Thursday, January 30, 2014

Dungeon Mash

"Delvers crawl on their stomachs. Don't matter how traps your thief can spring, how good your sword swinger might be, or how many fireballs the mage can sling, if you didn't bring enough to eat, you ain't getting past level one. First timers always set out with a sackful of them so-called iron rations, but you only make that mistake once. I still bring some on occasion. They’re usually packed with so much sawdust that you can burn'em like coal..

"Your best bet will always be some dried fruit to keep away the scurvy, a sack full of beans and as much salted meat as you can carry. Now, mutton or pork work best because beef always ends up making everything taste like a saddlebag. You start by boiling down the beans with a bit of molasses or lard, and you never really stop. Every night, you throw in a few more beans and add in whatever else you can scrounge. Next morning, you bottle what’s left and carrying it on to the next site. We call it “the mash”.

"Salt meat gets real tired quick, though. You spend more time pulling it out of your teeth than you did chewing it. After a couple of levels to, you'll start to get creative. Nothing fancy at first, probably just a little fresh giant rat. That's not so bad. If you grew up the way most of us did, pretty sure you've had rat before. Giant rat is actually better than yer average alley-rat, especially if you catch them young. 

"The general rule of thumb is, the more animal-like it is; the more you can eat it. Of course there are exceptions to this. A personal favourite of mine is carrion-crawler. Now that might sound a bit nasty, but it tastes just like 'gator. Had a druid tell me that rust-eaters are real good for you, but they taste like you're sucking chainmail. Catoblepas on the other hand, might look like a camel, but they are so foul they might as well be poisonous.

"Obviously, you are going to want to stay away from your molds and fungi, though cut up shriekers are surprisingly good in the mash. I once met a ranger who swore he'd found a way to eat black puddings. Then one night he tried to prove it. He didn't die pretty. 

“Dragons? Depends on the antiquity and the colour of the scales. Red one right out the egg taste like fine lobster. Old reds taste like show leather soaked in rotten eggs.

“Now we come to dark part. You delve long enough and deep enough, sooner or later you’re gonna have to make some tough decisions.  Trolls are always a mistake. Seen one desperate fella choke a piece down once, right before it started to regenerate … that one still comes up in the worst kind of nightmares.

“You get that kind of desperate and other thoughts begin to occur, if you know what I mean. Don't worry, we've all had them when times get tough. The first time for me was this time when we were royally lost in the Borderlands looking for some damned keep. We'd been eating boiled grass for two days when we were ambushed by a tribe of centaur. Turns out they are a lot less horsey than you’d think. Like anything though, you get use to anything after a while. Next time were some half-man, half snake savages when we were lost in some forbidden city or another. 

"After that it got easier. Dark elf is really good, I find it has a spicier texture than the regular kind. Dwarf’s like leftover mutton, but gets more palatable if you slow roast it over a fire, like a bull or a boar.  

“Now Halfling … Halfling is the best. Soft and tender and fatty like fresh rabbit.  Don’t matter how you prepare it; broiled, baked, fried or slow roasted, it don’t matter. They’re delicious almost any which way. It got so that when I joined a party I’d make sure that there were always at least of them two around, just so that no one would notice if one went missing.

“Been a long time since one’s come this deep before. The last party left me tied up for the scavengers, but I got loose and showed them. Since then, I’ve had to make do with what’s around. Doesn't happen that often, but it always nice to have a little company, if only for a little while.

“In fact, I got a little mash bubbling on the fire back a ways, leftover from a party that passed through this way about a week ago.

“You hungry?”

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Blog Hop Challenge

Zero Theorem

My love of Terry Gilliam is second only to my love of LEGO. Except maybe for Tideland ... that one was hard to get through.

The Art of Ukemi

The Art of Ukemi: Backwards If I am going to get back into Aikido properly, I need to start from the basics.

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Ring of Kha'Bume

No one is sure of its origins, but this ancient artifact is sometimes found in ruined cities or large craters. It appears to be a gold ring set with a pill shaped object that is made out of a strange metal. Not steel or tin, it is faintly warm and glows in the dark. There is a red iron cap at the bottom of the pill that, with a little effort, can be pulled loose ....

... though there are none alive who can tell you what happens once the cap has been pulled.

Gallery of Little Golden Books for Little Big Kids

LEGO Movie ClipaPalooza!

I look forward to this movie more than the birth of my first born! Which I will never have. Because of the cancer.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Stone Armor
In the remote mountain jungles known as the Cloud Gardens, fearsome tribal warriors sometimes wear suits of armour made of stone.

Metal is rare in that part of the world, but volcanic cliffs made of obsidian sharper provide weapons sharper than steel. Iron and steel rust quickly in the endless mists, and few would want to wear thick armour in the relentless, sticky heat.

When the natives do wear armour, they wear plate made from a local stone that they call 'calima', or 'the protector'. In its natural state, the stone is similar to sandstone and easily carved into plates. Shaman then paint, glaze and then fire the stone. When they are finished, it becomes strong and lightweight enough to be worn as armour.

These suits are considered holy to the local tribes and outsides wearing them are usually subdued with powerful blow-darts tipped in the secretions of the sparkle sloth. The unfortunate captives are then turned over a feared sect of Cannibal Priests; their bodies to be devoured piece by piece until only their heads remain. These are used shrunken fetishes of the Cannibal Priests and as the terrible stories say that they retain the memories of their past lives.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Lobe Wyrm

Born only when a salamander lays a single silver egg in the fire below a wizard's cauldron, a lobe wrym is a powerful magical parasite that are coveted by magic-users. The parasite is implanted into the mage's ear where it draws nutrients from the bloodstream and from the ambient magical energies that leak from every cast spell.

It takes about a year for the parasite to grow to full size, at which time it provides no bonuses and is very vulnerable to spellshock and backlash. One failed spell can easily kill the creature at this stage. It can also be easily removed and embedded into another host, which means that, as a rule, mages with a Lobe Wyrm are very cautious during this phase.

Once they have grown a little, the wyrm begins to augment a mage's power, allowing them to cast at one level higher than they actually are. At this stage, they can only be removed by killing the host, which still has a fifty/fifty percent chance of killing the parasite.

The wyrm feeds primarily on ambient magical energy. Spells cast in its presence provide most of its nourishment, but spell failures release an unfocused blast of eldrich energies ... which the wyrm feasts like like a red dragon in a shire. Each time there is a spell failure within 100' of the wyrm there is a thirty three percent chance of the wyrm absorbing enough energy so that it grows, and absorbed some of the mage's endurance with it (permanently loose 1 point of CON).

As the wyrm grows, it becomes more powerful.and even develop an unhuman intelligence that begins to whisper ideas to the mage that only he can hear. Eventually, the mage will die , either of natural causes or by the draining of the wyrm. At that time, their skull will hatch like an egg .... and a fresh dragonspawn emerges; its temperament and alignment shaped heavily by the head it hatched from.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Deep Dark

A bat embryo
"True delvers know of the Deep Dark. The one where your torches barely light up your hand, and even a lantern is nothing but the glow of a firefly's ass.

"It lurks, lies in wait like a living thing, in the corners of forgotten ruins, in ancient woods and caves below the earth, all the places where the sun has never shone.

"There are things that thrive in that dark. Pale, blind things that are born, live and die in shadow. Though they fear the light, the Deep Dark is their realm ...

".. and they are hungry."
 -Kharzak Ironstache, Dwarven Third Axe.   

Monday, January 13, 2014

Halfling Riding Boars

Pictured is the famous Halfling highwayman, Daro 'Goldencurls' Longshins and his mount, Posy.
With most horses and cattle being too large, Halflings usually stick to raising sheep, pigs and rabbit. Ponies or donkeys are sometimes used as pack animals, but for riding they use specially trained boars. While some shires use dogs, most Halfling rangers swear by the temperament, intelligence, endurance and juicy smokey flavour of their mounts.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Tolkien illustrated by Jian Gou

After the grey and earth tones of the movies, these brightly coloured plates breath new life into Tolkien's work. 

Sensei Katsumi Idogawa

This is the very fine gentleman who broke my nose (to be fair, I was trying to spear him with a jo staff at the time - and he was unarmed).
His dojo:

British Library Uploads a Million Free Images!

Image taken from page 68 of 'Az Osztrák-Magyar Monarchia irásban és képben. Rudolf trónörökös főherczeg Ő ... fensége kezdeményezéséből és közremunkálásával. (Die deutsche Ausgabe redigirt ... J. von Weilen, die ungarische M. Jókai.)


Sometimes the will of the fish survives its physical death. Its body rots away, leaving only a sentient, malevolent corpse that swims only through the deepest, darkest waters.

These little horrors are a favourite pet of human (and human-ish) Lichs, as well as other powerful undead such as Mummies, Vampire, Necro Lords and Nomolomancers.

So delvers beware, that innocuous fountain or aquarium in the Dark Lord's lair might hold a terrible surprise.

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Seriously, if you are not familiar with the greatest rogue in Western literature .... BECOME FAMILIAR WITH THE GREATEST ROGUE IN WESTERN LITERATURE!  and then READ IT!

Taiwan's Special Forces are now Movie Minions!

Taiwanese Special Forces have become the perfect model for a standard Big Bad's Minion Army. Of course, I prefer to go with a theme:

or my all-time favorite:


Original linkage. 
Mortal enemies of the Puggans, these fearsome warriors live in the isolated region known as the Teetering Mesas. 

They would present a larger threat to their mortal enemies if were not for the Mewbannan's tendencies towards aloofness, general apathy and the fields of catmint that grows wild on the mesas. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Puggans are a brave people from the region known as Parvo Hills. Small but fierce, they have defended their lands since the Antecedent Age against all aggressors, from Orc Hordes, Imperial expansion and the natives of the neighboring region known as Mewbaccans.

Though prone to a number of different medical conditions (thought to be the result of centuries of inbreeding, there aren't that many and Parvo is a small place), they are popular companions for delvers for their their loyalty, their calm demeanor and their adorable wittle fwaces. 

[Note: I've had these pics for a while now, but I posted this after working four, 12+hour days in a row and was agonizingly tired when I posted. It shows]

The Death's Head Galaxy

art by Tahar Abroudjameur
"We have all heard the stories of travelers lost in the deep aetherscape who have passed through the tangled warpways of the Gnarl. I for one cannot believe that many have returned from those lost and broken ways, and fewer still could have returned with their sanity intact. But by now we all have heard tell of the great nebulous galaxy in the shape of a grinning death's head where the forces of Chaos and Decay hold sway, in much the same ways that the forces of gravity and ethereal-physics rule in ours.

"More terrible still (it is said) are the beings that live here; creatures that are not alive in a way that we understand it, but instead are possessed of a terrible process known as anti-life. Because of this, much of what we know of magic is utterly useless against them. They have come to learn of our kind, and despise and loathe us and the power that animates all life on this side of the Gnarl . Our only protection (so the story goes) are the forces that animate them would tear them apart should they ever leave their terrible galactic home.

"Spacer stories and the ramblings of spellshocked wizards matter little to hardened aethermen such as myself. Then a quarterspin ago, on the stardocks of Klor, I came across a madman who claimed to have once been the famed sorcerer JaLleel, thought lost along with the Imperial Dreadnought Night Terror.

"For his gall I heaved him up and would have cut out his liver, but then the madness seemed to clear and he claimed to know me, and spoke of our days upon the wyrmship, Quasaryous.

"At this my anger abated and instead I bought him nectar and sustenance. It was then he told me of his time aboard the Night Terror and how an error by its astrogator resulted in a quarkshift that left them adrift in the navigationless void between galaxies. Relative decades past, until the Night Terror began to run out of supplies and the crew succumbed to despair, madness and other, unspeakable horrors of the starless realm. Only a handful of survivors remained when JaLleel said that they were rescued .. he would have continued, but then his eyes clouded in fear and his madness returned in full and he spoke nothing rational again that day.

"Upon the next rising of the rim, I collected JaLleel from the Sanctorium. Calmer now, he continued his story. He says that he awoke in a room of darkness. What happened next took him many turnings to tell, made longer by the long periods when the madness would take him time and time again. By the time he was done, a fear like I had never known had sent a chill into my soul where it has never left.

"For when I asked JaLleel how he had escaped the unimaginable horrors that he faced, he looked at me with eyes that reflected a soul lost forever. "That is just it," he said. "I did not escape. I was returned and my final role in this has not yet been played."

"So that is why, my dear friends, that this message finds you from the Far Clusters. For all that I have seen and faced in my years in the Imperial Dragoons and later as a freesword in the Aetherstreams, it was only the look in my former comrade's eyes that ever caused me to break and run.

And I beg of you ... do the same. Before it becomes to late."
-Domo Xan Lar Gull. 3rd Blade, Mistress of the Imperial Dragoons (ret.).  

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Frozen "Let It Go"

I just think this is funny. But from an rpg standpoint, this is a pretty good representation of what a powerful Elementalist might look like. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Beautiful Insanity of the Monkey King

Now this is what a High Level campaigns should look like. 
I don't know what the rest of the movie is like, but this trailer is the BEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Sex Panther

The sex panther is an ancient, eldritch creation of the ancient, late-night, cabal known as the Order of Burgundy.

Little is known of this mysterious order, save for a number of enchanted items that have survived the passing of countless ages, such as:
-Love Lamp
-The Trident of Tamland
-Space Gun from the Future
-and the hideous monster known as the Chicken of the Cave.

But the Order's most infamous and enduring creation is the Sex Panther. It isn't fully understood if the Sex Panther is some form of mystical creature from another plane, or if it is a magical construct, or even the aspect of an ancient god, but no matter how it is summoned or used, it always maintains two very distinct features that make it easily identifiable. The first is its bizarre statistical nature; there are no saving throws or opposition rules used when the Sex Panther is summoned, simply a percentage roll. At odds a bit greater than half the time (60%) , the Sex Panther works exactly as intended ... every time.

If the Sex Panther fails, then its second distinctive feature begins to play a much stronger roll. No matter what form the Sex Panther takes, it is always accompanied by an odor that has been politely described as a 'formidable scent that stings the nostrils' and a 'powerful feline musk', to the less kindly as 'pure gasoline'. Alternatively, it has also been described as 'a baby diaper filled with Indian food' or a 'turd covered in burnt hair'. On a statistical failure of a Sex Panther, the odor becomes overwhelming leading to a severe reaction

As its name implies, the Sex Panther is usually evoked in magic of a carnal nature. The spells, 'Fantana's Forget-me-Now', and 'Happy Pants Party' both rely on Sex Panther components, as do the Wand of Oscillation and the Chastity Belt of Desire. It is most commonly found in a liquid form dubbed the Cologne of Inexplicable Attraction. On occasion, ethereal Sex Panthers are summoned and given a physical form to be used as familiars by Tantric Sorcerers, Furry Wizards and by the more perverse sorts of Ranger.

In its weaponized form, the Sex Panther forms a powerful stink bomb that can overwhelm the senses, in mot cases (60% of the time), leading to incapacitating nausea, vomiting and in extreme cases, even death.

(guess what movie I saw this weekend?)