Monday, March 30, 2015

Manrider Alchemist Class

This is a class that's a bit similar to a wizard, except that their abilities are limited by how many monstrous corpses they can get their hands on.  In my game, there was a lot of competition with the ghoul character (who needed to scavenge monster corpses to heal herself), so monster corpses became something of a commodity, which was cool.

I have a habit of letting everyone make a custom class if they wish, and in this case, the player wanted to play Razzil Darkbrew from DotA, who is basically a little dude who rides on top of a big dude, throwing potions and turning things into gold.  "That's pretty good concept for a character," I said, and then wrote this.

Manrider Alchemist
Requirement: You must be Small.  (Traditionally: halfling, goblin, or grippli.)

Level 1
Save +4 vs Poison, Extractions, Lesser Potions

Level 2 
Loyal Minion

Level 3
Greater Potions


You can turn monster corpses into extracts.  Each corpse takes 10 minutes to render, and is destroyed by the process.  This yields a lesser extract of a specific color.  Corpses of monsters that are HD 1 or less have only a 50% chance of yielding an extract.

There are three different colors of extracts, which roughly correspond to the color of the creature's blood.  Animal-based monsters tend to give red extracts; oozes and insects tend to give green extracts; undead monsters tend to give blue extracts.  (Other cases are decided by the DM on a case-by-case basis.)

An extract can be used to make a potion (see below) or as research, to learn a new potion.

A level 1 alchemist begins the game knowing one random extract of each color.

Lesser Potions 

You can make a potion from an extract.  Red extracts can only be used to make red extracts, etc.  You can only make potions that you already know.  It takes 1 hour to make a potion.

Lesser Red Potions (d20)
1 bomb (1d6 in AoE, impact may explode bomb in inventory)
2 grease
3 stink (Con check or -4 to attack)
4 acid
5 lantern oil
6 sunstone (blinds, acts as a bit of sunlight)
7 true strike (+20 to hit on your next attack)
8 frostbomb (1d6, extinguishes nearby fires)
9 liquid spikes (caltrops)
10 enfeeblement juice
11 stupid juice (lose spell)
12 laughing gas
13 darkness
14 false life
15 paralysis
16 strength
17 dexterity
18 critical strike (if your next attack hits, treat it as a crit)
19 rage
20 jump (50' jump)

Lesser Green Potions (d20)
1 mystical glue
2 universal solvent
3 fog
4 blinding dust
5 charm
6 love potion
7 alarm dust (crackles when stepped on)
8 liquid horse
9 liquid oozling
10 mage hand
11 polyjuice
12 sleep
13 reduce person
14 enlarge person
15 see invisibility
16 comprehend languages
17 drunkenness
18 silver transmutation potion (turn 100c into 100s)
19 feather fall
20 float

Lesser Blue Potions (d20)
1 cure light wounds
2 antidote
3 antiplague
4 alchemical silver
5 anti-ectoplasmic elixir (prot against possession + ghosts)
6 lesser restoration
7 anti-death potion (+4 vs death and XP drain)
8 hide from undead
9 mind blank
10 endure elements
11 expeditious juice
12 inflict light wounds
13 bravery (anti-fear)
14 good cheer (anti-negative emotion)
15 darkvision
16 gentle repose
17 XP Potion (50xp to drinker)
18 stasis
19 alchemical iron (cold iron)
20 anti-petrification (also works on paralysis)

Loyal Minion

You can spend a day in town attempting to recruit a brutish minion.  This takes 1 day and costs 100s, at the end of which, you must succeed on a Charisma check.  The minion you hire is similar to other hirelings, except that they are utterly obedient and have +1d8 more HP than they would normally.

If you are riding on your minion's shoulders and would take damage from an attack, you can command your minion to take the blow for you.  This has a 50% success rate (otherwise you minion fails to block the attack).

Greater Potions

Once you gain the ability to make greater potions, you can harvest greater extracts from creatures that are HD 4 or higher.  You need a greater extract to make a greater potion, but they are otherwise identical.

The same rules for extracts apply: they can be used to make a potion or sacrificed to learn a new (random) potion.

Greater Red Potions (d8)
1 grenado (2d6, chance of exploding as bomb potion)
2 faerie fire
3 incendiary cloud (1d6)
4 bigger stink cloud
5 ultimate acid
6 big frostbomb
7 mr. hyde (turn into a bigger, stronger, crueller version of yourself)
8 dispel magic

Greater Green Potions (d8)
1 invisibility
2 webbing (as web)
3 animate object
4 mirror image
5 fusion potion (requires two drinkers)
6 water breathing
7 gold transmutation potion (turn 100s into 100g)
8 splitting potion (can turn an owlbear into an owl and a bear)

Greater Blue Potions (d8)
1 protection from fire
2 protection from cold
3 escape (freedom of movement 1 round)
4 cure moderate (2d6+2)
5 inflict moderate (2d6+2)
6 restoration
7 shared blood (allows two people to pool their HP as one)
8 greater XP potion (200xp)

Narrative Wounds and Fast HP Refreshment

I've experimented with different types of healing in my games.  Over time, I've been gravitating towards fast HP refresh, coupled with a wound system.  This has two advantages:

  • It mitigates the need for a healer.
  • It allows players to adventure longer without needing to sleep (a restriction which sometimes feels crudely artificial)

So here's my current system:

  1. HP can be thought of as "don't get hit" points.
  2. HPs recover to full with a full lunch (takes an hour) or a good night's rest (takes 8 hours).
  3. Any damage in excess of 0 incurs a roll on the death and dismemberment table, which is sprinkled with injuries that may take days or months to heal.

And that works pretty good.  I've also experimented with an even looser version, where HP refill to full with every short rest, but that feels a bit too loose to me, since fights often have no lasting impact.

So here's the system that I'm going to try next.  It's the same as the above system except for #2:

2. HPs optionally recover to full during a short rest (10 minutes / an exploration turn) while the character binds their wounds and picks the rocks out of their shoe.  If the character chooses to recover HP this way, they must also assign themselves a narrative injury.  This injury has no mechanical effect except to reduce their maximum HP by 1 point per HD.  (So a level 3 character would have their maximum HP reduced by 3 points).  This minor injury lasts for the rest of the day.

I like this because:

  • It gives players a chance to describe how their character has been injured (scrapes?  exhaustion?  demoralization?) and how they recover from it (rub some dirt in the wound? quaff some booze?  lighten the mood with some jokes?).
  • It creates a tactical decision point.  Should they play conservative and heal now?  Or should they press their luck, trying not to reduce their maximum HP too much with too many refreshments?
In play, it might feel a little artificial (since some players will be refreshing mechanically while others won't be) but I hope that the narrative side of things will alleviate some of that.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Attack of the Drill Cities

So, the morlocks of the hollow earth are invading the surface world.  They believe, quite correctly, that ancient treaties give them dominion over the human kingdoms.

There are billions of them down there, teeming in the tunnels like a pumpkin full of maggots.  But getting there is a year-long journey through the bowels of the earth, and through a very literal hell.  (The mythic underworld of Centerra is a literal underworld.)

So, to facilitate that horrible journey from their watery blue sun (through ghosts and gravity and magma) they built the drill cities, which they can ride through the earth until they emerge onto the surface of Centerra and feel the cruel warmth of its alien, yellow sun.

Like all good disasters, they will be heralded by earthquakes.

When they get really close--less than a week--you can taste them in the drinking water.

And then the thing is peeking through the ground some morning, like the fontanel of some unborn beast, spiraling out of the ground.  It grows 10 feet taller every minute, forming a narrow tower like a unicorn's horn or a broad, low spiral like a seashell.

The walls are striated steel, gouged where the fossil demons tried to get in and polished where semi-molten rock has abraded it.  Compared to the squares and triangles of human architecture, the blunt spiral of the morlock drill-arcology is completely alien.

The usual tactic is to overwhelm an adjacent city in the space of a few days by launching night time raids.  If that doesn't yield the immediate results, they'll begin tunneling under the human settlement.  Morlocks dig fast.

Population of Drill City?

  • 1d6 x 300 morlocks
  • 2d10 derro saboteurs
  • 2d8 fomorian giants
  • 2d6 chelinausca overlords
  • 25% chance of an illithid ambassador
  • 25% chance of a beholder mercenary
  • 25% chance of sentient, obedient purple worm
  • 25% chance of a deep dragon
State Upon Arrival (d6)
  1. Orderly, disciplined, well-stocked.
  2. Still orderly and under control, but desperate for food.
  3. Panic and starvation among the overlords, half of the population has been eaten, more like refugees than an army (still well-armed, though).
  4. Overlords dead, morlocks have regressed into hyper-agressive, feudal state.
  5. Overlords dead, morlocks have regressed even further, lord of the flies, primitive system, half-mad from metal, centrifugation, and hunger (they have not forgotten how to use their weapons).
  6. Everyone dead due to some disaster, roll on derelict drill hulk table below.
Derelict Drill Hulk (d4)
  1. Death caused by catastrophe involving their superweapon (roll below).
  2. Undead breached the hull.  Full of zombies, ghouls, and wights.  Led by a serpent made of fused corpses (HD 10) that breathes a cone of necrotic rot-bolts and zombies (active).
  3. Cooked in the lava.  Filled with cooked meat.  Completely deserted except for a huge black pudding (HD 16), currently half-baked onto the floor of the plaza, but will wake up after walked on a couple of times.
  4. Demons.  2d6 of them, puppetting hapless morlocks around like fuckin' skincars.  Once it exits its morlock, the lead demon is sort of an anti-medusa (humans growing out of a snake) possessing a gaze attack (save or be turned inside out).
Chelinauscan Overlords (d3)
  1. Pax Churubin, MU7, dark purple shell, possesses a ring of acid immunity, a ring of no breath, and an amulet of ooze control.  Rides around inside a gelatinous cube.
  2. CalasYakekerker, MU6, crimson shell inscribed with raw madness (headaches if glanced at, save vs insanity if actually read), possesses a harem of giants
  3. Chindurian Sacroplex, MU8, shell such a dark red that it is nearly black, is secretly a lich.  He hides his lichdom with a complicated system of perfumes.
Morlock Masterslaves (d3)
  1. Bleedak Hollowman, F6, a sphere of annihilation follows him around like a loyal dog (albeit a disobedient one).
  2. Scrivener Terrok, T8, has a cloak of dimension door (1/day) and a wand of centrifugation (save or be spun around in increasingly terrifying rpm, like hold person except you take 1d6 damage per turn (cumulative/stacking) has 8 charges left).
  3. Trembler Ulura, MU7, wears blue smoke for clothing, poisonous fingernails, capable of casting a version of maze that allows the caster to enter the labyrinth as well (allowing her to challenge people 1 v 1 and kill them in the maze space).
Secret Superweapon (d6)
  1. Stable of purple worms, kept docile via vast quantities of under-opium.
  2. Plague stirges.
  3. Bethorem, fallen goddess of hailstorms (HD 9), currently trapped inside a flailsnail shell in a tank of acid.  She can be used to summon baseball-sized hail.
  4. Mechanical beholder tower firing pencil-thin rays of disintegration.  Will be used to cut buildings in half and write discouraging messages on mountainsides.
  5. The demon Goldenlight (HD 8, regenerates 5 hp/round, all damage he takes is duplicated on the person who attacks him) who appears as a fat (nearly spherical) morlock covered in jewels and red silk.  He is a shapechanger with access to charm person--he will destroy the humans from within.
  6. Drill city is actually the shell of a giant cone snail that breathes vast clouds of poison.  Controlled by morlocks living in its hat.
  7. Time machine.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Dungeon Dryads

HD 3  Defense unarmored  Fingernails 1d6
Move as human  Morale 6
Spells charm, entangle
Special hide in plant

Hide in plant: A dungeon dryad is bound to a particular plant.  She can hide inside this plant, phasing in and out of it as easily as passing through a beaded curtain.  She can bring other willing creatures in there too, and usually has a small room in there, illuminated by glowing lichens.

Dryads bond with plants, but there are few plants in dungeons, as there is usually very little light.  This limits them to (a) plant roots, (b) carnivorous plants, or (c) symbiotic plants like lichens.

Like all dryads, they appear as beautiful women (though with grey skin, black hair and nails, and pale eyes).  They sometimes take a liking to humans and use their charm ability to get them to remain with them, for companionship.  However, they have an unusual view of beauty, and are especially attracted to ugly humanoids, or those with the lowest Charisma.  Because of their inverted beauty standards, they often lament how ugly they are.

Dungeon dryads who become pregant give birth to a thumb-sized seed a month later, which they plant in their grove.  This grows into a pink gourd containing the fetus, who eats his way out 9 months later.  These half-breeds have a 50% chance to be monstrous (idiotic, muscular, deformed) and a 50% chance to be fey-like (beautiful, aloof, callous), and will always have plant traits.  A dryad's grove will have 1d6-2 (min 0) of these at any given time, usually in a protected corner.

A dungeon dryad is born when a dryadic halfbreed from the previous paragraph encounters their soulmate.  This is (almost) always a plant.  Then they bond with the plant (something you don't want to be present for) and become one and live inside them and share in all things and watch eternity pass them by in sap-slow contentment.

The only things that a plant can't provide are sex and chit-chat.  This is why dryads are always seducing people.

A dungeon dryad will have 1d3+1 different plants (see below) in their grove, which may encompass multiple rooms.  They are capable of being hospitable, if treated well.  Half of all dryads are male, but I bet no one is going to put a male dryad in their game.

A day after passing through a dryad's garden, flowers will grow on your waterskins, rations, and in the hair of the party members.  Every dryad causes a different type of flower to grow.  The flowers will smell of woman, and are harmless.

Dungeon Dryad Boyfriends/Girlfriends (d8):
1 troll, 2 crawling giant, 3 morlock, 4 adorably pathetic goblin, 5 2d6 yoblins, 6 ogre mage, 7-8 no boyfriend

Boyfriend's/Girlfriend's Location (d3):
1 hanging out with dryad, 2 returning shortly, 3 returning tomorrow

What Dryads Want (d8):
  1. a boyfriend!*
  2. seriously, just anyone with 3 Cha*
  3. a girlfriend!*
  4. their boyfriend is being held prisoner somewhere else in the dungeon
  5. something else in the dungeon is making her plants sick
  6. she wants something to protect her grove: a magic sword, a set of bear traps, or some other suggestion.
*People who want to become a dryad's cuddle buddy will probably have to contend with the current cuddle buddy (if they exist).  They also won't be allowed to leave the grove until the dryad trusts them, which usually takes a month or so.

Tips for Using Dryads in Your Dungeon
  • Remember that they are a roleplaying encounter.
  • They can be allies or enemies (or frenemies) depending on what they want and how the players react.
  • While, yes, they do look like beautiful ladies, up close they are alien (they smell of loam and flowers), so be sure to play this up.
  • Though they might love you, they will never love you more than their garden.

Dungeon Grass

It's long: waist-high.  If it likes you, it's as soft as feathers.  If it doesn't, it's as sharp as razors (1d6 damage for every 10' traveled, or 1d4 if wearing full plate).  They create a tremendous amount of smoke if burned.

Note: Fires underground are exceptionally dangerous.  Not only will the smoke asphyxiate you, but it removes oxygen from the air (and dungeons usually have very low air cycling rates).

Dungeon grass is a hero among plants.  All plants hate animals (trampling and eating and burning) with a deep, implacable passion.  They hate humanoids especially.  Like pretty much everything else in Centerra, the plants have a spirit and a sentience that is hidden from view most of the time.  But plants talk to each other, and one of the things that they talk about is how they wish all the humans would just be sliced to quick-composting ribbons.  And dungeon grass is the one to do that.  It has the personality of a berserk samurai (although you'd only discover that if you used speak with plants).

Dungeon Dandelions

Not directly dangerous, but they fill the air with their tiny, floating seeds.  Whenever a creature takes slashing or piercing damage, the seeds immediately land in the wound and send roots spiraling into the flesh.  A yellow dandelion flower grows a moment later.  If you look at the dandelion poofs under a magnifying glass, you'll see that they have horrible little faces: a cross between an old man and a needle.

The flower grows so quickly because it is trying to kill you.  This is a fast way for them to get a large dose of fertilizer.

Whenever you take damage in an area with dungeon dandelions, you take 1dX damage, where X is the number of dungeon dandelion plants.


Stats as giant snakes, except immobile and immune to bludgeoning
Special dehydrate, detach

Dehydrate: All water-containing creatures within 20' must save or take 1d6 Con damage as they dessicate painfully.  Additionally, all the water in that range is likewise leeched by the tree.  This includes water inside waterskins.  Potions also dehydrate, becoming unusable until water is added back into them.

Detach: If you piss a rootwhomper off enough, it will bite through the part of it that attaches it to the ceiling and come "whomping" after you like a drunk man doing the worm on a dance floor.  You can burn them, but this will only burn their outer layer and stun them (which makes it look like you've killed them) but really all you've done is pissed it off.

These are huge roots that grow into a dungeon from above.  They are the roots of an equally huge tree somewhere on the surface, called a Scabrous Elm.  Dungeon dryads prefer these roots and often live in the central root mass (they prefer not to go above ground).  (In fact, they might even have another dryad living in the upper half of the tree, who then can sense but are afraid to go meet.)

Usually inert, they grow out of the ceiling in groups of 1-6.  They are rigid (they are wood, after all).  When living creatures come below them, they will with spread their gills and use their dehydrate ability.  When they attack, they start thrashing around and biting shit (at first glance, it is not obvious that they are motile).

Hell Melon

If a dungeon dryad doesn't bond to a Rootwhomper, she'll bond to a hell melon plant.  These are basically just cantlope plants, except that they may grow on the root or the floor (wherever the water table is) and instead of producing cantalopes, they produce cantalopes with fuzzy skin, like a peach.

When eaten, they are delicious, can feed a person for a day, and give a new save against any ongoing diseases.  Dryads will offer these to friends and enemies alike, often provisioning them with melons or playfully challenging them to eating contests.

The seeds are capable of growing in your tummy.  Each melon meal (assume 3 a day) will put one seed in your tummy, lodged innocuously against your stomach wall.  After 48 hours, the seeds will instantly grow into melons, dealing 1d6 damage per seed.  A constitution check can cut this damage in half.

If the hell melon plant is attacked, it will try to uproot itself and crawl away about as fast as a tortoise.  It will also remotely trigger all of the seeds, causing all seeds in stomachs to instantly grow into melons.

The dryad can also remotely trigger the seeds by snapping her fingers.  She is also capable of "disarming" melons that she offers as gifts, and will do this most of the time (unless she is certain that you're an enemy).

Tumble Melon Trees

You can find them here, too.  Like all trees in a dryad's grove, they'll act to protect her, flinging their valuable melons like siege weapons.

They have a full write up here.  (That was the first blog post I ever wrote!  2.5 years ago!)

everything is pokemon

HD 0 (HP 1)  Defense leather  Slashy Roots 1d6
Fly slower than human  Morale 12
Special explode

Explode: when killed, they release a cloud of noxious blue gas.  All within 10' must save vs poison or take 1d6 damage.

They look exactly like a certain pokemon.  They fly by controlling air currents near themselves.

When at rest, they look like fat bodied plants, with several closed flower buds around their body.

but with googly eyes and little goblin claws and adorable little belly buttons
why do they have bellybuttons?
who knows!

HD 0 (HP 1)  Defense unarmored  Bite 1d3 + attach
Move human  Morale 12
Special horrible teeth

Horrible Teeth: When a clapsnacker is attached to you, it embeds it's teeth into it's target's flesh.  This is so painful and encumbering that they get a -1 penalty for each clapsnacker attached.  Even after the clapsnacker has been killed or ripped off, the teeth (and the penalty) remain.  This penalty stacks up to -4.  Unless removed very carefully (3 rounds) the teeth do 1d3 additional damage.

They look like goblins made out of sticks, except that their head is like a venus fly trap.  They make a horrible clappy noise with their mouths when they run that sounds a bit like "snacky snacky".

When at rest, it's still pretty obvious that they're monsters.  They've got big goggly eyes that they use to stare at you, and bright red tongues that they use to lick their lips.  They have an uncontrollable hatred for carrion crawlers and carrion flies, which they will pursue to the exclusion of all other tasks.

Rule 88:
If you can draw sexy lady versions of this monster
you will find lots of art for it
If the monster cannot be made into a sexy lady version
you will not

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Race Horses and Horse Races

Racing Horse Stats

So, everyone knows that horses have a Movement score.  But horses also have two more hidden stats: Sprint (derived from Dexterity) and Constitution.

Horses have a Movement of 18.
Exceptional horses might have a Movement of 19, 20, or 21.

A horse has a Sprint of 1d4, which is derived from Dex 10 (the horse average).
Dex 8 = cannot sprint
Dex 10 = Sprint 1d4
Dex 12 = Sprint 1d6
Dex 14 = Sprint 1d8
Dex 16 = Sprint 1d10
Dex 18 = Sprint 1d12
When a horse sprints, it gains its sprint value to Movement for a round, but afterwards the horse tires, getting a point of Exhaustion.
Exceptional horses might have a Sprint of 1d6,1d8, or 1d10.

A horse has a Constitution value of 10.
At certain points in a race, there are opportunities to take short cuts, charge through a fence, that sort of thing.  Success on these actions depends on Constitution checks.  Certain difficult parts of the race (running up a hill, for example) require a Constitution check to avoid gaining a point of Exhaustion.
Exceptional horses might have Constitutions of 12, 14, or even 16.

Each point of exhaustion applies as a penalty to Movement and Constitution.  When a horse is fully exhausted (6 points of exhaustion), that horse can no longer Sprint, nor gain any further exhaustion points.

Buying Horses

An average horse costs 50g (in a gold standard system) and has Movement 18, Sprint 1d4, and Constitution 10.

25% of horses are exceptional horses, and are generated on the table below.  If PCs already have horses and enter into a race, roll at the start of the race to see if they have an exceptional horse.

If a horse dealer specializes in racing horses, all of their horses will be exceptional.  A regular horse dealer has a 40% chance to recognize the exceptional ability a horse, and price them appropriately.  A racing horse dealer has a 60% chance to recognize the exceptional ability of a horse and price them appropriately.

What's Exceptional about this horse? (d8)
1-2 Movement
3 Sprint
4 Constitution
5 Movement and Sprint, final price x1.5
6 Sprint and Constitution, final price x1.5
7 Movement and Constitution, final price x1.5
8 All 3, final price x2

Exceptional Movement (d6)
1-3 Movement +1, +200g to price
4-5 Movement +2, +400g to price
6 Movement +3, +600g to price

Exceptional Sprint (d6)
1-3 Dexterity +2 (Sprint 1d6), +100g to price
4-5 Dexterity +4 (Sprint 1d8), +200g to price
6 Dexterity +6 (Sprint 1d10), +300g to price

Exceptional Constitution (d6)
1-3 Constitution +2, +100g to price
4-5 Constitution +4, +200g to price
6 Constitution +6, +300g to price

Under this math, it's possible for a horse to be worth 2500g.  Like, Shadowfax or something.

oh my god
Race Mechanics

Everyone starts at the same zone, the starting line.  As the characters race, they'll move forward and backward in the zones, but this is all relative to one of the racers, the pacer.  Think of the pacer as the racer that the camera is centered on, with everyone else either being ahead of or behind them.

Each round, each racer will roll Movement + 1d12 and compare it to the pacer's result.  If they are at least 3 points higher, they move forward a zone.  If they are at least 3 points slower, they move back a zone.  They can't move more than 1 zone in a turn, and they can't be farther than 2 zones in front of or behind the pacer.  At the finish line, you can determine the finishing order within a zone by looking at the individual movement rolls for each racer.

You can roll for the pacer if you want, but it's probably easier just to use average values.  Here are average values if the pacer is a horse with Movement 18.

21 or less: fall back a zone
22 to 27: no change (pacer Movement +4 to Movement +9)
28 or more: go forward a zone

That's the basics, anyway.

Before rolling movement each turn, each racer has a chance to take some actions.  They can attack, drop things, throw things, whatever.  Basically the same stuff they could do in a combat round.  You can only make melee attacks against the racers in the same zone as you.  Bows attacks are made with a -2 penalty per zone, due to the fact that you're shooting from the back of a galloping horse.  Thrown weapons have no penalty, but they have a range of 1 zone.

Sample Race - Two Laps Around Lake Sentimental

All of the PCs can race against a pair of NPC racers.  Trying to kill the other racers disqualifies you.  So does the use of magic (if they catch you).

Morgan Bronzewind on a black destrier, (horse, Movement 19, Sprint 1d4, Constutition 10).  She is the pacer.

Manzel Bronzewind on a white destrier, (horse, Movement 19, Sprint 1d4, Constitution 12).  He is a regular racer, so the DM will have to roll for him each round.

The race is two laps around a small lake.  There are five sections (each of which will be repeated twice).  The listed pace is what is required on the Movement check to remain in the same zone.  For example, the first lap up Section 1: the Hill has a listed pace of 22-27.  If they roll a 21 or lower, they fall back a zone.  If they roll a 28 or higher, they move up a zone.

Section 1:  The Hill

All horses running up the hill must make a Con check or gain a point of exhaustion.

Lap 1 pace: 22-27
Lap 2 pace: 21-26

Section 2:  The Briars

The first horse running into the briars must make a Con check or automatically fall back a zone.  On the first lap, the racers will disturb a bunch of ugly, disheveled men sitting around a campfire.  The second lap through the briars, the brigands will fire arrows at 3 random racers (+1 to hit, 1d6 damage).

Lap 1 pace: 22-27
Lap 2 pace: 21-26

Section 3:  The Village

There is also a shortcut here.  Instead of making a Movement check, make a Con check to forge through the side streets.  Success results in the racer gaining a position; failure results in losing one.

Lap 1 pace: 22-27
Lap 2 pace: 21-26

Section 4:  The Bridge

The road narrows onto the bridge, which is only wide enough for two horses.  All horses must succeed on a Constitution check or be forced back a position.  The first and second fastest horses within each zone are immune to this requirement.  The pacer is immune to this requirement, too.

Lap 1 pace: 22-27
Lap 2 pace: 23-28

Section 5:  The Ruined Fort 

The race course includes several spider web-filled hallways and the ruins of a mead hall.  The first lap through, the racers will be attacked by 1d3 dire bats (HD 2), who will attack racers in the back zone (Pacer -2) until killed.

Lap 1 pace: 22-27
Lap 2 pace: 21-26 (finish 23.5)


The winner gets a horse from the losing side and 700g.  Those racers who took advantage of the shortcut will be in trouble with the town guard the next time they are in town.

Things That Aren't Horses (and Horses, too)

HD 2, AC 12, Kick 1d6, Move 18
Dex 10 (Sprint 1d4), Constitution 10
*Horses freak out in combat and cannot be commanded to kick things.

*Same as a horse, except HD 3 and are trained for combat.
**Cost is x2 what a horse would normally cost.  They are not bred for speed, and they will never have exceptional movement or sprint.  (All exceptional war horses roll on the Exceptional Constitution table.)

Orn (giant riding bird)
HD 2, AC 12, Peck 1d8, Move 18
Dex 12 (Sprint 1d6), Constitution 8
*Cost 75g.
**Exceptional orns exist in the same way that exceptional horses do.  They cost +50% more than a comparable horse.  Orns with Dex 18 have Spring 1d12.

Gorolisk (giant riding lizard)
HD 2, AC 14, Bite 1d6, Move 18
Dex 8 (cannot sprint), Constitution 12
*Cost 75g.
**Exceptional gorolisks exist in the same way that exceptional horses do.  They cost +50% more than a comparable horse.

Monday, March 16, 2015


HD 1  AC 11  Oversized Weapon 1d8
Speed as human  Morale 12  Immune Fear, pain

Diehard.  After being dropped to 0 HP, there is a 50% chance that this creature continues to fight for another round before dropping dead.

Types of Berserkers
  1. Insane.  A overdose of talakeshi jelly, or the product of too many exotic neurotoxins spread across too few nerves.  Twitches, hallucinations.  Ragged clothing, stained red from self-harm.  Bare feet leave bloody footprints wherever they go.  Attack with hammers, straight razors.  Shouts: "I wanna eat your babies!" "Show me a bucket, and I'll show you a bucket!"  "They bounce if you throw them hard enough!"  "I'm sorry!  I'm so sorry!  You'll forgive me, won't you?"  "Harold!  Harold, how have you been?  How about those twenty silver you owe me?"
  2. Ensorcelled.  Supernaturally beguiled into becoming the soldiers for some enchanter.  Their veins glow red under their skin, and steam rises from their panting mouths.  They scream the name of their enchanter when they spot an enemy, when they attack, and when they die.  These are the only three things they'll ever do, and so the name is the only word they'll ever need.  Attack with glittering swords, or a single fingernail, glowing and impossibly long.
  3. Viking.  They're here for gold, a specific magical item, or simple to make a name for themselves.  Often it'll be a group of teenagers, striving to kill a noteworthy opponent or die trying.  They'll froth at the mouth and bite their axe hilts.  In the battle-rage they scream like animals, and forget the use of speech.  (They're quite reasonable the rest of the time.)  They wear braided bracelets of their spouse's hair (or their mother's if they are unwed).  Attack with greataxes and greatswords.
  4. Deathsworn.  Shorn heads, plastered with chalk dust.  Prayer beads shackled to their wrists.  Penitent's robes.  In exchange for the forgiveness of their sins, these men and women have received their third baptism from the Church--the baptism for the redemption of the damned.  This is effectively a geas spell, with one goal: to seek the greatest sources of destroy them without hesitation or forethought.  (They usually die pretty quickly.)  You'll often find themselves in the darkest corners of the world.  In these places, they attack everyone they see, reasoning that no decent person would ever stumble into such a hellhole.  Attack with huge hammers and spiked staves.
  5. Laughing.  Servants of the pain god.  Beneath their black leather armor is an elaborate filigree of scars.  Bottles on their waist are filled with blood, which they drink to slake their thirst.  Around each one's neck is a trussed-up vampire bat, whose saliva they use as an anticoagulant (so their blood doesn't curdle).  They delight in causing pain, but not in prolonging death.  They grin when they are struck, and always die laughing.  They fight with spiked chains and razor glaives.
  6. Otherworldly.  It's easy to be careless with your body when you know its only a rental.  Blue skin pebbled with yellow bumps.  Beneath a bandana is a third, empty eye socket.  Wear rags covered in yellow dust.  Speak no known language.  Attack slowly, carelessly.  They fight with glass spears, like elongated icicles.

Berserker Encounters
  1. Dungeon Chase.  4d6 berserkers appear, yelling and gnashing their teeth.  They are numerous enough that fighting them is ill-advised.  They intend to chase the party out of the dungeon, killing only the one member who is slowest.
  2. Rorshach Test.  2d6 berserkers are attacking some disgusting but benign creature (or creatures), made dangerous by its injuries.  They will urge you to join them in attacking it.
  3. Awakening.  2d6 berserkers have located a magic spear (+3 vs angels) and learned the location of a graveyard spirit.  They're going to go wake it up and kill it.  Left to their own devices, they will succeed at the first have of this goal before being killed by the graveyard spirit and the spear trampled into fragments.  This will replace the berserkers on the random encounter table with the much more dangerous graveyard spirit.
  4. Trophy-takers.  2d6 berserkers have killed another entry on this (dungeon's/hex crawl's) random encounter table.  Roll again to find out which one.  They appear covered in trophies from their last fight and have 1 special piece of equipment relevant to the thing they just fought.
  5. Enemy of My Enemy.  Roll another random encounter and begin that one as normal, preferably with a monster or enemy that would normally go straight to combat.  After 1-2 rounds of this combat, 4d6 berserkers bust into the room and begin screaming how they are going to kill everyone and wear their guts.  This would be a good time to ally with your former enemy.
  6. Berserk Animal.  They are accompanied by a big-pissed off animal.  A dire wolf or huge boar (HD 4 each) is traditional.  The berserk animal attacks a random person each round.

(because no encounter exists in a vacuum)
  1. Berserkers are accompanied by a bard, who will not fight.  He is here to record their brave deaths.  He can promise you good compensation if he is delivered to a nearby city.
  2. Berserkers are loaded up on all sorts of drugs, especially Talakeshi jelly (lets you always win initiative).  This is stolen, and a local drug lord will want compensation if she hears about it.
  3. When you go back to town, you'll hear about the berserkers being lauded as brave heroes who killed lots of monsters.  You'll be expected to join in when honoring their memories.
  4. Berserkers were servants of someone else.  They'll expect you to pay compensation for killing them.
  5. Berserkers were known and hated.  You'll be rewarded with friendship, connections, and favors.
  6. Berserkers were were known and especially feared.  If you can prove that you killed them, you'll be rewarded with 500s.  This will probably involve recovering all of their bodies, which may have been moved by predators or risen as undead by now.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Tooth Fairies

HD 0 (HP 1) Armor as plate + shield
Fairy Fingers* 1d4 + steal teeth Spellcasting sleep, bones to marrow, invisibility
Fly as sparrow  Morale 4 Save 14+

Stealthy and Oblivious. Surprising on 4-in-6, but being caught unawares the other 2-in-6 (usually because they're playing, dancng, singing, etc).

Glamour. Clothing, armor, and attacks are appear however the fairy wishes (often subconsciously, reflecting their emotions).  Fairies usually appear either mostly naked or covered in stylized finery, such as a ballgown made from their favorite material, or a natural substance in their favorite color.

Fairy Dust. In addition to granting flight for a minute, it can also animate a skeleton (HD 1).  These skeletons are curiously non-violent, and will not do any command that involves hurting a living thing (though they can attack undead with a passion).  When left unattended, they congregate into groups and perform elaborate ballets.  They will be loyal for 1d12 days, after which they will creep away (sometimes in groups) in order to pursue some innocuous goal, such as maintaining a garden.  (Fairies usually eat their skeletons before then, of course.)

Fairy Fingers.  Tooth fairies are capable of reaching through flesh as if it were immaterial and plucking out bones.  They usually use this to steal a few small finger bones or teeth in the confusion of melee.  They also use this to steal teeth from sleeping creatures (the process is painless).  Missing teeth and fingerbones can be replaced by returning them back to their old location within 10 minutes of their removal (which may require cutting your finger open) or by a willing tooth fairy (who can even replace your missing bones with replacement bones.

At the DM's discretion, fairies may also be capable of combat maneuvers like dislocations and broken bones.  Also at the DM's discretions, groups of tooth fairies (say, 3 or more) are capable of attacking in unison to remove larger bones (say, 6 damage delivered simultaneously is enough to remove a tibia).

When fairies steal teeth in the middle of combat, they usually stash them in their own mouths, because that's hilarious.  While their tiny faces are pretty beforehand, implanting a few human-size molars into their own gums deforms their smiles, distorts their faces, and makes them talk funny.

Bones to Marrow
Level ? Fairy Curse
If the subject fails a save, all of their bones turn into soft, floppy marrow.  This makes them unable to walk or to even hold a sword.  This is painless, and accompanied by a pleasant numbness.  It lasts until the curse is removed or until the victim eats the bone of another creature.  (They are somewhat aware of this--they feel hungry whenever they think about nice, crunchy bones.)

Also known as bone fairies, tooth fairies resemble other fairies.  Their wings resemble a fly's.  They are beautiful and dainty and polite above all else.  Like all fairies, they are talkative and love to playing games and being shown affection.

Tooth fairies use their magic to turn their collected bones into marrow, which is the only thing that they eat.

They're also one of the "bad fairies", so they perpetually see themselves as villains and strive to do horrible acts.  Some of these are minor (such as spilling ink on a white cat) and some of them are major (such as murdering an entire family and eating their bones).  Bad fairies have a hard time distinguishing degrees of badness--both of those acts are equally despicable in their eyes.  Either way, all sorts of bad behavior are desirable to bad fairies.

Like good fairies, bone fairies will present themselves and demand things (but only on a good reaction roll).  Their demand is usually "Give me your donkey and all its bones and I'll tell a secret".  On a negative reaction roll, they might just try to kill you.

Digression: Secrets from lesser fairies (good and bad fairies) are notoriously unreliable.  Like children, fairies believe all sorts of stupid things about the world, like the idea that the sun is a golden ball with a chocolate center, or that the fairy queens are responsible for the coming and going of the seasons.

Tooth Fairy Encounters

  1. One tooth fairy and her squad of loyal, toothless orcs have captured a bridge and have enacted a modest toll (by their standards): for every person that crosses, 10 teeth or 1 long bone.
  2. A necromancer seeks assistance--she is being stalked by 1d4 tooth fairies who are continually eating her skeletons.  The necromancer lisps badly--she is missing most of her teeth.  (The fairies are seeking revenge because the necromancer cheated during a game of hide-and-seek and then insulted one of their number.)
  3. A giant is flopped down, begging for help.  "PLEASE!  FEED ME!  I NEED BONES!"  He is the victim of 1d4 tooth fairies, who have turned his bones to marrow.  Over the next few days, they will eat him alive (this guarantees freshness).  The fairies are hiding nearby.
  4. 1d4 tooth fairies have captures a litter of puppies and tied their tails together.  They are laughing at the puppies and scaring them.
  5. An enterprising tooth fairy is selling skeletal minions (decorated in jewelry and pretty clothing) in exchange for babies.  Her bodyguard is a toothless ogre.
  6. The PCs come across 6 black-barked oaks in the forest arranged around a circle of mushrooms.  Something shiny glistens like silver inside one of the trees.  In fact, these trees belong to 1d4 tooth fairies (hiding nearby) who use these trees.  They have been collecting teeth from under pillows for years, and paying for them with copper coins.  3 of the trees contain 1000c, while the other 3 trees are stuffed full of teeth (hoarded like a squirrel hoards acorns).  Telling the people in the nearest town about these events will make them furious--those fairies were their friends, and that money belongs to the town.  (The fairies only took teeth that were rotten or that had fallen out already.  At least, as far as the villagers knew.)

Tooth Fairy Treasures

  1. Soldier Teeth (1d4).  When sown into farmland, they grow into a dragon skeleton (inert).
  2. White Rose.  When eaten, it turns you into a skeleton for 1d20 hours (permanent on a 20).  As a skeleton, you cannot speak or cast spells, but most of your other abilities and scores remain intact.  You can be commanded and turned like any other undead.
  3. Bone Balm.  When rubbed on an arm-/leg-stump, will regenerate a lost limb.  Has a 50% chance to regenerate a fairy limb instead, which is graceful and svelte and probably the wrong skin color.
  4. Gown of the Danse Macabre.  By wearing this dress and dancing, all skeletons within 50' are also compelled to dance (if their fail a save).  They may also play xylophone on their ribs or bust out a violin (skeletons are never far away from a violin, usually).  If the wearer is exceptionally desirable (Cha 16+ and a good dancer) the skeletons may actually fight each other for the honor of dancing with the wearer.
  5. Sleep Mask Netting.  Looks like fishnet stalkings worn over your head.  Makes you immune to nightmares and gives you +4 vs sleep.  Additionally, you can fall asleep at will.
  6. Black Cat Milk.  A person who has drank this treats all falls as if they were 10' shorter, forever.

Human Religions and Cults of Centerra

pics unrelated
Digression: A History Lesson

The calendar begins with the apocalypse.  The date in Centerra is measured by years TFM--since the Time of Fire and Madness.  Everyone was amnesiac or insane, possessed with an insatiable lust for the flame.  Even deer would carry branches through the wood, methodically incinerating the whole forest.  Burning metal fell from the sky, wrapping delicate innards of glass and metal (this is where adamantine comes from) and volcanoes erupted everywhere, vomiting lava and smothering the sun in their smoke.

But within a generation, all this strangeness had stopped.  The rain of fire ended, and the volcanoes all fell silent.  There are no more volcanoes in Centerra, only dead mountains with cold hearts.  The only exception is Lady Hellfire, but that is outside the scope of this post.

Red: The Fire Cults

Before the advent of the Church, the continent of Centerra was studded with gods.  Not religions--religion isn't the right word.  But every city had its god, and every god, its city.

The gods were all volcano gods, voices of fire from beneath the earth.  Some good, some foul, most neither.  They spoke through fire and through wheezing shamans, gasping out prophecies with lungs full of smoke, or through holy men who spent their entire lives--from birth to death--at the bottom of a pit.

Temples were built on peaks, at first.  After humans remastered the crafts of stonework and architecture, they could finally build temples magnificent enough to lure a god down from their volcano home.  This is how humanity domesticated gods.

There were sea gods, too, but they only heard the prayers of the fish people.  They had a deaf ear for land-dwellers.

Eventually, a new religion, founded on principles of peace and charity, put the other religions to the sword.  The fire gods were driven back into their volcanoes where they were imprisoned or killed.  The fire gods who lived in their temples were kidnapped (by the physical removal of their temples) and integrated into the Church of Hesaya.  Those who still worship the fire gods are persecuted as heretics, still clinging to a demonic cult.

As far as anyone knows, the fish people still have all of their gods.  (Although the Church has Lady Evica, the daughter and inheritor of the fish-people's creator-god.)

Blue: The Mandate of Heaven

The Church of Hesaya was founded by a mason's daughter named Ianu (or Yanu), who was divinely inspired to become the first prophetess for the Authority, the Sky-God.

I could tell you more about them, but they're basically just Catholic Rome.  Except its not called Rome, it's called Coramont.

They aren't bad guys.  They run the banks and pave the roads.  Their priests are kind and gentle to everyone, except fire cultists, who they despise.  Their witch-finders are stern and unsympathetic people who expect whatever assistance they demand, but who wouldn't hesitate to sacrifice themselves to save a life.

They practice human sacrifice, of the best and the worst.  Criminals and heretics are often killed.  Saints and great warriors are often killed.  (If a PC becomes known as a great warriors or leaders, the Church will do their best to convince them to sacrifice themselves for the glory of the Authority.  Never through force, of course, but there are many other motivators.)

At the center of Coramont is the Pillar of Heaven, a 77-story pillar of pearlescent blue stone.  It fell from heaven in 434 TFM and landed so gently that it didn't even scare the flocks of the awestruck shepherds.

The end of every pilgrimage is the Pillar of Heaven.  To gain favor with the Authority, one has only to walk clockwise around the Pillar.  The area around the pillar is choked with thousands of the faithful who constantly circle it, like rush hour traffic to get into heaven.

All that matter is how many laps around the Pillar you do.  Technically, you can walk laps around the city and it would count.  More important people are allowed to walk closer to the Pillar.  Unbaptised people have to stay the fuck away.

Inside the Pillar of Heaven is a stairwell that goes to Heaven.  It has 24242 steps.  Kings and bishops sometimes go there.  The Patriarch visits often; the Matriarch less so.  (Once considered heretical, the concept of a Patriarch is now accepted by most of the Church; he is empowered by the Authority in the East, while the Matriarch oversees the Church from Coramont.)

A thief once broke in to heaven and stole a peace of its magic.  There used to be a clerical spell called sending, but it stopped working after the burglary.

Green: Legendary Beast Kings

There are many, many nature spirits.  Their apathy increases with their power, which is sometimes considerable.  The Church calls them demons, and there is a bounty on them.

According to legend, every species of animal has a legendary progenitor that is half-flesh and half-spirit.  The Church made it their business to hunt down these great animal spirits, with great success.  The last great Legendary Beast King to stand against Coramont was the Lion Spirit, whose pelt now shades the Patriarch's flock of holy sacrificial sheep.

There is also a large bounty on information pertaining to the surviving Legendary Beast Kings.  They don't expect adventurers to actually kill one.  For that, the Church will use their paladins, decapitated saints*, golem lords**, regular golems***, and/or St. Cascarion****.  (They have a lot of experience with this.)

Especially Coyote.  They hate that guy.

Black: Zala Vacha

Lost gods don't fare well without worshippers.  They are creatures of thought and intention, and if they are forgotten by others they forget themselves.  (This is the opposite of nature spirits, who are often thoughtless and may actually diminish in power the more that they are known.)

These abandoned gods sometimes found each other and huddled together against oblivion.  They remembered for each other; they worshiped each other.  And they really, really hate the Church.

When people talk about chaos cults and black masses, this is why they're talking about.  They are the disinherited spirits of primordial volcanoes, and they attract the desperate and malicious in the same way that shower drains attract hair.

The fallen gods of Zala Vacha exist in sort of a secret commune.  To keep the playing field equal, not even their worshipers know their names or their extent.

Don't assume that Zala Vacha is made up of evil gods of war and death.  True, they have death gods (4 competing death gods, actually), but most of them are harvest gods, or gods of knowledge, the ones who fled before the Church's aggressive assimilation policy.  And many of the cultists are decent people, after all.

They can't even get back into hell, because of the Sealed Temple built in the Brimstone Waste.  (Hell is literally a series of caves.  You can walk there.  You can map it.  Everyone knows where it is.

White: Heralds of the Immaculate Morning

The guys in blue robes with a snake draped around their shoulders--that's a priest of Hesaya.  They're the good guys.

The guys in white robes with a golden sunburst motif, those are the Heralds of the New Dawn.  I've already written a lot about them, but suffice to say that they want to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, and extinguish all sentience so that the world will be restarted into a glorious new era of rebirth.

The current era is a post-apocalyptic one, where Satan long ago triumphed over the true God, which caused sickness, old age, and death--tribulations that humanity was never intended to endure.  All gods are false.  Etc.

They murder whole villages, too, but they do it painlessly and gently, apologizing the whole time.

A lot of paladins, disgusted by the things that they have witnessed and performed, lose their faith in the Church and join the Heralds.


It's not really clear what a 'god' is in Centerra.  None of them are omniscient (although some of them are very astute).  Some of them are actually pretty dumb.

None of them created the world.  Some of them are younger than the culture that worships them.  They are emotional and often very petty.

Most damning of all, is that there seems to be a clear gradient from tiny nature spirits all the way up to the gods that are worshipped, even the Authority of the Church and the Bureaucracy of Heaven.

They aren't even that high level.  HD 12 or 18.  In that range.  There are scarier dragons.  Even the Authority itself is probably only HD 20.

There aren't even clear lines of demarcation between angels, demons, and nature spirits.  Your religion's angels are another religion's demons.  (Although most of the things called demons are unaffiliated with any deity and wholly malevolent to everyone.)

No "aligned planes" are known.  Angels and demons live at locations you can point to on your map.  (Mostly mountain tops and caves, though.)

The relationships between divine power, immortality, and worship are fuzzy.

The Radiant Maiden (the leader of the Heralds of Immaculate Morning) is perhaps a goddess herself, although she denies it.

And the creature called Kesselgrave is an even more perplexing.  He is obviously immortal, has never been hurt by any attack, and is strong enough to pick up mountains.  Yet all he does is make shitty moonshine in the swamp and pass out drunk every night.  When people try to worship him, he just screams at them in an unknown language and beats them to death with a rock.  His dreadlocks smell like piss.

And yet he's defeated entire companies of paladins sent to capture him, entirely unaffected by weapons, arcane magic, and divine miracles.  (He beat all the paladins to death with a rock, too, after waking up hungover inside an adamantine coffin.)

*Decapitated saints are saints who were martyred for their religion.  The Church keeps their heads in the Cathedral of the Fallen.  They are brought out only for warfare, where they are stuck on a banner.  The more disfigured ones (burned, mangled) are usually covered in gold jewelry or plastered with holy scrolls.  The heads begin chanting and basically fight as well as high-level clerics (even if they weren't powerful clerics in life).  They don't seem to be sentient.

There's a bit of a controversy about decapitated saints--it doesn't work for saints who die peacefully in their bed.  The Church has been accused of sending their holiest, most venerable members into horrible warzones with the hope that they'll die.

Plot Hook: The Church gives the PCs the task of clearing out the old catacombs, and they'll even give you a senile-but-kindly old geezer as your guide.  One of them whispers "And we'll double your pay if Father Abernaffy doesn't make it back."

**Golemlords are the decapitated heads of paladins that have put on top of an anointed golem.  They are fully alive.  There are only about a half-dozen of them or so, and they are so in demand that they are often deployed to warzones for years at a time.  Their bodies are kept in the vaults below Angelmar.

When their head is re-united with their body for the first time in years, they tend to flip out a bit and are usually confined to their monastery for a couple weeks before appearing in public.  Their a pretty badass bunch of men and women, and every Hesayan paladin aspires to be one of them.

***Because of how they're constructed, the Church considers all golem use except for their own to be heretical.  And they have a lot of golems, most of them in storage.  They're stacked like cordwood beneath Coramont.

****St. Cascarion is the Church's only vampire saint.  (While the normally only canonize saints after their deaths, an exception was made for Cascarion because he is, technically, dead.)  He hunts witches and heretics.  He used to hunt other vampires until he killed them all*****.  He is usually overqualified for the tasks assigned him.

*****Vampires are considered extinct on Centerra.  Sure, there are plenty of vampire spawn.  The curse is still out there, and it is still contagious.  The only extraordinary powers that (most) vampire spawn have are a dangerous allergy and dietary restrictions.  It takes centuries to become a "real" vampire.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Good Fairies


HD 0 (HP 1)  Armor as plate + shield
Shoot Arrow 1d4  Spellcasting (see below)
Fly as sparrow  Morale 4 Save 14+
*Fairy dust.  See below.
*Stealthy and Oblivious.  Surprising on 4-in-6, but being caught unawares the other 2-in-6 (usually because they're playing, dancng, singing, etc).
*Glamour.  Clothing, armor, and attacks are appear however the fairy wishes (often subconsciously, reflecting their emotions).

Each fairy is covered in fairy dust.  They can give this dust away, or you can shake it off of them.  A fairy without fairy dust cannot fly, but will recover overnight.  Fairy dust cannot be stockpiled, and disappears overnight.  When sprinkled on a creature, grants flight for 1 minute.  Each type of fairy dust has a secondary effect (see below).

Each fairy knows 3 spells, each usable 1/day.

Since fairies are created by the dreams of children, they share children's innocence, petulance, and callousness.  There are three types of fairies: good fairies, evil fairies, and noble fairies (who see themselves as adults, and therefore above this whole good-and-evil nonsense).  Fairies love children, but babies are often stolen and sent back to Fairyland, where they are put to sleep in order to create more fairies.

Good fairies are "good", but it is a child's notion of goodness.  They see themselves as the heroes of their own stories, and will do anything to uphold that role.  To them, live is a perpetual game of 'knights and orcs', and they are the knights.

Fairies all enjoy glamour--to a large extent, they can choose how their their clothing and hair appear.  Even their bodies are malleable to some extent.  A fairy's perception of themselves is always mirrored in their appearance.  A fairy's beauty is proportionate to how good they perceive themselves to be.  This is glamour, and it has a mirror side: a fairy's appearance is also reflective of how other's see her.  A beautiful fairy might suddenly shrivel and her wings droop the moment that the villagers discover that she killed the shepherd.

Around a fairy, minor magic happens spontaneously.  Flowers bid the fairy good day, captured witches turn into cakes, and fairies often bestow blessings that stem from nothing but their good intentions.  This is the universe rearranging itself to better suit the fairies in small ways.  In some ways, our reality is their dream.

Although they shun violence and abhor murder, even the least of good fairies possesses powerful magic, especially curses.  For example, gem fairies can turn all of your coinage into sparkly mud, no save.  They all enjoy beauty, compliments, and courtly language.  Niceness in general.

Because they have a child's grasp on morality, things like cussing often upset a fairy more than murder.  Children get in trouble all the time for cussing, but it's rare that a kid needs to be told not to murder someone.  So murder exists in an unexamined moral zone.

Fairies often exist at the center of an adoring group.  Usually children, animals, or some clan of bestial humanoids.

Lastly, fairies are demanding.  Whenever you meet a fairy, they will invariably want something from you.  They see themselves as absolutely entitled.  Most of them are very busy Making The World A Nicer Place, and if they ask you to help them do it, you should feel honored to be included.

Interactions with fairies usually follow this script:

  1. Fairy appears and demands something.  They will smile and ask nicely.  Please?  Peesh?
    1. If you seem reluctant, they will throw a tantrum.
  2. If you do not comply with their politely-phrased request they will fight you.
    1. Mess with their stuff.  When discovered, curse them, turn invisible, and fly away.
  3. If you do comply, they'll be overjoyed!  You're their new best friend!
    1. If you do an extra-special job (positive attitude required!) they'll reward you with fairy treasure.
    2. If you want to bash the fairies and just steal their treasure, the treasure is usually at the bottom of a pond or inside a ridiculously tiny box or something.
    3. Keeping fairies captive is a very bad idea.  Fairy tears will eventually alert the noble fairies, and you don't want to mess with them.  (They can melt you like a candle.)

Types of Fairies

Candy Fairy
Candy fairies fly with pastel-colored dove wings.  They are the most playful.
invisibility, swords to sugar, charm
Candy fairy dust can also be sprinkled on food and/or drink, where it turns the substance to delicious candy and functions as purify food and drink.

Flower Fairy
Flower fairies fly by clinging to dandelion stems.  They value attractive people the most.
invisibility, food to flowers, entangle
Gem fairy dust also be sprinkled on a plant, which will cause it to perk up, grow a bunch of flowers, and gain the power of speech (as talk to plants) for 1 minute.

Gem Fairy
Gem fairies fly with quartz dragonfly wings.  They value attractive items and places the most.
invisibility, gold to glitter, glitterdust
Gem fairy dust can also be sprinkled on a gem to split it into 1d4 smaller gems, each worth half of the original gem.

Ice Fairy
Ice fairies fly by riding a large snowflake.  They like to do nice things for children, especially delivering presents to underprivileged kids.
invisibility, tinder to toys, ice (as grease)
Ice fairy dust can also be sprinkled on a fire to instantly extinguish a 10'x10' area of flame.  If sprinkled on a fire creature, that creature takes 3d6 damage (save for half).  If sprinkled on a fire-breathing creature, that creature must save or be unable to breath fire for 1d6 turns.  (However, these creatures will gain flight for 1 minute, so be mindful).

New Spells
Usually cast just prior to turning invisible and flying off.

Food to Flowers
All of a character's rations turn into bouquets of beautiful flowers.  Potable liquids turn into hibiscus nectar.  No save.

Gold to Glitter
All of a character's money (precious metals, promissory notes, etc) turn into worthless glitter.  Gemstones are immune to this effect.  No save.

Swords to Sugar
All of a character's weapons turn into sugar-crystal versions of themselves if it fails a saving throw (make a save for each weapon).  Sugarified weapons shatter the first time that they roll maximum damage.  Shattered sugar weapons yield a number of rations equal to their die size.

Tinder to Toys
All of a character's flammable items (potions, lantern oil, potions of fire breathing) turn into toys (all of the same type of toy).  Roll on the toy table; there is a 25% chance that one of the toys is magical.  No save.

stealin dis babby yep
Candy Fairy Encounters (Demands)
  1. 1d4 candy fairies want the party to rescue a pair of children, who have been stolen by a witch.  The fairies insist that the witch be captured alive and brought back for a trial.  If the party heads straight to her hut, they'll have just enough time to stop the witch from eating the kids.  She's not baking them in the oven or anything--she's just casting hold child on them, tossing them on the table, and having a go with the cutlery.  She's protected by 2d6 pigs and an animated scythe.  If the witch is brought back to the fairies, the fairies will turn her into a cake and share her with the children. It'll be festive; the kids and the fairies will be like, "This is so weird haha" and then throw cake at each other.  The fairies will also gift the party with 2d6 gingerbread rations, each of which restores 1 HP.
  2. 1d4 candy fairies insist that you got stop two groups of soldiers (each 2d6 men) from killing each other in the woods.  (Violence upsets them.)  The smaller group controls a crumbling tower that the larger group wants.  The soldiers will flip out if you tell them that the fairies sent you.  Fuck fairies!
  3. A candy fairy wants a piggy-back ride!  She'll ride on your head and tell you where to go!  It'll only be 1d6 miles in a random direction!  Don't slow down!  Running slow is boooring!  I can fly faster than this.  Why aren't you making horsey noises?  (The fairy is scared of real horses.)  If the fairy thinks you are going too slow, she will magic you until you really do run as fast as a horse (but lack equine stamina).  The blessing lasts until the end of the day.
  4. 2d4 fairies want the party to join them in a parade through the streets of their gingerbread village!  The parade is to celebrate the gingerbread village that they just built!  If you break anything, you'll ruin the whole ceremony!  The parade is in five minutes.  The PCs will have an opportunity to see the parade route beforehand and learn that they'll have to walk past a bee hive and over a graham cracker bridge; the fairies are cool with you taking precautions before the parade, but not during.  There are four complications:
    1. Don't step on the peppermint horses!  (Dex checks)
    2. Don't freak out about the bees!  Just take your stings!  If you disturb the bees they might drop the banner!  (BEES ARE STINGING YOU IN THE FACE OMFG.)
    3. Please don't collapse the bridge with your ridiculous human-weight.  (Smaller characters are fine.  Larger characters will have to jump.)
    4. Sing the Candyville anthem!  What's a parade without a song?  (At least one of the players has gotta sing a song IRL.  It doesn't matter how shitty the song is; the fairies will be happy as long as its about how great Candyville is.)

Candy Fairy Treasures
  1. Eternal Gobstopper.  As long as you suck on this gobstopper 24 hours a day, you'll no longer need to eat or drink.
  2. 1d3 Fizzy Sodas.  Function as potions of levitation that end with a tremendous belch.
  3. Licorice Gumdrop.  If eaten, save vs curse or turn into a gingerbread person (size doesn't change).  Gingerbread people are like other adventurers, except that their wounds don't heal naturally or via healing magic--they need the services of a baker.
  4. Two Loaves of Bunny Bread.  Acts like a rabbit sans fear and nervousness.  Tastes like sweet bread.  Doesn't mind being eaten, and reacts to everything else with a sort of aloof curiosity.  If the entire loaf is eaten, functions as a potion of cure light wounds.  It is possible to breed more bunny bread, but each generation will heal 1 point less HP (if you want to go down this road, be aware that they only eat candy).

Flower Fairy Encounter (Demands)
  1. 1d4 flower fairies want you to have a tea party with them.  Proper etiquette is a must.  Cleanliness is a must (the party will be given a chance to wash in a nearby stream beforehand).  One of the PCs will fall ill from the tea and must save vs poison every turn until they vomit (hopefully they won't barf at the table).
  2. 1d4 fairies are sad!  Their favorite treant is going to be alone this Valentine's day, and they want to find her a date!  The treant's name is Frambledeen and she's a weather-beaten oak with a quick wit.  A bit depressive, though.  There are 4 eligible bachelor treants in the forest:
    1. Sourstump can't leave his post to go on a date!  The lumberjacks will cut down all of his friends!
    2. Bargle Mog is willing to go on the date, but it will go disastrously if he brings his friends: a pair of harpies that nest in his hair.
    3. Gornsnacker is a tangle tree treant, and won't be able to resist trying to eat the PCs.  Out of all the treants, he's probably the most fun to hang out with, though (if he's not hungry).
    4. Old Man Jarko is a noble specimen to be sure, but he gets so nervous that he'll need coaching every step of the way.  He has no idea how to talk to a lady, and will probably need someone whispering in his ear the whole time. 
  3. 1d4 fairies are sad!  A grumpy, smelly, ugly, old druid (HD 7) keeps pulling up the flowers that they plant.  They want you to feed him a magic strawberry.  The druid lives in a shallow cave with his blind, toothless bear companion.  The druid has druid spells but can also turn into a huge auroch (HD 7, blind, 25% of charge attacks result in druid hitting a tree and damaging himself).  If the druid he turns into an enormous strawberry plant.  The plant has 1d4+1 strawberries growing on it, each of which functions as a potion of cure light wounds, except that the eater can also hear the old druid ranting at them.
  4. A flower fairy wants the PCs to plant 3 cherry trees.  Each tree is a small sapling that weighs 10 lbs, its roots in a dirt-filled pot.  Each cherry tree must be planted in a different hex than this one (part of her plan to cover the world with beautiful flowers) and each must be planted somewhere safe and fertile.  Once this is done, the fairy will appear to congratulate them.  If one of the plants dies, the fairy will try to ambush them (4-in-6) in full petulant rage.
Brian Froud

Flower Fairy Treasures
  1. Magical Teapot.  Any liquid placed in it is turned into healthy, hot tea.  Any beneficial properties of the liquid are preserved.  This takes 10 minutes, after which the teapot whistles.
  2. 2d6 Fancy Flowers.  Pin one one your clothing or armor and you will be cloaked in fairy glamour.  You appear to be dressed for a ritzy ball, and have a pleasing, floral aroma.  Each flower is usable once. 
  3. 1d3 Dandelion City Seeds.  Immediately grows into a dandelion when planted, which yields a flower 1 round later.  Anyone looking directly at the flower when it blooms is shrunk to a microscopic height and teleported onto the surface of the dandelion, which is revealed to be a miniature city occupied by cheerful mite people.  They'll offer free food, dandelion wine, and beds at their local inn.  This lasts until the party leaves the dandelion city, morning arrives, or the dandelion is destroyed, at which point the party pops back to full size.  Afterwards, the dandelion city remains there, but the party has no way to return (probably).
  4. Flower Armor.  Functions as chain, or chain +1 if the wearer has Cha 17+.  Once per day, allows the character to smite ugliness, getting +4 to hit and dealing +1d6 damage.  Only works on ugly creatures (by fairy standards).  If the target is really ugly, increase this to +2d6 damage.
Arthur Rackham
Gem Fairy Encounters (Demands)
  1. 1d4 gem fairies want you to recover their treasure chest, which was "swallowed by a small worm".  The worm in question is indeed small for a purple worm, as it's a juvenile (-2 HD, no sting).  It has currently swallowed their newly minted fairy coins (from their mine) and all 22 of their goblins (who worked the mine).  The fairies' current plan involves slathering one of the PCs with ipecac and getting the worm to swallow them.  If the PCs decide to go through with this stupid plan, the worm and the PC will basically make Con checks to see if the PC dies before the worm throws up.  If the worm does throw up, it will vomit out 4000s and a treasure chest containing Sluggo, a half-asphixiated goblin who love to join his saviors as a retainer (and to escape the fairies).  The fairies will want to split the recovered coins.  The PCs can keep Sluggo.  He smells like worm farts anyway.
  2. 1d4 gem fairies want your gems (they can smell them) so that they can replace them in the ground, so that they can bring joy to someone who discovers them for the first time again.  They will pay you 150% what the gems are worth, but they have only 1d6 x 100s with which to purchase your gems.  If you have more gems than that, they'll have to owe you.  Come back next year, when they'll have more money.
  3. 1d4 gem fairies are sad.  Their favorite idol in their favorite dungeon has had its eyes gouged out.  They want the party to recover one of the rubies from a thief named Bengar (HD 4, has 4 HD 2 bodyguards) who is discreetly trying to fence the gem at the nearest city.  Once the party has the gem, the gem fairies will give you the second gem (each worth 1000s) and give you accurate directions to the defaced idol (within the nearest dungeon).  They're actually very trusting, and will take you at your word if you say you replaced the gems.  If you never return, they'll trust that you did what you were asked.
  4. 1d4 gem fairies are appalled at your ugly armor.  They insist that you leave it with them so that they can clean it and make it prettier.  This will take 1 week.  After the week is over, the armor will indeed be beautiful, but will also offer 1 less point of AC than it did before.  There is a 5% chance that the fairies actually improved the armor (as armor +1) instead of degrading it.  If improved, the armor appears to be made of solid gold and:
    1. Can disguise itself as a fancy set of clothing, such as a ballgown or tuxedo.
    2. Can automatically escape from a grab 1/day.

Gem Fairy Treasures
  1. Curse-Eating Gem.  Set in a necklace, this midnight-stained gemstone protects its wearer from curses, granting them a +4 bonus to save vs curses.  Each curse that the wearer saves against is absorbed by the gem, causing it to double in size and value.  The gem starts out being worth 100s, and can absorb 2d4 curses before it shatters, releasing all the trapped curses at once (PC gets a new save against each) and becoming worthless.
  2. Wand of Command Coins with 7 charges left.  Can order a pile of coins to stack themselves, roll along behind you (but not up stairs), hide in crevices, act as rollers for heavy statues, act as spilled marbles, etc.  Lasts 1 hour.
  3. Fairy Coin.  When asked a yes/no question and flipped, the coin will give a correct answer 67% of the time.  One side depicts a fairy queen (the Queen of Consequences) and indicates 'yes', while the opposing face depicts a donkey.  If the PCs ever meet the Queen of Consequences and show her the coin, she will be well disposed towards them.
  4. Mirror Sword.  As a sword +1.  By spending your turn getting into a batter's stance, you can parry a spell that comes towards you.  To parry a spell, make an attack roll as it hits you against an AC of 10+spell level.  This will reflect the spell back at the caster, who has their own chance to parry the spell, except that they must hit an AC equal to the attack you just rolled.  First one to fail the parry is struck by the spell.

Ice Fairy Encounters (Demands)
  1. 1d4 ice fairies and 1d4 children want the party to stay and build a gigantic jungle gym.  This will take 1d3 days for a 5-person party.  Roll random encounters normally.  At the end, they'll have a igloo-cottage they can rest in as long as they want.
  2. 1d4 ice fairies and 1d4 children want the party to stay and play with them.  During this time, the PCs will turn into children (-3 to all physical stats) without realizing it until it is done.  A random combat encounter occurs during this time (but the PCs will perhaps have the fairy's help in defeating it), after which the fairy will be satisfied.  They will remain children as long as they remain with the fairy.  After they leave, they will revert to adulthood overnight, except that they will have been youthened 1d6 years.
  3. 1d4 ice fairies want the party's help delivering presents.  Each party member must break into a house and put a present under the pillow of a sad child.  (Since this involves splitting up the party, hasten your narration as much as possible, i.e. bring them straight to the complication.)  Complications (d6):
    1. 1d3 dogs.  Roll a reaction roll to see if they like you.
    2. Child is only 75% asleep and wants to know what you're doing in his room.  Cannot be convinced that fairies are real--wants to know the real reason.  Will yell for parents if you cannot give a good excuse.
    3. One of the family members is still awake.  You'll have to go past them to get to the child's room.
    4. The toy broke and turned back into ice.  Find a replacement, quickly.
    5. They were expecting you!  Milk and cookies were set out for you.  Delicious.
    6. They were expecting you!  Milk and cookies were set out for you.  Milk is poisoned.  Save vs paralysis or you'll be paralyzed long enough for them to discover you.
  4. 1d4 ice fairies are sad!  A child ran away and has been lost in the woods.  If you do not find them in 6 hours, the fairies will blame you.  Child is not that far away.  Complication:
    1. Child is at the top of a tree, where the branches are precariously thin.  Too scared to come down.
    2. Child is hiding in a small cave.  She doesn't trust strangers enough to come out.
    3. Child has been adopted by friendly bandits.  Child is drunk on peach brandy and doesn't want to come home.  Bandits aren't too keen on it either, having taken a shine to the kid.
    4. Child is about to be eaten by an owlbear.  You have one combat round to piss off the owlbear so much that it forgets all about the kid and goes for you.  (Let players roll initiative individually for the first round.)  (Protip: running up behind it and kicking it in the nuts is perhaps the most reliable solution to this dilemma.)
Cottington's Pressed Fairies
Ice Fairy Treasures

  1. Toy Boat. Only works for those who are playful.  When placed in a body of liquid and urged to become larger, it turns into a large, beautiful canoe.  Turns back when removed from the water.
  2. Stick Horse. Only works for those who love the thrill of speed.  When put between your legs and urged to move faster, turns into a fairy horse.  Doesn't function between midnight and dawn, and will revert to toy-form during that time.
  3. Velvetine Bear.  Only works for those who are scared, even if its just a little.  When hugged and urged to provide comfort, it animates and obeys your commands, and is capable of doing anything a clumsy, 5 lb monkey could do.  When clutched to your chest (requires a free hand), you get +4 vs fear.
  4. Tin Soldier.  Only works for those who want to be heroic.  If placed on the floor and commanded to attention, the tin soldier will begin marching towards the nearest person desiring rescue (range 1000' horizontal).  It will even attempt to march up to the captor and attack them with its tiny sword.  (This is useless except as a distraction.)

Thank you +Robin Zink+Jeff Russell, and +Noah Stevens for pointing me towards better fairy art.