers: hyenas, vultures, crows, komodo dragons.


Cleave


Whenever you get a melee killing blow on a challenging foe, you can make another melee attack.


Blood Offering


Whenever you get the killing blow on a creature, you immediately heal 1d6 for every 2 Levels of the creature killed.  If the creature had any special abilities, the doomblade absorbs the ability, and is able to cast the ability once.


Prime Ability: Kill Count


Whenever you get the killing blow on a challenging foe, you gain EXP (Execution Points) equal to its level.  The more EXP you get, the better you can survive the furious exchanges of violence that punctuate your daily life. Whenever you kill something, make a note of it in your legendarium under a new section titled THE WEAK AND UNWORTHY alongside it's EXP.


Whenever you kill something in a 1-vs-1 duel, you get twice as much EXP as normal, and you get to put a little "W" next to its entry in THE WEAK AND UNWORTHY.


If you ever die from damage incurred during the use of your Murder ability, you have a chance to survive.  The round after you die, roll a d6.  If you are lucky, you wake back up.  You’re missing another tooth and there is so much blood in your eyes that you can barely see.  You have half of your HP back.  You love this shit.


Whenever this ability triggers, you are able to stand up and move in the same turn as long as you make a melee attack against something at the end of it.


13 EXP     1-in-6 Chance

37 EXP     2-in-6 Chance

111 EXP     3-in-6 Chance

222 EXP     4-in-6 Chance

666 EXP     5-in-6 Chance

2000 EXP Always triggers.


Slayer Party - Killing Spree


If you get into another challenging combat again within 30 minutes after the previous challenging combat, everyone heals to full and gets +1 to hit and damage.  This bonus to hit and damage increases by 1 each time that it is chained.  (If you go 30 minutes without combat, this bonus resets.)


Slayer Game - Speedrun


When only half of your party shows up for today’s session, you can attempt a speedrun of a previously completed dungeon.  The DM will show them the map (but no other features of the dungeon), and the party can start with 3 scrolls of their choice, and as much basic adventuring gear as they want.  Every single inventory item that they walk into the dungeon with will add 5 minutes to their final game time.  Treasures/Allies level up two people instead of one.


The dungeon is reset, and the goal is to complete the dungeon as fast as possible, both in-game time and IRL time.


If your DM wants to allow quicksaving before you jump into a boss room, just make a photocopy of your character sheets and set it aside.


If you ever do this for one of my dungeons, post it on the page.  (# of players, scroll choices, # of quickloads, game time, and IRL time).