Saturday, 25 December 2021

If Your Enemy Is of Choleric Temperament (Wizard School: The Warmind)

 Wizards of the Nine Hells! 

A planned Big Post I never even really started. Here’s a ninth of it:

A good old fashioned Wizard School. 



Bel, General of Avernus, is known for having hundreds of incredibly complicated, overlapping schemes, all running at once. As part of one, he commissioned for a mount of stone (on the 66th Upper Aulgham Front of Avernus) to be converted into a wizard’s college, where dropouts, exiles and other wizardly rejects could come to train as disposable arcanists for the Blood War. 


He did not expect the Warmind Academy to garner prestige. Advances in tactics and war-magic were made there, alike to nothing in remembered history.


Now, across the Planes and Primes, it is known: to win a war, no matter the size, all you need is enough Warminds. 



Class as per your Favourite Wizard Chassis (Here’s Mine


Starting Equipment: Mundane sword, black greatcoat, dark red uniform, hobnail boots, along with two pieces of Warmind Equipment (see list below). 


Perk: You have the to-hit bonus of a fighter. 

Drawback: The lingering stink of Avernian brimstone follows you everywhere - people always know what masters you serve. 


Cantrips:

  • You can assess the number of creatures in a group instantly, up to 5000. 

  • You can instantly polish anything metal or leather to a perfect sheen. 

  • You can draw and sheathe a mundane sword from thin air at any time. You can replace the sword by sheathing a new one, which causes the old one to appear at your feet. 



Spells:

  1. Shield

You conjure hovering shards of metal, gaining [highest] AC for [sum] rounds. This spell can be cast in response to attacks. 


  1. Darts

With a burst of smoke and a flash of red, you fire a hail of whistling flechettes that deal [sum+dice] damage to a given target, and everyone and everything next to it. Creatures that would be hit by the darts may save for half damage. 


  1. Fortify

An object of your choice is banded in smoking metal, giving it [sum] HP that has to be removed before it can be damaged. This also works on creatures made of inorganic materials, like constructs.  


  1. Decoy 

Choose a creature you can see - you produce an illusory copy of them, which is identical in all regards, except it feels like hot iron to the touch. It has 1 HP, and if it is reduced to 0, it explodes, dealing [sum + dice] to everyone within 10ft, save for half.


  1. Skywrite 

You send up a glowing illusion of whatever colour you choose, which paints across the sky directly above your head. The skywrite can be made of up to [highest] words and symbols. 


  1. Sending 

You send a message of [sum] words to someone you are familiar with. The words are spoken into their ear, and they may respond with [dice] words of their own. 


  1. Fly 

For the next [dice] hours, the target can:

  • 1MD. Slowly hover.

  • 2MD. Fly quickly but imprecisely.

  • 3MD. Fly quickly and precisely. 

  • 4MD. Fly quickly, precisely, and ignore any adverse winds. 


  1. Disarm

Up to [sum]HD of creatures you can see have whatever they’re holding wrenched from their hands and flung away from them. Creatures who are aware of you can save to hang onto their equipment.
At 4MD or higher, this instead renders the arms of the creatures numb and immobile.  


  1. Read Terrain

Ask [sum] questions about the surrounding terrain such as “What land is unstable?” and “Where are the chokepoints?”. Receive accurate answers. This reaches a range of [dice] miles. 


  1. Explode Metal

Up to [sum] slots of metal explode with terrible force, dealing [slots + dice] damage to everyone nearby. You can set a delay of up to [highest] minutes on the explosion. Sentient metal objects and creatures get a save against exploding. Technically radioactive. 


  1. Earthworks 

A target area up to [dice]*100ft on a side is reshaped according to your whims. You may dig trenches up to 20' deep, or erect bulwarks up to 20' high. The effect is slow, and creatures in the target area may save to avoid falling or being crushed.


  1. Hellfire Engine 

You call forth, from the foundries and factories of the Hellish war-machine, a deadly machine. The ultimate expression of overwhelming Avernian force, it manifests as, basically, a wheeled fortification, with enough interior space for [sum] passengers, [sum] HP, and [dice] of the following armaments: 

  • Thick Armour - The Engine has [highest] DR.

  • Fire-Sprayer - The Engine can, as an action, spray Hellfire all over something. Hellfire can’t be extinguished except by magic. The Engine has a total of [sum] points-worth of Hellfire stored up. 

  • Whirling Blades - You can force everyone in melee range of the Engine to take [dice]d6 damage from giant blades, save for half.

  • Legs - Your standard wheeled Hellfire Engine fares poorly on uneven ground, but with the addition of gigantic insectoid legs, it can scuttle over any terrain! 

  • Ballistae - The Engine can make [dice] attacks each round, firing ballista bolts with a +[highest] to hit, that deal 2d6 Damage each. The Engine has [sum] pieces of ammunition. 

  • Onboard Crew - [highest] Baatezu, each with [dice]HD, are onboard, ready to assist you in piloting or defending the Engine. They can be commanded to sortie forth from the machine. 

  • Voice Magnifier - You can choose to have your voice projected forth from the Engine at deafening volumes. 

  • Self-Destruct - The Hellfire Engine can be set to explode, with a delay of up to [highest + dice] minutes. It does [sum]d6 damage to itself and everything within 100ft. Creatures caught in the blast can save for half damage. 



Mishaps:

  1. MD only return to your pool on a 1 for 24 hours

  2. Take 1d6 damage as metal spikes pierce your skin. 

  3. Random metallic mutation for [sum] rounds, then make a save. Permanent if you fail.

  4. Spew a giant cloud of choking black smoke, which obscures sight for [sum] rounds.

  5. You weld yourself to whatever surfaces you’re touching at the moment, for [sum] rounds. 

  6. An uncontrolled explosion of metal shards issues from you, dealing [sum] damage to those nearby, save for half. 



Dooms of the Warmind: 

  1. Increased Oversight

An imp is deployed to Keep an Eye on You, and it will rat you out as soon as you do anything that the Nine Hells might dislike. If you do something egregious enough, it will even serve as a portal key for the off-the-books kill-squad coming to do you in.

Note: killing the imp is egregious enough to earn you a kill-squad. 


  1. Disciplinary Hearing 

A portal rips open - you and everyone around you are dragged to the Nine Hells, where you face a stern talking-down-to from an amnizu and a whole jury of barbed devils. If you fail to adequately explain how your recent actions are contributing to victory in the Blood War, they’ll confiscate your entire inventory. 


If your actions are actively contributing to defeat in the Blood War, you’re followed back through the portal by another off-the-books kill-squad. 


  1. Full Tribunal

A Gate opens, and you are pulled through to the Flayed Dolphin Court, on the high burning mesas of Nessus. There, you face a full military trial for egregious misuse of military resources - the defendant’s stand is a burning pit, and the judge, prosecutor and legal counsel are all Pit Fiends, working together behind the scenes.

 
This is not a trial you will return from (at least, this millennium). 



You can avoid your Doom by hiding somewhere portals can’t reach, killing a Demon Lord, achieving High Commission in the armies of the Nine Hells, or by winning the Blood War. 




Warmind Equipment:

  1. Ashcap, a thick leathern hat, with attached goggles, a neck curtain, and gauze mask for the mouth. It keeps burning ash out of your mouth and eyes, and hides your face. A distinctive piece of Warmind attire.

  2. Fireproof Tent, coloured dark red to camouflage against Avernian soil. 

  3. Breastplate, 1 piece of armour. Etched with jagged geometric patterns and designs of screaming humanoids being stabbed into fire pits by baatezu. 

  4. Buff Coat, made from demonhide. 1 piece of armour. Whispers, every so often. 

  5. Dreg Legion Banner. Pattern of your choice. Even the most impressive mortal is still a Dreg Legionary in the eyes of the Nine Hells. Still, among a certain crowd, bearing this 2-slot banner might garner some respect. 

  6. Bag of Caltrops, good for throwing down in a pinch. 

  7. 4d6 Hellmarks, nonagonal rosegold coins marked with nine Asmodean eyes. Worth double value when used as currency in the Nine Hells. 

  8. Halberd, for use when assisting the massed ranks of devils and legionaries. A heavy weapon with reach. Not a sword.  

  9. Splatter Mask, covers the eyes with a metal guard and the lower face with a chainmail curtain. Counts as a piece of armour. It keeps shrapnel out of your eyes and mouth, which is always a win. A distinctive piece of Warmind attire. 

  10. Smoke Bomb, a steel cylinder with a fuse. Can be cut to set the fuse for one to ten rounds - once a lit fuse runs down, a gigantic cloud of thick smoke explodes out, which lingers for an hour, or a minute in high wind. If someone’s holding it when it goes off, they take 1d6 Damage. 

  11. Decoy Shako, towering red hat with a vrockfeather plume. The first crit you suffer while wearing it inexplicably annihilates the shako and leaves you unharmed.

  12. Cacophony Cane, appears to be an ordinary walking stick with a bird-shaped handle. When you turn the handle all the way round and slam the stick onto the ground, it snaps with a noise that’s audible up to a mile away (wear ear-protectors). 

  13. Firelance, a long metal tube on a wooden pole. When filled with fuel and lit, it sprays a 50ft line of fire - anyone in the way must save or be damaged and lit aflame. The closest failure takes 3d6, the rest half of that. 

  14. Infernal Medal of Valour, beaten square of green steel marked with an eye - the ribbon is crimson. Devils will be impressed by it, celestials disgusted, and demons enraged. 

  15. Silcharde, a medium two-barrelled pistol named after the Baatezu that designed it. The barrels are stacked vertically, and it has a unique profile. Has a two-step trigger which allows for the barrels to be fired separately, as two different attacks, or together, as one. 

  16. Black Brandy, the famous devil’s drink of Dis. Chills the body pleasantly when drunk - devils use it like a soft-drink, considering alcohol has no effect on them. 

  17. Worming Bell, runed and made of gold. Rings loudly when Tanar’ri begin corrupting reality nearby - this generally portends the presence of a large number of demons, or a few very powerful ones. 

  18. Green Steel Sword, a medium flamberge. This sickly green steel is famed across the Planes as an icon of Hell. A green steel blade bypasses all resistance to weaponry that a demon or devil might possess, but still counts as a “mundane” steel (such as for your cantrip). 

  19. Codebook, for use in conjunction with the Sending spell. Densely packed codes and signifiers use long words, effectively removing the word-limit for the Sending spell, but only if both ends have a codebook. Can of course also be used in letters or conversation. 

  20. A Curio! 

    1. Bottle of Boilers. A glass bottle of soupy red gas. Boilers is a drug for Fiends, primarily produced in Sigil. It’s a deliriant poison for most mortals, but puts Fiends in a calm and friendly state for 1d6 Hours. It’s novel, for them.  

    2. Maelephant Tusk. A blackened chunk of grey ivory. If burnt, it summons a 6HD Maelephant, which will guard a commanded place or object for 24 hours, then return to the Lower Planes. The Maelephant is rude, crude and stupid, but will never betray the one who burnt the tusk. 

    3. Scumbag. A wriggling black sack full of… something. When burst or opened, everyone within thirty feet must save or vomit - including creatures normally totally incapable of doing so. When inspected, an opened bag is empty. 

    4. Mind Eraser. A tiny vial derived from Styxwater. Normally, Styxwater requires total immersion to erase a personality - but, if this concentration is the only thing a creature consumes for 48 hours, it does the job just fine: destroying their Psyche Slots and reducing them to catatonia.  

    5. Hellfire Bomb. A ticking mass of black wires and spined scales of Green Steel. Can be set with a timer anywhere from a minute to a month. When it goes off, everything nearby takes 3d6 Fire Damage, no save, and is engulfed in Hellfire, which can only be extinguished by magic. 

    6. Tanar’ric Infection. Fills a Psyche Slot instead of a Gear Slot. Functions something like a disease, and something like a Belief. If you act in a manner which the Tanar’ri would approve of (selfish, hungry, vile, cancerous) you gain a Mark as if you had defended or promoted a Belief - but, you must save vs. Mutation, as you begin the gradual and fatal process of having your meat turned into a nascent Tanar’ri. When you’ve accumulated a total of 9 mutations from this feature, you die, and your corpse becomes a Demon with as many Hit Dice as you had in life. 




Bonus: Metallic Mutations

Roll randomly for a body part, and then combine with one of the following elements. 

  1. Leaden Shell 

  2. Golden Sheen

  3. Nails and Spikes

  4. Hanging Chains

  5. Stiff and Rusted

  6. Interlocking Gears

  7. Bismuth Crystals 

  8. Shaped into a Weapon 

  9. Sundered Silver 

  10. Radioactive Shards


Sunday, 19 December 2021

The Answer to All Mysteries (GLOGscape: Wizard Chassis)

 


Everybody knows what a Wizard is!


This is intended to be compatible with all of those amazing wizard schools we all know and love.


THE GLOGSCAPE WIZARD

+1 Magic Dice per Template (including Deltas). 

Starting Skill: 1) Ciphers 2) Alchemy 3) Mathematics 4) Epic Poetry 5) Clockworking 6) Smithing

Starting Items: Per Wizard School, otherwise, Odd Hat, Odd Clothing, Spellbook, Staff or Wand or Orb, two pieces of Wizardly Ephemera (see table at Post’s End). 

A – Wizard School, Detect Magic, Translation

B – Book Casting 

C – Counterspell

D – Signature Spells OR Arcane Control

+

Δ - Familiar

Δ - Tower

Δ - Lichdom




Wizard Robes 

Enchanted garments. When worn, you have +1MD. 


They fill an inventory slot, and mark you very obviously as a wizard. It’s all the embroidered stars, the silver damask, the pointed headgear, that sort of thing. You don’t start with Wizard Robes. 


This works for anyone, including those of a distinctly mundane persuasion. It’s only of use if you actually know any spells to cast. 



Spellbook

You begin play with a Spellbook, which fills an Inventory Slot. 

In GLOGscape, Spells take up Psyche Slots. 


Much like Items can be taken from Inventory Slots and stored in chests, Spells can be taken from Psyche Slots and stored in Spellbooks. 


A Spellbook starts with enough space to hold 5 Spells. You can upgrade your Spellbook with magical paper, velvet inks, magical embellishments, and so on. 

If a Spellbook is lost, so are all the Spells stored in it. 

Replacing a Spellbook, or buying a new one, costs 50 Gold. 


With an hour of study and rote, you can transfer as many Spells into and out of your Spellbook and Psyche Slots as you wish.

You can’t cast spells from your book until you get Book Casting – they need to be in your head. 



Wizard School

A Wizard’s Spell List, Perk, Drawback, Mishaps and Dooms are all decided by their School.

Any and all GLOG Wizard schools should be compatible.  



Detect Magic

You can sense the presence and strength of magic, and can instinctively identify spells. This sense is blocked by lead, adamant and Truemetal.

You can also sense the presence of other spellcasters, and eye-contact tells you how many spellcasting dice they have (of whatever kind). 



Translation

You may convert Scrolls, and the contents of other wizards’ Spellbooks, into Spells. 

This takes 2d6 Days of Work, and must be done during downtime. You can translate one spell at a time. It immediately occupies a Psyche Slot or Spellbook Slot once translated. 



Book Casting

You can cast straight from your spellbook, or from a Scroll without burning it. 

Declare this at the start of a given round, and the Spell happens at the end of the round – it fizzles if you take any damage in that round.


  

Counterspell

You can lessen or undo the effects of a spell cast at you or your allies, by declaring you would like to Counterspell, then choosing a spell with an opposed effect - Wall of Water vs. Fireball, Alarm vs. Sleep, or Incite Anger vs. Charm Person, that sort of thing. 


If you have a Spell in your repertoire that is an effective Counterspell, then subtract your [dice]/[sum] from the [dice]/[sum] of the attacking Spell.



Signature Spells

Choose three Spells you know. When you cast them, you may choose to do so with +1MD, for free.
If you ever somehow lose these Spells, you can recreate it from memory with an hour’s work. 



Arcane Control 

When you roll MD, you may choose the number that appears on the first MD you roll. You can do this [templates] times between rests. 



+



Δ - Familiar

Convince an animal, minor Outsider, or other small creature to sign a Pact with you.


You become your Familiar’s patron - you can swap senses with them, or temporarily give them your Spells and MD to cast spells at range. If you give your Familiar a Spell or MD, you don’t have that Spell or MD until they use it. 


Once a Familiar uses a Spell, it goes back to one of your Psyche Slots. When they use your MD, they always expend. 



Δ - Tower

Gain sole possession of a defensible sanctum, and equip it with apprentices, a supply of reagents, expensive magical equipment, and other such stuff.


You can now perform Rituals, research Arcane Secrets, and present yourself as a Professional Wizard in Polite Society, if that floats your boat. 


You can also set up a Scrying Room, where, with a pool of water or crystal orb, you can observe faraway locales (unreliably, and by expending MD). 


Also, it makes a pretty rad base to hang out in. 


You lose this Delta if you lose your Tower. 



Δ - Lichdom 

Find a way to ignore death. This is never safe, and never easy. 


You’re immortal! Well done. Now the real wizardry begins. 


You’re now classed as Undead - immune to poison, vulnerable to positive energy, and so on. 


You can do lots of things now - like visit the Negative Energy Plane without fear, join the Society of the Enlightened Dead, and so on. 




Spellcasting

Spellcasting follows the MD rules.

You gain two Spells from your Spell List whenever you level up, representing research and grappling with the deeper mysteries of arcana.


If you roll a duplicate spell, move up or down the list until you get a spell you haven't got yet.


Roll the following Dice:

Level 1 – The first spell on your list, and roll 1d6 for the other. 

Level 2 – 2d8

Level 3 – 2d10

Level 4 - Choose three spells from your list. 



Wizardly Ephemera

  1. A Spare Hat, which is slightly less impressive than your primary one.

  2. Monogrammed Handkerchief. Filthy, but classy. 

  3. Folding Sanctum, an overly classy name for a tent with lead-lined fabric. Keeps out most prying eyes. 

  4. A Handful of Planar Dirt. Gotta be useful for something, right? Choose or randomly determine the plane of origin. 

  5. Spellbook Case, which keeps it nice and dry in inclement conditions. 

  6. Calligraphy Set. For inscribing scrolls and sending letters. 

  7. Tarot Cards, featuring such standouts as The Lady, The City, The Spire and The Wheel. Can be used for minor divinations - roll 1d6. The closer to one the result, the worse the cards think it’ll go. 

  8. Telescoping Tea Set. Fills a single slot, contains tea, cups and self-heating-kettle for eight. 

  9. Magnifying Glass. Don’t look into portals with it! 

  10. Portal-Finder’s Pamphlet. Contains the locations of portals to three random planes. There’s a 2-in-6 chance that the portals are now gone, or were never there in the first place. 

  11. Flintlock Pistol. A light gun, for when you’re all out of spells. Comes with 20 bullets and a tiny powder-horn, for a total of two slots. 

  12. Address Book, which contains the stated addresses (probably decoys) of three Wizard Pen Pals, who you could write to in a pinch (or just to check in). 

  13. A Case of Dispaterian Cigars, which stink of hellfire for everyone but the smoker, who feels pleasant megalomania while smoking them. 

  14. Statuette of a Horse. Was, at one point, a Figurine of Power, but one of the legs broke off. It would be immoral to actually activate the poor thing. 

  15. Bastard Cat. Not all cats are bastards, that’s a mean stereotype. This one, however, very much is. Takes up two slots if you have to carry it. 

  16. Three Part Folding Wand. Newfangled! Contains 1MD and a random spell, but if you roll 6 when using it, the wand fucking explodes. 

  17. Chunk of Spirestone. A slot of chalky grey stone. Can’t be affected by magic. Good for chucking at other wizards’ heads, or as a paperweight. 

  18. 3d6 Coins from Various Planes. A mix of Hellmarks, Sigillite Crowns, Gehennan Stingers, Heavenly Merts, and a bunch of random Prime-World garbage. Only worth 3d6 in Sigil, probably worth 1d6 anywhere else. 

  19. Notebook of Observations. Can store a single spell, as per a tiny spellbook. Contains observations surrounding a wizardly obsession, useless to anyone else. 

  20. A Curio!

    1. Gold Chain, covered in Terran runes. The bearer of this chain is entitled to be rescued by Earth Elementals, for free, from any one cave-in or unwilling burial. 

    2. Declaration of Angelum, the legal status of being an Angel. Works great with the Heavenly Bureaucracy, who, if presented with this document, will be forced to acknowledge you as a minor Deva. 

    3. Half-Bottle of Burning Rye, boiled up by Night Hags in the farthest edge of Krangath. Makes you immune to the effects of cold, very drunk, and also flammable, until you sleep it off. 

    4. A Gold Crown, specifically, the crown of a tiny Prime-Material kingdom. That was a wild night. 

    5. Rilmanic Dagger, perfectly balanced light weapon, to the extent that the principle carries over to the wielder - they can’t be knocked over or otherwise lose their footing. 

    6. Empty Soul Jar, perhaps previously occupied by a Lich. You’ve got no damn clue how to get a soul into it, but it could definitely hold one…