Sunday, January 1, 2012

'Snollygoster Squeezins'

I haven't even had a chance to start my 'Hamburger Soup' experiments with The Boy yet, but I swear half the things he says are ripe for game translation. Here are a couple just from this weekend, with game details and attached Wampus Country lore - one unusual potion, and one rather odd spell.

A spade-back snollygoster feeds on a grumbleberry bush.

“Here, drink this magic potion, Momma. Now you’re a giant chicken. Now throw up. Daddy’s turn!”

(Daddy turned into a crocodile; The Boy became a tyrannosaur. This is not the first time the magic of Hamburger Soup has favored children over adults.)

Snollygoster Squeezins (potion)

The Yellowscale savages who once populated the lands around Snollygoster Swamp - sometimes referred to as ‘Gator Men’ for the skins they often wore - had amongst them shamans who could brew a potion which allowed the drinker to transform into a snollygoster or other fearsome dinosaur. However, since the Yellowscales were exterminated during Grandpa’s War, the secrets of that potion were lost. Some alchemists have attempted to reconstruct this magic formula using the presumed ingredients - flesh and blood of a snollygoster, certain swamp-dwelling plants, and the like. Unfortunately, the potions created thus far - known collectively as ‘snollygoster squeezins’ - fail to perform the intended transformation reliably. On occasion these concoctions can be found for purchase, usually for twenty to thirty dollars (gp).

Snollygoster squeezins is a syrupy purple potion that instantly transforms the drinker into one of the following for 1d4 rounds:

1-4 immense fat chicken (20% chance of laying an egg immediately)

5-9 crocodile

10 tyrannosaur

When the shapeshifting effect ends, the imbiber vomits violently for 1d4 more rounds, and must save vs poison or take 2d4 points of damage.

Lore note: The Yellowscales were not all killed during the War; those who survived retreated deeper into the swamp and consumed potions which permanently transmogrified the entire tribe into lizard-men, that they might hide from their enemies beneath the murky waters.

“And then he said ZZAP and waved his wand. And your eyes shattered KA-PSSHH. Over and over again your eyes shatter!”

(Okay, that’s just gross. Six years old, remember.)

“Oh, that scroll? Yes, yes, the Curse of the Thrice-Damned Eyes. I see you have some taste, young master. Everyone is concerned with efficacy, nobody appreciates style anymore. That there is a curse with some goddamn style. I learned it from the Stump-Witch in exchange for a month of my life; the only other person who’s expressed any interest in copying it was a lad who was heading up to Eagle Mountain to hunt trolls. I wonder what ever became of him?”

Curse of the Thrice-Damned Eyes

Level: 4

Duration: see below

Range: 20’

The victim of this spell, upon failing their saving throw versus spells, immediately suffers the first part of the curse - his eyeballs break open violently, spraying vitreous humor everywhere and causing blindness. The incidental damage is minor (1d3 hp), but the pain is considerable. If the victim gets a good night’s rest, the eyeballs grow back overnight on their own. However, once he awakens - or once a curative or regeneration spell is cast to restore the eyes - the second part of the curse kicks in. The next time the victim’s heart rate accelerates, as with combat or athletic activity, the eyeballs explode again (same effect as before, but no save this time). The eyes will return yet again the next morning (or next casting of a curative spell), only to burst one final time under the same circumstances - hence the name of the curse.

The material component of the spell is something natural that inherently resembles an eye - a ‘cat’s-eye’ gemstone, a buckeye nut, a peacock feather, or similar; the caster pokes a finger into the ‘eye’ three times as he speaks the words of the curse. The component is not consumed in the casting.

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