Tuesday, June 28, 2016

That's A Pretty Hungry Orc

Fundraising demands spammage!

For the past two years I've thrown a mini-convention here in Maryland called TridentCon - always for charity, always rpg-focused.

This year, in aid of some special guests we're working on, I'm doing a little fundraising.

Witness, the hungry orc:

It's a pig-faced orc of the classic variety, it's great work by David Okum, and you can get it on a t-shirt by going HERE but only until July 15th.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Freakness

Much of Wampus Country is an equestrian society; it will come as little surprise that horse-racing is an appreciated pastime.  While there are varying levels of formality and tradition among races, one odd event of note is the Freakness.

Held biannually, the Freakness Stakes is a horse-race in which the first rule is that one may not ride an actual horse.  Other mounts are welcome: emu, hippopotami, large dogs, clockwork spiders, an animated settee, what-have-you; the stranger the better, hence the name of the race.  Many of the jockeys are wizards, or sponsored by wizards.  So, too, the prize money and the unusual enchanted items handed out to those jockeys or owners who win, place, or show.

This year's third-place winner, Handsome Dan "The Warlock Man" astride his war-ostrich, Penelope.

Below are this year's prizes, each a magic item of interest and particular use.

The Exaggerator.  This belt is made of braided storm giant beard-hair, bound in copper wire; when worn it has the continuous effect of making the wearer the most electrifying person in the room.  The Exaggerator accomplishes this by casting subtle illusions that make the wearer's appearance and actions seem more impressive or larger than they otherwise would.  While wearing the Exaggerator, your hair is shinier, your skin clearer; your pectorals and groin, slightly more bulging.  Further, the wearer seems a few inches taller, and their clothing more fashionable, tasteful, and expensive, even if only slightly.  These illusions may be temporarily dispelled by dispel magic and similar effects.
Effect: wearer has Advantage on all Charisma checks.

Cherry Wine.  This potent potable is more a potion than a beverage, although it began life as a very fine wine made from sour cherries.  Enchanced by a series of physics-altering spells, the cherry wine has one important effect, to wit: the drinker need not remove their armor in order to engage in fun physical activities such as swimming, climbing, jumping, and the like.  The spells in the wine somehow shunt some of the encumbrance of the armor into some other part of the world (possibly generating 'heavy' or reverse-gravity spots on other continents, which is pretty irresponsible wizardry).  The cherry wine intoxicates as normal when imbibed.
Effect: The drinker ignores any penalty to physical activity (marching, swimming, climbing, jumping, square-dancing, whatever) caused by encumbering armor for one hour.

Earring of Nyquist.  Forged in the Sulfurian undermountains by the eponymous sorceror-priest, the Earring of Nyquist has a protective function.  When worn, the earring has the ability to internalize 'samples' of any sonic attack to which its wearer is subject, which has two effects.  First, the earring attempts to produce counterharmonies immediately (although this is often too late).  Secondly, the samples of the sonic attack are then fed into the wearer's next sonic attack of their own (hence this item is really most useful to a bard or audiomancer).  The earring allows the cunning bard to learn from his misfortunes at the hands of those harpies, and channel a piece of that song into his next thunderous assault.
Effect: The wearer has advantage on saving throws against sonic attacks.  After surviving a sonic attack of any time, the wearer has advantage on their next sonic attack (if their attack does not require a roll, perhaps the target has disadvantage on their save).

Yes, the stats are 5e-ish, as I've been running 5e lately.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Mascot Not-Monday: Superb Owl Insanity Edition

In the Long Long Ago, the Owls ruled what is now Wampus Country.  Their empire was sublime, and strange, and superb.

Hear now of the great madness of the Owls.


Requirements: DEX 9, CHA 9

Ability Modifiers: None

Ability Min/Max: STR 6/18 (15), DEX 9/18, CON 8/18, INT 7/18, WIS 3/18, CHA 9/18

Pity the puppymonkeybaby, for it is a freakish and twisted creature of chaos.  A likely product of magical experimentation (an easy enough explanation for such blasphemy), the puppymonkeybaby seems to be a mix of three species - a poggle-like dogfolk, a small simian, and a human or halfling.  Not coincidentally, all three of these races were slave-races to the great and wise owls of the Long Long Ago, if sages are to be believed.  In the wild, puppymonkeybabies live in small familial groups, dividing their time between arboreal recreation and foraging on the ground.

On a good day, a puppymonkeybaby is childlike, happy, and cooperative; on a bad day, it is petty, self-centered, and whiny.  Perhaps it is the poggle in them, or the means by which they were originally created, but puppymonkeybabies tend toward Chaos.  Some few are Neutral, and may even glom on to human "friends", attempting to help them by hand-delivering beverages, but in the end the fickle and childish puppymonkeybaby typically bursts into a rage over some small or imagined slight.  When dealing with human society, some wear kilts or dhotis, but in the wilds of the trees, puppymonkeybabies like to let their stuff fly free, the better to strike horror and revulsion into the hearts of their neighbors.

A "tame" puppymonkeybaby, in use as a serving-lad.
As creatures born of Chaos, puppymonkeybabies are resistant to magic, and some few of them demonstrate the spellcasting abilities of a chaotic cleric.  Puppymonkeybabies are natural climbers and should receive an appropriate small bonus (15%, or +1 in 6) to climbing rolls even if they are not thieves.

Puppymonkeybabies may not use large and two-handed weapons, but they may use weapon and armor as indicated by class.  Nevertheless, some puppymonkeybabies eschew heavy armor in favor of their own natural agility and climbing ability.

Puppymonkeybabies can see in the dark with infravision up to 60 feet.

Puppymonkeybabies in Wampus Country can understand the common tongue, but are restricted in their speech.  Each puppymonkeybaby knows a number of words - mostly nouns and a few verbs - equal to its Intelligence score; the first three of these must be 'puppy', 'monkey', and 'baby'.  Companions of a puppymonkeybaby quickly learn to properly interpret the words used, in context or metaphorically.  For example, 'puppy' might be a command to follow today, but tomorrow the little freak is using 'puppy' to mean 'cute' or 'small'; often the slow recitation of 'puppy, monkey, baby' means 'totality' or 'to make whole', and may accompany the use of a healing power.  This linguistic restriction has no effect on a puppymonkeybaby cleric's ability to cast spells.

Puppymonkeybabies receive the following saving throw bonuses:
• +2 save versus breath attacks
• +4 save versus wands
• +4 save versus spells or spell-like devices
Puppymonkeybabies are creepy as shit, and as such they receive bonuses to defend against magical effects. In addition, their small size grants them a bonus to finding cover and avoiding breath attacks.

Civilized puppymonkeybabies may select from the following classes, with the indicated level limits.

Class Level Limit
Assassin 7
Cleric 7
Fighter 6
Thief 11

Puppymonkeybaby thieves receive the following bonuses and penalties to thief abilities:

Skill Adjustment
Pick Locks -5%
Find and Remove Traps -5%
Move Silently +5%
Climb Walls +15%
Hide in Shadows +0%

"It's a very difficult magical problem, Doctor Wiggins - the sort which, I'm afraid, can only be solved by painstakingly creating some kind of ridiculous and improbable hybrid animal-monster the likes of which future generations will question as completely insane, or deride as the insipid fever-dream of a syphilitic hedge-mage.  But such is the heady responsibility of  wizardry, and we must not shy from it for an instant."

Saturday, January 30, 2016

New Arrivals: Fresh Faces in Wampus Country

As the Wampus Country campaign once again stirs to life - however slowly - it behooves us dedicated Wampus-watchers to maintain an awareness of the movers and shakers, the headline-makers, and the interesting characters locals are talking about.  To that end, the following discussion of several people recently making names for themselves in central Wampus Country, as reported by the ever-reputable fishwrap and cage-liner, the River-Town Gazette.

The Mystery-Solving Pig

The casino floor and swill-halls are pierced by the pitter-pat of pork, and the tenderloin titters about tenderloin!  Some months ago a little piglet appeared on the scene in River-Town, taking work as an inspector-for-hire, recoverer of lost things, and general troubleshooter.  His name is J. Pinkerton Piglet, P.I. (Porcine Investigator), but the gossips and lovely ladies along the river just call him "Pinky".  Witty but fond of the sound of his own voice, Pinky seems to be quite educated for such a young-looking pig, and he has wielded his keen mind to not only solve several interesting cases, but also to evade the violent attention of charismatic criminal Reverend Tater.  Pinky is occasionally accompanied by his slime Friday, a liberal-minded meeb called Gleeble, whose quivering lime-green form has become quite welcome in River-Town since this boneless wonder rescued a pair of Scorpion-priests from the slavering depradations of a ruthless sewer-troll.  They have won our hearts most certainly - what could this strange duo next accomplish?  He's a genius talking piglet, and it's a brawny man-of-jam -- they fight crime!

Pinky's rumored dual pairs of Boots of Striding & Springing make him a formidible parkour badass.

Soiree of the Stylish Sorceress

Skulls spin when sartorially-splendid spellslinger Incantada Impossiblay enters the room not only because of her striking beauty and fashion choices, but due to the meandering orrery of precious stones which seem to orbit her head in a display of cosmic devotion.  After taking rooms at the Sumbitch Hotel several weeks ago, she has come down from the fourth floor only a few times to conduct whispered business with a series of shifty-looking out-of-towners; an unnamed source at the hotel reveals Impossiblay takes but one meal a day in the form of a bowl of clarified butter.  She is accompanied at all times by her presumed familiar, a murderous-looking porcelain doll-homunculus identified as "Mister Tickle-pants".  Another rumor suggests Incantada Impossiblay is the former partner - business or romantic is unclear - of the famed Ruprecht the Hill-Devil; unfortunately since Thunderbolt Black's Action Show is on tour at the moment, the furry trick-rider in question has yet to be interrogated on the matter.  The sorceress carries a wand made of some sort of exotic ivory, and wears long artificial nails of iridescent glass on the fingers of her left hand.  In the last week she has made some discreet inquiries about renting a hall for a party; this randy reporter wonders what must be done to secure a ticket to what may prove to be the most exclusive hoedown of the year.

Incantada Impossiblay, said to have dealings with the twisted fey of the Summerlands.

Too Many Cocks Spoil The Brawl

The swamp-fighting circuit in Frogport is no joke and has made - or ruined - the reputation of many a pugilist.  Recently, however, the masculine punching scene has been suplexed topsy-turvy by the uproarious arrival of a group of rooster-men who have taken on all comers in tag-team events and won a number of individual matches to boot.  They appear to be less natural-born roosters and more men who have become battling bantams via sorcery, but have no doubt that these cocks are game -- wild moves, surprising strength, and impeccable teamwork have put them over the top, and they are winning money wing over fist.  As a matter of fact, the four roostermen are in line to contest and win the biannual "Sweaty Summer Swamp Slappin'" tournament this year, to the tune of $5000 plus possible endorsements - not chump change.  Who are these fighting-cocks, and from whence have they come?  An obtuse source suggests they may be aligned with Baron Von Kluck, that feathered criminal mastermind, but when confronted about a connection or plans to win the $5000 via cockfighters, the wealthy Von Kluck demurred, stating he would not get out of bed for such a poultry sum.

One of the Frogport Roostermen, known in the wrestling ring as "Buck Hardbreast".