Tuesday, 28 June 2022

PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS (Glog Class: Demonologist)

 For BUCKETS OF BLOOD.



Here’s a little secret tip. Summoning the armies of Hell isn’t actually a case of ‘good intentions’. You knew what you were getting into. 


No Solomon are you, although if you find his ring, you might be his equal, someday. 


THE DEMONOLOGIST

+1 Save and +1 Skill per Template. Starting Items: Coil of Silver Wire, Big Knife, 9mm Pistol, Cheap Suit, Notebook, Pack of Belmont Cigarettes.

Starting Skill: 1) Politics 2) Judo 3) Anthropology 4) Cheating at Card Games

A - Sigils, Power

B - Handshake

C - Imps

D - Two at Once



Sigils

You’re familiar with the sigils and methods which will invoke demons to come to this world. 


Roll 3d12 on the list below, to see who you know. 


You can summon new demons if you find their Sigils out in the world. The list below isn’t exhaustive. 


You must inscribe a circle of chalk, salt, gold, silver or blood. 


If you summon a demon outside such a circle (or let them out of the circle, which they frequently request you do), they’re free to do what they want, which often (not always, but often) involves tearing you limb from fragile limb, feeding some parts of you into a woodchipper, and then tying your entrails into funny bows on their heads, to make their friends laugh.


Obviously, you’re going to Hell when you die, but so is every player class in a Buckets of Blood game.  



Power

You have [templates + 1] points of Power. When you summon a demon, choose how much Power you give to them to bring them into this world. This number is [power]. Each time you use a Demon’s abilities, the value of [power] reduces by 1. 


You have this much power, and no more. Demons will keep it until you fulfil something they want. If you piss a demon off, disrespect them, or give them any reason to, they’ll keep it indefinitely, and you’ll be fucked until you propitiate them. 


If you wanted friendly spirits you should’ve gone the way of John Dee and become an angelologist, but here we fucking are. 


It’s possible, if you seek out powerful Hellish artefacts, read the right books, or sell your soul, that you might gain more Power



Handshake

When you shake someone’s hand, you can invest a Power in them, charming them until you choose to take the Power back. If they are eerie, fucked up, or openly supernatural, they may save



Imps

You can transform your Power into facsimiles of people. These eerie, sweaty doppelgangers look like whoever you want, and are completely loyal. 


You cannot make them dress normally, and anyone making eye contact with them knows immediately that they’re empty, pallid imitations of humanity which must be destroyed. Shades advised. 


Every Imp has 1HD and 6HP


Imps lack the capability to resist when you reclaim your Power. They splatter into brine, strips of pork and the smell of rotting eggs. The same happens if they reach 0HP.



Two at Once

You can now summon two demons into the same circle. They each have an individual [power] value, which is equal to however much you spent to summon them both. 


So, if you spent 5 Power, you have a total of 10 demonic boons! Wow! 


They fucking hate this so much, and will definitely dismember you and thoroughly shit out your remains, if they escape. You have to appease both of them to get your Power back. 


+


1d12 Demons from Hell

  1. King Bael

A fat man, wearing a wet rubber cat mask, and a bomber jacket, pattered with round shapes one might vaguely interpret as frogs. Underneath that, army fatigues. He breathes very heavily, and smells like vaseline and petrol. Soft-spoken and prying.  


Bael will make you or anyone else of your choice invisible, for up to [power] hours. 


Bael will make you popular and liked for [power] days. 


Bael will change your appearance, or the appearance of someone you smear your blood on in his sight, for [power] hours. He can make you look like any kind of human. 


Bael will keep your Power until you produce an artistic representation of him. Don’t worry if it’s shit - you will get better with practice



  1. Duke Agares

An extremely elderly man, riding a khaki-coloured mobility scooter. He has a Desert Eagle handgun in his right hand, and a bottle of [Branded Carbonated Drink] in the other. He wears a decayed rubber mask of Richard Nixon, a floral shirt, and cargo shorts. Irritable and unkind. 


Agares will let you speak any one language for [power] hours, although you’re incapable of being polite when speaking it.


Agares will give you [power] magic bullets, which deal 4 extra damage against a specific creature of your choice. 


Agares will cause a Magnitude [power + 2] earthquake centred exactly where you’re standing.


Agares will keep your Power until you ruin an innocent’s day. Most people whose day you might want to ruin (cops, for example) are not innocents. 



  1. Marquis Gamigin

A short man, with a plastercast lump over his head vaguely resembling a horse’s head. The eyes are irregular and the teeth are pieces of plastic, set at odd angles. On his body he wears a black USAF jumpsuit stained with blood, with three burnt holes over the heart. He carries a small black book, bulging with added paper. Cheerful and nosy. 


Gamigin can conjure [power] shitty fake horses, which, despite the utter emptiness in their eyes, are relatively safe to ride, and move at about 60mph


Gamigin can answer [power] questions on the subjects of the trivium and quadrivium - that is, grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy. 


Gamigin can answer [power] questions about the life of anyone who died in Sin, which is 97% of all people, by his estimation. 


Gamigin will keep your Power until you are involved in a car crash or other vehicular incident. 



  1. President Marbas

A huge man, with weightlifter’s muscles and a prodigious gut. Limbs like tree-trunks, he wears a stained white suit a size too small, and a cream coloured shirt. Over his face, he wears a paper party plate with a crayon drawing of a lion on it. The back of his head is sunburned and bald. Boisterous and fake-stupid. 

 

Marbas will perfectly sterilise (or infect with a bacterial disease) [power] objects you present to him. 


Marbas will answer [power] questions on the subjects of the mechanical arts - that is, tailoring, agriculture, architecture, warfare, trade, cooking and blacksmithing. 


Marbas will turn you into a seagull, a doberman, or a boa constrictor, for [power] hours. 


Marbas will keep your Power until you eat enough to make yourself sick, or drink enough alcohol to pass out. He finds it funnier if you do this where people will witness it. 



  1. Duke Valefor

A tall man in a dishevelled and headless fursuit (blue). He wears a cheap plastic mask depicting Emmanuel Macron, cracked around the corners of the mouth. He carries a butcher’s knife and a smartphone on 1% battery. You can hear it in his voice - he’s smiling. Patient and calm. 


Valefor will make sure the local criminal elements owe you [power] favours. 


Valefor will make sure that nobody can recognise you for [power] hours. 


Valefor will allow you to untraceably and anonymously call the phone of anyone of your choice, with a commensurate [power] cost based on how famous they are. 


Valefor will keep your Power until you publicly embarrass yourself. 



  1. Marquis Amon

A wide, dense man, wearing a bomb disposal suit with a hard plastic wolf’s head affixed over the helmet. Smoke pours out constantly from the hood of the suit - usually, it smells like cigarettes, but sometimes, like burning meat. Anyone that can see him hears Khachaturian’s Masquerade Suite in their head. He constantly says stupid shit for no discernible reason. Smiling and relaxed. 


Amon will cause two people or groups to have enmity toward each other for up to [power] days. 


Amon will get any song stuck in up to 100 people’s heads for up to [power] days. He would like it if you picked Khachaturian’s Masquerade Suite. 


Amon will take $50 of apparently unrelated materials and then hand you an IED, which will deal [power]d6 damage when it explodes. The timer can be set for up to 10 minutes. 


Amon will keep your Power until you make a spirited defence of capitalism to a stranger. 



  1. Duke Barbatos

A skinny man dressed in a heavy wool greatcoat, a cable-knit jumper, plus fours, argyle socks, and polished black winklepickers. His head, under his tweed flat cap, is tightly wrapped in incident tape. He speaks with an obviously fake English accent, struggling to choke down a voice more reminiscent of Ohio. Bored and coy. 


Barbatos will answer [power] questions about the actions of those who hold positions of authority (in public, or in secret). 


Barbatos allows you to talk with all mammals for [power] hours. Upsettingly, this triggers on humans, causing you to hear everyone’s voice twice over, and slightly out of time - and irritatingly, this doesn’t allow you to understand people if you don’t speak their language. Still, it’s worth it to talk to dogs, who are exactly as good as you expect. 


Barbatos will reveal the methods to overcome [power] enchantments, curses or magical protections. 


Barbatos keeps your Power until you listen to the Beatles for six hours straight while doing absolutely nothing else, except that which is necessary for life. He demands you sing along to Hey Jude.



  1. President Caim

A little man, wearing the taxidermied head of a giant blackbird. Beside that, a white shirt, green tie, and blue trousers. He carries a rock and a pen knife, and asks how your parents are doing. Obsessed with drone strikes. Urbane, and sitting atop a barely restrained well of violent insanity. 


Caim can use his vast perspective to pick the best option out of two [power] times. 


Caim can translate up to [power]*1000 words of text from any language, even dead, obscure, or non-functional ones. 


Caim lets you speak with birds for [power] hours. Distressingly, some people give off the double voice effect that happens when you speak to all mammals. 


Caim will keep your Power until you piss off or upset a relative. If you have no relatives, he will settle for friends or employees, but only if. 



  1. President Malphas

A broad shouldered man, muscles straining against a neoprene wetsuit. He wears a papier-mache bird’s head over his own, without any eyeholes. Over all of that, a grey poncho with the words PLEASE VOTE painted on it. He smells like sushi. Impolite and inexplicably panicked. 


Malphas will add [power] rooms or doors to a building you have visited every room of. This can defy Euclidean geometry.


Malphas will let you rifle through the thoughts and memories of someone sleeping on a lower floor of the same building as you, for [power] minutes. This mind-reading is best represented by asking questions and receiving images. 


Malphas conjures [power * 2] professional, skilled and diligent craftspeople, who, at least to any test you can apply, are actual people. You can ask for whatever skillset you need. They’re very polite, and greet you with a Hail Satan. They go back to wherever they came from after six hours. 


Malphas will keep your Power until you vote. PLEASE VOTE. 



  1. Knight Furcas

A pot-bellied man with an immense beard, which comes crawling out from under the burlap sack on his head. He’s always covered in fleas and flies. He wears simple, durable clothing, including a lumberjack-looking flannel shirt and a cowboy hat. He carries a large pitchfork and speaks with a clearly affected southern drawl. Laconic and respectful. 


Furcas will read your palm, revealing [power] dangers that are approaching in the coming week. This requires sticking one of your hands into the circle with him. 


Furcas will provide you with invisible armour that foils all mundane weapons for the next [power] hours. 


Furcas will make [power] objects presented to him flammable. If they were already flammable, they are now lightly explosive. 


Furcas will keep your Power until you hunt a wild animal and eat it raw. 



  1. President Buer

A huge, snarling lion’s head, crackling with gunpowder hellfire and a brimstone stink, inside a five-pointed star of goat’s legs. His voice is like thunder, and he’s very put upon if you have summoned him when the Sun isn’t in Sagittarius. He’s a traditionalist. Curmudgeonly, and dismissive of the modern world. 


Buer will irreparably break [power] things that are brought before him, so long as they were invented after 1909.  


Buer will restore [power * 5] HP to creatures brought before him, so long as none of them are wearing the symbols of any major religions. 


Buer will answer [power] questions on moral philosophy - from the point of view of Hell, of course. 


Buer will keep your Power until you touch nothing that uses electricity for 24 hours. 



  1. Duke Gusion

A baboon in a green suit. Somehow manages to look immensely dignified. Wears a pair of black sunglasses and carries a pack of cigarettes. He’d offer you one, if not for this circle keeping you apart. Relaxed and charming. 


Gusion will answer [power] questions about your friends, and anyone you might consider a colleague.


Gusion can restore your dignity and honour in the eyes of others [power] times. If you use this more than once, or haven’t suffered any damage to your dignity, then he’ll prevent you from losing it in the first place.


Gusion will repair a damaged friendship, in exchange for 3 Power. This is a charm effect.


Gusion will keep your Power until you buy him 40 packets of Belmont cigarettes. 


Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Surang, and the Last Watch

 FOR, FIRMAMENT

A pitch, I guess, for a mega-dungeon game? 



The Last Watch is where the River Lithan roars off the side of the World Above, to plummet to unknown fate below. 


It’s the farthest finger of the Duchy of Defiance, among the Ringing Mountains that hem in the World Above. 


A forested valley, known best for deer twice the height of men, and clannish locals, who lay snares for the excise-men on the roads. Firs are stripped of their branches, and carved into boar-headed men, and in their hands are placed rusting old flintlocks and bottles of peach schnapps.


The Lithan, at the moment, is dry - the Sun King holds it down to a trickle. Dead shellfish and unfortunate trout pile on the glassy river-bed. 


Inner Defiance is dying of thirst. The people of the Watch rely on vicious storms which wash in from the World Below.


Young villagers will kill, to defend their water-sumps. 




UURFERK


There are a few villages in the valley of the Watch - the largest, Uurferk, is built upon a ridge halfway down the valley. It is a grey, fish-shaped tangle, with two main streets and a bridge over the chasm left in Lithan's shadow. 


The people there are staunch Defiants, and print pamphlets calling for Regicide and freedom for all. The people of the hill-villages care little for the Uurferkish fervour. 


The local militia, the Blackbirds, claim they’ve killed over a hundred Royalists. This is somewhat implausible. 


The provost, Jer Salomea, is obsessing over the construction of a lightning rod for the town. She is convinced that the lightning strikes which have bedevilled the town are the work of some witch or other, living among the people of the hills or the cliffs. 


Below the town, the Storm Drain Gallery, a strange little market for the archaeologists and scribes of the city - they’re enjoying a brief flowering, since literacy has been made legal after the Duchy’s rebellion against the Sun King. Come down here, to a green-tiled walkway in a damp sump, and purchase previously forbidden texts, wrapped in silk to keep off the damp. 


The Storm Drain’s proprietor is called Oktawia-sans-Tongue, for perhaps obvious reasons. She will trade Inscriptions, for artefacts and curiosities of the Watch. They say she writes to a contact in the Office of the Duchy, back north in Madrevel. Rumour is, they’re using her to look for something. 




THE CLIFFS


A narrow road, a day outwards from Uurferk, takes you to the precipice of the world. On each side, the Ringing Mountains reach for the vaults of the heavens, wearing mantles of snow and fir-forest. 


The silence where the Great Fall would once have been is deafening.


The cliffs descend, black rock hovering above the clouds, for about three hundred feet, then run out. If you were mad, you could try and climb to the underside of the World Above. 


There’s villages out among the horsts and grabens, down among the undergrowth. Strange little ones, with names in an old language. The people keep themselves to themselves, but they’ve been seen parading around with cut-off animal heads on their shoulders.


Don’t mention that, though. 




SURANG


A day and a half along the narrow road, you come across the first curtain wall, blown down with gunpowder. 


Surang was once a fortress where Knights would meet, and trade warnings of injustice and tales of chivalric deeds. Then, it was a bastion of the Royalist forces, once the Knights were outlawed. 


Many were cast off the great precipice, to Exile and uncertain doom in the World Below. 


Then, the Duchess' forces came out from the interior, and it was a warzone. The abatis and cannon-craters of the battle still scatter the parade-ground and the outer courtyard. 


Now, it’s a blasted out wreck filled with looters, holdouts of both sides, returning knights, and a lot of very weird shit. 


And, probably, a lot of very valuable shit.


Surang is one of the largest castles in the World. It’s one of those mind-boggling constructions of the early Chivalric Era - two concentric outer walls, a ruined castle-town, an inner donjon, and miles of subterranean corridors and oubliettes. Six towers, and a pitched roof above a great hall that occupies as much space as all of Uurferk. And, of course, the Precipice. 


They still can’t get the main gate open - it’s buried inexplicably under a waterfall of cooled lead. 


Your options are the old well in the parade-ground, scaling the outer wall to break into the old gate-keeper’s apartments, or sidling along unstable rock and getting in via the precipice door. 


Get in, avoid everyone else, and get out rich or mad. 


Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Loch and Phlox Present: Reptiles of the Mind (Class: Lizard)

A collaboration with the inimitable Phlox.


You're just a funny little lizard guy. For now. Someday, you'll be a funny big lizard guy. 

THE LIZARD

A - Taste the Air, Scrabbling, Regrow Limbs, Change Colours

B -Tough Ol’ Scales, Sense Unusual Construction

C - Spooky Lookin’, Squirt Blood OR Wing Flaps

D - Death Roll, Run on Water Longer OR camouflage 


Taste the Air
At level 1, you have a 3-in-6 chance to taste the air to sense heat or movement of the air, -1 for every 20 feet away (if you fail due to distance, retain the roll and gradually undo the penalty if you get closer, rather than rerolling each time). For each further level, get +1.


Scrabbling
At level 1, you have a 3-in-6 chance to quickly scrabble through narrow spaces, -1 to scrabble up sheer surfaces or across no more than 20 feet of still water. For each further level, get +1.


Regrow Limb
You can regrow lost appendages with a season of downtime and plentiful food, or half that to regrow a lost detachable tail. At Level 2, the time decreases to a month, at Level 3 to a week, and at Level 4, to a day


Change Colors
Your scales can change color with effort or based on your mood. This has no mechanical effect but is a neat trick.


Tough Ol’ Scales
You may choose for a harm to just scrape off some scales and deal half damage. You must do two of: rest for a full day, eat a full meal or apply rare lizard medicine before you can use this ability again.


Sense Unusual Construction
When underground or in a building, you can take a moment to look in different directions and shift your weight around. This tells when there's subtle inclines, hollows in the floor, non-euclidean trickery, and other things by the DM's discretion.


Spooky Lookin’
You can choose to turn a positive or neutral reaction roll from "friendly" to "scared"


Wing Flaps
With a moment to prepare, you can glide horizontally for double the distance you would have otherwise fallen, so long as there is space to do so. You can reduce by half the damage from sudden falls, or falls in areas without space to glide.


Squirt Blood
Spend 1 HP to shoot blood from your eyes, blinding someone within ten feet of you until they take a round to rub the blood from their eyes. They get a save unless they're grappling you.


Death Roll
If you start the round grappling someone, you can spend your turn in a death roll. They save vs death, getting shredded to death on a failed save and taking 1d6 damage on a successful save.


Run on Water Longer
You can run on water for as long as you want as long as you don't slow down


Camouflage
When standing still or moving slowly, you can be totally invisible from a particular direction.