Monday, November 29, 2021

A Metric System for Faerun

In many tabletop roleplaying games, the round of 6 seconds, and the space or square of 5 feet serve as basic units of measurement for game mechanics. Just for fun, let’s try to actually construct a system of measurements using these as our base units for time and distance.

The self-imposed rules of the exercise are as follows:

  • Derived units are expressed simply in terms of base units. (Coherence)
  • Larger or smaller units use a consistent exponential power (Though I’m not sticking to decimal).
  • And if possible, the resulting system should feel psuedo-medieval, be intuitive to a 21st century American, and be useful for rules of thumb in a tabletop rpg.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

321 Hero* Dice: A post about unusual dice anatomy.

This post briefly mentions HeroQuest. As such, we must begin by viewing the sacred liturgy. Once this is done, you may return for the rest of this blogpost.

The structure of the dice:

Several games use six-sided dice with the following properties:
  • 3 of the faces share the same symbol, usually indicating a successful 'attack' result.
  • 2 of the other faces share a second symbol, usually indicating a successful 'defense' result.
  • The final singular face has its own distinct marking.
An example of what these dice look like. Photo credit to Eric on BGG.

What follows are some examples, and my thoughts about adapting these dice for RPGs.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

d6x6 City Names, Poorly and Literally Translated

In what follows,  I've taken the names of places, translated them into English, and when the namesake itself was a name, I've gone and translated that too. 

Don't take this too seriously. I haven't worked too hard to verify the translations or etymologies. In some cases where it sounded interesting, I went with suspect folk etymologies. 

Cities in the Fishhook Language Ball:

1. The Most Populous Cities in the Southern Lands:

  1. Wide Watermeadow
  2. Mill Stream
  3. Broken Bone
  4. Wood
  5. Noble Sort
  6. Gold Coast

2. The Most Populous Cities in the United States of Laborious Rule:

  1. New Pig Farm
  2. City of The Angels
  3. Garlic
  4. Town of the Mind Clan
  5. Phoenix
  6. City of Brotherly Love

Friday, August 13, 2021

12 Mile Hexmaps overlayed onto the Contigous United States

 Hey, there. I put a 12-mile hex grid onto North America. The projection is Lambert Conformal, so there's minimal distortion, at least within the US.

Rivers, train-lines, and urban areas are included, but there are no labels.

So, if you happen to want an unlabelled 12-mile hex map of North America with rivers, train-lines, and urban areas, then this is the blogpost for you.

click for slightly lightly bigger version.

And click here for a very very big version of this map which includes more of Mexico.

More maps below.

Monday, August 2, 2021

d6x6 Elemental Powers: Wood

 Inspired by this post by Red_Kangaroo.

All xylomancers are resistant to poison and illness.

1. Wood magic is about strength.

  1. Wood in your sight can't be bent or broken.
  2. Augment your strength with vines coiled around your limbs.
  3. Form self-repairing wooden plate armour around your body.
  4. Reactively form a protective wooden dome around yourself when attacked.
  5. Lift and swing massive logs and poles as if they weighed no more than a twig.
  6. Bring to life mannequins and totems which you carve from wood. They'll follow your commands, but are only capable of brute force, and not fine manipulation.

2. Wood magic is about endurance.

  1. Your skin is faintly green. Time spent in the sun makes you rapidly heal.
  2. Become tougher and more immovable the longer your feet are firmly planted on the same piece of ground.
  3. Tap a contiguous piece of wood to render it immovable and inviolable. The effect lasts until you apply it to a different piece of wood.
  4. Repair wounds - yours or another's - with wooden prostheses that work as well as flesh.
  5. Go without food or water or rest, and ignore severe injuries, as long as you remain in contact with living plant matter
  6. Care for a specific plant. If that plant grows ill, so will you. But as long as that plant flourishes, you cannot be killed.

3. Wood magic is about growth.

  1. Sing to plants to make them grow at visible speed.
  2. Snap your fingers to make a sapling instantly, explosively, destructively grow into a full-size tree.
  3. Dense and diverse vegetation sprouts in your footsteps. You have limited control over the kind of plants that grow.
  4. Grow to many times your normal height, with strength scaling more than proportionately. The extra mass sloughs of as leaf litter when you sleep.
  5. Cause dense roots to burst from the ground and ensnare a target, growing around them. Needs existing roots as a starting point.
  6. Extend and retract your limbs like Inspector Gadget. The extra length can take the form of either vines or hardwood.

4. Wood magic is about weird plant-themed whatsits.

  1. Emit soporific spores from flowers blooming from your skin.
  2. Organic material rapids decays under your touch.
  3. Implant a parasitic sprout into someone's body to parasitically siphon away their lifeforce.
  4. Absorb light energy into your skin and concentrate it without bound. Re-release all the light at once.
  5. Rapidly grow parachutes of cottony fibers.
  6. Exude sticky sap in place of sweat.

5. Wood Magic is about being in tune with nature.

  1. Step into a tree-trunk, and step out from any trunk connected to the same wood web.
  2. Meditate in a grove to gain tactile awareness of all the creatures therein.
  3. Speak to trees. Learn the strange things they've seen and heard.
  4. Plants and undergrowth don't hinder your passage. They bend out of your way while reaching to trip those who pursue you.
  5. Trees grow and slowly twist into shapes convenient for you. Chairs, spears, houses, etc.
  6. In exchange for tender care, Trees will relocate at your command. You need to shout; they're hard of hearing.

6. Wood Magic is about hurting people... with wood.

  1. Shoot seeds as projectiles from out of your palms.
  2. Cause impaling thorns to burst from nearby wood.
  3. Summon and swing whip-like vines.
  4. Staffs and polearms can grow and shrink in your hands.
  5. Summon razor-sharp and impossibly rigid leaf blades. 
  6. Stab a stake into something to destroy it utterly. 

Here is some visual inspiration: 1, 2.

Bonus: 6 more elemental powers to combine with Kangaroo's lists to make a nice round 200:

  1. The element of Storm: Call down a lightning bolt directly on your location.
  2. The element of Glass: Glass shards cannot cut you, and in your hands they can cut through anything.
  3. The element of Osmium: You can telekinetically move osmium with your mind. It's quite strong, and has impressive range, but only works on highly purified osmium (which happens to be the rarest of the precious metals).
  4. The element of Friendship: You can fire concussive beams of force from your palms that, in addition to knocking people off their feet and breaking their bones, also overwhelms them with an intense longing for companionship.
  5. The element of Flesh: Sprout nasty flailing tentacles.
  6. The element of Surprise: It's a gun. The surprise is that you can somehow own a working firearm in a magical psuedomedieval fantasy world.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Micropost: Pantheon of the Eternal Industrial Era.

Vatra - The Primordial Mother Fire. Embodied in the Sun (Her fire above) and Coal (Her fire below).  Consumed the previous world and from its ashes were born the gods.

Qiri - The Daughter Fire. Goddess of the Moon, gas, oil, lamps, chemistry, and noxious gasses.

Avull - Goddess of steam, waterfalls, storms, engines, beasts of burden, passion, and blood.

Hekuri - God of iron, foundries, bellows, mining, cement, stone, and the rail.

Turma - Goddess of agriculture, abundance, forestry, crowds, crowding, and plague.

Udhetar - God of canals, calm seas, trade, travel, deserts, desire, and desperation.

Fabrika - Goddess of management, textiles, wisdom, planning, and mass production.

Zare - God of gold, entrepreneurship, investment, prophecy, games and greed.

Shoku - Goddess of community, conformity, communication, the telegraph, lightning, roads, and repair.

Genje - God of paper, printing, knowledge, literacy, eloquence, entertainment, diplomacy and deception.

Martesa - Goddess of boundaries, borders, property, contracts, marriage, and oaths.

Ushtar- God of lead, law, order, rage, war, and gunpowder. Punisher of broken promises.

Kupon - God of the wilds. Merchandising. 

Inspired by this prompt from Discord user DefinitelyNotAnEggHahaha:

In many fantasy worlds, the gods create the world in a sort of medieval stasis. Humans, dwarves, etc, have medieval-level tech handed to them from day one, and the gods that exist in these worlds also often reflect that technology level (god of the harvest, god of the forge, etc). That is to say, these gods would make no sense in a world where everyone is a hunter-gatherer.

So, with that established, worldbuilding idea: A world created in a sort of industrial era stasis. Have gods of oil rigs, and railroads, and such

A sort of dirty steampunk kind of vibe, where tech never actually progresses because of the influence of these gods

PS: Kupon is literally just the Greek god Pan in a top hat and ill-fitting three-piece suit. 

Friday, July 23, 2021

Astropost: Astronomical Objects, Their Symbols, and Their Namesakes

I want to play a game set in a mythologized version of the Solar System. So I took some notes on the bits and bobs floating about.

Click to open in a new tab.

 The following is an incomplete list of objects in the Solar System, along with their namesakes and symbols.