Wednesday, January 28, 2015

12 DCC rings to bind them

Hey, a ring engraved "DCC".
These rings all exploit something about the DCC system. They have some temperamentality to them though...
  1. Ring of Hale Ruddiness
    Your cheeks are positively shiny and red with vigor.
    Whenever you would roll an HP die (at leveling, lay-on-of-hands etc.), roll two dice, drop one.

    Whenever you would roll a hit die (when being healed), roll +1d step higher.

    You must greet all humanoids with a loud "HALE FRIEND, WELL MET!" Criticisms and remonstrations that hale and hail are different words does not dissuade your genial salutations.

  2. Ring of High Wizardry
    Your ring finger grows 1d3 joints longer. It occasionally twitches of its own accord.

    Whenever you spellburn, you may add +1 to your spellcheck provided you snip off the end of this finger. This makes any spell a full round spell if it wasn't one already. The rest of the spellburn is as normal, but this one action counts for it all unless you have a patron that requires some specific action. The finger grows back after 1 hour.

    The finger removal satisfies some mercurial magic needs too, mind.

  3. Ring of High Adventure
    Your ring and your weapons sometimes glow in tandem at random intervals.

    Whenever you roll a deed die, roll 2, drop 1. If they both roll a 1, a new foe appears!

    When in single combat, you always win initiative, barring injuries caused by crits, etc.

  4. Ring of Reason
    Wearers of this ring develop an unconscious tick where they constantly stroke their beard thoughtfully. Everyone who wears this ring instantly grows a beard if they didn't have one.

    When you attempt to parley with an outsider, alien intelligence, etc, they instinctively see you as an entity that deserves some consideration, and will listen to your argument's opening statements.

    When you attempt a patron bond or invoke patron spell, you may burn Int or Per points in addition to the usual kinds. If you do, add 1 more point to your spell check.

  5. Ring of Squamous Susurrations
    Whispers constantly accompany you. This can be annoying in enemy territory...

    When a monster would score a critical hit on you, they actually end up knocking off your skin. You have shiny new skin underneath. Your molting scampers away to do deeds only your game Judge may know, but it has something to do whispering. Your new skin is slightly more vulnerable to damage, and enemies roll +1d damage dice against you for the next turn. This ring's power is unavailable for that turn.

  6. Ring of Antipathy
    This ring's wearer seems to have a slight double image. It is subtle, but unsettling.

    When you roll on the turning table, you may take the results of the row below what you actually rolled.

    Whenever you or someone else tries to use Lay on Hands on yourself, take the worst result possible from the table (but adjusted for your spell check).

  7. Ring of Undisputed Regard
    Your manner is somehow dignified while bearing this band.
    If you have a bond with a patron, it is regarded as one step higher than the original spell result. All quests the patron might ask for when invoked will apply at this new level.

    When you employ hirelings, they have +1d to morale saves.

    Beggars and thieves constantly target you, thinking you to be a rich mark.

  8. Band of Light Fingers
    The wearer's hands seem to dart about with alacrity.

    You have +1d to pick pockets or do other actions surreptitiously to objects or clothing attached to another's person.

    Your Pers modifier is effectively -3 when an issue of trust (parlay, sweet-talking, feigning innocence, trying to get a hireling to stick around) is on the line.

    If you don't try to steal something from a stranger every day in town, or within a hour of visiting one, the ring absconds itself with your purse or, barring that, whatever you have that's valuable.

  9. Ring of Martial Escalation.
    Everyone feels on edge in your presence.

    You roll +1d on your critical hits table. However, enemies always make their morale saves against your party and get +1d to hit for each crit that has happened this battle (up to using percentile dice if a d30 would be exceeded).

  10. Ring of Hobbiting
    You always want a second or third breakfast.

    Whoever wears this may spend a Luck point to succeed at any hiding, sneaking, escaping-bonds, or a riddle-solving check (a check to spot a clue or keyword to a riddle).

    A halfling who wears this may not be a Luck battery for the party.

  11. Band of Dwarven Dourishness
    Your stature seems to be half of what it once was, and your features take on a gruff nature.

    Illusions do not work on you, and you are immune to fear-based effects. But metaphors go over your head.

    You may spend a Luck point to keep fighting when your hit points drop to 0 or less. After such a battle is over, you start to die. Roll the Body rules are not an option, but someone might be able to heal you as per Bleeding Out rules.

  12. Ring of Rings
    There is something protean about you today.

    This ring is a different ring from this list (if you roll a 12, it's just a ring for now). It changes to a different one each day, unless you spend a Luck point or make a DC15 spell check, in which case you may keep it in its current state. 

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If you spot a typo or don't have g+, you can just email me. Claytonian at the gmails.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

How a pic and a couple ideas can make for a superior RPG city

Superior to what? To a city where you have to look at a map to see where the market district is and other junk that should just be abstract whenever possible. If you really need to zoom in somewhere, look at the pic you are going to use, or use a Vornheim trick (I've never had to use street maps, but now you have a safety net).

Okay, link-bait title justified. Now what is the how?

  1. Choose an interesting picture. They are all over Deviantart and Tumblr. The picture is worth a 1000 words and does most of the work for you.
  2. Think of something weird to inhabit the city.
  3. Think of some local laws or customs for the players to discover.

Here's an example. The best city I ever made: Cliffkeep
Pic by some Chinese dude. Sino-artists are the bomb recently.

The weird stuff I started to think of:

  • The city is policed by waxen automatons, deputies, that can change their features to go undercover. As their goal is to prevent crime, they are often walking around faceless, just to remind people that they're there.
  • Everyone is entitled to an allowance of a jar's worth of honey each day. There are no bees to be seen, but the unseen magistrate, called the mayor, provides it via waxen deputies.
  • The town defense is lead by a human who is a gunslinger of the Stephen King variety. He is the first NPC that the PCs encounter, and helps to introduce the rules of the town. He is nice as long as he can be.
  • The town has laser turrets to shoot incoming threats.
  • There is a dragon. By day it takes human form as a beautiful woman, and by night its visage is enchanted in a way that you forget you saw it. The part where you saw it is just blank and you wonder why you are hiding under your bed.
    The dragon is responsible for the curfew in Cliffkeep. Only one or two people know this.
  • A Chael sits on roofs and records everything the party does and says.

The rules:

  • No weapons are allowed in the city proper. Visitors can put their weapons in custody.
  • There is a curfew. Windows are to be closed and people have to be in their lodgings. Violators of the rule can't remember what happened, but they felt very scared and have chunks of missing memory.

Once you have a city like this, it acts as a hub from which to launch explorations and adventures (both in and outside the place). Cliffkeep grew in detail as the adventures gave me ideas. Fun we had:

  • Church of the God that Crawls nearby. Turrets came in handy when the PCs gave it sentience and it came calling. Well it wasn't the actual god. But we can't get into that now.
  • Death Frost Doom mountain nearby.
  • Tower of the Stargazer floats by  town on an earthmote every few months.
  • A PC made the save to see the dragon, and confronted her in her human form. The dragon pushed the PC right off a cliff. Not many railings in Cliffkeep.
  • A PC killed their own grandma in a satellite town. There was a witness and then the waxen deputies fused into a truth-telling device that could summon reinforcements from the silver city on the moon.
  • A PC was deputized and got to man a turret. He shot the god that crawls.
  • Flying on kites like ninjas to get to the earthmote.
  • That snake thing became useful for city defense too; turns out it's a spell beam thingy that the Chael could instruct magic users in the use of. 

Want to give feedback? Share this on g+ and give me a tag (+claytonian JP) (if you want to keep it private, share with only me).
If you spot a typo or don't have g+, you can just email me. Claytonian at the gmails.