Saturday, January 31, 2015

Tales from the Slush Pile

Odds and ends:

After your service on Spill Street, the Gutspills have decided to give you a gift.  This baboon fights as a wardog for  as long as it's mohawk is maintained.  During the night, it bites its tongue and/or lips and writes on the wall with its blood.  Roll a d6.  1 - new spell (strange version of common spell, like a fireball that does acid damage).  2 - paranormal shit.  The third time you get paranormal shit, the baboon is consumed by a HD d10 demon of Demogorgon that bursts from its form.

Just as dwarves claim that all treasures of the earth belong to them ("All gold is dwarven gold!") so do all elves claim that natural beauty belongs to them.  Elves will try to avoid going to war over things like farmland, but they will IMMEDIATELY invade your city if they decide that it has the best sunsets, or they want to build houses behind your waterfall.

Demons, as the opponents of all that is natural, speak in opposites (or backwards, but that's harder to do on the fly) and have their gravity reversed.

Since combustion and electricity do not work near demons, they are largely invulnerable to firearms (unless shot from far away).  This is why firearms are seen as people-killing weapons, whereas, if you carry a sword, you're probably a demon-hunter or something else admirable.  (This is from my Eldritch Americana setting.)

Quantum Duality
Wizard Spell Level ???
Caster splits into two identical copies and controls both of them.  At the end of next turn, one of them discorporeates (caster picks).

Lady of the Fountain. Your first sign that she is coming is a shimmering wave of glittering sandhoppers (shiny locusts) that will come crawling over the sand. Try not to squish any. Then, some of the tiny desert antelope will hop along and sniff you/lick your fingers. You are supposed to throw down any weapons you have when they do that and walk forward. If you don't fuck it up, the Lady of the Fountain will be there. She knows everything that is destined to happen and she is supremely merciful. After you ask her your question, she will answer it, as long as the answer is destined. She doesn't give answers that aren't guaranteed. But be careful! If you are destined to die a terrible death--say torture--she will do the merciful thing and sing you to death right then. It's supposed to be a real pretty lullaby. You just get sleepy and pass on as easily as falling asleep. Not a bad way to go.

The Lotus Dens are unique to the Doglands. They are actually a kind of cactus that is capable of growing into a huge mound, full of hollows and nooks. On the surface grow the lotuses, which are hallucinogenic and sopophoric. At night, they lotuses open, attracting great clouds of moths, who attract flocks of bats in turn. The bats are aggressive, and attack with their highly acidic feces.

Don't go inside of a Lotus Den, though. That's where the Lotus Wives live.  They are fierce if disturbed and will flee by sqeezing through tiny openings in the interior of the Lotus Den, where they may try to strike back by biting or scratching. Merely touching them can duplicate the effects of eating a lotus, and being scratched or bitten is the equivalent to eating a couple of lotuses. Interestingly enough, if a Lotus Wife is prevented from eating lotuses for a few days, she stops being crazy and sort of returns to normal (of course, kidnapping a Lotus Wife is supposed to draw the Lord of Jackals wrath, and is seen as a very unhealthy choice). Even more interestingly: it is considered a decent life choice for Fangolian girls--at least it is preferable to suicide. No "Lotus Husbands" or pregnant women have been found inside a Lotus Den. Presumably, the Lord of Jackals takes care of that.

The Dustwind is full of packs of zombies.  They haunt the petrified forests.  They're armless, screaming, sprinty-bitey types.  Anyone who dies in the Dustwind turns into an armless, dessicated zombie.  Their arms just fall off and crawl away.  No one knows where they go.

SECRET: All the arms go to the Zaris Malgannun, the dungeon in the center of the Dustwind.

If you put your hand into the hole, a blade will fall, severing your hand and dropping it into an alchemical bath.  A few seconds later, your hand will return to you, animate and friendly, like Thing from the Addam's Family.  It is intelligent and friendly (Int 10, Morale 10) and will guide you through the dungeon (it knows where all the traps are), but will be paralyzed with fear if it ever meets a Cleric of the Five.  It will help you fight and it is good at this.  If and when the PCs enter the Womb, the hand will transform as soon as the light hits it, turning into a Giant Monster Hand that automatically attacks.  (This is the boss of the dungeon.)  Included in the treasure hoard is a golden mechanical hand that has 18 Str, but only for tasks that only relate to that hand (holding onto a ledge, squeezing something).

The second most addictive drug in the world is odochrysm, which looks like jizz, is made from reified pain, and allows you to relive any memory you wish, or allows for perfectly lucid dreaming.  Wizards use it to do 24 hours of work every 24 hours.

The most addictive drug in the world is eruch (eh-RUKE) which is also called lulu or soup.  It is produced by the stingers of astral beetle larva (which are corporeal).  Although astral beetles don't exist in our dimension, they do they their eggs here.  Eruch "factories" contain boxes of sterilized meat packaged in vacuum containers.  Junkies duplicate this feat with a process that involves meat, upside-down bath tubs, hard liquor, and sucking on hoses.  Eventually the beetles will find the meat and lay there eggs there, and hang around (since one location is such a good source of meat), laying eggs reliably.  For this reason, you can't move a soup factory once its established.  Junkies and producers have a million superstitions about what attracts and doesn't attract the beetles (they like burning cinnamon, they hate virgins, etc).  They treat them like ghosts.

Reputable sellers will just sell little boxes of stingers, but junkies will sometimes just let the larva crawl on them and sting them.  Then they will dissolve into a euphoric puddle of flesh for an hour, and the larva will lap them up.  (This is why you always need a second person there, to pull the larva off you.  Otherwise it'll eat crucial bits of flesh, and when you re-corporeate, after your trip, you'll be missing things like the tip of your nose or part of your liver or something.)  If two or more people trip out simultaneously, they can trip out together into one big puddle.  A puddle that sighs and grunts and crawls happily on top of itself.

If allows to mix, the puddle will eventually reconstitute crazy humans that are a mixture of the original ingredients.  It mostly produces androgynes with two- or three-colored hair and really mixed up memories.  These people are often confused most of the time.  (Game mechanic: swap one random stat with someone else.  Chance of physical fucked-up-ness afterwards is also pretty high.)  These people are called jumblies, and they form their own marginalized communities.

Soup slums are sometimes dangerous, if the junkies allow the larva to reach their 4th molt, because juvenile astral beetles are ravenous and deadly.  (Not much food on the astral plane, so you gotta eat before you migrate there.)  Authorities don't like the slums because of the occasional vermillion-and-red beetles that phase through shit (like your armor), but at least such tragedies are usually confined to the slums.

The Beautiful Plague was created by the Heralds of the Immaculate Morning.  It's a divine disease.  If you catch it, you get more and more beautiful and pacifistic.  (Charisma gain, increasingly difficult saves if you want to engage in violence.)  You wander around in a calm fever, singing beautiful hymns to the True God for a few days or a week.  Eventually, you turn into a soft column of light that causes feelings of peace, contentedness, and sedation in those who gaze upon it.

I want to write a scenario for the Beautiful Plague, where the PCs have to enter a quarantined plague city.  Everyone is beautiful and babbling and radiant and dying.  There's a cure somewhere.  There's a mischief beast eating people in the chaos somewhere.  There's cultists of Nurgle there, trying to cure this blasphemy.  (They believe that people who die from the Beautiful Plague are erased, soul and all.)

Travel to the plane of Orzelle requires you to be submerged underneath 100 feet of wine.  Wizards build "wells" and bathyspheres for this purpose.

The only form of instantaneous long-range communication is going to involve demons.

If you're a wizard, you're going to need to get involved with demons eventually.  That's where all the good spells come from.

Crucifix golems always appear with some type of dominated undead, usually a ghoul or wight.  If you kill the undead, the golem will try to grab a replacement to carry around.

1 comment:

  1. The Astral Beetle idea really resonates with me after rewatching Breaking Bad.

    Do paladins know what tubs of vacuum-sealed meat represents, or is it a great secret? It is illegal? Given that the Church calls most supernatural creatures 'demons', is setting up a farm a form of 'demon summoning' ?