Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Fortune Tellers. I see a bad moon rising...

“I see a bad moon rising.
I see trouble on the way.
I see earthquakes and lightnin'.
I see bad times today."

Creedence Clearwater Revival

“I went to the fortune teller
To get my fortune told
But the fortune teller told me
Son, you ain’t gotta soul.
Didn’t know how to take that
Just wanted my fortune read
Tried not to believe her
As she told me I'd be dead…”


Types of Fortune Tellers (d20)
1. High Priestess
2. High Priest
3. Itinerant Gypsy
4. Shaman
5. Witch
6. Eunuch
7. Wild- eyed prophet
8. Madman
9. Sangoma
10. Monk
11. A small child
12. A talking animal of the feline or reptilian persuasion
13. A spectre
14. A village elder
15. A village idiot
16. Hag
17. Loon
18. Scarecrow
19. Harlequin
20. Mirrorman

Fortune telling devices (d30)
1. Bones/skulls of birds, rats and mice
2. Cat’s paw and chicken feet
3. Seeds, twigs, pine cones and pine needles
4. Strips of cloth, assorted coins, pocket comb, brass key and a misshapen pearl
5. Howling at the moon/ or phantom knocks on the table
6. Tea leaves
7. Urinating on the floor
8. Entrails of a small animal
9. Entrails of a large animal
10. Buttons, needles, and rag dolls
11. Tresses, teeth, dried eyeballs, and birds eggs
12. Bulls balls, pigs tails, headless squirrels, and a jar of flies
13. A crystal ball
14. A mirror
15. A bowl of smoke/water/tears/milk/ blood or frogspawn
16. A tray of sand/fire/smouldering coals
17. A dead rat and a string to swing it with
18. A lit purple candle with a green flame
19. A human skull and listening to your dreams
20. A deck of cards
21. A Ouija board
22. Staring into your eyes/ or using the third eye in the middle of their forehead
23. The palms of your hands
24. Examining your tongue, teeth and lips
25. Feeling your skull
26. A book, bell, and candle
27. Knucklebones/ Rune stones
28. Assorted dice of various shapes
29. A ring ,dangling from a chain
30. Several pieces of knotted string

The Fortune teller’s familiar (d10)
1. A winged snake
2. A drug addled imp
3. A small dark cloud
4. A shaved baboon
5. A scaly parrot
6. A frog, a snail, and a puppy dog’s tail
7. A two headed cat
8. A suckling pig
9. A mummy’s head
10. A severed hand

Where the Fortune teller plies their trade (d20)
1. Temple
2. Street corner
3. At the back table of a tavern
4. Under a bridge
5. In a tent on the outskirts of town
6. In a pumpkin patch
7. Down at the docks/market place/gambling den
8. A private residence down a dodgy side street
9. Under a willow tree
10. In a gibbet/cage at the crossroads
11. Under the gallows
12. In a dank cave
13. Up a tree
14. At the travelling fair
15. In a tower
16. In the centre of a crop circle
17. On top of a huge boulder shaped like a d6
18. In a sepulchre
19. In the back of a covered wagon
20. Around the burning effigy of a local politician/miscreant/hero

What the Fortune teller demands in payment (d10)
1. Crossing their palm with silver
2. An act of revenge
3. An act of heroism
4. A worthy task
5. Retrieval of a family heirloom
6. A pint of blood
7. An act of kindness
8. One week’s servitude
9. An item that means a lot to you
10. A body part from a mythical and hard to catch creature (white stag, black unicorn, lightning bird etc.)

What the Fortune tellers called (d10) roll twice. Column one then column two
Column One
1. Zoltan
2. Marvell
3. Rubella
4. Nastran
5. Mysterium
6. Arcanum
7. Zingara
8. Drabardi
9. Facculus
10. Tempest
Column Two
1. The Astonishing
2. The Amazing
3. The Incredible
4. The Prophetic
5. The Magnificent
6. The Unquestionable
7. The Believable
8. The Unmistakable
9. The Accurate
10. The Truthsayer

Fortunes (d20)
1. Death. It surrounds you like a blanket.
2. Great riches. Gold and gems await you.
3. Betrayal. One close to you would do you harm.
4. Danger. Under the earth, in the dark, it waits for you.
5. Good fortune. Fortune favours the brave.
6. Poison. Beware what you consume and who you get it from.
7. Ill-luck. Misfortune awaits you, this very evening.
8. Clichéd. A tall, dark, stranger.
9. Romance. You will meet the person of your dreams.
10. Punishment. Your past is catching up with you.
11. Sibling. A long lost sibling is seeking out for you.
12. A message from beyond. One who has departed recently, has a message for you (roll again)
13. Falling. I see you falling, and being swallowed by a hole in the ground.
14. Water. Stay away from open water of any sort.
15. Destiny. Continue on this path, it is surely your destiny.
16. Success. You are nearly there, do not falter.
17. Cursed. Your actions have displeased the gods and they have laid their curse upon thee. But, for a few gold pieces more, I can most certainly lift that from you…
18. Blessed. The holy hosts smile down upon you, and flights of angels carry your woes.
19. Quit. Give it up, this life of adventure is not for you. Return home, while you still can.
20. Tenacity. I see you laughing and spitting in the face of destiny.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Beard Magic: All beards are magical but some are more magical than others

Beard of Holding
Allows the bearded to store roughly one kg worth of goods in their beard. Handy for keeping jewels or gold safe from the beady eyes of pickpockets and the like, hell, you could even store a sneaky dagger in there as no one ever expects the old, ‘blade in the boot’ trick anymore, do they?

Beard of Belonging
Never feel a stranger, always feel a friend. This handy beard allows you to blend in to the local surroundings without sticking out like a sore thumb. Watch as the local militia just pass you by and hassle your friends instead. Look like a local wherever you are, even if they don’t wear beards.

Beard of Burning
Get your flame on! Light those whiskers lads, and send those monsters running. The burning beard does no damage what-so-ever to anyone, but it works great as an intimidation technique. Can be used twice a day and burns for 6 rounds. The colour of its flame is up to the user. The creatures must save vs spells or flee for 1d4 rounds. If they pass though, they fight at a -1 as they are totally in awe of your awesome beardage. Can double as a light source in a pinch, and illuminates in a radius of 20ft.

Beard of Direction
Never get lost again. This sort of beard remembers just where you have been, and when asked, will tug you the way you need to go. Especially handy when you spend a lot of time in the dark, grubbing for coin by the light of lanterns and such.

Beard of the Underground
Makes the bearded gain dwarven special abilities, such as being able to tell when the floor begins to slope, or when the stonework differs from one another. Also, it helps you detect secret doors on a 1 or 2, on a d6. Can also detect pockets of poisonous gas. It allows the wearer to tunnel an extra 1d4 +1 feet per turn (in soft material only)

Beard of the Woodland
A haven for the birds and beasts that come to you and tell you all the tales of the forests…like that sneaky band of orcs waiting over the rise, that are just waiting to ambush you, and liberate you of your coin and your lives.

Beard of the Lumberjack
Gain a +1 to damage when using an axe in combat. Allows you to navigate deadfalls with ease, and tells you when any evil treants are nearby. You gain a plus one to hit and damage when battling these tree creatures and it allows you to speak their language. Haroom!

Beard of Changing
Long and bushy one moment, short and cropped the next. Yup, it’s up to you. Change it up as you want to. Handy when you don’t match the description they have of you, eh?

Beard of Command
Your facial fuzz puts you in charge! In combat, those around you (friends only) are blessed by your sheer bearded, bristling, awesomeness, that they gain a plus one to hit for the duration of the fight. Can be used twice a day.

Beard of Climbing
Rapunzel has nothing on you! Make your beard grow and follow simple commands, just like a rope of climbing. It can take up to 100kgs in weight and lasts for one turn. Can reach a length of 30ft in total.

Beard of Deflection
Tired of taking arrows to the face? Well, no more! Anyone firing missile weapons at you does so at a minus two as the beard will reach out and deflect them from hitting you. Only works when the archer is directly in front of you, not from the sides or from behind.

Beard of Hypnotising
Anyone can be hypnotised by your befollicled, bad-ass beauty; Save vs Spells or be charmed, just like the spell. Look into my beard…

Beard of Gaseous Protection
Poisonous gas away! Gain a plus two to your ‘Poisonous Gas ‘saves, as your ‘tache plugs your nostrils, and your beard guards your mouth.

Beard of Thoughtfulness
Stroking your beard not only makes you like a deep thinker, but you gain a +2 to your Intelligence rolls when you do so. Sadly it doesn’t work all the time, only thrice a day, but you can still look sagely while doing it anyway!

Beard of the Seven Seas
Look the part of an ancient mariner only without the albatross weighing you down. The beard gives you a weather eye and allows you to predict the weather two days in advance. It also allows you to navigate large bodies of water with ease and use most watercraft without penalty.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Of Thieves marks and Hobo signs

 There’s an article that does the rounds every once in a while about how burglars leave secret signs and sigils outside your house to let other thieves (and neer-do-wells) know what’s going on behind your walls, or fences. For example, a pile of little stones means you have dogs. A brick carefully placed outside your gate, means they aim to nick your car. An empty Coke can means they can expect resistance when burgling your joint.
 On the face of it, it could be true, but once you think about…what self-respecting thief is going to help another, in getting your goods? Surely if he, or she, had all the info, why would they broadcast it (albeit secretly) to all their thiefly brethren who might pull the job off before you? I know, right? But, the article always states that this information comes from the cops, so, IT MUST BE TRUE!
 I don’t know, it reeks of urban myth to me, just one more fucking thing to worry about. It’s also not just here in South Africa, I’ve seen it in the British press too. Yes it was The Sun, and no, I didn’t believe it then either, I just thought it was curious is all. And besides, I have enough on my mind when I leave my front door than what a discarded crisp packet signifies, or a half-eaten lox bagel may portent. Maybe, and here’s a crazy thought, maybe it’s just fucking litter? Anyone ever think of that? Apparently not, so the article keeps on popping up wherever there are humans gullible to believe this crap.
However, the same cannot be said about Hobo signs. These were left by the Kings of the Road to help-a-brother-out, when they came into a new town, or village. They would point out if the occupants of a house would give away food, or clothing, or maybe even had some work for them. There was a whole list of them, and they are all pretty cool. I have attached a picture of them at the bottom of the post.
But, all this secret/paranoia/sigils and signs got me thinking how easily you could slot this into your campaign for your Thief players, like thieves Cant, made real. Anyway, here you go, signs and sigils only a thief (or hobo) will understand.

Barrow-Boys, and Rag and Bone Men, often earn a little extra on the side by providing the local Thieves Guild with gen on who lives where and if there may be something worth half-inching from the premises. This is how they do that. By leaving certain signs and items outside.
  • ·         A pile of tiny stones- house is guarded by small yapping dogs
  • ·         Two large stones resting on top of one another- premises is inhabited by two elderly people
  • ·         A spear tip drawn in chalk/charcoal/- owner is armed and not afraid to use it
  • ·         A large eye painted at the top of the street- a house has been targeted for robbing
  • ·         Several stones in a row- denotes how many people can be expected inside
  • ·         An empty wine skin pointing at the house- means that someone is home
  • ·         A tiny piece of white cloth- means the house is an easy target
  • ·         A small sketch of a crown- means the home owners are wealthy
  • ·         A sketch of several swords- means the owners have men-at-arms protecting them
  • ·         An empty, upright, drawing of a bottle- means nobody is home
  • ·         A pair of old boots- indicates the escape path the thieves should follow
  • ·         A small chalk mark of a ring- means the inhabitant is a  jeweller who keeps his wares at home
  • ·         A horizontal zigzag- there are vicious dogs inside
  • ·         A circle of small pebbles- means get out fast, the job is blown and you are at risk of capture
  • ·         Three diagonal lines- not a safe place, protected by magical wards
  • ·         A broken dagger blade- means the owner was once an adventurer but took an arrow in the knee, and now spends his days at home drinking
  • ·         A circle with a hand drawn in charcoal- inhabitant is a fellow thief
  • ·         A small piece of red or green cloth- inhabitant is a priest or cleric
  • ·         A small piece of black cloth- house has already been robbed in the last few weeks
  • ·         A drawing of a cat- means the occupant is a witch
  • ·         An upside-down caduceus- the occupant is a healer and will treat thieves injured on the job

Friday, 25 September 2015

Meet me at the Cemetery Gates. 60 Gravestone markers and their meanings chart

"Believe the word
I will unlock my door
And pass the
cemetery gates"

Pantera- Cemetery Gates

Something I was using last week when we were adventuring in Marrowhome ( a floating/travelling graveyard that houses the worst of the worst, and can only be gotten to via a rainbow) Enjoy!

Roll 1d4
1 Body Parts
2 Fauna
3 Occupations and people
4 Flora

Body Parts

1. Unadorned Skull-represents a person who lived an exceedingly long life
2. Winged Skull- represents the journey into the after-life and the ephemeralness of life
3. Skull with three eye sockets-  seer,  held  séances,  lifted the veil of the beyond
4. Gripping hands (pointing up)- symbolises the person has gone to their just rewards
5. Gripping hands with inverted torches (pointing down)- burning in the afterlife
6. Outstretched arms ending in no hands-  punished in this life, and the next
7. Two hands, one pointing up, the other down- symbolic of the duality of the after-life.
8. A giant eyeball- even in death they will be watching you
9. Shattered leg bones- death by punishment
10. A pile of bones beneath a grinning skull- achieved their life’s goal before the end


1. Lamb- taken too soon
2. Dog- was steadfast and stalwart in life
3. Spiders- devious and undecided in their actions
4. Bees- hard worker and industrious
5. Birds- a young female
6. Imps- magic worker who dabbled in creation magic
7. Rats- untrustworthy individual
8. Wolf- strong willed and dangerous
9. Rabbits- wildly popular individual in life
10. Leopards- had links to royalty (tenuous though)
11. Crow- a murderer
12. Raven- a priest (not a cleric)
13. Unicorn- a leader
14. Bloated leech- a physician
15. Hippogriff- a landowner
16. Sphinx- scholarly type
17. Sea monster- sea captain or person of naval distinction
18. Rooster- vigilant in life and death
19. Snake- sinner and neer’-do-well
20. Goat- Atheist

Occupations and People

1. Net- fisherman/sailor drowned at sea
2. Hammer and anvil- blacksmith
3. Sword, rope and torch- adventurer (weapon to denote character type)
4. Cards/Spades-Hearts-Clubs- Diamonds/ or games pieces- gambler
5. Sextant- Astrologer
6. Chisel and saw blade- Carpenter
7. Scythe – Farmer
8. Pick-axe and lantern- Miner
9. Wheel- wagoner
10. Vials and a puff of smoke- alchemist
11. Book- student of some sort
12. Book with arcane symbols- student of magic
13. Horseshoe- farrier
14. Bear-trap or a smaller trap- trapper/hunter
15. Hammer and chisel- stoneworker
16. Musical Instrument- A bard
17. Pile of coin- merchant
18. A mug of frothing ale- a publican
19. Any piece of armour- an armourer
20. A quill- a writer/sage/ a studious individual


1. A broken rose- taken too soon
2. A lotus- rebirth in the afterlife
3. A horizontal bushel of twigs- a witch
4. A broken branch- died before being wed
5. A tree stump- cut down too soon
6. A sprig of wolfs-bane- a possible lycanthrope
7. A string of garlic- a possible vampyr
8. A poppy- peace at last after intense struggle
9. A pinecone- a nature lover in the arms of the earth mother
10. An oak tree- a wise and beneficial individual who gave more than they ever received

Friday, 18 September 2015

d6: What's in the Witch's Oven

I don’t care if gingerbread gives you hives, you have your orders. Kick in that vokken door, and waste the witch! Don’t make me tell you twice…” Witch Hunter Braam Van Staaden

I have fulfilled a long time desire and begun to play OD&D using the Chainmail rules for combat. Tricky at first, but there is a tonne of source material out there to guide you. I am also using the concise spell book designed by the awesome Delta. It’s really handy, and I have two copies on the table when we play, one for me, and one for the mage. Also, somewhat controversially, we are using the Chainmail rules for spell-casting. This allows the magic-user to roll on a chart to see if the spell goes off, is delayed, or fails so badly that it can only be cast the following morning. This allows unlimited daily spell casting, if, you get your rolls right. The spell allocation is still the same, you still choose according to your level, you just get to cast more than once a day. I have also included the rules for counter-spelling, and spell duels. These were purloined from Chainmail, as well as from Fight On! (In my head, I always hear some surfer dude saying, ‘Right on…’) It just add a bit more depth for the players who run magic-users. We also use a single saving throw for everything, modified by class, so for example, a mage will get a bonus if saving versus magic. I also found a copy of Gygax’s house rules over at Cyclopeatron and have included a few of them into the mix.
Of course, it’s all d6 and that’s pretty cool. A +1 really goes a long, long way. I am using the Grey-Elf/ Conan hypothesis, that at each level you get more than a single attack on the man-to-man melee table. The fighters are on Hero level (4th Level) so they get four attacks per combat round. They thought this was the best thing, ever, until they realised that their opponents have access to the same ruling. Good times.
On the Fantasy Combat table, it is one attack, but you do half your level d6 damage, so if you are at 4th level, you roll 2d6 for damage instead of just 1d6. Again, this comes from the Conan inspired rule system. So far so good. No major hiccups, and the players are really enjoying the simplicity of it all. We also used the jousting rules a few weeks ago during some downtime in the city. I came up with some loose Carousing plot points for the players. They all put money into the pot and went at it. The knight-in-training went to the Lists for a bit of jousting action, and, because of his newbie status got great odds at the bookies. He started off at 9/2 but quickly shortened to even money for the last ride. The rest of the players were betting on him like crazy, and lo and behold, he won. That netted the group about 5000gp all in all. This then went into the arm-wrestling competition where the thief character slipped the opponent some hallucinatory mushrooms he had procured a few weeks before. Again, the player made it all the way through the competition and won the last bout with a natural 20, even though his nemesis was tripping balls. So at the end of it, they were up nearly ten grand. That could have been a problem, but then they got drunk and spent it all on wagons and golden armour and stuff. So they were all flat broke again, and in the market for some work.
While the others were off competing, the thief went scouting around town to do a little light purloining here and there, and came back with the awesome Rat-catcher sword found in the excellent (and free!) &magazine. The mage went through his collection bag and began to brew up some potions. Now, because the player really role plays this part of his character ( he is always going off collecting slime, fungi, and harvesting body parts from the fallen) I allowed him to create his very own spell , as well as some potions that we rolled for. He really enjoyed that. I recommend it.
So, I promised you a d6 chart didn’t I? Well, here you go. Enjoy!

D6: What’s in the Witch’s Oven?
1) A semi-comatose Hansel, who is eternally thankful for being saved. He’s young, but handy with an axe, and has the potential to be a fearsome warrior. He has a natural hatred of witches and evil step-mothers. In fact, he can smell them from one mile away. Apparently they smell like over-ripe, Wensleydale cheese. He will do nothing without his sister. He is also a keen huntsmen and will be an able forager for the party; but not so hot on finding his way around a forest.
2) Gretel. Alive, but fuming. She will agree to join the party but only after she has taken revenge on her step-mother, and, only if Hansel agrees to join the group. She is definitely the brains in the Hansel & Gretel operation. High intelligence, and is destined for a life in magic, or maybe, a life of crime? She will grow to be a formidable companion to the group. She will make pets of three legged cats, tailless lizards, in fact any animal that has been abused at the hands of man, will become hers. They will flock to her and could number in the hundreds if the DM allows.
3) A swirling vortex of purple and royal blue. It will detect as magical, and gives off the faintest whiff of unicorn scat. If anything is put into the vortex, say, a ten-foot pole or something like it, the player will experience zero resistance. If something is thrown in, then something will be thrown out. 1- A fish with toes instead of fins. 2- A large amber toad with human teeth. 3- A three headed snake that mewls like a kitten and has sleek, velvety hair, instead of scales. 4- A new-born, albino bat that will grow to be a loyal servant to the first person that feeds it. 5- A twig with three, withered, berries on it. If one of the berries are consumed, it will allow them to Hear Evil. If another is consumed, it will allow them to See Evil. If a third is consumed, it will make them invisible. All berry magic will disappear one hour after ingesting. If all three are consumed then nothing happens except the player gets a terrible case of the trots, or the ‘goblins’, as we like to call it over here at Iron Rations. 6- A small sewing box, filled with brightly coloured buttons, swatches of material and a pair of brass scissors. This is not an ordinary sewing kit. It is a hex box, and will allow those in the know to craft particularly virulent curses against those who have displeased them. All that is required is the hair, or nails, of the intended victim, in fact, any body part will do. (If someone were to climb inside the vortex, or even stick their head in, they would see a vast landscape before them, unlike anything they have seen before. Twin suns, like low-hanging testicles, are setting over red fields of short cropped grass. The blades of grass are thick and weeping, like the stems of severed roses. Large, shadowy, man-shaped figures on stilts wield scythes and sing melancholy tunes while they work. The language is guttural and unintelligible. The sky is salmon tinged, and glowing. This is a long way from home. The player will not be able to breath and must in fact leave before death occurs. In the distance, a bell tolls.)
4) The oven attacks! AC: Solid Iron- (treat as plate and shield) HD: 6. Attacks: 2- (Bite- 2d6) (Jet of flame, as well as spitting cinders- 1d6) Move: (not sure, as far as you need it to I suppose) Save: 35% or F5. Special: It draws on the malevolent energy inside the witch’s house/hut to repair itself by attracting any, and all, ferrous metal toward it. Loose cutlery, pots and pans, a carelessly guarded weapon or dagger, even helmets are fair game. Every second round it will attempt to ‘draw’ these items toward it. If successful, it will restore 1d8 hp in that round. Sooner or later the room will run out of metal, but there is usually enough to last five or six rounds of combat. It can also attract a weapon that is being brandished against it. Have the player make a Save vs. Paralysis or it becomes part of its iron skin. All edged weapons will do half damage, while bludgeoning attacks do full damage. Immune to fire damage, sleep, and charm spells. It is semi-intelligent and speaks Aga fluently ( a middle-class dialect of the realms, primarily spoken by a tribe called the Posh) while its handle on the common tongue is a little rusty…(hahaha)
5) A bubbling pot of bouillabaisse. At first glance it is just sitting there, simmering merrily away, but it is cursed. If someone takes a sip of this meal, make a Save vs. Spells or begin to gag and retch uncontrollably.  The skin of the victim will begin to blister and bubble and calcify into barnacles and other assorted molluscs. The fore-arms and hands will thicken and morph into crab-like pincers. Total transformation takes less than two minutes. Speech as we know it will cease, instead, the cursed player must use the click-click-click of his claws to communicate. Obviously armour class becomes better, but whatever they were wearing is considered broken and beyond repair. If magical though, allow a save. The afflicted party member can be cured by the normal means. Cannot use weapons or any other ‘handheld’ items. Claws do damage as per Giant Crab.
6) A book so rare, it was considered to be myth. It’s called ‘Mages & How to Cook Them’. Inside are several rituals that may be performed by the chef. The key ingredient is a dead magic wielder, (not a Cleric, as they are merely vessels for the god) with the caveat that said magician MUST have been killed by the hand of the person preparing the spell/recipe/ritual; and that the person performing the rituals is also a magic-user. One body is good for one ritual and not multiple.
 Ritual the First: The Litany of Latem. After singing the requisite verses over the body, the ritual completed, it will allow the magician to cast Scorching Steel once per day. Range: 0 to 10m. Area of effect: One item worn by an individual that would do the caster harm. Casting Time: 2 rounds. Save: None. Duration of Spell: Six rounds (and the magic user must concentrate the entire time. Round 1: Very Warm, deals 1-3 dmg. Round 2: Extremely warm 1-3+1. Round 3: Hot, deals 1-6 dmg. Round 4: Fekkin Hot, deals 1-6 dmg. Round 5: Scorchio! Deals 2d4 dmg. Round 6: Inferno, deals 3d4 dmg.
Ritual the Second: Skull Smyth. Also known as, Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy; he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? Your gambols? Your songs? Your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar?
Decapitate foe. Boil head. Scoop of all that rises to surface. Sauté with garlic and onion, and nibble away. Remove skull. Cast appropriate incantations over it, and voila! Take the skull out, hold it in your hand, stare longingly into the empty eye sockets and you are able to cast, Clairaudience, Wizard Eye, and Clairvoyance, once per day.
Ritual the Third: Hand in Glove. Also known as the Ritual of the Red Right Hand. Flay skin from the right hand, soak in bile, blood and the juice from two eye balls. Leave to soak for a week then rinse and leave to dry. Place the hand over yours like a glove and watch the fun unfold. When in place, it will glow red and enable the wearer (after a successful to hit roll) to drain one level from their foe. If saved however, nothing happens. A level worth’s of hit points will be transferred to the wielder of the glove for the duration of the combat. Once over, the hit points fade.  It is good for six rounds of use, per day, but beware, the glove may become sentient after repeated use, and could turn on them.
Ritual the Fourth: Bite the Hand that feeds you. Extract teeth from the dear departed. Put them on a string and wear around your neck for a week. When you have successfully killed a foe in mortal combat, swallow one of the teeth, along with one of your deceased foes, and you could possibly animate them. The success rate is up to you, but I generally start at HD 1 = 100% success, HD2 = 90% success, all the way down to just 10% chance.
Ritual the Fifth: Sinister and Dexter. Also known as, The Adams Family,click,click. Sever the hands from the body and bury on the beach for a week. They will come back to you at the beginning of the new moon, and will follow simple commands of no more than 8 words. Use stats for Crawling Hands. If somehow destroyed, they will be back in another seven days...
Ritual the Sixth: Skin of many pockets. Also known as, It puts the lotion on its skin, or it gets the hose again . Self explanatory really. Skin the body, then sew it to the inside of your robe with 100 gp worth of silver thread. Once dry, it acts as a mini bag of holding, with precisely half of the bag's statistics, regarding the weight, and length of what it can store.

Some one-liner items that could also be found.
1) An oven in an oven in an oven in an oven all the way down to a tiny sacred flame that burns blue when witches are around. The tiniest oven is small enough to be worn on a necklace.
2) Imp. Dead.
3) Meat pie. Mystery meat
4) Unicorns head
5) A human body, stitched together, but all wrong. Arm is where head should be, foot where nose was etc.
6) Cat. Alive and pissed off
7) Spider
8) Scroll
9) A curved dagger
10) A wooden puppet
11) Blueberry Muffins
12) Strawberry tart
13) Gingerbread man. Becomes a golem if someone tries to eat him.
14) Werewolf teeth
15) Skull and bones
16) Ashes of the wake
17) A portable hole
18) Blink dog droppings
19) Black ooze
20) A disembodied voice
21) A flame meffit
22) A twenty sided dice
23) A raven
24) Crows head soup
25) Black flame
26) A tiny set of pots and pans that will grow when used to prepare food
27) Russian nesting dolls
28) Corncob pipe
29) A pie with 24 blackbirds baked  inside
30) A jar of flies

Other oddities to be found, but this time, on the walls and floors etc.
1) Stuffed children’s heads
2) A centaur skin rug by the fire
3) A werewolf skin blanket on the bed
4) A little red hooded cloak behind the door
5) A carved wooden walking stick
6) A large wheel of cheese shaped like a mouse
7) A large mouse shaped like a wheel of cheese
8) A biscuit barrel
9) A furless squirrel in a cage with blackbird wings sewn on to its back
10) A beehive
11) A Farmer’s Almanac
12) A milking stool
13) A butter barrel full of green butter that glows
14) A large white snail shell
15) A dried newt the size of a good sized dog
16) A hangman’s noose
17) A scarecrow behind the door
18) A broom made from twigs next to the privy
19) A privy
20) A large cage filled with a huge pile of assorted clothes of all different shapes and sizes

Friday, 4 September 2015

Gulch. If the fallen angels don't get you, the whores will

It begins, as it so often does, in the darkness, in the nothing, under a heavy blanket of silence.
There’s an almost epochal stillness between the breaths, or the screams, as old collapses into fiery oblivion and gives way to the new.
 (It all depends on what kind of day the universe is having)
At first it is just void, then there is something tiny, yes, understandably so, but a fuck lot bigger than what was there three seconds ago. Three seconds ago, there was absolutely, bloody, nothing.
The something twists, and turns, and grows, and surrounds itself with an embryonic sac of light, and it is the first, of the first things, to grow.
Soon, others will follow.
It has become. It thinks. It thinks, ‘I am hungry’.
But there is nothing for it to eat because that has not been created yet. All in good time, all in good process. Strange fruit will sadly come to bear.
Then it cries. Loudly. And all hell breaks loose.
More light, more sparks, more creating, more, everything. Anything to shut it up. It smells the nourishment all around, as it darts its heads forward, pecking at the universe. It eats till it can eat no more, and then it retches.
The contents of its innumerable guts flow out into the spaces around it; stuffing vast, purple, cavernous stretches of emptiness, like deserts of midnight, with celestial vomit.
Spinning droplets are coalescing, becoming moons, becoming planets, just thrilled to be becoming something, rather than endless, nothing.
It grows, as it should. It is now fully formed and large in thought and kinetic deed. For what would be the purpose of tiny, inconsequential, creators? They must govern entirely, or not govern at all.
 Its breath frosts in the cold, creating the stars, fixing the heavens.
It is now the largest being in existence. It comprehends its heft and finds it good. It cups its genitals and finds it even better. It is both light, and dark. The beginning, and the end. The taker, and the sustainer. It is life, and life begets life.
It shoots it seed out into the void.
Countless, glowing, spiraling spermatozoa, like shooting stars, are sprayed into the dark to seek the thrumming, squirming, eggs that lie at the centre of the planets. The asteroids scour the endless cold for the warmth of a liquid core; their tails corkscrewing them onward to fulfill what they were made to do.
And when the pulse of warmth is felt, when a planet displays its heated nucleus to the heavens, the asteroids adjust their path accordingly, and slam into that surface with the force of the cosmic rut that begot it. The space travelers winnow their way down through the seas and sediments, until they can go no further.
Of such dalliances, gods are made.
And when they are ready to be expelled (the gods, fully-formed, with a willingness to govern and have others follow) their planets explode, massively, sending them off into the universe to find another home and make a kingdom for themselves. A place to call their own. They leave behind naught but debris, and a hole so black and powerful that not even light can escape its clutches.
But they are jealous gods, and will often go to war, because they seek to become the dominant force and sole focus of adoration and endless, ululating, worship.
But who knows their ways and paths better than themselves? Not I, I wouldn’t dare, lest they smite as they see fit. It is not for me to report on that, I tell all I’ve been privy too.
However, what I can state, with a certain degree of certainty, is that not all asteroids make it all the way down to the swollen, vulgar, baboon buttocks, at the centre of a world.
Some die, flopping and gasping, like a fish out of water on the surface, or just below it.
Over time it fossilises, and is known as Aether, by the elves, Manna by the dwarves, Godsmack or Godspit by the clergy, and Angeldust by the humans. It is the most costly element in the universe. And it attracts all sorts of madmen and women to try and find it. It is hailed as a ‘God-in- a-bottle’ and its restorative qualities are legend.
It can be mined, like its poorer cousin gold, it can also be panned in the rivers and streams of the high places, lying there, glittering, glowing
 It is everywhere, you just need to know where to look for it.
One place it was rumoured to be, in abundance, was north of the Vergil Corridor, on the Highveld, in a small settlement called, Gulch. A rough and ready place if ever there was, and believe you me, if the fallen angels didn’t get you, the whores would…

People of Gulch
Gunther Glass: Mayor of Gulch and first known discoverer of Godspit. Ranger 5th)
Gunther Glass, a trapper, near death from parasites and bear trauma, rolls off his mule and falls head first into a freezing mountain stream. He goes under, several times, each one longer than the last. He feels the warm embrace of death on his august frame and is ready to surrender to its inevitability. His hands drop to his sides and rest upon the stream’s floor. Someway, somehow, he makes one last attempt to live, and his frozen hand grabs a nugget of pure Godspit from the bottom of the stream. He described it later to me, as if he had been hit by a bolt of pure lightning. He told me that he fairly flew out of the chilled mountain and onto the bank to thrash about blindly, like a trout on a hook.
He said he’d never felt so alive. Just by holding the glowing rock, he had given himself a new lease on life. He had the energy to build himself a fire, make a shelter, and hunt down a pair of klipspringers (rock jumpers) for his supper. In the morning he was up before the sun examining the element that had made him whole again.
The early morning light had robbed it of its ghostly glow, but it still shone brightly, none the less. It was verdant green, with flecks of mercurial silver, and banded by stripes of urgent red. There were many other hues to behold but his untrained eye grasped the obvious ones first. After he eats his breakfast he heads back to the stream to find more, and spends the morning panning but to no avail. There was none to be found. Six days later though, higher up the tributary, and using a rock pool to create a primitive sluice, he uncovers a chunk the size of the palm of his hand, and when he reaches out to grab it, he is rewarded by the familiar shock of pure energy, and the wild taste of sweating copper in his mouth. After several weeks of panning and primitive mining, he needs to frequent a town of sorts so that he may purchase enough supplies to see him through the upcoming winter, as well as aid him in further exploration for this most holy of minerals.
I do not know how much he got for those first few, fragile, ounces of Godspit, but he was wise enough to not flood a non-existent market with all he had. It was enough however, to see him return to that place with a wagon, mules, lumber, and suitable supplies for the task that lay ahead.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for Gunther, far from it. The mountains are dangerous at the best of times, doubly so when you have your head in the ground seeking what the gods have cast asunder. Orc, ogre, wolf, both dire and timber, all tried- unsuccessfully- I may add, to snuff out Gunther once and for all, but the nuggets of pure Godspit he kept on his person had somehow managed to change him, to heighten his senses, and make him more than capable of seeing off any would be aggressors.
Once though he lost a great deal of his right thigh muscle in a savage fight against several wolves who were hunting below the snow line. He thought he was done for, as help lay many, many leagues away. But in his pain and delirium, he heard a voice as if coming from above, and it told him what to do. He crumbled one of the smaller pieces of the Godspit into a fine powder then added boiling water to it so that it became a paste of sorts. He plugged the wound with it, covered it with torn strips of cloak, and waited. Less than a week later it was if nothing had happened. His leg had not only had fully recovered, but had never been stronger. He truly felt as if he were getting younger, and stronger.
And so it went for at least two years, Gunther mined where he could and sold what he had, but always slowly, he didn’t want to give the game away. But the Godspit had entered society (albeit on the extreme fringes) and people talk. A loose tongue is more dangerous than an unsheathed sword any day of the week. The Godspit was sold by the local merchant (who had taken to grinding it up and sniffing it, to experience the most incredible sense of euphoria he had ever felt) to a wandering mage, who tried some in a fiery conflagration spell and nearly burnt down an entire forest instead of just roasting a horde of attacking goblins.
 Godspit, like most things, should be used in moderation. But these were early days, heady times, where people were still in the experimental phase and paid no heed to the potential consequences, and believe me when I tell you, that there were consequences aplenty; with fallen angels being the least of them…

(To be continued)

Friday, 14 August 2015

Fear and Loathing in Greyhawk

I’m back. Back from the U.S.A and the best four days in gaming. Still trying to process it all. I have a d1000 yard stare and am feeling…otherwise. Had a great time. I write for a company called GCT Studios and was manning their booth at GenCon. They produce Bushido-the Game, ( a table-top miniature skirmish game of an Asian bent, as well as a board game called, Rise of the Kage) not to be confused with the 70’s RPG of the same name. Firstly, it’s a long way from Cape Town to Chicago. A long way indeed. Secondly, well, they say things are always bigger in America, but fuck me, you lot aren’t kidding, are you?

GenCon was mad. I won’t bang on about it, you lot know the score. Met some really great people at the booth. Met some absolute twats. Turned loads of people onto our product, pimped and pushed the GenCon specials whenever possible, and did some great business. Our miniatures on display were wildly successful and pulled hundreds of people into the booth to learn a little more. I managed to network as planned, and have filled up my writing calendar with enough paid work to keep me busy for the next twelve to fourteen months.

Because of the scarcity of RPG material in South Africa, I had a shopping list the length of an  elephant’s todger. Big thanks to the lads at DCC for my purchases, and to Games Plus for seeing me right with my collectibles. I have now plugged all the holes in my immediate collection... but I see more purchases on the horizon, regardless. I also picked up an excellent copy of Outdoor Survival for my OD&D game from the lovely people at Noble Knight.

Who ate all the pies?
Once we finished the show, it was off on a road-trip to Ground Zero. ‘Bloody hell,’ I thought, ‘this is Greyhawk…’, as we turned into the more pastoral and bucolic lands of Lake Geneva. We parked the car and went meandering around the town looking for the sites. We stopped at the Horticultural Hall to see where GenCon 1 took place, back in 1968.

GenCon then.

GenCon now
Then it was a short stroll to where it all began. It’s a modest house. White, wooden clad. I wanted to knock on the door and see what was on the inside, but I thought that would just be rude, not everyone shares my passion for D&D in all its many fashions. So I took some snaps and tried to imagine what had gone on there, all those long years ago. I’m glad I went to see the town and the little things that mean so much to me.

 I met a few people who used to game with him, and a few who referred to him as, ‘Oh, Gary What’s-his-face’.  And so it goes. We spent the night drinking the King of Beers, listening to the frogs and cicadas come up as the sun slowly went down. It was pleasant. I’ll be back next year at GenCon, just like the Pie-Man, selling his wares. I don’t think I will return to Lake Geneva until the sculpture/statue is up. Once was good enough. We headed up to Chicago and stayed in a place that looked like the Hotel from the Shining, and reminded us of the Bates Motel at its finest. Needless to say we escaped, unscathed. Then it was plane after plane, mile after mile, until the wholesome sight of Table Mountain appeared over the left-wing of the plane. A simple matter of touchdown and I was home. Knackered, but well worth it. See y'all, next year.

"Above there is no ending
For the Vodka spinning Mir
All that is is passing
And now is never here
So keep on raging
You frenzied pioneers

No time for the wringing of hands
Strange faced ambassadors, strike up the band
Bust out that Dom Perignon
Johnnie Walker Red on that fairway lawn

Remember tripping on the fourth of July?
Exploding octopuses in disguise?
They picked you up and they never let you down.
Everyone's forgiven in the land of Pleasant Living now.

Yuri Garagin sends
His kindest regards
How those Yankees doing?
Still Rock and Roll and Fancy cars?
But onto pressing matters
Such as the gluttony of the starving stars.

No time for the wringing of hands
Strange faced ambassadors, strike up the band
Bust out that Dom Perignon
Jonnie Walker Red on that fairway lawn

Remember tripping on the fourth of July?
Exploding octopuses in disguise?
They picked you up and they never let you down.
Everyone's forgiven in the land of Pleasant Living now."  - Clutch.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Vengeance Week. R.E.V.E.N.G.E

Participating in this event are the following stellar bloggers:

A while ago, I had an idea for a tongue-in-cheek band of pitchfork/ flaming torch wielding, do-gooders, that I labelled  P.I.T.C.H.F.O.R.K.  I imagined that those who have been wronged, or harmed, by the forces of evil could hire them to right any wrongs. Admittedly, I had been reading more than my fair share of Grant Morrison's work at the time, and envisioned the Pitchfork crew as a motley assortment of heroes, but without the super-powers of course.

When the chance to participate in Vengeance Week came up, I knew immediately what I wanted to do, and that was to tell the other side of the coin as it were.  Who does your Arch-Villain turn to when his nefarious plans have just been thwarted for the umpteenth time? Where does evil go when they need help? Who do they hire when they need to get, R.E.V.E.N.G.E?

(You won’t like them when they’re angry)

you've got trouble in your life of love
you got a broken heart
he's double dealing with your best friend
that's where the teardrops start
pick up the phone, I’m here alone
or make a social call
come right in forget about him
we'll have ourselves a ball

dirty deeds done dirt cheap,
dirty deeds done dirt cheap,
 dirty deeds done dirt cheap
dirty deeds and they're done dirt cheap
dirty deeds and they're done dirt cheap


He slumbers, ursine, his dreams filled with the sights and sounds of a homeland now drowned under the weight of the ages.
 It is dry and unbearably hot in the full blight of the sun. They cling like leeches to the shade, fanning themselves, idle, lazy, watching the slaves toil and sweat and die, as the temple gongs ripple like a heat wave through the city.
The dream is sharper now, more vivid. His nostrils are engorged with the bouquet of sultry spices, incense, and the scent of desert blooms caught on the breeze.
Goats, slaves, and other chattel fill the market places with their heated discussion and bellicose bargaining; and everywhere he goes, those around him drop to their knees in reverence.
Such is the power of the Lord of Hawks.
He spies a kohl eyed beauty at his sandaled feet. He taps her on her shapely back with his golden scepter and bids her rise. She is canny. She does not look into the depths of his avian mask. He leads her to his abode at the heart of the city.
He is rough at first, then gentle, and finally he sleeps, while his lust cools like the stones of the city beyond his window, outside in the gathering dark.
The day has run its course, the shadows pool and solidify as a cacophony of gongs and trumpets herald the end of day, because Ra, ever fickle, demands constant adoration, lest he cast the world into endless night.
He hears a noise, closer this time, someone is in his chamber. He opens his eyes but he is too late. They surround his bed, tall, robed, masked, daggers flashing in the last rays of the day. His blood sprays, ejaculating toward the ceiling before falling down onto the sandy floor like the first rains of spring. He is undone, deceived, betrayed. He is dead.
But is he?
Time passes.
He cannot move. The walls press tightly around him. Torchlight flickers drunkenly before his resting eyes. His slumber is disturbed. A grunt, a groan, the scraping of stone on stone. He smells unwashed bodies thick with sweat and the unmistakable aroma of fear.
 Then, suddenly, hands moving over his body, searching, grabbing, pulling… looting. He’s had enough. He lets out a low moan and sits up, slowly. He is appalled at the noise his joints make as he moves. They creak, like the timber of his boats when he sails them down the mighty Elin River.
 He opens his eyes. There is screaming now. He tries to make sense of where he is, what’s going on. He is in a room, a chamber, it echoes, there are piles of his belongings all around him on the floor: Mummified cats and servants, gold, jewels, all his earthly possessions radiate outward from around him like the petals of a sunflower.
He is not alone. There are others here, moving backwards, terror painted on their faces as he climbs steadily from his… bed? What is this thing? A sarcophagus? Is it his? Is he dead?
 But if he is dead, then how can he move? He grabs the mewling tomb robber closest to him and breaks his scrawny neck. He flings the corpse at the others and laughs in a dry, grating manner, as they collapse under the weight of their dead companion.
 Soon they are naught but bloody heaps on the tomb floor, and the Lord of Hawks is alone once more with his thoughts.
Rictus awakes. He sits up slowly and adjust his cloak. He might be dead, but he abhors the chill and the damp on his desiccated flesh and dried out bones. He looks around the room and feels at peace watching the other members of his group doing whatever it is they do during the long, dark, watches of the night. Here, amongst the most reviled creatures in the realm, he feels at home. They are kith and kin to him now and he would die for them if need be; because if there is one thing that Rictus has learned over the last thousand years or so, it is that death, is not the end.

Rictus is a Mummy. Use the applicable stats for whatever system you are playing, with a few exceptions:

1)  He has a bag of dust, which when emptied into the palm of his hand and blown upon his enemies, acts as a sleep spell. (See your relevant PHB for spell information). This can happen twice per day.
2)  He can summon a horde of locusts to confuse and obfuscate magic-users and clerics to prevent them from casting spells or turning undead. The swarm will be in effect for 1d10 rounds or until dispelled.  Again, this can happen twice per day.
3)  He is armed with a captured Persian Peshkabz (curved dagger) that gives him immunity to all fire, either magical or mundane. If the weapon is not in his hands, or on his person, then the protection ends, and he may succumb to flame.


 He had been begging for alms outside the Church of the Slumbering Suppuration in a quiet town called Barton’s Weevils, when he saw them for the first time. He could see they were the business, they were just so, menacing. They looked as if they didn’t have a care in the world, like agents of change answering the prayers of others.
Eerie decided then, and there, that he wanted to belong to that, no matter what, and no one was more astounded than he when they asked if he wanted to be a part of their coterie. They applied soothing balms and ointments to his wounded skin, dressed him in clean clothes, fed him, and gave him more coin in a single afternoon than he had seen in a lifetime.
And all they wanted in return was his undying loyalty, and a little information…
Eerie, sick of a life of being of being spat on, shat on, laughed at, and mocked for his disfigured appearance, wanted nothing but the sweet, sweet, taste of revenge. He’d spent years pushing all that hurt and negativity down into the nether parts of his soul, his consciousness, just about any place he wouldn’t have to think of the state he was in, or the role he played in his world. He said yes, yes, and yes, a thousand times over. Finally, he felt like if he belonged.
Eerie, born to the gutter, contracted leprosy sometime after his Nameday. Since then, he’d spent his time invisible to just about everyone who crossed his path. It had been a hard life made even harder by the cruel jibes of the local cleric, Father Swells. He was supposed to be a kindly soul, the Father, but Eerie knew that all donations to the church went toward the upkeep of the slovenly cleric, and not for the impoverished as they were meant to.
Father Swells supped on lavish meals, and guzzled wines by the gallon, while the poor went hungry and died just beyond the walls of his house of lies and illusions.
It wasn’t like Eerie was just bone idle and lazy, far from it. He worked the docks whenever he could, but his ailment often left him in excruciating pain, unable to lift the heavy crates and boxes from ship to shore. His skin would slew from his bones and he would weep bitterly for death, knowing that it was never far away, but for whatever reason, it would fail to claim him for its own. So he lived and he suffered… Until they came and took him as one of their own.
It seems as if Father Swells had angered the wrong person, and that’s why they were here, in the squalid part of the world Eerie called, home. Their mission was simple: exact revenge from the fat fuck.
Eerie waited for the Bells of Evensong to fade before leading them to the church. He knocked on the heavily barred door as he had done countless times before, and waited. But this time, things would be vastly different.
The tipsy cleric appeared in the doorway, flushed, sweating, with crumbs and gravy on his portly cheeks, while he readied his usual retort for those who came begging. They bundled him inside before he knew what was happening.
The rest of the group had him out of his priestly robes and spread-eagled on the altar before he could even splutter for help. Rictus, the Mummy, whispered in the naked priest’s ear and Eerie saw his eyes widen in terror. Someone handed Eerie a long curved dagger without instruction.
 Eerie knew what to do, he had dreamed about it for so many years. But as he was about to plunge the burnished bronze weapon deep into the chest of the beast, he felt the lid come off all the hurt and anger he had kept bottled up for years. His eyes darkened over, a strange, bile like substance, ran down his cheeks like rivers of midnight tears. His anger erupted in a dark, tenuous web, the colour of fresh tar, and he let his creation wrap its tumorous strands around the howling priest. Of what happened next, Eerie has no recollection.
They headed south as the flames from the burning church spread to the mill next door. By the time the group had crossed the Geert River, the fire was all the way down the main road engulfing the docks, and when Eerie, and his new family finally lay their heads down at dawn, the village was naught but a black, smoldering gash on the countryside. He has been with them ever since, and has never been happier.

Eerie manifests a Bile Elemental when he is angry. Use the standard rules found in your monster manual (elementals) for running this special creation. It should be around 8HD, and should deal a minimum of 3d8 crushing damage. Its primary form of attack is to manifest itself like a net made of webs, which will then cling to his opponent and squeeze the very life from them. It is immune to cold, fire, charm and can only be hit by magical weapons. While his creation is active, Eerie must concentrate, or it will retreat back to the Never from whence it came.
If the creature is destroyed, it takes a full week for Eerie to be able to summon another one.


It is hot and steaming in the jungle. A young boy watches in terror as tall men with bodies of shining metal, sit astride snorting beasts with muscled flanks and four legs, running riot through his sleepy village. They wield fear, fire and fury, and kill any unlucky enough to cross their path.
The once tranquil paths are choked with corpses. Blood stains the hallowed grounds of the temple. They are here for the gold. They are always here for the gold. Why this stupid metal has such power of man, the boy will never understand.
The attackers run amok, spearing priests, and kicking severed heads to one another for sport. He hears a baby cry, then nothing and that fills him with dread. His heart is pounding in his chest. He slides on his belly like the snake god they worship, trying to flee. But he is spotted, and dragged, from the hut in which he was hiding.
The savage men laugh and scream like mad animals as they prepare to kill him like all the rest. But he is anointed, he has communed, supped with the gods and this will be their doom.
Something stirs. Something writhes, inside of him, deep in his bowels. He becomes…
The marauders screams are panicked, wild, like the birds of paradise when they take to the air. They turn to flee, but the boy is faster now, faster than he could have ever dreamed of. He rises up from the dirt floor, towering over them, swaying with restrained malice from side to side. And suddenly, he is loose among them. His hood, fully distended now, is blood red and jungle green, and the poison of his ancestors, trickles down his dagger-like fangs. He lunges with the speed of the Hooded Cobra at his enemies, biting them, impregnating them with his poisonous gifts. They clutch at their throats, dropping to their knees, hands, noose-like around their choking throats. Their faces swell and blacken as they collapse, and the boy, now a perfectly shaped image of his god, hisses ever so, sssslightly.

Venom is able to mutate into a large Snake Man when he has the need. It takes 1d4 rounds to do so, and he is able to control the change as long as necessary. He can do this three times per day if need be.
Snake Man
  Hit Dice: 4+1
  Armour Class: 4 [15]
  Attacks: 2 claws (1d6), 1 bite (1d8) + Special
  Saving Throw: 16
  Special: If bitten by Venom, Save vs. Poison or die. He is immune to any types of poison himself. Because he has hands while transformed, he can also utilise weapons, and as such, specialise in Poisoned swords (1d8) Save vs. Poison or collapse for 2d4 rounds.  Move: 6/12
  Alignment: Reptilian


Soft, sensual, voluptuous, she is everyone’s dream, everyone’s fantasy. She sways, hypnotically, while the drums beat their frenzied tattoo. The crowd lie in puddles of narcotic slumber around the stage, watching her from under hooded eyes. She advances slowly toward the King. His lust for her evident on his corpulent face. She disrobes before him, suggestively, reducing the King of Kashmir to a sweating, trembling mass of fat and desire. She runs her dainty finger around the rim of his golden chalice before sliding it into the red wine he covets so much. She draws her hand back, like a snake that’s about to strike, then slowly moves her outstretched finger towards slavering lips the colour of raw liver. His tongue, slug-like and obscene, flops out from behind lotus stained teeth to seek the pearl of red liquid that hangs daintily from the underside of her finger. He licks it off of her fragranced skin, and she does everything in her power not to show her revulsion for this, this… creature.
The drums beat faster, each volley overlapping one another until they become a heightened symphony of discordia and drug fueled chaos. The King prepares to stand, he must have her he thinks, and he must have her now! But his legs are unsteady and he falls to the carpeted floor as she sways slowly above him, teasing him, egging him on. But he is too far gone to even comprehend what is happening to him. The poison is fast acting and he is dead by the time his regal head hits the silk rugs beneath him. She continues the dance of death as if nothing is wrong. She backs away, slowly, sliding toward the door as the guards now begin to break their trance and rush to their fallen King. She is out the door and loose in the shadows before they even know he’s dead.
 She rides south with them that night, Noreen far ahead of them, scouting the lay of the land, while Rictus and Gibber take the front and Eerie and Venom guard the rear. Once again, someone, somewhere, has got their, R.E.V.E.G.E.

Elixir is a demon that specialises in assassination by whatever means necessary. She is able to disguise her demonic appearance (eyes, wings and tail) when she needs to. She rides with the others because she loves to collect the souls of the guilty and the damned. See your Monster Manual for statistics on a minor demon and alter to your tastes.

Her father was a woodsman. Broad of back and taciturn in appearance. His axe shone and sparkled, and was wicked sharp because he worked its blade every night while the girl cooked for them. They lived in the heart of a forest that was dark, dim, cool in the summers, and freezing in the winters. It was their home. Then, one day, the girl’s father went hunting. Autumn was a few weeks away still but he wanted to stock the larder as much as he could before the snows came. He packed his belongings and when he was done, he kissed her on the forehead and left the warmth of the hut. The girl watched her father be swallowed up by the trees and their slanting shadows. That night, she could not sleep. The owls hooted, the wolves howled, and the girl fretted incessantly waiting for the dawn. When the sun split the sky, she stoked the fire, made tea, ate some bread with jam and went out to cut the wood. She missed her father terribly. She worked hard that day, harder than she had ever worked before. She worked the wood and the axe as powerfully as any man could have, well, except for her father of course. The sun dimmed and the sky bruised and she finished for the day with a heavy heart knowing that it would be some days before she saw her father again. That night, as she sharpened the axe, she heard a tread on the wooden porch and her heart fluttered with joy. She was about to fling open the door and welcome him home when something made her stop. The noise was stealthy, sneaky, not the bold tread of someone returning home bearing meat. She waited and she listened, and sure enough, she heard someone on the other side of the door, breathing heavily, like an animal before it pounces. And then a voice spoke asking to be let in. The girl knew that voice, she had heard it every day since she had been born. But it was different somehow, colder, grating, and no longer human. She picked the axe up from where it stood next to the fire and opened the door. She saw a figure before her, hulking, reeking of life after death. It stumbled toward her. A shaft of moonlight illuminated the nocturnal visitor and she saw who it had once been. She recognised that face, how could she not? It was the same as hers. She cried silently as she did what she had to do. The girl brought the axe down into the creature that had once loved her more than anything else in the world. When she was done, she drove a stake of fresh-cut wood into the beast’s heart and disposed of the body by flame. Later, she sat inside the hut, rocking back and forth murmuring to herself, and waiting, waiting for the sun so that she may seek out the one who had done this to her father, and destroy it.
Noreen lost more than her father that fateful day, she lost her mind too. She spends her days in complete silence, sharpening her fearsome axe, waiting to put it good use in felling far more than mere wood. Treat the axe as +1 to hit and +3 to wound versus undead.


His visions of the world are not like yours. Where you may see love and light and balance, Gibber sees the sky on fire and the skull beneath the skin. He suffers from hellish illusions and cowers at the feet of slavering behemoths, he surmises are freshly risen from the abyss. He is their servant, humble, confused, a puppet in their nefarious hands. Gods, demons, and powers beyond his ken or control whisper to him incessantly. They tell him what to do and how to do it. Gibber’s days are filled with imaginary companions and terrifying conversations.
 They found him moaning and muttering to himself in a dark corner of the city. Gibber was a wreck, and quite obviously insane. But was he? Just because you can’t see them, doesn’t mean his invisible compatriots are not there.
 In his mind he dances and cavorts with extravagant creations of extraordinary colours. Rich purples and royal blues surround him, extolling the virtue of submitting to his fantasies. Rivers of blood and bile flirt shamelessly with him in his dreams. Audible instructions, sibilant whispers, are given to him by dark angels that balance precariously on his shoulders. Their messages soothes his fevered brain and offer serenity when he murders for them. His first victim’s demise brought great peace to Gibber. But slowly the tide of misunderstanding and angst rose again, scaring him, confusing him, forcing him to kill again, and again, and again. But the ones with whom he travels understand him, they temper the unrest that burns and riots behind his eyes, and sometimes, they even manage to silence the voices…

Gibber, although he appears to be demon possessed, is not. He suffers from bouts of extraordinary rage that can only be assuaged when he kills. The members of the group are able to keep him calm (most of the time) but they are also able to goad him into giving in to the voices. When he slips his mental fetters, Gibber becomes a crazed Berserker. Use the applicable rules for his statistics, with some exceptions: he can rage for 1d6 round longer than most berserkers, go as low as -10 HP before death, and when frenzied, treat his strength as 18(100%).


No one knows where she came from but she reeks of the desert. Her hair is black and her skin is burnished and hot to the touch. Her eyes burn like Valuvian fire and she speaks of places the others do not know. Sparks of pure manna, the colour of verdigris, dance and sparkle on her hands like minute gemstones. She delights in raw, elemental energy, soaking up wild-storms and dancing frenziedly in the rain. She has scars all over her body. Jagged, deep, viscous, curved and meandering from one part of her skin to another. They look like a map of her life at the hands of an unseen tormentor. But she relishes her wounds, they are like titles and medals to her and she embraces them all lovingly. Each one has a tale to tale, and if you listen carefully, you can hear them whispering to one another. She drinks kawa by the jug and snorts crushed lino leaves and gecko spines to get her going. But at night she whimpers and grows dim, almost to the point of invisibility. She uses a whip made from the flesh of her tormentors, and sharpened daggers of bone that she broke from their bodies. A circle of dried penises around her delicate throat complete her garb.
Eldritch is a mystery. At all times is she a warrior, but there is a 20 to 30% chance (more if there is a storm about) that she awakes as an 8th level mage as well. She uses a whip, and when it hits, treat as a Staff of Snakes. In combat she whirls, dizzyingly, like a dervish. Treat her as AC 5(14).