Friday, May 13, 2016

Potion Rules + Some Oozes

So I wrote a list of potions, but there's still a lot more that needs to be said.

Falling Damage Rule

Whenever you take falling damage, each of your potions has a 50% chance to break open (rolled individually). If any of the potions react with objects, apply it to another random object.  For example, sovereign grease could spill on your stowed rope, or a potion of invisibility could spill on your spellbook.  Both are hilarious.

If multiple potions in the same pack break open, pair them off and roll on the potion miscibility table (below).

Potions are normally bundled (3 per Inventory Slot) but it is possible to wrap them up carefully so that they are not at risk of breaking. Wrapped potions take up 1 inventory slot each.

There's a complement to this rule involving fire damage and scrolls.

Potion Miscibility

This is what happens when two potions are mixed, or what happens when you drink one potion while still under the effects of another. Roll a [d6]:
  1. Deadly poison (2d6). 1-in-6 chance it becomes gaseous, affecting everyone in 20' with inhaled poison (1d6).
  2. A cursed potion is created. (Contains a random curse.) 1-in-6 chance of becoming gaseous, in which case everyone in 20' must save or contract the curse.
  3. A random potion is formed. Roll d100 on the Potion Table.
  4. Potions are blended together. The DM determines the precise effects.
  5. One potion is subsumed by the other, which is enhanced. Roll on the Spell Mutation Table, and ignore the Random Drawbacks Table. If you get 18-20, ignore the Spell Mutation Table result; the potion effect is now permanent.
  6. An alchemical ooze is formed. It has the powers of both potions used in its creation (see below).  An alchemical ooze in your stomach is fatal unless you quickly vomit it out (Con check or die).
by Cryptcrawler
Hashing Potions

Sometimes a player will pick up a potion in a dungeon and won't identify it until later. At that point, you've forgotten what potion it was.

The solution to this problem is that there is no problem. Just roll the potion's identity when it is identified, and not when it is found. This fits with the philosophy of Just-in-time Resolution.

But sometimes you will give out a known potion and want to keep track of it. Perhaps because it wouldn't make sense to find a potion of zombie blood in a druid's root-grave (or would it make perfect sense?). You don't want to have to keep track of this potion's secret identify. You're a DM; you're already keeping track of a million things. So here's my advice, just use a hash function.

A hash function, which is some way of secretly modifying the number so that you can recover the original number, but your player has no idea what the original number was.

When you put a potion into a player's inventory, identify it by a number that is the hashed result of whatever number it was on the d100 potion table. Here are some sample hash functions:
  • Add a nonsense number to the left of the original number. #07 becomes #307 or #707 or whatever.
  • Add nonsense numbers on both sides and in the middle. #07 becomes #10171 or #30179 or whatever.
  • If the number is odd, double it. If it is even, subtract 1. #07 becomes #14. #08 becomes #07.
  • A complicated one: reverse the order. Double odds, reduce evens by 1. Add a nonsense number in the first and last places. #07 becomes #7693 or #9690.
You can make it as simple or as complex as you want. The point is just to hide a potion's identity in its description so that you know what it is, but your player doesn't. And so these potions will sit in your player's inventory, described as “potion #9690” until they are identified.
Alternatively, you can use this method:
  • Give each potion a description. The first few letters of the description also refer to the first few letters of the potion's name.
  • “Potion of HEAling” becomes “HEAvier than it should be” or “HEAdy aroma of cinnamon”.
  • You can also hide the potion's/scroll's name further on in the description, maybe starting it on the second or third letter. Or reverse it and put it at the end of the description.
  • “Potion of SOLipcism” becomes “potion labeled telLOS” or “dusty liquid with internal haLOS”.
Just make sure that they write down the whole description.

By Der-Reiko
Alchemical Oozes

Alchemical oozes are formed by alchemy, whether intentionally or accidentally.  How else could a green slime devour so much, so quickly?  It may very well be that all oozes have their ultimate genesis in an alchemist's laboratory or boiling ponds of sulfurous sludge.

Here are the stats for a full-grown alchemical ooze.  (Alchemical oozes are just first-generation oozes.  They may not all breed true, and most are singular creatures.)

Level 7 Armor none Psuedopod 1d8 + engulf
Move 6 Int 1 Mor 12

*Split – When this ooze takes slashing damage, it splits into two smaller oozes, each with half the remaining HP. Left alone, the pieces will rejoin.

*Potion Abilities – Each alchemical ooze enjoys the effects of the potions that created it. The ooze permanently enjoys the effects of beneficial potions, while negative potions are applied to its enemies when hit by a psuedopod.

Oozes that have a potion related to language have Int 10. Oozes that have “transformation” effects have the intelligence of the creature, and will transform one part of their body at a time unless a full transformation is really necessary. Elementally aligned oozes will deal an extra +1d6 damage of that element on a strike.

Some oozes will be more deadly than others (flight + invulnerability) and this is okay.  You may have to take some liberties in interpreting your results.

Here are some proof-of-concept oozes, freshly rolled:
  • The Great Gambler + Transformation: Bees = Swarm of tiny, flying slimes.  Attacks against them are either crits or misses.
  • Time Hack + Grandeur = Magnificent, kingly slime.  If it is at full HP, creatures must succeed on a save to attack it.  Once per day, it is able to undo all damage done to it in a single turn and teleport back to where it was last turn.  It uses this immediately to return to full health.
  • Water Breathing + Transposition = Looks exactly like water.  The first person to see it must save or switch places with it (works 1/hour).  When it comes after you it makes Darth Vader breathing sounds.
  • Acid Resistance + Darkvision = Ooze does an extra +1d6 acid damage.  Ooze is cloaked in darkness out to a distance of 20'.
Copper Ooze Attenuator

This is a magic item.

All copper within 20' turns into coppery ooze.  This process takes about 8 hours.  These oozes rush over to cover the copper ooze attenuator.  Once they've done this, the whole mass behaves like a normal ooze.  It has 1 HP for every hundred copper coins (or equivalent) that went into it's manufacture.

Treat it like a normal ooze (see above) except that copper will continue to join up with it, making it larger.  When it is below half HP, it begins generating electricity, shocking anyone who hits it when a metal weapon.

When killed, it turns into a crumbling pile of lead and asbestos.

Helmet Ooze

It has a shell, like Arcellinida.  Increase its AC by 4 points.  Engulfed creatures who fail a Strength check have their spines broken as the helmet ooze pulls them sideways into its shell.

Velvet Ooze

This rare ooze is kept in small boxes in their bedside tables.  Like the name implies, it is soft and velvety.  It is harmless and is only capable of eating milk and sugar.  It's about the size of a fist.  It's mostly used for masturbation.

Larger ones are used for orgies, but you have to be careful--it is still instinctively trying to kill you.  A bit like a toothless, boneless lion.

by Fyreant
Alchemical Resurrection

Reviving the dead is possible. There are many ways, but they are rare, difficult, and always come at a great cost. The sacrifice of a hundred to save one. An infernal contract, with only the abyss yawning before you next and final death. Or perhaps the thing that returns is not you, but instead some wretched, half-formed shade of yourself.

Regardless, the success of the process has less to do with the method of resurrection and more to do with the method of death.

There are some who die alchemical deaths: devoured by an acid, digested by an ooze, transformed into stone and then shattered, or with an alchemical poison that turned your veins into dust.

Those that die through alchemy are best resurrected through alchemy.

If you die through alchemical means, you may be resurrected by an alchemist. This requires the alchemical element that destroyed you. For example, f you were devoured by an ooze, then the entire ooze must be brought to the alchemist. Incomplete remains result in incomplete resurrections.
Then, if the need is great, the alchemist is puissant, and the pockets are deep, it is possible to develop a recipe to resurrect your dead friend. A quest may be involved for some trivial thing, such as the air from a freshly dead dragon's lungs. And then the alchemist will present to you a case of resurrection elixir.

Dead characters can continue playing as long as the supply of resurrection elixir holds out.

Resurrection Elixir

You turn into the person who was resurrected into these potions. Lasts until the next day. Efficacy is lost with age, and loses duration while the resurrection person eventually loses their memories.

DM's Note:

I normally make resurrection a difficult, shitty process because I don't want players to come back from the dead without having earned it twice over.

But, resurrection elixir is so interesting that I think I would make it a lot easier, just because (a) it's so fucking interesting, and (b) it's not really resurrection anyway.

How would a player handle it, I wonder, playing a dead character who is only alive for one day at a time, and only through a dwindling supply of elixirs.

It's like playing as Mr. Hyde when you know that Dr. Jekyll has run out of reagents to make more potions.  Is it death or homeostasis that will greet you?

1 comment:

  1. This is great timing for this post, because last game I gave my players the location of the Mage Chemist's Cache. Now I have a lot more thematic monster ideas and treasure to stock it with.