28 April 2012

What I know about New London

As the rest of the Fiend Folio isn't grabbing my attention, here's something different:
Detail from the cover of the Expert D&D book. Erol OTUS!
Flipping around, reading in little bits and pieces, the hex key jumped out at me:
Hex symbols from the Expert D&D book. MAPS!
Which made me realize I needed to get around to writing down what I know about New London.
1. It's a seaport.
2. It's been ruled by the Virgin Queen (It's like if Queen Elizabeth were a Bene-Gesserit stuck on a Mutant Future colony world but with less complex rules).
4. New Londoners, and the people in the towns and villages which they rule, are Elizabethans.
5. Foreigners are weird. Androids, bone-men, githyanki, Tom Waits type humans.
6. The City is engaged in a complicated game of espionage and piracy.
7. Spys and boats because they are a tiny maritime power surrounded by larger and weirder countries.
8. It's in the Mediterranean, but in the far future. Or the past. No one is really sure when it is.
9. Sorcerery is legal, but regulated.
10. There are many popular gods and cults. There's the Spider Queen and her priests, The Frog Gods, The Dancing Gods, The Fraternal Brotherhood of the Shining Trapezohedron, The Great Architect, The Black Pharaoh, The Great Eye, The Drowned Gods, The Gods of the Wood, etc. Gods of the X are always popular. For example: The Gods of the Hearth, or The Gods of the Kitchen, or The Gods of the Roads. Lots and lots of little gods.

12 April 2012

Mindflayers (because the Fiend Folio implies their existence)

While not in the Fiend Folio, the Githyanki entry mentions them. Of course, it also mentions red dragons, but I don't want Smaug hanging around.

I've never cared for all the complicated backstory built up around the Illithid, especially in the second edition monster manual, so I'm rewriting it.

Mindflayers are:
Gelatinous. If squeezed hard enough they pop, squirting Jale ichor everywhere. The ichor smells sweet. If consumed, save vs. poison (or whatever is appropriate for your system. For BoL, make a Might check). If the save fails, you enjoy 1d4 hours of agonizing abdominal cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea. Imagine the worst food poisoning you've ever had multiplied by a billion. If the save succeeds, you experience 1d10 minutes of mild nausea followed by 1d4 hours of intense hallucinations. The hallucinations are similar to the effects of DMT but they go on for far, far, far too long. After your mind clears, you've learned enough Aklo to get by as a tourist.

Flabby. Imagine a cross between Baron Harkonnen, a cuttlefish, and one of the viler Borgias.

Translucent. Their skin is a pale purple, with mauve liver spots, at about 20-30% opacity. The mauve spots are at about 40-50% opacity, but deeply saturated. The jale ichor is visible, pulsating and pumping about.

Decadent. Like Hedonismbot, but not funny.

Territorial. Mindflayers have long lives, spawn infrequently, and prey on sentients. As a result, they tend to be intensely territorial and competitive.

Paranoid. Like James Jesus Angelton on a month long amphetamine binge.

Psychopathic. At least by analogy. They are incapable of experiencing empathy, remorse, or guilt.

Mind-eaters. Not brains, but minds. Same mechanics as eating brains, at least as far as how many rounds and whatever. Instead of a cracked open skull and a corpse, the result is a drooling husk capable of obeying simple commands. Mindflayers don't need to eat minds, but it gets them high and fuels their sorcery.

Related to Mi-Go, or at least from the same region of space-time. Their molecules vibrate at a different frequency or they're made of astral matter or whatever crazy explanation you prefer.

Reproduce with a cloud of spores. Mindflayers lay grotesquely swollen eggs that pop emitting a noisome gas that's really just a mass of egg-spores. The spores get in your lungs, causing coughing and internal bleeding, until you start to swell up and enter a coma and turn all squidfaced. The bleeding is from all the egg-spores fighting it out in your lung until just one wins and takes over your body.

09 April 2012

Still thinking about RPGs, but busy with printing. Digital proof, colors all separated and ready to expose on a plate or screen.